Summary: A tricyclic diterpene, isoagathenediol, has been isolated from the lipid fraction of the photosynthetic non-sulphur bacterium . The compound was present in trace amounts and its structure was determined by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Isoagathenediol is a new natural product and may function as a membrane fluidity modulator. Five other bacterial species have also been screened for the presence of this compound, but the diterpene was detected only in extracts derived from As tricyclic diterpene fossils are readily detected in oil and shale samples, the isolation of isoagathenediol has indicated the biological origin of these fossils.


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