Biodiscovery and Bioprospecting
Researchers at KG Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research are involved in Biotech projects to search for and utilize enzymes from the AMOR hydrothermal vent fields.
Biodiscovery – requires an inter-and multidisciplinary approach that spans ecology, evolution, biogeochemistry, bioinformatics and the use of advanced deep-sea technology. The study of metabolisms of microorganisms that resist cultivation and for which no functional information exists, the microbial dark matter (MDM), is undergoing a renaissance owing to the development of metagenomics i.e the direct sequencing of total DNA from microbial communities. At KG Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research we refine and improve the construction and use of in situ incubators to target the enrichment of MDM. The overall goal is to reveal new and fundamental knowledge on the metabolisms in deep-sea hydrothermal vents. To meet this goal, we have developed an in house metagenomics pipeline (see main figure)
Bioprospecting – the deep-sea hydrothermal vents located at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge represents a unique Norwegian habitat to search for enzymes that operates at high temperatures. Heat active and thermostable enzymes as well as enzymes operating at more moderate temperatures are used in a range of industries such as paper and pulp, textile, food, pharmaceuticals, medicine etc. Today there is a constant need for new enzymes to develop more sustainable and economically competitive production processes, but also to meet the requirements of new biotechnological arenas. Researchers at KG Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research are involved in Biotech projects to search for and utilize enzymes from the AMOR hydrothermal vent fields in collaboration with industrial partners. In the Norwegian national project NorZymeD, involving five academic and four industrial partners. By combining biodiscovery and development of enzymes, the project focuses on developing enzymes and processes for biomasses and value chains where Norway hasclear competitive advantages, namely lignocellulosics and marine co-products from fisheries and aquaculture. As part of an annual NorZymeD-meeting, we organized an open day with seminars on enzyme-based solutions targeting politicians, scientists and industry. This year the meeting took place in Bergen at Hotel Neptun.
“Bioeconomy – comprises the economy that use renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms – to produce food, materials and energy.”