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Sample records for ascidian halocynthia roretzi

  1. Taxonomy Icon Data: Halocynthia roretzi (Sea squirt) [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available .png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Halocynthia+roretzi&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy..._icon/icon.cgi?i=Halocynthia+roretzi&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon.../icon.cgi?i=Halocynthia+roretzi&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Halocynthia+roretzi&t=N...S http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/taxonomy_icon_comment_en?species_id=183 ...

  2. Follicle cell trypsin-like protease HrOvochymase: Its cDNA cloning, localization, and involvement in the late stage of oogenesis in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mino, Masako; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2016-04-01

    We previously reported that the sperm trypsin-like protease HrAcrosin and its precursor HrProacrosin participate in fertilization of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. The HrProacrosin gene is annotated in the H. roretzi genome database as Harore.CG.MTP2014.S89.g15383; our previously reported sequence of HrProacrosin gene appeared to include four nucleotides inserted near the 3'-end of HrProacrosin, resulting in a frame-shift mutation and a premature termination codon. The gene architecture of HrProacrosin and Harore.CG.MTP2014.S89.g15383 resembles that of Xenopus laevis ovochymase-1/OVCH1 and ovochymase-2/OVCH2, which encode egg extracellular polyproteases. Considering these new observations, we evaluated the cDNA cloning, expression, localization, and function of Harore.CG.MTP2014.S89.g15383, herein designated as HrOvochymase/HrOVCH. We found that HrOVCH cDNA consists of a single open reading frame of 1,575 amino acids, containing a signal peptide, three trypsin-like protease domains, and six CUB domains. HrOVCH was transcribed by the testis and ovary, but the majority of protein exists in ovarian follicle cells surrounding eggs. An anti-HrOVCH antibody inhibited elevation of the vitelline coat at a late stage of oogenesis, during the period when self-sterility is acquired. As trypsin inhibitors are reported to block the acquisition of self-sterility during oogenesis, whereas trypsin induces the acquisition of self-sterility and elevation of the vitelline coat in defolliculated ovarian eggs, we propose that HrOVCH may play a role in the acquisition of self-sterility by late-stage H. roretzi oocytes.

  3. Methods to eradicate soft tunic syndrome (STS)-causing protozoa Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the highly infectious parasite from the edible ascidian (Halocynthia roretzi)

    OpenAIRE

    Ji-Hoon Lee; Jae-Geun Lee; Seung-Ryul Zeon; Kyung-Il Park; Kwan Ha Park

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Although soft tunic syndrome (STS) in the ascidian is a serious disease, helpful measures have yet not been established. It was examined in this study by applying aniti-parasitic drugs to eradicate the causative protozoa Azumiobodo hoyamushi from infected ascidians. Formalin was synergistic in killing parasites in vitro when co-treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or bronopol, but not with chloramine-T or povidone-iodine (PVP-I), when tested with in vitro parasite culture. The syner...

  4. Methods to eradicate soft tunic syndrome (STS-causing protozoa Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the highly infectious parasite from the edible ascidian (Halocynthia roretzi

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    Ji-Hoon Lee

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Although soft tunic syndrome (STS in the ascidian is a serious disease, helpful measures have yet not been established. It was examined in this study by applying aniti-parasitic drugs to eradicate the causative protozoa Azumiobodo hoyamushi from infected ascidians. Formalin was synergistic in killing parasites in vitro when co-treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 or bronopol, but not with chloramine-T or povidone-iodine (PVP-I, when tested with in vitro parasite culture. The synergistic effects did not change when formalin-H2O2 (or bronopol ratios were changed. It was found that treatment periods less than 60 min achieved a sub-maximal efficacy. Increasing drug concentration while keeping 30 min period improved anti-parasitic effects. Anti-parasitic effects of formalin(F + H2O2(H were also assessed in an in vivo STS model infected with cultured parasites. It was observed that combined 50 (40F + 10H and 100 (80F +20H ppm were effective in partially preventing STS-caused mortality. In horizontally transmitted artificial STS model, significant prevention of ascidian mortality was also observed after 50 ppm. Marked reduction of living parasites were noted after drug treatments in vivo. The results provide a highly useful basis to develop a preventive or treatment measure against the currently uncontrollable STS in the ascidian.

  5. Characterization of a Novel Rhamnose-containing Acidic Glycosphingolipid from the Ascidian Halocynthia aurantium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Hisao; Shinohara, Ryota; Itonori, Saki; Ito, Masahiro

    2017-03-01

    Halocynthia aurantium, an edible ascidian species belonging to Urochordata, was subjected to structural characterization of acidic glycosphingolipids to investigate these molecules in ascidians: sulfatide from Ciona intestinalis and the glucuronic acid-containing acidic glycosphingolipid from H. roretzi. Acidic glycosphingolipids containing three or five sugars were isolated from soft parts of the ascidian H. aurantium by chloroform-methanol extraction, mild-alkaline hydrolysis, precipitation with cold acetone, and subsequent column chromatography using a DEAE-Sephadex A-25 column, a Florisil column, and an Iatrobead column. The structures of these glycosphingolipids were determined by methylation studies, sugar analysis, fatty acid analysis, sphingoid analysis, mass spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A novel glucuronic acid-containing glycosphingolipid having a rhamnose residue was identified as Rhaα1-3GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcAβ1-Cer (UGL-2). This novel structure is particularly unusual given that it contains both a rhamnose residue and a reducing terminal glucuronic acid residue within a single molecule. Rhamnose is a characteristic sugar, which is a component of cell wall pectin in plants and exopolysaccharides in bacteria. Ascidians acquired the cellulose synthase gene via lateral gene transfer, and therefore, it can be speculated that they also acquired the rhamnosyltransferase gene in the same manner. We also detected Galβ1-4(Fucα1-3)GlcAβ1-Cer (UGL-1), which was already identified in another ascidian, H. roretzi.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. RNA-seq-based metatranscriptomic and microscopic investigation reveals novel metalloproteases of Neobodo sp. as potential virulence factors for soft tunic syndrome in Halocynthia roretzi.

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    Ho Bin Jang

    Full Text Available Bodonids and trypanosomatids are derived from a common ancestor with the bodonids being a more primitive lineage. The Neobodonida, one of the three clades of bodonids, can be free-living, commensal or parasitic. Despite the ecological and evolutionary significance of these organisms, however, many of their biological and pathological features are currently unknown. Here, we employed metatranscriptomics using RNA-seq technology combined with field-emission microscopy to reveal the virulence factors of a recently described genus of Neobodonida that is considered to be responsible for ascidian soft tunic syndrome (AsSTS, but whose pathogenesis is unclear. Our microscopic observation of infected tunic tissues suggested putative virulence factors, enabling us to extract novel candidate transcripts; these included cysteine proteases of the families C1 and C2, serine proteases of S51 and S9 families, and metalloproteases grouped into families M1, M3, M8, M14, M16, M17, M24, M41, and M49. Protease activity/inhibition assays and the estimation of expression levels within gene clusters allowed us to identify metalloprotease-like enzymes as potential virulence attributes for AsSTS. Furthermore, a multimarker-based phylogenetic analysis using 1,184 concatenated amino acid sequences clarified the order Neobodo sp. In sum, we herein used metatranscriptomics to elucidate the in situ expression profiles of uncharacterized putative transcripts of Neobodo sp., combined these results with microscopic observation to select candidate genes relevant to pathogenesis, and used empirical screening to define important virulence factors.

  9. NCBI nr-aa BLAST: CBRC-OANA-01-2119 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available factor) (ADF) (Ascidian gelsolin) dbj|BAA28674.1| ascidian cytoplasmic gelsolin [Halocynthia roretzi] O61270 0.89 32% ... ...CBRC-OANA-01-2119 sp|O61270|GELS_HALRO Gelsolin, cytoplasmic (Actin-depolymerizing

  10. Ascidian recruitment patterns on an artificial reef in Eilat (Red Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenkar, Noa; Zeldman, Yael; Loya, Yossi

    2008-01-01

    Although ascidians are conspicuous members of the fouling community not much is known regarding their recruitment patterns in coral reefs. A 1-year study was carried out along the Red Sea coast of Israel to examine the effects of season and spatial distribution on ascidian recruitment to artificial marine structures. In general, autumn and spring were characterized by higher coverage with a significantly higher percentage of cover of Didemnum granulatum in autumn and higher numbers of Herdmania momus in spring. These species contributed the most to similarity between treatments consequently setting the pattern for each group (colonial and solitary). Halocynthia spinosa had significantly higher numbers during winter and Phallusia nigra was absent in spring and winter. H. momus showed a preference for horizontal surfaces. P. nigra and Ascidia cannelata showed a preference for floating units. It is concluded that the ascidian recruitment patterns are species-specific and vary between seasons, orientation and position on the substrata and in the water column.

  11. Comment: 60 [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Halocynthia roretzi (Sea squirt) Halocynthia roretzi Halocynthia_roretzi_L.png 生物名を...修正しました。 学名(Molgura tectiformis -> Halocynthia roretzi) 和名(無尾ボヤ→マボヤ) ttamura 2009/04/21 12:48:52 ...

  12. Ascidian gene-expression profiles

    OpenAIRE

    Jeffery, William R.

    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.

  13. Deep sequencing of mixed total DNA without barcodes allows efficient assembly of highly plastic ascidian mitochondrial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinstein, Nimrod D; Feldstein, Tamar; Shenkar, Noa; Botero-Castro, Fidel; Griggio, Francesca; Mastrototaro, Francesco; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Gissi, Carmela; Huchon, Dorothée

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians or sea squirts form a diverse group within chordates, which includes a few thousand members of marine sessile filter-feeding animals. Their mitochondrial genomes are characterized by particularly high evolutionary rates and rampant gene rearrangements. This extreme variability complicates standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based techniques for molecular characterization studies, and consequently only a few complete Ascidian mitochondrial genome sequences are available. Using the standard PCR and Sanger sequencing approach, we produced the mitochondrial genome of Ascidiella aspersa only after a great effort. In contrast, we produced five additional mitogenomes (Botrylloides aff. leachii, Halocynthia spinosa, Polycarpa mytiligera, Pyura gangelion, and Rhodosoma turcicum) with a novel strategy, consisting in sequencing the pooled total DNA samples of these five species using one Illumina HiSeq 2000 flow cell lane. Each mitogenome was efficiently assembled in a single contig using de novo transcriptome assembly, as de novo genome assembly generally performed poorly for this task. Each of the new six mitogenomes presents a different and novel gene order, showing that no syntenic block has been conserved at the ordinal level (in Stolidobranchia and in Phlebobranchia). Phylogenetic analyses support the paraphyly of both Ascidiacea and Phlebobranchia, with Thaliacea nested inside Phlebobranchia, although the deepest nodes of the Phlebobranchia-Thaliacea clade are not well resolved. The strategy described here thus provides a cost-effective approach to obtain complete mitogenomes characterized by a highly plastic gene order and a fast nucleotide/amino acid substitution rate.

  14. Deep Sequencing of Mixed Total DNA without Barcodes Allows Efficient Assembly of Highly Plastic Ascidian Mitochondrial Genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinstein, Nimrod D.; Feldstein, Tamar; Shenkar, Noa; Botero-Castro, Fidel; Griggio, Francesca; Mastrototaro, Francesco; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel J.P.; Gissi, Carmela; Huchon, Dorothée

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians or sea squirts form a diverse group within chordates, which includes a few thousand members of marine sessile filter-feeding animals. Their mitochondrial genomes are characterized by particularly high evolutionary rates and rampant gene rearrangements. This extreme variability complicates standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based techniques for molecular characterization studies, and consequently only a few complete Ascidian mitochondrial genome sequences are available. Using the standard PCR and Sanger sequencing approach, we produced the mitochondrial genome of Ascidiella aspersa only after a great effort. In contrast, we produced five additional mitogenomes (Botrylloides aff. leachii, Halocynthia spinosa, Polycarpa mytiligera, Pyura gangelion, and Rhodosoma turcicum) with a novel strategy, consisting in sequencing the pooled total DNA samples of these five species using one Illumina HiSeq 2000 flow cell lane. Each mitogenome was efficiently assembled in a single contig using de novo transcriptome assembly, as de novo genome assembly generally performed poorly for this task. Each of the new six mitogenomes presents a different and novel gene order, showing that no syntenic block has been conserved at the ordinal level (in Stolidobranchia and in Phlebobranchia). Phylogenetic analyses support the paraphyly of both Ascidiacea and Phlebobranchia, with Thaliacea nested inside Phlebobranchia, although the deepest nodes of the Phlebobranchia–Thaliacea clade are not well resolved. The strategy described here thus provides a cost-effective approach to obtain complete mitogenomes characterized by a highly plastic gene order and a fast nucleotide/amino acid substitution rate. PMID:23709623

  15. Ascidians (Tunicata) of the French Guiana Expedition.

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    Monniot, Françoise

    2016-05-24

    Ascidians were collected along the shore of Iles du Salut and deeper on the slope in a program of evaluation of the biodiversity in Guiana. Most of the samples belong to already known species from the Caribbean area and Brazilian coast. The colonial forms dominate. The 6 new species have been dredged deeper than 50m but not found by SCUBA divers. In spite of an intensive sampling, the ascidian diversity in Guiana is low with 36 species recorded. This is the result of the abundance of sediment suspended in the water and uniformly deposited on all substrates which affects filtration rate and limits the settling of the ascidian larvae.

  16. Ascidians from Rocas Atoll, northeast Brazil

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    Sandra Vieira Paiva

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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. Further, this is the first record of Didemnum digestum in the Atlantic. The results indicate a high degree of endemism in the ascidian fauna from Rocas Atoll, where didemnids are presently the most important members.

  17. Mutation studies in ascidians: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crocetta, Fabio; Marino, Rita; Cirino, Paola; Macina, Alberto; Staiano, Leopoldo; Esposito, Rosaria; Pezzotti, Maria Rosa; Racioppi, Claudia; Toscano, Francesco; De Felice, Elena; Locascio, Annamaria; Ristoratore, Filomena; Spagnuolo, Antonietta; Zanetti, Laura; Branno, Margherita; Sordino, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Historically, mutations have had a significant impact on the study of developmental processes and phenotypic evolution. Lesions in DNA are created by artificial methods or detected by natural genetic variation. Random mutations are then ascribed to genetic change by direct sequencing or positional cloning. Tunicate species of the ascidian genus Ciona represent nearly fully realized model systems in which gene function can be investigated in depth. Additionally, tunicates are valuable organisms for the study of naturally occurring mutations due to the capability to exploit genetic variation down to the molecular level. Here, we summarize the available information about how mutations are studied in ascidians with examples of insights that have resulted from these applications. We also describe notions and methodologies that might be useful for the implementation of easy and tight procedures for mutations studies in Ciona.

  18. 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.

  19. Photosymbiotic ascidians in Singapore: turbid waters may reduce living space

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    Shih-Wei Su

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The photosymbiotic ascidian fauna at Changi Beach, Pulau Semakau, Sentosa and St. John’s Island, Singapore were surveyed. A total of five species, Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum, L. punctatum, L. timorense and Trididemnum cyclops, were recorded, with L. timorense and T. cyclops being newly recorded in Singapore. However, no photosymbiotic species were found at Changi Beach probably due to the polluted waters in the region. Coastal development has caused Singapore waters to become turbid, leading to decrease in suitable habitats for photosymbiotic ascidians. Clean waters in Pulau Semakau probably provide a better environment for the growth of photosymbiotic ascidians and this area has a greater variety of these ascidians than the other areas in Singapore. Each of the five species has also been recorded in the Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan and three species (Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum and Trididemnum cyclops have also been recorded in Taiwan.

  20. The ascidian pigmented sensory organs: structures and developmental programs.

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    Esposito, R; Racioppi, C; Pezzotti, M R; Branno, M; Locascio, A; Ristoratore, F; Spagnuolo, A

    2015-01-01

    The recent advances on ascidian pigment sensory organ development and function represent a fascinating platform to get insight on the basic programs of chordate eye formation. This review aims to summarize current knowledge, at the structural and molecular levels, on the two main building blocks of ascidian light sensory organ, i.e. pigment cells and photoreceptor cells. The unique features of these structures (e.g., simplicity and well characterized cell lineage) are indeed making it possible to dissect the developmental programs at single cell resolution and will soon provide a panel of molecular tools to be exploited for a deep developmental and comparative-evolutionary analysis.

  1. Inositol tri-phosphate inhuman and ascidian spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosti, E; Palumbo, A; Dale, B

    1993-05-01

    Using a specific protein binding assay we have shown that a spermatozoon of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis contains 1.58 +/- 0.74 x 10(-19) moles of inositol 1,4,5-tri-phosphate (InsP3), while a human spermatozoon contains 6.4 +/- 0.14 x 10(-19) moles. Induction of the acrosome reaction (AR) in both species, by exposure to the calcium ionophore A23187, does not significantly alter levels of InsP3, suggesting that phosphatidylinositol (PI) turnover is not necessary for the calcium ionophore induced AR. Furthermore, PI turnover in ascidian spermatozoa appears to be insensitive to lithium and phorbol ester. The high intracellular concentration of InsP3 in spermatozoa, corresponding to 50-200 microM, suggests it may play a role in egg activation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Evolution and development of brain sensory organs in molgulid ascidians.

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    Jeffery, William R

    2004-01-01

    The ascidian tadpole larva has two brain sensory organs containing melanocytes: the otolith, a gravity receptor, and the ocellus, part of a photoreceptor. One or both of these sensory organs are absent in molgulid ascidians. We show here that developmental changes leading to the loss of sensory pigment cells occur by different mechanisms in closely related molgulid species. Sensory pigment cells are formed through a bilateral determination pathway in which two or more precursor cells are specified as an equivalence group on each side of the embryo. The precursor cells subsequently converge at the midline after neurulation and undergo cell interactions that decide the fates of the otolith and ocellus. Molgula occidentalis and M. oculata, which exhibit a tadpole larva with an otolith but lacking an ocellus, have conserved the bilateral pigment cell determination pathway. Programmed cell death (PCD) is superimposed on this pathway late in development to eliminate the ocellus precursor and supernumerary pigment cells, which do not differentiate into either an otolith or ocellus. In contrast to molgulids with tadpole larvae, no pigment cell precursors are specified on either side of the M. occulta embryo, which forms a tailless (anural) larva lacking both sensory organs, suggesting that the bilateral pigment cell determination pathway has been lost. The bilateral pigment cell determination pathway and superimposed PCD can be restored in hybrids obtained by fertilizing M. occulta eggs with M. oculata sperm, indicating control by a zygotic process. We conclude that PCD plays an important role in the evolution and development of brain sensory organs in molgulid ascidians.

  5. 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.

    was not observed during monsoon season (June-September). At this locality salinity does not drop substantially during monsoon months and hence the absence of ascidians during monsoon cannot be attributed to salinity stress. The only striking change...

  6. Photosymbiotic ascidians in Singapore: turbid waters may reduce living space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shih-Wei; Hirose, Euichi; Chen, Serina Lee Siew; Mok, Michael Hin-Kiu

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The photosymbiotic ascidian fauna at Changi Beach, Pulau Semakau, Sentosa and St. John’s Island, Singapore were surveyed. A total of five species, Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum, Lissoclinum punctatum, Lissoclinum timorense and Trididemnum cyclops, were recorded, with Lissoclinum timorense and Trididemnum cyclops being newly recorded in Singapore. However, no photosymbiotic species were found at Changi Beach probably due to the polluted waters in the region. Coastal development has caused Singapore waters to become turbid, leading to decrease in suitable habitats for photosymbiotic ascidians. Clean waters in Pulau Semakau probably provide a better environment for the growth of photosymbiotic ascidians and this area has a greater variety of these ascidians than the other areas in Singapore. Each of the five species has also been recorded in the Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan) and three species (Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum and Trididemnum cyclops) have also been recorded in Taiwan. PMID:23794913

  7. The challenges of trafficking hydrolysis prone metals and ascidians as an archetype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffney, Jean P; Valentine, Ann M

    2011-06-14

    Some of the metal ions that are required, exploited, or simply managed in biological systems are susceptible to hydrolysis and to hydrolytic precipitation in the aqueous, aerobic environment of much of biology. Organisms have evolved exquisite mechanisms for handling these metal ions, offering striking examples of biological control over inorganic coordination chemistry. This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the discovery of remarkably high vanadium concentrations in the blood cells of the ascidian. In the ensuing years, these marine invertebrates were established as masters of the biological chemistry of very hydrolysis-prone metals, with various ascidian species accumulating high concentrations of iron, vanadium, and titanium, among others. These three metals have very different histories of biological relevance, and many questions remain about how, and ultimately why, these organisms sequester them. This Perspective addresses the aqueous coordination chemistry that organisms like ascidians must control if they are to manipulate hydrolysis-prone metal ions, and describes some of the ascidian biomolecules that have been implicated in this phenomenon. The recently available genome sequence for one ascidian species offers a glimpse into its metal-management arsenal. It offers the opportunity to map the relatively well-studied paradigm of iron management onto the genome of an organism that is intermediate in evolution between invertebrates and vertebrates. The ascidians have much to teach us about how to manage metals like iron, titanium, and vanadium and how that ability evolved.

  8. 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)

  9. Gut-spilling in chordates: evisceration in the tropical ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenkar, Noa; Gordon, Tal

    2015-04-16

    The ejection of internal organs, i.e., evisceration, is a well-known phenomenon in sea-cucumbers. We report the ability of a member of the Chordate phyla, the tropical ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera, to eviscerate and regenerate its gut within 12 days, and to rebuild its branchial sac within 19 days. Evisceration occurred within 4-43 seconds of gentle mechanical pressure exerted on the tunic in 47% of the tested P. mytiligera. Individuals were able to discard up to 3/4 of their digestive tract via the incurrent siphon by rupture of the branchial sac in this area. Although chemical analysis revealed no significant levels of toxic compounds, the eviscerated guts were unpalatable to the triggerfish and pufferfish on which they were tested, suggesting evisceration as a defense mechanism. Given the close affinity of ascidians to vertebrates, the regeneration pathway of the viscera and branchial sac of ascidians suggests its potential beneficial application in soft tissue regeneration research.

  10. Sexual and asexual reproduction in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasparini, Fabio; Manni, Lucia; Cima, Francesca; Zaniolo, Giovanna; Burighel, Paolo; Caicci, Federico; Franchi, Nicola; Schiavon, Filippo; Rigon, Francesca; Campagna, Davide; Ballarin, Loriano

    2015-01-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a widespread filter-feeding ascidian that lives in shallow waters and is easily reared in aquaria. Its peculiar blastogenetic cycle, characterized by the presence of three blastogenetic generations (filtering adults, buds, and budlets) and by recurrent generation changes, has resulted in over 60 years of studies aimed at understanding how sexual and asexual reproduction are coordinated and regulated in the colony. The possibility of using different methodological approaches, from classical genetics to cell transplantation, contributed to the development of this species as a valuable model organism for the study of a variety of biological processes. Here, we review the main studies detailing rearing, staging methods, reproduction and colony growth of this species, emphasizing the asymmetry in sexual and asexual reproduction potential, sexual reproduction in the field and the laboratory, and self- and cross-fertilization. These data, opportunely matched with recent tanscriptomic and genomic outcomes, can give a valuable help to the elucidation of some important steps in chordate evolution.

  11. Ascidians as excellent chordate models for studying the development of the nervous system during embryogenesis and metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Mita, Kaoru; Ogura, Yosuke; Horie, Takeo

    2012-04-01

    The swimming larvae of the chordate ascidians possess a dorsal hollowed central nervous system (CNS), which is homologous to that of vertebrates. Despite the homology, the ascidian CNS consists of a countable number of cells. The simple nervous system of ascidians provides an excellent experimental system to study the developmental mechanisms of the chordate nervous system. The neural fate of the cells consisting of the ascidian CNS is determined in both autonomous and non-autonomous fashion during the cleavage stage. The ascidian neural plate performs the morphogenetic movement of neural tube closure that resembles that in vertebrate neural tube formation. Following neurulation, the CNS is separated into five distinct regions, whose homology with the regions of vertebrate CNS has been discussed. Following their larval stage, ascidians undergo a metamorphosis and become sessile adults. The metamorphosis is completed quickly, and therefore the metamorphosis of ascidians is a good experimental system to observe the reorganization of the CNS during metamorphosis. A recent study has shown that the major parts of the larval CNS remain after the metamorphosis to form the adult CNS. In contrast to such a conserved manner of CNS reorganization, most larval neurons disappear during metamorphosis. The larval glial cells in the CNS are the major source for the formation of the adult CNS, and some of the glial cells produce adult neurons.

  12. Effects of tributyltin chloride in ascidian embryos: modulation of kinase-mediated signalling pathways

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    F Damiani

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We studied the effects of various TBT concentrations by assaying the activity of ERK 1/2 (p44/42 and phospho-ERK1/2 (phospho-p44/42, proteins with a key role in ascidian development, and tyrosine kinase-dependent pathway. The effects of this xenobiotic and the role of some signalling mechanisms on ascidian embryos were examined by using Western immunoblotting. The tyrosine phosphorylation pattern in the ascidians Ciona intestinalis and Phallusia mammillata development was examined and different levels of protein phosphorylation were found as a response to TBT at μM range. To determine whether another key signalling pathway was activated, the effects of TBT on the phosphorylation state of a component of tyrosine kinase-mediated signal transduction MAPK, ERK 1/2 (p44/42 were evaluated. Embryos of Ciona intestinalis exposed to 0.1, 0.25 and 0.5 μM TBT showed a slight decrement in the level of phosphorylated ERK, while a remarkable decrement in level of phopshorylated ERK were observed at higher TBT concentrations (0.5 μM to 10 μM. These data indicated that exposures to TBT induced changes in the total pattern of phosphotyrosine and in the phosphorylation levels of ERK 1/2 but there were no changes on the overall level of total ERK in ascidian embryos.

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

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    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.

  14. Muscle differentiation in a colonial ascidian: organisation, gene expression and evolutionary considerations

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    Burighel Paolo

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ascidians are tunicates, the taxon recently proposed as sister group to the vertebrates. They possess a chordate-like swimming larva, which metamorphoses into a sessile adult. Several ascidian species form colonies of clonal individuals by asexual reproduction. During their life cycle, ascidians present three muscle types: striated in larval tail, striated in the heart, and unstriated in the adult body-wall. Results In the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, we investigated organisation, differentiation and gene expression of muscle beginning from early buds to adults and during zooid regression. We characterised transcripts for troponin T (BsTnT-c, adult muscle-type (BsMA2 and cytoplasmic-type (BsCA1 actins, followed by in situ hybridisation (ISH on sections to establish the spatio-temporal expression of BsTnT-c and BsMA2 during asexual reproduction and in the larva. Moreover, we characterised actin genomic sequences, which by comparison with other metazoans revealed conserved intron patterns. Conclusion Integration of data from ISH, phalloidin staining and TEM allowed us to follow the phases of differentiation of the three muscle kinds, which differ in expression pattern of the two transcripts. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses provided evidence for the close relationship between tunicate and vertebrate muscle genes. The characteristics and plasticity of muscles in tunicates are discussed.

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

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    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.

  16. Sessile macro-epibiotic community of solitary ascidians, ecosystem engineers in soft substrates of Potter Cove, Antarctica

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    Clara Rimondino

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The muddy bottoms of inner Potter Cove, King George Island (Isla 25 de Mayo, South Shetlands, Antarctica, show a high density and richness of macrobenthic species, particularly ascidians. In other areas, ascidians have been reported to play the role of ecosystem engineers, as they support a significant number of epibionts, increasing benthic diversity. In this study, a total of 21 sessile macro-epibiotic taxa present on the ascidian species Corella antarctica Sluiter, 1905, Cnemidocarpa verrucosa (Lesson, 1830 and Molgula pedunculata Herdman, 1881 were identified, with Bryozoa being the most diverse. There were differences between the three ascidian species in terms of richness, percent cover and diversity of sessile macro-epibionts. The morphological characteristics of the tunic surface, the available area for colonization (and its relation with the age of the basibiont individuals and the pH of the ascidian tunic seem to explain the observed differences. Recent environmental changes in the study area (increase of suspended particulate matter caused by glaciers retreat have been related to observed shifts in the benthic community structure, negatively affecting the abundance and distribution of the studied ascidian species. Considering the diversity of sessile macro-epibionts found on these species, the impact of environmental shifts may be greater than that estimated so far.

  17. Morula cells and non-self recognition in the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri

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    L Ballarin

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, we studied the effects of hemocyte incubation with foreigncells, such as bacteria, bacterial spores and yeast. In the presence of yeast and bacterial spores,morula cells, a common cell type in botryllid ascidians, changed their morphology, releasephenoloxidase in the medium, thus causing an increase in cytotoxicity, and express moleculesrecognised by anti-IL-1-a- and anti-TNF-a-antibodies. These effects were not observed whenhemocytes were incubated with both gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative(Escherichia coli bacteria. Considering that morula cells are the main source of molecules recognisedby anti-cytokine-antibodies we suggest an immunosurveillance role of these cells, which may influenceimmune responses such as phagocytosis.

  18. Ascidian introductions through the Suez Canal: The case study of an Indo-Pacific species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Marc; Shenkar, Noa

    2012-10-01

    Although marine biological invasions via the Suez Canal have been extensively documented, little is known about the introduction of non-indigenous ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea), a group containing particularly aggressive invasive species. Here, we used a multidisciplinary approach to study the introduction of the ascidian Herdmania momus into the Mediterranean Sea. We reviewed its taxonomy and global distribution, and analyzed how genetic variation is partitioned between sides of the Suez Canal. The taxonomic revision showed that H. momus currently has a wide Indo-Pacific distribution. Genetic data indicated two well-differentiated colonization histories across the eastern Mediterranean. Our findings suggest that the range expansion of H. momus has been greatly facilitated by the combined effect of human-mediated transport and the species' ability to adapt to different environments. The integrative approach presented here is critical to attain a holistic understanding of marine biological invasions, especially when studying groups with a poorly resolved taxonomy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27144600

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. New records of Aplousobranch ascidians to Indian waters from Andaman Islands

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    Jhimli Mondal

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Aplousobranchia represents the largest order under the class Ascidiacea.  Two reef associated aplousobranch ascidians, Rhopalaea macrothorax Tokioka, 1953 under the family Diazonidae and Clavelina robusta Kott, 1990 under the family Clavelinidae, found from the Andaman group of islands are reported as new records to the Indian waters.  The present paper describes the taxonomic characters and distribution of these two newly recorded species.

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

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    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.

  4. PSP toxins profile in ascidian Microcosmus vulgaris (Heller, 1877) after human poisoning in Croatia (Adriatic Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roje-Busatto, Romana; Ujević, Ivana

    2014-03-01

    Toxins known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) syndrome in humans that can have serious economic consequences for aquaculture were determined in ascidians of the genus Microcosmus. Significant concentrations of toxins were confirmed in all tested samples collected from the western coast of Istria Peninsula (Adriatic Sea, Croatia) when six people were poisoned following the consumption of fresh ascidians. Several species of bivalves that were under continuous monitoring had not accumulated PSP toxins although they were exposed to the same environmental conditions over the survey period. In the present study, HPLC-FLD with pre-column oxidation of PSP toxins has been carried out to provide evidence for the first human intoxication due to consumption of PSP toxic ascidians (Microcosmus vulgaris, Heller, 1877) harvested from the Adriatic Sea. Qualitative analysis established the presence of six PSP toxins: saxitoxin (STX), decarbamoylsaxitoxin (dcSTX), gonyautoxins 2 and 3 (GTX2,3), decarbamoylgonyautoxins 2 and 3 (dcGTX2,3), gonyautoxin 5 (GTX5) and N-sulfocarbamoylgonyautoxins 1 and 2 (C1,2), while quantitative analysis suggested STX and GTX2,3 as dominant toxin types and the ones that contribute the most to the overall toxicity of these samples with concentrations near the regulatory limit.

  5. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U04005-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 8 ) Halocynthia roretzi cDNA clone:man11m09, 5' end. 50 0.22 1 ( AM763906 ) Oscarella lobularis EST, 5' end ...sequence, clone I... 50 0.22 1 ( AM763323 ) Oscarella lobularis EST, 5' end seque

  6. 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.

  7. Introduced and native Phlebobranch and Stolidobranch solitary ascidians (Tunicata: Ascidiacea around Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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    Rosana M. Rocha

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The Port of Salvador (12°58'S, 38°30'W receives cargo ships from different regions such as southeast Asia, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Africa, North and South America. Thus, the presence of this port enhances the probability of new species arriving and establishing in Todos os Santos Bay (TSB, in which the port is located. Ascidians are sessile filter-feeding invertebrates with short lived larvae and thus are good indicators of bioinvasion. We surveyed the ascidian fauna on three different occasions: August 1999, June 2004 and December 2007. Nineteen species were identified belonging to the following families: Ascidiidae (Phallusia nigra, Ascidia cf. multitentaculata, A. nordestina, A. papillata, A. scalariforme, A. cf. tapuni, A. tenue, Corellidae (Rhodosoma turcicum, Pyuridae (Microcosmus anchylodeirus, M. exasperatus, M. helleri, Pyura vittata, Herdmania pallida, and Styelidae (Polycarpa cf. reviviscens, P. spongiabilis, P. tumida, Polycarpa sp., Styela canopus, Cnemidocarpa irene. Only A. nordestina, A. papillata, A. scalariforme and P. spongiabilis are possibly native to this region, while P. tumida and C. irene were classified as introduced. Microcosmus anchylodeirus, H. pallida, P. vittata, M. exasperatus, M. helleri, S. canopus, A. cf. multitentaculata, A. tenue and P. nigra were classified as cryptogenic. Most are widely distributed in all oceans and their native geographic distribution is unknown, while A. cf. multitentaculata and A. tenue occur only in the Atlantic, with disjunct distributions. Polycarpa cf. reviviscens, P. tumida and M. anchylodeirus are registered for the first time on the coast of Brazil. Colonial ascidians from this collection are still being studied. The large number of cryptogenic and introduced species indicates the necessity of monitoring TSB for expansion of these populations and the need for the establishment of control programs.

  8. 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.

  9. Nitric oxide acts as a positive regulator to induce metamorphosis of the ascidian Herdmania momus.

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    Nobuo Ueda

    Full Text Available Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS, which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90. It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation

  10. 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.

  11. Differentiation of papillae and rostral sensory neurons in the larva of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri (Tunicata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caicci, Federico; Zaniolo, Giovanna; Burighel, Paolo; Degasperi, Valentina; Gasparini, Fabio; Manni, Lucia

    2010-02-15

    During the metamorphosis of tunicate ascidians, the swimming larva uses its three anterior papillae to detect the substrate for settlement, reabsorbs its chordate-like tail, and becomes a sessile oozooid. In view of the crucial role played by the anterior structures and their nerve relations, we applied electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry to study the larva of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, following differentiation of the anterior epidermis during late embryogenesis, the larval stage, and the onset of metamorphosis. Rudiments of the papillae appear in the early tail-bud stage as ectodermic protrusions, the apexes of which differentiate into central and peripheral bipolar neurons. Axons fasciculate into two nerves direct to the brain. Distally, the long, rod-like dendritic terminations extend during the larval stage, becoming exposed to sea water. After the larva selects and adheres to the substrate, these neurons retract and regress. Adjacent to the papillae, other scattered neurons insinuate dendrites into the tunic and form the net of rostral trunk epidermal neurons (RTENs) which fasciculate together with the papillary neurons. Our data indicate that the papillae are simple and coniform, the papillary neurons are mechanoreceptors, and the RTENs are chemoreceptors. The interpapillary epidermal area, by means of an apocrine secretion, provides sticky material for temporary adhesion of the larva to the substrate.

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

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    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.

  13. Evolution and development of budding by stem cells: ascidian coloniality as a case study.

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    Brown, Federico D; Swalla, Billie J

    2012-09-15

    The evolution of budding in metazoans is not well understood on a mechanistic level, but is an important developmental process. We examine the evolution of coloniality in ascidians, contrasting the life histories of solitary and colonial forms with a focus on the cellular and developmental basis of the evolution of budding. Tunicates are an excellent group to study colonial transitions, as all solitary larvae develop with determinant and invariant cleavage patterns, but colonial species show robust developmental flexibility during larval development. We propose that acquiring new stem cell lineages in the larvae may be a preadaptation necessary for the evolution of budding. Brooding in colonial ascidians allows increased egg size, which in turn allows greater flexibility in the specification of cells and cell numbers in late embryonic and pre-metamorphic larval stages. We review hypotheses for changes in stem cell lineages in colonial species, describe what the current data suggest about the evolution of budding, and discuss where we believe further studies will be most fruitful.

  14. Expression and function of myc during asexual reproduction of the budding ascidian Polyandrocarpa misakiensis.

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    Fujiwara, Shigeki; Isozaki, Takaomi; Mori, Kyoko; Kawamura, Kazuo

    2011-12-01

    The budding ascidian Polyandrocarpa misakiensis proliferates asexually by budding. The atrial epithelium is a multipotent but differentiated tissue, which transdifferentiates into various tissues and organs after the bud separates from the parental body. We isolated cDNA clones homologous to the myc proto-oncogene from P. misakiensis. The cDNA, named Pm-myc, encoded a polypeptide of 639 amino acid residues, containing Myc-specific functional motifs, Myc box I and Myc box II, and the basic helix-loop-helix domain. Expression of Pm-myc was observed in the atrial epithelium in the organ-forming region of the developing bud, where the epithelial cells dedifferentiate and re-enter the cell cycle. The expression was also observed in fibroblast-like cells, which are known to participate in the organogenesis together with the epithelial cells. Unexpectedly, the atrial epithelium expressed Pm-myc more than one day before the dedifferentiation. The organogenesis was disturbed by Pm-myc-specific double-stranded RNA. In situ hybridization revealed that Pm-myc-positive fibroblast-like cells disappeared around the organ primordium of the dsRNA-treated bud. The results suggest that the mesenchymal-epithelial transition of fibroblast-like cells is important for the organogenesis in this budding ascidian species.

  15. Bacterial community in the tunic matrix of a colonial ascidian Diplosoma migrans

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    Groepler, Wolfgang; Schuett, Christian

    2003-06-01

    This paper provides the first information on the morphology of different morphotypes of bacteria in the tunic matrix of the colonial ascidian Diplosoma migrans. Ascidians were collected from waters near Helgoland (German Bight, North Sea). The dominant type is represented by extremely high numbers of long, needle-like rods (length 10-30 µm, width 0.5 µm). The bacteria are motile by means of bipolar monotrichous flagella, generating swift sigmoidal movement. Bacteria are already present during different embryonic stages. It is assumed that they are transferred during sexual propagation from the parental colony to its offspring. As a second morphotype, the tunic harbors screw-like bacteria in low numbers (length 4-10 µm, width 0.5 µm). Besides these conspicuous morphotypes, occasionally motile rods with spore-like globules at one end and additional coccoid forms in large quantities of unknown meaning (possibly spores) were found. The taxonomic status and ecological functions of these differently shaped bacterial groups are unclear.

  16. The recently-described ascidian species Molgula tectiformis is a direct developer.

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    Tagawa, K; Jeffery, W R; Satoh, N

    1997-04-01

    Molgula tectiformis is a new ascidian species recently described by Nishikawa (1991). In Otsuchi Bay, Iwate, Japan, they are easily obtainable from cages for culturing scallops. We report here that M. tectiformis is another example of a direct developer: their embryonic development is lacking the tadpole larva. The fertilized egg is orange and about 150 microns in diameter. At 18 degrees C, the egg cleaves at about 20 min intervals and gastrulation occurs about 5 hr after fertilization. In contrast to conventionally-developing ascidians, M. tectiformis does not form a tadpole larva. Immediately before hatching, three stolons or ampullae begin to extend from the tailless embryo. After hatching the stolons mediate the attachment of the juvenile body to the substratum. Histochemistry for tissue-specific enzyme activity did not detect muscle-specific acetyl-cholinesterase, endoderm-specific alkaline phosphatase, and pigment cell-specific tyrosinase. In addition, in situ hybridization could not prove the presence of muscle actin gene transcripts in the embryo. These results suggest that these larval tissues do not differentiate in M. tectiformis embryos. Because M. tectiformis is common and gravid year-around in Otsuchi Bay, this direct developer provides the opportunity for further analysis of molecular changes during evolution that cause an alternative mode of development.

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

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    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.

  18. 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

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    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

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

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    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

  20. 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.

  1. Potential speciation of morphotypes in the photosymbiotic ascidian Didemnum molle in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan

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    Hirose, M.; Yokobori, S.; Hirose, E.

    2009-03-01

    Four morphotypes are recognized in the photosymbiotic ascidian Didemnum molle in the Ryukyu Archipelago: three color morphs (white, dark gray, and brown) of small-type colonies and one large-type colony (white with gray patches). The genetic variation among these four morphotypes was investigated by constructing phylogenetic trees based on a 401-bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene of 29 specimens collected from five islands (Okinawajima, Sesokojima, Ikeijima, Kumejima, and Ishigakijima). The results support the monophyly of the genus Didemnum and that of the four morphotypes of D. molle. Moreover, the phylogenetic trees discriminated four clades corresponding to each morphotype. The geographic differences of the sequences were much smaller than the differences among the morphotypes, suggesting that the four morphotypes in D. molle are discrete sibling species.

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. Comparative study on bioremediation of heavy metals by solitary ascidian, Phallusia nigra, between Thoothukudi and Vizhinjam ports of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Jaffar Ali, H; Tamilselvi, M; Akram, A Soban; Kaleem Arshan, M L; Sivakumar, V

    2015-11-01

    Ascidians belonging to the sub-phylum Uro-chordata are used as potential model organisms in various parts of the world for biosorption of metals. The sedentary nature, filter feeding habits, presence of vanadocytes and the absence of kidneys cause them to accumulate metals. The present study was aimed to compare biosorption of metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and vanadium in test and mantle body of solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra between two ecologically significant stations such as Thoothukudi (Station 1) and Vizhinjam (Station 2) ports of India. Monthly samplings of water and P. nigra were done for a period of one year from September 2010 to August 2011 and subjected to analysis of metal accumulation. The average metal concentrations except mercury in the Thoothukudi water were found to be higher of comparable magnitudes than the Vizhinjam water. One-way ANOVA showed significant differences between the stations. A comparison of average metal concentrations in the test and mantle body of P. nigra between two stations showed that the enrichment of V, Cd, Pb, Cu and Hg in the Thoothukudi samples may be due to high bioaccumulation factors of these elements as compared to other species of ascidians. The bioaccumulation factors were in the order of V>Pb>Cd>Cu> Hg for the test and mantle body in stations 1 and 2. Application of one-way ANOVA for the concentration of these metals between test and mantle body showed significant differences in both stations. Similarly, ANOVA for biosorption of these trace metals by P. nigra showed significant difference between stations. Metal concentrations recorded in this ascidian could effectively be used as good reference material for monitoring metal contamination in Indian sea waters.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. From oocyte to 16-cell stage: cytoplasmic and cortical reorganizations that pattern the ascidian embryo.

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    Sardet, Christian; Paix, Alexandre; Prodon, François; Dru, Philippe; Chenevert, Janet

    2007-07-01

    The dorsoventral and anteroposterior axes of the ascidian embryo are defined before first cleavage by means of a series of reorganizations that reposition cytoplasmic and cortical domains established during oogenesis. These domains situated in the periphery of the oocyte contain developmental determinants and a population of maternal postplasmic/PEM RNAs. One of these RNAs (macho-1) is a determinant for the muscle cells of the tadpole embryo. Oocytes acquire a primary animal-vegetal (a-v) axis during meiotic maturation, when a subcortical mitochondria-rich domain (myoplasm) and a domain rich in cortical endoplasmic reticulum (cER) and maternal postplasmic/PEM RNAs (cER-mRNA domain) become polarized and asymmetrically enriched in the vegetal hemisphere. Fertilization at metaphase of meiosis I initiates a series of dramatic cytoplasmic and cortical reorganizations of the zygote, which occur in two major phases. The first major phase depends on sperm entry which triggers a calcium wave leading in turn to an actomyosin-driven contraction wave. The contraction concentrates the cER-mRNA domain and myoplasm in and around a vegetal/contraction pole. The precise localization of the vegetal/contraction pole depends on both the a-v axis and the location of sperm entry and prefigures the future site of gastrulation and dorsal side of the embryo. The second major phase of reorganization occurs between meiosis completion and first cleavage. Sperm aster microtubules and then cortical microfilaments cause the cER-mRNA domain and myoplasm to reposition toward the posterior of the zygote. The location of the posterior pole depends on the localization of the sperm centrosome/aster attained during the first major phase of reorganization. Both cER-mRNA and myoplasm domains localized in the posterior region are partitioned equally between the first two blastomeres and then asymmetrically over the next two cleavages. At the eight-cell stage the cER-mRNA domain compacts and gives rise to

  8. Adverse Effect of Antifouling Compounds on the Reproductive Mechanisms of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

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    Alessandra Gallo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Fertilization and embryo development that occur in sea water are sensitive to xenobiotics from anthropogenic sources. In this work, we evaluated the influence of two antifouling biocides, tributyltin (TBT and diuron, on the reproductive mechanisms of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. By using electrophysiological techniques, we examined the impact of these compounds on the electrical properties of the mature oocytes and of events occurring at fertilization. With different toxicity assays, we studied the effect of the two biocides on the gametes by evaluating fertilization rate and embryo development. Results show that sodium (Na+ currents were significantly reduced by either of the two biocides, whereas conductance was significantly increased. The fertilization current frequency and amplitude, fertilization rate and larval development were affected only by TBT. This study suggests that: (i the two biocides affect either the electrical properties of the oocyte plasma membrane and the reproductive success representing a risk factor for the survival of the species exposed to environmental pollution; (ii the ascidian Ciona intestinalis may represent a good model organism to test toxicity of marine pollutants. Possible mechanisms of action of the two biocides are discussed.

  9. Alpha-amylase inhibitory activities of ascidians in the treatment of diabetes mellitus

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    Antonyraj Selva Prabhu

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Extracts of ten selected ascidians with a reputation of usefulness in treating diabetes were examined for alpha-amylase inhibition using an in vitro model. The extract with the highest activity was selected for further characterization. From the results ethyl acetate showed predominant amylase inhibition activity for all species and the maximum level of inhibition was recorded in Phallusia mammillata (68% at 300 µg/mL and the lowest activity was noted in Microcosmus squamiger (12% at 200 µg/mL. After preliminary results, the methanolic extract of P. mammallita were further assayed for confirmation of enzyme inhibition and the maximum results (82% were obtained at 250 µg/mL and the IC50 value of P. mammillata were evidenced at 145.0 ± 0.4 µg/g. In the present study, P. mammillata indicated the maximum α-amylase activity without toxic effects. Similarly, α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibitor bromophenol, C6H5BrO was produced by P. mammillata.

  10. Botryllus schlosseri: a model ascidian for the study of asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manni, L; Zaniolo, G; Cima, F; Burighel, P; Ballarin, L

    2007-02-01

    Botryllus schlosseri, a cosmopolitan colonial ascidian reared in the laboratory for more than 50 years, reproduces both sexually and asexually and is used as a model organism for studying a variety of biological problems. Colonies are formed of numerous, genetically identical individuals (zooids) and undergo cyclical generation changes in which the adult zooids die and are replaced by their maturing buds. Because the progression of the colonial life cycle is intimately correlated with blastogenesis, a shared staging method of bud development is required to compare data coming from different laboratories. With the present review, we aim (1) to introduce B. schlosseri as a valuable chordate model to study various biological problems and, especially, sexual and asexual development; (2) to offer a detailed description of bud development up to adulthood and the attainment of sexual maturity; (3) to re-examine Sabbadin's (1955) staging method and re-propose it as a simple tool for in vivo recognition of the main morphogenetic events and recurrent changes in the blastogenetic cycle, as it refers to the developmental stages of buds and adults.

  11. Auto and cross regulatory elements control Onecut expression in the ascidian nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzotti, Maria Rosa; Locascio, Annamaria; Racioppi, Claudia; Fucci, Laura; Branno, Margherita

    2014-06-15

    The expression pattern of Onecut genes in the central and peripheral nervous systems is highly conserved in invertebrates and vertebrates but the regulatory networks in which they are involved are still largely unknown. The presence of three gene copies in vertebrates has revealed the functional roles of the Onecut genes in liver, pancreas and some populations of motor neurons. Urochordates have only one Onecut gene and are the closest living relatives of vertebrates and thus represent a good model system to understand its regulatory network and involvement in nervous system formation. In order to define the Onecut genetic cascade, we extensively characterized the Onecut upstream cis-regulatory DNA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Electroporation experiments using a 2.5kb genomic fragment and of a series of deletion constructs identified a small region of 262bp able to reproduce most of the Onecut expression profile during embryonic development. Further analyses, both bioinformatic and in vivo using transient transgenes, permitted the identification of transcription factors responsible for Onecut endogenous expression. We provide evidence that Neurogenin is a direct activator of Onecut and that an autoregulatory loop is responsible for the maintenance of its expression. Furthermore, for the first time we propose the existence of a direct connection among Neurogenin, Onecut and Rx transcription factors in photoreceptor cell formation.

  12. Cytotoxicity of the Ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei Against Tumor Cells and Study of the Involvement of Associated Microbiota in the Production of Cytotoxic Compounds

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    Josefa Antón

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Many cytotoxic compounds of therapeutic interest have been isolated from marine invertebrates, and some of them have been reported to be of microbial origin. Pyridoacridine alkaloids are the main compounds extracted from the ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei. Here we describe the in vitro antiproliferative activity against different tumor cell lines of the ascidian extracts and provide some insights on the role of the microbial community associated with the tunicate in the production of these compounds. C. dellechiajei extracts showed remarkably high antiproliferative activity (IC50 ≤5 μg/mL in human lung carcinoma A-549, colon adenocarcinoma H-116, pancreatic adenocarcinoma PSN-1 and breast carcinoma SKBR3 cell lines. Moreover, we found that the maximum activity was located in the tunic tissue of the colony, which harbours a microbial community. In order to ascertain the involvement of this community in the synthesis of the bioactive compounds different approachs that included culture and culture independent methods were carried out. We undertook a screening for antiproliferative activities of the bacterial isolates from the ascidian, as well as a comprative analysis of the cytotoxic activities and the microbial communities from two color morphs of the ascidian, green and blue. In addition, the changes of the antiproliferative activities and the composition of the microbial communities were studied from ascidians kept in aquaria and treated with antibiotics for one month. Our data obtained from the different experiments did not point out to bacteria as the source of the cytotoxic compounds, suggesting thus an ascidian origin.

  13. Maternal determinants and mRNAs in the cortex of ascidian oocytes, zygotes and embryos.

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    Sardet, Christian; Dru, Philippe; Prodon, François

    2005-01-01

    The peripheral region of ascidian oocytes and zygotes contains five determinants for morphogenesis and differentiation of the embryo. The determinant for the 24 primary muscle cells of the tadpole, macho1, is one of several cortical mRNAs localized in a gradient along the animal-vegetal axis in the oocyte. After fertilization these mRNAs, together with cortical endoplasmic reticulum (cER) and a subcortical mitochondria-rich domain (myoplasm), relocate in two major reorganization phases forming the posterior plasm (postplasm) of the zygote. At the 8-cell stage cortical mRNAs concentrate in a macroscopic cortical structure called the centrosome-attracting body (CAB), forming a characteristic posterior end mark (PEM) in the two posterior vegetal blastomeres. We propose to call the numerous mRNAs showing this particular cortical localization in the posterior region of the embryo postplasmic/PEM RNAs and suggest a nomemclature. We do not know how postplasmic/PEM RNAs reach their polarized distribution in the oocyte cortex but at least PEM1 and macho1 (and probably others) bind to the network of cER retained in isolated cortical fragments. We propose that after fertilization, these postplasmic/PEM mRNAs move in the zygote cortex together with the cER network (cER/mRNA domain) via microfilament- and microtubule-driven translocations. The cER/mRNA domain is localized posteriorly at the time of first cleavage and distributed equally between the first two blastomeres. After the third cleavage, the cER/mRNA domain and dense particles compact to form the CAB in posterior vegetal blastomeres of the 8-cell stage. We discuss the identity of postplasmic/PEM RNAs, how they localize, anchor, relocate and may be translated. We also examine their roles in unequal cleavage and as a source of posterior morphogenetic and differentiation factors.

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

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    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.

  15. Phylogenetics, biogeography and population genetics of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri in the Mediterranean Sea and beyond.

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    Reem, Eitan; Douek, Jacob; Paz, Guy; Katzir, Gadi; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2017-02-01

    The wide distribution of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri along the Mediterranean coasts has been documented since the eighteenth century. However, despite copious documentation, analyses of dispersal modes and genetic profiles were limited to local populations or restricted regions. In order to get a pan-Mediterranean overview, 288 specimens from 11 populations of B. schlosseri from the western and eastern Mediterranean basins were sampled and analyzed using five microsatellite loci and COI sequences. Both molecular markers revealed high polymorphisms, with 182 microsatellites alleles and 54 COI haplotypes. Overall, Fst, Dest, and COI Фpt values were 0.146, 0.635 and 0.322, respectively, reflecting a high genetic diversity and a significant genetic structure as compared to other B. schlosseri populations worldwide, reflected by substantially higher values for effective number of alleles (Ne) in the Mediterranean. A phylogenetic analysis of the COI sequences resulted in four distinct clades and two molecular operational taxonomic units (OTUs). We recorded a stronger genetic structure among the populations of the eastern basin compared to the western basin (microsatellites Fst=0.217 versus 0.082; COI Фpt=0.416 versus 0.171), suggesting either a restricted connectivity between the basins or a stronger genetic drift in each basin. The occurrence of two OTUs and different ecological conditions may also contribute to this finding. Mean Nei's genetic distance in the eastern Mediterranean populations was more than three times higher compared to the western basin. No correlation was observed between geographic and genetic distances (Mantel test), suggesting that maritime transport is the main dispersal vector of B. schlosseri colonies. The possibility that the Mediterranean is a center of diversity for B. schlosseri, and probably its site of origin, is further discussed.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  18. 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

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    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.

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

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    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

  20. A statistical approach for optimization of alkaline lipase production by ascidian associated—Halobacillus trueperi RSK CAS9

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    Ramamoorthy Sathishkumar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A marine ascidian-associated bacterium, Halobacillus trueperi RSK CAS9, was optimized for lipase production by response surface methodology using marine waste as substrate. The central composite design was employed, and the optimal medium constituents for maximum lipase production (1355.81 U/ml were determined to be tuna powder (14.58 g/l, olive oil (5.05 ml/l; NaCl (72.42 g/l, temperature (45 °C and pH 9.0. An alkaline lipase was purified to 8.46 fold with 1193.59 U mg−1 specific activities with the molecular weight of 44 kDa. The activity was substantially inhibited by EDTA and PMSF, indicating that it was a metalloenzyme serine residue which was essential for catalytic activity. Thus, lipase production by microbial conversion of marine fish wastes in this study suggested its potential utilization for the production of high value products.

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

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    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.

  2. From tropical to sub-tropical: Prolonged reproductive activity of the invasive ascidian Microcosmus exasperatus in the eastern Mediterranean

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    Lilach Raijman Nagar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The solitary ascidian Microcosmus exasperatus is globally distributed in tropical and sub-tropical waters. In the Mediterranean it is considered an invasive species introduced through the Suez Canal, with a restricted distribution in the eastern basin. In order to understand the potential of this species to establish sustainable communities at additional sites in the Mediterranean, we studied its reproduction cycle over a 2-year period in relation to seawater temperature and chlorophyll-a data. Although M. exasperatus reproduces seasonally, with significantly greater activity in summer and early fall, mature oocytes occur throughout the year, suggesting multiple spawning periods. We found that reproductive effort significantly correlated with seawater temperature, while chlorophyll-a showed a low and insignificant explanatory power. A combined regression model of both parameters yielded the highest explained variance, suggesting a synergic effect of these two factors. Such a prolonged reproductive activity period enables repeated recruitment events. In view of the anticipated rise in seawater temperature, we predict that this species will gradually expand its distribution further across the Mediterranean.

  3. T-type Ca2+ current activity during oocyte growth and maturation in the ascidian Styela plicata.

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    Alessandra Gallo

    Full Text Available Voltage-dependent calcium currents play a fundamental role during oocyte maturation, mostly L-type calcium currents, whereas T-type calcium currents are involved in sperm physiology and cell growth. In this paper, using an electrophysiological and pharmacological approach, we demonstrated, for the first time in oocytes, that T-type calcium currents are present with functional consequences on the plasma membrane of growing immature oocytes of the ascidian Styela plicata. We classified three subtypes of immature oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage on the basis of their size, morphology and accessory cellular structures. These stages were clearly associated with an increased activity of T-type calcium currents and hyperpolarization of the plasma membrane. We also observed that T-type calcium currents oscillate in the post-fertilization embryonic stages, with minimal amplitude of the currents in the zygote and maximal at 8-cell stage. In addition, chemical inhibition of T-type calcium currents, obtained by applying specific antagonists, induced a significant reduction in the rate of cleavage and absence of larval formation. We suggest that calcium entry via T-type calcium channels may act as a potential pacemaker in regulating cytosolic calcium involved in fertilization and early developmental events.

  4. Mind the gap – context dependency in invasive species impacts: a case study of the ascidian Ciona robusta

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    Tamara B. Robinson

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the face of increasing invasions and limited resources, appropriate management of invasive species requires prioritisation of species for management action. This process often relies on knowledge of species specific impacts. However, as studies explicitly measuring impact of marine alien species are rare, prioritisation of management actions is often based on studies from outside the geographic area of interest. Further, few impact studies account for context dependency (e.g. seasonal variability or distinct environmental regimes, raising the question of how transferrable knowledge about the impact of a species is between invaded ranges. This study addressed this question by using the widespread invasive solitary ascidian Ciona robusta as a case study for assessing impacts across two invaded regions: South Africa and California, USA. We replicated a previously conducted experiment from California that showed that C. robusta depresses local species richness in San Francisco Bay. Our South African experiment showed no effect of C. robusta on species richness, the Shannon-Weiner diversity index or community composition, despite experiments being carried out over two years and at two depths. While these results may reflect strong density dependency in the impact of C. robusta, they serve to highlight context dependency in invasive species impacts. This suggests that until studies of impact in marine systems become common place, context dependency should be explicitly addressed as a source of uncertainty during the prioritisation of species for management action.

  5. Trunk lateral cells are neural crest-like cells in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis: insights into the ancestry and evolution of the neural crest.

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    Jeffery, William R; Chiba, Takuto; Krajka, Florian Razy; Deyts, Carole; Satoh, Nori; Joly, Jean-Stéphane

    2008-12-01

    Neural crest-like cells (NCLC) that express the HNK-1 antigen and form body pigment cells were previously identified in diverse ascidian species. Here we investigate the embryonic origin, migratory activity, and neural crest related gene expression patterns of NCLC in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. HNK-1 expression first appeared at about the time of larval hatching in dorsal cells of the posterior trunk. In swimming tadpoles, HNK-1 positive cells began to migrate, and after metamorphosis they were localized in the oral and atrial siphons, branchial gill slits, endostyle, and gut. Cleavage arrest experiments showed that NCLC are derived from the A7.6 cells, the precursors of trunk lateral cells (TLC), one of the three types of migratory mesenchymal cells in ascidian embryos. In cleavage arrested embryos, HNK-1 positive TLC were present on the lateral margins of the neural plate and later became localized adjacent to the posterior sensory vesicle, a staging zone for their migration after larval hatching. The Ciona orthologues of seven of sixteen genes that function in the vertebrate neural crest gene regulatory network are expressed in the A7.6/TLC lineage. The vertebrate counterparts of these genes function downstream of neural plate border specification in the regulatory network leading to neural crest development. The results suggest that NCLC and neural crest cells may be homologous cell types originating in the common ancestor of tunicates and vertebrates and support the possibility that a putative regulatory network governing NCLC development was co-opted to produce neural crest cells during vertebrate evolution.

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

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    Wang, Wei; Razy-Krajka, Florian; Siu, Eric; Ketcham, Alexandra; Christiaen, Lionel

    2013-12-01

    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  10. The central nervous system of the ascidian larva: mitotic history of cells forming the neural tube in late embryonic Ciona intestinalis.

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    Cole, Alison G; Meinertzhagen, Ian A

    2004-07-15

    Ascidian larvae develop after an invariant pattern of embryonic cleavage. Fewer than 400 cells constitute the larval central nervous system (CNS), which forms without either extensive migration or cell death. We catalogue the mitotic history of these cells in Ciona intestinalis, using confocal microscopy of whole-mount embryos at stages from neurulation until hatching. The positions of cells contributing to the CNS were reconstructed from confocal image stacks of embryonic nuclei, and maps of successive stages were used to chart the mitotic descent, thereby creating a cell lineage for each cell. The entire CNS is formed from 10th- to 14th-generation cells. Although minor differences exist in cell position, lineage is invariant in cells derived from A-line blastomeres, which form the caudal nerve cord and visceral ganglion. We document the lineage of five pairs of presumed motor neurons within the visceral ganglion: one pair arises from A/A 10.57, and four from progeny of A/A 9.30. The remaining cells of the visceral ganglion are in their 13th and 14th generations at hatching, with most mitotic activity ceasing around 85% of embryonic development. Of the approximately 330 larval cells previously reported in the CNS of Ciona, we document the lineage of 226 that derive predominantly from A-line blastomeres.

  11. Valosin-containing protein/p97 interacts with sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factor (SAAF) in the ascidian egg and modulates sperm-attracting activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondoh, Eri; Konno, Aru; Inaba, Kazuo; Oishi, Tohru; Murata, Michio; Yoshida, Manabu

    2008-10-01

    Sperm chemotaxis toward an egg is observed in many animals, and the control of sperm-attracting activity is thought to play an important role in ensuring fertilization. However, the mechanism underlying the release of a sperm attractant from an egg is still obscure. In this study, we examined the systems involved in the release of sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factor (SAAF), which is the sperm attractant of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Here, we show that the egg acquires sperm-attracting activity after germinal vesicle breakdown. Further, since the cytoplasmic extracts of immature oocytes exhibit no sperm-attracting activity, the SAAF in oocytes may be activated after germinal vesicle breakdown. We found 13 SAAF-binding proteins in an egg plasma membrane extract and identified five proteins by proteomic analysis: valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97, proteasome alpha 2 subunit, MGC97756 protein, proteasome subunit Y, and beta-tubulin. In particular, the interaction between VCP/p97 and SAAF was confirmed by a pull-down assay. VCP/p97 is initially localized in the germinal vesicle, and during oocyte maturation, it shifts to the endoplasmic reticulum in the cortical regions. Thus, VCP/p97 is a potential modulator of SAAF release from the egg.

  12. The diatom-derived aldehyde decadienal affects life cycle transition in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis through nitric oxide/ERK signalling.

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    Castellano, Immacolata; Ercolesi, Elena; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna

    2015-03-01

    Polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) are fatty-acid-derived metabolites produced by some microalgae, including different diatom species. PUAs are mainly produced as a wound-activated defence mechanism against microalgal predators or released from senescent cells at the end of a bloom. PUAs, including 2,4-trans-decadienal (DD), induce deleterious effects on embryonic and larval development of several planktonic and benthic organisms. Here, we report on the effects of DD on larval development and metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ciona larval development is regulated by the cross-talking of different molecular events, including nitric oxide (NO) production, ERK activation and caspase 3-dependent apoptosis. We report that treatment with DD at the competence larval stage results in a delay in metamorphosis. DD affects redox balance by reducing total glutathione and NO levels. By biochemical and quantitative gene expression analysis, we identify the NO-signalling network affected by DD, including the upregulation of ERK phosphatase mkp1 and consequent reduction of ERK phosphorylation, with final changes in the expression of downstream ERK target genes. Overall, these results give new insights into the molecular pathways induced in marine organisms after exposure to PUAs during larval development, demonstrating that this aldehyde affects key checkpoints of larval transition from the vegetative to the reproductive life stage.

  13. Molecular and functional characterization of cionin receptors in the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis: the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate cholecystokinin/gastrin family.

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    Sekiguchi, Toshio; Ogasawara, Michio; Satake, Honoo

    2012-04-01

    Cholecystokinin (CCK) and gastrin are vertebrate brain-gut peptides featured by a sulfated tyrosine residue and a C-terminally amidated tetrapeptide consensus sequence. Cionin, identified in the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, the closest species to vertebrates, harbors two sulfated tyrosines and the CCK/gastrin consensus tetrapeptide sequence. While a putative cionin receptor, cior, was cloned, the ligand-receptor relationship between cionin and CioR remains unidentified. Here, we identify two cionin receptors, CioR1 and CioR2, which are the aforementioned putative cionin receptor and its novel paralog respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CioRs are homologous to vertebrate CCK receptors (CCKRs) and diverged from a common ancestor in the Ciona-specific lineage. Cionin activates intracellular calcium mobilization in cultured cells expressing CioR1 or CioR2. Monosulfated and nonsulfated cionin exhibited less potent or no activity, indicating that CioRs possess pharmacological features similar to the vertebrate CCK-specific receptor CCK1R, rather than its subtype CCK2R, given that a sulfated tyrosine in CCK is required for binding to CCK1R, but not to CCK2R. Collectively, the present data reveal that CioRs share a common ancestor with vertebrate CCKRs and indicate that CCK and CCK1R form the ancestral ligand-receptor pair in the vertebrate CCK/gastrin system. Cionin is expressed in the neural complex, digestive organs, oral siphon and atrial siphons, whereas the expression of ciors was detected mainly in these tissues and the ovary. Furthermore, cioninergic neurons innervate both of the siphons. These results suggest that cionin is involved in the regulation of siphonal functions.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. 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).

  17. Variation in the composition of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, foraminifera and macroalgae across a pronounced in-to-offshore environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands coral reef complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, D F R; Polónia, A R M; Renema, W; Hoeksema, B W; Rachello-Dolmen, P G; Moolenbeek, R G; Budiyanto, A; Yahmantoro; Tuti, Y; Giyanto; Draisma, S G A; Prud'homme van Reine, W F; Hariyanto, R; Gittenberger, A; Rikoh, M S; de Voogd, N J

    2016-09-30

    Substrate cover, water quality parameters and assemblages of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, benthic foraminifera and macroalgae were sampled across a pronounced environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands reef complex. Inshore sites mainly consisted of sand, rubble and turf algae with elevated temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyll concentrations and depauperate assemblages of all taxa. Live coral cover was very low inshore and mainly consisted of sparse massive coral heads and a few encrusting species. Faunal assemblages were more speciose and compositionally distinct mid- and offshore compared to inshore. There were, however, small-scale differences among taxa. Certain midshore sites, for example, housed assemblages resembling those typical of the inshore environment but this differed depending on the taxon. Substrate, water quality and spatial variables together explained from 31% (molluscs) to 72% (foraminifera) of the variation in composition. In general, satellite-derived parameters outperformed locally measured parameters.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Recruitment and colonization of colonial ascidians (Tunicata: Ascidiacea on intertidal rocks in Northeastern Brazil Recrutamento e colonização de ascídias coloniais (Tunicata: Ascidiacea em rochas de entre-marés no nordeste do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrônio Bezerra Gama

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment and colonization of colonial ascidians, starting on natural scraped substratum, was observed throughout one year, in quadrats marked on sea- and continental-rock faces in the sublittoral fringe of an exposed beach in the Northeast of Brazil. The species of the Didemnidae, Didemnum duplicatum Monniot, 1983, D. psammathodes Sluiter, 1895, and Polysyncraton amethysteum Van Name, 1902, and an unidentified species of Polycitoridae, Eudistoma sp. 1, were recruited. Presenting continuous recruitment of all species, the density of living and dead recruits and colonies was similar on both faces of the rocks. The highest rainfall during winter, affected significantly the recruits density of D. duplicatum and D. psammathodes. Different permanence periods were observed for colonies of each species. The longest permanence periods were assigned to the colonies of P. amethysteum and D. psammathodes, extending up to four and five months, respectively.A partir de substrato natural raspado, o recrutamento e a colonização de ascídias coloniais foi observado ao longo de um ano, em unidades amostrais delimitadas sobre as faces mar e continente de rochas situadas na franja do infralitoral de uma praia exposta no nordeste do Brasil. Foram recrutadas as espécies de Didemnidae, Didemnum duplicatum Monniot, 1983, D. psammathodes Sluiter, 1895 e Polysyncraton amethysteum Van Name, 1902 e uma espécie não-identificada de Polycitoridae, Eudistoma sp. 1. Apresentando recrutamento contínuo de todas as espécies, a densidade de colônias e de recrutas vivos e mortos foi similar nas duas faces das rochas. Durante o inverno, a densidade de recrutas de D. duplicatum e de D. psammathodes foi significativamente afetada pela intensa pluviosidade. As colônias de cada espécie apresentaram diferentes períodos de permanência sobre as rochas. Com duração de quatro e cinco meses, os maiores períodos de permanência foram assinalados para as colônias de P

  2. 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.

    . Of the five isolated secondary metabolites, compounds 2 and 5 are being reported here for the first time from T. harzianum. Compounds 1 and 4 inhibited the growth of Sclerotium rolfsii causing sclerotium wilt or rot disease in tropical plants. Compound 2 and 5...

  3. 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 ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferro, Diana [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster (Germany); Franchi, Nicola [Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova (Italy); Department of Biological, Chemical, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, University of Palermo, Palermo (Italy); Mangano, Valentina [Department of Biological, Chemical, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, University of Palermo, Palermo (Italy); Bakiu, Rigers [Department of Crop Production, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana (Albania); Cammarata, Matteo; Parrinello, Nicolò [Department of Biological, Chemical, Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, University of Palermo, Palermo (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)

    2013-09-15

    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 allowing the survival of C. intestinalis in continued, elevated presence of metals in the environment.

  5. Evolutionary embryology resurrected in Japan with a new molecular basis: Nori Satoh and the history of ascidian studies originating in Kyoto during the 20th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Wada, Hiroshi; Kusakabe, Rie; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2006-01-01

    This article briefly summarizes the scientific contributions of Nori Satoh, the winner of the 2005 edition of the Kowalevsky Medal, to Developmental Biology and especially to Evo-Devo with his 30 years of research on tunicates - a primitive chordate species. His research began with his pure developmental interest in the clock mechanism of cell differentiation and later expanded into various aspects of evolutionary and developmental phenomena. He is not only known as a founder of molecular biology-based tunicate studies, but also for his world-wide service to education and his prestigious publications in international scientific journals.

  6. Construction and characterization of large-insert genomic libraries (BAC and fosmid) from the Ascidian Botryllus schlosseri and initial physical mapping of a histocompatibility locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Tomaso, Anthony W; Weissman, Irving L

    2003-01-01

    The colonial protochordate Botryllus schlosseri is genetically manipulable and represents a potential model organism for a variety of biological disciplines, including immunology, stem cell biology and development. This article presents the construction and characterization of both BAC and fosmid genomic libraries of the 725-Mbp B. schlosseri genome. The BAC library currently consists of 2x genome coverage with an average insert size of 80 kb. The fosmid library is at 11x genome coverage with an average insert of 40 kb. B. schlosseri is a small organism containing a large number of compounds that hinder DNA purification. Thus a number of protocols had to be modified in order to make purified, high molecular weight inserts for cloning, including both gel purification and insert concentration techniques. Both libraries were characterized by using them in initial physical mapping of a single histocompatibility locus, and were found to be representative and functional. These libraries are important tools for physical mapping and positional cloning in the B. schlosseri genome, and the techniques adapted to make them are suitable for use on other organisms in which high molecular weight DNA is difficult to purify.

  7. The diatom-derived aldehyde decadienal affects life cycle transition in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis through nitric oxide/ERK signalling

    OpenAIRE

    Castellano, Immacolata; Ercolesi, Elena; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) are fatty-acid-derived metabolites produced by some microalgae, including different diatom species. PUAs are mainly produced as a wound-activated defence mechanism against microalgal predators or released from senescent cells at the end of a bloom. PUAs, including 2,4-trans-decadienal (DD), induce deleterious effects on embryonic and larval development of several planktonic and benthic organisms. Here, we report on the effects of DD on larval development and m...

  8. 海鞘脂肪含量及其脂肪酸组成%Determination of Content of Fat and Composition of Fatty Acids in Ascidian

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许波; 张秀妍; 金海珠; 王长海

    2003-01-01

    对烟台渤海湾的柄海鞘和玻璃海鞘的脂肪含量及其脂肪酸组成进行了分析,并对其提取工艺进行了研究.结果表明,海鞘中的脂肪以乙醚为溶剂,提取3h较为理想.脂肪总含量,玻璃海鞘为干重的6.16%;柄海鞘的含量为干重的5.02%,其中内囊的含量占10.68%、海鞘皮中的含量为1.14%.气相色谱及色-质谱分析的结果表明,柄海鞘内囊中的不饱和脂肪酸(UFA)占脂肪酸总量的56.44%,其中多不饱和脂肪酸(PUFA)为37.57%,EPA+DHA占18.98%;玻璃海鞘中UFA占脂肪酸总量的36.68%,其中PUFA为23.34%,EPA+DHA占9.8%.

  9. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U16398-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ongyloides ratti whole genome... 42 1e-04 4 ( EC372249 ) G840P32RM24.T0 Oscarella carmela pSport...roretzi HrFuc'ase mRNA fora-L-fucosid... 44 0.065 2 ( EC374412 ) G840P35RI9.T0 Oscarella carmela pSport

  10. 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

  11. Effects of freeze drying and silver staining on carbonization of cellulose: carbon nano-materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Dae-Young; Im, Hyun Sik [Dongguk University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2012-05-15

    We investigated the effects of sulfuric acid and silver particles on the carbonization of natural cellulose from Halocynthia. We carried out thermogravimetry and used transmission electron microscopy measurements to study the yield of carbon and the structure of the carbonized nano-fiber. We found that the addition of sulfuric acid and silver particles to the cellulose fiber enhanced the yield of carbon while keeping the original structure of the carbon nano-fiber.

  12. 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.

    throughout the year, their representation in the macrofouling community was not prominent and yielded a poor correlation with recruitment. Bryozoan and ascidian larvae were sparsely encountered but indicated as significant correlation with their recruitment...

  13. Identification of chondroitin/dermatan sulfotransferases in the protochordate, Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tetsukawa, Akira; Nakamura, Jun; Fujiwara, Shigeki

    2010-10-01

    Sulfated glycosaminoglycans are important components of connective tissues. The pattern of sulfation is important for their biological functions. Ascidians, the closest relatives of vertebrates, have a simple chordate body plan. In the present study, we identified an almost complete set of genes encoding proteins homologous to chondroitin/dermatan sulfotransferases in the genome of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. We found eight genes encoding 4-O-sulfotransferases, eight genes encoding 6-O-sulfotransferases, and three genes encoding uronyl 2-O-sulfotransferases. The number of sulfotransferase genes was unexpectedly large, considering that ascidians do not have a well-developed endoskeleton. In addition, most of the genes within each sub-family seemed to have arisen by gene duplication events that occurred in the ascidian lineage after divergence from the main chordate lineage. This suggests that a unique pattern of sulfation independently developed during ascidian evolution. Some of the genes identified in the present study showed tissue-specific expression in the epidermis, notochord, muscle, and central nervous system. Region-specific expression in the epidermis was also observed. The present study provides useful information for further comparative and functional analyses of sulfotransferases and proteoglycans in chordate embryos.

  14. 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.

  15. A new species of Streblosoma Sars, 1872 (Polychaeta, Terebellidae, Thelepodinae) from Brazil, with comments on Streblosoma oligobranchiatum Nogueira & Amaral, 2001

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matos Nogueira, de João Miguel; Garraffoni, André Rinaldo Senna; Montrezoro Alves, Tarsila

    2004-01-01

    A new species of Streblosoma is described and the diagnosis of S. oligobranchiatum is emended, based on material collected on intertidal rocky shores along the State of São Paulo, Brazil, associated with algae, sponges, ascidians and other sedentary polychaetes. Streblosoma porchatensis n. sp. is ch

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Ecology: a niche for cyanobacteria containing chlorophyll d

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    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...

  20. ACAM, a novel member of the neural IgCAM family, mediates anterior neural tube closure in a primitive chordate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales Diaz, Heidi; Mejares, Emil; Newman-Smith, Erin; Smith, William C

    2016-01-01

    The neural IgCAM family of cell adhesion molecules, which includes NCAM and related molecules, has evolved via gene duplication and alternative splicing to allow for a wide range of isoforms with distinct functions and homophilic binding properties. A search for neural IgCAMs in ascidians (Ciona intestinalis, Ciona savignyi, and Phallusia mammillata) has identified a novel set of truncated family members that, unlike the known members, lack fibronectin III domains and consist of only repeated Ig domains. Within the tunicates this form appears to be unique to the ascidians, and it was designated ACAM, for Ascidian Cell Adhesion Molecule. In C. intestinalis ACAM is expressed in the developing neural plate and neural tube, with strongest expression in the anterior sensory vesicle precursor. Unlike the two other conventional neural IgCAMs in C. intestinalis, which are expressed maternally and throughout the morula and blastula stages, ACAM expression initiates at the gastrula stage. Moreover, C. intestinalis ACAM is a target of the homeodomain transcription factor OTX, which plays an essential role in the development of the anterior central nervous system. Morpholino (MO) knockdown shows that ACAM is required for neural tube closure. In MO-injected embryos neural tube closure was normal caudally, but the anterior neuropore remained open. A similar phenotype was seen with overexpression of a secreted version of ACAM. The presence of ACAM in ascidians highlights the diversity of this gene family in morphogenesis and neurodevelopment.

  1. ONR Tokyo Scientific Bulletin. Volume 5, Number 3, July-September 1980,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-09-01

    Australia - Dr. R. W. George Crustacean taxonomy Western Australian Museum Francis Street Perth. Western Australia 6000 Australia - Dr. P. Mather Ascidian...Arzew, Algeria - Nobuyori Kodaira Energy problems and measures taken to promote wider Deputy Director use of LNG in Japan Development Division Petroleum

  2. 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

  3. Long-term coexistence of non-indigenous species in aquaculture facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Marc; Heasman, Kevin G; McQuaid, Christopher D

    2011-11-01

    Non-indigenous species (NIS) are a growing problem globally and, in the sea, aquaculture activities are critical vectors for their introduction. Aquaculture introduces NIS, intentionally or unintentionally, and can provide substratum for the establishment of other NIS. Little is known about the co-occurrence of NIS over long periods and we document the coexistence over decades of a farmed NIS (a mussel) with an accidently introduced species (an ascidian). Both are widespread and cause serious fouling problems worldwide. We found partial habitat segregation across depth and the position of rafts within the studied farm, which suggests competitive exclusion of the mussel in dark, sheltered areas and physiological exclusion of the ascidian elsewhere. Both species exhibit massive self-recruitment, with negative effects on the industry, but critically the introduction of NIS through aquaculture facilities also has strong detrimental effects on the natural environment.

  4. 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.

  5. Engineering of Nanoscale Antifouling and Hydrophobic Surfaces on Naval Structural Steel HY-80 by Anodizing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    bryozoans, barnacles, polychaete tubeworms, mollusks, and ascidians on artificial surfaces by adhesion, growth, and reproduction . Biofouling can...chemicals in the environment: Lessons from TBT,” Mar. Pollut. Bull ., vol. 22, no. 1,pp. 8–10, 1991. [6] R. Vasudevan et al., “Microscale patterned...M. Minor, “Focused ion beam microscopy and micromachining,” MRS Bull ., vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 389–399, 2007. [43] M. N. Mowry, “In situ Raman

  6. Significance of investigating allelopathic interactions of marine organisms in the discovery and development of cytotoxic compounds

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Singh, A.; Thakur, N.L.

    to drug discovery for sustainable utilization of marine natural resources with special reference to the marine sponges. 2. Strategies to compete for space Marine invertebrates acquire living space by using various offensive and defensive strategies... common in marine hard substratum communities [32]. Amongst above four defensive strategies discussed, allelopathy or chemical defence is the most important in case of soft–bodied sessile invertebrates such as sponges, octocorals and ascidians which...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Revised lineage of larval photoreceptor cells in Ciona reveals archetypal collaboration between neural tube and neural crest in sensory organ formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oonuma, Kouhei; Tanaka, Moeko; Nishitsuji, Koki; Kato, Yumiko; Shimai, Kotaro; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2016-12-01

    The Ciona intestinalis larva has two distinct photoreceptor organs, a conventional pigmented ocellus and a nonpigmented ocellus, that are asymmetrically situated in the brain. The ciliary photoreceptor cells of these ocelli resemble visual cells of the vertebrate retina. Precise elucidation of the lineage of the photoreceptor cells will be key to understanding the developmental mechanisms of these cells as well as the evolutionary relationships between the photoreceptor organs of ascidians and vertebrates. Photoreceptor cells of the pigmented ocellus have been thought to develop from anterior animal (a-lineage) blastomeres, whereas the developmental origin of the nonpigmented ocellus has not been determined. Here, we show that the photoreceptor cells of both ocelli develop from the right anterior vegetal hemisphere: those of the pigmented ocellus from the right A9.14 cell and those of the nonpigmented ocellus from the right A9.16 cell. The pigmented ocellus is formed by a combination of two lineages of cells with distinct embryonic origins: the photoreceptor cells originate from a medial portion of the A-lineage neural plate, while the pigment cell originates from the lateral edge of the a-lineage neural plate. In light of the recently proposed close evolutionary relationship between the ocellus pigment cell of ascidians and the cephalic neural crest of vertebrates, the ascidian ocellus may represent a prototypic contribution of the neural crest to a cranial sensory organ.

  13. Evolution and the origin of the visual retinoid cycle in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Takimoto, Noriko; Jin, Minghao; Tsuda, Motoyuki

    2009-10-12

    Absorption of a photon by visual pigments induces isomerization of 11-cis-retinaldehyde (RAL) chromophore to all-trans-RAL. Since the opsins lacking 11-cis-RAL lose light sensitivity, sustained vision requires continuous regeneration of 11-cis-RAL via the process called 'visual cycle'. Protostomes and vertebrates use essentially different machinery of visual pigment regeneration, and the origin and early evolution of the vertebrate visual cycle is an unsolved mystery. Here we compare visual retinoid cycles between different photoreceptors of vertebrates, including rods, cones and non-visual photoreceptors, as well as between vertebrates and invertebrates. The visual cycle systems in ascidians, the closest living relatives of vertebrates, show an intermediate state between vertebrates and non-chordate invertebrates. The ascidian larva may use retinochrome-like opsin as the major isomerase. The entire process of the visual cycle can occur inside the photoreceptor cells with distinct subcellular compartmentalization, although the visual cycle components are also present in surrounding non-photoreceptor cells. The adult ascidian probably uses RPE65 isomerase, and trans-to-cis isomerization may occur in distinct cellular compartments, which is similar to the vertebrate situation. The complete transition to the sophisticated retinoid cycle of vertebrates may have required acquisition of new genes, such as interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, and functional evolution of the visual cycle genes.

  14. 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.

  15. Cellulose hydrolysis ability of a Clostridium thermocellum cellulosome containing small-size scaffolding protein CipA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lan; Mori, Yutaka; Sermsathanaswadi, Junjarus; Apiwatanapiwat, Waraporn; Kosugi, Akihiko

    2015-10-20

    Mutant Clostridium thermocellum YM72 that produces small-size scaffolding protein CipA (ssCipA) was isolated from wild-type YM4. Sequencing of ssCipA revealed that two domains, cohesin 6 and cohesin 7, were not present. Cellulosome prepared from YM72 exhibited a significant reduction of hydrolysis ability on crystalline celluloses such as Sigmacell type-20 and cellulose from Halocynthia. To investigate this influence in vitro, artificial cellulosomes were assembled as recombinant CipA (rCipA) and ssCipA (rssCipA) using native free-cellulosomal subunits. The cellulosome assembled using rssCipA showed a 1.8-fold decrease in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose compared with that of rCipA. However, no significant differences in the hydrolysis of carboxymethylcellulose and acid-swollen cellulose were observed. One protein band was missing from the complex that was assembled using rssCipA (confirmed by native-PAGE). The missing protein was identified as CelJ, which is a major cellulosomal subunit. This suggests that insufficient cooperation of CelJ into the cellulosome results in the significant reduction of hydrolysis toward crystalline cellulose. These results indicate that cohesin 6 and 7 may be responsible for the cooperation of CelJ through cohesin and dockerin interactions, and adequate cooperation of CelJ into the cellulosome is important for significant hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose.

  16. High quality draft genome sequence of the slightly halophilic bacterium Halomonas zhanjiangensis type strain JSM 078169T (DSM 21076T) from a sea urchin in southern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yu; Li, Rui; Gao, Xiao-Yang; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Haynes, Matthew; Lobos, Elizabeth; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Rohde, Manfred; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Tindall, Brian J.; Markowitz, Victor; Woyke, Tanja; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Li, Wen-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Halomonas zhanjiangensis Chen et al. 2009 is a member of the genus Halomonas, family Halomonadaceae, class Gammaproteobacteria. Representatives of the genus Halomonas are a group of halophilic bacteria often isolated from salty environments. The type strain H. zhanjiangensis JSM 078169T was isolated from a sea urchin (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus) collected from the South China Sea. The genome of strain JSM 078169T is the fourteenth sequenced genome in the genus Halomonas and the fifteenth in the family Halomonadaceae. The other thirteen genomes from the genus Halomonas are H. halocynthiae, H. venusta, H. alkaliphila, H. lutea, H. anticariensis, H. jeotgali, H. titanicae, H. desiderata, H. smyrnensis, H. salifodinae, H. boliviensis, H. elongata and H stevensii. Here, we describe the features of strain JSM 078169T, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation from a culture of DSM 21076T. The 4,060,520 bp long draft genome consists of 17 scaffolds with the 3,659 protein-coding and 80 RNA genes and is a part of Genomic Encyclopedia of Type Strains, Phase I: the one thousand microbial genomes (KMG) project. PMID:25197480

  17. High quality draft genome sequence of the slightly halophilic bacterium Halomonas zhanjiangensis type strain JSM 078169(T) (DSM 21076(T)) from a sea urchin in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yu; Li, Rui; Gao, Xiao-Yang; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Haynes, Matthew; Lobos, Elizabeth; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N; Rohde, Manfred; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Tindall, Brian J; Markowitz, Victor; Woyke, Tanja; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Li, Wen-Jun

    2014-06-15

    Halomonas zhanjiangensis Chen et al. 2009 is a member of the genus Halomonas, family Halomonadaceae, class Gammaproteobacteria. Representatives of the genus Halomonas are a group of halophilic bacteria often isolated from salty environments. The type strain H. zhanjiangensis JSM 078169(T) was isolated from a sea urchin (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus) collected from the South China Sea. The genome of strain JSM 078169(T) is the fourteenth sequenced genome in the genus Halomonas and the fifteenth in the family Halomonadaceae. The other thirteen genomes from the genus Halomonas are H. halocynthiae, H. venusta, H. alkaliphila, H. lutea, H. anticariensis, H. jeotgali, H. titanicae, H. desiderata, H. smyrnensis, H. salifodinae, H. boliviensis, H. elongata and H stevensii. Here, we describe the features of strain JSM 078169(T), together with the complete genome sequence and annotation from a culture of DSM 21076(T). The 4,060,520 bp long draft genome consists of 17 scaffolds with the 3,659 protein-coding and 80 RNA genes and is a part of Genomic Encyclopedia of Type Strains, Phase I: the one thousand microbial genomes (KMG) project.

  18. Isolation of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the marine invader Microcosmus squamiger (Ascidiacea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Marc; Turon, Xavier; Pascual, Marta

    2008-11-01

    The ascidian Microcosmus squamiger is native to Australia and has recently spread worldwide. It has become a pest in some littoral communities within its introduced range. An enriched genomic library of M. squamiger resulted in a total of eight polymorphic loci that were genotyped in 20 individuals from a population within its introduced range, and 20 individuals more from a native population. The mean number of alleles per locus was 5.33 and mean observed heterozygosity was 0.432. No significant linkage disequilibrium was found among loci pairs. Significant genetic differentiation was observed between populations.

  19. A new species of the genus Rhopalaea (Class: Ascidiacea) from the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenkar, Noa

    2013-01-03

    During regular surveys and collection of ascidians along the Red Sea coast of Israel, several specimens of an undescribed species of Rhopalaea were collected. Samples were collected by SCUBA from the natural coral reef and man-made structures at depths between 10 to 40m. This is the first species of the genus Rhopalaea described from the Red Sea, which is characterized by a transparent, uncolored gelatinous tunic with elongated attachment extensions, and is distinguished by its eight atrial lobes, thoracic muscle arrangement, and branchial sac structure.

  20. 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.

  1. Recent Advances on the Total Syntheses of Communesin Alkaloids and Perophoramidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trost, Barry M; Osipov, Maksim

    2015-11-09

    The communesin alkaloids are a diverse family of Penicillium-derived alkaloids. Their caged-polycyclic structure and intriguing biological profiles have made these natural products attractive targets for total synthesis. Similarly, the ascidian-derived alkaloid, perophoramidine, is structurally related to the communesins and has also become a popular target for total synthesis. This review serves to summarize the many elegant approaches that have been developed to access the communesin alkaloids and perophoramidine. Likewise, strategies to access the communesin ring system are reviewed.

  2. Haplostoma dudleyae sp. nov. (Cyclopoida: Ascidicolidae), parasitic in Eudistoma olivaceum from the Indian River in southern Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ooishi, S.

    1998-06-01

    Haplostoma dudleyae sp. nov. is described and illustrated on the basis of females found in a compound ascidian ( Eudistoma olivaceum) collected from the Indian River in southern Florida, USA. Each parasitized zooid has a single female copepod. The egg sacs of the female are paired and, when laid, are almost U-shaped and folded against the dorsal side of the body. Haplostoma dudleyae and two other species ( H. canui Chatton and Harant, 1924, and H. humesi Ooishi, 1995) constitute a subgroup within the genus Haplostoma.

  3. 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.

  4. New Bioactive Alkyl Sulfates from Mediterranean Tunicates

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    Marialuisa Menna

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Chemical investigation of two species of marine ascidians, Aplidium elegans and Ciona edwardsii, collected in Mediterranean area, led to isolation of a series of alkyl sulfates (compounds 1–5 including three new molecules 1–3. Structures of the new metabolites have been elucidated by spectroscopic analysis. Based on previously reported cytotoxic activity of these type of molecules, compounds 1–3 have been tested for their effects on the growth of two cell lines, J774A.1 (BALB/c murine macrophages and C6 (rat glioma in vitro. Compounds 1 and 2 induced selective concentration-dependent mortality on J774A.1 cells.

  5. Chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferases are required for cell adhesion and morphogenesis in the Ciona intestinalis embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Jun; Tetsukawa, Akira; Fujiwara, Shigeki

    2015-01-01

    Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a carbohydrate component of proteoglycans. Several types of sulfotransferases determine the pattern of CS sulfation, and thus regulate the biological functions of proteoglycans. The protochordate ascidians are the closest relatives of vertebrates, but the functions of their sulfotransferases have not been investigated. Here, we show that two chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferases (C4STs) play important roles in the embryonic morphogenesis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ci-C4ST-like1 is predominantly expressed in the epidermis and muscle. Epidermal and muscle cells became spherical upon the injection of a Ci-C4ST-like1-specific morpholino oligo (MO), thus suggesting weakened cell adhesion. Co-injection of a Ci-C4ST-like1-expressing transgene rescued the phenotype, suggesting that the effects of the MO were specific. Ci-C4ST-like3 was expressed in the central nervous system, muscle, and mesenchyme. A specific MO appeared to affect cell adhesion in the epidermis and muscle. Convergent extension movement of notochordal cells was also impaired. Forced expression of Ci-C4ST-like3 restored normal morphogenesis, suggesting that the effects of the MO were specific. The present study suggests that Ci-C4ST-like1 and Ci-C4ST-like3 are required for cell adhesion mainly in the epidermis and muscle.

  6. Ecotoxicological evaluation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using marine invertebrate embryo-larval bioassays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellas, Juan; Saco-Alvarez, Liliana; Nieto, Oscar; Beiras, Ricardo

    2008-01-01

    The toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was determined using mussel, sea-urchin and ascidian embryo-larval bioassays. Fluorescent light exposure enhanced phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene and hydroxypyrene toxicity in comparison with dark conditions, but not naphthalene and fluorene toxicity. The toxicity of PAHs was inversely related to their K(OW) values following QSAR models derived for baseline toxicity of general narcotics, whereas the obtained regression using toxicity data from photoactivated PAHs significantly departed from the general narcosis model. Also, the mixture toxicity of five PAHs to the larval growth of the sea-urchin was compared with predictions derived from the concentration addition concept, indicating less than additive effects. Finally, we compared our toxicity data with worst-case environmental concentrations in order to provide a preliminary estimate of the risk to the marine environment. Naphthalene, fluorene and pyrene are not considered to pose a risk to sea-urchin, mussel or ascidian larvae, whilst phenanthrene and fluoranthene may pose a risk for mussel and sea-urchin. Moreover, a higher risk for those species is expected when we consider the photoactivation of the PAHs.

  7. Seasonal, annual, and spatial variation in the development of hard bottom communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, J.; Anger, K.

    1983-06-01

    The development of hard bottom communities has been studied on test panels in Helgoland Harbour (German Bight) since 1977. Settlement and growth of epibenthic species was examined monthly. Natural variation in different seasons, years, and at three stations (the latter, only in 1981 and 1982) was investigated. At Station A (Binnenhafen), barnacles (Balanus crenatus) and polychaetes (Polydora ciliata) were always among the first settlers in spring. They were followed by other barnacles (Elminius modestus, Balanus improvisus) and by colonial ascidians (Botryllus schlosseri). The latter species often dominated from August to October, and tended to overgrow the barnacle populations. E. modestus showed strong annual variation, probably due to extremely low winter temperatures: after the cold winter of 1978/79, its populations were less dense than in previous years. In 1981 they recovered, and settlement increased again, but the cold winter 1981/82 damaged the population again. At Station B (Nordosthafen), mussels (Mytilus edulis) soon covered barnacles and empty space. By October they had monopolized the fouling community. At Station C (Südhafen), barnacle settlement in spring was followed by an overgrowth of hydrozoans ( Laomedea spec.). In summer, ascidians ( Ciona intestinalis and Ascidiella aspersa) settled and began to dominate. Barnacles were weaker in the competition for space as opposed to later colonizers at all three stations.

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

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    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. 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.

  10. Vanadium-Binding Ability of Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase from the Vanadium-Rich Fan Worm, Pseudopotamilla occelata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Nobuo; Yoshinaga, Masafumi; Kamino, Kei; Ueki, Tatsuya

    2016-06-01

    Polychaete fan worms and ascidians accumulate high levels of vanadium ions. Several vanadiumbinding proteins, known as vanabins, have been found in ascidians. However, no vanadium-binding factors have been isolated from the fan worm. In the present study, we sought to identify vanadiumbinding proteins in the branchial crown of the fan worm using immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography. A nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDK) homolog was isolated and determined to be a vanadium-binding protein. Kinase activity of the NDK homologue, PoNDK, was suppressed by the addition of V(IV), but was unaffected by V(V). The effect of V(IV) on PoNDK precedes its activation by Mg(II). This is the first report to describe the relationship between NDK and V(IV). PoNDK is located in the epidermis of the branchial crown, and its distribution is very similar to that of vanadium. These results suggest that PoNDK is associated with vanadium accumulation and metabolism in P. occelata.

  11. Radioimmunoassay in Ascidiella aspersa of a gonadoliberin (GnRH)-like factor with an apparent molecular weight higher than that of mammalian decapeptide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dufour, S.; Monniot, F.; Monniot, C. and others

    1988-02-21

    A radioimmunoassay (RIA) for mammalian gonadoliberin (mGnRH) showed the presence of a GnRH-like factor in the neural complex of a Protochordate, Ascidiella aspersa (about 0.6 pg eq mGnRH/complex). The slope of the displacement curves was slightly lower than with mGnRH indicating antigene differences. No cross reactive material was found in mantle and siphonal area. The KD on Sephadex G25 was 0.45 versus 0.90 with mGnRH. That suggests that the molecular weight of the Ascidian GnRH-like factor is higher than that of known Vertebrate GnRH's, possibly due to a different processing of the precursor.

  12. Clinical marine toxicology: a European perspective for clinical toxicologists and poison centers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Corinne; De Haro, Luc

    2013-08-02

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. [Morphofunctional organization of reserve stem cells providing for asexual and sexual reproduction of invertebrates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaeva, V V; Akhmadieva, A V; Aleksandriova, Ia N; Shukaliuk, A I

    2009-01-01

    Published and original data indicating evolutionary conservation of the morphofunctional organization of reserve stem cells providing for asexual and sexual reproduction of invertebrates are reviewed. Stem cells were studied in representatives of five animal types: archeocytes in sponge Oscarella malakhovi (Porifera), large interstitial cells in colonial hydroid Obelia longissima (Cnidaria), neoblasts in an asexual race of planarian Girardia tigrina (Platyhelmintes), stem cells in colonial rhizocephalans Peltogasterella gracilis, Polyascus polygenea, and Thylacoplethus isaevae (Arthropoda), and colonial ascidian Botryllus tuberatus (Chordata). Stem cells in animals of such diverse taxa feature the presence of germinal granules, are positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, demonstrate alkaline phosphatase activity (at marker of embryonic stem cells and primary germ cells in vertebrates), and rhizocephalan stem cells express the vasa-like gene (such genes are expressed in germline cells of different metazoans). The self-renewing pool of stem cells is the cellular basis of the reproductive strategy including sexual and asexual reproduction.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Mycalamide A Shows Cytotoxic Properties and Prevents EGF-Induced Neoplastic Transformation through Inhibition of Nuclear Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyshlovoy, Sergey A.; Fedorov, Sergey N.; Kalinovsky, Anatoly I.; Shubina, Larisa K.; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Stonik, Valentin A.; Honecker, Friedemann

    2012-01-01

    Mycalamide A, a marine natural compound previously isolated from sponges, is known as a protein synthesis inhibitor with potent antitumor activity. However, the ability of this compound to prevent malignant transformation of cells has never been examined before. Here, for the first time, we report the isolation of mycalamide A from ascidian Polysincraton sp. as well as investigation of its cancer preventive properties. In murine JB6 Cl41 P+ cells, mycalamide A inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced neoplastic transformation, and induced apoptosis at subnanomolar or nanomolar concentrations. The compound inhibited transcriptional activity of the oncogenic nuclear factors AP-1 and NF-κB, a potential mechanism of its cancer preventive properties. Induction of phosphorylation of the kinases MAPK p38, JNK, and ERK was also observed at high concentrations of mycalamide A. The drug shows promising potential for both cancer-prevention and cytotoxic therapy and should be further developed. PMID:22822368

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Martins

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Joana; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-11-13

    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.

  2. Screening Of Marine Bacteria For Pharmacological Activities

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    S. Vijayalakshmi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The symbiotic and associated four marine bacteria BR1 Flavobacterium sp. isolated from Barnacle Balanus amphitriteEM13 Micrococus sp. from Seaweed Enteromorpha compressaPC4 Alcaligenes sp. from Ascidian Polyclinum constellatum and SW12 Bacillus sp. from seawater were cultured and extracted for pharmacological activities. The ethyl acetate extracts of these marine bacterial culture supernatants were screened for pharmacological activities such as Anti inflammatory Analgesic and CNS depressant activities using experimental animal model. In this studySW12 exhibited high activity for both Anti inflammatory and Analgesic. Especially which exhibited highest analgesic activity than standard drug pethidine. Another one PC4 showed highest analgesic activity similar to standard drug. Other two extracts EM13 and BR1 showed high activity in CNS depressant. Based on the result SW12 is a highly potent strain it may produce novel compound for pharmacological drug.

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

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    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.

  4. Tunicate mitogenomics and phylogenetics: peculiarities of the Herdmania momus mitochondrial genome and support for the new chordate phylogeny

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    Loya Yossi

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tunicates represent a key metazoan group as the sister-group of vertebrates within chordates. The six complete mitochondrial genomes available so far for tunicates have revealed distinctive features. Extensive gene rearrangements and particularly high evolutionary rates have been evidenced with regard to other chordates. This peculiar evolutionary dynamics has hampered the reconstruction of tunicate phylogenetic relationships within chordates based on mitogenomic data. Results In order to further understand the atypical evolutionary dynamics of the mitochondrial genome of tunicates, we determined the complete sequence of the solitary ascidian Herdmania momus. This genome from a stolidobranch ascidian presents the typical tunicate gene content with 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs and 24 tRNAs which are all encoded on the same strand. However, it also presents a novel gene arrangement, highlighting the extreme plasticity of gene order observed in tunicate mitochondrial genomes. Probabilistic phylogenetic inferences were conducted on the concatenation of the 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes from representatives of major metazoan phyla. We show that whereas standard homogeneous amino acid models support an artefactual sister position of tunicates relative to all other bilaterians, the CAT and CAT+BP site- and time-heterogeneous mixture models place tunicates as the sister-group of vertebrates within monophyletic chordates. Moreover, the reference phylogeny indicates that tunicate mitochondrial genomes have experienced a drastic acceleration in their evolutionary rate that equally affects protein-coding and ribosomal-RNA genes. Conclusion This is the first mitogenomic study supporting the new chordate phylogeny revealed by recent phylogenomic analyses. It illustrates the beneficial effects of an increased taxon sampling coupled with the use of more realistic amino acid substitution models for the reconstruction of animal

  5. Sperm motility parameters and spermatozoa morphometric characterization in marine species: a study of swimmer and sessile species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego, V; Pérez, L; Asturiano, J F; Yoshida, M

    2014-09-15

    The biodiversity of marine ecosystems is diverse and a high number of species coexist side by side. However, despite the fact that most of these species share a common fertilization strategy, a high variability in terms of the size, shape, and motion of spermatozoa can be found. In this study, we have analyzed both the sperm motion parameters and the spermatozoa morphometric features of two swimmer (pufferfish and European eel) and two sessile (sea urchin and ascidian) marine species. The most important differences in the sperm motion parameters were registered in the swimming period. Sessile species sperm displayed notably higher values than swimmer species sperm. In addition, the sperm motilities and velocities of the swimmer species decreased sharply once the sperm was activated, whereas the sessile species were able to maintain their initial values for a long time. These results are linked directly to the species-specific lifestyles. Although sessile organisms, which show limited or no movement, need sperm with a capacity to swim for long distances to find the oocytes, swimmer organisms can move toward the female and release gametes near it, and therefore the spermatozoa does not need to swim for such a long time. At the same time, sperm morphology is related to sperm motion parameters, and in this study an in-depth morphometric analysis of ascidian, sea urchin, and pufferfish spermatozoa, using computer-assisted sperm analysis software, has been carried out for the first time. A huge variability in shapes, sizes, and structures of the studied species was found using electron microscopy.

  6. Real-time PCR detection of Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot, 1983) and Didemnum vexillum (Kott, 2002) in an applied routine marine biosecurity context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Tiffany J S; Dias, P Joana; Snow, Michael; Muñoz, Julieta; Berry, Tina

    2016-08-02

    Prevention and early detection are well recognized as the best strategies for minimizing the risks posed by nonindigenous species (NIS) that have the potential to become marine pests. Central to this is the ability to rapidly and accurately identify the presence of NIS, often from complex environmental samples like biofouling and ballast water. Molecular tools have been increasingly applied to assist with the identification of NIS and can prove particularly useful for taxonomically difficult groups like ascidians. In this study, we have developed real-time PCR assays suited to the specific identification of the ascidians Didemnum perlucidum and Didemnum vexillum. Despite being recognized as important global pests, this is the first time specific molecular detection methods have been developed that can support the early identification and detection of these species from a broad range of environmental sample types. These fast, robust and high-throughput assays represent powerful tools for routine marine biosecurity surveillance, as detection and confirmation of the early presence of species could assist in the timely establishment of emergency responses and control strategies. This study applied the developed assays to confirm the ability to detect Didemnid eDNA in water samples. While previous work has focused on detection of marine larvae from water samples, the development of real-time PCR assays specifically aimed at detecting eDNA of sessile invertebrate species in the marine environment represents a world first and a significant step forwards in applied marine biosecurity surveillance. Demonstrated success in the detection of D. perlucidum eDNA from water samples at sites where it could not be visually identified suggests value in incorporating such assays into biosecurity survey designs targeting Didemnid species.

  7. 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

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    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

  8. Sexual and asexual reproduction in Didemnum rodriguesi (Ascidiacea, Didemnidae Reprodução sexuada e assexuada em Didemnum rodriguesi (Ascidiacea, Didemnidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole F. Ritzmann

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Sexual and asexual reproduction and associated population dynamics were investigated in the colonial ascidian Didemnum rodriguesi Rocha & Monniot, 1993 (Didemnidae in southern Brazil. Investment in sexual (production of new individuals and asexual (colony growth reproduction was compared between seasons. Permanently marked quadrats were repeatedly photographed to measure changes in colonies. Eggs and larvae were counted monthly in collected colonies. This species alternates seasonally between sexual (summer and asexual (winter reproduction. In summer, colonies were smaller, brooded eggs and larvae and recruitment rates were greater, while in winter, colony size was larger and eggs and larvae were absent. There is a relationship between fecundity and colony area. Fragmentation and fusion of colonies were similar in summer and winter, as well as mortality. In conclusion, D. rodriguesi has a lifecycle usual for high latitude ascidians with a limited time length for sexual reproduction and alternate investment in sexual and asexual reproduction along the year.Reprodução sexuada e assexuada, mortalidade e a dinâmica de fusões e fissões de colônias de Didemnum rodriguesi Rocha & Monniot, 1993 foram investigados e comparados no sul do Brasil, no inverno e verão. Tais eventos foram analisados por fotografias de áreas permanentemente demarcadas e coletas mensais de colônias. Os resultados indicam que esta espécie alterna sazonalmente a reprodução sexuada (verão e assexuada (inverno. Durante o verão as colônias são mais abundantes e menores, com ovos e larvas incubados e taxas de recrutamento maiores. No inverno há um menor número de colônias, porém de maior tamanho e inférteis. Existe uma relação entre fecundidade e tamanho da colônia. Não foram encontradas diferenças estatísticas no número de eventos de fragmentação e fusão entre o verão e inverno, bem como para mortalidade. Conclui-se que esta espécie tem um ciclo de

  9. Specific sulfation and glycosylation—a structural combination for the anticoagulation of marine carbohydrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomin, Vitor H.; Mourão, Paulo A. S.

    2014-01-01

    Based on considered achievements of the last 25 years, specific combinations of sulfation patterns and glycosylation types have been proved to be key structural players for the anticoagulant activity of certain marine glycans. These conclusions were obtained from comparative and systematic analyses on the structure-anticoagulation relationships of chemically well-defined sulfated polysaccharides of marine invertebrates and red algae. These sulfated polysaccharides are known as sulfated fucans (SFs), sulfated galactans (SGs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The structural combinations necessary for the anticoagulant activities are the 2-sulfation in α-L-SGs, the 2,4-di-sulfation in α-L-fucopyranosyl units found as composing units of certain sea-urchin and sea-cucumber linear SFs, or as branching units of the fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, a unique GAG from sea-cucumbers. Another unique GAG type from marine organisms is the dermatan sulfate isolated from ascidians. The high levels of 4-sulfation at the galactosamine units combined with certain levels of 2-sulfation at the iduronic acid units is the anticoagulant structural requirements of these GAGs. When the backbones of red algal SGs are homogeneous, the anticoagulation is proportionally dependent of their sulfation content. Finally, 4-sulfation was observed to be the structural motif required to enhance the inhibition of thrombin via heparin cofactor-II by invertebrate SFs. PMID:24639954

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Shells and heart: are human laterality and chirality of snails controlled by the same maternal genes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliverio, Marco; Digilio, Maria Cristina; Versacci, Paolo; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Marino, Bruno

    2010-10-01

    The body of most animals display left-right asymmetry of internal organs. Alteration of such asymmetry results in severe congenital defects particularly affecting the cardiovascular system. The earliest known genes involved in asymmetry, the Nodal signalling cascade, are expressed asymmetrically during embryonic development. Nodal was discovered in the mouse, but orthologs (also involved in left-right specification) were reported in ascidians, sea-urchins, and snails. Mutations in Nodal-pathway genes cause alteration of several aspects of chirality, but not entirely mirror phenotypes of the body. Other factors upstream of nodal must be involved in the generation of left-right asymmetry. In snails, breeding experiments have demonstrated that chirality is controlled by a nuclear gene with maternal effect. Given the available evidence, we propose that an evolutionarily conserved genetic basis of chirality (the same that controls left-right asymmetry in snails) is a major synapomorphy of the Bilateria. This hypothesis fits with the observation that: (a) the proportion of patients with heterotaxy and a detected mutation in a gene of the Nodal cascade is actually low, and (b) horizontal recurrence of laterality defects is remarkably more frequent than vertical recurrence, and includes a notable number of affected sibs and/or repeated abortions from unaffected mothers. Identification of the maternal gene(s) involved will allow for the identification of homozygous females at risk of having affected children and spontaneous abortions, and would provide a general medical framework for understanding the genetics of most alterations of chirality.

  13. An epizootic of Florida manatees associated with a dinoflagellate bloom

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Shea, T.J.; Rathbun, G.B.; Bonde, R.K.; Buergelt, C.D.; Odell, D.K.

    1991-01-01

    Over a 10-wk period in early 1982, 39 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were found dead in the lower Caloosahatchee River and nearby waters of southwestern Florida. Two were killed by boats. The remainder showed no evidence of trauma. Lesions indicative of infectious agents were not identified, and bacteriological and contaminant residue findings were unremarkable. Nonspecific lesions of congestion and hemorrhage were identified in brain tissue. Numerous reports were also received of manatee morbidity. Some distressed manatees showed no biochemical lesions in clinical analyses of blood samples and recovered quickly. Timing of manatee illnesses coincided with fish and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) mortality and morbidity. A widespread bloom of the dinoflagellate red tide organism (Gymnodinium breve) also coincided with these incidents. G. breve produces potent neurotoxins (brevetoxins). Circumstantial evidence links these events, and possible routes of exposure may include ingestion of filter-feeding ascidians. Ecological conditions that magnified the extent of the epizootic included an early dispersal of manatees into the area from a nearby winter aggregation site and unusually high salinities that facilitated the inshore spread of the red tide bloom. Management responses to future episodes of red tide in manatee areas are suggested.

  14. Investigation of indolglyoxamide and indolacetamide analogues of polyamines as antimalarial and antitrypanosomal agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiayi; Kaiser, Marcel; Copp, Brent R

    2014-05-28

    Pure compound screening has previously identified the indolglyoxy lamidospermidine ascidian metabolites didemnidine A and B (2 and 3) to be weak growth inhibitors of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (IC50 59 and 44 μM, respectively) and Plasmodium falciparum (K1 dual drug resistant strain) (IC50 41 and 15 μM, respectively), but lacking in selectivity (L6 rat myoblast, IC50 24 μM and 25 μM, respectively). To expand the structure-activity relationship of this compound class towards both parasites, we have prepared and biologically tested a library of analogues that includes indoleglyoxyl and indoleacetic "capping acids", and polyamines including spermine (PA3-4-3) and extended analogues PA3-8-3 and PA3-12-3. 7-Methoxy substituted indoleglyoxylamides were typically found to exhibit the most potent antimalarial activity (IC50 10-92 nM) but with varying degrees of selectivity versus the L6 rat myoblast cell line. A 6-methoxyindolglyoxylamide analogue was the most potent growth inhibitor of T. brucei (IC50 0.18 μM) identified in the study: it, however, also exhibited poor selectivity (L6 IC50 6.0 μM). There was no apparent correlation between antimalarial and anti-T. brucei activity in the series. In vivo evaluation of one analogue against Plasmodium berghei was undertaken, demonstrating a modest 20.9% reduction in parasitaemia.

  15. Biochemical and toxicological evaluation of nano-heparins in cell functional properties, proteasome activation and expression of key matrix molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piperigkou, Zoi; Karamanou, Konstantina; Afratis, Nikolaos A; Bouris, Panagiotis; Gialeli, Chrysostomi; Belmiro, Celso L R; Pavão, Mauro S G; Vynios, Dimitrios H; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M

    2016-01-05

    The glycosaminoglycan heparin and its derivatives act strongly on blood coagulation, controlling the activity of serine protease inhibitors in plasma. Nonetheless, there is accumulating evidence highlighting different anticancer activities of these molecules in numerous types of cancer. Nano-heparins may have great biological significance since they can inhibit cell proliferation and invasion as well as inhibiting proteasome activation. Moreover, they can cause alterations in the expression of major modulators of the tumor microenvironment, regulating cancer cell behavior. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of two nano-heparin formulations: one isolated from porcine intestine and the other from the sea squirt Styela plicata, on a breast cancer cell model. We determined whether these nano-heparins are able to affect cell proliferation, apoptosis and invasion, as well as proteasome activity and the expression of extracellular matrix molecules. Specifically, we observed that nano-Styela compared to nano-Mammalian analogue has higher inhibitory role on cell proliferation, invasion and proteasome activity. Moreover, nano-Styela regulates cell apoptosis, expression of inflammatory molecules, such as IL-6 and IL-8 and reduces the expression levels of extracellular matrix macromolecules, such as the proteolytic enzymes MT1-MMP, uPA and the cell surface proteoglycans syndecan-1 and -2, but not on syndecan-4. The observations reported in the present article indicate that nano-heparins and especially ascidian heparin are effective agents for heparin-induced effects in critical cancer cell functions, providing an important possibility in pharmacological targeting.

  16. Biosynthetic origin of natural products isolated from marine microorganism-invertebrate assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, T Luke; Coates, R Cameron; Clark, Benjamin R; Engene, Niclas; Gonzalez, David; Esquenazi, Eduardo; Dorrestein, Pieter C; Gerwick, William H

    2008-03-25

    In all probability, natural selection began as ancient marine microorganisms were required to compete for limited resources. These pressures resulted in the evolution of diverse genetically encoded small molecules with a variety of ecological and metabolic roles. Remarkably, many of these same biologically active molecules have potential utility in modern medicine and biomedical research. The most promising of these natural products often derive from organisms richly populated by associated microorganisms (e.g., marine sponges and ascidians), and often there is great uncertainty about which organism in these assemblages is making these intriguing metabolites. To use the molecular machinery responsible for the biosynthesis of potential drug-lead natural products, new tools must be applied to delineate their genetic and enzymatic origins. The aim of this perspective is to highlight both traditional and emerging techniques for the localization of metabolic pathways within complex marine environments. Examples are given from the literature as well as recent proof-of-concept experiments from the authors' laboratories.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Global diversity of Ascidiacea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenkar, Noa; Swalla, Billie J

    2011-01-01

    The class Ascidiacea presents fundamental opportunities for research in the fields of development, evolution, ecology, natural products and more. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge regarding the global biodiversity of the class Ascidiacea, focusing in their taxonomy, main regions of biodiversity, and distribution patterns. Based on analysis of the literature and the species registered in the online World Register of Marine Species, we assembled a list of 2815 described species. The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia. Didemnidae and Styelidae families have the highest number of species with more than 500 within each group. Sixty percent of described species are colonial. Species richness is highest in tropical regions, where colonial species predominate. In higher latitudes solitary species gradually contribute more to the total species richness. We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species. Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.

  20. Global diversity of Ascidiacea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noa Shenkar

    Full Text Available The class Ascidiacea presents fundamental opportunities for research in the fields of development, evolution, ecology, natural products and more. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge regarding the global biodiversity of the class Ascidiacea, focusing in their taxonomy, main regions of biodiversity, and distribution patterns. Based on analysis of the literature and the species registered in the online World Register of Marine Species, we assembled a list of 2815 described species. The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia. Didemnidae and Styelidae families have the highest number of species with more than 500 within each group. Sixty percent of described species are colonial. Species richness is highest in tropical regions, where colonial species predominate. In higher latitudes solitary species gradually contribute more to the total species richness. We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species. Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.

  1. A multicassette Gateway vector set for high throughput and comparative analyses in ciona and vertebrate embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès Roure

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The past few years have seen a vast increase in the amount of genomic data available for a growing number of taxa, including sets of full length cDNA clones and cis-regulatory sequences. Large scale cross-species comparisons of protein function and cis-regulatory sequences may help to understand the emergence of specific traits during evolution. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To facilitate such comparisons, we developed a Gateway compatible vector set, which can be used to systematically dissect cis-regulatory sequences, and overexpress wild type or tagged proteins in a variety of chordate systems. It was developed and first characterised in the embryos of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, in which large scale analyses are easier to perform than in vertebrates, owing to the very efficient embryo electroporation protocol available in this organism. Its use was then extended to fish embryos and cultured mammalian cells. CONCLUSION: This versatile vector set opens the way to the mid- to large-scale comparative analyses of protein function and cis-regulatory sequences across chordate evolution. A complete user manual is provided as supplemental material.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 3D-printed microwell arrays for Ciona microinjection and timelapse imaging.

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    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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    -feeders, the 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....... diversicolor, having inhalant and exhalant openings flush with the sediment surface and a moderate exhalant jet velocity of about 0.01 m s-1, concentration boundary layer growth is retarded and limited by the low values of diffusivity prevailing at heights greater than about 0.05 m above the bottom. For C....... intestinalis, having inhalant and exhalant openings situated about 0.05-0.1 m above the bottom and a higher and inclined exhalant jet velocity of about 0.1-0.2 m s-1, the concentration distributions show a nearly uniform depletion over a layer reaching a thickness of 0.2-0.3 m above the bottom due to high...

  9. 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.

