Head of Department/Head of Research
In addition to the rapidly expanding field of using microalgae for food and feed, microalgae represent a tremendous potential for new bioactive compounds with health-promoting effects. One field where new therapeutics is needed is cancer therapy. As cancer therapy often cause severe side effects and loose effect due to development of drug resistance, new therapeutic agents are needed. Treating cancer by modulating the immune response using peptides has led to unprecedented responses in patients. In this review, we want to elucidate the potential for microalgae as a source of new peptides for possible use in cancer management. Among the limited studies on anti-cancer effects of peptides, positive results were found in a total of six different forms of cancer. The majority of studies have been performed with different strains of Chlorella, but effects have also been found using peptides from other species. This is also the case for peptides with immunomodulating effects and peptides with other health-promoting effects (e.g., role in cardiovascular diseases). However, the active peptide sequence has been determined in only half of the studies. In many cases, the microalga strain and the cultivation conditions used for producing the algae have not been reported. The low number of species that have been explored, as opposed to the large number of species available, is a clear indication that the potential for new discoveries is large. Additionally, the availability and cost-effectiveness of microalgae make them attractive in the search for bioactive peptides to prevent cancer.
NordAqua is a multidisciplinary Nordic Center of Excellence funded by NordForsk Bioeconomy program (2017–2022). The research center promotes Blue Bioeconomy and endeavours to reform the use of natural resources in a environmentally sustainable way. In this short communication, we summarize particular outcomes of the consortium. The key research progress of NordAqua includes (1) improving of photosynthetisis, (2) developing novel photosynthetic cell factories that function in a “solar-driven direct CO2 capture to target bioproducts” mode, (3) promoting the diversity of Nordic cyanobacteria and algae as an abundant and resilient alternative for less sustainable forest biomass and for innovative production of biochemicals, and (4) improving the bio-based wastewater purification and nutrient recycling technologies to provide new tools for integrative circular economy platforms.
Lecture – Cultivation techniques for product-targeted algae biomass and screening for bioactive compounds
Kari Skjånes, Hanne Skomedal
No abstract has been registered
Lecture – Microalgae cultivation for product specific biomass composition, and screening for cancer inhibitors in cold water strains
Kari Skjånes, Hanne Skomedal, Giorgia Carnovale, ...
No abstract has been registered
To meet increasing demand for animal protein, swine have been raised in large Chinese farms widely, using antibiotics as growth promoter. However, improper use of antibiotics has caused serious environmental and health risks, in particular Antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This paper reviews the consumption of antibiotics in swine production as well as AMR and the development of novel antibiotics or alternatives in China. The estimated application of antibiotics in animal production in China accounted for about 84240 tons in 2013. Overuse and abuse of antibiotics pose a great health risk to people through food-borne antibiotic residues and selection for antibiotic resistance. China unveiled a national plan to tackle antibiotic resistance in August 2016, but more support is needed for the development of new antibiotics or alternatives like plant extracts. Antibiotic resistance has been a major global challenge, so international collaboration between China and Europe is needed.
Chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection leads to severe liver pathogenesis associated with significant morbidity and mortality. As no curable medication is yet available, vaccination remains the most costeffective approach to limit HBV spreading and control the infection. Although safe and efficient, the standard vaccine based on production of the small (S) envelope protein in yeast fails to elicit an effective immune response in about 10% of vaccinated individuals, which are at risk of infection. One strategy to address this issue is the development of more immunogenic antigens. Here we describe a novel HBV antigen obtained by combining relevant immunogenic determinants of S and large (L) envelope proteins. Our approach was based on the insertion of residues 21-47 of the preS1 domain of the L protein (nomenclature according to genotype D), involved in virus attachment to hepatocytes, within the external antigenic loop of S. The resulting S/preS121-47 chimera was successfully produced in HEK293T and Nicotiana benthamiana plants, as a more economical recombinant protein production platform. Comparative biochemical, functional and electron microscopy analysis indicated assembly of the novel antigen into subviral particles in mammalian and plant cells. Importantly, these particles preserve both S- and preS1-specific epitopes and elicit significantly stronger humoral and cellular immune responses than the S protein, in both expression systems used. Our data promote this antigen as a promising vaccine candidate to overcome poor responsiveness to the conventional, S protein-based, HBV vaccine.
Lecture – Development of a cost effective Romania-Norway joint plant-based technology platform for production of vaccines against human hepatitis viruses B (HBV) and C (HCV)
Jihong Liu Clarke, Hanne Skomedal, Lisa Paruch
No abstract has been registered
Managing free-living plant parasitic nematodes in potato, vegetables, strawberry and cereals using Patch dynamics in Norway
Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms and many species feed on plant roots, thereby disrupting water and nutrient uptake and affecting plant yield. Global annual losses to crop production are estimated to be in excess of $80 billion. Since the middle of the last centuary control of plant-parasitic nematodes has relied upon synthetically pr|oduced nematicides most of which have very broad toxicological properties and are hazardous to humans, domestic animals, fish and the environment in general.
Risk management of imported plants and seeds: possibilities for improved pest detection to prevent the introduction and spread of new pests
Plant pathogens and invertebrates harmful to plants continue to threatenfood security and natural habitats. In Norway, the responsibility of performingplant health inspections on imported plants has gradually shifted to importersof plants who are currently responsible for internal pest control and mustbe registered with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
SmartVac - Next Generation Viral Hepatitis B and C vaccine development in plantsand algae using advanced biotechnological tools
Hepatitis B (HBV) and C viruses (HCV) infect the human liver, triggering persistent inflammation and eventually cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Currently, more than 500 million people are chronically infected with HBV or HCV and at high risk of developing end stage liver disease and HCC.