Mother Nature Likes Some Halogenated Compounds

  • Lowell P. Hager
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


I note that the title of this Conference indicates GENETIC ENGINEERING OF MICROORGANISMS in large print and in small print, “for chemicals”. In this paper, you will have to be satisfied with the “for Chemicals” part of that title because we have not yet arrived at the genetic engineering phase. We soon hope to enter into genetic engineering especially with respect to the production of one of our halogenating enzymes and I will refer briefly to that at the end of this manuscript. I am sure you have seen the television commercials where Mother Nature, accompanied by flashes of lightning and loud noises says “Mother Nature likes this” or “Mother Nature doesn’t like that”. It was with that thought in mind that I arrived at a title for this paper. Most laymen and many scientists think only of industrial pollution and harmful chemicals when discussing roles for halogenated organic molecules in nature. However, I hope to persuade you that Mother Nature does like some halogenated compounds and indeed, has reserved halogenated compounds for some very special functions and purposes.


Marine Alga Fatty Acid Biosynthesis Iodine Atom Mother Nature Methyl Chloride 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Takeda, R. (1958) Structure of a new antibiotic, pyoluteorin. J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 80: 4749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Birch, A.J., P. Hodge, R. W. Rickards, R. Takeda, and F. R. Watson (1964) The structure of pyoluteorin. J. Chem. Soc., 1964: 2641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Merck Index (1968) 8th Edition. Merck and Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., p. 251.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Herzog, H.L., E. Meseck, S. DeLorenzo, A. Murawski, W. Charney, and J.P. Rosselet (1965) Chemistry of antibiotics from Mlcromonospora III. Isolation and characterization of everninomicin D and everninomicin B. Appl. Microbial., 13: 515.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clutterbuck, P.W., S.L. Mukhopadhyay, A.E. Oxford, H. Raistrick (1940) A survey of chlorine metabolism by moudis (B) Caldariomycin, C5H8O2Cl2, a metabolic product of Caldariomyces fumago Woronichin. Biochemistry, 34: 664.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Oxford, A.E., H. Raistrick, and P. Simonart (1939) XXIXX. Studies in the biochemistry of microorganisms. LX. Griseofulvin, C17H17O6Cl, a metabolic product of Penicillium griseofulvin. Dierx. Biochem. J., 33: 240.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Raistrick, H. and G. Smith (1936) Studies in the biochemistry of microorganisms. Ll. The metabolic products of Aspergillus terreus Thom. II. Two new chlorine-containing mould metabolic products, geodin and erdin. Biochem. J., 30: 1315.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barton, D.H.R. and A.I. Scott (1958) The constitutions of geodin and erdin. J. Chem. Soc., 1958: 1767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Personal communication.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Elovson, J. and P.R. Vagelos (1969) A new class of lipids: Chlorosulfolipids. Proc. Natl. Acad. of Sci., 62: 957.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Elovson, J. and P.R. Vagelos (1970) Structure of the major species of chlorosulfolipid from Ochromonas danica. 2,2,11,13, 15,16-Hexachloro-n-docosane 1,14-disulfate. Biochem., 9: 3110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haines, T.H., M. Pousada, B. Stern, and G.L. Mayers (1969) Microbial sulpholipids: (R)-13-Chloro-l-(R)-14-docosanediol disulphate and polychlorosulpholipids in Ochromonas danica. Biochem. J., 113: 565.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mayers, G.L., M. Pousada, and T.H. Haines (1969) Microbial sulfolipids. III. The disulphate of (+)01,14-docosanediol in Ochromonas danica. Biochemistry, 8: 2981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marais, J.S.C. (1944) Monofluoroacetic acid, the toxic principle of “gifblaar in Dichapetalum cymosum” (Hook) Engl. Onderstepoort J. Vet. Sci., 20: 67.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Peters, R.A. and R.J. Hall (1959) Further observations on the toxic principle of Dichapetalum toxicarium. Biochem. Pharmacol., 2: 25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Peters, R.A., R.J. Hall, P.F.V. Ward, and N. Sheppard (1960) The chemical nature of the toxic compounds containing fluorine in the seeds of Dichapetalum toxicarium. Biochem. J., 77: 17.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ward, P.F.V., R.J. Hall, and R.A. Peters (1964) Fluoro-fatty acids in the seeds of Dichapetalum toxicarium. Nature, 201: 611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Irie,T.,M. Suzuki, E. Kurosawa, and T. Masamune (1966) Laurinterol and debromolaurinterol, constituents from Laurencia intermedia. Tetrahedron Lett., 1966: 1837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Beissner, R.S., W.J. Guilford, R.M. Coates, and L.P. Hager(1981) Synthesis of brominated heptanones and bromoform by a bromoperoxidase of marine origin. Biochem., in press.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shaw, P.D., J.R. Beckwith, and L.P. Hager (1959) Biological chlorination. II. The biosynthesis of a-chloroevulinic acid J. Biol. Chem., 234: 2560.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Morris, D.R. and L.P. Hager (1966) Chloroperoxidase. I. Isolation and properties of the crystalline glycoprotein. J. Biol. Chem., 241: 1763.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Moore, R.E., B.J. Burreson, and P. Roller (1975) Tetrahedron Lett., 1975: 473.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Theiler, R., J. Siuda, and L.P. Hager (1978b) Bromoperoxidase from the red algae Bonnemaisonia hamifera. In: Drugs and Food from the Sea - Myth or Reality? ( P.N. Kaul, Ed.) p. 153, Univ. of Okla. Press, Norman, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Theiler, R., J. Cook, and L.P. Hager (1978a) Halohydrocarbon synthesis by bromoperoxidase. Science, 202: 1094CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lowell P. Hager
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations