Project objectives

Within MARINE FUNGI, we considered all aspects of the process, from the ecological considerations and specific habitat properties to high added value products for medical treatments. By doing so, we enhance the general understanding of the biology of marine fungi including global distribution and genetic inventories as well as its biotechnological potential. Through the genomic approach the results provide insight into fungal genome structure and evolution, pathogenicity and synthesis of biotechnologically relevant compounds, as well as insights into gene regulation.

MARINE FUNGI demonstrates the sustainable exploitation of marine natural resources providing appropriate culture conditions for the group of marine fungi, thus enabling efficient production of marine naturalproducts in the laboratory and also in large scale cultures, avoiding harm to the natural environment. The therapeutic focus of MARINE FUNGI is the development of novel anti-cancer compounds. The development of clinically relevant lead structures requires affords beyond screening: An interdisciplinary approach is applied to characterise hit candidates to the stage of in vivo proof of concept ready to enter further drug development. This includes the development of robust, sustainable processes for the production of these compounds.
The project will carry out the characterisation of these compounds to the stage of in vivo proof of concept ready to enter further drug development in order to valorise the results of the project.


  • Genome analysis of three genomes of marine fungi and identification of biosynthetic genes and regulators
  • Isolation of 600 new fungal strains from marine habitats in Chile, Indonesia and the Mediterranean and screening of these isolates for secondary metabolites
  • Structural elucidation of new marine derived secondary metabolites and demonstration of their anti-cancer potential
  • In vivo efficacy determination for five selected compounds in cancer models
  • Process concepts for sustainable processes for the production of the bioactive compounds
  • Dissemination and public relationship for marine Biotechnology in Europe