Exploring Sustainability, Microorganisms, Bioprospecting, and Extraction Techniques - Free Essay

Published: 2023-11-15
Exploring Sustainability, Microorganisms, Bioprospecting, and Extraction Techniques - Free Essay
Essay type:  Definition essays
Categories:  Energy Sustainable development
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1335 words
12 min read

Question 1. Sustainable Development

According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), sustainability or sustainable development is an economic practice that satisfies the wants of the current generation of people devoid of compromising the capacity of future generations to do the same (Bebbington & Unerman, 2018). Sustainability is founded on three components: environmental security social growth, and economic progress. Environmental protection comprises of effect on biodiversity, the greenhouse effect, and the manufacturing of hazardous waste and dangerous emissions (Bebbington & Unerman, 2018). Economic growth includes energy costs, high-reliability energy provision, and impacts on jobs linked with energy production. Social progress entails the prevention of conflicts over the supply of energy and the long-term availability of energy.

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According to Malle (0216), the first approach to enhance the sustainability of natural resources includes the appraisal of the environment. Evaluation of the environmental circumstances is necessary for the commencement of any sustainable development plan. The symbiotic association between ecology, social arrangement, and economic situations of the region must be considered. The second method is an approximation of the impact on the environment. The environment and its positive application is a primary element for sustainable development (Malle, 2016). Adverse effects on the environment via unintended development may impair sustainability as a whole. The third approach is natural resource accounting. Every country, poor or rich, must take complete account in its measurement of the development of the deterioration or improvement in the stock of natural resources (Malle, 2016). The last approach is government policies and economic outlook. Unsustainable utilization of natural resources ought to be prevented by imposing taxes or abolishing or reducing subsidies.

Question 2. Symbiotic Microorganisms

Symbiotic relationship occurs between two or more living creatures dwelling in a close physical relationship over time (Brinkmann et al., 2017). Over the years, technological advancement has led to the discovery of natural products from mainly microorganisms and terrestrial plants. These natural products have been used effectively in healthcare and agriculture. However, currently, these natural resources have been exhausted because of the culturing problems of the organisms producing them or the recurrent of molecules from abundant producers, for example, fungi and actinobacteria, which is insufficient and very expensive (Brinkmann et al., 2017). Besides, the appearance and re-appearance of MDR microorganisms have led to the study of novel active biomolecules for a variety of biological resources such as symbiotic organisms, especially from marine environments.

An example of symbiotic association within the marine setting is the sponge microbial relationships and the production of essential natural products (NPs) by microbial communities and sponges (Brinkmann et al., 2017). The majority of sponge-derived bioactive molecules are due to mutual attempts between both the microbial symbionts and the sponge host. Precursor molecules may trigger the synthesis of the bioactive molecules from the host or symbiont. According to Brinkmann et al. (2017), examples of sponge-microbial symbionts known for bioactive compounds include Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria. Examples of bioactive compounds produced include Surfactin, 2-undecyl-4-quinolone, Diketopipe-razine, Phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, and Thiopeptide YM-266183.

Question 3. Bioprospecting

Bioprospecting is the hunt for and commercialization of novel products acquired from the environment (Sekurova et al., 2019). There are numerous innovations in bacterial bioprospecting for novel NPs based on multiple techniques—for example, bacteria from rare and non-evident bacterial manufacturers of secondary molecules. The first true marine to be isolated by the Scripps Institute in the U.S. include the actinomycete Salinispora arenicola (Sekurova et al., 2019). The bacteria produce salinosporamide A. Salinosporamide A is a new secondary molecule that exhibits proteasomeinhibiting properties. Salinosporamide A is presently under clinical tests in cancer patients and commercialized as marizomib (Sekurova et al., 2019). Profound profiling of metabolites together with genome sequencing of actinomycete Salinispora arenicola showed other structurally distinct natural products, justifying the notion that previously unexplored environments and new bacterial families must be studied in the quest for novel drug leads.

The second example is the application of bioprospecting in previously unknown bacteria in the discovery of teixobactin. Teixobactin is a bactericidal antibiotic effective against pathogens such as M. tuberculosis and S. aureus without leading to cases of resistance (Sekurova et al., 2019). Based on these two examples, it is apparent that unique environmental settings can avail species of bacteria in underappreciated and well-studied species with exceptional biosynthetic abilities (Sekurova et al., 2019). Under-studied genera of bacteria can be evaluated using bio and chemoinformatics and genomics.

