[ISSN: 0379-5136               CODEN : IJMNBF] 

Total visitors: 2,669 since 18-05-09


Volume 38

Number 1

March 2009





Drugs from the sea




Marine ecosystems: challenges and opportunities (MECOS 09)








Identification and fermentation optimization of a marine-derived Streptomyces Griseorubens with anti-tumor activity,

Liang Ye, Qingfeng Zhou, Chunhui Liu, Xuegang Luo, Guangshui Na & Tao Xi




Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of extracts from marine animals,

Aditya S Akerkar, Chetan A Ponkshe & Madhavi M Indap




Evaluation of antiangiogenic activity through tubulin interaction of chloroform fraction of the feather star, Lamprometra palmata palmate,

Reena Pandit, Annamma Anil, Arvind Lali & Madhavi Indap




Batch culture fermentation of Penicillium chrysogenum and a report on the isolation, purification, identification and antibiotic activity of citrinin,
Prabha Devi, Lisette D'Souza, Tonima Kamat, Celina Rodrigues &
Chandrakant G. Naik




Diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopic (DRIFTS) investigation of E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans,
Lisette D'Souza, Prabha Devi, Tonima Kamat & Chandrakant G. Naik




Detection of genetic variation in four Ulva species based on RAPD technique, Umashankar Prasad, Geetanjali Deshmukhe, Alkesh Dwivedi & S. D. Singh




Population structure, growth, mortality and yield per recruit of segestid shrimp, Acetes japonicus (Decapoda: Sergestidae) from the coastal waters of Malacca, Peninsular Malaysia,

S. M. Nurul Amin, A. Arshad, S. S. Siraj & B. Japar Sidik




Prediction and modelling of marine fishery yields from the Arabian Sea off Karnataka using Ecosim,

K. S. Mohamed & P. U. Zacharia




Effect of Chattonella marina [(Subrahmanyan) Hara et Chihara 1982] bloom on the coastal fishery resources along Kerala coast, India,

R Jugnu & V Kripa




Mercury enrichment in sediments of Amba estuary,

Anirudh Ram, M. A. Rokade & M. D. Zingde




Occurrence and distribution of some enteric bacteria along the southern coast of Kerala, P. P. Ouseph, V. Prasanthan, P. P. Abhilash & P. Udayakumar




Seasonal variation of Zn, Cu and Pb in the estuarine stretch of West Bengal,
R. Chakraborty, S. Zaman, N. Mukhopadhyay, K. Banerjee & A. Mitra




Heat flow variation from bottom simulating reflector in the Kerala-Konkan basin of the western continental margin of India,

Uma Shankar & Kalachand Sain




High resolution satellite geoids/gravity over the western Indian offshore for tectonics and hydrocarbon exploration, R. Bhattacharyya, P. K. Verma &
T. J. Majumdar







Drugs from the sea



The marine environment is one of the most fascinating realm. Marine life with its beauty, mystery and variety has fascinated man since very long time. The ocean covers about 71% of this planet. Beneath this surface, the average depth of ocean is 3.8 km. This gives an approximate volume of 1370×108 km3. This huge water body has innumerable organisms, displaying rich biodiversity. There are extremely diverse species of marine organisms such as plankton, algae, invertebrates and vertebrates. Besides these organisms, most of the Earth's microbial diversity is found in the ocean.

The marine environment is believed to be the original source of life on Earth. Many of the organisms in the aquatic world communicate with each other by way of signaling systems composed of primordial chemical messengers. We have evolved from this environment, our internal signaling pathways, including our endocrine systems, still respond to the primordial exocrine signaling system found today in these ancient marine animals.

Due to the physical and chemical conditions of the marine environment, almost every class of marine organism exhibits variety of molecules with unique structural features, which are not found in terrestrial natural products. Today, researchers have isolated approximately 11,000 marine-derived natural products compared with more than 155,000 natural, terrestrial products. Although, the oceans contain much greater biodiversity than is found on land, efforts to exploit this biodiversity by identifying new chemical compounds have hardly begun. New chemcial compounds mainly have been isolated from algae, sponges, coelenterates such as seafans and soft corals, other representatives such as ascidians, opisthobranch mollusks, echinoderms and bryozoans.

The search for marine drugs dates back to 1950s when Burgmann et al. isolated nucleotides, spongothymidine and spongouridine from Carrabean sponge Tethya crypta (Tethylidae). These nucleotides contained rare arabinose sugar rather than ribose, which is a quite ubiquitous sugar in nucleosides. This discovery lead researchers to synthesize anlogues, Ara-A and Ara-C which improved antiviral activity. Cytarabine (AraC) is a commercially available chemotherapy drug that is active against leukemia and used routinely when the disease is first diagnosed.

Since the mid-1970s, academic, government, industrial, and private research laboratories have devoted varying levels of effort to the discovery of marine-derived pharmaceuticals. The major emphasis has been on the discovery of anti-cancer compounds, due in large part to the availability of funding to support marine-based drug discovery. Currently, there are 14 small molecule marine natural products in clinical development as anticancer drugs. Although, there are only a few marine derived products currently on the market, several robust new compounds derived from marine natural products are now in the clinical pipeline, with more clinical development.

