Special Issue "Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Detmer Sipkema
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Tel. +31 317 483113
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although, currently, bacterial isolation cannot keep up with the speed of cultivation-independent discovery, innovations in cultivation and sheer experimental labor have already yielded a large arsenal of novel bacterial isolates from the marine environment. Pure or defined cultures are the cornerstone to decipher microbial physiology, curate and improve genetic database annotations, and realize novel applications in biotechnology. The latter is especially relevant as heterologous expression of gene clusters encoding these compounds is still a difficult exercise.

Topics within the scope of this Special Issue include:

  • Isolation and characterization of bacteria from marine samples
  • Bioactivity assays using marine bacteria and their extracts
  • Optimization of bacterial cultivation conditions for production of bioactives

Research papers, reviews and opinions will be considered for publication.

Dr. Detmer Sipkema
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • marine bacteria
  • cultivation
  • bioactivity
  • growth optimization
  • antibiotic
  • anticancer
  • antiviral
  • antiparasitic

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Cultivation of Sponge-Associated Bacteria from Agelas sventres and Xestospongia muta Collected from Different Depths
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(10), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17100578 - 11 Oct 2019
Abstract
Sponge-associated bacteria have been mostly cultured from shallow water (≤30 m) sponges, whereas only few studies targeted specimens from below 30 m. This study assessed the cultivability of bacteria from two marine sponges Xestospongia muta and Agelas sventres collected from shallow (<30 m), [...] Read more.
Sponge-associated bacteria have been mostly cultured from shallow water (≤30 m) sponges, whereas only few studies targeted specimens from below 30 m. This study assessed the cultivability of bacteria from two marine sponges Xestospongia muta and Agelas sventres collected from shallow (<30 m), upper mesophotic (30–60 m), and lower mesophotic (60–90 m) reefs. Sponge-associated bacteria were cultivated on six different media, and replicate plates were used to pick individual colonies or to recover the entire biomass. Prokaryotic community analysis was conducted using Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. A total of 144 bacterial isolates were picked following a colony morphology coding scheme and subsequently identified by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Sponge individuals at each depth-range harboured specific cultivable bacteria that were not retrieved from specimens collected at other depths. However, there were substantial differences in the number of colonies obtained for replicate sponges of the same species. In addition, source of inoculum and cultivation medium had more impact on the cultured prokaryotic community than sample collection depth. This suggests that the “plate count anomaly” is larger than differences in sponge-associated prokaryotic community composition related to depth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of an Alkaline GH49 Dextranase from Marine Bacterium Arthrobacter oxydans KQ11 and Its Application in the Preparation of Isomalto-Oligosaccharide
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(8), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17080479 - 19 Aug 2019
Abstract
A GH49 dextranase gene DexKQ was cloned from marine bacteria Arthrobacter oxydans KQ11. It was recombinantly expressed using an Escherichia coli system. Recombinant DexKQ dextranase of 66 kDa exhibited the highest catalytic activity at pH 9.0 and 55 °C. kcat/Km of recombinant DexKQ [...] Read more.
A GH49 dextranase gene DexKQ was cloned from marine bacteria Arthrobacter oxydans KQ11. It was recombinantly expressed using an Escherichia coli system. Recombinant DexKQ dextranase of 66 kDa exhibited the highest catalytic activity at pH 9.0 and 55 °C. kcat/Km of recombinant DexKQ at the optimum condition reached 3.03 s−1 μM−1, which was six times that of commercial dextranase (0.5 s−1 μM−1). DexKQ possessed a Km value of 67.99 µM against dextran T70 substrate with 70 kDa molecular weight. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analysis showed that main hydrolysis end products were isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) including isomaltotetraose, isomaltopantose, and isomaltohexaose. When compared with glucose, IMO could significantly improve growth of Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus and inhibit growth of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This is the first report of dextranase from marine bacteria concerning recombinant expression and application in isomalto-oligosaccharide preparation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Marine Bacteria, A Source for Alginolytic Enzyme to Disrupt Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilms
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(5), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17050307 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms are typically associated with the chronic lung infection of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and represent a major challenge for treatment. This opportunistic bacterial pathogen secretes alginate, a polysaccharide that is one of the main components of its biofilm. Targeting this [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms are typically associated with the chronic lung infection of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and represent a major challenge for treatment. This opportunistic bacterial pathogen secretes alginate, a polysaccharide that is one of the main components of its biofilm. Targeting this major biofilm component has emerged as a tempting therapeutic strategy for tackling biofilm-associated bacterial infections. The enormous potential in genetic diversity of the marine microbial community make it a valuable resource for mining activities responsible for a broad range of metabolic processes, including the alginolytic activity responsible for degrading alginate. A collection of 36 bacterial isolates were purified from marine water based on their alginolytic activity. These isolates were identified based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences. Pseudoalteromonas sp. 1400 showed the highest alginolytic activity and was further confirmed to produce the enzyme alginate lyase. The purified alginate lyase (AlyP1400) produced by Pseudoalteromonas sp. 1400 showed a band of 23 KDa on a protein electrophoresis gel and exhibited a bifunctional lyase activity for both poly-mannuronic acid and poly-glucuronic acid degradation. A tryptic digestion of this gel band analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry confirmed high similarity to the alginate lyases in polysaccharide lyase family 18. The purified alginate lyase showed a maximum relative activity at 30 °C at a slightly acidic condition. It decreased the sodium alginate viscosity by over 90% and reduced the P. aeruginosa (strain PA14) biofilms by 69% after 24 h of incubation. The combined activity of AlyP1400 with carbenicillin or ciprofloxacin reduced the P. aeruginosa biofilm thickness, biovolume and surface area in a flow cell system. The present data revealed that AlyP1400 combined with conventional antibiotics helped to disrupt the biofilms produced by P. aeruginosa and can be used as a promising combinational therapeutic strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Bromoperoxidase Producing Bacillus spp. Isolated from the Hypobranchial Glands of A Muricid Mollusc Are Capable of Tyrian Purple Precursor Biogenesis
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(5), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17050264 - 03 May 2019
Abstract
The secondary metabolite Tyrian purple, also known as shellfish purple and royal purple, is a dye with historical importance for humans. The biosynthetic origin of Tyrian purple in Muricidae molluscs is not currently known. A possible role for symbiotic bacteria in the production [...] Read more.
The secondary metabolite Tyrian purple, also known as shellfish purple and royal purple, is a dye with historical importance for humans. The biosynthetic origin of Tyrian purple in Muricidae molluscs is not currently known. A possible role for symbiotic bacteria in the production of tyrindoxyl sulphate, the precursor to Tyrian purple stored in the Australian species, Dicathais orbita, has been proposed. This study aimed to culture bacterial symbionts from the purple producing hypobranchial gland, and screen the isolates for bromoperoxidase genes using molecular methods. The ability of bromoperoxidase positive isolates to produce the brominated indole precursor to Tyrian purple was then established by extraction of the culture, and analysis by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS). In total, 32 bacterial isolates were cultured from D. orbita hypobranchial glands, using marine agar, marine agar with hypobranchial gland aqueous extracts, blood agar, thiosulphate citrate bile salts sucrose agar, and cetrimide agar at pH 7.2. These included 26 Vibrio spp., two Bacillus spp., one Phaeobacter sp., one Shewanella sp., one Halobacillus sp. and one Pseudoalteromonas sp. The two Bacillus species were the only isolates found to have coding sequences for bromoperoxidase enzymes. LC–MS analysis of the supernatant and cell pellets from the bromoperoxidase producing Bacillus spp. cultured in tryptone broth, supplemented with KBr, confirmed their ability to produce the brominated precursor to Tyrian purple, tyrindoxyl sulphate. This study supports a potential role for symbiotic Bacillus spp. in the biosynthesis of Tyrian purple. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Expression, Purification and Characterization of Chondroitinase AC II from Marine Bacterium Arthrobacter sp. CS01
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17030185 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Chondroitinase (ChSase), a type of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) lyase, can degrade chondroitin sulfate (CS) to unsaturate oligosaccharides, with various functional activities. In this study, ChSase AC II from a newly isolated marine bacterium Arthrobacter sp. CS01 was cloned, expressed in Pichia pastoris X33, purified, [...] Read more.
