P7 Bioprospecting in the polar environment - exploiting marine metagenomes for hunting novel enzymes

P7 Bioprospecting in the polar environment - exploiting marine metagenomes for hunting novel enzymes

Henrik Marcus Geertz-Hansen, Josef Korbinian Vogt, Nikolaj Blom, Thomas Sicheritz-Pontén

P7 Bioprospecting in the polar environment - exploiting marine metagenomes for hunting novel enzymes

We participated in two major marine expeditions - Galathea 3 and Lomrog-II - to the artic and antarctic region and collected one of the most extensive collection of water samples.
The samples cover a large geographical and “vertical” range, where the deepest samples were collected at a depth of 4300 metres. Bioprospecting could prove to be a valid way
for exploiting the unique dataset presented in the study. Industrial demand for low temperature enzymes prompted us to search for proteases which have adapted to this extreme
environment. Here we describe a comprehensive metagenomic approach where we analyse over 2,4 billion next generation sequencing reads. Using a supercomputer pipeline, we
are able to assemble a vast amount of open reading frames and assign functional annotation. Here we present our findings for the distribution and sequence characteristics of
over 3,000 protease families and subfamilies. We anticipate that our findings can bridge exploratory science with novel biotechnological processes and innovations.