Chemical Evidences of Schizoporella errata for High Perseverance in Marine Environment: Cytotoxicity and Volatile Compound Analysis

R.L. Weerasinghe, R.R.M.K.P. Ranatunga, S.D.M. Chinthaka


Schizoporella errata is a marine bryozoan native to Mediterranean ocean and known to be highly invasive to many countries throughout the world. S. errata in Sri Lanka was recorded in Colombo port and the species can be seen extensively distributed over the port environment. Discovery of the relationship of cytotoxicity and secondary metabolites of S. errata, with their high tenacity to establish in a new environment, is the main objective of the study. Fresh samples of S. errata collected from Colombo port were extracted with ethanol to determine the presence of phytochemicals including volatile compounds and cytotoxicity. Crude ethanolic extract was subjected to qualitative assessment of the presence of alkaloids, sterols and triterpenes, saponins, flavonoid and phenols. Ethanol was evaporated and dry product was fractionated with 2.5% H2SO4-ethyl acetate system. Basified aqueous layer again fractionated with ethyl acetate and both organic fractions were evaporated to dryness. Dried products were re-dissolved in dichloromethane to conduct GC/MS analysis. Dry ethanolic extract dissolved in 5% DMSO-seawater was applied in cytotoxicity bioassay against freshly hatched Artemia at different concentrations (0.25, 0.5, 075, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 mg/ml). Larval mortality was recorded and analyzed using probit analysis. Swimming changes and lethargy of Artemia larvae were observed at all concentrations and the 24 h LC50 value (95% confidence limit) estimated at 0.794 mg/ml for crude S. errata extraction. Alkaloids, sterols and triterpenes were detected in phytochemical screening. GC/MS analysis confirmed the presence of a range of phthalate derivatives, which are suggested to damage reproductive organs and nervous system of animals. Therefore, the impact of secondary metabolites can be considered as one of the reasons for the successful establishment of S. errata into new environments.
Keywords: Schizoporella errata, Cytotoxicity, Phthalate derivatives, Secondary metabolite

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Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sri Lanka. Published by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura