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Marine Bio-informatics Tools: A Metagenomic Approach

Ludovica Liguori, Maria Monticelli, Mariateresa Allocca, Maria Vittoria Cubellis, Bruno Hay Mele


Bioinformatics has pervaded all fields of biology and has become a necessity for biological research now. Along with incorporation of bioinformatics in conventional life science curricula, hands-on experience on usage of different bioinformatic tools to address practical research problems are crucial to incite students. Identification of novel bioactive compounds from marine source is an active area of research in marine biotechnology. This paper discusses in detail a practical approach for identification of novel enzymes from marine microorganisms. Metagenomics, which enables culture independent genome analysis of microorganisms is introduced in the article. The sequence of the probe for screening the metagenomic cosmid library is developed, using databases such as BRENDA and programs such as BLAST and Clustal Omega, starting with the chemical structure of the substrate for the prospective enzyme. Problem solving approach as discussed in the article is more preferable and beneficial for teaching bioinformatics than traditional lectures. 


Marine biotechnology, Graduate education, Computer-based learning, BRENDA, BLAST

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