Didemnin, the first marine compound subjected to phase II clinical trials was proved toxic, hence, it was rejected as a therapeutic drug source. Nevertheless, its development laid the foundation for large-scale cultivation and extraction of marine organisms, which proved essential for development of other drugs from the sea. Didemnin has now been replaced by aplidin, obtained from tunicate Aplidium albicans. It is being manufactured by PharmaMar and currently in Phase II of clinical development. US Food and Drug- Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan drug status for the treatment of multiple myeloma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

One of the most notable compounds discovered at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (HBOI) is discodermolide, a potent antitumor agent from sponge Discodermia spp. This compound has been licensed to Novartis and is in phase I clinical trials for the anticancer treatment. Another compound of interest is ecteinascidian (ET-743), a potent antitumor agent that is in phase III clinical trials. Yondelis or Ecteinascidian-743 is a tetrahydrosoquinone alkaloid derived from the colonial tunicate Ecteinascidia turbinata. It is the first treatment for the soft tissue sarcoma to be released on the market in 30 years and offers an excellent example of the kind of drug that can be developed through marine organism research.

Bryostatin isolated from marine bryozoan Bugulla neritina has been licensed to Bristol-Mayers Squibb and is currently in Phase II clinical trials. It has been reported that Bryostatin-1 is not effective in cancer treatment by itself, but it seems to enhance the activity of such chemotherapies as taxol and cisplatin. Dolastatin 10 isolated from the sea hare Dolabella auricularia from the Indian Ocean is well-known antitumor agent in phase II clinical trials. It displayed unprecedented potency in experimental antineoplastic and tubulin assembly system.

Kahalalide F is a desipeptide isolated from Elysia rubefescens from Hawaii. KF induces cytotoxicity and blocks the cell cycle in G1 Phase in p53-independent manner. This compound is in phase II trial for the detection of prostate cancer.

Manolide isolated from Palauan sponge Luffariella variabilis, is a potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. Manoline was licensed by Allergan Pharmaceuticals who took compound through phase I clinical trials for the treatment of psoriasis. Manolide is however commercially available as a standard probe for PLA2 inhibition. IPL 512602, a synthetic analogue of steroid contignosterol isolated from the sponge Petrosia contignata is in phase II clinical trials as a leukocyte suppressive anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of Asthama.

Sqalamine lactate, a novel antiangiogenic aminosteroid from the dogfish shark Squalus acanthias is currently in Phase II clinical trials for ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer and was granted Orphan drug status by the FDA.

The high potency of cone snail venoms has inspired pharmacologists to investigate their potential use as adjuncts in anaesthesia, analgesia or as antiepileptic, cardiac and antipshychotic drugs. More than 100 patents and patent applications reflect the strong commercial interest in these molecules. Ziconitide, which is the venom of predatory snail, Conus magnus is licensed by Elan Pharmaceuticals under the name Prialt® and is used for intratracheal treatment for chronic pain.

High amounts of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoc acid (DHA) makes fish oil unique compared to other lipid sources. These omega-3 fatty acids have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. It has been found to protect against various cancers. Astaxanthin, a strong antioxidant agent from marine algae and crustaceans is gaining importance as a powerful chemopreventive agent.

Microbiologists are highly fascinated by sponges, as they are associated with enormous amounts of microorganisms. They can be considered as 'microbial fermenters' that hold a largely untapped potential for therapeutics. Numerous bioactive compounds of invertebrate origin are in fact microbial metabolites originating from dietary, commensalic or "endosymbiotic" microorganisms. Striking structural similarities that are frequently observed between natural products from marine invertebrates and compounds isolated from microorganisms support this hypothesis. Further, support for this hypothesis comes from molecular biological studies which has led to the isolation and characterization of putative biosynthetic gene clusters from microorganisms, associated with marine invertebrates. This can be well illustrated by didemnin B and dolastatin, which were firstly isolated from marine invertebrates and later discovered to be of bacterial origin.

With the inclusion of the known unique adaptations of microorganisms to high salt environments and high hydrostatic pressure, the immense diversity of the microorganisms in marine habitats becomes apparent. Hence, there is an urgent need to tap this marine resource not only for antibiotic and cancer study, but AIDS, tuberculosis, osteoporosis and infectious diseases as well.

One important application of the many bioactive compounds derived from the marine environment is their use as molecular probes, molecules broadly defined as non-drug substances, which can be used to probe the foundations of important biochemical events. A gene coding for green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the bioluminescent jellyfish A. Victoria has been developed for use as a reporter gene in numerous studies on the regulation of gene expression. Due to GFP fluorescence in living tissues, it is now possible to monitor gene expression continuously, a property of particular value in the study of differentiation in both embryos and tissue culture cells. There are many other marine products that have contributed to basic and clinical research including enzymes for molecular biology. A marine microorganism isolated from the deep-sea hydrothermal vents yielded the Vent DNA polymerase, which is used in high fidelity PCR reactions common to both diagnostic procedures and the gene mapping studies of the Human Genome Project.

As a result of ocean exploration research, genomic libraries of marine organisms can be made which preserve all the genes found in that organism. From genomic libraries, a gene that makes an important biomedical compound can be cloned and expressed as a chemical compound in an artificial system- metagenomics.

Numerous recent developments in the United States have began to increase the interest in bioactive compounds in the sea. Various agencies and programs from United states such as NIH, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Biological Oceanography program at NSF and sea grant program at NOAA are funding research for collection, taxonomy and potentially useful chemicals in marine environment.

