July 3, 2002
From: Virginie Fruh
Can anyone let me know what role terpenes or diterpenes have in an opisthobranch's ecology? Are they aromatic compounds which allow opisthobranchs to communicate? Or are they pigments?
email@example.comFruh, V., 2002 (Jul 3) Diterpenes - what are they?. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7410
Terpenes and diterpenes belong to a group of molecules produced by many plants and animals. The noxious nature of these molecules makes them important antifeedant agents. Many opisthobranchs remove these molecules from their food and incorporate them into their own defence system, either through glandular secretions or by concentrating them into vulnerable parts of their body. 'Recycled' molecules like this are known as Secondary metabolites and they form an important role in many opisthobranch defence strategies. An excellent review is Avila (1995). Also have a look at the following pages for further information and links:
Soft Corals - Chemical Defence
• Avila, C. (1995) Natural Products of Opisthobranch molluscs: a Biological Review. Oceanography and Marine Biology, Annual Review, 33: 487-559.
Re: Diterpenes - what are they?
From: Edwin Cruz-Rivera, July 27, 2002
From: Alexander Taborda Marin, May 31, 2002
Chemical information about Sea Slugs
From: Arnaud Parenty, March 15, 2001
From: Jacob Hall, May 18, 1998