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Sample records for algal toxins origins

  1. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

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    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.

  2. Environmental and Health Effects Associated With Harmful Algal Bloom and Marine Algal Toxins in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TIAN YAN; MING-JIANG ZHOU

    2004-01-01

    The frequency and scale of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and marine algal toxin incidents have been increasing and spreading in the past two decades, causing damages to the marine environment and threatening human life through contaminated seafood. To better understand the effect of HAB and marine algal toxins on marine environment and human health in China, this paper overviews HAB occurrence and marine algal toxin incidents, as well as their environmental and health effects in this country. HAB has been increasing rapidly along the Chinese coast since the 1970s, and at least 512 documented HAB events have occurred from 1952 to 2002 in the Chinese mainland. It has been found that PSP and DSP toxins are distributed widely along both the northern and southern Chinese coasts. The HAB and marine algal toxin events during the 1990s in China were summarized, showing that the HAB and algal toxins resulted in great damages to local fisheries, marine culture, quality of marine environment, and human health. Therefore, to protect the coastal environment and human health, attention to HAB and marine algal toxins is urgently needed from the environmental and epidemiological view.

  3. Monitoring and removal of cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water by algal-activated carbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Wael M; Salim, Emad H; Azab, Yahia A; Ismail, Abdel-Hamid M

    2016-10-01

    Microcystins (MCs) are the most potent toxins that can be produced by cyanobacteria in drinking water supplies. This study investigated the abundance of toxin-producing algae in 11 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). A total of 26 different algal taxa were identified in treated water, from which 12% were blue green, 29% were green, and 59% were diatoms. MC levels maintained strong positive correlations with number of cyanophycean cells in raw and treated water of different DWTPs. Furthermore, the efficiency of various algal-based adsorbent columns used for the removal of these toxins was evaluated. The MCs was adsorbed in the following order: mixed algal-activated carbon (AAC) ≥ individual AAC > mixed algal powder > individual algal powder. The results showed that the AAC had the highest efficient columns capable of removing 100% dissolved MCs from drinking water samples, thereby offering an economically feasible technology for efficient removal and recovery of MCs in DWTPs.

  4. 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

    We have examined the effectiveness of the in vitro rat hippocampal slice preparation as a means of rapidly and specifically detecting the marine algal toxins saxitoxin, brevetoxin, and domoic acid and have identified toxin-specific electrophysiological signatures for each. Brevetoxin (PbTX3, 50-2...

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

  7. Cephalopods as vectors of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Lopes, Ana Rita; Costa, Pedro; Rosa, Rui

    2013-09-06

    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

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

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    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

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

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    Kathi A Lefebvre

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ram Rup Sarkar; Horst Malchow

    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 zooplankton 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.

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

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

    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

  15. 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

  16. Health Risk Assessment of Cyanobacterial (Blue-green Algal Toxins in Drinking Water

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    Andrew R. Humpage

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacterial toxins have caused human poisoning in the Americas, Europe and Australia. There is accumulating evidence that they are present in treated drinking water supplies when cyanobacterial blooms occur in source waters. With increased population pressure and depleted groundwater reserves, surface water is becoming more used as a raw water source, both from rivers and lakes/reservoirs. Additional nutrients in water which arise from sewage discharge, agricultural run-off or storm water result in overabundance of cyanobacteria, described as a ‘water bloom’. The majority of cyanobacterial water-blooms are of toxic species, producing a diversity of toxins. The most important toxins presenting a risk to the human population are the neurotoxic alkaloids (anatoxins and paralytic shellfish poisons, the cyclic peptide hepatotoxins (microcystins and the cytotoxic alkaloids (cylindrospermopsins. At the present time the only cyanobacteral toxin family that have been internationally assessed for health risk by the WHO are the microcystins, which cause acute liver injury and are active tumour promoters. Based on sub-chronic studies in rodents and pigs, a provisional Guideline Level for drinking water of 1μg/L of microcystin-LR has been determined. This has been adopted in legislation in countries in Europe, South America and Australasia. This may be revised in the light of future teratogenicity, reproductive toxicity and carcinogenicity studies. The other cyanobacterial toxin which has been proposed for detailed health risk assessment is cylindrospermopsin, a cytotoxic compound which has marked genotoxicity, probable mutagenicity, and is a potential carcinogen. This toxin has caused human poisoning from drinking water, and occurs in water supplies in the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. An initial health risk assessment is presented with a proposed drinking water Guideline Level of 1μg/L. There is a

  17. Algal toxin impairs sea lion memory and hippocampal connectivity, with implications for strandings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Peter F; Reichmuth, Colleen; Rouse, Andrew A; Libby, Laura A; Dennison, Sophie E; Carmichael, Owen T; Kruse-Elliott, Kris T; Bloom, Josh; Singh, Baljeet; Fravel, Vanessa A; Barbosa, Lorraine; Stuppino, Jim J; Van Bonn, William G; Gulland, Frances M D; Ranganath, Charan

    2015-12-18

    Domoic acid (DA) is a naturally occurring neurotoxin known to harm marine animals. DA-producing algal blooms are increasing in size and frequency. Although chronic exposure is known to produce brain lesions, the influence of DA toxicosis on behavior in wild animals is unknown. We showed, in a large sample of wild sea lions, that spatial memory deficits are predicted by the extent of right dorsal hippocampal lesions related to natural exposure to DA and that exposure also disrupts hippocampal-thalamic brain networks. Because sea lions are dynamic foragers that rely on flexible navigation, impaired spatial memory may affect survival in the wild.

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

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    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

  19. Algal production of extra and intra-cellular polysaccharides as an adaptive response to the toxin crude extract of Microcystis aeruginosa

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    El-Sheekh Mostafa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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. The effects 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 toxin higher 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 the biological behavior of particular algal species to the environmental stresses.

  20. Toxins

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    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

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

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    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.

  2. 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).

  3. Mesoproterozoic graphite deposits, New Jersey Highlands: Geologic and stable isotopic evidence for possible algal origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkert, R.A.

    2000-01-01

    Graphite deposits of Mesoproterozoic age are locally abundant in the eastern New Jersey Highlands, where they are hosted by sulphidic biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss, metaquartzite, and anatectic pegmatite. Gneiss and metaquartzite represent a shallow marine shelf sequence of locally organic-rich sand and mud. Graphite from massive deposits within metaquartzite yielded ??13C values of -26 ?? 2??? (1??), and graphite from massive deposits within biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss yielded ??13C values of -23 ??4???. Disseminated graphite from biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss country rock was -22 ??3???, indistinguishable from the massive deposits hosted by the same lithology. Anatectic pegmatite is graphitic only where generated from graphite-bearing host rocks; one sample gave a ??13C value of -15???. The ??34S values of trace pyrrhotite are uniform within individual deposits, but vary from 0 to 9??? from one deposit to another. Apart from pegmatitic occurrences, evidence is lacking for long-range mobilization of carbon during Grenvillian orogenesis or post-Grenvillian tectonism. The field, petrographic, and isotope data suggest that massive graphite was formed by granulite-facies metamorphism of Proterozoic accumulations of sedimentary organic matter, possibly algal mats. Preservation of these accumulations in the sedimentary environment requires anoxic basin waters or rapid burial. Anoxia would also favour the accumulation of dissolved ferrous iron in basin waters, which may explain some of the metasediment-hosted massive magnetite deposits in the New Jersey Highlands. ?? 2000 NRC.

  4. Evolution stings: the origin and diversification of scorpion toxin peptide scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Chan, Angelo H C; Koludarov, Ivan; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-12-13

    The episodic nature of natural selection and the accumulation of extreme sequence divergence in venom-encoding genes over long periods of evolutionary time can obscure the signature of positive Darwinian selection. Recognition of the true biocomplexity is further hampered by the limited taxon selection, with easy to obtain or medically important species typically being the subject of intense venom research, relative to the actual taxonomical diversity in nature. This holds true for scorpions, which are one of the most ancient terrestrial venomous animal lineages. The family Buthidae that includes all the medically significant species has been intensely investigated around the globe, while almost completely ignoring the remaining non-buthid families. Australian scorpion lineages, for instance, have been completely neglected, with only a single scorpion species (Urodacus yaschenkoi) having its venom transcriptome sequenced. Hence, the lack of venom composition and toxin sequence information from an entire continent's worth of scorpions has impeded our understanding of the molecular evolution of scorpion venom. The molecular origin, phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary histories of most scorpion toxin scaffolds remain enigmatic. In this study, we have sequenced venom gland transcriptomes of a wide taxonomical diversity of scorpions from Australia, including buthid and non-buthid representatives. Using state-of-art molecular evolutionary analyses, we show that a majority of CSα/β toxin scaffolds have experienced episodic influence of positive selection, while most non-CSα/β linear toxins evolve under the extreme influence of negative selection. For the first time, we have unraveled the molecular origin of the major scorpion toxin scaffolds, such as scorpion venom single von Willebrand factor C-domain peptides (SV-SVC), inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), disulphide-directed beta-hairpin (DDH), bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPP), linear non-disulphide bridged

  5. The discovery of archaea origin phosphomannomutase in algae based on the algal transcriptome

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FENG Yanjing; CHI Shan; LIU Cui; CHEN Shengping; YU Jun; WANG Xumin; LIU Tao

    2014-01-01

    Phosphomannomutase (PMM;EC 5.4.2.8) is an enzyme that catalyzes the interconversion reaction between mannose-6-phosphate and mannose-1-phosphate. However, its systematic molecular and functional in-vestigations in algae have not hitherto been reported. In this work, with the accomplishment of the 1 000 Plant Project (OneKP) in which more than 218 species of Chromista, including 19 marine phaeophytes, 22 marine rhodophytes, 171 chlorophytes, 5 cryptophytes, 4 haptophytes, and 5 glaucophytes were sequenced, we used a gene analysis method to analyze the PMM gene sequences in algae and confirm the existence of the PMM gene in the transcriptomic sequencing data of Rhodophyta and Ochrophyta. Our results showed that only one type of PMM with four conserved motifs exists in Chromista which is similar to human PMM. Moreover, the phylogenetic tree revealed that algae PMM possibly originated from archaea.

  6. 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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Modular antenna of photosystem I in secondary plastids of red algal origin: a Nannochloropsis oceanica case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bína, David; Gardian, Zdenko; Herbstová, Miroslava; Litvín, Radek

    2017-03-01

    Photosystem I (PSI) is a multi-subunit integral pigment-protein complex that performs light-driven electron transfer from plastocyanin to ferredoxin in the thylakoid membrane of oxygenic photoautotrophs. In order to achieve the optimal photosynthetic performance under ambient irradiance, the absorption cross section of PSI is extended by means of peripheral antenna complexes. In eukaryotes, this role is played mostly by the pigment-protein complexes of the LHC family. The structure of the PSI-antenna supercomplexes has been relatively well understood in organisms harboring the primary plastid: red algae, green algae and plants. The secondary endosymbiotic algae, despite their major ecological importance, have so far received less attention. Here we report a detailed structural analysis of the antenna-PSI association in the stramenopile alga Nannochloropsis oceanica (Eustigmatophyceae). Several types of PSI-antenna assemblies are identified allowing for identification of antenna docking sites on the PSI core. Instances of departure of the stramenopile system from the red algal model of PSI-Lhcr structure are recorded, and evolutionary implications of these observations are discussed.

  10. Impact of harmful algal blooms on several Lake Erie drinking water treatment facilities; methodology considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    The propagation of cyanbacterial cells and their toxins were investigated at seven drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) on Lake Erie were investigated with regards to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxin concentrations, water quality variations in treatment plant influents, and pr...

  11. Seasonal and annual dynamics of harmful algae and algal toxins revealed through weekly monitoring at two coastal ocean sites off southern California, USA

    KAUST Repository

    Seubert, Erica L.

    2013-01-04

    Reports of toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) attributed to the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp. have been increasing in California during the last several decades. Whether this increase can be attributed to enhanced awareness and monitoring or to a dramatic upswing in the development of HAB events remains unresolved. Given these uncertainties, the ability to accurately and rapidly identify an emerging HAB event is of high importance. Monitoring of HAB species and other pertinent chemical/physical parameters at two piers in southern California, Newport and Redondo Beach, was used to investigate the development of a site-specific bloom definition for identifying emerging domoic acid (DA) events. Emphasis was given to abundances of the Pseudo-nitzschia seriata size category of Pseudo-nitzschia due to the prevalence of this size class in the region. P. seriata bloom thresholds were established for each location based on deviations from their respective long-term mean abundances, allowing the identification of major and minor blooms. Sixty-five percent of blooms identified at Newport Beach coincided with measurable DA concentrations, while 36 % of blooms at Redondo Beach coincided with measurable DA. Bloom definitions allowed for increased specificity in multiple regression analysis of environmental forcing factors significant to the presence of DA and P. seriata. The strongest relationship identified was between P. seriata abundances 2 weeks following upwelling events at Newport Beach. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  12. Prevalence of genes for enterotoxins, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and exfoliative toxin among clinical isolates of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius from canine origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jang W; Lee, Gi-Jong; Lee, So-Young; Park, Chul; Yoo, Jong-Hyun; Park, Hee-Myung

    2010-10-01

    A total of 74 Staphylococcus pseudintermedius strains were isolated from the 99 clinical cases of canine pyoderma or chronic otitis in our veterinary teaching hospital during May 2006-February 2008. In this study, we examined the genetic distribution of staphylococcal pyogenic toxins such as staphylococcal enterotoxins A (sea), B (seb), C (sec), D (sed), E (see), and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tst) as well as the previously characterized S. intermedius exfoliative toxin (siet) among those isolates. The polymerase chain reaction analyses with the toxin gene-specific primers revealed that 18 (24.3%) of 74 S. pseudintermedius isolates carried the sec genes, but none of the sea, seb, sed, see and tst genes. Further DNA sequencing analysis of the amplified sec genes revealed that they all belonged to the canine type C staphylococcal enterotoxin (SEC(canine) ) whose superantigenic activity has been demonstrated. In addition to the sec(canine) genes, our polymerase chain reaction results showed that all the 74 isolates carried the siet gene. Since both SEC(canine) and SIET toxins are known to be biologically active, it would be interesting to investigate how those toxins are involved in the pathogenesis of the canine diseases by S. pseudintermedius such as pyoderma or chronic otitis.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T.; Matthew J. Hegarty; 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...

  14. Algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

    The world is facing energy crisis and environmental issues due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Growing microalgae can contribute to practical solutions for these global problems because they can harvest solar energy and capture CO2 by converting it into biofuel using photosynthesis. Microalgae are robust organisms capable of rapid growth under a variety of conditions including in open ponds or closed photobioreactors. Their reduced biomass compounds can be used as the feedstock for mass production of a variety of biofuels. As another advantage, their ability to accumulate or secrete biofuels can be controlled by changing their growth conditions or metabolic engineering. This review is aimed to highlight different forms of biofuels produced by microalgae and the approaches taken to improve their biofuel productivity. The costs for industrial-scale production of algal biofuels in open ponds or closed photobioreactors are analyzed. Different strategies for photoproduction of hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzyme of green algae are discussed. Algae are also good sources of biodiesel since some species can make large quantities of lipids as their biomass. The lipid contents for some of the best oil-producing strains of algae in optimized growth conditions are reviewed. The potential of microalgae for producing petroleum related chemicals or ready-make fuels such as bioethanol, triterpenic hydrocarbons, isobutyraldehyde, isobutanol, and isoprene from their biomass are also presented.

  15. The structure and mode of action of the dinoflagellate toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akram Najafi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Dinoflagellates are the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. In different studies, it has been shown that many dinoflagellate species produce various natural toxins. Saxitoxin, brevetoxin, yessotoxin, etc can be considered as the most important neurotoxins. The most important dinoflagellate toxins structures, their origin, structure and mechanisms of action were evaluated in a systematic review. Materials & Methods: Marine dinoflagellates, marine toxins, and their mechanisms of action and structure were keywords for a comprehensive search in online databases including Pubmed, Science Direct, Google Scholar and Scirus. A total of 95 papers were evaluated, however, by omitting similar reports, 68 papers were included in the study. Results: Dinoflagellates toxins are usually polycyclic ether and polyketaide compounds that have distinct mechanisms of action including alteration in different ion channels and/or pumps at cell membrane, effect on the normal functioning of neuronal and other excitable tissues, inhibition of serine/threonine phosphoprotein phosphatases, disrupting major mechanisms of controlling cellular functions, and alteration in cellular cytoskeleton. However, the precise mechanisms of action of few toxins are not determined yet. Conclusion: The clarification of the dinoflagellate toxins structures and their mechanisms of action may be helpful for novel drug design, therapeutic measures and to overcome against marine toxicity. 

  16. 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 ( ...

  17. Optimizing production of asperolide A, a potential anti-tumor tetranorditerpenoid originally produced by the algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Rui; Li, Xiaoming; Xu, Gangming; Wang, Bingui

    2016-07-01

    The marine algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48 produces the potential anti-tumor agent asperolide A, a tetranorlabdane diterpenoid active against lung cancer. However, the fermentation yield of asperolide A was very low and only produced in static cultures. Static fermentation conditions of A. wentii EN-48 were optimized employing response surface methodology to enhance the production of asperolide A. The optimized conditions resulted in a 13.9-fold yield enhancement, which matched the predicted value, and the optimized conditions were successfully used in scale-up fermentation for the production of asperolide A. Exogenous addition of plant hormones (especially 10 μmol/L methyl jasmonate) stimulated asperolide A production. To our knowledge, this is first optimized production of an asperolide by a marine-derived fungus. The optimization is Effective and valuable to supply material for further anti-tumor mechanism studies and preclinical evaluation of asperolide A and other norditerpenoids.

  18. 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.

  19. Freshwater Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) Toxins: Isolation and Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-10-01

    9, 1985. Toxic peptides of freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) from two European Hicr tis aegi and one Canadian &nAnbaflo s- agua were...8217Algal toxin from Potable Water Supplies: A Pilot Plant Investi- gation. p. 26 In Technical papers presented at the Tenth Federal Convention of the...W.H. Watson. Studies on aphantoxin from A12han izomenon flos- aguae in New Hampshire. In: Carmichael, W.W. (ed.) The Water Envir’onment: Algal Toxins and

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Endogenous viral elements in algal genomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Liang; YU Jun; WU Shuangxiu; LIU Tao; SUN Jing; CHI Shan; LIU Cui; LI Xingang; YIN Jinlong; WANG Xumin

    2014-01-01

    Endogenous viral elements (EVEs) are host-genomic fragments originated from viral genomes. They have been found universally in animal and plant genomes. Here we carried out a systematic screening and analy-sis of EVEs in algal genomes and found that EVEs commonly exist in algal genomes. We classified the EVE fragments into three categories according to the length of EVE fragments. Due to the probability of sequence similarity by chance, we ignored the potential function of medium-length EVE fragments. However, long-length EVE fragments probably had capability to encode protein domains or even entire proteins, and some short-length EVE fragments had high similarity with host's siRNA sequences and possibly served functions of small RNAs. Therefore, short and long EVE fragments might provide regulomic and proteomic novelty to the host's metabolism and adaptation. We also found several EVE fragments shared by more than 3 algal genomes. By phylogenetic analysis of the shared EVEs and their corresponding species, we found that the integration of viral fragments into host genomes was an ancient event, possibly before the divergence of Chlorophytes and Ochrophytes. Our findings show that there is a frequent genetic flow from viruses to algal genomes. Moreover, study on algal EVEs shed light on the virus-host interaction in large timescale and could also help us understand the balance of marine ecosystems.

  5. 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.

  6. Method for detecting biological toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  7. Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent Waters and Through Treatment on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom Seasons 

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent and Through Drinking Water Treatment Facilities Located on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom SeasonsToby Sanan, Nicholas Dugan, Darren Lytle, Heath MashHarmful algal blooms (HABs) and their associated toxins are emerging as signif...

  8. 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.

  9. Pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  10. 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 have...

  11. 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

  12. Algal biofuels from wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craggs, R J; Heubeck, S; Lundquist, T J; Benemann, J R

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the potential of algae biofuel production in conjunction with wastewater treatment. Current technology for algal wastewater treatment uses facultative ponds, however, these ponds have low productivity (∼10 tonnes/ha.y), are not amenable to cultivating single algal species, require chemical flocculation or other expensive processes for algal harvest, and do not provide consistent nutrient removal. Shallow, paddlewheel-mixed high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) have much higher productivities (∼30 tonnes/ha.y) and promote bioflocculation settling which may provide low-cost algal harvest. Moreover, HRAP algae are carbon-limited and daytime addition of CO(2) has, under suitable climatic conditions, the potential to double production (to ∼60 tonnes/ha.y), improve bioflocculation algal harvest, and enhance wastewater nutrient removal. Algae biofuels (e.g. biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and crude bio-oil), could be produced from the algae harvested from wastewater HRAPs, The wastewater treatment function would cover the capital and operation costs of algal production, with biofuel and recovered nutrient fertilizer being by-products. Greenhouse gas abatement results from both the production of the biofuels and the savings in energy consumption compared to electromechanical treatment processes. However, to achieve these benefits, further research is required, particularly the large-scale demonstration of wastewater treatment HRAP algal production and harvest.

  13. Origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Online-Offline, 1999

    1999-01-01

    Provides an annotated list of resources dealing with the theme of origins of life, the universe, and traditions. Includes Web sites, videos, books, audio materials, and magazines with appropriate grade levels and/or subject disciplines indicated; professional resources; and learning activities. (LRW)

  14. 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.

  15. Algal functional annotation tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez, D. [UCLA; Casero, D. [UCLA; Cokus, S. J. [UCLA; Merchant, S. S. [UCLA; Pellegrini, M. [UCLA

    2012-07-01

    The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on KEGG pathway maps and batch gene identifier conversion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Barry H.; Ann St. Amand,

    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.

  17. Structure determination of a tetrahydro-beta-carboline of arthropod origin: a novel alkaloid-toxin subclass from the web of spider Nephila clavipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Maurício Ribeiro; Mendes, Maria Anita; Tormena, Cláudio Francisco; Souza, Bibiana M; Cesar, Lílian Mari Marcondes; Rittner, Roberto; Palma, Mario S

    2005-04-01

    The orb-web spiders are polyphagous animals in which the web plays a very important role in the capture of preys; oily droplets usually cover the capture-web of the spider Nephila clavipes and seem to be of great importance for prey capture. The knowledge of the chemical composition of these droplets is necessary to understand the function of this adhesive material in web mechanics and prey capture. A novel subclass of spider toxins, tetrahydro-beta-carboline, was identified among the weaponry of compounds present inside of oily droplets. This type of alkaloid is not common among the natural compounds of spider toxins. Apparently, when the prey arthropods get caught by the spider web, their bodies are covered with many adhesive oily droplets, which disrupt delivering the tetrahydro-beta-carboline to the direct contact with the prey integument. Toxicity assays demonstrated a potent lethal effect of the alkaloid toxin to the spider preys; topical applications of the tetrahydro-beta-carboline at first caused clear signs of neurotoxicity, followed by the death of preys. The structure of the major component, a tetrahydro-beta-carboline, among the alkaloid toxins was elucidated by means of UV spectrophotometry, ESI mass spectrometry, 1H-NMR spectroscopy, and high-resolution mass spectrometry. The structure of the natural toxin was determined as 1-(2-guanidinoethyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-hydroxymethyl)-beta-carboline; the investigation of the pharmacological properties and neurotoxic actions of this compound may be used in the future as reference for the development of new drugs to be applied at level of pest control in agriculture.

  18. Algal Biofuels; Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-09-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Effect of Antibiotic Treatment on Toxin Production by Alexandrium tamarense

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHANG-HAI WANG; YI-YUN WANG; YING-YING SUN; XIAN-TANG XIE

    2003-01-01

    Objective Impact of the presence of bacteria associated with a marine dinoflagellate,Alexandrium tamarense CI01, on the growth and toxin production of the algae in batch culture was investigated. Methods Pronounced changes in the activities of the algal culture were observed when the culture was treated with different doses of a mixture of penicillin and streptomycin.Results In the presence of antibiotics at the initial concentration of 100 u/mL in culture medium,both algal growth and toxin yield increased markedly. When the concentration of antibiotics was increased to 500 u/mL, the microalgal growth was inhibited, but resumed in a few days to eventually reach the same level of growth and toxin production as at the lower dose of the antibiotics. When the antibiotics were present at a concentration of 1000 u/mL, the algal growth was inhibited permanently.Conclusions The results indicate that antibiotics can enhance algal growth and toxin production not only through their inhibition of the growth and hence competition for nutrients, but also through their effects on the physiology of the algae.

  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. Fueling Future with Algal Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-07-05

    Algae constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity, play profound roles in the carbon cycle, and are prominent candidates for biofuel production. The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is leading the world in algal genome sequencing (http://jgi.doe.gov/Algae) and contributes of the algal genome projects worldwide (GOLD database, 2012). The sequenced algal genomes offer catalogs of genes, networks, and pathways. The sequenced first of its kind genomes of a haptophyte E.huxleyii, chlorarachniophyte B.natans, and cryptophyte G.theta fill the gaps in the eukaryotic tree of life and carry unique genes and pathways as well as molecular fossils of secondary endosymbiosis. Natural adaptation to conditions critical for industrial production is encoded in algal genomes, for example, growth of A.anophagefferens at very high cell densities during the harmful algae blooms or a global distribution across diverse environments of E.huxleyii, able to live on sparse nutrients due to its expanded pan-genome. Communications and signaling pathways can be derived from simple symbiotic systems like lichens or complex marine algae metagenomes. Collectively these datasets derived from algal genomics contribute to building a comprehensive parts list essential for algal biofuel development.

  3. 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

  4. Harmful Algal in Banyuasin Coastal Waters, South Sumatera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riris Aryawati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Phytoplankton have important as food-chain major component and primary production of marine environment. However, high abundance of phytoplankton could give harmful effects toward water ecosystem. Moreover, they could produce toxic substances that will be accumulated within their consumer. This accumulation could be dangerous for human or animals.This research were aimed to determine and calculatespecies of harmful algae in Banyuasin coastal waters. The study was conducted on April, June, August, October and December of 2013, and in February 2014, at ten stations. Phytoplankton samples were taken vertically using plankton nets. In the form of cone-shaped with a diameter of 30 cm, length 100 cm and mesh size 30 μm.The result showed that there are 35 genera of phytoplankton. That have been found and consisted of four groups; Bacillariophyceae, Dinophyceae, Cyanophyceae and Chlorophyceae. 13 species were identified as Harmful Algal (Chaetoceros, Coscinodiscus, Nitzschia, Skeletonema, Thalassiosira, Alexandrium, Ceratium, Dinophysis, Noctiluca, Protoperidinium, Prorocentrum, Anabaena dan Oscillatoria, with seven of them were known for having toxin (Nitzschia, Alexandrium, Dinophysis, Protoperidinium Prorocentrum, Anabaena and Oscillatoria. Monitoring result showed that the highest number of species of potential harmful algal blooms (HABs occured in June and the highest abundance occured in August, especially Chaetoceros and Skeletonema.How to CiteAryawati, R., Bengen, D. G., Prartono, T., & Zulkifli, H. (2016. Harmful Algal in Banyuasin Coastal Waters, South Sumatera. Biosaintifika: Journal of Biology & Biology Education, 8(2, 231-239.

  5. 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.

  6. Modelling the Stoichiometric Regulation of C-Rich Toxins in Marine Dinoflagellates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinna, Adriano; Pezzolesi, Laura; Pistocchi, Rossella; Vanucci, Silvana; Ciavatta, Stefano; Polimene, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Toxin production in marine microalgae was previously shown to be tightly coupled with cellular stoichiometry. The highest values of cellular toxin are in fact mainly associated with a high carbon to nutrient cellular ratio. In particular, the cellular accumulation of C-rich toxins (i.e., with C:N > 6.6) can be stimulated by both N and P deficiency. Dinoflagellates are the main producers of C-rich toxins and may represent a serious threat for human health and the marine ecosystem. As such, the development of a numerical model able to predict how toxin production is stimulated by nutrient supply/deficiency is of primary utility for both scientific and management purposes. In this work we have developed a mechanistic model describing the stoichiometric regulation of C-rich toxins in marine dinoflagellates. To this purpose, a new formulation describing toxin production and fate was embedded in the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), here simplified to describe a monospecific batch culture. Toxin production was assumed to be composed by two distinct additive terms; the first is a constant fraction of algal production and is assumed to take place at any physiological conditions. The second term is assumed to be dependent on algal biomass and to be stimulated by internal nutrient deficiency. By using these assumptions, the model reproduced the concentrations and temporal evolution of toxins observed in cultures of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, a benthic/epiphytic dinoflagellate producing C-rich toxins named ovatoxins. The analysis of simulations and their comparison with experimental data provided a conceptual model linking toxin production and nutritional status in this species. The model was also qualitatively validated by using independent literature data, and the results indicate that our formulation can be also used to simulate toxin dynamics in other dinoflagellates. Our model represents an important step towards the simulation and prediction of marine algal

  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. Algal taxonomy forum: Algal Taxonomist, Let Serendipity Reign!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

    The publication of a mini-review by Olivier De Clerck et al. in this issue of the Journal of Phycology presented an opportunity to open a dialogue on challenges faced by contemporary algal taxonomists. The Editorial Office solicited the following two additional contributions in response to De Clerck et al.'s paper; the responses were edited solely for clarity, space and format.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    Prymnesium parvum produces a variety of toxic compounds, which affect other algae, grazers and organisms at higher trophic levels. Here we provide the method for development of a sensitive algal bioassay using a microalgal target, Teleaulax acuta, to measure strain variability in P. parvum toxicity...... 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...

  11. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lupton, Francis Stephen

    2016-09-27

    Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil are provided. In an embodiment, a method comprises the steps of combining a sulfuric acid-aqueous solution that has a pH of about 1 or less with a contaminant-containing algal oil at treatment conditions effective to form an effluent. The effluent comprises a treated algal oil phase and contaminants in an acidic aqueous phase. The contaminants comprise metals, phosphorus, or combinations thereof. The acidic aqueous phase is removed from the effluent to form a contaminant-depleted algal oil.

  15. Vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to changes in harmful algal bloom distribution in response to climate change: projections based on model analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Glibert, P.M.; Icarus Allen, J.; Artioli, Y.; Beusen, A.; Bouwman, Lex; Harle, J.; Holmes, R.; Holt, J.

    2014-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), those proliferations of algae that can cause fish kills, contaminate seafood with toxins, form unsightly scums, or detrimentally alter ecosystem function have been increasing in frequency, magnitude, and duration worldwide. Here, using a global modeling approach, we show

  16. Botulinum Toxin Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... care Kids’ zone Video library Find a dermatologist Botulinum toxin therapy Overview Before treatment: This woman disliked her deep frown lines. Botulinum toxin therapy: Overview Also called botulinum rejuvenation Brand names: ...

  17. The state of U.S. freshwater harmful algal blooms assessments, policy and legislation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudnell, H Kenneth

    2010-05-01

    The incidence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) is increasing in the United States and worldwide. HAB toxins cause a substantial but unquantified amount of human and animal morbidity and mortality from exposures in recreational, commercial, drinking-source and potable waters. HAB biomass and toxins threaten the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. U.S. Congressional legislation mandated the establishment of a National Research Plan for Coastal Harmful Algal Blooms, but no similar plan exists for freshwater HABs (FHABs). Eutrophication and FHABs are conservatively estimated to cost the U.S. economy 2.2-4.6 billion dollars annually. A National Research Plan for Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms is needed to develop U.S. policy and regulations or guidelines to confront FHAB risks. This report reviews the state of FHAB occurrence, risk and risk management assessments in the U.S. Research is identified that must be accomplished to characterize occurrence and risks, and develop cost effective strategies for preventing, suppressing and mitigating FHABs. U.S. Congressional legislation is needed to mandate a National Research Plan for FHABs, establish a timeline for developing policy and fund competitive research-grant programs. The research results will provide a sound scientific basis for making policy determinations and implementing risk management strategies. Successfully confronting FHAB risks will strengthen the U.S. economy, protect human and animal health and help ensure the sustainability of our Nation's freshwater bodies.

  18. 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.

  19. Virulence profiles of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and other potentially diarrheagenic E.coli of bovine origin, in Mendoza, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.A. Pizarro

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This study described a group of strains obtained from a slaughter house in Mendoza, in terms of their pathogenic factors, serotype, antibiotype and molecular profile. Ninety one rectal swabs and one hundred eight plating samples taken from carcasses of healthy cattle intended for meat consumption were analyzed. Both the swab and the plate samples were processed to analyze the samples for the presence of virulence genes by PCR: stx1, stx2, eae and astA. The Stx positive strains were confirmed by citotoxicity assay in Vero cells. The isolates were subsequently investigated for their O:H serotype, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular profile by Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD. Twelve E.coli strains were identified by their pathogenicity. Nine were from fecal origin and three from carcasses. Three strains carried the stx1 gene, three the stx2 gene, two carried eae and four the astA gene. The detected serotypes were: O172:H-; O150:H8; O91:H21; O178:H19 and O2:H5. The strains showed a similarity around 70% by RAPD. Some of the E.coli strains belonged to serogroups known for certain life-threatening diseases in humans. Their presence in carcasses indicates the high probability of bacterial spread during slaughter and processing.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Application of Multispectral and Hyperspectral Remote Sensing For Detection of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudela, R. M.; Accorsi, E.; Austerberry, D.; Palacios, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Freshwater Cyanobacterial Harmful algal blooms (CHABs) represent a pressing and apparently increasing threat to both human and environmental health. In California, toxin producing blooms of several species, including Aphanizomenon, Microcystis, Lyngbya, and Anabaena are common; toxins from these blooms have been linked to impaired drinking water, domestic and wild animal deaths, and increasing evidence for toxin transfer to coastal marine environments, including the death of several California sea otters, a threatened marine species. California scientists and managers are under increasing pressure to identify and mitigate these potentially toxic blooms, but point-source measurements and grab samples have been less than effective. There is increasing awareness that these toxic events are both spatially widespread and ephememeral, leading to the need for better monitoring methods applicable to large spatial and temporal scales. Based on monitoring in several California water bodies, it appears that Aphanizomenon blooms frequently precede dangerous levels of toxins from Microcystis. We are exploring new detection methods for identifying CHABs and potentially distinguishing between blooms of the harmful cyanobacteria Aphanizomenon and Microcystis using remote sensing reflectance from a variety of airborne and satellite sensors. We suggest that Aphanizomenon blooms could potentially be used as an early warning of more highly toxic subsequent blooms, and that these methods, combined with better toxin monitoring, can lead to improved understanding and prediction of CHABs by pinpointing problematic watersheds.

  3. 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.

  4. Variable toxicity of silver nanoparticles to Daphnia magna: effects of algal particles and animal nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conine, Andrea L; Frost, Paul C

    2017-01-01

    Aquatic environments vary widely in aspects other than their physicochemical properties that could alter the toxicity of novel contaminants. One factor that could affect chemical toxicity to aquatic consumers is their nutritional environment as it can strongly affect their physiology and life history. Nutrition has the potential to alter an organism's response to the toxin or how the toxin interacts with the consumer through its food. Here we determined how growth and survival responses of Daphnia to an emerging contaminant, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), are affected by the presence of food and its stoichiometric food quality. We used a series of survival tests, each slightly modified, to determine whether variable toxicity in different nutritional environments resulted from algal sequestration of AgNPs in a nontoxic form or from changes to the nutritional status of the test animals. We found that the presence of algae, of good or poor quality, reduced the toxicity of AgNPs on animal growth and survival. However, the decrease in AgNP toxicity was greater for animals consuming P-rich compared to P-poor food. We found evidence that this effect of food quality was due to greater algal uptake of AgNPs by P-rich than by P-stressed algae. However, we also found animal nutrition, in the absence of algal AgNP binding, could affect toxicity with P-nourished animals surviving slightly better when exposed to AgNPs compared to their P-stressed counterparts. Our results show an important role for algal particles and their P content in determining the toxicity of AgNPs in natural waters primarily due to their binding and uptake abilities and, less so, to their effects on animal nutrition.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The distribution and impacts of harmful algal bloom species in eastern boundary upwelling systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trainer, V. L.; Pitcher, G. C.; Reguera, B.; Smayda, T. J.

    2010-04-01

    Comparison of harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in eastern boundary upwelling systems, specifically species composition, bloom densities, toxin concentrations and impacts are likely to contribute to understanding these phenomena. We identify and describe HABs in the California, Canary, Benguela and Humboldt Current systems, including those that can cause the poisoning syndromes in humans called paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), and amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), as well as yessotoxins, ichthyotoxins, and high-biomass blooms resulting in hypoxia and anoxia. Such comparisons will allow identification of parameters, some unique to upwelling systems and others not, that contribute to the development of these harmful blooms.

  8. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

    The goal of achieving cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts derived from algal biomass will require improvements along the entire value chain, including identification of robust, high-productivity strains and development of advanced genetic tools. Though there have been modest advances in development of genetic systems for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, progress in development of algal genetic tools, especially as applied to non-model algae, has generally lagged behind that of more commonly utilized laboratory and industrial microbes. This is in part due to the complex organellar structure of algae, including robust cell walls and intricate compartmentalization of target loci, as well as prevalent gene silencing mechanisms, which hinder facile utilization of conventional genetic engineering tools and methodologies. However, recent progress in global tool development has opened the door for implementation of strain-engineering strategies in industrially-relevant algal strains. Here, we review recent advances in algal genetic tool development and applications in eukaryotic microalgae.

  9. Direct conversion of algal biomass to biofuel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Shuguang; Patil, Prafulla D; Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

    2014-10-14

    A method and system for providing direct conversion of algal biomass. Optionally, the method and system can be used to directly convert dry algal biomass to biodiesels under microwave irradiation by combining the reaction and combining steps. Alternatively, wet algae can be directly processed and converted to fatty acid methyl esters, which have the major components of biodiesels, by reacting with methanol at predetermined pressure and temperature ranges.

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Chae Haeng; Kim, Kyung Mo; Elvebakk, Arve; Kim, Ok-Sun; Jeong, Gajin; Hong, Soon Gyu

    2015-01-01

    The composition of lichen ecosystems except mycobiont and photobiont has not been evaluated intensively. In addition, recent studies to identify algal genotypes have raised questions about the specific relationship between mycobiont and photobiont. In the current study, we analyzed algal and fungal community structures in lichen species from King George Island, Antarctica, by pyrosequencing of eukaryotic large subunit (LSU) and algal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) domains of the nuclear rRNA gene. The sequencing results of LSU and ITS regions indicated that each lichen thallus contained diverse algal species. The major algal operational taxonomic unit (OTU) defined at a 99% similarity cutoff of LSU sequences accounted for 78.7-100% of the total algal community in each sample. In several cases, the major OTUs defined by LSU sequences were represented by two closely related OTUs defined by 98% sequence similarity of ITS domain. The results of LSU sequences indicated that lichen-associated fungi belonged to the Arthoniomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, and Sordariomycetes of the Ascomycota, and Tremellomycetes and Cystobasidiomycetes of the Basidiomycota. The composition of major photobiont species and lichen-associated fungal community were mostly related to the mycobiont species. The contribution of growth forms or substrates on composition of photobiont and lichen-associated fungi was not evident.

  13. Chorea caused by toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyasaki, Janis M

    2011-01-01

    Chorea is uncommonly caused by toxins. Anecdotal evidence from cases of toxin-induced chorea assists in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases associated with chorea. Beginning in medieval Europe with ergotism and the "fire that twisted people," spanning to crack dancing in contemporary times and the coexistence of alcohol abuse with chorea, toxins may exert direct effects to enhance mesolimbic dopamine transmission or indirect effects through gamma-aminobutyric acid modulation. The following chapter will discuss toxins associated with chorea and the presumed pathophysiology underlying the movement disorders in these case series.

  14. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nes, W.D.; Norton, R.A.; Crumley, F.G. (Richard B. Russell Research Center, Athens, GA (USA)); Madigan, S.J.; Katz, E.R. (State Univ. of New York at Stony Brook (USA))

    1990-10-01

    The stereochemistry of several sterol precursors and end products synthesized by two fungal-like microorganisms Prototheca wickerhamii (I) and Dictyostelium discoideum (II) have been determined by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral (UV, MS, and {sup 1}H NMR) methods. From I and II the following sterols were isolated from the cells: cycloartenol, cyclolaudenol, 24(28)-methylenecy-cloartanol, ergosterol, protothecasterol, 4{alpha}-methylergostanol, 4{alpha}-methylclionastanol, clionastanol, 24{beta}-ethylcholesta-8,22-enol, and dictyosterol. In addition, the mechanism of C-24 methylation was investigated in both organisms by feeding to I (2-{sup 3}H)lanosterol, (2-{sup 3}H)cycloartenol, (24{sup 3}H)lanosterol, and (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine and by feeding to II (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine. The results demonstrate that the 24{beta} configuration is formed by different alkylation routes in I and II. The authors conclude that Prototheca is an apoplastic Chlorella (i.e., an alga) and that Dictyostelium as well as the other soil amoebae that synthesize cycloartenol evolved from algal rather than fungal ancestors.

  15. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

    The genetic, physiological and metabolic diversity of microalgae has driven fundamental research into photosynthesis, flagella structure and function, and eukaryotic evolution. Within the last 10 years these organisms have also been investigated as potential biotechnology platforms, for example to produce high value compounds such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants, and for biodiesel precursors, in particular triacylglycerols (TAGs). Transformation protocols, molecular tools and genome sequences are available for a number of model species including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, although for both species there are bottlenecks to be overcome to allow rapid and predictable genetic manipulation. One approach to do this would be to apply the principles of synthetic biology to microalgae, namely the cycle of Design-Build-Test, which requires more robust, predictable and high throughput methods. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in the areas of improving transgene expression, genome editing, identification and design of standard genetic elements (parts), and the use of microfluidics to increase throughput. We suggest that combining these approaches will provide the means to establish algal synthetic biology, and that application of standard parts and workflows will avoid parallel development and capitalize on lessons learned from other systems.

  16. Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxins and Other Lipophilic Toxins of Human Health Concern in Washington State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bich-Thuy L. Eberhart

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The illness of three people in 2011 after their ingestion of mussels collected from Sequim Bay State Park, Washington State, USA, demonstrated the need to monitor diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs in Washington State for the protection of human health. Following these cases of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, monitoring for DSTs in Washington State became formalized in 2012, guided by routine monitoring of Dinophysis species by the SoundToxins program in Puget Sound and the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB partnership on the outer Washington State coast. Here we show that the DSTs at concentrations above the guidance level of 16 μg okadaic acid (OA + dinophysistoxins (DTXs/100 g shellfish tissue were widespread in sentinel mussels throughout Puget Sound in summer 2012 and included harvest closures of California mussel, varnish clam, manila clam and Pacific oyster. Concentrations of toxins in Pacific oyster and manila clam were often at least half those measured in blue mussels at the same site. The primary toxin isomer in shellfish and plankton samples was dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1 with D. acuminata as the primary Dinophysis species. Other lipophilic toxins in shellfish were pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2 and yessotoxin (YTX with azaspiracid-2 (AZA-2 also measured in phytoplankton samples. Okadaic acid, azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1 and azaspiracid-3 (AZA-3 were all below the levels of detection by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS. A shellfish closure at Ruby Beach, Washington, was the first ever noted on the Washington State Pacific coast due to DSTs. The greater than average Fraser River flow during the summers of 2011 and 2012 may have provided an environment conducive to dinoflagellates and played a role in the prevalence of toxigenic Dinophysis in Puget Sound.

  17. Algal Energy Conversion and Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazendonk, P.

    2015-12-01

    We address the potential for energy conversions and capture for: energy generation; reduction in energy use; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; remediation of water and air pollution; protection and enhancement of soil fertility. These processes have the potential to sequester carbon at scales that may have global impact. Energy conversion and capture strategies evaluate energy use and production from agriculture, urban areas and industries, and apply existing and emerging technologies to reduce and recapture energy embedded in waste products. The basis of biocrude production from Micro-algal feedstocks: 1) The nutrients from the liquid fraction of waste streams are concentrated and fed into photo bioreactors (essentially large vessels in which microalgae are grown) along with CO2 from flue gasses from down stream processes. 2) The algae are processed to remove high value products such as proteins and beta-carotenes. The advantage of algae feedstocks is the high biomass productivity is 30-50 times that of land based crops and the remaining biomass contains minimal components that are difficult to convert to biocrude. 3) The remaining biomass undergoes hydrothermal liquefaction to produces biocrude and biochar. The flue gasses of this process can be used to produce electricity (fuel cell) and subsequently fed back into the photobioreactor. The thermal energy required for this process is small, hence readily obtained from solar-thermal sources, and furthermore no drying or preprocessing is required keeping the energy overhead extremely small. 4) The biocrude can be upgraded and refined as conventional crude oil, creating a range of liquid fuels. In principle this process can be applied on the farm scale to the municipal scale. Overall, our primary food production is too dependent on fossil fuels. Energy conversion and capture can make food production sustainable.

  18. Protection against Shiga Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Kavaliauskiene

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxins consist of an A-moiety and five B-moieties able to bind the neutral glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 on the cell surface. To intoxicate cells efficiently, the toxin A-moiety has to be cleaved by furin and transported retrogradely to the Golgi apparatus and to the endoplasmic reticulum. The enzymatically active part of the A-moiety is then translocated to the cytosol, where it inhibits protein synthesis and in some cell types induces apoptosis. Protection of cells can be provided either by inhibiting binding of the toxin to cells or by interfering with any of the subsequent steps required for its toxic effect. In this article we provide a brief overview of the interaction of Shiga toxins with cells, describe some compounds and conditions found to protect cells against Shiga toxins, and discuss whether they might also provide protection in animals and humans.

  19. Monitoring Algal Blooms in a Southwestern U.S. Reservoir System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarrant, Philip; Neuer, Susanne

    2009-02-01

    In recent years, several studies have explored the potential of higher-resolution sensor data for monitoring phytoplankton primary production in coastal areas and lakes. Landsat data have been used to monitor algal blooms [Chang et al., 2004; Vincent et al., 2004], and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250-meter and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) full-resolution (300-meter) bands have been utilized to detect cyanobacterial blooms [Reinart and Kutser, 2006] as well as to monitor water quality [Koponen et al., 2004]. Field sampling efforts and MODIS 250-meter data are now being combined to develop a cost-effective method for monitoring water quality in a southwestern U.S. reservoir system. In the Phoenix, Ariz., metropolitan area, the Salt River reservoirs supply more than 3.5 million people, a population expected to rise to more than 6 million by 2030. Given that reservoir capacities have physical limitations, maintaining water quality will become critical as the population expands. Potentially noxious algal blooms that can release toxins and may affect water quality by modifying taste and odor have become a major concern in recent years. While frequent field sampling regimes are expensive, satellite imagery can be applied cost-effectively to monitor algal biomass trends remotely, and this information could provide early warning of blooms in these reservoirs.

  20. 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.

  1. Understanding malarial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed.

  2. 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.

  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.

  4. Quantifying Phycocyanin Concentration in Cyanobacterial Algal Blooms from Remote Sensing Reflectance-A Quasi Analytical Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, S.; Mishra, D. R.; Tucker, C.

    2011-12-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHAB) are notorious for depleting dissolved oxygen level, producing various toxins, causing threats to aquatic life, altering the food-web dynamics and the overall ecosystem functioning in inland lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters. Most of these algal blooms produce various toxins that can damage cells, tissues and even cause mortality of living organisms. Frequent monitoring of water quality in a synoptic scale has been possible by the virtue of remote sensing techniques. In this research, we present a novel technique to monitor CHAB using remote sensing reflectance products. We have modified a multi-band quasi analytical algorithm that determines phytoplankton absorption coefficients from above surface remote sensing reflectance measurements using an inversion method. In situ hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance data were collected from several highly turbid and productive aquaculture ponds. A novel technique was developed to further decompose the phytoplankton absorption coefficients at 620 nm and obtain phycocyanin absorption coefficient at the same wavelength. An empirical relationship was established between phycocyanin absorption coefficients at 620 nm and measured phycocyanin concentrations. Model calibration showed strong relationship between phycocyanin absorption coefficients and phycocyanin pigment concentration (r2=0.94). Validation of the model in a separate dataset produced a root mean squared error of 167 mg m-3 (phycocyanin range: 26-1012 mg m-3). Results demonstrate that the new approach will be suitable for quantifying phycocyanin concentration in cyanobacteria dominated turbid productive waters. Band architecture of the model matches with the band configuration of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and assures that MERIS reflectance products can be used to quantify phycocyanin in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in optically complex waters.

  5. Immunoassays and Biosensors for the Detection of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael G. Weller

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Algal blooms are a frequent phenomenon in nearly all kinds of fresh water. Global warming and eutrophication by waste water, air pollution and fertilizers seem to lead to an increased frequency of occurrence. Many cyanobacteria produce hazardous and quite persistent toxins, which can contaminate the respective water bodies. This may limit the use of the raw water for many purposes. The purification of the contaminated water might be quite costly, which makes a continuous and large scale treatment economically unfeasible in many cases. Due to the obvious risks of algal toxins, an online or mobile detection method would be highly desirable. Several biosensor systems have been presented in the literature for this purpose. In this review, their mode of operation, performance and general suitability for the intended purpose will be described and critically discussed. Finally, an outlook on current developments and future prospects will be given.

  6. Algal Bloom in Aquatic Ecosystems-an Overview

    OpenAIRE

    M. Ghorbani; S.A. Mirbagheri; A. H. Hasani; S. M. Monavari; J.Nouri

    2014-01-01

    Algae play an important role in all aquatic ecosystems by providing all living organisms of water bodies with preliminary nutrients and energy required. However, abnormal and excessive algal growth so-called algal bloom would be detrimental as much. Given the importance of algae in aquatic environment as well as their sensitivity to environmental changes, algal measurements are of key components of water quality monitoring programs. The algal blooms could include a variety of adverse impacts...

  7. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon against bacterial elimination by innate host defense. Furthermore, S. aureus secretes many factors that inhibit the complement cascade or prevent recognition by host defenses. Several further toxins add to this multi-faceted program of S. aureus to evade elimination in the host. This review will give an overview over S. aureus toxins focusing on recent advances in our understanding of how leukotoxins work in receptor-mediated or receptor-independent fashions.

  8. 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.

  9. Algal blooms and Membrane Based Desalination Technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Villacorte, L.O.

    2014-01-01

    Seawater desalination is rapidly growing in terms of installed capacity (~80 million m3/day in 2013), plant size and global application. An emerging threat to this technology is the seasonal proliferation of microscopic algae in seawater known as algal blooms. Such blooms have caused operational pro

  10. 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.

  11. Competition for one nutrient with internal storage and toxin mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grover, James P; Wang, Feng-Bin

    2013-08-01

    This study presents a mathematical model of two species competing in a chemostat for one resource that is stored internally, and who also compete through allelopathy. Each species produces a toxin to that increases mortality rate of its competitor. The two species system and its single species subsystem follow mass conservation constraints characteristic of chemostat models. Persistence of a single species occurs if the nutrient supply of an empty habitat allows it to acquire a threshold of stored nutrient quota, sufficient to overcome loss to outflow after accounting for the cost of toxin production. For the two-species system, a semitrivial equilibrium with one species resident is unstable to invasion by the missing species according to a similar threshold condition. The invader increases if acquires a stored nutrient quota sufficient to overcome loss to outflow and toxin-induced mortality, after accounting for the cost of the invader's own toxin production. If both semitrivial equilibria for the two-species system are invasible then there is at least one coexistence equilibrium. Numerical analyses indicate another possibility: bistability in which both semitrivial equilibria are stable against invasion. In such a case there is competitive exclusion of one species, whose identity depends on initial conditions. When there is a tradeoff between abilities to compete for the nutrient and to compete through toxicity, the more toxic species can dominate only under nutrient-rich conditions. Bistability under such conditions could contribute to the unpredictability of toxic algal blooms.

  12. Algal bloom response and risk management: On-site response tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Susan B; Zastepa, Arthur; Boyer, Gregory L; Matthews, Eric

    2017-02-13

    Harmful algal blooms caused by cyanobacteria can present a risk to the safety of drinking- and recreational waters and beachfronts through the production of toxins, particularly microcystin, which are highly resilient to degradation. These blooms are difficult to predict, vary in appearance and toxicity, and can show significant spatial heterogeneity: wind- and current-borne scums can produce an order of magnitude range in toxin levels along shorelines. The growing demand for reliable, cost-effective and rapid methods to detect toxins in bloom material and reduce the risk of public exposure cannot be met by most analytical lab turnaround times. Commercial microcystin test kits are now available, but few have been rigorously field-tested or incorporated into monitoring programmes. Working with a local health agency, we evaluated two kits with different operative ranges of detection, applied to samples covering a wide range of water quality, sample matrices, and bloom composition. We compared their performance against lab analyses using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent and Protein Phosphatase Inhibition assays. Both kits could resolve samples with high (<10 μg/L microcystin equivalents (MCequiv)) and low/no toxins, but failed to reliably detect toxin levels between 1 and 5 μg/L, at which threshold there were few false negatives (8%) but ∼ one third of the samples (32%) yielded false positives. We conclude that these kits are potentially useful for screening and informed risk management decisions e.g. on beach closures, but should be followed up with more rigorous tests where needed. We describe how, based on these results, the kits have been successfully incorporated into the routine municipal beach monitoring and advisory programme by the Hamilton Public Health Services (Ontario).

  13. LC-MS/MS analysis of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins, okadaic acid and dinophysistoxin analogues, and other lipophilic toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Toshiyuki; Quilliam, Michael A

    2011-01-01

    Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) is a severe gastrointestinal illness caused by consumption of shellfish contaminated with DSP toxins that are originally produced by toxic dinoflagellates. Based on their structures, DSP toxins were initially classified into three groups, okadaic acid (OA)/dinophysistoxin (DTX) analogues, pectenotoxins (PTXs), and yessotoxins (YTXs). Because PTXs and YTXs have been subsequently shown to have no diarrhetic activities, PTXs and YTXs have recently been eliminated from the definition of DSP toxins. Mouse bioassay (MBA), which is the official testing method of DSP in Japan and many countries, also detects PTXs and YTXs, and thus alternative testing methods detecting only OA/DTX analogues are required in DSP monitoring. Electrospray ionization (ESI) liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is a very powerful tool for the detection, identification and quantification of DSP and other lipophilic toxins. In the present review, application of ESI LC-MS techniques to the analysis of each toxin group is described.

  14. An analytical perspective on detection, screening, and confirmation in phycology, with particular reference to toxins and toxin-producing species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Iglesia, Pablo; Fernández-Tejedor, Margarita; Trobajo, Rosa; Diogène, Jorge

    2013-12-01

    Knowledge concerning the ability of microalgae to produce metabolites of interest such as toxins or high-value secondary metabolites requires exhaustive details to be supplied on how the research was conducted. These should include the microalgal species and strain characterization, the culture conditions, the cell density, and physiological state at the time of harvesting, the harvesting method, the sample pre-treatment protocol, and the subsequent instrumental analytical separation/detection system. In this comment, we discuss issues that affect algal research from an analytical chemistry perspective, particularly (i) the need to specify detection capabilities of the entire method (i.e., limits of detection or threshold detection levels), which we illustrate in relation to classification of a species or strain as being "toxin producing" or "non-toxin producing"; and (ii) the requirements that have to be satisfied to confirm a microalgal species (new or not) as a producer of a particular chemical of interest for phycologists, which again we illustrate in relation to toxins. A successful collaboration among phycologists and analytical chemists will only be achieved as a result of a synergistic collaboration between the two disciplines, with a reciprocal understanding at least at a background level.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Cluster analysis of toxins profile pattern as a tool for tracing shellfish contaminated with PSP-toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Chun-Kwan; Hung, Patricia; Ng, Henry C C; Lee, Siu-Yuen; Kam, Kai-Man

    2011-11-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is one of the most lethal biotoxin-induced diseases worldwide, which may pose serious public health threat and potential devastating economic damage on fisheries industry in the affected region(s). To prevent the importation of PSP contaminated shellfish to a community, detailed documentation on the supply chain and routine surveillance systems are, in principle, crucial measures to protect people from this intoxication. However, difficulties have always been encountered on the traceability of the source/origin of contaminated shellfish. In the present study, we reported the potential application of PSP-toxins profiles with similarity analysis that can be used to identify epidemiological linkage between shellfish samples collected from markets and patients during a PSP outbreak. PSP-toxins were identified and quantified by ion-pair chromatographic separation followed by post-column oxidation to fluorescent imino purine derivatives. Samples from a PSP incident and other surveillance samples collected in our past 7-year record were also compared for their similarity in PSP-toxins profiles patterns. Molar distributions (nmol%) of 10 PSP-toxins were analyzed by Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetric averages (UPGMA). Three prominent clusters emerged with similarity levels reaching over 80% for each, suggesting that each group of samples probably originated from a same source/batch. The PSP-toxins profiles and toxicities determined from surveillance samples could provide premonitory clues on the occurrences of PSP incident and outbreak with corresponding toxin profiles in the later time. Due to species-specific characteristics of PSP-toxins composition and profile in shellfish under varieties of environmental and physiological conditions, PSP-toxins profile can be a specific and useful biochemical indicator for tracing PSP contaminated shellfish provided that spatio-temporal occurrence patterns of toxins profiles are available

  18. Investigation of diarrhetic shellfish toxins in Lingshan Bay, Yellow Sea, China, using solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Feng-Ling; Li, Zhao-Xin; Guo, Meng-Meng; Wu, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Ting-Ting; Song, Cai-Hu

    2016-08-01

    Early detection of toxin contamination in shellfish (i.e., prior to harvest) would be of considerable advantage to fish farmers, researchers and food safety administrators. In 2004, a solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) technique was developed to study algal toxins in New Zealand shellfish harvesting areas. In subsequent years, the basic idea have been further developed. Using a SPATT method, an investigation into diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) was conducted over a 10.5-month period in 2012 in shellfish farming areas in Lingshan Bay (Yellow Sea, China). This paper discusses the relationship among DSTs in toxic algae, seawater and contaminated shellfish. OA, DTX1 and PTX2 toxins were found in this shellfish farming area from summer to autumn. In shellfish the maximum concentrations of OA and DTX1 were 81 and 41 ng g(-1) respectively. PTX2 was very low. The maximum levels of OA and DTX1 in seawater were 165 and 56 ng g(-1) respectively, and were detected on June, separated by a 14-day period. Shellfish had accumulated the highest levels of OA and DTX1 recorded in this study. Comparison of the variations in DST levels in seawater showed there to be about 2 weeks for administrators to warn of the potential for toxin contamination in shellfish. Further research to explore the relationship between the variables of seawater temperature, sunlight and salinity, and DSTs in shellfish may help to establish a more suitable model for forecasting DST contamination in shellfish.

  19. Multiplex detection of protein toxins using MALDI-TOF-TOF tandem mass spectrometry: application in unambiguous toxin detection from bioaerosol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Syed Imteyaz; Kumar, Bhoj; Kamboj, Dev Vrat

    2012-12-04

    Protein toxins, such as botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin (ETX), staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), shiga toxin (STX), and plant toxin ricin, are involved in a number of diseases and are considered as potential agents for bioterrorism and warfare. From a bioterrorism and warfare perspective, these agents are likely to cause maximum damage to a civilian or military population through an inhalational route of exposure and aerosol is considered the envisaged mode of delivery. Unambiguous detection of toxin from aerosol is of paramount importance, both for bringing mitigation protocols into operation and for implementation of effective medical countermeasures, in case a "biological cloud" is seen over a population. A multiplex, unambiguous, and qualitative detection of protein toxins is reported here using tandem mass spectrometry with MALDI-TOF-TOF. The methodology involving simple sample processing steps was demonstrated to identify toxins (ETX, Clostridium perfringes phospholipase C, and SEB) from blind spiked samples. The novel directed search approach using a list of unique peptides was used to identify toxins from a complex protein mixture. The bioinformatic analysis of seven protein toxins for elucidation of unique peptides with conservation status across all known sequences provides a high confidence for detecting toxins originating from any geographical location and source organism. Use of tandem MS data with peptide sequence information increases the specificity of the method. A prototype for generation of aerosol using a nebulizer and collection using a cyclone collector was used to provide a proof of concept for unambiguous detection of toxin from aerosol using precursor directed tandem mass spectrometry combined with protein database searching. ETX prototoxin could be detected from aerosol at 0.2 ppb concentration in aerosol.

  20. Clostridial pore-forming toxins: powerful virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R

    2014-12-01

    Pore formation is a common mechanism of action for many bacterial toxins. More than one third of clostridial toxins are pore-forming toxins (PFTs) belonging to the β-PFT class. They are secreted as soluble monomers rich in β-strands, which recognize a specific receptor on target cells and assemble in oligomers. Then, they undergo a conformational change leading to the formation of a β-barrel, which inserts into the lipid bilayer forming functional pore. According to their structure, clostridial β-PFTs are divided into several families. Clostridial cholesterol-dependent cytolysins form large pores, which disrupt the plasma membrane integrity. They are potent virulence factors mainly involved in myonecrosis. Clostridial heptameric β-PFTs (aerolysin family and staphylococcal α-hemolysin family) induce small pores which trigger signaling cascades leading to different cell responses according to the cell types and toxins. They are mainly responsible for intestinal diseases, like necrotic enteritis, or systemic diseases/toxic shock from intestinal origin. Clostridial intracellularly active toxins exploit pore formation through the endosomal membrane to translocate the enzymatic component or domain into the cytosol. Single chain protein toxins, like botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, use hydrophobic α-helices to form pores, whereas clostridial binary toxins encompass binding components, which are structurally and functionally related to β-PFTs, but which have acquired the specific activity to internalize their corresponding enzymatic components. Structural analysis suggests that β-PFTs and binding components share a common evolutionary origin.

  1. The most important marine bacterial toxins; a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akram Najafi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Bacterial toxins are toxic compounds which are produced in order to present microbial pathogenicity or to combat with the host immune system response. There is a cumulating evidence indicating bacterial origin for marine toxins such as tetrodotoxin, palytoxin, neosurugatoxin, etc. The most important marine toxins produced by different marine bacteria, their origin, structure and mechanisms of action were evaluated in a systematic review. Materials & Methods: Marine bacteria, marine bacterial toxins, and their mechanisms of action and structure were keywords for a comprehensive search in online databases including Pubmed, Science Direct, Google Scholar and Scirus. A total of 120 papers were evaluated, however, by omitting similar reports, 103 papers were included in the study. Results: The most of marine bacterial toxins are classified in one of the following groups: neurotoxins, hepatotoxins and cytotoxins. These toxins have distinct mechanisms of action including blocking of sodium channels in nerve cells, functioning as agonists of acetylcholine receptors, inhibiting of membrane pumps, the inhibition of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A types' enzyme activities and inhibiting of protein synthesis. Conclusion: The clarification of the marine bacterial toxins structures and their mechanisms of action may be helpful for novel drug design, therapeutic measures and to overcome against bacterial pathogenicity.

  2. Are harmful algal blooms becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Bryan W; Lazorchak, James M; Howard, Meredith D A; Johnson, Mari-Vaughn V; Morton, Steve L; Perkins, Dawn A K; Reavie, Euan D; Scott, Geoffrey I; Smith, Stephanie A; Steevens, Jeffery A

    2016-01-01

    In this Focus article, the authors ask a seemingly simple question: Are harmful algal blooms (HABs) becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems? When HAB events require restrictions on fisheries, recreation, and drinking water uses of inland water bodies significant economic consequences result. Unfortunately, the magnitude, frequency, and duration of HABs in inland waters are poorly understood across spatiotemporal scales and differentially engaged among states, tribes, and territories. Harmful algal bloom impacts are not as predictable as those from conventional chemical contaminants, for which water quality assessment and management programs were primarily developed, because interactions among multiple natural and anthropogenic factors determine the likelihood and severity to which a HAB will occur in a specific water body. These forcing factors can also affect toxin production. Beyond site-specific water quality degradation caused directly by HABs, the presence of HAB toxins can negatively influence routine surface water quality monitoring, assessment, and management practices. Harmful algal blooms present significant challenges for achieving water quality protection and restoration goals when these toxins confound interpretation of monitoring results and environmental quality standards implementation efforts for other chemicals and stressors. Whether HABs presently represent the greatest threat to inland water quality is debatable, though in inland waters of developed countries they typically cause more severe acute impacts to environmental quality than conventional chemical contamination events. The authors identify several timely research needs. Environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry, and risk-assessment expertise must interface with ecologists, engineers, and public health practitioners to engage the complexities of HAB assessment and management, to address the forcing factors for HAB formation, and

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakke, Marit Jorgensen [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway); Horsberg, Tor Einar [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway)], E-mail: tor.e.horsberg@veths.no

    2007-11-30

    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 {mu}g STX/kg bw), BTX (68 {mu}g BTX/kg bw) or DA (6 mg DA/kg bw). In addition, {sup 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.

  4. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Matters NIH Research Matters July 29, 2013 Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin Structure of typhoid toxin, showing the 2 A subunits ( ... to cultured cells. The scientists next determined the structure of the typhoid toxin. The toxin was already ...

  5. 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 Written by: Kierstan Boyd ...

  6. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Algal blooms and Membrane Based Desalination Technology

    OpenAIRE

    Villacorte, L.O.

    2014-01-01

    Seawater desalination is rapidly growing in terms of installed capacity (~80 million m3/day in 2013), plant size and global application. An emerging threat to this technology is the seasonal proliferation of microscopic algae in seawater known as algal blooms. Such blooms have caused operational problems in seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants due to clogging and poor effluent quality of the pre-treatment system which eventually forced the shutdown of the plant to avoid irreversible fouling...

  11. A review on algal biofuel production

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Ling; ZHU jing

    2016-01-01

    Culturing of microalgae has be established as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate respectively. However, using this bioresource is still limited duo to low productivity and higher cultivation cost. Genetic and metabolic engineering,photobioreactors play significant role in algal biomass production. Hence, this review is focused on these, aiming at providing useful informations.

  12. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production. PMID:28186124

  13. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-02-01

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production.

  14. Study of polyacrylamide grafted starch based algal flocculation towards applications in algal biomass harvesting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Chiranjib; Gupta, Pratibha; Mishra, Sumit; Sen, Gautam; Shukla, Pratyoosh; Bandopadhyay, Rajib

    2012-11-01

    Microalgae may be the source of high amount of lipid and protein. It has the property for carbon dioxide sequestration, recycling and also can remove pollutants from wastewater. Using traditional methods, collection of algal biomass is either cost effective, time consuming or may be toxic due to use of chemical salts. The aim of this study is to harvest freshwater microalgae (Chlorella sp. CB4) biomass by using polymer. Polyacrylamide grafted starch (St-g-PAM) has been synthesized by microwave assisted method involving a synergism of microwave radiation and ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) to initiate the grafting reaction. The synthesis was optimized in terms of CAN and monomer (acrylamide) concentration. The algal flocculation efficacy of all the grades of this graft copolymer was studied through standard 'Jar test' procedure. Effects of percentage grafting, pH and zeta potential on percentage recovery of algal biomass were thoroughly investigated.

  15. Algal taxonomy: a road to nowhere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Clerck, Olivier; Guiry, Michael D; Leliaert, Frederik; Samyn, Yves; Verbruggen, Heroen

    2013-04-01

    The widespread view of taxonomy as an essentially retrogressive and outmoded science unable to cope with the current biodiversity crisis stimulated us to analyze the current status of cataloguing global algal diversity. Contrary to this largely pessimistic belief, species description rates of algae through time and trends in the number of active taxonomists, as revealed by the web resource AlgaeBase, show a much more positive picture. More species than ever before are being described by a large community of algal taxonomists. The lack of any decline in the rate at which new species and genera are described, however, is indicative of the large proportion of undiscovered diversity and bears heavily on any prediction of global algal species diversity and the time needed to catalogue it. The saturation of accumulation curves of higher taxa (family, order, and classes) on the other hand suggest that at these taxonomic levels most diversity has been discovered. This reasonably positive picture does not imply that algal taxonomy does not face serious challenges in the near future. The observed levels of cryptic diversity in algae, combined with the shift in methods used to characterize them, have resulted in a rampant uncertainty about the status of many older species. As a consequence, there is a tendency in phycology to move gradually away from traditional names to a more informal system whereby clade-, specimen- or strain-based identifiers are used to communicate biological information. Whether these informal names for species-level clades represent a temporary situation stimulated by the lag between species discovery and formal description, or an incipient alternative or parallel taxonomy, will be largely determined by how well we manage to integrate historical collections into modern taxonomic research. Additionally, there is a pressing need for a consensus about the organizational framework to manage the information about algal species names. An eventual strategy

  16. Isolation, purification and spectrometric analysis of PSP toxins from moraxella sp., a bacterium associated with a toxic dinoflagellate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boyce, S.D.; Doucette, G.J.

    1994-12-31

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a seafood intoxication syndrome caused by the injestion of shellfish contaminated with toxins produced by algae known as dinoflagellates. The PSP toxins, saxitoxin and its derivatives, act to block voltage-dependent sodium channels and can cause paralysis and even death at higher doses. It is well documented that bacteria coexist with many harmful or toxic algal species, though the exact nature of the association in relation to toxin production is unknown. Recently, the bacterium Moraxella sp. was isolated from the PSP toxin producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense. Through HPLC analysis and saxitoxin receptor binding assays performed on crude bacterial extracts, it appears that Moraxella sp. is capable of producing saxitoxin and several of its derivatives. However, physical confirmation (e.g. mass spectrometry) of these results is still needed.

  17. Mechanism and challenges in commercialisation of algal biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Anoop; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Murphy, Jerry D

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels made from algal biomass are being considered as the most suitable alternative energy in current global and economical scenario. Microalgae are known to produce and accumulate lipids within their cell mass which is similar to those found in many vegetable oils. The efficient lipid producer algae cell mass has been reported to contain more than 30% of their cell weight as lipids. According to US DOE microalgae have the potential to produce 100 times more oil per acre land than any terrestrial plants. This article reviews up to date literature on the composition of algae, mechanism of oil droplets, triacylglycerol (TAG) production in algal biomass, research and development made in the cultivation of algal biomass, harvesting strategies, and recovery of lipids from algal mass. The economical challenges in the production of biofuels from algal biomass have been discussed in view of the future prospects in the commercialisation of algal fuels.

  18. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented.

  19. Lipophilic Toxins in Butrinti Lagoon Mussels and their Relation with Potentially Toxic Dinoflagellates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARSELA BREGAJ

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP is a gastrointestinal illness. It is caused by the consumption of contaminated shellfish. These toxins are produced by the planktonic algae (mainly dinoflagellates. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the presence of potential toxic phytoplankton species and marine biotoxins like DSP in Butrinti Lagoon and to analyze the relationship between toxin levels and abundance of possible causative phytoplankton species. Samples were collected in Butrinti Lagoon, known for the cultivation of the, Mytilus galloprovicialis and fishing. During January 2011 until December 2012 were analyzed 126 samples of M. galloprovincialis for the presence of lipophilic toxins and dinoflagellates potentially toxic. The toxins were extracted from shellfish tissue using acetone, followed by extraction with dichloromethane and methanol. The final residue is dissolve in 1% (v/v Tween 60. 19.84% of samples analyzed shown positive results for the presence of toxins that cause DSP with higher concentration of limit sets in EC Regulation No. 853/2004. The presence of different dinoflagellates was observed in the samples during that period in level 120cell/L - 920 cell/L, like Gonyaulax spinifera, Dinophysis sacculus, Dinophysis acuminata, that are known to produce algal toxins, including DSP.

  20. Progress in Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms: Paradigm Shifts and New Technologies for Research, Monitoring, and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Donald M.; Cembella, Allan D.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    2012-01-01

    The public health, tourism, fisheries, and ecosystem impacts from harmful algal blooms (HABs) have all increased over the past few decades. This has led to heightened scientific and regulatory attention, and the development of many new technologies and approaches for research and management. This, in turn, is leading to significant paradigm shifts with regard to, e.g., our interpretation of the phytoplankton species concept (strain variation), the dogma of their apparent cosmopolitanism, the role of bacteria and zooplankton grazing in HABs, and our approaches to investigating the ecological and genetic basis for the production of toxins and allelochemicals. Increasingly, eutrophication and climate change are viewed and managed as multifactorial environmental stressors that will further challenge managers of coastal resources and those responsible for protecting human health. Here we review HAB science with an eye toward new concepts and approaches, emphasizing, where possible, the unexpected yet promising new directions that research has taken in this diverse field.

  1. 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.

  2. Sentinel Animals in a One Health Approach to Harmful Cyanobacterial and Algal Blooms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorraine C. Backer

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs. However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people occupying the same habitat, making them sentinels for human exposures. Historically, we have taken advantage of unique physiological characteristics of animals, such as the sensitivity of canaries to carbon monoxide, to more quickly recognize threats and help protect human health. As HAB events become more severe and widespread worldwide, exposure and health outcome data for animals can be extremely helpful to predict, prevent, and evaluate human exposures and health outcomes. Applying a One Health approach to investigation of HABs means that lessons learned from animal sentinels can be applied to protect people, animals and our shared environment.

  3. 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.

  4. Optimizing algal cultivation & productivity : an innovative, multidiscipline, and multiscale approach.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murton, Jaclyn K.; Hanson, David T. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Turner, Tom (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Powell, Amy Jo; James, Scott Carlton (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Scholle, Steven (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); August, Andrew (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Dwyer, Brian P.; Ruffing, Anne; Jones, Howland D. T.; Ricken, James Bryce; Reichardt, Thomas A. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)

    2010-04-01

    Progress in algal biofuels has been limited by significant knowledge gaps in algal biology, particularly as they relate to scale-up. To address this we are investigating how culture composition dynamics (light as well as biotic and abiotic stressors) describe key biochemical indicators of algal health: growth rate, photosynthetic electron transport, and lipid production. Our approach combines traditional algal physiology with genomics, bioanalytical spectroscopy, chemical imaging, remote sensing, and computational modeling to provide an improved fundamental understanding of algal cell biology across multiple cultures scales. This work spans investigations from the single-cell level to ensemble measurements of algal cell cultures at the laboratory benchtop to large greenhouse scale (175 gal). We will discuss the advantages of this novel, multidisciplinary strategy and emphasize the importance of developing an integrated toolkit to provide sensitive, selective methods for detecting early fluctuations in algal health, productivity, and population diversity. Progress in several areas will be summarized including identification of spectroscopic signatures for algal culture composition, stress level, and lipid production enabled by non-invasive spectroscopic monitoring of the photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments at the single-cell and bulk-culture scales. Early experiments compare and contrast the well-studied green algae chlamydomonas with two potential production strains of microalgae, nannochloropsis and dunnaliella, under optimal and stressed conditions. This integrated approach has the potential for broad impact on algal biofuels and bioenergy and several of these opportunities will be discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. Harmful algal blooms: a case study in two mesotrophic drinking water supply reservoirs in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journey, Celeste A.; Beaulieu, Karen M.; Knight, Rodney R.; Graham, Jennifer L.; Arrington, Jane M.; West, Rebecca; Westcott, John; Bradley, Paul M.

    2010-01-01

    Algal blooms can be harmful and a nuisance in a variety of aquatic ecosystems, including reservoirs and lakes. Cyanobacterial(blue-green algae) harmful algal blooms are notorious for producing both taste-and-odor compounds and potent toxins that may affect human health. Taste–and-odor episodes are aesthetic problems often caused by cyanobacterial-produced organic compounds (geosmin and methylisoborneol) and are common in reservoirs and lakes used as source water supplies. The occurrences of these taste-and-odor compounds and toxins (like microcystin) can be sporadic and vary in intensity both spatially and temporally. Recent publications by the U.S. Geological Survey address this complexity and provide protocols for cyanotoxin and taste-and-odor sampling programs. A case study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Spartanburg Water, monitored two mesotrophic reservoirs that serve as public drinking water supplies in South Carolina. Study objectives were (1) to identify spatial and temporal occurrence of the taste-and-odor compound geosmin and the cyanotoxin microcystin and (2) to assess the associated limnological conditions before, during, and after these occurrences. Temporal and spatial occurrence of geosmin and microcystin were highly variable from 2007 to 2009. The highest geosmin concentrations tended to occur in the spring. Microcystin tended to occur in the late summer and early fall, but occurrence was rare and well below World Health Organization guidelines for finished drinking water and recreational activities. No current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards are applicable to cyanotoxins in drinking or ambient water. In general, elevated geosmin and microcystin concentrations were the result of complex interactions between cyanobacterial ⬚community composition, nutrient availability, water clarity, hydraulic residence time, and stratification.

  7. 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.

  8. Efficacy of T-2 toxin detoxifying agent in broiler chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nešić V.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This investigation was conducted in order to investigate the efficacy of the detoxifying agent Mycofix® Plus (MP in the prevention and/or alleviation in vivo adverse effects of T-2 toxin in broilers. In addition, the adsorbing potential of MP was estimated in vitro. Mean degradation levels of T-2 toxin with MP in vitro, as measured by HPTLC, varied from 26.06 to 31.02 % and the adsorption ability was elevated in acidic environment (pH 3. In vivo trial was performed on 160 one day old "Ross" broiler chicks and lasted for 21 days. Birds were divided into 4 equal groups as follows: Group 1 - negative control; Group 2 - positive control - 2 ppm T-2 toxin; Group 3 - 2 ppm T-2 toxin+2 kg/t MP; Group 4 - 2 kg/t MP. Broilers fed the diet containing 2 mg/kg of T-2 toxin without MP developed typical T-2 toxicosis. Birds that were fed the diet containing both T-2 and MP had better performances and no oral ulcerations as the dominant sign of T-2 toxicosis were observed. Histopathological examination of tissues originating from birds fed the diet containing T-2 toxin revealed degenerative changes in the oral and small intestine mucosa, necroses of enterocytes and hepatocytes, as well as depletion of lymphocytes in the bursa Fabricii. Immunohistochemical examination also revealed negative effects of T-2 toxin on cells proliferation in intestineal and bile duct mucosa, as well as on lymphocytes from bursa Fabricii. The macroscopic and microscopic structure of the liver, intestine and bursa Fabricii of broilers fed a diet containing T-2 toxin and MP was mostly preserved. Cutaneous basophile hypersensitivity reaction was weaker in broilers fed mixtures containing 2 mg/kg T-2 toxin.

  9. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail.

  10. Algal Attributes: An Autecological Classification of Algal Taxa Collected by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

    Algae are excellent indicators of water-quality conditions, notably nutrient and organic enrichment, and also are indicators of major ion, dissolved oxygen, and pH concentrations and stream microhabitat conditions. The autecology, or physiological optima and tolerance, of algal species for various water-quality contaminants and conditions is relatively well understood for certain groups of freshwater algae, notably diatoms. However, applications of autecological information for water-quality assessments have been limited because of challenges associated with compiling autecological literature from disparate sources, tracking name changes for a large number of algal species, and creating an autecological data base from which algal-indicator metrics can be calculated. A comprehensive summary of algal autecological attributes for North American streams and rivers does not exist. This report describes a large, digital data file containing 28,182 records for 5,939 algal taxa, generally species or variety, collected by the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The data file includes 37 algal attributes classified by over 100 algal-indicator codes or metrics that can be calculated easily with readily available software. Algal attributes include qualitative classifications based on European and North American autecological literature, and semi-quantitative, weighted-average regression approaches for estimating optima using regional and national NAWQA data. Applications of algal metrics in water-quality assessments are discussed and national quartile distributions of metric scores are shown for selected indicator metrics.

  11. Biophotolysis, hydrogen, production and algal culture technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skulberg, O.M. [Norwegian Inst. for Water Research, Oslo (Norway)

    1995-12-31

    In this essay the importance and place of biophotolysis in the hydrogen energy system is described. The biophotolysis of water is achieved by two biochemical processes carried out by the activity of chlorophyll containing reaction centres coupled to hydrogenase and nitrogenase. Micro algae belonging to the classes Chlorophyceae and Cyanophyceae can produce molecular hydrogen by the decomposition of water using solar energy. Among Anoxyphotobactelia organisms of the families Chrorna iaceae and Chlorobiaceae are also used for the bioengineering development of biophotolysis. A review is presented of the organisms and the processes involved in the context of their applications for algal culture technology. 2 tabs., 52 refs.

  12. Linking algal growth inhibition to chemical activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Stine N.; Mayer, Philipp

    to chemical activity, as opposed to e.g. the total concentration. Baseline toxicity (narcosis) for neutral hydrophobic organic compounds has been shown to initiate in the narrow chemical activity range of 0.01 to 0.1. This presentation focuses on linking algal growth inhibition to chemical activity....... High-quality toxicity data are carefully selected from peer-reviewed scientific literature and QSAR databases. This presentation shows how the chemical activity concept can be used to compare and combine toxicity data across compounds and species in order to characterize toxicity – and further how...

  13. Accelerating Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Partnerships (Brochure)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2011-10-01

    This brochure describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) algal biofuels research capabilities and partnership opportunities. NREL is accelerating algal biofuels commercialization through: (1) Advances in applied biology; (2) Algal strain development; (3) Development of fuel conversion pathways; (4) Techno-economic analysis; and (5) Development of high-throughput lipid analysis methodologies. NREL scientists and engineers are addressing challenges across the algal biofuels value chain, including algal biology, cultivation, harvesting and extraction, and fuel conversion. Through partnerships, NREL can share knowledge and capabilities in the following areas: (1) Algal Biology - A fundamental understanding of algal biology is key to developing cost-effective algal biofuels processes. NREL scientists are experts in the isolation and characterization of microalgal species. They are identifying genes and pathways involved in biofuel production. In addition, they have developed a high-throughput, non-destructive technique for assessing lipid production in microalgae. (2) Cultivation - NREL researchers study algal growth capabilities and perform compositional analysis of algal biomass. Laboratory-scale photobioreactors and 1-m2 open raceway ponds in an on-site greenhouse allow for year-round cultivation of algae under a variety of conditions. A bioenergy-focused algal strain collection is being established at NREL, and our laboratory houses a cryopreservation system for long-term maintenance of algal cultures and preservation of intellectual property. (3) Harvesting and Extraction - NREL is investigating cost-effective harvesting and extraction methods suitable for a variety of species and conditions. Areas of expertise include cell wall analysis and deconstruction and identification and utilization of co-products. (4) Fuel Conversion - NREL's excellent capabilities and facilities for biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass to

  14. Effect of ozonation and γ-irradiation on post-harvest decontamination of mussels (Mytillus galloprovincialis) containing diarrhetic shellfish toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Louppis, Artemis; Katikou, Panagiota; Georgantelis, Dimitrios; Badeka, Anastasia; Kontominas, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins readily occurs during algal blooms. Such phenomena raise important public health concerns and thus comprise a constant challenge to shellfish farmers, the seafood industry and health services, considering the increasing occurrence of toxic episodes around the world. To avoid the detrimental effects of such episodes, research has focused on the use of various detoxification methodologies which shoul...

  15. Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin systems: novel regulations of the toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuka, Yuichi

    2016-05-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are widely conserved in prokaryotic plasmids and chromosomes and are linked to many roles in cell physiology, including plasmid maintenance, stress response, persistence and protection from phage infection. A TA system is composed of a stable toxin and a labile antitoxin that inhibits a harmful effect of the cognate toxin. When gene expression from the TA loci is repressed under certain conditions such as nutrient starvation, the toxin is freed from the rapidly degrading antitoxin and obstructs an essential cellular process, such as DNA replication, translation and peptidoglycan synthesis, which subsequently causes growth arrest. TA systems are classified into five types according to the nature and the function of antitoxins, and the activity of toxins is tightly regulated in a variety of ways. This short-review highlights several novel regulatory mechanisms for Escherichia coli toxins that we recently discovered.

  16. A short note on the global analysis of a simple stoichiometric algal growth model

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Xiong

    2010-01-01

    Organisms are composed of multiple chemical elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The scarcity of any of these elements can severely restrict organismal growth. However, many trophic interaction models only consider carbon limitation. In this paper, we construct a simple algal growth model with the explicit incorporation of light and nutrient availability to characterize both carbon and nitrogen/phosphorus limitations. We provide a global analysis of this model to illustrate how light and nutrient availability regulate algal dynamics. In addition, we originally introduce the concept of a fake steady state that is not a solution but plays a similar role as a steady state. Linear stability analysis cannot be applied because the Jacobian matrix is undefined at such a fake steady state. We devise a new transformation to prove its stability.

  17. Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins: c-Fos Protein Expression in the Brain of Killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-04-21

    a biomarker of neuronal and regional brain activity when animals are exposed to different types of stressful stimuli (Martinez et al., 2002...2002). c-fos can be induced in rats through glutamate receptor agonists, ion channel flux, dioxins , and the mind altering drugs haloperidol and...Hashiguchi, W., Kuchiiwa, T., Nakagawa, S., 2002. 2,3,7,8- Tetrachlorodibenzo-p- dioxin treatment induces c-Fos expression in the forebrain of the Long-Evans

  18. [Cytolethal distending toxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curová, K; Kmeťová, M; Siegfried, L

    2014-06-01

    Cytolethal distending toxins (CDT) are intracellularly acting proteins which interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria with affinity to mucocutaneous surfaces and could play a role in the pathogenesis of various mammalian diseases. The functional toxin is composed of three proteins: CdtB entering the nucleus and by its nuclease activity inducing nuclear fragmentation and chromatin disintegration, CdtA, and CdtC, the two latter being responsible for toxin attachment to the surface of the target cell. Cytotoxic effect of CDT leads to the cell cycle arrest before the cell enters mitosis and to further changes (cell distension and death, apoptosis) depending on the cell type. Thus, CDT may function as a virulence factor in pathogenic bacteria that produce it and thus may contribute to the initiation of certain diseases. Most important are inflammatory bowel diseases caused by intestinal bacteria, periodontitis with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as the aetiologic agent and ulcus molle where Haemophilus ducreyi is the causative agent.

  19. Sequence variation in the alpha-toxin encoding plc gene of Clostridium perfringens strains isolated from diseased and healthy chickens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abildgaard, L; Engberg, RM; Pedersen, Karl;

    2009-01-01

    different a-toxin sequence types among the 60 strains. Moreover, a type II intron of 834 non-coding nucleotides was identified in the pic gene of three of the investigated strains. The in vitro alpha-toxin production investigated in 45 of the strains, including the three harbouring the intron, revealed...... no correlation between PFGE type, alpha-toxin sequence type, health status of the host chickens and level of a-toxin production. It is therefore concluded that neither pic gene type nor alpha-toxin production level seems to correlate to origin (healthy or diseased chicken) of the C perfringens strains. (C) 2008...

  20. 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.

  1. Potential of carbon nanotubes in algal biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambreva, Maya Dimova; Lavecchia, Teresa; Tyystjärvi, Esa; Antal, Taras Kornelievich; Orlanducci, Silvia; Margonelli, Andrea; Rea, Giuseppina

    2015-09-01

    A critical mass of knowledge is emerging on the interactions between plant cells and engineered nanomaterials, revealing the potential of plant nanobiotechnology to promote and support novel solutions for the development of a competitive bioeconomy. This knowledge can foster the adoption of new methodological strategies to empower the large-scale production of biomass from commercially important microalgae. The present review focuses on the potential of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to enhance photosynthetic performance of microalgae by (i) widening the spectral region available for the energy conversion reactions and (ii) increasing the tolerance of microalgae towards unfavourable conditions occurring in mass production. To this end, current understanding on the mechanisms of uptake and localization of CNTs in plant cells is discussed. The available ecotoxicological data were used in an attempt to assess the feasibility of CNT-based applications in algal biotechnology, by critically correlating the experimental conditions with the observed adverse effects. Furthermore, main structural and physicochemical properties of single- and multi-walled CNTs and common approaches for the functionalization and characterization of CNTs in biological environment are presented. Here, we explore the potential that nanotechnology can offer to enhance functions of algae, paving the way for a more efficient use of photosynthetic algal systems in the sustainable production of energy, biomass and high-value compounds.

  2. Algal Lectins as Potential HIV Microbicide Candidates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominique Schols

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The development and use of topical microbicides potentially offers an additional strategy to reduce the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV. Carbohydrate-binding agents (CBAs that show specificity for high mannose carbohydrates on the surface of the heavily glycosylated envelope of HIV are endowed with potent anti-HIV activity. In fact, a number of algal lectins such as cyanovirin-N, microvirin, microcystis viridis lectin, scytovirin, Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin and griffithsin are considered as potential microbicide candidates to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV through topical applications. They not only inhibit infection of cells by cell-free virus but they can also efficiently prevent virus transmission from virus-infected cells to uninfected CD4+ target T-lymphocytes and DC-SIGN-directed capture of HIV-1 and transmission to CD4+ T lymphocytes. This review focuses on the structural properties and carbohydrate specificity of these algal lectins, their antiviral activity against HIV and several other enveloped viruses, their safety profile and viral resistance patterns.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of co-existing microalgae and grazers on the production of hemolytic toxins in Karenia mikimotoi

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Weidong; ZHANG Naisheng; CUI Weimin; XU Yanyan; LI Hongye; LIU Jiesheng

    2011-01-01

    Karenia mikimotoi (Miyake & Kominami ex Oda) Hansen & Moestrup is associated with harmful algal blooms in temperate and subtropical zones of the world.The hemolytic substances produced by K.mikimotoi are thought to cause mortality in fishes and invertebrates.We evaluated the composition of the hemolytic toxin produced by K.mikimotoi cultured in the laboratory using thin-layer chromatography.In addition,we evaluated the effect of co-occuring algae (Prorocentrum donghaiense and Alexandrium tamarense) and the cladoceran grazer Moina mongolica on hemolytic toxin production in K.mikimotoi.The hemolytic toxins from K.mikimotoi were a mixture of 2 liposaccharides and I lipid.Waterbome clues from P.donghaiense and A.tamarense inhibited the growth of K.mikimotoi but increased the production of hemolytic toxins.Conversely,K.mikimotoi strongly inhibited the growth of caged P.donghaiense and A.tamarense.In addition,the ingestion of K.mikimotoi by M.mongolica induced the production of hemolytic toxins in K.mikimotoi.Taken together,our results suggest that the presence of other microalgae and grazers may be as important as environmental factors for controlling the production of hemolytic substances.K.mikimotoi secreted allelochemicals other than unstable fatty acids with hemolytic activity.The production of hemolytic toxins in dinoflagellates was not only dependent on resource availability,but also on the risk of predation.Hemolytic toxins likely play an important role as chemical deterrents secreted by K.mikimotoi.

  6. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  7. Pore formation by Cry toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo, Liliana; Muñóz-Garay, Carlos; Sánchez, Jorge; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; Bravo, Alejandra

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal Cry and Cyt proteins used in the biological control of different insect pests. In this review, we will focus on the 3d-Cry toxins that represent the biggest group of Cry proteins and also on Cyt toxins. The 3d-Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that induce cell death by forming ionic pores into the membrane of the midgut epithelial cells in their target insect. The initial steps in the mode of action include ingestion of the protoxin, activation by midgut proteases to produce the toxin fragment and the interaction with the primary cadherin receptor. The interaction of the monomeric CrylA toxin with the cadherin receptor promotes an extra proteolytic cleavage, where helix alpha-1 of domain I is eliminated and the toxin oligomerization is induced, forming a structure of 250 kDa. The oligomeric structure binds to a secondary receptor, aminopeptidase N or alkaline phosphatase. The secondary receptor drives the toxin into detergent resistant membrane microdomains formingpores that cause osmotic shock, burst of the midgut cells and insect death. Regarding to Cyt toxins, these proteins have a synergistic effect on the toxicity of some Cry toxins. Cyt proteins are also proteolytic activated in the midgut lumen of their target, they bind to some phospholipids present in the mosquito midgut cells. The proposed mechanism of synergism between Cry and Cyt toxins is that Cyt1Aa function as a receptor for Cry toxins. The Cyt1A inserts into midgut epithelium membrane and exposes protein regions that are recognized by Cry11Aa. It was demonstrated that this interaction facilitates the oligomerization of Cry11Aa and also its pore formation activity.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    (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...... capital investment. The harvested algal biomass and its extracts can be efficiently converted to different biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and biohydrogen by implementation of various process technologies. Comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA) of algal biofuels illustrating...... 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...

  9. Uniform algal growth in photobioreactors using surface scatterers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahsan, Syed S.; Pereyra, Brandon; Erickson, David

    2014-03-01

    Cultures of algae, such as cyanobacteria, are a promising source of renewable energy. However, algal growth is highly dependent on light intensity and standard photobioreactors do a poor job of distributing light uniformly for algal utilization due to shading effects in dense algal cultures. Engineered scattering schemes are already employed in current slab-waveguide technologies, like edge-lit LEDs. Stacking such slab-waveguides that uniformly distribute light could potentially yield photobioreactors to overcome the shading effect and grow extremely high densities of algal cultures that would lower monetary and energetic costs. Here, we characterize and design a scattering scheme for specific application within photobioreactors which employs a gradient distribution of surface scatterers with uniform lateral scattering intensity. This uniform scattering scheme is shown to be superior for algal cultivation.

  10. THE SYNERGY OF BACTERIAL TOXINS,

    Science.gov (United States)

    TOXINS AND ANTITOXINS, STRENGTH(PHYSIOLOGY), BACTERIA, CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS, CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI , CLOSTRIDIUM , STAPHYLOCOCCUS, ESCHERICHIA COLI, PROTEUS, ETIOLOGY, ANTIGENS, ANTIBODIES, AMINO ACIDS.

  11. Comparisons of native Shiga toxins (Stxs type 1 and 2 with chimeric toxins indicate that the source of the binding subunit dictates degree of toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M Russo

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin (Stx-producing E. coli (STEC cause food-borne outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis. The main virulence factor expressed by STEC, Stx, is an AB5 toxin that has two antigenically distinct forms, Stx1a and Stx2a. Although Stx1a and Stx2a bind to the same receptor, globotriaosylceramide (Gb3, Stx2a is more potent than Stx1a in mice, whereas Stx1a is more cytotoxic than Stx2a in cell culture. In this study, we used chimeric toxins to ask what the relative contribution of individual Stx subunits is to the differential toxicity of Stx1a and Stx2a in vitro and in vivo. Chimeric stx1/stx2 operons were generated by PCR such that the coding regions for the A2 and B subunits of one toxin were combined with the coding region for the A1 subunit of the heterologous toxin. The toxicities of purified Stx1a, Stx2a, and the chimeric Stxs were determined on Vero and HCT-8 cell lines, while polarized HCT-8 cell monolayers grown on permeable supports were used to follow toxin translocation. In all in vitro assays, the activity of the chimeric toxin correlated with that of the parental toxin from which the B subunit originated. The origin of the native B subunit also dictated the 50% lethal dose of toxin after intraperitoneal intoxication of mice; however, the chimeric Stxs exhibited reduced oral toxicity and pH stability compared to Stx1a and Stx2a. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that the differential toxicity of the chimeric toxins for cells and mice is determined by the origin of the B subunit.

  12. Chemical Diversity, Origin, and Analysis of Phycotoxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Silas Anselm; Andersen, Aaron John Christian; Andersen, Nikolaj Gedsted;

    2016-01-01

    Microalgae, particularly those from the lineage Dinoflagellata, are very well-known for their ability to produce phycotoxins that may accumulate in the marine food chain and eventually cause poisoning in humans. This includes toxins accumulating in shellfish, such as saxitoxin, okadaic acid......, yessotoxins, azaspiracids, brevetoxins, and pinnatoxins. Other toxins, such as ciguatoxins and maitotoxins, accumulate in fish, where, as is the case for the latter compounds, they can be metabolized to even more toxic metabolites. On the other hand, much less is known about the chemical nature of compounds...... complex natural compounds known to mankind, with chemical structures that show no resemblance to what has been characterized from plants, fungi, or bacteria. In addition, it will summarize algal species known to be related to fish-killing blooms, but from which ichthyotoxins are yet to be characterized....

  13. Application of a fluorometric microplate algal toxicity assay for riverine periphytic algal species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagai, Takashi; Taya, Kiyoshi; Annoh, Hirochica; Ishihara, Satoru

    2013-08-01

    Although riverine periphytic algae attached to riverbed gravel are dominant species in flowing rivers, there is limited toxicity data on them because of the difficulty in cell culture and assays. Moreover, it is well known that sensitivity to pesticides differ markedly among species, and therefore the toxicity data for multiple species need to be efficiently obtained. In this study, we investigated the use of fluorometric microplate toxicity assay for testing periphytic algal species. We selected five candidate test algal species Desmodesmus subspicatus, Achnanthidium minutissimum, Navicula pelliculosa, Nitzschia palea, and Pseudanabaena galeata. The selected species are dominant in the river, include a wide range of taxon, and represent actual species composition. Other additional species were also used to compare the sensitivity and suitability of the microplate assay. A 96-well microplate was used as a test chamber and algal growth was measured by in-vivo fluorescence. Assay conditions using microplate and fluorometric measurement were established, and sensitivities of 3,5-dichlorophenol as a reference substance were assayed. The 50 percent effect concentrations (EC50s) obtained by fluorometric microplate assay and those obtained by conventional Erlenmeyer flask assay conducted in this study were consistent. Moreover, the EC50 values of 3,5-dichlorophenol were within the reported confidence intervals in literature. These results supported the validity of our microplate assay. Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) analysis was conducted using the EC50s of five species. The SSD was found to be similar to the SSD obtained using additional tested species, suggesting that SSD using the five species largely represents algal sensitivity. Our results provide a useful and efficient method for high-tier probabilistic ecological risk assessment of pesticides.

  14. Harmful Algal Bloom Research in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Su Jilan; Zhou Mingjiang

    2001-01-01

    Proliferations of harmful algae in coastal waters, i.e., harmful algal blooms (HABs), popularly known as "red tides," have attracted the concern of governments and scientists worldwide. In recent years, HABs have occurred in China with increasing frequency and scope. These outbreaks have seriously affected the economy along the coast through fish kills, heavy losses in aquaculture, threats to human health, and other effects detrimental to the marine ecosystem. Therefore, it is important to pay special attention to the ecology and oceanography studies related to the outbreak of HABs. Only through the combination of the advancement of such knowledge with the strengthening of the monitoring network can we develop a HAB warning system for the sustainable development of the coastal economy.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of algal food quality on sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jong-Yun; Kim, Seong-Ki; La, Geung-Hwan; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Kim, Dong-Kyun; Jeong, Keon-Young; Park, Min S; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo; Jeong, Kwang-Seuk

    2016-05-01

    The objective of our study was to investigate sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna associated with mating behaviors and hatching rates, according to different algal food sources. Since a diatom is known to contain more abundant long-chain poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), we hypothesized that the diatom-consuming D. magna would exhibit more successful reproduction rates. Upon the hypothesis, we designed three experiments using two algal species, a green alga (Chlorella vulgaris) and a diatom (Stephanodiscus hantzschii). From the results, we found that the mating frequency and copulation duration increased in the treatment with S. hantzschii, resulting in a significant increase of hatching rates of resting eggs. In the other two repetitive mating strategies (e.g., one female vs. multiple males, and one male vs. multiple females), we found that the hatching rates of resting eggs were greater in the S. hantzschii treatment. In addition to the mating strategy, male body size significantly increased in the diatom treatment, hence average diameter of penis was also statistically different among the treatments (greater diameter in the S. hantzschii treatment). To examine the effect of algal food quality, we estimated quantity of fatty acids in the two algal species. Our result showed that S. hantzschii had a higher proportion of long-chain PUFAs than C. vulgaris. Furthermore, a stable isotope analysis revealed that carbon and nitrogen originated from S. hantzschii were more assimilated to D. magna. In summary, our study manifested that diatom consumption of D. magna leads to more successful sexual reproduction. We then discussed how the diatom consumption of zooplankton influences food web dynamics in a freshwater ecosystem.

  18. 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

  19. Production of biofuel using molluscan pseudofeces derived from algal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Keshav C.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Shelton, James; Wilde, Susan B.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Herrin, James A.

    2012-08-28

    Embodiments of the present disclosure provide for novel strategies to harvest algal lipids using mollusks which after feeding algae from the growth medium can convert algal lipids into their biomass or excrete lipids in their pseudofeces which makes algae harvesting energy efficient and cost effective. The bioconverter, filter-feeding mollusks and their pseudofeces can be harvested and converted to biocrude using an advanced thermochemical liquefaction technology. Methods, systems, and materials are disclosed for the harvest and isolation of algal lipids from the mollusks, molluscan feces and molluscan pseudofeces.

  20. Available Resources for Algal Biofuel Development in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chen

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Microalgal biofuel research in China has made noticeable progress, and algae cultivation for biofuel production is considered to be an important contribution to Greenhouse Gas (GHG mitigation and energy security. In this paper, the algal biofuel potentiality in China was reviewed from the points of view of algal biodiversity, algal culture collection, GHGs (especially CO2 mitigation, and the availability of the required sunlight, wastewater and land resources. The cultivation of microalgae utilizing power plants gas with large amounts of CO2 and wastewaters from urban households, industry and animal husbandry are suitable for large scale production in China. Land is hardly a limitation for algae cultivation.

  1. Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata

    2010-05-01

    Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences Małgorzata Moczydłowska-Vidal Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology, Villavägen 16, SE 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden (malgo.vidal@pal.uu.se) Morphological and reproductive features and cell wall ultrastructure and biochemistry of Proterozoic acritarchs are used to determine their affinity to modern algae. The first appearance datum of these microbiota is traced to infer a minimum age of the divergence of the algal classes to which they may belong. The chronological appearance of microfossils that represent phycoma-like and zygotic cysts and vegetative cells and/or aplanospores, respectively interpreted as prasinophyceaen and chlorophyceaen microalgae, is related to the Viridiplantae phylogeny. These divergence times differ from molecular clock estimates, and the palaeontological evidence suggests that they are older. The best examples of unicellular, organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs) from the Mesoproterozoic to Early Ordovician are reviewed to demonstrate features, which are indicative of their affinity to photosynthetic microalgae. The first indication that a microfossil may be algal is a decay- and acid-resistant cell wall, which reflects its biochemistry and ultrastructure, and probably indicates the ability to protect a resting/reproductive cyst. The biopolymers synthesized in the cell walls of algae and in land plants ("plant cells"), such as sporopollenin/algaenan, are diagnostic for photosynthetic taxa and were inherited from early unicellular ancestors. These preservable cell walls are resistant to acetolysis, hydrolysis and acids, and show diagnostic ultrastructures such as the trilaminar sheath structure (TLS). "Plant cell" walls differ in terms of chemical compounds, which give high preservation potential, from fungal and animal cell walls. Fungal and animal cells are fossilized only by syngenetic permineralization, whereas "plant cells" are fossilized as body

  2. Daphnia magna negatively affected by chronic exposure to purified Cry-toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bøhn, Thomas; Rover, Carina Macagnan; Semenchuk, Philipp Robert

    2016-05-01

    Cry-toxin genes originating from Bacillus thuringiensis are inserted into genetically modified (GM) plants, often called Bt-plants, to provide insect resistance to pests. Significant amounts of Bt-plant residues, and thus Cry-toxins, will be shed to soil and aquatic environments. We exposed Daphnia magna to purified Cry1Ab and Cry2Aa toxins for the full life-span of the animals. We used single toxins in different doses and combinations of toxins and Roundup(®), another potential stressor on the rise in agricultural ecosystems. Animals exposed to 4.5 mg/L (ppm) of Cry1Ab, Cry2Aa and the combination of both showed markedly higher mortality, smaller body size and very low juvenile production compared to controls. Animals exposed to 0.75 mg/L also showed a tendency towards increased mortality but with increased early fecundity compared to the controls. Roundup(®) stimulated animals to strong early reproductive output at the cost of later rapid mortality. We conclude that i) purified Cry-toxins in high concentrations are toxic to D. magna, indicating alternative modes-of-action for these Cry-toxins; ii) Cry-toxins act in combination, indicating that 'stacked events' may have stronger effects on non-target organisms; iii) further studies need to be done on combinatorial effects of multiple Cry-toxins and herbicides that co-occur in the environment.

  3. 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.

  4. Raceways-based production of algal crude oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chisti, Yusuf [Massey Univ., Palmerston North (New Zealand). School of Engineering

    2013-11-01

    Raceway ponds, or 'high-rate algal ponds', of various configurations have been used to treat wastewater since the 1950s. They are also known as Oswald ponds after their inventor W. J. Oswald. Large-scale outdoor culture of microalgae and cyanobacteria in raceways is well established (Terry and Raymond 1985; Oswald 1988; Borowitzka and Borowitzka 1989; Becker 1994; Lee 1997; Molina Grima 1999; Pulz 2001; Borowitzka 2005; Spolaore et al. 2006). Raceway culture is used commercially in the United States, Thailand, China, Israel and elsewhere, mostly to produce algae for relatively high-value applications. This chapter is focused on raceways typically used in the production of algal biomass and not in the treatment of wastewater. The engineering design, operation and performance characteristics of raceways are discussed. The biomass productivity of the raceways is assessed in relation to limits imposed by algal biology. The economics of algal oil production in raceways are discussed. (orig.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. The Impact of Harmful Algal Blooms on USACE Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    recorded history around the world (Paerl 2008). Freshwater algal blooms commonly consist of many cyanobacterial algal strains, also called “blue-green...competitive edge (Huisman et al. 2005). Microcystis, a hepatotoxin created by the Microcystis algae, is most frequently cited in reports of cyanobacteria ...related poisoning in humans and livestock (Chorus and Bartram 1999) and is the dominant cyanobacteria in North America (Carmichael 2005). It is important

  9. Paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin profile of mussels Perna perna from southern Atlantic coasts of Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abouabdellah, Rachid; Taleb, Hamid; Bennouna, Asmae; Erler, Katrin; Chafik, Abdeghani; Moukrim, Abdelatif

    2008-04-01

    During the monitoring programme of harmful algal blooms established along the south Atlantic coast of Morocco, a bimonthly determination of harmful algae and phycotoxins analysis in Perna perna was carried out from May 2003 to December 2004. Results of mouse bioassay (in organs and whole flesh) showed a seasonal evolution of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin. The mussel's contamination was associated with the occurrence in water of Alexandrium minutum. The PSP toxin profile obtained with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC/FD) revealed the dominance of gonyautoxins GTX2 and GTX3 and a minority of GTX1, GTX4 and saxitoxin (STX). This profile explains that the toxicity was mainly associated with A. minutum.

  10. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, A.; Irving Olsen, S.

    2011-05-15

    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 wastewater. Algae capture CO{sub 2} 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 dual benefits; while being able to utilize nutrients in waste water thus reducing impacts on inland waters it produce biomass for the production of biofuels. However, reaching commercial scale production of algal biofuels is difficult. The main drawbacks include the harvesting of dry biomass and higher capital investment. The harvested algal biomass and its extracts can be efficiently converted to different biofuels such as bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and biohydrogen by implementation of various process technologies. Comprehensive life cycle assessments (LCA) of algal biofuels illustrating environmental benefits and impacts can be a tool for policy decisions and for technology development. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

  13. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons.

  14. Adsorption of Nanoplastics on Algal Photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, James; Bhattacharya, Priyanka; Lin, Sijie; Ke, Pu Chun

    2010-03-01

    The rapid accumulation of disposed plastics in the environment, especially in the Pacific Ocean, has become a global concern in recent years. Photo, chemical and physical degradations constantly fragment these plastics into a wide array of macroscopic to microscopic particles. As a result, marine organisms such as algae may be exposed to plastic particles through ingestion, adsorption and other forms of uptake. Such interactions, currently little understood, could potentially impact on the health state of the entire food chain. Here we report on polystyrene-algae interaction and its impact on algal photosynthesis. We first investigated the adsorption of polystyrene beads (20 nm) on a cellulose film coated on a 96-well plate. We derived a supralinear increase of the adsorption with the beads concentration for both positively and negatively charged polystyrene beads, with a saturation observed for the negatively charged polystyrene beads of concentration above 1.6 mg/mL. Using a bicarbonate indicator we discovered decreased carbon dioxide depletion due to polystyrene-algae binding. Since polystyrene beads also mediated algae aggregation, nanoplastics may alternatively be harnessed for waste water treatment.

  15. Benthic algal vegetation in Isfjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stein Fredriksen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Benthic algal vegetation was investigated at 10 sites in Isfjorden, Svalbard. Five sites were visited during summer 2010 and five during summer 2012. Both the littoral and sublittoral vegetation were sampled, the littoral by hand-picking and use of a throwable rake and the sublittoral using a triangular dredge. A total of 88 different taxa were registered, comprising 17 Chlorophyta, 40 Ochrophyta, 30 Rhodophyta and the Xantophyceae Vaucheria sp. The green algae Ulvaria splendens (Ruprecht Vinogradova was recorded in Svalbard for the first time. Most of the sites consisted of hard bottom substrate, but one site, Kapp Wijk, consisted of loose-lying calcareous red algae (rhodoliths and had species not recorded elsewhere. The sublittoral at the other sites was dominated by kelp. Molecular analysis confirmed the presence of the red alga Ceramium virgatum and a dwarf form of the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus. This study provides a baseline for future studies investigating changes in the vegetation due to environmental changes.

  16. Sixty years in algal physiology and photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirson, A

    1994-06-01

    This personal perspective records research experiences in chemistry and biology at four German universities, two before and two after World War II. The research themes came from cytophysiology of green unicellular algae, in particular their photosynthesis. The function of inorganic ions in photosynthesis and dark respiration was investigated at different degrees of specific mineral stress (deficiencies), and the kinetics of recovery followed after the addition of the missing element. Two types of recovery of photosynthesis were observed: indirect restitution via growth processes and immediate normalisation. From the latter case (K(+), phosphate, Mn(++)) the effect of manganese was emphasized as its role in photosynthetic O2 evolution became established during our research. Other themes of our group, with some bearing on photosynthesis were: synchronization of cell growth by light-dark change and effects of blue (vs. red) light on the composition of green cells. Some experiences in connection with algal mass cultures are included. Discussion of several editorial projects shows how photosynthesis, as an orginally separated field of plant biochemistry and biophysics, became included into general cell physiology and even ecophysiology of green plants. The paper contains an appreciation of the authors' main mentor Kurt Noack (1888-1963) and of Ernst Georg Pringsheim (1881-1970), founder of experimental phycology.

  17. 益气解毒法不同组方对鼻咽癌细胞迁徙运动潜能及细胞伪足的影响%Effects of the original and modified Qi-Boosting Toxin-Resolving Formulae on moving potentiality and cellular pseudopod of NPC cell line CNE2Z

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    尚云峰; 田道法

    2011-01-01

    目的 研究益气解毒法不同组方对鼻咽癌细胞迁徙运动潜能及其细胞伪足的影响.方法 以正常大鼠血浆为对照,分别应用益气解毒方原方及其改方大鼠药物血浆对CNE2Z细胞进行干预,采用划痕实验法评价不同组方药物对靶细胞迁徙运动潜能的影响,以扫描电镜观察细胞伪足形态特征,分析靶细胞的反应特性.结果 益气解毒原方对CNE2Z细胞的迁徙运动潜能显示抑制效应,细胞迁徙能力较差,伪足伸展不明显;益气解毒改方则对靶细胞迁徙运动潜能显示为促进效应,细胞伪足伸展长度较长.结论 同为益气解毒法的组方,由于剂量构成比不同,各方对鼻咽癌细胞迁徙运动潜能的药效学差异巨大.这样的药理效应特点,对中药复方的合理组方提出了严格要求.%Objective To investigate the effects of original and modified Qi-Boosting Toxin-Resolving Formulae (QBTRF) on moving potentiality and cellular pseudopod of nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line CNE2Z based on an experimental study. Methods Investigated were the effects of two herbal medicinal formulae, the original and modified QBTRF, on moving potentiality and cellular pseudopod of NPC cell line CNE2Z by medicinal blood plasma assaying procedures, with healthy rat plasma as the control in a routine way. Here, scratch test was taken to determine the moving potentiality with their changes in morphologic characteristics of cells CNE2Z under light microscope, and electron microscopy was utilized to observe pseudopod features of these cells to evaluate their changes in potential motility in the response to the intervening reagents. Results It was shown that the original QBTRF brought about an inhibitory effect on the moving potentiality of CNE2Z cells showing a much shortened moving distance with looser growing status and silkiness-like pseudopod expanding not so obvious as that in controlling cells, while the modified OBTRF brought about a promoting

  18. Stress-Survival Gene Identification From an Acid Mine Drainage Algal Mat Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbina-Navarrete, J.; Fujishima, K.; Paulino-Lima, I. G.; Rothschild-Mancinelli, B.; Rothschild, L. J.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial communities from acid mine drainage environments are exposed to multiple stressors to include low pH, high dissolved metal loads, seasonal freezing, and desiccation. The microbial and algal communities that inhabit these niche environments have evolved strategies that allow for their ecological success. Metagenomic analyses are useful in identifying species diversity, however they do not elucidate the mechanisms that allow for the resilience of a community under these extreme conditions. Many known or predicted genes encode for protein products that are unknown, or similarly, many proteins cannot be traced to their gene of origin. This investigation seeks to identify genes that are active in an algal consortium during stress from living in an acid mine drainage environment. Our approach involves using the entire community transcriptome for a functional screen in an Escherichia coli host. This approach directly targets the genes involved in survival, without need for characterizing the members of the consortium.The consortium was harvested and stressed with conditions similar to the native environment it was collected from. Exposure to low pH (DNA (cDNA) libraries in E. coli. The transformed E. coli were exposed to the same stressors as the original algal consortium to select for surviving cells. Successful cells incorporated the transcripts that encode survival mechanisms, thus allowing for selection and identification of the gene(s) involved. Initial selection screens for freeze and desiccation tolerance have yielded E. coli that are 1 order of magnitude more resistant to freezing (0.01% survival of control with no transcript, 0.2% survival of E. coli with transcript) and 3 orders of magnitude more resistant to desiccation (0.005% survival of control cells with no transcripts, 5% survival of cells with transcript).This work is transformative because genetic functions can be selected without having prior knowledge of the genes or of the organisms involved

  19. 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

  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. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T. [Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  2. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Monecke

    Full Text Available The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species.

  3. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla) correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monecke, Stefan; Müller, Elke; Büchler, Joseph; Stieber, Bettina; Ehricht, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species.

  4. Scorpion toxins prefer salt solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikouee, Azadeh; Khabiri, Morteza; Cwiklik, Lukasz

    2015-11-01

    There is a wide variety of ion channel types with various types of blockers, making research in this field very complicated. To reduce this complexity, it is essential to study ion channels and their blockers independently. Scorpion toxins, a major class of blockers, are charged short peptides with high affinities for potassium channels. Their high selectivity and inhibitory properties make them an important pharmacological tool for treating autoimmune or nervous system disorders. Scorpion toxins typically have highly charged surfaces and-like other proteins-an intrinsic ability to bind ions (Friedman J Phys Chem B 115(29):9213-9223, 1996; Baldwin Biophys J 71(4):2056-2063, 1996; Vrbka et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103(42):15440-15444, 2006a; Vrbka et al. J Phys Chem B 110(13):7036-43, 2006b). Thus, their effects on potassium channels are usually investigated in various ionic solutions. In this work, computer simulations of protein structures were performed to analyze the structural properties of the key residues (i.e., those that are presumably involved in contact with the surfaces of the ion channels) of 12 scorpion toxins. The presence of the two most physiologically abundant cations, Na(+) and K(+), was considered. The results indicated that the ion-binding properties of the toxin residues vary. Overall, all of the investigated toxins had more stable structures in ionic solutions than in water. We found that both the number and length of elements in the secondary structure varied depending on the ionic solution used (i.e., in the presence of NaCl or KCl). This study revealed that the ionic solution should be chosen carefully before performing experiments on these toxins. Similarly, the influence of these ions should be taken into consideration in the design of toxin-based pharmaceuticals.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Full-scale validation of a model of algal productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béchet, Quentin; Shilton, Andy; Guieysse, Benoit

    2014-12-02

    While modeling algal productivity outdoors is crucial to assess the economic and environmental performance of full-scale cultivation, most of the models hitherto developed for this purpose have not been validated under fully relevant conditions, especially with regard to temperature variations. The objective of this study was to independently validate a model of algal biomass productivity accounting for both light and temperature and constructed using parameters experimentally derived using short-term indoor experiments. To do this, the accuracy of a model developed for Chlorella vulgaris was assessed against data collected from photobioreactors operated outdoor (New Zealand) over different seasons, years, and operating conditions (temperature-control/no temperature-control, batch, and fed-batch regimes). The model accurately predicted experimental productivities under all conditions tested, yielding an overall accuracy of ±8.4% over 148 days of cultivation. For the purpose of assessing the feasibility of full-scale algal cultivation, the use of the productivity model was therefore shown to markedly reduce uncertainty in cost of biofuel production while also eliminating uncertainties in water demand, a critical element of environmental impact assessments. Simulations at five climatic locations demonstrated that temperature-control in outdoor photobioreactors would require tremendous amounts of energy without considerable increase of algal biomass. Prior assessments neglecting the impact of temperature variations on algal productivity in photobioreactors may therefore be erroneous.

  8. Environmental effects of modified clay flocculation on Alexandrium tamarense and paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSTs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Guangyuan; Song, Xiuxian; Yu, Zhiming; Cao, Xihua; Yuan, Yongquan

    2015-05-01

    Among various mitigation strategies for harmful algal blooms (HABs), the flocculation of algal cells by using modified clay (MC) has been widely applied in the field, particularly in Japan, Korea and China. However, to examine the long-term effects and the environmental safety of this method, we investigated alterations in macronutrients and paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSTs) induced by the application of MC treatment to a toxic bloom, Alexandrium tamarense. The control, algal cells grew in nature condition (A1), was compared to the only MC flocculation (A2) and the MC-sediment co-matrix systems of A. tamarense (A3). The low-dosage of 0.25 g L(-1) MC could efficiently remove >90% of the A. tamarense cells within 3.5h. The mechanisms underlying the effects elicited by MC flocculation on nutrient cycling, PSTs and Chl-a degradation were also discussed. This study demonstrated that MC treatment was able to significantly remove the macronutrients (43-60% TP removal and 17-30% TN removal) and scavenge most of the PSTs from seawater, thereby speeding up the nutrient settling and the transformation and degradation of PSTs (83% decreasing in A2). Simultaneously, the study firstly demonstrated the potential detoxification of PSTs by using MC treatment, from the high toxicity of gonyautoxin 1 and 4 (GTX1 and GTX4) to the lower toxicity decarbamoyl gonyautoxins (dcGTX3) and gonyautoxin 2 (GTX2), particularly within the water-sediment environment during the two month incubation.

  9. Bt toxin modification for enhanced efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deist, Benjamin R; Rausch, Michael A; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J; Bonning, Bryony C

    2014-10-22

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance.

  10. 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

  11. Normal and pathologic concentrations of uremic toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duranton, Flore; Cohen, Gerald; De Smet, Rita; Rodriguez, Mariano; Jankowski, Joachim; Vanholder, Raymond; Argiles, Angel

    2012-07-01

    An updated review of the existing knowledge regarding uremic toxins facilitates the design of experimental studies. We performed a literature search and found 621 articles about uremic toxicity published after a 2003 review of this topic. Eighty-seven records provided serum or blood measurements of one or more solutes in patients with CKD. These records described 32 previously known uremic toxins and 56 newly reported solutes. The articles most frequently reported concentrations of β2-microglobulin, indoxyl sulfate, homocysteine, uric acid, and parathyroid hormone. We found most solutes (59%) in only one report. Compared with previous results, more recent articles reported higher uremic concentrations of many solutes, including carboxymethyllysine, cystatin C, and parathyroid hormone. However, five solutes had uremic concentrations less than 10% of the originally reported values. Furthermore, the uremic concentrations of four solutes did not exceed their respective normal concentrations, although they had been previously described as uremic retention solutes. In summary, this review extends the classification of uremic retention solutes and their normal and uremic concentrations, and it should aid the design of experiments to study the biologic effects of these solutes in CKD.

  12. [Origination and evolution of plastids].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhina, V S

    2014-01-01

    Plastids are photosynthetic DNA-containing organelles of plants and algae. In the review, the history of their origination and evolution within different taxa is considered. All of the plastids appear to be descendants of cyanobacteria that colonized eukaryotic cells. The first plastids arose through symbiosis of cyanobacteria with algal ancestors from Archaeplastida kingdom. Later, there occurred repeated secondary symbioses of other eukariotes with photosynthetic protists: in this way plastids emerged in organisms of other taxa. Co-evolution of cyanobacteria and ancestral algae led to extensive transformation of both: reduction of endosymbiont, mass transfer of cyanobacteria genes into karyogenome, formation of complex system of proteins transportation to plastids and their functioning regulation.

  13. Copper removal by algae Gelidium, agar extraction algal waste and granulated algal waste: kinetics and equilibrium.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-03-01

    Biosorption of copper ions by an industrial algal waste, from agar extraction industry has been studied in a batch system. This biosorbent was compared with the algae Gelidium itself, which is the raw material for agar extraction, and the industrial waste immobilized with polyacrylonitrile (composite material). The effects of contact time, pH, ionic strength (IS) and temperature on the biosorption process have been studied. Equilibrium data follow both Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich models. The parameters of Langmuir equilibrium model were: q(max)=33.0mgg(-1), K(L)=0.015mgl(-1); q(max)=16.7mgg(-1), K(L)=0.028mgl(-1) and q(max)=10.3mgg(-1), K(L)=0.160mgl(-1) respectively for Gelidium, algal waste and composite material at pH=5.3, T=20 degrees C and IS=0.001M. Increasing the pH, the number of deprotonated active sites increases and so the uptake capacity of copper ions. In the case of high ionic strengths, the contribution of the electrostatic component to the overall binding decreases, and so the uptake capacity. The temperature has little influence on the uptake capacity principally for low equilibrium copper concentrations. Changes in standard enthalpy, Gibbs energy and entropy during biosorption were determined. Kinetic data at different solution pH (3, 4 and 5.3) were fitted to pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models. The adsorptive behaviour of biosorbent particles was modelled using a batch reactor mass transfer kinetic model, which successfully predicts Cu(II) concentration profiles.

  14. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krehbiel, Joel D; Schideman, Lance C; King, Daniel A; Freund, Jonathan B

    2014-12-01

    Microbubbles were added to an algal solution with the goal of improving cell disruption efficiency and the net energy balance for algal biofuel production. Experimental results showed that disruption increases with increasing peak rarefaction ultrasound pressure over the range studied: 1.90 to 3.07 MPa. Additionally, ultrasound cell disruption increased by up to 58% by adding microbubbles, with peak disruption occurring in the range of 10(8)microbubbles/ml. The localization of energy in space and time provided by the bubbles improve efficiency: energy requirements for such a process were estimated to be one-fourth of the available heat of combustion of algal biomass and one-fifth of currently used cell disruption methods. This increase in energy efficiency could make microbubble enhanced ultrasound viable for bioenergy applications and is expected to integrate well with current cell harvesting methods based upon dissolved air flotation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Design of algal film photobioreactors: material surface energy effects on algal film productivity, colonization and lipid content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genin, Scott N; Stewart Aitchison, J; Grant Allen, D

    2014-03-01

    A parallel plate air lift reactor was used to examine the growth kinetics of mixed culture algal biofilms grown on various materials (acrylic, glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene and cellulose acetate). The growth kinetics of the algal biofilms were non-linear overall and their overall productivities ranged from 1.10-2.08g/m(2)day, with those grown on cellulose acetate having the highest productivity. Overall algal biofilm productivity was largely explained by differences in the colonization time which in turn was strongly correlated to the polar surface energy of the material, but weakly correlated to water-material contact angle. When colonization time was taken into account, the productivity for all materials except acrylic was not significantly different at approximately 2g/m(2)/day. Lipid content of the algal biofilms ranged from 6% to 8% (w/w) and was not correlated to water-material contact angle or polar surface energy. The results have potential application for selecting appropriate materials for algal film photobioreactors.

  18. Dynamic adsorption of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in passive sampling relates to pore size distribution of aromatic adsorbent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Aifeng; Ma, Feifei; Song, Xiuli; Yu, Rencheng

    2011-03-18

    Solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) technology was developed as an effective passive sampling method for dissolved diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in seawater. HP20 and SP700 resins have been reported as preferred adsorption substrates for lipophilic algal toxins and are recommended for use in SPATT testing. However, information on the mechanism of passive adsorption by these polymeric resins is still limited. Described herein is a study on the adsorption of OA and DTX1 toxins extracted from Prorocentrum lima algae by HP20 and SP700 resins. The pore size distribution of the adsorbents was characterized by a nitrogen adsorption method to determine the relationship between adsorption and resin porosity. The Freundlich equation constant showed that the difference in adsorption capacity for OA and DTX1 toxins was not determined by specific surface area, but by the pore size distribution in particular, with micropores playing an especially important role. Additionally, it was found that differences in affinity between OA and DTX1 for aromatic resins were as a result of polarity discrepancies due to DTX1 having an additional methyl moiety.

  19. SxtA and sxtG Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Mediterranean Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Perini

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum is known for the production of potent neurotoxins affecting the health of human seafood consumers via paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the toxin content and the expression level of the genes involved in paralytic shellfish toxin (PST production. The algal cultures were grown both in standard f/2 medium and in phosphorus/nitrogen limitation. In our study, LC-HRMS analyses of PST profile and content in different Mediterranean A. minutum strains confirmed that this species was able to synthesize mainly the saxitoxin analogues Gonyautoxin-1 (GTX1 and Gonyautoxin-4 (GTX4. The average cellular toxin content varied among different strains, and between growth phases, highlighting a decreasing trend from exponential to stationary phase in all culture conditions tested. The absolute quantities of intracellular sxtA1 and sxtG mRNA were not correlated with the amount of intracellular toxins in the analysed A. minutum suggesting that the production of toxins may be regulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms and/or by the concerted actions of alternative genes belonging to the PST biosynthesis gene cluster. Therefore, it is likely that the sxtA1 and sxtG gene expression could not reflect the PST accumulation in the Mediterranean A. minutum populations under the examined standard and nutrient limiting conditions.

  20. Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring Data for Puget Sound - SoundToxins: Partnership for Enhanced Monitoring and Emergency Response to Harmful Algal Blooms in Puget Sound

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Toxic outbreaks of species of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium have become pervasive in the Puget Sound region over the last two decades, escalating the threats to...

  1. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks between private and public goods: evidence from toxic algal blooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, William W; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Ferrière, Régis

    2016-01-01

    The importance of 'eco-evolutionary feedbacks' in natural systems is currently unclear. Here, we advance a general hypothesis for a particular class of eco-evolutionary feedbacks with potentially large, long-lasting impacts in complex ecosystems. These eco-evolutionary feedbacks involve traits that mediate important interactions with abiotic and biotic features of the environment and a self-driven reversal of selection as the ecological impact of the trait varies between private (small scale) and public (large scale). Toxic algal blooms may involve such eco-evolutionary feedbacks due to the emergence of public goods. We review evidence that toxin production by microalgae may yield 'privatised' benefits for individual cells or colonies under pre- and early-bloom conditions; however, the large-scale, ecosystem-level effects of toxicity associated with bloom states yield benefits that are necessarily 'public'. Theory predicts that the replacement of private with public goods may reverse selection for toxicity in the absence of higher level selection. Indeed, blooms often harbor significant genetic and functional diversity: bloom populations may undergo genetic differentiation over a scale of days, and even genetically similar lineages may vary widely in toxic potential. Intriguingly, these observations find parallels in terrestrial communities, suggesting that toxic blooms may serve as useful models for eco-evolutionary dynamics in nature. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks involving the emergence of a public good may shed new light on the potential for interactions between ecology and evolution to influence the structure and function of entire ecosystems.

  2. Remote Sensing as a Tool to Track Algal Blooms in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradt, S. R.; Wurtsbaugh, W. A.; Naftz, D.; Moore, T.; Haney, J.

    2006-12-01

    The Great Salt Lake is a large hypersaline, terminal water body in northern Utah, USA. The lake has both a significant economic importance to the local community as a source of brine shrimp and mineral resources, as well as, an ecological importance to large numbers of migratory waterfowl. Due to nutrient input from sewage treatment plants, sections of the Great Salt Lake are subjected to highly eutrophic conditions. One of the main tributaries, Farmington Bay, experiences massive blooms of cyanobacteria which can reach concentrations in excess of 300 mg l-1 in the bay. Effects of these blooms can be observed stretching into the rest of the lake. The detrimental outcomes of the blooms include unsightly scums, foul odor and the danger of cyanobacterial toxins. While the blooms have an obvious effect on Farmington Bay, it is quite possible that the cyanobacteria impact a much wider area of the lake as currents move eutrophic water masses. Of particular interest is the reaction of brine shrimp to the plumes of cyanobacteria-rich water leaving Farmington Bay. We are employing remote sensing as a tool to map the distribution of algae throughout the lake and produce lake-wide maps of water quality on a regular basis. On-lake reflectance measurements have been coupled with MODIS satellite imagery to produce a time series of maps illustrating changes in algal distribution. The successes and shortcomings of our remote sensing technique will be a central topic of this presentation.

  3. Common European harmful algal blooms affect the viability and innate immune responses of Mytilus edulis larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Rijcke, M; Vandegehuchte, M B; Vanden Bussche, J; Nevejan, N; Vanhaecke, L; De Schamphelaere, K A C; Janssen, C R

    2015-11-01

    Like marine diseases, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are globally increasing in frequency, severity and geographical scale. As a result, bivalves will have to face the combined threat of toxic algae and marine pathogens more frequently in the (near) future. These stressors combined may further affect the recruitment of ecologically and economically important bivalve species as HABs can affect the growth, viability and development of their larvae. To date, little is known on the specific effects of HABs on the innate immune system of bivalve larvae. This study therefore investigates whether two common harmful algae can influence the larval viability, development and immunological resilience of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Embryos of this model organism were exposed (48 h) to five densities of Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries or Prorocentrum lima cells. In addition, the effect of six concentrations of their respective toxins: domoic acid (DA) and okadaic acid (OA) were assessed. OA was found to significantly reduce larval protein phosphatase activity (p larval viability (p < 0.01) at concentrations as low as 37.8 μg l(-1). P. multiseries (1400 cells ml(-1)), P. lima (150 cells ml(-1)) and DA (dosed five times higher than typical environmental conditions i.e. 623.2 μg l(-1)) increased the phenoloxidase (PO) innate immune activity of the mussel larvae. These results suggest that the innate immune response of even the earliest life stages of bivalves is susceptible to the presence of HABs.

  4. Towards spatial localisation of harmful algal blooms; statistics-based spatial anomaly detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutler, J. D.; Grant, M. G.; Miller, P. I.

    2005-10-01

    Harmful algal blooms are believed to be increasing in occurrence and their toxins can be concentrated by filter-feeding shellfish and cause amnesia or paralysis when ingested. As a result fisheries and beaches in the vicinity of blooms may need to be closed and the local population informed. For this avoidance planning timely information on the existence of a bloom, its species and an accurate map of its extent would be prudent. Current research to detect these blooms from space has mainly concentrated on spectral approaches towards determining species. We present a novel statistics-based background-subtraction technique that produces improved descriptions of an anomaly's extent from remotely-sensed ocean colour data. This is achieved by extracting bulk information from a background model; this is complemented by a computer vision ramp filtering technique to specifically detect the perimeter of the anomaly. The complete extraction technique uses temporal-variance estimates which control the subtraction of the scene of interest from the time-weighted background estimate, producing confidence maps of anomaly extent. Through the variance estimates the method learns the associated noise present in the data sequence, providing robustness, and allowing generic application. Further, the use of the median for the background model reduces the effects of anomalies that appear within the time sequence used to generate it, allowing seasonal variations in the background levels to be closely followed. To illustrate the detection algorithm's application, it has been applied to two spectrally different oceanic regions.

  5. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The photosynthetic spectrum of solar energy could be exploited for the production of chemical energy of methane through the combined algal-bacterial process. In this process, the algae are mass produced from light and from carbon in the first step. The algal biomass is then used as a nutrient for feeding the anaerobic digester, in the second step, for the production of methane by anaerobic bacteria. The carbon source for the production of algal biomass could be either organic carbon from wastewaters (for eucaryotic algae), or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the combustion exhaust gases (for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae). The technical feasibility data on the anaerobic digestion of algal biomass have been reported for many species of algae including macroscopic algae and microscopic algae. Research being conducted in the authors' laboratory consists of using the semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima as the sole substrate for this combined algal-bacterial process. This species of alga is very attractive for the process because of its capability of using the atmospheric carbon dioxide as carbon source and its simple harvesting methods. Furthermore, it appeared that the fermentability of S. maxima is significantly higher than other microscopic algae. This communication presents the results on the anaerobic inoculum development by the adaptation technique. This inoculum was then used for the semicontinuous anaerobic digestion of S. maxima algal biomass. The evolutions of biogas production and composition, biogas yield, total volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, ammonia nitrogen, pH, and electrode potential were followed.

  6. Cementing mechanism of algal crusts from desert area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    34-, 17-, 4-, 1.5-year old natural algal crusts were collected from Shapotou Scientific Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 40-day old field and greenhouse artificial algal crusts were in situ developed in the same sandy soil and the same place (37°27′N, 104°57′E). Their different cohesions both against wind force and pressure were measured respectively by a sandy wind-tunnel experiment and a penetrometer. On the basis of these algal crusts, the cementing mechanism was revealed from many subjects and different levels. The results showed that in the indoor artificial crusts with the weakest cohesion bunchy algal filaments were distributed in the surface of the crusts, produced few extracellular polymers (EPS), the binding capacity of the crusts just accomplished by mechanical bundle of algal filaments. For field crusts, most filaments grew toward the deeper layers of algal crusts, secreted much more EPS, and when organic matter content was more than 2.4 times of chlorophyll a, overmuch organic matter (primarily is EPS) began to gather onto the surface of the crusts and formed an organic layer in the relatively lower micro-area, and this made the crust cohesion increase 2.5 times. When the organic layer adsorbed and intercepted amounts of dusts, soil particles and sand grains scattered down from wind, it changed gradually into an inorganic layer in which inorganic matter dominated, and this made the crusts cohesion further enhanced 2-6 times. For crust-building species Microcoleus vaginatus, 88.5% of EPS were the acidic components, 78% were the acidic proteglycan of 380 kD. The uronic acid content accounted for 8% of proteglycan, and their free carboxyls were important sites of binding with metal cations from surrounding matrix.

  7. Physical Hydrography and Algal Bloom Transport in Hong Kong Waters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KUANG Cui-ping; LEE Joseph H.W.

    2005-01-01

    In sub-tropical coastal waters around Hong Kong, algal blooms and red tides are usually first sighted in the Mirs Bay, in the eastern waters of Hong Kong. A calibrated three-dimensional hydrodynamic model for the Pearl River Estuary (Delft3D) has been applied to the study of the physical hydrography of Hong Kong waters and its relationship with algal bloom transport patterns in the dry and wet seasons. The general 3D hydrodynamic circulation and salinity structure in the partially-mixed estuary are presented. Extensive numerical surface drogue tracking experiments are performed for algal blooms that are initiated in the Mirs Bay under different seasonal, wind and tidal conditions. The probability of bloom impact on the Victoria Harbour and nearby urban coastal waters is estimated. The computations show that: I) In the wet season (May~August), algal blooms initiated in the Mirs Bay will move in a clockwise direction out of the bay, and be transported away from Hong Kong due to SW monsoon winds which drive the SW to NE coastal current; ii) In the dry season (November~April), algal blooms initiated in the northeast Mirs Bay will move in an anti-clockwise direction and be carried away into southern waters due to the NE to SW coastal current driven by the NE monsoon winds; the bloom typically flows past the east edge of the Victoria Harbour and nearby waters. Finally, the role of hydrodynamic transport in an important episodic event - the spring 1998 massive red tide - is quantitatively examined. It is shown that the strong NE to E wind during late March to early April, coupled with the diurnal tide at the beginning of April, significantly increased the probability of bloom transport into the Port Shelter and East Lamma Channel, resulting in the massive fish kill. The results provide a basis for risk assessment of harmful algal bloom (HAB) impact on urban coastal waters around the Victoria Habour.

  8. 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...

  9. Algal pigments in Southern Ocean abyssal foraminiferans indicate pelagobenthic coupling.

    OpenAIRE

    Cedhagen, Tomas; Cheah, Wee; Bracher, Astrid; Lejzerowicz, Franck

    2014-01-01

    The cytoplasm of four species of abyssal benthic foraminiferans from the Southern Ocean (around 51°S; 12°W and 50°S; 39°W) was analysed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and found to contain large concentrations of algal pigments and their degradation products. The composition of the algal pigments in the foraminiferan cytoplasm reflected the plankton community at the surface. Some foraminiferans contained high ratios of chlorophyll a/degraded pigments because they were feeding...

  10. Export of Algal Biomass from the Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    A. Boetius; S. Albrecht; Bakker, K; Bienhold, C.; J. Felden; Fernandez-Mendez, M; Hendricks, S.; C. Katlein; C Lalande; Krumpen, T.; M. Nicolaus; Peeken, I.; Rabe, B.; Rogacheva, A.; Rybakova, E.

    2013-01-01

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on ave...

  11. 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...

  12. Approaches to monitoring, control and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Donald M

    2009-07-01

    Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called "red tides"). These phenomena are caused by blooms of microscopic algae. Some of these algae are toxic, and can lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life, typically as a result of the transfer of toxins through the food web. Sometimes the direct release of toxic compounds can be lethal to marine animals. Non-toxic HABs cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term "HAB" also applies to non-toxic blooms of macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters.Globally, the nature of the HAB problem has changed considerably over the last several decades. The number of toxic blooms, the resulting economic losses, the types of resources affected, and the number of toxins and toxic species have all increased dramatically. Some of this expansion has been attributed to storms, currents and other natural phenomena, but human activities are also frequently implicated. Humans have contributed by transporting toxic species in ballast water, and by adding massive and increasing quantities of industrial, agricultural and sewage effluents to coastal waters. In many urbanized coastal regions, these inputs have altered the size and composition of the nutrient pool which has, in turn, created a more favorable nutrient environment for certain HAB species. The steady expansion in the use of fertilizers for agricultural production represents a large and worrisome source of nutrients in coastal waters that promote some HABs.The diversity in HAB species and their impacts presents a significant challenge to those responsible for the management of coastal resources. Furthermore, HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena that

  13. 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...

  14. Formation of a Volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom Network in British Columbia, Canada, Following an Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Haigh

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP. As a result of this outbreak, Canada’s first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas.

  15. Binding of cholera toxin to Giardia lamblia.

    OpenAIRE

    McCardell, B. A.; Madden, J M; Stanfield, J T; Tall, B D; Stephens, M. J.

    1987-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to Giardia lamblia was demonstrated by two slightly different methods: an immunofluorescence technique using antibody to cholera toxin and anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate, and a one-step fluorescence method in which G. lamblia was incubated with the B subunit of cholera toxin conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laurens, L. M. L.

    2013-12-01

    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.

  17. Accumulation, transformation and breakdown of DSP toxins from the toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuta in blue mussels, Mytilus edulis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor; Hansen, Per Juel; Krock, Bernd; Vismann, Bent

    2016-07-01

    Okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxins (DTX) and pectenotoxins (PTX) produced by the dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp. can accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning upon human consumption. Shellfish toxicity is a result of algal abundance and toxicity as well as accumulation and depuration kinetics in mussels. We mass-cultured Dinophysis acuta containing OA, DTX-1b and PTX-2 and fed it to the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis under controlled laboratory conditions for a week to study toxin accumulation and transformation. Contents of OA and DTX-1b in mussels increased linearly with incubation time, and the net toxin accumulation was 66% and 71% for OA and DTX-1b, respectively. Large proportions (≈50%) of both these toxins were transformed to fatty acid esters. Most PTX-2 was transformed to PTX-2 seco-acid and net accumulation was initially high, but decreased progressively throughout the experiment, likely due to esterification and loss of detectability. We also quantified depuration during the subsequent four days and found half-life times of 5-6 days for OA and DTX-1b. Measurements of dissolved toxins revealed that depuration was achieved through excreting rather than metabolizing toxins. This is the first study to construct a full mass balance of DSP toxins during both accumulation and depuration, and we demonstrate rapid toxin accumulation in mussels at realistic in situ levels of Dinophysis. Applying the observed accumulation and depuration kinetics, we model mussel toxicity, and demonstrate that a concentration of only 75 Dinophysis cells l(-1) is enough to make 60 mm long mussels exceed the regulatory threshold for OA equivalents.

  18. Algal response to nutrient enrichment in forested oligotrophic stream

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veraart, A.J.; Romaní, A.M.; Tornés, E.; Sabater, S.

    2008-01-01

    Nutrient input in streams alters the density and species composition of attached algal communities in open systems. However, in forested streams, the light reaching the streambed (rather than the local nutrient levels) may limit the growth of these communities. A nutrient-enrichment experiment in a

  19. Algal response to nutrient enrichment in a forested oligotrophic stream

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veraart, A.J.; Romani, A.M.; Tornes, E.; Sabater, S.

    2008-01-01

    Nutrient input in streams alters the density and species composition of attached algal communities in open systems. However, in forested streams, the light reaching the streambed (rather than the local nutrient levels) may limit the growth of these communities. A nutrient-enrichment experiment in a

  20. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    .... Also note any unusual cell shapes, color differences, flocculations, adherence of algae to test... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Algal acute toxicity test. 797.1050... toxicity test. (a) Purpose. The guideline in this section is intended for use in developing data on...

  1. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic Sea ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boetius, A.; Albrecht, S.; Bakker, K.; Bienhold, C.; Felden, J.; Fernández-Méndez, M.; Hendricks, S.; Katlein, C.; Lalande, C.; Krumpen, T.; Nicolaus, M.; Peeken, I.; Rabe, B.; Rogacheva, A.; Rybakova, E.; Somavilla, R.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Shipboard Science Party

    2013-01-01

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central

  2. 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.

  3. Polymer antidotes for toxin sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisman, Adam; Chou, Beverly; O'Brien, Jeffrey; Shea, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Toxins delivered by envenomation, secreted by microorganisms, or unintentionally ingested can pose an immediate threat to life. Rapid intervention coupled with the appropriate antidote is required to mitigate the threat. Many antidotes are biological products and their cost, methods of production, potential for eliciting immunogenic responses, the time needed to generate them, and stability issues contribute to their limited availability and effectiveness. These factors exacerbate a world-wide challenge for providing treatment. In this review we evaluate a number of polymer constructs that may serve as alternative antidotes. The range of toxins investigated includes those from sources such as plants, animals and bacteria. The development of polymeric heavy metal sequestrants for use as antidotes to heavy metal poisoning faces similar challenges, thus recent findings in this area have also been included. Two general strategies have emerged for the development of polymeric antidotes. In one, the polymer acts as a scaffold for the presentation of ligands with a known affinity for the toxin. A second strategy is to generate polymers with an intrinsic affinity, and in some cases selectivity, to a range of toxins. Importantly, in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated for each of these strategies, which suggests that these approaches hold promise as an alternative to biological or small molecule based treatments.

  4. Shigella Sonnei and Shiga Toxin

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-07-28

    Katherine Lamba, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health, discusses Shiga Toxin producing Shigella sonnei.  Created: 7/28/2016 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 7/28/2016.

  5. Food irradiation and bacterial toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tranter, H.S.; Modi, N.K.; Hambleton, P.; Melling, J.; Rose, S.; Stringer, M.F.

    1987-07-04

    The authors' findings indicate that irradiation confers no advantage over heat processing in respect of bacterial toxins (clostridium botulinum, neurotoxin A and staphylococcal enterotoxin A). It follows that irradiation at doses less than the ACINF recommended upper limit of 10 kGy could not be used to improve the ambient temperature shelf life on non-acid foods.

  6. 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

  7. Novel receptors for bacterial protein toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Gudula; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    While bacterial effectors are often directly introduced into eukaryotic target cells by various types of injection machines, toxins enter the cytosol of host cells from endosomal compartments or after retrograde transport via Golgi from the ER. A first crucial step of toxin-host interaction is receptor binding. Using optimized protocols and new methods novel toxin receptors have been identified, including metalloprotease ADAM 10 for Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin, laminin receptor Lu/BCAM for Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor CNF1, lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) for Clostridium difficile transferase CDT and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 1 for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin.

  8. Broadening the neutralizing capacity of a family of antibody fragments against different toxins from Mexican scorpions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Everardo Remi; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Arredondo-López, Jonathan Noé; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse; Fernández-Taboada, Guillermo; Possani, Lourival D; Anguiano-Vega, Gerardo Alfonso; Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Becerril, Baltazar

    2016-09-01

    New approaches aimed at neutralizing the primary toxic components present in scorpion venoms, represent a promising alternative to the use of antivenoms of equine origin in humans. New potential therapeutics developed by these approaches correspond to neutralizing antibody fragments obtained by selection and maturation processes from libraries of human origin. The high sequence identity shared among scorpion toxins is associated with an important level of cross reactivity exhibited by these antibody fragments. We have exploited the cross reactivity showed by single chain variable antibody fragments (scFvs) of human origin to re-direct the neutralizing capacity toward various other scorpion toxins. As expected, during these evolving processes several variants derived from a parental scFv exhibited the capacity to simultaneously recognize and neutralize different toxins from Centruroides scorpion venoms. A sequence analyses of the cross reacting scFvs revealed that specific mutations are responsible for broadening their neutralizing capacity. In this work, we generated a set of new scFvs that resulted from the combinatorial insertion of these point mutations. These scFvs are potential candidates to be part of a novel recombinant antivenom of human origin that could confer protection against scorpion stings. A remarkable property of one of these new scFvs (ER-5) is its capacity to neutralize at least three different toxins and its complementary capacity to neutralize the whole venom from Centruroides suffusus in combination with a second scFv (LR), which binds to a different epitope shared by Centruroides scorpion toxins.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22822356

  11. 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

  12. Antibody microarrays for native toxin detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Victor C; Havenstrite, Karen L; Herr, Amy E

    2005-04-15

    We have developed antibody-based microarray techniques for the multiplexed detection of cholera toxin beta-subunit, diphtheria toxin, anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B, and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked samples. Two detection schemes were investigated: (i) a direct assay in which fluorescently labeled toxins were captured directly by the antibody array and (ii) a competition assay that employed unlabeled toxins as reporters for the quantification of native toxin in solution. In the direct assay, fluorescence measured at each array element is correlated with labeled toxin concentration to yield baseline binding information (Langmuir isotherms and affinity constants). Extending from the direct assay, the competition assay yields information on the presence, identity, and concentration of toxins. A significant advantage of the competition assay over reported profiling assays is the minimal sample preparation required prior to analysis because the competition assay obviates the need to fluorescently label native proteins in the sample of interest. Sigmoidal calibration curves and detection limits were established for both assay formats. Although the sensitivity of the direct assay is superior to that of the competition assay, detection limits for unmodified toxins in the competition assay are comparable to values reported previously for sandwich-format immunoassays of antibodies arrayed on planar substrates. As a demonstration of the potential of the competition assay for unlabeled toxin detection, we conclude with a straightforward multiplexed assay for the differentiation and identification of both native S. aureus enterotoxin B and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked dilute serum samples.

  13. 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.

  14. Effectiveness of an anti-algal compound in eliminating an aquatic unicellular harmful algal Phaeocystis globosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huajun eZhang

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Phaeocystis globosa blooms can have negative effects on higher trophic levels in the marine ecosystem and consequently influence human activities. Strain KA22, identified as the bacterium Hahella, was isolated from coastal surface water and used to control P. globosa growth. A methanol extract from the bacteral cells showed strong algicidal activity. After purification, the compound showed a similar structure to prodigiosin when identified with Q-Exactive Orbitrap MS and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. The compound showed algicidal activity against P. globosa with a 50% Lethal Dose (LD50 of 2.24 μg/mL. The prodigiosin was stable under heat and acid environment, and it could be degraded under alkaline environment and natural light condition. The growth rates of strain KA22 was fast in 2216E medium and the content of prodigiosin in this medium was more than 70 μg/mL after 16 h incubation. The compound showed particularly strong algicidal activity against Prorocentrum donghaiense, P. globosa and Heterosigma akashiwo, but having little effect on three other phytoplankton species tested. The results of our research could increase our knowledge on harmful algal bloom control compound and lead to further study on the mechanisms of the lysis effect on harmful algae.

  15. Horizontal gene transfer of chromosomal Type II toxin-antitoxin systems of Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramisetty, Bhaskar Chandra Mohan; Santhosh, Ramachandran Sarojini

    2016-02-01

    Type II toxin-antitoxin systems (TAs) are small autoregulated bicistronic operons that encode a toxin protein with the potential to inhibit metabolic processes and an antitoxin protein to neutralize the toxin. Most of the bacterial genomes encode multiple TAs. However, the diversity and accumulation of TAs on bacterial genomes and its physiological implications are highly debated. Here we provide evidence that Escherichia coli chromosomal TAs (encoding RNase toxins) are 'acquired' DNA likely originated from heterologous DNA and are the smallest known autoregulated operons with the potential for horizontal propagation. Sequence analyses revealed that integration of TAs into the bacterial genome is unique and contributes to variations in the coding and/or regulatory regions of flanking host genome sequences. Plasmids and genomes encoding identical TAs of natural isolates are mutually exclusive. Chromosomal TAs might play significant roles in the evolution and ecology of bacteria by contributing to host genome variation and by moderation of plasmid maintenance.

  16. 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.

  17. Fermentation of de-oiled algal biomass by Lactobacillus casei for production of lactic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overbeck, Tom; Steele, James L; Broadbent, Jeff R

    2016-12-01

    De-oiled algal biomass (algal cake) generated as waste byproduct during algal biodiesel production is a promising fermentable substrate for co-production of value-added chemicals in biorefinery systems. We explored the ability of Lactobacillus casei 12A to ferment algal cake for co-production of lactic acid. Carbohydrate and amino acid availability were determined to be limiting nutritional requirements for growth and lactic acid production by L. casei. These nutritional requirements were effectively addressed through enzymatic hydrolysis of the algal cake material using α-amylase, cellulase (endo-1,4-β-D-glucanase), and pepsin. Results confirm fermentation of algal cake for production of value-added chemicals is a promising avenue for increasing the overall cost competiveness of the algal biodiesel production process.

  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. Giant viruses in the oceans: the 4th Algal Virus Workshop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claverie Jean-Michel

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Giant double-stranded DNA viruses (such as record breaking Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus, with particle sizes of 0.2 to 0.6 μm, genomes of 300 kbp to 1.200 kbp, and commensurate complex gene contents, constitute an evolutionary mystery. They challenge the common vision of viruses, traditionally seen as highly streamlined genomes optimally fitted to the smallest possible -filterable- package. Such giant viruses are now discovered in increasing numbers through the systematic sampling of ocean waters as well as freshwater aquatic environments, where they play a significant role in controlling phyto- and bacterio- plankton populations. The 4th algal virus workshop showed that the study of these ecologically important viruses is now massively entering the genomic era, promising a better understanding of their diversity and, hopefully, some insights on their origin and the evolutionary forces that shaped their genomes.

  20. Anthrax toxin receptor 2-dependent lethal toxin killing in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M Scobie

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. A novel human recombinant antibody fragment capable of neutralizing Mexican scorpion toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Morelos-Juárez, Citlalli; Gurrola, Georgina B; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar

    2013-12-15

    Using phage display and directed evolution, our group has progressed in the construction of a second family of human single chain variable fragments (scFv) which bind to scorpion toxins dangerous to mammals. It was observed that scFv C1 only bound initially to toxin Cn2, which constitutes 6.8% of whole venom from the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffman. Only a few amino acid changes were necessary to extend its recognition to other similar toxins and without affecting the recognition for its primary antigen (Cn2 toxin). One variant of scFv C1 (scFv 202F) was selected after two cycles of directed evolution against Cll1 toxin, the second major toxic component from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus Karsh (0.5% of the whole venom). scFv 202F is also capable of recognizing Cn2 toxin. Despite not having the highest affinity for toxins Cll1 (KD = 25.1 × 10(-9) M) or Cn2 (KD = 8.1 × 10(-9) M), this antibody fragment neutralized one LD50 of each one of these toxins. Additionally, scFv 202F moderately recognized Cll2 toxin which constitutes 1.5% of the venom from C. limpidus. Based on our previous experience, we consider that these results are promising; consequently, we continue working on generating new optimized variants from scFv C1 that could be part of a recombinant scorpion anti-venom from human origin, that might reach the market in the near future.

  2. 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.

  3. Connecting Florida Bay algal blooms to freshwater nutrient sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakey, T.; Melesse, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, monthly water quality data collected in the Everglades by the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) from 1991 to 2008 at 28 sampling stations distributed across Florida Bay was analyzed within the context of local geomorphology and seasonal wind and current regimes in order to evaluate the feasibility of the various purported nutrient sources for reoccurring algal blooms. The in situ chlorophyll-a (chl-a) measurements from the SERC dataset were evaluated as the indicator of algal biomass. Significant differences in average monthly chl-a concentrations at stations indicated a seasonality of algal blooms in the north central and west areas that is not evidenced in stations exhibiting low levels of chl-a throughout the typical year. Tukey's pairwise comparisons of monthly chl-a indicated, at the 95% confidence level, peak algal biomass occurs in October and November at the end of the wet season with minimums occurring between February and August depending on the location of the station. By month comparison of chl-a levels across stations suggest seasonal trends in the geographic focus and extent of blooms. Significant differences from Tukey's pairwise comparisons at the 95% confidence level showed stations to the west as having higher levels of chl-a in March through May with north central stations dominating from June to January. The month of February shows no significant difference in chl-a levels across this area. The results support hypotheses centering on a western source of nutrients that are delivered to the bay over the course of the rainy season. Mapping water quality sampling station locations on top of the bathymetry of Florida Bay illustrates the importance of considering coastal morphology in explaining trends in estuarine algal blooms. Coastal geomorphology along with seasonal changes in the direction of winds and magnitude of rains are demonstrated to be the predominant

  4. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  5. Exfoliative Toxins of Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Bukowski

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen of humans and livestock. It causes a diverse array of diseases, ranging from relatively harmless localized skin infections to life-threatening systemic conditions. Among multiple virulence factors, staphylococci secrete several exotoxins directly associated with particular disease symptoms. These include toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1, enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins (ETs. The latter are particularly interesting as the sole agents responsible for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS, a disease predominantly affecting infants and characterized by the loss of superficial skin layers, dehydration, and secondary infections. The molecular basis of the clinical symptoms of SSSS is well understood. ETs are serine proteases with high substrate specificity, which selectively recognize and hydrolyze desmosomal proteins in the skin. The fascinating road leading to the discovery of ETs as the agents responsible for SSSS and the characterization of the molecular mechanism of their action, including recent advances in the field, are reviewed in this article.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Algal polycultures enhance coproduct recycling from hydrothermal liquefaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godwin, Casey M; Hietala, David C; Lashaway, Aubrey R; Narwani, Anita; Savage, Phillip E; Cardinale, Bradley J

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine if polycultures of algae could enhance tolerance to aqueous-phase coproduct (ACP) from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algal biomass to produce biocrude. The growth of algal monocultures and polycultures was characterized across a range ACP concentrations and sources. All of the monocultures were either killed or inhibited by 2% ACP, but polycultures of the same species were viable at up to 10%. The addition of ACP increased the growth rate (up to 25%) and biomass production (53%) of polycultures, several of which were more productive in ACP than any monoculture was in the presence or absence of ACP. These results suggest that a cultivation process that applies biodiversity to nutrient recycling could produce more algae with less fertilizer consumption.

  9. Algal biomass production and carbon fixation from flue gas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Ling; ZHU Jing

    2016-01-01

    Algal biofuel has established as one of renewable energy. In this study, Nannochloropsis salina was cultured to test feasibility of biomass production and CO2 fixation from flue gas. Firstly, cultivation was conducted under different light intensity. Results showed that the highest dry biomass of 1.25±0.061 g/L was achieved at light intensity of 10klux, while the highest total lipids was 33.677±1.9% at light intensity of 15klux. The effect of mercury on algae growth was also investigated, the algae growth was serious limited at the presence of mercury, and there was no any difference at the range of 10-50 ug/m3. These results provide useful information for algal biomass production and CO2 fixation from flue gas.

  10. A Taste of Algal Genomes from the Joint Genome Institute

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-06-17

    Algae play profound roles in aquatic food chains and the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, provide models for the study of symbiosis, photosynthesis, and eukaryotic evolution, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI). To date JGI has sequenced, assembled, annotated, and released to the public the genomes of 18 species and strains of algae, sampling almost all of the major clades of photosynthetic eukaryotes. With more algal genomes currently undergoing analysis, JGI continues its commitment to driving forward basic and applied algal science. Among these ongoing projects are the pan-genome of the dominant coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, the interrelationships between the 4 genomes in the nucleomorph-containing Bigelowiella natans and Guillardia theta, and the search for symbiosis genes of lichens.

  11. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boetius, Antje; Albrecht, Sebastian; Bakker, Karel; Bienhold, Christina; Felden, Janine; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hendricks, Stefan; Katlein, Christian; Lalande, Catherine; Krumpen, Thomas; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Rabe, Benjamin; Rogacheva, Antonina; Rybakova, Elena; Somavilla, Raquel; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2013-03-22

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 grams of carbon per square meter to the deep-sea floor of the central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the effect of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function.

  12. Bacterial protein toxins in human cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosadi, Francesca; Fiorentini, Carla; Fabbri, Alessia

    2016-02-01

    Many bacteria causing persistent infections produce toxins whose mechanisms of action indicate that they could have a role in carcinogenesis. Some toxins, like CDT and colibactin, directly attack the genome by damaging DNA whereas others, as for example CNF1, CagA and BFT, impinge on key eukaryotic processes, such as cellular signalling and cell death. These bacterial toxins, together with other less known toxins, mimic carcinogens and tumour promoters. The aim of this review is to fulfil an up-to-date analysis of toxins with carcinogenic potential that have been already correlated to human cancers. Bacterial toxins-induced carcinogenesis represents an emerging aspect in bacteriology, and its significance is increasingly recognized.

  13. Phytoplankton as Particles - A New Approach to Modeling Algal Blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Photosynthetic rate (g C g-1 Chl d-1) CChl = Carbon-to-chlorophyll ratio (g C g-1 chlorophyll a) PRSP = Active respiration (0 < PRSP < 1) BM...Basal metabolism The photosynthetic rate is influenced by ambient light, temperature, and nutrient concentration as described by Cerco (2000...particles in grid cell i Bi,P = Algal biomass attached to particle P in grid cell i (g C) V = Volume of grid cell i Particle-based photosynthetic rate

  14. Coastal engineering and Harmful Algal Blooms along Alexandria coast, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amany A. Ismael

    2014-01-01

    The phytoplankton composition and its standing crop became totally different during the two periods. The most important bloom was caused by Micromonas pusilla forming a heavy green tide accompanied by a bloom of Peridinium quinquecorne. Although there were no fish or invertebrate mortality, this bloom caused economic losses to internal tourism. In the absence of any Environmental Assessment, the coastal engineering works increased the harmful algal blooms in Alexandria coastal waters, even after corrective steps were taken to mitigate the harmful effects.

  15. Floating Ice-Algal Aggregates below melting Arctic Sea Ice

    OpenAIRE

    Philipp Assmy; Jens K. Ehn; Mar Fernández-Méndez; Haakon Hop; Christian Katlein; Arild Sundfjord; Katrin Bluhm; Malin Daase; Anja Engel; Agneta Fransson; Granskog, Mats A.; Hudson, Stephen R.; Svein Kristiansen; Marcel Nicolaus; Ilka Peeken

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1 – 15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layer...

  16. 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

  17. Antithrombin activity of an algal polysaccharide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trento, F; Cattaneo, F; Pescador, R; Porta, R; Ferro, L

    2001-06-01

    In an effort to reduce the risks of a possible iatrogenic transmission of bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) through the use of bovine-derived medicinal products, we patented in the USA in 1999 a polysaccharide from brown algae, endowed with interesting pharmacological activities: (a) concentration-dependent inhibition of thromboplastin or cephalin-kaolin-induced thrombin generation from platelets, (b) concentration-dependent inhibition of thrombin-induced platelet aggregation, (c) thrombin has hypotensive effect, which was blunted and zeroed by our fucansulfate in a dose-dependent way, (d) when aortae are stimulated with thrombin, they become stickier for polymorphonucleated leukocytes (PMNs); our fucansulfate decreased concentration-dependently, PMNs sticking to autologous rabbit aortae, (e) dose-dependent inhibition of thrombin-induced thrombosis. All the above data suggest that our fucansulfate could be a heparin substitute endowed with antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory activities, devoid or the problems caused to heparin by its animal origin, i.e., possible prion protein contamination.

  18. Raman microspectroscopy based sensor of algal lipid unsaturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samek, Ota; Pilát, Zdeněk; Jonáš, Alexandr; Zemánek, Pavel; Šerý, Mojmír; Ježek, Jan; Bernatová, Silvie; Nedbal, Ladislav; Trtílek, Martin

    2011-05-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for chemical analysis. This technique can elucidate fundamental questions about the metabolic processes and intercellular variability on a single cell level. Therefore, Raman spectroscopy can significantly contribute to the study and use of microalgae in systems biology and biofuel technology. Raman spectroscopy can be combined with optical tweezers. We have employed microfluidic system to deliver the sampled microalgae to the Raman-tweezers. This instrument is able to measure chemical composition of cells and to track metabolic processes in vivo, in real-time and label-free making it possible to detect population variability in a wide array of traits. Moreover, employing an active sorting switch, cells can be separated depending on input parameters obtained from Raman spectra. We focus on algal lipids which are promising potential products for biofuel as well as for nutrition. Important parameter characterizing the algal lipids is the degree of unsaturation of the constituent fatty acids. We demonstrate the capacity of our Raman tweezers based sensor to sort cells according to the degree of unsaturation in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells.

  19. Algal pigments in Southern Ocean abyssal foraminiferans indicate pelagobenthic coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cedhagen, Tomas; Cheah, Wee; Bracher, Astrid; Lejzerowicz, Franck

    2014-10-01

    The cytoplasm of four species of abyssal benthic foraminiferans from the Southern Ocean (around 51°S; 12°W and 50°S; 39°W) was analysed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and found to contain large concentrations of algal pigments and their degradation products. The composition of the algal pigments in the foraminiferan cytoplasm reflected the plankton community at the surface. Some foraminiferans contained high ratios of chlorophyll a/degraded pigments because they were feeding on fresher phytodetritus. Other foraminiferans contained only degraded pigments which shows that they utilized degraded phytodetritus. The concentration of algal pigment and corresponding degradation products in the foraminiferan cytoplasm is much higher than in the surrounding sediment. It shows that the foraminiferans collect a diluted and sparse food resource and concentrate it as they build up their cytoplasm. This ability contributes to the understanding of the great quantitative success of foraminiferans in the deep sea. Benthic foraminiferans are a food source for many abyssal metazoans. They form a link between the degraded food resources, phytodetritus, back to the active metazoan food chains.

  20. Variations of algal communities cause darkening of a Greenland glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Jorge Villar, Susana E; Benning, Liane G

    2014-08-01

    We have assessed the microbial ecology on the surface of Mittivakkat glacier in SE-Greenland during the exceptional high melting season in July 2012 when the so far most extreme melting rate for the Greenland Ice Sheet has been recorded. By employing a complementary and multi-disciplinary field sampling and analytical approach, we quantified the dramatic changes in the different microbial surface habitats (green snow, red snow, biofilms, grey ice, cryoconite holes). The observed clear change in dominant algal community and their rapidly changing cryo-organic adaptation inventory was linked to the high melting rate. The changes in carbon and nutrient fluxes between different microbial pools (from snow to ice, cryoconite holes and glacial forefronts) revealed that snow and ice algae dominate the net primary production at the onset of melting, and that they have the potential to support the cryoconite hole communities as carbon and nutrient sources. A large proportion of algal cells is retained on the glacial surface and temporal and spatial changes in pigmentation contribute to the darkening of the snow and ice surfaces. This implies that the fast, melt-induced algal growth has a high albedo reduction potential, and this may lead to a positive feedback speeding up melting processes.

  1. Biological control of harmful algal blooms: A modelling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé, Jordi; Estrada, Marta; Garcia-Ladona, Emilio

    2006-07-01

    A multispecies dynamic simulation model (ERSEM) was used to examine the influence of allelopathic and trophic interactions causing feeding avoidance by predators, on the formation of harmful algal blooms, under environmental scenarios typical of a Mediterranean harbour (Barcelona). The biological state variables of the model included four functional groups of phytoplankton (diatoms, toxic and non-toxic flagellates and picophytoplankton), heterotrophic flagellates, micro- and mesozooplankton and bacteria. The physical-chemical forcing (irradiance, temperature and major nutrient concentrations) was based on an actual series of measurements taken along a year cycle in the Barcelona harbour. In order to evaluate potential effects of advection, some runs were repeated after introducing a biomass loss term. Numerical simulations showed that allelopathic effects of a toxic alga on a non-toxic but otherwise similar competitor did not have appreciable influence on the dynamics of the system. However, induction of avoidance of the toxic alga by predators, which resulted on increased predation pressure on other algal groups had a significant effect on the development of algal and predator populations. The presence of advection overrided the effect of these interactions and only allowed organisms with sufficiently high potential growth rates to thrive.

  2. Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting arctic sea ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A; Hudson, Stephen R; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H H; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year.

  3. Rho-modifying bacterial protein toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Rho proteins are targets of numerous bacterial protein toxins, which manipulate the GTP-binding proteins by covalent modifications, including ADP ribosylation, glycosylation, adenylylation, proteolytic cleavage and deamidation. Bacterial toxins are important virulence factors but are also potent and efficient pharmacological tools to study the physiological functions of their eukaryotic targets. Recent studies indicate that amazing variations exist in the molecular mechanisms by which toxins attack Rho proteins, which are discussed here.

  4. Perfringolysin O: the underrated Clostridium perfringens toxin?

    OpenAIRE

    Stefanie Verherstraeten; Evy Goossens; Bonnie Valgaeren; Bart Pardon; Leen Timbermont; Freddy Haesebrouck; Richard Ducatelle; Piet Deprez; Kristin R. Wade; Rodney Tweten; Filip Van Immerseel

    2015-01-01

    The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as theta toxin), a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC). PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membr...

  5. Construction of "Toxin Complex" in a Mutant Serotype C Strain of Clostridium botulinum Harboring a Defective Neurotoxin Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Tomonori; Nagano, Thomas; Niwa, Koichi; Uchino, Masataka; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Watanabe, Toshihiro

    2017-01-01

    A non-toxigenic mutant of the toxigenic serotype C Clostridium botulinum strain Stockholm (C-St), C-N71, does not produce the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT). However, the original strain C-St produces botulinum toxin complex, in which BoNT is associated with non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) and three hemagglutinin proteins (HA-70, HA-33, and HA-17). Therefore, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the effects of bont gene knockout on the formation of the "toxin complex." Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that a premature stop codon was introduced in the bont gene, whereas other genes were not affected by this mutation. Moreover, we successfully purified the "toxin complex" produced by C-N71. The "toxin complex" was identified as a mixture of NTNHA/HA-70/HA-17/HA-33 complexes with intact NTNHA or C-terminally truncated NTNHA, without BoNT. These results indicated that knockout of the bont gene does not affect the formation of the "toxin complex." Since the botulinum toxin complex has been shown to play an important role in oral toxin transport in the human and animal body, a non-neurotoxic "toxin complex" of C-N71 may be valuable for the development of an oral drug delivery system.

  6. Application of botulinum toxin in pain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Woo Seog

    2011-03-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for the treatment of many clinical disorders by producing temporary skeletal muscle relaxation. In pain management, botulinum toxin has demonstrated an analgesic effect by reducing muscular hyperactivity, but recent studies suggest this neurotoxin could have direct analgesic mechanisms different from its neuromuscular actions. At the moment, botulinum toxin is widely investigated and used in many painful diseases such as myofascial syndrome, headaches, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to understand the exact analgesic mechanisms, efficacy and complications of botulinum toxin in chronic pain disorders.

  7. Botulinum Toxin; Bioterror and Biomedicinal Agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiri Patocka

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin is a group of seven homologous, highly poisonous proteins isolated fromfermentation of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which naturally occurs in soiland can grow on many meats and vegetables. Botulinum toxin causes neuromuscular disordercalled botulism, which is a potentially lethal disease. There are three types of botulism: Food,wound, and infant botulism. It can lead to death unless appropriate therapy is done. Due to theseverity and potency of botulinum toxin, its importance as a biological weapon is of majorconcern to public health officials. Nevertheless, botulinum toxin is also medicament.

  8. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... This list is not all-inclusive. Alternative Names Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins References Michel M. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer ...

  9. Utilization of lipid extracted algal biomass and sugar factory wastewater for algal growth and lipid enhancement of Ettlia sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Myounghoon; Kim, Chul Woong; Farooq, Wasif; Suh, William I; Shrivastav, Anupama; Park, Min S; Mishra, Sanjiv K; Yang, Ji-Won

    2014-07-01

    The present study assessed the use of hydrolysate of lipid extracted algal biomass (LEA) combined with the sugar factory wastewater (SFW) as a low cost nutrient and a carbon source, respectively for microalgal cultivation. Microalgal strain Ettlia sp. was both mixotrophically and heterotrophically cultivated using various amounts of hydrolysate and SFW. The culture which was grown in medium containing 50% LEA hydrolysate showed highest growth, achieving 5.26 ± 0.14 gL(-1) after 12 days of cultivation. The addition of SFW increased the lipid productivity substantially from 5.8 to 95.5 mg L(-1)d(-1) when the culture medium was fortified with 20% SFW. Gas chromatography analysis indicated a noticeable increase of 20% in C16 and C18 fraction in FAME distribution under above condition. Therefore, it can be concluded that the combination of LEA hydrolysate and sugar factory waste water can be a powerful growth medium for economical algal cultivation.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial communities mediating algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica M. Morrison

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Algae encompass a wide array of photosynthetic organisms that are ubiquitously distributed in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Algal species often bloom in aquatic ecosystems, providing a significant autochthonous carbon input to the deeper anoxic layers in stratified water bodies. In addition, various algal species have been touted as promising candidates for anaerobic biogas production from biomass. Surprisingly, in spite of its ecological and economic relevance, the microbial community involved in algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions remains largely unexplored. Results Here, we characterized the microbial communities mediating the degradation of Chlorella vulgaris (Chlorophyta, Chara sp. strain IWP1 (Charophyceae, and kelp Ascophyllum nodosum (phylum Phaeophyceae, using sediments from an anaerobic spring (Zodlteone spring, OK; ZDT, sludge from a secondary digester in a local wastewater treatment plant (Stillwater, OK; WWT, and deeper anoxic layers from a seasonally stratified lake (Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, OK; GL as inoculum sources. Within all enrichments, the majority of algal biomass was metabolized within 13–16 weeks, and the process was accompanied by an increase in cell numbers and a decrease in community diversity. Community surveys based on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene identified different lineages belonging to the phyla Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria (alpha, delta, gamma, and epsilon classes, Spirochaetes, and Firmicutes that were selectively abundant under various substrate and inoculum conditions. Within all kelp enrichments, the microbial communities structures at the conclusion of the experiment were highly similar regardless of the enrichment source, and were dominated by the genus Clostridium, or family Veillonellaceae within the Firmicutes. In all other enrichments the final microbial community was dependent on the inoculum source, rather than the type of algae utilized as substrate

  13. Microbial communities mediating algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Jessica M.; Murphy, Chelsea L.; Baker, Kristina; Zamor, Richard M.; Nikolai, Steve J.; Wilder, Shawn; Elshahed, Mostafa S.

    2017-01-01

    Background Algae encompass a wide array of photosynthetic organisms that are ubiquitously distributed in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Algal species often bloom in aquatic ecosystems, providing a significant autochthonous carbon input to the deeper anoxic layers in stratified water bodies. In addition, various algal species have been touted as promising candidates for anaerobic biogas production from biomass. Surprisingly, in spite of its ecological and economic relevance, the microbial community involved in algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions remains largely unexplored. Results Here, we characterized the microbial communities mediating the degradation of Chlorella vulgaris (Chlorophyta), Chara sp. strain IWP1 (Charophyceae), and kelp Ascophyllum nodosum (phylum Phaeophyceae), using sediments from an anaerobic spring (Zodlteone spring, OK; ZDT), sludge from a secondary digester in a local wastewater treatment plant (Stillwater, OK; WWT), and deeper anoxic layers from a seasonally stratified lake (Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, OK; GL) as inoculum sources. Within all enrichments, the majority of algal biomass was metabolized within 13–16 weeks, and the process was accompanied by an increase in cell numbers and a decrease in community diversity. Community surveys based on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene identified different lineages belonging to the phyla Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria (alpha, delta, gamma, and epsilon classes), Spirochaetes, and Firmicutes that were selectively abundant under various substrate and inoculum conditions. Within all kelp enrichments, the microbial communities structures at the conclusion of the experiment were highly similar regardless of the enrichment source, and were dominated by the genus Clostridium, or family Veillonellaceae within the Firmicutes. In all other enrichments the final microbial community was dependent on the inoculum source, rather than the type of algae utilized as substrate. Lineages enriched

  14. ALGAL RESPONSE TO NUTRIENT ENRICHMENT IN FORESTED OLIGOTROPHIC STREAM(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veraart, Annelies J; Romaní, Anna M; Tornés, Elisabet; Sabater, Sergi

    2008-06-01

    Nutrient input in streams alters the density and species composition of attached algal communities in open systems. However, in forested streams, the light reaching the streambed (rather than the local nutrient levels) may limit the growth of these communities. A nutrient-enrichment experiment in a forested oligotrophic stream was performed to test the hypothesis that nutrient addition has only minor effects on the community composition of attached algae and cyanobacteria under light limitation. Moderate nutrient addition consisted of increasing basal phosphorus (P) concentrations 3-fold and basal nitrogen (N) concentrations 2-fold. Two upstream control reaches were compared to a downstream reach before and after nutrient addition. Nutrients were added continuously to the downstream reach for 1 year. Algal biofilms growing on ceramic tiles were sampled and identified for more than a year before nutrient addition to 12 months after. Diatoms were the most abundant taxonomic group in the three stream reaches. Nutrient enrichment caused significant variations in the composition of the diatom community. While some taxa showed significant decreases (e.g., Achnanthes minutissima, Gomphonema angustum), increases for other taxa (such as Rhoicosphenia abbreviata and Amphora ovalis) were detected in the enriched reach (for taxonomic authors, see Table 2). Epiphytic and adnate taxa of large size were enhanced, particularly during periods of favorable growth conditions (spring). Nutrients also caused a change in the algal chl a, which increased from 0.5-5.8 to 2.1-10.7 μg chl · cm(-2) . Our results indicate that in oligotrophic forested streams, long-term nutrient addition has significant effects on the algal biomass and community composition, which are detectable despite the low light availability caused by the tree canopy. Low light availability moderates but does not detain the long-term tendency toward a nutrient-tolerant community. Furthermore, the effects

  15. Marine toxins and their toxicological significance: An overview

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.

    , hemorrhagic toxin, hepatotoxin, nephrotoxins, presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins, ion-channel and sodiumion binding toxins. It provides an insight into analytical techniques for isolation of toxins and their structural elucidation by different...

  16. Wind-driven interannual variability of sea ice algal production over the western Arctic Chukchi Borderland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Watanabe

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal and interannual variability in sinking flux of biogenic particles was reported by the multi-year bottom-tethered sediment trap measurements in the Northwind Abyssal Plain (Station NAP: 75° N, 162° W, 1975 m water depth of the western Arctic Chukchi Borderland. Whereas the trapped particle flux had an obvious peak with the dominance of sea ice-related diatom valve in August 2011, the observed particle flux was considerably suppressed throughout the summer season in 2012. In the present study, response of ice algal production and biomass to wind-driven changes in physical environments was addressed using a pan-Arctic sea ice–ocean modeling approach. Sea ice ecosystem with ice algae was newly incorporated into the lower-trophic marine ecosystem model, which was previously coupled with a high-resolution (i.e., horizontal grid size of 5 km ocean general circulation model. Seasonal experiments covering two year-long mooring periods indicated that primary productivity of ice algae around the Chukchi Borderland depended on basin-scale wind pattern through various processes. Easterly wind in the southern part of distinct Beaufort High supplied high abundance of nutrient for euphotic zones of the NAP region via both surface Ekman transport of Chukchi shelf water and vertical turbulent mixing with underlying nutricline water as in 2011. In contrast, northwesterly wind flowing in the northern part of extended Siberian High transported oligotrophic water within the Beaufort Gyre circulation toward the NAP region as in 2012. The modeled ice algal biomass during the summer season certainly reflected the differences in nutrient distribution. The sinking flux of Particulate Organic Nitrogen (PON was comparable with the time series obtained from the sediment trap data in summer 2011. On the other hand, lateral advection of shelf-origin ice algal patch during a great cyclone event might have caused a model bias on the PON flux in 2012. The extension

  17. 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...... as to the test container. A simple filled closed bottle test with low algal densities and bicarbonate enrichment is described here as an approach to minimize the loss of test material from solution. The algal medium was enriched with 300 mg NaHCO3/L, the pH was adjusted to 7.0 by addition of HCl...

  18. REMOVAL OF HARMFUL ALGAL CELLS (KARENIA BREVIS) AND TOXINS FROM SEAWATER CULTURE BY CLAY FLOCCULATION. (R827090)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  19. Botulinum toxin A for trismus in cephalic tetanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Augusto F. Andrade

    1994-09-01

    Full Text Available Cephalic tetanus is a localized form of tetanus. As in generalized forms , trismus is a prominent feature of the disease, leading to considerable difficulty in feeding, swallowing of the saliva and mouth hygiene. These difficulties often precede respiratory problems and aspiration bronchopneumonia is a frequent life-threatening complication. Muscle relaxants other than curare drugs may show a limited benefit for relieving trismus. Tetanospasmin, the tetanic neurotoxin, and botulinum toxin share many similarities, having a closely related chemical structure, an origin from related microorganisms (Clostridium tetani and Clostridium botulinum, respectively, and presumably, the same mechanisms of action in the neuron. The difference between the two lies in their peculiar neurospecificity, acting in different neurons. Injection of minute doses of botulinum toxin in the muscles involved in focal dystonias or other localized spastic disorders have proved to be very effective in these conditions. We describe the use of botulinum toxin A in the successful treatment of trismus in a patient suffering from cephalic tetanus. We believe that this form of treatment may be of value in lowering the risk of pulmonary complications in tetanic patients.

  20. 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.

  1. Staphylococcus hyicus exfoliative toxin: Purification and demonstration of antigenic diversity among toxins from virulent strains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Lars Ole; Bille-Hansen, Vivi; Wegener, Henrik Caspar

    1997-01-01

    of 0.5 mM CuSO4 to the purified toxin resulted in more intense skin alterations comparable to lesions caused by precipitated culture supernatant diluted 1:10. These results indicated that the activity of the exfoliative toxin was dependent on the presence of Cu2+. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies...... were prepared against the exfoliative toxin from strain 1289D-88. The in vivo activity of the exfoliative toxin could be neutralized by antibodies. It was shown that polyclonal as well as monoclonal antibodies only reacted with the toxin produced by two of nine well-defined virulent strains of S...

  2. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  3. Algal endosymbionts as vectors of horizontal gene transfer in photosynthetic eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huan eQiu

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthesis in eukaryotes occurs in the plastid, an organelle that is derived from a single cyanobacterial primary endosymbiosis in the common ancestor of the supergroup Plantae (or Archaeplastida that includes green, red, and glaucophyte algae and plants. However a variety of other phytoplankton such as the chlorophyll c-containing diatoms, dinoflagellates, and haptophytes contain a red alga-derived plastid that traces its origin to secondary or tertiary (eukaryote engulfs eukaryote endosymbiosis. The hypothesis of Plantae monophyly has only recently been substantiated, however the extent and role of endosymbiotic and horizontal gene transfer (EGT and HGT in algal genome evolution still remain to be fully understood. What is becoming clear from analysis of complete genome data is that algal gene complements can no longer be considered essentially eukaryotic in provenance; i.e., with the expected addition of several hundred cyanobacterial genes derived from EGT and a similar number derived from the mitochondrial ancestor. For example, we now know that foreign cells such as Chlamydiae and other prokaryotes have made significant contributions to plastid functions in Plantae. Perhaps more surprising is the recent finding of extensive bacterium-derived HGT in the nuclear genome of the unicellular red alga Porphyridium purpureum that does not relate to plastid functions. These non-endosymbiont gene transfers not only shaped the evolutionary history of Plantae but also were propagated via secondary endosymbiosis to a multitude of other phytoplankton. Here we discuss the idea that Plantae (in particular red algae are one of the major players in eukaryote genome evolution by virtue of their ability to act as sinks and sources of foreign genes through HGT and endosymbiosis, respectively. This hypothesis recognizes the often under-appreciated Rhodophyta as major sources of genetic novelty among photosynthetic eukaryotes.

  4. Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Your Health Resources Drugs, Procedures & Devices Procedures & Devices Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms Drugs, Procedures & ...

  5. Fatty acids and algal lipids as precursors of chlorination by-products

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Liang; Yuen Shan Lui; Huachang Hong

    2012-01-01

    Six common algal fatty acids (FAs) with different numbers of double bonds,lipophilic fractions and proteins extracted from the diatom Navicula pelliculosa and algal cells were chlorinated to evaluate their potential in generating disinfection by-products (DBPs).The result showed that the more double bonds in the FAs,the higher the amounts of chloroform and dichloroacetic acid (DCAA) produced,but such a pattern was not observed for trichloroacetic acid (TCAA).Based on the previously reported composition of fatty acids in algal lipids,the DBP generation potentials of algal lipids were calculated.These predicted values were much lower than those measured in the chlorinated algal lipophilic fraction,suggesting unknown lipophilic fraction(s) served as potent DBPs precursors.Another calculation attempted to predict DBP production in algal cells based on algal lipid and protein composition,given quantified measured DBP production per unit algal lipid and proteins.The analysis showed that the observed DBP production was similar to that predicted (< 35% difference),suggesting that algal biochemical compositions may serve as a bioindicator for preliminary estimation of chloroform,DCAA and TCAA formation upon chlorinating algae.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Botulinum toxin — therapeutic effect in cosmetology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morrison A.V.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This review presents the data from published literatures and the research works conducted by the authors about mechanisms of action of botulinum toxin and its use in the practical medicine (particularly in dermatology and cosmetology. Indications and contraindications of botulinum toxin use in cosmetology are also considered in this work.

  9. 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, ...

  10. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-10-07

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species.

  11. [Axillary hyperhidrosis, botulinium A toxin treatment: Review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerico, C; Fernandez, J; Camuzard, O; Chignon-Sicard, B; Ihrai, T

    2016-02-01

    Injection of type A botulinum toxin in the armpits is a temporary treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. This technique described in 1996 by Bushara et al., is known to be efficient and safe. The purpose of this article was to review the data concerning the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin type A, and discuss the other treatment modalities for this socially disabling entity.

  12. MARTX toxins as effector delivery platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Hannah E; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria frequently manipulate their host environment via delivery of microbial 'effector' proteins to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In the case of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin, this phenomenon is accomplished by a single, >3500 amino acid polypeptide that carries information for secretion, translocation, autoprocessing and effector activity. MARTX toxins are secreted from bacteria by dedicated Type I secretion systems. The released MARTX toxins form pores in target eukaryotic cell membranes for the delivery of up to five cytopathic effectors, each of which disrupts a key cellular process. Targeted cellular processes include modulation or modification of small GTPases, manipulation of host cell signaling and disruption of cytoskeletal integrity. More recently, MARTX toxins have been shown to be capable of heterologous protein translocation. Found across multiple bacterial species and genera--frequently in pathogens lacking Type 3 or Type 4 secretion systems--MARTX toxins in multiple cases function as virulence factors. Innovative research at the intersection of toxin biology and bacterial genetics continues to elucidate the intricacies of the toxin as well as the cytotoxic mechanisms of its diverse effector collection.

  13. Tetra- versus Pentavalent Inhibitors of Cholera Toxin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fu, Ou; Pukin, Aliaksei V.; Quarles Van Ufford, Linda; Branson, Thomas R.; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M E; Turnbull, W. Bruce; Visser, Gerben M.; Pieters, Roland J.

    2015-01-01

    The five B-subunits (CTB5) of the Vibrio cholerae (cholera) toxin can bind to the intestinal cell surface so the entire AB5 toxin can enter the cell. Simultaneous binding can occur on more than one of the monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) units present on the cell surface.

  14. 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.

  15. Mitigating Fish-Killing Prymnesium parvum Algal Blooms in Aquaculture Ponds with Clay: The Importance of pH and Clay Type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Seger

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Clay minerals have previously been used to mitigate algal blooms because of their ability to flocculate algal cells or remove nutrients, but also offer considerable potential to remove ichthyotoxins. When a barramundi farm in tropical Australia suffered substantial fish mortalities due to a bloom of the ichthyotoxic haptophyte Prymnesium parvum, the farm manager decided to manipulate pond water N:P ratios through removal of phosphorus by the addition of lanthanum-modified bentonite clay (Phoslock™ to successfully mitigate ichthyotoxic effects. We conducted Prymnesium culture experiments under a range of N:P ratios, screening 14 different clays (two zeolites, four kaolins, six bentonites and two types of Korean loess at pH 7 and 9 for cell flocculation and removal of ichthyotoxicity assessed with the RTgill-W1 cell line assay. Application of Phoslock™ to cultures grown at different N:P effectively removed 60%–100% of water-soluble toxicity of live Prymnesium (dependent on nutritional status. While most clays efficiently flocculated Prymnesium cells (≥80% removal, cell removal proved a poor predictor of ichthyotoxin adsorption. Extensive clay screening revealed that at elevated pH, as commonly associated with dense algal blooms, most clays either exacerbated ichthyotoxicity or exhibited significantly reduced toxin adsorption. Interpretation of changes in clay zeta potential at pH 7 and 9 provided valuable insight into clay/ichthyotoxin interactions, yet further research is required to completely understand the adsorption mechanisms. Bentonite-type clays proved best suited for ichthyotoxin removal purposes (100% removal at ecologically relevant pH 9 and offer great potential for on-farm emergency response.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 24h LD(50) values of 7 and 20 microM 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 microM of copper sulphate in solutions of decadienal resulted in the reduction of the 24h LD(50) of decadienal by approximately a third for both species. 1 microM of copper chloride in solutions of decadienal reduced the 24h LD(50) of decadienal to A. salina nauplii by approximately 11% and 1 microM zinc sulphate caused a reduction of only 3%. Pre-exposure of the organisms to 1 microM 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.

  18. Measuring Immunoglobulin G Antibodies to Tetanus Toxin, Diphtheria Toxin, and Pertussis Toxin with Single-Antigen Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays and a Bead-Based Multiplex Assay▿

    OpenAIRE

    Reder, Sabine; Riffelmann, Marion; Becker, Christian; Wirsing von König, Carl Heinz

    2008-01-01

    Bead-based assay systems offer the possibility of measuring several specific antibodies in one sample simultaneously. This study evaluated a vaccine panel of a multianalyte system that measures antibodies to tetanus toxin, diphtheria toxin, and pertussis toxin (PT) from Bordetella pertussis. The antibody concentrations of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) to PT, tetanus toxin, and diphtheria toxin were measured in 123 serum pairs (total of 246 sera) from a vaccine study. The multianalyte bead assa...

  19. Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxins Bind to Caco-2 Cells by a Different Mechanism from That of Type A Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang,Kai

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cultured Clostridium botulinum strains produce progenitor toxins designated as 12S, 16S, and 19S toxins. The 12S toxin consists of a neurotoxin (NTX, 7S and a non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNH. The 16S and 19S toxins are formed by conjugation of the 12S toxin with hemagglutinin (HA, and the 19S toxin is a dimer of the 16S toxin. Type A cultures produce all 3 of these progenitor toxins, while type E produces only the 12S toxin. The 7S toxin is cleaved into heavy (H and light (L chains by a protease(s in some strains, and the H chain has 2 domains, the N-terminus (Hn and C-terminus (Hc. It has been reported that type A toxins bind to the intestinal cells or cultured cells via either HA or Hc. In this study, we investigated the binding of type A and E toxins to Caco-2 cells using Western blot analysis. Both the type E 7S and 12S toxins bound to the cells, with the 7S toxin binding more strongly, whereas, in the type A strain, only the 16S/19S toxins showed obvious binding. Pre-incubation of the type E 7S toxin with IgG against recombinant type E Hc significantly inhibited the 7S toxin binding, indicating that Hc might be a main binding domain of the type E toxin.

  20. Toxins and Secretion Systems of Photorhabdus luminescens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athina Rodou

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Photorhabdus luminescens is a nematode-symbiotic, gram negative, bioluminescent bacterium, belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae.Recent studies show the importance of this bacterium as an alternative source of insecticides, as well as an emerging human pathogen. Various toxins have been identified and characterized in this bacterium. These toxins are classified into four major groups: the toxin complexes (Tcs, the Photorhabdus insect related (Pir proteins, the “makes caterpillars floppy” (Mcf toxins and the Photorhabdus virulence cassettes (PVC; the mechanisms however of toxin secretion are not fully elucidated. Using bioinformatics analysis and comparison against the components of known secretion systems, multiple copies of components of all known secretion systems, except the ones composing a type IV secretion system, were identified throughout the entire genome of the bacterium. This indicates that Photorhabdus luminescens has all the necessary means for the secretion of virulence factors, thus it is capable of establishing a microbial infection.

  1. 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...... investigated whether toxin binding and uptake were associated with flotillin relocalization. We observed a toxin-induced redistribution of the flotillins, which seemed to be regulated in a p38-dependent manner. Our experiments provide no evidence for a changed endocytic uptake of Stx or ricin in cells silenced...... 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Copper removal by algal biomass: Biosorbents characterization and equilibrium modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vilar, Vitor J.P. [LSRE-Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering, Departamento de Engenharia Quimica, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal)], E-mail: vilar@fe.up.pt; Botelho, Cidalia M.S. [LSRE-Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering, Departamento de Engenharia Quimica, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal)], E-mail: cbotelho@fe.up.pt; Pinheiro, Jose P.S.; Domingos, Rute F. [Centro de Biomedicina Molecular e Estrutural, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro (Portugal); Boaventura, Rui A.R. [LSRE-Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering, Departamento de Engenharia Quimica, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal)], E-mail: bventura@fe.up.pt

    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{sup -1}) and proton binding parameters (pK{sup '}{sub H}=5.0,5.3and4.4;m{sub 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{sup '}{sub M} (3.2; 3.6 and 3.3), n{sub 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.

  4. Dynamics of ellipsoidal tracers in swimming algal suspensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ou; Peng, Yi; Liu, Zhengyang; Tang, Chao; Xu, Xinliang; Cheng, Xiang

    2016-10-01

    Enhanced diffusion of passive tracers immersed in active fluids is a universal feature of active fluids and has been extensively studied in recent years. Similar to microrheology for equilibrium complex fluids, the unusual enhanced particle dynamics reveal intrinsic properties of active fluids. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown that the translational dynamics of spherical tracers are qualitatively similar, independent of whether active particles are pushers or pullers—the two fundamental classes of active fluids. Is it possible to distinguish pushers from pullers by simply imaging the dynamics of passive tracers? Here, we investigated the diffusion of isolated ellipsoids in algal C. reinhardtii suspensions—a model for puller-type active fluids. In combination with our previous results on pusher-type E. coli suspensions [Peng et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 068303 (2016), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.068303], we showed that the dynamics of asymmetric tracers show a profound difference in pushers and pullers due to their rotational degree of freedom. Although the laboratory-frame translation and rotation of ellipsoids are enhanced in both pushers and pullers, similar to spherical tracers, the anisotropic diffusion in the body frame of ellipsoids shows opposite trends in the two classes of active fluids. An ellipsoid diffuses fastest along its major axis when immersed in pullers, whereas it diffuses slowest along the major axis in pushers. This striking difference can be qualitatively explained using a simple hydrodynamic model. In addition, our study on algal suspensions reveals that the influence of the near-field advection of algal swimming flows on the translation and rotation of ellipsoids shows different ranges and strengths. Our work provides not only new insights into universal organizing principles of active fluids, but also a convenient tool for detecting the class of active particles.

  5. Algal 'greening' and the conservation of stone heritage structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, Nick A; Viles, Heather A; Ahmad, Samin; McCabe, Stephen; Smith, Bernard J

    2013-01-01

    In humid, temperate climates, green algae can make a significant contribution to the deterioration of building stone, both through unsightly staining ('greening') and, possibly, physical and chemical transformations. However, very little is known about the factors that influence the deteriorative impact and spatial distribution of green algal biofilms, hindering attempts to model the influence of climate change on building conservation. To address this problem, we surveyed four sandstone heritage structures in Belfast, UK. Our research had two aims: 1) to investigate the relationships between greening and the deterioration of stone structures and 2) to assess the impacts of environmental factors on the distribution of green biofilms. We applied an array of analytical techniques to measure stone properties indicative of deterioration status (hardness, colour and permeability) and environmental conditions related to algal growth (surface and sub-surface moisture, temperature and surface texture). Our results indicated that stone hardness was highly variable but only weakly related to levels of greening. Stone that had been exposed for many years was, on average, darker and greener than new stone of the same type, but there was no correlation between greening and darkening. Stone permeability was higher on 'old', weathered stone but not consistently related to the incidence of greening. However, there was evidence to suggest that thick algal biofilms were capable of reducing the ingress of moisture. Greening was negatively correlated with point measurements of surface temperature, but not moisture or surface texture. Our findings suggested that greening had little impact on the physical integrity of stone; indeed the influence of algae on moisture regimes in stone may have a broadly bioprotective action. Furthermore, the relationship between moisture levels and greening is not straightforward and is likely to be heavily dependent upon temporal patterns in moisture

  6. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abodeely, Jared M. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Stevens, Daniel M. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Ray, Allison E. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Newby, Deborah T. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Coleman, Andre M. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Hydrology Technical Group; Cafferty, Kara G. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an importantmechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio,which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduced reliance on foreign energysupplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth,and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associatedwith algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the development and application of the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which is tailored to help address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments ofmultiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tierwere sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algaebiomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary

  7. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs Using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abodeely, Jared [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Coleman, Andre M. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Hydrology Technical Group; Stevens, Daniel M. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Ray, Allison E. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Cafferty, Kara G. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology; Newby, Deborah T. [Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an important mechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio, which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduction of foreign energy supplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth, and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associated with algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which helps to address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments of multiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tier were sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algae biomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary significantly depending on location and biomass

  8. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rejean Samson; Anh LeDuy

    1982-08-01

    Spirulina maxima algal biomass could be used as the sole nutrient for the production of biogas by anaerobic digestion process. It is relatively simple to adapt the municipal sewage sludge to this new substrate. The adapted sludge is very stable. Under nonoptimal conditions, the methane yield and productivity obtained were 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day) and 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day), respectively, with the semicontinuous, daily fed, anaerobic digestion having loading rate of 0.97 kg VS/(m/sup 3/ day), retention time of 33 days and temperature of 30/sup 0/C.

  9. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noel Vinay Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The name “cosmeceuticals” is derived from “cosmetics and pharmaceuticals”, indicating that a specific product contains active ingredients. Marine algae have gained much importance in cosmeceutical product development due to their rich bioactive compounds. In the present review, marine algal compounds (phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides and tyrosinase inhibitors have been discussed toward cosmeceutical application. In addition, atopic dermatitis and the possible role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP in skin-related diseases have been explored extensively for cosmeceutical products. The proper development of marine algae compounds will be helpful in cosmeceutical product development and in the development of the cosmeceutical industry.

  10. Integral toxicity test of sea waters by an algal biosensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonnina, Daniele; Campanella, Luigi; Sammartino, Maria Pia; Visco, Giovanni

    2002-04-01

    An integral toxicity test, based on an algal biosensor and suitable to be used in sea water, is presented. The biosensor was designed and built by coupling a Clark oxygen electrode as transducer and the marine alga Spirulina subsalsa as biological mediator; it constitutes the "core" in a lab-scale prototype of a flow apparatus suitable to continuously monitor, in sea water, the photosynthetic activity of the alga and, from its variation, the marine pollution from the toxicological point of view. Inorganic pollutants (heavy metals) were tested in previous researches while organic ones (chlorophenols, pesticides and surfactants) are the object of the present paper.

  11. 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

  12. Metabolism of mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by photosynthetic algal species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoeny, R; Cody, T; Warshawsky, D; Radike, M

    1988-02-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) known to produce carcinogenic and mutagenic effects have been shown to contaminate waters, sediments and soils. While it is accepted that metabolites of these compounds are responsible for most of their biological effects in mammals, their metabolism, and to a large extent their bioactivity, in aquatic plants have not been explored. Cultures of photosynthetic algal species were assayed for their ability to metabolize benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a carcinogenic PAH under conditions which either permitted (white light) or disallowed (gold light) photooxidation of the compound. Growth of Selenastrum capricornutum, a fresh-water green alga, was completely inhibited when incubated in white light with 160 micrograms BaP/l medium. By contrast concentrations at the upper limit of BaP solubility in aqueous medium had no effect on algal growth when gold light was used. BaP quinones and phenol derivatives were found to inhibit growth of Selenastrum under white light incubation. BaP phototoxicity and metabolism were observed to be species-specific. All 3 tested species of the order Chlorococcales were growth-inhibited by BaP in white light whereas neither the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii nor a blue-green, a yellow-green or an euglenoid alga responded in this fashion. Assays of radiolabeled BaP metabolism in Selenastrum showed that the majority of radioactivity associated with BaP was found in media as opposed to algal cell pellets, that the extent of metabolism was BaP concentration dependent, and that the proportion of various metabolites detected was a function of the light source. After gold light incubation, BaP diols predominated while after white light treatment at equal BaP concentrations, the 3,6-quinone was found in the highest concentration. Extracted material from algal cell pellets and from media was tested for mutagenicity in a forward mutation suspension assay in Salmonella typhimurium using resistance to 8-azaguanine for

  13. Marine harmful algal blooms, human health and wellbeing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berdalet, Elisa; Fleming, Lora E.; Gowen, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Microalgal blooms are a natural part of the seasonal cycle of photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems. They are key components of the structure and dynamics of the oceans and thus sustain the benefits that humans obtain from these aquatic environments. However, some microalgal blooms can...... cause harm to humans and other organisms. These harmful algal blooms (HABs) have direct impacts on human health and negative influences on human wellbeing, mainly through their consequences to coastal ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism and recreation) and other marine organisms and environments...

  14. A Collection of Algal Genomes from the JGI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-03-19

    Algae, defined as photosynthetic eukaryotes other than plants, constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity. Acquisition of the ability to conduct oxygenic photosynthesis through endosymbiotic events has been a principal driver of eukaryotic evolution, and today algae continue to underpin aquatic food chains as primary producers. Algae play profound roles in the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE?s Joint Genome Institute (JGI). A collection of algal projects ongoing at JGI contributes to each of these areas and illustrates analyses employed in their genome exploration.

  15. 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

  16. Effect of ozonation and γ-irradiation on post-harvest decontamination of mussels (Mytillus galloprovincialis) containing diarrhetic shellfish toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louppis, A P; Katikou, P; Georgantelis, D; Badeka, A V; Kontominas, M G

    2011-12-01

    Contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins readily occurs during algal blooms. Such phenomena raise important public health concerns and thus comprise a constant challenge to shellfish farmers, the seafood industry and health services, considering the increasing occurrence of toxic episodes around the world. To avoid the detrimental effects of such episodes, research has focused on the use of various detoxification methodologies that should be rapid, efficient, easy to apply, and will not alter the quality and sensory properties of shellfish. In the present study, both ozonation (15 mg kg(-1) for 6 h) and γ-irradiation (6 kGy) were utilised in order to reduce the toxin content of contaminated shucked mussels, collected during the DSP episodes of 2007 and 2009 in Greece. DSP toxicity was monitored using the mouse bioassay (MBA) whilst the determination of toxin content of the okadaic acid (OA) group (both free and esterified forms) was carried out by LC/MS/MS analysis. Toxin reduction using γ-irradiation was in the range of 12-36%, 8-53% and 10-41% for free OA, OA esters and total OA, respectively. The appearance and texture of irradiated mussels deteriorated, pointing to a low potential for commercial use of this method. Ozonation of mussels resulted in toxin reduction in the range of 6-100%, 25-83% and 21-66% for free OA, OA esters and total OA, respectively. Reduction of OA content was substantially higher in homogenised mussel tissue compared with that of whole shucked mussels. In addition, differences detected with regard to quality parameters (TBA, sensory attributes) between ozonated and control mussels were not considerable. Even though varying percentage reductions in OA and its derivatives were achieved using ozonation under specific experimental conditions tested, it is postulated that upon optimisation ozonation may have the potential for post-harvest commercial DSP detoxification of shucked mussels.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Li; Da, Fei; Tan, Daniel C. S.; Nguyen, Thuan H.; Fu, Chih-Lung; Tan, Vee Y.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28151994

  19. Single toxin dose-response models revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaholt, SP; Kyker-Snowman, E; Shaw, JR; Chen, CY

    2016-01-01

    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 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 hours) toxicity tests with mortality as a function of NiCl or CuSO4 toxin. PMID:27847315

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of chlorine dioxide on cyanobacterial cell integrity, toxin degradation and disinfection by-product formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shiqing; Shao, Yisheng; Gao, Naiyun; Li, Lei; Deng, Jing; Zhu, Mingqiu; Zhu, Shumin

    2014-06-01

    Bench scale tests were conducted to study the effect of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) oxidation on cell integrity, toxin degradation and disinfection by-product formation of Microcystis aeruginosa. The simulated cyanobacterial suspension was prepared at a concentration of 1.0×10(6)cells/mL and the cell integrity was measured with flow cytometry. Results indicated that ClO2 can inhibit the photosynthetic capacity of M. aeruginosa cells and almost no integral cells were left after oxidation at a ClO2 dose of 1.0mg/L. The total toxin was degraded more rapidly with the ClO2 dosage increasing from 0.1mg/L to 1.0mg/L. Moreover, the damage on cell structure after oxidation resulted in released intracellular organic matter, which contributed to the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) as disinfection by-products. Therefore, the use of ClO2 as an oxidant for treating algal-rich water should be carefully considered.

  3. Compatibility of hydroxypropyl-{beta}-cyclodextrin with algal toxicity bioassays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fai, Patricia Bi; Grant, Alastair [School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom); Reid, Brian J. [School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ (United Kingdom)], E-mail: b.reid@uea.ac.uk

    2009-01-15

    Numerous reports have indicated that hydrophobic organic compound bioaccessibility in sediment and soil can be determined by extraction using aqueous hydroxypropyl-{beta}-cyclodextrin (HPCD) solutions. This study establishes the compatibility of HPCD with Selenastrum capricornutum and assesses whether its presence influences the toxicity of reference toxicants. Algal growth inhibition (72 h) showed no significant (P > 0.05) difference at HPCD concentrations up to and including 20 mM. HPCD presence did not influence the toxicity of the inorganic reference toxicant (ZnSO{sub 4}), with IC50 values of 0.82 {mu}M and 0.85 {mu}M, in the presence and absence of HPCD (20 mM), respectively. However, HPCD presence (20 mM) reduced the toxicity of 2,4-dichlorophenol and the herbicides diuron and isoproturon. These reductions were attributed to inclusion complex formation between the toxicants and the HPCD cavity. Liberation of complexed toxicants, by sample manipulation prior to toxicity assessment, is proposed to provide a sensitive, high throughput, bioassay that reflects compound bioaccessibility. - Compatibility of the biomimetic HPCD extraction method with algal cell growth inhibition bioassays to assess toxicity of reference toxicants and environmental relevant herbicides.

  4. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luengen, Allison C.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) significantly decreased accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) by the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in laboratory experiments. Live diatom cells accumulated two to four times more MeHg than dead cells, indicating that accumulation may be partially an energy-requiring process. Methylmercury enrichment in diatoms relative to ambient water was measured by a volume concentration factor (VCF). Without added DOM, the maximum VCF was 32 x 104, and the average VCF (from 10 to 72 h) over all experiments was 12.6 x 104. At very low (1.5 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped by approximately half. At very high (20 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped 10-fold. Presumably, MeHg was bound to a variety of reduced sulfur sites on the DOM, making it unavailable for uptake. Diatoms accumulated significantly more MeHg when exposed to transphilic DOM extracts than hydrophobic ones. However, algal lysate, a labile type of DOM created by resuspending a marine diatom in freshwater, behaved similarly to a refractory DOM isolate from San Francisco Bay. Addition of 67 μM L-cysteine resulted in the largest drop in VCFs, to 0.28 x 104. Although the DOM composition influenced the availability of MeHg to some extent, total DOM concentration was the most important factor in determining algal bioaccumulation of MeHg.

  5. Health benefits of algal polysaccharides in human nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mišurcová, Ladislava; Škrovánková, Soňa; Samek, Dušan; Ambrožová, Jarmila; Machů, Ludmila

    2012-01-01

    The interest in functional food, both freshwater and marine algal products with their possible promotional health effects, increases also in regions where algae are considered as rather exotic food. Increased attention about algae as an abundant source of many nutrients and dietary fiber from the nutrition point of view, as well as from the scientific approaches to explore new nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, is based on the presence of many bioactive compounds including polysaccharides extracted from algal matter. Diverse chemical composition of dietary fiber polysaccharides is responsible for their different physicochemical properties, such as their ability to be fermented by the human colonic microbiota resulted in health benefit effects. Fundamental seaweed polysaccharides are presented by alginates, agars, carrageenans, ulvanes, and fucoidans, which are widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industry and also in other branches of industry. Moreover, freshwater algae and seaweed polysaccharides have emerged as an important source of bioactive natural compounds which are responsible for their possible physiological effects. Especially, sulfate polysaccharides exhibit immunomodulatory, antitumor, antithrombotic, anticoagulant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities including anti-HIV infection, herpes, and hepatitis viruses. Generally, biological activity of sulfate polysaccharides is related to their different composition and mainly to the extent of the sulfation of their molecules. Significant attention has been recently focused on the use of both freshwater algae and seaweed for developing functional food by reason of a great variety of nutrients that are essential for human health.

  6. Algal and microbial exopolysaccharides: new insights as biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paniagua-Michel, José de Jesús; Olmos-Soto, Jorge; Morales-Guerrero, Eduardo Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Currently, efforts are being made to utilize more natural biological systems as alternatives as a way to replace fossil forms of carbon. There is a growing concern at global level to have nontoxic, nonhazardous surface-active agents; contrary to synthetic surfactants, their biological counterparts or biosurfactants play a primary function, facilitating microbial presence in environments dominated by hydrophilic-hydrophobic interfaces. Algal and microbial biosurfactants/bioemulsifiers from marine and deep-sea environments are attracting major interest due to their structural and functional diversity as molecules actives of surface and an alternative biomass to replace fossil forms of carbon. Algal and microbial surfactants are lipid in nature and classified as glycolipids, phospholipids, lipopeptides, natural lipids, fatty acids, and lipopolysaccharides. These metabolic bioactive products are applicable in a number of industries and processes, viz., food processing, pharmacology, and bioremediation of oil-polluted environments. This chapter presents an update of the progress and potentialities of the principal producers of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-type biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers, viz., macro- and microalgae (cyanobacteria and diatoms) and bacteria from marine and extreme environments. Particular interest is centered into new sources and applications, viz., marine and deep-sea environments and promissory uses of these EPSs as biosurfactants/emulsifiers and other polymeric roles. The enormous benefits of these molecules encourage their discovery, exploitation, and development of new microbial EPSs that could possess novel industrial importance and corresponding innovations.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Botulinum toxin: yesterday, today, tomorrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Artemenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin (BoNT is a bacterial neurotoxin presented with seven serotypes that inhibit neurotransmitter release from nerve endings. The serotypes of BoNT are antigenically dissimilar, act via different, but interconnected mechanisms, and are not interchangeable. The activity of BoNT is associated with impaired neuroexocytosis occurring in several steps: from the binding of BoNT to its specific receptor on the axon terminal membrane to the proteolytic enzymatic cleavage of SNARE substrate. The effect of BoNT is considered to be restricted to the peripheral nervous system, but when given in particularly high doses, it has been recently shown to affect individual brain structures. In addition, by modulating peripheral afferentation, BoNT may influence the excitability of central neuronal structures at both spinal and cortical levels. Only BoNT serotypes A and B are used in clinical practice and aesthetic medicine. The type A has gained the widest acceptance as a therapeutic agent for more than 100 abnormalities manifesting themselves as muscular hyperactivity, hyperfunction of endocrine gland, and chronic pain. The effect of BoNT preparations shows itself 2-5 days after injection, lasts 3 months or more, and gradually decreases with as a result of pharmacokinetic and intracellular reparative processes. Biotechnology advances and potentialities allow purposefully modification of the protein molecular structure of BoNT, which expands the use and efficiency of performed therapy with neurotoxins. Recombinant technologies provide a combination of major therapeutic properties of each used BoNT serotype and expand indications for recombinant chimeric toxins.

  10. Hydroxybenzoate paralytic shellfish toxins induce transient GST activity depletion and chromosomal damage in white seabream (Diplodus sargus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Pedro Reis; Pereira, Patrícia; Guilherme, Sofia; Barata, Marisa; Santos, Maria Ana; Pacheco, Mário; Pousão-Ferreira, Pedro

    2012-08-01

    Fish are routinely exposed to harmful algal blooms that produce noxious compounds and impact the marine food web. This study investigates the role of phase I and II detoxification enzymes on metabolism of the novel paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), the hydroxybenzoate analogues recently discovered in Gymnodinium catenatum strains, in the liver of white seabream, assessing ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities. Additionally, the genotoxic potential of hydroxybenzoate PSTs was examined through the erythrocytic nuclear abnormality (ENA) assay. Fish were injected with hydroxybenzoate PSTs into the coelomic cavity and sacrificed 2 and 6 days later for biochemical and cytogenetic analyses. While the activity of EROD was unresponsive to toxins, a significant GST activity decrease was observed at 2 days after injection indicating an impairment of this line of the detoxification system. The genotoxic potential of PSTs was demonstrated by the induction of clastogenic/aneugenic effects at 2 days, as measured by the ENA assay. Overall, this study contributes to better understand the impact of toxins produced by G. catenatum blooms in fish, revealing effects that, even transitory, point out a risk associated to hydroxybenzoate analogues.

  11. Validation of algal viability treated with total residual oxidant and organic matter by flow cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Junghyun; Choi, Eun Joo; Rhie, Kitae

    2015-08-15

    Algal cell growth after starch and oxidant treatments in seawater species (Isochrysis galbana and Phaeodactylum tricornutum) and freshwater species (Selenastrum capricornutum and Scenedesmus obliquus) were evaluated by flow cytometry with fluorescein diacetate (FDA) staining to determine algal viability. Growth of algal cell was found to be significantly different among groups treated with NaOCl, starch and/or sodium thiosulfate, which are active substance (Total Residual Oxidant; TRO as Cl2), organic compound to meet efficacy testing standard and neutralizer of TRO by Ballast Water Management Convention of International Maritime Organization, respectively. The viability of algal cell treated with TRO in starch-add culture of 5days after treatment and neutralization was decreased significantly. ATP contents of the treated algal cells corresponded to the FL1 fluorescent signal of flow cytometry with FDA staining. I. galbana was the most sensitive to TRO-neutralized cultures during viability analysis.

  12. Novel resource utilization of refloated algal sludge to improve the quality of organic fertilizer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan; Li, Rong; Liu, Hongjun; Wang, Beibei; Zhang, Chenmin; Shen, Qirong

    2014-08-01

    Without further management, large amounts of refloated algal sludge from Taihu Lake to retrieve nitrogen and phosphorus resources may result in serious secondary environmental pollution. The possibility of utilization of algal sludge to improve the quality of organic fertilizer was investigated in this study. Variations of physicochemical properties, germination index (GI) and microcystin (MC) content were analysed during the composting process. The results showed that the addition of algal sludge improved the contents of nutrients, common free amino acids and total common amino acids in the novel organic fertilizer. Rapid degradation rates of MC-LR and MC-RR, a high GI value and more abundance of culturable protease-producing bacteria were observed during the composting process added with algal sludge. Growth experiments showed that the novel organic fertilizer efficiently promoted plant growth. This study provides a novel resource recovery method to reclaim the Taihu Lake algal sludge and highlights a novel method to produce a high-quality organic fertilizer.

  13. Engineering modified Bt toxins to counter insect resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo-López, Liliana; López, Idalia; Gómez, Isabel; Tabashnik, Bruce E; Bravo, Alejandra

    2007-12-07

    The evolution of insect resistance threatens the effectiveness of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins that are widely used in sprays and transgenic crops. Resistance to Bt toxins in some insects is linked with mutations that disrupt a toxin-binding cadherin protein. We show that susceptibility to the Bt toxin Cry1Ab was reduced by cadherin gene silencing with RNA interference in Manduca sexta, confirming cadherin's role in Bt toxicity. Native Cry1A toxins required cadherin to form oligomers, but modified Cry1A toxins lacking one alpha-helix did not. The modified toxins killed cadherin-silenced M. sexta and Bt-resistant Pectinophora gossypiella that had cadherin deletion mutations. Our findings suggest that cadherin promotes Bt toxicity by facilitating toxin oligomerization and demonstrate that the modified Bt toxins may be useful against pests resistant to standard Bt toxins.

  14. Analysis of the Bacillus cereus SpoIIS antitoxin-toxin system reveals its three-component nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melničáková, Jana; Bečárová, Zuzana; Makroczyová, Jana; Barák, Imrich

    2015-01-01

    Programmed cell death in bacteria is generally associated with two-component toxin-antitoxin systems. The SpoIIS toxin-antitoxin system, consisting of a membrane-bound SpoIISA toxin and a small, cytosolic antitoxin SpoIISB, was originally identified in Bacillus subtilis. In this work we describe the Bacillus cereus SpoIIS system which is a three-component system, harboring an additional gene spoIISC. Its protein product serves as an antitoxin, and similarly as SpoIISB, is able to bind SpoIISA and abolish its toxic effect. Our results indicate that SpoIISC seems to be present not only in B. cereus but also in other Bacilli containing a SpoIIS toxin-antitoxin system. In addition, we show that B. cereus SpoIISA can form higher oligomers and we discuss the possible role of this multimerization for the protein's toxic function.

  15. 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.

  16. Interactions and hybrid complex formation of anionic algal polysaccharides with a cationic glycine betaine-derived surfactant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covis, Rudy; Vives, Thomas; Gaillard, Cédric; Benoit, Maud; Benvegnu, Thierry

    2015-05-01

    The interaction between anionic algal polysaccharides ((κ)-, (ι)-, (λ)-carrageenans, alginate and ulvan) and a cationic glycine betaine (GB) amide surfactant possessing a C18:1 alkyl chain has been studied using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), zeta-potential measurements, dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and surface tension measurements. It was observed that this cationic surfactant derived from renewable raw materials induced cooperative binding with the anionic polymers at critical aggregation concentration (CAC) and the CAC values are significantly lower than the corresponding critical micelle concentration (CMC) for the surfactant. The CMC of cationic GB surfactant was obtained at higher surfactant concentration in polysaccharide solution than in pure water. More interestingly, the presence of original polysaccharide/surfactant hybrid complexes formed above the CMC value was evidenced from (κ)-carrageenan by microscopy (TEM and AFM). Preliminary investigations of the structure of these complexes revealed the existence of surfactant nanoparticles surrounded with polysaccharide matrix, probably resulting from electrostatic attraction. In addition, ITC measurements clearly showed that the interactions of the κ-carrageenan was stronger than for other polysaccharides ((ι)-, (λ)-carrageenans, alginate and ulvan). These results may have important impact on the use of the GB amide surfactant in formulations based on algal polysaccharides for several applications such as in food, cosmetics, and detergency fields.

  17. 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.

  18. Toxin Detection by Surface Plasmon Resonance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Significant efforts have been invested in the past years for the development of analytical methods for fast toxin detection in food and water. Immunochemical methods like ELISA, spectroscopy and chromatography are the most used in toxin detection. Different methods have been linked, e.g. liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS, in order to detect as low concentrations as possible. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR is one of the new biophysical methods which enables rapid toxin detection. Moreover, this method was already included in portable sensors for on-site determinations. In this paper we describe some of the most common methods for toxin detection, with an emphasis on SPR.

  19. Clostridium difficile and C. difficile Toxin Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... C. difficile Toxin, A and B; C. difficile Cytotoxin Assay; Glutamate Dehydrogenase Test Related tests: Stool Culture ; ... test that looks for the effects of the cytotoxin (cytotoxicity) on human cells grown in culture. It ...

  20. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Vale, Ana; Cabanes, Didier; Sousa, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favor 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 signaling 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.

  1. 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.

  2. NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis - 2015. In this Table, provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases (≥1,000 cases reported during the preceding...

  3. NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis - 2016. In this Table, provisional* cases of selected†notifiable diseases (≥1,000 cases reported during the...

  4. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... If You Have Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A ... may produce toxins (harmful substances) if the bacterial balance in the colon is disrupted. This might happen ...

  5. 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

  6. How hydrodynamics control algal blooms in the Ythan estuary, Scotland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champangern, Khruewan; Hoey, Trevor; Thomas, Rhian

    2016-04-01

    The Ythan estuary, northeast Scotland, was designated in 2000 as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) under the European Commission (EC) Nitrates Directive. Much of the catchment is intensively farmed and water quality has been adversely affected by nutrients from agricultural fertilizers. As a result, algal mats develop annually on tidal flats where sediment from upstream and from the adjacent dune systems is deposited. Understanding the patterns of water (river and ocean) circulation in the estuary as well as understanding how nutrients and sediments are transported in the estuary is crucial for understanding the role of several factors (elevation; sediment characteristics; nutrient flux) control the locations and scale of annual algal blooms. In order to understand those controls, study of interactions between hydrodynamic factors and water quality, in particular chlorophyll levels, at different time scales has been carried out. The results from the study reveal complex seasonal and event-scale relationships of river flow with the amount of chlorophyll, which provide an initial comprehension of controls over the concentrations of chlorophyll in the estuary. The concentration of chlorophyll changes, whether increasing or decreasing, with regards to changes in river flow. During high flow events, high amounts of chlorophyll are found when the tide is low. During low flow events, high amounts of chlorophyll are found at high tides. These phenomena reveal that both river flow and tidal cycle affect the amount of chlorophyll in the estuary. In addition, the Delft3d flow model, which has been extensively applied to many coastal and estuarine studies is used to simulate hydrodynamic patterns in the estuary during high flow and low flow events. The model is composed of 36,450 fine resolution grids and the upstream/ downstream boundary that represents water level is based on time-series data from river flow and tidal measurements. The bathymetry used for the model domain is

  7. Updates on tetanus toxin: a fundamental approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Ahaduzzaman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium tetani is an anaerobic bacterium that produces second most poisonous protein toxins than any other bacteria. Tetanus in animals is sporadic in nature but difficult to combat even by using antibiotics and antiserum. It is crucial to understand the fundamental mechanisms and signals that control toxin production for advance research and medicinal uses. This review was intended for better understanding the basic patho-physiology of tetanus and neurotoxins (TeNT among the audience of related field.

  8. Sea Anemone Toxins Affecting Potassium Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diochot, Sylvie; Lazdunski, Michel

    The great diversity of K+ channels and their wide distribution in many tissues are associated with important functions in cardiac and neuronal excitability that are now better understood thanks to the discovery of animal toxins. During the past few decades, sea anemones have provided a variety of toxins acting on voltage-sensitive sodium and, more recently, potassium channels. Currently there are three major structural groups of sea anemone K+ channel (SAK) toxins that have been characterized. Radioligand binding and electrophysiological experiments revealed that each group contains peptides displaying selective activities for different subfamilies of K+ channels. Short (35-37 amino acids) peptides in the group I display pore blocking effects on Kv1 channels. Molecular interactions of SAK-I toxins, important for activity and binding on Kv1 channels, implicate a spot of three conserved amino acid residues (Ser, Lys, Tyr) surrounded by other less conserved residues. Long (58-59 amino acids) SAK-II peptides display both enzymatic and K+ channel inhibitory activities. Medium size (42-43 amino acid) SAK-III peptides are gating modifiers which interact either with cardiac HERG or Kv3 channels by altering their voltage-dependent properties. SAK-III toxins bind to the S3C region in the outer vestibule of Kv channels. Sea anemones have proven to be a rich source of pharmacological tools, and some of the SAK toxins are now useful drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases.

  9. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher F. Schuster

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Toxin-antitoxin (TA systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery.

  10. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-05-05

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery.

  11. 糖尿病与火毒%Diabetes and Fire Toxin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄世敬; 王永炎

    2015-01-01

    The objective of the paper is to explore the etiology,prevention and treatment of diabetes and fire toxin. Through literature analysis and clinical practice,it had been summarized that the formation and development of fire toxin presented in the entire progression of diabetes. Fire is classified as the physiological fire and pathological fire and the toxin is as the exogenous toxin and the endogenous toxin. Fire toxin in diabe-tes is related with improper diet(overeating greasy,sweet and strong flavor food,over - indulgence of food in fire toxin property,irregular food intake and unclean food),over - emotional changes(such as depression,an-ger,liver stagnation transforming into fire,grief,worry,hyperactivity of heart fire)and improper living condi-tion. Fire toxin is yang heat in nature and consumes qi. Flaring - up of fire toxin produces wind and stirs blood,disturbs heart mind and results in carbuncles. The upper jiao injury by fire toxin causes the upper xi-ao,the retention of fire toxin in the middle jiao causes the middle xiao and in the lower jiao causes diabetes of the lower xiao. Additionally,the transformations of fire toxin lead to the complications of diabetes. The proper diet is the origin of the disease prevention and the regular living habit protects the genuine qi. Clearing heat, eliminating toxin combined with nourishing yin,and reducing fire and removing toxin to consolidate the root are the treatment principles. All of these provide the reference for the study on the prevention and treatment of diabetes.%文章旨在探讨糖尿病火毒的成因与防治。通过文献分析,结合临床实践,总结出火毒的形成与演变贯穿于糖尿病始终。火有生理之火和病理之火之分,毒有外来之毒与内生之毒之别。糖尿病火毒形成与饮食不节(如过食肥甘厚味、偏食火毒性食物、饥饱无度、饮食不洁),情志过极(如郁闷恼怒、肝郁化火,忧愁思虑、心火亢盛)以及生

  12. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) coupled to XAD fractionation: Method to algal organic matter characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolau, Rudy; Leloup, Maud; Lachassagne, Delphine; Pinault, Emilie; Feuillade-Cathalifaud, Geneviève

    2015-05-01

    This work is focused on the development of an analytical procedure for the improvement of the Organic Matter structure characterization, particularly the algal matter. Two fractions of algal organic matter from laboratory cultures of algae (Euglena gracilis) and cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) were extracted with XAD resins. The fractions were studied using laser desorption ionization (LDI) and Matrix-Assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF). A comparison with the natural organic matter characteristics from commercial humic acids and fulvic acids extracted from Suwannee River was performed. Results show that algal and natural organic matters have unique quasi-polymeric structures. Significant repeating patterns were identified. Different fractions extracted from organic matter with common origin had common structures. Thus, 44, 114 and 169Da peaks separation for fractions from E. gracilis organic matter and 28, 58 and 100Da for M. aeruginosa ones were clearly observed. Using the developed protocol, a structural scheme and organic matter composition were obtained. The range 600-2000Da contained more architectural composition differences than the range 100-600Da, suggesting that organic matter is composed of an assembly of common small molecules. Associated to specific monomers, particular patterns were common to all samples but assembly and resulting structure were unique for each organic matter. Thus, XAD fractionation coupled to mass spectroscopy allowed determining a specific fingerprint for each organic matter.

  13. Energy-efficient photobioreactor configuration for algal biomass production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pegallapati, Ambica Koushik; Arudchelvam, Yalini; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany

    2012-12-01

    An internally illuminated photobioreactor (IIPBR) design is proposed for energy-efficient biomass production. Theoretical rationale of the IIPBR design and its advantages over the traditional bubble column photobioreactors (PBRs) are presented, followed by experimental results from prototype scale cultivation of freshwater and marine algal strains in an 18L IIPBR. Based on theoretical considerations, the proposed IIPBR design has the potential to support 160% higher biomass density and higher biomass productivity per unit energy input, B/E, than a bubble column PBR of equal incident area per unit culture volume. Experimental B/E values recorded in this study with fresh water algae and marine algae (1.42 and 0.37 gW(-1)d(-1), respectively) are at least twice as those reported in the literature for comparable species cultivated in bubble column and airlift PBRs.

  14. Discussion about mechanism of harmful algal blooms breakout

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BU Xianwei; XU Weiyi; ZHU Dedi; CHEN Gengxin

    2005-01-01

    HAB (harmful algal bloom) is a serious marine ecological disaster. Up to now there is no definite conclusion about its mechanism of occurrence.The observation results show that the HAB breakout in the Xiangshan Bay was mainly caused by physical convergence ca pacity,and the breakout process had no direct relation to eutrophication. As a new idea it is thought that the process of the HAB break out is mainly a physical convergence or accumulation process in some areas. A hypothesis about dynamic mechanism of the HAB ap pearing in the area off the Changjiang Estuary is put forward according to hydrology and topography and the past work, and a breakthrough is expected to be made for doing further research.

  15. Coral host cells acidify symbiotic algal microenvironment to promote photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barott, Katie L; Venn, Alexander A; Perez, Sidney O; Tambutté, Sylvie; Tresguerres, Martin

    2015-01-13

    Symbiotic dinoflagellate algae residing inside coral tissues supply the host with the majority of their energy requirements through the translocation of photosynthetically fixed carbon. The algae, in turn, rely on the host for the supply of inorganic carbon. Carbon must be concentrated as CO2 in order for photosynthesis to proceed, and here we show that the coral host plays an active role in this process. The host-derived symbiosome membrane surrounding the algae abundantly expresses vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (VHA), which acidifies the symbiosome space down to pH ∼ 4. Inhibition of VHA results in a significant decrease in average H(+) activity in the symbiosome of up to 75% and a significant reduction in O2 production rate, a measure of photosynthetic activity. These results suggest that host VHA is part of a previously unidentified carbon concentrating mechanism for algal photosynthesis and provide mechanistic evidence that coral host cells can actively modulate the physiology of their symbionts.

  16. Arrest of cytoplasmic streaming induces algal proliferation in green paramecia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshiyuki Takahashi

    Full Text Available A green ciliate Paramecium bursaria, bearing several hundreds of endosymbiotic algae, demonstrates rotational microtubule-based cytoplasmic streaming, in which cytoplasmic granules and endosymbiotic algae flow in a constant direction. However, its physiological significance is still unknown. We investigated physiological roles of cytoplasmic streaming in P. bursaria through host cell cycle using video-microscopy. Here, we found that cytoplasmic streaming was arrested in dividing green paramecia and the endosymbiotic algae proliferated only during the arrest of cytoplasmic streaming. Interestingly, arrest of cytoplasmic streaming with pressure or a microtubule drug also induced proliferation of endosymbiotic algae independently of host cell cycle. Thus, cytoplasmic streaming may control the algal proliferation in P. bursaria. Furthermore, confocal microscopic observation revealed that a division septum was formed in the constricted area of a dividing paramecium, producing arrest of cytoplasmic streaming. This is a first report to suggest that cytoplasmic streaming controls proliferation of eukaryotic cells.

  17. Enzyme-like activities of algal polysaccharide - cerium complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongfeng; Sun, Jipeng; Du, Dehong; Ye, Shen; Wang, Changhong; Zhou, Xiaoling; Xue, Changhu

    2005-01-01

    Water-soluble algal polysaccharides (APS) (alginic acid, fucoidan and laminaran) possess many pharmacological activities. The results of this study showed that the APS-Ce4+ complexes have some enzyme-like activities. Fucoidan and its complex with Ce4+ have activities similar to those of SOD. The activities of laminaran, alginic acid and their complexes are not measurable. The APS do not show measurable activities in the digestion of plasmid DNA. In contrast, the APS - Ce4+ complexes show these measurable activities under the comparable condition when APS bind Ce4+ and form homogenous solutions. The laminaran - Ce4+ complex shows the most obvious activity in the digestion of plasmid DNA, pNPP and chloropy-rifos under neutral conditions.

  18. Distribution of heavy metals from flue gas in algal bioreactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napan, Katerine

    Flue gas from coal-fired power plants is a major source of CO2 to the atmosphere. Microalgae can use this enriched form of CO2 as carbon source and in turn the biomass can be used to produce food, feed, fertilizer and biofuels. However, along with CO2, coal-based flue gas will inevitably introduce heavy metals, which have a high affinity to bind algal cells, could be toxic to the organisms and if transferred to the products could limit their uses. This study seeks to address the distribution and impact of heavy metals present in flue gas on microalgae production systems. To comprehend its effects, algae Scenedesmus obliquus was grown in batch reactors in a multimetal system. Ten heavy metals (Cu, Co, Zn, Pb, As, Se, Cr, Hg, Ni and Cd) were selected and were evaluated at four concentrations (1X, 2X, 5X and 10X). Results show that most heavy metals accumulated mainly in biomass and were found in very low concentrations in media. Hg was shown to be lost from the culture, with low amounts present in the biomass. An upper limit for As uptake was observed, suggesting its likelihood to build-up in the system during medium recycle. The As limited bioaccumulation was overcome by addition of sulfur to the algal medium. Heavy metal at 2X, 5X and 10X inhibited both growth and lipid production, while at the reference concentration both biomass and lipids yields were increased. Heavy metal concentrations in the medium and biomass were time dependent, and at the end of the cultivation most heavy metals in the supernatant solution complied with the recommendations for irrigation water, while biomass was below limits for cattle and poultry feed, fertilizer, plastic and paper. This research shows that bioremediation of CO2 and heavy metals in combination with energy production can be integrated, which is an environmentally friendly form of biotechnology.

  19. In situ oxygen dynamics in coral-algal interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Wangpraseurt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Coral reefs degrade globally at an alarming rate, with benthic algae often replacing corals. However, the extent to which benthic algae contribute to coral mortality, and the potential mechanisms involved, remain disputed. Recent laboratory studies suggested that algae kill corals by inducing hypoxia on the coral surface, through stimulated microbial respiration. METHODS/FINDINGS: We examined the main premise of this hypothesis by measuring in situ oxygen microenvironments at the contact interface between the massive coral Porites spp. and turf algae, and between Porites spp. and crustose coralline algae (CCA. Oxygen levels at the interface were similar to healthy coral tissue and ranged between 300-400 µM during the day. At night, the interface was hypoxic (~70 µM in coral-turf interactions and close to anoxic (~2 µM in coral-CCA interactions, but these values were not significantly different from healthy tissue. The diffusive boundary layer (DBL was about three times thicker at the interface than above healthy tissue, due to a depression in the local topography. A numerical model, developed to analyze the oxygen profiles above the irregular interface, revealed strongly reduced net photosynthesis and dark respiration rates at the coral-algal interface compared to unaffected tissue during the day and at night, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results showed that hypoxia was not a consistent feature in the microenvironment of the coral-algal interface under in situ conditions. Therefore, hypoxia alone is unlikely to be the cause of coral mortality. Due to the modified topography, the interaction zone is distinguished by a thicker diffusive boundary layer, which limits the local metabolic activity and likely promotes accumulation of potentially harmful metabolic products (e.g., allelochemicals and protons. Our study highlights the importance of mass transfer phenomena and the need for direct in situ measurements of

  20. Trans-generational specificity within a cnidarian-algal symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poland, D. M.; Coffroth, M. A.

    2017-03-01

    Ocean warming and other anthropogenic stresses threaten the symbiosis between tropical reef cnidarians and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts ( Symbiodinium). Offspring of many cnidarians acquire their algal symbionts from the environment, and such flexibility could allow corals to respond to environmental changes between generations. To investigate the effect of both habitat and host genotype on symbiont acquisition, we transplanted aposymbiotic offspring of the common Caribbean octocoral Briareum asbestinum to (1) an environmentally different habitat that lacked B. asbestinum and (2) an environmentally similar habitat where local adults harbored Symbiodinium phylotypes that differed from parental colonies. Symbiont acquisition and establishment of symbioses over time was followed using a within-clade DNA marker (23S chloroplast rDNA) and a within-phylotype marker (unique alleles at a single microsatellite locus). Early in the symbiosis, B. asbestinum juveniles harbored multiple symbiont phylotypes, regardless of source (parent or site). However, with time ( 4 yr), offspring established symbioses with the symbiont phylotype dominant in the parental colonies, regardless of transplant location. Within-phylotype analyses of the symbionts revealed a similar pattern, with offspring acquiring the allelic variant common in symbionts in the parental population regardless of the environment in which the offspring was reared. These data suggest that in this host species, host-symbiont specificity is a genetically determined trait. If this level of specificity is widespread among other symbiotic cnidarians, many cnidarian-algal symbioses may not be able to respond to rapid, climate change-associated environmental changes by means of between-generation switching of symbionts.

  1. 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.

  2. Pyrolysis Strategies for Effective Utilization of Lignocellulosic and Algal Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddi, Balakrishna

    Pyrolysis is a processing technique involving thermal degradation of biomass in the absence of oxygen. The bio-oils obtained following the condensation of the pyrolysis vapors form a convenient starting point for valorizing the major components of lignocellulosic as well as algal biomass feed stocks for the production of fuels and value-added chemicals. Pyrolysis can be implemented on whole biomass or on residues left behind following standard fractionation methods. Microalgae and oil seeds predominantly consist of protein, carbohydrate and triglycerides, whereas lignocellulose is composed of carbohydrates (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin. The differences in the major components of these two types of biomass will necessitate different pyrolysis strategies to derive the optimal benefits from the resulting bio-oils. In this thesis, novel pyrolysis strategies were developed that enable efficient utilization of the bio-oils (and/or their vapors) from lignocellulose, algae, as well as oil seed feed stocks. With lignocellulosic feed stocks, pyrolysis of whole biomass as well as the lignin residue left behind following well-established pretreatment and saccharification (i.e., depolymerization of cellulose and hemicellulose to their monomeric-sugars) of the biomass was studied with and without catalysts. Following this, pyrolysis of (lipid-deficient) algae and lignocellulosic feed stocks, under similar reactor conditions, was performed for comparison of product (bio-oil, gas and bio-char) yields and composition. In spite of major differences in component bio-polymers, feedstock properties relevant to thermo-chemical conversions, such as overall C, H and O-content, C/O and H/C molar ratio as well as calorific values, were found to be similar for algae and lignocellulosic material. Bio-oil yields from algae and some lignocellulosic materials were similar; however, algal bio-oils were compositionally different and contained several N-compounds (most likely from

  3. A biomimetic nanosponge that absorbs pore-forming toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Che-Ming J.; Fang, Ronnie H.; Copp, Jonathan; Luk, Brian T.; Zhang, Liangfang

    2013-05-01

    Detoxification treatments such as toxin-targeted anti-virulence therapy offer ways to cleanse the body of virulence factors that are caused by bacterial infections, venomous injuries and biological weaponry. Because existing detoxification platforms such as antisera, monoclonal antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors and molecularly imprinted polymers act by targeting the molecular structures of toxins, customized treatments are required for different diseases. Here, we show a biomimetic toxin nanosponge that functions as a toxin decoy in vivo. The nanosponge, which consists of a polymeric nanoparticle core surrounded by red blood cell membranes, absorbs membrane-damaging toxins and diverts them away from their cellular targets. In a mouse model, the nanosponges markedly reduce the toxicity of staphylococcal alpha-haemolysin (α-toxin) and thus improve the survival rate of toxin-challenged mice. This biologically inspired toxin nanosponge presents a detoxification treatment that can potentially treat a variety of injuries and diseases caused by pore-forming toxins.

  4. Phylogenomic Analyses Indicate that Early Fungi Evolved Digesting Cell Walls of Algal Ancestors of Land Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ying; Wang, Sishuo; Sekimoto, Satoshi; Aerts, Andrea L; Choi, Cindy; Clum, Alicia; LaButti, Kurt M; Lindquist, Erika A; Yee Ngan, Chew; Ohm, Robin A; Salamov, Asaf A; Grigoriev, Igor V; Spatafora, Joseph W; Berbee, Mary L

    2015-05-14

    As decomposers, fungi are key players in recycling plant material in global carbon cycles. We hypothesized that genomes of early diverging fungi may have inherited pectinases from an ancestral species that had been able to extract nutrients from pectin-containing land plants and their algal allies (Streptophytes). We aimed to infer, based on pectinase gene expansions and on the organismal phylogeny, the geological timing of the plant-fungus association. We analyzed 40 fungal genomes, three of which, including Gonapodya prolifera, were sequenced for this study. In the organismal phylogeny from 136 housekeeping loci, Rozella diverged first from all other fungi. Gonapodya prolifera was included among the flagellated, predominantly aquatic fungal species in Chytridiomycota. Sister to Chytridiomycota were the predominantly terrestrial fungi including zygomycota I and zygomycota II, along with the ascomycetes and basidiomycetes that comprise Dikarya. The Gonapodya genome has 27 genes representing five of the seven classes of pectin-specific enzymes known from fungi. Most of these share a common ancestry with pectinases from Dikarya. Indicating functional and sequence similarity, Gonapodya, like many Dikarya, can use pectin as a carbon source for growth in pure culture. Shared pectinases of Dikarya and Gonapodya provide evidence that even ancient aquatic fungi had adapted to extract nutrients from the plants in the green lineage. This implies that 750 million years, the estimated maximum age of origin of the pectin-containing streptophytes represents a maximum age for the divergence of Chytridiomycota from the lineage including Dikarya.

  5. Clostridium perfringens Delta-Toxin Induces Rapid Cell Necrosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soshi Seike

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens delta-toxin is a β-pore-forming toxin and a putative pathogenic agent of C. perfringens types B and C. However, the mechanism of cytotoxicity of delta-toxin remains unclear. Here, we investigated the mechanisms of cell death induced by delta-toxin in five cell lines (A549, A431, MDCK, Vero, and Caco-2. All cell lines were susceptible to delta-toxin. The toxin caused rapid ATP depletion and swelling of the cells. Delta-toxin bound and formed oligomers predominantly in plasma membrane lipid rafts. Destruction of the lipid rafts with methyl β-cyclodextrin inhibited delta-toxin-induced cytotoxicity and ATP depletion. Delta-toxin caused the release of carboxyfluorescein from sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes and formed oligomers; toxin binding to the liposomes declined with decreasing cholesterol content in the liposomes. Flow cytometric assays with annexin V and propidium iodide revealed that delta-toxin treatment induced an elevation in the population of annexin V-negative and propidium iodide-positive cells. Delta-toxin did not cause the fragmentation of DNA or caspase-3 activation. Furthermore, delta-toxin caused damage to mitochondrial membrane permeability and cytochrome c release. In the present study, we demonstrate that delta-toxin produces cytotoxic activity through necrosis.

  6. Original pedagogues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Christina Haandbæk

    Original pedagogues Distention between competences and originality By Christina Haandbæk Schmidt, ph. d. student Aarhus University, Denmark This presentation concerns a Ph.D. project (Sept. 2012 –Sept. 2015) about pedagogues in day care facilities and their struggles to develop and retain...... of pedagogues and in everyday life in daycare facilities. The competence term includes at least two discourses of interest; a pedagogical competence discourse and a political jurisdiction discourse which forms a distention between authenticity and competence. In order that pedagogues may regain their autonomy I...

  7. A Compilation of Common Algal Control and Management Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-01-01

    409. Discussion of the effects of eutrophication from the point of view of potable water supplies. B7. Bernhardt, H. 1967. Aeration of Wahnbach...Treat. Examin. 4(2):83-99. *L12. Lund, J. W. G. 1966. Limnology and its application to potable water supplies. J. Brit. Waterworks Assoc. 49(424):14-26...Ralfs. Can. J. Microbiol. 14:1199-1Z04. A potent toxin was extracted from a natural pop- ulation of the blue-green alga, Aphanizomenon flos- aguae . The

  8. Classification of Na channel receptors specific for various scorpion toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, K P; Watt, D D; Lazdunski, M

    1983-04-01

    1. The specific binding to rat brain synaptosomes of a radiolabelled derivative of toxin II from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus could be prevented by toxins III and IV, but not by toxin V or variants 1-3, from the venom of Centruroides sculpturatus. 2. The specific binding of a similar derivative of toxin II from Androctonus australis Hector was not affected by any of the toxins from Centruroides sculpturatus. 3. There is biochemical evidence for only two distinct classes of Na channel receptors specific for known scorpion toxins.

  9. Genetic and Genomic Dissection of the Cochliobolus heterostrophus Tox1 Locus Controlling Biosynthesis of the Polyketide Virulence Factor T-toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turgeon, Barbara G.; Baker, Scott E.

    2007-04-27

    Fungal pathogenesis to plants is an intricate developmental process requiring biological components found in most fungi, as well as factors that are unique to fungal taxa that participate in particular fungus–plant interactions. The host-selective polyketide toxin known as T-toxin produced by Cochliobolus heterostrophus race T, a highly virulent pathogen of maize, is an intriguing example of the latter type of virulence determinant. The Tox1 locus, which controls biosynthesis of T-toxin, originally defined as a single genetic locus, it is, in fact, two exceedingly complex loci on two chromosomes that are reciprocally translocated with respect to their counterparts in weakly pathogenic race O. Race O lacks the Tox1 locus and does not produce T-toxin. Highly virulent race T was first recognized when it caused an epidemic of Southern Corn Leaf Blight, which devastated the US corn crop in 1970. The evolutionary origin of the Tox1 locus remains unknown.

  10. Original Copies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Tim Flohr

    2013-01-01

    of similarity by looking at artefactual similarity as the results of prototyping and as a production of simulacra. In this light, the concept of copying turns out to be more than simply a matter of trying to imitate an exotic or prestigious original, and it fundamentally raises the question how different a copy...

  11. Potential therapeutic effect of intravesical botulinum toxin type A on bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jhang, Jia-Fong; Jiang, Yuan-Hong; Kuo, Hann-Chorng

    2014-04-01

    Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis is characterized by bladder pain associated with urgency, frequency, nocturia, dysuria and sterile urine. Recent studies have shown that these bladder dysfunctions could originate from chronic inflammation or urothelial insult and proceed to a cascade of tissue reactions, which finally ascends to the central nervous system. Pilot studies of intravesical injection of botulinum toxin type A for bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis had been introduced since 2005 with a promising result. Recent evidence suggests that botulinum toxin type A could significantly improve symptoms such as daytime frequency, nocturia, pain, quality of life and bladder capacity in bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis patients. Single injection of botulinum toxin could not achieve long-term successful therapeutic result, and repeat injections could provide a better long-term success rate. However, patients with ulcer type bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis might not gain a benefit from botulinum toxin type A injection. Laboratory evidence showed that botulinum toxin type A for bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis injection could induce peripheral desensitization, reduces bladder chronic inflammation and decreases apoptotic signal molecules in the urothelium. The present article reviewed the recent advances of botulinum toxin type A on bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis.

  12. Atypical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Secretes Plasmid Encoded Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita C. Ruiz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Plasmid encoded toxin (Pet is a serine protease originally described in enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC prototype strain 042 whose entire characterization was essentially obtained from studies performed with the purified toxin. Here we show that Pet is not exclusive to EAEC. Atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC strains, isolated from diarrhea cases, express Pet and its detection in supernatants of infected HEp-2 cells coincides with the appearance of cell damage, which, in turn, were similar to those described with purified Pet. Pet secretion and the cytotoxic effects are time and culture medium dependent. In presence of DMEM supplemented with tryptone cell rounding and detachment were observed after just 5 h of incubation with the bacteria. In the absence of tryptone, the cytotoxic effects were detected only after 24 h of infection. We also show that, in addition to the prototype EAEC, other pet+ EAEC strains, also isolated from diarrhea cases, induce cellular damage in the same degree as the aEPEC. The cytotoxic effects of EAEC and aEPEC strains were significantly reduced in the presence of a serine protease inhibitor or anti-Pet IgG serum. Our results show a common aspect between the aEPEC and EAEC and provide the first evidence pointing to a role of Pet in aEPEC pathogenesis.

  13. Use of Clostridium botulinum toxin in gastrointestinalmotility disorders in children

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    More than a century has elapsed since the identificationof Clostridia neurotoxins as the cause of paralyticdiseases. Clostridium botulinum is a heterogeneousgroup of Gram-positive, rod-shaped, spore-forming,obligate anaerobic bacteria that produce a potentneurotoxin. Eight different Clostridium botulinumneurotoxins have been described (A-H) and 5 of thosecause disease in humans. These toxins cause paralysisby blocking the presynaptic release of acetylcholine atthe neuromuscular junction. Advantage can be taken ofthis blockade to alleviate muscle spams due to excessiveneural activity of central origin or to weaken a musclefor treatment purposes. In therapeutic applications,minute quantities of botulinum neurotoxin type A areinjected directly into selected muscles. The Food andDrug Administration first approved botulinum toxin (BT)type A in 1989 for the treatment of strabismus andblepharospasm associated with dystonia in patients 12years of age or older. Ever since, therapeutic applicationsof BT have expanded to other systems, including thegastrointestinal tract. Although only a single fatalityhas been reported to our knowledge with use of BTfor gastroenterological conditions, there are significantcomplications ranging from minor pain, rash and allergicreactions to pneumothorax, bowel perforation andsignificant paralysis of tissues surrounding the injection(including vocal cord paralysis and dysphagia). Thiseditorial describes the clinical experience and evidencefor the use BT in gastrointestinal motility disorders inchildren.

  14. Evaluation of toxin neutralisation in test systems for diphtheria antibody assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenberg, J; van der Gun, J W; Hendriksen, C F

    1999-01-01

    Over the past years, various authors have reported that the amount of toxin used in toxin neutralisation (TN) assays for diphtheria appears to influence the resulting relative antibody titre. Antibody affinity is thought to be an influencing factor. To confirm this observation and study the underlying mechanism of toxin neutralisation, a panel of sera was generated, differing in species of origin (mouse, guinea pig, and rabbit) and in affinity by using different immunisation schedules. The panel was then tested in relevant TN test systems for diphtheria antibody titration, namely the VERO cell test, the Toxin Binding Inhibition (ToBI) assay and the in vivo skin test in guinea pigs. A hyperimmune equine reference serum was used as the standard. Antibody affinity was measured in two different affinity ELISAs, the ammonium thiocyanate elution ELISA and the diethylamine inhibition ELISA. The VERO cell test clearly demonstrates the phenomenon; the higher the toxin dose used in the assay, the higher the resulting relative potency. The difference in relative antibody titre decreases as antibody affinity increases. This is especially evident when an equine hyperimmune reference serum is used as the standard. When a species homologous reference is used, the phenomenon is less distinct. The ToBI test, however, does not show the phenomenon. This discrepancy between these two test systems is being further investigated, and comparison will be made with the in vivo TN test. The findings confirm and support earlier observations. It is still unclear exactly which mechanisms are involved in the toxin neutralisation process. Antibody subclasses and class switching could play a role and will be further studied.

  15. Study of irradiated toxins with {sup 60}Co gamma rays: immune system behavior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caproni, Priscila; Baptista, Janaina A.; Almeida, Tiago Luiz de; Passos, Luiz A.C.; Nascimento, Nanci do [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: pricaproni@hotmail.com

    2007-07-01

    Ionizing radiation has been successfully employed to modify the immunological properties of biomolecules. Very promising results were obtained when crude animal venoms, as well as isolated toxins, were treated with {sup 60}Co gamma rays, yielding toxoids with good immunogenicity. The achievement of modified antigens with lower toxicity and preserved or improved immunogenicity can be useful. Ionizing radiation has been proven to be a powerful tool to attenuate snake venoms toxicity without affecting and even increasing their immunogenic properties. However, little is known about the modifications that irradiated molecules undergo and even less about the immunological response that such antigens elicit. In the present work, we have investigated the immunological behavior of bothropstoxin-I, a K49 phospholipase, before and after irradiation. Structural modifications of the toxin were investigated by SDS-PAGE. Isogenic mice were immunized with either the native or the irradiated toxin. The circulating antibodies were isotyped and titrated by ELISA. According to our data, irradiation promoted structural modifications in the toxin, characterized by higher molecular weight forms of the protein (aggregates and oligomers). Our data indicate that irradiated toxins were immunogenic and the antibodies elicited by them were able to recognize the native toxin in ELISA. These results indicate that irradiation of toxic proteins can promote significant modifications in their structures, but still retain many of the original antigenic and immunological properties of native proteins. Also, our data indicate that the irradiated protein induced higher titers of IgG2a and IgG2b, suggesting that Th1 cells were predominantly involved in the immune response. (author)

  16. Investigation of the steps involved in the difference of susceptibility of Ephestia kuehniella and Spodoptera littoralis to the Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa16 toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Abdelkefi-Mesrati, L.; Boukedi, H.; Chakroun, M.; Kamoun, F.; Azzouz, H.; Tounsi, S.; Rouis, S.; Jaoua, S.

    2011-01-01

    BUPM95 is a Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki strain producing the Vip3Aa16 toxin with an interesting insecticidal activity against the Lepidopteran larvae Ephestia kuehniella. Study of different steps in the mode of action of this Vegetative Insecticidal Protein on the Mediterranean flour moth (E. kuehniella) was carried out in the aim to investigate the origin of the higher susceptibility of this insect to Vip3Aa16 toxin compared to that of the Egyptian cotton leaf worm Spodoptera litt...

  17. [Production and characteristics of monoclonal antibodies to the diphtheria toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valiakina, T I; Lakhtina, O E; Komaleva, R L; Simonova, M A; Samokhvalova, L V; Shoshina, N S; Kalinina, N A; Rubina, A Iu; Filippova, M A; Vertiev, Iu V; Grishin, E V

    2009-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies to the diphtheria toxin were produced without cross reactivity with the thermolabile toxin (LT) from Escherichia coli; ricin; choleraic toxin; the SeA, SeB, SeE, SeI, and SeG toxins of staphylococcus; the lethal factor of the anthrax toxin; and the protective antigen of the anthrax toxin. A pair of antibodies for the quantitative determination of the diphtheria toxin in the sandwich variation of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was chosen. The determination limit of the toxin was 0.7 ng/ml in plate and 1.6 ng/ml in microchip ELISA. The presence of a secretion from the nasopharynx lavage did not decrease the sensitivity of the toxin determination by sandwich ELISA. The immunization of mice with the diphtheria toxin and with a conjugate of the diphtheria toxin with polystyrene microspheres demonstrated that the conjugate immunization resulted in the formation of hybridoma clones which produced antibodies only to the epitopes of the A fragment of the diphtheria toxin. The immunization with the native toxin caused the production of hybridoma clones which predominantly produced antibodies to the epitopes of the B fragment.

  18. 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.

  19. Transport of Algal Cells in Hyporheic Sediments of the River Elbe (Germany)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloep, Frank; Röske, Isolde

    2004-01-01

    The advective transport of algal cells into the interstices of the hyporheic zone of the River Elbe was spatially and temporally heterogenous. Even deep sediment layers were reached by large phytoplankton species. Therefore, it is suggested that (i) the advective interstitial transport patterns vary between different algal sizes and morphotypes and (ii) sediment characteristics, expressed by the permeability coefficient kf of porous media, affect retention and retardation of surface water algae during subsurface transport. The transport behaviour of different green algae (Chlorella sp., Scenedesmus acuminatus, Desmodesmus communis, and Pediastrum duplex) and algal sized microspheres was tested in flow-through column experiments with hyporheic sediments. The algal cell transport was directly related to the permeability of the column sediments. (

  20. Measurement and Modeling of Algal Biokinetics in Highly EutrophicWaters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stringfellow, William T.; Borglin, Sharon E.; Hanlon, Jeremy S.

    2006-04-04

    Excessive growth of suspended algae in eutrophic surface waters can contribute to the degradation of water quality. The objective of this study was to understand the fundamental processes limiting algal growth in highly nutrient-rich agricultural drainage water. Studies examining algal biokinetics (growth rates, yields, and decay) were conducted in a twenty-eight mile long, hydraulically simple, open channel. Algae biokinetics were found to follow a growth limited model,despite monitoring data demonstrating the presence of nutrients at concentrations far in excess of those expected to be limiting. A mechanistic algal biokinetic model was written to assist in data interpretation. Results from the mechanistic model suggested that at different times, soluble phosphate, minerals, and inorganic carbon could limit growth rates, but that growth yield was most likely limited by zooplankton grazing. The implication of these finding for control of algal growth are discussed.

  1. Process development for the production of bioethanol from waste algal biomass of Gracilaria verrucosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, Rishikesh; Kumar, Manoj; Chakraborty, Subhojit; Gupta, Rishi; Kumar, Savindra; Sahoo, Dinabandhu; Kuhad, Ramesh Chander

    2016-11-01

    The algal biomass of different species of Gracilaria were collected from coasts of Orissa and Tamil Nadu, India and characterized biochemically. Among various species, G. verrucosa was found to be better in terms of total carbohydrate content (56.65%) and hence selected for further studies. The agar was extracted from algal biomass and the residual pulp was enzymatically hydrolyzed. The optimization of algal pulp hydrolysis for various parameters revealed a maximum sugar release of 75.8mg/ml with 63% saccharification yield. The fermentation of enzymatic hydrolysate of algal pulp was optimized and 8% (v/v) inoculum size, 12h inoculum age, pH 5.0 were found to be optimum parameters for maximum ethanol concentration (27.2g/L) after 12h. The process of enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation were successfully scaled up to 2L bioreactor scale.

  2. Effect of Tetracycline Antibiotics on Performance and Microbial Community of Algal Photo-Bioreactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taşkan, Ergin

    2016-07-01

    Tetracycline antibiotics have been increasingly used in medical applications and have been found in wastewater treatment plants as a result of human and industrial activities. This study investigates the combined effects of tetracycline antibiotics on the performance of an algal photo-bioreactor operated under different antibiotic concentrations in the ranges of 0.25 to 30 mg/L and considers the inhibition of algal growth, carbon and nutrient removal rates, and eukaryotic and cyanobacterial algal community changes. The results indicated that increases in the concentration of tetracycline mixtures have adverse effects on the algal community and the performance of a photo-bioreactor, and the eukaryotic algae species were more sensitive to tetracycline antibiotics than were the cyanobacterial species. Cultivation tests showed that approximately 94 % growth inhibition of mixed algae occurred at 30 mg/L.

  3. From benchtop to raceway : spectroscopic signatures of dynamic biological processes in algal communities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trahan, Christine Alexandra; Garcia, Omar Fidel; Martino, Anthony A.; Raymer, Michelle; Collins, Aaron M.; Hanson, David T. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Turner, Tom (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Powell, Amy Jo; James, Scott Carlton (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Scholle, Steven (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Dwyer, Brian P.; Ruffing, Anne; Jones, Howland D. T.; Ricken, James Bryce; Reichardt, Thomas A. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)

    2010-08-01

    The search is on for new renewable energy and algal-derived biofuel is a critical piece in the multi-faceted renewable energy puzzle. It has 30x more oil than any terrestrial oilseed crop, ideal composition for biodiesel, no competition with food crops, can be grown in waste water, and is cleaner than petroleum based fuels. This project discusses these three goals: (1) Conduct fundamental research into the effects that dynamic biotic and abiotic stressors have on algal growth and lipid production - Genomics/Transcriptomics, Bioanalytical spectroscopy/Chemical imaging; (2) Discover spectral signatures for algal health at the benchtop and greenhouse scale - Remote sensing, Bioanalytical spectroscopy; and (3) Develop computational model for algal growth and productivity at the raceway scale - Computational modeling.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Algal-bloom control by allelopathy of aquatic macrophytes——A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hongying HU; Yu HONG

    2008-01-01

    Algal-bloom control is an important issue for water environment protection as it induces several nega-tive impacts on the lives of aquatic organisms, aquacul-ture, landscaping, and human health. The development of an environment-friendly, cost-effective, and convenient alternative for controlling algal bloom has gained much concern. Using the allelopathy of aquatic macrophytes as a novel and safe method for algal-bloom control is a promising alternative. This paper reviews the develop-ment and potential application about allelopathy of aquatic plants on algae, including the allelopathic research history, the potential research problems, the research methodology, and the reported aquatic macro-phytes and their inhibitory allelochemicals. Potential modes of inhibition action of allelochemicals on algae, possible ways for application, and future development directions of research on algal-bloom control by aquatic macrophytes were also presented.

  8. Algal Biofuels Factsheet: Long-Term Energy Benefits Drive U.S. Research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2013-03-04

    Algal biofuels are generating considerable interest around the world. In the United States, they represent promising pathways for helping to meet the biofuel production targets set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

  9. Review of Water Consumption and Water Conservation Technologies in the Algal Biofuel Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Qingshi; Lu, Mingming; Thiansathit, Worrarat; Keener, Tim C

    2016-01-01

    Although water is one of the most critical factors affecting the sustainable development of algal biofuels, it is much less studied as compared to the extensive research on algal biofuel production technologies. This paper provides a review of the recent studies on water consumption of the algae biofuel process and presents the water conservation technologies applicable at different stages of the algal biofuel process. Open ponds tend to have much higher water consumption (216 to 2000 gal/gal) than photobioreactors (25 to 72 gal/gal). Algae growth accounts for the highest water consumption (165 to 2000 gal/gal) in the open pond system. Water consumption during harvesting, oil extraction, and biofuel conversion are much less compared with the growth stage. Potential water conservation opportunities include technology innovations and better management practices at different stages of algal biofuel production.

  10. Mass cultivation of various algal species and their evaluation as a potential candidate for lipid production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharif, Nadia; Munir, Neelma; Saleem, Faiza; Aslam, Farheen; Naz, Shagufta

    2015-01-01

    Microalgae have been proposed as a promising source for biodiesel production. Focusing on algal strains for biodiesel production, efforts should be made to search new strains. Experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of growth parameters (nutrients, pH, light, aeration and temperature) and the oil percentage of eight algal strains (Chlorella sp., Cladophora sp., Hydrodictylium sp., Oedogonium sp., Oscillatoria sp., Spirogyra sp., Stigeocolonium sp., Ulothrix sp.). Results show that 6.5-7.5 is the optimum pH for the growth of all algal species. Temperature showed a greater variation (25°40°C). Ulothrix sp. gave more biomass productivity and is the most suitable strain for biodiesel production due to higher oil percentage (62%). Least biomass production was observed for Stigeocolonium sp. and least oil content was obtained from Hydrodictylium sp. It was observed that among these eight algal strains for biodiesel production, Ulothrix and Chlorella are the most promising algae species.

  11. 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.

  12. Harmful algal blooms discovered during the Mote Monthly transect cruises, 1998 and 1999 (NODC Accession 0000532)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Harmful algal blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, have caused massive fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico since the 1500's, with most occurrences on the...

  13. Determination of Total Carbohydrates in Algal Biomass: Laboratory Analytical Procedure (LAP)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Wychen, S.; Laurens, L. M. L.

    2013-12-01

    This procedure uses two-step sulfuric acid hydrolysis to hydrolyze the polymeric forms of carbohydrates in algal biomass into monomeric subunits. The monomers are then quantified by either HPLC or a suitable spectrophotometric method.

  14. MEDIAMUSIC ORIGINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chernyshov Alexander V.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The article investigates the origins of music in electronic regular broadcasting, which conditions have appeared in the XIX century. They stand out in the "telephone concerts", "phonograph concerts" and the proto-sound films (T.Edison, W.Dickson, Ch.Pathé, O.Messter. In the early twentieth century, a clear prototype of mediamusic playing by the music of "silent" films, which has been divided on the on-screen and offscreen sound layers, the method of compilation, the basics of synchronization between musical sound and off-music montage-structures. In addition, the origins of music of electronic mass media can be regarded as attempts to understand the "musical" noise features, which subsequently materialize in the phenomenon of "noisemusic" of media audio-score (L.Russolo, Ars.Avraamov, D.Vertov, W.Ruttmann, N.Voinov, P.Schaeffer. Are considered Russian, European and North American experiences.

  15. Mitochondrial origins.

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, D.; Oyaizu, Y; Oyaizu, H; Olsen, G J; Woese, C R

    1985-01-01

    The 16S ribosomal RNA sequences from Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Pseudomonas testosteroni have been determined to further delimit the origin of the endosymbiont that gave rise to the mitochondrion. These two prokaryotes represent the alpha and beta subdivisions, respectively, of the so-called purple bacteria. The endosymbiont that gave rise to the mitochondrion belonged to the alpha subdivision, a group that also contains the rhizobacteria, the agrobacteria, and the rickettsias--all prokary...

  16. 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.

  17. Plant Growth Biostimulants, Dietary Feed Supplements and Cosmetics Formulated with Supercritical CO2 Algal Extracts

    OpenAIRE

    Izabela Michalak; Katarzyna Chojnacka; Agnieszka Saeid

    2017-01-01

    The review paper presents the use of algal extracts as safe and solvent-free components of plant growth biostimulants, dietary feed additives and cosmetics. Innovative technology that uses extracts obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction, as a method of isolation of biologically active compounds from algal biomass, is presented. An important part of the complete technology is the final formulation of the product. This enabled realization of the further step which was assessment of the utilit...

  18. Effects of algal food quality on sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Jong‐Yun; Kim, Seong‐Ki; La, Geung‐Hwan; Chang, Kwang‐Hyeon; Kim, Dong‐Kyun; Jeong, Keon‐Young; Min S. Park; Jo, Hyunbin; Kim, Hyun‐Woo; Jeong, Kwang‐Seuk

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The objective of our study was to investigate sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna associated with mating behaviors and hatching rates, according to different algal food sources. Since a diatom is known to contain more abundant long‐chain poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), we hypothesized that the diatom‐consuming D. magna would exhibit more successful reproduction rates. Upon the hypothesis, we designed three experiments using two algal species, a green alga (Chlorella vulgaris) ...

  19. A Bi-enzymatic Whole-Cell Algal Biosensor for Monitoring Waste Water Pollutants

    OpenAIRE

    2004-01-01

    International audience; Two algal whole cells biosensors are developed to measure specific toxicity of freshwater pollutants. Both optical and conductometric biosensors are based on inhibition of algal alkaline phosphatase (AP) and esterase activities. Chlorella vulgaris cells are immobilised on a membrane placed in front of an optical fiber bundle for optical sensing or deposited on the surface of an electrode for conductometric sensing. Phosphatase activity of the biosensor is strongly inhi...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Chemistry and biological activity of AAL toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, C K; Gilchrist, D G; Dickman, M B; Jones, C

    1996-01-01

    AAL toxins and fumonisins comprise a family of highly reactive, chemically related mycotoxins that disrupt cellular homeostasis in both plant and animal tissues. Two critical issues to resolve are the detection of the entire family in food matricies and the mode of cellular disruption. Analysis of the entire set of chemical congeners in food matrices is difficult but has been achieved by a combination of different HPLC and mass spectrometry strategies. The mode of cellular disruption is unknown but likely involves changes associated with the inhibition of ceramide synthase in both plants and animals. Toxin treated cells exhibit morphological and biochemical changes characteristic of apoptosis. Further evaluation of the specific genetic and biochemical changes that occur during toxin-induced cell death may aid in understanding the mole of the action of these mycotoxins.

  3. Clostridium perfringens delta toxin is sequence related to beta toxin, NetB, and Staphylococcus pore-forming toxins, but shows functional differences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Manich

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens produces numerous toxins, which are responsible for severe diseases in man and animals. Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysins released by a number of C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. Delta toxin was characterized to be cytotoxic for cells expressing the ganglioside G(M2 in their membrane. Here we report the genetic characterization of Delta toxin and its pore forming activity in lipid bilayers. Delta toxin consists of 318 amino acids, its 28 N-terminal amino acids corresponding to a signal peptide. The secreted Delta toxin (290 amino acids; 32619 Da is a basic protein (pI 9.1 which shows a significant homology with C. perfringens Beta toxin (43% identity, with C. perfringens NetB (40% identity and, to a lesser extent, with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin and leukotoxins. Recombinant Delta toxin showed a preference for binding to G(M2, in contrast to Beta toxin, which did not bind to gangliosides. It is hemolytic for sheep red blood cells and cytotoxic for HeLa cells. In artificial diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine membranes, Delta and Beta toxin formed channels. Conductance of the channels formed by Delta toxin, with a value of about 100 pS to more than 1 nS in 1 M KCl and a membrane potential of 20 mV, was higher than those formed by Beta toxin and their distribution was broader. The results of zero-current membrane potential measurements and single channel experiments suggest that Delta toxin forms slightly anion-selective channels, whereas the Beta toxin channels showed a preference for cations under the same conditions. C. perfringens Delta toxin shows a significant sequence homolgy with C. perfringens Beta and NetB toxins, as well as with S. aureus alpha hemolysin and leukotoxins, but exhibits different channel properties in lipid bilayers. In contrast to Beta toxin, Delta toxin recognizes G(M2 as receptor and forms anion-selective channels.

  4. Direct utilization of waste water algal biomass for ethanol production by cellulolytic Clostridium phytofermentans DSM1183.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathima, Anwar Aliya; Sanitha, Mary; Kumar, Thangarathinam; Iyappan, Sellamuthu; Ramya, Mohandass

    2016-02-01

    Direct bioconversion of waste water algal biomass into ethanol using Clostridium phytofermentans DSM1183 was demonstrated in this study. Fermentation of 2% (w/v) autoclaved algal biomass produced ethanol concentration of 0.52 g L(-1) (solvent yield of 0.19 g/g) where as fermentation of acid pretreated algal biomass (2%, w/v) produced ethanol concentration of 4.6 g L(-1) in GS2 media (solvent yield of 0.26 g/g). The control experiment with 2% (w/v) glucose in GS2 media produced ethanol concentration of 2.8 g L(-1) (solvent yield of 0.25 g/g). The microalgal strains from waste water algal biomass were identified as Chlamydomonas dorsoventralis, Graesiella emersonii, Coelastrum proboscideum, Scenedesmus obliquus, Micractinium sp., Desmodesmus sp., and Chlorella sp., based on ITS-2 molecular marker. The presence of glucose, galactose, xylose and rhamnose were detected by high performance liquid chromatography in the algal biomass. Scanning Electron Microscopy observations of fermentation samples showed characteristic morphological changes in algal cells and bioaccessibility of C. phytofermentans.

  5. Abundance, biomass and composition of spring ice algal and phytoplankton communities of the Laptev Sea (Arctic)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Abundance, biomass and composition of the ice algal and phytoplankton communities were investigated in the southeastern Laptev Sea in spring 1999.Diatoms dominated the algal communities and pennate diatoms dominated the diatom population. 12 dominant algal species occurred within sea ice and underlying water column, including Fragilariopsis oceanica, F. cylindrus, Nitzschia frigida , N. promare, Achnanthes taeniata , Nitzschia neofrigida , Navicula pelagica , N. vanhoef fenii, N. septentrionalis, Melosira arctica , Clindrotheca closterium and Pyramimonas sp. The algal abundance of bottom 10 cm sea ice varied between 14.6 and 1562.2 × 104 cells l-1 with an average of 639.0 × 104cells l-1 , and the algal biomass ranged from 7.89 to 2093.5 μg C l-1 with an average of 886.9 μg C l-1 , which were generally one order of magnitude higher than those of sub-bottom ice and two orders of magnitude higher than those of underlying surface water. The integrated algal abundance and biomass of lowermost 20 cm ice column were averagely 7.7 and 12.2 times as those of upper 20 m water column, respectively, suggesting that the ice algae might play an important role in maintaining the coastal marine ecosystem before the thawing of sea ice. Ice algae influenced the phytoplankton community of the underlying water column.However, the "seeding" of ice algae for phytoplankton bloom was negligible because of the low phytoplankton biomass within the underlying water column.

  6. Removing nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated wastewater using algal biofilm technique

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qun WEI; Zhiquan HU; Genbao LI; Bo XIAO; Hao SUN; Meiping TAO

    2008-01-01

    Algal biofilm technology is a new and advanced wastewater treatment method. Experimental study on removing nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated waste-water using algal biofilm under the continuous light of 3500 Lux in the batch and continuous systems was carried out in this paper to assess the performance of algal biofilm in removing nutrients. The results showed that the effect of removing nitrogen and phosphorus by algal biofilm was remarkable in the batch system. The removal efficiencies of total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) reached 98.17%, 86.58%, 91.88%, and 97.11%, respect-ively. In the continuous system, hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 4 days was adopted; the effects of removing TP, TN, NH3-N, and COD by algal biofilm were very stable. During a run of 24 days, the removal efficiencies of TP, TN, NH3-N, and COD reached 95.38%, 83.93%, 82.38%, and 92.31%, respectively. This study demonstrates the feasibility of removing nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated wastewater using algal biofilm.

  7. Investigating why recycling gravity harvested algae increases harvestability and productivity in high rate algal ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J; Shilton, A N

    2013-09-15

    It has previously been shown that recycling gravity harvested algae promotes Pediastrum boryanum dominance and improves harvestability and biomass production in pilot-scale High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAPs) treating domestic wastewater. In order to confirm the reproducibility of these findings and investigate the mechanisms responsible, this study utilized twelve 20 L outdoor HRAP mesocosms operated with and without algal recycling. It then compared the recycling of separated solid and liquid components of the harvested biomass against un-separated biomass. The work confirmed that algal recycling promoted P. boryanum dominance, improved 1 h-settleability by >20% and increased biomass productivity by >25% compared with controls that had no recycling. With regard to the improved harvestability, of particular interest was that recycling the liquid fraction alone caused a similar improvement in settleability as recycling the solid fraction. This may be due to the presence of extracellular polymeric substances in the liquid fraction. While there are many possible mechanisms that could account for the increased productivity with algal recycling, all but two were systematically eliminated: (i) the mean cell residence time was extended thereby increasing the algal concentration and more fully utilizing the incident sunlight and, (ii) the relative proportions of algal growth stages (which have different specific growth rates) was changed, resulting in a net increase in the overall growth rate of the culture.

  8. Snow algal communities on glaciers in the Suntar-Khayata Mountain Range in eastern Siberia, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Sota; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Miyairi, Masaya; Fujisawa, Yuta; Kadota, Tsutomu; Shirakawa, Tatsuo; Kusaka, Ryo; Takahashi, Shuhei; Enomoto, Hiroyuki; Ohata, Tetsuo; Yabuki, Hironori; Konya, Keiko; Fedorov, Alexander; Konstantinov, Pavel

    2016-09-01

    Snow and ice algal communities were investigated on four glaciers in the Suntar-Khayata Mountain Range in eastern Siberia in Russia over three melting seasons from 2012 to 2014. Two taxa of green algae and five taxa of cyanobacteria were observed on the glaciers. The algal community was dominated by green algae: Ancylonema nordenskioldii in the lower bare ice area and Chloromonas sp. in the upper snow area. The total algal bio-volume showed altitudinal variation, ranging from 0.03 to 4.0 mL m-2, and was greatest in the middle of the glaciers. The altitudinal variations in the algal community were similar on all studied glaciers, suggesting that they are typical in this region. Observations over the three years revealed that there was no significant change in the community structure, but a significant change in the total biomass. Since the mean summer air temperature was significantly higher in 2012 when algal biomass was greater, the difference in algal biomass among the years is probably due to the duration of surface melting. The community structure on the studied glaciers is similar to those on glaciers in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.

  9. Safety evaluation of DHA-rich Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorova-Dahms, I; Marone, P A; Bauter, M; Ryan, A S

    2011-12-01

    The safety of DHA-rich Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp. containing 40-45 wt% DHA and up to 10 wt% EPA was evaluated by testing for gene mutations, clastogenicity and aneugenicity, and in a subchronic 90-day Sprague-Dawley rat dietary study with in utero exposure, followed by a 4-week recovery phase. The results of all genotoxicity tests were negative. In the 90-day study, DHA-rich Algal Oil was administered at dietary levels of 0.5, 1.5, and 5 wt% along with two control diets: a standard low-fat basal diet and a basal diet supplemented with 5 wt% of concentrated Fish Oil. There were no treatment-related effects of DHA-rich Algal Oil on clinical observations, body weight, food consumption, behavior, hematology, clinical chemistry, coagulation, or urinalysis. Increases in absolute and relative weights of the liver, kidney, spleen and adrenals (adrenals and spleen with histological correlates) were observed in both the Fish Oil- and the high-dose of DHA-rich Algal Oil-treated females and were not considered to be adverse. The no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for DHA-rich Algal Oil under the conditions of this study was 5 wt% in the diet, equivalent to an overall average DHA-rich Algal Oil intake of 4260 mg/kg bw/day for male and female rats.

  10. Toxicologic evaluation of DHA-rich algal oil: Genotoxicity, acute and subchronic toxicity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, D; Tran, N; Peach, J; Bauter, M; Marone, P

    2012-10-01

    DHA-rich algal oil ONC-T18, tested in a battery of in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity tests, did not show mutagenic or genotoxic potential. The acute oral LD50 in rats has been estimated to be greater than 5000 mg/kg of body weight. In a 90-day subchronic dietary study, administration of DHA-rich algal oil at concentrations of 0, 10,000, 25,000, and 50,000 ppm in the diet for 13 weeks did not produce any significant toxicologic manifestations. The algal oil test article was well tolerated as evidenced by the absence of major treatment-related changes in the general condition and appearance of the rats, neurobehavioral endpoints, growth, feed and water intake, ophthalmoscopic examinations, routine hematology and clinical chemistry parameters, urinalysis, or necropsy findings. The no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) was the highest level fed of 50,000 ppm which is equivalent to 3,305 and 3,679 mg/kg bw/day, for male and female rats, respectively. The studies were conducted as part of an investigation to examine the safety of DHA-rich algal oil. The results confirm that it possesses a toxicity profile similar to other currently marketed algal oils and support the safety of DHA-rich algal oil for its proposed use in food.

  11. Marine Toxins Targeting Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo R. Arias

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This introductory minireview points out the importance of ion channels for cell communication. The basic concepts on the structure and function of ion channels triggered by membrane voltage changes, the so-called voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs, as well as those activated by neurotransmitters, the so-called ligand-gated ion channel (LGICs, are introduced. Among the most important VGIC superfamiles, we can name the voltage-gated Na+ (NaV, Ca2+ (CaV, and K+ (KV channels. Among the most important LGIC super families, we can include the Cys-loop or nicotinicoid, the glutamate-activated (GluR, and the ATP-activated (P2XnR receptor superfamilies. Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that allow the passage of different ions in a specific or unspecific manner. For instance, the activation of NaV, CaV, or KV channels opens a pore that is specific for Na+, Ca2+, or K+, respectively. On the other hand, the activation of certain LGICs such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GluRs, and P2XnRs allows the passage of cations (e.g., Na+, K+, and/or Ca2+, whereas the activation of other LGICs such as type A γ-butyric acid and glycine receptors allows the passage of anions (e.g., Cl− and/or HCO3−. In this regard, the activation of NaV and CaV as well as ligand-gated cation channels produce membrane depolarization, which finally leads to stimulatory effects in the cell, whereas the activation of KV as well as ligand-gated anion channels induce membrane hyperpolarization that finally leads to inhibitory effects in the cell. The importance of these ion channel superfamilies is emphasized by considering their physiological functions throughout the body as well as their pathophysiological implicance in several neuronal diseases. In this regard, natural molecules, and especially marine toxins, can be potentially used as modulators (e.g., inhibitors or prolongers of ion channel functions to treat or to alleviate a specific

  12. 5-hydroxytryptamine release into human jejunum by cholera toxin.

    OpenAIRE

    Bearcroft, C P; Perrett, D.; Farthing, M J

    1996-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cholera toxin produces intestinal secretion by activation of the adenylate cyclase complex. However animal studies have shown 5-hydroxytryptamine may be released after exposure to cholera toxin, and thereby contribute to the secretory state. AIM: To determine whether cholera toxin releases 5-hydroxytryptamine in human jejunum. SUBJECTS: Seven male subjects were given a subclinical dose of cholera toxin in a paired, controlled, randomised, double blind study. METHODS: A closed 10 c...

  13. Inhibiting bacterial toxins by channel blockage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezrukov, Sergey M; Nestorovich, Ekaterina M

    2016-03-01

    Emergent rational drug design techniques explore individual properties of target biomolecules, small and macromolecule drug candidates, and the physical forces governing their interactions. In this minireview, we focus on the single-molecule biophysical studies of channel-forming bacterial toxins that suggest new approaches for their inhibition. We discuss several examples of blockage of bacterial pore-forming and AB-type toxins by the tailor-made compounds. In the concluding remarks, the most effective rationally designed pore-blocking antitoxins are compared with the small-molecule inhibitors of ion-selective channels of neurophysiology.

  14. Impact of CDT Toxin on Human Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiphanie Faïs

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT is found in Gram-negative bacteria, especially in certain Proteobacteria such as the Pasteurellaceae family, including Haemophilus ducreyi and Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, in the Enterobacteriaceae family and the Campylobacterales order, including the Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. In vitro and in vivo studies have clearly shown that this toxin has a strong effect on cellular physiology (inflammation, immune response modulation, tissue damage. Some works even suggest a potential involvement of CDT in cancers. In this review, we will discuss these different aspects.

  15. Impact of CDT Toxin on Human Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faïs, Tiphanie; Delmas, Julien; Serres, Arnaud; Bonnet, Richard; Dalmasso, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) is found in Gram-negative bacteria, especially in certain Proteobacteria such as the Pasteurellaceae family, including Haemophilus ducreyi and Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans, in the Enterobacteriaceae family and the Campylobacterales order, including the Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. In vitro and in vivo studies have clearly shown that this toxin has a strong effect on cellular physiology (inflammation, immune response modulation, tissue damage). Some works even suggest a potential involvement of CDT in cancers. In this review, we will discuss these different aspects. PMID:27429000

  16. Impact of CDT Toxin on Human Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faïs, Tiphanie; Delmas, Julien; Serres, Arnaud; Bonnet, Richard; Dalmasso, Guillaume

    2016-07-15

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) is found in Gram-negative bacteria, especially in certain Proteobacteria such as the Pasteurellaceae family, including Haemophilus ducreyi and Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans, in the Enterobacteriaceae family and the Campylobacterales order, including the Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. In vitro and in vivo studies have clearly shown that this toxin has a strong effect on cellular physiology (inflammation, immune response modulation, tissue damage). Some works even suggest a potential involvement of CDT in cancers. In this review, we will discuss these different aspects.

  17. Streptococcal toxins: role in pathogenesis and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Timothy C; Cole, Jason N; Rivera-Hernandez, Tania; Henningham, Anna; Paton, James C; Nizet, Victor; Walker, Mark J

    2015-12-01

    Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), group B Streptococcus (Streptococcus agalactiae) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) are host-adapted bacterial pathogens among the leading infectious causes of human morbidity and mortality. These microbes and related members of the genus Streptococcus produce an array of toxins that act against human cells or tissues, resulting in impaired immune responses and subversion of host physiological processes to benefit the invading microorganism. This toxin repertoire includes haemolysins, proteases, superantigens and other agents that ultimately enhance colonization and survival within the host and promote dissemination of the pathogen.

  18. [Botulinum toxin as a biological weapon].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossow, Heidi; Kinnunen, Paula M; Nikkari, Simo

    2012-01-01

    Botulism is caused by botulinum neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is a flaccid paralysis in which consciousness and nociception are preserved. Natural botulism typically results from ingestion of inadequately heated or unheated vacuum-packed foods. In addition, botulinum toxin is one of the most feared biological weapons. In the diagnosis and treatment of botulism early suspicion is essential. Several coinciding or local clusters without a typical connecting source, or an uncommon type of toxin may indicate an intentionally caused epidemic.

  19. Intraspecific Diversity and Ecological Zonation in Coral-Algal Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowan, Rob; Knowlton, Nancy

    1995-03-01

    All reef-building corals are obligately associated with photosynthetic microalgal endosymbionts called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthella taxonomy has emphasized differences between species of hosts, but the possibility of ecologically significant zooxanthella diversity within hosts has been the subject of speculation for decades. Analysis of two dominant Caribbean corals showed that each associates with three taxa of zooxanthellae that exhibit zonation with depth-the primary environmental gradient for light-dependent marine organisms. Some colonies apparently host two taxa of symbionts in proportions that can vary across the colony. This common occurrence of polymorphic, habitat-specific symbioses challenges conventional understanding of the units of biodiversity but also illuminates many distinctive aspects of marine animal-algal associations. Habitat specificity provides ecological explanations for the previously documented poor concordance between host and symbiont phylogenies and the otherwise surprising lack of direct, maternal transmission of symbionts in many species of hosts. Polymorphic symbioses may underlie the conspicuous and enigmatic variability characteristic of responses to environmental stress (e.g., coral "bleaching") and contribute importantly to the phenomenon of photoadaptation.

  20. The highly reduced genome of an enslaved algal nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, S; Zauner, S; Fraunholz, M; Beaton, M; Penny, S; Deng, L T; Wu, X; Reith, M; Cavalier-Smith, T; Maier, U G

    2001-04-26

    Chromophyte algae differ fundamentally from plants in possessing chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll c and that have a more complex bounding-membrane topology. Although chromophytes are known to be evolutionary chimaeras of a red alga and a non-photosynthetic host, which gave rise to their exceptional membrane complexity, their cell biology is poorly understood. Cryptomonads are the only chromophytes that still retain the enslaved red algal nucleus as a minute nucleomorph. Here we report complete sequences for all three nucleomorph chromosomes from the cryptomonad Guillardia theta. This tiny 551-kilobase eukaryotic genome is the most gene-dense known, with only 17 diminutive spliceosomal introns and 44 overlapping genes. Marked evolutionary compaction hundreds of millions of years ago eliminated nearly all the nucleomorph genes for metabolic functions, but left 30 for chloroplast-located proteins. To allow expression of these proteins, nucleomorphs retain hundreds of genetic-housekeeping genes. Nucleomorph DNA replication and periplastid protein synthesis require the import of many nuclear gene products across endoplasmic reticulum and periplastid membranes. The chromosomes have centromeres, but possibly only one loop domain, offering a means for studying eukaryotic chromosome replication, segregation and evolution.

  1. Anaerobic digestion of nitrophilic algal biomass from the Venice Lagoon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rigoni-Stern, S.; Rismondo, R. (Technital S.p.A., Verona (IT)); Szpyrkowicz, L.; Zilio-Grandi, F. (Venice Univ. (Italy)); Vigato, P.A. (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Padua (Italy). Lab. di Chimica e Tecnologia dei Radioelementi)

    1990-01-01

    The feasibility of producing biogas by anaerobic digestion of a nitrophilic algae biomass obtained from the highly eutrophicated Venice Lagoon has been investigated. Methods for harvesting algal biomass have been examined in detail and different pretreatments used prior to analysis and digestion of the algae described. Results obtained from three pilot plant digesters over a period of 12 months using Ulva rigida and Gracilaria as feed material gave no indication of inhibition of the process by either high salinity or high metals content resulting from pollutants discharged into the lagoon. Sulphides were formed during digestion as a consequence of the high sulphate content of the interstitial water as well as the level of sulphur present in the algae. However, the sulphides did not appear to cause inhibition or result in a reduction in gas yield. A maximum biogas production rate of 0.347 m{sup 3} kg VS{sup -1} day{sup -1} was obtained during digestion at a retention time of 20 days with an organic loading rate of 1 kg VS m{sup -3} day{sup -1}. (author).

  2. Hydrogen production from algal biomass via steam gasification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duman, Gozde; Uddin, Md Azhar; Yanik, Jale

    2014-08-01

    Algal biomasses were tested as feedstock for steam gasification in a dual-bed microreactor in a two-stage process. Gasification experiments were carried out in absence and presence of catalyst. The catalysts used were 10% Fe₂O₃-90% CeO₂ and red mud (activated and natural forms). Effects of catalysts on tar formation and gasification efficiencies were comparatively investigated. It was observed that the characteristic of algae gasification was dependent on its components and the catalysts used. The main role of the catalyst was reforming of the tar derived from algae pyrolysis, besides enhancing water gas shift reaction. The tar reduction levels were in the range of 80-100% for seaweeds and of 53-70% for microalgae. Fe₂O₃-CeO₂ was found to be the most effective catalyst. The maximum hydrogen yields obtained were 1036 cc/g algae for Fucus serratus, 937 cc/g algae for Laminaria digitata and 413 cc/g algae for Nannochloropsis oculata.

  3. Impact of iron porphyrin complexes when hydroprocessing algal HTL biocrude

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jarvis, Jacqueline M.; Sudasinghe, Nilusha M.; Albrecht, Karl O.; Schmidt, Andrew J.; Hallen, Richard T.; Anderson, Daniel B.; Billing, Justin M.; Schaub, Tanner M.

    2016-10-01

    We apply Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) for direct characterization of iron-porphyrins in hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) biocrude oils derived from two algae: Tetraselmis sp. and cyanobacteria. The ironporphyrin compounds are shown to cause catalyst bed plugging during hydroprocessing due to iron deposition. Inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICPOES) was utilized for iron quantitation in the plugged catalyst beds formed through hydroprocessing of the two HTL biocrudes and identifies an enrichment of iron in the upper five centimeters of the catalyst bed for Tetraselmis sp. (Fe=100,728 ppm) and cyanobacteria (Fe=115,450 ppm). Direct infusion FT-ICR MS analysis of the two HTL biocrudes with optimized instrument conditions facilitates rapid screening and identification of iron-porphyrins without prior chromatographic separation. With FT-ICR MS we identify 138 unique iron-porphyrin compounds in the two HTL biocrudes that are structurally similar to metal-porphyrins (e.g. Ni and V) observed in petroleum. No ironporphyrins are observed in the cyanobacteria HTL biocrude after hydroprocessing, which indicates that iron-porphyrin structures in the HTL biocrude are degraded during hydroprocessing. Hydrodemetallization reactions that occur through hydroprocessing of HTL biocrudes could be responsible for the decomposition of iron-porphyrin structures leading to metal deposition in the catalyst bed that result in catalyst deactivation and bed plugging, and must be addressed for effective upgrading of algal HTL biocrudes.

  4. Expanding Fungal Diets Through Synthetic Algal-Fungal Mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Alaisha; Galazka, Jonathan (Editor)

    2015-01-01

    Fungi can synthesize numerous molecules with important properties, and could be valuable production platforms for space exploration and colonization. However, as heterotrophs, fungi require reduced carbon. This limits their efficiency in locations such as Mars, where reduced carbon is scarce. We propose a system to induce mutualistic symbiosis between the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the filamentous fungi Neurospora crassa. This arrangement would mimic natural algal-fungal relationships found in lichens, but have added advantages including increased growth rate and genetic tractability. N. crassa would metabolize citrate (C6H5O7 (sup -3)) and release carbon dioxide (CO2) that C. reinhardtii would assimilate into organic sugars during photosynthesis. C. reinhardtii would metabolize nitrate (NO3-) and release ammonia (NH3) as a nitrogen source for N. crassa. A N. crassa mutant incapable of reducing nitrate will be used to force this interaction. This system eliminates the need to directly supply its participants with carbon dioxide and ammonia. Furthermore, the release of oxygen by C. reinhardtii via photosynthesis would enable N. crassa to respire. We hope to eventually create a system closer to lichen, in which the algae transfers not only nitrogen but reduced carbon, as organic sugars, to the fungus for growth and production of valuable compounds.

  5. Enhancing Algal Growth by Stimulation with LED Lighting and Ultrasound

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shao-Yi Hsia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Algae are not only rich in natural nutrients, but are also a high-priced health food. An important constituent called “growth factor” is extracted from algae and used as an ingredient in medical drugs, foods, cosmetics, and other products. Its enormous potential market should not be taken lightly. Algae are mostly found near coastal areas and their habitats are limited by a number of natural factors, leading to large labor and financial expenditures to harvest. This report describes our study of indoor algae production using LED lights and ultrasound and manipulating other growth factors at different temperatures. Ultrasound treatment at the alga’s natural resonant frequency was varied to determine optimal algal growth using the Taguchi method to plan and to analyze the experiments. The results were very satisfying, showing an 8.23% increase in the growth rate by the fifth day due to ultrasound treatment and an amazing 27.01% growth rate due to biomechanical stimulation.

  6. Pyrolysis kinetics of algal consortia grown using swine manure wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharara, Mahmoud A; Holeman, Nathan; Sadaka, Sammy S; Costello, Thomas A

    2014-10-01

    In this study, pyrolysis kinetics of periphytic microalgae consortia grown using swine manure slurry in two seasonal climatic patterns in northwest Arkansas were investigated. Four heating rates (5, 10, 20 and 40 °C min(-1)) were used to determine the pyrolysis kinetics. Differences in proximate, ultimate, and heating value analyses reflected variability in growing substrate conditions, i.e., flocculant use, manure slurry dilution, and differences in diurnal solar radiation and air temperature regimes. Peak decomposition temperature in algal harvests varied with changing the heating rate. Analyzing pyrolysis kinetics using differential and integral isoconversional methods (Friedman, Flynn-Wall-Ozawa, and Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose) showed strong dependency of apparent activation energy on the degree of conversion suggesting parallel reaction scheme. Consequently, the weight loss data in each thermogravimetric test was modeled using independent parallel reactions (IPR). The quality of fit (QOF) for the model ranged between 2.09% and 3.31% indicating a good agreement with the experimental data.

  7. 77 FR 9888 - Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-21

    ... Food Safety and Inspection Service Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Certain Raw Beef Products... manufacturing trimmings for six non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups (O26, O45..., non-intact product, that are contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26,...

  8. Characterisation of cholera toxin by liquid chromatography - Electrospray mass spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baar, B.L.M. van; Hulst, A.G.; Wils, E.R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Cholera toxin, one of the toxins that may be generated by various strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, can be considered as a substance possibly used in biological warfare. The possibilities of characterising the toxin by liquid chromatography electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ES-MS) were inve

  9. 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.

  10. Anthrax toxin-induced rupture of artificial lipid bilayer membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nablo, Brian J.; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Nguyen, Tam L.; Gussio, Rick; Ribot, Wil; Friedlander, Art; Chabot, Donald; Reiner, Joseph E.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Balijepalli, Arvind; Halverson, Kelly M.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    2013-08-01

    We demonstrate experimentally that anthrax toxin complexes rupture artificial lipid bilayer membranes when isolated from the blood of infected animals. When the solution pH is temporally acidified to mimic that process in endosomes, recombinant anthrax toxin forms an irreversibly bound complex, which also destabilizes membranes. The results suggest an alternative mechanism for the translocation of anthrax toxin into the cytoplasm.

  11. Pore-forming activity of clostridial binary toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, O; Benz, R; Popoff, M R

    2016-03-01

    Clostridial binary toxins (Clostridium perfringens Iota toxin, Clostridium difficile transferase, Clostridium spiroforme toxin, Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin) as Bacillus binary toxins, including Bacillus anthracis toxins consist of two independent proteins, one being the binding component which mediates the internalization into cell of the intracellularly active component. Clostridial binary toxins induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through mono-ADP-ribosylation of globular actin and are responsible for enteric diseases. Clostridial and Bacillus binary toxins share structurally and functionally related binding components which recognize specific cell receptors, oligomerize, form pores in endocytic vesicle membrane, and mediate the transport of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Binding components retain the global structure of pore-forming toxins (PFTs) from the cholesterol-dependent cytotoxin family such as perfringolysin. However, their pore-forming activity notably that of clostridial binding components is more related to that of heptameric PFT family including aerolysin and C. perfringens epsilon toxin. This review focuses upon pore-forming activity of clostridial binary toxins compared to other related PFTs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale.

  12. Bacterial protein toxins : tools to study mammalian molecular cell biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wüthrich, I.W.

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial protein toxins are genetically encoded proteinaceous macromolecules that upon exposure causes perturbation of cellular metabolism in a susceptible host. A bacterial toxin can work at a distance from the site of infection, and has direct and quantifiable actions. Bacterial protein toxins ca

  13. STUDIES ON THE MODE OF ACTION OF DIPHTHERIA TOXIN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Using tritium-labelled toxin, it was shown that HeLa cells treated with a saturating dose take up less than 2% ( 0.005ug/ml) of the added toxin...of C14-amino acids into protein in extracts of HeLa cells and of rabbit reticulo cytes. It was shown that the toxin interferes with a step involving

  14. Use of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins for control of the cotton pest Earias insulana (Boisd.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibargutxi, María A; Estela, Anna; Ferré, Juan; Caballero, Primitivo

    2006-01-01

    Thirteen of the most common lepidopteran-specific Cry proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis have been tested for their efficacy against newly hatched larvae of two populations of the spiny bollworm, Earias insulana. At a concentration of 100 microg of toxin per milliliter of artificial diet, six Cry toxins (Cry1Ca, Cry1Ea, Cry1Fa, Cry1Ja, Cry2Aa, and Cry2Ab) were not toxic at all. Cry1Aa, Cry1Ja, and Cry2Aa did not cause mortality but caused significant inhibition of growth. The other Cry toxins (Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, Cry1Ba, Cry1Da, Cry1Ia, and Cry9Ca) were toxic to E. insulana larvae. The 50% lethal concentration values of these toxins ranged from 0.39 to 21.13 microg/ml (for Cry9Ca and Cry1Ia, respectively) for an E. insulana laboratory colony originating from Egypt and from 0.20 to 4.25 microg/ml (for Cry9Ca and Cry1Da, respectively) for a laboratory colony originating from Spain. The relative potencies of the toxins in the population from Egypt were highest for Cry9Ca and Cry1Ab, and they were both significantly more toxic than Cry1Ac and Cry1Ba, followed by Cry1Da and finally Cry1Ia. In the population from Spain, Cry9Ca was the most toxic, followed in decreasing order by Cry1Ac and Cry1Ba, and the least toxic was Cry1Da. Binding experiments were performed to test whether the toxic Cry proteins shared binding sites in this insect. 125I-labeled Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab and biotinylated Cry1Ba, Cry1Ia, and Cry9Ca showed specific binding to the brush border membrane vesicles from E. insulana. Competition binding experiments among these toxins showed that only Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac competed for the same binding sites, indicating a high possibility that this insect may develop cross-resistance to Cry1Ab upon exposure to Cry1Ac transgenic cotton but not to the other toxins tested.

  15. Improved purification process for cholera toxin and its application to the quantification of residual toxin in cholera vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Hyun; Kim, Hyo Seung; Kim, Jeong Ah; Seo, Jin Ho; Carbis, Rodney

    2009-01-01

    A simplified method for the purification of cholera toxin was developed. The 569B strain of Vibrio cholerae, a recognized hyper-producer of cholera toxin, was propagated in a bioreactor under conditions that promote the production of the toxin. The toxin was separated from the bacterial cells using 0.2-microm crossflow microfiltration, the clarified toxin was passed through the membrane into the permeate, and the bacterial cells were retained in the retentate. The 0.2-microm permeate was then concentrated 3-fold and diafiltered against 10 mM phosphate buffer, pH 7.6, using 30-kDa crossflow ultrafiltration. The concentrated toxin was loaded onto a cation exchange column, the toxin was bound to the column, and most of the impurities were passed unimpeded through the column. The toxin was eluted with a salt gradient of phosphate buffer, pH7.0, containing 1.0M NaCl. The peak containing the toxin was assayed for cholera toxin and protein and the purity was determined to be 92%. The toxin peak had a low endotoxin level of 3.1 EU/microg of toxin. The purified toxin was used to prepare antiserum against whole toxin, which was used in a G(M1) ganglioside-binding ELISA to determine residual levels of toxin in an oral inactivated whole-cell cholera vaccine. The G(M1) ganglioside-binding ELISA was shown to be very sensitive and capable of detecting as little as 1 ng/ml of cholera toxin.

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular approaches to improve the insecticidal activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucena, Wagner A; Pelegrini, Patrícia B; Martins-de-Sa, Diogo; Fonseca, Fernando C A; Gomes, Jose E; de Macedo, Leonardo L P; da Silva, Maria Cristina M; Oliveira, Raquel S; Grossi-de-Sa, Maria F

    2014-08-13

    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.

  18. A pharmacological study of the toxin in a Cnidarian, Chironex fleckeri Southcott.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, S E; Turner, R J

    1969-03-01

    1. A study has been made of the pharmacological actions of toxic preparations obtained from the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri Southcott. Two toxin preparations were used. One was a tentacle extract which was partially purified by Sephadex gel filtration; the second was obtained by a process analogous to snake milking, and is probably similar in composition to the material injected into victims.2. All preparations were extremely toxic; death in animals, following minimally lethal doses, occurred in minutes. Respiratory arrest of central origin appeared to be the terminal event in all species tested. This was accompanied by marked signs of cardiotoxicity. The heart was slowed, irregular, and showed varying degrees of conduction delay. Terminally it showed atrioventricular block.3. Blood pressure changes were biphasic. An initial rise in carotid pressure was followed by a profound fall; a second rise to an above normal level frequently followed this. These blood pressure oscillations were damped down by prior treatment with hexamethonium but the hypertensive response remained.4. Blood samples taken before terminal apnoea showed a variable degree of haemolysis and a raised K(+) level.5. Experiments with isolated organ preparations suggested that the toxin had a non-specific lytic effect on cells, but did not contain pharmacologically active substances of small molecular weight such as 5-hydroxytryptamine.6. It is suggested that the toxin(s) act by altering membrane permeability; the signs at death may reflect the sensitivity of the target organs to such a change.

  19. Original Thinking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok Natarajan

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available History that comes to us as a chronology of events is really a collective existence that is evolving through several stages to develop Individuality in all members of the society. The human community, nation states, linguistic groups, local castes and classes, and families are the intermediate stages in development of the Individual. The social process moves through phases of survival, growth, development and evolution. In the process it organizes the consciousness of its members at successive levels from social external manners, formed behavior, value-based character and personality to culminate in the development of Individuality. Through this process, society evolves from physicality to Mentality. The power of accomplishment in society and its members develops progressively through stages of skill, capacity, talent, and ability. Original thinking is made possible by the prior development of thinking that organizes facts into information. The immediate result of the last world war was a shift in reliance from physical force and action to mental conception and mental activity on a global scale. At such times no problem need defy solution, if only humanity recognizes the occasion for thinking and Original Thinking. The apparently insoluble problems we confront are an opportunity to formulate a comprehensive theory of social evolution. The immediate possibility is to devise complete solutions to all existing problems, if only we use the right method of thought development.

  20. 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...... showed that the bivalve (Mytilus edulis) retained the toxins very efficiently, and exceeded the regulatory limit for OA equivalents within only a few hours of feeding. Accumulation continued linearly with time for the entire one-week study period, eventually causing mussels to be highly toxic....... The mussels transformed all three toxins (OA, DTX-1b and PTX-2) to acyl esters and/or seco acids, and half-life retention time of each toxin was determined. Finally, a review of cellular organisation and plastid retention in Mesodinium spp. and Dinophysis spp. is provided. In addition to the interest...

  1. 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

  2. Mollusc-algal chloroplast endosymbiosis. Photosynthesis, thylakoid protein maintenance, and chloroplast gene expression continue for many months in the absence of the algal nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, B J; Li, W Y; Manhart, J R; Fox, T C; Summer, E J; Kennedy, R A; Pierce, S K; Rumpho, M E

    2000-09-01

    Early in its life cycle, the marine mollusc Elysia chlorotica Gould forms an intracellular endosymbiotic association with chloroplasts of the chromophytic alga Vaucheria litorea C. Agardh. As a result, the dark green sea slug can be sustained in culture solely by photoautotrophic CO(2) fixation for at least 9 months if provided with only light and a source of CO(2). Here we demonstrate that the sea slug symbiont chloroplasts maintain photosynthetic oxygen evolution and electron transport activity through photosystems I and II for several months in the absence of any external algal food supply. This activity is correlated to the maintenance of functional levels of chloroplast-encoded photosystem proteins, due in part at least to de novo protein synthesis of chloroplast proteins in the sea slug. Levels of at least one putative algal nuclear encoded protein, a light-harvesting complex protein homolog, were also maintained throughout the 9-month culture period. The chloroplast genome of V. litorea was found to be 119.1 kb, similar to that of other chromophytic algae. Southern analysis and polymerase chain reaction did not detect an algal nuclear genome in the slug, in agreement with earlier microscopic observations. Therefore, the maintenance of photosynthetic activity in the captured chloroplasts is regulated solely by the algal chloroplast and animal nuclear genomes.

  3. Pore-Forming Toxins Trigger the Purge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfini, Alessandro; Buchon, Nicolas

    2016-12-14

    The intestinal epithelium responds to pathogens by coordinating microbial elimination with tissue repair, both required to survive an infection. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Lee et al. (2016) discover a rapid and evolutionarily conserved response to pore-forming toxins in the gut, involving cytoplasm ejection and enterocyte regrowth.

  4. 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 <200-nm bilayer vesicles composed of anionic and neutral lipids as well as cholesterol. Vesicle disruption, or peptide potency, was monitored with a sensitive fluorescence leakage assay. Detailed molecular information on peptidemembrane interactions and peptide structure was further gained through vibrational spectroscopy combined with circular dichroism. Finally, steady-state fluorescence experiments yielded insight into the local environment of native or engineered tryptophan residues in melittin and human cathelicidin embedded in bilayer vesicles. Collectively, our results provide clues to the functional structures of the engineered and toxic peptides and may impact the design of synthetic antibiotic peptides that can be used against the growing number of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

  5. Treatment of Frontal Hyperhidrosis With Botulinum Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayşe Esra Koku Aksu

    Full Text Available Focal hyperhidrosis is usually localized to the axillae, palms and soles. Less frequently, hyperhidrosis may be confined to the forehead and may have negative impact on patient’s quality of life. A 34-year-old man presented to our clinic with the complaint of frontal hyperhidrosis. He was treated with botulinum toxin A. Thirty points were marked over the forehead and at each injection point, 0.15 ml (3U botulinum toxin A were injected intracutaneously. Hyperhidrosis was significantly reduced and the effect lasted for 12 months. Skindex-29, a quality-of-life measure for skin disease, was administered to the patient at the beginning and at the end of second week of botulinum toxin A injection. There was a significant improvement on the Skindex-29 scale at the end of the treatment. There was no any side effect detected during and after the treatment. Botulinum toxin A treatment is considered to be effective and safe for frontal hyperhidrosis.

  6. Noncosmetic periocular therapeutic applications of botulinum toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaynak-Hekimhan Pelin

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin blocks acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. The drug which was initially found to be useful in the treatment of strabismus has been extremely effective in the treatment of variety of conditions, both cosmetic and noncosmetic. Some of the noncosmetic uses of botulinum toxin applications include treatment of spastic facial dystonias, temporary treatment of idiopathic or thyroid dysfunction-induced upper eyelid retraction, suppression of undesired hyperlacrimation, induction of temporary ptosis by chemodenervation in facial paralysis, and correction of lower eyelid spastic entropion. Additional periocular uses include control of synchronic eyelid and extraocular muscle movements after aberrant regeneration of cranial nerve palsies. Cosmetic effects of botulinum toxin were discovered accidentally during treatments of facial dystonias. Some of the emerging nonperiocular application for the drug includes treatment of hyperhidrosis, migraine, tension-type headaches, and paralytic spasticity. Some of the undesired side effects of periocular applications of botulinum toxin inlcude ecchymosis, rash, hematoma, headache, flu-like symptoms, nausea, dizziness, loss of facial expression, lower eyelid laxity, dermatochalasis, ectropion, epiphora, eyebrow and eyelid ptosis, lagophthalmos, keratitis sicca, and diplopia.

  7. Immunogenicity of toxins during Staphylococcus aureus infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N.J. Verkaik (Nelianne); O. Dauwalder (Olivier); K. Antri (Kenza); I. Boubekri (Ilhem); C.P. de Vogel (Corné); C. Badiou (Cédric); M. Bes (Michèle); F. Vandenesch (François); M. Tazir (Mohammed); H. Hooijkaas (Herbert); H.A. Verbrugh (Henri); A.F. van Belkum (Alex); J. Etienne (Jerome); G. Lina (Gérard); N. Ramdani-Bouguessa (Nadjia); W.J.B. van Wamel (Willem)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractAB - BACKGROUND: Toxins are important Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors, but little is known about their immunogenicity during infection. Here, additional insight is generated. METHODS: Serum samples from 206 S. aureus-infected patients and 201 hospital-admitted control subjects we

  8. Fate of Fusarium Toxins during Brewing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habler, Katharina; Geissinger, Cajetan; Hofer, Katharina; Schüler, Jan; Moghari, Sarah; Hess, Michael; Gastl, Martina; Rychlik, Michael

    2017-01-11

    Some information is available about the fate of Fusarium toxins during the brewing process, but only little is known about the single processing steps in detail. In our study we produced beer from two different barley cultivars inoculated with three different Fusarium species, namely, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium sporotrichioides, and Fusarium avenaceum, producing a wide range of mycotoxins such as type B trichothecenes, type A trichothecenes, and enniatins. By the use of multi-mycotoxin LC-MS/MS stable isotope dilution methods we were able to follow the fate of Fusarium toxins during the entire brewing process. In particular, the type B trichothecenes deoxynivalenol, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, and 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol showed similar behaviors. Between 35 and 52% of those toxins remained in the beer after filtration. The contents of the potentially hazardous deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside and the type A trichothecenes increased during mashing, but a rapid decrease of deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside content was found during the following steps of lautering and wort boiling. The concentration of enniatins greatly decreased with the discarding of spent grains or finally with the hot break. The results of our study show the retention of diverse Fusarium toxins during the brewing process and allow for assessing the food safety of beer regarding the monitored Fusarium mycotoxins.

  9. Okadaic Acid: More than a Diarrheic Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josefina Méndez

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Okadaic acid (OA is one of the most frequent and worldwide distributed marine toxins. It is easily accumulated by shellfish, mainly bivalve mollusks and fish, and, subsequently, can be consumed by humans causing alimentary intoxications. OA is the main representative diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP toxin and its ingestion induces gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is not considered lethal. At the molecular level, OA is a specific inhibitor of several types of serine/threonine protein phosphatases and a tumor promoter in animal carcinogenesis experiments. In the last few decades, the potential toxic effects of OA, beyond its role as a DSP toxin, have been investigated in a number of studies. Alterations in DNA and cellular components, as well as effects on immune and nervous system, and even on embryonic development, have been increasingly reported. In this manuscript, results from all these studies are compiled and reviewed to clarify the role of this toxin not only as a DSP inductor but also as cause of alterations at the cellular and molecular levels, and to highlight the relevance of biomonitoring its effects on human health. Despite further investigations are required to elucidate OA mechanisms of action, toxicokinetics, and harmful effects, there are enough evidences illustrating its toxicity, not related to DSP induction, and, consequently, supporting a revision of the current regulation on OA levels in food.

  10. An extended phylogenetic analysis reveals ancient origin of "non-green" phosphoribulokinase genes from two lineages of "green" secondary photosynthetic eukaryotes: Euglenophyta and Chlorarachniophyta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sekimoto Hiroyuki

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Euglenophyta and Chlorarachniophyta are groups of photosynthetic eukaryotes harboring secondary plastids of distinct green algal origins. Although previous phylogenetic analyses of genes encoding Calvin cycle enzymes demonstrated the presence of genes apparently not derived from green algal endosymbionts in the nuclear genomes of Euglena gracilis (Euglenophyta and Bigelowiella natans (Chlorarachniophyta, the origins of these "non-green" genes in "green" secondary phototrophs were unclear due to the limited taxon sampling. Results Here, we sequenced five new phosphoribulokinase (PRK genes (from one euglenophyte, two chlorarachniophytes, and two glaucophytes and performed an extended phylogenetic analysis of the genes based on a phylum-wide taxon sampling from various photosynthetic eukaryotes. Our phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the PRK sequences form two genera of Euglenophyta formed a robust monophyletic group within a large clade including stramenopiles, haptophytes and a cryptophyte, and three genera of Chlorarachniophyta were placed within the red algal clade. These "non-green" affiliations were supported by the taxon-specific insertion/deletion sequences in the PRK alignment, especially between euglenophytes and stramenopiles. In addition, phylogenetic analysis of another Calvin cycle enzyme, plastid-targeted sedoheptulose-bisphosphatase (SBP, showed that the SBP sequences from two genera of Chlorarachniophyta were positioned within a red algal clade. Conclusions Our results suggest that PRK genes may have been transferred from a "stramenopile" ancestor to Euglenophyta and from a "red algal" ancestor to Chlorarachniophyta before radiation of extant taxa of these two "green" secondary phototrophs. The presence of two of key Calvin cycle enzymes, PRK and SBP, of red algal origins in Chlorarachniophyta indicate that the contribution of "non-green" algae to the plastid proteome in the "green" secondary phototrophs is

  11. The history of Botulinum toxin: from poison to beauty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    França, Katlein; Kumar, Anagha; Fioranelli, Massimo; Lotti, Torello; Tirant, Michael; Roccia, Maria Grazia

    2017-03-15

    Botulinum toxin, also called the "miracle toxin," is a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is known to block nerve signals that contract muscles resulting in a temporary paralysis of the muscles. Toxins type A and B have been extensively studied and utilized in the realm of beauty and cosmetology. Initially, the toxin gained popularity as a disease-causing "poison". It was only later that it found its way to becoming a must have in modern aesthetic practice. Today, this wonder toxin has proven to be an apt and convenient option in the field of anti-aging medicine.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Won, JaeSeon; Nam, PilWon; Lee, YongChan [College of Life Sciences and Graduate School of Biotechnology, Korea University, 5-ga Anam-dong, Sungbuk-gu, Seoul 136-701 (Korea, Republic of); Choe, MuHyeon, E-mail: choemh@korea.ac.kr [College of Life Sciences and Graduate School of Biotechnology, Korea University, 5-ga Anam-dong, Sungbuk-gu, Seoul 136-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-04-24

    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{sub 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]{sub 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.

  13. Algal Accessory Pigment Detection Using AVIRIS Image-Derived Spectral Radiance Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Laurie L.; Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1996-01-01

    Visual and derivative analyses of AVIRIS spectral data can be used to detect algal accessory pigments in aquatic communities. This capability extends the use of remote sensing for the study of aquatic ecosystems by allowing detection of taxonomically significant pigment signatures which yield information about the type of algae present. Such information allows remote sensing-based assessment of aquatic ecosystem health, as in the detection of nuisance blooms of cyanobacteria or toxic blooms of dinoflagellates. Remote sensing of aquatic systems has traditionally focused on quantification of chlorophyll a, a photoreactive (and light-harvesting) pigment which is common to all algae as well as cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae). Due to the ubiquitousness of this pigment within algae, chl a is routinely measured to estimate algal biomass both during ground-truthing and using various airborne or satellite based sensors, including AVIRIS. Within the remote sensing and aquatic sciences communities, ongoing research has been performed to detect algal accessory pigments for assessment of algal population composition. This research is based on the fact that many algal accessory pigments are taxonomically significant, and all are spectrally unique. Aquatic scientists have been refining pigment analysis techniques, primarily high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, to detect specific pigments as a time-saving alternative to individual algal cell identifications and counts. Remote sensing scientists are investigating the use of pigment signatures to construct pigment libraries analogous to mineral spectral libraries used in geological remote sensing applications. The accessory pigment approach has been used successfully in remote sensing using data from the Thematic Mapper, low-altitude, multiple channel scanners, field spectroradiometers and the AVIRIS hyperspectral scanner. Due to spectral and spatial resolution capabilities, AVIRIS is the sensor of choice for such

  14. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  15. Harmful Algal Bloom in Iligan Bay, Southern Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen J Vicente

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available We report the first occurrence of harmful algal bloom (HAB caused by a non-toxic dinoflagellate, Cochlodinium sp. in Philippine waters, particularly, in Kalangahan Pt.-Manticao Pt., Iligan Bay on March 13-18, 2002. Two patches of Cochlodinium sp. bloom, associated with fish kills in Kalangahan Pt.-Mantacao Pt., Iligan Bay, caused localized water discoloration from the usual ocean blue to rusty brown or reddish brown to blackish. The first patch, located near fish-aggregating device (FAD areas, spanned 2 km wide, while the second patch, located near a fish corral, spanned 500m wide. These patches occupied the water column from surface to 5 m depth, but a thick mat formed at 0.5 m to surface. Patches occupied the water column from surface to 5 m depth, but a thick mat formed at 0.5 m to surface. Patches decreased as the bloom began to decline. The observed dead demersal and pelagic fishes coincided with highest bloom density of 3.1 x 104 to 3.8 x 104 cells ml-1 of Cochlodinium. Dissected gills and stomach contents of fishes killed in HAB-affected areas did not reveal any indication of clogging of gills by Cochlodinium sp. Fishes covered by the “shading effect” of Cochlodinium bloom may have suffered anoxia or asphyxation due to oxygen depletion. No poisoning of people who consumed the dead fishes was reported. Laboratory analyses revealed lower DO values, 2.4 to 0.5 mg L-1from 2400 to 0600Hr; 14N:1P ratio; air-water temperature ranged from 28-29°C; pH 7.89-8.29; and salinity, 33-35°/oo. Favella sp., a tintinnid grazer of dinoflagellate was developing in the area at the termination of the Cochlodinium bloom on March 18.

  16. Strategies for optimizing algal biology for enhanced biomass production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda N. Barry

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available One of the more environmentally sustainable ways to produce high energy density (oils feed stocks for the production of liquid transportation fuels is from biomass. Photosynthetic carbon capture combined with biomass combustion (point source and subsequent carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS has also been proposed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report as one of the most effective and economical strategies to remediate atmospheric greenhouse gases. To maximize photosynthetic carbon capture efficiency and energy-return-on-investment, we must develop biomass production systems that achieve the greatest yields with the lowest inputs. Numerous studies have demonstrated that microalgae have among the greatest potentials for biomass production. This is in part due to the fact that all alga cells are photoautotrophic, they have active carbon concentrating mechanisms to increase photosynthetic productivity, and all the biomass is harvestable unlike plants. All photosynthetic organisms, however, convert only a fraction of the solar energy they capture into chemical energy (reduced carbon or biomass. To increase aerial carbon capture rates and biomass productivity it will be necessary to identify the most robust algal strains and increase their biomass production efficiency often by genetic manipulation. We review recent large-scale efforts to identify the best biomass producing strains and metabolic engineering strategies to improve aerial productivity. These strategies include optimization of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna size to increase energy capture and conversion efficiency and the potential development of advanced molecular breeding techniques. To date, these strategies have resulted in up to two-fold increases in biomass productivity.

  17. Uncovering Adiponectin Replenishing Property of Sujiaonori Algal Biomaterial in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngatu, Nlandu Roger; Ikeda, Mitsunori; Watanabe, Hiroyuki; Tanaka, Mamoru; Inoue, Masataka; Kanbara, Sakiko; Nojima, Sayumi

    2017-02-08

    The replenishment of adiponectin-an adipocyte-derived hormone with salutary health effects-has recently been proposed as a new approach to treat hypertension, also ameliorate cardiovascular and metabolic risks. We conducted a prospective placebo-controlled, non-randomized and investigator-blinded dietary intervention study to evaluate the health effects of dietary intake of Sujiaonori (Ulva/Enteromorpha prolifera Müller) algal biomaterial (SBM), especially on adiponectin production, blood pressure (BP), and body mass index (BMI) in human subjects. Participants (N = 32) were divided into two equally sized groups (n = 16 for each group): SBM group (subjects supplemented with 3 g SBM powder twice a day during meal) and the control group (subjects who took 3 g of a supplement made of 70% corn starch powder and 30% spinach twice a day) for four weeks. Two health survey questionnaires (dietary and current health questionnaires) were completed anonymously, saliva sampling was done for adiponectin measurement by ELISA, and blood pressure (BP) and anthropometric parameters were measured at baseline and four weeks later. Student paired t-test was performed to compare baseline and post-intervention data on outcome variables between the two study groups. Results showed a 2.24-fold increase in adiponectin level in SBM group (2.81 and 6.26 ng/mL at baseline and at the end of study, respectively) (p 0.05). In SBM subjects, an improvement of BP profile was noted with a significant decrease in systolic BP (p < 0.01). A positive correlation was found between SBM supplementation and adiponectin level, whereas an inverse correlation was noted between SBM supplementation and blood pressure, and also BMI. These findings suggest that SBM-increased adiponectin level and improved BP in a sample of Japanese young adults, and has the potential to improve blood pressure in humans.

  18. Skill assessment for an operational algal bloom forecast system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Richard P.; Tomlinson, Michelle C.; Calkins, Julie A.; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Fisher, Kathleen; Nierenberg, Kate; Currier, Robert; Wynne, Timothy T.

    2010-01-01

    An operational forecast system for harmful algal blooms (HABs) in southwest Florida is analyzed for forecasting skill. The HABs, caused by the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, lead to shellfish toxicity and to respiratory irritation. In addition to predicting new blooms and their extent, HAB forecasts are made twice weekly during a bloom event, using a combination of satellite derived image products, wind predictions, and a rule-based model derived from previous observations and research. These forecasts include: identification, intensification, transport, extent, and impact; the latter being the most significant to the public. Identification involves identifying new blooms as HABs and is validated against an operational monitoring program involving water sampling. Intensification forecasts, which are much less frequently made, can only be evaluated with satellite data on mono-specific blooms. Extent and transport forecasts of HABs are also evaluated against the water samples. Due to the resolution of the forecasts and available validation data, skill cannot be resolved at scales finer than 30 km. Initially, respiratory irritation forecasts were analyzed using anecdotal information, the only available data, which had a bias toward major respiratory events leading to a forecast accuracy exceeding 90%. When a systematic program of twice-daily observations from lifeguards was implemented, the forecast could be meaningfully assessed. The results show that the forecasts identify the occurrence of respiratory events at all lifeguard beaches 70% of the time. However, a high rate (80%) of false positive forecasts occurred at any given beach. As the forecasts were made at half to whole county level, the resolution of the validation data was reduced to county level, reducing false positives to 22% (accuracy of 78%). The study indicates the importance of systematic sampling, even when using qualitative descriptors, the use of validation resolution to evaluate forecast

  19. Multigene phylogeny of the red algal subclass Nemaliophycidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Daryl W; Verbruggen, Heroen; Saunders, Gary W; Vis, Morgan L

    2016-01-01

    The red algae (Rhodophyta) are a lineage of primary endosymbionts whose ancestors represent some of the first photosynthetic eukaryotes on the planet. They primarily inhabit marine ecosystems, with only ∼5% of species found in freshwater systems. The subclass Nemaliophycidae is very diverse in ecological and life history features and therefore a useful model to study these traits, but the phylogenetic relationships among the orders are, for the most part, poorly resolved. To elucidate the phylogeny of the Nemaliophycidae, we constructed a nine-gene dataset comprised of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial markers for 67 red algal specimens. The resulting maximum likelihood (ML) phylogeny confirmed the monophyly of all orders. The sister relationship of the Acrochaetiales and Palmariales received high support and the relationship of the Balliales with Balbianiales and Entwisleiales with Colaconematales was moderately supported. The Nemaliales, Entwisleiales, Colaconematales, Palmariales and Acrochaetiales formed a highly supported clade. Unfortunately, all other relationships among the orders had low bootstrap support. Although the ML analysis did not resolve many of the relationships, further analyses suggested that a resolution is possible. A Phycas analysis supported a dichotomously branching tree and Bayesian analysis showed a similar topology with all relationships highly supported. Simulations extrapolating the number of nucleotide characters beyond the current size of the dataset suggested that most nodes in the phylogeny would be resolved if more data become available. Phylogenomic approaches will be necessary to provide a well-supported phylogeny of this subclass with all relationships resolved such that the evolution of freshwater species from marine ancestors as well as reproductive traits can be explored.

  20. Uncovering Adiponectin Replenishing Property of Sujiaonori Algal Biomaterial in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngatu, Nlandu Roger; Ikeda, Mitsunori; Watanabe, Hiroyuki; Tanaka, Mamoru; Inoue, Masataka; Kanbara, Sakiko; Nojima, Sayumi

    2017-01-01

    The replenishment of adiponectin—an adipocyte-derived hormone with salutary health effects—has recently been proposed as a new approach to treat hypertension, also ameliorate cardiovascular and metabolic risks. We conducted a prospective placebo-controlled, non-randomized and investigator-blinded dietary intervention study to evaluate the health effects of dietary intake of Sujiaonori (Ulva/Enteromorpha prolifera Müller) algal biomaterial (SBM), especially on adiponectin production, blood pressure (BP), and body mass index (BMI) in human subjects. Participants (N = 32) were divided into two equally sized groups (n = 16 for each group): SBM group (subjects supplemented with 3 g SBM powder twice a day during meal) and the control group (subjects who took 3 g of a supplement made of 70% corn starch powder and 30% spinach twice a day) for four weeks. Two health survey questionnaires (dietary and current health questionnaires) were completed anonymously, saliva sampling was done for adiponectin measurement by ELISA, and blood pressure (BP) and anthropometric parameters were measured at baseline and four weeks later. Student paired t-test was performed to compare baseline and post-intervention data on outcome variables between the two study groups. Results showed a 2.24-fold increase in adiponectin level in SBM group (2.81 and 6.26 ng/mL at baseline and at the end of study, respectively) (p 0.05). In SBM subjects, an improvement of BP profile was noted with a significant decrease in systolic BP (p < 0.01). A positive correlation was found between SBM supplementation and adiponectin level, whereas an inverse correlation was noted between SBM supplementation and blood pressure, and also BMI. These findings suggest that SBM-increased adiponectin level and improved BP in a sample of Japanese young adults, and has the potential to improve blood pressure in humans. PMID:28208744

  1. Modeling of polymer brush grafted nanoparticles for algal harvesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goins, Jason

    Microalgae derived biofuel shows great potential as a replacement to petroleum based fuels. However, industrial scale and economical production of fuel from microalgae suffer from an expensive dewatering step brought on by the organism's specific cell properties. A retrievable, paramagnetic nanoparticle polyelectrolyte brush (NPPB) has been designed as a flocculation agent to provide a low cost method in collecting algal biomass in biofuel production. In conjunction with experiment, subsequent theoretical investigations have been conducted in order to understand experimental observations and inform future design. A strategy has been implemented to provide informative descriptions for the relationship between flocculation agent parameters and dewatering efficiency. We studied the effect altering the degree of polymerization and monomer charge fraction had on the harvesting efficiency by considering flocculation as the criteria for harvesting. As the number of charges on the polymer backbone of the NPPB is increased, less NPPB concentrations are required to achieve equal harvesting efficiencies. This is a result of needing less NPPB to completely screen the effective charge on the algae surface. However, the Debye length limits the amount of charge on the algae surface one NPPB can screen. Using the free energy calculations for the complete set of pair interactions between the NPPB and the algae, we determined how many adsorbed NPPB were required in order for the force between coated algae to become attractive at some algae surface separation. This corresponded to the NPPB bridging two algae surfaces. NPPB with higher monomer charge fractions and degree of polymerizations led to a stronger bridging bond and larger bridging gap that could outweigh the algae pair repulsion. Optimized structures maximize these effects.

  2. Integrative Indicator for Assessing the Alert Levels of Algal Bloom in Lakes: Lake Taihu as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qinqin; Hu, Weiping; Zhai, Shuhua

    2016-01-01

    Algal blooms have recently become one of the most serious environmental problems in eutrophic freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Although many observation and simulation approaches have been applied to predict algal blooms, few studies have addressed the alert levels of algal blooms using integrative indicators in a large lake with multiple service function and significant horizontal heterogeneity. This study developed an integrative indicator assessment system (IIAS) to rank the alert level of algal blooms. In the IIAS, algal biomass, area percentage, distance from drinking water intake points, distance from scenic zones and duration of algal bloom were used as indicators to calculate a comprehensive alert level, which was classified into five grades (Vigilance, Low, Moderate, High, and Severe). Lake Taihu was taken as a case study to assess the comprehensive alert level of algal blooms in 2007 and 2010. The comprehensive alert level showed obvious spatial-temporal patterns, with an acceptable accuracy in Lake Taihu. The comprehensive alert levels were relatively higher in typical phytoplankton subzones than typical hydrophytes subzones and are more sensitive to weight factor in the northern and western subzones where high biomass usually occurs. Case study showed a very good application of the proposed comprehensive alert level assessment methodology, which can be adjusted to predict the degree of hazard of algal blooms in multi-service function large lakes to help the government and decision makers to act to prevent the disaster from algal bloom spreading.

  3. Mode of action of mosquitocidal Bacillus thuringiensis toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, Mario; Fernández, Luisa E; Pérez, Claudia; Gill, Sarjeet S; Bravo, Alejandra

    2007-04-01

    Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used for insect control. Their primary action is to lyse midgut epithelial cells. In lepidopteran insects, Cry1A monomeric toxins interact with a first receptor and this interaction triggers toxin oligomerization. The oligomeric structure interacts then with a second GPI-anchored receptor that induces insertion into membrane microdomains and larvae death. In the case of mosquitocidal Bt strains, two different toxins participate, Cry and Cyt. These toxins have a synergistic effect and Cyt1Aa overcomes Cry toxin-resistance. We will summarize recent findings on the identification of Cry receptors in mosquitoes and the mechanism of synergism: Cyt1Aa synergizes or suppresses resistance to Cry toxins by functioning as a Cry membrane-bound receptor.

  4. Priming immunization against cholera toxin and E. coli heat-labile toxin by a cholera toxin short peptide-beta-galactosidase hybrid synthesized in E. coli.

    OpenAIRE

    Jacob, C O; Leitner, M.; Zamir, A.; Salomon, D.; Arnon, R

    1985-01-01

    A synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide encoding for a small peptide was employed for the expression of this peptide in a form suitable for immunization. The encoded peptide, namely, the region 50-64 of the B subunit of cholera toxin (CTP3), had previously been identified as a relevant epitope of cholera toxin. Thus, multiple immunizations with its conjugate to a protein carrier led to an efficient neutralizing response against native cholera toxin. Immunization with the resulting fusion protein of ...

  5. General synthesis of β-alanine-containing spider polyamine toxins and discovery of nephila polyamine toxins 1 and 8 as highly potent inhibitors of ionotropic glutamate receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lucas, Simon; Poulsen, Mette H; Nørager, Niels G

    2012-01-01

    Certain spiders contain large pools of polyamine toxins, which are putative pharmacological tools awaiting further discovery. Here we present a general synthesis strategy for this class of toxins and prepare five structurally varied polyamine toxins. Electrophysiological testing at three ionotrop...

  6. Supported liquid membrane-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of cyanobacterial toxins in fresh water systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbukwa, Elbert A.; Msagati, Titus A. M.; Mamba, Bhekie B.

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming of great concern to water resources worldwide due to indiscriminate waste disposal habits resulting in water pollution and eutrophication. When cyanobacterial cells lyse (burst) they release toxins called microcystins (MCs) that are well known for their hepatotoxicity (causing liver damage) and have been found in eutrophic lakes, rivers, wastewater ponds and other water reservoirs. Prolonged exposure to low concentrated MCs are equally of health importance as they are known to be bioaccumulative and even at such low concentration do exhibit toxic effects to aquatic animals, wildlife and human liver cells. The application of common treatment processes for drinking water sourced from HABs infested reservoirs have the potential to cause algal cell lyses releasing low to higher amounts of MCs in finished water. Trace microcystins in water/tissue can be analyzed and quantified using Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) following solid-phase extraction (SPE) sample clean-up procedures. However, extracting MCs from algal samples which are rich in chlorophyll pigments and other organic matrices the SPE method suffers a number of drawbacks, including cartridge clogging, long procedural steps and use of larger volumes of extraction solvents. We applied a supported liquid membrane (SLM) based technique as an alternative sample clean-up method for LC-ESI-MS analysis of MCs from both water and algal cells. Four (4) MC variants (MC-RR, -YR, -LR and -WR) from lyophilized cells of Microcystis aeruginosa and water collected from a wastewater pond were identified) and quantified using LC-ESI-MS following a SLM extraction and liquid partitioning step, however, MC-WR was not detected from water extracts. Within 45 min of SLM extraction all studied MCs were extracted and pre-concentrated in approximately 15 μL of an acceptor phase at an optimal pH 2.02 of the donor phase (sample). The highest

  7. 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.

  8. Microbes and microbial Toxins: paradigms for microbial-mucosal toxins. V. Cholera: invasion of the intestinal epithelial barrier by a stably folded protein toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lencer, W I

    2001-05-01

    Cholera toxin (CT) produced by Vibrio cholerae is the virulence factor responsible for the massive secretory diarrhea seen in Asiatic cholera. To cause disease, CT enters the intestinal epithelial cell as a stably folded protein by co-opting a lipid-based membrane receptor, ganglioside G(M1). G(M1) sorts the toxin into lipid rafts and a retrograde trafficking pathway to the endoplasmic reticulum, where the toxin unfolds and transfers its enzymatic subunit to the cytosol, probably by dislocation through the translocon sec61p. The molecular determinants that drive entry of CT into this pathway are encoded entirely within the structure of the protein toxin itself.

  9. 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.

  10. Utilization of rural wastes for algal biomass production with Scenedesmus acutus and Spirulina platensis in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venkataraman, L.V.; Devi, K.M.; Mahadevaswamy, M.; Mohammed Kunhi, A.A.

    1982-03-01

    A technology for the production of the green alga, Scenedesmus acutus, and blue-green alga, Spirulina platensis, in clean water has been developed to suit Indian conditions. Experience gained on algal production technology in India indicates the scope for applying this at the rural level for use in the production of animal feed. Spirulina is the most promising alga in view of its amenability to low level technology. Nutrient input to the cultures is one of the most expensive steps. It is shown that agricultural and domestic wastes can be effectively recycled for algal biomass production by replacing, at least partly, the nutrient inputs. Urine and bonemeal reduce the inputs of nitrate, calcium and phosphate salts into the culture medium. Sheep's blood has a growth promoting effect on algal cultures and a good potential for application. Carbon dioxide enriched air-'aerobic biogas'-produced by composting cow dung, can be used as a carbon source for algal cultivation. Several experiments carried out in India indicate the possibility of developing an integrated algal production system in rural areas by means of which wastes can be effectively recycled. The use of algae in poultry and fish feeds is a distinct possibility for the future. (Refs. 25).

  11. Highly-efficient enzymatic conversion of crude algal oils into biodiesel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yao; Liu, Jin; Gerken, Henri; Zhang, Chengwu; Hu, Qiang; Li, Yantao

    2014-11-01

    Energy-intensive chemical conversion of crude algal oils into biodiesel is a major barrier for cost-effective algal biofuel production. To overcome this problem, we developed an enzyme-based platform for conversion of crude algal oils into fatty acid methyl esters. Crude algal oils were extracted from the oleaginous microalga Nannochloropsis oceanica IMET1 and converted by an immobilized lipase from Candida antarctica. The effects of different acyl acceptors, t-butanol as a co-solvent, oil to t-butanol ratio, oil to methanol ratio, temperature and reaction time on biodiesel conversion efficiency were studied. The conversion efficiency reached 99.1% when the conversion conditions were optimized, i.e., an oil to t-butanol weight ratio of 1:1, an oil to methanol molar ratio of 1:12, and a reaction time of 4h at 25°C. The enzymatic conversion process developed in this study may hold a promise for low energy consumption, low wastewater-discharge biochemical conversion of algal feedstocks into biofuels.

  12. Growth and survival of endangered angelwing clam, Pholas orientalis fed different algal diets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Shirley M. Golez

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mature angelwing clam, Pholas orientalis were collected from the wild and transported tothe laboratory for broodstock development. They were fed with mixed algal cultures of Isochrysisgalbana, Chaetoceros sp., and Tetraselmis sp. for a period of two months and a half to determine theeffects of these algal cultures on growth and survival of the broodstock. Growth in terms of length wasnot significantly different among the treatment groups, whereas, there was significant reduction in theweight of the clams in the group fed with a mixture of Isochrysis galbana, Chaetoceros sp., andTetraselmis sp. Survival of the clams decreased after two months of feeding with algal diets, withsignificant mortality observed in groups fed with a mixture of Isochrysis galbana and Tetraselmis sp. aswell as with the mixture of the three microalgae. All the water quality parameters in the rearing tankswere within the optimum levels required for optimum growth of the clams. These results showed thatmixed algal diets for broodstock development in angelwing clam have no direct effect on growth butmoderate effect on survival. Future studies are aimed towards determining other factors that willcontribute to better growth and survival of angelwing clam broodstock in captivity as well as for thesearch of alternative algal diets for angelwing broodstock, particularly by exploring the microalgae thatare found in their natural habitat.

  13. Algal massive growth in relation to water quality and salinity at Damietta, north of Egypt

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mohamed Ali Ibraheem Deyab; Taha Mohamed El-Katony

    2015-01-01

    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).

  14. Algal control and enhanced removal in drinking waters in Cairo, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Dars, Farida M S E; Abdel Rahman, M A M; Salem, Olfat M A; Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed A

    2015-12-01

    Algal blooms at the major water treatment plants in Egypt have been reported since 2006. While previous studies focused on algal types and their correlation with disinfection by-products, correlation between raw water quality and algal blooms were not explored. Therefore, a survey of Nile water quality parameters at a major water intake in the Greater Cairo Urban Region was conducted from December 2011 to November 2012. Bench-scale experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the conventional chloride/alum treatment compared with combined Cl/permanganate pre-oxidation with Al and Fe coagulants during the outbreak period. Addition of permanganate (0.5 mg/L) significantly reduced the chlorine demand from 5.5 to 2.7 mg/L. The applied alum coagulant dose was slightly reduced while residual Al was reduced by 27% and the algal count by 50% in the final treated waters. Applying ferric chloride and ferric sulfate as coagulants to waters treated with the combined pre-oxidation procedure effectively reduced algal count by 60% and better the total organic carbon reduction and residual aluminum in the treated water. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to identify the relationship between water quality parameters and occurrence of algae and to explain the impact of coagulants on the final water quality.

  15. Strong fungal specificity and selectivity for algal symbionts in Florida scrub Cladonia lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahr, Rebecca; Vilgalys, Rytas; Depriest, Paula T

    2004-11-01

    Symbiosis is a major theme in the history of life and can be an important force driving evolution. However, across symbioses, it is difficult to tease apart the mechanisms that structure the interactions among potential partners. We used genetic similarity and frequency-based methods to qualitatively and quantitatively examine the patterns of association among several co-occurring Cladonia lichen fungi and their algal photobionts in six disjunct Florida scrub sites. The patterns of association were described by the degree of specificity, i.e. the phylogenetic range of associated partners, and of selectivity, i.e. the frequency of association among partners. Six fungal species associated with only one algal internal transcribed spacer clade, with the remaining two fungi being associated with two algal clades. In all cases, the fungi associated in unequal frequencies with the observed algal photobiont genotypes within those clades--suggesting that both specificity and selectivity were higher than expected. Fungal species can be grouped into three significantly different specificity classes: photobiont specialists, intermediates and generalists. In contrast to the pronounced specificity for photobionts among fungal species, the different Florida scrub sites do not harbour distinct photobiont pools, and differential photobiont availability cannot explain the patterning of lichen associations at this spatial scale. Therefore, we conclude that fungal specificity and selectivity for algal photobionts are major factors in determining the local composition of symbiotic partnerships.

  16. Compounds associated with algal surfaces mediate epiphytic colonization of the marine macroalga Fucus vesiculosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachnit, Tim; Fischer, Matthias; Künzel, Sven; Baines, John F; Harder, Tilmann

    2013-05-01

    The macroalga Fucus vesiculosus carries a specific community of surface bacteria. To identify chemical compounds that possibly mediate abundance and community composition of algae-associated bacteria, we tested the effect of surface-available algal compounds on bacterial settlement and community composition under field conditions. Compounds on algal thalli were separated from the surface by extraction with organic solvents and investigated on growth inhibition and settlement of bacterial isolates. Based on in vitro data, partially purified extract fractions were then exposed to bacterial colonizers in vivo followed by bacterial enumeration and community analysis. The polar fraction of the algal surface extract revealed a significant profouling effect for Vibrionales, whereas the nonpolar fraction - containing the xanthophyll pigment fucoxanthin and other unidentified nonpolar surface compounds - revealed a significant 80% reduction of surface colonizing bacteria. The analysis of bacterial surface communities by 454 pyrosequencing demonstrated that the antifouling activity of nonpolar algal surface compounds was targeting the abundance of natural bacterial colonizers rather than the relative composition of bacterial members within the community. Moreover, the bacterial community composition on F. vesiculosus was markedly different from artificial control substrates and chemically manipulated experimental treatments, suggesting that other, nonextractable surface features and/or physical properties render algal-specific epiphytic bacterial communities.

  17. Wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds (WWT HRAP) for low-cost biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrabadi, Abbas; Craggs, Rupert; Farid, Mohammed M

    2015-05-01

    Growing energy demand and water consumption have increased concerns about energy security and efficient wastewater treatment and reuse. Wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds (WWT HRAPs) are a promising technology that could help solve these challenges concurrently where climate is favorable. WWT HRAPs have great potential for biofuel production as a by-product of WWT, since the costs of algal cultivation and harvest for biofuel production are covered by the wastewater treatment function. Generally, 800-1400 GJ/ha/year energy (average biomass energy content: 20 GJ/ton; HRAP biomass productivity: 40-70 tons/ha/year) can be produced in the form of harvestable biomass from WWT HRAP which can be used to provide community-level energy supply. In this paper the benefits of WWT HRAPs are compared with conventional mass algal culture systems. Moreover, parameters to effectively increase algal energy content and overall energy production from WWT HRAP are discussed including selection of appropriate algal biomass biofuel conversion pathways.

  18. Removal of Zn(II) from simulated wastewater using an algal biofilm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Cuixia; Hu, Zhiquan; Zuo, Jiaolan; Hu, Mian; Xiao, Bo

    2014-01-01

    An algal biofilm was employed as a novel kind of adsorbing material to remove Zn(II) from simulated wastewater. The algal biofilm system formed by Oedogonium sp. was operated in a dynamic mode for a period of 14 days with an initial Zn(II) concentration of 10 mg/L. The average effluent Zn(II) concentration was 0.247 mg/L and the average removal efficiency reached 97.7%. The effects of Zn(II) on key algal physiological and biochemical indices such as chlorophyll content, nitrate reductase and superoxide dismutase activity, extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), and soluble protein levels were studied. Our results showed that the algal biofilm could adapt to the simulated wastewater containing Zn(II). Scanning electron microscope and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analyses of algal biofilm revealed the presence of carboxyl, amino, and sulphonate groups, which were the main functional groups of EPS and proteins, and these were likely responsible for biosorption of the Zn(II) ions.

  19. Sustainable Production of Algal Biomass and Biofuels Using Swine Wastewater in North Carolina, US

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Zhang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Algae were recently considered as a promising third-generation biofuel feedstock due to their superior productivity, high oil content, and environmentally friendly nature. However, the sustainable production became the major constraint facing commercial development of algal biofuels. For this study, firstly, a factorial experimental design was used to analyze the effects of the process parameters including temperatures of 8–25 °C, light intensity of 150–900 μmol·m−2s−1, and light duration of 6–24 h on the biomass yields of local alga Chlamydomonas debaryana in swine wastewater. The results were fitted with a quadratic equation (R2 = 0.9706. The factors of temperature, light duration, the interaction of light intensity-light duration, and the quadratic effect of temperature were statistically significant. When evaluating different scenarios for the sustainable production of algal biomass and biofuels in North Carolina, US, it showed that: (a Growing C. debaryana in a 10-acre pond on swine wastewater under local weather conditions would yield algal biomass of 113 tonnes/year; (b If all swine wastewater generated in North Carolina was treated with algae, it will require 137–485 acres of ponds, yielding biomass of 5048–10,468 tonnes/year and algal oil of 1010–2094 tonnes/year. Annually, hundreds of tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorus could be removed from swine wastewater. The required area is mainly dependent on the growth rate of algal species.

  20. Optimized deep-targeted proteotranscriptomic profiling reveals unexplored Conus toxin diversity and novel cysteine frameworks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Vincent; Harliwong, Ivon; Jones, Alun; Miller, David; Taft, Ryan J; Alewood, Paul F

    2015-07-21

    Cone snails are predatory marine gastropods characterized by a sophisticated venom apparatus responsible for the biosynthesis and delivery of complex mixtures of cysteine-rich toxin peptides. These conotoxins fold into small highly structured frameworks, allowing them to potently and selectively interact with heterologous ion channels and receptors. Approximately 2,000 toxins from an estimated number of >70,000 bioactive peptides have been identified in the genus Conus to date. Here, we describe a high-resolution interrogation of the transcriptomes (available at www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp) and proteomes of the diverse compartments of the Conus episcopatus venom apparatus. Using biochemical and bioinformatic tools, we found the highest number of conopeptides yet discovered in a single Conus specimen, with 3,305 novel precursor toxin sequences classified into 9 known superfamilies (A, I1, I2, M, O1, O2, S, T, Z), and identified 16 new superfamilies showing unique signal peptide signatures. We were also able to depict the largest population of venom peptides containing the pharmacologically active C-C-CC-C-C inhibitor cystine knot and CC-C-C motifs (168 and 44 toxins, respectively), as well as 208 new conotoxins displaying odd numbers of cysteine residues derived from known conotoxin motifs. Importantly, six novel cysteine-rich frameworks were revealed which may have novel pharmacology. Finally, analyses of codon usage bias and RNA-editing processes of the conotoxin transcripts demonstrate a specific conservation of the cysteine skeleton at the nucleic acid level and provide new insights about the origin of sequence hypervariablity in mature toxin regions.