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Biofouling. 2006;22(1-2):23-32.

Antifouling properties of 10beta-formamidokalihinol-A and kalihinol A isolated from the marine sponge Acanthella cavernosa.

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  • 1Department of Biology/Coastal Marine Laboratory, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, PR China.


Many soft-bodied sessile marine invertebrates such as sponges and soft corals defend themselves against fouling directly through the production of antifouling compounds, or indirectly through regulating the epibiotic microbes that affect larval settlement. In this study, 10beta-formamidokalihinol-A and kalihinol A were isolated and purified from the marine sponge Acanthella cavernosa (Dendy). The results indicated that both compounds inhibited the growth of bacteria isolated from the natural environment whereas kalihinol A suppressed larval settlement of a major fouling polychaete, Hydroides elegans with an EC50 of 0.5 microg ml(-1). Kalihinol A was incorporated in Phytagel that was exposed to the bacterial consortia in natural seawater for biofilm formation. Biofilms that developed on the Phytagel surfaces were analysed for bacterial abundance and bacterial species composition using a DNA fingerprinting technique, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). The results showed that kalihinol A only slightly reduced bacterial abundance (t-test, p = 0.0497), but modified the bacterial species composition of the biofilms. Inhibition of H. elegans larval settlement was observed when biofilms developed under the influence of kalihinol A were exposed to larvae, suggesting that compounds like kalihinol A from the sponge A. cavernosa may change bacterial community composition on the sponge surface, which in turn, modulates larval settlement of fouling organisms.

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