Chondroitinase (ChSase), a type of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) lyase, can degrade chondroitin sulfate (CS) to unsaturate oligosaccharides, with various functional activities. In this study, ChSase AC II from a newly isolated marine bacterium Arthrobacter sp. CS01 was cloned, expressed in Pichia pastoris X33, purified, and characterized. ChSase AC II, with a molecular weight of approximately 100 kDa and a specific activity of 18.7 U/mg, showed the highest activity at 37 °C and pH 6.5 and maintained stability at a broad range of pH (5–7.5) and temperature (below 35 °C). The enzyme activity was increased in the presence of Mn2+ and was strongly inhibited by Hg2+. Moreover, the kinetic parameters of ChSase AC II against CS-A, CS-C, and HA were determined. TLC and ESI-MS analysis of the degradation products indicated that ChSase AC II displayed an exolytic action mode and completely hydrolyzed three substrates into oligosaccharides with low degrees of polymerization (DPs). All these features make ChSase AC II a promising candidate for the full use of GAG to produce oligosaccharides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Complex Relationships between the Blue Pigment Marennine and Marine Bacteria of the Genus Vibrio
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17030160 - 08 Mar 2019
Abstract
Marennine, the water-soluble blue pigment produced by the marine diatom Haslea ostrearia, is known to display antibacterial activities. Previous studies have demonstrated a prophylactic effect of marennine on bivalve larvae challenged with a pathogenic Vibrio splendidus, suggesting that the blue Haslea [...] Read more.
Marennine, the water-soluble blue pigment produced by the marine diatom Haslea ostrearia, is known to display antibacterial activities. Previous studies have demonstrated a prophylactic effect of marennine on bivalve larvae challenged with a pathogenic Vibrio splendidus, suggesting that the blue Haslea is a good candidate for applications in aquaculture as a source of a natural antimicrobial agent. Indeed, the genus Vibrio is ubiquitous in aquaculture ecosystems, and regular events of pathogenic invasion cause some of the biggest losses worldwide. To better characterize the effects of marennine on Vibrios, a panel of 30 Vibrio strains belonging to 10 different species was tested, including bivalve pathogenic species (e.g., Vibrio crassostreae and Vibrio harveyi). Vibrio strains were first exposed to 10 and 25 µg mL−1 of Blue Water (BW), a concentrated culture supernatant of H. ostrearia containing marennine. This screening evidenced a great diversity in responses, from growth stimulation to a total inhibition, at both the interspecific or intraspecific level. In a second series of experiments, 10 Vibrio strains were exposed to BW at concentrations ranging from 5 to 80 µg mL−1. The highest concentrations of BW did not systematically result in the highest growth inhibition as hormetic responses—opposite effects regarding the concentration—were occasionally evidenced. The relationships between marennine and Vibrio strains appear more complex than expected and justify further study—in particular, on the mechanisms of action—before considering applications as a natural prophylactic or antibiotic agent in aquaculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Elucidation of a Novel Lipooligosaccharide from the Cold-Adapted Bacterium OMVs Producer Shewanella sp. HM13
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17010034 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Shewanella sp. HM13 is a cold-adapted Gram-negative bacterium isolated from the intestine of a horse mackerel. It produces a large amount of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), which are particles released in the medium where the bacterium is cultured. This strain biosynthesizes a single [...] Read more.
Shewanella sp. HM13 is a cold-adapted Gram-negative bacterium isolated from the intestine of a horse mackerel. It produces a large amount of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), which are particles released in the medium where the bacterium is cultured. This strain biosynthesizes a single major cargo protein in the OMVs, a fact that makes Shewanella sp. HM13 a good candidate for the production of extracellular recombinant proteins. Therefore, the structural characterization of the components of the vesicles, such as lipopolysaccharides, takes on a fundamental role for understanding the mechanism of biogenesis of the OMVs and their applications. The aim of this study was to investigate the structure of the oligosaccharide (OS) isolated from Shewanella sp. HM13 cells as the first step for a comparison with that from the vesicles. The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) was isolated from dry cells, purified, and hydrolyzed by alkaline treatment. The obtained OS was analyzed completely, and the composition of fatty acids was obtained by chemical methods. In particular, the OS was investigated in detail by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The oligosaccharide was characterized by the presence of a residue of 8-amino-3,8-dideoxy-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid (Kdo8N) and of a d,d-heptose, with both residues being identified in other oligosaccharides from Shewanella species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Optimization of Growth and Carotenoid Production by Haloferax mediterranei Using Response Surface Methodology
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(10), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16100372 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Haloferax mediterranei produces C50 carotenoids that have strong antioxidant properties. The response surface methodology (RSM) tool helps to accurately analyze the most suitable conditions to maximize C50 carotenoids production by haloarchaea. The effects of temperature (15–50 °C), pH (4−10), and salinity (5–28% NaCl [...] Read more.
Haloferax mediterranei produces C50 carotenoids that have strong antioxidant properties. The response surface methodology (RSM) tool helps to accurately analyze the most suitable conditions to maximize C50 carotenoids production by haloarchaea. The effects of temperature (15–50 °C), pH (4−10), and salinity (5–28% NaCl (w/v)) on the growth and carotenoid content of H. mediterranei were analyzed using the RSM approach. Growth was determined by measuring the turbidity at 600 nm. To determine the carotenoid content, harvested cells were lysed by freeze/thawing, then re-suspended in acetone and the total carotenoid content determined by measuring the absorbance at 494 nm. The analysis of carotenoids was performed by an HPLC system coupled with mass spectrometry. The results indicated the theoretical optimal conditions of 36.51 or 36.81 °C, pH of 8.20 or 8.96, and 15.01% or 12.03% (w/v) salinity for the growth of haloarchaea (OD600 = 12.5 ± 0.64) and production of total carotenoids (3.34 ± 0.29 mg/L), respectively. These conditions were validated experimentally for growth (OD600 = 13.72 ± 0.98) and carotenoid production (3.74 ± 0.20 mg/L). The carotenoid profile showed four isomers of bacterioruberin (89.13%). Our findings suggest that the RSM approach is highly useful for determining optimal conditions for large-scale production of bacterioruberin by haloarchaea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Toward the Synthesis and Improved Biopotential of an N-methylated Analog of a Proline-Rich Cyclic Tetrapeptide from Marine Bacteria
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(9), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16090305 - 30 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
An N-methylated analog of a marine bacteria-derived natural proline-rich tetracyclopeptide was synthesized by coupling the deprotected dipeptide fragments Boc-l-prolyl-l-N-methylleucine-OH and l-prolyl-l-N-methylphenylalanine-OMe. A coupling reaction was accomplished utilizing N,N′-Dicyclohexylcarbodidimde [...] Read more.
An N-methylated analog of a marine bacteria-derived natural proline-rich tetracyclopeptide was synthesized by coupling the deprotected dipeptide fragments Boc-l-prolyl-l-N-methylleucine-OH and l-prolyl-l-N-methylphenylalanine-OMe. A coupling reaction was accomplished utilizing N,N′-Dicyclohexylcarbodidimde (DCC) and 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC·HCl) as coupling agents and Triethylamine (TEA) or N-methylmorpholine (NMM) as the base in the presence of the racemization suppressing agent. This was followed by the cyclization of the linear tetrapeptide fragment under alkaline conditions. The structure of the synthesized cyclooligopeptide was confirmed using quantitative elemental analysis, FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy), 1H NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy), 13C NMR, and mass spectrometry. From the bioactivity results, it was clear that the newly synthesized proline-rich tetracyclopeptide exhibited better anthelmintic potential against Megascoplex konkanensis, Pontoscotex corethruses, and Eudrilus eugeniae at a concentration of 2 mg/mL as well as improved antifungal activity against pathogenic dermatophytes Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum audouinii at a concentration of 6 μg/mL, as compared to non-methylated tetracyclopeptide. Moreover, N-methylated tetracyclopeptide displayed significant activity against pathogenic Candida albicans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessCommunication
New Ansamycins from the Deep-Sea-Derived Bacterium Ochrobactrum sp. OUCMDZ-2164
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(8), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16080282 - 15 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Two new ansamycins, trienomycins H (1) and I (2), together with the known trienomycinol (3), were isolated from the fermentation broth of the deep-sea-derived bacterium Ochrobactrum sp. OUCMDZ-2164. Their structures, including their absolute configurations, were elucidated based [...] Read more.
Two new ansamycins, trienomycins H (1) and I (2), together with the known trienomycinol (3), were isolated from the fermentation broth of the deep-sea-derived bacterium Ochrobactrum sp. OUCMDZ-2164. Their structures, including their absolute configurations, were elucidated based on spectroscopic analyses, ECD spectra, and Marfey’s method. Compound 1 exhibited cytotoxic effects on A549 and K562 cell lines with IC50 values of 15 and 23 μM, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Marine Rare Actinomycetes: A Promising Source of Structurally Diverse and Unique Novel Natural Products
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(5), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17050249 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Rare actinomycetes are prolific in the marine environment; however, knowledge about their diversity, distribution and biochemistry is limited. Marine rare actinomycetes represent a rather untapped source of chemically diverse secondary metabolites and novel bioactive compounds. In this review, we aim to summarize the [...] Read more.
