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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Novel, Post-Translationally Modified Peptide Antibiotics from Solitary Tunicates


The goal of this research project was to elucidate the structures of antimicrobial peptides from the tunicates Styela clava, S. plicata and Ciona intestinalis. These three species of primitive-looking organisms are simple protochordate ancestors of the vertebrates and thrive in microbe-laden shallow waters of Southern California. Because of this, researchers have long speculated these organisms must have effective and robust immune systems.

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