Marine Microbial Discovery Research

Photo credit Jennifer Polinski

At GMGI, we are using a genomics approach to mine the vast genetic diversity of marine organisms for discovery of novel compounds and biologicals with applications in medicine, biotechnology, and industry. The initial focus is on the diverse microbial communities associated with marine environments. Microbes (bacteria, archaea, protists, and unicellular fungi) account for >90% of oceanic biomass and are responsible for much of the biological and chemical diversity, providing a vast repertoire of enzymes and compounds with unique chemical structures and properties. Gloucester’s proximity to diverse marine environments provides GMGI with a rich supply of unique samples as the source for new discovery.

As part of our Microbial Discovery project, GMGI has established a marine bacteria and fungi culture collection. This repository houses a unique collection of organisms from a variety of marine environments that can be used as a resource for new discoveries in applied and basic research. The collection represents a novel source of material for marine-derived therapeutics and products, and can also be used to address important research questions about the biology and function of the Ocean’s smallest inhabitants.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Andrea Bodnar and Dr. Matt Harke