Seaweed Metabolite Database   
  Home About Download Contact Help  
 


  Natural products are both a fundamental source of new chemical diversity and an integral component of today's pharmaceutical compendium. The ocean environment is massively complex, consisting of extreme variations in pressure, salinity, temperature, and biological habitats. The biota of marine algae has developed unique metabolic and physiological functions that not only ensure survival in extreme habitats but also offer a potential for the production of novel enzymes and bioactive metabolites for potential exploitation. The natural concentrations of many pharmacologically active compounds from seaweeds are often minute and sometimes account for less than 106 % of the respective wet weight.

The red algae belonging to the genus Laurencia (Ceramiales, Rhodomelaceae) are unique for their ability to biosynthesize a wide variety of secondary metabolites with diverse structural features depending on the species and localities. The majority of these metabolites are characterized by their relatively high degree of halogenation. The vast majority of Laurencia metabolites includes sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, and C15-acetogenins. Most species of Laurencia biosynthesize a characteristic major metabolite or a class of compounds that are not commonly widely distributed within the genus. Halogenated metabolites have been shown to possess antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal activities, as well as worth noting cytotoxicity against mammalian cells.