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Molecules 2012, 17(8), 9842-9854; doi:10.3390/molecules17089842

Bioprospecting of Marine Invertebrates for New Natural Products — A Chemical and Zoogeographical Perspective

1,2,* , 3, 1, 4 and 1
1 Department of Biology & CESAM, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal 2 Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, USA 3 Oceanography Center, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Campo Grande, Lisboa 1749-016, Portugal 4 Zoo Logical, R. Brito Pais n° 8–9° E, Algés 1495-028, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2012 / Revised: 9 August 2012 / Accepted: 14 August 2012 / Published: 16 August 2012
(This article belongs to the collection Bioactive Compounds)
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Bioprospecting for new marine natural products (NPs) has increased significantly over the last decades, leading to an unprecedented discovery of new molecules. Marine invertebrates have been the most important source of these NPs, with researchers commonly targeting particular taxonomic groups, marine regions and/or molecules from specific chemical groups. The present review focuses on new NPs identified from marine invertebrates between 2000 and 2009, and performs a detailed analysis on: (1) the chemical groups of these NPs; (2) the association of particular chemical groups to specific marine invertebrate taxa; and (3) the yielding of molecules from the same chemical group from organisms occurring in a particular geographic region. Our survey revealed an increasing number of new terpenoids being discovered between 2000 and 2009, contrasting with the decreasing trend in the discovery of new alkaloids and aliphatic molecules. Overall, no particular association was identified between marine invertebrate taxa and chemical groups of new NPs. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that most NPs recorded from cnidarians and mollusks were terpenoids, while most NPs identified in echinoderms were aliphatic compounds or carbohydrates. The geographical trends observed in our study do not support the idea of particular chemical groups of new NPs being associated with marine invertebrates from any specific geographical region, as NPs from different chemical groups were commonly distributed worldwide.
Keywords: novel compounds; terpenoids; alkaloids; Indo-Pacific; Porifera; Cnidaria novel compounds; terpenoids; alkaloids; Indo-Pacific; Porifera; Cnidaria
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Leal, M.C.; Madeira, C.; Brandão, C.A.; Puga, J.; Calado, R. Bioprospecting of Marine Invertebrates for New Natural Products — A Chemical and Zoogeographical Perspective. Molecules 2012, 17, 9842-9854.

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