Title Chemical defenses of tunicates of the genus Aplidium from the Weddell Sea (Antarctica)
Author Núñez-Pons, L.; Forestieri, R.; Nieto, R.M.; Varela, M.; Nappo, M.; Rodríguez, J.; Jiménez, C.; Castelluccio, F.; Carbone, M.; Ramos-Espla, A.; Gavagnin, M.; Avila, C.
Author Affil Núñez-Pons, L., Universitat de Barcelona, Departament de Biologia Animal (Invertebrats) Facultat de Biologia, Barcelona, Spain. Other: Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare, Italy; Universidad da Coruña, Spain; Universidad de Alicante, Spain
Source Polar Biology, 33(10), p.1319-1329. Publisher: Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany. ISSN: 0722-4060
Publication Date Oct. 2010
Notes In English. 78 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309100
Index Terms Southern Ocean--Weddell Sea; benthic taxa; biochemistry; Chordata; ecology; physiology; predation; predators; productivity; soft parts; Southern Ocean; Weddell Sea
Abstract Predation and competition are important factors structuring Antarctic benthic communities and are expected to promote the production of chemical defenses. Tunicates are subject to little predation, and this is often attributed to chemical compounds, although their defensive activity has been poorly demonstrated against sympatric predators. In fact, these animals, particularly the genus Aplidium, are rich sources of bioactive metabolites. In this study, we report the natural products, distribution and ecological activity of two Aplidium ascidian species from the Weddell Sea (Antarctica). In our investigation, organic extracts obtained from external and internal tissues of specimens of A. falklandicum demonstrated to contain deterrent agents that caused repellency against the Antarctic omnivorous predator, the sea star Odontaster validus. Chemical analysis performed with Antarctic colonial ascidians Aplidium meridianum and Aplidium falklandicum allowed the purification of a group of known bioactive indole alkaloids, meridianins A-G. These isolated compounds proved to be responsible for the deterrent activity.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00300-010-0819-7
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 91208