Marine Natural Products Discovery Program

The southern part of the Indian Ocean in the Gulf of Mannar is rich in marine flora and fauna. This undiscovered track of underwater life represents a unique source of chemically interesting organic compounds. This resource still remains to be fully explored and has great potential for its intrinsic value as well as for the development of new drugs.

A large variety of bioactive metabolites have already been isolated from marine plants and animals found in different ecosystems which possess antimicrobial, antiviral and antineoplastic activities. Here, in the Gulf of Mannar along the coasts of Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin Districts, is an abundant resource of species not found in other ecosystems. The discovery of new resources along this opens new opportunities for identification of new biochemicals with pharmaceutical and industrial applications.

Typical species along this coastline include the following:

Green Algae Brown Algae Red Algae
1. Ulva 1. Padina 1. Porphyra
2. Enteromorpha 2. Sargassum 2. Gelidiella
3. Chaetomorpha 3. Turbinaria 3. Gelidium
4. Caulerpa 4. Gracilaria
5. Codium 5. Hypnea

SHMRC and its discovery team are strategically positioned to look into the potential of this coastline though partnerships with academic and industrial organizations interested in marine natural products. For more information, click HERE.