The recent discovery of chitin within skeletons of numerous marine and freshwater sponges (Porifera) stimulates further experiments to identify this structural aminopolysaccharide in new species of these aquatical animals. Aplysina fistularis (Verongida: Demospongiae: Porifera) is well known to produce biologically active bromotyrosines. Here, we present a detailed study of the structural and physico-chemical properties of the three-dimensional skeletal scaffolds of this sponge. Calcofluor white staining, Raman and IR spectroscopy, ESI-MS as well as chitinase digestion test were applied in order to unequivocally prove the first discovery of α-chitin in skeleton of A. fistularis.
Keywords: Chitin; Marine sponges; Scaffold.
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