Topic Editors

1. Laboratory of Microbiology, and Laboratory of Marine Applied Microbiology (CONISMA), University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
2. Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
LAQV-REQUIMTE, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Marine Microorganisms: Diversity, Bioactivity and Applications

Abstract submission deadline
closed (1 October 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (1 December 2023)
Viewed by
13761

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The scarcity of available resources will result in challenges due to the increased demand for resources to support technological, social, and human well-being, thus serving as motivation for identifying reserves of unexploited resources. The marine environment represents a lesser-explored resource with immeasurable potential due to the vast associated microbial diversity. In fact, the marine environment has several characteristics that facilitate the discovery of new microbial strains with unique features that can be exploited in the discovery and development of new bioactive molecules. Marine microorganisms represent a diversified source of bioactive metabolites that could potentially be used as new drugs. They are somewhat undervalued compared with their terrestrial counterparts, and their chemical and biological diversity is still being underestimated. Many new or little-studied taxa (neglected species) need to be carefully investigated in the search to discover new bioactive metabolites. In this context, it must be taken into account that the oceans cover 71% of Earth’s surface, and about 70% of the total marine biomass is represented by microorganisms. Thus, understanding the diversity and importance of marine microorganisms is vital, particularly in this period of rapid global changes. This topic is devoted to the fundamental and applied aspects involved in the study of marine sources (new potential drugs, identification of metabolites or chemical entities, microorganisms, algae, water, etc.) and aims to contribute to highlighting recent findings and acquiring a comprehensive perspective on the current status of this research field. All article types are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Fenice
Dr. M. Amparo F. Faustino
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • marine microorganisms
  • marine metabolites
  • marine sources
  • microalgal organisms
  • microbial antiparasitic
  • applications
  • marine bio-active molecules
  • marine microbial diversity
  • marine microbial biotechnology

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Chemistry
chemistry
2.1 2.5 2019 19.1 Days CHF 1800
Marine Drugs
marinedrugs
5.4 9.6 2003 14 Days CHF 2900
Microbiology Research
microbiolres
1.5 1.3 2010 16.6 Days CHF 1600
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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17 pages, 1422 KiB  
Review
Current Research Status of Azaspiracids
by Jiaping Yang, Weiqin Sun, Mingjuan Sun, Yunyi Cui and Lianghua Wang
Mar. Drugs 2024, 22(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/md22020079 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1572
Abstract
The presence and impact of toxins have been detected in various regions worldwide ever since the discovery of azaspiracids (AZAs) in 1995. These toxins have had detrimental effects on marine resource utilization, marine environmental protection, and fishery production. Over the course of more [...] Read more.
The presence and impact of toxins have been detected in various regions worldwide ever since the discovery of azaspiracids (AZAs) in 1995. These toxins have had detrimental effects on marine resource utilization, marine environmental protection, and fishery production. Over the course of more than two decades of research and development, scientists from all over the world have conducted comprehensive studies on the in vivo metabolism, in vitro synthesis methods, pathogenic mechanisms, and toxicology of these toxins. This paper aims to provide a systematic introduction to the discovery, distribution, pathogenic mechanism, in vivo biosynthesis, and in vitro artificial synthesis of AZA toxins. Additionally, it will summarize various detection methods employed over the past 20 years, along with their advantages and disadvantages. This effort will contribute to the future development of rapid detection technologies and the invention of detection devices for AZAs in marine environmental samples. Full article
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11 pages, 1969 KiB  
Article
The Inhibition Effect and Mechanism of Staurosporine Isolated from Streptomyces sp. SNC087 Strain on Nasal Polyp
by Grace Choi, Eun-Young Lee, Dawoon Chung, Kichul Cho, Woon-Jong Yu, Sang-Jip Nam, Seong-Kook Park and Il-Whan Choi
