Arjun J K, PhD Student (UGC-SRF)
Generation of metagenomic libraries and screening for potential biomolecules
Interested in exploring the metagenomes of the natural environments like estuaries, mangroves and forests of Kerala, which are biodiversity hotspots. The studies will lead to the discovery of novel natural products like therapeutic enzymes encoded by the genomes of previously uncultured microorganisms, which represents more than 99% of the microbes present in any environment. I am focussing on therapeutic enzymes especially L-asparaginase, an anti-neoplastic agent used in the chemotherapy of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Lymphosarcoma in humans for the last 25 years. All the reported L- Asparaginase so far is from less than 1% of culturable microorganisms present in the environment and the vast majority of the uncultivable fraction is still unexplored.