Understanding the marine carbon cycle
Although marine microalgae sequester as much CO2 into carbohydrates as terrestrial plants, it remains poorly understood how this works on the molecular level. The EU-funded MARINEGLYCAN project will investigate the marine biosphere using an approach based on chemical biology and automated glycan assembly. Ultimately, MARINEGLYCAN will create and design next generation tools for deciphering biological information, including glycan microarrays, fluorescently labelled polysaccharides, Förster resonance energy transfer probes, and activity-based probes. All of these tools will allow the systematic study of the flow of carbon from the level of individual enzymes to interdependent microbial communities. MARINEGLYCAN will use these tools to discover the bioactive epitopes of sulfated marine glycans.