Biodiscovery of natural products from microbes associated with Irish coastal sponges

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dc.contributor.advisor Morrissey, John P. en
dc.contributor.advisor Dobson, Alan D. W. en
dc.contributor.author Margassery, Lekha Menon
dc.date.accessioned 2013-04-29T14:12:50Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.date.submitted 2013
dc.identifier.citation Margassery, L.M. 2013. Biodiscovery of natural products from microbes associated with Irish coastal sponges. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 178
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1097
dc.description.abstract Marine sponges have been an abundant source of new metabolites in recent years. The symbiotic association between the bacteria and the sponge has enabled scientists to access the bacterial diversity present within the bacterial/sponge ecosystem. This study has focussed on accessing the bacterial diversity in two Irish coastal marine sponges, namely Amphilectus fucorum and Eurypon major. A novel species from the genus Aquimarina has been isolated from the sponge Amphilectus fucorum. The study has also resulted in the identification of an α–Proteobacteria, Pseudovibrio sp. as a potential producer of antibiotics. Thus a targeted based approach to specifically cultivate Pseudovibrio sp. may prove useful for the development of new metabolites from this particular genus. Bacterial isolates from the marine sponge Haliclona simulans were screened for anti–fungal activity and one isolate namely Streptomyces sp. SM8 displayed activity against all five fungal strains tested. The strain was also tested for anti–bacterial activity and it showed activity against both against B. subtilis and P. aeruginosa. Hence a combinatorial approach involving both biochemical and genomic approaches were employed in an attempt to identify the bioactive compounds with these activities which were being produced by this strain. Culture broths from Streptomyces sp. SM8 were extracted and purified by various techniques such as reverse–phase HPLC, MPLC and ash chromatography. Anti–bacterial activity was observed in a fraction which contained a hydroxylated saturated fatty acid and also another compound with a m/z 227 but further structural elucidation of these compounds proved unsuccessful. The anti–fungal fractions from SM8 were shown to contain antimycin–like compounds, with some of these compounds having different retention times from that of an antimycin standard. A high–throughput assay was developed to screen for novel calcineurin inhibitors using yeast as a model system and three putative bacterial extracts were found to be positive using this screen. One of these extracts from SM8 was subsequently analysed using NMR and the calcineurin inhibition activity was con rmed to belong to a butenolide type compound. A H. simulans metagenomic library was also screened using the novel calcineurin inhibitor high–throughput assay system and eight clones displaying putative calcineurin inhibitory activity were detected. The clone which displayed the best inhibitory activity was subsequently sequenced and following the use of other genetic based approaches it became clear that the inhibition was being caused by a hypothetical protein with similarity to a hypothetical Na+/Ca2+ exchanger protein. The Streptomyces sp. SM8 genome was sequenced from a fragment library using Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology to identify potential secondary metabolism clusters. The draft genome was annotated by IMG/ER using the Prodigal pipeline. The Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession AMPN00000000. The genome contains genes which appear to encode for several polyketide synthases (PKS), non–ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), terpene and siderophore biosynthesis and ribosomal peptides. Transcriptional analyses led to the identification of three hybrid clusters of which one is predicted to be involved in the synthesis of antimycin, while the functions of the others are as yet unknown. Two NRPS clusters were also identified, of which one may be involved in gramicidin biosynthesis and the function of the other is unknown. A Streptomyces sp. SM8 NRPS antC gene knockout was constructed and extracts from the strain were shown to possess a mild anti–fungal activity when compared to the SM8 wild–type. Subsequent LCMS analysis of antC mutant extracts confirmed the absence of the antimycin in the extract proving that the observed anti–fungal activity may involve metabolite(s) other than antimycin. Anti–bacterial activity in the antC gene knockout strain against P. aeruginosa was reduced when compared to the SM8 wild–type indicating that antimycin may be contributing to the observed anti–bacterial activity in addition to the metabolite(s) already identified during the chemical analyses. This is the first report of antimycins exhibiting anti–bacterial activity against P. aeruginosa. One of the hybrid clusters potentially involved in secondary metabolism in SM8 that displayed high and consistent levels of gene–expression in RNA studies was analysed in an attempt to identify the metabolite being produced by the pathway. A number of unusual features were observed following bioinformatics analysis of the gene sequence of the cluster, including a formylation domain within the NRPS cluster which may add a formyl group to the growing chain. Another unusual feature is the lack of AT domains on two of the PKS modules. Other unusual features observed in this cluster is the lack of a KR domain in module 3 of the cluster and an aminotransferase domain in module 4 for which no clear role has been hypothesised. en
dc.description.sponsorship Marine Institute (Beaufort Biodiscovery Award Project) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2013. Lekha M. Margassery en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Marine Streptomyces en
dc.subject Bioactives en
dc.subject Natural products en
dc.subject.lcsh Marine natural products. en
dc.subject.lcsh Sponges en
dc.subject.lcsh Streptomyces en
dc.title Biodiscovery of natural products from microbes associated with Irish coastal sponges en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Science) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Marine Institute en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Environmental Research Institute en
dc.internal.school Microbiology en
dc.check.reason Releasing this thesis would cause substantial prejudice to the commercial interests of University College Cork en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false *
dc.check.embargoformat Both hard copy thesis and e-thesis en
ucc.workflow.supervisor cora@ucc.ie *


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© 2013. Lekha M. Margassery Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013. Lekha M. Margassery
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