Three oral poster presentations

Thursday March 9
Session 2: Exploration of marine biomass

Three oral poster presentations

Poster Presentors: Andrea Bourdelais, Netsanet G. Assefa, and Diana Lindberg

Andrea Bourdelais (University of North Carolina at Wilmington, USA) - Culturable Marine Organism as a Source for Bioactive Compounds

Andrea Bourdelais1, Daniel Baden1 and Jennifer Mccall2

1MARBIONC, University Of North Carolina At Wilmington, Wilmington North Carolina, USA 2Biology/Marine Biology, University Of North Carolina At Wilmington, Wilmington North Carolina, USA

The MARBIONC program at UNCW’s Crest Research Park is a collection of scientists working together to stimulate economic development in North Carolina through the discovery, development and marketing of new products and technologies derived from the ocean. At MARBIONC we use cultured marine organisms as a source for bioactive material.  This method is an environmentally friendly and sustainable means to generate biomass that provides reproducible yields of target compounds and is adaptable to intermediate scale and GMP/GLP practices. Notable achievements include: the development validation of a receptor binding kit for the detection and quantification of brevetoxins and ciguatoxins, “Brevenal” a treatment for Cystic Fibrosis and the “Escortins” which are being developed as a mechanism for drug delivery.

Netsanet G. Assefa (UiT The Arctic University of Norway) - Production of polyhydroxyalkanoate-based bioplastics from marine bacteria

Netsanet G. Assefa1, Hilde Hansen1, Bjørn Altermark1, Seila Pandur1 and Arne O. Smalås1

1Chemistry, University Of Tromsø, Tromsø, NOR

A bioplastic is a plastic obtained from renewable organic biomass sources, unlike a conventional plastic, which is made from petroleum. Microorganisms serve as producers of biodegradable bioplastics from inexhaustible resources. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are diverse polyesters, which can be produced by several bacteria. PHAs accumulate in the bacteria as intracellular granules and function as a carbon and energy storage. By making use of an in-house bacterial collection, this study aims to achieve efficient production of PHAs using cold-adapted marine bacteria growing on low-value biomass. This is realized by studying the enzymes involved biochemically and structurally, characterizing the polymers produced, and determining the biosynthetic pathways. So far, our initial screening have identified some promising PHA producing bacteria. Expression constructs of PHA synthase, an important enzyme in the synthetic pathway, from selected bacteria have been constructed and expressed in E. coli. Purification and crystallization screening is underway for these PHA synthases.

Diana Lindberg (Nofima AS, Norway) - Evaluation the efficiency of commercial inhibitors in preventing blueing in snow crab

Diana Lindberg1, Sten Siikavuopio1, Kersti Øverbø1, Grete Lorentzen1 and Ragnhild Whitaker1

1Nofima AS, NOR

The snow crab fisheries in the Barents Sea are well established with demonstrated harvestable biomass, and provides enormous potential for creating a profitable industry for northern Norway. In terms of quality, one of the largest problems for this industry is discoloration of the crab, also known as melanosis, or blueing. Snow crabs are generally regarded as more susceptible to melanosis than e.g. king crab, and discolorations results from a cascade of events initiated by polyphenol oxidases. In this project, different commercially available inhibitors previously tried on other crustaceans have been examined on parts of, and whole, snow crabs. Results show that a lowering of the pH, as well as the well-known inhibitor 4-hexylresorcinol, are efficient inhibitors in prevention of blueing in snow crabs.