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Marine Microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for Improving their Biotechnological Applications

Reference no: FP7-KBBE-2012-6-singlestage
Acronym: MACUMBA
Period: August 2012 till 2016
Status: Completed

Institutes (23)  Top 
  • Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ), co-ordinator
    • Stal, Lucas, co-ordinator
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), partner
  • Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO), partner
  • eCOAST, partner
  • AquaTT (European Network for Training and Technology in aquaculture) (AquaTT), more, partner
  • Universidad Miguel Hernández, partner
  • University College Cork (UCC), partner
  • University of Warwick, partner
  • Technical University of Denmark (DTU), more, partner
  • University of Milano, partner
  • The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), more, partner
  • Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, partner
  • Fermentalg, partner
  • Ribocon GmbH, partner
  • BIOALVO S.A., more, partner
  • Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH, partner
  • PharmaMar, more, partner
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, partner
  • Matís ohf, partner
  • Polymaris Biotechnology, partner
  • MicroDish BV, partner
  • Cyano Biotech GmbH, partner
  • Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd, more, partner

Marine microorganisms form an almost untapped resource of biotechnological potential. However, its use is hindered by the low success rate of isolation of novel microorganisms and often by poor growth efficiency. Hence, the vast majority of marine microorganisms has not been cultivated and is often considered as ‘unculturable’. MaCuMBA aims at improving the isolation rate and growth efficiency of marine microorganisms from conventional and extreme habitats, by applying innovative methods, and the use of automated high throughput procedures. The approaches include the co-cultivation
of interdependent microorganisms, as well as gradient cultures and other methods mimicking the natural environment, and the exploitation of cell-to-cell communication. Signaling molecules produced by microorganisms may be necessary for stimulating growth of the same or other species, or may prevent their growth. Signaling molecules also represent an interesting and marketable product. MaCuMBA will make use of high throughput platforms such Cocagne, using gel micro-droplet technology, or MicroDish in which many thousands of cultures are grown simultaneously. Various single-cell
isolation methods, such as optical tweezers, will aid the isolation of specific target cells. Isolated microorganisms as well as their genomes will be screened for a wide range of bioactive products and other properties of biotechnological interest, such as genetic transformability. Growth efficiency and expression of ‘silent’ genes of selected strains will be increased also by using the clues obtained from genomic information. MaCuMBA is targeted to SMEs and industry and they make a significant part of the consortium, ensuring that the project focuses on the interests of these partners. Moreover, MaCuMBA has adopted a comprehensive and professional exploitation, dissemination, implementation, and education strategy, ensuring that MaCuMBA’s results and products will be directed to end-users and stakeholders.

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