Funding Information This research was supported through the EU project ‘Microbial Marine Communities Diversity: from Culture to Function’ (MIRACLE) (EVK3-CT-2002-00087) and the Natural Environment Research Council (UK)-funded grants ‘Isolation of single microbial cells’ (NE/B505770/1) and ‘Novel marine microbial enzymes for use in biocatalysis’ (NE/F014406/1).
The biodiscovery potential of marine bacteria: an investigation of phylogeny and function
Article first published online: 4 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Thematic Issue: Ecological Engineering of the Intestinal Microbiome Connecting the Environment and Food to Therapy and Health
Volume 6, Issue 4, pages 361–370, July 2013
How to Cite
Mühling, M., Joint, I. and Willetts, A. J. (2013), The biodiscovery potential of marine bacteria: an investigation of phylogeny and function. Microbial Biotechnology, 6: 361–370. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.12054
- Issue published online: 11 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 4 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 18 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 10 DEC 2012
- EU. Grant Number: EVK3-CT-2002-00087
- Natural Environment Research Council (UK). Grant Numbers: NE/B505770/1, NE/F014406/1
A collection of marine bacteria isolated from a temperate coastal zone has been screened in a programme of biodiscovery. A total of 34 enzymes with biotechnological potential were screened in 374 isolates of marine bacteria. Only two enzymes were found in all isolates while the majority of enzyme activities were present in a smaller proportion of the isolates. A cluster analysis demonstrated no significant correlation between taxonomy and enzyme function. However, there was evidence of co-occurrence of some enzyme activity in the same isolate. In this study marine Proteobacteria had a higher complement of enzymes with biodiscovery potential than Actinobacteria; this contrasts with the terrestrial environment where the Actinobacteria phylum is a proven source of enzymes with important industrial applications. In addition, a number of novel enzyme functions were more abundant in this marine culture collection than would be expected on the basis of knowledge from terrestrial bacteria. There is a strong case for future investigation of marine bacteria as a source for biodiscovery.