Thermo Fisher enters into natural products collaboration in Thailand

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  • Published: Jun 19, 2015
  • Author: Jon Evans
  • Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Suppliers: Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Channels: HPLC / Base Peak
thumbnail image: Thermo Fisher enters into natural products collaboration in Thailand

Thermo Fisher Scientific has entered into a research collaboration with the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in Thailand to study natural products for agricultural applications.

Through this collaboration, researchers from BIOTEC and Thermo Fisher will employ a wide range of analytical tools, including state-of-the-art high-resolution accurate mass spectrometry (HRAM) systems, to identify bioactive metabolites derived from microbes. Together, the organizations aim to expedite the process of novel metabolite discovery and identify bioactive compounds against fungal pathogens that damage economically important crops in Thailand. The bioactive compounds to be discovered in this project could potentially replace chemical fungicides, resulting in more environmentally friendly agricultural products and improving product quality and safety for consumers.

Thailand possesses a great diversity and abundance of microbes, which are already used in various applications including medicine, petrochemicals, biotechnology and agriculture. However, the use of microbes as a source of commercial bioactive natural products has not yet been fully realized, due to the cost and difficulty of traditional natural product discovery and identification.

‘Thermo Scientific Orbitrap mass spectrometry technology has been a game changing analytical innovation since its introduction in 2005,’ said Pang Sze Hann, vice president and general manager for Southeast Asia and Taiwan at Thermo Fisher. ‘Based on the significant volume of publications in Science and Nature, many early adopters have managed to propel their scientific ventures forward. The application of this technology in system biology study such as metabolomics has led to advancements in various life science and biomedical fields. Its application to Asia-centric natural products research has not yet been fully realized. We look forward to this collaboration and its future contributions to science and the wider community.’

‘The utilization of biodiversity has always been central to BIOTEC interest,’ explains Kanyawim Kirtikara, executive director of BIOTEC. ‘From the early days of BIOTEC, we recognized the significance of natural products from microbes and initiated the natural product discovery program by establishing the research infrastructure in this area in Thailand. After two decades, our research program has continually progressed to demonstrate that microorganisms in Thailand have immense potential for bioactive compound mining, and that we have the research capacity to advance to the next level. This collaboration will enable BIOTEC to acquire natural product-specific metabolome profiles using Thermo Fisher’s state-of-the-art high resolution accurate mass spectrometry and its expertise in integrating various techniques in analytical chemistry and bioinformatics for fast separation and automated data analysis.’

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