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Curr Drug Targets. 2011 Oct;12(11):1515-30.

Biodiversity and chemodiversity: future perspectives in bioprospecting.

Author information

1
Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore 560 065, India.

Abstract

Biological diversity and its constituent chemical diversity have served as one of the richest sources of bioprospecting leading to the discovery of some of the most important bioactive molecules for mankind. Despite this excellent record, in the recent past, however, bioprospecting of biological resources has met with little success; there has been a perceptible decline in the discovery of novel bioactive compounds. Several arguments have been proposed to explain the current poor success in bioprospecting. Among them, it has been argued that to bioprospect more biodiversity may not necessarily be productive, considering that chemical and functional diversity might not scale with biological diversity. In this paper, we offer a critique on the current perception of biodiversity and chemodiversity and ask to what extent it is relevant in the context of bioprospecting. First, using simple models, we analyze the relation among biodiversity, chemodiversity and functional redundancies in chemical plans of plants and argue that the biological space for exploration might still be wide open. Second, in the context of future bioprospecting, we argue that brute-force high throughput screening approaches alone are insufficient and cost ineffective in realizing bioprospecting success. Therefore, intelligent or non-random approaches to bioprospecting need to be adopted. We review here few examples of such approaches and show how these could be further developed and used in the future to accelerate the pace of discovery.

PMID:
21561422
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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