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Sample records for ascidian ciona edwardsii

  1. Huntingtin gene evolution in Chordata and its peculiar features in the ascidian Ciona genus

    OpenAIRE

    Cattaneo Elena; Pesole Graziano; Gissi Carmela; Tartari Marzia

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background To gain insight into the evolutionary features of the huntingtin (htt) gene in Chordata, we have sequenced and characterized the full-length htt mRNA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a basal chordate emerging as new invertebrate model organism. Moreover, taking advantage of the availability of genomic and EST sequences, the htt gene structure of a number of chordate species, including the cogeneric ascidian Ciona savignyi, and the vertebrates Xenopus and Gallus was reco...

  2. Huntingtin gene evolution in Chordata and its peculiar features in the ascidian Ciona genus

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    Cattaneo Elena

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To gain insight into the evolutionary features of the huntingtin (htt gene in Chordata, we have sequenced and characterized the full-length htt mRNA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a basal chordate emerging as new invertebrate model organism. Moreover, taking advantage of the availability of genomic and EST sequences, the htt gene structure of a number of chordate species, including the cogeneric ascidian Ciona savignyi, and the vertebrates Xenopus and Gallus was reconstructed. Results The C. intestinalis htt transcript exhibits some peculiar features, such as spliced leader trans-splicing in the 98 nt-long 5' untranslated region (UTR, an alternative splicing in the coding region, eight alternative polyadenylation sites, and no similarities of both 5' and 3'UTRs compared to homologs of the cogeneric C. savignyi. The predicted protein is 2946 amino acids long, shorter than its vertebrate homologs, and lacks the polyQ and the polyP stretches found in the the N-terminal regions of mammalian homologs. The exon-intron organization of the htt gene is almost identical among vertebrates, and significantly conserved between Ciona and vertebrates, allowing us to hypothesize an ancestral chordate gene consisting of at least 40 coding exons. Conclusion During chordate diversification, events of gain/loss, sliding, phase changes, and expansion of introns occurred in both vertebrate and ascidian lineages predominantly in the 5'-half of the htt gene, where there is also evidence of lineage-specific evolutionary dynamics in vertebrates. On the contrary, the 3'-half of the gene is highly conserved in all chordates at the level of both gene structure and protein sequence. Between the two Ciona species, a fast evolutionary rate and/or an early divergence time is suggested by the absence of significant similarity between UTRs, protein divergence comparable to that observed between mammals and fishes, and different distribution of repetitive

  3. Spermiotoxicity of nickel nanoparticles in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Alessandra; Boni, Raffaele; Buttino, Isabella; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-10-01

    Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose. PMID:27080039

  4. Local database and the search program for proteomic analysis of sperm proteins in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Separation of proteins by two-dimensional electrophoresis and following mass spectrometry (MS) is now a conventional technique for proteomic analysis. For proteomic analysis of a certain tissue with a limited information of primary structures of proteins, we have developed an analytical system for peptide mass fingerprinting in gene products in the testis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ciona sperm proteins were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and the tryptic fragments were subjected to MALDI-TOF/MS. The mass pattern was searched against on-line databases but resulted in less identification of these proteins. We have constructed a MS database from Ciona testis ESTs and the genome draft sequence, along with a newly devised, perl-based search program PerMS for peptide mass fingerprinting. This system could identify more than 80% of Ciona sperm proteins, suggesting that it could be widely applied for proteomic analysis for a limited tissue with less genomic information

  5. Proteomics of ionomycin-induced ascidian sperm reaction: Released and exposed sperm proteins in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakazawa, Shiori; Shirae-Kurabayashi, Maki; Otsuka, Kei; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2015-12-01

    Sperm proteins mediating sperm-egg interaction should be exhibited on the sperm surface, or exposed or released when sperm approach an egg. In ascidians (protochordates), sperm undergo a sperm reaction, characterized by enhanced sperm motility and mitochondrial swelling and shedding on contact with the vitelline coat (VC) or by treatment with Ca(2+) ionophore. Here, proteomic analysis was conducted on sperm exudates and sperm surface proteins using ionomycin-induced sperm reaction and cell-impermeable labeling in Ciona intestinalis type A (C. robusta). In the exudate from sperm treated with ionomycin, membrane proteins including a possible VC receptor CiUrabin were abundant, indicating the release of membranous compartments during sperm reaction. Among the surface proteins XP_009859314.1 (uncharacterized protein exhibiting homology to HrTTSP-1) was most abundant before the sperm reaction, but XP_004227079.1 (unknown Ig superfamily protein) appears to be most abundantly exposed by the sperm reaction. Moreover, proteins containing a notable set of domains, astacin-like metalloprotease domain and thrombospondin type 1 repeat(s), were found in this fraction. Possible roles in fertilization as well as localizations and behaviors of these proteins are discussed. PMID:26223815

  6. Ciona Genetics

    OpenAIRE

    Veeman, Michael T.; Chiba, Shota; Smith, William C.

    2011-01-01

    Ascidians, such as Ciona, are invertebrate chordates with simple embryonic body plans and small, relatively non-redundant genomes. Ciona genetics is in its infancy compared to many other model systems, but it provides a powerful method for studying this important vertebrate outgroup. Here we give basic methods for genetic analysis of Ciona, including protocols for controlled crosses both by natural spawning and by the surgical isolation of gametes; the identification and propagation of mutant...

  7. Characterization and metal-induced gene transcription of two new copper zinc superoxide dismutases in the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: •Ciona intestinalis express two copper-zinc superoxide dismutases (Cu,Zn SODs), one extracellular (Ci-SODa) and one intracellular isoform (Ci-SODb). •Promoters contain consensus sequences similar to mammalian MRE. •Metal exposure results in a significant increase of gene transcription: ci-soda is induced especially by copper and zinc, the increase of ci-sodb transcription is more evident after cadmium exposure. •Genes are mostly transcribed in circulating hemocytes and in ovarian follicular cells. -- Abstract: Antioxidant enzymes are known to protect living organisms against the oxidative stress risk, also induced by metals. In the present study, we describe the purification and molecular characterization of two Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases (SODs), referred to as Ci-SODa and Ci-SODb, from Ciona intestinalis, a basal chordate widely distributed in temperate shallow seawater. The putative amino acid sequences were compared with Cu,Zn SODs from other metazoans and phylogenetic analyses indicate that the two putative Ci-SODs are more related to invertebrate SODs than vertebrate ones. Both phylogenetic and preliminary homology modeling analyses suggest that Ci-SODa and Ci-SODb are extracellular and intracellular isoform, respectively. The mRNA of the two Cu,Zn SODs was localized in hemocytes and in ovarian follicular cells, as revealed by in situ hybridization. The time course of SOD mRNA levels in the presence of three different metals showed upregulation of ci-soda and inhibition of ci-sodb. Spectrophotometric analysis confirms the presence of SOD activity in Ciona tissues. Our in silico analyses of the ci-soda promoter region revealed putative consensus sequences similar to mammalian metal-responsive elements (MRE), suggesting that the transcription of these genes directly depends on metals. These data emphasize the importance of complex metal regulation of ci-soda and ci-sodb transcription, as components of an efficient detoxification pathway

  8. Reference gene selection for quantitative gene expression studies during biological invasions: A test on multiple genes and tissues in a model ascidian Ciona savignyi.

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    Huang, Xuena; Gao, Yangchun; Jiang, Bei; Zhou, Zunchun; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-01-15

    As invasive species have successfully colonized a wide range of dramatically different local environments, they offer a good opportunity to study interactions between species and rapidly changing environments. Gene expression represents one of the primary and crucial mechanisms for rapid adaptation to local environments. Here, we aim to select reference genes for quantitative gene expression analysis based on quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) for a model invasive ascidian, Ciona savignyi. We analyzed the stability of ten candidate reference genes in three tissues (siphon, pharynx and intestine) under two key environmental stresses (temperature and salinity) in the marine realm based on three programs (geNorm, NormFinder and delta Ct method). Our results demonstrated only minor difference for stability rankings among the three methods. The use of different single reference gene might influence the data interpretation, while multiple reference genes could minimize possible errors. Therefore, reference gene combinations were recommended for different tissues - the optimal reference gene combination for siphon was RPS15 and RPL17 under temperature stress, and RPL17, UBQ and TubA under salinity treatment; for pharynx, TubB, TubA and RPL17 were the most stable genes under temperature stress, while TubB, TubA and UBQ were the best under salinity stress; for intestine, UBQ, RPS15 and RPL17 were the most reliable reference genes under both treatments. Our results suggest that the necessity of selection and test of reference genes for different tissues under varying environmental stresses. The results obtained here are expected to reveal mechanisms of gene expression-mediated invasion success using C. savignyi as a model species.

  9. How Fast Is the Sessile Ciona?

    OpenAIRE

    Giuseppe D'Onofrio; Fernando Alvarez-Valin; Luisa Berná

    2009-01-01

    Genomewide analyses of distances between orthologous gene pairs from the ascidian species Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi were compared with those of vertebrates. Combining this data with a detailed and careful use of vertebrate fossil records, we estimated the time of divergence between the two ascidians nearly 180 My. This estimation was obtained after correcting for the different substitution rates found comparing several groups of chordates; indeed we determine here that on average ...

  10. How Fast Is the Sessile Ciona?

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    Luisa Berná

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Genomewide analyses of distances between orthologous gene pairs from the ascidian species Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi were compared with those of vertebrates. Combining this data with a detailed and careful use of vertebrate fossil records, we estimated the time of divergence between the two ascidians nearly 180 My. This estimation was obtained after correcting for the different substitution rates found comparing several groups of chordates; indeed we determine here that on average Ciona species evolve 50% faster than vertebrates.

  11. Evolutionary changes in the notochord genetic toolkit: a comparative analysis of notochord genes in the ascidian Ciona and the larvacean Oikopleura

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    Jiang Di

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The notochord is a defining feature of the chordate clade, and invertebrate chordates, such as tunicates, are uniquely suited for studies of this structure. Here we used a well-characterized set of 50 notochord genes known to be targets of the notochord-specific Brachyury transcription factor in one tunicate, Ciona intestinalis (Class Ascidiacea, to begin determining whether the same genetic toolkit is employed to build the notochord in another tunicate, Oikopleura dioica (Class Larvacea. We identified Oikopleura orthologs of the Ciona notochord genes, as well as lineage-specific duplicates for which we determined the phylogenetic relationships with related genes from other chordates, and we analyzed their expression patterns in Oikopleura embryos. Results Of the 50 Ciona notochord genes that were used as a reference, only 26 had clearly identifiable orthologs in Oikopleura. Two of these conserved genes appeared to have undergone Oikopleura- and/or tunicate-specific duplications, and one was present in three copies in Oikopleura, thus bringing the number of genes to test to 30. We were able to clone and test 28 of these genes. Thirteen of the 28 Oikopleura orthologs of Ciona notochord genes showed clear expression in all or in part of the Oikopleura notochord, seven were diffusely expressed throughout the tail, six were expressed in tissues other than the notochord, while two probes did not provide a detectable signal at any of the stages analyzed. One of the notochord genes identified, Oikopleura netrin, was found to be unevenly expressed in notochord cells, in a pattern reminiscent of that previously observed for one of the Oikopleura Hox genes. Conclusions A surprisingly high number of Ciona notochord genes do not have apparent counterparts in Oikopleura, and only a fraction of the evolutionarily conserved genes show clear notochord expression. This suggests that Ciona and Oikopleura, despite the morphological similarities

  12. Ascidian bioresources: common and variant chemical compositions and exploitation strategy - examples of Halocynthia roretzi, Styela plicata, Ascidia sp. and Ciona intestinalis.

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    Zhao, Yadong; Li, Jiebing

    2016-01-01

    To explore abundant marine ascidian bioresources, four species from two orders have been compared in their chemical compositions. After a universal separation of the animal body into two fractions, all tunics have been found rich in carbohydrate contents, while all inner body tissues are richer in proteins. Cellulose is present almost exclusively in the tunics and more in the order Stolidobranchia, while more sulfated polysaccharides are present in Phlebobranchia species. Almost all proteins are collagens with a high essential amino acid index and high delicious amino acid (DAA) content. All fractions also have high contents of good-quality fatty acids and trace minerals but low toxic element contents, with different sterols and glycosaminoglycans. There are species-specific characteristics observed for vanadium accumulation and sterol structures which are also meaningful for ascidian chemotaxonomy and resource exploitation. It is suggested that in addition to the present utilizations of tunics for cellulose production and of some species' inner body tissues as human food, one should explore all species' inner body tissues as human foods and all tunics as food or animal feed with the contained cellulose as dietary fiber. Collagens, sulfated polysaccharides, glycosaminoglycans, sterols and trace elements could be explored as byproducts for, e.g. pharmaceutical and chemical industries. PMID:27049617

  13. The ascidian prophenoloxidase activating system

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    M Cammarata

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Phenoloxidases/tyrosinases initiate melanin synthesis in almost all organisms, and are involved in different biological activities such as the colour change of human hair and the browning or blackening of fruit skin etc. In many invertebrates, defence reactions are linked to phenoloxidase activity and/or melanization. Contacts with foreign molecules are able to trigger the prophenoloxidase (proPO system that requires serine protease cleavage for activating the zymogen to phenoloxidase (PO. It is generally accepted that the proPO system is fully expressed in arthropods, and, recently, progress in the regulation of crustacean and insect proPO activation steps have been achieved. After cells were stimulated by components of pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP, proPO activation takes place via zimogenic serine proteinase in turn activated by PAMPs followed by cascade, spatial and temporal control.The proPO activating system plays a defensive role in arthropods, molluscs, annelids, ascidians and the cephalochordate Branchiostoma belcheri.In the present paper, we report on ascidian proPO system and related molecules, with particular focus on the biochemical, cellular and molecular aspects of the Ciona intestinalis, proPO system of circulating hemocytes from naïve ascidians as well as of body wall following LPS inflammatory challenge.

  14. An Otx/Nodal Regulatory Signature for Posterior Neural Development in Ascidians

    OpenAIRE

    Agnès Roure; Patrick Lemaire; Sébastien Darras

    2014-01-01

    In chordates, neural induction is the first step of a complex developmental process through which ectodermal cells acquire a neural identity. In ascidians, FGF-mediated neural induction occurs at the 32-cell stage in two blastomere pairs, precursors respectively of anterior and posterior neural tissue. We combined molecular embryology and cis-regulatory analysis to unveil in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis the remarkably simple proximal genetic network that controls posterior neural fate acqu...

  15. The repertoire of G protein-coupled receptors in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis

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    Manoj Narayanan

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs constitute a large family of integral transmembrane receptor proteins that play a central role in signal transduction in eukaryotes. The genome of the protochordate Ciona intestinalis has a compact size with an ancestral complement of many diversified gene families of vertebrates and is a good model system for studying protochordate to vertebrate diversification. An analysis of the Ciona repertoire of GPCRs from a comparative genomic perspective provides insight into the evolutionary origins of the GPCR signalling system in vertebrates. Results We have identified 169 gene products in the Ciona genome that code for putative GPCRs. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that Ciona GPCRs have homologous representatives from the five major GRAFS (Glutamate, Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Frizzled and Secretin families concomitant with other vertebrate GPCR repertoires. Nearly 39% of Ciona GPCRs have unambiguous orthologs of vertebrate GPCR families, as defined for the human, mouse, puffer fish and chicken genomes. The Rhodopsin family accounts for ~68% of the Ciona GPCR repertoire wherein the LGR-like subfamily exhibits a lineage specific gene expansion of a group of receptors that possess a novel domain organisation hitherto unobserved in metazoan genomes. Conclusion Comparison of GPCRs in Ciona to that in human reveals a high level of orthology of a protochordate repertoire with that of vertebrate GPCRs. Our studies suggest that the ascidians contain the basic ancestral complement of vertebrate GPCR genes. This is evident at the subfamily level comparisons since Ciona GPCR sequences are significantly analogous to vertebrate GPCR subfamilies even while exhibiting Ciona specific genes. Our analysis provides a framework to perform future experimental and comparative studies to understand the roles of the ancestral chordate versions of GPCRs that predated the divergence of the urochordates and the vertebrates.

  16. An otx/nodal regulatory signature for posterior neural development in ascidians.

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    Agnès Roure

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available In chordates, neural induction is the first step of a complex developmental process through which ectodermal cells acquire a neural identity. In ascidians, FGF-mediated neural induction occurs at the 32-cell stage in two blastomere pairs, precursors respectively of anterior and posterior neural tissue. We combined molecular embryology and cis-regulatory analysis to unveil in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis the remarkably simple proximal genetic network that controls posterior neural fate acquisition downstream of FGF. We report that the combined action of two direct FGF targets, the TGFβ factor Nodal, acting via Smad- and Fox-binding sites, and the transcription factor Otx suffices to trigger ascidian posterior neural tissue formation. Moreover, we found that this strategy is conserved in the distantly related ascidian Phallusia mammillata, in spite of extreme sequence divergence in the cis-regulatory sequences involved. Our results thus highlight that the modes of gene regulatory network evolution differ with the evolutionary scale considered. Within ascidians, developmental regulatory networks are remarkably robust to genome sequence divergence. Between ascidians and vertebrates, major fate determinants, such as Otx and Nodal, can be co-opted into different networks. Comparative developmental studies in ascidians with divergent genomes will thus uncover shared ascidian strategies, and contribute to a better understanding of the diversity of developmental strategies within chordates.

  17. Synthesis of fucosyl-containing glycoproteins of the vitelline coat in oocytes of Ciona intestinalis (Ascidia).

    OpenAIRE

    F.Rosati; Cotelli, F.; De Santis, R.; A. Monroy; Pinto, M. R.

    1982-01-01

    The sperm receptors of the ascidian oocyte are located at the outer surface of the vitelline coat (formerly called the chorion). The fucose residues are the receptor's most important components for sperm recognition and binding. We asked whether the fucosyl-containing glycoproteins of the vitelline coat are a product of the oocyte, the follicle cells, or the test cells. Ovaries of Ciona intestinalis were injected with L-[3H]fucose and the progress of its incorporation was followed by using au...

  18. Ciona as a Simple Chordate Model for Heart Development and Regeneration

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    Heather Evans Anderson

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal Chordate, the Ciona model system presents a simple scaffold that recapitulates the basic blueprint of cardiac development in Chordates. Here we will focus on the development and cellular structure of the heart of the ascidian Ciona as compared to other Chordates, principally vertebrates. Comparison of the Ciona model system to heart development in other Chordates presents great potential for dissecting the genetic mechanisms that underlie congenital heart defects and disease at the cellular level and might provide additional insight into potential pathways for therapeutic cardiac regeneration.

  19. Distribution of Centruroides edwardsii CENTRUROIDES EDWARDSII (GERVAIS, 1843 in the Aantioquia Province, Colombia

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    SEBASTIAN ESTRADA GÓMEZ

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available  We report the distribution of the Centruroides edwardsii (Gervais, 1843 in the Antioquia province, and the urban area of the capital, Medellín, Colombia, based in the material examined in the collection of the Universidad de Antioquia Serpentarium (SUA. A sexual dimporphism were established in C. edwardsii when a multidimensional analysis and using for the statistical significance the ANOSIM model were performed founding higher measurments in males. An important colony of this scorpion is reported in the central and nor-oriental zone of Medellín, aspect that is very relevant since this scorpion is clinically importance. The species distribution rank is also expanded from the sea level, up to 2200 m. a. s. l. DISTRIBUCIÓN DE Ccentruroides edwardsii (GERVAIS, 1843 EN EL DEPARTAMENTO EN ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA. Se reporta la distribución de Centruroides edwardsii (Gervais, 1843 para el departamento de Antioquia, y el área urbana de su capital político-administrativa, la ciudad de Medellín, Colombia, con base a material depositado en la colección del Serpentario de la Universidad de Antioquia (SUA. Se estableció dimorfismo sexual en C. edwardsii, mediante análisis de escalamiento multidimensional y el modelo ANOSIM, encontrando que los machos son más grandes que las hembras. Se reporta para el área zona centro y nor-oriental de Medellín una importante colonia de este escorpión, hecho de gran relecvanciarelevancia debido a la importancia clínica de este escorpión. Se amplía además el rango de distribución desde el nivel del mar hasta los 2200 m.s.n.m.

  20. Transcript Mapping and Genome Annotation of Ascidian mtDNA Using EST Data

    OpenAIRE

    Gissi, Carmela; Pesole, Graziano

    2003-01-01

    Mitochondrial transcripts of two ascidian species were reconstructed through sequence assembly of publicly available ESTs resembling mitochondrial DNA sequences (mt-ESTs). This strategy allowed us to analyze processing and mapping of the mitochondrial transcripts and to investigate the gene organization of a previously uncharacterized mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). This new strategy would greatly facilitate the sequencing and annotation of mtDNAs. In Ciona intestinalis, the assembled mt-...

  1. Taxonomy Icon Data: Ciona intestinalis (Sea squirt) [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ttp://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Ciona+intestinalis&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon.../icon.cgi?i=Ciona+intestinalis&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cg...i?i=Ciona+intestinalis&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Ciona+intestinalis&t=NS ... ...data Ciona_intestinalis_L.png Ciona_intestinalis_NL.png Ciona_intestinalis_S.png Ciona_intestinalis_NS.png h

  2. Ciona intestinalis as an emerging model organism: its regeneration under controlled conditions and methodology for egg dechorionation*

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Li-Ping; Xiang, Jian-hai; Dong, Bo; Natarajan, Pavanasam; Yu, Kui-jie; Cai, Nan-er

    2006-01-01

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a model organism of developmental and evolutionary biology and may provide crucial clues concerning two fundamental matters, namely, how chordates originated from the putative deuterostome ancestor and how advanced chordates originated from the simplest chordates. In this paper, a whole-life-span culture of C. intestinalis was conducted. Fed with the diet combination of dry Spirulina, egg yolk, Dicrateria sp., edible yeast and weaning diet for shrimp, C. int...

  3. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species

    OpenAIRE

    Roberta Pennati; Gentile Francesco Ficetola; Riccardo Brunetti; Federico Caicci; Fabio Gasparini; Francesca Griggio; Atsuko Sato; Thomas Stach; Sabrina Kaul-Strehlow; Carmela Gissi; Lucia Manni

    2015-01-01

    The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphome...

  4. Genetic perspectives on the ascidian central nervous system

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    A Locascio

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available In 2002, date of publication of the Ciona intestinalis genome, ascidians entered the post-genomic era. This tool had a fundamental role and has become the starting point for a series of new functional and genomic studies. Recently, great efforts have been done to characterize the genetic cascades of genes having a key role in early embryonic development and to draw the regulatory networks in which they are involved. In this review, we focused our attention on the last advances obtained in the attempt to clarify the complex molecular events governing ascidian central nervous system development with a special interest for anterior neural and sensory structures. We discussed the more recent theories on its early induction and late regionalization. In particular, we used some conserved genes fully or partially characterized as examples to compare ascidian and vertebrate central nervous system (CNS.By integrating the various results obtained with microarray, morpholino loss of function and promoter analyses, we showed that many progresses have been done to unravel the gene networks controlling early CNS induction and formation. Unfortunately, fewer advances have been done in the identification of the regulatory cascades controlling late CNS regionalization and sensory organs differentiation. Some results are discussed to point out the importance of fully characterizing also these specific regulatory cascades.

  5. Diverse ETS transcription factors mediate FGF signaling in the Ciona anterior neural plate.

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    Gainous, T Blair; Wagner, Eileen; Levine, Michael

    2015-03-15

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a marine invertebrate belonging to the sister group of the vertebrates, the tunicates. Its compact genome and simple, experimentally tractable embryos make Ciona well-suited for the study of cell-fate specification in chordates. Tunicate larvae possess a characteristic chordate body plan, and many developmental pathways are conserved between tunicates and vertebrates. Previous studies have shown that FGF signals are essential for neural induction and patterning at sequential steps of Ciona embryogenesis. Here we show that two different ETS family transcription factors, Ets1/2 and Elk1/3/4, have partially redundant activities in the anterior neural plate of gastrulating embryos. Whereas Ets1/2 promotes pigment cell formation in lateral lineages, both Ets1/2 and Elk1/3/4 are involved in the activation of Myt1L in medial lineages and the restriction of Six3/6 expression to the anterior-most regions of the neural tube. We also provide evidence that photoreceptor cells arise from posterior regions of the presumptive sensory vesicle, and do not depend on FGF signaling. Cells previously identified as photoreceptor progenitors instead form ependymal cells and neurons of the larval brain. Our results extend recent findings on FGF-dependent patterning of anterior-posterior compartments in the Ciona central nervous system.

  6. Natural variation of model mutant phenotypes in Ciona intestinalis.

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    Paolo Sordino

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The study of ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of the origin and evolution of basal chordates. To provide further information to support forward genetics in Ciona intestinalis, we used a combination of natural variation and neutral population genetics as an approach for the systematic identification of new mutations. In addition to the significance of developmental variation for phenotype-driven studies, this approach can encompass important implications in evolutionary and population biology. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report a preliminary survey for naturally occurring mutations in three geographically interconnected populations of C. intestinalis. The influence of historical, geographical and environmental factors on the distribution of abnormal phenotypes was assessed by means of 12 microsatellites. We identified 37 possible mutant loci with stereotyped defects in embryonic development that segregate in a way typical of recessive alleles. Local populations were found to differ in genetic organization and frequency distribution of phenotypic classes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Natural genetic polymorphism of C. intestinalis constitutes a valuable source of phenotypes for studying embryonic development in ascidians. Correlating genetic structure and the occurrence of abnormal phenotypes is a crucial focus for understanding the selective forces that shape natural finite populations, and may provide insights of great importance into the evolutionary mechanisms that generate animal diversity.

  7. The identification of transcription factors expressed in the notochord of Ciona intestinalis adds new potential players to the Brachyury gene regulatory network

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    Diana S José-Edwards; Kerner, Pierre; Kugler, Jamie E.; Deng, Wei; Jiang, Di; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2011-01-01

    The notochord is the distinctive characteristic of chordates; however, the knowledge of the complement of transcription factors governing the development of this structure is still incomplete. Here we present the expression patterns of seven transcription factor genes detected in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis at various stages of embryonic development. Four of these transcription factors, Fos-a, NFAT5, AFF and Klf15, have not been directly associated with the notochord in p...

  8. Ordered expression pattern of Hox and ParaHox genes along the alimentary canal in the ascidian juvenile.

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    Nakayama, Satoshi; Satou, Kunihiro; Orito, Wataru; Ogasawara, Michio

    2016-07-01

    The Hox and ParaHox genes of bilateria share a similar expression pattern along the body axis and are known to be associated with anterior-posterior patterning. In vertebrates, the Hox genes are also expressed in presomitic mesoderm and gut endoderm and the ParaHox genes show a restricted expression pattern in the gut-related derivatives. Regional expression patterns in the embryonic central nervous system of the basal chordates amphioxus and ascidian have been reported; however, little is known about their endodermal expression in the alimentary canal. We focus on the Hox and ParaHox genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and investigate the gene expression patterns in the juvenile, which shows morphological regionality in the alimentary canal. Gene expression analyses by using whole-mount in situ hybridization reveal that all Hox genes have a regional expression pattern along the alimentary canal. Expression of Hox1 to Hox4 is restricted to the posterior region of pharyngeal derivatives. Hox5 to Hox13 show an ordered expression pattern correlated with each Hox gene number along the postpharyngeal digestive tract. This expression pattern along the anterior-posterior axis has also been observed in Ciona ParaHox genes. Our observations suggest that ascidian Hox and ParaHox clusters are dispersed; however, the ordered expression patterns along the alimentary canal appear to be conserved among chordates. PMID:26837224

  9. Inverse correlation of population similarity and introduction date for invasive ascidians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan Silva

    Full Text Available The genomes of many marine invertebrates, including the purple sea urchin and the solitary ascidians Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi, show exceptionally high levels of heterozygosity, implying that these populations are highly polymorphic. Analysis of the C. savignyi genome found little evidence to support an elevated mutation rate, but rather points to a large population size contributing to the polymorphism level. In the present study, the relative genetic polymorphism levels in sampled populations of ten different ascidian species were determined using a similarity index generated by AFLP analysis. The goal was to determine the range of polymorphism within the populations of different species, and to uncover factors that may contribute to the high level of polymorphism. We observe that, surprisingly, the levels of polymorphism within these species show a negative correlation with the reported age of invasive populations, and that closely related species show substantially different levels of genetic polymorphism. These findings show exceptions to the assumptions that invasive species start with a low level of genetic polymorphism that increases over time and that closely related species have similar levels of genetic polymorphism.

  10. THALIACEANS, THE NEGLECTED PELAGIC RELATIVES OF ASCIDIANS: A DEVELOPMENTAL AND EVOLUTIONARY ENIGMA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piette, Jacques; Lemaire, Patrick

    2015-06-01

    Most developmental biologists equate tunicates to the sessile ascidians, including Ciona intestinalis, and the pelagic appendicularians, in particular Oikopleura dioica. However, there exists a third group of tunicates with a pelagic lifestyle, the thaliaceans, which include salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids. Although thaliaceans have raised the curiosity offamous zoologists since the 18th century, the difficulty of observing and experimentally manipulating them has led to many controversies and speculations about their life cycles and developmental strategies, the phylogenetic relationship within the group and with other tunicates, and the drivers of speciation in these widely distributed animals living in a seemingly uniform environment. Here, we take a historical perspective to summarize 250 years of work on this intriguing group of animals, and explore how modern genomics and imaging approaches are starting to solve fascinating evolutionary and developmental riddles. Recent molecular analyses support previous morphological evidence that ascidians are not monophyletic and that thaliaceans evolved from a sessile ascidian-like ancestor. In parallel, preliminary live-imaging and gene-expression data offer exciting entry points to understand how the adoption of a pelagic lifestyle led to drastic modifications in the morphology, embryology, and life cycle of these tunicates, compared to their sessile ancestor. PMID:26285352

  11. A novel third complement component C3 gene of Ciona intestinalis expressed in the endoderm at the early developmental stages

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    T Hibino

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The third complement component (C3 in ascidian was reported to function as an opsonin to enhance phagocytosis and as a chemotactic factor for phagocytes, indicating that ascidian C3 works in mesodermal cavity as a humoral factor like vertebrate C3s. In the basal Eumetazoa, Cnidaria lacking mesodermal tissues, C3 was reported to work in an endodermal cavity. Evolution of structure and function of C3 is still to be clarified. Here we report the identification of the third C3 gene, CiC3-3, in the genome of an ascidian, Ciona intestinalis. Phylogenetic analysis using the entire amino acid sequences of Eumetazoan C3s indicated that CiC3-3 possess a closer relationship to vertebrate C3, C4 and C5 than other ascidian C3s. Although CiC3-3 retained the α-β processing site and 6 cysteine residues in the C3a region, it lacked the intra-molecular thioester bond and the catalytic histidine residue. Instead, CiC3-3 had a unique insertion of about 70 residues long Lys/Arg-rich sequence. CiC3-3 was expressed highly in the embryonic stages, but little in the adult in contradistinction to CiC3-1 and CiC3-2. The expression of CiC3-3 in early embryonic stages was restricted to endoderm similar to cnidarian C3s. Thus, the ascidian complement system could represent a unique evolutionary stage sharing a primitive endodermal function with Cnidaria, and newly developed humoral function with vertebrates.

  12. Further EST analysis of endocrine genes that are preferentially expressed in the neural complex of Ciona intestinalis: receptor and enzyme genes associated with endocrine system in the neural complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekiguchi, Toshio; Kawashima, Takeshi; Satou, Yutaka; Satoh, Nori

    2007-01-15

    Identification of orthologs of vertebrate neuropeptides and hypothalamic hormones in the neural complex of ascidians suggests integral roles of the ascidian neural complex in the endocrine system. In the present study, we investigated endocrine-related genes expressed in the neural complex of Ciona intestinalis. Comprehensive analyses of 3'-end sequences of the neural complex cDNAs placed 10,029 clones into 4051 independent clusters or genes, 1524 of them being expressed preferentially in this organ. Comparison of the 1524 genes with the human proteome databank demonstrated that 476 matched previously identified human proteins with distinct functions. Further analyses of sequence similarity of the 476 genes demonstrated that 21 genes are candidates for those involved in the endocrine system. Although we cannot detect hormone or peptide candidates, we found 21 genes such as receptors for peptide ligands, receptor-modulating proteins, and processing enzymes. We then characterized the Ciona prohormone convertase 2 (Ci-PC2) and carboxypeptidase E (Ci-CPE), which are associated with endoproteolytic processing of peptide hormone precursors. Furthermore, genes encoding these transcripts are expressed specifically in the neural complex of young adult ascidians. These data provide the molecular basis for further functional studies of the endocrine role of the neural complex of ascidians.

  13. Ascidian gene-expression profiles

    OpenAIRE

    William R Jeffery

    2002-01-01

    With the advent of gene-expression profiling, a large number of genes can now be investigated simultaneously during critical stages of development. This approach will be particularly informative in studies of ascidians, basal chordates whose genomes and embryology are uniquely suited for mapping developmental gene networks.

  14. 3D-printed microwell arrays for Ciona microinjection and timelapse imaging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint Gregory

    Full Text Available Ascidians such as Ciona are close chordate relatives of the vertebrates with small, simple embryonic body plans and small, simple genomes. The tractable size of the embryo offers considerable advantages for in toto imaging and quantitative analysis of morphogenesis. For functional studies, Ciona eggs are considerably more challenging to microinject than the much larger eggs of other model organisms such as zebrafish and Xenopus. One of the key difficulties is in restraining the eggs so that the microinjection needle can be easily introduced and withdrawn. Here we develop and test a device to cast wells in agarose that are each sized to hold a single egg. This injection mold is fabricated by micro-resolution stereolithography with a grid of egg-sized posts that cast corresponding wells in agarose. This 3D printing technology allows the rapid and inexpensive testing of iteratively refined prototypes. In addition to their utility in microinjection, these grids of embryo-sized wells are also valuable for timelapse imaging of multiple embryos.

  15. Ciona intestinalis as an emerging model organism: its regeneration under controlled conditions and methodology for egg dechorionation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Li-ping; XIANG Jian-hai; DONG Bo; NATARAJAN Pavanasam; YU Kui-jie; CAI Nan-er

    2006-01-01

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a model organism of developmental and evolutionary biology and may provide crucial clues concerning two fundamental matters, namely, how chordates originated from the putative deuterostome ancestor and how advanced chordates originated from the simplest chordates. In this paper, a whole-life-span culture of C. intestinalis was conducted. Fed with the diet combination of dry Spirulina, egg yolk, Dicrateria sp., edible yeast and weaning diet for shrimp, C.intestinalis grew up to average 59 mm and matured after 60 d cultivation. This culture process could be repeated using the artificially cultured mature ascidians as material. When the fertilized eggs were maintained under 10, 15, 20, 25 ℃, they hatched within 30 h, 22 h, 16 h and 12 h 50 min respectively experiencing cleavage, blastulation, gastrulation, neurulation, tailbud stage and tadpole stage. The tadpole larvae were characterized as typical but simplified chordates because of their dorsal nerve cord, notochord and primordial brain. After 8~24 h freely swimming, the tadpole larvae settled on the substrates and metamorphosized within 1~2 d into filter feeding sessile juvenile ascidians. In addition, unfertilized eggs were successfully dechorionated in filtered seawater containing 1% Tripsin, 0.25% EDTA at pH of 10.5 within 40 min. After fertilization, the dechorionated eggs developed well and hatched at normal hatching rate. In conclusion, this paper presented feasible methodology for rearing the tadpole larvae of C. intestinalis into sexual maturity under controlled conditions and detailed observations on the embryogenesis of the laboratory cultured ascidians, which will facilitate developmental and genetic research using this model system.

  16. Ultrastructural comparative analysis on the adhesive papillae of the swimming larvae of three ascidian species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Dolcemascolo

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a preliminary report on the papillae of the swimming larvae of three ascidian species: Ascidia malaca, Phallusia mammillata and Ciona intestinalis. The investigations, carried out at ultrastructural level and at confocal laser microscope, have evidenced, in the adhesive papillae of the three studied species, three different cell-types: axial columnar cells, collocytes, sensory cells respectively. The adhesive papillae of A. malaca and P. mammillata show central axial columnar cells with long microvilli emerging from the apical edge and extending throughout the hyaline cap. Collocytes are elongated secreting cells, lying in middle-lateral side. Sensory cells have a cilium at the apical side and an axon proceeding from the basal side. The adhesive papillae of C. intestinalis present some differences in the ultrastructure of the axial columnar cells, which bear a big digitiform protrusion, extending throughout the hyaline cap and a lot of microtubules along the cell axis. The investigations, carried out at confocal microscopy, have evidentiated a clear fluorescence in the papillae of the three studied species and a network of nervous fibers projecting from the papillar base up to cerebral vesicle of the cephalenteron. The characteristic of simple and coniforme type and the adhesive and sensorial functions of adhesive papillae of three ascidian species examined are confirmed.

  17. Genetic and Genomic Toolbox of the Chordate Ciona intestinalis

    OpenAIRE

    Stolfi, Alberto; Christiaen, Lionel

    2012-01-01

    The experimental malleability and unique phylogenetic position of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis as part of the sister group to the vertebrates have helped establish these marine chordates as model organisms for the study of developmental genetics and evolution. Here we summarize the tools, techniques, and resources available to the Ciona geneticist, citing examples of studies that employed such strategies in the elucidation of gene function in Ciona. Genetic screens, germline transgenesis...

  18. Intraspecific Variation of Centruroides Edwardsii Venom from Two Regions of Colombia

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    Sebastián Estrada-Gómez

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We report the first description studies, partial characterization, and intraspecific difference of Centruroides edwardsii, Gervais 1843, venom. C. edwardsii from two Colombian regions (Antioquia and Tolima were evaluated. Both venoms showed hemolytic activity, possibly dependent of enzymatic active phospholipases, and neither coagulant nor proteolytic activities were observed. Venom electrophoretic profile showed significant differences between C. edwardsii venom from both regions. A high concentration of proteins with molecular masses between 31 kDa and 97.4 kDa, and an important concentration close or below 14.4 kDa were detected. RP-HPLC retention times between 38.2 min and 42.1 min, showed bands close to 14.4 kDa, which may correspond to phospholipases. RP-HPLC venom profile showed a well conserved region in both venoms between 7 and 17 min, after this, significant differences were detected. From Tolima region venom, 50 well-defined peaks were detected, while in the Antioquia region venom, 55 well-defined peaks were detected. Larvicidal activity was only detected in the C. edwardsii venom from Antioquia. No antimicrobial activity was observed using complete venom or RP-HPLC collected fractions of both venoms. Lethally activity (carried out on female albino swiss mice was detected at doses over 19.2 mg/kg of crude venom. Toxic effects included distress, excitability, eye irritation and secretions, hyperventilation, ataxia, paralysis, and salivation.

  19. Functional Brachyury binding sites establish a temporal read-out of gene expression in the Ciona notochord.

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    Lavanya Katikala

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The appearance of the notochord represented a milestone in Deuterostome evolution. The notochord is necessary for the development of the chordate body plan and for the formation of the vertebral column and numerous organs. It is known that the transcription factor Brachyury is required for notochord formation in all chordates, and that it controls transcription of a large number of target genes. However, studies of the structure of the cis-regulatory modules (CRMs through which this control is exerted are complicated in vertebrates by the genomic complexity and the pan-mesodermal expression territory of Brachyury. We used the ascidian Ciona, in which the single-copy Brachyury is notochord-specific and CRMs are easily identifiable, to carry out a systematic characterization of Brachyury-downstream notochord CRMs. We found that Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra controls most of its targets directly, through non-palindromic binding sites that function either synergistically or individually to activate early- and middle-onset genes, respectively, while late-onset target CRMs are controlled indirectly, via transcriptional intermediaries. These results illustrate how a transcriptional regulator can efficiently shape a shallow gene regulatory network into a multi-tiered transcriptional output, and provide insights into the mechanisms that establish temporal read-outs of gene expression in a fast-developing chordate embryo.

  20. Distinctive expression patterns of Hedgehog pathway genes in the Ciona intestinalis larva: implications for a role of Hedgehog signaling in postembryonic development and chordate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, A F M Tariqul; Moly, Pricila Khan; Miyamoto, Yuki; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2010-02-01

    Members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family are soluble ligands that orchestrate a wide spectrum of developmental processes ranging from left-right axis determination of the embryo to tissue patterning and organogenesis. Tunicates, including ascidians, are the closest relatives of vertebrates, and elucidation of Hh signaling in ascidians should provide an important clue towards better understanding the role of this pathway in development. In previous studies, expression patterns of genes encoding Hh and its downstream factor Gli have been examined up to the tailbud stage in the ascidian embryo, but their expression in the larva has not been reported. Here we show the spatial expression patterns of hedgehog (Ci-hh1, Ci-hh2), patched (Ci-ptc), smoothened (Ci-smo), and Gli (Ci-Gli) orthologs in larvae of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The expression patterns of Ci-hh2 and Ci-Gli dramatically change during the period between the late tailbud embryo and the swimming larva. At the larval stage, expression of Ci-Gli was found in a central part of the endoderm and in the visceral ganglion, while Ci-hh2 was expressed in two discrete endodermal regions, anteriorly and posteriorly adjacent to the cells expressing Gli. The expression patterns of these genes suggest that the Hh ligand controls postembryonic development of the endoderm and the central nervous system. Expression of a gene encoding Hh in the anterior and/or pharyngeal endoderm is probably an ancient chordate character; diversification of regulation and targets of the Hh signaling in this region may have played a major role in the evolution of chordate body structures.

  1. Seeing chordate evolution through the Ciona genome sequence

    OpenAIRE

    Cañestro, Cristian; Bassham, Susan; Postlethwait, John H.

    2003-01-01

    A draft sequence of the compact genome of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis, a non-vertebrate chordate that diverged very early from other chordates, including vertebrates, illuminates how chordates originated and how vertebrate developmental innovations evolved.

  2. Ecology of ascidians in the macrofouling community of New Mangalore Port

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Venkat, K.; Anil, A.C.; Khandeparker, D.C.; Mokashe, S.S.

    Ascidians constitute a major component of macrofouling community at the New Mangalore Port during the premonsoon season (February-May). The presence of ascidians in these waters is being reported for the first time. Ascidian recruitment...

  3. Ascidians from Rocas Atoll, northeast Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Sandra Vieira Paiva; Ronaldo Ruy Oliveira-Filho; Tito Monteiro Da Cruz Lotufo

    2015-01-01

    Rocas Atoll is the only one of its kind in the South Atlantic—and the first Brazilian marine biological reserve. This is the first report about the ascidians from Rocas. A total of 12 species were found, 5 of them not hitherto described: Ascidia viridina sp. nov., Didemnum rochai sp. nov., Leptoclinides crocotulus sp. nov., Polysyncraton maurizeliae sp. nov., and Trididemnum rocasensis sp. nov.). One Caribbean species, Didemnum halimedae, was also discovered in the region for the first time. ...

  4. Ascidians from Rocas Atoll, northeast Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Paiva, Sandra V.; Oliveira Filho, Ronaldo R. de; Lotufo, Tito M. da Cruz

    2015-01-01

    Rocas Atoll is the only one of its kind in the South Atlantic—and the first Brazilian marine biological reserve. This is the first report about the ascidians from Rocas. A total of 12 species were found, 5 of them not hitherto described: Ascidia viridina sp. nov., Didemnum rochai sp. nov., Leptoclinides crocotulus sp. nov., Polysyncraton maurizeliae sp. nov., and Trididemnum rocasensis sp. nov. One Caribbean species, Didemnum halimedae, was also discovered in the region for the first time. Fu...

  5. CiMT-1, an unusual chordate metallothionein gene in Ciona intestinalis genome: structure and expression studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Nicola; Boldrin, Francesco; Ballarin, Loriano; Piccinni, Ester

    2011-02-01

    The present article reports on the characterization of the urochordate metallothionein (MT) gene, CiMT-1, from the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The predicted protein is shorter than other known deuterostome MTs, having only 39 amino acids. The gene has the same tripartite structure as vertebrate MTs, with some features resembling those of echinoderm MTs. The promoter region shows the canonical cis-acting elements recognized by transcription factors that respond to metal, ROS, and cytokines. Unusual sequences, described in fish and echinoderms, are also present. In situ hybridization suggests that only a population of hemocytes involved in immune responses, i.e. granular amebocytes, express CiMT-1 mRNA. These observations support the idea that urochordates perform detoxification through hemocytes, and that MTs may play important roles in inflammatory humoral responses in tunicates. The reported data offer new clues for better understanding the evolution of these multivalent proteins from non-vertebrate to vertebrate chordates and reinforce their functions in detoxification and immunity. PMID:21328559

  6. Amino Alcohols from the Ascidian Pseudodistoma sp.

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    Tae Hyung Won

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Seven new amino alcohol compounds, pseudoaminols A–G (1–7, were isolated from the ascidian Pseudodistoma sp. collected off the coast of Chuja-do, Korea. Structures of these new compounds were determined by analysis of the spectroscopic data and from chemical conversion. The presence of an N-carboxymethyl group in two of the new compounds (6 and 7 is unprecedented among amino alcohols. Several of these compounds exhibited moderate antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity, as well as weak inhibitory activity toward Na+/K+-ATPase.

  7. Changes in gelsolin expression during ascidian metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohtsuka, Y; Okamura, Y; Obinata, T

    2001-05-01

    Gelsolin is an actin regulatory protein that is expressed in a wide variety of tissues and is especially abundant in muscle and blood cells. The role of gelsolin during structural reorganization of the body, such as during metamorphosis or regeneration, is poorly understood. We analyzed changes in gelsolin expression during ascidian embryogenesis and metamorphosis using nucleic acid probes and a monoclonal antibody (AS23) specific for ascidian gelsolin; our results indicated that gelsolin is maternally provided and that its de novo gene transcription is initiated during the neurula stage. In the larva, gelsolin was detectable in specific types of nerve cells, i.e. the adhesive papillae, motor neurons and epidermal sensory neurons. During metamorphosis, the expression of gelsolin changes markedly: the expression is suppressed in nerve tissues after tail resorption but is induced in mesodermal tissues. Gelsolin accumulated in mesenchyme cells until the onset of tail resorption, and following tail resorption, these cells migrated to the tunic and differentiated into tunic cells with many fine processes. Migration of the mesenchyme cells into the tunic was completely inhibited by treatment with cytochalasin B. Gelsolin was colocalized with actin in tunic cells, suggesting that it is involved in the rearrangement of actin filaments during cell locomotion or morphogenesis. PMID:11455440

  8. Germ-line transgenesis of the Tc1/mariner superfamily transposon Minos in Ciona intestinalis

    OpenAIRE

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Awazu, Satoko; Chiba, Shota; Satoh, Nori

    2003-01-01

    The tadpole larva of the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis has the most simplified, basic body-plan of chordates. Because it has a compact genome with a complete draft sequence, a large quantity of EST/cDNA information, and a short generation time, Ciona is a suitable model for future genetics. We establish here a transgenic technique in Ciona that uses the Tc1/mariner superfamily transposon Minos. Minos was integrated efficiently into the genome of germ cells and transmitted stably to ...

  9. In vitro Antibacterial Activity of Combretum edwardsii, Combretum krausii, and Maytenus nemorosa and Their Synergistic Effects in Combination with Antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chukwujekwu, Jude C; van Staden, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    The study investigated the antibacterial activity of crude extracts of C. edwardsii, Combretum krausii, and Maytenus nemorosa as well as their interactions with selected antibiotics against drug resistant bacterial strains. Using the rapid p-iodonitrotetrazolium chloride colorimetric assay, minimum inhibitory concentration values of plant extracts and antibiotics were determined. The interactions of plant extracts and antibiotics were studied using a checkerboard method. The MICs of the plant extracts and antibiotics were in the range of 0.037-6.25 and 0.001-2.5 mg/ml, respectively. The plant fractions tested in the present study displayed varying levels of antibacterial activity depending on the bacterial strains. Generally, Staphylococcus aureus was the most susceptible of the three strains of bacteria while the other two beta-lactamase producing Gram-negative bacteria were the most resistant. The hexane leaf extract of M. nemorosa was the most active (MIC = 37 μg/ml) against S. aureus. Ethyl acetate leaf extract of C. krausii was the most active against Klebsiella pneumoniae and ethyl acetate leaf extract of C. edwardsii was the most active against Escherichia coli. Synergistic interactions were detected in 13% of the combinations against E. coli, 27% of the combinations against K. pneumoniae and 80% of the combinations against S. aureus. The few synergistic interactions observed in the present study suggest that the crude extracts of the leaves of M. nemorosa, C. edwardsii, and C. krausii could be potential sources of broad spectrum antibiotic resistance modifying compounds. PMID:27471466

  10. The central nervous system of ascidian larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Clare

    2016-09-01

    Ascidians are marine invertebrate chordates. Their tadpole larvae contain a dorsal tubular nervous system, resulting from the rolling up of a neural plate. Along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis, the central nervous system (CNS) is organized into a sensory vesicle, neck, trunk ganglion, and tail nerve cord and consists of approximately only 330 cells, of which around 100 are thought to be neurons. The organization of distinct neuronal cell types and neurotransmitter gene expression within the CNS has been described. The unique developmental mode of ascidians, with a small number of cells and a fixed cell division pattern, allows individual cells to be traced throughout development. This feature has led to the complete documentation of the cell lineages of certain cell types in the CNS. Thus, a step-by-step understanding of nervous system development from the initial stages of neural induction to the neurogenesis of individual neurons is a feasible goal. The genetic control of neural fate induction and early neural plate patterning are now well understood. The molecular mechanisms specifying the cholinergic neurons of the trunk ganglion as well as the pigment cells of the sensory organs are also well elucidated. In addition, studies have begun on the morphogenetic processes of neurulation. Remaining challenges include building an embryonic atlas integrating gene expression patterns, cell lineage, and neuronal cell types as well as developing the gene regulatory networks of cell fate specification and integrating them with the genetic control of morphogenesis. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:538-561. doi: 10.1002/wdev.239 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27328318

  11. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species.

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    Roberta Pennati

    Full Text Available The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphometric, immunohistochemical, and histological analyses, as well as 3-D reconstructions, of late larvae obtained by cross-fertilization experiments of molecularly determined type A and type B adults, sampled in different seasons and in four different localities. Our data point to quantitative and qualitative differences in the trunk shape of larvae belonging to the two types. In particular, type B larvae exhibit a longer pre-oral lobe, longer and relatively narrower total body length, and a shorter ocellus-tail distance than type A larvae. All these differences were found to be statistically significant in a Discriminant Analysis. Depending on the number of analyzed parameters, the obtained discriminant function was able to correctly classify > 93% of the larvae, with the remaining misclassified larvae attributable to the existence of intra-type seasonal variability. No larval differences were observed at the level of histology and immunohistochemical localization of peripheral sensory neurons. We conclude that type A and type B are two distinct species that can be distinguished on the basis of larval morphology and molecular data. Since the identified larval differences appear to be valid diagnostic characters, we suggest to raise both types to the rank of species and to assign them distinct names.

  12. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Brunetti, Riccardo; Caicci, Federico; Gasparini, Fabio; Griggio, Francesca; Sato, Atsuko; Stach, Thomas; Kaul-Strehlow, Sabrina; Gissi, Carmela; Manni, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphometric, immunohistochemical, and histological analyses, as well as 3-D reconstructions, of late larvae obtained by cross-fertilization experiments of molecularly determined type A and type B adults, sampled in different seasons and in four different localities. Our data point to quantitative and qualitative differences in the trunk shape of larvae belonging to the two types. In particular, type B larvae exhibit a longer pre-oral lobe, longer and relatively narrower total body length, and a shorter ocellus-tail distance than type A larvae. All these differences were found to be statistically significant in a Discriminant Analysis. Depending on the number of analyzed parameters, the obtained discriminant function was able to correctly classify > 93% of the larvae, with the remaining misclassified larvae attributable to the existence of intra-type seasonal variability. No larval differences were observed at the level of histology and immunohistochemical localization of peripheral sensory neurons. We conclude that type A and type B are two distinct species that can be distinguished on the basis of larval morphology and molecular data. Since the identified larval differences appear to be valid diagnostic characters, we suggest to raise both types to the rank of species and to assign them distinct names. PMID:25955391

  13. LPS injection reprograms the expression and the 3' UTR of a CAP gene by alternative polyadenylation and the formation of a GAIT element in Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizzini, Aiti; Bonura, Angela; Longo, Valeria; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Parrinello, Daniela; Cammarata, Matteo; Colombo, Paolo

    2016-09-01

    The diversification of cellular functions is one of the major characteristics of multicellular organisms which allow cells to modulate their gene expression, leading to the formation of transcripts and proteins with different functions and concentrations in response to different stimuli. CAP genes represent a widespread family of proteins belonging to the cysteine-rich secretory protein, antigen 5 and pathogenesis-related 1 superfamily which, it has been proposed, play key roles in the infection process and the modulation of immune responses in host animals. The ascidian Ciona intestinalis represents a group of proto-chordates with an exclusively innate immune system that has been widely studied in the field of comparative and developmental immunology. Using this biological system, we describe the identification of a novel APA mechanism by which an intronic polyadenylation signal is activated by LPS injection, leading to the formation of a shorter CAP mRNA capable of expressing the first CAP exon plus 19 amino acid residues whose sequence is contained within the first intron of the annotated gene. Furthermore, such an APA event causes the expression of a translational controlling cis-acting GAIT element which is not present in the previously isolated CAP isoform and identified in the 3'-UTR of other immune-related genes, suggesting an intriguing scenario in which both transcriptional and post-transcriptional control mechanisms are involved in the activation of the CAP gene during inflammatory response in C. intestinalis.

  14. Refining the Ciona intestinalis model of central nervous system regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Dahlberg

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: New, practical models of central nervous system regeneration are required and should provide molecular tools and resources. We focus here on the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, which has the capacity to regenerate nerves and a complete adult central nervous system, a capacity unusual in the chordate phylum. We investigated the timing and sequence of events during nervous system regeneration in this organism. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed techniques for reproducible ablations and for imaging live cellular events in tissue explants. Based on live observations of more than 100 regenerating animals, we subdivided the regeneration process into four stages. Regeneration was functional, as shown by the sequential recovery of reflexes that established new criteria for defining regeneration rates. We used transgenic animals and labeled nucleotide analogs to describe in detail the early cellular events at the tip of the regenerating nerves and the first appearance of the new adult ganglion anlage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The rate of regeneration was found to be negatively correlated with adult size. New neural structures were derived from the anterior and posterior nerve endings. A blastemal structure was implicated in the formation of new neural cells. This work demonstrates that Ciona intestinalis is as a useful system for studies on regeneration of the brain, brain-associated organs and nerves.

  15. Ascidians and the plasticity of the chordate developmental program

    OpenAIRE

    Lemaire, Patrick; Smith, William C.; Nishida, Hiroki

    2008-01-01

    Little is known about the ancient chordates that gave rise to the first vertebrates, but the descendants of other invertebrate chordates extant at the time still flourish in the ocean. These invertebrates include the cephalochordates and tunicates, whose larvae share with vertebrate embryos a common body plan with a central notochord and a dorsal nerve cord. Tunicates are now thought to be the sister group of vertebrates. However, research based on several species of ascidians, a diverse and ...

  16. Geographic ranges of ascidians from Antarctica and the southeastern Pacific

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dirk Schories; Karen Sanamyan; Nadja Sanamyan; Mara Jos Daz; Ignacio Garrido; Thomas Heran; Jorge Holtheuer; Gesche Kohlberg

    2015-01-01

    Historical and novel data on the geographic and bathymetric distribution of ascidians from Antarctic, Magellan and Chilean waters are compiled, and an inventory of taxa comprising 162 species reported over a 150 year period from the Antarctic region South Polar Province (SPP) compiled. The ascidian fauna from the South Shetland Islands (SSI) is compared with that of the Magellan region, Patagonia and the Chilean coast. We collected 46 ascidian species along the Chilean coast, and during four expeditions to King George Island (SSI) by SCUBA between 2003–2012. About 15% of King George Island (SSI) species are observed to occur also in shallow waters of southern Chile (SCL). Few species known from warm temperate southeastern Pacific (Northern Chile, NCL) waters are absent from the Chilean part of the Magellan Province (SCL). With most data contributed from the Chilean coast coming from the SCL, and with limited sampling having been undertaken at depths exceeding 100 m in the NCL, apparent differences in species richness along the Chilean coast could be attributabed to differential sampling effort. We detail 12 species from our Antarctic and Chilean collections in detail, including one, Diplosoma listerianum, not previously reported from Chilean waters, and the genus Botryllus, previously known from them on the basis of a single record.

  17. ANP (Atrial Natriuretic Peptide presence in the heart of a tunicate, Ciona intestinalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Gerbino

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Atrial natriuretic peptide was found in the heart of vertebrates, we studied the ANP presence in the heart of Ciona intestinalis. This is animal is very important because of the its evolutionary position between invertebrates and vertebrates. ANP presence was only revealed in myoepithelial cells of the myocardium. Results suggest the hypothesis that ANP is present not only in the vertebrates but also in the invertebrates and in Ciona heart ANP might play a similar role like in the heart of vertebrates.

  18. SNPs and Hox gene mapping in Ciona intestinalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biffali Elio

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The tunicate Ciona intestinalis (Enterogona, Ascidiacea, a major model system for evolutionary and developmental genetics of chordates, harbours two cryptic species. To assess the degree of intra- and inter-specific genetic variability, we report the identification and analysis of C. intestinalis SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism markers. A SNP subset was used to determine the genetic distance between Hox-5 and -10 genes. Results DNA fragments were amplified from 12 regions of C. intestinalis sp. A. In total, 128 SNPs and 32 one bp indels have been identified within 8 Kb DNA. SNPs in coding regions cause 4 synonymous and 12 non-synonymous substitutions. The highest SNP frequency was detected in the Hox5 and Hox10 intragenic regions. In C. intestinalis, these two genes have lost their archetypal topology within the cluster, such that Hox10 is located between Hox4 and Hox5. A subset of the above primers was used to perform successful amplification in C. intestinalis sp. B. In this cryptic species, 62 SNPs were identified within 3614 bp: 41 in non-coding and 21 in coding regions. The genetic distance of the Hox-5 and -10 loci, computed combining a classical backcross approach with the application of SNP markers, was found to be 8.4 cM (Haldane's function. Based on the physical distance, 1 cM corresponds to 39.5 Kb. Linkage disequilibrium between the aforementioned loci was calculated in the backcross generation. Conclusion SNPs here described allow analysis and comparisons within and between C. intestinalis cryptic species. We provide the first reliable computation of genetic distance in this important model chordate. This latter result represents an important platform for future studies on Hox genes showing deviations from the archetypal topology.

  19. Metabolic characteristics of muscles in the spiny lobster, Jasus edwardsii, and responses to emersion during simulated live transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speed, S R; Baldwin, J; Wong, R J; Wells, R M

    2001-03-01

    The metabolic characteristics of five muscle groups in the spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii were examined in order to compare their anaerobic and oxidative capacities. Enzyme activities of phosphorylase, phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase were highest in abdominal muscles supporting anaerobic burst activity. Hexokinase, citrate synthase, and HOAD activities in the leg and antennal muscles indicated higher aerobic potential. Arginine kinase activities were high in all muscle groups indicating that muscle phosphagens are an important energy reserve. Arginine phosphate concentrations in 4th periopod and abdominal flexor muscle from lobsters sampled in the field were higher than any values from captive animals, and approximately five times those for ATP. Muscle lactates were high in captive animals. Responses to emersion during simulated live transport appear to exploit the capacity for functional anaerobiosis and further differentiated the muscle groups. Abdominal muscles were especially sensitive and after 24 h showed significant increases in lactate, glucose, ADP, and AMP. ATP levels appeared to be maintained by muscle phosphagens and raised doubts about the efficacy of the adenylate energy charge in evaluating the emersion response. Haemolymph glucose, lactic acid, and ammonia peaked after 24 h emersion and were largely restored following re-immersion. We propose that arginine phosphate concentrations in the 4th periopod are an appropriate index of metabolic stress, and could lead to improved commercial handling protocols.

  20. Insights on cytotoxic cells of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Franchi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Morula cells (MCs represent the most abundant circulating hemocyte of the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. They are cytotoxic cells involved in the rejection reaction between contacting, genetically incompatible colonies. Upon the recognition of foreign substances, they degranulate and release their content, which contribute to the cell death along the contact borders. A major role in MC-related cytotoxicity is exerted by the enzyme phenoloxidase (PO that converts polyphenol substrata to quinones which, then, polymerize to form melanins. During this reaction, reactive oxygen species are formed which are the cause of MC-related cytotoxicity. Here, we carried out new analyses to investigate further the nature of MC content and its role in cytotoxicity. Results confirm that PO is located inside MC vacuoles together with arylsulfatase, iron and polyphenols/quinones, the latter probably representing ready-to-use cytotoxic molecules, deriving from the oxidation of DOPA-containing proteins. In addition, small DOPA-containing peptides, called tunichromes, are also present inside MCs. MC degranulation and PO-mediated cytotoxicity are prevented by secretion inhibitors and by H89 and calphostin C. The observation that PO activity is always detectable in MCs in the absence of protease treatment, and its inhibition by sulfites and sulfates, suggest a non-classical pathway of PO modulation in botryllid ascidians.

  1. The gut of geographically disparate Ciona intestinalis harbors a core microbiota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry J Dishaw

    Full Text Available It is now widely understood that all animals engage in complex interactions with bacteria (or microbes throughout their various life stages. This ancient exchange can involve cooperation and has resulted in a wide range of evolved host-microbial interdependencies, including those observed in the gut. Ciona intestinalis, a filter-feeding basal chordate and classic developmental model that can be experimentally manipulated, is being employed to help define these relationships. Ciona larvae are first exposed internally to microbes upon the initiation of feeding in metamorphosed individuals; however, whether or not these microbes subsequently colonize the gut and whether or not Ciona forms relationships with specific bacteria in the gut remains unknown. In this report, we show that the Ciona gut not only is colonized by a complex community of bacteria, but also that samples from three geographically isolated populations reveal striking similarity in abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs consistent with the selection of a core community by the gut ecosystem.

  2. An exceptional salt tolerant antimicrobial peptide derived from a novel gene family of hemocytes of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis

    OpenAIRE

    Fedders, Henning; Michalek, Matthias; Grötzinger, Joachim; Leippe, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    Abstract A novel gene family coding for putative antimicrobial peptides was identified in the EST data base of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis, and one of these genes was molecularly cloned from the Northern European Ciona subspecies. In situ hybridisation and immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the natural peptide is synthesized and stored in a distinct hemocyte type, the univacuolar non-refractile granulocytes. By semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis it was shown that the exp...

  3. Antibacterial modified diketopiperazines from two ascidians of the genus Didemnum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kossuga, Miriam H.; Lira, Simone P.; McHugh, Shayna; Torres, Yohandra R.; Berlinck, Roberto G.S. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica; Lima, Bruna A.; Goncalves, Reginaldo [Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Piracicaba, SP (Brazil). Faculdade de Odontologia. Dept. de Diagnostico Oral; Veloso, Katyuscya; Ferreira, Antonio G. [Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Rocha, Rosana M. [Universidade Federal do Parana (UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Centro Politecnico. Setor de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Zoologia

    2009-07-01

    The chemical investigation of the crude extract of an ascidian of the genus Didemnum led to the isolation of the modified diketopiperazine rodriguesines A (1) and (2) as a mixture of homologues, which could be identified by analysis of spectroscopic data including MS/MS experiments. The investigation of a second Didemnum sp. led to the isolation of N-acetyl-rodriguesine A (3) and N-acetyl-rodriguesine B (4). The absolute configuration of compounds 1 and 2 could be established by hydrolysis and Marfey's analysis and comparison with literature data reported for compound 3, previously obtained as a synthetic product. The mixture of 1 and 2 displayed moderate antibiotic activity against a clinical isolate of Streptococcus mutans and against S. mutans UA159 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538. (author)

  4. Immunobiology of compound ascidians, with particular reference to Botryllus schlosseri: state of art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Ballarin

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The phylogenetic position of invertebrate chordates closely related to vertebrates explains the increasing interest towards tunicate immunobiology. Most of the tunicates are ascidians which, like all other invertebrates, rely only on innate immunity for their defense. Compound ascidians differ from solitary species for the presence of colony specificity, i.e. the ability for intraspecific non-self recognition. The immunobiology of compound ascidians has been particularly studied in Botryllus schlosseri, which is an emerging model organism for this kind of studies. In B. schlosseri and related species, immunocytes are represented by phagocytes and cytotoxic morula cells, the former able to ingest foreign cell and particles, the latter representing the effectors of the inflammatory reaction which follows the contact between genetically incompatible colonies. Activated phagocytes release lectins with opsonic activity and are involved in the clearance of apoptotic cells during the colonial generational change. Morula cells recognize the presence of foreign molecules as well as allogeneic soluble factors diffusing from an alien colony and as a consequence they: i release cytokines in the medium which have chemotactic activity and activate phagocytes; ii degranulate and release phenoloxidase which induces necrotic cell death by oxidative stress. A better knowledge of Botryllus genome will allow a deeper insight into open problems in immunobiology of compound ascidians.

  5. Modiolarca lateralis (Pteryomorphia: Mytilidae: bivalve associated to six species of ascidians from Bocas del Toro, Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan I Cañete

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We describe the presence of the bivalve Modiolarca lateralis (Say, 1822 in six tropical ascidians Ascidia curvata, A. sydneiensis, A. panamensis, A. interrupta, Herdmania pallida and Polycarpa spongiabilis collected at depths of 1-3 m on coral reefs, mangrove roots and dock supports in Almirante Bay, Bocas del Toro, Panama (9°18'N, 82°13'W during June-July 2011. Bivalve prevalence varied between 9-30% across species, but was mainly associated with A. panamensis, P. spongiabilis and A. interrupta. Prevalence seems to be influenced by tunic thickness rather than by the ascidian size. Bivalves varied in size (0.6-11 mm shell length, with the smallest individual found in A. sydneiensis. There were only one or two bivalves per ascidians, although a maximum of 18 was found in one A. panamensis. M. lateralis seems to behave similarly to its temperate counterparts: it has a variety of hosts, occurs mainly in the anterior region of the ascidians, and has a variable abundance per host.

  6. A novel third complement component C3 gene of Ciona intestinalis expressed in the endoderm at the early developmental stages

    OpenAIRE

    Hibino, T.; Nonaka, M

    2013-01-01

    The third complement component (C3) in ascidian was reported to function as an opsonin to enhance phagocytosis and as a chemotactic factor for phagocytes, indicating that ascidian C3 works in mesodermal cavity as a humoral factor like vertebrate C3s. In the basal Eumetazoa, Cnidaria lacking mesodermal tissues, C3 was reported to work in an endodermal cavity. Evolution of structure and function of C3 is still to be clarified. Here we report the identification of the third C3 gene, CiC3-3, in t...

  7. Description of Endozoicomonas ascidiicola sp. nov., isolated from Scandinavian ascidians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup; Obst, Matthias;

    2016-01-01

    of an ascidian-specific lineage within the genus Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Oceanospirillales, Hahellaceae). Both strains feature three distinct 16S rRNA gene paralogs, with identities of 98.9–99.1% (AVMART05T) and 97.7–98.8% (KASP37) between paralogs. The strains are closely related to Endozoicomonas......Two gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, chemoorganoheterotrophic, motile and rod-shaped bacteria, strains AVMART05T and KASP37, were isolated from ascidians (Tunicata, Ascidiaceae) of the genus Ascidiella collected at Gullmarsfjord, Sweden. The strains are the first cultured representatives...... atrinae and Endozoicomonas elysicola, with which they share 97.3–98.0% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity. Digital DNA–DNA hybridization, average nucleotide identity, and tetra-nucleotide correlation analysis indicate that both strains belong to a single species distinct from their closest relatives. Both...

  8. Seismic air gun exposure during early-stage embryonic development does not negatively affect spiny lobster Jasus edwardsii larvae (Decapoda: Palinuridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Ryan D; McCauley, Robert D; Fitzgibbon, Quinn P; Semmens, Jayson M

    2016-01-01

    Marine seismic surveys are used to explore for sub-seafloor oil and gas deposits. These surveys are conducted using air guns, which release compressed air to create intense sound impulses, which are repeated around every 8-12 seconds and can travel large distances in the water column. Considering the ubiquitous worldwide distribution of seismic surveys, the potential impact of exposure on marine invertebrates is poorly understood. In this study, egg-bearing female spiny lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) were exposed to signals from three air gun configurations, all of which exceeded sound exposure levels (SEL) of 185 dB re 1 μPa(2) · s. Lobsters were maintained until their eggs hatched and the larvae were then counted for fecundity, assessed for abnormal morphology using measurements of larval length and width, tested for larval competency using an established activity test and measured for energy content. Overall there were no differences in the quantity or quality of hatched larvae, indicating that the condition and development of spiny lobster embryos were not adversely affected by air gun exposure. These results suggest that embryonic spiny lobster are resilient to air gun signals and highlight the caution necessary in extrapolating results from the laboratory to real world scenarios or across life history stages. PMID:26947006

  9. A saturation screen for cis-acting regulatory DNA in the Hox genes of Ciona intestinalis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keys, David N.; Lee, Byung-in; Di Gregorio, Anna; Harafuji, Naoe; Detter, Chris; Wang, Mei; Kahsai, Orsalem; Ahn, Sylvia; Arellano, Andre; Zhang, Quin; Trong, Stephan; Doyle, Sharon A.; Satoh, Noriyuki; Satou, Yutaka; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Christian, Allen; Rokhsar, Dan; Hawkins, Trevor L.; Levine, Mike; Richardson, Paul

    2005-01-05

    A screen for the systematic identification of cis-regulatory elements within large (>100 kb) genomic domains containing Hox genes was performed by using the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis. Randomly generated DNA fragments from bacterial artificial chromosomes containing two clusters of Hox genes were inserted into a vector upstream of a minimal promoter and lacZ reporter gene. A total of 222 resultant fusion genes were separately electroporated into fertilized eggs, and their regulatory activities were monitored in larvae. In sum, 21 separable cis-regulatory elements were found. These include eight Hox linked domains that drive expression in nested anterior-posterior domains of ectodermally derived tissues. In addition to vertebrate-like CNS regulation, the discovery of cis-regulatory domains that drive epidermal transcription suggests that C. intestinalis has arthropod-like Hox patterning in the epidermis.

  10. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983 in an Urban Estuary.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany Schenk Simpson

    Full Text Available Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future.

  11. When shape matters: strategies of different Antarctic ascidians morphotypes to deal with sedimentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torre, Luciana; Abele, Doris; Lagger, Cristian; Momo, Fernando; Sahade, Ricardo

    2014-08-01

    Climate change leads to increased melting of tidewater glaciers in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region and sediment bearing glacial melt waters negatively affects filter feeding species as solitary ascidians. In previous work the erect-forms Molgula pedunculata and Cnemidocarpa verrucosa (Order Stolidobranchiata) appeared more sensitive than the flat form Ascidia challengeri (Order Phlebobranchiata). Sedimentation exposure is expected to induce up-regulation of anaerobic metabolism by obstructing the organs of gas exchange (environmental hypoxia) or causes enhanced squirting activity (functional hypoxia). In this study we evaluated the possible relationship between ascidian morphotype and their physiological response to sedimentation. Together with some behavioural observations, we analysed the response of anaerobic metabolic parameters (lactate formation and glycogen consumption) in different tissues of three Antarctic ascidians, exposed to high sediment concentrations (200 mgL(-1)). The results were compared to experimental hypoxia (10% pO2) and exercise (induced muscular contraction) effects, in order to discriminate the effect of sediment on each species and morpho-type (erect vs. flat forms). Our results suggest that the styled (erect) C. verrucosa increases muscular squirting activity in order to expulse excessive material, while the flat-form A. challengeri reacts more passively by down-regulating its aerobic metabolism under sediment exposure. Contrary, the erect ascidian M. pedunculata did not show any measurable response to the treatments, indicating that filtration and ingestion activities were not reduced or altered even under high sedimentation (low energetic material) which could be disadvantageous on the long-term and could explain why M. pedunculata densities decline in the study area.

  12. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983) in an Urban Estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Tiffany Schenk; Wernberg, Thomas; McDonald, Justin I

    2016-01-01

    Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia) growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis) where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future.

  13. When shape matters: strategies of different Antarctic ascidians morphotypes to deal with sedimentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torre, Luciana; Abele, Doris; Lagger, Cristian; Momo, Fernando; Sahade, Ricardo

    2014-08-01

    Climate change leads to increased melting of tidewater glaciers in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region and sediment bearing glacial melt waters negatively affects filter feeding species as solitary ascidians. In previous work the erect-forms Molgula pedunculata and Cnemidocarpa verrucosa (Order Stolidobranchiata) appeared more sensitive than the flat form Ascidia challengeri (Order Phlebobranchiata). Sedimentation exposure is expected to induce up-regulation of anaerobic metabolism by obstructing the organs of gas exchange (environmental hypoxia) or causes enhanced squirting activity (functional hypoxia). In this study we evaluated the possible relationship between ascidian morphotype and their physiological response to sedimentation. Together with some behavioural observations, we analysed the response of anaerobic metabolic parameters (lactate formation and glycogen consumption) in different tissues of three Antarctic ascidians, exposed to high sediment concentrations (200 mgL(-1)). The results were compared to experimental hypoxia (10% pO2) and exercise (induced muscular contraction) effects, in order to discriminate the effect of sediment on each species and morpho-type (erect vs. flat forms). Our results suggest that the styled (erect) C. verrucosa increases muscular squirting activity in order to expulse excessive material, while the flat-form A. challengeri reacts more passively by down-regulating its aerobic metabolism under sediment exposure. Contrary, the erect ascidian M. pedunculata did not show any measurable response to the treatments, indicating that filtration and ingestion activities were not reduced or altered even under high sedimentation (low energetic material) which could be disadvantageous on the long-term and could explain why M. pedunculata densities decline in the study area. PMID:24986145

  14. Ultrastructures and Classification of Circulating Hemocytes in 9 Botryllid Ascidians (Chordata: Ascidiacea)

    OpenAIRE

    Hirose, Euichi; Shirae, Maki; Saito, Yasunori

    2003-01-01

    Ultrastructures of circulating hemocytes were studied in 9 botryllid ascidians. The hemocytes are classified into five types: hemoblasts, phagocytes, granulocytes, morula cells, and pigment cells. These five types are always found in the 9 species. They should represent the major hemocyte types of the circulating cells in the blood. Hemoblasts are small hemocytes having a high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio. There are few granular or vacuolar inclusions in the cytoplasm. Phagocytes have phagocytic a...

  15. Solitary ascidians embryos (Chordata, Tunicata) as model organisms for testing coastal pollutant toxicity

    OpenAIRE

    G Zega; R. Pennati; S Candiani; M Pestarino; Bernardi, F

    2009-01-01

    Marine coastal communities are daily exposed to several chemical compounds commonly used in agriculture and industrial activities. Therefore, toxicological studies evaluating the effects of these compounds on marine organisms are of primary importance for marine environment preservation. Different model organisms are used to perform toxicity tests with potential pollutants, under laboratory conditions. In last decades, solitary ascidians have been selected as valuable model organisms to run b...

  16. Solitary ascidians embryos (Chordata, Tunicata as model organisms for testing coastal pollutant toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Zega

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine coastal communities are daily exposed to several chemical compounds commonly used in agriculture and industrial activities. Therefore, toxicological studies evaluating the effects of these compounds on marine organisms are of primary importance for marine environment preservation. Different model organisms are used to perform toxicity tests with potential pollutants, under laboratory conditions. In last decades, solitary ascidians have been selected as valuable model organisms to run bioassays with embryos and larvae. In fact, by in vitro fertilization, it is easy to obtain thousands of embryos, rapidly developing and therefore allowing a fast screen of pollutant toxicity.The aim of this review was to summarize results from toxicity tests, run with heavy metals, organo-metal and organic compounds, on solitary ascidian development and settlement to evidence that these animals offer several advantages as models to perform these kind of studies. First of all, they have a sensitiveness directly comparable to that of other marine model organisms. Moreover, the effects of toxicants on exposed embryos and larvae could be studied using different approaches, from ultrastructure to genetic analysis. Finally, since ascidians are chordates morphological and gene expression analyses could provide data for comparative studies with vertebrates.

  17. Genome-wide identification and characterization of transcription start sites and promoters in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokomori, Rui; Shimai, Kotaro; Nishitsuji, Koki; Suzuki, Yutaka; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Nakai, Kenta

    2016-01-01

    The tunicate Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate chordate, has recently emerged as a powerful model organism for gene regulation analysis. However, few studies have been conducted to identify and characterize its transcription start sites (TSSs) and promoters at the genome-wide level. Here, using TSS-seq, we identified TSSs at the genome-wide scale and characterized promoters in C. intestinalis. Specifically, we identified TSS clusters (TSCs), high-density regions of TSS-seq tags, each of which appears to originate from an identical promoter. TSCs were found not only at known TSSs but also in other regions, suggesting the existence of many unknown transcription units in the genome. We also identified candidate promoters of 79 ribosomal protein (RP) genes, each of which had the major TSS in a polypyrimidine tract and showed a sharp TSS distribution like human RP gene promoters. Ciona RP gene promoters, however, did not appear to have typical TATA boxes, unlike human RP gene promoters. In Ciona non-RP promoters, two pyrimidine-purine dinucleotides, CA and TA, were frequently used as TSSs. Despite the absence of CpG islands, Ciona TATA-less promoters showed low expression specificity like CpG-associated human TATA-less promoters. By using TSS-seq, we also predicted trans-spliced gene TSSs and found that their downstream regions had higher G+T content than those of non-trans-spliced gene TSSs. Furthermore, we identified many putative alternative promoters, some of which were regulated in a tissue-specific manner. Our results provide valuable information about TSSs and promoter characteristics in C. intestinalis and will be helpful in future analysis of transcriptional regulation in chordates.

  18. Functional Brachyury binding sites establish a temporal read-out of gene expression in the Ciona notochord.

    OpenAIRE

    Lavanya Katikala; Hitoshi Aihara; Passamaneck, Yale J.; Stefan Gazdoiu; José-Edwards, Diana S.; Kugler, Jamie E.; Izumi Oda-Ishii; Janice H Imai; Yutaka Nibu; Anna Di Gregorio

    2013-01-01

    Author Summary Transcription factors control where and when gene expression is switched on by binding to specific stretches of DNA known as cis-regulatory modules (CRMs). In this study, we investigated the architecture and composition of CRMs that direct gene expression in the notochord—a transient rod-like structure found in all embryos that belong to the phylum chordata, which includes humans. Here we used the sea squirt Ciona, a simple chordate, and analyzed how the transcription factor Br...

  19. The venom gland transcriptome of the Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii: towards an understanding of venom composition among advanced snakes (Superfamily Colubroidea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mackessy Stephen P

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Snake venoms are complex mixtures of pharmacologically active proteins and peptides which belong to a small number of superfamilies. Global cataloguing of the venom transcriptome facilitates the identification of new families of toxins as well as helps in understanding the evolution of venom proteomes. Results We have constructed a cDNA library of the venom gland of a threatened rattlesnake (a pitviper, Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii (Desert Massasauga, and sequenced 576 ESTs. Our results demonstrate a high abundance of serine proteinase and metalloproteinase transcripts, indicating that the disruption of hemostasis is a principle mechanism of action of the venom. In addition to the transcripts encoding common venom proteins, we detected two varieties of low abundance unique transcripts in the library; these encode for three-finger toxins and a novel toxin possibly generated from the fusion of two genes. We also observed polyadenylated ribosomal RNAs in the venom gland library, an interesting preliminary obsevation of this unusual phenomenon in a reptilian system. Conclusion The three-finger toxins are characteristic of most elapid venoms but are rare in viperid venoms. We detected several ESTs encoding this group of toxins in this study. We also observed the presence of a transcript encoding a fused protein of two well-characterized toxins (Kunitz/BPTI and Waprins, and this is the first report of this kind of fusion in a snake toxin transcriptome. We propose that these new venom proteins may have ancillary functions for envenomation. The presence of a fused toxin indicates that in addition to gene duplication and accelerated evolution, exon shuffling or transcriptional splicing may also contribute to generating the diversity of toxins and toxin isoforms observed among snake venoms. The detection of low abundance toxins, as observed in this and other studies, indicates a greater compositional similarity of venoms (though

  20. An endocrine disruptor, bisphenol A, affects development in the protochordate Ciona intestinalis: Hatching rates and swimming behavior alter in a dose-dependent manner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used industrially to produce polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Numerous studies document the harmful effects caused by low-dose BPA exposure especially on nervous systems and behavior in experimental animals such as mice and rats. Here, we exposed embryos of a model chordate, Ciona intestinalis, to seawater containing BPA to evaluate adverse effects on embryonic development and on the swimming behavior of subsequent larvae. Ciona is ideal because its larva develops rapidly and has few cells. The rate of larval hatching decreased in a dose-dependent manner with exposures to BPA above 3 μM; swimming behavior was also affected in larvae emerging from embryos exposed to 1 μM BPA. Adverse effects were most severe on fertilized eggs exposed to BPA within 7 h post-fertilization. Ciona shares twelve nuclear receptors with mammals, and BPA is proposed to disturb the physiological functions of one or more of these. - Highlights: ► Embryos of Ciona intestinalis were exposed to BPA to evaluate its developmental effects. ► The rate of larval hatching decreased in a dose-dependent manner. ► Swimming behavior was affected in larvae that emerge from embryos exposed to 1 μM BPA. ► Our findings will support a new strategy to analyze the developmental effects induced by BPA. - Exposure of fertilized Ciona embryos to BPA decreased their hatch rate in a dose-dependent manner and led to abnormal larval swimming behavior.

  1. Didemnaketals F and G, New Bioactive Spiroketals from a Red Sea Ascidian Didemnum Species

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    Lamiaa A. Shaala

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In continuation of our ongoing efforts to identify bioactive compounds from Red Sea marine organisms, a new collection of the ascidian Didemnum species was investigated. Chromatographic fractionation and HPLC purification of the CH2Cl2 fraction of an organic extract of the ascidian resulted in the identification of two new spiroketals, didemnaketals F (1 and G (2. The structure determination of the compounds was completed by extensive study of 1D (1H, 13C, and DEPT and 2D (COSY, HSQC, and HMBC NMR experiments in addition to high-resolution mass spectral data. Didemnaketal F (1 and G (2 differ from the previously reported compounds of this class by the lack the terminal methyl ester at C-1 and the methyl functionality at C-2. Instead, 1 and 2 possess a methyl ketone moiety instead of the terminal ester. Furthermore, didemnaketal F possesses a disubstituted double bond between C-2 and C-3, while the double bond was replaced by a secondary alcohol at C-3 in didemnaketal G. In addition, they possess the unique spiroketal/hemiketal functionality which was previously reported in didemnaketal E. Didemnaketals F (1 and G (2 displayed moderate activity against HeLa cells with of IC50s of 49.9 and 14.0 µM, respectively. In addition, didemnaketal F (1 displayed potent antimicrobial activity against E. coli and C. albicans. These findings provide further insight into the biosynthetic capabilities of this ascidian and the chemical diversity as well as the biological activity of this class of compounds.

  2. Purification of mitochondrial proteins HSP60 and ATP synthase from ascidian eggs: implications for antibody specificity.

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    Janet Chenevert

    Full Text Available Use of antibodies is a cornerstone of biological studies and it is important to identify the recognized protein with certainty. Generally an antibody is considered specific if it labels a single band of the expected size in the tissue of interest, or has a strong affinity for the antigen produced in a heterologous system. The identity of the antibody target protein is rarely confirmed by purification and sequencing, however in many cases this may be necessary. In this study we sought to characterize the myoplasm, a mitochondria-rich domain present in eggs and segregated into tadpole muscle cells of ascidians (urochordates. The targeted proteins of two antibodies that label the myoplasm were purified using both classic immunoaffinity methods and a novel protein purification scheme based on sequential ion exchange chromatography followed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Surprisingly, mass spectrometry sequencing revealed that in both cases the proteins recognized are unrelated to the original antigens. NN18, a monoclonal antibody which was raised against porcine spinal cord and recognizes the NF-M neurofilament subunit in vertebrates, in fact labels mitochondrial ATP synthase in the ascidian embryo. PMF-C13, an antibody we raised to and purified against PmMRF, which is the MyoD homolog of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata, in fact recognizes mitochondrial HSP60. High resolution immunolabeling on whole embryos and isolated cortices demonstrates localization to the inner mitochondrial membrane for both ATP synthase and HSP60. We discuss the general implications of our results for antibody specificity and the verification methods which can be used to determine unequivocally an antibody's target.

  3. Complete DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi (Chordata, Urochordata).

    OpenAIRE

    Yokobori, S i; Ueda, T.; Feldmaier-Fuchs, G; Pääbo, S; Ueshima, R.; Kondow, A; Nishikawa, K.; Watanabe, K.

    1999-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the 14,771-bp-long mitochondrial (mt) DNA of a urochordate (Chordata)-the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi-was determined. All the Halocynthia mt-genes were found to be located on a single strand, which is rich in T and G rather than in A and C. Like nematode and Mytilus edulis mtDNAs, that of Halocynthia encodes no ATP synthetase subunit 8 gene. However, it does encode an additional tRNA gene for glycine (anticodon TCT) that enables Halocynthia mitochondria to...

  4. The repertoire of heterotrimeric G proteins and RGS proteins in Ciona intestinalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Prasobh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Heterotrimeric G proteins and regulators of G protein signaling (RGS proteins are key downstream interacting partners in the G protein coupled receptor (GPCR signaling pathway. The highly versatile GPCR transmembrane signaling system is a consequence of the coupling of a diverse set of receptors to downstream partners that include multiple subforms of G proteins and regulatory proteins including RGS proteins, among others. While the GPCR repertoire of Ciona intestinalis, representing the basal chordate is known, the repertoire of the heterotrimeric G proteins and RGS proteins is unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we performed an in-silico genome-wide search of C. intestinalis for its complement of G proteins and RGS proteins. The identification of several one-to-one orthologs of human G proteins at the levels of families, subfamilies and types and of homologs of the human RGS proteins suggests an evolutionarily conserved structure function relationship of the GPCR signaling mechanism in the chordates. CONCLUSIONS: The C. intestinalis genome encodes a highly conserved, albeit, limited repertoire of the heterotrimeric G protein complexes with the size of subunit types comparable with that in lower eukaryotes.

  5. Characterization and transcription studies of a phytochelatin synthase gene from the solitary tunicate Ciona intestinalis exposed to cadmium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Ciona intestinalis have a functional phytochelatin synthase (PCS) gene (cipcs). • CiPCS amino acid sequence is phylogentically related to other metazoan PCSs. • CiPCS catalyze the synthesis of PC2. • cipcs are mostly transcribed in circulating hemocytes, in both tunic and blood lacunae. • Cadmium exposure results in a significant increase of cipcs and cipcna transcription. - Abstract: The major thiol-containing molecules involved in controlling the level of intracellular ROS in eukaryotes, acting as a nonenzymatic detoxification system, are metallothioneins (MTs), glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatins (PCs). Both MTs and GSH are well-known in the animal kingdom. PC was considered a prerogative of the plant kingdom but, in 2001, a phytochelatin synthase (PCS) gene was described in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; additional genes encoding this enzyme were later described in the earthworm Eisenia fetida and in the parasitic nematode Schistosoma mansoni but scanty data are available, up to now, for Deuterostomes. Here, we describe the molecular characteristics and transcription pattern, in the presence of Cd, of a PCS gene from the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis, a ubiquitous solitary tunicate and demonstrate the presence of PCs in tissue extracts. We also studied mRNA localization by in situ hybridization. In addition, we analyzed the behavior of hemocytes and tunic cells consequent to Cd exposure as well as the transcription pattern of the Ciona orthologous for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), usually considered a proliferation marker, and observed that cell proliferation occurs after 96 h of Cd treatment. This matches the hypothesis of Cd-induced cell proliferation, as already suggested by previous data on the expression of a metallothionein gene in the same animal

  6. Characterization and transcription studies of a phytochelatin synthase gene from the solitary tunicate Ciona intestinalis exposed to cadmium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franchi, Nicola [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Department of Biological, Chemical, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, University of Palermo, Palermo (Italy); Piccinni, Ester [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Ferro, Diana [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster (Germany); Basso, Giuseppe [Department of Woman and Child Health, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Spolaore, Barbara [CRIBI Biotechnology Centre, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Santovito, Gianfranco, E-mail: gianfranco.santovito@unipd.it [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Ballarin, Loriano [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy)

    2014-07-01

    Highlights: • Ciona intestinalis have a functional phytochelatin synthase (PCS) gene (cipcs). • CiPCS amino acid sequence is phylogentically related to other metazoan PCSs. • CiPCS catalyze the synthesis of PC2. • cipcs are mostly transcribed in circulating hemocytes, in both tunic and blood lacunae. • Cadmium exposure results in a significant increase of cipcs and cipcna transcription. - Abstract: The major thiol-containing molecules involved in controlling the level of intracellular ROS in eukaryotes, acting as a nonenzymatic detoxification system, are metallothioneins (MTs), glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatins (PCs). Both MTs and GSH are well-known in the animal kingdom. PC was considered a prerogative of the plant kingdom but, in 2001, a phytochelatin synthase (PCS) gene was described in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; additional genes encoding this enzyme were later described in the earthworm Eisenia fetida and in the parasitic nematode Schistosoma mansoni but scanty data are available, up to now, for Deuterostomes. Here, we describe the molecular characteristics and transcription pattern, in the presence of Cd, of a PCS gene from the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis, a ubiquitous solitary tunicate and demonstrate the presence of PCs in tissue extracts. We also studied mRNA localization by in situ hybridization. In addition, we analyzed the behavior of hemocytes and tunic cells consequent to Cd exposure as well as the transcription pattern of the Ciona orthologous for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), usually considered a proliferation marker, and observed that cell proliferation occurs after 96 h of Cd treatment. This matches the hypothesis of Cd-induced cell proliferation, as already suggested by previous data on the expression of a metallothionein gene in the same animal.

  7. DNA barcoding of two solitary ascidians, Herdmania momus Savigny, 1816 and Microcosmus squamiger Michaelsen, 1927 from Thoothukudi coast, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffar Ali, H Abdul; Ahmed, N Shabeer

    2016-07-01

    Morphology-based taxonomical studies of ascidians in India are meagre due to lack of ascidian taxonomist and limitations inherent in conventional system-based identification. The use of short fragment of mitochondrial DNA sequence is proving highly useful in identifying species in a situation where, the traditional morphology-based identification is difficult. In the present study, two adult solitary ascidians collected from the Thoothukudi coast were morphologically identified as Herdmania momus Savigny, 1816 and Microcosmus squamiger Michaelsen, 1927. The genomic DNA of these ascidians was isolated, COI gene was amplified, sequenced and submitted to the GenBank under the accession numbers KM058116, KM411616 and KJ944390. Homology search result using BLAST showed that H. momus showed 100% matched with other H. momus, while M. squamiger showed similarity with Pyura herdmani, a member of the same family Pyuridae. The phylogenetic and genetic distance was maximum in interspecies than in intraspecies. These COI sequences will allow the identification of the species through DNA barcoding technique. Here, we report for the first time the COI gene of H. momus, Savigny 1816 from the Indian coast. PMID:26122341

  8. The pharmaceutical exploration of cold water ascidians from the Netherlands : a possible source of new cytotoxic natural products

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koulman, A; Pruijn, LMC; Sandstra, TSA; Woerdenbag, HJ; Pras, N

    1999-01-01

    Six ascidian species from the Dutch North Sea coast were screened for cytotoxic activity, Freeze-dried biological material was extracted with solvents of different polarity followed by determination of the cytotoxicity. The most active extracts were further separated using different chromatographic

  9. The Simple Chordate Ciona intestinalis Has a Reduced Complement of Genes Associated with Fanconi Anemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Edward C.; Azzinaro, Paul A.; Vierra, David A.; Howlett, Niall G.; Irvine, Steven Q.

    2016-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a human genetic disease characterized by congenital defects, bone marrow failure, and increased cancer risk. FA is associated with mutation in one of 24 genes. The protein products of these genes function cooperatively in the FA pathway to orchestrate the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links. Few model organisms exist for the study of FA. Seeking a model organism with a simpler version of the FA pathway, we searched the genome of the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis for homologs of the human FA-associated proteins. BLAST searches, sequence alignments, hydropathy comparisons, maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis, and structural modeling were used to infer the likelihood of homology between C. intestinalis and human FA proteins. Our analysis indicates that C. intestinalis indeed has a simpler and potentially functional FA pathway. The C. intestinalis genome was searched for candidates for homology to 24 human FA and FA-associated proteins. Support was found for the existence of homologs for 13 of these 24 human genes in C. intestinalis. Members of each of the three commonly recognized FA gene functional groups were found. In group I, we identified homologs of FANCE, FANCL, FANCM, and UBE2T/FANCT. Both members of group II, FANCD2 and FANCI, have homologs in C. intestinalis. In group III, we found evidence for homologs of FANCJ, FANCO, FANCQ/ERCC4, FANCR/RAD51, and FANCS/BRCA1, as well as the FA-associated proteins ERCC1 and FAN1. Evidence was very weak for the existence of homologs in C. intestinalis for any other recognized FA genes. This work supports the notion that C. intestinalis, as a close relative of vertebrates, but having a much reduced complement of FA genes, offers a means of studying the function of certain FA proteins in a simpler pathway than that of vertebrate cells. PMID:27279728

  10. Dynamics of hemocyte subsets from ascidian Halocynthia aurantium in response to tissue damage: a comparative analysis of flow cytometry vs confocal microscopy data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AN Sukhachev

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The current study was aimed at investigating the dynamics of circulatory ascidian hemocyte subsets from Halocynthia aurantium in response to tunic damage. By using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, it was demonstrated that the relative amount of hemoblasts and hyaline amebocytes was increased 24 h after cutting ascidian tunic and subjacent muscle layer. By applying a broad panel of fluorescently labeled monoclonal antibodies against human adhesion molecules expressed by lymphoid and stem cells both assays allowed to detect two cross-reactive epitopes (CD54 and CD90 on the surface of ascidian hemocytes. Upon that, the expression of CD54-like epitope was found to be downregulated on ascidian cells after tissue damage, whereas binding to CD90-like epitope was upregulated in all examined cell subsets.

  11. Urochordate ascidians possess a single isoform of Aurora kinase that localizes to the midbody via TPX2 in eggs and cleavage stage embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celine Hebras

    Full Text Available Aurora kinases are key proteins found throughout the eukaryotes that control mitotic progression. Vertebrate Aurora-A and B kinases are thought to have evolved from a single Aurora-kinase isoform closest to that found in present day urochordates. In urochordate ascidians Aurora binds both TPX2 (a vertebrate AURKA partner and INCENP (a vertebrate AURKB partner and localizes to centrosomes and spindle microtubules as well as chromosomes and midbody during both meiosis and mitosis. Ascidian Aurora also displays this localization pattern during mitosis in echinoderms, strengthening the idea that non-vertebrate deuterostomes such as the urochordates and echinoderms possess a single form of Aurora kinase that has properties of vertebrate Aurora-kinase A and B. In the ascidian, TPX2 localizes to the centrosome and the spindle poles also as in vertebrates. However, we were surprised to find that TPX2 also localized strongly to the midbody in ascidian eggs and embryos. We thus examined more closely Aurora localization to the midbody by creating two separate point mutations of ascidian Aurora predicted to perturb binding to TPX2. Both forms of mutated Aurora behaved as predicted: neither localized to spindle poles where TPX2 is enriched. Interestingly, neither form of mutated Aurora localized to the midbody where TPX2 is also enriched, suggesting that ascidian Aurora midbody localization required TPX2 binding in ascidians. Functional analysis revealed that inhibition of Aurora kinase with a pharmacological inhibitor or with a dominant negative kinase dead form of Aurora caused cytokinesis failure and perturbed midbody formation during polar body extrusion. Our data support the view that vertebrate Aurora-A and B kinases evolved from a single non-vertebrate deuterostome ancestor. Moreover, since TPX2 localizes to the midbody in ascidian eggs and cleavage stage embryos it may be worthwhile re-assessing whether Aurora A kinase or TPX2 localize to the midbody

  12. Two New Tryptamine Derivatives, Leptoclinidamide and (--Leptoclinidamine B, from an Indonesian Ascidian Leptoclinides dubius

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    Michio Namikoshi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Two new tryptamine-derived alkaloids, named as leptoclinidamide (1 and (--leptoclinidamine B (2, were isolated from an Indonesian ascidian Leptoclinides dubius together with C2-α-D-mannosylpyranosyl-L-tryptophan (3. The structure of 1 was assigned on the basis of spectroscopic data for 1 and its N-acetyl derivative (4. Compound 1 was an amide of tryptamine with two β-alanine units. Although the planar structure of 2 is identical to that of the known compound (+-leptoclinidamine B (5, compound 2 was determined to be the enantiomer of 5 based on amino acid analysis using HPLC methods. Compounds 1 to 4 were evaluated for cytotoxicity against two human cancer cell lines, HCT-15 (colon and Jurkat (T-cell lymphoma cells, but none of the compounds showed activity.

  13. [Distribution and abundance of the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in Cuba].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Zanuy, Aida; Carballo, José Luis; García-Cagide, Alida; Naranjo, Santiago; Esquivel, Macario

    2007-03-01

    Permanently submerged mangrove roots (Rhizophora mangle) are the main habitat of the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata in Cuba. It was occasionally found on black coral (Antiphates caribeana) between 22 and 38 meters deep. This species exhibits a wide distribution in all the mangrove keys surrounding the Island of Cuba but does not occur in riparian or fringing mangroves. Populations of this species are abundant in Cuba: in 75% of the 58 localities sampled the species was present and in 57% more than 50% of the roots held at least one colony. The highest colony densities were found in the northern coast of Pinar del Rio province with values near one colony per lineal meter of mangrove root. We found the highest density (1.46 col/m) and greatest biomass at Jutías Key, with values between 25 and 660 g/m. The average of wet biomass in the studied mangroves was 73.63 g/m. PMID:18457133

  14. Distribution and invasiveness of a colonial ascidian, Didemnum psammathodes, along the southern Indian coastal water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Abdul Jaffar

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Ascidians are well known worldwide for their rapid invasions and also for the presence of potential biomedical molecules. Members of the family Didemnidae are widely distributed in tropical waters and they are reported to be among the families possessing rich bioactive compounds. Didemnum psammathodes has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical waters. The growing evidence of multifarious potential and ever increasing invasion of this species accentuated the need for additional research into its diversity and distribution for sustainable utilization and conservation. The present study was intended to focus on distribution and invasiveness of colonial ascidian, D. psammathodes, along the southern Indian peninsular waters. The present data are based on our own observations made during 2012–2014 period and also on the published and unpublished records of the last 20 years. Out of 45 stations surveyed, D. psammathodes was encountered at a maximum of 41 stations and was found to be more abundant in Hare Island (n = 42, North Break Water (n = 38 and Vizhinjam bay (n = 32. This species was absent at four different stations. Catch per unit effort was higher (19.6 in Hare Island followed by NBW (16.0 and Vizhinjam bay (6.8. The highest number of colonies (136 was observed in calcareous stones, followed by embedded rocks (54 and molluscan shells (33. Hydrographical parameters showed no significant differences between the stations (p < 0.005. It is concluded that D. psammathodes has the potential to invade most of the stations and its distribution was not influenced by hydrographical parameters rather than substrates.

