Molluscan biological and chemical diversity: secondary metabolites and medicinal resources produced by marine molluscs

Kirsten Benkendorff, Flinders University

Abstract

The phylum Mollusca represents an enormous diversity of species with eight distinct classes. This review provides a taxonomic breakdown of the published research on marine molluscan natural products and the medicinal products currently derived from molluscs, in order to identify priority targets and strategies for future research. Some marine gastropods and bivalves have been of great interest to natural products chemists, yielding a diversity of chemical classes and several drug leads currently in clinical trials. Molluscs also feature prominently in a broad range of traditional natural medicines, although the active ingredients in the taxa involved are typically unknown. Overall secondary metabolites have only been investigated from a tiny proportion (