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Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(3), 608-628; doi:10.3390/md8030608
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Marine Metagenomics: New Tools for the Study and Exploitation of Marine Microbial Metabolism

1
, 1
, 1
, 1
, 1,2
, 1,2,3
 and 1,2,*
1 Marine Biotechnology Centre, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland 2 Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland 3 BIOMERIT Research Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 January 2010 / Revised: 4 February 2010 / Accepted: 12 March 2010 / Published: 15 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes from the Sea: Sources, Molecular Biology and Bioprocesses)
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Abstract

The marine environment is extremely diverse, with huge variations in pressure and temperature. Nevertheless, life, especially microbial life, thrives throughout the marine biosphere and microbes have adapted to all the divergent environments present. Large scale DNA sequence based approaches have recently been used to investigate the marine environment and these studies have revealed that the oceans harbor unprecedented microbial diversity. Novel gene families with representatives only within such metagenomic datasets represent a large proportion of the ocean metagenome. The presence of so many new gene families from these uncultured and highly diverse microbial populations represents a challenge for the understanding of and exploitation of the biology and biochemistry of the ocean environment. The application of new metagenomic and single cell genomics tools offers new ways to explore the complete metabolic diversity of the marine biome.
Keywords: metagenome; marine; microorganism; enzyme metagenome; marine; microorganism; enzyme
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kennedy, J.; Flemer, B.; Jackson, S.A.; Lejon, D.P.H.; Morrissey, J.P.; O’Gara, F.; Dobson, A.D.W. Marine Metagenomics: New Tools for the Study and Exploitation of Marine Microbial Metabolism. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 608-628.

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