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Production of Manoalide and Its Analogues by the Sponge Luffariella variabilis Is Hardwired

Ettinger-Epstein, Piers, Tapiolas, Dianne M., Motti, Cherie A., Wright, Anthony D., Battershill, Christopher N., de Nys, Rocky
Marine biotechnology 2008 v.10 no.1 pp. 64-74
aquaculture, islands, metabolites, space and time, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef sponge Luffariella variabilis (Poléjaeff 1884) produces a range of potent anti-inflammatory compounds as its major metabolites. These major metabolites--manoalide monoacetate, manoalide, luffariellin A and seco-manoalide--were monitored temporally and spatially to quantify the potential yield from wild harvest or aquaculture. Production of the major metabolites was hardwired at the population level with little variation in space and time over meters to tens of kilometers in the Palm Islands, Queensland, Australia. Manoalide monoacetate (35 to 70 mg g-¹ dry weight of sponge) was consistently the most abundant compound followed by manoalide (15 to 20 mg g-¹ dry weight). Luffariellin A and seco-manoalide were 10 to 70 times less abundant and varied between 0 and 3 mg g-¹ dry weight. On a larger spatial scale, L. variabilis from Davies Reef and Magnetic Island contained the same rank order and yields of compounds as the Palm Islands, indicating a generality of pattern over at least 100 km. The “hardwiring” of metabolite production at the population level by L. variabilis was also reflected in the lack of any inductive effect on metabolite production. In addition, individually monitored sponges produced fixed ratios of the major metabolites over time (years). However, these ratios varied between individuals, with some individuals consistently producing high levels of manoalide and manoalide monoacetate, providing the potential for selection of high-yielding stocks.