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Sample records for algal toxin exposure

  1. A Novel Antibody-Based Biomarker for Chronic Algal Toxin Exposure and Sub-Acute Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Frame, Elizabeth R.; Gulland, Frances; Hansen, John D.; Kendrick, Preston S.; Beyer, Richard P.; Bammler, Theo K.; Farin, Frederico M.; Hiolski, Emma M.; Smith, Donald R.; Marcinek, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins. PMID:22567140

  2. A novel antibody-based biomarker for chronic algal toxin exposure and sub-acute neurotoxicity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Frame, Elizabeth R.; Gulland, Frances; Hansen, John D.; Kendrick, Preston S.; Beyer, Richard P.; Bammler, Theo K.; Farin, Frederico M.; Hiolski, Emma M.; Smith, Donald R.; Marcinek, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins.

  3. Concurrent exposure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to multiple algal toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Twiner, Michael J; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000-2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

  4. Concurrent Exposure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to Multiple Algal Toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    Twiner, Michael J.; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K.; Wells, Randall S.

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000–2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

  5. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jiarong; Talapatra, Siddharth; Katz, Joseph; Tester, Patricia A; Waggett, Rebecca J; Place, Allen R

    2012-01-01

    Using digital holographic cinematography, we quantify and compare the feeding behavior of free-swimming copepods, Acartia tonsa, on nutritional prey (Storeatula major) to that occurring during exposure to toxic and non-toxic strains of Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum. These two harmful algal species produce polyketide toxins with different modes of action and potency. We distinguish between two different beating modes of the copepod's feeding appendages-a "sampling beating" that has short durations (<100 ms) and involves little fluid entrainment and a longer duration "grazing beating" that persists up to 1200 ms and generates feeding currents. The durations of both beating modes have log-normal distributions. Without prey, A. tonsa only samples the environment at low frequency. Upon introduction of non-toxic food, it increases its sampling time moderately and the grazing period substantially. On mono algal diets for either of the toxic dinoflagellates, sampling time fraction is high but the grazing is very limited. A. tonsa demonstrates aversion to both toxic algal species. In mixtures of S. major and the neurotoxin producing K. brevis, sampling and grazing diminish rapidly, presumably due to neurological effects of consuming brevetoxins while trying to feed on S. major. In contrast, on mixtures of cytotoxin producing K. veneficum, both behavioral modes persist, indicating that intake of karlotoxins does not immediately inhibit the copepod's grazing behavior. These findings add critical insight into how these algal toxins may influence the copepod's feeding behavior, and suggest how some harmful algal species may alter top-down control exerted by grazers like copepods. PMID:22629336

  6. Effects of marine algal toxins on thermoregulation in mice.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher J; Ramsdell, John S

    2005-01-01

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevetoxin in the mouse. Radiotelemetry was used to measure core temperature in the unrestrained mouse while it was housed in a temperature gradient allowing the exhibition of thermoregulatory behavior. Both maitotoxin (338 ng/kg) and brevetoxin (180 microg/kg) were shown to elicit profound hypothermic responses accompanied by a preference for cooler ambient temperatures in the gradient. This behavioral response would suggest that the toxins alter the central neural control of body temperature, resulting in a regulated reduction in body temperature. Following recovery from the acute hypothermic effects of brevetoxin, mice developed an elevation in their daytime core temperature that persisted for several days after exposure. This fever-like response may represent a delayed toxicological effect of the marine algal toxins that is manifested through the thermoregulatory system. Overall, algal toxins have acute and delayed effects on temperature regulation in the mouse. A better understanding of the mechanisms of action of the toxins on thermoregulation should lead to improved methods for treating victims of ciguatera and other toxin exposures. PMID:16111859

  7. Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

    PubMed

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-03-01

    Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. PMID:10698729

  8. Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

    PubMed Central

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-01-01

    Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10698729

  9. EFFECTS OF MARINE ALGAL TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevet...

  10. Freshwater harmful algal blooms: toxins and children's health.

    PubMed

    Weirich, Chelsea A; Miller, Todd R

    2014-01-01

    Massive accumulations of cyanobacteria (a.k.a. "blue-green algae"), known as freshwater harmful algal blooms (FHABs), are a common global occurrence in water bodies used for recreational purposes and drinking water purification. Bloom prevalence is increased due to anthropogenic changes in land use, agricultural activity, and climate change. These photosynthetic bacteria produce a range of toxic secondary metabolites that affect animals and humans at both chronic and acute dosages. Children are especially at risk because of their lower body weight, behavior, and toxic effects on development. Here we review common FHAB toxins, related clinical symptoms, acceptable concentrations in drinking water, case studies of children's and young adults' exposures to FHAB toxins through drinking water and food, methods of environmental and clinical detection in potential cases of intoxication, and best practices for FHAB prevention. PMID:24439026

  11. The laboratory mouse in routine food safety testing for marine algal biotoxins and harmful algal bloom toxin research: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian; McLeod, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Mouse bioassays have been a mainstay for detecting harmful concentrations of marine algal toxins in shellfish for over 70 years. Routine monitoring involves intraperitoneal injection of shellfish extracts into mice; shellfish contaminated with algal toxins are thus identified by mortality in exposed mice. With the advent of alternative test methods to detect and quantify specific algal toxins has come increasing criticism of enduring use of mouse bioassays for shellfish safety testing. However, the complete replacement of shellfish safety mouse bioassays by chemical, antibody-based, and functional assays has been and will continue to be a gradual process for various reasons, including skills availability and instrument costs for chromatography-based toxin monitoring. Mouse bioassays for shellfish safety testing do not comply with modern standards for laboratory animal welfare, specifically the requirement in published official methods for death as a test outcome. Mouse bioassays for algal biotoxins in shellfish, as well as fundamental algal toxin research endeavors using in vivo models, are amenable to revision and refinement from a humane endpoints perspective. Regulated hypothermia may be a useful and easily acquired nonlethal toxicological endpoint; objective determination of neuromuscular blockade may allow algal neurotoxin testing and research to enter the domain of humane endpoints evaluation. Relinquishing reliance on subjective test endpoints, including death, will likely also deliver collateral improvements in assay variability and sensitivity. PMID:24830147

  12. Determination of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin in algal food supplements

    PubMed Central

    Liu, H.; Scott, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    For the analysis of blue–green algal food supplements for cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a C18 solid-phase extraction column and a polygraphitized carbon solid-phase extraction column in series was an effective procedure for the clean-up of extracts. Determination of CYN was by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet light detection. At extract spiking levels of CYN equivalent to 25–500 μg g−1, blue–green algal supplement recoveries were in the range 70–90%. CYN was not detected in ten samples of food supplements and one chocolate product, all containing blue–green algae. The limit of detection for the method was 16 μg g−1, and the limit of quantification was 52 μg g−1. PMID:21623503

  13. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Heussner, A.H.; Mazija, L.; Fastner, J.; Dietrich, D.R.

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC–MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g{sup −1} dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. -- Highlights: ► Marketed algae dietary supplements were analyzed for toxins. ► Methods: Phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), Adda-ELISA, LC-MS/MS. ► Aph. flos-aquae products all tested positive for microcystins. ► Products tested negative for nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin. ► Extracts from all products were cytotoxic.

  14. Cephalopods as Vectors of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Marine Food Webs

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Vanessa M.; Lopes, Ana Rita; Costa, Pedro; Rosa, Rui

    2013-01-01

    Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB)-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids). These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers), saxitoxin (and its derivatives) and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds) and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin) in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG)—the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6%) is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas) is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG >> kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue) reaching 971 μg kg−1 and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg−1 (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg−1 in shellfish). Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  15. Cephalopods as vectors of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food webs.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Lopes, Ana Rita; Costa, Pedro; Rosa, Rui

    2013-09-01

    Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB)-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids). These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers), saxitoxin (and its derivatives) and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds) and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin) in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG)--the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6%) is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas) is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG > kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue) reaching 971 μg kg⁻¹ and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg⁻¹ (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg⁻¹ in shellfish). Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  16. Algal toxin impairs sea lion memory and hippocampal connectivity, with implications for strandings.

    PubMed

    Cook, Peter F; Reichmuth, Colleen; Rouse, Andrew A; Libby, Laura A; Dennison, Sophie E; Carmichael, Owen T; Kruse-Elliott, Kris T; Bloom, Josh; Singh, Baljeet; Fravel, Vanessa A; Barbosa, Lorraine; Stuppino, Jim J; Van Bonn, William G; Gulland, Frances M D; Ranganath, Charan

    2015-12-18

    Domoic acid (DA) is a naturally occurring neurotoxin known to harm marine animals. DA-producing algal blooms are increasing in size and frequency. Although chronic exposure is known to produce brain lesions, the influence of DA toxicosis on behavior in wild animals is unknown. We showed, in a large sample of wild sea lions, that spatial memory deficits are predicted by the extent of right dorsal hippocampal lesions related to natural exposure to DA and that exposure also disrupts hippocampal-thalamic brain networks. Because sea lions are dynamic foragers that rely on flexible navigation, impaired spatial memory may affect survival in the wild. PMID:26668068

  17. Algal toxin profiles in Nigerian coastal waters (Gulf of Guinea) using passive sampling and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; Kadiri, Medina; Herrenknecht, Christine; Nézan, Elisabeth; Mazzeo, Antonia; Hess, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Algal toxins may accumulate in fish and shellfish and thus cause poisoning in consumers of seafood. Such toxins and the algae producing them are regularly surveyed in many countries, including Europe, North America, Japan and others. However, very little is known regards the occurrence of such algae and their toxins in most African countries. This paper reports on a survey of phytoplankton and algal toxins in Nigerian coastal waters. Seawater samples were obtained from four sites for phytoplankton identification, on three occasions between the middle of October 2014 and the end of February 2015 (Bar Beach and Lekki in Lagos State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State). The phytoplankton community was generally dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria; however several species of dinoflagellates were also identified: Dinophysis caudata, Lingulodinium polyedrum and two benthic species of Prorocentrum. Passive samplers (containing Diaion(®) HP-20 resin) were deployed for several 1-week periods on the same four sites to obtain profiles of algal toxins present in the seawater. Quantifiable amounts of okadaic acid (OA) and pectenotoxin 2 (PTX2), as well as traces of dinophysistoxin 1 (DTX1) were detected at several sites. Highest concentrations (60 ng OA g(-1) HP-20 resin) were found at Lekki and Bar Beach stations, which also had the highest salinities. Non-targeted analysis using full-scan high resolution mass spectrometry showed that algal metabolites differed from site to site and for different sampling occasions. Screening against a marine natural products database indicated the potential presence of cyanobacterial compounds in the water column, which was also consistent with phytoplankton analysis. During this study, the occurrence of the marine dinoflagellate toxins OA and PTX2 has been demonstrated in coastal waters of Nigeria, despite unfavourable environmental conditions, with regards to the low salinities measured. Hence shellfish samples

  18. Algal Toxin Azaspiracid-1 Induces Early Neuronal Differentiation and Alters Peripherin Isoform Stoichiometry

    PubMed Central

    Hjørnevik, Linda V.; Frøyset, Ann K.; Grønset, Toril A.; Rungruangsak-Torrissen, Krisna; Fladmark, Kari E.

    2015-01-01

    Azaspiracid-1 is an algal toxin that accumulates in edible mussels, and ingestion may result in human illness as manifested by vomiting and diarrhoea. When injected into mice, it causes neurotoxicological symptoms and death. Although it is well known that azaspiracid-1 is toxic to most cells and cell lines, little is known about its biological target(s). A rat PC12 cell line, commonly used as a model for the peripheral nervous system, was used to study the neurotoxicological effects of azaspiracid-1. Azaspiracid-1 induced differentiation-related morphological changes followed by a latter cell death. The differentiated phenotype showed peripherin-labelled neurite-like processes simultaneously as a specific isoform of peripherin was down-regulated. The precise mechanism behind this down-regulation remains uncertain. However, this study provides new insights into the neurological effects of azaspiracid-1 and into the biological significance of specific isoforms of peripherin. PMID:26694421

  19. Rachael Carson Lecture - Algal Toxins in the Deep Blue Sea: an Environmental Concern?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silver, M. W.; Bargu, S.

    2008-05-01

    Many land plants are known to possess toxins, presumably for grazer deterrence, whereas toxins in marine phytoplankton are a much rarer phenomenon, particularly in open ocean (blue water) environments. Several dozen phytoplankton species, frequently dinoflagellates but also some diatoms, form "harmful algal blooms" nearshore: here their toxins can contaminate filter-feeding shellfish resulting in poisoning "syndromes" when humans consume the tainted shellfish. The present rise in such coastal events is a likely consequence of human activities. In blue water, open ocean environments, the filamentous cyanobacterium Trichodesmium (a blue green alga) is one of the few bloom-forming toxin producers and hosts a consortium of microorganisms that may be partially immune to its toxins. Pseudo-nitzschia, a ubiquitous genus of diatoms recently has been shown to include coastal species that produce domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin that passes through the food web, sometimes with resulting deaths of marine birds and mammals. Oceanic species of Pseudo-nitzschia also exist but are less well known, and DA has not yet been found in them. Here we review some general features of toxic marine phytoplankton, recent studies on DA in coastal ecosystems and describe some of our findings on blue water Pseudo-nitzschia. We will summarize laboratory experiments that show complex patterns of DA retention and release into the water when Fe is added to coastal Pseudo-nitzschia cultures. In oceanic species, equivalent experiments on cell physiology are limited and the natural species and abundance patterns poorly known. Here we present our recent discovery that DA occurs in oceanic Pseudo-nitzschia and review evidence from the literature that this genus may be preferentially enhanced when iron is added to HNLC (high nutrient, low chlorophyll) waters: areas where nitrogen and phosphorus are not yet depleted, but iron concentrations and phytoplankton biomass are low. The rapid growth of these DA

  20. Occurrence and seasonal variations of algal toxins in water, phytoplankton and shellfish from North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Eri; Yu, Qiming; Eaglesham, Geoff; Connell, Des W; McBroom, James; Costanzo, Simon; Shaw, Glen R

    2007-10-01

    A number of marine microalgae are known to produce toxins that can accumulate in shellfish and when eaten, lead to toxic and potentially fatal reactions in humans. This paper reports on the occurrence and seasonal variations of algal toxins in the waters, phytoplankton and shellfish of Southeast Queensland, Australia. These algal toxins include okadaic acid (OA), domoic acid (DA), gymnodimine (GD), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and pectenotoxin-2-seco acid (PTX-2-SA), which were detected in the sampled shellfish and phytoplankton, via HPLC-MS/MS. Dissolved OA, PTX-2 and GD were also detected in the samples collected from the water column. This was the first occasion that DA and GD have been reported in shellfish, phytoplankton and the water column in Queensland waters. Phytoplankton tows contained both the toxic Dinophysis and Pseudo-nitzschia algae species, and are suspected of being the most likely producers of the OA, PTX-2s and DA found in shellfish of this area. The number of cells, however, did not correlate with the amount of toxins present in either shellfish or phytoplankton. This indicates that toxin production by algae varies with time and the species present and that number of cells alone cannot be used as an indicator for the presence of toxins. The presence of OA and PTX-2s were more frequently seen in the summer, while DA and GD were detected throughout the year and without any obvious seasonal patterns. PMID:17512582

  1. A shift in the dominant toxin-producing algal species in central California alters phycotoxins in food webs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jester, R.; Lefebvre, K.; Langlois, G.; Vigilant, V.; Baugh, K.; Silver, M.W.

    2009-01-01

    In California, the toxic algal species of primary concern are the dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella and members of the pennate diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia, both producers of potent neurotoxins that are capable of sickening and killing marine life and humans. During the summer of 2004 in Monterey Bay, we observed a change in the taxonomic structure of the phytoplankton community-the typically diatom-dominated community shifted to a red tide, dinoflagellate-dominated community. Here we use a 6-year time series (2000-2006) to show how the abundance of the dominant harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in the Bay up to that point, Pseudo-nitzschia, significantly declined during the dinoflagellate-dominated interval, while two genera of toxic dinoflagellates, Alexandrium and Dinophysis, became the predominant toxin producers. This change represents a shift from a genus of toxin producers that typically dominates the community during a toxic bloom, to HAB taxa that are generally only minor components of the community in a toxic event. This change in the local HAB species was also reflected in the toxins present in higher trophic levels. Despite the small contribution of A. catenella to the overall phytoplankton community, the increase in the presence of this species in Monterey Bay was associated with an increase in the presence of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins in sentinel shellfish and clupeoid fish. This report provides the first evidence that PSP toxins are present in California's pelagic food web, as PSP toxins were detected in both northern anchovies (Engraulis mordax) and Pacific sardines (Sardinops sagax). Another interesting observation from our data is the co-occurrence of DA and PSP toxins in both planktivorous fish and sentinel shellfish. We also provide evidence, based on the statewide biotoxin monitoring program, that this increase in the frequency and abundance of PSP events related to A. catenella occurred not just in Monterey Bay, but also

  2. Harmful algal toxins of the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis): natural chemical stressors in South Florida coastal ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Henry, M. S.

    2009-01-01

    The Florida red tide is a descriptive name for high concentrations of the harmful marine alga, Karenia brevis. Although most prevalent along the south-west Florida coast, periodic blooms have occurred throughout the entire US and Mexico Gulf coasts and the Atlantic coast to North Carolina. This dinoflagellate produces a suite of polyether neurotoxins, called brevetoxins, that cause severe impacts to natural resources, as well as public health. These naturally produced biotoxins may represent one of the most common chemical stressors impacting South Florida coastal and marine ecosystems. Impacts include massive fish kills, marine mammal, sea turtle and sea bird mortalities, benthic community die-off and public health effects from shellfish contamination and inhalation of air-borne toxins. The primary mode of action is binding to voltage-gated sodium channels causing depolarization of nerve cells, thus interfering with nerve transmission. Other effects include immune depression, bronchial constriction and haemolysis. Parent algal toxins are synthesized within the unicellular organism, others are produced as metabolic products. Recent studies into the composition of brevetoxins in cells, water, air and organisms have shown PbTx-2 to be the primary intracellular brevetoxin that is converted over time to PbTx-3 when the cells are ruptured, releasing extracellular brevetoxins into the environment. Brevetoxins become aerosolized by bubble-mediated transport of extracellular toxins, the composition of which varies depending on the composition in the source water. Bivalved molluscs rapidly accumulate brevetoxins as they filter feed on K. brevis cells. However, the parent algal toxins are rapidly metabolized to other compounds, some of which are responsible for neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). These results provide new insight into the distribution, persistence and impacts of red tide toxins to south-west Florida ecosystems. PMID:18758951

  3. Harmful algal toxins of the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis): natural chemical stressors in South Florida coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pierce, R H; Henry, M S

    2008-10-01

    The Florida red tide is a descriptive name for high concentrations of the harmful marine alga, Karenia brevis. Although most prevalent along the south-west Florida coast, periodic blooms have occurred throughout the entire US and Mexico Gulf coasts and the Atlantic coast to North Carolina. This dinoflagellate produces a suite of polyether neurotoxins, called brevetoxins, that cause severe impacts to natural resources, as well as public health. These naturally produced biotoxins may represent one of the most common chemical stressors impacting South Florida coastal and marine ecosystems. Impacts include massive fish kills, marine mammal, sea turtle and sea bird mortalities, benthic community die-off and public health effects from shellfish contamination and inhalation of air-borne toxins. The primary mode of action is binding to voltage-gated sodium channels causing depolarization of nerve cells, thus interfering with nerve transmission. Other effects include immune depression, bronchial constriction and haemolysis. Parent algal toxins are synthesized within the unicellular organism, others are produced as metabolic products. Recent studies into the composition of brevetoxins in cells, water, air and organisms have shown PbTx-2 to be the primary intracellular brevetoxin that is converted over time to PbTx-3 when the cells are ruptured, releasing extracellular brevetoxins into the environment. Brevetoxins become aerosolized by bubble-mediated transport of extracellular toxins, the composition of which varies depending on the composition in the source water. Bivalved molluscs rapidly accumulate brevetoxins as they filter feed on K. brevis cells. However, the parent algal toxins are rapidly metabolized to other compounds, some of which are responsible for neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). These results provide new insight into the distribution, persistence and impacts of red tide toxins to south-west Florida ecosystems. PMID:18758951

  4. Overview of Aerosolized Florida Red Tide Toxins: Exposures and Effects

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Lora E.; Backer, Lorraine C.; Baden, Daniel G.

    2005-01-01

    Florida red tide is caused by Karenia brevis, a dinoflagellate that periodically blooms, releasing its potent neurotoxin, brevetoxin, into the surrounding waters and air along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Exposure to Florida red tide toxins has been associated with adverse human health effects and massive fish and marine mammal deaths. The articles in this mini-monograph describe the ongoing interdisciplinary and interagency research program that characterizes the exposures and health effects of aerosolized Florida red tide toxins (brevetoxins). The interdisciplinary research program uses animal models and laboratory studies to develop hypotheses and apply these findings to in situ human exposures. Our ultimate goal is to develop appropriate prevention measures and medical interventions to mitigate or prevent adverse health effects from exposure to complex mixtures of aerosolized red tide toxins. PMID:15866773

  5. High resolution mass spectrometry for quantitative analysis and untargeted screening of algal toxins in mussels and passive samplers.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; McCarron, Pearse; Herrenknecht, Christine; Sibat, Manoella; Amzil, Zouher; Cole, Richard B; Hess, Philipp

    2015-10-16

    Measurement of marine algal toxins has traditionally focussed on shellfish monitoring while, over the last decade, passive sampling has been introduced as a complementary tool for exploratory studies. Since 2011, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has been adopted as the EU reference method (No. 15/2011) for detection and quantitation of lipophilic toxins. Traditional LC-MS approaches have been based on low-resolution mass spectrometry (LRMS), however, advances in instrument platforms have led to a heightened interest in the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for toxin detection. This work describes the use of HRMS in combination with passive sampling as a progressive approach to marine algal toxin surveys. Experiments focused on comparison of LRMS and HRMS for determination of a broad range of toxins in shellfish and passive samplers. Matrix effects are an important issue to address in LC-MS; therefore, this phenomenon was evaluated for mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and passive samplers using LRMS (triple quadrupole) and HRMS (quadrupole time-of-flight and Orbitrap) instruments. Matrix-matched calibration solutions containing okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins, pectenotoxin, azaspiracids, yessotoxins, domoic acid, pinnatoxins, gymnodimine A and 13-desmethyl spirolide C were prepared. Similar matrix effects were observed on all instruments types. Most notably, there was ion enhancement for pectenotoxins, okadaic acid/dinophysistoxins on one hand, and ion suppression for yessotoxins on the other. Interestingly, the ion selected for quantitation of PTX2 also influenced the magnitude of matrix effects, with the sodium adduct typically exhibiting less susceptibility to matrix effects than the ammonium adduct. As expected, mussel as a biological matrix, quantitatively produced significantly more matrix effects than passive sampler extracts, irrespective of toxin. Sample dilution was demonstrated as an effective measure to reduce

  6. Relationships between cigarette consumption and biomarkers of tobacco toxin exposure.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Anne M; Hecht, Stephen S; Murphy, Sharon E; Carmella, Steven G; Le, Chap T; Zhang, Yan; Han, Shaomei; Hatsukami, Dorothy K

    2005-12-01

    Epidemiologic studies show a dose-response relationship between cigarettes per day and health outcomes such as heart and lung disease, and health outcomes are related to some biomarkers of tobacco exposure. The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between cigarettes per day and levels of selected biomarkers of tobacco toxin exposure: carbon monoxide (CO), metabolites of the tobacco-specific carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [total 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) and 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HOP), respectively], and total cotinine (cotinine plus cotinine-N-glucuronide). We did a cross-sectional analysis of merged data from (a) two clinical trials and (b) two cohorts of light smokers (total n = 400). The mean age of participants was 50.4 years and the range of cigarette consumption was 1 to 100/d; however, few subjects smoked >45 cigarettes/d (n = 12). Results show that levels of the biomarkers CO, total NNAL, and total cotinine increase with an increase in the number of cigarettes smoked per day, but not in a linear fashion. 1-HOP is a less discriminating biomarker as levels are relatively stable regardless of the number of cigarettes smoked per day. There is considerable variability in toxin measurement, especially at high levels of smoking. There was a significant correlation between cigarettes per day and total NNAL, 1-HOP, total cotinine, and CO. Total NNAL was highly significantly correlated with total cotinine and CO and also significantly correlated with 1-HOP. These findings suggest that the number of cigarettes smoked per day is not necessarily a reliable measure of toxin exposure and may underestimate tobacco toxin exposure at low levels of smoking or overestimate exposure at high levels of smoking. PMID:16365017

  7. Freshwater harmful algal bloom exposure – an emerging health risk for recreational water users

    EPA Science Inventory

    Freshwater harmful algal bloom exposure – an emerging health risk for recreational water users Elizabeth D. Hilborn1, Virginia A. Roberts2, Lorraine C. Backer3, Jonathan S. Yoder2, Timothy J. Wade1, Michele C. Hlavsa2 1Environmental Public Health Division, Office of Researc...

  8. Algal toxins and reverse osmosis desalination operations: laboratory bench testing and field monitoring of domoic acid, saxitoxin, brevetoxin and okadaic acid.

    PubMed

    Seubert, Erica L; Trussell, Shane; Eagleton, John; Schnetzer, Astrid; Cetinić, Ivona; Lauri, Phil; Jones, Burton H; Caron, David A

    2012-12-01

    The occurrence and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been increasing globally during the past few decades. The impact of these events on seawater desalination facilities has become an important topic in recent years due to enhanced societal interest and reliance on this technology for augmenting world water supplies. A variety of harmful bloom-forming species of microalgae occur in southern California, as well as many other locations throughout the world, and several of these species are known to produce potent neurotoxins. These algal toxins can cause a myriad of human health issues, including death, when ingested via contaminated seafood. This study was designed to investigate the impact that algal toxin presence may have on both the intake and reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process; most importantly, whether or not the naturally occurring algal toxins can pass through the RO membrane and into the desalination product. Bench-scale RO experiments were conducted to explore the potential of extracellular algal toxins contaminating the RO product. Concentrations exceeding maximal values previously reported during natural blooms were used in the laboratory experiments, with treatments comprised of 50 μg/L of domoic acid (DA), 2 μg/L of saxitoxin (STX) and 20 μg/L of brevetoxin (PbTx). None of the algal toxins used in the bench-scale experiments were detectable in the desalinated product water. Monitoring for intracellular and extracellular concentrations of DA, STX, PbTx and okadaic acid (OA) within the intake and desalinated water from a pilot RO desalination plant in El Segundo, CA, was conducted from 2005 to 2009. During the five-year monitoring period, DA and STX were detected sporadically in the intake waters but never in the desalinated water. PbTx and OA were not detected in either the intake or desalinated water. The results of this study demonstrate the potential for HAB toxins to be inducted into coastal RO intake facilities, and the

  9. Algal toxins and human health: A brief overview and notes on needed research directions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine and freshwater algae, both algae and cyanobacteria, are known to produce a wide variety of toxins that have caused severe adverse health effects in humans and other vertebrate species. There is general agreement that there is currently an increase in the incidence of hazar...

  10. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine algal toxins are extremely toxic and can represent a major health problem to humans and animals. Temperature regulation is one of many processes to be affected by exposure to these toxins. Mice and rats become markedly hypothermic when subjected to acute exposure to the ma...

  11. Controlling silver nanoparticle exposure in algal toxicity testing – A matter of timing

    PubMed Central

    Baun, Anders

    2015-01-01

    The aquatic ecotoxicity testing of nanoparticles is complicated by unstable exposure conditions resulting from various transformation processes of nanoparticles in aqueous suspensions. In this study, we investigated the influence of exposure timing on the algal test response to silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), by reducing the incubation time and by aging the AgNPs in algal medium prior to testing. The freshwater green algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata were exposed to AgNO3, NM-300 K (a representative AgNP) and citrate stabilized AgNPs from two different manufacturers (AgNP1 and AgNP2) in a standard algal growth inhibition test (ISO 8692:2004) for 48 h and a short-term (2 h) 14C-assimilation test. For AgNO3, similar responses were obtained in the two tests, whereas freshly prepared suspensions of citrate stabilized AgNPs were less toxic in the 2-h tests compared to the 48-h tests. The 2-h test was found applicable for dissolved silver, but yielded non-monotonous concentration–response relationships and poor reproducibility for freshly prepared AgNP suspensions. However, when aging AgNPs in algal medium 24 h prior to testing, clear concentration–response patterns emerged and reproducibility increased. Prolonged aging to 48 h increased toxicity in the 2-h tests whereas aging beyond 48 h reduced toxicity. Our results demonstrate that the outcome of algal toxicity testing of AgNPs is highly influenced not only by the test duration, but also by the time passed from the moment AgNPs are added to the test medium. This time-dependency should be considered when nanomaterial dispersion protocols for ecotoxicity testing are developed. PMID:24842597

  12. Controlling silver nanoparticle exposure in algal toxicity testing--a matter of timing.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Sara Nørgaard; Baun, Anders

    2015-03-01

    The aquatic ecotoxicity testing of nanoparticles is complicated by unstable exposure conditions resulting from various transformation processes of nanoparticles in aqueous suspensions. In this study, we investigated the influence of exposure timing on the algal test response to silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), by reducing the incubation time and by aging the AgNPs in algal medium prior to testing. The freshwater green algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata were exposed to AgNO3, NM-300 K (a representative AgNP) and citrate stabilized AgNPs from two different manufacturers (AgNP1 and AgNP2) in a standard algal growth inhibition test (ISO 8692:2004) for 48 h and a short-term (2 h) (14)C-assimilation test. For AgNO3, similar responses were obtained in the two tests, whereas freshly prepared suspensions of citrate stabilized AgNPs were less toxic in the 2-h tests compared to the 48-h tests. The 2-h test was found applicable for dissolved silver, but yielded non-monotonous concentration-response relationships and poor reproducibility for freshly prepared AgNP suspensions. However, when aging AgNPs in algal medium 24 h prior to testing, clear concentration-response patterns emerged and reproducibility increased. Prolonged aging to 48 h increased toxicity in the 2-h tests whereas aging beyond 48 h reduced toxicity. Our results demonstrate that the outcome of algal toxicity testing of AgNPs is highly influenced not only by the test duration, but also by the time passed from the moment AgNPs are added to the test medium. This time-dependency should be considered when nanomaterial dispersion protocols for ecotoxicity testing are developed. PMID:24842597

  13. Monitoring algal toxins in lake water by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Bogialli, Sara; Bruno, Milena; Curini, Roberta; Di Corcia, Antonio; Fanali, Chiara; Laganà, Aldo

    2006-05-01

    Microcystins (MCs) and cylindrospermopsin (CYL) are potent natural toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that grow worldwide in eutrophic freshwaters and cause animal and human water-based toxicoses. The main purpose of this work has been assessing the contamination levels of some MCs and CYL in eutrophic Italian lake (Albano) water. To do this, we have developed an original analytical method involving MC extraction with a sorbent (Carbograph 4) cartridge. CYL is a highly polar compound that is scarcely retained by any sorbent material. To analyze this toxin, we directly injected 0.5 mL of filtered lake water into the liquid chromatography (LC) column. Analytes were quantified by LC coupled to tandem mass spectrometry in the multireaction monitoring mode. The recovery of five selected MCs added to an analyte free lake water sample at three different concentrations (50, 150, and 500 ng/L) ranged between 93 and 103% with RSD values no larger than 8%. Limits of quantification (LOQ) of the five MCs were within the 2-9 ng/L range, whereas the LOQ of CYL was 300 ng/L. The occurrence and abundance of cyanotoxins in Lake Albano was monitored over four months (Sept-Dec 2004) by analyzing water samples collected monthly at the center of the lake and at different depths (from 0 to -30 m). During survey and with the MS/MS system operating in the parent ion scan mode, we individuated two demethylated forms of MC-RR and one demethylated variety of MC-LR. Demethylated MC-RRs are known to be even more toxic than MC-RR toward zooplanktic grazers. CYL was the most-abundant toxin during the first three monitoring months. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work reporting concentration levels of CYL in lake water. PMID:16719091

  14. Algal populations controlled by fish herbivory across a wave exposure gradient on southern temperate shores.

    PubMed

    Taylor, David I; Schiel, David R

    2010-01-01

    Consumers that forage across habitats can affect communities by altering the abundance and distribution of key species. In marine communities, studies of trophic interactions have generally focused on the effects of herbivorous and predatory invertebrates on benthic algae and mussel populations. However, large mobile consumers that move across habitats, such as fishes, can strongly affect community dynamics through consumption of habitat-dominating species, but their effects often vary over environmental gradients. On temperate rocky shores, herbivorous fishes are generally a small part of the fish fauna compared to the tropics, and there is sparse evidence that they play a major direct role in algal community dynamics, particularly of large brown algae that dominate many reefs. In New Zealand, however, a wide-ranging herbivorous fish, Odax pullus, feeds exclusively on macroalgae, including Durvillaea antarctica, a large low-intertidal fucoid reaching 10 m in length and 70 kg in mass. In four experiments we tested the extent of fish herbivory and how it was affected by algal canopy structure across a gradient of wave exposure at multiple sites. Exclusion experiments showed that fish impacts greatly reduced the cover and biomass of Durvillaea and that these effects decreased with increasing wave stress and algal canopy cover, effectively restricting the alga to exposed conditions. Almost all plants were entirely removed by fish where there was a sparse algal canopy in sheltered and semi-exposed sites, but there was significantly less grazing in exposed sites. Recruit Durvillaea beneath canopies were less affected by fish grazing, but they grew slowly. Successful natural recruitment, therefore, occurred almost exclusively on exposed shores outside canopies where many plants escaped severe grazing, and growth to maturity was far greater than elsewhere. Such large and direct impacts on the local and regional distribution of large brown algal populations by mobile

  15. Profiles of paralytic shellfish toxins in bivalves of low and elevated toxicities following exposure to Gymnodinium catenatum blooms in Portuguese estuarine and coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Botelho, Maria João; Vale, Carlos; Ferreira, João Gomes

    2015-11-01

    Profiles of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were examined in 405 composite samples of Mytilus spp., Cerastoderma edule, Donax trunculus and Spisula solida collected between 2007 and 2012 from natural production areas in two estuaries (Aveiro and Mondego), two coastal lagoons (Óbidos and Formosa), and three open coastal areas (Aguda, Comporta and Culatra). Toxin concentrations were obtained from the biotoxin monitoring programme database. Episodes of PST toxicity in Portugal have been associated with Gymnodinium catenatum blooms. Toxin profiles for each species showed no trend over the surveyed years. In general, profiles differ only slightly among areas, except for Óbidos. However, toxin profiles in bivalves varied between low and elevated toxicities, corresponding to below and above the PST regulatory limit, respectively. The ratio R1=(C1+2):B1, which were the main toxins produced by G. catenatum cells, decreased considerably between elevated and low toxicity cockles, indicating the elimination of C1+2 or conversion of compounds into B1. R2=[(dcSTX)+(dcGTX2+3)]:[(C1+2)+(B1)], which represents the ratio of minor to major toxins in G. catenatum cells, increased substantially in wedge clams (D. trunculus) of low toxicity and less markedly in cockles (C. edule) and mussels (Mytilus spp.). These differences are interpreted as the predominance of a biotransformation phase after exposure to the algal bloom. The toxin profile of surf clams (S. solida) was dominated by decarbamoyl compounds, reflecting intense biotransformation during exposure to blooms. The higher ratio R2 in low toxicity samples suggests that elimination of the produced decarbamoyl toxins was slower than biotransformation. PMID:25616737

  16. Environmental risk factors for temporal lobe epilepsy--is prenatal exposure to the marine algal neurotoxin domoic acid a potentially preventable cause?

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian

    2010-03-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS) is one of the more common forms of chronic epilepsy. Its aetiology is unknown, though an early developmental insult is thought by some to be an important trigger. There is not a strong genetic predisposition; gene-environment interactions are more significant considerations. Environmental risk factors for TLE-HS are under-researched. Domoic acid (DA) is an environmental neurotoxin of algal origin that can contaminate marine food webs. DA can cross the placenta, is significantly more toxic to the developing brain compared to the adult brain, and has affected humans and marine wildlife through mass poisonings. DA coincidentally has a decades-long history of use as a chemical model of temporal lobe epilepsy, along with its close structural analogue kainic acid (also of algal origin). The principal hypothesis presented here is that dietary exposure to doses of DA that are sub-clinical in pregnant women may be sufficient to damage the foetal hippocampus and initiate epileptogenesis. The hypothesis could be tested both experimentally by in vivo proof-of-concept animal studies that expand on current knowledge of prenatal susceptibility to DA neurotoxicity, and by epidemiological investigations directed towards dietary exposure to marine food products. If only a small proportion of the attributable risk for TLE-HS is found to be due to gestational exposure to DA, the public health implications would still be of great significance, as this would represent a potentially preventable exposure. Other potent neurotoxins are produced by marine microalgae and freshwater cyanobacteria. These structurally and mechanistically diverse toxins can also contaminate water supplies, seafood and shellfish. Several operate by modulating ion channels, so may also be of interest to epilepsy researchers. DA is also the subject of preliminary scrutiny in strandings involving odontocete cetaceans. The implications of such work are

  17. Toxicity and recovery in the pregnant mouse after gestational exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin, cylindrospermopsin.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a tricyclic alkaloid toxin produced by fresh water cyanobacterial species worldwide. CYN has been responsible for both livestock and human poisoning after oral exposure. This study investigated the toxicity of CYN to pregnant mice exposed during differ...

  18. CURRENT ISSUES IN HTE DETECTION OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO THE CYANOBACTERIA TOXINS, MICROCYSTINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction: Toxic cyanobacteria are contaminants of surface waters worldwide. Microcystins are some of the most commonly detected toxins. Biological evidence of human exposure has been difficult to obtain due to technical, temporal, and biological limitations. However, evide...

  19. Reduced Foodborne Toxin Exposure Is a Benefit of Improving Dietary Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Felicia; Mitchell, Nicole J.; Male, Denis; Kensler, Thomas W.

    2014-01-01

    Naturally occurring foodborne toxins are common in subsistence diets of low-income human populations worldwide. Often, these populations rely on one or two staple foods for the bulk of their calories, making them more susceptible to chronic intake of certain toxins. Exposure to common foodborne toxins is associated with diverse conditions such as cancer, immunotoxicity, growth impairment, and neurological deficits. Interventions focused solely on reducing toxin levels have proven difficult to sustain. Using case studies of two foodborne toxins, aflatoxin and cassava cyanide, this article addresses the heightened risk of particular diseases from eating monotonous diets based in maize, groundnuts, and cassava: common in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. We also discuss the potential role of increased dietary diversity in counteracting these diseases. Increased dietary diversity can reduce consumption of toxins and increase intake of nutrients that could counteract the toxicity of such chemicals. In Qidong, China, a population that previously consumed a monotonous maize-based diet and increased dietary diversity since the 1980s has experienced a dramatic reduction in liver cancer mortalities. That liver cancer decreased as dietary diversity increased is the catalyst for the hypothesis that dietary diversity could have a direct impact on reducing health effects of foodborne toxins. Future research, agricultural development, and food policy reforms should take into consideration the multifaceted benefits associated with improved dietary diversity. Collaborations between toxicologists, nutritionists, and policymakers are important to development of sustainable interventions to reduce foodborne toxin exposure and promote health through increased dietary diversity. PMID:25015663

  20. Reduced foodborne toxin exposure is a benefit of improving dietary diversity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Felicia; Mitchell, Nicole J; Male, Denis; Kensler, Thomas W

    2014-10-01

    Naturally occurring foodborne toxins are common in subsistence diets of low-income human populations worldwide. Often, these populations rely on one or two staple foods for the bulk of their calories, making them more susceptible to chronic intake of certain toxins. Exposure to common foodborne toxins is associated with diverse conditions such as cancer, immunotoxicity, growth impairment, and neurological deficits. Interventions focused solely on reducing toxin levels have proven difficult to sustain. Using case studies of two foodborne toxins, aflatoxin and cassava cyanide, this article addresses the heightened risk of particular diseases from eating monotonous diets based in maize, groundnuts, and cassava: common in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. We also discuss the potential role of increased dietary diversity in counteracting these diseases. Increased dietary diversity can reduce consumption of toxins and increase intake of nutrients that could counteract the toxicity of such chemicals. In Qidong, China, a population that previously consumed a monotonous maize-based diet and increased dietary diversity since the 1980s has experienced a dramatic reduction in liver cancer mortalities. That liver cancer decreased as dietary diversity increased is the catalyst for the hypothesis that dietary diversity could have a direct impact on reducing health effects of foodborne toxins. Future research, agricultural development, and food policy reforms should take into consideration the multifaceted benefits associated with improved dietary diversity. Collaborations between toxicologists, nutritionists, and policymakers are important to development of sustainable interventions to reduce foodborne toxin exposure and promote health through increased dietary diversity. PMID:25015663

  1. CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS AND 2005 ISOCHAB EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT WORKGROUP

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA, Office of Research and Development, in collaboration with other US federal agencies, is leading the organization of an International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms on 6-10 September, 2005. The goal of this symposium is to develop a comprehensive nat...

  2. Subchronic dermal exposure to T-2 toxin produces cardiac toxicity in experimental Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyay, Pronobesh; Islam, Johirul; Goyary, Danswrang; Agnihotri, Amit; Karmakar, Sanjev; Banerjee, Subham; Singh, Lokendra; Veer, Vijay

    2016-03-01

    Our study aimed to determine the cardiac toxicities of T-2 toxin, a representative mycotoxin that frequently contaminates maize, cereals, and other agricultural products, harvested and stored under damp and cold conditions. Dermal exposure to T-2 toxin caused severe cardiotoxicity in experimental Wistar rats. Electrocardiography studies showed the conduction abnormalities including prolongation of the QT and corrected QT interval, shortening of the PR interval, and tachycardia. Biochemical studies also reported the toxicity of T-2 toxin. T-2 toxin induced acute cardiotoxicity in rats and characterized by significant (p < 0.05) elevation of serum troponin I, creatine kinase (CK) isoenzyme MB, CK isoenzyme NAC, and lactate dehydrogenase as compared to control rats. It is concluded that cardiotoxicity effects of T-2 toxin are thought to be due to direct action on electrocardiac potentials and biochemical changes. PMID:24193048

  3. Cytotoxicity of aluminium oxide nanoparticles towards fresh water algal isolate at low exposure concentrations.

    PubMed

    Pakrashi, Sunandan; Dalai, Swayamprava; T C, Prathna; Trivedi, Shruti; Myneni, Radhika; Raichur, Ashok M; Chandrasekaran, N; Mukherjee, Amitava

    2013-05-15

    The growing commercial applications had brought aluminium oxide nanoparticles under toxicologists' purview. In the present study, the cytotoxicity of two different sized aluminium oxide nanoparticles (ANP(1), mean hydrodynamic diameter 82.6±22nm and ANP(2), mean hydrodynamic diameter 246.9±39nm) towards freshwater algal isolate Chlorella ellipsoids at low exposure levels (≤1μg/mL) using sterile lake water as the test medium was assessed. The dissolution of alumina nanoparticles and consequent contribution towards toxicity remained largely unexplored owing to its presumed insoluble nature. Herein, the leached Al(3+) ion mediated toxicity has been studied along with direct particulate toxicity to bring out the dynamics of toxicity through colloidal stability, biochemical, spectroscopic and microscopic analyses. The mean hydrodynamic diameter increased with time both for ANP(1) [82.6±22nm (0h) to 246.3±59nm (24h), to 1204±140nm (72h)] and ANP(2) [246.9±39nm (0h) to 368.28±48nm (24h), to 1225.96±186nm (72h)] signifying decreased relative abundance of submicron sized particles (<1000nm). The detailed cytotoxicity assays showed a significant reduction in the viability dependent on dose and exposure. A significant increase in ROS and LDH levels were noted for both ANPs at 1μg/mL concentration. The zeta potential and FT-IR analyses suggested surface chemical interaction between nanoparticles and algal cells. The substantial morphological changes and cell wall damage were confirmed through microscopic analyses (SEM, TEM, and CLSM). At 72h, significant Al(3+) ion release in the test medium [0.092μg/mL for ANP(1), and 0.19μg/mL for ANP(2)] was noted, and the resulting suspension containing leached ions caused significant cytotoxicity, revealing a substantial ionic contribution. This study indicates that both the nano-size and ionic dissolution play a significant role in the cytotoxicity of ANPs towards freshwater algae, and the exposure period largely determines

  4. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Seven Lake Erie Treatment Plants during the 2013 Algal Bloom Season - abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the past five years, Lake Erie has been experiencing harmful algal blooms (HABs) of progressively increasing severity. Cognizant of the potential health and economic impacts, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Water Supply and Water Resources Divis...

  5. INTRAUTERINE EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUBTLE BEHAVIOR EFFECTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recently, there has been an increase in interest in subtle effects associated with exposure to environmental toxins. ne methodological problem in research in this are involves assessment of degree of contamination when exposure occurs at low and moderate levels. econd problem lie...

  6. Development of a planar waveguide microarray for the monitoring and early detection of five harmful algal toxins in water and cultures.

    PubMed

    McNamee, Sara E; Elliott, Christopher T; Greer, Brett; Lochhead, Michael; Campbell, Katrina

    2014-11-18

    A novel multiplex microarray has been developed for the detection of five groups of harmful algal and cyanobacterial toxins found in marine, brackish, and freshwater environments including domoic acid (DA), okadaic acid (OA, and analogues), saxitoxin (STX, and analogues), cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and microcystins (MC, and analogues). The sensitivity and specificity were determined and feasibility to be used as a screening tool investigated. Results for algal/cyanobacterial cultures (n = 12) and seawater samples (n = 33) were compared to conventional analytical methods, such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Detection limits for the 15 min assay were 0.37, 0.44, 0.05, 0.08, and 0.40 ng/mL for DA, OA, STX, CYN, and MC, respectively. The correlation of data obtained from the microarray compared to conventional analysis for the 12 cultures was r(2) = 0.83. Analysis of seawater samples showed that 82, 82, 70, 82, and 12% of samples were positive (>IC20) compared to 67, 55, 36, 0, and 0% for DA, OA, STX, CYN, and MC, respectively, for conventional analytical methods. The discrepancies in results can be attributed to the enhanced sensitivity and cross-reactivity profiles of the antibodies in the MBio microarray. The feasibility of the microarray as a rapid, easy to use, and highly sensitive screening tool has been illustrated for the five-plex detection of biotoxins. The research demonstrates an early warning screening assay to support national monitoring agencies by providing a faster and more accurate means of identifying and quantifying harmful toxins in water samples. PMID:25361072

  7. Delay of the Onset of Puberty in Female Rats by Prepubertal Exposure to T-2 Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Rong; Wang, Yi-Mei; Zhang, Li-Shi; Zhang, Li; Zhao, Zeng-Ming; Zhao, Jun; Peng, Shuang-Qing

    2015-01-01

    Growing evidence has revealed the deleterious influence of environmental and food contaminants on puberty onset and development in both animals and children, provoking an increasing health concern. T-2 toxin, a naturally-produced Type A trichothecene mycotoxin which is frequently found in cereal grains and products intended for human and animal consumption, has been shown to impair the reproduction and development in animals. Nevertheless, whether this trichothecene mycotoxin can disturb the onset of puberty in females remains unclear. To clarify this point, infantile female rats were given a daily intragastric administration of vehicle or 187.5 μg/kg body weight of T-2 toxin for five consecutive days from postnatal day 15 to 19, and the effects on puberty onset were evaluated in the present study. The results revealed that the days of vaginal opening, first dioestrus, and first estrus in regular estrous cycle were delayed following prepubertal exposure to T-2 toxin. The relative weights of reproductive organs uterus, ovaries, and vagina, and the incidence of corpora lutea were all diminished in T-2 toxin-treated rats. Serum levels of gonadotropins luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and estradiol were also reduced by T-2 toxin treatment. The mRNA expressions of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and pituitary GnRH receptor displayed significant reductions following exposure to T-2 toxin, which were consistent with the changes of serum gonadotropins, delayed reproductive organ development, and delayed vaginal opening. In conclusion, the present study reveals that prepubertal exposure to T-2 toxin delays the onset of puberty in immature female rats, probably by the mechanism of disturbance of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis function. Considering the vulnerability of developmental children to food contaminants and the relative high level of dietary intake of T-2 toxin in children, we think the findings of the present study

  8. The toxicity of acute exposure to T-2 toxin evaluated by the metabonomics technique.

    PubMed

    Wan, Qianfen; Wu, Guangyao; He, Qinghua; Tang, Huiru; Wang, Yulan

    2015-03-01

    T-2 toxin is a common contaminant in grains and animal feedstuff, which becomes an increasing threat to human and animal health due to its high toxicity. Investigating the systemic effects of T-2 toxin is important to evaluate the toxicity and facilitate the assessment of food safety. In our investigation, rats were treated with a single dose of T-2 toxin at dosage levels of 0, 0.5, 2.0 and 4.0 mg kg(-1) body weight via gavage. The metabolic profiles of body fluids and multiple organs were obtained by NMR spectroscopy and analyzed by multivariate data analysis methods. The results showed that low and moderate doses of T-2 toxin only influenced the urinary metabonomes, while a high dose of T-2 toxin induced metabolic alterations in urine and multiple organs. These changes included alterations in the levels of membrane metabolites, TCA cycle intermediates, a range of amino acids, nucleosides and nucleotides. T-2 toxin exposure impaired spleen function, causing immunotoxicity, and inhibited protein and DNA biosynthesis. In addition, T-2 toxin also caused oxidative stress and disturbance in energy metabolism and gut microbiome. Our work provided a comprehensive insight into T-2 toxicity and revealed the great potential of metabonomics in assessing the impact of a toxic compound. PMID:25588579

  9. Determining important parameters related to cyanobacterial alkaloid toxin exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Love, A H

    2005-09-16

    Science-based decision making required robust and high-fidelity mechanistic data about the system dynamics and impacts of system changes. Alkaloid cyanotoxins have the characteristics to warrant consideration for their potential threat. Since insufficient information is available to construct a systems model for the alkaloid cyanotoxins, saxitoxins, anatoxins, and anatoxin-a(S), an accurate assessments of these toxins as a potential threat for use for intentional contamination is not possible. Alkaloid cyanotoxin research that contributed to such a model has numerous areas of overlap for natural and intentional health effects issues that generates dual improvements to the state of the science. The use of sensitivity analyses of systems models can identify parameters that, when determined, result in the greatest impact to the overall system and may help to direct the most efficient use of research funding. This type of modeling-assisted experimentation may allow rapid progress for overall system understanding compared to observational or disciplinary research agendas. Assessment and management of risk from intentional contamination can be performed with greater confidence when mechanisms are known and the relationships between different components are validated. This level of understanding allows high-fidelity assessments that do not hamper legitimate possession of these toxins for research purposes, while preventing intentional contamination that would affect public health. It also allows for appropriate response to an intentional contamination event, even if the specific contamination had not been previous considered. Development of science-based decision making tools will only improve our ability to address the new requirements addressing potential threats to our nation.

  10. Toxicologic evaluations of DHA-rich algal oil in rats: developmental toxicity study and 3-month dietary toxicity study with an in utero exposure phase.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, D; Tran, N; Peach, J; Edwards, T; Greeley, M

    2012-11-01

    DHA-rich algal oil ONC-T18, tested for subchronic, reproductive, and developmental toxicity in the rat, did not produce any significant toxicologic manifestations. Based on the absence of maternal or developmental toxicity at any dosage level, a dosage level of 2000 mg/kg/day was considered to be the no observed adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for maternal toxicity and embryo/fetal development when DHA-rich algal oil was administered orally by gavage to pregnant Crl:CD(SD) rats during gestation days 6-19. In a dietary combined one-generation/90-day reproductive toxicity study in rats, the NOAEL for F0 male and female and F1 male systemic toxicity was considered to be 50,000 ppm (highest concentration administered) and 25,000 ppm for F1 female systemic toxicity (higher mean body weight, body weight gain, and food consumption). F0 reproductive performance values, estrous cycle length, gestation length, or the process of parturition, and the numbers of former implantation sites and unaccounted-for sites were unaffected by algal oil exposure. Postnatal survival and developmental parameters in the F1 generation were unaffected by algal oil exposure at all dietary concentrations. There were no neurotoxic effects noted at any algal oil exposure level. The results support the safety of DHA-rich algal oil for its proposed use in food. PMID:22960629

  11. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Grattan, Lynn M.; Holobaugh, Sailor; Morris, J. Glenn

    2015-01-01

    The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries. Thus, illness prevention is of paramount importance to minimize human and public health risks. To accomplish this, close communication and collaboration is needed among HAB scientists, public health researchers and local, state and tribal health departments at academic, community outreach, and policy levels. PMID:27616971

  12. Aerosolized Red Tide Toxins (Brevetoxins) and Asthma: Continued health effects after 1 hour beach exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Fleming, Lora E; Bean, Judy A; Nierenberg, Kate; Backer, Lorraine C; Cheng, Yung Sung; Pierce, Richard; Reich, Andrew; Naar, Jerome; Wanner, Adam; Abraham, William M; Zhou, Yue; Hollenbeck, Julie; Baden, Daniel G

    2010-01-01

    Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, produce potent neurotoxins in marine aerosols. Recent studies have demonstrated acute changes in both symptoms and pulmonary function in asthmatics after only 1 hour of beach exposure to these aerosols. This study investigated if there were latent and/or sustained effects in asthmatics in the days following the initial beach exposure during periods with and without an active Florida red tide. Symptom data and spirometry data were collected before and after 1 hour of beach exposure. Subjects kept daily symptom diaries and measured their peak flow each morning for 5 days following beach exposure. During non-exposure periods, there were no significant changes in symptoms or pulmonary function either acutely or over 5 days of follow-up. After the beach exposure during an active Florida red tide, subjects had elevated mean symptoms which did not return to the pre-exposure baseline for at least 4 days. The peak flow measurements decreased after the initial beach exposure, decreased further within 24 hours, and continued to be suppressed even after 5 days. Asthmatics may continue to have increased symptoms and delayed respiratory function suppression for several days after 1 hour of exposure to the Florida red tide toxin aerosols. PMID:21499552

  13. Aerosolized Red Tide Toxins (Brevetoxins) and Asthma: Continued health effects after 1 hour beach exposure.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Fleming, Lora E; Bean, Judy A; Nierenberg, Kate; Backer, Lorraine C; Cheng, Yung Sung; Pierce, Richard; Reich, Andrew; Naar, Jerome; Wanner, Adam; Abraham, William M; Zhou, Yue; Hollenbeck, Julie; Baden, Daniel G

    2011-01-01

    Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, produce potent neurotoxins in marine aerosols. Recent studies have demonstrated acute changes in both symptoms and pulmonary function in asthmatics after only 1 hour of beach exposure to these aerosols. This study investigated if there were latent and/or sustained effects in asthmatics in the days following the initial beach exposure during periods with and without an active Florida red tide.Symptom data and spirometry data were collected before and after 1 hour of beach exposure. Subjects kept daily symptom diaries and measured their peak flow each morning for 5 days following beach exposure. During non-exposure periods, there were no significant changes in symptoms or pulmonary function either acutely or over 5 days of follow-up. After the beach exposure during an active Florida red tide, subjects had elevated mean symptoms which did not return to the pre-exposure baseline for at least 4 days. The peak flow measurements decreased after the initial beach exposure, decreased further within 24 hours, and continued to be suppressed even after 5 days. Asthmatics may continue to have increased symptoms and delayed respiratory function suppression for several days after 1 hour of exposure to the Florida red tide toxin aerosols. PMID:21499552

  14. Natural Occurrence of Alternaria Toxins in Wheat-Based Products and Their Dietary Exposure in China

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Kai; Shao, Bing; Yang, Dajin; Li, Fengqin; Zhu, Jianghui

    2015-01-01

    A total of 181 wheat flour and 142 wheat-based foods including dried noodle, steamed bread and bread collected in China were analyzed for alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tentoxin (TEN) and tenuazonic acid (TeA) by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. TeA was the predominant toxin found in 99.4% wheat flour samples at levels ranging from 1.76 μg/kg to 520 μg/kg. TEN was another Alternaria toxin frequently detected in wheat flour samples (97.2%) at levels between 2.72 μg/kg and 129 μg/kg. AOH and AME were detected in 11 (6.1%) samples at levels ranging from 16.0 μg/kg to 98.7 μg/kg (AOH) and in 165 (91.2%) samples with a range between 0.320 μg/kg and 61.8 μg/kg (AME). AOH was quantified at higher levels than AME with the ratio of AOH/AME ranging from 1.0 to 3.7. Significant linear regressions of correlation in toxin concentrations were observed between AOH and AME, AME and TeA, TEN and TeA, AOH+AME and TeA. At an average and 95th percentile, dietary exposure to AOH and AME in the Chinese general population and different age subgroups exceeded the relevant threshold value of toxicological concern (TTC), with the highest exposure found in children which deserves human health concern. TEN and TeA seem unlikely to be health concerns for the Chinese via wheat-based products but attention should be paid to synergistic or additive effects of TeA with AOH, AME, TEN and a further assessment will be performed once more data on toxicity-guided fractionation of the four toxins are available. It is necessary to conduct a systemic surveillance of Alternaria toxins in raw and processed foods in order to provide the scientific basis for making regulations on these toxins in China. PMID:26121047

  15. Natural Occurrence of Alternaria Toxins in Wheat-Based Products and Their Dietary Exposure in China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Kai; Shao, Bing; Yang, Dajin; Li, Fengqin; Zhu, Jianghui

    2015-01-01

    A total of 181 wheat flour and 142 wheat-based foods including dried noodle, steamed bread and bread collected in China were analyzed for alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME), tentoxin (TEN) and tenuazonic acid (TeA) by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. TeA was the predominant toxin found in 99.4% wheat flour samples at levels ranging from 1.76 μg/kg to 520 μg/kg. TEN was another Alternaria toxin frequently detected in wheat flour samples (97.2%) at levels between 2.72 μg/kg and 129 μg/kg. AOH and AME were detected in 11 (6.1%) samples at levels ranging from 16.0 μg/kg to 98.7 μg/kg (AOH) and in 165 (91.2%) samples with a range between 0.320 μg/kg and 61.8 μg/kg (AME). AOH was quantified at higher levels than AME with the ratio of AOH/AME ranging from 1.0 to 3.7. Significant linear regressions of correlation in toxin concentrations were observed between AOH and AME, AME and TeA, TEN and TeA, AOH+AME and TeA. At an average and 95th percentile, dietary exposure to AOH and AME in the Chinese general population and different age subgroups exceeded the relevant threshold value of toxicological concern (TTC), with the highest exposure found in children which deserves human health concern. TEN and TeA seem unlikely to be health concerns for the Chinese via wheat-based products but attention should be paid to synergistic or additive effects of TeA with AOH, AME, TEN and a further assessment will be performed once more data on toxicity-guided fractionation of the four toxins are available. It is necessary to conduct a systemic surveillance of Alternaria toxins in raw and processed foods in order to provide the scientific basis for making regulations on these toxins in China. PMID:26121047

  16. Clinical and Pathological Findings Associated with Aerosol Exposure of Macaques to Ricin Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Pincus, Seth H.; Bhaskaran, Manoj; Brey, Robert N.; Didier, Peter J.; Doyle-Meyers, Lara A.; Roy, Chad J.

    2015-01-01

    Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific antidotes are to be applied. Initial diagnosis will most likely be syndromic, i.e., fitting clinical and laboratory signs into a pattern which then will guide the choice of more specific diagnostic assays and therapeutic interventions. We have studied the pathology of ricin toxin in rhesus macaques exposed to lethal and sublethal ricin aerosols. Animals exposed to lethal ricin aerosols were followed clinically using telemetry, by clinical laboratory analyses and by post-mortem examination. Animals exposed to lethal aerosolized ricin developed fever associated with thermal instability, tachycardia, and dyspnea. In the peripheral blood a marked neutrophilia (without immature bands) developed at 24 h. This was accompanied by an increase in monocytes, but depletion of lymphocytes. Red cell indices indicated hemoconcentration, as did serum chemistries, with modest increases in sodium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Serum albumin was strikingly decreased. These observations are consistent with the pathological observations of fluid shifts to the lungs, in the form of hemorrhages, inflammatory exudates, and tissue edema. In macaques exposed to sublethal aerosols of ricin, late pathologic consequences included chronic pulmonary fibrosis, likely mediated by M2 macrophages. Early administration of supportive therapy, specific antidotes after exposure or vaccines prior to exposure have the potential to favorably alter this outcome. PMID:26067369

  17. Clinical and Pathological Findings Associated with Aerosol Exposure of Macaques to Ricin Toxin.

    PubMed

    Pincus, Seth H; Bhaskaran, Manoj; Brey, Robert N; Didier, Peter J; Doyle-Meyers, Lara A; Roy, Chad J

    2015-06-01

    Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific antidotes are to be applied. Initial diagnosis will most likely be syndromic, i.e., fitting clinical and laboratory signs into a pattern which then will guide the choice of more specific diagnostic assays and therapeutic interventions. We have studied the pathology of ricin toxin in rhesus macaques exposed to lethal and sublethal ricin aerosols. Animals exposed to lethal ricin aerosols were followed clinically using telemetry, by clinical laboratory analyses and by post-mortem examination. Animals exposed to lethal aerosolized ricin developed fever associated with thermal instability, tachycardia, and dyspnea. In the peripheral blood a marked neutrophilia (without immature bands) developed at 24 h. This was accompanied by an increase in monocytes, but depletion of lymphocytes. Red cell indices indicated hemoconcentration, as did serum chemistries, with modest increases in sodium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Serum albumin was strikingly decreased. These observations are consistent with the pathological observations of fluid shifts to the lungs, in the form of hemorrhages, inflammatory exudates, and tissue edema. In macaques exposed to sublethal aerosols of ricin, late pathologic consequences included chronic pulmonary fibrosis, likely mediated by M2 macrophages. Early administration of supportive therapy, specific antidotes after exposure or vaccines prior to exposure have the potential to favorably alter this outcome. PMID:26067369

  18. Exposure assessment of T2 and HT2 toxins in Catalonia (Spain).

    PubMed

    Cano-Sancho, G; Marín, S; Ramos, A J; Sanchis, V

    2012-03-01

    HT-2 toxin (HT2) and T-2 toxin (T2) are mycotoxins produced in several cereals by species of Fusarium. The aim of the present study was to assess the exposure of Catalonian population to the combined mycotoxins T2 and HT2. Three different approaches were considered to handle the left censored data: (1) a substitution method, (2) a parametric method using the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) and (3) a non-parametric method using the Kaplan-Meier (KM) estimator. Raw contamination data was provided by a large survey conducted in this region, in addition to the raw consumption data from a nutritional study specifically designed to assess the dietary intake of the main foodstuffs related to T2 and HT2 contamination for all population age groups. Contamination and consumption data were combined by simulation using a stochastic method. Accuracy and reliability of the statistic estimates were assessed building the related confidence intervals using a pseudo-parametric bootstrap method. Considering the results from the present study, the most exposed group population to the toxin T2 and HT2 should be expected to be the children. PMID:22261462

  19. Dietary exposure to an environmental toxin triggers neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits in the brain.

    PubMed

    Cox, Paul Alan; Davis, David A; Mash, Deborah C; Metcalf, James S; Banack, Sandra Anne

    2016-01-27

    Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and β-amyloid plaques are the neurological hallmarks of both Alzheimer's disease and an unusual paralytic illness suffered by Chamorro villagers on the Pacific island of Guam. Many Chamorros with the disease suffer dementia, and in some villages one-quarter of the adults perished from the disease. Like Alzheimer's, the causal factors of Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC) are poorly understood. In replicated experiments, we found that chronic dietary exposure to a cyanobacterial toxin present in the traditional Chamorro diet, β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), triggers the formation of both NFT and β-amyloid deposits similar in structure and density to those found in brain tissues of Chamorros who died with ALS/PDC. Vervets (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fed for 140 days with BMAA-dosed fruit developed NFT and sparse β-amyloid deposits in the brain. Co-administration of the dietary amino acid l-serine with l-BMAA significantly reduced the density of NFT. These findings indicate that while chronic exposure to the environmental toxin BMAA can trigger neurodegeneration in vulnerable individuals, increasing the amount of l-serine in the diet can reduce the risk. PMID:26791617

  20. Dietary exposure to an environmental toxin triggers neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Paul Alan; Davis, David A.; Mash, Deborah C.; Metcalf, James S.; Banack, Sandra Anne

    2016-01-01

    Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and β-amyloid plaques are the neurological hallmarks of both Alzheimer's disease and an unusual paralytic illness suffered by Chamorro villagers on the Pacific island of Guam. Many Chamorros with the disease suffer dementia, and in some villages one-quarter of the adults perished from the disease. Like Alzheimer's, the causal factors of Guamanian amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC) are poorly understood. In replicated experiments, we found that chronic dietary exposure to a cyanobacterial toxin present in the traditional Chamorro diet, β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), triggers the formation of both NFT and β-amyloid deposits similar in structure and density to those found in brain tissues of Chamorros who died with ALS/PDC. Vervets (Chlorocebus sabaeus) fed for 140 days with BMAA-dosed fruit developed NFT and sparse β-amyloid deposits in the brain. Co-administration of the dietary amino acid l-serine with l-BMAA significantly reduced the density of NFT. These findings indicate that while chronic exposure to the environmental toxin BMAA can trigger neurodegeneration in vulnerable individuals, increasing the amount of l-serine in the diet can reduce the risk. PMID:26791617

  1. Quantification of metabolites for assessing human exposure to soapberry toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine.

    PubMed

    Isenberg, Samantha L; Carter, Melissa D; Graham, Leigh Ann; Mathews, Thomas P; Johnson, Darryl; Thomas, Jerry D; Pirkle, James L; Johnson, Rudolph C

    2015-09-21

    Ingestion of soapberry fruit toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine has been linked to public health challenges worldwide. In 1976, over 100 years after Jamaican vomiting sickness (JVS) was first reported, the cause of JVS was linked to the ingestion of the toxin hypoglycin A produced by ackee fruit. A structural analogue of hypoglycin A, methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), was implicated as the cause of an acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). Much of the evidence linking hypoglycin A and MCPG to these diseases has been largely circumstantial due to the lack of an analytical method for specific metabolites. This study presents an analytical approach to identify and quantify specific urine metabolites for exposure to hypoglycin A and MCPG. The metabolites are excreted in urine as glycine adducts methylenecyclopropylacetyl-glycine (MCPA-Gly) and methylenecyclopropylformyl-glycine (MCPF-Gly). These metabolites were processed by isotope dilution, separated by reverse-phase liquid chromatography, and monitored by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. The analytical response ratio was linearly proportional to the concentration of MCPF-Gly and MCPA-Gly in urine from 0.10 to 20 μg/mL with a correlation coefficient of r > 0.99. The assay demonstrated accuracy ≥80% and precision ≤20% RSD across the calibration range. This method has been applied to assess exposure to hypoglycin A and MCPG as part of a larger public health initiative and was used to provide the first reported identification of MCPF-Gly and MCPA-Gly in human urine. PMID:26328472

  2. Field and laboratory guide to freshwater cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms for Native American and Alaska Native communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosen, Barry H.; Ann St. Amand

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria can produce toxins and form harmful algal blooms. The Native American and Alaska Native communities that are dependent on subsistence fishing have an increased risk of exposure to these cyanotoxins. It is important to recognize the presence of an algal bloom in a waterbody and to distinguish a potentially toxic harmful algal bloom from a non-toxic bloom. This guide provides field images that show cyanobacteria blooms, some of which can be toxin producers, as well as other non-toxic algae blooms and floating plants that might be confused with algae. After recognition of a potential toxin-producing cyanobacterial bloom in the field, the type(s) of cyanobacteria present needs to be identified. Species identification, which requires microscopic examination, may help distinguish a toxin-producer from a non-toxin producer. This guide also provides microscopic images of the common cyanobacteria that are known to produce toxins, as well as images of algae that form blooms but do not produce toxins.

  3. TOXICITY AND RECOVERY IN THE PREGNANT MOUSE AFTER GESTATIONAL EXPOSURE TO THE CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN, CYLINDROSPERMOPSIN

    PubMed Central

    Chernoff, N.; Rogers, E.H.; Zehr, R.D.; Gage, M.I.; Malarkey, D.E.; Bradfield, C. A.; Liu, Y.; Schmid, J.E.; Jaskot, R.H.; Richards, J.H.; Wood, C.R.; Rosen, M.B.

    2010-01-01

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a tricyclic alkaloid toxin produced by fresh water cyanobacterial species worldwide. CYN has been responsible for both livestock and human poisoning after oral exposure to CYN. This study investigated the toxicity of CYN to pregnant mice exposed during different segments of gestation. The course of recovery and individual responses to the toxin were evaluated. Adverse effects of CYN were monitored up to four weeks post dosing by clinical examination, histopathology, biochemistry, and gene expression. Exposure on gestational days (GD) 8–12 induced significantly more lethality than GD13–17 exposure. Periorbital, gastrointestinal and distal tail hemorrhages were seen in both groups. Serum markers indicative of hepatic injury (alanine amino transferase, aspartate amino transferase and sorbitol dehydrogenase) were increased in both groups; markers of renal dysfunction (blood urea nitrogen and creatinine) were elevated in the GD8–12 animals. Histopathology was observed in the liver (centrilobular necrosis) and kidney (interstitial inflammation) in groups exhibiting abnormal serum markers. The expression profiles of genes involved in ribosomal biogenesis, xenobiotic and lipid metabolism, inflammatory response and oxidative stress were altered 24 hours after the final dose. One week after dosing, gross, histological and serum parameters had returned to normal although increased liver/body weight ratio and one instance of gastrointestinal bleeding was found in the GD13–17 group. Gene expression changes persisted up to two weeks post dosing and returned to normal by four weeks. Responses of individual animals to CYN exposure indicated highly significant inter-animal variability within the treated groups. PMID:20936652

  4. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming a significant ecologic, economic, and social driver in the use of water resources. Cyanobacteria and their toxins play an important role in management decisions for drinking water utilities and public health officials. Online ...

  5. Short-term effects of T-2 toxin exposure on some lipid peroxide and glutathione redox parameters of broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Bócsai, A; Pelyhe, Cs; Zándoki, E; Ancsin, Zs; Szabó-Fodor, J; Erdélyi, M; Mézes, M; Balogh, K

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term effects of T-2 toxin exposure (3.09 mg/kg feed) on lipid peroxidation and glutathione redox system of broiler chicken. A total of 54 Cobb 500 cockerels were randomly distributed to two experimental groups at 21 days of age. Samples (blood plasma, red blood cell, liver, kidney and spleen) were collected every 12 h during a 48-h period. The results showed that the initial phase of lipid peroxidation, as measured by conjugated dienes and trienes in the liver, was continuously, but not significantly higher in T-2 toxin-dosed birds than in control birds. The termination phase of lipid peroxidation, as measured by malondialdehyde, was significantly higher in liver and kidney as a result of T-2 toxin exposure at the end of the experimental period (48th hour). The glutathione redox system activated shortly after starting the T-2 toxin exposure, which is supported by the significantly higher concentration of reduced glutathione and glutathione peroxidase activity in blood plasma at 24 and 48 h, in liver at 12, 24 and 36 h, and in kidney and spleen at 24 h. These results suggest that T-2 toxin, or its metabolites, may be involved in the generation of reactive oxygen substances which causes an increase in lipid peroxidation, and consequently activates the glutathione redox system, namely synthesis of reduced glutathione and glutathione peroxidase. PMID:26412027

  6. Transcriptomic profile of host response in mouse brain after exposure to plant toxin abrin.

    PubMed

    Bhaskar, A S Bala; Gupta, Nimesh; Rao, P V Lakshmana

    2012-09-01

    Abrin toxin is a plant glycoprotein, which is similar in structure and properties to ricin and is obtained from the seeds of Abrus precatorius (jequirity bean). Abrin is highly toxic, with an estimated human fatal dose of 0.1-1 μg/kg, and has caused death after accidental and intentional poisoning. Abrin is a potent biological toxin warfare agent. There are no chemical antidotes available against the toxin. Neurological symptoms like delirium, hallucinations, reduced consciousness and generalized seizures were reported in human poisoning cases. Death of a patient with symptoms of acute demyelinating encephalopathy with gastrointestinal bleeding due to ingestion of abrin seeds was reported in India. The aim of this study was to examine both dose and time-dependent transcriptional responses induced by abrin in the adult mouse brain. Mice (n=6) were exposed to 1 and 2 LD50 (2.83 and 5.66 μg/kg respectively) dose of abrin by intraperitoneal route and observed over 3 days. A subset of animals (n=3) were sacrificed at 1 and 2 day intervals for microarray and histopathology analysis. None of the 2 LD50 exposed animals survived till 3 days. The histopathological analysis showed the severe damage in brain and the infiltration of inflammatory cells in a dose and time dependent manner. The abrin exposure resulted in the induction of rapid immune and inflammatory response in brain. Clinical biochemistry parameters like lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, urea and creatinine showed significant increase at 2-day 2 LD50 exposure. The whole genome microarray data revealed the significant regulation of various pathways like MAPK pathway, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, calcium signaling pathway, Jak-STAT signaling pathway and natural killer cell mediated toxicity. The comparison of differential gene expression at both the doses showed dose dependent effects of abrin toxicity. The real-time qRT-PCR analysis of selected genes supported the microarray data

  7. Algal biosensor array on a single electrode.

    PubMed

    Tatsuma, Tetsu; Yoshida, Yutaka; Shitanda, Isao; Notsu, Hideo

    2009-02-01

    An algal array was prepared on a single transparent electrode, and photosynthetic activity of each algal channel and its inhibition by a toxin were monitored with a single-channel potentiostat by successive light irradiation with a LED array. PMID:19173040

  8. Exposure to Environmental Toxins in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sun Mi; Lyoo, Hang Sik; Min, Kyung Joon; Kim, Kyung Ho; Renshaw, Perry

    2010-01-01

    Objective Environmental pollutants, especially environmental toxins (ET), may have the potential to disrupt neurodevelopmental pathways during early brain development. This study was designed to test our hypothesis that mothers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children would have less knowledge about ET and more chance to be exposed to ET than mothers with healthy children (MHC). Methods One hundred and six biologic mothers with ASD children (MASD) and three hundred twenty four biologic mothers with healthy children MHC were assessed using two questionnaires asking about ET. Results The total score in response to questions related to knowledge about ET in MHC was higher than that in MASD. The possibility of exposure to ET was higher in MASD than MHC. MASD showed higher sub-scale scores in terms of exposures to canned food, plastics, waste incinerators, old electronics, microwavable food, and textiles. Conclusion The current results show that reduced knowledge about ET and greater exposure to ET may be associated with autism spectrum disorder. PMID:20577621

  9. Biochemical Mechanisms for Geographical Adaptations to Novel Toxin Exposures in Butterflyfish.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Aileen; Lavado, Ramon; Knuston, Sean; Slattery, Marc; Ankisetty, Sridevi; Goldstone, Jared V; Watanabe, Kayo; Hoh, Eunha; Gadepalli, Rama S; Rimoldi, John M; Ostrander, Gary K; Schlenk, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Some species of butterflyfish have had preyed upon corals for millions of years, yet the mechanism of butterflyfish specialized coral feeding strategy remains poorly understood. Certain butterflyfish have the ability to feed on allelochemically rich soft corals, e.g. Sinularia maxima. Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is the predominant enzyme system responsible for the detoxification of dietary allelochemicals. CYP2-like and CYP3A-like content have been associated with butterflyfish that preferentially consumes allelochemically rich soft corals. To investigate the role of butterflyfish CYP2 and CYP3A enzymes in dietary preference, we conducted oral feeding experiments using homogenates of S. maxima and a toxin isolated from the coral in four species of butterflyfish with different feeding strategies. After oral exposure to the S. maxima toxin 5-episinulaptolide (5ESL), which is not normally encountered in the Hawaiian butterflyfish diet, an endemic specialist, Chaetodon multicinctus experienced 100% mortality compared to a generalist, Chaetodon auriga, which had significantly more (3-6 fold higher) CYP3A-like basal content and catalytic activity. The specialist, Chaetodon unimaculatus, which preferentially feed on S. maxima in Guam, but not in Hawaii, had 100% survival, a significant induction of 8-12 fold CYP3A-like content, and an increased ability (2-fold) to metabolize 5ESL over other species. Computer modeling data of CYP3A4 with 5ESL were consistent with microsomal transformation of 5ESL to a C15-16 epoxide from livers of C. unimaculatus. Epoxide formation correlated with CYP3A-like content, catalytic activity, induction, and NADPH-dependent metabolism of 5ESL. These results suggest a potentially important role for the CYP3A family in butterflyfish-coral diet selection through allelochemical detoxification. PMID:27136924

  10. Biochemical Mechanisms for Geographical Adaptations to Novel Toxin Exposures in Butterflyfish

    PubMed Central

    Knuston, Sean; Slattery, Marc; Ankisetty, Sridevi; Goldstone, Jared V.; Watanabe, Kayo; Hoh, Eunha; Gadepalli, Rama S.; Rimoldi, John M.; Ostrander, Gary K.

    2016-01-01

    Some species of butterflyfish have had preyed upon corals for millions of years, yet the mechanism of butterflyfish specialized coral feeding strategy remains poorly understood. Certain butterflyfish have the ability to feed on allelochemically rich soft corals, e.g. Sinularia maxima. Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is the predominant enzyme system responsible for the detoxification of dietary allelochemicals. CYP2-like and CYP3A-like content have been associated with butterflyfish that preferentially consumes allelochemically rich soft corals. To investigate the role of butterflyfish CYP2 and CYP3A enzymes in dietary preference, we conducted oral feeding experiments using homogenates of S. maxima and a toxin isolated from the coral in four species of butterflyfish with different feeding strategies. After oral exposure to the S. maxima toxin 5-episinulaptolide (5ESL), which is not normally encountered in the Hawaiian butterflyfish diet, an endemic specialist, Chaetodon multicinctus experienced 100% mortality compared to a generalist, Chaetodon auriga, which had significantly more (3–6 fold higher) CYP3A-like basal content and catalytic activity. The specialist, Chaetodon unimaculatus, which preferentially feed on S. maxima in Guam, but not in Hawaii, had 100% survival, a significant induction of 8–12 fold CYP3A-like content, and an increased ability (2-fold) to metabolize 5ESL over other species. Computer modeling data of CYP3A4 with 5ESL were consistent with microsomal transformation of 5ESL to a C15-16 epoxide from livers of C. unimaculatus. Epoxide formation correlated with CYP3A-like content, catalytic activity, induction, and NADPH-dependent metabolism of 5ESL. These results suggest a potentially important role for the CYP3A family in butterflyfish-coral diet selection through allelochemical detoxification. PMID:27136924

  11. Change in algal symbiont communities after bleaching, not prior heat exposure, increases heat tolerance of reef corals.

    PubMed

    Silverstein, Rachel N; Cunning, Ross; Baker, Andrew C

    2015-01-01

    Mutualistic organisms can be particularly susceptible to climate change stress, as their survivorship is often limited by the most vulnerable partner. However, symbiotic plasticity can also help organisms in changing environments by expanding their realized niche space. Coral-algal (Symbiodinium spp.) symbiosis exemplifies this dichotomy: the partnership is highly susceptible to 'bleaching' (stress-induced symbiosis breakdown), but stress-tolerant symbionts can also sometimes mitigate bleaching. Here, we investigate the role of diverse and mutable symbiotic partnerships in increasing corals' ability to thrive in high temperature conditions. We conducted repeat bleaching and recovery experiments on the coral Montastraea cavernosa, and used quantitative PCR and chlorophyll fluorometry to assess the structure and function of Symbiodinium communities within coral hosts. During an initial heat exposure (32 °C for 10 days), corals hosting only stress-sensitive symbionts (Symbiodinium C3) bleached, but recovered (at either 24 °C or 29 °C) with predominantly (>90%) stress-tolerant symbionts (Symbiodinium D1a), which were not detected before bleaching (either due to absence or extreme low abundance). When a second heat stress (also 32 °C for 10 days) was applied 3 months later, corals that previously bleached and were now dominated by D1a Symbiodinium experienced less photodamage and symbiont loss compared to control corals that had not been previously bleached, and were therefore still dominated by Symbiodinium C3. Additional corals that were initially bleached without heat by a herbicide (DCMU, at 24 °C) also recovered predominantly with D1a symbionts, and similarly lost fewer symbionts during subsequent thermal stress. Increased thermotolerance was also not observed in C3-dominated corals that were acclimated for 3 months to warmer temperatures (29 °C) before heat stress. These findings indicate that increased thermotolerance post-bleaching resulted from

  12. Daphnia magna negatively affected by chronic exposure to purified Cry-toxins.

    PubMed

    Bøhn, Thomas; Rover, Carina Macagnan; Semenchuk, Philipp Robert

    2016-05-01

    Cry-toxin genes originating from Bacillus thuringiensis are inserted into genetically modified (GM) plants, often called Bt-plants, to provide insect resistance to pests. Significant amounts of Bt-plant residues, and thus Cry-toxins, will be shed to soil and aquatic environments. We exposed Daphnia magna to purified Cry1Ab and Cry2Aa toxins for the full life-span of the animals. We used single toxins in different doses and combinations of toxins and Roundup(®), another potential stressor on the rise in agricultural ecosystems. Animals exposed to 4.5 mg/L (ppm) of Cry1Ab, Cry2Aa and the combination of both showed markedly higher mortality, smaller body size and very low juvenile production compared to controls. Animals exposed to 0.75 mg/L also showed a tendency towards increased mortality but with increased early fecundity compared to the controls. Roundup(®) stimulated animals to strong early reproductive output at the cost of later rapid mortality. We conclude that i) purified Cry-toxins in high concentrations are toxic to D. magna, indicating alternative modes-of-action for these Cry-toxins; ii) Cry-toxins act in combination, indicating that 'stacked events' may have stronger effects on non-target organisms; iii) further studies need to be done on combinatorial effects of multiple Cry-toxins and herbicides that co-occur in the environment. PMID:26993955

  13. P-glycoprotein expression in Perna viridis after exposure to Prorocentrum lima, a dinoflagellate producing DSP toxins.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lu; Wang, Jie; Chen, Wen-Chang; Li, Hong-Ye; Liu, Jie-Sheng; Tao Jiang; Yang, Wei-Dong

    2014-08-01

    Bivalves naturally exposed to toxic algae have mechanisms to prevent from harmful effects of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins. However, quite few studies have examined the mechanisms associated, and the information currently available is still insufficient. Multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) is ubiquitous in aquatic invertebrates and plays an important role in defense against xenobiotics. Here, to explore the roles of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the DSP toxins resistance in shellfish, complete cDNA of P-gp gene in the mussel Perna viridis was cloned and analyzed. The accumulation of okadaic acid (OA), a main component of DSP toxins, MXR activity and expression of P-gp in gills of P. viridis were detected after exposure to Prorocentrum lima, a dinoflagellate producing DSP toxins in the presence or absence of P-gp inhibitors PGP-4008, verapamil (VER) and cyclosporin A (CsA). The mussel P. viridis P-gp closely matches MDR/P-gp/ABCB protein from various organisms, having a typical sequence organization as full transporters from the ABCB family. After exposure to P. lima, OA accumulation, MXR activity and P-gp expression significantly increased in gills of P. viridis. The addition of P-gp-specific inhibitors PGP-4008 and VER decreased MXR activity induced by P. lima, but had no effect on the OA accumulation in gills of P. viridis. However, CsA, a broad-spectrum inhibitor of ABC transporter not only decreased MXR activity, but also increased OA accumulation in gills of P. viridis. Together with the ubiquitous presence of other ABC transporters such as MRP/ABCC in bivalves and potential compensatory mechanism in P-gp and MRP-mediated resistance, we speculated that besides P-gp, other ABC transporters, especially MRP might be involved in the resistance mechanisms to DSP toxins. PMID:24811006

  14. TOXINS FROM CYANOBACTERIA IN WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project is part of a larger U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effort, which includes the Office of Water, to investigate algal toxins in surface water supplies and drinking water. Toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are among the most potent known ...

  15. Identification of euglenophycin--a toxin found in certain euglenoids.

    PubMed

    Zimba, Paul V; Moeller, Peter D; Beauchesne, Kevin; Lane, Hannah E; Triemer, Richard E

    2010-01-01

    Currently cyanoprokaryotic algae, diatoms, haptophytes, dinoflagellates, euglenoids, and rhaphidophytes are known to produce algal toxins. A previous study by the authors reported euglenoid algae producing toxin(s) in aquaculture ponds, with confirmation based on positive fish bioassays following exposure to the isolated clonal algal cultures. Toxicity was observed in euglenoid culture isolates obtained from the pond as well as a clonal, culture collection taxon. Here we provide conclusive evidence for euglenoid toxin production, including HPLC/MS, MS/MS, and NMR analyses of a clonal (non-axenic) isolate of Euglena sanguinea grown in batch culture. Following wet chemical serial fractionation, toxic activity was identified in both the methanol and hexane extracts. These extracts were then purified using HPLC. Bioassay-guided HPLC fractionation of these two extracts demonstrated that a single class of toxic compounds, identical in mass and similar in molecular structure, was produced by this organism. The toxic compounds exhibited a maximal UV absorbance at 238nm and gave diagnostic mass peaks at 306 (MH(+)) and 288 (MH(+)-H(2)O). Unambiguous molecular structural determination was carried out by high field NMR analysis operating in 1- and 2-dimensions. Though a predominant isomer represented the bulk of the toxin, several stereo- and structural isomers were evidenced by NMR, and HPLC/MS. This compound is an alkaloid similar in structure to fire ant venom. The compound exhibits ichthyotoxic, herbicidal and anticancer activity at low ppm to ppb dosages. PMID:19615398

  16. Impact of harmful algal blooms on several Lake Erie drinking water treatment facilities; methodology considerations

    EPA Science Inventory

    The propagation of cyanbacterial cells and their toxins were investigated at seven drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) on Lake Erie were investigated with regards to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxin concentrations, water quality variations in treatment plant influents, and pr...

  17. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  18. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  19. Seasonal and annual dynamics of harmful algae and algal toxins revealed through weekly monitoring at two coastal ocean sites off southern California, USA.

    PubMed

    Seubert, Erica L; Gellene, Alyssa G; Howard, Meredith D A; Connell, Paige; Ragan, Matthew; Jones, Burton H; Runyan, Jennifer; Caron, David A

    2013-10-01

    Reports of toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) attributed to the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp. have been increasing in California during the last several decades. Whether this increase can be attributed to enhanced awareness and monitoring or to a dramatic upswing in the development of HAB events remains unresolved. Given these uncertainties, the ability to accurately and rapidly identify an emerging HAB event is of high importance. Monitoring of HAB species and other pertinent chemical/physical parameters at two piers in southern California, Newport and Redondo Beach, was used to investigate the development of a site-specific bloom definition for identifying emerging domoic acid (DA) events. Emphasis was given to abundances of the Pseudo-nitzschia seriata size category of Pseudo-nitzschia due to the prevalence of this size class in the region. P. seriata bloom thresholds were established for each location based on deviations from their respective long-term mean abundances, allowing the identification of major and minor blooms. Sixty-five percent of blooms identified at Newport Beach coincided with measurable DA concentrations, while 36 % of blooms at Redondo Beach coincided with measurable DA. Bloom definitions allowed for increased specificity in multiple regression analysis of environmental forcing factors significant to the presence of DA and P. seriata. The strongest relationship identified was between P. seriata abundances 2 weeks following upwelling events at Newport Beach. PMID:23288675

  20. THE CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN, CYLINDROSPERMOPSIN, INDUCES FETAL TOXICITY IN THE MOUSE AFTER EXPOSURE LATE IN GESTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cylindrospermopsin (cyn) is a cyanobacterial toxin implicated in human and wildlife poisonings. We have completed studies investigating the potential of purified cyn to induce developmental toxicity in mammals. The teratology study involved intraperitoneal injections (8.0¿128ug/k...

  1. Chronic exposure of the European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) to Cry1Ab Bacillus thuringiensis toxin.

    PubMed

    Chaufaux, J; Seguin, M; Swanson, J J; Bourguet, D; Siegfried, B D

    2001-12-01

    Transgenic corn expressing the insecticidal toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner is gaining support as an effective control technology for use against lepidopteran pests, particularly European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). However, there is concern that widespread adoption of transgenic plants will rapidly lead to B. thuringiensis toxin resistance. Thus, long-term selection of O. nubilalis populations with the Cry1Ab B. thuringiensis toxin has been undertaken in several laboratories in the United States and in Europe. We present results from two independent selection experiments performed in laboratories at the University of Nebraska and at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in France. Although the protocols and methods used by the two laboratories were different, the results were comparable. The highest level of resistance occurred at generation 7 (14-fold), generation 9 (13-fold), and generation 9 (32-fold) for three different strains. For each strain, the level of resistance fluctuated from generation to generation, although there were consistently significant decreases in toxin susceptibility across generations for all selected strains. These results suggest that low levels of resistance are common among widely distributed O. nubilalis populations. PMID:11777065

  2. Ecological risk assessment of herbicides in Japan: Integrating spatiotemporal variation in exposure and effects using a multimedia model and algal density dynamics models.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Takehiko I; Imaizumi, Yoshitaka; Yokomizo, Hiroyuki; Tatarazako, Norihisa; Suzuki, Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Application of herbicides to paddy fields in Japan has strong seasonality, and their environmental concentrations exhibit clear spatiotemporal variation. The authors developed an approach that combines a multimedia environmental exposure model (Grid-Catchment Integrated Modeling System) and density dynamics models for algae. This approach enabled assessment of ecological risk when the exposure concentration shows spatiotemporal variation. First, risk maps of 5 herbicides (pretilachlor, butachlor, simetryn, mefenacet, and esprocarb) were created from the spatial predictions of environmental concentrations and 50% inhibitory concentrations of the herbicides. Simulations of algal density dynamics at high-risk sites were then conducted by incorporating the predicted temporal dynamics of the environmental concentration of each herbicide at the sites. The results suggested that the risk of pretilachlor was clearly the highest of the 5 herbicides, in terms of both the spatial distributions and the temporal durations. The present study highlights the importance of integrating exposure models and effect models to clarify spatial and temporal risk and to develop management plans for chemical exposure that shows high spatiotemporal variation. PMID:26183805

  3. What is causing the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harmful and nuisance algal blooms have been increasing in size and extent since about 2000. In recent years, the release of the algal toxin microcystin has become a growing concern and has resulted in the inability to use water from Lake Erie as a drinking water source to the 400,000 residents of T...

  4. Detection of cylindrospermopsin toxin markers in cyanobacterial algal blooms using analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and thermally-assisted hydrolysis and methylation (TCh-GC/MS).

    PubMed

    Ríos, V; Prieto, Ana I; Cameán, Ana M; González-Vila, F J; de la Rosa, J M; Vasconcelos, Vitor; González-Pérez, J A

    2014-08-01

    The hepatotoxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is produced by freshwater cyanobacteria becoming an emerging threat for human health. Methods for the rapid determination of CYN in environmental samples are needed. Conventional analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and thermally-assisted hydrolysis and methylation (TCh-GC/MS) were used to study a CYN standard, two Aphanizomenon ovalisporum cultures (CYN+) and one culture of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (CYN-). A micro-furnace pyrolyzer was used directly attached to a GC/MS system fitted with a 30 m × 250 μm × 0.25 μm film thickness column (14% cyanopropyl phenyl, 86% dimethyl polysiloxane pahase composition). Oven temperature was held at 50 °C for 1 min and increased to 100 °C at 30 °C min(-1), from 100 °C to 300 °C at 10 °C min(-1), and stabilized at 300 °C for 10 min using helium (1 mL min(-1)) as carrier gas. Pyrolysis at 500 °C yield over 70 compounds with 20 specific for CYN+ samples. Two peaks containing a diagnostic fragment (m/z 194) were found at 25.0 and 28.9 min only in CYN+ samples. Fewer peaks with limited diagnostic value were released after TCh-GC/MS, including breakdown products and TMAH adducts. A compound was detected that may correspond to the CYN molecule (MW 415 Da) thermoevaporation product after the loss of SO3 (MW 80 Da). This TCh-GC/MS peak (m/z 336) together with the fragments obtained by conventional Py-GC/MS (m/z 194) are diagnostic ions with potential use for the direct detection of CYN toxin in environmental samples at last with an estimated 5 ppm detection threshold. PMID:24530162

  5. Environmental controls, oceanography and population dynamics of pathogens and harmful algal blooms: connecting sources to human exposure

    PubMed Central

    Dyble, Julianne; Bienfang, Paul; Dusek, Eva; Hitchcock, Gary; Holland, Fred; Laws, Ed; Lerczak, James; McGillicuddy, Dennis J; Minnett, Peter; Moore, Stephanie K; O'Kelly, Charles; Solo-Gabriele, Helena; Wang, John D

    2008-01-01

    Coupled physical-biological models are capable of linking the complex interactions between environmental factors and physical hydrodynamics to simulate the growth, toxicity and transport of infectious pathogens and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Such simulations can be used to assess and predict the impact of pathogens and HABs on human health. Given the widespread and increasing reliance of coastal communities on aquatic systems for drinking water, seafood and recreation, such predictions are critical for making informed resource management decisions. Here we identify three challenges to making this connection between pathogens/HABs and human health: predicting concentrations and toxicity; identifying the spatial and temporal scales of population and ecosystem interactions; and applying the understanding of population dynamics of pathogens/HABs to management strategies. We elaborate on the need to meet each of these challenges, describe how modeling approaches can be used and discuss strategies for moving forward in addressing these challenges. PMID:19025676

  6. Modulation of Porcine β-Defensins 1 and 2 upon Individual and Combined Fusarium Toxin Exposure in a Swine Jejunal Epithelial Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Murphy Lam-Yim; Woo, Chit-Shing Jackson; Turner, Paul C.; El-Nezami, Hani

    2013-01-01

    Defensins are small antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that play an important role in the innate immune system of mammals. Since the effect of mycotoxin contamination of food and feed on the secretion of intestinal AMPs is poorly understood, the aim of this study was to elucidate the individual and combined effects of four common Fusarium toxins, deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), zearalenone (ZEA), and fumonisin B1 (FB1), on the mRNA expression, protein secretion, and corresponding antimicrobial effects of porcine β-defensins 1 and 2 (pBD-1 and pBD-2) using a porcine jejunal epithelial cell line, IPEC-J2. In general, upregulation of pBD-1 and pBD-2 mRNA expression occurred following exposure to Fusarium toxins, individually and in mixtures (P < 0.05). However, no significant increase in secreted pBD-1 and pBD-2 protein levels was observed, as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Supernatants from IPEC-J2 cells exposed to toxins, singly or in combination, however, possessed significantly less antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli than untreated supernatants. When single toxins and two-toxin combinations were assessed, toxicity effects were shown to be nonadditive (including synergism, potentiation, and antagonism), suggesting interactive toxin effects when cells are exposed to mycotoxin combinations. The results show that Fusarium toxins, individually and in mixtures, activate distinct antimicrobial defense mechanisms possessing the potential to alter the intestinal microbiota through diminished antimicrobial effects. Moreover, by evaluating toxin mixtures, this improved understanding of toxin effects will enable more effective risk assessments for common mycotoxin combinations observed in contaminated food and feed. PMID:23354708

  7. Detection of marine toxins, brevetoxin-3 and saxitoxin, in seawater using neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Kulagina, Nadezhda V; Mikulski, Christina M; Gray, Samuel; Ma, Wu; Doucette, Gregory J; Ramsdell, John S; Pancrazio, Joseph J

    2006-01-15

    There is a need for assay systems that can detect known and unanticipated neurotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms. The present work describes our attempt to monitor the presence of brevetoxin-3 (PbTx-3) and saxitoxin (STX) in a seawater matrix using the neuronal network biosensor (NNB). The NNB relies on cultured mammalian neurons grown over microelectrode arrays, where the inherent bioelectrical activity of the network manifested as extracellular action potentials can be monitored noninvasively. Spinal cord neuronal networks were prepared from embryonic mice and the mean spike rate across the network was analyzed before and during exposure to the toxins. Extracellular action potentials from the network are highly sensitive not only to purified STX and PbTx-3, but also when in combination with matrixes such as natural seawater and algal growth medium. Detection limits for STX and PbTx-3, respectively, are 0.031 and 0.33 nM in recording buffer and 0.076 and 0.48 nM in the presence of 25-fold-diluted seawater. Our results demonstrated that neuronal networks could be used for analysis of Alexandrium fundyense (STX-producer) and Karenia brevis (PbTx-producer) algal samples lysed directly in the seawater-based growth medium and appropriately diluted with HEPES-buffered recording medium. The cultured network responded by changes in mean spike rate to the presence of STX-or PbTx-producing algae but not to the samples of two non-STX and non-PbTx isolates of the same algal genera. This work provides evidence that the NNB has the capacity to rapidly detect toxins associated with cells of toxic algal species or as dissolved forms present in seawater and hasthe potential for monitoring toxin levels during harmful algal blooms. PMID:16468405

  8. Characterizing the Role of Animal Exposures in Cryptosporidiosis and Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli Infections: South Dakota, 2012.

    PubMed

    Daly, R F; Hill, N T

    2016-09-01

    Cryptosporidium spp. and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains (STEC) are important causes of human illness. Incidence rates of these illnesses are high in South Dakota compared to the USA as a whole. Direct animal contact has been identified as a possible route of exposure for these illnesses. Ruminant animals may carry STEC subclinically, while young ruminants are common sources of zoonotic strains of Cryptosporidium. South Dakota patients with either STEC or cryptosporidiosis during 2012 were interviewed regarding seven categories of animal exposure: (i) petting zoo/fair attendance, (ii) animal event/rodeo attendance, (iii) feed/pet store visits, (iv) farm visits, (v) employment or residence at a farm, (vi) residence with pets and (vii) visiting other households with pets. Of the 50 STEC cases, 78.0% reported animal exposure prior to illness onset, with 23.3% having lived or worked on a farm. Farm visitors in particular had high degrees of animal contact and infrequently practiced personal protective measures. Of the 115 cryptosporidiosis cases, 87.8% reported animal exposures, with 45.6% having lived or worked on a farm and 29.0% having visited a farm prior to illness. Cases with farm exposures reported a high degree of direct animal contact and inconsistent use of personal protective measures. Cryptosporidiosis patients were significantly more likely than STEC patients to have lived or worked on a farm prior to their illness and were older on average. Patients with these illnesses had high rates of animal contact prior to illness. Animal contact on farms emerged as an important exposure route. Educational messages about personal protective measures should be directed at these individuals. PMID:26729474

  9. Guidance values for microcystins in water and cyanobacterial supplement products (blue-green algal supplements): a reasonable or misguided approach?

    SciTech Connect

    Dietrich, Daniel; Hoeger, Stefan . E-mail: stefan.hoeger@uni-konstanz.de

    2005-03-15

    This article reviews current scientific knowledge on the toxicity and carcinogenicity of microcystins and compares this to the guidance values proposed for microcystins in water by the World Health Organization, and for blue-green algal food supplements by the Oregon State Department of Health. The basis of the risk assessment underlying these guidance values is viewed as being critical due to overt deficiencies in the data used for its generation: (i) use of one microcystin congener only (microcystin-LR), while the other presently known nearly 80 congeners are largely disregarded, (ii) new knowledge regarding potential neuro and renal toxicity of microcystins in humans and (iii) the inadequacies of assessing realistic microcystin exposures in humans and especially in children via blue-green algal food supplements. In reiterating the state-of-the-art toxicology database on microcystins and in the light of new data on the high degree of toxin contamination of algal food supplements, this review clearly demonstrates the need for improved kinetic data of microcystins in humans and for discussion concerning uncertainty factors, which may result in a lowering of the present guidance values and an increased routine control of water bodies and food supplements for toxin contamination. Similar to the approach taken previously by authorities for dioxin or PCB risk assessment, the use of a toxin equivalent approach to the risk assessment of microcystins is proposed.

  10. Formation and Control of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation will cover the formation of harmful algal blooms and the control of their toxins. Data will be presented from current ORD projects on the treatment of cyanobacterial toxins through drinking water treatment facilities. The results will demonstrate that current c...

  11. Toxin-producing cyanobacteria in freshwater: a review of the problems, impact on drinking water safety, and efforts for protecting public health.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Melissa Y; Liang, Song; Lee, Jiyoung

    2013-02-01

    Cyanobacteria have adapted to survive in a variety of environments and have been found globally. Toxin-producing cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) have been increasing in frequency worldwide and pose a threat to drinking and recreational water. In this study, the prevalence, impact of CHABs and mitigation efforts were reviewed, focusing on the Lake Erie region and Ohio's inland lakes that have been impacted heavily as an example so that the findings can be transferrable to other parts of the world that face the similar problems due to the CHABs in their freshwater environments. This paper provides a basic introduction to CHABs and their toxins as well as an overview of public health implications including exposure routes, health effects, and drinking water issues, algal bloom advisory practices in Ohio, toxin measurements results in Ohio public water supplies, and mitigation efforts. PMID:23456705

  12. Extended evaluation of polymeric and lipophilic sorbents for passive sampling of marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; Herrenknecht, Christine; Abadie, Eric; Brissard, Charline; Tixier, Céline; Mondeguer, Florence; Séchet, Véronique; Amzil, Zouher; Hess, Philipp

    2014-12-01

    Marine biotoxins are algal metabolites that can accumulate in fish or shellfish and render these foodstuffs unfit for human consumption. These toxins, released into seawater during algal occurrences, can be monitored through passive sampling. Acetone, methanol and isopropanol were evaluated for their efficiency in extracting toxins from algal biomass. Isopropanol was chosen for further experiments thanks to a slightly higher recovery and no artifact formation. Comparison of Oasis HLB, Strata-X, BondElut C18 and HP-20 sorbent materials in SPE-mode led to the choice of Oasis HLB, HP-20 and Strata-X. These three sorbents were separately exposed as passive samplers for 24 h to seawater spiked with algal extracts containing known amounts of okadaic acid (OA), azaspiracids (AZAs), pinnatoxin-G (PnTX-G), 13-desmethyl spirolide-C (SPX1) and palytoxins (PlTXs). Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and silicone rubber (PDMS) strips were tested in parallel on similar mixtures of spiked natural seawater for 24 h. These strips gave significantly lower recoveries than the polymeric sorbents. Irrespective of the toxin group, the adsorption rate of toxins on HP-20 was slower than on Oasis HLB and Strata-X. However, HP-20 and Strata-X gave somewhat higher recoveries after 24 h exposure. Irrespective of the sorbent tested, recoveries were generally highest for cyclic imines and OA group toxins, slightly lower for AZAs, and the lowest for palytoxins. Trials in re-circulated closed tanks with mussels exposed to Vulcanodinium rugosum or Prorocentrum lima allowed for further evaluation of passive samplers. In these experiments with different sorbent materials competing for toxins in the same container, Strata-X accumulated toxins faster than Oasis HLB, and HP-20, and to higher levels. The deployment of these three sorbents at Ingril French Mediterranean lagoon to detect PnTX-G in the water column showed accumulation of higher levels on HP-20 and Oasis HLB compared to Strata-X. This study

  13. Developmental Implications for Prenatal Exposure to Environmental Toxins: Consumption Habits of Pregnant Women and Prenatal Nicotine Exposure in a Mouse Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santiago, Sarah Emily

    This dissertation provides a discussion of the effects of maternal consumption of environmental toxins, and will hopefully contribute to the prevention and understanding of developmental disorders and physiological deficits. Developing systems are particularly susceptible to toxic insults, and small changes in utero can result in long-term deficits. Chapter one of this dissertation reviews the potential teratogenicity of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, MeHg, PCBs, BPA, and tap water contaminants, so as to characterize the current body of literature detailing the effects and implications of prenatal exposure to toxins. In chapter two, research on maternal consumption habits is presented, with an emphasis on commonly-consumed, potentially-teratogenic substances. Occurrences and frequencies of maternal intake of healthy and unhealthy foods, beverages, and medications in a population of predominantly Hispanic women in Southern California were assessed using the Food, Beverage, and Medication Intake Questionnaire (FBMIQ). The described study reveals that a proportion of pregnant women consumed BPA, MeHg, caffeine, and alcohol at varied levels during pregnancy. The following chapters provide an in-depth analysis of the postnatal effects of a particular neuroteratogen, nicotine, which has been shown to impart various detrimental postnatal effects on exposed offspring. A CD-1 mouse model of prenatal nicotine exposure (PNE) was used to analyze aspects of the brain and neocortex that may underly some of the cognitive and behavioral phenotypes seen with PNE. Analyses included postnatal measurements of brain weight, brain widths and lengths, development of neocortical circuitry, and cortical thickness measures. Exposed mice were found to exhibit reduced brain and body weights at birth, a phenotype that recovered by postnatal day 10. No changes in neocortical circuity or thickness in sensory and motor areas were found. PNE also resulted in persistent behavioral effects, including

  14. Exposure to the Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Producer Alexandrium catenella Increases the Susceptibility of the Oyster Crassostrea gigas to Pathogenic Vibrios.

    PubMed

    Abi-Khalil, Celina; Lopez-Joven, Carmen; Abadie, Eric; Savar, Veronique; Amzil, Zouher; Laabir, Mohamed; Rolland, Jean-Luc

    2016-01-01

    The multifactorial etiology of massive Crassostrea gigas summer mortalities results from complex interactions between oysters, opportunistic pathogens and environmental factors. In a field survey conducted in 2014 in the Mediterranean Thau Lagoon (France), we evidenced that the development of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella, which produces paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), was concomitant with the accumulation of PSTs in oyster flesh and the occurrence of C. gigas mortalities. In order to investigate the possible role of toxic algae in this complex disease, we experimentally infected C. gigas oyster juveniles with Vibrio tasmaniensis strain LGP32, a strain associated with oyster summer mortalities, after oysters were exposed to Alexandrium catenella. Exposure of oysters to A. catenella significantly increased the susceptibility of oysters to V. tasmaniensis LGP32. On the contrary, exposure to the non-toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense or to the haptophyte Tisochrysis lutea used as a foraging alga did not increase susceptibility to V. tasmaniensis LGP32. This study shows for the first time that A. catenella increases the susceptibility of Crassostrea gigas to pathogenic vibrios. Therefore, in addition to complex environmental factors explaining the mass mortalities of bivalve mollusks, feeding on neurotoxic dinoflagellates should now be considered as an environmental factor that potentially increases the severity of oyster mortality events. PMID:26784228

  15. Exposure to the Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Producer Alexandrium catenella Increases the Susceptibility of the Oyster Crassostrea gigas to Pathogenic Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Abi-Khalil, Celina; Lopez-Joven, Carmen; Abadie, Eric; Savar, Veronique; Amzil, Zouher; Laabir, Mohamed; Rolland, Jean-Luc

    2016-01-01

    The multifactorial etiology of massive Crassostrea gigas summer mortalities results from complex interactions between oysters, opportunistic pathogens and environmental factors. In a field survey conducted in 2014 in the Mediterranean Thau Lagoon (France), we evidenced that the development of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella, which produces paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), was concomitant with the accumulation of PSTs in oyster flesh and the occurrence of C. gigas mortalities. In order to investigate the possible role of toxic algae in this complex disease, we experimentally infected C. gigas oyster juveniles with Vibrio tasmaniensis strain LGP32, a strain associated with oyster summer mortalities, after oysters were exposed to Alexandrium catenella. Exposure of oysters to A. catenella significantly increased the susceptibility of oysters to V. tasmaniensis LGP32. On the contrary, exposure to the non-toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense or to the haptophyte Tisochrysis lutea used as a foraging alga did not increase susceptibility to V. tasmaniensis LGP32. This study shows for the first time that A. catenella increases the susceptibility of Crassostrea gigas to pathogenic vibrios. Therefore, in addition to complex environmental factors explaining the mass mortalities of bivalve mollusks, feeding on neurotoxic dinoflagellates should now be considered as an environmental factor that potentially increases the severity of oyster mortality events. PMID:26784228

  16. Sublethal red tide toxin exposure in free-ranging manatees (Trichechus manatus) affects the immune system through reduced lymphocyte proliferation responses, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Catherine J; Butawan, Matthew; Yordy, Jennifer; Ball, Ray; Flewelling, Leanne; de Wit, Martine; Bonde, Robert K

    2015-04-01

    The health of many Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) is adversely affected by exposure to blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis blooms are common in manatee habitats of Florida's southwestern coast and produce a group of cyclic polyether toxins collectively referred to as red tide toxins, or brevetoxins. Although a large number of manatees exposed to significant levels of red tide toxins die, several manatees are rescued from sublethal exposure and are successfully treated and returned to the wild. Sublethal brevetoxin exposure may potentially impact the manatee immune system. Lymphocyte proliferative responses and a suite of immune function parameters in the plasma were used to evaluate effects of brevetoxin exposure on health of manatees rescued from natural exposure to red tide toxins in their habitat. Blood samples were collected from rescued manatees at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL and from healthy, unexposed manatees in Crystal River, FL. Peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) isolated from whole blood were stimulated with T-cell mitogens, ConA and PHA. A suite of plasma parameters, including plasma protein electrophoresis profiles, lysozyme activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and reactive oxygen/nitrogen (ROS/RNS) species, was also used to assess manatee health. Significant decreases (p<0.05) in lymphocyte proliferation were observed in ConA and PHA stimulated lymphocytes from rescued animals compared to non-exposed animals. Significant correlations were observed between oxidative stress markers (SOD, ROS/RNS) and plasma brevetoxin concentrations. Sublethal exposure to brevetoxins in the wild impacts some immune function components, and thus, overall health, in the Florida manatee. PMID:25678466

  17. Developmental exposure to T-2 toxin reversibly affects postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis and reduces neural stem cells and progenitor cells in mice.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takeshi; Abe, Hajime; Kimura, Masayuki; Onda, Nobuhiko; Mizukami, Sayaka; Yoshida, Toshinori; Shibutani, Makoto

    2016-08-01

    To determine the developmental exposure effects of T-2 toxin on postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis, pregnant ICR mice were provided a diet containing T-2 toxin at 0, 1, 3, or 9 ppm from gestation day 6 to day 21 on weaning after delivery. Offspring were maintained through postnatal day (PND) 77 without T-2 toxin exposure. In the hippocampal dentate gyrus of male PND 21 offspring, GFAP(+) and BLBP(+) type-1 stem cells and PAX6(+) and TBR2(+) type-2 progenitor cells decreased in the subgranular zone (SGZ) at 9 and ≥3 ppm, respectively, in parallel with increased apoptosis at ≥3 ppm. In the dentate hilus, reelin(+) γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons increased at 9 ppm, suggesting reflection of neuronal mismigration. T-2 toxin decreased transcript levels of cholinergic and glutamate receptor subunits (Chrna4, Chrnb2 and Gria2) and glutamate transporter (Slc17a6) in the dentate gyrus, suggesting decreased cholinergic signals on hilar GABAergic interneurons innervating type-2 cells and decreased glutamatergic signals on type-1 and type-2 cells. T-2 toxin decreased SGZ cells expressing stem cell factor (SCF) and increased cells accumulating malondialdehydes. Neurogenesis-related changes disappeared on PND 77, suggesting that T-2 toxin reversibly affects neurogenesis by inducing apoptosis of type-1 and type-2 cells with different threshold levels. Decreased cholinergic and glutamatergic signals may decrease type-2 cells at ≥3 ppm. Additionally, decreased SCF/c-Kit interactions and increased oxidative stress may decrease type-1 and type-2 cells at 9 ppm. The no-observed-adverse-effect level for offspring neurogenesis was determined to be 1 ppm (0.14-0.49 mg/kg body weight/day). PMID:26314264

  18. RAPID DETECTION OF ALGAL TOXINS - PHASE I

    EPA Science Inventory

    The proposed program will demonstrate the ability of a detector based on measuring the conductance of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ion channels to detect and quantify anatoxin-a contamination in drinking water systems.  The nAChR is extremely sensitive to the p...

  19. Physiological responses of Manila clams Venerupis (=Ruditapes) philippinarum with varying parasite Perkinsus olseni burden to toxic algal Alexandrium ostenfeldii exposure.

    PubMed

    Lassudrie, Malwenn; Soudant, Philippe; Richard, Gaëlle; Henry, Nicolas; Medhioub, Walid; da Silva, Patricia Mirella; Donval, Anne; Bunel, Mélanie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Lambert, Christophe; de Montaudouin, Xavier; Fabioux, Caroline; Hégaret, Hélène

    2014-09-01

    Manila clam stock from Arcachon Bay, France, is declining, as is commercial harvest. To understand the role of environmental biotic interactions in this decrease, effects of a toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium ostenfeldii, which blooms regularly in Arcachon bay, and the interaction with perkinsosis on clam physiology were investigated. Manila clams from Arcachon Bay, with variable natural levels of perkinsosis, were exposed for seven days to a mix of the nutritious microalga T-Iso and the toxic dinoflagellate A. ostenfeldii, a producer of spirolides, followed by seven days of depuration fed only T-Iso. Following sacrifice and quantification of protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni burden, clams were divided into two groups according to intensity of the infection ("Light-Moderate" and "Moderate-Heavy"). Hemocyte and plasma responses, digestive enzyme activities, antioxidant enzyme activities in gills, and histopathological responses were analyzed. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in hemocytes and catalase (CAT) activity in gills increased with P. olseni intensity of infection in control clams fed T-Iso, but did not vary among A. ostenfeldii-exposed clams. Exposure to A. ostenfeldii caused tissue alterations associated with an inflammatory response and modifications in hemocyte morphology. In the gills, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity decreased, and an increase in brown cell occurrence was seen, suggesting oxidative stress. Observations of hemocytes and brown cells in tissues during exposure and depuration suggest involvement of both cell types in detoxication processes. Results suggest that exposure to A. ostenfeldii disrupted the pro-/anti-oxidant response of clams to heavy P. olseni intensity. In addition, depressed mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in hemocytes of clams exposed to A. ostenfeldii suggests that mitochondrial functions are regulated to maintain homeostasis of digestive enzyme activity and condition index. PMID:24858898

  20. Neonatal exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin BMAA induces changes in protein expression and neurodegeneration in adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Berg, Anna-Lena; Lindström, Anna-Karin; Hanrieder, Jörg; Arnerup, Gunnel; Roman, Erika; Bergquist, Jonas; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar; Brittebo, Eva B; Andersson, Malin

    2012-12-01

    The cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been proposed to contribute to neurodegenerative disease. We have previously reported a selective uptake of BMAA in the mouse neonatal hippocampus and that exposure during the neonatal period causes learning and memory impairments in adult rats. The aim of this study was to characterize effects in the brain of 6-month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with the glutamatergic BMAA. Protein changes were examined using the novel technique Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) for direct imaging of proteins in brain cryosections, and histological changes were examined using immunohistochemistry and histopathology. The results showed long-term changes including a decreased expression of proteins involved in energy metabolism and intracellular signaling in the adult hippocampus at a dose (150 mg/kg) that gave no histopathological lesions in this brain region. Developmental exposure to a higher dose (460 mg/kg) also induced changes in the expression of S100β, histones, calcium- and calmodulin-binding proteins, and guanine nucleotide-binding proteins. At this dose, severe lesions in the adult hippocampus including neuronal degeneration, cell loss, calcium deposits, and astrogliosis were evident. The data demonstrate subtle, sometimes dose-dependent, but permanent effects of a lower neonatal dose of BMAA in the adult hippocampus suggesting that BMAA could potentially disturb many processes during the development. The detection of BMAA in seafood stresses the importance of evaluating the magnitude of human exposure to this neurotoxin. PMID:22872059

  1. MCEARD - CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Waterborne cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and the ecosystem....

  2. The cyanobacterial toxin, cylindrospermopsin, induces fetal toxicity in the mouse after exposure late in gestation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, E H; Zehr, R D; Gage, M I; Humpage, A R; Falconer, I R; Marr, M; Chernoff, N

    2007-05-01

    Cylindrospermopsin (cyn) is a cyanobacterial toxin implicated in human and wildlife poisonings. We have completed studies investigating the potential of purified cyn to induce developmental toxicity in mammals. The teratology study involved intraperitoneal injections (8.0-128 microg kg(-1)) on gestational days (GD) 8-12 with subsequent examination of term fetuses for viability, weight and morphological anomalies. Cyn was lethal to a significant portion of the dams receiving > or = 32 microg kg(-1). Surviving pregnant females were killed and fetuses removed for examination. Analysis indicates no adverse effects on litter size, fetal weight, or incidence of anomalies. Subsequently, 50 microg kg(-1) cyn was administered on GD 8-12 or 13-17. Animals were allowed to give birth and litters monitored for growth and viability. A reduction in litter size occurred in treated groups. Avg. pup wt. was only affected in the GD 13-17 group. GD 13-17 dams did not exhibit the toxicity noted in the GD 8-12 group but gave birth significantly earlier than controls. There was a significant number of dead GD 13-17 pups and incidences of blood in the gastrointestinal tract and hematomas in the tips of the tails in survivors. Pups were cross-fostered to control mothers in litters of 10. On postnatal days (PND) 5-6 there were no significant differences in weight gain or viability in GD 8-12 litters, while GD 13-17 litters had significantly reduced weight gain and viability. GD 13-17 exposed male pups still weighed significantly less than the controls after 15 months. PMID:17292934

  3. Toxin-induced respiratory distress.

    PubMed

    McKay, Charles A

    2014-02-01

    This article describes the impact of various toxic substances on the airway and pulmonary system. Pulmonary anatomy and physiology provide the basis for understanding the response to toxin-induced injury. Simple asphyxiants displace oxygen from the inspired air. Respiratory irritants include water-soluble and water-insoluble compounds. Several inhaled agents produce direct airway injury, which may be mediated by caustic, thermal, and hydrocarbon exposures. Unique pulmonary toxins and toxicants are discussed, as well as inhaled toxin mixtures. Several inhaled toxins may also impair oxygen transport. The pulmonary system may also provide a mechanism for systemic toxin delivery on respiratory exposure. PMID:24275172

  4. Centers for Oceans and Human Health: a unified approach to the challenge of harmful algal blooms

    PubMed Central

    Erdner, Deana L; Dyble, Julianne; Parsons, Michael L; Stevens, Richard C; Hubbard, Katherine A; Wrabel, Michele L; Moore, Stephanie K; Lefebvre, Kathi A; Anderson, Donald M; Bienfang, Paul; Bidigare, Robert R; Parker, Micaela S; Moeller, Peter; Brand, Larry E; Trainer, Vera L

    2008-01-01

    Background Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are one focus of the national research initiatives on Oceans and Human Health (OHH) at NIEHS, NOAA and NSF. All of the OHH Centers, from the east coast to Hawaii, include one or more research projects devoted to studying HAB problems and their relationship to human health. The research shares common goals for understanding, monitoring and predicting HAB events to protect and improve human health: understanding the basic biology of the organisms; identifying how chemistry, hydrography and genetic diversity influence blooms; developing analytical methods and sensors for cells and toxins; understanding health effects of toxin exposure; and developing conceptual, empirical and numerical models of bloom dynamics. Results In the past several years, there has been significant progress toward all of the common goals. Several studies have elucidated the effects of environmental conditions and genetic heterogeneity on bloom dynamics. New methods have been developed or implemented for the detection of HAB cells and toxins, including genetic assays for Pseudo-nitzschia and Microcystis, and a biosensor for domoic acid. There have been advances in predictive models of blooms, most notably for the toxic dinoflagellates Alexandrium and Karenia. Other work is focused on the future, studying the ways in which climate change may affect HAB incidence, and assessing the threat from emerging HABs and toxins, such as the cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine. Conclusion Along the way, many challenges have been encountered that are common to the OHH Centers and also echo those of the wider HAB community. Long-term field data and basic biological information are needed to develop accurate models. Sensor development is hindered by the lack of simple and rapid assays for algal cells and especially toxins. It is also critical to adequately understand the human health effects of HAB toxins. Currently, we understand best the effects of acute

  5. Sentinel Animals in a One Health Approach to Harmful Cyanobacterial and Algal Blooms

    PubMed Central

    Backer, Lorraine C.; Miller, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people occupying the same habitat, making them sentinels for human exposures. Historically, we have taken advantage of unique physiological characteristics of animals, such as the sensitivity of canaries to carbon monoxide, to more quickly recognize threats and help protect human health. As HAB events become more severe and widespread worldwide, exposure and health outcome data for animals can be extremely helpful to predict, prevent, and evaluate human exposures and health outcomes. Applying a One Health approach to investigation of HABs means that lessons learned from animal sentinels can be applied to protect people, animals and our shared environment. PMID:27152315

  6. A toxin-based probe reveals cytoplasmic exposure of Golgi sphingomyelin.

    PubMed

    Bakrac, Biserka; Kladnik, Ales; Macek, Peter; McHaffie, Gavin; Werner, Andreas; Lakey, Jeremy H; Anderluh, Gregor

    2010-07-16

    Although sphingomyelin is an important cellular lipid, its subcellular distribution is not precisely known. Here we use a sea anemone cytolysin, equinatoxin II (EqtII), which specifically binds sphingomyelin, as a new marker to detect cellular sphingomyelin. A purified fusion protein composed of EqtII and green fluorescent protein (EqtII-GFP) binds to the SM rich apical membrane of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) II cells when added exogenously, but not to the SM-free basolateral membrane. When expressed intracellularly within MDCK II cells, EqtII-GFP colocalizes with markers for Golgi apparatus and not with those for nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum or plasma membrane. Colocalization with the Golgi apparatus was confirmed by also using NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Moreover, EqtII-GFP was enriched in cis-Golgi compartments isolated by gradient ultracentrifugation. The data reveal that EqtII-GFP is a sensitive probe for membrane sphingomyelin, which provides new information on cytosolic exposure, essential to understand its diverse physiological roles. PMID:20463009

  7. Harmful Algal Blooms and Drinking Water Treatment Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has been conducting algal bloom research at multiple facilities around Lake Erie over the past few years to help communities confront the challenge of keeping cyanobacterial toxins from reaching consumers’ taps, while minimizing the financial burden. The first goal of this re...

  8. Single and combined exposure to MC-LR and BMAA confirm suitability of Aegagropila linnaei for use in green liver systems(®)-A case study with cyanobacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Contardo-Jara, Valeska; Kuehn, Sandra; Pflugmacher, Stephan

    2015-08-01

    The filamentous green algae Aegagropila linnaei was tested for its uptake capacity of the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in order to approve the suitability of its use in the Green Liver System(®). Uptake into the algae and toxin reduction in the medium were analyzed by LC-MS/MS after static exposure for one week to 20μgL(-1) MC-LR, 80μgL(-1) BMAA, and 20μgL(-1) MC-LR together with 80μgL(-1) BMAA, respectively. BMAA was effectively removed by A. linnaei within 5 days compared to only around 35% removal of the initial exposure concentration in the case of MC-LR, independent of the application mode, in single or in a mixture. However, differences were found for BMAA amounts taken up into the tissue in that it was higher if applied in combination with MC-LR. Additionally, physiological responses such as the activity of biotransformation enzyme glutathione S-transferase (GST), antioxidant enzymes peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) as well as the development of the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were compared between the different treatment groups in order to determine possible harmful effects of the toxin exposure on the algae. In contrast to the toxin exposure to a single toxin with no significant enzymatic response, exposure to the toxin mixture provoked an immediate increase in GST and CAT activity after one day as well as after longer exposure for one week, hinting on an enhanced need for prevention against exposure derived reactive oxygen species as well as putative biotransformation attempts in a mixture exposure scenario. PMID:26037095

  9. Macrophage-Derived Cell Lines Do Not Express Proinflammatory Cytokines after Exposure to Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Erwin, James L.; DaSilva, Luis M.; Bavari, Sina; Little, Stephen F.; Friedlander, Arthur M.; Chanh, Tran C.

    2001-01-01

    We present evidence that Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT) suppresses rather than induces proinflammatory cytokine production in macrophages. Suppression is observed with extremely low levels of LT and involves inhibition of transcription of cytokine messenger RNA. Thus, LT may contribute to anthrax pathogenesis by suppressing the inflammatory response. PMID:11160016

  10. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1-mediated toxicity inhibited by neutralizing antibodies late in the course of continual in vivo and in vitro exposure.

    PubMed

    Stich, Norbert; Model, Nina; Samstag, Aysen; Gruener, Corina S; Wolf, Hermann M; Eibl, Martha M

    2014-06-01

    Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) results from the host's overwhelming inflammatory response and cytokine storm mainly due to superantigens (SAgs). There is no effective specific therapy. Application of immunoglobulins has been shown to improve the outcome of the disease and to neutralize SAgs both in vivo and in vitro. However, in most experiments that have been performed, antiserum was either pre-incubated with SAg, or both were applied simultaneously. To mirror more closely the clinical situation, we applied a multiple dose (over five days) lethal challenge in a rabbit model. Treatment with toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) neutralizing antibody was fully protective, even when administered late in the course of the challenge. Kinetic studies on the effect of superantigen toxins are scarce. We performed in vitro kinetic studies by neutralizing the toxin with antibodies at well-defined time points. T-cell activation was determined by assessing T-cell proliferation (3H-thymidine incorporation), determination of IL-2 release in the cell supernatant (ELISA), and IL-2 gene activation (real-time PCR (RT-PCR)). Here we show that T-cell activation occurs continuously. The application of TSST-1 neutralizing antiserum reduced IL-2 and TNFα release into the cell supernatant, even if added at later time points. Interference with the prolonged stimulation of proinflammatory cytokines is likely to be in vivo relevant, as postexposure treatment protected rabbits against the multiple dose lethal SAg challenge. Our results shed new light on the treatment of TSS by specific antibodies even at late stages of exposure. PMID:24887085

  11. Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin-1-Mediated Toxicity Inhibited by Neutralizing Antibodies Late in the Course of Continual in Vivo and in Vitro Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Stich, Norbert; Model, Nina; Samstag, Aysen; Gruener, Corina S.; Wolf, Hermann M.; Eibl, Martha M.

    2014-01-01

    Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) results from the host’s overwhelming inflammatory response and cytokine storm mainly due to superantigens (SAgs). There is no effective specific therapy. Application of immunoglobulins has been shown to improve the outcome of the disease and to neutralize SAgs both in vivo and in vitro. However, in most experiments that have been performed, antiserum was either pre-incubated with SAg, or both were applied simultaneously. To mirror more closely the clinical situation, we applied a multiple dose (over five days) lethal challenge in a rabbit model. Treatment with toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) neutralizing antibody was fully protective, even when administered late in the course of the challenge. Kinetic studies on the effect of superantigen toxins are scarce. We performed in vitro kinetic studies by neutralizing the toxin with antibodies at well-defined time points. T-cell activation was determined by assessing T-cell proliferation (3H-thymidine incorporation), determination of IL-2 release in the cell supernatant (ELISA), and IL-2 gene activation (real-time PCR (RT-PCR)). Here we show that T-cell activation occurs continuously. The application of TSST-1 neutralizing antiserum reduced IL-2 and TNFα release into the cell supernatant, even if added at later time points. Interference with the prolonged stimulation of proinflammatory cytokines is likely to be in vivo relevant, as postexposure treatment protected rabbits against the multiple dose lethal SAg challenge. Our results shed new light on the treatment of TSS by specific antibodies even at late stages of exposure. PMID:24887085

  12. Expression profile of eight glutathione S-transferase genes in Crassostrea ariakensis after exposure to DSP toxins producing dinoflagellate Prorocentrum lima.

    PubMed

    Zou, Ying; Wei, Xiao-Meng; Weng, Hui-Wen; Li, Hong-Ye; Liu, Jie-Sheng; Yang, Wei-Dong

    2015-10-01

    In this study, changes in eight GSTs mRNA level including GST-α, GST-σ, GST-ω, GST-π, GST-μ, GST-ρ, GST-θ and microsomal GST (mGST) in the oyster Crassostrea ariakensis after exposure to Prorocentrum lima have been evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Additionally, the contents of five GST isoforms were detected by ELISA. After exposure to P. lima at density of 2 × 10(5) cells/L, mGST mRNA significantly increased in gill, while GST-σ was induced in digestive gland. After exposure to P. lima at density of 2 × 10(6) cells/L, GST-ω and mGST expressions increased in gill, whereas GST-α and GST-σ were induced in digestive gland. The GST content and activity in oysters exposed to P. lima also showed a different pattern when the different isoforms and organs were compared. After exposure to P. lima (2 × 10(6) cell/L), GST-π increased in gill but decreased in digestive gland. The total GST enzyme activity increased in gill, while remained unchanged in digestive gland. These various regulation of GST gene expressions indicated that the GSTs isoenzymes might play divergent physiological roles in the detoxification of DSP toxins in C. ariakensis. PMID:26335360

  13. Effect of Exposure Time and Organic Matter on Efficacy of Antimicrobial Compounds against Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella.

    PubMed

    Kalchayanand, Norasak; Koohmaraie, Mohammad; Wheeler, Tommy L

    2016-04-01

    Several antimicrobial compounds are in commercial meat processing plants for pathogen control on beef carcasses. However, the efficacy of the method used is influenced by a number of factors, such as spray pressure, temperature, type of chemical and concentration, exposure time, method of application, equipment design, and the stage in the process that the method is applied. The objective of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of time of exposure of various antimicrobial compounds against nine strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and four strains of Salmonella in aqueous antimicrobial solutions with and without organic matter. Non-O157 STEC, STEC O157:H7, and Salmonella were exposed to the following aqueous antimicrobial solutions with or without beef purge for 15, 30, 60, 120, 300, 600, and 1,800 s: (i) 2.5% lactic acid, (ii) 4.0% lactic acid, (iii) 2.5% Beefxide, (iv) 1% Aftec 3000, (v) 200 ppm of peracetic acid, (vi) 300 ppm of hypobromous acid, and (vii) water as a control. In general, increasing exposure time to antimicrobial compounds significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased the effectiveness against pathogens tested. In aqueous antimicrobial solutions without organic matter, both peracetic acid and hypobromous acid were the most effective in inactivating populations of STEC and Salmonella, providing at least 5.0-log reductions with exposure for 15 s. However, in antimicrobials containing organic matter, 4.0% lactic acid was the most effective compound in reducing levels of STEC and Salmonella, providing 2- to 3-log reductions with exposure for 15 s. The results of this study indicated that organic matter and exposure time influenced the efficacy of antimicrobial compounds against pathogens, especially with oxidizer compounds. These factors should be considered when choosing an antimicrobial compound for an intervention. PMID:27052859

  14. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Topics Eighth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media August 19-21, 2014 Atlanta, GA Harmful Algal Blooms Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir On this Page What's the ...

  15. Confirmation of brevetoxin metabolism in the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) by controlled exposures to pure toxins and to Karenia brevis cultures.

    PubMed

    Plakas, Steven M; el-Said, Kathleen R; Jester, Edward L E; Granade, H Ray; Musser, Steven M; Dickey, Robert W

    2002-06-01

    Previously, we analyzed Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) naturally exposed to a Karenia brevis red tide and found that brevetoxins (PbTx) are rapidly accumulated and metabolized. Several metabolites were isolated and later identified, including a cysteine-PbTx conjugate (MH(+): m/z 1018) and its sulfoxide product (m/z 1034). In the present study, we confirm and extend those findings by examining PbTx metabolism and elimination in oysters exposed to pure toxins (PbTx-2 and -3) under controlled conditions. Waterborne PbTx-3 was rapidly accumulated, but not metabolized, in the oyster and was largely eliminated within 2 weeks after exposure. In contrast, PbTx-2 was accumulated and rapidly metabolized. Metabolites of PbTx-2 included the reduction product PbTx-3 (m/z 897), and the cysteine conjugates (m/z 1018 and 1034) isolated previously from the field samples. Levels of the metabolite PbTx-3 in PbTx-2-exposed oysters were highest immediately after exposure and declined at a rate similar to parent PbTx-3 in PbTx-3-exposed oysters. Cysteine-PbTx persisted for 8 weeks after exposure. The same metabolites were confirmed in oysters exposed to laboratory cultures of K. brevis. PbTx metabolites contribute to neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP) and should be included in analytical protocols for monitoring shellfish toxicity after a K. brevis red tide event. PMID:12175608

  16. Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins:Evaluating Source Water Trends and Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  17. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities - proceedings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  18. Pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  19. Genomics Study of the Exposure Effect of Gymnodinium catenatum, a Paralyzing Toxin Producer, on Crassostrea gigas' Defense System and Detoxification Genes

    PubMed Central

    García-Lagunas, Norma; Romero-Geraldo, Reyna; Hernández-Saavedra, Norma Y.

    2013-01-01

    Background Crassostrea gigas accumulates paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) associated with red tide species as Gymnodinium catenatum. Previous studies demonstrated bivalves show variable feeding responses to toxic algae at physiological level; recently, only one study has reported biochemical changes in the transcript level of the genes involved in C. gigas stress response. Principal Findings We found that 24 h feeding on toxic dinoflagellate cells (acute exposure) induced a significant decrease in clearance rate and expression level changes of the genes involved in antioxidant defense (copper/zinc superoxide dismutase, Cu/Zn-SOD), cell detoxification (glutathione S-transferase, GST and cytochrome P450, CPY450), intermediate immune response activation (lipopolysaccharide and beta glucan binding protein, LGBP), and stress responses (glutamine synthetase, GS) in Pacific oysters compared to the effects with the non-toxic microalga Isochrysis galbana. A sub-chronic exposure feeding on toxic dinoflagellate cells for seven and fourteen days (30×103 cells mL−1) showed higher gene expression levels. A significant increase was observed in Cu/Zn-SOD, GST, and LGBP at day 7 and a major increase in GS and CPY450 at day 14. We also observed that oysters fed only with G. catenatum (3×103 cells mL−1) produced a significant increase on the transcription level than in a mixed diet (3×103 cells mL−1 of G. catenatum+0.75×106 cells mL−1 I. galbana) in all the analyzed genes. Conclusions Our results provide gene expression data of PST producer dinoflagellate G. catenatum toxic effects on C. gigas, a commercially important bivalve. Over expressed genes indicate the activation of a potent protective mechanism, whose response depends on both cell concentration and exposure time against these toxic microalgae. Given the importance of dinoflagellate blooms in coastal environments, these results provide a more comprehensive overview of how oysters respond to stress generated by

  20. [Algal biotoxins in Dialysis Water: a risk not managed].

    PubMed

    Ferrante, Margherita; Zuccarello, Pietro; Garufi, Angela; Cristaldi, Antonio; Oliveri Conti, Gea

    2016-01-01

    A literature review was performed to retrieve updated information on the quality of dialysis water, with a focus on the emerging problem of the presence of algal toxins (microcystins) produced by cyanobacteria. Current legislation was examined as well as studies conducted to date in different geographic areas. In this article, the authors present review results along with recommendations to operators and managers of dialysis units, for preventing possible risks for patients. PMID:27077559

  1. Marine Toxin Okadaic Acid Affects the Immune Function of Bay Scallop (Argopecten irradians).

    PubMed

    Chi, Cheng; Giri, Sib Sankar; Jun, Jin Woo; Kim, Hyoun Joong; Yun, Saekil; Kim, Sang Guen; Park, Se Chang

    2016-01-01

    Okadaic acid (OA) is produced by dinoflagellates during harmful algal blooms and is a diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxin. This toxin is particularly problematic for bivalves that are cultured for human consumption. This study aimed to reveal the effects of exposure to OA on the immune responses of bay scallop, Argopecten irradians. Various immunological parameters were assessed (total hemocyte counts (THC), reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and nitric oxide (NO) in the hemolymph of scallops at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h post-exposure (hpe) to different concentrations of OA (50, 100, and 500 nM). Moreover, the expression of immune-system-related genes (CLT-6, FREP, HSP90, MT, and Cu/ZnSOD) was also measured. Results showed that ROS, MDA, and NO levels and LDH activity were enhanced after exposure to different concentrations of OA; however, both THC and GSH decreased between 24-48 hpe. The expression of immune-system-related genes was also assessed at different time points during the exposure period. Overall, our results suggest that exposure to OA had negative effects on immune system function, increased oxygenic stress, and disrupted metabolism of bay scallops. PMID:27563864

  2. Female college student awareness of exposures to environmental toxins in personal care products and their effect on preconception health.

    PubMed

    Chan, Lisa M; Chalupka, Stephanie M; Barrett, Roseann

    2015-02-01

    This research study investigated college women's usage of personal care products and their views on health effects from exposures during the preconception period. Many personal care products and cosmetics contain chemical ingredients that have been known to disrupt human endocrine and neurological systems, and contribute to infertility and adverse birth outcomes. Seventy-two female college students from a single, medium-sized university campus completed a researcher-developed questionnaire. Findings provide insight into the daily exposures young women experience during their reproductive years. Results can inform occupational and environmental health nurses about the personal daily exposures of young women when conducting risk assessments in the workplace or at a school, and can aid in developing interventions that support the environmental health of employees or future employees. PMID:25881657

  3. Naturally Occurring Food Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Laurie C.; Matulka, Ray A.; Burdock, George A.

    2010-01-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States. PMID:22069686

  4. Cyanobacteria toxins in the Salton Sea

    PubMed Central

    Carmichael, Wayne W; Li, RenHui

    2006-01-01

    Background The Salton Sea (SS) is the largest inland body of water in California: surface area 980 km2, volume 7.3 million acre-feet, 58 km long, 14–22 km wide, maximum depth 15 m. Located in the southeastern Sonoran desert of California, it is 85 m below sea level at its lowest point. It was formed between 1905 and 1907 from heavy river flows of the Colorado River. Since its formation, it has attracted both people and wildlife, including flocks of migratory birds that have made the Salton Sea a critical stopover on the Pacific flyway. Over the past 15 years wintering populations of eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) at the Salton Sea, have experienced over 200,000 mortalities. The cause of these large die-offs remains unknown. The unique environmental conditions of the Salton Sea, including salinities from brackish freshwater at river inlets to hypersaline conditions, extreme daily summer temperatures (>38°C), and high nutrient loading from rivers and agricultural drainage favor eutrophic conditions that encourage algal blooms throughout the year. A significant component of these algal blooms are the prokaryotic group – the Cyanophyta or blue-green algae (also called Cyanobacteria). Since many Cyanobacteria produce toxins (the cyanotoxins) it became important to evaluate their presence and to determine if they are a contributing factor in eared-grebe mortalities at the Salton Sea. Results From November 1999 to April 2001, 247 water and sediment samples were received for phytoplankton identification and cyanotoxin analyses. Immunoassay (ELISA) screening of these samples found that eighty five percent of all water samples contained low but detectable levels of the potent cyclic peptide liver toxin called microcystins. Isolation and identification of cyanobacteria isolates showed that the picoplanktonic Synechococcus and the benthic filamentous Oscillatoria were dominant. Both organisms were found to produce microcystins dominated by microcystin-LR and YR. A

  5. Algal Biofuels Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2009-10-27

    This fact sheet provides information on algal biofuels, which are generating considerable interest around the world. They may represent a sustainable pathway for helping to meet the U.S. biofuel production targets set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

  6. Prolonged exposure to elevated CO2 promotes growth of the algal symbiont Symbiodinium muscatinei in the intertidal sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima

    PubMed Central

    Towanda, Trisha; Thuesen, Erik V.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Some photosynthetic organisms benefit from elevated levels of carbon dioxide, but studies on the effects of elevated PCO2 on the algal symbionts of animals are very few. This study investigated the impact of hypercapnia on a photosynthetic symbiosis between the anemone Anthopleura elegantissima and its zooxanthella Symbiodinium muscatinei. Anemones were maintained in the laboratory for 1 week at 37 Pa PCO2 and pH 8.1. Clonal pairs were then divided into two groups and maintained for 6 weeks under conditions naturally experienced in their intertidal environment, 45 Pa PCO2, pH 8.1 and 231 Pa PCO2, pH 7.3. Respiration and photosynthesis were measured after the 1-week acclimation period and after 6 weeks in experimental conditions. Density of zooxanthellal cells, zooxanthellal cell size, mitotic index and chlorophyll content were compared between non-clonemate anemones after the 1-week acclimation period and clonal anemones at the end of the experiment. Anemones thrived in hypercapnia. After 6 weeks, A. elegantissima exhibited higher rates of photosynthesis at 45 Pa (4.2 µmol O2 g−1 h−1) and 231 Pa (3.30 µmol O2 g−1 h−1) than at the initial 37 Pa (1.53 µmol O2 g−1 h−1). Likewise, anemones at 231 Pa received more of their respiratory carbon from zooxanthellae (CZAR  = 78.2%) than those at 37 Pa (CZAR  = 66.6%) but less than anemones at 45 Pa (CZAR  = 137.3%). The mitotic index of zooxanthellae was significantly greater in the hypercapnic anemones than in anemones at lower PCO2. Excess zooxanthellae were expelled by their hosts, and cell densities, cell diameters and chlorophyll contents were not significantly different between the groups. The response of A. elegantissima to hypercapnic acidification reveals the potential adaptation of an intertidal, photosynthetic symbiosis for high PCO2. PMID:23213455

  7. Millipede toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxin are: Hydrochloric acid Hydrogen cyanide Organic acids Phenol Cresols Benzoquinones Hydroquinones (in some millipedes) ... with plenty of soap and water. Do NOT use alcohol to wash the area. Wash eyes with ...

  8. Millipede toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... release keeps away most predators. Some large millipede species can secrete these toxins as far as 80 ... reactions are mainly seen from contact with tropical species of millipedes. The outlook may be more serious ...

  9. Marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Whittle, K; Gallacher, S

    2000-01-01

    Seafood products are important both nutritionally and economically. Within Europe, some 12 billion Pounds of fishery products are consumed annually and an enormous variety of species are available. Although seafood is rarely implicated in food poisoning, compared to other food sources, it does provide some specific human health hazards unique to this particular resource. Generally, these are toxins from toxic microscopic algae which accumulate through the food-chain. The toxins can cause various neurological and gastrointestinal illnesses and, potentially, consumers are exposed from seafood produced within Europe, from imported products, or from seafood eaten while travelling abroad. The symptoms of illness which may be encountered, the source and mode of action of the toxins, and some emerging problems are described. European legislation aims to ensure the quality and safety of seafood products by prohibiting sale of some toxic species, setting toxin limits, requiring monitoring and controlling imports. PMID:10885118

  10. Detecting exposure to environmental organic toxins in individual cells: towards development of a micro-fabricated device

    SciTech Connect

    Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Zhang, Miqin; Goth-Goldstein, Regine; Martin, Michael C.; Russell, Marion; McKinney, Wayne R.; Ferrari, Mauro; Hunter-Cevera, Jennie C.

    1999-01-10

    A new method is being developed to quickly screen for the human exposure potential to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and organochlorines (OCs). The development involves two key elements: identifying suitable signals that represent intracellular changes that are specific to PAH and OC exposure, and constructing a device to guide the biological cell growth so that signals from individual cells are consistent and reproducible. We are completing the identification of suitable signals by using synchrotron radiation-based (SR) Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectromicroscopy in the mid-infrared region (4000-400 cm-1). Distinct changes have been observed in the IR spectra after treatment of human cells in culture medium with PAHs and OCs. The potential use of this method for detecting exposure to PAHs and OCs has been tested and compared to a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay that quantifies increased expression of the CYP1A1 gene in response to exposu re to PAHs or OCs.

  11. Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent Waters and Through Treatment on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom Seasons 

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent and Through Drinking Water Treatment Facilities Located on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom SeasonsToby Sanan, Nicholas Dugan, Darren Lytle, Heath MashHarmful algal blooms (HABs) and their associated toxins are emerging as signif...

  12. Algal functional annotation tool

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2012-07-12

    Abstract BACKGROUND: Progress in genome sequencing is proceeding at an exponential pace, and several new algal genomes are becoming available every year. One of the challenges facing the community is the association of protein sequences encoded in the genomes with biological function. While most genome assembly projects generate annotations for predicted protein sequences, they are usually limited and integrate functional terms from a limited number of databases. Another challenge is the use of annotations tomore » interpret large lists of 'interesting' genes generated by genome-scale datasets. Previously, these gene lists had to be analyzed across several independent biological databases, often on a gene-by-gene basis. In contrast, several annotation databases, such as DAVID, integrate data from multiple functional databases and reveal underlying biological themes of large gene lists. While several such databases have been constructed for animals, none is currently available for the study of algae. Due to renewed interest in algae as potential sources of biofuels and the emergence of multiple algal genome sequences, a significant need has arisen for such a database to process the growing compendiums of algal genomic data. DESCRIPTION: The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on

  13. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    2012-07-12

    Abstract BACKGROUND: Progress in genome sequencing is proceeding at an exponential pace, and several new algal genomes are becoming available every year. One of the challenges facing the community is the association of protein sequences encoded in the genomes with biological function. While most genome assembly projects generate annotations for predicted protein sequences, they are usually limited and integrate functional terms from a limited number of databases. Another challenge is the use of annotations to interpret large lists of 'interesting' genes generated by genome-scale datasets. Previously, these gene lists had to be analyzed across several independent biological databases, often on a gene-by-gene basis. In contrast, several annotation databases, such as DAVID, integrate data from multiple functional databases and reveal underlying biological themes of large gene lists. While several such databases have been constructed for animals, none is currently available for the study of algae. Due to renewed interest in algae as potential sources of biofuels and the emergence of multiple algal genome sequences, a significant need has arisen for such a database to process the growing compendiums of algal genomic data. DESCRIPTION: The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on KEGG

  14. High Resolution Metabolite Imaging in the Hippocampus Following Neonatal Exposure to the Environmental Toxin BMAA Using ToF-SIMS

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The environmental neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is suggested to be linked with neurodegenerative disease. In a rat model, neonatal exposure to BMAA induced selective uptake in the hippocampus and caused cell loss, mineralization and astrogliosis as well as learning and memory impairments in adulthood. Moreover, neonatal exposure resulted in increased protein ubiquitination in the cornus ammonis 1 (CA1) region of the adult hippocampus indicating that BMAA may induce protein aggregation. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) based imaging is a powerful technology for spatial profiling of small molecular weight compounds in biological tissues with high chemical specificity and high spatial resolution. The aim of this study was to characterize neurochemical changes in the hippocampus of six month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9–10) with BMAA. Multivariate data analysis of whole section ToF-SIMS scans was performed to delineate anatomical regions of interest based on their chemical distribution pattern. Further analysis of spectral data obtained from the outlined anatomical regions, including CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG) revealed BMAA-induced long-term changes. Increased levels of phospholipids and protein fragments in the histopathologically altered CA1 region as well as phosphate depletion in the DG were observed. Moreover, high resolution SIMS imaging revealed a specific localization of phosphatidylcholine lipids, protein signals and potassium in the histopathologically altered CA1. These findings demonstrate that ToF-SIMS based imaging is a powerful approach for probing biochemical changes in situ and might serve as promising technique for investigating neurotoxin-induced brain pathology. PMID:24779349

  15. High resolution metabolite imaging in the hippocampus following neonatal exposure to the environmental toxin BMAA using ToF-SIMS.

    PubMed

    Hanrieder, Jörg; Gerber, Lorenz; Persson Sandelius, Åsa; Brittebo, Eva B; Ewing, Andrew G; Karlsson, Oskar

    2014-07-16

    The environmental neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is suggested to be linked with neurodegenerative disease. In a rat model, neonatal exposure to BMAA induced selective uptake in the hippocampus and caused cell loss, mineralization and astrogliosis as well as learning and memory impairments in adulthood. Moreover, neonatal exposure resulted in increased protein ubiquitination in the cornus ammonis 1 (CA1) region of the adult hippocampus indicating that BMAA may induce protein aggregation. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) based imaging is a powerful technology for spatial profiling of small molecular weight compounds in biological tissues with high chemical specificity and high spatial resolution. The aim of this study was to characterize neurochemical changes in the hippocampus of six month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with BMAA. Multivariate data analysis of whole section ToF-SIMS scans was performed to delineate anatomical regions of interest based on their chemical distribution pattern. Further analysis of spectral data obtained from the outlined anatomical regions, including CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG) revealed BMAA-induced long-term changes. Increased levels of phospholipids and protein fragments in the histopathologically altered CA1 region as well as phosphate depletion in the DG were observed. Moreover, high resolution SIMS imaging revealed a specific localization of phosphatidylcholine lipids, protein signals and potassium in the histopathologically altered CA1. These findings demonstrate that ToF-SIMS based imaging is a powerful approach for probing biochemical changes in situ and might serve as promising technique for investigating neurotoxin-induced brain pathology. PMID:24779349

  16. BOTULINUM TOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Nigam, P K; Nigam, Anjana

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G). All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice. PMID:20418969

  17. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, John; Sarisky-Reed, Valerie

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  18. Trophic accumulation of PSP toxins in zooplankton during Alexandrium fundyense blooms in Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine, April June 1998. I. Toxin levels in A. fundyense and zooplankton size fractions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doucette, Gregory J.; Turner, Jefferson T.; Powell, Christine L.; Keafer, Bruce A.; Anderson, Donald M.

    2005-09-01

    The transfer of marine algal toxins involving a range of phytoplanktivorous vectors is well documented as a means of exposing organisms at higher trophic levels (including humans) to these naturally occurring yet harmful compounds. While previous studies have examined the potential for, and dynamics of, algal toxin accumulation by individual zooplankton species, few have attempted to distinguish the contribution of various grazer size classes to toxin trophic transfer in natural communities and characterize some of the factors that can influence this process. The current investigation was aimed at describing the size-fractioned (64-100, 100-200, 200-500, >500 μm) accumulation of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins by zooplankton in Casco Bay and the adjacent coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine during a series of cruises from April to June 1998. Several variables, including the abundance of PSP toxin-producing Alexandrium fundyense, in-water toxin concentrations associated with this dinoflagellate, and algal toxin cell quotas, were measured and their relationship to zooplankton toxin accumulation assessed. A principal finding of this work was the ability of any grazer size class examined (including grazers present in the 20-64 μm A. fundyense-containing fraction) to serve as an initial vector for introducing PSP toxins into the Casco Bay food web at various times during the sampling period, thereby providing multiple potential routes of toxin trophic transfer. In addition, trends observed in the coincident mapping of A. fundyense cells and their associated toxin were generally in agreement, yet did not remain closely coupled at all times. Therefore, although A. fundyense abundance can be a reasonable indicator of PSP toxin presence in the phytoplankton, this relationship can vary considerably and lead to situations where elevated toxin levels occur at low cell concentrations and vice versa. The uncoupling of A. fundyense cell and in-water toxin

  19. [Shiga toxin and tetanus toxin as a potential biologic weapon].

    PubMed

    Toczyska, Izabela; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Toxins produced by the bacteria are of particular interest as potential cargo combat possible for use in a terrorist attack or war. Shiga toxin is usually produced by shiga toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli (STEC - shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli). To infection occurs mostly after eating contaminated beef. Clinical syndromes associated with Shiga toxin diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment is symptomatic. In HUS, in which mortality during an epidemic reaches 20%, extending the kidney injury dialysis may be necessary. Exposure to tetanus toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, resulting in the most generalized tetanus, characterized by increased muscle tension and painful contractions of individual muscle groups. In the treatment beyond symptomatic behavior (among others spasticity medications, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants) is used tetanus antitoxin and antibiotics (metronidazole choice). A common complication is acute respiratory failure - then it is necessary to implement mechanical ventilation. PMID:26449578

  20. THE TRPV1 RECEPTOR: THE INTERAGENCY, INTERNATION SYMPOSIUM ON CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background and Significance

    Evidence indicates that the frequency of occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial and temporal extent in the US and worldwide. Cyanotoxins are among the most potent toxins known, causing death through ...

  1. Effects of In Vitro Exposure to Diarrheic Toxin Producer Prorocentrum lima on Gene Expressions Related to Cell Cycle Regulation and Immune Response in Crassostrea gigas

    PubMed Central

    de Jesús Romero-Geraldo, Reyna; García-Lagunas, Norma; Hernández-Saavedra, Norma Yolanda

    2014-01-01

    Background Crassostrea gigas accumulates diarrheic shellfish toxins (DSP) associated to Prorocentrum lima of which Okadaic acid (OA) causes specific inhibitions of serine and threonine phosphatases 1 and 2A. Its toxic effects have been extensively reported in bivalve mollusks at cellular and physiological levels, but genomic approaches have been scarcely studied. Methodology/Principal Findings Acute and sub-chronic exposure effects of P. lima were investigated on farmed juvenile C. gigas (3–5 mm). The Pacific oysters were fed with three dinoflagellate concentrations: 0.3, 3, and 30×103 cells mL−1 along with a nontoxic control diet of Isochrysis galbana. The effects of P. lima on C. gigas were followed by analyzing expression levels of a total of four genes, three involved in cell cycle regulation and one in immune response by polymerase chain reaction and real time quantitative PCR, where changes in time and cell concentration were found. The highest expression levels were found in oysters fed 3×103 cells mL−1 at 168 h for the cycle regulator p21 protein (9 fold), chromatin assembly factor 1 p55 subunit (8 fold), elongation factor 2 (2 fold), and lipopolysaccharide/β-1, 3 glucan binding protein (13 fold above base line). Additionally, the transcript level of all the genes decreased in oysters fed wich the mixed diet 30×103 cells mL−1 of dinoflagellate after 72 h and was lowest in the chromatin assembly factor 1 p55 subunit (0.9 fold below baseline). Conclusions On C. gigas the whole cell ingestion of P lima caused a clear mRNA modulation expression of the genes involved in cell cycle regulation and immune system. Over-expression could be related to DNA damage, disturbances in cell cycle continuity, probably a genotoxic effect, as well as an activation of its innate immune system as first line of defense. PMID:24825133

  2. Algal biofuels from wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Craggs, R J; Heubeck, S; Lundquist, T J; Benemann, J R

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the potential of algae biofuel production in conjunction with wastewater treatment. Current technology for algal wastewater treatment uses facultative ponds, however, these ponds have low productivity (∼10 tonnes/ha.y), are not amenable to cultivating single algal species, require chemical flocculation or other expensive processes for algal harvest, and do not provide consistent nutrient removal. Shallow, paddlewheel-mixed high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) have much higher productivities (∼30 tonnes/ha.y) and promote bioflocculation settling which may provide low-cost algal harvest. Moreover, HRAP algae are carbon-limited and daytime addition of CO(2) has, under suitable climatic conditions, the potential to double production (to ∼60 tonnes/ha.y), improve bioflocculation algal harvest, and enhance wastewater nutrient removal. Algae biofuels (e.g. biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and crude bio-oil), could be produced from the algae harvested from wastewater HRAPs, The wastewater treatment function would cover the capital and operation costs of algal production, with biofuel and recovered nutrient fertilizer being by-products. Greenhouse gas abatement results from both the production of the biofuels and the savings in energy consumption compared to electromechanical treatment processes. However, to achieve these benefits, further research is required, particularly the large-scale demonstration of wastewater treatment HRAP algal production and harvest. PMID:21330711

  3. The marine toxin palytoxin induces necrotic death in HaCaT cells through a rapid mitochondrial damage.

    PubMed

    Pelin, Marco; Sosa, Silvio; Pacor, Sabrina; Tubaro, Aurelia; Florio, Chiara

    2014-09-17

    Palytoxin (PLTX) is one of the most toxic algal biotoxin known so far. It transforms the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase into a cationic channel inducing a massive intracellular Na(+) influx. However, from a mechanistic point of view, the features and the intracellular pathways leading to PLTX-induced cell death are still not completely characterized. This study on skin HaCaT keratinocytes demonstrates that PLTX induces necrosis since propidium iodide uptake was observed already after 1 h toxin exposure, an effect that was not lowered by toxin removal. Furthermore, necrotic-like morphological alterations were evidenced by confocal microscopy. Apoptosis occurrence was excluded since no caspases 3/7, caspase 8, and caspase 9 activation as well as no apoptotic bodies formation were recorded. Necrosis was preceded by a very early mitochondrial damage as indicated by JC-1 fluorescence shift, recorded already after 5 min toxin exposure. This shift was totally abolished when Na(+) and Ca(2+) ions were withdrawn from culture medium, whereas cyclosporine-A was ineffective, excluding the occurrence of a controlled biochemical response. These results clearly establish necrosis as the primary mechanism for PLTX-induced cell death in HaCaT cells. The rapidity of mitochondrial damage and the consequent irreversible necrosis rise serious concerns about the very fast onset of PLTX toxic effects. PMID:25066017

  4. Potential developmental toxicity of anatoxin-a, a cyanobacterial toxin.

    PubMed

    Rogers, E H; Hunter, E S; Moser, V C; Phillips, P M; Herkovits, J; Muñoz, L; Hall, L L; Chernoff, N

    2005-01-01

    Some 2000 species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) occur globally in aquatic habitats. They are able to survive under a wide range of environmental conditions and some produce potent toxins. Toxin production is correlated with periods of rapid growth (blooms) and 25%-70% of blooms may be toxic. Anatoxin-a is an alkaloid neurotoxin that acts as a potent neuro-muscular blocking agent at the nicotinic receptor. Acute toxicity, following consumption of contaminated water, is characterized by rapid onset of paralysis, tremors, convulsions and death. Human exposures may occur from recreational water activities and dietary supplements, but are primarily through drinking water. The current studies were conducted to examine the effect of in utero exposure on postnatal viability, growth and neurodevelopment, to evaluate the potential of in vitro embryotoxicity, and to explore the synergistic relationship between anatoxin-a and the algal toxin microcystin-LR by the oral route. The results of preliminary studies on amphibian toxicity are also reported. Time-pregnant mice received 125 or 200 microg kg(-1) anatoxin-a by intraperitoneal injection on gestation days (GD) 8-12 or 13-17. Pup viability and weight were monitored over a 6-day period. Maternal toxicity (decreased motor activity) was observed at 200 microg kg(-1) in both treatment periods. There were no significant treatment-related effects on pup viability or weight on postnatal day (PND) 1 or 6. The GD 13-17 pups were evaluated on PND 6, 12 and 20 for standard markers of neurodevelopmental maturation (righting reflex, negative geotaxis and hanging grip time). No significant postnatal neurotoxicity was observed. In vitro developmental toxicity was evaluated in GD 8 mouse embryos exposed to 0.1-25 microm anatoxin-a for 26-28 h. Perturbations in mouse yolk sac vasculature were noted from the 1.0 microm concentration in the absence of significant embryonic dysmorphology. Potential algal toxin synergism was tested in mice

  5. Collection and conversion of algal lipid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ching-Chieh

    Sustainable economic activities mandate a significant replacement of fossil energy by renewable forms. Algae-derived biofuels are increasingly seen as an alternative source of energy with potential to supplement the world's ever increasing demand. Our primary objective is, once the algae were cultivated, to eliminate or make more efficient energy-intensive processing steps of collection, drying, grinding, and solvent extraction prior to conversion. To overcome the processing barrier, we propose to streamline from cultivated algae to biodiesel via algal biomass collection by sand filtration, cell rupturing with ozone, and immediate transesterification. To collect the algal biomass, the specific Chlorococcum aquaticum suspension was acidified to pH 3.3 to promote agglomeration prior to sand filtration. The algae-loaded filter bed was drained of free water and added with methanol and ozonated for 2 min to rupture cell membrane to accelerate release of the cellular contents. The methanol solution now containing the dissolved lipid product was collected by draining, while the filter bed was regenerated by further ozonation when needed. The results showed 95% collection of the algal biomass from the suspension and a 16% yield of lipid from the algae, as well as restoration of filtration velocity of the sand bed via ozonation. The results further showed increased lipid yield upon cell rupturing and transesterified products composed entirely of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) compounds, demonstrating that the rupture and transesterification processes could proceed consecutively in the same medium, requiring no separate steps of drying, extraction, and conversion. The FAME products from algae without exposure to ozone were mainly of 16 to 18 carbons containing up to 3 double bonds, while those from algae having been ozonated were smaller, highly saturated hydrocarbons. The new technique streamlines individual steps from cultivated algal lipid to transesterified products and

  6. CO-OCCURRENCE OF WHITE SHRIMP, PENAEUS VANNAMEI, MORTALITIES AND MICROCYSTIN TOXIN IN A SOUTHEASTERN USA SHRIMP FACILITY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various freshwater and marine algal toxins are known to affect plants, fishes, mammals, and invertebrates. During recent mortality events in Texas white shrimp aquaculture ponds, water and shrimp tissue samples were analyzed for cyanobacterial toxins and found to contain microcystin-LR. Cyanoprokar...

  7. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, D.; Casero, D.; Cokus, S. J.; Merchant, S. S.; Pellegrini, M.

    2012-07-01

    The Algal Functional Annotation Tool is a web-based comprehensive analysis suite integrating annotation data from several pathway, ontology, and protein family databases. The current version provides annotation for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and in the future will include additional genomes. The site allows users to interpret large gene lists by identifying associated functional terms, and their enrichment. Additionally, expression data for several experimental conditions were compiled and analyzed to provide an expression-based enrichment search. A tool to search for functionally-related genes based on gene expression across these conditions is also provided. Other features include dynamic visualization of genes on KEGG pathway maps and batch gene identifier conversion.

  8. Lack of variation in voltage-gated sodium channels of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to neurotoxic algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Cammen, Kristina M; Rosel, Patricia E; Wells, Randall S; Read, Andrew J

    2014-12-01

    In coastal marine ecosystems, neurotoxins produced by harmful algal blooms (HABs) often result in large-scale mortality events of many marine species. Historical and frequent exposure to HABs therefore may provide a strong selective pressure for adaptations that result in toxin resistance. Neurotoxin resistance has independently evolved in a variety of terrestrial and marine species via mutations in genes encoding the toxin binding sites within the voltage-gated sodium channel gene complex. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in the putative binding site of brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) explains differences among individuals or populations in resistance to harmful Karenia brevis blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. We found very little variation in the sodium channel exons encoding the putative brevetoxin binding site among bottlenose dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle. Our study included samples from several bottlenose dolphin mortality events associated with HABs, but we found no association between genetic variation and survival. We observed a significant effect of geographic region on genetic variation for some sodium channel isoforms, but this can be primarily explained by rare private alleles and is more likely a reflection of regional genetic differentiation than the cause of different levels of HAB resistance between regions. In contrast to many other previously studied neurotoxin-resistant species, we conclude that bottlenose dolphins have not evolved resistance to HABs via mutations in genes encoding the brevetoxin binding site on the voltage-gated sodium channels. PMID:25456229

  9. Simulated Antibiotic Exposures in an In Vitro Hollow-Fiber Infection Model Influence Toxin Gene Expression and Production in Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strain MW2

    PubMed Central

    Pichereau, Solen; Pantrangi, Madhulatha; Couet, William; Badiou, Cedric; Lina, Gerard; Shukla, Sanjay K.

    2012-01-01

    Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strain MW2 harbors a plethora of toxins to mediate its virulence. However, toxin expression and regulation with simulated clinical antimicrobial exposures are unclear. This study evaluated these relationships using an in vitro pharmacodynamic hollow-fiber infection model. Clinical doses of clindamycin, linezolid, minocycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT), and vancomycin were simulated over 72 h against MW2 in the hollow fiber model. Expression levels of lukSF-PV and enterotoxin genes sec4, sek, seq, and sel2 were quantified by real-time PCR. Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and cytotoxicity was determined on polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). Vancomycin produced the maximum MW2 killing (2.53 log10 CFU/ml) after the first dose, but the greatest sustained killing over 72 h occurred with linezolid and clindamycin. Vancomycin and minocycline induced gene upregulation from 0 to 8 h, followed by downregulation for the remaining simulation period. Clindamycin decreased gene expression in the first 24 h, followed by moderate increases (2.5-fold) thereafter. Linezolid increased gene expression 11.4- to 200.4-fold but inhibited PVL production (0.6 ± 0.3 versus 5.9 ± 0.2 μg/ml, linezolid versus control at 72 h; P < 0.05). Similar effects on PVL production occurred with clindamycin and minocycline. SXT increased PVL production at 48 h (2.8-fold) and 72 h (4.9-fold) of treatment (P < 0.05), resulting in increased PVL cytotoxicity on PMNs. Linezolid, clindamycin, and minocycline were the most effective agents on decreasing the virulence potential in CA-MRSA, notably after 8 h of treatment. SXT had minimal effects on toxin gene regulation, but it increased production and cytotoxicity of PVL toxin in the model and may enhance virulence when it is used to treat severe infections. PMID:22064533

  10. Algal Biofuels; Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  11. Modelling the Stoichiometric Regulation of C-Rich Toxins in Marine Dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Pistocchi, Rossella; Vanucci, Silvana; Ciavatta, Stefano; Polimene, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Toxin production in marine microalgae was previously shown to be tightly coupled with cellular stoichiometry. The highest values of cellular toxin are in fact mainly associated with a high carbon to nutrient cellular ratio. In particular, the cellular accumulation of C-rich toxins (i.e., with C:N > 6.6) can be stimulated by both N and P deficiency. Dinoflagellates are the main producers of C-rich toxins and may represent a serious threat for human health and the marine ecosystem. As such, the development of a numerical model able to predict how toxin production is stimulated by nutrient supply/deficiency is of primary utility for both scientific and management purposes. In this work we have developed a mechanistic model describing the stoichiometric regulation of C-rich toxins in marine dinoflagellates. To this purpose, a new formulation describing toxin production and fate was embedded in the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), here simplified to describe a monospecific batch culture. Toxin production was assumed to be composed by two distinct additive terms; the first is a constant fraction of algal production and is assumed to take place at any physiological conditions. The second term is assumed to be dependent on algal biomass and to be stimulated by internal nutrient deficiency. By using these assumptions, the model reproduced the concentrations and temporal evolution of toxins observed in cultures of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, a benthic/epiphytic dinoflagellate producing C-rich toxins named ovatoxins. The analysis of simulations and their comparison with experimental data provided a conceptual model linking toxin production and nutritional status in this species. The model was also qualitatively validated by using independent literature data, and the results indicate that our formulation can be also used to simulate toxin dynamics in other dinoflagellates. Our model represents an important step towards the simulation and prediction of marine algal

  12. The Course of Toxicity in the Pregnant Mouse after Exposure to the Cyanobacterial Toxin, Cylindrospermopsin: Clinical Effects, Serum Chemistries, Hematology and Histopathology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is a toxin produced by a wide variety of fresh water cyanobacterial species worldwide and induces significant adverse effects in both livestock and humans. This study investigated the course of CYN-induced toxicity in pregnant mice exposed during either t...

  13. Fueling Future with Algal Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-07-05

    Algae constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity, play profound roles in the carbon cycle, and are prominent candidates for biofuel production. The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is leading the world in algal genome sequencing (http://jgi.doe.gov/Algae) and contributes of the algal genome projects worldwide (GOLD database, 2012). The sequenced algal genomes offer catalogs of genes, networks, and pathways. The sequenced first of its kind genomes of a haptophyte E.huxleyii, chlorarachniophyte B.natans, and cryptophyte G.theta fill the gaps in the eukaryotic tree of life and carry unique genes and pathways as well as molecular fossils of secondary endosymbiosis. Natural adaptation to conditions critical for industrial production is encoded in algal genomes, for example, growth of A.anophagefferens at very high cell densities during the harmful algae blooms or a global distribution across diverse environments of E.huxleyii, able to live on sparse nutrients due to its expanded pan-genome. Communications and signaling pathways can be derived from simple symbiotic systems like lichens or complex marine algae metagenomes. Collectively these datasets derived from algal genomics contribute to building a comprehensive parts list essential for algal biofuel development.

  14. Potential natural exposure of endangered red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) to mycotoxins aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 toxin, and ochratoxin A*

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Da-wei; Liu, Hong-yi; Zhang, Hai-bin; Cao, Ming-chang; Sun, Yong; Wu, Wen-da; Lu, Chang-hu

    2016-01-01

    A survey was conducted to determine whether mycotoxins were present in the foods consumed by red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) in the Yancheng Biosphere Reserve, China. Collected in the reserve’s core, buffer, and experimental zones during overwintering periods of 2013 to 2015, a total of 113 food samples were analyzed for aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 toxin, and ochratoxin A using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The contamination incidences vary among different zones and the mycotoxins levels of different food samples also presented disparity. Average mycotoxin concentration from rice grain was greater than that from other food types. Among mycotoxin-positive samples, 59.3% were simultaneously contaminated with more than one toxin. This study demonstrated for the first time that red-crowned cranes were exposed to mycotoxins in the Yancheng Biosphere Reserve and suggested that artificial wetlands could not be considered good habitats for the birds in this reserve, especially rice fields. PMID:26834016

  15. Potential natural exposure of endangered red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) to mycotoxins aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 toxin, and ochratoxin A.

    PubMed

    Liu, Da-wei; Liu, Hong-yi; Zhang, Hai-bin; Cao, Ming-chang; Sun, Yong; Wu, Wen-da; Lu, Chang-hu

    2016-02-01

    A survey was conducted to determine whether mycotoxins were present in the foods consumed by red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) in the Yancheng Biosphere Reserve, China. Collected in the reserve's core, buffer, and experimental zones during overwintering periods of 2013 to 2015, a total of 113 food samples were analyzed for aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T-2 toxin, and ochratoxin A using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The contamination incidences vary among different zones and the mycotoxins levels of different food samples also presented disparity. Average mycotoxin concentration from rice grain was greater than that from other food types. Among mycotoxin-positive samples, 59.3% were simultaneously contaminated with more than one toxin. This study demonstrated for the first time that red-crowned cranes were exposed to mycotoxins in the Yancheng Biosphere Reserve and suggested that artificial wetlands could not be considered good habitats for the birds in this reserve, especially rice fields. PMID:26834016

  16. Endangered North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) experience repeated, concurrent exposure to multiple environmental neurotoxins produced by marine algae.

    PubMed

    Doucette, Gregory J; Mikulski, Christina M; King, Kristen L; Roth, Patricia B; Wang, Zhihong; Leandro, Luis F; DeGrasse, Stacey L; White, Kevin D; De Biase, Daniela; Gillett, Roxanne M; Rolland, Rosalind M

    2012-01-01

    The western North Atlantic population of right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the most critically endangered of any whale population in the world. Among the factors considered to have potentially adverse effects on the health and reproduction of E. glacialis are biotoxins produced by certain microalgae responsible for causing harmful algal blooms. The worldwide incidence of these events has continued to increase dramatically over the past several decades and is expected to remain problematic under predicted climate change scenarios. Previous investigations have demonstrated that N. Atlantic right whales are being exposed to at least two classes of algal-produced environmental neurotoxins-paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) and domoic acid (DA). Our primary aims during this six-year study (2001-2006) were to assess whether the whales' exposure to these algal biotoxins occurred annually over multiple years, and to what extent individual whales were exposed repeatedly and/or concurrently to one or both toxin classes. Approximately 140 right whale fecal samples obtained across multiple habitats in the western N. Atlantic were analyzed for PSTs and DA. About 40% of these samples were attributed to individual whales in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog, permitting analysis of biotoxin exposure according to sex, age class, and reproductive status/history. Our findings demonstrate clearly that right whales are being exposed to both of these algal biotoxins on virtually an annual basis in multiple habitats for periods of up to six months (April through September), with similar exposure rates for females and males (PSTs: ∼70-80%; DA: ∼25-30%). Notably, only one of 14 lactating females sampled did not contain either PSTs or DA, suggesting the potential for maternal toxin transfer and possible effects on neonatal animals. Moreover, 22% of the fecal samples tested for PSTs and DA showed concurrent exposure to both neurotoxins, leading to questions of interactive

  17. Exposure of Lycopersicon esculentum to microcystin-LR: effects in the leaf proteome and toxin translocation from water to leaves and fruits.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Praena, Daniel; Campos, Alexandre; Azevedo, Joana; Neves, Joana; Freitas, Marisa; Guzmán-Guillén, Remédios; Cameán, Ana María; Renaut, Jenny; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2014-06-01

    Natural toxins such as those produced by freshwater cyanobacteria have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. However, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. The aim of this work was to investigate microcystin-LR (MC-LR) toxicity in Lycopersicon esculentum and the toxin accumulation in this horticultural crop. Adult plants (2 month-old) grown in a greenhouse environment were exposed for 2 weeks to either pure MC-LR (100 μg/L) or Microcystis aeruginosa crude extracts containing 100 μg/L MC-LR. Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured, leaf proteome investigated with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF)/TOF, and toxin bioaccumulation assessed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS. Variations in several protein markers (ATP synthase subunits, Cytochrome b6-f complex iron-sulfur, oxygen-evolving enhancer proteins) highlight the decrease of the capacity of plants to synthesize ATP and to perform photosynthesis, whereas variations in other proteins (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit and ribose-5-phosphate isomerase) suggest an increase of carbon fixation and decrease of carbohydrate metabolism reactions in plants exposed to pure MC-LR and cyanobacterial extracts, respectively. MC-LR was found in roots (1635.21 μg/kg fw), green tomatoes (5.15-5.41 μg/kg fw), mature tomatoes (10.52-10.83 μg/kg fw), and leaves (12,298.18 μg/kg fw). The results raise concerns relative to food safety and point to the necessity of monitoring the bioaccumulation of water toxins in agricultural systems affected by cyanotoxin contamination. PMID:24921194

  18. Exposure of Lycopersicon Esculentum to Microcystin-LR: Effects in the Leaf Proteome and Toxin Translocation from Water to Leaves and Fruits

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Praena, Daniel; Campos, Alexandre; Azevedo, Joana; Neves, Joana; Freitas, Marisa; Guzmán-Guillén, Remédios; Cameán, Ana María; Renaut, Jenny; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2014-01-01

    Natural toxins such as those produced by freshwater cyanobacteria have been regarded as an emergent environmental threat. However, the impact of these water contaminants in agriculture is not yet fully understood. The aim of this work was to investigate microcystin-LR (MC-LR) toxicity in Lycopersicon esculentum and the toxin accumulation in this horticultural crop. Adult plants (2 month-old) grown in a greenhouse environment were exposed for 2 weeks to either pure MC-LR (100 μg/L) or Microcystis aeruginosa crude extracts containing 100 μg/L MC-LR. Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured, leaf proteome investigated with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF)/TOF, and toxin bioaccumulation assessed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS. Variations in several protein markers (ATP synthase subunits, Cytochrome b6-f complex iron-sulfur, oxygen-evolving enhancer proteins) highlight the decrease of the capacity of plants to synthesize ATP and to perform photosynthesis, whereas variations in other proteins (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit and ribose-5-phosphate isomerase) suggest an increase of carbon fixation and decrease of carbohydrate metabolism reactions in plants exposed to pure MC-LR and cyanobacterial extracts, respectively. MC-LR was found in roots (1635.21 μg/kg fw), green tomatoes (5.15–5.41 μg/kg fw), mature tomatoes (10.52–10.83 μg/kg fw), and leaves (12,298.18 μg/kg fw). The results raise concerns relative to food safety and point to the necessity of monitoring the bioaccumulation of water toxins in agricultural systems affected by cyanotoxin contamination. PMID:24921194

  19. Effects of four rice paddy herbicides on algal cell viability and the relationship with population recovery.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Takashi; Ishihara, Satoru; Yokoyama, Atsushi; Iwafune, Takashi

    2011-08-01

    Paddy herbicides are a high-risk concern for aquatic plants, including algae, because they easily flow out from paddy fields into rivers, with toxic effects. The effect on algal population dynamics, including population recovery after timed exposure, must be assessed. Therefore, we demonstrated concentration-response relationships of four paddy herbicides for algal growth inhibition and mortality, and the relationship between the effect on algal cell viability and population recovery following exposure. We used SYTOX Green dye assay and flow cytometry to assess cell viability of the alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. Live cells could be clearly distinguished from dead cells during herbicide exposure. Our results showed that pretilachlor and quinoclamine had both algicidal and algistatic effects, whereas bensulfuron-methyl only had an algistatic effect, and pentoxazone only had an algicidal effect. Then, a population recovery test following a 72-h exposure was conducted. The algal population recovered in all tests, but the periods required for recovery differed among exposure concentrations and herbicides. The periods required for recovery were inconsistent with the dead cell ratio at the beginning of the recovery test; that is, population recovery could not be described only by cell viability. Consequently, the temporal effect of herbicides and subsequent recovery of the algal population could be described not only by the toxicity characteristics but also by toxicokinetics, such as rate of uptake, transport to the target site, and elimination of the substance from algal cells. PMID:21590715

  20. Identifying Historical Occurrences of HABs Using Sedimentary Algal Pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smoak, J. M.; Waters, M. N.

    2008-12-01

    Algal blooms are a common feature of many coastal areas. Under some environmental conditions, these develop into Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and present an environmental hazard and a health risk for humans and wildlife due to toxin production. While monitoring programs track the development of contemporary HABs, data are lacking for historical blooms. We use sedimentary algal pigments to identify the occurrence of Karenia Brevis (Florida Red Tide) in sediment cores collected from mangrove environments along the west coast of Florida. Karenia Brevis has a unique pigment, gyroxanthin-diester, that is routinely used to identify red tide in the water column. Gyroxanthin-diester and other carotenoid pigments associated with red tide taxa are analyzed using HPLC techniques. Identification of gyroxanthan-diester is based on comparison with HPLC analysis of gyroxanthin standard, a monoculture sample of K. Brevis and with published spectra of Gyroxanthin-diester in water samples. We track the timing of the K. Brevis using Pb-210 dating models which allows an examination over the last 100 years.

  1. Algal culture studies for CELSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R.; Behrens, P.; Arnett, K.; Gladue, R.; Cox, J.; Lieberman, D.

    1987-01-01

    Microalgae are well-suited as a component of a Closed Environmental Life Support System (CELSS), since they can couple the closely related functions of food production and atmospheric regeneration. The objective was to provide a basis for predicting the response of CELSS algal cultures, and thus the food supply and air regeneration system, to changes in the culture parameters. Scenedesmus growth was measured as a function of light intensity, and the spectral dependence of light absorption by the algae as well as algal respiration in the light were determined as a function of cell concentration. These results were used to test and confirm a mathematical model that describes the productivity of an algal culture in terms of the competing processes of photosynthesis and respiration. The relationship of algal productivity to cell concentration was determined at different carbon dioxide concentrations, temperatures, and light intensities. The maximum productivity achieved by an air-grown culture was found to be within 10% of the computed maximum productivity, indicating that CO2 was very efficiently removed from the gas stream by the algal culture. Measurements of biomass productivity as a function of cell concentration at different light intensities indicated that both the productivity and efficiency of light utilization were greater at higher light intensities.

  2. A Geospatial Analysis of Harmful Algal Blooms along the California Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, C.; Rothwell, R.; Johnson, E.; Condamoor, M.; Patil, M.; Largier, J. L.; Schmidt, C.

    2012-12-01

    Algal blooms are natural phenomena consisting of the rapid growth of phytoplankton populations. Some blooms have negative ecological or public health effects due to toxin production and removal of oxygen from the water column. In recent years, such "harmful algal blooms" (HABs) have been linked to human illness, economic loss from decreased fishing, and ecological damage related to marine life mortality as well as eutrophication. A notable HAB event occurred along the coast of northern California in August 2011, resulting in economic and ecological impacts of approximately $82 million. This was one of several algal blooms that occurred in fall 2011, with similar northward propagating algal blooms occurring in autumn of other years. Although the scale of the bloom impact is well-known, the spatial and temporal extent of the bloom boundary is still unclear. This study tracked the space-time pattern of numerous blooms during August-October 2011 using multiple NASA Earth observing systems in an effort to quantify and understand the structure of these recurrent bloom events. Aqua MODIS images were used to quantify surface chlorophyll-α levels, and thus to map the extent and development of all autumn algal blooms. The relation between sea surface temperature, ocean surface topography, and algal blooms was further explored with AVHRR and Jason-2 satellite data. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was used to identify the environmental factors most statistically influential in algal blooms and specifically in HAB events. Results from this study will assist California's Departments of Public Health and Fish & Game in mitigating and managing the impact of future harmful algal blooms.

  3. Pseudoalteromonas bacteria are capable of degrading paralytic shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Carrie J; Garduño, Rafael A; Kalmokoff, Martin; Ku, John C; Quilliam, Michael A; Gill, Tom A

    2009-11-01

    Marine bacterial isolates cultured from the digestive tracts of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were screened for the ability to reduce the toxicity of a PST mixture. Seven isolates reduced the overall toxicity of the algal extract by > or = 90% within 3 days. These isolates shared at least 99% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with five Pseudoalteromonas spp. Phenotypic tests suggested that all are novel strains of Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis. PMID:19717625

  4. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  5. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox-larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography-guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy-guided botulinum toxin Treatment; ...

  6. Stool C. difficile toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003590.htm Stool C. difficile toxin To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The stool C. difficile toxin test detects harmful substances produced by ...

  7. Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

    MedlinePlus

    ... people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent ... form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now ...

  8. Detection of Protein Toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have focused on ricin, shiga-like toxin, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), developing sensitive test methods for toxins and marker compounds in food matrices. Although animal models provide the best means for risk assessment, especially for crude toxins in compl...

  9. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on tropical algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Santas, R.

    1989-01-01

    This study assessed some of the effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation ion coral reef algal assemblages. The first part of the investigation was carried out under controlled laboratory conditions in the coral reef microcosm at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., while a field counterpart was completed at the Smithsonian Institution's marine station on Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, in the eastern Caribbean. The study attempted to separate the effects of UV-A from those of UV-B. In the laboratory, algal turf assemblages exposed to simulated solar UV radiation produced 55.1% less biomass than assemblages that were not exposed to UV. Assemblages not exposed to UV were dominated by Ectocarpus rhodochondroides, whereas in the assemblage developing under high UV radiation, Enteromorpha prolifera and eventually Schizothrix calcicola dominated. Lower UV-B irradiances caused a proportional reduction in biomass production and had less pronounced effects on species composition. UV-A did not have any significant effects on either algal turf productivity or community structure. In the field, assemblages exposed to naturally occurring solar UV supported a biomass 40% lower than that of assemblages protected from UV-B exposure. Once again, UV-A did not inhibit algal turf productivity.

  10. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection.

    PubMed

    Codd, Geoffrey A; Morrison, Louise F; Metcalf, James S

    2005-03-15

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. PMID:15737680

  11. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    SciTech Connect

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S

    2005-03-15

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

  12. Harmful Algal Bloom Hotspots Really Are Hot: A Case Study from Monterey Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudela, R. M.; Anderson, C.; Birch, J. M.; Bowers, H.; Caron, D. A.; Chao, Y.; Doucette, G.; Farrara, J. D.; Gellene, A. G.; Negrey, K.; Howard, M. D.; Ryan, J. P.; Scholin, C. A.; Smith, J.; Sukhatme, G.

    2015-12-01

    Monterey Bay, California is one of several recognized hotspots for harmful algal blooms along the US west coast, particularly for the toxigenic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia, which produces domoic acid and is responsible for Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning. Historical observations have linked bloom activity to anomalously warm conditions with weak and sporadic upwelling. In particular, blooms appear to be associated with El Niño conditions. Monterey, as with much of the US west coast, experienced unusual warm conditions in spring and summer 2014, leading to multiple ecosystem effects including massive algal blooms, concentration of apex predators nearshore, and unusually high levels of domoic acid. As the warm anomalies continued and strengthened into 2015, Monterey (and much of the west coast) has been experiencing the largest and most toxic algal bloom recorded in the last 15 years, as well as unprecedented coccolithophore blooms associated with warm, nutrient-depleted waters. With the strengthening El Niño conditions developing in summer 2015, it is possible that 2016 will result in a third consecutive year of unusually toxic algal blooms. Using a combination of historical observations, intensive field studies, and predictive models we explore the hypothesis that these warm anomalies lead to shifts in the typical upwelling-dominated food web leading to a collapse of the ecosystem towards the coast, unusual algal blooms, and enhanced trophic transfer of toxins, resulting in magnified negative impacts to wildlife and, potentially, humans.

  13. Multiplex biotoxin surface plasmon resonance method for marine biotoxins in algal and seawater samples.

    PubMed

    McNamee, Sara E; Elliott, Christopher T; Delahaut, Philippe; Campbell, Katrina

    2013-10-01

    A multiplex surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor method for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, okadaic acid (and analogues) and domoic acid was developed. This method was compared to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods. Seawater samples (n=256) from around Europe were collected by the consortia of an EU project MIcroarrays for the Detection of Toxic Algae (MIDTAL) and evaluated using each method. A simple sample preparation procedure was developed which involved lysing and releasing the toxins from the algal cells with glass beads followed by centrifugation and filtering the extract before testing for marine biotoxins by both multi-SPR and ELISA. Method detection limits based on IC20 values for PSP, okadaic acid and domoic acid toxins were 0.82, 0.36 and 1.66 ng/ml, respectively, for the prototype multiplex SPR biosensor. Evaluation by SPR for seawater samples has shown that 47, 59 and 61 % of total seawater samples tested positive (result greater than the IC20) for PSP, okadaic acid (and analogues) and domoic acid toxins, respectively. Toxic samples were received mainly from Spain and Ireland. This work has demonstrated the potential of multiplex analysis for marine biotoxins in algal and seawater samples with results available for 24 samples within a 7 h period for three groups of key marine biotoxins. Multiplex immunological methods could therefore be used as early warning monitoring tools for a variety of marine biotoxins in seawater samples. PMID:23250726

  14. Algal taxonomy forum: Algal Taxonomist, Let Serendipity Reign!

    PubMed

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

    The publication of a mini-review by Olivier De Clerck et al. in this issue of the Journal of Phycology presented an opportunity to open a dialogue on challenges faced by contemporary algal taxonomists. The Editorial Office solicited the following two additional contributions in response to De Clerck et al.'s paper; the responses were edited solely for clarity, space and format. PMID:27008510

  15. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Leite, Gustavo B; Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-10-01

    Biodiesel production using microalgae is attractive in a number of respects. Here a number of pros and cons to using microalgae for biofuels production are reviewed. Algal cultivation can be carried out using non-arable land and non-potable water with simple nutrient supply. In addition, algal biomass productivities are much higher than those of vascular plants and the extractable content of lipids that can be usefully converted to biodiesel, triacylglycerols (TAGs) can be much higher than that of the oil seeds now used for first generation biodiesel. On the other hand, practical, cost-effective production of biofuels from microalgae requires that a number of obstacles be overcome. These include the development of low-cost, effective growth systems, efficient and energy saving harvesting techniques, and methods for oil extraction and conversion that are environmentally benign and cost-effective. Promising recent advances in these areas are highlighted. PMID:23499181

  16. Algal blooms and public health

    SciTech Connect

    Epstein, P.R. . Harvard Medical School)

    1993-06-01

    Alterations in coastal ecology are expanding the geographic extent, frequency, magnitude, and species complexity'' of algal blooms throughout the world, increasing the threat of fish and shellfish poisonings, anoxia in marine nurseries, and of cholera. The World Health Organization and members of the medical profession have described the potential health effects of global climate change. They warn of the consequences of increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays and of warming: the possible damage to agriculture and nutrition, and the impact on habitats which may alter the distribution of vector-borne and water-based infectious diseases. Algal growth due to increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) and warming are already affecting marine microflora and aquatic plants; and there is now clear evidence that marine organisms are a reservoir for enteric pathogens. The pattern of cholera in the Western Hemisphere suggests that environmental changes have already begun to influence the epidemiology of this infectious disease. 106 refs.

  17. From genome-wide to candidate gene: an investigation of variation at the major histocompatibility complex in common bottlenose dolphins exposed to harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Cammen, Kristina M; Wilcox, Lynsey A; Rosel, Patricia E; Wells, Randall S; Read, Andrew J

    2015-02-01

    The role the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays in response to exposure to environmental toxins is relatively poorly understood, particularly in comparison to its well-described role in pathogen immunity. We investigated associations between MHC diversity and resistance to brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A previous genome-wide association study investigating an apparent difference in harmful algal bloom (HAB) resistance among dolphin populations in the Gulf of Mexico identified genetic variation associated with survival in close genomic proximity to multiple MHC class II loci. Here, we characterized genetic variation at DQA, DQB, DRA, and DRB loci in dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle, including dolphins that died during HABs and dolphins presumed to have survived HAB exposure. We found that DRB and DQB exhibited patterns of genetic differentiation among geographic regions that differed from neutral microsatellite loci. In addition, genetic differentiation at DRB across multiple pairwise comparisons of live and dead dolphins was greater than differentiation observed at neutral loci. Our findings at these MHC loci did not approach the strength of association with survival previously described for a nearby genetic variant. However, the results provide evidence that selective pressures at the MHC vary among dolphin populations that differ in the frequency of HAB exposure and that the overall composition of DRB variants differs between dolphin survivors and non-survivors of HABs. These results may suggest a potential role of MHC diversity in variable survival of bottlenose dolphins exposed to HABs. PMID:25475909

  18. Cyanobacteria and algae blooms: Review of health and environmental data from the Harmful Algal Bloom-Related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) 2007-2011.

    PubMed

    Backer, Lorraine C; Manassaram-Baptiste, Deana; LePrell, Rebecca; Bolton, Birgit

    2015-04-01

    Algae and cyanobacteria are present in all aquatic environments. We do not have a good sense of the extent of human and animal exposures to cyanobacteria or their toxins, nor do we understand the public health impacts from acute exposures associated with recreational activities or chronic exposures associated with drinking water. We describe the Harmful Algal Bloom-related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) and summarize the collected reports describing bloom events and associated adverse human and animal health events. For the period of 2007-2011, Departments of Health and/or Environment from 11 states funded by the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contributed reports for 4534 events. For 2007, states contributed 173 reports from historical data. The states participating in the HABISS program built response capacity through targeted public outreach and prevention activities, including supporting routine cyanobacteria monitoring for public recreation waters. During 2007-2010, states used monitoring data to support196 public health advisories or beach closures. The information recorded in HABISS and the application of these data to develop a wide range of public health prevention and response activities indicate that cyanobacteria and algae blooms are an environmental public health issue that needs continuing attention. PMID:25826054

  19. Cyanobacteria and Algae Blooms: Review of Health and Environmental Data from the Harmful Algal Bloom-Related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) 2007–2011

    PubMed Central

    Backer, Lorraine C.; Manassaram-Baptiste, Deana; LePrell, Rebecca; Bolton, Birgit

    2015-01-01

    Algae and cyanobacteria are present in all aquatic environments. We do not have a good sense of the extent of human and animal exposures to cyanobacteria or their toxins, nor do we understand the public health impacts from acute exposures associated with recreational activities or chronic exposures associated with drinking water. We describe the Harmful Algal Bloom-related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS) and summarize the collected reports describing bloom events and associated adverse human and animal health events. For the period of 2007–2011, Departments of Health and/or Environment from 11 states funded by the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contributed reports for 4534 events. For 2007, states contributed 173 reports from historical data. The states participating in the HABISS program built response capacity through targeted public outreach and prevention activities, including supporting routine cyanobacteria monitoring for public recreation waters. During 2007–2010, states used monitoring data to support196 public health advisories or beach closures. The information recorded in HABISS and the application of these data to develop a wide range of public health prevention and response activities indicate that cyanobacteria and algae blooms are an environmental public health issue that needs continuing attention. PMID:25826054

  20. Toxicity of algal-derived aldehydes to two invertebrate species: do heavy metal pollutants have a synergistic effect?

    PubMed

    Taylor, Rebecca L; Caldwell, Gary S; Bentley, Matthew G

    2005-08-15

    The recent discovery of the production of anti-proliferative aldehydes in a variety of microalgal species has lead to considerable investigation into the effects of these toxins on aquatic invertebrates. Studies have, however, rarely considered the impact pollutants may have on grazer responses to algal toxins. In this study, the acute toxicities of five aldehydes to the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis and nauplii of the brine shrimp Artemia salina are examined using immersion assays. In addition, the effect of a representative of these aldehydes in the presence of sub-lethal levels of heavy metals was examined. B. plicatilis generally showed greater sensitivity to the aldehydes than A. salina. The polyunsaturated 2-trans,4-trans-decadienal was the most toxic to both species having 24h LD(50) values of 7 and 20 microM for B. plicatilis and A. salina, respectively. The remaining aldehydes had different orders of toxicity for the two species with a stronger relationship observed between mortality and aldehyde carbon-chain length for A. salina whereas B. plicatilis mortality showed a stronger dependence on the presence of carbon-carbon double bonds in the aldehydes. The presence of 1 microM of copper sulphate in solutions of decadienal resulted in the reduction of the 24h LD(50) of decadienal by approximately a third for both species. 1 microM of copper chloride in solutions of decadienal reduced the 24h LD(50) of decadienal to A. salina nauplii by approximately 11% and 1 microM zinc sulphate caused a reduction of only 3%. Pre-exposure of the organisms to 1 microM copper sulphate had no significant impact on their subsequent mortality in decadienal. The ecological implications and the possible mechanisms for the action of copper sulphate on the response of organisms to decadienal are discussed. PMID:15927283

  1. Harmful Algal Bloom-Associated Illness Surveillance: Lessons From Reported Hospital Visits in New York, 2008-2014.

    PubMed

    Figgatt, Mary; Muscatiello, Neil; Wilson, Lloyd; Dziewulski, David

    2016-03-01

    We identified hospital visits with reported exposure to harmful algal blooms, an emerging public health concern because of toxicity and increased incidence. We used the World Health Organization's International Classification of Disease (ICD) medical code specifying environmental exposure to harmful algal blooms to extract hospital visit records in New York State from 2008 to 2014. Using the ICD code, we identified 228 hospital visits with reported exposure to harmful algal blooms. They occurred all year long and had multiple principal diagnoses. Of all hospital visits, 94.7% were managed in the emergency department and 5.3% were hospitalizations. As harmful algal bloom surveillance increases, the ICD code will be a beneficial tool to public health only if used properly. PMID:26794161

  2. Effect of exposure time and organic matter on efficacy of antimicrobial compounds against Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several antimicrobial compounds are in commercial meat processing plants for the purpose of pathogens control on beef carcasses. However, the efficacy of the method used is influenced by a number of factors such as spray pressure, temperature, type of chemical and concentration, exposure time, metho...

  3. The impact of toxins on the developing brain.

    PubMed

    Lanphear, Bruce P

    2015-03-18

    The impact of toxins on the developing brain is usually subtle for an individual child, but the damage can be substantial at the population level. Numerous challenges must be addressed to definitively test the impact of toxins on brain development in children: We must quantify exposure using a biologic marker or pollutant; account for an ever-expanding set of potential confounders; identify critical windows of vulnerability; and repeatedly examine the association of biologic markers of toxins with intellectual abilities, behaviors, and brain function in distinct cohorts. Despite these challenges, numerous toxins have been implicated in the development of intellectual deficits and mental disorders in children. Yet, too little has been done to protect children from these ubiquitous but insidious toxins. The objective of this review is to provide an overview on the population impact of toxins on the developing brain and describe implications for public health. PMID:25581143

  4. Air pollutant production by algal cell cultures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fong, F.; Funkhouser, E. A.

    1982-01-01

    The production of phytotoxic air pollutants by cultures of Chlorella vulgaris and Euglena gracilis is considered. Algal and plant culture systems, a fumigation system, and ethylene, ethane, cyanide, and nitrogen oxides assays are discussed. Bean, tobacco, mustard green, cantaloupe and wheat plants all showed injury when fumigated with algal gases for 4 hours. Only coleus plants showed any resistance to the gases. It is found that a closed or recycled air effluent system does not produce plant injury from algal air pollutants.

  5. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. PMID:26449577

  6. Formation of harmful algal blooms cannot be explained by allelopathic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Jonsson, Per R.; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla

    2009-01-01

    Many planktonic microalgae produce a range of toxins and may form harmful algal blooms. One hypothesis is that some toxins are allelopathic, suppressing the growth of competitors, and it has been suggested that allelopathy may be one important mechanism causing algal blooms. In a metaanalysis of recent experimental work, we looked for evidence that allelopathy may explain the initiation of algal blooms. With few exceptions, allelopathic effects were only significant at very high cell densities typical of blooms. We conclude that there is no experimental support for allelopathy at prebloom densities, throwing doubts on allelopathy as a mechanism in bloom formation. Most studies tested allelopathy using cell-free manipulations. With simple models we show that cell-free manipulations may underestimate allelopathy at low cell densities if effects are transmitted during cell–cell interactions. However, we suggest that the evolution of allelopathy under field conditions may be unlikely even if based on cell–cell interactions. The spatial dispersion of cells in turbulent flow will make it difficult for an allelopathic cell to receive an exclusive benefit, and a dispersion model shows that dividing cells are rapidly separated constraining clone selection. Instead, we propose that reported allelopathic effects may be nonadaptive side effects of predator–prey or casual parasitic cell–cell interactions. PMID:19549831

  7. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox-larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography-guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy- ...

  8. Seasonal synchronicity of algal assemblages in three Midwestern agricultural streams having varying concentrations of atrazine, nutrients, and sediment.

    PubMed

    Andrus, J Malia; Winter, Diane; Scanlan, Michael; Sullivan, Sean; Bollman, Wease; Waggoner, J B; Hosmer, Alan J; Brain, Richard A

    2013-08-01

    Numerous studies characterizing the potential effects of atrazine on algal assemblages have been conducted using micro- or mesocosms; however, few evaluations focused on in situ lotic algal communities, potentially confounding risk assessment conclusions. This exploratory study, conducted at several sites in the midwestern United States where atrazine is commonly used, presents in situ observations of native algal communities relative to atrazine exposure and other parameters. Planktonic and periphytic algae from three streams in three Midwestern states, having historically differing atrazine levels, were sampled over a 16-week period in 2011 encompassing atrazine applications and the summer algal growth period at each site. Changes in abundance, diversity, and composition of algal communities were placed in the context of hydrological, climatic, and water quality parameters (including components sometimes present in agricultural runoff) also collected during the study. Diatoms dominated communities at each of the three sites and periphyton was much more abundant than phytoplankton. As expected, significant variations in algal community and environmental parameters were observed between sites. However, correspondence analysis plots revealed that patterns of temporal variation in algal communities at each site and in periphyton or phytoplankton were dominated by seasonal environmental gradients. Significant concordance in these seasonal patterns was detected among sites and between phytoplankton and periphyton communities (via procrustes Protest analysis), suggesting synchronicity of algal communities across a regional scale. While atrazine concentrations generally exhibited seasonal trends at the study watersheds; no effects on algal abundance, diversity or assemblage structure were observed as a result of atrazine pulses. This lack of response may be due to exposure events of insufficient concentration or duration (consistent with previously reported results) or

  9. The role of selective predation in harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Jordi; Garcia-Ladona, Emilio; Estrada, Marta

    2006-08-01

    A feature of marine plankton communities is the occurrence of rapid population explosions. When the blooming species are directly or indirectly noxious for humans, these proliferations are denoted as harmful algal blooms (HAB). The importance of biological interactions for the appearance of HABs, in particular when the proliferating microalgae produce toxins that affect other organisms in the food web, remains still poorly understood. Here we analyse the role of toxins produced by a microalgal species and affecting its predators, in determining the success of that species as a bloom former. A three-species predator-prey model is used to define a criterion that determines whether a toxic microalga will be able to initiate a bloom in competition against a non-toxic one with higher growth rate. Dominance of the toxic species depends on a critical parameter that defines the degree of feeding selectivity by grazers. The criterion is applied to a particular simplified model and to numerical simulations of a full marine ecosystem model. The results suggest that the release of toxic compounds affecting predators may be a plausible biological factor in allowing the development of HABs.

  10. Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Field (ELF-MF) Exposure Sensitizes SH-SY5Y Cells to the Pro-Parkinson's Disease Toxin MPP(.).

    PubMed

    Benassi, Barbara; Filomeni, Giuseppe; Montagna, Costanza; Merla, Caterina; Lopresto, Vanni; Pinto, Rosanna; Marino, Carmela; Consales, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by dopaminergic neuron loss, with an etiopathogenesis involving both genetic and environmental factors. The occupational/residential exposure to the electromagnetic fields has been recently associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases; it has been thus proposed that the extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) may contribute to neurodegenerative etiopathogenesis, as its interaction with biological systems directly impairs redox homeostasis in specific areas of the brain. The molecular mechanisms elicited by ELF-MF, and their potential involvement in PD onset, still remain unclear. To this end, we set up a generator of ELF-MF able to stably and homogeneously reproduce environmental prolonged exposure to ELF-MF (50 Hz, 1 mT). Results obtained indicate that ELF-MF exposure alters cell response of SH-SY5Y cells to MPP(+). We demonstrate that ELF-MF does not affect per se survival, shape, and morphology of both proliferating and differentiated SH-SY5Y cells but significantly impairs redox homeostasis and thiol content, triggering an increase in protein carbonylation. As a result, toxicity of MPP(+), even at low doses, is highly enhanced in ELF-MF-exposed cells due to a significant increase in ROS levels, potentiation of oxidative damage, and induction of a caspase-dependent apoptosis. Pre-incubation with the thiol antioxidants N-acetyl-L-cysteine and GSH ethyl-ester significantly reduces the extent of oxidative damage and protects cells from death induced by the combined treatment ELF-MF/MPP(+). Taken overall, our results demonstrate the redox-based molecular interaction between ELF-MF and PD neurotoxins in vitro, and open a new scenario for defining the synergy of environmental factors in PD onset. PMID:26223801

  11. Responding to Harmful Algal Blooms: Treatment Optimization

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation discusses: (1) analytical methods for toxins and cyanobacteria within the context of monitoring a treatment process, (2) toxin and cell removal capacities for common drinking water treatment processes, (3) issues to consider when evaluating a treatment facility...

  12. Algal Flocculation with Synthetic Organic Polyelectrolytes

    PubMed Central

    Tenney, Mark W.; Echelberger, Wayne F.; Schuessler, Ronald G.; Pavoni, Joseph L.

    1969-01-01

    The feasibility of removing algae from water and wastewater by chemical flocculation techniques was investigated. Mixed cultures of algae were obtained from both continuous- and batch-fed laboratory reactors. Representative cationic, anionic, and nonionic synthetic organic polyelectrolytes were used as flocculants. Under the experimental conditions, chemically induced algal flocculation occurred with the addition of cationic polyelectrolyte, but not with anionic or nonionic polymers, although attachment of all polyelectrolyte species to the algal surface is shown. The mechanism of chemically induced algal flocculation is interpreted in terms of bridging phenomena between the discrete algal cells and the linearly extended polymer chains, forming a three-dimensional matrix that is capable of subsiding under quiescent conditions. The degree of flocculation is shown to be a direct function of the extent of polymer coverage of the active sites on the algal surface, although to induce flocculation by this method requires that the algal surface charge must concurrently be reduced to a level at which the extended polymers can bridge the minimal distance of separation imposed by electrostatic repulsion. The influence of pH, algal concentration, and algal growth phase on the requisite cationic flocculant dose is also reported. PMID:5370666

  13. TEXAS HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM COORDINATION MX964014

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) are an expanding problem in coastal Texas. Nearly � of the known harmful algal blooms along the Texas coast have occurred in the past ten years and have led to significant resource and tourism losses. For example, there are at least two types of toxic...

  14. Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxins and Other Lipophilic Toxins of Human Health Concern in Washington State

    PubMed Central

    Trainer, Vera L.; Moore, Leslie; Bill, Brian D.; Adams, Nicolaus G.; Harrington, Neil; Borchert, Jerry; da Silva, Denis A. M.; Eberhart, Bich-Thuy L.

    2013-01-01

    The illness of three people in 2011 after their ingestion of mussels collected from Sequim Bay State Park, Washington State, USA, demonstrated the need to monitor diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) in Washington State for the protection of human health. Following these cases of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, monitoring for DSTs in Washington State became formalized in 2012, guided by routine monitoring of Dinophysis species by the SoundToxins program in Puget Sound and the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) partnership on the outer Washington State coast. Here we show that the DSTs at concentrations above the guidance level of 16 μg okadaic acid (OA) + dinophysistoxins (DTXs)/100 g shellfish tissue were widespread in sentinel mussels throughout Puget Sound in summer 2012 and included harvest closures of California mussel, varnish clam, manila clam and Pacific oyster. Concentrations of toxins in Pacific oyster and manila clam were often at least half those measured in blue mussels at the same site. The primary toxin isomer in shellfish and plankton samples was dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1) with D. acuminata as the primary Dinophysis species. Other lipophilic toxins in shellfish were pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and yessotoxin (YTX) with azaspiracid-2 (AZA-2) also measured in phytoplankton samples. Okadaic acid, azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1) and azaspiracid-3 (AZA-3) were all below the levels of detection by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A shellfish closure at Ruby Beach, Washington, was the first ever noted on the Washington State Pacific coast due to DSTs. The greater than average Fraser River flow during the summers of 2011 and 2012 may have provided an environment conducive to dinoflagellates and played a role in the prevalence of toxigenic Dinophysis in Puget Sound. PMID:23760013

  15. Diarrhetic shellfish toxins and other lipophilic toxins of human health concern in Washington State.

    PubMed

    Trainer, Vera L; Moore, Leslie; Bill, Brian D; Adams, Nicolaus G; Harrington, Neil; Borchert, Jerry; da Silva, Denis A M; Eberhart, Bich-Thuy L

    2013-06-01

    The illness of three people in 2011 after their ingestion of mussels collected from Sequim Bay State Park, Washington State, USA, demonstrated the need to monitor diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) in Washington State for the protection of human health. Following these cases of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, monitoring for DSTs in Washington State became formalized in 2012, guided by routine monitoring of Dinophysis species by the SoundToxins program in Puget Sound and the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) partnership on the outer Washington State coast. Here we show that the DSTs at concentrations above the guidance level of 16 μg okadaic acid (OA) + dinophysistoxins (DTXs)/100 g shellfish tissue were widespread in sentinel mussels throughout Puget Sound in summer 2012 and included harvest closures of California mussel, varnish clam, manila clam and Pacific oyster. Concentrations of toxins in Pacific oyster and manila clam were often at least half those measured in blue mussels at the same site. The primary toxin isomer in shellfish and plankton samples was dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1) with D. acuminata as the primary Dinophysis species. Other lipophilic toxins in shellfish were pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and yessotoxin (YTX) with azaspiracid-2 (AZA-2) also measured in phytoplankton samples. Okadaic acid, azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1) and azaspiracid-3 (AZA-3) were all below the levels of detection by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A shellfish closure at Ruby Beach, Washington, was the first ever noted on the Washington State Pacific coast due to DSTs. The greater than average Fraser River flow during the summers of 2011 and 2012 may have provided an environment conducive to dinoflagellates and played a role in the prevalence of toxigenic Dinophysis in Puget Sound. PMID:23760013

  16. Algal Bloom Detection from HICO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin, Ruhul; Gould, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Ocean color satellites provide daily, global views of marine bio-optical properties in the upper ocean at various spatial scales. The most productive area of the global ocean is the coastal zone which is heavily impacted by urban and agricultural runoff, transportation, recreation, and oil and gas production. In recent years, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become one of the serious environmental problems in the coastal areas on a global scale. The global nature of the problem has expanded in its frequency, severity, and extent over the last several decades. Human activities and population increases have contributed to an increase in various toxic and noxious algal species in the coastal regions worldwide. Eutrophication in estuaries and coastal waters is believed to be the major factor causing HABs. In this study, we assess the applicability of the Red Band Difference (RBD) HAB detection algorithm on data from the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO). Our preliminary results show that due to various uncertainties such as atmospheric correction, calibration and possibly also the relatively low signal-to-noise ratio of HICO for fluorescence detection, it is difficult to extract the fluorescence portion of the reflectance spectrum that RBD uses for bloom detection. We propose an improved bloom detection technique for HICO using red and NIR bands. Our results are validated using other space-borne and ground based measurements.

  17. Safety evaluation of DHA-rich Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp.

    PubMed

    Fedorova-Dahms, I; Marone, P A; Bauter, M; Ryan, A S

    2011-12-01

    The safety of DHA-rich Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp. containing 40-45 wt% DHA and up to 10 wt% EPA was evaluated by testing for gene mutations, clastogenicity and aneugenicity, and in a subchronic 90-day Sprague-Dawley rat dietary study with in utero exposure, followed by a 4-week recovery phase. The results of all genotoxicity tests were negative. In the 90-day study, DHA-rich Algal Oil was administered at dietary levels of 0.5, 1.5, and 5 wt% along with two control diets: a standard low-fat basal diet and a basal diet supplemented with 5 wt% of concentrated Fish Oil. There were no treatment-related effects of DHA-rich Algal Oil on clinical observations, body weight, food consumption, behavior, hematology, clinical chemistry, coagulation, or urinalysis. Increases in absolute and relative weights of the liver, kidney, spleen and adrenals (adrenals and spleen with histological correlates) were observed in both the Fish Oil- and the high-dose of DHA-rich Algal Oil-treated females and were not considered to be adverse. The no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for DHA-rich Algal Oil under the conditions of this study was 5 wt% in the diet, equivalent to an overall average DHA-rich Algal Oil intake of 4260 mg/kg bw/day for male and female rats. PMID:21914458

  18. Application of Multispectral and Hyperspectral Remote Sensing For Detection of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudela, R. M.; Accorsi, E.; Austerberry, D.; Palacios, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Freshwater Cyanobacterial Harmful algal blooms (CHABs) represent a pressing and apparently increasing threat to both human and environmental health. In California, toxin producing blooms of several species, including Aphanizomenon, Microcystis, Lyngbya, and Anabaena are common; toxins from these blooms have been linked to impaired drinking water, domestic and wild animal deaths, and increasing evidence for toxin transfer to coastal marine environments, including the death of several California sea otters, a threatened marine species. California scientists and managers are under increasing pressure to identify and mitigate these potentially toxic blooms, but point-source measurements and grab samples have been less than effective. There is increasing awareness that these toxic events are both spatially widespread and ephememeral, leading to the need for better monitoring methods applicable to large spatial and temporal scales. Based on monitoring in several California water bodies, it appears that Aphanizomenon blooms frequently precede dangerous levels of toxins from Microcystis. We are exploring new detection methods for identifying CHABs and potentially distinguishing between blooms of the harmful cyanobacteria Aphanizomenon and Microcystis using remote sensing reflectance from a variety of airborne and satellite sensors. We suggest that Aphanizomenon blooms could potentially be used as an early warning of more highly toxic subsequent blooms, and that these methods, combined with better toxin monitoring, can lead to improved understanding and prediction of CHABs by pinpointing problematic watersheds.

  19. Defense against toxin weapons

    SciTech Connect

    Franz, D.R.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this manual is to provide basic information on biological toxins to military leaders and health-care providers at all levels to help them make informed decisions on protecting their troops from toxins. Much of the information contained herein will also be of interest to individuals charged with countering domestic and international terrorism. We typically fear what we do not understand.

  20. Preformed bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Crane, J K

    1999-09-01

    Food poisoning syndromes caused by four different bacteria are described. For all types, food kept at a permissive temperature allows growth of the vegetative forms of the bacteria and production of a toxin or toxins. The key features of these syndromes, as well as possible new trends of concern, are summarized in Table 1. PMID:10549427

  1. Toxins from Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, James S.; Baldwin, Michael R.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial toxins damage the host at the site of bacterial infection or distanced from the site of infections. Bacterial toxins can be single proteins or organized as oligomeric protein complexes and are organized with distinct AB structure-function properties. The A domain encodes a catalytic activity; ADP-ribosylation of host proteins is the earliest post-translational modification determine to be performed by bacterial toxin, and now include glucosylation and proteolysis among other s. Bacterial toxins also catalyze the non-covalent modification of host protein function or can modify host cell properties through direct protein-protein interactions. The B domain includes two functional domains: a receptor-binding domain, which defines the tropism of a toxin for a cell and a translocation domain that delivers A domain across a lipid bilayer, either on the plasma membrane or the endosome. Bacterial toxins are often characterized based upon the section mechanism that delivers the toxin out of the bacterium, termed type I–VII. This review will overview the major families of bacterial toxins and will also describe the specific structure-function properties of the botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:20358680

  2. Resistance of ovine, caprine and bovine endothelial cells to Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin in vitro.

    PubMed

    Uzal, F A; Rolfe, B E; Smith, N J; Thomas, A C; Kelly, W R

    1999-08-01

    Ovine, caprine and bovine endothelial cells were grown in vitro and challenged with Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin to compare their susceptibility to this toxin. Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, which are known to be susceptible to epsilon toxin, were used as a positive control. No morphological alterations were observed in any of the endothelial cell cultures tested, even after challenging with doses as high as 1200 MLD50/ml of epsilon toxin. MDCK cells showed contour rounding and nuclear condensation as early as 30 min after exposure to 100 MLD50/ml of epsilon toxin and after 60 min of exposure to 12.5 MLD50/ml of the same toxin. All the MDCK cells were dead after 3 h of exposure to all concentrations of epsilon toxin. The results indicate that ovine, caprine and bovine endothelial cells are not morphologically responsive to the action of epsilon toxin in vitro. PMID:10493114

  3. Synthetic peptides with antigenic specificity for bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Sela, M; Arnon, R; Jacob, C O

    1986-01-01

    The attachment of a diphtheria toxin-specific synthetic antigenic determinant and a synthetic adjuvant to a synthetic polymeric carrier led to production of a totally synthetic macromolecule which provoked protective antibodies against diphtheria when administered in aqueous solution. When peptides related to the B subunit of cholera toxin were synthesized and attached to tetanus toxoid, antibodies produced against the conjugate reacted in some but not all cases with intact cholera toxin and (especially with peptide CTP 3, residues 50-64) neutralized toxin reactivity, as tested by permeability in rabbit skin, fluid accumulation in ligated small intestinal loops and adenylate cyclase activation. Polymerization of the peptide without any external carrier, or conjugation with the dipalmityl lysine group, had as good an effect in enhancing the immune response as its attachment to tetanus toxoid. Prior exposure to the carrier suppressed the immune response to the epitope attached to it, whereas prior exposure to the synthetic peptide had a good priming effect when the intact toxin was given; when two different peptides were attached to the same carrier, both were expressed. Antisera against peptide CTP 3 were highly cross-reactive with the heat-labile toxin of Escherichia coli and neutralized it to the same extent as cholera toxin, which is not surprising in view of the great homology between the two proteins. A synthetic oligonucleotide coding for CTP 3 has been used to express the peptide in a form suitable for immunization. It led to a priming effect against the intact cholera toxin. PMID:2426052

  4. Community Needs Assessment After Microcystin Toxin Contamination of a Municipal Water Supply - Lucas County, Ohio, September 2014.

    PubMed

    McCarty, Carolyn L; Nelson, Leigh; Eitniear, Samantha; Zgodzinski, Eric; Zabala, Amanda; Billing, Laurie; DiOrio, Mary

    2016-01-01

    On August 1, 2014, routine testing at the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant in Lucas County, Ohio, revealed microcystin toxin levels in drinking water had reached 3.19 μg/L, surpassing the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water advisory threshold of 1.0 μg/L. Microcystin is a hepatoxin released by cyanobacteria in certain harmful algal blooms. Exposure to microcystin has been associated with gastrointestinal and hepatic illness in both humans and animals (1-3). On August 2, a do-not-drink advisory was issued, warning community members not to drink, boil, or use the water for cooking or brushing teeth. Public health officials used traditional and social media outlets to disseminate public health messages to affected communities. On August 4, 2014, the advisory was lifted after multiple water samples confirmed microcystin toxin levels had dropped below the advisory threshold. To assess communication strategies, water exposure, and household needs, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Toledo-Lucas County Health Department (TLCHD) conducted a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) in Lucas County. Most households (88.1%) reported hearing about the advisory the morning it was issued, but 11% reported drinking and 21% reported brushing teeth with municipal water during the advisory. Household members reported physical (16%) and mental (10%) health concerns that they believed were related to the advisory and activity disruptions including temporarily staying outside of the home (6%) during the advisory and continued use of alternative water sources after the advisory was lifted (82%). During a do-not-drink advisory, governmental agencies and community partners need to engage in joint prevention and response efforts to decrease water exposure and prevent activity disruptions. PMID:27607896

  5. Constraints to commercialization of algal fuels.

    PubMed

    Chisti, Yusuf

    2013-09-10

    Production of algal crude oil has been achieved in various pilot scale facilities, but whether algal fuels can be produced in sufficient quantity to meaningfully displace petroleum fuels, has been largely overlooked. Limitations to commercialization of algal fuels need to be understood and addressed for any future commercialization. This review identifies the major constraints to commercialization of transport fuels from microalgae. Algae derived fuels are expensive compared to petroleum derived fuels, but this could change. Unfortunately, improved economics of production are not sufficient for an environmentally sustainable production, or its large scale feasibility. A low-cost point supply of concentrated carbon dioxide colocated with the other essential resources is necessary for producing algal fuels. An insufficiency of concentrated carbon dioxide is actually a major impediment to any substantial production of algal fuels. Sustainability of production requires the development of an ability to almost fully recycle the phosphorous and nitrogen nutrients that are necessary for algae culture. Development of a nitrogen biofixation ability to support production of algal fuels ought to be an important long term objective. At sufficiently large scale, a limited supply of freshwater will pose a significant limitation to production even if marine algae are used. Processes for recovering energy from the algal biomass left after the extraction of oil, are required for achieving a net positive energy balance in the algal fuel oil. The near term outlook for widespread use of algal fuels appears bleak, but fuels for niche applications such as in aviation may be likely in the medium term. Genetic and metabolic engineering of microalgae to boost production of fuel oil and ease its recovery, are essential for commercialization of algal fuels. Algae will need to be genetically modified for improved photosynthetic efficiency in the long term. PMID:23886651

  6. Effects of in vitro Brevetoxin Exposure on Apoptosis and Cellular Metabolism in a Leukemic T Cell Line (Jurkat)

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Catherine J.; Leggett, Stephanie R.; Strohbehn, Kathryn; Pierce, Richard H.; Sleasman, John W.

    2008-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, produce red tide toxins, or brevetoxins. Significant health effects associated with red tide toxin exposure have been reported in sea life and in humans, with brevetoxins documented within immune cells from many species. The objective of this research was to investigate potential immunotoxic effects of brevetoxins using a leukemic T cell line (Jurkat) as an in vitro model system. Viability, cell proliferation, and apoptosis assays were conducted using brevetoxin congeners PbTx-2, PbTx-3, and PbTx-6. The effects of in vitro brevetoxin exposure on cell viability and cellular metabolism or proliferation were determined using trypan blue and MTT (1-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-3,5-diphenylformazan), respectively. Using MTT, cellular metabolic activity was decreased in Jurkat cells exposed to 5 – 10 μg/ml PbTx-2 or PbTx-6. After 3 h, no significant effects on cell viability were observed with any toxin congener in concentrations up to 10 μg/ml. Viability decreased dramatically after 24 h in cells treated with PbTx-2 or -6. Apoptosis, as measured by caspase-3 activity, was significantly increased in cells exposed to PbTx-2 or PbTx-6. In summary, brevetoxin congeners varied in effects on Jurkat cells, with PbTx-2 and PbTx-6 eliciting greater cellular effects compared to PbTx-3. PMID:18728729

  7. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed. PMID:27353131

  8. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A.

    PubMed

    Chumbler, Nicole M; Rutherford, Stacey A; Zhang, Zhifen; Farrow, Melissa A; Lisher, John P; Farquhar, Erik; Giedroc, David P; Spiller, Benjamin W; Melnyk, Roman A; Lacy, D Borden

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. Disease is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which cause the diarrhoea, as well as inflammation and necrosis within the colon(1,2). The toxins are large (308 and 270 kDa, respectively), homologous (47% amino acid identity) glucosyltransferases that target small GTPases within the host(3,4). The multidomain toxins enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and, upon exposure to the low pH of the endosome, insert into and deliver two enzymatic domains across the membrane. Eukaryotic inositol-hexakisphosphate (InsP6) binds an autoprocessing domain to activate a proteolysis event that releases the N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain into the cytosol. Here, we report the crystal structure of a 1,832-amino-acid fragment of TcdA (TcdA1832), which reveals a requirement for zinc in the mechanism of toxin autoprocessing and an extended delivery domain that serves as a scaffold for the hydrophobic α-helices involved in pH-dependent pore formation. A surface loop of the delivery domain whose sequence is strictly conserved among all large clostridial toxins is shown to be functionally important, and is highlighted for future efforts in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics. PMID:27571750

  9. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A

    PubMed Central

    Chumbler, Nicole M.; Rutherford, Stacey A.; Zhang, Zhifen; Farrow, Melissa A.; Lisher, John P.; Farquhar, Erik; Giedroc, David P.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Melnyk, Roman A.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. Disease is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which cause the diarrhoea, as well as inflammation and necrosis within the colon1,2. The toxins are large (308 and 270 kDa, respectively), homologous (47% amino acid identity) glucosyltransferases that target small GTPases within the host3,4. The multidomain toxins enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and, upon exposure to the low pH of the endosome, insert into and deliver two enzymatic domains across the membrane. Eukaryotic inositol-hexakisphosphate (InsP6) binds an autoprocessing domain to activate a proteolysis event that releases the N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain into the cytosol. Here, we report the crystal structure of a 1,832-amino-acid fragment of TcdA (TcdA1832), which reveals a requirement for zinc in the mechanism of toxin autoprocessing and an extended delivery domain that serves as a scaffold for the hydrophobic α-helices involved in pH-dependent pore formation. A surface loop of the delivery domain whose sequence is strictly conserved among all large clostridial toxins is shown to be functionally important, and is highlighted for future efforts in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics. PMID:27512603

  10. Supported liquid membrane-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of cyanobacterial toxins in fresh water systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbukwa, Elbert A.; Msagati, Titus A. M.; Mamba, Bhekie B.

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming of great concern to water resources worldwide due to indiscriminate waste disposal habits resulting in water pollution and eutrophication. When cyanobacterial cells lyse (burst) they release toxins called microcystins (MCs) that are well known for their hepatotoxicity (causing liver damage) and have been found in eutrophic lakes, rivers, wastewater ponds and other water reservoirs. Prolonged exposure to low concentrated MCs are equally of health importance as they are known to be bioaccumulative and even at such low concentration do exhibit toxic effects to aquatic animals, wildlife and human liver cells. The application of common treatment processes for drinking water sourced from HABs infested reservoirs have the potential to cause algal cell lyses releasing low to higher amounts of MCs in finished water. Trace microcystins in water/tissue can be analyzed and quantified using Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) following solid-phase extraction (SPE) sample clean-up procedures. However, extracting MCs from algal samples which are rich in chlorophyll pigments and other organic matrices the SPE method suffers a number of drawbacks, including cartridge clogging, long procedural steps and use of larger volumes of extraction solvents. We applied a supported liquid membrane (SLM) based technique as an alternative sample clean-up method for LC-ESI-MS analysis of MCs from both water and algal cells. Four (4) MC variants (MC-RR, -YR, -LR and -WR) from lyophilized cells of Microcystis aeruginosa and water collected from a wastewater pond were identified) and quantified using LC-ESI-MS following a SLM extraction and liquid partitioning step, however, MC-WR was not detected from water extracts. Within 45 min of SLM extraction all studied MCs were extracted and pre-concentrated in approximately 15 μL of an acceptor phase at an optimal pH 2.02 of the donor phase (sample). The highest

  11. The distribution and impacts of harmful algal bloom species in eastern boundary upwelling systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trainer, V. L.; Pitcher, G. C.; Reguera, B.; Smayda, T. J.

    2010-04-01

    Comparison of harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in eastern boundary upwelling systems, specifically species composition, bloom densities, toxin concentrations and impacts are likely to contribute to understanding these phenomena. We identify and describe HABs in the California, Canary, Benguela and Humboldt Current systems, including those that can cause the poisoning syndromes in humans called paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), and amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), as well as yessotoxins, ichthyotoxins, and high-biomass blooms resulting in hypoxia and anoxia. Such comparisons will allow identification of parameters, some unique to upwelling systems and others not, that contribute to the development of these harmful blooms.

  12. Bacterial toxins: friends or foes?

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, C. K.; Meysick, K. C.; O'Brien, A. D.

    1999-01-01

    Many emerging and reemerging bacterial pathogens synthesize toxins that serve as primary virulence factors. We highlight seven bacterial toxins produced by well-established or newly emergent pathogenic microbes. These toxins, which affect eukaryotic cells by a variety of means, include Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin, Shiga toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1, Escherichia coli heat-stable toxin, botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, and S. aureus toxic-shock syndrome toxin. For each, we discuss the information available on its synthesis and structure, mode of action, and contribution to virulence. We also review the role certain toxins have played in unraveling signal pathways in eukaryotic cells and summarize the beneficial uses of toxins and toxoids. Our intent is to illustrate the importance of the analysis of bacterial toxins to both basic and applied sciences. PMID:10221874

  13. Quality measures of imaging mass spectrometry aids in revealing long-term striatal protein changes induced by neonatal exposure to the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA).

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Bergquist, Jonas; Andersson, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Many pathological processes are not directly correlated to dramatic alterations in protein levels. The changes in local concentrations of important proteins in a subset of cells or at specific loci are likely to play a significant role in disease etiologies, but the precise location might be unknown, or the concentration might be too small to be adequately sampled for traditional proteomic techniques. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a unique analytical method that combines analysis of multiple molecular species and of their distribution in a single platform. As reproducibility is essential for successful biomarker discovery, it is important to systematically assess data quality in biologically relevant MALDI IMS experiments. In the present study, we applied four simple tools to study the reproducibility for individual sections, within-group variation, and between-group variation of data acquired from brain sections of 21 animals divided into three treatment groups. We also characterized protein changes in distinct regions of the striatum from six-month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), which has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. The results showed that optimized experimental settings can yield high-quality MALDI IMS data with relatively low variation (14% to 15% coefficient of variance) that allow the characterization of subtle changes in protein expression in various subregions of the brain. This was further exemplified by the dose-dependent reduction of myelin basic protein in the caudate putamen and the nucleus accumbens of adult rats neonatally treated with BMAA (150 and 460 mg/kg). The reduction in myelin basic protein was confirmed through immunohistochemistry and indicates that developmental exposure to BMAA may induce structural effects on axonal growth and/or directly on the proliferation of oligodendrocytes

  14. Quality Measures of Imaging Mass Spectrometry Aids in Revealing Long-term Striatal Protein Changes Induced by Neonatal Exposure to the Cyanobacterial Toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA)*

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Oskar; Bergquist, Jonas; Andersson, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Many pathological processes are not directly correlated to dramatic alterations in protein levels. The changes in local concentrations of important proteins in a subset of cells or at specific loci are likely to play a significant role in disease etiologies, but the precise location might be unknown, or the concentration might be too small to be adequately sampled for traditional proteomic techniques. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a unique analytical method that combines analysis of multiple molecular species and of their distribution in a single platform. As reproducibility is essential for successful biomarker discovery, it is important to systematically assess data quality in biologically relevant MALDI IMS experiments. In the present study, we applied four simple tools to study the reproducibility for individual sections, within-group variation, and between-group variation of data acquired from brain sections of 21 animals divided into three treatment groups. We also characterized protein changes in distinct regions of the striatum from six-month-old rats treated neonatally (postnatal days 9–10) with the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), which has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. The results showed that optimized experimental settings can yield high-quality MALDI IMS data with relatively low variation (14% to 15% coefficient of variance) that allow the characterization of subtle changes in protein expression in various subregions of the brain. This was further exemplified by the dose-dependent reduction of myelin basic protein in the caudate putamen and the nucleus accumbens of adult rats neonatally treated with BMAA (150 and 460 mg/kg). The reduction in myelin basic protein was confirmed through immunohistochemistry and indicates that developmental exposure to BMAA may induce structural effects on axonal growth and/or directly on the proliferation of oligodendrocytes

  15. Exploring the Utilization of Complex Algal Communities to Address Algal Pond Crash and Increase Annual Biomass Production for Algal Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Cyd E.

    2014-03-25

    This white paper briefly reviews the research literature exploring complex algal communities as a means of increasing algal biomass production via increased tolerance, resilience, and resistance to a variety of abiotic and biotic perturbations occurring within harvesting timescales. This paper identifies what data are available and whether more research utilizing complex communities is needed to explore the potential of complex algal community stability (CACS) approach as a plausible means to increase biomass yields regardless of ecological context and resulting in decreased algal-based fuel prices by reducing operations costs. By reviewing the literature for what we do and do not know, in terms of CACS methodologies, this report will provide guidance for future research addressing pond crash phenomena.

  16. Eosinophilia and biotoxin exposure in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from a coastal area impacted by repeated mortality events

    SciTech Connect

    Schwacke, Lori H.; Twiner, Michael J.; De Guise, Sylvain; Balmer, Brian C.; Wells, Randall S.; Rotstein, David C.; Varela, Rene A.; Hansen, Larry J.; Zolman, Eric S.; Spradlin, Trevor R.; and others

    2010-08-15

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting coastal waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico have been impacted by recurrent unusual mortality events over the past few decades. Several of these mortality events along the Florida panhandle have been tentatively attributed to poisoning from brevetoxin produced by the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. While dolphins in other regions of the Florida coast are often exposed to K. brevis blooms, large-scale dolphin mortality events are relatively rare and the frequency and magnitude of die-offs along the Panhandle raise concern for the apparent vulnerability of dolphins in this region. We report results from dolphin health assessments conducted near St. Joseph Bay, Florida, an area impacted by 3 unusual die-offs within a 7-year time span. An eosinophilia syndrome, manifested as an elevated blood eosinophil count without obvious cause, was observed in 23% of sampled dolphins. Elevated eosinophil counts were associated with decreased T-lymphocyte proliferation and increased neutrophil phagocytosis. In addition, indication of chronic low-level exposure to another algal toxin, domoic acid produced by the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp., was determined. Previous studies of other marine mammal populations exposed recurrently to Pseudo-nitzschia blooms have suggested a possible link between the eosinophilia and domoic acid exposure. While the chronic eosinophilia syndrome could over the long-term produce organ damage and alter immunological status and thereby increase vulnerability to other challenges, the significance of the high prevalence of the syndrome to the observed mortality events in the St. Joseph Bay area is unclear. Nonetheless, the unusual immunological findings and concurrent evidence of domoic acid exposure in this sentinel marine species suggest a need for further investigation to elucidate potential links between chronic, low-level exposure to algal toxins and immune health.

  17. Uptake, transfer and elimination kinetics of paralytic shellfish toxins in common octopus (Octopus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Baptista, Miguel; Repolho, Tiago; Rosa, Rui; Costa, Pedro Reis

    2014-01-01

    Marine phycotoxins derived from harmful algal blooms are known to be associated with mass mortalities in the higher trophic levels of marine food webs. Bivalve mollusks and planktivorous fish are the most studied vectors of marine phycotoxins. However, field surveys recently showed that cephalopod mollusks also constitute potential vectors of toxins. Thus, here we determine, for the first time, the time course of accumulation and depuration of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Concomitantly, the underlying kinetics of toxin transfer between tissue compartments was also calculated. Naturally contaminated clams were used to orally expose the octopus to PSTs during 6 days. Afterwards, octopus specimens were fed with non-contaminated shellfish during 10 days of depuration period. Toxins reached the highest concentrations in the digestive gland surpassing the levels in the kidney by three orders of magnitude. PSTs were not detected in any other tissue analyzed. Net accumulation efficiencies of 42% for GTX5, 36% for dcSTX and 23% for C1+2 were calculated for the digestive gland. These compounds were the most abundant toxins in both digestive gland and the contaminated shellfish diet. The small differences in relative abundance of each toxin observed between the prey and the cephalopod predator indicates low conversion rates of these toxins. The depuration period was better described using an exponential decay model comprising a single compartment - the entire viscera. It is worth noting that since octopuses' excretion and depuration rates are low, the digestive gland is able to accumulate very high toxin concentrations for long periods of time. Therefore, the present study clearly shows that O. vulgaris is a high-potential vector of PSTs during and even after the occurrence of these toxic algal blooms. PMID:24316438

  18. Toxic effects of HT-2 toxin on mouse oocytes and its possible mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Zhang, Yue; Duan, Xing; Han, Jun; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2016-06-01

    T-2 toxin is one of the type A trichothecene mycotoxins that is considered to be the most toxic of the trichothecenes. T-2 toxin has been shown to exert various toxic effects in farm animals and humans, as it induces lesions in the brain and in lymphoid, hematopoietic, and gastrointestinal tissues. HT-2 toxin is the major metabolite of T-2 toxin. There is little information regarding the effects of HT-2 toxin on the female reproductive system, particularly oocyte maturation. Thus, in this study, we investigated the toxic effects of HT-2 on mouse oocyte maturation and its possible mechanisms of action. HT-2 toxin exposure disrupted oocyte maturation, reduced actin expression in both the oocyte cortex and cytoplasm, and disrupted meiotic spindle morphology by reducing p-MAPK protein level. HT-2 toxin exposure also induced oxidative stress and resulted in oocyte apoptosis, as shown by ROS accumulation, increased SOD mRNA level, and the expression of the early apoptosis marker Annexin V and increased caspase-3 and bax mRNA levels. Additionally, HT-2 toxin exposure increased LC3 and ATG12 protein levels and lc3 and atg14 mRNA levels, which indicated that HT-2 toxin induced autophagy in mouse oocytes. We also examined for possible epigenetic modifications. Fluorescence intensity analysis showed that 5mC level increased after HT-2 toxin exposure, whereas H3K9me2 and H3K27me3 levels decreased after HT-2 toxin exposure, which indicated that DNA and histone methylations were altered. Thus, our results indicated that HT-2 toxin exposure reduced mouse oocyte maturation capability by affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, apoptosis/autophagy, oxidative stress, and epigenetic modifications. PMID:26138683

  19. Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum.

    PubMed

    Rockwell, Nathan C; Duanmu, Deqiang; Martin, Shelley S; Bachy, Charles; Price, Dana C; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Worden, Alexandra Z; Lagarias, J Clark

    2014-03-11

    Plant phytochromes are photoswitchable red/far-red photoreceptors that allow competition with neighboring plants for photosynthetically active red light. In aquatic environments, red and far-red light are rapidly attenuated with depth; therefore, photosynthetic species must use shorter wavelengths of light. Nevertheless, phytochrome-related proteins are found in recently sequenced genomes of many eukaryotic algae from aquatic environments. We examined the photosensory properties of seven phytochromes from diverse algae: four prasinophyte (green algal) species, the heterokont (brown algal) Ectocarpus siliculosus, and two glaucophyte species. We demonstrate that algal phytochromes are not limited to red and far-red responses. Instead, different algal phytochromes can sense orange, green, and even blue light. Characterization of these previously undescribed photosensors using CD spectroscopy supports a structurally heterogeneous chromophore in the far-red-absorbing photostate. Our study thus demonstrates that extensive spectral tuning of phytochromes has evolved in phylogenetically distinct lineages of aquatic photosynthetic eukaryotes. PMID:24567382

  20. Cyanobacterial toxins in New York and the lower Great Lakes ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Gregory L

    2008-01-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are an increasing problem in the lower Laurentian Great Lakes. To better understand their occurrence and distribution, samples for particulate toxin analysis were collected from more than 140 New York Lakes including Lakes Erie, Champlain and Ontario. Microcystins were of most importance and were detected in nearly 50% of the samples. Anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin and the paralytic shellfish toxins occurred much less frequently (0-4%). The implications for the management of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms are discussed. PMID:18461769

  1. Direct conversion of algal biomass to biofuel

    DOEpatents

    Deng, Shuguang; Patil, Prafulla D; Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

    2014-10-14

    A method and system for providing direct conversion of algal biomass. Optionally, the method and system can be used to directly convert dry algal biomass to biodiesels under microwave irradiation by combining the reaction and combining steps. Alternatively, wet algae can be directly processed and converted to fatty acid methyl esters, which have the major components of biodiesels, by reacting with methanol at predetermined pressure and temperature ranges.

  2. The cyanobacteria toxins, microcystins – emerging risks to human health

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dialysis patients appear to be at increased risk for exposure to cyanobacteria toxins; episodes of microcystin (MCYST) exposure via dialysate during 1996 and 2001 have been previously reported. During 2001, as many as 44 renal insufficiency patients were exposed to contaminated d...

  3. Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens.

    PubMed

    Park, Chae Haeng; Kim, Kyung Mo; Elvebakk, Arve; Kim, Ok-Sun; Jeong, Gajin; Hong, Soon Gyu

    2015-01-01

    The composition of lichen ecosystems except mycobiont and photobiont has not been evaluated intensively. In addition, recent studies to identify algal genotypes have raised questions about the specific relationship between mycobiont and photobiont. In the current study, we analyzed algal and fungal community structures in lichen species from King George Island, Antarctica, by pyrosequencing of eukaryotic large subunit (LSU) and algal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) domains of the nuclear rRNA gene. The sequencing results of LSU and ITS regions indicated that each lichen thallus contained diverse algal species. The major algal operational taxonomic unit (OTU) defined at a 99% similarity cutoff of LSU sequences accounted for 78.7-100% of the total algal community in each sample. In several cases, the major OTUs defined by LSU sequences were represented by two closely related OTUs defined by 98% sequence similarity of ITS domain. The results of LSU sequences indicated that lichen-associated fungi belonged to the Arthoniomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, and Sordariomycetes of the Ascomycota, and Tremellomycetes and Cystobasidiomycetes of the Basidiomycota. The composition of major photobiont species and lichen-associated fungal community were mostly related to the mycobiont species. The contribution of growth forms or substrates on composition of photobiont and lichen-associated fungi was not evident. PMID:25105247

  4. Immunoassays and Biosensors for the Detection of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Water

    PubMed Central

    Weller, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    Algal blooms are a frequent phenomenon in nearly all kinds of fresh water. Global warming and eutrophication by waste water, air pollution and fertilizers seem to lead to an increased frequency of occurrence. Many cyanobacteria produce hazardous and quite persistent toxins, which can contaminate the respective water bodies. This may limit the use of the raw water for many purposes. The purification of the contaminated water might be quite costly, which makes a continuous and large scale treatment economically unfeasible in many cases. Due to the obvious risks of algal toxins, an online or mobile detection method would be highly desirable. Several biosensor systems have been presented in the literature for this purpose. In this review, their mode of operation, performance and general suitability for the intended purpose will be described and critically discussed. Finally, an outlook on current developments and future prospects will be given. PMID:24196435

  5. Biodegradation of polyether algal toxins–Isolation of potential marine bacteria

    PubMed Central

    SHETTY, KATEEL G.; HUNTZICKER, JACQUELINE V.; REIN, KATHLEEN S.; JAYACHANDRAN, KRISH

    2012-01-01

    Marine algal toxins such as brevetoxins, okadaic acid, yessotoxin, and ciguatoxin are polyether compounds. The fate of polyether toxins in the aqueous phase, particularly bacterial biotransformation of the toxins, is poorly understood. An inexpensive and easily available polyether structural analog salinomycin was used for enrichment and isolation of potential polyether toxin degrading aquatic marine bacteria from Florida bay area, and from red tide endemic sites in the South Florida Gulf coast. Bacterial growth on salinomycin was observed in most of the enrichment cultures from both regions with colony forming units ranging from 0 to 6 × 107 per mL. The salinomycin biodegradation efficiency of bacterial isolates determined using LC-MS ranged from 22% to 94%. Selected bacterial isolates were grown in media with brevetoxin as the sole carbon source to screen for brevetoxin biodegradation capability using ELISA. Out of the two efficient salinomycin biodegrading isolates MB-2 and MB-4, maximum brevetoxin biodegradation efficiency of 45% was observed with MB-4, while MB-2 was unable to biodegrade brevetoxin. Based on 16S rRNA sequence similarity MB-4 was found have a match with Chromohalobacter sp. PMID:20954040

  6. Staphylococcus aureus toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and Streptococcus pyogenes erythrogenic toxin A modulate inflammatory mediator release from human neutrophils.

    PubMed Central

    Hensler, T; Köller, M; Geoffroy, C; Alouf, J E; König, W

    1993-01-01

    We studied the influence of staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and streptococcal erythrogenic (pyrogenic) toxin A (ETA) on intact and digitonin-permeabilized human polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMNs). As was shown by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 or ETA alone, in the absence of any additional stimulus, did not induce the generation of the chemoattractant leukotriene B4 (LTB4) from PMNs in a wide range of concentrations. In addition, pretreatment of intact PMNs with either toxin potentiated formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)- and washed Staphylococcus aureus cell-induced generation of LTB4 in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This increase included LTB4 as well as its inactive omega-oxidated compounds. Further studies revealed evidence that toxin exposure was accompanied by enhanced cellular receptor expression for fMLP as well as for LTB4. The intrinsic GTPase activity of membrane fractions was modulated by both toxins. Short-term incubation with ETA increased the GTPase activity of PMNs up to 141%. Inhibitory effects were obtained when GTP-binding protein functions were stimulated with sodium fluoride (NaF). In addition, specific binding of Gpp(NH)p to GTP-binding protein was inhibited by both toxins during the first 10 min of incubation and was restored at later times of incubation. Our data therefore suggest that both toxins significantly affect the signal transduction pathways of human PMNs, which results in immunomodulatory functions. PMID:8381770

  7. Staphylococcus aureus toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and Streptococcus pyogenes erythrogenic toxin A modulate inflammatory mediator release from human neutrophils.

    PubMed

    Hensler, T; Köller, M; Geoffroy, C; Alouf, J E; König, W

    1993-03-01

    We studied the influence of staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and streptococcal erythrogenic (pyrogenic) toxin A (ETA) on intact and digitonin-permeabilized human polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMNs). As was shown by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 or ETA alone, in the absence of any additional stimulus, did not induce the generation of the chemoattractant leukotriene B4 (LTB4) from PMNs in a wide range of concentrations. In addition, pretreatment of intact PMNs with either toxin potentiated formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)- and washed Staphylococcus aureus cell-induced generation of LTB4 in a time- and dose-dependent manner. This increase included LTB4 as well as its inactive omega-oxidated compounds. Further studies revealed evidence that toxin exposure was accompanied by enhanced cellular receptor expression for fMLP as well as for LTB4. The intrinsic GTPase activity of membrane fractions was modulated by both toxins. Short-term incubation with ETA increased the GTPase activity of PMNs up to 141%. Inhibitory effects were obtained when GTP-binding protein functions were stimulated with sodium fluoride (NaF). In addition, specific binding of Gpp(NH)p to GTP-binding protein was inhibited by both toxins during the first 10 min of incubation and was restored at later times of incubation. Our data therefore suggest that both toxins significantly affect the signal transduction pathways of human PMNs, which results in immunomodulatory functions. PMID:8381770

  8. Microflotation performance for algal separation.

    PubMed

    Hanotu, James; Bandulasena, H C Hemaka; Zimmerman, William B

    2012-07-01

    The performance of microflotation, dispersed air flotation with microbubble clouds with bubble size about 50 µm, for algae separation using fluidic oscillation for microbubble generation is investigated. This fluidic oscillator converts continuous air supply into oscillatory flow with a regular frequency to generate bubbles of the scale of the exit pore. Bubble characterization results showed that average bubble size generated under oscillatory air flow state was 86 µm, approximately twice the size of the diffuser pore size of 38 µm. In contrast, continuous air flow at the same rate through the same diffusers yielded an average bubble size of 1,059 µm, 28 times larger than the pore size. Following microbubble generation, the separation of algal cells under fluidic oscillator generated microbubbles was investigated by varying metallic coagulant types, concentration and pH. Best performances were recorded at the highest coagulant dose (150 mg/L) applied under acidic conditions (pH 5). Amongst the three metallic coagulants studied, ferric chloride yielded the overall best result of 99.2% under the optimum conditions followed closely by ferric sulfate (98.1%) and aluminum sulfate with 95.2%. This compares well with conventional dissolved air flotation (DAF) benchmarks, but has a highly turbulent flow, whereas microflotation is laminar with several orders of magnitude lower energy density. PMID:22290221

  9. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Nes, W.D.; Norton, R.A.; Crumley, F.G. ); Madigan, S.J.; Katz, E.R. )

    1990-10-01

    The stereochemistry of several sterol precursors and end products synthesized by two fungal-like microorganisms Prototheca wickerhamii (I) and Dictyostelium discoideum (II) have been determined by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral (UV, MS, and {sup 1}H NMR) methods. From I and II the following sterols were isolated from the cells: cycloartenol, cyclolaudenol, 24(28)-methylenecy-cloartanol, ergosterol, protothecasterol, 4{alpha}-methylergostanol, 4{alpha}-methylclionastanol, clionastanol, 24{beta}-ethylcholesta-8,22-enol, and dictyosterol. In addition, the mechanism of C-24 methylation was investigated in both organisms by feeding to I (2-{sup 3}H)lanosterol, (2-{sup 3}H)cycloartenol, (24{sup 3}H)lanosterol, and (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine and by feeding to II (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine. The results demonstrate that the 24{beta} configuration is formed by different alkylation routes in I and II. The authors conclude that Prototheca is an apoplastic Chlorella (i.e., an alga) and that Dictyostelium as well as the other soil amoebae that synthesize cycloartenol evolved from algal rather than fungal ancestors.

  10. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

    The genetic, physiological and metabolic diversity of microalgae has driven fundamental research into photosynthesis, flagella structure and function, and eukaryotic evolution. Within the last 10 years these organisms have also been investigated as potential biotechnology platforms, for example to produce high value compounds such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants, and for biodiesel precursors, in particular triacylglycerols (TAGs). Transformation protocols, molecular tools and genome sequences are available for a number of model species including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, although for both species there are bottlenecks to be overcome to allow rapid and predictable genetic manipulation. One approach to do this would be to apply the principles of synthetic biology to microalgae, namely the cycle of Design-Build-Test, which requires more robust, predictable and high throughput methods. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in the areas of improving transgene expression, genome editing, identification and design of standard genetic elements (parts), and the use of microfluidics to increase throughput. We suggest that combining these approaches will provide the means to establish algal synthetic biology, and that application of standard parts and workflows will avoid parallel development and capitalize on lessons learned from other systems. PMID:27284033

  11. Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids and Marine Toxins - The Common and the Different

    PubMed Central

    Klisch, Manfred; Häder, Donat-P.

    2008-01-01

    Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally < 400) compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying amino acid or amino alcohol substituents. So far there has been no report of toxicity in MAAs but nevertheless there are some features they have in common with marine toxins. Among the organisms producing MAAs are cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and diatoms that also synthesize toxins. As in cyclic peptide toxins found in cyanobacteria, amino acids are the main building blocks of MAAs. Both, MAAs and some marine toxins are transferred to other organisms e.g. via the food chains, and chemical modifications can take place in secondary consumers. In contrast to algal toxins, the physiological role of MAAs is clearly the protection from harmful UV radiation by physical screening. However, other roles, e.g. as osmolytes and antioxidants, are also considered. In this paper the common characteristics of MAAs and marine toxins are discussed as well as the differences. PMID:18728764

  12. Apparent bioaccumulation of cylindrospermopsin and paralytic shellfish toxins by finfish in Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico).

    PubMed

    Berry, J P; Jaja-Chimedza, A; Dávalos-Lind, L; Lind, O

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the well-characterized health threats associated with contamination of fish and shellfish by algal toxins in marine fisheries, the toxicological relevance of the bioaccumulation of toxins from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), as the primary toxigenic algae in freshwater systems, remains relatively unknown. Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico) is a small, tropical lake system specifically characterized by a year-round dominance of the known toxigenic cyanobacterial genus, Cylindrospermopsis, and by low, but detectable, levels of both a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin, cylindrospermopsin (CYN), and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs). In the present study, we evaluated, using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), levels of both toxins in several species of finfish caught and consumed locally in the region to investigate the bioaccumulation of, and possible health threats associated with, these toxins as potential foodborne contaminants. ELISA detected levels of both CYN and PSTs in fish tissues from the lake. Levels were generally low (≤ 1 ng g(-1) tissue); however, calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) indicate that toxin levels exceed the rather low levels in the water column and, consequently, indicated bioaccumulation (BAF >1). A reasonable correlation was observed between measured bioaccumulation of CYN and PSTs, possibly indicating a mutual source of both toxins, and most likely cells of Cylindrospermopsis, the dominant cyanobacteria in the lake, and a known producer of both metabolites. The potential roles of trophic transport in the system, as well as possible implications for human health with regards to bioaccumulation, are discussed. PMID:21838624

  13. Investigation of diarrhetic shellfish toxins in Lingshan Bay, Yellow Sea, China, using solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT).

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Ling; Li, Zhao-Xin; Guo, Meng-Meng; Wu, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Ting-Ting; Song, Cai-Hu

    2016-08-01

    Early detection of toxin contamination in shellfish (i.e., prior to harvest) would be of considerable advantage to fish farmers, researchers and food safety administrators. In 2004, a solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) technique was developed to study algal toxins in New Zealand shellfish harvesting areas. In subsequent years, the basic idea have been further developed. Using a SPATT method, an investigation into diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) was conducted over a 10.5-month period in 2012 in shellfish farming areas in Lingshan Bay (Yellow Sea, China). This paper discusses the relationship among DSTs in toxic algae, seawater and contaminated shellfish. OA, DTX1 and PTX2 toxins were found in this shellfish farming area from summer to autumn. In shellfish the maximum concentrations of OA and DTX1 were 81 and 41 ng g(-1) respectively. PTX2 was very low. The maximum levels of OA and DTX1 in seawater were 165 and 56 ng g(-1) respectively, and were detected on June, separated by a 14-day period. Shellfish had accumulated the highest levels of OA and DTX1 recorded in this study. Comparison of the variations in DST levels in seawater showed there to be about 2 weeks for administrators to warn of the potential for toxin contamination in shellfish. Further research to explore the relationship between the variables of seawater temperature, sunlight and salinity, and DSTs in shellfish may help to establish a more suitable model for forecasting DST contamination in shellfish. PMID:27295385

  14. Algal Supply System Design - Harmonized Version

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Stevens, Daniel; Ray, Allison; Newby, Deborah; Schaller, Kastli

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this design report is to provide an assessment of current technologies used for production, dewatering, and converting microalgae cultivated in open-pond systems to biofuel. The original draft design was created in 2011 and has subsequently been brought into agreement with the DOE harmonized model. The design report extends beyond this harmonized model to discuss some of the challenges with assessing algal production systems, including the ability to (1) quickly assess alternative algal production system designs, (2) assess spatial and temporal variability, and (3) perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. The Algae Logistics Model (ALM) was developed to address each of these limitations of current modeling efforts to enable assessment of the economic feasibility of algal production systems across the United States. The (ALM) enables (1) dynamic assessments using spatiotemporal conditions, (2) exploration of algal production system design configurations, (3) investigation of algal production system operating assumptions, and (4) trade-off assessments with technology decisions and operating assumptions. The report discusses results from the ALM, which is used to assess the baseline design determined by harmonization efforts between U.S. DOE national laboratories. Productivity and resource assessment data is provided by coupling the ALM with the Biomass Assessment Tool developed at PNNL. This high-fidelity data is dynamically passed to the ALM and used to help better understand the impacts of spatial and temporal constraints on algal production systems by providing a cost for producing extracted algal lipids annually for each potential site.

  15. Serum amyloid A protects murine macrophages from lethal toxin-mediated death.

    PubMed

    Rose, Kira; Long, Paul; Shankar, Malini; Ballard, Jimmy D; Webb, Carol F

    2012-01-01

    Lethal toxin, a key virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis, induces cell death, in part by disrupting numerous signaling pathways, in mouse macrophages. However, exposure to sublethal doses of lethal toxin allows some cells to survive. Because these pro-survival signaling events occur within a few hours after exposure to sublethal doses, we hypothesized that acute phase proteins might influence macrophage survival. Our data show that serum amyloid A (SAA) is produced in response to lethal toxin treatment. Moreover, pre-treatment of macrophages with exogenous SAA protected macrophages from lethal toxin-mediated death. Exogenous SAA activated the p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAP) kinase pathway, while lethal toxin mutants incapable of p38 activation were incapable of causing cell death. Chemical inhibition of the p38 activation pathway abrogated the protective effects of SAA. These data show that SAA affords protection against lethal toxin in mouse macrophages and link this response to the p38 pathway. PMID:22082566

  16. Algal Energy Conversion and Capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazendonk, P.

    2015-12-01

    We address the potential for energy conversions and capture for: energy generation; reduction in energy use; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; remediation of water and air pollution; protection and enhancement of soil fertility. These processes have the potential to sequester carbon at scales that may have global impact. Energy conversion and capture strategies evaluate energy use and production from agriculture, urban areas and industries, and apply existing and emerging technologies to reduce and recapture energy embedded in waste products. The basis of biocrude production from Micro-algal feedstocks: 1) The nutrients from the liquid fraction of waste streams are concentrated and fed into photo bioreactors (essentially large vessels in which microalgae are grown) along with CO2 from flue gasses from down stream processes. 2) The algae are processed to remove high value products such as proteins and beta-carotenes. The advantage of algae feedstocks is the high biomass productivity is 30-50 times that of land based crops and the remaining biomass contains minimal components that are difficult to convert to biocrude. 3) The remaining biomass undergoes hydrothermal liquefaction to produces biocrude and biochar. The flue gasses of this process can be used to produce electricity (fuel cell) and subsequently fed back into the photobioreactor. The thermal energy required for this process is small, hence readily obtained from solar-thermal sources, and furthermore no drying or preprocessing is required keeping the energy overhead extremely small. 4) The biocrude can be upgraded and refined as conventional crude oil, creating a range of liquid fuels. In principle this process can be applied on the farm scale to the municipal scale. Overall, our primary food production is too dependent on fossil fuels. Energy conversion and capture can make food production sustainable.

  17. Monitoring Algal Blooms in a Southwestern U.S. Reservoir System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarrant, Philip; Neuer, Susanne

    2009-02-01

    In recent years, several studies have explored the potential of higher-resolution sensor data for monitoring phytoplankton primary production in coastal areas and lakes. Landsat data have been used to monitor algal blooms [Chang et al., 2004; Vincent et al., 2004], and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250-meter and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) full-resolution (300-meter) bands have been utilized to detect cyanobacterial blooms [Reinart and Kutser, 2006] as well as to monitor water quality [Koponen et al., 2004]. Field sampling efforts and MODIS 250-meter data are now being combined to develop a cost-effective method for monitoring water quality in a southwestern U.S. reservoir system. In the Phoenix, Ariz., metropolitan area, the Salt River reservoirs supply more than 3.5 million people, a population expected to rise to more than 6 million by 2030. Given that reservoir capacities have physical limitations, maintaining water quality will become critical as the population expands. Potentially noxious algal blooms that can release toxins and may affect water quality by modifying taste and odor have become a major concern in recent years. While frequent field sampling regimes are expensive, satellite imagery can be applied cost-effectively to monitor algal biomass trends remotely, and this information could provide early warning of blooms in these reservoirs.

  18. Platy algal banks: Modern and ancient

    SciTech Connect

    Brinton, L. )

    1990-05-01

    Plaly algal banks and associated cycles in the lower Ismay zone of the Paradox Formation are exposed along the walls of the San Juan River canyon, southeastern Utah. These complexes closely resemble algal bank reservoirs in the lower Ismay zone of Ismay and Cache, and possibly other Paradox basin fields. Similarities include facies relationships, lateral and vertical textural variations, and early diagenesis. Extensive algal banks exposed along the San Juan canyon generally have flat bases and mound and swale topographic surfaces, and are separated by interbank channels. The surficial mounds have a regular amplitude and wavelength suggesting a hydrologic rather than biologic influence on topography. The banks themselves, however, are believed to be thick, predominantly in-situ accumulations of platy algae. Distribution of algal banks can be mapped on a field scale; mound and swale topographic features may be identified in core on the basis of depositional and early diagenetic characteristics. Halimeda bioherms (Holocene) cover large areas behind the Great Barrier Reef, developing adjacent to the deep passes that separate the individual reefs. These large in-situ accumulations (20-50 m deep) display similar bank geometries, interbank features, topographic features, vertical textural sequence (including porosity type and distribution), and facies relationships to algal banks observed in the outcropping and subsurface Paradox Formation. Although the hydrodynamic and paleobathymetric settings differ markedly between these two examples, analogies between the mounds themselves are very close. The resemblance lends relevance to exploration and development drilling.

  19. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. PMID:26449572

  20. Quantifying Phycocyanin Concentration in Cyanobacterial Algal Blooms from Remote Sensing Reflectance-A Quasi Analytical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, S.; Mishra, D. R.; Tucker, C.

    2011-12-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHAB) are notorious for depleting dissolved oxygen level, producing various toxins, causing threats to aquatic life, altering the food-web dynamics and the overall ecosystem functioning in inland lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters. Most of these algal blooms produce various toxins that can damage cells, tissues and even cause mortality of living organisms. Frequent monitoring of water quality in a synoptic scale has been possible by the virtue of remote sensing techniques. In this research, we present a novel technique to monitor CHAB using remote sensing reflectance products. We have modified a multi-band quasi analytical algorithm that determines phytoplankton absorption coefficients from above surface remote sensing reflectance measurements using an inversion method. In situ hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance data were collected from several highly turbid and productive aquaculture ponds. A novel technique was developed to further decompose the phytoplankton absorption coefficients at 620 nm and obtain phycocyanin absorption coefficient at the same wavelength. An empirical relationship was established between phycocyanin absorption coefficients at 620 nm and measured phycocyanin concentrations. Model calibration showed strong relationship between phycocyanin absorption coefficients and phycocyanin pigment concentration (r2=0.94). Validation of the model in a separate dataset produced a root mean squared error of 167 mg m-3 (phycocyanin range: 26-1012 mg m-3). Results demonstrate that the new approach will be suitable for quantifying phycocyanin concentration in cyanobacteria dominated turbid productive waters. Band architecture of the model matches with the band configuration of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and assures that MERIS reflectance products can be used to quantify phycocyanin in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in optically complex waters.

  1. Copepod Trajectory Characteristics in Thin Layers of Toxic Algal Exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, D. R.; True, A. C.; Weissburg, M. J.; Yen, J.

    2013-11-01

    Recently documented thin layers of toxic phytoplankton (``cryptic blooms'') are modeled in a custom flume system for copepod behavioral assays. Planar laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) measurements quantify the spatiotemporal structure of the chemical layers ensuring a close match to in situ bloom conditions and allowing for quantification of threshold dissolved toxin levels that induce behavioral responses. Assays with the copepods Acartia tonsa (hop-sinker) and Temora longicornis (cruiser) in thin layers of toxic exudates from the common dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (cell equivalent ~ 1 - 10,000 cells/mL) examine the effects of dissolved toxic compounds and copepod species on swimming trajectory characteristics. Computation of parameters such as swimming speed and the fractal dimension of the two-dimensional trajectory (F2D) allows for statistical evaluation of copepod behavioral responses to dissolved toxic compounds associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs). Changes in copepod swimming behavior caused by toxic compounds can significantly influence predator, prey, and mate encounter rates by altering the fracticality (``diffuseness'' or ``volume-fillingness'') of a copepod's trajectory. As trophic mediators linking primary producers and higher trophic levels, copepods can significantly influence HAB dynamics and modulate large scale ecological effects through their behavioral interactions with toxic blooms.

  2. Toxin plasmids of Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P; Uzal, Francisco A; Rood, Julian I; McClane, Bruce A

    2013-06-01

    In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  3. Critical evaluation and modeling of algal harvesting using dissolved air flotation. DAF Algal Harvesting Modeling

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hewson, John C.; Amendola, Pasquale; Reynoso, Monica; Sommerfeld, Milton; Chen, Yongsheng; Hu, Qiang

    2014-07-14

    In our study, Chlorella zofingiensis harvesting by dissolved air flotation (DAF) was critically evaluated with regard to algal concentration, culture conditions, type and dosage of coagulants, and recycle ratio. Harvesting efficiency increased with coagulant dosage and leveled off at 81%, 86%, 91%, and 87% when chitosan, Al3+, Fe3+, and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used at dosages of 70, 180, 250, and 500 mg g-1, respectively. The DAF efficiency-coagulant dosage relationship changed with algal culture conditions. In evaluating the influence of the initial algal concentration and recycle ratio revealed that, under conditions typical for algal harvesting, we found that itmore » is possible that the number of bubbles is insufficient. A DAF algal harvesting model was developed to explain this observation by introducing mass-based floc size distributions and a bubble limitation into the white water blanket model. Moreover, the model revealed the importance of coagulation to increase floc-bubble collision and attachment, and the preferential interaction of bubbles with larger flocs, which limited the availability of bubbles to the smaller sized flocs. The harvesting efficiencies predicted by the model agree reasonably with experimental data obtained at different Al3+ dosages, algal concentrations, and recycle ratios. Based on this modeling, critical parameters for efficient algal harvesting were identified.« less

  4. Critical evaluation and modeling of algal harvesting using dissolved air flotation. DAF Algal Harvesting Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hewson, John C.; Amendola, Pasquale; Reynoso, Monica; Sommerfeld, Milton; Chen, Yongsheng; Hu, Qiang

    2014-07-14

    In our study, Chlorella zofingiensis harvesting by dissolved air flotation (DAF) was critically evaluated with regard to algal concentration, culture conditions, type and dosage of coagulants, and recycle ratio. Harvesting efficiency increased with coagulant dosage and leveled off at 81%, 86%, 91%, and 87% when chitosan, Al3+, Fe3+, and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used at dosages of 70, 180, 250, and 500 mg g-1, respectively. The DAF efficiency-coagulant dosage relationship changed with algal culture conditions. In evaluating the influence of the initial algal concentration and recycle ratio revealed that, under conditions typical for algal harvesting, we found that it is possible that the number of bubbles is insufficient. A DAF algal harvesting model was developed to explain this observation by introducing mass-based floc size distributions and a bubble limitation into the white water blanket model. Moreover, the model revealed the importance of coagulation to increase floc-bubble collision and attachment, and the preferential interaction of bubbles with larger flocs, which limited the availability of bubbles to the smaller sized flocs. The harvesting efficiencies predicted by the model agree reasonably with experimental data obtained at different Al3+ dosages, algal concentrations, and recycle ratios. Based on this modeling, critical parameters for efficient algal harvesting were identified.

  5. Shiga toxin binds to activated platelets.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, S A; Polanowska-Grabowska, R K; Fujii, J; Obrig, T; Gear, A R L

    2004-03-01

    Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is associated with acute renal failure in children and can be caused by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli. Thrombocytopenia and formation of renal thrombi are characteristic of HUS, suggesting that platelet activation is involved in its pathogenesis. However, whether Shiga toxin directly activates platelets is controversial. The present study evaluates if potential platelet sensitization during isolation by different procedures influences platelet interaction with Shiga toxin. Platelets isolated from sodium citrate anticoagulated blood were exposed during washing to EDTA and higher g forces than platelets prepared from acid-citrate-dextrose (ACD) plasma. Platelet binding of Stx was significantly higher in EDTA-washed preparations relative to ACD-derived platelets. Binding of Stx was also increased with ACD-derived platelets when activated with thrombin (1 U mL-1) and exposure of the Gb3 Stx receptor was detected only on platelets subjected to EDTA, higher g forces or thrombin. EDTA-exposed platelets lost their normal discoid shape and were larger. P-selectin (CD62P) exposure was significantly increased in EDTA-washed preparations relative to ACD-derived platelets, suggesting platelet activation. Taken together, these results suggest that direct binding of Stx occurs only on 'activated' platelets rather than on resting platelets. The ability of Stx to interact with previously activated platelets may be an important element in understanding the pathogenesis of HUS. PMID:15009469

  6. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    PubMed

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented. PMID:25051707

  7. Simultaneous screening for lipophilic and hydrophilic toxins in marine harmful algae using a serially coupled reversed-phase and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography separation system with high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Junhui; Gao, Liyuan; Li, Zhaoyong; Wang, Shuai; Li, Jingxi; Cao, Wei; Sun, Chengjun; Zheng, Li; Wang, Xiaoru

    2016-03-31

    The presence of toxins in harmful algal blooms (HABs) poses considerable concerns because of their potential adverse effects on ecological environments and human health. When marine HABs occur, efficient screening and identification of toxins in different kinds of HAB algae remains a challenge. In this study, the applicability of serial coupling of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) and hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) combined with high resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS) for the simultaneous screening and identification of various kinds of known lipophilic and hydrophilic toxins in HAB algae was investigated for the first time. Ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) was explored to extract both lipophilic and hydrophilic toxins in algae simultaneously. As in most cases, toxin standards were not available; therefore, an identification procedure based on accurate mass data and chromatographic behavior was proposed. According to this procedure, eight known lipophilic toxins and 11 hydrophilic toxins were successfully detected in a single injection, and the proposed method was validated. Satisfactory sensitivity, repeatability (RSD <14.87%) and recovery (89.4-105.8%) of the method were achieved. A major advantage of the proposed method is that it can almost detect members of all eight groups of marine algal toxins in a single run. Using this method, several known toxins in different marine toxigenic algae including Alexandrium tamarense, Alexandrium minutum and Prorocentrum lima were successfully observed and identified. This work demonstrates that RPLC/HILIC-HR-MS combined with an accurate mass list of known marine algal toxins may be used as a powerful tool for screening of different classes of known toxins in marine harmful algae. PMID:26965334

  8. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal...

  9. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal...

  10. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal...

  11. Isolation, purification and spectrometric analysis of PSP toxins from moraxella sp., a bacterium associated with a toxic dinoflagellate

    SciTech Connect

    Boyce, S.D.; Doucette, G.J.

    1994-12-31

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a seafood intoxication syndrome caused by the injestion of shellfish contaminated with toxins produced by algae known as dinoflagellates. The PSP toxins, saxitoxin and its derivatives, act to block voltage-dependent sodium channels and can cause paralysis and even death at higher doses. It is well documented that bacteria coexist with many harmful or toxic algal species, though the exact nature of the association in relation to toxin production is unknown. Recently, the bacterium Moraxella sp. was isolated from the PSP toxin producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense. Through HPLC analysis and saxitoxin receptor binding assays performed on crude bacterial extracts, it appears that Moraxella sp. is capable of producing saxitoxin and several of its derivatives. However, physical confirmation (e.g. mass spectrometry) of these results is still needed.

  12. A Tripartite Cocktail of Chimeric Monoclonal Antibodies Passively Protects Mice against Ricin, Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B and Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Sully, Erin K.; Whaley, Kevin; Bohorova, Natasha; Bohorov, Ognian; Goodman, Charles; Kim, Do; Pauly, Michael; Velasco, Jesus; Holtsberg, Frederick W.; Stavale, Eric; Aman, M. Javad; Tangudu, Chandra; Uzal, Francisco A.; Mantis, Nicholas J.; Zeitlin, Larry

    2014-01-01

    Due to the fast-acting nature of ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin (SEB), and Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin (ETX), it is necessary that therapeutic interventions following a bioterrorism incident by one of these toxins occur as soon as possible after intoxication. Moreover, because the clinical manifestations of intoxication by these toxins are likely to be indistinguishable from each other, especially following aerosol exposure, we have developed a cocktail of chimeric monoclonal antibodies that is capable of neutralizing all three toxins. The efficacy of this cocktail was demonstrated in mouse models of lethal dose toxin challenge. PMID:25260254

  13. Emergent toxins in North Atlantic temperate waters: a challenge for monitoring programs and legislation.

    PubMed

    Silva, Marisa; Pratheepa, Vijaya K; Botana, Luis M; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-03-01

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB. PMID:25785464

  14. Emergent Toxins in North Atlantic Temperate Waters: A Challenge for Monitoring Programs and Legislation

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Marisa; Pratheepa, Vijaya K.; Botana, Luis M.; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-01-01

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB. PMID:25785464

  15. Resolving Mixed Algal Species in Hyperspectral Images

    PubMed Central

    Mehrubeoglu, Mehrube; Teng, Ming Y.; Zimba, Paul V.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated a lab-based hyperspectral imaging system's response from pure (single) and mixed (two) algal cultures containing known algae types and volumetric combinations to characterize the system's performance. The spectral response to volumetric changes in single and combinations of algal mixtures with known ratios were tested. Constrained linear spectral unmixing was applied to extract the algal content of the mixtures based on abundances that produced the lowest root mean square error. Percent prediction error was computed as the difference between actual percent volumetric content and abundances at minimum RMS error. Best prediction errors were computed as 0.4%, 0.4% and 6.3% for the mixed spectra from three independent experiments. The worst prediction errors were found as 5.6%, 5.4% and 13.4% for the same order of experiments. Additionally, Beer-Lambert's law was utilized to relate transmittance to different volumes of pure algal suspensions demonstrating linear logarithmic trends for optical property measurements. PMID:24451451

  16. AL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM (HAB) INFORMATION EXCHANGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project proposes to implement an integrated web site that will serve as an Alabama Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Information Exchange Network. This network will be a stand-alone site where HAB data from all agencies and research efforts in the State of Alabama will be integrate...

  17. Using hyperspectral imagery to monitor algal persence

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.M.; Monk, J.; Yan, Gu; Brignal, W.

    1997-08-01

    This paper illustrates how an inexpensive and easily deployable imaging spectrometer can be used to monitor and identify algal blooms at short notice, thus making practical the addition of airborne data to the usual in-situ measurements. Two examples are described, one in the Irish Sea and the other in a reservoir system in the London area.

  18. Algal production in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for potential biofuel use.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

    Wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition could provide cost-effective and efficient tertiary-level wastewater treatment with the co-benefit of algal biomass production for biofuel use. Wastewater grown algal biomass can have a lipid content of 10-30% of dry weight, which could be used to make biodiesel. This research investigated algal biomass and total lipid production by two pilot-scale wastewater treatment HRAP(S) (4-day HRT) with and without CO2 addition under New Zealand mid summer (Nov-Jan) conditions. The influence of CO2 addition on wastewater treatment performance was also determined. CO2 was added to one of the HRAPs (the HRAP(E)) by maintaining the maximum pH of the pond below 8. Measurements of HRAP influent and effluent water qualities, total lipid content and algal biomass production were made twice a week over the experimental period. Both HRAP(S) achieved high levels of organic compound and nutrient removal, with >85% SBOD5, >92 NH4(+)-N and >70% DRP removal. Algal/bacterial biomass production in the HRAP(E) (15.2 g/m2/d) was improved by CO2 addition by approximately 30% compared with that of the control HRAP(W) (10.6 g/m2/d). Total lipid content of the biomass grown on both HRAP(S) was slightly reduced (from 25% to 20%) with CO2 addition and the maximum total lipid content of approximately 40% was observed in the HRAP(W) when low NH4(+)-N concentration (<0.5 mg/L) and high maximum pH (>10.0) occurred. Total lipid content of the biomass increased by approximately 15% under nitrogen limiting conditions, however, overall algal/bacterial biomass production was reduced by half during the period of nitrogen limitation. More research is required to maintain algal production under near nitrogen-limiting conditions. PMID:21977667

  19. Are harmful algal blooms becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Brooks, Bryan W; Lazorchak, James M; Howard, Meredith D A; Johnson, Mari-Vaughn V; Morton, Steve L; Perkins, Dawn A K; Reavie, Euan D; Scott, Geoffrey I; Smith, Stephanie A; Steevens, Jeffery A

    2016-01-01

    In this Focus article, the authors ask a seemingly simple question: Are harmful algal blooms (HABs) becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems? When HAB events require restrictions on fisheries, recreation, and drinking water uses of inland water bodies significant economic consequences result. Unfortunately, the magnitude, frequency, and duration of HABs in inland waters are poorly understood across spatiotemporal scales and differentially engaged among states, tribes, and territories. Harmful algal bloom impacts are not as predictable as those from conventional chemical contaminants, for which water quality assessment and management programs were primarily developed, because interactions among multiple natural and anthropogenic factors determine the likelihood and severity to which a HAB will occur in a specific water body. These forcing factors can also affect toxin production. Beyond site-specific water quality degradation caused directly by HABs, the presence of HAB toxins can negatively influence routine surface water quality monitoring, assessment, and management practices. Harmful algal blooms present significant challenges for achieving water quality protection and restoration goals when these toxins confound interpretation of monitoring results and environmental quality standards implementation efforts for other chemicals and stressors. Whether HABs presently represent the greatest threat to inland water quality is debatable, though in inland waters of developed countries they typically cause more severe acute impacts to environmental quality than conventional chemical contamination events. The authors identify several timely research needs. Environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry, and risk-assessment expertise must interface with ecologists, engineers, and public health practitioners to engage the complexities of HAB assessment and management, to address the forcing factors for HAB formation, and

  20. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. PMID:25448391

  1. Priming in the microbial landscape: periphytic algal stimulation of litter-associated microbial decomposers.

    PubMed

    Kuehn, Kevin A; Francoeur, Steven N; Findlay, Robert H; Neely, Robert K

    2014-03-01

    Microbial communities associated with submerged detritus in aquatic ecosystems often comprise a diverse mixture of autotrophic and heterotrophic microbes, including algae, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Recent studies have documented increased rates of plant litter mass loss when periphytic algae are present. We conducted laboratory and field experiments to assess potential metabolic interactions between natural autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial communities inhabiting submerged decaying plant litter of Typha angustifolia and Schoenoplectus acutus. In the field, submerged plant litter was either exposed to natural sunlight or placed under experimental canopies that manipulated light availability and growth of periphytic algae. Litter was collected and returned to the laboratory, where algal photosynthesis was manipulated (light/dark incubation), while rates of bacterial and fungal growth and productivity were simultaneously quantified. Bacteria and fungi were rapidly stimulated by exposure to light, thus establishing the potential for algal priming of microbial heterotrophic decay activities. Experimental incubations of decaying litter with 14C- and 13C-bicarbonate established that inorganic C fixed by algal photosynthesis was rapidly transferred to and assimilated by heterotrophic microbial decomposers. Periphytic algal stimulation of microbial heterotrophs, especially fungal decomposers, is an important and largely unrecognized interaction within the detrital microbial landscape, which may transform our current conceptual understanding of microbial secondary production and organic matter decomposition in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24804458

  2. Method for detecting biological toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  3. Accumulation and depuration of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins by laboratory cultured purple clam Hiatula diphos Linnaeus.

    PubMed

    Chou, Hong Nong; Huang, Chen Ping; Chen, Chih Yu

    2005-10-01

    Purple clams (Hiatula diphos Linnaeus) accumulate paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins produced by a toxic strain of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum Halim in a laboratory study. The maximal toxicity of PSP toxins attained 31.3m MU/g after 20 days exposure. The toxin profile of H. diphos was similar to that reported for A. minutum at the end of the exposure period; and GTX1 was dominant. GTX congeners were found in muscle on day 16 and day 20, these substances could be detected during the depuration period as well. GTX1 was detected in the siphon only on day 32. The results show that H. diphos accumulates PSP toxins according to the amount and toxin profile of ingested A. minutum. PMID:16137734

  4. Update on the Role of Environmental Toxins in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kouris, Steven

    2007-01-01

    Toxic exposures during pregnancy and early childhood continue to play an important role as a preventable cause of neurodevelopmental disabilities in the U.S. and around the world. Identifying and eliminating these toxins should be a priority, but the task is made exceedingly difficult due to the severe limits of scientific knowledge in this area…

  5. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  6. Toxin Plasmids of Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L.; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  7. Ricin detection: tracking active toxin.

    PubMed

    Bozza, William P; Tolleson, William H; Rosado, Leslie A Rivera; Zhang, Baolin

    2015-01-01

    Ricin is a plant toxin with high bioterrorism potential due to its natural abundance and potency in inducing cell death. Early detection of the active toxin is essential for developing appropriate countermeasures. Here we review concepts for designing ricin detection methods, including mechanism of action of the toxin, advantages and disadvantages of current detection assays, and perspectives on the future development of rapid and reliable methods for detecting ricin in environmental samples. PMID:25481398

  8. NVC-422 Inactivates Staphylococcus aureus Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Jekle, Andreas; Yoon, Jungjoo; Zuck, Meghan; Najafi, Ramin; Wang, Lu; Shiau, Timothy; Francavilla, Charles; Rani, Suriani Abdul; Eitzinger, Christian; Nagl, Markus; Anderson, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens have specific virulence factors (e.g., toxins) that contribute significantly to the virulence and infectivity of microorganisms within the human hosts. Virulence factors are molecules expressed by pathogens that enable colonization, immunoevasion, and immunosuppression, obtaining nutrients from the host or gaining entry into host cells. They can cause pathogenesis by inhibiting or stimulating certain host functions. For example, in systemic Staphylococcus aureus infections, virulence factors such as toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) cause sepsis or toxic shock by uncontrolled stimulation of T lymphocytes and by triggering a cytokine storm. In vitro, these superantigens stimulate the proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the release of many cytokines. NVC-422 (N,N-dichloro-2,2-dimethyltaurine) is a broad-spectrum, fast-acting topical anti-infective agent against microbial pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant microbes. Using mass spectrometry, we demonstrate here that NVC-422 oxidizes methionine residues of TSST-1, SEA, SEB, and exfoliative toxin A (ETA). Exposure of virulence factors to 0.1% NVC-422 for 1 h prevented TSST-1-, SEA-, SEB-, and ETA-induced cell proliferation and cytokine release. Moreover, NVC-422 also delayed and reduced the protein A- and clumping factor-associated agglutination of S. aureus cultures. These results show that, in addition to its well-described direct microbicidal activity, NVC-422 can inactivate S. aureus virulence factors through rapid oxidation of methionines. PMID:23208720

  9. Studies in the Use of Magnetic Microspheres for Immunoaffinity Extraction of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins from Shellfish

    PubMed Central

    Devlin, Raymond; Campbell, Katrina; Kawatsu, Kentaro; Elliott, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a potentially fatal human health condition caused by the consumption of shellfish containing high levels of PSP toxins. Toxin extraction from shellfish and from algal cultures for use as standards and analysis by alternative analytical monitoring methods to the mouse bioassay is extensive and laborious. This study investigated whether a selected MAb antibody could be coupled to a novel form of magnetic microsphere (hollow glass magnetic microspheres, brand name Ferrospheres-N) and whether these coated microspheres could be utilized in the extraction of low concentrations of the PSP toxin, STX, from potential extraction buffers and spiked mussel extracts. The feasibility of utilizing a mass of 25 mg of Ferrospheres-N, as a simple extraction procedure for STX from spiked sodium acetate buffer, spiked PBS buffer and spiked mussel extracts was determined. The effects of a range of toxin concentrations (20-300 ng/mL), incubation times and temperature on the capability of the immuno-capture of the STX from the spiked mussel extracts were investigated. Finally, the coated microspheres were tested to determine their efficiency at extracting PSP toxins from naturally contaminated mussel samples. Toxin recovery after each experiment was determined by HPLC analysis. This study on using a highly novel immunoaffinity based extraction procedure, using STX as a model, has indicated that it could be a convenient alternative to conventional extraction procedures used in toxin purification prior to sample analysis. PMID:22069687

  10. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    PubMed Central

    Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area. PMID:24982930

  11. Control of algal production in a high rate algal pond: investigation through batch and continuous experiments.

    PubMed

    Derabe Maobe, H; Onodera, M; Takahashi, M; Satoh, H; Fukazawa, T

    2014-01-01

    For decades, arid and semi-arid regions in Africa have faced issues related to water availability for drinking, irrigation and livestock purposes. To tackle these issues, a laboratory scale greywater treatment system based on high rate algal pond (HRAP) technology was investigated in order to guide the operation of the pilot plant implemented in the 2iE campus in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Because of the high suspended solids concentration generally found in effluents of this system, the aim of this study is to improve the performance of HRAPs in term of algal productivity and removal. To determine the selection mechanism of self-flocculated algae, three sets of sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) and three sets of continuous flow reactors (CFRs) were operated. Despite operation with the same solids retention time and the similarity of the algal growth rate found in these reactors, the algal productivity was higher in the SBRs owing to the short hydraulic retention time of 10 days in these reactors. By using a volume of CFR with twice the volume of our experimental CFRs, the algal concentration can be controlled during operation under similar physical conditions in both reactors. PMID:24960016

  12. Liquid transportation fuels from algal oils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Daichuan

    Liquid transportation fuels from renewable sources are becoming more prominent and important in modem society. Processing of hydrocarbon oils from algae has not been studied in detail in the past, so components which have been proposed for incorporation in algal oils via genetic engineering, such as cuparene, farnesene, phytol and squalene, have been subjected to processing via catalytic cracking in a pulse reactor at different temperatures. The cracking results showed that liquid products contained numerous high octane molecules which make it feasible for use in automobiles. Additionally, canola oil, chosen as an algal oil model compound, was studied as a feed for catalytic cracking in a fixed-bed reactor at atmospheric pressure over different types of zeolites. The results showed that MFI catalysts gave the highest yield of gasoline range products and lowest coke formation. Gallium loaded MFI zeolites increased the total aromatics yield for the canola oil cracking relative to the acid form of the zeolite. Finally, algal oils were cracked on several selected zeolites, and the results showed the same trend as canola oil cracking. MFI gave the highest gasoline yield (43.8 wt%) and lowest coke (4.7 wt%). The total aromatics yield from algae oil cracking is improved 7.8 wt% when MFI is loaded with gallium.

  13. Progress in understanding harmful algal blooms: paradigm shifts and new technologies for research, monitoring, and management.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M; Cembella, Allan D; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M

    2012-01-01

    The public health, tourism, fisheries, and ecosystem impacts from harmful algal blooms (HABs) have all increased over the past few decades. This has led to heightened scientific and regulatory attention, and the development of many new technologies and approaches for research and management. This, in turn, is leading to significant paradigm shifts with regard to, e.g., our interpretation of the phytoplankton species concept (strain variation), the dogma of their apparent cosmopolitanism, the role of bacteria and zooplankton grazing in HABs, and our approaches to investigating the ecological and genetic basis for the production of toxins and allelochemicals. Increasingly, eutrophication and climate change are viewed and managed as multifactorial environmental stressors that will further challenge managers of coastal resources and those responsible for protecting human health. Here we review HAB science with an eye toward new concepts and approaches, emphasizing, where possible, the unexpected yet promising new directions that research has taken in this diverse field. PMID:22457972

  14. Progress in Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms: Paradigm Shifts and New Technologies for Research, Monitoring, and Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Donald M.; Cembella, Allan D.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    2012-01-01

    The public health, tourism, fisheries, and ecosystem impacts from harmful algal blooms (HABs) have all increased over the past few decades. This has led to heightened scientific and regulatory attention, and the development of many new technologies and approaches for research and management. This, in turn, is leading to significant paradigm shifts with regard to, e.g., our interpretation of the phytoplankton species concept (strain variation), the dogma of their apparent cosmopolitanism, the role of bacteria and zooplankton grazing in HABs, and our approaches to investigating the ecological and genetic basis for the production of toxins and allelochemicals. Increasingly, eutrophication and climate change are viewed and managed as multifactorial environmental stressors that will further challenge managers of coastal resources and those responsible for protecting human health. Here we review HAB science with an eye toward new concepts and approaches, emphasizing, where possible, the unexpected yet promising new directions that research has taken in this diverse field.

  15. Quantification and profiling of lipophilic marine toxins in microalgae by UHPLC coupled to high-resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Gabriel; Van Meulebroek, Lieven; Van Vooren, Sarah; De Rijcke, Maarten; Vandegehuchte, Michiel; Janssen, Colin R; Vanhaecke, Lynn

    2015-08-01

    During the last decade, a significant increase in the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs), linked to repetitive cases of shellfish contamination has become a public health concern and therefore, accurate methods to detect marine toxins in different matrices are required. In this study, we developed a method for profiling lipophilic marine microalgal toxins based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HR-Orbitrap MS). Extraction of selected toxins (okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2), azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1), yessotoxin (YTX) and 13-desmethyl spirolide C (SPX-1)) was optimized using a Plackett-Burman design. Three key algal species, i.e., Prorocentrum lima, Protoceratium reticulatum and Alexandrium ostenfeldii were used to test the extraction efficiency of OA, YTXs and SPXs, respectively. Prorocentrum micans, fortified with certified reference solutions, was used for recovery studies. The quantitative and confirmatory performance of the method was evaluated according to CD 2002/657/EC. Limits of detection and quantification ranged between 0.006 and 0.050 ng mL(-1) and 0.018 to 0.227 ng mL(-1), respectively. The intra-laboratory reproducibility ranged from 6.8 to 11.7 %, repeatability from 6.41 to 11.5 % and mean corrected recoveries from 81.9 to 119.6 %. In addition, algae cultures were retrospectively screened for analogues and metabolites through a homemade database. Using the ToxID software programme, 18 toxin derivates were detected in the extract of three toxin producing microalgae species. In conclusion, the generic extraction and full-scan HRMS approach offers an excellent quantitative performance and simultaneously allows to profile analogues and metabolites of marine toxins in microalgae. Graphical Abstract Optimization of extraction, detection and quantification of lipophilic marine toxins in microalgae by UHPLC-HR Orbitrap MS. PMID:25893798

  16. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. )

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  17. The assay of diphtheria toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gerwing, Julia; Long, D. A.; Mussett, Marjorie V.

    1957-01-01

    A precise assay of diphtheria toxin is described, based on the linear relationship between the diameter of the skin reaction to, and logarithm of the dose of, toxin. It eliminates the need for preliminary titrations, is economical, provides information about the slope of the log-dose response lines and, therefore, of the validity of the assay, and yields limits of error of potency from the internal evidence of the assay. A study has been made of the effects of avidity, combining power, toxicity and buffering on the assay of diphtheria toxins against the International Standards for both Diphtheria Antitoxin and Schick-Test Toxin. All the toxins assayed against the standard toxin, whatever their other properties might be, gave log-dose response lines of similar slope provided that they were diluted in buffered physiological saline. The assays were therefore valid. These experiments were repeated concurrently in non-immune and in actively immunized guinea-pigs, and comparable figures for potency obtained in both groups. The result was not significantly affected by the avidity or combining power of the toxin. However, non-avid toxins gave low values in Schick units when assayed, by the Römer & Sames technique, in terms of the International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin. The problem of the ultimate standard and the implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:13511133

  18. Botulinum toxin: Bioweapon & magic drug

    PubMed Central

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility. It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin. PMID:21149997

  19. Variation of algal viability during electrochemical disinfection using Ti/RuO2 electrodes.

    PubMed

    Liang, Wenyan; Wang, Ke; Chen, Li; Ruan, Lingling; Sui, Lili

    2011-01-01

    This paper studied the influence of the operating conditions, e.g., current density, electrolyte and exposure time, on the variation of the algal viability during electrochemical disinfection processes. An electrochemical tube employing Ti/RuO2 as anodes was constructed for inactivation of cyanobacteria (often called blue-green algae) Microcystis aeruginosa. Viability of algal cells was determined by 2,3,5-triphenyl-tetrazoliumchloride (TTC) dehydrogenase activity assay and neutral red (NR) staining assay. Algal suspensions with cell density of 5-7 x 10(9) L(-1) were exposed to current densities from 1 to 8 mA cm(-2) at room temperature (25-30 degrees C) for 30 min. The results showed that the cell viability decreased obviously with the increase of current density. After exposure to 4 mA cm(-2) for more than 7 min, Microcystis aeruginosa didn't have the ability to resume growth. Comparative disinfection tests with different electrolytes were conducted, including chlorides, sulfates, nitrates and phosphates. Microcystis aeruginosa appeared to be sensitive to electro-generated chlorine oxidants. The inactivation effect was also demonstrated to occur in chlorine-free electrolytes. However, decrease of the inactivation effect by adding ascorbic acid as an oxidant scavenger indicated that the reactive oxygen species, especially *OH radicals, played an important role for chlorine-free electrolytes. PMID:22053471

  20. Relationships between primary production and irradiance in coral reef algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-07-01

    Shallow water algal turf communities are the major primary producers on coral reefs. High rates of primary production are maintained despite extremely high light intensities and exposure to ultraviolet wavelengths. The relationships between the light intensity and primary production in these assemblages are typical of algae adapted to a high light environment (low ..cap alpha.. (initial slope), high I/sub k/ (saturating light intensity), and high I/sub c/ (compensation point light intensity)). Seasonal variations in algal standing crop due to herbivory and daylength result in some characteristic photoadaptive changes in ..cap alpha.. I/sub k/, and I/sub c/ and changes in Pnet/sub max/ rates (maximum net photosynthetic rate achieved at light saturation) on both a chlorophyll ..cap alpha.. and an areal basis. Exposure to UV wavelength results in significantly higher respiration rates but no changes in ..cap alpha.., Pnet/sub max/, or I/sub k/, when compared with these parameters for the same algal communities incubated at the same light intensities without UV wavelengths. The apparent lack of photoinhibition in these algae allows calculation of the daily integrated production from the P vs. I parameters. This integrated production is highest in July (3.1 +/- 0.2 g C m/sup -2/d/sup -1/) and is reduced by 30% from this maximum in December (2.1 +/- 0.1 g C m/sup -2/d/sup -1/).

  1. Algal taxonomy: a road to nowhere?

    PubMed

    De Clerck, Olivier; Guiry, Michael D; Leliaert, Frederik; Samyn, Yves; Verbruggen, Heroen

    2013-04-01

    The widespread view of taxonomy as an essentially retrogressive and outmoded science unable to cope with the current biodiversity crisis stimulated us to analyze the current status of cataloguing global algal diversity. Contrary to this largely pessimistic belief, species description rates of algae through time and trends in the number of active taxonomists, as revealed by the web resource AlgaeBase, show a much more positive picture. More species than ever before are being described by a large community of algal taxonomists. The lack of any decline in the rate at which new species and genera are described, however, is indicative of the large proportion of undiscovered diversity and bears heavily on any prediction of global algal species diversity and the time needed to catalogue it. The saturation of accumulation curves of higher taxa (family, order, and classes) on the other hand suggest that at these taxonomic levels most diversity has been discovered. This reasonably positive picture does not imply that algal taxonomy does not face serious challenges in the near future. The observed levels of cryptic diversity in algae, combined with the shift in methods used to characterize them, have resulted in a rampant uncertainty about the status of many older species. As a consequence, there is a tendency in phycology to move gradually away from traditional names to a more informal system whereby clade-, specimen- or strain-based identifiers are used to communicate biological information. Whether these informal names for species-level clades represent a temporary situation stimulated by the lag between species discovery and formal description, or an incipient alternative or parallel taxonomy, will be largely determined by how well we manage to integrate historical collections into modern taxonomic research. Additionally, there is a pressing need for a consensus about the organizational framework to manage the information about algal species names. An eventual strategy

  2. Harmful algal blooms: a case study in two mesotrophic drinking water supply reservoirs in South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Journey, Celeste A.; Beaulieu, Karen M.; Knight, Rodney R.; Graham, Jennifer L.; Arrington, Jane M.; West, Rebecca; Westcott, John; Bradley, Paul M.

    2010-01-01

    Algal blooms can be harmful and a nuisance in a variety of aquatic ecosystems, including reservoirs and lakes. Cyanobacterial(blue-green algae) harmful algal blooms are notorious for producing both taste-and-odor compounds and potent toxins that may affect human health. Taste–and-odor episodes are aesthetic problems often caused by cyanobacterial-produced organic compounds (geosmin and methylisoborneol) and are common in reservoirs and lakes used as source water supplies. The occurrences of these taste-and-odor compounds and toxins (like microcystin) can be sporadic and vary in intensity both spatially and temporally. Recent publications by the U.S. Geological Survey address this complexity and provide protocols for cyanotoxin and taste-and-odor sampling programs. A case study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Spartanburg Water, monitored two mesotrophic reservoirs that serve as public drinking water supplies in South Carolina. Study objectives were (1) to identify spatial and temporal occurrence of the taste-and-odor compound geosmin and the cyanotoxin microcystin and (2) to assess the associated limnological conditions before, during, and after these occurrences. Temporal and spatial occurrence of geosmin and microcystin were highly variable from 2007 to 2009. The highest geosmin concentrations tended to occur in the spring. Microcystin tended to occur in the late summer and early fall, but occurrence was rare and well below World Health Organization guidelines for finished drinking water and recreational activities. No current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards are applicable to cyanotoxins in drinking or ambient water. In general, elevated geosmin and microcystin concentrations were the result of complex interactions between cyanobacterial ⬚community composition, nutrient availability, water clarity, hydraulic residence time, and stratification.

  3. Algal Toxins in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: Linking Water Quality to Juvenile Sucker Health

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    VanderKooi, S.P.; Burdick, S.M.; Echols, K.R.; Ottinger, C.A.; Rosen, B.H.; Wood, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    As the lead science agency for the Department of Interior, the U.S. Geological Survey is actively involved in resource issues in the Klamath River basin. Activities include research projects on endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers, threatened coho salmon, groundwater resources, seasonal runoff forecasting, water quality in Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River, nutrient cycling in wetlands, and assessment of land idling programs to reduce water consumption. Many of these studies are collaborations with various partners including Department of Interior agencies, Indian Tribes, and State agencies.

  4. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    SciTech Connect

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. )

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  5. The quantitative real-time PCR applications in the monitoring of marine harmful algal bloom (HAB) species.

    PubMed

    Penna, Antonella; Antonella, Penna; Galluzzi, Luca; Luca, Galluzzi

    2013-10-01

    In the last decade, various molecular methods (e.g., fluorescent hybridization assay, sandwich hybridization assay, automatized biosensor detection, real-time PCR assay) have been developed and implemented for accurate and specific identification and estimation of marine toxic microalgal species. This review focuses on the recent quantitative real-time PCR (qrt-PCR) technology developed for the control and monitoring of the most important taxonomic phytoplankton groups producing biotoxins with relevant negative impact on human health, the marine environment, and related economic activities. The high specificity and sensitivity of the qrt-PCR methods determined by the adequate choice of the genomic target gene, nucleic acid purification protocol, quantification through the standard curve, and type of chemical detection method make them highly efficient and therefore applicable to harmful algal bloom phenomena. Recent development of qrt-PCR-based assays using the target gene of toxins, such as saxitoxin compounds, has allowed more precise quantification of toxigenic species (i.e., Alexandrium catenella) abundance. These studies focus only on toxin-producing species in the marine environment. Therefore, qrt-PCR technology seems to offer the advantages of understanding the ecology of harmful algal bloom species and facilitating the management of their outbreaks. PMID:23247526

  6. Botulinum Toxin Suppression of CNS Network Activity In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Pancrazio, Joseph J.; Gopal, Kamakshi; Keefer, Edward W.; Gross, Guenter W.

    2014-01-01

    The botulinum toxins are potent agents which disrupt synaptic transmission. While the standard method for BoNT detection and quantification is based on the mouse lethality assay, we have examined whether alterations in cultured neuronal network activity can be used to detect the functional effects of BoNT. Murine spinal cord and frontal cortex networks cultured on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays allowed monitoring of spontaneous spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT serotype A (BoNT-A). Exposure to BoNT-A inhibited spike activity in cultured neuronal networks where, after a delay due to toxin internalization, the rate of activity loss depended on toxin concentration. Over a 30 hr exposure to BoNT-A, the minimum concentration detected was 2 ng/mL, a level consistent with mouse lethality studies. A small proportion of spinal cord networks, but not frontal cortex networks, showed a transient increase in spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT-A, an effect likely due to preferential inhibition of inhibitory synapses expressed in this tissue. Lastly, prior exposure to human-derived antisera containing neutralizing antibodies prevented BoNT-A induced inhibition of network spike activity. These observations suggest that the extracellular recording from cultured neuronal networks can be used to detect and quantify functional BoNT effects. PMID:24688538

  7. Botulinum toxin suppression of CNS network activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Pancrazio, Joseph J; Gopal, Kamakshi; Keefer, Edward W; Gross, Guenter W

    2014-01-01

    The botulinum toxins are potent agents which disrupt synaptic transmission. While the standard method for BoNT detection and quantification is based on the mouse lethality assay, we have examined whether alterations in cultured neuronal network activity can be used to detect the functional effects of BoNT. Murine spinal cord and frontal cortex networks cultured on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays allowed monitoring of spontaneous spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT serotype A (BoNT-A). Exposure to BoNT-A inhibited spike activity in cultured neuronal networks where, after a delay due to toxin internalization, the rate of activity loss depended on toxin concentration. Over a 30 hr exposure to BoNT-A, the minimum concentration detected was 2 ng/mL, a level consistent with mouse lethality studies. A small proportion of spinal cord networks, but not frontal cortex networks, showed a transient increase in spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT-A, an effect likely due to preferential inhibition of inhibitory synapses expressed in this tissue. Lastly, prior exposure to human-derived antisera containing neutralizing antibodies prevented BoNT-A induced inhibition of network spike activity. These observations suggest that the extracellular recording from cultured neuronal networks can be used to detect and quantify functional BoNT effects. PMID:24688538

  8. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... and sterilization. New test containers may contain substances which inhibit growth of algae. They.... (A) Formulation and sterilization of nutrient medium used for algal culture and preparation of...

  9. Optimizing algal cultivation & productivity : an innovative, multidiscipline, and multiscale approach.

    SciTech Connect

    Murton, Jaclyn K.; Hanson, David T.; Turner, Tom; Powell, Amy Jo; James, Scott Carlton; Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Scholle, Steven; August, Andrew; Dwyer, Brian P.; Ruffing, Anne; Jones, Howland D. T.; Ricken, James Bryce; Reichardt, Thomas A.

    2010-04-01

    Progress in algal biofuels has been limited by significant knowledge gaps in algal biology, particularly as they relate to scale-up. To address this we are investigating how culture composition dynamics (light as well as biotic and abiotic stressors) describe key biochemical indicators of algal health: growth rate, photosynthetic electron transport, and lipid production. Our approach combines traditional algal physiology with genomics, bioanalytical spectroscopy, chemical imaging, remote sensing, and computational modeling to provide an improved fundamental understanding of algal cell biology across multiple cultures scales. This work spans investigations from the single-cell level to ensemble measurements of algal cell cultures at the laboratory benchtop to large greenhouse scale (175 gal). We will discuss the advantages of this novel, multidisciplinary strategy and emphasize the importance of developing an integrated toolkit to provide sensitive, selective methods for detecting early fluctuations in algal health, productivity, and population diversity. Progress in several areas will be summarized including identification of spectroscopic signatures for algal culture composition, stress level, and lipid production enabled by non-invasive spectroscopic monitoring of the photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments at the single-cell and bulk-culture scales. Early experiments compare and contrast the well-studied green algae chlamydomonas with two potential production strains of microalgae, nannochloropsis and dunnaliella, under optimal and stressed conditions. This integrated approach has the potential for broad impact on algal biofuels and bioenergy and several of these opportunities will be discussed.

  10. Fibrinogenolytic toxin from Indian monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) venom.

    PubMed

    Sekhar, C Chandra; Chakrabarty, Dibakar

    2011-06-01

    A fibrinogenolytic toxin of molecular weight 6.5 kDa has been purified from the venom of Indian monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) by repeated cation exchange chromatography on CM-sephadex C-50. The purified toxin did not show any phospholipase activity but was mildly hemolytic on human erythrocytes. This toxin, called Lahirin, cleaved fibrinogen in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The digestion process apparently started with the A alpha chain, and gradually other lower-molecular-weight chains were also cleaved to low-molecular-weight peptides. The fibrinolytic activity was completely lost after treatment with ethylene di-amine tetra acetic acid (EDTA). However, exposure to 100 degree C for 1 min or pre-treatment with phenyl methyl sulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) did not affect the fibrinolytic activity. Cleavage of di-sulphide bonds by beta-mercaptoethanol or unfolding the protein with 4 M urea caused complete loss of activity of pure Lahirin. PMID:21654088

  11. Chronic low-level domoic acid exposure alters gene transcription and impairs mitochondrial function in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Hiolski, Emma M; Kendrick, Preston S; Frame, Elizabeth R; Myers, Mark S; Bammler, Theo K; Beyer, Richard P; Farin, Federico M; Wilkerson, Hui-wen; Smith, Donald R; Marcinek, David J; Lefebvre, Kathi A

    2014-01-01

    Domoic acid is an algal-derived seafood toxin that functions as a glutamate agonist and exerts excitotoxicity via overstimulation of glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA) in the central nervous system (CNS). At high (symptomatic) doses, domoic acid is well-known to cause seizures, brain lesions and memory loss; however, a significant knowledge gap exists regarding the health impacts of repeated low-level (asymptomatic) exposure. Here, we investigated the impacts of low-level repetitive domoic acid exposure on gene transcription and mitochondrial function in the vertebrate CNS using a zebrafish model in order to: 1) identify transcriptional biomarkers of exposure; and 2) examine potential pathophysiology that may occur in the absence of overt excitotoxic symptoms. We found that transcription of genes related to neurological function and development were significantly altered, and that asymptomatic exposure impaired mitochondrial function. Interestingly, the transcriptome response was highly-variable across the exposure duration (36 weeks), with little to no overlap of specific genes across the six exposure time points (2, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 weeks). Moreover, there were no apparent similarities at any time point with the gene transcriptome profile exhibited by the glud1 mouse model of chronic moderate excess glutamate release. These results suggest that although the fundamental mechanisms of toxicity may be similar, gene transcriptome responses to domoic acid exposure do not extrapolate well between different exposure durations. However, the observed impairment of mitochondrial function based on respiration rates and mitochondrial protein content suggests that repetitive low-level exposure does have fundamental cellular level impacts that could contribute to chronic health consequences. PMID:25033243

  12. Effects of T-2 toxin on turkey herpesvirus–induced vaccinal immunity against Marek’s disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    T-2 toxin, a very potent immunotoxic Type A trichothecene, is a secondary metabolite produced primarily by Fusarium spp., which grows on cereal grains and can lead to contaminated livestock feed. Repeated exposure to T-2 toxin has been shown to cause immunosuppression and decrease the resistance of ...

  13. Algal Attributes: An Autecological Classification of Algal Taxa Collected by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

    Algae are excellent indicators of water-quality conditions, notably nutrient and organic enrichment, and also are indicators of major ion, dissolved oxygen, and pH concentrations and stream microhabitat conditions. The autecology, or physiological optima and tolerance, of algal species for various water-quality contaminants and conditions is relatively well understood for certain groups of freshwater algae, notably diatoms. However, applications of autecological information for water-quality assessments have been limited because of challenges associated with compiling autecological literature from disparate sources, tracking name changes for a large number of algal species, and creating an autecological data base from which algal-indicator metrics can be calculated. A comprehensive summary of algal autecological attributes for North American streams and rivers does not exist. This report describes a large, digital data file containing 28,182 records for 5,939 algal taxa, generally species or variety, collected by the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The data file includes 37 algal attributes classified by over 100 algal-indicator codes or metrics that can be calculated easily with readily available software. Algal attributes include qualitative classifications based on European and North American autecological literature, and semi-quantitative, weighted-average regression approaches for estimating optima using regional and national NAWQA data. Applications of algal metrics in water-quality assessments are discussed and national quartile distributions of metric scores are shown for selected indicator metrics.

  14. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  15. Detecting and discriminating among Shiga toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The virulence associated with Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections is from the Shiga toxins produced by the E. coli strain. Although Shiga toxins are associated with E. coli, the expression of the toxins is actually controlled by a temperate lambdoid phage that infects the host. ...

  16. Botulinum toxin for pain.

    PubMed

    Casale, Roberto; Tugnoli, Valeria

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) injection is being increasingly used 'off label' in the management of chronic pain. Data support the hypothesis of a direct analgesic effect of BTX, different to that exerted on muscle. Although the pain-reducing effect of BTX is mainly due to its ability to block acetylcholine release at the synapse, other effects on the nervous system are also thought to be involved. BTX affects cholinergic transmission in both the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. Proposed mechanisms of action of BTX for pain relief of trigger points, muscular spasms, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain include direct action on muscle and indirect effects via action at the neuromuscular junction. Invitro and invivo data have shown that BTX has specific antinociceptive activity relating to its effects on inflammation, axonal transport, ganglion inhibition, and spinal and suprasegmental level inhibition. Our review of the mechanisms of action, efficacy, administration techniques and therapeutic dosage of BTX for the management of chronic pain in a variety of conditions shows that although muscular tone and movement disorders remain the most important therapeutic applications for BTX, research suggests that BTX can also provide benefits related to effects on cholinergic control of the vascular system, autonomic function, and cholinergic control of nociceptive and antinociceptive systems. Furthermore, it appears that BTX may influence the peripheral and central nervous systems. The therapeutic potential of BTX depends mainly on the ability to deliver the toxin to the target structures, cholinergic or otherwise. Evidence suggests that BTX can be administered at standard dosages in pain disorders, where the objective is alteration of muscle tone. For conditions requiring an analgesic effect, the optimal therapeutic dosage of BTX remains to be defined. PMID:18095750

  17. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail. PMID:24350435

  18. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli. PMID:26004641

  19. Diphtheria toxin-based targeted toxin therapy for brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan Michael; Vallera, Daniel A; Hall, Walter A

    2013-09-01

    Targeted toxins (TT) are molecules that bind cell surface antigens or receptors such as the transferrin or interleukin-13 receptor that are overexpressed in cancer. After internalization, the toxin component kills the cell. These recombinant proteins consist of an antibody or carrier ligand coupled to a modified plant or bacterial toxin such as diphtheria toxin (DT). These fusion proteins are very effective against brain cancer cells that are resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. TT have shown an acceptable profile for toxicity and safety in animal studies and early clinical trials have demonstrated a therapeutic response. This review summarizes the characteristics of DT-based TT, the animal studies in malignant brain tumors and early clinical trial results. Obstacles to the successful treatment of brain tumors include poor penetration into tumor, the immune response to DT and cancer heterogeneity. PMID:23695514

  20. SEROLOGIC EVALUATION OF HUMAN MICROCYSTIN EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction Microcystins (MCYST) are among the most commonly detected toxins associated with cyanobacteria blooms worldwide. Biological evidence of human exposure is needed in order to evaluate potential MCYST-associated health effects. MCYST are detectable in free and bound fo...

  1. Accelerating Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Partnerships (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-10-01

    This brochure describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) algal biofuels research capabilities and partnership opportunities. NREL is accelerating algal biofuels commercialization through: (1) Advances in applied biology; (2) Algal strain development; (3) Development of fuel conversion pathways; (4) Techno-economic analysis; and (5) Development of high-throughput lipid analysis methodologies. NREL scientists and engineers are addressing challenges across the algal biofuels value chain, including algal biology, cultivation, harvesting and extraction, and fuel conversion. Through partnerships, NREL can share knowledge and capabilities in the following areas: (1) Algal Biology - A fundamental understanding of algal biology is key to developing cost-effective algal biofuels processes. NREL scientists are experts in the isolation and characterization of microalgal species. They are identifying genes and pathways involved in biofuel production. In addition, they have developed a high-throughput, non-destructive technique for assessing lipid production in microalgae. (2) Cultivation - NREL researchers study algal growth capabilities and perform compositional analysis of algal biomass. Laboratory-scale photobioreactors and 1-m2 open raceway ponds in an on-site greenhouse allow for year-round cultivation of algae under a variety of conditions. A bioenergy-focused algal strain collection is being established at NREL, and our laboratory houses a cryopreservation system for long-term maintenance of algal cultures and preservation of intellectual property. (3) Harvesting and Extraction - NREL is investigating cost-effective harvesting and extraction methods suitable for a variety of species and conditions. Areas of expertise include cell wall analysis and deconstruction and identification and utilization of co-products. (4) Fuel Conversion - NREL's excellent capabilities and facilities for biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels are being

  2. Removal of cyanobacterial toxins by sediment passage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruetzmacher, G.; Boettcher, G.; Chorus, I.; Bartel, H.

    2003-04-01

    Cyanbacterial toxins ("Cyanotoxins") comprise a wide range of toxic substances produced by cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae"). Cyanobacteria occur in surface water word wide and can be found in high concentrations during so-called algal blooms when conditions are favourable (e.g. high nutrient levels, high temperatures). Some cyanobacteria produce hepato- or neurotoxins, of which the hepatotoxic microcystins are the most common in Germany. The WHO guideline value for drinking water was set at 1 μg/L. However, maximum concentrations in surface water can reach 25 mg/L, so that a secure method for toxin elimination has to be found when this water is used as source water for drinking water production. In order to assess if cyanotoxins can be removed by sediment passage the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) conducted laboratory- and field scale experiments as well as observations on bank filtration field sites. Laboratory experiments (batch- and column experiments for adsorption and degradation parameters) were conducted in order to vary a multitude of experimental conditions. These experiments were followed by field scale experiments on the UBA's experimental field in Berlin. This plant offers the unique possibility to conduct experiments on the behaviour of various agents - such as harmful substances - during infiltration and bank filtration under well-defined conditions on a field scale, and without releasing these substances to the environment. Finally the development of microcystin concentrations was observed between infiltrating surface water and a drinking water well along a transsecte of observation wells. The results obtained show that infiltration and bank filtration normally seem to be secure treatment methods for source water contaminated by microcystins. However, elimination was shown to be difficult under the following circumstances: - dying cyanobacterial population due to insufficient light and / or nutrients, low temperatures or application of

  3. Mitochondrial Functional Impairment in Response to Environmental Toxins in the Cardiorenal Metabolic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Guanghong; Aroor, Annayya R.; Martinez-Lemus, Luis A.; Sowers, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental toxins can promote cardiovascular, metabolic and renal abnormalities, which characterize the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome (CRS). Heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic, represent two of the most toxic pollutants. Exposure to these toxins is increasing due to increased industrialization throughout much of the world. Studies conducted to understand the impact of environmental toxins have shown a major impact on mitochondrial structure and function. The maladaptive adaptive stress products caused by these toxins, including aggregated proteins, damaged organelles, and intracellular pathogens, can be removed through autophagy, which is also known as mitophagy in mitochondria. Although the underlying mechanisms involved in the regulation of mitophagy in response to pollution are not well understood, accumulating evidence supports a role for maladaptive mitochondrial responses to environmental pollution in the pathogenesis of the CRS. In this review, we discuss ongoing research, which explores the mechanisms by which these toxins promote abnormalities in mitophagy and associated mitochondrial dysfunction and the CRS. PMID:25559775

  4. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons. PMID:21535407

  5. Use of biosensors for the detection of marine toxins.

    PubMed

    McPartlin, Daniel A; Lochhead, Michael J; Connell, Laurie B; Doucette, Gregory J; O'Kennedy, Richard J

    2016-06-30

    Increasing occurrences of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the ocean are a major concern for countries around the globe, and with strong links between HABs and climate change and eutrophication, the occurrences are only set to increase. Of particular concern with regard to HABs is the presence of toxin-producing algae. Six major marine biotoxin groups are associated with HABs. Ingestion of such toxins via contaminated shellfish, fish, or other potential vectors, can lead to intoxication syndromes with moderate to severe symptoms, including death in extreme cases. There are also major economic implications associated with the diverse effects of marine biotoxins and HABs. Thus, effective monitoring programmes are required to manage and mitigate their detrimental global effect. However, currently legislated detection methods are labour-intensive, expensive and relatively slow. The growing field of biosensor diagnostic devices is an exciting area that has the potential to produce robust, easy-to-use, cost-effective, rapid and accurate detection methods for marine biotoxins and HABs. This review discusses recently developed biosensor assays that target marine biotoxins and their microbial producers, both in harvested fish/shellfish samples and in the open ocean. The effective deployment of such biosensor platforms could address the pressing need for improved monitoring of HABs and marine biotoxins, and could help to reduce their global economic impact. PMID:27365035

  6. Use of biosensors for the detection of marine toxins

    PubMed Central

    McPartlin, Daniel A.; Lochhead, Michael J.; Connell, Laurie B.; Doucette, Gregory J.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing occurrences of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the ocean are a major concern for countries around the globe, and with strong links between HABs and climate change and eutrophication, the occurrences are only set to increase. Of particular concern with regard to HABs is the presence of toxin-producing algae. Six major marine biotoxin groups are associated with HABs. Ingestion of such toxins via contaminated shellfish, fish, or other potential vectors, can lead to intoxication syndromes with moderate to severe symptoms, including death in extreme cases. There are also major economic implications associated with the diverse effects of marine biotoxins and HABs. Thus, effective monitoring programmes are required to manage and mitigate their detrimental global effect. However, currently legislated detection methods are labour-intensive, expensive and relatively slow. The growing field of biosensor diagnostic devices is an exciting area that has the potential to produce robust, easy-to-use, cost-effective, rapid and accurate detection methods for marine biotoxins and HABs. This review discusses recently developed biosensor assays that target marine biotoxins and their microbial producers, both in harvested fish/shellfish samples and in the open ocean. The effective deployment of such biosensor platforms could address the pressing need for improved monitoring of HABs and marine biotoxins, and could help to reduce their global economic impact. PMID:27365035

  7. Modification of energy balance induced by the food contaminant T-2 toxin: a multimodal gut-to-brain connection.

    PubMed

    Gaigé, Stéphanie; Djelloul, Mehdi; Tardivel, Catherine; Airault, Coraline; Félix, Bernadette; Jean, André; Lebrun, Bruno; Troadec, Jean-Denis; Dallaporta, Michel

    2014-03-01

    T-2 toxin is one of the most toxic Fusarium-derived trichothecenes found on cereals and constitutes a widespread contaminant of agricultural commodities as well as commercial foods. Low doses toxicity is characterized by reduced weight gain. To date, the mechanisms by which this mycotoxin profoundly modifies feeding behavior remain poorly understood and more broadly the effects of T-2 toxin on the central nervous system (CNS) have received limited attention. Through an extensive characterization of sickness-like behavior induced by T-2 toxin, we showed that its per os (p.o.) administration affects not only feeding behavior but also energy expenditure, glycaemia, body temperature and locomotor activity. Using c-Fos expression mapping, we identified the neuronal structures activated in response to T-2 toxin and observed that the pattern of neuronal populations activated by this toxin resembled that induced by inflammatory signals. Interestingly, part of neuronal pathways activated by the toxin were NUCB-2/nesfatin-1 expressing neurons. Unexpectedly, while T-2 toxin induced a strong peripheral inflammation, the brain exhibited limited inflammatory response at a time point when anorexia was ongoing. Unilateral vagotomy partly reduced T-2 toxin-induced brainstem neuronal activation. On the other hand, intracerebroventricular (icv) T-2 toxin injection resulted in a rapid (<1h) reduction in food intake. Thus, we hypothesized that T-2 toxin could signal to the brain through neuronal and/or humoral pathways. The present work provides the first demonstration that T-2 toxin modifies feeding behavior by interfering with central neuronal networks devoted to central energy balance. Our results, with a particular attention to peripheral inflammation, strongly suggest that inflammatory mediators partake in the T-2 toxin-induced anorexia and other symptoms. In view of the broad human and breeding animal exposure to T-2 toxin, this new mechanism may lead to reconsider the impact of

  8. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Algal acute toxicity test. 797.1050 Section 797.1050 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT (CONTINUED) ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS TESTING GUIDELINES Aquatic Guidelines § 797.1050 Algal acute toxicity test. (a) Purpose. The...

  9. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared the results of four methods used to assess the algal communities at 60 sites distributed among four rivers. Based on Principle Component Analysis of physical habitat data collected concomitantly with the algal data, sites were separated into those with a mean thalweg...

  10. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Biddy, M.; Jones, S.

    2013-03-01

    This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  11. Near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic determination of algal composition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) and mid-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (MIRS) to determine the composition of algal samples. We assayed a set of algal biomass samples (n=117), collected from algae turf scrubber...

  12. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Keshav C; Cannon, Benjamin R; Bhatnagar, Ashish; Chinnasamy, Senthil

    2014-05-13

    A system and method for culturing algae are presented. The system and method utilize a fog of growth medium that is delivered to an algal mat generator along with a stream of CO.sub.2 to promote growth of algal cells contained in the generator.

  13. Fusarial toxins: secondary metabolites of Fusarium fungi.

    PubMed

    Nesic, Ksenija; Ivanovic, Snezana; Nesic, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to mycotoxins occurs worldwide, even though there are geographic and climatic differences in the amounts produced and occurrence of these substances.Mycotoxins are secondary chemical metabolites of different fungi. They are natural contaminants of cereals, so their presence is often inevitable. Among many genera that produce mycotoxins, Fusarium fungi are the most widespread in cereal-growing areas of the planet. Fusarium fungi produce a diversity of mycotoxin types, whose distributions are also diverse. What is produced and where it is produced is influenced primarily by environmental conditions, and crop production and storage methods. The amount of toxin produced depends on physical (viz., moisture, relative humidity, temperature, and mechanical damage), chemical (viz., carbon dioxide,oxygen, composition of substrate, insecticides and fungicides), and biological factors (viz., plant variety, stress, insects, spore load, etc.). Moisture and temperature have a major influence on mold growth rate and mycotoxin production.Among the most toxic and prevalent fusaria) toxins are the following: zearalenone,fumonisins, moniliformin and trichothecenes (T-2/HT-2 toxin, deoxynivalenol,diacetoxyscirpenol, nivalenol). Zearalenone (ZEA; ZON, F-2 toxin) isaphy to estrogenic compound, primarily a field contaminant, which exhibits estrogenic activity and has been implicated in numerous mycotoxicoses of farm animals,especially pigs. Recently, evidence suggests that ZEA has potential to stimulate the growth of human breast cancer cells. Fumonisins are also cancer-promoting metabolites,of which Fumonisin 8 I (FBI) is the most important. Moniliformin (MON) isalso highly toxic to both animals and humans. Trichothecenes are classified as gastrointestinal toxins, dermatotoxins, immunotoxins, hematotoxins, and gene toxins.T-2 and HT-2 toxin, and diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS, anguidine) are the most toxic mycotoxins among the trichothecene group. Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) and

  14. Luminescent Solar Concentrators in the Algal Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellier, Katie; Corrado, Carley; Carter, Sue; Detweiler, Angela; Bebout, Leslie

    2013-03-01

    Today's industry for renewable energy sources and highly efficient energy management systems is rapidly increasing. Development of increased efficiency Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) has brought about new applications for commercial interests, including greenhouses for agricultural crops. This project is taking first steps to explore the potential of LSCs to enhance production and reduce costs for algae and cyanobacteria used in biofuels and nutraceuticals. This pilot phase uses LSC filtered light for algal growth trials in greenhouses and laboratory experiments, creating specific wavelength combinations to determine effects of discrete solar light regimes on algal growth and the reduction of heating and water loss in the system. Enhancing the optimal spectra for specific algae will not only increase production, but has the potential to lessen contamination of large scale production due to competition from other algae and bacteria. Providing LSC filtered light will reduce evaporation and heating in regions with limited water supply, while the increased energy output from photovoltaic cells will reduce costs of heating and mixing cultures, thus creating a more efficient and cost effective production system.

  15. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

    Biodiesel from algae provides several benefits over current biodiesel feedstocks, but the energy requirements of processing algae into a useable fuel are currently so high as to be prohibitive. One route to improving this is via disruption of the cells prior to lipid extraction, which can significantly increase energy recovery. Unfortunately, several obvious disruption techniques require more energy than can be gained. This dissertation examines the use of microbubbles to improve mechanical disruption of algal cells using experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. New laboratory experiments show that effective ultrasonic disruption of algae is achieved by adding microbubbles to an algal solution. The configuration studied flows the solution through a tube and insonifies a small section with a high-pressure ultrasound wave. Previous biomedical research has shown effective cell membrane damage on animal cells with similar methods, but the present research is the first to extend such study to algal cells. Results indicate that disruption increases with peak negative pressure between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and with microbubble concentration up to 12.5 x 107 bubbles/ml. Energy estimates of this process suggest that it requires only one-fourth the currently most-efficient laboratory-scale disruption process. Estimates of the radius near each bubble that causes disruption (i.e. the disruption radius) suggest that it increases with peak negative pressure and is near 9--20 microm for all cases tested. It is anticipated that these procedures can be designed for better efficiency and efficacy, which will be facilitated by identifying the root mechanisms of the bubble-induced disruption. We therefore examine whether bubble expansion alone creates sufficient cell deformation for cell rupture. The spherically-symmetric Marmottant model for bubble dynamics allows estimation of the flow regime under experimental conditions. Bubble expansion is modeled as a point source of

  16. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

    Biodiesel from algae provides several benefits over current biodiesel feedstocks, but the energy requirements of processing algae into a useable fuel are currently so high as to be prohibitive. One route to improving this is via disruption of the cells prior to lipid extraction, which can significantly increase energy recovery. Unfortunately, several obvious disruption techniques require more energy than can be gained. This dissertation examines the use of microbubbles to improve mechanical disruption of algal cells using experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. New laboratory experiments show that effective ultrasonic disruption of algae is achieved by adding microbubbles to an algal solution. The configuration studied flows the solution through a tube and insonifies a small section with a high-pressure ultrasound wave. Previous biomedical research has shown effective cell membrane damage on animal cells with similar methods, but the present research is the first to extend such study to algal cells. Results indicate that disruption increases with peak negative pressure between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and with microbubble concentration up to 12.5 x 107 bubbles/ml. Energy estimates of this process suggest that it requires only one-fourth the currently most-efficient laboratory-scale disruption process. Estimates of the radius near each bubble that causes disruption (i.e. the disruption radius) suggest that it increases with peak negative pressure and is near 9--20 microm for all cases tested. It is anticipated that these procedures can be designed for better efficiency and efficacy, which will be facilitated by identifying the root mechanisms of the bubble-induced disruption. We therefore examine whether bubble expansion alone creates sufficient cell deformation for cell rupture. The spherically-symmetric Marmottant model for bubble dynamics allows estimation of the flow regime under experimental conditions. Bubble expansion is modeled as a point source of

  17. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Faggio, C; Pagano, M; Dottore, A; Genovese, G; Morabito, M

    2016-09-01

    Marine algae are important sources of phycocolloids like agar, carrageenans and alginates used in industrial applications. Algal polysaccharides have emerged as an important class of bioactive products showing interesting properties. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential uses as anticoagulant drugs of algal sulphate polysaccharides extracted from Ulva fasciata (Chlorophyta) and Agardhiella subulata (Rhodophyta) collected in Ganzirri Lake (Cape Peloro Lagoon, north-eastern Sicily, Italy). Toxicity of algal extracts through trypan blue test and anticoagulant action measured by activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT) test has been evaluated. Algal extracts showed to prolong the PT and APTT during the coagulation cascade and to avoid the blood coagulation of samples. Furthermore, the algal extracts lack toxic effects towards cellular metabolism and their productions are relatively at low cost. This permits to consider the algae as the biological source of the future. PMID:26360806

  18. Uniform algal growth in photobioreactors using surface scatterers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahsan, Syed S.; Pereyra, Brandon; Erickson, David

    2014-03-01

    Cultures of algae, such as cyanobacteria, are a promising source of renewable energy. However, algal growth is highly dependent on light intensity and standard photobioreactors do a poor job of distributing light uniformly for algal utilization due to shading effects in dense algal cultures. Engineered scattering schemes are already employed in current slab-waveguide technologies, like edge-lit LEDs. Stacking such slab-waveguides that uniformly distribute light could potentially yield photobioreactors to overcome the shading effect and grow extremely high densities of algal cultures that would lower monetary and energetic costs. Here, we characterize and design a scattering scheme for specific application within photobioreactors which employs a gradient distribution of surface scatterers with uniform lateral scattering intensity. This uniform scattering scheme is shown to be superior for algal cultivation.

  19. The contribution of bacteria to algal growth by carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Lant, Paul; Pratt, Steven

    2015-04-01

    Algal mass production in open systems is often limited by the availability of inorganic carbon substrate. In this paper, we evaluate how bacterial driven carbon cycling mitigates carbon limitation in open algal culture systems. The contribution of bacteria to carbon cycling was determined by quantifying algae growth with and without supplementation of bacteria. It was found that adding heterotrophic bacteria to an open algal culture dramatically enhanced algae productivity. Increases in algal productivity due to supplementation of bacteria of 4.8 and 3.4 times were observed in two batch tests operating at two different pH values over 7 days. A kinetic model is proposed which describes carbon limited algal growth, and how the limitation could be overcome by bacterial activity to re-mineralize photosynthetic end products. PMID:25312046

  20. [Today's threat of ricin toxin].

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Since the late 70s of the last century there were more than 700 incidents related to the use of the ricin toxin. For this reason, CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recognized toxin as a biological weapon category B. The lethal dose of ricin toxin after parenteral administration is 0.0001 mg/kg and after oral administration 0.2 mg. The first symptoms of poisoning occur within a few hours after application of toxin as a nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the final stage there are observed: cardiac arrhythmia, collapse and symptoms suggestive of involvement of the central nervous system. Stage immediately preceding death is a state of coma. The ricin toxin is still the substance against which action has no optimal antidote. Developed a vaccine called RiVax is waiting for its registration. It should be pointed out that the availability of a ricin toxin makes it possible to use it for real bioterrorists. PMID:26449579

  1. Role of initial cell density of algal bioassay of toxic chemicals.

    PubMed

    Singh, Prashant Kumar; Shrivastava, Alok Kumar

    2016-07-01

    A variety of toxicants such as, metal ions, pesticides, dyes, etc. are continuously being introduced anthropogenically in the environment and adversely affect to the biotic component of the ecosystem. Therefore, the assessment of negative effects of these toxicants is required. However, toxicity assessment anticipated by chemical analysis are extremely poor, therefore the application of the living systems for the same is an excellent approach. Concentration of toxicant as well as cell density both influenced the result of the algal toxicity assay. Here, Scenedesmus sp, a very fast growing green microalgae was selected for study the effects of initial cell densities on the toxicity of Cu(II), Cd(II), Zn(II), paraquat and 2,4-D. Results demonstrated concentration dependent decrease in biomass and specific growth rate of Scenedesmus sp. on exposure of abovesaid toxicants. Paraquat and 2,4-D emerged as extremely toxic to the test alga which reflected from the lowest EC value and very steep decline in biomass was evident with increasing concentration of paraquat and 2,4-D in the medium. Result also demonstrated that initial cell density is a very important parameter than specific growth rate for algal bioassay of various toxicants. Present study clearly illustrated that the use of smaller cell density is always recommended for assaying toxicity of chemicals in algal assays. PMID:26593761

  2. Progress in Understanding Algal Bloom-Mediated Fish Kills: The Role of Superoxide Radicals, Phycotoxins and Fatty Acids.

    PubMed

    Dorantes-Aranda, Juan José; Seger, Andreas; Mardones, Jorge I; Nichols, Peter D; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M

    2015-01-01

    Quantification of the role of reactive oxygen species, phycotoxins and fatty acids in fish toxicity by harmful marine microalgae remains inconclusive. An in vitro fish gill (from rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss) assay was used to simultaneously assess the effect in superoxide dismutase, catalase and lactate dehydrogenase enzymatic activities caused by seven species of ichthyotoxic microalgae (Chattonella marina, Fibrocapsa japonica, Heterosigma akashiwo, Karenia mikimotoi, Alexandrium catenella, Karlodinium veneficum, Prymnesium parvum). Quantification of superoxide production by these algae was also performed. The effect of purified phycotoxins and crude extracts was compared, and the effect of fatty acids is discussed. The raphidophyte Chattonella was the most ichthyotoxic (gill cell viability down to 35%) and also the major producer of superoxide radicals (14 pmol cell-1 hr-1) especially after cell lysis. The raphidophyte Heterosigma and dinoflagellate Alexandrium were the least toxic and had low superoxide production, except when A. catenella was lysed (5.6 pmol cell-1 hr-1). Catalase showed no changes in activity in all the treatments. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lactate dehydrogenase exhibited significant activity increases of ≤23% and 51.2% TCC (total cellular content), respectively, after exposure to C. marina, but SOD showed insignificant changes with remaining algal species. A strong relationship between gill cell viability and superoxide production or superoxide dismutase was not observed. Purified brevetoxins PbTx-2 and -3 (from Karenia brevis, LC50 of 22.1 versus 35.2 μg mL-1) and karlotoxin KmTx-2 (from Karlodinium; LC50 = 380 ng mL-1) could almost entirely account for the fish killing activity by those two dinoflagellates. However, the paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) GTX1&4, C1&C2, and STX did not account for Alexandrium ichthyotoxicity. Only aqueous extracts of Alexandrium were cytotoxic (≤65% decrease of viability), whereas crude

  3. Progress in Understanding Algal Bloom-Mediated Fish Kills: The Role of Superoxide Radicals, Phycotoxins and Fatty Acids

    PubMed Central

    Dorantes-Aranda, Juan José; Seger, Andreas; Mardones, Jorge I.; Nichols, Peter D.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    2015-01-01

    Quantification of the role of reactive oxygen species, phycotoxins and fatty acids in fish toxicity by harmful marine microalgae remains inconclusive. An in vitro fish gill (from rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss) assay was used to simultaneously assess the effect in superoxide dismutase, catalase and lactate dehydrogenase enzymatic activities caused by seven species of ichthyotoxic microalgae (Chattonella marina, Fibrocapsa japonica, Heterosigma akashiwo, Karenia mikimotoi, Alexandrium catenella, Karlodinium veneficum, Prymnesium parvum). Quantification of superoxide production by these algae was also performed. The effect of purified phycotoxins and crude extracts was compared, and the effect of fatty acids is discussed. The raphidophyte Chattonella was the most ichthyotoxic (gill cell viability down to 35%) and also the major producer of superoxide radicals (14 pmol cell-1 hr-1) especially after cell lysis. The raphidophyte Heterosigma and dinoflagellate Alexandrium were the least toxic and had low superoxide production, except when A. catenella was lysed (5.6 pmol cell-1 hr-1). Catalase showed no changes in activity in all the treatments. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lactate dehydrogenase exhibited significant activity increases of ≤23% and 51.2% TCC (total cellular content), respectively, after exposure to C. marina, but SOD showed insignificant changes with remaining algal species. A strong relationship between gill cell viability and superoxide production or superoxide dismutase was not observed. Purified brevetoxins PbTx-2 and -3 (from Karenia brevis, LC50 of 22.1 versus 35.2 μg mL-1) and karlotoxin KmTx-2 (from Karlodinium; LC50 = 380 ng mL-1) could almost entirely account for the fish killing activity by those two dinoflagellates. However, the paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) GTX1&4, C1&C2, and STX did not account for Alexandrium ichthyotoxicity. Only aqueous extracts of Alexandrium were cytotoxic (≤65% decrease of viability), whereas crude

  4. Detection of surface algal blooms using the newly developed algorithm surface algal bloom index (SABI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alawadi, Fahad

    2010-10-01

    Quantifying ocean colour properties has evolved over the past two decades from being able to merely detect their biological activity to the ability to estimate chlorophyll concentration using optical satellite sensors like MODIS and MERIS. The production of chlorophyll spatial distribution maps is a good indicator of plankton biomass (primary production) and is useful for the tracing of oceanographic currents, jets and blooms, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). Depending on the type of HABs involved and the environmental conditions, if their concentration rises above a critical threshold, it can impact the flora and fauna of the aquatic habitat through the introduction of the so called "red tide" phenomenon. The estimation of chlorophyll concentration is derived from quantifying the spectral relationship between the blue and the green bands reflected from the water column. This spectral relationship is employed in the standard ocean colour chlorophyll-a (Chlor-a) product, but is incapable of detecting certain macro-algal species that float near to or at the water surface in the form of dense filaments or mats. The ability to accurately identify algal formations that sometimes appear as oil spill look-alikes in satellite imagery, contributes towards the reduction of false-positive incidents arising from oil spill monitoring operations. Such algal formations that occur in relatively high concentrations may experience, as in land vegetation, what is known as the "red-edge" effect. This phenomena occurs at the highest reflectance slope between the maximum absorption in the red due to the surrounding ocean water and the maximum reflectance in the infra-red due to the photosynthetic pigments present in the surface algae. A new algorithm termed the surface algal bloom index (SABI), has been proposed to delineate the spatial distributions of floating micro-algal species like for example cyanobacteria or exposed inter-tidal vegetation like seagrass. This algorithm was

  5. ALGAL NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY AND LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL. PART III. ALGAL NUTRIENT LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted on the potential significance of nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients in limiting planktonic algal growth in Lake Ontario and its major tributaries. Standard algal assay procedures were used. Samples of the open waters of Lake Ontario and Niagara River...

  6. Dewatering as a non-toxic control of nuisance midge larvae in algal wastewater treatment floways.

    PubMed

    Keller, Troy A; Husted, Emily M

    2015-01-01

    Attached-algae floways have tremendous potential for use in wastewater treatment because natural algal communities show high nutrient removal efficiencies, have low operating costs, and are easy to maintain. Algal wastewater floways may also serve as a sustainable option for producing renewable energy because algae grow rapidly, are easily harvested, and can serve as a source of biomass for biofuel. However, pests such as chironomids (Diptera) colonize open channel periphyton floways and their larvae damage the biofilms. While pesticides can control midge larvae, little information is known about alternative, non-toxic controls. This study examined the effectiveness of periodic, short-term dewatering (4 hours every 9 days) on midge abundance and periphyton growth in 16 recirculating, outdoor floways (3 m long, 0.1 m wide). We compared midge abundance and algal accumulation (chlorophyll a, b, c, and pheophytin) among control (n=8) and dewatered (n=8) floways filled with secondarily treated wastewater (27 days, 10 hours of daylight). Dewatered flumes had 42% fewer midges and 28-49% lower algal productivity (as measured by chlorophyll a, b, c, and pheophytin pigments). Chlorophyll a production rates averaged (±1 SD) 0.5±0.2 μg/cm2/day in control floways compared to 0.3±0.1 μg/cm2/day dewatered floways. Short-term dewatering effectively reduced midges but also damaged periphyton. To maximize the recovery of periphyton biomass, operators should harvest periphyton from floways during dewatering events before periphyton is damaged by desiccation or direct exposure to sunlight. PMID:25607663

  7. [Toxins of Clostridium perfringens].

    PubMed

    Morris, W E; Fernández-Miyakawa, M E

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is an anaerobic gram-positive spore-forming bacillus. It is one of the pathogens with larger distribution in the environment; it can be isolated from soil and water samples, which also belongs to the intestinal flora of animals and humans. However, on some occasions it can act as an opportunistic pathogen, causing diseases such as gas gangrene, enterotoxemia in sheep and goats and lamb dysentery, among others. In human beings, it is associated to diseases such as food poisoning, necrotic enterocolitis of the infant and necrotic enteritis or pigbel in Papua-New Guinea tribes. The renewed interest existing nowadays in the study of C. perfringens as a veterinarian and human pathogen, together with the advance of molecular biology, had enabled science to have deeper knowledge of the biology and pathology of these bacteria. In this review, we discuss and update the principal aspects of C. perfringens intestinal pathology, in terms of the toxins with major medical relevance at present. PMID:20085190

  8. Oxygen Metabolic Responses of Three Species of Large Benthic Foraminifers with Algal Symbionts to Temperature Stress

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Kazuhiko; Okai, Takaaki; Hosono, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Water temperature affects the physiology of large benthic foraminifers (LBFs) with algal symbionts dwelling in coral reef environments. However, the detailed physiological responses of LBF holobionts to temperature ranges occurring in their habitats are not known. We report net oxygen (O2) production and respiration rates of three LBF holobionts (Baculogypsina sphaerulata and Calcarina gaudichaudii hosting diatom symbionts, and Amphisorus kudakajimensis hosting dinoflagellate symbionts) measured in the laboratory at water temperatures ranging from 5°C to 45°C in 2.5°C or 5°C intervals and with light saturation levels of ∼500 µmol m−2 s−1. In addition, the recovery of net O2 production and respiration rates after exposure to temperature stress was assessed. The net O2 production and respiration rates of the three LBF holobionts peaked at ∼30°C, indicating their optimal temperature for a short exposure period. At extreme high temperatures (≥40°C), the net O2 production rates of all three LBF holobionts declined to less than zero and the respiration rates slightly decreased, indicating that photosynthesis of algal symbionts was inactivated. At extreme low temperatures (≤10°C for two calcarinid species and ≤5°C for A. kudakajimensis), the net O2 production and respiration rates were near zero, indicating a weakening of holobiont activity. After exposure to extreme high or low temperature, the net O2 production rates did not recover until the following day, whereas the respiration rates recovered rapidly, suggesting that a longer time (days) is required for recovery from damage to the photosystem by temperature stress compared to the respiration system. These results indicate that the oxygen metabolism of LBF holobionts can generally cope well with conditions that fluctuate diurnally and seasonally in their habitats. However, temporal heat and cold stresses with high light levels may induce severe damage to algal symbionts and also damage to host

  9. Differential effects of copper on three species of scleractinian corals and their algal symbionts (Symbiodinium spp.).

    PubMed

    Bielmyer, G K; Grosell, M; Bhagooli, R; Baker, A C; Langdon, C; Gillette, P; Capo, T R

    2010-04-15

    Land-based sources of pollution have been identified as significant stressors linked to the widespread declines of coral cover in coastal reef ecosystems over the last 30 years. Metal contaminants, although noted as a concern, have not been closely monitored in these sensitive ecosystems, nor have their potential impacts on coral-algal symbioses been characterized. In this study, three species of laboratory-reared scleractinian corals, Acropora cervicornis, Pocillopora damicornis, and Montastraea faveolata each containing different algal symbionts (Symbiodinium A3, C1 and D1a, respectively) were exposed to copper (ranging from 2 to 20microg/L) for 5 weeks. At the end of the exposure period, copper had accumulated in the endosymbiotic dinoflagellate ("zooxanthellae") and animal tissue of A. cervicornis and the animal tissue of M. faveolata; however, no copper accumulation was detected in the zooxanthellae or animal tissue of P. damicornis. The three coral species exhibited significantly different sensitivities to copper, with effects occurring in A. cervicornis and P. damicornis at copper concentrations as low as 4microg/L. Copper exposure affected zooxanthellae photosynthesis in A. cervicornis and P. damicornis, and carbonic anhydrase was significantly decreased in A. cervicornis and M. faveolata. Likewise, significant decreases in skeletal growth were observed in A. cervicornis and P. damicornis after copper exposure. Based on preliminary results, no changes in Symbiodinium communities were apparent in response to increasing copper concentration. These results indicate that the relationships between physiological/toxicological endpoints and copper accumulation between coral species differ, suggesting different mechanisms of toxicity and/or susceptibility. This may be driven, in part, by differences in the algal symbiont communities of the coral species in question. PMID:20089320

  10. Lifespan extension of rotifers by treatment with red algal extracts

    PubMed Central

    Snare, David J.; Fields, Allison M.; Snell, Terry W.; Kubanek, Julia

    2013-01-01

    Aging results from an accumulation of damage to macromolecules inhibiting cellular replication, repair, and other necessary functions. Damage may be due to environmental stressors such as metal toxicity, oxidative stress caused by imperfections in electron transfer reactions, or other metabolic processes. In an effort to discover medical treatments that counteract this damage, we initiated a search for small molecule drugs from natural sources using life table experiments which, through their unbiased approach, present the opportunity to discover first-in-class molecules. We have identified marine red algae as a source of natural products that slow aging of the invertebrate rotifer Brachionus manjavacas. Rotifers are a promising model organism for life extension studies as they maintain a short, measurable lifespan while also having an extensive literature related to aging. Rotifer lifespan was increased 9–14% by exposure to three of a total of 200 screened red algal extracts. Bioassay guided fractionation led to semi-purified extracts composed primarily of lipids responsible for rotifer life extension. The life extending mixture from the red alga Acanthophora spicifera contained eicosanoic, octadecanoic, and hexadecanoic acids as well as several unidentified unsaturated fatty acids. The life extending effects of these small molecule mixtures are not a result of their direct antioxidant capacity; other unknown mechanisms of action are likely involved. An understanding of how these natural products interact with their molecular targets could lead to selective and effective treatments for slowing aging and reducing age related diseases. PMID:24120568

  11. Algal-bacterial treatment facility removes selenium from drainage water

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Lundquist, Tryg J.; Green, F. Bailey; Zarate, Max A.; Oswald, William J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2000-01-25

    A demonstration algal-bacterial selenium removal (ABSR) facility has been treating agricultural drainage water in the Panoche Drainage District on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley since 1997. The project goals are to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ABSR technology for selenium removal, to investigate potential wildlife exposure to selenium at full-scale facilities, and to develop an operational plant configuration that will minimize the life-cycle cost for each pound of selenium removed. The facility consists of a series of ponds designed to promote native microorganisms that remove nitrate and selenium. Previous treatment research efforts sought to reduce selenium concentrations to less than 5 mu g/L, but the ABSR Facility demonstration focuses on providing affordable reduction of the selenium load that is discharged to the San Joaquin River. During 1997 and 1998, the best-performing ABSR plant configuration reduced nitrate by more than 95 percent and reduced total soluble selenium mass by 80 percent. Ongoing investigations focus on optimizing operational parameters and determining operational costs and scale-up engineering requirements. The preliminary total cost estimate for a 10-acre-foot per day ABSR facility is less than $200 per acre-foot of treated drainage water.

  12. Induction of apoptosis by Shiga toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tesh, Vernon L

    2010-01-01

    Shiga toxins comprise a family of structurally and functionally related protein toxins expressed by Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 and multiple serotypes of Escherichia coli. While the capacity of Shiga toxins to inhibit protein synthesis by catalytic inactivation of eukaryotic ribosomes has been well described, it is also apparent that Shiga toxins trigger apoptosis in many cell types. This review presents evidence that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis of epithelial, endothelial, leukocytic, lymphoid and neuronal cells. Apoptotic signaling pathways activated by the toxins are reviewed with an emphasis on signaling mechanisms that are shared among different cell types. Data suggesting that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis through the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and clinical evidence demonstrating apoptosis in humans infected with Shiga toxin-producing bacteria are briefly discussed. The potential for use of Shiga toxins to induce apoptosis in cancer cells is briefly reviewed. PMID:20210553

  13. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    SciTech Connect

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T.

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  14. Development of Certified Reference Materials for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins, Part 1: Calibration Solutions.

    PubMed

    Beach, Daniel G; Crain, Sheila; Lewis, Nancy; LeBlanc, Patricia; Hardstaff, William R; Perez, Ruth A; Giddings, Sabrina D; Martinez-Farina, Camilo F; Stefanova, Roumiana; Burton, Ian W; Kilcoyne, Jane; Melanson, Jeremy E; Quilliam, Michael A; McCarron, Pearse

    2016-09-01

    Okadaic acid (OA) and its analogs dinophysistoxins-1 (DTX1) and -2 (DTX2) are lipophilic polyethers produced by marine dinoflagellates. These toxins accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in humans. Regulatory testing of shellfish is essential to safeguard public health and for international trade. Certified reference materials (CRMs) play a key role in analytical monitoring programs. This paper presents an overview of the interdisciplinary work that went into the planning, production, and certification of calibration-solution CRMs for OA, DTX1, and DTX2. OA and DTX1 were isolated from large-scale algal cultures and DTX2 from naturally contaminated mussels. Toxins were isolated by a combination of extraction and chromatographic steps with processes adapted to suit the source and concentration of each toxin. New 19-epi-DSP toxin analogs were identified as minor impurities. Once OA, DTX1, and DTX2 were established to be of suitable purity, solutions were prepared and dispensed into flame-sealed glass ampoules. Certification measurements were carried out using quantitative NMR spectroscopy and LC-tandem MS. Traceability of measurements was established through certified external standards of established purity. Uncertainties were assigned following standards and guidelines from the International Organization for Standardization, with components from the measurement, stability, and homogeneity studies being propagated into final combined uncertainties. PMID:27524810

  15. Acute Exposure to Microcystin-Producing Cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa Alters Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Swimming Performance Parameters

    PubMed Central

    Kist, Luiza Wilges; Piato, Angelo Luis; da Rosa, João Gabriel Santos; Koakoski, Gessi; Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil; Yunes, João Sarkis; Bonan, Carla Denise; Bogo, Maurício Reis

    2011-01-01

    Microcystins (MCs) are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), primarily Microcystis aeruginosa, forming water blooms worldwide. When an organism is exposed to environmental perturbations, alterations in normal behavioral patterns occur. Behavioral repertoire represents the consequence of a diversity of physiological and biochemical alterations. In this study, we assessed behavioral patterns and whole-body cortisol levels of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to cell culture of the microcystin-producing cyanobacterium M. aeruginosa (MC-LR, strain RST9501). MC-LR exposure (100 μg/L) decreased by 63% the distance traveled and increased threefold the immobility time when compared to the control group. Interestingly, no significant alterations in the number of line crossings were found at the same MC-LR concentration and time of exposure. When animals were exposed to 50 and 100 μg/L, MC-LR promoted a significant increase (around 93%) in the time spent in the bottom portion of the tank, suggesting an anxiogenic effect. The results also showed that none of the MC-LR concentrations tested promoted significant alterations in absolute turn angle, path efficiency, social behavior, or whole-body cortisol level. These findings indicate that behavior is susceptible to MC-LR exposure and provide evidence for a better understanding of the ecological consequences of toxic algal blooms. PMID:22253623

  16. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies. PMID:25502920

  17. Extreme Algal Bloom Detection with MERIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin, R.; Gilerson, A.; Gould, R.; Arnone, R.; Ahmed, S.

    2009-05-01

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB's) are a major concern all over the world due to their negative impacts on the marine environment, human health, and the economy. Their detection from space still remains a challenge particularly in turbid coastal waters. In this study we propose a simple reflectance band difference approach for use with Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) data to detect intense plankton blooms. For convenience we label this approach as the Extreme Bloom Index (EBI) which is defined as EBI = Rrs (709) - Rrs (665). Our initial analysis shows that this band difference approach has some advantages over the band ratio approaches, particularly in reducing errors due to imperfect atmospheric corrections. We also do a comparison between the proposed EBI technique and the Maximum Chlorophyll Index (MCI) Gower technique. Our preliminary result shows that both the EBI and MCI indeces detect intense plankton blooms, however, MCI is more vulnerable in highly scattering waters, giving more positive false alarms than EBI.

  18. Stability of alginate-immobilized algal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Dainty, A.L.; Goulding, K.H.; Robinson, P.K.; Simpkins, I; Trevan, M.D.

    1986-01-01

    Investigations were carried out using immobilized Chlorella cells to determine the diameter, compressibility, tolerance to phosphate chelation, and ability to retain algal cells during incubation of various alginate beads. These physical bead-characteristics were affected by a variety of interactive factors, including multivalent cation type (hardening agent) and cell, cation, and alginate concentration, the latter exhibiting a predominant influence. The susceptibility of alginate beads to phosphate chelation involved a complex interaction of cation type, concentration, and pH of phosphate solution. A scale of response ranging from gel swelling to gel shrinking was observed for a range of conditions. However, stable Ca alginate beads were maintained in incubation media with a pH of 5.5 and a phosphate concentration of 5 micro M. A preliminary investigation into cell leakage from the beads illustrated the importance of maintaining a stable gel structure and limiting cell growth to reduce leakage.

  19. Spatial, Temporal, and Matrix Variability of Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxin Gene Distribution at Great Lakes Beaches

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Ryan J.; Haack, Sheridan K.; Fogarty, Lisa R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Riley, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum type E toxin is responsible for extensive mortality of birds and fish in the Great Lakes. The C. botulinum bontE gene that produces the type E toxin was amplified with quantitative PCR from 150 sloughed algal samples (primarily Cladophora species) collected during summer 2012 from 10 Great Lakes beaches in five states; concurrently, 74 sediment and 37 water samples from four sites were also analyzed. The bontE gene concentration in algae was significantly higher than in water and sediment (P < 0.05), suggesting that algal mats provide a better microenvironment for C. botulinum. The bontE gene was detected most frequently in algae at Jeorse Park and Portage Lake Front beaches (Lake Michigan) and Bay City State Recreation Area beach on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron), where 77, 100, and 83% of these algal samples contained the bontE gene, respectively. The highest concentration of bontE was detected at Bay City (1.98 × 105 gene copies/ml of algae or 5.21 × 106 g [dry weight]). This study revealed that the bontE gene is abundant in the Great Lakes but that it has spatial, temporal, and matrix variability. Further, embayed beaches, low wave height, low wind velocity, and greater average water temperature enhance the bontE occurrence. PMID:25888178

  20. Inland Transport of Aerosolized Florida Red Tide Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Pierce, Richard; Cheng, Yung Sung; Henry, Michael S.; Blum, Patricia; Osborn, Shannon; Nierenberg, Kate; Pederson, Bradley A.; Fleming, Lora E.; Reich, Andrew; Naar, Jerome; Kirkpatrick, Gary; Backer, Lorraine C; Baden, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Florida red tides, an annual event off the west coast of Florida, are caused by the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis produces a suite of potent neurotoxins, brevetoxins, which kill fish, sea birds, and marine mammals, as well as sickening humans who consume contaminated shellfish. These toxins become part of the marine aerosol, and can also be inhaled by humans and other animals. Recent studies have demonstrated a significant increase in symptoms and decrease lung function in asthmatics after only one hour of beach exposure during an onshore Florida red tide bloom. This study constructed a transect line placing high volume air samplers to measure brevetoxins at sites beginning at the beach, moving approximately 6.4 km inland. One non-exposure and 2 exposure studies, each of 5 days duration, were conducted. No toxins were measured in the air during the non-exposure period. During the 2 exposure periods, the amount of brevetoxins varied considerably by site and by date. Nevertheless, brevetoxins were measured at least 4.2 kilometers from the beach and/or 1.6 km from the coastal shoreline. Therefore, populations sensitive to brevetoxins (such as asthmatics) need to know that leaving the beach may not discontinue their environmental exposure to brevetoxin aerosols. PMID:20161504

  1. Inland Transport of Aerosolized Florida Red Tide Toxins.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Pierce, Richard; Cheng, Yung Sung; Henry, Michael S; Blum, Patricia; Osborn, Shannon; Nierenberg, Kate; Pederson, Bradley A; Fleming, Lora E; Reich, Andrew; Naar, Jerome; Kirkpatrick, Gary; Backer, Lorraine C; Baden, Daniel

    2010-02-01

    Florida red tides, an annual event off the west coast of Florida, are caused by the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis produces a suite of potent neurotoxins, brevetoxins, which kill fish, sea birds, and marine mammals, as well as sickening humans who consume contaminated shellfish. These toxins become part of the marine aerosol, and can also be inhaled by humans and other animals. Recent studies have demonstrated a significant increase in symptoms and decrease lung function in asthmatics after only one hour of beach exposure during an onshore Florida red tide bloom.This study constructed a transect line placing high volume air samplers to measure brevetoxins at sites beginning at the beach, moving approximately 6.4 km inland. One non-exposure and 2 exposure studies, each of 5 days duration, were conducted. No toxins were measured in the air during the non-exposure period. During the 2 exposure periods, the amount of brevetoxins varied considerably by site and by date. Nevertheless, brevetoxins were measured at least 4.2 kilometers from the beach and/or 1.6 km from the coastal shoreline. Therefore, populations sensitive to brevetoxins (such as asthmatics) need to know that leaving the beach may not discontinue their environmental exposure to brevetoxin aerosols. PMID:20161504

  2. Comparison of Anorectic Potencies of the Trichothecenes T-2 Toxin, HT-2 Toxin and Satratoxin G to the Ipecac Alkaloid Emetine

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenda; Zhou, Hui-Ren; Pan, Xiao; Pestka, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Trichothecene mycotoxins, potent translational inhibitors that are associated with human food poisonings and damp-building illnesses, are of considerable concern to animal and human health. Food refusal is a hallmark of exposure of experimental animals to deoxynivalenol (DON) and other Type B trichothecenes but less is known about the anorectic effects of foodborne Type A trichothecenes (e.g., T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin), airborne Type D trichothecenes (e.g. satratoxin G [SG]) or functionally analogous metabolites that impair protein synthesis. Here, we utilized a well-described mouse model of food intake to compare the anorectic potencies of T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, and SG to that of emetine, a medicinal alkaloid derived from ipecac that inhibits translation. Intraperitoneal (IP) administration with T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, emetine and SG evoked anorectic responses that occurred within 0.5 h that lasted up to 96, 96, 3 and 96 h, respectively, with lowest observed adverse effect levels (LOAELs) being 0.1, 0.1, 2.5 and 0.25 mg/kg BW, respectively. When delivered via natural routes of exposure, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, emetine (oral) and SG (intranasal) induced anorectic responses that lasted up to 48, 48, 3 and 6 h, respectively with LOAELs being 0.1, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mg/kg BW, respectively. All four compounds were generally much more potent than DON which was previously observed to have LOAELs of 1 and 2.5 mg/kg BW after IP and oral dosing, respectively. Taken together, these anorectic potency data will be valuable in discerning the relative risks from trichothecenes and other translational inhibitors of natural origin. PMID:25932382

  3. Algal bloom-associated disease outbreaks among users of freshwater lakes--United States, 2009-2010.

    PubMed

    Hilborn, Elizabeth D; Roberts, Virginia A; Backer, Lorraine; Deconno, Erin; Egan, Jessica S; Hyde, James B; Nicholas, David C; Wiegert, Eric J; Billing, Laurie M; Diorio, Mary; Mohr, Marika C; Hardy, Joan F; Wade, Timothy J; Yoder, Jonathan S; Hlavsa, Michele C

    2014-01-10

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are excessive accumulations of microscopic photosynthesizing aquatic organisms (phytoplankton) that produce biotoxins or otherwise adversely affect humans, animals, and ecosystems. HABs occur sporadically and often produce a visible algal scum on the water. This report summarizes human health data and water sampling results voluntarily reported to CDC's Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System (WBDOSS) via the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) and the Harmful Algal Bloom-Related Illness Surveillance System (HABISS)* for the years 2009-2010. For 2009-2010, 11 waterborne disease outbreaks associated with algal blooms were reported; these HABs all occurred in freshwater lakes. The outbreaks occurred in three states and affected at least 61 persons. Health effects included dermatologic, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurologic signs and symptoms. These 11 HAB-associated outbreaks represented 46% of the 24 outbreaks associated with untreated recreational water reported for 2009-2010, and 79% of the 14 freshwater HAB-associated outbreaks that have been reported to CDC since 1978. Clinicians should be aware of the potential for HAB-associated illness among patients with a history of exposure to freshwater. PMID:24402467

  4. Effects of T-2 Toxin on Turkey Herpesvirus-Induced Vaccinal Immunity Against Marek's Disease.

    PubMed

    Kufuor-Mensah, E; Reed, W M; Sleight, S; Pestka, J; Fadly, A M; Dunn, J R

    2016-03-01

    T-2 toxin, a very potent immunotoxic Type A trichothecene, is a secondary metabolite produced primarily by Fusarium spp., which grows on cereal grains and can lead to contaminated livestock feed. Repeated exposure to T-2 toxin has been shown to cause immunosuppression and decrease the resistance of exposed animals to a variety of infectious diseases; however, the effects of T-2 toxin on Marek's disease (MD) vaccinal immunity have not been reported. Four trials were conducted to determine the effects of T-2 toxin on vaccinal immunity against MD. Day-old, white leghorn chicks of Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory line 15I5 × 71 were treated daily for 7 days via crop gavage with T-2 toxin at a sublethal dose of 1.25 mg/kg body weight. Treated and untreated chicks were also vaccinated with turkey herpesvirus (HVT) at hatch and were challenged with the JM strain of MD virus (MDV) at 8 days of age. Chickens were tested for HVT viremia at 1 wk postvaccination immediately before challenge, and for HVT and MDV viremia at 3 wk postchallenge. Chickens were observed for the development of MD lesions and mortality within 8 wk of age. T-2 toxin significantly reduced body weight and titers of HVT viremia within 7 days after hatch. T-2 toxin shortened the incubation period for the development of MD lesions and mortality, but only in unvaccinated chickens. The percent MD protection in T-2-toxin-treated, HVT-vaccinated chickens ranged from 82% to 96% and was comparable to that in HVT-vaccinated untreated control chickens (89%-100%). The data suggest that exposure of chickens to sublethal doses of T-2 toxin for 7 consecutive days after hatch may influence the development of 1) HVT viremia; and 2) MD lesions and mortality, but only in unvaccinated chickens. PMID:26953944

  5. Production of biofuel using molluscan pseudofeces derived from algal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Keshav C.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Shelton, James; Wilde, Susan B.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Herrin, James A.

    2012-08-28

    Embodiments of the present disclosure provide for novel strategies to harvest algal lipids using mollusks which after feeding algae from the growth medium can convert algal lipids into their biomass or excrete lipids in their pseudofeces which makes algae harvesting energy efficient and cost effective. The bioconverter, filter-feeding mollusks and their pseudofeces can be harvested and converted to biocrude using an advanced thermochemical liquefaction technology. Methods, systems, and materials are disclosed for the harvest and isolation of algal lipids from the mollusks, molluscan feces and molluscan pseudofeces.

  6. Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llewellyn, Lyndon E.

    Saxitoxin (STX), tetrodotoxin (TTX) and their many chemical relatives are part of our daily lives. From killing people who eat seafood containing these toxins, to being valuable research tools unveiling the invisible structures of their pharmacological receptor, their global impact is beyond measure. The pharmacological receptor for these toxins is the voltage-gated sodium channel which transports Na ions between the exterior to the interior of cells. The two structurally divergent families of STX and TTX analogues bind at the same location on these Na channels to stop the flow of ions. This can affect nerves, muscles and biological senses of most animals. It is through these and other toxins that we have developed much of our fundamental understanding of the Na channel and its part in generating action potentials in excitable cells.

  7. Association of toxin-producing Clostridium botulinum with the macroalga Cladophora in the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chun, Chan Lan; Ochsner, Urs; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N.; Whitman, Richard L.; Tepp, William H.; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A.; Peller, Julie; Sadowsky, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Avian botulism, a paralytic disease of birds, often occurs on a yearly cycle and is increasingly becoming more common in the Great Lakes. Outbreaks are caused by bird ingestion of neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum, a spore-forming, gram-positive, anaerobe. The nuisance, macrophytic, green alga Cladophora (Chlorophyta; mostly Cladophora glomerata L.) is a potential habitat for the growth of C. botulinum. A high incidence of botulism in shoreline birds at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SLBE) in Lake Michigan coincides with increasingly massive accumulations of Cladophora in nearshore waters. In this study, free-floating algal mats were collected from SLBE and other shorelines of the Great Lakes between June and October 2011. The abundance of C. botulinum in algal mats was quantified and the type of botulism neurotoxin (bont) genes associated with this organism were determined by using most-probable-number PCR (MPN-PCR) and five distinct bont gene-specific primers (A, B, C, E, and F). The MPN-PCR results showed that 16 of 22 (73%) algal mats from the SLBE and 23 of 31(74%) algal mats from other shorelines of the Great Lakes contained the bont type E (bont/E) gene. C. botulinum was present up to 15 000 MPN per gram dried algae based on gene copies of bont/E. In addition, genes for bont/A and bont/B, which are commonly associated with human diseases, were detected in a few algal samples. Moreover, C. botulinum was present as vegetative cells rather than as dormant spores in Cladophora mats. Mouse toxin assays done using supernatants from enrichment of Cladophora containing high densities of C. botulinum (>1000 MPN/g dried algae) showed that Cladophora-borne C. botulinum were toxin-producing species (BoNT/E). Our results indicate that Cladophora provides a habitat for C. botulinum, warranting additional studies to better understand the relationship between this bacterium and the alga, and how this interaction potentially contributes to botulism

  8. SxtA and sxtG Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Mediterranean Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyceae)

    PubMed Central

    Perini, Federico; Galluzzi, Luca; Dell’Aversano, Carmela; Dello Iacovo, Emma; Tartaglione, Luciana; Ricci, Fabio; Forino, Martino; Ciminiello, Patrizia; Penna, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum is known for the production of potent neurotoxins affecting the health of human seafood consumers via paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the toxin content and the expression level of the genes involved in paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) production. The algal cultures were grown both in standard f/2 medium and in phosphorus/nitrogen limitation. In our study, LC-HRMS analyses of PST profile and content in different Mediterranean A. minutum strains confirmed that this species was able to synthesize mainly the saxitoxin analogues Gonyautoxin-1 (GTX1) and Gonyautoxin-4 (GTX4). The average cellular toxin content varied among different strains, and between growth phases, highlighting a decreasing trend from exponential to stationary phase in all culture conditions tested. The absolute quantities of intracellular sxtA1 and sxtG mRNA were not correlated with the amount of intracellular toxins in the analysed A. minutum suggesting that the production of toxins may be regulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms and/or by the concerted actions of alternative genes belonging to the PST biosynthesis gene cluster. Therefore, it is likely that the sxtA1 and sxtG gene expression could not reflect the PST accumulation in the Mediterranean A. minutum populations under the examined standard and nutrient limiting conditions. PMID:25341029

  9. Toxin yet not toxic: Botulinum toxin in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Archana, M S

    2016-04-01

    Paracelsus contrasted poisons from nonpoisons, stating that "All things are poisons, and there is nothing that is harmless; the dose alone decides that something is a poison". Living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, constitute a huge source of pharmaceutically useful medicines and toxins. Depending on their source, toxins can be categorized as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, or zootoxins, which include venoms and bacterial toxins. Any toxin can be harmful or beneficial. Within the last 100 years, the perception of botulinum neurotoxin (BTX) has evolved from that of a poison to a versatile clinical agent with various uses. BTX plays a key role in the management of many orofacial and dental disorders. Its indications are rapidly expanding, with ongoing trials for further applications. However, despite its clinical use, what BTX specifically does in each condition is still not clear. The main aim of this review is to describe some of the unclear aspects of this potentially useful agent, with a focus on the current research in dentistry. PMID:27486290

  10. Airborne Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms over Lake Erie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John

    2013-01-01

    The Hyperspectral Imager mounted to an aircraft was used to develop a remote sensing capability to detect the pigment Phycocyanin, an indicator of Microcystis, in low concentration as an early indicator of harmful algal bloom prediction.

  11. ORGANOHALIDE FORMATION ON CHLORINATION OF ALGAL EXTRACELLULAR PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    When certain chemical and physical parameters were controlled during chlorination of algal extracellular products (ECP), organohalide formation was modified. In general, decreases in temperature and contact time decreased the generation of purgeable (POX), nonpurgeable (NPOX), an...

  12. A seasnake's colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling

    PubMed Central

    Shine, R.; Brischoux, F.; Pile, A. J.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary transitions from terrestrial to aquatic life modify selective forces on an animal's coloration. For example, light penetrates differently through water than air, and a new suite of predators and visual backgrounds changes the targets of selection. We suggest that an aquatic animal's coloration may also affect its susceptibility to algal fouling. In a colour-polymorphic field population of seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) in New Caledonia, black individuals supported higher algal cover than did banded conspecifics. In experimental tests, black snake models (plastic tubes) accumulated more algae than did banded models. Algal cover substantially reduced snake activity (in the field) and swimming speeds (in the laboratory). Effects of algal cover on a snake's hydrodynamic efficiency and/or its rate of cutaneous gas exchange thus may impose selection on the colours of aquatic organisms. PMID:20375055

  13. Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-09-01

    An overview of NREL's algal biofuels projects, including U.S. Department of Energy-funded work, projects with U.S. and international partners, and Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects.

  14. Characterization of rabbit ileal receptors for Clostridium difficile toxin A. Evidence for a receptor-coupled G protein

    SciTech Connect

    Pothoulakis, C.; LaMont, J.T.; Eglow, R.; Gao, N.; Rubins, J.B.; Theoharides, T.C.; Dickey, B.F. )

    1991-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to characterize the surface receptor for toxin A, the enterotoxin from Clostridium difficile, on rabbit intestinal brush borders (BB) and on rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells. Purified toxin A was radiolabeled using a modified Bolton-Hunter method to sp act 2 microCi/micrograms, with retention of full biologic activity. 3H-Toxin A bound specifically to a single class of receptors on rabbit BB and on RBL cells with dissociation constants of 5.4 x 10(-8) and 3.5 x 10(-8) M, respectively. RBL cells were highly sensitive to toxin A (cell rounding) and had 180,000 specific binding sites per cell, whereas IMR-90 fibroblasts were far less sensitive to toxin A and lacked detectable specific binding sites. Exposure of BB to trypsin or chymotrypsin significantly reduced 3H-toxin A specific binding. Preincubation of BB with Bandeirea simplicifolia (BS-1) lectin also reduced specific binding, and CHAPS-solubilized receptors could be immobilized with WGA-agarose. The addition of 100 nM toxin A accelerated the association of 35S-GTP gamma S with rabbit ileal BB, and preincubation of BB with the GTP analogues GTP gamma S or Gpp(NH)p, significantly reduced 3H-toxin A specific binding. Our data indicate that the membrane receptor for toxin A is a galactose and N-acetyl-glucosamine-containing glycoprotein which appears to be coupled to a G protein.

  15. Oligotrophic Bacteria Enhance Algal Growth under Iron-Deficient Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Keshtacher-Liebso..., E.; Hadar, Y.; Chen, Y.

    1995-01-01

    A Halomonas sp., a marine halophilic and oligotrophic bacterium, was grown on exudates of Dunaliella bardawil. The bacteria increased the solubility of Fe, thereby enhancing its availability to the algae. As a result, the algal growth rate increased. Because of these syntrophic relations, growth of the marine alga D. bardawil was facilitated at Fe levels that would otherwise induce Fe deficiency and inhibit algal growth. PMID:16535058

  16. The algal lift: Buoyancy-mediated sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza-Lera, Clara; Federlein, Laura L.; Knie, Matthias; Mutz, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The role of benthic algae as biostabilizers of sediments is well-known, however, their potential to lift and transport sediments remains unclear. Under low-flow conditions, matured algal mats may detach from the bed and may lift up sediment, thereby causing disturbance to the uppermost streambed sediment. We tested the potential of algal mats to lift sediments in 12 indoor flumes filled with sand (0.2 - 0.8 mm), gravel (2 - 8 mm) or a sand-gravel mixture (25/75% mass). After four weeks, the algal mats covered about 50% of the flumes area. Due to the accumulation of oxygen gas bubbles in the mats, that developed from high primary production at 4.5 weeks, about half of the algal mats detached from the bed carrying entangled sediments. Both the area covered by algal mats and detached area were similar among sediment types, but the amount of sediment transported tended to be higher for sand and sand-gravel mixture compared to gravel. Our results reveal that biologically mediated sediment transport mainly depends on the development of a dense filamentous algal matrix, that traps gas bubbles, increasing the mats buoyancy. This novel mechanism of sediment transport will occur in shallow ecosystems during low-flow periods, with the highest impact for sandy sediments.

  17. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The photosynthetic spectrum of solar energy could be exploited for the production of chemical energy of methane through the combined algal-bacterial process. In this process, the algae are mass produced from light and from carbon in the first step. The algal biomass is then used as a nutrient for feeding the anaerobic digester, in the second step, for the production of methane by anaerobic bacteria. The carbon source for the production of algal biomass could be either organic carbon from wastewaters (for eucaryotic algae), or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the combustion exhaust gases (for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae). The technical feasibility data on the anaerobic digestion of algal biomass have been reported for many species of algae including macroscopic algae and microscopic algae. Research being conducted in the authors' laboratory consists of using the semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima as the sole substrate for this combined algal-bacterial process. This species of alga is very attractive for the process because of its capability of using the atmospheric carbon dioxide as carbon source and its simple harvesting methods. Furthermore, it appeared that the fermentability of S. maxima is significantly higher than other microscopic algae. This communication presents the results on the anaerobic inoculum development by the adaptation technique. This inoculum was then used for the semicontinuous anaerobic digestion of S. maxima algal biomass. The evolutions of biogas production and composition, biogas yield, total volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, ammonia nitrogen, pH, and electrode potential were followed.

  18. The ins and outs of algal metal transport

    PubMed Central

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.

    2012-01-01

    Metal transporters are a central component in the interaction of algae with their environment. They represent the first line of defense to cellular perturbations in metal concentration, and by analyzing algal metal transporter repertoires, we gain insight into a fundamental aspect of algal biology. The ability of individual algae to thrive in environments with unique geochemistry, compared to non-algal species commonly used as reference organisms for metal homeostasis, provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of biological metal requirements, preferences and trafficking. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the best developed reference organism for the study of algal biology, especially with respect to metal metabolism; however, the diversity of algal niches necessitates a comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced algal genomes. A comparison between known and putative proteins in animals, plants, fungi and algae using protein similarity networks has revealed the presence of novel metal metabolism components in Chlamydomonas including new iron and copper transporters. This analysis also supports the concept that, in terms of metal metabolism, algae from similar niches are more related to one another than to algae from the same phylogenetic clade. PMID:22569643

  19. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

  20. Risk assessment of shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-11-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  1. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-01-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  2. Environmental Toxins and Children: Exploring the Risks, Part II. Hearing held in Washington, DC before the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. House of Representatives, One Hundred First Congress, Second Session.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families.

    This report contains the proceedings of the second of two hearings that explored the risks of environmental toxins to children. Testimony was heard concerning: (1) the special vulnerability of children to toxic substances; (2) exposure to lead and lead poisoning; and (3) the exposure of working children to toxins. A fact sheet gives an overview of…

  3. Synthesis of potent inhibitors of anthrax toxin based on poly-L-glutamic acid.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Amit; Saraph, Arundhati; Poon, Vincent; Mogridge, Jeremy; Kane, Ravi S

    2006-01-01

    We report the synthesis of biodegradable polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin based on poly-L-glutamic acid (PLGA). These biocompatible polyvalent inhibitors are at least 4 orders of magnitude more potent than the corresponding monovalent peptides in vitro and are comparable in potency to polyacrylamide-based inhibitors of anthrax toxin assembly. We have elucidated the influence of peptide density on inhibitory potency and demonstrated that these inhibitory potencies are limited by kinetics, with even higher activities seen when the inhibitors are preincubated with the heptameric receptor-binding subunit of anthrax toxin prior to exposure to cells. These polyvalent inhibitors are also effective at neutralizing anthrax toxin in vivo and represent attractive leads for designing biocompatible anthrax therapeutics. PMID:16984137

  4. The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins.

    PubMed

    Hicks, Rickey P; Hartell, Mark G; Nichols, Daniel A; Bhattacharjee, Apurba K; van Hamont, John E; Skillman, Donald R

    2005-01-01

    The potential use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological or chemical) by terrorist organizations represents a major threat to world peace and safety. Only a limited number of vaccines are available to protect the general population from the medical consequences of these weapons. In addition there are major health concerns associated with a pre-exposure mass vaccination of the general population. To reduce or eliminate the impact of these terrible threats, new drugs must be developed to safely treat individuals exposed to these agents. A review of all therapeutic agents under development for the treatment of the illnesses and injuries that result from exposure to nuclear, biological or chemical warfare agents is beyond the scope of any single article. The intent here is to provide a focused review for medicinal and organic chemists of three widely discussed and easily deployed biological warfare agents, botulinum neurotoxin and ricin toxins and the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax will be addressed because of its similarity in both structure and mechanism of catalytic activity with botulinum toxin. The common feature of these three agents is that they exhibit their biological activity via toxin enzymatic hydrolysis of a specific bond in their respective substrate molecules. A brief introduction to the history of each of the biological warfare agents is presented followed by a discussion on the mechanisms of action of each at the molecular level, and a review of current potential inhibitors under investigation. PMID:15790305

  5. Accumulation, transformation and breakdown of DSP toxins from the toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuta in blue mussels, Mytilus edulis.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor; Hansen, Per Juel; Krock, Bernd; Vismann, Bent

    2016-07-01

    Okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxins (DTX) and pectenotoxins (PTX) produced by the dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp. can accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning upon human consumption. Shellfish toxicity is a result of algal abundance and toxicity as well as accumulation and depuration kinetics in mussels. We mass-cultured Dinophysis acuta containing OA, DTX-1b and PTX-2 and fed it to the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis under controlled laboratory conditions for a week to study toxin accumulation and transformation. Contents of OA and DTX-1b in mussels increased linearly with incubation time, and the net toxin accumulation was 66% and 71% for OA and DTX-1b, respectively. Large proportions (≈50%) of both these toxins were transformed to fatty acid esters. Most PTX-2 was transformed to PTX-2 seco-acid and net accumulation was initially high, but decreased progressively throughout the experiment, likely due to esterification and loss of detectability. We also quantified depuration during the subsequent four days and found half-life times of 5-6 days for OA and DTX-1b. Measurements of dissolved toxins revealed that depuration was achieved through excreting rather than metabolizing toxins. This is the first study to construct a full mass balance of DSP toxins during both accumulation and depuration, and we demonstrate rapid toxin accumulation in mussels at realistic in situ levels of Dinophysis. Applying the observed accumulation and depuration kinetics, we model mussel toxicity, and demonstrate that a concentration of only 75 Dinophysis cells l(-1) is enough to make 60 mm long mussels exceed the regulatory threshold for OA equivalents. PMID:27045361

  6. Paralytic shellfish toxins in the freshwater cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, isolated from Montargil reservoir, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pereira, P; Onodera, H; Andrinolo, D; Franca, S; Araújo, F; Lagos, N; Oshima, Y

    2000-12-01

    Montargil reservoir, located in a dry flat area in the centre of Portugal, was filled in 1958 to fulfil agricultural, electric and industrial requirements. In May 1996, an intensive bloom of phytoplankton was detected. The algal community was strongly dominated by cyanobacteria with predominance of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae from May to June and Microcystis aeruginosa from July to August. Extracts of samples collected during the bloom period showed high toxicity by mouse bioassay. During the M. aeruginosa predominance period, the toxicity was ascribed to the presence of hepatotoxins, but clear symptoms of paralytic shellfish poison were observed when A. flos-aquae was the dominant species. In order to confirm the production of neurotoxins a strain of A. flos-aquae was isolated and established in culture. In this manuscript, we show the morphological characteristics and confirm paralytic shellfish toxins production by the strain isolated and maintained in culture. Identification of the saxitoxin analogs was achieved using high performance liquid chromatography with postcolumn fluorescence derivatization (HPLC-FLD) and liquid chromatographic mass spectrometry technique (LC-MS). The toxins found in the culture extract were GTX5 (64.5 mol%), neoSTX (23.0 mol%), dcSTX (6.1 mol%), STX (5.4 mol%) and GTX6 (1.1 mol%). This is, to our knowledge, the first report of unambiguous evidence of paralytic shellfish toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria in Portugal. The toxin profile is rather different from the previously reported PSP producing A. flos-aquae and demonstrates its diversity in terms of toxin production. PMID:10858510

  7. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease. PMID:26227025

  8. The Effects of Cholera Toxin on Cellular Energy Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Snider, Rachel M.; McKenzie, Jennifer R.; Kraft, Lewis; Kozlov, Eugene; Wikswo, John P.; Cliffel, David E.

    2010-01-01

    Multianalyte microphysiometry, a real-time instrument for simultaneous measurement of metabolic analytes in a microfluidic environment, was used to explore the effects of cholera toxin (CTx). Upon exposure of CTx to PC-12 cells, anaerobic respiration was triggered, measured as increases in acid and lactate production and a decrease in the oxygen uptake. We believe the responses observed are due to a CTx-induced activation of adenylate cyclase, increasing cAMP production and resulting in a switch to anaerobic respiration. Inhibitors (H-89, brefeldin A) and stimulators (forskolin) of cAMP were employed to modulate the CTx-induced cAMP responses. The results of this study show the utility of multianalyte microphysiometry to quantitatively determine the dynamic metabolic effects of toxins and affected pathways. PMID:22069603

  9. A Novel Sensitive Bioassay for Detection of Bacillus cereus Emetic Toxin and Related Depsipeptide Ionophores

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, M. A.; Mikkola, R.; Helin, J.; Andersson, M. C.; Salkinoja-Salonen, M.

    1998-01-01

    Of the toxins produced by Bacillus cereus, the emetic toxin is likely the most dangerous but, due to the lack of a suitable assay, the least well known. In this paper, a new, sensitive, inexpensive, and rapid bioassay for detection of the emetic toxin of B. cereus is described. The assay is based on the loss of motility of boar spermatozoa upon 24 h of exposure to extracts of emetic B. cereus strains or contaminated food. The paralyzed spermatozoa exhibited swollen mitochondria, but no depletion of cellular ATP or damage to plasma membrane integrity was observed. Analysis of the purified toxin by electrospray tandem mass spectrometry showed that it was a dodecadepsipeptide with a mass fragmentation pattern similar to that described for cereulide. The 50% effective concentration of the purified toxin to boar spermatozoa was 0.5 ng of purified toxin ml of extended boar semen−1. This amount corresponds to 104 to 105 CFU of B. cereus cells. No toxicity was detected for 27 other B. cereus strains up to 108 CFU ml−1. The detection limit for food was 3 g of rice containing 106 to 107 CFU of emetic B. cereus per gram. Effects similar to those provoked by emetic B. cereus toxin were also induced in boar spermatozoa by valinomycin and gramicidin at 2 and 3 ng ml of extended boar semen−1, respectively. The symptoms provoked by the toxin in spermatozoa indicated that B. cereus emetic toxin was acting as a membrane channel-forming ionophore, damaging mitochondria and blocking the oxidative phosphorylation required for the motility of boar spermatozoa. PMID:9546170

  10. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Nathan V; Kocot, Kevin M; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2014-12-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63-74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  11. Nemertean Toxin Genes Revealed through Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Whelan, Nathan V.; Kocot, Kevin M.; Santos, Scott R.; Halanych, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63–74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  12. Environmental Feedbacks and Engineered Nanoparticles: Mitigation of Silver Nanoparticle Toxicity to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by Algal-Produced Organic Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Louise M.; Dickson, Helen; Klanjscek, Tin; Keller, Arturo A.; McCauley, Edward; Nisbet, Roger M.

    2013-01-01

    The vast majority of nanotoxicity studies measures the effect of exposure to a toxicant on an organism and ignores the potentially important effects of the organism on the toxicant. We investigated the effect of citrate-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on populations of the freshwater alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii at different phases of batch culture growth and show that the AgNPs are most toxic to cultures in the early phases of growth. We offer strong evidence that reduced toxicity occurs because extracellular dissolved organic carbon (DOC) compounds produced by the algal cells themselves mitigate the toxicity of AgNPs. We analyzed this feedback with a dynamic model incorporating algal growth, nanoparticle dissolution, bioaccumulation of silver, DOC production and DOC-mediated inactivation of nanoparticles and ionic silver. Our findings demonstrate how the feedback between aquatic organisms and their environment may impact the toxicity and ecological effects of engineered nanoparticles. PMID:24086348

  13. Effect of a short-term in vitro exposure to the marine toxin domoic acid on viability, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, matrix metalloproteinase-9 and superoxide anion release by rat neonatal microglia

    PubMed Central

    Mayer, Alejandro MS; Hall, Mary; Fay, Michael J; Lamar, Peter; Pearson, Celeste; Prozialeck, Walter C; Lehmann, Virginia KB; Jacobson, Peer B; Romanic, Anne M; Uz, Tolga; Manev, Hari

    2001-01-01

    Background The excitatory amino acid domoic acid, a glutamate and kainic acid analog, is the causative agent of amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans. No studies to our knowledge have investigated the potential contribution to short-term neurotoxicity of the brain microglia, a cell type that constitutes circa 10% of the total glial population in the brain. We tested the hypothesis that a short-term in vitro exposure to domoic acid, might lead to the activation of rat neonatal microglia and the concomitant release of the putative neurotoxic mediators tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), matrix metalloproteinases-2 and-9 (MMP-2 and -9) and superoxide anion (O2-). Results In vitro, domoic acid [10 μM-1 mM] was significantly neurotoxic to primary cerebellar granule neurons. Although neonatal rat microglia expressed ionotropic glutamate GluR4 receptors, exposure during 6 hours to domoic acid [10 μM-1 mM] had no significant effect on viability. By four hours, LPS (10 ng/mL) stimulated an increase in TNF-α mRNA and a 2,233 % increase in TNF-α protein In contrast, domoic acid (1 mM) induced a slight rise in TNF-α expression and a 53 % increase (p < 0.01) of immunoreactive TNF-α protein. Furthermore, though less potent than LPS, a 4-hour treatment with domoic acid (1 mM) yielded a 757% (p < 0.01) increase in MMP-9 release, but had no effect on MMP-2. Finally, while PMA (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) stimulated O2- generation was elevated in 6 hour LPS-primed microglia, a similar pretreatment with domoic acid (1 mM) did not prime O2- release. Conclusions To our knowledge this is the first experimental evidence that domoic acid, at in vitro concentrations that are toxic to neuronal cells, can trigger a release of statistically significant amounts of TNF-α and MMP-9 by brain microglia. These observations are of considerable pathophysiological significance because domoic acid activates rat microglia several days after in vivo administration. PMID:11686853

  14. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo as a model system for identification and characterization of developmental toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae.

    PubMed

    Berry, John P; Gantar, Miroslav; Gibbs, Patrick D L; Schmale, Michael C

    2007-02-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo has emerged as an important model of vertebrate development. As such, this model system is finding utility in the investigation of toxic agents that inhibit, or otherwise interfere with, developmental processes (i.e. developmental toxins), including compounds that have potential relevance to both human and environmental health, as well as biomedicine. Recently, this system has been applied increasingly to the study of microbial toxins, and more specifically, as an aquatic animal model, has been employed to investigate toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, including those classified among the so-called "harmful algal blooms" (HABs). We have developed this system for identification and characterization of toxins from cyanobacteria (i.e. "blue-green algae") isolated from the Florida Everglades and other freshwater sources in South and Central Florida. Here we review the use of this system as it has been applied generally to the investigation of toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, and illustrate this utility as we have applied it to the detection, bioassay-guided fractionation and subsequent characterization of developmental toxins from freshwater cyanobacteria. PMID:17020820

  15. Accumulation, Biotransformation, Histopathology and Paralysis in the Pacific Calico Scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the Paralyzing Toxins of the Dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum

    PubMed Central

    Escobedo-Lozano, Amada Y.; Estrada, Norma; Ascencio, Felipe; Contreras, Gerardo; Alonso-Rodriguez, Rosalba

    2012-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum produces paralyzing shellfish poisons that are consumed and accumulated by bivalves. We performed short-term feeding experiments to examine ingestion, accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology, and paralysis in the juvenile Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus that consume this dinoflagellate. Depletion of algal cells was measured in closed systems. Histopathological preparations were microscopically analyzed. Paralysis was observed and the time of recovery recorded. Accumulation and possible biotransformation of toxins were measured by HPLC analysis. Feeding activity in treated scallops showed that scallops produced pseudofeces, ingestion rates decreased at 8 h; approximately 60% of the scallops were paralyzed and melanin production and hemocyte aggregation were observed in several tissues at 15 h. HPLC analysis showed that the only toxins present in the dinoflagellates and scallops were the N-sulfo-carbamoyl toxins (C1, C2); after hydrolysis, the carbamate toxins (epimers GTX2/3) were present. C1 and C2 toxins were most common in the mantle, followed by the digestive gland and stomach-complex, adductor muscle, kidney and rectum group, and finally, gills. Toxin profiles in scallop tissue were similar to the dinoflagellate; biotransformations were not present in the scallops in this short-term feeding experiment. PMID:22822356

  16. ATP and related purines stimulate motility, spatial congregation, and coalescence in red algal spores.

    PubMed

    Huidobro-Toro, Juan P; Donoso, Verónica; Flores, Verónica; Santelices, Bernabé

    2015-04-01

    Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is a versatile extracellular signal along the tree of life, whereas cAMP plays a major role in vertebrates as an intracellular messenger for hormones, transmitters, tastants, and odorants. Since red algal spore coalescence may be considered analogous to the congregation process of social amoeba, which is stimulated by cAMP, we ascertained whether exogenous applications of ATP, cAMP, adenine, or adenosine modified spore survival and motility, spore settlement and coalescence. Concentration-response studies were performed with carpospores of Mazzaella laminarioides (Gigartinales), incubated with and without added purines. Stirring of algal blades released ADP/ATP to the cell media in a time-dependent manner. 10-300 μM ATP significantly increased spore survival; however, 1,500 μM ATP, cAMP or adenine induced 100% mortality within less than 24 h; the exception was adenosine, which up to 3,000 μM, did not alter spore survival. ATP exposure elicited spore movement with speeds of 2.2-2.5 μm · s(-1) . 14 d after 1,000 μM ATP addition, spore abundance in the central zone of the plaques was increased 2.7-fold as compared with parallel controls. Likewise, 1-10 μM cAMP or 30-100 μM adenine also increased central zone spore abundance, albeit these purines were less efficacious than ATP; adenosine up to 3,000 μM did not influence settlement. Moreover, 1,000 μM ATP markedly accelerated coalescence, the other purines caused a variable effect. We conclude that exogenous cAMP, adenine, but particularly ATP, markedly influence red algal spore physiology; effects are compatible with the expression of one or more membrane purinoceptor(s), discarding adenosine receptor participation. PMID:26986520

  17. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  18. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun

    2015-07-18

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  19. Proteomic profile in Perna viridis after exposed to Prorocentrum lima, a dinoflagellate producing DSP toxins.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lu; Zou, Ying; Weng, Hui-wen; Li, Hong-Ye; Liu, Jie-Sheng; Yang, Wei-Dong

    2015-01-01

    In the current study, we compared protein profiles in gills of Perna viridis after exposure to Prorocentrumlima, a dinoflagellate producing DSP toxins, and identified the differential abundances of protein spots using 2D-electrophoresis. After exposure to P. lima, the level of okadaic acid (a main component of DSP toxins) in gills of P. viridis significantly increased at 6 h, but mussels were all apparently healthy without death. Among the 28 identified protein spots by MALDI TOF/TOF-MS, 12 proteins were up-regulated and 16 were down-regulated in the P. lima-exposed mussels. These identified proteins were involved in various biological activities, such as metabolism, cytoskeleton, signal transduction, response to oxidative stress and detoxification. Taken together, our results indicated that the presence of P. lima caused DSP toxins accumulation in mussel gill, and might consequently induce cytoskeletonal disorganization,oxidative stress, a dysfunction in metabolism and ubiquitination/proteasome activity. PMID:25463732

  20. Biodegradation of bisphenol A by an algal-bacterial system.

    PubMed

    Eio, Er Jin; Kawai, Minako; Niwa, Chiaki; Ito, Masato; Yamamoto, Shuichi; Toda, Tatsuki

    2015-10-01

    The degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) by Chlorella sorokiniana and BPA-degrading bacteria was investigated. The results show that BPA was partially removed by a monoculture of C. sorokiniana, but the remaining BPA accounted for 50.2, 56.1, and 60.5 % of the initial BPA concentrations of 10, 20, and 50 mg L(-1), respectively. The total algal BPA adsorption and accumulation were less than 1 %. C. sorokiniana-bacterial system effectively removed BPA with photosynthetic oxygen provided by the algae irrespective of the initial BPA concentration. The growth of C. sorokiniana in the algal system was inhibited by BPA concentrations of 20 and 50 mg L(-1), but not in the algal-bacterial system. This observation indicates that bacterial growth in the algal-bacterial system reduced the BPA-inhibiting effect on algae. A total of ten BPA biodegradation intermediates were identified by GC-MS. The concentrations of the biodegradation intermediates decreased to a low level at the end of the experiment. The hypothetical carbon mass balance analysis showed that the amounts of oxygen demanded by the bacteria are insufficient for effective BPA degradation. However, adding an external carbon source could compensate for the oxygen shortage. This study demonstrates that the algal-bacterial system has the potential to remove BPA and its biodegradation intermediates. PMID:26013738

  1. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children. PMID:27335961

  2. The toxin and antidote puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insects carry out essential ecological functions, such as pollination, but also cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and transmit human diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Advances in insect transgenesis are making it increasingly feasible to engineer genes conferring desirable phenotypes, and gene drive systems are required to spread these genes into wild populations. Medea provides one solution, being able to spread into a population from very low initial frequencies through the action of a maternally-expressed toxin linked to a zygotically-expressed antidote. Several other toxin-antidote combinations are imaginable that distort the offspring ratio in favor of a desired transgene, or drive the population towards an all-male crash. We explore two such systems—Semele, which is capable of spreading a desired transgene into an isolated population in a confined manner; and Merea, which is capable of inducing a local population crash when located on the Z chromosome of a Lepidopteron pest. PMID:21876382

  3. Future increase in harmful algal blooms in the North Sea due to climate change.

    PubMed

    Peperzak, L

    2005-01-01

    In temperate seas such as the North Sea harmful (toxic) algal blooms will probably increase as a result of climate change. This conclusion was reached after investigating the projected effect of climate change for the year 2100 in Dutch coastal waters (4 degrees C temperature rise and increased water column stratification) on the growth rates of six harmful and two non-harmful phytoplankton species. Micro algae form the basis of the marine food chain. However, toxin-producing species may seriously disrupt the food web and lead to fish kills and human intoxication. Two species with estimated doubled growth rates in 2100, F. japonica and C. antiqua, entered Europe via ship's ballast water or shellfish imports. This stresses the need to legally regulate such invasion routes in order to prevent the import of novel species. Future toxic phytoplankton blooms may further devaluate ecosystem deliverables such as fish production or recreational use. This devaluation can be estimated by monetary value assessments that are needed in cost-benefit analyses for policy guidance. The lack of understanding of future climate, ecosystem functioning and its response to climate change calls for a scientific effort to improve our knowledge on present day coastal ecosystem functioning and its resilience. PMID:15918356

  4. Towards spatial localisation of harmful algal blooms; statistics-based spatial anomaly detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shutler, J. D.; Grant, M. G.; Miller, P. I.

