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Marine Metagenomics for New Biotechnological Applications (MAMBA)
Start date: Jul 1, 2009, End date: Jun 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The Project aims at the mining of individual enzymes and metabolic pathways from extremophilic marine organisms and the metagenomes from microbial communities from peculiar marine environments and consequent funnelling the new enzymatic reactions and processes towards the new biotechnological applications. Project builds up on the scientific and technological excellence of individual academic and industrial partners, and beyond that, on application of the state-of-the-art technologies for archiving, molecular screening for the activities (using a unique Surface Plasmon Resonance screening platform), protein structure elucidation, enzyme engineering and directed evolution and establishing new biotechnological processes (biocatalysis, synthesis of fine chemicals, etc.). Marine sampling hotspots to produce the metagenomic resources for their further exploration will cover the whole diversity of marine microbial life at its limits (hypersaline, low and high temperature, high pressure and low water activity conditions, etc.). Individual enzymes interacting with the substrates will be identified, and in case they are new, hyperexpressed and crystallized and their structures will be elucidated. Consequently, the most promising candidates will be scored against the chiral substrates of relevance for biocatalysis and their ability to perform in water-free systems will be evaluated, the directed evolution will be implemented to improve the performance, and specificity of the enzymes. A comprehensive bioinformatic survey throughout the whole tree of cellular life will reveal and suggest the new candidates homologous to the discovered new proteins, from other organisms to be cloned and assayed. The implementation of the set of new enzymes in the biotechnological processes for fine chemical synthesis and drug discovery will be conducted in a strong alliance with competent industrial partners."
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