To boost domestic production of certain indigenously made drugs, government of India is providing funding to ‘Drugs from the Sea’ program through various agencies. This programme is being carried out successfully under the leadership of Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow and with the participation of 13 other national and state R&D laboratories, including universities. The drugs are being explored for various priority diseases like cancer, HIV, etc. Indian scientists have begun collecting various flora and fauna species from the surrounding ocean for developing new life saving medicines and rare biochemicals. 31 samples with significant antihyperglycaemic, antihyperlipidaemic, anti-fungal, spermicidal, antitubercular, antiviral activities have been discovered to date. Of these, three samples have been identified for product development. Two samples derived from mangrove fruit, CDR-134-D-123 are in Phase I Clinical Trials as an antihyperglycaemic agent, and CDR-134-F-194 as antihyperglycaemic & antihyperlipidaemic agent. A sample derived from puffer fish, CU1-002/004 has shown immense potential as antihyperlipidaemic agent from which IND has been filed.


In summary, the marine world has become an important source of therapeutic agents with novel mechanisms of action. Even though thousands of new molecules are discovered every year only small number of candidates is incorporated in clinical trials. The main problem underlying this is sustainable supply of these compounds from natural sources. To battle this problem various strategies are developed, such as mariculture or aquaculture of source organisms, development of synthetic analogues of active compounds, fermentation of microorganisms producing the compound, etc. Another possible solution is the use of genetic engineering to transfer the genes encoding the synthetic enzymes that produce the desired compound to microorganisms that can be grown in huge quantities. Development of these products and services, as well as the fundamental research from which they must be derived will be enhanced by greater dependence on interdisciplinary sciences such as pharmacology, chemical ecology, molecular biology, genomics, metagenomics, computational and combinatorial chemistry and biology.

The field of marine natural products is passing its discovery phase and moving to the second phase where understanding relationships and processes is driving the research towards novel drugs from the sea. Marine plants, animals and microorganisms will be the basis of new products and services important to technology in the future.

With rich biodiversity and vast marine resources along the Indian coast, in the form of estuaries, creeks, deep seas and continental shelf, the opportunities for research in the area of marine drug development are endless.



Madhavi M. Indap




Madhavi M Indap is the former Head, Dept. of Zoology, D.G. Ruparel College
Mahim, Mumbai 400 016, India







Marine Ecosystems: Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS-09)


Marine ecosystems provide a number of goods and services to humans. Increased exploitation such as overfishing, coastal development, pollution and urbanization have caused immense damage and pose serious threats to marine ecosystems. Human activities, directly and indirectly, are now the primary cause of changes to marine ecosystems. Natural perturbations have always occurred in the oceans (such as storms, tsunamis), but the resulting changes are mostly reversible. However, effects of many human activities are often irreversible, at least over the span of a human life. Analyzing anthropogenic effects on 20 marine ecosystems using 17 types of human impacts, a team of marine scientists reported in Science in 2008 that there is no part of the ocean that is free from at least one type of human impact; and 41% of the ocean is affected by multiple factors. They concluded that two of the biggest threats to marine ecosystems are climate change and overfishing. Human activities have led to global extinction of several marine species although little is known about the exact number. Many species have been hunted to commercial and ecological extinction. More than 25% of fish stocks in the world oceans are stated to be overexploited and another 50% fully exploited.

 To address these issues and recommend strategies to convert the challenges into opportunities an international symposium was organized by the
50-year-old Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI) at Cochin during February 9-12, 2009. The symposium was attended by scientists, researchers and teachers from India and abroad. A total of 231 abstracts were accepted for oral and poster presentations in five sessions, viz., ecosystem services, management strategies, ecosystem assessment, opportunities, ecosystem health and a special session on climate change. In all, 755 authors, including three invited keynote speakers contributed and the presenting authors were from 60 affiliations such as research institutions, universities, colleges and NGOs. The Book of Abstracts containing all the abstracts is available in the MBAI website (

 A perusal of the abstracts indicated the topics prioritized for research in this region. When the first announcement of the Symposium was made, seven sessions were proposed, but abstracts were received for only six sessions. There was no abstract for the session on Economics of Ecosystem Restoration. For the special session on Climate Change, we received only 15 abstracts. These two important areas of research should receive increased attention of institutions and universities in the future. Abstracts on several marine plant and animal groups including dinoflagellates, yeast, bacteria, fungi, corals, mangroves, seagrass, finfish, shellfish and cetaceans were received and were presented. Abstracts on sea snakes and sea birds were conspicuously absent. In general, abstracts on linkages between organism-climatic/ oceanographic factors and populations- ecosystems were, to a large extent, missing.


Report and recommendations on the International Symposium
on Marine Ecosystems Challenges and Opportunities during
9-12 February, 2009 at Cochin by Marine Biological Association of India and sponsored by Government of India


Climate change

In his keynote address on the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems, Keith Brander (Denmark Technological University, Copenhagen) highlighted that the effects of climate change can be detected at individual, population and ecosystem level. Most of the studies of long-term changes and climate impact to date have come from temperate parts of the Atlantic and Pacific and there is a great need for matching information from tropical areas, particularly in the Indian Ocean. The effects of fishing and of climate interact, because fishing reduces the age, size and geographic diversity of populations and the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, making both more sensitive to additional stresses, such as climate change. The frequency and intensity of extreme climate events is likely to have a major impact on future fisheries production in both inland and marine systems. Reducing fishing mortality in the majority of fisheries, which are currently fully exploited or overexploited, is the principal feasible means of reducing the impacts of climate change, he said.

