Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 1115–1133 | Cite as

Polyphenols in brown algaeFucus vesiculosus andAscophyllum nodosum: Chemical defenses against the marine herbivorous snail,Littorina littorea

  • J. A. Geiselman
  • O. J. McConnell
Article

Abstract

Polyphenols from two brown algae,Fucus vesiculosus (L.) andAscophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jolis, inhibited feeding by the herbivorous snail,Littorina littorea. The active compounds were characterized as phloroglucinol polymers with a wide molecular weight range (mol wt <30,000 to >300,000) by spectroscopic, Ultrafiltration, thin-layer chromatographic, and chemical degradation data. As little as 1% (dry wt) polyphenol in food reduced feeding by more than 50%, and polyphenolic extracts inhibited feeding entirely when present in concentrations of 2–5% (dry wt). Commercially available phloroglucinol dihydrate and gallotannin, which are known herbivore feeding deterrents in terrestrial plants, inhibitedL. littorea feeding when added to food media in concentrations similar to those above. We conclude that polyphenols inF. vesiculosus andA. nodosum are functionally similar to terrestrial plant polyphenols (tannins) in providing chemical defenses against herbivores. This research is the first demonstration that chemical compounds defend these two dominant, perennial marine algae from the major herbivore found in their community.

Key words

Chemical defense feeding deterrents polyphenols phloroglucinol polymers Fucus Ascophyllum Littorina 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Al-Ogily, S.M., andKnight-Jones, E.W. 1977. Antifouling role of antibiotics produced by marine algae and bryozoans.Nature 265:728–729.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Conover, J.T., andSieburth, J.McN. 1964. Effect ofSargassum distribution on its epibiota and antibacterial activity.Bot. Mar. 6:147–157.Google Scholar
  3. DeAlarcon, P.A., Donovan, M.E., Forbes, G.B., Landau, S.A., andStockman, J.A. 1979. Iron adsorption in the Thalasemia syndromes and its inhibition by tea.N. Engl. J. Med. 300:5–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Dement, W.A., andMooney, H.A. 1974. Seasonal variation in the production of tannins and cyanogenic glycosides in the chaparral shrub,Heteromeles arbutifolia.Oecologia 15:65–76.Google Scholar
  5. Esping, U. 1957a. A factor inhibiting fertilization of sea urchin eggs from extracts of the algaFucus vesiculosus. I. The preparation of the factor inhibiting fertilization.Ark. Kemi 11:107–115.Google Scholar
  6. Esping, U. 1957b. A factor inhibiting fertilization of sea urchin eggs from extracts of the algaFucus vesiculosus. II. The effect of the factor inhibiting fertilization on some enzymes.Ark. Kemi 11:117–127.Google Scholar
  7. Feeny, P.P. 1970. Seasonal changes in oak leaf tannins and nutrients as a cause of spring feeding by winter moth caterpillars.Ecology 51:565–581.Google Scholar
  8. Feeny, P.P. 1976. Plant apparency and chemical defense, pp. 1–40,in J. Wallace and R. Manseil (eds.). Recent Advances in Phytochemistry, Vol. 10. Biochemical Interaction between Plants and Insects. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Fritsch, F.E. 1945. The Structure and Reproduction of the Algae, Vol. II. Cambridge University Press, London.Google Scholar
  10. Geiselman, J.A. 1978. Evidence for algal chemical defense against a marine herbivore. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Annual Meeting, Abstracts, June 1978, Victoria, B.C.Google Scholar
  11. Geiselman, J.A. 1980. Ecology of chemical defenses of algae against the herbivorous snail,Littorina littorea, in the New England rock intertidal community. PhD thesis. Massachusetts Institue of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. 209 PP.Google Scholar
  12. Geiselman, J.A. 1981. In preparation.Google Scholar
