About this Research Topic
The marine environment is a vast, largely unexploited resource for acquiring a multitude of microbial communities with novel biosynthetic capabilities. Marine habitats provide unique conditions for microbial growth and secondary metabolite expressions that are not found in terrestrial ecosystems. The co-evolution of many marine macroorganisms, especially invertebrates, with these microorganisms often leads to a very close association or symbiotic relationship between the host organism and specific microbial species. The ocean basin floor is covered in sediments of different types and origins. Marine sediments are considered to be an incredibly rich source of microbial taxonomic diversity, including ‘unculturable’ microbes.
'Unculturable' microbial diversity presents a vast gene pool for biotechnological exploitation. In this context the secondary metabolites produced by the microbial species and their biosynthetic pathways represent a resource in the discovery of new drugs, novel molecules or enzymes for medical and cosmetic applications. In addition to culture-independent methods such as metagenomic analyses, both based on 16S rRNA gene sequences (for their phylogenetic studies) and functional metagenomics (for a more detailed view on their metabolism and particular pathways), new culture techniques are proving useful for the exploitation of 'unculturable' microbes and their novel gene clusters responsible for biosynthetic pathways for new bioactive compounds and enzymes. In recent years, efforts to characterize marine microbes’ metagenomics and their associated compounds and enzymes have expanded significantly but, given the vastness of the marine environment and the different types of microbial habitats found there, this research is still in its infancy.
This Research Topic will shed light on the importance marine microbial-derived molecules and their potential medical and cosmetic applications. We warmly welcome submissions, including original research papers and reviews, on this topic.
In particular, we welcome Original Research and Review articles on topics including (but not limited to) the following:
• Characterization of marine microbes (collectively the single-celled members of the domains Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya) as potential sources for new metabolites and other associated compounds.
• New marine microbial biosynthetic pathways or biosynthesis for secondary metabolites.
• The medical and cosmetic applications of microbial-derived molecules.
• Functional metagenomics for new secondary metabolite pathway and enzyme discovery, and industrial biocatalysis.
• Emerging methodologies or high throughput assay technologies developed for marine microbial bioactive molecules discovery.
Merely descriptive papers without further application of the obtained data will not be accepted.
Keywords: Marine microbes, Biosynthetic pathways, Metagenomics, Bioactive compounds, Medical or cosmetic applications