Mar. Drugs 2024, 22(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/md22010039 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1198
Abstract
This study aims to explore the potential inhibition effects of staurosporine isolated from a Streptomyces sp. SNC087 strain obtained from seawater on nasal polyps. Staurosporine possesses antimicrobial and antihypertensive activities. This research focuses on investigating the effects of staurosporine on suppressing the growth [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the potential inhibition effects of staurosporine isolated from a Streptomyces sp. SNC087 strain obtained from seawater on nasal polyps. Staurosporine possesses antimicrobial and antihypertensive activities. This research focuses on investigating the effects of staurosporine on suppressing the growth and development of nasal polyps and elucidating the underlying mechanisms involved. The experimental design includes in vitro and ex vivo evaluations to assess the inhibition activity and therapeutic potential of staurosporine against nasal polyps. Nasal polyp-derived fibroblasts (NPDFs) were stimulated with TGF-β1 in the presence of staurosporine. The levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), collagen type-I (Col-1), fibronectin, and phosphorylated (p)-Smad 2 were investigated using Western blotting. VEGF expression levels were analyzed in nasal polyp organ cultures treated with staurosporine. TGF-β1 stimulated the production of Col-1, fibronectin, and α-SMA and was attenuated by staurosporine pretreatment. Furthermore, these inhibitory effects were mediated by modulation of the signaling pathway of Smad 2 in TGF-β1-induced NPDFs. Staurosporine also inhibits the production of VEGF in ex vivo NP tissues. The findings from this study will contribute to a better understanding of staurosporine’s role in nasal polyp management and provide insights into its mechanisms of action. Full article
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16 pages, 3576 KiB  
Article
Structural Characterization, Antioxidant, and Antiviral Activity of Sulfated Polysaccharide (Fucoidan) from Sargassum asperifolium (Turner) J. Agardh
by Abeer A. Ageeli and Sahera Fathalla Mohamed
Chemistry 2023, 5(4), 2756-2771; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemistry5040176 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Brown algae possess a diverse array of acidic polysaccharides, including fucoidan. The present research intends to investigate the extraction and characterization of algal polysaccharides to explore their antiviral activity. A light brown sulfated polysaccharide was extracted (with a yield of 18% of dry [...] Read more.
Brown algae possess a diverse array of acidic polysaccharides, including fucoidan. The present research intends to investigate the extraction and characterization of algal polysaccharides to explore their antiviral activity. A light brown sulfated polysaccharide was extracted (with a yield of 18% of dry weight) from Sargassum asperifolium algal powder. The results of fractionation of sulfated polysaccharide revealed the occurrence of two primary fractions: low-sulfated polysaccharides (SPF1) and high-sulfated polysaccharides (SPF2). The bioassays conducted on SPF2 demonstrated a greater level of antioxidant activity compared to SPF1, with respective IC50 values of 17 ± 1.3 µg/mL and 31 ± 1.1 μg/mL after a duration of 120 min. The cytotoxicity of SPF2 on Vero cells was determined, and the calculated half-maximal cytotoxic concentration (CC50) was found to be 178 ± 1.05 µg/mL. Based on these results, an antiviral activity assay was conducted on SPF2. The results demonstrated that SPF2 had greater efficacy against Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) compared to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1), with corresponding half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of 48 ± 1.8 µg/mL and 123 ± 2.6 µg/mL, respectively. The active SPF2 was characterized by FT-IR, 1H, and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The extracted fucoidan can be used as a natural therapeutic agent in combating various viral infections. Full article
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19 pages, 1990 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Total Mercury, Its Fractions and Species Diversity of Diatom Taphocoenoses Deposited in Surface Sediments (Southern Baltic Sea)
by Dominika Hetko, Małgorzata Witak and Magdalena Bełdowska
Water 2023, 15(22), 3907; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223907 - 09 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 897
Abstract
Mercury is a toxic metal that in excessive amounts negatively affects the human nervous system. It can biomagnify to enrich successive levels of the trophic web with higher and higher concentrations of Hg. Diatoms are cosmopolitan microalgae that represent the base of the [...] Read more.
