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Immense Essence of Excellence: Marine Microbial Bioactive Compounds

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Author(s): Ira Bhatnagar | Se-Kwon Kim

Journal: Marine Drugs
ISSN 1660-3397

Volume: 8;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 2673;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: marine microbes | bacteria | fungi | marine natural products | secondary metabolites | bioactivity

ABSTRACT
Oceans have borne most of the biological activities on our planet. A number of biologically active compounds with varying degrees of action, such as anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-microtubule, anti-proliferative, cytotoxic, photo protective, as well as antibiotic and antifouling properties, have been isolated to date from marine sources. The marine environment also represents a largely unexplored source for isolation of new microbes (bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, microalgae-cyanobacteria and diatoms) that are potent producers of bioactive secondary metabolites. Extensive research has been done to unveil the bioactive potential of marine microbes (free living and symbiotic) and the results are amazingly diverse and productive. Some of these bioactive secondary metabolites of microbial origin with strong antibacterial and antifungal activities are being intensely used as antibiotics and may be effective against infectious diseases such as HIV, conditions of multiple bacterial infections (penicillin, cephalosporines, streptomycin, and vancomycin) or neuropsychiatric sequelae. Research is also being conducted on the general aspects of biophysical and biochemical properties, chemical structures and biotechnological applications of the bioactive substances derived from marine microorganisms, and their potential use as cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals. This review is an attempt to consolidate the latest studies and critical research in this field, and to showcase the immense competence of marine microbial flora as bioactive metabolite producers. In addition, the present review addresses some effective and novel approaches of procuring marine microbial compounds utilizing the latest screening strategies of drug discovery.
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