Defensive Diterpene from the Aeolidoidean Phyllodesmium longicirrum
journal contributionposted on 2015-12-09, 00:00 authored by Alexander Bogdanov, Cora Hertzer, Stefan Kehraus, Samuel Nietzer, Sven Rohde, Peter J. Schupp, Heike Wägele, Gabriele M. König
Phyllodesmium is a tropical marine slug genus with about 30 described species. None of them have a protective shell, and all of them feed on octocorals that are generally known to provide defensive compounds and thus help to defend the naked slugs against sympatric predators, such as fish, crabs, cephalopods, and echinoderms. Phyllodesmium longicirrum is the species that grows the biggest and that is least protected by camouflage on its respective food, usually a soft coral of the genus Sarcophyton. Investigation of the lipophilic extract of a single specimen of P. longicirrum from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) led to the isolation of four new polycyclic diterpenes. Compound 1 showed significant deterrent activity in a fish feeding assay.