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Chemistry and biology of maculalactone A from the marine cyanobacterium Kyrtuthrix maculans

Brown, G. D., Wong, H.-F., Hutchinson, N., Lee, S.-C., Chan, B.K.K. and Williams, G.A. (2004) Chemistry and biology of maculalactone A from the marine cyanobacterium Kyrtuthrix maculans. Phytochemistry Reviews, 3 (3). pp. 381-400. ISSN 1572-980X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11101-004-6552-5


Maculalactone A is the most abundant secondary metabolite in Kyrtuthrix maculans, a marine cyanobacterium found in the mid-high shore of moderately exposed to sheltered rocky shores in Hong Kong and South East Asia. This species appears to survive as pure colonies forming distinct black zones on the rock. Maculalactone A may provide K. maculans with a chemical defense against several marine organisms, including the common grazer, Chlorostoma argyrostoma and settlement by larvae of the barnacles, Tetraclita japonica, Balanus amphitrite and Ibla cumingii. The natural concentration of maculalactone A varied with season and also with tidal height on the shore and although a strong positive linear correlation was observed between maculalactone A concentration and herbivore grazing pressure, manipulative experiments demonstrated that grazing pressure was not directly responsible for inducing the biosynthesis of this metabolite. The potential of maculalactone A as a natural marine anti-fouling agent (i.e. as an alternative to environmentally-damaging copper- and tin-based anti-fouling paints) was investigated after achieving a gram-scale synthesis of this compound. Preliminary field trials with anti-fouling paints which contained synthetic maculalactone A as the active principle have confirmed that this compound seems to have a specific activity against molluscan settlers.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:16463

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