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Chemical ecology of Antarctic opisthobranch molluscs

Objective



Research objectives and content The basic aim of this project is to determine the role that natural products play in the interactions among benthic organisms in Antarctic ecosystems, considering the opisthobranch molluscs as a model. In order to develop this project the following specific objectives are proposed: Objective 1) To isolate, analyze and structurally identify the bioactive chemicals present in selected opisthobranchs, involved in both intra- and interspecific relationships (e.g. prey-predator pairs). Objective 2) To ascertain the origin and localization of the main chemical compounds, coming either from a prey, or by establishing the biosynthetic pathway, on the basis of the nature of the chemicals and the putative trophic relationships. Localization within the body of the producing or accumulating organism, is planned in order to find how are they protected from their own allomones, and to facilitate the development of the next objective. Objective 3) To determine how the molluscs use these metabolites. Experimental tests will focus on antipredatory effects against putative predators and toxicity to other co-habiting organisms. This part includes not only laboratory testing against putative predators from the same habitat, but also in situ field testing, in order to obtain ecologically valuable information. It also includes testing chemical attraction by using Y-maze tests. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)

Coordinator

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Address
Via Toiano 6
80072 Arco Felice Napoli
Italy