Abstract: Several studies report temporal, geographical, and intra-individual variation in sponge metabolite yields. However, the internal and/or external factors that regulate the metabolite production remain poorly understood. Dysidea avara is a demosponge that produces sesquiterpenoids (avarol and derivatives) with interesting medical properties, which has prompted addressed studies to obtain enough amounts of these metabolites for research on drug discovery. Within this framework, specimens of Dysidea avara from a population of the Northwest Mediterranean were sampled and their secondary metabolites quantified to assess their variability and the possible relationship with external (seasonality, interactions with neighbors) and internal (reproductive stages) factors. The results show a variation of the amount of both avarol and its monoacetate derivative with time, with no clear relationship with seawater temperature. A trade-off with sponge reproduction was not found either. However, our results showed for the first time that sponges are able to increase production or accumulation of secondary metabolites in their peripheral zone depending on the nature of their neighbors. This finding could explain part of the high variability in the amount of secondary metabolites usually found in chemical ecology studies on sponges and opens new biotechnological approaches to enhance the metabolite yield in sponge cultures.
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De Caralt, S.; Bry, D.; Bontemps, N.; Turon, X.; Uriz, M.-J.; Banaigs, B. Sources of Secondary Metabolite Variation in Dysidea avara (Porifera: Demospongiae): The Importance of Having Good Neighbors. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 489-503.
De Caralt S, Bry D, Bontemps N, Turon X, Uriz M-J, Banaigs B. Sources of Secondary Metabolite Variation in Dysidea avara (Porifera: Demospongiae): The Importance of Having Good Neighbors. Marine Drugs. 2013; 11(2):489-503.
De Caralt, Sonia; Bry, Delphine; Bontemps, Nataly; Turon, Xavier; Uriz, Maria-Jesus; Banaigs, Bernard. 2013. "Sources of Secondary Metabolite Variation in Dysidea avara (Porifera: Demospongiae): The Importance of Having Good Neighbors." Mar. Drugs 11, no. 2: 489-503.