In this project, we will investigate diversity of sponge-associated microbes and diversity of genes for the synthesis of antimicrobial compounds in sponge-associated microbes from the central coastal region of Vietnam.
Discovery of novel antibiotics and drugs is an increasing interest because of the development of infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a shortage of new products on the market.
Marine sponges are well known to harbour diverse microbes and are the source of various types of bioactive natural compounds derived from the marine environment. Many of these compounds are important for medicinal and pharmaceutical purposes. However, marine sponges often produce in small quantities of bioactive compounds, leading to challenges in mining sponge-derived bioactive compounds.
It has been reported that the true producers of many bioactive compounds are the sponge-associated microorganisms. Therefore, sponge-associated microorganisms have become an important target for microbiological and pharmaceutical research. Unfortunately, sponge-associated microbes cannot easily be cultured, and only a minor fraction of the microbial community could be successfully isolated.
A combination of cultivation method and metagenomics will help us overcome the limitations of the individual methods, and bring us more comprehensive and clear insights in sponge-associated microorganisms and their functional genes.