  10. Distinct Roles of Soluble and Transmembrane Adenylyl Cyclases in the Regulation of Flagellar Motility in Ciona Sperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kogiku Shiba

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Adenylyl cyclase (AC is a key enzyme that synthesizes cyclic AMP (cAMP at the onset of the signaling pathway to activate sperm motility. Here, we showed that both transmembrane AC (tmAC and soluble AC (sAC are distinctly involved in the regulation of sperm motility in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. A tmAC inhibitor blocked both cAMP synthesis and the activation of sperm motility induced by the egg factor sperm activating and attracting factor (SAAF, as well as those induced by theophylline, an inhibitor of phoshodiesterase. It also significantly inhibited cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of a set of proteins at motility activation. On the other hand, a sAC inhibitor does not affect on SAAF-induced transient increase of cAMP, motility activation or protein phosphorylation, but it reduced swimming velocity to half in theophylline-induced sperm. A sAC inhibitor KH-7 induced circular swimming trajectory with smaller diameter and significantly suppressed chemotaxis of sperm to SAAF. These results suggest that tmAC is involved in the basic mechanism for motility activation through cAMP-dependent protein phosphorylation, whereas sAC plays distinct roles in increase of flagellar beat frequency and in the Ca2+-dependent chemotactic movement of sperm.

  11. First record of massive blooming of benthic diatoms and their association with megabenthic filter feeders on the shallow seafloor of an Antarctic Fjord: Does glacier melting fuel the bloom?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, In-Young; Moon, Hye-Won; Jeon, Misa; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2016-03-01

    We report a conspicuous benthic diatom bloom on an Antarctic fjord shallow seafloor, which has not been reported elsewhere in Antarctica. A thick and massive growth of benthic diatoms was covering or being entangled with a variety of common benthic megafauna such as stalked ascidians, sponges, tubedwelling polychaetes, gastropods, bryozoans, and others. This finding is an outcome of recent investigations on benthic communities in Marian Cove, King George Island, where glacier retreat has been proceeding quickly for the past several decades. Dominance of benthic diatoms during the austral summer has been frequently reported in shallow Antarctic nearshore waters, which in turn indicates their potential as a primary food item for secondary producers living in this harsh environment. However, previous blooming records of the benthic diatoms were primarily based on data from water column samples. We are the first to report observational evidence of shallow seafloor substrates, including the massive blooming of benthic diatoms and their associations with common benthic megafauna in an Antarctic fjord.

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of fertilization distance on male gain curves in a free-spawning marine invertebrate: a combined empirical and theoretical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Sheri L; Yund, Philip O

    2009-12-01

    Male gain curves describe the relationship between allocation to sperm production and male reproductive success and are central to models of sex allocation in hermaphrodites. Sperm competition is expected to result in more linear gains and select for increased allocation. We hypothesized that high sperm production in passively mating systems may also be the result of selection to enhance the ability to fertilize distant ova. Consequently, we explored the effect of distance on male gain curves in a free-spawning colonial ascidian. The performance of focal males that varied in sperm production was assayed at three distances via microsatellite markers. An advection-diffusion model was used to estimate sperm concentration gradients, to predict male reproductive gain integrated across multiple downstream females, and explore effects of hydrodynamic conditions. As distance increased, male reproductive success decreased and empirical gain curves became increasingly linear. Our model predicted that the expected net gain curve is relatively insensitive to variation in flow regime and will saturate much more slowly than if only a single, nearby distance is considered. Thus, high levels of sperm production may enhance fitness both in competitive situations and with increasing fertilization distance, highlighting the need to consider distance effects when evaluating gain curves.

  14. Discovery of a marine bacterium producing 4-hydroxybenzoate and its alkyl esters, parabens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Xue; Adachi, Kyoko; Chen, Choryu; Kasai, Hiroaki; Kanoh, Kaneo; Shizuri, Yoshikazu; Misawa, Norihiko

    2006-08-01

    Chemically synthesized 4-hydroxybenzoate (4HBA) is widely used in the chemical and electrical industries as a material for producing polymers such as those of the liquid crystal type. Its alkyl esters, called parabens, have been the most widely used preservatives by the food and cosmetic industries. We report here for the first time a microorganism, a marine bacterium, which biosynthesizes these petrochemical products. The marine bacterial strain, A4B-17, which was found to belong to the genus Microbulbifer on the basis of its rRNA and gyrB sequences, was isolated from an ascidian in the coastal waters of Palau. Strain A4B-17 was, surprisingly, found to produce 10 mg/liter of 4HBA, together with its butyl (24 mg/liter), heptyl (0.4 mg/liter), and nonyl (6 mg/liter) esters. We therefore characterized 23 other marine bacteria belonging to the genus Microbulbifer, which our institute had previously isolated from various marine environments, and found that these bacteria also produced 4HBA, although with low production levels (less than one-fifth of that produced by A4B-17). We also show that the alkyl esters of 4HBA produced by strain A4B-17 were effective in preventing the growth of yeasts, molds, and gram-positive bacteria.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Nodal signalling and asymmetry of the nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Signore, Iskra A; Palma, Karina; Concha, Miguel L

    2016-12-19

    The role of Nodal signalling in nervous system asymmetry is still poorly understood. Here, we review and discuss how asymmetric Nodal signalling controls the ontogeny of nervous system asymmetry using a comparative developmental perspective. A detailed analysis of asymmetry in ascidians and fishes reveals a critical context-dependency of Nodal function and emphasizes that bilaterally paired and midline-unpaired structures/organs behave as different entities. We propose a conceptual framework to dissect the developmental function of Nodal as asymmetry inducer and laterality modulator in the nervous system, which can be used to study other types of body and visceral organ asymmetries. Using insights from developmental biology, we also present novel evolutionary hypotheses on how Nodal led the evolution of directional asymmetry in the brain, with a particular focus on the epithalamus. We intend this paper to provide a synthesis on how Nodal signalling controls left-right asymmetry of the nervous system.This article is part of the themed issue 'Provocative questions in left-right asymmetry'.

  18. 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.

  19. Marine actinobacteria associated with marine organisms and their potentials in producing pharmaceutical natural products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valliappan, Karuppiah; Sun, Wei; Li, Zhiyong

    2014-09-01

    Actinobacteria are ubiquitous in the marine environment, playing an important ecological role in the recycling of refractory biomaterials and producing novel natural products with pharmic applications. Actinobacteria have been detected or isolated from the marine creatures such as sponges, corals, mollusks, ascidians, seaweeds, and seagrass. Marine organism-associated actinobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, i.e., 3,003 sequences, deposited in the NCBI database clearly revealed enormous numbers of actinobacteria associated with marine organisms. For example, RDP classification of these sequences showed that 112 and 62 actinobacterial genera were associated with the sponges and corals, respectively. In most cases, it is expected that these actinobacteria protect the host against pathogens by producing bioactive compounds. Natural products investigation and functional gene screening of the actinobacteria associated with the marine organisms revealed that they can synthesize numerous natural products including polyketides, isoprenoids, phenazines, peptides, indolocarbazoles, sterols, and others. These compounds showed anticancer, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, neurological, antioxidant, and anti-HIV activities. Therefore, marine organism-associated actinobacteria represent an important resource for marine drugs. It is an upcoming field of research to search for novel actinobacteria and pharmaceutical natural products from actinobacteria associated with the marine organisms. In this review, we attempt to summarize the present knowledge on the diversity and natural products production of actinobacteria associated with the marine organisms, based on the publications from 1991 to 2013.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Toll-like receptors of deuterostome invertebrates

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Focusing on Ciona intestinalis (Tunicata innate immune system. Evolutionary implications

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    N Parrinello

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data provide compelling evidence that ascidians are of critical importance for studying chordate immune system evolution. The Ciona intestinalis draft genome sequence allows searches for phylogenetic relationships, gene cloning and expression of immunorelevant molecules. Acidians lack of the pivotal components of the vertebrate recombinatory adaptive immunity, i.e., MHC, TCRs and dimeric immunoglobulins. However, bioinformatic sequence analyses recognized genic elements indicating the essential features of the Ig superfamily and ancestor proto-MHC genes, suggesting a primitive pre-duplication and pre-recombination status. C. intestinalis genes for individuality in the absence of MHC could encode diverse molecular markers, including a wide panel of complement factors that could be responsible for self-nonself discrimination. Genome analysis reveals a number of innate immunity vertebrate-like genes which encode Toll-like and virus receptors, complement pathways components and receptors, CD94/NK-receptor-like, lectins, TNF, IL1-R, collagens. However, pure homology seeking for vertebrate-specific immunorelevant molecules is of limited value, and functional screening methods may be a more promising approach for tracing the immune system evolution. C. intestinalis, which displays acute and chronic inflammatory reactions, is a model organism for studying innate immunity genes expression and functions.

  5. Contribution to the knowledge of cotylean flatworms (Turbellaria, Polycladida) from Iranian coasts: Introducing a new species, with remarks on new records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghsoudlou, Abdolvahab; Rahimian, Hassan

    2014-09-08

    Very little information is available regarding marine free-living flatworms not only from Iran, but throughout the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The present study first introduces a new euryleptid species, and then reports four pseudocerotid polyclads which inhabit Iranian shallow rocky shores of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Maritigrella makranica sp. nov. is characterized dorsally by a medial cream or white reticulated appearance containing pale orange spots in a honeycomb pattern, a distinct orange submarginal band around the entire body margin and between the marginal tentacles, black spots scattered around mid-dorsal surface, becoming more sparse on raised median region and towards body margin, surrounded by a dark-grey halo around the body midline and orange-black halo towards margin. Three of the four pseudocerotids species belonging to the genera Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984; Pseudoceros Lang, 1884; and Thysanozoon Grube, 1840, are new records for the studied areas, while the other has been reported in the Persian Gulf previously. Comments on Iranian species are provided and associations of flatworms with ascidians and sponges were observed. 

  6. 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

  7. Specific sulfation and glycosylation - a structural combination for the anticoagulation of marine carbohydrates

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    Vitor Hugo Pomin

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Based on considered achievements of the last 25 years, specific combinations of sulfation patterns and glycosylation types have been proved to be key structural players for the anticoagulant activity of certain marine glycans. These conclusions were obtained from comparative and systematic analyses on the structure-anticoagulation relationships of chemically well-defined sulfated polysaccharides of marine invertebrates and red algae. These sulfated polysaccharides are known as sulfated fucans (SFs, sulfated galactans (SGs and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs. The structural combinations necessary for the anticoagulant activities are the 2-sulfation in α-L-SGs, the 2,4-di-sulfation in α-L-fucopyranosyl units found as composing units of certain sea-urchin and sea-cucumber linear SFs, or as branching units of the fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, a unique GAG from sea-cucumbers. Another unique GAG type from marine organisms is the dermatan sulfate isolated from ascidians. The high levels of 4-sulfation at the galactosamine units combined with certain levels of 2-sulfation at the iduronic acid units is the anticoagulant structural requirements of these GAGs. When the backbones of red algal SGs are homogeneous, the anticoagulation is proportionally dependent of their sulfation content. Finally, 4-sulfation was observed to be the structural motif required to enhance the inhibition of thrombin via heparin cofactor-II by invertebrate SFs.

  8. Specific sulfation and glycosylation-a structural combination for the anticoagulation of marine carbohydrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomin, Vitor H; Mourão, Paulo A S

    2014-01-01

    Based on considered achievements of the last 25 years, specific combinations of sulfation patterns and glycosylation types have been proved to be key structural players for the anticoagulant activity of certain marine glycans. These conclusions were obtained from comparative and systematic analyses on the structure-anticoagulation relationships of chemically well-defined sulfated polysaccharides of marine invertebrates and red algae. These sulfated polysaccharides are known as sulfated fucans (SFs), sulfated galactans (SGs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The structural combinations necessary for the anticoagulant activities are the 2-sulfation in α-L-SGs, the 2,4-di-sulfation in α-L-fucopyranosyl units found as composing units of certain sea-urchin and sea-cucumber linear SFs, or as branching units of the fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, a unique GAG from sea-cucumbers. Another unique GAG type from marine organisms is the dermatan sulfate isolated from ascidians. The high levels of 4-sulfation at the galactosamine units combined with certain levels of 2-sulfation at the iduronic acid units is the anticoagulant structural requirements of these GAGs. When the backbones of red algal SGs are homogeneous, the anticoagulation is proportionally dependent of their sulfation content. Finally, 4-sulfation was observed to be the structural motif required to enhance the inhibition of thrombin via heparin cofactor-II by invertebrate SFs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The apoptotic initiator caspase-8: its functional ubiquity and genetic diversity during animal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamaki, Kazuhiro; Shimizu, Kouhei; Iwata, Hiroaki; Imai, Kenichiro; Satou, Yutaka; Funayama, Noriko; Nozaki, Masami; Yajima, Mamiko; Nishimura, Osamu; Higuchi, Mayura; Chiba, Kumiko; Yoshimoto, Michi; Kimura, Haruna; Gracey, Andrew Y; Shimizu, Takashi; Tomii, Kentaro; Gotoh, Osamu; Akasaka, Koji; Sawasaki, Tatsuya; Miller, David J

    2014-12-01

    The caspases, a family of cysteine proteases, play multiple roles in apoptosis, inflammation, and cellular differentiation. Caspase-8 (Casp8), which was first identified in humans, functions as an initiator caspase in the apoptotic signaling mediated by cell-surface death receptors. To understand the evolution of function in the Casp8 protein family, casp8 orthologs were identified from a comprehensive range of vertebrates and invertebrates, including sponges and cnidarians, and characterized at both the gene and protein levels. Some introns have been conserved from cnidarians to mammals, but both losses and gains have also occurred; a new intron arose during teleost evolution, whereas in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, the casp8 gene is intronless and is organized in an operon with a neighboring gene. Casp8 activities are near ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom. Exogenous expression of a representative range of nonmammalian Casp8 proteins in cultured mammalian cells induced cell death, implying that these proteins possess proapoptotic activity. The cnidarian Casp8 proteins differ considerably from their bilaterian counterparts in terms of amino acid residues in the catalytic pocket, but display the same substrate specificity as human CASP8, highlighting the complexity of spatial structural interactions involved in enzymatic activity. Finally, it was confirmed that the interaction with an adaptor molecule, Fas-associated death domain protein, is also evolutionarily ancient. Thus, despite structural diversity and cooption to a variety of new functions, the ancient origins and near ubiquitous distribution of this activity across the animal kingdom emphasize the importance and utility of Casp8 as a central component of the metazoan molecular toolkit.

  13. Tango waves in a bidomain model of fertilization calcium waves

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    Li, Yue-Xian

    2003-12-01

    Fertilization of an egg cell is marked by one or several Ca 2+ waves that travel across the intra-cellular space, called fertilization Ca 2+ waves. Patterns of Ca 2+ waves observed in mature or immature oocytes include traveling fronts and pulses as well as concentric and spiral waves. These patterns have been studied in other excitable media in physical, chemical, and biological systems. Here, we report the discovery of a new wave phenomenon in the numerical study of a bidomain model of fertilization Ca 2+ waves. This wave is a front that propagates in a back-and-forth manner that resembles the movement of tango dancers, thus is called a tango wave. When the medium is excitable, a forward-moving tango wave can generate traveling pulses that propagate down the space without reversal. The study shows that the occurrence of tango waves is related to spatial inhomogeneity in the local dynamics. This is tested and confirmed by simulating similar waves in a medium with stationary spatial inhomogeneity. Similar waves are also obtained in a FitzHugh-Nagumo system with a linear spatial ramp. In both the bidomain model of Ca 2+ waves and the FitzHugh-Nagumo system, the front is stable when the slope of a linear ramp is large. As the slope decreases beyond a critical value, front oscillations occur. The study shows that tango waves facilitate the dispersion of localized Ca 2+. Key features of the bidomain model underlying the occurrence of tango waves are revealed. These features are commonly found in egg cells of a variety of species. Thus, we predict that tango waves can occur in real egg cells provided that a slowly varying inhomogeneity does occur following the sperm entry. The observation of tango wave-like waves in nemertean worm and ascidian eggs seems to support such a prediction.

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

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    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.

  15. 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

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

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    Pineda, M Carmen; McQuaid, Christopher D; Turon, Xavier; López-Legentil, Susanna; Ordóñez, Víctor; Rius, Marc

    2012-01-01

    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 might be

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

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    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Regional connectivity and coastal expansion: differentiating pre-border and post-border vectors for the invasive tunicate Styela clava.

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    Goldstien, S J; Schiel, D R; Gemmell, N J

    2010-03-01

    The dramatic increase in marine bio-invasions, particularly of non-indigenous ascidians, has highlighted the vulnerability of marine ecosystems and the productive sectors that rely on them. A critical issue in managing invasive species is determining the relative roles of ongoing introductions, versus the local movement of propagules from established source populations. Styela clava (Herdman, 1882), the Asian clubbed tunicate, once restricted to the Pacific shores of Asia and Russia, is now abundant throughout the northern and southern hemispheres and has had significant economic impact in at least one site of incursion. In 2005 S. clava was identified in New Zealand. The recent introduction of this species, coupled with its restricted distribution, provided an ideal model to compare and contrast the introduction and expansion process. In this study, the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI) gene and 11 microsatellite markers were used to test the regional genetic structure and diversity of 318 S. clava individuals from 10 populations within New Zealand. Both markers showed significant differentiation between the northern and southern populations, indicative of minimal pre- or post-border connectivity. Additional statistics further support pre- and post-border differentiation among Port and Harbour populations (i.e. marinas and aquaculture farms). We conclude that New Zealand receives multiple introductions, and that the primary vector for pre-border incursions and post-border spread is most likely the extensive influx of recreational vessels that enter northern marinas independent of the Port. This is a timely reminder of the potential for hull-fouling organisms to expand their range as climates change and open new pathways.

  20. 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.

  1. Predation limits spread of Didemnum vexillum into natural habitats from refuges on anthropogenic structures.

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    Forrest, Barrie M; Fletcher, Lauren M; Atalah, Javier; Piola, Richard F; Hopkins, Grant A

    2013-01-01

    Non-indigenous species can dominate fouling assemblages on artificial structures in marine environments; however, the extent to which infected structures act as reservoirs for subsequent spread to natural habitats is poorly understood. Didemnum vexillum is one of few colonial ascidian species that is widely reported to be highly invasive in natural ecosystems, but which in New Zealand proliferates only on suspended structures. Experimental work revealed that D. vexillum established equally well on suspended artificial and natural substrata, and was able to overgrow suspended settlement plates that were completely covered in other cosmopolitan fouling species. Fragmentation led to a level of D. vexillum cover that was significantly greater than was achieved as a result of ambient larval recruitment. The species failed to establish following fragment transplants onto seabed cobbles and into beds of macroalgae. The establishment success of D. vexillum was greatest in summer compared with autumn, and on the underside of experimental settlement plates that were suspended off the seabed to avoid benthic predators. Where benthic predation pressure was reduced by caging, D. vexillum establishment success was broadly comparable to suspended treatments; by contrast, the species did not establish on the face-up aspect of uncaged plates. This study provides compelling evidence that benthic predation was a key mechanism that prevented D. vexillum's establishment in the cobble habitats of the study region. The widespread occurrence of D. vexillum on suspended anthropogenic structures is consistent with evidence for other sessile invertebrates that such habitats provide a refuge from benthic predation. For invasive species generally, anthropogenic structures are likely to be most important as propagule reservoirs for spread to natural habitats in situations where predation and other mechanisms do not limit their subsequent proliferation.

  2. Predation limits spread of Didemnum vexillum into natural habitats from refuges on anthropogenic structures.

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    Barrie M Forrest

    Full Text Available Non-indigenous species can dominate fouling assemblages on artificial structures in marine environments; however, the extent to which infected structures act as reservoirs for subsequent spread to natural habitats is poorly understood. Didemnum vexillum is one of few colonial ascidian species that is widely reported to be highly invasive in natural ecosystems, but which in New Zealand proliferates only on suspended structures. Experimental work revealed that D. vexillum established equally well on suspended artificial and natural substrata, and was able to overgrow suspended settlement plates that were completely covered in other cosmopolitan fouling species. Fragmentation led to a level of D. vexillum cover that was significantly greater than was achieved as a result of ambient larval recruitment. The species failed to establish following fragment transplants onto seabed cobbles and into beds of macroalgae. The establishment success of D. vexillum was greatest in summer compared with autumn, and on the underside of experimental settlement plates that were suspended off the seabed to avoid benthic predators. Where benthic predation pressure was reduced by caging, D. vexillum establishment success was broadly comparable to suspended treatments; by contrast, the species did not establish on the face-up aspect of uncaged plates. This study provides compelling evidence that benthic predation was a key mechanism that prevented D. vexillum's establishment in the cobble habitats of the study region. The widespread occurrence of D. vexillum on suspended anthropogenic structures is consistent with evidence for other sessile invertebrates that such habitats provide a refuge from benthic predation. For invasive species generally, anthropogenic structures are likely to be most important as propagule reservoirs for spread to natural habitats in situations where predation and other mechanisms do not limit their subsequent proliferation.

