Bioprospecting of the Adriatic Sea
The project represents the first structured (national) and organized attempt to access the resources of the Croatian marine system, in order to speed up and simplify the process of discovering and evaluating natural compounds, biomaterials, and bioactive substances from the Croatian marine environment. Through seven work packages, the project is focused on the research and development of new sources of chemical compounds, genes, microorganisms, macroorganisms, and other valuable products from nature, research, and development of knowledge on the use and management of biological resources. The project enables cutting-edge research in the field of marine biotechnology and includes the application of biological knowledge and state-of-the-art techniques in the research of the marine environment and its biological components, either as a source of targeted biotechnological products and their applications: new enzymes (bio-catalysts), proteins and peptides, secondary metabolites, polysaccharides (bacteria, seaweed), fatty acids and lipids (algae). Marine coastal systems such as the Adriatic Sea are assumed to be a possible rich source of new products for medical and biotechnological applications. Although the richness and diversity of marine systems are well known, their availability and exploitation in Croatia have been very limited until now, and research work on Croatian marine resources has been limited to several separate international projects.