 S. Prasanna Kumar (National Institute of Oceanography, Goa) showed that the impact of global warming on the Arabian Sea is the disruption of the natural decadal cycle in the sea surface temperature (SST) after 1995, followed by a secular increase in temperature. Concurrent with these events, there are progressively warmer winters, decreased monsoon rainfall, both occurring over India and an increase in the phytoplankton biomass in the Arabian Sea during fall and winter, all of which are linked. He attributed the synchronous increase in the phytoplankton biomass to iron-fertilization during fall and winter by enhanced dust-delivery from the surrounding landmass under increased aridity. Further, the increased phytoplankton biomass is tightly coupled to the higher fish (oil sardine) catch in the eastern and western Arabian Sea after 1995. These results have implication to the food and water security of the region.

 According to E. Vivekanandan (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin), the potential outcome of climate change for fisheries may be decrease in production and value of coastal and inland fisheries, and decline in the economic returns from fishing operations. The potential outcome for aquaculture may be higher capital, operating and insurance costs, loss of fish stocks, damage to facilities, conflicts with other water users, reduced production capacity and increased per unit production costs.

 In his presentation, J. Sundaresan (National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, New Delhi) suggested that the impact of climate change is to be classified into potential near-term impacts and that of far reaching ones. The baseline for risk-based adaptation due to climate change is to be facilitated region-wise depending on the resilience of the regional ecosystem and community. The climate change is to be incorporated to all the future planning. The integrity, effectiveness and longevity of a project are to be ascertained with the climate change. The adaptation is to be evaluated for cost-effectiveness, extreme events and longevity. An adaptation guidance manual may be formulated based on the regional ecosystem and stakeholders, he said.


Marine ecosystem assessment

V. N. Sanjeevan (Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology, Cochin) and his team have identified two distinct marine ecosystems in the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India. The northern ecosystem is along Gujarat and Maharashtra coasts and the southern ecosystem is along Goa, Karnataka and Kerala coasts. The physical forcing mechanisms, energy transfer systems and the biological communities are remarkably different between these ecosystems. On the whole, the surface of the southern ecosystem is very productive whereas in the northern ecosystem, the bottom is very productive. The types and quantity of fish abundance, availability and catch is determined by these oceanographic features.


Marine ecosystem health

Commenting on the health of marine ecosystems in India, P.S.B.R. James (former Director, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute) opined that countries like India, where coastal fisheries are predominant, protection to coastal ocean ecosystems is of paramount importance for the sustainability of fisheries, since coastal habitats account for the highest marine biological productivity. The Coastal Regulatory Zones (CRZs), the Coastal Management Plans (CMPs) and the proposals for the development of industrial corridors along the coastline are not in the interest of protecting marine ecosystems or the marine resources. He suggested that irrespective of any other consideration, all coastal areas, up to the highest high tide mark should be left free from all types of encroachments and activities and reserved for fishing and aquaculture activities.


Management strategies

 Intense exploitation of commercial marine species along the Kerala coast has led to threats of species loss, for example, depletion of some species of marine catfish and goatfish. Protection of biodiversity is possible by demarcating marine protected areas (MPA). A study by K.S. Mohamed (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin) and his team has shown that the biodiversity of coast of Thiruvananthapuram district is stressed due to the impacts of fishing. It is possible to reduce the stress by demarcating MPAs. Although the seascape of much of this area is not amenable to trawling due to the rocky and uneven nature of the bottom, the Wadge Bank is located off this area and trawling in Wadge Bank and as far north off Kochi is probably the reason for the stressful condition. Protecting the area from fishing, especially trawling, will be helpful to alleviate stress of the ecosystem, the scientists say. While debate continues on the optimal size and location of MPAs, a growing consensus points towards extensive networks of protected areas of at least 20% of the habitat as per IUCN guidelines. Therefore, the unique marine ecosystem in Kerala needs to be conserved and steps are necessary to maintain it undisturbed so as to rebuild the stressed habitats.



The discovery of using cadaveric sperm to successfully generate progenies has opened the possibility of adopting a widely practicable method of drawing sperm from freshly dead specimens of fishes preserved at -­20oC. In his keynote address on opportunities, T.J. Pandian (Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai) called for developing this simple technique to fertilize eggs of cultivable fish species such as groupers and to augment the sperm bank facility for a larger number of fish species at relatively cheaper cost.

 Several presentations stressed the mariculture prospects for sea plants, bivalves, crustaceans, and edible and ornamental fishes in farms and cages. N.G.K. Pillai and his team (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin) presented the advantageous biological characteristics of the excellent table fish, the cobia Rachycentron canadum, which has high growth rate and can be considered for aquaculture. Use of biotechnological tools for resolving biological issues in marine species was the focus of attention of many presenters in this session.



After considering the challenges facing the marine ecosystems, and recognizing that the goods and services provided by marine ecosystems are not adequately utilized, the participants of MECOS 09 developed the following 16 recommendations to mobilize the government and non-government institutions, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to convert the challenges into opportunities:


1.          Considering that the marine ecosystems are served by other ecosystems upland such as the terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and coastal zone ecosystems and vice versa, a comprehensive policy may be developed by establishing a coordinating organization integrating all the service providing ecosystems and dependent stakeholders.

2.          The anthropogenic impacts including fishing, development of coastal corridors, climate change on marine ecosystems and their inter-related marine habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves and sea plants need to be mapped to device conservation measures.

3.          As the oceans have no boundary, and are bordered by several countries, it is important to establish collaborations with international organizations and programmes such as Ramsar Convention to safeguard and derive maximum sustainable services from the marine ecosystems.

