CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

Chemistry of Sponge Microbiomes

Project description

Diving into the microbiome of mesophotic sponges

Natural products have inspired the majority of small molecules currently approved for biomedical applications. The marine environment is a proven source of potentially novel bioactive molecules, but the mesophotic zone, 30 to 150 meters beneath the surface, is poorly explored because of the technical difficulty of reaching this twilight zone of the ocean. Mesophotic sponges, therefore, are relatively unstudied in terms of their natural product potential. The EU-funded COSMos project aims to take a closer look at the metagenomes of mesophotic sponges; the study will combine large data analyses, molecular and synthetic biology approaches and bioinformatics to survey the natural product potential of eight prioritised mesophotic sponges in order to discover new molecules with medicinal potential.

Objective

Molecules made by nature, or natural products, inspire the majority of currently approved small molecules for use in medicine. With an increase in widespread antibiotic resistance and the perpetual search for anticancer drugs, new sources of natural products must be discovered. The marine environment is a proven, prolific source of novel bioactive molecules and much of the ocean remains chemically and genetically unexplored. The mesophotic zone is particularly neglected because of the technological difficulty of reaching this twilight zone of the ocean. Shallow water marine sponges have been well documented to have diverse microbial populations and impressive chemical repertoires. Mesophotic sponges, however, are relatively unstudied in terms of their natural product potential. This project aims to take a deep dive into the metagenomes of mesophotic sponges for their natural product potential. Hybrid sequencing and assembly of metagenomes of eight prioritized sponges will uncover new biosynthetic gene clusters for heterologous expression and chemical elucidation. This study will combine large data analyses, cutting edge molecular and synthetic biology approaches and bioinformatic techniques to survey the natural product potential of mesophotic sponges and discover new molecules with medicinal potential.

Coordinator

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY
Net EU contribution
€ 187 572,48
Address
DROEVENDAALSESTEEG 4
6708 PB Wageningen
Netherlands

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Region
Oost-Nederland Gelderland Veluwe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 187 572,48