Author(s): Cabrita MT, Vale C, Rauter AP
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Abstract Marine algae produce a cocktail of halogenated metabolites with potential commercial value. Structures exhibited by these compounds go from acyclic entities with a linear chain to complex polycyclic molecules. Their medical and pharmaceutical application has been investigated for a few decades, however other properties, such as antifouling, are not to be discarded. Many compounds were discovered in the last years, although the need for new drugs keeps this field open as many algal species are poorly screened. The ecological role of marine algal halogenated metabolites has somehow been overlooked. This new research field will provide valuable and novel insight into the marine ecosystem dynamics as well as a new approach to comprehending biodiversity. Furthermore, understanding interactions between halogenated compound production by algae and the environment, including anthropogenic or global climate changes, is a challenging target for the coming years. Research of halogenated metabolites has been more focused on macroalgae than on phytoplankton. However, phytoplankton could be a very promising material since it is the base of the marine food chain with quick adaptation to environmental changes, which undoubtedly has consequences on secondary metabolism. This paper reviews recent progress on this field and presents trends on the role of marine algae as producers of halogenated compounds.
This article was published in Mar Drugs
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy