Invertebrates are an important source of structurally-diverse and biologically-active halogenated metabolites. The sea hare Aplysia dactylomela Rang has long been known to possess halogenated metabolites of dietary origin that are used as a self-defense mechanism. The compounds from Aplysia dactylomela Rang are comprised mainly of terpenoids and small percentages of C-15 acetogenins, indoles, macrolides, sterols and alkaloids with potent cytotoxic, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. For decades the metabolites discovered have been investigated for their medical and pharmaceutical applications, so much so that the ecological role of the metabolites has been overlooked. The interaction between Aplysia dactylomela Rang and its diet that is comprised of seaweed can provide information into the distribution and diversity of the seaweed, the application of bioaccumulated secondary metabolites as part of its defense mechanism and the potential roles of these metabolites for adaptation in the marine environment. This paper compiles the diversity of halogenated secondary metabolites documented from Aplysia dactylomela Rang.
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