Antimicrobial Activities From Marine Sponges and Sponge Derived Microbes

Antimicrobial Activities From Marine Sponges and Sponge Derived Microbes

Funding Body (EPA, FP7, etc): Marine Insitute Biodiscovery award

Project type (PhD, post-doc, etc): PhD          

Period (start to end): November 2008 – October 2012

Researcher: Burkhardt Flemer

Project Description

The increasing number of methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)- and Clostridium difficile- related deaths makes the search for new antibiotics increasingly relevant. The microbiological richness of the sponge environment supposes that it is very likely to discover new microbes and novel metabolic pathways in sponge derived microbes.

Marine Sponges give host to a wide range of microbial organisms with representatives of seven bacterial phyla isolated from different sponges and 16 representatives found culture-independently. In earlier studies, over 190 biologically active compounds have been isolated from Haliclona strains. These compounds are supposed to come from microbial metabolites rather than the microbial diet of sponges.

General objectives of my work

  1. To screen marine sponge extracts and sponge derived microbes for antimicrobial activities and to further characterise the chemical compounds responsible for these activities
  2. To construct and/ or screen sponge metagenomic libraries for antibiotic activities.

To study biosynthesis of compounds of interest via molecular genetic methods.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork