WorldWideScience

Sample records for algal toxins origins

  1. Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Dolah, Frances M.

    2000-01-01

    Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. (Author)

  2. Algal Toxins Alter Copepod Feeding Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Jiarong; Talapatra, Siddharth; Katz, Joseph; Tester, Patricia A.; Waggett, Rebecca J.; Place, Allen R.

    2012-01-01

    Using digital holographic cinematography, we quantify and compare the feeding behavior of free-swimming copepods, Acartia tonsa, on nutritional prey (Storeatula major) to that occurring during exposure to toxic and non-toxic strains of Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum. These two harmful algal species produce polyketide toxins with different modes of action and potency. We distinguish between two different beating modes of the copepod’s feeding appendages–a “sampling beating” that has short durations (<100 ms) and involves little fluid entrainment and a longer duration “grazing beating” that persists up to 1200 ms and generates feeding currents. The durations of both beating modes have log-normal distributions. Without prey, A. tonsa only samples the environment at low frequency. Upon introduction of non-toxic food, it increases its sampling time moderately and the grazing period substantially. On mono algal diets for either of the toxic dinoflagellates, sampling time fraction is high but the grazing is very limited. A. tonsa demonstrates aversion to both toxic algal species. In mixtures of S. major and the neurotoxin producing K. brevis, sampling and grazing diminish rapidly, presumably due to neurological effects of consuming brevetoxins while trying to feed on S. major. In contrast, on mixtures of cytotoxin producing K. veneficum, both behavioral modes persist, indicating that intake of karlotoxins does not immediately inhibit the copepod’s grazing behavior. These findings add critical insight into how these algal toxins may influence the copepod’s feeding behavior, and suggest how some harmful algal species may alter top-down control exerted by grazers like copepods. PMID:22629336

  3. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiarong Hong

    Full Text Available Using digital holographic cinematography, we quantify and compare the feeding behavior of free-swimming copepods, Acartia tonsa, on nutritional prey (Storeatula major to that occurring during exposure to toxic and non-toxic strains of Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum. These two harmful algal species produce polyketide toxins with different modes of action and potency. We distinguish between two different beating modes of the copepod's feeding appendages-a "sampling beating" that has short durations (<100 ms and involves little fluid entrainment and a longer duration "grazing beating" that persists up to 1200 ms and generates feeding currents. The durations of both beating modes have log-normal distributions. Without prey, A. tonsa only samples the environment at low frequency. Upon introduction of non-toxic food, it increases its sampling time moderately and the grazing period substantially. On mono algal diets for either of the toxic dinoflagellates, sampling time fraction is high but the grazing is very limited. A. tonsa demonstrates aversion to both toxic algal species. In mixtures of S. major and the neurotoxin producing K. brevis, sampling and grazing diminish rapidly, presumably due to neurological effects of consuming brevetoxins while trying to feed on S. major. In contrast, on mixtures of cytotoxin producing K. veneficum, both behavioral modes persist, indicating that intake of karlotoxins does not immediately inhibit the copepod's grazing behavior. These findings add critical insight into how these algal toxins may influence the copepod's feeding behavior, and suggest how some harmful algal species may alter top-down control exerted by grazers like copepods.

  4. Addressing harmful algal blooms (HABs) impacts with ferrate(VI): Simultaneous removal of algal cells and toxins for drinking water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yang; Wu, Meiyin; Zhang, Huiqin; Zheng, Lei; Acosta, Yaritza; Hsu, Tsung-Ta D

    2017-11-01

    Although ferrate(VI) has long been recognized as a multi-purpose treatment agent, previous investigations regarding ferrate(VI) for addressing harmful algal blooms (HABs) impacts in drinking water treatment only focused on a single HAB pollutant (e.g. algal cells or algal toxins). Moreover, the performance of ferrate(VI)-driven coagulation was poorly investigated in comparison with ferrate(VI) oxidation, though it has been widely acknowledged as a major ferrate(VI) treatment mechanism. We herein reported ferrate(VI) as an emerging agent for simultaneous and effective removal of algal cells and toxins in a simulated HAB-impacted water. Ferrate(VI)-driven oxidation enabled algal cell inactivation and toxin decomposition. Subsequently, Fe(III) from ferrate(VI) reduction initiated an in-situ coagulation for cell aggregation. Cell viability (initial 4.26 × 10 4 cells/mL at pH 5.5 and 5.16 × 10 4 cells/mL at pH 7.5) decreased to 0.0% at ≥ 7 mg/L Fe(VI) at pH 5.5 and 7.5, respectively. Cell density and turbidity were dramatically decreased at pH 5.5 once ferrate(VI) doses were beyond their respective threshold levels, which are defined as minimum effective iron doses (MEIDs). However, the particulate removal at pH 7.5 was poor, likely because the coagulation was principally driven by charge neutralization and a higher pH could not sufficiently lower the particle surface charge. Meanwhile, algal toxins (i.e., microcystins) of 3.98 μg/L could be substantially decomposed at either pH. And the greater degradation achieved at pH 5.5 was due to the higher reactivity of ferrate(VI) at the lower pH. This study represents the first step toward the ferrate(VI) application as a promising approach for addressing multiple HABs impacts for water treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Food safety: developement of new methods for marine algal toxins detection

    OpenAIRE

    Barreras Garcia, Alvaro

    2013-01-01

    2011/2012 SUMMARY Biotoxins produced by harmful algae during their proliferation can be accumulated by filter feeding organisms, such as bivalve shellfish, within their flesh. Furthermore, these toxins gradually are transferred to the higher trophic levels in the food chain, posing a threat to human health, after consumption of contaminated seafood. Filter-feeding invertebrates are organisms in which the toxin accumulation is a well-known phenomenon, especially during harmful algal...

  6. Possible importance of algal toxins in the Salton Sea, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reifel, K.M.; McCoy, M.P.; Rocke, T.E.; Tiffany, M.A.; Hurlbert, S.H.; Faulkner, D.J.

    2002-01-01

    In response to wildlife mortality including unexplained eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) die-off events in 1992 and 1994 and other mortality events including large fish kills, a survey was conducted for the presence of algal toxins in the Salton Sea. Goals of this survey were to determine if and when algal toxins are present in the Salton Sea and to describe the phytoplankton composition during those times. A total of 29 samples was collected for toxicity analysis from both nearshore and midlake sites visited biweekly from January to December 1999. Dinoflagellates and diatoms dominated most samples, but some were dominated by a prymnesiophyte (Pleurochrysis pseudoroscoffensis) or a raphidophyte (Chattonella marina). Several types of blooms were observed and sampled. The dinoflagellate Gyrodinium uncatenum formed an extensive, dense (up to 310 000 cells ml−1) and long-lasting bloom during the winter in 1999. A coccolithophorid, Pleurochrysis pseudoroscoffensis, occurred at high densities in surface films and nearshore areas during the spring and summer of 1999. These surface films also contained high densities of one or two other species (an unidentified scrippsielloid, Heterocapsa niei, Chattonella marina). Localized blooms were also observed in the Salton Sea. An unknown small dinoflagellate reached high densities (110 000 cells ml−1) inside Varner Harbor, and an unidentified species of Gymnodinium formed a dense (270 000 cells ml−1) band along part of the southern shoreline during the summer. Three species known to produce toxins in other systems were found. Protoceratium reticulatum (=Gonyaulax grindleyi) and Chattonella marina were found in several samples taken during summer months, and Prorocentrum minimum was found in low densities in several samples. Extracts of most samples, including those containing known toxic species, showed a low level (Salton Sea, no evidence gathered in this study suggests that algal toxins are present

  7. Algal toxins and reverse osmosis desalination operations: Laboratory bench testing and field monitoring of domoic acid, saxitoxin, brevetoxin and okadaic acid

    KAUST Repository

    Seubert, Erica L.

    2012-12-01

    The occurrence and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been increasing globally during the past few decades. The impact of these events on seawater desalination facilities has become an important topic in recent years due to enhanced societal interest and reliance on this technology for augmenting world water supplies. A variety of harmful bloom-forming species of microalgae occur in southern California, as well as many other locations throughout the world, and several of these species are known to produce potent neurotoxins. These algal toxins can cause a myriad of human health issues, including death, when ingested via contaminated seafood. This study was designed to investigate the impact that algal toxin presence may have on both the intake and reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process; most importantly, whether or not the naturally occurring algal toxins can pass through the RO membrane and into the desalination product. Bench-scale RO experiments were conducted to explore the potential of extracellular algal toxins contaminating the RO product. Concentrations exceeding maximal values previously reported during natural blooms were used in the laboratory experiments, with treatments comprised of 50 μg/L of domoic acid (DA), 2 μg/L of saxitoxin (STX) and 20 μg/L of brevetoxin (PbTx). None of the algal toxins used in the bench-scale experiments were detectable in the desalinated product water. Monitoring for intracellular and extracellular concentrations of DA, STX, PbTx and okadaic acid (OA) within the intake and desalinated water from a pilot RO desalination plant in El Segundo, CA, was conducted from 2005 to 2009. During the five-year monitoring period, DA and STX were detected sporadically in the intake waters but never in the desalinated water. PbTx and OA were not detected in either the intake or desalinated water. The results of this study demonstrate the potential for HAB toxins to be inducted into coastal RO intake facilities, and the

  8. Algal toxins and reverse osmosis desalination operations: Laboratory bench testing and field monitoring of domoic acid, saxitoxin, brevetoxin and okadaic acid

    KAUST Repository

    Seubert, Erica L.; Trussell, Shane; Eagleton, John; Schnetzer, Astrid; Cetinić, Ivona; Lauri, Phil; Jones, Burton; Caron, David A.

    2012-01-01

    The occurrence and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been increasing globally during the past few decades. The impact of these events on seawater desalination facilities has become an important topic in recent years due to enhanced societal interest and reliance on this technology for augmenting world water supplies. A variety of harmful bloom-forming species of microalgae occur in southern California, as well as many other locations throughout the world, and several of these species are known to produce potent neurotoxins. These algal toxins can cause a myriad of human health issues, including death, when ingested via contaminated seafood. This study was designed to investigate the impact that algal toxin presence may have on both the intake and reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process; most importantly, whether or not the naturally occurring algal toxins can pass through the RO membrane and into the desalination product. Bench-scale RO experiments were conducted to explore the potential of extracellular algal toxins contaminating the RO product. Concentrations exceeding maximal values previously reported during natural blooms were used in the laboratory experiments, with treatments comprised of 50 μg/L of domoic acid (DA), 2 μg/L of saxitoxin (STX) and 20 μg/L of brevetoxin (PbTx). None of the algal toxins used in the bench-scale experiments were detectable in the desalinated product water. Monitoring for intracellular and extracellular concentrations of DA, STX, PbTx and okadaic acid (OA) within the intake and desalinated water from a pilot RO desalination plant in El Segundo, CA, was conducted from 2005 to 2009. During the five-year monitoring period, DA and STX were detected sporadically in the intake waters but never in the desalinated water. PbTx and OA were not detected in either the intake or desalinated water. The results of this study demonstrate the potential for HAB toxins to be inducted into coastal RO intake facilities, and the

  9. Biodegradation of polyether algal toxins--isolation of potential marine bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetty, Kateel G; Huntzicker, Jacqueline V; Rein, Kathleen S; Jayachandran, Krish

    2010-12-01

    Marine algal toxins such as brevetoxins, okadaic acid, yessotoxin, and ciguatoxin are polyether compounds. The fate of polyether toxins in the aqueous phase, particularly bacterial biotransformation of the toxins, is poorly understood. An inexpensive and easily available polyether structural analog salinomycin was used for enrichment and isolation of potential polyether toxin degrading aquatic marine bacteria from Florida bay area, and from red tide endemic sites in the South Florida Gulf coast. Bacterial growth on salinomycin was observed in most of the enrichment cultures from both regions with colony forming units ranging from 0 to 6×10(7) per mL. The salinomycin biodegradation efficiency of bacterial isolates determined using LC-MS ranged from 22% to 94%. Selected bacterial isolates were grown in media with brevetoxin as the sole carbon source to screen for brevetoxin biodegradation capability using ELISA. Out of the two efficient salinomycin biodegrading isolates MB-2 and MB-4, maximum brevetoxin biodegradation efficiency of 45% was observed with MB-4, while MB-2 was unable to biodegrade brevetoxin. Based on 16S rRNA sequence similarity MB-4 was found have a match with Chromohalobacter sp.

  10. A neurophysiological method of rapid detection and analysis of marine algal toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerr, DS; Bødtkjer, Donna Briggs; Saba, HI

    1999-01-01

    a robust, reversible increase in amplitude mic spikes, and the appearance of multiple spikes (i.e., epileptiform activity) within minutes of toxin wash-in. Other notable features of the domoic acid signature included a significant decrease in amplitude of the field EPSPs, and a complete absence of effect...... responsive fashion at toxin concentrations of 25-200 nM, and tests of naturally contaminated shellfish confirmed the utility of this assay as a screening method for PSP. Our findings suggest that the in vitro hippocampal slice preparation has potential in the detection and analysis of three marine algal...

  11. Occurrence of marine algal toxins in oyster and phytoplankton samples in Daya Bay, South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Tao; Liu, Lei; Li, Yang; Zhang, Jing; Tan, Zhijun; Wu, Haiyan; Jiang, Tianjiu; Lu, Songhui

    2017-09-01

    The occurrence and seasonal variations of marine algal toxins in phytoplankton and oyster samples in Daya Bay (DYB), South China Sea were investigated. Two Dinophysis species, namely, D. caudata and D. acuminata complex, were identified as Okadaic acid (OA)/pectenotoxin (PTX) related species. Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis demonstrated that 2.04-14.47 pg PTX2 per cell was the predominant toxin in single-cell isolates of D. caudata. D. acuminata was not subjected to toxin analysis. The occurrence of OAs in phytoplankton concentrates of net-haul sample coincided with the presence of D. accuminata complex, suggesting that this species is most likely an OA producer in this sea area. OA, dinophysistoxins-1 (DTX1), PTX2, PTX2sa, gymnodimine (GYM), homoyessotoxin (homoYTX), and domoic acid (DA) demonstrated positive results in net haul samples. To our best knowledge, this paper is the first to report the detection of GYM, DA, and homoYTX in phytoplankton samples in Chinese coastal waters. Among the algal toxins, GYM demonstrated the highest frequency of positive detections in phytoplankton concentrates (13/17). Five compounds of algal toxins, including OA, DTX1, PTX2, PTX2sa, and GYM, were detected in oyster samples. DA and homoYTX were not detected in oysters despite of positive detections for both in the phytoplankton concentrates. However, neither the presence nor absence of DA in oysters can be determined because extraction conditions with 100% methanol used to isolate toxins from oysters (recommended by the EU-Harmonised Standard Operating Procedure, 2015) would likely be unsuitable for this water-soluble toxin. In addition, transformation of DA during the digestion process of oysters may also be involved in the negative detections of this toxin. GYM exhibited the highest frequency of positive results in oysters (14/17). OAs were only detected in the hydrolyzed oyster samples. The detection rates of PTX and PTX2sa in

  12. HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA: EFFECTS ON HUMAN HEALTH.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margherita Ferrante

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A harmful algal bloom (HAB is defined as a bloom that has deleterious effects on plants, animals or humans. Marine algal toxins are responsible for an array of human illnesses associated with consumption of seafood or exposure to aerosolized toxins. The effects of algal toxins are generally observed as acute intoxications, whereas the environmental health effects of chronic exposure to low levels of algal toxins are, to date, only poorly documented and an emerging issue. Consumption of seafood contaminated with algal toxins can result in five types of seafood poisoning syndromes: paralytic shellfish poisoning, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, amnesic shellfish poisoning, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning and ciguatera fish poisoning. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview on HAB-related issues in the Mediterranean Sea.

  13. Cephalopods as Vectors of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Marine Food Webs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Rosa

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids. These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers, saxitoxin (and its derivatives and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG—the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6% is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs, these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG >> kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue reaching 971 μg kg−1 and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg−1 (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg−1 in shellfish. Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  14. Concurrent Exposure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to Multiple Algal Toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiner, Michael J.; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K.; Wells, Randall S.

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000–2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

  15. Concurrent exposure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus to multiple algal toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Twiner

    Full Text Available Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA, the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA. Over a ten-year study period (2000-2009 we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118 and 53% positive for DA (n = 83 with several individuals (14% testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001 and eosinophil (p<0.001 counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health.

  16. Nutrients and toxin producing phytoplankton control algal blooms - a spatio-temporal study in a noisy environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Ram Rup; Malchow, Horst

    2005-12-01

    A phytoplankton-zooplankton prey-predator model has been investigated for temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal dissipative pattern formation in a deterministic and noisy environment, respectively. The overall carrying capacity for the phytoplankton population depends on the nutrient level. The role of nutrient concentrations and toxin producing phytoplankton for controlling the algal blooms has been discussed. The local analysis yields a number of stationary and/or oscillatory regimes and their combinations. Correspondingly interesting is the spatio-temporal behaviour, modelled by stochastic reaction-diffusion equations. The present study also reveals the fact that the rate of toxin production by toxin producing phytoplankton (TPP) plays an important role for controlling oscillations in the plankton system. We also observe that different mortality functions of zooplankton due to TPP have significant influence in controlling oscillations, coexistence, survival or extinction of the zoo-plankton population. External noise can enhance the survival and spread of zooplankton that would go extinct in the deterministic system due to a high rate of toxin production.

  17. A novel antibody-based biomarker for chronic algal toxin exposure and sub-acute neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Frame, Elizabeth R.; Gulland, Frances; Hansen, John D.; Kendrick, Preston S.; Beyer, Richard P.; Bammler, Theo K.; Farin, Frederico M.; Hiolski, Emma M.; Smith, Donald R.; Marcinek, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins.

  18. A novel antibody-based biomarker for chronic algal toxin exposure and sub-acute neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Kathi A; Frame, Elizabeth R; Gulland, Frances; Hansen, John D; Kendrick, Preston S; Beyer, Richard P; Bammler, Theo K; Farin, Frederico M; Hiolski, Emma M; Smith, Donald R; Marcinek, David J

    2012-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins.

  19. Harmful Algal Blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jennifer L.

    2007-01-01

    What are Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)? Freshwater and marine harmful algal blooms (HABs) can occur anytime water use is impaired due to excessive accumulations of algae. HAB occurrence is affected by a complex set of physical, chemical, biological, hydrological, and meteorological conditions making it difficult to isolate specific causative environmental factors. Potential impairments include reduction in water quality, accumulation of malodorous scums in beach areas, algal production of toxins potent enough to poison both aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and algal production of taste-and-odor compounds that cause unpalatable drinking water and fish. HABs are a global problem, and toxic freshwater and (or) marine algae have been implicated in human and animal illness and death in over 45 countries worldwide and in at least 27 U.S. States (Yoo and others, 1995; Chorus and Bartram, 1999; Huisman and others, 2005).

  20. Algal Production of Extra- and Intra-Cellular Polysaccharides as an Adaptive Response to the Toxin Crude Extract of Microcystis Aeruginosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Mohamed El-Sheekh

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This is an investigation concerned with studying the possible adaptive response of four different unicellular algae, Anabaena PCC 7120, Oscillatoria angustissima, Scendesmus obliquus and Chlorella vulgaris, to the toxin of Microcystis aeruginosa (Kützing. Theeffects of four different concentrations, 25, 50, 100 and 200 μg mL-1 of microcystins crude extract of M. aeruginosa, on both intra and extra-cellular polysaccharide levels, in log phase,of the four tested algae were studied. The obtained results showed differential increase in the production levels for both intra and extra-cellular polysaccharides by the tested algae,compared with the control. S. obliquus and C. vulgaris showed a resistance to crude toxinhigher than Anabaena PCC 7120 and O. angustissima. The highly production of polysaccharides by green algal species under this toxic stress indicated the involvement of these polysaccharides in protecting the algal cells against toxic species and, reflect thebiological behavior of particular algal species to the environmental stresses.

  1. Rachael Carson Lecture - Algal Toxins in the Deep Blue Sea: an Environmental Concern?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, M. W.; Bargu, S.

    2008-05-01

    Many land plants are known to possess toxins, presumably for grazer deterrence, whereas toxins in marine phytoplankton are a much rarer phenomenon, particularly in open ocean (blue water) environments. Several dozen phytoplankton species, frequently dinoflagellates but also some diatoms, form "harmful algal blooms" nearshore: here their toxins can contaminate filter-feeding shellfish resulting in poisoning "syndromes" when humans consume the tainted shellfish. The present rise in such coastal events is a likely consequence of human activities. In blue water, open ocean environments, the filamentous cyanobacterium Trichodesmium (a blue green alga) is one of the few bloom-forming toxin producers and hosts a consortium of microorganisms that may be partially immune to its toxins. Pseudo-nitzschia, a ubiquitous genus of diatoms recently has been shown to include coastal species that produce domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin that passes through the food web, sometimes with resulting deaths of marine birds and mammals. Oceanic species of Pseudo-nitzschia also exist but are less well known, and DA has not yet been found in them. Here we review some general features of toxic marine phytoplankton, recent studies on DA in coastal ecosystems and describe some of our findings on blue water Pseudo-nitzschia. We will summarize laboratory experiments that show complex patterns of DA retention and release into the water when Fe is added to coastal Pseudo-nitzschia cultures. In oceanic species, equivalent experiments on cell physiology are limited and the natural species and abundance patterns poorly known. Here we present our recent discovery that DA occurs in oceanic Pseudo-nitzschia and review evidence from the literature that this genus may be preferentially enhanced when iron is added to HNLC (high nutrient, low chlorophyll) waters: areas where nitrogen and phosphorus are not yet depleted, but iron concentrations and phytoplankton biomass are low. The rapid growth of these DA

  2. Field and laboratory guide to freshwater cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms for Native American and Alaska Native communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Barry H.; St. Amand, Ann

    2015-09-14

    Cyanobacteria can produce toxins and form harmful algal blooms. The Native American and Alaska Native communities that are dependent on subsistence fishing have an increased risk of exposure to these cyanotoxins. It is important to recognize the presence of an algal bloom in a waterbody and to distinguish a potentially toxic harmful algal bloom from a non-toxic bloom. This guide provides field images that show cyanobacteria blooms, some of which can be toxin producers, as well as other non-toxic algae blooms and floating plants that might be confused with algae. After recognition of a potential toxin-producing cyanobacterial bloom in the field, the type(s) of cyanobacteria present needs to be identified. Species identification, which requires microscopic examination, may help distinguish a toxin-producer from a non-toxin producer. This guide also provides microscopic images of the common cyanobacteria that are known to produce toxins, as well as images of algae that form blooms but do not produce toxins.

  3. Algal Toxin Azaspiracid-1 Induces Early Neuronal Differentiation and Alters Peripherin Isoform Stoichiometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda V. Hjørnevik

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Azaspiracid-1 is an algal toxin that accumulates in edible mussels, and ingestion may result in human illness as manifested by vomiting and diarrhoea. When injected into mice, it causes neurotoxicological symptoms and death. Although it is well known that azaspiracid-1 is toxic to most cells and cell lines, little is known about its biological target(s. A rat PC12 cell line, commonly used as a model for the peripheral nervous system, was used to study the neurotoxicological effects of azaspiracid-1. Azaspiracid-1 induced differentiation-related morphological changes followed by a latter cell death. The differentiated phenotype showed peripherin-labelled neurite-like processes simultaneously as a specific isoform of peripherin was down-regulated. The precise mechanism behind this down-regulation remains uncertain. However, this study provides new insights into the neurological effects of azaspiracid-1 and into the biological significance of specific isoforms of peripherin.

  4. Detecting the Killer Toxin (Harmful Algal Blooms)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quevenco, Rodolfo

    2011-01-01

    IAEA is stepping up efforts to help countries understand the phenomenon and use more reliable methods for early detection and monitoring so as to limit harmful algal blooms (HABs) adverse effects on coastal communities everywhere.

  5. Detection of Harmful Algal Toxins Using the Radioligand Receptor Binding Assay. A Manual of Methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-12-01

    Marine ecosystems and their resources play major roles in sustaining human population and economic growth in coastal developing countries. These ecosystems are subjected to various natural and human-made threats. Among these are harmful algal blooms (HABs), which are natural phenomena that are increasingly being reported around the globe and responsible for human poisoning through the accumulation of potent toxins in marine food products. The impact of HABs may be aggravated by a limited knowledge of the microalgal species that cause toxic outbreaks, their biology, their diversity, their life cycles, and by poor capabilities for predicting the outbreaks and assessing the degree of HAB toxicity. Other negative factors are the lack of recognition of the disease, the lack of epidemiological data, the lack of adequate and specific treatment and low public awareness. Owing to the profound public health and socioeconomic impact of HABs, many countries have developed and implemented HAB related monitoring programmes and regulatory frameworks. Following a request made by the Philippines during the IAEA General Conference in 1997 to identify possible meaures to address the impacts of HABs, the IAEA initiated related Technical Cooperation projects to assist Member States in strengthening their capacities for prevention, management and mitigation of health and socioeconomic impacts of HABs. Since 1998, the IAEA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have undertaken concerted actions to develop and to validate a radioligand based method, the receptor binding assay (RBA). The RBA is now recognized by the AOAC International as an official method for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins. Within the IAEA Technical Cooperation programme, the RBA methodology was transferred to over 23 Member States in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Latin America. Transfer of knowledge and relevant equipment has enabled the development and strengthening

  6. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marine algal toxins are extremely toxic and can represent a major health problem to humans and animals. Temperature regulation is one of many processes to be affected by exposure to these toxins. Mice and rats become markedly hypothermic when subjected to acute exposure to the ma...

  7. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heussner, A.H.; Mazija, L. [Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz (Germany); Fastner, J. [Federal Environmental Agency, Section II 3.3—Drinking-water resources and treatment, Berlin (Germany); Dietrich, D.R., E-mail: daniel.dietrich@uni-konstanz.de [Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz (Germany)

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC–MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g{sup −1} dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. -- Highlights: ► Marketed algae dietary supplements were analyzed for toxins. ► Methods: Phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), Adda-ELISA, LC-MS/MS. ► Aph. flos-aquae products all tested positive for microcystins. ► Products tested negative for nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin. ► Extracts from all products were cytotoxic.

  8. Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in Jordan Lake, North Carolina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Wiltsie

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The eutrophication of waterways has led to a rise in cyanobacterial, harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs worldwide. The deterioration of water quality due to excess algal biomass in lakes has been well documented (e.g., water clarity, hypoxic conditions, but health risks associated with cyanotoxins remain largely unexplored in the absence of toxin information. This study is the first to document the presence of dissolved microcystin, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and β-N-methylamino-l-alanine in Jordan Lake, a major drinking water reservoir in North Carolina. Saxitoxin presence was not confirmed. Multiple toxins were detected at 86% of the tested sites and during 44% of the sampling events between 2014 and 2016. Although concentrations were low, continued exposure of organisms to multiple toxins raises some concerns. A combination of discrete sampling and in-situ tracking (Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking [SPATT] revealed that microcystin and anatoxin were the most pervasive year-round. Between 2011 and 2016, summer and fall blooms were dominated by the same cyanobacterial genera, all of which are suggested producers of single or multiple cyanotoxins. The study’s findings provide further evidence of the ubiquitous nature of cyanotoxins, and the challenges involved in linking CyanoHAB dynamics to specific environmental forcing factors are discussed.

  9. Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in Jordan Lake, North Carolina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltsie, Daniel; Schnetzer, Astrid; Green, Jason; Vander Borgh, Mark; Fensin, Elizabeth

    2018-02-24

    The eutrophication of waterways has led to a rise in cyanobacterial, harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) worldwide. The deterioration of water quality due to excess algal biomass in lakes has been well documented (e.g., water clarity, hypoxic conditions), but health risks associated with cyanotoxins remain largely unexplored in the absence of toxin information. This study is the first to document the presence of dissolved microcystin, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and β- N -methylamino-l-alanine in Jordan Lake, a major drinking water reservoir in North Carolina. Saxitoxin presence was not confirmed. Multiple toxins were detected at 86% of the tested sites and during 44% of the sampling events between 2014 and 2016. Although concentrations were low, continued exposure of organisms to multiple toxins raises some concerns. A combination of discrete sampling and in-situ tracking (Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking [SPATT]) revealed that microcystin and anatoxin were the most pervasive year-round. Between 2011 and 2016, summer and fall blooms were dominated by the same cyanobacterial genera, all of which are suggested producers of single or multiple cyanotoxins. The study's findings provide further evidence of the ubiquitous nature of cyanotoxins, and the challenges involved in linking CyanoHAB dynamics to specific environmental forcing factors are discussed.

  10. Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in Jordan Lake, North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltsie, Daniel; Schnetzer, Astrid; Green, Jason; Vander Borgh, Mark; Fensin, Elizabeth

    2018-01-01

    The eutrophication of waterways has led to a rise in cyanobacterial, harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) worldwide. The deterioration of water quality due to excess algal biomass in lakes has been well documented (e.g., water clarity, hypoxic conditions), but health risks associated with cyanotoxins remain largely unexplored in the absence of toxin information. This study is the first to document the presence of dissolved microcystin, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, and β-N-methylamino-l-alanine in Jordan Lake, a major drinking water reservoir in North Carolina. Saxitoxin presence was not confirmed. Multiple toxins were detected at 86% of the tested sites and during 44% of the sampling events between 2014 and 2016. Although concentrations were low, continued exposure of organisms to multiple toxins raises some concerns. A combination of discrete sampling and in-situ tracking (Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking [SPATT]) revealed that microcystin and anatoxin were the most pervasive year-round. Between 2011 and 2016, summer and fall blooms were dominated by the same cyanobacterial genera, all of which are suggested producers of single or multiple cyanotoxins. The study’s findings provide further evidence of the ubiquitous nature of cyanotoxins, and the challenges involved in linking CyanoHAB dynamics to specific environmental forcing factors are discussed. PMID:29495289

  11. Re-evaluating the green versus red signal in eukaryotes with secondary plastid of red algal origin

    KAUST Repository

    Burki, Fabien

    2012-05-16

    The transition from endosymbiont to organelle in eukaryotic cells involves the transfer of significant numbers of genes to the host genomes, a process known as endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT). In the case of plastid organelles, EGTs have been shown to leave a footprint in the nuclear genome that can be indicative of ancient photosynthetic activity in present-day plastid-lacking organisms, or even hint at the existence of cryptic plastids. Here,we evaluated the impact of EGTon eukaryote genomes by reanalyzing the recently published EST dataset for Chromera velia, an interesting test case of a photosynthetic alga closely related to apicomplexan parasites. Previously, 513 genes were reported to originate from red and green algae in a 1:1 ratio. In contrast, by manually inspecting newly generated trees indicating putative algal ancestry, we recovered only 51 genes congruent with EGT, of which 23 and 9 were of red and green algal origin, respectively,whereas 19 were ambiguous regarding the algal provenance.Our approach also uncovered 109 genes that branched within a monocot angiosperm clade, most likely representing a contamination. We emphasize the lack of congruence and the subjectivity resulting from independent phylogenomic screens for EGT, which appear to call for extreme caution when drawing conclusions for major evolutionary events. 2012 The Author(s).

  12. The Cyanobacteria Assessment Network - Recent Success in Harmful Algal Bloom Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cyanobacteria blooms, which can become harmful algal blooms (HABs), are a huge environmental problem across the United States. They are capable of producing dangerous toxins that threaten the health of humans and animals, quality of drinking water supplies, and the ecosystem in w...

  13. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grattan, Lynn M.; Holobaugh, Sailor; Morris, J. Glenn

    2015-01-01

    The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries. Thus, illness prevention is of paramount importance to minimize human and public health risks. To accomplish this, close communication and collaboration is needed among HAB scientists, public health researchers and local, state and tribal health departments at academic, community outreach, and policy levels. PMID:27616971

  14. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grattan, Lynn M; Holobaugh, Sailor; Morris, J Glenn

    2016-07-01

    The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries. Thus, illness prevention is of paramount importance to minimize human and public health risks. To accomplish this, close communication and collaboration is needed among HAB scientists, public health researchers and local, state and tribal health departments at academic, community outreach, and policy levels.

  15. THE TRPV1 RECEPTOR: THE INTERAGENCY, INTERNATION SYMPOSIUM ON CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background and Significance Evidence indicates that the frequency of occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial and temporal extent in the US and worldwide. Cyanotoxins are among the most potent toxins known, causing death through ...

  16. Seawater reverse osmosis desalination and (harmful) algal blooms

    KAUST Repository

    Villacorte, Loreen O.; Tabatabai, S. Assiyeh Alizadeh; Anderson, Donald M.; Amy, Gary L.; Schippers, Jan Cornelis; Kennedy, Maria Dolores

    2015-01-01

    This article reviews the occurrence of HABs in seawater, their effects on the operation of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants, the indicators for quantifying/predicting these effects, and the pretreatment strategies for mitigating operational issues during algal blooms. The potential issues in SWRO plants during HABs are particulate/organic fouling of pretreatment systems and biological fouling of RO membranes, mainly due to accumulation of algal organic matter (AOM). The presence of HAB toxins in desalinated water is also a potential concern but only at very low concentrations. Monitoring algal cell density, AOM concentrations and membrane fouling indices is a promising approach to assess the quality of SWRO feedwater and performance of the pretreatment system. When geological condition is favourable, subsurface intake can be a robust pretreatment for SWRO during HABs. Existing SWRO plants with open intake and are fitted with granular media filtration can improve performance in terms of capacity and product water quality, if preceded by dissolved air flotation or sedimentation. However, the application of advanced pretreatment using ultrafiltration membrane with in-line coagulation is often a better option as it is capable of maintaining stable operation and better RO feed water quality during algal bloom periods with significantly lower chemical consumption.

  17. Seawater reverse osmosis desalination and (harmful) algal blooms

    KAUST Repository

    Villacorte, Loreen O.

    2015-03-01

    This article reviews the occurrence of HABs in seawater, their effects on the operation of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants, the indicators for quantifying/predicting these effects, and the pretreatment strategies for mitigating operational issues during algal blooms. The potential issues in SWRO plants during HABs are particulate/organic fouling of pretreatment systems and biological fouling of RO membranes, mainly due to accumulation of algal organic matter (AOM). The presence of HAB toxins in desalinated water is also a potential concern but only at very low concentrations. Monitoring algal cell density, AOM concentrations and membrane fouling indices is a promising approach to assess the quality of SWRO feedwater and performance of the pretreatment system. When geological condition is favourable, subsurface intake can be a robust pretreatment for SWRO during HABs. Existing SWRO plants with open intake and are fitted with granular media filtration can improve performance in terms of capacity and product water quality, if preceded by dissolved air flotation or sedimentation. However, the application of advanced pretreatment using ultrafiltration membrane with in-line coagulation is often a better option as it is capable of maintaining stable operation and better RO feed water quality during algal bloom periods with significantly lower chemical consumption.

  18. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities - proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  19. Irish Marine Institute biotoxin, phytoplankton and remote sensing data for Harmful Algal Event monitoring Identification Information (NODC Accession 0000668)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The presence of harmful algal species, which produce toxins, pose a significant threat to public health and coastal aquaculture activities. For example, estimated...

  20. Guidance values for microcystins in water and cyanobacterial supplement products (blue-green algal supplements): a reasonable or misguided approach?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dietrich, Daniel; Hoeger, Stefan

    2005-01-01

    This article reviews current scientific knowledge on the toxicity and carcinogenicity of microcystins and compares this to the guidance values proposed for microcystins in water by the World Health Organization, and for blue-green algal food supplements by the Oregon State Department of Health. The basis of the risk assessment underlying these guidance values is viewed as being critical due to overt deficiencies in the data used for its generation: (i) use of one microcystin congener only (microcystin-LR), while the other presently known nearly 80 congeners are largely disregarded, (ii) new knowledge regarding potential neuro and renal toxicity of microcystins in humans and (iii) the inadequacies of assessing realistic microcystin exposures in humans and especially in children via blue-green algal food supplements. In reiterating the state-of-the-art toxicology database on microcystins and in the light of new data on the high degree of toxin contamination of algal food supplements, this review clearly demonstrates the need for improved kinetic data of microcystins in humans and for discussion concerning uncertainty factors, which may result in a lowering of the present guidance values and an increased routine control of water bodies and food supplements for toxin contamination. Similar to the approach taken previously by authorities for dioxin or PCB risk assessment, the use of a toxin equivalent approach to the risk assessment of microcystins is proposed

  1. Energetic potential of algal biomass from high-rate algal ponds for the production of solid biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Taynan de Oliveira; Calijuri, Maria Lúcia; Avelar, Nayara Vilela; Carneiro, Angélica de Cássia de Oliveira; de Assis, Letícia Rodrigues

    2017-08-01

    In this investigation, chemical characteristics, higher, lower and net heating value, bulk and energy density, and thermogravimetric analysis were applied to study the thermal characteristics of three algal biomasses. These biomasses, grown as by-products of wastewater treatment in high-rate algal ponds (HRAPs), were: (i) biomass produced in domestic effluent and collected directly from an HRAP (PO); (ii) biomass produced in domestic effluent in a mixed pond-panel system and collected from the panels (PA); and (iii) biomass originating from the treatment effluent from the meat processing industry and collected directly from an HRAP (IN). The biomass IN was the best alternative for thermal power generation. Subsequently, a mixture of the algal biomasses and Jatropha epicarp was used to produce briquettes containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of algal biomass, and their properties were evaluated. In general, the addition of algal biomass to briquettes decreased both the hygroscopicity and fixed carbon content and increased the bulk density, ash content, and energy density. A 50% proportion of biomass IN was found to be the best raw material for producing briquettes. Therefore, the production of briquettes consisting of algal biomass and Jatropha epicarp at a laboratory scale was shown to be technically feasible.

  2. Biodegradation of polyether algal toxins–Isolation of potential marine bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    SHETTY, KATEEL G.; HUNTZICKER, JACQUELINE V.; REIN, KATHLEEN S.; JAYACHANDRAN, KRISH

    2012-01-01

    Marine algal toxins such as brevetoxins, okadaic acid, yessotoxin, and ciguatoxin are polyether compounds. The fate of polyether toxins in the aqueous phase, particularly bacterial biotransformation of the toxins, is poorly understood. An inexpensive and easily available polyether structural analog salinomycin was used for enrichment and isolation of potential polyether toxin degrading aquatic marine bacteria from Florida bay area, and from red tide endemic sites in the South Florida Gulf coast. Bacterial growth on salinomycin was observed in most of the enrichment cultures from both regions with colony forming units ranging from 0 to 6 × 107 per mL. The salinomycin biodegradation efficiency of bacterial isolates determined using LC-MS ranged from 22% to 94%. Selected bacterial isolates were grown in media with brevetoxin as the sole carbon source to screen for brevetoxin biodegradation capability using ELISA. Out of the two efficient salinomycin biodegrading isolates MB-2 and MB-4, maximum brevetoxin biodegradation efficiency of 45% was observed with MB-4, while MB-2 was unable to biodegrade brevetoxin. Based on 16S rRNA sequence similarity MB-4 was found have a match with Chromohalobacter sp. PMID:20954040

  3. Uptake, transfer and elimination kinetics of paralytic shellfish toxins in common octopus (Octopus vulgaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Baptista, Miguel; Repolho, Tiago; Rosa, Rui; Costa, Pedro Reis

    2014-01-01

    Marine phycotoxins derived from harmful algal blooms are known to be associated with mass mortalities in the higher trophic levels of marine food webs. Bivalve mollusks and planktivorous fish are the most studied vectors of marine phycotoxins. However, field surveys recently showed that cephalopod mollusks also constitute potential vectors of toxins. Thus, here we determine, for the first time, the time course of accumulation and depuration of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Concomitantly, the underlying kinetics of toxin transfer between tissue compartments was also calculated. Naturally contaminated clams were used to orally expose the octopus to PSTs during 6 days. Afterwards, octopus specimens were fed with non-contaminated shellfish during 10 days of depuration period. Toxins reached the highest concentrations in the digestive gland surpassing the levels in the kidney by three orders of magnitude. PSTs were not detected in any other tissue analyzed. Net accumulation efficiencies of 42% for GTX5, 36% for dcSTX and 23% for C1+2 were calculated for the digestive gland. These compounds were the most abundant toxins in both digestive gland and the contaminated shellfish diet. The small differences in relative abundance of each toxin observed between the prey and the cephalopod predator indicates low conversion rates of these toxins. The depuration period was better described using an exponential decay model comprising a single compartment - the entire viscera. It is worth noting that since octopuses' excretion and depuration rates are low, the digestive gland is able to accumulate very high toxin concentrations for long periods of time. Therefore, the present study clearly shows that O. vulgaris is a high-potential vector of PSTs during and even after the occurrence of these toxic algal blooms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Red and green algal origin of diatom membrane transporters: insights into environmental adaptation and cell evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheong Xin Chan

    Full Text Available Membrane transporters (MTs facilitate the movement of molecules between cellular compartments. The evolutionary history of these key components of eukaryote genomes remains unclear. Many photosynthetic microbial eukaryotes (e.g., diatoms, haptophytes, and dinoflagellates appear to have undergone serial endosymbiosis and thereby recruited foreign genes through endosymbiotic/horizontal gene transfer (E/HGT. Here we used the diatoms Thalassiosira pseudonana and Phaeodactylum tricornutum as models to examine the evolutionary origin of MTs in this important group of marine primary producers. Using phylogenomics, we used 1,014 diatom MTs as query against a broadly sampled protein sequence database that includes novel genome data from the mesophilic red algae Porphyridium cruentum and Calliarthron tuberculosum, and the stramenopile Ectocarpus siliculosus. Our conservative approach resulted in 879 maximum likelihood trees of which 399 genes show a non-lineal history between diatoms and other eukaryotes and prokaryotes (at the bootstrap value ≥70%. Of the eukaryote-derived MTs, 172 (ca. 25% of 697 examined phylogenies have members of both red/green algae as sister groups, with 103 putatively arising from green algae, 19 from red algae, and 50 have an unresolved affiliation to red and/or green algae. We used topology tests to analyze the most convincing cases of non-lineal gene history in which red and/or green algae were nested within stramenopiles. This analysis showed that ca. 6% of all trees (our most conservative estimate support an algal origin of MTs in stramenopiles with the majority derived from green algae. Our findings demonstrate the complex evolutionary history of photosynthetic eukaryotes and indicate a reticulate origin of MT genes in diatoms. We postulate that the algal-derived MTs acquired via E/HGT provided diatoms and other related microbial eukaryotes the ability to persist under conditions of fluctuating ocean chemistry, likely

  5. Algal Supply System Design - Harmonized Version

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jared Abodeely; Daniel Stevens; Allison Ray; Debor

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this design report is to provide an assessment of current technologies used for production, dewatering, and converting microalgae cultivated in open-pond systems to biofuel. The original draft design was created in 2011 and has subsequently been brought into agreement with the DOE harmonized model. The design report extends beyond this harmonized model to discuss some of the challenges with assessing algal production systems, including the ability to (1) quickly assess alternative algal production system designs, (2) assess spatial and temporal variability, and (3) perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. The Algae Logistics Model (ALM) was developed to address each of these limitations of current modeling efforts to enable assessment of the economic feasibility of algal production systems across the United States. The (ALM) enables (1) dynamic assessments using spatiotemporal conditions, (2) exploration of algal production system design configurations, (3) investigation of algal production system operating assumptions, and (4) trade-off assessments with technology decisions and operating assumptions. The report discusses results from the ALM, which is used to assess the baseline design determined by harmonization efforts between U.S. DOE national laboratories. Productivity and resource assessment data is provided by coupling the ALM with the Biomass Assessment Tool developed at PNNL. This high-fidelity data is dynamically passed to the ALM and used to help better understand the impacts of spatial and temporal constraints on algal production systems by providing a cost for producing extracted algal lipids annually for each potential site.

  6. Stability of the intra- and extracellular toxins of Prymnesium parvum using a microalgal bioassay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blossom, Hannah Eva; Andersen, Nikolaj Gedsted; Rasmussen, Silas Anselm

    2014-01-01

    easily maintained. Reducing oxidation by storing the supernatant with no headspace in the vials significantly slowed loss of activity when stored at 4°C. We show that the lytic activity of the intracellular toxins, when released by sonication, is not as high as the extracellular toxins, however...... of P. parvum toxins before attempting to isolate and characterize them. The extracellular toxin in the supernatant is highly unstable, and it loses significant lytic effects after 3 days despite storage at −20°C and after only 24h stored at 4°C. However, when stored at −80°C, lytic activity is more...... the stability of the intracellular toxins when kept as a cell pellet at −20°C is excellent, which proves this is a sufficient storage method for less than 3 months. Our results provide an ecologically appropriate algal bioassay to quantify lytic activity of P. parvum toxins and we have advanced our knowledge...

  7. Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids and Marine Toxins - The Common and the Different

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klisch, Manfred; Häder, Donat-P.

    2008-01-01

    Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally < 400) compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying amino acid or amino alcohol substituents. So far there has been no report of toxicity in MAAs but nevertheless there are some features they have in common with marine toxins. Among the organisms producing MAAs are cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and diatoms that also synthesize toxins. As in cyclic peptide toxins found in cyanobacteria, amino acids are the main building blocks of MAAs. Both, MAAs and some marine toxins are transferred to other organisms e.g. via the food chains, and chemical modifications can take place in secondary consumers. In contrast to algal toxins, the physiological role of MAAs is clearly the protection from harmful UV radiation by physical screening. However, other roles, e.g. as osmolytes and antioxidants, are also considered. In this paper the common characteristics of MAAs and marine toxins are discussed as well as the differences. PMID:18728764

  8. Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids and Marine Toxins - The Common and the Different

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donat P. Häder

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporinelike amino acids (MAAs. The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally < 400 compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying amino acid or amino alcohol substituents. So far there has been no report of toxicity in MAAs but nevertheless there are some features they have in common with marine toxins. Among the organisms producing MAAs are cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and diatoms that also synthesize toxins. As in cyclic peptide toxins found in cyanobacteria, amino acids are the main building blocks of MAAs. Both, MAAs and some marine toxins are transferred to other organisms e.g. via the food chains, and chemical modifications can take place in secondary consumers. In contrast to algal toxins, the physiological role of MAAs is clearly the protection from harmful UV radiation by physical screening. However, other roles, e.g. as osmolytes and antioxidants, are also considered. In this paper the common characteristics of MAAs and marine toxins are discussed as well as the differences.

  9. Insights into toxic Prymnesium parvum blooms: the role of sugars and algal viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagstaff, Ben A; Hems, Edward S; Rejzek, Martin; Pratscher, Jennifer; Brooks, Elliot; Kuhaudomlarp, Sakonwan; O'Neill, Ellis C; Donaldson, Matthew I; Lane, Steven; Currie, John; Hindes, Andrew M; Malin, Gill; Murrell, J Colin; Field, Robert A

    2018-04-17

    Prymnesium parvum is a toxin-producing microalga that causes harmful algal blooms globally, which often result in large-scale fish kills that have severe ecological and economic implications. Although many toxins have previously been isolated from P. parvum , ambiguity still surrounds the responsible ichthyotoxins in P. parvum blooms and the biotic and abiotic factors that promote bloom toxicity. A major fish kill attributed to P. parvum occurred in Spring 2015 on the Norfolk Broads, a low-lying set of channels and lakes (Broads) found on the East of England. Here, we discuss how water samples taken during this bloom have led to diverse scientific advances ranging from toxin analysis to discovery of a new lytic virus of P. parvum , P. parvum DNA virus (PpDNAV-BW1). Taking recent literature into account, we propose key roles for sialic acids in this type of viral infection. Finally, we discuss recent practical detection and management strategies for controlling these devastating blooms. © 2018 The Author(s).

  10. Algal MIPs, high diversity and conserved motifs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderberg, Hanna I; Danielson, Jonas Å H; Johanson, Urban

    2011-04-21

    Major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) also named aquaporins form channels facilitating the passive transport of water and other small polar molecules across membranes. MIPs are particularly abundant and diverse in terrestrial plants but little is known about their evolutionary history. In an attempt to investigate the origin of the plant MIP subfamilies, genomes of chlorophyte algae, the sister group of charophyte algae and land plants, were searched for MIP encoding genes. A total of 22 MIPs were identified in the nine analysed genomes and phylogenetic analyses classified them into seven subfamilies. Two of these, Plasma membrane Intrinsic Proteins (PIPs) and GlpF-like Intrinsic Proteins (GIPs), are also present in land plants and divergence dating support a common origin of these algal and land plant MIPs, predating the evolution of terrestrial plants. The subfamilies unique to algae were named MIPA to MIPE to facilitate the use of a common nomenclature for plant MIPs reflecting phylogenetically stable groups. All of the investigated genomes contained at least one MIP gene but only a few species encoded MIPs belonging to more than one subfamily. Our results suggest that at least two of the seven subfamilies found in land plants were present already in an algal ancestor. The total variation of MIPs and the number of different subfamilies in chlorophyte algae is likely to be even higher than that found in land plants. Our analyses indicate that genetic exchanges between several of the algal subfamilies have occurred. The PIP1 and PIP2 groups and the Ca2+ gating appear to be specific to land plants whereas the pH gating is a more ancient characteristic shared by all PIPs. Further studies are needed to discern the function of the algal specific subfamilies MIPA-E and to fully understand the evolutionary relationship of algal and terrestrial plant MIPs.

  11. Algal MIPs, high diversity and conserved motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanson Urban

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Major intrinsic proteins (MIPs also named aquaporins form channels facilitating the passive transport of water and other small polar molecules across membranes. MIPs are particularly abundant and diverse in terrestrial plants but little is known about their evolutionary history. In an attempt to investigate the origin of the plant MIP subfamilies, genomes of chlorophyte algae, the sister group of charophyte algae and land plants, were searched for MIP encoding genes. Results A total of 22 MIPs were identified in the nine analysed genomes and phylogenetic analyses classified them into seven subfamilies. Two of these, Plasma membrane Intrinsic Proteins (PIPs and GlpF-like Intrinsic Proteins (GIPs, are also present in land plants and divergence dating support a common origin of these algal and land plant MIPs, predating the evolution of terrestrial plants. The subfamilies unique to algae were named MIPA to MIPE to facilitate the use of a common nomenclature for plant MIPs reflecting phylogenetically stable groups. All of the investigated genomes contained at least one MIP gene but only a few species encoded MIPs belonging to more than one subfamily. Conclusions Our results suggest that at least two of the seven subfamilies found in land plants were present already in an algal ancestor. The total variation of MIPs and the number of different subfamilies in chlorophyte algae is likely to be even higher than that found in land plants. Our analyses indicate that genetic exchanges between several of the algal subfamilies have occurred. The PIP1 and PIP2 groups and the Ca2+ gating appear to be specific to land plants whereas the pH gating is a more ancient characteristic shared by all PIPs. Further studies are needed to discern the function of the algal specific subfamilies MIPA-E and to fully understand the evolutionary relationship of algal and terrestrial plant MIPs.

  12. Effects of algal-produced neurotoxins on metabolic activity in telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakke, Marit Jorgensen; Horsberg, Tor Einar

    2007-01-01

    Neurotoxins from algal blooms have been reported to cause mortality in a variety of species, including sea birds, sea mammals and fish. Farmed fish cannot escape harmful algal blooms and their potential toxins, thus they are more vulnerable for exposure than wild stocks. Sublethal doses of the toxins are likely to affect fish behaviour and may impair cognitive abilities. In the present study, changes in the metabolic activity in different parts of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) brain involved in central integration and cognition were investigated after exposure to sublethal doses of three algal-produced neurotoxins; saxitoxin (STX), brevetoxin (BTX) and domoic acid (DA). Fish were randomly selected to four groups for i.p. injection of saline (control) or one of the neurotoxins STX (10 μg STX/kg bw), BTX (68 μg BTX/kg bw) or DA (6 mg DA/kg bw). In addition, 14 C-2-deoxyglucose was i.m. injected to measure brain metabolic activity by autoradiography. The three regions investigated were telencephalon (Tel), optic tectum (OT) and cerebellum (Ce). There were no differences in the metabolic activity after STX and BTX exposure compared to the control in these regions. However, a clear increase was observed after DA exposure. When the subregions with the highest metabolic rate were pseudocoloured in the three brain regions, the three toxins caused distinct differences in the respective patterns of metabolic activation. Fish exposed to STX displayed similar patterns as the control fish, whereas fish exposed to BTX and DA showed highest metabolic activity in subregions different from the control group. All three neurotoxins affected subregions that are believed to be involved in cognitive abilities in fish

  13. A bacterial toxin-antitoxin module is the origin of inter-bacterial and inter-kingdom effectors of Bartonella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Alexander; Liesch, Marius; Körner, Jonas; Québatte, Maxime; Engel, Philipp; Dehio, Christoph

    2017-10-01

    Host-targeting type IV secretion systems (T4SS) evolved from conjugative T4SS machineries that mediate interbacterial plasmid transfer. However, the origins of effectors secreted by these virulence devices have remained largely elusive. Previous work showed that some effectors exhibit homology to toxins of bacterial toxin-antitoxin modules, but the evolutionary trajectories underlying these ties had not been resolved. We previously reported that FicT toxins of FicTA toxin-antitoxin modules disrupt cellular DNA topology via their enzymatic FIC (filamentation induced by cAMP) domain. Intriguingly, the FIC domain of the FicT toxin VbhT of Bartonella schoenbuchensis is fused to a type IV secretion signal-the BID (Bep intracellular delivery) domain-similar to the Bartonella effector proteins (Beps) that are secreted into eukaryotic host cells via the host-targeting VirB T4SS. In this study, we show that the VbhT toxin is an interbacterial effector protein secreted via the conjugative Vbh T4SS that is closely related to the VirB T4SS and encoded by plasmid pVbh of B. schoenbuchensis. We therefore propose that the Vbh T4SS together with its effector VbhT represent an evolutionary missing link on a path that leads from a regular conjugation system and FicTA toxin-antitoxin modules to the VirB T4SS and the Beps. Intriguingly, phylogenetic analyses revealed that the fusion of FIC and BID domains has probably occurred independently in VbhT and the common ancestor of the Beps, suggesting parallel evolutionary paths. Moreover, several other examples of TA module toxins that are bona fide substrates of conjugative T4SS indicate that their recruitment as interbacterial effectors is prevalent and serves yet unknown biological functions in the context of bacterial conjugation. We propose that the adaptation for interbacterial transfer favors the exaptation of FicT and other TA module toxins as inter-kingdom effectors and may thus constitute an important stepping stone in the

  14. A bacterial toxin-antitoxin module is the origin of inter-bacterial and inter-kingdom effectors of Bartonella.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Harms

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Host-targeting type IV secretion systems (T4SS evolved from conjugative T4SS machineries that mediate interbacterial plasmid transfer. However, the origins of effectors secreted by these virulence devices have remained largely elusive. Previous work showed that some effectors exhibit homology to toxins of bacterial toxin-antitoxin modules, but the evolutionary trajectories underlying these ties had not been resolved. We previously reported that FicT toxins of FicTA toxin-antitoxin modules disrupt cellular DNA topology via their enzymatic FIC (filamentation induced by cAMP domain. Intriguingly, the FIC domain of the FicT toxin VbhT of Bartonella schoenbuchensis is fused to a type IV secretion signal-the BID (Bep intracellular delivery domain-similar to the Bartonella effector proteins (Beps that are secreted into eukaryotic host cells via the host-targeting VirB T4SS. In this study, we show that the VbhT toxin is an interbacterial effector protein secreted via the conjugative Vbh T4SS that is closely related to the VirB T4SS and encoded by plasmid pVbh of B. schoenbuchensis. We therefore propose that the Vbh T4SS together with its effector VbhT represent an evolutionary missing link on a path that leads from a regular conjugation system and FicTA toxin-antitoxin modules to the VirB T4SS and the Beps. Intriguingly, phylogenetic analyses revealed that the fusion of FIC and BID domains has probably occurred independently in VbhT and the common ancestor of the Beps, suggesting parallel evolutionary paths. Moreover, several other examples of TA module toxins that are bona fide substrates of conjugative T4SS indicate that their recruitment as interbacterial effectors is prevalent and serves yet unknown biological functions in the context of bacterial conjugation. We propose that the adaptation for interbacterial transfer favors the exaptation of FicT and other TA module toxins as inter-kingdom effectors and may thus constitute an important stepping

  15. Aerosol Emissions from Great Lakes Harmful Algal Blooms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Nathaniel W. [Department; Olson, Nicole E. [Department; Panas, Mark [Department; Axson, Jessica L. [Department; Tirella, Peter S. [Department; Kirpes, Rachel M. [Department; Craig, Rebecca L. [Department; Gunsch, Matthew J. [Department; China, Swarup [William; Laskin, Alexander [William; Ault, Andrew P. [Department; Department; Pratt, Kerri A. [Department; Department

    2017-12-20

    In freshwater lakes, harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) produce toxins that impact human health. However, little is known about the chemical species present in lake spray aerosol (LSA) produced from wave-breaking in freshwater HABs. In this study, a laboratory LSA generator produced aerosols from freshwater samples collected from Lake Michigan and Lake Erie during HAB and non-bloom conditions. Particles were analyzed for size and chemical composition by single particle mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy, with three distinct types of LSA identified with varying levels of organic carbon and biological material associated with calcium salts. LSA autofluorescence increases with blue-green algae concentration, showing that organic molecules of biological origin are incorporated in LSA from HABs. The number fraction of LSA with biological mass spectral markers also increases with particle diameter (greater than 0.5 μm), showing that HABs have size-dependent impacts on aerosol composition. The highest number fraction of LSA enriched in organic carbon were observed in particles less than 0.5 μm in diameter. Understanding the transfer of organic and biogenic material from freshwater to the atmosphere via LSA particles is crucial for determining health and climate effects due to HABs.

  16. Advantages and disadvantages of the use of immunodetection techniques for the enumeration of micro-organisms and toxins in water

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Kfir, R

    1993-01-01

    Full Text Available and hepatitis A viruses; and the use of ELISA and immunofluorescence for the detection of bacteria (Legionella, faecal coliforms) and protozoan parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium). The production and use of monoclonal antibodies against algal toxins are also...

  17. Isolation and Characterization of a Double Stranded DNA Megavirus Infecting the Toxin-Producing Haptophyte Prymnesium parvum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben A. Wagstaff

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Prymnesium parvum is a toxin-producing haptophyte that causes harmful algal blooms globally, leading to large-scale fish kills that have severe ecological and economic implications. For the model haptophyte, Emiliania huxleyi, it has been shown that large dsDNA viruses play an important role in regulating blooms and therefore biogeochemical cycling, but much less work has been done looking at viruses that infect P. parvum, or the role that these viruses may play in regulating harmful algal blooms. In this study, we report the isolation and characterization of a lytic nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV collected from the site of a harmful P. parvum bloom. In subsequent experiments, this virus was shown to infect cultures of Prymnesium sp. and showed phylogenetic similarity to the extended Megaviridae family of algal viruses.

  18. Climate change impacts on natural toxins in food production systems, exemplified by deoxynivalenol in wheat and diarrhetic shellfish toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Fels-Klerx, H J; Olesen, J E; Naustvoll, L-J; Friocourt, Y; Mengelers, M J B; Christensen, J H

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is expected to affect food and feed safety, including the occurrence of natural toxins in primary crop and seafood production; however, to date, quantitative estimates are scarce. This study aimed to estimate the impact of climate change effects on mycotoxin contamination of cereal grains cultivated in the terrestrial area of north west Europe, and on the frequency of harmful algal blooms and contamination of shellfish with marine biotoxins in the North Sea coastal zone. The study focused on contamination of wheat with deoxynivalenol, and on abundance of Dinophysis spp. and the possible relationship with diarrhetic shellfish toxins. The study used currently available data and models. Global and regional climate models were combined with models of crop phenology, mycotoxin prediction models, hydrodynamic models and ecological models, with the output of one model being used as input for the other. In addition, statistical data analyses using existing national datasets from the study area were performed to obtain information on the relationships between Dinophysis spp. cell counts and contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish toxins as well as on frequency of cereal cropping. In this paper, a summary of the study is presented, and overall conclusions and recommendations are given. Climate change projections for the years 2031-2050 were used as the starting point of the analyses relative to a preceding 20-year baseline period from which the climate change signal was calculated. Results showed that, in general, climate change effects lead to advanced flowering and harvest of wheat, and increased risk of contamination of wheat with deoxynivalenol. Blooms of dinoflagellates were estimated to occur more often. If the group of Dinophysis spp. behaves similarly to other flagellates in the future then frequency of harmful algal blooms of Dinophysis spp. may also increase, but consequences for contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish

  19. Association of toxin-producing Clostridium botulinum with the macroalga Cladophora in the Great Lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Chan Lan; Ochsner, Urs; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N; Whitman, Richard L; Tepp, William H; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A; Peller, Julie; Sadowsky, Michael J

    2013-03-19

    Avian botulism, a paralytic disease of birds, often occurs on a yearly cycle and is increasingly becoming more common in the Great Lakes. Outbreaks are caused by bird ingestion of neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum, a spore-forming, gram-positive, anaerobe. The nuisance, macrophytic, green alga Cladophora (Chlorophyta; mostly Cladophora glomerata L.) is a potential habitat for the growth of C. botulinum. A high incidence of botulism in shoreline birds at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SLBE) in Lake Michigan coincides with increasingly massive accumulations of Cladophora in nearshore waters. In this study, free-floating algal mats were collected from SLBE and other shorelines of the Great Lakes between June and October 2011. The abundance of C. botulinum in algal mats was quantified and the type of botulism neurotoxin (bont) genes associated with this organism were determined by using most-probable-number PCR (MPN-PCR) and five distinct bont gene-specific primers (A, B, C, E, and F). The MPN-PCR results showed that 16 of 22 (73%) algal mats from the SLBE and 23 of 31(74%) algal mats from other shorelines of the Great Lakes contained the bont type E (bont/E) gene. C. botulinum was present up to 15000 MPN per gram dried algae based on gene copies of bont/E. In addition, genes for bont/A and bont/B, which are commonly associated with human diseases, were detected in a few algal samples. Moreover, C. botulinum was present as vegetative cells rather than as dormant spores in Cladophora mats. Mouse toxin assays done using supernatants from enrichment of Cladophora containing high densities of C. botulinum (>1000 MPN/g dried algae) showed that Cladophora-borne C. botulinum were toxin-producing species (BoNT/E). Our results indicate that Cladophora provides a habitat for C. botulinum, warranting additional studies to better understand the relationship between this bacterium and the alga, and how this interaction potentially contributes to botulism

  20. Phylogenetic diversity and similarity of active sites of Shiga toxin (stx) in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates from humans and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakura, H; Makino, S; Kobori, H; Watarai, M; Shirahata, T; Ikeda, T; Takeshi, K

    2001-08-01

    Nucleotide sequences of Shiga toxin (Stx) genes in STEC from various origins were determined and characterized by phylogenetic analysis based on Shiga toxin (Stx) with those deposited in GenBank. The phylogenetic trees placed Stx1 and Stx2 into two and five groups respectively, and indicated that Stx1 in sheep-origin STEC were placed into a different group from those in other STEC, and that Stx2 of deer-origin STEC also belonged to the unique group and appeared to be distantly related to human-origin STEC. On the other hand, Stx of STEC isolated from cattle, seagulls and flies were closely related to those of human-origin STEC. Such a diversity of Stx suggested that STEC might be widely disseminated in many animal species, and be dependent on their host species or their habitat. In addition, the active sites in both toxins were compared; the active sites in both subunits of Stx in all the animal-origin STEC were identical to those in human-origin STEC, suggesting that all the toxin of STEC from animals might be also cytotoxic, and therefore, such animal-origin STEC might have potential pathogenicity for humans.

  1. First evidence of "paralytic shellfish toxins" and cylindrospermopsin in a Mexican freshwater system, Lago Catemaco, and apparent bioaccumulation of the toxins in "tegogolo" snails (Pomacea patula catemacensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, John P; Lind, Owen

    2010-05-01

    Exposure to cyanobacterial toxins in freshwater systems, including both direct (e.g., drinking water) and indirect (e.g., bioaccumulation in food webs) routes, is emerging as a potentially significant threat to human health. We investigated cyanobacterial toxins, specifically cylindrospermopsin (CYN), the microcystins (MCYST) and the "paralytic shellfish toxins" (PST), in Lago Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico). Lago Catemaco is a tropical lake dominated by Cylindrospermopsis, specifically identified as Cylindrospermopsis catemaco and Cylindrospermopsis philippinensis, and characterized by an abundant, endemic species of snail (Pomacea patula catemacensis), known as "tegogolos," that is both consumed locally and commercially important. Samples of water, including dissolved and particulate fractions, as well as extracts of tegogolos, were screened using highly specific and sensitive ELISA. ELISA identified CYN and PST at low concentrations in only one sample of seston; however, both toxins were detected at appreciable quantities in tegogolos. Calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAF) support bioaccumulation of both toxins in tegogolos. The presence of CYN in the phytoplankton was further confirmed by HPLC-UV and LC-MS, following concentration and extraction of algal cells, but the toxin could not be confirmed by these methods in tegogolos. These data represent the first published evidence for CYN and the PST in Lago Catemaco and, indeed, for any freshwater system in Mexico. Identification of the apparent bioaccumulation of these toxins in tegogolos may suggest the need to further our understanding of the transfer of cyanobacterial toxins in freshwater food webs as it relates to human health. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Collaborative Research Program on Seafood Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-08-14

    Crystallographic Structures of Saxitoxins Cl and C2 Appendix C: Collaborative Research Program an Seafcod Toxins Progress Report on Ciguatera and Related...radioimmunoassay for PSP were also evalumted. The Hokama stick test for ciguatera toxin was also evaluated. 4. initiate Studies on the Accumulation...tco•d which caie a form of b-mnn poisoning referred to as ciguatera . The respcnsible toxins originate from ll1ular rine algae of the division

  3. Detection and effects of harmful algal toxins in Scottish harbour seals and potential links to population decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Silje-Kristin; Lacaze, Jean-Pierre; Hermann, Guillaume; Kershaw, Joanna; Brownlow, Andrew; Turner, Andrew; Hall, Ailsa

    2015-04-01

    Over the past 15 years or so, several Scottish harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have declined in abundance and several factors have been considered as possible causes, including toxins from harmful algae. Here we explore whether a link could be established between two groups of toxins, domoic acid (DA) and saxitoxins (STXs), and the decline in the harbour seal populations in Scotland. We document the first evidence that harbour seals are exposed to both DA and STXs from consuming contaminated fish. Both groups of toxins were found in urine and faeces sampled from live captured (n = 162) and stranded animals (n = 23) and in faecal samples collected from seal haul-out sites (n = 214) between 2008 and 2013. The proportion of positive samples and the toxins levels measured in the excreta were significantly higher in areas where harbour seal abundance is in decline. There is also evidence that DA has immunomodulatory effects in harbour seals, including lymphocytopenia and monocytosis. Scottish harbour seals are exposed to DA and STXs through contaminated prey at potentially lethal levels and with this evidence we suggest that exposure to these toxins are likely to be important factors driving the harbour seal decline in some regions of Scotland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  5. Algal recycling enhances algal productivity and settleability in Pediastrum boryanum pure cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jason B K; Craggs, Rupert J; Shilton, Andy N

    2015-12-15

    Recycling a portion of gravity harvested algae (i.e. algae and associated bacteria biomass) has been shown to improve both algal biomass productivity and harvest efficiency by maintaining the dominance of a rapidly-settleable colonial alga, Pediastrum boryanum in both pilot-scale wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAP) and outdoor mesocosms. While algal recycling did not change the relative proportions of algae and bacteria in the HRAP culture, the contribution of the wastewater bacteria to the improved algal biomass productivity and settleability with the recycling was not certain and still required investigation. P. boryanum was therefore isolated from the HRAP and grown in pure culture on synthetic wastewater growth media under laboratory conditions. The influence of recycling on the productivity and settleability of the pure P. boryanum culture was then determined without wastewater bacteria present. Six 1 L P. boryanum cultures were grown over 30 days in a laboratory growth chamber simulating New Zealand summer conditions either with (Pr) or without (Pc) recycling of 10% of gravity harvested algae. The cultures with recycling (Pr) had higher algal productivity than the controls (Pc) when the cultures were operated at both 4 and 3 d hydraulic retention times by 11% and 38% respectively. Furthermore, algal recycling also improved 1 h settleability from ∼60% to ∼85% by increasing the average P. boryanum colony size due to the extended mean cell residence time and promoted formation of large algal bio-flocs (>500 μm diameter). These results demonstrate that the presence of wastewater bacteria was not necessary to improve algal productivity and settleability with algal recycling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Emergent Toxins in North Atlantic Temperate Waters: A Challenge for Monitoring Programs and Legislation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Silva

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB.

  7. Emergent Toxins in North Atlantic Temperate Waters: A Challenge for Monitoring Programs and Legislation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Marisa; Pratheepa, Vijaya K.; Botana, Luis M.; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-01-01

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB. PMID:25785464

  8. Algal Biofuels | Bioenergy | NREL

    Science.gov (United States)

    biofuels and bioproducts, Algal Research (2016) Process Design and Economics for the Production of Algal cyanobacteria, Nature Plants (2015) Acid-catalyzed algal biomass pretreatment for integrated lipid and nitrogen, we can indefinitely maintain the genetic state of the sample for future research in biofuels

  9. Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David FitzGerald

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function.

  10. Exploring the Utilization of Complex Algal Communities to Address Algal Pond Crash and Increase Annual Biomass Production for Algal Biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamilton, Cyd E. [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States).

    2014-03-25

    This white paper briefly reviews the research literature exploring complex algal communities as a means of increasing algal biomass production via increased tolerance, resilience, and resistance to a variety of abiotic and biotic perturbations occurring within harvesting timescales. This paper identifies what data are available and whether more research utilizing complex communities is needed to explore the potential of complex algal community stability (CACS) approach as a plausible means to increase biomass yields regardless of ecological context and resulting in decreased algal-based fuel prices by reducing operations costs. By reviewing the literature for what we do and do not know, in terms of CACS methodologies, this report will provide guidance for future research addressing pond crash phenomena.

  11. Climate Change and Algal Blooms =

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shengpan

    Algal blooms are new emerging hazards that have had important social impacts in recent years. However, it was not very clear whether future climate change causing warming waters and stronger storm events would exacerbate the algal bloom problem. The goal of this dissertation was to evaluate the sensitivity of algal biomass to climate change in the continental United States. Long-term large-scale observations of algal biomass in inland lakes are challenging, but are necessary to relate climate change to algal blooms. To get observations at this scale, this dissertation applied machine-learning algorithms including boosted regression trees (BRT) in remote sensing of chlorophyll-a with Landsat TM/ETM+. The results show that the BRT algorithm improved model accuracy by 15%, compared to traditional linear regression. The remote sensing model explained 46% of the total variance of the ground-measured chlorophyll- a in the first National Lake Assessment conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency. That accuracy was ecologically meaningful to study climate change impacts on algal blooms. Moreover, the BRT algorithm for chlorophyll- a would not have systematic bias that is introduced by sediments and colored dissolved organic matter, both of which might change concurrently with climate change and algal blooms. This dissertation shows that the existing atmospheric corrections for Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery might not be good enough to improve the remote sensing of chlorophyll-a in inland lakes. After deriving long-term algal biomass estimates from Landsat TM/ETM+, time series analysis was used to study the relations of climate change and algal biomass in four Missouri reservoirs. The results show that neither temperature nor precipitation was the only factor that controlled temporal variation of algal biomass. Different reservoirs, even different zones within the same reservoir, responded differently to temperature and precipitation changes. These findings were further

  12. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferrell, John [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States); Sarisky-Reed, Valerie [Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington DC (United States)

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  13. Apparent bioaccumulation of cylindrospermopsin and paralytic shellfish toxins by finfish in Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, J P; Jaja-Chimedza, A; Dávalos-Lind, L; Lind, O

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the well-characterized health threats associated with contamination of fish and shellfish by algal toxins in marine fisheries, the toxicological relevance of the bioaccumulation of toxins from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), as the primary toxigenic algae in freshwater systems, remains relatively unknown. Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico) is a small, tropical lake system specifically characterized by a year-round dominance of the known toxigenic cyanobacterial genus, Cylindrospermopsis, and by low, but detectable, levels of both a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin, cylindrospermopsin (CYN), and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs). In the present study, we evaluated, using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), levels of both toxins in several species of finfish caught and consumed locally in the region to investigate the bioaccumulation of, and possible health threats associated with, these toxins as potential foodborne contaminants. ELISA detected levels of both CYN and PSTs in fish tissues from the lake. Levels were generally low (≤ 1 ng g(-1) tissue); however, calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) indicate that toxin levels exceed the rather low levels in the water column and, consequently, indicated bioaccumulation (BAF >1). A reasonable correlation was observed between measured bioaccumulation of CYN and PSTs, possibly indicating a mutual source of both toxins, and most likely cells of Cylindrospermopsis, the dominant cyanobacteria in the lake, and a known producer of both metabolites. The potential roles of trophic transport in the system, as well as possible implications for human health with regards to bioaccumulation, are discussed.

  14. Cellular vacuoles induced by Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS toxin originate from Rab9-associated compartments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coreen Johnson

    Full Text Available Recently, we identified an ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating cytotoxin in Mycoplasma pneumoniae designated Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome (CARDS toxin. In this study we show that vacuoles induced by recombinant CARDS (rCARDS toxin are acidic and derive from the endocytic pathway as determined by the uptake of neutral red and the fluid-phase marker, Lucifer yellow, respectively. Also, we demonstrate that the formation of rCARDS toxin-associated cytoplasmic vacuoles is inhibited by the vacuolar ATPase inhibitor, bafilomycin A1, and the ionophore, monensin. To examine the ontogeny of these vacuoles, we analyzed the distribution of endosomal and lysosomal membrane markers during vacuole formation and observed the enrichment of the late endosomal GTPase, Rab9, around rCARDS toxin-induced vacuoles. Immunogold-labeled Rab9 and overexpression of green fluorescent-tagged Rab9 further confirmed vacuolar association. The late endosomal- and lysosomal-associated membrane proteins, LAMP1 and LAMP2, also localized to the vacuolar membranes, while the late endosomal protein, Rab7, and early endosomal markers, Rab5 and EEA1, were excluded. HeLa cells expressing dominant-negative (DN Rab9 exhibited markedly reduced vacuole formation in the presence of rCARDS toxin, in contrast to cells expressing DN-Rab7, highlighting the importance of Rab9 function in rCARDS toxin-induced vacuolation. Our findings reveal the unique Rab9-association with rCARDS toxin-induced vacuoles and its possible relationship to the characteristic histopathology that accompanies M. pneumoniae infection.

  15. Why do we study animal toxins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  16. Algal Biomass from Wastewater and Flue Gases as a Source of Bioenergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Lage

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Algae are without doubt the most productive photosynthetic organisms on Earth; they are highly efficient in converting CO2 and nutrients into biomass. These abilities can be exploited by culturing microalgae from wastewater and flue gases for effective wastewater reclamation. Algae are known to remove nitrogen and phosphorus as well as several organic contaminants including pharmaceuticals from wastewater. Biomass production can even be enhanced by the addition of CO2 originating from flue gases. The algal biomass can then be used as a raw material to produce bioenergy; depending on its composition, various types of biofuels such as biodiesel, biogas, bioethanol, biobutanol or biohydrogen can be obtained. However, algal biomass generated in wastewater and flue gases also contains contaminants which, if not degraded, will end up in the ashes. In this review, the current knowledge on algal biomass production in wastewater and flue gases is summarized; special focus is given to the algal capacity to remove contaminants from wastewater and flue gases, and the consequences when converting this biomass into different types of biofuels.

  17. Assessing the presence of marine toxins in bivalve molluscs from southwest India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Andrew D; Dhanji-Rapkova, Monika; Rowland-Pilgrim, Stephanie; Turner, Lucy M; Rai, Ashwin; Venugopal, Moleyur N; Karunasagar, Indrani; Godhe, Anna

    2017-12-15

    The south west coast of India has been showing a steady increase in shellfish cultivation both for local consumption and fishery export, over recent years. Perna viridis and Crassostrea madrasensis are two species of bivalve molluscs which grow in some selected regions of southern Karnataka, close to the city of Mangalore. In the early 1980s, shellfish consumers in the region were affected by intoxication from Paralytic Shellfish Poison present in local bivalves (clams and oysters) resulting in hospitalisation of many, including one fatality. Since then, there have been no further reports of serious shellfish intoxication and there is little awareness of the risks from natural toxins and no routine monitoring programme in place to protect shellfish consumers. This study presents the findings from the first ever systematic assessment of the presence of marine toxins in mussels and oysters grown in four different shellfish harvesting areas in the region. Shellfish were collected and subjected to analysis for ASP, PSP and lipophilic toxins, as well as a suite of non-EU regulated toxins such as tetrodotoxin and selected cyclic imines. Results revealed the presence of low levels of PSP toxins in oysters throughout the study period. Overall, total toxicities reached a maximum of 10% of the EU regulatory limit of 800 μg STX eq/kg. Toxin profiles were similar to those reported from the 1980 outbreak. No evidence was found for significant levels of ASP and lipophilic toxins, although some cyclic imines were detected, including gymnodimine. The results indicated that the risk to shellfish consumers during this specific study period would have been low. However, with historical evidence for extremely high levels of PSP toxins in molluscs, there is a strong need for routine surveillance of shellfish production areas for marine toxins, in order to mitigate against human health impacts resulting from unexpected harmful algal blooms, with potentially devastating socio

  18. Accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology and paralysis in the Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the paralyzing toxins of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobedo-Lozano, Amada Y; Estrada, Norma; Ascencio, Felipe; Contreras, Gerardo; Alonso-Rodriguez, Rosalba

    2012-05-01

    The dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum produces paralyzing shellfish poisons that are consumed and accumulated by bivalves. We performed short-term feeding experiments to examine ingestion, accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology, and paralysis in the juvenile Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus that consume this dinoflagellate. Depletion of algal cells was measured in closed systems. Histopathological preparations were microscopically analyzed. Paralysis was observed and the time of recovery recorded. Accumulation and possible biotransformation of toxins were measured by HPLC analysis. Feeding activity in treated scallops showed that scallops produced pseudofeces, ingestion rates decreased at 8 h; approximately 60% of the scallops were paralyzed and melanin production and hemocyte aggregation were observed in several tissues at 15 h. HPLC analysis showed that the only toxins present in the dinoflagellates and scallops were the N-sulfo-carbamoyl toxins (C1, C2); after hydrolysis, the carbamate toxins (epimers GTX2/3) were present. C1 and C2 toxins were most common in the mantle, followed by the digestive gland and stomach-complex, adductor muscle, kidney and rectum group, and finally, gills. Toxin profiles in scallop tissue were similar to the dinoflagellate; biotransformations were not present in the scallops in this short-term feeding experiment.

  19. Constraints to commercialization of algal fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisti, Yusuf

    2013-09-10

    Production of algal crude oil has been achieved in various pilot scale facilities, but whether algal fuels can be produced in sufficient quantity to meaningfully displace petroleum fuels, has been largely overlooked. Limitations to commercialization of algal fuels need to be understood and addressed for any future commercialization. This review identifies the major constraints to commercialization of transport fuels from microalgae. Algae derived fuels are expensive compared to petroleum derived fuels, but this could change. Unfortunately, improved economics of production are not sufficient for an environmentally sustainable production, or its large scale feasibility. A low-cost point supply of concentrated carbon dioxide colocated with the other essential resources is necessary for producing algal fuels. An insufficiency of concentrated carbon dioxide is actually a major impediment to any substantial production of algal fuels. Sustainability of production requires the development of an ability to almost fully recycle the phosphorous and nitrogen nutrients that are necessary for algae culture. Development of a nitrogen biofixation ability to support production of algal fuels ought to be an important long term objective. At sufficiently large scale, a limited supply of freshwater will pose a significant limitation to production even if marine algae are used. Processes for recovering energy from the algal biomass left after the extraction of oil, are required for achieving a net positive energy balance in the algal fuel oil. The near term outlook for widespread use of algal fuels appears bleak, but fuels for niche applications such as in aviation may be likely in the medium term. Genetic and metabolic engineering of microalgae to boost production of fuel oil and ease its recovery, are essential for commercialization of algal fuels. Algae will need to be genetically modified for improved photosynthetic efficiency in the long term. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All

  20. Oceans and Human Health: Microplastics and Harmful Algal Bloom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sombrito, Elvira Z.

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally the focus of research and concern of environmental studies in the marine system is the impact of human activities in the ocean: the sources, distribution and fate of pollutants resulting from human activities. More recently, there has been recognition of the potential direct impact health can come from eating contaminated seafood, swimming in polluted water, and exposure to toxins from harmful algal blooms. This paper will present two areas of concern that illustrates the fact that the health of the oceans and the health of humans go hand in hand: chemical pollution from plastics in the ocean and harmful alga bloom. The nuclear methodologies than can be useful in these areas will also be introduced. It is hoped that through the recognition of the inter-dependence of the health of both humans and the oceans, efforts will be made to restore and preserve the oceans. (author)

  1. Studies in the Use of Magnetic Microspheres for Immunoaffinity Extraction of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins from Shellfish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Elliott

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP is a potentially fatal human health condition caused by the consumption of shellfish containing high levels of PSP toxins. Toxin extraction from shellfish and from algal cultures for use as standards and analysis by alternative analytical monitoring methods to the mouse bioassay is extensive and laborious. This study investigated whether a selected MAb antibody could be coupled to a novel form of magnetic microsphere (hollow glass magnetic microspheres, brand name Ferrospheres-N and whether these coated microspheres could be utilized in the extraction of low concentrations of the PSP toxin, STX, from potential extraction buffers and spiked mussel extracts. The feasibility of utilizing a mass of 25 mg of Ferrospheres-N, as a simple extraction procedure for STX from spiked sodium acetate buffer, spiked PBS buffer and spiked mussel extracts was determined. The effects of a range of toxin concentrations (20–300 ng/mL, incubation times and temperature on the capability of the immuno-capture of the STX from the spiked mussel extracts were investigated. Finally, the coated microspheres were tested to determine their efficiency at extracting PSP toxins from naturally contaminated mussel samples. Toxin recovery after each experiment was determined by HPLC analysis. This study on using a highly novel immunoaffinity based extraction procedure, using STX as a model, has indicated that it could be a convenient alternative to conventional extraction procedures used in toxin purification prior to sample analysis.

  2. Advanced Algal Systems Fact Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    Research and development (R&D) on advanced algal biofuels and bioproducts presents an opportunity to sustainably expand biomass resource potential in the United States. The Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) Advanced Algal Systems Program is carrying out a long-term, applied R&D strategy to lower the costs of algal biofuel production by working with partners to develop revolutionary technologies and conduct crosscutting analyses to better understand the potential

  3. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxins that may harm or kill fish and marine animals. Humans who eat shellfish contaminated with HAB toxins ... toxins that may harm or kill fish and marine animals. Humans who eat shellfish containing toxins produced by ...

  4. Sustainability of algal biofuel production using integrated renewable energy park (IREP) and algal biorefinery approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subhadra, Bobban G.

    2010-01-01

    Algal biomass can provide viable third generation feedstock for liquid transportation fuel. However, for a mature commercial industry to develop, sustainability as well as technological and economic issues pertinent to algal biofuel sector must be addressed first. This viewpoint focuses on three integrated approaches laid out to meet these challenges. Firstly, an integrated algal biorefinery for sequential biomass processing for multiple high-value products is delineated to bring in the financial sustainability to the algal biofuel production units. Secondly, an integrated renewable energy park (IREP) approach is proposed for amalgamating various renewable energy industries established in different locations. This would aid in synergistic and efficient electricity and liquid biofuel production with zero net carbon emissions while obviating numerous sustainability issues such as productive usage of agricultural land, water, and fossil fuel usage. A 'renewable energy corridor' rich in multiple energy sources needed for algal biofuel production for deploying IREPs in the United States is also illustrated. Finally, the integration of various industries with algal biofuel sector can bring a multitude of sustainable deliverables to society, such as renewable supply of cheap protein supplements, health products and aquafeed ingredients. The benefits, challenges, and policy needs of the IREP approach are also discussed.

  5. Marine mimivirus relatives are probably large algal viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claverie Jean-Michel

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is the largest known ds-DNA virus and its 1.2 Mb-genome sequence has revealed many unique features. Mimivirus occupies an independent lineage among eukaryotic viruses and its known hosts include only species from the Acanthamoeba genus. The existence of mimivirus relatives was first suggested by the analysis of the Sargasso Sea metagenomic data. Results We now further demonstrate the presence of numerous "mimivirus-like" sequences using a larger marine metagenomic data set. We also show that the DNA polymerase sequences from three algal viruses (CeV01, PpV01, PoV01 infecting different marine algal species (Chrysochromulina ericina, Phaeocystis pouchetii, Pyramimonas orientalis are very closely related to their homolog in mimivirus. Conclusion Our results suggest that the numerous mimivirus-related sequences identified in marine environments are likely to originate from diverse large DNA viruses infecting phytoplankton. Micro-algae thus constitute a new category of potential hosts in which to look for new species of Mimiviridae.

  6. Paralytic shellfish poison algal biotoxins: Sardinia report 2002-2011 and non-compliance management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppa Lorenzoni

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Several microalgae of the genus Alexandrium (Alexandrium minutum and Alexandrium catenelle can produce an algal biotoxin, the paralytic shellfish poison (PSP that can be accumulated in the shellfish edible tissues making them hazardous to the consumer’s health. In this paper we report i the results of PSP toxins survey carried out by mouse bioassays (mouse test AOAC 958.08 on 7457 samples of bivalve molluscs farmed in Sardinia and in other European countries and marketed in Sardinia region from 2002 to 2011, and ii the management of positive cases. Based on our experience it is very important to strictly apply the planned activities in order to prevent any risk and to protect the consumer’s and producer’s health.

  7. Sapphire Energy - Integrated Algal Biorefinery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, Rebecca L. [Sapphire Energy, Inc., Columbus, NM (United States). Columbus Algal Biomass Farm; Tyler, Mike [Sapphire Energy, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States)

    2015-07-22

    Sapphire Energy, Inc. (SEI) is a leader in large-scale photosynthetic algal biomass production, with a strongly cohesive research, development, and operations program. SEI takes a multidiscipline approach to integrate lab-based strain selection, cultivation and harvest and production scale, and extraction for the production of Green Crude oil, a drop in replacement for traditional crude oil.. SEI’s technical accomplishments since 2007 have produced a multifunctional platform that can address needs for fuel, feed, and other higher value products. Figure 1 outlines SEI’s commercialization process, including Green Crude production and refinement to drop in fuel replacements. The large scale algal biomass production facility, the SEI Integrated Algal Biorefinery (IABR), was built in Luna County near Columbus, New Mexico (see fig 2). The extraction unit was located at the existing SEI facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, approximately 95 miles from the IABR. The IABR facility was constructed on time and on budget, and the extraction unit expansion to accommodate the biomass output from the IABR was completed in October 2012. The IABR facility uses open pond cultivation with a proprietary harvesting method to produce algal biomass; this biomass is then shipped to the extraction facility for conversion to Green Crude. The operation of the IABR and the extraction facilities has demonstrated the critical integration of traditional agricultural techniques with algae cultivation knowledge for algal biomass production, and the successful conversion of the biomass to Green Crude. All primary unit operations are de-risked, and at a scale suitable for process demonstration. The results are stable, reliable, and long-term cultivation of strains for year round algal biomass production. From June 2012 to November 2014, the IABR and extraction facilities produced 524 metric tons (MT) of biomass (on a dry weight basis), and 2,587 gallons of Green Crude. Additionally, the IABR

  8. Recreational Exposure to Low Concentrations of Microcystins During an Algal Bloom in a Small Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Sung Cheng

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available We measured microcystins in blood from people at risk for swallowing water or inhaling spray while swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, or boating during an algal bloom. We monitored water samples from a small lake as a Microcystis aeruginosa bloom developed. We recruited 97 people planning recreational activities in that lake and seven others who volunteered to recreate in a nearby bloom-free lake. We conducted our field study within a week of finding a 10-μg/L microcystin concentration. We analyzed water, air, and human blood samples for water quality, potential human pathogens, algal taxonomy, and microcystin concentrations. We interviewed study participants for demographic and current health symptom information. Water samples were assayed for potential respiratory viruses (adenoviruses and enteroviruses, but none were detected. We did find low concentrations of Escherichia coli, indicating fecal contamination. We found low levels of microcystins (2 μg/L to 5 μg/L in the water and (<0.1 ng/m3 in the aerosol samples. Blood levels of microcystins for all participants were below the limit of detection (0.147μg/L. Given this low exposure level, study participants reported no symptom increases following recreational exposure to microcystins. This is the first study to report that water-based recreational activities can expose people to very low concentrations of aerosol-borne microcystins; we recently conducted another field study to assess exposures to higher concentrations of these algal toxins.

  9. Are all red algal parasites cut from the same cloth?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric D. Salomaki

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is a common life strategy throughout the eukaryotic tree of life. Many devastating human pathogens, including the causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, have evolved from a photosynthetic ancestor. However, how an organism transitions from a photosynthetic to a parasitic life history strategy remains mostly unknown. This is largely because few systems present the opportunity to make meaningful comparisons between a parasite and a close free-living relative. Parasites have independently evolved dozens of times throughout the Florideophyceae (Rhodophyta, and often infect close relatives. The accepted evolutionary paradigm proposes that red algal parasites arise by first infecting a close relative and over time diversify and infect more distantly related species. This provides a natural evolutionary gradient of relationships between hosts and parasites that share a photosynthetic common ancestor. Elegant microscopic work in the late 20th century provided detailed insight into the infection cycle of red algal parasites and the cellular interactions between parasites and their hosts. Those studies led to the use of molecular work to further investigate the origins of the parasite organelles and reveal the evolutionary relationships between hosts and their parasites. Here we synthesize the research detailing the infection methods and cellular interactions between red algal parasites and their hosts. We offer an alternative hypothesis to the current dogma of red algal parasite evolution and propose that red algae can adopt a parasitic life strategy through multiple evolutionary pathways, including direct infection of distant relatives. Furthermore, we highlight potential directions for future research to further evaluate parasite evolution in red algae.

  10. Fungal farmers or algal escorts: lichen adaptation from the algal perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piercey-Normore, Michele D; Deduke, Christopher

    2011-09-01

    Domestication of algae by lichen-forming fungi describes the symbiotic relationship between the photosynthetic (green alga or cyanobacterium; photobiont) and fungal (mycobiont) partnership in lichen associations (Goward 1992). The algal domestication implies that the mycobiont cultivates the alga as a monoculture within its thallus, analogous to a farmer cultivating a food crop. However, the initial photobiont 'selection' by the mycobiont may be predetermined by the habitat rather than by the farmer. When the mycobiont selects a photobiont from the available photobionts within a habitat, the mycobiont may influence photobiont growth and reproduction (Ahmadjian & Jacobs 1981) only after the interaction has been initiated. The theory of ecological guilds (Rikkinen et al. 2002) proposes that habitat limits the variety of photobionts available to the fungal partner. While some studies provide evidence to support the theory of ecological guilds in cyanobacterial lichens (Rikkinen et al. 2002), other studies propose models to explain variation in symbiont combinations in green algal lichens (Ohmura et al. 2006; Piercey-Normore 2006; Yahr et al. 2006) hypothesizing the existence of such guilds. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Peksa & Škaloud (2011) test the theory of ecological guilds and suggest a relationship between algal habitat requirements and lichen adaptation in green algal lichens of the genus Lepraria. The environmental parameters examined in this study, exposure to rainfall, altitude and substratum type, are integral to lichen biology. Lichens have a poikilohydric nature, relying on the availability of atmospheric moisture for metabolic processes. Having no known active mechanism to preserve metabolic thallus moisture in times of drought, one would expect a strong influence of the environment on symbiont adaptation to specific habitats. Adaptation to changes in substrata and its properties would be expected with the intimate contact between crustose

  11. Control of algal production in a high rate algal pond: investigation through batch and continuous experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derabe Maobe, H; Onodera, M; Takahashi, M; Satoh, H; Fukazawa, T

    2014-01-01

    For decades, arid and semi-arid regions in Africa have faced issues related to water availability for drinking, irrigation and livestock purposes. To tackle these issues, a laboratory scale greywater treatment system based on high rate algal pond (HRAP) technology was investigated in order to guide the operation of the pilot plant implemented in the 2iE campus in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Because of the high suspended solids concentration generally found in effluents of this system, the aim of this study is to improve the performance of HRAPs in term of algal productivity and removal. To determine the selection mechanism of self-flocculated algae, three sets of sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) and three sets of continuous flow reactors (CFRs) were operated. Despite operation with the same solids retention time and the similarity of the algal growth rate found in these reactors, the algal productivity was higher in the SBRs owing to the short hydraulic retention time of 10 days in these reactors. By using a volume of CFR with twice the volume of our experimental CFRs, the algal concentration can be controlled during operation under similar physical conditions in both reactors.

  12. Long-Term Effects of Botulinum Toxin Complex Type A Injection on Mechano- and Metabo-Sensitive Afferent Fibers Originating from Gastrocnemius Muscle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Caron

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to investigate long term effects of motor denervation by botulinum toxin complex type A (BoNT/A from Clostridium Botulinum, on the afferent fibers originating from the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Animals were divided in 2 experimental groups: 1 untreated animals acting as control and 2 treated animals in which the toxin was injected in the left muscle, the latter being itself divided into 3 subgroups according to their locomotor recovery with the help of a test based on footprint measurements of walking rats: i no recovery (B0, ii 50% recovery (B50 and iii full recovery (B100. Then, muscle properties, metabosensitive afferent fiber responses to potassium chloride (KCl and lactic acid injections and Electrically-Induced Fatigue (EIF, and mechanosensitive responses to tendon vibrations were measured. At the end of the experiment, rats were killed and the toxin injected muscles were weighted. After toxin injection, we observed a complete paralysis associated to a loss of force to muscle stimulation and a significant muscle atrophy, and a return to baseline when the animals recover. The response to fatigue was only decreased in the B0 group. The responses to KCl injections were only altered in the B100 groups while responses to lactic acid were altered in the 3 injected groups. Finally, our results indicated that neurotoxin altered the biphasic pattern of response of the mechanosensitive fiber to tendon vibrations in the B0 and B50 groups. These results indicated that neurotoxin injection induces muscle afferent activity alterations that persist and even worsen when the muscle has recovered his motor activity.

  13. Long-Term Effects of Botulinum Toxin Complex Type A Injection on Mechano- and Metabo-Sensitive Afferent Fibers Originating from Gastrocnemius Muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, Guillaume; Marqueste, Tanguy; Decherchi, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate long term effects of motor denervation by botulinum toxin complex type A (BoNT/A) from Clostridium Botulinum, on the afferent fibers originating from the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Animals were divided in 2 experimental groups: 1) untreated animals acting as control and 2) treated animals in which the toxin was injected in the left muscle, the latter being itself divided into 3 subgroups according to their locomotor recovery with the help of a test based on footprint measurements of walking rats: i) no recovery (B0), ii) 50% recovery (B50) and iii) full recovery (B100). Then, muscle properties, metabosensitive afferent fiber responses to potassium chloride (KCl) and lactic acid injections and Electrically-Induced Fatigue (EIF), and mechanosensitive responses to tendon vibrations were measured. At the end of the experiment, rats were killed and the toxin injected muscles were weighted. After toxin injection, we observed a complete paralysis associated to a loss of force to muscle stimulation and a significant muscle atrophy, and a return to baseline when the animals recover. The response to fatigue was only decreased in the B0 group. The responses to KCl injections were only altered in the B100 groups while responses to lactic acid were altered in the 3 injected groups. Finally, our results indicated that neurotoxin altered the biphasic pattern of response of the mechanosensitive fiber to tendon vibrations in the B0 and B50 groups. These results indicated that neurotoxin injection induces muscle afferent activity alterations that persist and even worsen when the muscle has recovered his motor activity.

  14. Botulinum toxin in pain treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colhado, Orlando Carlos Gomes; Boeing, Marcelo; Ortega, Luciano Bornia

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) is one of the most potent bacterial toxins known and its effectiveness in the treatment of some pain syndromes is well known. However, the efficacy of some of its indications is still in the process of being confirmed. The objective of this study was to review the history, pharmacological properties, and clinical applications of BTX in the treatment of pain of different origins. Botulinum toxin is produced by fermentation of Clostridium botulinum, a Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium. Commercially, BTX comes in two presentations, types A and B. Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin with high affinity for cholinergic synapses, blocks the release of acetylcholine by nerve endings without interfering with neuronal conduction of electrical signals or synthesis and storage of acetylcholine. It has been proven that BTX can selectively weaken painful muscles, interrupting the spasm-pain cycle. Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of BTX-A in the treatment of tension headaches, migraines, chronic lumbar pain, and myofascial pain. Botulinum toxin type A is well tolerated in the treatment of chronic pain disorders in which pharmacotherapy regimens can cause side effects. The reduction in the consumption of analgesics and length of action of 3 to 4 months per dose represent other advantages of its use. However, further studies are necessary to establish the efficacy of BTX-A in chronic pain disorders and its exact mechanism of action, as well as its potential in multifactorial treatments.

  15. Dynamic metabolic exchange governs a marine algal-bacterial interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Einat; Wyche, Thomas P; Kim, Ki Hyun; Petersen, Jörn; Ellebrandt, Claire; Vlamakis, Hera; Barteneva, Natasha; Paulson, Joseph N; Chai, Liraz; Clardy, Jon; Kolter, Roberto

    2016-11-18

    Emiliania huxleyi is a model coccolithophore micro-alga that generates vast blooms in the ocean. Bacteria are not considered among the major factors influencing coccolithophore physiology. Here we show through a laboratory model system that the bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens , a well-studied member of the Roseobacter group, intimately interacts with E. huxleyi. While attached to the algal cell, bacteria initially promote algal growth but ultimately kill their algal host. Both algal growth enhancement and algal death are driven by the bacterially-produced phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid. Bacterial production of indole-3-acetic acid and attachment to algae are significantly increased by tryptophan, which is exuded from the algal cell. Algal death triggered by bacteria involves activation of pathways unique to oxidative stress response and programmed cell death. Our observations suggest that bacteria greatly influence the physiology and metabolism of E. huxleyi. Coccolithophore-bacteria interactions should be further studied in the environment to determine whether they impact micro-algal population dynamics on a global scale.

  16. [Environmental toxins in breast milk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratlid, Dag

    2009-12-17

    Breast milk is very important to ensure infants a well-composed and safe diet during the first year of life. However, the quality of breast milk seems to be affected by an increasing amount of environmental toxins (particularly so-called Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxins [PBTs]). Many concerns have been raised about the negative effects this may have on infant health. The article is a review of literature (mainly review articles) identified through a non-systematic search in PubMed. The concentration of PBTs in breast milk is mainly caused by man's position as the terminal link in the nutritional chain. Many breast-fed infants have a daily intake of such toxins that exceed limits defined for the population in general. Animal studies demonstrate effects on endocrine function and neurotoxicity in the offspring, and a number of human studies seem to point in the same direction. However the "original" optimal composition of breast milk still seems to protect against long-term effects of such toxicity. There is international consensus about the need to monitor breast milk for the presence of PBTs. Such surveillance will be a good indicator of the population's general exposure to these toxins and may also contribute to identifying groups as risk who should not breast-feed their children for a long time.

  17. Therapeutic Approaches of Botulinum Toxin in Gynecology

    OpenAIRE

    Marius Alexandru Moga; Oana Gabriela Dimienescu; Andreea Bălan; Ioan Scârneciu; Barna Barabaș; Liana Pleș

    2018-01-01

    Botulinum toxins (BoNTs) are produced by several anaerobic species of the genus Clostridium and, although they were originally considered lethal toxins, today they find their usefulness in the treatment of a wide range of pathologies in various medical specialties. Botulinum neurotoxin has been identified in seven different isoforms (BoNT-A, BoNT-B, BoNT-C, BoNT-D, BoNT-E, BoNT-F, and BoNT-G). Neurotoxigenic Clostridia can produce more than 40 different BoNT subtypes and, recently, a new BoNT...

  18. Algal Systems for Hydrogen Photoproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghirardi, Maria L [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2015-10-08

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), under the guidance of Drs. Michael Seibert (retired, Fellow Emeritus) and Maria Ghirardi (Fellow), led 15 years of research addressing the issue of algal H2 photoproduction. This project resulted in greatly increased rates and yields of algal hydrogen production; increased understanding of the H2 metabolism in the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; expanded our knowledge of other physiological aspects relevant to sustained algal photosynthetic H2 production; led to the genetic identification, cloning and manipulation of algal hydrogenase genes; and contributed to a broader, fundamental understanding of the technical and scientific challenges to improving the conversion efficiencies in order to reach the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office’s targets. Some of the tangible results are: (i) 64 publications and 6 patents, (ii) international visibility to NREL, (iii) reinvigoration of national and international biohydrogen research, and (iv) research progress that helped stimulate new funding from other DOE and non-DOE programs, including the AFOSR and the DOE Office of Science.

  19. Algal-bacterial interactions in metal contaminated floodplain sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boivin, M.E.Y.; Greve, G.D.; Garcia-Meza, J.V.; Massieux, B.; Sprenger, W.; Kraak, M.H.S.; Breure, A.M.; Rutgers, M.; Admiraal, W.

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate algal-bacterial interactions in a gradient of metal contaminated natural sediments. By means of multivariate techniques, we related the genetic structure (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, DGGE) and the physiological structure (community-level physiological profiling, CLPP) of the bacterial communities to the species composition of the algal communities and to the abiotic environmental variables, including metal contamination. The results revealed that genetic and physiological structure of the bacterial communities correlated with the species composition of the algal community, but hardly to the level of metal pollution. This must be interpreted as an indication for a strong and species-specific linkage of algal and bacterial species in floodplain sediments. Metals were, however, not proven to affect either the algal or the bacterial communities of the Dutch river floodplains. - Algal and bacterial communities in floodplain sediments are interlinked, but are not affected by metal pollution

  20. Yessotoxins, a Group of Marine Polyether Toxins: an Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José J. Fernández

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Yessotoxin (YTX is a marine polyether toxin that was first isolated in 1986 from the scallop Patinopecten yessoensis. Subsequently, it was reported that YTX is produced by the dinoflagellates Protoceratium reticulatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum and Gonyaulax spinifera. YTXs have been associated with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP because they are often simultaneously extracted with DSP toxins, and give positive results when tested in the conventional mouse bioassay for DSP toxins. However, recent evidence suggests that YTXs should be excluded from the DSP toxins group, because unlike okadaic acid (OA and dinophyisistoxin-1 (DTX-1, YTXs do not cause either diarrhea or inhibition of protein phosphatases . In spite of the increasing number of molecular studies focused on the toxicity of YTX, the precise mechanism of action is currently unknown. Since the discovery of YTX, almost forty new analogues isolated from both mussels and dinoflagellates have been characterized by NMR or LC-MS/MS techniques. These studies indicate a wide variability in the profile and the relative abundance of YTXs in both, bivalves and dinoflagellates. This review covers current knowledge on the origin, producer organisms and vectors, chemical structures, metabolism, biosynthetic origin, toxicological properties, potential risks to human health and advances in detection methods of YTXs.

  1. Accumulation, Biotransformation, Histopathology and Paralysis in the Pacific Calico Scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the Paralyzing Toxins of the Dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalba Alonso-Rodriguez

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum produces paralyzing shellfish poisons that are consumed and accumulated by bivalves. We performed short-term feeding experiments to examine ingestion, accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology, and paralysis in the juvenile Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus that consume this dinoflagellate. Depletion of algal cells was measured in closed systems. Histopathological preparations were microscopically analyzed. Paralysis was observed and the time of recovery recorded. Accumulation and possible biotransformation of toxins were measured by HPLC analysis. Feeding activity in treated scallops showed that scallops produced pseudofeces, ingestion rates decreased at 8 h; approximately 60% of the scallops were paralyzed and melanin production and hemocyte aggregation were observed in several tissues at 15 h. HPLC analysis showed that the only toxins present in the dinoflagellates and scallops were the N-sulfo-carbamoyl toxins (C1, C2; after hydrolysis, the carbamate toxins (epimers GTX2/3 were present. C1 and C2 toxins were most common in the mantle, followed by the digestive gland and stomach-complex, adductor muscle, kidney and rectum group, and finally, gills. Toxin profiles in scallop tissue were similar to the dinoflagellate; biotransformations were not present in the scallops in this short-term feeding experiment.

  2. Stimulation of bacterial DNA synthesis by algal exudates in attached algal-bacterial consortia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murray, R.E.; Cooksey, K.E.; Priscu, J.C.

    1986-01-01

    Algal-bacterial consortia attached to polystyrene surfaces were prepared in the laboratory by using the marine diatom Amphora coffeaeformis and the marine bacterium Vibrio proteolytica (the approved name of this bacterium is Vibrio proteolyticus. The organisms were attached to the surfaces at cell densities of approximately 5 x 10 4 cells cm -2 (diatoms) and 5 x 10 6 cells cm -2 (bacteria). The algal-bacterial consortia consistently exhibited higher rates of [ 3 H]thymidine incorporation than did biofilms composed solely of bacteria. The rates of [ 3 H]thymidine incorporation by the algal-bacterial consortia were fourfold greater than the rates of incorporation by monobacterial biofilms 16 h after biofilm formation and were 16-fold greater 70 h after biofilm formation. Extracellular material released from the attached Amphora cells supported rates of bacterial activity (0.8 x 10 -21 mol to 17.9 x 10 -21 mol of [ 3 H]thymidine incorporated cell -1 h -1 ) and growth (doubling time, 29.5 to 1.4 days) comparable to values reported for a wide variety of marine and freshwater ecosystems. In the presence of sessile diatom populations, DNA synthesis by attached V. proteolytica cells was light dependent and increased with increasing algal abundance. The metabolic activity of diatoms thus appears to be the rate-limiting process in biofilm development on illuminated surfaces under conditions of low bulk-water dissolved organic carbon

  3. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2016-10-01

    This fact sheet highlights several algal biofuels research and development projects focused on improving the economics of the algal biofuels production process. These projects should serve as a foundation for the research efforts toward algae as a source of fuels and other chemicals.

  4. Particle size fractionation of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs): seasonal distribution and bacterial production in the St Lawrence estuary, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaud, S; Levasseur, M; Doucette, G; Cantin, G

    2002-10-01

    We determined the seasonal distribution of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and PST producing bacteria in > 15, 5-15, and 0.22-5 microm size fractions in the St Lawrence. We also measured PSTs in a local population of Mytilus edulis. PST concentrations were determined in each size fraction and in laboratory incubations of sub-samples by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), including the rigorous elimination of suspected toxin 'imposter' peaks. Mussel toxin levels were determined by mouse bioassay and HPLC. PSTs were detected in all size fractions during the summer sampling season, with 47% of the water column toxin levels associated with particles smaller than Alexandrium tamarense ( 15 microm size fraction, we estimated that as much as 92% of PSTs could be associated with particles other than A. tamarense. Our results stress the importance of taking into account the potential presence of PSTs in size fractions other than that containing the known algal producer when attempting to model shellfish intoxication, especially during years of low cell abundance. Finally, our HPLC results confirmed the presence of bacteria capable of autonomous PST production in the St Lawrence as well as demonstrating their regular presence and apparent diversity in the plankton. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  5. Potent antitumor activity of a urokinase-activated engineered anthrax toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shihui; Aaronson, Hannah; Mitola, David J.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bugge, Thomas H.

    2003-01-01

    The acquisition of cell-surface urokinase plasminogen activator activity is a hallmark of malignancy. We generated an engineered anthrax toxin that is activated by cell-surface urokinase in vivo and displays limited toxicity to normal tissue but broad and potent tumoricidal activity. Native anthrax toxin protective antigen, when administered with a chimeric anthrax toxin lethal factor, Pseudomonas exotoxin fusion protein, was extremely toxic to mice, causing rapid and fatal organ damage. Replacing the furin activation sequence in anthrax toxin protective antigen with an artificial peptide sequence efficiently activated by urokinase greatly attenuated toxicity to mice. In addition, the mutation conferred cell-surface urokinase-dependent toxin activation in vivo, as determined by using a panel of plasminogen, plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator receptor, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-deficient mice. Surprisingly, toxin activation critically depended on both urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and plasminogen in vivo, showing that both proteins are essential cofactors for the generation of cell-surface urokinase. The engineered toxin displayed potent tumor cell cytotoxicity to a spectrum of transplanted tumors of diverse origin and could eradicate established solid tumors. This tumoricidal activity depended strictly on tumor cell-surface plasminogen activation. The data show that a simple change of protease activation specificity converts anthrax toxin from a highly lethal to a potent tumoricidal agent.

  6. Evaluation of Harmful Algal Bloom Outreach Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Weisman

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available With an apparent increase of harmful algal blooms (HABs worldwide,healthcare providers, public health personnel and coastal managers are struggling toprovide scientifically-based appropriately-targeted HAB outreach and education. Since1998, the Florida Poison Information Center-Miami, with its 24 hour/365 day/year freeAquatic Toxins Hotline (1-888-232-8635 available in several languages, has received over 25,000 HAB-related calls. As part of HAB surveillance, all possible cases of HAB-relatedillness among callers are reported to the Florida Health Department. This pilot studyevaluated an automated call processing menu system that allows callers to access bilingualHAB information, and to speak directly with a trained Poison Information Specialist. Themajority (68% of callers reported satisfaction with the information, and many provided specific suggestions for improvement. This pilot study, the first known evaluation of use and satisfaction with HAB educational outreach materials, demonstrated that the automated system provided useful HAB-related information for the majority of callers, and decreased the routine informational call workload for the Poison Information Specialists, allowing them to focus on callers needing immediate assistance and their healthcare providers. These results will lead to improvement of this valuable HAB outreach, education and surveillance tool. Formal evaluation is recommended for future HAB outreach and educational materials.

  7. Detection of surface algal blooms using the newly developed algorithm surface algal bloom index (SABI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alawadi, Fahad

    2010-10-01

    Quantifying ocean colour properties has evolved over the past two decades from being able to merely detect their biological activity to the ability to estimate chlorophyll concentration using optical satellite sensors like MODIS and MERIS. The production of chlorophyll spatial distribution maps is a good indicator of plankton biomass (primary production) and is useful for the tracing of oceanographic currents, jets and blooms, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). Depending on the type of HABs involved and the environmental conditions, if their concentration rises above a critical threshold, it can impact the flora and fauna of the aquatic habitat through the introduction of the so called "red tide" phenomenon. The estimation of chlorophyll concentration is derived from quantifying the spectral relationship between the blue and the green bands reflected from the water column. This spectral relationship is employed in the standard ocean colour chlorophyll-a (Chlor-a) product, but is incapable of detecting certain macro-algal species that float near to or at the water surface in the form of dense filaments or mats. The ability to accurately identify algal formations that sometimes appear as oil spill look-alikes in satellite imagery, contributes towards the reduction of false-positive incidents arising from oil spill monitoring operations. Such algal formations that occur in relatively high concentrations may experience, as in land vegetation, what is known as the "red-edge" effect. This phenomena occurs at the highest reflectance slope between the maximum absorption in the red due to the surrounding ocean water and the maximum reflectance in the infra-red due to the photosynthetic pigments present in the surface algae. A new algorithm termed the surface algal bloom index (SABI), has been proposed to delineate the spatial distributions of floating micro-algal species like for example cyanobacteria or exposed inter-tidal vegetation like seagrass. This algorithm was

  8. Neurotoxins from Marine Dinoflagellates: A Brief Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Da-Zhi Wang

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Dinoflagellates are not only important marine primary producers and grazers, but also the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. It has been reported that many dinoflagellate species can produce various natural toxins. These toxins can be extremely toxic and many of them are effective at far lower dosages than conventional chemical agents. Consumption of seafood contaminated by algal toxins results in various seafood poisoning syndromes: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP, amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP, diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP, ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP and azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (ASP. Most of these poisonings are caused by neurotoxins which present themselves with highly specific effects on the nervous system of animals, including humans, by interfering with nerve impulse transmission. Neurotoxins are a varied group of compounds, both chemically and pharmacologically. They vary in both chemical structure and mechanism of action, and produce very distinct biological effects, which provides a potential application of these toxins in pharmacology and toxicology. This review summarizes the origin, structure and clinical symptoms of PSP, NSP, CFP, AZP, yessotoxin and palytoxin produced by marine dinoflagellates, as well as their molecular mechanisms of action on voltage-gated ion channels.

  9. Algal stabilisation of estuarine sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The presence of benthic microalgae can increase the stability of intertidal sediments and influence sediment fluxes within an estuarine environment. Therefore the relative importance of algal stabilisation needs to be understood to help predict the effects of a tidal barrage. The biogenic stabilisation of intertidal estuarine sediments by epipelic diatom films and the macrophyte Vaucheria was studied at three sites on the Severn Estuary. The cohesive strength meter (CSM) was developed to measure surface critical shear stress with varied algal density. A number of techniques have been used to determine the general in situ erodibility of cohesive estuarine sediments. The measurements of sediment shear strength and critical erosion velocity were investigated. Field experiments were undertaken to investigate the effect of algae on binding sediments, and a predictive method for the assessment of sediment stabilisation by algal binding was developed. (author)

  10. Stool C difficile toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... be analyzed. There are several ways to detect C difficile toxin in the stool sample. Enzyme immunoassay ( ...

  11. Observations on algal populations in an experimental maturation pond system

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Shillinglaw, SN

    1977-01-01

    Full Text Available ?) of influent (HTE) and secondary pond. The arrows indicate the beginning of the noled algal concentration declines. 190 Water SA Vol. 3 No. 4 October 1977 intermittent presence of some factor which suppresses algal growth and/or removes algal cells from... the system at a very rapid rate. Another possibility is that an algal growth suppres sor is almost continuously present and only when the suppres sing factor is intermittently ahsent, do the algal concentrations exhihit a peak. Based on the results...

  12. Sustainable Algal Energy Production and Environmental Remediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooke, William E. [College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (United States). Dept. of Physics

    2012-07-14

    Overall, our results confirm that wild algal species sequester a wide range of organic and metal contaminants and excess nutrients (PAHs, trace metals, and nutrients) from natural waters, and suggest parameters that could be useful in predicting uptake rates for algae growing on an algal floway or other algal growth systems in the environment or in industrial processes. The implication for various fuel production processes differ with the detailed unit operations involved, and these results will be of use in the developing of scaling experiments for various types of engineering process designs.

  13. Guanidinium Toxins and Their Interactions with Voltage-Gated Sodium Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena M. Durán-Riveroll

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Guanidinium toxins, such as saxitoxin (STX, tetrodotoxin (TTX and their analogs, are naturally occurring alkaloids with divergent evolutionary origins and biogeographical distribution, but which share the common chemical feature of guanidinium moieties. These guanidinium groups confer high biological activity with high affinity and ion flux blockage capacity for voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV. Members of the STX group, known collectively as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs, are produced among three genera of marine dinoflagellates and about a dozen genera of primarily freshwater or brackish water cyanobacteria. In contrast, toxins of the TTX group occur mainly in macrozoa, particularly among puffer fish, several species of marine invertebrates and a few terrestrial amphibians. In the case of TTX and analogs, most evidence suggests that symbiotic bacteria are the origin of the toxins, although endogenous biosynthesis independent from bacteria has not been excluded. The evolutionary origin of the biosynthetic genes for STX and analogs in dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria remains elusive. These highly potent molecules have been the subject of intensive research since the latter half of the past century; first to study the mode of action of their toxigenicity, and later as tools to characterize the role and structure of NaV channels, and finally as therapeutics. Their pharmacological activities have provided encouragement for their use as therapeutants for ion channel-related pathologies, such as pain control. The functional role in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems for both groups of toxins is unproven, although plausible mechanisms of ion channel regulation and chemical defense are often invoked. Molecular approaches and the development of improved detection methods will yield deeper understanding of their physiological and ecological roles. This knowledge will facilitate their further biotechnological exploitation and point the way towards

  14. Algal biodiesel economy and competition among bio-fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examines the possible results of policy support in developed and developing economies for developing algal biodiesel through to 2040. This investigation adopts the Taiwan General Equilibrium Model-Energy for Bio-fuels (TAIGEM-EB) to predict competition among the development of algal biodiesel, bioethanol and conventional crop-based biodiesel. Analytical results show that algal biodiesel will not be the major energy source in 2040 without strong support in developed economies. In contrast, bioethanol enjoys a development advantage relative to both forms of biodiesel. Finally, algal biodiesel will almost completely replace conventional biodiesel. CO(2) reduction benefits the development of the bio-fuels industry. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Evidence for water-mediated mechanisms in coral–algal interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorissen, Hendrikje; Skinner, Christina; Osinga, Ronald; de Beer, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Although many coral reefs have shifted from coral-to-algal dominance, the consequence of such a transition for coral–algal interactions and their underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. At the microscale, it is unclear how diffusive boundary layers (DBLs) and surface oxygen concentrations at the coral–algal interface vary with algal competitors and competitiveness. Using field observations and microsensor measurements in a flow chamber, we show that coral (massive Porites) interfaces with thick turf algae, macroalgae, and cyanobacteria, which are successful competitors against coral in the field, are characterized by a thick DBL and hypoxia at night. In contrast, coral interfaces with crustose coralline algae, conspecifics, and thin turf algae, which are poorer competitors, have a thin DBL and low hypoxia at night. Furthermore, DBL thickness and hypoxia at the interface with turf decreased with increasing flow speed, but not when thick turf was upstream. Our results support the importance of water-mediated transport mechanisms in coral–algal interactions. Shifts towards algal dominance, particularly dense assemblages, may lead to thicker DBLs, higher hypoxia, and higher concentrations of harmful metabolites and pathogens along coral borders, which in turn may facilitate algal overgrowth of live corals. These effects may be mediated by flow speed and orientation. PMID:27512146

  16. Cyanobacteria toxins in the Salton Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Wayne W; Li, RenHui

    2006-04-19

    The Salton Sea (SS) is the largest inland body of water in California: surface area 980 km2, volume 7.3 million acre-feet, 58 km long, 14-22 km wide, maximum depth 15 m. Located in the southeastern Sonoran desert of California, it is 85 m below sea level at its lowest point. It was formed between 1905 and 1907 from heavy river flows of the Colorado River. Since its formation, it has attracted both people and wildlife, including flocks of migratory birds that have made the Salton Sea a critical stopover on the Pacific flyway. Over the past 15 years wintering populations of eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) at the Salton Sea, have experienced over 200,000 mortalities. The cause of these large die-offs remains unknown. The unique environmental conditions of the Salton Sea, including salinities from brackish freshwater at river inlets to hypersaline conditions, extreme daily summer temperatures (>38 degrees C), and high nutrient loading from rivers and agricultural drainage favor eutrophic conditions that encourage algal blooms throughout the year. A significant component of these algal blooms are the prokaryotic group - the Cyanophyta or blue-green algae (also called Cyanobacteria). Since many Cyanobacteria produce toxins (the cyanotoxins) it became important to evaluate their presence and to determine if they are a contributing factor in eared-grebe mortalities at the Salton Sea. From November 1999 to April 2001, 247 water and sediment samples were received for phytoplankton identification and cyanotoxin analyses. Immunoassay (ELISA) screening of these samples found that eighty five percent of all water samples contained low but detectable levels of the potent cyclic peptide liver toxin called microcystins. Isolation and identification of cyanobacteria isolates showed that the picoplanktonic Synechococcus and the benthic filamentous Oscillatoria were dominant. Both organisms were found to produce microcystins dominated by microcystin-LR and YR. A laboratory strain

  17. Algal stabilisation of estuarine sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The presence of benthic microalgae can increase the stability of intertidal sediments and influence sediment fluxes within an estuarine environment. Therefore the relative importance of algal stabilisation needs to be understood to help predict the effects of a tidal barrage. The objectives of this study are: to assess the significance of stabilisation of sediments by algae, in relation to the changes in hydrodynamic and sedimentological regimes arising from the construction of tidal power barrages; to identify a reliable and meaningful method of measuring the effectiveness, including duration, of algal binding on sediment stability, and to relate this method to other methods of measuring critical erosion velocity and sediment shear strength; to undertake a series of field experiments investigating the effect of algae on binding sediments and the parameters which could potentially influence such binding and to develop a predictive method for the assessment of sediment stabilisation by algal binding. This report contains plates, figures and tables. (author)

  18. Comparison of anorectic potencies of the trichothecenes T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin and satratoxin G to the ipecac alkaloid emetine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenda Wu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Trichothecene mycotoxins, potent translational inhibitors that are associated with human food poisonings and damp-building illnesses, are of considerable concern to animal and human health. Food refusal is a hallmark of exposure of experimental animals to deoxynivalenol (DON and other Type B trichothecenes but less is known about the anorectic effects of foodborne Type A trichothecenes (e.g., T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, airborne Type D trichothecenes (e.g., satratoxin G [SG] or functionally analogous metabolites that impair protein synthesis. Here, we utilized a well-described mouse model of food intake to compare the anorectic potencies of T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, and SG to that of emetine, a medicinal alkaloid derived from ipecac that inhibits translation. Intraperitoneal (IP administration with T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, emetine and SG evoked anorectic responses that occurred within 0.5 h that lasted up to 96, 96, 3 and 96 h, respectively, with lowest observed adverse effect levels (LOAELs being 0.1, 0.1, 2.5 and 0.25 mg/kg BW, respectively. When delivered via natural routes of exposure, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, emetine (oral and SG (intranasal induced anorectic responses that lasted up to 48, 48, 3 and 6 h, respectively with LOAELs being 0.1, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mg/kg BW, respectively. All four compounds were generally much more potent than DON which was previously observed to have LOAELs of 1 and 2.5 mg/kg BW after IP and oral dosing, respectively. Taken together, these anorectic potency data will be valuable in discerning the relative risks from trichothecenes and other translational inhibitors of natural origin.

  19. Resolving Mixed Algal Species in Hyperspectral Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrube Mehrubeoglu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated a lab-based hyperspectral imaging system’s response from pure (single and mixed (two algal cultures containing known algae types and volumetric combinations to characterize the system’s performance. The spectral response to volumetric changes in single and combinations of algal mixtures with known ratios were tested. Constrained linear spectral unmixing was applied to extract the algal content of the mixtures based on abundances that produced the lowest root mean square error. Percent prediction error was computed as the difference between actual percent volumetric content and abundances at minimum RMS error. Best prediction errors were computed as 0.4%, 0.4% and 6.3% for the mixed spectra from three independent experiments. The worst prediction errors were found as 5.6%, 5.4% and 13.4% for the same order of experiments. Additionally, Beer-Lambert’s law was utilized to relate transmittance to different volumes of pure algal suspensions demonstrating linear logarithmic trends for optical property measurements.

  20. Inhibition of cholera toxin and other AB toxins by polyphenolic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    All AB-type protein toxins have intracellular targets despite an initial extracellular location. These toxins use different methods to reach the cytosol and have different effects on the target cell. Broad-spectrum inhibitors against AB toxins are therefore hard to develop because the toxins use dif...

  1. Harmful algal blooms

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Bhat, S.R.; PrabhaDevi; DeSouza, L.; Verlecar, X.N.; Naik, C.G.

    as harmful algal bloom. Bloom formation is a natural process and it enhances biological productivity, but turns worrisome when caused by toxic species, leading to massive fish mortalities and hazards to human health. Incidences of'red tide' are increasing...

  2. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-07

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

  3. Presence of microcystin during events of algal blooms in Araruama Lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manildo Marcião de Oliveira

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Algal blooms are phenomena produced by anthropogenic activities, despite the possible natural causes. In Araruama Lagoon, blooms occurred in 2005 and in subsequent years, causing profound changes in phytoplankton communities. These episodes triggered events of extensive fish mortality associated with low levels of dissolved oxygen. Another adverse effect associated with blooms is the production of harmful toxins such as phycotoxins produced by eukaryotic microalgae and cyanotoxins produced by cyanobacteria. Samples of fish (mullet and menhaden and seston showed levels of microcystin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, also a seston sample (São Pedro d'Aldeia on 08/22/2007, in a period not related to fish mortality, showed cells which contained genes encoding microcystin synthetase, an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of microcystin. The succession of microalgae with the concomitant presence of potentially toxic cyanobacteria draws attention to the risk of chronic exposure by the population that uses fish as their main protein source.

  4. Paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates: A molecular overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Zhang, Shu-Fei; Zhang, Yong; Lin, Lin

    2016-03-01

    Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are a group of water soluble neurotoxic alkaloids produced by two different kingdoms of life, prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic dinoflagellates. Owing to the wide distribution of these organisms, these toxic secondary metabolites account for paralytic shellfish poisonings around the world. On the other hand, their specific binding to voltage-gated sodium channels makes these toxins potentially useful in pharmacological and toxicological applications. Much effort has been devoted to the biosynthetic mechanism of PSTs, and gene clusters encoding 26 proteins involved in PST biosynthesis have been unveiled in several cyanobacterial species. Functional analysis of toxin genes indicates that PST biosynthesis in cyanobacteria is a complex process including biosynthesis, regulation, modification and export. However, less is known about the toxin biosynthesis in dinoflagellates owing to our poor understanding of the massive genome and unique chromosomal characteristics [1]. So far, few genes involved in PST biosynthesis have been identified from dinoflagellates. Moreover, the proteins involved in PST production are far from being totally explored. Thus, the origin and evolution of PST biosynthesis in these two kingdoms are still controversial. In this review, we summarize the recent progress on the characterization of genes and proteins involved in PST biosynthesis in cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, and discuss the standing evolutionary hypotheses concerning the origin of toxin biosynthesis as well as future perspectives in PST biosynthesis. Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are a group of potent neurotoxins which specifically block voltage-gated sodium channels in excitable cells and result in paralytic shellfish poisonings (PSPs) around the world. Two different kingdoms of life, cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates are able to produce PSTs. However, in contrast with cyanobacteria, our understanding of PST biosynthesis in

  5. Tracing the origin of paralytic shellfish toxins in scallop Patinopecten yessoensis in the northern Yellow Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jian-Hua; Yu, Ren-Cheng; Gao, Yan; Kong, Fan-Zhou; Wang, Yun-Feng; Zhang, Qing-Chun; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Yan, Tian; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Some dinoflagellate species within the genera Alexandrium, Gymnodinium and Pyrodinium are well-known producers of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST), which led to many poisoning incidents around the world. In the northern Yellow Sea, an important mariculture zone for scallop Patinopecten yessoensis, PST have been frequently detected from scallops. However, there is little knowledge concerning PST-producing microalgae in this region so far. In cruises carried out in 2011 and 2012, scallop and phytoplankton samples were collected from the northern Yellow Sea. PST were detected from scallops by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD). Toxin content and profile were remarkably different among the four tissues, i.e. viscera, adductor muscle, mantle and gonad, suggesting apparent toxin transfer and transformation in scallops. Viscera always had the highest content of PST dominated by low-potency N-sulfocarbamoyl toxins C1 and C2, which closely resembled the toxin profiles of net-concentrated phytoplankton samples in spring. Based on the morphological features, cells of Alexandrium spp. in net-concentrated phytoplankton samples were picked out and a partial sequence of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene (LSU rDNA) was amplified using a single-cell polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. Cells of both toxic A. tamarense species complex and non-toxic A. affine were identified from the phytoplankton samples based on the partial LSU rDNA sequence information. According to these findings, it is implied that A. tamarense species complex is the major toxic species related to PST contamination in scallops of the northern Yellow Sea. The presence of both toxic and non-toxic Alexandrium spp. in this region requires for a species-specific method to monitor the distribution and dynamics of A. tamarense species complex.

  6. Ceramic Ultrafiltration of Marine Algal Solutions: A Comprehensive Study

    KAUST Repository

    Dramas, Laure

    2014-09-01

    Algal bloom can significantly impact reverse osmosis desalination process and reduce the drinking water production. In 2008, a major bloom event forced several UAE reverse osmosis plants to stop their production, and in this context, a better understanding of UF membrane fouling caused by algal organic matter (AOM) is needed, in order to adjust the filtration conditions during algal bloom events. Polymeric MF/UF membranes are already widely used for RO pretreatment, but ceramic UF membranes can also be an alternative for the filtration of marine algal solutions. The fouling potential of the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, sampled at different seasons, along with four algal monocultures grown in laboratory, and one mesocosm experiment in the Red Sea was investigated. Algal solutions induce a stronger and more irreversible fouling than terrestrial humic solution, toward ceramic membrane. During algal bloom events, this fouling is enhanced and becomes even more problematic at the decline phase of the bloom, for a similar initial DOC. Three main mechanisms are involved: the formation of a cake layer at the membrane surface; the penetration of the algal organic matter (AOM) in the pore network of the membrane; the strong adhesion of AOM with the membrane surface. The last mechanism is species-specific and metal-oxide specific. In order to understand the stronger ceramic UF fouling at the decline phase, AOM quality was analyzed every two days. During growth, AOM is getting enriched in High Molecular Weight (HMW) structures (> 200 kDa), which are mainly composed by proteins and polysaccharides, and these compounds seem to be responsible for the stronger fouling at decline phase. In order to prevent the fouling of ceramic membrane, coagulation-flocculation (CF) using ferric chloride was implemented prior to filtration. It permits a high removal of HMW compounds and greatly reduces the fouling potential of the algal solution. During brief algal bloom events, CF should be

  7. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L.

    1990-01-01

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site

  8. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  9. Deep-Learning-Based Approach for Prediction of Algal Blooms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Algal blooms have recently become a critical global environmental concern which might put economic development and sustainability at risk. However, the accurate prediction of algal blooms remains a challenging scientific problem. In this study, a novel prediction approach for algal blooms based on deep learning is presented—a powerful tool to represent and predict highly dynamic and complex phenomena. The proposed approach constructs a five-layered model to extract detailed relationships between the density of phytoplankton cells and various environmental parameters. The algal blooms can be predicted by the phytoplankton density obtained from the output layer. A case study is conducted in coastal waters of East China using both our model and a traditional back-propagation neural network for comparison. The results show that the deep-learning-based model yields better generalization and greater accuracy in predicting algal blooms than a traditional shallow neural network does.

  10. A Fluorescence Based Miniaturized Detection Module for Toxin Producing Algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zieger, S. E.; Mistlberger, G.; Troi, L.; Lang, A.; Holly, C.; Klimant, I.

    2016-12-01

    Algal blooms are sensitive to external environmental conditions and may pose a serious threat to marine and human life having an adverse effect on the ecosystem. Harmful algal blooms can produce different toxins, which can lead to massive fish kills or to human disorders. Facing these problems, miniaturized and low-cost instrumentation for an early detection and identification of harmful algae classes has become more important over the last years. 1,2Based on the characteristic pigment pattern of different algae classes, we developed a miniaturized detection module, which is able to detect and identify algae classes after analyzing their spectral behavior. Our device combines features of a flow-cytometer and fluorimeter and is build up as a miniaturized and low-cost device of modular design. Similar to a fluorimeter, it excites cells in the capillary with up to 8 different excitation wavelengths recording the emitted fluorescence at 4 different emission channels. Furthermore, the device operates in a flow-through mode similar to a flow-cytometer, however, using only low-cost elements such as LEDs and photodiodes. Due to its miniaturized design, the sensitivity and selectivity increase, whereas background effects are reduced. With a sampling frequency of 140 Hz, we try to detect and count particular cell events even at a concentration of 2 cells / 7.3 µL illuminated volume. Using a self-learning multivariate algorithm, the data are evaluated autonomously on the device enabling an in-situ analysis. The flexibility in choosing excitation and emission wavelengths as well as the high sampling rate enables laboratory applications such as measuring induction kinetics. However, in its first application, the device is part of an open and modular monitoring system enabling the sensing of chemical compounds such as toxic and essential Hg, Cd, Pb, As and Cu trace metal species, nutrients and species related to the carbon cycle, VOCs and potentially toxic algae classes (FP7

  11. Failure of botulinum toxin injection for neurogenic detrusor overactivity: Switch of toxin versus second injection of the same toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyronnet, Benoit; Castel-Lacanal, Evelyne; Manunta, Andréa; Roumiguié, Mathieu; Marque, Philippe; Rischmann, Pascal; Gamé, Xavier

    2015-12-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of a second injection of the same toxin versus switching to a different botulinum toxin A after failure of a first detrusor injection in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity. The charts of all patients who underwent detrusor injections of botulinum toxin A (either abobotulinumtoxinA or onabotulinumtoxinA) for the management of neurogenic detrusor overactivity at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patients in whom a first detrusor injection had failed were included in the present study. They were managed by a second injection of the same toxin at the same dosage or by a new detrusor injection using a different botulinum toxin A. Success was defined as a resolution of urgency, urinary incontinence and detrusor overactivity in a patient self-catheterizing seven times or less per 24 h. A total of 58 patients were included for analysis. A toxin switch was carried out in 29 patients, whereas the other 29 patients received a reinjection of the same toxin at the same dose. The success rate was higher in patients who received a toxin switch (51.7% vs. 24.1%, P = 0.03). Patients treated with a switch from abobotulinumtoxinA to onabotulinumtoxinA and those treated with a switch from onabotulinumtoxinA to abobotulinumtoxinA had similar success rates (52.9% vs. 50%, P = 0.88). After failure of a first detrusor injection of botulinum toxin for neurogenic detrusor overactivity, a switch to a different toxin seems to be more effective than a second injection of the same toxin. The replacement of onabotulinumtoxin by abobotulinumtoxin or the reverse provides similar results. © 2015 The Japanese Urological Association.

  12. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J.; Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L.; Lima, M.E. de; Nicoli, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na 125 I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The 125 I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author)

  13. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J. [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L. [Ouro Preto Univ., MG (Brazil). Escola de Farmacia. Lab. de Fisiologia e Bioquimica de Microorganismos; Lima, M.E. de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia; Nicoli, J.R. [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Microbiologia

    1999-11-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na {sup 125} I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The {sup 125} I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author) 5 refs., 3 figs.; e-mail: nevesmj at urano.cdtn.br

  14. Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid- and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E.; Laurens, L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.

    2014-09-01

    Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process design converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.

  15. Thallophytic algal flora from a new Silurian Lagerstätte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tinn, Oive

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Algae have always been the most diverse and numerous eukaryotic autotrophs in marine ecosystems. Both fossil andmolecular data point to an early Proterozoic origin for algae. Although known for their long evolutionary history, the fossil recordof algae is sparse and mainly remains of taxa with heavily calcified thalli are preserved. However, fossils of noncalcareous algae,known as extremely sporadic and occasional finds from different parts of the world, provide important insights into thepalaeobiology of algal flora in the Earth's past. Here we describe highly diverse flora of noncalcareous thallophytic algae from aSilurian age deposit.

  16. Algal Turf Scrubbers: Cleaning Water While Capturing Solar Energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adey, W.

    2009-01-01

    Algal Turfs and Algal Turf Scrubbers (ATS) Algal Turfs are bio diverse communities of unicellular to filamentous algae of all major algal phyla. Algal Turf Scrubbers (ATS) are bioengineered ecosystems dominated by algal turfs. They clean water to very high quality, and remove CO 2 from the atmosphere by capturing solar energy at rates 10 times that of agriculture and 50 times that of forestry. ATS was invented at the Smithsonian Institution, by scientist, Walter Adey in the 1980s as a tool for controlling water quality in highly diverse model ecosystems. The technology received extensive R and D for aqua cultural, municipal, and industrial water cleaning by Dr. Adey, using venture capital, through the 1990s. Later, Hydro Mentia, Inc., of Ocala, Florida, engineered ATS to landscape scale of 20-50 Mgpd (it is important to note that this is a modular system, capable of expanding to any size.) A 2005 independent study of ATS, by the South Florida Water Management District and the IFAS Institute of the University of Florida, certified ATS as 5-100 times more cost efficient at removing nutrients from Everglades canal waters than the next competitor, the STA, a managed marsh system. ATS and STA were the final contestants in a 15-year study of nine technologies, and ATS was the only technology that created a use able byproduct.

  17. Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop Summary Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2016-08-01

    DOE-EERE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) works to accelerate the development of a sustainable, cost-competitive, advanced biofuel industry that can strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality, through research, development, and demonstration projects in partnership with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners. BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems Program (also called the Algae Program) has a long-term applied research and development (R&D) strategy to increase the yields and lower the costs of algal biofuels. The team works with partners to develop new technologies, to integrate technologies at commercially relevant scales, and to conduct crosscutting analyses to better understand the potential and challenges of the algal biofuels industry. Research has indicated that this industry is capable of producing billions of gallons of renewable diesel, gasoline, and jet fuels annually. R&D activities are integrated with BETO’s longstanding effort to accelerate the commercialization of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  18. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  19. Satellite monitoring of cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) cause extensive problems in lakes worldwide, including human and ecological health risks, anoxia and fish kills, and taste and odor problems. CyanoHABs are a particular concern because of their dense biomass and the risk of exposure to toxins in both recreational waters and drinking source waters. Successful cyanoHAB assessment by satellites may provide a first-line of defense indicator for human and ecological health protection. In this study, assessment methods were developed to determine the utility of satellite technology for detecting cyanoHAB occurrence frequency at locations of potential management interest. The European Space Agency's MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) was evaluated to prepare for the equivalent Sentinel-3 Ocean and Land Colour Imager (OLCI) launched in 2016. Based on the 2012 National Lakes Assessment site evaluation guidelines and National Hydrography Dataset, there were 275,897 lakes and reservoirs greater than 1 hectare in the 48 U.S. states. Results from this evaluation show that 5.6 % of waterbodies were resolvable by satellites with 300 m single pixel resolution and 0.7 % of waterbodies were resolvable when a 3x3 pixel array was applied based on minimum Euclidian distance from shore. Satellite data was also spatially joined to US public water surface intake (PWSI) locations, where single pixel resolution resolved 57% of PWSI and a 3x3 pixel array resolved 33% of

  20. Development of a toxicity model for paralytic shellfish toxins in mussel: uptake and release of toxins in Green Bay mussel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tabbada, Rhett Simon DC.; Ranada, Ma. Llorina O.; De Leon, Aileen L.; Bulos, Adelina M.; Sta, Maria; Efren, J.; De Vera, Azucena; Balagtas, Angelina; Sombrito, Elvira Z.

    2009-01-01

    In view of the expressed need to study shellfish toxicity and elucidate the kinetics of saxitoxin in green mussels Perna viridis), uptake/depuration rates of saxitoxin were studied in Juag Lagoon, Sorsogon and Sorsogon Bay. Both areas experience recurring blooms of Pyrodinium bahamanse var compressum (PbC) making them excellent study sites. Two sampling stations were selected, to which, mussels were introduced. Algal cell density and mussel toxicity were measured by receptor binding assay (RBA) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) from May to December 2007. During this period, two bloom events occurred, wherein, a decrease in cell density by two orders of magnitude (30,000 to 600 cells·1 +1 ) caused an order of magnitude decrease in toxicity (600 to 30 μg STX eq./100 g shellfish meat). A time lag between peaks of cell density and the corresponding toxicity was revealed. Vegetative cells were present throughout the sampling period, and a uniform horizontal and vertical distribution of cells was observed between the stations. Cell densities were significantly correlated with both RBA and HPLC estimates of STX content in mussels (Pearson r values of 0.7486 and 0.4325 for RBA and HPLC, respectively). In Sorsogon Bay, six sampling stations were also chosen, from which, water and mussels were being collected. Preliminary data showed that the cellular toxin content was primarily STX, making up to 90-100% of total toxin quantified. The average toxicity was estimated at 52.81fmol/cell. The effect of physiological factors to overall shellfish toxicity, though not directly characterized, may be deduced from these studies. (author)

  1. Algal assay research in programs for Euthrophic Lake management: laboratory and field studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindmark, G

    1979-01-01

    The present study is an attempt to clarify whether relations between viruses (cyanophages) and their algal hosts can be affected by manipulations in the environment. Is is possible to activate cyanophages and accelerate lysis of blue-green algal populations or to enhance the resistance of blue-green algae to attack from cynaophages. The experiments presented here were performed under laboratory conditions with a well-known algal - canophage system, Plectonema boryanum and cyanophage LPP-1 (attacking strains of Lyngbya, Phormidium and Plectonema). The work was done in close connection with field experiments on natural blue-green algal communities, however, because the nature of the induced blue-green algal collapse in plastic enclosures suggested lysis of the algal cells. The rate of LPP-1 cyanophage replication and lysis of plectonema was studied in relation to: (a) pH alterations by CO/sub 2//air additions, (b) algal host culture age and density, (c) nutrient concentrations and (d) presence of additional algal species.

  2. Impacts of algal blooms removal by chitosan-modified soils on zooplankton community in Taihu Lake,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiajia Ni; Yuhe Yu; Weisong Feng; Qingyun Yan; Gang pan; Bo Yang; Xiang Zhang; Xuemei Li

    2010-01-01

    It is important to assess the effect on zooplankton when perform the environmental protection or restoration technology,especially removing algal blooms,because algae were the major primary producer in algal lakes.The influence on zooplankton community after half a year of algal blooms removed by chitosan-modified soils in Taihu Lake was assessed and the rationality of carrying out the process semiannually was evaluated in the present study.Morphological composition and genetic diversity of zooplankton community were investigated by microscope checkup and polymerase chain reaction-denatured gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE).A total of 44 zooplankton taxa (23 protozoa,17 rotifers,3 copepoda and 1 cladocera) were detected by microscope checkup,and a total of 91 bands (28 bands amplified by primers F1427-GC and R1616,63 bands amplified by primers Fung-G-C and NS1) were detected by PCR-DGGE.The results of cluster analysis or detrended correspondence analysis indicated that there was no considerable difference in morphological composition of zooplankton and DGGE profiles between experimental and control sites,and DGGE profiles could represent the biologic diversity.The study showed that zooplankton community could recover original condition after half year of algal blooms removed by chitosan-modified soils and it was acceptable to apply this process semiannually.In addition,the results revealed that PCR-DGGE could be applied to investigate the impacts of the environmental protection or restoration engineering on zooplankton community diversity.

  3. Evaluation of attached periphytical algal communities for biofuel feedstock generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandefur, H.N.; Matlock, M.D.; Costello, T.A. [Arkansas Univ., Division of Agriculture, Fayetteville, AR (United States). Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that investigated the feasibility of using algal biomass as a feedstock for biofuel production. Algae has a high lipid content, and with its high rate of production, it can produce more oil on less land than traditional bioenergy crops. In addition, algal communities can remove nutrients from wastewater. Enclosed photobioreactors and open pond systems are among the many different algal growth systems that can be highly productive. However, they can also be difficult to maintain. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the ability of a pilot scale algal turf scrubber (ATS) to facilitate the growth of attached periphytic algal communities for the production of biomass feedstock and the removal of nutrients from a local stream in Springdale, Arizona. The ATS operated for a 9 month sampling period, during which time the system productivity averaged 26 g per m{sup 2} per day. The removal of total phosphorus and total nitrogen averaged 48 and 13 per cent, respectively.

  4. Botulinum toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigam P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C 1 , C 2 , D, E, F and G. All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice.

  5. Development of a recombinant toxin fragment vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karczewski, Jerzy; Zorman, Julie; Wang, Su; Miezeiewski, Matthew; Xie, Jinfu; Soring, Keri; Petrescu, Ioan; Rogers, Irene; Thiriot, David S; Cook, James C; Chamberlin, Mihaela; Xoconostle, Rachel F; Nahas, Debbie D; Joyce, Joseph G; Bodmer, Jean-Luc; Heinrichs, Jon H; Secore, Susan

    2014-05-19

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis, a disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The disease is mostly of nosocomial origin, with elderly patients undergoing anti-microbial therapy being particularly at risk. C. difficile produces two large toxins: Toxin A (TcdA) and Toxin B (TcdB). The two toxins act synergistically to damage and impair the colonic epithelium, and are primarily responsible for the pathogenesis associated with CDI. The feasibility of toxin-based vaccination against C. difficile is being vigorously investigated. A vaccine based on formaldehyde-inactivated Toxin A and Toxin B (toxoids) was reported to be safe and immunogenic in healthy volunteers and is now undergoing evaluation in clinical efficacy trials. In order to eliminate cytotoxic effects, a chemical inactivation step must be included in the manufacturing process of this toxin-based vaccine. In addition, the large-scale production of highly toxic antigens could be a challenging and costly process. Vaccines based on non-toxic fragments of genetically engineered versions of the toxins alleviate most of these limitations. We have evaluated a vaccine assembled from two recombinant fragments of TcdB and explored their potential as components of a novel experimental vaccine against CDI. Golden Syrian hamsters vaccinated with recombinant fragments of TcdB combined with full length TcdA (Toxoid A) developed high titer IgG responses and potent neutralizing antibody titers. We also show here that the recombinant vaccine protected animals against lethal challenge with C. difficile spores, with efficacy equivalent to the toxoid vaccine. The development of a two-segment recombinant vaccine could provide several advantages over toxoid TcdA/TcdB such as improvements in manufacturability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Ceramic Ultrafiltration of Marine Algal Solutions: A Comprehensive Study

    KAUST Repository

    Dramas, Laure

    2014-01-01

    understanding of UF membrane fouling caused by algal organic matter (AOM) is needed, in order to adjust the filtration conditions during algal bloom events. Polymeric MF/UF membranes are already widely used for RO pretreatment, but ceramic UF membranes can also

  7. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs.

  8. Investigation of inactivation of Clostridium botulinum toxin by nuclear radiation. Final report. Untersuchung zur Desaktivierung des Clostridium botulinum Toxins durch Kernstrahlung. Endbericht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaltenhaeuser, A.; Werner, K.H.

    1989-01-01

    The effect of nuclear radiation on the toxicity and the molecular structure of the toxin produced by the microorganism Clostridium botulinum type A was investigated. The radiation induced changes in the structure of the toxin molecule. This effect is influenced by the composition or the medium above the toxin solution as well as by the temperature during the irradiation. The results of the investigation indicate that with increasing irradiation dose a new molecule was formed with immunological properties similar to the properties of the original molecule however with a greater molecular weight. After exposure to a radiation dose of 3,4 Mrad at normal temperature in air, complete detoxification of the substance was found. Immunizing experiments with the toxoid with two guinea-pigs indicated a pronounced increase of the antibody titer in the serum after 4 weeks. Vaccination experiments with the toxoid on animals show, that the protection against the effect of the toxin corresponds to the demands of the European Pharmacopoeia. The efficiency of the toxoid shows a similar efficiency as toxoids produced by chemical methods. The production of a toxoid-viccine with the relatively simple method of nuclear radiation appears possible. (orig./MG) With 12 refs., 3 tabs., 11 figs.

  9. Changes in algal composition and environmental variables in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Monthly sampling in 2003 and 2006 indicated that dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations decreased, while dissolved inorganic phosphorus concentration increased 12-fold, resulting in increases in algal concentration and a shift from green algal dominance in 2003 to cyanobacterial dominance in 2006. Multivariate ...

  10. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compared the results of four methods used to assess the algal communities at 60 sites distributed among four rivers. Based on Principle Component Analysis of physical habitat data collected concomitantly with the algal data, sites were separated into those with a mean thalweg...

  11. Evidence for water-mediated mechanisms in coral–algal interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jorissen, Hendrikje; Skinner, Christina; Osinga, Ronald; Beer, De Dirk; Nugues, Maggy M.

    2016-01-01

    Although many coral reefs have shifted from coral-to-algal dominance, the consequence of such a transition for coral–algal interactions and their underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. At the microscale, it is unclear how diffusive boundary layers (DBLs) and surface oxygen concentrations

  12. Botulinum toxin in parkinsonism: The when, how, and which for botulinum toxin injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Francisco

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this article is to provide a review of the use of injections of botulinum toxin in the management of selected symptoms and signs of Parkinson's disease and other forms of parkinsonism. Sialorrhea is defined as inability to control oral secretions, resulting in excessive saliva in the oropharynx. There is a high level of evidence for the treatment of sialorrhea in parkinsonism with injections of different forms of botulinum toxin type A as well as botulinum toxin type B. Tremor can be improved by the use of botulinum toxin injections but improved tremor control often leads to concomitant motor weakness, limiting its use. Levodopa induced dyskinesias are difficult to treat with botulinum toxin injections because of their variable frequency and direction. Apraxia of eyelid opening, a sign more commonly seen in progressive supranuclear palsy and other tauopathies, often improves after botulinum toxin injections. Recent data suggest that regardless of the underlying mechanism, pain in parkinsonism can be alleviated by botulinum toxin injections. Finally, freezing of gait, camptocormia and Pisa syndrome in parkinsonism almost invariably fail to respond to botulinum toxin injections. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Lactobacillus bulgaricus mutants decompose uremic toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yun-Huan; Jiang, Ya-Fen; Jiang, Yun-Sheng

    2014-06-01

    We aim to obtain a probiotic strain from Lactobacillus bulgaricus by testing its capability to decompose uremic toxins to provide new intestinal bacteria for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Original L. bulgaricus was cultured with the serum of uremic patients and then mutated by physical (ultraviolet) and chemical (diethyl sulfate) methods repeatedly. Using creatinine decomposition rate as an observed index, we selected the best strains which decreased the most concentration of the creatinine. We then tested its ability to decompose urea, uric acid, serum phosphate, parathyroid hormone, and homocysteine and its genetic stability. After inductive and mutagenic treatment, DUC3-17 was selected. Its decomposition rate of creatinine, urea nitrogen, uric acid, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, and homocysteine were 17.23%, 36.02%, 9.84%, 15.73%, 78.26%, and 12.69%, respectively. The degrading capacity was sustained over five generations. After directional induction and compound mutation, L. bulgaricus has greater capacity to decompose uremic toxins, with a stable inheritance.

  14. Evaluating algal growth performance and water use efficiency of pilot-scale revolving algal biofilm (RAB) culture systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Martin; Mascarenhas, Vernon; Wen, Zhiyou

    2015-10-01

    A Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) growth system in which algal cells are attached to a flexible material rotating between liquid and gas phases has been developed. In this work, different configurations of RAB systems were developed at pilot-scale by retrofitting the attachment materials to a raceway pond (2000-L with 8.5 m(2) footprint area) and a trough reservoir (150 L with 3.5 m(2) footprint area). The algal growth performance and chemical composition, as well as the water evaporative loss and specific water consumption were evaluated over a period of nine months in a greenhouse environment near Boone, Iowa USA. Additionally a raceway pond was run in parallel, which served as a control. On average the raceway-based RAB and the trough-based RAB outperformed the control pond by 309% and 697%, respectively. A maximum productivity of 46.8 g m(-2) day(-1) was achieved on the trough-based RAB system. The evaporative water loss of the RAB system was modeled based on an energy balance analysis and was experimentally validated. While the RAB system, particularly the trough-based RAB, had higher water evaporative loss, the specific water consumption per unit of biomass produced was only 26% (raceway-based RAB) and 7% (trough-based RAB) of that of the control pond. Collectively, this research shows that the RAB system is an efficient algal culture system and has great potential to commercially produce microalgae with high productivity and efficient water use. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Nutritional and environmental properties of algal products used in healthy diet by INAA and ICP-AES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avino, P.; Lepore, L.; Carconi, P.L.; Moauro, A.

    2000-01-01

    Spirulina platensis alga sampled in the Caribbean Sea and seven other commercial algal products available on the Italian market of different origin and aspect, have been analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). By neutron irradiation and γ-ray spectrometry (INAA), as many as 20 elements could be measured instrumentally without any chemical treatment. Cu, Mg, Mn and Pb were determined after dissolution of the sample by ICP-AES. The cross-checking of the data, specifically by comparing those of Ca, Cr, Fe and Zn, obtained by the two techniques was found to be in good agreement. Special attention from analytical and nutritional point of view has been devoted to the toxic metals. The measurements have been carried out employing the reference algal material prepared by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). (author)

  16. Sex in murky waters: algal-induced turbidity increases sexual selection in pipefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundin, Josefin; Aronsen, Tonje; Rosenqvist, Gunilla; Berglund, Anders

    2017-01-01

    Algal-induced turbidity has been shown to alter several important aspects of reproduction and sexual selection. However, while turbidity has been shown to negatively affect reproduction and sexually selected traits in some species, it may instead enhance reproductive success in others, implying that the impact of eutrophication is far more complex than originally believed. In this study, we aimed to provide more insight into these inconsistent findings. We used molecular tools to investigate the impact of algal turbidity on reproductive success and sexual selection on males in controlled laboratory experiments, allowing mate choice, mating competition, and mate encounter rates to affect reproduction. As study species, we used the broad-nosed pipefish, Syngnathus typhle , a species practicing male pregnancy and where we have previously shown that male mate choice is impaired by turbidity. Here, turbidity instead enhanced sexual selection on male size and mating success as well as reproductive success. Effects from mating competition and mate encounter rates may thus override effects from mate choice based on visual cues, producing an overall stronger sexual selection in turbid waters. Hence, seemingly inconsistent effects of turbidity on sexual selection may depend on which mechanisms of sexual selection that have been under study. Algal blooms are becoming increasingly more common due to eutrophication of freshwater and marine environments. The high density of algae lowers water transparency and reduces the possibility for fish and other aquatic animals to perform behaviors dependent on vision. We have previously shown that pipefish are unable to select the best partner in mate choice trials when water transparency was reduced. However, fish might use other senses than vision to compensate for the reduction in water transparency. In this study, we found that when fish were allowed to freely interact, thereby allowing competition between partners and direct contact

  17. Polyamine toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Jensen, Lars S; Vogensen, Stine B

    2005-01-01

    Polyamine toxins, isolated from spiders and wasps, have been used as pharmacological tools for the study of ionotropic receptors, but their use have so far been hampered by their lack of selectivity. In this mini-review, we describe how careful synthetic modification of native polyamine toxins ha...

  18. Higher cytotoxicity of divalent antibody-toxins than monovalent antibody-toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Won, JaeSeon; Nam, PilWon; Lee, YongChan; Choe, MuHyeon

    2009-01-01

    Recombinant antibody-toxins are constructed via the fusion of a 'carcinoma-specific' antibody fragment to a toxin. Due to the high affinity and high selectivity of the antibody fragments, antibody-toxins can bind to surface antigens on cancer cells and kill them without harming normal cells [L.H. Pai, J.K. Batra, D.J. FitzGerald, M.C. Willingham, I. Pastan, Anti-tumor activities of immunotoxins made of monoclonal antibody B3 and various forms of Pseudomonas exotoxin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88 (1991) 3358-3362]. In this study, we constructed the antibody-toxin, Fab-SWn-PE38, with SWn (n = 3, 6, 9) sequences containing n-time repeated (G 4 S) between the Fab fragment and PE38 (38 kDa truncated form of Pseudomonas exotoxin A). The SWn sequence also harbored one cysteine residue that could form a disulfide bridge between two Fab-SWn-PE38 monomers. We assessed the cytotoxicity of the monovalent (Fab-SWn-PE38), and divalent ([Fab-SWn-PE38] 2 ) antibody-toxins. The cytotoxicity of the dimer against the CRL1739 cell line was approximately 18.8-fold higher than that of the monomer on the ng/ml scale, which was approximately 37.6-fold higher on the pM scale. These results strongly indicate that divalency provides higher cytotoxicity for an antibody-toxin.

  19. Beach-goer behavior during a retrospectively detected algal ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algal blooms occur among nutrient rich, warm surface waters and may adversely impact recreational beaches. During July – September 2003, a prospective study of beachgoers was conducted on weekends at a public beach on a Great Lake in the United States. We measured each beachgoer’s activity at the start and end of their beach visit and the environmental factors: water and air temperature, wind speed and wave height at the study site each day. At the time, there was no notification of algal blooms; we retrospectively evaluated the presence of algal blooms using MERIS data from the Envisat-1 satellite. A total of 2840 people participated in the study over 16 study days. The majority (55%) were female, and 751 (26%) were < 18 years of age. An algal bloom was detected retrospectively by remotely sensed satellite imagery during August 16 – 24. This peak bloom period (PB) included 4 study days. During PB study days, more study participants 226/742 (31%) reported body contact with the water compared to contact 531/2098 (25%) on non-peak days. During the 4 PB days, of the environmental factors, only mean water temperature was significantly different, 250 C vs. 230 C (p<0.05) from other days.These results suggest that beachgoer body contact with water was not deterred by the presence of an algal bloom, and that interventions to actively discourage water contact during a bloom are needed to reduce exposure to blooms. This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and

  20. Daphnia fed algal food grown at elevated temperature have reduced fitness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna B. Sikora

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Lake water temperature is negatively correlated with fatty acids content and P:C ratio in green algae. Hence, elevated temperature may indirectly reduce the fitness of Daphnia due to induced decrease in algal food quality. The aim of this study was to test the hypotheses that quality of algal food decreases with increasing temperature of its culture and that large-bodied Daphnia are more vulnerable to the temperature-related deterioration of algal food quality than small-bodied ones. Laboratory life-table experiments were performed at 20°C with large-bodied D. pulicaria and small-bodied D. cucullata fed with the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus, that had been grown at temperatures of 16, 24 or 32°C. The somatic growth rates of both species decreased significantly with increasing algal culture temperature and this effect was more pronounced in D. pulicaria than in D. cucullata. In the former species, age at first reproduction significantly increased and clutch size significantly decreased with increasing temperature of algae growth, while no significant changes in these two parameters were observed in the latter species. The proportion of egg-bearing females decreased with increasing algal culture temperature in both species. The results of this study support the notion that the quality of algal food decreases with increasing water temperature and also suggest that small-bodied Daphnia species might be less vulnerable to temperature-related decreases in algal food quality than large-bodied ones.

  1. Algal Bloom: Boon or Bane?

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LokaBharathi, P.A.

    Algal blooms occur in response to nutrient deplete or replete conditions. Nitrogen fixing forms proliferate under oligotrophic conditions when nutrient levels are low. Replete conditions in response to upwelling creates the most biologically...

  2. Environmental influence on cyanobacteria abundance and microcystin toxin production in a shallow temperate lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tammy A; Rollwagen-Bollens, Gretchen; Bollens, Stephen M; Faber-Hammond, Joshua J

    2015-04-01

    The increasing frequency of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater systems is a commonly recognized problem due to detrimental effects on water quality. Vancouver Lake, a shallow, tidally influenced lake in the flood plain of the Columbia River within the city of Vancouver, WA, USA, has experienced numerous summertime cyanobacterial blooms, dominated by Aphanizomenon sp. and Anabaena sp. Cyanobacteria abundance and toxin (microcystin) levels have been monitored in this popular urban lake for several years; however, no previous studies have identified which cyanobacteria species produce toxins, nor analyzed how changes in environmental variables contribute to the fluctuations in toxic cyanobacteria populations. We used a suite of molecular techniques to analyze water samples from Vancouver Lake over two summer bloom cycles (2009 and 2010). Both intracellular and extracellular microcystin concentrations were measured using an ELISA kit. Intracellular microcystin concentrations exceeded WHO guidelines for recreational waters several times throughout the sampling period. PCR results demonstrated that Microcystis sp. was the sole microcystin-producing cyanobacteria species present in Vancouver Lake, although Microcystis sp. was rarely detected in microscopical counts. qPCR results indicated that the majority of the Microcystis sp. population contained the toxin-producing gene (mcyE), although Microcystis sp. abundance rarely exceeded 1 percent of overall cyanobacteria abundance. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed that PO4-P was the main environmental variable influencing the abundance of toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria, as well as intracellular microcystin concentrations. Our study underscores the importance of using molecular genetic techniques, in addition to traditional microscopy, to assess the importance of less conspicuous species in the dynamics of harmful algal blooms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Mass Spectral Investigation on Toxins. I. Isolation, Purification, and Characterization of Hepatotoxins from Freshwater Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Fast Atom Bombardment Mass Spectrometric Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-09-01

    analysis ’" methods in environmental samples. The hepatotoxins from laboratory cultures of M. aeruginosa Strain 7820,15 Anabena flos- aguae (A. 4flos...flos- aguae S-23-g-1l (8 lug) F1 The results from the amino acid analysis using the Llqui-Mat Analyzer are listed in Table 2. The elution times of the...Runnegar, M.T.C., and Huynh, V.L. Effec- tiveness of Activated Carbon in the Removal of Algal Toxin from Potable Water Supplies: A Pilot Plant

  4. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee Shen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6, which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  5. Toxin production in Dinophysis and the fate of these toxins in marine mussels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor

    Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) poses a considerable threat to food safety and to the economy of shellfish fishers and farmers in many parts of the world. Thousands of DSP intoxications have been reported, and bivalve harvesting can sometimes be closed down several months in a row. The toxins....... acuta. I grew the two species in laboratory cultures at different irradiances (7-130 μmol photons m-2 s-1) and with different food availability. The results showed that irradiance had no effects on toxin profiles, and only limited effects of the cellular toxin contents. Rather, toxin production rates...... are primarily produced by the marine mixotrophic dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp., known to occur in most parts of the world. Dinophysis can, along with other planktonic organisms, be consumed by filter-feeding bivalves, and thus the toxins can accumulate. Dinophysis can produce the three toxin groups, okadaic...

  6. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, R.; Biddy, M.; Jones, S.

    2013-03-01

    This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  7. Increasing the extraction efficiency of algal lipid for biodiesel ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Various studies have been conducted recently using microalgal system for the production of algal lipid for biodiesel production. This study aimed at increasing the extraction efficiency of algal lipid from Chlorella sp. by the application of Chlorella viruses. The calorific value of lipid from Chlorella sp. has been reported to be ...

  8. Detection and characterization of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli from seagulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, S; Kobori, H; Asakura, H; Watarai, M; Shirahata, T; Ikeda, T; Takeshi, K; Tsukamoto, T

    2000-08-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains isolated from a seagull in Japan were examined. A total of 50 faecal samples was collected on a harbour bank in Hokkaido, Japan, in July 1998. Two different STEC strains, whose serotypes were O136:H16 and O153:H-, were isolated from the same individual by PCR screening; both of them were confirmed by ELISA and Vero cell cytotoxicity assay to be producing active Stx2 and Stx1, respectively. They harboured large plasmids, but did not carry the haemolysin or eaeA genes of STEC O157:H7. Based on their plasmid profiles, antibiotic resistance patterns, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis (PFGE), and the stx genes sequences, the isolates were different. Phylogenic analysis of the deduced Stx amino acid sequences demonstrated that the Stx toxins of seagull-origin STEC were closely associated with those of the human-origin, but not those of other animal-origin STEC. In addition, Stx2phi-K7 phage purified from O136 STEC resembled Stx2phi-II from human-origin O157:H7, and was able to convert non-toxigenic E. coli to STEC. These results suggest that birds may be one of the important carriers in terms of the distribution of STEC.

  9. Algal Biomass Analysis by Laser-Based Analytical Techniques—A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Pořízka

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Algal biomass that is represented mainly by commercially grown algal strains has recently found many potential applications in various fields of interest. Its utilization has been found advantageous in the fields of bioremediation, biofuel production and the food industry. This paper reviews recent developments in the analysis of algal biomass with the main focus on the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and partly Laser-Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma techniques. The advantages of the selected laser-based analytical techniques are revealed and their fields of use are discussed in detail.

  10. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  11. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habermann, E [Giessen Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Pharmakologisches Inst.

    1976-01-01

    /sup 125/I-labelled tetanus toxin and /sup 125/I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin.

  12. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habermann, E.

    1976-01-01

    125 I-labelled tetanus toxin and 125 I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin. (orig.) [de

  13. Copper desorption from Gelidium algal biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilar, Vítor J P; Botelho, Cidália M S; Boaventura, Rui A R

    2007-04-01

    Desorption of divalent copper from marine algae Gelidium sesquipedale, an algal waste (from agar extraction industry) and a composite material (the algal waste immobilized in polyacrylonitrile) was studied in a batch system. Copper ions were first adsorbed until saturation and then desorbed by HNO(3) and Na(2)EDTA solutions. Elution efficiency using HNO(3) increases as pH decreases. At pH=1, for a solid to liquid ratio S/L=4gl(-1), elution efficiency was 97%, 95% and 88%, the stoichiometric coefficient for the ionic exchange, 0.70+/-0.02, 0.73+/-0.05 and 0.76+/-0.06 and the selectivity coefficient, 0.93+/-0.07, 1.0+/-0.3 and 1.1+/-0.3, respectively, for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. Complexation of copper ions by EDTA occurs in a molar proportion of 1:1 and the elution efficiency increases with EDTA concentration. For concentrations of 1.4, 0.88 and 0.57 mmoll(-1), the elution efficiency for S/L=4gl(-1), was 91%, 86% and 78%, respectively, for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. The S/L ratio, in the range 1-20gl(-1), has little influence on copper recovery by using 0.1M HNO(3). Desorption kinetics was very fast for all biosorbents. Kinetic data using HNO(3) as eluant were well described by the mass transfer model, considering the average metal concentration in the solid phase and the equilibrium relationship given by the mass action law. The homogeneous diffusion coefficient varied between 1.0 x 10(-7)cm(2)s(-1) for algae Gelidium and 3.0 x 10(-7)cm(2)s(-1) for the composite material.

  14. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ty N.F. Roach

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human impacts are causing ecosystem phase shifts from coral- to algal-dominated reef systems on a global scale. As these ecosystems undergo transition, there is an increased incidence of coral-macroalgal interactions. Mounting evidence indicates that the outcome of these interaction events is, in part, governed by microbially mediated dynamics. The allocation of available energy through different trophic levels, including the microbial food web, determines the outcome of these interactions and ultimately shapes the benthic community structure. However, little is known about the underlying thermodynamic mechanisms involved in these trophic energy transfers. This study utilizes a novel combination of methods including calorimetry, flow cytometry, and optical oxygen measurements, to provide a bioenergetic analysis of coral-macroalgal interactions in a controlled aquarium setting. We demonstrate that the energetic demands of microbial communities at the coral-algal interaction interface are higher than in the communities associated with either of the macroorganisms alone. This was evident through higher microbial power output (energy use per unit time and lower oxygen concentrations at interaction zones compared to areas distal from the interface. Increases in microbial power output and lower oxygen concentrations were significantly correlated with the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic microbes but not the total microbial abundance. These results suggest that coral-algal interfaces harbor higher proportions of heterotrophic microbes that are optimizing maximal power output, as opposed to yield. This yield to power shift offers a possible thermodynamic mechanism underlying the transition from coral- to algal-dominated reef ecosystems currently being observed worldwide. As changes in the power output of an ecosystem are a significant indicator of the current state of the system, this analysis provides a novel and insightful means to quantify

  15. Collection and conversion of algal lipid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ching-Chieh

    Sustainable economic activities mandate a significant replacement of fossil energy by renewable forms. Algae-derived biofuels are increasingly seen as an alternative source of energy with potential to supplement the world's ever increasing demand. Our primary objective is, once the algae were cultivated, to eliminate or make more efficient energy-intensive processing steps of collection, drying, grinding, and solvent extraction prior to conversion. To overcome the processing barrier, we propose to streamline from cultivated algae to biodiesel via algal biomass collection by sand filtration, cell rupturing with ozone, and immediate transesterification. To collect the algal biomass, the specific Chlorococcum aquaticum suspension was acidified to pH 3.3 to promote agglomeration prior to sand filtration. The algae-loaded filter bed was drained of free water and added with methanol and ozonated for 2 min to rupture cell membrane to accelerate release of the cellular contents. The methanol solution now containing the dissolved lipid product was collected by draining, while the filter bed was regenerated by further ozonation when needed. The results showed 95% collection of the algal biomass from the suspension and a 16% yield of lipid from the algae, as well as restoration of filtration velocity of the sand bed via ozonation. The results further showed increased lipid yield upon cell rupturing and transesterified products composed entirely of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) compounds, demonstrating that the rupture and transesterification processes could proceed consecutively in the same medium, requiring no separate steps of drying, extraction, and conversion. The FAME products from algae without exposure to ozone were mainly of 16 to 18 carbons containing up to 3 double bonds, while those from algae having been ozonated were smaller, highly saturated hydrocarbons. The new technique streamlines individual steps from cultivated algal lipid to transesterified products and

  16. Thermodynamic analysis of algal biocrude production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beal, C.M.; Hebner, R.E.; Webber, M.E.

    2012-01-01

    Although algal biofuels possess great potential, profitable production is quite challenging. Much of this challenge is rooted in the thermodynamic constraints associated with producing fuels with high energy, low entropy, and high exergy from dispersed materials. In this study, a preliminary thermodynamic analysis is presented that calculates the energy, entropy, and exergy of the intermediate products for algal biocrude production. These values are also used in an initial attempt to characterize the thermodynamic efficiency of that system. The production pathway is simplified by assuming ideal solutions throughout. Results for the energy and exergy efficiencies, and the first-order energy and exergy return on investment, of the system are given. The summary finding is that the first-order energy return on investment in the best case considered could be as high as 520, as compared to 1.7 × 10 −3 in the experimental unit under development. While this analysis shows that significant improvement may be possible, the ultimate thermodynamic efficiency of algal biofuels likely lies closer to the moderate case examined here, which yielded a first-order energy return on investment of 10. For perspective, the first-order energy return on investment for oil and gas production has been estimated in the literature to be ∼35. -- Highlights: ► A first-principles thermodynamic analysis was conducted for algal biocrude production. ► The energy, entropy, and exergy was determined for each intermediate product by assuming the products were ideal solutions. ► The thermodynamic properties were used to calculate the energy and exergy return on investments for three cases. ► It was determined that the energy and exergy return on investments could be as high as ∼500. ► More realistic assumptions for efficient systems yielded return on investments on the order of 10.

  17. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Benhar

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin.

  18. Algal growth inhibition test in filled, closed bottles for volatile and sorptive materials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Philipp; Nyholm, Niels; Verbruggen, Eric M. J.

    2000-01-01

    Exposure concentrations of many hydrophobic substances are difficult to maintain in algal growth inhibition tests performed in open agitated flasks. This is partly because such compounds tend to volatilize from aqueous solution and partly because of sorption to the algal biomass as well as to the......Exposure concentrations of many hydrophobic substances are difficult to maintain in algal growth inhibition tests performed in open agitated flasks. This is partly because such compounds tend to volatilize from aqueous solution and partly because of sorption to the algal biomass as well......, and the resulting dissolved CO2 concentration supported maximum algal growth rates without pH drift for algal densities up to 4 mg dry weight/L. Two-day toxicity tests with kerosene were performed with this new test design and compared with an open bottle test and with a closed bottle test with headspace. Exposure...... concentrations of the volatile fraction of kerosene decreased by 99% in the open test, by 77% in the closed flask test with headspace, and by 16% in the filled closed bottle test. Algal growth inhibition was observed at much lower additions of kerosene in the new test design because of the improved maintenance...

  19. Algal Growth and Waste Stabilization Ponds Performance Efficiency in a Sub-Tropical Climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alamgir, A.; Khan, M. A.; Shaukat, S. S.

    2016-01-01

    Both irrigation and potable water are in diminutive supply in most of the developing countries particularly those situated in tropical and subtropical regions where, often untreated wastewater is utilized for the purpose of irrigation. Treated wastewater has proved to be a potential asset serving as an alternate source for the expansion of irrigated agriculture. Waste stabilization ponds (WSP) are considered as less costly and effective substitute for the wastewater water treatment in tropics. The principle of wastewater treatment in waste stabilization pond is based on the symbiotic relationship between bacteria and various algal species. In this study, an attempt was made to relate algal growth and different extrinsic factors using multiple regression models. The predominant algal species found in WSP systems were Chlorella, Euglena, Oscillatoria and Scenedesmus. The growth of individual algal species and overall algal growth was principally governed by temperature, total sunshine hours and Total Kjeldhal Nitrogen (TKN). The study suggested that algal bacterial symbiotic relationship works well and the dissolved oxygen production through algal photosynthesis was optimum to decompose heavy organic load resulting in oxygen-rich effluent (liquid fertilizer) which could be successfully exploited for unrestricted irrigation. (author)

  20. Investigation of inactivation of Clostridium botulinum toxin by nuclear radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaltenhaeuser, A.; Werner, K.H.

    1989-01-01

    The effect of nuclear radiation on the toxicity and the molecular structure of the toxin produced by the microorganism Clostridium botulinum type A was investigated. The radiation induced changes in the structure of the toxin molecule. This effect is influenced by the composition or the medium above the toxin solution as well as by the temperature during the irradiation. The results of the investigation indicate that with increasing irradiation dose a new molecule was formed with immunological properties similar to the properties of the original molecule however with a greater molecular weight. After exposure to a radiation dose of 3,4 Mrad at normal temperature in air, complete detoxification of the substance was found. Immunizing experiments with the toxoid with two guinea-pigs indicated a pronounced increase of the antibody titer in the serum after 4 weeks. Vaccination experiments with the toxoid on animals show, that the protection against the effect of the toxin corresponds to the demands of the European Pharmacopoeia. The efficiency of the toxoid shows a similar efficiency as toxoids produced by chemical methods. The production of a toxoid-viccine with the relatively simple method of nuclear radiation appears possible. (orig./MG) With 12 refs., 3 tabs., 11 figs [de

  1. Comparison of Algal Biodiesel Production Pathways Using Life Cycle Assessment Tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2013-01-01

    The consideration of algal biomass in biodiesel production increased very rapidly in the last decade. A life cycle assessment (LCA) study is presented to compare six different biodiesel production pathways (three different harvesting techniques, i.e., aluminum as flocculent, lime flocculent, and ......, ecosystem quality, and resources were higher than the conventional diesel. This study recommends more practical data at pilot-scale production plant with maximum utilization of by-products generated during the production to produce a sustainable algal biodiesel......., and centrifugation, and two different oil extraction methods, i.e., supercritical CO2 (sCO2) and press and co-solvent extraction). The cultivation of Nannochloropsis sp. considered in a flat-panel photobioreactor (FPPBR). These algal biodiesel production systems were compared with the conventional diesel in a EURO 5...... passenger car used for transport purpose (functional unit 1 person km (pkm). The algal biodiesel production systems provide lesser impact (22–105 %) in comparison with conventional diesel. Impacts of algal biodiesel on climate change were far better than conventional diesel, but impacts on human health...

  2. Enhanced production of green tide algal biomass through additional carbon supply.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paula Silva, Pedro H; Paul, Nicholas A; de Nys, Rocky; Mata, Leonardo

    2013-01-01

    Intensive algal cultivation usually requires a high flux of dissolved inorganic carbon (Ci) to support productivity, particularly for high density algal cultures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) enrichment can be used to overcome Ci limitation and enhance productivity of algae in intensive culture, however, it is unclear whether algal species with the ability to utilise bicarbonate (HCO3 (-)) as a carbon source for photosynthesis will benefit from CO2 enrichment. This study quantified the HCO3 (-) affinity of three green tide algal species, Cladophora coelothrix, Cladophora patentiramea and Chaetomorpha linum, targeted for biomass and bioenergy production. Subsequently, we quantified productivity and carbon, nitrogen and ash content in response to CO2 enrichment. All three species had similar high pH compensation points (9.7-9.9), and grew at similar rates up to pH 9, demonstrating HCO3 (-) utilization. Algal cultures enriched with CO2 as a carbon source had 30% more total Ci available, supplying twenty five times more CO2 than the control. This higher Ci significantly enhanced the productivity of Cladophora coelothrix (26%), Chaetomorpha linum (24%) and to a lesser extent for Cladophora patentiramea (11%), compared to controls. We demonstrated that supplying carbon as CO2 can enhance the productivity of targeted green tide algal species under intensive culture, despite their clear ability to utilise HCO3 (-).

  3. Enhanced production of green tide algal biomass through additional carbon supply.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro H de Paula Silva

    Full Text Available Intensive algal cultivation usually requires a high flux of dissolved inorganic carbon (Ci to support productivity, particularly for high density algal cultures. Carbon dioxide (CO2 enrichment can be used to overcome Ci limitation and enhance productivity of algae in intensive culture, however, it is unclear whether algal species with the ability to utilise bicarbonate (HCO3 (- as a carbon source for photosynthesis will benefit from CO2 enrichment. This study quantified the HCO3 (- affinity of three green tide algal species, Cladophora coelothrix, Cladophora patentiramea and Chaetomorpha linum, targeted for biomass and bioenergy production. Subsequently, we quantified productivity and carbon, nitrogen and ash content in response to CO2 enrichment. All three species had similar high pH compensation points (9.7-9.9, and grew at similar rates up to pH 9, demonstrating HCO3 (- utilization. Algal cultures enriched with CO2 as a carbon source had 30% more total Ci available, supplying twenty five times more CO2 than the control. This higher Ci significantly enhanced the productivity of Cladophora coelothrix (26%, Chaetomorpha linum (24% and to a lesser extent for Cladophora patentiramea (11%, compared to controls. We demonstrated that supplying carbon as CO2 can enhance the productivity of targeted green tide algal species under intensive culture, despite their clear ability to utilise HCO3 (-.

  4. Advancing Commercialization of Algal Biofuel through Increased Biomass Productivity and Technical Integration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anton, David [Cellana, LLC, Kailua-Kona, HI (United States)

    2016-12-31

    The proposed project built on the foundation of over several years years of intensive and ground-breaking R&D work at Cellana's Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF). Phycological and engineering solutions were provided to tackle key cultivation issues and technical barriers limiting algal biomass productivity identified through work conducted outdoors at industrial (1 acre) scale. The objectives of this project were to significantly improve algal biomass productivity and reduce operational cost in a seawater-based system, using results obtained from two top-performing algal strains as the baseline while technically advancing and more importantly, integrating the various unit operations involved in algal biomass production, processing, and refining.

  5. Cyanobacterial-algal cenoses in ordinary chernozems under the impact of different phytoameliorants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubovik, I. E.; Suyundukov, Ya. T.; Khasanova, R. F.; Shalygina, R. R.

    2016-04-01

    General ecological and taxonomic characteristics of cyanobacterial-algal cenoses in ordinary chernozems under different ameliorative plants (phytoameliorants) were studied in the Trans-Ural region of the Republic of Bashkortostan. A comparative analysis of the taxa of studied cenoses in the soils under leguminous herbs and grasses was performed. The phytoameliorative effect of different herbs and their relationships with cyanobacterial-algal cenoses were examined. Overall, 134 cyanoprokaryotic and algal species belonging to 70 genera, 36 families, 15 orders, and 9 classes were identified. Cyanobacterial-algal cenoses included the divisions of Chlorophyta, Cyanoprokaryota, Xanthophyta, Bacillariophyta, and Euglenophyta. Representatives of Ch-, X-, CF-, and P-forms were the leading ecobiomorphs in the studied cenoses.

  6. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Fact Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-06-01

    Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts offer great promise in contributing to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) vision of a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies. The state of technology for producing algal biofuels continues to mature with ongoing investment by DOE and the private sector, but additional research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) is needed to achieve widespread deployment of affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  7. Catalytic Processes for Utilizing Carbohydrates Derived from Algal Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sho Yamaguchi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The high productivity of oil biosynthesized by microalgae has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Due to the application of such oils in jet fuels, the algal biosynthetic pathway toward oil components has been extensively researched. However, the utilization of the residue from algal cells after oil extraction has been overlooked. This residue is mainly composed of carbohydrates (starch, and so we herein describe the novel processes available for the production of useful chemicals from algal biomass-derived sugars. In particular, this review highlights our latest research in generating lactic acid and levulinic acid derivatives from polysaccharides and monosaccharides using homogeneous catalysts. Furthermore, based on previous reports, we discuss the potential of heterogeneous catalysts for application in such processes.

  8. Early detection of protozoan grazers in algal biofuel cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, John G; Thomas, Naomi J; Achilles-Day, Undine E M; Leakey, Raymond J G

    2012-06-01

    Future micro-algal biofuels will most likely be derived from open-pond production systems. These are by definition open to "invasion" by grazers, which could devastate micro-algal mass-cultures. There is an urgent requirement for methodologies capable of early detection and control of grazers in dense algal cultures. In this study a model system employing the marine alga Nannochloropsis oculata was challenged by grazers including ciliates, amoebae and a heterotrophic dinoflagellate. A FlowCAM flow-cytometer was used to detect all grazers investigated (size range 80 μm in length) in the presence of algae. Detection limits were 1.4 × 10(8) cells ml(-1) (>0.5 g l(-1) dry wt.). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Effects of fertilizers used in agricultural fields on algal blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Subhendu; Tiwari, P. K.; Sasmal, S. K.; Misra, A. K.; Chattopadhyay, Joydev

    2017-06-01

    The increasing occurrence of algal blooms and their negative ecological impacts have led to intensified monitoring activities. This needs the proper identification of the most responsible factor/factors for the bloom formation. However, in natural systems, algal blooms result from a combination of factors and from observation it is difficult to identify the most important one. In the present paper, using a mathematical model we compare the effects of three human induced factors (fertilizer input in agricultural field, eutrophication due to other sources than fertilizers, and overfishing) on the bloom dynamics and DO level. By applying a sophisticated sensitivity analysis technique, we found that the increasing use of fertilizers in agricultural field causes more rapid algal growth and decreases DO level much faster than eutrophication from other sources and overfishing. We also look at the mechanisms how fertilizer input rate affects the algal bloom dynamics and DO level. The model can be helpful for the policy makers in determining the influential factors responsible for the bloom formation.

