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Kirkpatrickia variolosa (Kirkpatrick, 1907)

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Vivid red and thickly branching, reaching a size of up to 30cm high

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Species details

Perry et al, in Tetrahedron 1994: (wrt Kirkpatrickia variolosa). Variolin b, a new antitumour and antiviral compound. Benthic Community at McMurdo Sound, McMurdo sound website

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Species distribution

18 to 640m. Found in patchy assemblages from Sub-Antarctica and South Georgia to the Antarctic Peninsula and Continent.

Kirkpatrickia variolosa is a suspension feeder and preyed on by seastars, particularly Perknaster fuscus when juvenile, and Acodontaster conspicuus. Derivatives from Kirkpatrickia variolosa have been found to have antitumour and antiviral properties, and are being trialled as potential anti-cancer drugs.

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