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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2023-02-08
    Description: Marine organisms produce a vast diversity of metabolites with biological activities useful for humans, e.g., cytotoxic, antioxidant, anti-microbial, insecticidal, herbicidal, anticancer, pro-osteogenic and pro-regenerative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, cholesterol-lowering, nutritional, photoprotective, horticultural or other beneficial properties. These metabolites could help satisfy the increasing demand for alternative sources of nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food, feed, and novel bio-based products. In addition, marine biomass itself can serve as the source material for the production of various bulk commodities (e.g., biofuels, bioplastics, biomaterials). The sustainable exploitation of marine bio-resources and the development of biomolecules and polymers are also known as the growing field of marine biotechnology. Up to now, over 35,000 natural products have been characterized from marine organisms, but many more are yet to be uncovered, as the vast diversity of biota in the marine systems remains largely unexplored. Since marine biotechnology is still in its infancy, there is a need to create effective, operational, inclusive, sustainable, transnational and transdisciplinary networks with a serious and ambitious commitment for knowledge transfer, training provision, dissemination of best practices and identification of the emerging technological trends through science communication activities. A collaborative (net)work is today compelling to provide innovative solutions and products that can be commercialized to contribute to the circular bioeconomy. This perspective article highlights the importance of establishing such collaborative frameworks using the example of Ocean4Biotech, an Action within the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) that connects all and any stakeholders with an interest in marine biotechnology in Europe and beyond.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2021-01-08
    Description: Marine fungi are part of the huge and understudied biodiversity hosted in the sea. To broaden the knowledge on fungi inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea and their role in sponge holobiont, three sponges namely Aplysina cavernicola, Crambe crambe and Phorbas tenacior were collected in Villefranche sur Mer, (France) at about 25 m depth. The fungal communities associated with the sponges were isolated using different techniques to increase the numbers of fungi isolated. All fungi were identified to species level giving rise to 19, 13 and 3 species for P. tenacior, A. cavernicola and C. crambe, respectively. Of note, 35.7% and 50.0% of the species detected were either reported for the first time in the marine environment or in association with sponges. The mini-satellite analysis confirmed the uniqueness of the mycobiota of each sponge, leading to think that the sponge, with its metabolome, may shape the microbial community.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2022-08-30
    Description: The marine environment is characterized by high salinity and exerts a strong selective pressure on the biota, favouring the development of halo-tolerant microorganisms. Part of this microbial diversity is made up of fungi, important organisms from ecological and biotechnological points of view. In this study, for the first time, the qualitative and quantitative composition of the mycoflora associated to leaves, rhizomes, roots and matte of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica was estimated. A total of 88 fungal taxa, mainly belonging to Ascomycota, were identified by morphological and molecular methods. The most represented genera were Penicillium, Cladosporium and Acremonium. Most of the species (70) were selectively associated with one district; only two species (Penicillium chrysogenum var. chrysogenum and P. janczewskii) were isolated from all the districts. Moreover the capability to produce laccases, peroxidases and tannases by 107 fungal isolated by the different districts of P. oceanica was carried out. These results show that the mycoflora associated to P. oceanica is very rich and characterized by fungi able to produce ligninolytic enzymes and tannases useful to degrade and detoxify lignocellulose residues in presence of high salt concentrations. These fungi, hence, may play important ecological roles in marine environments but can also be very useful in different biotechnological areas.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2024-02-07
    Description: Biomass is defined as organic matter from living organisms represented in all kingdoms. It is recognized to be an excellent source of proteins, polysaccharides and lipids and, as such, embodies a tailored feedstock for new products and processes to apply in green industries. The industrial processes focused on the valorization of terrestrial biomass are well established, but marine sources still represent an untapped resource. Oceans and seas occupy over 70% of the Earth’s surface and are used intensively in worldwide economies through the fishery industry, as logistical routes, for mining ores and exploitation of fossil fuels, among others. All these activities produce waste. The other source of unused biomass derives from the beach wrack or washed-ashore organic material, especially in highly eutrophicated marine ecosystems. The development of high-added-value products from these side streams has been given priority in recent years due to the detection of a broad range of biopolymers, multiple nutrients and functional compounds that could find applications for human consumption or use in livestock/pet food, pharmaceutical and other industries. This review comprises a broad thematic approach in marine waste valorization, addressing the main achievements in marine biotechnology for advancing the circular economy, ranging from bioremediation applications for pollution treatment to energy and valorization for biomedical applications. It also includes a broad overview of the valorization of side streams in three selected case study areas: Norway, Scotland, and the Baltic Sea.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2024-02-07
    Description: Aquaculture has been one of the fastest-growing food production systems sectors for over three decades. With its growth, the demand for alternative, cheaper and high-quality feed ingredients is also increasing. Innovation investments on providing new functional feed alternatives have yielded several viable alternative raw materials. Considering all the current feed ingredients, their circular adaption in the aquafeed manufacturing industry is clearly of the utmost importance to achieve sustainable aquaculture in the near future. The use of terrestrial plant materials and animal by-products predominantly used in aquafeed ingredients puts a heavily reliance on terrestrial agroecosystems, which also has its own sustainability concerns. Therefore, the aquafeed industry needs to progress with functional and sustainable alternative raw materials for feed that must be more resilient and consistent, considering a circular perspective. In this review, we assess the current trends in using various marine organisms, ranging from microorganisms (including fungi, thraustochytrids, microalgae and bacteria) to macroalgae and macroinvertebrates as viable biological feed resources. This review focuses on the trend of circular use of resources and the development of new value chains. In this, we present a perspective of promoting novel circular economy value chains that promote the re-use of biological resources as valuable feed ingredients. Thus, we highlight some potentially important marine-derived resources that deserve further investigations for improving or addressing circular aquaculture.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2024-02-07
    Description: Coastal countries have traditionally relied on the existing marine resources (e.g., fishing, food, transport, recreation, and tourism) as well as tried to support new economic endeavors (ocean energy, desalination for water supply, and seabed mining). Modern societies and lifestyle resulted in an increased demand for dietary diversity, better health and well-being, new biomedicines, natural cosmeceuticals, environmental conservation, and sustainable energy sources. These societal needs stimulated the interest of researchers on the diverse and underexplored marine environments as promising and sustainable sources of biomolecules and biomass, and they are addressed by the emerging field of marine (blue) biotechnology. Blue biotechnology provides opportunities for a wide range of initiatives of commercial interest for the pharmaceutical, biomedical, cosmetic, nutraceutical, food, feed, agricultural, and related industries. This article synthesizes the essence, opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges encountered in marine biotechnology and outlines the attainment and valorization of directly derived or bio-inspired products from marine organisms. First, the concept of bioeconomy is introduced. Then, the diversity of marine bioresources including an overview of the most prominent marine organisms and their potential for biotechnological uses are described. This is followed by introducing methodologies for exploration of these resources and the main use case scenarios in energy, food and feed, agronomy, bioremediation and climate change, cosmeceuticals, bio-inspired materials, healthcare, and well-being sectors. The key aspects in the fields of legislation and funding are provided, with the emphasis on the importance of communication and stakeholder engagement at all levels of biotechnology development. Finally, vital overarching concepts, such as the quadruple helix and Responsible Research and Innovation principle are highlighted as important to follow within the marine biotechnology field. The authors of this review are collaborating under the European Commission-funded Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action Ocean4Biotech – European transdisciplinary networking platform for marine biotechnology and focus the study on the European state of affairs.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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