About this Research Topic
Chemical ecology is a broad research topic encompassing investigations of the chemical interactions in a variety of ecological dynamics among organisms. This field includes studies in the chemical recognition of prey or predators, chemotaxis, allelochemical interactions, mate recognitions, reproductive and settlement cues, larvae metamorphosis, sex pheromones, and more in general organism interactions. On the contrary, biotechnology focuses on the exploration, extraction, exploitation, and production of biomasses to create different products for various applicative fields, such as bioremediation, genomics, immunology, pharmaceutical therapies, and nutraceutics. In this frame, blue biotechnology is affirming as supplier of a wide array of novel compounds, and marine resources are considered as the largest and most important remaining reservoir of bioactive molecules that may be used in biotechnology, especially considering the wide diversified array of enzymatic pathways and biosynthetic gene clusters available in cyanobacteria and other microalgae.
In this frame of the multidisciplinary approach to drug mining, chemical ecology investigations can be seen as a starting point to the development of new strategies for discovering novel compounds for biotechnological purposes. In fact, the investigation of the roles of marine-derived chemicals produced for defensive, offensive, and communicative purposes can lead to the identification of bioactive molecules with a wide array of potential functions in biological systems. In addition, the production of novel compounds during peculiar physiological states, such as symbiosis, altered and extreme marine environments, or co-culturing is largely underestimated from a biotechnological point of view. Our goal is to apply this approach to cyanobacteria and microalgae, seen as the most interesting sources of novel chemical compounds in the blue biotechnology field. Investigating the chemical ecology of these photosynthetic organisms with the goal of identifying new potential molecules for biotechnology is the primary goal of this research topic.
Papers should investigate cyanobacteria and microalgae or their symbiosis, co-culturing, and growth in extreme environments We consider studies that investigate Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) shedding light on chemotactic and allelopathic dynamics in organism interactions. We are interested as well in potential chemical and metabolic plasticity, following the "One Strain Many Compounds" (OSMAC) theory. The scope of this research topic is to investigate bioactive compounds, in the frame of the chemical ecology, evaluating or applying their biotechnological potentials in a wide array of fields.
Themes we would like contributors to address:
• Chemical ecology interactions in marine and associated environments.
• Inter- and intra- specific communication/signaling.
• Volatile organic compounds and infochemicals produced by Cyanobacteria and microalgae in the frame of potential biotechnological applications.
• Biosynthetic gene clusters and enzymatic pathways related to infochemicals and bioactive molecules with biotechnological perspectives.
• Phenotypical, chemical, and metabolic plasticity of Cyanobacteria and/or microalgae in co-cultures or under environmental stress.
Keywords: Infochemicals, Bioactive Compounds, Microbial Communication, Drug Discovery, Allelopathy, OSMAC, Biosynthetic Pathways
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.