Guest Editor Dr. Detmer Sipkema
Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Special Issue Information
Since many years marine sponges have been ranked at the top with respect to the discovery of bioactive compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications. The diversity in chemical structures of sponge-derived metabolites is related to an equally diverse pattern of activities ranging from anti-fouling to anti-HIV properties. These discoveries have attracted the attention of bioprocess engineers, cell biologists, chemists, geneticist and microbiologists around the world to develop feasible strategies for obtaining sponge-derived metabolites at a larger scale. This is a ‘must’ to bridge the distance between the ocean and the hospital, or to start clinical trials in the first place. A few successful examples of introductions of marine sponge-derived pharmaceuticals have followed the discovery of the first bioactive compounds in sponges. Since these first publications in the 1950s the number of discovered bioactive compounds in sponges has exploded and in this special issue we aim to compile and review the state of the art of developments in sponge-chemistry, -biotechnology, -microbiology and –genetics to reap these fruits of the sea in a sustainable way.
Prof. Dr. René Wijffels Dr. Detmer Sipkema Guest Editors