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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(2), 489-503; doi:10.3390/md11020489

Sources of Secondary Metabolite Variation in Dysidea avara (Porifera: Demospongiae): The Importance of Having Good Neighbors

1,* , 2
1 Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Accés a la Cala St Francesc 14, 17300 Blanes, Girona, Spain 2 Environmental and Biomolecular Chemistry Laboratory, University of Perpignan Via Domita, 52 Paul Alduy Ave., Perpignan Cedex 66860, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 November 2012 / Revised: 4 January 2013 / Accepted: 24 January 2013 / Published: 18 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Secondary Metabolites)
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Several studies report temporal, geographical, and intra-individual variation in sponge metabolite yields. However, the internal and/or external factors that regulate the metabolite production remain poorly understood. Dysidea avara is a demosponge that produces sesquiterpenoids (avarol and derivatives) with interesting medical properties, which has prompted addressed studies to obtain enough amounts of these metabolites for research on drug discovery. Within this framework, specimens of Dysidea avara from a population of the Northwest Mediterranean were sampled and their secondary metabolites quantified to assess their variability and the possible relationship with external (seasonality, interactions with neighbors) and internal (reproductive stages) factors. The results show a variation of the amount of both avarol and its monoacetate derivative with time, with no clear relationship with seawater temperature. A trade-off with sponge reproduction was not found either. However, our results showed for the first time that sponges are able to increase production or accumulation of secondary metabolites in their peripheral zone depending on the nature of their neighbors. This finding could explain part of the high variability in the amount of secondary metabolites usually found in chemical ecology studies on sponges and opens new biotechnological approaches to enhance the metabolite yield in sponge cultures.
Keywords: secondary metabolites; chemical ecology; sponges; temporal variation; intra-individual variation secondary metabolites; chemical ecology; sponges; temporal variation; intra-individual variation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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De Caralt, S.; Bry, D.; Bontemps, N.; Turon, X.; Uriz, M.-J.; Banaigs, B. Sources of Secondary Metabolite Variation in Dysidea avara (Porifera: Demospongiae): The Importance of Having Good Neighbors. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 489-503.

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