Question 4.

The case study selected is by Edilu et al. (2015), where the researchers conducted an in vitro antibacterial activity test on NPs derived from the roots of Caylusea abyssinica. Caylusea abyssinica is a plant often known for its medicinal properties and is also c consumed as a vegetable. The researchers chose the plant for in vitro antibacterial assessment to extract NPs from the plant's roots. After extraction, the compounds were then tested for their antibacterial properties on clinical bacterial test strains. Edilu et al. identified compounds from the roots of Caylusea abyssinica based on detected spectral data and physical characteristics such as melting point, in addition to documented literature. Edilu and colleagues used the Disk diffusion technique to assess the antibacterial properties of the extracted NPs on four strains of bacteria. The bacterial strain included E. coli (ATCC25722), Salmonella thyphimurium (ATCC13311), S. aureus (ATCC25903), and P. aeruginosa (DSMZ1117).

From the experiment, Edilu and colleagues isolated two NPs, namely CA1 and CA2, from crude methanol extracts from the root of the plant. Edilu et al. (2015) identified the compounds as β-sitosterol and stigmasterol, correspondingly. The assessment of antibacterial properties showed that the NPs were effective on all the four bacterial strains tested. Nonetheless, the two molecules were less active compared to Gentamycine, which was the reference drug (Edilu et al. 2015). The research concluded that the isolated compounds could be possible entrants for future drug development processes.

Question 5

Methylene Chloride

Methylene chloride is also referred to as dichloromethane. It is used as a solvent in the extraction of carotenoids from vegetables such as tomato. Methylene chloride is used in the extraction since it is polar (Saini et al., 2018). Β-carotene is soluble in an organic solvent such as Methylene chloride; hence it is possible to separate it from a mixture of carotenoids. Therefore, Methylene chloride is used to dissolve β-carotene, which is non-polar before a non-polar compound such as hexane is used to extract β-carotene. Also, lycopene is non-polar and is readily soluble in Methylene chloride. A solution of lycopene in Methylene chloride is clear and has a deep orange-red color.


Methanol has a polarity index of 5.1 and is used for the extraction of several non-polar compounds. However, since methanol is amphiphilic, some non-polar compounds are also reasonably soluble in methanol (Saini et al., 2018). Hence, methanol is used in the extraction of bioactive compounds. Methanol is employed in the extraction of lycopene and beta-carotene from tomatoes due to its protic properties (Saini et al., 2018). For example, lycopene is nearly insoluble in methanol due to double bonds and will be eluted last; therefore, it can be easily extracted from other compounds soluble in methanol. Conversely, beta-carotene is soluble in methanol since it has fewer double bonds and is non-polar.


Bebbington, J., & Unerman, J. (2018). Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 31(1), 2–24. https://doi.org/10.1108/aaaj-05-2017-2929

Brinkmann, C., Marker , A., & Kurtböke , I. (2017). An Overview on Marine Sponge-Symbiotic Bacteria as Unexhausted Sources for Natural Product Discovery. Diversity, 9(4), 40. https://doi.org/10.3390/d9040040

Edilu, A., Adane, L., & Woyessa, D. (2015). In vitro Antibacterial Activities of Compounds Isolated from Roots of Caylusea abyssinica. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12941-015-0072-6

Malle, M. (2016, February 2). Sustainable Development: 4 Main Approaches. https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/sustainable-development/sustainable-development-4-main-approaches/74969.

Saini, R. K., Moon, S. H., & Keum, Y.-S. (2018). An updated Review on use of Tomato Pomace and Crustacean Processing Waste to Recover Commercially Vital Carotenoids. Food Research International, 108, 516–529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.04.003

Sekurova, O. N., Schneider, O., & Zotchev, S. B. (2019). Novel Bioactive Natural Products from Bacteria Via Bioprospecting, Genome Mining and Metabolic Engineering. Microbial Biotechnology, 12(5), 828–844. https://doi.org/10.1111/1751-7915.13398

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