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sector_ico_Fisheries_trans Fisheries & Aquaculture

Advanced Marine Biotechnology toolbox for accessing the uncultivated marine microbial biodiversity and its novel biomolecules (MarBioTech)

  • Project Leaders: Nobuhiko Tokuriki
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $283680
  • Program/Competition: Partner Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2017
  • Status: Active

Organisms in the marine environment represent a largely untapped source of highly valuable biomolecules. The advent of sophisticated sequencing technologies in the last few decades has made it possible to access a vast amount of molecular information for culturable and non-culturable marine organisms.

Unfortunately, current technology is not conducive to identifying novel proteins and enzymes based on molecular based screening. The goals of MarBioTech are to develop innovative tools and technologies to advance function-based searches, in combination with sequence-based searches; and, to deliver valuable biomolecules of marine origin.

The molecules targeted for discovery include enzymes involved in marine plastic degradation (PETesterases), fluorescent proteins for molecular medicine, novel highly active RNA polymerases as well as DNA nucleases for metagenome mining and molecular biology and quorum quenching (QQ) proteins to prevent biofilm formation.

The project is part of the MarBioTech Consortium, led out of Germany and Norway as part of the Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET (ERA-MBT), funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme.