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Sample records for cnidarian nematostella vectensis

  1. Cell proliferation is necessary for the regeneration of oral structures in the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis

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    Passamaneck Yale J

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The contribution of cell proliferation to regeneration varies greatly between different metazoan models. Planarians rely on pluripotent neoblasts and amphibian limb regeneration depends upon formation of a proliferative blastema, while regeneration in Hydra can occur in the absence of cell proliferation. Recently, the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis has shown potential as a model for studies of regeneration because of the ability to conduct comparative studies of patterning during embryonic development, asexual reproduction, and regeneration. The present study investigates the pattern of cell proliferation during the regeneration of oral structures and the role of cell proliferation in this process. Results In intact polyps, cell proliferation is observed in both ectodermal and endodermal tissues throughout the entire oral-aboral axis, including in the tentacles and physa. Following bisection, there is initially little change in proliferation at the wound site of the aboral fragment, however, beginning 18 to 24 hours after amputation there is a dramatic increase in cell proliferation at the wound site in the aboral fragment. This elevated level of proliferation is maintained throughout the course or regeneration of oral structures, including the tentacles, the mouth, and the pharynx. Treatments with the cell proliferation inhibitors hydroxyurea and nocodazole demonstrate that cell proliferation is indispensable for the regeneration of oral structures. Although inhibition of regeneration by nocodazole was generally irreversible, secondary amputation reinitiates cell proliferation and regeneration. Conclusions The study has found that high levels of cell proliferation characterize the regeneration of oral structures in Nematostella, and that this cell proliferation is necessary for the proper progression of regeneration. Thus, while cell proliferation contributes to regeneration of oral structures in both Nematostella and

  2. Domain analysis of the Nematostella vectensis SNAIL ortholog reveals unique nucleolar localization that depends on the zinc-finger domains

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    Dattoli, A.A.; Hink, M.A.; DuBuc, T.Q.; Teunisse, B.J.; Goedhart, J.; Röttinger, E.; Postma, M.

    2015-01-01

    SNAIL transcriptional factors are key regulators during development and disease. They arose early during evolution, and in cnidarians such as Nematostella vectensis, NvSNAILA/B are detected in invaginating tissues during gastrulation. The function of SNAIL proteins is well established in bilaterians

  3. Characterization of Morphological and Cellular Events Underlying Oral Regeneration in the Sea Anemone, Nematostella vectensis

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    Aldine R. Amiel

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Cnidarians, the extant sister group to bilateria, are well known for their impressive regenerative capacity. The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis is a well-established system for the study of development and evolution that is receiving increased attention for its regenerative capacity. Nematostella is able to regrow missing body parts within five to six days after its bisection, yet studies describing the morphological, cellular, and molecular events underlying this process are sparse and very heterogeneous in their experimental approaches. In this study, we lay down the basic framework to study oral regeneration in Nematostella vectensis. Using various imaging and staining techniques we characterize in detail the morphological, cellular, and global molecular events that define specific landmarks of this process. Furthermore, we describe in vivo assays to evaluate wound healing success and the initiation of pharynx reformation. Using our described landmarks for regeneration and in vivo assays, we analyze the effects of perturbing either transcription or cellular proliferation on the regenerative process. Interestingly, neither one of these experimental perturbations has major effects on wound closure, although they slightly delay or partially block it. We further show that while the inhibition of transcription blocks regeneration in a very early step, inhibiting cellular proliferation only affects later events such as pharynx reformation and tentacle elongation.

  4. Microbial diversity and activity in the Nematostella vectensis holobiont: insights from 16S rRNA gene sequencing, isolate genomes, and a pilot-scale survey of gene expression

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    Har, Jia Y.; Helbig, Tim; Lim, Ju H.; Fernando, Samodha C.; Reitzel, Adam M.; Penn, Kevin; Thompson, Janelle R.

    2015-01-01

    We have characterized the molecular and genomic diversity of the microbiota of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, a cnidarian model for comparative developmental and functional biology and a year-round inhabitant of temperate salt marshes. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed four ribotypes associated with N. vectensis at multiple locations and times. These associates include two novel ribotypes within the ε-Proteobacterial order Campylobacter...

  5. RGM regulates BMP-mediated secondary axis formation in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis.

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    Leclère, Lucas; Rentzsch, Fabian

    2014-12-11

    Patterning of the metazoan dorsoventral axis is mediated by a complex interplay of BMP signaling regulators. Repulsive guidance molecule (RGM) is a conserved BMP coreceptor that has not been implicated in axis specification. We show that NvRGM is a key positive regulator of BMP signaling during secondary axis establishment in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. NvRGM regulates first the generation and later the shape of a BMP-dependent Smad1/5/8 gradient with peak activity on the side opposite the NvBMP/NvRGM/NvChordin expression domain. Full knockdown of Smad1/5/8 signaling blocks the formation of endodermal structures, the mesenteries, and the establishment of bilateral symmetry, while altering the gradient through partial NvRGM or NvBMP knockdown shifts the boundaries of asymmetric gene expression and the positioning of the mesenteries along the secondary axis. These findings provide insight into the diversification of axis specification mechanisms and identify a previously unrecognized role for RGM in BMP-mediated axial patterning. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Characterization of circadian behavior in the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis.

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    William D Hendricks

    Full Text Available Although much is known about how circadian systems control daily cycles in the physiology and behavior of Drosophila and several vertebrate models, marine invertebrates have often been overlooked in circadian rhythms research. This study focuses on the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, a species that has received increasing attention within the scientific community for its potential as a model research organism. The recently sequenced genome of N. vectensis makes it an especially attractive model for exploring the molecular evolution of circadian behavior. Critical behavioral data needed to correlate gene expression patterns to specific behaviors are currently lacking in N. vectensis.To detect the presence of behavioral oscillations in N. vectensis, locomotor activity was evaluated using an automated system in an environmentally controlled chamber. Animals exposed to a 24 hr photoperiod (12 hr light: 12 hr dark exhibited locomotor behavior that was both rhythmic and predominantly nocturnal. The activity peak occurred in the early half of the night with a 2-fold increase in locomotion. Upon transfer to constant lighting conditions (constant light or constant dark, an approximately 24 hr rhythm persisted in most animals, suggesting that the rhythm is controlled by an endogenous circadian mechanism. Fourier analysis revealed the presence of multiple peaks in some animals suggesting additional rhythmic components could be present. In particular, an approximately 12 hr oscillation was often observed. The nocturnal increase in generalized locomotion corresponded to a 24 hr oscillation in animal elongation.These data confirm the presence of a light-entrainable circadian clock in Nematostella vectensis. Additional components observed in some individuals indicate that an endogenous clock of approximately 12 hr frequency may also be present. By describing rhythmic locomotor behavior in N. vectensis, we have made important progress in developing

  7. Using Nematostella vectensis to study the interactions between genome, epigenome and bacteria in a changing environment

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    Sebastian Fraune

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The phenotype of an animal cannot be explained entirely by its genes. It is now clear that factors other than the genome contribute to the ecology and evolution of animals. Two fundamentally important factors are the associated microbiota and epigenetic regulations. Unlike the genes and regulatory regions of the genome, epigenetics and microbial composition can be rapidly modified, and may thus represent mechanisms for rapid acclimation to a changing environment. At present, the individual functions of epigenetics, microbiomes, and genomic mutations are largely studied in isolation, particularly for species in marine ecosystems. This single variable approach leaves significant questions open for how these mechanisms intersect in the acclimation and adaptation of organisms in different environments. Here, we propose that the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, is a model of choice to investigate the complex interplay between adaptation as well as physiological and molecular plasticity in coastal ecosystems. N. vectensis’ geographic range spans four distinct coastlines, including a wide thermocline along the Atlantic coast of North America. N. vectensis is a particularly powerful invertebrate model for studying genome-environment interactions due to (1 the availability of a well-annotated genome, including preexisting data on genome methylation, histone modifications and miRNAs, (2 an extensive molecular toolkit including well-developed protocols for gene suppression and transgenesis, and (3 the simplicity of culture and experimentation in the laboratory. Taken together, N. vectensis has the tractability to connect the functional relationships between a host animal, microbes, and genome modifications to determine mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation.

  8. Concerted evolution of sea anemone neurotoxin genes is revealed through analysis of the Nematostella vectensis genome.

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    Moran, Yehu; Weinberger, Hagar; Sullivan, James C; Reitzel, Adam M; Finnerty, John R; Gurevitz, Michael

    2008-04-01

    Gene families, which encode toxins, are found in many poisonous animals, yet there is limited understanding of their evolution at the nucleotide level. The release of the genome draft sequence for the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive study of a gene family whose neurotoxin products affect voltage-gated sodium channels. All gene family members are clustered in a highly repetitive approximately 30-kb genomic region and encode a single toxin, Nv1. These genes exhibit extreme conservation at the nucleotide level which cannot be explained by purifying selection. This conservation greatly differs from the toxin gene families of other animals (e.g., snakes, scorpions, and cone snails), whose evolution was driven by diversifying selection, thereby generating a high degree of genetic diversity. The low nucleotide diversity at the Nv1 genes is reminiscent of that reported for DNA encoding ribosomal RNA (rDNA) and 2 hsp70 genes from Drosophila, which have evolved via concerted evolution. This evolutionary pattern was experimentally demonstrated in yeast rDNA and was shown to involve unequal crossing-over. Through sequence analysis of toxin genes from multiple N. vectensis populations and 2 other anemone species, Anemonia viridis and Actinia equina, we observed that the toxin genes for each sea anemone species are more similar to one another than to those of other species, suggesting they evolved by manner of concerted evolution. Furthermore, in 2 of the species (A. viridis and A. equina) we found genes that evolved under diversifying selection, suggesting that concerted evolution and accelerated evolution may occur simultaneously.

  9. Microbial diversity and activity in the Nematostella vectensis holobiont: insights from 16S rRNA gene sequencing, isolate genomes, and a pilot-scale survey of gene expression

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    Jia Yi Har

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available We have characterized the molecular and genomic diversity of the microbiota of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, a cnidarian model for comparative developmental and functional biology and a year-round inhabitant of temperate salt marshes. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed four ribotypes associated with N. vectensis at multiple locations and times. These associates include two novel ribotypes within the ε-Proteobacterial order Campylobacterales and the Spirochetes, respectively, each sharing 99% 16S rRNA identity with Endozoicomonas elysicola and Pseudomonas oleovorans, respectively. Species-specific PCR revealed that these populations persisted in N. vectensis asexually propagated under laboratory conditions. cDNA indicated expression of the Campylobacterales and Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA in anemones from Sippewissett Marsh, MA. A collection of bacteria from laboratory raised N. vectensis was dominated by isolates from P. oleovorans and Rhizobium radiobacter. Isolates from field-collected anemones revealed an association with Limnobacter and Stappia isolates. Genomic DNA sequencing was carried out on 10 cultured bacterial isolates representing field- and laboratory-associates, i.e. Limnobacter spp., Stappia spp., P. oleovorans and R. radiobacter. Genomes contained multiple genes identified as virulence (host-association factors while S. stellulata and L. thiooxidans genomes revealed pathways for mixotrophic sulfur oxidation. A pilot metatranscriptome of laboratory-raised N. vectensis was compared to the isolate genomes and indicated expression of ORFs from L. thiooxidans with predicted functions of motility, nutrient scavenging (Fe and P, polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis for carbon storage, and selective permeability (porins. We hypothesize that such activities may mediate acclimation and persistence of bacteria in N. vectensis.

  10. Microbial diversity and activity in the Nematostella vectensis holobiont: insights from 16S rRNA gene sequencing, isolate genomes, and a pilot-scale survey of gene expression.

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    Har, Jia Y; Helbig, Tim; Lim, Ju H; Fernando, Samodha C; Reitzel, Adam M; Penn, Kevin; Thompson, Janelle R

    2015-01-01

    We have characterized the molecular and genomic diversity of the microbiota of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, a cnidarian model for comparative developmental and functional biology and a year-round inhabitant of temperate salt marshes. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries revealed four ribotypes associated with N. vectensis at multiple locations and times. These associates include two novel ribotypes within the ε-Proteobacterial order Campylobacterales and the Spirochetes, respectively, each sharing 99% 16S rRNA identity with Endozoicomonas elysicola and Pseudomonas oleovorans, respectively. Species-specific PCR revealed that these populations persisted in N. vectensis asexually propagated under laboratory conditions. cDNA indicated expression of the Campylobacterales and Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA in anemones from Sippewissett Marsh, MA. A collection of bacteria from laboratory raised N. vectensis was dominated by isolates from P. oleovorans and Rhizobium radiobacter. Isolates from field-collected anemones revealed an association with Limnobacter and Stappia isolates. Genomic DNA sequencing was carried out on 10 cultured bacterial isolates representing field- and laboratory-associates, i.e., Limnobacter spp., Stappia spp., P. oleovorans and R. radiobacter. Genomes contained multiple genes identified as virulence (host-association) factors while S. stellulata and L. thiooxidans genomes revealed pathways for mixotrophic sulfur oxidation. A pilot metatranscriptome of laboratory-raised N. vectensis was compared to the isolate genomes and indicated expression of ORFs from L. thiooxidans with predicted functions of motility, nutrient scavenging (Fe and P), polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis for carbon storage, and selective permeability (porins). We hypothesize that such activities may mediate acclimation and persistence of bacteria in a N. vectensis holobiont defined by both internal and external gradients of chemicals and

  11. Locomotory behaviour and functional morphology of Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Edwardsiidae): a contribution to a comparative study of burrowing behaviour in athenarian sea anemones

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    Williams, R.B.

    2003-01-01

    The locomotory behaviour and functional morphology of English populations of a small (<2 cm long), burrowing athenarian sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis Stephenson, 1935 (= N. pellucida Crowell, 1946), which lives in soft mud in salt marshes and creeks, are described. Objectives were to ascertain

  12. Spatial gene expression quantification: a tool for analysis of in situ hybridizations in sea anemone Nematostella vectensis

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    Botman Daniel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spatial gene expression quantification is required for modeling gene regulation in developing organisms. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is the model system most widely applied for spatial gene expression analysis due to its unique embryonic properties: the shape does not change significantly during its early cleavage cycles and most genes are differentially expressed along a straight axis. This system of development is quite exceptional in the animal kingdom. In the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis the embryo changes its shape during early development; there are cell divisions and cell movement, like in most other metazoans. Nematostella is an attractive case study for spatial gene expression since its transparent body wall makes it accessible to various imaging techniques. Findings Our new quantification method produces standardized gene expression profiles from raw or annotated Nematostella in situ hybridizations by measuring the expression intensity along its cell layer. The procedure is based on digital morphologies derived from high-resolution fluorescence pictures. Additionally, complete descriptions of nonsymmetric expression patterns have been constructed by transforming the gene expression images into a three-dimensional representation. Conclusions We created a standard format for gene expression data, which enables quantitative analysis of in situ hybridizations from embryos with various shapes in different developmental stages. The obtained expression profiles are suitable as input for optimization of gene regulatory network models, and for correlation analysis of genes from dissimilar Nematostella morphologies. This approach is potentially applicable to many other metazoan model organisms and may also be suitable for processing data from three-dimensional imaging techniques.

  13. Strabismus-mediated primary archenteron invagination is uncoupled from Wnt/β-catenin-dependent endoderm cell fate specification in Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa, Cnidaria: Implications for the evolution of gastrulation

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    Kumburegama Shalika

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gastrulation is a uniquely metazoan character, and its genesis was arguably the key step that enabled the remarkable diversification within this clade. The process of gastrulation involves two tightly coupled events during embryogenesis of most metazoans. Morphogenesis produces a distinct internal epithelial layer in the embryo, and this epithelium becomes segregated as an endoderm/endomesodermal germ layer through the activation of a specific gene regulatory program. The developmental mechanisms that induced archenteron formation and led to the segregation of germ layers during metazoan evolution are unknown. But an increased understanding of development in early diverging taxa at the base of the metazoan tree may provide insights into the origins of these developmental mechanisms. Results In the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, initial archenteron formation begins with bottle cell-induced buckling of the blastula epithelium at the animal pole. Here, we show that bottle cell formation and initial gut invagination in Nematostella requires NvStrabismus (NvStbm, a maternally-expressed core component of the Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP pathway. The NvStbm protein is localized to the animal pole of the zygote, remains asymmetrically expressed through the cleavage stages, and becomes restricted to the apical side of invaginating bottle cells at the blastopore. Antisense morpholino-mediated NvStbm-knockdown blocks bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination, but it has no effect on Wnt/ß-catenin signaling-mediated endoderm cell fate specification. Conversely, selectively blocking Wnt/ß-catenin signaling inhibits endoderm cell fate specification but does not affect bottle cell formation and initial archenteron invagination. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that Wnt/PCP-mediated initial archenteron invagination can be uncoupled from Wnt/ß-catenin-mediated endoderm cell fate specification in

  14. Expanded functional diversity of shaker K(+ channels in cnidarians is driven by gene expansion.

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    Timothy Jegla

    Full Text Available The genome of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone provides a molecular genetic view into the first nervous systems, which appeared in a late common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Nematostella has a surprisingly large and diverse set of neuronal signaling genes including paralogs of most neuronal signaling molecules found in higher metazoans. Several ion channel gene families are highly expanded in the sea anemone, including three subfamilies of the Shaker K(+ channel gene family: Shaker (Kv1, Shaw (Kv3 and Shal (Kv4. In order to better understand the physiological significance of these voltage-gated K(+ channel expansions, we analyzed the function of 18 members of the 20 gene Shaker subfamily in Nematostella. Six of the Nematostella Shaker genes express functional homotetrameric K(+ channels in vitro. These include functional orthologs of bilaterian Shakers and channels with an unusually high threshold for voltage activation. We identified 11 Nematostella Shaker genes with a distinct "silent" or "regulatory" phenotype; these encode subunits that function only in heteromeric channels and serve to further diversify Nematostella Shaker channel gating properties. Subunits with the regulatory phenotype have not previously been found in the Shaker subfamily, but have evolved independently in the Shab (Kv2 family in vertebrates and the Shal family in a cnidarian. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that regulatory subunits were present in ancestral cnidarians, but have continued to diversity at a high rate after the split between anthozoans and hydrozoans. Comparison of Shaker family gene complements from diverse metazoan species reveals frequent, large scale duplication has produced highly unique sets of Shaker channels in the major metazoan lineages.

  15. Evidence for participation of GCS1 in fertilization of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis: Implication of a common mechanism of sperm–egg fusion in plants and animals

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    Ebchuqin, Eerdundagula; Yokota, Naoto; Yamada, Lixy [Sugashima Marine Biological Laboratory, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Sugashima, Toba 517-0004 (Japan); Yasuoka, Yuuri [Marine Genomics Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Onna, Okinawa 904-0495 (Japan); Akasaka, Mari [Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-8602 (Japan); Arakawa, Mio; Deguchi, Ryusaku [Department of Biology, Miyagi University of Education, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0845 (Japan); Mori, Toshiyuki [Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8050 (Japan); Sawada, Hitoshi, E-mail: hsawada@bio.nagoya-u.ac.jp [Sugashima Marine Biological Laboratory, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Sugashima, Toba 517-0004 (Japan)

    2014-09-05

    Highlights: • GCS1 is a sperm transmembrane protein that is essential for gamete fusion in flowering plants. • The GCS1 gene is present not only in angiosperms but also in unicellular organisms and animals. • NvGCS1 gene is expressed in the testis and GCS1 protein exists in sperm of a sea anemone. • Anti-GCS1 antibodies inhibited the fertilization, showing the participation in fertilization. - Abstract: It has been reported that GCS1 (Generative Cell Specific 1) is a transmembrane protein that is exclusively expressed in sperm cells and is essential for gamete fusion in flowering plants. The GCS1 gene is present not only in angiosperms but also in unicellular organisms and animals, implying the occurrence of a common or ancestral mechanism of GCS1-mediated gamete fusion. In order to elucidate the common mechanism, we investigated the role of GCS1 in animal fertilization using a sea anemone (Cnidaria), Nematostella vectensis. Although the existence of the GCS1 gene in N. vectensis has been reported, the expression of GCS1 in sperm and the role of GCS1 in fertilization are not known. In this study, we showed that the GCS1 gene is expressed in the testis and that GCS1 protein exists in sperm by in situ hybridization and proteomic analysis, respectively. Then we made four peptide antibodies against the N-terminal extracellular region of NvGCS1. These antibodies specifically reacted to NvGCS1 among sperm proteins on the basis of Western analysis and potently inhibited fertilization in a concentration-dependent manner. These results indicate that sperm GCS1 plays a pivotal role in fertilization, most probably in sperm–egg fusion, in a starlet sea anemone, suggesting a common gamete-fusion mechanism shared by eukaryotic organisms.

  16. Characterization of small HSPs from Anemonia viridis reveals insights into molecular evolution of alpha crystallin genes among cnidarians.

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    Aldo Nicosia

    Full Text Available Gene family encoding small Heat-Shock Proteins (sHSPs containing α-crystallin domain are found both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of their evolution. In this study, two small HSP genes termed AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, both organized in one intron and two exons, were characterised in the Mediterranean snakelocks anemone Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of α-crystallin gene family among cnidarians. Most of the H. magnipapillata sHSP genes share the same gene organization described for AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, differing from the sHSP genes of N. vectensis which mainly show an intronless architecture. The different genomic organization of sHSPs, the phylogenetic analyses based on protein sequences, and the relationships among Cnidarians, suggest that the A.viridis sHSPs represent the common ancestor from which H. magnipapillata genes directly evolved through segmental genome duplication. Additionally retroposition events may be considered responsible for the divergence of sHSP genes of N. vectensis from A. viridis. Analyses of transcriptional expression profile showed that AvHSP28.6 was constitutively expressed among different tissues from both ectodermal and endodermal layers of the adult sea anemones, under normal physiological conditions and also under different stress condition. Specifically, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvHSP28.6 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by extreme temperatures, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Conversely, no AvHSP27 transcript was detected in such dissected tissues, in adult whole body cDNA library or under stress conditions. Hence, the involvement of AvHSP28.6 gene in the sea anemone defensome is strongly suggested.

  17. Characterization of small HSPs from Anemonia viridis reveals insights into molecular evolution of alpha crystallin genes among cnidarians.

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    Nicosia, Aldo; Maggio, Teresa; Mazzola, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio; Cuttitta, Angela; Costa, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Gene family encoding small Heat-Shock Proteins (sHSPs containing α-crystallin domain) are found both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of their evolution. In this study, two small HSP genes termed AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, both organized in one intron and two exons, were characterised in the Mediterranean snakelocks anemone Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of α-crystallin gene family among cnidarians. Most of the H. magnipapillata sHSP genes share the same gene organization described for AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, differing from the sHSP genes of N. vectensis which mainly show an intronless architecture. The different genomic organization of sHSPs, the phylogenetic analyses based on protein sequences, and the relationships among Cnidarians, suggest that the A.viridis sHSPs represent the common ancestor from which H. magnipapillata genes directly evolved through segmental genome duplication. Additionally retroposition events may be considered responsible for the divergence of sHSP genes of N. vectensis from A. viridis. Analyses of transcriptional expression profile showed that AvHSP28.6 was constitutively expressed among different tissues from both ectodermal and endodermal layers of the adult sea anemones, under normal physiological conditions and also under different stress condition. Specifically, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvHSP28.6 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by extreme temperatures, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Conversely, no AvHSP27 transcript was detected in such dissected tissues, in adult whole body cDNA library or under stress conditions. Hence, the involvement of AvHSP28.6 gene in the sea anemone defensome is strongly suggested.

  18. Distribution of CpG Motifs in Upstream Gene Domains in a Reef Coral and Sea Anemone: Implications for Epigenetics in Cnidarians.

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    Adam G Marsh

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are under assault from stressors including global warming, ocean acidification, and urbanization. Knowing how these factors impact the future fate of reefs requires delineating stress responses across ecological, organismal and cellular scales. Recent advances in coral reef biology have integrated molecular processes with ecological fitness and have identified putative suites of temperature acclimation genes in a Scleractinian coral Acropora hyacinthus. We wondered what unique characteristics of these genes determined their coordinate expression in response to temperature acclimation, and whether or not other corals and cnidarians would likewise possess these features. Here, we focus on cytosine methylation as an epigenetic DNA modification that is responsive to environmental stressors. We identify common conserved patterns of cytosine-guanosine dinucleotide (CpG motif frequencies in upstream promoter domains of different functional gene groups in two cnidarian genomes: a coral (Acropora digitifera and an anemone (Nematostella vectensis. Our analyses show that CpG motif frequencies are prominent in the promoter domains of functional genes associated with environmental adaptation, particularly those identified in A. hyacinthus. Densities of CpG sites in upstream promoter domains near the transcriptional start site (TSS are 1.38x higher than genomic background levels upstream of -2000 bp from the TSS. The increase in CpG usage suggests selection to allow for DNA methylation events to occur more frequently within 1 kb of the TSS. In addition, observed shifts in CpG densities among functional groups of genes suggests a potential role for epigenetic DNA methylation within promoter domains to impact functional gene expression responses in A. digitifera and N. vectensis. Identifying promoter epigenetic sequence motifs among genes within specific functional groups establishes an approach to describe integrated cellular responses to

  19. Distribution of CpG Motifs in Upstream Gene Domains in a Reef Coral and Sea Anemone: Implications for Epigenetics in Cnidarians.

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    Marsh, Adam G; Hoadley, Kenneth D; Warner, Mark E

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are under assault from stressors including global warming, ocean acidification, and urbanization. Knowing how these factors impact the future fate of reefs requires delineating stress responses across ecological, organismal and cellular scales. Recent advances in coral reef biology have integrated molecular processes with ecological fitness and have identified putative suites of temperature acclimation genes in a Scleractinian coral Acropora hyacinthus. We wondered what unique characteristics of these genes determined their coordinate expression in response to temperature acclimation, and whether or not other corals and cnidarians would likewise possess these features. Here, we focus on cytosine methylation as an epigenetic DNA modification that is responsive to environmental stressors. We identify common conserved patterns of cytosine-guanosine dinucleotide (CpG) motif frequencies in upstream promoter domains of different functional gene groups in two cnidarian genomes: a coral (Acropora digitifera) and an anemone (Nematostella vectensis). Our analyses show that CpG motif frequencies are prominent in the promoter domains of functional genes associated with environmental adaptation, particularly those identified in A. hyacinthus. Densities of CpG sites in upstream promoter domains near the transcriptional start site (TSS) are 1.38x higher than genomic background levels upstream of -2000 bp from the TSS. The increase in CpG usage suggests selection to allow for DNA methylation events to occur more frequently within 1 kb of the TSS. In addition, observed shifts in CpG densities among functional groups of genes suggests a potential role for epigenetic DNA methylation within promoter domains to impact functional gene expression responses in A. digitifera and N. vectensis. Identifying promoter epigenetic sequence motifs among genes within specific functional groups establishes an approach to describe integrated cellular responses to environmental stress in

  20. Characterization of Translationally Controlled Tumour Protein from the Sea Anemone Anemonia viridis and Transcriptome Wide Identification of Cnidarian Homologues.

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    Nicosia, Aldo; Bennici, Carmelo; Biondo, Girolama; Costa, Salvatore; Di Natale, Marilena; Masullo, Tiziana; Monastero, Calogera; Ragusa, Maria Antonietta; Tagliavia, Marcello; Cuttitta, Angela

    2018-01-11

    Gene family encoding translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP) is defined as highly conserved among organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of non-bilateria. In this study, the first TCTP homologue from anthozoan was characterised in the Mediterranean Sea anemone, Anemonia viridis . The release of the genome sequence of Acropora digitifera , Exaiptasia pallida , Nematostella vectensis and Hydra vulgaris enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of TCTP family among cnidarians. A comparison among TCTP members from Cnidaria and Bilateria showed conserved intron exon organization, evolutionary conserved TCTP signatures and 3D protein structure. The pattern of mRNA expression profile was also defined in A. viridis . These analyses revealed a constitutive mRNA expression especially in tissues with active proliferation. Additionally, the transcriptional profile of A. viridis TCTP ( AvTCTP ) after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showed induction by extreme temperatures, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. These results suggest the involvement of AvTCTP in the sea anemone defensome taking part in environmental stress and immune responses.

  1. Characterization of Translationally Controlled Tumour Protein from the Sea Anemone Anemonia viridis and Transcriptome Wide Identification of Cnidarian Homologues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Nicosia

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene family encoding translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP is defined as highly conserved among organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of non-bilateria. In this study, the first TCTP homologue from anthozoan was characterised in the Mediterranean Sea anemone, Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Acropora digitifera, Exaiptasia pallida, Nematostella vectensis and Hydra vulgaris enabled a comprehensive study of the molecular evolution of TCTP family among cnidarians. A comparison among TCTP members from Cnidaria and Bilateria showed conserved intron exon organization, evolutionary conserved TCTP signatures and 3D protein structure. The pattern of mRNA expression profile was also defined in A. viridis. These analyses revealed a constitutive mRNA expression especially in tissues with active proliferation. Additionally, the transcriptional profile of A. viridis TCTP (AvTCTP after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showed induction by extreme temperatures, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. These results suggest the involvement of AvTCTP in the sea anemone defensome taking part in environmental stress and immune responses.

  2. Genetically encoded fluorescent voltage sensors using the voltage-sensing domain of Nematostella and Danio phosphatases exhibit fast kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Bradley J; Jin, Lei; Han, Zhou; Cohen, Lawrence B; Popovic, Marko; Platisa, Jelena; Pieribone, Vincent

    2012-07-15

    A substantial increase in the speed of the optical response of genetically encoded fluorescent protein voltage sensors (FP voltage sensors) was achieved by using the voltage-sensing phosphatase genes of Nematostella vectensis and Danio rerio. A potential N. vectensis voltage-sensing phosphatase was identified in silico. The voltage-sensing domain (S1-S4) of the N. vectensis homolog was used to create an FP voltage sensor called Nema. By replacing the phosphatase with a cerulean/citrine FRET pair, a new FP voltage sensor was synthesized with fast off kinetics (Tau(off)voltage-sensing phosphatase homolog, designated Zahra and Zahra 2, exhibited fast on and off kinetics within 2ms of the time constants observed with the organic voltage-sensitive dye, di4-ANEPPS. Mutagenesis of the S4 region of the Danio FP voltage sensor shifted the voltage dependence to more negative potentials but did not noticeably affect the kinetics of the optical signal. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Genetically-encoded fluorescent voltage sensors using the voltage-sensing domain of Nematostella and Danio phosphatases exhibit fast kinetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Bradley J.; Jin, Lei; Han, Zhou; Cohen, Lawrence B.; Popovic, Marko; Platisa, Jelena; Pieribone, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    A substantial increase in the speed of the optical response of genetically-encoded Fluorescent Protein voltage sensors (FP voltage sensors) was achieved by using the voltage-sensing phosphatase genes of Nematostella vectensis and Danio rerio. A potential N. vectensis voltage-sensing phosphatase was identified in silico. The voltage-sensing domain (S1–S4) of the N. vectensis homolog was used to create an FP voltage sensor called Nema. By replacing the phosphatase with a cerulean/citrine FRET pair, a new FP voltage sensor was synthesized with fast off kinetics (Tauoff voltage-sensing phosphatase homolog, designated Zahra and Zahra 2, exhibited fast on and off kinetics within 2 msec of the time constants observed with the organic voltage-sensitive dye, di4-ANEPPS. Mutagenesis of the S4 region of the Danio FP voltage sensor shifted the voltage dependence to more negative potentials but did not noticeably affect the kinetics of the optical signal. PMID:22634212

  4. Cadherin-23 may be dynamic in hair bundles of the model sea anemone Nematostella vectensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Ciao Tang

    Full Text Available Cadherin 23 (CDH23, a component of tip links in hair cells of vertebrate animals, is essential to mechanotransduction by hair cells in the inner ear. A homolog of CDH23 occurs in hair bundles of sea anemones. Anemone hair bundles are located on the tentacles where they detect the swimming movements of nearby prey. The anemone CDH23 is predicted to be a large polypeptide featuring a short exoplasmic C-terminal domain that is unique to sea anemones. Experimentally masking this domain with antibodies or mimicking this domain with free peptide rapidly disrupts mechanotransduction and morphology of anemone hair bundles. The loss of normal morphology is accompanied, or followed by a decrease in F-actin in stereocilia of the hair bundles. These effects were observed at very low concentrations of the reagents, 0.1-10 nM, and within minutes of exposure. The results presented herein suggest that: (1 the interaction between CDH23 and molecular partners on stereocilia of hair bundles is dynamic and; (2 the interaction is crucial for normal mechanotransduction and morphology of hair bundles.

  5. Characterization of Small HSPs from Anemonia viridis Reveals Insights into Molecular Evolution of Alpha Crystallin Genes among Cnidarians

    OpenAIRE

    Nicosia, Aldo; Maggio, Teresa; Mazzola, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio; Cuttitta, Angela; Costa, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Gene family encoding small Heat-Shock Proteins (sHSPs containing α-crystallin domain) are found both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms; however, there is limited knowledge of their evolution. In this study, two small HSP genes termed AvHSP28.6 and AvHSP27, both organized in one intron and two exons, were characterised in the Mediterranean snakelocks anemone Anemonia viridis. The release of the genome sequence of Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive stu...

  6. Predicted Bacterial Interactions Affect in Vivo Microbial Colonization Dynamics in Nematostella

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domin, Hanna; Zurita-Gutiérrez, Yazmín H.; Scotti, Marco; Buttlar, Jann; Hentschel Humeida, Ute; Fraune, Sebastian

    2018-01-01

    The maintenance and resilience of host-associated microbiota during development is a fundamental process influencing the fitness of many organisms. Several host properties were identified as influencing factors on bacterial colonization, including the innate immune system, mucus composition, and diet. In contrast, the importance of bacteria–bacteria interactions on host colonization is less understood. Here, we use bacterial abundance data of the marine model organism Nematostella vectensis to reconstruct potential bacteria–bacteria interactions through co-occurrence networks. The analysis indicates that bacteria–bacteria interactions are dynamic during host colonization and change according to the host’s developmental stage. To assess the predictive power of inferred interactions, we tested bacterial isolates with predicted cooperative or competitive behavior for their ability to influence bacterial recolonization dynamics. Within 3 days of recolonization, all tested bacterial isolates affected bacterial community structure, while only competitive bacteria increased bacterial diversity. Only 1 week after recolonization, almost no differences in bacterial community structure could be observed between control and treatments. These results show that predicted competitive bacteria can influence community structure for a short period of time, verifying the in silico predictions. However, within 1 week, the effects of the bacterial isolates are neutralized, indicating a high degree of resilience of the bacterial community. PMID:29740401

  7. Predicted Bacterial Interactions Affect in Vivo Microbial Colonization Dynamics in Nematostella

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Domin

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance and resilience of host-associated microbiota during development is a fundamental process influencing the fitness of many organisms. Several host properties were identified as influencing factors on bacterial colonization, including the innate immune system, mucus composition, and diet. In contrast, the importance of bacteria–bacteria interactions on host colonization is less understood. Here, we use bacterial abundance data of the marine model organism Nematostella vectensis to reconstruct potential bacteria–bacteria interactions through co-occurrence networks. The analysis indicates that bacteria–bacteria interactions are dynamic during host colonization and change according to the host’s developmental stage. To assess the predictive power of inferred interactions, we tested bacterial isolates with predicted cooperative or competitive behavior for their ability to influence bacterial recolonization dynamics. Within 3 days of recolonization, all tested bacterial isolates affected bacterial community structure, while only competitive bacteria increased bacterial diversity. Only 1 week after recolonization, almost no differences in bacterial community structure could be observed between control and treatments. These results show that predicted competitive bacteria can influence community structure for a short period of time, verifying the in silico predictions. However, within 1 week, the effects of the bacterial isolates are neutralized, indicating a high degree of resilience of the bacterial community.

  8. Gene : CBRC-PTRO-14-0016 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available icted protein [Nematostella vectensis] gb|EDO44122.1| predicted protein [Nematostella vectensis] 5e-22 27% MHIPYTYIPYICISH...IYVYPYTYIPHICIYRPYTYIPYICIAHIHISHIHISHIYMFIPYTYIPYPYIPCTCISHIRISHVHVYPISVYPMYMYIPYPYIPCTCISHIR...ISHVHVYPVSVYPMYMYIPYPYIPCTCISHIRISHVHVYPVSVYPMYMYILYPYIPCTCISRIRISHVYVYPIYVYPMYMYNPYTYIPYISCVCIYKYPVCIYIYPVCIYIYISCVCVCVYIYIHTHTYSSVFLFLFYFIF ...

  9. The nervous systems of cnidarians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grimmelikhuijzen, C J; Westfall, J A

    1995-01-01

    specialized neurons that we find in higher animals today. The primitive nervous system of cnidarians is strongly peptidergic: from a single sea anemone species Anthopleura elegantissima, we have now isolated 16 different novel neuropeptides. These peptides are biologically active and cause inhibitions......Cnidarians have simple nervous systems and it was probably within this group or a closely-related ancestor that nervous systems first evolved. The basic plan of the cnidarian nervous system is that of a nerve net which, at some locations, has condensed to form nerve plexuses, or circular...... that the peptides are located in neuronal dense-cored vesicles associated with both synaptic and non-synaptic release sites. All these data indicate that evolutionarily "old" nervous systems use peptides as transmitters. We have also investigated the biosynthesis of the cnidarian neuropeptides. These neuropeptides...

  10. Cell Biology of Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allemand, Denis; Weis, Virginia M.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: The symbiosis between cnidarians (e.g., corals or sea anemones) and intracellular dinoflagellate algae of the genus Symbiodinium is of immense ecological importance. In particular, this symbiosis promotes the growth and survival of reef corals in nutrient-poor tropical waters; indeed, coral reefs could not exist without this symbiosis. However, our fundamental understanding of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and of its links to coral calcification remains poor. Here we review what we currently know about the cell biology of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. In doing so, we aim to refocus attention on fundamental cellular aspects that have been somewhat neglected since the early to mid-1980s, when a more ecological approach began to dominate. We review the four major processes that we believe underlie the various phases of establishment and persistence in the cnidarian/coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis: (i) recognition and phagocytosis, (ii) regulation of host-symbiont biomass, (iii) metabolic exchange and nutrient trafficking, and (iv) calcification. Where appropriate, we draw upon examples from a range of cnidarian-alga symbioses, including the symbiosis between green Hydra and its intracellular chlorophyte symbiont, which has considerable potential to inform our understanding of the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Ultimately, we provide a comprehensive overview of the history of the field, its current status, and where it should be going in the future. PMID:22688813

  11. Cnidarian Toxins Acting on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M. Greenberg

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical activity in excitable cells. As such, they are essential components of neuromuscular and neuronal systems, and are targeted by toxins from a wide variety of phyla, including the cnidarians. Here, we review cnidarian toxins known to target voltage-gated ion channels, the specific channel types targeted, and, where known, the sites of action of cnidarian toxins on different channels.

  12. Dorsoventral patterning by the Chordin-BMP pathway: a unified model from a pattern-formation perspective for Drosophila, vertebrates, sea urchins and Nematostella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinhardt, Hans

    2015-09-01

    Conserved from Cnidarians to vertebrates, the dorsoventral (DV) axis is patterned by the Chordin-BMP pathway. However, the functions of the pathway's components are very different in different phyla. By modeling it is shown that many observations can be integrated by the assumption that BMP, acting as an inhibitory component in more ancestral systems, became a necessary and activating component for the generation of a secondary and antipodal-located signaling center. The different realizations seen in vertebrates, Drosophila, sea urchins and Nematostella allow reconstruction of a chain of modifications during evolution. BMP-signaling is proposed to be based on a pattern-forming reaction of the activator-depleted substrate type in which BMP-signaling acts via pSmad as the local self-enhancing component and the depletion of the highly mobile BMP-Chordin complex as the long-ranging antagonistic component. Due to the rapid removal of the BMP/Chordin complex during BMP-signaling, an oriented transport and "shuttling" results, although only ordinary diffusion is involved. The system can be self-organizing, allowing organizer formation even from near homogeneous initial situations. Organizers may regenerate after removal. Although connected with some losses of self-regulation, for large embryos as in amphibians, the employment of maternal determinants is an efficient strategy to make sure that only a single organizer of each type is generated. The generation of dorsoventral positional information along a long-extended anteroposterior (AP) axis cannot be achieved directly by a single patch-like organizer. Nature found different solutions for this task. Corresponding models provide a rationale for the well-known reversal in the dorsoventral patterning between vertebrates and insects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. MECHANISMS OF IMMUNE RESPONSES IN CNIDARIANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iván Darío Ocampo

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The immune system maintains the integrity of the organisms through a complex network of molecules, cells, and tissues that recognize internal or external antigenic substances to neutralized and eliminate them. The mechanisms of immune response have evolved in a modular fashion, where members of a given module interact strongly among them, but weakly with members of other modules, providing robustness and evolvability to the immune system. Ancestral modules are the raw material for the generation of new modules through evolution. Thus, the study of immune systems in basal metazoans such as cnidarians seeks to determine the basic tool kit from which the metazoans started to construct their immune systems. In addition, understanding the immune mechanisms in cnidarians contributes to decipher the etiopathology of coral diseases of infectious nature that are affecting coral reefs worldwide. RESUMEN El sistema inmune mantiene la integridad de los organismos vivos por medio de una red compleja de moléculas, células y tejidos que reconocen sustancias antigénicas internas o externas para neutralizarlas y eliminarlas. Los mecanismos de respuesta inmune han evolucionado de una manera modular, en donde miembros de un módulo dado interactúan fuertemente entre sí, pero débilmente con componentes de otros módulos, otorgando así robustez y potencial evolutivo al sistema inmune. Módulos ancestrales representan el material básico para la generación de nuevos módulos durante el proceso evolutivo. Así, el estudio de sistemas inmunes en metazoarios basales como los cnidarios busca determinar cuales son los módulos ancestrales a partir de los cuales se constituyen los sistemas inmunes de animales derivados. Adicionalmente, el entendimiento de los mecanismos de respuesta inmune en cnidarios eventualmente contribuirá a descifrar la etiopatología de las enfermedades de corales de carácter infeccioso que está afectando los corales en el mundo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Eli; Weis, Virginia M

    2012-08-01

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

  15. The scavenger receptor repertoire in six cnidarian species and its putative role in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie F. Neubauer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Many cnidarians engage in a mutualism with endosymbiotic photosynthetic dinoflagellates that forms the basis of the coral reef ecosystem. Interpartner interaction and regulation includes involvement of the host innate immune system. Basal metazoans, including cnidarians have diverse and complex innate immune repertoires that are just beginning to be described. Scavenger receptors (SR are a diverse superfamily of innate immunity genes that recognize a broad array of microbial ligands and participate in phagocytosis of invading microbes. The superfamily includes subclades named SR-A through SR-I that are categorized based on the arrangement of sequence domains including the scavenger receptor cysteine rich (SRCR, the C-type lectin (CTLD and the CD36 domains. Previous functional and gene expression studies on cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis have implicated SR-like proteins in interpartner communication and regulation. In this study, we characterized the SR repertoire from a combination of genomic and transcriptomic resources from six cnidarian species in the Class Anthozoa. We combined these bioinformatic analyses with functional experiments using the SR inhibitor fucoidan to explore a role for SRs in cnidarian symbiosis and immunity. Bioinformatic searches revealed a large diversity of SR-like genes that resembled SR-As, SR-Bs, SR-Es and SR-Is. SRCRs, CTLDs and CD36 domains were identified in multiple sequences in combinations that were highly homologous to vertebrate SRs as well as in proteins with novel domain combinations. Phylogenetic analyses of CD36 domains of the SR-B-like sequences from a diversity of metazoans grouped cnidarian with bilaterian sequences separate from other basal metazoans. All cnidarian sequences grouped together with moderate support in a subclade separately from bilaterian sequences. Functional experiments were carried out on the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida that engages in a symbiosis with Symbiodinium minutum

  16. Cnidarian Neurotoxic Peptides Affecting Central Nervous System Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Hernández-Guzmán, Ulises; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Judith; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Natural products from animal venoms have been used widely in the discovery of novel molecules with particular biological activities that enable their use as potential drug candidates. The phylum Cnidaria (jellyfish, sea anemones, corals zoanthids, hydrozoans, etc.) is the most ancient venomous phylum on earth. Its venoms are composed of a complex mixture of peptidic compounds with neurotoxic and cytolitic properties that have shown activity on mammalian systems despite the fact that they are naturally targeted against fish and invertebrate preys, mainly crustaceans. For this reason, cnidarian venoms are an interesting and vast source of molecules with a remarkable activity on central nervous system, targeting mainly voltage-gated ion channels, ASIC channels, and TRPV1 receptors. In this brief review, we list the amino acid sequences of most cnidarian neurotoxic peptides reported to date. Additionally, we propose the inclusion of a new type of voltage-gated sea anemone sodium channel toxins based on the most recent reports.

  17. Peptides in the nervous systems of cnidarians: structure, function, and biosynthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grimmelikhuijzen, C J; Leviev, I; Carstensen, Kathrine

    1996-01-01

    Cnidarians are the lowest animal group having a nervous system and it was probably within this phylum or in a related ancestor group that nervous systems first evolved. The primitive nervous systems of cnidarians are strongly peptidergic. From a single sea anemone species, Anthopleura elegantissima...... molecule. In addition to well-known, "classical" processing enzymes, novel prohormone processing enzymes must be present in cnidarian neurons. These include a processing enzyme hydrolyzing at the C-terminal sides of acidic (Asp and Glu) residues and a dipeptidyl aminopeptidase digesting at the C......-terminal sides of N-terminally located X-Pro and X-Ala sequences. All this shows that the primitive nervous systems of cnidarians are already quite complex, and that neuropeptides play a central role in the physiology of these animals....

  18. Extensive Differences in Gene Expression Between Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Cnidarians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, Erik M.; Mouchka, Morgan E.; Burriesci, Matthew S.; Gallo, Natalya D.; Schwarz, Jodi A.; Pringle, John R.

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs provide habitats for a disproportionate number of marine species relative to the small area of the oceans that they occupy. The mutualism between the cnidarian animal hosts and their intracellular dinoflagellate symbionts provides the nutritional foundation for coral growth and formation of reef structures, because algal photosynthesis can provide >90% of the total energy of the host. Disruption of this symbiosis (“coral bleaching”) is occurring on a large scale due primarily to anthropogenic factors and poses a major threat to the future of coral reefs. Despite the importance of this symbiosis, the cellular mechanisms involved in its establishment, maintenance, and breakdown remain largely unknown. We report our continued development of genomic tools to study these mechanisms in Aiptasia, a small sea anemone with great promise as a model system for studies of cnidarian–dinoflagellate symbiosis. Specifically, we have generated de novo assemblies of the transcriptomes of both a clonal line of symbiotic anemones and their endogenous dinoflagellate symbionts. We then compared transcript abundances in animals with and without dinoflagellates. This analysis identified >900 differentially expressed genes and allowed us to generate testable hypotheses about the cellular functions affected by symbiosis establishment. The differentially regulated transcripts include >60 encoding proteins that may play roles in transporting various nutrients between the symbiotic partners; many more encoding proteins functioning in several metabolic pathways, providing clues regarding how the transported nutrients may be used by the partners; and several encoding proteins that may be involved in host recognition and tolerance of the dinoflagellate. PMID:24368779

  19. Early evolution of the LIM homeobox gene family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, Mansi; Larroux, Claire; Lu, Daniel R; Mohanty, Kareshma; Chapman, Jarrod; Degnan, Bernard M; Rokhsar, Daniel S

    2010-01-01

    LIM homeobox (Lhx) transcription factors are unique to the animal lineage and have patterning roles during embryonic development in flies, nematodes and vertebrates, with a conserved role in specifying neuronal identity. Though genes of this family have been reported in a sponge and a cnidarian, the expression patterns and functions of the Lhx family during development in non-bilaterian phyla are not known. We identified Lhx genes in two cnidarians and a placozoan and report the expression of Lhx genes during embryonic development in Nematostella and the demosponge Amphimedon. Members of the six major LIM homeobox subfamilies are represented in the genomes of the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, and the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. The hydrozoan cnidarian, Hydra magnipapillata, has retained four of the six Lhx subfamilies, but apparently lost two others. Only three subfamilies are represented in the haplosclerid demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. A tandem cluster of three Lhx genes of different subfamilies and a gene containing two LIM domains in the genome of T. adhaerens (an animal without any neurons) indicates that Lhx subfamilies were generated by tandem duplication. This tandem cluster in Trichoplax is likely a remnant of the original chromosomal context in which Lhx subfamilies first appeared. Three of the six Trichoplax Lhx genes are expressed in animals in laboratory culture, as are all Lhx genes in Hydra. Expression patterns of Nematostella Lhx genes correlate with neural territories in larval and juvenile polyp stages. In the aneural demosponge, A. queenslandica, the three Lhx genes are expressed widely during development, including in cells that are associated with the larval photosensory ring. The Lhx family expanded and diversified early in animal evolution, with all six subfamilies already diverged prior to the cnidarian-placozoan-bilaterian last common ancestor. In Nematostella, Lhx gene expression is correlated with neural

  20. Early evolution of the LIM homeobox gene family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Degnan Bernard M

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background LIM homeobox (Lhx transcription factors are unique to the animal lineage and have patterning roles during embryonic development in flies, nematodes and vertebrates, with a conserved role in specifying neuronal identity. Though genes of this family have been reported in a sponge and a cnidarian, the expression patterns and functions of the Lhx family during development in non-bilaterian phyla are not known. Results We identified Lhx genes in two cnidarians and a placozoan and report the expression of Lhx genes during embryonic development in Nematostella and the demosponge Amphimedon. Members of the six major LIM homeobox subfamilies are represented in the genomes of the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, and the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. The hydrozoan cnidarian, Hydra magnipapillata, has retained four of the six Lhx subfamilies, but apparently lost two others. Only three subfamilies are represented in the haplosclerid demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. A tandem cluster of three Lhx genes of different subfamilies and a gene containing two LIM domains in the genome of T. adhaerens (an animal without any neurons indicates that Lhx subfamilies were generated by tandem duplication. This tandem cluster in Trichoplax is likely a remnant of the original chromosomal context in which Lhx subfamilies first appeared. Three of the six Trichoplax Lhx genes are expressed in animals in laboratory culture, as are all Lhx genes in Hydra. Expression patterns of Nematostella Lhx genes correlate with neural territories in larval and juvenile polyp stages. In the aneural demosponge, A. queenslandica, the three Lhx genes are expressed widely during development, including in cells that are associated with the larval photosensory ring. Conclusions The Lhx family expanded and diversified early in animal evolution, with all six subfamilies already diverged prior to the cnidarian-placozoan-bilaterian last common ancestor. In

  1. Evidence for miRNA-mediated modulation of the host transcriptome in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian

    2017-12-08

    Reef-building corals and other cnidarians living in symbiotic relationships with intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium undergo transcriptomic changes during infection with the algae and maintenance of the endosymbiont population. However, the precise regulatory mechanisms modulating the host transcriptome are unknown. Here we report apparent post-transcriptional gene regulation by miRNAs in the sea anemone Aiptasia, a model system for cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. Aiptasia encodes mainly species-specific miRNAs, and there appears to have been recent differentiation within the Aiptasia genome of miRNAs that are commonly conserved among anthozoan cnidarians. Analysis of miRNA expression showed that both conserved and species-specific miRNAs are differentially expressed in response to endosymbiont infection. Using cross-linking immunoprecipitation of Argonaute, the central protein of the miRNA-induced silencing complex, we identified miRNA binding sites on a transcriptome-wide scale and found that the targets of the miRNAs regulated in response to symbiosis include genes previously implicated in biological processes related to Symbiodinium infection. Our study shows that cnidarian miRNAs recognize their mRNA targets via high-complementarity target binding and suggests that miRNA-mediated modulations of genes and pathways are important during the onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Evidence for miRNA-mediated modulation of the host transcriptome in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian; Cziesielski, Maha J.; Thomas, Ludivine; Michell, Craig; Esherick, Lisl Y.; Pringle, John R.; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Reef-building corals and other cnidarians living in symbiotic relationships with intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium undergo transcriptomic changes during infection with the algae and maintenance of the endosymbiont population. However, the precise regulatory mechanisms modulating the host transcriptome are unknown. Here we report apparent post-transcriptional gene regulation by miRNAs in the sea anemone Aiptasia, a model system for cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. Aiptasia encodes mainly species-specific miRNAs, and there appears to have been recent differentiation within the Aiptasia genome of miRNAs that are commonly conserved among anthozoan cnidarians. Analysis of miRNA expression showed that both conserved and species-specific miRNAs are differentially expressed in response to endosymbiont infection. Using cross-linking immunoprecipitation of Argonaute, the central protein of the miRNA-induced silencing complex, we identified miRNA binding sites on a transcriptome-wide scale and found that the targets of the miRNAs regulated in response to symbiosis include genes previously implicated in biological processes related to Symbiodinium infection. Our study shows that cnidarian miRNAs recognize their mRNA targets via high-complementarity target binding and suggests that miRNA-mediated modulations of genes and pathways are important during the onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. A diverse host thrombospondin-type-1 repeat protein repertoire promotes symbiont colonization during establishment of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Emilie-Fleur; Poole, Angela Z; Neubauer, Philipp; Detournay, Olivier; Tan, Kenneth; Davy, Simon K; Weis, Virginia M

    2017-05-08

    The mutualistic endosymbiosis between cnidarians and dinoflagellates is mediated by complex inter-partner signaling events, where the host cnidarian innate immune system plays a crucial role in recognition and regulation of symbionts. To date, little is known about the diversity of thrombospondin-type-1 repeat (TSR) domain proteins in basal metazoans or their potential role in regulation of cnidarian-dinoflagellate mutualisms. We reveal a large and diverse repertoire of TSR proteins in seven anthozoan species, and show that in the model sea anemone Aiptasia pallida the TSR domain promotes colonization of the host by the symbiotic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium minutum . Blocking TSR domains led to decreased colonization success, while adding exogenous TSRs resulted in a 'super colonization'. Furthermore, gene expression of TSR proteins was highest at early time-points during symbiosis establishment. Our work characterizes the diversity of cnidarian TSR proteins and provides evidence that these proteins play an important role in the establishment of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

  4. Aiptasia as a model to study metabolic diversity and specificity in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses

    KAUST Repository

    Raedecker, Nils

    2017-11-23

    The symbiosis between cnidarian hosts and microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium provides the foundation of coral reefs in oligotrophic waters. Understanding the nutrient-exchange between these partners is key to identifying the fundamental mechanisms behind this symbiosis. However, deciphering the individual role of host and algal partners in the uptake and cycling of nutrients has proven difficult, given the endosymbiotic nature of this relationship. In this study, we highlight the advantages of the emerging model system Aiptasia to investigate the metabolic diversity and specificity of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. For this, we combined traditional measurements with nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and stable isotope labeling to investigate carbon and nitrogen cycling both at the organismal scale and the cellular scale. Our results suggest that the individual nutrient assimilation by hosts and symbionts depends on the identity of their respective symbiotic partner. Further, δ13C enrichment patterns revealed that alterations in carbon fixation rates only affected carbon assimilation in the cnidarian host but not the algal symbiont, suggesting a \\'selfish\\' character of this symbiotic association. Based on our findings, we identify new venues for future research regarding the role and regulation of nutrient exchange in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. In this context, the model system approach outlined in this study constitutes a powerful tool set to address these questions.

  5. Aiptasia as a model to study metabolic diversity and specificity in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses

    KAUST Repository

    Raedecker, Nils; Raina, Jean-Baptiste; Pernice, Mathieu; Perna, Gabriela; Guagliardo, Paul; Killburn, Matt; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    The symbiosis between cnidarian hosts and microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium provides the foundation of coral reefs in oligotrophic waters. Understanding the nutrient-exchange between these partners is key to identifying the fundamental mechanisms behind this symbiosis. However, deciphering the individual role of host and algal partners in the uptake and cycling of nutrients has proven difficult, given the endosymbiotic nature of this relationship. In this study, we highlight the advantages of the emerging model system Aiptasia to investigate the metabolic diversity and specificity of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. For this, we combined traditional measurements with nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and stable isotope labeling to investigate carbon and nitrogen cycling both at the organismal scale and the cellular scale. Our results suggest that the individual nutrient assimilation by hosts and symbionts depends on the identity of their respective symbiotic partner. Further, δ13C enrichment patterns revealed that alterations in carbon fixation rates only affected carbon assimilation in the cnidarian host but not the algal symbiont, suggesting a 'selfish' character of this symbiotic association. Based on our findings, we identify new venues for future research regarding the role and regulation of nutrient exchange in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. In this context, the model system approach outlined in this study constitutes a powerful tool set to address these questions.

  6. Alleged cnidarian Sphenothallus in the Late Ordovician of Baltica, its mineral composition and microstructure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olev Vinn

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Sphenothallus is a problematic fossil with possible cnidarian affinities. Two species of Sphenothallus, S. aff. longissimus and S. kukersianus, occur in the normal marine sediments of the Late Ordovician of Estonia. S. longissimus is more common than S. kukersianus and has a range from early Sandbian to middle Katian. Sphenothallus had a wide paleo-biogeographic distribution in the Late Ordovician. The tubes of Sphenothallus are composed of lamellae with a homo-geneous microstructure. The homogeneous microstructure could represent a diagenetic fabric, based on the similarity to diagenetic structures in Torellella (Cnidaria?, Hyolithelminthes. Tubes of Sphenothallus have an apatitic composition, but one tube contains lamellae of diagenetic calcite within the apatitic structure. Sphenothallus presumably had origi-nally biomineralized apatitic tubes. Different lattice parameters of the apatite indicate that biomineralization systems of phosphatic cnidarians Sphenothallus and Conularia sp. may have been different.

  7. Comprehensive EST analysis of the symbiotic sea anemone, Anemonia viridis

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    Deleury Emeline

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral reef ecosystems are renowned for their diversity and beauty. Their immense ecological success is due to a symbiotic association between cnidarian hosts and unicellular dinoflagellate algae, known as zooxanthellae. These algae are photosynthetic and the cnidarian-zooxanthellae association is based on nutritional exchanges. Maintenance of such an intimate cellular partnership involves many crosstalks between the partners. To better characterize symbiotic relationships between a cnidarian host and its dinoflagellate symbionts, we conducted a large-scale EST study on a symbiotic sea anemone, Anemonia viridis, in which the two tissue layers (epiderm and gastroderm can be easily separated. Results A single cDNA library was constructed from symbiotic tissue of sea anemones A. viridis in various environmental conditions (both normal and stressed. We generated 39,939 high quality ESTs, which were assembled into 14,504 unique sequences (UniSeqs. Sequences were analysed and sorted according to their putative origin (animal, algal or bacterial. We identified many new repeated elements in the 3'UTR of most animal genes, suggesting that these elements potentially have a biological role, especially with respect to gene expression regulation. We identified genes of animal origin that have no homolog in the non-symbiotic starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis genome, but in other symbiotic cnidarians, and may therefore be involved in the symbiosis relationship in A. viridis. Comparison of protein domain occurrence in A. viridis with that in N. vectensis demonstrated an increase in abundance of some molecular functions, such as protein binding or antioxidant activity, suggesting that these functions are essential for the symbiotic state and may be specific adaptations. Conclusion This large dataset of sequences provides a valuable resource for future studies on symbiotic interactions in Cnidaria. The comparison with the closest

  8. Comprehensive EST analysis of the symbiotic sea anemone, Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabourault, Cécile; Ganot, Philippe; Deleury, Emeline; Allemand, Denis; Furla, Paola

    2009-07-23

    Coral reef ecosystems are renowned for their diversity and beauty. Their immense ecological success is due to a symbiotic association between cnidarian hosts and unicellular dinoflagellate algae, known as zooxanthellae. These algae are photosynthetic and the cnidarian-zooxanthellae association is based on nutritional exchanges. Maintenance of such an intimate cellular partnership involves many crosstalks between the partners. To better characterize symbiotic relationships between a cnidarian host and its dinoflagellate symbionts, we conducted a large-scale EST study on a symbiotic sea anemone, Anemonia viridis, in which the two tissue layers (epiderm and gastroderm) can be easily separated. A single cDNA library was constructed from symbiotic tissue of sea anemones A. viridis in various environmental conditions (both normal and stressed). We generated 39,939 high quality ESTs, which were assembled into 14,504 unique sequences (UniSeqs). Sequences were analysed and sorted according to their putative origin (animal, algal or bacterial). We identified many new repeated elements in the 3'UTR of most animal genes, suggesting that these elements potentially have a biological role, especially with respect to gene expression regulation. We identified genes of animal origin that have no homolog in the non-symbiotic starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis genome, but in other symbiotic cnidarians, and may therefore be involved in the symbiosis relationship in A. viridis. Comparison of protein domain occurrence in A. viridis with that in N. vectensis demonstrated an increase in abundance of some molecular functions, such as protein binding or antioxidant activity, suggesting that these functions are essential for the symbiotic state and may be specific adaptations. This large dataset of sequences provides a valuable resource for future studies on symbiotic interactions in Cnidaria. The comparison with the closest available genome, the sea anemone N. vectensis, as well as

  9. Symbiodinium mitigate the combined effects of hypoxia and acidification on a noncalcifying cnidarian

    KAUST Repository

    Klein, Shannon G.

    2017-04-08

    Anthropogenic nutrient inputs enhance microbial respiration within many coastal ecosystems, driving concurrent hypoxia and acidification. During photosynthesis, Symbiodinium spp., the microalgal endosymbionts of cnidarians and other marine phyla, produce O and assimilate CO and thus potentially mitigate the exposure of the host to these stresses. However, such a role for Symbiodinium remains untested for noncalcifying cnidarians. We therefore contrasted the fitness of symbiotic and aposymbiotic polyps of a model host jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.) under reduced O (~2.09 mg/L) and pH (~ 7.63) scenarios in a full-factorial experiment. Host fitness was characterized as asexual reproduction and their ability to regulate internal pH and Symbiodinium performance characterized by maximum photochemical efficiency, chla content and cell density. Acidification alone resulted in 58% more asexual reproduction of symbiotic polyps than aposymbiotic polyps (and enhanced Symbiodinium cell density) suggesting Cassiopea sp. fitness was enhanced by CO-stimulated Symbiodinium photosynthetic activity. Indeed, greater CO drawdown (elevated pH) was observed within host tissues of symbiotic polyps under acidification regardless of O conditions. Hypoxia alone produced 22% fewer polyps than ambient conditions regardless of acidification and symbiont status, suggesting Symbiodinium photosynthetic activity did not mitigate its effects. Combined hypoxia and acidification, however, produced similar numbers of symbiotic polyps compared with aposymbiotic kept under ambient conditions, demonstrating that the presence of Symbiodinium was key for mitigating the combined effects of hypoxia and acidification on asexual reproduction. We hypothesize that this mitigation occurred because of reduced photorespiration under elevated CO conditions where increased net O production ameliorates oxygen debt. We show that Symbiodinium play an important role in facilitating enhanced fitness of Cassiopea sp. polyps, and

  10. Three Cambrian fossils assembled into an extinct body plan of cnidarian affinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Qiang; Han, Jian; Zhang, Zhifei; Shu, Degan; Sun, Ge; Mayer, Georg

    2017-08-15

    The early Cambrian problematica Xianguangia sinica , Chengjiangopenna wangii , and Galeaplumosus abilus from the Chengjiang biota (Yunnan, China) have caused much controversy in the past and their phylogenetic placements remain unresolved. Here we show, based on exceptionally preserved material (85 new specimens plus type material), that specimens previously assigned to these three species are in fact parts of the same organism and propose that C. wangii and G. abilus are junior synonyms of X. sinica Our reconstruction of the complete animal reveals an extinct body plan that combines the characteristics of the three described species and is distinct from all known fossil and living taxa. This animal resembled a cnidarian polyp in overall morphology and having a gastric cavity partitioned by septum-like structures. However, it possessed an additional body cavity within its holdfast, an anchoring pit on the basal disk, and feather-like tentacles with densely ciliated pinnules arranged in an alternating pattern, indicating that it was a suspension feeder rather than a predatory actiniarian. Phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian inference and maximum parsimony suggest that X. sinica is a stem-group cnidarian. This relationship implies that the last common ancestor of X. sinica and crown cnidarians was probably a benthic, polypoid animal with a partitioned gastric cavity and a single mouth/anus opening. This extinct body plan suggests that feeding strategies of stem cnidarians may have been drastically different from that of their crown relatives, which are almost exclusively predators, and reveals that the morphological disparity of total-group Cnidaria is greater than previously assumed.

  11. FoxO and stress responses in the cnidarian Hydra vulgaris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Bridge

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In the face of changing environmental conditions, the mechanisms underlying stress responses in diverse organisms are of increasing interest. In vertebrates, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans, FoxO transcription factors mediate cellular responses to stress, including oxidative stress and dietary restriction. Although FoxO genes have been identified in early-arising animal lineages including sponges and cnidarians, little is known about their roles in these organisms.We have examined the regulation of FoxO activity in members of the well-studied cnidarian genus Hydra. We find that Hydra FoxO is expressed at high levels in cells of the interstitial lineage, a cell lineage that includes multipotent stem cells that give rise to neurons, stinging cells, secretory cells and gametes. Using transgenic Hydra that express a FoxO-GFP fusion protein in cells of the interstitial lineage, we have determined that heat shock causes localization of the fusion protein to the nucleus. Our results also provide evidence that, as in bilaterian animals, Hydra FoxO activity is regulated by both Akt and JNK kinases.These findings imply that basic mechanisms of FoxO regulation arose before the evolution of bilaterians and raise the possibility that FoxO is involved in stress responses of other cnidarian species, including corals.