4.          The nodal Ministry may establish a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in consultation with research institutions and other organizations with due consideration to livelihood concerns and alternatives. The impacts of MPAs on restoration of biodiversity and stock recovery need to be assessed.

5.          Considering the absence of estimates on ecosystem costs and values, and the need to revise the species in the IUCN Red List, a detailed assessment in consultation with marine research institutions is urgently required.

6.          Taking into account the paucity of information on the endangered fauna and flora, it is important to strengthen research on cetaceans, sirenian, sea birds, marine reptiles, corals, echinoderms, gastropods, sponges and mangrove vegetation; and marine research institutions may be encouraged to develop a cadre of researchers with diving skills.

7.          Technology development for extracting beneficial drugs and chemicals from marine species and sea may be strengthened with due consideration to biodiversity concerns.

8.          Fisheries prediction models need to be standardized and optimized for addressing specific characteristics and issues in different tropical oceanic realms. Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management may be adopted, to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks.

9.          Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries may be implemented in full scale and National Plans of Action on Excess capacity; Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, Bycatch Reduction and Energy Conservation in fisheries may be adopted and implemented.

10.      Taking into account the services provided by the deep sea organisms on oceanic and deep sea ecosystems, research on these organisms should be strengthened for optimal utilization of resources.

11.      Considering that the marine ecosystems are affected by long-term climatic changes, continuous monitoring of the impact on the physical, chemical and biological processes is necessary. Options for adaptation to climate change and mitigation have to be developed on a priority basis with international collaboration, and by establishing strategic disaster management systems.

12.      Basic research on taxonomy and biology of candidate species for mariculture may be further promoted by colleges and universities.

13.      Recognizing the potential of mariculture to supplement and increase food production, and for ornamental trade, new programmes on mariculture with additional emphasis on stock recovery and replenishment may be initiated. To achieve this, hatchery and growout technologies for several candidate species need to be developed with proper policy support.

14.      State-of-the-Art technologies such as remote sensing, DNA barcoding and metagenomic approach may be adopted for assessing the marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Palk Bay may be considered for developing facilities for Controlled Experimental Ecosystem Studies.

15.      Benign educational tourism may be promoted by establishing oceanaria, marine parks and marine mammal and sea turtle watch etc.

16.      The concerned Ministries and Departments should create posts of trained Aquatic Resource Conservators for fulfilling the conservation objectives in respect of the marine ecosystems similar to those of forest ecosystems.




E. Vivekanandan*,

K.S. Mohamed* and

N.G.K. Pillai*




*Principal Scientists, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)
P.O. Box 1603, Kochi 682 018, India







Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 14-21



Identification and fermentation optimization of a marine-derived
Streptomyces Griseorubens with anti-tumor activity

Liang Ye, Qingfeng Zhou, Chunhui Liu, Xuegang Luo, Guangshui Na, Tao Xi*

Research Center of Marine Drugs, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, R P China


Received 30 May 2007; revised 25 April 2008

The purpose is an attempt to investigate a potential anti-tumor actinomycete WBF9 isolated from Chinese marine sediment. MTT assay was firstly used to evaluate anti-tumor activity and ID50 value was defined as dilution fold of fermentation broth (FB) that caused 50% inhibition of cell growth. The results reveal its strong anti-tumor activity against Hela, KB and SMMC7721 cells with the ID50 values of 750.3, 921.2 and 803.5, respectively. The strain was identified as Streptomyces griseorubens according to the 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, along with the morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics. The present study also reveals the strain WBF9 required natural seawater for good growth and production of anti-tumor metabolites. This implies some degree of marine adaptation of the strain. The one-factor-at-a-time method was used to investigate the enhanced anti-tumor activity of nutrients. The concentration of the four nutritional components was optimized by the orthogonal matrix method. The effects of the nutritional components for improving anti-tumor activity were found to be in the order of CaCl2>potato extract>yeast extract>glucose and the optimal concentrations were determined as glucose (1% w/v), potato extract (15% w/v), yeast extract (0.6% w/v) and CaCl2 (0.12% w/v). With the optimized medium, ID50 value of FB reached the maximum level of 1946.8 in 1-l flask after 7d of fermentation, which was 2.1-fold higher than that with the basal medium. It indicated a significant increase of anti-tumor activity of FB. The ethyl acetate extract was preliminarily isolated and the resulting four fractions showed anti-tumor activity. The initial identification data demonstrated that active fractions contained alkaloid, terpene, peptide, and indican. The strain of Streptomyces griseorubens being isolated from the sea was firstly reported here, and its anti-tumor activity was initially investigated in this paper.

[Keywords: Anti-tumor activity; Identification; ID50; Marine actinomycete; Optimization; Streptomyces griseorubens]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 22-27



Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of extracts from marine animals

Aditya S Akerkar1, Chetan A Ponkshe2 & Madhavi M Indap1*

1Department of Zoology, D G Ruparel College, Senapati Bapat Marg, Mahim, Mumbai 400 016, India.

2Department of Zoology, Sathaye College, Dixit Road, Vile-Parle (E), Mumbai 400 057, India.


