10.06.2009, GameXP – Healing Powers of Nature

From May 10 to 13, 2009, the GameXP consortium got together in Frankfurt am Main for the project kickoff meeting.

The project, which officially started on March 1, 2009 is coordinated by the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt, and the scientific coordinator of the project is Prof. Helge Bode. Project partners are the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources - Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam, Mahidol University, Thailand, the University of Bath, UK, the University of Exeter, UK, and the European Research and Project Office GmbH, Germany.

Within the framework of GameXP, novel natural products shall be isolated and characterized. The central aim of GameXP is to identify compounds that may serve as novel drugs from non-actinomycete sources, particularly for the therapy of tropical infectious diseases.

Kick-off Meeting

Unlike similar screening approaches, GameXP focuses on insect pathogenic bacteria of the proven but not well-explored bacterial drug producers Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus spp., which live in symbiosis with entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema and Heterorhabditis.

Within GameXP, bacteria will be isolated from entomopathogenic nematodes and characterized taxonomically. Following that, strains will be analyzed and a library of compounds will be established. Compounds will be tested against a broad set of targets including bacteria, fungi, protozoans, nematodes, insects, and mammalian cell cultures. The five most productive bacterial strains will then be fully sequenced and used to construct genomic libraries, which will be used to generate recombinant clones in heterologous hosts, enabling fast and efficient biotechnological production of the bioactive compounds.

To ensure efficient interactions and comparability of results, especially regarding bioactivity data, training sessions will be organized with seminars and hands on experience for each of the groups at a central site. Robust patent structures will ensure efficient technology transfer to our industrial partners and overall coordination of the scientific and training programs will be overseen.

By: Dr. Vera Siegmund, Dr. Helge Bode