  10. A review of algal research in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederwieser, Tobias; Kociolek, Patrick; Klaus, David

    2018-05-01

    With the continued expansion of human presence into space, typical mission durations will routinely exceed six months and extend to distances beyond the Moon. As such, sending periodic resupply vehicles, as currently provided to the International Space Station, will likely no longer be feasible. Instead, self-sustaining life support systems that recycle human waste products will become increasingly necessary, especially for planetary bases. The idea of bioregenerative life support systems using algal photobioreactors has been discussed since the beginning of the space age. In order to evaluate how such a system could be implemented, a variety of space flight studies aimed at characterizing the potential for using algae in air revitalization, water recycling, food production, and radiation shielding applications have been conducted over the years. Also, given the recent, growing interest in algal research for regenerative fuel production, food supplements, and cosmetics, many algal strains are already well documented from related terrestrial experiments. This paper reviews past algal experiments flown in space from 1960 until today. Experimental methods and results from 51 investigations utilizing either green algae (Chlorophyta), cyanobacteria (Cyanophyta), or Euglenophyta are analyzed and categorized by a variety of parameters, including size, species and duration. The collected data are summarized in a matrix that allows easy comparison between the experiments and provides important information for future life support system requirement definition and design. Similarities between experiment results are emphasized. Common problems and shortcomings are summarized and analyzed in terms of potential solutions. Finally, key research gaps, which must be closed before developing a functional life support system, are identified.

  11. The extended Kalman filter for forecast of algal bloom dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, J Q; Lee, Joseph H W; Choi, K W

    2009-09-01

    A deterministic ecosystem model is combined with an extended Kalman filter (EKF) to produce short term forecasts of algal bloom and dissolved oxygen dynamics in a marine fish culture zone (FCZ). The weakly flushed FCZ is modelled as a well-mixed system; the tidal exchange with the outer bay is lumped into a flushing rate that is numerically determined from a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The ecosystem model incorporates phytoplankton growth kinetics, nutrient uptake, photosynthetic production, nutrient sources from organic fish farm loads, and nutrient exchange with a sediment bed layer. High frequency field observations of chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen (DO) and hydro-meteorological parameters (sampling interval Deltat=1 day, 2h, 1h, respectively) and bi-weekly nutrient data are assimilated into the model to produce the combined state estimate accounting for the uncertainties. In addition to the water quality state variables, the EKF incorporates dynamic estimation of algal growth rate and settling velocity. The effectiveness of the EKF data assimilation is studied for a wide range of sampling intervals and prediction lead-times. The chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen estimated by the EKF are compared with field data of seven algal bloom events observed at Lamma Island, Hong Kong. The results show that the EKF estimate well captures the nonlinear error evolution in time; the chlorophyll level can be satisfactorily predicted by the filtered model estimate with a mean absolute error of around 1-2 microg/L. Predictions with 1-2 day lead-time are highly correlated with the observations (r=0.7-0.9); the correlation stays at a high level for a lead-time of 3 days (r=0.6-0.7). Estimated algal growth and settling rates are in accord with field observations; the more frequent DO data can compensate for less frequent algal biomass measurements. The present study is the first time the EKF is successfully applied to forecast an entire algal bloom cycle, suggesting the

  12. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Stories Español Eye Health / Eye Health A-Z Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Sections Botulinum Toxin (Botox) ... Facial Wrinkles How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Leer en Español: La ...

  13. Therapeutic Approaches of Botulinum Toxin in Gynecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moga, Marius Alexandru; Dimienescu, Oana Gabriela; Bălan, Andreea; Scârneciu, Ioan; Barabaș, Barna; Pleș, Liana

    2018-04-21

    Botulinum toxins (BoNTs) are produced by several anaerobic species of the genus Clostridium and, although they were originally considered lethal toxins, today they find their usefulness in the treatment of a wide range of pathologies in various medical specialties. Botulinum neurotoxin has been identified in seven different isoforms (BoNT-A, BoNT-B, BoNT-C, BoNT-D, BoNT-E, BoNT-F, and BoNT-G). Neurotoxigenic Clostridia can produce more than 40 different BoNT subtypes and, recently, a new BoNT serotype (BoNT-X) has been reported in some studies. BoNT-X has not been shown to actually be an active neurotoxin despite its catalytically active LC, so it should be described as a putative eighth serotype. The mechanism of action of the serotypes is similar: they inhibit the release of acetylcholine from the nerve endings but their therapeutically potency varies. Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) is the most studied serotype for therapeutic purposes. Regarding the gynecological pathology, a series of studies based on the efficiency of its use in the treatment of refractory myofascial pelvic pain, vaginism, dyspareunia, vulvodynia and overactive bladder or urinary incontinence have been reported. The current study is a review of the literature regarding the efficiency of BoNT-A in the gynecological pathology and on the long and short-term effects of its administration.

  14. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. (Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada))

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  15. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility . It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  16. Topical botulinum toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-03-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indications have been for the management of axillary hyperhydrosis and facial rhytides. Traditional methods of botulinum toxin delivery have been needle-based. These have been associated with increased pain and cost. Newer methods of botulinum toxin formulation have yielded topical preparations that are bioactive in small pilot clinical studies. While there are some risks associated with topical delivery, the refinement and standardization of delivery systems and techniques for the topical administration of botulinum toxin using nanotechnology is anticipated in the near future.

  17. Summative Mass Analysis of Algal Biomass - Integration of Analytical Procedures: Laboratory Analytical Procedure (LAP)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laurens, Lieve M. L.

    2016-01-13

    This procedure guides the integration of laboratory analytical procedures to measure algal biomass constituents in an unambiguous manner and ultimately achieve mass balance closure for algal biomass samples. Many of these methods build on years of research in algal biomass analysis.

  18. Comprehensive Evaluation of Algal Biofuel Production: Experimental and Target Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin M. Beal

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide, algal biofuel research and development efforts have focused on increasing the competitiveness of algal biofuels by increasing the energy and financial return on investments, reducing water intensity and resource requirements, and increasing algal productivity. In this study, analyses are presented in each of these areas—costs, resource needs, and productivity—for two cases: (1 an Experimental Case, using mostly measured data for a lab-scale system, and (2 a theorized Highly Productive Case that represents an optimized commercial-scale production system, albeit one that relies on full-price water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide. For both cases, the analysis described herein concludes that the energy and financial return on investments are less than 1, the water intensity is greater than that for conventional fuels, and the amounts of required resources at a meaningful scale of production amount to significant fractions of current consumption (e.g., nitrogen. The analysis and presentation of results highlight critical areas for advancement and innovation that must occur for sustainable and profitable algal biofuel production can occur at a scale that yields significant petroleum displacement. To this end, targets for energy consumption, production cost, water consumption, and nutrient consumption are presented that would promote sustainable algal biofuel production. Furthermore, this work demonstrates a procedure and method by which subsequent advances in technology and biotechnology can be framed to track progress.

  19. An algal model for predicting attainment of tiered biological criteria of Maine's streams and rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, Thomas J.; Loftin, Cyndy; Tsomides, Leonidas; DiFranco, Jeanne L.; Connors, Beth; Courtemanch, David L.; Drummond, Francis; Davies, Susan

    2012-01-01

    State water-quality professionals developing new biological assessment methods often have difficulty relating assessment results to narrative criteria in water-quality standards. An alternative to selecting index thresholds arbitrarily is to include the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) in the development of the assessment method. The BCG describes tiers of biological community condition to help identify and communicate the position of a water body along a gradient of water quality ranging from natural to degraded. Although originally developed for fish and macroinvertebrate communities of streams and rivers, the BCG is easily adapted to other habitats and taxonomic groups. We developed a discriminant analysis model with stream algal data to predict attainment of tiered aquatic-life uses in Maine's water-quality standards. We modified the BCG framework for Maine stream algae, related the BCG tiers to Maine's tiered aquatic-life uses, and identified appropriate algal metrics for describing BCG tiers. Using a modified Delphi method, 5 aquatic biologists independently evaluated algal community metrics for 230 samples from streams and rivers across the state and assigned a BCG tier (1–6) and Maine water quality class (AA/A, B, C, nonattainment of any class) to each sample. We used minimally disturbed reference sites to approximate natural conditions (Tier 1). Biologist class assignments were unanimous for 53% of samples, and 42% of samples differed by 1 class. The biologists debated and developed consensus class assignments. A linear discriminant model built to replicate a priori class assignments correctly classified 95% of 150 samples in the model training set and 91% of 80 samples in the model validation set. Locally derived metrics based on BCG taxon tolerance groupings (e.g., sensitive, intermediate, tolerant) were more effective than were metrics developed in other regions. Adding the algal discriminant model to Maine's existing macroinvertebrate discriminant

  20. Ecological and geographical characteristics of algal communities on gastropod shells of the river Uzh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Korniichuk

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Freshwater molluscs serve as test objects in the ecological monitoring of the environment, because they are able to extract in indicator quantity from the environment and accumulate in their bodies radionuclides, various macro- and micronutrients, toxic substances of inorganic and organic origin, and so on. The gastropods are a taxonomically diverse, ecologically plastic and rather widespread group of aquatic organisms, whose role in the life of freshwater ecosystems is very important. Molluscs often have various interactions in biogeocenoses that determines their trophic net. As a rule, these interactions occur in the form of ectocommensalism, endocommensalism, supercrescence, predation or parasitism. The latter type of interaction is the subject of many studies, but the epibionts of gastropods and bivalves have practically not been studied and this research is an effort towards filling this gap. Species composition of algal epibionts identifies specific sensitivity to the effects of certain environmental factors and reflects the processes occurring in their ecosystem water bodies. This determines their efficient use for analyzing changes of water bodies as aquatic habitat, particularly in terms of complex anthropogenic pressure on aquatic ecosystems. The aim of the research was to determine the ecological characteristics of algal communities on gastropod shells: Lymnaea stagnalis, L. auricularia and Viviparus viviparus (the Uzh river, Korosten district, Zhytomyr region. Identified microalgae communities were grouped and studied according to such indices as: confinedness to the habitat (substrate, temperature, fluidity and water oxygenating, saprobiological characteristics according to the Pantle-Buck system in the modification of Sladecek and Watanabe, salinity according to Kolbe’s system, pH at Hustedt scale in the interpretation of M. M. Davydova and geographical limitations of the objects of study. Algal fouling on the shells L. stagnalis

  1. Augmenting the Efficacy of Immunotoxins and Other Targeted Protein Toxins by Endosomal Escape Enhancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Fuchs

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The toxic moiety of almost all protein-based targeted toxins must enter the cytosol of the target cell to mediate its fatal effect. Although more than 500 targeted toxins have been investigated in the past decades, no antibody-targeted protein toxin has been approved for tumor therapeutic applications by the authorities to date. Missing efficacy can be attributed in many cases to insufficient endosomal escape and therefore subsequent lysosomal degradation of the endocytosed toxins. To overcome this drawback, many strategies have been described to weaken the membrane integrity of endosomes. This comprises the use of lysosomotropic amines, carboxylic ionophores, calcium channel antagonists, various cell-penetrating peptides of viral, bacterial, plant, animal, human and synthetic origin, other organic molecules and light-induced techniques. Although the efficacy of the targeted toxins was typically augmented in cell culture hundred or thousand fold, in exceptional cases more than million fold, the combination of several substances harbors new problems including additional side effects, loss of target specificity, difficulties to determine the therapeutic window and cell type-dependent variations. This review critically scrutinizes the chances and challenges of endosomal escape enhancers and their potential role in future developments.

  2. Surveillance guidelines for toxic algal species of Italian sea and lake waters; Indicazioni per il controllo delle specie algali tossiche delle acque marine e lacustri italiane: Studio delle coste e di un lago del Lazio: 1994-1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruno, Milena; Congestri, Roberta; Buzzelli, Elena [Istituot Superiore di Sanita` , Rome (Italy). Lab. di Igiene Ambientale

    1997-09-01

    The health conditions of the coasts of the Rome district and of a large lake in the northern area of the Latium Region were examined to evaluate the toxic algal species, during a 14-month study carried on in cooperation with the Region and the local prevention units of the Region. The study shows the existence of a mesotrophic state in the coastal waters of the lake Bolsena, and a trophic level increased in last years, along the sea coasts of the Rome district. alga populations of genus Dinophysis, harmless to bathing activities, but able to contaminate the edible molluscs with toxins of the okadaic acid group, have been found. The technical occurrences of this study points out the operators`need of a taxonomic atlas, collecting all the toxic algal species known in the Mediterranean basin. This report includes a number of drawings of all the signaled species, each one followed by a fried schedule with the main taxonomic characteristics.

  3. Investigation and Control of Algal Grwoths in Water Resources Using Zn Oxide Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Eskandary

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Increasing nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates in water resources lead to the growth of various algal species, causing undesirable odors and taste in the water. This study investigated the identification and removal of harmful algal growths by Zinc oxide nanoparticles (using Ardabil Yamichi Dam reservoir as a case study. Samples were initially collected from the Yamichi Dam reservoir and the algae in the water samples were cultivated. Enough time was allowed for the algae to grow before they were identified under the microscope. The results showed that most of the algal species grown in the culture medium belonged to the species Cladophora and Euglena. Zinc oxide nanoparticles were then synthesized to be used in the removal and/or inhibition of algal growths. ZnO nanoparticles were subsequently characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM and X-ray diffraction (XRD methods which revealed that the size of the ZnO nanoparticles was in the range of 10‒30 nanometers and further that the nanoparticles were pure and of a  hexagonal phase. In continuation, the capability of ZnO nanoparticles with concentrations in the range of 0-3 ppm to inhibit algal growth was investigated. Results showed that no reduction was observed in algal growth for Zinc oxide nanoparticle concentrations below 1 mg/lit. At concentrations between 1 to 2 mg/lit, however, a significant reduction was observed in algal growth. Finally, it was found that algal growths completely stopped at ZnO concentrations beyond 2 mg/lit

  4. Climate Adaptation and Harmful Algal Blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA supports local, state and tribal efforts to maintain water quality. A key element of its efforts is to reduce excess nutrient pollution and the resulting adverse impacts, including harmful algal blooms.

  5. Algal diversity of Adada River, Nigeria. I. Chlorophyta (green algae ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Commercial water tankers collect water and sell to indigenes and towns around the river, hence the need to investigate the algal biodiversity in other to access its suitability for human consumption using known algal indicators of water quality and add to the pool of data useful for long term trends in floral composition in ...

  6. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox - larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography - guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy - guided botulinum toxin treatment; ...

  7. Toxin Mediates Sepsis Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Qin

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial sepsis is a major killer in hospitalized patients. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS with the leading species Staphylococcus epidermidis are the most frequent causes of nosocomial sepsis, with most infectious isolates being methicillin-resistant. However, which bacterial factors underlie the pathogenesis of CNS sepsis is unknown. While it has been commonly believed that invariant structures on the surface of CNS trigger sepsis by causing an over-reaction of the immune system, we show here that sepsis caused by methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis is to a large extent mediated by the methicillin resistance island-encoded peptide toxin, PSM-mec. PSM-mec contributed to bacterial survival in whole human blood and resistance to neutrophil-mediated killing, and caused significantly increased mortality and cytokine expression in a mouse sepsis model. Furthermore, we show that the PSM-mec peptide itself, rather than the regulatory RNA in which its gene is embedded, is responsible for the observed virulence phenotype. This finding is of particular importance given the contrasting roles of the psm-mec locus that have been reported in S. aureus strains, inasmuch as our findings suggest that the psm-mec locus may exert effects in the background of S. aureus strains that differ from its original role in the CNS environment due to originally "unintended" interferences. Notably, while toxins have never been clearly implied in CNS infections, our tissue culture and mouse infection model data indicate that an important type of infection caused by the predominant CNS species is mediated to a large extent by a toxin. These findings suggest that CNS infections may be amenable to virulence-targeted drug development approaches.

  8. Association of coral algal symbionts with a diverse viral community responsive to heat shock

    KAUST Repository

    Brüwer, Jan D.

    2017-08-17

    Stony corals provide the structural foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are termed holobionts given they engage in symbioses, in particular with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. Besides Symbiodinium, corals also engage with bacteria affecting metabolism, immunity, and resilience of the coral holobiont, but the role of associated viruses is largely unknown. In this regard, the increase of studies using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to assess gene expression provides an opportunity to elucidate viral signatures encompassed within the data via careful delineation of sequence reads and their source of origin.Here, we re-analyzed an RNA-Seq dataset from a cultured coral symbiont (Symbiodinium microadriaticum, Clade A1) across four experimental treatments (control, cold shock, heat shock, dark shock) to characterize associated viral diversity, abundance, and gene expression. Our approach comprised the filtering and removal of host sequence reads, subsequent phylogenetic assignment of sequence reads of putative viral origin, and the assembly and analysis of differentially expressed viral genes. About 15.46% (123 million) of all sequence reads were non-host-related, of which <1% could be classified as archaea, bacteria, or virus. Of these, 18.78% were annotated as virus and comprised a diverse community consistent across experimental treatments. Further, non-host related sequence reads assembled into 56,064 contigs, including 4856 contigs of putative viral origin that featured 43 differentially expressed genes during heat shock. The differentially expressed genes included viral kinases, ubiquitin, and ankyrin repeat proteins (amongst others), which are suggested to help the virus proliferate and inhibit the algal host\\'s antiviral response.Our results suggest that a diverse viral community is associated with coral algal endosymbionts of the genus Symbiodinium, which prompts further research on their ecological role in coral health and resilience.

  9. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Gustavo B; Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-10-01

    Biodiesel production using microalgae is attractive in a number of respects. Here a number of pros and cons to using microalgae for biofuels production are reviewed. Algal cultivation can be carried out using non-arable land and non-potable water with simple nutrient supply. In addition, algal biomass productivities are much higher than those of vascular plants and the extractable content of lipids that can be usefully converted to biodiesel, triacylglycerols (TAGs) can be much higher than that of the oil seeds now used for first generation biodiesel. On the other hand, practical, cost-effective production of biofuels from microalgae requires that a number of obstacles be overcome. These include the development of low-cost, effective growth systems, efficient and energy saving harvesting techniques, and methods for oil extraction and conversion that are environmentally benign and cost-effective. Promising recent advances in these areas are highlighted. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Molecular Evolutionary Constraints that Determine the Avirulence State of Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisilla, A; Prathiviraj, R; Chellapandi, P

    2017-04-01

    Clostridium botulinum (group-III) is an anaerobic bacterium producing C2 toxin along with botulinum neurotoxins. C2 toxin is belonged to binary toxin A family in bacterial ADP-ribosylation superfamily. A structural and functional diversity of binary toxin A family was inferred from different evolutionary constraints to determine the avirulence state of C2 toxin. Evolutionary genetic analyses revealed evidence of C2 toxin cluster evolution through horizontal gene transfer from the phage or plasmid origins, site-specific insertion by gene divergence, and homologous recombination event. It has also described that residue in conserved NAD-binding core, family-specific domain structure, and functional motifs found to predetermine its virulence state. Any mutational changes in these residues destabilized its structure-function relationship. Avirulent mutants of C2 toxin were screened and selected from a crucial site required for catalytic function of C2I and pore-forming function of C2II. We found coevolved amino acid pairs contributing an essential role in stabilization of its local structural environment. Avirulent toxins selected in this study were evaluated by detecting evolutionary constraints in stability of protein backbone structure, folding and conformational dynamic space, and antigenic peptides. We found 4 avirulent mutants of C2I and 5 mutants of C2II showing more stability in their local structural environment and backbone structure with rapid fold rate, and low conformational flexibility at mutated sites. Since, evolutionary constraints-free mutants with lack of catalytic and pore-forming function suggested as potential immunogenic candidates for treating C. botulinum infected poultry and veterinary animals. Single amino acid substitution in C2 toxin thus provides a major importance to understand its structure-function link, not only of a molecule but also of the pathogenesis.

  11. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on tropical algal communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santas, R.

    1989-01-01

    This study assessed some of the effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation ion coral reef algal assemblages. The first part of the investigation was carried out under controlled laboratory conditions in the coral reef microcosm at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., while a field counterpart was completed at the Smithsonian Institution's marine station on Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, in the eastern Caribbean. The study attempted to separate the effects of UV-A from those of UV-B. In the laboratory, algal turf assemblages exposed to simulated solar UV radiation produced 55.1% less biomass than assemblages that were not exposed to UV. Assemblages not exposed to UV were dominated by Ectocarpus rhodochondroides, whereas in the assemblage developing under high UV radiation, Enteromorpha prolifera and eventually Schizothrix calcicola dominated. Lower UV-B irradiances caused a proportional reduction in biomass production and had less pronounced effects on species composition. UV-A did not have any significant effects on either algal turf productivity or community structure. In the field, assemblages exposed to naturally occurring solar UV supported a biomass 40% lower than that of assemblages protected from UV-B exposure. Once again, UV-A did not inhibit algal turf productivity

  12. The engine of the reef: Photobiology of the coral-algal symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Susan Roth

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef ecosystems thrive in tropical oligotrophic oceans because of the relationship between corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellate algae called Symbiodinium. Symbiodinium convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into organic carbon and oxygen to fuel coral growth and calcification, creating habitat for these diverse and productive ecosystems. Light is thus a key regulating factor shaping the productivity, physiology and ecology of the coral holobiont. Similar to all oxygenic photoautotrophs, Symbiodinium must safely harvest sunlight for photosynthesis and dissipate excess energy to prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by environmental stressors such as those associated with global climate change, and ultimately leads to breakdown of the coral-algal symbiosis known as coral bleaching. Recently, large-scale coral bleaching events have become pervasive and frequent threatening and endangering coral reefs. Because the coral-algal symbiosis is the biological engine producing the reef, the future of coral reef ecosystems depends on the ecophysiology of the symbiosis. This review examines the photobiology of the coral-algal symbiosis with particular focus on the photophysiological responses and timescales of corals and Symbiodinium. Additionally, this review summarizes the light environment and its dynamics, the vulnerability of the symbiosis to oxidative stress, the abiotic and biotic factors influencing photosynthesis, the diversity of the coral-algal symbiosis and recent advances in the field. Studies integrating physiology with the developing omics fields will provide new insights into the coral-algal symbiosis. Greater physiological and ecological understanding of the coral-algal symbiosis is needed for protection and conservation of coral reefs.

  13. The engine of the reef: photobiology of the coral–algal symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Melissa S.

    2014-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems thrive in tropical oligotrophic oceans because of the relationship between corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellate algae called Symbiodinium. Symbiodinium convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into organic carbon and oxygen to fuel coral growth and calcification, creating habitat for these diverse and productive ecosystems. Light is thus a key regulating factor shaping the productivity, physiology, and ecology of the coral holobiont. Similar to all oxygenic photoautotrophs, Symbiodinium must safely harvest sunlight for photosynthesis and dissipate excess energy to prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by environmental stressors such as those associated with global climate change, and ultimately leads to breakdown of the coral–algal symbiosis known as coral bleaching. Recently, large-scale coral bleaching events have become pervasive and frequent threatening and endangering coral reefs. Because the coral–algal symbiosis is the biological engine producing the reef, the future of coral reef ecosystems depends on the ecophysiology of the symbiosis. This review examines the photobiology of the coral–algal symbiosis with particular focus on the photophysiological responses and timescales of corals and Symbiodinium. Additionally, this review summarizes the light environment and its dynamics, the vulnerability of the symbiosis to oxidative stress, the abiotic and biotic factors influencing photosynthesis, the diversity of the coral–algal symbiosis, and recent advances in the field. Studies integrating physiology with the developing “omics” fields will provide new insights into the coral–algal symbiosis. Greater physiological and ecological understanding of the coral–algal symbiosis is needed for protection and conservation of coral reefs. PMID:25202301

  14. Algal biofuels: key issues, sustainability and life cycle assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    wastewater. Algae capture CO2 from atmosphere and industrial flue gases and transform it in to organic biomass that can be used for the production of biofuels. Like other biomass, algal biomass is also a carbon neutral source for the production of bioenergy. Therefore cultivation of algal biomass provides......In recent years research activities are intensively focused on renewable fuels in order to fulfill the increasing energy demand and to reduce the fossil fuels consumption and external oil dependency either in order to provide local energetic resources and or as a means for reducing greenhouse gases...... (GHG) emissions to reduce the climate change effects. Among the various renewable energy sources algal biofuels is a very promising source of biomass as algae sequester huge quantities of carbon from atmosphere and are very efficient in utilizing the nutrients from the industrial effluent and municipal...

  15. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayfield, Stephen P. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  16. Algal dermatitis in cichlids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanong, Roy P E; Francis-Floyd, Ruth; Curtis, Eric; Klinger, Ruth Ellen; Cichra, Mary E; Berzins, Ilze K

    2002-05-01

    Three varieties of a popular African cichlid aquarium species, Pseudotropheus zebra, from 2 tropical fish farms in east central Florida were submitted for diagnostic evaluation because of the development of multifocal green lesions. The percentage of infected fish in these populations varied from 5 to 60%. Fish were otherwise clinically normal. Microscopic examination of fresh and fixed lesions confirmed algal dermatitis, with light invasion of several internal organs in each group. A different alga was identified from each farm. Fish from farm A were infected with Chlorochytrium spp, whereas fish from farm B were infected with Scenedesmus spp. Because of the numbers of fish involved, bath treatments to remove the algae from affected fish from farm B were attempted, with different dosages of several common algaecides including copper sulfate pentahydrate, diuron, and sodium chloride. However, none of these treatments were successful, possibly because of the location of the algae under the scales and within the dermis, and also because of the sequestering effect of the granulomatous response. To our knowledge, this is the first report of algal dermatitis in ornamental cichlids, as well as the first report of Scenedesmus spp infection in any fish.

  17. Data from: Evidence for water-mediated mechanisms in coral–algal interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jorissen, Hendrikje; Skinner, Christina; Osinga, R.; Beer, De Dirk; Nugues, Maggy M.

    2016-01-01

    Although many coral reefs have shifted from coral-to-algal dominance, the consequence of such a transition for coral–algal interactions and their underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. At the microscale, it is unclear how diffusive boundary layers (DBLs) and surface oxygen concentrations at

  18. Responses of Algal Cells to Engineered Nanoparticles Measured as Algal Cell Population, Chlorophyll a, and Lipid Peroxidation: Effect of Particle Size and Type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. M. Metzler

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigated toxicity of three engineered nanoparticles (ENP, namely, Al2O3, SiO2, and TiO2 to the unicellular green algae, exemplified by Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata with an emphasis on particle size. The changes in pH, cell counts, chlorophyll a, and lipid peroxidation were used to measure the responses of the algal species to ENP. The most toxic particle size was TiO2 at 42 nm with an EC20 of 5.2 mg/L and Al2O3 at 14–18 nm with an EC20 of 5.1 mg/L. SiO2 was the least toxic with an EC20 of 318 mg/L. Toxicity was positively related to the surface charge of both ENP and algae. The chlorophyll content of the algal cells was influenced by the presence of ENP, which resulted in limited light and availability of nutrients due to increase in turbidity and nutrient adsorption onto the ENP surface, separately. Lipid peroxidation was attributed to reactive oxygen species (ROS. Fast reaction between algal cells and ROS due to direct contact between TiO2 and algal cells is an important factor for lipid peroxidation.

  19. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  20. Comparison of Acute Toxicity of Algal Metabolites Using Bioluminescence Inhibition Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hansa Jeswani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microalgae are reported to degrade hazardous compounds. However, algae, especially cyanobacteria are known to produce secondary metabolites which may be toxic to flora, fauna and human beings. The aim of this study was selection of an appropriate algal culture for biological treatment of biomass gasification wastewater based on acute toxicity considerations. The three algae that were selected were Spirulina sp., Scenedesmus abundans and a fresh water algal consortium. Acute toxicity of the metabolites produced by these algal cultures was tested at the end of log phase using the standard bioluminescence inhibition assay based on Vibrio fischeri NRRLB 11174. Scenedesmus abundans and a fresh water algal consortium dominated by cyanobacteria such as Phormidium, Chroococcus and Oscillatoria did not release much toxic metabolites at the end of log phase and caused only about 20% inhibition in bioluminescence. In comparison, Spirulina sp. released toxic metabolites and caused 50% bioluminescence inhibition at 3/5 times dilution of the culture supernatant (EC50.

  1. Therapeutic Approaches of Botulinum Toxin in Gynecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Alexandru Moga

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxins (BoNTs are produced by several anaerobic species of the genus Clostridium and, although they were originally considered lethal toxins, today they find their usefulness in the treatment of a wide range of pathologies in various medical specialties. Botulinum neurotoxin has been identified in seven different isoforms (BoNT-A, BoNT-B, BoNT-C, BoNT-D, BoNT-E, BoNT-F, and BoNT-G. Neurotoxigenic Clostridia can produce more than 40 different BoNT subtypes and, recently, a new BoNT serotype (BoNT-X has been reported in some studies. BoNT-X has not been shown to actually be an active neurotoxin despite its catalytically active LC, so it should be described as a putative eighth serotype. The mechanism of action of the serotypes is similar: they inhibit the release of acetylcholine from the nerve endings but their therapeutically potency varies. Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A is the most studied serotype for therapeutic purposes. Regarding the gynecological pathology, a series of studies based on the efficiency of its use in the treatment of refractory myofascial pelvic pain, vaginism, dyspareunia, vulvodynia and overactive bladder or urinary incontinence have been reported. The current study is a review of the literature regarding the efficiency of BoNT-A in the gynecological pathology and on the long and short-term effects of its administration.

  2. Raman Microspectroscopy of Individual Algal Cells: Sensing Unsaturation of Storage Lipids in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ladislav Nedbal

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Algae are becoming a strategic source of fuels, food, feedstocks, and biologically active compounds. This potential has stimulated the development of innovative analytical methods focused on these microorganisms. Algal lipids are among the most promising potential products for fuels as well as for nutrition. The crucial parameter characterizing the algal lipids is the degree of unsaturation of the constituent fatty acids quantified by the iodine value. Here we demonstrate the capacity of the spatially resolved Raman microspectroscopy to determine the effective iodine value in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells. The Raman spectra were collected from three selected algal species immobilized in an agarose gel. Prior to immobilization, the algae were cultivated in the stationary phase inducing an overproduction of lipids. We employed the characteristic peaks in the Raman scattering spectra at 1,656 cm−1 (cis C=C stretching mode and 1,445 cm−1 (CH2 scissoring mode as the markers defining the ratio of unsaturated-to-saturated carbon-carbon bonds of the fatty acids in the algal lipids. These spectral features were first quantified for pure fatty acids of known iodine value. The resultant calibration curve was then used to calculate the effective iodine value of storage lipids in the living algal cells from their Raman spectra. We demonstrated that the iodine value differs significantly for the three studied algal species. Our spectroscopic estimations of the iodine value were validated using GC-MS measurements and an excellent agreement was found for the Trachydiscus minutus species. A good agreement was also found with the earlier published data on Botryococcus braunii. Thus, we propose that Raman microspectroscopy can become technique of choice in the rapidly expanding field of algal biotechnology.

  3. Releasing Stored Solar Energy within Pond Scum: Biodiesel from Algal Lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatti, Jillian L.; Burkart, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Microalgae have emerged as an attractive feedstock for the mass production of renewable transportation fuels due to their fast growth rate, flexible habitat preferences, and substantial oil yields. As an educational tool, a laboratory was developed that mimics emerging algal biofuel technology, including the extraction of algal lipids and…

  4. Rotating Algal Biofilm Reactors: Mathematical Modeling and Lipid Production

    OpenAIRE

    Woolsey, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

    Harvesting of algal biomass presents a large barrier to the success of biofuels made from algae feedstock. Small cell sizes coupled with dilute concentrations of biomass in lagoon systems make separation an expensive and energy intense-process. The rotating algal biofilm reactor (RABR) has been developed at USU to provide a sustainable technology solution to this issue. Algae cells grown as a biofilm are concentrated in one location for ease of harvesting of high density biomass. A mathematic...

  5. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Ibanez

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  6. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  7. A Molecular Genetic Classification of Zooxanthellae and the Evolution of Animal-Algal Symbioses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowan, Rob; Powers, Dennis A.

    1991-03-01

    Zooxanthellae are unicellular algae that occur as endosymbionts in many hundreds of marine invertebrate species. Because zooxanthellae have traditionally been difficult to classify, little is known about the natural history of these symbioses. Zooxanthellae were isolated from 131 individuals in 22 host taxa and characterized by the use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in nuclear genes that encode small ribosomal subunit RNA (ssRNA). Six algal RFLPs, distributed host species specifically, were detected. Individual hosts contained one algal RFLP. Zooxanthella phylogenetic relationships were estimated from 22 algal ssRNA sequences-one from each host species. Closely related algae were found in dissimilar hosts, suggesting that animal and algal lineages have maintained a flexible evolutionary relation with each other.

  8. The paradox of algal blooms in oligotrophic waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhyay, S.; Abessa, M. B.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2010-12-01

    Nutrient inputs to streams and lakes, primarily from anthropogenic sources, lead to eutrophic conditions that favor algal blooms with undesirable consequences. In contrast, low nutrient or oligotrophic waters rarely support algal blooms; such ecosystems are typically lower in productivity. Since the mid-1980’s however, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has dramatically expanded its range colonizing oligotrophic rivers worldwide with blooms appearing as thick benthic mats. This recent global occurrence of Didymosphenia geminata blooms in temperate rivers has been perplexing in its pace of spread and the paradoxical nature of the nuisance growths. The blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic flowing waters, where phosphorus (P) availability often limits primary production. We present a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats adsorb both P and iron (Fe) from flowing waters and make P available for cellular uptake. The adsorbed P becomes bioavailable through biogeochemical processes that occur within the mat. The biogeochemical processes observed here while well accepted in benthic systems are novel for algal blooms in lotic habits. Enzymatic and bacterial processes such as Fe and sulfate reduction can release the adsorbed P and increase its bioavailability, creating a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and nutrient availability. Stalk affinity for Fe, Fe-P biogeochemistry, and interaction between watershed processes and climatic setting explain the paradoxical blooms, and the recent global spread of this invasive aquatic species. At a broader scale the study also implies that such algal blooms in oligotrophic environments can fundamentally alter the retention and longitudinal transfer of important nutrients such as P in streams and rivers.

  9. Carbohydrate-degrading bacteria closely associated with Tetraselmis indica: Influence on algal growth

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Arora, M.; Anil, A.C.; Delany, J.; Rajarajan, N.; Emami, K.; Mesbahi, E.

    to promote growth of the algae. These experiments revealed that microbes associated with the alga differentially influence algal growth dynamics. Bacterial presence on the cast-off cell wall products of the alga suggested the likely utilisation of algal cell...

  10. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day.

  11. Defense against Toxin Weapons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Franz, David

    1998-01-01

    .... We typically fear what we do not understand. Although un- derstanding toxin poisoning is less useful in a toxin attack than knowledge of cold injury on an Arctic battlefield, information on any threat reduces its potential to harm...

  12. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  13. Molecular Approaches to Improve the Insecticidal Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wagner A. Lucena

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt is a gram-positive spore-forming soil bacterium that is distributed worldwide. Originally recognized as a pathogen of the silkworm, several strains were found on epizootic events in insect pests. In the 1960s, Bt began to be successfully used to control insect pests in agriculture, particularly because of its specificity, which reflects directly on their lack of cytotoxicity to human health, non-target organisms and the environment. Since the introduction of transgenic plants expressing Bt genes in the mid-1980s, numerous methodologies have been used to search for and improve toxins derived from native Bt strains. These improvements directly influence the increase in productivity and the decreased use of chemical insecticides on Bt-crops. Recently, DNA shuffling and in silico evaluations are emerging as promising tools for the development and exploration of mutant Bt toxins with enhanced activity against target insect pests. In this report, we describe natural and in vitro evolution of Cry toxins, as well as their relevance in the mechanism of action for insect control. Moreover, the use of DNA shuffling to improve two Bt toxins will be discussed together with in silico analyses of the generated mutations to evaluate their potential effect on protein structure and cytotoxicity.

  14. Cellular Entry of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takehara, Masaya; Takagishi, Teruhisa; Seike, Soshi; Oda, Masataka; Sakaguchi, Yoshihiko; Hisatsune, Junzo; Ochi, Sadayuki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2017-08-11

    Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin are composed of two non-linked proteins, one being the enzymatic component and the other being the binding/translocation component. These latter components recognize specific receptors and oligomerize in plasma membrane lipid-rafts, mediating the uptake of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Enzymatic components induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through the ADP-ribosylation of actin and are responsible for cell rounding and death. This review focuses upon the recent advances in cellular internalization of clostridial binary toxins.

  15. Conditional Toxin Splicing Using a Split Intein System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alford, Spencer C; O'Sullivan, Connor; Howard, Perry L

    2017-01-01

    Protein toxin splicing mediated by split inteins can be used as a strategy for conditional cell ablation. The approach requires artificial fragmentation of a potent protein toxin and tethering each toxin fragment to a split intein fragment. The toxin-intein fragments are, in turn, fused to dimerization domains, such that addition of a dimerizing agent reconstitutes the split intein. These chimeric toxin-intein fusions remain nontoxic until the dimerizer is added, resulting in activation of intein splicing and ligation of toxin fragments to form an active toxin. Considerations for the engineering and implementation of conditional toxin splicing (CTS) systems include: choice of toxin split site, split site (extein) chemistry, and temperature sensitivity. The following method outlines design criteria and implementation notes for CTS using a previously engineered system for splicing a toxin called sarcin, as well as for developing alternative CTS systems.

  16. Mutant with diphtheria toxin receptor and acidification function but defective in entry of toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohno, Kenji; Hayes, H.; Mekada, Eisuke; Uchida, Tsuyoshi

    1987-01-01

    A mutant of Chinese hamster ovary cells, GE1, that is highly resistant to diphtheria toxin was isolated. The mutant contains 50% ADP-ribosylatable elongation factor 2, but its protein synthesis was not inhibited by the toxin even at concentrations above 100 μg/ml. 125 I-labeled diphtheria toxin was associated with GE1 cells as well as with the parent cells but did not block protein synthesis of GE1 cells even when the cells were exposed to low pH in the presence or absence of NH 4 Cl. The infections of GE1 cells and the parent cells by vesicular stomatitis virus were similar. GE1 cells were cross-resistant to Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A and so were about 1,000 times more resistant to this toxin than the parent cells. Hybrids of GE1 cells and the parent cells or mutant cells lacking a functional receptor were more sensitive to diphtheria toxin than GE1 cells. These results suggest that entry of diphtheria toxin into cells requires a cellular factor(s) in addition to those involved in receptor function and acidification of endosomes and that GE1 cells do not express this cellular factor. This character is recessive in GE1 cells

  17. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Paola G; Ramírez, David; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Caballero, Julio; Kaas, Quentin; González, Wendy

    2017-12-22

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  18. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola G. Ojeda

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  19. Hydrogen production from algal biomass - Advances, challenges and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Show, Kuan-Yeow; Yan, Yuegen; Ling, Ming; Ye, Guoxiang; Li, Ting; Lee, Duu-Jong

    2018-06-01

    Extensive effort is being made to explore renewable energy in replacing fossil fuels. Biohydrogen is a promising future fuel because of its clean and high energy content. A challenging issue in establishing hydrogen economy is sustainability. Biohydrogen has the potential for renewable biofuel, and could replace current hydrogen production through fossil fuel thermo-chemical processes. A promising source of biohydrogen is conversion from algal biomass, which is abundant, clean and renewable. Unlike other well-developed biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel, production of hydrogen from algal biomass is still in the early stage of development. There are a variety of technologies for algal hydrogen production, and some laboratory- and pilot-scale systems have demonstrated a good potential for full-scale implementation. This work presents an elucidation on development in biohydrogen encompassing biological pathways, bioreactor designs and operation and techno-economic evaluation. Challenges and prospects of biohydrogen production are also outlined. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Hydrogen from algal biomass: A review of production process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archita Sharma

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Multifariousness of biofuel sources has marked an edge to an imperative energy issue. Production of hydrogen from microalgae has been gathering much contemplation right away. But, mercantile production of microalgae biofuels considering bio-hydrogen is still not practicable because of low biomass concentration and costly down streaming processes. This review has taken up the hydrogen production by microalgae. Biofuels are the up and coming alternative to exhaustible, environmentally and unsafe fossil fuels. Algal biomass has been considered as an enticing raw material for biofuel production, these days photobioreactors and open-air systems are being used for hydrogen production from algal biomass. The formers allow the careful cultivation control whereas the latter ones are cheaper and simpler. A contemporary, encouraging optimization access has been included called algal cell immobilization on various matrixes which has resulted in marked increase in the productivity per volume of a reactor and addition of the hydrogen-production phase.

  1. Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium

    KAUST Repository

    Weynberg, Karen D.; Neave, Matthew J.; Clode, Peta L.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Brownlee, Christopher; Laffy, Patrick; Webster, Nicole S.; Levin, Rachel A.; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M.; Oppen, Madeleine J. H.

    2017-01-01

    Reef corals are under threat from bleaching and disease outbreaks that target both the host animal and the algal symbionts within the coral holobiont. A viral origin for coral bleaching has been hypothesized, but direct evidence has remained elusive. Using a multifaceted approach incorporating flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, DNA and RNA virome sequencing, we show that type C1 Symbiodinium cultures host a nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus (NCLDV) related to Phycodnaviridae and Mimiviridae, a novel filamentous virus of unknown phylogenetic affiliation, and a single-stranded RNA virus related to retroviruses. We discuss implications of these findings for laboratory-based experiments using Symbiodinium cultures.

  2. Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weynberg, Karen D.; Neave, Matthew; Clode, Peta L.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Brownlee, Christopher; Laffy, Patrick; Webster, Nicole S.; Levin, Rachel A.; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M.; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.

    2017-09-01

    Reef corals are under threat from bleaching and disease outbreaks that target both the host animal and the algal symbionts within the coral holobiont. A viral origin for coral bleaching has been hypothesized, but direct evidence has remained elusive. Using a multifaceted approach incorporating flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, DNA and RNA virome sequencing, we show that type C1 Symbiodinium cultures host a nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus (NCLDV) related to Phycodnaviridae and Mimiviridae, a novel filamentous virus of unknown phylogenetic affiliation, and a single-stranded RNA virus related to retroviruses. We discuss implications of these findings for laboratory-based experiments using Symbiodinium cultures.

  3. Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium

    KAUST Repository

    Weynberg, Karen D.

    2017-03-17

    Reef corals are under threat from bleaching and disease outbreaks that target both the host animal and the algal symbionts within the coral holobiont. A viral origin for coral bleaching has been hypothesized, but direct evidence has remained elusive. Using a multifaceted approach incorporating flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, DNA and RNA virome sequencing, we show that type C1 Symbiodinium cultures host a nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus (NCLDV) related to Phycodnaviridae and Mimiviridae, a novel filamentous virus of unknown phylogenetic affiliation, and a single-stranded RNA virus related to retroviruses. We discuss implications of these findings for laboratory-based experiments using Symbiodinium cultures.

  4. Effect of algal density in bead, bead size and bead concentrations ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effect of algal density in bead, bead size and bead concentrations on wastewater nutrient removal. ... African Journal of Biotechnology ... The bioreactor containing algal beads (4 mm diameter) with 1.5 x 106 cells bead-1 (cell stocking) at concentration of 10.66 beads ml-1 wastewater (1:3 bead: wastewater, v/v) achieved ...

  5. Biofouling in capillary and spiral wound membranes facilitated by marine algal bloom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Villacorte, L.O.; Ekowati, Y.; Calix-Ponce, H.N.; Kisielius, V.; Kleijn, J.M.; Vrouwenvelder, J.S.; Schippers, J.C.; Kennedy, M.D.

    2017-01-01

    Algal-derived organic matter (AOM), particularly transparent exopolymer particles, has been suspected to facilitate biofilm development in membrane systems (e.g., seawater reverse osmosis). This study demonstrates the possible role of AOM on biofouling in membrane systems affected by marine algal

  6. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha Chamoli Bhatt

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area.

  7. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio

    2006-01-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  8. Cellular Entry of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaya Takehara

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin are composed of two non-linked proteins, one being the enzymatic component and the other being the binding/translocation component. These latter components recognize specific receptors and oligomerize in plasma membrane lipid-rafts, mediating the uptake of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Enzymatic components induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through the ADP-ribosylation of actin and are responsible for cell rounding and death. This review focuses upon the recent advances in cellular internalization of clostridial binary toxins.

  9. Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2012-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  10. Alginate and Algal-Based Beads for the Sorption of Metal Cations: Cu(II and Pb(II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengye Wang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Alginate and algal-biomass (Laminaria digitata beads were prepared by homogeneous Ca ionotropic gelation. In addition, glutaraldehyde-crosslinked poly (ethyleneimine (PEI was incorporated into algal beads. The three sorbents were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX: the sorption occurs in the whole mass of the sorbents. Sorption experiments were conducted to evaluate the impact of pH, sorption isotherms, and uptake kinetics. A special attention was paid to the effect of drying (air-drying vs. freeze-drying on the mass transfer properties. For alginate, freeze drying is required for maintaining the porosity of the hydrogel, while for algal-based sorbents the swelling of the material minimizes the impact of the drying procedure. The maximum sorption capacities observed from experiments were 415, 296 and 218 mg Pb g−1 and 112, 77 and 67 mg Cu g−1 for alginate, algal and algal/PEI beads respectively. Though the sorption capacities of algal-beads decreased slightly (compared to alginate beads, the greener and cheaper one-pot synthesis of algal beads makes this sorbent more competitive for environmental applications. PEI in algal beads decreases the sorption properties in the case of the sorption of metal cations under selected experimental conditions.

  11. EGA Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile CDT, Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Leonie; Mittler, Ann-Katrin; Sadi, Mirko; Popoff, Michel R; Schwan, Carsten; Aktories, Klaus; Mattarei, Andrea; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Montecucco, Cesare; Barth, Holger

    2016-04-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum produce the binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins CDT, iota and C2, respectively. These toxins are composed of a transport component (B) and a separate enzyme component (A). When both components assemble on the surface of mammalian target cells, the B components mediate the entry of the A components via endosomes into the cytosol. Here, the A components ADP-ribosylate G-actin, resulting in depolymerization of F-actin, cell-rounding and eventually death. In the present study, we demonstrate that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), a compound that protects cells from multiple toxins and viruses, also protects different mammalian epithelial cells from all three binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. In contrast, EGA did not inhibit the intoxication of cells with Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, indicating a possible different entry route for this toxin. EGA does not affect either the binding of the C2 toxin to the cells surface or the enzyme activity of the A components of CDT, iota and C2, suggesting that this compound interferes with cellular uptake of the toxins. Moreover, for C2 toxin, we demonstrated that EGA inhibits the pH-dependent transport of the A component across cell membranes. EGA is not cytotoxic, and therefore, we propose it as a lead compound for the development of novel pharmacological inhibitors against clostridial binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins.

  12. EGA Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile CDT, Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Leonie; Mittler, Ann-Katrin; Sadi, Mirko; Popoff, Michel R.; Schwan, Carsten; Aktories, Klaus; Mattarei, Andrea; Tehran, Domenico Azarnia; Montecucco, Cesare; Barth, Holger

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum produce the binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins CDT, iota and C2, respectively. These toxins are composed of a transport component (B) and a separate enzyme component (A). When both components assemble on the surface of mammalian target cells, the B components mediate the entry of the A components via endosomes into the cytosol. Here, the A components ADP-ribosylate G-actin, resulting in depolymerization of F-actin, cell-rounding and eventually death. In the present study, we demonstrate that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), a compound that protects cells from multiple toxins and viruses, also protects different mammalian epithelial cells from all three binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. In contrast, EGA did not inhibit the intoxication of cells with Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, indicating a possible different entry route for this toxin. EGA does not affect either the binding of the C2 toxin to the cells surface or the enzyme activity of the A components of CDT, iota and C2, suggesting that this compound interferes with cellular uptake of the toxins. Moreover, for C2 toxin, we demonstrated that EGA inhibits the pH-dependent transport of the A component across cell membranes. EGA is not cytotoxic, and therefore, we propose it as a lead compound for the development of novel pharmacological inhibitors against clostridial binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. PMID:27043629

  13. Life-Cycle Analysis of Energy Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Water Consumption in the 2016 MYPP Algal Biofuel Scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frank, Edward; Pegallapati, Ambica; Davis, Ryan; Markham, Jennifer; Coleman, Andre; Jones, Sue; Wigmosta, Mark; Zhu, Yunhua

    2016-06-16

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in which algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase with catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients.

  14. Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frank, Edward [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Pegallapati, Ambica K. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Davis, Ryan [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Markham, Jennifer [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Coleman, Andre [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Jones, Sue [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Wigmosta, Mark S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Zhu, Yunhua [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2016-06-16

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in which algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase with catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients. The present report describes a life cycle analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the CAP and HTL options for the three scenarios just described. Water use is also reported. Water use during algal biofuel production comes from evaporation during cultivation, discharge to bleed streams to control pond salinity (“blowdown”), and from use during preprocessing and upgrading. For scenarios considered to date, most water use was from evaporation and, secondarily, from bleed streams. Other use was relatively small at the level of

  15. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible solutions to pollutants in marine ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mostofa, Khan M.G.; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Vione, Davide; Gao, Kunshan; Ogawa, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Algal toxins or red-tide toxins produced during algal blooms are naturally-derived toxic emerging contaminants (ECs) that may kill organisms, including humans, through contaminated fish or seafood. Other ECs produced either naturally or anthropogenically ultimately flow into marine waters. Pharmaceuticals are also an important pollution source, mostly due to overproduction and incorrect disposal. Ship breaking and recycle industries (SBRIs) can also release various pollutants and substantially deteriorate habitats and marine biodiversity. Overfishing is significantly increasing due to the global food crisis, caused by an increasing world population. Organic matter (OM) pollution and global warming (GW) are key factors that exacerbate these challenges (e.g. algal blooms), to which acidification in marine waters should be added as well. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible remedial measures of these challenges to marine ecosystems are discussed, including their eventual impact on all forms of life including humans. -- Review of sources, factors, mechanisms and possible remedial measures of key pollutants (contaminants, toxins, ship breaking, overfishing) in marine ecosystems

  16. The Enzymatic Conversion of Major Algal and Cyanobacterial Carbohydrates to Bioethanol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Abdallah, Qusai; Nixon, B. Tracy; Fortwendel, Jarrod R.

    2016-01-01

    The production of fuels from biomass is categorized as first-, second-, or third-generation depending upon the source of raw materials, either food crops, lignocellulosic material, or algal biomass, respectively. Thus far, the emphasis has been on using food crops creating several environmental problems. To overcome these problems, there is a shift toward bioenergy production from non-food sources. Algae, which store high amounts of carbohydrates, are a potential producer of raw materials for sustainable production of bioethanol. Algae store their carbohydrates in the form of food storage sugars and structural material. In general, algal food storage polysaccharides are composed of glucose subunits; however, they vary in the glycosidic bond that links the glucose molecules. In starch-type polysaccharides (starch, floridean starch, and glycogen), the glucose subunits are linked together by α-(1→4) and α-(1→6) glycosidic bonds. Laminarin-type polysaccharides (laminarin, chrysolaminarin, and paramylon) are made of glucose subunits that are linked together by β-(1→3) and β-(1→6) glycosidic bonds. In contrast to food storage polysaccharides, structural polysaccharides vary in composition and glycosidic bond. The industrial production of bioethanol from algae requires efficient hydrolysis and fermentation of different algal sugars. However, the hydrolysis of algal polysaccharides employs more enzymatic mixes in comparison to terrestrial plants. Similarly, algal fermentable sugars display more diversity than plants, and therefore more metabolic pathways are required to produce ethanol from these sugars. In general, the fermentation of glucose, galactose, and glucose isomers is carried out by wild-type strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zymomonas mobilis. In these strains, glucose enters glycolysis, where is it converted to pyruvate through either Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway or Entner–Doudoroff pathway. Other monosaccharides must be converted to

  17. The enzymatic conversion of major algal and cyanobacterial carbohydrates to bioethanol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qusai Al Abdallah

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The production of fuels from biomass is categorized as first-, second- or third-generation depending upon the source of raw materials, either food crops, lignocellulosic material, or algal biomass, respectively. Thus far, the emphasis has been on using food crops creating several environmental problems. To overcome these problems, there is a shift toward bioenergy production from non-food sources. Algae, which store high amounts of carbohydrates, are a potential producer of raw materials for sustainable production of bioethanol. Algae store their carbohydrates in the form of food storage sugars and structural material. In general, algal food storage polysaccharides are composed of glucose subunits, however they vary in the glycosidic bond that links the glucose molecules. In starch-type polysaccharides (starch, floridean starch, and glycogen, the glucose subunits are linked together by α-(1→4 and α-(1→6 glycosidic bonds. Laminarin-type polysaccharides (laminarin, chrysolaminarin, and paramylon are made of glucose subunits that are linked together by β-(1→3 and β-(1→6 glycosidic bonds. In contrast to food storage polysaccharides, structural polysaccharides vary in composition and glycosidic bond. The industrial production of bioethanol from algae requires efficient hydrolysis and fermentation of different algal sugars. However, the hydrolysis of algal polysaccharides employs more enzymatic mixes in comparison to terrestrial plants. Similarly, algal fermentable sugars display more diversity than plants, and therefore more metabolic pathways are required to produce ethanol from these sugars. In general, the fermentation of glucose, galactose, and glucose isomers is carried out by wild type strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zymomonas mobilis. In these strains, glucose enters glycolysis, where is it converted to pyruvate through either Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway or Entner-Doudoroff pathway. Other monosaccharides must be

  18. The Enzymatic Conversion of Major Algal and Cyanobacterial Carbohydrates to Bioethanol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al Abdallah, Qusai, E-mail: qalabdal@uthsc.edu [Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN (United States); Nixon, B. Tracy [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (United States); Fortwendel, Jarrod R. [Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN (United States)

    2016-11-04

    The production of fuels from biomass is categorized as first-, second-, or third-generation depending upon the source of raw materials, either food crops, lignocellulosic material, or algal biomass, respectively. Thus far, the emphasis has been on using food crops creating several environmental problems. To overcome these problems, there is a shift toward bioenergy production from non-food sources. Algae, which store high amounts of carbohydrates, are a potential producer of raw materials for sustainable production of bioethanol. Algae store their carbohydrates in the form of food storage sugars and structural material. In general, algal food storage polysaccharides are composed of glucose subunits; however, they vary in the glycosidic bond that links the glucose molecules. In starch-type polysaccharides (starch, floridean starch, and glycogen), the glucose subunits are linked together by α-(1→4) and α-(1→6) glycosidic bonds. Laminarin-type polysaccharides (laminarin, chrysolaminarin, and paramylon) are made of glucose subunits that are linked together by β-(1→3) and β-(1→6) glycosidic bonds. In contrast to food storage polysaccharides, structural polysaccharides vary in composition and glycosidic bond. The industrial production of bioethanol from algae requires efficient hydrolysis and fermentation of different algal sugars. However, the hydrolysis of algal polysaccharides employs more enzymatic mixes in comparison to terrestrial plants. Similarly, algal fermentable sugars display more diversity than plants, and therefore more metabolic pathways are required to produce ethanol from these sugars. In general, the fermentation of glucose, galactose, and glucose isomers is carried out by wild-type strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Zymomonas mobilis. In these strains, glucose enters glycolysis, where is it converted to pyruvate through either Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway or Entner–Doudoroff pathway. Other monosaccharides must be converted to

  19. An integrated renewable energy park approach for algal biofuel production in United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subhadra, Bobban; Edwards, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Algal biomass provides viable third generation feedstock for liquid transportation fuel that does not compete with food crops for cropland. However, fossil energy inputs and intensive water usage diminishes the positive aspects of algal energy production. An integrated renewable energy park (IREP) approach is proposed for aligning renewable energy industries in resource-specific regions in United States for synergistic electricity and liquid biofuel production from algal biomass with net zero carbon emissions. The benefits, challenges and policy needs of this approach are discussed.

  20. Algal Pretreatment Improves Biofuels Yield and Value; Highlights in Science, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2015-05-15

    One of the major challenges associated with algal biofuels production in a biorefinery-type setting is improving biomass utilization in its entirety, increasing the process energetic yields and providing economically viable and scalable co-product concepts. We demonstrate the effectiveness of a novel, integrated technology based on moderate temperatures and low pH to convert the carbohydrates in wet algal biomass to soluble sugars for fermentation, while making lipids more accessible for downstream extraction and leaving a protein-enriched fraction behind. This research has been highlighted in the Green Chemistry journal article mentioned above and a milestone report, and is based on the work the researchers are doing for the AOP projects Algal Biomass Conversion and Algal Biofuels Techno-economic Analysis. That work has demonstrated an advanced process for algal biofuel production that captures the value of both the algal lipids and carbohydrates for conversion to biofuels.  With this process, as much as 150 GGE/ton of biomass can be produced, 2-3X more than can be produced by terrestrial feedstocks.  This can also reduce the cost of biofuel production by as much as 40%. This also represents the first ever design case for the algal lipid upgrading pathway.

  1. Algal blooms: an emerging threat to seawater reverse osmosis desalination

    KAUST Repository

    Villacorte, Loreen O.

    2014-08-04

    Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination technology has been rapidly growing in terms of installed capacity and global application over the last decade. An emerging threat to SWRO application is the seasonal proliferation of microscopic algae in seawater known as algal blooms. Such blooms have caused operational problems in SWRO plants due to clogging and poor effluent quality of the pre-treatment system which eventually forced the shutdown of various desalination plants to avoid irreversible fouling of downstream SWRO membranes. This article summarizes the current state of SWRO technology and the emerging threat of algal blooms to its application. It also highlights the importance of studying the algal bloom phenomena in the perspective of seawater desalination, so proper mitigation and preventive strategies can be developed in the near future. © 2014 © 2014 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

  2. Algal blooms: an emerging threat to seawater reverse osmosis desalination

    KAUST Repository

    Villacorte, Loreen O.; Tabatabai, S. Assiyeh Alizadeh; Dhakal, N.; Amy, Gary L.; Schippers, Jan Cornelis; Kennedy, Maria Dolores

    2014-01-01

    Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination technology has been rapidly growing in terms of installed capacity and global application over the last decade. An emerging threat to SWRO application is the seasonal proliferation of microscopic algae in seawater known as algal blooms. Such blooms have caused operational problems in SWRO plants due to clogging and poor effluent quality of the pre-treatment system which eventually forced the shutdown of various desalination plants to avoid irreversible fouling of downstream SWRO membranes. This article summarizes the current state of SWRO technology and the emerging threat of algal blooms to its application. It also highlights the importance of studying the algal bloom phenomena in the perspective of seawater desalination, so proper mitigation and preventive strategies can be developed in the near future. © 2014 © 2014 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

  3. SVM-based prediction of propeptide cleavage sites in spider toxins identifies toxin innovation in an Australian tarantula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Spider neurotoxins are commonly used as pharmacological tools and are a popular source of novel compounds with therapeutic and agrochemical potential. Since venom peptides are inherently toxic, the host spider must employ strategies to avoid adverse effects prior to venom use. It is partly for this reason that most spider toxins encode a protective proregion that upon enzymatic cleavage is excised from the mature peptide. In order to identify the mature toxin sequence directly from toxin transcripts, without resorting to protein sequencing, the propeptide cleavage site in the toxin precursor must be predicted bioinformatically. We evaluated different machine learning strategies (support vector machines, hidden Markov model and decision tree and developed an algorithm (SpiderP for prediction of propeptide cleavage sites in spider toxins. Our strategy uses a support vector machine (SVM framework that combines both local and global sequence information. Our method is superior or comparable to current tools for prediction of propeptide sequences in spider toxins. Evaluation of the SVM method on an independent test set of known toxin sequences yielded 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Furthermore, we sequenced five novel peptides (not used to train the final predictor from the venom of the Australian tarantula Selenotypus plumipes to test the accuracy of the predictor and found 80% sensitivity and 99.6% 8-mer specificity. Finally, we used the predictor together with homology information to predict and characterize seven groups of novel toxins from the deeply sequenced venom gland transcriptome of S. plumipes, which revealed structural complexity and innovations in the evolution of the toxins. The precursor prediction tool (SpiderP is freely available on ArachnoServer (http://www.arachnoserver.org/spiderP.html, a web portal to a comprehensive relational database of spider toxins. All training data, test data, and scripts used are available from

  4. Remote Sensing Marine Ecology: Wind-driven algal blooms in the open oceans and their ecological impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, DanLing

    2016-07-01

    Algal bloom not only can increase the primary production but also could result in negative ecological consequence, e.g., Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). According to the classic theory for the formation of algal blooms "critical depth" and "eutrophication", oligotrophic sea area is usually difficult to form a large area of algal blooms, and actually the traditional observation is only sporadic capture to the existence of algal blooms. Taking full advantage of multiple data of satellite remote sensing, this study: 1), introduces "Wind-driven algal blooms in open oceans: observation and mechanisms" It explained except classic coastal Ekman transport, the wind through a variety of mechanisms affecting the formation of algal blooms. Proposed a conceptual model of "Strong wind -upwelling-nutrient-phytoplankton blooms" in Western South China Sea (SCS) to assess role of wind-induced advection transport in phytoplankton bloom formation. It illustrates the nutrient resources that support long-term offshore phytoplankton blooms in the western SCS; 2), Proposal of the theory that "typhoons cause vertical mixing, induce phytoplankton blooms", and quantify their important contribution to marine primary production; Proposal a new ecological index for typhoon. Proposed remote sensing inversion models. 3), Finding of the spatial and temporaldistributions pattern of harmful algal bloom (HAB)and species variations of HAB in the South Yellow Sea and East China Sea, and in the Pearl River estuary, and their oceanic dynamic mechanisms related with monsoon; The project developed new techniques and generated new knowledge, which significantly improved understanding of the formation mechanisms of algal blooms. 1), It proposed "wind-pump" mechanism integrates theoretical system combing "ocean dynamics, development of algal blooms, and impact on primary production", which will benefit fisheries management. 2), A new interdisciplinary subject "Remote Sensing Marine Ecology"(RSME) has been

  5. Microalgal toxin(s): characteristics and importance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic microalgae produce a wide array of compounds with biological activities. These include antibiotics, algicides, toxins, pharmaceutically active compounds and plant growth regulators. Toxic microalgae, in this sense, are common only among the cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates. The microalgal ...

  6. An integrated renewable energy park approach for algal biofuel production in United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Subhadra, Bobban [Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States); Edwards, Mark [Marketing and Sustainability, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)

    2010-09-15

    Algal biomass provides viable third generation feedstock for liquid transportation fuel that does not compete with food crops for cropland. However, fossil energy inputs and intensive water usage diminishes the positive aspects of algal energy production. An integrated renewable energy park (IREP) approach is proposed for aligning renewable energy industries in resource-specific regions in United States for synergistic electricity and liquid biofuel production from algal biomass with net zero carbon emissions. The benefits, challenges and policy needs of this approach are discussed. (author)

  7. Stressor-Response Models Relating Nutrient Enrichment to Algal Communities in Pacific Northwest Streams and Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobota, D. J.; Hubler, S.; Paul, M. J.; Labiosa, R.

    2015-12-01

    Excessive algal growth in streams and rivers from nutrient enrichment can cause costly human health and environmental problems. As part of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Nutrient Scientific Technical Exchange Partnership and Support (N-STEPS) program, we have been developing stressor-response (S-R) models relating nutrients to attached algal (periphyton) communities to help prioritize monitoring for water quality impairments in Oregon (Pacific Northwest, USA) streams and rivers. Existing data from the state and neighboring states were compiled and standardized from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Geological Survey. To develop S-R models, algal community and biomass metrics were compared with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentration data, including total, dissolved, and inorganic forms of these nutrients. In total, 928 paired algal-nutrient samples were compiled from the 8 Level-III Ecoregions occurring in Oregon. Relationships between algal biomass metrics and nutrient concentrations were weak, with only ash-free dry mass and standing stock of chlorophyll a showing slight positive relationships across gradients of total N and soluble reactive P concentrations, respectively. In contrast, metrics describing algal community composition, including percent diatoms and abundance of nutrient-sensitive species, showed very strong nonlinear relationships with total N or P concentrations. This suggests that data describing algal community composition can help identify specific nutrient stressors across environmentally-diverse streams and rivers in the Pacific Northwest. Future analyses will examine if nutrient-algal S-R models vary across different hydrological, physiographical, and ecological settings in the region.

  8. Algal remediation of CO₂ and nutrient discharges: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judd, Simon; van den Broeke, Leo J P; Shurair, Mohamed; Kuti, Yussuf; Znad, Hussein

    2015-12-15

    The recent literature pertaining to the application of algal photobioreactors (PBRs) to both carbon dioxide mitigation and nutrient abatement is reviewed and the reported data analysed. The review appraises the influence of key system parameters on performance with reference to (a) the absorption and biological fixation of CO2 from gaseous effluent streams, and (b) the removal of nutrients from wastewaters. Key parameters appraised individually with reference to CO2 removal comprise algal speciation, light intensity, mass transfer, gas and hydraulic residence time, pollutant (CO2 and nutrient) loading, biochemical and chemical stoichiometry (including pH), and temperature. Nutrient removal has been assessed with reference to hydraulic residence time and reactor configuration, along with C:nutrient ratios and other factors affecting carbon fixation, and outcomes compared with those reported for classical biological nutrient removal (BNR). Outcomes of the review indicate there has been a disproportionate increase in algal PBR research outputs over the past 5-8 years, with a significant number of studies based on small, bench-scale systems. The quantitative impacts of light intensity and loading on CO2 uptake are highly dependent on the algal species, and also affected by solution chemical conditions such as temperature and pH. Calculations based on available data for biomass growth rates indicate that a reactor CO2 residence time of around 4 h is required for significant CO2 removal. Nutrient removal data indicate residence times of 2-5 days are required for significant nutrient removal, compared with PBR configuration (the high rate algal pond, HRAP) means that its footprint is at least two orders of magnitude greater than a classical BNR plant. It is concluded that the combined carbon capture/nutrient removal process relies on optimisation of a number of process parameters acting synergistically, principally microalgal strain, C:N:P load and balance, CO2 and liquid

  9. Cyanobacteria of the 2016 Lake Okeechobee and Okeechobee Waterway harmful algal bloom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Barry H.; Davis, Timothy W.; Gobler, Christopher J.; Kramer, Benjamin J.; Loftin, Keith A.

    2017-05-31

    The Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway (Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and River, and the Caloosahatchee River) experienced an extensive harmful algal bloom within Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and River and the Caloosahatchee River in 2016. In addition to the very visible bloom of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, several other cyanobacteria were present. These other species were less conspicuous; however, they have the potential to produce a variety of cyanotoxins, including anatoxins, cylindrospermopsins, and saxitoxins, in addition to the microcystins commonly associated with Microcystis. Some of these species were found before, during, and 2 weeks after the large Microcystis bloom and could provide a better understanding of bloom dynamics and succession. This report provides photographic documentation and taxonomic assessment of the cyanobacteria present from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Canal, with samples collected June 1st from the Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee and in July from the St. Lucie Canal. The majority of the images were of live organisms, allowing their natural complement of pigmentation to be captured. The report provides a digital image-based taxonomic record of the Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway microscopic flora. It is anticipated that these images will facilitate current and future studies on this system, such as understanding the timing of cyanobacteria blooms and their potential toxin production.

  10. Radioimmunoassay for yeast killer toxin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siddiqui, F.A.; Bussey, H.

    1981-01-01

    A radioimmunoassay was developed for the K1 killer toxin from strain T158C/S14a of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Iodine 125-labelled toxin was made to a specific activity of 100 μCi/mg of protein. Antibody to purified toxin was prepared in rabbits using toxin cross-linked to itself. These antibodies, partially purified by 50 percent ammonium sulfate precipitation and Sepharose CL-6B column chromatography, produced one precipitation band with killer toxin and bound 125 I-labelled toxin in a radioimmunoassay. The antibody preparation also bound with the toxins from another K1 killer, A364A, and three chromosomal superkiller mutants derived from it. (auth)

  11. Yeast β-1,6-glucan is a primary target for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae K2 toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukša, Juliana; Podoliankaitė, Monika; Vepštaitė, Iglė; Strazdaitė-Žielienė, Živilė; Urbonavičius, Jaunius; Servienė, Elena

    2015-04-01

    Certain Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains secrete different killer proteins of double-stranded-RNA origin. These proteins confer a growth advantage to their host by increasing its survival. K2 toxin affects the target cell by binding to the cell surface, disrupting the plasma membrane integrity, and inducing ion leakage. In this study, we determined that K2 toxin saturates the yeast cell surface receptors in 10 min. The apparent amount of K2 toxin, bound to a single cell of wild type yeast under saturating conditions, was estimated to be 435 to 460 molecules. It was found that an increased level of β-1,6-glucan directly correlates with the number of toxin molecules bound, thereby impacting the morphology and determining the fate of the yeast cell. We observed that the binding of K2 toxin to the yeast surface receptors proceeds in a similar manner as in case of the related K1 killer protein. It was demonstrated that the externally supplied pustulan, a poly-β-1,6-glucan, but not the glucans bearing other linkage types (such as laminarin, chitin, and pullulan) efficiently inhibits the K2 toxin killing activity. In addition, the analysis of toxin binding to the intact cells and spheroplasts confirmed that majority of K2 protein molecules attach to the β-1,6-glucan, rather than the plasma membrane-localized receptors. Taken together, our results reveal that β-1,6-glucan is a primary target of K2 toxin and is important for the execution of its killing property. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Ecological study of algal flora of Neelum river Azad Kashmir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leghari, M.K.; Leghari, M.Y.

    2000-01-01

    First time ecological study of Algal Flora of Neelum River Azad Kashmir was carried out during January 1998 to July 1998. A total of 78 species belonging to 48 genera of 4 Algal groups. Cyanophyceae (16 species 20.5 % belonging to 11 genera), Choloronophycease (23 species 29.5 % belonging to 18 genera), Bacillariophyceae (37 species 47 % belonging to 17 genera), Xanthophyceae (2 species 3 % belonging to 2 genera) and 39 physico - chemical parameters were recorded. (author)

  13. Advances in algal-prokaryotic wastewater treatment: A review of nitrogen transformations, reactor configurations and molecular tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Meng; Keeley, Ryan; Zalivina, Nadezhda; Halfhide, Trina; Scott, Kathleen; Zhang, Qiong; van der Steen, Peter; Ergas, Sarina J

    2018-07-01

    The synergistic activity of algae and prokaryotic microorganisms can be used to improve the efficiency of biological wastewater treatment, particularly with regards to nitrogen removal. For example, algae can provide oxygen through photosynthesis needed for aerobic degradation of organic carbon and nitrification and harvested algal-prokaryotic biomass can be used to produce high value chemicals or biogas. Algal-prokaryotic consortia have been used to treat wastewater in different types of reactors, including waste stabilization ponds, high rate algal ponds and closed photobioreactors. This review addresses the current literature and identifies research gaps related to the following topics: 1) the complex interactions between algae and prokaryotes in wastewater treatment; 2) advances in bioreactor technologies that can achieve high nitrogen removal efficiencies in small reactor volumes, such as algal-prokaryotic biofilm reactors and enhanced algal-prokaryotic treatment systems (EAPS); 3) molecular tools that have expanded our understanding of the activities of algal and prokaryotic communities in wastewater treatment processes. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Removal of cyanobacterial toxins by sediment passage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruetzmacher, G.; Boettcher, G.; Chorus, I.; Bartel, H.

    2003-04-01

    Cyanbacterial toxins ("Cyanotoxins") comprise a wide range of toxic substances produced by cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae"). Cyanobacteria occur in surface water word wide and can be found in high concentrations during so-called algal blooms when conditions are favourable (e.g. high nutrient levels, high temperatures). Some cyanobacteria produce hepato- or neurotoxins, of which the hepatotoxic microcystins are the most common in Germany. The WHO guideline value for drinking water was set at 1 μg/L. However, maximum concentrations in surface water can reach 25 mg/L, so that a secure method for toxin elimination has to be found when this water is used as source water for drinking water production. In order to assess if cyanotoxins can be removed by sediment passage the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) conducted laboratory- and field scale experiments as well as observations on bank filtration field sites. Laboratory experiments (batch- and column experiments for adsorption and degradation parameters) were conducted in order to vary a multitude of experimental conditions. These experiments were followed by field scale experiments on the UBA's experimental field in Berlin. This plant offers the unique possibility to conduct experiments on the behaviour of various agents - such as harmful substances - during infiltration and bank filtration under well-defined conditions on a field scale, and without releasing these substances to the environment. Finally the development of microcystin concentrations was observed between infiltrating surface water and a drinking water well along a transsecte of observation wells. The results obtained show that infiltration and bank filtration normally seem to be secure treatment methods for source water contaminated by microcystins. However, elimination was shown to be difficult under the following circumstances: - dying cyanobacterial population due to insufficient light and / or nutrients, low temperatures or application of

  15. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    In a very busy and exciting year, 2005 included First Action approval of a much needed official method for paralytic shellfish toxins and multiple international toxin symposia highlighted by groundbreaking research. These are the first-year milestones and activities of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force and Analytical Community. Inaugurated in 2004 and described in detail in last year's General Referee Report (1) this international toxins group has grown to 150 members from many regions and countries. Perhaps most important they are now making important and global contributions to food safety and to providing alternatives to animal-based assays. Official Method 2005.06 was first approved in late 2004 by the Task Force and subsequently Official First Action in 2005 (2) by the Methods Committee on Natural Toxins and Food Allergens and the Official Methods Board. This nonproprietary method (3) is a precolumn oxidation, liquid chromatographic method that makes good use of fluorescence detection to provide high sensitivity detection of the saxitoxins. It has also proven to be rugged enough for regulatory use and the highest level of validation. As pointed out in the report of method principle investigator and Study Director James Lawrence, approval of 2005.06 now provides the first official alternative to the mouse bioassay after many decades of shellfish monitoring. This past year in April 2005 the group also held their first international conference, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins Analysis: Ist Joint Symposium and AOAC Task Force Meeting," in Baiona, Spain. The 4-day conference consisted of research and stakeholder presentations and symposium-integrated subgroup sessions on ciguatoxins, saxitoxin assays and liquid chromatography (LC) methods for saxitoxins and domoic acids, okadaiates and azaspiracids, and yessotoxins. Many of these subgroups were recently formed in 2005 and are working towards their goals of producing officially validated analytical methods

  16. Role of Botulinum Toxin in Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsaik, Ajay K; Mascarenhas, Sonia S; Hashmi, Aqeel; Prokop, Larry J; John, Vineeth; Okusaga, Olaoluwa; Singh, Balwinder

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this review was to consolidate the evidence concerning the efficacy of botulinum toxin type A (onabotulinumtoxinA) in depression. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and Scopus through May 5, 2014, for studies evaluating the efficacy of botulinum toxin A in depression. Only randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. A pooled mean difference in primary depression score, and pooled odds ratio for response and remission rate with 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using the random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using Cochran Q test and χ statistic. Of the 639 articles that were initially retrieved, 5 studies enrolling 194 subjects (age 49±9.6 y) were included in the systematic review, and 3 randomized controlled trials enrolling 134 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis showed a significant decrease in mean primary depression scores among patients who received botulinum toxin A compared with placebo (-9.80; 95% CI, -12.90 to -6.69) with modest heterogeneity between the studies (Cochran Q test, χ=70). Response and remission rates were 8.3 and 4.6 times higher, respectively, among patients receiving botulinum toxin A compared with placebo, with no heterogeneity between the studies. The 2 studies excluded from the meta-analysis also found a significant decrease in primary depression scores in patients after receiving botulinum toxin A. A few subjects had minor side effects, which were similar between the groups receiving botulinum toxin and those receiving placebo. This study suggests that botulinum toxin A can produce significant improvement in depressive symptoms and is a safe adjunctive treatment for patients receiving pharmacotherapy for depression. Future trials are needed to evaluate the antidepressant effect per se of botulinum toxin A and to further elucidate the underlying antidepressant mechanism of botulinum toxin A.

  17. Botulinum toxin therapy for limb dystonias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, D M; Aminoff, M J; Olney, R K

    1992-03-01

    We investigated the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in 17 patients with limb dystonias (10 with occupational cramps, three with idiopathic dystonia unrelated to activity, and two each with post-stroke and parkinsonian dystonia) in a placebo-controlled, blinded study. We identified affected muscles clinically and by recording the EMG from implanted wire electrodes at rest and during performance of tasks that precipitated abnormal postures. There were three injections given with graded doses of toxin (average doses, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, and 20 to 40 units per muscle) and one with placebo, in random order. Subjective improvement occurred after 53% of injections of botulinum toxin, and this was substantial in 24%. Only one patient (7%) improved after placebo injection. Subjective improvement occurred in 82% of patients with at least one dose of toxin, lasting for 1 to 4 months. Response rates were similar between clinical groups. Objective evaluation failed to demonstrate significant improvement following treatment with toxin compared with placebo. The major side effect was transient focal weakness after 53% of injections of toxin.

  18. Whole-lake algal responses to a century of acidic industrial deposition on the Canadian Shield

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vinebrooke, R.D.; Dixit, S.S.; Graham, M.D.; Gunn, J.M.; Chen, Y.-W.; Belzile, N.

    2002-01-01

    A century of cultural acidification is hypothesized to have altered algal community structure in boreal lakes. To date, this hypothesis has remained untested because of both the lack of data predating the onset of industrial pollution and incomplete estimates of whole-lake algal community structure. High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) of sedimentary pigments was used to quantify whole-lake algal responses to acid deposition in six boreal lakes located in Killarney Park, Ontario, Canada. Concomitant significant increases in chlorophyll and carotenoid concentrations, diatom-inferred lake acidity, and metal levels since 1900 suggested that algal abundances in four acidified lakes and one small, circumneutral lake were enhanced by aerial pollution. An alternate explanation is that increased acidity and underwater light availability in the acidified lakes shifted algal abundance towards phytobenthos and deepwater phytoplankton, whose pigment signatures were better preserved in the sediments. Taxonomically diagnostic pigment stratigraphies were consistent with shifts in algal community structure towards filamentous green phytobenthos and deepwater phytoflagellates in the acidified lakes. Our findings suggest that decades of aerial pollution have altered the base of foodwebs in boreal lakes, potentially rendering them less resilient to other environmental stressors. (author)

  19. Review of the algal biology program within the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unkefer, Clifford J.; Sayre, Richard T.; Magnuson, Jon K.; Anderson, Daniel B.; Baxter, Ivan; Blaby, Ian K.; Brown, Judith K.; Carleton, Michael; Cattolico, Rose Ann; Dale, Taraka; Devarenne, Timothy P.; Downes, C. Meghan; Dutcher, Susan K.; Fox, David T.; Goodenough, Ursula; Jaworski, Jan; Holladay, Jonathan E.; Kramer, David M.; Koppisch, Andrew T.; Lipton, Mary S.; Marrone, Babetta L.; McCormick, Margaret; Molnár, István; Mott, John B.; Ogden, Kimberly L.; Panisko, Ellen A.; Pellegrini, Matteo; Polle, Juergen; Richardson, James W.; Sabarsky, Martin; Starkenburg, Shawn R.; Stormo, Gary D.; Teshima, Munehiro; Twary, Scott N.; Unkefer, Pat J.; Yuan, Joshua S.; Olivares, José A.

    2017-03-01

    In 2010,when the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) consortiumbegan, littlewas known about themolecular basis of algal biomass or oil production. Very fewalgal genome sequenceswere available and efforts to identify the best-producing wild species through bioprospecting approaches had largely stalled after the U.S. Department of Energy's Aquatic Species Program. This lack of knowledge included how reduced carbon was partitioned into storage products like triglycerides or starch and the role played bymetabolite remodeling in the accumulation of energy-dense storage products. Furthermore, genetic transformation and metabolic engineering approaches to improve algal biomass and oil yields were in their infancy. Genome sequencing and transcriptional profiling were becoming less expensive, however; and the tools to annotate gene expression profiles under various growth and engineered conditions were just starting to be developed for algae. It was in this context that an integrated algal biology program was introduced in the NAABB to address the greatest constraints limiting algal biomass yield. This review describes the NAABB algal biology program, including hypotheses, research objectives, and strategies to move algal biology research into the twenty-first century and to realize the greatest potential of algae biomass systems to produce biofuels.

  20. Recent Insights into Clostridium perfringens Beta-Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Nagahama

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens beta-toxin is a key mediator of necrotizing enterocolitis and enterotoxemia. It is a pore-forming toxin (PFT that exerts cytotoxic effect. Experimental investigation using piglet and rabbit intestinal loop models and a mouse infection model apparently showed that beta-toxin is the important pathogenic factor of the organisms. The toxin caused the swelling and disruption of HL-60 cells and formed a functional pore in the lipid raft microdomains of sensitive cells. These findings represent significant progress in the characterization of the toxin with knowledge on its biological features, mechanism of action and structure-function having been accumulated. Our aims here are to review the current progresses in our comprehension of the virulence of C. perfringens type C and the character, biological feature and structure-function of beta-toxin.

  1. Plastid genomes of two brown algae, Ectocarpus siliculosus and Fucus vesiculosus: further insights on the evolution of red-algal derived plastids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corre Erwan

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heterokont algae, together with cryptophytes, haptophytes and some alveolates, possess red-algal derived plastids. The chromalveolate hypothesis proposes that the red-algal derived plastids of all four groups have a monophyletic origin resulting from a single secondary endosymbiotic event. However, due to incongruence between nuclear and plastid phylogenies, this controversial hypothesis remains under debate. Large-scale genomic analyses have shown to be a powerful tool for phylogenetic reconstruction but insufficient sequence data have been available for red-algal derived plastid genomes. Results The chloroplast genomes of two brown algae, Ectocarpus siliculosus and Fucus vesiculosus, have been fully sequenced. These species represent two distinct orders of the Phaeophyceae, which is a major group within the heterokont lineage. The sizes of the circular plastid genomes are 139,954 and 124,986 base pairs, respectively, the size difference being due principally to the presence of longer inverted repeat and intergenic regions in E. siliculosus. Gene contents of the two plastids are similar with 139-148 protein-coding genes, 28-31 tRNA genes, and 3 ribosomal RNA genes. The two genomes also exhibit very similar rearrangements compared to other sequenced plastid genomes. The tRNA-Leu gene of E. siliculosus lacks an intron, in contrast to the F. vesiculosus and other heterokont plastid homologues, suggesting its recent loss in the Ectocarpales. Most of the brown algal plastid genes are shared with other red-algal derived plastid genomes, but a few are absent from raphidophyte or diatom plastid genomes. One of these regions is most similar to an apicomplexan nuclear sequence. The phylogenetic relationship between heterokonts, cryptophytes and haptophytes (collectively referred to as chromists plastids was investigated using several datasets of concatenated proteins from two cyanobacterial genomes and 18 plastid genomes, including

  2. Potentially harmful microalgae and algal blooms in a eutrophic estuary in Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. TAS

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of potentially harmful microalgae and algal blooms were investigated at monthly and weekly time scales between October 2009 and September 2010 in the Golden Horn, a eutrophic estuary in the Sea of Marmara (Turkey. Several physical and chemical parameters were analysed together with phytoplankton composition and abundance. A total number of 23 potentially harmful and/or bloom-forming microalgae (14 dinoflagellates, 4 diatoms and 5 phytoflagellates were identified throughout this study period, of which nine taxa have been confirmed to be toxic elsewhere in the world. Most harmful species and algal blooms were observed in late spring and summer particularly in the middle and upper estuaries, and nine taxa formed dense and successive algal blooms causing water discoloration. Nutrient concentrations increased significantly from the lower to the upper estuary. Additionally, high organic matter loads in the upper estuary could also have benefited by mixotrophic species. The increasing number of potentially harmful and bloom-forming species and algal blooms indicated that the GHE is a potential risk area for future HABs.

  3. Military Importance of Natural Toxins and Their Analogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimír Pitschmann

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Toxin weapon research, development, production and the ban on its uses is an integral part of international law, with particular attention paid to the protection against these weapons. In spite of this, hazards associated with toxins cannot be completely excluded. Some of these hazards are also pointed out in the present review. The article deals with the characteristics and properties of natural toxins and synthetic analogs potentially constituting the basis of toxin weapons. It briefly describes the history of military research and the use of toxins from distant history up to the present age. With respect to effective disarmament conventions, it mentions certain contemporary concepts of possible toxin applications for military purposes and the protection of public order (suppression of riots; it also briefly refers to the question of terrorism. In addition, it deals with certain traditional as well as modern technologies of the research, synthesis, and use of toxins, which can affect the continuing development of toxin weapons. These are, for example, cases of new toxins from natural sources, their chemical synthesis, production of synthetic analogs, the possibility of using methods of genetic engineering and modern biotechnologies or the possible applications of nanotechnology and certain pharmaceutical methods for the effective transfer of toxins into the organism. The authors evaluate the military importance of toxins based on their comparison with traditional chemical warfare agents. They appeal to the ethics of the scientific work as a principal condition for the prevention of toxin abuse in wars, military conflicts, as well as in non-military attacks.

  4. Military Importance of Natural Toxins and Their Analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitschmann, Vladimír; Hon, Zdeněk

    2016-04-28

    Toxin weapon research, development, production and the ban on its uses is an integral part of international law, with particular attention paid to the protection against these weapons. In spite of this, hazards associated with toxins cannot be completely excluded. Some of these hazards are also pointed out in the present review. The article deals with the characteristics and properties of natural toxins and synthetic analogs potentially constituting the basis of toxin weapons. It briefly describes the history of military research and the use of toxins from distant history up to the present age. With respect to effective disarmament conventions, it mentions certain contemporary concepts of possible toxin applications for military purposes and the protection of public order (suppression of riots); it also briefly refers to the question of terrorism. In addition, it deals with certain traditional as well as modern technologies of the research, synthesis, and use of toxins, which can affect the continuing development of toxin weapons. These are, for example, cases of new toxins from natural sources, their chemical synthesis, production of synthetic analogs, the possibility of using methods of genetic engineering and modern biotechnologies or the possible applications of nanotechnology and certain pharmaceutical methods for the effective transfer of toxins into the organism. The authors evaluate the military importance of toxins based on their comparison with traditional chemical warfare agents. They appeal to the ethics of the scientific work as a principal condition for the prevention of toxin abuse in wars, military conflicts, as well as in non-military attacks.

  5. An energy evaluation of coupling nutrient removal from wastewater with algal biomass production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sturm, Belinda S.M.; Lamer, Stacey L.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, several life cycle analyses of algal biodiesel from virtual production facilities have outlined the potential environmental benefits and energetic balance of the process. There are a wide range of assumptions that have been utilized for these calculations, including the addition of fertilizers and carbon dioxide to achieve high algal yields in open ponds. This paper presents an energy balance of microalgal production in open ponds coupled with nutrient removal from wastewater. Actual microalgal yields and nutrient removal rates were obtained from four pilot-scale reactors (2500 gallons each) fed with wastewater effluent from a conventional activated sludge process for 6 months, and the data was used to estimate an energy balance for treating the total average 12 million gallons per day processed by the wastewater treatment plant. Since one of the most energy-intensive steps is the dewatering of algal cultures, several thickening and dewatering processes were compared. This analysis also includes the energy offset from removing nutrients with algal reactors rather than the biological nutrient removal processes typically utilized in municipal wastewater treatment. The results show that biofuel production is energetically favorable for open pond reactors utilizing wastewater as a nutrient source, even without an energy credit for nutrient removal. The energy content of algal biomass was also considered as an alternate to lipid extraction and biodiesel production. Direct combustion of algal biomass may be a more viable energy source than biofuel production, especially when the lipid content of dry biomass (10% in this field experiment) is lower than the high values reported in lab-scale reactors (50-60%).

  6. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

    Biodiesel from algae provides several benefits over current biodiesel feedstocks, but the energy requirements of processing algae into a useable fuel are currently so high as to be prohibitive. One route to improving this is via disruption of the cells prior to lipid extraction, which can significantly increase energy recovery. Unfortunately, several obvious disruption techniques require more energy than can be gained. This dissertation examines the use of microbubbles to improve mechanical disruption of algal cells using experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. New laboratory experiments show that effective ultrasonic disruption of algae is achieved by adding microbubbles to an algal solution. The configuration studied flows the solution through a tube and insonifies a small section with a high-pressure ultrasound wave. Previous biomedical research has shown effective cell membrane damage on animal cells with similar methods, but the present research is the first to extend such study to algal cells. Results indicate that disruption increases with peak negative pressure between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and with microbubble concentration up to 12.5 x 107 bubbles/ml. Energy estimates of this process suggest that it requires only one-fourth the currently most-efficient laboratory-scale disruption process. Estimates of the radius near each bubble that causes disruption (i.e. the disruption radius) suggest that it increases with peak negative pressure and is near 9--20 microm for all cases tested. It is anticipated that these procedures can be designed for better efficiency and efficacy, which will be facilitated by identifying the root mechanisms of the bubble-induced disruption. We therefore examine whether bubble expansion alone creates sufficient cell deformation for cell rupture. The spherically-symmetric Marmottant model for bubble dynamics allows estimation of the flow regime under experimental conditions. Bubble expansion is modeled as a point source of

  7. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an Algal Parasite New to the Cryptomycota Isolated from an Outdoor Algal Pond Used for the Production of Biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letcher, Peter M.; Lopez, Salvador; Schmieder, Robert; Lee, Philip A.; Behnke, Craig; Powell, Martha J.; McBride, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the phylum is more

  8. Amperometric screen-printed algal biosensor with flow injection analysis system for detection of environmental toxic compounds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shitanda, Isao [Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)], E-mail: shitanda@rs.noda.tus.ac.jp; Takamatsu, Satoshi; Watanabe, Kunihiro; Itagaki, Masayuki [Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan)

    2009-08-30

    A screen-printed algal biosensor was fabricated for evaluation of toxicity of chemicals. An algal ink was prepared by mixing unicellular microalga Chlorella vulgaris cells, carbon nanotubes and sodium alginate solution. The algal ink was immobilized directly on a screen-printed carbon electrode surface using screen-printing technique. Photosynthetically generated oxygen of the immobilized algae was monitored amperometically. Responses of the algal biosensor to four toxic compounds, 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N-isopropyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (atrazine) and 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-diethylurea (DCMU) were evaluated as inhibition ratios of the reduction current. The concentrations that gave 50% inhibition of the oxygen reduction current (IC{sup '}{sub 50}) for atrazine and DCMU were 12 and 1 {mu}mol dm{sup -3}, respectively. In comparison with the conventional algal biosensors, in which the algal cells were entrapped in an alginate gel and immobilized on the surface of a transparent indium tin oxide electrode, the present sensor is much smaller and less expensive, with the shorter assay time.

  9. Amperometric screen-printed algal biosensor with flow injection analysis system for detection of environmental toxic compounds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shitanda, Isao; Takamatsu, Satoshi; Watanabe, Kunihiro; Itagaki, Masayuki

    2009-01-01

    A screen-printed algal biosensor was fabricated for evaluation of toxicity of chemicals. An algal ink was prepared by mixing unicellular microalga Chlorella vulgaris cells, carbon nanotubes and sodium alginate solution. The algal ink was immobilized directly on a screen-printed carbon electrode surface using screen-printing technique. Photosynthetically generated oxygen of the immobilized algae was monitored amperometically. Responses of the algal biosensor to four toxic compounds, 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N-isopropyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (atrazine) and 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-diethylurea (DCMU) were evaluated as inhibition ratios of the reduction current. The concentrations that gave 50% inhibition of the oxygen reduction current (IC ' 50 ) for atrazine and DCMU were 12 and 1 μmol dm -3 , respectively. In comparison with the conventional algal biosensors, in which the algal cells were entrapped in an alginate gel and immobilized on the surface of a transparent indium tin oxide electrode, the present sensor is much smaller and less expensive, with the shorter assay time.

  10. Toxins of filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Deepak; Yu, Jiujiang; Ehrlich, Kenneth C

    2002-01-01

    Mycotoxins are low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites of fungi. The most significant mycotoxins are contaminants of agricultural commodities, foods and feeds. Fungi that produce these toxins do so both prior to harvest and during storage. Although contamination of commodities by toxigenic fungi occurs frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate (i.e. conditions favorable for fungal growth), they can also be found in temperate conditions. Production of mycotoxins is dependent upon the type of producing fungus and environmental conditions such as the substrate, water activity (moisture and relative humidity), duration of exposure to stress conditions and microbial, insect or other animal interactions. Although outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in humans have been documented, several of these have not been well characterized, neither has a direct correlation between the mycotoxin and resulting toxic effect been well established in vivo. Even though the specific modes of action of most of the toxins are not well established, acute and chronic effects in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, including humans have been reported. The toxicity of the mycotoxins varies considerably with the toxin, the animal species exposed to it, and the extent of exposure, age and nutritional status. Most of the toxic effects of mycotoxins are limited to specific organs, but several mycotoxins affect many organs. Induction of cancer by some mycotoxins is a major concern as a chronic effect of these toxins. It is nearly impossible to eliminate mycotoxins from the foods and feed in spite of the regulatory efforts at the national and international levels to remove the contaminated commodities. This is because mycotoxins are highly stable compounds, the producing fungi are ubiquitous, and food contamination can occur both before and after harvest. Nevertheless, good farm management practices and adequate storage facilities minimize the toxin contamination problems. Current research is

  11. Primary production of edaphic algal communities in a Mississippi salt marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sullivan, M.J.; Moncreiff, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    Primary production rates of edaphic algae associated with the sediments beneath four monospecific canopies of vascular plants were determined over an annual cycle in a Mississippi salt marsh. The edaphic algal flora was dominated by small, motile pennate diatoms. Algal production (as measured by 14 C uptake) was generally highest in spring-early summer and lowest in fall. Hourly rates ranged from a low of 1.4 mg C/m 2 in Juncus roemerianus Scheele to a high of 163 mg C/m 2 beneath the Scirpus olneyi Gray canopy. Stepwise multiple regressions identified a soil moisture index and chlorophyll a as the best environmental predictors of hourly production; light energy reaching the marsh surface and sediment and air temperature proved of little value. Adding the relative abundances of 33 diatom taxa to the set of independent variables only slightly increased R 2 ; however, virtually all variables selected were diatom taxa. R 2 was only 0.38 for the Spartina alterniflora Loisel. habitat but ranged from 0.70 to 0.87 for the remaining three vascular plant zones. Annual rates of algal production (g C/m 2 ) were estimated as follows: Juncus (28), Spartina (57), Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene (88), and Scirpus (151). The ratio of annual edaphic algal production to vascular plant net aerial production (EAP/VPP) was 10-12% for the first three habitats and 61% for Scirpus. Chlorophyll a concentrations, annual algal production rates, and EAP/VPP values were comparable to those determined in Texas, Delaware, and Massachusetts salt marshes but lower than those reported for Georgia and particularly California marshes

  12. Progress on lipid extraction from wet algal biomass for biodiesel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghasemi Naghdi, Forough; González González, Lina M; Chan, William; Schenk, Peer M

    2016-11-01

    Lipid recovery and purification from microalgal cells continues to be a significant bottleneck in biodiesel production due to high costs involved and a high energy demand. Therefore, there is a considerable necessity to develop an extraction method which meets the essential requirements of being safe, cost-effective, robust, efficient, selective, environmentally friendly, feasible for large-scale production and free of product contamination. The use of wet concentrated algal biomass as a feedstock for oil extraction is especially desirable as it would avoid the requirement for further concentration and/or drying. This would save considerable costs and circumvent at least two lengthy processes during algae-based oil production. This article provides an overview on recent progress that has been made on the extraction of lipids from wet algal biomass. The biggest contributing factors appear to be the composition of algal cell walls, pre-treatments of biomass and the use of solvents (e.g. a solvent mixture or solvent-free lipid extraction). We compare recently developed wet extraction processes for oleaginous microalgae and make recommendations towards future research to improve lipid extraction from wet algal biomass. © 2016 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Industrial-strength ecology: trade-offs and opportunities in algal biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shurin, Jonathan B; Abbott, Rachel L; Deal, Michael S; Kwan, Garfield T; Litchman, Elena; McBride, Robert C; Mandal, Shovon; Smith, Val H

    2013-11-01

    Microalgae represent one of the most promising groups of candidate organisms for replacing fossil fuels with contemporary primary production as a renewable source of energy. Algae can produce many times more biomass per unit area than terrestrial crop plants, easing the competing demands for land with food crops and native ecosystems. However, several aspects of algal biology present unique challenges to the industrial-scale aquaculture of photosynthetic microorganisms. These include high susceptibility to invading aquatic consumers and weeds, as well as prodigious requirements for nutrients that may compete with the fertiliser demands of other crops. Most research on algal biofuel technologies approaches these problems from a cellular or genetic perspective, attempting either to engineer or select algal strains with particular traits. However, inherent functional trade-offs may limit the capacity of genetic selection or synthetic biology to simultaneously optimise multiple functional traits for biofuel productivity and resilience. We argue that a community engineering approach that manages microalgal diversity, species composition and environmental conditions may lead to more robust and productive biofuel ecosystems. We review evidence for trade-offs, challenges and opportunities in algal biofuel cultivation with a goal of guiding research towards intensifying bioenergy production using established principles of community and ecosystem ecology. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Linking cascading effects of fish predation and zooplankton grazing to reduced cyanobacterial biomass and toxin levels following biomanipulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattias K Ekvall

    Full Text Available Eutrophication has been one of the largest environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems during the past decades, leading to dense, and often toxic, cyanobacterial blooms. In a way to counteract these problems many lakes have been subject to restoration through biomanipulation. Here we combine 13 years of monitoring data with experimental assessment of grazing efficiency of a naturally occurring zooplankton community and a, from a human perspective, desired community of large Daphnia to assess the effects of an altered trophic cascade associated with biomanipulation. Lake monitoring data show that the relative proportion of Daphnia spp. grazers in June has increased following years of biomanipulation and that this increase coincides with a drop in cyanobacterial biomass and lowered microcystin concentrations compared to before the biomanipulation. In June, the proportion of Daphnia spp. (on a biomass basis went from around 3% in 2005 (the first year of biomanipulation up to around 58% in 2012. During months when the proportion of Daphnia spp. remained unchanged (July and August no effect on lower trophic levels was observed. Our field grazing experiment revealed that Daphnia were more efficient in controlling the standing biomass of cyanobacteria, as grazing by the natural zooplankton community never even compensated for the algal growth during the experiment and sometimes even promoted cyanobacterial growth. Furthermore, although the total cyanobacterial toxin levels remained unaffected by both grazer communities in the experimental study, the Daphnia dominated community promoted the transfer of toxins to the extracellular, dissolved phase, likely through feeding on cyanobacteria. Our results show that biomanipulation by fish removal is a useful tool for lake management, leading to a top-down mediated trophic cascade, through alterations in the grazer community, to reduced cyanobacterial biomass and lowered cyanobacterial toxin levels. This

  15. Two-stage heterotrophic and phototrophic culture strategy for algal biomass and lipid production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yubin; Chi, Zhanyou; Lucker, Ben; Chen, Shulin

    2012-01-01

    A two-stage heterotrophic and phototrophic culture strategy for algal biomass and lipid production was studied, wherein high density heterotrophic cultures of Chlorellasorokiniana serve as seed for subsequent phototrophic growth. The data showed growth rate, cell density and productivity of heterotrophic C.sorokiniana were 3.0, 3.3 and 7.4 times higher than phototrophic counterpart, respectively. Hetero- and phototrophic algal seeds had similar biomass/lipid production and fatty acid profile when inoculated into phototrophic culture system. To expand the application, food waste and wastewater were tested as feedstock for heterotrophic growth, and supported cell growth successfully. These results demonstrated the advantages of using heterotrophic algae cells as seeds for open algae culture system. Additionally, high inoculation rate of heterotrophic algal seed can be utilized as an effective method for contamination control. This two-stage heterotrophic phototrophic process is promising to provide a more efficient way for large scale production of algal biomass and biofuels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Efficient algal bioassay based on short-term photosynthetic response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giddings, J.M.; Stewart, A.J.; O'Neill, R.V.; Gardner, R.H.

    1983-01-01

    A procedure is described for measuring the effects of toxicants on algal photosynthesis (carbon-14 bicarbonate (H 14 CO 3 )uptake) in 4-h experiments. The results for individual aromatic compounds and the water-soluble fraction (WSF) of a synthetic oil are presented as examples of applications of the bioassay. The toxicity of the WSF varied among the seven algal species tested, and the responses of some species were pH-dependent. With Selenastrum capricornutum as the test organism, the bioassay results were unaffected by variations in pH from 7.0 to 9.0, light intensity from 40 to 200 μeinsteins m -2 s -1 , culture density up to 0.5 mg chlorophyll a per litre, and agitation up to 100 rpm. The photosynthesis bioassay is simpler and faster (4 h versus 4 to 14 days), uses smaller culture volumes, and requires less space than static culture-growth tests. One person can conveniently test four materials per day, and the entire procedure, including preparation, exposure, and analysis, takes less than two days. The short incubation time reduces bottle effects such as pH changes, accumulation of metabolic products, nutrient depletion, and bacterial growth. Processes that remove or alter the test materials are also minimized. The data presented here indicate that algal photosynthesis is inhibited at toxicant concentrations similar to those that cause acute effects in aquatic animals. A model of a pelagic ecosystem is used to demonstrate that even temporary (seven-day) inhibition of algal photosynthesis can have a measurable impact on other trophic levels, particularly if the other trophic levels are also experiencing toxic effects. 25 references, 6 figures, 1 table

  17. Toxin-Antitoxin Battle in Bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cataudella, Ilaria

    This PhD thesis consists of three research projects revolving around the common thread of investigation of the properties and biological functions of Toxin-Antitoxin loci. Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) loci are transcriptionally regulated via an auto-inhibition mechanism called conditional cooperativity, ...

  18. Bio Warfare and Terrorism: Toxins and Other Mid-Spectrum Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Madsen, James M

    2005-01-01

    ... counterparts are still by definition toxins. Related terms include phycotoxins (toxins from algae), mycotoxins (fungal toxins), phytotoxins (plant toxins), and venoms (toxins from animals, especially vertebrates...

  19. Characterisation of algal organic matter produced by bloom-forming marine and freshwater algae

    KAUST Repository

    Villacorte, Loreen O.

    2015-04-01

    Algal blooms can seriously affect the operation of water treatment processes including low pressure (micro- and ultra-filtration) and high pressure (nanofiltration and reverse osmosis) membranes mainly due to accumulation of algal-derived organic matter (AOM). In this study, the different components of AOM extracted from three common species of bloom-forming algae (Alexandrium tamarense, Chaetoceros affinis and Microcystis sp.) were characterised employing various analytical techniques, such as liquid chromatography - organic carbon detection, fluorescence spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, alcian blue staining and lectin staining coupled with laser scanning microscopy to indentify its composition and force measurement using atomic force microscopy to measure its stickiness. Batch culture monitoring of the three algal species illustrated varying characteristics in terms of growth pattern, cell concentration and AOM release. The AOM produced by the three algal species comprised mainly biopolymers (e.g., polysaccharides and proteins) but some refractory compounds (e.g., humic-like substances) and other low molecular weight acid and neutral compounds were also found. Biopolymers containing fucose and sulphated functional groups were found in all AOM samples while the presence of other functional groups varied between different species. A large majority (>80%) of the acidic polysaccharide components (in terms of transparent exopolymer particles) were found in the colloidal size range (<0.4μm). The relative stickiness of AOM substantially varied between algal species and that the cohesion between AOM-coated surfaces was much stronger than the adhesion of AOM on AOM-free surfaces. Overall, the composition as well as the physico-chemical characteristics (e.g., stickiness) of AOM will likely dictate the severity of fouling in membrane systems during algal blooms.

  20. Engineering toxins for 21st century therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaddock, John A; Acharya, K Ravi

    2011-04-01

    'Engineering Toxins for 21st Century Therapies' (9-10 September 2010) was part of the Royal Society International Seminar series held at the Kavli International Centre, UK. Participants were assembled from a range of disciplines (academic, industry, regulatory, public health) to discuss the future potential of toxin-based therapies. The meeting explored how the current structural and mechanistic knowledge of toxins could be used to engineer future toxin-based therapies. To date, significant progress has been made in the design of novel recombinant biologics based on domains of natural toxins, engineered to exhibit advantageous properties. The meeting concluded, firstly that future product development vitally required the appropriate combination of creativity and innovation that can come from the academic, biotechnology and pharma sectors. Second, that continued investigation into understanding the basic science of the toxins and their targets was essential in order to develop new opportunities for the existing products and to create new products with enhanced properties. Finally, it was concluded that the clinical potential for development of novel biologics based on toxin domains was evident. © 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.

  1. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M.

    1989-01-01

    Past difficulty in growing good crystals of cholera toxin has prevented the study of the crystal structure of this important protein. The authors have determined that failure of cholera toxin to crystallize well has been due to its heterogeneity. They have now succeeded in overcoming the problem by isolating a single isoelectric variant of this oligomeric protein (one A subunit and five B subunits). Cholera toxin purified by their procedure readily forms large single crystals. The crystal form has been described previously. They have recorded data from native crystals of cholera toxin to 3.0-angstrom resolution with our electronic area detectors. With these data, they have found the orientation of a 5-fold symmetry axis within these crystals, perpendicular to the screw dyad of the crystal. They are now determining the crystal structure of cholera toxin by a combination of multiple heavy-atom isomorphous replacement and density modification techniques, making use of rotational 5-fold averaging of the B subunits

  2. Basic and Applied Algal Life Support System Research on Board the Deep Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederwieser, T.; Zea, L.; Anthony, J.; Stodieck, L.

    2018-02-01

    We study the effect of long-term preservation methods on DNA damage of algal cultures for BLSS applications. In a secondary step, the Deep Space Gateway serves as a technology demonstration platform for algal photobioreactors in intermittently occupied habitats.

  3. Botulinum toxin in trigeminal neuralgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Álvarez, Federico; Hernando de la Bárcena, Ignacio; Marzo-Sola, María Eugenia

    2017-01-06

    Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most disabling facial pain syndromes, with a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Pharmacotherapy is the first choice for treatment but cases of drug resistance often require new strategies, among which various interventional treatments have been used. In recent years a new therapeutic strategy consisting of botulinum toxin has emerged, with promising results. We reviewed clinical cases and case series, open-label studies and randomized clinical trials examining the use of botulinum toxin for drug-refractory trigeminal neuralgia published in the literature. The administration of botulinum toxin has proven to be a safe and effective therapeutic strategy in patients with drug-refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia, but many questions remain unanswered as to the precise role of botulinum toxin in the treatment of this disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  4. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for classification of harmful algal blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. EPA Office of Research Development in Cincinnati Agency are collaborating to develop a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis. Green and blue-green alg...

  5. Entry of Shiga toxin into cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvig, Kirsten; van Deurs, Bo

    1994-01-01

    Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport......Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport...

  6. Botulinum Toxin: Pharmacology and Therapeutic Roles in Pain States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Shilpadevi; Willett, Olga; Thompkins, Terin; Hermann, Robert; Ramanathan, Sathish; Cornett, Elyse M; Fox, Charles J; Kaye, Alan David

    2016-03-01

    Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is produced by Clostridium botulinum, a gram-positive anaerobic bacterium, and botulinum toxin injections are among the most commonly practiced cosmetic procedures in the USA. Although botulinum toxin is typically associated with cosmetic procedures, it can be used to treat a variety of other conditions, including pain. Botulinum toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine from nerve endings to paralyze muscles and to decrease the pain response. Botulinum toxin has a long duration of action, lasting up to 5 months after initial treatment which makes it an excellent treatment for chronic pain patients. This manuscript will outline in detail why botulinum toxin is used as a successful treatment for pain in multiple conditions as well as outline the risks associated with using botulinum toxin in certain individuals. As of today, the only FDA-approved chronic condition that botulinum toxin can be used to treat is migraines and this is related to its ability to decrease muscle tension and increase muscle relaxation. Contraindications to botulinum toxin treatments are limited to a hypersensitivity to the toxin or an infection at the site of injection, and there are no known drug interactions with botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is an advantageous and effective alternative pain treatment and a therapy to consider for those that do not respond to opioid treatment. In summary, botulinum toxin is a relatively safe and effective treatment for individuals with certain pain conditions, including migraines. More research is warranted to elucidate chronic and long-term implications of botulinum toxin treatment as well as effects in pregnant, elderly, and adolescent patients.

  7. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Bachran

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery.

  8. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H

    2016-07-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery.

  9. Loading and Light Degradation Characteristics of B t Toxin on Nano goethite: A Potential Material for Controlling the Environmental Risk of B t Toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, X.; She, Ch.; She, Ch.; Liu, H.

    2015-01-01

    Transgenic B t-modified crops release toxins into soil through root exudate s and upon decomposition of residues. The fate of these toxins in soil has not been yet clearly elucidated. Nano goethite was found to have a different influence on the lifetime and identicalness activity of B t toxin. The aim of this study was to elucidate the adsorption characteristics of B t toxin on nano goethite and its activity changes before and after adsorption. The adsorption of toxin on nano goethite reached equilibrium within 5 h, and the adsorption isotherm of B t toxin on nano goethite conformed to the Langmuir equation (). In the range of ph from 6.0 to 8.0, larger adsorption occurred at lower ph value. The toxin adsorption decreased with the temperature between 10 and 50 degree. The results of Ftir, XRD, and SEM indicated that toxin did not influence the structure of nano goethite and the adsorption of toxin only on the surface of nano goethite. The LC_5_0 value for bound toxin was higher than that of free toxin, and the nano goethite greatly accelerated the degradation of toxin by ultraviolet irradiation. The above results suggested that nano goethite is a potential material for controlling the environmental risk of toxin released by Bt transgenic plants

  10. A trait-based framework for stream algal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Katharina; Townsend, Colin Richard; Matthaei, Christoph David

    2016-01-01

    The use of trait-based approaches to detect effects of land use and climate change on terrestrial plant and aquatic phytoplankton communities is increasing, but such a framework is still needed for benthic stream algae. Here we present a conceptual framework of morphological, physiological, behavioural and life-history traits relating to resource acquisition and resistance to disturbance. We tested this approach by assessing the relationships between multiple anthropogenic stressors and algal traits at 43 stream sites. Our "natural experiment" was conducted along gradients of agricultural land-use intensity (0-95% of the catchment in high-producing pasture) and hydrological alteration (0-92% streamflow reduction resulting from water abstraction for irrigation) as well as related physicochemical variables (total nitrogen concentration and deposited fine sediment). Strategic choice of study sites meant that agricultural intensity and hydrological alteration were uncorrelated. We studied the relationships of seven traits (with 23 trait categories) to our environmental predictor variables using general linear models and an information-theoretic model-selection approach. Life form, nitrogen fixation and spore formation were key traits that showed the strongest relationships with environmental stressors. Overall, FI (farming intensity) exerted stronger effects on algal communities than hydrological alteration. The large-bodied, non-attached, filamentous algae that dominated under high farming intensities have limited dispersal abilities but may cope with unfavourable conditions through the formation of spores. Antagonistic interactions between FI and flow reduction were observed for some trait variables, whereas no interactions occurred for nitrogen concentration and fine sediment. Our conceptual framework was well supported by tests of ten specific hypotheses predicting effects of resource supply and disturbance on algal traits. Our study also shows that investigating a

  11. Toxicity of algal-derived aldehydes to two invertebrate species: Do heavy metal pollutants have a synergistic effect?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, Rebecca L. [School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ridley Building, Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom)]. E-mail: r.l.taylor@ncl.ac.uk; Caldwell, Gary S. [School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ridley Building, Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Bentley, Matthew G. [School of Marine Science and Technology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ridley Building, Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom)

    2005-08-15

    The recent discovery of the production of anti-proliferative aldehydes in a variety of microalgal species has lead to considerable investigation into the effects of these toxins on aquatic invertebrates. Studies have, however, rarely considered the impact pollutants may have on grazer responses to algal toxins. In this study, the acute toxicities of five aldehydes to the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis and nauplii of the brine shrimp Artemia salina are examined using immersion assays. In addition, the effect of a representative of these aldehydes in the presence of sub-lethal levels of heavy metals was examined. B. plicatilis generally showed greater sensitivity to the aldehydes than A. salina. The polyunsaturated 2-trans,4-trans-decadienal was the most toxic to both species having 24 h LD{sub 50} values of 7 and 20 {mu}M for B. plicatilis and A. salina, respectively. The remaining aldehydes had different orders of toxicity for the two species with a stronger relationship observed between mortality and aldehyde carbon-chain length for A. salina whereas B. plicatilis mortality showed a stronger dependence on the presence of carbon-carbon double bonds in the aldehydes. The presence of 1 {mu}M of copper sulphate in solutions of decadienal resulted in the reduction of the 24 h LD{sub 50} of decadienal by approximately a third for both species. 1 {mu}M of copper chloride in solutions of decadienal reduced the 24 h LD{sub 50} of decadienal to A. salina nauplii by approximately 11% and 1 {mu}M zinc sulphate caused a reduction of only 3%. Pre-exposure of the organisms to 1 {mu}M copper sulphate had no significant impact on their subsequent mortality in decadienal. The ecological implications and the possible mechanisms for the action of copper sulphate on the response of organisms to decadienal are discussed.

  12. Toxicity of algal-derived aldehydes to two invertebrate species: Do heavy metal pollutants have a synergistic effect?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, Rebecca L.; Caldwell, Gary S.; Bentley, Matthew G.

    2005-01-01

    The recent discovery of the production of anti-proliferative aldehydes in a variety of microalgal species has lead to considerable investigation into the effects of these toxins on aquatic invertebrates. Studies have, however, rarely considered the impact pollutants may have on grazer responses to algal toxins. In this study, the acute toxicities of five aldehydes to the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis and nauplii of the brine shrimp Artemia salina are examined using immersion assays. In addition, the effect of a representative of these aldehydes in the presence of sub-lethal levels of heavy metals was examined. B. plicatilis generally showed greater sensitivity to the aldehydes than A. salina. The polyunsaturated 2-trans,4-trans-decadienal was the most toxic to both species having 24 h LD 50 values of 7 and 20 μM for B. plicatilis and A. salina, respectively. The remaining aldehydes had different orders of toxicity for the two species with a stronger relationship observed between mortality and aldehyde carbon-chain length for A. salina whereas B. plicatilis mortality showed a stronger dependence on the presence of carbon-carbon double bonds in the aldehydes. The presence of 1 μM of copper sulphate in solutions of decadienal resulted in the reduction of the 24 h LD 50 of decadienal by approximately a third for both species. 1 μM of copper chloride in solutions of decadienal reduced the 24 h LD 50 of decadienal to A. salina nauplii by approximately 11% and 1 μM zinc sulphate caused a reduction of only 3%. Pre-exposure of the organisms to 1 μM copper sulphate had no significant impact on their subsequent mortality in decadienal. The ecological implications and the possible mechanisms for the action of copper sulphate on the response of organisms to decadienal are discussed

  13. Convergent Substitutions in a Sodium Channel Suggest Multiple Origins of Toxin Resistance in Poison Frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarvin, Rebecca D; Santos, Juan C; O'Connell, Lauren A; Zakon, Harold H; Cannatella, David C

    2016-04-01

    Complex phenotypes typically have a correspondingly multifaceted genetic component. However, the genotype-phenotype association between chemical defense and resistance is often simple: genetic changes in the binding site of a toxin alter how it affects its target. Some toxic organisms, such as poison frogs (Anura: Dendrobatidae), have defensive alkaloids that disrupt the function of ion channels, proteins that are crucial for nerve and muscle activity. Using protein-docking models, we predict that three major classes of poison frog alkaloids (histrionicotoxins, pumiliotoxins, and batrachotoxins) bind to similar sites in the highly conserved inner pore of the muscle voltage-gated sodium channel, Nav1.4. We predict that poison frogs are somewhat resistant to these compounds because they have six types of amino acid replacements in the Nav1.4 inner pore that are absent in all other frogs except for a distantly related alkaloid-defended frog from Madagascar, Mantella aurantiaca. Protein-docking models and comparative phylogenetics support the role of these replacements in alkaloid resistance. Taking into account the four independent origins of chemical defense in Dendrobatidae, phylogenetic patterns of the amino acid replacements suggest that 1) alkaloid resistance in Nav1.4 evolved independently at least seven times in these frogs, 2) variation in resistance-conferring replacements is likely a result of differences in alkaloid exposure across species, and 3) functional constraint shapes the evolution of the Nav1.4 inner pore. Our study is the first to demonstrate the genetic basis of autoresistance in frogs with alkaloid defenses. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Monoclonal antibodies and toxins--a perspective on function and isotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Siu-Kei; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-06-01

    Antibody therapy remains the only effective treatment for toxin-mediated diseases. The development of hybridoma technology has allowed the isolation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with high specificity and defined properties, and numerous mAbs have been purified and characterized for their protective efficacy against different toxins. This review summarizes the mAb studies for 6 toxins--Shiga toxin, pertussis toxin, anthrax toxin, ricin toxin, botulinum toxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)--and analyzes the prevalence of mAb functions and their isotypes. Here we show that most toxin-binding mAbs resulted from immunization are non-protective and that mAbs with potential therapeutic use are preferably characterized. Various common practices and caveats of protection studies are discussed, with the goal of providing insights for the design of future research on antibody-toxin interactions.

  15. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Paola G. Ojeda; David Ramírez; Jans Alzate-Morales; Julio Caballero; Quentin Kaas; Wendy González

    2017-01-01

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics t...

  16. Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin--new insights into the cellular up-take of the actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktories, Klaus; Barth, Holger

    2004-04-01

    Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin is a member of the family of binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxins. It consists of the enzyme component C2I, and the separated binding/translocation component C2II. Proteolytically activated C2II forms heptamers and binds to a carbohydrate cell surface receptor. After attachment of C2I, the toxin complex is endocytosed to reach early endosomes. At low pH of endosomes, C2II-heptamers insert into the membrane, form pores and deliver C2I into the cytosol. Here, C2I ADP-ribosylates actin at Arg177 to block actin polymerization and to induce depolymerization of actin filaments. The mini-review describes main properties of C2 toxin and discusses new findings on the involvement of chaperones in the up-take process of the toxin.

  17. Toxin- and cadmium-induced cell death events in tomato suspension cells resemble features of hypersensitive response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iakimova, E.T.; Woltering, E.J.; Yordanova, Z.P.

    2007-01-01

    Elicitors of different origin (fumonisin B1, fungal toxin), camptothecin (alkaloid from Camptotheca acuminata), mastoparan (wasp venom) and the heavy metal (cadmium) were tested for their ability to induce programmed cell death (PCD) in a model system of tomato cell culture, line MsK8. By employing

  18. Toxins That Affect Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yonghua

    2017-10-26

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are critical in generation and conduction of electrical signals in multiple excitable tissues. Natural toxins, produced by animal, plant, and microorganisms, target VGSCs through diverse strategies developed over millions of years of evolutions. Studying of the diverse interaction between VGSC and VGSC-targeting toxins has been contributing to the increasing understanding of molecular structure and function, pharmacology, and drug development potential of VGSCs. This chapter aims to summarize some of the current views on the VGSC-toxin interaction based on the established receptor sites of VGSC for natural toxins.

  19. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles

  20. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of bruxism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinastepe, Neslihan; Küçük, Burcu Bal; Oral, Koray

    2015-10-01

    Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has been shown to be effective for a variety of disorders in several medical conditions, when used both therapeutically and cosmetically. In recent years, there has been a rising trend in the use of this pharmacological agent to control bruxing activity, despite its reported adverse effects. The aim of this review was to provide a brief overview to clarify the underlying essential ideas for the use of botulinum toxin in bruxism based on available scientific papers. An electronic literature search was performed to identify publications related to botulinum toxin and its use for bruxism in PubMed. Hand searching of relevant articles was also made to identify additional studies. Of the eleven identified studies, only two were randomized controlled trials, compared with the effectiveness of botulinum toxins on the reduction in the frequency of bruxism events and myofascial pain after injection. The authors of these studies concluded that botulinum toxin could be used as an effective treatment for reducing nocturnal bruxism and myofascial pain in patients with bruxism. Evidence-based research was limited on this topic. More randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm that botulinum toxin is safe and reliable for routine clinical use in bruxism.

  1. Detection of surface algal blooms using the newly developed algorithm surface algal bloom index SABI)

    OpenAIRE

    Alawadi, Fahad

    2010-01-01

    Quantifying ocean colour properties has evolved over the past two decades from being able to merely detect their biological activity to the ability to estimate chlorophyll concentration using optical satellite sensors like MODIS and MERIS. The production of chlorophyll spatial distribution maps is a good indicator of plankton biomass (primary production) and is useful for the tracing of oceanographic currents, jets and blooms, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). Depending on the type of HA...

  2. Short communication: Algal leaf spot associated with Cephaleuros virescens (Trentepohliales, Ulvophyceae on Nephelium lappaceum in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANURAG SUNPAPAO

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Sunpapao A, Pitaloka MK, Arikit S. 2015. Algal leaf spot associated with Cephaleuros virescens (Trentepohliales, Ulvophyceae on Nephelium lappaceum in Thailand. Biodiversitas 17: 31-35. Algal leaf spot disease of Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan was observed in southern Thailand. The algae were isolated on Bold’s basal medium (BBM and identified based on appearance of the lesions, algal morphology and molecular properties. Characteristics of the filamentous thallus cells, sporangiophores, sporangia, gametes and zoospores were clarified. A portion of the 18S small subunit rRNA was amplified to validate the morphological identification by sequence similarity. To summarize the main results, the plant parasite causing algal leaf spot was identified as Cephaleuros virescens, and in sequencing-based phylogenetic analysis the Cephaleuros PSU-R5.1 isolate from rambutan grouped with the algae in genus Cephaleuros. This confirms C. virescens as a causal organism of algal leaf spot disease on rambutan in southern Thailand.

  3. Binding of Diphtheria Toxin to Phospholipids in Liposomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alving, Carl R.; Iglewski, Barbara H.; Urban, Katharine A.; Moss, Joel; Richards, Roberta L.; Sadoff, Jerald C.

    1980-04-01

    Diphtheria toxin bound to the phosphate portion of some, but not all, phospholipids in liposomes. Liposomes consisting of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol did not bind toxin. Addition of 20 mol% (compared to dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine) of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid, dicetyl phosphate, phosphatidylinositol phosphate, cardiolipin, or phosphatidylserine in the liposomes resulted in substantial binding of toxin. Inclusion of phosphatidylinositol in dimyristol phosphatidylcholine / cholesterol liposomes did not result in toxin binding. The calcium salt of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid was more effective than the sodium salt, and the highest level of binding occurred with liposomes consisting only of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid (calcium salt) and cholesterol. Binding of toxin to liposomes was dependent on pH, and the pattern of pH dependence varied with liposomes having different compositions. Incubation of diphtheria toxin with liposomes containing dicetyl phosphate resulted in maximal binding at pH 3.6, whereas binding to liposomes containing phosphatidylinositol phosphate was maximal above pH 7. Toxin did not bind to liposomes containing 20 mol% of a free fatty acid (palmitic acid) or a sulfated lipid (3-sulfogalactosylceramide). Toxin binding to dicetyl phosphate or phosphatidylinositol phosphate was inhibited by UTP, ATP, phosphocholine, or p-nitrophenyl phosphate, but not by uracil. We conclude that (a) diphtheria toxin binds specifically to the phosphate portion of certain phospholipids, (b) binding to phospholipids in liposomes is dependent on pH, but is not due only to electrostatic interaction, and (c) binding may be strongly influenced by the composition of adjacent phospholipids that do not bind toxin. We propose that a minor membrane phospholipid (such as phosphatidylinositol phosphate or phosphatidic acid), or that some other phosphorylated membrane molecule (such as a phosphoprotein) may be important in the initial binding of

  4. Response of algal metrics to nutrients and physical factors and identification of nutrient thresholds in agricultural streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, R.W.; Moran, P.W.; Frankforter, J.D.

    2011-01-01

    Many streams within the United States are impaired due to nutrient enrichment, particularly in agricultural settings. The present study examines the response of benthic algal communities in agricultural and minimally disturbed sites from across the western United States to a suite of environmental factors, including nutrients, collected at multiple scales. The first objective was to identify the relative importance of nutrients, habitat and watershed features, and macroinvertebrate trophic structure to explain algal metrics derived from deposition and erosion habitats. The second objective was to determine if thresholds in total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) related to algal metrics could be identified and how these thresholds varied across metrics and habitats. Nutrient concentrations within the agricultural areas were elevated and greater than published threshold values. All algal metrics examined responded to nutrients as hypothesized. Although nutrients typically were the most important variables in explaining the variation in each of the algal metrics, environmental factors operating at multiple scales also were important. Calculated thresholds for TN or TP based on the algal metrics generated from samples collected from erosion and deposition habitats were not significantly different. Little variability in threshold values for each metric for TN and TP was observed. The consistency of the threshold values measured across multiple metrics and habitats suggest that the thresholds identified in this study are ecologically relevant. Additional work to characterize the relationship between algal metrics, physical and chemical features, and nuisance algal growth would be of benefit to the development of nutrient thresholds and criteria. ?? 2010 The Author(s).

  5. Can a toxin gene NAAT be used to predict toxin EIA and the severity of Clostridium difficile infection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark I. Garvey

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diagnosis of C. difficile infection (CDI is controversial because of the many laboratory methods available and their lack of ability to distinguish between carriage, mild or severe disease. Here we describe whether a low C. difficile toxin B nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT cycle threshold (CT can predict toxin EIA, CDI severity and mortality. Methods A three-stage algorithm was employed for CDI testing, comprising a screening test for glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH, followed by a NAAT, then a toxin enzyme immunoassay (EIA. All diarrhoeal samples positive for GDH and NAAT between 2012 and 2016 were analysed. The performance of the NAAT CT value as a classifier of toxin EIA outcome was analysed using a ROC curve; patient mortality was compared to CTs and toxin EIA via linear regression models. Results A CT value ≤26 was associated with ≥72% toxin EIA positivity; applying a logistic regression model we demonstrated an association between low CT values and toxin EIA positivity. A CT value of ≤26 was significantly associated (p = 0.0262 with increased one month mortality, severe cases of CDI or failure of first line treatment. The ROC curve probabilities demonstrated a CT cut off value of 26.6. Discussions Here we demonstrate that a CT ≤26 indicates more severe CDI and is associated with higher mortality. Samples with a low CT value are often toxin EIA positive, questioning the need for this additional EIA test. Conclusions A CT ≤26 could be used to assess the potential for severity of CDI and guide patient treatment.

  6. Drooling in Parkinson's disease: A randomized controlled trial of incobotulinum toxin A and meta-analysis of Botulinum toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanaswami, Pushpa; Geisbush, Thomas; Tarulli, Andrew; Raynor, Elizabeth; Gautam, Shiva; Tarsy, Daniel; Gronseth, Gary

    2016-09-01

    Botulinum toxins are a therapeutic option for drooling in Parkinson's Disease (PD). The aims of this study were to: 1. evaluate the efficacy of incobotulinum toxin A for drooling in PD. 2. Perform a meta-analysis of studies of Botulinum toxins for drooling in PD. 1. Primary study: Randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, cross over trial. Incobotulinum toxin (100 units) or saline was injected into the parotid (20 units) and submandibular (30 units) glands. Subjects returned monthly for three evaluations after each injection. Outcome measures were saliva weight and Drooling Frequency and Severity Scale. 2. Systematic review of literature, followed by inverse variance meta-analyses using random effects models. 1. Primary Study: Nine of 10 subjects completed both arms. There was no significant change in the primary outcome of saliva weight one month after injection in the treatment period compared to placebo period (mean difference, gm ± SD: -0.194 ± 0.61, range: -1.28 to 0.97, 95% CI -0.71 to 0.32). Secondary outcomes also did not change. 2. Meta-analysis of six studies demonstrated significant benefit of Botulinum toxin on functional outcomes (effect size, Cohen's d: -1.32, CI -1.86 to -0.78). The other studies used a higher dose of Botulinum toxin A into the parotid glands. This study did not demonstrate efficacy of incobotulinum toxin A for drooling in PD, but lacked precision to exclude moderate benefit. The parotid/submandibular dose-ratio may have influenced results. Studies evaluating higher doses of incobotulinum toxin A into the parotid glands may be useful. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Array biosensor for detection of toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligler, Frances S.; Taitt, Chris Rowe; Shriver-Lake, Lisa C.; Sapsford, Kim E.; Shubin, Yura; Golden, Joel P.

    2003-01-01

    The array biosensor is capable of detecting multiple targets rapidly and simultaneously on the surface of a single waveguide. Sandwich and competitive fluoroimmunoassays have been developed to detect high and low molecular weight toxins, respectively, in complex samples. Recognition molecules (usually antibodies) were first immobilized in specific locations on the waveguide and the resultant patterned array was used to interrogate up to 12 different samples for the presence of multiple different analytes. Upon binding of a fluorescent analyte or fluorescent immunocomplex, the pattern of fluorescent spots was detected using a CCD camera. Automated image analysis was used to determine a mean fluorescence value for each assay spot and to subtract the local background signal. The location of the spot and its mean fluorescence value were used to determine the toxin identity and concentration. Toxins were measured in clinical fluids, environmental samples and foods, with minimal sample preparation. Results are shown for rapid analyses of staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, cholera toxin, botulinum toxoids, trinitrotoluene, and the mycotoxin fumonisin. Toxins were detected at levels as low as 0.5 ng mL(-1).

  8. Staphylococcus aureus α-Toxin: Nearly a Century of Intrigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan J. Berube

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus secretes a number of host-injurious toxins, among the most prominent of which is the small β-barrel pore-forming toxin α-hemolysin. Initially named based on its properties as a red blood cell lytic toxin, early studies suggested a far greater complexity of α-hemolysin action as nucleated cells also exhibited distinct responses to intoxication. The hemolysin, most aptly referred to as α-toxin based on its broad range of cellular specificity, has long been recognized as an important cause of injury in the context of both skin necrosis and lethal infection. The recent identification of ADAM10 as a cellular receptor for α-toxin has provided keen insight on the biology of toxin action during disease pathogenesis, demonstrating the molecular mechanisms by which the toxin causes tissue barrier disruption at host interfaces lined by epithelial or endothelial cells. This review highlights both the historical studies that laid the groundwork for nearly a century of research on α-toxin and key findings on the structural and functional biology of the toxin, in addition to discussing emerging observations that have significantly expanded our understanding of this toxin in S. aureus disease. The identification of ADAM10 as a proteinaceous receptor for the toxin not only provides a greater appreciation of truths uncovered by many historic studies, but now affords the opportunity to more extensively probe and understand the role of α-toxin in modulation of the complex interaction of S. aureus with its human host.

  9. Mathematical-statistical model for analysis of Ulva algal net photosynthesis in Venice lagoon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Izzo, G.; Rizzo, V.; Bella, A.; Picci, M.; Giordano, P.

    1996-08-01

    The algal net photosynthesis, an important factor for the characterization of water quality in Venice lagoon, has been studied experimentally providing a mathematical model, validated by using statistical methods. This model relates oxygen production with irradiance, according to a well known law in biological literature. Its observed an inverted proportion between algal oxygen production and temperature, thus seasonality

  10. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of strabismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Fiona J; Noonan, Carmel P

    2017-03-02

    The use of botulinum toxin as an investigative and treatment modality for strabismus is well reported in the medical literature. However, it is unclear how effective it is in comparison to other treatment options for strabismus. The primary objective was to examine the efficacy of botulinum toxin therapy in the treatment of strabismus compared with alternative conservative or surgical treatment options. This review sought to ascertain those types of strabismus that particularly benefit from the use of botulinum toxin as a treatment option (such as small angle strabismus or strabismus with binocular potential, i.e. the potential to use both eyes together as a pair). The secondary objectives were to investigate the dose effect and complication rates associated with botulinum toxin. We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register) (2016, Issue 6), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to July 2016), Embase (January 1980 to July 2016), Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS) (January 1982 to July 2016), the ISRCTN registry (www.isrctn.com/editAdvancedSearch), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 11 July 2016. We handsearched the British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, Australian Orthoptic Journal, proceedings of the European Strabismological Association (ESA), International Strabismological Association (ISA) and International Orthoptic Association (IOA) (www.liv.ac.uk/orthoptics/research/search.htm) and American Academy of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus meetings (AAPOS). We contacted researchers who are active in this field for information about further

  11. Study of cnidarian-algal symbiosis in the "omics" age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Eli; Weis, Virginia M

    2012-08-01

    The symbiotic associations between cnidarians and dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) support productive and diverse ecosystems in coral reefs. Many aspects of this association, including the mechanistic basis of host-symbiont recognition and metabolic interaction, remain poorly understood. The first completed genome sequence for a symbiotic anthozoan is now available (the coral Acropora digitifera), and extensive expressed sequence tag resources are available for a variety of other symbiotic corals and anemones. These resources make it possible to profile gene expression, protein abundance, and protein localization associated with the symbiotic state. Here we review the history of "omics" studies of cnidarian-algal symbiosis and the current availability of sequence resources for corals and anemones, identifying genes putatively involved in symbiosis across 10 anthozoan species. The public availability of candidate symbiosis-associated genes leaves the field of cnidarian-algal symbiosis poised for in-depth comparative studies of sequence diversity and gene expression and for targeted functional studies of genes associated with symbiosis. Reviewing the progress to date suggests directions for future investigations of cnidarian-algal symbiosis that include (i) sequencing of Symbiodinium, (ii) proteomic analysis of the symbiosome membrane complex, (iii) glycomic analysis of Symbiodinium cell surfaces, and (iv) expression profiling of the gastrodermal cells hosting Symbiodinium.

  12. Single toxin dose-response models revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demidenko, Eugene, E-mail: eugened@dartmouth.edu [Department of Biomedical Data Science, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH03756 (United States); Glaholt, SP, E-mail: sglaholt@indiana.edu [Indiana University, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, IN47405 (United States); Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH03755 (United States); Kyker-Snowman, E, E-mail: ek2002@wildcats.unh.edu [Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH03824 (United States); Shaw, JR, E-mail: joeshaw@indiana.edu [Indiana University, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, IN47405 (United States); Chen, CY, E-mail: Celia.Y.Chen@dartmouth.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH03755 (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to offer a rigorous analysis of the sigmoid shape single toxin dose-response relationship. The toxin efficacy function is introduced and four special points, including maximum toxin efficacy and inflection points, on the dose-response curve are defined. The special points define three phases of the toxin effect on mortality: (1) toxin concentrations smaller than the first inflection point or (2) larger then the second inflection point imply low mortality rate, and (3) concentrations between the first and the second inflection points imply high mortality rate. Probabilistic interpretation and mathematical analysis for each of the four models, Hill, logit, probit, and Weibull is provided. Two general model extensions are introduced: (1) the multi-target hit model that accounts for the existence of several vital receptors affected by the toxin, and (2) model with a nonzero mortality at zero concentration to account for natural mortality. Special attention is given to statistical estimation in the framework of the generalized linear model with the binomial dependent variable as the mortality count in each experiment, contrary to the widespread nonlinear regression treating the mortality rate as continuous variable. The models are illustrated using standard EPA Daphnia acute (48 h) toxicity tests with mortality as a function of NiCl or CuSO{sub 4} toxin. - Highlights: • The paper offers a rigorous study of a sigmoid dose-response relationship. • The concentration with highest mortality rate is rigorously defined. • A table with four special points for five morality curves is presented. • Two new sigmoid dose-response models have been introduced. • The generalized linear model is advocated for estimation of sigmoid dose-response relationship.

  13. COMBUSTION ANALYSIS OF ALGAL OIL METHYL ESTER IN A DIRECT INJECTION COMPRESSION IGNITION ENGINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HARIRAM V.

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Algal oil methyl ester was derived from microalgae (Spirulina sp. The microalga was cultivated in BG 11 media composition in a photobioreactor. Upon harvesting, the biomass was filtered and dried. The algal oil was obtained by a two step solvent extraction method using hexane and ether solvent. Cyclohexane was added to biomass to expel the remaining algal oil. By this method 92% of algal oil is obtained. Transesterification process was carried out to produce AOME by adding sodium hydroxide and methanol. The AOME was blended with straight diesel in 5%, 10% and 15% blend ratio. Combustion parameters were analyzed on a Kirloskar single cylinder direct injection compression ignition engine. The cylinder pressure characteristics, the rate of pressure rise, heat release analysis, performance and emissions were studied for straight diesel and the blends of AOME’s. AOME 15% blend exhibits significant variation in cylinder pressure and rate of heat release.

  14. Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2–Dependent Lethal Toxin Killing In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scobie, Heather M; Wigelsworth, Darran J; Marlett, John M; Thomas, Diane; Rainey, G. Jonah A; Lacy, D. Borden; Manchester, Marianne; Collier, R. John; Young, John A. T

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax toxin receptors 1 and 2 (ANTXR1 and ANTXR2) have a related integrin-like inserted (I) domain which interacts with a metal cation that is coordinated by residue D683 of the protective antigen (PA) subunit of anthrax toxin. The receptor-bound metal ion and PA residue D683 are critical for ANTXR1-PA binding. Since PA can bind to ANTXR2 with reduced affinity in the absence of metal ions, we reasoned that D683 mutant forms of PA might specifically interact with ANTXR2. We show here that this is the case. The differential ability of ANTXR1 and ANTXR2 to bind D683 mutant PA proteins was mapped to nonconserved receptor residues at the binding interface with PA domain 2. Moreover, a D683K mutant form of PA that bound specifically to human and rat ANTXR2 mediated killing of rats by anthrax lethal toxin, providing strong evidence for the physiological importance of ANTXR2 in anthrax disease pathogenesis. PMID:17054395

  15. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Itai Benhar; Assaf Shapira

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmac...

  16. Repeated mass strandings of Miocene marine mammals from Atacama Region of Chile point to sudden death at sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D; Gutstein, Carolina S; Parham, James F; Le Roux, Jacobus P; Chavarría, Catalina Carreño; Little, Holly; Metallo, Adam; Rossi, Vincent; Valenzuela-Toro, Ana M; Velez-Juarbe, Jorge; Santelli, Cara M; Rogers, David Rubilar; Cozzuol, Mario A; Suárez, Mario E

    2014-04-22

    Marine mammal mass strandings have occurred for millions of years, but their origins defy singular explanations. Beyond human causes, mass strandings have been attributed to herding behaviour, large-scale oceanographic fronts and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Because algal toxins cause organ failure in marine mammals, HABs are the most common mass stranding agent with broad geographical and widespread taxonomic impact. Toxin-mediated mortalities in marine food webs have the potential to occur over geological timescales, but direct evidence for their antiquity has been lacking. Here, we describe an unusually dense accumulation of fossil marine vertebrates from Cerro Ballena, a Late Miocene locality in Atacama Region of Chile, preserving over 40 skeletons of rorqual whales, sperm whales, seals, aquatic sloths, walrus-whales and predatory bony fish. Marine mammal skeletons are distributed in four discrete horizons at the site, representing a recurring accumulation mechanism. Taphonomic analysis points to strong spatial focusing with a rapid death mechanism at sea, before being buried on a barrier-protected supratidal flat. In modern settings, HABs are the only known natural cause for such repeated, multispecies accumulations. This proposed agent suggests that upwelling zones elsewhere in the world should preserve fossil marine vertebrate accumulations in similar modes and densities.

  17. Repeated mass strandings of Miocene marine mammals from Atacama Region of Chile point to sudden death at sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Gutstein, Carolina S.; Parham, James F.; Le Roux, Jacobus P.; Chavarría, Catalina Carreño; Little, Holly; Metallo, Adam; Rossi, Vincent; Valenzuela-Toro, Ana M.; Velez-Juarbe, Jorge; Santelli, Cara M.; Rogers, David Rubilar; Cozzuol, Mario A.; Suárez, Mario E.

    2014-01-01

    Marine mammal mass strandings have occurred for millions of years, but their origins defy singular explanations. Beyond human causes, mass strandings have been attributed to herding behaviour, large-scale oceanographic fronts and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Because algal toxins cause organ failure in marine mammals, HABs are the most common mass stranding agent with broad geographical and widespread taxonomic impact. Toxin-mediated mortalities in marine food webs have the potential to occur over geological timescales, but direct evidence for their antiquity has been lacking. Here, we describe an unusually dense accumulation of fossil marine vertebrates from Cerro Ballena, a Late Miocene locality in Atacama Region of Chile, preserving over 40 skeletons of rorqual whales, sperm whales, seals, aquatic sloths, walrus-whales and predatory bony fish. Marine mammal skeletons are distributed in four discrete horizons at the site, representing a recurring accumulation mechanism. Taphonomic analysis points to strong spatial focusing with a rapid death mechanism at sea, before being buried on a barrier-protected supratidal flat. In modern settings, HABs are the only known natural cause for such repeated, multispecies accumulations. This proposed agent suggests that upwelling zones elsewhere in the world should preserve fossil marine vertebrate accumulations in similar modes and densities. PMID:24573855

  18. Interplay between toxin transport and flotillin localization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pust, Sascha; Dyve, Anne Berit; Torgersen, Maria L

    2010-01-01

    The flotillin proteins are localized in lipid domains at the plasma membrane as well as in intracellular compartments. In the present study, we examined the importance of flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 for the uptake and transport of the bacterial Shiga toxin (Stx) and the plant toxin ricin and we...... for flotillin-1 or -2. However, the Golgi-dependent sulfation of both toxins was significantly reduced in flotillin knockdown cells. Interestingly, when the transport of ricin to the ER was investigated, we obtained an increased mannosylation of ricin in flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 knockdown cells. The toxicity...... of both toxins was twofold increased in flotillin-depleted cells. Since BFA (Brefeldin A) inhibits the toxicity even in flotillin knockdown cells, the retrograde toxin transport is apparently still Golgi-dependent. Thus, flotillin proteins regulate and facilitate the retrograde transport of Stx and ricin....

  19. Algal-Based Renewable Energy for Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fritsen, Christian [Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2017-03-31

    To help in the overall evaluation of the potential for growing algal biomass in high productivity systems, we conducted a study that evaluated water from geothermal sources and cultivated mixed consortia from hot springs in Nevada, we evaluated their growth at moderately high varying temperatures and then evaluated potential manipulations that could possibly increase their biomass and oleaginous production. Studies were conducted at scales ranging from the laboratory benchtop to raceways in field settings. Mixed consortia were readily grown at all scales and growth could be maintained in Nevada year round. Moderate productivities were attained even during the shoulder seasons- where temperature control was maintained by hot water and seasonally cold temperatures when there was still plentiful solar radiation. The results enhance the prospects for economic feasibility of developing algal based industries in areas with geothermal energy or even other large alternative sources of heat that are not being used for other purposes. The public may benefit from such development as a means for economic development as well as development of industries for alternative energy and products that do not rely on fossil fuels.

  20. Sewage, green algal mats anchored by lugworms, and the effects on Turbellaria and small Polychaeta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reise, Karsten

    1983-06-01

    On sandy tidal flats at the Island of Sylt (North Sea) ephemeral mats of green algae covered wide areas in the vicinity of sewage outflows. Algae became anchored in the feeding funnels of lugworms ( Arenicola marina) and thus were able to resist displacement by tidal currents. Below the algal mats anoxic conditions extend to the sediment surface. After about one month a rough sea removed all algae. Polychaetes endured this short-term environmental deterioration, while the more sensitive Turbellaria decreased in abundance and species richness. Diatom-feeders were affected most, predators to a medium extent, and bacteria-feeders the least affected. Rare and very abundant species were more affected than moderately abundant ones. None of the turbellarian species increased in abundance and none colonized the algal mats above the sediment. In a semicontrolled experiment with daily hand-removal of drift algae from a 100-m2 plot within an extensive field of algal mats, this cleaned "island" served as a refuge to Turbellaria escaping from their algal covered habitat. Here abundance doubled relative to initial conditions and was 5-times higher than below algal mats.

  1. Characterized hydrochar of algal biomass for producing solid fuel through hydrothermal carbonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ki Young; Lee, Kwanyong; Kim, Daegi

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this work was to study the characterized hydrochar of algal biomass to produce solid fuel though hydrothermal carbonization. Hydrothermal carbonization conducted at temperatures ranging from 180 to 270 °C with a 60 min reaction improved the upgrading of the fuel properties and the dewatering of wet-basis biomasses such as algae. The carbon content, carbon recovery, energy recovery, and atomic C/O and C/H ratios in all the hydrochars in this study were improved. These characteristic changes in hydrochar from algal biomass are similar to the coalification reactions due to dehydration and decarboxylation with an increase in the hydrothermal reaction temperature. The results of this study indicate that hydrothermal carbonization can be used as an effective means of generating highly energy-efficient renewable fuel resources using algal biomass. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Analysis of algal bloom risk with uncertainties in lakes by integrating self-organizing map and fuzzy information theory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Qiuwen, E-mail: qchen@rcees.ac.cn [RCEES, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shuangqinglu 18, Beijing 10085 (China); China Three Gorges University, Daxuelu 8, Yichang 443002 (China); CEER, Nanjing Hydraulics Research Institute, Guangzhoulu 223, Nanjing 210029 (China); Rui, Han; Li, Weifeng; Zhang, Yanhui [RCEES, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shuangqinglu 18, Beijing 10085 (China)

    2014-06-01

    Algal blooms are a serious problem in waters, which damage aquatic ecosystems and threaten drinking water safety. However, the outbreak mechanism of algal blooms is very complex with great uncertainty, especially for large water bodies where environmental conditions have obvious variation in both space and time. This study developed an innovative method which integrated a self-organizing map (SOM) and fuzzy information diffusion theory to comprehensively analyze algal bloom risks with uncertainties. The Lake Taihu was taken as study case and the long-term (2004–2010) on-site monitoring data were used. The results showed that algal blooms in Taihu Lake were classified into four categories and exhibited obvious spatial–temporal patterns. The lake was mainly characterized by moderate bloom but had high uncertainty, whereas severe blooms with low uncertainty were observed in the northwest part of the lake. The study gives insight on the spatial–temporal dynamics of algal blooms, and should help government and decision-makers outline policies and practices on bloom monitoring and prevention. The developed method provides a promising approach to estimate algal bloom risks under uncertainties. - Highlights: • An innovative method is developed to analyze algal bloom risks with uncertainties. • The algal blooms in Taihu Lake showed obvious spatial and temporal patterns. • The lake is mainly characterized as moderate bloom but with high uncertainty. • Severe bloom with low uncertainty appeared occasionally in the northwest part. • The results provide important information to bloom monitoring and management.

  3. Diversity and distribution of cholix toxin, a novel ADP-ribosylating factor from Vibrio cholerae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purdy, Alexandra E; Balch, Deborah; Lizárraga-Partida, Marcial Leonardo; Islam, Mohammad Sirajul; Martinez-Urtaza, Jaime; Huq, Anwar; Colwell, Rita R; Bartlett, Douglas H

    2010-02-01

    Non-toxigenic non-O1, non-O139 Vibrio cholerae strains isolated from both environmental and clinical settings carry a suite of virulence factors aside from cholera toxin. Among V. cholerae strains isolated from coastal waters of southern California, this includes cholix toxin, an ADP-ribosylating factor that is capable of halting protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells. The prevalence of the gene encoding cholix toxin, chxA, was assessed among a collection of 155 diverse V. cholerae strains originating from both clinical and environmental settings in Bangladesh and Mexico and other countries around the globe. The chxA gene was present in 47% of 83 non-O1, non-O139 strains and 16% of 72 O1/O139 strains screened as part of this study. A total of 86 chxA gene sequences were obtained, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that they fall into two distinct clades. These two clades were also observed in the phylogenies of several housekeeping genes, suggesting that the divergence observed in chxA extends to other regions of the V. cholerae genome, and most likely has arisen from vertical descent rather than horizontal transfer. Our results clearly indicate that ChxA is a major toxin of V. cholerae with a worldwide distribution that is preferentially associated with non-pandemic strains. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Evolution of Conus Peptide Toxins: Analysis of Conus californicus Reeve, 1844

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggs, Jason S.; Watkins, Maren; Puillandre, Nicolas; Ownby, John-Paul; Lopez-Vera, Estuardo; Christensen, Sean; Moreno, Karla Juarez; Navarro, Alexei Licea; Corneli, Patrice Showers; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2010-01-01

    Conus species are characterized by their hyperdiverse toxins, encoded by a few gene superfamilies. Our phylogenies of the genus, based on mitochondrial genes, confirm previous results that C. californicus is highly divergent from all other species. Genetic and biochemical analysis of their venom peptides comprise the fifteen most abundant conopeptides and over 50 mature cDNA transcripts from the venom duct. Although C. californicus venom retains many of the general properties of other Conus species, they share only half of the toxin gene superfamilies found in other Conus species. Thus, in these two lineages, approximately half of the rapidly diversifying gene superfamilies originated after an early Tertiary split. Such results demonstrate that, unlike endogenously acting gene families, these genes are likely to be significantly more restricted in their phylogenetic distribution. In concordance with the evolutionary duistance of C. californicus from other species, there are aspects of prey-capture behavior and prey preferences of this species that diverges significantly from all other Conus. PMID:20363338

  5. A contemplation on the secondary origin of green algal and plant plastids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunsoo Kim

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A single origin of plastids and the monophyly of three “primary” plastid-containing groups – the Chloroplastida (or Viridiplantae; green algae+land plants, Rhodophyta, and Glaucophyta – are widely accepted, mainstream hypotheses that form the basis for many comparative evolutionary studies. This “Archaeplastida” hypothesis, however, thus far has not been unambiguously confirmed by phylogenetic studies based on nucleocytoplasmic markers. In view of this as well as other lines of evidence, we suggest the testing of an alternate hypothesis that plastids of the Chloroplastida are of secondary origin. The new hypothesis is in agreement with, or perhaps better explains, existing data, including both the plastidal and nucleocytoplasmic characteristics of the Chloroplastida in comparison to those of other groups.

  6. Botulinum toxin for vaginismus treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Juliana Rocha; Souza, Renan Pedra

    2012-01-01

    Vaginismus is characterized by recurrent or persistent involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles surrounding the outer third of the vagina when penile, finger, tampon, or speculum penetration is attempted. Recent results have suggested the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of vaginismus. Here, we assessed previously published data to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of botulinum toxin for vaginismus. We have carried out a systematic review followed by a meta-analysis. Our results indicate that botulinum toxin is an effective therapeutic option for patients with vaginismus (pooled odds ratio of 8.723 with 95% confidence interval limits of 1.942 and 39.162, p = 0.005). This may hold particularly true in treatment-refractory patients because most of the studies included in this meta-analysis have enrolled these subjects in their primary analysis. Botulinum toxin appears to bea reasonable intervention for vaginismus. However, this conclusion should be read carefully because of the deficiency of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials and the quality issues presented in the existing ones.

  7. A toxin-binding alkaline phosphatase fragment synergizes Bt toxin Cry1Ac against susceptible and resistant Helicoverpa armigera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenbo Chen

    Full Text Available Evolution of resistance by insects threatens the continued success of pest control using insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt in sprays and transgenic plants. In this study, laboratory selection with Cry1Ac yielded five strains of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, with resistance ratios at the median lethal concentration (LC50 of activated Cry1Ac ranging from 22 to 1700. Reduced activity and reduced transcription of an alkaline phosphatase protein that binds Cry1Ac was associated with resistance to Cry1Ac in the four most resistant strains. A Cry1Ac-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase from H. armigera (HaALP1f was not toxic by itself, but it increased mortality caused by Cry1Ac in a susceptible strain and in all five resistant strains. Although synergism of Bt toxins against susceptible insects by toxin-binding fragments of cadherin and aminopeptidase N has been reported previously, the results here provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by a toxin-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase. The results here also provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by any toxin-binding peptide against resistant insects.

  8. Harmful Algal Bloom Characterization at Ultra-High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deon Van der Merwe

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Harmful algal blooms (HABs degrade water quality and produce toxins. The spatial distribution of HAbs may change rapidly due to variations wind, water currents, and population dynamics. Risk assessments, based on traditional sampling methods, are hampered by the sparseness of water sample data points, and delays between sampling and the availability of results. There is a need for local risk assessment and risk management at the spatial and temporal resolution relevant to local human and animal interactions at specific sites and times. Small, unmanned aircraft systems can gather color-infrared reflectance data at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions, with full control over data collection timing, and short intervals between data gathering and result availability. Data can be interpreted qualitatively, or by generating a blue normalized difference vegetation index (BNDVI that is correlated with cyanobacterial biomass densities at the water surface, as estimated using a buoyant packed cell volume (BPCV. Correlations between BNDVI and BPCV follow a logarithmic model, with r2-values under field conditions from 0.77 to 0.87. These methods provide valuable information that is complimentary to risk assessment data derived from traditional risk assessment methods, and could help to improve risk management at the local level.

  9. Predicting algal growth inhibition toxicity: three-step strategy using structural and physicochemical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuhama, A; Hasunuma, K; Hayashi, T I; Tatarazako, N

    2016-05-01

    We propose a three-step strategy that uses structural and physicochemical properties of chemicals to predict their 72 h algal growth inhibition toxicities against Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. In Step 1, using a log D-based criterion and structural alerts, we produced an interspecies QSAR between algal and acute daphnid toxicities for initial screening of chemicals. In Step 2, we categorized chemicals according to the Verhaar scheme for aquatic toxicity, and we developed QSARs for toxicities of Class 1 (non-polar narcotic) and Class 2 (polar narcotic) chemicals by means of simple regression with a hydrophobicity descriptor and multiple regression with a hydrophobicity descriptor and a quantum chemical descriptor. Using the algal toxicities of the Class 1 chemicals, we proposed a baseline QSAR for calculating their excess toxicities. In Step 3, we used structural profiles to predict toxicity either quantitatively or qualitatively and to assign chemicals to the following categories: Pesticide, Reactive, Toxic, Toxic low and Uncategorized. Although this three-step strategy cannot be used to estimate the algal toxicities of all chemicals, it is useful for chemicals within its domain. The strategy is also applicable as a component of Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment.

  10. Clostridial Binary Toxins: Iota and C2 Family Portraits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiles, Bradley G.; Wigelsworth, Darran J.; Popoff, Michel R.; Barth, Holger

    2011-01-01

    There are many pathogenic Clostridium species with diverse virulence factors that include protein toxins. Some of these bacteria, such as C. botulinum, C. difficile, C. perfringens, and C. spiroforme, cause enteric problems in animals as well as humans. These often fatal diseases can partly be attributed to binary protein toxins that follow a classic AB paradigm. Within a targeted cell, all clostridial binary toxins destroy filamentous actin via mono-ADP-ribosylation of globular actin by the A component. However, much less is known about B component binding to cell-surface receptors. These toxins share sequence homology amongst themselves and with those produced by another Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium also commonly associated with soil and disease: Bacillus anthracis. This review focuses upon the iota and C2 families of clostridial binary toxins and includes: (1) basics of the bacterial source; (2) toxin biochemistry; (3) sophisticated cellular uptake machinery; and (4) host–cell responses following toxin-mediated disruption of the cytoskeleton. In summary, these protein toxins aid diverse enteric species within the genus Clostridium. PMID:22919577

  11. Short Toxin-like Proteins Abound in Cnidaria Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Linial

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Cnidaria is a rich phylum that includes thousands of marine species. In this study, we focused on Anthozoa and Hydrozoa that are represented by the Nematostella vectensis (Sea anemone and Hydra magnipapillata genomes. We present a method for ranking the toxin-like candidates from complete proteomes of Cnidaria. Toxin-like functions were revealed using ClanTox, a statistical machine-learning predictor trained on ion channel inhibitors from venomous animals. Fundamental features that were emphasized in training ClanTox include cysteines and their spacing along the sequences. Among the 83,000 proteins derived from Cnidaria representatives, we found 170 candidates that fulfill the properties of toxin-like-proteins, the vast majority of which were previously unrecognized as toxins. An additional 394 short proteins exhibit characteristics of toxin-like proteins at a moderate degree of confidence. Remarkably, only 11% of the predicted toxin-like proteins were previously classified as toxins. Based on our prediction methodology and manual annotation, we inferred functions for over 400 of these proteins. Such functions include protease inhibitors, membrane pore formation, ion channel blockers and metal binding proteins. Many of the proteins belong to small families of paralogs. We conclude that the evolutionary expansion of toxin-like proteins in Cnidaria contributes to their fitness in the complex environment of the aquatic ecosystem.

  12. In vitro reconstitution of the Clostridium botulinum type D progenitor toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouguchi, Hirokazu; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Sunagawa, Hiroyuki; Ohyama, Tohru

    2002-01-25

    Clostridium botulinum type D strain 4947 produces two different sizes of progenitor toxins (M and L) as intact forms without proteolytic processing. The M toxin is composed of neurotoxin (NT) and nontoxic-nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), whereas the L toxin is composed of the M toxin and hemagglutinin (HA) subcomponents (HA-70, HA-17, and HA-33). The HA-70 subcomponent and the HA-33/17 complex were isolated from the L toxin to near homogeneity by chromatography in the presence of denaturing agents. We were able to demonstrate, for the first time, in vitro reconstitution of the L toxin formed by mixing purified M toxin, HA-70, and HA-33/17. The properties of reconstituted and native L toxins are indistinguishable with respect to their gel filtration profiles, native-PAGE profiles, hemagglutination activity, binding activity to erythrocytes, and oral toxicity to mice. M toxin, which contained nicked NTNHA prepared by treatment with trypsin, could no longer be reconstituted to the L toxin with HA subcomponents, whereas the L toxin treated with proteases was not degraded into M toxin and HA subcomponents. We conclude that the M toxin forms first by assembly of NT with NTNHA and is subsequently converted to the L toxin by assembly with HA-70 and HA-33/17.

  13. Marine toxins and the cytoskeleton: a new view of palytoxin toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louzao, M Carmen; Ares, Isabel R; Cagide, Eva

    2008-12-01

    Palytoxin is a marine toxin first isolated from zoanthids (genus Palythoa), even though dinoflagellates of the genus Ostreopsis are the most probable origin of the toxin. Ostreopsis has a wide distribution in tropical and subtropical areas, but recently these dinoflagellates have also started to appear in the Mediterranean Sea. Two of the most remarkable properties of palytoxin are the large and complex structure (with different analogs, such as ostreocin-D or ovatoxin-a) and the extreme acute animal toxicity. The Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase has been proposed as receptor for palytoxin. The marine toxin is known to act on the Na(+) pump and elicit an increase in Na(+) permeability, which leads to depolarization and a secondary Ca(2+) influx, interfering with some functions of cells. Studies on the cellular cytoskeleton have revealed that the signaling cascade triggered by palytoxin leads to actin filament system distortion. The activity of palytoxin on the actin cytoskeleton is only partially associated with the cytosolic Ca(2+) changes; therefore, this ion represents an important factor in altering this structure, but it is not the only cause. The goal of the present minireview is to compile the findings reported to date about: (a) how palytoxin and analogs are able to modify the actin cytoskeleton within different cellular models; and (b) what signaling mechanisms could be involved in the modulation of cytoskeletal dynamics by palytoxin.

  14. Botulinum Toxin for Rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozcan, Cengiz; Ismi, Onur

    2016-08-01

    Rhinitis is a common clinical entity. Besides nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing, one of the most important symptoms of rhinitis is nasal hypersecretion produced by nasal glands and exudate from the nasal vascular bed. Allergic rhinitis is an IgE-mediated inflammatory reaction of nasal mucosa after exposure to environmental allergens. Idiopathic rhinitis describes rhinitis symptoms that occur after non-allergic, noninfectious irritants. Specific allergen avoidance, topical nasal decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, and sinonasal surgery are the main treatment options. Because the current treatment modalities are not enough for reducing rhinorrhea in some patients, novel treatment options are required to solve this problem. Botulinum toxin is an exotoxin generated by Clostridium botulinum. It disturbs the signal transmission at the neuromuscular and neuroglandular junction by inhibiting the acetylcholine release from the presynaptic nerve terminal. It has been widely used in neuromuscular, hypersecretory, and autonomic nerve system disorders. There have been a lot of published articles concerning the effect of this toxin on rhinitis symptoms. Based on the results of these reports, intranasal botulinum toxin A administration appears to be a safe and effective treatment method for decreasing rhinitis symptoms in rhinitis patients with a long-lasting effect. Botulinum toxin type A will be a good treatment option for the chronic rhinitis patients who are resistant to other treatment methods.

  15. Diffusion of Botulinum Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Brodsky

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is generally agreed that diffusion of botulinum toxin occurs, but the extent of the spread and its clinical importance are disputed. Many factors have been suggested to play a role but which have the most clinical relevance is a subject of much discussion.Methods: This review discusses the variables affecting diffusion, including protein composition and molecular size as well as injection factors (e.g., volume, dose, injection method. It also discusses data on diffusion from comparative studies in animal models and human clinical trials that illustrate differences between the available botulinum toxin products (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, incobotulinumtoxinA, and rimabotulinumtoxinB.Results: Neither molecular weight nor the presence of complexing proteins appears to affect diffusion; however, injection volume, concentration, and dose all play roles and are modifiable. Both animal and human studies show that botulinum toxin products are not interchangeable, and that some products are associated with greater diffusion and higher rates of diffusion-related adverse events than others.Discussion: Each of the botulinum toxins is a unique pharmacologic entity. A working knowledge of the different serotypes is essential to avoid unwanted diffusion-related adverse events. In addition, clinicians should be aware that the factors influencing diffusion may range from properties intrinsic to the drug to accurate muscle selection as well as dilution, volume, and dose injected.

  16. The role of toxins in Clostridium difficile infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasekaran, Ramyavardhanee; Lacy, D Borden

    2017-11-01

    Clostridium difficile is a bacterial pathogen that is the leading cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis worldwide. The incidence, severity, mortality and healthcare costs associated with C. difficile infection (CDI) are rising, making C. difficile a major threat to public health. Traditional treatments for CDI involve use of antibiotics such as metronidazole and vancomycin, but disease recurrence occurs in about 30% of patients, highlighting the need for new therapies. The pathogenesis of C. difficile is primarily mediated by the actions of two large clostridial glucosylating toxins, toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB). Some strains produce a third toxin, the binary toxin C. difficile transferase, which can also contribute to C. difficile virulence and disease. These toxins act on the colonic epithelium and immune cells and induce a complex cascade of cellular events that result in fluid secretion, inflammation and tissue damage, which are the hallmark features of the disease. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the structure and mechanism of action of the C. difficile toxins and their role in disease. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS 2017.

  17. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associ...

  18. Temperature Effects Explain Continental Scale Distribution of Cyanobacterial Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantzouki, Evanthia; Lürling, Miquel; Fastner, Jutta; de Senerpont Domis, Lisette; Wilk-Woźniak, Elżbieta; Koreivienė, Judita; Seelen, Laura; Teurlincx, Sven; Verstijnen, Yvon; Krztoń, Wojciech; Walusiak, Edward; Karosienė, Jūratė; Kasperovičienė, Jūratė; Savadova, Ksenija; Vitonytė, Irma; Cillero-Castro, Carmen; Budzyńska, Agnieszka; Goldyn, Ryszard; Kozak, Anna; Rosińska, Joanna; Szeląg-Wasielewska, Elżbieta; Domek, Piotr; Jakubowska-Krepska, Natalia; Kwasizur, Kinga; Messyasz, Beata; Pełechaty, Aleksandra; Pełechaty, Mariusz; Kokocinski, Mikolaj; García-Murcia, Ana; Real, Monserrat; Romans, Elvira; Noguero-Ribes, Jordi; Duque, David Parreño; Fernández-Morán, Elísabeth; Karakaya, Nusret; Häggqvist, Kerstin; Demir, Nilsun; Beklioğlu, Meryem; Filiz, Nur; Levi, Eti E.; Iskin, Uğur; Bezirci, Gizem; Tavşanoğlu, Ülkü Nihan; Özhan, Koray; Gkelis, Spyros; Panou, Manthos; Fakioglu, Özden; Avagianos, Christos; Kaloudis, Triantafyllos; Çelik, Kemal; Yilmaz, Mete; Marcé, Rafael; Catalán, Nuria; Bravo, Andrea G.; Buck, Moritz; Colom-Montero, William; Mustonen, Kristiina; Pierson, Don; Yang, Yang; Raposeiro, Pedro M.; Gonçalves, Vítor; Antoniou, Maria G.; Tsiarta, Nikoletta; McCarthy, Valerie; Perello, Victor C.; Feldmann, Tõnu; Laas, Alo; Panksep, Kristel; Tuvikene, Lea; Gagala, Ilona; Mankiewicz-Boczek, Joana; Yağcı, Meral Apaydın; Çınar, Şakir; Çapkın, Kadir; Yağcı, Abdulkadir; Cesur, Mehmet; Bilgin, Fuat; Bulut, Cafer; Uysal, Rahmi; Obertegger, Ulrike; Boscaini, Adriano; Flaim, Giovanna; Salmaso, Nico; Cerasino, Leonardo; Richardson, Jessica; Visser, Petra M.; Verspagen, Jolanda M. H.; Karan, Tünay; Soylu, Elif Neyran; Maraşlıoğlu, Faruk; Napiórkowska-Krzebietke, Agnieszka; Ochocka, Agnieszka; Pasztaleniec, Agnieszka; Antão-Geraldes, Ana M.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Morais, João; Vale, Micaela; Köker, Latife; Akçaalan, Reyhan; Albay, Meriç; Špoljarić Maronić, Dubravka; Stević, Filip; Žuna Pfeiffer, Tanja; Fonvielle, Jeremy; Straile, Dietmar; Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Bláha, Luděk; Geriš, Rodan; Fránková, Markéta; Koçer, Mehmet Ali Turan; Alp, Mehmet Tahir; Remec-Rekar, Spela; Elersek, Tina; Triantis, Theodoros; Zervou, Sevasti-Kiriaki; Hiskia, Anastasia; Haande, Sigrid; Skjelbred, Birger; Madrecka, Beata; Nemova, Hana; Drastichova, Iveta; Chomova, Lucia; Edwards, Christine; Sevindik, Tuğba Ongun; Tunca, Hatice; Önem, Burçin; Aleksovski, Boris; Krstić, Svetislav; Vucelić, Itana Bokan; Nawrocka, Lidia; Salmi, Pauliina; Machado-Vieira, Danielle; de Oliveira, Alinne Gurjão; Delgado-Martín, Jordi; García, David; Cereijo, Jose Luís; Gomà, Joan; Trapote, Mari Carmen; Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa; Obrador, Biel; Grabowska, Magdalena; Karpowicz, Maciej; Chmura, Damian; Úbeda, Bárbara; Gálvez, José Ángel; Özen, Arda; Christoffersen, Kirsten Seestern; Warming, Trine Perlt; Kobos, Justyna; Mazur-Marzec, Hanna; Pérez-Martínez, Carmen; Ramos-Rodríguez, Eloísa; Arvola, Lauri; Alcaraz-Párraga, Pablo; Toporowska, Magdalena; Pawlik-Skowronska, Barbara; Niedźwiecki, Michał; Pęczuła, Wojciech; Leira, Manel; Hernández, Armand; Moreno-Ostos, Enrique; Blanco, José María; Rodríguez, Valeriano; Montes-Pérez, Jorge Juan; Palomino, Roberto L.; Rodríguez-Pérez, Estela; Carballeira, Rafael; Camacho, Antonio; Picazo, Antonio; Rochera, Carlos; Santamans, Anna C.; Ferriol, Carmen; Romo, Susana; Soria, Juan Miguel; Dunalska, Julita; Sieńska, Justyna; Szymański, Daniel; Kruk, Marek; Kostrzewska-Szlakowska, Iwona; Jasser, Iwona; Žutinić, Petar; Gligora Udovič, Marija; Plenković-Moraj, Anđelka; Frąk, Magdalena; Bańkowska-Sobczak, Agnieszka; Wasilewicz, Michał; Özkan, Korhan; Maliaka, Valentini; Kangro, Kersti; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Paerl, Hans W.; Carey, Cayelan C.; Ibelings, Bas W.

    2018-04-13

    Insight into how environmental change determines the production and distribution of cyanobacterial toxins is necessary for risk assessment. Management guidelines currently focus on hepatotoxins (microcystins). Increasing attention is given to other classes, such as neurotoxins (e.g., anatoxin-a) and cytotoxins (e.g., cylindrospermopsin) due to their potency. Most studies examine the relationship between individual toxin variants and environmental factors, such as nutrients, temperature and light. In summer 2015, we collected samples across Europe to investigate the effect of nutrient and temperature gradients on the variability of toxin production at a continental scale. Direct and indirect effects of temperature were the main drivers of the spatial distribution in the toxins produced by the cyanobacterial community, the toxin concentrations and toxin quota. Generalized linear models showed that a Toxin Diversity Index (TDI) increased with latitude, while it decreased with water stability. Increases in TDI were explained through a significant increase in toxin variants such as MC-YR, anatoxin and cylindrospermopsin, accompanied by a decreasing presence of MC-LR. While global warming continues, the direct and indirect effects of increased lake temperatures will drive changes in the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins in Europe, potentially promoting selection of a few highly toxic species or strains.

  19. Temperature Effects Explain Continental Scale Distribution of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evanthia Mantzouki

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Insight into how environmental change determines the production and distribution of cyanobacterial toxins is necessary for risk assessment. Management guidelines currently focus on hepatotoxins (microcystins. Increasing attention is given to other classes, such as neurotoxins (e.g., anatoxin-a and cytotoxins (e.g., cylindrospermopsin due to their potency. Most studies examine the relationship between individual toxin variants and environmental factors, such as nutrients, temperature and light. In summer 2015, we collected samples across Europe to investigate the effect of nutrient and temperature gradients on the variability of toxin production at a continental scale. Direct and indirect effects of temperature were the main drivers of the spatial distribution in the toxins produced by the cyanobacterial community, the toxin concentrations and toxin quota. Generalized linear models showed that a Toxin Diversity Index (TDI increased with latitude, while it decreased with water stability. Increases in TDI were explained through a significant increase in toxin variants such as MC-YR, anatoxin and cylindrospermopsin, accompanied by a decreasing presence of MC-LR. While global warming continues, the direct and indirect effects of increased lake temperatures will drive changes in the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins in Europe, potentially promoting selection of a few highly toxic species or strains.

  20. Non-conventional approaches to food processing in CELSS. I - Algal proteins: Characterization and process optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakhost, Z.; Karel, M.; Krukonis, V. J.

    1987-01-01

    Protein isolate obtained from green algae (Scenedesmus obliquus) cultivated under controlled conditions was characterized. Molecular weight determination of fractionated algal proteins using SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed a wide spectrum of molecular weights ranging from 15,000 to 220,000. Isoelectric points of dissociated proteins were in the range of 3.95 to 6.20. Amino acid composition of protein isolate compared favorably with FAO standards. High content of essential amino acids leucine, valine, phenylalanine and lysine makes algal protein isolate a high quality component of CELSS diets. To optimize the removal of algal lipids and pigments supercritical carbon dioxide extraction (with and without ethanol as a co-solvent) was used. Addition of ethanol to supercritical CO2 resulted in more efficient removal of algal lipids and produced protein isolate with a good yield and protein recovery. The protein isolate extracted by the above mixture had an improved water solubility.

  1. Nitrogen recycling from fuel-extracted algal biomass: residuals as the sole nitrogen source for culturing Scenedesmus acutus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Huiya; Nagle, Nick; Pienkos, Philip T; Posewitz, Matthew C

    2015-05-01

    In this study, the reuse of nitrogen from fuel-extracted algal residues was investigated. The alga Scenedesmus acutus was found to be able to assimilate nitrogen contained in amino acids, yeast extracts, and proteinaceous alga residuals. Moreover, these alternative nitrogen resources could replace nitrate in culturing media. The ability of S. acutus to utilize the nitrogen remaining in processed algal biomass was unique among the promising biofuel strains tested. This alga was leveraged in a recycling approach where nitrogen is recovered from algal biomass residuals that remain after lipids are extracted and carbohydrates are fermented to ethanol. The protein-rich residuals not only provided an effective nitrogen resource, but also contributed to a carbon "heterotrophic boost" in subsequent culturing, improving overall biomass and lipid yields relative to the control medium with only nitrate. Prior treatment of the algal residues with Diaion HP20 resin was required to remove compounds inhibitory to algal growth. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Sekuen Nukleotida Gene Shiga like toxin-2 dari Isolat Lokal Escherichia coli O157:H7 asal Hewan dan Manusia (NUCLEOTIDES SQUENCES OF SHIGA-LIKE TOXIN 2 GENES OF ESCHERICHIA COLI O157:H7 LOCAL ISOLATES ORIGINATED FROM ANIMALS AND HUMAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Wayan Suardana

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Animals/livestock, especially cattle, are known as the main reservoir of Escherichia coli O157: H7. As the only one of zoonotic E. coli, the pathogenicity of these bacteria is determined by its ability to produce one or more very potent cytotoxin known as Shiga-like toxin (Stx or verocytotoxin, particularly of the Stx2 type that is closely related to the incidence of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS in humans. This study analyzed the nucleotide sequences of stx2 gene between isolates from animals and humans in an effort to assess the potential zoonoses of the agent. The research activity was initiated by cultivating 20 isolates of E. coli O157:H7 collection based on result in the previous study i.e. 2 isolates originated from cattle feces, 2 isolates originated from beef, 2 isolates originated from chicken feces, 2 isolates originated from human feces, and 12 non-clinical isolates originated from human fecal who were suffering with renal failure. All isolates were confirmed on selective medium Sorbitol MacConkey Agar (SMAC followed by testing on aglutination O157 latex test, and H7 antisera. Molecular analysis of stx2 gene covering open reading frame (ORF of the stx2 gene was performed using the primer which was designed by researcher i.e. Stx2 (F/Stx2 (R. The results showed, there were 2 isolates i.e. KL-48 (2 originated from human feces and SM-25 (1 originated from cattle feces were positive for carrying a stx2 gene, which was marked by the 1587 bp PCR product. Analysis of sequencing showed both isolates had identical to stx2 nucleotide squences with E. phaga 933 as well as E. coli ATCC 933. These results indicate the both local isolates are potential as zoonotic agents with clinical effects similar to E. phaga 933 and E. coli ATCC 43894. ABSTRAK Hewan ternak khususnya sapi, dikenal sebagai reservoir utama Escherichia coli O157:H7. Sebagai satu-satunya serotipe E. coli yang bersifat zoonosis, patogenitas bakteri ini ditentukan oleh kemampuannya

  3. ENSAYOS DE BIOESTIMULACIÓN ALGAL CON DIFERENTES RELACIONES NITRÓGENO: FÓSFORO, BAJO CONDICIONES DE LABORATORIO ASSAYS OF ALGAL BIO-STIMULATION WITH DIFFERENT NITROGEN-PHOSPHORUS RELATIONS UNDER LABORATORY CONDITIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Néstor J. Aguirre Ramírez

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Esta investigación tuvo como objetivo evaluar el crecimiento del alga Chlorella vulgaris ante diferentes concentraciones de nitrógeno y fósforo, a través de ensayos de bioestimulación en una cámara ambiental. Las variables respuesta fueron la densidad algal y la turbidez, evaluadas por conteo en una cámara de Neubauer y por espectrofotometría, empleando un equipo NOVA 60. Para los ensayos de bioestimulación se utilizó el medio de cultivo Estándar Métodos, sugerido por APHA, AWWA (1995 con diferentes concentraciones de nitrógeno y de fósforo. En general, se concluyó que la bioestimulación del crecimiento de Chlorella vulgaris depende de la relación estequiométrica entre el nitrógeno y el fósforo. En síntesis, cuando el fósforo se hace menos limitante se presentó una mayor tasa de crecimiento poblacional. Sin embargo, el nitrógeno es también esencial y ambos nutrientes no pueden ser analizados independientemente. Por lo tanto, el aumento o la disminución de las concentraciones de estos nutrientes en los ambientes acuáticos deben ser estudiados conjuntamente a través de sus relaciones estequiométricas.The main objective of this work was to evaluate the growth of algal population Chlorella vulgaris in different concentrations from nitrogen and phosphorus, through tests of algal stimulation in an environmental camera. The answer variables were algal density and turbidity, evaluated by count in a camera of Neubauer and with a photometric method (# 077, using NOVA 60 equipment. For the algal stimulation tests, methods suggested by APHA, AWWA (1995 with different phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations were used In general we concluded that the algal stimulation of the population growth of C. vulgaris depends on the stoichiometric relation between nitrogen and phosphorus. In synthesis when phosphorus becomes a less limit, a greater rate of population growth, appears; nevertheless nitrogen is also essential and both nutrients

  4. The attached algal community near Pickering GS: (II)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKinley, S.R.

    1982-01-01

    Environmental parameters correlated with attached algal standing crop are investigated in this report. Three groups were recognized on the basis of standing crop levels and seasonal standing crop patterns. Factors which appeared to influence the separation among the three groups were substrate size and water temperature. Standing crop levels among the discharge transects, intake and areas outside the station were found to be correlated with a combination of parameters. Standing crop levels outside the station were inversely correlated with wind speed but positively correlated with substrate particle size and depth. Algal standing crop at the intake also was inversely correlated with wind speed. Differences in standing crop levels between the intake and areas outside the station may have been attributed to substrate particle size. Low standing crop level among the discharge transects may have been attributed to higher current velocities and periodically to high water temperature

  5. Staphylococcus hyicus exfoliative toxins selectively digest porcine desmoglein 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fudaba, Y.; Nishifuji, K.; Andresen, Lars Ole

    2005-01-01

    . Recently, genes for ExhA, ExhB, ExhC and ExhD were cloned. Exfoliative toxins produced by S. aureus have been shown to selectively cleave human or mouse desmoglein 1, a desmosomal adhesion molecule, that when inactivated results in blisters. In this study, we attempted to identify the molecular target...... that Exh selectively degrade porcine desmoglein 1. In vitro incubation of the recombinant extracellular domains of desmoglein I and desmoglein 3 of human, mouse or canine origin demonstrated that only mouse desmogleins 1 alpha and 1 beta were cleaved by ExhA and ExhC at high concentration. Furthermore...

  6. The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database (HfwADB: a laboratory LIMS and online biodiversity resource

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherwood Alison R

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Biodiversity databases serve the important role of highlighting species-level diversity from defined geographical regions. Databases that are specially designed to accommodate the types of data gathered during regional surveys are valuable in allowing full data access and display to researchers not directly involved with the project, while serving as a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS. The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database, or HfwADB, was modified from the Hawaiian Algal Database to showcase non-marine algal specimens collected from the Hawaiian Archipelago by accommodating the additional level of organization required for samples including multiple species. Description The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database is a comprehensive and searchable database containing photographs and micrographs of samples and collection sites, geo-referenced collecting information, taxonomic data and standardized DNA sequence data. All data for individual samples are linked through unique 10-digit accession numbers (“Isolate Accession”, the first five of which correspond to the collection site (“Environmental Accession”. Users can search online for sample information by accession number, various levels of taxonomy, habitat or collection site. HfwADB is hosted at the University of Hawaii, and was made publicly accessible in October 2011. At the present time the database houses data for over 2,825 samples of non-marine algae from 1,786 collection sites from the Hawaiian Archipelago. These samples include cyanobacteria, red and green algae and diatoms, as well as lesser representation from some other algal lineages. Conclusions HfwADB is a digital repository that acts as a Laboratory Information Management System for Hawaiian non-marine algal data. Users can interact with the repository through the web to view relevant habitat data (including geo-referenced collection locations and download images of collection sites, specimen

  7. Luminescent Solar Concentrators in the Algal Industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellier, Katie; Corrado, Carley; Carter, Sue; Detweiler, Angela; Bebout, Leslie

    2013-03-01

    Today's industry for renewable energy sources and highly efficient energy management systems is rapidly increasing. Development of increased efficiency Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) has brought about new applications for commercial interests, including greenhouses for agricultural crops. This project is taking first steps to explore the potential of LSCs to enhance production and reduce costs for algae and cyanobacteria used in biofuels and nutraceuticals. This pilot phase uses LSC filtered light for algal growth trials in greenhouses and laboratory experiments, creating specific wavelength combinations to determine effects of discrete solar light regimes on algal growth and the reduction of heating and water loss in the system. Enhancing the optimal spectra for specific algae will not only increase production, but has the potential to lessen contamination of large scale production due to competition from other algae and bacteria. Providing LSC filtered light will reduce evaporation and heating in regions with limited water supply, while the increased energy output from photovoltaic cells will reduce costs of heating and mixing cultures, thus creating a more efficient and cost effective production system.

  8. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an algal parasite new to the cryptomycota isolated from an outdoor algal pond used for the production of biofuel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M Letcher

    Full Text Available Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the

  9. Diphtheria toxin translocation across cellular membranes is regulated by sphingolipids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spilsberg, Bjorn; Hanada, Kentaro; Sandvig, Kirsten

    2005-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin is translocated across cellular membranes when receptor-bound toxin is exposed to low pH. To study the role of sphingolipids for toxin translocation, both a mutant cell line lacking the first enzyme in de novo sphingolipid synthesis, serine palmitoyltransferase, and a specific inhibitor of the same enzyme, myriocin, were used. The serine palmitoyltransferase-deficient cell line (LY-B) was found to be 10-15 times more sensitive to diphtheria toxin than the genetically complemented cell line (LY-B/cLCB1) and the wild-type cell line (CHO-K1), both when toxin translocation directly across the plasma membrane was induced by exposing cells with surface-bound toxin to low pH, and when the toxin followed its normal route via acidified endosomes into the cytosol. Toxin binding was similar in these three cell lines. Furthermore, inhibition of serine palmitoyltransferase activity by addition of myriocin sensitized the two control cell lines (LY-B/cLCB1 and CHO-K1) to diphtheria toxin, whereas, as expected, no effect was observed in cells lacking serine palmitoyltransferase (LY-B). In conclusion, diphtheria toxin translocation is facilitated by depletion of membrane sphingolipids

  10. Recent progress and future challenges in algal biofuel production [version 1; referees: 4 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan B. Shurin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Modern society is fueled by fossil energy produced millions of years ago by photosynthetic organisms. Cultivating contemporary photosynthetic producers to generate energy and capture carbon from the atmosphere is one potential approach to sustaining society without disrupting the climate. Algae, photosynthetic aquatic microorganisms, are the fastest growing primary producers in the world and can therefore produce more energy with less land, water, and nutrients than terrestrial plant crops. We review recent progress and challenges in developing bioenergy technology based on algae. A variety of high-value products in addition to biofuels can be harvested from algal biomass, and these may be key to developing algal biotechnology and realizing the commercial potential of these organisms. Aspects of algal biology that differentiate them from plants demand an integrative approach based on genetics, cell biology, ecology, and evolution. We call for a systems approach to research on algal biotechnology rooted in understanding their biology, from the level of genes to ecosystems, and integrating perspectives from physical, chemical, and social sciences to solve one of the most critical outstanding technological problems.

  11. Bacterial toxins as pathogen weapons against phagocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana edo Vale

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favour microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signalling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed.

  12. Removal of algal blooms from freshwater by the coagulation-magnetic separation method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dan; Wang, Peng; Wei, Guanran; Dong, Wenbo; Hui, Franck

    2013-01-01

    This research investigated the feasibility of changing waste into useful materials for water treatment and proposed a coagulation-magnetic separation technique. This technique was rapid and highly effective for clearing up harmful algal blooms in freshwater and mitigating lake eutrophication. A magnetic coagulant was synthesized by compounding acid-modified fly ash with magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)). Its removal effects on algal cells and dissolved organics in water were studied. After mixing, coagulation, and magnetic separation, the flocs obtained from the magnet surface were examined by SEM. Treated samples were withdrawn for the content determination of chlorophyll-a, turbidity, chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen, and total phosphorus. More than 99 % of algal cells were removed within 5 min after the addition of magnetic coagulant at optimal loadings (200 mg L(-1)). The removal efficiencies of COD, total nitrogen, and phosphorus were 93, 91, and 94 %, respectively. The mechanism of algal removal explored preliminarily showed that the magnetic coagulant played multiple roles in mesoporous adsorption, netting and bridging, as well as high magnetic responsiveness to a magnetic field. The magnetic-coagulation separation method can rapidly and effectively remove algae from water bodies and greatly mitigate eutrophication of freshwater using a new magnetic coagulant. The method has good performance, is low cost, can turn waste into something valuable, and provides reference and directions for future pilot and production scale-ups.

  13. Algal communities associated with aquatic macrophytes in some ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study describes the algal communities of six ponds colonised by aquatic macrophytes in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Plankton samples were collected from the water column and epiphytic samples from macrophytes such as Azolla, Pistia, Nymphaea, Ipomoea and Ludwigia. Pond pH, temperature, conductivity, ...

  14. Dynamics of plc gene transcription and α-toxin production during growth of Clostridium perfringens strains with contrasting α-toxin production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abildgaard, Lone; Schramm, Andreas; Rudi, Knut

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate transcription dynamics of the α-toxin-encoding plc gene relative to two housekeeping genes (gyrA and rplL) in batch cultures of three Clostridium perfringens strains with low, intermediate, and high levels of α-toxin production, respectively. The plc...... transcript level was always low in the low α-toxin producing strain. For the two other strains, plc transcription showed an inducible pattern and reached a maximum level in the late exponential growth phase. The transcription levels were however inversely correlated to α-toxin production for the two strains....... We propose that this discrepancy is due to differences in plc translation rates between the strains and that strain-specific translational rates therefore must be determined before α-toxin production can be extrapolated from transcript levels in C. perfringens....

  15. Bacterial Toxins for Oncoleaking Suicidal Cancer Gene Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahle, Jessica; Walther, Wolfgang

    For suicide gene therapy, initially prodrug-converting enzymes (gene-directed enzyme-producing therapy, GDEPT) were employed to intracellularly metabolize non-toxic prodrugs into toxic compounds, leading to the effective suicidal killing of the transfected tumor cells. In this regard, the suicide gene therapy has demonstrated its potential for efficient tumor eradication. Numerous suicide genes of viral or bacterial origin were isolated, characterized, and extensively tested in vitro and in vivo, demonstrating their therapeutic potential even in clinical trials to treat cancers of different entities. Apart from this, growing efforts are made to generate more targeted and more effective suicide gene systems for cancer gene therapy. In this regard, bacterial toxins are an alternative to the classical GDEPT strategy, which add to the broad spectrum of different suicide approaches. In this context, lytic bacterial toxins, such as streptolysin O (SLO) or the claudin-targeted Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) represent attractive new types of suicide oncoleaking genes. They permit as pore-forming proteins rapid and also selective toxicity toward a broad range of cancers. In this chapter, we describe the generation and use of SLO as well as of CPE-based gene therapies for the effective tumor cell eradication as promising, novel suicide gene approach particularly for treatment of therapy refractory tumors.

  16. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rex Munday

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved.

  17. CD44 Promotes intoxication by the clostridial iota-family toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigelsworth, Darran J; Ruthel, Gordon; Schnell, Leonie; Herrlich, Peter; Blonder, Josip; Veenstra, Timothy D; Carman, Robert J; Wilkins, Tracy D; Van Nhieu, Guy Tran; Pauillac, Serge; Gibert, Maryse; Sauvonnet, Nathalie; Stiles, Bradley G; Popoff, Michel R; Barth, Holger

    2012-01-01

    Various pathogenic clostridia produce binary protein toxins associated with enteric diseases of humans and animals. Separate binding/translocation (B) components bind to a protein receptor on the cell surface, assemble with enzymatic (A) component(s), and mediate endocytosis of the toxin complex. Ultimately there is translocation of A component(s) from acidified endosomes into the cytosol, leading to destruction of the actin cytoskeleton. Our results revealed that CD44, a multifunctional surface protein of mammalian cells, facilitates intoxication by the iota family of clostridial binary toxins. Specific antibody against CD44 inhibited cytotoxicity of the prototypical Clostridium perfringens iota toxin. Versus CD44(+) melanoma cells, those lacking CD44 bound less toxin and were dose-dependently resistant to C. perfringens iota, as well as Clostridium difficile and Clostridium spiroforme iota-like, toxins. Purified CD44 specifically interacted in vitro with iota and iota-like, but not related Clostridium botulinum C2, toxins. Furthermore, CD44 knockout mice were resistant to iota toxin lethality. Collective data reveal an important role for CD44 during intoxication by a family of clostridial binary toxins.

  18. Algal-based immobilization process to treat the effluent from a secondary wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    He Shengbing; Xue Gang

    2010-01-01

    Algal-based immobilization process was applied to treat the effluent from a secondary wastewater treatment plant. Batch test proved that algae could attach onto fiber-bundle carrier in 7 days, and then the algal-based immobilization reactor could reduce TN (total nitrogen) and TP (total phosphorus) significantly within 48 h. Based on the above investigations, the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the algal-based immobilization reactor in continuous operation mode was determined to be 2 days. During the 91 days of experiment on the treating secondary effluent of Guang-Rao wastewater treatment plant, it was found that the fiber-bundle carrier could collect the heterobacteria and nitrifying bacteria gradually, and thus improved the COD removal efficiency and nitrification performance step by step. Results of the continuous operation indicated that the final effluent could meet the Chinese National First A-level Sewage Discharge Standard when the algal-based immobilization reactor reached steady state.

  19. Non-conventional approaches to food processing in CELSS, 1. Algal proteins: Characterization and process optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakhost, Z.; Karel, M.; Krukonis, V. J.

    1987-01-01

    Protein isolate obtained from green algae cultivated under controlled conditions was characterized. Molecular weight determination of fractionated algal proteins using SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed a wide spectrum of molecular weights ranging from 15,000 to 220,000. Isoelectric points of dissociated proteins were in the range of 3.95 to 6.20. Amino acid composition of protein isolate compared favorably with FAO standards. High content of essential amino acids leucine, valine, phenylalanine and lysine make algal protein isolate a high quality component of closed ecological life support system diets. To optimize the removal of algal lipids and pigments supercritical carbon dioxide extraction (with and without ethanol as a co-solvent) was used. Addition of ethanol to supercritical carbon dioxide resulted in more efficient removal of algal lipids and produced protein isolate with a good yield and protein recovery. The protein isolate extracted by the above mixture had an improved water solubility.

  20. Free ammonia offers algal crop protection from predators in dairy wastewater and ammonium-rich media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Patrick K; Dunn, Gary P; Passero, Maxine; Feris, Kevin P

    2017-11-01

    Cost-effective methods for protecting crops from grazing organisms like rotifers are needed to reduce the risk of pond crashes in mass algal cultures. We present a novel strategy to optimize the exposure time to free ammonia, via control of media pH, in both defined media and dairy anaerobic digester effluent to suppress rotifers and maintain algal productivity. We tested five different free ammonia exposure times (0, 1, 2, 6, and 12h) and found a significant nonlinear effect of exposure time (p0.9) on rotifer survival. In both media types, 6-12h of elevated free ammonia significantly reduced Brachionus plicatilis rotifer survival with no negative effects on Nannochloropsis oculata, while shorter exposure times were insufficient to inhibit rotifers, leading to severe algal culture crashes. These results suggest that algal crops can be protected from rotifers, without productivity loss, by elevating free ammonia for 6 or more hours. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Effect of algal biofertilizer on yield and protein content of rice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antarikanonda, P.; Amarit, P.; Chetsumon; Tancharoenrat, P.

    Four strains of nitrogen fixing blue-green algae, namely Anabaena siamensis, Anabaena lutea, Nostoc sp. 46 and Nostoc sp. 79. Mixed cultures were applied as biofertilizers to four paddy soil samples, taken from Rangsit, Khok Sumrong, Sakhon Nakorn and Surin areas. Pots which were arranged in completely randomized design consisted of 3 replications and 2 treatment in each replication. These treatments comprise an unbiofertilizer and a biofertilizer which biofertilizer rate was applied equally at 4 grams of blue green algae per 10 kilograms of soil sample. The results showed that algal biofertilizer enhanced the growth and yield of the rice significantly, which was noticeable in the dry weight of the straw and grain of rice, for all sources of soil. Grain yield of rice in these soils increased form the check of 32.07, 34.87, 8.86 and 21.49 to 53.14, 49.53, 20.02, and 49.60 grams per pot, respectively. The responsiveness of rice which received algal biofertilizer was different. The percentage increase in yield ranged from 42% in Khok Sumrong soil and 66% in Rangsit soil, to 126 and 131% in Sakhon Nakorn and Surin soil, respectively. Significant increase in protein content of rice with the application of algal biofertilizer was from the check of 5.03, 5.14, 6.75 and 5.25 to 6.45, 6.53, 7.80 and 7.11 percent respectively. The difference in plant N-uptake level, after the application algal biofertilizer gave 383.50, 310.00, 222.20 and 480.70 milligrams per pot, respectively.

  2. Macromolecular synthesis in algal cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishida, M.R.; Kikuchi, Tadatoshi

    1980-01-01

    The present paper is a review of our experimental results obtained previously on the macromolecular biosyntheses in the cells of blue-green alga Anacystis nidulans as a representative species of prokaryote, and also in those of three species of eukaryotic algae, i.e. Euglena gracilis strain Z, Chlamydomonas reinhardi, and Cyanidium caldarium. In these algal cells, the combined methods consisting of pulse-labelling using 32 P, 3 H- and 14 C-labelled precursors for macromolecules, of their chasing and of the use of inhibitors which block specifically the syntheses of macromolecules such as proteins, RNA and DNA in living cells were very effectively applied for the analyses of the regulatory mechanism in biosyntheses of macromolecules and of the mode of their assembly into the cell structure, especially organelle constituents. Rased on the results obtained thus, the following conclusions are reached: (1) the metabolic pool for syntheses of macromolecules in the cells of prokaryotic blue-green alga is limited to the small extent and such activities couple largely with the photosynthetic mechanism; (2) 70 S ribosomes in the blue-green algal cells are assembled on the surface of thylakoid membranes widely distributed in their cytoplasm; and (3) the cells of eukaryotic unicellular algae used here have biochemical characters specific for already differentiated enzyme system involving in transcription and translation machineries as the same as in higher organisms, but the control mechanism concerning with such macromolecule syntheses are different among each species. (author)

  3. Characteristics of algal succession following rock scraping at Imwon area in the east coast of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young Dae; Ahn, Jung Kwan; Nam, Myung Mo; Lee, Chu; Yoo, Hyun Il; Yeon, Su Yeoung; Kim, Young Hwan; Kim, Jang Kyun; Choi, Jae Suk

    2016-12-01

    This study was conducted to clarify the characteristics of algal succession following rock scraping using hoe or high-pressure water sprayer in the period from June 2010 to April 2011. We divided the research area off the eastern coast of Korean near Imwon into 3 categories depending upon the severity of the barren ground, i.e., the urchin barren-affected, urchin barren-ongoing and urchin barren-free areas. In April 2011, in the urchin barren-affected area with 25 seaweed species, the cover percentage and importance value (IV) of crustose coralline algae were higher than those of other species. In the urchin barren-ongoing area with 33 seaweed species, crustose coralline algae (mean IV = 62%) as well as Sargassum sp. (mean IV = 28%), and Gelidium amansii (mean IV = 19%) were observed following rock scraping. In the urchin barren-free area where seaweed communities were relatively abundant with 42 species, a variety of algal species including G. amansii (mean IV = 32%) underwent algal succession. Overall, it was observed that, as an aspect of algal succession, the weaker the barren ground severity was, the more frequent and diverse the seaweeds were, and the more complex the succession pattern was in the study. As an aspect of recovering algal community, rock scraping using hoe was shown to be superior to the method using high-pressure water spraying. Therefore, we conclude that rock scraping using hoe is a very effective strategy for recovering the algal community in urchin barren-ongoing area.

  4. Simultaneous Microcystis Algicidal and Microcystin Degrading Capability by a Single Acinetobacter Bacterial Strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hong; Ai, Hainan; Kang, Li; Sun, Xingfu; He, Qiang

    2016-11-01

    Measures for removal of toxic harmful algal blooms often cause lysis of algal cells and release of microcystins (MCs). In this study, Acinetobacter sp. CMDB-2 that exhibits distinct algal lysing activity and MCs degradation capability was isolated. The physiological response and morphological characteristics of toxin-producing Microcystis aeruginosa, the dynamics of intra- and extracellular MC-LR concentration were studied in an algal/bacterial cocultured system. The results demonstrated that Acinetobacter sp. CMDB-2 caused thorough decomposition of algal cells and impairment of photosynthesis within 24 h. Enhanced algal lysis and MC-LR release appeared with increasing bacterial density from 1 × 10 3 to 1 × 10 7 cells/mL; however, the MC-LR was reduced by nearly 94% within 14 h irrespective of bacterial density. Measurement of extracellular and intracellular MC-LR revealed that the toxin was decreased by 92% in bacterial cell incubated systems relative to control and bacterial cell-free filtrate systems. The results confirmed that the bacterial metabolite caused 92% lysis of Microcystis aeruginosa cells, whereas the bacterial cells were responsible for approximately 91% reduction of MC-LR. The joint efforts of the bacterium and its metabolite accomplished the sustainable removal of algae and MC-LR. This is the first report of a single bacterial strain that achieves these dual actions.

  5. Analysis of algal bloom risk with uncertainties in lakes by integrating self-organizing map and fuzzy information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qiuwen; Rui, Han; Li, Weifeng; Zhang, Yanhui

    2014-06-01

    Algal blooms are a serious problem in waters, which damage aquatic ecosystems and threaten drinking water safety. However, the outbreak mechanism of algal blooms is very complex with great uncertainty, especially for large water bodies where environmental conditions have obvious variation in both space and time. This study developed an innovative method which integrated a self-organizing map (SOM) and fuzzy information diffusion theory to comprehensively analyze algal bloom risks with uncertainties. The Lake Taihu was taken as study case and the long-term (2004-2010) on-site monitoring data were used. The results showed that algal blooms in Taihu Lake were classified into four categories and exhibited obvious spatial-temporal patterns. The lake was mainly characterized by moderate bloom but had high uncertainty, whereas severe blooms with low uncertainty were observed in the northwest part of the lake. The study gives insight on the spatial-temporal dynamics of algal blooms, and should help government and decision-makers outline policies and practices on bloom monitoring and prevention. The developed method provides a promising approach to estimate algal bloom risks under uncertainties. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Selective recovery of gold and other metal ions from an algal biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Darnall, D.W.; Greene, B.; Henzl, M.T.; Hosea, J.M.; McPherson, R.A.; Sneddon, J.; Alexander, M.D.

    1986-02-01

    The authors observed that the pH dependence of the binding of Au/sup 3 +/, Ag/sup +/, and Hg/sup 2 +/ to the algae Chlorella vulgaris is different than the binding of other metal ions. Between pH 5 and 7, a variety of metal ions bind strongly to the cell surface. Most of these algal-bound metal ions can be selectively desorbed by lowering the pH to 2; however, Au/sup 3 +/, Hg/sup 2 +/, and Ag/sup +/ are all bound strongly at pH 2. Addition of a strong ligand at different pHs is required to elute these ions from the algal surface. Algal-bound gold and mercury can be selectively eluted by using mercaptoethanol. An elution scheme is demonstrated for the binding and selective recovery of Cu/sup 2 +/, Zn/sup 2 +/, Au/sup 3 +/, and Hg/sup 2 +/ from an equimolar mixture. 20 references, 2 figures.

  7. Controlling silver nanoparticle exposure in algal toxicity testing - A matter of timing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Sara Nørgaard; Baun, Anders

    2015-01-01

    ) in a standard algal growth inhibition test (ISO 8692:2004) for 48 h and a short-term (2 h) 14C-assimilation test. For AgNO3, similar responses were obtained in the two tests, whereas freshly prepared suspensions of citrate stabilized AgNPs were less toxic in the 2-h tests compared to the 48-h tests. The 2-h...... test was found applicable for dissolved silver, but yielded non-monotonous concentration–response relationships and poor reproducibility for freshly prepared AgNP suspensions. However, when aging AgNPs in algal medium 24 h prior to testing, clear concentration–response patterns emerged...... and reproducibility increased. Prolonged aging to 48 h increased toxicity in the 2-h tests whereas aging beyond 48 h reduced toxicity. Our results demonstrate that the outcome of algal toxicity testing of AgNPs is highly influenced not only by the test duration, but also by the time passed from the moment Ag...

  8. Botulinum toxin efficacy in the treatment of patients with spasmodic dysphonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetel Marina

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. Spasmodic dysphonia (DS is a disabling speech disturbance appearing as the consequence of dystonic vocal folds contraction. Its intermittent appearance in the laryngeal muscles causes vocal function discontinuation. The quality of life of these patients is significantly disturbed. Surgical and a medical therapy appear to be inadequate and unsuccessful ones of no steady improvement. It is the botulinum toxin therapy that proved to be highly efficacious one, with the established improvement in 80−100% of patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of botulinum toxin therapy in patients with SD and to show our preliminary results. Methods. The study included 10 patients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia. After diagnostic procedures, botulinum toxin was applied either in one or both vocal folds, in doses of 12−16 units each. In our study we applied indirect technique originally developed by Hočevar and Pirtošek. Perceptive voice and speech analysis was performed prior to and after the instillation of botuline toxin as per structured Scale of pathological characteristics of voice and speech appearing in the spasmodic dysphonia. Results. The majority of our patients experienced both subjective improvement and the improvement in the terms of the quality of life, Voice Henolicap Index − (VHI that was rated as rather significant one (t = 3.562; p = 0.006. Conclusion. Regardless unquestionable improvement of definite phonation, further function restitution requires individual vocal therapy and psychotherapy. Vocal therapy includes structural vocal techniques which reduce degree of vocal tension and rapid changes in the power and the height of voice. Further investigations are necessary for the scope of the definition of a standardized therapeutically procedure for spasmodic dysphonia treatment which comprises multidisciplinary approach in diagnosis, therapy and treatment efficacy evaluation.

  9. Toxin gene determination and evolution in scorpaenoid fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Po-Shun; Shiao, Jen-Chieh

    2014-09-01

    In this study, we determine the toxin genes from both cDNA and genomic DNA of four scorpaenoid fish and reconstruct their evolutionary relationship. The deduced protein sequences of the two toxin subunits in Sebastapistes strongia, Scorpaenopsis oxycephala, and Sebastiscus marmoratus are about 700 amino acid, similar to the sizes of the stonefish (Synanceia horrida, and Synanceia verrucosa) and lionfish (Pterois antennata and Pterois volitans) toxins previously published. The intron positions are highly conserved among these species, which indicate the applicability of gene finding by using genomic DNA template. The phylogenetic analysis shows that the two toxin subunits were duplicated prior to the speciation of Scorpaenoidei. The precedence of the gene duplication over speciation indicates that the toxin genes may be common to the whole family of Scorpaeniform. Furthermore, one additional toxin gene has been determined in the genomic DNA of Dendrochirus zebra. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that an additional gene duplication occurred before the speciation of the lionfish (Pteroinae) and a pseudogene may be generally present in the lineage of lionfish. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Algal Turf Scrubbers: Cleaning Water while Capturing Solar Energy for Bio fuel Production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffrey Bannon, J.; Adey, W.

    2010-01-01

    Algal Turfs are bio diverse communities of unicellular to filamentous algae of all major algal phyla. Algal Turf Scrubbers (ATS) are bioengineered ecosystems dominated by algal turfs. They clean water to very high quality, and remove CO 2 from the atmosphere by capturing solar energy at rates 10 times that of agriculture and 50 times that of forestry. Since they are controlled ecosystems, using local algae, ATS does not suffer the major disadvantages of agricultural crops, which for maximum efficiency require fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. ATS removes CO 2 from water and the atmosphere, and can be configured to remove CO 2 from power plant stack gases. As a normal part of operations, ATS removes heavy metals, break down toxic hydrocarbons, and oxygenates treated waters. ATS systems are capable of removing nitrogen and phosphorous from surface waters in the mid latitude US at $0.60/kg and $10.60/kg respectively (10% of the cost certified by the Chesapeake Bay Commission), and independently producing an energy product at $0.85/gallon. Given a nutrient credit system for rewarding nutrient removal from rivers and lakes, this price can be driven down to below $.40/gallon. Conservatively ATS can produce the equivalent of US imported oil on less than 30 M acres of land along major rivers

  11. Discovery of novel bacterial toxins by genomics and computational biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doxey, Andrew C; Mansfield, Michael J; Montecucco, Cesare

    2018-06-01

    Hundreds and hundreds of bacterial protein toxins are presently known. Traditionally, toxin identification begins with pathological studies of bacterial infectious disease. Following identification and cultivation of a bacterial pathogen, the protein toxin is purified from the culture medium and its pathogenic activity is studied using the methods of biochemistry and structural biology, cell biology, tissue and organ biology, and appropriate animal models, supplemented by bioimaging techniques. The ongoing and explosive development of high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatic approaches have set in motion a revolution in many fields of biology, including microbiology. One consequence is that genes encoding novel bacterial toxins can be identified by bioinformatic and computational methods based on previous knowledge accumulated from studies of the biology and pathology of thousands of known bacterial protein toxins. Starting from the paradigmatic cases of diphtheria toxin, tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, this review discusses traditional experimental approaches as well as bioinformatics and genomics-driven approaches that facilitate the discovery of novel bacterial toxins. We discuss recent work on the identification of novel botulinum-like toxins from genera such as Weissella, Chryseobacterium, and Enteroccocus, and the implications of these computationally identified toxins in the field. Finally, we discuss the promise of metagenomics in the discovery of novel toxins and their ecological niches, and present data suggesting the existence of uncharacterized, botulinum-like toxin genes in insect gut metagenomes. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms (SETAC presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reports of toxic cyanobacterial blooms, also known as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS) have increased drastically in recent years. HABS impact human health from causing mild allergies to liver damage and death. The Ecological Stewardship Institute (ESI) at Northern Kentucky Universi...

  13. 77 FR 9888 - Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-21

    ... Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Certain Raw Beef Products AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service... toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145). This new date..., that are contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26, O45, O103, O111, O121...

  14. Loop Replacement Enhances the Ancestral Antibacterial Function of a Bifunctional Scorpion Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shangfei Zhang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of the evolutionary relationship between scorpion toxins targeting K+ channels (KTxs and antibacterial defensins (Zhu S., Peigneur S., Gao B., Umetsu Y., Ohki S., Tytgat J. Experimental conversion of a defensin into a neurotoxin: Implications for origin of toxic function. Mol. Biol. Evol. 2014, 31, 546–559, we performed protein engineering experiments to modify a bifunctional KTx (i.e., weak inhibitory activities on both K+ channels and bacteria via substituting its carboxyl loop with the structurally equivalent loop of contemporary defensins. As expected, the engineered peptide (named MeuTXKα3-KFGGI remarkably improved the antibacterial activity, particularly on some Gram-positive bacteria, including several antibiotic-resistant opportunistic pathogens. Compared with the unmodified toxin, its antibacterial spectrum also enlarged. Our work provides a new method to enhance the antibacterial activity of bifunctional scorpion venom peptides, which might be useful in engineering other proteins with an ancestral activity.

  15. Development and single-laboratory validation of a UHPLC-MS/MS method for quantitation of microcystins and nodularin in natural water, cyanobacteria, shellfish and algal supplement tablet powders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Andrew D; Waack, Julia; Lewis, Adam; Edwards, Christine; Lawton, Linda

    2018-02-01

    A simple, rapid UHPLC-MS/MS method has been developed and optimised for the quantitation of microcystins and nodularin in wide variety of sample matrices. Microcystin analogues targeted were MC-LR, MC-RR, MC-LA, MC-LY, MC-LF, LC-LW, MC-YR, MC-WR, [Asp3] MC-LR, [Dha7] MC-LR, MC-HilR and MC-HtyR. Optimisation studies were conducted to develop a simple, quick and efficient extraction protocol without the need for complex pre-analysis concentration procedures, together with a rapid sub 5min chromatographic separation of toxins in shellfish and algal supplement tablet powders, as well as water and cyanobacterial bloom samples. Validation studies were undertaken on each matrix-analyte combination to the full method performance characteristics following international guidelines. The method was found to be specific and linear over the full calibration range. Method sensitivity in terms of limits of detection, quantitation and reporting were found to be significantly improved in comparison to LC-UV methods and applicable to the analysis of each of the four matrices. Overall, acceptable recoveries were determined for each of the matrices studied, with associated precision and within-laboratory reproducibility well within expected guidance limits. Results from the formalised ruggedness analysis of all available cyanotoxins, showed that the method was robust for all parameters investigated. The results presented here show that the optimised LC-MS/MS method for cyanotoxins is fit for the purpose of detection and quantitation of a range of microcystins and nodularin in shellfish, algal supplement tablet powder, water and cyanobacteria. The method provides a valuable early warning tool for the rapid, routine extraction and analysis of natural waters, cyanobacterial blooms, algal powders, food supplements and shellfish tissues, enabling monitoring labs to supplement traditional microscopy techniques and report toxicity results within a short timeframe of sample receipt. The new

  16. Cellular Uptake of the Clostridium perfringens Binary Iota-Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöcker, Dagmar; Behlke, Joachim; Aktories, Klaus; Barth, Holger

    2001-01-01

    The binary iota-toxin is produced by Clostridium perfringens type E strains and consists of two separate proteins, the binding component iota b (98 kDa) and an actin-ADP-ribosylating enzyme component iota a (47 kDa). Iota b binds to the cell surface receptor and mediates the translocation of iota a into the cytosol. Here we studied the cellular uptake of iota-toxin into Vero cells. Bafilomycin A1, but not brefeldin A or nocodazole, inhibited the cytotoxic effects of iota-toxin, indicating that toxin is translocated from an endosomal compartment into the cytoplasm. Acidification (pH ≤ 5.0) of the extracellular medium enabled iota a to directly enter the cytosol in the presence of iota b. Activation by chymotrypsin induced oligomerization of iota b in solution. An average mass of 530 ± 28 kDa for oligomers was determined by analytical ultracentrifugation, indicating heptamer formation. The entry of iota-toxin into polarized CaCo-2 cells was studied by measuring the decrease in transepithelial resistance after toxin treatment. Iota-toxin led to a significant decrease in resistance when it was applied to the basolateral surface of the cells but not following application to the apical surface, indicating a polarized localization of the iota-toxin receptor. PMID:11292715

  17. T-2 toxin Analysis in Poultry and Cattle Feedstuff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gholampour Azizi, Issa; Azarmi, Masumeh; Danesh Pouya, Naser; Rouhi, Samaneh

    2014-05-01

    T-2 toxin is a mycotoxin that is produced by the Fusarium fungi. Consumption of food and feed contaminated with T-2 toxin causes diseases in humans and animals. In this study T-2 toxin was analyzed in poultry and cattle feedstuff in cities of Mazandaran province (Babol, Sari, Chalus), Northern Iran. In this study, 90 samples were analyzed for T-2 toxin contamination by the ELISA method. Out of 60 concentrate and bagasse samples collected from various cities of Mazandaran province, 11.7% and 3.3% were contaminated with T-2 toxin at concentrations > 25 and 50 µg/kg, respectively. For mixed poultry diets, while 10% of the 30 analyzed samples were contaminated with > 25 µg/kg, none of the tested samples contained T-2 toxin at levels > 50 µg/kg. The results obtained from this study show that poultry and cattle feedstuff can be contaminated with different amounts of T-2 toxin in different conditions and locations. Feedstuff that are contaminated by this toxin cause different diseases in animals; thus, potential transfer of mycotoxins to edible by-products from animals fed mycotoxin-contaminated feeds drives the need to routinely monitor mycotoxins in animal feeds and their components. This is the basis on which effective management of mycotoxins and their effects can be implemented.

  18. Dinophysis Toxins: Causative Organisms, Distribution and Fate in Shellfish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reguera, Beatriz; Riobó, Pilar; Rodríguez, Francisco; Díaz, Patricio A.; Pizarro, Gemita; Paz, Beatriz; Franco, José M.; Blanco, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Several Dinophysis species produce diarrhoetic toxins (okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins) and pectenotoxins, and cause gastointestinal illness, Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP), even at low cell densities (Chile, and Europe. Toxicity and toxin profiles are very variable, more between strains than species. The distribution of DSP events mirrors that of shellfish production areas that have implemented toxin regulations, otherwise misinterpreted as bacterial or viral contamination. Field observations and laboratory experiments have shown that most of the toxins produced by Dinophysis are released into the medium, raising questions about the ecological role of extracelular toxins and their potential uptake by shellfish. Shellfish contamination results from a complex balance between food selection, adsorption, species-specific enzymatic transformations, and allometric processes. Highest risk areas are those combining Dinophysis strains with high cell content of okadaates, aquaculture with predominance of mytilids (good accumulators of toxins), and consumers who frequently include mussels in their diet. Regions including pectenotoxins in their regulated phycotoxins will suffer from much longer harvesting bans and from disloyal competition with production areas where these toxins have been deregulated. PMID:24447996

  19. Algal massive growth in relation to water quality and salinity at Damietta, north of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Ali Ibraheem Deyab

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To relate the proliferation and dominance of certain algal species at the Damietta and its relation to water quality. Methods: Water and algal biomass were bimonthly sampled from five selected sites at Damietta Province, Egypt during 2012. Algae were identified and quantified. Waters, algae and sediment were analyzed. Results: The physicochemical properties of water showed limited seasonal but substantial local variation. The high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus and turbidity of water pointed to marked eutrophication, which could enhance massive algal growth. The temporal fluctuation in temperature, exposure to industrial and domestic sewage and salinity results in succession between blooming algal species. Spirulina platensis and Chlorella vulgaris alternated in a moderately saline water and Oscillatoria agardhii and Mougeotia scalaris in a fresh water body during summer and winter respectively. Likewise, Microcystis aureginosa and Ulva lactuca alternated in a moderately saline site during autumn and summer respectively. Cladophora albida dominated a fish pond of brackish water and Dunaliella salina dominated the most saline water over the whole period of study. Conclusions: Growth of the predominant algal species is correlated to water quality. These species are of considerable nutritive value, with moderate contents of protein, carbohydrate, macronutrients and micronutrients, which evaluates them for usage as food (green and macroalgae, fodder or bio-fertilizer (cyanophytes.

  20. Relations between water physico-chemistry and benthic algal communities in a northern Canadian watershed: defining reference conditions using multiple descriptors of community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Kathryn E; Hall, Roland I; Scrimgeour, Garry J

    2015-09-01

    Defining reference conditions is central to identifying environmental effects of anthropogenic activities. Using a watershed approach, we quantified reference conditions for benthic algal communities and their relations to physico-chemical conditions in rivers in the South Nahanni River watershed, NWT, Canada, in 2008 and 2009. We also compared the ability of three descriptors that vary in terms of analytical costs to define algal community structure based on relative abundances of (i) all algal taxa, (ii) only diatom taxa, and (iii) photosynthetic pigments. Ordination analyses showed that variance in algal community structure was strongly related to gradients in environmental variables describing water physico-chemistry, stream habitats, and sub-watershed structure. Water physico-chemistry and local watershed-scale descriptors differed significantly between algal communities from sites in the Selwyn Mountain ecoregion compared to sites in the Nahanni-Hyland ecoregions. Distinct differences in algal community types between ecoregions were apparent irrespective of whether algal community structure was defined using all algal taxa, diatom taxa, or photosynthetic pigments. Two algal community types were highly predictable using environmental variables, a core consideration in the development of Reference Condition Approach (RCA) models. These results suggest that assessments of environmental impacts could be completed using RCA models for each ecoregion. We suggest that use of algal pigments, a high through-put analysis, is a promising alternative compared to more labor-intensive and costly taxonomic approaches for defining algal community structure.

  1. Environmental variables, algal pigments and phytoplankton in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The phytoplankton diversity, environmental variables and algal pigments of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Badagry, Lagos were investigated for twelve months between May 2015 and April 2016. The water chemistry characteristics reflected sea water conditions. At the two stations, the range of values recorded for some ...

  2. Isolation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli harboring variant Shiga toxin genes from seafood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreepriya Prakasan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC are important pathogens of global significance. STEC are responsible for numerous food-borne outbreaks worldwide and their presence in food is a potential health hazard. The objective of the present study was to determine the incidence of STEC in fresh seafood in Mumbai, India, and to characterize STEC with respect to their virulence determinants. Materials and Methods: A total of 368 E. coli were isolated from 39 fresh seafood samples (18 finfish and 21 shellfish using culture-based methods. The isolates were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR for the genes commonly associated with STEC. The variant Shiga toxin genes were confirmed by Southern blotting and hybridization followed by DNA sequencing. Results: One or more Shiga toxins genes were detected in 61 isolates. Of 39 samples analyzed, 10 (25.64% samples harbored STEC. Other virulence genes, namely, eaeA (coding for an intimin and hlyA (hemolysin A were detected in 43 and 15 seafood isolates, respectively. The variant stx1 genes from 6 isolates were sequenced, five of which were found to be stx1d variants, while one sequence varied considerably from known stx1 sequences. Southern hybridization and DNA sequence analysis suggested putative Shiga toxin variant genes (stx2 in at least 3 other isolates. Conclusion: The results of this study showed the occurrence of STEC in seafood harboring one or more Shiga toxin genes. The detection of STEC by PCR may be hampered due to the presence of variant genes such as the stx1d in STEC. This is the first report of stx1d gene in STEC isolated from Indian seafood.

  3. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, Ryan; Biddy, Mary J.; Jones, Susanne B.

    2013-03-31

    In support of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs. Process designs and preliminary economic estimates for each of these pathway cases were developed using rigorous modeling tools (Aspen Plus and Chemcad). These analyses incorporated the best information available at the time of development, including data from recent pilot and bench-scale demonstrations, collaborative industrial and academic partners, and published literature and patents. This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline, diesel and jet range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  4. Factors Controlling Changes in Epilithic Algal Biomass in the Mountain Streams of Subtropical Taiwan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Ming Kuo

    Full Text Available In upstream reaches, epilithic algae are one of the major primary producers and their biomass may alter the energy flow of food webs in stream ecosystems. However, the overgrowth of epilithic algae may deteriorate water quality. In this study, the effects of environmental variables on epilithic algal biomass were examined at 5 monitoring sites in mountain streams of the Wuling basin of subtropical Taiwan over a 5-year period (2006-2011 by using a generalized additive model (GAM. Epilithic algal biomass and some variables observed at pristine sites obviously differed from those at the channelized stream with intensive agricultural activity. The results of the optimal GAM showed that water temperature, turbidity, current velocity, dissolved oxygen (DO, pH, and ammonium-N (NH4-N were the main factors explaining seasonal variations of epilithic algal biomass in the streams. The change points of smoothing curves for velocity, DO, NH4-N, pH, turbidity, and water temperature were approximately 0.40 m s-1, 8.0 mg L-1, 0.01 mg L-1, 8.5, 0.60 NTU, and 15°C, respectively. When aforementioned variables were greater than relevant change points, epilithic algal biomass was increased with pH and water temperature, and decreased with water velocity, DO, turbidity, and NH4-N. These change points may serve as a framework for managing the growth of epilithic algae. Understanding the relationship between environmental variables and epilithic algal biomass can provide a useful approach for maintaining the functioning in stream ecosystems.

  5. Marine algal flora of submerged Angria Bank (Arabian Sea)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Untawale, A.G.; Reddy, C.R.K.; Ambiye, V.

    Submerged Angria Bank was surveyed for the deep water marine algal flora. About 57 species were reported from this bank for the first time. Rhodophyta dominated (30 species) followed by Chlorophyta (18 species) and Phaeophyta (9 species). A few...

  6. Determination of the algal growth-limiting nutrients in strip mine ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bucknavage, M.J.; Aharrah, E.C.

    1984-01-01

    Using both a test organism, Ankistrodesmus falcatus, and natural phytoplankton, the Printz Algal Assay Bottle Test was used to determine the algal growth limiting nutrients in two strip mine ponds. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron were investigated, singly and in combination, as possible limiting nutrients. A synthetic chelator, Na 2 EDTA, was also used in the assay to test for the presence of metal toxicants and/or trace metal limitation. Because bacteria have a major influence on water chemistry, a separate assay incorporating the natural bacteria population was performed. In both ponds, assay results using test alga indicate phosphorus to be the primary limiting nutrient and nitrogen as a secondary factor. The presence of EDTA in combination with phosphate containing treatment promoted a higher algal concentration in both ponds. Iron was determined to be a secondary limiting nutrient in only one of the ponds. Natural phytoplankton of the two ponds responded in a similar manner to nutrient increases. Only one pond had the same results produced by both assays. Nutrient availability was influenced by the presence of bacteria in one pond but not in the other

  7. Biological control of Microcystis dominated harmful algal blooms ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Freshwater resources are now threatened by the presence and increase of harmful algal blooms (HAB) all over the world. The HABs are sometimes a direct result of anthropogenic pollution entering water bodies, such as partially treated nutrient-rich effluents and the leaching of fertilisers and animal wastes. The impact of ...

  8. Effects of fertilizers used in agricultural fields on algal blooms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chakraborty, Subhendu; Tiwari, P. K.; Sasmal, S. K.

    2017-01-01

    of factors and from observation it is difficult to identify the most important one. In the present paper, using a mathematical model we compare the effects of three human induced factors (fertilizer input in agricultural field, eutrophication due to other sources than fertilizers, and overfishing......) on the bloom dynamics and DO level. By applying a sophisticated sensitivity analysis technique, we found that the increasing use of fertilizers in agricultural field causes more rapid algal growth and decreases DO level much faster than eutrophication from other sources and overfishing. We also look...... at the mechanisms how fertilizer input rate affects the algal bloom dynamics and DO level. The model can be helpful for the policy makers in determining the influential factors responsible for the bloom formation....

  9. Botulinum toxin for treatment of glandular hypersecretory disorders.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Laing, T A

    2012-02-03

    SUMMARY: The use of botulinum toxin to treat disorders of the salivary glands is increasing in popularity in recent years. Recent reports of the use of botulinum toxin in glandular hypersecretion suggest overall favourable results with minimal side-effects. However, few randomised clinical trials means that data are limited with respect to candidate suitability, treatment dosages, frequency and duration of treatment. We report a selection of such cases from our own department managed with botulinum toxin and review the current data on use of the toxin to treat salivary gland disorders such as Frey\\'s syndrome, excessive salivation (sialorrhoea), focal and general hyperhidrosis, excessive lacrimation and chronic rhinitis.

  10. Phylogenetic analysis of algal symbionts associated with four North American amphibian egg masses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunsoo; Lin, Yuan; Kerney, Ryan; Blumenberg, Lili; Bishop, Cory

    2014-01-01

    Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille), which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae.

  11. Phylogenetic analysis of algal symbionts associated with four North American amphibian egg masses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunsoo Kim

    Full Text Available Egg masses of the yellow-spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum form an association with the green alga "Oophila amblystomatis" (Lambert ex Wille, which, in addition to growing within individual egg capsules, has recently been reported to invade embryonic tissues and cells. The binomial O. amblystomatis refers to the algae that occur in A. maculatum egg capsules, but it is unknown whether this population of symbionts constitutes one or several different algal taxa. Moreover, it is unknown whether egg masses across the geographic range of A. maculatum, or other amphibians, associate with one or multiple algal taxa. To address these questions, we conducted a phylogeographic study of algae sampled from egg capsules of A. maculatum, its allopatric congener A. gracile, and two frogs: Lithobates sylvatica and L. aurora. All of these North American amphibians form associations with algae in their egg capsules. We sampled algae from egg capsules of these four amphibians from localities across North America, established representative algal cultures, and amplified and sequenced a region of 18S rDNA for phylogenetic analysis. Our combined analysis shows that symbiotic algae found in egg masses of four North American amphibians are closely related to each other, and form a well-supported clade that also contains three strains of free-living chlamydomonads. We designate this group as the 'Oophila' clade, within which the symbiotic algae are further divided into four distinct subclades. Phylogenies of the host amphibians and their algal symbionts are only partially congruent, suggesting that host-switching and co-speciation both play roles in their associations. We also established conditions for isolating and rearing algal symbionts from amphibian egg capsules, which should facilitate further study of these egg mass specialist algae.

  12. Evolution of red algal plastid genomes: ancient architectures, introns, horizontal gene transfer, and taxonomic utility of plastid markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Janouškovec

    Full Text Available Red algae have the most gene-rich plastid genomes known, but despite their evolutionary importance these genomes remain poorly sampled. Here we characterize three complete and one partial plastid genome from a diverse range of florideophytes. By unifying annotations across all available red algal plastid genomes we show they all share a highly compact and slowly-evolving architecture and uniquely rich gene complements. Both chromosome structure and gene content have changed very little during red algal diversification, and suggest that plastid-to nucleus gene transfers have been rare. Despite their ancient character, however, the red algal plastids also contain several unprecedented features, including a group II intron in a tRNA-Met gene that encodes the first example of red algal plastid intron maturase - a feature uniquely shared among florideophytes. We also identify a rare case of a horizontally-acquired proteobacterial operon, and propose this operon may have been recruited for plastid function and potentially replaced a nucleus-encoded plastid-targeted paralogue. Plastid genome phylogenies yield a fully resolved tree and suggest that plastid DNA is a useful tool for resolving red algal relationships. Lastly, we estimate the evolutionary rates among more than 200 plastid genes, and assess their usefulness for species and subspecies taxonomy by comparison to well-established barcoding markers such as cox1 and rbcL. Overall, these data demonstrates that red algal plastid genomes are easily obtainable using high-throughput sequencing of total genomic DNA, interesting from evolutionary perspectives, and promising in resolving red algal relationships at evolutionarily-deep and species/subspecies levels.

  13. Characterization of a Toxin A-Negative, Toxin B-Positive Strain of Clostridium difficile Responsible for a Nosocomial Outbreak of Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfa, Michelle J.; Kabani, Amin; Lyerly, David; Moncrief, Scott; Neville, Laurie M.; Al-Barrak, Ali; Harding, Godfrey K. H.; Dyck, Brenda; Olekson, Karen; Embil, John M.

    2000-01-01

    Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CAD) is a very common nosocomial infection that contributes significantly to patient morbidity and mortality as well as to the cost of hospitalization. Previously, strains of toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive C. difficile were not thought to be associated with clinically significant disease. This study reports the characterization of a toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive strain of C. difficile that was responsible for a recently described nosocomial outbreak of CAD. Analysis of the seven patient isolates from the outbreak by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis indicated that this outbreak was due to transmission of a single strain of C. difficile. Our characterization of this strain (HSC98) has demonstrated that the toxin A gene lacks 1.8 kb from the carboxy repetitive oligopeptide (CROP) region but apparently has no other major deletions from other regions of the toxin A or toxin B gene. The remaining 1.3-kb fragment of the toxin A CROP region from strain HSC98 showed 98% sequence homology with strain 1470, previously reported by M. Weidmann in 1997 (GenBank accession number Y12616), suggesting that HSC98 is toxinotype VIII. The HSC98 strain infecting patients involved in this outbreak produced the full spectrum of clinical illness usually associated with C. difficile-associated disease. This pathogenic spectrum was manifest despite the inability of this strain to alter tight junctions as determined by using in vitro tissue culture testing, which suggested that no functional toxin A was produced by this strain. PMID:10878068

  14. Uptake and bioaccumulation of Cry toxins by an aphidophagous predator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paula, Débora P.; Andow, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Uptake of Cry toxins by insect natural enemies has rarely been considered and bioaccumulation has not yet been demonstrated. Uptake can be demonstrated by the continued presence of Cry toxin after exposure has stopped and gut contents eliminated. Bioaccumulation can be demonstrated by showing uptake and that the concentration of Cry toxin in the natural enemy exceeds that in its food. We exposed larvae of the aphidophagous predator, Harmonia axyridis, to Cry1Ac and Cry1F through uniform and constant tritrophic exposure via an aphid, Myzus persicae, and looked for toxin presence in the pupae. We repeated the experiment using only Cry1F and tested newly emerged adults. Both Cry toxins were detected in pupae, and Cry1F was detected in recently emerged, unfed adults. Cry1Ac was present 2.05 times and Cry1F 3.09 times higher in predator pupae than in the aphid prey. Uptake and bioaccumulation in the third trophic level might increase the persistence of Cry toxins in the food web and mediate new exposure routes to natural enemies. - Highlights: • Uptake and bioaccumulation of two Cry toxins by a larval coccinellid was tested. • Uptake was demonstrated by presence of the toxins in pupae and adults. • Bioaccumulation was shown by higher toxin concentration in pupae than prey. • Cry1Ac was present 2.05× and Cry1F 3.09× higher in predator pupae than prey. • This might increase persistence of Cry toxins in food webs with new exposure routes. - Immatures of the predaceous coccinellid Harmonia axyridis can uptake and bioaccumulate Cry toxins delivered via their aphid prey.

  15. [Botulinum toxin: An important complement for facial rejuvenation surgery].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Louarn, C

    2017-10-01

    The improved understanding of the functional anatomy of the face and of the action of the botulinum toxin A leads us to determine a new injection procedure which consequently decreases the risk of eyebrow and eyelid ptosis and increases the toxin's injection possibilities and efficiencies. With less units of toxin, the technique herein described proposes to be more efficient on more muscles: variable toxin injections concentration adapted to each injected muscle are used. Thanks to a new procedure in the upper face, toxin A injection can be quite close to an endoscopic surgical action. In addition, interesting results are achievable to rejuvenate the lateral canthus with injection on the upper lateral tarsus, to rejuvenate the nose with injection at the alar base, the jawline and the neck region. Lastly, a smoothing effect on the skin (meso botox) is obtained by the anticholinergic action of the toxin A on the dermal receptors. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  16. AB toxins: a paradigm switch from deadly to desirable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odumosu, Oludare; Nicholas, Dequina; Yano, Hiroshi; Langridge, William

    2010-07-01

    To ensure their survival, a number of bacterial and plant species have evolved a common strategy to capture energy from other biological systems. Being imperfect pathogens, organisms synthesizing multi-subunit AB toxins are responsible for the mortality of millions of people and animals annually. Vaccination against these organisms and their toxins has proved rather ineffective in providing long-term protection from disease. In response to the debilitating effects of AB toxins on epithelial cells of the digestive mucosa, mechanisms underlying toxin immunomodulation of immune responses have become the focus of increasing experimentation. The results of these studies reveal that AB toxins may have a beneficial application as adjuvants for the enhancement of immune protection against infection and autoimmunity. Here, we examine similarities and differences in the structure and function of bacterial and plant AB toxins that underlie their toxicity and their exceptional properties as immunomodulators for stimulating immune responses against infectious disease and for immune suppression of organ-specific autoimmunity.

  17. AB Toxins: A Paradigm Switch from Deadly to Desirable

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oludare Odumosu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available To ensure their survival, a number of bacterial and plant species have evolved a common strategy to capture energy from other biological systems. Being imperfect pathogens, organisms synthesizing multi-subunit AB toxins are responsible for the mortality of millions of people and animals annually. Vaccination against these organisms and their toxins has proved rather ineffective in providing long-term protection from disease. In response to the debilitating effects of AB toxins on epithelial cells of the digestive mucosa, mechanisms underlying toxin immunomodulation of immune responses have become the focus of increasing experimentation. The results of these studies reveal that AB toxins may have a beneficial application as adjuvants for the enhancement of immune protection against infection and autoimmunity. Here, we examine similarities and differences in the structure and function of bacterial and plant AB toxins that underlie their toxicity and their exceptional properties as immunomodulators for stimulating immune responses against infectious disease and for immune suppression of organ-specific autoimmunity.

  18. Botulinum toxin A for the Treatment of Overactive Bladder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Po-Fan; Chiu, Hung-Chieh; Chen, Kuan-Chieh; Chang, Chao-Hsiang; Chou, Eric Chieh-Lung

    2016-02-29

    The standard treatment for overactive bladder starts with patient education and behavior therapies, followed by antimuscarinic agents. For patients with urgency urinary incontinence refractory to antimuscarinic therapy, currently both American Urological Association (AUA) and European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines suggested that intravesical injection of botulinum toxin A should be offered. The mechanism of botulinum toxin A includes inhibition of vesicular release of neurotransmitters and the axonal expression of capsaicin and purinergic receptors in the suburothelium, as well as attenuation of central sensitization. Multiple randomized, placebo-controlled trials demonstrated that botulinum toxin A to be an effective treatment for patients with refractory idiopathic or neurogenic detrusor overactivity. The urinary incontinence episodes, maximum cystometric capacity, and maximum detrusor pressure were improved greater by botulinum toxin A compared to placebo. The adverse effects of botulinum toxin A, such as urinary retention and urinary tract infection, were primarily localized to the lower urinary tract. Therefore, botulinum toxin A offers an effective treatment option for patients with refractory overactive bladder.

  19. Toxins and antimicrobial peptides: interactions with membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlamadinger, Diana E.; Gable, Jonathan E.; Kim, Judy E.

    2009-08-01

    The innate immunity to pathogenic invasion of organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms relies upon cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as the first line of defense. In addition to these natural peptide antibiotics, similar cationic peptides, such as the bee venom toxin melittin, act as nonspecific toxins. Molecular details of AMP and peptide toxin action are not known, but the universal function of these peptides to disrupt cell membranes of pathogenic bacteria (AMPs) or a diverse set of eukaryotes and prokaryotes (melittin) is widely accepted. Here, we have utilized spectroscopic techniques to elucidate peptide-membrane interactions of alpha-helical human and mouse AMPs of the cathelicidin family as well as the peptide toxin melittin. The activity of these natural peptides and their engineered analogs was studied on eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane mimics consisting of resistant pathogens.

  20. Botulinum toxin type a for chronic migraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Avi

    2010-03-01

    Chronic migraine (CM) is the leading cause of chronic daily headache, a common and debilitating headache syndrome. The management of CM patients is challenging, with only limited benefit from available oral preventive medications. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) has been used extensively to treat disorders associated with increased muscle tone. More recent scientific data support an analgesic effect of the toxin. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of BoNT make it an appealing candidate for migraine prevention. Results from older clinical trials on the efficacy of the toxin in CM were inconclusive. However, recent trials using more stringent inclusion criteria have shown positive results, supporting the use of the toxin in some patients with this disorder. This review summarizes the scientific data on the analgesic properties of BoNT, as well as the clinical data on the efficacy of the toxin in treating CM.

  1. Design of a novel flat-plate photobioreactor system for green algal hydrogen production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamburic, B.; Zemichael, F.W.; Maitland, G.C.; Hellgardt, K. [Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

    2010-07-01

    Some unicellular green algae have the ability to photosynthetically produce molecular hydrogen using sunlight and water. This renewable, carbon-neutral process has the additional benefit of sequestering carbon dioxide during the algal growth phase. The main costs associated with this process result from building and operating a photobioreactor system. The challenge is to design an innovative and cost effective photobioreactor that meets the requirements of algal growth and sustainable hydrogen production. We document the details of a novel 1 litre vertical flat-plate photobioreactor that has been designed to accommodate green algal hydrogen production at the laboratory scale. Coherent, non-heating illumination is provided by a panel of cool white LEDs. The reactor body consists of two compartments constructed from transparent Perspex sheets. The primary compartment holds the algal culture, which is agitated by means of a recirculating gas flow. A secondary compartment is filled with water and used to control the temperature and wavelength of the system. The reactor is fitted with instruments that monitor the pH, pO{sub 2}, temperature and optical density of the culture. A membrane-inlet mass spectrometry system has been developed for hydrogen collection and in situ monitoring. The reactor is fully autoclaveable and the possibility of hydrogen leaks has been minimised. The modular nature of the reactor allows efficient cleaning and maintenance. (orig.)

  2. Physical abrasion method using submerged spike balls to remove algal biofilm from photobioreactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawar, Azra; Khoja, Asif Hussain; Akbar, Naveed; Ansari, Abeera Ayaz; Qayyum, Muneeb; Ali, Ehsan

    2017-12-02

    A major factor in practical application of photobioreactors (PBR) is the adhesion of algal cells onto their inner walls. Optimized algal growth requires an adequate sunlight for the photosynthesis and cell growth. Limitation in light exposure adversely affects the algal biomass yield. The removal of the biofilm from PBR is a challenging and expansive task. This study was designed to develop an inexpensive technique to prevent adhesion of algal biofilm on tubular PBR to ensure high efficiency of light utilization. Rubber balls with surface projections were introduced into the reactor, to remove the adherent biofilm by physical abrasion technique. The floatation of spike balls created a turbulent flow, thereby inhibiting further biofilm formation. The parameters such as, specific growth rate and doubling time of the algae before introducing the balls were 0.451 day -1 and 1.5 days respectively. Visible biofilm impeding light transmission was formed by 15-20 days. The removal of the biofilm commenced immediately after the introduction of the spike balls with visibly reduced deposits in 3 days. This was also validated by enhance cell count (6.95 × 106 cells mL -1 ) in the medium. The employment of spike balls in PBR is an environmental friendly and economical method for the removal of biofilm.

  3. Innovation in emerging energy technologies: A case study analysis to inform the path forward for algal biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haase, Rachel; Bielicki, Jeffrey; Kuzma, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Algal biofuel is an emerging energy source that has the potential to improve upon the environmental benefits realized by conventional biofuels and contribute to the biofuels mandate set by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). While there has been much research into producing fuel from algae, a commercial-scale facility has not yet been built. We examine two case studies of energy technology innovation in the United States, first generation biodiesel and solar photovoltaics (PV), using the technological innovation system (TIS) framework to provide lessons and inform the path forward for commercializing algal biofuel. We identify five event types that have been the most influential to these innovation processes: changing expectations, technology development, demonstration projects, policy targets, and government subsidies. Some algal biofuel demonstration projects have occurred, but despite falling under the mandates set forth in the RFS (a policy target), algal biofuels do not currently receive production subsidies. The main finding from the case study analysis is that government interventions have significantly influenced the innovation processes of first generation biodiesel and solar PV and will likely be key factors in the commercialization of algal biofuel. - Highlights: • Two energy technology case studies were analyzed with a TIS framework. • Major drivers in the innovation process were identified in each case. • Government interventions were key factors for both. • The one identified key driver algal biofuel is lacking is federal subsidies. • All components of the TIS framework deserve attention in promoting innovation

  4. Stealth and mimicry by deadly bacterial toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yates, S.P.; Jørgensen, Rene; Andersen, Gregers Rom

    2006-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin and exotoxin A are well-characterized members of the ADP-ribosyltransferase toxin family that serve as virulence factors in the pathogenic bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  New high-resolution structural data of the Michaelis complex...

  5. Herbivory on macro-algae affects colonization of beach-cast algal wrack by detritivores but not its decomposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip Eereveld

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Spatial subsidies have increasingly been considered significant sources of matter and energy to unproductive ecosystems. However, subsidy quality may both differ between subsidizing sources and vary over time. In our studies, sub-littoral herbivory by snails or isopods on red or brown macro-algae induced changes in algal tissues that affected colonization of beach-cast algal wrack by supra-littoral detritivores (amphipods. However, microbial decay and decomposition through the joint action of detritivores and microbes of algal wrack in the supra-littoral remained unaffected by whether or not red or brown algae had been fed upon by snails or isopods. Thus, herbivory on marine macro-algae affects the cross-system connection of sub-littoral and supra-littoral food webs transiently, but these effects diminish upon ageing of macro-algal wrack in the supra-littoral zone.

  6. Acid Sphingomyelinase Promotes Cellular Internalization of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagahama, Masahiro; Takehara, Masaya; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Ishidoh, Kazumi; Kobayashi, Keiko

    2018-05-20

    Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin is a binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin composed of the enzymatic component Ia and receptor binding component Ib. Ib binds to a cell surface receptor, forms Ib oligomer in lipid rafts, and associates with Ia. The Ia-Ib complex then internalizes by endocytosis. Here, we showed that acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) facilitates the cellular uptake of iota-toxin. Inhibitions of ASMase and lysosomal exocytosis by respective blockers depressed cell rounding induced by iota-toxin. The cytotoxicity of the toxin increased in the presence of Ca 2+ in extracellular fluids. Ib entered target cells in the presence but not the absence of Ca 2+ . Ib induced the extracellular release of ASMase in the presence of Ca 2+ . ASMase siRNA prevented the cell rounding induced by iota-toxin. Furthermore, treatment of the cells with Ib resulted in the production of ceramide in cytoplasmic vesicles. These observations showed that ASMase promotes the internalization of iota-toxin into target cells.

  7. Algal Biofuels Strategy. Proceedings from the March 26-27, 2014, Workshop, Charleston, South Carolina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2014-06-01

    This report is based on the proceedings of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s Algal Biofuel Strategy Workshop on March 26-27, 2014, in Charleston, South Carolina. The workshop objective was to convene stakeholders to engage in discussion on strategies over the next 5 to 10 years to achieve affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  8. Solid-phase synthesis of polyamine toxin analogues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kromann, Hasse; Krikstolaityte, Sonata; Andersen, Anne J

    2002-01-01

    The wasp toxin philanthotoxin-433 (PhTX-433) is a nonselective and noncompetitive antagonist of ionotropic receptors, such as ionotropic glutamate receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Polyamine toxins are extensively used for the characterization of subtypes of ionotropic glutamate re...

  9. Cnidarian Toxins Acting on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M. Greenberg

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical activity in excitable cells. As such, they are essential components of neuromuscular and neuronal systems, and are targeted by toxins from a wide variety of phyla, including the cnidarians. Here, we review cnidarian toxins known to target voltage-gated ion channels, the specific channel types targeted, and, where known, the sites of action of cnidarian toxins on different channels.

  10. Ultrasound pretreatment of filamentous algal biomass for enhanced biogas production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwanyong; Chantrasakdakul, Phrompol; Kim, Daegi; Kong, Mingeun; Park, Ki Young

    2014-06-01

    The filamentous alga Hydrodictyon reticulatum harvested from a bench-scale wastewater treatment pond was used to evaluate biogas production after ultrasound pretreatment. The effects of ultrasound pretreatment at a range of 10-5000 J/mL were tested with harvested H. reticulatum. Cell disruption by ultrasound was successful and showed a higher degree of disintegration at a higher applied energy. The range of 10-5000 J/mL ultrasound was able to disintegrated H. reticulatum and the soluble COD was increased from 250 mg/L to 1000 mg/L at 2500 J/mL. The disintegrated algal biomass was digested for biogas production in batch experiments. Both cumulative gas generation and volatile solids reduction data were obtained during the digestion. Cell disintegration due to ultrasound pretreatment increased the specific biogas production and degradation rates. Using the ultrasound approach, the specific methane production at a dose of 40 J/mL increased up to 384 mL/g-VS fed that was 2.3 times higher than the untreated sample. For disintegrated samples, the volatile solids reduction was greater with increased energy input, and the degradation increased slightly to 67% at a dose of 50 J/mL. The results also indicate that disintegration of the algal cells is the essential step for efficient anaerobic digestion of algal biomass. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Increasing the extraction efficiency of algal lipid for biodiesel ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SAM

    2014-04-09

    Apr 9, 2014 ... biodiesel production: Novel application of algal viruses ... Environmental Virology Cell, Council of Scientific and Industrial ... content, biomass productivity and are more sustainable ... rRNA of microalgae using outsourcing the sequencing services to .... efficiency is concerned, such as development of.

  12. Life cycle analysis on fossil energy ratio of algal biodiesel: effects of nitrogen deficiency and oil extraction technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jian, Hou; Jing, Yang; Peidong, Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been widely used to analyze various pathways of biofuel preparation from "cradle to grave." Effects of nitrogen supply for algae cultivation and technology of algal oil extraction on life cycle fossil energy ratio of biodiesel are assessed in this study. Life cycle fossil energy ratio of Chlorella vulgaris based biodiesel is improved by growing algae under nitrogen-limited conditions, while the life cycle fossil energy ratio of biodiesel production from Phaeodactylum tricornutum grown with nitrogen deprivation decreases. Compared to extraction of oil from dried algae, extraction of lipid from wet algae with subcritical cosolvents achieves a 43.83% improvement in fossil energy ratio of algal biodiesel when oilcake drying is not considered. The outcome for sensitivity analysis indicates that the algal oil conversion rate and energy content of algae are found to have the greatest effects on the LCA results of algal biodiesel production, followed by utilization ratio of algal residue, energy demand for algae drying, capacity of water mixing, and productivity of algae.

  13. Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Capacity in Algal Food Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludmila Machu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The study objective was to investigate total phenolic content using Folin-Ciocalteu’s method, to assess nine phenols by HPLC, to determine antioxidant capacity of the water soluble compounds (ACW by a photochemiluminescence method, and to calculate the correlation coefficients in commercial algal food products from brown (Laminaria japonica, Eisenia bicyclis, Hizikia fusiformis, Undaria pinnatifida and red (Porphyra tenera, Palmaria palmata seaweed, green freshwater algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa, and cyanobacteria (Spirulina platensis. HPLC analysis showed that the most abundant phenolic compound was epicatechin. From spectrophotometry and ACW determination it was evident that brown seaweed Eisenia bicyclis was the sample with the highest phenolic and ACW values (193 mg·g−1 GAE; 7.53 µmol AA·g−1, respectively. A linear relationship existed between ACW and phenolic contents (r = 0.99. Some algal products seem to be promising functional foods rich in polyphenols.

  14. Grazer diversity interacts with biogenic habitat heterogeneity to accelerate intertidal algal succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whalen, Matthew A; Aquilino, Kristin M; Stachowicz, John J

    2016-08-01

    Environmental heterogeneity contributes to coexistence by allowing species with different traits to persist when different species perform best at different times or places. This interaction between niche differences and environmental variability may also help explain relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but few data are available to rigorously evaluate this hypothesis. We assessed how a biologically relevant aspect of environmental heterogeneity interacts with species diversity to determine ecosystem processes in a natural rocky intertidal community. We used field removals to factorially manipulate biogenic habitat heterogeneity (barnacles, bare rock, and plots that were 50/50 mixes of the two habitat types) and gastropod grazer species richness and then tracked algal community succession and recovery over the course of 1 yr. We found that herbivore diversity, substrate heterogeneity, and their interaction played unique roles in the peak abundance and timing of occurrence of different algal functional groups. Early successional microalgae were most heavily grazed in diverse herbivore assemblages and those with barnacles present, which was likely due to complementary feeding strategies among all three grazers. In contrast, late successional macroalgae were strongly influenced by the presence of a habitat generalist limpet. In this herbivore's absence, heterogeneous habitats (i.e., mixtures of bare rock and barnacles) experienced the greatest algal accumulation, which was partly a result of complementary habitat use by the remaining herbivores. The complex way habitat identity and heterogeneity altered grazer-algal interactions in our study suggests species' differences and environmental heterogeneity both separately and interactively contribute to the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Dysport: pharmacological properties and factors that influence toxin action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickett, Andy

    2009-10-01

    The pharmacological properties of Dysport that influence toxin action are reviewed and compared with other botulinum toxin products. In particular, the subject of diffusion is examined and discussed based upon the evidence that currently exists, both from laboratory studies and from clinical data. Diffusion of botulinum toxin products is not related to the size of the toxin complex in the product since the complex dissociates under physiological conditions, releasing the naked neurotoxin to act. The active neurotoxin in Type A products is the same and therefore diffusion is equal when equal doses are administered.

  16. A study of algal biomass potential in selected Canadian regions.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Passell, Howard David; Roach, Jesse Dillon; Klise, Geoffrey T.

    2011-11-01

    A dynamic assessment model has been developed for evaluating the potential algal biomass and extracted biocrude productivity and costs, using nutrient and water resources available from waste streams in four regions of Canada (western British Columbia, Alberta oil fields, southern Ontario, and Nova Scotia). The purpose of this model is to help identify optimal locations in Canada for algae cultivation and biofuel production. The model uses spatially referenced data across the four regions for nitrogen and phosphorous loads in municipal wastewaters, and CO{sub 2} in exhaust streams from a variety of large industrial sources. Other data inputs include land cover, and solar insolation. Model users can develop estimates of resource potential by manipulating model assumptions in a graphic user interface, and updated results are viewed in real time. Resource potential by location can be viewed in terms of biomass production potential, potential CO{sub 2} fixed, biocrude production potential, and area required. The cost of producing algal biomass can be estimated using an approximation of the distance to move CO{sub 2} and water to the desired land parcel and an estimation of capital and operating costs for a theoretical open pond facility. Preliminary results suggest that in most cases, the CO{sub 2} resource is plentiful compared to other necessary nutrients (especially nitrogen), and that siting and prospects for successful large-scale algae cultivation efforts in Canada will be driven by availability of those other nutrients and the efficiency with which they can be used and re-used. Cost curves based on optimal possible siting of an open pond system are shown. The cost of energy for maintaining optimal growth temperatures is not considered in this effort, and additional research in this area, which has not been well studied at these latitudes, will be important in refining the costs of algal biomass production. The model will be used by NRC-IMB Canada to identify

  17. Selective algicidal action of peptides against harmful algal bloom species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seong-Cheol Park

    Full Text Available Recently, harmful algal bloom (HAB, also termed "red tide", has been recognized as a serious problem in marine environments according to climate changes worldwide. Many novel materials or methods to prevent HAB have not yet been employed except for clay dispersion, in which can the resulting sedimentation on the seafloor can also cause alteration in marine ecology or secondary environmental pollution. In the current study, we investigated that antimicrobial peptide have a potential in controlling HAB without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Here, antimicrobial peptides are proposed as new algicidal compounds in combating HAB cells. HPA3 and HPA3NT3 peptides which exert potent antimicrobial activity via pore forming action in plasma membrane showed that HPA3NT3 reduced the motility of algal cells, disrupted their plasma membrane, and induced the efflux of intracellular components. Against raphidoflagellate such as Heterosigma akashiwo, Chattonella sp., and C. marina, it displayed a rapid lysing action in cell membranes at 1~4 µM within 2 min. Comparatively, its lysing effects occurred at 8 µM within 1 h in dinoflagellate such as Cochlodium polykrikoides, Prorocentrum micans, and P. minimum. Moreover, its lysing action induced the lysis of chloroplasts and loss of chlorophyll a. In the contrary, this peptide was not effective against Skeletonema costatum, harmless algal cell, even at 256 µM, moreover, it killed only H. akashiwo or C. marina in co-cultivation with S. costatum, indicating to its selective algicidal activity between harmful and harmless algal cells. The peptide was non-hemolytic against red blood cells of Sebastes schlegeli, the black rockfish, at 120 µM. HAB cells were quickly and selectively lysed following treatment of antimicrobial peptides without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Thus, the antibiotic peptides examined in our study appear to have much potential in effectively controlling HAB with minimal

  18. Emergence of Escherichia coli encoding Shiga toxin 2f in human Shiga toxin-producing E-coli (STEC) infections in the Netherlands, January 2008 to December 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friesema, I.; van der Zwaluw, K.; Schuurman, T.; Kooistra-Smid, M.; Franz, E.; van Duynhoven, Y.; van Pelt, W.

    2014-01-01

    The Shiga toxins of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can be divided into Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) and Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) with several sub-variants. Variant Stx(2f) is one of the latest described, but has been rarely associated with symptomatic human infections. In the enhanced STEC

  19. The spatial and temporal dynamic of algal biomass associated with mangrove roots in Buenaventura bay pacific coast of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pena Salamanca, Enrique Javier

    2008-01-01

    The spatial and temporal variation of biomass of mangrove associated macro algae growing on roots of Rhizophora mangle and pneumatophores of Avicennia. germinans were studied at three sampling stations in Buenaventura bay, Colombia, between November 1999 and September 2003. Eighteen species of algae were collected including nine Rhodophyceae, five Chlorophyceae and four Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria). Four species dominated the algal flora and collectively contributed with 90 % of the total algal biomass. Bostrychia calliptera was the most dominant with 32 % of the total biomass, followed by Boodleopsis verticillata (26 %), Catenella impudica (18 %), and Caloglossa leprieurii (12 %) Algal biomass between seasons showed significant differences, with higher biomass found during the dry season compared to those of the rainy season. The algal biomass at the mouth of the estuary was significantly higher than that found in the inner areas of the estuary (annual means of 30.7 ± 10.8 vs. 13.8 ± 4.1 g m 2 respectively).Three well-defined vertical zones were observed, based on algal biomass

  20. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben K. Dagda

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD.

  1. Maintenance of algal endosymbionts in Paramecium bursaria: a simple model based on population dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwai, Sosuke; Fujiwara, Kenji; Tamura, Takuro

    2016-09-01

    Algal endosymbiosis is widely distributed in eukaryotes including many protists and metazoans, and plays important roles in aquatic ecosystems, combining phagotrophy and phototrophy. To maintain a stable symbiotic relationship, endosymbiont population size in the host must be properly regulated and maintained at a constant level; however, the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of algal endosymbionts are still largely unknown. Here we investigate the population dynamics of the unicellular ciliate Paramecium bursaria and its Chlorella-like algal endosymbiont under various experimental conditions in a simple culture system. Our results suggest that endosymbiont population size in P. bursaria was not regulated by active processes such as cell division coupling between the two organisms, or partitioning of the endosymbionts at host cell division. Regardless, endosymbiont population size was eventually adjusted to a nearly constant level once cells were grown with light and nutrients. To explain this apparent regulation of population size, we propose a simple mechanism based on the different growth properties (specifically the nutrient requirements) of the two organisms, and based from this develop a mathematical model to describe the population dynamics of host and endosymbiont. The proposed mechanism and model may provide a basis for understanding the maintenance of algal endosymbionts. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Dinophysis Toxins: Causative Organisms, Distribution and Fate in Shellfish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Reguera

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Several Dinophysis species produce diarrhoetic toxins (okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins and pectenotoxins, and cause gastointestinal illness, Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP, even at low cell densities (<103 cells·L−1. They are the main threat, in terms of days of harvesting bans, to aquaculture in Northern Japan, Chile, and Europe. Toxicity and toxin profiles are very variable, more between strains than species. The distribution of DSP events mirrors that of shellfish production areas that have implemented toxin regulations, otherwise misinterpreted as bacterial or viral contamination. Field observations and laboratory experiments have shown that most of the toxins produced by Dinophysis are released into the medium, raising questions about the ecological role of extracelular toxins and their potential uptake by shellfish. Shellfish contamination results from a complex balance between food selection, adsorption, species-specific enzymatic transformations, and allometric processes. Highest risk areas are those combining Dinophysis strains with high cell content of okadaates, aquaculture with predominance of mytilids (good accumulators of toxins, and consumers who frequently include mussels in their diet. Regions including pectenotoxins in their regulated phycotoxins will suffer from much longer harvesting bans and from disloyal competition with production areas where these toxins have been deregulated.

  3. Are algal genes in nonphotosynthetic protists evidence of historical plastid endosymbioses?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian Jing

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background How photosynthetic organelles, or plastids, were acquired by diverse eukaryotes is among the most hotly debated topics in broad scale eukaryotic evolution. The history of plastid endosymbioses commonly is interpreted under the "chromalveolate" hypothesis, which requires numerous plastid losses from certain heterotrophic groups that now are entirely aplastidic. In this context, discoveries of putatively algal genes in plastid-lacking protists have been cited as evidence of gene transfer from a photosynthetic endosymbiont that subsequently was lost completely. Here we examine this evidence, as it pertains to the chromalveolate hypothesis, through genome-level statistical analyses of similarity scores from queries with two diatoms, Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, and two aplastidic sister taxa, Phytophthora ramorum and P. sojae. Results Contingency tests of specific predictions of the chromalveolate model find no evidence for an unusual red algal contribution to Phytophthora genomes, nor that putative cyanobacterial sequences that are present entered these genomes through a red algal endosymbiosis. Examination of genes unrelated to plastid function provide extraordinarily significant support for both of these predictions in diatoms, the control group where a red endosymbiosis is known to have occurred, but none of that support is present in genes specifically conserved between diatoms and oomycetes. In addition, we uncovered a strong association between overall sequence similarities among taxa and relative sizes of genomic data sets in numbers of genes. Conclusion Signal from "algal" genes in oomycete genomes is inconsistent with the chromalveolate hypothesis, and better explained by alternative models of sequence and genome evolution. Combined with the numerous sources of intragenomic phylogenetic conflict characterized previously, our results underscore the potential to be mislead by a posteriori

  4. The Structure of Algal Population in the Presence of Toxicants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatova, Valentina; Prokhotskaya, Valeria; Dmitrieva, Aida

    Algal bioassays are routinely employed as part of a battery of toxicity tests to assess the environmental impacts of contaminants on aquatic ecosystems. This estimation is an essential component of the ecological risk assessment.

  5. Toxin MqsR Cleaves Single-Stranded mRNA with Various 5 Ends

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-24

    either protein ORIGINAL RESEARCH Toxin MqsR cleaves single- stranded mRNA with various 5’ ends Nityananda Chowdhury1,*, Brian W. Kwan1,*, Louise C...in which a single 5′- GCU site was predicted to be single- stranded (ssRNA), double- stranded (dsRNA), in the loop of a stem - loop (slRNA), or in a...single- stranded 5′- GCU sites since cleavage was approximately 20- fold higher than cleavage seen with the 5′- GCU site in the stem - loop and

  6. ACTION OF DIPHTHERIA TOXIN IN THE GUINEA PIG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baseman, Joel B.; Pappenheimer, A. M.; Gill, D. M.; Harper, Annabel A.

    1970-01-01

    The blood clearance and distribution in the tissues of 125I after intravenous injection of small doses (1.5–5 MLD or 0.08–0.25 µg) of 125I-labeled diphtheria toxin has been followed in guinea pigs and rabbits and compared with the fate of equivalent amounts of injected 125I-labeled toxoid and bovine serum albumin. Toxoid disappeared most rapidly from the blood stream and label accumulated and was retained in liver, spleen, and especially in kidney. Both toxin and BSA behaved differently. Label was found widely distributed among all the organs except the nervous system and its rate of disappearance from the tissues paralleled its disappearance from the circulation. There was no evidence for any particular affinity of toxin for muscle tissue or for a "target" organ. Previous reports by others that toxin causes specific and selective impairment of protein synthesis in muscle tissue were not confirmed. On the contrary, both in guinea pigs and rabbits, a reduced rate of protein synthesis was observed in all tissues that had taken up the toxin label. In tissues removed from intoxicated animals of both species there was an associated reduction in aminoacyl transferase 2 content. It is concluded that the primary action of diphtheria toxin in the living animal is to effect the inactivation of aminoacyl transferase 2. The resulting inhibition in rate of protein synthesis leads to morphologic damage in all tissues reached by the toxin and ultimately to death of the animal. PMID:5511567

  7. Algal blooms: a perspective from the coasts of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    DeSilva, M.S.; Anil, A.C.; Naik, R.K.; DeCosta, P.M.

    Algal blooms have been documented along the west and east coasts of India. A review of bloom occurrences in Indian waters from 1908 to 2009 points out that a total of 101 cases have been reported. A comparison of the bloom cases reported before...

  8. Comparison of T-2 Toxin and HT-2 Toxin Distributed in the Skeletal System with That in Other Tissues of Rats by Acute Toxicity Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Fang Fang; Lin, Xia Lu; Yang, Lei; Liu, Huan; Wang, Xi; Fang, Hua; Lammi, ZMikko J; Guo, Xiong

    2017-11-01

    Twelve healthy rats were divided into the T-2 toxin group receiving gavage of 1 mg/kg T-2 toxin and the control group receiving gavage of normal saline. Total relative concentrations of T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxin in the skeletal system (thighbone, knee joints, and costal cartilage) were significantly higher than those in the heart, liver, and kidneys (P skeletal system (thighbone and costal cartilage) were also significantly higher than those in the heart, liver, and kidneys. The rats administered T-2 toxin showed rapid metabolism compared with that in rats administered HT-2 toxin, and the metabolic conversion rates in the different tissues were 68.20%-90.70%. Copyright © 2017 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by China CDC. All rights reserved.

  9. Evidence for polar porphyrins of bacterial and algal origin in oil shale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ocampo, R.; Callot, H.J.; Albrecht, P.

    1986-04-01

    The major part of the porphyrins of the immature Messel oil shale is composed of monocarboxylic acids (C/sub 30/-C/sub 36/) essentially complexed with nickel. These acids were separated as methyl esters by reverse phase h.p.l.c. and nine components characterized by mass and NMR spectroscopy. Structural assignments were supported by synthesis of several members and nuclear Overhauser effect experiments. Besides a major component of the DPEP series, this fraction contained other members belonging to the phyllo- and etioporphyrin series, as well as to a novel chlorophyll C derived series typical of algae. Furthermore the identification of several higher homologues (C/sub 34/-C/sub 36/) of the DPEP series, structurally related to the bacteriochlorophylls, reflects the bacterial input. The characterization of a series of petroporphyrinic acids from the polar fraction of the Messel oil shale confirms the chlorophyllic (a+b,c) origin of these porphyrins. It furthermore implies that most of the characterized petroporphyrins and the survival of carboxylic functions in this class of compounds under mild diagenetic conditions. It furthermore implies that most of the characterized petroporphyrins in Messel shale originate from photosynthetic bacteria and microscopic algae.

  10. Plankton communities and summertime declines in algal abundance associated with low dissolved oxygen in the Tualatin River, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Kurt D.; Rounds, Stewart A.

    2013-01-01

    . Meteorological, streamflow, turbidity, water temperature, and conductance conditions in the Tualatin River during the 2006–08 summer seasons were not atypical. Natural flow comprised the majority (70–80 percent) of flow each year during spring, but then reduced to 38–40 percent during midsummer when WWTF effluent—which contributed as much as 36 percent—and flow augmentation releases comprised a greater fraction of the flow. Summer 2008 was unusual, however, in the prolonged influence from the Wapato Lake agricultural area near Gaston in the upper part of the basin. The previous winter flooding and levee breach at Wapato Lake caused a much greater area of inundation. As a result, drainage from this area continued into July, much later than normal. A subsequent algal bloom in Wapato Lake then seeded the upper Tualatin River, and this drainage had a profound effect on the downstream plankton community. A large blue-green algae bloom developed—the largest in recent memory—prompting a public health advisory for recreational contact for about two weeks. Algal growths and surface blooms are a common feature of the Tualatin River. Most of the dominant algae have growth forms and morphologies that are well suited for planktonic life, employing spines and gas vacuoles to resist settling, forming colonies, and producing mucilage (or toxins) to resist zooplankton grazing. In 2006–08, 143 algal taxa were identified in 117 main-stem samples; diatoms and green algae were more diverse than blue-green, golden, and cryptophyte algae, although these later groups sometimes dominated the overall volumetric abundance (biovolume). The most frequently occurring taxa, occurring in 97–99 percent of samples, were flagellated cryptophytes Cryptomonas erosa and Rhodomonas minuta. Other important algal taxa included centric diatoms Stephanodiscus, Cyclotella, and Melosira species and colonial green algae Scenedesmus and Actinastrum. These taxa comprised the majority of the algal biovolume

  11. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chumbler, Nicole M.; Rutherford, Stacey A.; Zhang, Zhifen; Farrow, Melissa A.; Lisher, John P.; Farquhar, Erik; Giedroc, David P.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Melnyk, Roman A.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2016-01-11

    Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. Disease is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which cause the diarrhoea, as well as inflammation and necrosis within the colon. The toxins are large (308 and 270 kDa, respectively), homologous (47% amino acid identity) glucosyltransferases that target small GTPases within the host. The multidomain toxins enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and, upon exposure to the low pH of the endosome, insert into and deliver two enzymatic domains across the membrane. Eukaryotic inositol-hexakisphosphate (InsP6) binds an autoprocessing domain to activate a proteolysis event that releases the N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain into the cytosol. Here, we report the crystal structure of a 1,832-amino-acid fragment of TcdA (TcdA1832), which reveals a requirement for zinc in the mechanism of toxin autoprocessing and an extended delivery domain that serves as a scaffold for the hydrophobic α-helices involved in pH-dependent pore formation. A surface loop of the delivery domain whose sequence is strictly conserved among all large clostridial toxins is shown to be functionally important, and is highlighted for future efforts in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics.

  12. Botulinum Toxin and Muscle Atrophy: A Wanted or Unwanted Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Paul D; Couto, Rafael A; Isakov, Raymond; Yoo, Donald B; Azizzadeh, Babak; Guyuron, Bahman; Zins, James E

    2016-04-01

    While the facial rejuvenating effect of botulinum toxin type A is well known and widespread, its use in body and facial contouring is less common. We first describe its use for deliberate muscle volume reduction, and then document instances of unanticipated and undesirable muscle atrophy. Finally, we investigate the potential long-term adverse effects of botulinum toxin-induced muscle atrophy. Although the use of botulinum toxin type A in the cosmetic patient has been extensively studied, there are several questions yet to be addressed. Does prolonged botulinum toxin treatment increase its duration of action? What is the mechanism of muscle atrophy and what is the cause of its reversibility once treatment has stopped? We proceed to examine how prolonged chemodenervation with botulinum toxin can increase its duration of effect and potentially contribute to muscle atrophy. Instances of inadvertent botulinum toxin-induced atrophy are also described. These include the "hourglass deformity" secondary to botulinum toxin type A treatment for migraine headaches, and a patient with atrophy of multiple facial muscles from injections for hemifacial spasm. Numerous reports demonstrate that muscle atrophy after botulinum toxin type A treatment occurs and is both reversible and temporary, with current literature supporting the notion that repeated chemodenervation with botulinum toxin likely responsible for both therapeutic and incidental temporary muscle atrophy. Furthermore, duration of response may be increased with subsequent treatments, thus minimizing frequency of reinjection. Practitioners should be aware of the temporary and reversible effect of botulinum toxin-induced muscle atrophy and be prepared to reassure patients on this matter. © 2016 The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. Reprints and permission: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Oxidative Stress in Shiga Toxin Production by Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Licznerska

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Virulence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC strains depends on production of Shiga toxins. These toxins are encoded in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages (Shiga toxin-converting phages, present in EHEC cells as prophages. The genes coding for Shiga toxins are silent in lysogenic bacteria, and prophage induction is necessary for their efficient expression and toxin production. Under laboratory conditions, treatment with UV light or antibiotics interfering with DNA replication are commonly used to induce lambdoid prophages. Since such conditions are unlikely to occur in human intestine, various research groups searched for other factors or agents that might induce Shiga toxin-converting prophages. Among other conditions, it was reported that treatment with H2O2 caused induction of these prophages, though with efficiency significantly lower relative to UV-irradiation or mitomycin C treatment. A molecular mechanism of this phenomenon has been proposed. It appears that the oxidative stress represents natural conditions provoking induction of Shiga toxin-converting prophages as a consequence of H2O2 excretion by either neutrophils in infected humans or protist predators outside human body. Finally, the recently proposed biological role of Shiga toxin production is described in this paper, and the “bacterial altruism” and “Trojan Horse” hypotheses, which are connected to the oxidative stress, are discussed.

  14. Botulinum Toxin in Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Arturo Levi D'Ancona

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose To evaluate the effects of botulinum toxin on urodynamic parameters and quality of life in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity. Methods Thirty four adult patients with spinal cord injury and detrusor overactivity were selected. The patients received 300 units of botulinum toxin type A. The endpoints evaluated with the episodes of urinary incontinence and measured the maximum cystometric capacity, maximum amplitude of detrusor pressure and bladder compliance at the beginning and end of the study (24 weeks and evaluated the quality of life by applying the Qualiveen questionnaire. Results A significant decrease in the episodes of urinary incontinence was observed. All urodynamic parameters presented a significant improvement. The same was observed in the quality of life index and the specific impact of urinary problems scores from the Qualiveen questionnaire. Six patients did not complete the study, two due to incomplete follow-up, and four violated protocol and were excluded from the analyses. No systemic adverse events of botulinum toxin type A were reported. Conclusions A botulinum toxin type A showed a significantly improved response in urodynamics parameters and specific and general quality of life.

  15. Bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems: more than selfish entities?

    OpenAIRE

    Laurence Van Melderen; Manuel Saavedra De Bast

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial toxin?antitoxin (TA) systems are diverse and widespread in the prokaryotic kingdom. They are composed of closely linked genes encoding a stable toxin that can harm the host cell and its cognate labile antitoxin, which protects the host from the toxin's deleterious effect. TA systems are thought to invade bacterial genomes through horizontal gene transfer. Some TA systems might behave as selfish elements and favour their own maintenance at the expense of their host. As a consequence,...

  16. Methylene blue adsorption by algal biomass based materials: biosorbents characterization and process behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilar, Vítor J P; Botelho, Cidália M S; Boaventura, Rui A R

    2007-08-17

    Dead algal biomass is a natural material that serves as a basis for developing a new family of sorbent materials potentially suitable for many industrial applications. In this work an algal industrial waste from agar extraction process, algae Gelidium and a composite material obtained by immobilization of the algal waste with polyacrylonitrile (PAN) were physical characterized and used as biosorbents for dyes removal using methylene blue as model. The apparent and real densities and the porosity of biosorbents particles were determined by mercury porosimetry and helium picnometry. The methylene blue adsorption in the liquid phase was the method chosen to calculate the specific surface area of biosorbent particles as it seems to reproduce better the surface area accessible to metal ions in the biosorption process than the N2 adsorption-desorption dry method. The porous texture of the biosorbents particles was also studied. Equilibrium isotherms are well described by the Langmuir equation, giving maximum uptake capacities of 171, 104 and 74 mg g(-1), respectively for algae, algal waste and composite material. Kinetic experiments at different initial methylene blue concentrations were performed to evaluate the equilibrium time and the importance of the driving force to overcome mass transfer resistances. The pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order kinetic models adequately describe the kinetic data. The biosorbents used in this work proved to be promising materials for removing methylene blue from aqueous solutions.

  17. Clarifying functional roles: algal removal by the surgeonfishes Ctenochaetus striatus and Acanthurus nigrofuscus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tebbett, Sterling B.; Goatley, Christopher H. R.; Bellwood, David R.

    2017-09-01

    The lined bristletooth, Ctenochaetus striatus, and the brown surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigrofuscus, are among the most abundant surgeonfishes on Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Yet, the functional role of these species has been the focus of an ongoing debate lasting at least six decades. Specifically, to what extent are C. striatus herbivorous like the visually similar A. nigrofuscus? To address this question, we used natural feeding surfaces, covered with late successional stage reef-grown algal turfs, to examine turf algal removal by the two species. Surfaces exposed to C. striatus in laboratory experiments exhibited no significant reductions in turf length or area covered by turfing algae. In marked contrast, A. nigrofuscus reduced turf length by 51% and area covered by turfing algae by 15% in 1 h. The gut contents of specimens from the reef revealed that A. nigrofuscus predominantly ingests algae (the dominant item in 79.6-94.7% of gut content quadrats), while C. striatus ingests detritus and sediments (dominant in 99.6-100% of quadrats). Therefore, C. striatus ingests detritus and sediment, leaving mature algal turfs relatively intact, while A. nigrofuscus directly removes and ingests turf algae. The function of C. striatus differs from cropping herbivorous surgeonfishes such as A. nigrofuscus. On coral reefs, C. striatus brush detrital aggregates from algal turfs, removing microorganisms, organic detritus and inorganic sediment. Confusion over the functional role of C. striatus may stem from an inability to fit it into a single functional category.

  18. Gene therapy for carcinoma of the breast: Genetic toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vassaux, Georges; Lemoine, Nick R

    2000-01-01

    Gene therapy was initially envisaged as a potential treatment for genetically inherited, monogenic disorders. The applications of gene therapy have now become wider, however, and include cardiovascular diseases, vaccination and cancers in which conventional therapies have failed. With regard to oncology, various gene therapy approaches have been developed. Among them, the use of genetic toxins to kill cancer cells selectively is emerging. Two different types of genetic toxins have been developed so far: the metabolic toxins and the dominant-negative class of toxins. This review describes these two different approaches, and discusses their potential applications in cancer gene therapy

  19. Modification of opiate agonist binding by pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abood, M.E.; Lee, N.M.; Loh, H.H.

    1986-03-05

    Opiate agonist binding is decreased by GTP, suggesting the possible involvement of GTP binding proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding. This possibility was addressed by asking whether pertussis toxin treatment, which results in ADP-ribosylation and modification of G proteins, would alter opiate agonist binding. The striatum was chosen for the initial brain area to be studied, since regulation of opiate action in this area had been shown to be modified by pertussis toxin. Treatment of striatal membranes with pertussis toxin results in up to a 55% decrease in /sup 3/(H)-DADLE binding as compared with membranes treated identically without toxin. This corresponds to a near complete ADP-ribosylation of both G proteins in the striatal membrane. The decrease in agonist binding appears to be due to an altered affinity of the receptor for agonist as opposed to a decrease in the number of sites. This effect of pertussis toxin on opiate agonist binding demonstrates the actual involvement of G proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding.

  20. Modification of opiate agonist binding by pertussis toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abood, M.E.; Lee, N.M.; Loh, H.H.

    1986-01-01

    Opiate agonist binding is decreased by GTP, suggesting the possible involvement of GTP binding proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding. This possibility was addressed by asking whether pertussis toxin treatment, which results in ADP-ribosylation and modification of G proteins, would alter opiate agonist binding. The striatum was chosen for the initial brain area to be studied, since regulation of opiate action in this area had been shown to be modified by pertussis toxin. Treatment of striatal membranes with pertussis toxin results in up to a 55% decrease in 3 (H)-DADLE binding as compared with membranes treated identically without toxin. This corresponds to a near complete ADP-ribosylation of both G proteins in the striatal membrane. The decrease in agonist binding appears to be due to an altered affinity of the receptor for agonist as opposed to a decrease in the number of sites. This effect of pertussis toxin on opiate agonist binding demonstrates the actual involvement of G proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding

  1. ADP-ribosylation of transducin by pertussis toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watkins, P.A.; Burns, D.L.; Kanaho, Y.; Liu, T.Y.; Hewlett, E.L.; Moss, J.

    1985-01-01

    Transducin, the guanyl nucleotide-binding regulatory protein of retinal rod outer segments that couples the photon receptor, rhodopsin, with the light-activated cGMP phosphodiesterase, can be resolved into two functional components, T alpha and T beta gamma. T alpha (39 kDa), which is [ 32 P]ADP-ribosylated by pertussis toxin and [ 32 P]NAD in rod outer segments and in purified transducin, was also labeled by the toxin after separation from T beta gamma (36 kDa and approximately 10 kDa); neither component of T beta gamma was a pertussis toxin substrate. Labeling of T alpha was enhanced by T beta gamma and was maximal at approximately 1:1 molar ratio of T alpha : T beta gamma. Limited proteolysis by trypsin of T alpha in the presence of guanyl-5'-yl imidodiphosphate (Gpp(NH)p) resulted in the sequential appearance of proteins of 38 and 32 kDa. The amino terminus of both 38- and 32 -kDa proteins was leucine, whereas that of T alpha could not be identified and was assumed to be blocked. The 32 -kDa peptide was not a pertussis toxin substrate. Labeling of the 38-kDa protein was poor and was not enhanced by T beta gamma. Trypsin treatment of [ 32 P]ADP-ribosyl-T alpha produced a labeled 37-38-kDa doublet followed by appearance of radioactivity at the dye front. It appears, therefore, that, although the 38-kDa protein was poor toxin substrate, it contained the ADP-ribosylation site. Without rhodopsin, labeling of T alpha (in the presence of T beta gamma) was unaffected by Gpp(NH)p, guanosine 5'-O-(thiotriphosphate) (GTP gamma S), GTP, GDP, and guanosine 5'-O-(thiodiphosphate) (GDP beta S) but was increased by ATP. When photolyzed rhodopsin and T beta gamma were present, Gpp(NH)p and GTP gamma S decreased [ 32 P]ADP-ribosylation by pertussis toxin. Thus, pertussis toxin-catalyzed [ 32 P]ADP-ribosylation of T alpha was affected by nucleotides, rhodopsin and light in addition to T beta gamma

  2. Marine toxins and their toxicological significance: An overview

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.

    , Hemolysins-1 and hemolysin-2, saxitoxin, neosaxitoxin, gonyautoxin, tetrodotoxin, ptychodiscus brevis toxin and theonellamide F. According to their mode of action, these toxins are classified into different categories such as cytotoxin, enterotoxin...

  3. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  4. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S. A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-05-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large “blooms” in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers.

  5. Formation of Emerging Disinfection By-products by Chlorination/Chloramination of Seawater Impacted by Algal Organic Matter

    KAUST Repository

    Nihemaiti, Maolida; Le Roux, Julien; Croue, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to study the formation of haloacetamides (HAcAms) and other DBPs during chlorination and chloramination of algal organic matter (AlOM). The HAcAms formation potentials of different precursors (amino acids, simulated algal blooms grown in the Red Sea) were evaluated. Experiments with simulated algal blooms were conducted in the presence of bromide ion (synthetic seawater containing 800 μg/L Br−) to assess the formation of brominated analogues of HAcAms in conditions close to the disinfection of real seawater. Chlorination produced more HAcAms than chloramination from real algae (Synecococcus sp.), thus indicating that the nitrogen of HAcAms comes predominantly from DON through the decarboxylation of amino acids rather than from NH2Cl. Dibrominated species of DBPs (i.e., DBAcAm, DBAA and DBAN) were the dominant species formed by both chlorination and chloramination of algal bloom samples. Chloramination of the amino acid asparagine produced an important amount of DCAcAm as compared to chlorination, indicating the existence of a specific reaction pathway.

  6. Formation of Emerging Disinfection By-products by Chlorination/Chloramination of Seawater Impacted by Algal Organic Matter

    KAUST Repository

    Nihemaiti, Maolida

    2015-08-31

    The aim of this work was to study the formation of haloacetamides (HAcAms) and other DBPs during chlorination and chloramination of algal organic matter (AlOM). The HAcAms formation potentials of different precursors (amino acids, simulated algal blooms grown in the Red Sea) were evaluated. Experiments with simulated algal blooms were conducted in the presence of bromide ion (synthetic seawater containing 800 μg/L Br−) to assess the formation of brominated analogues of HAcAms in conditions close to the disinfection of real seawater. Chlorination produced more HAcAms than chloramination from real algae (Synecococcus sp.), thus indicating that the nitrogen of HAcAms comes predominantly from DON through the decarboxylation of amino acids rather than from NH2Cl. Dibrominated species of DBPs (i.e., DBAcAm, DBAA and DBAN) were the dominant species formed by both chlorination and chloramination of algal bloom samples. Chloramination of the amino acid asparagine produced an important amount of DCAcAm as compared to chlorination, indicating the existence of a specific reaction pathway.

  7. Algal sludge from Taihu Lake can be utilized to create novel PGPR-containing bio-organic fertilizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Miao; Li, Rong; Cao, Liangliang; Shi, Juanjuan; Liu, Hongjun; Huang, Yan; Shen, Qirong

    2014-01-01

    Large amounts of refloated algal sludge from Taihu Lake result in secondary environmental pollution due to annual refloatation. This study investigated the possibility to produce bio-organic fertilizer (BIO) using algal sludge as a solid-state fermentation (SSF) medium. Results showed that addition of algal sludge contributed to efficient SFF by a plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) strain SQR9 and improved the nutrient contents in the novel BIO. The optimum water content and initial inoculation size were 45% and 5%, respectively. After 6 days of SSF, the biomass of strain SQR9 was increased to a cell density of more than 5 × 10(7) CFU g(-1). Microcystins were rapidly degraded, and a high germination index value was observed. Plant growth experiments showed that the produced BIO efficiently promoted plant growth. Additional testing showed that the novel SSF process was also suitable for other PGPR strains. This study provides a novel way of high-value utilization of algal sludge from Taihu Lake by producing low-cost but high-quality BIOs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Demonstration of Parallel Algal Processing: Production of Renewable Diesel Blendstock and a High-Value Chemical Intermediate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knoshaug, Eric P [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Mohagheghi, Ali [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Nagle, Nicholas J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Stickel, Jonathan J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Dong, Tao [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Karp, Eric M [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Kruger, Jacob S [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Brandner, David [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Manker, Lorenz [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Rorrer, Nicholas [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Hyman, Deborah A [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Christensen, Earl D [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Pienkos, Philip T [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-12-19

    Co-production of high-value chemicals such as succinic acid from algal sugars is a promising route to enabling conversion of algal lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock. Biomass from the green alga Scenedesmus acutus was acid pretreated and the resulting slurry separated into its solid and liquor components using charged polyamide induced flocculation and vacuum filtration. Over the course of a subsequent 756 hours continuous fermentation of the algal liquor with Actinobacillus succinogenes 130Z, we achieved maximum productivity, process conversion yield, and titer of 1.1 g L-1 h-1, 0.7 g g-1 total sugars, and 30.5 g L-1 respectively. Succinic acid was recovered from fermentation media with a yield of 60% at 98.4% purity while lipids were recovered from the flocculated cake at 83% yield with subsequent conversion through deoxygenation and hydroisomerization to a renewable diesel blendstock. This work is a first-of-its-kind demonstration of a novel integrated conversion process for algal biomass to produce fuel and chemical products of sufficient quality to be blend-ready feedstocks for further processing.

  9. Toxin-independent virulence of Bacillus anthracis in rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play a major role in pathogenicity. In the guinea pig (GP model we have previously shown that deletion of all three toxin components results in a relatively moderate attenuation in virulence, indicating that B. anthracis possesses an additional toxin-independent virulence mechanism. To characterize this toxin-independent mechanism in anthrax disease, we developed a new rabbit model by intravenous injection (IV of B. anthracis encapsulated vegetative cells, artificially creating bacteremia. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that also in rabbits, B. anthracis mutants lacking the toxins are capable of killing the host within 24 hours. This virulent trait depends on the activity of AtxA in the presence of pXO2, as, in the absence of the toxin genes, deletion of either component abolishes virulence. Furthermore, this IV virulence depends mainly on AtxA rather than the whole pXO1. A similar pattern was shown in the GP model using subcutaneous (SC administration of spores of the mutant strains, demonstrating the generality of the phenomenon. The virulent strains showed higher bacteremia levels and more efficient tissue dissemination; however our interpretation is that tissue dissemination per se is not the main determinant of virulence whose exact nature requires further elucidation.

  10. Mass Spectrometric Identification and Differentiation of Botulinum Neurotoxins through Toxin Proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Barr, John R

    2013-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the disease botulism, which can be lethal if untreated. There are seven known serotypes of BoNT, A-G, defined by their response to antisera. Many serotypes are distinguished into differing subtypes based on amino acid sequence and immunogenic properties, and some subtypes are further differentiated into toxin variants. Toxin characterization is important as different types of BoNT can respond differently to medical countermeasures for botulism, and characterization of the toxin can aid in epidemiologic and forensic investigations. Proteomic techniques have been established to determine the serotype, subtype, or toxin variant of BoNT. These techniques involve digestion of the toxin into peptides, tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analysis of the peptides, and database searching to identify the BoNT protein. These techniques demonstrate the capability to detect BoNT and its neurotoxin-associated proteins, and differentiate the toxin from other toxins which are up to 99.9% identical in some cases. This differentiation can be accomplished from toxins present in a complex matrix such as stool, food, or bacterial cultures and no DNA is required.

  11. Dynamics of Bacterial and Fungal Communities during the Outbreak and Decline of an Algal Bloom in a Drinking Water Reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haihan Zhang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The microbial communities associated with algal blooms play a pivotal role in organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in freshwater ecosystems. However, there have been few studies focused on unveiling the dynamics of bacterial and fungal communities during the outbreak and decline of algal blooms in drinking water reservoirs. To address this issue, the compositions of bacterial and fungal communities were assessed in the Zhoucun drinking water reservoir using 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS gene Illumina MiSeq sequencing techniques. The results showed the algal bloom was dominated by Synechococcus, Microcystis, and Prochlorothrix. The bloom was characterized by a steady decrease of total phosphorus (TP from the outbreak to the decline period (p < 0.05 while Fe concentration increased sharply during the decline period (p < 0.05. The highest algal biomass and cell concentrations observed during the bloom were 51.7 mg/L and 1.9×108 cell/L, respectively. The cell concentration was positively correlated with CODMn (r = 0.89, p = 0.02. Illumina Miseq sequencing showed that algal bloom altered the water bacterial and fungal community structure. During the bloom, the dominant bacterial genus were Acinetobacter sp., Limnobacter sp., Synechococcus sp., and Roseomonas sp. The relative size of the fungal community also changed with algal bloom and its composition mainly contained Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Chytridiomycota. Heat map profiling indicated that algal bloom had a more consistent effect upon fungal communities at genus level. Redundancy analysis (RDA also demonstrated that the structure of water bacterial communities was significantly correlated to conductivity and ammonia nitrogen. Meanwhile, water temperature, Fe and ammonia nitrogen drive the dynamics of water fungal communities. The results from this work suggested that water bacterial and fungal communities changed significantly during the outbreak and decline of

  12. Radiation resistance of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Juan, Edith M

    2000-04-01

    Radiation resistance of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) toxins, obtained from Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum in shellstocks of green mussels, was determined by subjecting the semi-purified toxin extract as well as the shellstocks of green mussels to high doses of ionizing radiation of 5, 10, 15 and 20 kGy. The concentration of the PSP toxins was determined by the Standard Mouse Bioassay (SMB) method. The radiation assistance of the toxins was determined by plotting the PSP toxin concentration versus applied dose in a semilog paper. The D{sub 10} value or decimal reduction dose was obtained from the straight line which is the dose required to reduce the toxicity level by 90%. The effects of irradiation on the quality of green mussels in terms of its physico-chemical, microbiological and sensory attributes were also conducted. The effect of irradiation on the fatty acid components of green mussels was determined by gas chromatography. Radiation resistance of the PSP toxins was determined to be lower in samples with initially high toxicity level as compared with samples with initially low toxicity level. The D{sub 10} values of samples with initially high PSP level were 28.5 kGy in shellstocks of green musssels and 17.5 kGy in the semi-purified toxin extract. When the PSP level was low initially, the D{sub 10} values were as high as 57.5 and 43.5 kGy in shellstocks of green mussels for the two trials, and 43.0 kGy in semi-purified toxin extract. The microbial load of the irradiated mussels was remarkably reduced. No differnce in color and odor characteristics were observed in the mussel samples subjected to varying doses of ionizing radiation. There was darkening in the color of mussel meat and its juice. The concentration of the fatty acid components in the fresh green mussels were considerably higher as compared with those present in the irradiated mussels, though some volatile fatty acids were detected as a result of irradiation. (Author)

  13. Radiation resistance of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    San Juan, Edith M.

    2000-04-01

    Radiation resistance of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) toxins, obtained from Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum in shellstocks of green mussels, was determined by subjecting the semi-purified toxin extract as well as the shellstocks of green mussels to high doses of ionizing radiation of 5, 10, 15 and 20 kGy. The concentration of the PSP toxins was determined by the Standard Mouse Bioassay (SMB) method. The radiation assistance of the toxins was determined by plotting the PSP toxin concentration versus applied dose in a semilog paper. The D 10 value or decimal reduction dose was obtained from the straight line which is the dose required to reduce the toxicity level by 90%. The effects of irradiation on the quality of green mussels in terms of its physico-chemical, microbiological and sensory attributes were also conducted. The effect of irradiation on the fatty acid components of green mussels was determined by gas chromatography. Radiation resistance of the PSP toxins was determined to be lower in samples with initially high toxicity level as compared with samples with initially low toxicity level. The D 10 values of samples with initially high PSP level were 28.5 kGy in shellstocks of green musssels and 17.5 kGy in the semi-purified toxin extract. When the PSP level was low initially, the D 10 values were as high as 57.5 and 43.5 kGy in shellstocks of green mussels for the two trials, and 43.0 kGy in semi-purified toxin extract. The microbial load of the irradiated mussels was remarkably reduced. No differnce in color and odor characteristics were observed in the mussel samples subjected to varying doses of ionizing radiation. There was darkening in the color of mussel meat and its juice. The concentration of the fatty acid components in the fresh green mussels were considerably higher as compared with those present in the irradiated mussels, though some volatile fatty acids were detected as a result of irradiation. (Author)

  14. Bacterial community affects toxin production by Gymnodinium catenatum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria E Albinsson

    Full Text Available The paralytic shellfish toxin (PST-producing dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum grows in association with a complex marine bacterial community that is both essential for growth and can alter culture growth dynamics. Using a bacterial community replacement approach, we examined the intracellular PST content, production rate, and profile of G. catenatum cultures grown with bacterial communities of differing complexity and composition. Clonal offspring were established from surface-sterilized resting cysts (produced by sexual crosses of strain GCDE06 and strain GCLV01 and grown with: 1 complex bacterial communities derived from each of the two parent cultures; 2 simplified bacterial communities composed of the G. catenatum-associated bacteria Marinobacter sp. strain DG879 or Alcanivorax sp. strain DG881; 3 a complex bacterial community associated with an untreated, unsterilized sexual cross of the parents. Toxin content (STX-equivalent per cell of clonal offspring (134-197 fmol STX cell(-1 was similar to the parent cultures (169-206 fmol STX cell(-1, however cultures grown with single bacterial types contained less toxin (134-146 fmol STX cell(-1 than offspring or parent cultures grown with more complex mixed bacterial communities (152-176 fmol STX cell(-1. Specific toxin production rate (fmol STX day(-1 was strongly correlated with culture growth rate. Net toxin production rate (fmol STX cell(-1 day(-1 did not differ among treatments, however, mean net toxin production rate of offspring was 8-fold lower than the parent cultures, suggesting that completion of the sexual lifecycle in laboratory cultures leads to reduced toxin production. The PST profiles of offspring cultures were most similar to parent GCDE06 with the exception of cultures grown with Marinobacter sp. DG879 which produced higher proportions of dcGTX2+3 and GC1+2, and lower proportions of C1+2 and C3+4. Our data demonstrate that the bacterial community can alter intracellular STX

  15. Bacterial community affects toxin production by Gymnodinium catenatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albinsson, Maria E; Negri, Andrew P; Blackburn, Susan I; Bolch, Christopher J S

    2014-01-01

    The paralytic shellfish toxin (PST)-producing dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum grows in association with a complex marine bacterial community that is both essential for growth and can alter culture growth dynamics. Using a bacterial community replacement approach, we examined the intracellular PST content, production rate, and profile of G. catenatum cultures grown with bacterial communities of differing complexity and composition. Clonal offspring were established from surface-sterilized resting cysts (produced by sexual crosses of strain GCDE06 and strain GCLV01) and grown with: 1) complex bacterial communities derived from each of the two parent cultures; 2) simplified bacterial communities composed of the G. catenatum-associated bacteria Marinobacter sp. strain DG879 or Alcanivorax sp. strain DG881; 3) a complex bacterial community associated with an untreated, unsterilized sexual cross of the parents. Toxin content (STX-equivalent per cell) of clonal offspring (134-197 fmol STX cell(-1)) was similar to the parent cultures (169-206 fmol STX cell(-1)), however cultures grown with single bacterial types contained less toxin (134-146 fmol STX cell(-1)) than offspring or parent cultures grown with more complex mixed bacterial communities (152-176 fmol STX cell(-1)). Specific toxin production rate (fmol STX day(-1)) was strongly correlated with culture growth rate. Net toxin production rate (fmol STX cell(-1) day(-1)) did not differ among treatments, however, mean net toxin production rate of offspring was 8-fold lower than the parent cultures, suggesting that completion of the sexual lifecycle in laboratory cultures leads to reduced toxin production. The PST profiles of offspring cultures were most similar to parent GCDE06 with the exception of cultures grown with Marinobacter sp. DG879 which produced higher proportions of dcGTX2+3 and GC1+2, and lower proportions of C1+2 and C3+4. Our data demonstrate that the bacterial community can alter intracellular STX

  16. Copper removal by algal biomass: biosorbents characterization and equilibrium modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilar, Vítor J P; Botelho, Cidália M S; Pinheiro, José P S; Domingos, Rute F; Boaventura, Rui A R

    2009-04-30

    The general principles of Cu(II) binding to algal waste from agar extraction, composite material and algae Gelidium, and different modelling approaches, are discussed. FTIR analyses provided a detailed description of the possible binding groups present in the biosorbents, as carboxylic groups (D-glucuronic and pyruvic acids), hydroxyl groups (cellulose, agar and floridean starch) and sulfonate groups (sulphated galactans). Potentiometric acid-base titrations showed a heterogeneous distribution of two major binding groups, carboxyl and hydroxyl, following the quasi-Gaussian affinity constant distribution suggested by Sips, which permitted to estimate the maximum amount of acid functional groups (0.36, 0.25 and 0.1 mmol g(-1)) and proton binding parameters (pK(H)=5.0, 5.3 and 4.4; m(H)=0.43, 0.37, 0.33), respectively for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. A non-ideal, semi-empirical, thermodynamically consistent (NICCA) isotherm fitted better the experimental ion binding data for different pH values and copper concentrations, considering only the acid functional groups, than the discrete model. Values of pK(M) (3.2; 3.6 and 3.3), n(M) (0.98, 0.91, 1.0) and p (0.67, 0.53 and 0.43) were obtained, respectively for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. NICCA model reflects the complex macromolecular systems that take part in biosorption considering the heterogeneity of the biosorbent, the competition between protons and metals ions to the binding sites and the stoichiometry for different ions.

  17. Copper removal by algal biomass: Biosorbents characterization and equilibrium modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilar, Vitor J.P.; Botelho, Cidalia M.S.; Pinheiro, Jose P.S.; Domingos, Rute F.; Boaventura, Rui A.R.

    2009-01-01

    The general principles of Cu(II) binding to algal waste from agar extraction, composite material and algae Gelidium, and different modelling approaches, are discussed. FTIR analyses provided a detailed description of the possible binding groups present in the biosorbents, as carboxylic groups (D-glucuronic and pyruvic acids), hydroxyl groups (cellulose, agar and floridean starch) and sulfonate groups (sulphated galactans). Potentiometric acid-base titrations showed a heterogeneous distribution of two major binding groups, carboxyl and hydroxyl, following the quasi-Gaussian affinity constant distribution suggested by Sips, which permitted to estimate the maximum amount of acid functional groups (0.36, 0.25 and 0.1 mmol g -1 ) and proton binding parameters (pK ' H =5.0,5.3and4.4;m H = 0.43, 0.37, 0.33), respectively for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. A non-ideal, semi-empirical, thermodynamically consistent (NICCA) isotherm fitted better the experimental ion binding data for different pH values and copper concentrations, considering only the acid functional groups, than the discrete model. Values of pK ' M (3.2; 3.6 and 3.3), n M (0.98, 0.91, 1.0) and p (0.67, 0.53 and 0.43) were obtained, respectively for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. NICCA model reflects the complex macromolecular systems that take part in biosorption considering the heterogeneity of the biosorbent, the competition between protons and metals ions to the binding sites and the stoichiometry for different ions

  18. Proteinaceous toxins from three species of scorpaeniform fish (lionfish Pterois lunulata, devil stinger Inimicus japonicus and waspfish Hypodytes rubripinnis): close similarity in properties and primary structures to stonefish toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiriake, Aya; Suzuki, Yasuko; Nagashima, Yuji; Shiomi, Kazuo

    2013-08-01

    The crude toxins from three species of venomous fish (lionfish Pterois lunulata, devil stinger Inimicus japonicus and waspfish Hypodytes rubripinnis) belonging to the order Scorpaeniformes exhibited mouse-lethal, hemolytic, edema-forming and nociceptive activities. In view of the antigenic cross-reactivity with the stonefish toxins, the primary structures of the stonefish toxin-like toxins from the three scorpaeniform fish were determined by cDNA cloning using primers designed from the highly conserved sequences of the stonefish toxins. Based on the data obtained in gel filtration, immunoblotting and cDNA cloning, each toxin was judged to be a 160 kDa heterodimer composed of 80 kDa α- and β-subunits. The three scorpaeniform fish toxins contain a B30.2/SPRY domain (∼200 amino acid residues) in the C-terminal region of each subunit, as reported for the toxins from two species of lionfish and two species of stonefish. With respect to the amino acid sequence similarity, the scorpaeniform fish toxins are divided into the following two groups: toxins from three species of lionfish and those from devil stinger, two species of stonefish and waspfish. The phylogenetic tree generated also clearly supports the classification of the toxins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Printing of cotton with eco-friendly, red algal pigment from Gracilaria sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moldovan, S.; Ferrandiz, M.; Franco, E.; Mira, E.; Capablanca, L.; Bonet, Mª

    2017-10-01

    Natural dyes represent an emerging trend in the textile industry and eco-fashion due to the increasing awareness of the sustainability concept, which must be applied to the surrounding environment. In the light of the stated problem, the search for alternative sources of dyes, revealed the new, eco-friendly, biodegradable, non-carcinogenic and sustainable colorant matter, the algal biomass. In the present work, the suitability and viability of printing cotton fabrics with pigments obtained from the red macroalgae Gracilaria sp., has been investigated. For this aim, phycoerythrin, the red pigment, was extracted from fresh algal biomass, and used in a laboratory pigment-printing process, employing a natural and synthetic printing paste, for process efficiency comparison. The color values and the rubbing and laundering fastness of the printed substrates were evaluated. Results show that a light pink color can be obtained when applying both tested printing processes, and in terms of color fastness, both printing pastes show good behavior. In conclusion, the algal pigments show a high printing capacity on cotton substrates, either when employing the synthetic conventional paste and; moreover, when applying the more sustainable and eco-friendly natural paste.

  20. Dynamics of Bacterial and Fungal Communities during the Outbreak and Decline of an Algal Bloom in a Drinking Water Reservoir.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Haihan; Jia, Jingyu; Chen, Shengnan; Huang, Tinglin; Wang, Yue; Zhao, Zhenfang; Feng, Ji; Hao, Huiyan; Li, Sulin; Ma, Xinxin

    2018-02-18

    The microbial communities associated with algal blooms play a pivotal role in organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in freshwater ecosystems. However, there have been few studies focused on unveiling the dynamics of bacterial and fungal communities during the outbreak and decline of algal blooms in drinking water reservoirs. To address this issue, the compositions of bacterial and fungal communities were assessed in the Zhoucun drinking water reservoir using 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene Illumina MiSeq sequencing techniques. The results showed the algal bloom was dominated by Synechococcus, Microcystis, and Prochlorothrix. The bloom was characterized by a steady decrease of total phosphorus (TP) from the outbreak to the decline period (p Limnobacter sp., Synechococcus sp., and Roseomonas sp. The relative size of the fungal community also changed with algal bloom and its composition mainly contained Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Chytridiomycota. Heat map profiling indicated that algal bloom had a more consistent effect upon fungal communities at genus level. Redundancy analysis (RDA) also demonstrated that the structure of water bacterial communities was significantly correlated to conductivity and ammonia nitrogen. Meanwhile, water temperature, Fe and ammonia nitrogen drive the dynamics of water fungal communities. The results from this work suggested that water bacterial and fungal communities changed significantly during the outbreak and decline of algal bloom in Zhoucun drinking water reservoir. Our study highlights the potential role of microbial diversity as a driving force for the algal bloom and biogeochemical cycling of reservoir ecology.

  1. Diphtheria toxin-induced channels in Vero cells selective for monovalent cations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandvig, K.; Olsnes, S.

    1988-01-01

    Ion fluxes associated with translocation of diphtheria toxin across the surface membrane of Vero cells were studied. When cells with surface-bound toxin were exposed to low pH to induce toxin entry, the cells became permeable to Na+, K+, H+, choline+, and glucosamine+. There was no increased permeability to Cl-, SO4(-2), glucose, or sucrose, whereas the uptake of 45 Ca2+ was slightly increased. The influx of Ca2+, which appears to be different from that of monovalent cations, was reduced by several inhibitors of anion transport and by verapamil, Mn2+, Co2+, and Ca2+, but not by Mg2+. The toxin-induced fluxes of N+, K+, and protons were inhibited by Cd2+. Cd2+ also protected the cells against intoxication by diphtheria toxin, suggesting that the open cation-selective channel is required for toxin translocation. The involvement of the toxin receptor is discussed

  2. Spatiotemporal patterns of paralytic shellfish toxins and their relationships with environmental variables in British Columbia, Canada from 2002 to 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finnis, Stephen; Krstic, Nikolas; McIntyre, Lorraine; Nelson, Trisalyn A; Henderson, Sarah B

    2017-07-01

    Harmful algal blooms produce paralytic shellfish toxins that accumulate in the tissues of filter feeding shellfish. Ingestion of these toxic shellfish can cause a serious and potentially fatal condition known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The coast of British Columbia is routinely monitored for shellfish toxicity, and this study uses data from the monitoring program to identify spatiotemporal patterns in shellfish toxicity events and their relationships with environmental variables. The dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium produces the most potent paralytic shellfish toxin, saxitoxin (STX). Data on all STX measurements were obtained from 49 different shellfish monitoring sites along the coast of British Columbia for 2002-2012, and monthly toxicity events were identified. We performed hierarchical cluster analysis to group sites that had events in similar areas with similar timing. Machine learning techniques were used to model the complex relationships between toxicity events and environmental variables in each group. The Strait of Georgia and the west coast of Vancouver Island had unique toxicity regimes. Out of the seven environmental variables used, toxicity in each cluster could be described by multivariable models including monthly sea surface temperature, air temperature, sea surface salinity, freshwater discharge, upwelling, and photosynthetically active radiation. The sea surface salinity and freshwater discharge variables produced the strongest univariate models for both geographic areas. Applying these methods in coastal regions could allow for the prediction of shellfish toxicity events by environmental conditions. This has the potential to optimize biotoxin monitoring, improve public health surveillance, and engage the shellfish industry in helping to reduce the risk of PSP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Cholix Toxin, a Novel ADP-ribosylating Factor from Vibri