  12. Are Niemann-Pick type C proteins key players in cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbioses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dani, Vincent; Ganot, Philippe; Priouzeau, Fabrice; Furla, Paola; Sabourault, Cecile

    2014-09-01

    The symbiotic interaction between cnidarians, such as corals and sea anemones, and the unicellular algae Symbiodinium is regulated by yet poorly understood cellular mechanisms, despite the ecological importance of coral reefs. These mechanisms, including host-symbiont recognition and metabolic exchange, control symbiosis stability under normal conditions, but also lead to symbiosis breakdown (bleaching) during stress. This study describes the repertoire of the sterol-trafficking proteins Niemann-Pick type C (NPC1 and NPC2) in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis. We found one NPC1 gene in contrast to the two genes (NPC1 and NPC1L1) present in vertebrate genomes. While only one NPC2 gene is present in many metazoans, this gene has been duplicated in cnidarians, and we detected four NPC2 genes in A. viridis. However, only one gene (AvNPC2-d) was upregulated in symbiotic relative to aposymbiotic sea anemones and displayed higher expression in the gastrodermis (symbiont-containing tissue) than in the epidermis. We performed immunolabelling experiments on tentacle cross sections and demonstrated that the AvNPC2-d protein was closely associated with symbiosomes. In addition, AvNPC1 and AvNPC2-d gene expression was strongly downregulated during stress. These data suggest that AvNPC2-d is involved in both the stability and dysfunction of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Adaptations to endosymbiosis in a cnidarian-dinoflagellate association: differential gene expression and specific gene duplications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganot, Philippe; Moya, Aurélie; Magnone, Virginie; Allemand, Denis; Furla, Paola; Sabourault, Cécile

    2011-07-01

    Trophic endosymbiosis between anthozoans and photosynthetic dinoflagellates forms the key foundation of reef ecosystems. Dysfunction and collapse of symbiosis lead to bleaching (symbiont expulsion), which is responsible for the severe worldwide decline of coral reefs. Molecular signals are central to the stability of this partnership and are therefore closely related to coral health. To decipher inter-partner signaling, we developed genomic resources (cDNA library and microarrays) from the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis. Here we describe differential expression between symbiotic (also called zooxanthellate anemones) or aposymbiotic (also called bleached) A. viridis specimens, using microarray hybridizations and qPCR experiments. We mapped, for the first time, transcript abundance separately in the epidermal cell layer and the gastrodermal cells that host photosynthetic symbionts. Transcriptomic profiles showed large inter-individual variability, indicating that aposymbiosis could be induced by different pathways. We defined a restricted subset of 39 common genes that are characteristic of the symbiotic or aposymbiotic states. We demonstrated that transcription of many genes belonging to this set is specifically enhanced in the symbiotic cells (gastroderm). A model is proposed where the aposymbiotic and therefore heterotrophic state triggers vesicular trafficking, whereas the symbiotic and therefore autotrophic state favors metabolic exchanges between host and symbiont. Several genetic pathways were investigated in more detail: i) a key vitamin K-dependant process involved in the dinoflagellate-cnidarian recognition; ii) two cnidarian tissue-specific carbonic anhydrases involved in the carbon transfer from the environment to the intracellular symbionts; iii) host collagen synthesis, mostly supported by the symbiotic tissue. Further, we identified specific gene duplications and showed that the cnidarian-specific isoform was also up-regulated both in the

  14. Adaptations to endosymbiosis in a cnidarian-dinoflagellate association: differential gene expression and specific gene duplications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Ganot

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Trophic endosymbiosis between anthozoans and photosynthetic dinoflagellates forms the key foundation of reef ecosystems. Dysfunction and collapse of symbiosis lead to bleaching (symbiont expulsion, which is responsible for the severe worldwide decline of coral reefs. Molecular signals are central to the stability of this partnership and are therefore closely related to coral health. To decipher inter-partner signaling, we developed genomic resources (cDNA library and microarrays from the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis. Here we describe differential expression between symbiotic (also called zooxanthellate anemones or aposymbiotic (also called bleached A. viridis specimens, using microarray hybridizations and qPCR experiments. We mapped, for the first time, transcript abundance separately in the epidermal cell layer and the gastrodermal cells that host photosynthetic symbionts. Transcriptomic profiles showed large inter-individual variability, indicating that aposymbiosis could be induced by different pathways. We defined a restricted subset of 39 common genes that are characteristic of the symbiotic or aposymbiotic states. We demonstrated that transcription of many genes belonging to this set is specifically enhanced in the symbiotic cells (gastroderm. A model is proposed where the aposymbiotic and therefore heterotrophic state triggers vesicular trafficking, whereas the symbiotic and therefore autotrophic state favors metabolic exchanges between host and symbiont. Several genetic pathways were investigated in more detail: i a key vitamin K-dependant process involved in the dinoflagellate-cnidarian recognition; ii two cnidarian tissue-specific carbonic anhydrases involved in the carbon transfer from the environment to the intracellular symbionts; iii host collagen synthesis, mostly supported by the symbiotic tissue. Further, we identified specific gene duplications and showed that the cnidarian-specific isoform was also up-regulated both

  15. Regulation of intracellular pH in cnidarians: response to acidosis in Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Julien; Venn, Alexander; Tambutté, Éric; Ganot, Philippe; Allemand, Denis; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2014-02-01

    The regulation of intracellular pH (pHi) is a fundamental aspect of cell physiology that has received little attention in studies of the phylum Cnidaria, which includes ecologically important sea anemones and reef-building corals. Like all organisms, cnidarians must maintain pH homeostasis to counterbalance reductions in pHi, which can arise because of changes in either intrinsic or extrinsic parameters. Corals and sea anemones face natural daily changes in internal fluids, where the extracellular pH can range from 8.9 during the day to 7.4 at night. Furthermore, cnidarians are likely to experience future CO₂-driven declines in seawater pH, a process known as ocean acidification. Here, we carried out the first mechanistic investigation to determine how cnidarian pHi regulation responds to decreases in extracellular and intracellular pH. Using the anemone Anemonia viridis, we employed confocal live cell imaging and a pH-sensitive dye to track the dynamics of pHi after intracellular acidosis induced by acute exposure to decreases in seawater pH and NH₄Cl prepulses. The investigation was conducted on cells that contained intracellular symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium sp.) and on symbiont-free endoderm cells. Experiments using inhibitors and Na⁺-free seawater indicate a potential role of Na⁺/H⁺ plasma membrane exchangers (NHEs) in mediating pHi recovery following intracellular acidosis in both cell types. We also measured the buffering capacity of cells, and obtained values between 20.8 and 43.8 mM per pH unit, which are comparable to those in other invertebrates. Our findings provide the first steps towards a better understanding of acid-base regulation in these basal metazoans, for which information on cell physiology is extremely limited. © 2013 FEBS.

  16. Symbiont dynamics during thermal acclimation using cnidarian-dinoflagellate model holobionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez-Pons, Laura; Bertocci, Iacopo; Baghdasarian, Garen

    2017-09-01

    Warming oceans menace reef ecosystems by disrupting symbiosis between cnidarians and Symbiodinium zooxanthellae, thus triggering bleach episodes. Temperature fluctuations promote adjustments in physiological variables and symbiont composition, which can cause stress responses, but can also yield adaptation if fitter host-symbiont homeostasis are achieved. To understand such processes manipulative studies are required, but many reef-building cnidarians pose limitations to experimental prospects. We exposed Exaiptasia anemones to Gradual Thermal Stress (GTS) and Heat Shock (HS) exposures and monitored chlorophyll and symbiont dynamics to test the phenotypic plasticity of these photosynthetic holobionts. GTS enhanced chlorophyll concentrations and decreased Symbiodinium proliferation. A recovery period after GTS returned chlorophyll to lower concentrations and symbiont divisions to higher rates. HS triggered a stress response characterized by intense symbiont declines through degradation and expulsion, algal compensatory proliferation, and chlorophyll accumulation. Anemones pre-exposed to GTS displayed more acute signs of symbiont paucity after HS, demonstrating that recurrent stress does not always induce bleaching-resistance. Our study is the first documenting Symbiodinium C and D, along with the predominant Clade B1 in Exaiptasia anemones. C subclades found in outdoor specimens faded under laboratory exposures. Clade D emerged after HS treatments, and especially after GTS pre-exposure. This highlights the thermotolerance of D subclades found in E. pallida and shows that bleaching-recovery can involve shifts of background symbiont phylotypes. This study enlightens the capability of Exaiptasia anemones to acclimate to gradually increased temperatures, and explores into how thermal history influences in subsequent stress tolerance in symbiotic cnidarians. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Bicarbonate transporters in corals point towards a key step in the evolution of cnidarian calcification

    KAUST Repository

    Zoccola, Didier

    2015-06-04

    The bicarbonate ion (HCO3−) is involved in two major physiological processes in corals, biomineralization and photosynthesis, yet no molecular data on bicarbonate transporters are available. Here, we characterized plasma membrane-type HCO3− transporters in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Eight solute carrier (SLC) genes were found in the genome: five homologs of mammalian-type SLC4 family members, and three of mammalian-type SLC26 family members. Using relative expression analysis and immunostaining, we analyzed the cellular distribution of these transporters and conducted phylogenetic analyses to determine the extent of conservation among cnidarian model organisms. Our data suggest that the SLC4γ isoform is specific to scleractinian corals and responsible for supplying HCO3− to the site of calcification. Taken together, SLC4γ appears to be one of the key genes for skeleton building in corals, which bears profound implications for our understanding of coral biomineralization and the evolution of scleractinian corals within cnidarians.

  18. Aiptasia sp. larvae as a model to reveal mechanisms of symbiont selection in cnidarians

    KAUST Repository

    Wolfowicz, Iliona

    2016-09-01

    Symbiosis, defined as the persistent association between two distinct species, is an evolutionary and ecologically critical phenomenon facilitating survival of both partners in diverse habitats. The biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems depends on a functional symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the highly diverse genus Symbiodinium, which reside in coral host cells and continuously support their nutrition. The mechanisms underlying symbiont selection to establish a stable endosymbiosis in non-symbiotic juvenile corals are unclear. Here we show for the first time that symbiont selection patterns for larvae of two Acropora coral species and the model anemone Aiptasia are similar under controlled conditions. We find that Aiptasia larvae distinguish between compatible and incompatible symbionts during uptake into the gastric cavity and phagocytosis. Using RNA-Seq, we identify a set of candidate genes potentially involved in symbiosis establishment. Together, our data complement existing molecular resources to mechanistically dissect symbiont phagocytosis in cnidarians under controlled conditions, thereby strengthening the role of Aiptasia larvae as a powerful model for cnidarian endosymbiosis establishment.

  19. Establishment of primary cell culture from the temperate symbiotic cnidarian, Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnay-Verdier, Stéphanie; Dall'osso, Diane; Joli, Nathalie; Olivré, Juliette; Priouzeau, Fabrice; Zamoum, Thamilla; Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Furla, Paola

    2013-10-01

    The temperate symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis, a member of the Cnidaria phylum, is a relevant experimental model to investigate the molecular and cellular events involved in the preservation or in the rupture of the symbiosis between the animal cells and their symbiotic microalgae, commonly named zooxanthellae. In order to increase research tools for this model, we developed a primary culture from A. viridis animal cells. By adapting enzymatic dissociation protocols, we isolated animal host cells from a whole tentacle in regeneration state. Each plating resulted in a heterogeneous primary culture consisted of free zooxanthellae and many regular, small rounded and adherent cells (of 3-5 μm diameter). Molecular analyses conducted on primary cultures, maintained for 2 weeks, confirmed a specific signature of A. viridis cells. Further serial dilutions and micromanipulation allowed us to obtain homogenous primary cultures of the small rounded cells, corresponding to A. viridis "epithelial-like cells". The maintenance and the propagation over a 4 weeks period of primary cells provide, for in vitro cnidarian studies, a preliminary step for further investigations on cnidarian cellular pathways notably in regard to symbiosis interactions.

  20. Aiptasia sp. larvae as a model to reveal mechanisms of symbiont selection in cnidarians

    KAUST Repository

    Wolfowicz, Iliona; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Voss, Philipp A.; Hambleton, Elizabeth A.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Hatta, Masayuki; Guse, Annika

    2016-01-01

    Symbiosis, defined as the persistent association between two distinct species, is an evolutionary and ecologically critical phenomenon facilitating survival of both partners in diverse habitats. The biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems depends on a functional symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the highly diverse genus Symbiodinium, which reside in coral host cells and continuously support their nutrition. The mechanisms underlying symbiont selection to establish a stable endosymbiosis in non-symbiotic juvenile corals are unclear. Here we show for the first time that symbiont selection patterns for larvae of two Acropora coral species and the model anemone Aiptasia are similar under controlled conditions. We find that Aiptasia larvae distinguish between compatible and incompatible symbionts during uptake into the gastric cavity and phagocytosis. Using RNA-Seq, we identify a set of candidate genes potentially involved in symbiosis establishment. Together, our data complement existing molecular resources to mechanistically dissect symbiont phagocytosis in cnidarians under controlled conditions, thereby strengthening the role of Aiptasia larvae as a powerful model for cnidarian endosymbiosis establishment.

  1. Sub-cellular damage by copper in the cnidarian Zoanthus robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, A; Trompf, K; Seung, D; Nivison-Smith, L; Bowcock, H; Kresse, H; Holmes, S; Radford, J; Morrow, P

    2010-09-01

    Sessile organisms may experience chronic exposure to copper that is released into the marine environment from antifoulants and stormwater runoff. We have identified the site of damage caused by copper to the symbiotic cnidarian, Zoanthus robustus (Anthozoa, Hexacorallia). External changes to the zoanthids were apparent when compared with controls. The normally flexible bodies contracted and became rigid. Histological examination of the zoanthid tissue revealed that copper had caused sub-cellular changes to proteins within the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the tubular body. Collagen in the ECM and the internal septa increased in thickness to five and seven times that of controls respectively. The epithelium, which stained for elastin, was also twice as thick and tough to cut, but exposure to copper did not change the total amount of desmosine which is found only in elastin. We conclude that copper stimulated collagen synthesis in the ECM and also caused cross-linking of existing proteins. However, there was no expulsion of the symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium sp.) and no effect on algal pigments or respiration (44, 66 and 110 microg Cu L(-1)). A decrease in net photosynthesis was observed only at the highest copper concentration (156 microg Cu L(-1)). These results show that cnidarians may be more susceptible to damage by copper than their symbiotic algae. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Bicarbonate transporters in corals point towards a key step in the evolution of cnidarian calcification

    KAUST Repository

    Zoccola, Didier; Ganot, Philippe; Bertucci, Anthony; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Techer, Nathalie; Voolstra, Christian R.; Aranda, Manuel; Tambutté , Eric; Allemand, Denis; Casey, Joseph R; Tambutté , Sylvie

    2015-01-01

    The bicarbonate ion (HCO3−) is involved in two major physiological processes in corals, biomineralization and photosynthesis, yet no molecular data on bicarbonate transporters are available. Here, we characterized plasma membrane-type HCO3− transporters in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Eight solute carrier (SLC) genes were found in the genome: five homologs of mammalian-type SLC4 family members, and three of mammalian-type SLC26 family members. Using relative expression analysis and immunostaining, we analyzed the cellular distribution of these transporters and conducted phylogenetic analyses to determine the extent of conservation among cnidarian model organisms. Our data suggest that the SLC4γ isoform is specific to scleractinian corals and responsible for supplying HCO3− to the site of calcification. Taken together, SLC4γ appears to be one of the key genes for skeleton building in corals, which bears profound implications for our understanding of coral biomineralization and the evolution of scleractinian corals within cnidarians.

  3. Incorporation of a horizontally transferred gene into an operon during cnidarian evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E Dana

    Full Text Available Genome sequencing has revealed examples of horizontally transferred genes, but we still know little about how such genes are incorporated into their host genomes. We have previously reported the identification of a gene (flp that appears to have entered the Hydra genome through horizontal transfer. Here we provide additional evidence in support of our original hypothesis that the transfer was from a unicellular organism, and we show that the transfer occurred in an ancestor of two medusozoan cnidarian species. In addition we show that the gene is part of a bicistronic operon in the Hydra genome. These findings identify a new animal phylum in which trans-spliced leader addition has led to the formation of operons, and define the requirements for evolution of an operon in Hydra. The identification of operons in Hydra also provides a tool that can be exploited in the construction of transgenic Hydra strains.

  4. Using Aiptasia as a Model to Study Metabolic Interactions in Cnidarian-Symbiodinium Symbioses

    KAUST Repository

    Radecker, Nils

    2018-03-16

    The symbiosis between cnidarian hosts and microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium provides the foundation of coral reefs in oligotrophic waters. Understanding the nutrient-exchange between these partners is key to identifying the fundamental mechanisms behind this symbiosis, yet has proven difficult given the endosymbiotic nature of this relationship. In this study, we investigated the respective contribution of host and symbiont to carbon and nitrogen assimilation in the coral model anemone Aiptaisa. For this, we combined traditional measurements with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and stable isotope labeling to investigate patterns of nutrient uptake and translocation both at the organismal scale and at the cellular scale. Our results show that the rate of carbon and nitrogen assimilation in Aiptasia depends on the identity of the host and the symbiont. NanoSIMS analysis confirmed that both host and symbiont incorporated carbon and nitrogen into their cells, implying a rapid uptake and cycling of nutrients in this symbiotic relationship. Gross carbon fixation was highest in Aiptasia associated with their native Symbiodinium communities. However, differences in fixation rates were only reflected in the δ13C enrichment of the cnidarian host, whereas the algal symbiont showed stable enrichment levels regardless of host identity. Thereby, our results point toward a “selfish” character of the cnidarian—Symbiodinium association in which both partners directly compete for available resources. Consequently, this symbiosis may be inherently instable and highly susceptible to environmental change. While questions remain regarding the underlying cellular controls of nutrient exchange and the nature of metabolites involved, the approach outlined in this study constitutes a powerful toolset to address these questions.

  5. Using Aiptasia as a Model to Study Metabolic Interactions in Cnidarian-Symbiodinium Symbioses

    KAUST Repository

    Radecker, Nils; Raina, Jean-Baptiste; Pernice, Mathieu; Perna, Gabriela; Guagliardo, Paul; Kilburn, Matt R.; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2018-01-01

    The symbiosis between cnidarian hosts and microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium provides the foundation of coral reefs in oligotrophic waters. Understanding the nutrient-exchange between these partners is key to identifying the fundamental mechanisms behind this symbiosis, yet has proven difficult given the endosymbiotic nature of this relationship. In this study, we investigated the respective contribution of host and symbiont to carbon and nitrogen assimilation in the coral model anemone Aiptaisa. For this, we combined traditional measurements with nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) and stable isotope labeling to investigate patterns of nutrient uptake and translocation both at the organismal scale and at the cellular scale. Our results show that the rate of carbon and nitrogen assimilation in Aiptasia depends on the identity of the host and the symbiont. NanoSIMS analysis confirmed that both host and symbiont incorporated carbon and nitrogen into their cells, implying a rapid uptake and cycling of nutrients in this symbiotic relationship. Gross carbon fixation was highest in Aiptasia associated with their native Symbiodinium communities. However, differences in fixation rates were only reflected in the δ13C enrichment of the cnidarian host, whereas the algal symbiont showed stable enrichment levels regardless of host identity. Thereby, our results point toward a “selfish” character of the cnidarian—Symbiodinium association in which both partners directly compete for available resources. Consequently, this symbiosis may be inherently instable and highly susceptible to environmental change. While questions remain regarding the underlying cellular controls of nutrient exchange and the nature of metabolites involved, the approach outlined in this study constitutes a powerful toolset to address these questions.

  6. Expression patterns of sterol transporters NPC1 and NPC2 in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dani, Vincent; Priouzeau, Fabrice; Mertz, Marjolijn; Mondin, Magali; Pagnotta, Sophie; Lacas-Gervais, Sandra; Davy, Simon K; Sabourault, Cécile

    2017-10-01

    The symbiotic interaction between cnidarians (e.g., corals and sea anemones) and photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium is triggered by both host-symbiont recognition processes and metabolic exchange between the 2 partners. The molecular communication is crucial for homeostatic regulation of the symbiosis, both under normal conditions and during stresses that further lead to symbiosis collapse. It is therefore important to identify and fully characterise the key players of this intimate interaction at the symbiotic interface. In this study, we determined the cellular and subcellular localization and expression of the sterol-trafficking Niemann-Pick type C proteins (NPC1 and NPC2) in the symbiotic sea anemones Anemonia viridis and Aiptasia sp. We first established that NPC1 is localised within vesicles in host tissues and to the symbiosome membranes in several anthozoan species. We demonstrated that the canonical NPC2-a protein is mainly expressed in the epidermis, whereas the NPC2-d protein is closely associated with symbiosome membranes. Furthermore, we showed that the expression of the NPC2-d protein is correlated with symbiont presence in healthy symbiotic specimens. As npc2-d is a cnidarian-specific duplicated gene, we hypothesised that it probably arose from a subfunctionalisation process that might result in a gain of function and symbiosis adaptation in anthozoans. Niemann-Pick type C proteins may be key players in a functional symbiosis and be useful tools to study host-symbiont interactions in the anthozoan-dinoflagellate association. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. A journey into the wild of the cnidarian model system Aiptasia and its symbionts

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.

    2013-08-27

    The existence of coral reef ecosystems relies critically on the mutualistic relationship between calcifying cnidarians and photosynthetic, dinoflagellate endosymbionts in the genus Symbiodinium. Reef-corals have declined globally due to anthropogenic stressors, for example, rising sea-surface temperatures and pollution that often disrupt these symbiotic relationships (known as coral bleaching), exacerbating mass mortality and the spread of disease. This threatens one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems providing habitats to millions of species and supporting an estimated 500 million people globally (Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2007). Our understanding of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses has improved notably with the recent application of genomic and transcriptomic tools (e.g. Voolstra et al. 2009; Bayer et al. 2012; Davy et al. 2012), but a model system that allows for easy manipulation in a laboratory environment is needed to decipher underlying cellular mechanisms important to the functioning of these symbioses. To this end, the sea anemone Aiptasia, otherwise known as a \\'pest\\' to aquarium hobbyists, is emerging as such a model system (Schoenberg & Trench 1980; Sunagawa et al. 2009; Lehnert et al. 2012). Aiptasia is easy to grow in culture and, in contrast to its stony relatives, can be maintained aposymbiotically (i.e. dinoflagellate free) with regular feeding. However, we lack basic information on the natural distribution and genetic diversity of these anemones and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates. These data are essential for placing the significance of this model system into an ecological context. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Thornhill et al. (2013) are the first to present genetic evidence on the global distribution, diversity and population structure of Aiptasia and its associated Symbiodinium spp. By integrating analyses of the host and symbiont, this research concludes that the current Aitpasia taxonomy probably needs revision and that two

  8. Relative Contributions of Various Cellular Mechanisms to Loss of Algae during Cnidarian Bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieri, Tamaki; Onishi, Masayuki; Xiang, Tingting; Grossman, Arthur R; Pringle, John R

    2016-01-01

    When exposed to stress such as high seawater temperature, corals and other cnidarians can bleach due to loss of symbiotic algae from the host tissue and/or loss of pigments from the algae. Although the environmental conditions that trigger bleaching are reasonably well known, its cellular and molecular mechanisms are not well understood. Previous studies have reported the occurrence of at least four different cellular mechanisms for the loss of symbiotic algae from the host tissue: in situ degradation of algae, exocytic release of algae from the host, detachment of host cells containing algae, and death of host cells containing algae. The relative contributions of these several mechanisms to bleaching remain unclear, and it is also not known whether these relative contributions change in animals subjected to different types and/or durations of stresses. In this study, we used a clonal population of the small sea anemone Aiptasia, exposed individuals to various precisely controlled stress conditions, and quantitatively assessed the several possible bleaching mechanisms in parallel. Under all stress conditions tested, except for acute cold shock at 4°C, expulsion of intact algae from the host cells appeared to be by far the predominant mechanism of bleaching. During acute cold shock, in situ degradation of algae and host-cell detachment also became quantitatively significant, and the algae released under these conditions appeared to be severely damaged.

  9. X-ray microanalysis of elements present in the matrix of cnidarian nematocysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tardent, P; Zierold, K; Klug, M; Weber, J

    1990-01-01

    The composition and concentration of elements, in particular those of metallic cations, present in the intracapsular matrix and the wall of nematocysts of various cnidarian species have been recorded by means of X-ray microanalysis performed on 100nm thick cryosections. The predominant cation detected in the nematocyst matrix of the hydrozoan Podocoryne carnea (medusa), the scyphozoan Aurelia aurita (scyphopolyp) and the anthozoan Calliactis parasitica (tentacles and acontia) is K(+). Mg(2+) prevails in tentacular cysts of Anthopleura elegantissima, Actinia equina and Anemonia viridis, whereas, the acrorhagial cysts of A. elegantissima and A. equina contain Ca(2+) instead of Mg(2+). The acrorhagial cysts of A. viridis contain Mg(2+) like those of the tentacles. In the tentacular nematocysts of Podocoryne carnea polyps (Hydrozoa) on the other hand ambiguous element contents were found indicating that the cysts of this species has no preference for a particular cation. The high values of sulfur recorded in the matrix and particularly the wall of all the cysts are reflecting the presence of numerous protein disulfide bonds within the structural components (wall, shaft, tubule) of the nematocysts.

  10. Characterization of superoxide dismutases in anoxia- and hyperoxia-tolerant symbiotic cnidarians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richier, Sophie; Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Furla, Paola; Pigozzi, Delphine; Sola, François; Allemand, Denis

    2003-04-07

    Many cnidarians, such as sea anemones, contain photosynthetic symbiotic dinoflagellates called zooxanthellae. During a light/dark cycle, the intratentacular O(2) state changes in minutes from hypoxia to hyperoxia (3-fold normoxia). To understand the origin of the high tolerance to these unusual oxic conditions, we have characterized superoxide dismutases (SODs) from the three cellular compartments (ectoderm, endoderm and zooxanthellae) of the Mediterranean sea anemone Anemonia viridis. The lowest SOD activity was found in ectodermal cells while endodermal cells and zooxanthellae showed a higher SOD activity. Two, seven and six SOD activity bands were identified on native PAGE in ectoderm, endoderm and zooxanthellae, respectively. A CuZnSOD was identified in both ectodermal and endodermal tissues. MnSODs were detected in all compartments with two different subcellular localizations. One band displays a classical mitochondrial localization, the three others being extramitochondrial. FeSODs present in zooxanthellae also appeared in endodermal host tissue. The isoelectric points of all SODs were distributed between 4 and 5. For comparative study, a similar analysis was performed on the whole homogenate of a scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. These results are discussed in the context of tolerance to hyperoxia and to the transition from anoxia to hyperoxia.

  11. Relative Contributions of Various Cellular Mechanisms to Loss of Algae during Cnidarian Bleaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieri, Tamaki; Onishi, Masayuki; Xiang, Tingting; Grossman, Arthur R.; Pringle, John R

    2016-01-01

    When exposed to stress such as high seawater temperature, corals and other cnidarians can bleach due to loss of symbiotic algae from the host tissue and/or loss of pigments from the algae. Although the environmental conditions that trigger bleaching are reasonably well known, its cellular and molecular mechanisms are not well understood. Previous studies have reported the occurrence of at least four different cellular mechanisms for the loss of symbiotic algae from the host tissue: in situ degradation of algae, exocytic release of algae from the host, detachment of host cells containing algae, and death of host cells containing algae. The relative contributions of these several mechanisms to bleaching remain unclear, and it is also not known whether these relative contributions change in animals subjected to different types and/or durations of stresses. In this study, we used a clonal population of the small sea anemone Aiptasia, exposed individuals to various precisely controlled stress conditions, and quantitatively assessed the several possible bleaching mechanisms in parallel. Under all stress conditions tested, except for acute cold shock at 4°C, expulsion of intact algae from the host cells appeared to be by far the predominant mechanism of bleaching. During acute cold shock, in situ degradation of algae and host-cell detachment also became quantitatively significant, and the algae released under these conditions appeared to be severely damaged. PMID:27119147

  12. New roles for Nanos in neural cell fate determination revealed by studies in a cnidarian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanska, Justyna; Frank, Uri

    2013-07-15

    Nanos is a pan-metazoan germline marker, important for germ cell development and maintenance. In flies, Nanos also acts in posterior and neural development, but these functions have not been demonstrated experimentally in other animals. Using the cnidarian Hydractinia we have uncovered novel roles for Nanos in neural cell fate determination. Ectopic expression of Nanos2 increased the numbers of embryonic stinging cell progenitors, but decreased the numbers of neurons. Downregulation of Nanos2 had the opposite effect. Furthermore, Nanos2 blocked maturation of committed, post-mitotic nematoblasts. Hence, Nanos2 acts as a switch between two differentiation pathways, increasing the numbers of nematoblasts at the expense of neuroblasts, but preventing nematocyte maturation. Nanos2 ectopic expression also caused patterning defects, but these were not associated with deregulation of Wnt signaling, showing that the basic anterior-posterior polarity remained intact, and suggesting that numerical imbalance between nematocytes and neurons might have caused these defects, affecting axial patterning only indirectly. We propose that the functions of Nanos in germ cells and in neural development are evolutionarily conserved, but its role in posterior patterning is an insect or arthropod innovation.

  13. Cnidarian-derived filamentous fungi from Brazil: isolation, characterisation and RBBR decolourisation screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, M; Passarini, M R Z; Bonugli, R C; Sette, L D

    2008-12-01

    Marine-derived fungi represent a valuable source of structurally novel and biologically active metabolites of industrial interest. They also have drawn attention for their capacity to degrade several pollutants, including textile dyes, organochlorides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), among others. The fungal tolerance to higher concentrations of salt might be considered an advantage for bioremediation processes in the marine environment. Therefore, filamentous fungi were isolated from cnidarians (scleractinian coral and zoanthids) collected from the north coast of São Paulo State, Brazil. A total of 144 filamentous fungi were morphologically and molecularly characterised. Among them there were several species of Penicillium and Aspergillus, in addition to Cladosporium spp., Eutypella sp., Fusarium spp., Khuskia sp., Mucor sp., Peacilomyces sp., Phoma sp. and Trichoderma spp. These fungi were tested regarding their decolourisation activity for Remazol Brilliant Blue R (RBBR), a textile dye used as an initial screening for PAH-degrading fungi. The most efficient fungi for RBBR decolourisation after 12 days were Penicillium citrinum CBMAI 853 (100%), Aspergillus sulphureus CBMAI 849 (95%), Cladosporium cladosporioides CBMAI 857 (93%) and Trichoderma sp. CBMAI 852 (89%). Besides its efficiency for dye decolourisation within liquid media, C. cladosporioides CBMAI 857 also decolourised dye on solid media, forming a decolourisation halo. Further research on the biotechnological potential, including studies on PAH metabolism, of these selected fungi are in progress.

  14. Development and Symbiosis Establishment in the Cnidarian Endosymbiosis Model Aiptasia sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Madeline; Wolfowicz, Iliona; Voss, Philipp A; Hambleton, Elizabeth A; Guse, Annika

    2016-01-25

    Symbiosis between photosynthetic algae and heterotrophic organisms is widespread. One prominent example of high ecological relevance is the endosymbiosis between dinoflagellate algae of the genus Symbiodinium and reef-building corals, which typically acquire symbionts anew each generation during larval stages. The tropical sea anemone Aiptasia sp. is a laboratory model system for this endosymbiosis and, similar to corals, produces non-symbiotic larvae that establish symbiosis by phagocytosing Symbiodinium from the environment into the endoderm. Here we generate the first overview of Aiptasia embryogenesis and larval development and establish in situ hybridization to analyze expression patterns of key early developmental regulators. Next, we quantify morphological changes in developing larvae and find a substantial enlargement of the gastric cavity over time. Symbiont acquisition starts soon after mouth formation and symbionts occupy a major portion of the host cell in which they reside. During the first 14 days of development, infection efficiency remains constant while in contrast, localization of phagocytosed symbionts changes, indicating that the occurrence of functional phagocytosing cells may be developmentally regulated. Taken together, here we provide the essential framework to further develop Aiptasia as a model system for the analysis of symbiosis establishment in cnidarian larvae at the molecular level.

  15. Thermal stress promotes host mitochondrial degradation in symbiotic cnidarians: are the batteries of the reef going to run out?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon R Dunn

    Full Text Available The symbiotic relationship between cnidarians and their dinoflagellate symbionts, Symbiodinium spp, which underpins the formation of tropical coral reefs, can be destabilized by rapid changes to environmental conditions. Although some studies have concluded that a breakdown in the symbiosis begins with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS generation within the symbiont due to a decoupling of photosynthesis, others have reported the release of viable symbionts via a variety of host cell derived mechanisms. We explored an alternative model focused upon changes in host cnidarian mitochondrial integrity in response to thermal stress. Mitochondria are often likened to being batteries of the cell, providing energy in the form of ATP, and controlling cellular pathway activation and ROS generation. The overall morphology of host mitochondria was compared to that of associated symbionts under an experimental thermal stress using confocal and electron microscopy. The results demonstrate that hyperthermic stress induces the degradation of cnidarian host mitochondria that is independent of symbiont cellular deterioration. The potential sites of host mitochondrial disruption were also assessed by measuring changes in the expression of genes associated with electron transport and ATP synthesis using quantitative RT-PCR. The primary site of degradation appeared to be downstream of complex III of the electron transport chain with a significant reduction in host cytochrome c and ATP synthase expression. The consequences of reduced expression could limit the capacity of the host to mitigate ROS generation and maintain both organelle integrity and cellular energy supplies. The disruption of host mitochondria, cellular homeostasis, and subsequent cell death irrespective of symbiont integrity highlights the importance of the host response to thermal stress and in symbiosis dysfunction that has substantial implications for understanding how coral reefs will survive

  16. Recent Cnidarian-associated barnacles (Cirripedia, Balanomorpha from the Brazilian Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo S. Young

    1988-01-01

    Full Text Available Basead on extensive collections of cnidarians from Brazilian shallow-water marine environments, new occurrences of four species of associated barnacles are cited, the first three being redescribed; Tne archaeobalanid Conopea galeata, asssociated with the gorgonians Muriceopsis sulphurea, Lophogorgia punicea and Heterogorgia sp from the States of Paraíba, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; the balanid Megabalanus stultus, associated with the hydrozoans Millepora spp from Paraíba to Alagoas and from the south of Bahia to Rio de Janeiro; the pyrgomatids Megatrema madreporarum, associated with the scleractinian corals Agaricia spp from Paraíba to Alagoas and the south of Bahia, and Ceratoconcha floridanum, associated with the seleractinian coral Mussismilia hispida from Atol das Rodas and Rio de Janeiro.Com base em extensas coleções de cnidários de ambientes marinhos rasos do Brasil, novas ocorrências de quatro espécies da cracas a eles associadas são citadas, e destas três são redescritas: o arqueobalanídeo Conopea galeata, associado às gorgônias Muriceopsis sulphurea, Lophogorgia punicea e Heterogorgia sp , dos Estados da Paraíba, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo; o balanídeo Megabalanus stltus, associado aos hidrozoários Millepora spp, da Paraíba e Alagoas e ao sul da Bahia até o Rio de Janeiro; os pirgomatídeos Megatrema madreporarum, associado aos corais escleractíneos Agaricia sp , da Paraíba e Alagoas e sul da Bahia, e Ce atoconcha floridanum, associado ao coral escleractíneo Mussismilia hispida, do Atol das Rocas e Rio de Janeiro

  17. Diverse profiles of N-acyl-homoserine lactone molecules found in cnidarians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ransome, Emma; Munn, Colin B; Halliday, Nigel; Cámara, Miguel; Tait, Karen

    2014-02-01

    Many marine habitats, such as the surface and tissues of marine invertebrates, including corals, harbour diverse populations of microorganisms, which are thought to play a role in the health of their hosts and influence mutualistic and competitive interactions. Investigating the presence and stability of quorum sensing (QS) in these ecosystems may shed light on the roles and control of these bacterial communities. Samples of 13 cnidarian species were screened for the presence and diversity of N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs; a prevalent type of QS molecule) using thin-layer chromatography and an Agrobacterium tumefaciens NTL4 biosensor. Ten of 13 were found to harbour species-specific, conserved AHL profiles. AHLs were confirmed in Anemonia viridis using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. To assess temporal role and stability, AHLs were investigated in A. viridis from intertidal pools over 16 h. Patterns of AHLs showed conserved profiles except for two mid-chain length AHLs, which increased significantly over the day, peaking at 20:00, but had no correlation with pool chemistry. Denaturing gel electrophoresis of RT-PCR-amplified bacterial 16S rRNA showed the presence of an active bacterial community that changed in composition alongside AHL profiles and contained a number of bands that affiliate with known AHL-producing bacteria. Investigations into the quorum sensing-controlled, species-specific roles of these bacterial communities and how these regulatory circuits are influenced by the coral host and members of the bacterial community are imperative to expand our knowledge of these interactions with respect to the maintenance of coral health. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. First Description of Sulphur-Oxidizing Bacterial Symbiosis in a Cnidarian (Medusozoa Living in Sulphidic Shallow-Water Environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie Abouna

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of thioautotrophic bacterial symbiosis in the giant tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, there has been great impetus to investigate such partnerships in other invertebrates. In this study, we present the occurrence of a sulphur-oxidizing symbiosis in a metazoan belonging to the phylum Cnidaria in which this event has never been described previously.Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM, Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM observations and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXs analysis, were employed to unveil the presence of prokaryotes population bearing elemental sulphur granules, growing on the body surface of the metazoan. Phylogenetic assessments were also undertaken to identify this invertebrate and microorganisms in thiotrophic symbiosis. Our results showed the occurrence of a thiotrophic symbiosis in a cnidarian identified as Cladonema sp.This is the first report describing the occurrence of a sulphur-oxidizing symbiosis in a cnidarian. Furthermore, of the two adult morphologies, the polyp and medusa, this mutualistic association was found restricted to the polyp form of Cladonema sp.

  19. Multi-omics analysis of thermal stress response in a zooxanthellate cnidarian reveals the importance of associating with thermotolerant symbionts

    KAUST Repository

    Cziesielski, Maha J.

    2018-04-18

    Corals and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium have a fragile relationship that breaks down under heat stress, an event known as bleaching. However, many coral species have adapted to high temperature environments such as the Red Sea (RS). To investigate mechanisms underlying temperature adaptation in zooxanthellate cnidarians we compared transcriptome- and proteome-wide heat stress response (24 h at 32°C) of three strains of the model organism Aiptasia pallida from regions with differing temperature profiles; North Carolina (CC7), Hawaii (H2) and the RS. Correlations between transcript and protein levels were generally low but inter-strain comparisons highlighted a common core cnidarian response to heat stress, including protein folding and oxidative stress pathways. RS anemones showed the strongest increase in antioxidant gene expression and exhibited significantly lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in hospite However, comparisons of antioxidant gene and protein expression between strains did not show strong differences, indicating similar antioxidant capacity across the strains. Subsequent analysis of ROS production in isolated symbionts confirmed that the observed differences of ROS levels in hospite were symbiont-driven. Our findings indicate that RS anemones do not show increased antioxidant capacity but may have adapted to higher temperatures through association with more thermally tolerant symbionts.

  20. Multi-omics analysis of thermal stress response in a zooxanthellate cnidarian reveals the importance of associating with thermotolerant symbionts

    KAUST Repository

    Cziesielski, Maha J.; Liew, Yi Jin; Cui, Guoxin; Schmidt-Roach, Sebastian; Campana, Sara; Marondedze, Claudius; Aranda, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    Corals and their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium have a fragile relationship that breaks down under heat stress, an event known as bleaching. However, many coral species have adapted to high temperature environments such as the Red Sea (RS). To investigate mechanisms underlying temperature adaptation in zooxanthellate cnidarians we compared transcriptome- and proteome-wide heat stress response (24 h at 32°C) of three strains of the model organism Aiptasia pallida from regions with differing temperature profiles; North Carolina (CC7), Hawaii (H2) and the RS. Correlations between transcript and protein levels were generally low but inter-strain comparisons highlighted a common core cnidarian response to heat stress, including protein folding and oxidative stress pathways. RS anemones showed the strongest increase in antioxidant gene expression and exhibited significantly lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in hospite However, comparisons of antioxidant gene and protein expression between strains did not show strong differences, indicating similar antioxidant capacity across the strains. Subsequent analysis of ROS production in isolated symbionts confirmed that the observed differences of ROS levels in hospite were symbiont-driven. Our findings indicate that RS anemones do not show increased antioxidant capacity but may have adapted to higher temperatures through association with more thermally tolerant symbionts.

  1. First Description of Sulphur-Oxidizing Bacterial Symbiosis in a Cnidarian (Medusozoa) Living in Sulphidic Shallow-Water Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abouna, Sylvie; Gonzalez-Rizzo, Silvina; Grimonprez, Adrien; Gros, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Since the discovery of thioautotrophic bacterial symbiosis in the giant tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, there has been great impetus to investigate such partnerships in other invertebrates. In this study, we present the occurrence of a sulphur-oxidizing symbiosis in a metazoan belonging to the phylum Cnidaria in which this event has never been described previously. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) observations and Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXs) analysis, were employed to unveil the presence of prokaryotes population bearing elemental sulphur granules, growing on the body surface of the metazoan. Phylogenetic assessments were also undertaken to identify this invertebrate and microorganisms in thiotrophic symbiosis. Our results showed the occurrence of a thiotrophic symbiosis in a cnidarian identified as Cladonema sp. This is the first report describing the occurrence of a sulphur-oxidizing symbiosis in a cnidarian. Furthermore, of the two adult morphologies, the polyp and medusa, this mutualistic association was found restricted to the polyp form of Cladonema sp.

  2. The dynamic genome of Hydra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Jarrod A.; Kirkness, Ewen F.; Simakov, Oleg; Hampson, Steven E.; Mitros, Therese; Weinmaier, Therese; Rattei, Thomas; Balasubramanian, Prakash G.; Borman, Jon; Busam, Dana; Disbennett, Kathryn; Pfannkoch, Cynthia; Sumin, Nadezhda; Sutton, Granger G.; Viswanathan, Lakshmi Devi; Walenz, Brian; Goodstein, David M.; Hellsten, Uffe; Kawashima, Takeshi; Prochnik, Simon E.; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Shu, Shengquiang; Blumberg, Bruce; Dana, Catherine E.; Gee, Lydia; Kibler, Dennis F.; Law, Lee; Lindgens, Dirk; Martinez, Daniel E.; Peng, Jisong; Wigge, Philip A.; Bertulat, Bianca; Guder, Corina; Nakamura, Yukio; Ozbek, Suat; Watanabe, Hiroshi; Khalturin, Konstantin; Hemmrich, Georg; Franke, André; Augustin, René; Fraune, Sebastian; Hayakawa, Eisuke; Hayakawa, Shiho; Hirose, Mamiko; Hwang, Jung Shan; Ikeo, Kazuho; Nishimiya-Fujisawa, Chiemi; Ogura, Atshushi; Takahashi, Toshio; Steinmetz, Patrick R. H.; Zhang, Xiaoming; Aufschnaiter, Roland; Eder, Marie-Kristin; Gorny, Anne-Kathrin; Salvenmoser, Willi; Heimberg, Alysha M.; Wheeler, Benjamin M.; Peterson, Kevin J.; Böttger, Angelika; Tischler, Patrick; Wolf, Alexander; Gojobori, Takashi; Remington, Karin A.; Strausberg, Robert L.; Venter, J. Craig; Technau, Ulrich; Hobmayer, Bert; Bosch, Thomas C. G.; Holstein, Thomas W.; Fujisawa, Toshitaka; Bode, Hans R.; David, Charles N.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Steele, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater cnidarian Hydra was first described in 17021 and has been the object of study for 300 years. Experimental studies of Hydra between 1736 and 1744 culminated in the discovery of asexual reproduction of an animal by budding, the first description of regeneration in an animal, and successful transplantation of tissue between animals2. Today, Hydra is an important model for studies of axial patterning3, stem cell biology4 and regeneration5. Here we report the genome of Hydra magnipapillata and compare it to the genomes of the anthozoan Nematostella vectensis6 and other animals. The Hydra genome has been shaped by bursts of transposable element expansion, horizontal gene transfer, trans-splicing, and simplification of gene structure and gene content that parallel simplification of the Hydra life cycle. We also report the sequence of the genome of a novel bacterium stably associated with H. magnipapillata. Comparisons of the Hydra genome to the genomes of other animals shed light on the evolution of epithelia, contractile tissues, developmentally regulated transcription factors, the Spemann–Mangold organizer, pluripotency genes and the neuromuscular junction. PMID:20228792

  3. Germ-layer commitment and axis formation in sea anemone embryonic cell aggregates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirillova, Anastasia; Genikhovich, Grigory; Pukhlyakova, Ekaterina; Demilly, Adrien; Kraus, Yulia; Technau, Ulrich

    2018-02-20

    Robust morphogenetic events are pivotal for animal embryogenesis. However, comparison of the modes of development of different members of a phylum suggests that the spectrum of developmental trajectories accessible for a species might be far broader than can be concluded from the observation of normal development. Here, by using a combination of microsurgery and transgenic reporter gene expression, we show that, facing a new developmental context, the aggregates of dissociated embryonic cells of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis take an alternative developmental trajectory. The self-organizing aggregates rely on Wnt signals produced by the cells of the original blastopore lip organizer to form body axes but employ morphogenetic events typical for normal development of distantly related cnidarians to re-establish the germ layers. The reaggregated cells show enormous plasticity including the capacity of the ectodermal cells to convert into endoderm. Our results suggest that new developmental trajectories may evolve relatively easily when highly plastic embryonic cells face new constraints. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  4. Identification of fast-evolving genes in the scleractinian coral Acropora using comparative EST analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira Iguchi

    Full Text Available To identify fast-evolving genes in reef-building corals, we performed direct comparative sequence analysis with expressed sequence tag (EST datasets from two acroporid species: Acropora palmata from the Caribbean Sea and A. millepora from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Comparison of 589 independent sequences from 1,421 A. palmata contigs, with 10,247 A. millepora contigs resulted in the identification of 196 putative homologues. Most of the homologous pairs demonstrated high amino acid similarities (over 90%. Comparisons of putative homologues showing low amino acid similarities (under 90% among the Acropora species to the near complete datasets from two other cnidarians (Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis implied that some were non-orthologous. Within 86 homologous pairs, 39 exhibited dN/dS ratios significantly less than 1, suggesting that these genes are under purifying selection associated with functional constraints. Eight independent genes showed dN/dS ratios exceeding 1, while three deviated significantly from 1, suggesting that these genes may play important roles in the adaptive evolution of Acropora. Our results also indicated that CEL-III lectin was under positive selection, consistent with a possible role in immunity or symbiont recognition. Further studies are needed to clarify the possible functions of the genes under positive selection to provide insight into the evolutionary process of corals.

  5. Identification of fast-evolving genes in the scleractinian coral Acropora using comparative EST analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iguchi, Akira; Shinzato, Chuya; Forêt, Sylvain; Miller, David J

    2011-01-01

    To identify fast-evolving genes in reef-building corals, we performed direct comparative sequence analysis with expressed sequence tag (EST) datasets from two acroporid species: Acropora palmata from the Caribbean Sea and A. millepora from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Comparison of 589 independent sequences from 1,421 A. palmata contigs, with 10,247 A. millepora contigs resulted in the identification of 196 putative homologues. Most of the homologous pairs demonstrated high amino acid similarities (over 90%). Comparisons of putative homologues showing low amino acid similarities (under 90%) among the Acropora species to the near complete datasets from two other cnidarians (Hydra magnipapillata and Nematostella vectensis) implied that some were non-orthologous. Within 86 homologous pairs, 39 exhibited dN/dS ratios significantly less than 1, suggesting that these genes are under purifying selection associated with functional constraints. Eight independent genes showed dN/dS ratios exceeding 1, while three deviated significantly from 1, suggesting that these genes may play important roles in the adaptive evolution of Acropora. Our results also indicated that CEL-III lectin was under positive selection, consistent with a possible role in immunity or symbiont recognition. Further studies are needed to clarify the possible functions of the genes under positive selection to provide insight into the evolutionary process of corals.

  6. Structural Molecular Components of Septate Junctions in Cnidarians Point to the Origin of Epithelial Junctions in Eukaryotes

    KAUST Repository

    Ganot, P.

    2014-09-21

    Septate junctions (SJs) insure barrier properties and control paracellular diffusion of solutes across epithelia in invertebrates. However, the origin and evolution of their molecular constituents in Metazoa have not been firmly established. Here, we investigated the genomes of early branching metazoan representatives to reconstruct the phylogeny of the molecular components of SJs. Although Claudins and SJ cytoplasmic adaptor components appeared successively throughout metazoan evolution, the structural components of SJs arose at the time of Placozoa/Cnidaria/Bilateria radiation. We also show that in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata, the structural SJ component Neurexin IV colocalizes with the cortical actin network at the apical border of the cells, at the place of SJs. We propose a model for SJ components in Cnidaria. Moreover, our study reveals an unanticipated diversity of SJ structural component variants in cnidarians. This diversity correlates with gene-specific expression in calcifying and noncalcifying tissues, suggesting specific paracellular pathways across the cell layers of these diploblastic animals.

  7. Cnidarian Primary Cell Culture as a Tool to Investigate the Effect of Thermal Stress at Cellular Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, P; Toullec, G; Fricano, C; Chapron, L; Meunier, V; Röttinger, E; Furla, P; Barnay-Verdier, S

    2018-04-01

    In the context of global change, symbiotic cnidarians are largely affected by seawater temperature elevation leading to symbiosis breakdown. This process, also called bleaching, is triggered by the dysfunction of the symbiont photosystems causing an oxidative stress and cell death to both symbiont and host cells. In our study, we wanted to elucidate the intrinsic capacity of isolated animal cells to deal with thermal stress in the absence of symbiont. In that aim, we have characterized an animal primary cell culture form regenerating tentacles of the temperate sea anemone Anemonia viridis. We first compared the potential of whole tissue tentacle or separated epidermal or gastrodermal monolayers as tissue sources to settle animal cell cultures. Interestingly, only isolated cells extracted from whole tentacles allowed establishing a viable and proliferative primary cell culture throughout 31 days. The analysis of the expression of tissue-specific and pluripotency markers defined cultivated cells as differentiated cells with gastrodermal origin. The characterization of the animal primary cell culture allowed us to submit the obtained gastrodermal cells to hyperthermal stress (+ 5 and + 8 °C) during 1 and 7 days. Though cell viability was not affected at both hyperthermal stress conditions, cell growth drastically decreased. In addition, only a + 8 °C hyperthermia induced a transient increase of antioxidant defences at 1 day but no ubiquitin or carbonylation protein damages. These results demonstrated an intrinsic resistance of cnidarian gastrodermal cells to hyperthermal stress and then confirmed the role of symbionts in the hyperthermia sensitivity leading to bleaching.

  8. The role of complement in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge in the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela ePoole

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The complement system is an innate immune pathway that in vertebrates, is responsible for initial recognition and ultimately phagocytosis and destruction of microbes. Several complement molecules including C3, Factor B, and mannose binding lectin associated serine proteases (MASP have been characterized in invertebrates and while most studies have focused on their conserved role in defense against pathogens, little is known about their role in managing beneficial microbes. The purpose of this study was to (1 characterize complement pathway genes in the symbiotic sea anemone A. pallida, (2 investigate the evolution of complement genes in invertebrates, and (3 examine the potential dual role of complement genes Factor B and MASP in the onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge using qPCR based studies. The results demonstrate that A. pallida has multiple Factor B genes (Ap_Bf-1, Ap_Bf-2a, and Ap_Bf-2b and one MASP gene (Ap_MASP. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the evolutionary history of complement genes is complex, and there have been many gene duplications or gene loss events, even within members of the same phylum. Gene expression analyses revealed a potential role for complement in both onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge. Specifically, Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_MASP are significantly upregulated in the light at the onset of symbiosis and in response to challenge with the pathogen Serratia marcescens suggesting that they play a role in the initial recognition of both beneficial and harmful microbes. Ap_Bf-2b in contrast was generally downregulated during the onset and maintenance of symbiosis and in response to challenge with S. marcescens. Therefore the exact role of Ap_Bf-2b in response to microbes remains unclear, but the results suggests that the presence of microbes leads to repressed expression. Together these results indicate functional divergence between Ap

  9. First insight into the viral community of the cnidarian model metaorganism Aiptasia using RNA-Seq data

    KAUST Repository

    Brüwer, Jan D.

    2018-03-01

    Current research posits that all multicellular organisms live in symbioses with associated microorganisms and form so-called metaorganisms or holobionts. Cnidarian metaorganisms are of specific interest given that stony corals provide the foundation of the globally threatened coral reef ecosystems. To gain first insight into viruses associated with the coral model system Aiptasia (sensu Exaiptasia pallida), we analyzed an existing RNA-Seq dataset of aposymbiotic, partially populated, and fully symbiotic Aiptasia CC7 anemones with Symbiodinium. Our approach included the selective removal of anemone host and algal endosymbiont sequences and subsequent microbial sequence annotation. Of a total of 297 million raw sequence reads, 8.6 million (∼3%) remained after host and endosymbiont sequence removal. Of these, 3,293 sequences could be assigned as of viral origin. Taxonomic annotation of these sequences suggests that Aiptasia is associated with a diverse viral community, comprising 116 viral taxa covering 40 families. The viral assemblage was dominated by viruses from the families Herpesviridae (12.00%), Partitiviridae (9.93%), and Picornaviridae (9.87%). Despite an overall stable viral assemblage, we found that some viral taxa exhibited significant changes in their relative abundance when Aiptasia engaged in a symbiotic relationship with Symbiodinium. Elucidation of viral taxa consistently present across all conditions revealed a core virome of 15 viral taxa from 11 viral families, encompassing many viruses previously reported as members of coral viromes. Despite the non-random selection of viral genetic material due to the nature of the sequencing data analyzed, our study provides a first insight into the viral community associated with Aiptasia. Similarities of the Aiptasia viral community with those of corals corroborate the application of Aiptasia as a model system to study coral holobionts. Further, the change in abundance of certain viral taxa across different

  10. A hypothesis linking sub-optimal seawater pCO2 conditions for cnidarian-Symbiodinium symbioses with the exceedence of the interglacial threshold (>260 ppmv

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Wooldridge

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Most scleractinian corals and many other cnidarians host intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts ("zooxanthellae". The zooxanthellae contribute to host metabolism and skeletogenesis to such an extent that this symbiosis is well recognised for its contribution in creating the coral reef ecosystem. The stable functioning of cnidarian symbioses is however dependent upon the host's ability to maintain demographic control of its algal partner. In this review, I explain how the modern envelope of seawater conditions found within many coral reef ecosystems (characterised by elevated temperatures, rising pCO2, and enriched nutrient levels are antagonistic toward the dominant host processes that restrict excessive symbiont proliferation. Moreover, I outline a new hypothesis and initial evidence base, which support the suggestion that the additional "excess" zooxanthellae fraction permitted by seawater pCO2 levels beyond 260 ppmv significantly increases the propensity for symbiosis breakdown ("bleaching" in response to temperature and irradiance extremes. The relevance of this biological threshold is discussed in terms of historical reef extinction events, glacial-interglacial climate cycles and the modern decline of coral reef ecosystems.

  11. A hypothesis linking sub-optimal seawater pCO2 conditions for cnidarian-Symbiodinium symbioses with the exceedence of the interglacial threshold (>260 ppmv)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooldridge, S. A.

    2012-05-01

    Most scleractinian corals and many other cnidarians host intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate symbionts ("zooxanthellae"). The zooxanthellae contribute to host metabolism and skeletogenesis to such an extent that this symbiosis is well recognised for its contribution in creating the coral reef ecosystem. The stable functioning of cnidarian symbioses is however dependent upon the host's ability to maintain demographic control of its algal partner. In this review, I explain how the modern envelope of seawater conditions found within many coral reef ecosystems (characterised by elevated temperatures, rising pCO2, and enriched nutrient levels) are antagonistic toward the dominant host processes that restrict excessive symbiont proliferation. Moreover, I outline a new hypothesis and initial evidence base, which support the suggestion that the additional "excess" zooxanthellae fraction permitted by seawater pCO2 levels beyond 260 ppmv significantly increases the propensity for symbiosis breakdown ("bleaching") in response to temperature and irradiance extremes. The relevance of this biological threshold is discussed in terms of historical reef extinction events, glacial-interglacial climate cycles and the modern decline of coral reef ecosystems.

  12. Deep mRNA sequencing of the Tritonia diomedea brain transcriptome provides access to gene homologues for neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and peptidergic signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriano Senatore

    Full Text Available The sea slug Tritonia diomedea (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, has a simple and highly accessible nervous system, making it useful for studying neuronal and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavior. Although many important contributions have been made using Tritonia, until now, a lack of genetic information has impeded exploration at the molecular level.We performed Illumina sequencing of central nervous system mRNAs from Tritonia, generating 133.1 million 100 base pair, paired-end reads. De novo reconstruction of the RNA-Seq data yielded a total of 185,546 contigs, which partitioned into 123,154 non-redundant gene clusters (unigenes. BLAST comparison with RefSeq and Swiss-Prot protein databases, as well as mRNA data from other invertebrates (gastropod molluscs: Aplysia californica, Lymnaea stagnalis and Biomphalaria glabrata; cnidarian: Nematostella vectensis revealed that up to 76,292 unigenes in the Tritonia transcriptome have putative homologues in other databases, 18,246 of which are below a more stringent E-value cut-off of 1x10-6. In silico prediction of secreted proteins from the Tritonia transcriptome shotgun assembly (TSA produced a database of 579 unique sequences of secreted proteins, which also exhibited markedly higher expression levels compared to other genes in the TSA.Our efforts greatly expand the availability of gene sequences available for Tritonia diomedea. We were able to extract full length protein sequences for most queried genes, including those involved in electrical excitability, synaptic vesicle release and neurotransmission, thus confirming that the transcriptome will serve as a useful tool for probing the molecular correlates of behavior in this species. We also generated a neurosecretome database that will serve as a useful tool for probing peptidergic signalling systems in the Tritonia brain.

  13. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones

    OpenAIRE

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Özbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficie...

  14. Coral life history and symbiosis: Functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata

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    Szmant Alina M

    2008-02-01

    -scleractinian cnidarians Nematostella vectensis and Hydra magnipapillata. Conclusion Partial sequencing of 5 cDNA libraries each for A. palmata and M. faveolata has produced a rich set of candidate genes (4,980 genes from A. palmata, and 1,732 genes from M. faveolata that we can use as a starting point for examining the life history and symbiosis of these two species, as well as to further expand the dataset of cnidarian genes for comparative genomics and evolutionary studies.

  15. Coral life history and symbiosis: functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Jodi A; Brokstein, Peter B; Voolstra, Christian; Terry, Astrid Y; Manohar, Chitra F; Miller, David J; Szmant, Alina M; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Mónica

    2008-02-25

    Scleractinian corals are the foundation of reef ecosystems in tropical marine environments. Their great success is due to interactions with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.), with which they are obligately symbiotic. To develop a foundation for studying coral biology and coral symbiosis, we have constructed a set of cDNA libraries and generated and annotated ESTs from two species of corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata. We generated 14,588 (Ap) and 3,854 (Mf) high quality ESTs from five life history/symbiosis stages (spawned eggs, early-stage planula larvae, late-stage planula larvae either infected with symbionts or uninfected, and adult coral). The ESTs assembled into a set of primarily stage-specific clusters, producing 4,980 (Ap), and 1,732 (Mf) unigenes. The egg stage library, relative to the other developmental stages, was enriched in genes functioning in cell division and proliferation, transcription, signal transduction, and regulation of protein function. Fifteen unigenes were identified as candidate symbiosis-related genes as they were expressed in all libraries constructed from the symbiotic stages and were absent from all of the non symbiotic stages. These include several DNA interacting proteins, and one highly expressed unigene (containing 17 cDNAs) with no significant protein-coding region. A significant number of unigenes (25) encode potential pattern recognition receptors (lectins, scavenger receptors, and others), as well as genes that may function in signaling pathways involved in innate immune responses (toll-like signaling, NFkB p105, and MAP kinases). Comparison between the A. palmata and an A. millepora EST dataset identified ferritin as a highly expressed gene in both datasets that appears to be undergoing adaptive evolution. Five unigenes appear to be restricted to the Scleractinia, as they had no homology to any sequences in the nr databases nor to the non-scleractinian cnidarians Nematostella vectensis and

  16. Setting the pace: host rhythmic behaviour and gene expression patterns in the facultatively symbiotic cnidarian Aiptasia are determined largely by Symbiodinium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorek, Michal; Schnytzer, Yisrael; Ben-Asher, Hiba Waldman; Caspi, Vered Chalifa; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Miller, David J; Levy, Oren

    2018-05-09

    All organisms employ biological clocks to anticipate physical changes in the environment; however, the integration of biological clocks in symbiotic systems has received limited attention. In corals, the interpretation of rhythmic behaviours is complicated by the daily oscillations in tissue oxygen tension resulting from the photosynthetic and respiratory activities of the associated algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium. In order to better understand the integration of biological clocks in cnidarian hosts of Symbiodinium, daily rhythms of behaviour and gene expression were studied in symbiotic and aposymbiotic morphs of the sea-anemone Aiptasia diaphana. The results showed that whereas circatidal (approx. 12-h) cycles of activity and gene expression predominated in aposymbiotic morphs, circadian (approx. 24-h) patterns were the more common in symbiotic morphs, where the expression of a significant number of genes shifted from a 12- to 24-h rhythm. The behavioural experiments on symbiotic A. diaphana displayed diel (24-h) rhythmicity in body and tentacle contraction under the light/dark cycles, whereas aposymbiotic morphs showed approximately 12-h (circatidal) rhythmicity. Reinfection experiments represent an important step in understanding the hierarchy of endogenous clocks in symbiotic associations, where the aposymbiotic Aiptasia morphs returned to a 24-h behavioural rhythm after repopulation with algae. Whilst some modification of host metabolism is to be expected, the extent to which the presence of the algae modified host endogenous behavioural and transcriptional rhythms implies that it is the symbionts that influence the pace. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of the endosymbiotic algae in determining the timing and the duration of the extension and contraction of the body and tentacles and temporal gene expression.

  17. Genomic organization, evolution, and expression of photoprotein and opsin genes in Mnemiopsis leidyi: a new view of ctenophore photocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schnitzler Christine E

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Calcium-activated photoproteins are luciferase variants found in photocyte cells of bioluminescent jellyfish (Phylum Cnidaria and comb jellies (Phylum Ctenophora. The complete genomic sequence from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a representative of the earliest branch of animals that emit light, provided an opportunity to examine the genome of an organism that uses this class of luciferase for bioluminescence and to look for genes involved in light reception. To determine when photoprotein genes first arose, we examined the genomic sequence from other early-branching taxa. We combined our genomic survey with gene trees, developmental expression patterns, and functional protein assays of photoproteins and opsins to provide a comprehensive view of light production and light reception in Mnemiopsis. Results The Mnemiopsis genome has 10 full-length photoprotein genes situated within two genomic clusters with high sequence conservation that are maintained due to strong purifying selection and concerted evolution. Photoprotein-like genes were also identified in the genomes of the non-luminescent sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and the non-luminescent cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, and phylogenomic analysis demonstrated that photoprotein genes arose at the base of all animals. Photoprotein gene expression in Mnemiopsis embryos begins during gastrulation in migrating precursors to photocytes and persists throughout development in the canals where photocytes reside. We identified three putative opsin genes in the Mnemiopsis genome and show that they do not group with well-known bilaterian opsin subfamilies. Interestingly, photoprotein transcripts are co-expressed with two of the putative opsins in developing photocytes. Opsin expression is also seen in the apical sensory organ. We present evidence that one opsin functions as a photopigment in vitro, absorbing light at wavelengths that overlap with peak photoprotein light

  18. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U16276-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available a... 40 3.5 2 ( FE846223 ) CAFI620.rev CAFI Pichia stipitis aerobic dextrose... 4...d CAGN Nematostella vectensis Nemve m... 40 3.5 2 ( FE846046 ) CAFI523.rev CAFI Pichia stipitis aerobic dextrose...gen limited x... 44 3.7 2 ( FE846047 ) CAFI523.fwd CAFI Pichia stipitis aerobic dextrose... 44 3.7 2 ( FE855...845941 ) CAFI467.rev CAFI Pichia stipitis aerobic dextrose... 44 3.7 2 ( FE851411 ) CAFP1701.rev CAFP Pichia... stipitis aerobic xylose ... 44 3.8 2 ( FE846903 ) CAFI979.rev CAFI Pichia stipitis aerobic dextrose

  19. Levantamento de registros dos acidentes com cnidários em algumas praias do litoral de Pernambuco (Brasil Survey of cnidarian accident records in some beaches of the coast of Pernambuco (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo F. Neves

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Os cnidários estão entre os organismos mais peçonhentos que se conhecem. Caracterizam-se por possuir células urticantes denominadas cnidócitos, e diversas espécies, como as chamadas caravelas e águas-vivas, podem ocasionar danos ao homem. Apesar da pouca atenção dada a este tipo de acidente no litoral brasileiro, os estudos existentes mostram que sua ocorrência é significativa. O presente estudo teve como principais objetivos levantar os acidentes causados por cnidários nos banhistas de algumas praias do litoral de Pernambuco e investigar o conhecimento referente a este tema por parte de profissionais de áreas relevantes. Assim, visitou-se arquivos de hospitais, postos praieiros e grupamento salva-vidas para o levantamento de registros, e foram entrevistados 17 profissionais. Foram levantados registros de 35 acidentes para um período de dois anos na Praia de Boa Viagem (Recife, além de registros informais de uma média de quatro a cinco casos por semana na Praia de Piedade e dois a três casos por semana na Praia de Pontas de Pedras. Em relação ao conhecimento dos profissionais entrevistados, a maioria das respostas está, de forma geral, de acordo com a literatura existente, apesar de ainda haver certo nível de informações inadequadas ou insuficientes em relação ao tema estudado.Cnidarians are among the most venomous organisms known to man. They are characterized by stinging cells called cnidocytes, and several species, such as the Portuguese-man-of-war and the jellyfish, can cause harm to human beings. Despite not attracting ( much attention on the Brazilian coast, the studies that have been carried out to date show that the occurrence of this kind of accident is significant. The aim of this study was to survey cnidarian related accidents with beach goers on some beaches of the state of Pernambuco, as well as to investigate the knowledge of relevant professions on this theme. ( Archives of hospitals and life guard posts

  20. Proteome-wide dataset supporting the study of ancient metazoan macromolecular complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadhna Phanse

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Our analysis examines the conservation of multiprotein complexes among metazoa through use of high resolution biochemical fractionation and precision mass spectrometry applied to soluble cell extracts from 5 representative model organisms Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Mus musculus, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, and Homo sapiens. The interaction network obtained from the data was validated globally in 4 distant species (Xenopus laevis, Nematostella vectensis, Dictyostelium discoideum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and locally by targeted affinity-purification experiments. Here we provide details of our massive set of supporting biochemical fractionation data available via ProteomeXchange (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride/archive/projects/PXD002319-http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride/archive/projects/PXD002328, PPIs via BioGRID (185267; and interaction network projections via (http://metazoa.med.utoronto.ca made fully accessible to allow further exploration. The datasets here are related to the research article on metazoan macromolecular complexes in Nature [1]. Keywords: Proteomics, Metazoa, Protein complexes, Biochemical, Fractionation

  1. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U05047-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ( FC248291 ) CAGH5240.fwd CAGH Nematostella vectensis Nemve La... 42 4e-10 4 ( FL973986 ) CCHY11996.g1 CCHY Panicum virgatum cal...3f09.y2 TBN95TM-SSFH Strongyloides stercoralis... 40 1e-04 2 ( FM992692 ) Candida dubliniensis CD36 chromoso...ynana_abdomen_nosize Bicyclus anyn... 50 0.10 1 ( GD193438 ) G1045P3111FM5.T1 Aplysia californica Pooled...3J15-MGRbd1. 44 6.5 1 ( CK149624 ) CsmgEST00052 Culicoides sonorensis female serum-f... 44 6.5 1 ( CI528724 ) Oryza sativa Japonica...ficus YJ016 DNA, ch... 63 6e-09 CP001071_944( CP001071 |pid:none) Akkermansia muciniphila ATCC BAA..

  2. Functional studies on the role of Notch signaling in Hydractinia development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahan, James M; Schnitzler, Christine E; DuBuc, Timothy Q; Doonan, Liam B; Kanska, Justyna; Gornik, Sebastian G; Barreira, Sofia; Thompson, Kerry; Schiffer, Philipp; Baxevanis, Andreas D; Frank, Uri

    2017-08-01

    The function of Notch signaling was previously studied in two cnidarians, Hydra and Nematostella, representing the lineages Hydrozoa and Anthozoa, respectively. Using pharmacological inhibition in Hydra and a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches in Nematostella, it was shown in both animals that Notch is required for tentacle morphogenesis and for late stages of stinging cell maturation. Surprisingly, a role for Notch in neural development, which is well documented in bilaterians, was evident in embryonic Nematostella but not in adult Hydra. Adult neurogenesis in the latter seemed to be unaffected by DAPT, a drug that inhibits Notch signaling. To address this apparent discrepancy, we studied the role of Notch in Hydractinia echinata, an additional hydrozoan, in all life stages. Using CRISPR-Cas9 mediated mutagenesis, transgenesis, and pharmacological interference we show that Notch is dispensable for Hydractinia normal neurogenesis in all life stages but is required for the maturation of stinging cells and for tentacle morphogenesis. Our results are consistent with a conserved role for Notch in morphogenesis and nematogenesis across Cnidaria, and a lineage-specific loss of Notch dependence in neurogenesis in hydrozoans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Expanding the population genetic perspective of cnidarian-Symbiodinium symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Scott R

    2014-09-01

    The modern synthesis was a seminal period in the biological sciences, establishing many of the core principles of evolutionary biology that we know today. Significant catalysts were the contributions of R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane and Sewall Wright (and others) developing the theoretical underpinning of population genetics, thus demonstrating adaptive evolution resulted from the interplay of forces such as natural selection and mutation within groups of individuals occupying the same space and time (i.e. a population). Given its importance, it is surprising that detailed population genetic data remain lacking for numerous organisms vital to many ecosystems. For example, the coral reef ecosystem is well recognized for its high biodiversity and productivity, numerous ecological services and significant economic and societal values (Moberg & Folke 1999;Cinner 2014). Many coral reef invertebrates form symbiotic relationships with single-celled dinoflagellates within the genus Symbiodinium Freudenthal (Taylor 1974), with hosts providing these (typically) intracellular symbionts with by-products of metabolism and in turn receiving photosynthetically fixed carbon capable of meeting hosts' respiratory demands (Falkowski et al. 1984; Muscatine et al. 1984). Unfortunately, the health and integrity of the coral reef ecosystem has been significantly and negatively impacted by onslaughts like anthropogenic eutrophication and disease in addition to global climate change, with increased incidences of 'bleaching' events (characterized as the loss of photosynthetic pigments from the algal cell or massive reduction of Symbiodinium density from hosts' tissue) and host mortality leading to staggering declines in geographic coverage (Bruno & Selig 2007) that have raised questions on the viability of this ecosystem as we know it (Bellwood et al. 2004; Parmesan 2006). One avenue towards anticipating the future of the coral reef ecosystem is by developing a broader and deeper understanding of the current genotypic diversity encompassed within and between populations of their keystone species, the scleractinian corals and dinoflagellate symbionts, as they potentially possess functional variation (either singularly or in combination) that may come under selection due to the ongoing and rapid environmental changes they are experiencing. However, such studies, especially for members of the genus Symbiodinium, are sparse. In this issue, Baums et al. (2014) provide a significant contribution by documenting the range-wide population genetics of Symbiodinium 'fitti' (Fig.1 ) in the context of complementary data from its host, the endangered Caribbean elkhorn coral Acropora palmata (Fig. 2). Notable results of this study include a single S. 'fitti' genotype typically dominates an individual A. palmata colony both spatially and temporally, gene flow among coral host populations is a magnitude higher to that of its symbiont populations, and the partners possess disparate patterns of genetic differentiation across the Greater Caribbean. The implications of such findings are discussed herein. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Skin lesions in envenoming by cnidarians (Portuguese man-of-war and jellyfish: etiology and severity of accidents on the Brazilian coast Lesões dermatológicas observadas nos acidentes por cnidários (águas-vivas e caravelas: etiologia e gravidade dos envenenamentos no litoral do Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidal Haddad Junior

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available This work attempts to establish dermatological identification patterns for Brazilian cnidarian species and a probable correlation with envenoming severity. In an observational prospective study, one hundred and twenty-eight patients from the North Coast region of São Paulo State, Brazil were seen between 2002 and 2008. About 80% of these showed only local effects (erythema, edema, and pain with small, less than 20 cm, oval or round skin marks and impressions from small tentacles. Approximately 20% of the victims had long, more than 20 cm, linear and crossed marks with frequent systemic phenomena, such as malaise, vomiting, dyspnea, and tachycardia. The former is compatible with the common hydromedusa from Southeast and Southern Brazil (Olindias sambaquiensis. The long linear marks with intense pain and systemic phenomena are compatible with envenoming by the box jellyfish Tamoya haplonema and Chiropsalmus quadrumanus and the hydrozoan Portuguese man-of-war (Physalis physalis. There was an association between skin marks and probable accident etiology. This simple observation rule can be indicative of severity, as the Cubozoa Class (box jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-war cause the most severe accidents. In such cases, medical attention, including intensive care, is important, as the systemic manifestations can be associated with death.Cnidários são animais que apresentam no corpo (especialmente nos tentáculos organelas de defesa chamadas nematocistos, podendo causar graves envenenamentos. Este trabalho procura estabelecer padrões clínicos auxiliares na identificação das espécies de cnidários brasileiros e pesquisar provável correlação das lesões na pele com a gravidade do acidente. Cento e vinte e oito pacientes foram observados no Pronto-Socorro de Ubatuba (Litoral Norte do estado de São Paulo em período de seis anos (2002-2008. Cerca de 80% dos acidentes mostraram apenas manifestações locais (dor, eritema e edema. Nestes casos

  5. The evolutionary origin of the Runx/CBFbeta transcription factors – Studies of the most basal metazoans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Groner Yoram

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the Runx family of transcriptional regulators, which bind DNA as heterodimers with CBFβ, are known to play critical roles in embryonic development in many triploblastic animals such as mammals and insects. They are known to regulate basic developmental processes such as cell fate determination and cellular potency in multiple stem-cell types, including the sensory nerve cell progenitors of ganglia in mammals. Results In this study, we detect and characterize the hitherto unexplored Runx/CBFβ genes of cnidarians and sponges, two basal animal lineages that are well known for their extensive regenerative capacity. Comparative structural modeling indicates that the Runx-CBFβ-DNA complex from most cnidarians and sponges is highly similar to that found in humans, with changes in the residues involved in Runx-CBFβ dimerization in either of the proteins mirrored by compensatory changes in the binding partner. In situ hybridization studies reveal that Nematostella Runx and CBFβ are expressed predominantly in small isolated foci at the base of the ectoderm of the tentacles in adult animals, possibly representing neurons or their progenitors. Conclusion These results reveal that Runx and CBFβ likely functioned together to regulate transcription in the common ancestor of all metazoans, and the structure of the Runx-CBFβ-DNA complex has remained extremely conserved since the human-sponge divergence. The expression data suggest a hypothesis that these genes may have played a role in nerve cell differentiation or maintenance in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians.

  6. Gene : CBRC-ACAR-01-0971 [SEVENS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available vectensis] 3e-11 32% MLFLLEISTCAPWRLYGYLPPVMLFLLEISTCAPWRLYGYLPPVMLFLLKISTCAPVRLYGYLPPVMLFLLEISTCAPVRLYGYLPPVMLFLLEISTC...APVRLYGYLPPVMLFLLEISTCAPVRLYGYLPPVMLFLLKISTCAPVRLYGYLPPVMLITVAPAFRLI ...

  7. Transcriptome analysis of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarit Karako-Lampert

    Full Text Available The principal architects of coral reefs are the scleractinian corals; these species are divided in two major clades referred to as "robust" and "complex" corals. Although the molecular diversity of the "complex" clade has received considerable attention, with several expressed sequence tag (EST libraries and a complete genome sequence having been constructed, the "robust" corals have received far less attention, despite the fact that robust corals have been prominent focal points for ecological and physiological studies. Filling this gap affords important opportunities to extend these studies and to improve our understanding of the differences between the two major clades. Here, we present an EST library from Stylophora pistillata (Esper 1797 and systematically analyze the assembled transcripts compared to putative homologs from the complete proteomes of six well-characterized metazoans: Nematostella vectensis, Hydra magnipapillata, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, Ciona intestinalis and Homo sapiens. Furthermore, comparative analyses of the Stylophora pistillata ESTs were performed against several Cnidaria from the Scleractinia, Actiniaria and Hydrozoa, as well as against other stony corals separately. Functional characterization of S. pistillata transcripts into KOG/COG categories and further description of Wnt and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP signaling pathways showed that the assembled EST library provides sufficient data and coverage. These features of this new library suggest considerable opportunities for extending our understanding of the molecular and physiological behavior of "robust" corals.

  8. Short Toxin-like Proteins Abound in Cnidaria Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Linial

    2012-11-01

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

  9. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Ozbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2012-04-07

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficiency in sea water is further demonstrated by the rapid paralysis of fish or crustacean larvae upon application of recombinant Nv1 into their medium. Analysis of other anemone species reveals that in Anthopleura elegantissima, Type I neurotoxins also appear in gland cells, whereas in the common species Anemonia viridis, Type I toxins are localized to both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells. The nematocyte-based and gland cell-based envenomation mechanisms may reflect substantial differences in the ecology and feeding habits of sea anemone species. Overall, the immunolocalization of neurotoxins to gland cells changes the common view in the literature that sea anemone neurotoxins are produced and delivered only by stinging nematocytes, and raises the possibility that this toxin-secretion mechanism is an ancestral evolutionary state of the venom delivery machinery in sea anemones.

  10. Melatonin Distribution Reveals Clues to Its Biological Significance in Basal Metazoans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopin, Modi; Levy, Oren

    2012-01-01

    Although nearly ubiquitous in nature, the precise biological significance of endogenous melatonin is poorly understood in phylogenetically basal taxa. In the present work, we describe insights into the functional role of melatonin at the most “basal” level of metazoan evolution. Hitherto unknown morphological determinants of melatonin distribution were evaluated in Nematostella vectensis by detecting melatonin immunoreactivity and examining the spatial gene expression patterns of putative melatonin biosynthetic and receptor elements that are located at opposing ends of the melatonin signaling pathway. Immuno-melatonin profiling indicated an elaborate interaction with reproductive tissues, reinforcing previous conjectures of a melatonin-responsive component in anthozoan reproduction. In situ hybridization (ISH) to putative melatonin receptor elements highlighted the possibility that the bioregulatory effects of melatonin in anthozoan reproduction may be mediated by interactions with membrane receptors, as in higher vertebrates. Another intriguing finding of the present study pertains to the prevalence of melatonin in centralized nervous structures. This pattern may be of great significance given that it 1) identifies an ancestral association between melatonin and key neuronal components and 2) potentially implies that certain effects of melatonin in basal species may be spread widely by regionalized nerve centers. PMID:23300630

  11. Metagenomic analysis indicates that stressors induce production of herpes-like viruses in the coral Porites compressa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Thurber, Rebecca L.; Barott, Katie L.; Hall, Dana; Liu, Hong; Rodriguez-Mueller, Beltran; Desnues, Christelle; Edwards, Robert A.; Haynes, Matthew; Angly, Florent E.; Wegley, Linda; Rohwer, Forest L.

    2008-01-01

    During the last several decades corals have been in decline and at least one-third of all coral species are now threatened with extinction. Coral disease has been a major contributor to this threat, but little is known about the responsible pathogens. To date most research has focused on bacterial and fungal diseases; however, viruses may also be important for coral health. Using a combination of empirical viral metagenomics and real-time PCR, we show that Porites compressa corals contain a suite of eukaryotic viruses, many related to the Herpesviridae. This coral-associated viral consortium was found to shift in response to abiotic stressors. In particular, when exposed to reduced pH, elevated nutrients, and thermal stress, the abundance of herpes-like viral sequences rapidly increased in 2 separate experiments. Herpes-like viral sequences were rarely detected in apparently healthy corals, but were abundant in a majority of stressed samples. In addition, surveys of the Nematostella and Hydra genomic projects demonstrate that even distantly related Cnidarians contain numerous herpes-like viral genes, likely as a result of latent or endogenous viral infection. These data support the hypotheses that corals experience viral infections, which are exacerbated by stress, and that herpes-like viruses are common in Cnidarians. PMID:19017800

  12. New cell motility model observed in parasitic cnidarian Sphaerospora molnari (Myxozoa: Myxosporea) blood stages in fish

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Estensoro, Itziar; Vancová, Marie; Bílý, Tomáš; Patra, Sneha; Eszterbauer, E.; Holzer, Astrid S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, DEC 16 (2016), č. článku 39093. ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP505/12/G112 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 634429 - ParaFishControl; European Commission(XE) 316304 - MODBIOLIN Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Enteromyxum leei * Sparus aurata * Myxobolus cerebralis * immune response * actin cytoskeleton * Trypanosoma brucei * gilthead seabream * evolution * host Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  13. Assembly of the cnidarian camera-type eye from vertebrate-like components

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozmik, Zbyněk; Růžičková, Jana; Jonášová, Kristýna; Matsumoto, Y.; Vopálenský, Pavel; Kozmiková, Iryna; Strnad, Hynek; Kawamura, S.; Piatigorsky, J.; Pačes, Václav; Vlček, Čestmír

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 105, č. 26 (2008), s. 8989-8993 ISSN 0027-8424 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0520 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : evolution * gene * opsin Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 9.380, year: 2008

  14. Discovery and characterization of cnidarian peptide toxins that affect neuronal potassium ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castañeda, Olga; Harvey, Alan L

    2009-12-15

    Peptides have been isolated from several species of sea anemones and shown to block currents through various potassium ion channels, particularly in excitable cells. The toxins can be grouped into four structural classes: type 1 with 35-37 amino acid residues and three disulphide bridges; type 2 with 58-59 residues and three disulphide bridges; type 3 with 41-42 residues and three disulphide bridges; and type 4 with 28 residues and two disulphide bridges. Examples from the first class are BgK from Bunodosoma granulifera, ShK from Stichodactyla helianthus and AsKS (or kaliseptine) from Anemonia sulcata (now A. viridis). These interfere with binding of radiolabelled dendrotoxin to synaptosomal membranes and block currents through channels with various Kv1 subunits and also intermediate conductance K(Ca) channels. Toxins in the second class are homologous to Kunitz-type inhibitors of serine proteases; these toxins include kalicludines (AsKC 1-3) from A. sulcata and SHTXIII from S. haddoni; they block Kv1.2 channels. The third structural group includes BDS-I, BDS-II (from A. sulcata) and APETx 1 (from Anthropleura elegantissima). Their pharmacological specificity differs: BDS-I and -II block currents involving Kv3 subunits, while APETx1 blocks ERG channels. The fourth group comprises the more recently discovered SHTX I and II from S. haddoni. Their channel blocking specificity is not yet known but they displace dendrotoxin binding from synaptosomal membranes. Sea anemones can be predicted to be a continued source of new toxins that will serve as molecular probes of various K(+) channels.

  15. Symbiodinium mitigate the combined effects of hypoxia and acidification on a noncalcifying cnidarian

    KAUST Repository

    Klein, Shannon G.; Pitt, Kylie A.; Nitschke, Matthew R.; Goyen, Samantha; Welsh, David T.; Suggett, David J.; Carroll, Anthony R.

    2017-01-01

    polyps of a model host jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.) under reduced O (~2.09 mg/L) and pH (~ 7.63) scenarios in a full-factorial experiment. Host fitness was characterized as asexual reproduction and their ability to regulate internal pH and Symbiodinium

  16. Contrasting physiological plasticity in response to environmental stress within different cnidarians and their respective symbionts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoadley, Kenneth D.; Pettay, Daniel. T.; Dodge, Danielle; Warner, Mark E.

    2016-06-01

    Given concerns surrounding coral bleaching and ocean acidification, there is renewed interest in characterizing the physiological differences across the multiple host-algal symbiont combinations commonly found on coral reefs. Elevated temperature and CO2 were used to compare physiological responses within the scleractinian corals Montipora hirsuta ( Symbiodinium C15) and Pocillopora damicornis ( Symbiodinium D1), as well as the corallimorph (a non-calcifying anthozoan closely related to scleractinians) Discosoma nummiforme ( Symbiodinium C3). Several physiological proxies were affected more by temperature than CO2, including photochemistry, algal number and cellular chlorophyll a. Marked differences in symbiont number, chlorophyll and volume contributed to distinctive patterns of chlorophyll absorption among these animals. In contrast, carbon fixation either did not change or increased under elevated temperature. Also, the rate of photosynthetically fixed carbon translocated to each host did not change, and the percent of carbon translocated to the host increased in the corallimorph. Comparing all data revealed a significant negative correlation between photosynthetic rate and symbiont density that corroborates previous hypotheses about carbon limitation in these symbioses. The ratio of symbiont-normalized photosynthetic rate relative to the rate of symbiont-normalized carbon translocation (P:T) was compared in these organisms as well as the anemone, Exaiptasia pallida hosting Symbiodinium minutum, and revealed a P:T close to unity ( D. nummiforme) to a range of 2.0-4.5, with the lowest carbon translocation in the sea anemone. Major differences in the thermal responses across these organisms provide further evidence of a range of acclimation potential and physiological plasticity that highlights the need for continued study of these symbioses across a larger group of host taxa.

  17. Developing Molecular Methods to Identify and Quantify Ballast Water Organisms: A Test Case with Cnidarians

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kreiser, Brian R

    2004-01-01

    .... Furthermore, biological invasions mediated by ballast water transport have led to some rather severe economic and ecological consequences as seen in the examples of the zebra mussel and green crab...

  18. The Genome of Aiptasia and the Role of MicroRNAs in Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Endosymbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    The genome analysis has revealed numerous features of interest in relation to the symbiotic lifestyle, including the evolution of transposable elements and taxonomically restricted genes, linkage of host and symbiont metabolism

  19. A journey into the wild of the cnidarian model system Aiptasia and its symbionts

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.

    2013-01-01

    to anthropogenic stressors, for example, rising sea-surface temperatures and pollution that often disrupt these symbiotic relationships (known as coral bleaching), exacerbating mass mortality and the spread of disease. This threatens one of the most biodiverse

  20. Dispersal and speciation: The cross Atlantic relationship of two parasitic cnidarians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dnyansagar, Rohit; Zimmermann, Bob; Moran, Yehu

    2018-01-01

    How dispersal strategies impact the distribution of species and subsequent speciation events is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Sedentary benthic marine organisms, such as corals or sea anemones usually rely on motile larval stages for dispersal and therefore have a relatively res...

  1. The Genome of Aiptasia and the Role of MicroRNAs in Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Endosymbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs form marine-biodiversity hotspots of enormous ecological, economic, and aesthetic importance that rely energetically on a functional symbiosis between the coral animal and a photosynthetic alga. The ongoing decline of corals worldwide due to anthropogenic influences heightens the need for an experimentally tractable model system to elucidate the molecular and cellular biology underlying the symbiosis and its susceptibility or resilience to stress. The small sea anemone Aiptasia is such a model organism and the main aims of this dissertation were 1) to assemble and analyze its genome as a foundational resource for research in this area and 2) to investigate the role of miRNAs in modulating gene expression during the onset and maintenance of symbiosis. The genome analysis has revealed numerous features of interest in relation to the symbiotic lifestyle, including the evolution of transposable elements and taxonomically restricted genes, linkage of host and symbiont metabolism pathways, a novel family of putative pattern-recognition receptors that might function in host-microbe interactions and evidence for horizontal gene transfer within the animal-alga pair as well as with the associated prokaryotic microbiome. The new genomic resource was used to annotate the Aiptasia miRNA repertoire to illuminate the role of post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in regulating endosymbiosis. Aiptasia encodes a majority of species-specific miRNAs and first evidence is presented that even evolutionary conserved miRNAs are undergoing recent differentiations within the Aiptasia genome. The analysis of miRNA expression between different states of Symbiodinium infection further revealed that species-specific and conserved miRNAs are symbiotically regulated. In order to detect functional miRNA-mRNA interactions and to investigate the downstream effects of such miRNA action, a protocol for cross-linking immunoprecipitations of Argonaute, the central protein of the miRNA-induced silencing complex, was developed. This method identified binding sites of miRNAs on a transcriptome-wide scale and revealed target genes of symbiotically regulated miRNAs that were identified previously to be involved in the symbiosis. In summary, this dissertation provides novel insights into miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional modulation of the host transcriptome and by presenting a critically needed genomic resource, lays the foundation for the continued development of Aiptasia as a model for coral symbiosis.

  2. Symbiosis induces widespread changes in the proteome of the model cnidarian Aiptasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, Clinton A; Ameismeier, Michael F; Peng, Lifeng; Weis, Virginia M; Grossman, Arthur R; Davy, Simon K

    2016-07-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are metabolically founded on the mutualism between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium. The glass anemone Aiptasia sp. has become a tractable model for this symbiosis, and recent advances in genetic information have enabled the use of mass spectrometry-based proteomics in this model. We utilized label-free liquid chromatography electrospray-ionization tandem mass spectrometry to analyze the effects of symbiosis on the proteomes of symbiotic and aposymbiotic Aiptasia. We identified and obtained relative quantification of more than 3,300 proteins in 1,578 protein clusters, with 81 protein clusters showing significantly different expression between symbiotic states. Symbiotic anemones showed significantly higher expression of proteins involved in lipid storage and transport, nitrogen transport and cycling, intracellular trafficking, endocytosis and inorganic carbon transport. These changes reflect shifts in host metabolism and nutrient reserves due to increased nutritional exchange with the symbionts, as well as mechanisms for supplying inorganic nutrients to the algae. Aposymbiotic anemones exhibited increased expression of multiple systems responsible for mediating reactive oxygen stress, suggesting that the host derives direct or indirect protection from oxidative stress while in symbiosis. Aposymbiotic anemones also increased their expression of an array of proteases and chitinases, indicating a metabolic shift from autotrophy to heterotrophy. These results provide a comprehensive Aiptasia proteome with more direct relative quantification of protein abundance than transcriptomic methods. The extension of "omics" techniques to this model system will allow more powerful studies of coral physiology, ecosystem function, and the effects of biotic and abiotic stress on the coral-dinoflagellate mutualism. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. The evolutionary diversification of LSF and Grainyhead transcription factors preceded the radiation of basal animal lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaufman Les

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription factors of the LSF/Grainyhead (GRH family are characterized by the possession of a distinctive DNA-binding domain that bears no clear relationship to other known DNA-binding domains, with the possible exception of the p53 core domain. In triploblastic animals, the LSF and GRH subfamilies have diverged extensively with respect to their biological roles, general expression patterns, and mechanism of DNA binding. For example, Grainyhead (GRH homologs are expressed primarily in the epidermis, and they appear to play an ancient role in maintaining the epidermal barrier. By contrast, LSF homologs are more widely expressed, and they regulate general cellular functions such as cell cycle progression and survival in addition to cell-lineage specific gene expression. Results To illuminate the early evolution of this family and reconstruct the functional divergence of LSF and GRH, we compared homologs from 18 phylogenetically diverse taxa, including four basal animals (Nematostella vectensis, Vallicula multiformis, Trichoplax adhaerens, and Amphimedon queenslandica, a choanoflagellate (Monosiga brevicollis and several fungi. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analyses of these sequences indicate that (1 the LSF/GRH gene family originated prior to the animal-fungal divergence, and (2 the functional diversification of the LSF and GRH subfamilies occurred prior to the divergence between sponges and eumetazoans. Aspects of the domain architecture of LSF/GRH proteins are well conserved between fungi, choanoflagellates, and metazoans, though within the Metazoa, the LSF and GRH families are clearly distinct. We failed to identify a convincing LSF/GRH homolog in the sequenced genomes of the algae Volvox carteri and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii or the amoebozoan Dictyostelium purpureum. Interestingly, the ancestral GRH locus has become split into two separate loci in the sea anemone Nematostella, with one locus encoding a DNA binding

  4. Evolution of selenoproteins in the metazoan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Liang

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The selenocysteine (Sec containing proteins, selenoproteins, are an important group of proteins present throughout all 3 kingdoms of life. With the rapid progression of selenoprotein research in the post-genomic era, application of bioinformatics methods to the identification of selenoproteins in newly sequenced species has become increasingly important. Although selenoproteins in human and other vertebrates have been investigated, studies of primitive invertebrate selenoproteomes are rarely reported outside of insects and nematodes. Result A more integrated view of selenoprotein evolution was constructed using several representative species from different evolutionary eras. Using a SelGenAmic-based selenoprotein identification method, 178 selenoprotein genes were identified in 6 invertebrates: Amphimedon queenslandica, Trichoplax adhaerens, Nematostella vectensis, Lottia gigantean, Capitella teleta, and Branchiostoma floridae. Amphioxus was found to have the most abundant and variant selenoproteins of any animal currently characterized, including a special selenoprotein P (SelP possessing 3 repeated Trx-like domains and Sec residues in the N-terminal and 2 Sec residues in the C-terminal. This gene structure suggests the existence of two different strategies for extension of Sec numbers in SelP for the preservation and transportation of selenium. In addition, novel eukaryotic AphC-like selenoproteins were identified in sponges. Conclusion Comparison of various animal species suggests that even the most primitive animals possess a selenoproteome range and variety similar to humans. During evolutionary history, only a few new selenoproteins have emerged and few were lost. Furthermore, the massive loss of selenoproteins in nematodes and insects likely occurred independently in isolated partial evolutionary branches.

  5. Comparative anatomy and histology of developmental and parasitic stages in the life cycle of the lined sea anemone Edwardsiella lineata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reitzel, Adam M; Daly, Marymegan; Sullivan, James C; Finnerty, John R

    2009-02-01

    The evolution of parasitism is often accompanied by profound changes to the developmental program. However, relatively few studies have directly examined the developmental evolution of parasitic species from free-living ancestors. The lined sea anemone Edwardsiella lineata is a relatively recently evolved parasite for which closely related free-living outgroups are known, including the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. The larva of E. lineata parasitizes the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, and, once embedded in its host, the anemone assumes a novel vermiform body plan. That we might begin to understand how the developmental program of this species has been transformed during the evolution of parasitism, we characterized the gross anatomy, histology, and cnidom of the parasitic stage, post-parasitic larval stage, and adult stage of the E. lineata life cycle. The distinct parasitic stage of the life cycle differs from the post-parasitic larva with respect to overall shape, external ciliation, cnida frequency, and tissue architecture. The parasitic stage and planula both contain holotrichs, a type of cnida not previously reported in Edwardsiidae. The internal morphology of the post-parasitic planula is extremely similar to the adult morphology, with a complete set of mesenterial tissue and musculature despite this stage having little external differentiation. Finally, we observed 2 previously undocumented aspects of asexual reproduction in E. lineata: (1) the parasitic stage undergoes transverse fission via physal pinching, the first report of asexual reproduction in a pre-adult stage in the Edwardsiidae; and (2) the juvenile polyp undergoes transverse fission via polarity reversal, the first time this form of fission has been reported in E. lineata.

  6. Developing the anemone Aiptasia as a tractable model for cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis: the transcriptome of aposymbiotic A. pallida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, Erik M; Burriesci, Matthew S; Pringle, John R

    2012-06-22

    Coral reefs are hotspots of oceanic biodiversity, forming the foundation of ecosystems that are important both ecologically and for their direct practical impacts on humans. Corals are declining globally due to a number of stressors, including rising sea-surface temperatures and pollution; such stresses can lead to a breakdown of the essential symbiotic relationship between the coral host and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, a process known as coral bleaching. Although the environmental stresses causing this breakdown are largely known, the cellular mechanisms of symbiosis establishment, maintenance, and breakdown are still largely obscure. Investigating the symbiosis using an experimentally tractable model organism, such as the small sea anemone Aiptasia, should improve our understanding of exactly how the environmental stressors affect coral survival and growth. We assembled the transcriptome of a clonal population of adult, aposymbiotic (dinoflagellate-free) Aiptasia pallida from ~208 million reads, yielding 58,018 contigs. We demonstrated that many of these contigs represent full-length or near-full-length transcripts that encode proteins similar to those from a diverse array of pathways in other organisms, including various metabolic enzymes, cytoskeletal proteins, and neuropeptide precursors. The contigs were annotated by sequence similarity, assigned GO terms, and scanned for conserved protein domains. We analyzed the frequency and types of single-nucleotide variants and estimated the size of the Aiptasia genome to be ~421 Mb. The contigs and annotations are available through NCBI (Transcription Shotgun Assembly database, accession numbers JV077153-JV134524) and at http://pringlelab.stanford.edu/projects.html. The availability of an extensive transcriptome assembly for A. pallida will facilitate analyses of gene-expression changes, identification of proteins of interest, and other studies in this important emerging model system.

  7. Developing the anemone Aiptasia as a tractable model for cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis: the transcriptome of aposymbiotic A. pallida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lehnert Erik M

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral reefs are hotspots of oceanic biodiversity, forming the foundation of ecosystems that are important both ecologically and for their direct practical impacts on humans. Corals are declining globally due to a number of stressors, including rising sea-surface temperatures and pollution; such stresses can lead to a breakdown of the essential symbiotic relationship between the coral host and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellates, a process known as coral bleaching. Although the environmental stresses causing this breakdown are largely known, the cellular mechanisms of symbiosis establishment, maintenance, and breakdown are still largely obscure. Investigating the symbiosis using an experimentally tractable model organism, such as the small sea anemone Aiptasia, should improve our understanding of exactly how the environmental stressors affect coral survival and growth. Results We assembled the transcriptome of a clonal population of adult, aposymbiotic (dinoflagellate-free Aiptasia pallida from ~208 million reads, yielding 58,018 contigs. We demonstrated that many of these contigs represent full-length or near-full-length transcripts that encode proteins similar to those from a diverse array of pathways in other organisms, including various metabolic enzymes, cytoskeletal proteins, and neuropeptide precursors. The contigs were annotated by sequence similarity, assigned GO terms, and scanned for conserved protein domains. We analyzed the frequency and types of single-nucleotide variants and estimated the size of the Aiptasia genome to be ~421 Mb. The contigs and annotations are available through NCBI (Transcription Shotgun Assembly database, accession numbers JV077153-JV134524 and at http://pringlelab.stanford.edu/projects.html. Conclusions The availability of an extensive transcriptome assembly for A. pallida will facilitate analyses of gene-expression changes, identification of proteins of interest, and other studies in this important emerging model system.

  8. Structural Molecular Components of Septate Junctions in Cnidarians Point to the Origin of Epithelial Junctions in Eukaryotes

    KAUST Repository

    Ganot, P.; Zoccola, D.; Tambutte, E.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Aranda, Manuel; Allemand, D.; Tambutte, S.

    2014-01-01

    Septate junctions (SJs) insure barrier properties and control paracellular diffusion of solutes across epithelia in invertebrates. However, the origin and evolution of their molecular constituents in Metazoa have not been firmly established. Here

  9. Migration and differentiation potential of stem cells in the cnidarian Hydractinia analysed in eGFP-transgenic animals and chimeras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Künzel, Timo; Heiermann, Reinhard; Frank, Uri; Müller, Werner; Tilmann, Wido; Bause, Markus; Nonn, Anja; Helling, Matthias; Schwarz, Ryan S; Plickert, Günter

    2010-12-01

    To analyse cell migration and the differentiation potential of migratory stem cells in Hydractinia, we generated animals with an eGFP reporter gene stably expressed and transmitted via the germline. The transgene was placed under the control of two different actin promoters and the promoter of elongation factor-1α. One actin promoter (Act-II) and the EF-1α promoter enabled expression of the transgene in all cells, the other actin promoter (Act-I) in epithelial and gametogenic cells, but not in the pluripotent migratory stem cells. We produced chimeric animals consisting of histocompatible wild type and transgenic parts. When the transgene was under the control of the epithelial cell specific actin-I promoter, non-fluorescent transgenic stem cells immigrated into wild type tissue, stopped migration and differentiated into epithelial cells which then commenced eGFP-expression. Migratory stem cells are therefore pluripotent and can give rise not only to germ cells, nematocytes and nerve cells, but also to epithelial cells. While in somatic cells expression of the act-I promoter was restricted to epithelial cells it became also active in gametogenesis. The act-I gene is expressed in spermatogonia, oogonia and oocytes. In males the expression pattern showed that migratory stem cells are the precursors of both the spermatogonia and their somatic envelopes. Comparative expression studies using the promoters of the actin-II gene and the elongation factor-1α gene revealed the potential of transgenic techniques to trace the development of the nervous system. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. First insight into the viral community of the cnidarian model metaorganism Aiptasia using RNA-Seq data

    KAUST Repository

    Brü wer, Jan D.; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2018-01-01

    of the globally threatened coral reef ecosystems. To gain first insight into viruses associated with the coral model system Aiptasia (sensu Exaiptasia pallida), we analyzed an existing RNA-Seq dataset of aposymbiotic, partially populated, and fully symbiotic

  11. Different Principles of ADP-Ribose-Mediated Activation and Opposite Roles of the NUDT9 Homology Domain in the TRPM2 Orthologs of Man and Sea Anemone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Kühn

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A decisive element in the human cation channel TRPM2 is a region in its cytosolic C-terminus named NUDT9H because of its homology to the NUDT9 enzyme, a pyrophosphatase degrading ADP-ribose (ADPR. In hTRPM2, however, the NUDT9H domain has lost its enzymatic activity but serves as a binding domain for ADPR. As consequence of binding, gating of the channel is initiated. Since ADPR is produced after oxidative DNA damage, hTRPM2 mediates Ca2+ influx in response to oxidative stress which may lead to cell death. In the genome of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis (nv, a preferred model organism for the evolution of key bilaterian features, a TRPM2 ortholog has been identified that contains a NUDT9H domain as well. Heterologous expression of nvTRPM2 in HEK-293 cells reveals a cation channel with many close similarities to the human counterpart. Most notably, nvTRPM2 is activated by ADPR, and Ca2+ is a co-agonist. However, the intramolecular mechanisms of ADPR gating as well as the role of NUDT9H are strikingly different in the two species. Whereas already subtle changes of NUDT9H abolish ADPR gating in hTRPM2, the region can be completely removed from nvTRPM2 without loss of responses to ADPR. An alternative ADPR binding site seems to be present but has not yet been characterized. The ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase (ADPRase function of nvNUDT9H has been preserved but can be abolished by numerous genetic manipulations. All these manipulations create channels that are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide which fails to induce channel activity in wild-type nvTRPM2. Therefore, the function of NUDT9H in nvTRPM2 is the degradation of ADPR, thereby reducing agonist concentration in the presence of oxidative stress. Thus, the two TRPM2 orthologs have evolved divergently but nevertheless gained analogous functional properties, i.e., gating by ADPR with Ca2+ as co-factor. Opposite roles are played by the respective NUDT9H domains, either binding of ADPR and mediating

  12. Sequencing and de novo analysis of a coral larval transcriptome using 454 GSFlx

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colbourne John K

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background New methods are needed for genomic-scale analysis of emerging model organisms that exemplify important biological questions but lack fully sequenced genomes. For example, there is an urgent need to understand the potential for corals to adapt to climate change, but few molecular resources are available for studying these processes in reef-building corals. To facilitate genomics studies in corals and other non-model systems, we describe methods for transcriptome sequencing using 454, as well as strategies for assembling a useful catalog of genes from the output. We have applied these methods to sequence the transcriptome of planulae larvae from the coral Acropora millepora. Results More than 600,000 reads produced in a single 454 sequencing run were assembled into ~40,000 contigs with five-fold average sequencing coverage. Based on sequence similarity with known proteins, these analyses identified ~11,000 different genes expressed in a range of conditions including thermal stress and settlement induction. Assembled sequences were annotated with gene names, conserved domains, and Gene Ontology terms. Targeted searches using these annotations identified the majority of genes associated with essential metabolic pathways and conserved signaling pathways, as well as novel candidate genes for stress-related processes. Comparisons with the genome of the anemone Nematostella vectensis revealed ~8,500 pairs of orthologs and ~100 candidate coral-specific genes. More than 30,000 SNPs were detected in the coral sequences, and a subset of these validated by re-sequencing. Conclusion The methods described here for deep sequencing of the transcriptome should be widely applicable to generate catalogs of genes and genetic markers in emerging model organisms. Our data provide the most comprehensive sequence resource currently available for reef-building corals, and include an extensive collection of potential genetic markers for association and

  13. High amino acid diversity and positive selection at a putative coral immunity gene (tachylectin-2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hellberg Michael E

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genes involved in immune functions, including pathogen recognition and the activation of innate defense pathways, are among the most genetically variable known, and the proteins that they encode are often characterized by high rates of amino acid substitutions, a hallmark of positive selection. The high levels of variation characteristic of immunity genes make them useful tools for conservation genetics. To date, highly variable immunity genes have yet to be found in corals, keystone organisms of the world's most diverse marine ecosystem, the coral reef. Here, we examine variation in and selection on a putative innate immunity gene from Oculina, a coral genus previously used as a model for studies of coral disease and bleaching. Results In a survey of 244 Oculina alleles, we find high nonsynonymous variation and a signature of positive selection, consistent with a putative role in immunity. Using computational protein structure prediction, we generate a structural model of the Oculina protein that closely matches the known structure of tachylectin-2 from the Japanese horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus, a protein with demonstrated function in microbial recognition and agglutination. We also demonstrate that at least three other genera of anthozoan cnidarians (Acropora, Montastrea and Nematostella possess proteins structurally similar to tachylectin-2. Conclusions Taken together, the evidence of high amino acid diversity, positive selection and structural correspondence to the horseshoe crab tachylectin-2 suggests that this protein is 1 part of Oculina's innate immunity repertoire, and 2 evolving adaptively, possibly under selective pressure from coral-associated microorganisms. Tachylectin-2 may serve as a candidate locus to screen coral populations for their capacity to respond adaptively to future environmental change.

  14. EST Table: AV400071 [KAIKOcDNA[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ostella vectensis] ref|XP_002113772.1| replacement histone H3.3 [Trichoplax adhaerens] ref|XP_002154470.1| P...tella vectensis] gb|EDV24246.1| replacement histone H3.3 [Trichoplax adhaerens] 10/08/28 92 %/115 aa FBpp027

  15. Toxicity estimates for diuron and atrazine for the tropical marine cnidarian Exaiptasia pallida and in-hospite Symbiodinium spp. using PAM chlorophyll-a fluorometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Pelli Louise; Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda Jean; Clark, Malcolm William; Seery, Cliff Ross

    2017-06-01

    Effective ecotoxicological risk assessments for herbicides in tropical marine environments are restricted by a lack of toxicity data, sensitive test methods and endpoints for relevant species, and this requires rectification. The symbiotic sea anemone Exaiptasia pallida is a suitable test species, representing the phylum Cnidaria and allowing for assessments of toxicological responses of both the animal host and in-hospite Symbiodinium spp. Pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) chlorophyll-a fluorometry is recognised as a valuable ecotoxicological tool, and here newly-developed test methods are presented using PAM fluorometry to measure herbicide effects on photosynthetic efficiency of in-hospite Symbiodinium spp. Additionally, measurements on healthy laboratory-reared E. pallida provide baseline data demonstrating the normal effective quantum yield (EQY) and the maximum electron transport rate (ETR m ) for Symbiodinium spp. in the absence of herbicide stress. Concentration-dependant reductions in the EQY and ETR m occurred during diuron and atrazine exposures; a mean 48-h EC50 (effective concentration; 50%) of 8μg/L of diuron was estimated, however atrazine elicited a much lower toxicity. Twelve-day exposures to 10-200μg/L diuron showed that the greatest EQY effect occurred during the first 48h, with little subsequent change. However, longer exposures to the lowest diuron treatment (1μg/L) showed the lowest EQYs after 96h followed by recovery to control levels within 12d. Furthermore, asexual reproduction was inhibited during 12-d exposures to diuron, and 12-d EC50 values of 100 and 132μg/L were estimated to inhibit successful reproduction of pedal lacerates and juveniles by 50% respectively. This study provides much needed data contributions to species sensitivity curves for development of diuron and atrazine water quality guidelines in tropical marine environments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Unravelling the role of zooxanthellae in the uptake and depuration of an essential metal in Exaiptasia pallida; an experiment using a model cnidarian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardefeldt, Jannah M; Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda J

    2015-07-15

    Coral skeletons record historical trace metal levels in the environment, however, the use of coral skeletal records for biomonitoring studies mostly fail to consider the influence of metal regulation by the living components of coral and subsequent incorporation into the skeleton. This study presents Exaiptasia pallida as a representative of the living components of coral and shows metal partitioning between the tissue and zooxanthellae after chronic exposure to Zn. A strong tendency for preferential accumulation in the zooxanthellae occurred after 32 days exposure and Zn concentrations in tissue and zooxanthellae were 123.3±0.7 mg kg(-1) and 294.9±8.5 respectively. This study shows zooxanthellae density plays an important role in controlling Zn loading in whole anemones and must be considered when investigating metal uptake and loading in zooxanthellate organisms. Further studies that investigate links between aragonite deposition rates and zooxanthellae density and incorporation pathways of metals into skeleton are warranted. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Unravelling the role of zooxanthellae in the uptake and depuration of an essential metal in Exaiptasia pallida; an experiment using a model cnidarian

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hardefeldt, Jannah M.; Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda J.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We examined zooxanthellae and tissue zinc partitioning in Exaiptasia pallida. • Zooxanthellae density has a strong influence on whole organism metal loading. • Zooxanthellae loss through stress is likely to result in metal depuration. • There are implications for interpreting studies of metal loads in symbiotic organisms. • Studies of metal loads in symbiotic organisms must consider zooxanthellae density. - Abstract: Coral skeletons record historical trace metal levels in the environment, however, the use of coral skeletal records for biomonitoring studies mostly fail to consider the influence of metal regulation by the living components of coral and subsequent incorporation into the skeleton. This study presents Exaiptasia pallida as a representative of the living components of coral and shows metal partitioning between the tissue and zooxanthellae after chronic exposure to Zn. A strong tendency for preferential accumulation in the zooxanthellae occurred after 32 days exposure and Zn concentrations in tissue and zooxanthellae were 123.3 ± 0.7 mg kg −1 and 294.9 ± 8.5 respectively. This study shows zooxanthellae density plays an important role in controlling Zn loading in whole anemones and must be considered when investigating metal uptake and loading in zooxanthellate organisms. Further studies that investigate links between aragonite deposition rates and zooxanthellae density and incorporation pathways of metals into skeleton are warranted

  18. Fragmentation of the gastrodermis and detachment of zooxanthellae in symbiotic cnidarians: a role for hydrogen peroxide and Ca2+ in coral bleaching and algal density control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. M Sandeman

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching involves the detachment of zooxanthellae and the simultaneous fragmentation of the gastrodermis. Results obtained with a cell permeant fluorescent probe for calcium ions (Ca2+ indicates that "thermal" bleaching is the result of a temperature related breakdown of the Ca2+ exclusion system. "Solar" bleaching, which takes place at lower temperatures and is driven by light, is the result of a build-up of photo-synthetically produced hydrogen peroxide in the tissues. Gastrodermal tissue with its symbionts, scraped from between septa of corals, was observed under controlled conditions of high light and temperature. Pieces of gastrodermis round off, zooxanthellae move to the surface, protrude from the surface and after a delay, detach, surrounded by a thin layer of host cytoplasm, inclusions and plasma membrane. The higher the temperature and light level the shorter the delay and higher the rate of algal detachment. Fragmentation by the ballooning-out and detachment of small spheres of cytoplasm (bleb formation takes place simultaneously. This is likely to be due to oxidation, by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, of -SH groups on the cytoskeleton and its attachment to the plasma membrane. Ground, polished and stained thin acrylic resin sections reveal similar processes taking place in artificially bleached corals. Isolated zooxanthellae and whole corals are shown to release H2O2 in the light. This process of algal detachment and fragmentation that takes place at normal sea temperatures may underlie the mechanism limiting algal populations in the gastrodermis and may be localized to areas with a concentration of algae near the membrane. At above-normal temperatures under the synergistic effect of light and temperature, the rate of production of H2O2 exceeds the rate at which can it be lost by diffusion or destroyed and H2O2 accumulates. This results in damage to the calcium exclusion system, detachment of zooxanthellae into the coelenteron and fragmentation of the gastrodermis. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54 (Suppl. 3: 79-96. Epub 2007 Jan. 15.El blanqueamiento de los corales implica el desprendimiento de zooxantelas y la simultánea fragmentación de la gastrodermis. Resultados obtenidos con una sonda florescente de iones Calcio (Ca2+ para células permeables, indican que el blanqueamiento "térmico" es el resultado de una interrupción del sistema de exclusión de Ca2+, provocada por la temperatura. El blanqueamiento "solar", que tiene lugar a temperaturas más bajas y está determinado por la luz, es el resultado de una acumulación de peróxido de hidrógeno producido fotosintéticamente en los tejidos. Para ver el proceso, se raspó tejido gastrodermal, junto con sus simbiontes, de entre los septos de los corales y se observó en condiciones controladas de luz y temperatura. Primero, los trozos de gastrodermis se dan vuelta, luego las zooxantelas se mueven hacia la superficie, sobresalen desde ella y tras un tiempo, se desprenden, rodeadas de una delgada capa de citoplasma del hospedero, inclusiones y membrana plasmática. Mientras mayor sea la temperatura y el nivel de luz, menor es el tiempo que tardan las zooxantelas en desprenderse y mayor es la tasa de desprendimiento algal. La fragmentación producida por el inflamación y el desprendimiento de pequeñas esferas de citoplasma (formación de ampollas, tiene lugar simultáneamente. Probablemente, esto es causado por oxidación en el citoesqueleto de grupos -SSH por el peróxido de hidrógeno (H2O2, y por su acoplamiento a la membrana plasmática. Secciones de resina acrílica delgada molida, pulida y teñida revelan que en corales blanqueados artificialmente se llevan a cabo procesos similares. Se ha demostrado que tanto las zooxantelas aisladas como los corales enteros, liberan H2O2 en la luz. Debajo este proceso de desprendimiento algal y fragmentación que tiene lugar a temperaturas normales en el mar, puede encontrarse el mecanismo que limita las poblaciones algales en la gastrodermis, el cual podría estar localizado en áreas con concentraciones de alga cerca de la membrana. A temperaturas más altas de lo normal, bajo el efecto sinérgico de la luz y la temperatura, la tasa de producción de H2O2 excede la tasa a la cual éste puede destruirse o perderse por difusión y, por ende,se acumula. Esto resulta en daño al sistema de exclusión de calcio, desprendimiento de zooxantelas hacia el celenterón y fragmentación de la gastrodermis.

  19. Fragmentation of the gastrodermis and detachment of zooxanthellae in symbiotic cnidarians: a role for hydrogen peroxide and Ca2+ in coral bleaching and algal density control

    OpenAIRE

    I. M Sandeman

    2006-01-01

    Coral bleaching involves the detachment of zooxanthellae and the simultaneous fragmentation of the gastrodermis. Results obtained with a cell permeant fluorescent probe for calcium ions (Ca2+) indicates that "thermal" bleaching is the result of a temperature related breakdown of the Ca2+ exclusion system. "Solar" bleaching, which takes place at lower temperatures and is driven by light, is the result of a build-up of photo-synthetically produced hydrogen peroxide in the tissues. Gastrodermal ...

  20. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    KAUST Repository

    Takaku, Yasuharu; Hwang, Jung Shan; Wolf, Alexander; Bö ttger, Angelika; Shimizu, Hiroshi; David, Charles N.; Gojobori, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential

  1. Characterization of glutathione peroxidase diversity in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis

    OpenAIRE

    Pey , Alexis; Zamoum , Thamilla; Christen , Richard; Merle , Pierre-Laurent; Furla , Paola

    2016-01-01

    International audience; Cnidarians living in symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates (commonly named zooxanthellae) are exposed to high concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon illumination. To quench ROS production, both the cnidarian host and zooxanthellae express a full suite of antioxidant enzymes. Studying antioxidative balance is therefore crucial to understanding how symbiotic cnidarians cope with ROS production. We characterized glutathione peroxidases (GPx) in the s...

  2. Genomic organization and splicing variants of a peptidylglycine alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase from sea anemones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williamson, M; Hauser, F; Grimmelikhuijzen, C J

    2000-01-01

    Cnidarians are primitive animals that use neuropeptides as their transmitters. All the numerous cnidarian neuropeptides isolated, so far, have a carboxy-terminal amide group that is essential for their actions. This strongly suggests that alpha-amidating enzymes are essential for the functioning ...

  3. The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian; Simakov, Oleg; Esherick, Lisl Y.; Liew, Yi Jin; Lehnert, Erik M.; Michell, Craig; Li, Yong; Hambleton, Elizabeth A.; Guse, Annika; Oates, Matt E.; Gough, Julian; Weis, Virginia M.; Aranda, Manuel; Pringle, John R.; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2015-01-01

    The most diverse marine ecosystems, coral reefs, depend upon a functional symbiosis between a cnidarian animal host (the coral) and intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying

  4. Distinct Bacterial Communities Associated with the Coral Model Aiptasia in Aposymbiotic and Symbiotic States with Symbiodinium

    KAUST Repository

    Rö thig, Till; Costa, Rú ben M.; Simona, Fabia; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Torres, Ana F.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are in decline. The basic functional unit of coral reefs is the coral metaorganism or holobiont consisting of the cnidarian host animal, symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium, and a specific consortium of bacteria (among others

  5. Characterization of glutathione peroxidase diversity in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pey, Alexis; Zamoum, Thamilla; Christen, Richard; Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Furla, Paola

    2017-01-01

    Cnidarians living in symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates (commonly named zooxanthellae) are exposed to high concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon illumination. To quench ROS production, both the cnidarian host and zooxanthellae express a full suite of antioxidant enzymes. Studying antioxidative balance is therefore crucial to understanding how symbiotic cnidarians cope with ROS production. We characterized glutathione peroxidases (GPx) in the symbiotic cnidarian Anemonia viridis by analysis of their isoform diversity, their activity distribution in the three cellular compartments (ectoderm, endoderm and zooxanthellae) and their involvement in the response to thermal stress. We identified a GPx repertoire through a phylogenetic analysis showing 7 GPx transcripts belonging to the A. viridis host and 4 GPx transcripts strongly related to Symbiodinium sp. The biochemical approach, used for the first time with a cnidarian species, allowed the identification of GPx activity in the three cellular compartments and in the animal mitochondrial fraction, and revealed a high GPx electrophoretic diversity. The symbiotic lifestyle of zooxanthellae requires more GPx activity and diversity than that of free-living species. Heat stress induced no modification of GPx activities. We highlight a high GPx diversity in A. viridis tissues by genomic and biochemical approaches. GPx activities represent an overall constitutive enzymatic pattern inherent to symbiotic lifestyle adaptation. This work allows the characterization of the GPx family in a symbiotic cnidarian and establishes a foundation for future studies of GPx in symbiotic cnidarians. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  6. Catalase characterization and implication in bleaching of a symbiotic sea anemone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Sabourault, Cécile; Richier, Sophie; Allemand, Denis; Furla, Paola

    2007-01-15

    Symbiotic cnidarians are marine invertebrates harboring photosynthesizing microalgae (named zooxanthellae), which produce great amounts of oxygen and free radicals upon illumination. Studying antioxidative balance is then crucial to understanding how symbiotic cnidarians cope with ROS production. In particular, it is suspected that oxidative stress triggers cnidarian bleaching, i.e., the expulsion of zooxanthellae from the animal host, responsible for symbiotic cnidarian mass mortality worldwide. This study therefore investigates catalase antioxidant enzymes and their role in bleaching of the temperate symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis. Using specific separation of animal tissues (ectoderm and endoderm) from the symbionts (zooxanthellae), spectrophotometric assays and native PAGE revealed both tissue-specific and activity pattern distribution of two catalase electrophoretypes, E1 and E2. E1, expressed in all three tissues, presents high sensitivity to the catalase inhibitor aminotriazole (ATZ) and elevated temperatures. The ectodermal E1 form is responsible for 67% of total catalase activity. The E2 form, expressed only within zooxanthellae and their host endodermal cells, displays low sensitivity to ATZ and relative thermostability. We further cloned an ectodermal catalase, which shares 68% identity with mammalian monofunctional catalases. Last, 6 days of exposure of whole sea anemones to ATZ (0.5 mM) led to effective catalase inhibition and initiated symbiont expulsion. This demonstrates the crucial role of this enzyme in cnidarian bleaching, a phenomenon responsible for worldwide climate-change-induced mass mortalities, with catastrophic consequences for marine biodiversity.

  7. Distinct Bacterial Communities Associated with the Coral Model Aiptasia in Aposymbiotic and Symbiotic States with Symbiodinium

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2016-11-18

    Coral reefs are in decline. The basic functional unit of coral reefs is the coral metaorganism or holobiont consisting of the cnidarian host animal, symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium, and a specific consortium of bacteria (among others), but research is slow due to the difficulty of working with corals. Aiptasia has proven to be a tractable model system to elucidate the intricacies of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses, but characterization of the associated bacterial microbiome is required to provide a complete and integrated understanding of holobiont function. In this work, we characterize and analyze the microbiome of aposymbiotic and symbiotic Aiptasia and show that bacterial associates are distinct in both conditions. We further show that key microbial associates can be cultured without their cnidarian host. Our results suggest that bacteria play an important role in the symbiosis of Aiptasia with Symbiodinium, a finding that underlines the power of the Aiptasia model system where cnidarian hosts can be analyzed in aposymbiotic and symbiotic states. The characterization of the native microbiome and the ability to retrieve culturable isolates contributes to the resources available for the Aiptasia model system. This provides an opportunity to comparatively analyze cnidarian metaorganisms as collective functional holobionts and as separated member species. We hope that this will accelerate research into understanding the intricacies of coral biology, which is urgently needed to develop strategies to mitigate the effects of environmental change.

  8. Symbiodinium isolation by NaOH treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamoum, Thamilla; Furla, Paola

    2012-11-15

    The presence of photosynthetic zooxanthellae (dinoflagellates) in the tissue of many cnidarians is the main reason for their ecological success (i.e. coral reefs). It could also be the main cause of their demise, as the worldwide bleaching of reef-building coral is nothing less than the breakdown of this symbiotic association. The stability of this relationship is the principal marker for the biomonitoring of cnidarian health. We have therefore developed a new, simple method to isolate zooxanthellae in a few steps using NaOH solution. The protocol was validated in three symbiotic cnidarian species: a sea anemone, a gorgonian and a coral. Our method allows the isolation of intact and viable zooxanthellae with better yields than classic methods, especially for species with a calcareous skeleton. Moreover, the isolated zooxanthellae were free of host nucleic contaminants, facilitating subsequent specific molecular analyses.

  9. The primary structure of the Pol-RFamide neuropeptide precursor protein from the hydromedusa Polyorchis penicillatus indicates a novel processing proteinase activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmutzler, C; Diekhoff, D; Grimmelikhuijzen, C J

    1994-01-01

    Neuropeptides containing the C-terminal sequence Arg-Phe-NH2 (RFamide) occur throughout the Animal Kingdom and are abundant in evolutionarily 'old' nervous systems such as those of cnidarians. From the hydromedusa Polyorchis penicillatus we have previously isolated two neuropeptides, Pol-RFamide I (...

  10. Cnidários do Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil

    OpenAIRE

    Silva, William Marcos da

    2017-01-01

    RESUMO Neste trabalho foi levantado o conhecimento atual sobre os cnidários do Estado do Mato Grosso do Sul, e as possibilidades de estudos para este grupo. ABSTRACT In this work it was a survey about the knowledge of the cnidarians in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, and its studies possibilities for this group.

  11. 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,...

  12. Diversity, phylogeny and expression patterns of Pou and Six homeodomain transcription factors in hydrozoan jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbyi

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hroudová, Miluše; Vojta, Petr; Strnad, Hynek; Krejčík, Zdeněk; Rídl, Jakub; Pačes, Jan; Vlček, Čestmír; Pačes, Václav

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 4 (2012), e36420 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0520 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : homeobox genes * cnidarian genome * sensory organs Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2012

  13. The skeleton of the staghorn coral Acropora millepora: molecular and structural characterization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramos-Silva, P.; Kaandorp, J.; Herbst, F.; Plasseraud, L.; Alcaraz, G.; Stern, C.; Corneillat, M.; Guichard, N.; Durlet, C.; Luquet, G.; Marin, F.

    2014-01-01

    The scleractinian coral Acropora millepora is one of the most studied species from the Great Barrier Reef. This species has been used to understand evolutionary, immune and developmental processes in cnidarians. It has also been subject of several ecological studies in order to elucidate reef

  14. Three methods for isolating viable anthozoan endoderm cells with their intracellular symbiotic dinoflagellates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, R. D.; Muscatine, L.

    1992-09-01

    Three maceration methods are described for the isolation of single endoderm cells from marine cnidarians. Two are enzymatic treatments suitable for fleshy anthozoans such as sea anemones and zoanthids. The third employs calcium free sea water and is suitable for stony corals. The viability and morphology of the endoderm cells is described using fluorogenic dyes and scanning and transmission electron microscopy.

  15. Zoanthids of the Cape Verde Islands and their symbionts: previously unexamined diversity in the Northeastern Atlantic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reimer, J.D.; Hirose, M.; Wirtz, P.

    2010-01-01

    The marine invertebrate fauna of the Cape Verde Islands contains many endemic species due to their isolated location in the eastern Atlantic, yet research has not been conducted on most taxa here. One such group are the zoanthids or mat anemones, an order of benthic cnidarians (Hexacorallia:

  16. Effect factors for marine eutrophication in LCIA based on species sensitivity to hypoxia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cosme, Nuno Miguel Dias; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    2016-01-01

    -observed-effect-concentrations (LOEC), were compiled from literature for 91 demersal species of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, annelids, and cnidarians, and converted to temperature-specific benthic (100 m depth) LOEC values. Species distribution and LOEC values were combined using a species sensitivity distribution (SSD...

  17. The potential of azooxanthellate poriferan hosts to assess the fundamental and realized Symbiodinium niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strehlow, Brian; Friday, Sarah; McCauley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    On coral reefs, Symbiodinium spp. are found in most cnidarian species, but reside in only a small number of sponge species. Of the sponges that do harbor Symbiodinium, most are found in the family Clionaidae, which represents a minor fraction of the poriferan diversity on a reef. Our goal...

  18. DNA methylation regulates transcriptional homeostasis of algal endosymbiosis in the coral model Aiptasia

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Yong; Liew, Yi Jin; Cui, Guoxin; Cziesielski, Maha J; Zahran, Noura Ibrahim Omar; Michell, Craig T; Voolstra, Christian R.; Aranda, Manuel

    2017-01-01

    The symbiotic relationship between cnidarians and dinoflagellates is the cornerstone of coral reef ecosystems. Although research is focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying this symbiosis, the role of epigenetic mechanisms, which have been implicated in transcriptional regulation and acclimation to environmental change, is unknown. To assess the role of DNA methylation in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, we analyzed genome-wide CpG methylation, histone associations, and transcriptomic states of symbiotic and aposymbiotic anemones in the model system Aiptasia. We find methylated genes are marked by histone H3K36me3 and show significant reduction of spurious transcription and transcriptional noise, revealing a role of DNA methylation in the maintenance of transcriptional homeostasis. Changes in DNA methylation and expression show enrichment for symbiosis-related processes such as immunity, apoptosis, phagocytosis recognition and phagosome formation, and unveil intricate interactions between the underlying pathways. Our results demonstrate that DNA methylation provides an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional homeostasis during symbiosis.

  19. DNA methylation regulates transcriptional homeostasis of algal endosymbiosis in the coral model Aiptasia

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Yong

    2017-11-03

    The symbiotic relationship between cnidarians and dinoflagellates is the cornerstone of coral reef ecosystems. Although research is focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying this symbiosis, the role of epigenetic mechanisms, which have been implicated in transcriptional regulation and acclimation to environmental change, is unknown. To assess the role of DNA methylation in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, we analyzed genome-wide CpG methylation, histone associations, and transcriptomic states of symbiotic and aposymbiotic anemones in the model system Aiptasia. We find methylated genes are marked by histone H3K36me3 and show significant reduction of spurious transcription and transcriptional noise, revealing a role of DNA methylation in the maintenance of transcriptional homeostasis. Changes in DNA methylation and expression show enrichment for symbiosis-related processes such as immunity, apoptosis, phagocytosis recognition and phagosome formation, and unveil intricate interactions between the underlying pathways. Our results demonstrate that DNA methylation provides an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional homeostasis during symbiosis.

  20. T-box and homeobox genes from the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus: comparison of Brachyury, Tbx2/3 and Tlx in basal metazoans and bilaterians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinelli, Cosimo; Spring, Jürg

    2005-09-12

    Most animals are classified as Bilateria and only four phyla are still extant as outgroups, namely Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria and Ctenophora. These non-bilaterians were not considered to have a mesoderm and hence mesoderm-specific genes. However, the T-box gene Brachyury could be isolated from sponges, placozoans and cnidarians. Here, we describe the first Brachyury and a Tbx2/3 homologue from a ctenophore. In addition, analysing T-box and homeobox genes under comparable conditions in all four basal phyla lead to the discovery of novel T-box genes in sponges and cnidarians and a Tlx homeobox gene in the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus. The conservation of the T-box and the homeobox genes suggest that distinct subfamilies with different roles in bilaterians were already split in non-bilaterians.

  1. Hydroidfest 2016: celebrating a renaissance in hydrozoan research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Dupre

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Hydroidfest 2016 took place on September 23–25 at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay, CA. The meeting brought together cnidarian researchers, with an emphasis on those studying hydrozoans, from North America and other parts of the world. The scientific topics discussed were diverse, including sessions focused on development, regeneration, aging, immunology, symbiosis, and neurobiology. Thanks to the application of modern biological technologies, hydrozoans and other cnidarians are now fertile ground for research in numerous disciplines. Moreover, their amenability to comparative approaches is a powerful asset that was repeatedly showcased during the meeting. Here, we give a brief account of the work that was presented and the opportunities that emerged from the ensuing discussions.

  2. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    KAUST Repository

    Takaku, Yasuharu

    2014-01-07

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia.

  3. Activity of Palythoa caribaeorum Venom on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Mammalian Superior Cervical Ganglion Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Lazcano-Pérez

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The Zoanthids are an order of cnidarians whose venoms and toxins have been poorly studied. Palythoa caribaeorum is a zoanthid commonly found around the Mexican coastline. In this study, we tested the activity of P. caribaeorum venom on voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.7, voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2, the A-type transient outward (IA and delayed rectifier (IDR currents of KV channels of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG neurons of the rat. These results showed that the venom reversibly delays the inactivation process of voltage-gated sodium channels and inhibits voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels in this mammalian model. The compounds responsible for these effects seem to be low molecular weight peptides. Together, these results provide evidence for the potential use of zoanthids as a novel source of cnidarian toxins active on voltage-gated ion channels.

  4. Activity of Palythoa caribaeorum Venom on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Mammalian Superior Cervical Ganglion Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Castro, Héctor; Arenas, Isabel; García, David E; González-Muñoz, Ricardo; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto

    2016-05-05

    The Zoanthids are an order of cnidarians whose venoms and toxins have been poorly studied. Palythoa caribaeorum is a zoanthid commonly found around the Mexican coastline. In this study, we tested the activity of P. caribaeorum venom on voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.7), voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2), the A-type transient outward (IA) and delayed rectifier (IDR) currents of KV channels of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons of the rat. These results showed that the venom reversibly delays the inactivation process of voltage-gated sodium channels and inhibits voltage-gated calcium and potassium channels in this mammalian model. The compounds responsible for these effects seem to be low molecular weight peptides. Together, these results provide evidence for the potential use of zoanthids as a novel source of cnidarian toxins active on voltage-gated ion channels.

  5. Are Hox genes ancestrally involved in axial patterning? Evidence from the hydrozoan Clytia hemisphaerica (Cnidaria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roxane Chiori

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The early evolution and diversification of Hox-related genes in eumetazoans has been the subject of conflicting hypotheses concerning the evolutionary conservation of their role in axial patterning and the pre-bilaterian origin of the Hox and ParaHox clusters. The diversification of Hox/ParaHox genes clearly predates the origin of bilaterians. However, the existence of a "Hox code" predating the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor and supporting the deep homology of axes is more controversial. This assumption was mainly based on the interpretation of Hox expression data from the sea anemone, but growing evidence from other cnidarian taxa puts into question this hypothesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Hox, ParaHox and Hox-related genes have been investigated here by phylogenetic analysis and in situ hybridisation in Clytia hemisphaerica, an hydrozoan species with medusa and polyp stages alternating in the life cycle. Our phylogenetic analyses do not support an origin of ParaHox and Hox genes by duplication of an ancestral ProtoHox cluster, and reveal a diversification of the cnidarian HOX9-14 genes into three groups called A, B, C. Among the 7 examined genes, only those belonging to the HOX9-14 and the CDX groups exhibit a restricted expression along the oral-aboral axis during development and in the planula larva, while the others are expressed in very specialised areas at the medusa stage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Cross species comparison reveals a strong variability of gene expression along the oral-aboral axis and during the life cycle among cnidarian lineages. The most parsimonious interpretation is that the Hox code, collinearity and conservative role along the antero-posterior axis are bilaterian innovations.

  6. Envenenamento por caravela (Physalia physalis) manifestando-se com erupção papulopurpurica

    OpenAIRE

    Risk, Yamin José; Cardoso, João Luiz Costa; Haddad Junior, Vidal

    2012-01-01

    We report the case of a 42-year old woman who was envenomed by a Portuguese man-o'-war (Physalia physalis). She presented an anomalous reaction manifested by purpuric papules that appeared after the initial phase of envenoming (around 24 hours later), when linear erythematous and edematous papules were observed. Late-onset reactions in accidents involving cnidarians commonly include chronic eruptions and local pigmentation.Os autores relatam um envenenamento causado por um cnidário, a caravel...

  7. Caribbean marine biodiversity as a source of new compounds of biomedical interest and others industrial applications

    OpenAIRE

    Nuñez, R.; Garateix, A.; Laguna, A.; Fernández, M.D.; Ortiz, E.; Llanio, M.; Valdés, O.; Rodríguez, A.; Menéndez, R.

    2006-01-01

    The Cuban marine flora and fauna is characterized by its richness in species that represents an extraordinary natural source of unexplored biomolecular diversity. Many of those biomolecules could represent important tools for industrial applications. For this reason, in our Centre the main aim was focused on the isolation, purification and characterization of bioactive compounds present in marine invertebrates with particular emphasis on sponges, cnidarians, seaweeds and marine...

  8. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Tambutte Sylvie; Tambutte Eric; Ferrier-Pages Christine; Mone Yves; Duval David; Foure Laurent; Roger Emmanuel; Adjeroud Mehdi; Vidal-Dupiol Jeremie; Zoccola Didier; Allemand Denis; Mitta Guillaume

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better unde...

  9. Natural high pCO2 increases autotrophy in Anemonia viridis (Anthozoa) as revealed from stable isotope (C, N) analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Horwitz, Rael; Borell, Esther M.; Yam, Ruth; Shemesh, Aldo; Fine, Maoz

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary cnidarian-algae symbioses are challenged by increasing CO2 concentrations (ocean warming and acidification) affecting organisms' biological performance. We examined the natural variability of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis to investigate dietary shifts (autotrophy/heterotrophy) along a natural pCO2 gradient at the island of Vulcano, Italy. ?13C values for both algal symbionts (Symbiodinium) and host tissue of A. viridis became significa...

  10. Differential distribution of lipids in epidermis, gastrodermis and hosted Symbiodinium in the sea anemone Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revel, Johana; Massi, Lionel; Mehiri, Mohamed; Boutoute, Marc; Mayzaud, Patrick; Capron, Laure; Sabourault, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis mainly relies on nutrient recycling, thus providing both partners with a competitive advantage in nutrient-poor waters. Essential processes related to lipid metabolism can be influenced by various factors, including hyperthermal stress. This can affect the lipid content and distribution in both partners, while contributing to symbiosis disruption and bleaching. In order to gain further insight into the role and distribution of lipids in the cnidarian metabolism, we investigated the lipid composition of the sea anemone Anemonia viridis and its photosynthetic dinoflagellate endosymbionts (Symbiodinium). We compared the lipid content and fatty acid profiles of the host cellular layers, non-symbiotic epidermal and symbiont-containing gastrodermal cells, and those of Symbiodinium, in a mass spectrometry-based assessment. Lipids were more concentrated in Symbiodinium cells, and the lipid class distribution was dominated by polar lipids in all tissues. The fatty acid distribution between host cell layers and Symbiodinium cells suggested potential lipid transfers between the partners. The lipid composition and distribution was modified during short-term hyperthermal stress, mainly in Symbiodinium cells and gastrodermis. Exposure to elevated temperature rapidly caused a decrease in polar lipid C18 unsaturated fatty acids and a strong and rapid decrease in the abundance of polar lipid fatty acids relative to sterols. These lipid indicators could therefore be used as sensitive biomarkers to assess the physiology of symbiotic cnidarians, especially the effect of thermal stress at the onset of cnidarian bleaching. Overall, the findings of this study provide some insight on key lipids that may regulate maintenance of the symbiotic interaction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Consequences of Stinging Plankton Blooms on Finfish Mariculture in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mar Bosch-Belmar

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, caged finfish mariculture across European seas suffered production losses by severe fish mortality, following episodic outbreaks of invertebrate cnidarian stingers. Due to their stinging cells and injectable venoms, medusozoan jellyfish, or drifting propagules of polyp colonies at high density may impair caged fish health through toxic effects on vulnerable tissues of gills and skin, and related secondary bacterial infections. Gill disorders in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax fish farms along the Spanish Mediterranean coast are commonly reported, but regular monitoring of the frequency of cnidarian outbreaks and their potential impacts on caged fish is still poorly enforced. In this study, two sea bass mariculture farms in Southern Spain (Málaga; Almería were monitored biweekly for zooplankton, phytoplankton and fish gills condition, over 13 or 30 months for the Málaga and Almería facilities, respectively, within the period 2012–2014. Significant, direct correlations were found among low water temperature, recorded fish mortalities, and high abundances of planktonic cnidarians, particularly of the hydrozoan siphonophores Muggiaea atlantica and M. kochii, and the larval stage of Ectopleura larynx, a common member of cage biofouling communities. A significant relationship between cnidarian densities and the quantitative scoring of gill pathology was also observed. In addition, high densities of long-bristled planktonic diatoms (Chaetoceros spp. coincided with a major fish mortality event (April 2012, Almería farm. Standardised monitoring of plankton dynamics and composition may help in promoting response capacities of Mediterranean mariculture managers to fish health challenges (such as stinging plankton blooms by (a improving diagnostic tools and preventative countermeasures and (b supporting the development of science-based spatial planning and sustainable growth of coastal mariculture.