  13. Glombitza, K.W. 1977. Highly hydroxylated phenols of the Phaeophyceae, pp. 191–204,in D.J. Faulkner and W.H. Fenical (eds.). Marine Natural Products Chemistry. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Glombitza, K.W., Rosener, H.U., Vilter, H.,andRauwald, W. 1973. Antibiotica aus algen 8. mitt. phloroglucin aus Braunalgen.Planta Med. 24:301–303.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Glombitza, K.W., Rauwald, H.W., andEckhardt, G. 1975. Fucole, polyhydroxyoligophenyle ausFucus vesiculosus.Phytochemistry 14:1403–1405.Google Scholar
  16. Hunger, F.W.T. 1902. Uber das Assimilations-Product der Dictyotaceen.Jahrb. Wiss. Bot. 38:70–82.Google Scholar
  17. Levin, D.A. 1976. The chemical defenses of plants to pathogens and herbivores.Annu. Rev, Ecol. Syst. 7:121–159.Google Scholar
  18. Levy, G.C., andNelson, G.L. 1972. Carbon-13 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Organic Chemists. Wiley-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Lubchenco, J. 1978. Plant species diversity in a marine intertidal community: Importance of herbivore food preference and algal competitive abilities.Am. Nat. 112:23–39.Google Scholar
  20. McLachlan, J., andCraigie, J.S. 1966. Antialgal activity of some simple phenols.J. Phycol. 2:133–135.Google Scholar
  21. Menge, J.L. 1975. Effect of herbivores on community structure of the New England rocky intertidal region: Distribution, abundance, and diversity of algae. PhD thesis. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 164 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Miles, P.W. 1969. Interaction of plant phenols and salivary phenolases in the relationship between plants and Hemiptera.Entomol. Exp. App. 12:736–744.Google Scholar
  23. Ragan, M.A. 1976. Physodes and the phenolic compounds of brown algae. Composition and significance of physodes in vivo.Bot. Mar. 19:145–154.Google Scholar
  24. Ragan, M.A. 1978. Phenolic compounds in brown and red algae, pp. 157–179,in J.A. Hellebust and J.S. Craigie (eds.). Handbook of Phycological Methods, Vol. II. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  25. Ragan, M.A., andCraigie, J.S. 1976. Physodes and the phenolic compounds of brown algae. Isolation and characterization of phloroglucinol polymers fromFucus vesiculosus (L.).Can. J. Biochem. 54:66–73.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Ragan, M.A., Smidsrod, O., andLarsen, B. 1979. Chelation of divalent metal ions by brown algal polyphenols.Mar. Chem. 7:265–271.Google Scholar
  27. Rhoades, D.F., andCates, R.G. 1976. Toward a general theory of plant antiherbivore chemistry. pp. 168–213,in J. Wallace and R. Mansell, (eds.). Recent Advances in Phytochemistry. Vol. 10. Biochemical Interaction between Plants and Insects. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Russell, G.B., Sutherland, O.R.W., Hutchins, R.F.N., andChristmas, P.E. 1978. Vesitol: A phytoalexin with insect feeding-deterrent activity.J. Chem. Ecol. 4:571–579.Google Scholar
  29. Sieburth, J.McN, andConover, J.T. 1965.Sargassum tannin, an antibiotic which retards fouling.Nature 208:52–53.Google Scholar
  30. Stahl, E. 1888. Pflanzen and Schnecken: Ein biologische Studie uber die Schutzmittel der Pflanzen gegen Schnecken Frass.Jena Z. Naturwiss Med. 15:557–684.Google Scholar
  31. Todd, G.W., Getahun, A., andCress, D.C. 1971. Resistance in barley to the greenbug,Schizaphis graminum. I. Toxicity of phenolic and flavonoid compounds and related substances.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 64:718–722.Google Scholar
  32. van Sumere, C.F., Albrecht, J., Dedonder, A., de Footer, H., andPe, I. 1975. Plant proteins and phenolics, pp. 211–256,in J.B. Harborne and C.F. Van Sumere (eds.). The Chemistry and Biochemistry of Plant Proteins. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  33. Wehrli, F.W., andWirthlin, T. 1978. Interpretation of Carbon-13 NMR Spectra. Heyden, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Geiselman
    • 1
  • O. J. McConnell
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods Hole
  2. 2.Skidaway Institute of OceanographySavannah

Personalised recommendations