ARINE SPONGES FROM RIO DE JANEIRO STATE: AN UNEXPLORED RENEWABLE RESOURCE
Keywords:Porífera, renewable resources, pharmacology, Rio de Janeiro
Sustainable development is based on rational utilization: of biological resources. In this paper, the review the specific composition and the various applications of marine sponges from Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, to characterize the importance of the resource represented by marine sponges in the area. We investigated the production of metabolites with pharmacological activity, the viability for cell culture, and the potential for pollution bio-monitoring of the species represented. Twenty-five out of 66 species (37.8 %) and 35 out of 48 genera (72.9 %) show some pharmacological activity. The species with most active extracts (Amphimedon viridis , Cliona celata, Scopalina ruetzleri and Tedania ignis) are also abundant and widely distributed in both Rio de Janeiro state and along the Brazilian coast, being exploitable through direct extraction. Forty-one species have so far no known biological activities, but most genera represented have a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. Some species of sponges from Rio de Janeiro state may also be useful for basic cellular biology research or as pollution bio-monitors. Marine sponges are important renewable resources for Rio de Janeiro state, and their utilization may help sustainable development of the state and of Brazil.