Authors Ehrlich, H. ; Shaala, L. A. ; Tsurkan, M. ; et al.,
Title Discovery of chitin in skeletons of non-verongiid Red Sea demosponges
Date 15.05.2018
Number 55414
Abstract Marine demosponges (Porifera: Demospongiae) are recognized as first metazoans which have developed over millions of years of evolution effective survival strategies based on unique metabolic pathways to produce both biologically active secondary metabolites and biopolymer-based stiff skeletons with 3D architecture. Up to date, among marine demosponges, only representatives of the Verongiida order have been known to synthetize biologically active substances as well as skeletons made of structural polysaccharide chitin. This work, to our knowledge, demonstrates for the first time that chitin is an important structural component within skeletons of non-verongiid demosponges Acarnus wolffgangi and Echinoclathria gibbosa collected in the Red Sea. Calcofluor white staining, FTIR and Raman analysis, ESI-MS, SEM, and fluorescence microscopy as well as a chitinase digestion assay were applied in order to confirm, with strong evidence, the finding of a-chitin in the skeleton of both species. We suggest that, the finding of chitin within these representatives of Poecilosclerida order is a promising step in the evaluation of these sponges as novel renewable sources for both biologically active metabolites and chitin, which are of prospective application for pharmacology and biomedicine.
Publisher PLoS ONE
Citation PLoS ONE 13 (2018) e0195803

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