Coral aquaculture to support drug discovery

M.C. Leal, R. Calado, C. Sheridan, A. Alimonti, R. Osinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Marine natural products (NP) are unanimously acknowledged as the blue gold in the urgent quest for new pharmaceuticals. Although corals are among the marine organisms with the greatest diversity of secondary metabolites, growing evidence suggest that their symbiotic bacteria produce most of these bioactive metabolites. The ex hospite culture of coral symbiotic microbiota is extremely challenging and only limited examples of successful culture exist today. By contrast, in toto aquaculture of corals is a commonly applied technology to produce corals for aquaria. Here, we suggest that coral aquaculture could as well be a viable and economically feasible option to produce the biomass required to execute the first steps of the NP-based drug discovery pipeline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-561
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • reef restoration
  • natural-products
  • sinularia-flexibilis
  • cultivation
  • growth
  • mucus
  • bacteria
  • diseases
  • ecology
  • sponges


Dive into the research topics of 'Coral aquaculture to support drug discovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this