Biotechnology in the Marine Sciences

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Science  07 Oct 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4619, pp. 19-24
DOI: 10.1126/science.222.4619.19


Genetic engineering applied to the production of fish, molluscs, algae, algal products, and crustaceans in natural environments and hatchery systems is still at the rudimentary stage. Cloning systems for producing commercially important chemicals, pharmacologically active compounds, and metamorphosis-stimulating substances present in marine organisms are being sought. Attempts are being made to develop useful drugs from the sea, including antineoplastic, antibiotic, growth-promoting (or -inhibiting), analgesic, and antispasmodic agents. Immediate commercial applications can be expected from engineered systems involving polysaccharide and specialty chemical production, with marine microorganisms as the source of genetic material.