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Bioactive compounds from brown algae inhabiting the north-western Mediterranean Sea


Marine algae produce a great amount of secondary metabolites (e.g. terpenoids, fatty acids, steroids, polysaccharides and polyphenols) to face environmental stressors they are exposed to, but also to defend themselves from biological pressures such as competitors, pathogens, grazers and epiphytes. Over the last decade, secondary metabolites isolated from brown algae and phenolic compounds, in particular, are receiving increasing attention due to their putative ecological roles, and several biological properties. Brown fucoid algae of the genus Cystoseira sensu latu (Sargassaceae) and Dictyotaceae produce a wide variety of secondary metabolites which have been investigated mainly for their defensive properties and biological activities. We present here the results of a study on a) the polar metabolites of the extracts of marine brown algae belonging to the genera Cystoseira sensu lato (Sargassaceae), Dictyopteris and Padina (Dictyotaceae) collected along the coast of Sicily (north-western Mediterranean Sea) and b) the antibacterial activity of these extracts.