Table_3_Bioprospecting for Microorganisms in Peloids—Extreme Environment Known for Its Healing Properties.docx (140.42 kB)
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Table_3_Bioprospecting for Microorganisms in Peloids—Extreme Environment Known for Its Healing Properties.docx

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posted on 22.03.2022, 05:34 authored by Denis Vadlja, Maro Bujak, Rozelindra Čož-Rakovac, Marin Roje, Lara Čižmek, Anita Horvatić, Ema Svetličić, Janko Diminić, Saša Rakovac, Damir Oros, Jurica Zucko, Antonio Starcevic

Seawater is an environment in which numerous microorganisms have evolved, some with a great potential for biotechnology. In recent years, many scientists have moved away from the assumption that the origin of life was in pools of water, and instead propose that life on Earth probably originated in accumulations of warm, nutrient-rich mud. This mud, also called peloid is a rich source of organisms that, due to their adaptation to this unique environment, produce a wide variety of primary and secondary metabolites with numerous and diverse activities, including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immunomodulatory ones. In this research, two questions were addressed using collected samples of a peloid with demonstrated healing properties. Firstly biodiversity in this ecological niche was explored in order to assess microbial communities present and secondly natural products were screened for in order to assess whether predicted activities could be linked to healing properties of the peloid. The use of peloids in medical therapy dates back to ancient times. Abiotic components such as clay and mineral water are believed to be the main contributors of the healing properties of natural peloids. The places where peloids are usually found are characteristically shallow and enclosed lagoons. The constant UV exposure and increased salt concentration classify peloid as an extreme environment. The spectrum of relief’s peloid therapy is claimed to provide ranges from purely cosmetic and skin-related to musculoskeletal and immunological problems. These claims can hardly be supported by mineral content and heat-retaining properties alone. However, organic compounds from present microorganisms as well as secondary metabolites could help explain the observed range of health benefits. The fact that the relationship between the therapeutic activity of peloids and their composition besides mineral and physicochemical properties has not been extensively studied indicates untapped biotechnological potential.