  12. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma

    OpenAIRE

    Hammel, J. U.; Herzen, J.; Beckmann, F.; Nickel, M.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation ...

  13. Zoanthids of the Cape Verde Islands and their symbionts: previously unexamined diversity in the Northeastern Atlantic

    OpenAIRE

    Reimer, J.D.; Hirose, M.; Wirtz, P.

    2010-01-01

    The marine invertebrate fauna of the Cape Verde Islands contains many endemic species due to their isolated location in the eastern Atlantic, yet research has not been conducted on most taxa here. One such group are the zoanthids or mat anemones, an order of benthic cnidarians (Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) common in many marine environments. In this study, the diversity of zoanthids in the Cape Verde Islands is specifically examined for the first time. Field images and sampling are combined with...

  14. Biological activities of secondary metabolites of the order Zoanthids

    OpenAIRE

    Zahra Aminikhoei; Zeinab Janahmadi; Iraj Nabipour

    2015-01-01

    The phylum Cnidaria is a large, diverse and ecologically important group of marine invertebrates, which produce powerful toxins and venoms. The number of marine natural product from cnidarians isolated from class Anthozoa. Among the Anthozoa, the order of zoanthids are sessile, clonal and mostly brightly colored invertebrate which produce high biodiversity of cytolitic, neurotoxic and cardiotoxic compounds. Zoanthids containing palytoxins are reportedly among the most toxic marine organisms k...

  15. A survey on relation of morphological, molecular and phylogenetic structure of zoanthids of the islands located in the Hormoz Strait (Hormoz, Qeshm, Larak, Hengam)

    OpenAIRE

    Noori Koupaei, Atoosa

    2014-01-01

    The order Zoantharia (Zoanthids) is one of the most neglected orders of cnidarians in the Persian Gulf. The present study aims to investigate the biodiversity of this order with morphological and molecular examination in the Persian Gulf. For this purpose, 123 colonies of zoanthids with variety of shape and colors have been collected from intertidal and shallow water zone of four islands, i. e. Hengam, Qeshm, Larak and Hormoz. After sampling, morphological characteristics of each specimen wer...

  16. Genomic diversity of vibrios associated with the Brazilian coral Mussismilia hispida and its sympatric zoanthids (Palythoa caribaeorum, Palythoa variabilis and Zoanthus solanderi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimetto, L A; Brocchi, M; Gondo, M; Thompson, C C; Gomez-Gil, B; Thompson, F L

    2009-06-01

    A taxonomic survey of the vibrios associated with the Brazilian endemic coral Mussismilia hispida and the sympatric zoanthids (i.e. Palythoa caribaeorum, Palythoa variabilis and Zoanthus solanderi). Mucus of 54 cnidarian specimens collected in three different places at São Sebastião in two consecutive years (i.e. 2005 and 2006) was used for taxonomic characterization of the cnidarian microbiota. Ninety-eight of the 151 vibrio isolates fell within the vibrio core group according to partial 16S rDNA sequences. We performed the sequencing of recA and pyrH genes of all vibrio isolates. The most abundant taxa belonged to the vibrio core group (Vibrio harveyi, Vibrio rotiferianus, Vibrio campbellii and Vibrio alginolyticus), Vibrio mediterranei (=Vibrio shillonii) and Vibrio chagasii. With the exception of V. chagasii which was found only in the mucus of M. hispida, the other species appeared in different hosts with no evidence for the presence of host-specific clones or species. Using rep-PCR analysis, we observed a high genomic heterogeneity within the vibrios. Each vibrio isolate generated a different rep-PCR fingerprint pattern. There was a complete agreement between the grouping based on rep-PCR and concatenated sequences of pyrH, recA and 16S rDNA, but the pyrH gene has the highest discriminatory power for vibrio species identification. The vibrio core group is dominant in the mucus of these cnidarians. There is a tremendous diversity of vibrio lineages within the coral mucus. pyrH gene sequences permit a clear-cut identification of vibrios. The taxonomic resolution provided by pyrH (but not recA) appears to be enough for identifying species of vibrios and for disclosing putative new taxa. The vibrio core group appears to be dominant in the mucus of the Brazilian cnidarians. The overrepresentation of these vibrios may reflect as yet unknown ecological functions in the coral holobiont.

  17. Structural and Developmental Disparity in the Tentacles of the Moon Jellyfish Aurelia sp.1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Gold

    Full Text Available Tentacles armed with stinging cells (cnidocytes are a defining trait of the cnidarians, a phylum that includes sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, and hydras. While cnidarian tentacles are generally characterized as structures evolved for feeding and defense, significant variation exists between the tentacles of different species, and within the same species across different life stages and/or body regions. Such diversity suggests cryptic distinctions exist in tentacle function. In this paper, we use confocal and transmission electron microscopy to contrast the structure and development of tentacles in the moon jellyfish, Aurelia species 1. We show that polyp oral tentacles and medusa marginal tentacles display markedly different cellular and muscular architecture, as well as distinct patterns of cellular proliferation during growth. Many structural differences between these tentacle types may reflect biomechanical solutions to different feeding strategies, although further work would be required for a precise mechanistic understanding. However, differences in cell proliferation dynamics suggests that the two tentacle forms lack a conserved mechanism of development, challenging the textbook-notion that cnidarian tentacles can be homologized into a conserved bauplan.

  18. How does an animal behave like a plant? Physiological and molecular adaptations of zooxanthellae and their hosts to symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allemand, Denis; Furla, Paola

    2018-04-09

    Cnidarians (corals and sea anemones) harbouring photosynthetic microalgae derive several benefits from their association. To allow this association, numerous symbiotic-dependent adaptations in both partners, resulting from evolutionary pressures, have been selected. The dinoflagellate symbionts (zooxanthellae) are located inside a vesicle in the cnidarian host cell and are therefore exposed to a very different environment compared to the free-living state of these microalgae in terms of ion concentration and carbon content and speciation. In addition, this intracellular localization imposes that they rely completely upon the host for their nutrient supply (nitrogen, CO 2 ). Symbiotic-dependent adaptations imposed to the animal host by phototrophic symbiosis are more relevant to photosynthetic organisms than to metazoans: indeed, the cnidarian host often harbours diurnal changes of morphology to adapt itself to the amount of light and possesses carbon-concentrating mechanisms, antioxidative defences and UV sunscreens similar to that present in phototrophs. These adaptations and the contrasting fragility of the association are discussed from both ecological and evolutionary points of view. Copyright © 2018 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  19. Oxidative stress and apoptotic events during thermal stress in the symbiotic sea anemone, Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richier, Sophie; Sabourault, Cécile; Courtiade, Juliette; Zucchini, Nathalie; Allemand, Denis; Furla, Paola

    2006-09-01

    Symbiosis between cnidarian and photosynthetic protists is widely distributed over temperate and tropical seas. These symbioses can periodically breakdown, a phenomenon known as cnidarian bleaching. This event can be irreversible for some associations subjected to acute and/or prolonged environmental disturbances, and leads to the death of the animal host. During bleaching, oxidative stress has been described previously as acting at molecular level and apoptosis is suggested to be one of the mechanisms involved. We focused our study on the role of apoptosis in bleaching via oxidative stress in the association between the sea anemone Anemonia viridis and the dinoflagellates Symbiodinium species. Characterization of caspase-like enzymes were conducted at the biochemical and molecular level to confirm the presence of a caspase-dependent apoptotic phenomenon in the cnidarian host. We provide evidence of oxidative stress followed by induction of caspase-like activity in animal host cells after an elevated temperature stress, suggesting the concomitant action of these components in bleaching.

  20. Molecular characterization of two CuZn-superoxide dismutases in a sea anemone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plantivaux, Amandine; Furla, Paola; Zoccola, Didier; Garello, Ginette; Forcioli, Didier; Richier, Sophie; Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Tambutté, Eric; Tambutté, Sylvie; Allemand, Denis

    2004-10-15

    Cnidarians living in symbiosis with photosynthetic cells--called zooxanthellae--are submitted to high oxygen levels generated by photosynthesis. To cope with this hyperoxic state, symbiotic cnidarians present a high diversity of superoxide dismutases (SOD) isoforms. To understand better the mechanism of resistance of cnidarian hosts to hyperoxia, we studied copper- and zinc-containing SOD (CuZnSOD) from Anemonia viridis, a temperate symbiotic sea anemone. We cloned two CuZnSOD genes that we call AvCuZnSODa and AvCuZnSODb. Their molecular analysis suggests that the AvCuZnSODa transcript encodes an extracellular form of CuZnSOD, whereas the AvCuZnSODb transcript encodes an intracellular form. Using in situ hybridization, we showed that both AvCuZnSODa and AvCuZnSODb transcripts are expressed in the endodermal and ectodermal cells of the sea anemone, but not in the zooxanthellae. The genomic flanking sequences of AvCuZnSODa and AvCuZnSODb revealed different putative binding sites for transcription factors, suggesting different modes of regulation for the two genes. This study represents a first step in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of host animal resistance to permanent hyperoxia status resulting from the photosynthetic symbiosis. Moreover, AvCuZnSODa and AvCuZnSODb are the first SODs cloned from a diploblastic animal, contributing to the evolutionary understanding of SODs.

  1. Coral skeletons defend against ultraviolet radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Reef

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many coral reef organisms are photosynthetic or have evolved in tight symbiosis with photosynthetic symbionts. As such, the tissues of reef organisms are often exposed to intense solar radiation in clear tropical waters and have adapted to trap and harness photosynthetically active radiation (PAR. High levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR associated with sunlight, however, represent a potential problem in terms of tissue damage. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By measuring UVR and PAR reflectance from intact and ground bare coral skeletons we show that the property of calcium carbonate skeletons to absorb downwelling UVR to a significant extent, while reflecting PAR back to the overlying tissue, has biological advantages. We placed cnidarians on top of bare skeletons and a UVR reflective substrate and showed that under ambient UVR levels, UVR transmitted through the tissues of cnidarians placed on top of bare skeletons were four times lower compared to their counterparts placed on a UVR reflective white substrate. In accordance with the lower levels of UVR measured in cnidarians on top of coral skeletons, a similar drop in UVR damage to their DNA was detected. The skeletons emitted absorbed UVR as yellow fluorescence, which allows for safe dissipation of the otherwise harmful radiation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study presents a novel defensive role for coral skeletons and reveals that the strong UVR absorbance by the skeleton can contribute to the ability of corals, and potentially other calcifiers, to thrive under UVR levels that are detrimental to most marine life.

  2. Stimulated Respiration and Net Photosynthesis in Cassiopeia sp. during Glucose Enrichment Suggests in hospite CO2 Limitation of Algal Endosymbionts

    KAUST Repository

    Radecker, Nils

    2017-08-15

    The endosymbiosis between cnidarians and dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium is key to the high productivity of tropical coral reefs. In this endosymbiosis, Symbiodinium translocate most of their photosynthates to their animal host in exchange for inorganic nutrients. Among these, carbon dioxide (CO ) derived fromhost respiration helps to meet the carbon requirements to sustain photosynthesis of the dinoflagellates. Nonetheless, recent studies suggest that productivity in symbiotic cnidarians such as corals is CO -limited. Here we show that glucose enrichment stimulates respiration and gross photosynthesis rates by 80 and 140%, respectively, in the symbiotic upside-down jellyfish Cassiopeia sp. from the Central Red Sea. Our findings show that glucose was rapidly consumed and respired within the Cassiopeia sp. holobiont. The resulting increase of CO availability in hospite in turn likely stimulated photosynthesis in Symbiodinium. Hence, the increase of photosynthesis under these conditions suggests that CO limitation of Symbiodinium is a common feature of stable cnidarian holobionts and that the stimulation of holobiont metabolism may attenuate this CO limitation.

  3. More than just orphans: are taxonomically-restricted genes important in evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalturin, Konstantin; Hemmrich, Georg; Fraune, Sebastian; Augustin, René; Bosch, Thomas C G

    2009-09-01

    Comparative genome analyses indicate that every taxonomic group so far studied contains 10-20% of genes that lack recognizable homologs in other species. Do such 'orphan' or 'taxonomically-restricted' genes comprise spurious, non-functional ORFs, or does their presence reflect important evolutionary processes? Recent studies in basal metazoans such as Nematostella, Acropora and Hydra have shed light on the function of these genes, and now indicate that they are involved in important species-specific adaptive processes. Here we focus on evidence from Hydra suggesting that taxonomically-restricted genes play a role in the creation of phylum-specific novelties such as cnidocytes, in the generation of morphological diversity, and in the innate defence system. We propose that taxon-specific genes drive morphological specification, enabling organisms to adapt to changing conditions.

  4. Biodiversity and evolution of the Myxozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canning, Elizabeth U; Okamura, Beth

    2004-01-01

    Myxozoans (phylum Myxozoa) are metazoan parasites utilizing invertebrate and (mainly) aquatic vertebrate hosts. They have in common with cnidarians the possession of virtually identical, highly complex organelles, namely the polar capsules in myxozoan spores, serving for attachment to new hosts and the nematocysts in surface epithelia of cnidarians, serving for food capture. Although myxozoan spores are multicellular, the simple trophic body forms of almost all species, reduced to syncytial plasmodia or single cells, reveal no clues to myxozoan ancestry or phylogenetic relationships. The myxozoan genus Buddenbrockia is one of only two known genera belonging to a clade which diverged early in the evolution of the Myxozoa. Today the Myxozoa are represented by two classes, the Myxosporea, containing all the better-known genera, which alternate between fish and annelids, and the Malacosporea, containing Buddenbrockia and Tetracapsuloides, parasitising bryozoans. The latter genus also infects salmonid fish, causing proliferative kidney disease (PKD). The enigmatic Buddenbrockia has retained some of its ancestral features in a body wall of two cell layers and a worm-like shape, maintained by four longitudinally-running muscle blocks, similar to a gutless nematode and suggestive of a bilaterian ancestry. Although some analyses of 18S rDNA sequences tend towards a cnidarian (diploblast) affinity for myxozoans, the majority of these studies place them within, or sister to, the Bilateria. The latter view is supported by their possession of central class Hox genes, so far considered to be synapomorphic for Bilateria. The simple body form is, therefore, an extreme example of simplification due to parasitism. Various hypotheses for the occurrence of identical complex organelles (nematocysts and polar capsules) in diploblast and triploblast phyla are evaluated: common ancestry, convergent evolution, gene transfer and, especially, endosymbiosis. A theory of the evolution of their

  5. A phylogenomic profile of hemerythrins, the nonheme diiron binding respiratory proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mizuguchi Kenji

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hemerythrins, are the non-heme, diiron binding respiratory proteins of brachiopods, priapulids and sipunculans; they are also found in annelids and bacteria, where their functions have not been fully elucidated. Results A search for putative Hrs in the genomes of 43 archaea, 444 bacteria and 135 eukaryotes, revealed their presence in 3 archaea, 118 bacteria, several fungi, one apicomplexan, a heterolobosan, a cnidarian and several annelids. About a fourth of the Hr sequences were identified as N- or C-terminal domains of chimeric, chemotactic gene regulators. The function of the remaining single domain bacterial Hrs remains to be determined. In addition to oxygen transport, the possible functions in annelids have been proposed to include cadmium-binding, antibacterial action and immunoprotection. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree revealed a split into two clades, one encompassing archaea, bacteria and fungi, and the other comprising the remaining eukaryotes. The annelid and sipunculan Hrs share the same intron-exon structure, different from that of the cnidarian Hr. Conclusion The phylogenomic profile of Hrs demonstrated a limited occurrence in bacteria and archaea and a marked absence in the vast majority of multicellular organisms. Among the metazoa, Hrs have survived in a cnidarian and in a few protostome groups; hence, it appears that in metazoans the Hr gene was lost in deuterostome ancestor(s after the radiata/bilateria split. Signal peptide sequences in several Hirudinea Hrs suggest for the first time, the possibility of extracellular localization. Since the α-helical bundle is likely to have been among the earliest protein folds, Hrs represent an ancient family of iron-binding proteins, whose primary function in bacteria may have been that of an oxygen sensor, enabling aerophilic or aerophobic responses. Although Hrs evolved to function as O2 transporters in brachiopods, priapulids and sipunculans, their function in

  6. The dynamically evolving nematocyst content of an anthozoan, a scyphozoan, and a hydrozoan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachamim, Tamar; Morgenstern, David; Aharonovich, Dikla; Brekhman, Vera; Lotan, Tamar; Sher, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Nematocytes, the stinging cells of cnidarians, are the most evolutionarily ancient venom apparatus. These nanosyringe-like weaponry systems reach pressures of approximately 150 atmospheres before discharging and punching through the outer layer of the prey or predator at accelerations of more than 5 million g, making them one of the fastest biomechanical events known. To gain better understanding of the function of the complex, phylum-specific nematocyst organelle, and its venom payload, we compared the soluble nematocyst's proteome from the sea anemone Anemonia viridis, the jellyfish Aurelia aurita, and the hydrozoan Hydra magnipapillata, each belonging to one of the three basal cnidarian lineages which diverged over 600 Ma. Although the basic morphological and functional characteristics of the nematocysts of the three organisms are similar, out of hundreds of proteins identified in each organism, only six are shared. These include structural proteins, a chaperone which may help maintain venon activity over extended periods, and dickkopf, an enigmatic Wnt ligand which may also serve as a toxin. Nevertheless, many protein domains are shared between the three organisms' nematocyst content suggesting common proteome functionalities. The venoms of Hydra and Aurelia appear to be functionally similar and composed mainly of cytotoxins and enzymes, whereas the venom of the Anemonia is markedly unique and based on peptide neurotoxins. Cnidarian venoms show evidence for functional recruitment, yet evidence for diversification through positive selection, common to other venoms, is lacking. The final injected nematocyst payload comprises a mixture of dynamically evolving proteins involved in the development, maturation, maintenance, and discharge of the nematocysts, which is unique to each organism and potentially to each nematocyst type. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved

  7. Molecular cloning of a peptidylglycine alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase from sea anemones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hauser, F; Williamson, M; Grimmelikhuijzen, C J

    1997-01-01

    conserved regions of PHM, we have now cloned a PHM from the sea anemone Calliactis parasitica showing 42% amino acid sequence identity with rat PHM. Among the conserved (identical) amino acid residues are five histidine and one methionine residue, which bind two Cu2+ atoms that are essential for PHM...... activity. No cDNA coding for PAL could be identified, suggesting that sea anemone PAL is coded for by a gene that is different from the sea anemone PHM gene, a situation similar to the one found in insects. This is the first report on the molecular cloning of a cnidarian PHM. Udgivelsesdato: 1997-Dec-18...

  8. Fibrous mini-collagens in hydra nematocysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holstein, T W; Benoit, M; Herder, G V; David, C N; Wanner, G; Gaub, H E

    1994-07-15

    Nematocysts (cnidocysts) are exocytotic organelles found in all cnidarians. Here, atomic force microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy reveal the structure of the nematocyst capsule wall. The outer wall consists of globular proteins of unknown function. The inner wall consists of bundles of collagen-like fibrils having a spacing of 50 to 100 nanometers and cross-striations at intervals of 32 nanometers. The fibrils consist of polymers of "mini-collagens," which are abundant in the nematocysts of Hydra. The distinct pattern of mini-collagen fibers in the inner wall can provide the tensile strength necessary to withstand the high osmotic pressure (15 megapascals) in the capsules.

  9. Delayed allergic dermatitis presenting as a keloid-like reaction caused by sting from an Indo-Pacific Portuguese man-o'-war (Physalia utriculus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guevara, B E K; Dayrit, J F; Haddad, V

    2017-03-01

    Cnidarian envenomations are common occurrences in the tropics that can affect holidaymakers. The cutaneous reactions are classified as immediate or delayed types. Delayed allergic reactions are persistently recurring dermatitis, which can occur within 1-4 weeks from the initial sting, and may last for several months. Hypertrophic scar-like or keloid-like reactions are rare, and are believed to be a type IV hypersensitivity reaction to sequestered antigens from stinging filaments. We report an unusual case of delayed allergic dermatitis with keloid-like presentation caused by Physalia utriculus. © 2017 British Association of Dermatologists.

  10. Molecular Characterization of a Catalase from Hydra vulgaris

    OpenAIRE

    Dash, Bhagirathi; Phillips, Timothy D.

    2012-01-01

    Catalase, an antioxidant and hydroperoxidase enzyme protects the cellular environment from harmful effects of hydrogen peroxide by facilitating its degradation to oxygen and water. Molecular information on a cnidarian catalase and/or peroxidase is, however, limited. In this work an apparent full length cDNA sequence coding for a catalase (HvCatalase) was isolated from Hydra vulgaris using 3’- and 5’- (RLM) RACE approaches. The 1859 bp HvCatalase cDNA included an open reading frame of 1518 bp ...

  11. First Records of Two Species of Crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura Collected from Southern Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyun Sook Ko

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Two species of crabs, Homola orientalis Henderson, 1888 and Pseudomicippe nipponica (Sakai, 1938, are described and illustrated for the first time in Korea. Homola orientalis was collected at 30 m depth by trap from Busan, and P. nipponica was collected on the intertidal region in Seongsanpo, Jejudo Island. Homola orientalis is the first species of its family in the region. The family Homoldae is characterized by a linea homolica on the carapace and they carry camouflage in the form of sponges or cnidarians with subchelate of the fourth ambulatory legs. The Korean brachyuran fauna now comprises 223 species including the new records from this study.

  12. Abundance of Corals on Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolian, Stephan R.; Sammarco, Paul W.; Porter, Scott A.

    2017-08-01

    Scleractinian, octocoral, and antipatharian corals have colonized many of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We surveyed 25 offshore oil and gas platforms for these cnidarians. Few to no corals were detected on inshore, shallow-water structures at data suggest that the offshore platforms located in waters of >25-30 m in the study area are often colonized by these corals. We recommend that structures located in deeper waters should be surveyed for coral and, if the populations are substantial, consider alternate uses for the retired platforms, and leaving them in place, when feasible.

  13. Pain-Causing Venom Peptides: Insights into Sensory Neuron Pharmacology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sina Jami

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Venoms are produced by a wide variety of species including spiders, scorpions, reptiles, cnidarians, and fish for the purpose of harming or incapacitating predators or prey. While some venoms are of relatively simple composition, many contain hundreds to thousands of individual components with distinct pharmacological activity. Pain-inducing or “algesic” venom compounds have proven invaluable to our understanding of how physiological nociceptive neural networks operate. In this review, we present an overview of some of the diverse nociceptive pathways that can be modulated by specific venom components to evoke pain.

  14. Experimentally Induced Bleaching in the Sea Anemone Exaiptasia Supports Glucose as a Main Metabolite Associated with Its Symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Hugo Molina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Our current understanding of carbon exchange between partners in the Symbiodinium-cnidarian symbioses is still limited, even though studies employing carbon isotopes have made us aware of the metabolic complexity of this exchange. We examined glycerol and glucose metabolism to better understand how photosynthates are exchanged between host and symbiont. The levels of these metabolites were compared between symbiotic and bleached Exaiptasia pallida anemones, assaying enzymes directly involved in their metabolism. We measured a significant decrease of glucose levels in bleached animals but a significant increase in glycerol and G3P pools, suggesting that bleached animals degrade lipids to compensate for the loss of symbionts and seem to rely on symbiotic glucose. The lower glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase but higher glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase specific activities measured in bleached animals agree with a metabolic deficit mainly due to the loss of glucose from the ruptured symbiosis. These results corroborate previous observations on carbon translocation from symbiont to host in the sea anemone Exaiptasia, where glucose was proposed as a main translocated metabolite. To better understand photosynthate translocation and its regulation, additional research with other symbiotic cnidarians is needed, in particular, those with calcium carbonate skeletons.

  15. Circulation of fluids in the gastrovascular system of a stoloniferan octocoral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrin, Austin P; Netherton, Sarah E; Bross, Lori S; McFadden, Catherine S; Blackstone, Neil W

    2010-10-01

    Cilia-based transport systems characterize sponges and placozoans. Cilia are employed in cnidarian gastrovascular systems as well, but typically function in concert with muscular contractions. Previous reports suggest that anthozoans may be an exception to this pattern, utilizing only cilia in their gastrovascular systems. With an inverted microscope and digital image analysis, we used stoloniferan octocoral colonies growing on microscope cover glass to quantitatively describe the movement of fluids in this system for the first time. Flow in stolons (diameter ≈300 μm) is simultaneously bidirectional, with average velocities of 100-200 μm/s in each direction. Velocities are maximal immediately adjacent to the stolon wall and decrease to a minimum in the center of the stolon. Flow velocity is unaffected by stolonal contractions, suggesting that muscular peristalsis is not a factor in propelling the flow. Stolon intersections (diameter ≈500 μm) occur below polyps and serve as traffic roundabouts with unidirectional, circular flow. Such cilia-driven transport may be the plesiomorphic state for the gastrovascular system of cnidarians.

  16. Microcystin‐LR Detected in a Low Molecular Weight  Fraction from a Crude Extract of Zoanthus sociatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dany Domínguez‐Pérez

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Cnidarian constitutes a great source of bioactive compounds. However, research involving peptides from organisms belonging to the order Zoanthidea has received very little attention, contrasting to the numerous studies of the order Actiniaria, from which hundreds of toxic peptides and proteins have been reported. In this work, we performed a mass spectrometry analysis of a low molecular weight (LMW fraction previously reported as lethal to mice. The low molecular weight (LMW fraction was obtained by gel filtration of a Zoanthus sociatus (order Zoanthidea crude extract with a Sephadex G‐50, and then analyzed by matrix‐assisted laser desorption/ionization time‐of‐flight/time‐of‐flight (MALDI‐TOF/TOF mass spectrometry (MS in positive ion reflector mode from m/z 700 to m/z 4000. Afterwards, some of the most intense and representative MS ions were fragmented by MS/MS with no significant results obtained by Protein Pilot protein identification software and the Mascot algorithm search. However, microcystin masses were detected by mass‐matching against libraries of non‐ribosomal peptide database (NORINE. Subsequent reversed‐phase C18 HPLC (in isocratic elution mode and mass spectrometry analyses corroborated the presence of the cyanotoxin Microcystin‐LR (MC‐LR. To the best of our knowledge, this finding constitutes the first report of MC‐LR in Z. sociatus, and one of the few evidences of such cyanotoxin in cnidarians.

  17. The putative Notch ligand HyJagged is a transmembrane protein present in all cell types of adult Hydra and upregulated at the boundary between bud and parent

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    Tischer Susanne

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Notch signalling pathway is conserved in pre-bilaterian animals. In the Cnidarian Hydra it is involved in interstitial stem cell differentiation and in boundary formation during budding. Experimental evidence suggests that in Hydra Notch is activated by presenilin through proteolytic cleavage at the S3 site as in all animals. However, the endogenous ligand for HvNotch has not been described yet. Results We have cloned a cDNA from Hydra, which encodes a bona-fide Notch ligand with a conserved domain structure similar to that of Jagged-like Notch ligands from other animals. Hyjagged mRNA is undetectable in adult Hydra by in situ hybridisation but is strongly upregulated and easily visible at the border between bud and parent shortly before bud detachment. In contrast, HyJagged protein is found in all cell types of an adult hydra, where it localises to membranes and endosomes. Co-localisation experiments showed that it is present in the same cells as HvNotch, however not always in the same membrane structures. Conclusions The putative Notch ligand HyJagged is conserved in Cnidarians. Together with HvNotch it may be involved in the formation of the parent-bud boundary in Hydra. Moreover, protein distribution of both, HvNotch receptor and HyJagged indicate a more widespread function for these two transmembrane proteins in the adult hydra, which may be regulated by additional factors, possibly involving endocytic pathways.

  18. Cell formation by myxozoan species is not explained by dogma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Eukaryotes form new cells through the replication of nuclei followed by cytokinesis. A notable exception is reported from the class Myxosporea of the phylum Myxozoa. This assemblage of approximately 2310 species is regarded as either basal bilaterian or cnidarian, depending on the phylogenetic analysis employed. For myxosporeans, cells have long been regarded as forming within other cells by a process referred to as endogenous budding. This would involve a nucleus forming endoplasmic reticulum around it, which transforms into a new plasma membrane, thus enclosing and separating it from the surrounding cell. This remarkable process, unique within the Metazoa, is accepted as occurring within stages found in vertebrate hosts, but has only been inferred from those stages observed within invertebrate hosts. Therefore, I conducted an ultrastructural study to examine how internal cells are formed by a myxosporean parasitizing an annelid. In this case, actinospore parasite stages clearly internalized existing cells; a process with analogies to the acquisition of endosymbiotic algae by cnidarian species. A subsequent examination of the myxozoan literature did not support endogenous budding, indicating that this process, which has been a central tenet of myxozoan developmental biology for over a century, is dogma. PMID:20392735

  19. Multiple photoreceptor systems control the swim pacemaker activity in box jellyfish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garm, Anders Lydik; Mori, S.

    2009-01-01

    Like all other cnidarian medusae, box jellyfish propel themselves through the water by contracting their bell-shaped body in discrete swim pulses. These pulses are controlled by a swim pacemaker system situated in their sensory structures, the rhopalia. Each medusa has four rhopalia each with a s......Like all other cnidarian medusae, box jellyfish propel themselves through the water by contracting their bell-shaped body in discrete swim pulses. These pulses are controlled by a swim pacemaker system situated in their sensory structures, the rhopalia. Each medusa has four rhopalia each...... with a similar set of six eyes of four morphologically different types. We have examined how each of the four eye types influences the swim pacemaker. Multiple photoreceptor systems, three of the four eye types, plus the rhopalial neuropil, affect the swim pacemaker. The lower lens eye inhibits the pacemaker...... when stimulated and provokes a strong increase in the pacemaker frequency upon light-off. The upper lens eye, the pit eyes and the rhopalial neuropil all have close to the opposite effect. When these responses are compared with all-eye stimulations it is seen that some advanced integration must take...

  20. Cell formation by myxozoan species is not explained by dogma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, David J

    2010-08-22

    Eukaryotes form new cells through the replication of nuclei followed by cytokinesis. A notable exception is reported from the class Myxosporea of the phylum Myxozoa. This assemblage of approximately 2310 species is regarded as either basal bilaterian or cnidarian, depending on the phylogenetic analysis employed. For myxosporeans, cells have long been regarded as forming within other cells by a process referred to as endogenous budding. This would involve a nucleus forming endoplasmic reticulum around it, which transforms into a new plasma membrane, thus enclosing and separating it from the surrounding cell. This remarkable process, unique within the Metazoa, is accepted as occurring within stages found in vertebrate hosts, but has only been inferred from those stages observed within invertebrate hosts. Therefore, I conducted an ultrastructural study to examine how internal cells are formed by a myxosporean parasitizing an annelid. In this case, actinospore parasite stages clearly internalized existing cells; a process with analogies to the acquisition of endosymbiotic algae by cnidarian species. A subsequent examination of the myxozoan literature did not support endogenous budding, indicating that this process, which has been a central tenet of myxozoan developmental biology for over a century, is dogma.

  1. Molecular identification of Rab7 (ApRab7) in Aiptasia pulchella and its exclusion from phagosomes harboring zooxanthellae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming-Chyuan; Cheng, Ying-Min; Sung, Ping-Jyun; Kuo, Cham-En; Fang, Lee-Shing

    2003-08-29

    The establishment and maintenance of the intracellular association between marine cnidarians and their symbiotic microalgae is essential to the well being of coral reef ecosystems; however, little is known concerning its underlying molecular mechanisms. In light of the critical roles of the small GTPase, Rab7, as a key regulator of vesicular trafficking, we cloned and characterized the Rab7 protein in the endosymbiosis system between the sea anemone, Aiptasia pulchella and its algal symbiont, Symbiodinium spp. The Aiptasia homologue of Rab7 proteins, ApRab7 is 88% identical to human Rab7 protein and contains all Rab-specific signature motifs. Results of EGFP reporter analysis, protein fractionation, and immunocytochemistry support that ApRab7 is located in late endocytic and phagocytic compartments and is able to promote their fusion. Significantly, the majority of phagosomes containing live symbionts that either have taken long residency in, or were newly internalized by Aiptasia digestive cells did not contain detectable levels of ApRab7, while most phagosomes containing either heat-killed or photosynthesis-impaired symbionts were positive for ApRab7 staining. Overall, our data suggest that live algal symbionts persist inside their host cells by actively excluding ApRab7 from their phagosomes, and thereby, establish and/or maintain an endosymbiotic relationship with their cnidarian hosts.

  2. Tentacle Transcriptome and Venom Proteome of the Pacific Sea Nettle, Chrysaora fuscescens (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce, Dalia; Brinkman, Diane L.; Potriquet, Jeremy; Mulvenna, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Jellyfish venoms are rich sources of toxins designed to capture prey or deter predators, but they can also elicit harmful effects in humans. In this study, an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify putative toxins and their potential role in the venom of the scyphozoan jellyfish Chrysaora fuscescens. A de novo tentacle transcriptome, containing more than 23,000 contigs, was constructed and used in proteomic analysis of C. fuscescens venom to identify potential toxins. From a total of 163 proteins identified in the venom proteome, 27 were classified as putative toxins and grouped into six protein families: proteinases, venom allergens, C-type lectins, pore-forming toxins, glycoside hydrolases and enzyme inhibitors. Other putative toxins identified in the transcriptome, but not the proteome, included additional proteinases as well as lipases and deoxyribonucleases. Sequence analysis also revealed the presence of ShKT domains in two putative venom proteins from the proteome and an additional 15 from the transcriptome, suggesting potential ion channel blockade or modulatory activities. Comparison of these potential toxins to those from other cnidarians provided insight into their possible roles in C. fuscescens venom and an overview of the diversity of potential toxin families in cnidarian venoms. PMID:27058558

  3. Tentacle Transcriptome and Venom Proteome of the Pacific Sea Nettle, Chrysaora fuscescens (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia Ponce

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Jellyfish venoms are rich sources of toxins designed to capture prey or deter predators, but they can also elicit harmful effects in humans. In this study, an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify putative toxins and their potential role in the venom of the scyphozoan jellyfish Chrysaora fuscescens. A de novo tentacle transcriptome, containing more than 23,000 contigs, was constructed and used in proteomic analysis of C. fuscescens venom to identify potential toxins. From a total of 163 proteins identified in the venom proteome, 27 were classified as putative toxins and grouped into six protein families: proteinases, venom allergens, C-type lectins, pore-forming toxins, glycoside hydrolases and enzyme inhibitors. Other putative toxins identified in the transcriptome, but not the proteome, included additional proteinases as well as lipases and deoxyribonucleases. Sequence analysis also revealed the presence of ShKT domains in two putative venom proteins from the proteome and an additional 15 from the transcriptome, suggesting potential ion channel blockade or modulatory activities. Comparison of these potential toxins to those from other cnidarians provided insight into their possible roles in C. fuscescens venom and an overview of the diversity of potential toxin families in cnidarian venoms.

  4. Structural and functional analysis of coral Hypoxia Inducible Factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccola, Didier; Morain, Jonas; Pagès, Gilles; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Giuliano, Sandy; Tambutté, Sylvie; Allemand, Denis

    2017-01-01

    Tissues of symbiotic Cnidarians are exposed to wide, rapid and daily variations of oxygen concentration. Indeed, during daytime, intracellular O2 concentration increases due to symbiont photosynthesis, while during night, respiration of both host cells and symbionts leads to intra-tissue hypoxia. The Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1) is a heterodimeric transcription factor used for maintenance of oxygen homeostasis and adaptation to hypoxia. Here, we carried out a mechanistic study of the response to variations of O2 concentrations of the coral model Stylophora pistillata. In silico analysis showed that homologs of HIF-1 α (SpiHIF-1α) and HIF-1β (SpiHIF-1β) exist in coral. A specific SpiHIF-1 DNA binding on mammalian Hypoxia Response Element (HRE) sequences was shown in extracts from coral exposed to dark conditions. Then, we cloned the coral HIF-1α and β genes and determined their expression and transcriptional activity. Although HIF-1α has an incomplete Oxygen-dependent Degradation Domain (ODD) relative to its human homolog, its protein level is increased under hypoxia when tested in mammalian cells. Moreover, co-transfection of SpiHIF-1α and β in mammalian cells stimulated an artificial promoter containing HRE only in hypoxic conditions. This study shows the strong conservation of molecular mechanisms involved in adaptation to O2 concentration between Cnidarians and Mammals whose ancestors diverged about 1,200-1,500 million years ago.

  5. Structural and functional analysis of coral Hypoxia Inducible Factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didier Zoccola

    Full Text Available Tissues of symbiotic Cnidarians are exposed to wide, rapid and daily variations of oxygen concentration. Indeed, during daytime, intracellular O2 concentration increases due to symbiont photosynthesis, while during night, respiration of both host cells and symbionts leads to intra-tissue hypoxia. The Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1 is a heterodimeric transcription factor used for maintenance of oxygen homeostasis and adaptation to hypoxia. Here, we carried out a mechanistic study of the response to variations of O2 concentrations of the coral model Stylophora pistillata. In silico analysis showed that homologs of HIF-1 α (SpiHIF-1α and HIF-1β (SpiHIF-1β exist in coral. A specific SpiHIF-1 DNA binding on mammalian Hypoxia Response Element (HRE sequences was shown in extracts from coral exposed to dark conditions. Then, we cloned the coral HIF-1α and β genes and determined their expression and transcriptional activity. Although HIF-1α has an incomplete Oxygen-dependent Degradation Domain (ODD relative to its human homolog, its protein level is increased under hypoxia when tested in mammalian cells. Moreover, co-transfection of SpiHIF-1α and β in mammalian cells stimulated an artificial promoter containing HRE only in hypoxic conditions. This study shows the strong conservation of molecular mechanisms involved in adaptation to O2 concentration between Cnidarians and Mammals whose ancestors diverged about 1,200-1,500 million years ago.

  6. The genetics of colony form and function in Caribbean Acropora corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemond, Elizabeth M; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Vollmer, Steven V

    2014-12-17

    Colonial reef-building corals have evolved a broad spectrum of colony morphologies based on coordinated asexual reproduction of polyps on a secreted calcium carbonate skeleton. Though cnidarians have been shown to possess and use similar developmental genes to bilaterians during larval development and polyp formation, little is known about genetic regulation of colony morphology in hard corals. We used RNA-seq to evaluate transcriptomic differences between functionally distinct regions of the coral (apical branch tips and branch bases) in two species of Caribbean Acropora, the staghorn coral, A. cervicornis, and the elkhorn coral, A. palmata. Transcriptome-wide gene profiles differed significantly between different parts of the coral colony as well as between species. Genes showing differential expression between branch tips and bases were involved in developmental signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, and BMP, as well as pH regulation, ion transport, extracellular matrix production and other processes. Differences both within colonies and between species identify a relatively small number of genes that may contribute to the distinct "staghorn" versus "elkhorn" morphologies of these two sister species. The large number of differentially expressed genes supports a strong division of labor between coral branch tips and branch bases. Genes involved in growth of mature Acropora colonies include the classical signaling pathways associated with development of cnidarian larvae and polyps as well as morphological determination in higher metazoans.

  7. Structural and Sequence Similarities of Hydra Xeroderma Pigmentosum A Protein to Human Homolog Suggest Early Evolution and Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apurva Barve

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA is a protein that binds to damaged DNA, verifies presence of a lesion, and recruits other proteins of the nucleotide excision repair (NER pathway to the site. Though its homologs from yeast, Drosophila, humans, and so forth are well studied, XPA has not so far been reported from protozoa and lower animal phyla. Hydra is a fresh-water cnidarian with a remarkable capacity for regeneration and apparent lack of organismal ageing. Cnidarians are among the first metazoa with a defined body axis, tissue grade organisation, and nervous system. We report here for the first time presence of XPA gene in hydra. Putative protein sequence of hydra XPA contains nuclear localization signal and bears the zinc-finger motif. It contains two conserved Pfam domains and various characterized features of XPA proteins like regions for binding to excision repair cross-complementing protein-1 (ERCC1 and replication protein A 70 kDa subunit (RPA70 proteins. Hydra XPA shows a high degree of similarity with vertebrate homologs and clusters with deuterostomes in phylogenetic analysis. Homology modelling corroborates the very close similarity between hydra and human XPA. The protein thus most likely functions in hydra in the same manner as in other animals, indicating that it arose early in evolution and has been conserved across animal phyla.

  8. The genome of Aiptasia, a sea anemone model for coral symbiosis

    KAUST Repository

    Baumgarten, Sebastian

    2015-08-31

    The most diverse marine ecosystems, coral reefs, depend upon a functional symbiosis between a cnidarian animal host (the coral) and intracellular photosynthetic dinoflagellate algae. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this endosymbiosis are not well understood, in part because of the difficulties of experimental work with corals. The small sea anemone Aiptasia provides a tractable laboratory model for investigating these mechanisms. Here we report on the assembly and analysis of the Aiptasia genome, which will provide a foundation for future studies and has revealed several features that may be key to understanding the evolution and function of the endosymbiosis. These features include genomic rearrangements and taxonomically restricted genes that may be functionally related to the symbiosis, aspects of host dependence on alga-derived nutrients, a novel and expanded cnidarian-specific family of putative pattern-recognition receptors that might be involved in the animal–algal interactions, and extensive lineage-specific horizontal gene transfer. Extensive integration of genes of prokaryotic origin, including genes for antimicrobial peptides, presumably reflects an intimate association of the animal–algal pair also with its prokaryotic microbiome.

  9. The Mauve Stinger Pelagia noctiluca (Forsskål, 1775. Distribution, Ecology, Toxicity and Epidemiology of Stings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Pane

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The toxicity of Cnidaria is a subject of concern due to its influence on humans. In particular, jellyfish blooms can highly affect human economical activities, such as bathing, fishery, tourism, etc., as well as the public health. Stinging structures of Cnidaria (nematocysts produce remarkable effects on human skin, such as erythema, swelling, burning and vesicles, and at times further severe dermonecrotic, cardio- and neurotoxic effects, which are particularly dangerous in sensitive subjects. In several zones the toxicity of jellyfish is a very important health problem, thus it has stimulated the research on these organisms; to date toxicological research on Cnidarian venoms in the Mediterranean region is not well developed due to the weak poisonousness of venoms of jellyfish and anemones living in this area. In spite of this, during last decades several problems were also caused in the Mediterranean by stinging consequent to Cnidarian blooms mainly caused by Pelagia noctiluca (Forsskål, 1775 which is known to be the most venomous Mediterranean jellyfish. This paper reviews the knowledge on this jellyfish species, particularly considering its occurrence and toxicity.

  10. Menthol-induced bleaching rapidly and effectively provides experimental aposymbiotic sea anemones (Aiptasia sp.) for symbiosis investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Jennifer L; Sproles, Ashley E; Oakley, Clinton A; Grossman, Arthur R; Weis, Virginia M; Davy, Simon K

    2016-02-01

    Experimental manipulation of the symbiosis between cnidarians and photosynthetic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) is crucial to advancing the understanding of the cellular mechanisms involved in host-symbiont interactions, and overall coral reef ecology. The anemone Aiptasia sp. is a model for cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis, and notably it can be rendered aposymbiotic (i.e. dinoflagellate-free) and re-infected with a range of Symbiodinium types. Various methods exist for generating aposymbiotic hosts; however, they can be hugely time consuming and not wholly effective. Here, we optimise a method using menthol for production of aposymbiotic Aiptasia. The menthol treatment produced aposymbiotic hosts within just 4 weeks (97-100% symbiont loss), and the condition was maintained long after treatment when anemones were held under a standard light:dark cycle. The ability of Aiptasia to form a stable symbiosis appeared to be unaffected by menthol exposure, as demonstrated by successful re-establishment of the symbiosis when anemones were experimentally re-infected. Furthermore, there was no significant impact on photosynthetic or respiratory performance of re-infected anemones. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Osmoadjustment in the Coral Holobiont

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs are under considerable decline. The framework builders in coral reefs are scleractinian corals, which comprise so-called holobionts, consisting of cnidarian host, algal symbionts (genus Symbiodinium), and other associated microbes. Corals are commonly considered stenohaline osmoconformers, possessing limited capability to adjust to salinity changes. However, corals differ in their ability to cope with different salinities. The underlying mechanisms have not yet been addressed. To further understand putative mechanisms involved, I examined coral holobiont osmoregulation conducting a range of experiments on the coral Fungia granulosa. In my research F. granulosa from the Red Sea exhibited pronounced physiological reactions (decreased photosynthesis, cessation of calcification) upon short-term incubations (4 h) to high salinity (55). However, during a 29-day in situ salinity transect experiment, coral holobiont photosynthesis was unimpaired under high salinity (49) indicating acclimatization. F. granulosa microbiome changes after the 29-day high salinity exposure aligned with a bacterial community restructuring that putatively supports the coral salinity acclimatization (osmolyte synthesis, nutrient fixation/cycling). Long-term incubations (7 d) of cultured Symbiodinium exhibited cell growth even at ‘extreme’ salinity levels of 25 and 55. Metabolic profiles of four Symbiodinium strains exposed to increased (55) and decreased (25) salinities for 4 h indicated distinct carbohydrates and amino acids to be putatively involved in the osmoadjustment. Importantly, under high salinity the osmolyte floridoside was consistently increased. This could be corroborated in the coral model Aiptasia and in corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, where floridoside was also markedly increased upon short- (15 h) and long-term (>24 months) exposure to high salinity, confirming an important role of floridoside in the osmoadjustment of cnidarian holobionts. This thesis

  12. Nuclear receptors from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi lack a zinc-finger DNA-binding domain: lineage-specific loss or ancestral condition in the emergence of the nuclear receptor superfamily?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reitzel Adam M

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nuclear receptors (NRs are an ancient superfamily of metazoan transcription factors that play critical roles in regulation of reproduction, development, and energetic homeostasis. Although the evolutionary relationships among NRs are well-described in two prominent clades of animals (deuterostomes and protostomes, comparatively little information has been reported on the diversity of NRs in early diverging metazoans. Here, we identified NRs from the phylum Ctenophora and used a phylogenomic approach to explore the emergence of the NR superfamily in the animal kingdom. In addition, to gain insight into conserved or novel functions, we examined NR expression during ctenophore development. Results We report the first described NRs from the phylum Ctenophora: two from Mnemiopsis leidyi and one from Pleurobrachia pileus. All ctenophore NRs contained a ligand-binding domain and grouped with NRs from the subfamily NR2A (HNF4. Surprisingly, all the ctenophore NRs lacked the highly conserved DNA-binding domain (DBD. NRs from Mnemiopsis were expressed in different regions of developing ctenophores. One was broadly expressed in the endoderm during gastrulation. The second was initially expressed in the ectoderm during gastrulation, in regions corresponding to the future tentacles; subsequent expression was restricted to the apical organ. Phylogenetic analyses of NRs from ctenophores, sponges, cnidarians, and a placozoan support the hypothesis that expansion of the superfamily occurred in a step-wise fashion, with initial radiations in NR family 2, followed by representatives of NR families 3, 6, and 1/4 originating prior to the appearance of the bilaterian ancestor. Conclusions Our study provides the first description of NRs from ctenophores, including the full complement from Mnemiopsis. Ctenophores have the least diverse NR complement of any animal phylum with representatives that cluster with only one subfamily (NR2A. Ctenophores and

  13. Envenoming caused by a Portuguese man-o'-war (Physalia physalis manifesting as purpuric papules Envenenamento por caravela (Physalia physalis manifestando-se com erupção papulopurpurica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yamin José Risk

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of a 42-year old woman who was envenomed by a Portuguese man-o'-war (Physalia physalis. She presented an anomalous reaction manifested by purpuric papules that appeared after the initial phase of envenoming (around 24 hours later, when linear erythematous and edematous papules were observed. Late-onset reactions in accidents involving cnidarians commonly include chronic eruptions and local pigmentation.Os autores relatam um envenenamento causado por um cnidário, a caravela (Physalia physalis, em uma mulher de 42 anos. A paciente apresentou uma reação incomum manifestada por pápulas purpúricas surgidas após a fase inicial de envenenamento (cerca de 24 horas depois quando foram observadas pápulas lineares edematosas e eritematosas. As reações tardias nos acidentes por cnidários comumente apresentam erupções recorrentes e pigmentações locais.

  14. Biological activities of secondary metabolites of the order Zoanthids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Aminikhoei

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The phylum Cnidaria is a large, diverse and ecologically important group of marine invertebrates, which produce powerful toxins and venoms. The number of marine natural product from cnidarians isolated from class Anthozoa. Among the Anthozoa, the order of zoanthids are sessile, clonal and mostly brightly colored invertebrate which produce high biodiversity of cytolitic, neurotoxic and cardiotoxic compounds. Zoanthids containing palytoxins are reportedly among the most toxic marine organisms known. In addition, a high concentration of zoanthamine alkaloids extracted from this group.The zoanthamine alkaloids were isolated over 20 years ago, exhibit a broad range of biological activities.The best studied and most well-known biological activity of zoanthamine derivative significantly suppressed bone resorption and enhanced bone formation.

  15. Biodiversity hotspot for marine invertebrates around the Dokdo, East Sea, Korea: Ecological checklist revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Sung Joon; Park, Jinsoon; Ryu, Jongseong; Rho, Hyun Soo; Kim, Won; Khim, Jong Seong

    2017-06-30

    We extensively reviewed the macrozoobenthos around Dokdo, Korea, by analyzing metadata collected over the past 50years. The Dokdo macrozoobenthos was represented by 578 species belonging to 243 families from 12 phyla, where four major phyla (or classes) collectively accounted for 86% to total. Mollusks, arthropods, and cnidarians were semi-equally occurred in intertidal and subtidal areas, while polychetes dominated the subtidal zone. The northern most region of Dokdo had the greatest biodiversity (173 species). The taxonomic distinctness analysis (delta+) indicated a close association between species by region, although the number of species varied greatly. About half of the species did not occur cross the locations (n=20), indicating strong habitat preferences of Dokdo macrofaunal assemblages. Overall, the diversity of Dokdo was greater than that of Ulleung Island (east coast), but comparable to that of the well-developed tidal flats in the western Korean waters, highlighting its status as a biodiversity hotspot. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Population characteristics, space use and habitat associations of the seahorse Hippocampus reidi (Teleostei: Syngnathidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ierecê Lucena Rosa

    Full Text Available This paper provides a case study of a threatened seahorse species, Hippocampus reidi, highlighting the importance of using ecological information to assist conservation and management initiatives. Underwater visual sighting data (50 x 2m transect gathered along the NE, SE and S portions of the Brazilian coast revealed an unequal distribution across localities, perhaps related to harvesting pressure, and a mean density of 0.026 ind.m-2. Our findings suggest some restricted spatial use by H. reidi, which was consistent with its estimated home range, and with re-sighting of specimens. Reproduction was recorded year-round, however productive peaks may exist. Components of habitat structure mostly used as anchoring points were mangrove plants, macroalgae, cnidarians, seagrass, sponges, and bryozoans. Conservation recommendations include: further characterization and mapping of habitats; assessment of availability and condition of microhabitats in selected areas, and studies on dispersal routes during initial life stages.

  17. Specific inflammatory response of Anemonia sulcata (Cnidaria) after bacterial injection causes tissue reaction and enzymatic activity alteration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trapani, M R; Parisi, M G; Parrinello, D; Sanfratello, M A; Benenati, G; Palla, F; Cammarata, M

    2016-03-01

    The evolution of multicellular organisms was marked by adaptations to protect against pathogens. The mechanisms for discriminating the ''self'' from ''non-self" have evolved into a long history of cellular and molecular strategies, from damage repair to the co-evolution of host-pathogen interactions. We investigated the inflammatory response in Anemonia sulcata (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) following injection of substances that varied in type and dimension, and observed clear, strong and specific reactions, especially after injection of Escherichia coli and Vibrio alginolyticus. Moreover, we analyzed enzymatic activity of protease, phosphatase and esterase, showing how the injection of different bacterial strains alters the expression of these enzymes and suggesting a correlation between the appearance of the inflammatory reaction and the modification of enzymatic activities. Our study shows for the first time, a specific reaction and enzymatic responses following injection of bacteria in a cnidarian. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Assessment and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by an oil spill in Puerto Rico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mignucci-Giannoni, A.A.

    1999-01-01

    On 7 January 1994, the barge Morris J. Berman spilled approximately 3.6 million liters of oil off Punta Escambron in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This resulted in the contamination of extensive areas, impacting on natural resources along more than 48 km of Puerto Rico's north shore. Thousands of dead and alive oiled organisms washed ashore. Dead wildlife were collected opportunistically, and examined for the presence of oil and identified. Live wildlife was cleaned and treated at a temporary triage facility. A total of 5687 organisms of over 152 species were collected, including cnidarians, annelids, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, fishes, birds and sea turtles. Molluscs and echinoderms were noticeably more affected than other species. Four species classified as endangered or threatened were also affected. A significant impact was observed on the live specimens presented for medical treatment, including shore crabs, birds and sea turtles. Only 63% of these were successfully rehabilitated. (author)

  19. Assessment and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by an oil spill in Puerto Rico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mignucci-Giannoni, A.A. [University of Puerto Rico, San Juan (Puerto Rico). Caribbean Stranding Network

    1999-10-01

    On 7 January 1994, the barge Morris J. Berman spilled approximately 3.6 million liters of oil off Punta Escambron in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This resulted in the contamination of extensive areas, impacting on natural resources along more than 48 km of Puerto Rico`s north shore. Thousands of dead and alive oiled organisms washed ashore. Dead wildlife were collected opportunistically, and examined for the presence of oil and identified. Live wildlife was cleaned and treated at a temporary triage facility. A total of 5687 organisms of over 152 species were collected, including cnidarians, annelids, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, fishes, birds and sea turtles. Molluscs and echinoderms were noticeably more affected than other species. Four species classified as endangered or threatened were also affected. A significant impact was observed on the live specimens presented for medical treatment, including shore crabs, birds and sea turtles. Only 63% of these were successfully rehabilitated. (author)

  20. Assessment and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by an oil spill in Puerto Rico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mignucci-Giannoni, A.A. [University of Puerto Rico, San Juan (Puerto Rico). Caribbean Stranding Network

    1999-07-01

    On 7 January 1994, the barge Morris J. Berman spilled approximately 3.6 million liters of oil off Punta Escambron in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This resulted in the contamination of extensive areas, impacting on natural resources along more than 48 km of Puerto Rico's north shore. Thousands of dead and alive oiled organisms washed ashore. Dead wildlife were collected opportunistically, and examined for the presence of oil and identified. Live wildlife was cleaned and treated at a temporary triage facility. A total of 5687 organisms of over 152 species were collected, including cnidarians, annelids, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, fishes, birds and sea turtles. Molluscs and echinoderms were noticeably more affected than other species. Four species classified as endangered or threatened were also affected. A significant impact was observed on the live specimens presented for medical treatment, including shore crabs, birds and sea turtles. Only 63% of these were successfully rehabilitated. (author)

  1. Severe Toxic Skin Reaction Caused by a Common Anemone and Identification of the Culprit Organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tezcan, Özgür Deniz; Gözer, Özgür

    2015-01-01

    In a marine envenomation, identification of the culprit organism can be difficult. In this case report, we present our method to identify snakelocks anemone (Anemonia viridis or formerly Anemonia sulcata) as the culprit of a severe toxic skin reaction. A. viridis is one of the most common anemones of the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It lives at a depth of up to 10 m. It is a member of the phylum Cnidaria, which includes jellyfish, anemones, hydroids, and corals. They have toxic organelles called cnidocysts that have the capacity to inject venom with microscopic harpoon-like structures. The cnidocysts of A. viridis may cause toxic and allergic reactions, and although its venom is one of the most studied cnidarian venoms, detailed case reports are rare. © 2015 International Society of Travel Medicine.

  2. Transmission of a heterologous clade C Symbiodinium in a model anemone infection system via asexual reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan-Nan U. Chen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Anemones of genus Exaiptasia are used as model organisms for the study of cnidarian-dinoflagellate (genus Symbiodinium endosymbiosis. However, while most reef-building corals harbor Symbiodinium of clade C, Exaiptasia spp. anemones mainly harbor clade B Symbiodinium (ITS2 type B1 populations. In this study, we reveal for the first time that bleached Exaiptasia pallida anemones can establish a symbiotic relationship with a clade C Symbiodinium (ITS2 type C1. We further found that anemones can transmit the exogenously supplied clade C Symbiodinium cells to their offspring by asexual reproduction (pedal laceration. In order to corroborate the establishment of stable symbiosis, we used microscopic techniques and genetic analyses to examine several generations of anemones, and the results of these endeavors confirmed the sustainability of the system. These findings provide a framework for understanding the differences in infection dynamics between homologous and heterologous dinoflagellate types using a model anemone infection system.

  3. The Trichoplax Genome and the Nature of Placozoans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, Mansi; Begovic, Emina; Chapman, Jarrod; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Hellsten, Uffe; Kawashima, Takeshi; Kuo, Alan; Mitros, Therese; Salamov, Asaf; Carpenter, Meredith L.; Signorovitch, Ana Y.; Moreno, Maria A.; Kamm, Kai; Grimwood, Jane; Schmutz, Jeremy; Shapiro, Harris; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Buss, Leo W.; Schierwater, Bernd; Dellaporta, Stephen L.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2008-08-01

    Placozoans are arguably the simplest free-living animals, possibly evoking an early stage in metazoan evolution, yet their biology is poorly understood. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the {approx}98 million base pair nuclear genome of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. Whole genome phylogenetic analysis suggests that placozoans belong to a 'eumetazoan' clade that includes cnidarians and bilaterians, with sponges as the earliest diverging animals. The compact genome exhibits conserved gene content, gene structure, and synteny relative to the human and other complex eumetazoan genomes. Despite the apparent cellular and organismal simplicity of Trichoplax, its genome encodes a rich array of transcription factor and signaling pathway genes that are typically associated with diverse cell types and developmental processes in eumetazoans, motivating further searches for cryptic cellular complexity and/or as yet unobserved life history stages.

  4. Visually guided obstacle avoidance in the box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora and Chiropsella bronzie

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garm, A; O'Connor, M; Parkefelt, L

    2007-01-01

    Box jellyfish, cubomedusae, possess an impressive total of 24 eyes of four morphologically different types. Two of these eye types, called the upper and lower lens eyes, are camera-type eyes with spherical fish-like lenses. Compared with other cnidarians, cubomedusae also have an elaborate...... behavioral repertoire, which seems to be predominantly visually guided. Still, positive phototaxis is the only behavior described so far that is likely to be correlated with the eyes. We have explored the obstacle avoidance response of the Caribbean species Tripedalia cystophora and the Australian species...... a tendency to follow the intensity contrast between the obstacle and the surroundings (chamber walls). In the flow chamber Tripedalia cystophora displayed a stronger obstacle avoidance response than Chiropsella bronzie since they had less contact with the obstacles. This seems to follow differences...

  5. Microbial arms race: Ballistic "nematocysts" in dinoflagellates represent a new extreme in organelle complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavelis, Gregory S; Wakeman, Kevin C; Tillmann, Urban; Ripken, Christina; Mitarai, Satoshi; Herranz, Maria; Özbek, Suat; Holstein, Thomas; Keeling, Patrick J; Leander, Brian S

    2017-03-01

    We examine the origin of harpoon-like secretory organelles (nematocysts) in dinoflagellate protists. These ballistic organelles have been hypothesized to be homologous to similarly complex structures in animals (cnidarians); but we show, using structural, functional, and phylogenomic data, that nematocysts evolved independently in both lineages. We also recorded the first high-resolution videos of nematocyst discharge in dinoflagellates. Unexpectedly, our data suggest that different types of dinoflagellate nematocysts use two fundamentally different types of ballistic mechanisms: one type relies on a single pressurized capsule for propulsion, whereas the other type launches 11 to 15 projectiles from an arrangement similar to a Gatling gun. Despite their radical structural differences, these nematocysts share a single origin within dinoflagellates and both potentially use a contraction-based mechanism to generate ballistic force. The diversity of traits in dinoflagellate nematocysts demonstrates a stepwise route by which simple secretory structures diversified to yield elaborate subcellular weaponry.

  6. Upside-Down but Headed in the Right Direction: Review of the Highly Versatile Cassiopea xamachana System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aki H. Ohdera

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae has been predominantly studied to understand its interaction with the endosymbiotic dinoflagellate algae Symbiodinium. As an easily culturable and tractable cnidarian model, it is an attractive alternative to stony corals to understanding the mechanisms driving establishment and maintenance of symbiosis. Cassiopea is also unique in requiring the symbiont in order to complete its transition to the adult stage, thereby providing an excellent model to understand symbiosis-driven development and evolution. Recently, the Cassiopea research system has gained interest beyond symbiosis in fields related to embryology, climate ecology, behavior, and more. With these developments, resources including genomes, transcriptomes, and laboratory protocols are steadily increasing. This review provides an overview of the broad range of interdisciplinary research that has utilized the Cassiopea model and highlights the advantages of using the model for future research.

  7. The Central Nervous System of Box Jellyfish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garm, Anders Lydik; Ekström, Peter

    2008-01-01

    of behaviors in the box jellyfish such as obstacle avoidance and navigation. The need to process the visual information and turn it into the appropriate behavior puts strong demands on the nervous system of box jellyfish, which appears more elaborate than in other cnidarians. Here, the central part...... of this nervous system is described. Each rhopalium holds a separate part of the CNS with 1,000 nerve cells and a large amount of neuropil. The rhopalial nervous system has several subsystems defined by the anatomy, location, and immunocytochemistry of the cells. Most of the subsystems connect to one or more...... of the eye types, and it is likely that the rhopalial nervous system accounts for most of the visual processing. The major part of the CNS is made up of a ring nerve encircling the bell shaped body. The ring nerve holds around 10,000 cells and is directly connected to all four rhopalial nervous systems...

  8. Identification of alimentary components of Antillean manatee diet in the Northeast of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daiane Garcia Anzolin

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The manatees are considered to be opportunist herbivors, consuming a great amount of alimentary items. The aim of the present study was to identify the alimentary components of the diet of Antillean manatees in free life in the northeastern region of Brazil. Samples of stomach contents from six Antillean manatee carcasses were col¬lected, in addition to fecal samples from 11 native manatees and five that had been released. The material was identified at the genus and/or species level, based on its morpho-anatomic aspects, and 21 species of seaweeds, phanerogams and cnidarians were presented. Through these analyses it was possible to observe that Antillean manatees fed on a great variety of aquatic plants, with the predominance of red seaweeds.

  9. Molecular cloning of a preprohormone from Hydra magnipapillata containing multiple copies of Hydra-L Wamide (Leu-Trp-NH2) neuropeptides: evidence for processing at Ser and Asn residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leviev, I; Williamson, M; Grimmelikhuijzen, C J

    1997-01-01

    The simple, freshwater polyp Hydra is often used as a model to study development in cnidarians. Recently, a neuropeptide, metamorphosis in a hydroid planula larva to become a polyp. Here, we have cloned a preprohormone...... from Hydra magnipapillata containing 11 (eight different) immature neuropeptide sequences that are structurally related to the metamorphosis-inducing neuropeptide from sea anermones. During the final phase of our cloning experiments, another research team independently isolated and sequenced five...... most frequent one being Gly-Pro-Pro-Pro-Gly-Leu-Trp-NH2; Hydra-LWamide l; three copies). Based on their structural similarities with the metamorphosis-inducing neuropeptide from sea anemones, the mature peptides derived from the Hydra-LWamide preprohormone are potential candidates for being...

  10. Implication of the host TGFβ pathway in the onset of symbiosis between larvae of the coral Fungia scutaria and the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (clade C1f)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthelier, Jérémy; Schnitzler, Christine E.; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M.; Poole, Angela Z.; Weis, Virginia M.; Detournay, Olivier

    2017-12-01

    Dinoflagellate-cnidarian associations form both the trophic and structural foundation of coral-reef ecosystems. Previous studies have highlighted the role of host innate immunity in regulation of these partnerships. This study reveals the presence of a transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) in the coral Fungia scutaria that clusters with TGFβ sensu stricto (ss) from other animals. In functional studies of F. scutaria larvae, we show that (1) TGFβ ss mRNA is expressed during early stages of development prior to the onset of symbiosis; (2) apparent interference of the TGFβ pathway impairs the onset of symbiosis; and (3) this effect is associated with an increase of cytotoxic nitric oxide secretion, an immune response. This work highlights the importance of the TGFβ pathway in early life-history stages of corals by suggesting that its inhibition impacts the onset of symbiosis.

  11. Trehalose is a chemical attractant in the establishment of coral symbiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Hagedorn

    Full Text Available Coral reefs have evolved with a crucial symbiosis between photosynthetic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium and their cnidarian hosts (Scleractinians. Most coral larvae take up Symbiodinium from their environment; however, the earliest steps in this process have been elusive. Here we demonstrate that the disaccharide trehalose may be an important signal from the symbiont to potential larval hosts. Symbiodinium freshly isolated from Fungia scutaria corals constantly released trehalose (but not sucrose, maltose or glucose into seawater, and released glycerol only in the presence of coral tissue. Spawning Fungia adults increased symbiont number in their immediate area by excreting pellets of Symbiodinium, and when these naturally discharged Symbiodinium were cultured, they also released trehalose. In Y-maze experiments, coral larvae demonstrated chemoattractant and feeding behaviors only towards a chamber with trehalose or glycerol. Concomitantly, coral larvae and adult tissue, but not symbionts, had significant trehalase enzymatic activities, suggesting the capacity to utilize trehalose. Trehalase activity was developmentally regulated in F. scutaria larvae, rising as the time for symbiont uptake occurs. Consistent with the enzymatic assays, gene finding demonstrated the presence of a trehalase enzyme in the genome of a related coral, Acropora digitifera, and a likely trehalase in the transcriptome of F. scutaria. Taken together, these data suggest that adult F. scutaria seed the reef with Symbiodinium during spawning and the exuded Symbiodinium release trehalose into the environment, which acts as a chemoattractant for F. scutaria larvae and as an initiator of feeding behavior- the first stages toward establishing the coral-Symbiodinium relationship. Because trehalose is a fixed carbon compound, this cue would accurately demonstrate to the cnidarian larvae the photosynthetic ability of the potential symbiont in the ambient environment. To our

  12. Tropical dermatology: marine and aquatic dermatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haddad, Vidal; Lupi, Omar; Lonza, Juan Pedro; Tyring, Stephen K

    2009-11-01

    Dermatoses caused by marine organisms are frequently seen in dermatology clinics worldwide. Cutaneous injuries after exposure to marine environments include bacterial and fungal infections and lesions caused by aquatic plants and protists. Some of these diseases are well known by dermatologists, such as Vibrio vulnificus septicemia and erysipeloid, but others are uncommon, such as envenomation caused by ingestion or contact with certain dinoflagellates or cyanobacteria, which are associated with rashes that can begin within minutes after exposure. Many marine/aquatic invertebrates, such as sponges, cnidarians, echinoderms, crustaceans, and mollusks, are associated with different kinds of dermatologic lesions that can vary from irritant or allergic contact dermatitis to physical trauma and envenomations. These cutaneous lesions may result in mild local reactions or can be associated with severe systemic reactions. Invertebrate animals, such as cnidarians, sea urchins, and worms, and aquatic vertebrates, such as venomous fishes and stingrays, are commonly associated with skin lesions in many countries, where they can constitute occupational dermatoses among fishermen and scuba divers, but they can also be observed among persons who contact these animals in kitchens or beaches. The presence of unusual lesions, a recent travel history, and/or a report of contact with an aquatic environment (including ownership of a marine or freshwater aquarium) should alert the dermatologist to the etiology of the cutaneous problems. After completing this learning activity, participants should be able to recognize the cutaneous manifestations of marine/aquatic infections, bites, stings, and wounds, etc., treat the cutaneous manifestations of marine/aquatic injuries, and help prevent marine/aquatic injuries.

  13. Conservation and diversification of Msx protein in metazoan evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Hirokazu; Kamiya, Akiko; Ishiguro, Akira; Suzuki, Atsushi C; Saitou, Naruya; Toyoda, Atsushi; Aruga, Jun

    2008-01-01

    Msx (/msh) family genes encode homeodomain (HD) proteins that control ontogeny in many animal species. We compared the structures of Msx genes from a wide range of Metazoa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Nematoda, Arthropoda, Tardigrada, Platyhelminthes, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Annelida, Echiura, Echinodermata, Hemichordata, and Chordata) to gain an understanding of the role of these genes in phylogeny. Exon-intron boundary analysis suggested that the position of the intron located N-terminally to the HDs was widely conserved in all the genes examined, including those of cnidarians. Amino acid (aa) sequence comparison revealed 3 new evolutionarily conserved domains, as well as very strong conservation of the HDs. Two of the three domains were associated with Groucho-like protein binding in both a vertebrate and a cnidarian Msx homolog, suggesting that the interaction between Groucho-like proteins and Msx proteins was established in eumetazoan ancestors. Pairwise comparison among the collected HDs and their C-flanking aa sequences revealed that the degree of sequence conservation varied depending on the animal taxa from which the sequences were derived. Highly conserved Msx genes were identified in the Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, Hemichordata, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, and Anthozoa. The wide distribution of the conserved sequences in the animal phylogenetic tree suggested that metazoan ancestors had already acquired a set of conserved domains of the current Msx family genes. Interestingly, although strongly conserved sequences were recovered from the Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, and Anthozoa, the sequences from the Urochordata and Hydrozoa showed weak conservation. Because the Vertebrata-Cephalochordata-Urochordata and Anthozoa-Hydrozoa represent sister groups in the Chordata and Cnidaria, respectively, Msx sequence diversification may have occurred differentially in the course of evolution. We speculate that selective loss of the conserved domains in Msx family

  14. Domain duplication, divergence, and loss events in vertebrate Msx paralogs reveal phylogenomically informed disease markers.

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    Finnerty, John R; Mazza, Maureen E; Jezewski, Peter A

    2009-01-20

    Msx originated early in animal evolution and is implicated in human genetic disorders. To reconstruct the functional evolution of Msx and inform the study of human mutations, we analyzed the phylogeny and synteny of 46 metazoan Msx proteins and tracked the duplication, diversification and loss of conserved motifs. Vertebrate Msx sequences sort into distinct Msx1, Msx2 and Msx3 clades. The sister-group relationship between MSX1 and MSX2 reflects their derivation from the 4p/5q chromosomal paralogon, a derivative of the original "MetaHox" cluster. We demonstrate physical linkage between Msx and other MetaHox genes (Hmx, NK1, Emx) in a cnidarian. Seven conserved domains, including two Groucho repression domains (N- and C-terminal), were present in the ancestral Msx. In cnidarians, the Groucho domains are highly similar. In vertebrate Msx1, the N-terminal Groucho domain is conserved, while the C-terminal domain diverged substantially, implying a novel function. In vertebrate Msx2 and Msx3, the C-terminal domain was lost. MSX1 mutations associated with ectodermal dysplasia or orofacial clefting disorders map to conserved domains in a non-random fashion. Msx originated from a MetaHox ancestor that also gave rise to Tlx, Demox, NK, and possibly EHGbox, Hox and ParaHox genes. Duplication, divergence or loss of domains played a central role in the functional evolution of Msx. Duplicated domains allow pleiotropically expressed proteins to evolve new functions without disrupting existing interaction networks. Human missense sequence variants reside within evolutionarily conserved domains, likely disrupting protein function. This phylogenomic evaluation of candidate disease markers will inform clinical and functional studies.

  15. Domain duplication, divergence, and loss events in vertebrate Msx paralogs reveal phylogenomically informed disease markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finnerty John R

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Msx originated early in animal evolution and is implicated in human genetic disorders. To reconstruct the functional evolution of Msx and inform the study of human mutations, we analyzed the phylogeny and synteny of 46 metazoan Msx proteins and tracked the duplication, diversification and loss of conserved motifs. Results Vertebrate Msx sequences sort into distinct Msx1, Msx2 and Msx3 clades. The sister-group relationship between MSX1 and MSX2 reflects their derivation from the 4p/5q chromosomal paralogon, a derivative of the original "MetaHox" cluster. We demonstrate physical linkage between Msx and other MetaHox genes (Hmx, NK1, Emx in a cnidarian. Seven conserved domains, including two Groucho repression domains (N- and C-terminal, were present in the ancestral Msx. In cnidarians, the Groucho domains are highly similar. In vertebrate Msx1, the N-terminal Groucho domain is conserved, while the C-terminal domain diverged substantially, implying a novel function. In vertebrate Msx2 and Msx3, the C-terminal domain was lost. MSX1 mutations associated with ectodermal dysplasia or orofacial clefting disorders map to conserved domains in a non-random fashion. Conclusion Msx originated from a MetaHox ancestor that also gave rise to Tlx, Demox, NK, and possibly EHGbox, Hox and ParaHox genes. Duplication, divergence or loss of domains played a central role in the functional evolution of Msx. Duplicated domains allow pleiotropically expressed proteins to evolve new functions without disrupting existing interaction networks. Human missense sequence variants reside within evolutionarily conserved domains, likely disrupting protein function. This phylogenomic evaluation of candidate disease markers will inform clinical and functional studies.

  16. Is dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) produced by the symbionts or the host in an anemone-zooxanthella symbiosis?

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    van Alstyne, K. L.; Dominique, V. J.; Muller-Parker, G.

    2009-03-01

    Many groups of tropical cnidarians including scleractinian corals, octocorals, corallimorphs, and anemones contain the tertiary sulfonium compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). It is not known if the compound is synthesized by the animals, their microalgal symbionts, or derived through their diet. We determined the source of the DMSP in several species of tropical and temperate anemones using three approaches: (1) conducting comparative measurements of DMSP in aposymbiotic and zooxanthellate anemones of three species that harbor zooxanthellae, and similar measurements in one species that can harbor both zooxanthellae and zoochlorellae, (2) manipulating the presence or absence of zooxanthellae by inoculating juvenile aposymbiotic anemones ( Aiptasia pallida) with their symbiont, Symbiodinium bermudense, and (3) manipulating the numbers of S. bermudense by growing aposymbiotic and zooxanthellate A. pallida in the light and the dark. DMSP was present in zooxanthellate anemones in concentrations of 3.4-15 μmol g-1 fresh mass (FM). In aposymbiotic Aiptasia spp. and Anthopleura elegantissima that lacked large numbers of zooxanthellae, concentrations ranged from being undetectable to 0.43 μmol g-1 FM. When aposymbiotic A. pallida were inoculated with zooxanthellae, concentrations of DMSP were an average of 4.24 μmol g-1 FM after 5 weeks; DMSP was undetectable in uninoculated control animals. Aposymbiotic anemones maintained in the light or the dark for 6 weeks contained no DMSP or zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellate anemones in the light contained five times as many zooxanthellae and approximately 7.5 times as much DMSP as zooxanthellate anemones maintained in the dark. Taken together, these data show that the zooxanthellae are the sole source of DMSP in A. pallida. The trends in DMSP concentrations in other species of zooxanthellate anemones suggest that this phenomenon is not limited to A. pallida but may be more generally true for other anemones or even other

  17. Molecular cloning of Rab5 (ApRab5) in Aiptasia pulchella and its retention in phagosomes harboring live zooxanthellae.

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    Chen, Ming-Chyuan; Cheng, Ying-Min; Hong, Min-Chang; Fang, Lee-Shing

    2004-11-19

    The intracellular association of symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae) with marine cnidarians is the very foundation of the highly productive and diversified coral reef ecosystems. To reveal its underlying molecular mechanisms, we previously cloned ApRab7, a Rab7 homologue of the sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella, and demonstrated its selective exclusion from phagosomes containing live zooxanthellae, but not from those containing either dead or photosynthesis-impaired algae. In this study, Rab5 was characterized, due to its key role in endocytosis and phagocytosis acting upstream of Rab7. The Aiptasia Rab5 homologue (ApRab5) is 79.5% identical to human Rab5C and contains all Rab-specific signature motifs. Subcellular fractionation study showed that ApRab5 is mainly cytosolic. EGFP reporter and phagocytosis studies indicated that membrane-associated ApRab5 is present in early endocytic and phagocytic compartments, and is able to promote their fusion. Significantly, immunofluorescence study showed that the majority of phagosomes containing either resident or newly internalized live zooxanthellae were labeled with ApRab5, while those containing either heat-killed or photosynthesis-impaired algae were mostly negative for ApRab5 staining whereas the opposite was observed for ApRab7. We propose that active phagosomal retention of ApRab5 is part of the mechanisms employed by live zooxanthellae to: (1) persist inside their host cells and (2) exclude ApRab7 from their phagosomes, thereby, establishing and/or maintaining an endosymbiotic relationship with their cnidarian hosts.

  18. Partitioning of Respiration in an Animal-Algal Symbiosis: Implications for Different Aerobic Capacity Between Symbiodinium spp.

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    Thomas David Hawkins

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses are ecologically important and the subject of much investigation. However, our understanding of critical aspects of symbiosis physiology, such as the partitioning of total respiration between the host and symbiont, remains incomplete. Specifically, we know little about how the relationship between host and symbiont respiration varies between different holobionts (host-symbiont combinations. We applied molecular and biochemical techniques to investigate aerobic respiratory capacity in naturally symbiotic Exaiptasia pallida sea anemones, alongside animals infected with either homologous ITS2-type A4 Symbiodinium or a heterologous isolate of Symbiodinium minutum (ITS2-type B1. In naturally symbiotic anemones, host, symbiont, and total holobiont mitochondrial citrate synthase (CS enzyme activity, but not host mitochondrial copy number, were reliable predictors of holobiont respiration. There was a positive association between symbiont density and host CS specific activity (mg protein-1, and a negative correlation between host- and symbiont CS specific activities. Notably, partitioning of total CS activity between host and symbiont in this natural E. pallida population was significantly different to the host/symbiont biomass ratio. In re-infected anemones, we found significant between-holobiont differences in the CS specific activity of the algal symbionts. Furthermore, the relationship between the partitioning of total CS activity and the host/symbiont biomass ratio differed between holobionts. These data have broad implications for our understanding of cnidarian-algal symbiosis. Specifically, the long-held assumption of equivalency between symbiont/host biomass and respiration ratios can result in significant overestimation of symbiont respiration and potentially erroneous conclusions regarding the percentage of carbon translocated to the host. The interspecific variability in symbiont aerobic capacity provides

  19. Molecular cloning of Rab5 (ApRab5) in Aiptasia pulchella and its retention in phagosomes harboring live zooxanthellae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, M.-C.; Cheng, Y.-M; Hong, M.-C.; Fang, L.-S.

    2004-01-01

    The intracellular association of symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae) with marine cnidarians is the very foundation of the highly productive and diversified coral reef ecosystems. To reveal its underlying molecular mechanisms, we previously cloned ApRab7, a Rab7 homologue of the sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella, and demonstrated its selective exclusion from phagosomes containing live zooxanthellae, but not from those containing either dead or photosynthesis-impaired algae. In this study, Rab5 was characterized, due to its key role in endocytosis and phagocytosis acting upstream of Rab7. The Aiptasia Rab5 homologue (ApRab5) is 79.5% identical to human Rab5C and contains all Rab-specific signature motifs. Subcellular fractionation study showed that ApRab5 is mainly cytosolic. EGFP reporter and phagocytosis studies indicated that membrane-associated ApRab5 is present in early endocytic and phagocytic compartments, and is able to promote their fusion. Significantly, immunofluorescence study showed that the majority of phagosomes containing either resident or newly internalized live zooxanthellae were labeled with ApRab5, while those containing either heat-killed or photosynthesis-impaired algae were mostly negative for ApRab5 staining whereas the opposite was observed for ApRab7. We propose that active phagosomal retention of ApRab5 is part of the mechanisms employed by live zooxanthellae to: (1) persist inside their host cells and (2) exclude ApRab7 from their phagosomes, thereby, establishing and/or maintaining an endosymbiotic relationship with their cnidarian hosts

  20. Elevated temperature inhibits recruitment of transferrin-positive vesicles and induces iron-deficiency genes expression in Aiptasia pulchella host-harbored Symbiodinium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Po-Ching; Wu, Tsung-Meng; Hong, Ming-Chang; Chen, Ming-Chyuan

    2015-10-01

    Coral bleaching is the consequence of disruption of the mutualistic Cnidaria-dinoflagellate association. Elevated seawater temperatures have been proposed as the most likely cause of coral bleaching whose severity is enhanced by a limitation in the bioavailability of iron. Iron is required by numerous organisms including the zooxanthellae residing inside the symbiosome of cnidarian cells. However, the knowledge of how symbiotic zooxanthellae obtain iron from the host cells and how elevated water temperature affects the association is very limited. Since cellular iron acquisition is known to be mediated through transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis, a vesicular trafficking pathway specifically regulated by Rab4 and Rab5, we set out to examine the roles of these key proteins in the iron acquisition by the symbiotic Symbiodinium. Thus, we hypothesized that the iron recruitments into symbiotic zooxanthellae-housed symbiosomes may be dependent on rab4/rab5-mediated fusion with vesicles containing iron-bound transferrins and will be retarded under elevated temperature. In this study, we cloned a novel monolobal transferrin (ApTF) gene from the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella and confirmed that the association of ApTF with A. pulchella Rab4 (ApRab4) or A. pulchella Rab5 (ApRab5) vesicles is inhibited by elevated temperature through immunofluorescence analysis. We confirmed the iron-deficient phenomenon by demonstrating the induced overexpression of iron-deficiency-responsive genes, flavodoxin and high-affinity iron permease 1, and reduced intracellular iron concentration in zooxanthellae under desferrioxamine B (iron chelator) and high temperature treatment. In conclusion, our data are consistent with algal iron deficiency being a contributing factor for the thermal stress-induced bleaching of symbiotic cnidarians. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Elucidating the Small Regulatory RNA Repertoire of the Sea Anemone Anemonia viridis Based on Whole Genome and Small RNA Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbarova, Ilona; Patel, Hardip; Forêt, Sylvain; Karlsen, Bård Ove; Jørgensen, Tor Erik; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Johansen, Steinar D

    2018-02-01

    Cnidarians harbor a variety of small regulatory RNAs that include microRNAs (miRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), but detailed information is limited. Here, we report the identification and expression of novel miRNAs and putative piRNAs, as well as their genomic loci, in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis. We generated a draft assembly of the A. viridis genome with putative size of 313 Mb that appeared to be composed of about 36% repeats, including known transposable elements. We detected approximately equal fractions of DNA transposons and retrotransposons. Deep sequencing of small RNA libraries constructed from A. viridis adults sampled at a natural CO2 gradient off Vulcano Island, Italy, identified 70 distinct miRNAs. Eight were homologous to previously reported miRNAs in cnidarians, whereas 62 appeared novel. Nine miRNAs were recognized as differentially expressed along the natural seawater pH gradient. We found a highly abundant and diverse population of piRNAs, with a substantial fraction showing ping-pong signatures. We identified nearly 22% putative piRNAs potentially targeting transposable elements within the A. viridis genome. The A. viridis genome appeared similar in size to that of other hexacorals with a very high divergence of transposable elements resembling that of the sea anemone genus Exaiptasia. The genome encodes and expresses a high number of small regulatory RNAs, which include novel miRNAs and piRNAs. Differentially expressed small RNAs along the seawater pH gradient indicated regulatory gene responses to environmental stressors. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. Imaging intracellular pH in a reef coral and symbiotic anemone.

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    Venn, A A; Tambutté, E; Lotto, S; Zoccola, D; Allemand, D; Tambutté, S

    2009-09-29

    The challenges corals and symbiotic cnidarians face from global environmental change brings new urgency to understanding fundamental elements of their physiology. Intracellular pH (pHi) influences almost all aspects of cellular physiology but has never been described in anthozoans or symbiotic cnidarians, despite its pivotal role in carbon concentration for photosynthesis and calcification. Using confocal microscopy and the pH sensitive probe carboxy SNARF-1, we mapped pHi in short-term light and dark-incubated cells of the reef coral Stylophora pistillata and the symbiotic anemone Anemonia viridis. In all cells isolated from both species, pHi was markedly lower than the surrounding seawater pH of 8.1. In cells that contained symbiotic algae, mean values of pHi were significantly higher in light treated cells than dark treated cells (7.41 +/- 0.22 versus 7.13 +/- 0.24 for S. pistillata; and 7.29 +/- 0.15 versus 7.01 +/- 0.27 for A. viridis). In contrast, there was no significant difference in pHi in light and dark treated cells without algal symbionts. Close inspection of the interface between host cytoplasm and algal symbionts revealed a distinct area of lower pH adjacent to the symbionts in both light and dark treated cells, possibly associated with the symbiosome membrane complex. These findings are significant developments for the elucidation of models of inorganic carbon transport for photosynthesis and calcification and also provide a cell imaging procedure for future investigations into how pHi and other fundamental intracellular parameters in corals respond to changes in the external environment such as reductions in seawater pH.

  3. Hard-bottom bathyal habitats and keystone epibenthic species on Le Danois Bank (Cantabrian Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, F.; Rodríguez Basalo, A.; García-Alegre, A.; Gómez-Ballesteros, M.

    2017-12-01

    "El Cachucho" Marine Protected Area (MPA), which comprises Le Danois Bank and its intraslope basin, was included during 2008 in the Nature 2000 network mainly because of the presence of the habitat "1170 Reefs" according to the EU Habitat Directive. To review the effectiveness of existing management measures, several activities aimed at characterizing the most structurally complex hard-bottom habitats were planned and carried out during the ESMAREC 0514 survey. For identification of these habitats, several transects using the photogrammetric towed sled Politolana were carried out on Le Danois Bank, in the depth range between 427 and 1379 m, searching for the sea beds with higher values of slope and backscatter. Photogrammetric techniques were used for image scaling, so we could determine the surface areas of different substrata types (facies) and their species densities. A total area of 28,762 m2 was analyzed in the still images of 23 transects, verifying that 85% of the substrata of our study area are occupied by 4 different facies: Bedrock, bedrock with mixed sediments, mixed sediments with pebbles and boulders, and mixed sediments. Acoustic data and ground-truth visual data were combined to evaluate distinctive benthic scenarios. The relative abundances of the 123 epibenthic species identified by image analyses show that the most abundant are sponges (29%), cnidarians (26%), crustaceans (26%) and echinoderms (14%), i.e. mostly sessile species or those with low mobility. The keystone species of the "1170 Reefs" habitat are 3 cnidarians: Callogorgia verticillata, Paramuricea cf. placomus and Dendrophyllia cornigera, and 3 sponges, Asconema setubalense, Geodia msp.1 and Phakellia robusta. Eight new habitats (biotopes) have been identified on Le Danois Bank, six of which occur on the hard bottoms, with depth, substratum, BPI (Bathymetric Position Index) and slope as determining environmental variables that explain their spatial distributions.

  4. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

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    Nicholas R Polato

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cnidarians, including corals and anemones, offer unique insights into metazoan evolution because they harbor genetic similarities with vertebrates beyond that found in model invertebrates and retain genes known only from non-metazoans. Cataloging genes expressed in Acropora palmata, a foundation-species of reefs in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of ecologically important traits in corals and comes at a time when sequencing efforts in other cnidarians allow for multi-species comparisons. RESULTS: A cDNA library from a sample enriched for symbiont free larval tissue was sequenced on the 454 GS-FLX platform. Over 960,000 reads were obtained and assembled into 42,630 contigs. Annotation data was acquired for 57% of the assembled sequences. Analysis of the assembled sequences indicated that 83-100% of all A. palmata transcripts were tagged, and provided a rough estimate of the total number genes expressed in our samples (~18,000-20,000. The coral annotation data contained many of the same molecular components as in the Bilateria, particularly in pathways associated with oxidative stress and DNA damage repair, and provided evidence that homologs of p53, a key player in DNA repair pathways, has experienced selection along the branch separating Cnidaria and Bilateria. Transcriptome wide screens of paralog groups and transition/transversion ratios highlighted genes including: green fluorescent proteins, carbonic anhydrase, and oxidative stress proteins; and functional groups involved in protein and nucleic acid metabolism, and the formation of structural molecules. These results provide a starting point for study of adaptive evolution in corals. CONCLUSIONS: Currently available transcriptome data now make comparative studies of the mechanisms underlying coral's evolutionary success possible. Here we identified candidate genes that enable corals to maintain genomic integrity despite

  5. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polato, Nicholas R; Vera, J Cristobal; Baums, Iliana B

    2011-01-01

    Cnidarians, including corals and anemones, offer unique insights into metazoan evolution because they harbor genetic similarities with vertebrates beyond that found in model invertebrates and retain genes known only from non-metazoans. Cataloging genes expressed in Acropora palmata, a foundation-species of reefs in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of ecologically important traits in corals and comes at a time when sequencing efforts in other cnidarians allow for multi-species comparisons. A cDNA library from a sample enriched for symbiont free larval tissue was sequenced on the 454 GS-FLX platform. Over 960,000 reads were obtained and assembled into 42,630 contigs. Annotation data was acquired for 57% of the assembled sequences. Analysis of the assembled sequences indicated that 83-100% of all A. palmata transcripts were tagged, and provided a rough estimate of the total number genes expressed in our samples (~18,000-20,000). The coral annotation data contained many of the same molecular components as in the Bilateria, particularly in pathways associated with oxidative stress and DNA damage repair, and provided evidence that homologs of p53, a key player in DNA repair pathways, has experienced selection along the branch separating Cnidaria and Bilateria. Transcriptome wide screens of paralog groups and transition/transversion ratios highlighted genes including: green fluorescent proteins, carbonic anhydrase, and oxidative stress proteins; and functional groups involved in protein and nucleic acid metabolism, and the formation of structural molecules. These results provide a starting point for study of adaptive evolution in corals. Currently available transcriptome data now make comparative studies of the mechanisms underlying coral's evolutionary success possible. Here we identified candidate genes that enable corals to maintain genomic integrity despite considerable exposure to genotoxic stress over long life

  6. Early Cambrian pentamerous cubozoan embryos from South China.

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    Jian Han

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Extant cubozoans are voracious predators characterized by their square shape, four evenly spaced outstretched tentacles and well-developed eyes. A few cubozoan fossils are known from the Middle Cambrian Marjum Formation of Utah and the well-known Carboniferous Mazon Creek Formation of Illinois. Undisputed cubozoan fossils were previously unknown from the early Cambrian; by that time probably all representatives of the living marine phyla, especially those of basal animals, should have evolved. METHODS: Microscopic fossils were recovered from a phosphatic limestone in the Lower Cambrian Kuanchuanpu Formation of South China using traditional acetic-acid maceration. Seven of the pre-hatched pentamerous cubozoan embryos, each of which bears five pairs of subumbrellar tentacle buds, were analyzed in detail through computed microtomography (Micro-CT and scanning electron microscopy (SEM without coating. RESULTS: The figured microscopic fossils are unequivocal pre-hatching embryos based on their spherical fertilization envelope and the enclosed soft-tissue that has preserved key anatomical features arranged in perfect pentaradial symmetry, allowing detailed comparison with modern cnidarians, especially medusozoans. A combination of features, such as the claustrum, gonad-lamella, suspensorium and velarium suspended by the frenula, occur exclusively in the gastrovascular system of extant cubozoans, indicating a cubozoan affinity for these fossils. Additionally, the interior anatomy of these embryonic cubozoan fossils unprecedentedly exhibits the development of many new septum-derived lamellae and well-partitioned gastric pockets unknown in living cubozoans, implying that ancestral cubozoans had already evolved highly specialized structures displaying unexpected complexity at the dawn of the Cambrian. The well-developed endodermic lamellae and gastric pockets developed in the late embryonic stages of these cubozoan fossils are comparable with

  7. 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.

  8. Evidence for aquaporin-mediated water transport in nematocytes of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Angela; Morabito, Rossana; La Spada, Giuseppina; Adragna, Norma C; Lauf, Peter K

    2011-01-01

    Nematocytes, the stinging cells of Cnidarians, have a cytoplasm confined to a thin rim. The main cell body is occupied by an organoid, the nematocyst, containing the stinging tubule and venom. Exposed to hypotonic shock, nematocytes initially swell during an osmotic phase (OP) and then undergo regulatory volume decrease (RVD) driven by K(+), Cl(-) and obligatory water extrusion mechanisms. The purpose of this report is to characterize the OP. Nematocytes were isolated by the NaSCN/Ca(2+) method from tentacles of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca, collected in the Strait of Messina, Italy. Isolated nematocytes were subjected to hyposmotic shock in 65% artificial seawater (ASW) for 15 min. The selective aquaporin water channel inhibitor HgCl(2) (0.1-25 μM) applied prior to osmotic shock prevented the OP and thus RVD. These effects were attenuated in the presence of 1mM dithiothreitol (DTT), a mercaptide bond reducing agent. AgNO(3) (1 μM) and TEA (tetraethylammonium, 100 μM), also reported to inhibit water transport, did not alter the OP but significantly diminished RVD, suggesting different modes of action for the inhibitors tested. Based on estimates of the nematocyte surface area and volume, and OP duration, a relative water permeability of ~10(-7) cm/sec was calculated and the number of putative aquaporin molecules mediating the OP was estimated. This water permeability is 3-4 orders of magnitude lower in comparison to higher order animals and may constitute an evolutionary advantage for Cnidarian survival. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Shooting Mechanisms in Nature: A Systematic Review.

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    Aimée Sakes

    Full Text Available In nature, shooting mechanisms are used for a variety of purposes, including prey capture, defense, and reproduction. This review offers insight into the working principles of shooting mechanisms in fungi, plants, and animals in the light of the specific functional demands that these mechanisms fulfill.We systematically searched the literature using Scopus and Web of Knowledge to retrieve articles about solid projectiles that either are produced in the body of the organism or belong to the body and undergo a ballistic phase. The shooting mechanisms were categorized based on the energy management prior to and during shooting.Shooting mechanisms were identified with projectile masses ranging from 1·10-9 mg in spores of the fungal phyla Ascomycota and Zygomycota to approximately 10,300 mg for the ballistic tongue of the toad Bufo alvarius. The energy for shooting is generated through osmosis in fungi, plants, and animals or muscle contraction in animals. Osmosis can be induced by water condensation on the system (in fungi, or water absorption in the system (reaching critical pressures up to 15.4 atmospheres; observed in fungi, plants, and animals, or water evaporation from the system (reaching up to -197 atmospheres; observed in plants and fungi. The generated energy is stored as elastic (potential energy in cell walls in fungi and plants and in elastic structures in animals, with two exceptions: (1 in the momentum catapult of Basidiomycota the energy is stored in a stalk (hilum by compression of the spore and droplets and (2 in Sphagnum energy is mainly stored in compressed air. Finally, the stored energy is transformed into kinetic energy of the projectile using a catapult mechanism delivering up to 4,137 J/kg in the osmotic shooting mechanism in cnidarians and 1,269 J/kg in the muscle-powered appendage strike of the mantis shrimp Odontodactylus scyllarus. The launch accelerations range from 6.6g in the frog Rana pipiens to 5,413,000g in

  10. Prurido do traje de banho: relato de seis casos no Sul do Brasil Seabather’s eruption: report of the six cases in southern Brazil

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    André Luiz Rossetto

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available O prurido do traje de banho ou seabather’s eruption é uma dermatite intensamente pruriginosa que ocorre pelo contato com larvas plânulas do cnidário cifozoário Linuche unguiculata, especialmente sob os trajes de banhistas. As larvas disparam seus nematocistos a partir de cnidócitos ou células urticantes de defesa na pele da vítima, causando uma típica erupção pápulo-eritemato-pruriginosa. Os primeiros cinco casos descritos no Brasil foram publicados em 2001, no litoral Sudeste (Ubatuba, SP, obtendo-se associação com larvas de Linuche unguiculata, uma vez que a ocorrência e o ciclo de vida do cnidário já haviam sido estudados no Canal de São Sebastião, SP. Os autores relatam os seis casos na região Sul do Brasil (Estado de Santa Catarina, enfatizando os aspectos clínicos e a pesquisa para identificação do agente na água do mar local.Seabather’s eruption is an intensely pruriginous form of dermatitis that occurs after contact with the planula larvae of the cnidarian scyphozoan Linuche unguiculata, especially under the bather’s clothes. They discharge their poisonous nematocysts from the cnidocytes, causing a typical eruption presenting papules, erythema and intense itching. The first five cases described in Brazil were published in 2001 and occurred on the southeastern coast (Ubatuba, State of São Paulo. Those cases were linked to larvae of Linuche unguiculata, because the occurrence and life cycle of this cnidarian had been studied in the São Sebastião Channel, State of São Paulo. The present authors report the six cases observed in southern Brazil (State of Santa Catarina, with a description of the typical clinical aspects and an investigation linking the cases to Linuche unguiculata in the local seawater.

  11. The roles of Dmrt (Double sex/Male-abnormal-3 Related Transcription factor) genes in sex determination and differentiation mechanisms: Ubiquity and diversity across the animal kingdom.

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    Picard, Marion Anne-Lise; Cosseau, Céline; Mouahid, Gabriel; Duval, David; Grunau, Christoph; Toulza, Ève; Allienne, Jean-François; Boissier, Jérôme

    2015-07-01

    The Dmrt (Double sex/Male-abnormal-3 Related Transcription factor) genes have been intensively studied because they represent major transcription factors in the pathways governing sex determination and differentiation. These genes have been identified in animal groups ranging from cnidarians to mammals, and some of the genes functionally studied. Here, we propose to analyze (i) the presence/absence of various Dmrt gene groups in the different taxa across the animal kingdom; (ii) the relative expression levels of the Dmrt genes in each sex; (iii) the specific spatial (by organ) and temporal (by developmental stage) variations in gene expression. This review considers non-mammalian animals at all levels of study (i.e. no particular importance is given to animal models), and using all types of sexual strategy (hermaphroditic or gonochoric) and means of sex determination (i.e. genetic or environmental). To conclude this global comparison, we offer an analysis of the DM domains conserved among the different DMRT proteins, and propose a general sex-specific pattern for each member of the Dmrt gene family. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. The Mediterranean stony coral Cladocora caespitosa (Linnaeus, 1767) as habitat provider for molluscs: colony size effect

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    Pitacco, Valentina; Crocetta, Fabio; Orlando-Bonaca, Martina; Mavrič, Borut; Lipej, Lovrenc

    2017-11-01

    The stony coral Cladocora caespitosa (Linnaeus, 1767) is an important Mediterranean habitat builder, whose survival is now being threatened by human activities and possibly natural events such as mass mortality and bleaching. We characterized the mollusc assemblage associated with colonies in the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic Sea) and then tested whether the number of mollusc species increases in relation with colony size, following a Species-Area Relationship (SAR) model. At least 62 taxa were found in association with coral colonies, with bivalves constituting the dominant group. More than half of the 3034 specimens encountered were juveniles. Mollusc taxa richness increased with increasing C. caespitosa colony size according to the power-function model, whilst the analyses of trophic and functional groups supports the hypothesis of at least two factors underlying SAR (area per se and habitat diversity). Our results confirmed the importance of C. caespitosa for benthic communities, indicating that larger colonies support higher biodiversity, and suggesting that C. caespitosa is the most important habit builder among Mediterranean cnidarians, having also an influential function as a natural nursery ground. These results underline the necessity of new investigations aimed at filling gaps in our knowledge and planning new measures to protect the species.

  13. Sex determination and differentiation in Aurelia sp.1: the absence of temperature dependence

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    Liu, Chunsheng; Gu, Zhifeng; Xing, Mengxin; Sun, Yun; Chen, Siqing; Chen, Zhaoting

    2018-03-01

    Cnidarians, being regarded as `basal' metazoan animals, are considered to have relatively high plasticity in terms of sex reversal. In this study we used an experimental approach to demonstrate sexual differentiation and plasticity in benthic polyps and pelagic medusae of Aurelia sp.1 maintained at different temperatures. Results indicated that in Aurelia sp.1, sex differentiation has been determined at the polyp stage and that all medusae originating from a given polyp are, phenotypically, of the same sex. In addition, the sex of polyps budding from the same clone (either male or female) at different temperatures appears to be the same as that of the parent. The sex of medusae that had originated from a known-sex polyp was observed to remain the same as that of the parent, irrespective of differences in strobilation or rearing temperatures. These results indicate that the mechanism of sex determination of Aurelia sp.1. is not influenced by prevailing temperature regimes. A comparison of variability in terms of sexual plasticity of Aurelia sp.1 with that of Hydrozoa and Anthozoa suggests that species characterized by a free-swimming medusa life stage have a high dispersal potential, which probably results in a lower rate of sex reversal.

  14. Recovery of the coral Montastrea annularis in the Florida Keys after the 1987 Caribbean ``bleaching event''

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    Fitt, William K.; Spero, Howard J.; Halas, John; White, Michael W.; Porter, James W.

    1993-07-01

    Many reef-building corals and other cnidarians lost photosynthetic pigments and symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) during the coral bleaching event in the Caribbean in 1987. The Florida Reef Tract included some of the first documented cases, with widespread bleaching of the massive coral Montastrea annularis beginning in late August. Phototransects at Carysfort Reef showed discoloration of >90% of colonies of this species in March 1988 compared to 0% in July 1986; however no mortality was observed between 1986 and 1988. Samples of corals collected in February and June 1988 had zooxanthellae densities ranging from 0.1 in the most lightly colored corals, to 1.6x106 cells/cm2 in the darker corals. Minimum densities increased to 0.5x106 cells/cm2 by August 1989. Chlorophyll- a content of zooxanthellae and zooxanthellar mitotic indices were significantly higher in corals with lower densities of zooxanthellae, suggesting that zooxanthellar at low densities may be more nutrientsufficient than those in unbleached corals. Ash-free dry weight of coral tissue was positively correlated with zooxanthellae density at all sample times and was significantly lower in June 1988 compared to August 1989. Proteins and lipids per cm2 were significantly higher in August 1989 than in February or June, 1988. Although recovery of zooxanthellae density and coral pigmentation to normal levels may occur in less than one year, regrowth of tissue biomass and energy stores lost during the period of low symbiont densities may take significantly longer.

  15. Characterization of a Gene Coding for the Complement System Component FB from Loxosceles laeta Spider Venom Glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myamoto, Daniela Tiemi; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Pedroso, Aurélio; van den Berg, Carmen W; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2016-01-01

    The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB), the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP), a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA), and a serine protease domain (SP). The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43%) and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3) from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae.

  16. Minicollagen-15, a novel minicollagen isolated from Hydra, forms tubule structures in nematocysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamczyk, Patrizia; Meier, Sebastian; Gross, Thomas; Hobmayer, Bert; Grzesiek, Stephan; Bächinger, Hans Peter; Holstein, Thomas W; Ozbek, Suat

    2008-02-29

    Minicollagens constitute a family of unusually short collagen molecules isolated from cnidarians. They are restricted to the nematocyst, a cylindrical explosive organelle serving in defense and capture of prey. The nematocyst capsule contains a long tubule inside of its matrix, which is expelled and everted during an ultrafast discharge process. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of a novel minicollagen in Hydra, designated minicollagen-15 (NCol-15). NCol-15, like NCol-3 and NCol-4, shows deviations from the canonical cysteine pattern in its terminal cysteine-rich domains (CRDs). Minicollagens share common domain architectures with a central collagen sequence flanked by polyproline stretches and short N- and C-terminal CRDs. The CRDs are involved in the formation of a highly resistant cysteine network, which constitutes the basic structure of the nematocyst capsule. Unlike NCol-1, which is part of the capsule wall, NCol-15 is localized to tubules, arguing for a functional differentiation of minicollagens within the nematocyst architecture. NMR analysis of the altered C-terminal CRD of NCol-15 showed a novel disulfide-linked structure within the cysteine-containing region exhibiting similar folding kinetics and stability as the canonical CRDs. Our data provide evidence for evolutionary diversification among minicollagens, which probably facilitated alterations in the morphology of the nematocyst wall and tubule.

  17. Jellyfish Stings and Their Management: A Review

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    Giuseppe Mastrangelo

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Jellyfish (cnidarians have a worldwide distribution. Despite most being harmless, some species may cause local and also systemic reactions. Treatment of jellyfish envenomation is directed at: alleviating the local effects of venom, preventing further nematocyst discharges and controlling systemic reactions, including shock. In severe cases, the most important step is stabilizing and maintaining vital functions. With some differences between species, there seems to be evidence and consensus on oral/topical analgesics, hot water and ice packs as effective painkillers and on 30 s application of domestic vinegar (4%–6% acetic acid to prevent further discharge of unfired nematocysts remaining on the skin. Conversely, alcohol, methylated spirits and fresh water should be carefully avoided, since they could massively discharge nematocysts; pressure immobilization bandaging should also be avoided, as laboratory studies show that it stimulates additional venom discharge from nematocysts. Most treatment approaches are presently founded on relatively weak evidence; therefore, further research (especially randomized clinical trials is strongly recommended. Dissemination of appropriate treatment modalities should be deployed to better inform and educate those at risk. Adequate signage should be placed at beaches to notify tourists of the jellyfish risk. Swimmers in risky areas should wear protective equipment.

  18. Fatty acid and phospholipid syntheses are prerequisites for the cell cycle of Symbiodinium and their endosymbiosis within sea anemones.

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    Li-Hsueh Wang

    Full Text Available Lipids are a source of metabolic energy, as well as essential components of cellular membranes. Although they have been shown to be key players in the regulation of cell proliferation in various eukaryotes, including microalgae, their role in the cell cycle of cnidarian-dinoflagellate (genus Symbiodinium endosymbioses remains to be elucidated. The present study examined the effects of a lipid synthesis inhibitor, cerulenin, on the cell cycle of both cultured Symbiodinium (clade B and those engaged in an endosymbiotic association with the sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella. In the former, cerulenin exposure was found to inhibit free fatty acid (FFA synthesis, as it does in other organisms. Additionally, while it also significantly inhibited the synthesis of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE, it did not affect the production of sterol ester (SE or phosphatidylcholine (PC. Interestingly, cerulenin also significantly retarded cell division by arresting the cell cycles at the G0/G1 phase. Cerulenin-treated Symbiodinium were found to be taken up by anemone hosts at a significantly depressed quantity in comparison with control Symbiodinium. Furthermore, the uptake of cerulenin-treated Symbiodinium in host tentacles occurred much more slowly than in untreated controls. These results indicate that FFA and PE may play critical roles in the recognition, proliferation, and ultimately the success of endosymbiosis with anemones.

  19. Climate change in the oceans: evolutionary versus phenotypically plastic responses of marine animals and plants.

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    Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2014-01-01

    I summarize marine studies on plastic versus adaptive responses to global change. Due to the lack of time series, this review focuses largely on the potential for adaptive evolution in marine animals and plants. The approaches were mainly synchronic comparisons of phenotypically divergent populations, substituting spatial contrasts in temperature or CO2 environments for temporal changes, or in assessments of adaptive genetic diversity within populations for traits important under global change. The available literature is biased towards gastropods, crustaceans, cnidarians and macroalgae. Focal traits were mostly environmental tolerances, which correspond to phenotypic buffering, a plasticity type that maintains a functional phenotype despite external disturbance. Almost all studies address coastal species that are already today exposed to fluctuations in temperature, pH and oxygen levels. Recommendations for future research include (i) initiation and analyses of observational and experimental temporal studies encompassing diverse phenotypic traits (including diapausing cues, dispersal traits, reproductive timing, morphology) (ii) quantification of nongenetic trans-generational effects along with components of additive genetic variance (iii) adaptive changes in microbe-host associations under the holobiont model in response to global change (iv) evolution of plasticity patterns under increasingly fluctuating environments and extreme conditions and (v) joint consideration of demography and evolutionary adaptation in evolutionary rescue approaches.

  20. The Holo-Transcriptome of the Zoantharian Protopalythoa variabilis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: A Plentiful Source of Enzymes for Potential Application in Green Chemistry, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

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    Jean-Étienne R. L. Morlighem

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Marine invertebrates, such as sponges, tunicates and cnidarians (zoantharians and scleractinian corals, form functional assemblages, known as holobionts, with numerous microbes. This type of species-specific symbiotic association can be a repository of myriad valuable low molecular weight organic compounds, bioactive peptides and enzymes. The zoantharian Protopalythoa variabilis (Cnidaria: Anthozoa is one such example of a marine holobiont that inhabits the coastal reefs of the tropical Atlantic coast and is an interesting source of secondary metabolites and biologically active polypeptides. In the present study, we analyzed the entire holo-transcriptome of P. variabilis, looking for enzyme precursors expressed in the zoantharian-microbiota assemblage that are potentially useful as industrial biocatalysts and biopharmaceuticals. In addition to hundreds of predicted enzymes that fit into the classes of hydrolases, oxidoreductases and transferases that were found, novel enzyme precursors with multiple activities in single structures and enzymes with incomplete Enzyme Commission numbers were revealed. Our results indicated the predictive expression of thirteen multifunctional enzymes and 694 enzyme sequences with partially characterized activities, distributed in 23 sub-subclasses. These predicted enzyme structures and activities can prospectively be harnessed for applications in diverse areas of industrial and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

  1. Metabolite profiling of symbiont and host during thermal stress and bleaching in the coral Acropora aspera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillyer, Katie E.; Dias, Daniel A.; Lutz, Adrian; Wilkinson, Shaun P.; Roessner, Ute; Davy, Simon K.

    2017-03-01

    Rising seawater temperatures pose a significant threat to the persistence of coral reefs. Despite the importance of these systems, major gaps remain in our understanding of how thermal stress and bleaching affect the metabolic networks that underpin holobiont function. We applied gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics to detect changes in the intracellular free metabolite pools (polar and semi-polar compounds) of in hospite dinoflagellate symbionts and their coral hosts (and any associated microorganisms) during early- and late-stage thermal bleaching (a reduction of approximately 50 and 70% in symbiont density, respectively). We detected characteristic changes to the metabolite profiles of each symbiotic partner associated with individual cellular responses to thermal, oxidative and osmotic stress, which progressed with the severity of bleaching. Alterations were also indicative of changes to energy-generating and biosynthesis pathways in both partners, with a shift to the increased catabolism of lipid stores. Specifically, in symbiont intracellular metabolite pools, we observed accumulations of multiple free fatty acids, plus the chloroplast-associated antioxidant alpha-tocopherol. In the host, we detected a decline in the abundance of pools of multiple carbohydrates, amino acids and intermediates, in addition to the antioxidant ascorbate. These findings further our understanding of the metabolic changes that occur to symbiont and host (and its associated microorganisms) during thermal bleaching. These findings also provide further insight into the largely undescribed roles of free metabolite pools in cellular homeostasis, signalling and acclimation to thermal stress in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

  2. Predicting the Presence of Scyphozoan Jellyfish in the Gulf of Mexico Using a Biophysical Model

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    Aleksa, K. T.; Nero, R. W.; Wiggert, J. D.; Graham, W. M.

    2016-02-01

    The study and quantification of jellyfish (cnidarian medusae and ctenophores) is difficult due to their fragile body plan and a composition similar to their environment. The development of a predictive biophysical jellyfish model would be the first of its kind for the Gulf of Mexico and could provide assistance in ecological research and human interactions. In this study, the collection data of two scyphozoan medusae, Chrysaora quinquecirrha and Aurelia spp., were extracted from SEAMAP trawling surveys and were used to determine biophysical predictors for the presence of large jellyfish medusae in the Gulf of Mexico. Both in situ and remote sensing measurements from 2003 to 2013 were obtained. Logistic regressions were then applied to 27 biophysical parameters derived from these data to explore and determine significant predictors for the presence of medusae. Significant predictors identified by this analysis included water temperature, chlorophyll a, turbidity, distance from shore, and salinity. Future application for this model include foraging assessment of gelatinous predators as well as possible near real time monitoring of the distribution and movement of these medusae in the Gulf of Mexico.

  3. A gonad-expressed opsin mediates light-induced spawning in the jellyfish Clytia

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    Quiroga Artigas, Gonzalo; Lapébie, Pascal; Leclère, Lucas; Takeda, Noriyo; Deguchi, Ryusaku; Jékely, Gáspár

    2018-01-01

    Across the animal kingdom, environmental light cues are widely involved in regulating gamete release, but the molecular and cellular bases of the photoresponsive mechanisms are poorly understood. In hydrozoan jellyfish, spawning is triggered by dark-light or light-dark transitions acting on the gonad, and is mediated by oocyte maturation-inducing neuropeptide hormones (MIHs) released from the ectoderm. We determined in Clytia hemisphaerica that blue-cyan light triggers spawning in isolated gonads. A candidate opsin (Opsin9) was found co-expressed with MIH within specialised ectodermal cells. Opsin9 knockout jellyfish generated by CRISPR/Cas9 failed to undergo oocyte maturation and spawning, a phenotype reversible by synthetic MIH. Gamete maturation and release in Clytia is thus regulated by gonadal photosensory-neurosecretory cells that secrete MIH in response to light via Opsin9. Similar cells in ancestral eumetazoans may have allowed tissue-level photo-regulation of diverse behaviours, a feature elaborated in cnidarians in parallel with expansion of the opsin gene family. PMID:29303477

  4. Biosurfactant production by hydrocarbon-degrading Brevibacterium and Vibrio isolates from the sea pen Pteroeides spinosum (Ellis, 1764).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graziano, Marco; Rizzo, Carmen; Michaud, Luigi; Porporato, Erika Maria Diletta; De Domenico, Emilio; Spanò, Nunziacarla; Lo Giudice, Angelina

    2016-09-01

    Among filter-feeders, pennatulids are the most complex and polymorphic members of the cnidarian class Anthozoa. They display a wide distribution throughout all the oceans, constituting a significant component of the sessile megafauna from intertidal to abyssal depths. In this study, a total of 118 bacterial isolates from enrichment cultures, carried out with homogenates of the sea pen Pteroeides spinosum (Ellis, 1764), were screened for hydrocarbon utilization by using the 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol assay. Among them, 83 hydrocarbon-oxidizing isolates were analyzed for biosurfactant production by standard screening tests (i.e., emulsifying activity, E24 detection, surface tension measurement, microplate assay). The 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed the affiliation of the most promising isolates to the genera Brevibacterium and Vibrio. Biosurfactant production resulted strongly affected by salinity and temperature conditions, and occurred in the presence of diesel oil and/or crude oil, whereas no production was observed when isolates were grown on tetradecane. The strains resulted able to create stable emulsions, thus suggesting the production of biosurfactants. Further analyses revealed a glycolipidic nature of the biosurfactant extracted from Vibrio sp. PBN295, a genus that has been only recently reported as biosurfactant producer. Results suggest that pennatulids could represent a novel source for the isolation of hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacteria with potential in biosurfactant production. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa Crude Venom Injection Elicits Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Response in Rats

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    Giuseppe Bruschetta

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Cnidarian toxins represent a rich source of biologically active compounds. Since they may act via oxidative stress events, the aim of the present study was to verify whether crude venom, extracted from the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca, elicits inflammation and oxidative stress processes, known to be mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS production, in rats. In a first set of experiments, the animals were injected with crude venom (at three different doses 6, 30 and 60 µg/kg, suspended in saline solution, i.v. to test the mortality and possible blood pressure changes. In a second set of experiments, to confirm that Pelagia noctiluca crude venom enhances ROS formation and may contribute to the pathophysiology of inflammation, crude venom-injected animals (30 µg/kg were also treated with tempol, a powerful antioxidant (100 mg/kg i.p., 30 and 60 min after crude venom. Administration of tempol after crude venom challenge, caused a significant reduction of each parameter related to inflammation. The potential effect of Pelagia noctiluca crude venom in the systemic inflammation process has been here demonstrated, adding novel information about its biological activity.

  6. Assimilation and partitioning of prey nitrogen within two anthozoans and their endosymbiotic zooxanthellae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piniak, G.A.; Lipschultz, F.; McClelland, J.

    2003-01-01

    The movement of nitrogen from zooplankton prey into the temperate scleractinian coral Oculina arbuscula and the anemone Aiptasia pallida was measured using 15N-labeled brine shrimp. The efficiency with which prey nitrogen was incorporated into cnidarian tissues was species-specific. O. arbuscula with a full complement of zooxanthellae had an assimilation efficiency of nearly 100%, compared to only 46% for corals containing few zooxanthellae. In A. pallida, symbiont density had no effect, and nitrogen assimilation was 23 to 29%. In both species, the host retained the bulk of the ingested label. Complete digestion was rapid (zooxanthellae, where it was rapidly converted into macromolecules. Individual amino acids in A. pallida tissues were highly labeled with 15N within 4 h and showed no subsequent enrichment with time; however, zooxanthellae amino acids became increasingly enriched over 30 h. Differences in 15N enrichment among amino acids were consistent with known synthesis and transformation pathways, but it was not possible to discriminate between host feeding and de novo synthesis.

  7. Allozyme electrophoresis as a tool for distinguishing different zooxanthellae symbiotic with giant clams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baillie, B. K.; Monje, V.; Silvestre, V.; Sison, M.; Belda-Baillie, C. A.

    1998-01-01

    The taxonomy of zooxanthellae in marine invertebrate symbioses is not well understood owing mainly to their lack of reliable morphological differences. Nevertheless, previous work using protein and DNA electrophoreses has set the stage for advancing our taxonomic understanding of cnidarian zooxanthellae. Here we present the use of allozymes as genetic markers for distinguishing algal isolates from tridacnid hosts. Zooxanthellae from seven Tridacna and Hippopus species were isolated and maintained in axenic clonal cultures over many generations. Of 16 enzyme systems, α- and β-esterase (EST), esterase-F (EST-F), glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI), and malate dehydrogenase (MDH) were found suitable polymorphic markers of genetic differences among clonal cultures. Of 39 clonal isolates, 97% were found to be genetically distinguishable. This high extent of genetic variation in zooxanthellae within and between clam species was unexpected, and is difficult to explain based solely on the general notion of asexual reproduction in symbiotic zooxanthellae. Our results are also consistent with the occurrence of sexual reproduction in clam zooxanthellae. The close genetic similarity of the symbionts of Tridacna gigas, the largest and fastest-growing clam species, and the difficulty of initiating their clonal cultures in the given nutrient medium, compared with the symbionts of other clam species, are further indicative of possibly distinct algal symbionts in T. gigas. These findings are discussed in light of current taxonomic understanding of these organisms.

  8. Use of a fluorescent membrane probe to identify zooxanthellae in hospite among dissociated endoderm cell culture from coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C-S; Lin, H-P; Yeh, C-C; Fang, L-S

    2005-12-01

    Preparation of homogeneous endoderm cells and culture is a prerequisite to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanism of endosymbiosis in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate association. During the cell isolation from the stony coral Euphyllia glabrescens, various amounts of symbiotic endoderm cells were found to release their symbionts (Symbiodinium spp., or zooxanthellae in generic usage) into the culture. Due to the bulky occupation by zooxanthellae inside the endoderm cell, the symbiotic endoderm cells, or zooxanthellae in hospite, are difficult to be distinguished from released zooxanthellae by microscopic examination. We now report a method for this identification using a fluorescent analogue of sphingomyelin, N-[5-(5,7-dimethyl boron dipyrromethene difluoride)-1-pentanoyl]-D-erythro-sphingosylphosphorylcholine (C(5)-DMB-SM). Incubation of symbiotic endoderm cells with C(5)-DMB-SM-defatted bovine serum albumin (DF-BSA) complex results in bright fluorescent membrane staining. Nevertheless, the membrane staining of free-living or released zooxanthellae by this complex is significantly decreased or even diminished. This method has provided a fast and reliable assay to identify symbiotic endoderm cells and will greatly accelerate the progress of endosymbiosis research.

  9. Phylogenetic relationships among zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium) associated to excavating sponges (Cliona spp.) reveal an unexpected lineage in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granados, C; Camargo, C; Zea, S; Sánchez, J A

    2008-11-01

    Phylogenetic relationships of symbiotic dinoflagellate lineages, distributed in all tropical and subtropical seas, suggest strategies for long distance dispersal but at the same time strong host specialization. Zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium: Dinophyta), which are associated to diverse shallow-water cnidarians, also engage in symbioses with some sponge species of the genus Cliona. In the Caribbean, zooxanthellae-bearing Cliona has recently become abundant due to global warming, overfishing, and algae abundance. Using molecular techniques, the symbionts from five excavating species (Clionacaribbaea, C. tenuis, C. varians, C. aprica and C. laticavicola) from the southern and southwestern Caribbean were surveyed. Several DNA sequence regions were used in order to confirm zooxanthellae identity; 18S rDNA, domain V of chloroplast large subunit (cp23S), internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), and ITS2 secondary structure. Sequence analyses corroborated the presence of three zooxanthellae clades: A, B, and G. Presence of clades A and B in common boring sponges of the Caribbean fit with the general pattern of the province. The discovery of clade G for the first time in any organism of the Atlantic Ocean leads us to consider this unusual finding as a phylogenetic relict through common ancestors of sponge clades or an invasion of the sponge from the Indo-Pacific.

  10. Amphidinolide P from the Brazilian octocoral Stragulum bicolor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiciana S. Sousa

    Full Text Available Abstract Dinoflagellates are an important source of unique bioactive secondary metabolites. Symbiotic species, commonly named zooxanthellae, transfer most of their photosynthetically fixed carbon to their host. The mutualistic relationship provides the organic metabolites used for energy production but there are very few reports of the role of the dinoflagellates in the production of secondary metabolites in the symbiotic association. Corals and other related cnidarians are the most well-known animals containing symbiotic dinoflagellates. In the present paper we describe the isolation of amphidinolide P (1 from the octocoral Stragulum bicolor and its prey, the nudibranch Marionia limceana, collected off the coasts of Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil. The coral extracts also contained 3-O-methyl derivative (2 of amphidinolide P, together with minor compounds still under investigation. Amphidinolides have been so far reported only in laboratory cultures of Amphidinium sp., thus compounds 1 and 2 represents the first identification of these polyketides in invertebrates. The finding proves the possibility to isolate amphidinolides from a natural symbiosis, enabling further biological and biotechnological studies.

  11. Marine lake ecosystem dynamics illustrate ENSO variation in the tropical western Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Laura E; Dawson, Michael N; Bell, Lori J; Colin, Patrick L

    2006-03-22

    Understanding El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its biological consequences is hindered by a lack of high-resolution, long-term data from the tropical western Pacific. We describe a preliminary, 6 year dataset that shows tightly coupled ENSO-related bio-physical dynamics in a seawater lake in Palau, Micronesia. The lake is more strongly stratified during La Niña than El Niño conditions, temperature anomalies in the lake co-vary strongly with the Niño 3.4 climate index, and the abundance of the dominant member of the pelagic community, an endemic subspecies of zooxanthellate jellyfish, is temperature associated. These results have broad relevance because the lake: (i) illustrates an ENSO signal that is partly obscured in surrounding semi-enclosed lagoon waters and, therefore, (ii) may provide a model system for studying the effects of climate change on community evolution and cnidarian-zooxanthellae symbioses, which (iii) should be traceable throughout the Holocene because the lake harbours a high quality sediment record; the sediment record should (iv) provide a sensitive and regionally unique record of Holocene climate relevant to predicting ENSO responses to future global climate change and, finally, (v) seawater lake ecosystems elsewhere in the Pacific may hold similar potential for past, present, and predictive measurements of climate variation and ecosystem response.

  12. Heat stress induces different forms of cell death in sea anemones and their endosymbiotic algae depending on temperature and duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, S R; Thomason, J C; Le Tissier, M D A; Bythell, J C

    2004-11-01

    Bleaching of reef building corals and other symbiotic cnidarians due to the loss of their dinoflagellate algal symbionts (=zooxanthellae), and/or their photosynthetic pigments, is a common sign of environmental stress. Mass bleaching events are becoming an increasingly important cause of mortality and reef degradation on a global scale, linked by many to global climate change. However, the cellular mechanisms of stress-induced bleaching remain largely unresolved. In this study, the frequency of apoptosis-like and necrosis-like cell death was determined in the symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia sp. using criteria that had previously been validated for this symbiosis as indicators of programmed cell death (PCD) and necrosis. Results indicate that PCD and necrosis occur simultaneously in both host tissues and zooxanthellae subject to environmentally relevant doses of heat stress. Frequency of PCD in the anemone endoderm increased within minutes of treatment. Peak rates of apoptosis-like cell death in the host were coincident with the timing of loss of zooxanthellae during bleaching. The proportion of apoptosis-like host cells subsequently declined while cell necrosis increased. In the zooxanthellae, both apoptosis-like and necrosis-like activity increased throughout the duration of the experiment (6 days), dependent on temperature dose. A stress-mediated PCD pathway is an important part of the thermal stress response in the sea anemone symbiosis and this study suggests that PCD may play different roles in different components of the symbiosis during bleaching.

  13. The Evolutionary History of Daphniid α-Carbonic Anhydrase within Animalia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, Billy W.; Morton, Philip K.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that drive acid-base regulation in organisms is important, especially for organisms in aquatic habitats that experience rapidly fluctuating pH conditions. Previous studies have shown that carbonic anhydrases (CAs), a family of zinc metalloenzymes, are responsible for acid-base regulation in many organisms. Through the use of phylogenetic tools, this present study attempts to elucidate the evolutionary history of the α-CA superfamily, with particular interest in the emerging model aquatic organism Daphnia pulex. We provide one of the most extensive phylogenies of the evolution of α-CAs, with the inclusion of 261 amino acid sequences across taxa ranging from Cnidarians to Homo sapiens. While the phylogeny supports most of our previous understanding on the relationship of how α-CAs have evolved, we find that, contrary to expectations, amino acid conservation with bacterial α-CAs supports the supposition that extracellular α-CAs are the ancestral state of animal α-CAs. Furthermore, we show that two cytosolic and one GPI-anchored α-CA in Daphnia genus have homologs in sister taxa that are possible candidate genes to study for acid-base regulation. In addition, we provide further support for previous findings of a high rate of gene duplication within Daphnia genus, as compared with other organisms. PMID:25893130

  14. Associations between pycnogonids and hydroids from the Buenos Aires littoral zone, with observations on the semi-parasitic life cycle of Tanystylum orbiculare(Ammotheiidae

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    Gabriel N. Genzano

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available Abundance and seasonality of Tanystylum orbiculare Wilson, 1878 populations (Pycnogonida; Ammotheidae associated with Sarsia sarsii (Loven, 1836 and Tubularia crocea (Agassiz, 1862 (Hydrozoa; Anthomedusae are analysed and the semi-parasitic life cycle of this species is described. In the analysed population, the first larval stages were found exclusively as parasites of S. sarsii. During the attachment to the hydranths, protonymphon larvae of T. orbiculare feed by sucking the hydranths of the cnidarian. Change of host is not obligatory; juveniles and adults were found both on S. sarsii as on T. crocea, and adults were also observed on other invertebrates. In the Mar del Plata intertidal, Tanystylum orbiculare was the most common pycnogonid species on colonies of T. crocea and S. sarsii. Anoplodactylus petiolatus was less abundant on both species and A. assimilis was found only on T. crocea. Endeis spinosa is absent on hydroids from the Mar del Plata intertidal zone but ectoparasitic larvae and adults were found on Obelia longissima colonies from Mar del Plata harbour together with adults of T. orbiculare and A. petiolatus. Endoparasitic larvae of A. petiolatus were found associated with colonies of Bougainvillidae.

  15. Crude venom from nematocysts of Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) elicits a sodium conductance in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabito, Rossana; Costa, Roberta; Rizzo, Valentina; Remigante, Alessia; Nofziger, Charity; La Spada, Giuseppa; Marino, Angela; Paulmichl, Markus; Dossena, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Cnidarians may negatively impact human activities and public health but concomitantly their venom represents a rich source of bioactive substances. Pelagia noctiluca is the most venomous and abundant jellyfish of the Mediterranean Sea and possesses a venom with hemolytic and cytolytic activity for which the mechanism is largely unknown. Here we show that exposure of mammalian cells to crude venom from the nematocysts of P. noctiluca profoundly alters the ion conductance of the plasma membrane, therefore affecting homeostatic functions such as the regulation and maintenance of cellular volume. Venom-treated cells exhibited a large, inwardly rectifying current mainly due to permeation of Na+ and Cl-, sensitive to amiloride and completely abrogated following harsh thermal treatment of crude venom extract. Curiously, the plasma membrane conductance of Ca2+ and K+ was not affected. Current-inducing activity was also observed following delivery of venom to the cytosolic side of the plasma membrane, consistent with a pore-forming mechanism. Venom-induced NaCl influx followed by water and consequent cell swelling most likely underlie the hemolytic and cytolytic activity of P. noctiluca venom. The present study underscores unique properties of P. noctiluca venom and provides essential information for a possible use of its active compounds and treatment of envenomation.

  16. Investigation into the hemolytic activity of tentacle venom from jellyfish Cyanea nozakii Kishinouye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cuiping; Yu, Huahua; Li, Rongfeng; Xing, Ronge; Liu, Song; Li, Pengcheng

    2016-03-01

    Cyanea nozakii Kishinouy e ( C. nozakii), a giant cnidarian of the class Scyphomedusae, order Semaeostomeae and family Cyaneidae, is widely distributed in the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea, and is abundant from late summer to early autumn. Venom produced by C. nozakii during mass agglomerations can contaminate seawater resulting in death of the halobios and seriously damage commercial fisheries. Swimmers and fishermen commonly suff er painful stings from this jellyfish, resulting in local edema, tingling, breathing difficulties, depressed blood pressure and even death. Such effects arise from the complex mixture of biologically active molecules that make up jellyfish venom. In the present study, the hemolytic activity of venom from tentacles of C. nozakii and factors aff ecting its activity were assayed. The HU50 ( defined as the amount of protein required to lyse 50 % of erythrocytes) of the venom against dove and chicken erythrocytes was 34 and 59 μg/mL, respectively. Carboxylmethyl chitosan and glycerol could increase hemolytic activity at concentrations greater than 0.06% and 0.2 mol/L, respectively.

  17. Bridging the fields of nanoscience and toxicology: nanoparticle impact on biological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosone, A.; Marchesano, V.; Mattera, L.; Tino, A.; Tortiglione, C.

    2011-03-01

    In the emerging area of nanotechnology a key issue is related to the potential impacts of the novel nanomaterials on the environment and human health so that this technology can be used with minimal risk. Specifically designed to combine on a single structure multipurpose tags and properties, nanomaterials need a comprehensive characterization of both chemicophysical properties and toxicological evaluation, which is a challenging endeavor: the in vitro toxicity assays that are employed for nanotoxicity assessments do not accurately predict in vivo response. To overcome these limitations and gain a deeper understanding of nanoparticle-cell interactions, we have employed cnidarian models, in particular the freshwater polyp Hydra vulgaris, not opposed to more complex and evoluted systems, but to add valuable information, at an intermediate level between prokaryotes and vertebrates, on both cytoxicity and on pollution affecting the environment. By testing CdSe/CdS core shell nanocrystals in vivo, at whole animal level, we investigated the impact of their properties on uptake, accumulation, biodistribution, elicitation of behavioural responses. Spanning from animal to cell biology, we provide an analysis on metal based and semiconductor NC, discussing the crucial role played by the synthesis route and chemical surface on the toxicity for living organisms.

  18. Defining thresholds of sustainable impact on benthic communities in relation to fishing disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, G I; Murray, L G; Hiddink, J G; Hinz, H; Lincoln, H; Hold, N; Cambiè, G; Kaiser, M J

    2017-07-14

    While the direct physical impact on seabed biota is well understood, no studies have defined thresholds to inform an ecosystem-based approach to managing fishing impacts. We addressed this knowledge gap using a large-scale experiment that created a controlled gradient of fishing intensity and assessed the immediate impacts and short-term recovery. We observed a mosaic of taxon-specific responses at various thresholds. The lowest threshold of significant lasting impact occurred between 1 and 3 times fished and elicited a decrease in abundance of 39 to 70% for some sessile epifaunal organisms (cnidarians, bryozoans). This contrasted with significant increases in abundance and/or biomass of scavenging species (epifaunal echinoderms, infaunal crustaceans) by two to four-fold in areas fished twice and more. In spite of these significant specific responses, the benthic community structure, biomass and abundance at the population level appeared resilient to fishing. Overall, natural temporal variation in community metrics exceeded the effects of fishing in this highly dynamic study site, suggesting that an acute level of disturbance (fished over six times) would match the level of natural variation. We discuss the implications of our findings for natural resources management with respect to context-specific human disturbance and provide guidance for best fishing practices.

  19. Improved phylogenomic taxon sampling noticeably affects nonbilaterian relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pick, K S; Philippe, H; Schreiber, F; Erpenbeck, D; Jackson, D J; Wrede, P; Wiens, M; Alié, A; Morgenstern, B; Manuel, M; Wörheide, G

    2010-09-01

    Despite expanding data sets and advances in phylogenomic methods, deep-level metazoan relationships remain highly controversial. Recent phylogenomic analyses depart from classical concepts in recovering ctenophores as the earliest branching metazoan taxon and propose a sister-group relationship between sponges and cnidarians (e.g., Dunn CW, Hejnol A, Matus DQ, et al. (18 co-authors). 2008. Broad phylogenomic sampling improves resolution of the animal tree of life. Nature 452:745-749). Here, we argue that these results are artifacts stemming from insufficient taxon sampling and long-branch attraction (LBA). By increasing taxon sampling from previously unsampled nonbilaterians and using an identical gene set to that reported by Dunn et al., we recover monophyletic Porifera as the sister group to all other Metazoa. This suggests that the basal position of the fast-evolving Ctenophora proposed by Dunn et al. was due to LBA and that broad taxon sampling is of fundamental importance to metazoan phylogenomic analyses. Additionally, saturation in the Dunn et al. character set is comparatively high, possibly contributing to the poor support for some nonbilaterian nodes.

  20. Assessing the Efficacy of First-Aid Measures in Physalia sp. Envenomation, Using Solution- and Blood Agarose-Based Models

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    Christie L. Wilcox

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Stings from the hydrozoan species in the genus Physalia cause intense, immediate skin pain and elicit serious systemic effects. There has been much scientific debate about the most appropriate first aid for these stings, particularly with regard to whether vinegar use is appropriate (most current recommendations recommend against vinegar. We found that only a small percentage (≤1.0% of tentacle cnidae discharge during a sting event using an ex vivo tissue model which elicits spontaneous stinging from live cnidarian tentacles. We then tested a variety of rinse solutions on both Atlantic and Pacific Physalia species to determine if they elicit cnidae discharge, further investigating any that did not cause immediate significant discharge to determine if they are able to inhibit cnidae discharge in response to chemical and physical stimuli. We found commercially available vinegars, as well as the recently developed Sting No More® Spray, were the most effective rinse solutions, as they irreversibly inhibited cnidae discharge. However, even slight dilution of vinegar reduced its protective effects. Alcohols and folk remedies, such as urine, baking soda and shaving cream, caused varying amounts of immediate cnidae discharge and failed to inhibit further discharge, and thus likely worsen stings.

  1. Biodiversity Meets Neuroscience: From the Sequencing Ship (Ship-Seq) to Deciphering Parallel Evolution of Neural Systems in Omic’s Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, Leonid L.

    2015-01-01

    The origins of neural systems and centralized brains are one of the major transitions in evolution. These events might occur more than once over 570–600 million years. The convergent evolution of neural circuits is evident from a diversity of unique adaptive strategies implemented by ctenophores, cnidarians, acoels, molluscs, and basal deuterostomes. But, further integration of biodiversity research and neuroscience is required to decipher critical events leading to development of complex integrative and cognitive functions. Here, we outline reference species and interdisciplinary approaches in reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems. In the “omic” era, it is now possible to establish fully functional genomics laboratories aboard of oceanic ships and perform sequencing and real-time analyses of data at any oceanic location (named here as Ship-Seq). In doing so, fragile, rare, cryptic, and planktonic organisms, or even entire marine ecosystems, are becoming accessible directly to experimental and physiological analyses by modern analytical tools. Thus, we are now in a position to take full advantages from countless “experiments” Nature performed for us in the course of 3.5 billion years of biological evolution. Together with progress in computational and comparative genomics, evolutionary neuroscience, proteomic and developmental biology, a new surprising picture is emerging that reveals many ways of how nervous systems evolved. As a result, this symposium provides a unique opportunity to revisit old questions about the origins of biological complexity. PMID:26163680

  2. AdE-1, a new inotropic Na(+) channel toxin from Aiptasia diaphana, is similar to, yet distinct from, known anemone Na(+) channel toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesher, Nir; Shapira, Eli; Sher, Daniel; Moran, Yehu; Tsveyer, Liora; Turchetti-Maia, Ana Luiza; Horowitz, Michal; Hochner, Binyamin; Zlotkin, Eliahu

    2013-04-01

    Heart failure is one of the most prevalent causes of death in the western world. Sea anemone contains a myriad of short peptide neurotoxins affecting many pharmacological targets, several of which possess cardiotonic activity. In the present study we describe the isolation and characterization of AdE-1 (ion channel modifier), a novel cardiotonic peptide from the sea anemone Aiptasia diaphana, which differs from other cnidarian toxins. Although AdE-1 has the same cysteine residue arrangement as sea anemone type 1 and 2 Na(+) channel toxins, its sequence contains many substitutions in conserved and essential sites and its overall homology to other toxins identified to date is low (Anemonia viridis toxin II), AdE-1 markedly inhibits Na(+) current inactivation with no significant effect on current activation, suggesting a similar mechanism of action. However, its effects on twitch relaxation velocity, action potential amplitude and on the time to peak suggest that this novel toxin affects cardiomyocyte function via a more complex mechanism. Additionally, Av2's characteristic delayed and early after-depolarizations were not observed. Despite its structural differences, AdE-1 physiologic effectiveness is comparable with Av2 with a similar ED(50) value to blowfly larvae. This finding raises questions regarding the extent of the universality of structure-function in sea anemone Na(+) channel toxins.

  3. The transcriptomic response to thermal stress is immediate, transient and potentiated by ultraviolet radiation in the sea anemone Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moya, A; Ganot, P; Furla, P; Sabourault, C

    2012-03-01

    Among the environmental threats to coral reef health, temperature and ultraviolet increases have been proposed as major agents, although the relative contribution of each in the cnidarian/zooxanthellae symbiosis breakdown has been poorly addressed. We have investigated the transcriptomic response to thermal stress, with and without ultraviolet radiation (UVR), in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis. Using the Oligo2K A. viridis microarray, dedicated to genes potentially involved in the symbiosis interaction, we monitored the gene expression profiles after 1, 2 and 5 days of stresses that further lead to massive losses of zooxanthellae. Each stress showed a specific gene expression profile with very little overlap. We showed that the major response to thermal stress is immediate (24 h) but returns to the baseline gene expression profile after 2 days. UVR alone has little effect but potentiates thermal stress, as a second response at 5 days was observed when the two stresses were coupled. Several pathways were highlighted, such as mesoglea loosening, cell death and calcium homeostasis and described in more details. Finally, we showed that the dermatopontin gene family, potentially involved in collagen fibrillogenesis, issued from actinarian-specific duplication events, with one member preferentially expressed in the gastroderm and specifically responding to stress. Anemonia viridis EST sequences have been deposited into GenBank dbEST ([GenBank:FK719875–FK759813]. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Involvement of H(+)-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase in inorganic carbon uptake for endosymbiont photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furla, P; Allemand, D; Orsenigo, M N

    2000-04-01

    Symbiotic cnidarians absorb inorganic carbon from seawater to supply intracellular dinoflagellates with CO(2) for their photosynthesis. To determine the mechanism of inorganic carbon transport by animal cells, we used plasma membrane vesicles prepared from ectodermal cells isolated from tentacles of the sea anemone, Anemonia viridis. H(14)CO(-)(3) uptake in the presence of an outward NaCl gradient or inward H(+) gradient, showed no evidence for a Cl(-)- or H(+)- driven HCO(-)(3) transport. H(14)CO(-)(3) and (36)Cl(-) uptakes were stimulated by a positive inside-membrane diffusion potential, suggesting the presence of HCO(-)(3) and Cl(-) conductances. A carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity was measured on plasma membrane (4%) and in the cytoplasm of the ectodermal cells (96%) and was sensitive to acetazolamide (IC(50) = 20 nM) and ethoxyzolamide (IC(50) = 2.5 nM). A strong DIDS-sensitive H(+)-ATPase activity was observed (IC(50) = 14 microM). This activity was also highly sensitive to vanadate and allyl isothiocyanate, two inhibitors of P-type H(+)-ATPases. Present data suggest that HCO(-)(3) absorption by ectodermal cells is carried out by H(+) secretion by H(+)-ATPase, resulting in the formation of carbonic acid in the surrounding seawater, which is quickly dehydrated into CO(2) by a membrane-bound CA. CO(2) then diffuses passively into the cell where it is hydrated in HCO(-)(3) by a cytosolic CA.

  5. Evolutionary conserved mechanisms pervade structure and transcriptional modulation of allograft inflammatory factor-1 from sea anemone Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuttitta, Angela; Ragusa, Maria Antonietta; Costa, Salvatore; Bennici, Carmelo; Colombo, Paolo; Mazzola, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio; Nicosia, Aldo

    2017-08-01

    Gene family encoding allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1) is well conserved among organisms; however, there is limited knowledge in lower organisms. In this study, the first AIF-1 homologue from cnidarians was identified and characterised in the sea anemone Anemonia viridis. The full-length cDNA of AvAIF-1 was of 913 bp with a 5' -untranslated region (UTR) of 148 bp, a 3'-UTR of 315 and an open reading frame (ORF) of 450 bp encoding a polypeptide with149 amino acid residues and predicted molecular weight of about 17 kDa. The predicted protein possesses evolutionary conserved EF hand Ca 2+ binding motifs, post-transcriptional modification sites and a 3D structure which can be superimposed with human members of AIF-1 family. The AvAIF-1 transcript was constitutively expressed in all tested tissues of unchallenged sea anemone, suggesting that AvAIF-1 could serve as a general protective factor under normal physiological conditions. Moreover, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvAIF-1 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by warming conditions, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Thus, mechanisms associated to inflammation and immune challenges up-regulated AvAIF-1 mRNA levels. Our results suggest its involvement in the inflammatory processes and immune response of A. viridis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Natural high pCO2 increases autotrophy in Anemonia viridis (Anthozoa) as revealed from stable isotope (C, N) analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Rael; Borell, Esther M; Yam, Ruth; Shemesh, Aldo; Fine, Maoz

    2015-03-05

    Contemporary cnidarian-algae symbioses are challenged by increasing CO2 concentrations (ocean warming and acidification) affecting organisms' biological performance. We examined the natural variability of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the symbiotic sea anemone Anemonia viridis to investigate dietary shifts (autotrophy/heterotrophy) along a natural pCO2 gradient at the island of Vulcano, Italy. δ(13)C values for both algal symbionts (Symbiodinium) and host tissue of A. viridis became significantly lighter with increasing seawater pCO2. Together with a decrease in the difference between δ(13)C values of both fractions at the higher pCO2 sites, these results indicate there is a greater net autotrophic input to the A. viridis carbon budget under high pCO2 conditions. δ(15)N values and C/N ratios did not change in Symbiodinium and host tissue along the pCO2 gradient. Additional physiological parameters revealed anemone protein and Symbiodinium chlorophyll a remained unaltered among sites. Symbiodinium density was similar among sites yet their mitotic index increased in anemones under elevated pCO2. Overall, our findings show that A. viridis is characterized by a higher autotrophic/heterotrophic ratio as pCO2 increases. The unique trophic flexibility of this species may give it a competitive advantage and enable its potential acclimation and ecological success in the future under increased ocean acidification.

  7. Identification and activity of a lower eukaryotic serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin) from Cyanea capillata: analysis of a jellyfish serpin, jellypin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Elisabeth B; Miller, David; Rometo, David; Greenberg, Robert M; Brömme, Dieter; Cataltepe, Sule; Pak, Stephen C; Mills, David R; Silverman, Gary A; Luke, Cliff J

    2004-09-21

    Delineating the phylogenetic relationships among members of a protein family can provide a high degree of insight into the evolution of domain structure and function relationships. To identify an early metazoan member of the high molecular weight serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin) superfamily, we initiated a cDNA library screen of the cnidarian, Cyanea capillata. We identified one serpin cDNA encoding for a full-length serpin, jellypin. Phylogenetic analysis using the deduced amino acid sequence showed that jellypin was most similar to the platyhelminthe Echinococcus multiocularis serpin and the clade P serpins, suggesting that this serpin evolved approximately 1000 million years ago (MYA). Modeling of jellypin showed that it contained all the functional elements of an inhibitory serpin. In vitro biochemical analysis confirmed that jellypin was an inhibitor of the S1 clan SA family of serine proteinases. Analysis of the interactions between the human serine proteinases, chymotrypsin, cathepsin G, and elastase, showed that jellypin inhibited these enzymes in the classical serpin manner, forming a SDS stable enzyme/inhibitor complex. These data suggest that the coevolution of serpin structure and inhibitory function date back to at least early metazoan evolution, approximately 1000 MYA.

  8. Responses of the sea anemone, Exaiptasia pallida, to ocean acidification conditions and zinc or nickel exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duckworth, Christina G; Picariello, Codie R; Thomason, Rachel K; Patel, Krina S; Bielmyer-Fraser, Gretchen K

    2017-01-01

    Ocean acidification, caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), is a growing concern in marine environments. Land-based sources of pollution, such as metals, have also been a noted problem; however, little research has addressed the combined exposure of both pollutants to coral reef organisms. In this study we examined tissue metal accumulation and physiological effects (activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, catalase and glutathione reductase) in the sea anemone, Exaiptasia pallida after exposure to increased CO 2 , as well as zinc (Zn) or nickel (Ni). After exposure to four concentrations (nominal values=control, 10, 50, 100μg/L) of Zn or Ni over 7days, both metals accumulated in the tissues of E. pallida in a concentration-dependent manner. Anemones exposed to elevated CO 2 (1000ppm) accumulated significant tissue burdens of Zn or Ni faster (by 48h) than those exposed to the same metal concentrations at ambient CO 2 . No differences were observed in catalase activity due to Zn exposure; however, 50μg/L Ni caused a significant increase in catalase activity at ambient CO 2 . No significant effect on catalase activity from CO 2 exposure alone was observed. Glutathione reductase activity was affected by increased Zn or Ni exposure and those effects were influenced by increased CO 2 . Results of this study provide insight into the toxic mechanisms and environmental implications of CO 2 and Zn or Ni exposure to the cnidarian E. pallida. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Limitations of mitochondrial gene barcoding in Octocorallia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, Catherine S; Benayahu, Yehuda; Pante, Eric; Thoma, Jana N; Nevarez, P Andrew; France, Scott C

    2011-01-01

    The widespread assumption that COI and other mitochondrial genes will be ineffective DNA barcodes for anthozoan cnidarians has not been well tested for most anthozoans other than scleractinian corals. Here we examine the limitations of mitochondrial gene barcoding in the sub-class Octocorallia, a large, diverse, and ecologically important group of anthozoans. Pairwise genetic distance values (uncorrected p) were compared for three candidate barcoding regions: the Folmer region of COI; a fragment of the octocoral-specific mitochondrial protein-coding gene, msh1; and an extended barcode of msh1 plus COI with a short, adjacent intergenic region (igr1). Intraspecific variation was barcodes, and there was no discernible barcoding gap between intra- and interspecific p values. In a case study to assess regional octocoral biodiversity, COI and msh1 barcodes each identified 70% of morphospecies. In a second case study, a nucleotide character-based analysis correctly identified 70% of species in the temperate genus Alcyonium. Although interspecific genetic distances were 2× greater for msh1 than COI, each marker identified similar numbers of species in the two case studies, and the extended COI + igr1 + msh1 barcode more effectively discriminated sister taxa in Alcyonium. Although far from perfect for species identification, a COI + igr1 + msh1 barcode nonetheless represents a valuable addition to the depauperate set of characters available for octocoral taxonomy. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Managing an invasive corallimorph at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Line Islands, Central Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Aeby, Greta S.; Neal, Benjamin P.; Price, Nichole N.; Conklin, Eric; Pollock, Amanda

    2018-01-01

    In 2007, a phase shift from corals to corallimorpharians (CM) centered around a shipwreck was documented at Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands. Subsequent surveys revealed CM to be overgrowing the reef benthos, including corals and coralline algae, potentially placing coral ecosystems in the atoll at risk. This prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lead management agency of the atoll, to remove the shipwreck. Subsequent surveys showed reductions in CM around the ship impact site. We explain patterns of spread of the CM in terms of both life history and local currents and show with a pilot study that pulverized bleach may be an effective tool to eradicate CM on a local scale. If applied strategically, particularly in heavily infested (> 66% cover) areas, active intervention such as this could be an effective management tool to reduce CM impact on localized areas and decrease colonization rate of remaining reefs. This is the first documentation of the response of an invasive cnidarian to shipwreck removal. While this was a singular event in Palmyra, the spatial and temporal patterns of this invasion and the eradications lessons described herein, are useful for anticipating and controlling similar situations elsewhere.

  11. The synaptonemal complex of basal metazoan hydra: more similarities to vertebrate than invertebrate meiosis model organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraune, Johanna; Wiesner, Miriam; Benavente, Ricardo

    2014-03-20

    The synaptonemal complex (SC) is an evolutionarily well-conserved structure that mediates chromosome synapsis during prophase of the first meiotic division. Although its structure is conserved, the characterized protein components in the current metazoan meiosis model systems (Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Mus musculus) show no sequence homology, challenging the question of a single evolutionary origin of the SC. However, our recent studies revealed the monophyletic origin of the mammalian SC protein components. Many of them being ancient in Metazoa and already present in the cnidarian Hydra. Remarkably, a comparison between different model systems disclosed a great similarity between the SC components of Hydra and mammals while the proteins of the ecdysozoan systems (D. melanogaster and C. elegans) differ significantly. In this review, we introduce the basal-branching metazoan species Hydra as a potential novel invertebrate model system for meiosis research and particularly for the investigation of SC evolution, function and assembly. Also, available methods for SC research in Hydra are summarized. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. RUDI, a short interspersed element of the V-SINE superfamily widespread in molluscan genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luchetti, Andrea; Šatović, Eva; Mantovani, Barbara; Plohl, Miroslav

    2016-06-01

    Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are non-autonomous retrotransposons that are widespread in eukaryotic genomes. They exhibit a chimeric sequence structure consisting of a small RNA-related head, an anonymous body and an AT-rich tail. Although their turnover and de novo emergence is rapid, some SINE elements found in distantly related species retain similarity in certain core segments (or highly conserved domains, HCD). We have characterized a new SINE element named RUDI in the bivalve molluscs Ruditapes decussatus and R. philippinarum and found this element to be widely distributed in the genomes of a number of mollusc species. An unexpected structural feature of RUDI is the HCD domain type V, which was first found in non-amniote vertebrate SINEs and in the SINE from one cnidarian species. In addition to the V domain, the overall sequence conservation pattern of RUDI elements resembles that found in ancient AmnSINE (~310 Myr old) and Au SINE (~320 Myr old) families, suggesting that RUDI might be among the most ancient SINE families. Sequence conservation suggests a monophyletic origin of RUDI. Nucleotide variability and phylogenetic analyses suggest long-term vertical inheritance combined with at least one horizontal transfer event as the most parsimonious explanation for the observed taxonomic distribution.

  13. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nickel Michael

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation during sponge budding. Results We investigated the budding process in Tethya wilhelma (Demospongiae by applying 3D morphometrics to high resolution synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography (SR-μCT image data. We followed the morphogenesis of characteristic body structures and identified distinct morphological states which indeed reveal characteristic spatiotemporal morphological patterns in sponge bud development. We discovered the distribution of skeletal elements, canal system and sponge tissue to be based on a sequential series of distinct morphological states. Based on morphometric data we defined four typical bud stages. Once they have reached the final stage buds are released as fully functional juvenile sponges which are morphologically and functionally equivalent to adult specimens. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that budding in demosponges is considerably more highly organized and regulated than previously assumed. Morphological pattern formation in asexual reproduction with underlying genetic regulation seems to have evolved early in metazoans and was likely part of the developmental program of the last common ancestor of all Metazoa (LCAM.

  14. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammel, Jörg U; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Nickel, Michael

    2009-09-08

    Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation during sponge budding. We investigated the budding process in Tethya wilhelma (Demospongiae) by applying 3D morphometrics to high resolution synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography (SR-muCT) image data. We followed the morphogenesis of characteristic body structures and identified distinct morphological states which indeed reveal characteristic spatiotemporal morphological patterns in sponge bud development. We discovered the distribution of skeletal elements, canal system and sponge tissue to be based on a sequential series of distinct morphological states. Based on morphometric data we defined four typical bud stages. Once they have reached the final stage buds are released as fully functional juvenile sponges which are morphologically and functionally equivalent to adult specimens. Our results demonstrate that budding in demosponges is considerably more highly organized and regulated than previously assumed. Morphological pattern formation in asexual reproduction with underlying genetic regulation seems to have evolved early in metazoans and was likely part of the developmental program of the last common ancestor of all Metazoa (LCAM).

  15. Bioprospecting of Marine Invertebrates for New Natural Products — A Chemical and Zoogeographical Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Calado

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Bioprospecting for new marine natural products (NPs has increased significantly over the last decades, leading to an unprecedented discovery of new molecules. Marine invertebrates have been the most important source of these NPs, with researchers commonly targeting particular taxonomic groups, marine regions and/or molecules from specific chemical groups. The present review focuses on new NPs identified from marine invertebrates between 2000 and 2009, and performs a detailed analysis on: (1 the chemical groups of these NPs; (2 the association of particular chemical groups to specific marine invertebrate taxa; and (3 the yielding of molecules from the same chemical group from organisms occurring in a particular geographic region. Our survey revealed an increasing number of new terpenoids being discovered between 2000 and 2009, contrasting with the decreasing trend in the discovery of new alkaloids and aliphatic molecules. Overall, no particular association was identified between marine invertebrate taxa and chemical groups of new NPs. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that most NPs recorded from cnidarians and mollusks were terpenoids, while most NPs identified in echinoderms were aliphatic compounds or carbohydrates. The geographical trends observed in our study do not support the idea of particular chemical groups of new NPs being associated with marine invertebrates from any specific geographical region, as NPs from different chemical groups were commonly distributed worldwide.

  16. Evidence for multiple phototransduction pathways in a reef-building coral.

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    Benjamin Mason

    Full Text Available Photosensitive behaviors and circadian rhythms are well documented in reef-building corals and their larvae, but the mechanisms responsible for photoreception have not been described in these organisms. Here we report the cloning, immunolocalization, and partial biochemical characterization of three opsins and four G proteins expressed in planulae of the Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. All three opsins (acropsins 1-3 possess conserved seven-pass transmembrane structure, and localize to distinct regions of coral planulae. Acropsin 1 was localized in the larval endoderm, while acropsin 2 was localized in solitary cells of the ectoderm. These rod-like cells displayed a remarkably polarized distribution, concentrated in the aboral end. We also cloned four A. palmata G protein alpha subunits. Three were homologs of vertebrate Gi, Go, and Gq. The fourth is presumably a novel G protein, which displays only 40% identity with the nearest known G protein, and we termed it Gc for "cnidarian". We show that Gc and Gq can be activated by acropsins in a light-dependent manner in vitro. This indicates that at least acropsins 1 and 3 can form functional photoreceptors and potentially may play a role in color preference during settlement, vertical positioning and other light-guided behaviors observed in coral larvae.

  17. Evidence for multiple phototransduction pathways in a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Benjamin; Schmale, Michael; Gibbs, Patrick; Miller, Margaret W; Wang, Qiang; Levay, Konstantin; Shestopalov, Valery; Slepak, Vladlen Z

    2012-01-01

    Photosensitive behaviors and circadian rhythms are well documented in reef-building corals and their larvae, but the mechanisms responsible for photoreception have not been described in these organisms. Here we report the cloning, immunolocalization, and partial biochemical characterization of three opsins and four G proteins expressed in planulae of the Caribbean elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata. All three opsins (acropsins 1-3) possess conserved seven-pass transmembrane structure, and localize to distinct regions of coral planulae. Acropsin 1 was localized in the larval endoderm, while acropsin 2 was localized in solitary cells of the ectoderm. These rod-like cells displayed a remarkably polarized distribution, concentrated in the aboral end. We also cloned four A. palmata G protein alpha subunits. Three were homologs of vertebrate Gi, Go, and Gq. The fourth is presumably a novel G protein, which displays only 40% identity with the nearest known G protein, and we termed it Gc for "cnidarian". We show that Gc and Gq can be activated by acropsins in a light-dependent manner in vitro. This indicates that at least acropsins 1 and 3 can form functional photoreceptors and potentially may play a role in color preference during settlement, vertical positioning and other light-guided behaviors observed in coral larvae.

  18. Characterization of a Gene Coding for the Complement System Component FB from Loxosceles laeta Spider Venom Glands.

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    Daniela Tiemi Myamoto

    Full Text Available The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB, the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP, a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA, and a serine protease domain (SP. The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43% and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3 from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae.

  19. Impact of Stinging Jellyfish Proliferations along South Italian Coasts: Human Health Hazards, Treatment and Social Costs

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    Antonella De Donno

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Stinging jellyfish outbreaks represent a health hazard, causing contact dermatitis and systemic reactions. This study investigated the epidemiology, severity, and treatment protocols of jellyfish stings in a coastal area with high tourist development and frequent stinging jellyfish outbreaks of the central Mediterranean (Salento, Southern Italy, and the associated costs for the Italian National Health Service. In 2007–2011, 1,733 bathers (mostly children and females sought medical assistance following jellyfish stings, the main cause of human pathologies due to contact with marine organisms. The majority of events were reported in the years 2007–2009, whereas the occurrence of cnidarian jellyfish outbreaks has been increasingly reported in the same area since summer 2010. Most symptoms were limited to local and cutaneous reactions; conversely, 8.7% of cases evoked complications, mainly due to allergic reactions. The main drugs used were corticosteroids, locally applied and systemic (46% and 43%, respectively, and with ammonia (74% as the main non-pharmacological treatment. The estimated cost of jellyfish-related first-aid services along the Salento coastline over the 5-year period was approximately 400,000 Euros. Therefore the management of jellyfish outbreak phenomena need coordinated research efforts towards a better understanding of underlying ecological mechanisms, together with the adoption of effective prevention policy, mitigation strategies, and appropriate planning of health services at tourist hot spots.

  20. Coral host transcriptomic states are correlated with Symbiodinium genotypes

    KAUST Repository

    DeSalvo, Michael K.

    2010-03-01

    A mutualistic relationship between reef-building corals and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.) forms the basis for the existence of coral reefs. Genotyping tools for Symbiodinium spp. have added a new level of complexity to studies concerning cnidarian growth, nutrient acquisition, and stress. For example, the response of the coral holobiont to thermal stress is connected to the host-Symbiodinium genotypic combination, as different partnerships can have different bleaching susceptibilities. In this study, we monitored Symbiodinium physiological parameters and profiled the coral host transcriptional responses in acclimated, thermally stressed, and recovered fragments of the coral Montastraea faveolata using a custom cDNA gene expression microarray. Interestingly, gene expression was more similar among samples with the same Symbiodinium content rather than the same experimental condition. In order to discount for host-genotypic effects, we sampled fragments from a single colony of M. faveolata containing different symbiont types, and found that the host transcriptomic states grouped according to Symbiodinium genotype rather than thermal stress. As the first study that links coral host transcriptomic patterns to the clade content of their Symbiodinium community, our results provide a critical step to elucidating the molecular basis of the apparent variability seen among different coral-Symbiodinium partnerships. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Comparative analysis of the genomes of Stylophora pistillata and Acropora digitifera provides evidence for extensive differences between species of corals

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-12-08

    Stony corals form the foundation of coral reef ecosystems. Their phylogeny is characterized by a deep evolutionary divergence that separates corals into a robust and complex clade dating back to at least 245 mya. However, the genomic consequences and clade-specific evolution remain unexplored. In this study we have produced the genome of a robust coral, Stylophora pistillata, and compared it to the available genome of a complex coral, Acropora digitifera. We conducted a fine-scale gene-based analysis focusing on ortholog groups. Among the core set of conserved proteins, we found an emphasis on processes related to the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Genes associated with the algal symbiosis were also independently expanded in both species, but both corals diverged on the identity of ortholog groups expanded, and we found uneven expansions in genes associated with innate immunity and stress response. Our analyses demonstrate that coral genomes can be surprisingly disparate. Future analyses incorporating more genomic data should be able to determine whether the patterns elucidated here are not only characteristic of the differences between S. pistillata and A. digitifera but also representative of corals from the robust and complex clade at large.

  2. Comparative analysis of the genomes of Stylophora pistillata and Acropora digitifera provides evidence for extensive differences between species of corals

    KAUST Repository

    Voolstra, Christian R.; Li, Yong; Liew, Yi Jin; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Zoccola, Didier; Flot, Jean-Franç ois; Tambutté , Sylvie; Allemand, Denis; Aranda, Manuel

    2017-01-01

    Stony corals form the foundation of coral reef ecosystems. Their phylogeny is characterized by a deep evolutionary divergence that separates corals into a robust and complex clade dating back to at least 245 mya. However, the genomic consequences and clade-specific evolution remain unexplored. In this study we have produced the genome of a robust coral, Stylophora pistillata, and compared it to the available genome of a complex coral, Acropora digitifera. We conducted a fine-scale gene-based analysis focusing on ortholog groups. Among the core set of conserved proteins, we found an emphasis on processes related to the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Genes associated with the algal symbiosis were also independently expanded in both species, but both corals diverged on the identity of ortholog groups expanded, and we found uneven expansions in genes associated with innate immunity and stress response. Our analyses demonstrate that coral genomes can be surprisingly disparate. Future analyses incorporating more genomic data should be able to determine whether the patterns elucidated here are not only characteristic of the differences between S. pistillata and A. digitifera but also representative of corals from the robust and complex clade at large.

  3. Myxozoan infections of caecilians demonstrate broad host specificity and indicate a link with human activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Holzer, Astrid S; Okamura, Beth

    2016-05-01

    Myxozoans are parasitic cnidarians that infect a wide variety of hosts. Vertebrates typically serve as intermediate hosts whereas definitive hosts are invertebrates, including annelids and bryozoans. Myxozoans are known to exploit species in two of the three extant amphibian orders (Anura: frogs and toads; Caudata: newts and salamanders). Here we use museum collections to determine, to our knowledge for the first time, whether myxozoans also exploit the third amphibian order (Gymnophiona: caecilians). Caecilians are a poorly known group of limbless amphibians, the ecologies of which range from aquatic to fully terrestrial. We examined 12 caecilian species in seven families (148 individuals total) characterised by a diversity of ecologies and life histories. Using morphological and molecular surveys, we discovered the presence of the myxozoan Cystodiscus axonis in two South American species (one of seven examined families) of aquatic caecilians - Typhlonectes natans and Typhlonectes compressicauda. All infected caecilians had been maintained in captivity in the United Kingdom prior to their preservation. Cystodiscus axonis is known from several Australian frog species and its presence in caecilians indicates a capacity for infecting highly divergent amphibian hosts. This first known report of myxozoan infections in caecilians provides evidence of a broad geographic and host range. However, the source of these infections remains unknown and could be related to exposure in South America, the U.K. or to conditions in captivity. Copyright © 2016 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Regulatory volume decrease in isolated nematocytes is affected by crude venom from the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca

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    Rossana Morabito

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Crude venom from nematocysts of the Scyphozoan Pelagia noctiluca possesses hemolytic and cytotoxic power on cultured cells and elicits local and systemic inflammation reactions in vivo. The ability of regulating their volume after exposure to an anisosmotic solution is a fundamental feature common to cells from vertebrates and invertebrates, including Cnidarians. The aim of the present work i s to assay whether crude venom from Pelagia noctiluca may affect the regulatory volume decrease (RVD of nematocytes isolated from the Anthozoan Aiptasia mutabilis, here employed as a cell model. For this purpose, nematocytes were isolated by 605 mM NaSCN plus 0.01 mM Ca2+ application on acontia of Aiptasia mutabilis, while crude venom was obtained by sonication of a population of, respectively, 10, 25 and 50 nematocysts/µL (n/µL. Isolated nematocytes were pre-treated for 30 min with crude venom, submitted to hypotonic stress and their osmotic response and RVD were measured optically. Our results show that, after exposure to crude venom, nematocytes were morphologically intact, as shown by the Trypan blue exclusion test, but did not exhibit RVD. This effect was dose-dependent and reversed by the ionopho re gramicidin. The last observation suggests an inhibitory effect of venom on cell membrane ion transport mechanisms involved in RVD. Further studies are needed to verify this hypothesis and ascertain if a similar effect could be observed in human cells.

  5. The covert world of fish biofluorescence: a phylogenetically widespread and phenotypically variable phenomenon.

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    John S Sparks

    Full Text Available The discovery of fluorescent proteins has revolutionized experimental biology. Whereas the majority of fluorescent proteins have been identified from cnidarians, recently several fluorescent proteins have been isolated across the animal tree of life. Here we show that biofluorescence is not only phylogenetically widespread, but is also phenotypically variable across both cartilaginous and bony fishes, highlighting its evolutionary history and the possibility for discovery of numerous novel fluorescent proteins. Fish biofluorescence is especially common and morphologically variable in cryptically patterned coral-reef lineages. We identified 16 orders, 50 families, 105 genera, and more than 180 species of biofluorescent fishes. We have also reconstructed our current understanding of the phylogenetic distribution of biofluorescence for ray-finned fishes. The presence of yellow long-pass intraocular filters in many biofluorescent fish lineages and the substantive color vision capabilities of coral-reef fishes suggest that they are capable of detecting fluoresced light. We present species-specific emission patterns among closely related species, indicating that biofluorescence potentially functions in intraspecific communication and evidence that fluorescence can be used for camouflage. This research provides insight into the distribution, evolution, and phenotypic variability of biofluorescence in marine lineages and examines the role this variation may play.

  6. Evolution of innate immunity: clues from invertebrates via fish to mammals

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    Kurt eBuchmann

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Host responses against invading pathogens are basic physiological reactions of all living organisms. Since appearance of the first eukaryotic cells a series of defence mechanisms have evolved in order to secure cellular integrity, homeostasis and survival of the host. Invertebrates, ranging from protozoans to metazoans, possess cellular receptors which bind to foreign elements and differentiate self from non-self. This ability is in multicellular animals associated with presence of phagocytes, bearing different names (amoebocytes, haemocytes, coelomocytes in various groups including animal sponges, worms, cnidarians, molluscs, crustaceans, chelicerates, insects and echinoderms (sea stars and urchins. Basically these cells have a macrophage like appearance and function and the repair and/or fight functions associated with these cells are prominent even at the earliest evolutionary stage. The cells possess Pathogen Recognition Receptors (PRRs recognizing Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPS which are well conserved molecular structures expressed by various pathogens (virus, bacteria, fungi, protozoans, helminths. Scavenger receptors, Toll-like receptors (TLRs and Nod-like receptors (NLRs are prominent representatives within this group of host receptors. Following receptor-ligand binding signal transduction initiates a complex cascade of cellular reactions which lead to production of one or more of a wide array of effector molecules. Cytokines take part in this orchestration of responses even in lower invertebrates which eventually may result in elimination or inactivation of the intruder. The evolutionary processes associated with these reactions are discussed.

  7. Gross and microscopic pathology of hard and soft corals in New Caledonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Aeby, Greta S.; Lasne, Gregory; Tribollet, Aline

    2014-01-01

    We surveyed the reefs of Grande Terre, New Caledonia, for coral diseases in 2010 and 2013. Lesions encountered in hard and soft corals were systematically described at the gross and microscopic level. We sampled paired and normal tissues from 101 and 65 colonies in 2010 and 2013, respectively, comprising 51 species of corals from 27 genera. Tissue loss was the most common gross lesion sampled (40%) followed by discoloration (28%), growth anomalies (13%), bleaching (10%), and flatworm infestation (1%). When grouped by gross lesions, the diversity of microscopic lesions as measured by Shannon–Wiener index was highest for tissue loss, followed by discoloration, bleaching, and growth anomaly. Our findings document an extension of the range of certain diseases such as Porites trematodiasis and endolithic hypermycosis (dark spots) to the Western Pacific as well as the presence of a putative cnidarian endosymbiont. We also expand the range of species infected by cell-associated microbial aggregates, and confirm the trend that these aggregates predominate in dominant genera of corals in the Indo-Pacific. This study highlights the importance of including histopathology as an integral component of baseline coral disease surveys, because a given gross lesion might be associated with multiple potential causative agents.

  8. Molecular Characterization of a Catalase from Hydra vulgaris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Bhagirathi; Phillips, Timothy D.

    2012-01-01

    Catalase, an antioxidant and hydroperoxidase enzyme protects the cellular environment from harmful effects of hydrogen peroxide by facilitating its degradation to oxygen and water. Molecular information on a cnidarian catalase and/or peroxidase is, however, limited. In this work an apparent full length cDNA sequence coding for a catalase (HvCatalase) was isolated from Hydra vulgaris using 3’- and 5’- (RLM) RACE approaches. The 1859 bp HvCatalase cDNA included an open reading frame of 1518 bp encoding a putative protein of 505 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 57.44 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence of HvCatalase contained several highly conserved motifs including the heme-ligand signature sequence RLFSYGDTH and the active site signature FXRERIPERVVHAKGXGA. A comparative analysis showed the presence of conserved catalytic amino acids [His(71), Asn(145), and Tyr(354)] in HvCatalase as well. Homology modeling indicated the presence of the conserved features of mammalian catalase fold. Hydrae exposed to thermal, starvation, metal and oxidative stress responded by regulating its catalase mRNA transcription. These results indicated that the HvCatalase gene is involved in the cellular stress response and (anti)oxidative processes triggered by stressor and contaminant exposure. PMID:22521743

  9. Proceraea exoryxae sp. nov. (Annelida, Syllidae, Autolytinae, the first known polychaete miner tunneling into the tunic of an ascidian

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    Daniel Martin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available While studying organisms living in association with the solitary tunicate Phallusia nigra (Ascidiacea, Ascidiidae from a shallow fringing reef at Zeytouna Beach (Egyptian Red Sea, one of the collected ascidians showed peculiar perforations on its tunic. Once dissected, the perforations revealed to be the openings of a network of galleries excavated in the inner tunic (atrium by at least six individuals of a polychaetous annelid. The worms belonged to the Autolytinae (Syllidae, a subfamily that is well known to include specialized predators and/or symbionts, mostly associated with cnidarians. The Red Sea worms are here described as Proceraea exoryxae sp. nov., which are anatomically distinguished by the combination of simple chaetae only in anterior chaetigers, and a unique trepan with 33 teeth in one outer ring where one large tooth alternates with one medium-sized tricuspid tooth, and one inner ring with small teeth located just behind the large teeth. Male and female epitokes were found together with atokous individuals within galleries. Proceraea exoryxae sp. nov. constitutes the first known miner in the Autolytinae and the second species in this taxon known to live symbiotically with ascidians. The implications of finding this specialized parasite are discussed considering that Phallusia nigra has been introduced worldwide, in tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems, where it has the potential of becoming invasive.

  10. DNA repair enzyme APE1 from evolutionarily ancient Hydra reveals redox activity exclusively found in mammalian APE1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekhale, Komal; Haval, Gauri; Perween, Nusrat; Antoniali, Giulia; Tell, Gianluca; Ghaskadbi, Surendra; Ghaskadbi, Saroj

    2017-11-01

    Only mammalian apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease1 (APE1) has been reported to possess both DNA repair and redox activities. C terminal of the protein is required for base excision repair, while the redox activity resides in the N terminal due to cysteine residues at specific positions. APE1s from other organisms studied so far lack the redox activity in spite of having the N terminal domain. We find that APE1 from the Cnidarian Hydra exhibits both endonuclease and redox activities similar to mammalian APE1. We further show the presence of the three indispensable cysteines in Hydra APE1 for redox activity by site directed mutagenesis. Importance of redox domain but not the repair domain of APE1 in regeneration has been demonstrated by using domain-specific inhibitors. Our findings clearly demonstrate that the redox function of APE1 evolved very early in metazoan evolution and is not a recent acquisition in mammalian APE1 as believed so far. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Body size and symbiotic status influence gonad development in Aiptasia pallida anemones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Judith F; Murphy, Grant K; Roark, Alison M

    2017-01-01

    Pale anemones ( Aiptasia pallida ) coexist with dinoflagellates (primarily Symbiodinium minutum ) in a mutualistic relationship. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of these symbionts in gonad development of anemone hosts. Symbiotic and aposymbiotic anemones were subjected to light cycles that induced gametogenesis. These anemones were then sampled weekly for nine weeks, and gonad development was analyzed histologically. Anemone size was measured as mean body column diameter, and oocytes or sperm follicles were counted for each anemone. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the influence of body size and symbiotic status on whether gonads were present and on the number of oocytes or sperm follicles produced. Body size predicted whether gonads were present, with larger anemones being more likely than smaller anemones to develop gonads. Both body size and symbiotic status predicted gonad size, such that larger and symbiotic anemones produced more oocytes and sperm follicles than smaller and aposymbiotic anemones. Overall, only 22 % of aposymbiotic females produced oocytes, whereas 63 % of symbiotic females produced oocytes. Similarly, 6 % of aposymbiotic males produced sperm follicles, whereas 60 % of symbiotic males produced sperm follicles. Thus, while gonads were present in 62 % of symbiotic anemones, they were present in only 11 % of aposymbiotic anemones. These results indicate that dinoflagellate symbionts influence gonad development and thus sexual maturation in both female and male Aiptasia pallida anemones. This finding substantiates and expands our current understanding of the importance of symbionts in the development and physiology of cnidarian hosts.

  12. Agent of whirling disease meets orphan worm: phylogenomic analyses firmly place Myxozoa in Cnidaria.

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    Maximilian P Nesnidal

    Full Text Available Myxozoa are microscopic obligate endoparasites with complex live cycles. Representatives are Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease in salmonids, and the enigmatic "orphan worm" Buddenbrockia plumatellae parasitizing in Bryozoa. Originally, Myxozoa were classified as protists, but later several metazoan characteristics were reported. However, their phylogenetic relationships remained doubtful. Some molecular phylogenetic analyses placed them as sister group to or even within Bilateria, whereas the possession of polar capsules that are similar to nematocysts of Cnidaria and of minicollagen genes suggest a close relationship between Myxozoa and Cnidaria. EST data of Buddenbrockia also indicated a cnidarian origin of Myxozoa, but were not sufficient to reject a closer relationship to bilaterians. Phylogenomic analyses of new genomic sequences of Myxobolus cerebralis firmly place Myxozoa as sister group to Medusozoa within Cnidaria. Based on the new dataset, the alternative hypothesis that Myxozoa form a clade with Bilateria can be rejected using topology tests. Sensitivity analyses indicate that this result is not affected by long branch attraction artifacts or compositional bias.

  13. Coral Reef Genomics: Developing tools for functional genomics ofcoral symbiosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarz, Jodi; Brokstein, Peter; Manohar, Chitra; Coffroth, MaryAlice; Szmant, Alina; Medina, Monica

    2005-03-01

    Symbioses between cnidarians and dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are widespread in the marine environment. The importance of this symbiosis to reef-building corals and reef nutrient and carbon cycles is well documented, but little is known about the mechanisms by which the partners establish and regulate the symbiosis. Because the dinoflagellate symbionts live inside the cells of their host coral, the interactions between the partners occur on cellular and molecular levels, as each partner alters the expression of genes and proteins to facilitate the partnership. These interactions can examined using high-throughput techniques that allow thousands of genes to be examined simultaneously. We are developing the groundwork so that we can use DNA microarray profiling to identify genes involved in the Montastraea faveolata and Acropora palmata symbioses. Here we report results from the initial steps in this microarray initiative, that is, the construction of cDNA libraries from 4 of 16 target stages, sequencing of 3450 cDNA clones to generate Expressed Sequenced Tags (ESTs), and annotation of the ESTs to identify candidate genes to include in the microarrays. An understanding of how the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis is regulated will have implications for atmospheric and ocean sciences, conservation biology, the study and diagnosis of coral bleaching and disease, and comparative studies of animal-protest interactions.

  14. Patterns of bacteria-host associations suggest different ecological strategies between two reef building cold-water coral species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meistertzheim, Anne.-Leila; Lartaud, Franck; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri; Bessalam, Manon; Le Bris, Nadine; Galand, Pierre E.

    2016-08-01

    Cold-water corals (CWC) are main ecosystem engineers of the deep sea, and their reefs constitute hot-spots of biodiversity. However, their ecology remains poorly understood, particularly, the nature of the holobiont formed by corals with their associated bacterial communities. Here, we analyzed Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa samples, collected from one location in a Mediterranean canyon in two different seasons (autumn and spring), in order to test for species specificity and temporal stability of the host-bacteria associations. The 16S rRNA sequencing revealed host-specific patterns of bacterial communities associated with L. pertusa and M. oculata, both in terms of community composition and diversity. All analyzed M. oculata polyps exhibited temporally and spatially similar bacterial communities dominated by haplotypes homologous to the known cnidarians-associated genus Endozoicomonas. In contrast, the bacterial communities associated with L. pertusa varied among polyps from the same colony, as well as among distinct colonies and between seasons. While the resilient consortium formed by M. oculata and its bacterial community fit the definition of holobiont, the versatility of the L. pertusa microbiome suggests that this association is more influenced by the environmental conditions or nutritional status. Our results thus highlight distinct host/microbes association strategies for these two closely related Scleractinians sharing the same habitat, suggesting distinct sensitivity to environmental change.

  15. Use of hydra for chronic toxicity assessment of waters intended for human consumption

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arkhipchuk, Victor V.; Blaise, Christian; Malinovskaya, Maria V.

    2006-01-01

    Methods developed with the cnidarian, Hydra attenuata (Pallas), have proven effective for screening acute toxicity in aqueous samples, whereas their use in revealing (sub)chronic toxic effects have had mitigated success. We therefore sought to explore manifestations of hydra mortality and abnormal morphological changes, as well as the reproductive capacity of hydras to further enhance the bioassay sensitivity and to assess (sub)chronic toxicity. These parameters were recorded following the onset of experiments after 8, 12 and 19-21 days of hydra exposure. Results obtained with potable waters (30 brands of bottled waters and artesian waters from 9 wells) showed chronic sublethal and lethal effects or reproduction rate inhibition for most samples. The effectiveness of the hydra toxicity test was demonstrated in comparison with other widely used bioassays. Our previous and present investigations suggest that hydra is a reliable and relevant test organism for the assessment of acute and chronic water toxicity. - Hydra is a reliable and relevant test organism for the assessment of acute and chronic toxicity of waters intended for human consumption

  16. Palytoxin-Containing Aquarium Soft Corals as an Emerging Sanitary Problem

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    Marco Pelin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Palytoxin (PLTX, one the most potent marine toxins, and/or its analogs, have been identified in different marine organisms, such as Palythoa soft corals, Ostreopsis dinoflagellates, and Trichodesmium cyanobacteria. Although the main concern for human health is PLTXs entrance in the human food chain, there is growing evidence of adverse effects associated with inhalational, cutaneous, and/or ocular exposure to aquarium soft corals contaminated by PLTXs or aquaria waters. Indeed, the number of case reports describing human poisonings after handling these cnidarians is continuously increasing. In general, the signs and symptoms involve mainly the respiratory (rhinorrhea and coughing, skeletomuscular (myalgia, weakness, spasms, cardiovascular (electrocardiogram alterations, gastrointestinal (nausea, and nervous (paresthesia, ataxia, tremors systems or apparates. The widespread phenomenon, the entity of the signs and symptoms of poisoning and the lack of control in the trade of corals as aquaria decorative elements led to consider these poisonings an emerging sanitary problem. This review summarizes literature data on human poisonings due to, or ascribed to, PLTX-containing soft corals, focusing on the different PLTX congeners identified in these organisms and their toxic potential.

  17. Effect of tidal environment on the trophic balance of mixotrophic hexacorals using biochemical profile and photochemical performance as indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Inês C; Rocha, Rui J M; Cruz, Igor; Lopes, Ana; Menezes, Natália; Bandarra, Narcisa; Kikuchi, Ruy; Serôdio, João; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Rosa, Rui

    2018-04-01

    Fluctuations of environmental factors in intertidal habitats can disrupt the trophic balance of mixotrophic cnidarians. We investigated the effect of tidal environments (subtidal, tidal pools and emerged areas) on fatty acid (FA) content of Zoanthus sociatus and Siderastrea stellata. Effect on photophysiology was also accessed as an autotrophy proxy. There was a general tendency of a lower percentage of zooplankton-associated FAs in colonies from emerged areas or tidal pools when compared with colonies from the subtidal environment. Moreover, tidal environment significantly affected the photophysiology of both species. Colonies from the subtidal generally showed lower values of α, ETR max and E k when compared with their conspecifics from tidal pools or emerged areas. However, the absence of consistent patterns in F v /F m and in dinoflagellate-associated FAs, suggest that these corals are well adapted to intertidal conditions. This suggests that intertidal pressures may disturb the trophic balance, mainly by affecting heterotrophy of these species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Using hydrofluoric acid for morphological investigations of Zoanthids (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): a critical assessment of methodology and necessity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, James Davis; Nakachi, Shu; Hirose, Mamiko; Hirose, Euichi; Hashiguchi, Shinji

    2010-10-01

    Zoanthids comprise an order of benthic, generally colonial cnidarians, which can usually be distinguished from other hexacorallians by embedded sand and detritus in their mesoglea to help strengthen their structure. These animals are becoming increasingly important research subjects in biochemistry and other research fields. Their inclusion of both calcium and silica results in the need for both decalcification and desilification for internal morphological examinations. Since the methodology of hydrofluoric acid (HF) desilification has rarely been documented in zoanthids, histological surveys for zoanthid taxonomy have often been abandoned and their taxonomy is often problematic. Recent investigations utilizing molecular methods have brought a clearer understanding of zoanthid diversity, but standardization of HF treatments are still needed to provide a link between molecular and more traditional techniques, and to properly examine specimens for which molecular methods may not be an option (e.g., formalin-preserved specimens, etc.). Here, we use both "straight" HF and, for the first time with zoanthids, buffered HF (BHF) treatments at different treatment lengths (1-48 h) on polyps from three different species of zoanthids for histological examination. Section conditions were judged based on the presence/absence of embedded detritus, drag marks, and tissue condition. Results show that the BHF treatment resulted in slightly better tissue conditions for all specimens, and suggest that desilification works well regardless of treatment time for species with smaller (polyp diameter zoanthid specimens.

  19. Trophic and stoichiometric consequences of nutrification for the intertidal tropical zoanthid Zoanthus sociatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Miguel C; Rocha, Rui J M; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M; Cruz, Igor C S; Ferrier-Pagès, Christine

    2017-06-15

    Zoanthids are conspicuous and abundant members of intertidal environments, where they are exposed to large environmental fluctuations and subject to increasing loads of anthropogenic nutrients. Here we assess the trophic ecology and stoichiometric consequences of nutrient loading for symbiotic zoanthids inhabiting different intertidal habitats. More specifically, we analysed the stable isotope signature (δ 13 C and δ 15 N), elemental composition (C, N and P) and stoichiometry (C:N, C:P, N:P) of Zoanthus sociatus differently exposed to nutrification. Results suggest that autotrophy is the main feeding mode of zoanthids and that the effect water nutrient content differently affects the elemental phenotype of zoanthids depending on tidal habitat. Additionally, habitat effects on Z. sociatus P-related stoichiometric traits highlight functional differences likely associated with variation in Symbiodinium density. These findings provide an innovative approach to assess how cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses response to ecosystem changes in environmentally dynamic reef flats, particularly nutrient loading. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Identification of long non-coding RNAs in two anthozoan species and their possible implications for coral bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chen; Morlighem, Jean-Étienne R L; Cai, Jing; Liao, Qiwen; Perez, Carlos Daniel; Gomes, Paula Braga; Guo, Min; Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi; Lee, Simon Ming-Yuen

    2017-07-13

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to play regulatory roles in a diverse range of biological processes and are associated with the outcomes of various diseases. The majority of studies about lncRNAs focus on model organisms, with lessened investigation in non-model organisms to date. Herein, we have undertaken an investigation on lncRNA in two zoanthids (cnidarian): Protolpalythoa varibilis and Palythoa caribaeorum. A total of 11,206 and 13,240 lncRNAs were detected in P. variabilis and P. caribaeorum transcriptome, respectively. Comparison using NONCODE database indicated that the majority of these lncRNAs is taxonomically species-restricted with no identifiable orthologs. Even so, we found cases in which short regions of P. caribaeorum's lncRNAs were similar to vertebrate species' lncRNAs, and could be associated with lncRNA conserved regulatory functions. Consequently, some high-confidence lncRNA-mRNA interactions were predicted based on such conserved regions, therefore revealing possible involvement of lncRNAs in posttranscriptional processing and regulation in anthozoans. Moreover, investigation of differentially expressed lncRNAs, in healthy colonies and colonial individuals undergoing natural bleaching, indicated that some up-regulated lncRNAs in P. caribaeorum could posttranscriptionally regulate the mRNAs encoding proteins of Ras-mediated signal transduction pathway and components of innate immune-system, which could contribute to the molecular response of coral bleaching.

  1. Metabolomic profiling reveals deep chemical divergence between two morphotypes of the zoanthid Parazoanthus axinellae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachet, Nadja; Genta-Jouve, Grégory; Ivanisevic, Julijana; Chevaldonné, Pierre; Sinniger, Frédéric; Culioli, Gérald; Pérez, Thierry; Thomas, Olivier P.

    2015-01-01

    Metabolomics has recently proven its usefulness as complementary tool to traditional morphological and genetic analyses for the classification of marine invertebrates. Among the metabolite-rich cnidarian order Zoantharia, Parazoanthus is a polyphyletic genus whose systematics and phylogeny remain controversial. Within this genus, one of the most studied species, Parazoanthus axinellae is prominent in rocky shallow waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the NE Atlantic Ocean. Although different morphotypes can easily be distinguished, only one species is recognized to date. Here, a metabolomic profiling approach has been used to assess the chemical diversity of two main Mediterranean morphotypes, the “slender” and “stocky” forms of P. axinellae. Targeted profiling of their major secondary metabolites revealed a significant chemical divergence between the morphotypes. While zoanthoxanthin alkaloids and ecdysteroids are abundant in both morphs, the “slender” morphotype is characterized by the presence of additional and bioactive 3,5-disubstituted hydantoin derivatives named parazoanthines. The absence of these specific compounds in the “stocky” morphotype was confirmed by spatial and temporal monitoring over an annual cycle. Moreover, specimens of the “slender” morphotype are also the only ones found as epibionts of several sponge species, particularly Cymbaxinella damicornis thus suggesting a putative ecological link. PMID:25655432

  2. INTERSPECIFIC AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR OF THE CORALLIMORPHARIAN CORYNACTIS CALIFORNICA (CNIDARIA: ANTHOZOA): EFFECTS ON SYMPATRIC CORALS AND SEA ANEMONES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick, Nanette E

    1987-08-01

    Corallimorpharians are sessile cnidarians that are morphologically similar to the actiniarian sea anemones and scleractinian corals. This study describes for the first time the behavioral mechanism and effects of aggression by a corallimorpharian. Polyps of the temperate clonal corallimorpharian Corynactis californica extruded their mesenteries and associated filaments onto members of certain species of sea anemones and corals. They did not exhibit this behavior intraspecifically, and members of different clones of C. californica remained expanded upon contact. In contrast, members of four species of corals and zoanthids responded to contact with C. californica by contracting their tentacles, and members of three sea anemone species bent or moved away, detached from the substrate, or attacked using their aggressive structures. When interspecific contact was prolonged, individuals of C. californica extruded filaments onto, and killed polyps of, the sea anemones Anthopleura elegantissima and Metridium senile within 3 weeks, and the corals Astrangia lajollaensis and Balanophyllia elegans within 4-10 months under laboratory conditions. The use of extruded mesenterial filaments by C. californica to attack members of other anthozoan species is similar to the aggressive behavior exhibited by many scleractinian reef corals. Field observations suggest that C. californica may use this agonistic behavior during interspecific competition for space on hard marine substrate.

  3. Assessing the Efficacy of First-Aid Measures in Physalia sp. Envenomation, Using Solution- and Blood Agarose-Based Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Christie L.; Headlam, Jasmine L.; Doyle, Thomas K.; Yanagihara, Angel A.

    2017-01-01

    Stings from the hydrozoan species in the genus Physalia cause intense, immediate skin pain and elicit serious systemic effects. There has been much scientific debate about the most appropriate first aid for these stings, particularly with regard to whether vinegar use is appropriate (most current recommendations recommend against vinegar). We found that only a small percentage (≤1.0%) of tentacle cnidae discharge during a sting event using an ex vivo tissue model which elicits spontaneous stinging from live cnidarian tentacles. We then tested a variety of rinse solutions on both Atlantic and Pacific Physalia species to determine if they elicit cnidae discharge, further investigating any that did not cause immediate significant discharge to determine if they are able to inhibit cnidae discharge in response to chemical and physical stimuli. We found commercially available vinegars, as well as the recently developed Sting No More® Spray, were the most effective rinse solutions, as they irreversibly inhibited cnidae discharge. However, even slight dilution of vinegar reduced its protective effects. Alcohols and folk remedies, such as urine, baking soda and shaving cream, caused varying amounts of immediate cnidae discharge and failed to inhibit further discharge, and thus likely worsen stings. PMID:28445412

  4. Health status evaluation of shallow coral reefs in Cahuita and Manzanillo, Costa Rica

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    Alexander Araya-Vargas

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sedimentation, increased tourism, coral diseases and high ocean temperatures have become a permanent threat to reef areas worldwide. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the health status of the shallow reefs in Cahuita and Manzanillo, Limon, Costa Rica. A database, including species of all colonial sessile cnidarians and their known diseases, was created for the studied area. Subsequently, 15 transects were surveyed along the coast in 1-3 m deep bands of 10 x 1 m following the AGRRA V5.4 protocol. Of the 27 species found, 21 were reported from Cahuita and 23 from Manzanillo. The shallow coral reefs’ health status in both sites was good in terms of diseases, bleaching and mortality due to their low incidence. Sessile cnidarians’ species composition, colonies’ sizes and coverage were dominated by massive and lobate scleractinians such as Pseudodiploria clivosa and Siderastrea siderea. Macroalgal coverage was low (below 20% and mostly represented by brown algae. Sea urchins’ densities were also low (below 1 ind/m2 except for Echinometra viridis in Manzanillo and they trend to continue decreasing as the years go by.

  5. Sea Water Acidification Affects Osmotic Swelling, Regulatory Volume Decrease and Discharge in Nematocytes of the Jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca

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    Rossana Morabito

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Increased acidification/PCO2 of sea water is a threat to the environment and affects the homeostasis of marine animals. In this study, the effect of sea water pH changes on the osmotic phase (OP, regulatory volume decrease (RVD and discharge of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa nematocytes, collected from the Strait of Messina (Italy, was assessed. Methods: Isolated nematocytes, suspended in artificial sea water (ASW with pH 7.65, 6.5 and 4.5, were exposed to hyposmotic ASW of the same pH values and their osmotic response and RVD measured optically in a special flow through chamber. Nematocyte discharge was analyzed in situ in ASW at all three pH values. Results: At normal pH (7.65, nematocytes subjected to hyposmotic shock first expanded osmotically and then regulated their cell volume within 15 min. Exposure to hyposmotic ASW pH 6.5 and 4.5 compromised the OP and reduced or totally abrogated the ensuing RVD, respectively. Acidic pH also significantly reduced the nematocyte discharge response. Conclusion: Data indicate that the homeostasis and function of Cnidarians may be altered by environmental changes such as sea water acidification, thereby validating their use as novel bioindicators for the quality of the marine environment.

  6. Sea water acidification affects osmotic swelling, regulatory volume decrease and discharge in nematocytes of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabito, Rossana; Marino, Angela; Lauf, Peter K; Adragna, Norma C; La Spada, Giuseppa

    2013-01-01

    Increased acidification/PCO2 of sea water is a threat to the environment and affects the homeostasis of marine animals. In this study, the effect of sea water pH changes on the osmotic phase (OP), regulatory volume decrease (RVD) and discharge of the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) nematocytes, collected from the Strait of Messina (Italy), was assessed. Isolated nematocytes, suspended in artificial sea water (ASW) with pH 7.65, 6.5 and 4.5, were exposed to hyposmotic ASW of the same pH values and their osmotic response and RVD measured optically in a special flow through chamber. Nematocyte discharge was analyzed in situ in ASW at all three pH values. At normal pH (7.65), nematocytes subjected to hyposmotic shock first expanded osmotically and then regulated their cell volume within 15 min. Exposure to hyposmotic ASW pH 6.5 and 4.5 compromised the OP and reduced or totally abrogated the ensuing RVD, respectively. Acidic pH also significantly reduced the nematocyte discharge response. Data indicate that the homeostasis and function of Cnidarians may be altered by environmental changes such as sea water acidification, thereby validating their use as novel bioindicators for the quality of the marine environment. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. Molecular evolution of multiple-level control of heme biosynthesis pathway in animal kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzou, Wen-Shyong; Chu, Ying; Lin, Tzung-Yi; Hu, Chin-Hwa; Pai, Tun-Wen; Liu, Hsin-Fu; Lin, Han-Jia; Cases, Ildeofonso; Rojas, Ana; Sanchez, Mayka; You, Zong-Ye; Hsu, Ming-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation of enzymes in a metabolic pathway can occur not only through changes in amino acid sequences but also through variations in transcriptional activation, mRNA splicing and mRNA translation. The heme biosynthesis pathway, a linear pathway comprised of eight consecutive enzymes in animals, provides researchers with ample information for multiple types of evolutionary analyses performed with respect to the position of each enzyme in the pathway. Through bioinformatics analysis, we found that the protein-coding sequences of all enzymes in this pathway are under strong purifying selection, from cnidarians to mammals. However, loose evolutionary constraints are observed for enzymes in which self-catalysis occurs. Through comparative genomics, we found that in animals, the first intron of the enzyme-encoding genes has been co-opted for transcriptional activation of the genes in this pathway. Organisms sense the cellular content of iron, and through iron-responsive elements in the 5' untranslated regions of mRNAs and the intron-exon boundary regions of pathway genes, translational inhibition and exon choice in enzymes may be enabled, respectively. Pathway product (heme)-mediated negative feedback control can affect the transport of pathway enzymes into the mitochondria as well as the ubiquitin-mediated stability of enzymes. Remarkably, the positions of these controls on pathway activity are not ubiquitous but are biased towards the enzymes in the upstream portion of the pathway. We revealed that multiple-level controls on the activity of the heme biosynthesis pathway depend on the linear depth of the enzymes in the pathway, indicating a new strategy for discovering the molecular constraints that shape the evolution of a metabolic pathway.

  8. Characterization of the deleted in autism 1 protein family: implications for studying cognitive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Azhari; Harrop, Sean P; Bishop, Naomi E

    2011-01-19

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of commonly occurring, highly-heritable developmental disabilities. Human genes c3orf58 or Deleted In Autism-1 (DIA1) and cXorf36 or Deleted in Autism-1 Related (DIA1R) are implicated in ASD and mental retardation. Both gene products encode signal peptides for targeting to the secretory pathway. As evolutionary medicine has emerged as a key tool for understanding increasing numbers of human diseases, we have used an evolutionary approach to study DIA1 and DIA1R. We found DIA1 conserved from cnidarians to humans, indicating DIA1 evolution coincided with the development of the first primitive synapses. Nematodes lack a DIA1 homologue, indicating Caenorhabditis elegans is not suitable for studying all aspects of ASD etiology, while zebrafish encode two DIA1 paralogues. By contrast to DIA1, DIA1R was found exclusively in vertebrates, with an origin coinciding with the whole-genome duplication events occurring early in the vertebrate lineage, and the evolution of the more complex vertebrate nervous system. Strikingly, DIA1R was present in schooling fish but absent in fish that have adopted a more solitary lifestyle. An additional DIA1-related gene we named DIA1-Like (DIA1L), lacks a signal peptide and is restricted to the genomes of the echinoderm Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae. Evidence for remarkable DIA1L gene expansion was found in B. floridae. Amino acid alignments of DIA1 family gene products revealed a potential Golgi-retention motif and a number of conserved motifs with unknown function. Furthermore, a glycine and three cysteine residues were absolutely conserved in all DIA1-family proteins, indicating a critical role in protein structure and/or function. We have therefore identified a new metazoan protein family, the DIA1-family, and understanding the biological roles of DIA1-family members will have implications for our understanding of autism and mental retardation.

  9. Composition and biological activities of the aqueous extracts of three scleractinian corals from the Mexican Caribbean: Pseudodiploria strigosa, Porites astreoides and Siderastrea siderea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Arredondo, Alejandro; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Ibarra-Alvarado, César; Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Judith

    2016-01-01

    Scleractinian corals (stony corals) are the most abundant reef-forming cnidarians found in coral reefs throughout the world. Despite their abundance and ecological importance, information about the diversity of their toxins and their biological activities is very scarce. In this study, the chemical composition and the biological activities of the aqueous extracts of Pseudodiploria strigosa , Porites astreoides and Siderastrea siderea , three scleractinian corals from the Mexican Caribbean, have been assessed for the first time. Toxicity of the extracts was assessed in crickets; the presence of cytolysins was detected by the hemolysis assay; the vasoconstrictor activity was determined by the isolated rat aortic ring assay; the nociceptive activity was evaluated by the formalin test. The presence of phospholipases A 2 (PLA 2 ), serine proteases, and hyaluronidases was determined by enzymatic methods. Low-molecular-weight fractions were obtained by gel filtration chromatography and ultrafiltration. Extracts from the three species were toxic to crickets, induced hemolysis in human and rat erythrocytes, produced vasoconstriction on isolated rat aortic rings, and presented phospholipase A 2 and serine-protease activity. Despite the fact that these corals are not considered to be harmless to humans, the extracts generated significant nociceptive responses. The matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry analysis of the low-molecular-weight fractions revealed the presence of peptides within a mass range of 3000 to 6000 Da. These fractions were toxic to crickets and two of them induced a transitory vasoconstrictor effect on isolated rat aortic rings. This study suggests that scleractinian corals produce low-molecular-weight peptides that are lethal to crickets and induce vasoconstriction.

  10. Resource requirements of the Pacific leatherback turtle population.

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    T Todd Jones

    Full Text Available The Pacific population of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea has drastically declined in the last 25 years. This decline has been linked to incidental capture by fisheries, egg and meat harvesting, and recently, to climate variability and resource limitation. Here we couple growth rates with feeding experiments and food intake functions to estimate daily energy requirements of leatherbacks throughout their development. We then estimate mortality rates from available data, enabling us to raise food intake (energy requirements of the individual to the population level. We place energy requirements in context of available resources (i.e., gelatinous zooplankton abundance. Estimated consumption rates suggest that a single leatherback will eat upward of 1000 metric tonnes (t of jellyfish in its lifetime (range 924-1112 with the Pacific population consuming 2.1×10(6 t of jellyfish annually (range 1.0-3.7×10(6 equivalent to 4.2×10(8 megajoules (MJ (range 2.0-7.4×10(8. Model estimates suggest 2-7 yr-old juveniles comprise the majority of the Pacific leatherback population biomass and account for most of the jellyfish consumption (1.1×10(6 t of jellyfish or 2.2×10(8 MJ per year. Leatherbacks are large gelatinous zooplanktivores with consumption to biomass ratios of 96 (up to 192 if feeding strictly on low energy density Cnidarians; they, therefore, have a large capacity to impact gelatinous zooplankton landscapes. Understanding the leatherback's needs for gelatinous zooplankton, versus the availability of these resources, can help us better assess population trends and the influence of climate induced resource limitations to reproductive output.

  11. A highly conserved Poc1 protein characterized in embryos of the hydrozoan Clytia hemisphaerica: localization and functional studies.

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    Cécile Fourrage

    Full Text Available Poc1 (Protein of Centriole 1 proteins are highly conserved WD40 domain-containing centriole components, well characterized in the alga Chlamydomonas, the ciliated protazoan Tetrahymena, the insect Drosophila and in vertebrate cells including Xenopus and zebrafish embryos. Functions and localizations related to the centriole and ciliary axoneme have been demonstrated for Poc1 in a range of species. The vertebrate Poc1 protein has also been reported to show an additional association with mitochondria, including enrichment in the specialized "germ plasm" region of Xenopus oocytes. We have identified and characterized a highly conserved Poc1 protein in the cnidarian Clytia hemisphaerica. Clytia Poc1 mRNA was found to be strongly expressed in eggs and early embryos, showing a punctate perinuclear localization in young oocytes. Fluorescence-tagged Poc1 proteins expressed in developing embryos showed strong localization to centrioles, including basal bodies. Anti-human Poc1 antibodies decorated mitochondria in Clytia, as reported in human cells, but failed to recognise endogenous or fluorescent-tagged Clytia Poc1. Injection of specific morpholino oligonucleotides into Clytia eggs prior to fertilization to repress Poc1 mRNA translation interfered with cell division from the blastula stage, likely corresponding to when neosynthesis normally takes over from maternally supplied protein. Cell cycle lengthening and arrest were observed, phenotypes consistent with an impaired centriolar biogenesis or function. The specificity of the defects could be demonstrated by injection of synthetic Poc1 mRNA, which restored normal development. We conclude that in Clytia embryos, Poc1 has an essentially centriolar localization and function.

  12. Regulation of apoptotic mediators reveals dynamic responses to thermal stress in the reef building coral Acropora millepora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernice, Mathieu; Dunn, Simon R; Miard, Thomas; Dufour, Sylvie; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2011-01-24

    Mass coral bleaching is increasing in scale and frequency across the world's coral reefs and is being driven primarily by increased levels of thermal stress arising from global warming. In order to understand the impacts of projected climate change upon corals reefs, it is important to elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms that operate during coral bleaching and subsequent mortality. In this respect, increased apoptotic cell death activity is an important cellular process that is associated with the breakdown of the mutualistic symbiosis between the cnidarian host and their dinoflagellate symbionts. The PRESENT study reports the impacts of different stressors (colchicine and heat stress) on three phases of apoptosis: (i) the potential initiation by differential expression of Bcl-2 members, (ii) the execution of apoptotic events by activation of caspase 3-like proteases and (iii) and finally, the cell disposal indicated by DNA fragmentation in the reef building coral Acropora millepora. In corals incubated with colchicine, an increase in caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation was associated with a relative down-regulation of Bcl-2, suggesting that the initiation of apoptosis may be mediated by the suppression of an anti-apoptotic mechanism. In contrast, in the early steps of heat stress, the induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis was related to a relative up-regulation of Bcl-2 consecutively followed by a delayed decrease in apoptosis activity. In the light of these results, we propose a model of heat stress in coral hosts whereby increasing temperatures engage activation of caspase 3-dependent apoptosis in cells designated for termination, but also the onset of a delayed protective response involving overexpression of Bcl-2 in surviving cells. This mitigating response to thermal stress could conceivably be an important regulatory mechanism for cell survival in corals exposed to sudden environmental changes.

  13. Single-Cell Biomolecular Analysis of Coral Algal Symbionts Reveals Opposing Metabolic Responses to Heat Stress and Expulsion

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    Katherina Petrou

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The success of corals in nutrient poor environments is largely attributed to the symbiosis between the cnidarian host and its intracellular alga. Warm water anomalies have been shown to destabilize this symbiosis, yet detailed analysis of the effect of temperature and expulsion on cell-specific carbon and nutrient allocation in the symbiont is limited. Here, we exposed colonies of the hard coral Acropora millepora to heat stress and using synchrotron-based infrared microspectroscopy measured the biomolecular profiles of individual in hospite and expelled symbiont cells at an acute state of bleaching. Our results showed symbiont metabolic profiles to be remarkably distinct with heat stress and expulsion, where the two effectors elicited opposing metabolic adjustments independent of treatment or cell type. Elevated temperature resulted in biomolecular changes reflecting cellular stress, with relative increases in free amino acids and phosphorylation of molecules and a concomitant decline in protein content, suggesting protein modification and degradation. This contrasted with the metabolic profiles of expelled symbionts, which showed relative decreases in free amino acids and phosphorylated molecules, but increases in proteins and lipids, suggesting expulsion lessens the overall effect of heat stress on the metabolic signature of the algal symbionts. Interestingly, the combined effects of expulsion and thermal stress were additive, reducing the overall shifts in all biomolecules, with the notable exception of the significant accumulation of lipids and saturated fatty acids. This first use of a single-cell metabolomics approach on the coral symbiosis provides novel insight into coral bleaching and emphasizes the importance of a single-cell approach to demark the cell-to-cell variability in the physiology of coral cellular populations.