  15. Evaluation of antibacterial activity of crude extracts of ascidian Didemnum psammathodes Sluiter, 1895 against isolated human and fish pathogens

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    N Sri Kumaran; S Bragadeeswaran; VK Meenakshi

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the antimicrobial activities of ascidian Didemnum psammathodes (D. psammathodes) against human and fish pathogenic organisms. Methods: In this study antimicrobial activities were carried out by standard disc diffusion method. In this experiment 40 human, fish bacterial and fungal pathogens were isolated and assayed against 7 different solvents such as methanol, acetone, ethanol, n-butanol, chloroform, ethyl acetate and dichloromethane. Each solvent were assayed at different concentrations of 25, 50, 75, 100 mg/mL. Results: From this experiment solvent having higher concentrations showed high inhibition activity and the fungi are showed more resistant than the bacterial strains used. Conclusions: These results indicate that the ascidian D. psammathodes is found to have remarkable antimicrobial activities against isolated microbes. Further studies will fulfill for purification and structural elucidation of antimicrobial drugs.

  16. Microenvironmental Ecology of the Chlorophyll b-containing Symbiotic Cyanobacterium Prochloron in the Didemnid Ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eKühl

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of the cyanobacterium Prochloron was the first finding of a bacterial oxyphototroph with chlorophyll (Chl b, in addition to Chl a. It was first described as Prochloron didemni but a number of clades have since been described. Prochloron is a conspicuously large (7-25 µm unicellular cyanobacterium living in a symbiotic relationship, primarily with (sub- tropical didemnid ascidians; it has resisted numerous cultivation attempts and appears truly obligatory symbiotic. Recently, a Prochloron draft genome was published, revealing no lack of metabolic genes that could explain the apparent inability to reproduce and sustain photosynthesis in a free-living stage. Possibly, the unsuccessful cultivation is partly due to a lack of knowledge about the microenvironmental conditions and ecophysiology of Prochloron in its natural habitat. We used microsensors, variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging and imaging of O2 and pH to obtain a detailed insight to the microenvironmental ecology and photobiology of Prochloron in hospite in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella. The microenvironment within ascidians is characterized by steep gradients of light and chemical parameters that change rapidly with varying irradiances. The interior zone of the ascidians harboring Prochloron thus became anoxic and acidic within a few min of darkness, while the same zone exhibited O2 super-saturation and strongly alkaline pH after a few min of illumination. Photosynthesis showed lack of photoinhibition even at high irradiances equivalent to full sunlight, and photosynthesis recovered rapidly after periods of anoxia. We discuss these new insights on the ecological niche of Prochloron and possible interactions with its host and other microbes in light of its recently published genome and a recent study of the overall microbial diversity and metagenome of L. patella.

  17. Pressure tolerance of tadpole larvae of the Atlantic ascidian Polyandrocarpa zorritensis: potential for deep-sea invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Yukio Gomes Sumida

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract How deep-sea fauna evolved is a question still being investigated. One of the most accepted theories is that shallow water organisms migrated to deeper waters and gave origin to the deep-sea communities. However, many organisms are prevented from performing long vertical migrations by the increasing hydrostatic pressure. Tadpole larvae of the ascidian Polyandrocarpa zorritensis were submitted to pressure treatments of 1, 50, 100 and 200 atm. Survival, settlement and metamorphosis rates were verified after 24 hour incubation in a pressure chamber. The majority of larvae settled (84%, 62%, 83% and 77% respectively and successfully underwent metamorphosis (93%, 59%, 85% and 60% in all pressure treatments. Larval mortality was of less than 15% in all treatments, except for the 50 atm treatment, which presented 38% mortality. Nearly 100% of the surviving larvae underwent metamorphosis in the treatments of 1, 50 and 100 atm. However, 1/3 of the individuals were still in their larval stages in the 200 atm treatment and presented delayed development. These data suggest that ascidian larvae can withstand the hydrostatic pressure levels found in the deep-sea. It is therefore feasible that the current abyssal ascidian species may have colonized the deep-sea through vertical migration and in only a few generations.

  18. Studies on the seasonal variations in the proximate composition of ascidians from the Palk Bay,Southeast coast of India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ananthan; G; Karthikeyan; MM; Selva; Prabhu; A; Raghunathan; C

    2012-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the seasonal fluctuations of the proximate composition of the ascidians muscle.Methods:The moisture content was estimated by drying 1 g of fresh tissue at a constant temperature at 105(?)for 24 h.The loss of weight was taken as moisture content.The total protein was estimated using the Biuret method.The total carbohydrate in dried sample was estimated spectrophotometrically following the phenol-sulphuric acid method.The lipid in the dried sample tissue was gravimetrically estimated following the chloroform-methanol mixture method.Ash content was determined gravimetrically by incinerating 1 g dried sample in muffle furnace at about 550℃for 6 h and results are expressed in percentage.Results:It was found very difficult to compare the monthly variations,as all the ten species,exhibited wide fluctuations in their proximate compositions.For the sake of convenience,average seasonal values were calculated by summing the monthly values.Conclusions:The proximate composition of the 10 commonly available ascidians showed high nutritive value and hence these groups especially solitary ascidians can be recommended for human consumption in terms of pickles,soup,curry and others after ensuring the safety of consumers.

  19. Studies on the seasonal variations in the proximate composition of ascidians from the Palk Bay, Southeast coast of India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ananthan G; Karthikeyan MM; Selva Prabhu A; Raghunathan C

    2012-01-01

    To investigate the seasonal fluctuations of the proximate composition of the ascidians muscle. Methods: The moisture content was estimated by drying 1 g of fresh tissue at a constant temperature at 105 ℃ for 24 h.The loss of weight was taken as moisture content. The total protein was estimated using the Biuret method. The total carbohydrate in dried sample was estimated spectrophotometrically following the phenol- sulphuric acid method. The lipid in the dried sample tissue was gravimetrically estimated following the chloroform-methanol mixture method. Ash content was determined gravimetrically by incinerating 1 g dried sample in muffle furnace at about 550 ℃ for 6 h and results are expressed in percentage. Results: It was found very difficult to compare the monthly variations, as all the ten species, exhibited wide fluctuations in their proximate compositions. For the sake of convenience, average seasonal values were calculated by summing the monthly values. Conclusions: The proximate composition of the 10 commonly available ascidians showed high nutritive value and hence these groups especially solitary ascidians can be recommended for human consumption in terms of pickles, soup, curry and others after ensuring the safety of consumers.

  20. Non indigenous ascidians in port and natural environments in a tropical Brazilian bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia O. Marins

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite limited natural dispersal, some species of ascidians can be transported vast distances via oceanic petroleum platforms, ship hulls and ballast water and therefore may be good indicators of bioinvasion. Usually non indigenous species (NIS are abundant in harbors. This is caused in part because of the higher propagule delivery rate in these areas. An alternative explanation of why invasion is enhanced in harbor and marinas is that environmental degradation commonly found in these habitats favors the establishment of NIS. Most surveys for introduced species were not comprehensive and targeted mainly ports and marinas. Angra dos Reis is an excellent system that provides an opportunity to compare the potential distribution of introduced and native species of Ascidiacea between port and natural environments. Here, we compared the colonization of experimental subtidal plates placed in harbors and marinas with the colonization of plates placed in nearby natural areas. With 27 taxa (15 identified to species, species richness was greater in port environments (25 versus 8. Six taxa were common to both environments while 19 taxa were exclusively found in ports. Among the identified species in ports, three were introduced, five were cryptogenic and only one was native. Only three species were found exclusively in the natural sites and all were cryptogenic. The presence of introduced species only in the port areas of Angra dos Reis reinforces the need for continued, periodic monitoring in the region for early detection of new, potentially invasive, species as well as for better understanding of abnormal population growth of the already known species. Management to reduce the transfer of exotics to natural habitats must be implemented.

  1. Biology of the invasive ascidian Ascidiella aspersa in its native habitat: Reproductive patterns and parasite load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Sharon A.; Darmody, Grainne; O'Dwyer, Katie; Gallagher, Mary Catherine; Nolan, Sinead; McAllen, Rob; Culloty, Sarah C.

    2016-11-01

    The European sea squirt Ascidiella aspersa is a solitary tunicate native to the northeastern Atlantic, commonly found in shallow and sheltered marine ecosystems where it is capable of forming large clumps and outcompeting other invertebrate fauna at settlement. To date, there have been relatively few studies looking at the reproductive biology and health status of this invasive species. Between 2006 and 2010 sampling of a native population took place to investigate gametogenesis and reproductive cycle and to determine the impact of settlement depth on reproduction. In addition, parasite diversity and impact was assessed. A staging system to assess reproductive development was determined. The study highlighted that from year to year the tunicate could change its reproductive strategy from single sex to hermaphrodite, with spawning possible throughout the year. Depth did not impact on sex determination, however, gonad maturation and spawning occurred earlier in individuals in deeper waters compared to shallow depth and it also occurred later in A. aspersa at sites further away from the open sea. Four significant parasite groups including eugregarines, ciliates, trematodes and turbellarians were detected and prevalence of parasite infections increased in A. aspersa at sites with a reduced water flow rate. This study demonstrates the high biotic potential of this ascidian bioinvader to have a negative impact on native fauna in an introduced ecosystem, due to its highly efficient reproductive and resource allocation strategies. Artificial structures such as mooring lines can harbour large aggregations of A. aspersa, however, these manmade habitats may facilitate the colonisation and establishment of this invasive species in the benthos. Additionally, the parasite communities that A. aspersa harbour may also exacerbate its negative impact, both ecologically and economically, in an introduced area by possibly leading to the emergence of new disease in native species i

  2. Expression of Ciona intestinalis variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins during development of the gastrointestinal tract and their role in host-microbe interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assunta Liberti

    Full Text Available Variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins (VCBPs are secreted, immune-type molecules that have been described in both amphioxus, a cephalochordate, and sea squirt, Ciona intestinalis, a urochordate. In adult Ciona, VCBP-A, -B and -C are expressed in hemocytes and the cells of the gastrointestinal tract. VCBP-C binds bacteria in the stomach lumen and functions as an opsonin in vitro. In the present paper the expression of VCBPs has been characterized during development using in situ hybridization, immunohistochemical staining and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR technologies. The expression of VCBP-A and -C is detected first in discrete areas of larva endoderm and becomes progressively localized during differentiation in the stomach and intestine, marking the development of gut tracts. In "small adults" (1-2 cm juveniles expression of VCBP-C persists and VCBP-A gradually diminishes, ultimately replaced by expression of VCBP-B. The expression of VCBP-A and -C in stage 7-8 juveniles, at which point animals have already started feeding, is influenced significantly by challenge with either Gram-positive or -negative bacteria. A potential role for VCBPs in gut-microbiota interactions and homeostasis is indicated.

  3. Verruculides A and B, two new protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibitors from an Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Nakayama, Wataru; Takahashi, Ohgi; Kirikoshi, Ryota; Izumikawa, Yuta; Iwasaki, Kohei; Toraiwa, Kengo; Ukai, Kazuyo; Rotinsulu, Henki; Wewengkang, Defny S; Sumilat, Deiske A; Mangindaan, Remy E P; Namikoshi, Michio

    2015-08-15

    Two new merosesquiterpenes, verruculides A (1) and B (2), were isolated from a culture broth of the Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum TPU1311, together with three known congeners, chrodrimanins A (3), B (4), and H (5). The structures of 1 and 2 were assigned on the basis of their spectroscopic data (1D and 2D NMR, HRMS, UV, CD, and IR). Compound 2 had a linear sesquiterpene moiety and was considered to be the derivative of the biosynthetic precursor for 1 and 3-5. Compounds 1, 3, and 5 inhibited the activity of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) with IC50 values of 8.4, 8.5, and 14.9 μM, respectively. Compound 2 showed 40% inhibition at 23.1 μM, while 4 was not active at 20.7 μM.

  4. Identification of Eusynstyelamide B as a Potent Cell Cycle Inhibitor Following the Generation and Screening of an Ascidian-Derived Extract Library Using a Real Time Cell Analyzer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle S. Liberio

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Ascidians are marine invertebrates that have been a source of numerous cytotoxic compounds. Of the first six marine-derived drugs that made anticancer clinical trials, three originated from ascidian specimens. In order to identify new anti-neoplastic compounds, an ascidian extract library (143 samples was generated and screened in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells using a real-time cell analyzer (RTCA. This resulted in 143 time-dependent cell response profiles (TCRP, which are read-outs of changes to the growth rate, morphology, and adhesive characteristics of the cell culture. Twenty-one extracts affected the TCRP of MDA-MB-231 cells and were further investigated regarding toxicity and specificity, as well as their effects on cell morphology and cell cycle. The results of these studies were used to prioritize extracts for bioassay-guided fractionation, which led to the isolation of the previously identified marine natural product, eusynstyelamide B (1. This bis-indole alkaloid was shown to display an IC50 of 5 µM in MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, 1 caused a strong cell cycle arrest in G2/M and induced apoptosis after 72 h treatment, making this molecule an attractive candidate for further mechanism of action studies.

  5. A forkhead gene related to HNF-3beta is required for gastrulation and axis formation in the ascidian embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, C L; Jeffery, W R

    1997-09-01

    We have isolated a member of the HNF-3/forkhead gene family in ascidians as a means to determine the role of winged-helix genes in chordate development. The MocuFH1 gene, isolated from a Molgula oculata cDNA library, exhibits a forkhead DNA-binding domain most similar to zebrafish axial and rodent HNF-3beta. MocuFH1 is a single copy gene but there is at least one other related forkhead gene in the M. oculata genome. The MocuFH1 gene is expressed in the presumptive endoderm, mesenchyme and notochord cells beginning during the late cleavage stages. During gastrulation, MocuFH1 expression occurs in the prospective endoderm cells, which invaginate at the vegetal pole, and in the presumptive notochord and mesenchyme cells, which involute over the anterior and lateral lips of the blastopore, respectively. However, this gene is not expressed in the presumptive muscle cells, which involute over the posterior lip of the blastopore. MocuFH1 expression continues in the same cell lineages during neurulation and axis formation, however, during the tailbud stage, MocuFH1 is also expressed in ventral cells of the brain and spinal cord. The functional role of the MocuFH1 gene was studied using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), which transiently reduce MocuFH1 transcript levels during gastrulation. Embryos treated with antisense ODNs cleave normally and initiate gastrulation. However, gastrulation is incomplete, some of the endoderm and notochord cells do not enter the embryo and undergo subsequent movements, and axis formation is abnormal. In contrast, the prospective muscle cells, which do not express MocuFH1, undergo involution and later express muscle actin and acetylcholinesterase, markers of muscle cell differentiation. The results suggest that MocuFH1 is required for morphogenetic movements of the endoderm and notochord precursor cells during gastrulation and axis formation. The effects of inhibiting MocuFH1 expression on embryonic axis formation in ascidians are

  6. Msxb is a core component of the genetic circuitry specifying the dorsal and ventral neurogenic midlines in the ascidian embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roure, Agnès; Darras, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    The tail ascidian larval peripheral nervous system is made up of epidermal sensory neurons distributed more or less regularly in ventral and dorsal midlines. Their formation occurs in two-steps: the ventral and dorsal midlines are induced as neurogenic territories by Fgf9/16/20 and Admp respectively. The Delta2/Notch interaction then controls the number of neurons that form. The genetic machinery acting between the inductive processes taking place before gastrulation and neuron specification at tailbud stages are largely unknown. The analysis of seven transcription factors expressed in the forming midlines revealed an unexpected complexity and dynamic of gene expression. Their systematic overexpression confirmed that these genes do not interact following a linear cascade of activation. However, the integration of our data revealed the distinct key roles of the two upstream factors Msxb and Nkx-C that are the earliest expressed genes and the only ones able to induce neurogenic midline and ESN formation. Our data suggest that Msxb would be the primary midline gene integrating inputs from the ventral and dorsal inducers and launching a pan-midline transcriptional program. Nkx-C would be involved in tail tip specification, in maintenance of the pan-midline network and in a posterior to anterior wave controlling differentiation. PMID:26592100

  7. Cytotoxicity of actinomycetes associated with the ascidian Eudistoma vannamei (Millar, 1977, endemic of northeastern coast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula C Jimenez

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies demonstrated that the crude extract of the ascidian Eudistoma vannamei, endemic from northeasttern Brazil, strongly hinders growth of tumor cells in vitro by inducing apoptosis due to tryptophan derivatives, which are commonly found in bacteria. This study presents a bioactivity-guided screening among actinomycetes, associated with E. vannamei, aiming at recognizing active principles with biological relevance. Twenty strains of actinomycetes, designated as EVA 0101 through 0120, were isolated from colonies of E. vannamei among which 11 were selected for cytotoxicity evaluation. The extracts from EVA 0102, 0103, 0106, 0109 and 0113 were the most active, and were further studied for IC50 determination and chemical analysis by ¹H NMR. IC50 values obtained ranged from 3.62 µg mL-1 (for EVA 0109 in leukemia cells to 84.65 µg/mL (for EVA 0106 in melanoma cells. All active extracts exhibited the same TLC and spectroscopic profiles, suggesting the presence of quinones and other related secondary metabolites. Furthermore, these strains were identified and compared based on their respective 16S rRNA sequences. The results herein identified the five strains as Micromonospora spp. while phylogenetic analysis suggests that they are possibly two different Micromonospora species producing the cytotoxic compounds.

  8. Two mannose-binding lectin homologues and an MBL-associated serine protease are expressed in the gut epithelia of the urochordate species Ciona intestinalis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skjødt, Mikkel-Ole; Palarasah, Yaseelan; Rasmussen, Karina Juhl;

    2010-01-01

    The lectin complement pathway has important functions in vertebrate host defence and accumulating evidence of primordial complement components trace its emergence to invertebrate phyla. We introduce two putative mannose-binding lectin homologues (CioMBLs) from the urochordate species Ciona intest...... protease in the epithelia cells lining the stomach and intestine. In conclusion we present two urochordate MBLs and identify an associated serine protease, which support the concept of an evolutionary ancient origin of the lectin complement pathway....

  9. Photoresponse and Learning Behavior of Ascidian Larvae, a Primitive Chordate, to Repeated Stimuli of Step-Up and Step-Down of Light

    OpenAIRE

    Kawakami, I.; Shiraishi, S; Tsuda, M

    2002-01-01

    Ascidians are lower chordates and their simple tadpole-like larvae share a basic body plan with vertebrates. Newly hatched larvae show no response to a stimulus of light. 4 h after hatching, the larvae were induced to swim upon a step-down of light and stop swimming upon a step-up of light. At weaker intensity of light, the larvae show the same response to a stimulus after presentation of repeated stimuli. When intensity of actinic light was increased, the larvae show sensitization and habitu...

  10. NK4 antagonizes Tbx1/10 to promote cardiac versus pharyngeal muscle fate in the ascidian second heart field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Wang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The heart and head muscles share common developmental origins and genetic underpinnings in vertebrates, including humans. Parts of the heart and cranio-facial musculature derive from common mesodermal progenitors that express NKX2-5, ISL1, and TBX1. This ontogenetic kinship is dramatically reflected in the DiGeorge/Cardio-Velo-Facial syndrome (DGS/CVFS, where mutations of TBX1 cause malformations in the pharyngeal apparatus and cardiac outflow tract. Cardiac progenitors of the first heart field (FHF do not require TBX1 and segregate precociously from common progenitors of the second heart field (SHF and pharyngeal muscles. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern heart versus pharyngeal muscle specification within this lineage remain elusive. Here, we harness the simplicity of the ascidian larva to show that, following asymmetric cell division of common progenitors, NK4/NKX2-5 promotes GATAa/GATA4/5/6 expression and cardiac specification in the second heart precursors by antagonizing Tbx1/10-mediated inhibition of GATAa and activation of Collier/Olf/EBF (COE, the determinant of atrial siphon muscle (ASM specification. Our results uncover essential regulatory connections between the conserved cardio-pharyngeal factor Tbx1/10 and muscle determinant COE, as well as a mutual antagonism between NK4 and Tbx1/10 activities upstream of GATAa and COE. The latter cross-antagonism underlies a fundamental heart versus pharyngeal muscle fate choice that occurs in a conserved lineage of cardio-pharyngeal progenitors. We propose that this basic ontogenetic motif underlies cardiac and pharyngeal muscle development and evolution in chordates.

  11. Stochasticity in space, persistence in time: genetic heterogeneity in harbour populations of the introduced ascidian Styela plicata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Mari-Carmen; Lorente, Beatriz; López-Legentil, Susanna; Palacín, Creu; Turon, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Spatio-temporal changes in genetic structure among populations provide crucial information on the dynamics of secondary spread for introduced marine species. However, temporal components have rarely been taken into consideration when studying the population genetics of non-indigenous species. This study analysed the genetic structure of Styela plicata, a solitary ascidian introduced in harbours and marinas of tropical and temperate waters, across spatial and temporal scales. A fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) was sequenced from 395 individuals collected at 9 harbours along the NW Mediterranean coast and adjacent Atlantic waters (> 1,200 km range) at two time points 5 years apart (2009 and 2014). The levels of gene diversity were relatively low for all 9 locations in both years. Analyses of genetic differentiation and distribution of molecular variance revealed strong genetic structure, with significant differences among many populations, but no significant differences among years. A weak and marginally significant correlation between geographic distance and gene differentiation was found. Our results revealed spatial structure and temporal genetic homogeneity in S. plicata, suggesting a limited role of recurrent, vessel-mediated transport of organisms among small to medium-size harbours. Our study area is representative of many highly urbanized coasts with dense harbours. In these environments, the episodic chance arrival of colonisers appears to determine the genetic structure of harbour populations and the genetic composition of these early colonising individuals persists in the respective harbours, at least over moderate time frames (five years) that encompass ca. 20 generations of S. plicata. PMID:27366653

  12. Rapid detection assay for the invasive vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis, using loop-mediated isothermal amplification combined with lateral flow dipstick

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Siah

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Invasive tunicate species threaten the shellfish aquaculture industry not only in Prince Edward Island (PEI but also nationally andworldwide. Rapid screening tools for water samples are crucial for the efficient management of aquatic invasive species. This project aims todevelop a rapid detection assay capable of identifying larvae of the vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis, in seawater. In this study, a loopmediatedisothermal amplification (LAMP method has been developed to detect the 18S ribosomal DNA extracted from C. intestinalis. Thisassay was performed in three steps: 1 a DNA extraction step using a direct lysis buffer, 2 an amplification step using a heating block, and 3a detection step using a lateral flow dipstick. The sensitivity of the assay was estimated at one larva spiked in 100 L of seawater and theturnaround time of the assay was assessed at 80 min including the lysis step. Given the advantages of this assay such as rapid amplification,ease of use and detection, it could be implemented for monitoring bays and estuaries. In the future, rapid diagnostic assays will constitute anew generation of diagnostic platforms enabling the early detection of non-indigenous invasive species.

  13. CI431, an Aqueous Compound from Ciona intestinalis L., Induces Apoptosis through a Mitochondria-Mediated Pathway in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linyou Cheng

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present studies, a novel compound with potent anti-tumor activity from Ciona intestinalis L. was purified by acetone fractionation, ultrafiltration, gel chromatography and High Performance Liquid Chromatography. The molecular weight of the highly purified compound, designated CI431, was 431Da as determined by HPLC-MS analysis. CI431 exhibited significant cytotoxicity to several cancer cell types. However, only a slight inhibitory effect was found when treating the benign human liver cell line BEL-7702 with the compound. To explore its mechanism against hepatocellular carcinoma, BEL-7402 cells were treated with CI431 in vitro. We found that CI431 induced apoptotic death in BEL-7402 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Cell cycle analysis demonstrated that CI431 caused cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, and a sub-G1 peak appeared after 24 h. The mitochondrial-mediated pathway was implicated in this CI431-induced apoptosis as evidenced by the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential. The results suggest that the CI431 induces apoptosis in BEL-7402 human hepatoma cells by intrinsic mitochondrial pathway.

  14. CS5931, a Novel Polypeptide in Ciona savignyi, Represses Angiogenesis via Inhibiting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF and Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ge Liu

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available CS5931 is a novel polypeptide from Ciona savignyi with anticancer activities. Previous study in our laboratory has shown that CS5931 can induce cell death via mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. In the present study, we found that the polypeptide could inhibit angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. CS5931 inhibited the proliferation, migration and formation of capillary-like structures of HUVECs (Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, CS5931 repressed spontaneous angiogenesis of the zebrafish vessels. Further studies showed that CS5931 also blocked vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF production but without any effect on its mRNA expression. Moreover, CS5931 reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9 both on protein and mRNA levels in HUVEC cells. We demonstrated that CS5931 possessed strong anti-angiogenic activity both in vitro and in vivo, possible via VEGF and MMPs. This study indicates that CS5931 has the potential to be developed as a novel therapeutic agent as an inhibitor of angiogenesis for the treatment of cancer.

  15. Suppression of cell-spreading and phagocytic activity on nano-pillared surface: in vitro experiment using hemocytes of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Ballarin

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Nano-scale nipple array on the body surface has been described from various invertebrates including endoparasitic and mesoparasitic copepods, but the functions of the nipple array is not well understood. Using the hydrophilized nanopillar sheets made of polystyrene as a mimetic material of the nipple arrays on the parasites’ body surface, we assayed the cell spreading and phagocytosis of the hemocytes of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. On the pillared surface, the number of spreading amebocytes and the number of phagocytizing hemocytes per unit area were always smaller than those on the flat surface (Mann-Whitney test, p < 0.05 - 0.001, probably because the effective area for the cell attachment on the pillared surface is much smaller than the area on the flat sheet. The present results supports the idea that the nipple array on the parasites' body surface reduces the innate immune reaction from the host hemocytes.

  16. A Boolean Function for Neural Induction Reveals a Critical Role of Direct Intercellular Interactions in Patterning the Ectoderm of the Ascidian Embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Naoyuki; Waki, Kana; Mochizuki, Atsushi; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-12-01

    A complex system of multiple signaling molecules often produce differential gene expression patterns in animal embryos. In the ascidian embryo, four signaling ligands, Ephrin-A.d (Efna.d), Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r, coordinately induce Otx expression in the neural lineage at the 32-cell stage. However, it has not been determined whether differential inputs of all of these signaling pathways are really necessary. It is possible that differential activation of one of these signaling pathways is sufficient and the remaining signaling pathways are activated in all cells at similar levels. To address this question, we developed a parameter-free method for determining a Boolean function for Otx expression in the present study. We treated activities of signaling pathways as Boolean values, and we also took all possible patterns of signaling gradients into consideration. We successfully determined a Boolean function that explains Otx expression in the animal hemisphere of wild-type and morphant embryos at the 32-cell stage. This Boolean function was not inconsistent with three sensing patterns, which represented whether or not individual cells received sufficient amounts of the signaling molecules. These sensing patterns all indicated that differential expression of Otx in the neural lineage is primarily determined by Efna.d, but not by differential inputs of Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r signaling. To confirm this hypothesis experimentally, we simultaneously knocked-down Admp, Gdf1/3-r, and Fgf9/16/20, and treated this triple morphant with recombinant bFGF and BMP4 proteins, which mimic Fgf9/16/20 and Admp/Gdf1/3-r activity, respectively. Although no differential inputs of Admp, Gdf1/3-r and Fgf9/16/20 signaling were expected under this experimental condition, Otx was expressed specifically in the neural lineage. Thus, direct cell-cell interactions through Efna.d play a critical role in patterning the ectoderm of the early ascidian embryo.

  17. Natural products from the ascidian Botrylloides giganteum, from the sponges Verongula gigantea, Ircinia felix, Cliona delitrix and from the nudibranch Tambja eliora, from the Brazilian coastline

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two new marine metabolites, 3Z, 6Z, 9Z-dodecatrien-1-ol (1) from the ascidian Botrylloides giganteum and 4H-pyran-2ol acetate from the sponge Ircinia felix (4) are herein reported. The known bromotyrosine compounds, 2-(3,5-dibromo-4-methoxyphenyl)-N,N,Ndimethylethanammonium (2) and 2,6-dibromo-4-(2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl)phenol (3), have been isolated from the sponge Verongula gigantea. Serotonin (5) is reported for the first time from the sponge Cliona delitrix, and tambjamines A (15) and D (16) isolated as their respective salts from the nudibranch Tambja eliora. Only tambjamine D presented cytotoxicity against CEM (IC5)0 12.2 μg/mL) and HL60 (IC50 13.2 μg/mL) human leukemia cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cells (IC50 13.2 μg/mL), colon HCT-8 cancer cells (IC50 10.1 μg/mL) and murine melanoma B16 cancer cells (IC50 6.7 μg/mL). (author)

  18. First in situ observations of the deep-sea carnivorous ascidian Dicopia antirrhinum Monniot C., 1972 in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mecho, A.; Aguzzi, J.; Company, J. B.; Canals, M.; Lastras, G.; Turon, X.

    2014-01-01

    Dicopia antirrhinum C. Monniot, 1972 is a rare species of deep-sea ascidian belonging to the Family Octacnemidae, reported at depths of 1000-2500 m in European Atlantic waters. Adult individuals have never been reported before in the Mediterranean Sea, where only seven juvenile specimens were found in 1975 at 500 m water depth in the Central basin (Malta). The affinities of these specimens with D. antirrhinum were noted, but lack of some typical characters of the species in juveniles prevented a definite taxonomical identification. No other member of the Octacnemidae has ever been found in the Mediterranean. In this study we describe the sampling of an adult specimen of D. antirrhinum at around 1100 m water depth on the flank of the La Fonera (Palamós) canyon, Northwestern Mediterranean, confirming their presence in the Mediterranean Sea. We also observed 5 individuals of this species on their natural habitat with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Our results highlight the potential occurrence of Octacnemidae, the presence of which has been largely overlooked, in several deep-sea canyon areas within the Western Mediterranean basin. These observations are important because they indicate the need for increased sampling effort with new technologies, such as ROVs, in ecologically relevant habitats such as canyons, in order to obtain a more accurate picture of deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

  19. Conservation of Notochord Gene Expression Across Chordates: Insights From the Leprecan Gene Family

    OpenAIRE

    Capellini, Terence D.; Dunn, Matthew P.; Yale J Passamaneck; Selleri, Licia; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2008-01-01

    The notochord is a defining character of the chordates, and the T-box transcription factor Brachyury has been shown to be required for notochord development in all chordates examined. In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, at least 44 notochord genes have been identified as bona fide transcriptional targets of Brachyury. We examined the embryonic expression of a subset of murine orthologs of Ciona Brachyury target genes in the notochord to assess its conservation throughout chordate evolution. W...

  20. The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. A: current distribution, basic biology and potential threat to marine communities of the northeast and west coasts of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullard, S.G.; Lambert, G.; Carman, M.R.; Byrnes, J.; Whitlatch, R.B.; Ruiz, G.; Miller, R.J.; Harris, L.; Valentine, P.C.; Collie, J.S.; Pederson, J.; McNaught, D.C.; Cohen, A.N.; Asch, R.G.; Dijkstra, J.; Heinonen, K.

    2007-01-01

    Didemnum sp. A is a colonial ascidian with rapidly expanding populations on the east and west coasts of North America. The origin of Didemum sp. A is unknown. Populations were first observed on the northeast coast of the U.S. in the late 1980s and on the west coast during the 1990s. It is currently undergoing a massive population explosion and is now a dominant member of many subtidal communities on both coasts. To determine Didemnum sp. A's current distribution, we conducted surveys from Maine to Virginia on the east coast and from British Columbia to southern California on the west coast of the U.S. between 1998 and 2005. In nearshore locations Didemnum sp. A currently ranges from Eastport, Maine to Shinnecock Bay, New York on the east coast. On the west coast it has been recorded from Humboldt Bay to Port San Luis in California, several sites in Puget Sound, Washington, including a heavily fouled mussel culture facility, and several sites in southwestern British Columbia on and adjacent to oyster and mussel farms. The species also occurs at deeper subtidal sites (up to 81 m) off New England, including Georges, Stellwagen and Tillies Banks. On Georges Bank numerous sites within a 230 km2 area are 50–90% covered by Didemnum sp. A; large colonies cement the pebble gravel into nearly solid mats that may smother infaunal organisms. These observations suggest that Didemnum sp. A has the potential to alter marine communities and affect economically important activities such as fishing and aquaculture.

  1. The occurrence of the colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. on Georges Bank gravel habitat: ecological observations and potential effects on groundfish and scallop fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, P.C.; Collie, J.S.; Reid, R.N.; Asch, R.G.; Guida, V.G.; Blackwood, D.S.

    2007-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. is present on the Georges Bank fishing grounds in a gravel habitat where the benthic invertebrate fauna has been monitored annually since 1994. The species was not noted before 2002 when large colonies were first observed; and by 2003 and 2004 it covered large areas of the seabed at some locations. The latest survey in 2005 documented the tunicate's presence in two gravel areas that total more than 67 nm2 (230 km2). The affected area is located on the Northern Edge of the bank in United States waters near the U.S./Canada boundary ( Fig. 1). This is the first documented offshore occurrence of a species that has colonized eastern U.S. coastal waters from New York to Maine during the past 15–20 years ( U.S. Geological Survey, 2006). Video imagery shows colonies coalescing to form large mats that cover more than 50% of the seabed along some video/photo transects. The affected area is an immobile pebble and cobble pavement that lies at water depths of 40 to 65 m where strong semidiurnal tidal currents reach speeds of 1 to 2 kt (50–100 cm/s). The water column is mixed year round, ensuring a constant supply of nutrients to the seabed. Annual temperatures range from 4 to 15 °C ( Mountain and Holzwarth, 1989). The gravel areas are bounded by sand ridges whose mobile surfaces are moved daily by the strong tidal currents. Studies commenced here in 1994 to characterize the gravel habitat and to document the effects of fishing disturbance on it ( Collie et al., 2005).

  2. Biomixing generated by benthic filterfeeders: A diffusion model for near-bottom phytoplankton depletion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scheel Larsen, Poul; Riisgård, H.U.

    1997-01-01

    polychaete Nereis diversicolor and the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, respectively. The model is based on sinks located at inhalant openings and Fick's law with an effective diffusivity that decreases with distance above the bottom due to the biomixing generated by exhalant and inhalant feeding currents. For N...

  3. Endozoicomonas Are Specific, Facultative Symbionts of Sea Squirts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper U.; Funch, Peter; Jensen, Jeppe; Obst, Matthias; López-Legentil, Susanna; Schramm, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are marine filter feeders and harbor diverse microbiota that can exhibit a high degree of host-specificity. Pharyngeal samples of Scandinavian and Mediterranean ascidians were screened for consistently associated bacteria by culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Representatives of the Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Hahellaceae) clade were detected in the ascidian species Ascidiella aspersa, Ascidiella scabra, Botryllus schlosseri, Ciona intestinalis, Styela clava, and multiple Ascidia/Ascidiella spp. In total, Endozoicomonas was detected in more than half of all specimens screened, and in 25–100% of the specimens for each species. The retrieved Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA gene sequences formed an ascidian-specific subclade, whose members were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as extracellular microcolonies in the pharynx. Two strains of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were isolated in pure culture and characterized. Both strains are chemoorganoheterotrophs and grow on mucin (a mucus glycoprotein). The strains tested negative for cytotoxic or antibacterial activity. Based on these observations, we propose ascidian-associated Endozoicomonas to be commensals, living off the mucus continuously secreted into the pharynx. Members of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were also detected in seawater from the Scandinavian sampling site, which suggests acquisition of the symbionts by horizontal transmission. The combined results indicate a host-specific, yet facultative symbiosis between ascidians and Endozoicomonas. PMID:27462299

  4. Tubular Heart Pumping Mechanisms in Ciona Intestinalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battista, Nicholas; Miller, Laura

    2015-11-01

    In vertebrate embryogenesis, the first organ to form is the heart, beginning as a primitive heart tube. However, many invertebrates have tubular hearts from infancy through adulthood. Heart tubes have been described as peristaltic and impedance pumps. Impedance pumping assumes a single actuation point of contraction, while traditional peristalsis assumes a traveling wave of actuation. In addition to differences in flow, this inherently implies differences in the conduction system. It is possible to transition from pumping mechanism to the other with a change in the diffusivity of the action potential. In this work we consider the coupling between the fluid dynamics and electrophysiology of both mechanisms, within a basal chordate, the tunicate. Using CFD with a neuro-mechanical model of tubular pumping, we discuss implications of the both mechanisms. Furthermore, we discuss the implications of the pumping mechanism on evolution and development.

  5. Isolation and biological activities of secondary metabolites from the sponges monanchora aff. arbuscula, aplysina sp. petromica ciocalyptoides and topsentia ophiraphidies, from the ascidian didemnum ligulum and from the octocoral carijoa riisei; Isolamento e atividades biologicas de produtos naturais das esponjas monanchora arbuscula, aplysina sp., petromica ciocalyptoides e topsentia ophiraphidites, da ascidia didemnum ligulum e do octocoral carijoa riisei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kossuga, Miriam H.; Lira, Simone P. de; Nascimento, Andrea M.; Gambardella, Maria Teresa P.; Berlinck, Roberto G.S. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica]. E-mail: rgsberlinck@iqsc.usp.br; Torres, Yohandra R. [Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, Guarapuava, PR (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Nascimento, Gislene G.F. [Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba (UNIMEP), SP (Brazil). Faculdade de Ciencias da Saude; Pimenta, Eli F.; Silva, Marcio; Thiemann, Otavio H.; Oliva, Glaucius [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica; Tempone, Andre G.; Melhem, Marcia S.C. [Instituto Adolfo Lutz, Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Div. de Biologia Medica; Souza, Ana O. de; Galetti, Fabio C.S.; Silva, Celio L. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Ribeirao Preto, SP (Brazil). Faculdade de Medicina. Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia; Cavalcanti, Bruno; Pessoa, Claudia O.; Moraes, Manoel O. [Universidade Federal do Ceara (UFC), Fortaleza, CE (Brazil). Faculdade de Medicina. Dept. de Fisiologia e Farmacologia; Hajdu, Eduardo [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), RJ (Brazil). Museu Nacional; Peixinho, Solange [Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Salvador, BA (Brazil). Dept. de Biologia; Rocha, Rosana M. [Universidade Federal do Parana (UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Setor de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Zoologia

    2007-09-15

    The investigation of extracts from six species of marine invertebrates yielded one new and several known natural products. Isoptilocaulin from the sponge Monanchora aff. arbuscula displayed antimicrobial activity at 1.3 mg/mL against an oxacillin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus. Five inactive known dibromotyrosine derivatives, 2 6, were isolated from a new species of marine sponge, Aplysina sp. The sponges Petromica ciocalyptoides and Topsentia ophiraphidites yielded the known halistanol sulfate A (7) as an inhibitor of the antileishmanial target adenosine phosphoribosyl transferase. The ascidian Didemnum ligulum yielded asterubin (10) and the new N,N-dimethyl-O-methylethanolamine (11). The octocoral Carijoa riisei yielded the known 18-acetoxypregna-1,4,20-trien-3-one (12), which displayed cytotoxic activity against the cancer cell lines SF295, MDA-MB435, HCT8 and HL60. (author)

  6. Produtos naturais da ascídia Botrylloides giganteum, das esponjas Verongula gigantea, Ircinia felix, Cliona delitrix e do nudibrânquio Tambja eliora, da costa do Brasil Natural products from the ascidian Botrylloides giganteum, from the sponges Verongula gigantea, Ircinia felix, Cliona delitrix and from the nudibranch Tambja eliora, from the Brazilian coastline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Claudia Granato

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Two new marine metabolites, 3Z, 6Z, 9Z-dodecatrien-1-ol (1 from the ascidian Botrylloides giganteum and 4H-pyran-2ol acetate from the sponge Ircinia felix (4 are herein reported. The known bromotyrosine compounds, 2-(3,5-dibromo-4-methoxyphenyl-N,N,N-dimethylethanammonium (2 and 2,6-dibromo-4-(2-(trimethylammoniumethylphenol (3, have been isolated from the sponge Verongula gigantea. Serotonin (5 is reported for the first time from the sponge Cliona delitrix, and tambjamines A (15 and D (16 isolated as their respective salts from the nudibranch Tambja eliora. Only tambjamine D presented cytotoxicity against CEM (IC50 12.2 µg/mL and HL60 (IC50 13.2 µg/mL human leukemya cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cells (IC50 13.2 µg/mL, colon HCT-8 cancer cells (IC50 10.1 µg/mL and murine melanoma B16 cancer cells (IC50 6.7 µg/mL.

  7. Natural products from the ascidian Botrylloides giganteum, from the sponges Verongula gigantea, Ircinia felix, Cliona delitrix and from the nudibranch Tambja eliora, from the Brazilian coastline; Produtos naturais da ascidia Botrylloides giganteum, das esponjas Verongula gigantea, Ircinia felix, Cliona delitrix e do nudibranquio Tambja eliora, da costa do Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Granato, Ana Claudia; Oliveira, Jaine H.H.L. de; Seleghim, Mirna H.R.; Berlinck, Roberto G.S. [Sao Paulo Univ., Sao Carlos, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica]. E-mail: rgsberlinck@iqsc.usp.br; Macedo, Mario L.; Ferreira, Antonio G. [Sao Carlos Univ., SP (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Rocha, Rosana M. da [Parana Univ., Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Setor de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Zoologia; Hajdu, Eduardo [Universidade Federal, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Museu Nacional; Peixinho, Solange [Bahia Univ., Salvador, BA (Brazil). Dept. de Biologia; Pessoa, Claudia O.; Moraes, Manoel O.; Cavalcanti, Bruno C. [Ceara Univ., Fortaleza, CE (Brazil). Dept. de Fisiologia e Farmacologia

    2005-04-01

    Two new marine metabolites, 3Z, 6Z, 9Z-dodecatrien-1-ol (1) from the ascidian Botrylloides giganteum and 4H-pyran-2ol acetate from the sponge Ircinia felix (4) are herein reported. The known bromotyrosine compounds, 2-(3,5-dibromo-4-methoxyphenyl)-N,N,Ndimethylethanammonium (2) and 2,6-dibromo-4-(2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl)phenol (3), have been isolated from the sponge Verongula gigantea. Serotonin (5) is reported for the first time from the sponge Cliona delitrix, and tambjamines A (15) and D (16) isolated as their respective salts from the nudibranch Tambja eliora. Only tambjamine D presented cytotoxicity against CEM (IC{sub 5})0 12.2 {mu}g/mL) and HL60 (IC{sub 50} 13.2 {mu}g/mL) human leukemia cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cells (IC{sub 50} 13.2 {mu}g/mL), colon HCT-8 cancer cells (IC{sub 50} 10.1 {mu}g/mL) and murine melanoma B16 cancer cells (IC{sub 50} 6.7 {mu}g/mL). (author)

  8. mRNA 5′-leader trans-splicing in the chordates

    OpenAIRE

    Vandenberghe, Amanda E.; Meedel, Thomas H.; Hastings, Kenneth E.M.

    2001-01-01

    We report the discovery of mRNA 5′-leader trans-splicing (SL trans-splicing) in the chordates. In the ascidian protochordate Ciona intestinalis, the mRNAs of at least seven genes undergo trans-splicing of a 16-nucleotide 5′-leader apparently derived from a 46-nucleotide RNA that shares features with previously characterized splice donor SL RNAs. SL trans-splicing was known previously to occur in several protist and metazoan phyla, however, this is the first report of SL trans-splicing within ...

  9. Bioadhesion in ascidians: a developmental and functional genomics perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Pennati, Roberta; Rothbächer, Ute

    2015-01-01

    The development of bioadhesives inspired from marine animals is a promising approach to generate new tissue-compatible medical components. A number of marine species, through their adhesive properties, also represent significant foulers that become increasingly problematic to aquaculture, shipping or local biodiversity. In order to develop more sophisticated man-made glues and/or efficient fouling resistant surfaces, it is important to understand the mechanical, structural and molecular prope...

  10. Evolution of anterior Hox regulatory elements among chordates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natale Alfonso

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Hox family of transcription factors has a fundamental role in segmentation pathways and axial patterning of embryonic development and their clustered organization is linked with the regulatory mechanisms governing their coordinated expression along embryonic axes. Among chordates, of particular interest are the Hox paralogous genes in groups 1-4 since their expression is coupled to the control of regional identity in the anterior nervous system, where the highest structural diversity is observed. Results To investigate the degree of conservation in cis-regulatory components that form the basis of Hox expression in the anterior nervous system, we have used assays for transcriptional activity in ascidians and vertebrates to compare and contrast regulatory potential. We identified four regulatory sequences located near the CiHox1, CiHox2 and CiHox4 genes of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis which direct neural specific domains of expression. Using functional assays in Ciona and vertebrate embryos in combination with sequence analyses of enhancer fragments located in similar positions adjacent to Hox paralogy group genes, we compared the activity of these four Ciona cis-elements with a series of neural specific enhancers from the amphioxus Hox1-3 genes and from mouse Hox paralogous groups 1-4. Conclusions This analysis revealed that Kreisler and Krox20 dependent enhancers critical in segmental regulation of the hindbrain appear to be specific for the vertebrate lineage. In contrast, neural enhancers that function as Hox response elements through the action of Hox/Pbx binding motifs have been conserved during chordate evolution. The functional assays reveal that these Hox response cis-elements are recognized by the regulatory components of different and extant species. Together, our results indicate that during chordate evolution, cis-elements dependent upon Hox/Pbx regulatory complexes, are responsible for key aspects of

  11. Ciliary and mucus-net filter feeding, with special reference to fluid mechanical characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, C.B.; Kiørboe, Thomas; Møhlenberg, F.;

    1984-01-01

    Filter characteristics were determined and compared in ciliary and mucus-net filter feeders. The ciliary feeders include the polychaete Sabella penicillus, the brachiopod Terebratulina retusa, the marine bivalves Monia squama, Cardium glaucum, and Petricola pholadiformis, and the freshwater...... bivalves Dreissena polymorpha, Unio pictorum and Anodonta cygnea. The mucus-net feeders are the polychaete Chaetopterus variopedatus, the gastropod Crepidula fornicata and the ascidians Styela clava, Ciona intestinalis, Ascidia virginea, A. obliqua and A. mentula. Efficiencies of particle retention as a...... function of particle size was determined by counting of particles in samples of inhalant and exhalant water. The lower threshold for efficient particle retention varied from .apprx. 6 .mu.m in T. retuso to .apprx. 1 .mu.m in D. polymorpha. Mucus nets efficiently retained particles down to 1-2 .mu.m. Filter...

  12. β-catenin-driven binary cell fate decisions in animal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The Wnt/β-catenin pathway plays key roles during animal development. In several species, β-catenin is used in a reiterative manner to regulate cell fate diversification between daughter cells following division. This binary cell fate specification mechanism has been observed in animals that belong to very diverse phyla: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the annelid Platynereis, and the ascidian Ciona. It may also play a role in the regulation of several stem cell lineages in vertebrates. While the molecular mechanism behind this binary cell fate switch is not fully understood, it appears that both secreted Wnt ligands and asymmetric cortical factors contribute to the generation of the difference in nuclear β-catenin levels between daughter cells. β-Catenin then cooperates with lineage specific transcription factors to induce the expression of novel sets of transcription factors at each round of divisions, thereby diversifying cell fate. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26952169

  13. Vessel generator noise as a settlement cue for marine biofouling species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, J I; Wilkens, S L; Stanley, J A; Jeffs, A G

    2014-01-01

    Underwater noise is increasing globally, largely due to increased vessel numbers and international ocean trade. Vessels are also a major vector for translocation of non-indigenous marine species which can have serious implications for biosecurity. The possibility that underwater noise from fishing vessels may promote settlement of biofouling on hulls was investigated for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Spatial differences in biofouling appear to be correlated with spatial differences in the intensity and frequency of the noise emitted by the vessel's generator. This correlation was confirmed in laboratory experiments where C. intestinalis larvae showed significantly faster settlement and metamorphosis when exposed to the underwater noise produced by the vessel generator. Larval survival rates were also significantly higher in treatments exposed to vessel generator noise. Enhanced settlement attributable to vessel generator noise may indicate that vessels not only provide a suitable fouling substratum, but vessels running generators may be attracting larvae and enhancing their survival and growth.

  14. Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase and the methylation of arsenicals in the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biotransformation of inorganic arsenic (iAs) involves methylation catalyzed by arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (As3mt), yielding mono- , di- , and trimethylated arsenicals. To investigate the evolution of molecular mechanisms that mediate arsenic biotransformation,...

  15. Characterization of an individual neural crest-like cell lineage in the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis

    OpenAIRE

    Cone, Angela C.

    2008-01-01

    During embryogenesis, all chordate embryos undergo neurulation to form a dorsal, hollow nerve cord. Neural crest cells (NCC), considered a vertebrate innovation, arise during neurulation and later differentiate into a multitude of tissues that account for much of the structural complexity that distinguishes craniates from invertebrate chordates [1, 2]. NCCs are induced and specified at the border of the neural and non-neural ectoderm by a complex network of inductive signals and transcription...

  16. The role of the pericardium in the valveless, tubular heart of the tunicate Ciona savignyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldrop, Lindsay D; Miller, Laura A

    2015-09-01

    Tunicates, small invertebrates within the phylum Chordata, possess a robust tubular heart which pumps blood through their open circulatory systems without the use of valves. This heart consists of two major components: the tubular myocardium, a flexible layer of myocardial cells that actively contracts to drive fluid down the length of the tube; and the pericardium, a stiff, outer layer of cells that surrounds the myocardium and creates a fluid-filled space between the myocardium and the pericardium. We investigated the role of the pericardium through in vivo manipulations on tunicate hearts and computational simulations of the myocardium and pericardium using the immersed boundary method. Experimental manipulations reveal that damage to the pericardium results in aneurysm-like bulging of the myocardium and major reductions in the net blood flow and percentage closure of the heart's lumen during contraction. In addition, varying the pericardium-to-myocardium (PM) diameter ratio by increasing damage severity was positively correlated with peak dye flow in the heart. Computational simulations mirror the results of varying the PM ratio experimentally. Reducing the stiffness of the myocardium in the simulations reduced mean blood flow only for simulations without a pericardium. These results indicate that the pericardium has the ability to functionally increase the stiffness of the myocardium and limit myocardial aneurysms. The pericardium's function is likely to enhance flow through the highly resistive circulatory system by acting as a support structure in the absence of connective tissue within the myocardium. PMID:26142414

  17. Toll-like receptors of deuterostome invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honoo eSatake

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Defensive systems against pathogens are responsible not only for survival or lifetime of an individual but also for the evolution of a species. Innate immunity is expected to be more important for invertebrates than mammals, given that adaptive immunity has not been acquired in the former. Toll-like receptors (TLRs have been shown to play a crucial role in host defense of pathogenic microbes in innate immunity of mammals. Recent genome-wide analyses have suggested that TLR or their related genes are conserved in invertebrates. In particular, numerous TLR-related gene candidates were detected in deuterostome invertebrates including a sea urchin (222 TLR-related gene candidates and amphioxus (72 TLR-related gene candidates. Molecular phylogenetic analysis verified that most of sea urchin or amphioxus TLR candidates are paralogous, suggesting that these organisms expanded TLR-related genes in a species-specific manner. In contrast, another deuterostome invertebrate, an ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, was found to possess only two TLR genes. Moreover, Ciona TLRs, Ci-TLR1 and -2, were shown to possess hybrid functionality of mammalian TLRs. Such functionality of Ci-TLRs could not be predicted by sequence comparison with vertebrate TLRs, indicating the confounding evolutionary lineages of deuterostome invertebrate TLRs or their candidates. In this review article, we present recent advances in studies of TLRs or their candidates of deuterostome invertebrates, and provide insight into an evolutionary process of TLRs.

  18. Desiccation as a mitigation tool to manage biofouling risks: trials on temperate taxa to elucidate factors influencing mortality rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Grant A; Prince, Madeleine; Cahill, Patrick L; Fletcher, Lauren M; Atalah, Javier

    2016-01-01

    The desiccation tolerance of biofouling taxa (adults and early life-stages) was determined under both controlled and 'realistic' field conditions. Adults of the ascidian Ciona spp. died within 24 h. Mortality in the adult blue mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis occurred within 11 d under controlled conditions, compared with 7 d when held outside. The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas was the most desiccation-tolerant taxon tested (up to 34 d under controlled conditions). Biofouling orientated to direct sunlight showed faster mortality rates for all the taxa tested. Mortality in Mytilus juveniles took up to 24 h, compared with 8 h for Ciona, with greater survival at the higher temperature (18.5°C) and humidity (~95% RH) treatment combination. This study demonstrated that desiccation can be an effective mitigation method for a broad range of fouling taxa, especially their early life-stages. Further work is necessary to assess risks from other high-risk species such as algae and cyst forming species.

  19. Allogeneic Responses between Three Remote Populations of the Cosmopolitan Ascidian Botryllus schlosseri(Immunology)

    OpenAIRE

    Rinkevich, Baruch; Shapira, Michal; Weissman, Irving L.; Saito, Yasunori

    1992-01-01

    Colony allorecognition assays (CAAs) were performed between colonies of the world-wide distributed tunicate Botryllus schlosseri, sampled from the Mediterranean coast of Israel (Is), from Monterey, California (Mon) and from Mutsu Bay, Japan (Ja). While all 48 Is vs Ja CAAs resulted in nonfusion responses, unexpectedly, 4.4% of the 45 Is vs Mon pairs and 12.0% of the 25 Ja vs Mon assays ended in colony fusions. Allogeneic effector mechanisms in all 3 populations were similar, except for the Ja...

  20. Fungicidal compounds from a marine Ascidian-associated fungus Trichoderma harzianum

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    PrabhaDevi; Ciavatta, M.L.; Wahidullah, S.; Vuppala, S.; DeSouza, L.

    -infesting fungal pathogen Penicillium griseofulvum. Bioassay guided chemical investigation of the ethyl acetate fraction yielded five compounds (1-5); two alpha-pyrone derivatives, a phenol, a sesquiterpene and an unsaturated hydroxy fatty acid as methylester...

  1. Two New Cholic Acid Derivatives from the Marine Ascidian-Associated Bacterium Hasllibacter halocynthiae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Hun Kim

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The investigation of secondary metabolites in liquid cultures of a recently discovered marine bacterium, Hasllibacter halocynthiae strain KME 002T, led to the isolation of two new cholic acid derivatives. The structures of these compounds were determined to be 3,3,12-trihydroxy-7-ketocholanic acid (1 and 3,3,12-trihydroxy-7-deoxycholanic acid (2 through HRFABMS and NMR data analyses.

  2. Evolutionary mitogenomics of Chordata: the strange case of ascidians and vertebrates

    OpenAIRE

    C Gissi; F. Griggio; F Iannelli

    2009-01-01

    The availability of almost one thousand complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) sequences of chordates provides an almost unique opportunity to analyse the evolution of this genome in the phylum Chordata, and to identify possible divergent evolutionary trends followed by the three chordate subphyla: Vertebrata, Cephalochordata and Tunicata.Here, we review some genome-level features of mtDNA, such as genetic code, gene content, genome architecture and gene strand asymmetry, mostly focusing on di...

  3. Evolutionary mitogenomics of Chordata: the strange case of ascidians and vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Gissi

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The availability of almost one thousand complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA sequences of chordates provides an almost unique opportunity to analyse the evolution of this genome in the phylum Chordata, and to identify possible divergent evolutionary trends followed by the three chordate subphyla: Vertebrata, Cephalochordata and Tunicata.Here, we review some genome-level features of mtDNA, such as genetic code, gene content, genome architecture and gene strand asymmetry, mostly focusing on differences existing between tunicates and remaining chordates. Indeed, tunicate mtDNAs show a surprisingly high variability in several genome-level features, even though the current tunicate taxon sampling is absolutely insufficient and is focused mainly on the class Ascidiacea. On the contrary, a stabilization of the mtDNA structural and evolutionary features is observed in both cephalochordates and vertebrates, where genome-level features are almost invariant. Thus, different evolutionary dynamics, probably related to divergent functional constraints, have modelled the overall mtDNA structure and organization of the three chordate subphyla.

  4. Intense predation on ascidians by a trunk fish, Ostracion immaculatus (Temminck et Schlege) (Pisces:Ostracidae)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raveendran, T.V.; Harada, E.

    stream_size 9 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Publ_Seto_Mar_Biol_Lab_37_193.pdf.txt stream_source_info Publ_Seto_Mar_Biol_Lab_37_193.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  5. Data on the ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea) of the marine park of Zembra-Zembretta (North Tunisia)

    OpenAIRE

    Mestiri, M.; Espla Alfonso, R.A.; Ben Mustapha, K.; M.S. ROMDHANE

    2005-01-01

    Une étude systématique des ascidies du Parc marin de Zembra-Zembretta a été menée. L’échantillonnage effectué autour de ces îles a été réalisé, pour la majorité des espèces, par scaphandre autonome sur les substrats rocheux et l’herbier à Posidonia oceanica et aussi par dragage sur les fonds meubles (sable et détritique côtier). La profondeur varie selon les stations de 14 à 70m. Au total, une vingtaine d’espèces a été recensée. Elles appartiennent à 6 familles (Polyclinidae, Polycitoridae, D...

  6. Dermatan sulfate in tunicate phylogeny: Order-specific sulfation pattern and the effect of [→4IdoA(2-Sulfateβ-1→3GalNAc(4-Sulfateβ-1→] motifs in dermatan sulfate on heparin cofactor II activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sugahara Kazuyuki

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously, we have reported the presence of highly sulfated dermatans in solitary ascidians from the orders Phlebobranchia (Phallusia nigra and Stolidobranchia (Halocynthia pyriformis and Styela plicata. Despite the identical disaccharide backbone, consisting of [→4IdoA(2Sβ-1→3GalNAcβ-1→], those polymers differ in the position of sulfation on the N-Acetyl galactosamine, which can occur at carbon 4 or 6. We have shown that position rather than degree of sulfation is important for heparin cofactor II activity. As a consequence, 2,4- and 2,6-sulfated dermatans have high and low heparin cofactor II activities, respectively. In the present study we extended the disaccharide analysis of ascidian dermatan sulfates to additional species of the orders Stolidobranchia (Herdmania pallida, Halocynthia roretzi and Phlebobranchia (Ciona intestinalis, aiming to investigate how sulfation evolved within Tunicata. In addition, we analysed how heparin cofactor II activity responds to dermatan sulfates containing different proportions of 2,6- or 2,4-disulfated units. Results Disaccharide analyses indicated a high content of disulfated disaccharide units in the dermatan sulfates from both orders. However, the degree of sulfation decreased from Stolidobranchia to Phlebobranchia. While 76% of the disaccharide units in dermatan sulfates from stolidobranch ascidians are disulfated, 53% of disulfated disaccharides are found in dermatan sulfates from phlebobranch ascidians. Besides this notable difference in the sulfation degree, dermatan sulfates from phlebobranch ascidians contain mainly 2,6-sulfated disaccharides whereas dermatan sulfate from the stolidobranch ascidians contain mostly 2,4-sulfated disaccharides, suggesting that the biosynthesis of dermatan sulfates might be differently regulated during tunicates evolution. Changes in the position of sulfation on N-acetylgalactosamine in the disaccharide [→4IdoA(2-Sulfateβ-1→3GalNAcβ-1

  7. Effetti dei biocidi rilasciati dalle vernici antivegetative (Tributil stagno e Diuron) sui meccanismi riproduttivi dell’invertebrato marino Ciona Intestinalis

    OpenAIRE

    Gallo, Alessandra

    2013-01-01

    La riproduzione è il processo biologico con cui un organismo vivente dà origine ad uno o più discendenti garantendo la conservazione della specie. Negli organismi marini a fecondazione esterna gli spermatozoi, gli ovociti e gli embrioni possono essere esposti ad inquinanti ambientali provenienti da attività antropiche che ne possono alterare le funzioni fisiologiche con conseguente riduzione del successo riproduttivo. La membrana plasmatica delle cellule è caratterizzata da proprietà elet...

  8. A glycine receptor is involved in the organization of swimming movements in an invertebrate chordate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okamura Yasushi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rhythmic motor patterns for locomotion in vertebrates are generated in spinal cord neural networks known as spinal Central Pattern Generators (CPGs. A key element in pattern generation is the role of glycinergic synaptic transmission by interneurons that cross the cord midline and inhibit contralaterally-located excitatory neurons. The glycinergic inhibitory drive permits alternating and precisely timed motor output during locomotion such as walking or swimming. To understand better the evolution of this system we examined the physiology of the neural network controlling swimming in an invertebrate chordate relative of vertebrates, the ascidian larva Ciona intestinalis. Results A reduced preparation of the larva consisting of nerve cord and motor ganglion generates alternating swimming movements. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of glycine receptors shows that they are implicated in the control of these locomotory movements. Morphological molecular techniques and heterologous expression experiments revealed that glycine receptors are inhibitory and are present on both motoneurones and locomotory muscle while putative glycinergic interneurons were identified in the nerve cord by labeling with an anti-glycine antibody. Conclusions In Ciona intestinalis, glycine receptors, glycinergic transmission and putative glycinergic interneurons, have a key role in coordinating swimming movements through a simple CPG that is present in the motor ganglion and nerve cord. Thus, the strong association between glycine receptors and vertebrate locomotory networks may now be extended to include the phylum chordata. The results suggest that the basic network for 'spinal-like' locomotion is likely to have existed in the common ancestor of extant chordates some 650 M years ago.

  9. β‐catenin‐driven binary cell fate decisions in animal development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The Wnt/β‐catenin pathway plays key roles during animal development. In several species, β‐catenin is used in a reiterative manner to regulate cell fate diversification between daughter cells following division. This binary cell fate specification mechanism has been observed in animals that belong to very diverse phyla: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the annelid Platynereis, and the ascidian Ciona. It may also play a role in the regulation of several stem cell lineages in vertebrates. While the molecular mechanism behind this binary cell fate switch is not fully understood, it appears that both secreted Wnt ligands and asymmetric cortical factors contribute to the generation of the difference in nuclear β‐catenin levels between daughter cells. β‐Catenin then cooperates with lineage specific transcription factors to induce the expression of novel sets of transcription factors at each round of divisions, thereby diversifying cell fate. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:377–388. doi: 10.1002/wdev.228 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26952169

  10. Voltage sensitive phosphatases: emerging kinship to protein tyrosine phosphatases from structure-function research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirstin eHobiger

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The transmembrane protein Ci-VSP from the ascidian Ciona intestinalis was described as first member of a fascinating family of enzymes, the voltage sensitive phosphatases (VSPs. Ci-VSP and its voltage-activated homologs from other species are stimulated by positive membrane potentials and dephosphorylate the head groups of negatively charged phosphoinositide phosphates (PIPs. In doing so, VSPs act as control centers at the cytosolic membrane surface, because they intervene in signaling cascades that are mediated by PIP lipids. The characteristic motif CX5RT/S in the active site classifies VSPs as members of the huge family of cysteine-based protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs. Although PTPs have already been well characterized regarding both, structure and function, their relationship to VSPs has drawn only limited attention so far. Therefore, the intention of this review is to give a short overview about the extensive knowledge about PTPs in relation to the facts known about VSPs. Here, we concentrate on the structural features of the catalytic domain which are similar between both classes of phosphatases and their consequences for the enzymatic function. By discussing results obtained from crystal structures, molecular dynamics simulations, and mutagenesis studies, a possible mechanism for the catalytic cycle of VSPs is presented based on that one proposed for PTPs. In this way, we want to link the knowledge about the catalytic activity of VSPs and PTPs.

  11. Cadmium effects in food chain experiments with marine plankton algae (dinophyta) and benthic filter feeders(Tunicata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayser, H.

    The dinoflagellate Scrippsiella faeroense was grown in continuous flow-through cultures (10 1 turbidostat), the outflow leading into vessels containing tunicates of the species Ciona intestinalis, Ascidiella aspersa, Molgula manhattensi and Botryllus schlosseri. The culture medium consisted of natural sea water enriched only with N and P components. CdCl 2 was added to the system at sublethal concentrations. Algal growth wass affected at a Cd ++ concentration of 10 μg·1 -1; sublethal toxicity thresholds of the tunicates ranged from 5 to 10 μg·1 -1. Cadmium accumulation was much higer in the algae than in the tunicates; in spite of the continuous supply of relatively highly Cd contaminated algae, the Cd content of algae-fed tunicates increased insignificantly by comparison with unfed specimens. Only a small percentage of the Cd offered via the food algae was actually assimilated by the ascidians during the first 3 weeks of the experiment. Cd content of the tunicates remained almost constant for the next 2 weeks of the experiment, indicating that ingestion and excretion of the metal was at equilibrium. The concentration factor of Cd decreased through the trophic chain.

  12. The evolving proteome of a complex extracellular matrix, the Oikopleura house.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Hosp

    Full Text Available Extracellular matrices regulate biological processes at the level of cells, tissues, and in some cases, entire multicellular organisms. The subphylum Urochordata exemplifies the latter case, where animals are partially or completely enclosed in "houses" or "tunics". Despite this common strategy, we show that the house proteome of the appendicularian, Oikopleura, has very little in common with the proteome of the sister class, ascidian, Ciona. Of 80 identified house proteins (oikosins, ∼half lack domain modules or similarity to known proteins, suggesting de novo appearance in appendicularians. Gene duplication has been important in generating almost 1/3 of the current oikosin complement, with serial duplications up to 8 paralogs in one family. Expression pattern analyses revealed that individual oikosins are produced from specific fields of cells within the secretory epithelium, but in some cases, migrate up to at least 20 cell diameters in extracellular space to combine in defined house structures. Interestingly, peroxidasin and secretory phospholipase A(2 domains, implicated in innate immune defence are secreted from the anlage associated with the food-concentrating filter, suggesting that this extra-organismal structure may play, in part, such a role in Oikopleura. We also show that sulfation of proteoglycans is required for the hydration and inflation of pre-house rudiments into functional houses. Though correct proportioning in the production of oikosins would seem important in repetitive assembly of the complex house structure, the genomic organization of oikosin loci appears incompatible with common enhancers or locus control regions exerting such a coordinate regulatory role. Thus, though all tunicates employ extracellular matrices based on a cellulose scaffold as a defining feature of the subphylum, they have evolved radically different protein compositions associated with this common underlying structural theme.

  13. Endozoicomonas are specific, facultative symbionts of sea squirts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper Urup; Funch, Peter;

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are marine filter feeders and harbor diverse microbiota that can exhibit a high degree of host-specificity. Pharyngeal samples of Scandinavian and Mediterranean ascidians were screened for consistently associated bacteria by culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Representatives...

  14. Phylogeny of the Aplousobranchia (Tunicata: Ascidiacea Filogenia de Aplousobranchia (Tunicata: Ascidiacea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane R. Moreno

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The phylogenetic relationships of genera and families of Aplousobranchia Lahille (Tunicata, Ascidiacea is reconstructed based on morphological characters - the first comprehensive morphology-based phylogenetic analysis for the Aplousobranchia. Monophyly of Aplousobranchia and its families were tested with samples of 14 families. The final character matrix comprised 47 characters and 41 genera as terminal taxa. Nine equally most parsimonious trees (length 161, CI = 0.5031, RI = 0.7922 were found. Characters describing replication, colony system formation, and branchial walls were the more important in phylogenetic reconstruction. These characters were more useful than others more traditionally used in ascidian taxonomy, such as: body division, position of the heart, gonads and epicardium. Characters not frequently used in phylogenetic analysis, such as body wall muscles, muscles associated with transversal blood vessels and arrangement of the larval papillae, also have phylogenetic information. Results supported monophyly of the Aplousobranchia sensu Lahille, 1887 including only Polycitoridae, Polyclinidae, and Didemnidae. On the other hand, Aplousobranchia including also Cionidae and Diazonidae is not monophyletic since Perophora and Ecteinascidia were included as ingroups in the cladogram, Ciona (now closer to Ascidia was no longer included in Aplousobranchia and the position of Rhopalaea and Diazona is not resolved. We propose a revised classification based on this phylogenetic analysis, in which Aplousobranchia, with three new families and an indeterminate taxon, now has 15 families.O relacionamento filogenéticos de gêneros e famílias de de Aplousobranchia Lahille (Tunicata, Ascidiacea foi reconstruída com base em caracteres morfológicos - esta constitui a primeira análise filogenética morfológica abrangente para Aplousobranchia. A monofilia de Aplousobranchia e suas famílias foi testada com espécies de 14 famílias. A matriz final

  15. Dicty_cDB: VHA612 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available inalis cDNA, clone:cits45g14, 5' end, single read. 80 4e-13 2 BW503370 |BW503370.1 Ciona intestinalis early ...9, 5' end, single read. 80 5e-13 2 BW505135 |BW505135.1 Ciona intestinalis early juvenile cDNA, clone: cijm0

  16. Adaptive behaviour of fishers to external perturbations: simulation of the Tasmanian rock lobster fishery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamon, K.G.; Frusher, S.D.; Little, L.R.; Thebaud, O.; Punt, A.E.

    2014-01-01

    The rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, lies on a global "hotspot" for climate change in the southeastern Australian state of Tasmania. The short-term effects of climate change are predicted to lead to an increasing exploitable biomass in the south and declining biomass in the north of the state. The fut

  17. Larvae of fouling organisms and macrofouling at New Mangalore Port, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Khandeparker, D.C.; Anil, A.C.; Venkat, K.

    Polychaetes, bryozoans, barnacles and ascidians were the dominant groups in the fouling community at New Mangalore Port. Polychaete and cirripede larvae were encountered throughout the year. Even though bivalve were present in the planktonic hauls...

  18. rRNA genes from the lower chordate Herdmania momus: structural similarity with higher eukaryotes.

    OpenAIRE

    Degnan, B M; Yan, J.; Hawkins, C J; Lavin, M F

    1990-01-01

    Ascidians, primitive chordates that have retained features of the likely progenitors to all vertebrates, are a useful model to study the evolutionary relationship of chordates to other animals. We have selected the well characterized ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes to investigate this relationship, and we describe here the cloning and characterization of an entire ribosomal DNA (rDNA) tandem repeat unit from a lower chordate, the ascidian Herdmania momus. rDNA copy number and considerable sequence...

  19. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U10806-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available gton's Disease gene homolo... 72 6e-11 ( P42859 ) RecName: Full=Huntingtin; AltName: Full=Huntington...671_5( AL954671 |pid:none) Zebrafish DNA sequence from clone ... 75 5e-12 ( P51112 ) RecName: Full=Huntingtin; AltName: Full=Huntingt...M162277 |pid:none) Ciona intestinalis mRNA for huntin... 72 4e-11 L28827_1( L28827 |pid:none) Mouse Huntin...on dise... 74 9e-12 AM238514_1( AM238514 |pid:none) Ciona intestinalis mRNA for hun

  20. Protein: FBA5 [TP Atlas

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available FBA5 VSOP(voltage sensor-only protein1) HVCN1 VSOP, VSX1 Voltage-gated hydrogen cha...nnel 1 Hydrogen voltage-gated channel 1, Voltage sensor domain-only protein 7719 Ciona intestinalis 778897 Q1JV40 ...

  1. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U13126-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 63 1 ( BW518158 ) Ciona savignyi cDNA, clone:csga014m04, 5'end, sin... 50 0.063 1 ( AY689436 ) Deer...pox virus W-848-83, complete genome. 40 0.066 5 ( AY689437 ) Deerpox virus W-1170-84, comp

  2. Dicty_cDB: VHJ883 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available omosome 2 map 3879572... 127 2e-25 1 ( BJ442734 ) Dictyostelium discoideum cDNA clone:ddv50f22, 3' ... 127 2...e-25 1 ( BJ423915 ) Dictyostelium discoideum cDNA clone:ddv50f22, 5' ... 98 2e-16 1 ( BP018838 ) Ciona intes

  3. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U05215-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 534325 |pid:none) Ciona intestinalis partial mRNA fo... 50 3e-05 EU312053_1( EU312053 |pid:none) Carassius caras...allithrix geoffroyi SRY (SRY) gen... 49 6e-05 EU312054_1( EU312054 |pid:none) Carassius carassius red var x

  4. Field assessment of the predation risk-food availability trade-off in crab megalopae settlement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Tapia-Lewin

    Full Text Available Settlement is a key process for meroplanktonic organisms as it determines distribution of adult populations. Starvation and predation are two of the main mortality causes during this period; therefore, settlement tends to be optimized in microhabitats with high food availability and low predator density. Furthermore, brachyuran megalopae actively select favorable habitats for settlement, via chemical, visual and/or tactile cues. The main objective in this study was to assess the settlement of Metacarcinus edwardsii and Cancer plebejus under different combinations of food availability levels and predator presence. We determined, in the field, which factor is of greater relative importance when choosing a suitable microhabitat for settling. Passive larval collectors were deployed, crossing different scenarios of food availability and predator presence. We also explore if megalopae actively choose predator-free substrates in response to visual and/or chemical cues. We tested the response to combined visual and chemical cues and to each individually. Data was tested using a two-way factorial design ANOVA. In both species, food did not cause significant effect on settlement success, but predator presence did, therefore there was not trade-off in this case and megalopae respond strongly to predation risk by active aversion. Larvae of M. edwardsii responded to chemical and visual cues simultaneously, but there was no response to either cue by itself. Statistically, C. plebejus did not exhibit a differential response to cues, but reacted with a strong similar tendency as M. edwardsii. We concluded that crab megalopae actively select predator-free microhabitat, independently of food availability, using chemical and visual cues combined. The findings in this study highlight the great relevance of predation on the settlement process and recruitment of marine invertebrates with complex life cycles.

  5. Isolation of C11 Cyclopentenones from Two Didemnid Species, Lissoclinum sp. and Diplosoma sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuhiro Ueda

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A series of new C11 cyclopentenones 1-7 was isolated, together with four known metabolites 9/10, 12 and 13, from the extract of the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum sp. The other didemnid ascidian Diplosoma sp. contained didemnenones 1, 2 and 5, and five known metabolites 8-12. The structures of 1-7 were elucidated by spectroscopic analyses. Cytotoxicity of the isolated compounds was evaluated against three human cancer cell lines (HCT116, A431 and A549.

  6. NA phylogeny of Ryukyus Leucothoidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    White, K.N.; Reimer, J.D.

    2012-01-01

    Commensal leucothoid amphipods collected from sponges, ascidians, and coral rubble from the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, were investigated using nuclear 18S ribosomal DNA sequences. Analysis of sequences from 21 species in three genera supported the current morphological species designations and the s

  7. How the sea squirt nucleus tells mesoderm Not to be endoderm

    OpenAIRE

    Parton, Richard M.; Davis, Ilan

    2010-01-01

    Sea squirts are simple invertebrate chordates. In this issue, Takatori et al show nuclear migration within ascidian mesendodermal cells enables polarized localization of Not mRNA, which encodes a homeobox protein that distinguishes mesoderm from endoderm fates. The link between nuclear migration and mRNA localization suggests exciting parallels with protostomes.

  8. The cyclopoid copepod Pseudomyicola spinosus (Raffaele & Monticelli) from marine pelecypods, chiefly in Bermuda and the West Indies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Humes, Arthur G.

    1968-01-01

    The myicolid copepod Pseudomyicola spinosus is reported from 22 new hosts (pelecypods) in Bermuda and the West Indies, from 1 new host (a pelecypod) in Madagascar, and from an ascidian (Pyuridae) in Curaçao (probably an accidental association). P. spinosus is redescribed, based on specimens from Iso

  9. Proximate composition of marine invertebrates from tropical coastal waters, with emphasis on the relationship between nitrogen and protein contents

    OpenAIRE

    Graciela S Diniz; Elisabete Barbarino; João Oiano-Neto; Sidney Pacheco; Sergio O. Lourenço

    2014-01-01

    The chemical profiles of Desmapsamma anchorata, Hymeniacidon heliophila (Porifera), Bunodosoma caissarum, Renilla muelleri (Cnidaria), Aplysia brasiliana, Eledone massyae, Isognomon bicolor (Mollusca), Echinaster brasiliensis, Echinometra lucunter, Holothuria grisea, Lytechinus variegatus (Echinodermata), and Phallusia nigra (Chordata) were determined. Hydrosoluble protein was the most abundant class of substances for all species, except for the ascidian Phallusia nigra, in which the carbohyd...

  10. The mitochondrial genome of Phallusia mammillata and Phallusia fumigata (Tunicata, Ascidiacea: high genome plasticity at intra-genus level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pesole Graziano

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Within Chordata, the subphyla Vertebrata and Cephalochordata (lancelets are characterized by a remarkable stability of the mitochondrial (mt genome, with constancy of gene content and almost invariant gene order, whereas the limited mitochondrial data on the subphylum Tunicata suggest frequent and extensive gene rearrangements, observed also within ascidians of the same genus. Results To confirm this evolutionary trend and to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of the mitochondrial genome in Tunicata Ascidiacea, we have sequenced and characterized the complete mt genome of two congeneric ascidian species, Phallusia mammillata and Phallusia fumigata (Phlebobranchiata, Ascidiidae. The two mtDNAs are surprisingly rearranged, both with respect to one another and relative to those of other tunicates and chordates, with gene rearrangements affecting both protein-coding and tRNA genes. The new data highlight the extraordinary variability of ascidian mt genome in base composition, tRNA secondary structure, tRNA gene content, and non-coding regions (number, size, sequence and location. Indeed, both Phallusia genomes lack the trnD gene, show loss/acquisition of DHU-arm in two tRNAs, and have a G+C content two-fold higher than other ascidians. Moreover, the mt genome of P. fumigata presents two identical copies of trnI, an extra tRNA gene with uncertain amino acid specificity, and four almost identical sequence regions. In addition, a truncated cytochrome b, lacking a C-terminal tail that commonly protrudes into the mt matrix, has been identified as a new mt feature probably shared by all tunicates. Conclusion The frequent occurrence of major gene order rearrangements in ascidians both at high taxonomic level and within the same genus makes this taxon an excellent model to study the mechanisms of gene rearrangement, and renders the mt genome an invaluable phylogenetic marker to investigate molecular biodiversity and speciation

  11. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U11222-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 77510 ) Ciona intestinalis cDNA, clone:cign079c11, 5' end... 44 3e-06 2 ( FF601093 ) Le_emcl1_06F12_M13Reverse Little...us laevis ... 58 7e-04 1 ( FF599758 ) Le_emcl1_11O22_M13Reverse Little Skate (Leucoraja... 58 7e-04 1 ( EJ48

  12. In silico identification of the sea squirt selenoproteome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Liang

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Computational methods for identifying selenoproteins have been developed rapidly in recent years. However, it is still difficult to identify the open reading frame (ORF of eukaryotic selenoprotein gene, because the TGA codon for a selenocysteine (Sec residue in the active centre of selenoprotein is traditionally a terminal signal of protein translation. Although the identification of selenoproteins from genomes through bioinformatics methods has been conducted in bacteria, unicellular eukaryotes, insects and several vertebrates, only a few results have been reported on the ancient chordate selenoproteins. Results A gene assembly algorithm SelGenAmic has been constructed and presented in this study for identifying selenoprotein genes from eukaryotic genomes. A method based on this algorithm was developed to build an optimal TGA-containing-ORF for each TGA in a genome, followed by protein similarity analysis through conserved sequence alignments to screen out selenoprotein genes form these ORFs. This method improved the sensitivity of detecting selenoproteins from a genome due to the design that all TGAs in the genome were investigated for its possibility of decoding as a Sec residue. Using this method, eighteen selenoprotein genes were identified from the genome of Ciona intestinalis, leading to its member of selenoproteome up to 19. Among them a selenoprotein W gene was found to have two SECIS elements in the 3'-untranslated region. Additionally, the disulfide bond formation protein A (DsbA was firstly identified as a selenoprotein in the ancient chordates of Ciona intestinalis, Ciona savignyi and Branchiostoma floridae, while selenoprotein DsbAs had only been found in bacteria and green algae before. Conclusion The method based on SelGenAmic algorithm is capable of identifying eukaryotic selenoprotein genes from their genomes. Application of this method to Ciona intestinalis proves its successes in finding Sec-decoding TGA

  13. Database Description - TP Atlas | LSDB Archive [Life Science Database Archive metadata

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available [ Credits ] BLAST Search Image Search Home About Archive Update History Contact us TP Atlas... Database Description General information of database Database name TP Atlas Alternative name Targeted Proteins Atlas...cus, Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Yeast, Ciona intestinalis, Drosophila and Bombyx mori). Database description TP Atlas...am Reference(s) Article title: TP Atlas: integration and dissemination of advances in Targeted Proteins Rese...This Database Site Policy | Contact Us Database Description - TP Atlas | LSDB Archive ...

  14. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U09330-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ylem planings - daytime a... 60 1e-04 1 ( EX331539 ) GQ02903.B7_A06 GQ029 - Xylem scrapings - AT NITE ... 60... 1e-04 1 ( EX323057 ) GQ02819.SP6_M07 GQ028 - Cambium / phloem scrappin... 60 1e-04 1 ( EX322713 ) GQ02819.B...7_M07 GQ028 - Cambium / phloem scrapping... 60 1e-04 1 ( AV999726 ) Ciona intesti

  15. Dicty_cDB: CHA201 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Ciona savignyi cDNA, clone:csef035i01, 3'end, single read. 62 8e-08 2 BQ045720 |BQ045720.1 EST594838 P. infestans-challenge...ry Solanum tuberosum cDNA clone POAC706 3' end, mRNA sequence. 52 1e-07 2 BI433300 |BI433300.1 EST536061 P. infestans-challenge

  16. Unigene BLAST: CBRC-CINT-01-0104 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-CINT-01-0104 gnl|UG|Cin#S6625795 BW185180 Nori Satoh unpublished cDNA library,... heart Ciona intestinalis cDNA clone rciht031o24 3', mRNA sequence /clone=rciht031o24 /clone_end=3' /gb=BW185180 /gi=24575512 /ug=Cin.18758 /len=771 0.32 29% ...

  17. Unigene BLAST: CBRC-CINT-01-0093 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CBRC-CINT-01-0093 gnl|UG|Cin#S6625795 BW185180 Nori Satoh unpublished cDNA library,... heart Ciona intestinalis cDNA clone rciht031o24 3', mRNA sequence /clone=rciht031o24 /clone_end=3' /gb=BW185180 /gi=24575512 /ug=Cin.18758 /len=771 0.45 37% ...

  18. T-type Calcium Channel Regulation of Neural Tube Closure and EphrinA/EPHA Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Abdul-Wajid

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A major class of human birth defects arise from aberrations during neural tube closure (NTC. We report on a NTC signaling pathway requiring T-type calcium channels (TTCCs that is conserved between primitive chordates (Ciona and Xenopus. With loss of TTCCs, there is a failure to seal the anterior neural folds. Accompanying loss of TTCCs is an upregulation of EphrinA effectors. Ephrin signaling is known to be important in NTC, and ephrins can affect both cell adhesion and repulsion. In Ciona, ephrinA-d expression is downregulated at the end of neurulation, whereas, with loss of TTCC, ephrinA-d remains elevated. Accordingly, overexpression of ephrinA-d phenocopied TTCC loss of function, while overexpression of a dominant-negative Ephrin receptor was able to rescue NTC in a Ciona TTCC mutant. We hypothesize that signaling through TTCCs is necessary for proper anterior NTC through downregulation of ephrins, and possibly elimination of a repulsive signal.

  19. Geographically conserved microbiomes of four temperate water tunicates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, Patrick L; Fidler, Andrew E; Hopkins, Grant A; Wood, Susanna A

    2016-08-01

    Tunicates are useful models for exploring microbiomes because they have an innate immune system resembling that of chordates. Automated ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer analysis and High-Throughput Sequencing were used to compare the tunic microbiomes of Ciona robusta (formerly Ciona intestinalis type A), Ciona savignyi, Botrylloides leachi and Botryllus schlosseri sampled from three distinct locations with limited genetic connectivity. Bacterial phylotype profiles were conserved within each species, and there were no detectable differences between tunic and tunic + cuticle subsamples from an individual. Bacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) diversity was lowest for C. savignyi (320 ± 190 OTUs) and highest for B. schlosseri (1260 ± 190 OTUs). Each species had a distinct set of bacterial OTUs (pseudo-F = 3.0, p > 0.001), with the exception of B. leachi and B. schlosseri from one sampling location (t = 1.2, p = 0.09). Of note were OTUs assigned to Alphaproteobacteria from C. robusta plus Phyllobacteriaceae and Endozoicomonas from C. savignyi. These OTUs contributed 51, 22 and 10% of sequence reads, respectively, and are related to known bacterial symbionts. The within-species conservation of core OTUs across three distinct and co-occurring populations of tunicates provides compelling evidence that these tunicates foster defined microbiomes. PMID:26929150

  20. Molecular signatures that are distinctive characteristics of the vertebrates and chordates and supporting a grouping of vertebrates with the tunicates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Radhey S

    2016-01-01

    Members of the phylum Chordata and the subphylum Vertebrata are presently distinguished solely on the basis of morphological characteristics. The relationship of the vertebrates to the two non-vertebrate chordate subphyla is also a subject of debate. Analyses of protein sequences have identified multiple conserved signature indels (CSIs) that are specific for Chordata or for Vertebrata. Five CSIs in 4 important proteins are specific for the Vertebrata, whereas two other CSIs are uniquely found in all sequenced chordate species including Ciona intestinalis and Oikapleura dioica (Tunicates) as well as Branchiostoma floridae (Cephalochordates). The shared presence of these molecular signatures by all vertebrates/chordate species, but in no other animal taxa, strongly indicates that the genetic changes represented by the identified CSIs diagnose monophyletic groups. Two other discovered CSIs are uniquely shared by different vertebrate species and by either one (Ciona intestinalis) or both tunicate (Ciona and Oikapleura) species, but they are not found in Branchiostoma or other animal species. Specific presence of these CSIs in different vertebrates and either one or both tunicate species provides strong independent evidence that the vertebrate species are more closely related to the urochordates (tunicates) than to the cephalochordates. PMID:26419477

  1. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U08397-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available se ... 50 5e-06 U83814_3( U83814 |pid:none) Notiomys edwardsii NADH dehydrogenase.... 50 1e-05 AF224593_4( AF224593 |pid:none) Lepilemur edwardsi isolate JP163 c... 50 1e-05 AM904728_10( AM904...d:none) Neophoca cinerea complete mitocho... 50 2e-05 DQ529606_4( DQ529606 |pid:none) Lepilemur edward...si isolate MAR1 cy... 49 2e-05 DQ529613_4( DQ529613 |pid:none) Lepilemur edwardsi isola...te MAR27 c... 49 2e-05 AF224595_4( AF224595 |pid:none) Lepilemur edwardsi isolate JP259 c... 49 2e-05 AB2910

  2. Structure and function of vanadium compounds in living organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehder, D

    1992-01-01

    Vanadium has been recognized as a metal of biological importance only recently. In this mini-review, its main functions uncovered during the past few years are addressed. These encompass (i) the regulation of phosphate metabolizing enzymes (which is exemplified for the inhibition of ribonucleases by vanadate), (ii) the halogenation of organic compounds by vanadate-dependent non-heme peroxidases from seaweeds, (iii) the reductive protonation of nitrogen (nitrogen fixation) by alternative, i.e. vanadium-containing, nitrogenases from N2-fixing bacteria, (iv) vanadium sequestering by sea squirts (ascidians), and (v) amavadine, a low molecular weight complex of V(IV) accumulated in the fly agaric and related toadstools. The function of vanadium, while still illusive in ascidians and toadstools, begins to be understood in vanadium-enzyme interaction. Investigations into the structure and function of model compounds play an increasingly important role in elucidating the biological significance of vanadium. PMID:1392470

  3. Effects of simulated eutrophication and overfishing on algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Gulf of Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuhldreier, Ines; Bastian, Pepe; Schönig, Eike; Wild, Christian

    2015-03-15

    Coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand are highly under-investigated regarding responses to anthropogenic stressors. Thus, this study simulated overfishing and eutrophication using herbivore exclosure cages and slow-release fertilizer to study the in-situ effects on benthic algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Thailand. Settlement of organisms and the development of organic matter on light-exposed and shaded tiles were quantified weekly/biweekly over a study period of 12 weeks. Simulated eutrophication did not significantly influence response parameters, while simulated overfishing positively affected dry mass, turf algae height and fleshy macroalgae occurrence on light-exposed tiles. On shaded tiles, settlement of crustose coralline algae decreased, while abundances of ascidians increased compared to controls. An interactive effect of both stressors was not observed. These results hint to herbivory as actual key controlling factor on the benthic community, and fleshy macroalgae together with ascidians as potential bioindicators for local overfishing. PMID:25649838

  4. Cyanobacterial Diversity and a New Acaryochloris-Like Symbiont from Bahamian Sea-Squirts

    OpenAIRE

    Susanna López-Legentil; Bongkeun Song; Manel Bosch; Joseph R Pawlik; Xavier Turon

    2011-01-01

    Symbiotic interactions between ascidians (sea-squirts) and microbes are poorly understood. Here we characterized the cyanobacteria in the tissues of 8 distinct didemnid taxa from shallow-water marine habitats in the Bahamas Islands by sequencing a fragment of the cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene and the entire 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and by examining symbiont morphology with transmission electron (TEM) and confocal microscopy (CM). As described previously for other s...

  5. Investigation of the potential anticancer and antifungal active secondary metabolites from marine natural products

    OpenAIRE

    Boonlarppradab, Chollaratt

    2007-01-01

    The oceans are a unique resource that has contributed greatly to the field of natural products chemistry. Secondary metabolites from natural sources still play an important role in drug discovery and development by providing pharmaceutical candidates with novel structures that are valuable for synthetic modification. Of the marine organisms described to date, the vast majority of marine natural products derive from invertebrates such as sponges, ascidians, bryozoans, and tunicates. Recently, ...

  6. Antimicrobial natural products from Arctic and sub-Arcticmarine invertebrates

    OpenAIRE

    Tadesse, Margey

    2010-01-01

    Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death world-wide and there is a growing need for new anti-infective agents to combat multi-resistant strains of bacteria and fungi. Marine natural products are promising sources of novel antimicrobial compounds. In the present thesis, an investigation into the antimicrobial metabolites of Arctic and sub-Arctic marine invertebrate species is presented. Extracts of seven ascidian species, six sponge species, a soft-alcyonid coral and a bryozoan species...

  7. Ecología química en el bentos marino de la Antártida: productos naturales y defensa química en esponjas hexactinélidas, corales blandos y ascidias coloniales

    OpenAIRE

    Núñez Pons, Laura

    2012-01-01

    The inhabitants of marine benthos must combat the ecological pressure caused by predation, competition and fouling through a series of mechanisms, one of which is chemical defense. This type of protection is particularly extended among sessile and/or sluggish organisms, such as sponges, soft corals or ascidians. The strategies to prevent predation are related to bad taste rather than to toxicity. Moreover, they must be considered along with nutritional quality, since the more nutritious the p...

  8. Tunicates: exploring the sea shores and roaming the open ocean. A tribute to Thomas Huxley

    OpenAIRE

    Lemaire, Patrick; Piette, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    This review is a tribute to the remarkable contributions of Thomas Huxley to the biology of tunicates, the likely sister group of vertebrates. In 1851, the great biologist and philosopher published two landmark papers on pelagic tunicates in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. They were dedicated to the description of the adult anatomy and life cycle of thaliaceans and appendicularians, the pelagic relatives of ascidians. In the first part of this review, we discuss the novel...

  9. Wnt affects symmetry and morphogenesis during post-embryonic development in colonial chordates

    OpenAIRE

    Di Maio, Alessandro; Setar, Leah; Tiozzo, Stefano; De Tomaso, Anthony W

    2015-01-01

    Background Wnt signaling is one of the earliest and most highly conserved regulatory pathways for the establishment of the body axes during regeneration and early development. In regeneration, body axes determination occurs independently of tissue rearrangement and early developmental cues. Modulation of the Wnt signaling in either process has shown to result in unusual body axis phenotypes. Botryllus schlosseri is a colonial ascidian that can regenerate its entire body through asexual buddin...

  10. Prospective protochordate homologs of vertebrate midbrain and MHB, with some thoughts on MHB origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thurston C. Lacalli

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The MHB (midbrain-hindbrain boundary is a key organizing center in the vertebrate brain characterized by highly conserved patterns of gene expression. The evidence for an MHB homolog in protochordates is equivocal, the "neck" region immediately caudal to the sensory vesicle in ascidian larvae being the best accepted candidate. It is argued here that similarities in expression patterns between the MHB and the ascidian neck region are more likely due to the latter being the principal source of neurons in the adult brain, and hence where all the genes involved in patterning the latter will necessarily be expressed. The contrast with amphioxus is exemplified by pax2/5/8, expressed in the neck region in ascidian larvae, but more caudally, along much of the nerve cord in amphioxus. The zone of expression in each case corresponds with that part of the nerve cord ultimately responsible for innervating the adult body, which suggests the spatially restricted MHB-like expression pattern in ascidians is secondarily reduced from a condition more like that in amphioxus. Patterns resembling those of the vertebrate MHB are nevertheless found elsewhere among metazoans. This suggests that, irrespective of its modern function, the MHB marks the site of an organizing center of considerable antiquity. Any explanation for how such a center became incorporated into the chordate brain must take account of the dorsoventral inversion chordates have experienced relative to other metazoans. Especially relevant here is a concept developed by Claus Nielsen, in which the brain is derived from a neural center located behind the ancestral mouth. While this is somewhat counterintuitive, it accords well with emerging molecular data.

  11. New genes in the evolution of the neural crest differentiation program

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez-Morales, Juan Ramón; Henrich, Thorsten; Ramialison, Mirana; Wittbrodt, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Development of the vertebrate head depends on the multipotency and migratory behavior of neural crest derivatives. This cell population is considered a vertebrate innovation and, accordingly, chordate ancestors lacked neural crest counterparts. The identification of neural crest specification genes expressed in the neural plate of basal chordates, in addition to the discovery of pigmented migratory cells in ascidians, has challenged this hypothesis. These new findings revive th...

  12. Cryptic speciation or global spread? The case of a cosmopolitan marine invertebrate with limited dispersal capabilities

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-Portela, R.; Arranz, V.; Rius, Marc; Turon, Xavier

    2013-01-01

    The existence of globally-distributed species with low dispersal capabilities is a paradox that has been explained as a result of human-mediated transport and by hidden diversity in the form of unrecognized cryptic species. Both factors are not mutually exclusive, but relatively few studies have demonstrated the presence of both. Here we analyse the genetic patterns of the colonial ascidian Diplosoma listerianum, a species nowadays distributed globally. The study of a fragment of ...

  13. Cross-phylum functional equivalence of Otx genes and the origin of brain patterning

    OpenAIRE

    Adachi, Yoshitsugu

    2004-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms of cephalic development is an intriguing question in evolutionary and developmental biology. Otx gene plays important roles in animal brain and head development and Otx genes are found in all major animal groups: cnidarians, lophotrochozoans, ecdysozoans, anddeuterostomes. Ascidians, positioned near the origin of the phylum Chordata, share a conserved set of anteroposterior patterning genes withthat of vertebrates. Here I report the cross-phylum regulatory potential of th...

  14. Acidification effects on biofouling communities: winners and losers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Lloyd S; Clark, Melody S; Power, Deborah; Reis, João; Batista, Frederico M; Harper, Elizabeth M

    2015-05-01

    How ocean acidification affects marine life is a major concern for science and society. However, its impacts on encrusting biofouling communities, that are both the initial colonizers of hard substrata and of great economic importance, are almost unknown. We showed that community composition changed significantly, from 92% spirorbids, 3% ascidians and 4% sponges initially to 47% spirorbids, 23% ascidians and 29% sponges after 100 days in acidified conditions (pH 7.7). In low pH, numbers of the spirorbid Neodexiospira pseudocorrugata were reduced ×5 compared to controls. The two ascidians present behaved differently with Aplidium sp. decreasing ×10 in pH 7.7, whereas Molgula sp. numbers were ×4 higher in low pH than controls. Calcareous sponge (Leucosolenia sp.) numbers increased ×2.5 in pH 7.7 over controls. The diatom and filamentous algal community was also more poorly developed in the low pH treatments compared to controls. Colonization of new surfaces likewise showed large decreases in spirorbid numbers, but numbers of sponges and Molgula sp. increased. Spirorbid losses appeared due to both recruitment failure and loss of existing tubes. Spirorbid tubes are comprised of a loose prismatic fabric of calcite crystals. Loss of tube materials appeared due to changes in the binding matrix and not crystal dissolution, as SEM analyses showed crystal surfaces were not pitted or dissolved in low pH conditions. Biofouling communities face dramatic future changes with reductions in groups with hard exposed exoskeletons and domination by soft-bodied ascidians and sponges.

  15. Antibiotic, cytotoxic and enzyme inhibitory activity of crude extracts from Brazilian marine invertebrates Atividade antibiótica, citotóxica e de inibição enzimática de extratos brutos de invertebrados marinhos do Brasil

    OpenAIRE

    Mirna H.R. Seleghim; Simone P. Lira; Miriam H. Kossuga; Tatiana Batista; Roberto G. S. Berlinck; Eduardo Hajdu; Guilherme Muricy; Rosana M. da Rocha; Gislene G. F. do Nascimento; Marcio Silva; Eli F. Pimenta; Thiemann, Otávio H.; Glaucius Oliva; Bruno C. Cavalcanti; Claudia Pessoa

    2007-01-01

    Herein we present the results of a screening with 349 crude extracts of Brazilian marine sponges, ascidians, bryozoans and octocorals, against 16 strains of susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one yeast (Candida albicans), Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, three cancer cell lines MCF-7 (breast), B16 (murine melanoma ) and HCT8 (colon), and Leishmania tarentolae adenine phosphoribosyl transferase (L-APRT) enzyme. Less than 15% of marine sponge crude extracts displayed antibacterial ...

  16. Polycheria josephensis, a new species of symbiotic amphipod (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Dexaminidae) from the Northern Gulf of Mexico, with notes on its ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Foster, John; Thoma, Brent

    2016-01-01

    Polycheria josephensis sp. n. (Dexaminidae), an ascidian symbiont, is described from St. Joseph Bay, Florida and other locations in the Gulf of Mexico and the nearshore Atlantic Ocean from South Carolina to northern Florida. Observations on its ecology, behavior, and distribution are provided. Polycheria josephensis sp. n. is morphologically most similar to Polycheria osborni Calman, 1898 from the Pacific coast of North America. Polycheria josephensis sp. n. differs from P. osborni in the num...

  17. Influence of diatom exopolymers and biofilms on metamorphosis in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Patil, J.S.; Anil, A.C.

    repeated 3 times by taking different batches of larvae (for each condition, n ≈ 10). Expt 2. The settlement assays were carried out using 24-well multiwells (Corning-25820). The multiwells were inoculated aseptically under a laminar flow with axenic..., 2003), bryozoans (Kirchman & Mitchell 1983), polychaetes (Kirchman & Mitchell 1983, Qian 1999), oysters (Weiner et al. 1989), limpets (Zhao & Qian 2002), gas- tropods (Rodriguez et al. 1995), ascidians (Szewzyk et al. 1991) and hydroides (Leitz & Wagner...

  18. Phallusiasterol C, A New Disulfated Steroid from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Concetta Imperatore

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A new sulfated sterol, phallusiasterol C (1, has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Phallusia fumigata and its structure has been determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic (mainly 2D NMR analysis. The possible role in regulating the pregnane X receptor (PXR activity of phallusiasterol C has been investigated; although the new sterol resulted inactive, this study adds more items to the knowledge of the structure-PXR regulating activity relationships in the case of sulfated steroids.

  19. In vivo antithrombotic properties of a heparin from the oocyte test cells of the sea squirt Styela plicata(Chordata-Tunicata)

    OpenAIRE

    L. Cardilo-Reis; M.C.M. Cavalcante; C.B.M. Silveira; M.S.G. Pavão

    2006-01-01

    In the ascidian Styela plicata, the oocytes are surrounded by two types of accessory cells named follicle cells and test cells. A heparin-like substance with an anticoagulant activity equivalent to 10% of mammalian heparin and about 5% as potent as the mammalian counterpart for the inhibition of thrombin by antithrombin was isolated from the oocyte test cells. In the present study, we compared the antithrombotic and hemorrhagic effects of sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin with those of porc...

  20. Water-borne sperm trigger vitellogenic egg growth in two sessile marine invertebrates.

    OpenAIRE

    Bishop, J D; Manríquez, P H; Hughes, R. N.

    2000-01-01

    A diverse array of sessile marine invertebrates mate by passive dispersal of sperm which fertilize the brooded eggs of neighbours. In two such species, a sea-mat (phylum Bryozoa) and an ascidian (phylum Chordata), vitellogenic egg growth is absent in reproductively isolated specimens, but is triggered by a water-borne factor released by conspecifics. In both of these colonial, hermaphroditic species, the active factor can be removed from water by filtration. The effect involves self-/non-self...

  1. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi M Luter

    Full Text Available One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m, seasons (summer and winter and space (meters to kilometres was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR. Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered <5% of each tile. In contrast, mean abundances of sponges, ascidians, algae, and bryozoans combined was generally less than 20% of total recruitment, with percentage cover ranging between 15-30% per tile. Coral recruitment was very low, with <1 recruit per tile identified. A hierarchal analysis of variation over a range of spatial and temporal scales showed significant spatio-temporal variation in recruitment patterns, but the highest variability occurred at the lowest spatial scale examined (1 m-among tiles. Temporal variability in recruitment of both numbers of taxa and percentage cover was also evident across both summer and winter. Recruitment across depth varied for some taxonomic groups like algae, sponges and ascidians, with greatest differences in summer. This study presents some of the first data on benthic recruitment within the northern GBR and provides a greater understanding of population ecology for coral reefs.

  2. The hemocytes of Polyandrocarpa mysakiensis: morphology and immune-related activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Ballarin

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available A preliminary study of the hemocytes of developing buds of the compound ascidian Polyandrocarpa misakiensis was carried out at the light microscope level for a better understanding of their biological role. Similarly to other ascidians, P. misakiensis immunocytes are represented by phagocytes and morula cells. Phagocytes include hyaline amoebocytes and round, giant phagocytes, the former the probable precursors of the latter. Hyaline amoebocytes showed high macropinocytotic activity in the presence of bacteria, whereas yeast cells were ingested by phagocytosis. Morula cells contain the enzyme phenoloxidase inside their vacuoles, probably stored as pro-enzyme, which is released upon the recognition of non-self. Together with macrogranular leukocytes, morula cells were the most abundant hemocyte-types which stresses the importance of these cells in Polyandrocarpa biology. Macrogranular leukocytes are frequently found inside the vacuoles of phagocytes and were recognized by a polyclonal antibody raised against an opsonin purified from the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, which suggests that a similar lectin can be involved in the interaction between these cells and phagocytes.

  3. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis J Ambrosio

    Full Text Available Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms.

  4. Self/non-self recognition mechanisms in sexual reproduction: new insight into the self-incompatibility system shared by flowering plants and hermaphroditic animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Hitoshi; Morita, Masaya; Iwano, Megumi

    2014-08-01

    Sexual reproduction is an essential process for generating a genetic variety in the next generation. However, most flowering plants and hermaphroditic animals potentially allow self-fertilization. Approximately 60% of angiosperms possess a self-incompatibility (SI) system to avoid inbreeding. The SI system functions at a process of interaction between pollen (or pollen tube) and the pistil. These SI-responsible factors (S-determinants) in pollen and the pistil are encoded by highly polymorphic multiallelic genes in the S-locus, which are tightly linked making a single haplotype. Different taxonomic families utilize different types of S-determinant proteins. In contrast to the plant system, the mechanisms of SI in simultaneously hermaphroditic animals are largely unknown. Among them, promising candidates for SI in ascidians (primitive chordates) were recently identified. The SI system in the ascidian Cionaintestinalis was found to be very similar to those in flowering plants: The products of sperm- and egg-side multiallelic SI genes, which are tight linked and highly polymorphic, appear to be responsible for the SI system as revealed by genetic analysis. These findings led us to speculate that the SI systems in plants and animals evolved in a manner of convergent evolution. Here, we review the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the SI system in flowering plants, particularly Brassicacea, and in ascidians from the viewpoint of common mechanisms shared by plants and animals.

  5. Origin and evolution of retinoid isomerization machinery in vertebrate visual cycle: hint from jawless vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenia Poliakov

    Full Text Available In order to maintain visual sensitivity at all light levels, the vertebrate eye possesses a mechanism to regenerate the visual pigment chromophore 11-cis retinal in the dark enzymatically, unlike in all other taxa, which rely on photoisomerization. This mechanism is termed the visual cycle and is localized to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, a support layer of the neural retina. Speculation has long revolved around whether more primitive chordates, such as tunicates and cephalochordates, anticipated this feature. The two key enzymes of the visual cycle are RPE65, the visual cycle all-trans retinyl ester isomerohydrolase, and lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT, which generates RPE65's substrate. We hypothesized that the origin of the vertebrate visual cycle is directly connected to an ancestral carotenoid oxygenase acquiring a new retinyl ester isomerohydrolase function. Our phylogenetic analyses of the RPE65/BCMO and N1pC/P60 (LRAT superfamilies show that neither RPE65 nor LRAT orthologs occur in tunicates (Ciona or cephalochordates (Branchiostoma, but occur in Petromyzon marinus (Sea Lamprey, a jawless vertebrate. The closest homologs to RPE65 in Ciona and Branchiostoma lacked predicted functionally diverged residues found in all authentic RPE65s, but lamprey RPE65 contained all of them. We cloned RPE65 and LRATb cDNAs from lamprey RPE and demonstrated appropriate enzymatic activities. We show that Ciona ß-carotene monooxygenase a (BCMOa (previously annotated as an RPE65 has carotenoid oxygenase cleavage activity but not RPE65 activity. We verified the presence of RPE65 in lamprey RPE by immunofluorescence microscopy, immunoblot and mass spectrometry. On the basis of these data we conclude that the crucial transition from the typical carotenoid double bond cleavage functionality (BCMO to the isomerohydrolase functionality (RPE65, coupled with the origin of LRAT, occurred subsequent to divergence of the more primitive chordates

  6. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U15836-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 23, 5'-en... 44 0.40 2 ( EE001618 ) ROE00012490 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopus oryz... 38 0.48 2 ( DX80105...OE00012886 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopus oryz... 38 0.52 2 ( CF611828 ) laf05h12.y1 Gastric Epithelial Pr...BW408568 ) Ciona intestinalis cDNA, clone:cima803m04, 3'end,... 44 0.64 2 ( EE008462 ) ROE00004420 Rhizopus oryzae Company...Brassica oleracea genom... 38 0.66 3 ( EE009624 ) ROE00004013 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopus oryz... 38 0.

  7. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U15674-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 9807 ) Ciona intestinalis cDNA, clone:rcibd066d24, 3' en... 113 2e-20 2 ( EE005021 ) ROE00010379 Rhizopus oryzae Company...-20 4 ( EE006561 ) ROE00006529 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopus oryz... 86 2e-20 3 ( EE007078 ) ROE00002595 Rhizopus oryzae Company... Rhizopus oryz... 86 2e-20 3 ( EE007685 ) ROE00004444 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopu... ) ROE00003177 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopus oryz... 86 3e-20 3 ( EE009077 ) R...OE00000022 Rhizopus oryzae Company Rhizopus oryz... 86 3e-20 3 ( CB891330 ) EST648299 KV3 Medicago truncatul

  8. TCF/Lef regulates the Gsx ParaHox gene in central nervous system development in chordates

    OpenAIRE

    Garstang, Myles Grant; Osborne, Peter; Ferrier, David Ellard Keith

    2016-01-01

    Background The ParaHox genes play an integral role in the anterior-posterior (A-P) patterning of the nervous system and gut of most animals. The ParaHox cluster is an ideal system in which to study the evolution and regulation of developmental genes and gene clusters, as it displays similar regulatory phenomena to its sister cluster, the Hox cluster, but offers a much simpler system with only three genes. Results Using Ciona intestinalis transgenics, we isolated a regulatory element upstream ...

  9. A Conserved Non-Reproductive GnRH System in Chordates

    OpenAIRE

    Kusakabe, Takehiro G.; Tsubasa Sakai; Masato Aoyama; Yuka Kitajima; Yuki Miyamoto; Toru Takigawa; Yutaka Daido; Kentaro Fujiwara; Yasuko Terashima; Yoko Sugiuchi; Giorgio Matassi; Hitoshi Yagisawa; Min Kyun Park; Honoo Satake; Motoyuki Tsuda

    2012-01-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a neuroendocrine peptide that plays a central role in the vertebrate hypothalamo-pituitary axis. The roles of GnRH in the control of vertebrate reproductive functions have been established, while its non-reproductive function has been suggested but less well understood. Here we show that the tunicate Ciona intestinalis has in its non-reproductive larval stage a prominent GnRH system spanning the entire length of the nervous system. Tunicate GnRH recept...

  10. Dicty_cDB: SHA718 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 00020 |CP000020.1 Vibrio fischeri ES114 chromosome I, complete sequence. 46 0.69 1 BG521055 |BG521055.1 ps05c09.y3 Trichinella... spiralis ML CMVsport jasmer Trichinella spiralis cDNA 5' simil...50920.1 Ciona intestinalis cDNA, clone:cicl05g22, 5' end, single read. 42 0.81 2 BG519938 |BG519938.1 ps05c09.y2 Trichinella... spiralis ML CMVsport jasmer Trichinella spiralis cDNA 5' similar

  11. Sobre la pizza. Identificación y apropiación alimenticias en el mundo contemporáneo

    OpenAIRE

    Duhart, Fréderic; Meinhardt Haid, Oliver; Tellström, Richard

    2006-01-01

    Proponemos una reflex ión ant ropológica sobre la pizza en el mundo contemporáneo. Insistimos en la utilización de la pizza en procesos de ide nt ifi cación y de apropiación alimenticia. Según los contex tos, 1a pizza fun ciona como un espejo en el cual un grupo revela los elementos de su cu ltura al imenticia que le parecen esenciales o como una pantalla en la cual se proyectan imágenes de la coci na del Otro.

  12. The truth about mouse, human, worms and yeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson David R

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Genome comparisons are behind the powerful new annotation methods being developed to find all human genes, as well as genes from other genomes. Genomes are now frequently being studied in pairs to provide cross-comparison datasets. This 'Noah's Ark' approach often reveals unsuspected genes and may support the deletion of false-positive predictions. Joining mouse and human as the cross-comparison dataset for the first two mammals are: two Drosophila species, D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura; two sea squirts, Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi; four yeast (Saccharomyces species; two nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae; and two pufferfish (Takefugu rubripes and Tetraodon nigroviridis. Even genomes like yeast and C. elegans, which have been known for more than five years, are now being significantly improved. Methods developed for yeast or nematodes will now be applied to mouse and human, and soon to additional mammals such as rat and dog, to identify all the mammalian protein-coding genes. Current large disparities between human Unigene predictions (127,835 genes and gene-scanning methods (45,000 genes still need to be resolved. This will be the challenge during the next few years.

  13. It's a wrap: encapsulation as a management tool for marine biofouling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atalah, Javier; Brook, Rosemary; Cahill, Patrick; Fletcher, Lauren M; Hopkins, Grant A

    2016-01-01

    Encapsulation of fouled structures is an effective tool for countering incursions by non-indigenous biofoulers. However, guidelines for the implementation of encapsulation treatments are yet to be established. This study evaluated the effects of temperature, biomass, community composition, treatment duration and the biocide acetic acid on biofoulers. In laboratory trials using the model organisms Ciona spp. and Mytilus galloprovincialis, increasing the temperature or biomass speeded up the development of a toxic environment. Total mortality for Ciona spp. occurred within 72 and 24 h at 10 and 19°C, respectively. M. galloprovincialis survived up to 18 days, with high biomass increasing mortality at 10°C only. In a field study, three-month-old and four-year-old communities were encapsulated with and without acetic acid. Mortality took up to 10 days for communities encapsulated without acetic acid, compared to 48 h with acetic acid. The insights gained from this study will be useful in developing standardised encapsulation protocols.

  14. Benthic faunal assemblages from the Holocene middle shelf of the South Evoikos Gulf, central Greece, and their palaeoenvironmental implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asimina Louvari, Markella; Tsourou, Theodora; Drinia, Hara; Anastasakis, George

    2013-04-01

    intermediate percentages of organic matter in which at least some sand fraction is present. A strict interpretation based on the known modern distribution of A. beccarii would confine the species to upper shoreface environments (Hayward et al. 2004). The relatively high frequency values of B. marginata indicate a correlation with organic matter enrichment, with seasonal low oxygen content. This hypothesis is testified also by the increase of the opportunistic species V. bradyana. The temporal presence of V. bradyana assemblage indicates a strong influence of Asopos River run-off, with interplay of increasing food availability and low oxygen concentration Three main ostracod assemblages were distinguished from the bottom to the top of the sediment core: At the lower part of the core ostracod assemblage consists mainly of Costa edwardsii, Cytheridea neapolitana, Callistocythere spp., Pterygocythereis jonesii and Leptocythere spp. At the middle part, Costa edwardsii is the dominant species with relative abundances up to 80% of the total ostracod fauna. At the upper part Costa edwardsii is the most abundant species (20-40% of the total fauna) accompanied mainly by Loxoconcha spp., Xestoleberis spp. and Cyprideis torosa. Ostracod abundance and diversity decrease towards the upper unit of the studied core. These data, and AMS radiocarbon ages determined for foraminifera and ostracods, provide evidence of a change from oceanic influence to estuarine influence. This event is also contemporaneous with the period which is generally characterized by increased evaporation rate (initially at the tropic seas), retreat of glaciers and increased rainfalls (Fairbanks, 1989). Fairbanks, R.G., 1989. A 17,000 year glacio-eustatic sea level record: influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep ocean circulation. Nature, 342, 637-642. Hayward, B.W., Sabaa, A.T., Grenfell, H.R., 2004. Benthic foraminifera and the Late Quaternary (last 150 ka) palaeoceanographic and

  15. Intracellular coagulation inhibits the extraction of proteins from Prochloron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fall, R.; Lewin, R. A.; Fall, L. R.

    1983-01-01

    Protein extraction from the prokaryotic alga Prochloron LP (isolated from the ascidian host Lissoclinum patella) was complicated by an irreversible loss of cell fragility in the isolated algae. Accompanying this phenomenon, which is termed intracellular coagulation, was a redistribution of thylakoids around the cell periphery, a loss of photosynthetic O2 production, and a drastic decrease in the extractability of cell proteins. Procedures are described for the successful preparation and transport of cell extracts yielding the enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase as well as other soluble proteins.

  16. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luter, Heidi M; Duckworth, Alan R; Wolff, Carsten W; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth; Whalan, Steve

    2016-01-01

    One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered reefs.

  17. Evolution of developmental roles of Pax2/5/8 paralogs after independent duplication in urochordate and vertebrate lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cañestro Cristian

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene duplication provides opportunities for lineage diversification and evolution of developmental novelties. Duplicated genes generally either disappear by accumulation of mutations (nonfunctionalization, or are preserved either by the origin of positively selected functions in one or both duplicates (neofunctionalization, or by the partitioning of original gene subfunctions between the duplicates (subfunctionalization. The Pax2/5/8 family of important developmental regulators has undergone parallel expansion among chordate groups. After the divergence of urochordate and vertebrate lineages, two rounds of independent gene duplications resulted in the Pax2, Pax5, and Pax8 genes of most vertebrates (the sister group of the urochordates, and an additional duplication provided the pax2a and pax2b duplicates in teleost fish. Separate from the vertebrate genome expansions, a duplication also created two Pax2/5/8 genes in the common ancestor of ascidian and larvacean urochordates. Results To better understand mechanisms underlying the evolution of duplicated genes, we investigated, in the larvacean urochordate Oikopleura dioica, the embryonic gene expression patterns of Pax2/5/8 paralogs. We compared the larvacean and ascidian expression patterns to infer modular subfunctions present in the single pre-duplication Pax2/5/8 gene of stem urochordates, and we compared vertebrate and urochordate expression to infer the suite of Pax2/5/8 gene subfunctions in the common ancestor of olfactores (vertebrates + urochordates. Expression pattern differences of larvacean and ascidian Pax2/5/8 orthologs in the endostyle, pharynx and hindgut suggest that some ancestral gene functions have been partitioned differently to the duplicates in the two urochordate lineages. Novel expression in the larvacean heart may have resulted from the neofunctionalization of a Pax2/5/8 gene in the urochordates. Expression of larvacean Pax2/5/8 in the endostyle, in

  18. Ecology: a niche for cyanobacteria containing chlorophyll d

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kühl, Michael; Chen, Min; Ralph, Peter J;

    2005-01-01

    The cyanobacterium known as Acaryochloris marina is a unique phototroph that uses chlorophyll d as its principal light-harvesting pigment instead of chlorophyll a, the form commonly found in plants, algae and other cyanobacteria; this means that it depends on far-red light for photosynthesis. Here...... we demonstrate photosynthetic activity in Acaryochloris-like phototrophs that live underneath minute coral-reef invertebrates (didemnid ascidians) in a shaded niche enriched in near-infrared light. This discovery clarifies how these cyanobacteria are able to thrive as free-living organisms...

  19. Particle-capture mechanisms in suspension-feeding invertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riisgård, Hans Ulrik; Larsen, Poul Scheel

    2010-01-01

    A large number of suspension-feeding animals (e.g. bivalves, polychaetes, ascidians, bryozoans, crustaceans, sponges, echinoderms, cnidarians) have specialized in grazing on not only the 2 to 200 µm phytoplankton but frequently also the 0.5 to 2 µm free-living bacteria in the aquatic environment...... the many differences in morphology and living conditions, particle-capture mechanisms may be divided into 2 main types. One type of mechanism (i) is some form of filtering or sieving (e.g. through mucus nets, stiff cilia, filter setae), which is found in both passive suspension feeders, that rely...

  20. Small carnivores of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honnavalli N. Kumara

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available During the present study in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT, nine species of small carnivores viz., Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Rusty-spotted Cat Prionalilurus rubiginosus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Striped-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, were recorded using camera-trapping technique, transect walks, and night surveys. Vegetation type strongly influences the presence and abundance of each species. The most sightings of small carnivores occurred in dry deciduous forests. Among all the species, the Asian Palm Civet was the most abundant and was followed by the small Indian Civet. Compared to many other forests or regions in India, the sight records of the Rusty-spotted Cat were relatively higher in BRT. Although we were unable to use statistical methods to search for higher levels of interdependencies between forest types and small carnivore abundance, our study sheds light on patterns of small carnivore distribution in this unique habitat which bridges the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

  1. Spatial variation in the environmental control of crab larval settlement in a micro-tidal austral estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, Luis Miguel; Cardyn, Carlos Simón; Garcés-Vargas, José

    2012-09-01

    Settlement of benthic marine invertebrates is determined by the interaction between physical factors and biological processes, in which the tide, wind, and predation can play key roles, especially for species that recruit within estuaries. This complexity promotes high variability in recruitment and limited predictability of the size of annual cohorts. This study describes the settlement patterns of megalopae of the commercially important crab Cancer edwardsii at three locations (one in the center and two at the mouth of the estuary) within the Valdivia River estuary (~39.9°S), over three consecutive years (2006-2008). At each location, 12 passive benthic collectors with a natural substratum were deployed for 48 h at 7-day intervals, over a lunar cycle. Half of the collectors were covered with mesh to exclude predators. The main findings were as follows: (1) circulation changes due to upwelling relaxation or onshore winds controlled crab settlement at sites within the mouth of the estuary, (2) at the internal estuarine site, settlement was dominated by tidal effects, and (3) the effect of predation on settlement was negligible at all scales. The results show that the predominant physical factor controlling the return of competent crab larvae to estuarine environments varies spatially within the estuary. The lack of tidal influence on settlement at the mouth of the estuary can be explained by the overwhelming influence of the intense upwelling fronts and the micro-tidal regime in the study area.

  2. Lack of host-dependent genetic structure in ectoparasites of Calonectris shearwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Díaz, E; González-Solís, J; Peinado, M A; Page, R D M

    2007-12-01

    We compared patterns of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) differentiation in three host-specific lice (Halipeurus abnormis, Austromenopon echinatum and Saemundssonia peusi) and one generalist flea (Xenopsylla gratiosa), parasitizing 22 colonies of Cory's and Cape Verde shearwater (Calonectris). The shearwater hosts show distinct phylogeographic structure corresponding to the three taxa Calonectris d. diomedea, C. d. borealis, and C. edwardsii. The host-specific lice appeared undifferentiated among the three Calonectris taxa, whereas the more generalist flea displayed significant levels of population differentiation. Neither genetic distances among host populations, nor their spatial distribution explained the patterns of genetic variability observed in the ectoparasites. The lack of differentiation among lice is unexpected, given that previous work has found evidence of cospeciation between procellariiform seabirds and their lice, and lice typically have an elevated rate of mtDNA evolution with respect to their hosts. Our results suggest that either rates of evolution in seabird lice are not always as high as previously thought, or that the magnitude of movement of lice between seabird hosts has been substantially underestimated. PMID:18028307

  3. Crustacean fishery with bottom traps in an area of the southern Tyrrhenian Sea: species composition, abundance and biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. CASTRIOTA

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The north-eastern coast of Sicily is characterized by deep, steep bottoms, not easily exploitable by trawl fishery. In this area few fishermen use bottom traps to catch shrimps and Norway lobsters. Our studies were aimed at identifying the species’ composition, abundance and biomass of crustaceans exploitable by bottom traps in this area. Monthly samples over one year were obtained from two lines of 30 baited traps each, at depths between 100 and 500 m. One line was placed in an area usually exploited by this fishery; the other line was used in the unexploited deepest bottoms. Trapped specimens were counted and weighed. ANOVA test, post hoc multiple comparisons and Student’s t test were applied on abundance and biomass data, for testing differences between areas, among seasons and species. During 22 fishing days, 23 species characteristic of the bathyal mud assemblage were caught, 8 of which were not considered commercial. Plesionika edwardsii was the most important species, recorded in the whole bathymetric range investigated; Nephrops norvegicus was significantly higher in terms of biomass in the unexploited area. The discard, of slight importance, was mostly represented by the crab Liocarcinus depurator. Spring season yielded the best catches in both areas, showing the highest values for both abundance and biomass

  4. Asentamiento diario de megalopas de jaibas del género Cancer en un estuario micromareal Daily settlement of Cancer crab megalopae in a microtidal estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel Pardo

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available El asentamiento de crustáceos decápodos en ambientes estuarinos, es la última etapa de un complejo proceso en que las especies meroplanctónicas cierran la fase de vida pelágica. Este proceso tiene etapas sucesivas, que comienza con la formación de parches larvales frente a la costa, su transporte hacia las zonas de crianza, exploración de sustrato en busca de un lugar adecuado para el asentamiento y la metamorfosis a juvenil. Las interacciones entre los factores físicos y el comportamiento de las larvas competentes regulan las diversas etapas de este proceso, determinando finalmente las tasas de asentamiento locales. En este estudio se analiza la importancia relativa de las forzantes físicas que actúan a meso-escala (i.e. estrés del viento, nivel del mar y caudal del río y micro-escala (condiciones locales de temperatura, salinidad y tipo de sustrato sobre el asentamiento de megalopas de los braquiuros Cancer edwardsii y C. coronatus, principales jaibas comerciales en la pesca artesanal chilena. Para esto se instalaron colectores larvales pasivos de fondo por 73 días consecutivos en el periodo de máximo reclutamiento (i.e. abundancia de juvenil I, en la desembocadura del estuario del río Valdivia y se dispuso de arena gruesa y un símil de tapiz algal como sustrato. Los resultados mostraron que: a el asentamiento está caracterizado por extensos periodos de escasos asentados alternados por pulsos de máximos, que no necesariamente coinciden entre las especies estudiadas, b el asentamiento de C. edwardsii mostró estar relacionado con múltiples forzantes que generan la advección de aguas cálidas hacia la costa, c el asentamiento de C. coronatus tuvo relación con las forzantes que generan la surgencia costera, d las larvas de ambas especies no difieren en el asentamiento sobre sustratos heterogéneos. Este estudio mostró que los patrones de asentamiento larval son especie específicos, incluso en especies simpátricas y

  5. Phylogeography of the Calonectris shearwaters using molecular and morphometric data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Díaz, E; González-Solís, J; Peinado, M A; Page, R D M

    2006-11-01

    We investigated phylogenetic relationships and the biogeographic history of the Calonectris species complex, using both molecular and biometric data from one population of the Cape Verde shearwater Calonectris edwardsii (Cape Verde Islands), one from the streaked shearwater C. leucomelas (western Pacific Ocean) and 26 from Cory's shearwater populations distributed across the Atlantic (C. d. borealis) and the Mediterranean (C. d. diomedea). The streaked shearwater appeared as the most basal and distant clades, whereas the genetic divergences among the three main clades within the Palearctic were similar. Clock calibrations match the first speciation event within Calonectris to the Panama Isthmus formation, suggesting a vicariant scenario for the divergence of the Pacific and the Palearctic clades. The separation between the Atlantic and Mediterranean clades would have occurred in allopatry by range contraction followed by local adaptation during the major biogeographic events of the Pleistocene. The endemic form from Cape Verde probably evolved as a result of ecological divergence from the Mediterranean subspecies. Finally, one Mediterranean population (Almeria) was unexpectedly grouped into the Atlantic subspecies clade, both by genetic and by morphometric analyses, pointing out the Almeria-Oran oceanographic front (AOOF) as the actual divide between the two Cory's shearwater subspecies. Our results highlight the importance of oceanographic boundaries as potentially effective barriers shaping population and species phylogeographical structure in pelagic seabirds. PMID:16814569

  6. A mongoose remain (Mammalia: Carnivora) from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments, Myanmar and its significance in evolutionary history of Asian herpestids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egi, Naoko; Thaung-Htike; Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein; Maung-Maung; Nishioka, Yuichiro; Tsubamoto, Takehisa; Ogino, Shintaro; Takai, Masanaru

    2011-11-01

    A tooth of a mongoose (Mammalia: Carnivora: Herpestidae) was discovered from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments in central Myanmar. The age of the fauna is not older than the mid-Pliocene. It is identified as a right first upper molar of a small species of Urva (formally included in the genus Herpestes) based on its size and shape. The present specimen is the first carnivoran from the Upper Irrawaddy sediments and is the first record of mongooses in the Pliocene and early Pleistocene of Asia. It confirms that mongooses had already dispersed into Southeast Asia by the late Pliocene, being consistent with the previous molecular phylogenetic analyses. The fossil may belong to one of the extant species, but an assignment to a specific species is difficult due to the fragmentary nature of the specimen and the small interspecific differences in dental shape among the Asian mongooses. The size of the tooth suggests that the Irrawaddy specimen is within or close to the clade of Urva auropunctata + javanica + edwardsii, and this taxonomic assignment agrees with the geographical distribution.

  7. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luter, Heidi M; Duckworth, Alan R; Wolff, Carsten W; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth; Whalan, Steve

    2016-01-01

    One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered recruitment, with percentage cover ranging between 15-30% per tile. Coral recruitment was very low, with recruit per tile identified. A hierarchal analysis of variation over a range of spatial and temporal scales showed significant spatio-temporal variation in recruitment patterns, but the highest variability occurred at the lowest spatial scale examined (1 m-among tiles). Temporal variability in recruitment of both numbers of taxa and percentage cover was also evident across both summer and winter. Recruitment across depth varied for some taxonomic groups like algae, sponges and ascidians, with greatest differences in summer. This study presents some of the first data on benthic recruitment within the northern GBR and provides a greater understanding of population ecology for coral reefs. PMID:27049650

  8. Cyanobacterial diversity and a new acaryochloris-like symbiont from Bahamian sea-squirts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna López-Legentil

    Full Text Available Symbiotic interactions between ascidians (sea-squirts and microbes are poorly understood. Here we characterized the cyanobacteria in the tissues of 8 distinct didemnid taxa from shallow-water marine habitats in the Bahamas Islands by sequencing a fragment of the cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene and the entire 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS and by examining symbiont morphology with transmission electron (TEM and confocal microscopy (CM. As described previously for other species, Trididemnum spp. mostly contained symbionts associated with the Prochloron-Synechocystis group. However, sequence analysis of the symbionts in Lissoclinum revealed two unique clades. The first contained a novel cyanobacterial clade, while the second clade was closely associated with Acaryochloris marina. CM revealed the presence of chlorophyll d (chl d and phycobiliproteins (PBPs within these symbiont cells, as is characteristic of Acaryochloris species. The presence of symbionts was also observed by TEM inside the tunic of both the adult and larvae of L. fragile, indicating vertical transmission to progeny. Based on molecular phylogenetic and microscopic analyses, Candidatus Acaryochloris bahamiensis nov. sp. is proposed for this symbiotic cyanobacterium. Our results support the hypothesis that photosymbiont communities in ascidians are structured by host phylogeny, but in some cases, also by sampling location.

  9. Structure and anticoagulant properties of sulfated glycosaminoglycans from primitive Chordates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAVÃO MAURO S. G.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Dermatan sulfates and heparin, similar to the mammalian glycosaminoglycans, but with differences in the degree and position of sulfation were previously isolated from the body of the ascidian Styela plicata and Ascidia nigra. These differences produce profound effects on their anticoagulant properties. S. plicata dermatan sulfate composed by 2-O-sulfatedalpha-L-iduronic acid and 4-O-sulfated N-acetyl-beta-D-galactosamine residues is a potent anticoagulant due to a high heparin cofactor II activity. Surprisingly, it has a lower potency to prevent thrombus formation on an experimental model and a lower bleeding effect in rats than the mammalian dermatan sulfate. In contrast, A. nigra dermatan sulfate, also enriched in 2-O-sulfated alpha-L-iduronic acid, but in this case sulfated at O-6 of the N-acetyl-beta-D-galactosamine units, has no in vitro or in vivo anticoagulant activity, does not prevent thrombus formation but shows a bleeding effect similar to the mammalian glycosaminoglycan. Ascidian heparin, composed by 2-O-sulfated alpha-L-iduronic acid, N- and 6-O-sulfated glucosamine (75% and alpha-L-iduronic acid, N- and 6-O-sulfated glucosamine (25% disaccharide units has an anticoagulant activity 10 times lower than the mammalian heparin, is about 20 times less potent in the inhibition of thrombin by antithrombin, but has the same heparin cofactor II activity as mammalian heparin.

  10. Colony specificity in Botrylloides leachi. I. Morphological aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Zaniolo

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied colony specificity in the colonial ascidian Botrylloides leachi which, as in other botryllid ascidians, leads to either fusion or non-fusion between contacting colonies. Fusion requires the prior disappearance of contacting tunic cuticles and contact between facing ampullar epithelia. The epithelial cells of the ampullar tip show “pad regions” rich in ribosomes, which contribute to the synthesis of new tunic and cuticle. Blood cells, mainly phagocytes and pigment cells, increase their concentrations inside the ampullar lumen and phagocytes can cross the ampullar epithelium and enter the tunic, where they can contribute to the digestion of tunic cuticles and cells of the ampullar epithelium in order to establish a common circulation. Non-fusion reaction, as studied in the colony allorecognition assay, resembles the subcuticular rejection described in Japanese Botrylloides, characterised by limited tunic fusion, hemocyte leakage, and necrotic spots. Conversely, in the cut surface assay, a more intense cytotoxic reaction is observed along the contact border. In this case, morula cells crowd massively inside the facing ampullae, enter the tunic, and release their vacuolar contents which are probably required for the formation of necrotic spots.

  11. La influencia de la convivencia escolar en el nivel de inclusión educativa, en estudiantes de bachiller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MSc. Rolando Medina Peña

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available La inclusión educativa muchas veces no es bien entendida y se interpreta de diversas formas en el mundo. Desde el campo educativo se connota, a la manera en que la ins­titución educacional da respuesta a la diversidad y, tiene relación directa con el término necesidades educativas es­peciales (NEE. La investigación examina la influencia del código de convivencia escolar en el nivel de inclusión edu­cativa, a partir de la asunción de las necesidades educati­vas especiales de algunos de sus estudiantes. Se perfec­ciona la comprensión de las NEE, de inclusión educativa y los recursos educativos que se ajustan a las peculiaridades del desarrollo humano.

  12. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U09124-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available EST_lsal_evj_936284 lsalevj mixed_tissue_mixed_st... 62 2e-09 2 ( DR713622 ) Le_lv0_06c01_SP6 Little Skate L...iver, Normalized L... 64 2e-09 2 ( DR713276 ) Le_lv0_02a12_SP6 Little Skate Liver, Normalized L... 64 2e-09 ...2 ( DR713314 ) Le_lv0_02e09_SP6 Little Skate Liver, Normalized L... 64 2e-09 2 ( ... librar... 64 4e-10 2 ( BW031100 ) Ciona intestinalis cDNA, clone:cibd017e13, 5' end... 64 4e-10 2 ( DR713623 ) Le_lv0_06c02_SP6 Litt...le Skate Liver, Normalized L... 64 2e-09 2 ( FK922007 )

  13. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U14789-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 72732 ) Ciona savignyi cDNA, clone:csef010p06, 5'end, sin... 42 1e-05 3 ( DN299396 ) PL04015B2F05 cDNA from sexually...S-HH0 Euprymna scolo... 54 0.004 1 ( DN308204 ) PL05016A1B10 cDNA from sexually m...ature hermaphodi... 54 0.004 1 ( DN301348 ) PL04022A2C06 cDNA from sexually mature hermaphodi... 54 0.004 1 ...( DN300514 ) PL04019B1D03 cDNA from sexually mature hermaphodi... 54 0.004 1 ( BQ095991 ) kk04c08.y1 Ascaris

  14. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U16029-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 301514 ) PL04022B2D04 cDNA from sexually mature hermaphodi... 60 2e-21 4 ( DN298105 ) PL04011B1H03 cDNA from sexually... mature hermaphodi... 60 2e-21 4 ( DN298246 ) PL04012A1G09 cDNA from sexually mature hermaphodi... ...60 2e-21 4 ( DN301632 ) PL04023A1G12 cDNA from sexually mature hermaphodi... 60 2...ne:cign052p04, 5' end... 60 7e-20 4 ( DN294541 ) PL030017A20E10 cDNA from sexually...60 1e-19 4 ( BW213634 ) Ciona intestinalis cDNA, clone:cieg074c18, 5' end... 60 1e-19 4 ( DN307194 ) PL05013A2D05 cDNA from sexually

  15. Monitoring biofouling communities could reduce impacts to mussel aquaculture by allowing synchronisation of husbandry techniques with peaks in settlement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sievers, Michael; Dempster, Tim; Fitridge, Isla; Keough, Michael J

    2014-02-01

    Fouling organisms in bivalve aquaculture cause significant economic losses for the industry. Managing biofouling is typically reactive, and involves time- and labour-intensive removal techniques. Mussel spat settlement and biofouling were documented over 20 months at three mussel farms within Port Phillip Bay (PPB), Australia to determine if knowledge of settlement patterns could assist farmers in avoiding biofouling. Mussel spat settlement was largely confined to a 2-month period at one farm. Of the problematic foulers, Ectopleura crocea settlement varied in space and time at all three farms, whilst Ciona intestinalis and Pomatoceros taeniata were present predominantly at one farm and exhibited more distinct settlement periods. Within PPB, complete avoidance of biofouling is impossible. However, diligent monitoring may help farmers avoid peaks in detrimental biofouling species and allow them to implement removal strategies such as manual cleaning, and postpone grading and re-socking practices, until after these peaks.

  16. Large-scale trends in the evolution of gene structures within 11 animal genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Yandell

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available We have used the annotations of six animal genomes (Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Ciona intestinalis, Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, and Caenorhabditis elegans together with the sequences of five unannotated Drosophila genomes to survey changes in protein sequence and gene structure over a variety of timescales--from the less than 5 million years since the divergence of D. simulans and D. melanogaster to the more than 500 million years that have elapsed since the Cambrian explosion. To do so, we have developed a new open-source software library called CGL (for "Comparative Genomics Library". Our results demonstrate that change in intron-exon structure is gradual, clock-like, and largely independent of coding-sequence evolution. This means that genome annotations can be used in new ways to inform, corroborate, and test conclusions drawn from comparative genomics analyses that are based upon protein and nucleotide sequence similarities.

  17. Metodología Innovadora para el Trabajo Fin de Grado en Comunicación Audiovisual

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Cantos Ceballos

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available El presente trabajo establece una metodología innovadora para abordar el trabajo de Fin de Grado en los estudios superiores de Comuni- cación en España fundamentada en un nuevo paradigma competencial de los entornos personales de aprendizaje. Se utiliza un método empírico junto con otro holístico, cualitativo e integrador que pone en relación el TFG como eje en el que confluyen las Competencias, el Entorno Perso- nal de Aprendizaje, y lo Digital y los Contextos de Movilidad. Asimis- mo, se pone en valor el nuevo rol del profesor universitario, que evolu- ciona de docente a mentor, y el papel autónomo y central del estudiante.

  18. Brachyury, Foxa2 and the cis-Regulatory Origins of the Notochord.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana S José-Edwards

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A main challenge of modern biology is to understand how specific constellations of genes are activated to differentiate cells and give rise to distinct tissues. This study focuses on elucidating how gene expression is initiated in the notochord, an axial structure that provides support and patterning signals to embryos of humans and all other chordates. Although numerous notochord genes have been identified, the regulatory DNAs that orchestrate development and propel evolution of this structure by eliciting notochord gene expression remain mostly uncharted, and the information on their configuration and recurrence is still quite fragmentary. Here we used the simple chordate Ciona for a systematic analysis of notochord cis-regulatory modules (CRMs, and investigated their composition, architectural constraints, predictive ability and evolutionary conservation. We found that most Ciona notochord CRMs relied upon variable combinations of binding sites for the transcription factors Brachyury and/or Foxa2, which can act either synergistically or independently from one another. Notably, one of these CRMs contains a Brachyury binding site juxtaposed to an (AC microsatellite, an unusual arrangement also found in Brachyury-bound regulatory regions in mouse. In contrast, different subsets of CRMs relied upon binding sites for transcription factors of widely diverse families. Surprisingly, we found that neither intra-genomic nor interspecific conservation of binding sites were reliably predictive hallmarks of notochord CRMs. We propose that rather than obeying a rigid sequence-based cis-regulatory code, most notochord CRMs are rather unique. Yet, this study uncovered essential elements recurrently used by divergent chordates as basic building blocks for notochord CRMs.

  19. Inferring noncoding RNA families and classes by means of genome-scale structure-based clustering.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Will

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available The RFAM database defines families of ncRNAs by means of sequence similarities that are sufficient to establish homology. In some cases, such as microRNAs and box H/ACA snoRNAs, functional commonalities define classes of RNAs that are characterized by structural similarities, and typically consist of multiple RNA families. Recent advances in high-throughput transcriptomics and comparative genomics have produced very large sets of putative noncoding RNAs and regulatory RNA signals. For many of them, evidence for stabilizing selection acting on their secondary structures has been derived, and at least approximate models of their structures have been computed. The overwhelming majority of these hypothetical RNAs cannot be assigned to established families or classes. We present here a structure-based clustering approach that is capable of extracting putative RNA classes from genome-wide surveys for structured RNAs. The LocARNA (local alignment of RNA tool implements a novel variant of the Sankoff algorithm that is sufficiently fast to deal with several thousand candidate sequences. The method is also robust against false positive predictions, i.e., a contamination of the input data with unstructured or nonconserved sequences. We have successfully tested the LocARNA-based clustering approach on the sequences of the RFAM-seed alignments. Furthermore, we have applied it to a previously published set of 3,332 predicted structured elements in the Ciona intestinalis genome (Missal K, Rose D, Stadler PF (2005 Noncoding RNAs in Ciona intestinalis. Bioinformatics 21 (Supplement 2: i77-i78. In addition to recovering, e.g., tRNAs as a structure-based class, the method identifies several RNA families, including microRNA and snoRNA candidates, and suggests several novel classes of ncRNAs for which to date no representative has been experimentally characterized.

  20. Simple model systems: a challenge for Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Di Carlo Marta

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The success of biomedical researches has led to improvement in human health and increased life expectancy. An unexpected consequence has been an increase of age-related diseases and, in particular, neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders are generally late onset and exhibit complex pathologies including memory loss, cognitive defects, movement disorders and death. Here, it is described as the use of simple animal models such as worms, fishes, flies, Ascidians and sea urchins, have facilitated the understanding of several biochemical mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD, one of the most diffuse neurodegenerative pathologies. The discovery of specific genes and proteins associated with AD, and the development of new technologies for the production of transgenic animals, has helped researchers to overcome the lack of natural models. Moreover, simple model systems of AD have been utilized to obtain key information for evaluating potential therapeutic interventions and for testing efficacy of putative neuroprotective compounds.

  1. Developmental Control of Cell-Cycle Compensation Provides a Switch for Patterned Mitosis at the Onset of Chordate Neurulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogura, Yosuke; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2016-04-18

    During neurulation of chordate ascidians, the 11th mitotic division within the epidermal layer shows a posterior-to-anterior wave that is precisely coordinated with the unidirectional progression of the morphogenetic movement. Here we show that the first sign of this patterned mitosis is an asynchronous anterior-to-posterior S-phase length and that mitotic synchrony is reestablished by a compensatory asynchronous G2-phase length. Live imaging combined with genetic experiments demonstrated that compensatory G2-phase regulation requires transcriptional activation of the G2/M regulator cdc25 by the patterning genes GATA and AP-2. The downregulation of GATA and AP-2 at the onset of neurulation leads to loss of compensatory G2-phase regulation and promotes the transition to patterned mitosis. We propose that such developmentally regulated cell-cycle compensation provides an abrupt switch to spatially patterned mitosis in order to achieve the coordination between mitotic timing and morphogenesis.

  2. Viscosity and not biological mechanisms often controls the effects of temperature on ciliary activity and swimming velocity of small aquatic organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Poul Scheel; Riisgård, H. U.

    2009-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that temperature-dependent viscosity of the ambient water controls or strongly affects bio-mechanical activity such as beat frequency of water-pumping cilia in mussels and ascidians, swimming velocity of sperm cells, ciliates and small (micro- and meso-scale) aquatic...... is used to assess to what extent the response is purely physical/mechanical or biological. We argue that a power-law dependence of bio-mechanical activity (a) on kinematic viscosity (ν), i.e. a ~ ν^−m, should be applied to available data. Based on a general close matching of the response data to power...... organisms using cilia or small appendages for propulsion. Here we summarize results from the literature and from own studies on bio-mechanical activities in response to changing temperature or manipulated viscosity at constant temperature, both having the same change in kinematic viscosity. The survey...

  3. Cyanobactins from Cyanobacteria: Current Genetic and Chemical State of Knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Joana; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-11-01

    Cyanobacteria are considered to be one of the most promising sources of new, natural products. Apart from non-ribosomal peptides and polyketides, ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are one of the leading groups of bioactive compounds produced by cyanobacteria. Among these, cyanobactins have sparked attention due to their interesting bioactivities and for their potential to be prospective candidates in the development of drugs. It is assumed that the primary source of cyanobactins is cyanobacteria, although these compounds have also been isolated from marine animals such as ascidians, sponges and mollusks. The aim of this review is to update the current knowledge of cyanobactins, recognized as being produced by cyanobacteria, and to emphasize their genetic clusters and chemical structures as well as their bioactivities, ecological roles and biotechnological potential.

  4. Data on four apoptosis-related genes in the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Nicola; Ballin, Francesca; Manni, Lucia; Schiavon, Filippo; Ballarin, Loriano

    2016-09-01

    The data described are related to the article entitled "Recurrent phagocytosis-induced apoptosis in the cyclical generation change of the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri" (Franchi et al., 2016) [1]. Four apoptosis-related genes, showing high similarity with mammalian Bax (a member of the Bcl-2 protein family), AIF1 (apoptosis-inducing factor-1), PARP1 (poly ADP ribose polymerase-1) and IAP7 (inhibitor of apoptosis-7) were identified from the analysis of the trascriptome of B. schlosseri. They were named BsBax, BsAIF1, BsPARP1 and BsIAP7. Here, their deduced amino acid sequence were compared with known sequences of orthologous genes from other deuterostome species together with a study of their identity/similarity. PMID:27294183

  5. Settlement and metamorphosis of Styela canopus Savigny larvae in response to some neurotransmitters and thyroxin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FENG Danqing; HUANG Ying; KE Caihuan; ZHOU Shiqiang; LI Shaojing

    2006-01-01

    The larvae of ascidian Styela canopus Savigny were treated with epinephrine, norepinephrine, L-DOPA, GABA and thyroxin to test the ability of these compounds to induce or inhibit larval settlement and metamorphosis. The results showed that epinephrine,norepinephrine and L-DOPA at the concentration of 1 μ mol/dm3 induced larval settlement and metamorphosis in S. canopus, with short exposure ( 1 h) to 1 μmoL/dm3 of L-DOPA inducing rapid settlement. In contrast, GABA at the concentrations of 0.1 ~100.0 μmol/dm3 significantly inhibited the settlement and metamorphosis of S. canopus larvae. In addition, thyroxin at 1 ~ 50μg/dm3 had no effect on larval settlement and metamorphosis in S. canopus. These results suggest the importance of neurotransmitters in the settlement and metamorphosis of S. canopus larvae.

  6. Evaluation of the sea anemone Anthothoe albocincta as an augmentative biocontrol agent for biofouling on artificial structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atalah, Javier; Bennett, Holly; Hopkins, Grant A; Forrest, Barrie M

    2013-01-01

    Augmentative biocontrol, defined as the use of indigenous natural enemies to control pest populations, has not been explored extensively in marine systems. This study tested the potential of the anemone Anthothoe albocincta as a biocontrol agent for biofouling on submerged artificial structures. Biofouling biomass was negatively related to anemone cover. Treatments with high anemone cover (>35%) led to significant changes in biofouling assemblages compared to controls. Taxa that contributed to these changes differed among sites, but included reductions in cover of problematic fouling organisms, such as solitary ascidians and bryozoans. In laboratory trials, A. albocincta substantially prevented the settlement of larvae of the bryozoan Bugula neritina when exposed to three levels of larval dose, suggesting predation as an important biocontrol mechanism, in addition to space pre-emption. This study demonstrated that augmentative biocontrol using anemones has the potential to reduce biofouling on marine artificial structures, although considerable further work is required to refine this tool before its application.

  7. Diversity of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Genes in the Microbial Metagenomes of Marine Sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ute Hentschel

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Genomic mining revealed one major nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS phylogenetic cluster in 12 marine sponge species, one ascidian, an actinobacterial isolate and seawater. Phylogenetic analysis predicts its taxonomic affiliation to the actinomycetes and hydroxy-phenyl-glycine as a likely substrate. Additionally, a phylogenetically distinct NRPS gene cluster was discovered in the microbial metagenome of the sponge Aplysina aerophoba, which shows highest similarities to NRPS genes that were previously assigned, by ways of single cell genomics, to a Chloroflexi sponge symbiont. Genomic mining studies such as the one presented here for NRPS genes, contribute to on-going efforts to characterize the genomic potential of sponge-associated microbiota for secondary metabolite biosynthesis.

  8. Clinical Marine Toxicology: A European Perspective for Clinical Toxicologists and Poison Centers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc De Haro

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Clinical marine toxicology is a rapidly changing area. Many of the new discoveries reported every year in Europe involve ecological disturbances—including global warming—that have induced modifications in the chorology, behavior, and toxicity of many species of venomous or poisonous aquatic life including algae, ascidians, fish and shellfish. These changes have raised a number of public issues associated, e.g., poisoning after ingestion of contaminated seafood, envenomation by fish stings, and exposure to harmful microorganism blooms. The purpose of this review of medical and scientific literature in marine toxicology is to highlight the growing challenges induced by ecological disturbances that confront clinical toxicologists during the everyday job in the European Poison Centers.

  9. An Early Cambrian tunicate from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, D G; Chen, L; Han, J; Zhang, X L

    2001-05-24

    Like the Burgess Shales of Canada, the Chengjiang Lagerstätte from the Lower Cambrian of China is renowned for the detailed preservation as fossils of delicate, soft-bodied creatures, providing an insight into the Cambrian explosion. The fossils of possible hemichordate chordates and vertebrates have attracted particular attention. Tunicates, or urochordates, comprise the most basal chordate clade, and details of their evolution could be important in understanding the sequence of character acquisition that led to the emergence of chordates and vertebrates. However, definitive fossils of tunicates from the Cambrian are scarce or debatable. Here we report a probable tunicate Cheungkongella ancestralis from the Chengjiang fauna. It resembles the extant ascidian tunicate genus Styela whose morphology could be useful in understanding the origin of the vertebrates. PMID:11373678

  10. Microenvironmental Ecology of Phototrophs from Extreme Environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trampe, Erik

    conditions in L. platella was assessed revealing dynamic irradiancedriven changes in O2, pH and photosynthesis using a suite of advanced bioimaging methods for variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging, and planar optode imaging of pH and O2 distribution in the ascidian and its associated internal...... of their kleptochloroplasts but that they apparently lose the ability to maintain high inorganic carbon fixation rates. The last part of the thesis contains three manuscripts, Manuscript 10, 11 and 12, that represent methodical studies. Some of the work included in Manuscript 10, was performed but not completely analyzed...... and finalized in part of my master thesis and presents a new multicolor (red, green, and blue excitation light) system for microscopic imaging of variable chlorophyll fluorescence. In addition to a thorough description of the commercially available imaging system, we developed an additional custom build...

  11. [Distribution of Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in mangroves of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carballo, J L

    2000-01-01

    The ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata synthesizes some of the most promising substances against solid-type tumors, but the only available source are the natural populations of this tunicate, which is reared or collected in different parts of the world. A total of 33 locations were sampled in the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. The tunicate was not found in Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche, but it was well established on mangrove roots in the Yucatan Peninsula where we estimated densities more or less equal to one colony and an average production of 115 g of biomass per lineal meter of mangrove coastline in one location (Río Lagartos). Sustainable management appears to be possible.

  12. Molecular investigations of chikungunya virus during outbreaks in Orissa, Eastern India in 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Biswadeep; Sahu, Abhipsa; Das, Mumani; Patra, Aparna; Dwibedi, Bhagirathi; Kar, Santanu K; Hazra, Rupenangshu K

    2012-07-01

    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an arthritogenic alphavirus, is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes of genus Aedes, mainly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The resurgence of CHIKV in different parts of India is a point of major public health concern. In 2010, chikungunya outbreaks with high epidemic magnitude were recorded in coastal areas of Orissa, Eastern India, affecting more than 15,000 people coupled with severe arthralgia and prolonged morbidites. Detailed entomological, serological and molecular investigation of this unprecendented outbreak was carried out by collecting and studying 1359 mosquito samples belonging to A. albopictus, A. aegypti, A. vittatus, A. edwardsii and Culex species and 220 patients serum from the affected areas. In this study, CHIKV specific IgM capture-ELISA and reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) were done to detect recent infection of CHIKV in serum samples and adult mosquitoes collected from the affected areas. The high maximum likelihood estimate (MLE) (15.2) in A. albopictus mosquitoes indicated that it was the principal vector involved in transmission of CHIKV in Orissa. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CHIKV strains involved in the outbreak belonged to the Indian Ocean Lineage (IOL) group within the East, Central and South African (ECSA) genotype. Genetic characterization of envelope glycoprotein (E1 and E2) genes revealed that all the CHIKV isolates from Orissa had the E1-A226V mutation that enhances viral dissemination and transmissibility by A. albopictus mosquitoes along with E2-L210Q and E2-I211T mutations, which play an epistatic role with E1-A226V mutation in adaptation of CHIKV to A. albopictus by increasing its midgut infectivity, thereby favoring its vectorial capacity. Our results showed the involvement of A. albopictus vector in the recent outbreaks in Orissa and circulation of IOL strains of ECSA genotype of CHIKV with E1-A226V, E2-L210Q and E2-I211T mutations in vectors and patients serum. PMID:22484761

  13. Fishery induces sperm depletion and reduction in male reproductive potential for crab species under male-biased harvest strategy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel Pardo

    Full Text Available Sperm depletion in males can occur when polygynous species are intensively exploited under a male-biased management strategy. In fisheries involving crabs species, the effects of this type of management on the reproductive potential is far from being understood. This study tests whether male-biased management of the principal Chilean crab fishery is able to affect the potential capacity of Metacarcinus edwardsii males to transfer sperm to females. Five localities in southern Chile, recording contrasting crab fishery landing, were selected to assess the potential of sperm depletion triggered by fishery. Seasonally, male crabs from each locality were obtained. Dry weight and histological condition of vasa deferentia and the Vaso-Somatic Index (VSI were determined in order to use them as proxies for sperm depletion and male reproductive condition. A manipulative experiment was performed in the laboratory to estimate vasa deferentia weight and VSI from just-mated males in order to obtain a reference point for the potential effects of the fishery on sperm reserves. Sperm storage capacity is significantly affected by fisheries; during the mating season vasa deferentia from localities with low fishery intensity were heavier than those from high intensity fisheries, and these differences were even more evident in large males. Histological section showed that this disparity in vasa deferentia weight was explained principally by differences in the quantity of spermatophores rather than other seminal material. VSI was always higher in males from localities with low fishery intensity. Males from localities with high fishery intensity showed little capacity to recover sperm reserves and the VSI of these males remained below the values of the just-mated males. Detriment in the capacity of males to transfer sperm is the first step to sperm limitation in an exploited population, thus detection of sperm depletion can be an alert to introduce changes in the

  14. The good, the bad and the recovery in an assisted migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bridget S Green

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Assisted migration or translocation of species to ameliorate effects of habitat loss or changing environment is currently under scrutiny as a conservation tool. A large scale experiment of assisted migration over hundreds of kilometres was tested on a morph from a commercial fishery of southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii, to enhance depleted populations, improve the yield and sustainability of the fishery, and test resilience to a changing climate. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Approximately 10,000 lower-valued, pale-coloured lobsters were moved from deep water to inshore sites (2 in Tasmania [TAS] and 2 in South Australia [SA] where the high-value, red morph occurs. In TAS this was a northwards movement of 1° latitude. Growth was measured only in TAS lobsters, and reproductive status was recorded in lobsters from all locations. Pale females (TAS grew 4 times faster than resident pale lobsters from the original site and twice as fast as red lobsters at their new location. Approximately 30% of translocated pale lobsters deferred reproduction for one year after release (SA and TAS, and grew around 1 mm yr(-1 less compared to translocated pale lobsters that did not defer reproduction. In spite of this stress response to translocation, females that deferred reproduction still grew 2-6 mm yr(-1 more than lobsters at the source site. Lobsters have isometric growth whereby volume increases as a cube of length. Consequently despite the one-year hiatus in reproduction, increased growth increases fecundity of translocated lobsters, as the increase in size provided a larger volume for producing and incubating eggs in future years. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Assisted migration improved egg production and growth, despite a temporary stress response, and offers a tool to improve the production, sustainability and resilience of the fishery.

  15. A quantitative metric to identify critical elements within seafood supply networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Éva E Plagányi

    Full Text Available A theoretical basis is required for comparing key features and critical elements in wild fisheries and aquaculture supply chains under a changing climate. Here we develop a new quantitative metric that is analogous to indices used to analyse food-webs and identify key species. The Supply Chain Index (SCI identifies critical elements as those elements with large throughput rates, as well as greater connectivity. The sum of the scores for a supply chain provides a single metric that roughly captures both the resilience and connectedness of a supply chain. Standardised scores can facilitate cross-comparisons both under current conditions as well as under a changing climate. Identification of key elements along the supply chain may assist in informing adaptation strategies to reduce anticipated future risks posed by climate change. The SCI also provides information on the relative stability of different supply chains based on whether there is a fairly even spread in the individual scores of the top few key elements, compared with a more critical dependence on a few key individual supply chain elements. We use as a case study the Australian southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii fishery, which is challenged by a number of climate change drivers such as impacts on recruitment and growth due to changes in large-scale and local oceanographic features. The SCI identifies airports, processors and Chinese consumers as the key elements in the lobster supply chain that merit attention to enhance stability and potentially enable growth. We also apply the index to an additional four real-world Australian commercial fishery and two aquaculture industry supply chains to highlight the utility of a systematic method for describing supply chains. Overall, our simple methodological approach to empirically-based supply chain research provides an objective method for comparing the resilience of supply chains and highlighting components that may be critical.

  16. Functional evolution of the vitamin D and pregnane X receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ou Junhai

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The vitamin D receptor (VDR and pregnane X receptor (PXR are nuclear hormone receptors of the NR1I subfamily that show contrasting patterns of cross-species variation. VDR and PXR are thought to have arisen from duplication of an ancestral gene, evident now as a single gene in the genome of the chordate invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (sea squirt. VDR genes have been detected in a wide range of vertebrates including jawless fish. To date, PXR genes have not been found in cartilaginous fish. In this study, the ligand selectivities of VDRs were compared in detail across a range of vertebrate species and compared with those of the Ciona VDR/PXR. In addition, several assays were used to search for evidence of PXR-mediated hepatic effects in three model non-mammalian species: sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus, zebrafish (Danio rerio, and African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis. Results Human, mouse, frog, zebrafish, and lamprey VDRs were found to have similar ligand selectivities for vitamin D derivatives. In contrast, using cultured primary hepatocytes, only zebrafish showed evidence of PXR-mediated induction of enzyme expression, with increases in testosterone 6β-hydroxylation activity (a measure of cytochrome P450 3A activity in other species and flurbiprofen 4-hydroxylation activity (measure of cytochrome P450 2C activity following exposure to known PXR activators. A separate assay in vivo using zebrafish demonstrated increased hepatic transcription of another PXR target, multidrug resistance gene (ABCB5, following injection of the major zebrafish bile salt, 5α-cyprinol 27-sulfate. The PXR target function, testosterone hydroxylation, was detected in frog and sea lamprey primary hepatocytes, but was not inducible in these two species by a wide range of PXR activators in other animals. Analysis of the sea lamprey draft genome also did not show evidence of a PXR gene. Conclusion Our results show tight conservation of ligand

  17. Evolution and origin of merlin, the product of the Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2 tumor-suppressor gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omelyanchuk Leonid V

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Merlin, the product of the Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2 tumor suppressor gene, belongs to the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM subgroup of the protein 4.1 superfamily, which links cell surface glycoproteins to the actin cytoskeleton. While merlin's functional activity has been examined in mammalian and Drosophila models, little is understood about its evolution, diversity, and overall distribution among different taxa. Results By combining bioinformatic and phylogenetic approaches, we demonstrate that merlin homologs are present across a wide range of metazoan lineages. While the phylogenetic tree shows a monophyletic origin of the ERM family, the origin of the merlin proteins is robustly separated from that of the ERM proteins. The derivation of merlin is thought to be in early metazoa. We have also observed the expansion of the ERM-like proteins within the vertebrate clade, which occurred after its separation from Urochordata (Ciona intestinalis. Amino acid sequence alignment reveals the absence of an actin-binding site in the C-terminal region of all merlin proteins from various species but the presence of a conserved internal binding site in the N-terminal domain of the merlin and ERM proteins. In addition, a more conserved pattern of amino acid residues is found in the region containing the so-called "Blue Box," although some amino acid substitutions in this region exist in the merlin sequences of worms, fish, and Ciona. Examination of sequence variability at functionally significant sites, including the serine-518 residue, the phosphorylation of which modulates merlin's intra-molecular association and function as a tumor suppressor, identifies several potentially important sites that are conserved among all merlin proteins but divergent in the ERM proteins. Secondary structure prediction reveals the presence of a conserved α-helical domain in the central to C-terminal region of the merlin proteins of various species. The

  18. Antibiotic, cytotoxic and enzyme inhibitory activity of crude extracts from Brazilian marine invertebrates Atividade antibiótica, citotóxica e de inibição enzimática de extratos brutos de invertebrados marinhos do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirna H. R. Seleghim

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Herein we present the results of a screening with 349 crude extracts of Brazilian marine sponges, ascidians, bryozoans and octocorals, against 16 strains of susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one yeast (Candida albicans, Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, three cancer cell lines MCF-7 (breast, B16 (murine melanoma and HCT8 (colon, and Leishmania tarentolae adenine phosphoribosyl transferase (L-APRT enzyme. Less than 15% of marine sponge crude extracts displayed antibacterial activity, both against susceptible and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Up to 40% of marine sponge crude extracts displayed antimycobacterial activity against M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Cytotoxicity was observed for 18% of marine sponge crude extracts. Finally, less than 3% of sponge extracts inhibited L-APRT. Less than 10% of ascidian crude extracts displayed antibacterial activity. More than 25% of ascidian crude extracts were active against M. tuberculosis and the three cancer cell lines. Only two crude extracts from the ascidian Polysyncraton sp. collected in different seasons (1995 and 1997 displayed activity against L-APRT. Less than 2% of bryozoan and octocoral crude extracts presented antibacterial activity, but a high percentage of crude extracts from bryozoan and octororal displayed cytotoxic (11% and 30%, respectively and antimycobacterial (60% activities. The extract of only one species of bryozoan, Bugula sp., presented inhibitory activity against L-APRT. Overall, the crude extracts of marine invertebrates herein investigated presented a high level of cytotoxic and antimycobacterial activities, a lower level of antibacterial activity and only a small number of crude extracts inhibited L-APRT. Taxonomic analysis of some of the more potently active crude extracts showed the occurrence of biological activity in taxa that have been previously chemically investigated. These include marine sponges belonging to genera Aaptos, Aplysina, Callyspongia, Haliclona

  19. A specialized molecular motion opens the Hv1 voltage-gated proton channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mony, Laetitia; Berger, Thomas K; Isacoff, Ehud Y

    2015-04-01

    The Hv1 proton channel is unique among voltage-gated channels for containing the pore and gate within its voltage-sensing domain. Pore opening has been proposed to include assembly of the selectivity filter between an arginine (R3) of segment S4 and an aspartate (D1) of segment S1. We determined whether gating involves motion of S1, using Ciona intestinalis Hv1. We found that channel opening is concomitant with solution access to the pore-lining face of S1, from the cytoplasm to deep inside the pore. Voltage- and patch-clamp fluorometry showed that this involves a motion of S1 relative to its surroundings. S1 motion and the S4 motion that precedes it are each influenced by residues on the other helix, thus suggesting a dynamic interaction between S1 and S4. Our findings suggest that the S1 of Hv1 has specialized to function as part of the channel's gate.

  20. Expression of the alternative oxidase mitigates beta-amyloid production and toxicity in model systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Khoury, Riyad; Kaulio, Eveliina; Lassila, Katariina A; Crowther, Damian C; Jacobs, Howard T; Rustin, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has been widely associated with the pathology of Alzheimer's disease, but there is no consensus on whether it is a cause or consequence of disease, nor on the precise mechanism(s). We addressed these issues by testing the effects of expressing the alternative oxidase AOX from Ciona intestinalis, in different models of AD pathology. AOX can restore respiratory electron flow when the cytochrome segment of the mitochondrial respiratory chain is inhibited, supporting ATP synthesis, maintaining cellular redox homeostasis and mitigating excess superoxide production at respiratory complexes I and III. In human HEK293-derived cells, AOX expression decreased the production of beta-amyloid peptide resulting from antimycin inhibition of respiratory complex III. Because hydrogen peroxide was neither a direct product nor substrate of AOX, the ability of AOX to mimic antioxidants in this assay must be indirect. In addition, AOX expression was able to partially alleviate the short lifespan of Drosophila models neuronally expressing human beta-amyloid peptides, whilst abrogating the induction of markers of oxidative stress. Our findings support the idea of respiratory chain dysfunction and excess ROS production as both an early step and as a pathologically meaningful target in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, supporting the concept of a mitochondrial vicious cycle underlying the disease.

  1. Larval rearing, metamorphosis, growth and reproduction of the eolid nudibranch hermissenda crassicornis (eschscholtz, 1831) (gastropoda: opisthobranchia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrigan, J F; Alkon, D L

    1978-06-01

    1. Hermissenda crassicornis is a subannual nudibranch species that reproduces year-round. 2. There is a significant positive relationship between adult weight, diameter of the egg mass, estimated number of eggs per egg mass, and average number of eggs per capsule. 3. There is a planktonic veliger stage of 34 days minimum at 13 degrees -15 degrees C. 4. Larvae metamorphose on at least three species of hydroids. 5. To develop in reasonable numbers to a state competent to metamorphose veligers require a diet that includes phytoplankton of larger cell size (10-11 microm) than the commonly used Isochrysis and Monochrysis (5 microm). 6. Although Hermissenda feeds on a wide variety of sessile invertebrate species in the ocean, a diet of tunicate alone (Ciona intestinalis) promotes good growth and survival in the laboratory. 7. Egg mass deposition is initiated only after first copulation, except in the last month of life, and continues from about one-month post-metamorphosis to death, at about four months post-metamorphosis. Generation time (egg-to-egg) may be as short as 2.5 months. 8. A laboratory strain of Hermissenda is being established to provide animals of known history for research on the neural correlates of behavior. Animals, at least initially, are being selected for fast growth rate. PMID:20693369

  2. Quantifying Mosaic Development: Towards an Evo-Devo Postmodern Synthesis of the Evolution of Development via Differentiation Trees of Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicea, Bradly; Gordon, Richard

    2016-08-18

    Embryonic development proceeds through a series of differentiation events. The mosaic version of this process (binary cell divisions) can be analyzed by comparing early development of Ciona intestinalis and Caenorhabditis elegans. To do this, we reorganize lineage trees into differentiation trees using the graph theory ordering of relative cell volume. Lineage and differentiation trees provide us with means to classify each cell using binary codes. Extracting data characterizing lineage tree position, cell volume, and nucleus position for each cell during early embryogenesis, we conduct several statistical analyses, both within and between taxa. We compare both cell volume distributions and cell volume across developmental time within and between single species and assess differences between lineage tree and differentiation tree orderings. This enhances our understanding of the differentiation events in a model of pure mosaic embryogenesis and its relationship to evolutionary conservation. We also contribute several new techniques for assessing both differences between lineage trees and differentiation trees, and differences between differentiation trees of different species. The results suggest that at the level of differentiation trees, there are broad similarities between distantly related mosaic embryos that might be essential to understanding evolutionary change and phylogeny reconstruction. Differentiation trees may therefore provide a basis for an Evo-Devo Postmodern Synthesis.

  3. A conserved non-reproductive GnRH system in chordates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takehiro G Kusakabe

    Full Text Available Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH is a neuroendocrine peptide that plays a central role in the vertebrate hypothalamo-pituitary axis. The roles of GnRH in the control of vertebrate reproductive functions have been established, while its non-reproductive function has been suggested but less well understood. Here we show that the tunicate Ciona intestinalis has in its non-reproductive larval stage a prominent GnRH system spanning the entire length of the nervous system. Tunicate GnRH receptors are phylogenetically closest to vertebrate GnRH receptors, yet functional analysis of the receptors revealed that these simple chordates have evolved a unique GnRH system with multiple ligands and receptor heterodimerization enabling complex regulation. One of the gnrh genes is conspicuously expressed in the motor ganglion and nerve cord, which are homologous structures to the hindbrain and spinal cord of vertebrates. Correspondingly, GnRH receptor genes were found to be expressed in the tail muscle and notochord of embryos, both of which are phylotypic axial structures along the nerve cord. Our findings suggest a novel non-reproductive role of GnRH in tunicates. Furthermore, we present evidence that GnRH-producing cells are present in the hindbrain and spinal cord of the medaka, Oryzias latipes, thereby suggesting the deep evolutionary origin of a non-reproductive GnRH system in chordates.

  4. Expression of the alternative oxidase mitigates beta-amyloid production and toxicity in model systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Khoury, Riyad; Kaulio, Eveliina; Lassila, Katariina A; Crowther, Damian C; Jacobs, Howard T; Rustin, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has been widely associated with the pathology of Alzheimer's disease, but there is no consensus on whether it is a cause or consequence of disease, nor on the precise mechanism(s). We addressed these issues by testing the effects of expressing the alternative oxidase AOX from Ciona intestinalis, in different models of AD pathology. AOX can restore respiratory electron flow when the cytochrome segment of the mitochondrial respiratory chain is inhibited, supporting ATP synthesis, maintaining cellular redox homeostasis and mitigating excess superoxide production at respiratory complexes I and III. In human HEK293-derived cells, AOX expression decreased the production of beta-amyloid peptide resulting from antimycin inhibition of respiratory complex III. Because hydrogen peroxide was neither a direct product nor substrate of AOX, the ability of AOX to mimic antioxidants in this assay must be indirect. In addition, AOX expression was able to partially alleviate the short lifespan of Drosophila models neuronally expressing human beta-amyloid peptides, whilst abrogating the induction of markers of oxidative stress. Our findings support the idea of respiratory chain dysfunction and excess ROS production as both an early step and as a pathologically meaningful target in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis, supporting the concept of a mitochondrial vicious cycle underlying the disease. PMID:27094492

  5. Detection of marine microalgal biotoxins using bioassays based on functional expression of tunicate xenobiotic receptors in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Ingrid; Fidler, Andrew E

    2015-03-01

    Marine microalgae can produce biotoxins that cause widespread poisoning in marine ecosystems and may also affect human health. While established microalgal biotoxins are detectable using chemical methods, a need remains for robust, inexpensive bioassays. Ligand-binding domains (LBDs) from a tunicate nuclear receptor, VDR/PXRα, which is orthologous to both the vertebrate pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the vitamin D receptor (VDR), can be activated by microalgal biotoxins when expressed in mammalian cell lines. Building on this observation, we developed a generic recombinant yeast bioassay platform that expresses chimeric proteins containing tunicate VDR/PXRα LBDs which mediate ligand-dependent transcription of a reporter gene (lacZ) encoding an easily assayed enzyme (β-galactosidase). Recombinant yeast strains expressing VDR/PXRα LBDs from two tunicate species, Ciona intestinalis and Botryllus schlosseri, were exposed to both synthetic and natural toxins. Structurally simple synthetic chemicals (n-butyl-p-aminobenzoate, carbamazepine, p-aminobenzoic acid, and bisphenol-A) generated EC50 values in the μM range, while more structurally complex marine biotoxins (okadaic acid, pectenotoxin-11, and portimine) activated the assays in the nM range. Given the large number of tunicate species, we propose that tunicate VDR/PXR LBDs may be used as 'sensor elements' in similar yeast-based high-throughput bioassays for detection of established microalgal biotoxins and uncharacterised marine bioactive compounds.

  6. Phylogenetic relationships of the Fox (Forkhead) gene family in the Bilateria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazet, Francoise; Yu, Jr Kai; Liberles, David A.; Holland, Linda Z.; Shimeld, Sebastian M.

    2003-01-01

    The Forkhead or Fox gene family encodes putative transcription factors. There are at least four Fox genes in yeast, 16 in Drosophila melanogaster (Dm) and 42 in humans. Recently, vertebrate Fox genes have been classified into 17 groups named FoxA to FoxQ. Here, we extend this analysis to invertebrates, using available sequences from D. melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae (Ag), Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce), the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis (Ci) and amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae (Bf), from which we also cloned several Fox genes. Phylogenetic analyses lend support to the previous overall subclassification of vertebrate genes, but suggest that four subclasses (FoxJ, L, N and Q) could be further subdivided to reflect their relationships to invertebrate genes. We were unable to identify orthologs of Fox subclasses E, H, I, J, M and Q1 in D. melanogaster, A. gambiae or C. elegans, suggesting either considerable loss in ecdysozoans or the evolution of these subclasses in the deuterostome lineage. Our analyses suggest that the common ancestor of protostomes and deuterostomes had a minimum complement of 14 Fox genes.

  7. Identification, expression, and characterization of the highly conserved D-xylose isomerase in animals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming Ding; Yigang Teng; Qiuyu Yin; Wei Chen; Fukun Zhao

    2009-01-01

    D-xylose is a necessary sugar for animals. The xylanase from a mollusk, Ampullaria crossean, was previously reported by our laboratory. This xylanase can degrade the xylan into D-xylose. But there is still a gap in our knowledge on its metabolic pathway. The question is how does the xylose enter the pentose pathway? With the help of genomic databases and bioinformatic tools, we found that some animals, such as bacteria, have a highly conserved D-xylose isomerase (EC 5.3.1.5). The xylose isomerase from a sea squirt, Ciona intestinali, was heterogeneously expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to confirm its function. The recombinant enzyme had good thermal stability in the presence of Mg2+. At the optimum temperature and optimum pH environment, its specific activity on D-xylose was 0.331μmol/mg/min. This enzyme exists broadly in many animals, but it disappeared in the genome of Amphibia-like Xenopus laevis. Its sequence was highly conserved. The xylose isomerases from animals are very interesting proteins for the study of evolution.

  8. Syntax compensates for poor binding sites to encode tissue specificity of developmental enhancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Emma K; Olson, Katrina M; Zhang, Wei; Rokhsar, Daniel S; Levine, Michael S

    2016-06-01

    Transcriptional enhancers are short segments of DNA that switch genes on and off in response to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic signals. Despite the discovery of the first enhancer more than 30 y ago, the relationship between primary DNA sequence and enhancer activity remains obscure. In particular, the importance of "syntax" (the order, orientation, and spacing of binding sites) is unclear. A high-throughput screen identified synthetic notochord enhancers that are activated by the combination of ZicL and ETS transcription factors in Ciona embryos. Manipulation of these enhancers elucidated a "regulatory code" of sequence and syntax features for notochord-specific expression. This code enabled in silico discovery of bona fide notochord enhancers, including those containing low-affinity binding sites that would be excluded by standard motif identification methods. One of the newly identified enhancers maps upstream of the known enhancer that regulates Brachyury (Ci-Bra), a key determinant of notochord specification. This newly identified Ci-Bra shadow enhancer contains binding sites with very low affinity, but optimal syntax, and therefore mediates surprisingly strong expression in the notochord. Weak binding sites are compensated by optimal syntax, whereas enhancers containing high-affinity binding affinities possess suboptimal syntax. We suggest this balance has obscured the importance of regulatory syntax, as noncanonical binding motifs are typically disregarded by enhancer detection methods. As a result, enhancers with low binding affinities but optimal syntax may be a vastly underappreciated feature of the regulatory genome.

  9. Intra-species sequence comparisons for annotating genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boffelli, Dario; Weer, Claire V.; Weng, Li; Lewis, Keith D.; Shoukry, Malak I.; Pachter, Lior; Keys, David N.; Rubin, Edward M.

    2004-07-15

    Analysis of sequence variation among members of a single species offers a potential approach to identify functional DNA elements responsible for biological features unique to that species. Due to its high rate of allelic polymorphism and ease of genetic manipulability, we chose the sea squirt, Ciona intestinalis, to explore intra-species sequence comparisons for genome annotation. A large number of C. intestinalis specimens were collected from four continents and a set of genomic intervals amplified, resequenced and analyzed to determine the mutation rates at each nucleotide in the sequence. We found that regions with low mutation rates efficiently demarcated functionally constrained sequences: these include a set of noncoding elements, which we showed in C intestinalis transgenic assays to act as tissue-specific enhancers, as well as the location of coding sequences. This illustrates that comparisons of multiple members of a species can be used for genome annotation, suggesting a path for the annotation of the sequenced genomes of organisms occupying uncharacterized phylogenetic branches of the animal kingdom and raises the possibility that the resequencing of a large number of Homo sapiens individuals might be used to annotate the human genome and identify sequences defining traits unique to our species. The sequence data from this study has been submitted to GenBank under accession nos. AY667278-AY667407.

  10. Metaphylogeny of 82 gene families sheds a new light on chordate evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Achieving a better comprehension of the evolution of species has always been an important matter for evolutionary biologists. The deuterostome phylogeny has been described for many years, and three phyla are distinguishable: Echinodermata (including sea stars, sea urchins, etc…, Hemichordata (including acorn worms and pterobranchs, and Chordata (including urochordates, cephalochordates and extant vertebrates. Inside the Chordata phylum, the position of vertebrate species is quite unanimously accepted. Nonetheless, the position of urochordates in regard with vertebrates is still the subject of debate, and has even been suggested by some authors to be a separate phylum from cephalochordates and vertebrates. It was also the case for agnathans species –myxines and hagfish– for which phylogenetic evidence was recently given for a controversial monophyly. This raises the following question: which one of the cephalochordata or urochordata is the sister group of vertebrates and what are their relationships? In the present work, we analyzed 82 protein families presenting homologs between urochordata and other deuterostomes and focused on two points: 1 testing accurately the position of urochordata and cephalochordata phyla in regard with vertebrates as well as chordates monophyly, 2 performing an estimation of the rate of gene loss in the Ciona intestinalis genome. We showed that the urochordate phyla is the vertebrate sister group and that gene loss played a major role in structuring the urochordate genome.

  11. Functional evolution of ADAMTS genes: Evidence from analyses of phylogeny and gene organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Meir Erwin G

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ADAMTS (A Disintegrin-like and Metalloprotease with Thrombospondin motifs proteins are a family of metalloproteases with sequence similarity to the ADAM proteases, that contain the thrombospondin type 1 sequence repeat motifs (TSRs common to extracellular matrix proteins. ADAMTS proteins have recently gained attention with the discovery of their role in a variety of diseases, including tissue and blood disorders, cancer, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer's and the genetic syndromes Weill-Marchesani syndrome (ADAMTS10, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (ADAMTS13, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VIIC (ADAMTS2 in humans and belted white-spotting mutation in mice (ADAMTS20. Results Phylogenetic analysis and comparison of the exon/intron organization of vertebrate (Homo, Mus, Fugu, chordate (Ciona and invertebrate (Drosophila and Caenorhabditis ADAMTS homologs has elucidated the evolutionary relationships of this important gene family, which comprises 19 members in humans. Conclusions The evolutionary history of ADAMTS genes in vertebrate genomes has been marked by rampant gene duplication, including a retrotransposition that gave rise to a distinct ADAMTS subfamily (ADAMTS1, -4, -5, -8, -15 that may have distinct aggrecanase and angiogenesis functions.

  12. Exploration of genetically encoded voltage indicators based on a chimeric voltage sensing domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukiko eMishina

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Deciphering how the brain generates cognitive function from patterns of electrical signals is one of the ultimate challenges in neuroscience. To this end, it would be highly desirable to monitor the activities of very large numbers of neurons while an animal engages in complex behaviours. Optical imaging of electrical activity using genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs has the potential to meet this challenge. Currently prevalent GEVIs are based on the voltage-sensitive fluorescent protein (VSFP prototypical design or on the voltage dependent state transitions of microbial opsins.We recently introduced a new VSFP design in which the voltage-sensing domain (VSD is sandwiched between a FRET pair of fluorescent proteins (termed VSFP-Butterflies and also demonstrated a series of chimeric VSD in which portions of the VSD of Ciona intestinalis voltage-sensitive phosphatase (Ci-VSP are substituted by homologous portions of a voltage-gated potassium channel subunit. These chimeric VSD had faster sensing kinetics than that of the native Ci-VSD. Here, we describe a new set of VSFPs that combine chimeric VSD with the Butterfly structure. We show that these chimeric VSFP-Butterflies can report membrane voltage oscillations of up to 200 Hz in cultured cells and report sensory evoked cortical population responses in living mice. This class of GEVIs may be suitable for imaging of brain rhythms in behaving mammalians.

  13. Detection of marine microalgal biotoxins using bioassays based on functional expression of tunicate xenobiotic receptors in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Ingrid; Fidler, Andrew E

    2015-03-01

    Marine microalgae can produce biotoxins that cause widespread poisoning in marine ecosystems and may also affect human health. While established microalgal biotoxins are detectable using chemical methods, a need remains for robust, inexpensive bioassays. Ligand-binding domains (LBDs) from a tunicate nuclear receptor, VDR/PXRα, which is orthologous to both the vertebrate pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the vitamin D receptor (VDR), can be activated by microalgal biotoxins when expressed in mammalian cell lines. Building on this observation, we developed a generic recombinant yeast bioassay platform that expresses chimeric proteins containing tunicate VDR/PXRα LBDs which mediate ligand-dependent transcription of a reporter gene (lacZ) encoding an easily assayed enzyme (β-galactosidase). Recombinant yeast strains expressing VDR/PXRα LBDs from two tunicate species, Ciona intestinalis and Botryllus schlosseri, were exposed to both synthetic and natural toxins. Structurally simple synthetic chemicals (n-butyl-p-aminobenzoate, carbamazepine, p-aminobenzoic acid, and bisphenol-A) generated EC50 values in the μM range, while more structurally complex marine biotoxins (okadaic acid, pectenotoxin-11, and portimine) activated the assays in the nM range. Given the large number of tunicate species, we propose that tunicate VDR/PXR LBDs may be used as 'sensor elements' in similar yeast-based high-throughput bioassays for detection of established microalgal biotoxins and uncharacterised marine bioactive compounds. PMID:25549942

  14. The Foraging Ecology of the Endangered Cape Verde Shearwater, a Sentinel Species for Marine Conservation off West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiva, Vitor H; Geraldes, Pedro; Rodrigues, Isabel; Melo, Tommy; Melo, José; Ramos, Jaime A

    2015-01-01

    Large Marine Ecosystems such as the Canary Current system off West Africa sustains high abundance of small pelagic prey, which attracts marine predators. Seabirds are top predators often used as biodiversity surrogates and sentinel species of the marine ecosystem health, thus frequently informing marine conservation planning. This study presents the first data on the spatial (GPS-loggers) and trophic (stable isotope analysis) ecology of a tropical seabird-the endangered Cape Verde shearwater Calonectris edwardsii-during both the incubation and the chick-rearing periods of two consecutive years. This information was related with marine environmental predictors (species distribution models), existent areas of conservation concern for seabirds (i.e. marine Important Bird Areas; marine IBAs) and threats to the marine environment in the West African areas heavily used by the shearwaters. There was an apparent inter-annual consistency on the spatial, foraging and trophic ecology of Cape Verde shearwater, but a strong alteration on the foraging strategies of adult breeders among breeding phases (i.e. from incubation to chick-rearing). During incubation, birds mostly targeted a discrete region off West Africa, known by its enhanced productivity profile and thus also highly exploited by international industrial fishery fleets. When chick-rearing, adults exploited the comparatively less productive tropical environment within the islands of Cape Verde, at relatively close distance from their breeding colony. The species enlarged its trophic niche and increased the trophic level of their prey from incubation to chick-rearing, likely to provision their chicks with a more diversified and better quality diet. There was a high overlap between the Cape Verde shearwaters foraging areas with those of European shearwater species that overwinter in this area and known areas of megafauna bycatch off West Africa, but very little overlap with existing Marine Important Bird Areas. Further

  15. The Foraging Ecology of the Endangered Cape Verde Shearwater, a Sentinel Species for Marine Conservation off West Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitor H Paiva

    Full Text Available Large Marine Ecosystems such as the Canary Current system off West Africa sustains high abundance of small pelagic prey, which attracts marine predators. Seabirds are top predators often used as biodiversity surrogates and sentinel species of the marine ecosystem health, thus frequently informing marine conservation planning. This study presents the first data on the spatial (GPS-loggers and trophic (stable isotope analysis ecology of a tropical seabird-the endangered Cape Verde shearwater Calonectris edwardsii-during both the incubation and the chick-rearing periods of two consecutive years. This information was related with marine environmental predictors (species distribution models, existent areas of conservation concern for seabirds (i.e. marine Important Bird Areas; marine IBAs and threats to the marine environment in the West African areas heavily used by the shearwaters. There was an apparent inter-annual consistency on the spatial, foraging and trophic ecology of Cape Verde shearwater, but a strong alteration on the foraging strategies of adult breeders among breeding phases (i.e. from incubation to chick-rearing. During incubation, birds mostly targeted a discrete region off West Africa, known by its enhanced productivity profile and thus also highly exploited by international industrial fishery fleets. When chick-rearing, adults exploited the comparatively less productive tropical environment within the islands of Cape Verde, at relatively close distance from their breeding colony. The species enlarged its trophic niche and increased the trophic level of their prey from incubation to chick-rearing, likely to provision their chicks with a more diversified and better quality diet. There was a high overlap between the Cape Verde shearwaters foraging areas with those of European shearwater species that overwinter in this area and known areas of megafauna bycatch off West Africa, but very little overlap with existing Marine Important Bird

  16. Biofouling community pattern on various metallic surfaces in the coastal waters of Kalpakkam, Southwestern Bay of Bengal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    . 100 cm-2. The major fouling organisms such as, barnacle, green mussel and ascidian constituted ∼ 70-80% of the total fouling. In the present study, sequence of fouling succession was as follows, barnacle - hydroid - sea anemone - ascidian and finally green mussel (Perna viridis Linn. 1758). The paper also discusses species diversity indices (diversity, richness and evenness) in detail. (author)

  17. 黄河口海域无脊椎动物群落结构及其变化%Community structure of invertebrate and its change in Huanghe (Yellow River) Estuary

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张焕君; 李凡; 丛日翔; 丛旭日; 任中华; 吕振波

    2014-01-01

    根据2012年5月、6月、7月上旬、7月下旬、8月、9月在黄河口海域进行的3断面15站位弓子网调查数据,对该海域无脊椎动物群落组成、优势种、生物量、多样性、群落相似性等群落特征进行了研究。结果表明,调查共出现无脊椎动物45种,隶属于9目29科39属,各航次调查种类数在28种至35种之间。纵肋织纹螺(Nassarius variciferus)、口虾蛄(Oratosquilla oratoria)、艾氏活额寄居蟹(Diogenes edwardsii)、葛氏长臂虾(Palaemon gravieri)和扁玉螺(Neverita didyma)是黄河口无脊椎动物群落的主要优势种。调查期间生物量和丰度的变化趋势基本相似,均呈现下降-上升-下降的趋势,生物量最高值出现在8月,丰度最高值出现在7月下旬。各航次调查Shannon-Wiener多样性在1.482~1.719,5月最低,6月最高。Bray-Curtis相似性和ANOSIM相似性分析表明相近航次间群落相似性较高,5月、6月群落与8月、9月群落差异显著。根据研究结果,可以得出以下结论:1)黄河口无脊椎动物群落以小型、低质种类为主,与20世纪80年代相比,资源质量进一步下降;2)与20世纪80年代相比,生物量月间分布发生明显变化;3)与断面A(距河口10 km)、断面C(距河口40 km)相比,断面B(距河口20 km)无脊椎动物生物量和多样性在各航次间波动剧烈且规律性较差,表明断面 B 的无脊椎动物群落受黄河水沙输入影响更大;4)调水调沙虽对黄河口无脊椎动物群落结构产生一定程度的影响,但不是导致无脊椎动物群落更替的主要因素。%The Yellow River is the largest river in north China which greatly affects the environment of Bohai Sea. The freshwater input and suspended sediments have sustained the morphology and ecology of the river mouth, located in the northeastern modern Yellow River subaerial delta and was formed after the Yellow River shifted again at the north bank of the Qingshuigou course in June

  18. Cryptic species and genetic structure in Didemnum granulatum Tokioka, 1954 (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) from the southern Brazilian coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouzon, J L; Vargas, S M; Oliveira Neto, J F; Stoco, P H; Brandini, F P

    2014-11-01

    Didemnum granulatum is a colonial fouling ascidian that lives in subtidal substrates, worldwide. It exhibits two morphotypes, orange and beige. In this study, we verified if the color morphotypes and/or the spatial distribution of specimens in different islands might be associated to patterns of genetic structure of a single species, or if they represent distinct cryptic species. Specimens were collected in four islands, along the coast of the Santa Catarina state. A segment of 490 bp from the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) was amplified from 45 samples. Twenty-one haplotypes were identified. The total haplotype diversity (0.912) and the total nucleotide diversity (0.044) were high. The global Fst of the populations analyzed was 0.97, with most of the variation occurring between orange and beige groups (82.19%). The variation found between populations within groups was 15.37%, and 2.45% within populations. Haplotype networks and the neighbor-joining tree showed clear genetic divergence between individuals of distinct colors, and between the islands. These evidences strongly support the presence of a complex of two cryptic species for D. granulatum occupying the studied area. Both species were also highly genetically structured between islands, suggesting that the conservation process of these populations is complex. PMID:25627604

  19. Total Synthesis and Biological Activity of Marine Alkaloid Eudistomins Y1–Y7 and Their Analogues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Jiang

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Eudistomin Y class compounds are a series of β-carbolines which was originally isolated from a marine turnicate or ascidian near the South Korea Sea. These compounds contain bromo-substituted groups, which is one of the typical characters of marine natural products. We report herein the chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of seven new β-carboline-based metabolites, Eudistomins Y1–Y7, and their hydroxyl-methylated phenyl derivatives. Using bromo-substituted tryptamines and bromo-substituted phenylglyoxals as the key intermediates, Eudistomins Y1–Y7 and their derivatives were synthesized via the acid-catalyzed Pictet-Spengler reaction and fully characterized by 1H- and 13C-NMR and mass spectroscopy. Biological studies revealed that all of the compounds showed moderate growth inhibitory activity against breast carcinoma cell line MDA-231 with IC50 of 15–63 μM and the inhibitory activities of hydroxyl-methylated phenyl products were higher than that of the corresponding natural products Eudistomins Y1–Y7.

  20. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K A; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-11-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a "filter feeders-ascidian domination" to a "mixed assemblage" suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP.

  1. Polarization of PI3K Activity Initiated by Ooplasmic Segregation Guides Nuclear Migration in the Mesendoderm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takatori, Naohito; Oonuma, Kouhei; Nishida, Hiroki; Saiga, Hidetoshi

    2015-11-01

    Asymmetric localization of RNA is a widely observed mechanism of cell polarization. Using embryos of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi, we previously showed that mesoderm and endoderm fates are separated by localization of mRNA encoding a transcription factor, Not, to the future mesoderm-side cytoplasm of the mesendoderm cell through asymmetric positioning of the nucleus. Here, we investigated the mechanism that defines the direction of the nuclear migration. We show that localization of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 to the future mesoderm region determines the direction of nuclear migration. Localization of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 was dependent on the localization of PI3Kα to the future mesoderm region. PI3Kα was first localized at the 1-cell stage by the ooplasmic movement. Activity of localized PI3Kα at the 4-cell stage was required for the localization of PI3Kα up to the nuclear migration. Our results provide the scaffold for understanding the chain of causality leading to the separation of germ layer fates. PMID:26555053

  2. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-01-01

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16550.001 PMID:27502556

  3. The Use of Filter-feeders to Manage Disease in a Changing World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burge, Colleen A; Closek, Collin J; Friedman, Carolyn S; Groner, Maya L; Jenkins, Cody M; Shore-Maggio, Amanda; Welsh, Jennifer E

    2016-10-01

    Rapid environmental change is linked to increases in aquatic disease heightening the need to develop strategies to manage disease. Filter-feeding species are effective biofilters and can naturally mitigate disease risk to humans and wildlife. We review the role of filter-feeders, with an emphasis on bivalves, in altering disease outcomes via augmentation and reduction. Filtration can reduce transmission by removing pathogens from the water column via degradation and release of pathogens in pseudofeces. In other cases, filtration can increase pathogen transmission and disease risk. The effect of filtration on pathogen transmission depends on the selectivity of the filter-feeder, the degree of infectivity by the pathogen, the mechanism(s) of pathogen transmission and the ability of the pathogen to resist degradation. For example, some bacteria and viruses can resist degradation and accumulate within a filter-feeder leading to disease transmission to humans and other wildlife upon ingestion. Since bivalves can concentrate microorganisms, they are also useful as sentinels for the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. While somewhat less studied, other invertebrates, including ascidians and sponges may also provide ecosystem services by altering pathogen transmission. In all scenarios, climate change may affect the potential for filter-feeders to mitigate disease risk. We conclude that an assessment including empirical data and modeling of system-wide impacts should be conducted before selection of filter-feeders to mitigate disease. Such studies should consider physiology of the host and microbe and risk factors for negative impacts including augmentation of other pathogens. PMID:27371383

  4. Genetic Compatibility Underlies Benefits of Mate Choice in an External Fertilizer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, J David; Blows, Mark W; Marshall, Dustin J

    2016-05-01

    Mate choice is a common feature of sexually reproducing species. In sessile or sedentary external fertilizers, however, direct interactions between reproductive partners are minimal, and instead mate recognition and choice must occur at the level of gametes. It is common for some sperm and egg combinations to have higher fertilization success than others, but it remains unclear whether differences in fertilization reflect gamete-level mate choice (GMC) for paternal quality or parental compatibility. Here, we examine the mechanisms underlying GMC in an externally fertilizing ascidian. A manipulative mate-choice assay confirmed that offspring viability was greater in clutches where we allowed GMC than in clutches where we precluded GMC. A complementary quantitative genetic experiment then revealed that paternal quality effects were generally weaker than parental compatibility effects, particularly for the trait combination underlying the benefits of GMC. Overall, our data suggest that gametes that are more compatible at fertilization produce more viable offspring than gametes that are less compatible at fertilization. Therefore, although the regalia we typically associate with sexual selection are absent in external fertilizers, mechanisms that allow females to bias fertilization in favor of some males over others produce significant fitness benefits in organisms reproducing via the ancestral strategy. PMID:27104996

  5. Plant-like mating in an animal: sexual compatibility and allocation trade-offs in a simultaneous hermaphrodite with remote transfer of sperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pemberton, A J; Sommerfeldt, A D; Wood, C A; Flint, H C; Noble, L R; Clarke, K R; Bishop, J D D

    2004-05-01

    The importance of sexual compatibility between mates has only recently been realized in zoological research into sexual selection, yet its study has been central to botanical research for many decades. The reproductive characteristics of remote mating, an absence of precopulatory mate screening, internal fertilization and embryonic brooding are shared between passively pollinated plants and a phylogenetically diverse group of sessile aquatic invertebrates. Here, we further characterize the sexual compatibility system of one such invertebrate, the colonial ascidian Diplosoma listerianum. All 66 reciprocal pairings of 12 genetic individuals were carried out. Fecundities of crosses varied widely and suggested a continuous scale of sexual compatibility. Of the 11 animals from the same population c. 40% of crosses were completely incompatible with a further c. 20% having obvious partial compatibility (reduced fecundity). We are unaware of other studies documenting such high levels of sexual incompatibility in unrelated individuals. RAPD fingerprinting was used to estimate relatedness among the 12 individuals after a known pedigree was successfully reconstructed to validate the technique. In contrast to previous results, no correlation between genetic similarity and sexual compatibility was detected. The blocking of many genotypes of sperm is expected to severely modify realized paternity away from 'fair raffle' expectations and probably reduce levels of intra-brood genetic diversity in this obligatorily promiscuous mating system. One adaptive benefit may be to reduce the bombardment of the female reproductive system by outcrossed sperm with conflicting evolutionary interests, so as to maintain female control of somatic : gametic investment.

  6. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

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    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  7. Acquisition of the dorsal structures in chordate amphioxus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morov, Arseniy R.; Ukizintambara, Tharcisse; Sabirov, Rushan M.

    2016-01-01

    Acquisition of dorsal structures, such as notochord and hollow nerve cord, is likely to have had a profound influence upon vertebrate evolution. Dorsal formation in chordate development thus has been intensively studied in vertebrates and ascidians. However, the present understanding does not explain how chordates acquired dorsal structures. Here we show that amphioxus retains a key clue to answer this question. In amphioxus embryos, maternal nodal mRNA distributes asymmetrically in accordance with the remodelling of the cortical cytoskeleton in the fertilized egg, and subsequently lefty is first expressed in a patch of blastomeres across the equator where wnt8 is expressed circularly and which will become the margin of the blastopore. The lefty domain co-expresses zygotic nodal by the initial gastrula stage on the one side of the blastopore margin and induces the expression of goosecoid, not-like, chordin and brachyury1 genes in this region, as in the oral ectoderm of sea urchin embryos, which provides a basis for the formation of the dorsal structures. The striking similarity in the gene regulations and their respective expression domains when comparing dorsal formation in amphioxus and the determination of the oral ectoderm in sea urchin embryos suggests that chordates derived from an ambulacrarian-type blastula with dorsoventral inversion. PMID:27307516

  8. Acquisition of the dorsal structures in chordate amphioxus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morov, Arseniy R; Ukizintambara, Tharcisse; Sabirov, Rushan M; Yasui, Kinya

    2016-06-01

    Acquisition of dorsal structures, such as notochord and hollow nerve cord, is likely to have had a profound influence upon vertebrate evolution. Dorsal formation in chordate development thus has been intensively studied in vertebrates and ascidians. However, the present understanding does not explain how chordates acquired dorsal structures. Here we show that amphioxus retains a key clue to answer this question. In amphioxus embryos, maternal nodal mRNA distributes asymmetrically in accordance with the remodelling of the cortical cytoskeleton in the fertilized egg, and subsequently lefty is first expressed in a patch of blastomeres across the equator where wnt8 is expressed circularly and which will become the margin of the blastopore. The lefty domain co-expresses zygotic nodal by the initial gastrula stage on the one side of the blastopore margin and induces the expression of goosecoid, not-like, chordin and brachyury1 genes in this region, as in the oral ectoderm of sea urchin embryos, which provides a basis for the formation of the dorsal structures. The striking similarity in the gene regulations and their respective expression domains when comparing dorsal formation in amphioxus and the determination of the oral ectoderm in sea urchin embryos suggests that chordates derived from an ambulacrarian-type blastula with dorsoventral inversion. PMID:27307516

  9. Characteristics of the mesophotic megabenthic assemblages of the vercelli seamount (north tyrrhenian sea.

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    Marzia Bo

    Full Text Available The biodiversity of the megabenthic assemblages of the mesophotic zone of a Tyrrhenian seamount (Vercelli Seamount is described using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV video imaging from 100 m depth to the top of the mount around 61 m depth. This pinnacle hosts a rich coralligenous community characterized by three different assemblages: (i the top shows a dense covering of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii; (ii the southern side biocoenosis is mainly dominated by the octocorals Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolinii; while (iii the northern side of the seamount assemblage is colonized by active filter-feeding organisms such as sponges (sometimes covering 100% of the surface with numerous colonies of the ascidian Diazona violacea, and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. This study highlights, also for a Mediterranean seamount, the potential role of an isolated rocky peak penetrating the euphotic zone, to work as an aggregating structure, hosting abundant benthic communities dominated by suspension feeders, whose distribution may vary in accordance to the geomorphology of the area and the different local hydrodynamic conditions.

  10. Amyloid/Melanin distinctive mark in invertebrate immunity

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    A Grimaldi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Protostomes and Deuterostomes show the same nexus between melanin production, and amyloid fibril production, i.e., the presence of melanin is indissolubly linked to amyloid scaffold that, in turn, is conditioned by the redox status/cytoplasmic pH modification, pro-protein cleavage presence, adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH, melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH, and neutral endopeptidase (NEP overexpressions. These events represent the crucial component of immune response in invertebrates, while in vertebrates these series of occurrences could be interpreted as a modest and very restricted innate immune response. On the whole, it emerges that the mechanisms involving amyloid fibrils/pigment synthesis in phylogenetically distant metazoan (viz, cnidaria, molluscs, annelids, insects, ascidians and vertebrates are evolutionary conserved. Furthermore, our data show the relationship between immune and neuroendocrine systems in amyloid/melanin synthesis. Indeed the process is closely associated to ACTH-α-MSH production, and their role in stress responses leading to pigment production reflects and confirms again their ancient phylogeny.

  11. Modelling distribution of marine benthos from hydroacoustics and underwater video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, K. W.; Van Niel, K. P.; Radford, B.; Kendrick, G. A.; Grove, S. L.

    2008-08-01

    Broad-scale mapping of marine benthos is required for marine resource management and conservation. This study combines textural derivatives based on bathymetry from multibeam hydroacoustics with underwater video observations to model and map sessile biota between 10- and 60-m water depth over 35 km 2 in Point Addis Marine National Park (MNP), Vic., Australia. Classification tree models and maps were developed for macroalgae (all types, mixed red algae, Ecklonia, and rhodoliths) and sessile invertebrates (all types, sponges, and ascidians). Model accuracy was tested on 25% of the video observation dataset reserved from modelling. Models fit well for most macroalgae categories (correct classification rates of 67-84%), but are not as good for sessile invertebrate classes (correct classification rates of 57-62%). The poor fit of the sessile invertebrate models may be the combined result of grouping organisms with different environmental requirements and the effect of false absences recorded during video interpretation due to poor image quality. Probability maps, binary single-class maps, and multi-class maps supply spatially explicit, detailed information on the distribution of sessile benthic biota within the MNP and provide information at a landscape-scale for ecological investigations and marine management.

  12. Ecological regulation of development: induction of marine invertebrate metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Daniel; Leys, Sally P; Hinman, Veronica F; Woods, Rick; Lavin, Martin F; Degnan, Bernard M

    2002-01-01

    In the marine environment a wide range of invertebrates have a pelagobenthic lifecycle that includes planktonic larval and benthic adult phases. Transition between these morphologically and ecologically distinct phases typically occurs when the developmentally competent larva comes into contact with a species-specific environmental cue. This cue acts as a morphogenetic signal that induces the completion of the postlarval/juvenile/adult developmental program at metamorphosis. The development of competence often occurs hours to days after the larva is morphologically mature. In the non-feeding--lecithotrophic--larvae of the ascidian Herdmania curvata and the gastropod mollusc Haliotis asinina, gene expression patterns in pre-competent and competent stages are markedly different, reflecting the different developmental states of these larval stages. For example, the expression of Hemps, an EGF-like signalling peptide required for the induction of Herdmania metamorphosis, increases in competent larvae. Induction of settlement and metamorphosis results in further changes in developmental gene expression, which apparently is necessary for the complete transformation of the larval body plan into the adult form.

  13. Pyridinoacridine alkaloids of marine origin: NMR and MS spectral data, synthesis, biosynthesis and biological activity

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    Louis P. Sandjo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This review focuses on pyridoacridine-related metabolites as one biologically interesting group of alkaloids identified from marine sources. They are produced by marine sponges, ascidians and tunicates, and they are structurally comprised of four to eight fused rings including heterocycles. Acridine, acridone, dihydroacridine, and quinolone cores are features regularly found in these alkaloid skeletons. The lack of hydrogen atoms next to quaternary carbon atoms for two or three rings makes the chemical shift assignment a difficult task. In this regard, one of the aims of this review is the compilation of previously reported, pyridoacridine 13C NMR data. Observations have been made on the delocalization of electrons and the presence of some functional groups that lead to changes in the chemical shift of some carbon resonances. The lack of mass spectra information for these alkaloids due to the compactness of their structures is further discussed. Moreover, the biosynthetic pathways of some of these metabolites have been shown since they could inspire biomimetic synthesis. The synthesis routes used to prepare members of these marine alkaloids (as well as their analogues, which are synthesized for biological purposes are also discussed. Pyridoacridines were found to have a large spectrum of bioactivity and this review highlights and compares the pharmacophores that are responsible for the observed bioactivity.

  14. Immunohistochemical analysis of adhesive papillae of Clavelina lepadiformis (Müller, 1776 and Clavelina phlegraea (Salfi, 1929 (Tunicata, Ascidiacea

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    G Zega

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Almost all ascidian larvae bear three mucus secreting and sensory organs, the adhesive papillae, at the anterior end of the trunk, which play an important role during the settlement phase. The morphology and the cellular composition of these organs varies greatly in the different species. The larvae of the Clavelina genus bear simple bulbous papillae, which are considered to have only a secretory function. We analysed the adhesive papillae of two species belonging to this genus, C. lepadiformis and C. phlegraea, by histological sections and by immunolocalisation of b-tubulin and serotonin, in order to better clarify the cellular composition of these organs.We demonstrated that they contain at least two types of neurons: central neurons, bearing microvilli, and peripheral ciliated neurons. Peripheral neurons of C. lepadiformis contain serotonin. We suggest that these two neurons play different roles during settlement: the central ones may be chemo- or mechanoreceptors that sense the substratum, and the peripheral ones may be involved in the mechanism that triggers metamorphosis.

  15. Immunohistochemical analysis of adhesive papillae of Clavelina lepadiformis (Müller, 1776 and Clavelina phlegraea (Salfi, 1929 (Tunicata, Ascidiacea

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    R Pennati

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Almost all ascidian larvae bear three mucus secreting and sensory organs, the adhesive papillae, at the anterior end of the trunk, which play an important role during the settlement phase. The morphology and the cellular composition of these organs varies greatly in the different species. The larvae of the Clavelina genus bear simple bulbous papillae, which are considered to have only a secretory function. We analysed the adhesive papillae of two species belonging to this genus, C. lepadiformis and C. phlegraea, by histological sections and by immunolocalisation of b-tubulin and serotonin, in order to better clarify the cellular composition of these organs.We demonstrated that they contain at least two types of neurons: central neurons, bearing microvilli, and peripheral ciliated neurons. Peripheral neurons of C. lepadiformis contain serotonin. We suggest that these two neurons play different roles during settlement: the central ones may be chemo- or mechanoreceptors that sense the substratum, and the peripheral ones may be involved in the mechanism that triggers metamorphosis.

  16. Tunicates: exploring the sea shores and roaming the open ocean. A tribute to Thomas Huxley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemaire, Patrick; Piette, Jacques

    2015-06-01

    This review is a tribute to the remarkable contributions of Thomas Huxley to the biology of tunicates, the likely sister group of vertebrates. In 1851, the great biologist and philosopher published two landmark papers on pelagic tunicates in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. They were dedicated to the description of the adult anatomy and life cycle of thaliaceans and appendicularians, the pelagic relatives of ascidians. In the first part of this review, we discuss the novel anatomical observations and evolutionary hypotheses made by Huxley, which would have a lasting influence on tunicate biology. We also briefly comment on the more philosophical reflections of Huxley on individuality. In the second part, we stress the originality and relevance of past and future studies of tunicates in the resolution of major biological issues. In particular, we focus on the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype and the phenomenon of developmental system drift. We propose that more than 150 years after Huxley's papers, tunicate embryos are still worth studying in their own right, independently of their evolutionary proximity to vertebrates, as they provide original and crucial insights into the process of animal evolution. Tunicates are still at the forefront of biological research. PMID:26085517

  17. Forming a tough shell via an intracellular matrix and cellular junctions in the tail epidermis of Oikopleura dioica (Chordata: Tunicata: Appendicularia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakashima, Keisuke; Nishino, Atsuo; Hirose, Euichi

    2011-08-01

    A postanal tail is a major synapomorphy of the phylum Chordata, which is composed of three subphyla: Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, and Tunicata (Urochordata). Among tunicates, appendicularians are the only group that retains the tail in the adult, and the adult tail functions in locomotion and feeding in combination with a cellulose-based house structure. Given the phylogenetic position of tunicates, the appendicularian adult tail may possess ancestral features of the chordate tail. We assess the ultrastructural development of the tail epidermis of the appendicularian Oikopleura dioica. The epidermis of the larval tail is enclosed by the larval envelope, which is a thin sheet similar to the outer tunic layer of ascidian larvae. The epidermis of the adult tail seems to bear no tunic-like cellulosic integuments, and the tail fin is a simple folding of the epidermis. Every epidermal cell, except for the triangular cells at the edge of the tail fin, has a conspicuous matrix layer of fibrous content in the apical cytoplasm without enclosing membranes. The epidermis of the larval tail does not have a fibrous matrix layer, suggesting the production of the layer during larval development and metamorphosis. Zonulae adhaerentes firmly bind the epidermal cells of the adult tail to one another, and the dense microfilaments lining the cell borders constitute a mechanical support for the cell membranes. The intracellular matrix, cell junctions, and cytoskeletons probably make the tail epidermis a tough, flexible shell supporting the active beating of the oikopleuran adult tail.

  18. Experimental removal and recovery of subtidal grazers highlights the importance of functional redundancy and temporal context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context. PMID:24250819

  19. Experimental removal and recovery of subtidal grazers highlights the importance of functional redundancy and temporal context.

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    Robin Elahi

    Full Text Available The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp. are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75% relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context.

  20. Halistanol sulfate A and rodriguesines A and B are antimicrobial and antibiofilm agents against the cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans

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    Bruna de A. Lima

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In the present investigation we report the antibacterial activity of halistanol sulfate A isolated from the sponge Petromica ciocalyptoides, as well as of rodriguesines A and B isolated from the ascidian Didemnum sp., against the caries etiologic agent Streptococcus mutans. The transcription levels of S. mutans virulence genes gtfB, gtfC and gbpB, as well as of housekeeping genes groEL and 16S, were evaluated by sqRT-PCR analysis of S. mutans planktonic cells. There were no alterations in the expression levels of groEL and 16S after antimicrobial treatment with halistanol sulfate A and with rodriguesines A and B, but the expression of the genes gtfB, gtfC and gbpB was down-regulated. Halistanol sulfate A displayed the most potent antimicrobial effect against S. mutans, with inhibition of biofilm formation and reduction of biofilm-associated gene expression in planktonic cells. Halistanol sulfate A also inhibited the initial oral bacteria colonizers, such as Streptococcus sanguinis, but at much higher concentrations. The results obtained indicate that halistanol sulfate A may be considered a potential scaffold for drug development in Streptococcus mutans antibiofilm therapy, the main etiologic agent of human dental caries.

  1. In Vitro Acylation of Okadaic Acid in the Presence of Various Bivalves’ Extracts

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    Mari Yotsu-Yamashita

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The dinoflagellate Dinophysis spp. is responsible for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP. In the bivalves exposed to the toxic bloom of the dinoflagellate, dinophysistoxin 3 (DTX3, the 7-OH acylated form of either okadaic acid (OA or DTX1, is produced. We demonstrated in vitro acylation of OA with palmitoyl CoA in the presence of protein extract from the digestive gland, but not other tissues of the bivalve Mizuhopecten yessoensis. The yield of 7-O-palmitoyl OA reached its maximum within 2 h, was the highest at 37 °C followed by 28 °C, 16 °C and 4 °C and was the highest at pH 8 in comparison with the yields at pH 6 and pH 4. The transformation also proceeded when the protein extract was prepared from the bivalves Corbicula japonica and Crassostrea gigas. The OA binding protein OABP2 identified in the sponge Halichondria okadai was not detected in the bivalve M. yessoensis, the bivalve Mytilus galloprovincialis and the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, though they are known to accumulate diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins. Since DTX3 does not bind to protein phosphatases 1 and 2A, the physiological target for OA and DTXs in mammalian cells, the acylation of DSP toxins would be related to a detoxification mechanism for the bivalve species.

  2. Characteristics of the Mesophotic Megabenthic Assemblages of the Vercelli Seamount (North Tyrrhenian Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bo, Marzia; Bertolino, Marco; Borghini, Mireno; Castellano, Michela; Covazzi Harriague, Anabella; Di Camillo, Cristina Gioia; Gasparini, GianPietro; Misic, Cristina; Povero, Paolo; Pusceddu, Antonio; Schroeder, Katrin; Bavestrello, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The biodiversity of the megabenthic assemblages of the mesophotic zone of a Tyrrhenian seamount (Vercelli Seamount) is described using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging from 100 m depth to the top of the mount around 61 m depth. This pinnacle hosts a rich coralligenous community characterized by three different assemblages: (i) the top shows a dense covering of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii; (ii) the southern side biocoenosis is mainly dominated by the octocorals Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolinii; while (iii) the northern side of the seamount assemblage is colonized by active filter-feeding organisms such as sponges (sometimes covering 100% of the surface) with numerous colonies of the ascidian Diazona violacea, and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. This study highlights, also for a Mediterranean seamount, the potential role of an isolated rocky peak penetrating the euphotic zone, to work as an aggregating structure, hosting abundant benthic communities dominated by suspension feeders, whose distribution may vary in accordance to the geomorphology of the area and the different local hydrodynamic conditions. PMID:21304906

  3. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution.

  4. Observations on the morphology of embryonic and larval development in Styela canopus Savigny

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Huang Ying; Ke Caihuan; Feng Danqing; Zhou Shiqiang; Li Fuxue

    2003-01-01

    The morphological characters on different developmental phases of embryo and larva and the schedule of the whole early developmental process in Styela canopus were observed and described.The types of reproduction and early development as well as the morphology of egg and larva in different ascidian species were compared. Styela canopus is oviparous. Its egg, 230.4~336.0 μm in diameter, is equipped with extraembryonic cell layers measured 43.2~ 63.0 μm thick. The early development of Styela canopus is typical urodele development, including fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, tadpole in membrane, tadpole, initiating metamorphosis and juvenile. The tadpole of Styela canopus, with a length of 0.6~0.9 mm, consists of trunk and tail. There are obvious notochord, ocellus and adhesive papillae in the tadpole. Under the water temperature of (25 ± 0.5)℃ and the salinity of 27.0, the larva was hatched after 9.5~ 11.0 h since the fertilization.

  5. Role of hemocytes in invertebrate adult neurogenesis and brain repair

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    PG Chaves da Silva

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The repair of lesions of the central nervous system (CNS varies widely throughout the animal kingdom. At the level of neuronal replacement lie the major differences in CNS regeneration. At one extreme are the amniote vertebrates (reptile, avian and mammalian groups, which have very limited capacity for neuronal replacement, and therefore for neural regeneration; at the other extreme, animals such as planarians (flatworms and colonial tunicates can repair their entire CNS after major injuries. These differences can be attributed to the abundance of multipotent and/or pluripotent stem cells and/or undifferentiated precursors among the general cell population. In this review we discuss recent advancements in knowledge of regeneration of the CNS of invertebrates. We focus on ascidians, which are a sister group of vertebrates, but we also address other invertebrate groups. Because neurogenesis is central to the events that allow regeneration of the adult CNS, we address this issue focusing on crustaceans, which have provided a paradigm to study the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. The attraction of hemocytes toward a neurogenic niche and respecification of these cells toward a neural fate has been strongly suggested. Based on recent and emerging research, we suggest that cells of the blood lineage are not only associated with the roles that are generally attributed to them, but are the cells that either signal other cell types to differentiate into neural cells, or even eventually themselves transdifferentiate into neural cells.

  6. Macrofauna associated to Mycale microsigmatosa (Porifera, Demospongiae) in Rio de Janeiro State, SE Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Suzi M.; Omena, Elianne P.; Muricy, Guilherme

    2003-08-01

    The macrofauna (endo- and epi-biotic) associated to the sponge Mycale ( Carmia) microsigmatosa Arndt, 1927 was studied at three sites in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (Arraial do Cabo, Niterói, and Rio de Janeiro). A total of 2235 individuals (over 1 mm long) of 75 invertebrate species were found associated to 19 specimens of the sponge. The most abundant and diverse taxa were the crustaceans (83%, 31 spp.), polychetes (10%, 18 spp.), and molluscs (3.7%, 15 spp.). Cnidarians, platyhelminthes, ascidians, echinoderms, pycnogonids, bryozoans, and sponges were also represented. Amphipod crustaceans were the dominant group, comprising 61% of all individuals collected. Species richness and abundance of associated fauna were highly correlated with sponge volume, but diversity and evenness were not. The site of collection influenced the species composition of the fauna associated to M. microsigmatosa but did not change significantly its diversity, abundance, richness, and dominance patterns of higher taxa. Pregnant females and juvenile stages of 29% of the species associated, including crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and pycnogonids were frequently found inside M. microsigmatosa. Although many of these organisms do occur and reproduce in other habitats outside the sponge as well, M. microsigmatosa is also important for their reproduction and survivorship, thus contributing for the maintenance of biodiversity in Southwestern Atlantic sublittoral rocky shores.

  7. Structural shifts of aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes were instrumental for the early evolution of retinoid-dependent axial patterning in metazoans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobreira, Tiago J P; Marlétaz, Ferdinand; Simões-Costa, Marcos; Schechtman, Deborah; Pereira, Alexandre C; Brunet, Frédéric; Sweeney, Sarah; Pani, Ariel; Aronowicz, Jochanan; Lowe, Christopher J; Davidson, Bradley; Laudet, Vincent; Bronner, Marianne; de Oliveira, Paulo S L; Schubert, Michael; Xavier-Neto, José

    2011-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) catabolize toxic aldehydes and process the vitamin A-derived retinaldehyde into retinoic acid (RA), a small diffusible molecule and a pivotal chordate morphogen. In this study, we combine phylogenetic, structural, genomic, and developmental gene expression analyses to examine the evolutionary origins of ALDH substrate preference. Structural modeling reveals that processing of small aldehydes, such as acetaldehyde, by ALDH2, versus large aldehydes, including retinaldehyde, by ALDH1A is associated with small versus large substrate entry channels (SECs), respectively. Moreover, we show that metazoan ALDH1s and ALDH2s are members of a single ALDH1/2 clade and that during evolution, eukaryote ALDH1/2s often switched between large and small SECs after gene duplication, transforming constricted channels into wide opened ones and vice versa. Ancestral sequence reconstructions suggest that during the evolutionary emergence of RA signaling, the ancestral, narrow-channeled metazoan ALDH1/2 gave rise to large ALDH1 channels capable of accommodating bulky aldehydes, such as retinaldehyde, supporting the view that retinoid-dependent signaling arose from ancestral cellular detoxification mechanisms. Our analyses also indicate that, on a more restricted evolutionary scale, ALDH1 duplicates from invertebrate chordates (amphioxus and ascidian tunicates) underwent switches to smaller and narrower SECs. When combined with alterations in gene expression, these switches led to neofunctionalization from ALDH1-like roles in embryonic patterning to systemic, ALDH2-like roles, suggesting functional shifts from signaling to detoxification. PMID:21169504

  8. Identifying single copy orthologs in Metazoa.

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    Christopher J Creevey

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The identification of single copy (1-to-1 orthologs in any group of organisms is important for functional classification and phylogenetic studies. The Metazoa are no exception, but only recently has there been a wide-enough distribution of taxa with sufficiently high quality sequenced genomes to gain confidence in the wide-spread single copy status of a gene.Here, we present a phylogenetic approach for identifying overlooked single copy orthologs from multigene families and apply it to the Metazoa. Using 18 sequenced metazoan genomes of high quality we identified a robust set of 1,126 orthologous groups that have been retained in single copy since the last common ancestor of Metazoa. We found that the use of the phylogenetic procedure increased the number of single copy orthologs found by over a third more than standard taxon-count approaches. The orthologs represented a wide range of functional categories, expression profiles and levels of divergence.To demonstrate the value of our set of single copy orthologs, we used them to assess the completeness of 24 currently published metazoan genomes and 62 EST datasets. We found that the annotated genes in published genomes vary in coverage from 79% (Ciona intestinalis to 99.8% (human with an average of 92%, suggesting a value for the underlying error rate in genome annotation, and a strategy for identifying single copy orthologs in larger datasets. In contrast, the vast majority of EST datasets with no corresponding genome sequence available are largely under-sampled and probably do not accurately represent the actual genomic complement of the organisms from which they are derived.

  9. The synapsin gene family in basal chordates: evolutionary perspectives in metazoans

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    De Bernardi Fiorenza

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synapsins are neuronal phosphoproteins involved in several functions correlated with both neurotransmitter release and synaptogenesis. The comprehension of the basal role of the synapsin family is hampered in vertebrates by the existence of multiple synapsin genes. Therefore, studying homologous genes in basal chordates, devoid of genome duplication, could help to achieve a better understanding of the complex functions of these proteins. Results In this study we report the cloning and characterization of the Ciona intestinalis and amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae synapsin transcripts and the definition of their gene structure using available C. intestinalis and B. floridae genomic sequences. We demonstrate the occurrence, in both model organisms, of a single member of the synapsin gene family. Full-length synapsin genes were identified in the recently sequenced genomes of phylogenetically diverse metazoans. Comparative genome analysis reveals extensive conservation of the SYN locus in several metazoans. Moreover, developmental expression studies underline that synapsin is a neuronal-specific marker in basal chordates and is expressed in several cell types of PNS and in many, if not all, CNS neurons. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that synapsin genes are metazoan genes present in a single copy per genome, except for vertebrates. Moreover, we hypothesize that, during the evolution of synapsin proteins, new domains are added at different stages probably to cope up with the increased complexity in the nervous system organization. Finally, we demonstrate that protochordate synapsin is restricted to the post-mitotic phase of CNS development and thereby is a good marker of postmitotic neurons.

  10. Genomic analysis of the TRIM family reveals two groups of genes with distinct evolutionary properties

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    Fontanella Bianca

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The TRIM family is composed of multi-domain proteins that display the Tripartite Motif (RING, B-box and Coiled-coil that can be associated with a C-terminal domain. TRIM genes are involved in ubiquitylation and are implicated in a variety of human pathologies, from Mendelian inherited disorders to cancer, and are also involved in cellular response to viral infection. Results Here we defined the entire human TRIM family and also identified the TRIM sets of other vertebrate (mouse, rat, dog, cow, chicken, tetraodon, and zebrafish and invertebrate species (fruitfly, worm, and ciona. By means of comparative analyses we found that, after assembly of the tripartite motif in an early metazoan ancestor, few types of C-terminal domains have been associated with this module during evolution and that an important increase in TRIM number occurred in vertebrate species concomitantly with the addition of the SPRY domain. We showed that the human TRIM family is split into two groups that differ in domain structure, genomic organization and evolutionary properties. Group 1 members present a variety of C-terminal domains, are highly conserved among vertebrate species, and are represented in invertebrates. Conversely, group 2 is absent in invertebrates, is characterized by the presence of a C-terminal SPRY domain and presents unique sets of genes in each mammal examined. The generation of independent sets of group 2 genes is also evident in the other vertebrate species. Comparing the murine and human TRIM sets, we found that group 1 and 2 genes evolve at different speeds and are subject to different selective pressures. Conclusion We found that the TRIM family is composed of two groups of genes with distinct evolutionary properties. Group 2 is younger, highly dynamic, and might act as a reservoir to develop novel TRIM functions. Since some group 2 genes are implicated in innate immune response, their evolutionary features may account for

  11. CardioTF, a database of deconstructing transcriptional circuits in the heart system

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Background: Information on cardiovascular gene transcription is fragmented and far behind the present requirements of the systems biology field. To create a comprehensive source of data for cardiovascular gene regulation and to facilitate a deeper understanding of genomic data, the CardioTF database was constructed. The purpose of this database is to collate information on cardiovascular transcription factors (TFs), position weight matrices (PWMs), and enhancer sequences discovered using the ChIP-seq method. Methods: The Naïve-Bayes algorithm was used to classify literature and identify all PubMed abstracts on cardiovascular development. The natural language learning tool GNAT was then used to identify corresponding gene names embedded within these abstracts. Local Perl scripts were used to integrate and dump data from public databases into the MariaDB management system (MySQL). In-house R scripts were written to analyze and visualize the results. Results: Known cardiovascular TFs from humans and human homologs from fly, Ciona, zebrafish, frog, chicken, and mouse were identified and deposited in the database. PWMs from Jaspar, hPDI, and UniPROBE databases were deposited in the database and can be retrieved using their corresponding TF names. Gene enhancer regions from various sources of ChIP-seq data were deposited into the database and were able to be visualized by graphical output. Besides biocuration, mouse homologs of the 81 core cardiac TFs were selected using a Naïve-Bayes approach and then by intersecting four independent data sources: RNA profiling, expert annotation, PubMed abstracts and phenotype. Discussion: The CardioTF database can be used as a portal to construct transcriptional network of cardiac development. Availability and Implementation: Database URL: http://www.cardiosignal.org/database/cardiotf.html. PMID:27635320

  12. Early evolution of ionotropic GABA receptors and selective regimes acting on the mammalian-specific theta and epsilon subunits.

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    Christopher J Martyniuk

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The amino acid neurotransmitter GABA is abundant in the central nervous system (CNS of both invertebrates and vertebrates. Receptors of this neurotransmitter play a key role in important processes such as learning and memory. Yet, little is known about the mode and tempo of evolution of the receptors of this neurotransmitter. Here, we investigate the phylogenetic relationships of GABA receptor subunits across the chordates and detail their mode of evolution among mammals. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our analyses support two major monophyletic clades: one clade containing GABA(A receptor alpha, gamma, and epsilon subunits, and another one containing GABA(A receptor rho, beta, delta, theta, and pi subunits. The presence of GABA receptor subunits from each of the major clades in the Ciona intestinalis genome suggests that these ancestral duplication events occurred before the divergence of urochordates. However, while gene divergence proceeded at similar rates on most receptor subunits, we show that the mammalian-specific subunits theta and epsilon experienced an episode of positive selection and of relaxed constraints, respectively, after the duplication event. Sites putatively under positive selection are placed on a three-dimensional model obtained by homology-modeling. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest an early divergence of the GABA receptor subunits, before the split from urochordates. We show that functional changes occurred in the lineages leading to the mammalian-specific subunit theta, and we identify the amino acid sites putatively responsible for the functional divergence. We discuss potential consequences for the evolution of mammals and of their CNS.

  13. Characterization, developmental expression and evolutionary features of the huntingtin gene in the amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae

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    Cattaneo Elena

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by the expansion of an N-terminal polyQ stretch in the huntingtin protein. In order to investigate the hypothesis that huntingtin was already involved in development of the nervous system in the last common ancestor of chordates, we isolated and characterised the huntingtin homologue from the amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae. In the present paper the amphioxus general term must be referred to Branchiostoma floridae. Results In this report, we show that the exon-intron organization of the amphioxus huntingtin gene is highly conserved with that of other vertebrates species. The AmphiHtt protein has two glutamine residues in the position of the typical vertebrate polyQ tract. Sequence conservation is greater along the entire length of the protein than in a previously identified Ciona huntingtin. The first three N-terminal HEAT repeats are highly conserved in vertebrates and amphioxus, although exon rearrangement has occurred in this region. AmphiHtt expression is detectable by in situ hybridization starting from the early neurula stage, where it is found in cells of the neural plate. At later stages, it is retained in the neural compartment but also it appears in limited and well-defined groups of non-neural cells. At subsequent larval stages, AmphiHtt expression is detected in the neural tube, with the strongest signal being present in the most anterior part. Conclusion The cloning of amphioxus huntingtin allows to infer that the polyQ in huntingtin was already present 540 million years ago and provides a further element for the study of huntingtin function and its evolution along the deuterostome branch.

  14. Migratory neuronal progenitors arise from the neural plate borders in tunicates.

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    Stolfi, Alberto; Ryan, Kerrianne; Meinertzhagen, Ian A; Christiaen, Lionel

    2015-11-19

    The neural crest is an evolutionary novelty that fostered the emergence of vertebrate anatomical innovations such as the cranium and jaws. During embryonic development, multipotent neural crest cells are specified at the lateral borders of the neural plate before delaminating, migrating and differentiating into various cell types. In invertebrate chordates (cephalochordates and tunicates), neural plate border cells express conserved factors such as Msx, Snail and Pax3/7 and generate melanin-containing pigment cells, a derivative of the neural crest in vertebrates. However, invertebrate neural plate border cells have not been shown to generate homologues of other neural crest derivatives. Thus, proposed models of neural crest evolution postulate vertebrate-specific elaborations on an ancestral neural plate border program, through acquisition of migratory capabilities and the potential to generate several cell types. Here we show that a particular neuronal cell type in the tadpole larva of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, the bipolar tail neuron, shares a set of features with neural-crest-derived spinal ganglia neurons in vertebrates. Bipolar tail neuron precursors derive from caudal neural plate border cells, delaminate and migrate along the paraxial mesoderm on either side of the neural tube, eventually differentiating into afferent neurons that form synaptic contacts with both epidermal sensory cells and motor neurons. We propose that the neural plate borders of the chordate ancestor already produced migratory peripheral neurons and pigment cells, and that the neural crest evolved through the acquisition of a multipotent progenitor regulatory state upstream of multiple, pre-existing neural plate border cell differentiation programs. PMID:26524532

  15. New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records (December 2012

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    M. THESSALOU-LEGAKI

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents records extending or confirming the distribution of Mediterranean species. Three alien algae are included, namely Codium taylorii reported for the first time from the Aegean and Turkey (Izmir Gulf, Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Karpathos and Chalki Isl., Aegean Sea and Ganonema farinosum (Karpathos Isl., Aegean Sea. As far as animals are concerned, Litarachna divergens (Acari: Hydrachnidia was recorded (Side, Eastern Mediterranean and represents a new amendment at genus level for Turkish fauna. Other invertebrates include alien species such as the crabs Dyspanopeus sayi (Lago Fusaro, SW Italy, Percnon gibbesi (Larnaca, Cyprus; Karpathos and Chalki Isl., Aegean Sea and Callinectes sapidus (Voda estuary, NW Greece, the nudibranch Aplysia dactylomela (Boka Kotorska Bay, Montenegro, the gastropod Conomurex persicus (Karpathos and ChalkiIsl., Aegean Sea and the bryozoan Electra tenella (Livorno harbour and Messina Straits area. The alien fish Siganus luridus, Siganus rivulatus, Fistularia commersonii, Sphyraena chrysotaenia and Sargocentron rubrum are also reported from the islands of Karpathos and Chalki, and Pteragogus pelycus from Heraklion Bay, Crete. In addition, new localities for four rare Mediterranean inhabitants are given: the cephalopod Thysanoteuthis rhombus (NW Sardinia and the fish: Lampris guttatus (Calabria, S Italy, Petromyzon marinus (Gokova Bay and Remora australis (Saronikos Gulf, while the opisthobranch gastropod Cerberilla bernadettae is reported for the first time from the E Mediterranean (Cyprus. Finally, three species of the Aegean ascidiofauna are recorded for the first time: Lissoclinum perforatum, Ciona roulei and Ecteinascidia turbinata. Furthermore, it was established that Phallusia nigra has extended its distributional range to the north of the Aegean Sea.

  16. Cloning, characterization and functional expression of Taenia solium 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.

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    Aceves-Ramos, A; de la Torre, P; Hinojosa, L; Ponce, A; García-Villegas, R; Laclette, J P; Bobes, R J; Romano, M C

    2014-07-01

    The 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17β-HSD) are key enzymes involved in the formation (reduction) and inactivation (oxidation) of sex steroids. Several types have been found in vertebrates including fish, as well as in invertebrates like Caenorhabditis elegans, Ciona intestinalis and Haliotis diversicolor supertexta. To date limited information is available about this enzyme in parasites. We showed previously that Taenia solium cysticerci are able to synthesize sex steroid hormones in vitro when precursors are provided in the culture medium. Here, we identified a T. solium 17β-HSD through in silico blast searches in the T. solium genome database. This coding sequence was amplified by RT-PCR and cloned into the pcDNA 3.1(+) expression vector. The full length cDNA contains 957bp, corresponding to an open reading frame coding for 319 aa. The highest identity (84%) at the protein level was found with the Echinococcus multilocularis 17β-HSD although significant similarities were also found with other invertebrate and vertebrate 17β-HSD sequences. The T. solium Tsol-17βHSD belongs to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) protein superfamily. HEK293T cells transiently transfected with Tsol17β-HSD induced expression of Tsol17β-HSD that transformed 3H-androstenedione into testosterone. In contrast, 3H-estrone was not significantly transformed into estradiol. In conclusion, T. solium cysticerci express a 17β-HSD that catalyzes the androgen reduction. The enzyme belongs to the short chain dehydrogenases/reductase family and shares motifs and activity with the type 3 enzyme of some other species.

  17. Diverse forms of RPS9 splicing are part of an evolving autoregulatory circuit.

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    Plocik, Alex M; Guthrie, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Ribosomal proteins are essential to life. While the functions of ribosomal protein-encoding genes (RPGs) are highly conserved, the evolution of their regulatory mechanisms is remarkably dynamic. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, RPGs are unusual in that they are commonly present as two highly similar gene copies and in that they are over-represented among intron-containing genes. To investigate the role of introns in the regulation of RPG expression, we constructed 16 S. cerevisiae strains with precise deletions of RPG introns. We found that several yeast introns function to repress rather than to increase steady-state mRNA levels. Among these, the RPS9A and RPS9B introns were required for cross-regulation of the two paralogous gene copies, which is consistent with the duplication of an autoregulatory circuit. To test for similar intron function in animals, we performed an experimental test and comparative analyses for autoregulation among distantly related animal RPS9 orthologs. Overexpression of an exogenous RpS9 copy in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells induced alternative splicing and degradation of the endogenous copy by nonsense-mediated decay (NMD). Also, analysis of expressed sequence tag data from distantly related animals, including Homo sapiens and Ciona intestinalis, revealed diverse alternatively-spliced RPS9 isoforms predicted to elicit NMD. We propose that multiple forms of splicing regulation among RPS9 orthologs from various eukaryotes operate analogously to translational repression of the alpha operon by S4, the distant prokaryotic ortholog. Thus, RPS9 orthologs appear to have independently evolved variations on a fundamental autoregulatory circuit. PMID:22479208

  18. Diverse forms of RPS9 splicing are part of an evolving autoregulatory circuit.

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    Alex M Plocik

    Full Text Available Ribosomal proteins are essential to life. While the functions of ribosomal protein-encoding genes (RPGs are highly conserved, the evolution of their regulatory mechanisms is remarkably dynamic. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, RPGs are unusual in that they are commonly present as two highly similar gene copies and in that they are over-represented among intron-containing genes. To investigate the role of introns in the regulation of RPG expression, we constructed 16 S. cerevisiae strains with precise deletions of RPG introns. We found that several yeast introns function to repress rather than to increase steady-state mRNA levels. Among these, the RPS9A and RPS9B introns were required for cross-regulation of the two paralogous gene copies, which is consistent with the duplication of an autoregulatory circuit. To test for similar intron function in animals, we performed an experimental test and comparative analyses for autoregulation among distantly related animal RPS9 orthologs. Overexpression of an exogenous RpS9 copy in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells induced alternative splicing and degradation of the endogenous copy by nonsense-mediated decay (NMD. Also, analysis of expressed sequence tag data from distantly related animals, including Homo sapiens and Ciona intestinalis, revealed diverse alternatively-spliced RPS9 isoforms predicted to elicit NMD. We propose that multiple forms of splicing regulation among RPS9 orthologs from various eukaryotes operate analogously to translational repression of the alpha operon by S4, the distant prokaryotic ortholog. Thus, RPS9 orthologs appear to have independently evolved variations on a fundamental autoregulatory circuit.

  19. P Transposable Elements in Drosophila and other Eukaryotic Organisms.

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    Majumdar, Sharmistha; Rio, Donald C

    2015-04-01

    P transposable elements were discovered in Drosophila as the causative agents of a syndrome of genetic traits called hybrid dysgenesis. Hybrid dysgenesis exhibits a unique pattern of maternal inheritance linked to the germline-specific small RNA piwi-interacting (piRNA) pathway. The use of P transposable elements as vectors for gene transfer and as genetic tools revolutionized the field of Drosophila molecular genetics. P element transposons have served as a useful model to investigate mechanisms of cut-and-paste transposition in eukaryotes. Biochemical studies have revealed new and unexpected insights into how eukaryotic DNA-based transposons are mobilized. For example, the P element transposase makes unusual 17nt-3' extended double-strand DNA breaks at the transposon termini and uses guanosine triphosphate (GTP) as a cofactor to promote synapsis of the two transposon ends early in the transposition pathway. The N-terminal DNA binding domain of the P element transposase, called a THAP domain, contains a C2CH zinc-coordinating motif and is the founding member of a large family of animal-specific site-specific DNA binding proteins. Over the past decade genome sequencing efforts have revealed the presence of P element-like transposable elements or P element transposase-like genes (called THAP9) in many eukaryotic genomes, including vertebrates, such as primates including humans, zebrafish and Xenopus, as well as the human parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, the sea squirt Ciona, sea urchin and hydra. Surprisingly, the human and zebrafish P element transposase-related THAP9 genes promote transposition of the Drosophila P element transposon DNA in human and Drosophila cells, indicating that the THAP9 genes encode active P element "transposase" proteins. PMID:26104714

  20. Zoogeografia storica e attuale dei carnivori e degli ungulati italiani

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    Marco Masseti

    2003-10-01

    futuro a preservare inalterate le caratteristiche genetiche dei taxa "nativi" del territorio italiano. A parte alcuni casi di ampliamento spontaneo degli areali di distribuzione, anche le attuali composizioni a carnivori mostrano spesso le evidenze di un'alterazione preoccupante dei quadri biogeografici originari. L'eredità della ridefinizione globale degli equilibri ecologici originari italiani, condotta dall'uomo a partire dalle epoche preistoriche e continuata in quelle storiche senza apparente soluzione di continuità, suscita problemi di conservazione e di gestione non indifferenti. Fra di essi, deve essere tenuta in particolare conto la constatazione del fatto che, nella maggior parte dei casi, è impossibile ricostruire gli ecosistemi naturali del passato, poiché questi sono andati definitivamente distrutti e perduti da millenni. Riguardo, poi, alla vulnerabilità degli ecosistemi è anche piuttosto difficile riuscire a scongiurare in forma preventiva il rischio di nuove, future introduzioni. Va infine notato che in più di un caso le definizioni tassonomiche di cui disponiamo sono state basate su caratteri spesso inconsistenti e variabili, suscitando ancora oggi perplessità sulla validità sistematica di certi taxa, soprattutto se considerati a livello subspecifico. Carnivori Canis aureus (L., 1758 Canis lupus L., 1758 Vulpes vulpes (L., 1758 Nyctereutes procyonoides (Gray, 1834 Ursus arctos (L., 1758 Procion lotor (L., 1758 Mustela erminea L., 1758 Mustela nivalis L., 1766 Mustela putorius L., 1758 Mustela vison Schreber, 1777 Martes foina (Erxleben, 1777 Martes martes (L., 1758 Meles meles (L., 1758 Lutra lutra (L., 1758 Genetta genetta (L., 1758 Herpestes edwardsii (E

  1. Population genetics features for persistent, but transient, Botryllus schlosseri (Urochordata) congregations in a central Californian marina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karahan, Arzu; Douek, Jacob; Paz, Guy; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2016-08-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a globally distributed, invasive ascidian that has colonized the Californian coasts of the USA during the mid-late 1940s and has, since the late 1980s, spread north to Washington. This study analyzes the population genetic characteristics of transient populations residing at the Elkhorn Yacht-Club (EYC), in central California (seven sessions, 1996-2008), which suffered periodic catastrophes caused by episodic fresh-water floods and a single sampling session (in the year 2001) of five West-Coast populations using the mtDNA COI gene and five microsatellite markers. EYC microsatellite results were further compared with the closely situated but persistent population of the Santa Cruz Harbor (SCH) to understand the impact on EYC population regeneration processes after the 2005-flood catastrophe. All microsatellites were highly polymorphic, revealing a large number of unique alleles at different sampling dates. Whereas pairwise θ did not reveal significant differences between the EYC time-series samplings, the overall θ was significant, as it was between all the 2001 West Coast populations. The most likely cluster number was 3 for the EYC samples whereas two K values were obtained (2 and 5) for the 2001 samples. Tajima's D and Fu's/Fs tests did not reject the null hypothesis for COI neutral evolution, except for in the EYC-2000, 2007 and two 2001 samplings. The wide geographical range of the analyses has indicated that following the EYC 2005-flood catastrophe, newcomers could have originated from neighboring populations, from deep-water colonies that may have escaped the 2005 low salinity event, or less expectedly, from far away West-Coast populations, while revealing that the SCH population is the most probable source for the EYC population. PMID:27154209

  2. Unusual symbiotic cyanobacteria association in the genetically diverse intertidal marine sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis (Demospongiae, Halichondrida.

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    Anoop Alex

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria represent one of the most common members of the sponge-associated bacterial community and are abundant symbionts of coral reef ecosystems. In this study we used Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM and molecular techniques (16S rRNA gene marker to characterize the spatial distribution of cyanobionts in the widely dispersed marine intertidal sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis along the coast of Portugal (Atlantic Ocean. We described new sponge associated cyanobacterial morphotypes (Xenococcus-like and we further observed Acaryochloris sp. as a sponge symbiont, previously only reported in association with ascidians. Besides these two unique cyanobacteria, H. perlevis predominantly harbored Synechococcus sp. and uncultured marine cyanobacteria. Our study supports the hypothesis that the community of sponge cyanobionts varies irrespective of the geographical location and is likely influenced by seasonal fluctuations. The observed multiple cyanobacterial association among sponges of the same host species over a large distance may be attributed to horizontal transfer of symbionts. This may explain the absence of a co-evolutionary pattern between the sponge host and its symbionts. Finally, in spite of the short geographic sampling distance covered, we observed an unexpected high intra-specific genetic diversity in H. perlevis using the mitochondrial genes ATP6 (π = 0.00177, COI (π = 0.00241 and intergenic spacer SP1 (π = 0.00277 relative to the levels of genetic variation of marine sponges elsewhere. Our study suggests that genotypic variation among the sponge host H. perlevis and the associated symbiotic cyanobacteria diversity may be larger than previously recognized.

  3. A Tale of Two Drug Targets: The Evolutionary History of BACE1 and BACE2

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    Christopher eSouthan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The beta amyloid (APP cleaving enzyme (BACE1 has been a drug target for Alzheimer's Disease (AD since 1999 with lead inhibitors now entering clinical trials. In 2011, the paralogue, BACE2, became a new target for type II diabetes (T2DM having been identified as a TMEM27 secretase regulating pancreatic β cell function. However, the normal roles of both enzymes are unclear. This study outlines their evolutionary history and new opportunities for functional genomics. We identified 30 homologues (UrBACEs in basal phyla including Placozoans, Cnidarians, Choanoflagellates, Porifera, Echinoderms, Annelids, Mollusks and Ascidians (but not Ecdysozoans. UrBACEs are predominantly single copy, show 35% to 45% protein sequence identity with mammalian BACE1, are approximately 100 residues longer than cathepsin paralogues with an aspartyl protease domain flanked by a signal peptide and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. While multiple paralogues in Trichoplax and Monosiga pre-date the nervous system, duplication of the UrBACE in fish gave rise to BACE1 and BACE2 in the vertebrate lineage. The latter evolved more rapidly as the former maintained the emergent neuronal role. In mammals, Ka/Ks for BACE2 is higher than BACE1 but low ratios for both suggest purifying selection. The 5’ exons show higher Ka/Ks than the catalytic section. Model organism genomes show the absence of certain BACE human substrates when the UrBACE is present. Experiments could thus reveal undiscovered substrates and roles. The human protease double-target status means that evolutionary trajectories and functional shifts associated with different substrates will have implications for the development of clinical candidates for both AD and T2DM. A rational basis for inhibition specificity ratios and assessing target-related side effects will be facilitated by a more complete picture of BACE1 and BACE2 functions informed by their evolutionary context.

  4. The substantial first impact of bottom fishing on rare biodiversity hotspots: a dilemma for evidence-based conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Robert; Fariñas-Franco, Jose M; Gell, Fiona R; Holt, Rohan H F; Holt, Terry; Lindenbaum, Charles; Porter, Joanne S; Seed, Ray; Skates, Lucie R; Stringell, Thomas B; Sanderson, William G

    2013-01-01

    This study describes the impact of the first passage of two types of bottom-towed fishing gear on rare protected shellfish-reefs formed by the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.). One of the study sites was trawled and the other was scallop-dredged. Divers collected HD video imagery of epifauna from quadrats at the two study sites and directed infaunal samples from one site. The total number of epifaunal organisms was significantly reduced following a single pass of a trawl (90%) or scallop dredge (59%), as was the diversity of the associated community and the total number of M. modiolus at the trawled site. At both sites declines in anthozoans, hydrozoans, bivalves, echinoderms and ascidians accounted for most of the change. A year later, no recovery was evident at the trawled site and significantly fewer infaunal taxa (polychaetes, malacostracans, bivalves and ophuroids) were recorded in the trawl track. The severity of the two types of impact reflected the undisturbed status of the habitats compared to previous studies. As a 'priority habitat' the nature of the impacts described on M. modiolus communities are important to the development of conservation management policy and indicators of condition in Marine Protected Areas (EU Habitats Directive) as well as indicators of 'Good Environmental Status' under the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Conservation managers are under pressure to support decisions with good quality evidence. Elsewhere, indirect studies have shown declines of M. modiolus biogenic communities in fishing grounds. However, given the protected status of the rare habitat, premeditated demonstration of direct impact is unethical or illegal in Marine Protected Areas. This study therefore provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact from fishing gear whilst at the same time reflecting on the dilemma of evidence-based conservation management.

  5. The substantial first impact of bottom fishing on rare biodiversity hotspots: a dilemma for evidence-based conservation.

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    Robert Cook

    Full Text Available This study describes the impact of the first passage of two types of bottom-towed fishing gear on rare protected shellfish-reefs formed by the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.. One of the study sites was trawled and the other was scallop-dredged. Divers collected HD video imagery of epifauna from quadrats at the two study sites and directed infaunal samples from one site. The total number of epifaunal organisms was significantly reduced following a single pass of a trawl (90% or scallop dredge (59%, as was the diversity of the associated community and the total number of M. modiolus at the trawled site. At both sites declines in anthozoans, hydrozoans, bivalves, echinoderms and ascidians accounted for most of the change. A year later, no recovery was evident at the trawled site and significantly fewer infaunal taxa (polychaetes, malacostracans, bivalves and ophuroids were recorded in the trawl track. The severity of the two types of impact reflected the undisturbed status of the habitats compared to previous studies. As a 'priority habitat' the nature of the impacts described on M. modiolus communities are important to the development of conservation management policy and indicators of condition in Marine Protected Areas (EU Habitats Directive as well as indicators of 'Good Environmental Status' under the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Conservation managers are under pressure to support decisions with good quality evidence. Elsewhere, indirect studies have shown declines of M. modiolus biogenic communities in fishing grounds. However, given the protected status of the rare habitat, premeditated demonstration of direct impact is unethical or illegal in Marine Protected Areas. This study therefore provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact from fishing gear whilst at the same time reflecting on the dilemma of evidence-based conservation management.

  6. New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records (October, 2014

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    S. KATSANEVAKIS

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Collective Article ‘New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records’ of the Mediterranean Marine Science journal offers the means to publish biodiversity records in the Mediterranean Sea. The current article is divided in two parts, for records of alien and native species respectively. The new records of alien species include: the red alga Asparagopsis taxiformis (Crete and Lakonicos Gulf (Greece; the red alga Grateloupia turuturu (along the Israeli Mediterranean shore; the mantis shrimp Clorida albolitura (Gulf of Antalya, Turkey; the mud crab Dyspanopeus sayi (Mar Piccolo of Taranto, Ionian Sea; the blue crab Callinectes sapidus (Chios Island, Greece; the isopod Paracerceis sculpta (northern Aegean Sea, Greece; the sea urchin Diadema setosum (Gökova Bay, Turkey; the molluscs Smaragdia souverbiana, Murex forskoehlii, Fusinus verrucosus, Circenita callipyga, and Aplysia dactylomela (Syria; the cephalaspidean mollusc Haminoea cyanomarginata (Baia di Puolo, Massa Lubrense, Campania, southern Italy; the topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva (Civitavecchia, Tyrrhenian Sea; the fangtooth moray Enchelycore anatine (Plemmirio marine reserve, Sicily; the silver-cheeked toadfish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Saros Bay, Turkey; and Ibiza channel, Spain; the Indo-Pacific ascidian Herdmania momusin Kastelorizo Island (Greece; and the foraminiferal Clavulina multicam erata (Saronikos Gulf, Greece. The record of L. sceleratus in Spain consists the deepest (350-400m depth record of the species in the Mediterranean Sea. The new records of native species include: first record of the ctenophore Cestum veneris in Turkish marine waters; the presence of Holothuria tubulosa and Holothuria polii in the Bay of Igoumenitsa (Greece; the first recorded sighting of the bull ray Pteromylaeus bovinus in Maltese waters; and a new record of the fish Lobotes surinamensis from Maliakos Gulf. 

  7. COPI vesicle transport is a common requirement for tube expansion in Drosophila.

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    Satish Arcot Jayaram

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tube expansion defects like stenoses and atresias cause devastating human diseases. Luminal expansion during organogenesis begins to be elucidated in several systems but we still lack a mechanistic view of the process in many organs. The Drosophila tracheal respiratory system provides an amenable model to study tube size regulation. In the trachea, COPII anterograde transport of luminal proteins is required for extracellular matrix assembly and the concurrent tube expansion. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified and analyzed Drosophila COPI retrograde transport mutants with narrow tracheal tubes. gammaCOP mutants fail to efficiently secrete luminal components and assemble the luminal chitinous matrix during tracheal tube expansion. Likewise, tube extension is defective in salivary glands, where it also coincides with a failure in the luminal deposition and assembly of a distinct, transient intraluminal matrix. Drosophila gammaCOP colocalizes with cis-Golgi markers and in gammaCOP mutant embryos the ER and Golgi structures are severely disrupted. Analysis of gammaCOP and Sar1 double mutants suggests that bidirectional ER-Golgi traffic maintains the ER and Golgi compartments and is required for secretion and assembly of luminal matrixes during tube expansion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate the function of COPI components in organ morphogenesis and highlight the common role of apical secretion and assembly of transient organotypic matrices in tube expansion. Intraluminal matrices have been detected in the notochord of ascidians and zebrafish COPI mutants show defects in notochord expansion. Thus, the programmed deposition and growth of distinct luminal molds may provide distending forces during tube expansion in diverse organs.

  8. An efficient method to find potentially universal population genetic markers, applied to metazoans

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    Chenuil Anne

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the impressive growth of sequence databases, the limited availability of nuclear markers that are sufficiently polymorphic for population genetics and phylogeography and applicable across various phyla restricts many potential studies, particularly in non-model organisms. Numerous introns have invariant positions among kingdoms, providing a potential source for such markers. Unfortunately, most of the few known EPIC (Exon Primed Intron Crossing loci are restricted to vertebrates or belong to multigenic families. Results In order to develop markers with broad applicability, we designed a bioinformatic approach aimed at avoiding multigenic families while identifying intron positions conserved across metazoan phyla. We developed a program facilitating the identification of EPIC loci which allowed slight variation in intron position. From the Homolens databases we selected 29 gene families which contained 52 promising introns for which we designed 93 primer pairs. PCR tests were performed on several ascidians, echinoderms, bivalves and cnidarians. On average, 24 different introns per genus were amplified in bilaterians. Remarkably, five of the introns successfully amplified in all of the metazoan genera tested (a dozen genera, including cnidarians. The influence of several factors on amplification success was investigated. Success rate was not related to the phylogenetic relatedness of a taxon to the groups that most influenced primer design, showing that these EPIC markers are extremely conserved in animals. Conclusions Our new method now makes it possible to (i rapidly isolate a set of EPIC markers for any phylum, even outside the animal kingdom, and thus, (ii compare genetic diversity at potentially homologous polymorphic loci between divergent taxa.

  9. Short-term post-mortality predation and scavenging and longer-term recovery after anoxia in the northern Adriatic Sea

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    M. Blasnig

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available In the Mediterranean, the northern Adriatic Sea shows most features known to promote late-summer hypoxia and anoxia. These features, along with anthropogenic eutrophication and marine snow events, have led to repeated benthic mortalities here. The present study was designed to document the post-anoxia macrofauna dynamics. We deployed an underwater instrument to induce small-scale anoxia in situ (total area 0.5 m2. Two time-lapse camera deployments examined short-term scavenging of the moribund and dead organisms (multi-species clumps consisting of sponges and ascidians over a 3-day period (August 2008: 71.5 h, September 2008: 67.5 h. Longer-term recovery (2 yr in the same two plots was examined with an independent photo-series. Predators and scavengers arrived in a distinct sequence. The first to arrive were demersal (Gobius niger, Serranus hepatus and benthopelagic fishes (Diplodus vulgaris, Pagellus erythrinus, followed by hermit crabs (Paguristes eremita, showing a clear day/night rhythm in presence and gastropods (Hexaplex trunculus. This sequence of arrival is attributed to the relative speeds of the organisms and their densities. The scavengers remained in dense aggregations (e.g. up to 33 P. eremita individuals at one time as long as the dead organisms were available. The whole sessile fauna was largely removed or consumed within 7 (August plot and 13 (September plot days after anoxia. No macroepibenthic recovery took place in the experimental plots one and two years after anoxia. This study underlines the sensitivity of this soft-bottom community and supports calls for reducing additional anthropogenic disturbances such as damaging commercial fishing practices that impede recolonization and threaten benthic community structure and function over the long-term.

  10. Tolerance of sponge assemblages to temperature anomalies: resilience and proliferation of sponges following the 1997-8 El-Nino southern oscillation.

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    Francisco Kelmo

    Full Text Available Coral reefs across the world are under threat from a range of stressors, and while there has been considerable focus on the impacts of these stressors on corals, far less is known about their effect on other reef organisms. The 1997-8 El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO had notable and severe impacts on coral reefs worldwide, but not all reef organisms were negatively impacted by this large-scale event. Here we describe how the sponge fauna at Bahia, Brazil was influenced by the 1997-8 ENSO event. Sponge assemblages from three contrasting reef habitats (reef tops, walls and shallow banks at four sites were assessed annually from 1995 to 2011. The within-habitat sponge diversity did not vary significantly across the study period; however, there was a significant increase in density in all habitats. Multivariate analyses revealed no significant difference in sponge assemblage composition (ANOSIM between pre- and post-ENSO years for any of the habitats, suggesting that neither the 1997-8 nor any subsequent smaller ENSO events have had any measurable impact on the reef sponge assemblage. Importantly, this is in marked contrast to the results previously reported for a suite of other taxa (including corals, echinoderms, bryozoans, and ascidians, which all suffered mass mortalities as a result of the ENSO event. Our results suggest that of all reef taxa, sponges have the potential to be resilient to large-scale thermal stress events and we hypothesize that sponges might be less affected by projected increases in sea surface temperature compared to other major groups of reef organisms.

  11. Habitat-associations of turban snails on intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smoothey, Amy F

    2013-01-01

    Patchiness of habitat has important influences on distributions and abundances of organisms. Given the increasing threat of loss and alteration of habitats due to pressures associated with humans, there is a need for ecologists to understand species' requirements for habitat and to predict changes to taxa under various future environmental conditions. This study tested hypotheses about the generality of patterns described for one species of marine intertidal turban snail for a different, yet closely-related species in subtidal habitats along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. These two closely-related species live in similar habitats, yet under quite different conditions, which provided an opportunity to investigate how similar types of habitats influence patterns of distribution, abundance and size-structure in intertidal versus subtidal environments. For each species, there were similar associations between biogenically structured habitat and densities. The intertidal species, Turbo undulates, were more abundant, with greater proportions of small individuals in habitats formed by the canopy-forming alga, Hormosira banksii, the solitary ascidian, Pyura stolonifera or the turfing red alga, Corallina officinalis compared to simple habitat (bare rock). Similarly, more Turbo torquatus were found in biogenically structured subtidal habitat, i.e. canopy-forming algae, Ecklonia radiata, mixed algal communities ('fringe'), or turfing red algae (Corallina officinalis and Amphiroa aniceps) than where habitat is simple (barrens). Small T. torquatus were more abundant in areas of turf and 'fringe', while large snails were more abundant in areas of kelp and barrens. These patterns were found at each location sampled (i.e. eight intertidal and two subtidal rocky reefs) and at all times of sampling, across each environment. This study highlighted the consistent influence of biogenically structured habitats on the distribution, abundance and size-structure of intertidal and

  12. Habitat-associations of turban snails on intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs.

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    Amy F Smoothey

    Full Text Available Patchiness of habitat has important influences on distributions and abundances of organisms. Given the increasing threat of loss and alteration of habitats due to pressures associated with humans, there is a need for ecologists to understand species' requirements for habitat and to predict changes to taxa under various future environmental conditions. This study tested hypotheses about the generality of patterns described for one species of marine intertidal turban snail for a different, yet closely-related species in subtidal habitats along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. These two closely-related species live in similar habitats, yet under quite different conditions, which provided an opportunity to investigate how similar types of habitats influence patterns of distribution, abundance and size-structure in intertidal versus subtidal environments. For each species, there were similar associations between biogenically structured habitat and densities. The intertidal species, Turbo undulates, were more abundant, with greater proportions of small individuals in habitats formed by the canopy-forming alga, Hormosira banksii, the solitary ascidian, Pyura stolonifera or the turfing red alga, Corallina officinalis compared to simple habitat (bare rock. Similarly, more Turbo torquatus were found in biogenically structured subtidal habitat, i.e. canopy-forming algae, Ecklonia radiata, mixed algal communities ('fringe', or turfing red algae (Corallina officinalis and Amphiroa aniceps than where habitat is simple (barrens. Small T. torquatus were more abundant in areas of turf and 'fringe', while large snails were more abundant in areas of kelp and barrens. These patterns were found at each location sampled (i.e. eight intertidal and two subtidal rocky reefs and at all times of sampling, across each environment. This study highlighted the consistent influence of biogenically structured habitats on the distribution, abundance and size-structure of

  13. Tough adults, frail babies: an analysis of stress sensitivity across early life-history stages of widely introduced marine invertebrates.

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    M Carmen Pineda

    Full Text Available All ontogenetic stages of a life cycle are exposed to environmental conditions so that population persistence depends on the performance of both adults and offspring. Most studies analysing the influence of abiotic conditions on species performance have focussed on adults, while studies covering early life-history stages remain rare. We investigated the responses of early stages of two widely introduced ascidians, Styela plicata and Microcosmus squamiger, to different abiotic conditions. Stressors mimicked conditions in the habitats where both species can be found in their distributional ranges and responses were related to the selection potential of their populations by analysing their genetic diversity. Four developmental stages (egg fertilisation, larval development, settlement, metamorphosis were studied after exposure to high temperature (30°C, low salinities (26 and 22‰ and high copper concentrations (25, 50 and 100 µg/L. Although most stressors effectively led to failure of complete development (fertilisation through metamorphosis, fertilisation and larval development were the most sensitive stages. All the studied stressors affected the development of both species, though responses differed with stage and stressor. S. plicata was overall more resistant to copper, and some stages of M. squamiger to low salinities. No relationship was found between parental genetic composition and responses to stressors. We conclude that successful development can be prevented at several life-history stages, and therefore, it is essential to consider multiple stages when assessing species' abilities to tolerate stress. Moreover, we found that early development of these species cannot be completed under conditions prevailing where adults live. These populations must therefore recruit from elsewhere or reproduce during temporal windows of more benign conditions. Alternatively, novel strategies or behaviours that increase overall reproductive success

  14. Cell signaling and transcription factor genes expressed during whole body regeneration in a colonial chordate

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    Rinkevich Baruch

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The restoration of adults from fragments of blood vessels in botryllid ascidians (termed whole body regeneration [WBR] represents an inimitable event in the chordates, which is poorly understood on the mechanistic level. Results To elucidate mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, a subtracted EST library for early WBR stages was previously assembled, revealing 76 putative genes belonging to major signaling pathways, including Notch/Delta, JAK/STAT, protein kinases, nuclear receptors, Ras oncogene family members, G-Protein coupled receptor (GPCR and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β signaling. RT-PCR on selected transcripts documented specific up-regulation in only regenerating fragments, pointing to a broad activation of these signaling pathways at onset of WBR. The followed-up expression pattern of seven representative transcripts from JAK/STAT signaling (Bl-STAT, the Ras oncogene family (Bl-Rap1A, Bl-Rab-33, the protein kinase family (Bl-Mnk, Bl-Cnot, Bl-Slit and Bl-Bax inhibitor, revealed systemic and site specific activations during WBR in a sub-population of circulatory cells. Conclusion WBR in the non-vertebrate chordate Botrylloides leachi is a multifaceted phenomenon, presided by a complex array of cell signaling and transcription factors. Above results, provide a first insight into the whole genome molecular machinery of this unique regeneration process, and reveal the broad participation of cell signaling and transcription factors in the process. While regeneration involves the participation of specific cell populations, WBR signals are systemically expressed at the organism level.

  15. A single and rapid calcium wave at egg activation in Drosophila

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    Anna H. York-Andersen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Activation is an essential process that accompanies fertilisation in all animals and heralds major cellular changes, most notably, resumption of the cell cycle. While activation involves wave-like oscillations in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in mammals, ascidians and polychaete worms and a single Ca2+ peak in fish and frogs, in insects, such as Drosophila, to date, it has not been shown what changes in intracellular Ca2+ levels occur. Here, we utilise ratiometric imaging of Ca2+ indicator dyes and genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator proteins to identify and characterise a single, rapid, transient wave of Ca2+ in the Drosophila egg at activation. Using genetic tools, physical manipulation and pharmacological treatments we demonstrate that the propagation of the Ca2+ wave requires an intact actin cytoskeleton and an increase in intracellular Ca2+ can be uncoupled from egg swelling, but not from progression of the cell cycle. We further show that mechanical pressure alone is not sufficient to initiate a Ca2+ wave. We also find that processing bodies, sites of mRNA decay and translational regulation, become dispersed following the Ca2+ transient. Based on this data we propose the following model for egg activation in Drosophila: exposure to lateral oviduct fluid initiates an increase in intracellular Ca2+ at the egg posterior via osmotic swelling, possibly through mechano-sensitive Ca2+ channels; a single Ca2+ wave then propagates in an actin dependent manner; this Ca2+ wave co-ordinates key developmental events including resumption of the cell cycle and initiation of translation of mRNAs such as bicoid.

  16. Discovery and Evaluation of Thiazinoquinones as Anti-Protozoal Agents

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    Marcel Kaiser

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pure compound screening has identified the dioxothiazino-quinoline-quinone ascidian metabolite ascidiathiazone A (2 to be a moderate growth inhibitor of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (IC50 3.1 μM and Plasmodium falciparum (K1 dual drug resistant strain (IC50 3.3 μM while exhibiting low levels of cytotoxicity (L6, IC50 167 μM. A series of C-7 amide and Δ2(3 analogues were prepared that explored the influence of lipophilicity and oxidation state on observed anti-protozoal activity and selectivity. Little variation in anti-malarial potency was observed (IC50 0.62–6.5 μM, and no correlation was apparent between anti-malarial and anti-T. brucei activity. Phenethylamide 7e and Δ2(3-glycine analogue 8k exhibited similar anti-Pf activity to 2 but with slightly enhanced selectivity (SI 72 and 93, respectively, while Δ2(3-phenethylamide 8e (IC50 0.67 μM, SI 78 exhibited improved potency and selectivity towards T. brucei rhodesiense compared to the natural product hit. A second series of analogues were prepared that replaced the quinoline ring of 2 with benzofuran or benzothiophene moieties. While esters 10a/10b and 15 were once again found to exhibit cytotoxicity, carboxylic acid analogues exhibited potent anti-Pf activity (IC50 0.34–0.035 μM combined with excellent selectivity (SI 560–4000. In vivo evaluation of a furan carboxylic acid analogue against P. berghei was undertaken, demonstrating 85.7% and 47% reductions in parasitaemia with ip or oral dosing respectively.

  17. Rubrolides as model for the development of new lactones and their aza analogs as potential photosynthesis inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Ulisses A; Barbosa, Luiz C A; Demuner, Antônio J; Silva, Antônio A; Bertazzini, Michele; Forlani, Giuseppe

    2015-07-01

    Natural phytotoxins and their synthetic analogs are a potential source of new bioactive compounds for agriculture. Analogs of rubrolides, a class of γ-alkylidene-γ-lactones isolated from different ascidians, have been shown to interfere with the photosynthetic electron-transport chain, yet their activity needs to be improved. With this aim, ten 5-aryl-6-benzyl-4-bromopyridazin-3(2H)-ones were prepared in yields ranging from 44 to 88% by reaction of their correspondent γ-alkylidene-γ-lactones with NH2 NH2 . The structures of these rubrolide analogs were determined by (1) H- and (13) C-NMR, 2D-NMR (COSY and HETCOR), NOE difference, and MS techniques. These compounds were evaluated for their abilities of interfering with the light-driven reduction of ferricyanide by isolated spinach chloroplasts. Lactones with electron-withdrawing substituents in the para-position of the benzylidene ring were the most effective inhibitors. Characterization of the activity of 11b/11b' suggested a mechanism based on the interaction with the plastoquinone binding site of photosystem II. Addition of several compounds to the culture medium of a cyanobacterial model strain was found to inhibit algal growth. However, the relative effectiveness was not consistent with their activity in vitro, suggesting the occurrence of multiple targets and/or detoxyfication mechanisms. Indeed, the compounds showed differential effects on the heterotrophic growth of some crop species, Cucumis sativus and Sorghum bicolor. Pyridazin-3(2H)-ones 12e, 12i, and 12j, which have been found poorly active against the photosynthetic electron transport, were the most effective in inhibiting the growth of some weeds, Ipomoea grandifolia and Brachiaria decumbens, under greenhouse conditions.

  18. Population genetics features for persistent, but transient, Botryllus schlosseri (Urochordata) congregations in a central Californian marina.

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    Karahan, Arzu; Douek, Jacob; Paz, Guy; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2016-08-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a globally distributed, invasive ascidian that has colonized the Californian coasts of the USA during the mid-late 1940s and has, since the late 1980s, spread north to Washington. This study analyzes the population genetic characteristics of transient populations residing at the Elkhorn Yacht-Club (EYC), in central California (seven sessions, 1996-2008), which suffered periodic catastrophes caused by episodic fresh-water floods and a single sampling session (in the year 2001) of five West-Coast populations using the mtDNA COI gene and five microsatellite markers. EYC microsatellite results were further compared with the closely situated but persistent population of the Santa Cruz Harbor (SCH) to understand the impact on EYC population regeneration processes after the 2005-flood catastrophe. All microsatellites were highly polymorphic, revealing a large number of unique alleles at different sampling dates. Whereas pairwise θ did not reveal significant differences between the EYC time-series samplings, the overall θ was significant, as it was between all the 2001 West Coast populations. The most likely cluster number was 3 for the EYC samples whereas two K values were obtained (2 and 5) for the 2001 samples. Tajima's D and Fu's/Fs tests did not reject the null hypothesis for COI neutral evolution, except for in the EYC-2000, 2007 and two 2001 samplings. The wide geographical range of the analyses has indicated that following the EYC 2005-flood catastrophe, newcomers could have originated from neighboring populations, from deep-water colonies that may have escaped the 2005 low salinity event, or less expectedly, from far away West-Coast populations, while revealing that the SCH population is the most probable source for the EYC population.

  19. In vivo antithrombotic properties of a heparin from the oocyte test cells of the sea squirt Styela plicata(Chordata-Tunicata

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    L. Cardilo-Reis

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available In the ascidian Styela plicata, the oocytes are surrounded by two types of accessory cells named follicle cells and test cells. A heparin-like substance with an anticoagulant activity equivalent to 10% of mammalian heparin and about 5% as potent as the mammalian counterpart for the inhibition of thrombin by antithrombin was isolated from the oocyte test cells. In the present study, we compared the antithrombotic and hemorrhagic effects of sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin with those of porcine heparin in rat models of venous thrombosis and blood loss. Intravenous administration of the oocyte test cell heparin to Wistar rats (both sexes, weighing ~300 g, N = 4 in each group at a dose of 5.0 mg/kg body weight, which produced a 1.8-fold increase in plasma activated partial thromboplastin time, inhibited thrombosis by 45 ± 13.5% (mean ± SD without any bleeding effect. The same dose of porcine heparin inhibited thrombosis by 100 ± 1.4%, but produced a blood loss three times greater than that of the saline-treated control. However, 10-fold reduction of the dose of porcine heparin to 0.5 mg/kg body weight, which produced a 5-fold increase in plasma-activated partial thromboplastin time, inhibited thrombosis by 70 ± 13% without any bleeding effect. The antithrombotic properties of a new heparin isolated from test cells of the sea squirt S. plicata, reported here for the first time, indicate that, although sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin was a poor anticoagulant compared to porcine heparin, it had a significant antithrombotic effect without causing bleeding.

  20. Epitope of titin A-band-specific monoclonal antibody Tit1 5 H1.1 is highly conserved in several Fn3 domains of the titin molecule. Centriole staining in human, mouse and zebrafish cells

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    Mikelsaar Aavo-Valdur

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously we have reported on the development of a new mouse anti-titin monoclonal antibody, named MAb Titl 5 H1.1, using the synthetic peptide N-AVNKYGIGEPLESDSVVAK-C which corresponds to an amino acid sequence in the A-region of the titin molecule as immunogen. In the human skeletal muscles, MAb Titl 5 H1.1 reacts specifically with titin in the A-band of the sarcomere and in different non-muscle cell types with nucleus and cytoplasm, including centrioles. In this report we have studied the evolutionary aspects of the binding of MAb Tit1 5 H1.1 with its target antigen (titin. Results We have specified the epitope area of MAb Tit1 5 H1.1 by subpeptide mapping to the hexapeptide N-AVNKYG-C. According to protein databases this amino acid sequence is located in the COOH-terminus of several different Fn3 domains of the A-region of titin molecule in many organisms, such as human being, mouse, rabbit, zebrafish (Danio rerio, and even in sea squirt (Ciona intestinalis. Our immunohisto- and cytochemical studies with MAb Tit1 5 H1.1 in human, mouse and zebrafish tissues and cell cultures showed a striated staining pattern in muscle cells and also staining of centrioles, cytoplasm and nuclei in non-muscle cells. Conclusions The data confirm that titin can play, in addition to the known roles in striated muscle cells also an important role in non-muscle cells as a centriole associated protein. This phenomenon is highly conserved in the evolution and is related to Fn3 domains of the titin molecule. Using titin A-band-specific monoclonal antibody MAb Tit1 5 H1.1 it was possible to locate titin in the sarcomeres of skeletal muscle cells and in the centrioles, cytoplasm and nuclei of non-muscle cells in phylogenetically so distant organisms as Homo sapiens, Mus musculus and zebrafish (Danio rerio.

  1. Identification and correction of abnormal, incomplete and mispredicted proteins in public databases

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    Bányai László

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite significant improvements in computational annotation of genomes, sequences of abnormal, incomplete or incorrectly predicted genes and proteins remain abundant in public databases. Since the majority of incomplete, abnormal or mispredicted entries are not annotated as such, these errors seriously affect the reliability of these databases. Here we describe the MisPred approach that may provide an efficient means for the quality control of databases. The current version of the MisPred approach uses five distinct routines for identifying abnormal, incomplete or mispredicted entries based on the principle that a sequence is likely to be incorrect if some of its features conflict with our current knowledge about protein-coding genes and proteins: (i conflict between the predicted subcellular localization of proteins and the absence of the corresponding sequence signals; (ii presence of extracellular and cytoplasmic domains and the absence of transmembrane segments; (iii co-occurrence of extracellular and nuclear domains; (iv violation of domain integrity; (v chimeras encoded by two or more genes located on different chromosomes. Results Analyses of predicted EnsEMBL protein sequences of nine deuterostome (Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, Monodelphis domestica, Gallus gallus, Xenopus tropicalis, Fugu rubripes, Danio rerio and Ciona intestinalis and two protostome species (Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster have revealed that the absence of expected signal peptides and violation of domain integrity account for the majority of mispredictions. Analyses of sequences predicted by NCBI's GNOMON annotation pipeline show that the rates of mispredictions are comparable to those of EnsEMBL. Interestingly, even the manually curated UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot dataset is contaminated with mispredicted or abnormal proteins, although to a much lesser extent than UniProtKB/TrEMBL or the EnsEMBL or GNOMON

  2. FAM20: an evolutionarily conserved family of secreted proteins expressed in hematopoietic cells

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    Cobos Everardo

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hematopoiesis is a complex developmental process controlled by a large number of factors that regulate stem cell renewal, lineage commitment and differentiation. Secreted proteins, including the hematopoietic growth factors, play critical roles in these processes and have important biological and clinical significance. We have employed representational difference analysis to identify genes that are differentially expressed during experimentally induced myeloid differentiation in the murine EML hematopoietic stem cell line. Results One identified clone encoded a previously unidentified protein of 541 amino acids that contains an amino terminal signal sequence but no other characterized domains. This protein is a member of family of related proteins that has been named family with sequence similarity 20 (FAM20 with three members (FAM20A, FAM20B and FAM20C in mammals. Evolutionary comparisons revealed the existence of a single FAM20 gene in the simple vertebrate Ciona intestinalis and the invertebrate worm Caenorhabditis elegans and two genes in two insect species, Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae. Six FAM20 family members were identified in the genome of the pufferfish, Fugu rubripes and five members in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. The mouse Fam20a protein was ectopically expressed in a mammalian cell line and found to be a bona fide secreted protein and efficient secretion was dependent on the integrity of the signal sequence. Expression analysis revealed that the Fam20a gene was indeed differentially expressed during hematopoietic differentiation and that the other two family members (Fam20b and Fam20c were also expressed during hematcpoiesis but that their mRNA levels did not vary significantly. Likewise FAM20A was expressed in more limited set of human tissues than the other two family members. Conclusions The FAM20 family represents a new family of secreted proteins with potential functions in regulating

  3. Phylogenetic analysis of the tenascin gene family: evidence of origin early in the chordate lineage

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    Tucker RP

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tenascins are a family of glycoproteins found primarily in the extracellular matrix of embryos where they help to regulate cell proliferation, adhesion and migration. In order to learn more about their origins and relationships to each other, as well as to clarify the nomenclature used to describe them, the tenascin genes of the urochordate Ciona intestinalis, the pufferfish Tetraodon nigroviridis and Takifugu rubripes and the frog Xenopus tropicalis were identified and their gene organization and predicted protein products compared with the previously characterized tenascins of amniotes. Results A single tenascin gene was identified in the genome of C. intestinalis that encodes a polypeptide with domain features common to all vertebrate tenascins. Both pufferfish genomes encode five tenascin genes: two tenascin-C paralogs, a tenascin-R with domain organization identical to mammalian and avian tenascin-R, a small tenascin-X with previously undescribed GK repeats, and a tenascin-W. Four tenascin genes corresponding to tenascin-C, tenascin-R, tenascin-X and tenascin-W were also identified in the X. tropicalis genome. Multiple sequence alignment reveals that differences in the size of tenascin-W from various vertebrate classes can be explained by duplications of specific fibronectin type III domains. The duplicated domains are encoded on single exons and contain putative integrin-binding motifs. A phylogenetic tree based on the predicted amino acid sequences of the fibrinogen-related domains demonstrates that tenascin-C and tenascin-R are the most closely related vertebrate tenascins, with the most conserved repeat and domain organization. Taking all lines of evidence together, the data show that the tenascins referred to as tenascin-Y and tenascin-N are actually members of the tenascin-X and tenascin-W gene families, respectively. Conclusion The presence of a tenascin gene in urochordates but not other invertebrate phyla

  4. Amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae has orthologs of vertebrate odorant receptors

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    Taylor John S

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A common feature of chemosensory systems is the involvement of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs in the detection of environmental stimuli. Several lineages of GPCRs are involved in vertebrate olfaction, including trace amine-associated receptors, type 1 and 2 vomeronasal receptors and odorant receptors (ORs. Gene duplication and gene loss in different vertebrate lineages have lead to an enormous amount of variation in OR gene repertoire among species; some fish have fewer than 100 OR genes, while some mammals possess more than 1000. Fascinating features of the vertebrate olfactory system include allelic exclusion, where each olfactory neuron expresses only a single OR gene, and axonal guidance where neurons expressing the same receptor project axons to common glomerulae. By identifying homologous ORs in vertebrate and in non-vertebrate chordates, we hope to expose ancestral features of the chordate olfactory system that will help us to better understand the evolution of the receptors themselves and of the cellular components of the olfactory system. Results We have identified 50 full-length and 11 partial ORs in Branchiostoma floridae. No ORs were identified in Ciona intestinalis. Phylogenetic analysis places the B. floridae OR genes in a monophyletic clade with the vertebrate ORs. The majority of OR genes in amphioxus are intronless and many are also tandemly arrayed in the genome. By exposing conserved amino acid motifs and testing the ability of those motifs to discriminate between ORs and non-OR GPCRs, we identified three OR-specific amino acid motifs common in cephalochordate, fish and mammalian and ORs. Conclusion Here, we show that amphioxus has orthologs of vertebrate ORs. This conclusion demonstrates that the receptors, and perhaps other components of vertebrate olfaction, evolved at least 550 million years ago. We have also identified highly conserved amino acid motifs that may be important for maintaining

  5. Sediment Burial Intolerance of Marine Macroinvertebrates.

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    Vicki J Hendrick

    Full Text Available The marine environment contains suspended particulate matter which originates from natural and anthropogenic sources. Settlement of this material can leave benthic organisms susceptible to smothering, especially if burial is sudden i.e. following storms or activities such as dredging. Their survival will depend on their tolerance to, and their ability to escape from burial. Here we present data from a multi-factorial experiment measuring burial responses incorporating duration, sediment fraction and depth. Six macroinvertebrates commonly found in sediment rich environments were selected for their commercial and/or conservation importance. Assessments revealed that the brittle star (Ophiura ophiura, the queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis and the sea squirt (Ciona intestinalis were all highly intolerant to burial whilst the green urchin (Psammichinus miliaris and the anemone (Sagartiogeton laceratus, showed intermediate and low intolerance respectively, to burial. The least intolerant, with very high survival was the Ross worm (Sabellaria spinulosa. With the exception of C. intestinalis, increasing duration and depth of burial with finer sediment fractions resulted in increased mortality for all species assessed. For C. intestinalis depth of burial and sediment fraction were found to be inconsequential since there was complete mortality of all specimens buried for more than one day. When burial emergence was assessed O. ophiura emerged most frequently, followed by P. miliaris. The former emerged most frequently from the medium and fine sediments whereas P. miliaris emerged more frequently from coarse sediment. Both A. opercularis and S. laceratus showed similar emergence responses over time, with A. opercularis emerging more frequently under coarse sediments. The frequency of emergence of S. laceratus increased with progressively finer sediment and C. intestinalis did not emerge from burial irrespective of sediment fraction or depth. Finally

  6. Structural, phylogenetic and docking studies of D-amino acid oxidase activator (DAOA, a candidate schizophrenia gene

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    Sehgal Sheikh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schizophrenia is a neurodegenerative disorder that occurs worldwide and can be difficult to diagnose. It is the foremost neurological disorder leading to suicide among patients in both developed and underdeveloped countries. D-amino acid oxidase activator (DAOA, also known as G72, is directly implicated in the glutamateric hypothesis of schizophrenia. It activates D-amino acid oxidase, which oxidizes D-serine, leading to modulation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. Methods MODELLER (9v10 was utilized to generate three dimensional structures of the DAOA candidate gene. The HOPE server was used for mutational analysis. The Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA5 tool was utilized to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the candidate gene DAOA. AutoDock was used for protein-ligand docking and Gramm-X and PatchDock for protein-protein docking. Results A suitable template (1ZCA was selected by employing BLASTp on the basis of 33% query coverage, 27% identity and E-value 4.9. The Rampage evaluation tool showed 91.1% favored region, 4.9% allowed region and 4.1% outlier region in DAOA. ERRAT demonstrated that the predicted model had a 50.909% quality factor. Mutational analysis of DAOA revealed significant effects on hydrogen bonding and correct folding of the DAOA protein, which in turn affect protein conformation. Ciona was inferred as the outgroup. Tetrapods were in their appropriate clusters with bifurcations. Human amino acid sequences are conserved, with chimpanzee and gorilla showing more than 80% homology and bootstrap value based on 1000 replications. Molecular docking analysis was employed to elucidate the binding mode of the reported ligand complex for DAOA. The docking experiment demonstrated that DAOA is involved in major amino acid interactions: the residues that interact most strongly with the ligand C28H28N3O5PS2 are polar but uncharged (Gln36, Asn38, Thr 122 and non-polar hydrophobic (Ile119, Ser171

  7. Cellulose Synthesis in Agrobacterium tumefaciens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alan R. White; Ann G. Matthysse

    2004-07-31

    We have cloned the celC gene and its homologue from E. coli, yhjM, in an expression vector and expressed the both genes in E. coli; we have determined that the YhjM protein is able to complement in vitro cellulose synthesis by extracts of A. tumefaciens celC mutants, we have purified the YhjM protein product and are currently examining its enzymatic activity; we have examined whole cell extracts of CelC and various other cellulose mutants and wild type bacteria for the presence of cellulose oligomers and cellulose; we have examined the ability of extracts of wild type and cellulose mutants including CelC to incorporate UDP-14C-glucose into cellulose and into water-soluble, ethanol-insoluble oligosaccharides; we have made mutants which synthesize greater amounts of cellulose than the wild type; and we have examined the role of cellulose in the formation of biofilms by A. tumefaciens. In addition we have examined the ability of a putative cellulose synthase gene from the tunicate Ciona savignyi to complement an A. tumefaciens celA mutant. The greatest difference between our knowledge of bacterial cellulose synthesis when we started this project and current knowledge is that in 1999 when we wrote the original grant very few bacteria were known to synthesize cellulose and genes involved in this synthesis were sequenced only from Acetobacter species, A. tumefaciens and Rhizobium leguminosarum. Currently many bacteria are known to synthesize cellulose and genes that may be involved have been sequenced from more than 10 species of bacteria. This additional information has raised the possibility of attempting to use genes from one bacterium to complement mutants in another bacterium. This will enable us to examine the question of which genes are responsible for the three dimensional structure of cellulose (since this differs among bacterial species) and also to examine the interactions between the various proteins required for cellulose synthesis. We have carried out one

  8. Observations of recruitment and colonization by tunicates and associated invertebrates using giant one-meter2 recruitment plates at Woods Hole, Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, Page C.; Carman, M.R.; Blackwood, Dann S.

    2016-01-01

    Large recruitment plates measuring 1 × 1 m were deployed over an 18-month period from September 2013 to March 2015 for the purpose of documenting recruitment and colonization processes of marine invertebrate species at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Each side of two plates was subdivided into 16 subareas (25 × 25 cm), and an observational strategy was developed whereby, at approximately two-week intervals, a different subarea was cleaned. Using this approach, we were able to photographically document species recruitment and growth interactions. Water temperature records from the site show that steady warming and cooling between 3 and 20° C changed at a mean rate of 0.2 ° C d-1. However, temperature changes during the coolest and warmest parts of the temperature cycle were highly variable. In 2014, between the first and last occurrence of 0° C, temperatures were ≤0° C 15 percent of the time, but in 2015 temperatures were ≤0° C 93 percent of the time. In 2014, between the first and last occurrence of 21° C, temperatures were ≥21° C 88 percent of the time, and this warm period correlated with the disappearance of the hydroid Ectopleura crocea, the solitary tunicates Ascidiella aspersa and Ciona intestinalis, and the 2013 generation of Botrylloides violaceus. In Woods Hole, large plates provided enough space to accommodate both fast- and slow-colonizing species, resulting in the establishment of a diverse assemblage that was observed over a long time period. The most successful colonizing species had relatively long reproductive and recruitment periods, grew rapidly, repelled settlement onto their surfaces by larvae of any species, defended themselves against overgrowth by any species, overwintered, and lived a long time. Of the three dominant species observed in this study, the colonial tunicates Didemnum vexillum and Botrylloides violaceus had these qualities; the encrusting colonial bryozoan Schizoporella unicornis had all but one, it grew more slowly

  9. Evolution of the interaction between Runx2 and VDR, two transcription factors involved in osteoblastogenesis

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    Barriga Elias H

    2010-03-01

    , using pull-down experiments between recombinant proteins, we show that the VDR homologue from teleosts, but not from ascidians, is able to directly interact with the mammalian Runx2 homologue. Conclusions We propose an evolutionary scenario for the assembly of the molecular machinery involving Runx2 and VDR in vertebrates. In the last common ancestor of actinopterygians and sacropterygians, the three Runx paralogues possessed the potential to physically and functionally interact with the VDR protein. Therefore, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 might have been able to modulate the transcriptional activity of Runx1, Runx2 or Runx3 in the tissues expressing VDR. After the split from amphibians, in the lineage leading to amniotes, Runx2 and VDR became robustly co-expressed in developing skeletal elements, and their regulatory interaction was incorporated in the genetic program involved in the specification and differentiation of osteoblasts.

  10. The fester locus in Botryllus schlosseri experiences selection

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    Nydam Marie L

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Allorecognition, the ability of an organism to distinguish self from non-self, occurs throughout the entire tree of life. Despite the prevalence and importance of allorecognition systems, the genetic basis of allorecognition has rarely been characterized outside the well-known MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex in vertebrates and SI (Self-Incompatibility in plants. Where loci have been identified, their evolutionary history is an open question. We have previously identified the genes involved in self/non-self recognition in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, and we can now begin to investigate their evolution. In B. schlosseri, colonies sharing 1 or more alleles of a gene called FuHC (Fusion Histocompatibility will fuse. Protein products of a locus called fester, located ~300 kb from FuHC, have been shown to play multiple roles in the histocompatibility reaction, as activating and/or inhibitory receptors. We test whether the proteins encoded by this locus are evolving neutrally or are experiencing balancing, directional, or purifying selection. Results Nearly all of the variation in the fester locus resides within populations. The 13 housekeeping genes (12 nuclear genes and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I have substantially more structure among populations within groups and among groups than fester. All polymorphism statistics (Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D* and F* are significantly negative for the East Coast A-type alleles, and Fu and Li's F* statistic is significantly negative for the West Coast A-type alleles. These results are likely due to selection rather than demography, given that 10 of the housekeeping loci have no populations with significant values for any of the polymorphism statistics. The majority of codons in the fester proteins have ω values 95% posterior probability of ω values > 1. Conclusion Fester proteins are evolving non-neutrally. The polymorphism statistics are consistent with either

  11. Antimicrobial (including antimollicutes, antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities of Brazilian and Spanish marine organisms – evaluation of extracts and pure compounds

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    Éverson Miguel Bianco

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This work describes the antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities in vitro of organic extracts from fourteen seaweeds, eleven sponges, two ascidians, one bryozoan, and one sea anemone species collected along the Brazilian and Spanish coast, as well as the isolation of the diterpene (4R, 9S, 14S-4α-acetoxy-9β,14α-dihydroxydolast-1(15,7-diene (1 and halogenated sesquiterpene elatol (2. The most promising antimicrobial results for cell wall bacteria were obtained by extracts from seaweeds Laurencia dendroidea and Sargassum vulgare var. nanun (MIC 250 μg/ml, and by the bryozoan Bugula neritina (MIC 62.5 μg/ml, both against Staphylococcus aureus. As for antimollicutes, extracts from seaweeds showed results better than the extracts from invertebrates. Almost all seaweeds assayed (92% exhibited some antimicrobial activity against mollicutes strains (Mycoplasma hominis,Mycoplasma genitalium,Mycoplasma capricolum and Mycoplasma pneumoniae strain FH. From these seaweeds, A1 (Canistrocarpus cervicornis, A11 (Gracilaria sp. and A4 (Lobophora variegata showed the best results for M. pneumoniae strain FH (MIC 250 μg/ml. Furthermore, compounds 1 and 2 were also assayed against mollicutes strains M. hominis,M. genitalium,M. capricolum,M. pneumoniae strain 129 and M. pneumoniae strain FH, which showed MIC > 100 μg/ml. Antioxidant activities of extracts from these marine organisms were inactive, except for E7 (from sponge Ircinia sp., which exhibited moderated antioxidant activities for two methods assayed (IC50 83.0 ± 0.1 μg/ml, and 52.0 ± 0.8 mg AA/g, respectively. Finally, for the anticholinesterase activity, all the 29 samples evaluated (100% exhibited some level of activity, with IC50 < 1000 μg/ml. From these, seaweeds extracts were considered more promising than marine invertebrate extracts [A10 (IC50 14.4 ± 0.1 μg/ml, A16 (IC50 16.4 ± 0.4 μg/ml and A8 (IC50 14.9 ± 0.5 μg/ml]. The findings of this work are useful

  12. Hemichordates and the Origin of Chordates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerhart, John; Kirschner, Marc; Lowe, Chris

    2002-01-01

    At the start of the period of the NASA grant three years ago, we had no information on the organization and development of the body axis of the hemichordate, Saccoglossus kowalevskii. Now we have substantial findings about the anteroposterior axis and dorsoventral axis, and based on this information, we have new insights about the origin of chordates from ancestral deuterostomes. We found ways to obtain and preserve large numbers of embryos and hatched juveniles. We can now collect about 40,000 embryos in the month of September, the time of S. kowalevskii spawning at Woods Hole. Excellent cDNA libraries were prepared from three developmental stages. From these libraries, we directly isolated about 30 gene ortholog sequences by screening and pcr techniques, all of these sequences of interest in the inquiry about the animal's organization and development. We also performed a mid-sized EST project (60,000 randomly picked clones, many of these arrayed). About half of these have been analyzed so far by blastx and are suitable for direct use of clones. We have obtained about 50 interesting sequences from this set. The rest still await analysis. Thus, at this time we have isolated orthologs of 80 genes that are known to be expressed in chordates in conserved domains and known to have interesting roles in chordate organization and development. The orthology of the S. kowalevskii sequences has been verified by neighbor joining and parsimony methods, with bootstrap estimates of validity. The S. kowalevskii sequences cluster with other deuterostome sequences, namely, other hemichordates, echinoderms, ascidians, amphioxus, or vertebrates, depending on what sequences are available in the database for comparison. We have used these sequences to do high quality in situ hybridization on S. kowalevskii embryos, and the results can be divided into three sections-those concerning the anteroposterior axis of S. kowalevskii in comparison to the same axis of chordates, those concerning

  13. A review of contemporary patterns of endemism for shallow water reef fauna in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    DiBattista, Joseph

    2015-11-03

    Aim The Red Sea is characterised by a unique fauna and historical periods of desiccation, hypersalinity and intermittent isolation. The origin and contemporary composition of reef-associated taxa in this region can illuminate biogeographical principles about vicariance and the establishment (or local extirpation) of existing species. Here we aim to: (1) outline the distribution of shallow water fauna between the Red Sea and adjacent regions, (2) explore mechanisms for maintaining these distributions and (3) propose hypotheses to test these mechanisms. Location Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean. Methods Updated checklists for scleractinian corals, fishes and non-coral invertebrates were used to determine species richness in the Red Sea and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula and assess levels of endemism. Fine-scale diversity and abundance of reef fishes within the Red Sea were explored using ecological survey data. Results Within the Red Sea, we recorded 346 zooxanthellate and azooxanthellate scleractinian coral species of which 19 are endemic (5.5%). Currently 635 species of polychaetes, 211 echinoderms and 79 ascidians have been documented, with endemism rates of 12.6%, 8.1% and 16.5% respectively. A preliminary compilation of 231 species of crustaceans and 137 species of molluscs include 10.0% and 6.6% endemism respectively. We documented 1071 shallow fish species, with 12.9% endemic in the entire Red Sea and 14.1% endemic in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Based on ecological survey data of endemic fishes, there were no major changes in species richness or abundance across 1100 km of Saudi Arabian coastline. Main conclusions The Red Sea biota appears resilient to major environmental fluctuations and is characterized by high rates of endemism with variable degrees of incursion into the Gulf of Aden. The nearby Omani and Arabian Gulfs also have variable environments and high levels of endemism, but these are not consistently distinct

  14. Proximate composition of marine invertebrates from tropical coastal waters, with emphasis on the relationship between nitrogen and protein contents

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    Graciela S Diniz

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The chemical profiles of Desmapsamma anchorata, Hymeniacidon heliophila (Porifera, Bunodosoma caissarum, Renilla muelleri (Cnidaria, Aplysia brasiliana, Eledone massyae, Isognomon bicolor (Mollusca, Echinaster brasiliensis, Echinometra lucunter, Holothuria grisea, Lytechinus variegatus (Echinodermata, and Phallusia nigra (Chordata were determined. Hydrosoluble protein was the most abundant class of substances for all species, except for the ascidian Phallusia nigra, in which the carbohydrate content was higher. The percentages of hydrosoluble protein (dry weight, dw varied widely among the invertebrates, ranging from 5.88% (R. muelleri to 47.6% (Eledone massyae of the dw .The carbohydrate content fluctuated from 1.3% (R. muelleri to 18.4% (Aplysia brasiliana of the dw. For most of the species, lipid was the second most abundant class of substances, varying from 2.8% (R. muelleri to 25.3% (Echinaster brasiliensis of the dw. Wide variations were also found for the invertebrates nitrogen content, with the lowest value recorded in the cnidarian R. muelleri (2.02% of the dw and the highest in the molluscan E. massyae (12.7% of the dw. The phosphorus content of the dw varyed from 0.24% (R. muelleri to 1.16% (E. massyae. The amino acid composition varied largely among the species, but for most of the species glycine, arginine, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid were the most abundant amino acids, with histidine and tyrosine among the less abundant amino acids. The actual content of total protein in the samples was calculated by the sum of amino acid residues, establishing dw values that fluctuated from 11.1% (R. muelleri to 66.7% (E. massyae. The proteinaceous nitrogen content was high in all species, with an average value of 97.3% of the total nitrogen. From data of total amino acid residues and total nitrogen, specific nitrogen-to-protein conversion factors were calculated for each species. The nitrogen-to-protein conversion factors ranged from 5.10 to

  15. A Microscopic Capacitor Model of Voltage Coupling in Membrane Proteins: Gating Charge Fluctuations in Ci-VSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ilsoo; Warshel, Arieh

    2016-01-28

    The voltage sensitivity of membrane proteins is reflected in the response of the voltage sensing domains (VSDs) to the changes in membrane potential. This response is implicated in the displacement of positively charged residues, associated with the conformational changes of VSDs. The displaced charges generate nonlinear (i.e., voltage-dependent) capacitance current called the gating current (and its corresponding gating charge), which is a key experimental quantity that characterizes voltage activation in VSMP. However, the relevant theoretical/computational approaches, aimed to correlate the structural information on VSMP to electrophysiological measurements, have been rather limited, posing a broad challenge in computer simulations of VSMP. Concomitant with the development of our coarse-graining (CG) model of voltage coupling, we apply our theoretical framework for the treatments of voltage effects in membrane proteins to modeling the VSMP activation, taking the VSDs (Ci-VSD) derived from the Ciona intestinalis voltage sensitive phosphatase (Ci-VSP) as a model system. Our CG model reproduces the observed gating charge of Ci-VSD activation in several different perspectives. In particular, a new closed-form expression of the gating charge is evaluated in both nonequilibrium and equilibrium ways, while considering the fluctuation-dissipation relation that connects a nonequilibrium measurement of the gating charge to an equilibrium measurement of charge fluctuations (i.e., the voltage-independent linear component of membrane capacitance). In turn, the expression uncovers a novel link that connects an equilibrium measurement of the voltage-independent linear capacitance to a nonequilibrium measurement of the voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (whose integral over voltage is equal to the gating charge). In addition, our CG model yields capacitor-like voltage dependent free energy parabolas, resulting in the free energy difference and the free energy barrier for

  16. A Microscopic Capacitor Model of Voltage Coupling in Membrane Proteins: Gating Charge Fluctuations in Ci-VSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ilsoo; Warshel, Arieh

    2016-01-28

    The voltage sensitivity of membrane proteins is reflected in the response of the voltage sensing domains (VSDs) to the changes in membrane potential. This response is implicated in the displacement of positively charged residues, associated with the conformational changes of VSDs. The displaced charges generate nonlinear (i.e., voltage-dependent) capacitance current called the gating current (and its corresponding gating charge), which is a key experimental quantity that characterizes voltage activation in VSMP. However, the relevant theoretical/computational approaches, aimed to correlate the structural information on VSMP to electrophysiological measurements, have been rather limited, posing a broad challenge in computer simulations of VSMP. Concomitant with the development of our coarse-graining (CG) model of voltage coupling, we apply our theoretical framework for the treatments of voltage effects in membrane proteins to modeling the VSMP activation, taking the VSDs (Ci-VSD) derived from the Ciona intestinalis voltage sensitive phosphatase (Ci-VSP) as a model system. Our CG model reproduces the observed gating charge of Ci-VSD activation in several different perspectives. In particular, a new closed-form expression of the gating charge is evaluated in both nonequilibrium and equilibrium ways, while considering the fluctuation-dissipation relation that connects a nonequilibrium measurement of the gating charge to an equilibrium measurement of charge fluctuations (i.e., the voltage-independent linear component of membrane capacitance). In turn, the expression uncovers a novel link that connects an equilibrium measurement of the voltage-independent linear capacitance to a nonequilibrium measurement of the voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (whose integral over voltage is equal to the gating charge). In addition, our CG model yields capacitor-like voltage dependent free energy parabolas, resulting in the free energy difference and the free energy barrier for

  17. Variabilidad genética y estructura poblacional del tunicado Pyura chilensis Molina, 1782, en la costa de Chile Genetic variability and population structure in tunicate Pyura chilensis Molina, 1782, in the coast of Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARCELA P ASTORGA

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available El tunicado Pyura chilensis se ha considerado una especie de importancia ecológica, por concentrar una gran diversidad biológica en sus agregaciones y de importancia económica por ser un recurso de extracción por pescadores artesanales. Sin embargo, se han detectado cambios en la distribución y abundancia de sus poblaciones adjudicados a su sobreexplotación. Para llegar a establecer medidas de conservación de un recurso, es necesario entre otras cosas, conocer su variabilidad genética y su estructura poblacional, estimando los patrones y sus causas. Por lo tanto, en el presente trabajo se determinó el grado de variabilidad genética aloenzimática del piure P. chilensis y su estructura poblacional en base a tres localidades (Antofagasta, Talcahuano y Puerto Montt en la costa chilena. Los loci polimórficos obtenidos fueron Mdh-1 y Pgi-1. Los valores de Fst mostraron leve estructuración poblacional entre localidades (Fst 0,019 al igual que la prueba exacta de diferenciación genética (P = 0,031. Se observó diferenciación para la localidad de Puerto Montt en relación a las otras dos localidades en algunos de los dos loci. Los niveles de variabilidad observados en esta especie corresponden a lo esperados para otras ascidias. La estructuración genética poblacional puede ser explicada por una combinación de diferentes factores, entre los que destacan: (i el tiempo del periodo larval de 12 a 24 h, lo cual no facilitaría una amplia dispersión a lo largo de 2.500 km de costa y (ii las condiciones oceanográficas diferenciales entre localidades, junto a patrones de circulación cerrados que podrían llegar a restringir el flujo génico. Por último, proponemos que un conocimiento adecuado del grado de variabilidad, estructura y dinámica genética de las poblaciones son aspectos esenciales para tomar medidas de conservación de recursos explotados, tanto en ambientes abiertos como en áreas de manejoThe ascidian Pyura chilensis is an