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Sample records for anhydrobiotic tardigrade milnesium

  1. Two novel heat-soluble protein families abundantly expressed in an anhydrobiotic tardigrade.

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    Ayami Yamaguchi

    Full Text Available Tardigrades are able to tolerate almost complete dehydration by reversibly switching to an ametabolic state. This ability is called anhydrobiosis. In the anhydrobiotic state, tardigrades can withstand various extreme environments including space, but their molecular basis remains largely unknown. Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA proteins are heat-soluble proteins and can prevent protein-aggregation in dehydrated conditions in other anhydrobiotic organisms, but their relevance to tardigrade anhydrobiosis is not clarified. In this study, we focused on the heat-soluble property characteristic of LEA proteins and conducted heat-soluble proteomics using an anhydrobiotic tardigrade. Our heat-soluble proteomics identified five abundant heat-soluble proteins. All of them showed no sequence similarity with LEA proteins and formed two novel protein families with distinct subcellular localizations. We named them Cytoplasmic Abundant Heat Soluble (CAHS and Secretory Abundant Heat Soluble (SAHS protein families, according to their localization. Both protein families were conserved among tardigrades, but not found in other phyla. Although CAHS protein was intrinsically unstructured and SAHS protein was rich in β-structure in the hydrated condition, proteins in both families changed their conformation to an α-helical structure in water-deficient conditions as LEA proteins do. Two conserved repeats of 19-mer motifs in CAHS proteins were capable to form amphiphilic stripes in α-helices, suggesting their roles as molecular shield in water-deficient condition, though charge distribution pattern in α-helices were different between CAHS and LEA proteins. Tardigrades might have evolved novel protein families with a heat-soluble property and this study revealed a novel repertoire of major heat-soluble proteins in these anhydrobiotic animals.

  2. Novel mitochondria-targeted heat-soluble proteins identified in the anhydrobiotic Tardigrade improve osmotic tolerance of human cells.

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    Sae Tanaka

    Full Text Available Tardigrades are able to tolerate almost complete dehydration through transition to a metabolically inactive state, called "anhydrobiosis". Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA proteins are heat-soluble proteins involved in the desiccation tolerance of many anhydrobiotic organisms. Tardigrades, Ramazzottius varieornatus, however, express predominantly tardigrade-unique heat-soluble proteins: CAHS (Cytoplasmic Abundant Heat Soluble and SAHS (Secretory Abundant Heat Soluble proteins, which are secreted or localized in most intracellular compartments, except the mitochondria. Although mitochondrial integrity is crucial to ensure cellular survival, protective molecules for mitochondria have remained elusive. Here, we identified two novel mitochondrial heat-soluble proteins, RvLEAM and MAHS (Mitochondrial Abundant Heat Soluble, as potent mitochondrial protectants from Ramazzottius varieornatus. RvLEAM is a group3 LEA protein and immunohistochemistry confirmed its mitochondrial localization in tardigrade cells. MAHS-green fluorescent protein fusion protein localized in human mitochondria and was heat-soluble in vitro, though no sequence similarity with other known proteins was found, and one region was conserved among tardigrades. Furthermore, we demonstrated that RvLEAM protein as well as MAHS protein improved the hyperosmotic tolerance of human cells. The findings of the present study revealed that tardigrade mitochondria contain at least two types of heat-soluble proteins that might have protective roles in water-deficient environments.

  3. Milnesium berladnicorum sp. n. (Eutardigrada, Apochela, Milnesiidae), a new species of water bear from Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciobanu, Daniel Adrian; Zawierucha, Krzysztof; Moglan, Ioan; Kaczmarek, Lukasz

    2014-01-01

    In a lichen sample collected from a tree in Bârlad town (Vaslui County, Romania), a new tardigrade species belonging to the genus Milnesium (granulatum group) was found. Milnesium berladnicorum sp. n. is most similar (in the type of dorsal sculpture) to Milnesium beasleyi Kaczmarek et al., 2012 but differs from it mainly by having a different claw configuration and some morphometric characters. Additionally, the new species differs from other congeners of the granulatum group by the different type of dorsal sculpture, claw configuration and some morphometric characters.

  4. Dry up and survive: the role of antioxidant defences in anhydrobiotic organisms

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    Lorena Rebecchi

    2013-05-01

    tolerance in anhydrobiotic organisms. The action of these molecules emphasises the need for redox balancing in anhydrobiotic organisms including tardigrades and chironomid larvae.

  5. Analysis of DNA repair and protection in the Tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus and Hypsibius dujardini after exposure to UVC radiation.

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    Daiki D Horikawa

    Full Text Available Tardigrades inhabiting terrestrial environments exhibit extraordinary resistance to ionizing radiation and UV radiation although little is known about the mechanisms underlying the resistance. We found that the terrestrial tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus is able to tolerate massive doses of UVC irradiation by both being protected from forming UVC-induced thymine dimers in DNA in a desiccated, anhydrobiotic state as well as repairing the dimers that do form in the hydrated animals. In R. varieornatus accumulation of thymine dimers in DNA induced by irradiation with 2.5 kJ/m(2 of UVC radiation disappeared 18 h after the exposure when the animals were exposed to fluorescent light but not in the dark. Much higher UV radiation tolerance was observed in desiccated anhydrobiotic R. varieornatus compared to hydrated specimens of this species. On the other hand, the freshwater tardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini that was used as control, showed much weaker tolerance to UVC radiation than R. varieornatus, and it did not contain a putative phrA gene sequence. The anhydrobiotes of R. varieornatus accumulated much less UVC-induced thymine dimers in DNA than hydrated one. It suggests that anhydrobiosis efficiently avoids DNA damage accumulation in R. varieornatus and confers better UV radiation tolerance on this species. Thus we propose that UV radiation tolerance in tardigrades is due to the both high capacities of DNA damage repair and DNA protection, a two-pronged survival strategy.

  6. Element analysis of the eutardigrades Richtersius coronifer and Milnesium cf. asiaticum using Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE

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    Charlotta Nilsson

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Semi-terrestrial tardigrades are well-known for their tolerance to a variety of environmental extremes, including desiccation, freezing and radiation. Despite several attempts to reveal the genetic and molecular mechanisms behind the resilience of tardigrades, it is still unknown how these animals are able to maintain the integrity of their cellular components under severe stress. Quantitative or qualitative changes in molecular compounds (e.g., carbohydrates, proteins are expected, and have been the main line of research towards understanding the tolerance of tardigrades. In radiation tolerant bacteria, a tolerance mechanism based on manganese has been proposed. We evaluate this hypothesis in tardigrades and provide the first data on element composition in desiccated and non-desiccated specimens of two eutardigrade species, Richtersius coronifer and Milnesium cf. asiaticum. A focused 2 MeV proton microbeam was utilised to determine the elemental content, distributions and concentrations, using the ion beam analytical technique particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE. The presence of six elements – phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine, potassium, calcium and iron – were confirmed in all tardigrade specimens, at levels up to a few mg g–1. However, manganese was found in less than 10% of the analysed specimens, and in low amounts, thus our study provides no evidence for the manganese hypothesis. We also show that the distributions and/or concentrations of some elements differ between the two species as well as between the dehydrated and hydrated state. In particular, very low levels of iron were found in dehydrated M. cf. asiaticum. Our analysis shows that the PIXE technique is a useful tool for investigating questions on the distribution of elements both in dehydrated and hydrated tardigrades.

  7. Integrated pathway modules using time-course metabolic profiles and EST data from Milnesium tardigradum

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    Beisser Daniela

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tardigrades are multicellular organisms, resistant to extreme environmental changes such as heat, drought, radiation and freezing. They outlast these conditions in an inactive form (tun to escape damage to cellular structures and cell death. Tardigrades are apparently able to prevent or repair such damage and are therefore a crucial model organism for stress tolerance. Cultures of the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum were dehydrated by removing the surrounding water to induce tun formation. During this process and the subsequent rehydration, metabolites were measured in a time series by GC-MS. Additionally expressed sequence tags are available, especially libraries generated from the active and inactive state. The aim of this integrated analysis is to trace changes in tardigrade metabolism and identify pathways responsible for their extreme resistance against physical stress. Results In this study we propose a novel integrative approach for the analysis of metabolic networks to identify modules of joint shifts on the transcriptomic and metabolic levels. We derive a tardigrade-specific metabolic network represented as an undirected graph with 3,658 nodes (metabolites and 4,378 edges (reactions. Time course metabolite profiles are used to score the network nodes showing a significant change over time. The edges are scored according to information on enzymes from the EST data. Using this combined information, we identify a key subnetwork (functional module of concerted changes in metabolic pathways, specific for de- and rehydration. The module is enriched in reactions showing significant changes in metabolite levels and enzyme abundance during the transition. It resembles the cessation of a measurable metabolism (e.g. glycolysis and amino acid anabolism during the tun formation, the production of storage metabolites and bioprotectants, such as DNA stabilizers, and the generation of amino acids and cellular components from

  8. Effect of ultra-high pressure on small animals, tardigrades and Artemia

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    Fumihisa Ono

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This research shows that small animals, tardigrades (Milnesium tardigradum in tun (dehydrated state and Artemia salina cists (dried eggs can tolerate the very high hydrostatic pressure of 7.5 GPa. It was really surprising that living organisms can survive after exposure to such a high pressure. We extended these studies to the extremely high pressure of 20 GPa by using a Kawai-type octahedral anvil press. After exposure to this pressure for 30 min, the tardigrades were soaked in pure water and investigated under a microscope. Their bodies regained metabolic state and no serious injury could be seen. But they were not alive. A few of Artemia eggs went part of the way to hatching after soaked in sea water, but they never grew any further. Comparing with the case of blue-green alga, these animals are weaker under ultra-high pressure.

  9. What can we learn from the toughest animals of the Earth? Water bears (tardigrades) as multicellular model organisms in order to perform scientific preparations for lunar exploration

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    Guidetti, Roberto; Rizzo, Angela Maria; Altiero, Tiziana; Rebecchi, Lorena

    2012-12-01

    Space missions of long duration required a series of preliminary experiments on living organisms, validated by a substantial phase of ground simulation experiments, in the field of micro- and inter-mediate gravities, radiobiology, and, for planetary explorations, related to risks deriving from regolith and dust exposure. In this review, we present the tardigrades, whose characteristics that recommend them as an emerging model for space biology. They are microscopic animals but are characterized by a complex structural organization similar to that of larger animals; they can be cultured in lab in small facilities, having small size; they are able to produce clonal lineages by means of parthenogenesis; they can completely suspend their metabolism when entering in dormant states (anhydrobiosis induced by dehydration and cryobiosis induced by freezing); desiccated anhydrobiotic tardigrades are able to withstand chemical and physical extremes, but a large tolerance is showed also by active animals; they can be stored in dry state for many years without loss of viability. Tardigrades have already been exposed to space stressors on Low Earth Orbit several times. The relevance of ground-based and space studies on tardigrades rests on the presumption that results could suggest strategies to protect organisms, also humans, when exposed to the space and lunar environments.

  10. Can the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini survive in the absence of the geomagnetic field?

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    Weronika Erdmann

    Full Text Available Earth's geomagnetic field has undergone critical changes in the past. Studies on the influence of the magnetic field on Earth's organisms are crucial for the understanding of evolution of life on Earth and astrobiological considerations. Numerous studies conducted both on plants and animals confirmed the significant influence of the geomagnetic field on the metabolism of living organisms. Water bears (Tardigrada, which are a mong the most resistant animals due to their cryptobiotic abilities, show significant resistance to a number of environmental stressors, but the influence of the geomagnetic field on their fitness has not been addressed before. In our studies, we used eutardigrade Hypsibius dujardini to analyse whether isolation from the geomagnetic field had an effect on mortality. We found that Hypsibius dujardini specimens demonstrated relatively high mortality during anhydrobiosis, also in control groups exposed to the normal geomagnetic field. Moreover, similar mortality was observed in anhydrobiotic specimens isolated from the geomagnetic field. However, a significant difference was noted between tardigrade survival and the moment of their isolation from the geomagnetic field. In particular, tardigrade mortality substantially increased in absence of a magnetic field during the process of entering anhydrobiosis and returning to active life. Our results suggest that these processes rely on complex metabolic processes that are critically influenced by the geomagnetic field.

  11. Integrated pathway modules using time-course metabolic profiles and EST data from Milnesium tardigradum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Beisser (Daniela); M. Grohme; J. Kopka; M. Frohme; R.O. Schill; S. Hengherr; T. Dandekar; G.W. Klau (Gunnar); M. Dittrich (Marcus); T. Müller (Tobias)

    2012-01-01

    htmlabstractBackground Tardigrades are multicellular organisms, resistant to extreme environmental changes such as heat, drought, radiation and freezing. They outlast these conditions in an inactive form (tun) to escape damage to cellular structures and cell death. Tardigrades are apparently

  12. Movement behaviour and video tracking of Milnesium tardigradum Doyère, 1840 (Eutardigrada, Apochela)

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    Shcherbakov, D.; Schill, R.O.; Brümmer, F.; Blum, M.

    2010-01-01

    Tardigrades or ‘water-bears’ live in moist environments with a high degree of gaseous exchange. In tardigrades, locomotion is essential, e.g. for feeding, to find sexual partners and to adjust the level of hydration by moving to wetter or dryer environments. Here we report on the movement behaviour

  13. Integrated pathway modules using time-course metabolic profiles and EST data from Milnesium tardigradum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beisser, D.; Grohme, M.; Kopka, J.; Frohme, M.; Schill, R.O.; Hengherr, S.; Dandekar, T.; Klau, G.W.; Dittrich, M.; Müller, T.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Tardigrades are multicellular organisms, resistant to extreme environmental changes such as heat, drought, radiation and freezing. They outlast these conditions in an inactive form (tun) to escape damage to cellular structures and cell death. Tardigrades are apparently able to prevent or

  14. Tardigrades in Space Research - Past and Future

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    Weronika, Erdmann; Łukasz, Kaczmarek

    2017-12-01

    To survive exposure to space conditions, organisms should have certain characteristics including a high tolerance for freezing, radiation and desiccation. The organisms with the best chance for survival under such conditions are extremophiles, like some species of Bacteria and Archea, Rotifera, several species of Nematoda, some of the arthropods and Tardigrada (water bears). There is no denying that tardigrades are one of the toughest animals on our planet and are the most unique in the extremophiles group. Tardigrada are very small animals (50 to 2,100 μm in length), and they inhabit great number of Earth environments. Ever since it was proven that tardigrades have high resistance to the different kinds of stress factors associated with cosmic journeys, combined with their relatively complex structure and their relative ease of observation, they have become a perfect model organism for space research. This taxon is now the focus of astrobiologists from around the world. Therefore, this paper presents a short review of the space research performed on tardigrades as well as some considerations for further studies.

  15. Tardigrades in Space Research - Past and Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weronika, Erdmann; Łukasz, Kaczmarek

    2017-12-01

    To survive exposure to space conditions, organisms should have certain characteristics including a high tolerance for freezing, radiation and desiccation. The organisms with the best chance for survival under such conditions are extremophiles, like some species of Bacteria and Archea, Rotifera, several species of Nematoda, some of the arthropods and Tardigrada (water bears). There is no denying that tardigrades are one of the toughest animals on our planet and are the most unique in the extremophiles group. Tardigrada are very small animals (50 to 2,100 μm in length), and they inhabit great number of Earth environments. Ever since it was proven that tardigrades have high resistance to the different kinds of stress factors associated with cosmic journeys, combined with their relatively complex structure and their relative ease of observation, they have become a perfect model organism for space research. This taxon is now the focus of astrobiologists from around the world. Therefore, this paper presents a short review of the space research performed on tardigrades as well as some considerations for further studies.

  16. Tardigrades of Sweden; an updated check-list.

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    Guidetti, Roberto; Jönsson, K Ingemar; Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg

    2015-07-07

    Tardigrades occur worldwide and in a variety of ecosystems and habitats representing an important component of the micrometazoan biodiversity. Several studies documenting the occurrence of tardigrades in Sweden have been published since the first reports in early 1900, but no comprehensive summary of these studies have been published. We compiled the available information on recorded tardigrades from Sweden, using material from published studies and museum and university collections. In total, our review document 101 species of tardigrades that have been recorded from Sweden (an updated checklist of tardigrades from Sweden will be available online), of which 14 species are new records for the country. The highest number of species was recorded in the northernmost province of Lappland and the more southern provinces of Uppland and Skåne, while much lower species numbers are reported from the middle part of Sweden. This pattern probably represents biased sampling activities of biologists rather than real differences in biodiversity of tardigrades. In view of the few studies that have been made on tardigrade biodiversity in Sweden, the relatively high number of tardigrade species recorded, representing almost a tenth of the species recorded worldwide, indicates that many more species remain to be found. In this respect, more studies of the marine ecosystems along the Swedish west coast and the long Baltic Sea coastline would be of particular interest.

  17. 3-Dimensional reconstruction of fluorescent structures in tardigrades

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    Franz BRÜMMER

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Tardigrades are microscopic animals, thus brightfield microscopy is a well established method for tardigrade observation. Modern techniques in functional genetics like fluorescence in situ hybridisation or fluorescently labelled expression markers demand high resolution fluorescence microscopy. Nevertheless tardigrades are still considered to be difficult objects for fluorescence techniques as they are covered by an opaque and diffracting cuticle. We show a modern technique of structured light illumination that enables us to acquire thin optical sections and consequently to reconstruct 3-dimensional structures in tardigrades with a high spatial resolution in all 3 dimensions. This technique is evaluated on taxonomically valuable internal as well as external structures of eutardigrades: the bucco-pharyngeal apparatus and the claws. The 3-dimensional reconstructions allow the measurement of distances in all 3 dimensions.

  18. Osmotic stress tolerance in semi-terrestrial tardigrades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heidemann, Nanna W T; Smith, Daniel K.; Hygum, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about ionic and osmotic stress tolerance in tardigrades. Here, we examine salt stress tolerance in Ramazzottius oberhaeuseri and Echiniscus testudo from Nivå (Denmark) and address whether limno-terrestrial tardigrades can enter a state of quiescence (osmobiosis) in the face of hig...... that the limno-terrestrial R. oberhaeuseri enters a state of quiescence in the face of high external osmotic pressure and that it, in this state, is highly tolerant of ionic and osmotic stress.......Little is known about ionic and osmotic stress tolerance in tardigrades. Here, we examine salt stress tolerance in Ramazzottius oberhaeuseri and Echiniscus testudo from Nivå (Denmark) and address whether limno-terrestrial tardigrades can enter a state of quiescence (osmobiosis) in the face of high...

  19. The tardigrade fauna of Tunisia, with an integrative description of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The current knowledge of the diversity and distribution of tardigrade species in northern Africa is scarce and far from satisfactory. In this paper we review old and provide new faunistic records for various regions of Tunisia. Among the newly recorded taxa, we found a new heterotardigrade Bryodelphax maculatus sp. nov.

