Marine microbes comprises an extensive and diverse assortment of bacteria, virus, protists and fungi. They exist from the surface of water to the bottom of the ocean, the abyssal depths from the coastal to the offshore regions as well as the blue waters of coral reefs, hot thermal vents, estuaries, mangroves and lagoons. The bacterial domain in constituted by prokaryotic organism with r RNA and lipid membrane layers. Viruses have a size range of 20-200 nm. Though they are seldom noticeable but the microorganisms contribute half of the world’s biomass having a diverse physiological lifestyle and metabolic capabilities. The study of microbes has developed since a couple of decades or so. Their contribution persist from nutrient cycle to production of enzymes, antibiotics and anti tumor compounds. Thus the study of marine microbes and microbial ecology become demanding and captivating.
Diversity and habitat
Microorganism community contains diverse organisms such as bacteria, viruses, protists and fungi having different physiologic morphological and ecological characteristics. Population of microbes can be different according to ocean water types such as mangrove ecosystem, coral ecosystem, deep sea and extreme environments. There bacterial community shows decent sorts of adaptation and symbiosis. In the mangrove ecosystem with the help of symbiosis they are seen to be fixing nitrogen and photosynthesis. In the coral reef area the bacteria are provided with mucus, secret from the corals, containing polysaccharides and proteins that help them grow. The deep sea community of them are able to survive with very low nutrient and organic carbon. The extremophiles, can survive in the extreme environments are adapted to sustain life in such extreme environments having very extreme temperature or pressure.
The ocean has different zones of light availability and salinity depending on the turbidity and suspender particles. Four important habitats can be classified from a microbiological standpoint in the marine environment.
- Neustone: Is the zone at the surface of the water where it interferes with the air.
- Pelagic zone: is the zone of the water column or the planktonic habitat. It’s can be subdivided into 2 more zones, epipealgic zone in the upper 100m of the ocean water column and benthopelagic zone tge sedimentary interface.
- Epibiotic habitat: it’s the 3rd zone which refers to the surface area where attached communities occurs.
- Endobiotic habitat: this habitat refers to the microbes found in the tissue of other animals such as fish.
The field of marine biotechnology was first defined in 1983 and has a number of milestones since then. Several natural products that come from marine animals have been shown to be associated with microbes. So the bacterial community has a great influence in producing antibiotics, anti tumor agents, antimicrobials and pharmaceuticals. The various aspects of marine microbes in biotechnology is illustrated bellow
As antimicrobial and antiviral source: Acremonium furcatum provides the amides of D-all and L-silicone derivatives that are cultured from their Marines strains. Several analysis of spectroscopic data and synthesis show moderate antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. Matrimonial Mediterranean synthesizes marinocine, an antibacterial macromolecular compound. Besides enzymes like lysozime possesses antibacterial property which is widely distributed in animals and marine plants. Study also shows that lysozime can work against standard strains like gram positive bacteria, gram negative bacteria and fungi. Another microbial compound extracted from marine microbes is Sisomicine that shows antibacterial fintion against Bacillus versus and Escherichia coli.
As surfactant and intermediation: Surface active molecules that are synthesized by microorganisms are called Biosurfactants. Marine Biosurfactants are paid more attentions particularly for the biotemediation of the sea polluted by crude oil. Pseudomonas nautical can produce polymeric Biosurfactants. The constituents ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids is 35:63:2 which are the major components of the material. Yarrowia geopolitics produces an emulsifier in the presence of crude oil. Alcaligenes so is able to produce glucose lipid consists of 4 beta hydroxydecanoic acids linked by ester bonds. The lipophilic component is coupled hypocritically with C-1 of glucose. Alcanivorax bottlenecks produces a kind of anionic glucose lipid having a dramatic psycho side chain. Myroides sp van produce bile acids, cholic acids, deoxycholic acids and glycine conjugated. Maine microorganisms can also oxidize heavy metal ion. Bacillus sp, strain SG-1 able to oxidize manganese(Mn) amd cobalt (Co).
As enzyme producers: It’s estimated that the global market of enzymes with a growth of 10-15% growth annually has a value of USD 4.1 billion. The microorganisms that are capable of capitalizing reactions at temperature near the freezing point of water are being considered as alternatives of mesophilic enzymes and has risen the interest for both industrial and fundamental studies.
Lipase producers: Psychrobacter pathogenesis produces lipase at 5 degree Celsius after successfully isolation of facultatively psychopathic bacterium strain MD17T. There are other microbes as well that can produce cold lipase . The potential source of marine bacteria producing cold active kinase is antarctic and polar regions as well as the deep ocean. Aeromonas hydrophila growing at tempareture 4° to 37°C was found capable of producing lipase.
Chitinase producers: Chitin is a beta linked homopolymer of N-a cattle-d-glucosamine, an abundant structural polysaccharide produced by marine microbes. Vibrio cholera is the microbe that has interaction with chitinase substrate.
Microbes can be used both as drugs and material that provide the biosynthetic material for the production of drugs. Pseudomonas fluorescents provide chairperson B which has been a crucial starting for pharmaceutical development. This is a starting material for the production of trabectadin trough a semisynthetic process. Another significant application of the marine microbes in the industry has been identification and mutation of microbes that can produce manzamine and kahalalide. Manzamine can be used against malaria. But a surprising approach for making drugs issuing microbes is using the HAB. The Harmful Algal Bloom known as HAB is a major cause of great loss of lives in the oceanic ecosystem and economical distortion as well. But HAB,s metabolic stability, unique chemical structure and biological target all matches some desirable traits to be used as pharmaceutical prototypes that can further be modified as drugs. The dinoflagellate named k. beneficial provides an important component Karlotoxin that can be used vastly to produce the cholesterol targeted drugs.
Till date very trivial approaches has been processed to extract the benefits from the marine arena. The application of microbes in various industries like food, chemical and cosmetics has opened a route towards utilizing the extensive province of ocean area. The use of microbes in biotechnology has provided a great solution to provide necessary drugs and next generation antibiotics to serve for the betterment of mankind.