Marine Ecology

Marine Actinomycetes

The Hentschel lab has focused on the group of marine sponge-associated actinomycetes as these are still an underexplored source for secondary metabolites and lead molecules with biotechnological, therapeutic and industrial applications. Following isolation from sponge source material, the bacteria are screened against various clinically relevant microbial pathogens and parasites. We have experience in chemical structure elucidation and we also collaborate with natural products chemistry groups towards this goal. In order to render the large fraction of uncultivated sponge-associated microbiota accessible for small molecule discovery, metagenomic strategies are being employed. Gene clusters encoding for type I polyketide synthases (PKS-I), non-ribosomal peptide synthases (NRPS) as well as halogenase and putative microcin-related genes have so far been identified. Draft genomes of bioactive bacteria are being produced to identify and characterize the potential of silent gene clusters.


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