The Philippine Mollusk Symbiont ICBG (PMS ICBG) project links a biodiversity survey of marine mollusks in one of the world's hotspots of diversity, with drug discovery and enzyme bioprospecting aimed at bacterial symbionts of mollusks. Mollusks constitute the most diverse marine eukaryotic group, occupying virtually every possible ecological niche. The diversity of microbes associated with mollusks is equally vast. Within the mollusks, three particular groups exhibit what we believe to be the highest biotechnological and scientific potential: the bivalve family Teredinidae (genus Teredo) and the gastropod superfamilies Conoidea (genus Conus) and Muricoidea (genus Murex). The project directly addresses the goals of the ICBG program and will yield drug leads in central nervous system, cancer and antimicrobial areas, as well as strains and enzymes for cellulosic biofuels production. The project will characterize symbiotic diversity and pharmaceutical and biofuels potential of mollusk-associated bacteria in a comparative framework for the first time. The plan focuses on training, conservation, and the development of drug discovery and biofuels programs within the Philippines. The Republic of the Philippines represents a unique nexus of exceptional biodiversity, dense human population with pressing societal and energy needs, consequent urgent conservation goals, and government and private sector commitment to education and technology to harness national human and natural resources for a sustainable future The project is led by Margo Haygood, marine microbiologist, Oregon Heath &Science University, in association with Gisela Concepcion, marine natural products chemist, University of the Philippines, Baldomero Olivera, biochemist, and Eric Schmidt, natural products chemist and biochemist, both of University of Utah, Gary Rosenberg, evolutionary biologist, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and Daniel Distel, marine microbiologist, Ocean Genome Legacy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP2-B (52))
Program Officer
Katz, Flora N
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Oregon Health and Science University
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Li, Qing; Barghi, Neda; Lu, Aiping et al. (2017) Divergence of the Venom Exogene Repertoire in Two Sister Species of Turriconus. Genome Biol Evol 9:2211-2225
Olivera, Baldomero M; Raghuraman, Shrinivasan; Schmidt, Eric W et al. (2017) Linking neuroethology to the chemical biology of natural products: interactions between cone snails and their fish prey, a case study. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol 203:717-735
Barghi, Neda; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M et al. (2016) Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genome of Conus tribblei Walls, 1977. Mitochondrial DNA A DNA Mapp Seq Anal 27:4451-4452
Shipway, J R; O'Connor, R; Stein, D et al. (2016) Zachsia zenkewitschi (Teredinidae), a Rare and Unusual Seagrass Boring Bivalve Revisited and Redescribed. PLoS One 11:e0155269
Barghi, Neda; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M et al. (2015) High conopeptide diversity in Conus tribblei revealed through analysis of venom duct transcriptome using two high-throughput sequencing platforms. Mar Biotechnol (NY) 17:81-98
Barghi, Neda; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M et al. (2015) Comparison of the Venom Peptides and Their Expression in Closely Related Conus Species: Insights into Adaptive Post-speciation Evolution of Conus Exogenomes. Genome Biol Evol 7:1797-814
Neves, Jorge L B; Lin, Zhenjian; Imperial, Julita S et al. (2015) Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal. Org Lett 17:4933-5
Cragg, Simon M; Beckham, Gregg T; Bruce, Neil C et al. (2015) Lignocellulose degradation mechanisms across the Tree of Life. Curr Opin Chem Biol 29:108-19
Teichert, Russell W; Schmidt, Eric W; Olivera, Baldomero M (2015) Constellation pharmacology: a new paradigm for drug discovery. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 55:573-89
Puillandre, N; Duda, T F; Meyer, C et al. (2015) One, four or 100 genera? A new classification of the cone snails. J Molluscan Stud 81:1-23

Showing the most recent 10 out of 34 publications