Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Chemistry

Major Professor

Bill Baker

Co-Major Professor

Edward Turos

Committee Member

Roman Manetsch

Committee Member

Abdul Malik

Keywords

organic chemistry, natural products, bioassay, tunicate, sponge

Abstract

Of the small percentage of organisms chemically investigated over the years as potential sources of natural products, much less is known about those from the marine realm. Despite the lack of attention they have received in comparison to terrestrial organisms, marine life have recently been found to represent a valuable source for novel bioactive compounds. Cold water marine habitats are home to a plethora of organisms that have the ability to produce secondary metabolites that exhibit a great deal of diversity in both their chemical structures and biological activities. The chemical investigation of these unique and relatively unstudied ecosystems is necessary to gain insight into the dynamics between predators and prey, while also making a significant impact in the field of drug discovery. Our laboratory has focused on the chemical investigation of invertebrates from the waters of Antarctica in search of bioactive secondary metabolites that can be used for the treatment of human pathogens. This dissertation reports a small portion of the progress made in our laboratory towards the exploration of Antarctic marine invertebrates. The chemical investigation of the circumpolar colonial tunicate Synoicum adareanum and the orange, encrusting sponge Artemisina plumosa will be discussed in detail in the following chapters.

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