PMS-ICBG focuses on microbes associated with mollusks as sources of novel bioactive molecules. In many cases, bacterial symbionts are highly adapted to their host, and have complex interactions with their hosts and other organisms in the habitat. Molecules that are employed in these interactions have been selected through evolution for useful activities, and low toxicity to the host, and thus are ideal candidates for drug development. In our past research we have made a series of discoveries about mollusk symbiosis that inform our search for drugs, and give us insight into the biodiversity of mollusks. In this project we will investigate the microbial communities of mollusks, study the interactions among microbes associated with mollusks, and discover the spatial distribution of mollusk symbiont bioactive molecules to understand their roles in the symbiosis. Insights from these studies will be used to guide the drug discovery efforts in designing bacterial isolation methods, selecting strains likely to produce valuable compounds, and eliciting metabolite production. This AP is led by Margo Haygood, with participation from Daniel Distel, Eric Schmidt, Hiroaki Naka and Roberta O'Connor.

Public Health Relevance

AP2 Bacteria that live intimately with their animal hosts produce chemicals that affect the host health and protect the host from diseases. This project investigates the way in which bacteria that live with mollusks make and use these chemicals, and provides insights that will be used in other parts of the Philippine Mollusk Symbiont ICBG to discover drugs for pain, cancer and infections.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-H (50))
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Oregon Health and Science University
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Torres, Joshua P; Tianero, Maria Diarey; Robes, Jose Miguel D et al. (2017) Stenotrophomonas-Like Bacteria Are Widespread Symbionts in Cone Snail Venom Ducts. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:
Distel, Daniel L; Altamia, Marvin A; Lin, Zhenjian et al. (2017) Discovery of chemoautotrophic symbiosis in the giant shipworm Kuphus polythalamia (Bivalvia: Teredinidae) extends wooden-steps theory. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:E3652-E3658
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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

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