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 1, 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 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Watch Baby Goose Survive A 400-Foot Cliff Dive

Buzz60 (Oct. 31, 2014) For its nature series Life Story, the BBC profiled the barnacle goose, whose chicks must make a daredevil 400-foot cliff dive from their nests to find food. Jen Markham has the astonishing video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

World's Salamanders At Risk From Flesh-Eating Fungus

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) The import of salamanders around the globe is thought to be contributing to the spread of a deadly fungus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Alcoholic Drinks In The E.U. Could Get Calorie Labels

Newsy (Oct. 31, 2014) A health group in the United Kingdom has called for mandatory calorie labels on alcoholic beverages in the European Union. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

Malaria Threat in Liberia as Fight Against Ebola Rages

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) Focus on treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia means that treatment for malaria, itself a killer, is hard to come by. MSF are now undertaking the mass distribution of antimalarials in Monrovia. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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