Rare actinomycetes are prolific in the marine environment; however, knowledge about their diversity, distribution and biochemistry is limited. Marine rare actinomycetes represent a rather untapped source of chemically diverse secondary metabolites and novel bioactive compounds. In this review, we aim to summarize the present knowledge on the isolation, diversity, distribution and natural product discovery of marine rare actinomycetes reported from mid-2013 to 2017. A total of 97 new species, representing 9 novel genera and belonging to 27 families of marine rare actinomycetes have been reported, with the highest numbers of novel isolates from the families Pseudonocardiaceae, Demequinaceae, Micromonosporaceae and Nocardioidaceae. Additionally, this study reviewed 167 new bioactive compounds produced by 58 different rare actinomycete species representing 24 genera. Most of the compounds produced by the marine rare actinomycetes present antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, anticancer or antimalarial activities. The highest numbers of natural products were derived from the genera Nocardiopsis, Micromonospora, Salinispora and Pseudonocardia. Members of the genus Micromonospora were revealed to be the richest source of chemically diverse and unique bioactive natural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessReview
Antibiotics from Deep-Sea Microorganisms: Current Discoveries and Perspectives
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(10), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16100355 - 29 Sep 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
The increasing emergence of new forms of multidrug resistance among human pathogenic bacteria, coupled with the consequent increase of infectious diseases, urgently requires the discovery and development of novel antimicrobial drugs with new modes of action. Most of the antibiotics currently available on [...] Read more.
The increasing emergence of new forms of multidrug resistance among human pathogenic bacteria, coupled with the consequent increase of infectious diseases, urgently requires the discovery and development of novel antimicrobial drugs with new modes of action. Most of the antibiotics currently available on the market were obtained from terrestrial organisms or derived semisynthetically from fermentation products. The isolation of microorganisms from previously unexplored habitats may lead to the discovery of lead structures with antibiotic activity. The deep-sea environment is a unique habitat, and deep-sea microorganisms, because of their adaptation to this extreme environment, have the potential to produce novel secondary metabolites with potent biological activities. This review covers novel antibiotics isolated from deep-sea microorganisms. The chemical classes of the compounds, their bioactivities, and the sources of organisms are outlined. Furthermore, the authors report recent advances in techniques and strategies for the exploitation of deep-sea microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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Open AccessReview
Extending the “One Strain Many Compounds” (OSMAC) Principle to Marine Microorganisms
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(7), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16070244 - 23 Jul 2018
Cited by 21
Abstract
Genomic data often highlights an inconsistency between the number of gene clusters identified using bioinformatic approaches as potentially producing secondary metabolites and the actual number of chemically characterized secondary metabolites produced by any given microorganism. Such gene clusters are generally considered as “silent”, [...] Read more.
Genomic data often highlights an inconsistency between the number of gene clusters identified using bioinformatic approaches as potentially producing secondary metabolites and the actual number of chemically characterized secondary metabolites produced by any given microorganism. Such gene clusters are generally considered as “silent”, meaning that they are not expressed under laboratory conditions. Triggering expression of these “silent” clusters could result in unlocking the chemical diversity they control, allowing the discovery of novel molecules of both medical and biotechnological interest. Therefore, both genetic and cultivation-based techniques have been developed aimed at stimulating expression of these “silent” genes. The principles behind the cultivation based approaches have been conceptualized in the “one strain many compounds” (OSMAC) framework, which underlines how a single strain can produce different molecules when grown under different environmental conditions. Parameters such as, nutrient content, temperature, and rate of aeration can be easily changed, altering the global physiology of a microbial strain and in turn significantly affecting its secondary metabolism. As a direct extension of such approaches, co-cultivation strategies and the addition of chemical elicitors have also been used as cues to activate “silent” clusters. In this review, we aim to provide a focused and comprehensive overview of these strategies as they pertain to marine microbes. Moreover, we underline how changes in some parameters which have provided important results in terrestrial microbes, but which have rarely been considered in marine microorganisms, may represent additional strategies to awaken “silent” gene clusters in marine microbes. Unfortunately, the empirical nature of the OSMAC approach forces scientists to perform extensive laboratory experiments. Nevertheless, we believe that some computation and experimental based techniques which are used in other disciplines, and which we discuss; could be effectively employed to help streamline the OSMAC based approaches. We believe that natural products discovery in marine microorganisms would be greatly aided through the integration of basic microbiological approaches, computational methods, and technological innovations, thereby helping unearth much of the as yet untapped potential of these microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bacteria as Sources of Bioactive Compounds)
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