Nephthea sp.: Correlation Between Natural Products Production and Pressure from Local Environmental Stressors
- *Corresponding Author:
- Anthony D. Wright
University of Hawaii
College of Pharmacy
34 Rainbow Drive, Hilo
Hawaii 96720, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: September 08, 2011; Accepted date: December 15, 2011; Published date: December 18, 2011
Citation: Januar HI, Hendrarto B, Chasanah E, Wright AD (2011) Nephthea sp.: Correlation Between Natural Products Production and Pressure from Local Environmental Stressors. J Marine Sci Res Development S8:001. doi:10.4172/2155-9910.S8-001
Copyright: © 2011 Januar HI, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The presented study looked in a preliminary and speculative way for a correlation between production by a single soft coral species, Nephthea sp., of two secondary metabolites and local environmental stresses, pollution, around the Seribu Islands, Indonesia. The study region was selected because of the significant land-based run-off from the heavily populated Indonesian capital, Jakarta. A Nephthea sp., was chosen based on the well known bioactive cembranoid diterpene content of animals of the genus that is often involved in protecting them from predation. For the study, levels of the recently reported 3,4-epoxy-nephthenol acetate (1) and the previously known 15-hydroxycembrane (2) were monitored. Results showed levels of 1 and 2 to decrease as pollutants increased. A contour map of levels of 1 and 2 showed a likely different pattern of their occurrence, with 2 being found more in polluted, higher stress, areas and 1 likely only to occur in areas with low environmental stresses. It is postulated that low levels of anthropogenic stress, pollution, in the reef environment result in no inhibition of biodiversity and number of fishes that prey on Nephthea sp., likely causing enhanced secondary metabolite production in these species in order to protect them from predation. This may mean levels and/or presence or absence of 1 might be indicators of pollution entering a coral reef area, with the resultant threat to a reef’s potential biopotency. Results also show where anthropogenic pollution increases in a reef system the overall level of biodiversity drops, as a consequence so does chemical diversity and with it the chance of discovering new and biological active secondary metabolites.