Application of metabolomics to identify natural products in marine algae.

By Daniel Dias

Metabolomics Australia

 

Bioactive natural products continue to provide unique structures and are a reputable source of current pharmaceuticals.

Following the discovery of penicillin, many other drug breakthroughs from microbial sources occurred. Since the 1970s the seas have been explored as a new source of natural products.

Out of the 1135 new drugs approved from 1981 – 2010, 50% are of natural origin. Well known examples included Paclitaxel (Taxol), isolated from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree, and trabectin (Yondelis) isolated from the sea squirt Ecteinascidia turbinate.

In this study, metabolites are extracted from a variety of different deep sea algae and identified by mass spectrometry.

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