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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: 10 April 2019

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., omega;-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. Laura Núñez-Pons


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.

Keywords

  • Chemical ecology

  • Bioactive metabolites

  • Defense

  • Antifouling

  • Photoprotection

  • Drug discovery

  • Eco-friendly products

  • Marine invertebrates and algae

  • Symbiosis

  • Microorganisms

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Chemical Mutagenesis and Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Screening for Enhanced Accumulation of Carotenoids in a Model Marine Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(8), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16080272
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 4 August 2018
PDF Full-text (2568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Diatoms are a major group of unicellular algae that are rich in lipids and carotenoids. However, sustained research efforts are needed to improve the strain performance for high product yields towards commercialization. In this study, we generated a number of mutants of the
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Diatoms are a major group of unicellular algae that are rich in lipids and carotenoids. However, sustained research efforts are needed to improve the strain performance for high product yields towards commercialization. In this study, we generated a number of mutants of the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, a cosmopolitan species that has also been found in Nordic region, using the chemical mutagens ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) and N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG). We found that both chlorophyll a and neutral lipids had a significant correlation with carotenoid content and these correlations were better during exponential growth than in the stationary growth phase. Then, we studied P. tricornutum common metabolic pathways and analyzed correlated enzymatic reactions between fucoxanthin synthesis and pigmentation or lipid metabolism through a genome-scale metabolic model. The integration of the computational results with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry data revealed key compounds underlying the correlative metabolic pathways. Approximately 1000 strains were screened using fluorescence-based high-throughput method and five mutants selected had 33% or higher total carotenoids than the wild type, in which four strains remained stable in the long term and the top mutant exhibited an increase of 69.3% in fucoxanthin content compared to the wild type. The platform described in this study may be applied to the screening of other high performing diatom strains for industrial applications. Full article
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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
Abstract
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.
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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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Review

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Open AccessReview UV-Protective Compounds in Marine Organisms from the Southern Ocean
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16090336
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Solar radiation represents a key abiotic factor in the evolution of life in the oceans. In general, marine, biota—particularly in euphotic and dysphotic zones—depends directly or indirectly on light, but ultraviolet radiation (UV-R) can damage vital molecular machineries. UV-R induces the formation of
[...] Read more.
Solar radiation represents a key abiotic factor in the evolution of life in the oceans. In general, marine, biota—particularly in euphotic and dysphotic zones—depends directly or indirectly on light, but ultraviolet radiation (UV-R) can damage vital molecular machineries. UV-R induces the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and impairs intracellular structures and enzymatic reactions. It can also affect organismal physiologies and eventually alter trophic chains at the ecosystem level. In Antarctica, physical drivers, such as sunlight, sea-ice, seasonality and low temperature are particularly influencing as compared to other regions. The springtime ozone depletion over the Southern Ocean makes organisms be more vulnerable to UV-R. Nonetheless, Antarctic species seem to possess analogous UV photoprotection and repair mechanisms as those found in organisms from other latitudes. The lack of data on species-specific responses towards increased UV-B still limits the understanding about the ecological impact and the tolerance levels related to ozone depletion in this region. The photobiology of Antarctic biota is largely unknown, in spite of representing a highly promising reservoir in the discovery of novel cosmeceutical products. This review compiles the most relevant information on photoprotection and UV-repair processes described in organisms from the Southern Ocean, in the context of this unique marine polar environment. Full article
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