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Hajar Fauzan Ahmad: Sea cucumbers - the unpopular architect of the ocean sea floor

Seminar: Mikrobiologi

04.12.2019 | Anne Kirstine Mehlsen

Dato tor 05 dec
Tid 13:00 14:00
Sted Institut for Bioscience, Ny Munkegade 116-118, bygning 1540-116

Foredragsholder: Hajar Fauzan Ahmad, SEA Microbiome Unit, Faculty of Industrial Science & Technology University Malaysia Pahang, Malaysia



Malaysia is recognised as the global centre of marine biodiversity with plethora species of sea cucumbers. Due to food scavenging activities of these organisms on the ocean floor, sea cucumbers are regarded as incredibly important ecological architect of the ocean. The digestive processes in the sea cucumber’s gut will counter-react the negative effects of ocean acidification by increasing the pH levels of the water on the reef where they defecate. Moreover, the by-products of the sea cucumber’s digestion of sand is calcium carbonate (CaCO3) a key component of “healthy” coral. There have been mounting works on characterising these species based their mitochondrial DNA profiles, but lacking clarity in describing the complex community of microbes residing these species nor the ocean sea floor. Therefore, the main purpose of this work is to characterize and elucidate the role of gut microbiomes and metabolomes among the sea cucumbers species in Malaysia. The increasing interests in advanced next-generation amplicon sequencing and high throughput chromatography methods offer a cutting edge identification approach of these biomarkers by amplifying targeted bacterial community based on 16s rRNA region and their metabolites using GC-TOF-MS and NMR chromatography, together with conventional culture method. Findings from this project will be useful for detailed identification of potential biomarkers for next generation probiotics. Moreover, comprehensive information based on microbiome and its metabolome compositions could potentially beneficial to shed light on how the echinoderms exhibit several extraordinary potential for saponin synthesis, aestivation, and organ regeneration for application in medicinal and pharmaceutical drug development. Also, this work is line with Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources in accordance to the Sustainable Development Goals designed by UNDP for Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, and will enrich microbial data from South East Asia regions

Institut for Bioscience, Offentligheden / Pressen, Medarbejdere, Mikrobiologi