The Neglected Marine Fungi, Sensu stricto, and Their Isolation for Natural Products’ Discovery
Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada
Marbio, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø—The Arctic University of Norway, 9019 Tromsø, Norway
Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P2R6, Canada
Institute of Marine Biology and Centre of Excellence for the Oceans, National Taiwan Ocean University, 20224 Keelung, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17010042
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microbial Diversity as a Source of Bioactive Natural Products)
Despite the rapid development of molecular techniques relevant for natural product research, culture isolates remain the primary source from which natural products chemists discover and obtain new molecules from microbial sources. Techniques for obtaining and identifying microbial isolates (such as filamentous fungi) are thus of crucial importance for a successful natural products’ discovery program. This review is presented as a “best-practices guide” to the collection and isolation of marine fungi for natural products research. Many of these practices are proven techniques used by mycologists for the isolation of a broad diversity of fungi, while others, such as the construction of marine baiting stations and the collection and processing of sea foam using dilution to extinction plating techniques, are methodological adaptations for specialized use in marine/aquatic environments. To this day, marine fungi, Sensu stricto, remain one of the few underexplored resources of natural products. Cultivability is one of the main limitations hindering the discovery of natural products from marine fungi. Through encouraged collaboration with marine mycologists and the sharing of historically proven mycological practices for the isolation of marine fungi, our goal is to provide natural products chemists with the necessary tools to explore this resource in-depth and discover new and potentially novel natural products.