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BIOPROSP-Bioprospektering 2002 - 2006

Bioprospecting Huge Marine Algal Viruses

Awarded: NOK 3.2 mill.

Phycodnaviridae are large polyhedral viruses with huge dsDNA genomes. We have recently described four new such viruses (PpV-01, PoV-01B, CeV-01B and EhV-99B1) that infect different marine phytoplankton algae (i.e. Phaeocystis pouchetii, Pyramimonas orient alis, Chrysocromulina ericina and Emiliania huxleyi respectively). With a diameter of 120-200nm and a genome size of 415-560 kbp these are the largest DNA viruses ever isolated and described. The Phycodnaviridae type strain, the Chlorella virus PBCV-1 (33 6 kbp), has proven to be a source of commercially interesting novel enzymes such as DNA restriction endonucleases, a UV-specific DNA repair enzyme and a promoter element that function extremely well in both higher, plants and bacteria. Currently the chlor ella viruses have yielded 3 patents and 2-4 more have been filed. We intend to sequence 3-4 viral genomes and perform a systematic search for enzymes and gene products that may be of commercial interest. This will be the largest viru s genomes ever sequenced and analyzed. We expect to find some genes that are equivalent to those found in other phycodnaviruses but most will presumably be unique.

Funding scheme:

BIOPROSP-Bioprospektering 2002 - 2006

Thematic Areas and Topics

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