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Special Issue "Jellyfish and Polyps: Cnidarians as Sustainable Resources for Biotechnological Applications and Bioprospecting"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Antonella Leone

1. National Research Council, Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Via Prov. le Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2. CoNISMa, Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 0832 422615
Fax: +39 0832 422620
Interests: marine bioactive products; anticancer mechanisms of natural compounds; natural products; gap junction intercellular communications (GJIC); nutraceuticals; novel foods; phytochemicals; food industry byproducts; cell culture systems; invertebrates
Guest Editor
Dr. Gian Luigi Mariottini

Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genova, Italy
E-Mail
Phone: +390103538070
Interests: natural bioactive compounds; toxicology; cytotoxicology; Cnidaria; drug discovery; ecotoxicology
Guest Editor
Prof. Stefano Piraino

1. Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2. CoNISMa, Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare
E-Mail
Phone: +39 0832 298616
Interests: marine invertebrate zoology and developmental biology; focused on cnidarian zoology and evolutionary developmental biology; integrative taxonomy; systematics; ecology; trophic ecology; genetic connectivity; marine bioinvasions; metagenomics; reverse development; cell transdifferentiation; organogenesis; bioactive compounds; biotechnological applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change and other concurrent anthropogenic causes are influencing the frequency and abundance of jellyfish blooms, with large impacts on the structure and functioning of marine plankton ecosystems as well as on human activities in coastal zones. In parallel, sea anemones, corals and less familiar forms of benthic polypoid cnidarians constitute a major group of suspension feeders governing energy transfer from water column to the seafloor organisms.

Their outstanding ecological importance in worldwide marine ecosystems calls for increased global monitoring of cnidarian ecology and life cycles. At the same time, many cnidarians are now regarded as potential sustainable resource, calling for new investigations on their chemical and biochemical composition, the physical–chemical features and supramolecular organization of their protein components, the screening and identification of bioactive molecules, the associate microbioma and their possible biotechnological exploitation in different fields.

The apparent vulnerability of their soft bodies, coupled to their limited swimming ability and wide biodiversity with about 13.400 living described species, make cnidarians top candidate for the development of biochemical strategies for survival (feeding, defense) and reproduction, including symbiosis or other relationships with microbes and other organisms. Venomous compounds occurring in extracts of cnidarians are viewed with particular interest for both aims, mitigation of their adverse effects and their possible beneficial use for humans. Further, in the pharmacopeia of traditional medicine of Eastern Countries, jellyfish are regarded as a treatment for disorders and diseases and represent a valuable foodstuff with health benefits, suggesting the occurrence of bioactive compounds. Despite the increasing attention on jellyfish blooms, scientific knowledge supporting their possible utilization and exploitation is still limited.

This Special Issue will collect novel research papers and original reviews focusing on bioprospecting marine cnidarians and on the exploitation of their biomasses and derived compounds for biotechnological and biomedical applications, as well as active ingredients for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and cosmeceutical uses.

Dr. Antonella Leone
Dr. Gian Luigi Mariottini
Prof. Stefano Piraino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • jellyfish proteins
  • bioactive compounds
  • biopeptides
  • biodiversity
  • anti-cancer
  • photoprotection
  • jellyfish collagen
  • marine biomaterials
  • jellyfish symbionts
  • cosmetics and cosmeceutics
  • nutraceuticals
  • novel foods
  • jellyfish associated microbiome
  • sustainable farming
  • sustainable fishery

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Holo-Transcriptome of the Zoantharian Protopalythoa variabilis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): A Plentiful Source of Enzymes for Potential Application in Green Chemistry, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(6), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16060207
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
PDF Full-text (2383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Marine invertebrates, such as sponges, tunicates and cnidarians (zoantharians and scleractinian corals), form functional assemblages, known as holobionts, with numerous microbes. This type of species-specific symbiotic association can be a repository of myriad valuable low molecular weight organic compounds, bioactive peptides and enzymes.
[...] Read more.
Marine invertebrates, such as sponges, tunicates and cnidarians (zoantharians and scleractinian corals), form functional assemblages, known as holobionts, with numerous microbes. This type of species-specific symbiotic association can be a repository of myriad valuable low molecular weight organic compounds, bioactive peptides and enzymes. The zoantharian Protopalythoa variabilis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) is one such example of a marine holobiont that inhabits the coastal reefs of the tropical Atlantic coast and is an interesting source of secondary metabolites and biologically active polypeptides. In the present study, we analyzed the entire holo-transcriptome of P. variabilis, looking for enzyme precursors expressed in the zoantharian-microbiota assemblage that are potentially useful as industrial biocatalysts and biopharmaceuticals. In addition to hundreds of predicted enzymes that fit into the classes of hydrolases, oxidoreductases and transferases that were found, novel enzyme precursors with multiple activities in single structures and enzymes with incomplete Enzyme Commission numbers were revealed. Our results indicated the predictive expression of thirteen multifunctional enzymes and 694 enzyme sequences with partially characterized activities, distributed in 23 sub-subclasses. These predicted enzyme structures and activities can prospectively be harnessed for applications in diverse areas of industrial and pharmaceutical biotechnology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Proteomic Analyses of the Unexplored Sea Anemone Bunodactis verrucosa
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16020042
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
PDF Full-text (2654 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cnidarian toxic products, particularly peptide toxins, constitute a promising target for biomedicine research. Indeed, cnidarians are considered as the largest phylum of generally toxic animals. However, research on peptides and toxins of sea anemones is still limited. Moreover, most of the toxins from
[...] Read more.
Cnidarian toxic products, particularly peptide toxins, constitute a promising target for biomedicine research. Indeed, cnidarians are considered as the largest phylum of generally toxic animals. However, research on peptides and toxins of sea anemones is still limited. Moreover, most of the toxins from sea anemones have been discovered by classical purification approaches. Recently, high-throughput methodologies have been used for this purpose but in other Phyla. Hence, the present work was focused on the proteomic analyses of whole-body extract from the unexplored sea anemone Bunodactis verrucosa. The proteomic analyses applied were based on two methods: two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF and shotgun proteomic approach. In total, 413 proteins were identified, but only eight proteins were identified from gel-based analyses. Such proteins are mainly involved in basal metabolism and biosynthesis of antibiotics as the most relevant pathways. In addition, some putative toxins including metalloproteinases and neurotoxins were also identified. These findings reinforce the significance of the production of antimicrobial compounds and toxins by sea anemones, which play a significant role in defense and feeding. In general, the present study provides the first proteome map of the sea anemone B. verrucosa stablishing a reference for future studies in the discovery of new compounds. Full article
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Figure 1

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