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|Title:||Marine biotechnology: An approach based on components, levels and players|
|Abstract:||Marine biotechnology may be viewed from the perspective of three issues, namely components, levels of research and the players or researchers. (1) The three components are organisms, applications and processes. Access to known organisms and the discovery of unique ones are basic requirements. Sustainable harvesting is the key for accessing marine invertebrates. An alternative is the development of cell culture methods and ecosystem conservation. Establishment of microbial culture collections of organisms difficult to access or cultivate, such as deep-sea and anaerobic microbes, obligate marine fungi and phytoplankton is an important facilitator. Extremophilic organisms from the deep-sea and cold environments are useful candidates for novel applications. Genomics and metagenomics are emerging as powerful tools in discovering useful genes. Application of organisms constitutes the second component of biotechnology. A search for candidate organisms for applications should be based on intelligent screening, while innovative applications of unique properties of organisms need to be established. The former is exemplified by novel drugs from coral reef invertebrates, marine polysaccharides and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Adhesive proteins of molluscs, biomimetics and nanolevel cell wall organization in diatoms are examples of intelligent applications. Process development and improvement for new and existing technologies are the final determinants of a technology. (2) The three levels are established, emerging and exploratory technologies. It is important to recognize this in order to decide who does what. (3) The key players are the academia and industries. Participation and collaboration of the two must be viewed in light of different levels of biotechnology. Improvement of established technologies belongs more to the realm of industries. Emerging technologies offer the best platform for their collaboration, while exploratory technologies are the domain of academic institutions.|
|ISSN:||0975-1033 (Online); 0379-5136 (Print)|
|Appears in Collections:||IJMS Vol.40(5) [October 2011]|
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