The goal of Associate Program 2 is to use ecological insights to guide the discovery of novel natural products with biological activity against a targeted group of diseases critical to developing nations and to the United States. In complex environments such as near-shore marine habitats, secondary metabolism has evolved over billions of years in response to intense selection pressure on organisms to solve critical challenges associated with survival and reproduction. In particular, tropical coral reefs host diverse microorganisms, algae, and invertebrates that use chemical cues and chemical defenses as a language driving interactions among and within species. Small organic molecules that are critical in mediating ecological interactions are strong candidates for new medicines targeting infectious disease caused by bacteria, fungi, and parasites, in addition to cancer and neurological disorders. We will explore understudied coral reef organisms including rare species of marine algae and invertebrates and microbes associated with algal and coral surfaces. We will apply ecological assays to uncover novel secondary metabolism, extending our previous work testing for antimicrobial, antiherbivore, and allelopathic compounds by adding microbial overlay and challenge assays to seek chemically rich microbes specialized as pathogens, mutualists, or commensals that produce unique secondary metabolites due to complex ecological interactions. Pursuit of lead drug molecules will be based on prioritized activity in a series of pharmacological screens relevant to infectious disease, tropical neglected disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative and CNS disorders. Identification of novel natural product structures will utilize modern spectroscopic techniques, leading to preclinical studies. Once our aims are met, we will have contributed novel pharmaceutical leads to the biomedical research community;revealed new molecular scaffolds and receptor-ligand interactions to the chemistry and chemical biology communities;learned new lessons on the roles of chemical cues and chemical defenses among marine macro- and microorganisms; applied new metabolomic and metabolic networking approaches to studying secondary metabolism in marine organisms;and trained a generation of scientific personnel in the U.S. and the South Pacific.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Type
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
Project #
2U19TW007401-10
Application #
8785213
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-H (50))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2014-08-28
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$258,552
Indirect Cost
$13,975
Name
Georgia Institute of Technology
Department
Type
DUNS #
097394084
City
Atlanta
State
GA
Country
United States
Zip Code
30332
Clements, Cody S; Hay, Mark E (2018) Overlooked coral predators suppress foundation species as reefs degrade. Ecol Appl 28:1673-1682
Beatty, Deanna S; Clements, Cody S; Stewart, Frank J et al. (2018) Intergenerational effects of macroalgae on a reef coral: major declines in larval survival but subtle changes in microbiomes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 589:97-114
Chhetri, Bhuwan Khatri; Lavoie, Serge; Sweeney-Jones, Anne Marie et al. (2018) Recent trends in the structural revision of natural products. Nat Prod Rep 35:514-531
Clements, Cody S; Rasher, Douglas B; Hoey, Andrew S et al. (2018) Spatial and temporal limits of coral-macroalgal competition: the negative impacts of macroalgal density, proximity, and history of contact. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 586:11-20
Machado, Henrique; Tuttle, Robert N; Jensen, Paul R (2017) Omics-based natural product discovery and the lexicon of genome mining. Curr Opin Microbiol 39:136-142
Clements, Cody S; Hay, Mark E (2017) Size matters: Predator outbreaks threaten foundation species in small Marine Protected Areas. PLoS One 12:e0171569
Letzel, Anne-Catrin; Li, Jing; Amos, Gregory C A et al. (2017) Genomic insights into specialized metabolism in the marine actinomycete Salinispora. Environ Microbiol 19:3660-3673
Lavoie, Serge; Brumley, David; Alexander, Troy S et al. (2017) Iodinated Meroditerpenes from a Red Alga Callophycus sp. J Org Chem 82:4160-4169
Steneck, Robert S; Bellwood, David R; Hay, Mark E (2017) Herbivory in the marine realm. Curr Biol 27:R484-R489
Demko, Alyssa M; Amsler, Charles D; Hay, Mark E et al. (2017) Declines in plant palatability from polar to tropical latitudes depend on herbivore and plant identity. Ecology 98:2312-2321

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