Marine microbes are an important source of secondary metabolites that can be useful as antibacterial, anthelmintic, or anti-cancer agents. The diversity of these metabolites are thought to play an important role in interspecies interactions and thus environments that exhibit high microbial diversity and extreme conditions are potentially promising.
Mangroves in the Arabian Gulf thrive in an area of extreme
salinity and extreme temperatures and connected microbial communities have not been investigated for possible drug targets. Our approach is to use cultures and co-cultures of microbes collected from mangroves and other extreme environments to extract and screen against cancer cell lines and nematodes like C. elegans to find possible novel drug targets. For screening we use a technique called high content screening (HCS) which employs different fluorescent cell markers to categorize the bioactivity of screening targets. UHPLC-high resolution mass spectroscopy (UHPLC/MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are then used for identification of the newly found bioactive molecules.