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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:384572. doi: 10.1155/2011/384572. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Genome-based studies of marine microorganisms to maximize the diversity of natural products discovery for medical treatments.

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School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Dalian University of Technology, Linggong Road 2, Dalian 116024, China.

Abstract

Marine microorganisms are rich source for natural products which play important roles in pharmaceutical industry. Over the past decade, genome-based studies of marine microorganisms have unveiled the tremendous diversity of the producers of natural products and also contributed to the efficiency of harness the strain diversity and chemical diversity, as well as the genetic diversity of marine microorganisms for the rapid discovery and generation of new natural products. In the meantime, genomic information retrieved from marine symbiotic microorganisms can also be employed for the discovery of new medical molecules from yet-unculturable microorganisms. In this paper, the recent progress in the genomic research of marine microorganisms is reviewed; new tools of genome mining as well as the advance in the activation of orphan pathways and metagenomic studies are summarized. Genome-based research of marine microorganisms will maximize the biodiscovery process and solve the problems of supply and sustainability of drug molecules for medical treatments.

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