The natural production of organobromine compounds

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2000 Mar;7(1):37-47. doi: 10.1065/espr199910.002.


Organobromine chemicals are produced naturally by an array of biological and other chemical processes in our environment. Some of these compounds are identical to man-made organobromine compounds, such as methyl bromide, bromoform, and bromophenols, but many others are entirely new moleclar entities, often possessing extraordinary and important biological properties. Although only a few natural organobromine compounds had been discovered up to 1968, this number as of early 1999 is more than 1,600, and new examples are being discovered continually. Organobromine compounds are produced naturally by marine creatures (sponges, corals, sea slugs, tunicates, sea fans) and seaweed, plants, fungi, lichen, algae, bacteria, microbes, and some mammals. Many of these organobromine compounds are used in chemical defense, to facilitate food gathering, or as hormones.