  14. Two-step evolution of endosymbiosis between hydra and algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Masakazu; Shimizu, Hiroshi; Nozawa, Masafumi; Ikeo, Kazuho; Gojobori, Takashi

    2016-10-01

    In the Hydra vulgaris group, only 2 of the 25 strains in the collection of the National Institute of Genetics in Japan currently show endosymbiosis with green algae. However, whether the other non-symbiotic strains also have the potential to harbor algae remains unknown. The endosymbiotic potential of non-symbiotic strains that can harbor algae may have been acquired before or during divergence of the strains. With the aim of understanding the evolutionary process of endosymbiosis in the H. vulgaris group, we examined the endosymbiotic potential of non-symbiotic strains of the H. vulgaris group by artificially introducing endosymbiotic algae. We found that 12 of the 23 non-symbiotic strains were able to harbor the algae until reaching the grand-offspring through the asexual reproduction by budding. Moreover, a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial genome sequences showed that all the strains with endosymbiotic potential grouped into a single cluster (cluster γ). This cluster contained two strains (J7 and J10) that currently harbor algae; however, these strains were not the closest relatives. These results suggest that evolution of endosymbiosis occurred in two steps; first, endosymbiotic potential was gained once in the ancestor of the cluster γ lineage; second, strains J7 and J10 obtained algae independently after the divergence of the strains. By demonstrating the evolution of the endosymbiotic potential in non-symbiotic H. vulgaris group strains, we have clearly distinguished two evolutionary steps. The step-by-step evolutionary process provides significant insight into the evolution of endosymbiosis in cnidarians. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Diversification of AID/APOBEC-like deaminases in metazoa: multiplicity of clades and widespread roles in immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Arunkumar; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M; Holland, Stephen J; Boehm, Thomas; Aravind, L

    2018-04-03

    AID/APOBEC deaminases (AADs) convert cytidine to uridine in single-stranded nucleic acids. They are involved in numerous mutagenic processes, including those underpinning vertebrate innate and adaptive immunity. Using a multipronged sequence analysis strategy, we uncover several AADs across metazoa, dictyosteliida, and algae, including multiple previously unreported vertebrate clades, and versions from urochordates, nematodes, echinoderms, arthropods, lophotrochozoans, cnidarians, and porifera. Evolutionary analysis suggests a fundamental division of AADs early in metazoan evolution into secreted deaminases (SNADs) and classical AADs, followed by diversification into several clades driven by rapid-sequence evolution, gene loss, lineage-specific expansions, and lateral transfer to various algae. Most vertebrate AADs, including AID and APOBECs1-3, diversified in the vertebrates, whereas the APOBEC4-like clade has a deeper origin in metazoa. Positional entropy analysis suggests that several AAD clades are diversifying rapidly, especially in the positions predicted to interact with the nucleic acid target motif, and with potential viral inhibitors. Further, several AADs have evolved neomorphic metal-binding inserts, especially within loops predicted to interact with the target nucleic acid. We also observe polymorphisms, driven by alternative splicing, gene loss, and possibly intergenic recombination between paralogs. We propose that biological conflicts of AADs with viruses and genomic retroelements are drivers of rapid AAD evolution, suggesting a widespread presence of mutagenesis-based immune-defense systems. Deaminases like AID represent versions "institutionalized" from the broader array of AADs pitted in such arms races for mutagenesis of self-DNA, and similar recruitment might have independently occurred elsewhere in metazoa. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  16. DNA barcoding of Arctic Ocean holozooplankton for species identification and recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucklin, Ann; Hopcroft, Russell R.; Kosobokova, Ksenia N.; Nigro, Lisa M.; Ortman, Brian D.; Jennings, Robert M.; Sweetman, Christopher J.

    2010-01-01

    Zooplankton species diversity and distribution are important measures of environmental change in the Arctic Ocean, and may serve as 'rapid-responders' of climate-induced changes in this fragile ecosystem. The scarcity of taxonomists hampers detailed and up-to-date monitoring of these patterns for the rarer and more problematic species. DNA barcodes (short DNA sequences for species recognition and discovery) provide an alternative approach to accurate identification of known species, and can speed routine analysis of zooplankton samples. During 2004-2008, zooplankton samples were collected during cruises to the central Arctic Ocean and Chukchi Sea. A ˜700 base-pair region of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) gene was amplified and sequenced for 82 identified specimens of 41 species, including cnidarians (six hydrozoans, one scyphozoan), arthropod crustaceans (five amphipods, 24 copepods, one decapod, and one euphausiid); two chaetognaths; and one nemertean. Phylogenetic analysis used the Neighbor-Joining algorithm with Kimura-2-Parameter (K-2-P) distances, with 1000-fold bootstrapping. K-2-P genetic distances between individuals of the same species ranged from 0.0 to 0.2; genetic distances between species ranged widely from 0.1 to 0.7. The mtCOI gene tree showed monophyly (at 100% bootstrap value) for each of the 26 species for which more than one individual was analyzed. Of seven genera for which more than one species was analyzed, four were shown to be monophyletic; three genera were not resolved. At higher taxonomic levels, only the crustacean order Copepoda was resolved, with bootstrap value of 83%. The mtCOI barcodes accurately discriminated and identified known species of 10 taxonomic groups of Arctic Ocean holozooplankton. A comprehensive DNA barcode database for the estimated 300 described species of Arctic holozooplankton will allow rapid assessment of species diversity and distribution in this climate-vulnerable ocean ecosystem.

  17. Application of DNA barcoding in biodiversity studies of shallow-water octocorals: molecular proxies agree with morphological estimates of species richness in Palau

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, C. S.; Brown, A. S.; Brayton, C.; Hunt, C. B.; van Ofwegen, L. P.

    2014-06-01

    The application of DNA barcoding to anthozoan cnidarians has been hindered by their slow rates of mitochondrial gene evolution and the failure to identify alternative molecular markers that distinguish species reliably. Among octocorals, however, multilocus barcodes can distinguish up to 70 % of morphospecies, thereby facilitating the identification of species that are ecologically important but still very poorly known taxonomically. We tested the ability of these imperfect DNA barcodes to estimate species richness in a biodiversity survey of the shallow-water octocoral fauna of Palau using multilocus ( COI, mtMutS, 28S rDNA) sequences obtained from 305 specimens representing 38 genera of octocorals. Numbers and identities of species were estimated independently (1) by a taxonomic expert using morphological criteria and (2) by assigning sequences to molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) using predefined genetic distance thresholds. Estimated numbers of MOTUs ranged from 73 to 128 depending on the barcode and distance threshold applied, bracketing the estimated number of 118 morphospecies. Concordance between morphospecies identifications and MOTUs ranged from 71 to 75 % and differed little among barcodes. For the speciose and ecologically dominant genus Sinularia, however, we were able to identify 95 % of specimens correctly simply by comparing mtMutS sequences and in situ photographs of colonies to an existing vouchered database. Because we lack a clear understanding of species boundaries in most of these taxa, numbers of morphospecies and MOTUs are both estimates of the true species diversity, and we cannot currently determine which is more accurate. Our results suggest, however, that the two methods provide comparable estimates of species richness for shallow-water Indo-Pacific octocorals. Use of molecular barcodes in biodiversity surveys will facilitate comparisons of species richness and composition among localities and over time, data that do not

  18. Calcisponges have a ParaHox gene and dynamic expression of dispersed NK homeobox genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Sofia A V; Adamski, Marcin; Ramos, Olivia Mendivil; Leininger, Sven; Liu, Jing; Ferrier, David E K; Adamska, Maja

    2014-10-30

    Sponges are simple animals with few cell types, but their genomes paradoxically contain a wide variety of developmental transcription factors, including homeobox genes belonging to the Antennapedia (ANTP) class, which in bilaterians encompass Hox, ParaHox and NK genes. In the genome of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, no Hox or ParaHox genes are present, but NK genes are linked in a tight cluster similar to the NK clusters of bilaterians. It has been proposed that Hox and ParaHox genes originated from NK cluster genes after divergence of sponges from the lineage leading to cnidarians and bilaterians. On the other hand, synteny analysis lends support to the notion that the absence of Hox and ParaHox genes in Amphimedon is a result of secondary loss (the ghost locus hypothesis). Here we analysed complete suites of ANTP-class homeoboxes in two calcareous sponges, Sycon ciliatum and Leucosolenia complicata. Our phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that these calcisponges possess orthologues of bilaterian NK genes (Hex, Hmx and Msx), a varying number of additional NK genes and one ParaHox gene, Cdx. Despite the generation of scaffolds spanning multiple genes, we find no evidence of clustering of Sycon NK genes. All Sycon ANTP-class genes are developmentally expressed, with patterns suggesting their involvement in cell type specification in embryos and adults, metamorphosis and body plan patterning. These results demonstrate that ParaHox genes predate the origin of sponges, thus confirming the ghost locus hypothesis, and highlight the need to analyse the genomes of multiple sponge lineages to obtain a complete picture of the ancestral composition of the first animal genome.

  19. A new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation: hypoxia as the physiological driver of skeletal extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooldridge, S.

    2013-05-01

    That corals skeletons are built of aragonite crystals with taxonomy-linked ultrastructure has been well understood since the 19th century. Yet, the way by which corals control this crystallization process remains an unsolved question. Here, I outline a new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation that endeavours to relate known skeletal features with homeostatic functions beyond traditional growth (structural) determinants. In particular, I propose that the dominant physiological driver of skeletal extension is night-time hypoxia, which is exacerbated by the respiratory oxygen demands of the coral's algal symbionts (= zooxanthellae). The model thus provides a new narrative to explain the high growth rate of symbiotic corals, by equating skeletal deposition with the "work-rate" of the coral host needed to maintain a stable and beneficial symbiosis. In this way, coral skeletons are interpreted as a continuous (long-run) recording unit of the stability and functioning of the coral-algae endosymbiosis. After providing supportive evidence for the model across multiple scales of observation, I use coral core data from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) to highlight the disturbed nature of the symbiosis in recent decades, but suggest that its onset is consistent with a trajectory that has been followed since at least the start of the 1900s. In concluding, I outline how the proposed capacity of cnidarians (which includes modern reef corals) to overcome the metabolic limitation of hypoxia via skeletogenesis also provides a new hypothesis to explain the sudden appearance in the fossil record of calcified skeletons at the Precambrian-Cambrian transition - and the ensuing rapid appearance of most major animal phyla.

  20. Microbiomes of Ecologically Dominant Zooxanthellate Anthozoans: A Tropical-Temperate Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, T. L.; Geller, J. B.; Schmeltzer, E.; Little, M.

    2016-02-01

    Marine bacteria are known to play an important role in cnidarian health, the cycling of organic matter and dimethylsulfionopropionate (DMSP) in reef ecosystems. The breadth of investigation surrounding this relationship in tropical reefs is vast; however, little work has been done in temperate non-reef building systems. Anthopleura elegantissima is a common zooxanthellate anthozoan on the Northeastern (NE) Pacific coast, also known to produce DMSP, yet relatively little is known about the bacterial community it harbors. In this study, we compare the bacterial communities of tropical Porites and Pocillopora species with the temperate Anthopleura elegantissima. We further compare bleached A. elegantissima polyps to polyps dark with zooxanthellae to investigate the complex relationship between host, symbiodinium, and bacteria. We sampled coral mucus from 45 individual coral colonies of Porites rus and Pocillopora damicornis, and Porites lutea in Moorea, French Polynesia and capitulum from 6 individual A. elegantissima polyps, which strikingly varied in color attributable to symbionts, from Moss Landing, California. All samples were processed according to the environmental microbiome project (EMP) protocols. The A. elegantissima samples also underwent microbial metagenome sequencing in an attempt to infer environmental function of these symbionts. In corals, major bacterial groups included Alteromonas, Rhodobacteraceae, and Vibrio. Vibrio, along with Rhodobacteraceae, are associated with DMSP metabolism. Pseudoalteromonadaceae varied greatly among samples, without correlation to species, similar to previous studies. Data analysis for anemones is in progress. DMSP and DMS have been studied for their role in forming cloud condensation nuclei, potentially leading to climate cooling. Anthopleura is thought to be the most abundant upper intertidal invertebrate in the NE Pacific, potentially making it an important player in coastal DMSP cycling.

  1. Responses to high seawater temperatures in zooxanthellate octocorals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammarco, Paul W; Strychar, Kevin B

    2013-01-01

    in the western Pacific. We hypothesize that this relationship may have taxonomic implications for other obligate zooxanthellate cnidarians subject to bleaching.

  2. A new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation: hypoxia as the physiological driver of skeletal extension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wooldridge

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available That corals skeletons are built of aragonite crystals with taxonomy-linked ultrastructure has been well understood since the 19th century. Yet, the way by which corals control this crystallization process remains an unsolved question. Here, I outline a new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation that endeavours to relate known skeletal features with homeostatic functions beyond traditional growth (structural determinants. In particular, I propose that the dominant physiological driver of skeletal extension is night-time hypoxia, which is exacerbated by the respiratory oxygen demands of the coral's algal symbionts (= zooxanthellae. The model thus provides a new narrative to explain the high growth rate of symbiotic corals, by equating skeletal deposition with the "work-rate" of the coral host needed to maintain a stable and beneficial symbiosis. In this way, coral skeletons are interpreted as a continuous (long-run recording unit of the stability and functioning of the coral–algae endosymbiosis. After providing supportive evidence for the model across multiple scales of observation, I use coral core data from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia to highlight the disturbed nature of the symbiosis in recent decades, but suggest that its onset is consistent with a trajectory that has been followed since at least the start of the 1900s. In concluding, I outline how the proposed capacity of cnidarians (which includes modern reef corals to overcome the metabolic limitation of hypoxia via skeletogenesis also provides a new hypothesis to explain the sudden appearance in the fossil record of calcified skeletons at the Precambrian–Cambrian transition – and the ensuing rapid appearance of most major animal phyla.

  3. Responses to high seawater temperatures in zooxanthellate octocorals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul W Sammarco

    the Cnidaria in the western Pacific. We hypothesize that this relationship may have taxonomic implications for other obligate zooxanthellate cnidarians subject to bleaching.

  4. Settlement induction of Acropora palmata planulae by a GLW-amide neuropeptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, P. M.; Szmant, A. M.

    2010-12-01

    Complex environmental cues dictate the settlement of coral planulae in situ; however, simple artificial cues may be all that is required to induce settlement of ex situ larval cultures for reef re-seeding and restoration projects. Neuropeptides that transmit settlement signals and initiate the metamorphic cascade have been isolated from hydrozoan taxa and shown to induce metamorphosis of reef-building Acropora spp. in the Indo-Pacific, providing a reliable and efficient settlement cue. Here, the metamorphic activity of six GLW-amide cnidarian neuropeptides was tested on larvae of the Caribbean corals Acropora palmata, Montastraea faveolata and Favia fragum. A. palmata planulae were induced to settle by the exogenous application of the neuropeptide Hym-248 (concentrations ≥1 × 10-6 M), achieving 40-80% attachment and 100% metamorphosis of competent planulae (≥6 days post-fertilization) during two spawning seasons; the remaining neuropeptides exhibited no activity. Hym-248 exposure rapidly altered larval swimming behavior (96% metamorphosis after 6 h. In contrast , M. faveolata and F. fragum planulae did not respond to any GLW-amides tested, suggesting a high specificity of neuropeptide activators on lower taxonomic scales in corals. Subsequent experiments for A. palmata revealed that (1) the presence of a biofilm did not enhance attachment efficiency when coupled with Hym-248 treatment, (2) neuropeptide-induced settlement had no negative effects on early life-history developmental processes: zooxanthellae acquisition and skeletal secretion occurred within 12 days, colonial growth occurred within 36 days, and (3) Hym-248 solutions maintained metamorphic activity following storage at room temperature (10 days), indicating its utility in remote field settings. These results corroborate previous studies on Indo-Pacific Acropora spp. and extend the known metamorphic activity of Hym-248 to Caribbean acroporids. Hym-248 allows for directed and reliable settlement of

  5. Feeding sustains photosynthetic quantum yield of a scleractinian coral during thermal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borell, Esther M; Bischof, Kai

    2008-10-01

    Thermal resistance of the coral-zooxanthellae symbiosis has been associated with chronic photoinhibition, increased antioxidant activity and protein repair involving high demands of nitrogen and energy. While the relative importance of heterotrophy as a source of nutrients and energy for cnidarian hosts, and as a means of nitrogen acquisition for their zooxanthellae, is well documented, the effect of feeding on the thermal sensitivity of the symbiotic association has been so far overlooked. Here we examine the effect of zooplankton feeding versus starvation on the bleaching susceptibility and photosynthetic activity of photosystem II (PSII) of zooxanthellae in the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata in response to thermal stress (daily temperature rises of 2-3 degrees C) over 10 days, employing pulse-amplitude-modulated chlorophyll fluorometry. Fed and starved corals displayed a decrease in daily maximum potential quantum yield (F (v)/F (m)) of PSII, effective quantum yield (F/F (m)') and relative electron transport rates over the course of 10 days. However after 10 days of exposure to elevated temperature, F (v)/F (m) of fed corals was still 50-70% higher than F (v)/F (m) of starved corals. Starved corals showed strong signs of chronic photoinhibition, which was reflected in a significant decline in nocturnal recovery rates of PSII relative to fed corals. This was paralleled by the progressive inability to dissipate excess excitation energy via non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). After 10 days, NPQ of starved corals had decreased by about 80% relative to fed corals. Feeding treatment had no significant effect on chlorophyll a and c (2) concentrations and zooxanthellae densities, but the mitotic indices were significantly lower in starved than in fed corals. Collectively the results indicate that exogenous food may reduce the photophysiological damage of zooxanthellae that typically leads to bleaching and could therefore play an important role in mediating the

  6. The Rise and Fall of an Evolutionary Innovation: Contrasting Strategies of Venom Evolution in Ancient and Young Animals.

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    Sunagar, Kartik; Moran, Yehu

    2015-10-01

    Animal venoms are theorized to evolve under the significant influence of positive Darwinian selection in a chemical arms race scenario, where the evolution of venom resistance in prey and the invention of potent venom in the secreting animal exert reciprocal selection pressures. Venom research to date has mainly focused on evolutionarily younger lineages, such as snakes and cone snails, while mostly neglecting ancient clades (e.g., cnidarians, coleoids, spiders and centipedes). By examining genome, venom-gland transcriptome and sequences from the public repositories, we report the molecular evolutionary regimes of several centipede and spider toxin families, which surprisingly accumulated low-levels of sequence variations, despite their long evolutionary histories. Molecular evolutionary assessment of over 3500 nucleotide sequences from 85 toxin families spanning the breadth of the animal kingdom has unraveled a contrasting evolutionary strategy employed by ancient and evolutionarily young clades. We show that the venoms of ancient lineages remarkably evolve under the heavy constraints of negative selection, while toxin families in lineages that originated relatively recently rapidly diversify under the influence of positive selection. We propose that animal venoms mostly employ a 'two-speed' mode of evolution, where the major influence of diversifying selection accompanies the earlier stages of ecological specialization (e.g., diet and range expansion) in the evolutionary history of the species-the period of expansion, resulting in the rapid diversification of the venom arsenal, followed by longer periods of purifying selection that preserve the potent toxin pharmacopeia-the period of purification and fixation. However, species in the period of purification may re-enter the period of expansion upon experiencing a major shift in ecology or environment. Thus, we highlight for the first time the significant roles of purifying and episodic selections in shaping animal

  7. Genome-wide analysis of the sox family in the calcareous sponge Sycon ciliatum: multiple genes with unique expression patterns

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    Fortunato Sofia

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sox genes are HMG-domain containing transcription factors with important roles in developmental processes in animals; many of them appear to have conserved functions among eumetazoans. Demosponges have fewer Sox genes than eumetazoans, but their roles remain unclear. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the early evolutionary history of the Sox gene family by identification and expression analysis of Sox genes in the calcareous sponge Sycon ciliatum. Methods Calcaronean Sox related sequences were retrieved by searching recently generated genomic and transcriptome sequence resources and analyzed using variety of phylogenetic methods and identification of conserved motifs. Expression was studied by whole mount in situ hybridization. Results We have identified seven Sox genes and four Sox-related genes in the complete genome of Sycon ciliatum. Phylogenetic and conserved motif analyses showed that five of Sycon Sox genes represent groups B, C, E, and F present in cnidarians and bilaterians. Two additional genes are classified as Sox genes but cannot be assigned to specific subfamilies, and four genes are more similar to Sox genes than to other HMG-containing genes. Thus, the repertoire of Sox genes is larger in this representative of calcareous sponges than in the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. It remains unclear whether this is due to the expansion of the gene family in Sycon or a secondary reduction in the Amphimedon genome. In situ hybridization of Sycon Sox genes revealed a variety of expression patterns during embryogenesis and in specific cell types of adult sponges. Conclusions In this study, we describe a large family of Sox genes in Sycon ciliatum with dynamic expression patterns, indicating that Sox genes are regulators in development and cell type determination in sponges, as observed in higher animals. The revealed differences between demosponge and calcisponge Sox genes repertoire highlight the need to

  8. Prey preference follows phylogeny: evolutionary dietary patterns within the marine gastropod group Cladobranchia (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Nudibranchia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodheart, Jessica A; Bazinet, Adam L; Valdés, Ángel; Collins, Allen G; Cummings, Michael P

    2017-10-26

    The impact of predator-prey interactions on the evolution of many marine invertebrates is poorly understood. Since barriers to genetic exchange are less obvious in the marine realm than in terrestrial or freshwater systems, non-allopatric divergence may play a fundamental role in the generation of biodiversity. In this context, shifts between major prey types could constitute important factors explaining the biodiversity of marine taxa, particularly in groups with highly specialized diets. However, the scarcity of marine specialized consumers for which reliable phylogenies exist hampers attempts to test the role of trophic specialization in evolution. In this study, RNA-Seq data is used to produce a phylogeny of Cladobranchia, a group of marine invertebrates that feed on a diverse array of prey taxa but mostly specialize on cnidarians. The broad range of prey type preferences allegedly present in two major groups within Cladobranchia suggest that prey type shifts are relatively common over evolutionary timescales. In the present study, we generated a well-supported phylogeny of the major lineages within Cladobranchia using RNA-Seq data, and used ancestral state reconstruction analyses to better understand the evolution of prey preference. These analyses answered several fundamental questions regarding the evolutionary relationships within Cladobranchia, including support for a clade of species from Arminidae as sister to Tritoniidae (which both preferentially prey on Octocorallia). Ancestral state reconstruction analyses supported a cladobranchian ancestor with a preference for Hydrozoa and show that the few transitions identified only occur from lineages that prey on Hydrozoa to those that feed on other types of prey. There is strong phylogenetic correlation with prey preference within Cladobranchia, suggesting that prey type specialization within this group has inertia. Shifts between different types of prey have occurred rarely throughout the evolution of

  9. The skeleton of the staghorn coral Acropora millepora: molecular and structural characterization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Ramos-Silva

    Full Text Available The scleractinian coral Acropora millepora is one of the most studied species from the Great Barrier Reef. This species has been used to understand evolutionary, immune and developmental processes in cnidarians. It has also been subject of several ecological studies in order to elucidate reef responses to environmental changes such as temperature rise and ocean acidification (OA. In these contexts, several nucleic acid resources were made available. When combined to a recent proteomic analysis of the coral skeletal organic matrix (SOM, they enabled the identification of several skeletal matrix proteins, making A. millepora into an emerging model for biomineralization studies. Here we describe the skeletal microstructure of A. millepora skeleton, together with a functional and biochemical characterization of its occluded SOM that focuses on the protein and saccharidic moieties. The skeletal matrix proteins show a large range of isoelectric points, compositional patterns and signatures. Besides secreted proteins, there are a significant number of proteins with membrane attachment sites such as transmembrane domains and GPI anchors as well as proteins with integrin binding sites. These features show that the skeletal proteins must have strong adhesion properties in order to function in the calcifying space. Moreover this data suggest a molecular connection between the calcifying epithelium and the skeletal tissue during biocalcification. In terms of sugar moieties, the enrichment of the SOM in arabinose is striking, and the monosaccharide composition exhibits the same signature as that of mucus of acroporid corals. Finally, we observe that the interaction of the acetic acid soluble SOM on the morphology of in vitro grown CaCO3 crystals is very pronounced when compared with the calcifying matrices of some mollusks. In light of these results, we wish to commend Acropora millepora as a model for biocalcification studies in scleractinians, from

  10. Ancient connection between NKL genes and the mesoderm? Insights from Tlx expression in a ctenophore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derelle, Romain; Manuel, Michaël

    2007-04-01

    In recent years, evo-devo studies on non-bilaterian metazoans have improved our understanding of the early evolution of animal body plans. In particular, works on cnidarians suggested that contrary to classical views, the mesoderm originated far before the emergence of the Bilateria. In this context, a synthesis of genomic and functional data concerning the Antennapedia (Antp) superclass of homeobox genes suggested that early in animal evolution, each of the three germ layers was under the control of one cluster of Antp genes. In particular, the patterning and differentiation of the mesoderm was under the control of the NKL cluster. The ctenophores stand as a key taxon with respect to such issues because unlike other non-bilaterian phyla, their intermediate germ layer satisfies the strict embryological definition of a mesoderm. For that reason, we investigated the only known member of the NKL group in Ctenophora, a gene previously isolated from Pleurobrachia and attributed to the Tlx family. In our analysis of the NKL group, this ctenophore gene branches as the sister-group of bilaterian Tlx genes, but without statistical support. The expression pattern of this gene was revealed by in situ hybridisation in the adult ctenophore. The expression territories of PpiTlx are predominantly ectodermal, in two distinct types of ciliated epidermal cells and in one category of gland cells. We also identified a probable endodermal site of expression. Because we failed to detect any mesodermal expression, the results do not provide support to the hypothesis of an ancient functional association between the NKL group and the mesoderm.

  11. Characterization of the deleted in autism 1 protein family: implications for studying cognitive disorders.

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    Azhari Aziz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are a group of commonly occurring, highly-heritable developmental disabilities. Human genes c3orf58 or Deleted In Autism-1 (DIA1 and cXorf36 or Deleted in Autism-1 Related (DIA1R are implicated in ASD and mental retardation. Both gene products encode signal peptides for targeting to the secretory pathway. As evolutionary medicine has emerged as a key tool for understanding increasing numbers of human diseases, we have used an evolutionary approach to study DIA1 and DIA1R. We found DIA1 conserved from cnidarians to humans, indicating DIA1 evolution coincided with the development of the first primitive synapses. Nematodes lack a DIA1 homologue, indicating Caenorhabditis elegans is not suitable for studying all aspects of ASD etiology, while zebrafish encode two DIA1 paralogues. By contrast to DIA1, DIA1R was found exclusively in vertebrates, with an origin coinciding with the whole-genome duplication events occurring early in the vertebrate lineage, and the evolution of the more complex vertebrate nervous system. Strikingly, DIA1R was present in schooling fish but absent in fish that have adopted a more solitary lifestyle. An additional DIA1-related gene we named DIA1-Like (DIA1L, lacks a signal peptide and is restricted to the genomes of the echinoderm Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae. Evidence for remarkable DIA1L gene expansion was found in B. floridae. Amino acid alignments of DIA1 family gene products revealed a potential Golgi-retention motif and a number of conserved motifs with unknown function. Furthermore, a glycine and three cysteine residues were absolutely conserved in all DIA1-family proteins, indicating a critical role in protein structure and/or function. We have therefore identified a new metazoan protein family, the DIA1-family, and understanding the biological roles of DIA1-family members will have implications for our understanding of autism and mental

  12. Abundance, distribution and diversity of gelatinous predators along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge: A comparison of different sampling methodologies.

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    Aino Hosia

    Full Text Available The diversity and distribution of gelatinous zooplankton were investigated along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR from June to August 2004.Here, we present results from macrozooplankton trawl sampling, as well as comparisons made between five different methodologies that were employed during the MAR-ECO survey. In total, 16 species of hydromedusae, 31 species of siphonophores and four species of scyphozoans were identified to species level from macrozooplankton trawl samples. Additional taxa were identified to higher taxonomic levels and a single ctenophore genus was observed. Samples were collected at 17 stations along the MAR between the Azores and Iceland. A divergence in the species assemblages was observed at the southern limit of the Subpolar Frontal Zone. The catch composition of gelatinous zooplankton is compared between different sampling methodologies including: a macrozooplankton trawl; a Multinet; a ringnet attached to bottom trawl; and optical platforms (Underwater Video Profiler (UVP & Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV. Different sampling methodologies are shown to exhibit selectivity towards different groups of gelatinous zooplankton. Only ~21% of taxa caught during the survey were caught by both the macrozooplankton trawl and the Multinet when deployed at the same station. The estimates of gelatinous zooplankton abundance calculated using these two gear types also varied widely (1.4 ± 0.9 individuals 1000 m-3 estimated by the macrozooplankton trawl vs. 468.3 ± 315.4 individuals 1000 m-3 estimated by the Multinet (mean ± s.d. when used at the same stations (n = 6. While it appears that traditional net sampling can generate useful data on pelagic cnidarians, comparisons with results from the optical platforms suggest that ctenophore diversity and abundance are consistently underestimated, particularly when net sampling is conducted in combination with formalin fixation. The results emphasise the importance of considering

  13. Abundance, distribution and diversity of gelatinous predators along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge: A comparison of different sampling methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkenhaug, Tone; Baxter, Emily J.

    2017-01-01

    The diversity and distribution of gelatinous zooplankton were investigated along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) from June to August 2004.Here, we present results from macrozooplankton trawl sampling, as well as comparisons made between five different methodologies that were employed during the MAR-ECO survey. In total, 16 species of hydromedusae, 31 species of siphonophores and four species of scyphozoans were identified to species level from macrozooplankton trawl samples. Additional taxa were identified to higher taxonomic levels and a single ctenophore genus was observed. Samples were collected at 17 stations along the MAR between the Azores and Iceland. A divergence in the species assemblages was observed at the southern limit of the Subpolar Frontal Zone. The catch composition of gelatinous zooplankton is compared between different sampling methodologies including: a macrozooplankton trawl; a Multinet; a ringnet attached to bottom trawl; and optical platforms (Underwater Video Profiler (UVP) & Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)). Different sampling methodologies are shown to exhibit selectivity towards different groups of gelatinous zooplankton. Only ~21% of taxa caught during the survey were caught by both the macrozooplankton trawl and the Multinet when deployed at the same station. The estimates of gelatinous zooplankton abundance calculated using these two gear types also varied widely (1.4 ± 0.9 individuals 1000 m-3 estimated by the macrozooplankton trawl vs. 468.3 ± 315.4 individuals 1000 m-3 estimated by the Multinet (mean ± s.d.) when used at the same stations (n = 6). While it appears that traditional net sampling can generate useful data on pelagic cnidarians, comparisons with results from the optical platforms suggest that ctenophore diversity and abundance are consistently underestimated, particularly when net sampling is conducted in combination with formalin fixation. The results emphasise the importance of considering sampling methodology

  14. Biodiversity Meets Neuroscience: From the Sequencing Ship (Ship-Seq) to Deciphering Parallel Evolution of Neural Systems in Omic's Era.

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    Moroz, Leonid L

    2015-12-01

    The origins of neural systems and centralized brains are one of the major transitions in evolution. These events might occur more than once over 570-600 million years. The convergent evolution of neural circuits is evident from a diversity of unique adaptive strategies implemented by ctenophores, cnidarians, acoels, molluscs, and basal deuterostomes. But, further integration of biodiversity research and neuroscience is required to decipher critical events leading to development of complex integrative and cognitive functions. Here, we outline reference species and interdisciplinary approaches in reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems. In the "omic" era, it is now possible to establish fully functional genomics laboratories aboard of oceanic ships and perform sequencing and real-time analyses of data at any oceanic location (named here as Ship-Seq). In doing so, fragile, rare, cryptic, and planktonic organisms, or even entire marine ecosystems, are becoming accessible directly to experimental and physiological analyses by modern analytical tools. Thus, we are now in a position to take full advantages from countless "experiments" Nature performed for us in the course of 3.5 billion years of biological evolution. Together with progress in computational and comparative genomics, evolutionary neuroscience, proteomic and developmental biology, a new surprising picture is emerging that reveals many ways of how nervous systems evolved. As a result, this symposium provides a unique opportunity to revisit old questions about the origins of biological complexity. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Ontogeny reversal and phylogenetic analysis of Turritopsis sp.5 (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Oceaniidae, a possible new species endemic to Xiamen, China

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    Jun-yuan Li

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Ontogeny reversal, as seen in some cnidarians, is an unprecedented phenomenon in the animal kingdom involving reversal of the ordinary life cycle. Three species of Turritopsis have been shown to be capable of inverted metamorphosis, a process in which the pelagic medusa transforms back into a juvenile benthic polyp stage when faced with adverse conditions. Turritopsis sp.5 is a species of Turritopsis collected from Xiamen, China which presents a similar ability, being able to reverse its life cycle if injured by mechanical stress. Phylogenetic analysis based on both 16S rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI genetic barcodes shows that Turritopsis sp.5 is phylogenetically clustered in a clade separate from other species of Turritopsis. The genetic distance between T. sp.5 and the Japanese species T. sp.2 is the shortest, when measured by the Kimura 2-Parameter metric, and the distance to the New Zealand species T. rubra is the largest. An experimental assay on the induction of reverse development in this species was initiated by cutting medusae into upper and lower parts. We show, for the first time, that the two dissected parts have significantly different potentials to transform into polyps. Also, a series of morphological changes of the reversed life cycle can be recognised, including medusa stage, contraction stage I, contraction stage II, cyst, cyst with stolons, and polyp. The discovery of species capable of reverse ontogeny caused by unfavorable conditions adds to the available systems with which to study the cell types that contribute to the developmental reversal and the molecular mechanisms of the directional determination of ontogeny.

  16. Symbiosis-induced adaptation to oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richier, Sophie; Furla, Paola; Plantivaux, Amandine; Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Allemand, Denis

    2005-01-01

    Cnidarians in symbiosis with photosynthetic protists must withstand daily hyperoxic/anoxic transitions within their host cells. Comparative studies between symbiotic (Anemonia viridis) and non-symbiotic (Actinia schmidti) sea anemones show striking differences in their response to oxidative stress. First, the basal expression of SOD is very different. Symbiotic animal cells have a higher isoform diversity (number and classes) and a higher activity than the non-symbiotic cells. Second, the symbiotic animal cells of A. viridis also maintain unaltered basal values for cellular damage when exposed to experimental hyperoxia (100% O(2)) or to experimental thermal stress (elevated temperature +7 degrees C above ambient). Under such conditions, A. schmidti modifies its SOD activity significantly. Electrophoretic patterns diversify, global activities diminish and cell damage biomarkers increase. These data suggest symbiotic cells adapt to stress while non-symbiotic cells remain acutely sensitive. In addition to being toxic, high O(2) partial pressure (P(O(2))) may also constitute a preconditioning step for symbiotic animal cells, leading to an adaptation to the hyperoxic condition and, thus, to oxidative stress. Furthermore, in aposymbiotic animal cells of A. viridis, repression of some animal SOD isoforms is observed. Meanwhile, in cultured symbionts, new activity bands are induced, suggesting that the host might protect its zooxanthellae in hospite. Similar results have been observed in other symbiotic organisms, such as the sea anemone Aiptasia pulchella and the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata. Molecular or physical interactions between the two symbiotic partners may explain such variations in SOD activity and might confer oxidative stress tolerance to the animal host.

  17. Light and vision in the deep-sea benthos: I. Bioluminescence at 500-1000 m depth in the Bahamian islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnsen, Sönke; Frank, Tamara M; Haddock, Steven H D; Widder, Edith A; Messing, Charles G

    2012-10-01

    Bioluminescence is common and well studied in mesopelagic species. However, the extent of bioluminescence in benthic sites of similar depths is far less studied, although the relatively large eyes of benthic fish, crustaceans and cephalopods at bathyal depths suggest the presence of significant biogenic light. Using the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible, we collected numerous species of cnidarians, echinoderms, crustaceans, cephalopods and sponges, as well as one annelid from three sites in the northern Bahamas (500-1000 m depth). Using mechanical and chemical stimulation, we tested the collected species for light emission, and photographed and measured the spectra of the emitted light. In addition, in situ intensified video and still photos were taken of different benthic habitats. Surprisingly, bioluminescence in benthic animals at these sites was far less common than in mesopelagic animals from similar depths, with less than 20% of the collected species emitting light. Bioluminescent taxa comprised two species of anemone (Actinaria), a new genus and species of flabellate Parazoanthidae (formerly Gerardia sp.) (Zoanthidea), three sea pens (Pennatulacea), three bamboo corals (Alcyonacea), the chrysogorgiid coral Chrysogorgia desbonni (Alcyonacea), the caridean shrimp Parapandalus sp. and Heterocarpus ensifer (Decapoda), two holothuroids (Elasipodida and Aspidochirota) and the ophiuroid Ophiochiton ternispinus (Ophiurida). Except for the ophiuroid and the two shrimp, which emitted blue light (peak wavelengths 470 and 455 nm), all the species produced greener light than that measured in most mesopelagic taxa, with the emissions of the pennatulaceans being strongly shifted towards longer wavelengths. In situ observations suggested that bioluminescence associated with these sites was due primarily to light emitted by bioluminescent planktonic species as they struck filter feeders that extended into the water column.

  18. Gene Expression Data from the Moon Jelly, Aurelia, Provide Insights into the Evolution of the Combinatorial Code Controlling Animal Sense Organ Development.

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    Nagayasu Nakanishi

    Full Text Available In Bilateria, Pax6, Six, Eya and Dach families of transcription factors underlie the development and evolution of morphologically and phyletically distinct eyes, including the compound eyes in Drosophila and the camera-type eyes in vertebrates, indicating that bilaterian eyes evolved under the strong influence of ancestral developmental gene regulation. However the conservation in eye developmental genetics deeper in the Eumetazoa, and the origin of the conserved gene regulatory apparatus controlling eye development remain unclear due to limited comparative developmental data from Cnidaria. Here we show in the eye-bearing scyphozoan cnidarian Aurelia that the ectodermal photosensory domain of the developing medusa sensory structure known as the rhopalium expresses sine oculis (so/six1/2 and eyes absent/eya, but not optix/six3/6 or pax (A&B. In addition, the so and eya co-expression domain encompasses the region of active cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and mechanoreceptor development in rhopalia. Consistent with the role of so and eya in rhopalial development, developmental transcriptome data across Aurelia life cycle stages show upregulation of so and eya, but not optix or pax (A&B, during medusa formation. Moreover, pax6 and dach are absent in the Aurelia genome, and thus are not required for eye development in Aurelia. Our data are consistent with so and eya, but not optix, pax or dach, having conserved functions in sensory structure specification across Eumetazoa. The lability of developmental components including Pax genes relative to so-eya is consistent with a model of sense organ development and evolution that involved the lineage specific modification of a combinatorial code that specifies animal sense organs.

  19. MetaSINEs: Broad Distribution of a Novel SINE Superfamily in Animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishihara, Hidenori; Plazzi, Federico; Passamonti, Marco; Okada, Norihiro

    2016-02-12

    SINEs (short interspersed elements) are transposable elements that typically originate independently in each taxonomic clade (order/family). However, some SINE families share a highly similar central sequence and are thus categorized as a SINE superfamily. Although only four SINE superfamilies (CORE-SINEs, V-SINEs, DeuSINEs, and Ceph-SINEs) have been reported so far, it is expected that new SINE superfamilies would be discovered by deep exploration of new SINEs in metazoan genomes. Here we describe 15 SINEs, among which 13 are novel, that have a similar 66-bp central region and therefore constitute a new SINE superfamily, MetaSINEs. MetaSINEs are distributed from fish to cnidarians, suggesting their common evolutionary origin at least 640 Ma. Because the 3' tails of MetaSINEs are variable, these SINEs most likely survived by changing their partner long interspersed elements for retrotransposition during evolution. Furthermore, we examined the presence of members of other SINE superfamilies in bivalve genomes and characterized eight new SINEs belonging to the CORE-SINEs, V-SINEs, and DeuSINEs, in addition to the MetaSINEs. The broad distribution of bivalve SINEs suggests that at least three SINEs originated in the common ancestor of Bivalvia. Our comparative analysis of the central domains of the SINEs revealed that, in each superfamily, only a restricted region is shared among all of its members. Because the functions of the central domains of the SINE superfamilies remain unknown, such structural information of SINE superfamilies will be useful for future experimental and comparative analyses to reveal why they have been retained in metazoan genomes during evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  20. Two-Step Evolution of Endosymbiosis between Hydra and Algae

    KAUST Repository

    Ishikawa, Masakazu

    2016-07-09

    In the Hydra vulgaris group, only 2 of the 25 strains in the collection of the National Institute of Genetics in Japan currently show endosymbiosis with green algae. However, whether the other non-symbiotic strains also have the potential to harbor algae remains unknown. The endosymbiotic potential of non-symbiotic strains that can harbor algae may have been acquired before or during divergence of the strains. With the aim of understanding the evolutionary process of endosymbiosis in the H. vulgaris group, we examined the endosymbiotic potential of non-symbiotic strains of the H. vulgaris group by artificially introducing endosymbiotic algae. We found that 12 of the 23 non-symbiotic strains were able to harbor the algae until reaching the grand-offspring through the asexual reproduction by budding. Moreover, a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial genome sequences showed that all the strains with endosymbiotic potential grouped into a single cluster (cluster γ). This cluster contained two strains (J7 and J10) that currently harbor algae; however, these strains were not the closest relatives. These results suggest that evolution of endosymbiosis occurred in two steps; first, endosymbiotic potential was gained once in the ancestor of the cluster γ lineage; second, strains J7 and J10 obtained algae independently after the divergence of the strains. By demonstrating the evolution of the endosymbiotic potential in non-symbiotic H. vulgaris group strains, we have clearly distinguished two evolutionary steps. The step-by-step evolutionary process provides significant insight into the evolution of endosymbiosis in cnidarians.

  1. Wnt and TGF-beta expression in the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and the origin of metazoan embryonic patterning.

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    Maja Adamska

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The origin of metazoan development and differentiation was contingent upon the evolution of cell adhesion, communication and cooperation mechanisms. While components of many of the major cell signalling pathways have been identified in a range of sponges (phylum Porifera, their roles in development have not been investigated and remain largely unknown. Here, we take the first steps toward reconstructing the developmental signalling systems used in the last common ancestor to living sponges and eumetazoans by studying the expression of genes encoding Wnt and TGF-beta signalling ligands during the embryonic development of a sponge.Using resources generated in the recent sponge Amphimedon queenslandica (Demospongiae genome project, we have recovered genes encoding Wnt and TGF-beta signalling ligands that are critical in patterning metazoan embryos. Both genes are expressed from the earliest stages of Amphimedon embryonic development in highly dynamic patterns. At the time when the Amphimedon embryos begin to display anterior-posterior polarity, Wnt expression becomes localised to the posterior pole and this expression continues until the swimming larva stage. In contrast, TGF-beta expression is highest at the anterior pole. As in complex animals, sponge Wnt and TGF-beta expression patterns intersect later in development during the patterning of a sub-community of cells that form a simple tissue-like structure, the pigment ring. Throughout development, Wnt and TGF-beta are expressed radially along the anterior-posterior axis.We infer from the expression of Wnt and TGF-beta in Amphimedon that the ancestor that gave rise to sponges, cnidarians and bilaterians had already evolved the capacity to direct the formation of relatively sophisticated body plans, with axes and tissues. The radially symmetrical expression patterns of Wnt and TGF-beta along the anterior-posterior axis of sponge embryos and larvae suggest that these signalling pathways

  2. Interspecific Variation in Coral Settlement and Fertilization Success in Response to Hydrogen Peroxide Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, C; Fogarty, N D; Ritson-Williams, R; Paul, V J

    2017-12-01

    Hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) is involved in the regulation of numerous reproductive and morphogenic processes across an array of taxa. Extracellular H 2 O 2 can be widespread in oceanic waters, and elevated sea surface temperatures can cause increased levels of intracellular H 2 O 2 within cnidarian tissue, but it remains unclear how this compound affects early life-history processes in corals, such as fertilization, metamorphosis, and settlement. To evaluate the effects of H 2 O 2 on multiple stages of recruitment, experiments were conducted using Caribbean corals with various reproductive modes, including the brooders Porites astreoides and Favia fragum and the broadcast-spawning species Acropora palmata and Orbicella franksi. H 2 O 2 accelerated settlement in all brooding species tested. Concentrations of 1000 µmol l -1 H 2 O 2 caused close to 100% settlement in all larval age classes, regardless of exposure duration. As larvae aged, the required threshold of H 2 O 2 capable of inducing settlement decreased. In contrast, H 2 O 2 concentrations of 100 µmol l -1 or greater caused a significant reduction in metamorphosis and settlement in the larvae of spawners. Furthermore, fertilization of their gametes was inhibited in the presence of H 2 O 2 concentrations as low as 100 µmol l -1 . In Porites astreoides larvae, internal levels of H 2 O 2 reached a maximal value of 75 µmol l -1 following 48 h of incubation at 31 °C. This concentration was found to significantly alter settlement rates in both brooding coral species and likely induced a cellular cascade in the settlement signaling pathway. The results of this study suggest that temperature stress influences H 2 O 2 production, which in turn impacts coral settlement. While it is unlikely that the current levels of externally derived concentrations of oceanic H 2 O 2 are affecting coral larvae, internal concentrations (produced under heat stress) have the capacity to impact recruitment under a changing climate.

  3. Glucose-Induced Trophic Shift in an Endosymbiont Dinoflagellate with Physiological and Molecular Consequences1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinkerson, Robert E.; Clowez, Sophie; Onishi, Masayuki; Cleves, Phillip A.; Pringle, John R.

    2018-01-01

    Interactions between the dinoflagellate endosymbiont Symbiodinium and its cnidarian hosts (e.g. corals, sea anemones) are the foundation of coral-reef ecosystems. Carbon flow between the partners is a hallmark of this mutualism, but the mechanisms governing this flow and its impact on symbiosis remain poorly understood. We showed previously that although Symbiodinium strain SSB01 can grow photoautotrophically, it can grow mixotrophically or heterotrophically when supplied with Glc, a metabolite normally transferred from the alga to its host. Here we show that Glc supplementation of SSB01 cultures causes a loss of pigmentation and photosynthetic activity, disorganization of thylakoid membranes, accumulation of lipid bodies, and alterations of cell-surface morphology. We used global transcriptome analyses to determine if these physiological changes were correlated with changes in gene expression. Glc-supplemented cells exhibited a marked reduction in levels of plastid transcripts encoding photosynthetic proteins, although most nuclear-encoded transcripts (including those for proteins involved in lipid synthesis and formation of the extracellular matrix) exhibited little change in their abundances. However, the altered carbon metabolism in Glc-supplemented cells was correlated with modest alterations (approximately 2x) in the levels of some nuclear-encoded transcripts for sugar transporters. Finally, Glc-bleached SSB01 cells appeared unable to efficiently populate anemone larvae. Together, these results suggest links between energy metabolism and cellular physiology, morphology, and symbiotic interactions. However, the results also show that in contrast to many other organisms, Symbiodinium can undergo dramatic physiological changes that are not reflected by major changes in the abundances of nuclear-encoded transcripts and thus presumably reflect posttranscriptional regulatory processes. PMID:29217594

  4. Maristem—Stem Cells of Marine/Aquatic Invertebrates: From Basic Research to Innovative Applications

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    Loriano Ballarin

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The “stem cells” discipline represents one of the most dynamic areas in biomedicine. While adult marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cell (MISC biology is of prime research and medical interest, studies on stem cells from organisms outside the classical vertebrate (e.g., human, mouse, and zebrafish and invertebrate (e.g., Drosophila, Caenorhabditis models have not been pursued vigorously. Marine/aquatic invertebrates constitute the largest biodiversity and the widest phylogenetic radiation on Earth, from morphologically simple organisms (e.g., sponges, cnidarians, to the more complex mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms, and protochordates. These organisms contain a kaleidoscope of MISC-types that allow the production of a large number of novel bioactive-molecules, many of which are of significant potential interest for human health. MISCs further participate in aging and regeneration phenomena, including whole-body regeneration. For years, the European MISC-community has been highly fragmented and has established scarce ties with biomedical industries in an attempt to harness MISCs for human welfare. Thus, it is important to (i consolidate the European community of researchers working on MISCs; (ii promote and coordinate European research on MISC biology; (iii stimulate young researchers to embark on research in MISC-biology; (iv develop, validate, and share novel MISC tools and methodologies; (v establish the MISC discipline as a forefront interest of biomedical disciplines, including nanobiomedicine; and (vi establish collaborations with industries to exploit MISCs as sources of bioactive molecules. In order to fill the recognized gaps, the EC-COST Action 16203 “MARISTEM” has recently been launched. At its initial stage, the consortium unites 26 scientists from EC countries, Cooperating countries, and Near Neighbor Countries.

  5. Regulation of apoptotic mediators reveals dynamic responses to thermal stress in the reef building coral Acropora millepora.

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    Mathieu Pernice

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mass coral bleaching is increasing in scale and frequency across the world's coral reefs and is being driven primarily by increased levels of thermal stress arising from global warming. In order to understand the impacts of projected climate change upon corals reefs, it is important to elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms that operate during coral bleaching and subsequent mortality. In this respect, increased apoptotic cell death activity is an important cellular process that is associated with the breakdown of the mutualistic symbiosis between the cnidarian host and their dinoflagellate symbionts.The PRESENT study reports the impacts of different stressors (colchicine and heat stress on three phases of apoptosis: (i the potential initiation by differential expression of Bcl-2 members, (ii the execution of apoptotic events by activation of caspase 3-like proteases and (iii and finally, the cell disposal indicated by DNA fragmentation in the reef building coral Acropora millepora. In corals incubated with colchicine, an increase in caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation was associated with a relative down-regulation of Bcl-2, suggesting that the initiation of apoptosis may be mediated by the suppression of an anti-apoptotic mechanism. In contrast, in the early steps of heat stress, the induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis was related to a relative up-regulation of Bcl-2 consecutively followed by a delayed decrease in apoptosis activity.In the light of these results, we propose a model of heat stress in coral hosts whereby increasing temperatures engage activation of caspase 3-dependent apoptosis in cells designated for termination, but also the onset of a delayed protective response involving overexpression of Bcl-2 in surviving cells. This mitigating response to thermal stress could conceivably be an important regulatory mechanism for cell survival in corals exposed to sudden environmental changes.

  6. Increased cell proliferation and mucocyte density in the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida recovering from bleaching.

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    David Fransolet

    Full Text Available Recovery of coral after bleaching episodes is a critical period for the health of the reef ecosystem. While events such as symbiont (genus Symbiodinium shifting/shuffling or tissue apoptosis have been demonstrated to occur following bleaching, little is known concerning tissue recovery or cell proliferation. Here, we studied the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida exposed to a transient elevation of water temperature combined with high illumination (33°C and 1900 µmol photons x m(-2 x s(-1 for 30 h. Following such treatment bleached anemones showed a significant reduction of their Symbiodinium density. Cell proliferation in the ectodermis and gastrodermis was determined by assessing the densities of cells labeled with a thymidine analogue (EdU. Cell proliferation significantly increased during the first day following stress in both tissue types. This increased cell proliferation returned to pre-stress values after one week. Although cell proliferation was higher in the ectodermis in absence of stress, it was relatively more pronounced in the gastrodermis of stressed anemones. In addition, the ratio of ectodermal mucocytes significantly increased three weeks after induced stress. These results suggest that thermal/photic stress coupled with the loss of the symbionts is able to enhance cell proliferation in both gastrodermis and ectodermis of cnidarians. While new cells formed in the gastrodermis are likely to host new Symbiodinium, the fate of new cells in the ectodermis was only partially revealed. Some new ectodermal cells may, in part, contribute to the increased number of mucocytes which could eventually help strengthen the heterotrophic state until restoration of the symbiosis.

  7. Microfluidic Actuation of Carbon Nanotube Fibers for Neural Recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vercosa, Daniel G.

    Implantable devices to record and stimulate neural circuits have led to breakthroughs in neuroscience; however, technologies capable of electrical recording at the cellular level typically rely on rigid metals that poorly match the mechanical properties of soft brain tissue. As a result these electrodes often cause extensive acute and chronic injury, leading to short electrode lifetime. Recently, flexible electrodes such as Carbon Nanotube fibers (CNTf) have emerged as an attractive alternative to conventional electrodes and studies have shown that these flexible electrodes reduce neuro-inflammation and increase the quality and longevity of neural recordings. Insertion of these new compliant electrodes, however, remains challenge. The stiffening agents necessary to make the electrodes rigid enough to be inserted increases device footprint, which exacerbates brain damage during implantation. To overcome this challenge we have developed a novel technology to precisely implant and actuate high-performance, flexible carbon nanotube fiber (CNTf) microelectrodes without using a stiffening agents or shuttles. Instead, our technology uses drag forces within a microfluidic device to drive electrodes into tissue while minimizing the amount of fluid that is ejected into the tissue. In vitro experiments in brain phantoms, show that microfluidic actuated CNTf can be implanted at least 4.5 mm depth with 30 microm precision, while keeping the total volume of fluid ejected below 0.1 microL. As proof of concept, we inserted CNTfs in the small cnidarian Hydra littoralis and observed compound action potentials corresponding to contractions and in agreement with the literature. Additionally, brain slices extracted from transgenic mice were used to show that our device can be used to record spontaneous and light evoked activity from the cortex and deep brain regions such as the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). Overall our microfluidic actuation technology provides a platform for

  8. How was the notochord born?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satoh, Nori; Tagawa, Kuni; Takahashi, Hiroki

    2012-01-01

    More than 550 million years ago, chordates originated from a common ancestor shared with nonchordate deuterostomes by developing a novel type of larva, the "tadpole larva." The notochord is the supporting organ of the larval tail and the most prominent feature of chordates; indeed, phylum Chordata is named after this organ. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of the notochord over the course of chordate evolution with a special emphasis on a member of T-box gene family, Brachyury. Comparison of the decoded genome of a unicellular choanoflagellate with the genomes of sponge and cnidarians suggests that T-box gene family arose at the time of the evolution of multicellular animals. Gastrulation is a morphogenetic movement that is essential for the formation of two- or three-germ-layered embryos. Brachyury is transiently expressed in the blastopore (bp) region, where it confers on cells the ability to undergo invagination. This process is involved in the formation of the archenteron in all metazoans. This is a "primary" function of Brachyury. During the evolution of chordates, Brachyury gained an additional expression domain at the dorsal midline region of the bp. In this new expression domain, Brachyury served its "secondary" function, recruiting another set of target genes to form a dorsal axial organ, notochord. The Wnt/β-catenin, BMP/Nodal, and FGF-signaling pathways are involved in the transcriptional activation of Brachyury. We discuss the molecular mechanisms of Brachyury secondary function in the context of the dorsal-ventral (D-V) inversion theory and the aboral-dorsalization hypothesis. Although the scope of this review requires some degree of oversimplification of Brachyury function, it is beneficial to facilitate studies on the notochord formation, a central evolutionary developmental biology problem in the history of metazoan evolution, pointed out first by Alexander Kowalevsky. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Structure and evolution of N-domains in AAA metalloproteases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharfenberg, Franka; Serek-Heuberger, Justyna; Coles, Murray; Hartmann, Marcus D; Habeck, Michael; Martin, Jörg; Lupas, Andrei N; Alva, Vikram

    2015-02-27

    Metalloproteases of the AAA (ATPases associated with various cellular activities) family play a crucial role in protein quality control within the cytoplasmic membrane of bacteria and the inner membrane of eukaryotic organelles. These membrane-anchored hexameric enzymes are composed of an N-terminal domain with one or two transmembrane helices, a central AAA ATPase module, and a C-terminal Zn(2+)-dependent protease. While the latter two domains have been well studied, so far, little is known about the N-terminal regions. Here, in an extensive bioinformatic and structural analysis, we identified three major, non-homologous groups of N-domains in AAA metalloproteases. By far, the largest one is the FtsH-like group of bacteria and eukaryotic organelles. The other two groups are specific to Yme1: one found in plants, fungi, and basal metazoans and the other one found exclusively in animals. Using NMR and crystallography, we determined the subunit structure and hexameric assembly of Escherichia coli FtsH-N, exhibiting an unusual α+β fold, and the conserved part of fungal Yme1-N from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, revealing a tetratricopeptide repeat fold. Our bioinformatic analysis showed that, uniquely among these proteins, the N-domain of Yme1 from the cnidarian Hydra vulgaris contains both the tetratricopeptide repeat region seen in basal metazoans and a region of homology to the N-domains of animals. Thus, it is a modern-day representative of an intermediate in the evolution of animal Yme1 from basal eukaryotic precursors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. A review of nickel toxicity to marine and estuarine tropical biota with particular reference to the South East Asian and Melanesian region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gissi, Francesca; Stauber, Jennifer L; Binet, Monique T; Golding, Lisa A; Adams, Merrin S; Schlekat, Christian E; Garman, Emily R; Jolley, Dianne F

    2016-11-01

    The South East Asian Melanesian (SEAM) region contains the world's largest deposits of nickel lateritic ores. Environmental impacts may occur if mining operations are not adequately managed. Effects data for tropical ecosystems are required to assess risks of contaminant exposure and to derive water quality guidelines (WQG) to manage these risks. Currently, risk assessment tools and WQGs for the tropics are limited due to the sparse research on how contaminants impact tropical biota. As part of a larger project to develop appropriate risk assessment tools to ensure sustainable nickel production in SEAM, nickel effects data were required. The aim of this review was to compile data on the effects of nickel on tropical marine, estuarine, pelagic and benthic species, with a particular focus on SEAM. There were limited high quality chronic nickel toxicity data for tropical marine species, and even fewer for those relevant to SEAM. Of the data available, the most sensitive SEAM species to nickel were a sea urchin, copepod and anemone. There is a significant lack of high quality chronic data for several ecologically important taxonomic groups including cnidarians, molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, macroalgae and fish. No high quality chronic nickel toxicity data were available for estuarine waters or marine and estuarine sediments. The very sparse toxicity data for tropical species limits our ability to conduct robust ecological risk assessment and may require additional data generation or read-across from similar species in other databases (e.g. temperate) to fill data gaps. Recommendations on testing priorities to fill these data gaps are presented. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Stylophora pistillata in the Red Sea demonstrate higher GFP fluorescence under ocean acidification conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinblat, Mila; Fine, Maoz; Tikochinski, Yaron; Loya, Yossi

    2018-03-01

    Ocean acidification is thought to exert a major impact on calcifying organisms, including corals. While previous studies have reported changes in the physiological response of corals to environmental change, none have described changes in expression of the ubiquitous host pigments—fluorescent proteins (FPs)—to ocean acidification. The function of FPs in corals is controversial, with the most common consideration being that these primarily regulate the light environment in the coral tissue and protect the host from harmful UV radiation. Here, we provide for the first time experimental evidence that increased fluorescence of colonies of the coral Stylophora pistillata is independent of stress and can be regulated by a non-stressful decrease in pH. Stylophora pistillata is the most abundant and among the most resilient coral species in the northern Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba (GoE/A). Fragmented "sub-colonies" ( n = 72) incubated for 33 days under three pH treatments (ambient, 7.9, and 7.6), under ambient light, and running seawater showed no stress or adverse physiological performance, but did display significantly higher fluorescence, with lower pH. Neither the average number of planulae shed from the experimental sub-colonies nor planulae green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression changed significantly among pH treatments. Sub-colonies incubated under the lower-than-ambient pH conditions showed an increase in both total protein and GFP expression. Since extensive protein synthesis requires a high level of transcription, we suggest that GFP constitutes a UV protection mechanism against potential RNA as well as against DNA damage caused by UV exposure. Manipulating the regulation of FPs in adult corals and planulae, under controlled and combined effects of pH, light, and temperature, is crucial if we are to obtain a better understanding of the role played by this group of proteins in cnidarians.

  12. The evolution of the dystroglycan complex, a major mediator of muscle integrity

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    Josephine C. Adams

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Basement membrane (BM extracellular matrices are crucial for the coordination of different tissue layers. A matrix adhesion receptor that is important for BM function and stability in many mammalian tissues is the dystroglycan (DG complex. This comprises the non-covalently-associated extracellular α-DG, that interacts with laminin in the BM, and the transmembrane β-DG, that interacts principally with dystrophin to connect to the actin cytoskeleton. Mutations in dystrophin, DG, or several enzymes that glycosylate α-DG underlie severe forms of human muscular dystrophy. Nonwithstanding the pathophysiological importance of the DG complex and its fundamental interest as a non-integrin system of cell-ECM adhesion, the evolution of DG and its interacting proteins is not understood. We analysed the phylogenetic distribution of DG, its proximal binding partners and key processing enzymes in extant metazoan and relevant outgroups. We identify that DG originated after the divergence of ctenophores from porifera and eumetazoa. The C-terminal half of the DG core protein is highly-conserved, yet the N-terminal region, that includes the laminin-binding region, has undergone major lineage-specific divergences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the C-terminal IG2_MAT_NU region identified three distinct clades corresponding to deuterostomes, arthropods, and mollusks/early-diverging metazoans. Whereas the glycosyltransferases that modify α-DG are also present in choanoflagellates, the DG-binding proteins dystrophin and laminin originated at the base of the metazoa, and DG-associated sarcoglycan is restricted to cnidarians and bilaterians. These findings implicate extensive functional diversification of DG within invertebrate lineages and identify the laminin-DG-dystrophin axis as a conserved adhesion system that evolved subsequent to integrin-ECM adhesion, likely to enhance the functional complexity of cell-BM interactions in early metazoans.

  13. Molecular phylogeny of the bivalve superfamily Galeommatoidea (Heterodonta, Veneroida) reveals dynamic evolution of symbiotic lifestyle and interphylum host switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Galeommatoidea is a superfamily of bivalves that exhibits remarkably diverse lifestyles. Many members of this group live attached to the body surface or inside the burrows of other marine invertebrates, including crustaceans, holothurians, echinoids, cnidarians, sipunculans and echiurans. These symbiotic species exhibit high host specificity, commensal interactions with hosts, and extreme morphological and behavioral adaptations to symbiotic life. Host specialization to various animal groups has likely played an important role in the evolution and diversification of this bivalve group. However, the evolutionary pathway that led to their ecological diversity is not well understood, in part because of their reduced and/or highly modified morphologies that have confounded traditional taxonomy. This study elucidates the taxonomy of the Galeommatoidea and their evolutionary history of symbiotic lifestyle based on a molecular phylogenic analysis of 33 galeommatoidean and five putative galeommatoidean species belonging to 27 genera and three families using two nuclear ribosomal genes (18S and 28S ribosomal DNA) and a nuclear (histone H3) and mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase subunit I) protein-coding genes. Results Molecular phylogeny recovered six well-supported major clades within Galeommatoidea. Symbiotic species were found in all major clades, whereas free-living species were grouped into two major clades. Species symbiotic with crustaceans, holothurians, sipunculans, and echiurans were each found in multiple major clades, suggesting that host specialization to these animal groups occurred repeatedly in Galeommatoidea. Conclusions Our results suggest that the evolutionary history of host association in Galeommatoidea has been remarkably dynamic, involving frequent host switches between different animal phyla. Such an unusual pattern of dynamic host switching is considered to have resulted from their commensalistic lifestyle, in which they maintain filter

  14. Nitrogen-deprivation elevates lipid levels in Symbiodinium spp. by lipid droplet accumulation: morphological and compositional analyses.

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    Pei-Luen Jiang

    Full Text Available Stable cnidarian-dinoflagellate (genus Symbiodinium endosymbioses depend on the regulation of nutrient transport between Symbiodinium populations and their hosts. It has been previously shown that the host cytosol is a nitrogen-deficient environment for the intracellular Symbiodinium and may act to limit growth rates of symbionts during the symbiotic association. This study aimed to investigate the cell proliferation, as well as ultrastructural and lipid compositional changes, in free-living Symbiodinium spp. (clade B upon nitrogen (N-deprivation. The cell proliferation of the N-deprived cells decreased significantly. Furthermore, staining with a fluorescent probe, boron dipyrromethane 493/503 (BODIPY 493/503, indicated that lipid contents progressively accumulated in the N-deprived cells. Lipid analyses further showed that both triacylglycerol (TAG and cholesterol ester (CE were drastically enriched, with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA; i.e., docosahexaenoic acid, heneicosapentaenoic acid, and oleic acid became more abundant. Ultrastructural examinations showed that the increase in concentration of these lipid species was due to the accumulation of lipid droplets (LDs, a cellular feature that have previously shown to be pivotal in the maintenance of intact endosymbioses. Integrity of these stable LDs was maintained via electronegative repulsion and steric hindrance possibly provided by their surface proteins. Proteomic analyses of these LDs identified proteins putatively involved in lipid metabolism, signaling, stress response and energy metabolism. These results suggest that LDs production may be an adaptive response that enables Symbiodinium to maintain sufficient cellular energy stores for survival under the N-deprived conditions in the host cytoplasm.

  15. Differential accumulation of heavy metals in the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima as a function of symbiotic state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchelmore, Carys L.; Alan Verde, E.; Ringwood, Amy H.; Weis, Virginia M.

    2003-01-01

    The accumulation of metals by the North American Pacific Coast temperate sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima, and its dinoflagellate-algal symbiont Symbiodinium muscatinei was examined following laboratory metal exposures. Both, naturally occurring symbiotic and symbiont-free (aposymbiotic) anemones were used in this study to investigate differences in metal uptake due to the symbiotic state of the animal. The effects of metal exposures on the anemone-algal symbiosis were determined using measures of algal cell density and mitotic index (MI). Anemones were exposed to either cadmium, copper, nickel or zinc chloride (0, 10, 100 μg l -1 for Cd, Cu and Ni; 0, 100, 1000 μg l -1 for Zn) for 42 days followed by a 42-day recovery period in ambient seawater. Anemones were analyzed for metal content using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) at various time points during the study. Symbiotic anemones accumulated Cd, Ni and Zn to a greater extent than aposymbiotic anemones. A dramatically different pattern of Cu accumulation was observed, with aposymbiotic anemones accumulating higher levels than symbiotic anemones. Following recovery in ambient seawater, all tissue metal levels were reduced to near pre-exposure control levels in most cases. No changes in algal cell density or MI were observed in symbiotic anemone tentacle clips at any dose or time point in the Cd and Cu exposures. However, significant reductions in algal cell densities were observed in the Ni-exposed and some Zn-exposed animals, although levels returned to control values following recovery. There were no changes in mitotic index (MI) following Ni or Zn exposures. These results demonstrate that the extent of heavy metal accumulation depends upon cnidarian symbiotic state and the heavy metal in question

  16. A fast Na+/Ca2+-based action potential in a marine diatom.

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    Alison R Taylor

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Electrical impulses in animals play essential roles in co-ordinating an array of physiological functions including movement, secretion, environmental sensing and development. Underpinning many of these electrical signals is a fast Na+-based action potential that has been fully characterised only in cells associated with the neuromuscular systems of multicellular animals. Such rapid action potentials are thought to have evolved with the first metazoans, with cnidarians being the earliest representatives. The present study demonstrates that a unicellular protist, the marine diatom Odontella sinensis, can also generate a fast Na+/Ca2+ based action potential that has remarkably similar biophysical and pharmacological properties to invertebrates and vertebrate cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The kinetic, ionic and pharmacological properties of the rapid diatom action potential were examined using single electrode current and voltage clamp techniques. Overall, the characteristics of the fast diatom currents most closely resemble those of vertebrate and invertebrate muscle Na+/Ca2+ currents. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration of voltage-activated Na+ channels and the capacity to generate fast Na+-based action potentials in a unicellular photosynthetic organism. The biophysical and pharmacological characteristics together with the presence of a voltage activated Na+/Ca2+ channel homologue in the recently sequenced genome of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana, provides direct evidence supporting the hypothesis that this rapid signalling mechanism arose in ancestral unicellular eukaryotes and has been retained in at least two phylogenetically distant lineages of eukaryotes; opisthokonts and the stramenopiles. The functional role of the fast animal-like action potential in diatoms remains to be elucidated but is likely involved in rapid environmental sensing of these widespread and

  17. Productivity links morphology, symbiont specificity and bleaching in the evolution of Caribbean octocoral symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, David M; Freeman, Christopher J; Knowlton, Nancy; Thacker, Robert W; Kim, Kiho; Fogel, Marilyn L

    2015-12-01

    Many cnidarians host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. It is generally assumed that the symbiosis is mutualistic, where the host benefits from symbiont photosynthesis while providing protection and photosynthetic substrates. Diverse assemblages of symbiotic gorgonian octocorals can be found in hard bottom communities throughout the Caribbean. While current research has focused on the phylo- and population genetics of gorgonian symbiont types and their photo-physiology, relatively less work has focused on biogeochemical benefits conferred to the host and how these benefits vary across host species. Here we examine this symbiosis among 11 gorgonian species collected in Bocas del Toro, Panama. By coupling light and dark bottle incubations (P/R) with (13)C-bicarbonate tracers, we quantified the link between holobiont oxygen metabolism with carbon assimilation and translocation from symbiont to host. Our data show that P/R varied among species, and was correlated with colony morphology and polyp size. Sea fans and sea plumes were net autotrophs (P/R>1.5), while nine species of sea rods were net heterotrophs with most below compensation (P/R<1.0). (13)C assimilation corroborated the P/R results, and maximum δ(13)Chost values were strongly correlated with polyp size, indicating higher productivity by colonies with high polyp SA:V. A survey of gorgonian-Symbiodinium associations revealed that productive species maintain specialized, obligate symbioses and are more resistant to coral bleaching, whereas generalist and facultative associations are common among sea rods that have higher bleaching sensitivities. Overall, productivity and polyp size had strong phylogenetic signals with carbon fixation and polyp size showing evidence of trait covariance.

