© 2017


Success, Potential and Constraints

  • Russell Paterson
  • Nelson Lima

Part of the Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation book series (TOBC, volume 16)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Robert P. Borris
    Pages 1-14
  3. Daria Firsova, Nipun Mahajan, Hiren Solanki, Christine Morrow, Olivier P. Thomas
    Pages 29-50
  4. André Antunes, Marta F. Simões, Stefan W. Grötzinger, Jörg Eppinger, Judith Bragança, Vladimir B. Bajic
    Pages 81-112
  5. Chiara Borsetto, Elizabeth M. H. Wellington
    Pages 113-136
  6. Mikkel Bentzon-Tilia, Lone Gram
    Pages 137-166
  7. João Vicente Braga de Souza, Diego Rayan Teixeira de Sousa, Jessyca dos Reis Celestino, Walter Oliva Pinto Filho Segundo, Érica Simplício de Souza
    Pages 197-211
  8. Andrea A. Stierle, Donald B. Stierle
    Pages 213-243
  9. S. K. Srivastava
    Pages 245-267
  10. Luís D. R. Melo, Hugo Oliveira, Sílvio B. Santos, Sanna Sillankorva, Joana Azeredo
    Pages 269-294
  11. Russell Paterson, Nelson Lima
    Pages 299-303

About this book


This book considers all aspects of bioprospecting in 14 succinct chapters and a forward by David Hawksworth. The organisms addressed include plants, insects, fungi, bacteria and phages. Bioprospecting has never been more relevant and is of renewed interest, because of the extremely worrying rise in novel, resistant pathogenic microorganisms. The practices in pharmaceutical companies have failed to deliver novel antibiotics to control these infections. We need to look for new sources of drugs from the environment on a massive scale as drug discovery is “too important to fail”. Furthermore, the field can add great value to ecosystems in terms of economics, while providing additional reasons for maintaining associated services, such as food provision, benign climate, effective nutrient cycling and cultural practices. Bioprospecting provides another reason why climate change must be reduced in order to preserve relevant environments. Previous bioprospecting projects should be re-visited and established biodiversity centres have a major role. Many different ecosystems exist which contain unique organisms with the potential to supply novel antibiotics, enzymes, food, and cosmetics, or they may simply have aesthetic value. The book stresses the difficulties in obtaining successful products and yet describes why natural products should be investigated over combinatorial chemistry. Personal experience of bioprospecting projects are given significance. Issues such as how to share the benefits equitably with local communities are described and why pharmaceutical companies can be reluctant to be involved. Legal issues are discussed. Finally, there has never been a better time for a new book on bioprospecting, because of the need to preserve ecosystems, and from the emergence of resistant pathogenic microorganisms.


resistant microorganisms Ecosystem services Antibiotics pharmaceuticals fungi

Editors and affiliations

  • Russell Paterson
    • 1
  • Nelson Lima
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre of Biological EngineeringUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Centre of Biological EngineeringUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal

About the editors

Dr. Russell Paterson, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Dr. Nelson Lima, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

Bibliographic information