Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

John Berry

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kevin O'Shea

Third Advisor's Name

Kathleen Rein


Cyanobacteria, Fischerella, Hapalindoles, Zebrafish Embryo, Stigonemataceae, Indole Alkaloid

Date of Defense



Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are known to produce a number of biologically active compounds. Extracts of cultured cyanobacteria isolated from South Florida sources were screened for possible developmental toxins using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo as a model of vertebrate development. A strain of cyanobacteria, Fischerella 52-1, isolated from the Florida Everglades, was found to produce metabolites that caused a consistent developmental dysfunction in embryos exposed to lipophilic extract. Initial chemical characterization of the bioactive fraction identified a series of eight apparent indole-containing compounds. The two main components were purified using the zebrafish embryo model to guide the fractionation. Chemical characterization using 1- and 2-dimensional NMR, HESIMS, HRHESIMS, and IR determined that the two main compounds were the previously identified 12-epi-Hapalindole H Isonitrile, and a novel compound 12-epi-Ambiugine B Nitrile. The major contributor of the developmental defects detected in the zebrafish embryos was 12-epi-Hapalindole H Isonitrile.



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