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Exploring the diversity and biopharmaceutical potential ofunculturable bacteria from Lake Michigan sediments

Summary:  The proposed research will explore and take advantage of a vast, but  untapped resource existing in Lake Michigan - previously unculturable  microorganisms. A majority of microorganisms from the environment  resist cultivation in the laboratory. These "unculturables" represent  >99% of all microorganisms in nature. Data from 16s rRNA analyses  suggest that unculturable organisms can be found in nearly every   group of microorganisms. Further, several bacterial taxa have been  identified with no known cultivable representatives However very  recent methods have been developed that allow for cultivation of  previously unculturable microorganisms. Accessing these organisms is  of paramount importance. Genetic evidence suggests that diverse  unculturable microbial taxa dominate most natural ecosystems, yet  virtually nothing is known about their basic biology and   biochemistry,  let alone pharmaceutical potential. The results of this study will  further our understanding of the diversity aquatic microorganisms in  Lake Michigan.   The small portion of cultivable microorganisms ( . 1-1% of the total  diversity in the environment) has yielded many important drugs as   well  as other bio-chemicals. We thus anticipate that "uncultivable"  microorganisms represent a large and untapped source for  biopharmaceutical discovery. Our hypothesis is that by accessing   these  uncultivated microorganisms we will be able to gain access to an  enormous source of novel bioactive organic molecules. The specific  aims of this project are:    1.  To isolate and grow previously unculturable aquatic   microorganisms.     2.  To evaluate extracts for anticancer and anti-tuberculosis  activities.      3.  To evaluate active extracts for the presence of known active  metabolites (dereplication).   

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Jimmy OrjalaPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant $ 50,000.00USDEstimates

Funding 3 projects for a total of $170,000.00
Scope of Study
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Natural Ecological Processes
State Province

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