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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Antimicrobial peptides

Antimicrobial peptides are small, cationic peptides that have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and are thought to be one of the earliest developed molecular effectors of innate immunity. Many of these peptides have been identified from the immune cells of marine animals. These are not only of interest with respect to development of potential anti-infective compounds, but also in terms of direct defence against pathogens in commercially important species.

On-going research includes studies on the phylogeny and function of Whey-Acidic Protein (WAP) domain proteins. These proteins are widely distributed throughout animal phyla and while many have antimicrobial properties, they are also important in other functions such as calcium metabolism. Current research is focussing on the WAP-domain protein, carcinin, and is in collaboration with the University of St Andrews.

This research is being led by Dr Liz Dyrynda.