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Microbial diversity in Aquatic systems

Objective



Marine biodiversity is one of the priorities identified in the "Second call for proposals under MAST-III programme" with particular reference to "the identification of novel exploitable resources for bioactive substances". One of the largest and less known sources of potential bioactive products is the enormous assemblage of prokaryotic microorganisms living in the ocean. These microorganisms are ubiquitous and known to comprise a diversity far surpassing that of animals and plants. Both Bacteria and Arquea are present in the sea, but the number of species, their relative abundance, and their metabolic roles remain unknown. The recent application of molecular techniques to natural environments is beginning to provide some insight. While very valuable contributions to this field have come from individual European laboratories, the truth is that there is not a network of laboratories in Europe comparable to those in other Continents, especially in North America.
The overall aim of MIDAS is to establish a framework (including development and testing of concepts, techniques and strategies) designed to measure diversity and to retrieve microorganisms of potential importance to the biotechnology industry from marine ecosystems. This framework is necessary both to monitor the response of marine ecosystems to human activities and environmental change, and to provide an improved basis, through coordinated European research effort, for exploiting the potential of microorganism diversity in the sea.
The specific objectives of MIDAS are:
1. Develop techniques (specially molecular techniques) to examine diversity of marine microbial ecosystems.
2. Test the developed methods by analyzing patterns of diversity in experimental model ecosystems and in natural environments.
3. Examine the mechanisms maintaining diversity in microbial communities. 4. Develop strategies to isolate bacteria of potential commercial significance from marine environments. This involves knowing where to look for them and how to isolate them.
5. Analysis of natural microbial assemblages using molecular biology techniques to describe diversity in different marine provinces. MIDAS will contain the following interacting elements:
- Isolation of microbes of industrial potential and laboratory experiments using cultures of microorganisms
- Testing of hypotheses of diversity using marine mesocosm experiments containing natural mixed plankton communities
- Field studies from contrasting locations and modeling results of diversity

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Address
S/n,paseo Juan De Borbó S/n
08039 Barcelona
Spain

Participants (5)

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE - MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
Denmark
Address
399,Frederiksborgvej 399
4000 Roskilde
NERC Centre of Coastal and Marine Sciences
United Kingdom
Address
Prospect Place West Hoe
PL1 3DH Plymouth
UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN
Norway
Address
Jahnebakken 5
5007 Bergen
Universidad Miguel Hernandez
Spain
Address

03080 Alicante
Water Quality Institute
Denmark
Address
11,Agern Allé
2970 Hørsholm