High occurrences of brominated lipid fatty acids in boreal sponges of the order Halichondrida
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Sponges of warm- and temperate- but also cold-waters are known to synthesize structurally diverse primary and secondary metabolites. These compounds fulfill a variety of functions including adaptations of the cell membranes to environmental conditions. We show here that boreal sponges of the order Halichondrida are rich sources of brominated lipid fatty acids. The comparison of lipid compositions of halichondrid Demospongiae from boreal and warmer waters indicates an accumulation of brominated fatty acids in sponges from colder settings. Moreover, the spatial distribution of brominated fatty acids in the sponge tissue of one widely distributed sponge of the North-East Atlantic (Phakellia ventilabrum) hints to a function related to membrane fluidity and permeability rather than to defense against predation. However, brominated fatty acids are diagnostic for the presence of bromoperoxidases in sponges and may therefore be potentially useful as markers in a chemical screening for secondary metabolites of pharmacological interest.
KeywordsSponge DMDS Double Bond Position Lipid Fatty Acid Sodium Thiosulfate Solution
We acknowledge the crews of the RVs ‘Poseidon’ and ‘Hans Brattström’, and the research submersible ‘JAGO’ for excellent collaboration during the field work. Dr. Sven Possner, and Prof. Dr. Wittko Francke (Universität Hamburg) are thanked for helpful analytical support with the GC-IR. We thank Dr. Friederike Hoffmann (Universität Göttingen) for sponge taxonomy. Access to installations from the Institute of Marine Research has been funded by the Improving Human Potential Programme from the European Union through Contract No. HPRI-CT-1999-00056. The Norwegian Government is acknowledged for permission to carry out the field work. Financial support was provided by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF). This paper represents publication No. 58 of the research program BOSMAN (03F0256A).
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