  3. Role of Recruitment Processes in Structuring Coralligenous Benthic Assemblages in the Northern Adriatic Continental Shelf

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    Abbiati, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Coralligenous biogenic reefs are among the most diverse marine habitats in the Mediterranean Sea. The northern Adriatic mesophotic coralligenous outcrops host very rich and diverse epibenthic assemblages. Several studies quantified the low temporal variability and high spatial heterogeneity of these habitats, while processes driving structuring and differentiation are still poorly understood. To shed light on these processes, temporal and spatial patterns of colonisation were investigated using travertine tiles deployed on three coralligenous outcrops, corresponding to the main typologies of benthic assemblages described in previous studies. Three years after deployment, assemblages colonising travertine tiles resembled the differentiation among sites revealed by the natural assemblages in terms of major ecological groups. Processes structuring and maintaining species diversity have been explored. Pioneer species with high reproduction rate, long distance larval dispersal and fast growth (e.g. the serpulid polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter and the bivalve Anomia ephippium), were the most abundant in the early stages of recruitment on the two outcrops further away from the coast and with lower sedimentation. Their success may vary according to larval availability and environmental conditions (e.g., sedimentation rates). At these sites early-stage lasted 10–12 months, during which even species from natural substrates began colonising tiles by settlement of planktonic propagules (e.g., encrusting calcareous Rhodophyta) and lateral encroachment (e.g., sponges and ascidians). On coastal outcrop, exposed to a higher sedimentation rates, tiles were colonised by fast-growing algal turfs. Resilience of northern Adriatic coralligenous assemblages, and maintenance of their diversity, appeared largely entrusted to asexual reproduction. Exploring the mechanisms that underlie the formation and maintenance of the species diversity is crucial to improve our understanding of

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Evolution of neural crest and placodes: amphioxus as a model for the ancestral vertebrate?

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    Holland, L. Z.; Holland, N. D.

    2001-01-01

    Recent studies of protochordates (ascidian tunicates and amphioxus) have given insights into possible ancestors of 2 of the characteristic features of the vertebrate head: neural crest and placodes. The neural crest probably evolved from cells on either side of the neural plate-epidermis boundary in a protochordate ancestral to the vertebrates. In amphioxus, homologues of several vertebrate neural crest marker genes (BMP2/4, Pax3/7, Msx, Dll and Snail) are expressed at the edges of the neural plate and/or adjacent nonneural ectoderm. Some of these markers are also similarly expressed in tunicates. In protochordates, however, these cells, unlike vertebrate neural crest, neither migrate as individuals through embryonic tissues nor differentiate into a wide spectrum of cell types. Therefore, while the protochordate ancestor of the vertebrates probably had the beginnings of a genetic programme for neural crest formation, this programme was augmented in the earliest vertebrates to attain definitive neural crest. Clear homologues of vertebrate placodes are lacking in protochordates. However, both amphioxus and tunicates have ectodermal sensory cells. In tunicates these are all primary neurons, sending axons to the central nervous system, while in amphioxus, the ectodermal sensory cells include both primary neurons and secondary neurons lacking axons. Comparisons of developmental gene expression suggest that the anterior ectoderm in amphioxus may be homologous to the vertebrate olfactory placode, the only vertebrate placode with primary, not secondary, neurons. Similarly, biochemical, morphological and gene expression data suggest that amphioxus and tunicates also have homologues of the adenohypophysis, one of the few vertebrate structures derived from nonneurogenic placodes. In contrast, the origin of the other vertebrate placodes is very uncertain.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biofouling of inlet pipes affects water quality in running seawater aquaria and compromises sponge cell proliferation

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    Brittany E. Alexander

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Marine organism are often kept, cultured, and experimented on in running seawater aquaria. However, surprisingly little attention is given to the nutrient composition of the water flowing through these systems, which is generally assumed to equal in situ conditions, but may change due to the presence of biofouling organisms. Significantly lower bacterial abundances and higher inorganic nitrogen species (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium were measured in aquarium water when biofouling organisms were present within a 7-year old inlet pipe feeding a tropical reef running seawater aquaria system, compared with aquarium water fed by a new, biofouling-free inlet pipe. These water quality changes are indicative of the feeding activity and waste production of the suspension- and filter-feeding communities found in the old pipe, which included sponges, bivalves, barnacles, and ascidians. To illustrate the physiological consequences of these water quality changes on a model organism kept in the aquaria system, we investigated the influence of the presence and absence of the biofouling community on the functioning of the filter-feeding sponge Halisarca caerulea, by determining its choanocyte (filter cell proliferation rates. We found a 34% increase in choanocyte proliferation rates following the replacement of the inlet pipe (i.e., removal of the biofouling community. This indicates that the physiological functioning of the sponge was compromised due to suboptimal food conditions within the aquarium resulting from the presence of the biofouling organisms in the inlet pipe. This study has implications for the husbandry and performance of experiments with marine organisms in running seawater aquaria systems. Inlet pipes should be checked regularly, and replaced if necessary, in order to avoid excessive biofouling and to approach in situ water quality.

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

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    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.

  13. Carbonate production and deposition in a warm-temperate macroalgal environment, Investigator Strait, South Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Noel P.; Bone, Yvonne

    2011-08-01

    The prolific macroalgal forests in shallow (red algae that are grazed by herbivorous gastropods, 2) an intermediate, 5-20 cm-high community of fleshy red algae, and 3) a 20-100 cm+-high canopy of large phaeophytes (especially Ecklonia, Cystophora and Xiophora) whose blades are locally encrusted with bryozoans, such as Membranipora membranacea, and spirorbids. Concealed surfaces of subvertical rock walls and cryptic habitats behind the macroalgal curtain have two tiers; 1) a cornucopia of encrusting plants and animals, especially crustose and geniculate corallines in shallow water, that give way in water depths > 4 m to numerous bryozoans (especially fenestrates), serpulid worms, numerous and diverse demosponges, ascidians, small solitary corals, epifaunal echinoids, and gastropods, and 2) a veil of macroalgae (mainly Cystophora and Ecklonia) that drapes down and shades the rock walls. Most carbonate sediment production does not come from calcareous epiphytes on the macroalgae but comes from the coralline algae and calcareous invertebrates living on the rock walls and in concealed depressions. Mollusks (gastropods and bivalves) and geniculate coralline algae with numerous lithoclasts, crustose coralline fragments, barnacle plates, serpulid worms, bryozoans, and large benthic foraminifers (especially Amphistegina) dominate the resultant gravels and sands; but there is little or no mud. This is because carbonate sediment is the result of production not only in the macrophyte factory but also in adjacent seagrass factories. Particles produced in the macroalgal factory are shed onto the adjacent seafloor, where they form the requisite sandy substrates for quick colonization by seagrasses. Thus, over time the sediment in this shallow but hydrodynaically energetic environment becomes a mixture of materials from the two sources with seagrasses contributing gastropods, large benthic foraminifers, spirorbids, bryozoans and articulated corallines to the sediment milieu. If

  14. 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. 

  15. 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.

  16. An expanded Notch-Delta model exhibiting long-range patterning and incorporating MicroRNA regulation.

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    Jerry S Chen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Notch-Delta signaling is a fundamental cell-cell communication mechanism that governs the differentiation of many cell types. Most existing mathematical models of Notch-Delta signaling are based on a feedback loop between Notch and Delta leading to lateral inhibition of neighboring cells. These models result in a checkerboard spatial pattern whereby adjacent cells express opposing levels of Notch and Delta, leading to alternate cell fates. However, a growing body of biological evidence suggests that Notch-Delta signaling produces other patterns that are not checkerboard, and therefore a new model is needed. Here, we present an expanded Notch-Delta model that builds upon previous models, adding a local Notch activity gradient, which affects long-range patterning, and the activity of a regulatory microRNA. This model is motivated by our experiments in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis showing that the peripheral sensory neurons, whose specification is in part regulated by the coordinate activity of Notch-Delta signaling and the microRNA miR-124, exhibit a sparse spatial pattern whereby consecutive neurons may be spaced over a dozen cells apart. We perform rigorous stability and bifurcation analyses, and demonstrate that our model is able to accurately explain and reproduce the neuronal pattern in Ciona. Using Monte Carlo simulations of our model along with miR-124 transgene over-expression assays, we demonstrate that the activity of miR-124 can be incorporated into the Notch decay rate parameter of our model. Finally, we motivate the general applicability of our model to Notch-Delta signaling in other animals by providing evidence that microRNAs regulate Notch-Delta signaling in analogous cell types in other organisms, and by discussing evidence in other organisms of sparse spatial patterns in tissues where Notch-Delta signaling is active.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Reproductive protein evolution in two cryptic species of marine chordate

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    Harrison Richard G

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reproductive character displacement (RCD is a common and taxonomically widespread pattern. In marine broadcast spawning organisms, behavioral and mechanical isolation are absent and prezygotic barriers between species often operate only during the fertilization process. Such barriers are usually a consequence of differences in the way in which sperm and egg proteins interact, so RCD can be manifest as faster evolution of these proteins between species in sympatry than allopatry. Rapid evolution of these proteins often appears to be a consequence of positive (directional selection. Here, we identify a set of candidate gamete recognition proteins (GRPs in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and showed that these GRPs evolve more rapidly than control proteins (those not involved in gamete recognition. Choosing a subset of these gamete recognition proteins that show evidence of positive selection (CIPRO37.40.1, CIPRO60.5.1, CIPRO100.7.1, we then directly test the RCD hypothesis by comparing divergence (omega and polymorphism (McDonald-Kreitman, Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D and F, Fay and Wu's H statistics in sympatric and allopatric populations of two distinct forms of C. intestinalis (Types A and B between which there are strong post-zygotic barriers. Results Candidate gamete recognition proteins from two lineages of C. intestinalis (Type A and B are evolving more rapidly than control proteins, consistent with patterns seen in insects and mammals. However, ω (dN/dS is not significantly different between the sympatric and allopatric populations, and none of the polymorphism statistics show significant differences between sympatric and allopatric populations. Conclusions Enhanced prezygotic isolation in sympatry has become a well-known feature of gamete recognition proteins in marine broadcast spawners. But in most cases the evolutionary process or processes responsible for this pattern have not been identified. Although gamete

  19. 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

  20. Sperm proteasomes degrade sperm receptor on the egg zona pellucida during mammalian fertilization.

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    Shawn W Zimmerman

    Full Text Available Despite decades of research, the mechanism by which the fertilizing spermatozoon penetrates the mammalian vitelline membrane, the zona pellucida (ZP remains one of the unexplained fundamental events of human/mammalian development. Evidence has been accumulating in support of the 26S proteasome as a candidate for echinoderm, ascidian and mammalian egg coat lysin. Monitoring ZP protein degradation by sperm during fertilization is nearly impossible because those few spermatozoa that penetrate the ZP leave behind a virtually untraceable residue of degraded proteins. We have overcome this hurdle by designing an experimentally consistent in vitro system in which live boar spermatozoa are co-incubated with ZP-proteins (ZPP solubilized from porcine oocytes. Using this assay, mimicking sperm-egg interactions, we demonstrate that the sperm-borne proteasomes can degrade the sperm receptor protein ZPC. Upon coincubation with motile spermatozoa, the solubilized ZPP, which appear to be ubiquitinated, adhered to sperm acrosomal caps and induced acrosomal exocytosis/formation of the acrosomal shroud. The degradation of the sperm receptor protein ZPC was assessed by Western blotting band-densitometry and proteomics. A nearly identical pattern of sperm receptor degradation, evident already within the first 5 min of coincubation, was observed when the spermatozoa were replaced with the isolated, enzymatically active, sperm-derived proteasomes. ZPC degradation was blocked by proteasomal inhibitors and accelerated by ubiquitin-aldehyde(UBAL, a modified ubiquitin protein that stimulates proteasomal proteolysis. Such a degradation pattern of ZPC is consistent with in vitro fertilization studies, in which proteasomal inhibitors completely blocked fertilization, and UBAL increased fertilization and polyspermy rates. Preincubation of intact zona-enclosed ova with isolated active sperm proteasomes caused digestion, abrasions and loosening of the exposed zonae, and

  1. Impacts of trawling on benthic macro-fauna and -flora of the Spencer Gulf prawn fishing grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svane, Ib; Hammett, Zoe; Lauer, Peter

    2009-05-01

    The overall effects of trawling on benthic habitats and their assemblages are dependent on the distribution and intensity of trawl effort. The benthic habitats of the Spencer Gulf prawn trawling grounds are subjected to known variable levels of trawling disturbance recorded from fisher's logbooks. These habitats have not been quantitatively investigated. The aim of the study was firstly to characterise the macro-faunal and -floral assemblages and secondly, to comparatively assess trawl impact by testing the null hypothesis of no differences between five sites exposed to different intensity of trawl effort. The distribution and abundance of benthic macro-fauna and -flora were studied at two sampling resolutions by using beam trawl sampling (˜10,000 m 2) and underwater stereophotography (˜4.5 m 2) at five sites with different levels of trawl disturbance (effort). The results showed that the Spencer Gulf prawn trawling grounds are characterised by sandy sediments with a low content of silt and clay, with the exception of one site with very fine gravel. Biomass, abundance and cover of macro-fauna and -flora were generally low throughout, but with large differences among sites. Biomass, abundance and cover were found to be negatively correlated to both trawl hours from 1994-1998 and during the period of study. ANOSIM and SIMPER analyses using biomass, abundance and percentage cover as variables showed significant differences between sites with eight species or taxonomic groups contributing more than 10% to the observed similarity within sites. The two northern sites were dominated by sponges and the bearded mussel, Trichomya hirsutus, and the southern hammer oyster, Malleus meridianus. Other species that contributed to the similarity within sites were the ascidian, Polycarpa viridis, mobile epifauna (the blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus, and the western king prawn, Penaeus (Melicertus) latisulcatus) and demersal fish species (Degens leatherjacket, Thamnaconus

  2. Differential responses of emergent intertidal coral reef fauna to a large-scale El-Niño southern oscillation event: sponge and coral resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J; Moraes, Simone Souza; Gomes, Rilza da Costa Tourinho; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Attrill, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    There is a paucity of information on the impacts of the 1997-8 El Niño event and subsequent climatic episodes on emergent intertidal coral reef assemblages. Given the environmental variability intertidal reefs experience, such reefs may potentially be more resilient to climatic events and provide important insights into the adaptation of reef fauna to future ocean warming. Here we report the results of a 17-year (1995-2011) biodiversity survey of four emergent coral reef ecosystems in Bahia, Brazil, to assess the impact of a major El Niño event on the reef fauna, and determine any subsequent recovery. The densities of two species of coral, Favia gravida and Siderastrea stellata, did not vary significantly across the survey period, indicating a high degree of tolerance to the El Niño associated stress. However, there were marked decreases in the diversity of other taxa. Molluscs, bryozoans and ascidians suffered severe declines in diversity and abundance and had not recovered to pre-El Niño levels by the end of the study. Echinoderms were reduced to a single species in 1999, Echinometra lucunter, although diversity levels had recovered by 2002. Sponge assemblages were not impacted by the 1997-8 event and their densities had increased by the study end. Multivariate analysis indicated that a stable invertebrate community had re-established on the reefs after the El Niño event, but it has a different overall composition to the pre-El Niño community. It is unclear if community recovery will continue given more time, but our study highlights that any increase in the frequency of large-scale climatic events to more than one a decade is likely to result in a persistent lower-diversity state. Our results also suggest some coral and sponge species are particularly resilient to the El Niño-associated stress and therefore represent suitable models to investigate temperature adaptation in reef organisms.

  3. Sperm proteasomes degrade sperm receptor on the egg zona pellucida during mammalian fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Shawn W; Manandhar, Gaurishankar; Yi, Young-Joo; Gupta, Satish K; Sutovsky, Miriam; Odhiambo, John F; Powell, Michael D; Miller, David J; Sutovsky, Peter

    2011-02-23

    Despite decades of research, the mechanism by which the fertilizing spermatozoon penetrates the mammalian vitelline membrane, the zona pellucida (ZP) remains one of the unexplained fundamental events of human/mammalian development. Evidence has been accumulating in support of the 26S proteasome as a candidate for echinoderm, ascidian and mammalian egg coat lysin. Monitoring ZP protein degradation by sperm during fertilization is nearly impossible because those few spermatozoa that penetrate the ZP leave behind a virtually untraceable residue of degraded proteins. We have overcome this hurdle by designing an experimentally consistent in vitro system in which live boar spermatozoa are co-incubated with ZP-proteins (ZPP) solubilized from porcine oocytes. Using this assay, mimicking sperm-egg interactions, we demonstrate that the sperm-borne proteasomes can degrade the sperm receptor protein ZPC. Upon coincubation with motile spermatozoa, the solubilized ZPP, which appear to be ubiquitinated, adhered to sperm acrosomal caps and induced acrosomal exocytosis/formation of the acrosomal shroud. The degradation of the sperm receptor protein ZPC was assessed by Western blotting band-densitometry and proteomics. A nearly identical pattern of sperm receptor degradation, evident already within the first 5 min of coincubation, was observed when the spermatozoa were replaced with the isolated, enzymatically active, sperm-derived proteasomes. ZPC degradation was blocked by proteasomal inhibitors and accelerated by ubiquitin-aldehyde(UBAL), a modified ubiquitin protein that stimulates proteasomal proteolysis. Such a degradation pattern of ZPC is consistent with in vitro fertilization studies, in which proteasomal inhibitors completely blocked fertilization, and UBAL increased fertilization and polyspermy rates. Preincubation of intact zona-enclosed ova with isolated active sperm proteasomes caused digestion, abrasions and loosening of the exposed zonae, and significantly reduced

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Causes and consequences of hypoxia on the Western Black Sea Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Jana; Gomoiu, Marian-Trajan; Naeher, Sebastian; Secrieru, Dan; Teaca, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    opportunistic species such as worms. Following the economic collapse of eastern European countries during the 1990s, riverine nutrient loads decreased and the ecosystem is showing signs of slow recovery, such as a decrease in the frequency and duration of hypoxic events. However, nutrient fluxes from the sediments did not decrease significantly (Friedrich et al. 2010). We observe slight recovery of the macrobenthic community structure in terms of species numbers in the Romanian pre-Danubian sector. Opportunistic species, e.g., ascidians, worms and fast growing filamentous algae are currently filling ecologic niches left by the past ecosystem collapse. References Friedrich, J., Cociasu, A., & Mee, L. D. (2010). Historical legacy of Danube River nutrient discharge and eutrophication in the North-Western Black Sea - Nutrient recycling in the shelf sediments. Danube News, 12(22), 7-9. Friedrich J., Dinkel C., Friedl G., Pimenov N., Wijsman J., Gomoiu M.T., Cociasu A., Popa L. & Wehrli B. (2002). Benthic Nutrient Cycling and Diagenetic Pathways in the North-western Black Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 54, 369-383. Jones G.A. & Gagnon A.R. (1994). Radiocarbon chronology of Black Sea sediments. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 41, 531-557. Mee L.D., Friedrich J. & Gomoiu M.-T. (2005). Restoring the Black Sea in times of uncertainty. Oceanography, 18, 32-43. Oguz, T. and Gilbert, D. (2007). Abrupt transitions of the top-down controlled Black Sea pelagic ecosystem during 1960-2000: Evidence for regime-shifts under strong fishery exploitation and nutrient enrichment modulated by climate-induced variations. Deep-Sea Research I: doi:10.1016/j.dsr.200609.200010.

  7. 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