Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 19 Issue 02

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Volume 19, No. 2
Pages 120 - 125


BOX • High Throughput Cultivation for Isolation of Novel Marine Microorganisms

By Gerardo Toledo , Wayne Green, Ricardo A. Gonzalez, Leif Christoffersen, Mircea Podar, Hwai W. Chang, Thomas Hemscheidt, Henry G. Trapido-Rosenthal , Jay M. Short, Robert R. Bidigare, and Eric J. Mathur  
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Natural products are organic molecules derived from plants, animals, or microorganisms, and represent the starting point for most of the anti-infective and anti-cancer drugs on the market today. Until recently, the majority of natural products has been isolated from terrestrial sources. During the last two decades, however, the rate of discovery of novel compounds has declined significantly, as exemplified by the fact that extracts from soil-derived actinomycetes have yielded unacceptably high numbers of previously described metabolites (Mincer et al., 2002). In addition to the redundancy and associated issue of de-replication, an innovation gap has been postulated as a cause for the dramatic reduction in small molecule novelty. Even today, most microbiologists are constrained by the use of traditional cultivation methods, which primarily target previously cultured microbes (“microbial weeds”). As a result, most pharmaceutical companies no longer place an emphasis on natural-product discovery as a source of lead compounds (Walsh, 2003).


Toledo, G., W. Green, R.A. Gonzalez, L. Christoffersen, M. Podar, H.W. Chang, T. Hemscheidt, H.G. Trapido-Rosenthal, J.M. Short, R.R. Bidigare, and E.J. Mathur. 2006. High throughput cultivation for isolation of novel marine microorganisms. Oceanography 19(2):120–125, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2006.75.

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