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Sample records for gorgonian pseudopterogorgia elisabethae

  1. Bioactive new metabolites from the green alga Udotea orientalis growing on the Gorgonian coral Pseudopterogorgia rigida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabry, Omar M M; Goeger, Douglas E; Gerwick, William H

    2017-06-01

    As part of our continued search for bioactive secondary metabolites from marine sources using a bioassay-guided fractionation technique (Cytotoxic and anti-trypanosome activities), we have examined the organic extract of Papua New Guinean collection of the green alga Udotea orientalis growing on the Gorgonian coral Pseudopterogorgia rigida. Successive HPLC investigations resulted in isolation of three new compounds, (+) curcuepoxide A, (+) curcuepoxide B and (+)-10α-hydroxycurcudiol. Analysis of different spectroscopic data e.g. UV, IR, LRMS, HRMS, 1D NMR and 2D NMR on the isolated compounds allowed for construction of the planar structures. Stereochemistry assignment at C-7 and C-10 in the new compounds was discussed. Isolated compounds were found to be active in an in vitro assay of antitrypanosome activity. The isolated compounds were found to have variable cytotoxic activity in human lung cancer cell lines.

  2. Perezone, from the gorgonian Pseudopterogorgia rigida, induces oxidative stress in human leukemia cells

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    Paula A. Abreu

    Full Text Available Abstract Four bisabolanes 1–4, including perezone (1 and triacetyl perezone (2, were isolated through a bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract obtained from the Caribbean gorgonian coral Pseudopterogorgia rigida collected during an expedition cruise to the Bahamas. All isolated compounds showed to be cytotoxic toward panel of four human tumor cell lines, as quantified by the MTT assay after 72 h incubation. Perezone (1, the most active one, was further analyzed, showing to be cytotoxic, but not selective, in a 12-cell line panel comprising tumor and non-tumor, as well as human and murine cells. Additionally, 1 was assayed for cytotoxicity against HL-60 leukemic cells. Pre-treatment with an acute free radical scavenger (L-NAC before exposure of cells to perezone virtually eliminated the generation of intracellular ROS and lessened its severe cytotoxicity. The protective effect delivered by L-NAC evidences that the mechanism of perezone-induced cytotoxicity is partially associated to production of ROS and a consequent induction of oxidative stress.

  3. Microbial regulation in gorgonian corals.

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    Hunt, Laura R; Smith, Stephanie M; Downum, Kelsey R; Mydlarz, Laura D

    2012-06-01

    Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists.

  4. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

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    Laura D. Mydlarz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists.

  5. Brazilian gorgonians: a source of odoriferous compounds?

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    Silvia Siag Oigman

    Full Text Available Abstract The gorgonian Phyllogorgia dilatata Esper is an octocoral known to be source of biologically active terpenes. In this study, odoriferous compounds present in P. dilatata tissues were investigated, due to their exotic olfactory notes. The search of volatile compounds was performed in a dichloromethane/methanol extract submitted to a silica gel vacuum chromatography and HPLC, yielding the isomers (Z,E and (E,E-germacrones, identified by GC/MS, 1 and 2D NMR. The stereochemistry of (E,E-germacrone, as well as its preferred conformation, was confirmed by NOESY. Sensory analysis of the two isomers revealed a fragrant, citrus, woody and weak marine odor, similar to the odor of the natural gorgonian, and (E,E-germacrone has a three times more intense aroma than the (Z,E isomer.

  6. Management implications of fish trap effectiveness in adjacent coral reef and gorgonian habitats

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    Wolff, Nicholas; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Rogers, Caroline S.; Beets, James P.

    1999-01-01

    A combination of visual census and trap sampling in St. John, USVI indicated that traps performed better in gorgonian habitat than in adjacent coral reef habitat. Although most families were seen more commonly in coral habitat, they were caught more often in gorgonian areas. Traps probably fished more effectively in gorgonian habitats, especially for migrating species, because traps provided shelter in the relatively topographically uniform environment of gorgonian dominated habitats. Recently, trap fishermen on St. John have been moving effort away from traditionally fished nearshore coral reefs and into a variety of more homogeneous habitats such as gorgonian habitat. Consequently, exploitation rates of the already over-harvested reef fish resources may be increasing. Reef fish managers and marine reserve designers should consider limiting trap fishing in gorgonian habitats to slow the decline of reef fisheries.

  7. Ecological shifts in Mediterranean coralligenous assemblages related to gorgonian forest loss.

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    Ponti, Massimo; Perlini, Rossella Angela; Ventra, Vincenzo; Grech, Daniele; Abbiati, Marco; Cerrano, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Mediterranean gorgonian forests are threatened by several human activities and are affected by climatic anomalies that have led to mass mortality events in recent decades. The ecological role of these habitats and the possible consequence of their loss are poorly understood. Effects of gorgonians on the recruitment of epibenthic organisms were investigated by manipulating presence of gorgonians on experimental panels at 24 m depth, for Eunicella cavolinii, and at 40 m depth, for Paramuricea clavata, at two sites: Tavolara Island (Tyrrhenian Sea) and Portofino Promontory (Ligurian Sea). After 4 months, the most abundant taxa on the panels were encrusting green algae, erect red algae and crustose coralline algae at 24 m depth and encrusting brown algae and erect red algae at 40 m depth. Assemblages on the panels were significantly affected by the presence of the gorgonians, although effects varied across sites and between gorgonian species. Species diversity and evenness were lower on panels with gorgonian branches. Growth of erect algae and recruitment of serpulid polychaetes were also affected by the presence of the gorgonians, primarily at Tavolara. Crustose coralline algae and erect sponges were more abundant on E. cavolinii panels at 24 m depth, while encrusting bryozoans were more abundant on P. clavata panels at 40 m depth. Effects of gorgonians on recruited assemblages could be due to microscale modification of hydrodynamics and sediment deposition rate, or by a shading effect reducing light intensity. Gorgonians may also intercept settling propagules, compete for food with the filter-feeders and/or for space by producing allelochemicals. Presence of gorgonians mainly limits the growth of erect algae and enhances the abundance of encrusting algae and sessile invertebrates. Therefore, the gorgonian disappearances may cause a shift from assemblages characterised by crustose coralline algae to filamentous algae assemblages, decreasing complexity and resilience

  8. Ecological shifts in Mediterranean coralligenous assemblages related to gorgonian forest loss.

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    Massimo Ponti

    Full Text Available Mediterranean gorgonian forests are threatened by several human activities and are affected by climatic anomalies that have led to mass mortality events in recent decades. The ecological role of these habitats and the possible consequence of their loss are poorly understood. Effects of gorgonians on the recruitment of epibenthic organisms were investigated by manipulating presence of gorgonians on experimental panels at 24 m depth, for Eunicella cavolinii, and at 40 m depth, for Paramuricea clavata, at two sites: Tavolara Island (Tyrrhenian Sea and Portofino Promontory (Ligurian Sea. After 4 months, the most abundant taxa on the panels were encrusting green algae, erect red algae and crustose coralline algae at 24 m depth and encrusting brown algae and erect red algae at 40 m depth. Assemblages on the panels were significantly affected by the presence of the gorgonians, although effects varied across sites and between gorgonian species. Species diversity and evenness were lower on panels with gorgonian branches. Growth of erect algae and recruitment of serpulid polychaetes were also affected by the presence of the gorgonians, primarily at Tavolara. Crustose coralline algae and erect sponges were more abundant on E. cavolinii panels at 24 m depth, while encrusting bryozoans were more abundant on P. clavata panels at 40 m depth. Effects of gorgonians on recruited assemblages could be due to microscale modification of hydrodynamics and sediment deposition rate, or by a shading effect reducing light intensity. Gorgonians may also intercept settling propagules, compete for food with the filter-feeders and/or for space by producing allelochemicals. Presence of gorgonians mainly limits the growth of erect algae and enhances the abundance of encrusting algae and sessile invertebrates. Therefore, the gorgonian disappearances may cause a shift from assemblages characterised by crustose coralline algae to filamentous algae assemblages, decreasing

  9. Natural Product Chemistry of Gorgonian Corals of Genus Junceella—Part II

    OpenAIRE

    Mei-Chin Lu; Jimmy Kuo; Jyh-Horng Sheu; Ping-Jyun Sung; Jan-Jung Li; Lee-Shing Fang; Wei-Hsien Wang; Tai-Ting Chou; Yin-Pin Cheng; Ching-Feng Weng; Chia-Hung Lee; Yang-Chang Wu; Jui-Hsin Su

    2011-01-01

    The structures, names, bioactivities, and references of 81 new secondary metabolites obtained from gorgonian corals belonging to the genus Junceella are described in this review. All compounds mentioned in this review were obtained from sea whip gorgonian corals Junceella fragilis and Junceella juncea, collected from the tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific Ocean.

  10. Diversity and antimicrobial activity of culturable fungi isolated from six species of the South China Sea gorgonians.

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    Zhang, Xiao-Yong; Bao, Jie; Wang, Guang-Hua; He, Fei; Xu, Xin-Ya; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2012-10-01

    Fungi in gorgonians are now known to cause gorgonian diseases, but little attention has been paid to the nature of fungal communities associated with gorgonians. The diversity of culturable fungi associated with six species of healthy South China Sea gorgonians were investigated using a culture-dependent method followed by analysis of fungal internal transcribed spacer sequences. A total of 121 fungal isolates were recovered and identified using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool search program. These belonged to 41 fungal species from 20 genera. Of these, 30 species and 12 genera are new reports for gorgonians, and the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium were the most diverse and common in the six gorgonian species. Comparison of the fungal communities in the six gorgonian species, together with results from previous relevant studies, indicated that different gorgonian species and the same gorgonian species living in different geographic locations had different fungal communities. The gorgonian Dichotella gemmacea harbored the most fungal species and isolates, while Echinogorgia aurantiaca had the least fungal diversity. Among the six media used for fungal isolation, potato glucose agar yielded the highest isolates (27 isolates), while glucose peptone starch agar had the best recoverability of fungal species (15 species). The antimicrobial activity of the 121 fungal isolates was tested against three marine bacteria and two marine gorgonian pathogenic fungi. A relatively high proportion (38 %) of fungal isolates displayed distinct antibacterial and antifungal activity, suggesting that the gorgonian-associated fungi may aid their hosts in protection against pathogens. This is the first report comparing the diversity of fungal communities among the South China Sea gorgonians. It contributes to our knowledge of gorgonian-associated fungi and further increases the pool of fungi available for natural bioactive product screening.

  11. Comparative Assessment of Mediterranean Gorgonian-Associated Microbial Communities Reveals Conserved Core and Locally Variant Bacteria

    KAUST Repository

    van de Water, Jeroen A J M

    2016-10-10

    Gorgonians are key habitat-forming species of Mediterranean benthic communities, but their populations have suffered from mass mortality events linked to high summer seawater temperatures and microbial disease. However, our knowledge on the diversity, dynamics and function of gorgonian-associated microbial communities is limited. Here, we analysed the spatial variability of the microbiomes of five sympatric gorgonian species (Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolini, Eunicella verrucosa, Leptogorgia sarmentosa and Paramuricea clavata), collected from the Mediterranean Sea over a scale of ∼1100 km, using next-generation amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The microbiomes of all gorgonian species were generally dominated by members of the genus Endozoicomonas, which were at very low abundance in the surrounding seawater. Although the composition of the core microbiome (operational taxonomic units consistently present in a species) was found to be unique for each host species, significant overlap was observed. These spatially consistent associations between gorgonians and their core bacteria suggest intricate symbiotic relationships and regulation of the microbiome composition by the host. At the same time, local variations in microbiome composition were observed. Functional predictive profiling indicated that these differences could be attributed to seawater pollution. Taken together, our data indicate that gorgonian-associated microbiomes are composed of spatially conserved bacteria (core microbiome members) and locally variant members, and that local pollution may influence these local associations, potentially impacting gorgonian health.

  12. Overview on the distribution of gorgonian species in Tunisian marine coastal waters (central Mediterranean

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    Raouia Ghanem

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Gorgonian species play an important ecological role in the structure and function of marine communities. Human activities are negatively affecting the conservation status of gorgonian populations in the Mediterranean. Acquiring knowledge of gorgonian distribution is therefore a key step required to promote efficient management and conservation actions. However, information on the distribution of gorgonian species is lacking in many Mediterranean areas. This study aimed to provide an overview of the geographic and bathymetric distributions of gorgonians in the coastal waters of the Tunisian coast (1136 km. The sampling design encompassed three sectors, 27 localities and 87 sites. Information was collected from scuba diving (26 sites and local ecological knowledge surveys of fishermen and divers (132 interviews, as well as from a literature review. Overall, the occurrence of eight gorgonians was confirmed at 54 out of the 87 sites surveyed in Tunisian coastal waters (7-120 m depth. The species that were found were Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolini, Paramuricea clavata, Paramuricea macrospina, Leptogorgia sarmentosa, Eunicella verrucosa, Corallium rubrum and Ellisella paraplexauroides. The highest gorgonian species richness and abundance was recorded in northern, followed by eastern Tunisian waters. In the southern areas only one species was recorded. This pattern was related to the rocky substrate that characterizes the northern and eastern coasts of Tunisia. This study is the first to report the occurrence of E. singularis, E. cavolini, E. verrucosa and Leptogorgia sarmentosa in northern and eastern Tunisian waters. The results are discussed in the hope of guiding future conservation and management actions for gorgonian assemblages in Tunisia.

  13. Limited Genetic Connectivity between Gorgonian Morphotypes along a Depth Gradient.

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    Federica Costantini

    Full Text Available Gorgonian species show a high morphological variability in relation to the environment in which they live. In coastal areas, parameters such as temperature, light, currents, and food availability vary significantly with depth, potentially affecting morphology of the colonies and the structure of the populations, as well as their connectivity patterns. In tropical seas, the existence of connectivity between shallow and deep populations supported the hypothesis that the deep coral reefs could potentially act as (reproductive refugia fostering re-colonization of shallow areas after mortality events. Moreover, this hypothesis is not so clear accepted in temperate seas. Eunicella singularis is one of the most common gorgonian species in Northwestern Mediterranean Sea, playing an important role as ecosystem engineer by providing biomass and complexity to the coralligenous habitats. It has a wide bathymetric distribution ranging from about 10 m to 100 m. Two depth-related morphotypes have been identified, differing in colony morphology, sclerite size and shape, and occurrence of symbiotic algae, but not in mitochondrial DNA haplotypes. In the present study the genetic structure of E. singularis populations along a horizontal and bathymetric gradient was assessed using microsatellites and ITS1 sequences. Restricted gene flow was found at 30-40 m depth between the two Eunicella morphotypes. Conversely, no genetic structuring has been found among shallow water populations within a spatial scale of ten kilometers. The break in gene flow between shallow and deep populations contributes to explain the morphological variability observed at different depths. Moreover, the limited vertical connectivity hinted that the refugia hypothesis does not apply to E. singularis. Re-colonization of shallow water populations, occasionally affected by mass mortality events, should then be mainly fueled by larvae from other shallow water populations.

  14. The effects of elevated seawater temperatures on Caribbean gorgonian corals and their algal symbionts, Symbiodinium spp.

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    Tamar L Goulet

    Full Text Available Global climate change not only leads to elevated seawater temperatures but also to episodic anomalously high or low temperatures lasting for several hours to days. Scleractinian corals are detrimentally affected by thermal fluctuations, which often lead to an uncoupling of their mutualism with Symbiodinium spp. (coral bleaching and potentially coral death. Consequently, on many Caribbean reefs scleractinian coral cover has plummeted. Conversely, gorgonian corals persist, with their abundance even increasing. How gorgonians react to thermal anomalies has been investigated utilizing limited parameters of either the gorgonian, Symbiodinium or the combined symbiosis (holobiont. We employed a holistic approach to examine the effect of an experimental five-day elevated temperature episode on parameters of the host, symbiont, and the holobiont in Eunicea tourneforti, E. flexuosa and Pseudoplexaura porosa. These gorgonian corals reacted and coped with 32°C seawater temperatures. Neither Symbiodinium genotypes nor densities differed between the ambient 29.5°C and 32°C. Chlorophyll a and c2 per Symbiodinium cell, however, were lower at 32°C leading to a reduction in chlorophyll content in the branches and an associated reduction in estimated absorbance and increase in the chlorophyll a specific absorption coefficient. The adjustments in the photochemical parameters led to changes in photochemical efficiencies, although these too showed that the gorgonians were coping. For example, the maximum excitation pressure, Qm, was significantly lower at 32°C than at 29.5°C. In addition, although per dry weight the amount of protein and lipids were lower at 32°C, the overall energy content in the tissues did not differ between the temperatures. Antioxidant activity either remained the same or increased following exposure to 32°C further reiterating a response that dealt with the stressor. Taken together, the capability of Caribbean gorgonian corals to modify

  15. Diversity and abundance of invertebrate epifaunal assemblages associated with gorgonians are driven by colony attributes

    KAUST Repository

    Curdia, Joao

    2015-03-20

    The present study aimed to explicitly quantify the link between the attributes of shallow-water gorgonian colonies (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) and the ecological patterns of associated non-colonial epifaunal invertebrates. Based on multiple regression analysis, we tested the contribution of several attributes (colony height, width, and area, fractal dimension as a measure of colony complexity, lacunarity as a measure of the heterogeneity, and “colonial” epibiont cover) to abundance and taxonomic richness of associated assemblages. The results highlight the variation in the response of epifaunal assemblages to the gorgonian colony characteristics. The nature and intensity of the relationships were gorgonian species-dependent and varied from one taxonomic group to another. For both gorgonian species analyzed, the strongest predictor of species richness and abundance of the epifaunal assemblages was “colonial” epibiont cover, possibly due to a trophic effect (direct or indirect enhancement of food availability) combined with the surface available for colonization (species–area effect). Although structural complexity is usually indicated as the main driver for rich and abundant coral-associated assemblages, no significant relationship was observed between fractal dimension and the community descriptors; lacunarity, which reflects the sizes of the inter-branch spaces, was only linked to taxonomic richness in the assemblages associated with Leptogorgia lusitanica. The validity of the paradigm that structural complexity enhances biodiversity may be scale-dependent. In the case of gorgonians, the effect of complexity at the “garden” level may be more relevant than at the individual colony level. This reinforces the need for the conservation of gorgonian aggregation areas as a whole in order to preserve host diversity and size structure. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

  16. Temporal variability in epifaunal assemblages associated with temperate gorgonian gardens

    KAUST Repository

    Dias, I.M.

    2015-10-19

    The present study is one of the few that investigate the temporal variability of epifaunal assemblages associated with coral species, particularly the octocorals Eunicella gazella and Leptogorgia lusitanica in south Portugal. The results suggest time rather than colony size as a primary driver of the ecological patterns of these assemblages, which were dominated by amphipods, molluscs and polychaetes. Temporal variability was linked to changes in environmental parameters, namely temperature, chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon. Hence, temporal variability must be taken into account for the design of future biodiversity assessment studies, as different patterns may be observed depending on the sampling time. Associated epifaunal assemblages were consistently dominated by resident species (i.e. species present in all sampling periods) and a peak of rare species was observed in the transition from spring to summer following the increase of seawater temperature. Turnover was particularly high in the transition between the spring and summer periods. In both hosts, turnover was higher in the small sized colonies, which generally harboured less diverse and less abundant assemblages which also differed from those inhabiting larger size colonies. The high levels of diversity associated with gorgonian colonies highlights the need for the conservation of this priority habitat.

  17. Identification of the Eight-Membered Heterocycles Hicksoanes A-C from the Gorgonian Subergorgia hicksoni

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řezanka, Tomáš; Hanuš, L. O.; Dembitsky, V. M.; Sigler, Karel

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 2008, č. 7 (2008), s. 1265-1270 ISSN 1434-193X R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1P05OC073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : gorgonians * nitrogen heterocycles * natural products Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.016, year: 2008

  18. Development of Cryopreservation Techniques for Gorgonian (Junceella juncea Oocytes through Vitrification.

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    Sujune Tsai

    Full Text Available Gorgonian corals are slowly declining due to human interaction and environmental impacts. Cryopreservation of gorgonian corals is an ex-situ method of conservation, ensuring future reproduction. The present study assessed the vitrification properties of cryoprotectant (CPT mixtures using the cryotop, cryoloop and open pulled straw (OPS cryopereservation methods prior to experimentation on gorgonian (Junceella juncea oocytes. Investigations of the equilibration and vitrification solutions' (ES and VS effect on oocytes throughout different incubation periods were conducted. The cryotop method was found to be the most successful in ensuring vitrification. The most favourable VS was composed of propylene glycol (PG, ethylene glycol (EG and methanol with concentrations of 3.5 M, 1.5 M and 2 M respectively. Experiments were performed using the cryotop method to cryopreserve Junceella juncea oocytes using VS2, the solution had the least impact on oocytes at 5°C rather than at 26°C. The success of the vitrification procedures was determined by adenosine triphosphate (ATP levels in cooled-thaw oocytes and the highest viability obtained from the present study was 76.6 ± 6.2%. This study provides information regarding gorgonian corals' tolerance and viability throughout vitrification to further advance the vitrification protocol on whip corals.

  19. A pseudopterane diterpene isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa inhibits the inflammatory response mediated by TLR-ligands and TNF-alpha in macrophages.

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    Yisett González

    Full Text Available Several diterpenoids isolated from terrestrial and marine environments have been identified as important anti-inflammatory agents. Although considerable progress has been made in the area of anti-inflammatory treatment, the search for more effective and safer compounds is a very active field of research. In this study we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a known pseudopterane diterpene (referred here as compound 1 isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa on the tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α and TLRs- induced response in macrophages. Compound 1 inhibited the expression and secretion of the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, interleukin (IL-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO, interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10, ciclooxygenase (COX-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 induced by LPS in primary murine macrophages. This effect was associated with the inhibition of IκBα degradation and subsequent activation of NFκB. Compound 1 also inhibited the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, which is a hallmark of macrophage activation and consequent initiation of an adaptive immune response. The anti-inflammatory effect was not exclusive to LPS because compound 1 also inhibited the response of macrophages to TNF-α and TLR2 and TLR3 ligands. Taken together, these results indicate that compound 1 is an anti-inflammatory molecule, which modulates a variety of processes occurring in macrophage activation.

  20. A Pseudopterane Diterpene Isolated From the Octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa Inhibits the Inflammatory Response Mediated by TLR-Ligands and TNF-Alpha in Macrophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Yisett; Doens, Deborah; Santamaría, Ricardo; Ramos, Marla; Restrepo, Carlos M.; Barros de Arruda, Luciana; Lleonart, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Fernández, Patricia L.

    2013-01-01

    Several diterpenoids isolated from terrestrial and marine environments have been identified as important anti-inflammatory agents. Although considerable progress has been made in the area of anti-inflammatory treatment, the search for more effective and safer compounds is a very active field of research. In this study we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a known pseudopterane diterpene (referred here as compound 1) isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa on the tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α) and TLRs- induced response in macrophages. Compound 1 inhibited the expression and secretion of the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO), interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), ciclooxygenase (COX)-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) induced by LPS in primary murine macrophages. This effect was associated with the inhibition of IκBα degradation and subsequent activation of NFκB. Compound 1 also inhibited the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, which is a hallmark of macrophage activation and consequent initiation of an adaptive immune response. The anti-inflammatory effect was not exclusive to LPS because compound 1 also inhibited the response of macrophages to TNF-α and TLR2 and TLR3 ligands. Taken together, these results indicate that compound 1 is an anti-inflammatory molecule, which modulates a variety of processes occurring in macrophage activation. PMID:24358331

  1. Fragilisinins A–L, new briarane-type diterpenoids from gorgonian Junceella fragilis

    KAUST Repository

    Lei, Hui

    2014-01-01

    Our continuous study on the South China Sea gorgonian Junceella fragilis led to the isolation of twelve new briarane type diterpenoids, fragilisinins A-L (1-12), along with seven known analogues (13-19), including four naturally produced organoiodides (9-12), they are the first four iodine-containing briarane diterpenoids from this gorgonian species. Their structures were determined by MS, 1D and 2D NMR spectra analyses and by comparison with those reported in the literature. The configuration of 1 was confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction data. The antifouling test showed that compounds 5, 6, 10, 13, and 15 had potent antifouling activities at nontoxic concentrations with EC50 values of 14.0, 12.6, 11.9, 5.6, and 10.0 μM, respectively. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  2. Bioactive Compounds from a Gorgonian Coral Echinomuricea sp. (Plexauridae

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    Jih-Jung Chen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available A new labdane-type diterpenoid, echinolabdane A (1, and a new sterol, 6-epi-yonarasterol B (2, were isolated from a gorgonian coral identified as Echinomuricea sp. The structures of metabolites 1 and 2 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods. Echinolabdane A (1 possesses a novel tetracyclic skeleton with an oxepane ring jointed to an α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactone ring by a hemiketal moiety, and this compound is the first labdane-type diterpenoid to be obtained from marine organisms belonging to the phylum Cnidaria. 6-epi-Yonarasterol B (2 is the first steroid derivative to be isolated from gorgonian coral belonging to the genus Echinomuricea, and this compound displayed significant inhibitory effects on the generation of superoxide anions and the release of elastase by human neutrophils.

  3. Responses of the tropical gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to ocean acidification conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, C. E.; Paul, V. J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Muehllehner, N.; Langdon, C.; Sánchez, J. A.

    2015-06-01

    Ocean acidification can have negative repercussions from the organism to ecosystem levels. Octocorals deposit high-magnesium calcite in their skeletons, and according to different models, they could be more susceptible to the depletion of carbonate ions than either calcite or aragonite-depositing organisms. This study investigated the response of the gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to a range of CO2 concentrations from 285 to 4,568 ppm (pH range 8.1-7.1) over a 4-week period. Gorgonian growth and calcification were measured at each level of CO2 as linear extension rate and percent change in buoyant weight and calcein incorporation in individual sclerites, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship for calcification and CO2 concentration that was well explained by a linear model regression analysis for both buoyant weight and calcein staining. In general, growth and calcification did not stop in any of the concentrations of pCO2; however, some of the octocoral fragments experienced negative calcification at undersaturated levels of calcium carbonate (>4,500 ppm) suggesting possible dissolution effects. These results highlight the susceptibility of the gorgonian coral E. fusca to elevated levels of carbon dioxide but suggest that E. fusca could still survive well in mid-term ocean acidification conditions expected by the end of this century, which provides important information on the effects of ocean acidification on the dynamics of coral reef communities. Gorgonian corals can be expected to diversify and thrive in the Atlantic-Eastern Pacific; as scleractinian corals decline, it is likely to expect a shift in these reef communities from scleractinian coral dominated to octocoral/soft coral dominated under a "business as usual" scenario of CO2 emissions.

  4. High spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia González-Díaz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. We tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. Research was carried out in July 2006 at Los Colorados reef, located in the northwestern region of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba at 12 sampling stations. The biotopes selected were crest, terrace edge and spur and grove. Ecological indicators were diversity of corals, species composition, density of corals, hydrocorals, gorgonians and sponges, and density of selected coral species. A total of 2659 colonies of scleractineans corals representing 36 species were counted. The most abundant species in the crest biotope were Millepora alcicornis, Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides; in the terrace edge and spur and grove, the most abundant species were Siderastrea siderea, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Porites astreoides, Agaricia agaricites and Montastraea cavernosa. We found differences among sites for several indicators (e.g. density of corals, sponges and gorgonians and for selected species, but they could not be associated to any gradient of land influence or human impact. Therefore, sites inside a relatively homogeneous reef unit can present notable natural differences in the composition of their communities. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (2: 621-634. Epub 2010 June 02.

  5. Bacteria of the genus Endozoicomonas dominate the microbiome of the Mediterranean gorgonian coral Eunicella cavolini

    KAUST Repository

    Bayer, T

    2013-04-08

    Forming dense beds that provide the structural basis of a distinct ecosystem, the gorgonian Eunicella cavolini (Octocorallia) is an important species in the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the importance and prevalence of this temperate gorgonian, little is known about its microbial assemblage, although bacteria are well known to be important to hard and soft coral functioning. Here, we used massively parallel pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes to determine the composition and relative abundances of bacteria associated with E. cavolini collected from different depths at a site on the French Mediterranean coast. We found that whereas the bacterial assemblages of E. cavolini were distinct and less diverse than those of the surrounding water column, the water depth did not affect the bacterial assemblages of this gorgonian. Our data show that E. cavolini?s microbiome contains only a few shared species and that it is highly dominated by bacteria from the genus Endozoicomonas, a Gammaproteobacteria that is frequently found to associate with marine invertebrates.

  6. High spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Díaz, Patricia; González-Sansón, Gaspar; Alvarez Fernández, Sergio; Perera Pérez, Orlando

    2010-06-01

    The main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. We tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. Research was carried out in July 2006 at Los Colorados reef, located in the northwestern region of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba at 12 sampling stations. The biotopes selected were crest, terrace edge and spur and grove. Ecological indicators were diversity of corals, species composition, density of corals, hydrocorals, gorgonians and sponges, and density of selected coral species. A total of 2659 colonies of scleractineans corals representing 36 species were counted. The most abundant species in the crest biotope were Millepora alcicornis, Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides; in the terrace edge and spur and grove, the most abundant species were Siderastrea siderea, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Porites astreoides, Agaricia agaricites and Montastraea cavernosa. We found differences among sites for several indicators (e.g. density of corals, sponges and gorgonians and for selected species), but they could not be associated to any gradient of land influence or human impact. Therefore, sites inside a relatively homogeneous reef unit can present notable natural differences in the composition of their communities.

  7. Effects of wave energy, topographic relief and sediment transport on the distribution of shallow-water gorgonians of Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshioka, Paul M.; Yoshioka, Beverly Buchanan

    1989-12-01

    Environmental factors controlling the distribution of shallow-water gorgonians of Puerto Rico were inferred from a Reciprocal Averaging ordination analysis. The data set included several samples taken before and after the passage of Hurricane David and the mass mortality of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum. We could infer only a single environmental gradient associated with the distribution of gorgonians. Stations at opposite extremes of this gradient were characterized by combinations of high wave action with low topographic relief, or low wave action with high topographic relief. This gradient was also associated with sediment transport across the bottom (bedload). A detailed examination of ordination results in relation to Hurricane David and the Diadema mortality indicated that sediment transport, rather than water movement and topographic relief, is more directly related to the distribution of shallow-water gorgonians.

  8. Six New Tetraprenylated Alkaloids from the South China Sea Gorgonian Echinogorgia pseudossapo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang-Hua Sun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Six new tetraprenylated alkaloids, designated as malonganenones L–Q (1–6, were isolated from the gorgonian Echinogorgia pseudossapo, collected in Daya Bay of Guangdong Province, China. The structures of 1–6 featuring a methyl group at N-3 and a tetraprenyl chain at N-7 in the hypoxanthine core were established by extensive spectroscopic analyses. Compounds 1–6 were tested for their inhibitory activity against the phosphodiesterases (PDEs-4D, 5A, and 9A, and compounds 1 and 6 exhibited moderate inhibitory activity against PDE4D with IC50 values of 8.5 and 20.3 µM, respectively.

  9. Presence of Aspergillus sydowii, a pathogen of gorgonian sea fans in the marine sponge Spongia obscura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ein-Gil, Neta; Ilan, Micha; Carmeli, Shmuel; Smith, Garriet W; Pawlik, Joseph R; Yarden, Oded

    2009-06-01

    The fungus Aspergillus sydowii is the causative agent of epidemics that affect gorgonian corals (sea fans) and has significantly affected their populations in the Caribbean Sea. We have isolated a strain of A. sydowii from healthy marine sponges (Spongia obscura) collected in Bahamian inshore waters. After its identification on the basis of morphology, molecular markers and chemical profiling followed by pathogenicity tests, we found this strain to be highly similar to a strain isolated from diseased coral, and have shown the capacity of this fungus to persist in sponge environment. Our findings suggest that sponges have the possibility of being reservoirs of a potential marine pathogen.

  10. Collagen in the spicule organic matrix of the gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingsley, R. J.; Tsuzaki, M.; Watabe, N.; Mechanic, G. L.

    1990-01-01

    Decalcification of the calcareous spicules from the gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata reveals an organic matrix that may be divided into water insoluble and soluble fractions. The insoluble fraction displays characteristics typical of collagen, which is an unusual component of an invertebrate calcium carbonate structure. This matrix fraction exhibits a collagenous amino acid profile and behavior upon SDS-PAGE. Furthermore, the reducible crosslink, dihydroxylysinonorleucine (DHLNL), is detected in this fraction. The composition of the matrix varies seasonally; i.e., the collagenous composition is most prevalent in the summer. These results indicate that the insoluble matrix is a dynamic structure. Potential roles of this matrix in spicule calcification are discussed.

  11. Alkaloids and Sesquiterpenes from the South China Sea Gorgonian Echinogorgia pseudossapo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Hua Qi

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Five zoanthoxanthin alkaloids (1–5 and four sesquiterpenes (6–9 were isolated from the South China Sea gorgonian Echinogorgia pseudossapo. Their structures were determined on the bases of extensive spectroscopic analyses, including 1D and 2D NMR data. Among them, pseudozoanthoxanthins III and IV (1–2, 8-hydroxy-6β-methoxy-14-oxooplop-6,12-olide (6 and 3β-methoxyguaian-10(14-en-2β-ol (7 were new, 1 and 3 showed mild anti-HSV-1 activity, and 7 showed significant antilarval activity towards Balanus amphitrite larvae.

  12. Estimating Surface Area of Sponges and Marine Gorgonians as Indicators of Habitat Availability on Caribbean Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surface area and topographical complexity are fundamental attributes of shallow tropical coral reefs and can be used to estimate habitat for fish and invertebrates. This study presents empirical methods for estimating surface area provided by sponges and gorgonians in the Central...

  13. Genetic Diversity and Local Connectivity in the Mediterranean Red Gorgonian Coral after Mass Mortality Events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilczynska, Joanna; Cocito, Silvia; Boavida, Joana; Serrão, Ester; Queiroga, Henrique

    2016-01-01

    Estimating the patterns of connectivity in marine taxa with planktonic dispersive stages is a challenging but crucial task because of its conservation implications. The red gorgonian Paramuricea clavata is a habitat forming species, characterized by short larval dispersal and high reproductive output, but low recruitment. In the recent past, the species was impacted by mass mortality events caused by increased water temperatures in summer. In the present study, we used 9 microsatellites to investigate the genetic structure and connectivity in the highly threatened populations from the Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean). No evidence for a recent bottleneck neither decreased genetic diversity in sites impacted by mass mortality events were found. Significant IBD pattern and high global FST confirmed low larval dispersal capability in the red gorgonian. The maximum dispersal distance was estimated at 20-60 km. Larval exchange between sites separated by hundreds of meters and between different depths was detected at each site, supporting the hypothesis that deeper subpopulations unaffected by surface warming peaks may provide larvae for shallower ones, enabling recovery after climatically induced mortality events.

  14. Low clonal propagation in Atlantic and Mediterranean populations of the red gorgonian Paramuricea clavata (Octocorallia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Pilczynska

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Clonal propagation is a common feature of benthic marine organisms. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of clonal reproduction in the red gorgonian Paramuricea clavata. Mediterranean populations of P. clavata were severely affected by mass mortality events caused by increased water temperature in 1999 and 2003. The populations are characterized by slow growth and episodic recruitment, but after the observed mortalities, an unexpectedly high recovery rate was observed in the severely affected populations from the Ligurian Sea, NW Mediterranean. Ten years after the last mortality event, we investigated the contribution of clonal propagation in populations from the Ligurian Sea, where some populations were highly affected by mass mortality events, and from the Atlantic, where mortality was never observed. All individuals were genotyped for nine microsatellite loci. The contribution of clonal reproduction varied from 0% to 13% and did not differ significantly between affected and unaffected populations. We confirm by using genetic markers that clonal propagation in P. clavata is not common, and that the contribution of clones is too low to play an important role in red gorgonian reproduction and cannot contribute to population recovery at sites that have been affected by mass mortality events.

  15. Element concentrations in cold-water gorgonians and black coral from Azores region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimundo, Joana; Vale, Carlos; Caetano, Miguel; Anes, Bárbara; Carreiro-Silva, Marina; Martins, Inês; Matos, Valentina de; Porteiro, Filipe M.

    2013-12-01

    Seamounts are thought to support high biodiversity and special biological communities, including corals. Corals incorporate minor and trace elements and have been suggested as possible bioindicators of their availability in the environment. Forty specimens of five gorgonian species (Alcyonacea) and a black coral (Antipatharia) were collected in 12 sites in the Azores region. Concentrations of Ca, Mg, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Cd and Pb were determined in skeleton and attached tissue of each individual from each species. Leiopathes sp. had higher Cr, Ni, Se and Pb concentrations than the gorgonians. Enhanced Cu and Cd values were registered in Leiopathes and Acanthogorgia hirsuta. Specimens of A. hirsuta also presented elevated concentrations of Zn and Co. Linear relationships between Cd and Cu, Zn and Se point to response mechanisms in corals, possibly related to the induction of proteins enlarging the capacity to incorporate further quantities of essential elements. Results obtained in this study suggest the existence of an additional source of Cd in waters off Azores Islands associated with natural hydrothermal activities.

  16. Investigating Bermuda's pollution history through stable isotope analyses of modern and museum-held gorgonian corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, David M; Murdoch, Thaddeus J T; Conti-Jerpe, Inga; Fogel, Marilyn

    2017-01-15

    For centuries, Bermuda has been challenged with wastewater management for the protection of human and environmental health. By quantifying the δ 15 N of the common sea fan Gorgonia ventalina sampled from 30 sites throughout Bermuda we show that sewage-derived nitrogen is detectable on nearshore coral reefs and declines across the lagoon to the outer rim. We also sampled gorgonians from two museum collections representing a 50y time-series (1958-2008). These samples revealed an increase in δ 15 N of >4.0‰ until the mid-1970s, after which δ 15 N values slowly declined by ~2.0‰. A δ 15 N chronology from a gorgonian skeleton exhibited a similar decline over the last 30-40years of approximately 0.6‰. We conclude that policies have been effective in reducing sewage impacts to Bermudian reefs. However, significant sources of sewage pollution persist and are likely have a strong impact on harbor and nearshore coral communities and human health. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Studies on the secondary metabolites from the Indian gorgonian Subergorgia suberosa: Isolation and characterization of four analogues of the cardiotoxin subergorgic acid

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Parameswaran, P.S.; Naik, C.G.; Kamat, S.Y.; Puar, M.S.; Das, Pradip; Hegde, V.R.

    Chemical investigation of the methanol extract of the Indian Ocean gorgonian coral Subergorgia suberosa resulted in isolation and identification of four novel compounds 2-5. Structural investigation revealed compound 1 to be subergorgic acid...

  18. Antifouling briarane type diterpenoids from South China Sea gorgonians Dichotella gemmacea

    KAUST Repository

    Sun, Jian Fan

    2013-01-01

    Our continued investigation on the South China Sea gorgonian Dichotella gemmacea led to the isolation of 16 new briarane-type diterpenoids, dichotellides F-U (1-16), along with 18 known analogues (17-34). Their structures were determined by MS, 1D and 2D NMR spectra analyses and by comparison with those reported in literature. The absolute configuration of 15 was confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction data. The antifouling test showed that compounds 3, 4, 6-11, 16, and 23 had potent antifouling activities at nontoxic concentrations with EC50 values of 4.1, 1.82, 6.3, 7.6, 4.6, 1.2, 5.6, 0.79, 2.0, and 0.2 μg/mL, respectively. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Carbamate derivatives and sesquiterpenoids from the South China Sea gorgonian Melitodes squamata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Li-Si; He, Fei; Huang, Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Yong; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2012-01-01

    Five carbamate derivatives, obtucarbamates C and D (1, 2), dimethyl ((carbonylbis(azanediyl))bis(2-methyl-5,1-phenylene))dicarbamate (3), obtucarbamates A and B (4, 5), and four aromadendrane-type sesquiterpenoids, (+)-4β-N-methenetauryl-10β-methoxy-1β,5α,6β,7β-aromadendrane (6), (-)-4β-N-methenetauryl-10β-methoxy-1β,5β,6α,7α-aromadendrane (7), (-)-4α,10β-aromadendranediol (8), (+)-4β,10β-aromadendranediol (9) were obtained from the South China Sea gorgonian coral Melitodes squamata Nutting. Compounds 1, 2, 6, and 7 were new, and their structures were established by spectroscopic analyses. Compounds 6 and 7 contained a taurine group that was rarely found in marine natural compounds, and 7 showed moderate antibacterial activity. The possible biosynthesis routes of 1-5 were conjectured.

  20. The Ethanolic Extracts The Gorgonian Isis hippuris Inhibited the Induced Mammary Carcinoma Growth In C3H Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trianto, Agus; Andriyas, Yogi; Ridlo, Ali; Sedjati, Sri; Susilaningsih, Neni; Murwani, Retno

    2018-02-01

    The gorgonian Isis hippuris contains secondary metabolites gorgosterol and hippuristanol which are capable of inhibiting cancer cells. However, in vivo test of the gorgonian Isis hippuris extract as the anticancer drug has not been conducted. The research to study of the effect of ethanolic extract of the gorgonian on the induced tumor growth in C3H mice. The I. hippuris was obtained from Karimunjawa water in Jepara. The extract was prepared by maceration using ethanol. A total 20, 8-10 moths old of C3H mice with an initial weight of 20-25 gram were assigned into control, Ih-1, Ih-2, and Ih-3 groups. Control, Ih-1, Ih-2, and Ih-3 groups each received 0, 0.15, 1.5, and 15 mg extract per mouse per day respectively for two weeks. Cancer cells were introduced to all groups from a donor cancer mouse by injection via left or right axilla and allowed to grow. The cancer mass was removed and processed for histological examination, and cancer growth was determined according to Elston and Ellis criteria. The result showed that histological grade of cancer mass from the control group was in grade 2 or differentiated moderately. The histological grade of cancer mass from Ih-1, Ih-2, and Ih-3 groups were in grade 1 (low grade) or similar to a normal cell. Statistical analysis by Kruskal-Wallis test showed a significant difference (pdrug.

  1. Gorgonian Alcyonacea

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The data represent predicted habitat suitability for several taxa of deep-sea corals. Predictions were modeled using a statistical machine-learning algorithm called...

  2. High spatial variability of coral, sponges and gorgonian assemblages in a well preserved reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia González-Díaz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this research was to obtain baseline field data of the composition of sponges, corals, and gorgonian assemblages that can be used as a reference for future analyses of anthropogenic impact. We tested the hypothesis that relatively homogeneous and well preserved reef units can present notable natural variability in the composition of their communities which are unassociated with changes in land proximity or a human impact gradient. Research was carried out in July 2006 at Los Colorados reef, located in the northwestern region of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba at 12 sampling stations. The biotopes selected were crest, terrace edge and spur and grove. Ecological indicators were diversity of corals, species composition, density of corals, hydrocorals, gorgonians and sponges, and density of selected coral species. A total of 2659 colonies of scleractineans corals representing 36 species were counted. The most abundant species in the crest biotope were Millepora alcicornis, Acropora palmata and Porites astreoides; in the terrace edge and spur and grove, the most abundant species were Siderastrea siderea, Stephanocoenia intersepta, Porites astreoides, Agaricia agaricites and Montastraea cavernosa. We found differences among sites for several indicators (e.g. density of corals, sponges and gorgonians and for selected species, but they could not be associated to any gradient of land influence or human impact. Therefore, sites inside a relatively homogeneous reef unit can present notable natural differences in the composition of their communities. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (2: 621-634. Epub 2010 June 02.El objetivo principal de la investigación fue obtener una línea base de la composición de las comunidades de esponjas, corales y gorgonias que pueda ser utilizada como referencia para futuros análisis de impacto antrópico. Nuestra hipótesis es que un arrecife relativamente homogéneo y bien conservado, presenta una variabilidad natural

  3. Cytochrome P450 diversity and induction by gorgonian allelochemicals in the marine gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson David R

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Intense consumer pressure strongly affects the structural organization and function of marine ecosystems, while also having a profound effect on the phenotype of both predator and prey. Allelochemicals produced by prey often render their tissues unpalatable or toxic to a majority of potential consumers, yet some marine consumers have evolved resistance to host chemical defenses. A key challenge facing marine ecologists seeking to explain the vast differences in consumer tolerance of dietary allelochemicals is understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying diet choice. The ability of marine consumers to tolerate toxin-laden prey may involve the cooperative action of biotransformation enzymes, including the inducible cytochrome P450s (CYPs, which have received little attention in marine invertebrates despite the importance of allelochemicals in their evolution. Results Here, we investigated the diversity, transcriptional response, and enzymatic activity of CYPs possibly involved in allelochemical detoxification in the generalist gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, which feeds exclusively on chemically defended gorgonians. Twelve new genes in CYP family 4 were identified from the digestive gland of C. gibbosum. Laboratory-based feeding studies demonstrated a 2.7- to 5.1-fold induction of Cyphoma CYP4BK and CYP4BL transcripts following dietary exposure to the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, which contains high concentrations of anti-predatory prostaglandins. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that C. gibbosum CYP4BK and CYP4BL were most closely related to vertebrate CYP4A and CYP4F, which metabolize pathophysiologically important fatty acids, including prostaglandins. Experiments involving heterologous expression of selected allelochemically-responsive C. gibbosum CYP4s indicated a possible role of one or more CYP4BL forms in eicosanoid metabolism. Sequence analysis further demonstrated that Cyphoma CYP4BK/4BL and vertebrate

  4. The Yellow Gorgonian Eunicella cavolini: Demography and Disturbance Levels across the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linares, Cristina; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cavolini over three representative geographic regions: the NW Mediterranean, CE Adriatic, and N Aegean. Focusing on the upper bathymetric range of the species (Mediterranean and CE Adriatic, the upper distribution limit was at depths ≤15 m, whereas in the N Aegean most populations were found deeper than 30 m. Population density ranged between 4.46-62 colonies per m2, while mean colony height was 15.6±8.9 SD cm with a maximum of 62 cm. The NW Mediterranean sites were characterized by dense populations dominated by small colonies (30 cm). The CE Adriatic displayed intermediate densities, with well-structured populations, and continuous recruitment. In the N Aegean, most populations presented low densities, high proportion of large colonies, but low number of small colonies, signifying limited recruitment. Disturbance levels, as a function of extent and type of injury, are discussed in relation to past or present human-induced threats. This work represents geographically the most wide ranging demographic study of a Mediterranean octocoral to date. The quantitative information obtained provides a basis for future monitoring at a Mediterranean scale. PMID:25942319

  5. Aspergillus sydowii and Other Potential Fungal Pathogens in Gorgonian Octocorals of the Ecuadorian Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler-Hurtado, M Mar; Sandoval-Sierra, José Vladimir; Machordom, Annie; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Emerging fungal diseases are threatening ecosystems and have increased in recent decades. In corals, the prevalence and consequences of these infections have also increased in frequency and severity. Coral reefs are affected by an emerging fungal disease named aspergillosis, caused by Aspergillus sydowii. This disease and its pathogen have been reported along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Colombia. Despite this, an important number of coral reefs worldwide have not been investigated for the presence of this pathogen. In this work, we carried out the surveillance of the main coral reef of the Ecuadorian Pacific with a focus on the two most abundant and cosmopolitan species of this ecosystem, Leptogorgia sp. and Leptogorgia obscura. We collected 59 isolates and obtained the corresponding sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacers (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. These were phylogenetically analyzed using MrBayes, which indicated the presence of two isolates of the coral reef pathogen A. sydowii, as well as 16 additional species that are potentially pathogenic to corals. Although the analyzed gorgonian specimens appeared healthy, the presence of these pathogens, especially of A. sydowii, alert us to the potential risk to the health and future survival of the Pacific Ecuadorian coral ecosystem under the current scenario of increasing threats and stressors to coral reefs, such as habitat alterations by humans and global climate change.

  6. Potent Antifouling Resorcylic Acid Lactones from the Gorgonian-Derived Fungus Cochliobolus lunatus

    KAUST Repository

    Shao, Chang Lun

    2011-04-25

    Three new 14-membered resorcylic acid lactones, two with a rare natural acetonide group and one with a 5-chloro-substituted lactone, named cochliomycins A-C (1-3), together with four known analogues, zeaenol (4), LL-Z1640-1 (5), LL-Z1640-2 (6), and paecilomycin F (7), were isolated from the culture broth of Cochliobolus lunatus, a fungus obtained from the gorgonian Dichotella gemmacea collected in the South China Sea. Their structures and the relative configurations of 1-3 were elucidated using comprehensive spectroscopic methods including NOESY spectra and chemical conversions. A transetherification reaction was also observed in which cochliomycin B (2) in a solution of CDCl3 slowly rearranged to give cochliomycin A (1) at room temperature. These resorcylic acid lactones were evaluated against the larval settlement of barnacle Balanus amphitrite, and antifouling activity was detected for the first time for this class of metabolites. The antibacterial and cytotoxic activities of these compounds were also examined. © 2011 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.

  7. Aspergilones A and B, two benzylazaphilones with an unprecedented carbon skeleton from the gorgonian-derived fungus Aspergillus sp.

    KAUST Repository

    Shao, Chang Lun

    2011-01-01

    Two novel benzylazaphilone derivatives with an unprecedented carbon skeleton, aspergilone A (1), and its symmetrical dimer with a unique methylene bridge, aspergilone B (2), have been isolated from the culture broth of a marine-derived fungus Aspergillus sp. from a gorgonian Dichotella gemmacea. Their structures and relative stereochemistries of 1 and 2 were elucidated using a combination of NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. Compound 1 not only exhibited in vitro selective cytotoxicity but also showed potent antifouling activity. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Seasonal Stability in the Microbiomes of Temperate Gorgonians and the Red Coral Corallium rubrum Across the Mediterranean Sea

    KAUST Repository

    van de Water, Jeroen A. J. M.

    2017-07-05

    Populations of key benthic habitat-forming octocoral species have declined significantly in the Mediterranean Sea due to mass mortality events caused by microbial disease outbreaks linked to high summer seawater temperatures. Recently, we showed that the microbial communities of these octocorals are relatively structured; however, our knowledge on the seasonal dynamics of these microbiomes is still limited. To investigate their seasonal stability, we collected four soft gorgonian species (Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolini, Eunicella verrucosa and Leptogorgia sarmentosa) and the precious red coral (Corallium rubrum) from two coastal locations with different terrestrial impact levels in the Mediterranean Sea, and used next-generation amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The microbiomes of all soft gorgonian species were dominated by the same \\'core microbiome\\' bacteria belonging to the Endozoicomonas and the Cellvibrionales clade BD1-7, whereas the red coral microbiome was primarily composed of \\'core\\' Spirochaetes, Oceanospirillales ME2 and Parcubacteria. The associations with these bacterial taxa were relatively consistent over time at each location for each octocoral species. However, differences in microbiome composition and seasonal dynamics were observed between locations and could primarily be attributed to locally variant bacteria. Overall, our data provide further evidence of the intricate symbiotic relationships that exist between Mediterranean octocorals and their associated microbes, which are ancient and highly conserved over both space and time, and suggest regulation of the microbiome composition by the host, depending on local conditions.

  9. Thermal threshold and sensitivity of the only symbiotic Mediterranean gorgonian Eunicella singularis by morphometric and genotypic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pey, Alexis; Catanéo, Jérôme; Forcioli, Didier; Merle, Pierre-Laurent; Furla, Paola

    2013-07-01

    The only symbiotic Mediterranean gorgonian, Eunicella singularis, has faced several mortality events connected to abnormal high temperatures. Since thermotolerance data remain scarce, heat-induced necrosis was monitored in aquarium by morphometric analysis. Gorgonian tips were sampled at two sites: Medes (Spain) and Riou (France) Islands, and at two depths: -15 m and-35 m. Although coming from contrasting thermal regimes, seawater above 28 °C led to rapid and complete tissue necrosis for all four populations. However, at 27 °C, the time length leading to 50% tissue necrosis allowed us to classify samples within three classes of thermal sensitivity. Irrespectively of the depth, Medes specimens were either very sensitive or resistant, while Riou fragments presented a medium sensitivity. Microsatellite analysis revealed that host and symbiont were genetically differentiated between sites, but not between depths. Finally, these genetic differentiations were not directly correlated to a specific thermal sensitivity whose molecular bases remain to be discovered. Copyright © 2013 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Isolation And Partial Characterization Of Bacteria Activity Associated With Gorgonian Euplexaura sp. Against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristiana, R.; Ayuningrum, D.; Asagabaldan, M. A.; Nuryadi, H.; Sabdono, A.; Radjasa, O. K.; Trianto, A.

    2017-02-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection has emerged in around the world and has been resistance to ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, clindamycin. The aims of this study were to isolate, to investigate and to characterize bacterial symbionts gorgonian having activity against MRSA. Euplexaura sp. was collected from Panjang Island, Jepara, Indonesia by snorkling 2-5 m in depth. Bacterias were isolated by using spesific media with dilution method. Bacterias were conducted by using the streak method. Antibacterial activity was investigated by overlay method. The potent bacteria was identified by using molecular identification (DNA extraction, electrophoresis, PCR and phylogenetic analysis using 16S rDNA genes with actinobacteria-spesific primers) and bio-chemical test (among 5 isolated bacteria from gorgonian showed activity against MRSA). The strain PG-344 was the best candidat that has an inhibition zone against MRSA. The result of sequencing bacteria is 100% closely related with Virgibacillus salarius. This becomes a potential new bioactive compounds to against MRSA that can be a new drug discovery.

  11. Decline in condition of gorgonian octocorals on mesophotic reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico: before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etnoyer, Peter J.; Wickes, Leslie N.; Silva, Mauricio; Dubick, J. D.; Balthis, Len; Salgado, Enrique; MacDonald, Ian R.

    2016-03-01

    Hard-bottom `mesophotic' reefs along the `40-fathom' (73 m) shelf edge in the northern Gulf of Mexico were investigated for potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill from the Macondo well in April 2010. Alabama Alps Reef, Roughtongue Reef, and Yellowtail Reef were near the well, situated 60-88 m below floating oil discharged during the DWH spill for several weeks and subject to dispersant applications. In contrast, Coral Trees Reef and Madison Swanson South Reef were far from the DWH spill site and below the slick for less than a week or not at all, respectively. The reefs were surveyed by ROV in 2010, 2011, and 2014 and compared to similar surveys conducted one and two decades earlier. Large gorgonian octocorals were present at all sites in moderate abundance including Swiftia exserta, Hypnogorgia pendula, Thesea spp., and Placogorgia spp. The gorgonians were assessed for health and condition in a before-after-control-impact (BACI) research design using still images captured from ROV video transects. Injury was modeled as a categorical response to proximity and time using logistic regression. Condition of gorgonians at sites near Macondo well declined significantly post-spill. Before the spill, injury was observed for 4-9 % of large gorgonians. After the spill, injury was observed in 38-50 % of large gorgonians. Odds of injury for sites near Macondo were 10.8 times higher post-spill, but unchanged at far sites. The majority of marked injured colonies in 2011 declined further in condition by 2014. Marked healthy colonies generally remained healthy. Background stresses to corals, including fishing activity, fishing debris, and coral predation, were noted during surveys, but do not appear to account for the decline in condition at study sites near Macondo well.

  12. Bioactive Diphenyl Ethers and Isocoumarin Derivatives from a Gorgonian-Derived Fungus Phoma sp. (TA07-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Shi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Three new diphenyl ether derivatives—phomaethers A–C (1–3 and five known compounds—including a diphenyl ether analog, 2,3′-dihydroxy-4-methoxy-5′,6-dimethyl diphenyl ether (4; and four isocoumarin derivatives, diaportinol (5, desmethyldiaportinol (6, citreoisocoumarinol (7, and citreoisocoumarin (8—were isolated from a gorgonian-derived fungus Phoma sp. (TA07-1. Their structures were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic investigation. The absolute configurations of 1 and 2 were determined by acid hydrolysis reactions. It was the first report to discover the diphenyl glycoside derivatives from coral-derived fungi. Compounds 1, 3, and 4 showed selective strong antibacterial activity against five pathogenic bacteria with the minimum inhibiting concentration (MIC values and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC values between 0.156 and 10.0 μM.

  13. Application of a functional marker for the effect of cryoprotectant agents on gorgonian coral (Junceella juncea and J. fragilis) sperm sacs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, S; Kuit, V; Lin, Z G; Lin, C

    2014-01-01

    The establishment of coral sperm repositories which retain good post-rewarming viability and fertility play a vital role in species conservation. This study aimed at obtaining baseline information regarding the effects of cryoprotectant agents (CPAs) on gorgonian coral (Junceella juncea and J. fragilis) sperm sacs. The adenosine triphosphate assay was used to determine the energy level of the gorgonian sperm sacs as an indicator of sperm viability after exposure to cryoprotectants. The 'no observed effect concentrations' (NOECs) of methanol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), polypropylene glycol (PG), ethylene glycol (EG) and glycerol for J. juncea sperm sacs were 3 M, 3 M, 1 M, 2 M and 1 M respectively after 20 min exposure; whilst the NOECs for J. fragilis oocytes were 2 M, 3 M, 1 M, 2 M and 2 M, respectively. Methanol and DMSO had the least impact. PG was the most toxic CPA after 10 min exposure. ATP content of J. juncea and J. fragilis sperm sacs did not differ significantly from the control with incubation times of 10-20 min with 2 M EG. However, ATP content dropped significantly after exposing sperm sacs to 2 M EG for 40 min with average values of 2.34 +/- 0.12 and 1.97 +/- 0.48 microg/ml respectively. ATP content for J. juncea and J. fragilis sperm sacs was significantly decreased to 1.79 +/- 0.31 and 2.40 +/- 0.36 microg/ml after 20 min incubation in 2 M PG when compared to the control with 2.98 +/- 0.16 and 4.14 +/- 0.42 microg/ml respectively. Normalized ATP content for sperm sacs of two different gorgonian coral after incubation in methanol, DMSO, PG, EG and glycerol showed that J. juncea sperm sacs were slightly less tolerant to CPAs compared to J. fragilis sperm sacs. DMSO or methanol can be considered as efficient CPAs for gorgonian sperm sacs cryopreservation. The ATP luminescence assay provided sensitive and rapid quantification of mitochondrial activity in gorgonian coral sperm sacs. The study on the impact of CPA will contribute to the development of a

  14. Overlooked habitat of a vulnerable gorgonian revealed in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic by ecological niche modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boavida, Joana; Assis, Jorge; Silva, Inga; Serrão, Ester A

    2016-11-14

    Factors shaping the distribution of mesophotic octocorals (30-200 m depth) remain poorly understood, potentially leaving overlooked coral areas, particularly near their bathymetric and geographic distributional limits. Yet, detailed knowledge about habitat requirements is crucial for conservation of sensitive gorgonians. Here we use Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) relating thirteen environmental predictors and a highly comprehensive presence dataset, enhanced by SCUBA diving surveys, to investigate the suitable habitat of an important structuring species, Paramuricea clavata, throughout its distribution (Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic). Models showed that temperature (11.5-25.5 °C) and slope are the most important predictors carving the niche of P. clavata. Prediction throughout the full distribution (TSS 0.9) included known locations of P. clavata alongside with previously unknown or unreported sites along the coast of Portugal and Africa, including seamounts. These predictions increase the understanding of the potential distribution for the northern Mediterranean and indicate suitable hard bottom areas down to >150 m depth. Poorly sampled habitats with predicted presence along Algeria, Alboran Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts encourage further investigation. We propose that surveys of target areas from the predicted distribution map, together with local expert knowledge, may lead to discoveries of new P. clavata sites and identify priority conservation areas.

  15. Health of the coral reefs at the US Navy Base, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba: a preliminary report based on isotopic records from gorgonians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risk, Michael J; Burchell, Meghan; Brunton, Dalston A; McCord, Michael R

    2014-06-15

    Specimens of the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla were sampled from several areas along the fringing reefs fronting the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Sample coverage extended from apparently healthy reefs in oceanic waters to declining reefs located in the plume of the drainage from upper parts of Guantánamo Bay. Tentacle tips were excised, and trunk sections were cut and polished. Stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (δ(15)N) and carbon indicate a strong correlation of reef health with proximity to the plume of the river. Of all the worldwide cases in which land-based sources of pollution have impacted reefs, this one may well be the most intractable. The US Navy has jurisdiction over the reefs, with the obligation to protect them, yet the threat comes down the river from Cuba. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Non-Gorgonian Alcyonacea

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The data represent predicted habitat suitability for several taxa of deep-sea corals. Predictions were modeled using a statistical machine-learning algorithm called...

  17. Phylogenetic reconstruction using secondary structures of Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2, rDNA: finding the molecular and morphological gap in Caribbean gorgonian corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sánchez Juan A

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most phylogenetic studies using current methods have focused on primary DNA sequence information. However, RNA secondary structures are particularly useful in systematics because they include characteristics, not found in the primary sequence, that give "morphological" information. Despite the number of recent molecular studies on octocorals, there is no consensus opinion about a region that carries enough phylogenetic resolution to solve intrageneric or close species relationships. Moreover, intrageneric morphological information by itself does not always produce accurate phylogenies; intra-species comparisons can reveal greater differences than intra-generic ones. The search for new phylogenetic approaches, such as by RNA secondary structure analysis, is therefore a priority in octocoral research. Results Initially, twelve predicted RNA secondary structures were reconstructed to provide the basic information for phylogenetic analyses; they accorded with the 6 helicoidal ring model, also present in other groups of corals and eukaryotes. We obtained three similar topologies for nine species of the Caribbean gorgonian genus Eunicea (candelabrum corals with two sister taxa as outgroups (genera Plexaura and Pseudoplexaura on the basis of molecular morphometrics of ITS2 RNA secondary structures only, traditional primary sequence analyses and maximum likelihood, and a Bayesian analysis of the combined data. The latter approach allowed us to include both primary sequence and RNA molecular morphometrics; each data partition was allowed to have a different evolution rate. In addition, each helix was partitioned as if it had evolved at a distinct rate. Plexaura flexuosa was found to group within Eunicea; this was best supported by both the molecular morphometrics and combined analyses. We suggest Eunicea flexuosa (Lamouroux, 1821 comb. nov., and we present a new species description including Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM images of

  18. Phylogenetic reconstruction using secondary structures of Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2, rDNA): finding the molecular and morphological gap in Caribbean gorgonian corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grajales, Alejandro; Aguilar, Catalina; Sánchez, Juan A

    2007-01-01

    Background Most phylogenetic studies using current methods have focused on primary DNA sequence information. However, RNA secondary structures are particularly useful in systematics because they include characteristics, not found in the primary sequence, that give "morphological" information. Despite the number of recent molecular studies on octocorals, there is no consensus opinion about a region that carries enough phylogenetic resolution to solve intrageneric or close species relationships. Moreover, intrageneric morphological information by itself does not always produce accurate phylogenies; intra-species comparisons can reveal greater differences than intra-generic ones. The search for new phylogenetic approaches, such as by RNA secondary structure analysis, is therefore a priority in octocoral research. Results Initially, twelve predicted RNA secondary structures were reconstructed to provide the basic information for phylogenetic analyses; they accorded with the 6 helicoidal ring model, also present in other groups of corals and eukaryotes. We obtained three similar topologies for nine species of the Caribbean gorgonian genus Eunicea (candelabrum corals) with two sister taxa as outgroups (genera Plexaura and Pseudoplexaura) on the basis of molecular morphometrics of ITS2 RNA secondary structures only, traditional primary sequence analyses and maximum likelihood, and a Bayesian analysis of the combined data. The latter approach allowed us to include both primary sequence and RNA molecular morphometrics; each data partition was allowed to have a different evolution rate. In addition, each helix was partitioned as if it had evolved at a distinct rate. Plexaura flexuosa was found to group within Eunicea; this was best supported by both the molecular morphometrics and combined analyses. We suggest Eunicea flexuosa (Lamouroux, 1821) comb. nov., and we present a new species description including Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of morphological

  19. Eupalmerin acetate, a novel anticancer agent from Caribbean gorgonian octocorals, induces apoptosis in malignant glioma cells via the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamaru, Arifumi; Iwado, Eiji; Kondo, Seiji; Newman, Robert A; Vera, Burnilda; Rodríguez, Abimael D; Kondo, Yasuko

    2007-01-01

    The marine ecosystem is a vast but largely untapped resource for potential naturally based medicines. We tested 15 compounds derived from organisms found in the Caribbean Sea (14 gorgonian octocoral-derived compounds and one sponge-derived compound) for their anticancer effects on human malignant glioma U87-MG and U373-MG cells. Eupalmerin acetate (EPA) was chosen as the lead compound based on its longer-term stability and greater cytotoxicity than those of the other compounds we tested in these cell types. EPA induced G(2)-M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway; it translocated Bax from the cytoplasm to the mitochondria and dissipated the mitochondrial transmembrane potential in both cell types. EPA was found to increase phosphorylated c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) by >50% in both U87-MG and U373-MG cells. A specific JNK inhibitor, SP600125, inhibited EPA-induced apoptosis, confirming the involvement of the JNK pathway in EPA-induced apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, 7 days of daily intratumoral injections of EPA significantly suppressed the growth of s.c. malignant glioma xenografts (P < 0.01, on day 19). These results indicate that EPA is therapeutically effective against malignant glioma cells in vitro and in vivo and that it, or a similar marine-based compound, may hold promise as a clinical anticancer agent.

  20. Hygrocin C from marine-derived Streptomyces sp. SCSGAA 0027 inhibits biofilm formation in Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SCSGAB0082 isolated from South China Sea gorgonian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie; Nong, Xu-Hua; Amin, Muhammad; Qi, Shu-Hua

    2018-02-01

    Several ansamycins have been reported to inhibit bacterial biofilm formation and accelerate the eradication of developed biofilms, but little is known about the effect of hygrocin C, an ansamycin, on bacterial biofilm formation. Here, hygrocin C was isolated from the marine-derived Streptomyces sp. SCSGAA 0027 and reported for the first time to be capable of inhibiting the biofilm formation of Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SCSGAB0082 with the production of anti-microbial lipopeptides from South China Sea gorgonian Subergorgia suberosa at concentrations of less than minimum inhibitory concentrations. Moreover, hygrocin C also promoted the eradication of developed biofilms, affected the biofilm architecture, and lowered the extracellular polymeric matrix formation, cell motility, and surface hydrophobicity in B. amyloliquefaciens, which was in accordance with the inhibition of biofilm formation. Furthermore, transcriptome analysis revealed that hygrocin C altered the transcripts of several genes associated with bacterial chemotaxis and flagellar, two-component system and the synthesis of arginine and histidine, which are important for bacterial biofilm formation. In conclusion, hygrocin C could be used as a potential biofilm inhibitor against S. aureus and B. amyloliquefaciens. But further genetic investigations are needed to provide more details for elucidation of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the effects of hygrocin C on B. amyloliquefaciens biofilm formation.

  1. Biodiversity patterns of epifaunal assemblages associated with the gorgonians Eunicella gazella and Leptogorgia lusitanica in response to host, space and time

    KAUST Repository

    Carvalho, Susana

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of biodiversity (alpha- and beta-diversity), abundance and community structure of the epifaunal assemblages associated with two gorgonians, Eunicella gazella and Leptogorgia lusitanica, were analysed in relation to host, colony size, location and time. Colony size and time were the major factors shaping attendant assemblages. Patterns of alpha-diversity and beta-diversity were host-dependent. Assemblages associated with E. gazella showed a significant inter-annual variability for most of the metrics analysed, while in those associated with L. lusitanica only Shannon-Wiener varied significantly between years. In L lusitanica Hurlbert\\'s expected number of taxa was significantly lower in small-sized than in medium- to large-sized colonies, but an opposite pattern was detected for beta-diversity, reflecting the higher heterogeneity among small-sized colonies. The dbRDA analysis segregated the assemblages associated with each of the two hosts; the faunal patterns were mainly explained by colony size related attributes (area, number of branches and, to a lesser extent, width) and the "colonial" epibiont cover. However, we suggest that altogether they may act as a metacommunity, with high temporal and spatial fluidity in their composition and structure related to multiple factors including not only a component of stochasticity but also life history events, biotic interactions and response to habitat heterogeneity and environmental variability. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Role of evolutionary and ecological factors in the reproductive success and the spatial genetic structure of the temperate gorgonian Paramuricea clavata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokhtar-Jamaï, Kenza; Coma, Rafel; Wang, Jinliang; Zuberer, Frederic; Féral, Jean-Pierre; Aurelle, Didier

    2013-06-01

    Dispersal and mating features strongly influence the evolutionary dynamics and the spatial genetic structure (SGS) of marine populations. For the first time in a marine invertebrate, we examined individual reproductive success, by conducting larval paternity assignments after a natural spawning event, combined with a small-scale SGS analysis within a population of the gorgonian Paramuricea clavata. Thirty four percent of the larvae were sired by male colonies surrounding the brooding female colonies, revealing that the bulk of the mating was accomplished by males from outside the studied area. Male success increased with male height and decreased with increasing male to female distance. The parentage analyses, with a strong level of self-recruitment (25%), unveiled the occurrence of a complex family structure at a small spatial scale, consistent with the limited larval dispersal of this species. However, no evidence of small scale SGS was revealed despite this family structure. Furthermore, temporal genetic structure was not observed, which appears to be related to the rather large effective population size. The low level of inbreeding found suggests a pattern of random mating in this species, which disagrees with expectations that limited larval dispersal should lead to biparental inbreeding. Surface brooding and investment in sexual reproduction in P. clavata contribute to multiple paternity (on average 6.4 fathers were assigned per brood), which enhance genetic diversity of the brood. Several factors may have contributed to the lack of biparental inbreeding in our study such as (i) the lack of sperm limitation at a small scale, (ii) multiple paternity, and (iii) the large effective population size. Thus, our results indicate that limited larval dispersal and complex family structure do not necessarily lead to biparental inbreeding and SGS. In the framework of conservation purposes, our results suggested that colony size, proximity among colonies and the

  3. Potent Antifouling Marine Dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one-Containing Alkaloids from the Gorgonian Coral-Derived Fungus Scopulariopsis sp.

    KAUST Repository

    Shao, Chang Lun

    2015-04-02

    Marine biofouling has a major economic impact, especially when it occurs on ship hulls or aquaculture facilities. Since the International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaty to ban the application of organotin-based paints to ships went into effect in 2008, there is an urgent demand for the development of efficient and environmentally friendly antifouling agents. Marine microorganisms have proved to be a potential source of antifouling natural compounds. In this study, six dihydroquinolin-2-one-containing alkaloids, three monoterpenoids combined with a 4-phenyl-3,4-dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one (1–3) and three 4-phenyl-3,4-dihydroquinolin-2(1H)-one alkaloids (4–6), were isolated from the gorgonian coral-derived fungus Scopulariopsis sp. collected in the South China Sea. These dihydroquinolin-2-one-containing alkaloids were evaluated against the larval settlement of barnacle Balanus amphitrite, and antifouling activity was detected for the first time for this class of metabolites. All of them except 6 showed strong antifouling activity. Compounds 1 and 2 were discovered to be the most promising non-toxic antilarval settlement candidates. Especially, compound 1 is the strongest antifouling compound in nature until now which showed highly potent activity with picomolar level (EC50 17.5 pM) and a very safety and high therapeutic ratio (LC50/EC50 1200). This represents an effective non-toxic, anti-larval settlement structural class of promising antifouling lead compound. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York

  4. Antifouling activities against colonizer marine bacteria of extracts from marine invertebrates collected in the Colombian Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast (Santa Catarina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora-Cristancho, Jennyfer A; Arévalo-Ferro, Catalina; Ramos, Freddy A; Tello, Edisson; Duque, Carmenza; Lhullier, Cintia; Falkenberg, Miriam; Schenkel, Eloir Paulo

    2011-01-01

    The growth inhibition of 12 native marine bacteria isolated from Aplysina sponge surfaces, the shell of a bivalve, and Phytagel immersed for 48 h in sea water were used as indicator of the antifouling activity of the extracts of 39 marine organisms (octocorals, sponges, algae, and zoanthid) collected in the Colombian Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast (Santa Catarina). Gram-negative bacteria represented 75% of the isolates; identified strains belonged to Oceanobacillus iheyensis, Ochrobactrum pseudogrignonense, Vibrio campbellii, Vibrio harveyi, and Bacillus megaterium species and seven strains were classified at genus level by the 16S rRNA sequencing method. The extracts of the octocorals Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, four Eunicea octocorals, and the sponges Topsentia ophiraphidites, Agelas citrina, Neopetrosia carbonaria, Monanchora arbuscula, Cliona tenuis, Iotrochota imminuta, and Ptilocaulis walpersii were the most active, thus suggesting those species as antifoulant producers. This is the first study of natural antifoulants from marine organisms collected on the Colombian and Brazilian coasts.

  5. Rapid assessment of octocoral diversity and habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

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    Peter J Etnoyer

    Full Text Available Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (approximately 2200 km(2, average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15-50 m around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1 a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2 a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (approximately 15 km habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05, but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05. However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and

  6. Secondary metabolites from the gorgonian Echinomuraceae splendens (Thomson and Simson)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Parameswaran, P.S; Naik, C.G.; Govenkar, M.B.

    Two xanthine derivatives, caffeine (1,3,7-trimethyl-xanthine 1) and its 2-O-methyl analog 2, N-methylpyrazole-5-carboxylic acid 3 and a tetrahydroxysterol, 1b, 3b, 5a, 6b-tetrahydro-xycholes-ane 4 have been isolated from the methanol extract...

  7. Monogamy in a Hyper-Symbiotic Shrimp.

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    J Antonio Baeza

    Full Text Available Theory predicts that monogamy is adaptive in resource-specialist symbiotic crustaceans inhabiting relatively small and morphologically simple hosts in tropical environments where predation risk away from hosts is high. We tested this prediction in Pontonia manningi, a hyper-symbiotic shrimp that dwells in the mantle cavity of the Atlantic winged oyster Pteria colymbus that, in turn, infects gorgonians from the genus Pseudopterogorgia in the Caribbean Sea. In agreement with theory, P. manningi were found dwelling as heterosexual pairs in oysters more frequently than expected by chance alone. Males and females also inhabited the same host individual independent of the female gravid condition or of the developmental stage of brooded embryos. While the observations above argue in favor of monogamy in P. manningi, there is evidence to suggest that males of the studied species are moderately promiscuous. That females found living solitary in oysters most often brooded embryos, and that males allocated more to weaponry (major claw size than females at any given size suggest that males might be roaming among host individuals in search of and, fighting for, receptive females. All available information depicts a rather complex mating system in P. manningi: primarily monogamous but with moderately promiscuous males.

  8. Phenotypic plasticity and morphological integration in a marine modular invertebrate

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    Manrique Nelson

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Colonial invertebrates such as corals exhibit nested levels of modularity, imposing a challenge to the depiction of their morphological evolution. Comparisons among diverse Caribbean gorgonian corals suggest decoupling of evolution at the polyp vs. branch/internode levels. Thus, evolutionary change in polyp form or size (the colonial module sensu stricto does not imply a change in colony form (constructed of modular branches and other emergent features. This study examined the patterns of morphological integration at the intraspecific level. Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata (Verrill (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae is a Caribbean shallow water gorgonian that can colonize most reef habitats (shallow/exposed vs. deep/protected; 1–45 m and shows great morphological variation. Results To characterize the genotype/environment relationship and phenotypic plasticity in P. bipinnata, two microsatellite loci, mitochondrial (MSH1 and nuclear (ITS DNA sequences, and (ITS2 DGGE banding patterns were initially compared among the populations present in the coral reefs of Belize (Carrie Bow Cay, Panama (Bocas del Toro, Colombia (Cartagena and the Bahamas (San Salvador. Despite the large and discrete differentiation of morphotypes, there was no concordant genetic variation (DGGE banding patterns in the ITS2 genotypes from Belize, Panama and Colombia. ITS1–5.8S-ITS2 phylogenetic analysis afforded evidence for considering the species P. kallos (Bielschowsky as the shallow-most morphotype of P. bipinnata from exposed environments. The population from Carrie Bow Cay, Belize (1–45 m was examined to determine the phenotypic integration of modular features such as branch thickness, polyp aperture, inter-polyp distance, internode length and branch length. Third-order partial correlation coefficients suggested significant integration between polypar and colonial traits. Some features did not change at all despite 10-fold differences in other integrated

  9. ANÁLISIS POR CG/EM Y ACTIVIDAD ANTIMICROBIANA DE ALGUNAS FRACCIONES DEL EXTRACTO EN ACETATO DE ETILO DE Pseudopterogorgia acerosa I ANALYSIS BY GC/MS AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF SOME ChROMATOGRAPhIC FRACTIONS OF ThE Pseudopterogorgia acerosa EThYL ACETATE EXTRACT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Ordaz

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Psudopterogorgia acerosa, showed antimicrobial activity against Salmonella enteritidis, Bacillus subtlis, Staphylococcus aureus and Citrobacter freundii bacteria and the fungus Candida albicans, indicating the presence of bioactive constituents in these fractions. Moreover, the GC/MS analysis of some subfractions obtained through continuous chromatographic separation., allowed the identification of the constituents: pristane, bis(3,5,5-trimethylhexyl ether, 4-octadecanolide, tricloroeicosylsilane, (2-endo,7-exo-7-ethyl-2,4-dimethyl-6,8-dioxabycicle[3,2,1]oct-3-ene,1-methoxy-12-octoherbertene, butylphtalylbutylglycolate, N-methyl-N-(4-(4-methoxy-1-hexahydropyridil-2-butynylacetamide, diisobutylphtalate, 3-(4-(diphenylmethylphenyl-1-phenyl-4,4-dimethyl-1-pentanone, by comparison with WILEY databases and the study of the patterns of fragmentation of their mass spectra

  10. New bioactive hydrogenated linderazulene-derivatives from the gorgonian Echinogorgia complexa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manzo, E.; Ciavatta, M.L.; Gresa, M.P.L.; Gavagnin, M.; Villani, G.; Naik, C.G.; Cimino, G.

    a Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare, CNR, Via Campi Flegrei 34, I 80078-Pozzuoli (Naples), Italy b Centro Ecologia Quimica Agricola, Universidad Politecnica Valencia, Campus de Vera, Valencia, Spain c National Institute of Oceanography, CSIR, Dona...

  11. A new xenicane norditerpene from the Indian marine gorgonian Acanthogorgia turgida

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manzo, E.; Ciavatta, M.L.; Gavagnin, M.; Villani, G.; Quaranta, C.; DeSouza, L.; Cimino, G.

    of which display a nine- membered ring and differ in the presence of additional fused cycles. Most of the xenicane diterpenes have been reported to be significantly cytotoxic against a number of human cancer cell lines (Ciavatta et al., 2006; Manzo et al...

  12. Calamenenes - aromatic bicyclic sesquiterpenes - from the Indian gorgonian Subergorgia reticulata (Ellis and Solander, 1786)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LimnaMol, V.P.; Raveendran, T.V.; Naik, B.G.; Kunnath, R.J.; Parameswaran, P.S.

    Subergorgia reticulata. Compound 2 has not been previously described in the literature. Compound 3 has not been isolated previously from a natural source. Compounds 1, 2 and 3 showed settlement inhibition activity against cyprids of Balanus amphitrite with EC...

  13. Microfouling inhibitors from the Indian gorgonian Subergorgia reticulata (Ellis and Solander, 1786)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LimnaMol, V.P.; Abhilash, K.R.; Raveendran, T.V.; Parameswaran, P.S.

    Antifouling research currently focuses on greener ways of biofouling control in view of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) imposed regulations on toxic biocides Microfouling, the initial phase of fouling, is an important target to prevent...

  14. Functional Characterization and Expression of Molluscan Detoxification Enzymes and Transporters Involved in Dietary Allelochemical Resistance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Whalen, Kristen E

    2008-01-01

    .... Inhibition of Cyphoma GST activity by gorgonian extracts and selected allelochemicals (i.e., prostaglandins) indicated that gorgonian diets contain substrates for molluscan detoxification enzymes...

  15. Evaluation of antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of the organic extract and its polar fractions from the Mediterranean gorgonian Eunicella singularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deghrigue, Monia; Dellai, Afef; Akremi, Najoua; Le Morvan, Valérie; Robert, Jacques; Bouraoui, Abderrahman

    2013-09-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of organic extract and its polar fractions from Eunicella singularis (Esper 1794). Organic extract and two fractions of E. singularis (F2 and F3) were screened for the presence of phenolic compounds, terpenoids and glycosides. The antiproliferative activity of E. singularis organic extract and its polar fractions was evaluated on human cancer cell lines (A549, lung cell carcinoma; HCT15, colon cell carcinoma and MCF7, breast adenocarcinoma), using the MTT colorimetric method and clonogenic assay, as well as the antioxidant activity, using the stable radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and the FRAP assays. The fractions F2 and F3 showed significant total phenolic content (40 and 35.72mg gallic-acid equivalent/g dried sample), respectively, and important antiproliferative properties against the cancer cell lines. The IC50 values, ranged from 36 to 274μg/ml for A549; 93 to 426μg/ml for HCT15; and 52 to 225μg/ml for MCF7 and in the clonogenic inhibition assay from 18 to 134μg/ml for A549; 43 to 357μg/ml for HCT15; and 17 to 160μg/ml for MCF7. Using the DPPH method, the fraction F2 exhibited the strongest radical scavenging activity, with IC50 0.08mg/ml, which approaches the activity of the powerful antioxidant standard, ascorbic acid (IC50=0.064mg/ml). The reducing power of the samples was in the following order: F2>organic extract>F3. These results suggest that E. singularis fractions might be used as a potential source of natural antioxidant and antitumor agents. The purification and determination of the chemical structures of compounds in these active fractions are under investigation. The results could provide a compound(s) with a promising role in future medicines. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Biochemical warfare on the reef: the role of glutathione transferases in consumer tolerance of dietary prostaglandins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen E Whalen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Despite the profound variation among marine consumers in tolerance for allelochemically-rich foods, few studies have examined the biochemical adaptations underlying diet choice. Here we examine the role of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs in the detoxification of dietary allelochemicals in the digestive gland of the predatory gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, a generalist consumer of gorgonian corals. Controlled laboratory feeding experiments were used to investigate the influence of gorgonian diet on Cyphoma GST activity and isoform expression. Gorgonian extracts and semi-purified fractions were also screened to identify inhibitors and possible substrates of Cyphoma GSTs. In addition, we investigated the inhibitory properties of prostaglandins (PGs structurally similar to antipredatory PGs found in high concentrations in the Caribbean gorgonian Plexaura homomalla. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Cyphoma GST subunit composition was invariant and activity was constitutively high regardless of gorgonian diet. Bioassay-guided fractionation of gorgonian extracts revealed that moderately hydrophobic fractions from all eight gorgonian species examined contained putative GST substrates/inhibitors. LC-MS and NMR spectral analysis of the most inhibitory fraction from P. homomalla subsequently identified prostaglandin A(2 (PGA(2 as the dominant component. A similar screening of commercially available prostaglandins in series A, E, and F revealed that those prostaglandins most abundant in gorgonian tissues (e.g., PGA(2 were also the most potent inhibitors. In vivo estimates of PGA(2 concentration in digestive gland tissues calculated from snail grazing rates revealed that Cyphoma GSTs would be saturated with respect to PGA(2 and operating at or near physiological capacity. SIGNIFICANCE: The high, constitutive activity of Cyphoma GSTs is likely necessitated by the ubiquitous presence of GST substrates and/or inhibitors in this consumer's gorgonian diet. This

  17. Octocoral Species Richness for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary from 1999-2009 (NODC Accession 0123059)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The dataset includes species richness of benthic branching and encrusting gorgonians collected from multiple habitat types across the south Florida shelf, inside and...

  18. AFSC/ABL: Coldwater coral growth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Colonies of the gorgonian coral Calcigorgia spiculifera were tagged at three sites in Southeast Alaska, Little Port Walter, Tenakee Inlet, and Kelp Bay. The corals...

  19. (Carlgren, 1938) nov. comb. (Cnidaria: Actiniaria)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    - ... In-situ observations and photographs of an unusual and spectacular red and white striped, mobile anemone, which appears to feed on gorgonians ..... mental conditions at the times of collection, or detailing the composition of the benthic ...

  20. Oxygen consumption in Mediterranean octocorals under different temperatures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Previati, M.; Scinto, A.; Cerrano, C.; Osinga, R.

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem resilience to climate anomalies is related to the physiological plasticity of organisms. To characterize the physiological response of some common Mediterranean gorgonians to fluctuations in temperature, four species (Paramuricea clavata, Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolinii and

  1. Contrasting responses of coral reef fauna and foraminiferal assemblages to human influence in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reef biota including stony corals, sponges, gorgonians, fish, benthic macroinvertebrates and foraminifera were surveyed in coastal waters near La Parguera, in southwestern Puerto Rico. The goal was to evaluate sensitivity of coral reef biological indicators to human distur...

  2. Description of viral assemblages associated with the Gorgonia ventalina holobiont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewson, I.; Brown, J. M.; Burge, C. A.; Couch, C. S.; LaBarre, B. A.; Mouchka, M. E.; Naito, M.; Harvell, C. D.

    2012-06-01

    The diversity and function of viruses in coral holobionts has only recently received attention. The non-reef building gorgonian octocoral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a major constituent of Caribbean reefs. We investigated viral communities associated with G. ventalina tissues to understand their role in gorgonian ecology. Pyrosequencing was used to prepare a total of 514,632 sequence reads of DNA- and RNA-based mixed-community viral genomes (metaviromes). RNA viral assemblages were comprised of primarily unidentifiable reads, with most matching host transcripts and other RNA metaviromes. DNA metaviromes were similar between healthy and diseased tissues and comprised of contiguous sequences (contigs) that matched primarily metazoan and bacterial proteins. Only ~5% of contigs matched viral proteins that were primarily cyanophage and viruses of Chlorella and Ostreococcus. Our results confirm that DNA and RNA viruses comprise a component of the gorgonian holobiont, suggesting that they may play a role in the ecology of G. ventalina.

  3. Redescription of Hemieuryale pustulata von Martens, 1867 (Echinodermata, Ophiuroidea) based on Brazilian specimens, with notes on systematics and habitat association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gondim, Anne Isabelley; Dias, Thelma Lúcia Pereira; Christoffersen, Martin Lindsey; Stöhr, Sabine

    2015-03-02

    We redescribe Hemieuryale pustulata on the basis of 325 specimens obtained from the continental shelf off northeastern and southeastern Brazil. This is the first record of the species for Brazil. We illustrate for the first time details of the dental plate, oral plate, and vertebrae. Few morphological variations were observed in our extensive material. All specimens were associated with the gorgonian Nicella guadalupensis, suggesting an obligatory association in the Brazilian littoral. H. pustulata did not reveal a particular pattern of distribution on its host gorgonian, but larger gorgonians tend to support a larger number of ophiuroids. In addition to expanding the knowledge on morphology and ecology, we extend the known bathymetric distribution of the species, which is now known from 18 to 330 m.

  4. An Assessment of the Condition of Coral Reefs off the Former Navy Bombing Ranges at Isla De Culebra and Isla De Vieques, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

    sponges, macroalgae, algal turfs, crustose coralline algae, zoanthids ) were determined. Because of the short 11-day fieldwork period, the time...nt cover of enthi ateg at 1 site determined Categor SD nimu Hard Corals 11.5 8.0 2.3 27.7 Gorgonians 7.9 5.1 0.0 17.0 Zoanthids 0.9 1.7 0.0 5.7...of hard corals varied between sites. Some groups of organisms (e.g., gorgonians, zoanthids , sponges, and crustose algae) were present at some sites

  5. Submarine canyons as coral and sponge habitat on the eastern Bering Sea slope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Miller

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Submarine canyons have been shown to positively influence pelagic and benthic biodiversity and ecosystem function. In the eastern Bering Sea, several immense canyons lie under the highly productive “green belt” along the continental slope. Two of these, Pribilof and Zhemchug canyons, are the focus of current conservation interest. We used a maximum entropy modeling approach to evaluate the importance of these two canyons, as well as canyons in general, as habitat for gorgonian (alcyonacean corals, pennatulacean corals, and sponges, in an area comprising most of the eastern Bering Sea slope and outer shelf. These invertebrates create physical structure that is a preferred habitat for many mobile species, including commercially important fish and invertebrates. We show that Pribilof canyon is a hotspot of structure-forming invertebrate habitat, containing over 50% of estimated high-quality gorgonian habitat and 45% of sponge habitat, despite making up only 1.7% of the total study area. The amount of quality habitat for gorgonians and sponges varied in other canyons, but canyons overall contained more high-quality habitat for structure-forming invertebrates compared to other slope areas. Bottom trawling effort was not well correlated with habitat quality for structure-forming invertebrates, and bottom-contact fishing effort in general, including longlining and trawling, was not particularly concentrated in the canyons examined. These results suggest that if conserving gorgonian coral habitat is a management goal, canyons, particularly Pribilof Canyon, may be a prime location to do this without excessive impact on fisheries.

  6. Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fanPhyllogorgia dilatataon benthic communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Felipe V; da Gama, Bernardo A P; Pereira, Renato C

    2017-01-01

    Despite advances in understanding the ecological functions of secondary metabolites from marine organisms, there has been little focus on the influence of chemically-defended species at the community level. Several compounds have been isolated from the gorgonian octocoral Phyllogorgia dilatata , a conspicuous species that forms dense canopies on rocky reefs of northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Manipulative experiments were performed to study: (1) the effects of live colonies of P. dilatata (physical presence and chemistry) on recruitment of sympatric benthic organisms; (2) the allelopathic effects of its chemicals on competitors; and (3) chemotactic responses of the non-indigenous brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis . Early establishment of benthic species was influenced on substrates around live P. dilatata colonies and some effects could be attributed to the gorgonian's secondary metabolites . In addition, the gorgonian chemicals also exerted an allelopathic effect on the sympatric zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, and positive chemotaxis upon O. mirabilis . These results indicate multiple ecological roles of a chemically-defended gorgonian on settlement, sympatric competitors, and non-indigenous species.

  7. Systematics of Vampyressa melissa Thomas, 1926 (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae), with descriptions of two new species of Vampyressa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Valéria da C.; Gardner, Alfred L.; Ramírez-Chaves, Héctor E.; Velazco, Paúl M.

    2014-01-01

    Vampyressa melissa is a poorly known phyllostomid bat listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Since its description in 1926, fewer than 40 V. melissa have been reported in the literature, and less than half of these may have been correctly identified. During revisionary studies of Vampyressa, we uncovered two previously unrecognized species related to V. melissa, all associated with higher elevation habitats (>1400 m), one from the Andes of Colombia (Vampyressa sinchi, new species) and the other from western Panama (Vampyressa elisabethae, new species) revealing that V. melissa, as traditionally defined, is a composite of at least three species. In this paper, we provide a restricted diagnosis for the genus Vampyressa, an emended diagnosis of V. melissa, and descriptions of the two new species. The separation of these frugivorous bats, previously identified as V. melissa, into three isolated upper-elevation species, each having restricted distributions further highlights their fragile conservation status.

  8. Structuring effects of chemicals from the sea fan Phyllogorgia dilatata on benthic communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe V. Ribeiro

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite advances in understanding the ecological functions of secondary metabolites from marine organisms, there has been little focus on the influence of chemically-defended species at the community level. Several compounds have been isolated from the gorgonian octocoral Phyllogorgia dilatata, a conspicuous species that forms dense canopies on rocky reefs of northern Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Manipulative experiments were performed to study: (1 the effects of live colonies of P. dilatata (physical presence and chemistry on recruitment of sympatric benthic organisms; (2 the allelopathic effects of its chemicals on competitors; and (3 chemotactic responses of the non-indigenous brittle star, Ophiothela mirabilis. Early establishment of benthic species was influenced on substrates around live P. dilatata colonies and some effects could be attributed to the gorgonian’s secondary metabolites.In addition, the gorgonian chemicals also exerted an allelopathic effect on the sympatric zoanthid Palythoa caribaeorum, and positive chemotaxis upon O. mirabilis. These results indicate multiple ecological roles of a chemically-defended gorgonian on settlement, sympatric competitors, and non-indigenous species.

  9. 3D MODELS COMPARISON OF COMPLEX SHELL IN UNDERWATER AND DRY ENVIRONMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Troisi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In marine biology the shape, morphology, texture and dimensions of the shells and organisms like sponges and gorgonians are very important parameters. For example, a particular type of gorgonian grows every year only few millimeters; this estimation was conducted without any measurement instrument but it has been provided after successive observational studies, because this organism is very fragile: the contact could compromise its structure and outliving. Non-contact measurement system has to be used to preserve such organisms: the photogrammetry is a method capable to assure high accuracy without contact. Nevertheless, the achievement of a 3D photogrammetric model of complex object (as gorgonians or particular shells is a challenge in normal environments, either with metric camera or with consumer camera. Indeed, the successful of automatic target-less image orientation and the image matching algorithms is strictly correlated to the object texture properties and of camera calibration quality as well. In the underwater scenario, the environment conditions strongly influence the results quality; in particular, water’s turbidity, the presence of suspension, flare and other optical aberrations decrease the image quality reducing the accuracy and increasing the noise on the 3D model. Furthermore, seawater density variability influences its refraction index and consequently the interior orientation camera parameters. For this reason, the camera calibration has to be performed in the same survey conditions. In this paper, a comparison between the 3D models of a Charonia Tritonis shell are carried out through surveys conducted both in dry and underwater environments.

  10. Lipid content and composition of oocytes from five coral species: potential implications for future cryopreservation efforts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiahsin Lin

    Full Text Available Given the previously documented importance of lipid concentration and composition in the successful cryopreservation of gorgonian corals, these parameters were assessed in oocytes of five species of scleractinian coral; Platygyra daedalea, Echinopora gemmacea, Echinophyllia aspera, Oxypora lacera and Astreopora expansa. Wax esters, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and fatty acids were all measured at detectable levels, and the latter were produced at significantly elevated quantities in E. gemmacea, E. aspera, and O. lacera. On the other hand, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine, and wax ester were found at significantly higher concentrations in A. expansa oocytes. Triacylglycerol was not present in any species. Interestingly, the total lipid content of oocytes from all five scleractinians was significantly lower than that of oocytes of two gorgonian species, Junceella juncea and Junceella fragilis. As higher total lipid concentrations may be correlated with greater degrees of cellular membrane fluidity at lower temperatures, it stands to reason that gorgonian coral oocytes may be more likely to survive the cryopreservation process than oocytes of scleractinian corals.

  11. In situ observations on the habitat and abundance of the squat lobster Gastroptychus perarmatus (Haig, 1968 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Chirostylidae in the n orthern Gulf of California, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.E. Hendrickx

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Living specimens of Gastroptychus perarmatus (Haig, 1968, a chirostylid squat lobster, were observed on colonies of gorgonian corals and sponges in the northern Gulf of California. Video footage and photographs obtained from the Remotely Operated Vehicle JASON dive north of Angel de La Guarda Island in the northern Gulf of California indicate that this squat lobster lives on coral specimens of Callogorgia, probably C. flabellum (Ehrenberg, 1834, and on one or two unidentified species of sponge(s. Seven sites were observed to contain G. perarmatus with the number of individuals per host varying from 2 to 11. No specimens were observed on the sea floor away from a host. Review of videos indicates that most individuals of G. perarmatus observed remained motionless in the same position throughout the video recording period (max. 30 seconds, with the body erect and the chelipeds extended, presumably to facilitate collection of organic particles transported by the current. At one site, however, the video shows one adult specimen grasping large particles of floating debris retained on the gorgonian. Until recently there were no records of G. perarmatus since it was described from California in depths of 229m (north of Anacapa Island. A few specimens were accidentally captured in a benthic sledge in the northern Gulf of California in 2011. This is a new record for the area, including a new maximum depth record (705-710 m for the species. This rare species of squat lobster and its host the gorgonian coral would be subject to severe environmental impacts if fishing or mining activities were developed in the area.

  12. The unforgotten sisters female astronomers and scientists before Caroline Herschel

    CERN Document Server

    Bernardi, Gabriella

    2016-01-01

    Taking inspiration from Siv Cedering’s poem in the form of a fictional letter from Caroline Herschel that refers to “my long, lost sisters, forgotten in the books that record our science”, this book tells the lives of twenty-five female scientists, with specific attention to astronomers and mathematicians. Each of the presented biographies is organized as a kind of "personal file" which sets the biographee’s life in its historical context, documents her main works, highlights some curious facts, and records citations about her. The selected figures are among the most representative of this neglected world, including such luminaries as Hypatia of Alexandra, Hildegard of Bingen, Elisabetha Hevelius, and Maria Gaetana Agnesi. They span a period of about 4000 years, from En HeduAnna, the Akkadian princess, who was one of the first recognized female astronomers, to the dawn of the era of modern astronomy with Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville. The book will be of interest to all who wish to learn more ...

  13. Três biografias quinhentistas da Rainha Santa Isabel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Costa Toipa

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Dando continuidade aos esforços de canonização de D. Isabel de Aragão, D. João III obteve do Papa, em 1556, a autorização para alargar o culto da já beata D. Isabel a todo o reino. Solicitou, então, aos responsáveis dos mosteiros portugueses, nomeadamente à abadessa do mosteiro de Santa Clara, a composição de uma biografia da rainha, a partir de documentos existentes nesse mosteiro. Surgiram, então, três biografias, todas inspiradas nos referidos documentos: De Vita et Moribus Beatae Elisabethae Lusitaniae Reginae do padre jesuíta Pedro João Perpinhão; Vida e milagres da gloriosa Raynha sancta Ysabel, molher do catholico Rey dom Dinis sexto de Portugal, editada pelos mordomos da Confraria da Rainha Santa Isabel, e “ Vida da Bemaventurada sancta Isabel Raynha de Portugal”, de Frei Marcos de Lisboa, inclusa na Segunda Parte das suas Chronicas da Ordemdos Frades Menores.

  14. Uprolides N, O and P from the Panamanian Octocoral Eunicea succinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Torres-Mendoza

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Three new diterpenes, uprolide N (1, uprolide O (2, uprolide P (3 and a known one, dolabellane (4, were isolated from the CH2Cl2-MeOH extract of the gorgonian octocoral Eunicea succinea, collected from Bocas del Toro, on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Their structures were determined using spectroscopic analyses, including 1D and 2D NMR and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS together with molecular modeling studies. Compounds 1–3 displayed anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting production of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF and Interleukin (IL-6 induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS in murine macrophages.

  15. [Secondary metabolites, lethality and antimicrobial activity of extracts from three corals and three marine mollusks from Sucre, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordaz, Gabriel; D'Armas, Haydelba; Yáñez, Dayanis; Hernández, Juan; Camacho, Angel

    2010-06-01

    The study of biochemical activity of extracts obtained from marine organisms is gaining interest as some have proved to have efficient health or industrial applications. To evaluate lethality and antimicrobial activities, some chemical tests were performed on crude extracts of the octocorals Eunicea sp., Muricea sp. and Pseudopterogorgia acerosa and the mollusks Pteria colymbus, Phyllonotus pomum and Chicoreus brevifrons, collected in Venezuelan waters. The presence of secondary metabolites like alkaloids, unsaturated sterols and pentacyclic triterpenes in all invertebrates, was evidenced. Additionally, sesquiterpenlactones, saponins, tannins, cyanogenic and cardiotonic glycosides were also detected in some octocoral extracts, suggesting that biosynthesis of these metabolites is typical in this group. From the lethality bioassays, all extracts resulted lethal to Artemia salina (LC50<1000 microg/ml) with an increased of lethal activity with exposition time. P. pomum extract showed the highest lethality rate (LC50=46.8 microg/ml). Compared to the octocorals, mollusks extracts displayed more activity and a greater action spectrum against different bacterial strains, whereas octocorals also inhibited some fungi strains growth. Staphylococcus aureus was the most susceptible to the antimicrobial power of the extracts (66.7%), whereas Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger were not affected. The antibiosis shown by marine organisms extracts indicates that some of their biosynthesized metabolites are physiologically active, and may have possible cytotoxic potential or as a source of antibiotic components.

  16. Quantifying complex shapes: elliptical fourier analysis of octocoral sclerites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlo, Joseph M; Barbeitos, Marcos S; Lasker, Howard R

    2011-06-01

    Species descriptions of most alcyonacean octocorals rely heavily on the morphology of sclerites, the calcium carbonate spicules embedded in the soft tissue. Sclerites provide taxonomic characters for species delineation but require qualitative descriptions, which introduce ambiguities in recognizing morphological features. Elliptical Fourier analysis of the outline of sclerites was used to quantify the morphology of eight species of gorgoniid octocoral in the genus Pseudopterogorgia. Sclerites from one to seven colonies of each species were compared. Scaphoids and spindles were examined separately; rods and octoradiates were excluded from the analyses because of their morphologic similarity across all species. Discriminant analysis of elliptical Fourier descriptors (EFDs) was used to determine whether the elliptical Fourier analysis could be used to identify the specimens. Sclerites were highly variable even within a single colony. Correct species assignments of individual sclerites were greater than 50% for both scaphoids and spindles. Species assignments based on averages of the EFDs for each colony approached 90%. Elliptical Fourier analysis quantifies morphological differences between species and measures colony variance in sclerite size and shape among colonies and species. Phylogenetic analysis based on EFDs did not capture monophyletic groups. The quantification of complex shapes such as sclerites provides an important tool in alpha taxonomy but may be less useful in phylogenetic analyses.

  17. Reproductive biology of the deep-water coral Acanella arbuscula (Phylum Cnidaria: Class Anthozoa: Order Alcyonacea), northwest Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beazley, Lindsay I.; Kenchington, Ellen L.

    2012-10-01

    Knowledge of the reproductive life-history of deep-water corals is important for assessing their vulnerability to anthropogenic impacts. Yet, the reproductive biology of many deep-water corals, especially members of the subclass Octocorallia, has not been examined. We used histological techniques to describe the reproductive biology of the deep-water gorgonian coral Acanella arbuscula from the northwest Atlantic. All colonies examined were gonochoric, and no embryos or planula larvae were observed in the polyps. Mean polyp-level fecundity (females: 21.0±17.5 oocytes polyp-1, and males: 13.9±13.5 sperm sacs polyp-1) is high compared to other deep-water gorgonians, and polyps closer to the branch tips had the highest fecundities in both females and males. The presence of large oocytes (maximum diameter 717.8 μm) suggests that A. arbuscula produces lecithotrophic larvae. Despite the potentially high fecundity and small size at first reproduction, the paucity of information on dispersal and recruitment, combined with its longevity, vulnerability to bottom fishing gear, and ecological role as a structure-forming species, still warrants the classification of A. arbuscula as a vulnerable marine ecosystem indicator.

  18. Branching and self-organization in marine modular colonial organisms: a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Juan Armando; Lasker, Howard R; Nepomuceno, Erivelton G; Sánchez, J Dario; Woldenberg, Michael J

    2004-03-01

    Despite the universality of branching patterns in marine modular colonial organisms, there is neither a clear explanation about the growth of their branching forms nor an understanding of how these organisms conserve their shape during development. This study develops a model of branching and colony growth using parameters and variables related to actual modular structures (e.g., branches) in Caribbean gorgonian corals (Cnidaria). Gorgonians exhibiting treelike networks branch subapically, creating hierarchical mother-daughter relationships among branches. We modeled both the intrinsic subapical branching along with an ecological-physiological limit to growth or maximum number of mother branches (k). Shape is preserved by maintaining a constant ratio (c) between the total number of branches and the mother branches. The size frequency distribution of mother branches follows a scaling power law suggesting self-organized criticality. Differences in branching among species with the same k values are determined by r (branching rate) and c. Species with rr/2 or c>r>0). Ecological/physiological constraints limit growth without altering colony form or the interaction between r and c. The model described the branching dynamics giving the form to colonies and how colony growth declines over time without altering the branching pattern. This model provides a theoretical basis to study branching as a simple function of the number of branches independently of ordering- and bifurcation-based schemes.

  19. Phylogenetic treatment and taxonomic revision of the trapdoor spider genus Aptostichus Simon (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Euctenizidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Bond

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This systematic study documents the taxonomy, diversity, and distribution of 40 species of the predominately Californian trapdoor spider genus Aptostichus Simon, 1891. Thirty-three of these species are newly described: A. dantrippi, A. cabrillo, A. pennjillettei, A. asmodaeus, A. nateevansi, A. chiricahua, A. icenoglei, A. isabella, A. muiri, A. barackobamai, A. sinnombre, A. hedinorum, A. aguacaliente, A. chemehuevi, A. sarlacc, A. derhamgiulianii, A. anzaborrego, A. serrano, A. mikeradtkei, A. edwardabbeyi, A. killerdana, A. cahuilla, A. satleri, A. elisabethae, A. fornax, A. lucerne, A. fisheri, A. bonoi, A. cajalco, A. sierra, A. huntington, A. dorothealangeae, and A. chavezi. Most of these species are restricted to the California Floristic Province, a known biodiversity hotspot. Of the 40 recognized species, over half are considered to be imperiled or vulnerable and two have likely gone extinct over the past half-century; the conservation status of only 11 species is considered to be secure. Using 73 quantitative and qualitative morphological characters I propose a preliminary phylogeny for the genus that recognizes four major lineages: the Atomarius, Simus, Hesperus, and Sierra species groups. Additionally, the phylogenetic analysis indicates that adaptations favoring the invasion of the arid desert habitats of southern California have evolved multiple times across the group. The existence of both desert and non - desert species in three of the four species groups makes this genus an ideal candidate for the study of the evolutionary ecology of desert arthropods. A set of molecular characters based on the contiguous mitochondrial DNA genes 16S-tRNA valine-12S is used in an independent analysis to assist in placement of specimens into species. The taxonomy section explicitly identifies the concept employed in species delimitation. Niche based distribution models are constructed to predict the ranges of species for which an adequate number of

  20. The History of Printing in Slovenia – The Role of Women in the Black art and the first Slovenian Books

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    Anja Dular

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Granting permission for setting up a printing house was the prerogative of the state administration, which also granted licenses for the manufacture of the typesets. Although women were clearly unable to meet all of these requirements they worked as heads of bookshops and printing houses. This was due to the fact that after a printer died his legal heirs, generally his widow, inherited the company with all its concessions. In this paper we discuss women connected with Slovene books and books printed in Slovenia from the 16th to 19th centuries. After Ulrich Morhart's death in Tübingen in 1554 his widow, Magdalena Morhart, continued to run the printing house. It is possible to conclude that as many as seventeen Slovene publications from the 16th century were printed during the period when Magdalena was at the head of the printing house. In 1678 Johannes Baptist Mayr, a printer from Salzburg established in Ljubljana a branch of his printing house in Salzburg. In 1695 his son Joseph Taddeus Mayr was followed by Ana Barbara Mayr, who thus became the first female printer in Carniola. She remained at the head of the printing house for a full decade, until 1705. In the middle of 18th century Anna Elisabetha Reichard inherited the only printing house in Carniola. During the two years – 1757 to 1759 she printed publications in four languages: in Slovene, German, Latin, and Italian. Rosalia Eger played an important role in the development of printing activities in the 19th century. She became a widow in 1829 and took over the printing house which she formally led until her death in 1871. Rosalia Eger printed materials in three languages, namely in Slovene, German, and Latin.

  1. Metabolitos secundarios, letalidad y actividad antimicrobiana de los extractos de tres corales y tres moluscos marinos de Sucre, Venezuela

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    Gabriel Ordaz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available A los extractos crudos de los octocorales Eunicea sp., Muricea sp. y Pseudopterogorgia acerosa y de los moluscos Pteria colymbus, Phylonotus pomum y Chicoreus brevifrons, se les realizaron pruebas químicas, las cuales evidenciaron en todos ellos, la presencia de metabolitos secundarios como alcaloides, esteroles insaturados y triterpenos pentacíclicos. Sólo se detectaron sesquiterpenlactonas, saponinas, taninos, glicósidos cianogénicos y glicósidos cardiotónicos en algunos de los extractos de los octocorales, lo cual sugiere que la biosíntesis de estos metabolitos es propia de este grupo de organismos. Asimismo, se evaluó la actividad letal y antimicrobiana de los extractos de los octocorales y moluscos. En el bioensayo de letalidad, todos los extractos resultaron letales frente al crustáceo Artemia salina (CL50<1.000μg/ml. La actividad letal incrementσ con el tiempo de exposiciσn. El extracto de P. pomum presentó la mayor actividad letal (CL50=46.8μg/ml. En los ensayos de actividad antimicrobiana, los extractos orgαnicos de los moluscos presentaron una mayor actividad y un espectro de acción mayor contra diferentes cepas de bacterias, respecto a los octocorales; aunque estos últimos también inhibieron el crecimiento de algunas cepas de hongos. Staphylococcus aureus, fue la bacteria más susceptible al poder antimicrobiano de los extractos (66.7%, mientras que la bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa y los hongos Candida albicans y Aspergillus niger, no fueron afectados. La antibiosis mostrada por los extractos de los diferentes invertebrados marinos estudiados, indica que algunos de los metabolitos biosintetizados por éstos son fisiológicamente activos con posible potencial citotóxico y/o antibiótico.

  2. Field experimental evaluation of secondary metabolites from marine invertebrates as antifoulants

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    PEREIRA R. C

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The crude organic extracts of the endemic gorgonian Phyllogorgia dilatata and two sponge species Aplysina fulva and Mycale microsigmatosa were evaluated for anti-fouling properties through field experiments. To investigate this property in ecologically meaningful conditions, crude extracts from these invertebrates were incorporated at concentrations naturally found in these marine organisms into a stable gel used as a substratum for fouling settlement. Crude extract from A. fulva showed no significant anti-fouling property at the natural concentrations used in the field experiments. In fact, fouling organisms settled significantly more on gels treated with A. fulva extract than on the control gel. On the other hand, both M. microsigmatosa and P. dilatata yielded crude extracts that exhibited a selective action inhibiting only the settlement of barnacles. The evidences obtained here by means of field experiments can provide a basis for future development of one kind of natural antifoulant technology to prevent marine biofouling.

  3. Distribution and sequestration of palytoxin in coral reef animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleibs, S; Mebs, D

    1999-11-01

    In the reefs off the Colombian coast (Caribbean Sea) and around Lizard Island, Australia (Pacific), palytoxin (PTX), which has been detected in zoanthid species of the genus Palythoa, also occurred in various other marine organisms living in close association with zoanthid colonies, e.g. sponges (Porifera), soft corals (Alcyonaria), gorgonians (Gorgonaria), mussels, and crustaceans. Predators, e.g. polychaete worms (Hermodice carunculata), a starfish (Acanthaster planci) and fish (Chaetodon species) feeding on Palythoa colonies, accumulate high toxin concentrations in their organs, where PTX is stored in its active form. The high level of toxin tolerance observed in marine animals may enable the wide distribution of PTX in marine biota and its transport and sequestration in food chains.

  4. New deep-water cnidarian sites in the southern Adriatic Sea

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    L. ANGELETTI

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle exploration and bottom sampling in the southern Adriatic Sea (Apulian and Montenegrin margins resulted in the discovery of cnidarian-rich deep-sea habitats in the depth range of ca. 400-700 m. In particular, ROV inspection of Montenegrin canyons reveals the existence of megabenthic communities dominated by a variety of cnidarians, including scleractinians (Madrepora oculata, Lophelia pertusa, Dendrophyllia cornigera, antipatharians (Leiopathes glaberrima and gorgonians (Callogorgia verticillata as major habitat forming taxa, often in association with sponges and, subordinately, serpulids. All such cnidarians are new records for the southeastern side of the Adriatic Sea. Our investigation indicates that an almost continuous belt of patchy cold water coral sites occurs along the entire southwestern margin (Apulian, basically connecting the Adriatic populations with those inhabiting the Ionian margin (Santa Maria di Leuca coral province.

  5. Fungi in the sea fan Gorgonia ventalina: diversity and sampling strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo-Hernández, C.; Bones-González, A.; Ortiz-Vázquez, O. E.; Sabat, A. M.; Bayman, P.

    2007-09-01

    Fungal communities from gorgonians have been poorly documented and most studies of these communities have lacked defined sampling strategies. The objectives of this study were: (1) to estimate fungal diversity in Gorgonia ventalina; (2) to compare two sampling and tissue processing strategies: tissue fragments of different sizes vs. homogenized tissue. A total of seven genera and fourteen species of fungi were isolated on culture medium and identified by sequencing the nrITS. All but one species were new reports. In both treatments Aspergillus and Penicillium were the most common genera isolated. Most species isolated from fragments were not observed from homogenized tissue and vice versa. Reducing the size fragment increased significantly the number of species isolated per fragment. To better estimate fungal diversity in sea fans a strategy is proposed that combines sampling of small tissue fragments with homogenized tissue, since each technique yielded fungal species not detected by the other.

  6. Antimycobacterial Metabolites from Marine Invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daletos, Georgios; Ancheeva, Elena; Chaidir, Chaidir; Kalscheuer, Rainer; Proksch, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Marine organisms play an important role in natural product-based drug research due to accumulation of structurally unique and bioactive metabolites. The exploration of marine-derived compounds may significantly extend the scientific knowledge of potential scaffolds for antibiotic drug discovery. Development of novel antitubercular agents is especially significant as the emergence of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains remains threateningly high. Marine invertebrates (i.e., sponges, corals, gorgonians) as a source of new chemical entities are the center of research for several scientific groups, and the wide spectrum of biological activities of marine-derived compounds encourages scientists to carry out investigations in the field of antibiotic research, including tuberculosis treatment. The present review covers published data on antitubercular natural products from marine invertebrates grouped according to their biogenetic origin. Studies on the structure-activity relationships of these important leads are highlighted as well. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Effects of the 2015 heat wave on benthic invertebrates in the Tabarca Marine Protected Area (southeast Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Portillo, Esther; Izquierdo-Muñoz, Andrés; Gago, Juan F; Rosselló-Mora, Ramon; Antón, Josefa; Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso A

    2016-12-01

    In the late summer of 2015, extensive mortality of scleratinian corals, gorgonians, and sponges was observed in the Marine Protected Area of Tabarca (southeast Spain). Quantitative data indicated that at 25 m depth the sea fan Eunicella singularis was the most affected species (50% of colonies affected by partial mortality); while in shallow waters more than 40% of the endemic scleractinian coral Cladocora caespitosa population showed tissue lesions that affected more than 10% of their surfaces. Other affected species were the scleractinian corals Oculina patagonica and Phyllangia mouchezii, the sea fan Leptogorgia sarmentosa and the sponge Sarcotragus fasciculatus. This mortality event coincided with an abnormal rise in seawater temperature in this region. Microbiological analysis showed a higher abundance of culturable Vibrio species in invertebrates exhibiting tissue lesions, which indicated that these opportunistic pathogens could be a key factor in the process. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Identification of a consistent polyene component of purple pigment in diseased sclerites of Caribbean corals across region, species, and insult agent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fetterolf, Monty L.; Leverette, Chad L.; Perez, Christopher; Smith, Garriet W.

    2017-10-01

    Gorgonians respond to insult (damage and disease) by producing sclerites containing a purple pigment as opposed to the normal white sclerites. Raman microscopy is used to study the purple areas of three species of diseased coral, Gorgonia ventalina, Pseudoplexaura porosa, and Eunicea laciniata obtained from Puerto Rico. These spectra were compared to Gorgonia ventalina samples previously reported that were obtained from San Salvador, Bahamas. Spectra from two samples of G. ventalina that had been infected by different agents, Aspergillus sydowii and a slime mold, were also obtained. The results indicate that the purple compounds (polyenes) generated by the coral in response to infection are similar regardless of region from which the coral were harvested, of species of coral, and of the infective agent. A discussion of the Raman spectra of G. ventalina and the other coral species is presented.

  9. Naturally Occurring Diterpenoid Dimers: Source, Biosynthesis, Chemistry and Bioactivities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Li-Gen; Ung, Carolina Oi Lam; Feng, Zhe-Ling; Huang, Li; Hu, Hao

    2016-10-01

    Diterpenoid dimers are rare in nature and mainly found in higher plants including the families Acanthaceae, Annonaceae, Asteraceae, Calceolariaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Cupressaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Liliaceae, Meliaceae, Rhizophoraceae, Taxaceae, Velloziaceae, and Zingiberaceae. In addition, a few diterpenoid dimers have been also reported from fungi (Psathyrellaceae), liverworts (Scapaniaceae), and a gorgonian (Gorgoniidae). They feature a wide variety of structures due to different core skeletons, linkage patterns, substituents, and configurations. Accordingly, diterpenoid dimers exhibit a broad range of bioactivities, including cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimalarial, and antifouling properties, which have attracted more and more research interests in the past decades. This review with 176 metabolites from 109 references provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the source, biosynthesis, structure, synthesis, and bioactivities of diterpenoid dimers. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  10. Ring sea anemones, an overview (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria

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    Ocaña, Óscar

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available The present observations represent a new record of species of Actiniaria that are able to attach to a gorgonian branch by surrounding it with a solid piece of tissue junction and a significant reduction of the coelenteron. Ring sea anemones are provisionally placed in the Actinostolidae. They seem to be more common at depths between 85 and 1500 m., and according to our observations they are specialized to exclusively colonize on some species of gorgonians or pennatulaceans. Parasitism best describes the relationship between ring sea anemones and their hosts. We recognize five different species of ring sea anemones, one described by Hiles (1899 as Peronanthus verrucellae, and the others named by us provisionally as Peronanthus sp1, sp2, sp3 & sp4. The strategy displayed by ring sea anemones has several advantages, such as placement economy (see above, a better attachment against any current action, exploitation of food resources inaccessible to most other Actiniarians, and it allows them avoidance of habitat competition. The impossibility to colonize any other substrate but a certain group of gorgonians and a reduction of the gastric cavity are the main disadvantages detected in the ring sea anemones’ way of life. Apparently, this group of sea anemones is widespread through the Pacific Ocean.

    Un nuevo grupo de especies de actiniarios que desarrollan un nuevo sistema para afianzarse alrededor de los ejes de gorgonias y pennatuláceos es estudiado por nosotros en el presente trabajo. Se trata de un anillo de tejido que rodea los ejes y queda perfectamente sellado por medio de uniones del tejido produciendo una reducción del celenterón. Anémonas anillo es como las hemos denominado y provisionalmente han sido incluidas dentro de la familia Actinostolidae. Parece que son comunes en profundidades comprendidas entre los 85 y los 1500 metros, colonizando solamente determinadas especies de gorgonias y de pennatuláceos. El

  11. Growth rate variation and potential paleoceanographic proxies in Primnoa pacifica: Insights from high-resolution trace element microanalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranha, Renita; Edinger, Evan; Layne, Graham; Piercey, Glenn

    2014-01-01

    Red tree coral, Primnoa pacifica, is one of the more common habitat-forming deep-sea gorgonian corals in the northeast Pacific Ocean, growing in colonies up to 2 m high and living for decades to hundreds of years. Growth characteristics of P. pacifica were studied in Dixon Entrance, northern British Columbia, and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Washington State, USA, based on samples collected in July 2008. To minimize the impact of scientific sampling on coral populations, only dead coral skeletons and dislodged live corals were collected. Ages and growth rates were measured using band counts, and checked against AMS-14C ages of gorgonin rings. Ba/Ca, Mg/Ca, Na/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in the calcite cortex were measured using radial Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) transects with a spot size of Bomb radiocarbon in all but one of the gorgonin samples, and long radiocarbon reservoir ages in the Northeast Pacific, made radiocarbon-based verification of coral ages and growth rates difficult due to wide errors in calibrated age estimates. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios were inversely correlated in two of the three corals analyzed, and showed evidence of interannual variation. Mg/Ca ratios ranged from 70 to 136 mmol mol-1, and Sr/Ca ratios from 2.041 to 3.14 mmol mol-1. Previously published relationships between gorgonian calcite Mg/Ca and seawater temperature yielded average temperatures matching ambient measurements, but the intra- and inter-annual variation in apparent temperature based on the Mg/Ca ratios was more than double the observed variation in modern seawater temperature ranges in the region. Annual variation in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca could be related to seasonal changes in precipitation efficiency, which is likely a function of short-term fluctuations in coral growth rate, in turn related to variation in primary productivity. Seasonal and interannual variations in food availability, driven by primary productivity, may affect skeletal growth rate, hence Mg

  12. Distribution and assessment of marine debris in the deep Tyrrhenian Sea (NW Mediterranean Sea, Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angiolillo, Michela; Lorenzo, Bianca di; Farcomeni, Alessio; Bo, Marzia; Bavestrello, Giorgio; Santangelo, Giovanni; Cau, Angelo; Mastascusa, Vincenza; Cau, Alessandro; Sacco, Flavio; Canese, Simonepietro

    2015-03-15

    Marine debris is a recognized global ecological concern. Little is known about the extent of the problem in the Mediterranean Sea regarding litter distribution and its influence on deep rocky habitats. A quantitative assessment of debris present in the deep seafloor (30-300 m depth) was carried out in 26 areas off the coast of three Italian regions in the Tyrrhenian Sea, using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The dominant type of debris (89%) was represented by fishing gears, mainly lines, while plastic objects were recorded only occasionally. Abundant quantities of gears were found on rocky banks in Sicily and Campania (0.09-0.12 debris m(-2)), proving intense fishing activity. Fifty-four percent of the recorded debris directly impacted benthic organisms, primarily gorgonians, followed by black corals and sponges. This work provides a first insight on the impact of marine debris in Mediterranean deep ecosystems and a valuable baseline for future comparisons. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. SIMAC: development and implementation of a coral reef monitoring network in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto

    2010-05-01

    Significant coral reef decline has been observed in Colombia during the last three decades. However, due to the lack of monitoring activities, most of the information about health and changes was fragmentary or inadequate. To develop an expanded nation-wide reef-monitoring program, in 1998 INVEMAR (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras: "Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Research") designed and implemented SIMAC (Sistema Nacional de Monitorco de Arrecifes Coralinos en Colombia: "National Monitoring System of Coral Reefs in Colombia") with the participation of other institutions. By the end of 2003 the SIMAC network reached more than twice its initial size, covering ten reef areas (seven in the Caribbean and three in the Pacific), 63 reef sites and 263 permanent transects. SIMAC monitoring continued without interruption until 2008 and should persist in the long-term. The SIMAC has a large database and consists basically of water quality measurements (temperature, salinity, turbidity) and a yearly estimation of benthic reef cover, coral disease prevalence, gorgonian density, abundance of important mobile invertebrates, fish diversity and abundance of important fish species. A methods manual is available in the Internet. Data and results of SIMAC have been widely circulated through a summary report published annually since 2000 for the Colombian environmental agencies and the general public, as well as numerous national and international scientific papers and presentations at meetings. SIMAC information has contributed to support regional and global reef monitoring networks and databases (i.e. CARICOMP, GCRMN, ReefBase).

  14. Controls on coral-ground development along the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa E Rodríguez-Martínez

    Full Text Available Coral-grounds are reef communities that colonize rocky substratum but do not form framework or three-dimensional reef structures. To investigate why, we used video transects and underwater photography to determine the composition, structure and status of a coral-ground community located on the edge of a rocky terrace in front of a tourist park, Xcaret, in the northern Mesoamerican Reef tract, Mexico. The community has a relatively low coral, gorgonian and sponge cover (40%. We recorded 23 species of Scleractinia, 14 species of Gorgonacea and 30 species of Porifera. The coral community is diverse but lacks large coral colonies, being dominated instead by small, sediment-tolerant, and brooding species. In these small colonies, the abundance of potentially lethal interactions and partial mortality is high but decreases when colonies are larger than 40 cm. Such characteristics are consistent with an environment control whereby storm waves periodically remove larger colonies and elevate sediment flux. The community only survives these storm conditions due to its slope-break location, which ensures lack of burial and continued local recruitment. A comparison with similar coral-ground communities in adjacent areas suggests that the narrow width of the rock terrace hinders sediment stabilization, thereby ensuring that communities cannot escape bottom effects and develop into three-dimensional reef structures on geological time scales.

  15. A taxonomic survey of Saudi Arabian Red Sea octocorals (Cnidaria: Alcyonacea)

    KAUST Repository

    Haverkort-Yeh, Roxanne D.

    2013-05-04

    A preliminary survey of Saudi Arabian Alcyonacea is presented, which combines classical taxonomy, multilocus molecular barcodes, and in situ photographs. We explored 14 locations along the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to assess the regional taxonomic diversity of non-gorgonian alcyonaceans. We collected samples from a total of 74 colonies, distributed among four families: 18 colonies of Alcyoniidae, 14 of Nephtheidae, 9 of Tubiporidae, and 33 of Xeniidae. We sequenced the octocorals using multiple nuclear [ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacers (ITS) and ATP Synthetase Subunit α (ATPSα)] and mitochondrial [MutS homolog (mtMutS) and Cytochrome C Oxidase subunit one (COI)] loci, providing molecular barcodes which will: (1) allow direct comparison of biodiversity from this location to others for which molecular data are available, and (2) facilitate future identifications of these taxa. Finally, this preliminary phylogeny of sampled taxa provides insights on the resolution of mitochondrial versus nuclear loci, and highlights octocoral taxa that require further taxonomic attention. © 2013 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  16. Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus

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    Christina A. Kellogg

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, this is the first study to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. Samples from five colonies of P. placomus were collected from Baltimore Canyon (379–382 m depth in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States of America. DNA was extracted from the coral samples and 16S rRNA gene amplicons were pyrosequenced using V4-V5 primers. Three samples sequenced deeply (>4,000 sequences each and were further analyzed. The dominant microbial phylum was Proteobacteria, but other major phyla included Firmicutes and Planctomycetes. A conserved community of bacterial taxa held in common across the three P. placomus colonies was identified, comprising 68–90% of the total bacterial community depending on the coral individual. The bacterial community of P. placomus does not appear to include the genus Endozoicomonas, which has been found previously to be the dominant bacterial associate in several temperate and tropical gorgonians. Inferred functionality suggests the possibility of nitrogen cycling by the core bacterial community.

  17. New Records of Cold-Water Corals from Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Im Song

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Two cold-water coral taxa, Octocorallia in the class Anthozoa and Stylasteridae in the class Hydrozoa, were identified. Deep-water samples were collected in fishing nets at depths ranging between 20 and 200 m along the coasts of the East Sea in Korea from 1976 to 1993. The two species found in this study represent new records for Korea: Paragorgia arborea (Linnaeus, 1758 in the class Anthozoa, and Stylaster profundiporus Broch, 1936 in the class Hydrozoa. Two families, Paragorgiidae and Stylasteridae, are also newly recorded in Korea. Furthermore, the species name of another cold-water gorgonian species, Primnoa pacifica (Kinoshita, 1907 in the family Primnoidae, is amended in this report. The two newly recorded cold-water coral species from Korea are described in detail based on their morphological characteristics. Paragorgia arborea is characterized by its growth form, medulla and cortex, zooid dimorphism, canal system, and spicule composition. Stylaster profundiporus is distinguished by its external skeletal characteristics, such as the coordination of dactylopores and gastropores, presence or absence of gastrostyles and dactylostyles, cyclosystem orientation, ampullar position, gastropore tube shape, and coenosteal texture.

  18. Microbiomes of Muricea californica and M. fruticosa: Comparative Analyses of Two Co-occurring Eastern Pacific Octocorals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Johanna B; Heidelberg, Karla B

    2016-01-01

    Octocorals are sources of novel but understudied microbial diversity. Conversely, scleractinian or reef-building coral microbiomes have been heavily examined in light of the threats of climate change. Muricea californica and Muricea fruticosa are two co-occurring species of gorgonian octocoral abundantly found in the kelp forests of southern California, and thus provide an excellent basis to determine if octocoral microbiomes are host specific. Using Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing and replicate samples, we evaluated the microbiomes collected from multiple colonies of both species of Muricea to measure both inter- and intra-colony microbiome variabilities. In addition, microbiomes from overlying sea water and nearby zoanthids (another benthic invertebrate) were also included in the analysis to evaluate whether bacterial taxa specifically associate with octocorals. This is also the first report of microbiomes from these species of Muricea. We show that microbiomes isolated from each sample type are distinct, and specifically, that octocoral species type had the greatest effect on predicting the composition of the Muricea microbiome. Bacterial taxa contributing to compositional differences include distinct strains of Mycoplasma associated with either M. californica or M. fruticosa, an abundance of Spirochaetes observed on M. californica, and a greater diversity of γ-Proteobacteria associated with M. fruticosa. Many of the bacterial taxa contributing to these differences are known for their presence in photosymbiont-containing invertebrate microbiomes.

  19. Morphological and molecular characterization of a new genus and new species of parazoanthid (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) associated with Japanese Red Coral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, J. D.; Nonaka, M.; Sinniger, F.; Iwase, F.

    2008-12-01

    The Order Zoantharia has long been taxonomically neglected primarily due to difficulty in examining the internal morphology of sand-encrusted zoanthids. However, recent work using molecular markers has shown an unexpectedly high diversity of previously “hidden” taxa (families and genera) within Zoantharia (=Zoanthidea, Zoanthiniaria). In this study, unidentified sediment-encrusting zoanthid specimens ( n = 8) were collected from living Japanese Red Coral Paracorallium japonicum (Family Coralliidae) during precious coral harvesting by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and manned submersible (February 2004-January 2006) at depths of 194-250 m at six locations between Ishigaki-jima Island and Kikai-jima Island, southern Japan. DNA sequences (mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA [mt 16S rDNA], cytochrome oxidase subunit I [COI], nuclear internal transcribed spacer of ribosomal DNA [ITS-rDNA]) unambiguously place these specimens in a previously undescribed, new monophyletic lineage within the family Parazoanthidae. Corallizoanthus tsukaharai, gen. n. et sp. n. is the first reported zoanthid species associated with the family Coralliidae and unlike other described gorgonian-associated zoanthids ( Savalia spp .) does not secrete its own hard axis. Morphologically, C. tsukaharai sp. n. is characterized by generally unitary polyps and bright yellow external coloration.

  20. Benthic biodiversity and ecological gradients in the Seno Magdalena (Puyuhuapi Fjord, Chile)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betti, F.; Bavestrello, G.; Bo, M.; Enrichetti, F.; Loi, A.; Wanderlingh, A.; Pérez-Santos, I.; Daneri, G.

    2017-11-01

    Due to its complex hydrological, geomorphological and climatic features, the Chilean fjords region is considered among the most productive areas of the world. The benthic fauna of this region accounts for more than 1600 species showing marked latitudinal biogeographic differences characterizing this as one of the most important hotspot of biodiversity of cold-temperate environments. Despite numerous studies have been conducted to depict the biological characteristics of the fjords, the present situation is strongly unbalanced towards specific taxa. Hence, this study takes into consideration a community approach, highlighting the distribution of six benthic assemblages thriving on vertical walls along the Seno Magdalena fjord (Aysen region). Underwater pictures were used to characterize the trends in abundance and diversity of the main taxa showing distinct responses to salinity and turbidity. Among the less tolerant taxa to high fresh water inputs there are encrusting algae, mainly found in the most external sites lashed by outer currents, far from the estuarine plume. The bathymetric zonation of the assemblages, instead, is characterized by a dense mussel belt in the first 10 m, within a thick layer of low-salinity, nutrient-enriched waters. Rich assemblages of sponges, brachiopods, gorgonians and scleractinians thrive in deeper, marine, clear waters. The evaluation of the ecological role of benthic species leads both to the definition of potential bioindicator taxa responding to anthropic disturbances and to the promotion of protected areas.

  1. Changes in polychaete standing stock and diversity on the northern side of Senghor Seamount (NE Atlantic)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chivers, A. J.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.; Lamont, P. A.; Dale, A.; Turnewitsch, R.

    2013-06-01

    Interest in seamount research has gathered momentum over the past five years in an effort to understand the physical, geochemical and biological characteristics as well as the interconnectedness of seamount ecosystems. The majority of biological seamount research has concentrated upon the rich and diverse suspension feeding organisms that dominate the megafauna, such as gorgonians and antipatharian corals; by comparison there have been few studies that have investigated the no less enigmatic, but possibly just as important infauna. To help fill this knowledge gap, the macrofaunal community was sampled from a total of five stations along a northerly transect (capturing water depths from ∼130 m to ∼3300 m), on Senghor Seamount (NE Atlantic). The focus of this study is on the polychaete communities. Polychaete abundance peaked at the summit and a mid-slope station (∼1500 m), a pattern mirrored by the biomass values. The polychaete community along the transect appeared to be particularly diverse, with 135 species nominally identified to putative species from a total of 954 individuals. A diversity maximum was identified on the upper slope at ∼800 m depth, with species diversity, richness and evenness also all peaking at this station. Depth is likely to be a significant factor in determining levels of similarity between stations.

  2. Comparative mitogenomics, phylogeny and evolutionary history of Leptogorgia (Gorgoniidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poliseno, Angelo; Feregrino, Christian; Sartoretto, Stéphane; Aurelle, Didier; Wörheide, Gert; McFadden, Catherine S; Vargas, Sergio

    2017-10-01

    Molecular analyses of the ecologically important gorgonian octocoral genus Leptogorgia are scant and mostly deal with few species from restricted geographical regions. Here we explore the phylogenetic relationships and the evolutionary history of Leptogorgia using the complete mitochondrial genomes of six Leptogorgia species from different localities in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and eastern Pacific as well as four other genera of Gorgoniidae and Plexauridae. Our mitogenomic analyses showed high inter-specific diversity, variable nucleotide substitution rates and, for some species, novel genomic features such as ORFs of unknown function. The phylogenetic analyses using complete mitogenomes and an extended mtMutS dataset recovered Leptogorgia as polyphyletic, and the species considered in the analyses were split into two defined groups corresponding to different geographic regions, namely the eastern Pacific and the Atlantic-Mediterranean. Our phylogenetic analysis based on mtMutS also showed a clear separation between the eastern Atlantic and South African Leptogorgia, suggesting the need of a taxonomic revision for these forms. A time-calibrated phylogeny showed that the separation of eastern Pacific and western Atlantic species started ca. 20Mya and suggested a recent divergence for eastern Pacific species and for L. sarmentosa-L. capverdensis. Our results also revealed high inter-specific diversity among eastern Atlantic and South African species, highlighting a potential role of the geographical diversification processes and geological events occurring during the last 30Ma in the Atlantic on the evolutionary history of these organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STAT Regulatory Networks in Marine Organisms: From Physiological Observations towards Marine Drug Discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Young Lee

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Part of our ocean’s richness comes from its extensive history of supporting life, resulting in a highly diverse ecological system. To date, over 250,000 species of marine organisms have been identified, but it is speculated that the actual number of marine species exceeds one million, including several hundreds of millions of species of marine microorganisms. Past studies suggest that approximately 70% of all deep-sea microorganisms, gorgonians, and sea sponges produce secondary metabolites with anti-cancer activities. Recently, novel FDA-approved drugs derived from marine sponges have been shown to reduce metastatic breast cancer, malignant lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s disease. Despite the fact that many marine natural products have been shown to possess a good inhibition potential against most of the cancer-related cell signaling pathways, only a few marine natural products have been shown to target JAK/STAT signaling. In the present paper, we describe the JAK/STAT signaling pathways found in marine organisms, before elaborating on the recent advances in the field of STAT inhibition by marine natural products and the potential application in anti-cancer drug discovery.

  4. Antifouling Activity of Secondary Metabolites Isolated from Chinese Marine Organisms

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Yong Xin

    2013-04-25

    Biofouling results in tremendous economic losses to maritime industries around the world. A recent global ban on the use of organotin compounds as antifouling agents has further raised demand for safe and effective antifouling compounds. In this study, 49 secondary metabolites, including diterpenoids, steroids, and polyketides, were isolated from soft corals, gorgonians, brown algae, and fungi collected along the coast of China, and their antifouling activity was tested against cyprids of the barnacle Balanus (Amphibalanus) amphitrite. Twenty of the compounds were found to inhibit larval settlement significantly at a concentration of 25 μg ml-1. Two briarane diterpenoids, juncin O (2) and juncenolide H (3), were the most promising non-toxic antilarval settlement candidates, with EC50 values less than 0.13 μg ml-1 and a safety ratio (LC50/EC50) higher than 400. A preliminary structure-activity relationships study indicated that both furanon and furan moieties are important for antifouling activity. Intriguingly, the presence of hydroxyls enhanced their antisettlement activity. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

  5. Morphology and molecular phylogeny of Paragorgia rubra sp. nov. (Cnidaria: Octocorallia), a new bubblegum coral species from a seamount in the tropical Western Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Zhan, Zifeng; Xu, Kuidong

    2017-07-01

    A new species of bubblegum coral, Paragorgia rubra sp. nov., discovered from a seamount at a water depth of 373 m near the Yap Trench is studied using morphological and molecular approaches. Paragorgia rubra sp. nov. is the fourth species of the genus found in the tropical Western Pacific. The new gorgonian is red-colored, uniplanar, and measures approximately 530 mm high and 440 mm wide, with autozooids distributed only on one side of the colony. Paragorgia rubra sp. nov. is most similar to P. kaupeka Sánchez, 2005, but differs distinctly in the polyp ovals with large and compound protuberances (vs. small and simple conical protuberances) and the medullar spindles possessing simple conical protuberances (vs. compound protuberances). Moreover, P. rubra sp. nov. differs from P. kaupeka in the smaller length/width ratio of surface radiates (1.53 vs. 1.75). The genetic distance of the mtMutS gene between P. rubra sp. nov. and P. kaupeka is 0.66%, while the intraspecific distances within Paragorgia Milne-Edwards & Haime, 1857 except the species P. regalis complex are no more than 0.5%, further supporting the establishment of the new species. Furthermore, the ITS2 secondary structure of P. rubra sp. nov. is also different from those of congeners. Phylogenetic analyses indicate Paragorgia rubra sp. nov. and P. kaupeka form a clade, which branched early within Paragorgia and diversified approximately 15 Mya.

  6. Deep coral oases in the South Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzia Bo

    Full Text Available A Mediterranean "roche du large" ecosystem, represented by four rocky shoals, located a few miles apart on a muddy bottom at 70-130 m depth in the gulf of St. Eufemia (Calabria, South Tyrrhenian Sea, was studied by means of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV photo imaging. The shoals host highly diversified coral communities, mainly composed of arborescent colonies of gorgonians (Callogorgia verticillata, Paramuricea clavata, Paramuricea macrospina, Bebryce mollis, Villogorgia bebrycoides, Corallium rubrum, and Leptogorgia sarmentosa, and antipatharians (Antipathella subpinnata, Antipathes dichotoma and Parantipathes larix. The coral colonies reach high densities (up to ca. 17 colonies m(-2 and large sizes, such as the over 1.5 m wide antipatharian colonies. We hypothesized that the abundance and composition of the coral assemblages differed significantly among the rocky shoals and with respect to the surrounding soft bottoms. Various environmental variables were tested as possible explanatory factors of the observed differences. Moreover, due to their off-coast localization, we report here that these unique ecosystems are potentially subjected to a strong pressure from the local fishing activities, which were tentatively characterized. The recorded coral β-diversity among the shoals supports the hypothesis that these habitats behave like small oases of hard substrata interspersed in a muddy bottom. Because of their intrinsic beauty and rarity and their biological and ecological value, we stress the need of specific actions aimed at the urgent protection of these oases of biodiversity.

  7. Unravelling the nature of Waiparaconus, a pennatulacean (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) from the Late Mesozoic-Early Cainozoic of the Southern Hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckeridge, John S; Campbell, Hamish J; Maurizot, Pierre

    2014-03-01

    Enigmatic calcareous conical fossils have been known from marine Paleocene-Eocene sequences of New Zealand since the early 1870s. More recently, similar fossils have been recorded from both Late Cretaceous marine sequences of Western Australia, New Caledonia and Antarctica, and possibly from the Eocene of South America. The present paper extends the record to the late Cretaceous of New Caledonia. These remains are unlike any living taxa, and have been variously interpreted as molluscs (rudistid bivalves), cirripedes (stalked barnacles), annelids and inorganic structures. Assignation to the Cirripedia has been refuted by Buckeridge (1983, 1993), who proposed that the material would be better placed within the Cnidaria. We investigate this hypothesis in light of the New Caledonian material and by comparison with living gorgonians and pennatulaceans, and demonstrate that Waiparaconus is best placed within the Pennatulacea. Waiparaconus zelandicus varies in form somewhat, with 3 morphotypes defined and reinforced by geography. Comment is provided on the imperative to fit organic remains into known groups, with reflection on what may happen if taxa are left in insertae sedis. © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  8. Late Holocene Radiocarbon Variability in Northwest Atlantic Slope Waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherwood, O; Edinger, E; Guilderson, T P; Ghaleb, B; Risk, M J; Scott, D B

    2008-08-15

    Deep-sea gorgonian corals secrete a 2-part skeleton of calcite, derived from dissolved inorganic carbon at depth, and gorgonin, derived from recently fixed and exported particulate organic matter. Radiocarbon contents of the calcite and gorgonin provide direct measures of seawater radiocarbon at depth and in the overlying surface waters, respectively. Using specimens collected from Northwest Atlantic slope waters, we generated radiocarbon records for surface and upper intermediate water layers spanning the pre- and post bomb-{sup 14}C eras. In Labrador Slope Water (LSW), convective mixing homogenizes the pre-bomb {Delta}{sup 14}C signature (-67 {+-} 4{per_thousand}) to at least 1000 m depth. Surface water bomb-{sup 14}C signals were lagged and damped (peaking at {approx} +45{per_thousand} in the early 1980s) relative to other regions of the northwest Atlantic, and intermediate water signals were damped further. Off southwest Nova Scotia, the vertical gradient in {Delta}{sup 14}C is much stronger. In surface water, pre-bomb {Delta}{sup 14}C averaged -75 {+-} 5{per_thousand}. At 250-475 m depth, prebomb {Delta}{sup 14}C oscillated quasi-decadally between -80 and -100{per_thousand}, likely reflecting interannual variability in the presence of Labrador Slope Water vs. Warm Slope Water (WSW). Finally, subfossil corals reveal no systematic changes in vertical {Delta}{sup 14}C gradients over the last 1200 years.

  9. Structure-forming corals and sponges and their use as fish habitat in Bering Sea submarine canyons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Miller

    Full Text Available Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from such disturbance. Regulation of these destructive practices is key to conservation of benthic habitats in these canyons and the ecosystem services they provide.

  10. Structure-activity relationships for the irreversible blockade of nicotinic receptor agonist sites by lophotoxin and congeneric diterpene lactones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Culver, P.; Burch, M.; Potenza, C.; Wasserman, L.; Fenical, W.; Taylor, P.

    1985-11-01

    Lophotoxin, a diterpene lactone paralytic toxin from gorgonian corals of the genus Lophogorgia, inhibits ( SVI)-alpha-toxin binding to surface nicotinic receptors of BC3H-1 cells by irreversible occupation of the primary agonist sites. In contrast, receptor-bearing membrane fragments or detergent-solubilized receptors prepared from BC3H-1 cells are not susceptible to lophotoxin block. Thus, lophotoxin inhibition requires intact cells. However, when intact cells were incubated with lophotoxin, subsequent membrane-fragment preparation or detergent solubilization of the receptors did not diminish lophotoxin occupation of ( SVI)-alpha-toxin-binding sites, indicating that lophotoxin binds very tightly to nicotinic receptors. These studies further demonstrate that both surface and nonsurface nicotinic receptors of BC3H-1 cells are susceptible to irreversible occupation by lophotoxin, indicating that the lipophilic toxin freely permeates intact cells. The authors also examined several structural analogs of lophotoxin, one of which was equipotent with lophotoxin for inhibition of ( SVI)-alpha-toxin binding to intact cells and, notably, also blocked alpha-toxin binding to detergent-extracted receptor.

  11. Structure-Forming Corals and Sponges and Their Use as Fish Habitat in Bering Sea Submarine Canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Robert J.; Hocevar, John; Stone, Robert P.; Fedorov, Dmitry V.

    2012-01-01

    Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from such disturbance. Regulation of these destructive practices is key to conservation of benthic habitats in these canyons and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:22470486

  12. Changes in polychaete standing stock and diversity on the northern side of Senghor Seamount (NE Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Chivers

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Interest in seamount research has gathered momentum over the past five years in an effort to understand the physical, geochemical and biological characteristics as well as the interconnectedness of seamount ecosystems. The majority of biological seamount research has concentrated upon the rich and diverse suspension feeding organisms that dominate the megafauna, such as gorgonians and antipatharian corals; by comparison there have been few studies that have investigated the no less enigmatic, but possibly just as important infauna. To help fill this knowledge gap, the macrofaunal community was sampled from a total of five stations along a northerly transect (capturing water depths from ∼130 m to ∼3300 m, on Senghor Seamount (NE Atlantic. The focus of this study is on the polychaete communities. Polychaete abundance peaked at the summit and a mid-slope station (∼1500 m, a pattern mirrored by the biomass values. The polychaete community along the transect appeared to be particularly diverse, with 135 species nominally identified to putative species from a total of 954 individuals. A diversity maximum was identified on the upper slope at ∼800 m depth, with species diversity, richness and evenness also all peaking at this station. Depth is likely to be a significant factor in determining levels of similarity between stations.

  13. Benthos of the Gorda Ridge axial valley (NE Pacific Ocean): Taxonomic composition and trends in distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, A. G.; Stein, D. L.; Rona, P. L.

    Distribution and relative abundance of invertebrate mega-epifauna and benthic fishes were studied in the Gorda Ridge central rift valley off southern Oregon and northern California, USA. Faunal distribution and relative abundance were correlated with location, geological setting, substrate type, and depth. Bottom photographs and videotapes were from 1985-1986 cruises by the US Geological Survey and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Voucher specimens were collected by rock dredge, fish trap, and the Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Sea Cliff. Location rather than substrate appears to have more effect on the overall taxonomic composition of the mega-epifauna in the northern and southern parts of the rift valley. Within each location, substrate type, i.e. soft sediments and rock outcrops, and percentage cover of these substrates appear to influence the existing faunal composition. Characteristic fauna are associated with each substrate type, e.g. crinoids, gorgonians and sponges (Demospongiae) on rocky surfaces. In the southern sediment-filled Escanaba Trough, deposit-feeding organisms, particularly ophiuroids, asteroids and holothuroids, are interspersed with stalked suspension feeders, such as hexactinellid sponges and pennatulids. Epifaunal community structure in the northern and southern sectors differs, even on similar substrate combinations. Except for the ubiquitous macrourids, fish species distributions may be correlated with substrate type. Abundant particulate material in the bottom water layer probably accounts for large concentrations of suspension and detritus feeding epibenthos.

  14. Investigation of trophic ecology in Newfoundland cold-water deep-sea corals using lipid class and fatty acid analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvo, Flora; Hamoutene, Dounia; Hayes, Vonda E. Wareham; Edinger, Evan N.; Parrish, Christopher C.

    2018-03-01

    The trophic behavior of some deep-sea Newfoundland cold-water corals was explored using fatty acid (FA) and lipid profiles. No significant effect of geographic location and/or depth was identified in lipid or FA composition. However, differences were detected between and within taxon groups in hexa- or octocoral subclasses. Phospholipids constituted the main lipid class in all groups except black-thorny corals which had less structural lipids likely due to their morphology (stiff axes) and slower growth rates. Within each subclass, major differences in the identity of dominant FAs were detected at the order level, whereas differences between species and taxon groups of the same order were mainly driven by a variation in proportions of the dominant FA. Soft corals and gorgonians (Order Alcyonacea) were close in composition and are likely relying on phytodetritus resulting from algae, macrophytes and/or foraminifera, while sea pens (Order Pennatulacea) seem to consume more diatoms and/or herbivorous zooplankton with the exception of Pennatula sp. In the hexacoral subclass, black-thorny corals ( Stauropathes arctica) differed significantly from the stony-cup corals ( Flabellum alabastrum); S. arctica was seemingly more carnivorous (zooplankton markers) than F. alabastrum, which appears omnivorous (phyto- and zooplankton markers). Our results suggest that deep-sea corals are not as opportunistic as expected but have some selective feeding associated with taxonomy.

  15. Remote sensing of deep hermatypic coral reefs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands using the Seabed autonomous underwater vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Roy A.; Singh, Hanumant

    2006-09-01

    Optical imaging of coral reefs and other benthic communities present below one attenuation depth, the limit of effective airborne and satellite remote sensing, requires the use of in situ platforms such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The Seabed AUV, which was designed for high-resolution underwater optical and acoustic imaging, was used to characterize several deep insular shelf reefs of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands using digital imagery. The digital photo transects obtained by the Seabed AUV provided quantitative data on living coral, sponge, gorgonian, and macroalgal cover as well as coral species richness and diversity. Rugosity, an index of structural complexity, was derived from the pencil-beam acoustic data. The AUV benthic assessments could provide the required information for selecting unique areas of high coral cover, biodiversity and structural complexity for habitat protection and ecosystem-based management. Data from Seabed sensors and related imaging technologies are being used to conduct multi-beam sonar surveys, 3-D image reconstruction from a single camera, photo mosaicking, image based navigation, and multi-sensor fusion of acoustic and optical data.

  16. Identification of Tight-Binding Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 Inhibitors in Aqueous Extracts of Marine Invertebrates by the Combination of Enzymatic and Interaction-Based Assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas-Sarduy, Emir; Guerra, Yasel; Covaleda Cortés, Giovanni; Avilés, Francesc Xavier; Chávez Planes, María A.

    2017-01-01

    Natural products from marine origin constitute a very promising and underexplored source of interesting compounds for modern biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries. However, their evaluation is quite challenging and requires specifically designed assays to reliably identify the compounds of interest in a highly heterogeneous and interfering context. In the present study, we describe a general strategy for the confident identification of tight-binding protease inhibitors in the aqueous extracts of 62 Cuban marine invertebrates, using Plasmodium falciparum hemoglobinases Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 as model enzymes. To this end, we first developed a screening strategy that combined enzymatic with interaction-based assays and then validated screening conditions using five reference extracts. Interferences were evaluated and minimized. The results from the massive screening of such extracts, the validation of several hits by a variety of interaction-based assays and the purification and functional characterization of PhPI, a multifunctional and reversible tight-binding inhibitor for Plasmepsin II and Falcipain 2 from the gorgonian Plexaura homomalla, are presented. PMID:28430158

  17. 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

  18. Filling the gaps: Predicting the distribution of temperate reef biota using high resolution biological and acoustic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Nicole A.; Lucieer, Vanessa; Barrett, Neville S.; Anderson, Tara J.; Williams, Stefan B.

    2014-06-01

    Management of the marine environment is often hampered by a lack of comprehensive spatial information on the distribution of diversity and the bio-physical processes structuring regional ecosystems. This is particularly true in temperate reef systems beyond depths easily accessible to divers. Yet these systems harbor a diversity of sessile life that provide essential ecosystem services, sustain fisheries and, as with shallower ecosystems, are also increasingly vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts and environmental change. Here we use cutting-edge tools (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles and ship-borne acoustics) and analytical approaches (predictive modelling) to quantify and map these highly productive ecosystems. We find the occurrence of key temperate-reef biota can be explained and predicted using standard (depth) and novel (texture) surrogates derived from multibeam acoustic data, and geographic surrogates. This suggests that combinations of fine-scale processes, such as light limitation and habitat complexity, and broad-scale processes, such as regional currents and exposure regimes, are important in structuring these diverse deep-reef communities. While some dominant habitat forming biota, including canopy algae, were widely distributed, others, including gorgonians and sea whips, exhibited patchy and restricted distributions across the reef system. In addition to providing the first quantitative and full coverage maps of reef diversity for this area, our modelling revealed that offshore reefs represented a regional diversity hotspot that is of high ecological and conservation value. Regional reef systems should not, therefore, be considered homogenous units in conservation planning and management. Full-coverage maps of the predicted distribution of biota (and associated uncertainty) are likely to be increasingly valuable, not only for conservation planning, but in the ongoing management and monitoring of these less-accessible ecosystems.

  19. SIMAC: Development and implementation of a coral reef monitoring network in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Garzón-Ferreira

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Significant coral reef decline has been observed in Colombia during the last three decades. However, due to the lack of monitoring activities, most of the information about health and changes was fragmentary or inadequate. To develop an expanded nation-wide reef-monitoring program, in 1998 INVEMAR (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras: "Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Research" designed and implemented SIMAC (Sistema Nacional de Monitoreo de Arrecifes Coralinos en Colombia: "National Monitoring System of Coral Reefs in Colombia" with the participation of other institutions. By the end of 2003 the SIMAC network reached more than twice its initial size, covering ten reef areas (seven in the Caribbean and three in the Pacific, 63 reef sites and 263 permanent transects. SIMAC monitoring continued without interruption until 2008 and should persist in the long-term. The SIMAC has a large database and consists basically of water quality measurements (temperature, salinity, turbidity and a yearly estimation of benthic reef cover, coral disease prevalence, gorgonian density, abundance of important mobile invertebrates, fish diversity and abundance of important fish species. A methods manual is available in the internet. Data and results of SIMAC have been widely circulated through a summary report published annually since 2000 for the Colombian environmental agencies and the general public, as well as numerous national and international scientific papers and presentations at meetings. SIMAC information has contributed to support regional and global reef monitoring networks and databases (i.e. CARICOMP, GCRMN, ReefBase. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 1: 67-80. Epub 2010 May 01.

  20. Internal Wave Exposure in Eastern Tropical Pacific Panamá and Costa Rica is Coincident with Strong Vertical Gradients in Shallow Water Benthic Community Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leichter, J.

    2016-02-01

    Multi-year time series and hydrographic observations at near shore sites in Eastern Tropical Pacific Panamá and Costa Rica show regionally coherent internal wave exposure that is strongly modulated across seasons. Sites were sampled to the west of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica and near Isla Coiba in Panamá with spatial separation of approximately 250 km. From approximately January through April each year, internal wave activity inferred from high frequency temperature variability is pronounced, associated with well developed and shallow density stratification. The occurrence of highly variable temperatures is correlated with shallow density stratification and oxygen concentrations as low as 1 to 1.5 µg L-1 measured at the base of the thermocline at 50 to 60 m depth in the offshore water column during winter and spring conditions. The physical variability in the near shore corresponds to and appears to drive strong vertical gradients in the benthic community assemblages on rocky substrata. With increasing depth the benthic communities are dominated by scleractinian corals (predominantly in the genera Pocillopora, Pavona, and Porites) from near the surface to approximately 8 m depth, followed by of a range of sessile suspension feeders including sea fans and gorgonians at approximately 10 to 20 m depth, and predominantly rocky bare space with sporadic algal and isolated invertebrate communities to 30 m depth which was the limit of the current sampling. This vertical patterning of the benthic community appears to reflect the strong vertical gradients in hydrographic forcing. From May through December hydrographic conditions at the benthic study sites is significantly less variable, associated with deeper offshore stratification and a decrease in temperature variation driven by internal wave activity impinging on the shallow water ecosystems. The highly variable physical environment in these tropical settings sets a context for strong patterning of benthic

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

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    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

  2. Cold-Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons of the Bay of Biscay

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    Inge M. J. van den Beld

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The topographical and hydrological complexity of submarine canyons, coupled with high substratum heterogeneity, make them ideal environments for cold-water coral (CWC habitats. These habitats, including reefs, are thought to provide important functions for many organisms. The canyons incising the continental slope of the Bay of Biscay have distinct morphological differences from the north to the south. CWCs have been reported from this basin in the late nineteenth century; however, little is known about their present-day distribution, diversity and environmental drivers in the canyons. In this study, the characteristics and distribution of CWC habitats in the submarine canyons of the Bay of Biscay are investigated. Twenty-four canyons and three locations between adjacent canyons were sampled using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV or a towed camera system. Acquired images were annotated for habitat type (using the CoralFISH classification system, substrate cover and coral identification. Furthermore, the influence of hydrological factors and geomorphology on the CWC distribution was investigated. Eleven coral habitats, formed by 62 morphotypes of scleractinians, gorgonians, antipatharians and seapens, inhabiting hard and/or soft substrate, were observed. The distribution patterns were heterogenous at regional and local scales; the south Bay of Biscay and the southeastern flank favored soft substrate habitats. Biogenic and hard substrate habitats supported higher coral diversities than soft substrate habitats and had similar species compositions. A higher coral species turnover characterized soft substrate habitats. Substrate type was the most important driver of the patterns in both distribution and composition. Observations of coral reefs on steeper areas in the canyons and coral rubble on flatter areas on the interfluve/upper slope support the hypothesis that canyons serve as refuges, being less accessible to trawling, although natural causes

  3. Bleaching of reef coelenterates in the San Blas Islands, Panama

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    Lasker, Howard R.; Peters, Esther C.; Coffroth, Mary Alice

    1984-12-01

    Starting in June 1983, 25 species of hermatypic corals, gorgonians, hydrocorals, anemones and zoanthids in the San Blas Islands, Panama, began showing signs of a loss of colour leading in some cases to a white “bleached” appearance. Histologic examination of six coral species indicated that bleaching was associated with drastic reductions in the density of zooxanthellae and with the atrophy and necrosis of the animal tissue. The severity of the bleaching varied among species and many species were unaffected. The species most extensively affected were: Agaricia spp., which became completely bleached and frequently died; Montastraea annularis which bleached and continued to survive; and Millepora spp. which bleached white but quickly regained their colouration. Shallow reefs dominated by Agaricia spp. suffered the most extensive bleaching. At one site, Pico Feo, 99% of the Agaricia (32% of the living cover) was bleached. On fore reers, which were dominated by Agaricia spp. and M. annularis, the proportion of M. annularis bleached ranged from 18 to 100% and that of Agaricia spp. from 30 to 53%. Transects at Sail Rock and House Reef were surveyed in August 1983 and January 1984. At those sites, 53% of the Agaricia cover died between August and January. The remaining living cover of Agaricia and of all other species exhibited normal colouration in January. Salinity and temperature were monitored every second day at 4 m depth between May 10 and August 28, 1983 at one of the localities. Bleaching was first observed within two weeks of a 2 °C rise in temperature which occurred in late May 1983. Temperatures remained at or above 31.5 °C for the following 3 weeks and were at or above 30 °C for an additional 4 weeks. The bleaching of corals in the San Blas was most likely due to those elevanted temperatures.

  4. Reprint of - Deep-sea coral and hardbottom habitats on the west Florida slope, eastern Gulf of Mexico

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    Ross, Steve W.; Rhode, Mike; Brooke, Sandra

    2017-09-01

    Until recently, benthic habitats dominated by deep-sea corals (DSC) appeared to be less extensive on the slope of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) than in the northeast Atlantic Ocean or off the southeastern US. There are relatively few bioherms (i.e., coral-built mounds) in the northern GOM, and most DSCs are attached to existing hard substrata (e.g., authigenically formed carbonate). The primary structure-forming, DSC in the GOM is Lophelia pertusa, but structure is also provided by other living and dead scleractinians, antipatharians (black corals), octocorals (gorgonians, soft corals), hydrocorals and sponges, as well as abundant rocky substrata. The best development of DSCs in the GOM was previously documented within Viosca Knoll oil and gas lease blocks 826 and 862/906 (north-central GOM) and on the Campeche Bank (southern GOM in Mexican waters). This paper documents extensive deep reef ecosystems composed of DSC and rocky hard-bottom recently surveyed on the West Florida Slope (WFS, eastern GOM) during six research cruises (2008-2012). Using multibeam sonar, CTD casts, and video from underwater vehicles, we describe the physical and oceanographic characteristics of these deep reefs and provide size or area estimates of deep coral and hardground habitats. The multibeam sonar analyses revealed hundreds of mounds and ridges, some of which were subsequently surveyed using underwater vehicles. Mounds and ridges in region warrants additional studies to better understand the influences of oceanography and geology on the occurrence of DSC and associated organisms. Protection measures are being considered to ensure the long-term integrity of this diverse ecosystem.

