Antifouling compounds from marine macroalgae

Hans Uwe Dahms, Sergey Dobretsov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Marine macroalgae produce a wide variety of biologically-active metabolites that have been developed into commercial products, such as antibiotics, immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic agents, and cosmetic products. Many marine algae remain clean over longer periods of time, suggesting their strong antifouling potential. Isolation of biogenic compounds and the determination of their structure could provide leads for the development of environmentally-friendly antifouling paints. Isolated substances with potent antifouling activity belong to fatty acids, lipopeptides, amides, alkaloids, lactones, steroids, terpenoids, and pyrroles. It is unclear as yet to what extent symbiotic microorganisms are involved in the synthesis of these compounds. Algal secondary metabolites have the potential to be produced commercially using genetic and metabolic engineering techniques. This review provides an overview of publications from 2010 to February 2017 about antifouling activity of green, brown, and red algae. Some researchers were focusing on antifouling compounds of brown macroalgae, while metabolites of green algae received less attention. Several studies tested antifouling activity against bacteria, microalgae and invertebrates, but in only a few studies was the quorum sensing inhibitory activity of marine macroalgae tested. Rarely, antifouling compounds from macroalgae were isolated and tested in an ecologically-relevant way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Antifouling
  • Biofouling
  • Biogenic compounds
  • Macroalgae
  • Marine natural products
  • Quorum sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


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