  18. Ancient Origin of the CARD–Coiled Coil/Bcl10/MALT1-Like Paracaspase Signaling Complex Indicates Unknown Critical Functions

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    Jens Staal

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The CARD–coiled coil (CC/Bcl10/MALT1-like paracaspase (CBM signaling complexes composed of a CARD–CC family member (CARD-9, -10, -11, or -14, Bcl10, and the type 1 paracaspase MALT1 (PCASP1 play a pivotal role in immunity, inflammation, and cancer. Targeting MALT1 proteolytic activity is of potential therapeutic interest. However, little is known about the evolutionary origin and the original functions of the CBM complex. Type 1 paracaspases originated before the last common ancestor of planulozoa (bilaterians and cnidarians. Notably in bilaterians, Ecdysozoa (e.g., nematodes and insects lacks Bcl10, whereas other lineages have a Bcl10 homolog. A survey of invertebrate CARD–CC homologs revealed such homologs only in species with Bcl10, indicating an ancient common origin of the entire CBM complex. Furthermore, vertebrate-like Syk/Zap70 tyrosine kinase homologs with the ITAM-binding SH2 domain were only found in invertebrate organisms with CARD–CC/Bcl10, indicating that this pathway might be related to the original function of the CBM complex. Moreover, the type 1 paracaspase sequences from invertebrate organisms that have CARD–CC/Bcl10 are more similar to vertebrate paracaspases. Functional analysis of protein–protein interactions, NF-κB signaling, and CYLD cleavage for selected invertebrate type 1 paracaspase and Bcl10 homologs supports this scenario and indicates an ancient origin of the CARD–CC/Bcl10/paracaspase signaling complex. By contrast, many of the known MALT1-associated activities evolved fairly recently, indicating that unknown functions are at the basis of the protein conservation. As a proof-of-concept, we provide initial evidence for a CBM- and NF-κB-independent neuronal function of the Caenorhabditis elegans type 1 paracaspase malt-1. In conclusion, this study shows how evolutionary insights may point at alternative functions of MALT1.

  19. The oldest known priapulid-like scalidophoran animal and its implications for the early evolution of cycloneuralians and ecdysozoans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yunhuan; Xiao, Shuhai; Shao, Tiequan; Broce, Jesse; Zhang, Huaqiao

    2014-05-01

    Morphological phylogenetic analyses suggest that scalidophorans (priapulids, loriciferans, and kinorhynchs) and nematoids (nematodes and nematomorphs) form the ecdysozoan clade Cycloneuralia, which is a sister group to panarthropods. It has been proposed that extant priapulids and Cambrian priapulid-like scalidophorans, because of their conserved evolution, have the potential to illuminate the ancestral morphology, ecology, and developmental biology of highly derived ecdysozoans such as nematods and arthropods. As such, Cambrian fossils, particularly Markuelia and possibly olivooids, can inform the early evolution of scalidophorans, cycloneuralians, and ecdysozoans. However, the scalidophoran Markuelia is known exclusively as embryo fossils, and the olivooids have been alternatively interpreted as cnidarians or cycloneuralians. Here, we describe a post-embryonic scalidophoran fossil Eopriapulites sphinx new genus and species, which represents the oldest known scalidophoran, from the early Cambrian Period (∼535 Ma) in South China. E. sphinx is similar to modern scalidophorans in having an introvert armed with hollow scalids, a collar with coronal scalids, and a pharynx with pharyngeal teeth, but its scalids and pharyngeal teeth are arranged in a hexaradial pattern. Phylogenetically resolved as a stem-group scalidophoran, E. sphinx shares a hexaradial pattern with the hexaradial arrangement of certain anatomical structures in kinorhynchs, loriciferans, nematoids, and Cambrian fossils such as Eolympia pediculata, which could also be a scalidophoran. Thus, the bodyplan of ancestral cycloneuralians may have had a component of hexaradial symmetry (i.e., some but not necessarily all anatomical parts are hexaradially arranged). If panarthropods are nested within paraphyletic cycloneuralians, as several molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest, the ancestral ecdysozoans may have been a legless worm possibly with a component of hexaradial symmetry. © 2014 Wiley

  20. Molecular phylogeny of the bivalve superfamily Galeommatoidea (Heterodonta, Veneroida reveals dynamic evolution of symbiotic lifestyle and interphylum host switching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goto Ryutaro

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Galeommatoidea is a superfamily of bivalves that exhibits remarkably diverse lifestyles. Many members of this group live attached to the body surface or inside the burrows of other marine invertebrates, including crustaceans, holothurians, echinoids, cnidarians, sipunculans and echiurans. These symbiotic species exhibit high host specificity, commensal interactions with hosts, and extreme morphological and behavioral adaptations to symbiotic life. Host specialization to various animal groups has likely played an important role in the evolution and diversification of this bivalve group. However, the evolutionary pathway that led to their ecological diversity is not well understood, in part because of their reduced and/or highly modified morphologies that have confounded traditional taxonomy. This study elucidates the taxonomy of the Galeommatoidea and their evolutionary history of symbiotic lifestyle based on a molecular phylogenic analysis of 33 galeommatoidean and five putative galeommatoidean species belonging to 27 genera and three families using two nuclear ribosomal genes (18S and 28S ribosomal DNA and a nuclear (histone H3 and mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase subunit I protein-coding genes. Results Molecular phylogeny recovered six well-supported major clades within Galeommatoidea. Symbiotic species were found in all major clades, whereas free-living species were grouped into two major clades. Species symbiotic with crustaceans, holothurians, sipunculans, and echiurans were each found in multiple major clades, suggesting that host specialization to these animal groups occurred repeatedly in Galeommatoidea. Conclusions Our results suggest that the evolutionary history of host association in Galeommatoidea has been remarkably dynamic, involving frequent host switches between different animal phyla. Such an unusual pattern of dynamic host switching is considered to have resulted from their commensalistic lifestyle, in

  1. Toxic potential of palytoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patocka, Jiří; Gupta, Ramesh C; Wu, Qing-hua; Kuca, Kamil

    2015-10-01

    This review briefly describes the origin, chemistry, molecular mechanism of action, pharmacology, toxicology, and ecotoxicology of palytoxin and its analogues. Palytoxin and its analogues are produced by marine dinoflagellates. Palytoxin is also produced by Zoanthids (i.e. Palythoa), and Cyanobacteria (Trichodesmium). Palytoxin is a very large, non-proteinaceous molecule with a complex chemical structure having both lipophilic and hydrophilic moieties. Palytoxin is one of the most potent marine toxins with an LD50 of 150 ng/kg body weight in mice exposed intravenously. Pharmacological and electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that palytoxin acts as a hemolysin and alters the function of excitable cells through multiple mechanisms of action. Palytoxin selectively binds to Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase with a Kd of 20 pM and transforms the pump into a channel permeable to monovalent cations with a single-channel conductance of 10 pS. This mechanism of action could have multiple effects on cells. Evaluation of palytoxin toxicity using various animal models revealed that palytoxin is an extremely potent neurotoxin following an intravenous, intraperitoneal, intramuscular, subcutaneous or intratracheal route of exposure. Palytoxin also causes non-lethal, yet serious toxic effects following dermal or ocular exposure. Most incidents of palytoxin poisoning have manifested after oral intake of contaminated seafood. Poisonings in humans have also been noted after inhalation, cutaneous/systemic exposures with direct contact of aerosolized seawater during Ostreopsis blooms and/or through maintaining aquaria containing Cnidarian zoanthids. Palytoxin has a strong potential for toxicity in humans and animals, and currently this toxin is of great concern worldwide.

  2. Photobacterium jeanii sp. nov., isolated from corals and zoanthids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimetto, Luciane A; Cleenwerck, Ilse; Thompson, Cristiane C; Brocchi, Marcelo; Willems, Anne; De Vos, Paul; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2010-12-01

    Four novel isolates (R-40508(T), R-40507, R-40903 and R-21419) were obtained from different cnidarian species (Phyllogorgia dilatata, Merulina ampliata and Palythoa caribaeorum) from different places in Brazil and Australia. The novel isolates formed a tight phylogenetic group based on 16S rRNA, recA, topA, ftsZ, mreB and rpoA gene sequences. Their closest phylogenetic neighbours were the type strains of Photobacterium leiognathi, P. rosenbergii and P. halotolerans, sharing 97.1-97.5 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity. DNA-DNA hybridization between a representative strain (R-40508(T)) and the type strains of these Photobacterium species revealed less than 20 % relatedness, showing that the new isolates belong to a novel species. Several phenotypic features allow the differentiation of the novel species from its closest phylogenetic neighbours. It has gelatinase and lipase activity and can utilize melibiose, but it cannot grow on 6 % NaCl. In addition, the novel species has the fatty acid iso-C(16 : 0), but lacks the fatty acids C(17 : 0), C(17 : 0) cyclo, iso-C(17 : 0), C(17 : 1)ω8c and iso-C(17 : 1)ω9c. The name Photobacterium jeanii sp. nov. is proposed for this species, with the type strain R-40508(T) (=LMG 25436(T) =CAIM 1817(T)). The G+C content of the type strain is 45.5mol%.

  3. Identification of scleractinian coral recruits using fluorescent censusing and DNA barcoding techniques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Min Hsu

    Full Text Available The identification of coral recruits has been problematic due to a lack of definitive morphological characters being available for higher taxonomic resolution. In this study, we tested whether fluorescent detection of coral recruits used in combinations of different DNA-barcoding markers (cytochrome oxidase I gene [COI], open reading frame [ORF], and nuclear Pax-C intron [PaxC] could be useful for increasing the resolution of coral spat identification in ecological studies. One hundred and fifty settlement plates were emplaced at nine sites on the fringing reefs of Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan between April 2011 and September 2012. A total of 248 living coral spats and juveniles (with basal areas ranging from 0.21 to 134.57 mm(2 were detected on the plates with the aid of fluorescent light and collected for molecular analyses. Using the COI DNA barcoding technique, 90.3% (224/248 of coral spats were successfully identified into six genera, including Acropora, Isopora, Montipora, Pocillopora, Porites, and Pavona. PaxC further separated I. cuneata and I. palifera of Isopora from Acropora, and ORF successfully identified the species of Pocillopora (except P. meandrina and P. eydouxi. Moreover, other cnidarian species such as actinarians, zoanthids, and Millepora species were visually found using fluorescence and identified by COI DNA barcoding. This combination of existing approaches greatly improved the taxonomic resolution of early coral life stages, which to date has been mainly limited to the family level based on skeletal identification. Overall, this study suggests important improvements for the identification of coral recruits in ecological studies.

  4. Identification of scleractinian coral recruits using fluorescent censusing and DNA barcoding techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chia-Min; de Palmas, Stéphane; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Denis, Vianney; Chen, Chaolun Allen

    2014-01-01

    The identification of coral recruits has been problematic due to a lack of definitive morphological characters being available for higher taxonomic resolution. In this study, we tested whether fluorescent detection of coral recruits used in combinations of different DNA-barcoding markers (cytochrome oxidase I gene [COI], open reading frame [ORF], and nuclear Pax-C intron [PaxC]) could be useful for increasing the resolution of coral spat identification in ecological studies. One hundred and fifty settlement plates were emplaced at nine sites on the fringing reefs of Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan between April 2011 and September 2012. A total of 248 living coral spats and juveniles (with basal areas ranging from 0.21 to 134.57 mm(2)) were detected on the plates with the aid of fluorescent light and collected for molecular analyses. Using the COI DNA barcoding technique, 90.3% (224/248) of coral spats were successfully identified into six genera, including Acropora, Isopora, Montipora, Pocillopora, Porites, and Pavona. PaxC further separated I. cuneata and I. palifera of Isopora from Acropora, and ORF successfully identified the species of Pocillopora (except P. meandrina and P. eydouxi). Moreover, other cnidarian species such as actinarians, zoanthids, and Millepora species were visually found using fluorescence and identified by COI DNA barcoding. This combination of existing approaches greatly improved the taxonomic resolution of early coral life stages, which to date has been mainly limited to the family level based on skeletal identification. Overall, this study suggests important improvements for the identification of coral recruits in ecological studies.

  5. Susceptibility to antifungal agents and enzymatic activity of Candida haemulonii and Cutaneotrichosporon dermatis isolated from soft corals on the Brazilian reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagani, Danielle M; Heidrich, Daiane; Paulino, Gustavo V B; de Oliveira Alves, Karine; Dalbem, Paula T; de Oliveira, Caroline F; Andrade, Zélia M M; Silva, Carolini; Correia, Monica D; Scroferneker, Maria Lúcia; Valente, Patricia; Landell, Melissa Fontes

    2016-12-01

    Candida is a common fungus with the capacity to cause infections in humans. However, most studies have concentrated on clinical isolates and little is known about the identity, ecology and drug resistance of free living species/strains. Here, we isolate eight strains of Candida haemulonii and four strains of Cutaneotrichosporon dermatis from three marine cnidarian zoanthids species (Palythoa caribaeorum, Palythoa variabilis and Zoanthus sociatus) collected from Brazilian coral reefs. Strains were identified by sequencing of the D1/D2 domain LSU rDNA and ITS region. We tested these environmental isolates for their capacity to grow in media with increasing concentration of NaCl, capacity to grow in different temperatures, enzymatic activity and antifungal susceptibility. For C. haemulonii, all strains strongly produced gelatinase, esterase and albuminase and were either able to express lipase, phospholipase and keratinase, but not express urease and DNase. The strains were able to grow at 37 °C, but not at 39 °C, and except for LMS 40, all of them could grow in a 10 % NaCl medium. All isolates were resistant to all antifungals tested, with exception for ketoconazole and tioconazole (MIC = 2 µg/mL). For C. dermatis, all strains could grow at 39 °C and could not express phospholipase, keratinase or gelatinase. However, all were capable of expressing urease, lipase and esterase. Three out of four strains could grow in a 10 % NaCl medium, but none grew in a 30 % NaCl medium. The strains showed high values of minimal inhibitory concentration. LMPV 90 was resistant to tioconazole, terbinafine, fluconazole and posaconazole, and LMS 38 was resistant to all antifungal agents tested. We discuss the characterization of C. haemulonii and C. dermatis as a possible emerging pathogen due to its animal-related enzymatic arsenal and antifungal resistance.

  6. Case definitions for human poisonings postulated to palytoxins exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tubaro, A; Durando, P; Del Favero, G; Ansaldi, F; Icardi, G; Deeds, J R; Sosa, S

    2011-03-01

    A series of case reports and anecdotal references describe the adverse effects on human health ascribed to the marine toxin palytoxin (PLTX) after different exposure routes. They include poisonings after oral intake of contaminated seafood, but also inhalation and cutaneous/systemic exposures after direct contact with aerosolized seawater during Ostreopsis blooms and/or through maintaining aquaria containing cnidarian zoanthids. The symptoms commonly recorded during PLTX intoxication are general malaise and weakness, associated with myalgia, respiratory effects, impairment of the neuromuscular apparatus and abnormalities in cardiac function. Systemic symptoms are often recorded together with local damages whose intensity varies according to the route and length of exposure. Gastrointestinal malaise or respiratory distress is common for oral and inhalational exposure, respectively. In addition, irritant properties of PLTX probably account for the inflammatory reactions typical of cutaneous and inhalational contact. Unfortunately, the toxin identification and/or quantification are often incomplete or missing and cases of poisoning are indirectly ascribed to PLTXs, according only to symptoms, anamnesis and environmental/epidemiological investigations (i.e. zoanthid handling or ingestion of particular seafood). Based on the available literature, we suggest a "case definition of PLTX poisonings" according to the main exposure routes, and, we propose the main symptoms to be checked, as well as, hemato-clinical analysis to be carried out. We also suggest the performance of specific analyses both on biological specimens of patients, as well as, on the contaminated materials responsible for the poisoning. A standardized protocol for data collection could provide a more rapid and reliable diagnosis of palytoxin-poisoning, but also the collection of necessary data for the risk assessment for this family of toxins. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The Rise and Fall of an Evolutionary Innovation: Contrasting Strategies of Venom Evolution in Ancient and Young Animals.

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    Kartik Sunagar

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Animal venoms are theorized to evolve under the significant influence of positive Darwinian selection in a chemical arms race scenario, where the evolution of venom resistance in prey and the invention of potent venom in the secreting animal exert reciprocal selection pressures. Venom research to date has mainly focused on evolutionarily younger lineages, such as snakes and cone snails, while mostly neglecting ancient clades (e.g., cnidarians, coleoids, spiders and centipedes. By examining genome, venom-gland transcriptome and sequences from the public repositories, we report the molecular evolutionary regimes of several centipede and spider toxin families, which surprisingly accumulated low-levels of sequence variations, despite their long evolutionary histories. Molecular evolutionary assessment of over 3500 nucleotide sequences from 85 toxin families spanning the breadth of the animal kingdom has unraveled a contrasting evolutionary strategy employed by ancient and evolutionarily young clades. We show that the venoms of ancient lineages remarkably evolve under the heavy constraints of negative selection, while toxin families in lineages that originated relatively recently rapidly diversify under the influence of positive selection. We propose that animal venoms mostly employ a 'two-speed' mode of evolution, where the major influence of diversifying selection accompanies the earlier stages of ecological specialization (e.g., diet and range expansion in the evolutionary history of the species-the period of expansion, resulting in the rapid diversification of the venom arsenal, followed by longer periods of purifying selection that preserve the potent toxin pharmacopeia-the period of purification and fixation. However, species in the period of purification may re-enter the period of expansion upon experiencing a major shift in ecology or environment. Thus, we highlight for the first time the significant roles of purifying and episodic selections

  8. Abundance, distribution and diversity of gelatinous predators along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge: A comparison of different sampling methodologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosia, Aino; Falkenhaug, Tone; Baxter, Emily J; Pagès, Francesc

    2017-01-01

    The diversity and distribution of gelatinous zooplankton were investigated along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) from June to August 2004.Here, we present results from macrozooplankton trawl sampling, as well as comparisons made between five different methodologies that were employed during the MAR-ECO survey. In total, 16 species of hydromedusae, 31 species of siphonophores and four species of scyphozoans were identified to species level from macrozooplankton trawl samples. Additional taxa were identified to higher taxonomic levels and a single ctenophore genus was observed. Samples were collected at 17 stations along the MAR between the Azores and Iceland. A divergence in the species assemblages was observed at the southern limit of the Subpolar Frontal Zone. The catch composition of gelatinous zooplankton is compared between different sampling methodologies including: a macrozooplankton trawl; a Multinet; a ringnet attached to bottom trawl; and optical platforms (Underwater Video Profiler (UVP) & Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)). Different sampling methodologies are shown to exhibit selectivity towards different groups of gelatinous zooplankton. Only ~21% of taxa caught during the survey were caught by both the macrozooplankton trawl and the Multinet when deployed at the same station. The estimates of gelatinous zooplankton abundance calculated using these two gear types also varied widely (1.4 ± 0.9 individuals 1000 m-3 estimated by the macrozooplankton trawl vs. 468.3 ± 315.4 individuals 1000 m-3 estimated by the Multinet (mean ± s.d.) when used at the same stations (n = 6). While it appears that traditional net sampling can generate useful data on pelagic cnidarians, comparisons with results from the optical platforms suggest that ctenophore diversity and abundance are consistently underestimated, particularly when net sampling is conducted in combination with formalin fixation. The results emphasise the importance of considering sampling methodology

  9. Mass Mortality Events in the NW Adriatic Sea: Phase Shift from Slow- to Fast-Growing Organisms.

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    Cristina Gioia Di Camillo

    Full Text Available Massive outbreaks are increasing all over the world, which are likely related to climate change. The North Adriatic Sea, a sub-basin of the Mediterranean Sea, is a shallow semi-closed sea receiving high nutrients inputs from important rivers. These inputs sustain the highest productive basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, this area shows a high number of endemisms probably due to the high diversity of environmental conditions and the conspicuous food availability. Here, we documented two massive mortalities (2009 and 2011 and the pattern of recovery of the affected biocoenoses in the next two years. Results show an impressive and fast shift of the benthic assemblage from a biocoenosis mainly composed of slow-growing and long-lived species to a biocoenosis dominated by fast-growing and short-lived species. The sponge Chondrosia reniformis, one of the key species of this assemblage, which had never been involved in previous massive mortality events in the Mediterranean Sea, reduced its coverage by 70%, and only few small specimens survived. All the damaged sponges, together with many associated organisms, were detached by rough-sea conditions, leaving large bare areas on the rocky wall. Almost three years after the disease, the survived specimens of C. reniformis did not increase significantly in size, while the bare areas were colonized by fast-growing species such as stoloniferans, hydrozoans, mussels, algae, serpulids and bryozoans. Cnidarians were more resilient than massive sponges since they quickly recovered in less than one month. In the study area, the last two outbreaks caused a reduction in the filtration efficiency of the local benthic assemblage by over 60%. The analysis of the times series of wave heights and temperature revealed that the conditions in summer 2011 were not so extreme as to justify severe mass mortality, suggesting the occurrence of other factors which triggered the disease. The long-term observations of a

  10. Marine biodiversity of Bahía Culebra, Guanacaste, Costa Rica: published records

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    Jorge Cortés

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the published records of marine organisms of Bahía Culebra, an enclosed embayment on the north Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is analyzed resulting in a list of 577 species representing 22 phyla. The most diverse groups documented were crustaceans, cnidarians and mollusks in order of species number. The first published record of any marine organism from the area, a polychaete, occurred in 1922, with a peak of published records of species between 1940 and 1949 and, more recently, from 2000 to the present. Several additional taxa are known from the region but there are no published records of their occurrence. This is especially evident for such groups as the free living flatworms and black corals. Additionally, several habitats, including soft bottom sediments, have not been sampled. Because of the paucity of knowledge on the biodiversity of Bahia Culebra, much more research is needed in order to evaluate and understand the effect of climate change and increasing anthropogenic activities.Bahía Culebra es una bahía semicerrada en el Pacífico norte de Costa Rica. Se recopilaron y analizaron publicaciones en que se mencionan especies marinas de la Bahía. Un total de 577 especies en 22 filos han sido registradas, la mayoría crustaceos, cnidarios y moluscos. El primer informe de una especie marina de Bahía Culebra fue en 1922, un poliqueto. Entre 1940 y 1949 hay un pico de publicaciones con especies de la Bahía, al igual que del 2000 al presente. Se han observado algunos grupos de animales de los cuales no hay publicaciones, por ejemplo corales negros y gusanos planos de vida libre. Igualmente, tampoco hay publicaciones sobre los organismos del bentos blando. Más investigación en Bahía Culebra como también continuar y ampliar el monitoreo de ecosistemas y organismos marinos, es necesario para poder evaluar los impactos por la actividad humana y los naturales, incluyendo el cambio climático.

  11. The distribution of macrofauna on the inner continental shelf of southeastern Brazil: The major influence of an estuarine system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalmon, I. R.; Macedo, I. M.; Rezende, C. E.; Falcão, A. P. C.; Almeida, T. C.

    2013-09-01

    The environmental heterogeneity of the Campos Basin on the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State was assessed by the benthic macrofauna on the platform adjacent to the Paraíba do Sul River (PSR) on the dry and rainy seasons. The samples were collected in triplicate from 33 sites using a van Veen grab during March 2009 - a period of higher precipitation and flow rate - and July 2009 - a period of lower precipitation and flow rate. The grab depths ranged from 12 to 97 m and were grouped into three strata: 1: 50 m. The particle size, total carbonate and total organic carbon in each sample were analyzed. Subsamples for the macrofauna analysis were washed, sieved with a 500 μm mesh and identified. The sediment was predominantly composed of sand, with mud pockets near the mouth of the river. The macrofauna included annelids, crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, cnidarians, nemerteans, cephalochordates, sipunculids and bryozoans. The density and richness were directly related to the depth, with both descriptors being higher during the rainy season and at depths greater than 50 m. This result is probably due to the higher availability of food in the river during this period and is corroborated by the predominance of deposit feeders in the deepest stratum. The number of individuals of each species was higher in the shallowest stratum, probably due to the higher productivity of this stratum. The rate of organic particulate matter flow from the coastal regions to the deeper regions can also be influenced by the material export dynamics of the river, which are more intense during the rainy season. These dynamics explain why a significantly higher number of individuals were observed in the rainy period in comparison to the dry one. Multivariate analyses identified differences between the sampling sites in the deepest stratum during both periods and revealed a stronger similarity between the shallow and intermediate strata, especially during the rainy season, which has a

  12. Effects of natural and human-induced hypoxia on coastal benthos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, L. A.; Ekau, W.; Gooday, A. J.; Jorissen, F.; Middelburg, J. J.; Naqvi, S. W. A.; Neira, C.; Rabalais, N. N.; Zhang, J.

    2009-10-01

    Coastal hypoxia (defined here as branchial structures, predominate. Large taxa are more sensitive than small taxa to hypoxia. Crustaceans and echinoderms are typically more sensitive to hypoxia, with lower oxygen thresholds, than annelids, sipunculans, molluscs and cnidarians. Mobile fish and shellfish will migrate away from low-oxygen areas. Within a species, early life stages may be more subject to oxygen stress than older life stages. Hypoxia alters both the structure and function of benthic communities, but effects may differ with regional hypoxia history. Human-caused hypoxia is generally linked to eutrophication, and occurs adjacent to watersheds with large populations or agricultural activities. Many occurrences are seasonal, within estuaries, fjords or enclosed seas of the North Atlantic and the NW Pacific Oceans. Benthic faunal responses, elicited at oxygen levels below 2 ml L-1, typically involve avoidance or mortality of large species and elevated abundances of enrichment opportunists, sometimes prior to population crashes. Areas of low oxygen persist seasonally or continuously beneath upwelling regions, associated with the upper parts of oxygen minimum zones (SE Pacific, W Africa, N Indian Ocean). These have a distribution largely distinct from eutrophic areas and support a resident fauna that is adapted to survive and reproduce at oxygen concentrations <0.5 ml L-1. Under both natural and eutrophication-caused hypoxia there is loss of diversity, through attrition of intolerant species and elevated dominance, as well as reductions in body size. These shifts in species composition and diversity yield altered trophic structure, energy flow pathways, and corresponding ecosystem services such as production, organic matter cycling and organic C burial. Increasingly the influences of nature and humans interact to generate or exacerbate hypoxia. A warmer ocean is more stratified, holds less oxygen, and may experience greater advection of oxygen-poor source

  13. Lim homeobox genes in the Ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi: the evolution of neural cell type specification

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    Simmons David K

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nervous systems are thought to be important to the evolutionary success and diversification of metazoans, yet little is known about the origin of simple nervous systems at the base of the animal tree. Recent data suggest that ctenophores, a group of macroscopic pelagic marine invertebrates, are the most ancient group of animals that possess a definitive nervous system consisting of a distributed nerve net and an apical statocyst. This study reports on details of the evolution of the neural cell type specifying transcription factor family of LIM homeobox containing genes (Lhx, which have highly conserved functions in neural specification in bilaterian animals. Results Using next generation sequencing, the first draft of the genome of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi has been generated. The Lhx genes in all animals are represented by seven subfamilies (Lhx1/5, Lhx3/4, Lmx, Islet, Lhx2/9, Lhx6/8, and LMO of which four were found to be represented in the ctenophore lineage (Lhx1/5, Lhx3/4, Lmx, and Islet. Interestingly, the ctenophore Lhx gene complement is more similar to the sponge complement (sponges do not possess neurons than to either the cnidarian-bilaterian or placozoan Lhx complements. Using whole mount in situ hybridization, the Lhx gene expression patterns were examined and found to be expressed around the blastopore and in cells that give rise to the apical organ and putative neural sensory cells. Conclusion This research gives us a first look at neural cell type specification in the ctenophore M. leidyi. Within M. leidyi, Lhx genes are expressed in overlapping domains within proposed neural cellular and sensory cell territories. These data suggest that Lhx genes likely played a conserved role in the patterning of sensory cells in the ancestor of sponges and ctenophores, and may provide a link to the expression of Lhx orthologs in sponge larval photoreceptive cells. Lhx genes were later co-opted into patterning more

  14. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Dupiol, Jeremie; Adjeroud, Mehdi; Roger, Emmanuel; Foure, Laurent; Duval, David; Mone, Yves; Ferrier-Pages, Christine; Tambutte, Eric; Tambutte, Sylvie; Zoccola, Didier; Allemand, Denis; Mitta, Guillaume

    2009-08-04

    Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coral bleaching but the jigsaw puzzle is far from being complete, especially concerning the early events leading to symbiosis breakdown. The aim of the present study was to find molecular actors involved early in the mechanism leading to symbiosis collapse. In our experimental procedure, one set of Pocillopora damicornis nubbins was subjected to a gradual increase of water temperature from 28 degrees C to 32 degrees C over 15 days. A second control set kept at constant temperature (28 degrees C). The differentially expressed mRNA between the stressed states (sampled just before the onset of bleaching) and the non stressed states (control) were isolated by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization. Transcription rates of the most interesting genes (considering their putative function) were quantified by Q-RT-PCR, which revealed a significant decrease in transcription of two candidates six days before bleaching. RACE-PCR experiments showed that one of them (PdC-Lectin) contained a C-Type-Lectin domain specific for mannose. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that this host gene mediates molecular interactions between the host and the symbionts suggesting a putative role in zooxanthellae acquisition and/or sequestration. The second gene corresponds to a gene putatively involved in calcification processes (Pdcyst-rich). Its down-regulation could reflect a trade-off mechanism leading to the arrest of the mineralization process under stress. Under thermal stress

  15. Recovery of Seamount Precious Coral Beds From Heavy Trawling Disturbance with Links to Carbonate Chemistry Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roark, E. B.; Baco-Taylor, A.; Morgan, N. B.; Shamberger, K.; Miller, K.; Brooks, J.

    2016-12-01

    Increasing anthropogenic impacts in the deep sea make studies of resilience and recovery time critical, with deep-sea hard-substrate habitats and large-scale disturbances having received little attention. Seamount hard-substrate habitats in particular are thought to have low resilience due to the slow growth rates and recruitment limitations of key structure-forming taxa. Seamounts of the far Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Emperor Chain have had some of the heaviest trawl impacts in the world, from both fish and precious coral fisheries, and include sites that are still trawled and recovering ones that have been protected since establishment of the EEZ in 1977. To test the hypothesis of low resilience we compare these impacted seamounts to untrawled sites. We used the AUV Sentry in 2014 and 2015 to image nine features (three per "treatment") and analyze for substrate and visible megafauna. Sites in the "still trawled" treatment were characterized by extensive areas of bare substrate with abundant trawl scars. Sites in the "recovering" and "never trawled" locations had abundant megafauna in hard substrate areas. Initial comparisons of transects at 700m depth for three sites indicate that Yuryaku in the "still trawled" treatment had lower diversity and abundance of megafauna compared to the "recovering" and "never trawled" locations with a dominance of sea urchins. The "recovering" and "never trawled" sites were dominated by cnidarians, fishes, and echinoderms, but differed in dominant species, diversity, abundances and occurrence of dead coral skeletons. These preliminary results suggest that the recovering sites have not returned to a pre-impact community type in the 38 years since they were trawled. The megafauna distribution, in particular that of deep-sea corals, was compared to environmental water column variables at the study sites across the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Deep-sea corals with calcium carbonate skeletons were found living below the

  16. Structure of the red fluorescent protein from a lancelet (Branchiostoma lanceolatum): a novel GYG chromophore covalently bound to a nearby tyrosine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pletnev, Vladimir Z., E-mail: vzpletnev@gmail.com; Pletneva, Nadya V.; Lukyanov, Konstantin A.; Souslova, Ekaterina A.; Fradkov, Arkady F.; Chudakov, Dmitry M.; Chepurnykh, Tatyana; Yampolsky, Ilia V. [Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation); Wlodawer, Alexander [National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702 (United States); Dauter, Zbigniew [National Cancer Institute, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); Pletnev, Sergei, E-mail: vzpletnev@gmail.com [National Cancer Institute, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); SAIC-Frederick, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2013-09-01

    The crystal structure of the novel red emitting fluorescent protein from lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum (Chordata) revealed an unusual five residues cyclic unit comprising Gly58-Tyr59-Gly60 chromophore, the following Phe61 and Tyr62 covalently bound to chromophore Tyr59. A key property of proteins of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family is their ability to form a chromophore group by post-translational modifications of internal amino acids, e.g. Ser65-Tyr66-Gly67 in GFP from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria (Cnidaria). Numerous structural studies have demonstrated that the green GFP-like chromophore represents the ‘core’ structure, which can be extended in red-shifted proteins owing to modifications of the protein backbone at the first chromophore-forming position. Here, the three-dimensional structures of green laGFP (λ{sub ex}/λ{sub em} = 502/511 nm) and red laRFP (λ{sub ex}/λ{sub em} ≃ 521/592 nm), which are fluorescent proteins (FPs) from the lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum (Chordata), were determined together with the structure of a red variant laRFP-ΔS83 (deletion of Ser83) with improved folding. Lancelet FPs are evolutionarily distant and share only ∼20% sequence identity with cnidarian FPs, which have been extensively characterized and widely used as genetically encoded probes. The structure of red-emitting laRFP revealed three exceptional features that have not been observed in wild-type fluorescent proteins from Cnidaria reported to date: (i) an unusual chromophore-forming sequence Gly58-Tyr59-Gly60, (ii) the presence of Gln211 at the position of the conserved catalytic Glu (Glu222 in Aequorea GFP), which proved to be crucial for chromophore formation, and (iii) the absence of modifications typical of known red chromophores and the presence of an extremely unusual covalent bond between the Tyr59 C{sup β} atom and the hydroxyl of the proximal Tyr62. The impact of this covalent bond on the red emission and the large Stokes shift (

  17. Use of Open Source Hardware and Software Platforms to Quantify Spectrally Dependent Differences in Photochemical Efficiency and Functional Absorption Cross Section within the Dinoflagellate Symbiodinium spp.

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    Kenneth D. Hoadley

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Active chlorophyll a fluorescence is an essential tool for understanding photosynthetic activity within cnidarian/dinoflagellate symbioses. Fluorescence measurement is typically achieved by utilizing a blue or red monochromatic excitation light source. However, algal photosynthetic pigments can differ in their absorption spectra, potentially leading to excitation wavelength dependent measurements of maximal and light acclimated PSII photosynthetic quantum yield (Fv/Fm or Fq′/Fm′ and functional absorption cross section (σPSII or σPSII′. Here we utilized an open source hardware development platform to construct a multispectral excitation fluorometer to assess spectrally dependent differences in photochemistry within four different Symbiodinium species (two of each ITS2-type A4 and B1. Multivariate analysis of light acclimated photochemical signatures showed separation between most alga types. These spectrally dependent differences in light acclimated PSII efficiency and PSII functional absorption cross section likely reflect changes in light harvesting compounds, their connectivity to the PSII reaction centers and the balance between photochemical and non-photochemical fluorescence quenching. Additionally, acclimation to low (20 μmol photons m−2 s−1 and high (200 μmol photons m−2 s−1 light conditions was examined in two of these symbionts types (ITS-2 type A4 and B1 As expected, chlorophyll a cell−1 decreased under high light acclimation in both symbionts. However, only A4 saw a subsequent reduction in absorbance whereas cellular volume decreased in the B1 (S. minutum symbiont. In response to high light acclimation, Fv/Fm was significantly lower at all excitation wavelengths for the B1 symbiont where as efficiencies remained the same for A4. However, high-light acclimated Fq′/Fm′ levels decreased in both symbionts, but only when measured using the 615 or 625 nm excitation wavelengths. Non-photochemical quenching within the

  18. Functional differences in the allometry of the water, carbon and nitrogen content of gelatinous organisms

    KAUST Repository

    Molina-Ramírez, Axayacatl

    2015-05-19

    We have supplemented available, concurrent measurements of fresh weight (W, g) and body carbon (C, g) (46 individuals, 14 species) and nitrogen (N, g) (11 individuals, 9 species) of marine gelatinous animals with data obtained during the global ocean MALASPINA 2010 Expedition (totalling 267 individuals and 33 species for the W versus C data; totalling 232 individuals and 31 species for the N versus C data). We then used those data to test the allometric properties of the W versus C and N versus C relationships. Overall, gelatinous organisms contain 1.13 ± 1.57% of C (by weight, mean ± SD) in their bodies and show a C:N of 4.56 ± 2.46, respectively, although estimations can be improved by using separate conversion coefficients for the carnivores and the filter feeders. Reduced major axis regression indicates that W increases isometrically with C in the carnivores (cnidarians and ctenophores), implying that their water content can be described by a single conversion coefficient of 173.78 gW(g C)-1, or a C content of 1.17 ± 1.90% by weight, although there is much variability due to the existence of carbon-dense species. In contrast, W increases more rapidly than C in the filter feeders (salps and doliolids), according to a power relationship W = 446.68C1.54. This exponent is not significantly different from 1.2, which is consistent with the idea that the watery bodies of gelatinous animals represent an evolutionary response towards increasing food capture surfaces, i.e. a bottom-up rather than a top-down mechanism. Thus, the available evidence negates a bottom-up mechanism in the carnivores, but supports it in the filter feeders. Last, N increases isometrically with C in both carnivores and filter feeders with C:N ratios of 3.89 ± 1.34 and 4.38 ± 1.21, respectively. These values are similar to those of compact, non-gelatinous organisms and reflect a predominantly herbivorous diet in the filter feeders, which is confirmed by a difference of one trophic level

  19. Caracterización preliminar de los invertebrados bentónicos capturados accidentalmente en la pesca de camarones en el norte del estado de Río de Janeiro, sudeste de Brasil Preliminary characterization of benthic invertebrates caught as by-catch in the shrimp fishery in the north of the Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor David da Costa

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Para caracterizar la biodiversidad de invertebrados bentónicos que componen la fauna asociada a la pesca de camarones en el puerto del Farol de Sao Thomé, costa norte del estado de Río de Janeiro, se realizaron 11 pescas mensuales en el año 2004 con redes de arrastre de fondo, cuya área de operaciones comprende 3-5 mn desde la línea de costa, entre 22°00'S y 22°20'S. Los datos registrados de cada taxon y/o especie se refieren a la frecuencia de ocurrencia, frecuencia numérica, biomasa, índice de Importancia Relativa y abundancia. En total se registraron 27 especies de invertebrados bentónicos de Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Annelida, Crustácea, Echinodermata y Bryozoa. Crustácea fue el más representativo, tanto en número de ejemplares de Petrochirus diogenes, Hepatus pudibundus y Callinectes ornatos, como en biomasa de P. diogenes y H. pudibundas. En términos de frecuencia de ocurrencia en los muéstreos, 11 especies (40,7% fueron constantes; 6 (22,2% accesorias y 10 (37,0% accidentales.In order to characterize the biodiversity of the benthic invertebrate by-catch associated with the shrimp fishery at Farol de Sao Thome harbor, northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, in 2004, 11 monthly trawls were conducted using bottom trawl nets between 22°00'S and 22°20'S and from 3 to 5 nm from the shoreline. The analyzed data for each talon and/or species include frequency of occurrence, numeric frequency, biomass, index of Relative Importance, and abundance. In total, 27 benthic invertebrate species were recorded, including Peripheral, Cnidarians, Mollusk, Annelid, Crustacea, Echinodermata, and Bryozoa. The most representative group was Crustacea, both in number of specimens (Petrochirus diogenes, Hepatus pudibundus, Callinectes ornatus and in biomass (P. diogenes, H. pudibundus. In terms of the frequency of occurrence in the samples, 11 species (40.7% were constant, 6 species (22.2% were accessories, and 10 species (37.0% were by-catch.

  20. Clinical manifestations and managements in jellyfish envenomation A systematic review

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    Negar Taheri

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: The phylum Cnidarians have over nine thousand species that approximately, one hundred species are dangerous for humans. Annually, a large number of deaths were reported due to jellyfish stings. The manifestations depend on their species and kind of venoms, and include the local and systemic manifestations. A number of methods and compounds were used and under investigation for management of injuries with jellyfishes. Due to the lack of an integrated systematic review, the current study was done. Materials and Methods: The PubMed data bank was searched for the term “Jellyfish”. A total of 1677 papers were found. These papers were divided into three categories: medical, biomedical and biotechnological fields. The medical category was further divided into three subcategories comprising systemic manifestations, cutaneous manifestations and treatments for the stings of jellyfishes. The biomedical category was further subdivided into genomics, proteomics, and biology of venoms, mechanisms of actions and products of biomedical significance. In this part of systematic review, the medical aspects of injuries with jellyfishes were evaluated. Results: The clinical manifestations in jellyfish envenomation depend on their species and the nature of venoms. The most common clinical manifestations of jellyfish stings are cutaneous presentations like urticasia, erythema, swelling, vesicles and severe dermonectoric manifestations. Systemic manifestations were seen in the stings of box jellyfishes, Portuguese man-of-war and in Irukandji syndrome. The most common recommendations for jellyfish envenomation managements include decreasing the local effects of venom, prevention of the venomous nematocysts release, and Controlling of systemic reactions. Application of commercial vinegar (4 - 6% acetic acid, hot water immersion (HWI (42 ° C for 20 minutes, ice packs, sea water rinsing for inactivating nematocysts, administration of topical and parenteral

  1. The Structure of Sea Water and Gelatinous Water in the Deep Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltzer, E. T.; Walz, P. M.; Wojciechowicz, M.; Brewer, P. G.

    2016-12-01

    Gelatinous life forms are common in the deep sea and are able to maintain a careful combination of body integrity and easy fluidity of motion over a wide range of T and P. They accomplish this in part by modifying the molecular structure of water. Both the transparent body of the organism (the mesoglea) and the structure of the immediate surrounding sea water were investigated by in situ laser Raman spectroscopy at depths from 300m to 2,800m. The structure of water is reasonably well known; the basic unit is a hydrogen bonded pentamer with defined stretching and bending modes. The spectrum of the bending band is separable into two components while the stretching band spectrum is composed of five components representing both intra- and inter-molecular vibrations. The effect of temperature on the various vibrational modes is complex. While the effect of pressure on the bending modes is small, but the effect of temperature and pressure on the stretching modes is significant and can be modeled as a van `t Hoff function. Our in situ experiments were conducted using MBARI's ROV Ventana and ROV Doc Ricketts. We collected cnidarians and ctenophores into a 6 L glass detritus sampler fitted with a metal grid plate. Once the animal was captured, we introduced argon gas through the lid of the sampler displacing the contained sea water and leaving a motionless sea water free specimen for spectroscopy. The laser beam was focused through the glass wall of the container and the focal point adjusted to be inside the gelatinous body. Our results very clearly show that:i) The gelatinous mass effectively excludes salts with zero sulfate ion being detected.ii) The water bending modes are absent from the gelatinous spectra.iii) The water stretching modes are highly modified from the typical 5 band liquid pentamer structure with only 3 vibrational modes observable. These results stand in marked contrast to the familiar household gelatin which is typically derived from bovine sources

  2. Seasonal variation of zooplankton abundance and community structure in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 2009-2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinstry, Caitlin A. E.; Campbell, Robert W.

    2018-01-01

    Large calanoid copepods and other zooplankters comprise the prey field for ecologically and economically important predators such as juvenile pink salmon, herring, and seabirds in Prince William Sound (PWS).​ From 2009-2016, the Gulf Watch Alaska program collected zooplankton 5-10 times each year at 12 stations in PWS to establish annual patterns. Surveys collected 188 species of zooplankton with Oithona similis, Limacina helicina, Pseudocalanus spp., and Acartia longiremis as the most common species present in 519 samples. Generalized additive models assessed seasonal abundance and showed peak abundance in July (mean: 9826 no. m-3 [95% CI: 7990-12,084]) and lowest abundance in January (503 no. m-3 [373 to 678]). Significantly higher zooplankton abundance occurred in 2010 (542 no. m-3 ± 55 SE) and lowest in 2013 (149 no. m-3 ± 13). The species composition of communities, determined via hierarchical cluster analysis and indicator species analysis, produced six distinct communities based on season and location. The winter community, characterized by warm-water indicator species including Mesocalanus tenuicornis, Calanus pacificus, and Corycaeus anglicus, diverged into four communities throughout the spring and summer. The first spring community, characterized by copepods with affinities for lower salinities, occurred sound-wide. The second spring community, comprised of planktonic larvae, appeared sporadically in PWS bays in 2011-2013. Spring and summer open water stations were defined by the presence of large calanoid copepods. A summer community including the most abundant taxa was common in 2010 and 2011, absent in 2013, then sporadically appeared in 2014 and 2015 suggesting interannual variability of zooplankton assemblages. The zooplankton community shifted to a uniform assemblage characterized by cnidarians in the early autumn. Community assemblages showed significant correlations to a set of environmental variables including SST, mixed layer depth

  3. Functional differences in the allometry of the water, carbon and nitrogen content of gelatinous organisms

    KAUST Repository

    Molina-Ramí rez, Axayacatl; Cá ceres, Carlos; Romero-Romero, Sonia; Bueno, Juan; Gonzá lez-Gordillo, J. Ignacio; Irigoien, Xabier; Sostres, Jorge; Bode, Antonio; Mompeá n, Carmen; Ferná ndez Puelles, Mariluz; Echevarria, Fidel; Duarte, Carlos M.; Acuñ a, José Luis

    2015-01-01

    We have supplemented available, concurrent measurements of fresh weight (W, g) and body carbon (C, g) (46 individuals, 14 species) and nitrogen (N, g) (11 individuals, 9 species) of marine gelatinous animals with data obtained during the global ocean MALASPINA 2010 Expedition (totalling 267 individuals and 33 species for the W versus C data; totalling 232 individuals and 31 species for the N versus C data). We then used those data to test the allometric properties of the W versus C and N versus C relationships. Overall, gelatinous organisms contain 1.13 ± 1.57% of C (by weight, mean ± SD) in their bodies and show a C:N of 4.56 ± 2.46, respectively, although estimations can be improved by using separate conversion coefficients for the carnivores and the filter feeders. Reduced major axis regression indicates that W increases isometrically with C in the carnivores (cnidarians and ctenophores), implying that their water content can be described by a single conversion coefficient of 173.78 gW(g C)-1, or a C content of 1.17 ± 1.90% by weight, although there is much variability due to the existence of carbon-dense species. In contrast, W increases more rapidly than C in the filter feeders (salps and doliolids), according to a power relationship W = 446.68C1.54. This exponent is not significantly different from 1.2, which is consistent with the idea that the watery bodies of gelatinous animals represent an evolutionary response towards increasing food capture surfaces, i.e. a bottom-up rather than a top-down mechanism. Thus, the available evidence negates a bottom-up mechanism in the carnivores, but supports it in the filter feeders. Last, N increases isometrically with C in both carnivores and filter feeders with C:N ratios of 3.89 ± 1.34 and 4.38 ± 1.21, respectively. These values are similar to those of compact, non-gelatinous organisms and reflect a predominantly herbivorous diet in the filter feeders, which is confirmed by a difference of one trophic level

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

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    Graciela S Diniz

    2014-05-01

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

  5. Critical evaluation of branch polarity and apical dominance as dictators of colony astogeny in a branching coral.

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    Lee Shaish

    Full Text Available The high morphological resemblance between branching corals and trees, can lead to comparative studies on pattern formation traits, best exemplified in plants and in some cnidarians. Here, 81 branches of similar size of the hermatypic coral Stylophora pistillata were lopped of three different genets, their skeletons marked with alizarin red-S, and divided haphazardly into three morphometric treatment groups: (I upright position; (II horizontal position, intact tip; and (III horizontal position, cut tip. After 1 y of in-situ growth, the 45 surviving ramets were brought to the laboratory, their tissues removed and their architectures analyzed by 22 morphological parameters (MPs. We found that within 1 y, isolated branches developed into small coral colonies by growing new branches from all branch termini, in all directions. No architectural dissimilarity was assigned among the three studied genets of treatment I colonies. However, a major architectural disparity between treatment I colonies and colonies of treatments II and III was documented as the development of mirror structures from both sides of treatments II and III settings as compared to tip-borne architectures in treatment I colonies. We did not observe apical dominance since fragments grew equally from all branch sides without documented dominant polarity along branch axis. In treatment II colonies, no MP for new branches originating either from tips or from branch bases differed significantly. In treatment III colonies, growth from the cut tip areas was significantly lower compared to the base, again, suggesting lack of apical dominance in this species. Changes in branch polarity revealed genet associated plasticity, which in one of the studied genets, led to enhanced growth. Different genets exhibited canalization flexibility of growth patterns towards either lateral growth, or branch axis extension (skeletal weight and not porosity was measured. This study revealed that colony

  6. Whole genome duplications and expansion of the vertebrate GATA transcription factor gene family

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    Bowerman Bruce

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background GATA transcription factors influence many developmental processes, including the specification of embryonic germ layers. The GATA gene family has significantly expanded in many animal lineages: whereas diverse cnidarians have only one GATA transcription factor, six GATA genes have been identified in many vertebrates, five in many insects, and eleven to thirteen in Caenorhabditis nematodes. All bilaterian animal genomes have at least one member each of two classes, GATA123 and GATA456. Results We have identified one GATA123 gene and one GATA456 gene from the genomic sequence of two invertebrate deuterostomes, a cephalochordate (Branchiostoma floridae and a hemichordate (Saccoglossus kowalevskii. We also have confirmed the presence of six GATA genes in all vertebrate genomes, as well as additional GATA genes in teleost fish. Analyses of conserved sequence motifs and of changes to the exon-intron structure, and molecular phylogenetic analyses of these deuterostome GATA genes support their origin from two ancestral deuterostome genes, one GATA 123 and one GATA456. Comparison of the conserved genomic organization across vertebrates identified eighteen paralogous gene families linked to multiple vertebrate GATA genes (GATA paralogons, providing the strongest evidence yet for expansion of vertebrate GATA gene families via genome duplication events. Conclusion From our analysis, we infer the evolutionary birth order and relationships among vertebrate GATA transcription factors, and define their expansion via multiple rounds of whole genome duplication events. As the genomes of four independent invertebrate deuterostome lineages contain single copy GATA123 and GATA456 genes, we infer that the 0R (pre-genome duplication invertebrate deuterostome ancestor also had two GATA genes, one of each class. Synteny analyses identify duplications of paralogous chromosomal regions (paralogons, from single ancestral vertebrate GATA123 and GATA456

  7. Two types of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in Drosophila and other arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collin, Caitlin; Hauser, Frank; Gonzalez de Valdivia, Ernesto; de Valdivia, Ernesto Gonzalez; Li, Shizhong; Reisenberger, Julia; Carlsen, Eva M M; Khan, Zaid; Hansen, Niels O; Puhm, Florian; Søndergaard, Leif; Niemiec, Justyna; Heninger, Magdalena; Ren, Guilin R; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P

    2013-09-01

    Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) play a central role in the mammalian nervous system. These receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are activated by the agonists acetylcholine and muscarine, and blocked by a variety of antagonists. Mammals have five mAChRs (m1-m5). In this study, we cloned two structurally related GPCRs from the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which, after expression in Chinese hamster ovary cells, proved to be muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. One mAChR (the A-type; encoded by gene CG4356) is activated by acetylcholine (EC50, 5 × 10(-8) M) and muscarine (EC50, 6 × 10(-8) M) and blocked by the classical mAChR antagonists atropine, scopolamine, and 3-quinuclidinyl-benzilate (QNB), while the other (the B-type; encoded by gene CG7918) is also activated by acetylcholine, but has a 1,000-fold lower sensitivity to muscarine, and is not blocked by the antagonists. A- and B-type mAChRs were also cloned and functionally characterized from the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Recently, Haga et al. (Nature 2012, 482: 547-551) published the crystal structure of the human m2 mAChR, revealing 14 amino acid residues forming the binding pocket for QNB. These residues are identical between the human m2 and the D. melanogaster and T. castaneum A-type mAChRs, while many of them are different between the human m2 and the B-type receptors. Using bioinformatics, one orthologue of the A-type and one of the B-type mAChRs could also be found in all other arthropods with a sequenced genome. Protostomes, such as arthropods, and deuterostomes, such as mammals and other vertebrates, belong to two evolutionarily distinct lineages of animal evolution that split about 700 million years ago. We found that animals that originated before this split, such as cnidarians (Hydra), had two A-type mAChRs. From these data we propose a model for the evolution of mAChRs.

  8. Megafauna of vulnerable marine ecosystems in French mediterranean submarine canyons: Spatial distribution and anthropogenic impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabri, M.-C.; Pedel, L.; Beuck, L.; Galgani, F.; Hebbeln, D.; Freiwald, A.

    2014-06-01

    Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) in the deep Mediterranean Sea have been identified by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean as consisting of communities of Scleractinia (Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata), Pennatulacea (Funiculina quadrangularis) and Alcyonacea (Isidella elongata). This paper deals with video data recorded in the heads of French Mediterranean canyons. Quantitative observations were extracted from 101 video films recorded during the MEDSEACAN cruise in 2009 (Aamp/Comex). Qualitative information was extracted from four other cruises (two Marum/Comex cruises in 2009 and 2011 and two Ifremer cruises in 1995 and 2010) to support the previous observations in the Cassidaigne and Lacaze-Duthiers canyons. All the species, fishing impacts and litter recognized in the video films recorded from 180 to 700 m depth were mapped using GIS. The abundances and distributions of benthic fishing resources (marketable fishes, Aristeidae, Octopodidae), Vulnerable Marine Species, trawling scars and litter of 17 canyons were calculated and compared, as was the open slope between the Stoechades and Toulon canyons. Funiculina quadrangularis was rarely observed, being confined for the most part to the Marti canyon and, I. elongata was abundant in three canyons (Bourcart, Marti, Petit-Rhône). These two cnidarians were encountered in relatively low abundances, and it may be that they have been swept away by repeated trawling. The Lacaze-Duthiers and Cassidaigne canyons comprised the highest densities and largest colony sizes of scleractinian cold-water corals, whose distribution was mapped in detail. These colonies were often seen to be entangled in fishing lines. The alcyonacean Callogorgia verticillata was observed to be highly abundant in the Bourcart canyon and less abundant in several other canyons. This alcyonacean was also severely affected by bottom fishing gears and is proposed as a Vulnerable Marine Species. Our studies on anthropogenic

  9. Coral bleaching under thermal stress: putative involvement of host/symbiont recognition mechanisms

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    Tambutte Sylvie

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Coral bleaching can be defined as the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or their photosynthetic pigments from their cnidarian host. This major disturbance of reef ecosystems is principally induced by increases in water temperature. Since the beginning of the 1980s and the onset of global climate change, this phenomenon has been occurring at increasing rates and scales, and with increasing severity. Several studies have been undertaken in the last few years to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of coral bleaching but the jigsaw puzzle is far from being complete, especially concerning the early events leading to symbiosis breakdown. The aim of the present study was to find molecular actors involved early in the mechanism leading to symbiosis collapse. Results In our experimental procedure, one set of Pocillopora damicornis nubbins was subjected to a gradual increase of water temperature from 28°C to 32°C over 15 days. A second control set kept at constant temperature (28°C. The differentially expressed mRNA between the stressed states (sampled just before the onset of bleaching and the non stressed states (control were isolated by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization. Transcription rates of the most interesting genes (considering their putative function were quantified by Q-RT-PCR, which revealed a significant decrease in transcription of two candidates six days before bleaching. RACE-PCR experiments showed that one of them (PdC-Lectin contained a C-Type-Lectin domain specific for mannose. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that this host gene mediates molecular interactions between the host and the symbionts suggesting a putative role in zooxanthellae acquisition and/or sequestration. The second gene corresponds to a gene putatively involved in calcification processes (Pdcyst-rich. Its down-regulation could reflect a trade-off mechanism leading to the arrest of the mineralization process under stress

  10. Using phylogenetically-informed annotation (PIA) to search for light-interacting genes in transcriptomes from non-model organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speiser, Daniel I; Pankey, M Sabrina; Zaharoff, Alexander K; Battelle, Barbara A; Bracken-Grissom, Heather D; Breinholt, Jesse W; Bybee, Seth M; Cronin, Thomas W; Garm, Anders; Lindgren, Annie R; Patel, Nipam H; Porter, Megan L; Protas, Meredith E; Rivera, Ajna S; Serb, Jeanne M; Zigler, Kirk S; Crandall, Keith A; Oakley, Todd H

    2014-11-19

    Tools for high throughput sequencing and de novo assembly make the analysis of transcriptomes (i.e. the suite of genes expressed in a tissue) feasible for almost any organism. Yet a challenge for biologists is that it can be difficult to assign identities to gene sequences, especially from non-model organisms. Phylogenetic analyses are one useful method for assigning identities to these sequences, but such methods tend to be time-consuming because of the need to re-calculate trees for every gene of interest and each time a new data set is analyzed. In response, we employed existing tools for phylogenetic analysis to produce a computationally efficient, tree-based approach for annotating transcriptomes or new genomes that we term Phylogenetically-Informed Annotation (PIA), which places uncharacterized genes into pre-calculated phylogenies of gene families. We generated maximum likelihood trees for 109 genes from a Light Interaction Toolkit (LIT), a collection of genes that underlie the function or development of light-interacting structures in metazoans. To do so, we searched protein sequences predicted from 29 fully-sequenced genomes and built trees using tools for phylogenetic analysis in the Osiris package of Galaxy (an open-source workflow management system). Next, to rapidly annotate transcriptomes from organisms that lack sequenced genomes, we repurposed a maximum likelihood-based Evolutionary Placement Algorithm (implemented in RAxML) to place sequences of potential LIT genes on to our pre-calculated gene trees. Finally, we implemented PIA in Galaxy and used it to search for LIT genes in 28 newly-sequenced transcriptomes from the light-interacting tissues of a range of cephalopod mollusks, arthropods, and cubozoan cnidarians. Our new trees for LIT genes are available on the Bitbucket public repository ( http://bitbucket.org/osiris_phylogenetics/pia/ ) and we demonstrate PIA on a publicly-accessible web server ( http://galaxy-dev.cnsi.ucsb.edu/pia/ ). Our new

  11. Natural products as radiation response modifiers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colin Seymour; Carmel Mothersill

    2007-01-01

    membrane receptors, to induce stress. There is evidence in vivo from bomb survivors of the persistence of these effects for 50 years. The instability consequent on the process can predispose to later carcinogenic insult. At low radiation doses (as might be predicted from a dirty bomb where widespread, disruptive low level contamination is a desired outcome) untargeted effects may predominate in terms of long-term major human health effects. Our hypothesis is that chemicals derived from marine invertebrates will be useful in terms of modifying and negating any long term health consequences. Sessile benthic invertebrates including marine tunicates, cnidarians, and sponges in particular, have developed an array of structurally unique bioactive natural products, which have been demonstrated to afford the producing organism a competitive advantage in ecosystems such as tropical coral reefs, characterized by extreme resource limitations. In addition to limited resources, environmental pressures such as predation, fouling, competition for space and exposure to ultraviolet radiation drive the production of these chemicals. In addition to the variety of toxic compounds produced as defensive agents, organisms use highly coloured pigments to protect against the high levels of UV radiation in tropical coral reefs and pigments such as these are known radioprotectors in radioresistent bacteria. This paper will review the literature concerning known radiation response modification by natural products, with particular reference to substances which modify low dose effects and will present new data concerning the effects of some marine substances derived from sponges which we have found to sensitise cells to radiation. Drawing together the data in this area should permit some conclusions to be drawn about the mechanisms operating at low doses which can be targeted for radiation protection. We will also present new preliminary data which uses natural products derived from marine sponges

  12. Effects of natural and human-induced hypoxia on coastal benthos

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    L. A. Levin

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Coastal hypoxia (defined here as <1.42 ml L−1; 62.5 μM; 2 mg L−1, approx. 30% oxygen saturation develops seasonally in many estuaries, fjords, and along open coasts as a result of natural upwelling or from anthropogenic eutrophication induced by riverine nutrient inputs. Permanent hypoxia occurs naturally in some isolated seas and marine basins as well as in open slope oxygen minimum zones. Responses of benthos to hypoxia depend on the duration, predictability, and intensity of oxygen depletion and on whether H2S is formed. Under suboxic conditions, large mats of filamentous sulfide oxidizing bacteria cover the seabed and consume sulfide. They are hypothesized to provide a detoxified microhabitat for eukaryotic benthic communities. Calcareous foraminiferans and nematodes are particularly tolerant of low oxygen concentrations and may attain high densities and dominance, often in association with microbial mats. When oxygen is sufficient to support metazoans, small, soft-bodied invertebrates (typically annelids, often with short generation times and elaborate branchial structures, predominate. Large taxa are more sensitive than small taxa to hypoxia. Crustaceans and echinoderms are typically more sensitive to hypoxia, with lower oxygen thresholds, than annelids, sipunculans, molluscs and cnidarians. Mobile fish and shellfish will migrate away from low-oxygen areas. Within a species, early life stages may be more subject to oxygen stress than older life stages.

    Hypoxia alters both the structure and function of benthic communities, but effects may differ with regional hypoxia history. Human-caused hypoxia is generally linked to eutrophication, and occurs adjacent to watersheds with large populations or agricultural activities. Many occurrences are seasonal, within estuaries, fjords or enclosed seas of the North Atlantic and the NW Pacific Oceans. Benthic faunal responses, elicited at oxygen levels below

  13. Zoantharians (Hexacorallia: Zoantharia Associated with Cold-Water Corals in the Azores Region: New Species and Associations in the Deep Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Carreiro-Silva

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Zoantharians are a group of cnidarians that are often found in association with marine invertebrates, including corals, in shallow and deep-sea environments. However, little is known about deep-sea zoantharian taxonomy, specificity and nature of their associations with their coral hosts. In this study, analyses of molecular data (mtDNA COI, 16S, and 12S rDNA coupled with ecological and morphological characteristics were used to examine zoantharian specimens associated with cold-water corals (CWC at depths between 110 and 800 m from seamounts and island slopes in the Azores region. The zoantharians examined were found living in association with stylasterids, antipatharians and octocorals. From the collected specimens, four new species were identified: (1 Epizoanthus martinsae sp. n. associated with the antipatharian Leiopathes sp.; (2 Parazoanthus aliceae sp. n. associated with the stylasterid Errina dabneyi (Pourtalès, 1871; (3 Zibrowius alberti sp. n. associated with octocorals of the family Primnoidae [Paracalyptrophora josephinae (Lindström, 1877] and the family Plexauridae (Dentomuricea aff. meteor Grasshoff, 1977; (4 Hurlizoanthus hirondelleae sp. n. associated with the primnoid octocoral Candidella imbricata (Johnson, 1862. In addition, based on newly collected material, morphological and molecular data and phylogenic reconstruction, the zoantharian Isozoanthus primnoidus Carreiro-Silva, Braga-Henriques, Sampaio, de Matos, Porteiro & Ocaña, 2011, associated with the primnoid octocoral Callogorgia verticillata (Pallas, 1766, was reclassified as Zibrowius primnoidus comb. nov. The zoantharians, Z. primnoidus comb. nov., Z. alberti sp. n., and H. hirondelleae sp. n. associated with octocorals showed evidence of a parasitic relationship, where the zoantharian progressively eliminates gorgonian tissue and uses the gorgonian axis for structure and support, and coral sclerites for protection. In contrast, the zoantharian P. aliceae sp. n

  14. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps.

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    Lisa A Levin

    Full Text Available Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400-1850 m. The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2 of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m. Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰ ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than

  15. Marine biodiversity baseline for Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica: published records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cortés

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of tropical marine organisms has not been studied as intensively as the terrestrial biota worldwide. Additionally, marine biodiversity research in the tropics lags behind other regions. The 43,000 ha Sector Marino of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG, Marine Sector of Guanacaste Conservation Area, on the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica is no exception. For more than four decades, the terrestrial flora and fauna has been studied continuously. The ACG marine biodiversity was studied in the 1930’s by expeditions that passed through the area, but not much until the 1990’s, except for the marine turtles. In the mid 1990’s the Center for Research in Marine Science and Limnology (CIMAR of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR initiated the exploration of the marine environments and organisms of ACG. In 2015, ACG, in collaboration with CIMAR, started the BioMar project whose goal is to inventory the species of the marine sector of ACG (BioMar ACG project. As a baseline, here I have compiled the published records of marine ACG species, and found that 594 marine species have been reported, representing 15.5% of the known species of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The most diverse groups were the crustaceans, mollusks and cnidarians comprising 71.7% of the ACG species. Some taxa, such as mangroves and fish parasites are well represented in ACG when compared to the rest of the Costa Rican coast but others appear to be greatly underrepresented, for example, red algae, polychaetes, copepods, equinoderms, and marine fishes and birds, which could be due to sampling bias. Thirty species have been originally described with specimens from ACG, and 89 species are not known from other localities on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica except ACG. Most of the sampling has been concentrated in a few localities in Sector Marino, Playa Blanca and Islas Murciélago, and in the nearby waters of Bahía Santa Elena. In an effort to fill this gap, CIMAR

  16. Preservação da proteína verde fluorescente no tecido ósseo descalcificado Preservation of the green fluorescent protein on decalcified bone tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jankerle Neves Boeloni

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available A proteína verde fluorescente (GFP foi originalmente descoberta no cnidário Aequorea victoria. Células-tronco GFP positivas podem ser rastreadas in vivo quando usadas na terapia de doenças. No entanto, no osso, a fluorescência gerada pela GFP pode ser perdida durante o processo de descalcificação, dificultando o rastreamento das células-tronco usadas no tratamento de doenças ou defeitos ósseos. O objetivo deste estudo foi comparar diferentes técnicas de preservação da GFP no tecido ósseo descalcificado. Foram utilizados fêmures de ratas GFP Lewis distribuídos em quatro grupos: 1 descalcificado em ácido fórmico e incluído em parafina; 2 descalcificado em ácido fórmico e submetido à criomicrotomia; 3 descalcificado em EDTA e incluído em parafina; e 4 descalcificado em EDTA com criomicrotomia. Secções de tecido ósseo de todos os grupos foram analisadas para identificação da fluorescência natural e posteriormente submetidas à imunofluorescência, sendo utilizados anti-GFP e Alexa Flúor 555. As imagens foram obtidas por microscopia confocal. Osteócitos, osteoblastos e células da medula óssea de ratos GFP somente tiveram sua fluorescência natural preservada no tecido ósseo descalcificado em EDTA e submetido à microtomia por congelação. Nos demais grupos, houve perda da fluorescência natural, e as células GFP somente puderam ser identificadas com o uso da reação de imunofluorescência com anti-GFP. Conclui-se que a descalcificação em EDTA e a criomicrotomia são as melhores técnicas para preservar a fluorescência natural das células GFP no tecido ósseo e que a visualização de células GFP em tecido ósseo descalcificado em ácido fórmico e incluído em parafina somente pode ser realizada com o uso da técnica de imunofluorescência.Green fluorescent protein (GFP was originally derived from the cnidarians Aequorea victoria. GFP-positive stem cells can be tracked in vivo when used in the therapy of