Received 16 August 2007; revised 21 November 2007

The whole body ether extracts of a marine prawn Nematopaleamon tenuipes (PEP), two gastropods viz. Euchelus asper (EAE) and Hemifusus pugilinus (HPE), and acetone extract of a fish Rastrelliger kanagurta (MA), were tested for their effects on Delayed type Hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction and Plaque Forming Cell (PFC) assay. The Delayed type Hypersensitive reaction assay for HPE and PEP as well as MA showed stimulation but EAE was found to be less effective. In the PFC assay HPE and MA showed immunostimulation whereas PEP and EAE showed immunosuppression. PEP was further resolved into two fractions, which were tested for in vitro lymphocyte proliferation assay as well as antiproliferative assay. It is concluded that the test extracts possess immunomodulatory property.

[Keywords: Animal extracts, Delayed Type Hypersensitivity, Plaque Forming Cells



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 28-37



Evaluation of antiangiogenic activity through tubulin interaction of chloroform fraction of the feather star, Lamprometra palmata palmata

Reena Pandit1, Annamma Anil2, Arvind Lali2, Madhavi Indap1*

1Dept. of Zoology, The D. G. Ruparel College, Senapti Bapat Marg, Mahim, Mumbai 400016, India

2 Bioprocessing Lab, Chemical Engineering Division, University Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India


Received 6 August 2007, revised 21 November 2007

Tubulin binding agents have received considerable interest as potential tumour-selective angiogenesis-targeting drugs. The present study elucidates that chloroform fraction (CC) isolated from methanol extract of the feather star Lamprometra palmata palmata has a tubulin binding property. With the quantification of chick chorioallantoic (CAM) assay, we further demonstrate that CC significantly and dose-dependently inhibits proliferation, migration of endothelial cells and exhibits antiangiogenic effect with ID50 10ng/10ml. It showed moderate cytotoxicity with IC50 192 mg/ml. In addition, CC arrested onion root tip cells at prometaphase phase. We demonstrate that these effects of CC are attributable to its property to inhibit polymerization of tubulin. These findings show that CC is a candidate antiangiogenic agent and needs further purification for the specific compound, which is responsible for all these activities.

[Key words: Bioactive, tubulin, antiangiogenic, sea, cell]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1) March 2009, pp. 38-44



Batch culture fermentation of Penicillium chrysogenum and a report on the isolation, purification, identification and antibiotic activity of citrinin

Prabha Devi*, Lisette D'Souza, Tonima Kamat, Celina Rodrigues and Chandrakant G. Naik

Bio-organic Chemistry Laboratory, Chemical Oceanography Division, National Institute of Oceanography,
CSIR, Dona Paula, Goa, 403004, India


Received 7 Jan 2007, revised 29 October 2007

Batch fermentation of Penicillium chrysogenum, MTCC 5108 was carried out using potato dextrose broth medium prepared in seawater: distilled water (1:1). Biomass as dry weight was determined by gravimetric analysis. Citrinin, the main secondary metabolite, is produced in large quantities during the stationary phase of growth. The yield amounted to approximately 530 mg l-1. After optimization of culture conditions, P. chrysogenum was mass cultured and citrinin was isolated and purified from the medium using a combination of chromatographic techniques (Thin layer and column chromatography). Citrinin, thus obtained was characterized on the basis of its spectral data (UV, Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Electrospray Ionization Mass spectra). The present study consists report on the effect of the concentration of citrinin on the growth of the culture and antibiotic activities assayed by disc diffusion method using clinical pathogens.

[Key words: Citrinin, secondary metabolite production, isolation, spectral identification, antibiotic activity]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 45-51



Diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopic (DRIFTS) investigation of E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.

Lisette D'Souza*, Prabha Devi, Tonima Kamat & Chandrakant G Naik



rganic Chemistry laboratory, National Institute of Oceanography, CSIR, Dona Paula, Goa 403 004, India.


Received 11 June 2007, revised 19 November 2008

The present study consists of a refined method for obtaining Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopic (DRIFTS) data for biological samples in the mid infrared region (4000 - 600 cm-1). The biological cells used in the study included identified clinical strains of E. coli (Gram negative bacterium), Staphylococcus aureus (Gram positive bacterium) and Candida albicans (yeast). The method for obtaining DRIFTS data is described herein, which may be useful for studying the biochemical composition of microbial cells as well as for species-specific identification. The raw spectrum for each culture was treated using various algorithms (Kubelka Munk algorithm and Savitzky-Golay algorithm) and converted into its second derivative (2D). Hierarchical cluster analysis of 2D data, using Ward's algorithm produced dendrogram, which was distinct for each strain under study. Principal component analysis provided clusters of groups used in the study.

[Keywords: Fourier transform spectroscopy; biochemical composition; biological samples; E. coli; C. albicans; S. aureus]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 52-56



Detection of genetic variation in four Ulva species based on RAPD technique

Umashankar prasad1, Geetanjali Deshmukhe*2, Alkesh Dwivedi2 & S. D. Singh2

1RVC Kanke, Ranchi, Jharkhand

2Central lnstitute of Fisheries Education, Yari Road Campus, Versova, Mumbai 400 061, India


Received 18 July 2007, revised 20 November 2007

DNA yield was obtained by using 2 protocols, CTAB (Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) and modified Wattier et al; out of which the latter yielded more quantity of DNA (0.85 mg/g). Out of total amplified product 53% bands were shown monomorphic and remaining of the bands were polymorphic. The high frequency of polymorphic bands suggests that the isolates of Ulva represented in our collection have sufficient genetic diversity for conducting a valid heterosis experiment. The intra species genetic similarity (GS) value was found highest for U. lobata and lowest for U. fasciata. The interspecies GS value was found highest between U. fasciata/U. lactuca and lowest between U. lobata/U. reticulata. The large number of differences among isolates revealed by the RAPD technique indicate that it would be possible to establish a unique “fingerprint” for individual plants based on the combined results generated from a small collection of primers.

[Key words: seaweed, Ulva, DNA isolation, genetic variation, RAPD]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 57-68



Population structure, growth, mortality and yield per recruit of segestid shrimp, Acetes japonicus (Decapoda: Sergestidae) from the coastal waters of Malacca, Peninsular Malaysia

S. M. Nurul Amin1, A. Arshad1, 2, S. S. Siraj2 and B. Japar Sidik3

1Laboratory of Marine Science and Aquaculture, Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

3Department of Animal Science and Fishery, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia,
Bintulu Campus, 89007 Bintulu Sarawak


Received 7 June 2007; 16 November 2007

Present study consists the population structure, growth, mortality and relative yield recruit of A. japonicus from the coastal waters of Malacca, Peninsular Malaysia. FISAT software has been used to examine the monthly data. The asymptotic length (La) and growth co-efficient (K) was estimated as 29.08 mm and 1.4 y-1. The growth performance index (j˘) was calculated as 3.073. The exponent (b) of the length-weight relationship was found to be 3.063 (± 0.015). The asymptotic weight was calculated as 187.72 mg. Total mortality coefficient (Z) was estimated at 5.16 yr-1. The natural mortality (M) and fishing mortality (F) was calculated as 2.35 yr-1 and 2.81 yr-1, respectively. Exploitation rate (E) of A. japonicus was estimated as 0.54. The recruitment pattern was continuous throughout the year with one major peak. The relative yield per recruit analysis predicted the maximum exploitation rate (Emax) = 0.52. The current exploitation rate E is slightly higher than predicted Emax.  The stock of A. japonicus was found to be over exploited in the investigated area.

[Keywords: Population dynamics, Acetes Japonicus, Malaysia]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 69-76



Prediction and modelling of marine fishery yields from the Arabian Sea off Karnataka using Ecosim

K.S. Mohamed* and P.U. Zacharia**

Research Centre of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, PO Box: 244, Bolar, Mangalore 575001, Karnataka, India


Received 21 March 2007; revised 27 July 2007

Ecosim simulation exercise was carried out for predicting over 10 years the changes in fishery yields in the multi-species and multi-gear marine fisheries of the Arabian Sea off Karnataka. The present study elucidates that in all the gears (multiday and single day trawl; purse seine, drift gillnet, hook and line and artisanal) the key resources such as mackerel, sardines, seerfishes, tunas, sharks and skates and rays showed rapid decline in yields within 5 years due to a consistent increase in fishing effort (@ 17% per annum). The shrimp yields showed an increasing trend in trawls as they seem able to sustain the high fishing pressure as long as their predators are also harvested. In all gears excepting hook and line, there is no ecological and economic advantage in increasing the fishing effort. Also increasing the effort can result in rapid declines of many important marine resources.  This will have a serious effect on the ecosystem functioning. Attempt has been made to model changes in the marine ecosystem due to fishing as part of the effort to move towards ecosystem based fisheries management. This is the pioneer effort for the same.

[Keywords: Species, Shrimp, Predator, Ecosim, Biomass]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 77-88



Effect of Chattonella marina [(Subrahmanyan) Hara et Chihara 1982] bloom on the coastal fishery resources along Kerala coast, India


R Jugnu & V Kripa*

Tuticorin Research Center of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Tuticorin 628 001, India

[Email: kripa_v@]

Received 30 August 2007; revised 3 December 2007

Chattonella marina, a marine raphidophyte algae which produces haemolytic compounds is capable of damaging fish gills. Blooms of this algae were observed along North Kerala during September 2002, reaching maximum cell density 28×107 cells l-1 and in September 2003 with maximum cell density of 135×105 cells l-1. This results in massive fish kills. During the bloom period hypoxic conditions prevailed with dissolved oxygen content ranging between 0.22 and 1.92 mg l-1 To assess the impact of the bloom on the coastal fishery resources of the region, the fish landing data of five gears such as outboard trawl net, outboard drift net, outboard gill net, outboard ring seine and country craft gill net were analysed in detail. The landings of fishes which belonged to lower trophic levels decreased. Fishes which were mainly zooplankton feeders like Stolephorus spp, Thryssa and Leiognathus were entirely absent. But there was an increase in catch of the predatory fishes mainly Euthynnus, Trichiurus, Carcharhinus, Saurida, Scoliodon, Scomberomorus, and Sepia spp which occupy higher trophic level. The variation in catch rate between the bloom and the non-bloom period was significant (P<0.05) for Cynoglossus spp, Johnius spp, Thryssa spp and Parapenaeopsis stylifera caught in the outboard trawl net. The average taxonomic distinctness (Delta+) was lower during the bloom period and a clear shift in the community structure was observed. The effect of the C. marina bloom on fish community was short-lived, and the taxonomic diversity was restored soon after the bloom subsided.

