Temporal trends in the secondary metabolite production of the sponge Aplysina aerophoba

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Temporal changes in the production of secondary metabolites are far from being fully understood. Our study quantified, over a two-year period, the concentrations of brominated alkaloids in the ectosome and the choanosome of Aplysina aerophoba, and examined the temporal patterns of these natural products. Based on standard curves, we quantified the concentrations of aerophobin-2, aplysinamisin-1, and isofistularin-3: three of the four major peaks obtained through chemical profiling with high-performance liquid chromatography. Our results showed a striking variation in compound abundance between the outer and inner layers of the sponge. The ectosome showed high concentrations of bromocompounds during the summer months, while the choanosome followed no pattern. Additionally, we found that, from the outer layer of the sponge, aerophobin-2 and isofistularin-3 were significantly correlated with water temperature. The present study is one of the first to document quantitative seasonal variations in individual compounds over multiple years. Further studies will clarify the role of environmental, biological, and physiological factors in determining the seasonal patterns in the concentration of brominated alkaloids.




Sacristán-Soriano, O., Banaigs, B., & Becerro, M. A. (2012). Temporal trends in the secondary metabolite production of the sponge Aplysina aerophoba. Marine Drugs, 10(4), 677–693. https://doi.org/10.3390/md10040677

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