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only suitable for exploration of the functions of the proteins but also help
to fi nd new potential drug targets. Proteome and transcriptome analysis
techniques have led to a shift from direct antimicrobial screening programs
toward rational target-based strategies. The proteome technique is mainly
based on two-dimensional protein gel electrophoresis, used for protein
separation, and mass spectrometry, applied for protein identifi cation.
Complete genome sequence of the organism of interest is mandatory for
the proteome analysis. The proteome of only few marine microorganisms
has been investigated so far. Most of these proteomic studies explore how
marine bacteria adapt to alterations in their environmental conditions.
The complete genes of three strains of the abundant cyanobacteria,
Prochlorococcus have been sequenced and analyzed. The genomic database
for cyanobacteria is available (
html ) . Heterogeneous expression techniques are commonly deployed
when the original microbe is unable to have a suffi cient growth and/
or compound production rate. In this case, the genes responsible for the
production of the target compound are isolated and inserted into a more
favorable host, one having either a faster growth rate or more highly
developed expression/production system. There is scope for applying
genetics to microorganisms for improved yield and hence, for reduction
of cost of production of PUFA (Berge and Barnathan, 2005).
In summary, the sea is rich in a multitude of living resources. While
the food potential of the oceans has been well realized, there is much
scope for exploitation of marine organisms including seaweed, corals,
microalgae and other marine microorganisms for nutraceuticals and
bioactive compounds. Microalgae have industrial uses as raw material for
carotenoids, vitamin and fatty acid supplements and as feed additives for
poultry, livestock, fi sh and crustaceans. Microalgae have the potential to
satisfy the growing worldwide demand for carotenoids to a signifi cant
extent. Pigments from microalgae such as Dunaliella are distributed in
markets under different categories, under the names, β-carotene extracts,
Dunaliella powder for human use and dried Dunaliella as animal feed.
Future trends involve combinatorial engineering and production of niche
pigments not found in plants. Microalgae and also other microorganisms
as well as corals can provide numerous bioactive compounds including
hormones, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals. Some of them include
benzamide A and B, bryostatins, debromohymenialdisine, KRN7000
(α-galactosylceramide), manoalide, dictyostatin, salicylhalamides, etc.
There are a few marine-derived drugs at advanced stages of development
particularly in the anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-infl ammatory areas.
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