Pharmaceutical Sciences




Bertin, Matthew, J.

Advisor Department

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences




Cyanobacteria; Trichodesmium; HPLC; HRMS; NMR

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


Our laboratory has been investigating blooms of Trichodesmium, a genus of ecologically important, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, collected from Padre Island in the Gulf of Mexico. Trichodesmium species are an underexplored biological source of cyanobacteria – a taxa that has been shown to produce chemically diverse secondary metabolites. With our focus on the isolation and structure characterization of new bioactive marine natural products, our research group has discovered over 25 new-to-science compounds over the past three years from these blooms. UV and mass spectrometry-guided isolation of Trichodesmium chromatography fractions were utilized to isolate a new metabolite. Isolation of this metabolite was carried out by means of silica gel vacuum liquid chromatography, solid phase extraction chromatography, and high-performance liquid chromatography. The structure of this molecule was determined using high-resolution mass spectrometry along with 1D and 2D NMR analysis. The molecule contains interesting structural features such as a lactone ring and an aldehyde functional group. This molecule is similar to 11 others isolated by the Bertin laboratory in a group named the trichophycins. However, this new metabolite does not feature a chlorovinylidene moiety, which is a hallmark of the trichophycins. The isolation and characterization of this molecule adds to our laboratory’s pure compound library and provides a new entity to screen for biological activity. Furthermore, inspection of the structure of this new metabolite provokes questions as to its biosynthesis.