One of the most exciting aspects of marine biotechnology is bioprospecting: the search for new natural compounds that can be used as novel pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, agrichemicals for crop protection, and novel bioremediation agents for environmental protection. A new marine-derived analgesic drug, ziconotide (trade name "prialt"), was recently licensed in the USA and other drugs, currently in the late stages of clinical trials, are likely to follow soon. This has fuelled enormous interest in marine biotechnology.
This book critically reviews the most innovative strategies to exploit the full potential of many novel natural compounds, to understand their complex structures and to increase their inherent low yields. The authors discuss the genetics and molecular biology of the bioactive compound biosynthesis, the identification of the organisms involved and the methodologies for sustainable product production.
1. Implications of Marine Biotechnology on Drug Discovery. 2. The Promise of Aquaculture for Delivering Sustainable Supplies of New Drugs From The Sea: Examples From In-Sea and Tank-Based Invertebrate Culture Projects From Around The World. 3. Secondary Metabolites From Marine-derived Fungi. 4. Microalgae as a Source of Bioactive Molecules: Special Problems and Methodology. 5. The Secondary Metabolites and Biosynthetic Gene Clusters of Marine Cyanobacteria. Applications in Biotechnology. 6. Marine Bacterial Metabolites. 7. Microorganisms of Sponges: Phylogenetic Diversity and Biotechnological Potential. 8. How Does a Marine Sponge, Suberites domuncula, Cope With the Epibacterial Threat? Experimental Evidence From Molecular Biological Approach. 9. Genomic and Metagenomic Strategies to Identify Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in Uncultivated Symbionts of Marine Invertebrates.