Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 9, Issue 1, 2007; Page No.(191-196)

MARINE REALM : A TREASURE HOUSE FOR BIOPROSPECTING

MALOY KUMAR SAHU, K. SIVAKUMAR AND L. KANNAN'

Abstract

Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth's surface and contain about 80°/0 of world's plant and animal species. Oceans have a plenty of structurally unique metabolites and other resources in the living or dead forms. About 10,000 metabolites have been isolated from different marine organisms. Among them, 37% has been isolated from sponges, 21% from coelenterates, 18% from microorganisms, 9% from algae, 6% from echinoderms, 5% from tunicates, 2% from molluscs and 1% from bryozoans. Several of these compounds show pharmaceutical properties and many of them have been tested at pre-clinical and clinical stages and are found useful for discovery of novel drugs to treat many deadly diseases such as AIDS, cancer etc. So, the marine realm appears to be a treasure house for bioprospecting especially for medically very important substances.

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