Periodic Reporting for period 3 - TASCMAR (Tools And Strategies to access to original bioactive compounds from Cultivation of MARine invertebrates and associated symbionts)
Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-09-30
TASCMAR investigated the under-investigated marine invertebrates and symbionts found in the ocean’s mesophotic zone. Innovative approaches for the cultivation and extraction of marine organisms from lab to pilot-scale were implemented. The project’s activities were constantly assessed for their socio-economic and environmental impact.
TASCMAR has nine main objectives: 1.Exploring neglected and underutilized marine species from the mesophotic zone; 2.Developing and applying innovative cultivation technologies; 3.Exploitation of high-tech extraction technologies; 4.Exploitation of cutting edge molecular isolation and identification technologies; 5.Building seven unique libraries of marine organism, extracts and biomolecules; 6.Discovering novel metabolites with anti-ageing activity; 7.Developing new biocatalysts from mesophotic microorganisms; 8.Engaging a comprehensive industrial valorization scheme; 9.Engaging green and responsible growth driving economic performance.
The TASCMAR project ended on September 30, 2019. The various libraries of the project, including bio-resources, ingredients and chemicals, greatly exceeded the initial commitments, and several new species of invertebrates have been discovered.
The project, oriented towards the concretization of research results, has led to several achievements, technological innovations (Unifertex, Somartex) cosmetic lines (Blue Elixir), enzymatic or microbiological screening kits, a series of pure molecules with therapeutic potential, and extracts as neutraceuticals.
The project builds a considerable scientific network by interacting with the scientific community through workshops organized in major conferences, or by combining efforts with other European projects.
Finally, the project made a wider audience benefit from its discoveries, and trained students of all levels. By publishing several scientific articles and giving dozens of lectures around the world, the TASCMAR consortium has contributed to strengthening knowledge about the infinite potential of the seas and oceans, and to the considerable benefit that humanity can derive from it, in a sustainable way and respectful of the threatened and fragile marine biodiversity.
Libraries of extracts, fractions and pure compounds were produced and dispatched among the bioassay partners. Up to date technologies including solid phase extraction, metabolomics and molecular networks were implemented.
Extracts libraries were screened on molecular, cell based and in-vivo essays. A prioritization process oriented specific extracts, fractions and pure compounds to dedicated Pharma, cosmetic and nutraceutic industrial application.
Strategies and specific facilities are being developed for indoor and outdoor invertebrate cultivation. For the cultivation of marine symbionts, optimal media and cultivation conditions have been determined. Innovative in-situ technologies were also implemented in the project (Speed, Somartex). The unique Unifertex fermentor, coupling in one prototype solid and liquid-state cultivation, was constructed and is now available for the market.
All industrial partner obtained dedicated material to evaluate the feasibility and the market potential. A cosmetic line Blue Elixir, kits for bioremediation were developed. Specific pure compounds were selected as pharma hits and specific extract as nutraceuticals. The final socio–economic and environmental assessment showed that TASCMAR reached remarkable results and its actual and potential impacts are clearly positive. It is worth mentioning the interest and potentiality of TASCMAR team in the field of a circular blue economy, able to exploit in a sustainable way the richness of our ocean for the good of the European society. TASCMAR promoted selective extraction through ROV and expert divers, such a way of approaching the mesophotic ambient should be kept in future projects as it proved to be a good practice.
TASCMAR has obviously impacts also on policies related to extraction and analysis of collected species. In terms of extraction, TASCMAR consortium recommends the use of automatic extraction technologies that allow the minimization of solvents usage and the solid phase extraction. The management of the TASCMAR project was efficiently carried out.