  20. Ground Testing of the EMCS Seed Cassette for Biocompatibility with the Tardigrade, Hypsibius dujardini

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    Reinsch, Sigrid; Myers, Zachary Alan; DeSimone, Julia Carol; Freeman, John L.; Steele, Marianne K.; Sun, Gwo-Shing; Heathcote, David

    2014-01-01

    The European Modular Cultivation System, EMCS, was developed by ESA for plant experiments. We performed ground testing to determine whether ARC EMCS seed cassettes could be adapted for use with tardigrades for future spaceflight experiments. Tardigrades (water bears) are small invertebrates that enter the tun state in response to desiccation or other environmental stresses. Tardigrade tuns have suspended metabolism and have been shown to be survive exposure to space vacuum, high pressure, temperature and other stresses. For spaceflight experiments using the EMCS, the organisms ideally must be able to survive desiccation and storage in the cassette at ambient temperature for several weeks prior to the initiation of the experiment by the infusion of water to the cassette during spaceflight. The ability of tardigrades to survive extremes by entering the tun state make them ideal candidates for growth experiments in the EMCS cassettes. The growth substratum in the cassettes is a gridded polyether sulfone (PES) membrane. A blotter beneath the PES membrane contains dried growth medium. The goals of our study were to (1) determine whether tardigrades survive and reproduce on PES membranes, (2) develop a consistent method for dehydration of the tardigrades with high recovery rates upon rehydration, (3) to determine an appropriate food source for the tardigrades that can also be dehydrated/rehydrated and (4) successful mock rehydration experiment in cassettes with appropriate food source. We present results that show successful multigenerational growth of tardigrades on PES membranes with a variety of wet food sources. We have successfully performed a mock rehydration with tardigrades and at least one candidate food, protonema of the moss Polytrichum, that supports multigenerational growth and whose spores germinate quickly enough to match tardigrade feeding patterns post rehydration. Our results indicate that experiments on the ISS using the tardigrade, Hypsibius dujardini

  1. Earth-like and Tardigrade survey of exoplanets

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    Jagadeesh, MadhuKashyap; Roszkowska, Milena; Kaczmarek, Lukasz

    2018-01-01

    Finding life on other worlds is a fascinating area of astrobiology and planetary sciences. Presently, over 3500 exoplanets, representing a very wide range of physical and chemical environments, are known. Tardigrades (water bears) are microscopic invertebrates that inhabit almost all terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats, from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans. Thanks to their ability to live in a state of cryptobiosis, which is known to be an adaptation to unpredictably fluct...

  2. Molecular and morphological analysis of an Antarctic tardigrade, Acutuncus antarcticus

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    Hiroshi Kagoshima

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We isolated a species of tardigrade from moss samples collected from Langhovde and Skarvsnes, near Syowa station, East Antarctic, from which we cultured a parthenogenetic strain in Petri dishes with co-occurring cyanobacteria or green algae. This culture was maintained at both 4 and 10ºC, though the latter proved more suitable for growth. Eggs were laid free, rather than in exuviae. We isolated the 18S rRNA sequences from this tardigrade, identical to that of Acutuncus antarcticus from King George island, South Shetland islands. Morphological analyses via both light and scanning electron microscopy also show general agreement with characteristics of A. antarcticus: dorsal and ventral apophyses for the insertion of stylet muscles and dorsal longitudinal thickening on the anterior part of buccal tube; presence of pharyngeal apophyses, two macroplacoids and absence of a microplacoid; the surface structure of egg; and claw shape. Peribuccal lamellae were absent, but six oval swellings surrounded the mouth opening. An additional study of moss pillars from lake Hotoke-ike, Skarvsnes, proved the existence of the same tardigrade taxon living at the bottom of the lake.

  3. The Tardigrada Register: a comprehensive online data repository for tardigrade taxonomy

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    Łukasz Michalczyk

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present the Tardigrada Register (www.tardigrada.net/register: a free, comprehensive, and standardised online data repository for tardigrade taxonomy. We outline key problems of the modern tardigrade systematics and we propose the Register as a potential solution to some of them. We then describe the idea, structure and works of the service and discuss challenges it may face. However, most importantly, we hope to convince fellow Tardigradologists that sharing their data via the Register will benefit the entire community of the contemporary and future tardigrade researchers.

  4. Neural markers reveal a one-segmented head in tardigrades (water bears.

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    Georg Mayer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While recent neuroanatomical and gene expression studies have clarified the alignment of cephalic segments in arthropods and onychophorans, the identity of head segments in tardigrades remains controversial. In particular, it is unclear whether the tardigrade head and its enclosed brain comprises one, or several segments, or a non-segmental structure. To clarify this, we applied a variety of histochemical and immunocytochemical markers to specimens of the tardigrade Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi and the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our immunolabelling against serotonin, FMRFamide and α-tubulin reveals that the tardigrade brain is a dorsal, bilaterally symmetric structure that resembles the brain of onychophorans and arthropods rather than a circumoesophageal ring typical of cycloneuralians (nematodes and allies. A suboesophageal ganglion is clearly lacking. Our data further reveal a hitherto unknown, unpaired stomatogastric ganglion in Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi, which innervates the ectodermal oesophagus and the endodermal midgut and is associated with the second leg-bearing segment. In contrast, the oesophagus of the onychophoran E. rowelli possesses no immunoreactive neurons, whereas scattered bipolar, serotonin-like immunoreactive cell bodies are found in the midgut wall. Furthermore, our results show that the onychophoran pharynx is innervated by a medullary loop nerve accompanied by monopolar, serotonin-like immunoreactive cell bodies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A comparison of the nervous system innervating the foregut and midgut structures in tardigrades and onychophorans to that of arthropods indicates that the stomatogastric ganglion is a potential synapomorphy of Tardigrada and Arthropoda. Its association with the second leg-bearing segment in tardigrades suggests that the second trunk ganglion is a homologue of the arthropod tritocerebrum, whereas the first ganglion corresponds to

  5. Neural markers reveal a one-segmented head in tardigrades (water bears).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Georg; Kauschke, Susann; Rüdiger, Jan; Stevenson, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    While recent neuroanatomical and gene expression studies have clarified the alignment of cephalic segments in arthropods and onychophorans, the identity of head segments in tardigrades remains controversial. In particular, it is unclear whether the tardigrade head and its enclosed brain comprises one, or several segments, or a non-segmental structure. To clarify this, we applied a variety of histochemical and immunocytochemical markers to specimens of the tardigrade Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi and the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli. Our immunolabelling against serotonin, FMRFamide and α-tubulin reveals that the tardigrade brain is a dorsal, bilaterally symmetric structure that resembles the brain of onychophorans and arthropods rather than a circumoesophageal ring typical of cycloneuralians (nematodes and allies). A suboesophageal ganglion is clearly lacking. Our data further reveal a hitherto unknown, unpaired stomatogastric ganglion in Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi, which innervates the ectodermal oesophagus and the endodermal midgut and is associated with the second leg-bearing segment. In contrast, the oesophagus of the onychophoran E. rowelli possesses no immunoreactive neurons, whereas scattered bipolar, serotonin-like immunoreactive cell bodies are found in the midgut wall. Furthermore, our results show that the onychophoran pharynx is innervated by a medullary loop nerve accompanied by monopolar, serotonin-like immunoreactive cell bodies. A comparison of the nervous system innervating the foregut and midgut structures in tardigrades and onychophorans to that of arthropods indicates that the stomatogastric ganglion is a potential synapomorphy of Tardigrada and Arthropoda. Its association with the second leg-bearing segment in tardigrades suggests that the second trunk ganglion is a homologue of the arthropod tritocerebrum, whereas the first ganglion corresponds to the deutocerebrum. We therefore conclude that the tardigrade brain consists of a single

  6. Neural Markers Reveal a One-Segmented Head in Tardigrades (Water Bears)

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    Mayer, Georg; Kauschke, Susann; Rüdiger, Jan; Stevenson, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Background While recent neuroanatomical and gene expression studies have clarified the alignment of cephalic segments in arthropods and onychophorans, the identity of head segments in tardigrades remains controversial. In particular, it is unclear whether the tardigrade head and its enclosed brain comprises one, or several segments, or a non-segmental structure. To clarify this, we applied a variety of histochemical and immunocytochemical markers to specimens of the tardigrade Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi and the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli. Methodology/Principal Findings Our immunolabelling against serotonin, FMRFamide and α-tubulin reveals that the tardigrade brain is a dorsal, bilaterally symmetric structure that resembles the brain of onychophorans and arthropods rather than a circumoesophageal ring typical of cycloneuralians (nematodes and allies). A suboesophageal ganglion is clearly lacking. Our data further reveal a hitherto unknown, unpaired stomatogastric ganglion in Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi, which innervates the ectodermal oesophagus and the endodermal midgut and is associated with the second leg-bearing segment. In contrast, the oesophagus of the onychophoran E. rowelli possesses no immunoreactive neurons, whereas scattered bipolar, serotonin-like immunoreactive cell bodies are found in the midgut wall. Furthermore, our results show that the onychophoran pharynx is innervated by a medullary loop nerve accompanied by monopolar, serotonin-like immunoreactive cell bodies. Conclusions/Significance A comparison of the nervous system innervating the foregut and midgut structures in tardigrades and onychophorans to that of arthropods indicates that the stomatogastric ganglion is a potential synapomorphy of Tardigrada and Arthropoda. Its association with the second leg-bearing segment in tardigrades suggests that the second trunk ganglion is a homologue of the arthropod tritocerebrum, whereas the first ganglion corresponds to the deutocerebrum. We

  7. Further studies on the marine tardigrade fauna from Sardinia (Italy

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    Cristiana DE LEONARDIS

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available An investigation on the taxonomy and ecology of marine tardigrades was carried out in different intertidal and subtidal sites along the coasts of Sardinia (Italy. Particle size analysis of sediments revealed medium or medium-fine intertidal sands and coarse subtidal sands, the latter mainly formed by coralligenous debris. The systematic study was particularly relevant, leading to the identification of 25 species, of which 9 are new records for Sardinia, and 2 are new to science. With these new findings, the total number of species for Sardinia adds up to 47. The species found belong to the families Halechiniscidae (16 species; abundance 2 to 263 ind. 10 cm-2, Batillipedidae (6 species; abundance 2 to 574 ind. 10 cm-2 and Stygarctidae (3 species; abundance 0 to 13 ind. 10 cm-2. The present data confirm the existence of a remarkable diversity, both of intertidal and subtidal tardigrade fauna. Generally, the prevalently siliceous intertidal sands host a few number of species (sometimes with many individuals, while the subtidal sediments, which were mainly calcareous, show a higher number of species often with low density. In fact, in the intertidal sediments only 11 species were found, 5 belonging to Halechiniscidae and 6 to Batillipedidae. In the subtidal sediments, there was a much wider variety; Halechiniscidae showed the highest number of species (16, compared to the remaining families, while Stygarctidae, which were present only in subtidal sediments, accounted only for 3 species. In the intertidal zone the highest value of the diversity index (H' was 2.1 and in the subtidal zone it was 3.3.

  8. Survival in extreme environments – on the current knowledge of adaptations in tardigrades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jørgensen, Aslak

    2011-01-01

    of the tardigrades and highlight species that are currently used as models for physiological and molecular investigations. Tardigrades are uniquely adapted to a range of environmental extremes. Cryptobiosis, currently referred to as a reversible ametabolic state induced by e.g. desiccation, is common especially...... among limno-terrestrial species. It has been shown that the entry and exit of cryptobiosis may involve synthesis of bioprotectants in the form of selective carbohydrates and proteins as well as high levels of antioxidant enzymes and other free radical scavengers. However, at present a general scheme...

  9. Tolerance to Gamma Radiation in the Tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini from Embryo to Adult Correlate Inversely with Cellular Proliferation.

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    Eliana Beltrán-Pardo

    Full Text Available Tardigrades are highly tolerant to desiccation and ionizing radiation but the mechanisms of this tolerance are not well understood. In this paper, we report studies on dose responses of adults and eggs of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini exposed to gamma radiation. In adults the LD50/48h for survival was estimated at ~ 4200 Gy, and doses higher than 100 Gy reduced both fertility and hatchability of laid eggs drastically. We also evaluated the effect of radiation (doses 50 Gy, 200 Gy, 500 Gy on eggs in the early and late embryonic stage of development, and observed a reduced hatchability in the early stage, while no effect was found in the late stage of development. Survival of juveniles from irradiated eggs was highly affected by a 500 Gy dose, both in the early and the late stage. Juveniles hatched from eggs irradiated at 50 Gy and 200 Gy developed into adults and produced offspring, but their fertility was reduced compared to the controls. Finally we measured the effect of low temperature during irradiation at 4000 Gy and 4500 Gy on survival in adult tardigrades, and observed a slight delay in the expressed mortality when tardigrades were irradiated on ice. Since H. dujardini is a freshwater tardigrade with lower tolerance to desiccation compared to limno-terrestrial tardigrades, the high radiation tolerance in adults, similar to limno-terrestrial tardigrades, is unexpected and seems to challenge the idea that desiccation and radiation tolerance rely on the same molecular mechanisms. We suggest that the higher radiation tolerance in adults and late stage embryos of H. dujardini (and in other studied tardigrades compared to early stage embryos may partly be due to limited mitotic activity, since tardigrades have a low degree of somatic cell division (eutely, and dividing cells are known to be more sensitive to radiation.

  10. The impact of fire on terrestrial tardigrade biodiversity: a first case-study from Portugal

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    Filipe Vicente

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Currently, loss of habitat is the greatest threat to biodiversity, yet little is known about its effect on microscopic animal taxa, such as Tardigrada. One of the causes of habitat destruction is forest fire, both natural and anthropogenic. The latter is commonly used in agriculture to kill insect pests, as a soil preparation, or conservation to create habitat mosaics. In Portugal, 42% of fire frequency is anthropogenic. There is no consensus on the impact of fires on biodiversity, with studies pointing towards different conclusions. Different methods and target taxonomic study groups may partly explain this paradigm. This study is the first into possible effects of habitat destruction on tardigrade populations, in which we analysed the taxonomic and genetic variations of tardigrades from a fire affected location in a Portuguese natural park. Sampling was performed over a 10-year period, from 2000 to 2010. The location was affected by a small fire in 1998 and a big fire in 2003. A total of 11 species from nine separate genera was recorded, from which 19 cox1 haplotypes were identified. Our data suggest a negative effect of a forest fire on tardigrade populations. Taxonomic and genetic richness, as well as abundance show lower levels in the years after a fire, compared with the preceding years. Additionally, the population recovered visibly faster after the small fire than after the bigger one. This is consistent with larger fires destroying larger forest areas, leaving fewer animals at a farther distance available for re-colonisation. Most species found before the main fire are also found after it, indicating these tardigrades have a high recolonisation capability. However, only three of all recorded haplotypes were found both pre and post the main fire, which indicates genetic diversity loss as a direct consequence of fire. Therefore, we conclude that habitat destruction by means of forest fire has a detrimental effect on tardigrade

  11. Tardigrade eggs and exuviae in Antarctic lake sediments: insights into Holocene dynamics and origins of the fauna

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    Sandra J. MCINNES

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The preservation of tardigrade eggs and exuviae in Antarctic lake sediments provided an opportunity to assess post-glacial colonisation and Holocene tardigrade dynamics on the southern continent. Tardigrade eggs were recovered from five lakes, two from the maritime Antarctic and three from continental Antarctica. Eggs were identified from the following species: Dactylobiotus cf. ambiguus, Macrobiotus furciger, Macrobiotus blocki, Minibiotus weinerorum and Acutuncus antarcticus. Other, unornamented eggs were also observed. The preservation of some of these eggs in exuviae allowed identification to at least genus. Significant variations were observed in egg abundance within the sediment of each lake, and in one lake a species (Dactylobiotus cf. ambiguus became locally extinct, probably as the result of penguin-associated eutrophication. Tardigrades generally did not become abundant for a considerable period after the lakes’ formation. The presence of an in-part endemic fauna is consistent with slow colonisation from Antarctic sources rather than wind transport from extra-continental sites. Tardigrade eggs appear to be abundant in high-latitude lake sediments, and greater use could be made of these records when evaluating tardigrade dynamics during the Holocene.

  12. Survival in extreme environment by "preserve-expand-specialize" strategy: lessons from comparative genomics of an anhydrobiotic midge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusev, Oleg; Sugimoto, Manabu; Novikova, Nataliya; Sychev, Vladimir; Okuda, Takashi; Kikawada, Takahiro

    2012-07-01

    Anhydrobiotic chironomid larvae of Polypedilum vanderplanki (Diptera) can withstand prolonged complete desiccation as well as other external stresses including ionizing radiation. Recent experiments showed that this insect is able to survive long-tern exposure to real outer space. At the same time, we found that dehydration causes alterations in chromatin structure and a severe fragmentation of nuclear DNA in the cells of the larvae despite successful anhydrobiosis. Analysis of several remote populations of the chironomid in Africa that desiccation-related DNA damage might be a driving genetic force for rapid radiation within the species. First results of ongoing genome project suggest that origin and evolution of anhydrobiosis in this single insect species related to rapid duplication of the genes, coding late embryogenesis abundant proteins (LEA) and other molecular agents directly involved in desiccation resistance in the cells. Analysis of genome-wide mRNA expression profiles in the larvae subjected to desiccation shows that joint-activity of large multiple-genes coding regions in the genome involved in control of anhydrobiosis-related molecular adaptations in the chironomid.

  13. Selective neuronal staining in tardigrades and onychophorans provides insights into the evolution of segmental ganglia in panarthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Although molecular analyses have contributed to a better resolution of the animal tree of life, the phylogenetic position of tardigrades (water bears) is still controversial, as they have been united alternatively with nematodes, arthropods, onychophorans (velvet worms), or onychophorans plus arthropods. Depending on the hypothesis favoured, segmental ganglia in tardigrades and arthropods might either have evolved independently, or they might well be homologous, suggesting that they were either lost in onychophorans or are a synapomorphy of tardigrades and arthropods. To evaluate these alternatives, we analysed the organisation of the nervous system in three tardigrade species using antisera directed against tyrosinated and acetylated tubulin, the amine transmitter serotonin, and the invertebrate neuropeptides FMRFamide, allatostatin and perisulfakinin. In addition, we performed retrograde staining of nerves in the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli in order to compare the serial locations of motor neurons within the nervous system relative to the appendages they serve in arthropods, tardigrades and onychophorans. Results Contrary to a previous report from a Macrobiotus species, our immunocytochemical and electron microscopic data revealed contralateral fibres and bundles of neurites in each trunk ganglion of three tardigrade species, including Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi, Paramacrobiotus richtersi and Hypsibius dujardini. Moreover, we identified additional, extra-ganglionic commissures in the interpedal regions bridging the paired longitudinal connectives. Within the ganglia we found serially repeated sets of serotonin- and RFamid-like immunoreactive neurons. Furthermore, our data show that the trunk ganglia of tardigrades, which include the somata of motor neurons, are shifted anteriorly with respect to each corresponding leg pair, whereas no such shift is evident in the arrangement of motor neurons in the onychophoran nerve cords. Conclusions Taken

  14. Water bears in the Anthropocene: a comparison of urban and woodland tardigrade (Phylum Tardigrada communities in Southwestern Louisiana, USA

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    Harry A. Meyer

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Humans have had such a profound effect on global ecosystems, including biodiversity, that Anthropocene is being increasingly used as a chronological term to mark the period of greatest human impact. No areas show the effect of human impact on the environment more than cities, which often have novel combinations of species in unique communities. Tardigrades (Phylum Tardigrada have often been collected in cities, but studies dedicated to urban tardigrade biodiversity are few, and those comparing urban diversity with nearby rural or natural sites even fewer. In this paper we compare the diversity and abundance of tardigrade species in Lake Charles with a nearby forested nonurban site, Sam Houston Jones State Park (SHJSP. Although tardigrade density did not differ significantly between Lake Charles and SHJSP, species richness and diversity were greater in SHJSP (17 species, H1=3.01 than in Lake Charles (8 species, H1=1.30. All but one species found in Lake Charles also occurred in SHJSP. The number of species found in Lake Charles lies within the range (5-10 found in previous urban surveys. All tardigrade studies comparing urban with nearby nonurban habitats have found lower species richness in cities.

  15. The nervous and visual systems of onychophorans and tardigrades: learning about arthropod evolution from their closest relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Christine; Gross, Vladimir; Hering, Lars; Tepper, Benjamin; Jahn, Henry; de Sena Oliveira, Ivo; Stevenson, Paul Anthony; Mayer, Georg

    2017-08-01

    Understanding the origin and evolution of arthropods requires examining their closest outgroups, the tardigrades (water bears) and onychophorans (velvet worms). Despite the rise of molecular techniques, the phylogenetic positions of tardigrades and onychophorans in the panarthropod tree (onychophorans + tardigrades + arthropods) remain unresolved. Hence, these methods alone are currently insufficient for clarifying the panarthropod topology. Therefore, the evolution of different morphological traits, such as one of the most intriguing features of panarthropods-their nervous system-becomes essential for shedding light on the origin and evolution of arthropods and their relatives within the Panarthropoda. In this review, we summarise current knowledge of the evolution of panarthropod nervous and visual systems. In particular, we focus on the evolution of segmental ganglia, the segmental identity of brain regions, and the visual system from morphological and developmental perspectives. In so doing, we address some of the many controversies surrounding these topics, such as the homology of the onychophoran eyes to those of arthropods as well as the segmentation of the tardigrade brain. Finally, we attempt to reconstruct the most likely state of these systems in the last common ancestors of arthropods and panarthropods based on what is currently known about tardigrades and onychophorans.

  16. Species richness of soil and leaf litter tardigrades in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina/Tennessee, USA

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    Diane R. Nelson

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available A large database now exists for tardigrades in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP consisting of 780 samples, 15,618 specimens, and 80 species including 14 new to science. We found 43 species of tardigrades in 150 soil/leaf litter samples. We calculated the Chao 1 species richness estimate with the species accumulation curve for the GSMNP and confirmed that our species list is virtually complete. Compared with soil data from mt. Fuji, Japan, estimated species richness in GSMNP was significantly higher. In our comparison of previous studies of soil/leaf litter tardigrades in other geographic areas, only the Kanagawa prefecture of Japan reported a higher number of species (47 than the GSMNP. Species richness estimators are valuable tools for comparing diversity in different habitats, even when sampling effort varies between studies.

  17. Detection of a troponin I-like protein in non-striated muscle of the tardigrades (water bears).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obinata, Takashi; Ono, Kanako; Ono, Shoichiro

    2011-03-01

    Tardigrades, also known as water bears, have somatic muscle fibers that are responsible for movement of their body and legs. These muscle fibers contain thin and thick filaments in a non-striated pattern. However, the regulatory mechanism of muscle contraction in tardigrades is unknown. In the absence of extensive molecular and genomic information, we detected a protein of 31 kDa in whole lysates of tardigrades that cross-reacted with the antibody raised against nematode troponin I (TnI). TnI is a component of the troponin complex that regulates actin-myosin interaction in a Ca(2+)-dependent and actin-linked manner. This TnI-like protein was co-extracted with actin in a buffer containing ATP and EGTA, which is known to induce relaxation of a troponin-regulated contractile system. The TnI-like protein was specifically expressed in the somatic muscle fibers in adult animals and partially co-localized with actin filaments in a non-striated manner. Interestingly, the pharyngeal muscle did not express this protein. These observations suggest that the non-striated somatic muscle of tardigrades has an actin-linked and troponin-regulated system for muscle contraction.

  18. Evaluation of cryoanalysis as a tool for analyzing elemental distribution in “live” tardigrades using micro-PIXE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nilsson, E.J.C., E-mail: charlotta.nilsson@nuclear.lu.se [Division of Nuclear Physics, Department of Physics, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Pallon, J., E-mail: jan.pallon@nuclear.lu.se [Division of Nuclear Physics, Department of Physics, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Przybylowicz, W.J., E-mail: przybylowicz@tlabs.ac.za [Materials Research Department, iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O. Box 722, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow (Poland); Wang, Y.D., E-mail: yaodongw@hotmail.com [Materials Research Department, iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation, P.O. Box 722, Somerset West 7129 (South Africa); Jönsson, K.I., E-mail: ingemar.jonsson@hkr.se [School of Education and Environment, Kristianstad University, SE-291 88 Kristianstad (Sweden); Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2014-08-01

    Although heavy on labor and equipment, thus not often applied, cryoanalysis of frozen hydrated biological specimens can provide information that better reflects the living state of the organism, compared with analysis in the freeze-dried state. In this paper we report a study where the cryoanalysis facility with cryosectioning capabilities at Materials Research Department, iThemba LABS, South Africa was employed to evaluate the usefulness of combining three ion beam analytical methods (μPIXE, RBS and STIM) to analyze a biological target where a better elemental compositional description is needed – the tardigrade. Imaging as well as quantification results are of interest. In a previous study, the element composition and redistribution of elements in the desiccated and active states of two tardigrade species was investigated. This study included analysis of both whole and sectioned tardigrades, and the aim was to analyze each specimen twice; first frozen hydrated and later freeze-dried. The combination of the three analytical techniques proved useful: elements from C to Rb in the tardigrades could be determined and certain differences in distribution of elements between the frozen hydrated and the freeze-dried states were observed. RBS on frozen hydrated specimens provided knowledge of matrix elements.

  19. The tardigrade fauna of Australian marine caves: with descriptions of nine new species of Arthrotardigrada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Aslak; Boesgaard, Tom M; Møbjerg, Nadja; Kristensen, Reinhardt M

    2014-05-28

    Marine caves are known to support a rich macrofauna; however, few studies have focused on meiofauna. Marine cave meiofaunal tardigrades have been reported from Japan and the Mediterranean Sea and a preliminary list of species including a redescription of Actinarctus neretinus Grimaldi de Zio, D'Addabbo Gallo, Morone De Lucia, Vaccarella and Grimaldi, 1982 was reported from Fish Rock Cave and Jim's Cave on the coast of Australia. This study is the fourth in a series describing the unique meiofauna in two Australian submarine caves located off the coast of New South Wales, describing nine new species.        Only 67 tardigrades were collected from the two caves, yet these contained a high diversity of at least 16 different species which are quite different in the two caves. The fauna includes nine arthrotardigrade genera: Actinarctus, Batillipes, Dipodarctus, Halechiniscus, Raiarctus, Styraconyx, Tanarctus, Tholoarctus, and Wingstrandarctus. This fauna is different from that reported for the high energy beaches along the East Coast of Australia.        We describe nine new species comprising a single batillipedid and eight halechiniscids: Batillipes solitarius nov. sp., Dipodarctus australiensis nov. sp., Dipodarctus susannae nov. sp., Raiarctus jesperi nov. sp., Raiarctus katrinae nov. sp., Tanarctus hirsutospinosus nov. sp., Tholoarctus oleseni nov. sp., Wingstrandarctus stinae nov. sp. and Wingstrandarctus unsculptus nov. sp.

  20. Novel protein in tardigrade, Ramazzottius varieornatus, improves radio-tolerance of human cultured cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashimoto, Takuma; Kunieda, Takekazu; Horikawa, Daiki

    2017-01-01

    Genomic DNA is constantly exposed to various genotoxic stresses of both intrinsic and extrinsic origin. Especially, radiation exposure causes severe DNA lesions including double-strand breaks, and leads to genome instability and less viability. However, some organisms possess extraordinary tolerance against radiation. These organisms should possess efficient mechanisms to protect DNA from radiation and/or efficiently repair radiation-induced DNA damages. The molecular mechanisms enabling the exceptional radio-resistance in animals, however, remain largely unknown. In this review, we provide a brief summary of the current knowledge on extremely radio-tolerant animals, and also present our recent finding that Dsup, a tardigrade-unique DNA-associating protein, suppresses X-ray-induced DNA damage in human cultured cells. (author)

  1. The impact of tourists on Antarctic tardigrades: an ordination-based model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra J. McInnes

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Tardigrades are important members of the Antarctic biota yet little is known about their role in the soil fauna or whether they are affected by anthropogenic factors. The German Federal Environment Agency commissioned research to assess the impact of human activities on soil meiofauna at 14 localities along the Antarctic peninsula during the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 austral summers. We used ordination techniques to re-assess the block-sampling design used to compare areas of high and low human impact, to identify which of the sampled variables were biologically relevant and/or demonstrated an anthropogenic significance. We found the most significant differences between locations, reflecting local habitat and vegetation factor, rather than within-location anthropogenic impact. We noted no evidence of exotic imports but report on new maritime Antarctic sample sites and habitats.

  2. An evaluation of species richness estimators for tardigrades of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane R. NELSON

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available For the past 5 years we have been conducting a large-scale, multi-habitat inventory of the tardigrades in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S.A. as part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI (see www.dlia.org. In terrestrial habitats, we collected moss, lichen, and soil samples from 19 permanent ATBI plots, representing all major land cover types within the park. Each ATBI plot is 100 × 100 m. In each plot, when available, 16 moss samples, 16 lichen samples, and 4 soil samples were collected in paper bags and air dried in the laboratory. Specimens were isolated with LudoxAM centrifugation, and for each sample up to 50 adults plus eggs were individually mounted on microscope slides in Hoyer's medium and identified using phase contrast and DIC microscopy. Additional collections were made in the limestone caves of the Cades Cove region of the park, bird nests, and 13 different streams. To date (1-Jun-06, 589 samples have been collected, and of these 401 have been analyzed, yielding a total of 8133 identifiable tardigrades or, in some cases, species groups. A total of 73 species have been found in the park, 14 of which we believe are new to science. Seven species richness estimators have been developed to predict total species richness (see EstimateS 7.5 software, viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/estimates, and these were evaluated by comparing predictions from half of our data to the actual numbers from the total database. The results of this comparison indicate that different estimators work best in different habitats. Using the best estimators in each habitat, EstimateS 7.5 indicates that a total of 96 species are likely to occur throughout the park. Thus, Great Smoky Mountains National Park tardigrade diversity represents 10% of the world's known tardigrade fauna.

  3. Morphological and transcriptional response of an anhydrobiotic insect to ionizing radiation and desiccation: steps forward in understanding molecular background of extreme radioresistance in higher eukaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusev, Oleg; Novikova, Nataliya; Sychev, Vladimir; Okuda, Takashi; Kikawada, Takahiro; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Mukae, Kyosuke

    2012-07-01

    Life in extreme or drastically changing environments in many cases leads to evolutionary evolvement of mechanisms of cross-resistance to different abiotic stresses, often never actually faced by the organism in its natural habitat. Larvae of the sleeping chironomidPolypedilum vanderplanki (Diptera) are able to resist complete desiccation and in the dry form survive under excess of various abiotic stresses, including exposure to space environment. One of the most intriguing features of the anhydrobiotic larvae is resistance to extremely high doses of different types of ionizing radiation. To understand the cross-tolerance mechanism, we have analyzed the structural changes in the nuclear DNA using transmission electron microscopy and DNA comet assays in relation to anhydrobiosis and radiation. We find that dehydration causes alterations in chromatin structure and a severe fragmentation of nuclear DNA in the cells of the larvae despite successful anhydrobiosis. The DNA fragmentation level and the recovery of DNA integrity in the rehydrated after anhydrobiosis larvae were similar to those of hydrated larvae irradiated with 70 Gy of high-linear energy transfer (LET) ions (4He+). In comparison, low-LET radiation (gamma rays) of the same dose causes less initial damage to the larvae, and recovery of DNA repair is complete within 24 h. Genome-wide analysis of mRNA expression in the larvae revealed that a large group of genes (including antioxidants, anhydrobiosis-specific biomolecules and protein-reparation enzymes) showed a similar patterns of activity in response to both desiccation and ionizing radiation. We conclude that t one of the factors explaining the relationship between the resistance to ionizing radiation and the ability to undergo anhydrobiosis in the sleeping chironomid would be an adaptation to desiccation-inflicted proteins and nuclear DNA damage.

  4. Survival of the Tardigrade Hypsibius Dujardini during Hypervelocity Impact Events up to 5.49 km s-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasini, D.

    2014-04-01

    Studies have previously been conducted to verify the survivability of living cells during hypervelocity impact events to test the panspermia and lithopanspermia hypotheses [1, 2]. It has been demonstrated that bacteria survive impacts up to 5.4 km s-1 (approx. shock pressure 30 GPa) - albeit with a low probability of survival [1], whilst larger, more complex, objects (such as seeds) break up at ~1 km s-1 [2]. The survivability of yeast spores in impacts up to 7.4 km s-1 has also recently been shown [3]. Previous work by the authors demonstrated the survivability of Nannochloropsis Oculata Phytoplankton, a eukaryotic photosynthesizing autotroph found in the 'euphotic zone' (sunlit surface layers of oceans [4]), at impact velocities up to 6.07 km s-1 [5]. Other groups have also reported that lichens are able to survive shocks in similar pressure ranges [6]. However, whilst many simple single celled organisms have now been shown to survive such impacts (and the associated pressures) as those encountered during the migration of material from one planet to another [1, 3, 5], complex multicellular organisms have either largely not been tested or, those that have been, have not survived the process [2]. Hypsibius dujardini, like most species of tardigrade, are complex organisms composed of approximately 40,000 cells [7]. When humidity decreases they enter a highly dehydrated state known as a 'tun' and can survive extreme temperatures (as low as - 253°C or as high as 151°C), as well as exposure to Xrays and the vacuum of space [7]. Here we test the shock survivability of Hypsibius dujardini by firing a nylon projectile onto a frozen sample of water containing frozen tardigrades using a light gas gun (LGG) [8]. The recovered ice and water were then analysed under an optical microscope to check the viability of any remnant organisms that may have survived impact, and the pressures generated.

  5. Will the Antarctic tardigradeAcutuncus antarcticusbe able to withstand environmental stresses related to global climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovannini, Ilaria; Altiero, Tiziana; Guidetti, Roberto; Rebecchi, Lorena

    2018-02-20

    Because conditions in continental Antarctica are highly selective and extremely hostile to life, its biota is depauperate, but well adapted to live in this region. Global climate change has the potential to impact continental Antarctic organisms because of increasing temperatures and ultraviolet radiation. This research evaluates how ongoing climate changes will affect Antarctic species, and whether Antarctic organisms will be able to adapt to the new environmental conditions. Tardigrades represent one of the main terrestrial components of Antarctic meiofauna; therefore, the pan-Antarctic tardigrade Acutuncus antarcticus was used as model to predict the fate of Antarctic meiofauna threatened by climate change. Acutuncus antarcticus individuals tolerate events of desiccation, increased temperature and UV radiation. Both hydrated and desiccated animals tolerate increases in UV radiation, even though the desiccated animals are more resistant. Nevertheless, the survivorship of hydrated and desiccated animals is negatively affected by the combination of temperature and UV radiation, with the hydrated animals being more tolerant than desiccated animals. Finally, UV radiation has a negative impact on the life history traits of successive generations of A. antarcticus , causing an increase in egg reabsorption and teratological events. In the long run, A. antarcticus could be at risk of population reductions or even extinction. Nevertheless, because the changes in global climate will proceed gradually and an overlapping of temperature and UV increase could be limited in time, A. antarcticus , as well as many other Antarctic organisms, could have the potential to overcome global warming stresses, and/or the time and capability to adapt to the new environmental conditions. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Comparative analysis of the tardigrade feeding apparatus: adaptive convergence and evolutionary pattern of the piercing stylet system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Guidetti

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A thorough analysis of the cuticular parts of tardigrade feeding apparatuses was performed in order to provide a more complete understanding of their evolution and their potential homologies with other animal phyla (e.g. Cycloneuralia and Arthropoda. The buccal- pharyngeal apparatuses of eight species belonging to both Eutardigrada and Heterotardigrada were studied using light and scanning electron microscopy. This study supports and completes a previous study on the relationships between form and function in the buccalpharyngeal apparatus of eutardigrades. The common sclerified structures of the tardigrade buccal-pharyngeal apparatus are: a buccal ring connected to a straight buccal tube, a buccal crown, longitudinal thickenings within the pharynx, and a stylet system composed of piercing stylets within stylet coats, and stylet supports. Specifically, heterotardigrades (Echiniscoidea have a narrow buccal tube; long piercing stylets, each with a longitudinal groove, that cross one another before exiting the mouth; pharyngeal bars and secondary longitudinal thickenings within the pharynx. In contrast, eutardigrades have stylets which are shorter than the buccal tube; Parachela have pharyngeal apophyses and placoids within the pharynx, while Apochela lack a buccal crown and cuticular thickenings within the pharynx, the buccal tube is very wide, and the short stylets are associated with triangular-shaped stylet supports. In both classes, when the piercing stylet tips emerge from the mouth to pierce food, the buccal tube opening is almost completely obstructed, which may hinder food uptake. In heterotardigrades, the crossing of the piercing stylets may further decrease food uptake, however this disadvantage may have been reduced in echiniscids by the evolution of a long buccal tube and long stylets able to run more parallel to the buccal tube. In contrast, eutardigrades evolved different strategies. In the order Apochela and in several

  7. Differential longevities in desiccated anhydrobiotic plant systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, F.A.

    2005-01-01

    Desiccation tolerance is a wide-spread phenomenon in the plant kingdom, particularly in small propagules lacking own root or rhizome system, such as seeds, pollen, spores of spore plants, and whole moss plants, but rare in whole, vascular plants. Longevities in the desiccated state vary from a few

  8. Inorganic ion composition in Tardigrada

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Larsen, Kristine Wulff; Jørgensen, Aslak

    2013-01-01

    composition and total osmotic concentration of five different species of tardigrades (Echiniscus testudo, Milnesium tardigradum, Richtersius coronifer, Macrobiotus cf. hufelandi and Halobiotus crispae) using high-performance liquid chromatography and nanoliter osmometry. Quantification of the ionic content....... Concentrations of most inorganic ions are largely identical between active and dehydrated groups of R. coronifer, suggesting that this tardigrade does not lose large quantities of inorganic ions during dehydration. The large osmotic and ionic gradients maintained by both limno-terrestrial and marine species...... are indicative of a powerful ion-retentive mechanism in Tardigrada. Moreover, our data indicate that cryptobiotic tardigrades contain a large fraction of unidentified organic osmolytes, the identification of which is expected to provide increased insight into the phenomenon of cryptobiosis....