  5. Cancer chemopreventive and anticancer evaluation of extracts and fractions from marine macro- and microorganisms collected from Twilight Zone waters around Guam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Peter J; Kohlert-Schupp, Claudia; Whitefield, Susanna; Engemann, Anna; Rohde, Sven; Hemscheidt, Thomas; Pezzuto, John M; Kondratyuk, Tamara P; Park, Eun-Jung; Marler, Laura; Rostama, Bahman; Wright, Anthony D

    2009-12-01

    The cancer chemopreventive and cytotoxic properties of 50 extracts derived from Twilight Zone (50-150 m) sponges, gorgonians and associated bacteria, together with 15 extracts from shallow water hard corals, as well as 16 fractions derived from the methanol solubles of the Twilight Zone sponge Suberea sp, were assessed in a series of bioassays. These assays included: Induction of quinone reductase (QR), inhibition of TNF-alpha activated nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB), inhibition of aromatase, interaction with retinoid X receptor (RXR), inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthase, inhibition 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging (DPPH), and inhibition of HL-60 and MCF-7 cell proliferation. The results of these assays showed that at least 10 extracts and five fractions inhibited NFkappaB by greater than 60%, two extracts and two fractions inhibited DPPH by more than 50%, nine extracts and two fractions affected the survival of HL-60 cells, no extracts or fractions affected RXR, three extracts and six fractions affected quinone reductase (QR), three extracts and 12 fractions significantly inhibited aromatase, four extracts and five fractions inhibited nitric oxide synthase, and one extract and no fractions inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells by more than 95%. These data revealed the tested samples to have many and varied activities, making them, as shown with the extract of the Suberea species, useful starting points for further fractionation and purification. Moreover, the large number of samples demonstrating activity in only one or sometimes two assays accentuates the potential of the Twilight Zone, as a largely unexplored habitat, for the discovery of selectively bioactive compounds. The overall high hit rate in many of the employed assays is considered to be a significant finding in terms of "normal" hit rates associated with similar samples from shallower depths.

  6. Cold-Water Corals and Anthropogenic Impacts in La Fonera Submarine Canyon Head, Northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

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    Galderic Lastras

    Full Text Available We assess the occurrence and extent of cold-water coral (CWC species Madrepora oculata and Dendrophyllia cornigera, as well as gorgonian red coral Corallium rubrum, in La Fonera canyon head (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea, as well as human impacts taking place in their habitats. Occurrence is assessed based on Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV video imaging. Terrain classification techniques are applied to high-resolution swath bathymetric data to obtain semi-automatic interpretative maps to identify the relationship between coral distribution patterns and canyon environments. A total of 21 ROV immersions were carried out in different canyon environments at depths ranging between 79 and 401 m. Large, healthy colonies of M. oculata occur on abrupt, protected, often overhanging, rocky sections of the canyon walls, especially in Illa Negra branch. D. cornigera is sparser and evenly distributed at depth, on relatively low sloping areas, in rocky but also partially sedimented areas. C. rubrum is most frequent between 100 and 160 m on highly sloping rocky areas. The probable extent of CWC habitats is quantified by applying a maximum entropy model to predict habitat suitability: 0.36 km2 yield M. oculata occurrence probabilities over 70%. Similar predictive models have been produced for D. cornigera and C. rubrum. All ROV transects document either the presence of litter on the seafloor or pervasive trawling marks. Nets and longlines are imaged entangled on coral colonies. Coral rubble is observed at the foot of impacted colonies. Some colonies are partially covered by sediment that could be the result of the resuspension generated by bottom trawling on neighbouring fishing grounds, which has been demonstrated to be responsible of daily increases in sediment fluxes within the canyon. The characteristics of the CWC community in La Fonera canyon are indicative that it withstands high environmental stress of both natural and human origin.

  7. The big squeeze: ecosystem change and contraction of habitat for newly discovered deep-water reefs off the U.S. West Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickes, L.; Etnoyer, P. J.; Lauermann, A.; Rosen, D.

    2016-02-01

    Cold-water reefs are fragile, complex ecosystems that extend into the bathyal depths of the ocean, creating three dimensional structure and habitat for a diversity of deep-water invertebrates and fishes. The cold waters of the California Current support a diverse assemblage of these corals at relatively shallow depths close to shore. At these depths and locations the communities face a multitude of stressors, including low carbonate saturations, hypoxia, changing temperature, and coastal pollution. The current study employed ROV surveys (n=588, 2003-2015) to document the distribution of deep-sea corals in the Southern California Bight, including the first description of a widespread reef-building coral in the naturally acidified waters off the U.S. West Coast. We provide empirical evidence of species survival in the corrosive waters (Ωarag 0.67-1.86), but find loss of reef integrity. Recent publications have implied acclimation, resistance, and resilience of cold-water reef-building corals to ocean acidification, but results of this study indicate a cost to skeletal framework development with a subsequent loss of coral habitat. While ocean acidification and declines in oxygen are expected to further impinge on Lophelia at depth (𝑥̅=190 m), surface warming and coastal polution may affect shallower populations and mesophotic reef assemblages, resulting in a contraction of available coral habitat. Recent observations of die offs of gorgonians and antipatharians from surveys in shallow (50 m) and deep water (500 m) provide compelling evidence of ongoing ecosystem changes. Concurrent losses in habitat quality in deep and mesophotic waters suggest that corals may be "squeezed" into a more restricted depth range. New monitoring efforts aim to characterize the health and condition of deep corals with respect to gradients in carbonate chemistry, coastal pollution and changing temperatures, to assess vulnerability and both current and future habitat suitability.

  8. Kernel density surface modelling as a means to identify significant concentrations of vulnerable marine ecosystem indicators.

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    Ellen Kenchington

    Full Text Available The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify "significant concentrations" of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores, and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here

  9. First quantification of subtidal community structure at Tristan da Cunha Islands in the remote South Atlantic: from kelp forests to the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Scott L.; Davis, Kathryn; Thompson, Christopher D. H.; Turchik, Alan; Jenkinson, Ryan; Simpson, Doug; Sala, Enric

    2018-01-01

    Tristan da Cunha Islands, an archipelago of four rocky volcanic islands situated in the South Atlantic Ocean and part of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), present a rare example of a relatively unimpacted temperate marine ecosystem. We conducted the first quantitative surveys of nearshore kelp forests, offshore pelagic waters and deep sea habitats. Kelp forests had very low biodiversity and species richness, but high biomass and abundance of those species present. Spatial variation in assemblage structure for both nearshore fish and invertebrates/algae was greatest between the three northern islands and the southern island of Gough, where sea temperatures were on average 3-4o colder. Despite a lobster fishery that provides the bulk of the income to the Tristan islands, lobster abundance and biomass are comparable to or greater than many Marine Protected Areas in other parts of the world. Pelagic camera surveys documented a rich biodiversity offshore, including large numbers of juvenile blue sharks, Prionace glauca. Species richness and abundance in the deep sea is positively related to hard rocky substrate and biogenic habitats such as sea pens, crinoids, whip corals, and gorgonians were present at 40% of the deep camera deployments. We observed distinct differences in the deep fish community above and below ~750 m depth. Concurrent oceanographic sampling showed a discontinuity in temperature and salinity at this depth. While currently healthy, Tristan’s marine ecosystem is not without potential threats: shipping traffic leading to wrecks and species introductions, pressure to increase fishing effort beyond sustainable levels and the impacts of climate change all could potentially increase in the coming years. The United Kingdom has committed to protection of marine environments across the UKOTs, including Tristan da Cunha and these results can be used to inform future management decisions as well as provide a baseline against which future

  10. Generation of an affinity matrix useful in the purification of natural inhibitors of plasmepsin II, an antimalarial-drug target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Angel R; Guerra, Yasel; Otero, Anabel; García, Beatriz; Berry, Colin; Mendiola, Judith; Hernández-Zanui, Aida; Chávez, María de Los A

    2009-02-01

    An affinity matrix containing the antimalarial drug target Plm II (plasmepsin II) as ligand was generated. This enzyme belongs to the family of Plasmodium (malarial parasite) aspartic proteinases, known as Plms (plasmepsins). The procedure established to obtain the support has two steps: the immobilization of the recombinant proenzyme of Plm II to NHS (N-hydroxysuccinimide)-activated Sepharose and the activation of the immobilized enzyme by incubation at pH 4.4 and 37 degrees C. The coupling reaction resulted in a high percentage immobilization (95.5%), and the matrices obtained had an average of 4.3 mg of protein/ml of gel. The activated matrices, but not the inactive ones, were able to hydrolyse two different chromogenic peptide substrates and haemoglobin. This ability was completely blocked by the addition of the general aspartic-proteinase inhibitor, pepstatin A, to the reaction mixture. The matrices were useful in the affinity purification of the Plm II inhibitory activity detected in marine invertebrates, such as Xestospongia muta (giant barrel sponge) and the gorgonian (sea-fan coral) Plexaura homomalla (black sea rod), with increases of 10.2- and 5.9-fold in the specific inhibitory activity respectively. The preliminary K(i) values obtained, 46.4 nM (X. muta) and 1.9 nM (P. homomalla), and the concave shapes of the inhibition curves reveal that molecules are reversible tight-binding inhibitors of Plm II. These results validated the use of the affinity matrix for the purification of Plm II inhibitors from complex mixtures and established the presence of Plm II inhibitors in some marine invertebrates.

  11. Restoration and monitoring of a vessel grounding on a shallow reef in the Florida Keys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schittone, Joe

    2010-10-01

    This paper summarizes the results of a monitoring event designed to track the recovery of a repaired coral reef injured by the M/V Alec Owen Maitland vessel grounding incident of October 25, 1989. This grounding occurred within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Pursuant to the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, NOAA recovers money for injury to Sanctuary resources, and uses it to restore those resources. A monitoring program tracks patterns of recovery, in order to determine the success of restoration measures. To evaluate success, reference habitats adjacent to the restoration site are concurrently monitored to compare the condition of restored areas with natural areas. Restoration of this site was completed in September 1995 by means of cement and limestone rock, and the monitoring results from summer 2007 are presented. Monitoring consisted of comparison of the biological conditions in the restored area with the reference area. Monitored corals are divided into the Orders: Gorgonians, Milleporans, and Scleractinians. Densities at the restored and reference areas are compared, and are shown to be greater in the restored. Size-class frequency distributions for the most abundant Scleractinians are examined, and reveal that the restoration is converging on the reference area. Also, for the Scleractinians, number and percentage of colonies by species, as well as several common biodiversity indices are provided; measures for the restored area approximate the reference area. A quantitative comparison of colony substrate settlement preference in the restored area is provided for all Orders, and for Scleractinians is further broken down for the two most frequent Genera.

  12. Reef fish community in presence of the lionfish (Pterois volitans in Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean

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    Rocío García-Urueña

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Fish species community structure and benthic organisms coverage were studied in five localities in Santa Marta where the lionfish is present. Materials and methods. Abundance of fish species, including lion fish, was established using 30 m random visual censuses and video transects; trophic guilds were established according to available references. On the other hand benthic coverage was evaluated using the software Coral Point Count (CPCe 4.0. Results. Families with higher species numbers were Serranidae, Labridae, and Pomacentridae. Lionfish abundances were low (2.6±2.1 ind/120 m2, but in any case Pterois volitans was observed as the eleventh more abundant species, surpassing species of commercial value such as Cephalopholis cruentata. Species that were found in larger numbers (>100, Thalassoma bifasciatum, Haemulon aurolineatum, Canthigaster rostrata, Abudefduf saxatilis, Chromis cyanea, and Stegastes partitus were mainly invertebrate eaters, planctivores, and territorial herbivores. Coral coverage showed higher coral percentages in Chengue (69.9% and Cinto (27.4%, larger sponge percentages in Morro (32.7%; Isla Aguja and Remanso showed the larger figures for abiotic substrate (41.6 and 37%, respectively; corals, sponges, and gorgonians were the components best explaining fish community, but not for the lion fish, which inhabit all studied reef formations. Conclusions. Lion fish is ranked between the 20 more abundant species, with none commercially important species larger, hence no species may qualify as a natural control. Lion fish has as well become a relatively abundant species in Santa Marta reefs, independent of benthic coverage.

  13. Baseline seabed habitat and biotope mapping for a proposed marine reserve

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    Sonny T.M. Lee

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Seabed mapping can quantify the extent of benthic habitats that comprise marine ecosystems, and assess the impact of fisheries on an ecosystem. In this study, the distribution of seabed habitats in a proposed no-take Marine Reserve along the northeast coast of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand, was mapped using underwater video combined with bathymetry and substratum data. As a result of the boundary extending to the 12 nautical mile Territorial Limit, it would have been the largest coastal Marine Reserve in the country. Recreational and commercial fisheries occur in the region and would be expected to affect species’ abundance. The seabed of the study area and adjacent coastal waters has been trawled up to five times per year. Benthic communities were grouped by multivariate cluster analysis into four biotope classes; namely (1 shallow water macroalgae Ecklonia sp. and Ulva sp. on rocky substrata (Eck.Ulv; and deeper (2 diverse epifauna of sponges and bryozoans on rocky substrata (Por.Bry, (3 brittle star Amphiura sp. and sea anemone Edwardsia sp. on muddy sand (Amph.Edw, and (4 hydroids on mud (Hyd. In biotopes Por.Bry, Amph.Edw and Hyd, there where boulders and rocks were present, and diverse sponge, bryozoan and coral communities. Fifty species were recorded in the deep water survey including significant numbers of the shallow-water hexactinellid glass sponges Symplectella rowi Dendy, 1924 and Rossella ijimai Dendy, 1924, the giant pipe demosponge Isodictya cavicornuta Dendy, 1924, black corals, and locally endemic gorgonians. The habitats identified in the waters to the northeast of Great Barrier Island are likely to be representative of similar depth ranges in northeast New Zealand. This study provides a baseline of the benthic habitats so that should the area become a Marine Reserve, any habitat change might be related to protection from fishing activities and impacts, such as recovery of epifauna following cessation of trawling. The

  14. Asteroids, ophiuroids and holothurians from the southeastern Weddell Sea (Southern Ocean

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    Julian Gutt

    2014-08-01

    abundant epifauna, mainly sponges and gorgonians. Another one was mainly composed of vagrant deposit-feeding species inhabiting a predominantly non-colonised substratum. In addition, a mixed holothurian assemblage was identified.

  15. Coral Bleaching Assessment Through Remote Sensing and Integrated Citizen Science (CoralBASICS): Engaging Dive Instructors on Reef Characterization in Southwest, Puerto Rico Coupled with the Analysis of Water Quality Using NASA Earth Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Perez, J. L.; Armstrong, R.; Detres, Y.; Aragones-Fred, C.; Melendez, J.

    2017-12-01

    As recurrences of extreme sea water thermal events increase with climate change, the need for continuous monitoring of coral reefs becomes even more evident. Enabling properly trained members from the local communities to actively participate in scientific programs/research projects, provides for such monitoring at little cost once the citizens are properly trained and committed. Further, the possibility of obtaining high temporal resolution data with citizen scientists can provide for new venues to answer questions that may not be answered with traditional research approaches. The CoralBASICS project engages members of the local diving industry in Puerto Rico on the assessment of coastal water quality and the status of Puerto Rico's coral reefs in an age of climate change and in particular, an increase in the frequency and magnitude of coral bleaching events. The project complements remote sensing data with community-based field assessments strictly supervised by the PI's. The study focuses on training citizen scientists (dive instructors) on the collection of benthic information related to the state of coral reefs using the Reef Check (fish and invertebrates ID and substrate composition) and video transects methodologies, monitoring of coral bleaching events, and collecting of water quality data using a smartphone ocean color application. The data collected by citizen scientists complements the validation of Landsat-8 (OLI) imagery for water quality assessment. At the same time, researchers from the University of Puerto Rico conduct field assessment of the bio-optical properties of waters surrounding the coral reef study areas. Dive instructors have been collecting benthic and water quality data for the past 4 months. Initial analysis using the Coral Point Count with excel extension (CPCe) software showed a dominance of gorgonians at most sites (up to 32.8%) with hard coral cover ranging between 5.5-13.2% of the hard substrates. No coral diseases or bleaching

  16. Bioactivities of six sterols isolated from marine invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xuefeng; Sun, Jianfan; Ma, Wanlei; Fang, Wei; Chen, Zhefan; Yang, Bin; Liu, Yonghong

    2014-02-01

    Epidioxy sterols and sterols with special side chains, such as hydroperoxyl sterols, usually obtained from marine natural products, are attractive for bioactivities. To isolate and screen bioactive and special sterols from China Sea invertebrates. Two hydroperoxyl sterols (1 and 2) from the sponge Xestospongia testudinaria Lamarck (Petrosiidae), three epidioxy sterols (3-5) from the sea urchin Glyptocidaris crenularis A. Agassiz (Glyptocidaridae), sponge Mycale sp. (Mycalidae) and gorgonian Dichotella gemmacea Milne Edwards and Haime (Ellisellidae) and an unusual sterol with 25-acetoxy-19-oate (6) also from D. gemmacea were obtained and identified. Using high-throughput screening, their bioactivities were tested toward Forkhead box O 3a (Foxo3a), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase gene fluorescent protein (HMGCR-GFP), nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) luciferase, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ co-activator 1α (PGC-1α), protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. Their structures were determined by comparing their nuclear magnetic resonance data with those reported in the literature. Three epidioxy sterols (3-5) showed inhibitory activities toward Foxo3a, HMGCR-GFP and NF-κB-luciferase with the IC50 values 4.9-6.8 μg/mL. The hydroperoxyl sterol 29-hydroperoxystigmasta-5,24(28)-dien-3-ol (2) had diverse inhibitory activities against Foxo3a, HMGCR-GFP, NF-κB-luciferase, PGC-1α, PTP1B and MMP, with IC50 values of 3.8-19.1 μg/mL. The bioactivities of 3-5 showed that 5α,8α-epidioxy is the active group. Otherwise, the most plausible biosynthesis pathway for 1 and 2 in sponge involves the abstraction of an allylic proton by an activated oxygen, such as O2, along with migration of carbon-carbon double bond. Therefore, the bioactive and unstable steroid should be biosynthesized in sponge under a special ecological environment to act as a defensive

  17. SIMAC: Development and implementation of a coral reef monitoring network in Colombia

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    Jaime Garzón-Ferreira

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Significant coral reef decline has been observed in Colombia during the last three decades. However, due to the lack of monitoring activities, most of the information about health and changes was fragmentary or inadequate. To develop an expanded nation-wide reef-monitoring program, in 1998 INVEMAR (Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras: "Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Research" designed and implemented SIMAC (Sistema Nacional de Monitoreo de Arrecifes Coralinos en Colombia: "National Monitoring System of Coral Reefs in Colombia" with the participation of other institutions. By the end of 2003 the SIMAC network reached more than twice its initial size, covering ten reef areas (seven in the Caribbean and three in the Pacific, 63 reef sites and 263 permanent transects. SIMAC monitoring continued without interruption until 2008 and should persist in the long-term. The SIMAC has a large database and consists basically of water quality measurements (temperature, salinity, turbidity and a yearly estimation of benthic reef cover, coral disease prevalence, gorgonian density, abundance of important mobile invertebrates, fish diversity and abundance of important fish species. A methods manual is available in the internet. Data and results of SIMAC have been widely circulated through a summary report published annually since 2000 for the Colombian environmental agencies and the general public, as well as numerous national and international scientific papers and presentations at meetings. SIMAC information has contributed to support regional and global reef monitoring networks and databases (i.e. CARICOMP, GCRMN, ReefBase. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 1: 67-80. Epub 2010 May 01.En respuesta al proceso de deterioro de los arrecifes coralinos colombianos en las últimas tres décadas, y con el propósito de establecer un sistema de vigilancia para el manejo apropiado de estos valiosos ecosistemas, el Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y

  18. Environmental state and tendencies of the Puerto Morelos CARICOMP site, Mexico

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    Rosa E Rodríguez-Martínez

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The CARICOMP site at Puerto Morelos, Mexico was monitored from 1993 to 2005. No significant changes in air temperature, wind patterns, periodicity and quantity of rainfall, sea-surface temperature and water transparency were observed between sampling years. During the study four hurricane impacts were registered. At the coral reef site overall mean cover of fleshy algae (47% and turf algae (36% were high, whereas cover of corals (2% and sponges (3%, and abundance of sea-urchins (0.04 org m-2 were consistently low. Gorgonians were dominant and showed changes in their community structure; the number of species increased from 1993 to 1995, their abundance decreased after Hurricane Roxanne (1995 and recovered by 2001. At four seagrass sites total community biomass remained constant (707.1-929.6 g dry m-2 but the above-ground biomass of the seagrass Syringodium filiforme and fleshy algae increased gradually. Total biomass (531-699 g dry m-2 and leaf productivity (0.89-1.56 g dry m-2 d-1 of the seagrass Thalassia testudinum remained constant, but the species invested proportionally more biomass in above-ground leaf tissues at the end of the study. The minor hurricanes from 1993 until 2005 had no detectable impacts on the seagrass beds, however, the major Hurricane Wilma (October 2005 changed the community composition at three stations and caused complete burial of the vegetation at a coastal station. The gradual changes in the seagrass and reef communities recorded in the 12 years of continuous monitoring of the CARICOMP site may reflect the increased pollution caused by the rapid augment in urban and tourist developments along the coasts and inland from Puerto Morelos, coupled with poor water management practices. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (Suppl. 3: 23-43. Epub 2010 October 01.El sitio CARICOMP en Puerto Morelos, México, se monitoreo de 1993 a 2005. No se registraron cambios significativos en la temperatura del aire, los patrones de viento, la

  19. Transplantation of benthic species to mitigate impacts of coastal development in Jamaica

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    Peter M.H Gayle

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Maintaining regional competitiveness and economic viability for Port Bustamante -Kingston Harbour, Jamaica,required improved accessibility to "Post Panamax "(too large to pass through the Panama Canalcontainer vessels.Removal of the northern portion of the shallow coral reef at Rackham ’s Cay,which was partially obstructing the western end of the east ship channel,was proposed.This aesthetically valuable reef was used by local fishermen and comprises part of the declared Palisadoes -Port Royal Protected Area.The proposal to transplant certain of the benthic species was advanced to mitigate loss of viable reef components.Between December 2001 and February 2002,sixty thousand items,consisting of reef building massive and branching corals; gorgonians;urchins (Diadema and Tripneustes spp.and Thalassia meristems were relocated.During dredging,sedimentation rates from suspended solids in the water column were 0.003 g/cm² /day at the control site and 0.008 g/cm² /day at the dredge site.Coral cover in the relocation area increased from 15%to 20%while bare substrate decreased from 27%to 21%.This paper documents the mitigation required;some factors controlling the ecology of Rackham ’s Cay reef;the methodology of the relocation process;and the level of post-dredging survivorship of relocated corals.Political and economic realities of some proposed developments often over-ride ecological considerations. Transplantation of important marine benthic species although time consuming, technically challenging,and expensive,may be one way for developers and ecologists to achieve sometimes disparate goals.This project cost US$1.7 million.The "items "moved were neither unique nor endemic and remain vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic impacts.This project increased public awareness and interest regarding the ecological and economic importance of reef ecosystems.It is anticipated that future coastal and inland developments will benefit from the lessons