Mercury is a toxic metal that in excessive amounts negatively affects the human nervous system. It can biomagnify to enrich successive levels of the trophic web with higher and higher concentrations of Hg. Diatoms are cosmopolitan microalgae that represent the base of the trophic web. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of diatoms in the accumulation of Hg in surface sediments in the example of Puck Lagoon (southern Baltic Sea). The study verified the relationship of mercury forms with diatoms’ characteristic salinity groups and individual diatom species. The identified diatom flora permitted the distinguishment of three regions with different salinity preferences. The obtained results suggest that, together with organic matter and fine sediment fraction, diatoms are an important element of the marine environment in accumulating Hg. Area I, dominated by euhalobous and mesohalobous diatom species, was characterized by a high statistically significant correlation of mesohalobous with HgSO4, Hg in complexes with organic matter and HgS. In Area II, associated with the highest Hg concentrations (ca. 100 ng g−1), euhalobous showed a statistically significant linear correlation with HgSO4. In contrast, in Area III, the freshwater diatom community was associated with stable Hg forms. The identified species showed a connection with labile forms of Hg that can undergo biomagnification. Full article
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12 pages, 1194 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Dynamics of Invasive Ascidiella aspersa: Insights from Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit I and 18S rDNA Analyses in Korean and Global Populations
by Jeounghee Lee, Soyeon Kwon, Michael Dadole Ubagan, Taekjun Lee and Sook Shin
Water 2023, 15(22), 3886; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15223886 - 07 Nov 2023
Viewed by 862
Abstract
Ascidiella aspersa, originally native to the northeastern Atlantic, has emerged as a prolific invasive species in coastal waters worldwide. In 2010, it was identified as an alien species in Republic of Korea, rapidly colonizing artificial harbor structures and outcompeting native species. This [...] Read more.
Ascidiella aspersa, originally native to the northeastern Atlantic, has emerged as a prolific invasive species in coastal waters worldwide. In 2010, it was identified as an alien species in Republic of Korea, rapidly colonizing artificial harbor structures and outcompeting native species. This study employs morphological analyses and genetic sequencing, focusing on mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome oxidase subunit I; mt-COI) and nuclear markers (18S rRNA), to unravel the genetic structure and haplotype diversity (Hd) of A. aspersa populations in Republic of Korea and globally. The analysis of 154 mt-COI and 127 18S rDNA global population sequences, as well as 80 mt-COI and 79 18S-rDNA Korean population sequences, revealed distinct genetic patterns. Among global populations, the mt-COI gene displayed significant genetic diversity, with 21 distinct haplotypes distributed across 41 polymorphic sites, which is indicative of extensive genetic variability. In contrast, the 18S rDNA marker exhibited limited diversity, with only four haplotypes identified at three polymorphic sites. In Korean populations, the mt-COI gene also exhibited substantial genetic diversity, with 14 distinct haplotypes displaying genetic variations at 29 polymorphic sites. Conversely, the 18S rDNA marker in Korean populations revealed a unique genetic pattern, with only one shared haplotype. These findings emphasize the complex genetic diversity within A. aspersa populations, both globally and in Republic of Korea. This genetic analysis provides valuable insights into the species’ colonization history and adaptation mechanisms, shedding light on the factors shaping its genetic structure. Further research is warranted to elucidate the ecological implications of these genetic patterns in the context of invasion biology. Full article
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12 pages, 2342 KiB  
Article
Flow Cytometric Investigation of Salinicola halophilus S28 Physiological Response Provides Solid Evidence for Its Uncommon and High Ability to Face Salt-Stress Conditions
by Belén Juárez-Jiménez, Massimiliano Fenice, Marcella Pasqualetti, Barbara Muñoz-Palazon, David Correa-Galeote, Martina Braconcini and Susanna Gorrasi
Microbiol. Res. 2023, 14(2), 454-465; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres14020034 - 01 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1467
Abstract
In a previous work, some bacterial strains isolated from the Saline di Tarquinia marine salterns (Viterbo, Italy) showed very unusual growth profiles in relation to temperature and salinity variations when grown in solid media. In particular, Salinicola halophilus S28 showed optimal or suboptimal [...] Read more.