  9. Dactylobiotus luci , a new freshwater tardigrade (Eutardigrada ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A new freshwater eutardigrade, Dactylobiotus luci sp. nov., is described from a permanent marsh pool (Zaphania's Pool) at 4225 m elevation in the Alpine zone of the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. The new species is most similar to D. dervizi Biserov, 1998 in the shape of the egg processes, absence of papillae and ...

  10. Myoanatomy of the marine tardigrade Halobiotus crispae (Eutardigrada: Hypsibiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Persson, Dennis; Møbjerg, Nadja

    2009-01-01

    and arrangement of muscles differ in each leg. Noticeably, the fourth leg contains much fewer muscles when compared with the other legs. Buccopharyngeal musculature (myoepithelial muscles), intestinal musculature, and cloacal musculature comprise the animal's visceral musculature. TEM of stylet and leg...

  11. Distribution and diversity of Tardigrada along altitudinal gradients in the Hornsund, Spitsbergen (Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Zawierucha

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Two transects were established and sampled along altitudinal gradients on the slopes of Ariekammen (77°01′N; 15°31′E and Rotjesfjellet (77°00′N; 15°22′E in Hornsund, Spitsbergen. In total 59 moss, lichen, liverwort and mixed moss–lichen samples were collected and 33 tardigrade species of Hetero- and Eutardigrada were found. The α diversity ranged from 1 to 8 per sample; the estimated number of species based on all analysed samples was 52±17 for the Chao 2 estimator and 41 for the incidence-based coverage estimator. According to the results of detrended canonical correspondence analysis, altitude and type of substratum were the most important factors influencing tardigrade communities in the investigated area. Macrobiotus crenulatus, M. hufelandi hufelandi and Hypsibius pallidus dominated in the lower elevations, whereas Echiniscus wendti and E. merokensis merokensis prevailed in samples from higher plots. Macrobiotus islandicus islandicus was collected most often from mosses collected from rock whereas Isohypsibius coulsoni from mosses collected from soil. Analyses of covariance were employed to test for differences in species richness between the transects in relation to altitude. Contrary to expectations, there were significant differences in species richness between the transects, but richness was not significantly related to altitude. Interestingly, significant effects of colonies of seabirds, little auk (Alle alle, on the tardigrades communities were detected. Additionally, in one of the samples first ever males of Milnesium asiaticum were found. Their measurements and microphotographs are provided herein.

  12. Crystal structure of secretory abundant heat soluble protein 4 from one of the toughest "water bears" micro-animals Ramazzottius varieornatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Yohta; Inoue, Tsuyoshi

    2018-03-01

    Though anhydrobiotic tardigrades (micro-animals also known as water bears) possess many genes of secretory abundant heat soluble (SAHS) proteins unique to Tardigrada, their functions are unknown. A previous crystallographic study revealed that a SAHS protein (RvSAHS1) from one of the toughest tardigrades, Ramazzottius varieornatus, has a β-barrel architecture similar to fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) and two putative ligand binding sites (LBS1 and LBS2) where fatty acids can bind. However, some SAHS proteins such as RvSAHS4 have different sets of amino acid residues at LBS1 and LBS2, implying that they prefer other ligands and have different functions. Here RvSAHS4 was crystallized and analyzed under a condition similar to that for RvSAHS1. There was no electron density corresponding to a fatty acid at LBS1 of RvSAHS4, where a putative fatty acid was observed in RvSAHS1. Instead, LBS2 of RvSAHS4, which was composed of uncharged residues, captured a putative polyethylene glycol molecule. These results suggest that RvSAHS4 mainly uses LBS2 for the binding of uncharged molecules. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 The Protein Society.

  13. Published records of limno-terrestrial tardigrades (Tardigrada: Heterotardigrada, Eutardigrada from Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DILIAN GEORGIEV

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The following 6 species were reported for the area by Iharos (1961: Echiniscus testudo, Ramazzottius oberhaeuseri, Hypsibius convergens, Macrobiotus hufelandi, Minibiotus intermedius, Paramacrobiotus richtersi. Specimens from the Macrobiotus hufelandi species group were recorded and during present study from one locality.

  14. Characterization of cyclomorphic stages in the marine tardigrade Halobiotus crispae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Mortensen, Hans Ramløv; Westh, Peter

    2008-01-01

    experience large changes in total body volume, yet exhibit a regulatory volume decrease/increase over a 48 h period. Hemolymph osmolality was measured by melting point depression in a nanoliter osmometer. In animals kept at 20 ppt the hemolymph osmotic pressure was 926 ± 29 mOsm/kg (n = 6). This value...

  15. Dissolved Gases and Ice Fracturing During the Freezing of a Multicellular Organism: Lessons from Tardigrades

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kletetschka, Günther; Hrubá, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 4, č. 1 (2015), s. 209-216 ISSN 2164-7860 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : cryopreservation * cryptobiosis * DNA damage * extracellular damage * survival Subject RIV: BI - Acoustics

  16. Macrobiotus polypiformis sp nov., a new tardigrade (Macrobiotidae, hufelandi group) from the Ecuadorian Pacific coast, with remarks on the claw abnormalities in eutardigrades

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roszkowska, M.; Ostrowska, M.; Stec, D.; Janko, Karel; Kaczmarek, Ł.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 327, č. 1 (2017), s. 1-19 ISSN 2118-9773 R&D Projects: GA MŠk EF15_003/0000460 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : new species * morphological abnormalities * South America Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 0.649, year: 2016

  17. Anhydrobiosis and freezing-tolerance: adaptations that facilitate the establishment of Panagrolaimus nematodes in polar habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorraine M McGill

    Full Text Available Anhydrobiotic animals can survive the loss of both free and bound water from their cells. While in this state they are also resistant to freezing. This physiology adapts anhydrobiotes to harsh environments and it aids their dispersal. Panagrolaimus davidi, a bacterial feeding anhydrobiotic nematode isolated from Ross Island Antarctica, can survive intracellular ice formation when fully hydrated. A capacity to survive freezing while fully hydrated has also been observed in some other Antarctic nematodes. We experimentally determined the anhydrobiotic and freezing-tolerance phenotypes of 24 Panagrolaimus strains from tropical, temperate, continental and polar habitats and we analysed their phylogenetic relationships. We found that several other Panagrolaimus isolates can also survive freezing when fully hydrated and that tissue extracts from these freezing-tolerant nematodes can inhibit the growth of ice crystals. We show that P. davidi belongs to a clade of anhydrobiotic and freezing-tolerant panagrolaimids containing strains from temperate and continental regions and that P. superbus, an early colonizer at Surtsey island, Iceland after its volcanic formation, is closely related to a species from Pennsylvania, USA. Ancestral state reconstructions show that anhydrobiosis evolved deep in the phylogeny of Panagrolaimus. The early-diverging Panagrolaimus lineages are strongly anhydrobiotic but weakly freezing-tolerant, suggesting that freezing tolerance is most likely a derived trait. The common ancestors of the davidi and the superbus clades were anhydrobiotic and also possessed robust freezing tolerance, along with a capacity to inhibit the growth and recrystallization of ice crystals. Unlike other endemic Antarctic nematodes, the life history traits of P. davidi do not show evidence of an evolved response to polar conditions. Thus we suggest that the colonization of Antarctica by P. davidi and of Surtsey by P. superbus may be examples of recent

  18. Anhydrobiosis and freezing-tolerance: adaptations that facilitate the establishment of Panagrolaimus nematodes in polar habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Lorraine M; Shannon, Adam J; Pisani, Davide; Félix, Marie-Anne; Ramløv, Hans; Dix, Ilona; Wharton, David A; Burnell, Ann M

    2015-01-01

    Anhydrobiotic animals can survive the loss of both free and bound water from their cells. While in this state they are also resistant to freezing. This physiology adapts anhydrobiotes to harsh environments and it aids their dispersal. Panagrolaimus davidi, a bacterial feeding anhydrobiotic nematode isolated from Ross Island Antarctica, can survive intracellular ice formation when fully hydrated. A capacity to survive freezing while fully hydrated has also been observed in some other Antarctic nematodes. We experimentally determined the anhydrobiotic and freezing-tolerance phenotypes of 24 Panagrolaimus strains from tropical, temperate, continental and polar habitats and we analysed their phylogenetic relationships. We found that several other Panagrolaimus isolates can also survive freezing when fully hydrated and that tissue extracts from these freezing-tolerant nematodes can inhibit the growth of ice crystals. We show that P. davidi belongs to a clade of anhydrobiotic and freezing-tolerant panagrolaimids containing strains from temperate and continental regions and that P. superbus, an early colonizer at Surtsey island, Iceland after its volcanic formation, is closely related to a species from Pennsylvania, USA. Ancestral state reconstructions show that anhydrobiosis evolved deep in the phylogeny of Panagrolaimus. The early-diverging Panagrolaimus lineages are strongly anhydrobiotic but weakly freezing-tolerant, suggesting that freezing tolerance is most likely a derived trait. The common ancestors of the davidi and the superbus clades were anhydrobiotic and also possessed robust freezing tolerance, along with a capacity to inhibit the growth and recrystallization of ice crystals. Unlike other endemic Antarctic nematodes, the life history traits of P. davidi do not show evidence of an evolved response to polar conditions. Thus we suggest that the colonization of Antarctica by P. davidi and of Surtsey by P. superbus may be examples of recent "ecological fitting

  19. Cyclomorphosis in Tardigrada: adaptation to environmental constraints

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Persson, Dennis; Ramløv, Hans

    2009-01-01

    Tardigrades exhibit a remarkable resilience against environmental extremes. In the present study, we investigate mechanisms of survival and physiological adaptations associated with sub-zero temperatures and severe osmotic stress in two commonly found cyclomorphic stages of the marine eutardigrade...

  20. Description of Megastygarctides sezginii sp nov (Tardigrada: Arthrotardigrada: Stygarctidae) from the Turkish Black Sea coast and a key to the genus Megastygarctides

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ürkmez, D.; Ostrowska, M.; Roszkowska, M.; Gawlak, M.; Zawierucha, Krzystof; Kristensen, R. M.; Kaczmarek, Ł.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 1 (2018), s. 1-16 ISSN 1745-1000 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Key words : Europe * heterotardigrada * marine tardigrades Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.161, year: 2016

  1. Integrative redescription of a common Arctic water bear Pilatobius recamieri (Richters, 1911)

    OpenAIRE

    Gąsiorek, Piotr; Zawierucha, Krzysztof; Stec, Daniel; Michalczyk, Łukasz

    2017-01-01

    Tardigrada are a group of microscopic metazoans that inhabit a variety of ecosystems throughout the world, including polar regions, where they are a constant element of microfauna with densities exceeding hundreds of individuals per gram of dry plant material. However, despite a long history of research and their ubiquity in tundra ecosystems, the majority of tardigrade species have limited and outdated diagnoses. One such example is Pilatobius recamieri, a common tardigrade that is widely di...

  2. Limno-terrestrial Tardigrada of the Nearctic Realm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana G. HINTON

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available We examined all available records of limno-terrestrial tardigrade distribution in the Nearctic realm (Greenland, Canada, Alaska, the continental United States of America, and northern Mexico, both to compare this fauna with other realms and to investigate distribution within North America. We included only those records in which tardigrades had been identified to species. Of 204 Nearctic limno-terrestrial tardigrade species, 38 were cosmopolitan, while 55 were unique to the Nearctic realm. The Nearctic tardigrade fauna is most similar to the Palearctic, with 135 species in common, 39 of which have not been reported elsewhere. The Nearctic realm shares 82 species with the Neotropical realm, only 10 which are not also Palearctic. These data are consistent with the geological history of the three realms, and indicate a distinction between Laurasian and Gondwanan tardigrade faunas. Although little is known about limno-terrestrial tardigrade distribution in much of North America, there are several excellent regional or local surveys. Many species are distributed widely throughout the continent, but 30.0% of Nearctic species have been reported from a single site. Cluster analysis of the fauna of 11 Nearctic regions shows that the Arctic and sub-Arctic fauna constitute a regional fauna distinct from the rest of the continent. Ecological analysis is hampered by inconsistent reporting of tardigrade substrate, though available data suggest little substrate specificity in terrestrial tardigrades. Most species are found in both mosses and lichens. Many are also present in soil and leaf litter, but few are found only in these substrates.

  3. Diversity and distribution of Tardigrada in Arctic cryoconite holes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Zawierucha

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite the fact that glaciers and ice sheets have been monitored for more than a century, knowledge on the glacial biota remains poor. Cryoconite holes are water-filled reservoirs on a glacier’s surface and one of the most extreme ecosystems for micro-invertebrates. Tardigrada, also known as water bears, are a common inhabitant of cryoconite holes. In this paper we present novel data on the morphology, diversity, distribution and role in food web of tardigrades on Arctic glaciers. From 33 sampled cryoconite holes of 6 glaciers on Spitsbergen, in 25 tardigrades were found and identified. Five taxa of Tardigrada (Eutardigrada were found in the samples, they are: Hypsibius dujardini, Hypsibius sp. A, Isohypsibius sp. A., Pilatobius recamieri, and one species of Ramazzottiidae. H. dujardini and P. recamieri were previously known from tundra in the Svalbard archipelago. Despite the number of studies on Arctic tundra ecosystems, Hypsibius sp. A, one species of Ramazzottiidae and Isohypsibius sp. A are known only from cryoconite holes. Tardigrade found in this study do not falsify the hypothesis that glaciers and ice sheets are a viable biome (characteristic for biome organisms assemblages - tardigrades. Diagnosis of Hypsibius sp. A, Isohypsibius sp. A, and species of Ramazzottiidae with discussion on the status of taxa, is provided. To check what analytes are associated with the presence of tardigrades in High Arctic glacier chemical analyses were carried out on samples taken from the Buchan Glacier. pH values and the chemical composition of anions and cations from cryoconite hole water from the Buchan Glacier are also presented. The current study on the Spitsbergen glaciers clearly indicates that tardigrade species richness in cryoconite holes is lower than tardigrade species richness in Arctic tundra ecosystems, but consists of unique cryoconite hole species. As cryoconite tardigrades may feed on bacteria as well as algae, they are primary

  4. Anhydrobiosis in bacteria: From physiology to applications

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    With regard to the desiccation tolerance in bacteria, although many mechanisms remain undiscovered at the molecular level, important research about the physiology of the anhydrobiotic state and its applications has been performed, and here we provide the most recent information about this subject. On the other hand, the ...

  5. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    With regard to the desiccation tolerance in bacteria, although many mechanisms remain undiscovered at the molecular level, important research about the physiology of the anhydrobiotic state and its applications has been performed, and here we provide the most recent information about this subject. On the other hand, the ...

  6. Osmoregulation with Focus on Fluid and Solute Dynamics in Tardigradia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin

    surfaces. The distinct mechanisms of solute transport have been studied in most animal groups, but there are still large gaps in our understanding of how animals cope with osmotic stress. In the present thesis, osmoregulatory phenomena were studied in vertebrate and invertebrate organism alike...... animal groups. Moreover, it was inferred that cryptobiotic tardigrades (species able to enter a state of latent life) contain a large fraction of organic osmolytes. The mechanisms of organic anion transport in a marine species of tardigrade was investigated pharmacologically, and compared...... to that of insects. These data showed that organic anion transport is localized to the midgut epithelium and that the transport is both active and transporter mediated with a pharmacological profile similar to that of insects. Tardigrades survive in a variety of osmotic environments (semi-terrestrial, limnic...

  7. Tolerance to gamma radiation in the marine heterotardigrade, Echiniscoides sigismundi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jönsson, K. Ingemar; Hygum, Thomas Lunde; Andersen, Kasper Nørgaard

    2016-01-01

    Tardigrades belong to the most radiation tolerant animals on Earth, as documented by a number of studies using both low-LET and high-LET ionizing radiation. Previous studies have focused on semi-terrestrial species, which are also very tolerant to desiccation. The predominant view on the reason...... for the high radiation tolerance among these semi-terrestrial species is that it relies on molecular mechanisms that evolved as adaptations for surviving dehydration. In this study we report the first study on radiation tolerance in a marine tardigrade, Echiniscoides sigismundi. Adult specimens in the hydrated...... that have high tolerance to both desiccation and radiation, supporting the hypothesis that radiation tolerance is a by-product of adaptive mechanisms to survive desiccation. More studies on radiation tolerance in tardigrade species adapted to permanently wet conditions, both marine and freshwater...

  8. Intracellular localization of group 3 LEA proteins in embryos of Artemia franciscana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boswell, Leaf C; Hand, Steven C

    2014-12-01

    Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are accumulated by anhydrobiotic organisms in response to desiccation and improve survivorship during water stress. In this study we provide the first direct evidence for the subcellular localizations of AfrLEA2 and AfrLEA3m (and its subforms) in anhydrobiotic embryos of Artemia franciscana. Immunohistochemistry shows AfrLEA2 to reside in the cytoplasm and nucleus, and the four AfrLEA3m proteins to be localized to the mitochondrion. Cellular locations are supported by Western blots of mitochondrial, nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions. The presence of LEA proteins in multiple subcellular compartments of A. franciscana embryos suggests the need to protect biological structures in many areas of a cell in order for an organism to survive desiccation stress, and may explain in part why a multitude of different LEA proteins are expressed by a single organism. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Neuroanatomy of Tardigrada

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Persson, Dennis Krog

    brain structure, is needed in order to clarify their affiliation to Cycloneuralia or Panarthropoda. Also, deducing the number of segments from which the tardigrade brain and head region originate could be central to understanding the evolution of tardigrades and their related phyla. In this thesis I......; however, innervations are present in the cuticle or epidermis in the areas termed temporalia and papilla cephalica, as well as in an area corresponding to the area of the median cirrus. The innervations of these areas suggest a homology between the clavae and cirri of A. doryphorus and the temporalia...

  10. Slow desiccation improves dehydration tolerance and accumulation of compatible osmolytes in earthworm cocoons (Dendrobaena octaedra Savigny).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Christina R; Holmstrup, Martin; Malmendal, Anders; Bayley, Mark; Overgaard, Johannes

    2008-06-01

    The earthworm, Dendrobaena octaedra, is a common species in temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere. The egg capsules ('cocoons') of D. octaedra are deposited in the upper soil layers where they may be exposed to desiccation. Many previous studies on desiccation tolerance in soil invertebrates have examined acute exposure to harsh desiccating conditions, however, these animals are often more likely to be exposed to a gradually increasing drought stress. In the present study we slowly desiccated D. octaedra cocoons to simulate ecologically realistic drought conditions and the results clearly demonstrate that gradually dehydrated cocoons show an increased tolerance of extreme drought compared with acutely dehydrated cocoons. NMR spectroscopic analysis of compatible osmolytes revealed the presence of sorbitol, glucose, betaine, alanine and mannitol in dehydrated embryos. The superior drought survival of gradually desiccated embryos could partly be attributed to a higher accumulation of osmolytes (especially sorbitol). Thus, gradually and acutely desiccated embryos accumulated approximately 2 mol l(-1) and 1 mol l(-1) total osmolytes, respectively. However, in addition to osmolyte accumulation, the gradually desiccated cocoons also tolerated a higher degree of water loss, demonstrating that gradually dehydrated D. octaedra cocoons are able to survive loss of approximately 95% of the original water content. Although D. octaedra embryos can probably not be categorized as a truly anhydrobiotic organism we propose that they belong in a transition zone between the desiccation sensitive and the truly anhydrobiotic organisms. Clearly, these earthworm embryos share many physiological traits with anhydrobiotic organisms.

  11. Experimentally Induced Repeated Anhydrobiosis in the Eutardigrade Richtersius coronifer

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Czerneková, Michaela; Jönsson, K. I.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 11 (2016), č. článku e0164062. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : storage-cells * tardigrades * cryptobiosis * tolerance * survival * life * macrobiotidae * evolution Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  12. The structure of the desiccated Richtersius coronifer (Richters, 1903)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Czerneková, Michaela; Jönsson, K. I.; Chajec, Ł.; Student, S.; Poprawa, I.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 254, č. 3 (2017), s. 1367-1377 ISSN 0033-183X Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : anhydrobiosis * cryptobiosis * tardigrades * tun * ultrastructure Subject RIV: ED - Physiology OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 2.870, year: 2016

  13. Zoology: The Walking Heads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maderspacher, Florian

    2016-03-07

    An analysis of Hox genes reveals that the body of the adorably weird tardigrades is essentially a truncated front end. This illustrates that loss and simplification are a hallmark of the evolution of animal body plans. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Neuroanatomy of Halobiotus crispae (Eutardigrada: Hypsibiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Persson, Dennis Krog; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jørgensen, Aslak

    2012-01-01

    The position of Tardigrada in the animal tree of life is a subject that has received much attention, but still remains controversial. Whereas some think tardigrades should be categorized as cycloneuralians, most authors argue in favor of a phylogenetic position within Panarthropoda as a sister gr...

  15. An integrative description of Mesobiotus ethiopicus sp. nov. (Tardigrada: Eutardigrada: Parachela: Macrobiotidae: harmsworthi group) from the northern Afrotropic region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stec, Daniel; Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg

    2017-01-01

    the first of these taxa by the absence of additional teeth in the oral cavity and by a different accessory point morphology on the claws, and it can be distinguished from the second species mostly by a completely different egg process anatomy. Mesobiotus ethiopicus sp. nov. is only the second tardigrade...

  16. Distribution of limnoterrestrial Tardigrada in Georgia and the Gulf Coast states of the United States of America with ecological remarks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry A. MEYER

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available This report is an effort to improve understanding of the distribution of limnoterrestrial tardigrades in Georgia and the states along the Gulf Coast of the United States of America. We collected 14 species of tardigrades from cryptogams (mosses, lichens, and liverworts and leaf litter in a statewide survey of Louisiana and reviewed all publications and theses reporting tardigrade distributions in the Gulf Coast states. Statewide surveys have been also conducted in Alabama, Florida, and Texas, while sampling in Mississippi and Georgia has been more localized. Currently 51 species have been identified in the region: 19 in Texas, 16 in Louisiana, 10 in Mississippi, 33 in Alabama, 3 in Georgia, and 15 in Florida. These tardigrades have been collected from cryptogams (mosses, lichens, and liverworts on trees and rocks, from soil and leaf litter, and from freshwater. Twenty species are widely distributed in the region (i.e., found in ≥ 2 non-contiguous states, while 27 have been found in only one state. Eighteen species are probably cosmopolitan. Seven species, widespread in the Gulf Coast states but unknown elsewhere in the Nearctic Region – Echiniscus kofordi, Echiniscus cavagnaroi, Parexapodibius pilatoi, Hexapodibius christenberryae, Biserovus bindae, Minibiotus fallax and a new Macrobiotus cf. hufelandi – may represent a distinctive regional fauna in cryptogams.

  17. The phylogeny of Arthrotardigrada

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jesper Guldberg

    2011-01-01

    The order Arthrotardigrada, or water bears, constitutes a small group of 160 species of marine, microscopical invertebrates, within the phylum Tardigrada. Although the position of tardigrades in the Animal Kingdom has received much attention focusing on the metazoan phylogeny, the phylogenetic...

  18. Area, depth and elevation of cryoconite holes in the Arctic do not influence Tardigrada densities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zawierucha Krzysztof

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Water bears (Tardigrada are known as one of the most extremophile animals in the world. They inhabit environments from the deepest parts of the oceans up to the highest mountains. One of the most extreme and still poorly studied habitats which tardigrades inhabit are cryoconite holes. We analysed the relation between area, depth, elevation and tardigrades densities in cryoconite holes on four glaciers on Spitsbergen. The mean (±SD of cryoconite area was 1287.21±2400.8 cm2, while the depth was on average 10.8±11.2 cm, the elevation 172.6±109.66 m a.s.l., and tardigrade density 24.9±33.0 individuals per gram of wet material (n = 38. The densities of tardigrades on Hans Glacier reached values of up to 168 ind. cm3, 104 ind. g−1 wet weight, and 275 ind. g−1 dry weight. The densities of tardigrades of the three glaciers in Billefjorden were up to 82 ind. cm2, 326 ind. g−1 wet weight and 624 ind. g−1 dry weight. Surprisingly, although the model included area, depth and elevation as independent variables, it cannot explain Tardigrada density in cryoconite holes. We propose that due to the rapid melting of the glacier surface in the Arctic, the constant flushing of cryoconite sediments, and inter-hole water-sediment mixing, the functioning of these ecosystems is disrupted. We conclude that cryoconite holes are dynamic ecosystems for microinvertebrates in the Arctic.

  19. Partial mitochondrial gene arrangements support a close relationship between Tardigrada and Arthropoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Shi Hyun; Lee, Ji Min; Jang, Kuem-Hee; Choi, Eun Hwa; Park, Shin Ju; Chang, Cheon Young; Kim, Won; Hwang, Ui Wook

    2007-12-31

    Regions (about 3.7-3.8 kb) of the mitochondrial genomes (rrnL-cox1) of two tardigrades, a heterotardigrade, Batillipes pennaki, and a eutardigrade, Pseudobiotus spinifer, were sequenced and characterized. The gene order in Batillipes was rrnL-V-rrnS-Q-I-M-nad2-W-C-Y-cox1, and in Pseudobiotus it was rrnL-V-rrnS-Q-M-nad2-W-C-Y-cox1. With the exception of the trnI gene, the two tardigrade regions have the same gene content and order. Their gene orders are strikingly similar to that of the chelicerate Limulus polyphemus (rrnL-V-rrnS-CR-I-Q-M-nad2-W-C-Y-cox1), which is considered to be ancestral for arthropods. Although the tardigrades do not have a distinct control region (CR) within this segment, the trnI gene in Pseudobiotus is located between rrnL-trnL1 and trnL2-nad1, and the trnI gene in Batillipes is located between trnQ and trnM. In addition, the 106-bp region between trnQ and trnM in Batillipes not only contains two plausible trnI genes with opposite orientations, but also exhibits some CR-like characteristics. The mitochondrial gene arrangements of 183 other protostomes were compared. 60 (52.2%) of the 115 arthropods examined have the M-nad2-W-C-Y-cox1 arrangement, and 88 (76.5%) the M-nad2-W arrangement, as found in the tardigrades. In contrast, no such arrangement was seen in the 70 non-arthropod protostomes studied. These are the first non-sequence molecular data that support the close relationship of tardigrades and arthropods.

  20. Anhydrobiosis and Freezing-Tolerance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McGill, Lorraine; Shannon, Adam; Pisani, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Panagrolaimus strains from tropical, temperate, continental and polar habitats and we analysed their phylogenetic relationships. We found that several other Panagrolaimus isolates can also survive freezing when fully hydrated and that tissue extracts from these freezing-tolerant nematodes can inhibit the growth...... Pennsylvania, USA. Ancestral state reconstructions show that anhydrobiosis evolved deep in the phylogeny of Panagrolaimus. The early-diverging Panagrolaimus lineages are strongly anhydrobiotic but weakly freezing-tolerant, suggesting that freezing tolerance is most likely a derived trait. The common ancestors...

  1. An attempt to revisit the global biogeography of limno-terrestrial Tardigrada

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    Philip J.A. PUGH

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The major increase in distribution records of limno-terrestrial tardigrades over the last ten years has enabled us to reassess the global biogeography of the Tardigrada using cluster analysis, principal components analysis and parsimony analysis of endemism (PAE. Although the new clustergram topology shows a close correlation with those we originally presented in 1998, the PAE outputs warrant a radical reinterpretation of the results as they imply that the Laurasian fauna is derived and the Gondwanan groups basal. The distribution of endemic tardigrade genera and families provides some support for this argument though the findings should be viewed with some caution as PAE has its detractors and has not been previously applied on a 'global' scale.

  2. Neuroanatomy of Tardigrada

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Persson, Dennis Krog

    ventral trunk ganglion. It is clear that the brain of A. doryphorus exhibits a more pronounced partitioning compared to the brain of H. crispae. The first and second brain lobes of A. doryphorus innervate the clavae and cirri of the head. These external structures are strongly reduced in H. crispae...... brain structure, is needed in order to clarify their affiliation to Cycloneuralia or Panarthropoda. Also, deducing the number of segments from which the tardigrade brain and head region originate could be central to understanding the evolution of tardigrades and their related phyla. In this thesis I...... provide a detailed description of the nervous system and brain of the arthrotardigrade Actinarctus doryphorus Schulz, 1935, and the eutardigrade Halobiotus crispae Kristensen, 1982. By combining transmission electron microscopy with confocal laser scanning microscopy and immunocytochemical staining...

  3. New records of Mexican Tardigrada Nuevos registros de Tardigrada mexicanos

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    Łukasz Kaczmarek

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In 9 moss samples collected from Mexico, 6 tardigrade species, including 4 new records for the country, were found. The new records raise the number of known Mexican water bear species to forty-one. We provide a full list of the known Mexican tardigrade species and discuss some biogeographical and taxonomic issues.En 9 muestras de musgo recolectadas en México, se encontraron 6 especies de tardígrados, incluyendo 4 nuevos registros para el país. Los nuevos registros incrementaron a 41 el número de especies de tardígrados mexicanos conocidos. Se proporciona una lista completa de tardígrados mexicanos conocidos y se discuten algunas cuestiones biogeográficas y taxonómicas.

  4. Evaluación de la diversidad en comunidades de tardígrados (Ecdysozoa: Tardigrada en hábitats urbano y rural de la ciudad de Salta (Argentina

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    Andrea González-Reyes

    Full Text Available RESÚMEN Este trabajo se realizó bajo la hipótesis de que existe una pérdida creciente de diversidad en las comunidades de tardígrados, desde las áreas rurales hacia las urbanas, incrementando la homogenización de sus comunidades producto de la urbanización. Para la ciudad de Salta, se tomaron muestras en áreas con tránsito vehicular alto y muestras en áreas rurales circundantes. Se identificaron en total ocho especies/morfoespecies. El inventario tuvo una completitud mayor al 94%. La comunidad rural fue más diversa y estructuralmente más uniforme que la comunidad urbana. Macrobiotus hufelandi Schultze, 1834 resultó especie indicadora y Milnesium sp. como detectora para el hábitat urbano, mientras que Paramacrobiotus areolatus Murray, 1907 resultó indicadora para el hábitat rural.

  5. Current knowledge of the Tardigrada of Svalbard with the first records of water bears from Nordaustlandet (High Arctic

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    Krzysztof Zawierucha

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The first investigations of the tardigrades of Svalbard took place in the early 20th century and 30 papers on the subject have been published to date. In this article, we summarize available information on the distribution of tardigrades in this Arctic archipelago with remarks on the dubious species and records. Additionally, we examined 28 new moss, lichen and soil samples collected from the islands of Nordaustlandet, Edgeøya and Prins Karls Forland. These samples yielded 324 specimens, 15 exuvia and 132 free-laid eggs belonging to 16 limnoterrestrial species (Heterotardigrada and Eutardigrada. These include five first records of water bears from Nordaustlandet, eight new records for Edgeøya and four for Prince Karls Forland. The most dense population of tardigrades was found in a sample with 253 specimens/10 g of dry material and the least dense population in a sample with three specimens/10 g of dry material. The most frequently recorded species in samples collected in this study were Testechiniscus spitsbergensis Scourfield, 1897, Macrobiotus harmsworthi harmsworthi Murray, 1907, and M. islandicus islandicus Richters, 1904. This article also provides the first ever scanning electron microscope photomicrographs of Tenuibiotus voronkovi Tumanov, 2007.

  6. Study of the Boson Peak and Fragility of Bioprotectant Glass-Forming Mixtures by Neutron Scattering

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    F. Migliardo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The biological relevance of trehalose, glycerol, and their mixtures in several anhydrobiotic and cryobiotic organisms has recently promoted both experimental and simulation studies. In addition, these systems are employed in different industrial fields, such as pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, as additives in mixtures for cryopreservation and in several formulations. This review article shows an overview of Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS data, collected at different temperature values by the OSIRIS time-of-flight spectrometer at the ISIS Facility (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxford, UK and by the IN4 and IN6 spectrometers at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL, Grenoble, France, on trehalose/glycerol mixtures as a function of the glycerol content. The data analysis allows determining the Boson peak behavior and discussing the findings in terms of fragility in relation to the bioprotective action of trehalose and glycerol.

  7. Roles of water molecules in bacteria and viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, C. S.

    1993-02-01

    In addition to water, microbes mainly comprise lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids. Their structure and function singularly and conjointly is affected by water activity. Desiccation leads to dramatic lipid phase changes whereas carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids initially suffer spontaneous, reversible low activation energy Maillard reactions forming products that more slowly re-arrange, cross-link etc. to give non-native states. While initial products spontaneously may reverse to native states by raising water activity, later products only do so through energy consumption and enzymatic activity eg. repair. Yet, native states of lipid membranes and associated enzymes are required to generate energy. Consequently, good reserves of high energy compounds (e.g. ATP) and of membrane stabilisers (e.g. trehalose) may be expected to enhance survival following drying and rehydration (e.g. anhydrobiotic organisms).

  8. A congruent solution to arthropod phylogeny: phylogenomics, microRNAs and morphology support monophyletic Mandibulata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rota-Stabelli, Omar; Campbell, Lahcen; Brinkmann, Henner; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Longhorn, Stuart J.; Peterson, Kevin J.; Pisani, Davide; Philippe, Hervé; Telford, Maximilian J.

    2011-01-01

    While a unique origin of the euarthropods is well established, relationships between the four euarthropod classes—chelicerates, myriapods, crustaceans and hexapods—are less clear. Unsolved questions include the position of myriapods, the monophyletic origin of chelicerates, and the validity of the close relationship of euarthropods to tardigrades and onychophorans. Morphology predicts that myriapods, insects and crustaceans form a monophyletic group, the Mandibulata, which has been contradicted by many molecular studies that support an alternative Myriochelata hypothesis (Myriapoda plus Chelicerata). Because of the conflicting insights from published molecular datasets, evidence from nuclear-coding genes needs corroboration from independent data to define the relationships among major nodes in the euarthropod tree. Here, we address this issue by analysing two independent molecular datasets: a phylogenomic dataset of 198 protein-coding genes including new sequences for myriapods, and novel microRNA complements sampled from all major arthropod lineages. Our phylogenomic analyses strongly support Mandibulata, and show that Myriochelata is a tree-reconstruction artefact caused by saturation and long-branch attraction. The analysis of the microRNA dataset corroborates the Mandibulata, showing that the microRNAs miR-965 and miR-282 are present and expressed in all mandibulate species sampled, but not in the chelicerates. Mandibulata is further supported by the phylogenetic analysis of a comprehensive morphological dataset covering living and fossil arthropods, and including recently proposed, putative apomorphies of Myriochelata. Our phylogenomic analyses also provide strong support for the inclusion of pycnogonids in a monophyletic Chelicerata, a paraphyletic Cycloneuralia, and a common origin of Arthropoda (tardigrades, onychophorans and arthropods), suggesting that previous phylogenies grouping tardigrades and nematodes may also have been subject to tree

  9. Anhydrobiosis-associated nuclear DNA damage and repair in the sleeping chironomid: linkage with radioresistance.

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    Oleg Gusev

    Full Text Available Anhydrobiotic chironomid larvae can withstand prolonged complete desiccation as well as other external stresses including ionizing radiation. To understand the cross-tolerance mechanism, we have analyzed the structural changes in the nuclear DNA using transmission electron microscopy and DNA comet assays in relation to anhydrobiosis and radiation. We found that dehydration causes alterations in chromatin structure and a severe fragmentation of nuclear DNA in the cells of the larvae despite successful anhydrobiosis. Furthermore, while the larvae had restored physiological activity within an hour following rehydration, nuclear DNA restoration typically took 72 to 96 h. The DNA fragmentation level and the recovery of DNA integrity in the rehydrated larvae after anhydrobiosis were similar to those of hydrated larvae irradiated with 70 Gy of high-linear energy transfer (LET ions ((4He. In contrast, low-LET radiation (gamma-rays of the same dose caused less initial damage to the larvae, and DNA was completely repaired within within 24 h. The expression of genes encoding the DNA repair enzymes occurred upon entering anhydrobiosis and exposure to high- and low-LET radiations, indicative of DNA damage that includes double-strand breaks and their subsequent repair. The expression of antioxidant enzymes-coding genes was also elevated in the anhydrobiotic and the gamma-ray-irradiated larvae that probably functions to reduce the negative effect of reactive oxygen species upon exposure to these stresses. Indeed the mature antioxidant proteins accumulated in the dry larvae and the total activity of antioxidants increased by a 3-4 fold in association with anhydrobiosis. We conclude that one of the factors explaining the relationship between radioresistance and the ability to undergo anhydrobiosis in the sleeping chironomid could be an adaptation to desiccation-inflicted nuclear DNA damage. There were also similarities in the molecular response of the larvae to

  10. The oxygen consumption rates of different life stages of the endoparasitic nematode

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    Willie van Aardt

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The oxygen consumption rates of different life stages of the endoparasitic nematode, Pratylenchus zeae (Nematoda: Tylenchida during non- and post-anhydrobiosisPratylenchus zeae, widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions, is an endoparasite in roots of maize and other crop plants. The nematode is attracted to plant roots by CO2 and root exudates and feeds primarily on cells of the root cortex, making channels and openings where the eggs are deposited, with the result that secondary infection occurs due to bacteria and fungi. Nothing is known about the respiration physiology of this nematode and how it manages to survive during dry seasons. To measure the oxygen consumption rate (VO2 of individual P. zeae (less than half a millimeter long, a special measuring technique namely Cartesian diver micro-respirometry was applied. The Cartesian divers were machined from Perspex, and proved to be more accurate to measure VO2 compared with heavier glass divers used in similar experiments on free living nematodes. An accuracy of better than one nanoliter of oxygen consumed per hour was achieved with a single P. zeae inside the diver. Cartesian diver micro-respirometry measurements are based in principle on the manometric changes that occur in a fl otation tube in a manometer set-up when oxygen is consumed by P. zeae and CO2 from the animal is chemically absorbed. VO2 was measured for eggs (length: < 0.05 mm, larvae (length: 0.36 mm and adults (length: 0.47 mm before induction to anhydrobiosis. P. zeae from infected maize roots were extracted and exposed aseptically to in vitro maize root cultures in a grow cabinet at 50 % to 60% relative humidity at 28 ºC using eggs, larvae and adults. VO2 was also measured for post-anhydrobiotic eggs, larvae and adults by taking 50 individuals, eggs and larvae from the culture and placing them in Petri-dishes with 1% agar/water to dry out for 11 days at 28 ºC and 50% relative humidity. The VO2 was measured

  11. Zur Biologie des marinen Heterotardigraden Tetrakentron synaptae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, R. M.

    1980-06-01

    The life cycle of Tetrakentron synaptae Cuénot, 1892, a tardigrade closely associated with the sea cucumber Leptosynapta galliennei Herapath, was investigated in the littoral zone at Roscoff (France). Eggs and juveniles were found only in June and July, adults only from May to October. There are vagile males and stationary dwarf males. The dorsoventrally flattened body, an enlarged slimy epicuticle in females and dwarf males, the full set of claws also in juveniles, and the anus, which is in a dorsocaudal position, are indicative for an epizoic, sessile life. There is strong evidence that T. synaptae punctures the cells of L. galliennei and sucks out their content, which is indicative of parasitism.

  12. The evolution of the Ecdysozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telford, Maximilian J; Bourlat, Sarah J; Economou, Andrew; Papillon, Daniel; Rota-Stabelli, Omar

    2008-04-27

    Ecdysozoa is a clade composed of eight phyla: the arthropods, tardigrades and onychophorans that share segmentation and appendages and the nematodes, nematomorphs, priapulids, kinorhynchs and loriciferans, which are worms with an anterior proboscis or introvert. Ecdysozoa contains the vast majority of animal species and there is a great diversity of body plans among both living and fossil members. The monophyly of the clade has been called into question by some workers based on analyses of whole genome datasets. We review the evidence that now conclusively supports the unique origin of these phyla. Relationships within Ecdysozoa are also controversial and we discuss the molecular and morphological evidence for a number of monophyletic groups within this superphylum.

  13. Welcome by Professor Roberto Bertolani

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    Roberto BERTOLANI

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Dear All, I wish also extend the greetings and best wishes for a successful meeting from Lorena Rebecchi and Roberto Guidetti, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, co-organizers of the Symposium. I am very glad to meet you in Catania, some of you again, some others for the first time. Thank you to all participants. A particular welcome to Diane, the only person who shares with me participation to all ten Symposia. I hope that this meeting may be an important occasion for an exchange of information, ideas, suggestions and debates among researchers who use tardigrades as a model, but are also interested in general and stimulating problems of animal biology.

  14. Tardigrada of the Caribbean island of Dominica (West Indies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana G. Hinton

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In June 2009 we surveyed the terrestrial Tardigrada of Dominica, the most northerly of the Windward islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean sea. Out of 112 moss, lichen, liverwort and leaf litter samples, 35 had tardigrades, representing 10 genera and 25 species or species groups. This survey increases the number of species reported from Dominica from 3 to 25, more than the total recorded from any other West Indian island. Twelve species found in Dominica are cosmopolitan or belong to cosmopolitan species groups. Eight species are new to the fauna of the West Indies, one is new to the fauna of the Americas, and at least one is endemic to Dominica.

  15. Cambrian lobopodians and extant onychophorans provide new insights into early cephalization in Panarthropoda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Qiang; Shu, Degan; Mayer, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Cambrian lobopodians are important for understanding the evolution of arthropods, but despite their soft-bodied preservation, the organization of the cephalic region remains obscure. Here we describe new material of the early Cambrian lobopodian Onychodictyon ferox from southern China, which reveals hitherto unknown head structures. These include a proboscis with a terminal mouth, an anterior arcuate sclerite, a pair of ocellus-like eyes and branched, antenniform appendages associated with this ocular segment. These findings, combined with a comparison with other lobopodians, suggest that the head of the last common ancestor of fossil lobopodians and extant panarthropods comprized a single ocular segment with a proboscis and terminal mouth. The lack of specialized mouthparts in O. ferox and the involvement of non-homologous mouthparts in onychophorans, tardigrades and arthropods argue against a common origin of definitive mouth openings among panarthropods, whereas the embryonic stomodaeum might well be homologous at least in Onychophora and Arthropoda. PMID:23232391

  16. Brain and eyes of Kerygmachela reveal protocerebral ancestry of the panarthropod head.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Tae-Yoon S; Kihm, Ji-Hoon; Woo, Jusun; Park, Changkun; Lee, Won Young; Smith, M Paul; Harper, David A T; Young, Fletcher; Nielsen, Arne T; Vinther, Jakob

    2018-03-09

    Recent discoveries of fossil nervous tissue in Cambrian fossils have allowed researchers to trace the origin and evolution of the complex arthropod head and brain based on stem groups close to the origin of the clade, rather than on extant, highly derived members. Here we show that Kerygmachela from Sirius Passet, North Greenland, a primitive stem-group euarthropod, exhibits a diminutive (protocerebral) brain that innervates both the eyes and frontal appendages. It has been surmised, based on developmental evidence, that the ancestor of vertebrates and arthropods had a tripartite brain, which is refuted by the fossil evidence presented here. Furthermore, based on the discovery of eyes in Kerygmachela, we suggest that the complex compound eyes in arthropods evolved from simple ocelli, present in onychophorans and tardigrades, rather than through the incorporation of a set of modified limbs.

  17. Tolerance of budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ultra high pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, M.; Torigoe, M.; Matsumoto, Y.; Yamamoto, M.; Takizawa, N.; Hada, Y.; Mori, Y.; Takarabe, K.; Ono, F.

    2014-05-01

    Our studies on the tolerance of plants and animals against very high pressure of several GPa have been extended to a smaller sized fungus, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Several pieces of budding yeast (dry yeast) were sealed in a small teflon capsule with a liquid pressure medium fluorinate, and exposed to 7.5 GPa by using a cubic anvil press. The pressure was kept constant for various duration of time from 2 to 24 h. After the pressure was released, the specimens were brought out from the teflon capsule, and they were cultivated on a potato dextrose agar. It was found that the budding yeast exposed to 7.5 GPa for up to 6 h showed multiplication. However, those exposed to 7.5 GPa for longer than 12 h were found dead. The high pressure tolerance of budding yeast is a little weaker than that of tardigrades.

  18. Ultrastructure of the digestive system of Ramazzottius tribulosus and Macrobiotus richtersi (Eutardigrada in relationship with diet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M. AVDONINA

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The ultrastructure of the digestive system of tardigrades was already described in some species, but it has never been studied in relationship to diet. We performed ultrastructural analyses of the midgut and hindgut of phytophagous Ramazzottius tribulosus and zoophagous Macrobiotus richtersi. In addition, the foregut of R. tribulosus was analyzed. New ultrastructural details have been observed. Among them are: (a distinct transverse pillar-like structures, lacking in electron-dense and compact cuticle of the buccal tube; (b a hole or groups of holes sometimes present in the buccal tube; (c a large cavity within each of the salivary glands where secreted mucus accumulates; and (d already found in zoophagous Isohypsibius prosostomus, one valve, formed by folds of the pharynx and located at the transition from pharynx to esophagus. In both analyzed species the increase of midgut surface is identified by two orders of folds of the gut wall and by microvilli. In R. tribulosus there are many first-order folds and few second-order folds, whereas in M. richtersi the opposite pattern is found. A peritrophic membrane and microvilli with a well developed glycocalyx are found only in the midgut lumen of R. tribulosus. The density of microvilli and the ratio between the real surface with microvilli and the hypothetical surface without microvilli is lower in zoophagous M. richtersi and I. prosostomus than in phytophagous R. tribulosus. All of these data represent an indirect indication of differences in digestive physiology between phytophagous and zoophagous tardigrade species. The shape of the hindgut is similar in both species and the lumen of the hindgut looks like a heartshaped cavity with some narrow cell evaginations.

  19. Evolution of pigment-dispersing factor neuropeptides in Panarthropoda: Insights from Onychophora (velvet worms) and Tardigrada (water bears).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Georg; Hering, Lars; Stosch, Juliane M; Stevenson, Paul A; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2015-09-01

    Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) denotes a conserved family of homologous neuropeptides present in several invertebrate groups, including mollusks, nematodes, insects, and crustaceans (referred to here as pigment-dispersing hormone [PDH]). With regard to their encoding genes (pdf, pdh), insects possess only one, nematodes two, and decapod crustaceans up to three, but their phylogenetic relationship is unknown. To shed light on the origin and diversification of pdf/pdh homologs in Panarthropoda (Onychophora + Tardigrada + Arthropoda) and other molting animals (Ecdysozoa), we analyzed the transcriptomes of five distantly related onychophorans and a representative tardigrade and searched for putative pdf homologs in publically available genomes of other protostomes. This revealed only one pdf homolog in several mollusk and annelid species; two in Onychophora, Priapulida, and Nematoda; and three in Tardigrada. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the last common ancestor of Panarthropoda possessed two pdf homologs, one of which was lost in the arthropod or arthropod/tardigrade lineage, followed by subsequent duplications of the remaining homolog in some taxa. Immunolocalization of PDF-like peptides in six onychophoran species, by using a broadly reactive antibody that recognizes PDF/PDH peptides in numerous species, revealed an elaborate system of neurons and fibers in their central and peripheral nervous systems. Large varicose projections in the heart suggest that the PDF neuropeptides functioned as both circulating hormones and locally released transmitters in the last common ancestor of Onychophora and Arthropoda. The lack of PDF-like-immunoreactive somata associated with the onychophoran optic ganglion conforms to the hypothesis that onychophoran eyes are homologous to the arthropod median ocelli. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Freshwater toxicity testing using rehydrated Philodina sp. (Rotifera) as test animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snell, Terry W; Johnston, Rachel K; Matthews, Amelia B

    2017-10-01

    Rotifers have become widely used in aquatic toxicology as a rapid screening test for toxicity. The commercial availability of diapausing embryos (cysts) have facilitated their popularity because test animals can be obtained without having to master the details of culturing. Other rotifer species have life stages capable of surviving desiccation and also could be used in non-culture systems for toxicity assessment. In this article, we describe a system for toxicity testing in freshwater based on rehydrating desiccated bdelloid rotifers in the genus Philodina. These animals can remain in this anhydrobiotic state for more than one year and then rehydrate within hours to provide animals for toxicity tests. We describe three endpoints: a 1.5 h ingestion test, a 24 h mortality test, and a five day reproductive test. The latter test requires feeding and a method using a dried commercial product is explained. Using desiccated rotifers and dried food in toxicity tests make this system especially attractive because of its flexibility and low threshold of biological expertise required to execute the tests. The use of the Philodina toxicity test is illustrated with four metals: copper, lead, mercury and cadmium. Reproduction generally was the most sensitive endpoint, with EC50s of 0.33, 0.44, 0.60, and 0.12 mg/L, respectively. Ingestion was a close second with EC50s of 0.13, 1.64, 0.64, and 6.26 mg/L, respectively. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Dry Preservation of Spermatozoa: Considerations for Different Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick, Jennifer; Comizzoli, Pierre; Elliott, Gloria

    2017-04-01

    The current gold standard for sperm preservation is storage at cryogenic temperatures. Dry preservation is an attractive alternative, eliminating the need for ultralow temperatures, reducing storage maintenance costs, and providing logistical flexibility for shipping. Many seeds and anhydrobiotic organisms are able to survive extended periods in a dry state through the accumulation of intracellular sugars and other osmolytes and are capable of returning to normal physiology postrehydration. Using techniques inspired by nature's adaptations, attempts have been made to dehydrate and dry preserve spermatozoa from a variety of species. Most of the anhydrous preservation research performed to date has focused on mouse spermatozoa, with only a small number of studies in nonrodent mammalian species. There is a significant difference between sperm function in rodent and nonrodent mammalian species with respect to centrosomal inheritance. Studies focused on reproductive technologies have demonstrated that in nonrodent species, the centrosome must be preserved to maintain sperm function as the spermatozoon centrosome contributes the dominant nucleating seed, consisting of the proximal centriole surrounded by pericentriolar components, onto which the oocyte's centrosomal material is assembled. Preservation techniques used for mouse sperm may therefore not necessarily be applicable to nonrodent spermatozoa. The range of technologies used to dehydrate sperm and the effect of processing and storage conditions on fertilization and embryogenesis using dried sperm are reviewed in the context of reproductive physiology and cellular morphology in different species.

  2. Development of Storage Methods for Saccharomyces Strains to be Utilized for In situ Nutrient Production in Long-Duration Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Natalie; Kagawa, Hiromi; Hindupur, Aditya; Hogan, John

    2017-01-01

    Long-duration space missions will benefit from closed-loop life support technologies that minimize mass, volume, and power as well as decrease reliance on Earth-based resupply. A system for In situ production of essential vitamins and nutrients can address the documented problem of degradation of stored food and supplements. Research has shown that the edible yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be used as an on-demand system for the production of various compounds that are beneficial to human health. A critical objective in the development of this approach for long-duration space missions is the effective storage of the selected microorganisms. This research investigates the effects of different storage methods on survival rates of the non-sporulating probiotic S. boulardii, and S. cerevisiae spores and vegetative cells. Dehydration has been shown to increase long-term yeast viability, which also allows increased shelf-life and reduction in mass and volume. The process of dehydration causes detrimental effects on vegetative cells, including oxidative damage and membrane disruption. To maximize cell viability, various dehydration methods are tested here, including lyophilization (freeze-drying), air drying, and dehydration by vacuum. As a potential solution to damage caused by lyophilization, the efficacy of various cryoprotectants was tested. Furthermore, in an attempt to maintain higher survival rates, the effect of temperature during long-term storage was investigated. Data show spores of the wild-type strain to be more resilient to dehydration-related stressors than vegetative cells of either strain, and maintain high viability rates even after one year at room temperature. In the event that engineering the organism to produce targeted nutrient compounds interferes with effective sporulation of S. cerevisiae, a more robust method for improving vegetative cell storage is being sought. Therefore, anhydrobiotic engineering of S. cerevisiae and S. boulardii is being

  3. After-ripening induced transcriptional changes of hormonal genes in wheat seeds: the cases of brassinosteroids, ethylene, cytokinin and salicylic acid.

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    Vijaya R Chitnis

    Full Text Available Maintenance and release of seed dormancy is regulated by plant hormones; their levels and seed sensitivity being the critical factors. This study reports transcriptional regulation of brassinosteroids (BR, ethylene (ET, cytokinin (CK and salicylic acid (SA related wheat genes by after-ripening, a period of dry storage that decays dormancy. Changes in the expression of hormonal genes due to seed after-ripening did not occur in the anhydrobiotic state but rather in the hydrated state. After-ripening induced dormancy decay appears to be associated with imbibition mediated increase in the synthesis and signalling of BR, via transcriptional activation of de-etiolated2, dwarf4 and brassinosteroid signaling kinase, and repression of brassinosteroid insensitive 2. Our analysis is also suggestive of the significance of increased ET production, as reflected by enhanced transcription of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase in after-ripened seeds, and tight regulation of seed response to ET in regulating dormancy decay. Differential transcriptions of lonely guy, zeatin O-glucosyltransferases and cytokinin oxidases, and pseudo-response regulator between dormant and after-ripened seeds implicate CK in the regulation of seed dormancy in wheat. Our analysis also reflects the association of dormancy decay in wheat with seed SA level and NPR independent SA signaling that appear to be regulated transcriptionally by phenylalanine ammonia lyase, and whirly and suppressor of npr1 inducible1 genes, respectively. Co-expression clustering of the hormonal genes implies the significance of synergistic and antagonistic interaction between the different plant hormones in regulating wheat seed dormancy. These results contribute to further our understanding of the molecular features controlling seed dormancy in wheat.

  4. Diversity and feeding strategies of soil microfauna along elevation gradients in Himalayan cold deserts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miloslav Devetter

    Full Text Available High-elevation cold deserts in Tibet and Himalaya are one of the most extreme environments. One consequence is that the diversity of macrofauna in this environment is often limited, and soil microorganisms have a more influential role in governing key surface and subsurface bioprocesses. High-elevation soil microfauna represent important components of cold ecosystems and dominant consumers of microbial communities. Still little is known about their diversity and distribution on the edge of their reproductive and metabolic abilities. In this study, we disentangle the impact of elevation and soil chemistry on diversity and distribution of rotifers, nematodes and tardigrades and their most frequent feeding strategies (microbial filter-feeders, bacterivores, fungivores, root-fungal feeders, omnivores along two contrasting altitudinal gradients in Indian NW Himalaya (Zanskar transect from 3805 to 4714 m a.s.l. and southwestern Tibet (Tso Moriri transect from 4477 to 6176 m a.s.l., using a combination of multivariate analysis, variation partitioning and generalized additive models. Zanskar transect had higher precipitation, soil moisture, organic matter and available nutrients than dry Tso Moriri transect. In total, 40 species of nematodes, 19 rotifers and 1 tardigrade were discovered. Species richness and total abundance of rotifers and nematodes showed mid-elevation peaks in both investigated transects. The optimum for rotifers was found at higher elevation than for nematodes. Diversity and distribution of soil microfauna was best explained by soil nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter. More fertile soils hosted more diverse and abundant faunal communities. In Tso Moriri, bacterivores represented 60% of all nematodes, fungivores 35%, root-fungal feeders 1% and omnivores 3%. For Zanskar the respective proportions were 21%, 13%, 56% and 9%. Elevational optima of different feeding strategies occurred in Zanskar in one elevation zone (4400-4500 m

  5. Diversity and feeding strategies of soil microfauna along elevation gradients in Himalayan cold deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devetter, Miloslav; Háněl, Ladislav; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří

    2017-01-01

    High-elevation cold deserts in Tibet and Himalaya are one of the most extreme environments. One consequence is that the diversity of macrofauna in this environment is often limited, and soil microorganisms have a more influential role in governing key surface and subsurface bioprocesses. High-elevation soil microfauna represent important components of cold ecosystems and dominant consumers of microbial communities. Still little is known about their diversity and distribution on the edge of their reproductive and metabolic abilities. In this study, we disentangle the impact of elevation and soil chemistry on diversity and distribution of rotifers, nematodes and tardigrades and their most frequent feeding strategies (microbial filter-feeders, bacterivores, fungivores, root-fungal feeders, omnivores) along two contrasting altitudinal gradients in Indian NW Himalaya (Zanskar transect from 3805 to 4714 m a.s.l.) and southwestern Tibet (Tso Moriri transect from 4477 to 6176 m a.s.l.), using a combination of multivariate analysis, variation partitioning and generalized additive models. Zanskar transect had higher precipitation, soil moisture, organic matter and available nutrients than dry Tso Moriri transect. In total, 40 species of nematodes, 19 rotifers and 1 tardigrade were discovered. Species richness and total abundance of rotifers and nematodes showed mid-elevation peaks in both investigated transects. The optimum for rotifers was found at higher elevation than for nematodes. Diversity and distribution of soil microfauna was best explained by soil nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter. More fertile soils hosted more diverse and abundant faunal communities. In Tso Moriri, bacterivores represented 60% of all nematodes, fungivores 35%, root-fungal feeders 1% and omnivores 3%. For Zanskar the respective proportions were 21%, 13%, 56% and 9%. Elevational optima of different feeding strategies occurred in Zanskar in one elevation zone (4400-4500 m), while in Tso Moriri

  6. Panspermia Survival Scenarios for Organisms that Survive Typical Hypervelocity Solar System Impact Events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasini, D.

    2014-04-01

    Previous experimental studies have demonstrated the survivability of living cells during hypervelocity impact events, testing the panspermia and litho-panspermia hypotheses [1]. It has been demonstrated by the authors that Nannochloropsis Oculata Phytoplankton, a eukaryotic photosynthesizing autotroph found in the 'euphotic zone' (sunlit surface layers of oceans [2]), survive impacts up to 6.93 km s-1 (approx. shock pressure 40 GPa) [3, 4]. Also shown to survive impacts up to 5.49 km s-1 is the tardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini (a complex micro-animal consisting of 40,000 cells) [5, 6]. It has also been shown that they can survive sustained pressures up to 600 MPa using a water filled pressure capsule [7]. Additionally bacteria can survive impacts up to 5.4 km s-1 (~30 GPa) - albeit with a low probability of survival [1], and the survivability of yeast spores in impacts up to 7.4 km s-1 (~30 GPa) has also recently been demonstrated [8]. Other groups have also reported that the lichen Xanthoria elegans is able to survive shocks in similar pressure ranges (~40 GPa) [9]. Here we present various simulated impact regimes to show which scenarios are condusive to the panspermia hypothesis of the natural transfer of life (via an icy body) through space to an extraterrestrial environment.

  7. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE “WATER BEARS” FOR THE ADHESION SYSTEMS USING IN SPACE APPLICATIONS?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander E. Filippov

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent progress in space research and in particular appearance of complex movable constructions with a number of components exposed to the extreme conditions of open space causes a strong demand for development of new tribological and adhesion systems which are able to resist such conditions. In the last few years, many engineering solutions in the field of tribology and adhesion have been found based on “biomimetics approach” that is searching for ideas originally created by living nature and optimized during billions of years of natural selection. Surprisingly some of the living creatures are found to be optimized even for survival for a long time in the conditions of open space. Such ability is very promising from the point of view of development of new adhesives for future space applications. In this paper we discuss what we can learn in this context from the so-called “water bears” (tardigrades in a combination with some other features, already adopted to reversible technical adhesives from other animals, such as insects and Gecko lizards.

  8. Nasa's International Space Station: A Testbed for Planetary Protection Protocol Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M. S.; Rucker, M.; Love, S.; Johnson, J.; Chambliss, J.; Pierson, D.; Ott, M.; Mary, N.; Glass, B.; Lupisella, M.; hide

    2015-01-01

    Wherever humans go, they inevitably carry along the critters that live in and on them. Conventional wisdom has long held that it is unlikely those critters could survive the space environment, but in 2007 some microscopic aquatic animals called Tardigrades survived exposure to space and in 2008 Cyanobacteria lived for 548 days outside the ISS. Unlike the Mars rovers that were cleaned once and sent on their way, crew members will provide a constantly regenerating contaminant source. Are we prepared to certify that we can meet forward contamination protocols as we search for life at new destinations? What about the organisms we might reasonably expect a crewed spacecraft to leak or vent? Do we even know what they are? How long might our tiny hitch-hikers survive in close proximity to a warm spacecraft that periodically leaks/vents water or oxygen and how might they mutate with long-duration exposure? How will these contaminants migrate from their source in conditions encountered in space or on other planetary surfaces? This project aims to answer some of these questions by bringing together key stakeholder communities to develop a human forward contamination test, analysis, and integration plan. A system engineering approach to identify the experiments, analysis, and modeling needed to develop the contamination control protocols required will be used as a roadmap to integrate the many different parts of this problem - from launch to landing, living, and working on another planetary surface.

  9. Unlocking the early fossil record of the arthropod central nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgecombe, Gregory D; Ma, Xiaoya; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2015-12-19

    Extant panarthropods (euarthropods, onychophorans and tardigrades) are hallmarked by stunning morphological and taxonomic diversity, but their central nervous systems (CNS) are relatively conserved. The timing of divergences of the ground pattern CNS organization of the major panarthropod clades has been poorly constrained because of a scarcity of data from their early fossil record. Although the CNS has been documented in three-dimensional detail in insects from Cenozoic ambers, it is widely assumed that these tissues are too prone to decay to withstand other styles of fossilization or geologically older preservation. However, Cambrian Burgess Shale-type compressions have emerged as sources of fossilized brains and nerve cords. CNS in these Cambrian fossils are preserved as carbon films or as iron oxides/hydroxides after pyrite in association with carbon. Experiments with carcasses compacted in fine-grained sediment depict preservation of neural tissue for a more prolonged temporal window than anticipated by decay experiments in other media. CNS and compound eye characters in exceptionally preserved Cambrian fossils predict divergences of the mandibulate and chelicerate ground patterns by Cambrian Stage 3 (ca 518 Ma), a dating that is compatible with molecular estimates for these splits. © 2015 The Authors.

  10. Hallucigenia's head and the pharyngeal armature of early ecdysozoans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martin R; Caron, Jean-Bernard

    2015-07-02

    The molecularly defined clade Ecdysozoa comprises the panarthropods (Euarthropoda, Onychophora and Tardigrada) and the cycloneuralian worms (Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Priapulida, Loricifera and Kinorhyncha). These disparate phyla are united by their means of moulting, but otherwise share few morphological characters--none of which has a meaningful fossilization potential. As such, the early evolutionary history of the group as a whole is largely uncharted. Here we redescribe the 508-million-year-old stem-group onychophoran Hallucigenia sparsa from the mid-Cambrian Burgess Shale. We document an elongate head with a pair of simple eyes, a terminal buccal chamber containing a radial array of sclerotized elements, and a differentiated foregut that is lined with acicular teeth. The radial elements and pharyngeal teeth resemble the sclerotized circumoral elements and pharyngeal teeth expressed in tardigrades, stem-group euarthropods and cycloneuralian worms. Phylogenetic results indicate that equivalent structures characterized the ancestral panarthropod and, seemingly, the ancestral ecdysozoan, demonstrating the deep homology of panarthropod and cycloneuralian mouthparts, and providing an anatomical synapomorphy for the ecdysozoan supergroup.

  11. Molecular timetrees reveal a Cambrian colonization of land and a new scenario for ecdysozoan evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rota-Stabelli, Omar; Daley, Allison C; Pisani, Davide

    2013-03-04

    Ecdysozoans have been key components of ecosystems since the early Cambrian, when trilobites and soft-bodied Burgess Shale-type ecdysozoans dominated marine animal communities. Even today, the most abundant animals on Earth are either nematode worms or plankton-forming crustaceans, whereas the most diverse are the insects. Throughout geological time, several ecdysozoan lineages independently colonized land, shaping both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and providing an adequate environment for successive animal terrestrialization. The timing of these events is largely uncertain and has been investigated only partially using molecular data. Here we present a timescale of ecdysozoan evolution based on multiple molecular data sets, the most complete set of fossil calibrations to date, and a thorough series of validation analyses. Results converge on an Ediacaran origin of all major ecdysozoan lineages (∼587-543 million years ago [mya]), followed by a fast Cambrian radiation of the pancrustaceans (∼539-511 mya), a Cambro-Ordovician colonization of land of different arthropod lineages (∼510-471 mya), and a relatively recent radiation of extant nematodes, onychophorans, and tardigrades (∼442 mya). Arthropods colonized land nearly synchronously with land plants. Further diversification within flying insects, nematodes and onychophorans might be related to the evolution of vascular plants and forests. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. MicroRNAs and phylogenomics resolve the relationships of Tardigrada and suggest that velvet worms are the sister group of Arthropoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Lahcen I; Rota-Stabelli, Omar; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Marchioro, Trevor; Longhorn, Stuart J; Telford, Maximilian J; Philippe, Hervé; Rebecchi, Lorena; Peterson, Kevin J; Pisani, Davide

    2011-09-20

    Morphological data traditionally group Tardigrada (water bears), Onychophora (velvet worms), and Arthropoda (e.g., spiders, insects, and their allies) into a monophyletic group of invertebrates with walking appendages known as the Panarthropoda. However, molecular data generally do not support the inclusion of tardigrades within the Panarthropoda, but instead place them closer to Nematoda (roundworms). Here we present results from the analyses of two independent genomic datasets, expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and microRNAs (miRNAs), which congruently resolve the phylogenetic relationships of Tardigrada. Our EST analyses, based on 49,023 amino acid sites from 255 proteins, significantly support a monophyletic Panarthropoda including Tardigrada and suggest a sister group relationship between Arthropoda and Onychophora. Using careful experimental manipulations--comparisons of model fit, signal dissection, and taxonomic pruning--we show that support for a Tardigrada + Nematoda group derives from the phylogenetic artifact of long-branch attraction. Our small RNA libraries fully support our EST results; no miRNAs were found to link Tardigrada and Nematoda, whereas all panarthropods were found to share one unique miRNA (miR-276). In addition, Onychophora and Arthropoda were found to share a second miRNA (miR-305). Our study confirms the monophyly of the legged ecdysozoans, shows that past support for a Tardigrada + Nematoda group was due to long-branch attraction, and suggests that the velvet worms are the sister group to the arthropods.

  13. Desiccation survival in an Antarctic nematode: molecular analysis using expressed sequenced tags

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wall Diana H

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nematodes are the dominant soil animals in Antarctic Dry Valleys and are capable of surviving desiccation and freezing in an anhydrobiotic state. Genes induced by desiccation stress have been successfully enumerated in nematodes; however we have little knowledge of gene regulation by Antarctic nematodes which can survive multiple environmental stresses. To address this problem we investigated the genetic responses of a nematode species, Plectus murrayi, that is capable of tolerating Antarctic environmental extremes, in particular desiccation and freezing. In this study, we provide the first insight into the desiccation induced transcriptome of an Antarctic nematode through cDNA library construction and suppressive subtractive hybridization. Results We obtained 2,486 expressed sequence tags (ESTs from 2,586 clones derived from the cDNA library of desiccated P. murrayi. The 2,486 ESTs formed 1,387 putative unique transcripts of which 523 (38% had matches in the model-nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, 107 (7% in nematodes other than C. elegans, 153 (11% in non-nematode organisms and 605 (44% had no significant match to any sequences in the current databases. The 1,387 unique transcripts were functionally classified by using Gene Ontology (GO hierarchy and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG database. The results indicate that the transcriptome contains a group of transcripts from diverse functional areas. The subtractive library of desiccated nematodes showed 80 transcripts differentially expressed during desiccation stress, of which 28% were metabolism related, 19% were involved in environmental information processing, 28% involved in genetic information processing and 21% were novel transcripts. Expression profiling of 14 selected genes by quantitative Real-time PCR showed 9 genes significantly up-regulated, 3 down-regulated and 2 continuously expressed in response to desiccation. Conclusion The establishment of a

  14. Ancestral patterning of tergite formation in a centipede suggests derived mode of trunk segmentation in trilobites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Ortega-Hernández

    Full Text Available Trilobites have a rich and abundant fossil record, but little is known about the intrinsic mechanisms that orchestrate their body organization. To date, there is disagreement regarding the correspondence, or lack thereof, of the segmental units that constitute the trilobite trunk and their associated exoskeletal elements. The phylogenetic position of trilobites within total-group Euarthropoda, however, allows inferences about the underlying organization in these extinct taxa to be made, as some of the fundamental genetic processes for constructing the trunk segments are remarkably conserved among living arthropods. One example is the expression of the segment polarity gene engrailed, which at embryonic and early postembryonic stages is expressed in extant panarthropods (i.e. tardigrades, onychophorans, euarthropods as transverse stripes that define the posteriormost region of each trunk segment. Due to its conservative morphology and allegedly primitive trunk tagmosis, we have utilized the centipede Strigamia maritima to study the correspondence between the expression of engrailed during late embryonic to postembryonic stages, and the development of the dorsal exoskeletal plates (i.e. tergites. The results corroborate the close correlation between the formation of the tergite borders and the dorsal expression of engrailed, and suggest that this association represents a symplesiomorphy within Euarthropoda. This correspondence between the genetic and phenetic levels enables making accurate inferences about the dorsoventral expression domains of engrailed in the trunk of exceptionally preserved trilobites and their close relatives, and is suggestive of the widespread occurrence of a distinct type of genetic segmental mismatch in these extinct arthropods. The metameric organization of the digestive tract in trilobites provides further support to this new interpretation. The wider evolutionary implications of these findings suggest the presence of a

  15. Observed trends of soil fauna in the Antarctic Dry Valleys: early signs of shifts predicted under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriuzzi, W S; Adams, B J; Barrett, J E; Virginia, R A; Wall, D H

    2018-02-01

    Long-term observations of ecological communities are necessary for generating and testing predictions of ecosystem responses to climate change. We investigated temporal trends and spatial patterns of soil fauna along similar environmental gradients in three sites of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, spanning two distinct climatic phases: a decadal cooling trend from the early 1990s through the austral summer of February 2001, followed by a shift to the current trend of warming summers and more frequent discrete warming events. After February 2001, we observed a decline in the dominant species (the nematode Scottnema lindsayae) and increased abundance and expanded distribution of less common taxa (rotifers, tardigrades, and other nematode species). Such diverging responses have resulted in slightly greater evenness and spatial homogeneity of taxa. However, total abundance of soil fauna appears to be declining, as positive trends of the less common species so far have not compensated for the declining numbers of the dominant species. Interannual variation in the proportion of juveniles in the dominant species was consistent across sites, whereas trends in abundance varied more. Structural equation modeling supports the hypothesis that the observed biological trends arose from dissimilar responses by dominant and less common species to pulses of water availability resulting from enhanced ice melt. No direct effects of mean summer temperature were found, but there is evidence of indirect effects via its weak but significant positive relationship with soil moisture. Our findings show that combining an understanding of species responses to environmental change with long-term observations in the field can provide a context for validating and refining predictions of ecological trends in the abundance and diversity of soil fauna. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. La faune du sol: reconnaissance et biologie des principaux groupes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia EL ALAMI IDRISSI

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available La richesse du sol en produits organiques est liée à l’abondance de la végétation et aux processus de décomposition des débris végétaux ou animaux. La couche de la matière végétale qui n’est pas encore décomposée est la litière ; le sol s’organise en couches de nature différente: les horizons. La faune du sol est représentée par un ensemble d’organismes très variés. En raison de leur taille on distingue plusieurs catégories d’habitants du sol (ou édaphons. La Microfaune (t<0,2mm est représentée par les Protozoaires, les Nématodes, les Rotifères, les Tardigrades et les Petits Turbellariés. La Mésofaune (0,2 mm

  17. Distribution and diversity of soil microfauna from East Antarctica: assessing the link between biotic and abiotic factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Velasco-Castrillón

    Full Text Available Terrestrial life in Antarctica has been described as some of the simplest on the planet, and mainly confined to soil microfaunal communities. Studies have suggested that the lack of diversity is due to extreme environmental conditions and thought to be driven by abiotic factors. In this study we investigated soil microfauna composition, abundance, and distribution in East Antarctica, and assessed correlations with soil geochemistry and environmental variables. We examined 109 soil samples from a wide range of ice-free habitats, spanning 2000 km from Framnes Mountains to Bailey Peninsula. Microfauna across all samples were patchily distributed, from complete absence of invertebrates to over 1600 specimens/gram of dry weight of soil (gdw, with highest microfauna abundance observed in samples with visible vegetation. Bdelloid rotifers were on average the most widespread found in 87% of sampled sites and the most abundant (44 specimens/gdw. Tardigrades occurred in 57% of the sampled sites with an abundance of 12 specimens/gdw. Nematodes occurred in 71% of samples with a total abundance of 3 specimens/gdw. Ciliates and mites were rarely found in soil samples, with an average abundance of 1.3 and 0.04 specimens/gdw, respectively. We found that microfaunal composition and abundance were mostly correlated with the soil geochemical parameters; phosphorus, NO3 (- and salinity, and likely to be the result of soil properties and historic landscape formation and alteration, rather than the geographic region they were sampled from. Studies focusing on Antarctic biodiversity must take into account soil geochemical and environmental factors that influence population and species heterogeneity.

  18. Characterize Human Forward Contamination Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Let's face it: wherever we go, we will inevitably carry along the little critters that live in and on us. Conventional wisdom has long held that it's unlikely those critters could survive the space environment, but in 2007 microscopic animals called Tardigrades survived exposure to space and in 2008 Cyanobacteria lived for 548 days outside the International Space Station (ISS). But what about the organisms we might reasonably expect a crewed spacecraft to leak or vent? Do we even know what they are? How long might our tiny hitch-hikers survive in close proximity to a warm spacecraft that periodically leaks/vents water or oxygen-and how might they mutate with long-duration exposure? Unlike the Mars rovers that we cleaned once and sent on their way, crew members will provide a constantly regenerating contaminant source. Are we prepared to certify that we can meet forward contamination protocols as we search for life at new destinations? This project has four technical objectives: 1. TEST: Develop a test plan to leverage existing equipment (i.e. ISS) to characterize the kinds of organisms we can reasonably expect pressurized, crewed volumes to vent or leak overboard; as part of testing, we'll need to develop an Extravehicular Activity (EVA)-compatible tool that can withstand the pressure and temperature extremes of space, as well as collect, separate, and store multiple samples; 2. ANALYSIS: Develop an analysis plan to study those organisms in relevant destination environments, including spacecraft-induced conditions; 3. MODEL: Develop a modeling plan to model organism transport mechanisms in relevant destination environments; 4. SHARE: Develop a plan to disseminate findings and integrate recommendations into exploration requirements & ops. In short, we propose a system engineering approach to roadmap the necessary experiments, analysis, and modeling up front--rather than try to knit together disparate chunks of data into a sensible conclusion after the fact.

  19. Controls on microalgal community structures in cryoconite holes upon high-Arctic glaciers, Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonnahme, T. R.; Devetter, M.; Žárský, J. D.; Šabacká, M.; Elster, J.

    2016-02-01

    Glaciers are known to harbor surprisingly complex ecosystems. On their surface, distinct cylindrical holes filled with meltwater and sediments are considered hot spots for microbial life. The present paper addresses possible biological interactions within the community of prokaryotic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae (microalgae) and relations to their potential grazers, such as tardigrades and rotifers, additional to their environmental controls. Svalbard glaciers with substantial allochthonous input of material from local sources reveal high microalgal densities. Small valley glaciers with high sediment coverages and high impact of birds show high biomasses and support a high biological diversity. Invertebrate grazer densities do not show any significant negative correlation with microalgal abundances but rather a positive correlation with eukaryotic microalgae. Shared environmental preferences and a positive effect of grazing are the proposed mechanisms to explain these correlations. Most microalgae found in this study form colonies (cells, or > 25 µm), which may protect them against invertebrate grazing. This finding rather indicates grazing as a positive control on eukaryotic microalgae by nutrient recycling. Density differences between the eukaryotic microalgae and prokaryotic cyanobacteria and their high distinction in redundancy (RDA) and principal component (PCA) analyses indicate that these two groups are in strong contrast. Eukaryotic microalgae occurred mainly in unstable cryoconite holes with high sediment loads, high N : P ratios, and a high impact of nutrient input by bird guano, as a proxy for nutrients. In these environments autochthonous nitrogen fixation appears to be negligible. Selective wind transport of Oscillatoriales via soil and dust particles is proposed to explain their dominance in cryoconites further away from the glacier margins. We propose that, for the studied glaciers, nutrient levels related to recycling of limiting

  20. Distribution and Diversity of Soil Microfauna from East Antarctica: Assessing the Link between Biotic and Abiotic Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco-Castrillón, Alejandro; Schultz, Mark B.; Colombo, Federica; Gibson, John A. E.; Davies, Kerrie A.; Austin, Andrew D.; Stevens, Mark I.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial life in Antarctica has been described as some of the simplest on the planet, and mainly confined to soil microfaunal communities. Studies have suggested that the lack of diversity is due to extreme environmental conditions and thought to be driven by abiotic factors. In this study we investigated soil microfauna composition, abundance, and distribution in East Antarctica, and assessed correlations with soil geochemistry and environmental variables. We examined 109 soil samples from a wide range of ice-free habitats, spanning 2000 km from Framnes Mountains to Bailey Peninsula. Microfauna across all samples were patchily distributed, from complete absence of invertebrates to over 1600 specimens/gram of dry weight of soil (gdw), with highest microfauna abundance observed in samples with visible vegetation. Bdelloid rotifers were on average the most widespread found in 87% of sampled sites and the most abundant (44 specimens/gdw). Tardigrades occurred in 57% of the sampled sites with an abundance of 12 specimens/gdw. Nematodes occurred in 71% of samples with a total abundance of 3 specimens/gdw. Ciliates and mites were rarely found in soil samples, with an average abundance of 1.3 and 0.04 specimens/gdw, respectively. We found that microfaunal composition and abundance were mostly correlated with the soil geochemical parameters; phosphorus, NO3 − and salinity, and likely to be the result of soil properties and historic landscape formation and alteration, rather than the geographic region they were sampled from. Studies focusing on Antarctic biodiversity must take into account soil geochemical and environmental factors that influence population and species heterogeneity. PMID:24498126

  1. Cytochrome P450 diversity in the tree of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, David R

    2018-01-01

    Sequencing in all areas of the tree of life has produced >300,000 cytochrome P450 (CYP) sequences that have been mined and collected. Nomenclature has been assigned to >41,000 CYP sequences and the majority of the remainder has been sorted by BLAST searches into clans, families and subfamilies in preparation for naming. The P450 sequence space is being systematically explored and filled in. Well-studied groups like vertebrates are covered in greater depth while new insights are being added into uncharted territories like horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), tardigrades (Hypsibius dujardini), velvet worm (Euperipatoides_rowelli), and basal land plants like hornworts, liverworts and mosses. CYPs from the fungi, one of the most diverse groups, are being explored and organized as nearly 800 fungal species are now sequenced. The CYP clan structure in fungi is emerging with 805 CYP families sorting into 32 CYP clans. >3000 bacterial sequences are named, mostly from terrestrial or freshwater sources. Of 18,379 bacterial sequences downloaded from the CYPED database, all are >43% identical to named CYPs. Therefore, they fit in the 602 named P450 prokaryotic families. Diversity in this group is becoming saturated, however 25% of 3305 seawater bacterial P450s did not match known P450 families, indicating marine bacterial CYPs are not as well sampled as land/freshwater based bacterial CYPs. Future sequencing plans of the Genome 10K project, i5k and GIGA (Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance) are expected to produce more than one million cytochrome P450 sequences by 2020. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cytochrome P450 biodiversity and biotechnology, edited by Erika Plettner, Gianfranco Gilardi, Luet Wong, Vlada Urlacher, Jared Goldstone. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Trehalose and Trehalose-based Polymers for Environmentally Benign, Biocompatible and Bioactive Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitsuhiro Shibata

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Trehalose is a non-reducing disaccharide that is found in many organisms but not in mammals. This sugar plays important roles in cryptobiosis of selaginella mosses, tardigrades (water bears, and other animals which revive with water from a state of suspended animation induced by desiccation. The interesting properties of trehalose are due to its unique symmetrical low-energy structure, wherein two glucose units are bonded face-to-face by 1→1-glucoside links. The Hayashibara Co. Ltd., is credited for developing an inexpensive, environmentally benign and industrial-scale process for the enzymatic conversion of α-1,4-linked polyhexoses to α,α-D-trehalose, which made it easy to explore novel food, industrial, and medicinal uses for trehalose and its derivatives. Trehalosechemistry is a relatively new and emerging field, and polymers of trehalose derivatives appear environmentally benign, biocompatible, and biodegradable. The discriminating properties of trehalose are attributed to its structure, symmetry, solubility, kinetic and thermodynamic stability and versatility. While syntheses of trehalose-based polymer networks can be straightforward, syntheses and characterization of well defined linear polymers with tailored properties using trehalose-based monomers is challenging, and typically involves protection and deprotection of hydroxyl groups to attain desired structural, morphological, biological, and physical and chemical properties in the resulting products. In this review, we will overview known literature on trehalose’s fascinating involvement in cryptobiology; highlight its applications in many fields; and then discuss methods we used to prepare new trehalose-based monomers and polymers and explain their properties.

  3. Tree species traits influence soil physical, chemical, and biological properties in high elevation forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayres, Edward; Steltzer, Heidi; Berg, Sarah; Wallenstein, Matthew D; Simmons, Breana L; Wall, Diana H

    2009-06-18

    Previous studies have shown that plants often have species-specific effects on soil properties. In high elevation forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains, North America, areas that are dominated by a single tree species are often adjacent to areas dominated by another tree species. Here, we assessed soil properties beneath adjacent stands of trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce, which are dominant tree species in this region and are distributed widely in North America. We hypothesized that soil properties would differ among stands dominated by different tree species and expected that aspen stands would have higher soil temperatures due to their open structure, which, combined with higher quality litter, would result in increased soil respiration rates, nitrogen availability, and microbial biomass, and differences in soil faunal community composition. We assessed soil physical, chemical, and biological properties at four sites where stands of aspen, pine, and spruce occurred in close proximity to one-another in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Leaf litter quality differed among the tree species, with the highest nitrogen (N) concentration and lowest lignin:N in aspen litter. Nitrogen concentration was similar in pine and spruce litter, but lignin:N was highest in pine litter. Soil temperature and moisture were highest in aspen stands, which, in combination with higher litter quality, probably contributed to faster soil respiration rates from stands of aspen. Soil carbon and N content, ammonium concentration, and microbial biomass did not differ among tree species, but nitrate concentration was highest in aspen soil and lowest in spruce soil. In addition, soil fungal, bacterial, and nematode community composition and rotifer, collembolan, and mesostigmatid mite abundance differed among the tree species, while the total abundance of nematodes, tardigrades, oribatid mites, and prostigmatid mites did not. Although some soil characteristics were

  4. Evolution of embryonic development in nematodes

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    Schulze Jens

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nematodes can be subdivided into basal Enoplea (clades 1 and 2 and more derived Chromadorea (clades 3 to 12. Embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans (clade 9 has been analyzed in most detail. Their establishment of polarity and asymmetric cleavage requires the differential localization of PAR proteins. Earlier studies on selected other nematodes revealed that embryonic development of nematodes is more diverse than the essentially invariant development of C. elegans and the classic study object Ascaris had suggested. To obtain a more detailed picture of variations and evolutionary trends we compared embryonic cell lineages and pattern formation in embryos of all 12 nematode clades. Methods The study was conducted using 4-D microscopy and 3-D modeling of developing embryos. Results We found dramatic differences compared to C. elegans in Enoplea but also considerable variations among Chromadorea. We discovered 'Polarity Organizing Centers' (POCs that orient cleavage spindles along the anterior-posterior axis in distinct cells over consecutive cell generations. The resulting lineally arranged blastomeres represent a starting point for the establishment of bilateral symmetry within individual lineages. We can discern six different early cleavage types and suggest that these variations are due to modifications in the activity of the POCs in conjunction with changes in the distribution of PAR proteins. In addition, our studies indicate that lineage complexity advanced considerably during evolution, that is we observe trends towards an increase of somatic founder cells, from monoclonal to polyclonal lineages and from a variable (position-dependent to an invariable (lineage-dependent way of cell fate specification. In contrast to the early phase of embryogenesis, the second half ('morphogenesis' appears similar in all studied nematodes. Comparison of early cleavage between the basal nematode Tobrilus stefanskii and the tardigrade

  5. Effects of wood ash on the biologic diversity of the soil fauna. Final report; Effekter av vedaska paa biologisk maangfald hos markfaunan. Slutrapport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Persson, Tryggve; Ahlstroem, Kerstin; Lindberg, Niklas [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Vindeln (Sweden). Dept. of Ecology and Environmental Research

    2005-06-01

    The aim was to assess long-term effects of wood-ash and lime application on the soil fauna diversity. The study was made at three sites, Oeringe and Torup in the county of Halland and Asa in the county of Smaaland, 20, 14 and 10 years after treatment, respectively. The soil fauna groups reported here are Enchytraeidae, Tardigrada and Oribatida. Different kinds of wood ash results in very different effects on soil pH despite similar dose. Non-hardened fresh ash increased pH as indicated by the liming potential (ca. 2 tonnes of CaCO{sub 3} correspond to 2,4 tonnes of loose ash). Hardened wood ash (at Asa) had a smaller effect on pH than corresponding amount of lime, and ca. 6 tonnes of ash/ha were needed to obtain the same effects as 3 tonnes of lime. Granulated wood ash (at Torup) had an even smaller effect on pH than the hardened ash at Asa. A preliminary estimate is that 6 tonnes/ha granulated ash correspond to 3 tonnes/ha of hardened ash, 1.5 tonnes/ha of non-hardened loose ash and 1 tonne/ha of CaCO{sub 3}. The results with regard to soil fauna show that individual numbers, species numbers and single species of Enchytraeidae and Oribatid mites are strongly dependent on the ash/lime effect on pH in the topsoil layer. Lime and ash appear to have similar effect on these animal groups provided that the pH effect is similar. Therefore, it is possible to extrapolate conclusions from liming trials to ash trials, provided that the pH effect is known. The Tardigrades did not seem to react on the treatments. We conclude that the effect of wood ash on the diversity of soil fauna investigated depends on the solubility of the wood ash and its effect on soil pH. Depending on the effect on pH, ash application results in (a) decreasing densities but increasing species numbers of enchytraeids, (b) decreasing densities but no change in species numbers of oribatid mites and (c) a strong change in the community structure of both enchytraeids and oribatid mites.

  6. Tree species traits influence soil physical, chemical, and biological properties in high elevation forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Ayres

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that plants often have species-specific effects on soil properties. In high elevation forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains, North America, areas that are dominated by a single tree species are often adjacent to areas dominated by another tree species. Here, we assessed soil properties beneath adjacent stands of trembling aspen, lodgepole pine, and Engelmann spruce, which are dominant tree species in this region and are distributed widely in North America. We hypothesized that soil properties would differ among stands dominated by different tree species and expected that aspen stands would have higher soil temperatures due to their open structure, which, combined with higher quality litter, would result in increased soil respiration rates, nitrogen availability, and microbial biomass, and differences in soil faunal community composition. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed soil physical, chemical, and biological properties at four sites where stands of aspen, pine, and spruce occurred in close proximity to one-another in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Leaf litter quality differed among the tree species, with the highest nitrogen (N concentration and lowest lignin:N in aspen litter. Nitrogen concentration was similar in pine and spruce litter, but lignin:N was highest in pine litter. Soil temperature and moisture were highest in aspen stands, which, in combination with higher litter quality, probably contributed to faster soil respiration rates from stands of aspen. Soil carbon and N content, ammonium concentration, and microbial biomass did not differ among tree species, but nitrate concentration was highest in aspen soil and lowest in spruce soil. In addition, soil fungal, bacterial, and nematode community composition and rotifer, collembolan, and mesostigmatid mite abundance differed among the tree species, while the total abundance of nematodes, tardigrades, oribatid mites, and prostigmatid

  7. Utilizing ARC EMCS Seedling Cassettes as Highly Versatile Miniature Growth Chambers for Model Organism Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, John L.; Steele, Marianne K.; Sun, Gwo-Shing; Heathcote, David; Reinsch, S.; DeSimone, Julia C.; Myers, Zachary A.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of our ground testing was to demonstrate the capability of safely putting specific model organisms into dehydrated stasis, and to later rehydrate and successfully grow them inside flight proven ARC EMCS seedling cassettes. The ARC EMCS seedling cassettes were originally developed to support seedling growth during space flight. The seeds are attached to a solid substrate, launched dry, and then rehydrated in a small volume of media on orbit to initiate the experiment. We hypothesized that the same seedling cassettes should be capable of acting as culture chambers for a wide range of organisms with minimal or no modification. The ability to safely preserve live organisms in a dehydrated state allows for on orbit experiments to be conducted at the best time for crew operations and more importantly provides a tightly controlled physiologically relevant growth experiment with specific environmental parameters. Thus, we performed a series of ground tests that involved growing the organisms, preparing them for dehydration on gridded Polyether Sulfone (PES) membranes, dry storage at ambient temperatures for varying periods of time, followed by rehydration. Inside the culture cassettes, the PES membranes were mounted above blotters containing dehydrated growth media. These were mounted on stainless steel bases and sealed with plastic covers that have permeable membrane covered ports for gas exchange. The results showed we were able to demonstrate acceptable normal growth of C.elegans (nematodes), E.coli (bacteria), S.cerevisiae (yeast), Polytrichum (moss) spores and protonemata, C.thalictroides (fern), D.discoideum (amoeba), and H.dujardini (tardigrades). All organisms showed acceptable growth and rehydration in both petri dishes and culture cassettes initially, and after various time lengths of dehydration. At the end of on orbit ISS European Modular Cultivation System experiments the cassettes could be frozen at ultra-low temperatures, refrigerated, or chemically

  8. Spatial and temporal changes in interstitial meiofauna on a sandy ocean beach of South America

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    Elaine F. Albuquerque

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Spatial and temporal patterns of meiofauna community from a Brazilian sandy beach were investigated. The objective of this work was to analyze the meiofauna distribution using a statistical model that considers the biological data as variables, and granulometric characteristics, organic matter, and temperature as covariables.Four zones were sampled throughout one year in a Brazilian sandy beach and three sediment cores were taken monthly from each zone. The meiofauna was composed by 12 taxa, with tardigrades and nematodes comprising 92% of the total fauna. The meiofauna mean density varied from 1556.25 to 13125.25 ind.10 cm-2, with the highest densities in December. The results of multiple regression showed that the mean effects of zones, vertical layers, and months on the organisms were significantly correlated with the principal taxa of meiofauna. The retention zone and the 0-10 cm layer presented the highest densities. The temporal distribution showed different patterns and some taxa were more abundant in the dry season, and others in the rainy season. Sedimentological variables had strong and significant effects on the meiofauna taxa. According to the results, physical variables at the retention zone create optimal living conditions for the meiobentos, making this zone an area that favors the basic and applied ecological studies.Os padrões de distribuição espacial e temporal da meiofauna em uma praia arenosa do Brasil foram analisados usando um modelo estatístico que considerou os dados biológicos como variáveis e as características granulométricas, % de matéria orgânica, temperatura como covariáveis. Quatro zonas litorais foram amostradas durante o período de um ano e três cores de sedimento foram coletados em cada zona. A meiofauna foi composta de 12 taxa principais e os Tardigrada e Nematoda representaram 92% da fauna total. A densidade média da meiofauna variou de 1.556,25 a 13.125,25 ind.10cm-2, com as mais altas

  9. A revised six-kingdom system of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalier-Smith, T

    1998-08-01

    A revised six-kingdom system of life is presented, down to the level of infraphylum. As in my 1983 system Bacteria are treated as a single kingdom, and eukaryotes are divided into only five kingdoms: Protozoa, Animalia, Fungi, Plantae and Chromista. Intermediate high level categories (superkingdom, subkingdom, branch, infrakingdom, superphylum, subphylum and infraphylum) are extensively used to avoid splitting organisms into an excessive number of kingdoms and phyla (60 only being recognized). The two 'zoological' kingdoms, Protozoa and Animalia, are subject to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the kingdom Bacteria to the International Code of Bacteriological Nomenclature, and the three 'botanical' kingdoms (Plantae, Fungi, Chromista) to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Circumscriptions of the kingdoms Bacteria and Plantae remain unchanged since Cavalier-Smith (1981). The kingdom Fungi is expanded by adding Microsporidia, because of protein sequence evidence that these amitochondrial intracellular parasites are related to conventional Fungi, not Protozoa. Fungi are subdivided into four phyla and 20 classes; fungal classification at the rank of subclass and above is comprehensively revised. The kingdoms Protozoa and Animalia are modified in the light of molecular phylogenetic evidence that Myxozoa are actually Animalia, not Protozoa, and that mesozoans are related to bilaterian animals. Animalia are divided into four subkingdoms: Radiata (phyla Porifera, Cnidaria, Placozoa, Ctenophora), Myxozoa, Mesozoa and Bilateria (bilateral animals: all other phyla). Several new higher level groupings are made in the animal kingdom including three new phyla: Acanthognatha (rotifers, acanthocephalans, gastrotrichs, gnathostomulids), Brachiozoa (brachiopods and phoronids) and Lobopoda (onychophorans and tardigrades), so only 23 animal phyla are recognized. Archezoa, here restricted to the phyla Metamonada and Trichozoa, are treated as a subkingdom