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Novel antibiotics from Antarctic microbes


Microbial resistance to antimicrobial compounds has become one of the biggest threats to global health. The inability to treat infectious diseases poses a severe threat to human health, and the costs associated with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are immense. The severity of AMR is emphasized by implementing the fight against AMR into major goals of the United Nations, European Union, or World Health Organization. One of the major issues with AMR is the long-term decline in the development of novel antibiotics; thus, new antibiotics are urgently needed. Microbes living in the harsh condition of Antarctica represent a promising new source that is worth exploring for new antibiotics. Recent studies showed a significant genetic divergence of Antarctic microbes from other microbes worldwide and suggested the enormous potential of these microbes to produce novel bioactive metabolites. Therefore, the main goals of this project are devoted to the characterization of the overall biosynthetic potential hidden within different Antarctic microbial communities through identification of a broad spectrum of the biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC), determination of their diversity, phylogeny, and environmental distribution, followed by target genome mining for the discovery of BGC producing new antibiotics. The acquired knowledge will then be used for the heterologous expression of antibiotic BGC in a suitable host, followed by compounds isolation, bioactivity verification, and the elucidation of the structure. To pursue the raised objectives, interdisciplinary methods will be integrated, such as bioinformatics, molecular/synthetic biology, and analytical chemistry. Such an interdisciplinary project will provide the applicant with excellent training in both scientific and transferable skills. Together with the applicants' participation in the excellent national and international network of the supervisor, Prof. Ziemert, will significantly enhance the applicant's career perspectives.


Net EU contribution
€ 189 687,36
72074 Tuebingen

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Baden-Württemberg Tübingen Tübingen, Landkreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
No data