In a previous work, some bacterial strains isolated from the Saline di Tarquinia marine salterns (Viterbo, Italy) showed very unusual growth profiles in relation to temperature and salinity variations when grown in solid media. In particular, Salinicola halophilus S28 showed optimal or suboptimal growth in a very wide range of NaCl concentrations, suggesting a great coping ability with salinity variations. These intriguing outcomes did not fit with the general Salinicola halophilus description as a moderately halophilic species. Therefore, this study profiles the actual physiological status of S28 cells subjected to different NaCl concentrations to provide evidence for the actual coping ability of strain S28 with broad salinity variations. Flow cytometry was selected as the evaluation method to study the physiological status of bacterial cells subjected to different salinity levels, monitoring the strain response at different growth phases over 72 h. Strain S28 showed maximal growth at 8% NaCl; however, it grew very well with no statistically significant differences at all salinity conditions (4–24% NaCl). Flow cytometric results provided clear evidence of its actual and strong ability to face increasing salinity, revealing a good physiological response up to 24% of NaCl. In addition, strain S28 showed very similar cell physiological status at all salinity levels, as also indicated by the flat growth profile revealed in the range of 4–24% NaCl. This is the first study regarding the physiological response during the growth of halophilic bacteria under different conditions of salinity via flow cytometry. This technique represents an effective tool for the investigation of the physiological status of each cell, even if it is somehow underrated and underused by microbiologists for this purpose. Full article
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17 pages, 2921 KiB  
Review
Structures and Biological Activities of Secondary Metabolites from Trichoderma harzianum
by Rui Guo, Gang Li, Zhao Zhang and Xiaoping Peng
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(11), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20110701 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2976
Abstract
The biocontrol fungus Trichoderma harzianum, from both marine and terrestrial environments, has attracted considerable attention. T. harzianum has a tremendous potential to produce a variety of bioactive secondary metabolites (SMs), which are an important source of new herbicides and antibiotics. This review [...] Read more.
The biocontrol fungus Trichoderma harzianum, from both marine and terrestrial environments, has attracted considerable attention. T. harzianum has a tremendous potential to produce a variety of bioactive secondary metabolites (SMs), which are an important source of new herbicides and antibiotics. This review prioritizes the SMs of T. harzianum from 1988 to June 2022, and their relevant biological activities. Marine-derived SMs, especially terpenoids, polyketides, and macrolides compounds, occupy a significant proportion of natural products from T. harzianum, deserving more of our attention. Full article
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12 pages, 3753 KiB  
Article
Formulation, Characterization, and In Vitro/In Vivo Efficacy Studies of a Novel Liposomal Drug Delivery System of Amphiphilic Jaspine B for Treatment of Synovial Sarcoma
by Sana Khajeh pour, Sameena Mateen, Srinath Pashikanti, Jared J. Barrott and Ali Aghazadeh-Habashi
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(8), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20080509 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
Sphingomyelin is a cell membrane sphingolipid that is upregulated in synovial sarcoma (SS). Jaspine B has been shown to inhibit sphingomyelin synthase, which synthesizes sphingomyelin from ceramide, a critical signal transducer; however, jaspine B’s low bioavailability limits its application as a promising treatment [...] Read more.
Sphingomyelin is a cell membrane sphingolipid that is upregulated in synovial sarcoma (SS). Jaspine B has been shown to inhibit sphingomyelin synthase, which synthesizes sphingomyelin from ceramide, a critical signal transducer; however, jaspine B’s low bioavailability limits its application as a promising treatment option. To address this shortcoming, we used microfluidics to develop a liposomal delivery system with increased anticancer efficacy. The nano-liposome size was determined by transmission electron microscopy. The jaspine B liposome was tested for its tumor inhibitory efficacy compared to plain jaspine B in in vitro and in vivo studies. The human SS cell line was tested for cell viability using varying jaspine B concentrations. In a mouse model of SS, tumor growth suppression was evaluated during four weeks of treatment (3 times/week). The results show that jaspine B was successfully formulated in the liposomes with a size ranging from 127.5 ± 61.2 nm. The MTT assay and animal study results indicate that jaspine B liposomes dose-dependently lowers cell viability in the SS cell line and effectively suppresses tumor cell growth in the SS animal model. The novel liposome drug delivery system addresses jaspine B’s low bioavailability issues and improves its therapeutic efficacy. Full article
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