Mller and his research team have already demonstrated that bioactive substances can be synthesized by applying recombinant molecular biology techniques. They were able to demonstrate that defensin, a toxin and defense peptide produced by sponges, is bioactive if produced in a recombinant way. "This paves the way for exploiting the large treasure of genetic blueprints present in the world-wide oceans for human benefit," Mller said.
The European project BlueGenics brings together the leading researchers from the areas of marine genomics, biosynthesis, and chemical structure analysis. Participants of this project coordinated by Professor Dr. Werner E.G. Mller at the Mainz University Medical Center are 16 research institutions and industrial companies from Germany, France, Croatia, Portugal, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, UK, and China. According to Professor Dr. Dr. Reinhard Urban, Chief Scientific Officer of the University Medical Center, the EU is well advised to fund projects like BlueGenics: "We are practically just at the beginning to exploit marine resources, especially those from the little-explored deep sea, for biomedical purposes. However, it is now already foreseeable that research on deep-sea organisms is likely to produce remarkable results for our society."
The so-called Blue Biotechnology is primarily concerned with the biotechnological use of marine organisms. Of particular interest are sponges and deep-sea bacteria that live under extreme condition
|Contact: Professor Dr. Werner E.G. Mller|
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz