upon my query concerning toxins from macroalgae, I received a number of
interesting and helpful replies, which I am now mailing in summary to the list.
Thanks again to all who helped me so rapidly!
A quote from Indergaard & Minsaas (1991, in Guiry & Blunden, "Seaweed
resources in Europe, uses and potential) : "In comparison with the
more than 1200 toxic marine organisms that were included in
Russell's review, one must conclude that the macroalgae as a group
are mpore or less non-toxic" Russell's list: Russell, F.E., 1984.
Marine toxins and venomous and poisonous marine plants and animals.
In: Blaxter et al (ed.), Advances in marine biology 21: 60-233
(Academic Press, London).
Maybe a paper by Santos & Guevara, 1988 may interest you
(Antimicrobial and antitumor potentials of some Philippine algae.
Acta manilana 37: 105-111).
Dr. Willem F. Prud'homme van Reine
P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden
tel. +31.71.5274729 or ..3500
The following articles probably contain references you will find useful.
Hay et al.. 1987. Chemical defense against different marine herbivores:
Are amphipods insect equivalents? Ecology 68:1567-1580.
Hay et al.. 1987. Chemical defense against diverse coral-reef
herbivores. Ecology 68:1581-1591.
In particular, the compounds dictyol and pachydictyol are noted.
*Timothy A. Nelson, Ph.D. *
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These two references came to mind:
The neurotoxin, domoic acid, which is most often associated with the
marine diatoms Pseudonitzschia australis, P. multiseries, and P.
pungens was found (I believe first) in two Rhodophyta genera,
Chondria armata and Alsidium corallinum.
reference: Fattorusso, E., and M. Piattelli. 1980. Amino acids from
marine algae, p. 105-107. In P.J. Schuer (ed) Marine natural
products. Vol. 3. Academic Press, New York, NY
Also of interest is the finding of bacteria isolated from the
Rhodophyte, Jania sp., that produced tetrodotoxin.
reference: Yasumoto, T., D. Yasumura, M. Yotsu, T. Michishita, A.
Endo, and Y. Kotaki. 1986 Bacterial production of tetrodotoxin and
anhydrotetrodotoxin. Agric. Biol. Chem. 50: 793-795
Hope this is helpful
Matthew D. Johnson
4619 Boat Basin Dr.
home: (541) 888-4734
work: (541) 888-2581 x226
I am doing my dissertation work on the chemical defenses of marine brown
algae so perhaps I can help. First of all, the phlorotannins come to
mind - they are characteristic of most orders within the phaeophyta (or
phaeophyceae, depending on your preference for taxonomic scheme). The
"phlorotannin bible" has been Ragan and Glomitza's 1986 review,
"Phlorotannins: Brown algal polyphenolics". However, these probably
won't prove to be exciting medicines, etc. because they are simple
phenolic polymers with a some-what broad range of effects. Recent
literature on phlorotannins includes:
Targett and Arnold, in press (April 1998) Predicting the effects of
phlorotannnins on tropical herbivores" J. Phycol.
Anything by Peter Steinberg from 1980 - present.
The structure of compounds, see Glombitiza's papers from 1976- present
And the slightly older studies by Ragan, Jensen, and coworkers.
I suspect that phlorotannins won't be good candidates for your
cyto-toxicity work, however.
I suspect that you are more interested in terpeniods. Here I
would suggest looking into the ictyotoxic terpeniods from Stypopodium
zonale, stypotriol, stypodione, etc. which are very bioactive. They can
influence cell growth - by effecting membrane channels if I recall
correctly. They have already be assessed with regard to potential
medicinal potential (see Gerwick and Fenical articles on early 1980's) -
at least superficially. Terpenoid compounds occur in numerous members of
the order Dictyotales, including L. variegata and especially Dictyopteris
spp. and Dictyota spp., where they often function as pheromones as well as
potential defenses. See Boland et al papers for pheromone references and
work by Hay and coworkers for the terpenoid defenses (Pachydictyols, etc.)
Hope this helps.
College of Marine Studies
University of Delaware
Frithjof Kuepper Phone: ++49-7531-88-2782 (lab)
Universitaet Konstanz ++49-7533-4823 (home)
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AG Mueller (M 907) and ++49-7531-88-3042
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