Sponges

The leading source of new marine compounds

Sponge natural products

Our group is investigating the chemistry and biology of possibly the earliest animals to appear on our planet: sponges (phylum Porifera).

Sponges represent today about 9,100 species, of which 161 species are found in Swedish waters and probably more than 300 species in Norwegian waters. Sponges occur worldwide, from the tropics to polar regions, from shallow waters to the abyss. In addition to being important models to understand the evolution of animals, sponges are unquestionably the leading source of new marine compounds, with 200 new sponge metabolites discovered each year.

Using various sources of data such as secondary metabolites, morphology and genetics/genomics, our lab studies the evolution of these animals and aims at discovering sponge natural products, to understand why and how they are produced, and if that could lead to new drugs.