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Special Issue "Chilling Allelochemicals: Natural Products and Bioactivities from Polar and Sub-Polar Latitudes"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Laura Núñez-Pons

Section Sezione di Biologia ed Evoluzione di Organismi Marini (BEOM), Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN), Napoli, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: chemical ecology; symbiosis; allelopathy; Polar ecosystems; coral reefs; Mediterranean Sea; invertebrate disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our oceans are extremely rich reserves of allelochemicals—natural compounds, mostly secondary metabolites, originating from living organisms that influence the behavior, growth, signaling, and reproduction of other organisms. These substances, which mediate key ecological interactions (allelopathy), have been maintained during evolution for conferring protection under ecological constrains, and for enhancing survival to biological communities. Out of the many bioactive chemicals described from the oceans, only a small fraction has been studied for their ecological significance. Similarly, most chemically-mediated interactions are not well understood, because the molecules involved remain unrevealed. In Polar regions, this gap in knowledge is even more acute in comparison to tropical or temperate regions, even if polar organisms are also prolific producers of interesting natural products. The extreme and uniquely complex marine environments surrounding the South and North Poles are expected to favor the production of numerous unusual functional secondary metabolites. Indeed, there is an urgent need to comprehend the evolutionary role of marine derived substances in general, and particularly in the Poles.

Marine bioactive molecules offer also a great deal of applications in pharmacology (e.g., drugs to fight cancer or inflammatory diseases), cosmetics and skincare products (e.g., eco-friendly sunscreens), industry (e.g., ecologically friendly antifouling paints), or even nutraceuticals (e.g., ω-3 fatty acids, algal gelling agents). To date, less than 3% of the reported marine compounds originate from higher latitudes, despite the fact that a huge portion of global shallow-water habitat is found around the Antarctic. The reasons for this asymmetry are probably related to the difficult accessibility, harsh climate, and the prevailing theory that Polar systems should be less biochemically productive.

In this Special Issue of Marine Drugs, entitled “Chilling Allelochemicals: Natural
Products and Bioactivities from Polar and Sub-Polar Latitudes”, we intend to compile any discovery or contribution of identified marine natural products or natural mixtures of metabolites proven to have a biological or ecological function in Polar ecosystems. This Special issue is focused on (but not limited to) compounds that are involved in allelopathy among natural organisms. Nonetheless, the issue will also collect work on compounds or mixtures that are able to target other activities related to the development of eco-friendly products with applications for human goods and services.

Dr. Azizur Rahman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Chemical ecology

  • Bioactive metabolites

  • Defense

  • Antifouling

  • Photoprotection

  • Drug discovery

  • Eco-friendly products

  • Marine invertebrates and algae

  • Symbiosis

  • Microorganisms

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Rhamnolipids Produced by an Arctic Marine Bacterium from the Pseudomonas fluorescence Group
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(5), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16050163
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
PDF Full-text (2427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
The marine environment is a rich source of biodiversity, including microorganisms that have proven to be prolific producers of bioactive secondary metabolites. Arctic seas are less explored than warmer, more accessible areas, providing a promising starting point to search for novel bioactive compounds.
[...] Read more.
The marine environment is a rich source of biodiversity, including microorganisms that have proven to be prolific producers of bioactive secondary metabolites. Arctic seas are less explored than warmer, more accessible areas, providing a promising starting point to search for novel bioactive compounds. In the present work, an Arctic marine Pseudomonas sp. belonging to the Pseudomonas (P.) fluorescence group was cultivated in four different media in an attempt to activate biosynthetic pathways leading to the production of antibacterial and anticancer compounds. Culture extracts were pre-fractionated and screened for antibacterial and anticancer activities. One fraction from three of the four growth conditions showed inhibitory activity towards bacteria and cancer cells. The active fractions were dereplicated using molecular networking based on MS/MS fragmentation data, indicating the presence of a cluster of related rhamnolipids. Six compounds were isolated using HPLC and mass-guided fractionation, and by interpreting data from NMR and high-resolution MS/MS analysis; the structures of the compounds were determined to be five mono-rhamnolipids and the lipid moiety of one of the rhamnolipids. Molecular networking proved to be a valuable tool for dereplication of these related compounds, and for the first time, five mono-rhamnolipids from a bacterium within the P. fluorescence group were characterized, including one new mono-rhamnolipid. Full article

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