The Fraunhofer IME Bioresources Project Group aims to identify novel insect-derived antimicrobial peptides and develop them as chemical leads for new antimicrobial drugs by completely sequencing the transcriptomes of underinvestigated and rare insect species. These projects generate enormous amounts of data that can only be handled using bioinformatics methods.
A bioinformatics platform was therefore established that allows the rapid identification of antimicrobial peptides, using hardware and software that facilitates the multithreading of programs and the maintenance of large and always-current databases. The virtual analysis pipeline interlinks fundamental programs such as BLAST, InterProScan and the Gene Ontology database, as well as programs developed within the Bioresources Project Group, ensuring the rapid and efficient evaluation of these extensive datasets. The results are merged using our own programs, allowing us to adapt and broaden the applications at any time.
The bioinformatics platform is enlarged on a continuous basis by integrating additional analytical tools that allow the automated and temporary characterization of new AMP genes based on their sequence.
Candidate AMPs can be selected using an adapted in silico analytical platform, then prepared either as synthetic or recombinant peptides for functional characterization.