Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sea May Be Source Of Future Medicines

Date:
October 4, 2000
Source:
University Of Maryland Biotechnology Institute
Summary:
A group of bacteria known as actinomycetes found living in coral reef sponges and marine sediments could be a rich source of future medical drugs.

Townsville, Queensland, Australia - A group of bacteria known as actinomycetes found living in coral reef sponges and marine sediments could be a rich source of future medical drugs, said Russell T. Hill, research professor, of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) here today.

Related Articles


"Soil-based actinomycetes produce over 70 percent of naturally occurring antibiotics. It is a group that are generally considered to be terrestrial but we have found a great diversity of new ones in marine environments," Hill reported at the International Marine Biotechnology Conference.

Hill and colleages at UMBI's Center of Marine Biotechnology in Baltimore, Md. and Nicole S. Webster of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) used molecular techniques to identify bacteria from sponges of the Great Barrier Reef. Surprisingly, approximately 25 percent of the bacterial gene pieces found were from newly discovered actinomycetes. "This is an unexpectedly high proportion and indicates that marine sponges may be a good source of novel actinomycetes," concluded Hill.

In the past, many species of actinomycetes with bioactive compounds could be screened for antibiotics because they could be cultured in the laboratory, said Hill. "Fifty to sixty percent of a sponge's wet weight is bacteria," he said. "So we had to determining whether the positive results were from the sponge or it's bacteria."

The challenge now, he said, is to grow additional actinomycetes from sponges. Another approach is to clone genes from them. "Most of these antibiotic synthesis pathways are multiple gene pathways. So if you manage to move around the genes for antibiotic production, from say a very slow growing actinomycetes to a very rapidly growing fermentation strain to produce a new antibiotic in industry, it may be possible to produce the compound you are interested in," said Hill. "Isolating the compound-producing microbe or its genes is obviously a much better approach than trying to harvest and grow sponges, which is extremely difficult."

The researchers have also found diverse actinomycetes in tropical marine sediments from the Bahamas and Florida Keys, said Hill.

COMB is one of five centers of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI), a unique life sciences research and education arm of the University System of Maryland. One of UMBI's first two research centers founded in 1985, COMB has achieved international recognition as a center of excellence in the study, protection and enhancement of marine resources.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. "Sea May Be Source Of Future Medicines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001004072746.htm>.
University Of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. (2000, October 4). Sea May Be Source Of Future Medicines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001004072746.htm
University Of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. "Sea May Be Source Of Future Medicines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/10/001004072746.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins