Australian biodiversity and bioactive peptides

Lead Chief Investigator: Kathy Belov, The University of Sydney

Collaborating Chief Investigators: Glenn King, David Craik, Michelle Colgrave, Colin Jackson, Richard Payne, Kate Jolliffe



Genomes provide us with a tool to unlock the bioactives within nature. The rich diversity of native Australian vertebrate species offers a unique opportunity to discover potent antimicrobial peptides. This project will allow us to sequence, annotate, synthesize and express host-defence peptides, and decode peptide function. Using a combination of the latest genome sequencing technology and machine learning (ML), for structure-function prediction, we will investigate genomes and transcriptomes of Australian species to discover bioactives. We will work in partnership Australian indigenous communities to generate written knowledge and understanding of Australian species, their cultural value and bioactive properties. This project will provide a pathway for generating future products in health and animal science, as well as generating data to support the protection of Australian biodiversity.


Relevance to the Centre

This project aligns with CIPPS’s vision of discovering novel bioactive peptides from nature, engaging the broader Australian community in understanding of our unique biodiversity, decoding the structure and function of bioactive peptides from Australian vertebrates, and engineering bioactive peptides for therapeutic applications. This project is a collaboration between CI Belov, CI Payne, CI Jolliffe, CI King, CI Colgrave, CI Jackson and CI Craik and the CIPPS postdoctoral research staff. The bioactives characterised as part of this project can also be used by other projects within CIPPS to engineer bioactive peptides and proteins.