[Keywords: Chattonella marina, bloom, fishery impact, drift net, ring seine, taxonomic distinctness]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 89-96



Mercury enrichment in sediments of Amba estuary

Anirudh Ram*, M. A. Rokade & M. D. Zingde

Regional Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Lokhandwala Road, 4- Bungalows, Andheri (w), Mumbai - 400 053, India


Received 29 March 2007, revised 23 June 2008

Concentrations of Hg, total organic carbon (TOC), Al, Fe and Mn were determined in sediment of the Amba Estuary between the mouth and the head over a distance of 24 km in December and May during 1997-2002. Temporal and spatial changes in metal concentrations appear to be due to sediment movement associated with tidal movements. The Hg concentration varies in 0.05 -2.66 µg g-1 range and the profiles of its variation indicate Patalganga River that opens in the Amba Estuary is a major source of anthropogenic metal to the estuary. Geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor support Hg contamination of the estuarine sediment to a varying degree. Hg is not significantly correlated with TOC, Al, Fe and Mn in these sediments.

[Key words: Amba Estuary, mercury, geoaccumulation index, enrichment factor]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 97-103



Occurrence and distribution of some enteric bacteria
along the southern coast of Kerala

P. P. Ouseph, V. Prasanthan*, P. P. Abhilash & P. Udayakumar

Chemical Sciences Division, Centre for Earth Science Studies Thiruvananthapuram, 695 031, India


Received 6 March 2007; revised 25 August 2008

Six major groups of enteric bacteria, viz, Faecal coliforms, E. coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio cholerae were screened for the present study. The overall percentage occurrence of enteric bacteria in water and sediment was maximum accounted for Vibrio parahaemolyticus (81.7%) and minimum for Salmonella spp. (9.6%) and moderate reported against Vibrio cholerae (60.6%). The distribution of enteric bacteria was more in the water sample than sediment except Vibrio spp. and the highest occurrence was found to be at Cochin transect, which is the most polluted transect due to enteric microbes. Relationship between the stations on the occurrence of enteric bacteria was linear and significant variations was observed (R2=0.899) and the same pattern of linear regression model was also obtained in source wise occurrence (R2=0.777). The present study elucidates that the health status of the Kerala coast may deteriorates and will be detrimental to the coastal community.

[Keywords: Enteric bacteria, allochthonous, bioindicators, indigenous, storm water]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 104-109



Seasonal variation of Zn, Cu and Pb in the estuarine stretch of West Bengal


R. Chakraborty, S. Zaman, N. Mukhopadhyay, K. Banerjee & A. Mitra*

Department of Marine Science, University of Calcutta, 35, B.C. Road, Kolkata-700 019, India


Received 30 April 2007; revised 15 October 2007

Zn, Cu and Pb levels in the aquatic phase and underlying surface sediment from three stations (viz. Shankarpur, Canning and Bali Islands) of the coastal zone of West Bengal during different seasons in 2002 were recorded. The order of the heavy metal level in the ambient media of the selected stations is Zn> Cu> Pb. Highest concentrations of heavy metals were recorded in the surface water during monsoon, the period characterized by lowest salinity and pH of the ambient aquatic phase. During premonsoon season all the dissolved heavy metals exhibited minimum values. The biologically available heavy metals from surface sediment of the selected stations showed highest values during premonsoon and lowest during monsoon. Significant negative correlations between the concentrations of dissolved heavy metals and biologically available heavy metals from surface sediments elucidates a sharp exchange of selected metals between the aquatic phase and sediment in the study area.

[Key words:  Heavy metal, coastal zone, correlation]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 110-115



Heat flow variation from bottom simulating reflector in the Kerala-Konkan basin of the western continental margin of India

Uma Shankar and Kalachand Sain

National Geophysical Research Institute, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 606, India

(Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi)



The base of the gas-hydrate stability field, representing the bottom simulating reflector or BSR, is observed over a closely spaced grid of multichannel seismic data in the Kerala-Konkan (KK) basin of the western continental margin of India (WCMI). The data reveal that gas-hydrates occur in the KK basin at places where water depth exceeds 1500 m. The thickness of the gas-hydrate stability field, inferred from BSR on seismic data, ranges between 190 and 340 m. The geothermal gradient, estimated from BSR, ranges from 40 to 60°C/km. The corresponding heat flow values vary between 36 to 54 mW/m2. The result shows a seaward increase in geothermal gradient in the KK basin and brings out relatively high heat flow to the north and low heat flow in the south of the study area. The high heat flow distribution is explained by the decrease of sediment thickness proximal to the ocean/continent boundary.

[Keywords: WCMI, Kerala-Konkan, Gas-hydrates, BSR, Geothermal gradient, Heat flow]



Indian Journal of Marine Sciences

Vol. 38(1), March 2009, pp. 116-125



High resolution satellite geoids/gravity over the western Indian offshore for tectonics and hydrocarbon exploration


R. Bhattacharyya1, P. K. Verma2 and T. J. Majumdar1*

1Earth Sciences and Hydrology Division, Marine and Earth Sciences Group, Remote Sensing Applications Area
Space Applications Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad, India

2School of Studies in Earth Sciences, Vikram University, Ujjain, India


Received 22 May 2008; revised 15 September 2008

The present study consists of various satellite geoid/gravity maps of the western Indian offshore region and correlated with known tectonic features such as Bombay High, Chagos – Laccadive ridge complex, Laxmi ridge. The satellite-derived gravity maps have been compared with those of ship-borne gravity for validation purpose. Spectral analyses of gravity data over the study area brings out various components of interest, which could be correlated with subsurface features. The interpreted results indicate a positive correlation between the known geological elements and gravity field.

[Keywords: Satellite altimetry, Geoid and gravity anomaly data, Hydrocarbon prospects, Bombay High, Laxmi Ridge, Carlsberg Ridge, Spectral analysis]