    2005-10-01

    Harmful algal blooms are believed to be increasing in occurrence and their toxins can be concentrated by filter-feeding shellfish and cause amnesia or paralysis when ingested. As a result fisheries and beaches in the vicinity of blooms may need to be closed and the local population informed. For this avoidance planning timely information on the existence of a bloom, its species and an accurate map of its extent would be prudent. Current research to detect these blooms from space has mainly concentrated on spectral approaches towards determining species. We present a novel statistics-based background-subtraction technique that produces improved descriptions of an anomaly's extent from remotely-sensed ocean colour data. This is achieved by extracting bulk information from a background model; this is complemented by a computer vision ramp filtering technique to specifically detect the perimeter of the anomaly. The complete extraction technique uses temporal-variance estimates which control the subtraction of the scene of interest from the time-weighted background estimate, producing confidence maps of anomaly extent. Through the variance estimates the method learns the associated noise present in the data sequence, providing robustness, and allowing generic application. Further, the use of the median for the background model reduces the effects of anomalies that appear within the time sequence used to generate it, allowing seasonal variations in the background levels to be closely followed. To illustrate the detection algorithm's application, it has been applied to two spectrally different oceanic regions.

  5. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks between private and public goods: evidence from toxic algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, William W; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Ferrière, Régis

    2016-01-01

    The importance of 'eco-evolutionary feedbacks' in natural systems is currently unclear. Here, we advance a general hypothesis for a particular class of eco-evolutionary feedbacks with potentially large, long-lasting impacts in complex ecosystems. These eco-evolutionary feedbacks involve traits that mediate important interactions with abiotic and biotic features of the environment and a self-driven reversal of selection as the ecological impact of the trait varies between private (small scale) and public (large scale). Toxic algal blooms may involve such eco-evolutionary feedbacks due to the emergence of public goods. We review evidence that toxin production by microalgae may yield 'privatised' benefits for individual cells or colonies under pre- and early-bloom conditions; however, the large-scale, ecosystem-level effects of toxicity associated with bloom states yield benefits that are necessarily 'public'. Theory predicts that the replacement of private with public goods may reverse selection for toxicity in the absence of higher level selection. Indeed, blooms often harbor significant genetic and functional diversity: bloom populations may undergo genetic differentiation over a scale of days, and even genetically similar lineages may vary widely in toxic potential. Intriguingly, these observations find parallels in terrestrial communities, suggesting that toxic blooms may serve as useful models for eco-evolutionary dynamics in nature. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks involving the emergence of a public good may shed new light on the potential for interactions between ecology and evolution to influence the structure and function of entire ecosystems. PMID:26612461

  6. Common European harmful algal blooms affect the viability and innate immune responses of Mytilus edulis larvae.

    PubMed

    De Rijcke, M; Vandegehuchte, M B; Vanden Bussche, J; Nevejan, N; Vanhaecke, L; De Schamphelaere, K A C; Janssen, C R

    2015-11-01

    Like marine diseases, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are globally increasing in frequency, severity and geographical scale. As a result, bivalves will have to face the combined threat of toxic algae and marine pathogens more frequently in the (near) future. These stressors combined may further affect the recruitment of ecologically and economically important bivalve species as HABs can affect the growth, viability and development of their larvae. To date, little is known on the specific effects of HABs on the innate immune system of bivalve larvae. This study therefore investigates whether two common harmful algae can influence the larval viability, development and immunological resilience of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Embryos of this model organism were exposed (48 h) to five densities of Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries or Prorocentrum lima cells. In addition, the effect of six concentrations of their respective toxins: domoic acid (DA) and okadaic acid (OA) were assessed. OA was found to significantly reduce larval protein phosphatase activity (p < 0.001) and larval viability (p < 0.01) at concentrations as low as 37.8 μg l(-1). P. multiseries (1400 cells ml(-1)), P. lima (150 cells ml(-1)) and DA (dosed five times higher than typical environmental conditions i.e. 623.2 μg l(-1)) increased the phenoloxidase (PO) innate immune activity of the mussel larvae. These results suggest that the innate immune response of even the earliest life stages of bivalves is susceptible to the presence of HABs. PMID:26348409

  7. Remote Sensing as a Tool to Track Algal Blooms in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradt, S. R.; Wurtsbaugh, W. A.; Naftz, D.; Moore, T.; Haney, J.

    2006-12-01

    The Great Salt Lake is a large hypersaline, terminal water body in northern Utah, USA. The lake has both a significant economic importance to the local community as a source of brine shrimp and mineral resources, as well as, an ecological importance to large numbers of migratory waterfowl. Due to nutrient input from sewage treatment plants, sections of the Great Salt Lake are subjected to highly eutrophic conditions. One of the main tributaries, Farmington Bay, experiences massive blooms of cyanobacteria which can reach concentrations in excess of 300 mg l-1 in the bay. Effects of these blooms can be observed stretching into the rest of the lake. The detrimental outcomes of the blooms include unsightly scums, foul odor and the danger of cyanobacterial toxins. While the blooms have an obvious effect on Farmington Bay, it is quite possible that the cyanobacteria impact a much wider area of the lake as currents move eutrophic water masses. Of particular interest is the reaction of brine shrimp to the plumes of cyanobacteria-rich water leaving Farmington Bay. We are employing remote sensing as a tool to map the distribution of algae throughout the lake and produce lake-wide maps of water quality on a regular basis. On-lake reflectance measurements have been coupled with MODIS satellite imagery to produce a time series of maps illustrating changes in algal distribution. The successes and shortcomings of our remote sensing technique will be a central topic of this presentation.

  8. Metatranscriptome profiling of a harmful algal bloom.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Endymion D; Bentlage, Bastian; Gibbons, Theodore R; Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R; Delwiche, Charles F

    2014-07-01

    Metagenomic methods provide a powerful means to investigate complex ecological phenomena. Developed originally for study of Bacteria and Archaea, the application of these methods to eukaryotic microorganisms is yet to be fully realized. Most prior environmental molecular studies of eukaryotes have relied heavily on PCR amplification with eukaryote-specific primers. Here we apply high throughput short-read sequencing of poly-A selected RNA to capture the metatranscriptome of an estuarine dinoflagellate bloom. To validate the metatranscriptome assembly process we simulated metatranscriptomic datasets using short-read sequencing data from clonal cultures of four algae of varying phylogenetic distance. We find that the proportion of chimeric transcripts reconstructed from community transcriptome sequencing is low, suggesting that metatranscriptomic sequencing can be used to accurately reconstruct the transcripts expressed by bloom-forming communities of eukaryotes. To further validate the bloom metatransciptome assembly we compared it to a transcriptomic assembly from a cultured, clonal isolate of the dominant bloom-causing alga and found that the two assemblies are highly similar. Eukaryote-wide phylogenetic analyses reveal the taxonomic composition of the bloom community, which is comprised of several dinoflagellates, ciliates, animals, and fungi. The assembled metatranscriptome reveals the functional genomic composition of a metabolically active community. Highlighting the potential power of these methods, we found that relative transcript abundance patterns suggest that the dominant dinoflagellate might be expressing toxin biosynthesis related genes at a higher level in the presence of competitors, predators and prey compared to it growing in monoculture. PMID:25484636

  9. Accumulation and depuration of cyanobacterial paralytic shellfish toxins by the freshwater mussel Anodonta cygnea.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Paulo; Dias, Elsa; Franca, Susana; Pereira, Elisa; Carolino, Manuela; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2004-07-14

    The increasing frequency by which the production of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) by freshwater bloom-forming cyanobacteria is being noticed world-wide raises the possibility of PST bioaccumulation by freshwater mussels. This study evaluates PST accumulation and depuration by the freshwater mussel Anodonta cygnea exposed over a 14-day period to high densities (mean = 1.4 x 10(9) cells1(-1), S.D. = 0.29 x 10(9) cellsl(-1)) of the toxic cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi (corresponding to a mean toxin concentration of 25.5 nmol PSTl(-1), S.D. = 9.9 nmol PSTl(-1)). Mussels were subsequently detoxified either by starvation or by feeding on the non-toxic green-algae Ankistodesmus falcatus. Filter feeding activity and toxin uptake by the mussels were followed by cell counting and toxin analysis in water samples taken before and after each daily water renewal. The accumulation and depuration of PST as well as the anatomical distribution of toxins were monitored throughout the experiment by HPLC analysis of mussel extracts. Mussels fed the toxic cyanobacterium removed on average 65.3% of cells and 40.36% of total PST daily provided. Daily rates of cell clearance (% of initial) were negatively correlated with the amounts of PST daily provided (but not with the amount of cells). This suggests a negative effect of toxins on the feeding behaviour of mussels. Small amounts of toxins could be detected in the mussels after the second day of exposure, reaching a maximum of 26 microg PST100 g(-1) by day 7. The viscera contained the greatest proportion of toxins (78%) at the start of the toxification. However, increasing amounts of PST were found in the remaining tissues (gills, mantle and foot) over time. Toxins detected in the mussel extracts were the same provided in the dietary A. issatschenkoi. Nevertheless, mussels showed a higher proportion of saxitoxin and decarbomoylsaxitoxin and a lower proportion of gonyautoxin-5 than the fed cyanobacterium. Similar depuration

  10. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  11. Cross-resistance and interactions between Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab against the cotton bollworm

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Jizhen; Guo, Yuyuan; Liang, Gemei; Wu, Kongming; Zhang, Jie; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Li, Xianchun

    2015-01-01

    To delay evolution of pest resistance to transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), the "pyramid" strategy uses plants that produce two or more toxins that kill the same pest. We conducted laboratory diet experiments with the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, to evaluate cross-resistance and interactions between two toxins in pyramided Bt cotton (Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab). Selection with Cry1Ac for 125 generations produced 1000-fold resistance to Cry1Ac and 6.8-fold cross-resistance to Cry2Ab. Selection with Cry2Ab for 29 generations caused 5.6-fold resistance to Cry2Ab and 61-fold cross-resistance to Cry1Ac. Without exposure to Bt toxins, resistance to both toxins decreased. For each of the four resistant strains examined, 67 to 100% of the combinations of Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab tested yielded higher than expected mortality, reflecting synergism between these two toxins. Results showing minor cross-resistance to Cry2Ab caused by selection with Cry1Ac and synergism between these two toxins against resistant insects suggest that plants producing both toxins could prolong the efficacy of Bt cotton against this pest in China. Including toxins against which no cross-resistance occurs and integrating Bt cotton with other control tactics could also increase the sustainability of management strategies. PMID:25586723

  12. Approaches to monitoring, control and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs)

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald M.

    2009-01-01

    Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called “red tides”). These phenomena are caused by blooms of microscopic algae. Some of these algae are toxic, and can lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life, typically as a result of the transfer of toxins through the food web. Sometimes the direct release of toxic compounds can be lethal to marine animals. Non-toxic HABs cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term “HAB” also applies to non-toxic blooms of macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters. Globally, the nature of the HAB problem has changed considerably over the last several decades. The number of toxic blooms, the resulting economic losses, the types of resources affected, and the number of toxins and toxic species have all increased dramatically. Some of this expansion has been attributed to storms, currents and other natural phenomena, but human activities are also frequently implicated. Humans have contributed by transporting toxic species in ballast water, and by adding massive and increasing quantities of industrial, agricultural and sewage effluents to coastal waters. In many urbanized coastal regions, these inputs have altered the size and composition of the nutrient pool which has, in turn, created a more favorable nutrient environment for certain HAB species. The steady expansion in the use of fertilizers for agricultural production represents a large and worrisome source of nutrients in coastal waters that promote some HABs. The diversity in HAB species and their impacts presents a significant challenge to those responsible for the management of coastal resources. Furthermore, HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena

  13. Approaches to monitoring, control and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M

    2009-07-01

    Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called "red tides"). These phenomena are caused by blooms of microscopic algae. Some of these algae are toxic, and can lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life, typically as a result of the transfer of toxins through the food web. Sometimes the direct release of toxic compounds can be lethal to marine animals. Non-toxic HABs cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term "HAB" also applies to non-toxic blooms of macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters.Globally, the nature of the HAB problem has changed considerably over the last several decades. The number of toxic blooms, the resulting economic losses, the types of resources affected, and the number of toxins and toxic species have all increased dramatically. Some of this expansion has been attributed to storms, currents and other natural phenomena, but human activities are also frequently implicated. Humans have contributed by transporting toxic species in ballast water, and by adding massive and increasing quantities of industrial, agricultural and sewage effluents to coastal waters. In many urbanized coastal regions, these inputs have altered the size and composition of the nutrient pool which has, in turn, created a more favorable nutrient environment for certain HAB species. The steady expansion in the use of fertilizers for agricultural production represents a large and worrisome source of nutrients in coastal waters that promote some HABs.The diversity in HAB species and their impacts presents a significant challenge to those responsible for the management of coastal resources. Furthermore, HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena that

  14. Formation of a volunteer harmful algal bloom network in British Columbia, Canada, following an outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Lorraine; Cassis, David; Haigh, Nicola

    2013-11-01

    Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC) on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). As a result of this outbreak, Canada's first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas. PMID:24172211

  15. Formation of a Volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom Network in British Columbia, Canada, Following an Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning

    PubMed Central

    McIntyre, Lorraine; Cassis, David; Haigh, Nicola

    2013-01-01

    Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC) on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). As a result of this outbreak, Canada’s first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas. PMID:24172211

  16. Phage display and Shiga toxin neutralizers.

    PubMed

    Bernedo-Navarro, Robert Alvin; Yano, Tomomasa

    2016-04-01

    The current work presents an overview of the use of phage display technology for the identification and characterization of potential neutralizing agents for Shiga toxins. The last major Shiga toxin-associated disease outbreak, which took place in Germany in 2011, showed the international community that Shiga toxins remain a serious threat to public health. This is also demonstrated by the lack of specific therapies against Shiga toxin-induced Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Since its inception, phage display technology has played a key role in the development of antigen-specific (poly)-peptides or antibody fragments with specific biological properties. Herein, we review the current literature regarding the application of phage display to identify novel neutralizing agents against Shiga toxins. We also briefly highlight reported discoveries of peptides and heavy chain antibodies (VHH fragments or nanobodies) that can neutralize the cellular damage caused by these potent toxins. PMID:26898657

  17. Bt Toxin Modification for Enhanced Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Deist, Benjamin R.; Rausch, Michael A.; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2014-01-01

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance. PMID:25340556

  18. Design of algal film photobioreactors: material surface energy effects on algal film productivity, colonization and lipid content.

    PubMed

    Genin, Scott N; Stewart Aitchison, J; Grant Allen, D

    2014-03-01

    A parallel plate air lift reactor was used to examine the growth kinetics of mixed culture algal biofilms grown on various materials (acrylic, glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene and cellulose acetate). The growth kinetics of the algal biofilms were non-linear overall and their overall productivities ranged from 1.10-2.08g/m(2)day, with those grown on cellulose acetate having the highest productivity. Overall algal biofilm productivity was largely explained by differences in the colonization time which in turn was strongly correlated to the polar surface energy of the material, but weakly correlated to water-material contact angle. When colonization time was taken into account, the productivity for all materials except acrylic was not significantly different at approximately 2g/m(2)/day. Lipid content of the algal biofilms ranged from 6% to 8% (w/w) and was not correlated to water-material contact angle or polar surface energy. The results have potential application for selecting appropriate materials for algal film photobioreactors. PMID:24441594

  19. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  20. Algal lectins as promising biomolecules for biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram Sarup; Thakur, Shivani Rani; Bansal, Parveen

    2015-02-01

    Lectins are natural bioactive ubiquitous proteins or glycoproteins of non-immune response that bind reversibly to glycans of glycoproteins, glycolipids and polysaccharides possessing at least one non-catalytic domain causing agglutination. Some of them consist of several carbohydrate-binding domains which endow them with the properties of cell agglutination or precipitation of glycoconjugates. Lectins are rampant in nature from plants, animals and microorganisms. Among microorganisms, algae are the potent source of lectins with unique properties specifically from red algae. The demand of peculiar and neoteric biologically active substances has intensified the developments on isolation and biomedical applications of new algal lectins. Comprehensively, algal lectins are used in biomedical research for antiviral, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor activities, etc. and in pharmaceutics for the fabrication of cost-effective protein expression systems and nutraceutics. In this review, an attempt has been made to collate the information on various biomedical applications of algal lectins. PMID:23855360

  1. Energy evaluation of algal cell disruption by high pressure homogenisation.

    PubMed

    Yap, Benjamin H J; Dumsday, Geoff J; Scales, Peter J; Martin, Gregory J O

    2015-05-01

    The energy consumption of high pressure homogenisation (HPH) was analysed to determine the feasibility of rupturing algal cells for biodiesel production. Experimentally, the processing capacity (i.e. flow rate), power draw and cell disruption efficiency of HPH were independent of feed concentration (for Nannochloropsis sp. up to 25%w/w solids). Depending on the homogenisation pressure (60-150 MPa), the solids concentration (0.25-25%w/w), and triacylglyceride (TAG) content of the harvested algal biomass (10-30%), the energy consumed by HPH represented between 6% and 110-times the energy density of the resulting biodiesel. Provided the right species (weak cell wall and high TAG content) is selected and the biomass is processed at a sufficiently high solids concentration, HPH can consume a small fraction of the energy content of the biodiesel produced. This study demonstrates the feasibility of process-scale algal cell disruption by HPH based on its energy requirement. PMID:25435068

  2. Efficiencies of polychlorinated biphenyl assimilation from water and algal food by the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis)

    SciTech Connect

    Bjoerk, M.; Gilek, M.

    1999-04-01

    A novel method was used to estimate assimilation efficiencies (AEs) of dissolved and food associated PCBs (IUPAC 31, 49, and 153) by the Baltic Sea blue mussel (Mytilus edulis). Mussels were exposed to radiolabeled PCBs in a series of short-term toxicokinetic experiments at different algal food concentrations, both at apparent steady-state (ASS) and non-steady-state (NSS) conditions in respect to PCB partitioning between water and algae. The PCB AEs were calculated using a physiologically based bioaccumulation model where experimentally determined uptake and exposure rates at ASS and NSS conditions were combined into linear equation systems, which were solved for PCB AE from water and food. A positive relationship between PCB uptake and algae clearance by the mussels was observed for all three PCBs. The PCB AEs from both water and food increased with congener hydrophobicity (octanol/water partition coefficient [K{sub ow}]), but AEs decreased with increases in water pumping and filtration rate of the mussels, respectively. The average contribution of food-associated PCB to the total uptake also increased with K{sub ow} from approximately 30% for PCB 31 and PCB 49 to 50% for PCB 153, mainly as a consequence of increased sorption to the algal food.

  3. Immunotherapy using algal-produced Ara h 1 core domain suppresses peanut allergy in mice.

    PubMed

    Gregory, James A; Shepley-McTaggart, Ariel; Umpierrez, Michelle; Hurlburt, Barry K; Maleki, Soheila J; Sampson, Hugh A; Mayfield, Stephen P; Berin, M Cecilia

    2016-07-01

    Peanut allergy is an IgE-mediated adverse reaction to a subset of proteins found in peanuts. Immunotherapy aims to desensitize allergic patients through repeated and escalating exposures for several months to years using extracts or flours. The complex mix of proteins and variability between preparations complicates immunotherapy studies. Moreover, peanut immunotherapy is associated with frequent negative side effects and patients are often at risk of allergic reactions once immunotherapy is discontinued. Allergen-specific approaches using recombinant proteins are an attractive alternative because they allow more precise dosing and the opportunity to engineer proteins with improved safety profiles. We tested whether Ara h 1 and Ara h 2, two major peanut allergens, could be produced using chloroplast of the unicellular eukaryotic alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. C. reinhardtii is novel host for producing allergens that is genetically tractable, inexpensive and easy to grow, and is able to produce more complex proteins than bacterial hosts. Compared to the native proteins, algal-produced Ara h 1 core domain and Ara h 2 have a reduced affinity for IgE from peanut-allergic patients. We further found that immunotherapy using algal-produced Ara h 1 core domain confers protection from peanut-induced anaphylaxis in a murine model of peanut allergy. PMID:26801740

  4. Effects of Nano-Titanium Dioxide on Freshwater Algal Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Kulacki, Konrad J.; Cardinale, Bradley J.

    2012-01-01

    To make predictions about the possible effects of nanomaterials across environments and taxa, toxicity testing must incorporate not only a variety of organisms and endpoints, but also an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie nanoparticle toxicity. Here, we report the results of a laboratory experiment in which we examined how titanium dioxide nanoparticles impact the population dynamics and production of biomass across a range of freshwater algae. We exposed 10 of the most common species of North American freshwater pelagic algae (phytoplankton) to five increasing concentrations of n-TiO2 (ranging from controls to 300 mg n-TiO2 L−1). We then examined the effects of n-TiO2 on the population growth rates and biomass production of each algal species over a period of 25 days. On average, increasing concentrations of n-TiO2 had no significant effects on algal growth rates (p = 0.376), even though there was considerable species-specific variation in responses. In contrast, exposure to n-TiO2 tended to increase maximum biomass achieved by species in culture (p = 0.06). Results suggest that titanium dioxide nanoparticles could influence certain aspects of population growth of freshwater phytoplankton, though effects are unlikely at environmentally relevant concentrations. PMID:23071735

  5. Human Monocyte-Derived Osteoclasts Are Targeted by Staphylococcal Pore-Forming Toxins and Superantigens.

    PubMed

    Flammier, Sacha; Rasigade, Jean-Philippe; Badiou, Cédric; Henry, Thomas; Vandenesch, François; Laurent, Frédéric; Trouillet-Assant, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of bone and joint infections (BJIs). Staphylococcal pathogenesis involves numerous virulence factors including secreted toxins such as pore-forming toxins (PFTs) and superantigens. The role of these toxins on BJI outcome is largely unknown. In particular, few studies have examined how osteoclasts, the bone-resorbing cells, respond to exposure to staphylococcal PFTs and superantigens. We investigated the direct impact of recombinant staphylococcal toxins on human primary mature monocyte-derived osteoclasts, in terms of cytotoxicity and cell activation with cell death and bone resorption assays, using macrophages of the corresponding donors as a reference. Monocyte-derived osteoclasts displayed similar toxin susceptibility profiles compared to macrophages. Specifically, we demonstrated that the Panton-Valentine leukocidin, known as one of the most powerful PFT which lyses myeloid cells after binding to the C5a receptor, was able to induce the death of osteoclasts. The archetypal superantigen TSST-1 was not cytotoxic but enhanced the bone resorption activity of osteoclasts, suggesting a novel mechanism by which superantigen-producing S. aureus can accelerate the destruction of bone tissue during BJI. Altogether, our data indicate that the diverse clinical presentations of BJIs could be related, at least partly, to the toxin profiles of S. aureus isolates involved in these severe infections. PMID:26934588

  6. Human Monocyte-Derived Osteoclasts Are Targeted by Staphylococcal Pore-Forming Toxins and Superantigens

    PubMed Central

    Flammier, Sacha; Rasigade, Jean-Philippe; Badiou, Cédric; Henry, Thomas; Vandenesch, François; Laurent, Frédéric; Trouillet-Assant, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is the leading cause of bone and joint infections (BJIs). Staphylococcal pathogenesis involves numerous virulence factors including secreted toxins such as pore-forming toxins (PFTs) and superantigens. The role of these toxins on BJI outcome is largely unknown. In particular, few studies have examined how osteoclasts, the bone-resorbing cells, respond to exposure to staphylococcal PFTs and superantigens. We investigated the direct impact of recombinant staphylococcal toxins on human primary mature monocyte-derived osteoclasts, in terms of cytotoxicity and cell activation with cell death and bone resorption assays, using macrophages of the corresponding donors as a reference. Monocyte-derived osteoclasts displayed similar toxin susceptibility profiles compared to macrophages. Specifically, we demonstrated that the Panton-Valentine leukocidin, known as one of the most powerful PFT which lyses myeloid cells after binding to the C5a receptor, was able to induce the death of osteoclasts. The archetypal superantigen TSST-1 was not cytotoxic but enhanced the bone resorption activity of osteoclasts, suggesting a novel mechanism by which superantigen-producing S. aureus can accelerate the destruction of bone tissue during BJI. Altogether, our data indicate that the diverse clinical presentations of BJIs could be related, at least partly, to the toxin profiles of S. aureus isolates involved in these severe infections. PMID:26934588

  7. Small herbivores suppress algal accumulation on Agatti atoll, Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cernohorsky, Nicole H.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Babu, Idrees; Horsák, Michal

    2015-12-01

    Despite large herbivorous fish being generally accepted as the main group responsible for preventing algal accumulation on coral reefs, few studies have experimentally examined the relative importance of herbivore size on algal communities. This study used exclusion cages with two different mesh sizes (1 × 1 cm and 6 × 6 cm) to investigate the impact of different-sized herbivores on algal accumulation rates on the shallow (<2 m) back-reef of Agatti atoll, Lakshadweep. The fine-mesh cages excluded all visible herbivores, which had rapid and lasting effects on the benthic communities, and, after 127 d of deployment, there was a visible and significant increase in algae (mainly macroalgae) with algal volume being 13 times greater than in adjacent open areas. The coarse-mesh cages excluded larger fishes (>8 cm body depth) while allowing smaller fishes to access the plots. In contrast to the conclusions of most previous studies, the exclusion of large herbivores had no significant effect on the accumulation of benthic algae and the amount of algae present within the coarse-mesh cages was relatively consistent throughout the experimental period (around 50 % coverage and 1-2 mm height). The difference in algal accumulation between the fine-mesh and coarse-mesh cages appears to be related to the actions of small individuals from 12 herbivorous fish species (0.17 ind. m-2 and 7.7 g m-2) that were able to enter through the coarse mesh. Although restricted to a single habitat, these results suggest that when present in sufficient densities and diversity, small herbivorous fishes can prevent the accumulation of algal biomass on coral reefs.

  8. [Use of botulinum toxin in strabismus].

    PubMed

    Wabbels, B

    2016-07-01

    Botulinum toxin can be a useful tool for treating acute sixth nerve palsy and excessive eye deviations due to unstable Graves' disease, when surgery is not yet possible. The diagnostic injection for estimation of possible postoperative double vision also makes sense. In convergence spasms, periocular botulinum toxin injections can be a therapeutic option. Botulinum toxin is not a first line option in infantile esotropia without binocularity or in adult horizontal strabismus. Side effects include ptosis and vertical deviations. PMID:27369733

  9. Drowning of algal mounds: records from the Upper Carboniferous Lower Pseudoschwagerina Limestone, Carnic Alps, Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samankassou, Elias

    1999-09-01

    Anthracoporella algal mounds, up to 22 m thick, occur within the cyclic sequences of the Lower Pseudoschwagerina Limestone (uppermost Carboniferous), Carnic Alps (Austria). Their depositional environment lay between the wave base and the base of the photic zone. The algal mounds are overlain by dark, well-bedded, cherty wackestones and packstones. The cherty limestones contain cephalopods, thick-shelled brachiopods, and sponge spicules and lack Anthracoporella in growth position. They are typical deeper-water sediments, deposited below the photic zone. This sequence records drowning episodes; the shallow-water algal mounds were drowned by relative rise of sea level as sea-bottom production shut down below the photic zone. The sedimentological and paleontological evidence of drowning are supported by geochemical data of two measured sections. The mean sulfur content of the well-oxygenated algal limestones is 0.02% for both sections; the TOC values are 0.17% for the section AI and 0.10% for the section AR. The S contents of the cherty limestones are approximately twice as high with values of 0.48 and 0.05% for the respective sections. TOC values of the cherty limestones are also significantly higher, with 0.30 and 0.51% contents for the respective sections. The cherty limestones document the termination of the mounds and the demise of reef-building algae in each cycle. This interval is therefore termed `shroud facies'. The rapid sea-level rise reported is a further proof for high-magnitude sea-level fluctuations in intervals of glacio-eustasy. The documented drowning mode is novel through the definable interval of drowning, the repeated events during a short time interval, the full record of pre-, syn-, and post-drowning deposits, and the unequivocal attribution to glacio-eustatic sea-level rise. This mode seems to be characteristic of an icehouse period and clearly differs from the drowning mode in greenhouse periods which is often gradual, lacks an unequivocal

  10. Role of gas vesicles and intra-colony spaces during the process of algal bloom formation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yongsheng; Zheng, Binghui; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Hao

    2013-06-01

    Aggregation morphology, vertical distribution, and algal density were analyzed during the algal cell floating process in three environments. The role of gas vesicles and intra-colony spaces was distinguished by algal blooms treated with ultrasonic waves and high pressure. Results demonstrated that the two buoyancy providers jointly provide buoyancy for floating algal cells. The results were also confirmed by force analysis. In the simulation experiment, the buoyancy acting on algal cells was greater than its gravity at sample ports 2 and 3 of a columnar-cultivated cell vessel, and intra-colony spaces were not detected. In Taihu Lake, gas vesicle buoyancy was notably less than total algal cell gravity. Buoyancy provided by intra-colony spaces exceeded total algal cell gravity at the water surface, but not at other water depths. In the Daning River, total buoyancies provided by the two buoyancy providers were less than total algal cell gravity at different water depths. PMID:23833817

  11. Efficacy of algal metrics for assessing nutrient and organic enrichment in flowing waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, S.D.; Mueller, D.K.; Spahr, N.E.; Munn, M.D.; Dubrovsky, N.M.

    2008-01-01

    4. Although algal species tolerance to nutrient and organic enrichment is well documented, additional taxonomic and autecological research on sensitive, endemic algal species would further enhance water-quality assessments.

  12. A simple model for forecast of coastal algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ken T. M.; Lee, Joseph H. W.; Hodgkiss, I. J.

    2007-08-01

    In eutrophic sub-tropical coastal waters around Hong Kong and South China, algal blooms (more often called red tides) due to the rapid growth of microscopic phytoplankton are often observed. Under favourable environmental conditions, these blooms can occur and subside over rather short time scales—in the order of days to a few weeks. Very often, these blooms are observed in weakly flushed coastal waters under calm wind conditions—with or without stratification. Based on high-frequency field observations of harmful algal blooms at two coastal mariculture zones in Hong Kong, a mathematical model has been developed to forecast algal blooms. The model accounts for algal growth, decay, settling and vertical turbulent mixing, and adopts the same assumptions as the classical Riley, Stommel and Bumpus model (Riley, G.A., Stommel, H., Bumpus, D.F., 1949. Quantitative ecology of the plankton of the western North Atlantic. Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection Yale University 12, 1-169). It is shown that for algal blooms to occur, a vertical stability criterion, E < 4 μl2/ π2, must be satisfied, where E, μ, l are the vertical turbulent diffusivity, algal growth rate, and euphotic layer depth respectively. In addition, a minimum nutrient threshold concentration must be reached. Moreover, with a nutrient competition consideration, the type of bloom (caused by motile or non-motile species) can be classified. The model requires as input simple and readily available field measurements of water column transparency and nutrient concentration, and representative maximum algal growth rate of the motile and non-motile species. In addition, with the use of three-dimensional hydrodynamic circulation models, simple relations are derived to estimate the vertical mixing coefficient as a function of tidal range, wind speed, and density stratification. The model gives a quick assessment of the likelihood of algal bloom occurrence, and has been validated against field

  13. Mexico-U.S. Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring Efforts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chuanmin; Muller-Karger, Frank E.

    2008-06-01

    Workshop on Taxonomy of Harmful Algal Blooms; Veracruz, Mexico, 18-22 February 2008; A workshop on harmful algal bloom (HAB) taxonomy, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Health of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, was held at the Aquarium of Veracruz and focused on standardizing methods to detect HABs that affect coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This binational effort was established under the umbrella of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), initially formed in 2004 by the five U.S. Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) with participation from U.S. federal agencies and other stakeholders.

  14. Impedance spectroscopy for the detection and identification of unknown toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riggs, B. C.; Plopper, G. E.; Paluh, J. L.; Phamduy, T. B.; Corr, D. T.; Chrisey, D. B.

    2012-06-01

    Advancements in biological and chemical warfare has allowed for the creation of novel toxins necessitating a universal, real-time sensor. We have used a function-based biosensor employing impedance spectroscopy using a low current density AC signal over a range of frequencies (62.5 Hz-64 kHz) to measure the electrical impedance of a confluent epithelial cell monolayer at 120 sec intervals. Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells were grown to confluence on thin film interdigitated gold electrodes. A stable impedance measurement of 2200 Ω was found after 24 hrs of growth. After exposure to cytotoxins anthrax lethal toxin and etoposide, the impedance decreased in a linear fashion resulting in a 50% drop in impedance over 50hrs showing significant difference from the control sample (~20% decrease). Immunofluorescent imaging showed that apoptosis was induced through the addition of toxins. Similarities of the impedance signal shows that the mechanism of cellular death was the same between ALT and etoposide. A revised equivalent circuit model was employed in order to quantify morphological changes in the cell monolayer such as tight junction integrity and cell surface area coverage. This model showed a faster response to cytotoxin (2 hrs) compared to raw measurements (20 hrs). We demonstrate that herein that impedance spectroscopy of epithelial monolayers serves as a real-time non-destructive sensor for unknown pathogens.

  15. Clostridium perfringens epsilon-toxin increases permeability of single perfused microvessels of rat mesentery.

    PubMed

    Adamson, R H; Ly, J C; Fernandez-Miyakawa, M; Ochi, S; Sakurai, J; Uzal, F; Curry, F E

    2005-08-01

    Epsilon-toxin, the primary virulence factor of Clostridium perfringens type D, causes mortality in livestock, particularly sheep and goats, in which it induces an often-fatal enterotoxemia. It is believed to compromise the intestinal barrier and then enter the gut vasculature, from which it is carried systemically, causing widespread vascular endothelial damage and edema. Here we used single perfused venular microvessels in rat mesentery, which enabled direct observation of permeability properties of the in situ vascular wall during exposure to toxin. We determined the hydraulic conductivity (L(p)) of microvessels as a measure of the response to epsilon-toxin. We found that microvessels were highly sensitive to toxin. At 10 microg ml(-1) the L(p) increased irreversibly to more than 15 times the control value by 10 min. At 0.3 microg ml(-1) no increase in L(p) was observed for up to 90 min. The toxin-induced increase in L(p) was consistent with changes in ultrastructure of microvessels exposed to the toxin. Those microvessels exhibited gaps either between or through endothelial cells where perfusate had direct access to the basement membrane. Many endothelial cells appeared necrotic, highly attenuated, and with dense cytoplasm. We showed that epsilon-toxin, in a time- and dose-dependent manner, rapidly and irreversibly compromised the barrier function of venular microvessel endothelium. The results conformed to the hypothesis that epsilon-toxin interacts with vascular endothelial cells and increases the vessel wall permeability by direct damage of the endothelium. PMID:16041001

  16. Turbulence and nutrient interactions that control benthic algal production in an engineered cultivation raceway

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flow turbulence can be a controlling factor to the growth of benthic algae, but few studies have quantified this relationship in engineered cultivation systems. Experiments were performed to understand the limiting role of turbulence to algal productivity in an algal turf scrubber for benthic algal...

  17. Summative Mass Analysis of Algal Biomass - Integration of Analytical Procedures: Laboratory Analytical Procedure (LAP)

    SciTech Connect

    Laurens, L. M. L.

    2013-12-01

    This procedure guides the integration of laboratory analytical procedures to measure algal biomass constituents in an unambiguous manner and ultimately achieve mass balance closure for algal biomass samples. Many of these methods build on years of research in algal biomass analysis.

  18. Algal bloom-associated disease outbreaks among users of freshwater lakes-United States, 2009 - 2010

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algal blooms’ are local abundances of phytoplankton – microscopic photosynthesizing aquatic organisms found in surface waters worldwide; blooms are variable temporally and spatially and frequently produce a visible algal scum on the water. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are abundan...

  19. Effects of algal hydrolysate as reaction medium on enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocelluloses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algal biomass has been proposed as a source of lipids and sugars for biofuel productions. However, a substantial portion of potentially valuable algal material remains as a liquid hydrolysate after sugar and lipid extractions. This study examined the effects of an algal hydrolysate on the enzymatic...

  20. Algal turf scrubber (ATS) floways on the Great Wicomico River, Chesapeake Bay: productivity, algal community structure, substrate and chemistry(1).

    PubMed

    Adey, Walter H; Laughinghouse, H Dail; Miller, John B; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Thompson, Jesse G; Bertman, Steven; Hampel, Kristin; Puvanendran, Shanmugam

    2013-06-01

    Two Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) units were deployed on the Great Wicomico River (GWR) for 22 months to examine the role of substrate in increasing algal productivity and nutrient removal. The yearly mean productivity of flat ATS screens was 15.4 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) . This was elevated to 39.6 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) with a three-dimensional (3-D) screen, and to 47.7 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) by avoiding high summer harvest temperatures. These methods enhanced nutrient removal (N, P) in algal biomass by 3.5 times. Eighty-six algal taxa (Ochrophyta [diatoms], Chlorophyta [green algae], and Cyan-obacteria [blue-green algae]) self-seeded from the GWR and demonstrated yearly cycling. Silica (SiO2 ) content of the algal biomass ranged from 30% to 50% of total biomass; phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon content of the total algal biomass ranged from 0.15% to 0.21%, 2.13% to 2.89%, and 20.0% to 25.7%, respectively. Carbohydrate content (at 10%-25% of AFDM) was dominated by glucose. Lipids (fatty acid methyl ester; FAMEs) ranged widely from 0.5% to 9% AFDM, with Omega-3 fatty acids a consistent component. Mathematical modeling of algal produ-ctivity as a function of temperature, light, and substrate showed a proportionality of 4:3:3, resp-ectively. Under landscape ATS operation, substrate manipulation provides a considerable opportunity to increase ATS productivity, water quality amelioration, and biomass coproduction for fertilizers, fermentation energy, and omega-3 products. Based on the 3-D prod-uctivity and algal chemical composition demonstrated, ATS systems used for nonpoint source water treat-ment can produce ethanol (butanol) at 5.8× per unit area of corn, and biodiesel at 12.0× per unit area of soy beans (agricultural production US). PMID:27007038

  1. Regulation of Mycolactone, the Mycobacterium ulcerans Toxin, Depends on Nutrient Source

    PubMed Central

    Deshayes, Caroline; Angala, Shiva Kumar; Marion, Estelle; Brandli, Irène; Babonneau, Jérémie; Preisser, Laurent; Eyangoh, Sara; Delneste, Yves; Legras, Pierre; De Chastellier, Chantal; Stinear, Timothy P.; Jackson, Mary; Marsollier, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Background Mycobacterium ulcerans, a slow-growing environmental bacterium, is the etiologic agent of Buruli ulcer, a necrotic skin disease. Skin lesions are caused by mycolactone, the main virulence factor of M. ulcerans, with dermonecrotic (destruction of the skin and soft tissues) and immunosuppressive activities. This toxin is secreted in vesicles that enhance its biological activities. Nowadays, it is well established that the main reservoir of the bacilli is localized in the aquatic environment where the bacillus may be able to colonize different niches. Here we report that plant polysaccharides stimulate M. ulcerans growth and are implicated in toxin synthesis regulation. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, by selecting various algal components, we have identified plant-specific carbohydrates, particularly glucose polymers, capable of stimulating M. ulcerans growth in vitro. Furthermore, we underscored for the first time culture conditions under which the polyketide toxin mycolactone, the sole virulence factor of M. ulcerans identified to date, is down-regulated. Using a quantitative proteomic approach and analyzing transcript levels by RT-qPCR, we demonstrated that its regulation is not at the transcriptional or translational levels but must involve another type of regulation. M. ulcerans produces membrane vesicles, as other mycobacterial species, in which are the mycolactone is concentrated. By transmission electron microscopy, we observed that the production of vesicles is independent from the toxin production. Concomitant with this observed decrease in mycolactone production, the production of mycobacterial siderophores known as mycobactins was enhanced. Conclusions/Significance This work is the first step in the identification of the mechanisms involved in mycolactone regulation and paves the way for the discovery of putative new drug targets in the future. PMID:24244764

  2. Occupational Chemical Exposures Among Cosmetologists

    PubMed Central

    Pak, Victoria M.; Powers, Martha; Liu, Jianghong

    2014-01-01

    More research is needed to understand possible occupational reproductive risks for cosmetologists, specifically hairdressers and nail technicians, two occupations that often share workspace and exposure to hair dyes and nail polish. Cosmetologists are predominantly females of reproductive age; thus, they may be at higher risk for the effects of exposure to reproductive toxins. The purpose of this article is to inform nurses and public health professionals about occupational exposures for cosmetologists and discuss interventions to reduce the risks of reproductive disorders among susceptible worker populations. PMID:24328919

  3. Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Rusyniak, Daniel E; Sprague, Jon E

    2005-11-01

    Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes are important to consider in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with fever and muscle rigidity. If untreated, toxin-induced hyperthermia may result in fatal hyperthermia with multisystem organ failure. All of these syndromes have at their center the disruption of normal thermogenic mechanisms, resulting in the activation of the hypothalamus and sympathetic nervous systems.The result of this thermogenic dysregulation is excess heat generation combined with impaired heat dissipation. Although many similarities exist among the clinical presentations and pathophysiologies of toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes, important differences exist among their triggers and treatments. Serotonin syndrome typically occurs within hours of the addition ofa new serotonergic agent or the abuse of stimulants such as MDMA or methamphetamine. Treatment involves discontinuing the offending agent and administering either a central serotonergic antagonist, such as cyproheptadine or chlorpromazine, a benzodiazepine, or a combination of the two. NMS typically occurs over hours to days in a patient taking a neuroleptic agent; its recommended treatment is generally the combination of a central dopamine agonist, bromocriptine or L-dopa, and dantrolene. In those patients in whom it is difficult to differentiate between serotonin and neuroleptic malignant syndromes, the physical examination may be helpful:clonus and hyperreflexia are more suggestive of serotonin syndrome,whereas lead-pipe rigidity is suggestive of NMS. In patients in whom serotonin syndrome and NMS cannot be differentiated, benzodiazepines represent the safest therapeutic option. MH presents rapidly with jaw rigidity, hyperthermia, and hypercarbia. Although it almost always occurs in the setting of surgical anesthesia, cases have occurred in susceptible individuals during exertion. The treatment of MH involves the use of dantrolene. Future improvements in understanding the

  4. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch

    PubMed Central

    Shilpa, P. S.; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  5. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch.

    PubMed

    Shilpa, P S; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  6. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  7. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    PubMed Central

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  8. Development and optimization of biofilm based algal cultivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Martin Anthony

    This dissertation describes research done on biofilm based algal cultivation systems. The system that was developed in this work is the revolving algal biofilm cultivation system (RAB). A raceway-retrofit, and a trough-based pilot-scale RAB system were developed and investigated. Each of the systems significantly outperformed a control raceway pond in side-by-side tests. Furthermore the RAB system was found to require significantly less water than the raceway pond based cultivation system. Lastly a TEA/LCA analysis was conducted to evaluate the economic and life cycle of the RAB cultivation system in comparison to raceway pond. It was found that the RAB system was able to grow algae at a lower cost and was shown to be profitable at a smaller scale than the raceway pond style of algal cultivation. Additionally the RAB system was projected to have lower GHG emissions, and better energy and water use efficiencies in comparison to a raceway pond system. Furthermore, fundamental research was conducted to identify the optimal material for algae to attach on. A total of 28 materials with a smooth surface were tested for initial cell colonization and it was found that the tetradecane contact angle of the materials had a good correlation with cell attachment. The effects of surface texture were evaluated using mesh materials (nylon, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, polyester, aluminum, and stainless steel) with openings ranging from 0.05--6.40 mm. It was found that both surface texture and material composition influence algal attachment.

  9. Autonomous benthic algal cultivator under feedback control of ecosystem metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An autonomous and internally-controlled techno-ecological hybrid was developed that controls primary production of algae in a laboratory-scale cultivator. The technoecosystem is based on an algal turf scrubber (ATS) system that combines engineered feedback control programming with internal feedback...

  10. Automatic identification of algal community from microscopic images.

    PubMed

    Santhi, Natchimuthu; Pradeepa, Chinnaraj; Subashini, Parthasarathy; Kalaiselvi, Senthil

    2013-01-01

    A good understanding of the population dynamics of algal communities is crucial in several ecological and pollution studies of freshwater and oceanic systems. This paper reviews the subsequent introduction to the automatic identification of the algal communities using image processing techniques from microscope images. The diverse techniques of image preprocessing, segmentation, feature extraction and recognition are considered one by one and their parameters are summarized. Automatic identification and classification of algal community are very difficult due to various factors such as change in size and shape with climatic changes, various growth periods, and the presence of other microbes. Therefore, the significance, uniqueness, and various approaches are discussed and the analyses in image processing methods are evaluated. Algal identification and associated problems in water organisms have been projected as challenges in image processing application. Various image processing approaches based on textures, shapes, and an object boundary, as well as some segmentation methods like, edge detection and color segmentations, are highlighted. Finally, artificial neural networks and some machine learning algorithms were used to classify and identifying the algae. Further, some of the benefits and drawbacks of schemes are examined. PMID:24151424

  11. Studies of the effect of gibberellic acid on algal growth.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, W. K.; Sorokin, C.

    1971-01-01

    The effect of gibberellic acid on exponential growth rate of four strains of Chlorella was investigated under variety of experimental conditions. In concentrations from 10 ppm to 100 ppm, gibberellic acid was shown to have no effect on Chlorella growth. In concentration of 200 ppm, gibberellic acid exerted some unfavorable effect on algal growth.

  12. Numerical simulation of an algal bloom in Dianshan Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yizhong; Lin, Weiqing; Zhu, Jianrong; Lu, Shiqiang

    2016-01-01

    A hydrodynamic model and an aquatic ecology model of Dianshan Lake, Shanghai, were built using a hydrodynamic simulation module and the water quality simulation module of Delft3D, which is an integrated modelling suite offered by Deltares. The simulated water elevation, current velocity, and direction were validated with observed data to ensure the reliability of hydrodynamic model. The seasonal growth of different algae was analyzed with consideration of observed and historical data, as well as simulated results. In 2008, the dominant algae in Dianshan Lake was Bacillariophyta from February to March, while it was Chlorophyta from April to May, and Cyanophyta from July to August. In summer, the biomass of Cyanophyta grew quickly, reaching levels much higher than the peaks of Bacillariophyta and Chlorophyta. Algae blooms primarily occurred in the stagnation regions. This phenomenon indicates that water residence time can influence algal growth significantly. A longer water residence time was associated with higher algal growth. Two conclusions were drawn from several simulations: reducing the nutrients inflow had little effect on algal blooms in Dianshan Lake; however, increasing the discharge into Dianshan Lake could change the flow field characteristic and narrow the range of stagnation regions, resulting in inhibition of algal aggregation and propagation and a subsequent reduction in areas of high concentration algae.

  13. Toward on-line measurement of algal properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algai is a potential soruce of large amounts of lipids for conversion to hydrocarbon fuels. Industria-scale algai production requires process control, which further requires sensors to measure critical algal properties. One of the principal properties that needs to be measured in algae production is...

  14. Mechanism of algal aggregation by Bacillus sp. strain RP1137.

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2014-07-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  15. Mechanism of Algal Aggregation by Bacillus sp. Strain RP1137

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Ryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  16. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Satchell, Karla J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  17. T-2 toxin regulates steroid hormone secretion of rat ovarian granulosa cells through cAMP-PKA pathway.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing; Tu, Di; Yuan, Li-Yun; Yi, Jin-e; Tian, Yanan

    2015-02-01

    T-2 toxin is a secondary metabolite produced by Fusarium genus and is a common contaminant in food and feedstuffs of cereal origin. In porcine granulosa cells(GC), T-2 toxin has been shown to inhibit the steroidogenesis; however, the mechanism has not been well understood. Gonadotropin-stimulated steroidogenesis is regulated by the cAMP-PKA pathway. In this study, we investigated potential mechanisms for T-2 toxin-induced reproductive toxicity focusing on the critical steps of the cAMP-PKA pathway affected by T-2 toxin. We first analyzed the effects of T-2 toxin on progesterone and estrogen production in rat granulosa cells. For this purpose the granulosa cells were cultured for 48 h in 10% fetal bovine serum-containing medium followed by 24h in serum-free medium containing FSH (10 ng/ml) and androstenedione (3 ng/ml), both are required for normal steroidogenesis. Treatment of these cells with T-2 toxin dose-dependently inhibited the growth of cells and the steroid hormone production. Cellular cyclic AMP levels were dose-dependently inhibited by T-2 toxin (0, 1, 10 and 100 nM, 24 h). Furthermore, we found that although the induction of progesterone by 8-Br-cAMP (a FSH mimetic) and 22R-HC (substrate for progesterone) could both be inhibited by T-2 toxin treatment, the T-2-imposed inhibitory effects could be reversed by increasing doses of 22R-HC, while increasing 8-Br-cAMP had no effects, suggesting that T2 toxin targeted at distinct mechanisms. cAMP-stimulated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is a rate limiting protein in progesterone synthesis. Exposure to T2 toxin caused significant suppression of StAR expression as determined by Western blotting and semi-quantitative RT-PCR suggesting StAR is a sensitive target for T-2 toxin. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that T2 toxin inhibits steroidogenesis by suppressing cAMP-PKA pathway and StAR is a target for T-2-toxin. The antisteroidogenesis effects were observable at low T-2 dose (1 ng

  18. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology. PMID:22606374

  19. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species. PMID:26444071

  20. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A Text Size ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  1. [T-2 toxin: occurrence and detection].

    PubMed

    Dohnal, V; Jezková, A; Kuca, K; Jun, D

    2007-07-01

    The paper is focused on the occurrence and methods for the detection of T-2 toxin, one of the most toxic trichothecene Fusarium mycotoxin. Due to its physical-chemical properties and high toxicity, T-2 toxin is classified as a potential biological warfare agent. PMID:17969315

  2. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  3. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin.

    PubMed

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-03-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  4. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  5. Direct and indirect effects of high pCO2 on algal grazing by coral reef herbivores from the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borell, E. M.; Steinke, M.; Fine, M.

    2013-12-01

    Grazing on marine macroalgae is a key structuring process for coral reef communities. However, ocean acidification from rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations is predicted to adversely affect many marine animals, while seaweed communities may benefit and prosper. We tested how exposure to different pCO2 (400, 1,800 and 4,000 μatm) may affect grazing on the green alga Ulva lactuca by herbivorous fish and sea urchins from the coral reefs in the northern Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea), either directly, by changing herbivore behaviour, or indirectly via changes in algal palatability. We also determined the effects of pCO2 on algal tissue concentrations of protein and the grazing-deterrent secondary metabolite dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Grazing preferences and overall consumption were tested in a series of multiple-choice feeding experiments in the laboratory and in situ following exposure for 14 d (algae) and 28 d (herbivores). 4,000 μatm had a significant effect on the biochemical composition and palatability of U. lactuca. No effects were observed at 1,800 relative to 400 μatm (control). Exposure of U. lactuca to 4,000 μatm resulted in a significant decrease in protein and increase in DMSP concentration. This coincided with a reduced preference for these algae by the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla and different herbivorous fish species in situ (Acanthuridae, Siganidae and Pomacanthidae). No feeding preferences were observed for the rabbitfish Siganus rivulatus under laboratory conditions. Exposure to elevated pCO2 had no direct effect on the overall algal consumption by T. gratilla and S. rivulatus. Our results show that CO2 has the potential to alter algal palatability to different herbivores which could have important implications for algal abundance and coral community structure. The fact that pCO2 effects were observed only at a pCO2 of 4,000 μatm, however, indicates that algal-grazer interactions may be resistant to predicted pCO2 concentrations in the

  6. The toxin component of targeted anti-tumor toxins determines their efficacy increase by saponins.

    PubMed

    Weng, Alexander; Thakur, Mayank; Beceren-Braun, Figen; Bachran, Diana; Bachran, Christopher; Riese, Sebastian B; Jenett-Siems, Kristina; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger; Melzig, Matthias F; Fuchs, Hendrik

    2012-06-01

    Tumor-targeting protein toxins are composed of a toxic enzyme coupled to a specific cell binding domain that targets cancer-associated antigens. The anti-tumor treatment by targeted toxins is accompanied by dose-limiting side effects. The future prospects of targeted toxins for therapeutic use in humans will be determined by reduce side effects. Certain plant secondary metabolites (saponins) were shown to increase the efficacy of a particular epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted toxin, paralleled by a tremendous decrease of side effects. This study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of substituting different toxin moieties fused to an EGF ligand binding domain on the augmentative ability of saponins for each against therapeutic potential of the saponin-mediated efficacy increase for different anti-tumor toxins targeting the EGFR. We designed several EGFR-targeted toxins varying in the toxic moiety. Each targeted toxin was used in combination with a purified saponin (SA1641), isolated from the ornamental plant Gypsophila paniculata L. SA1641 was characterized and the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase was investigated on EGFR-transfected NIH-3T3 cells. We observed a high dependency of the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase on the nature of toxin used for the construction of the targeted toxin, indicating high specificity. Structural alignments revealed a high homology between saporin and dianthin-30, the two toxic moieties that benefit most from the combination with SA1641. We further demonstrate that SA1641 did not influence the plasma membrane permeability, indicating an intracellular interaction of SA1641 and the toxin components of targeted toxins. Surface plasmon resonance measurements point to a transient binding of SA1641 to the toxin components of targeted toxins. PMID:22309811

  7. Florida Red Tide and Human Health: A Pilot Beach Conditions Reporting System to Minimize Human Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Currier, Robert; Nierenberg, Kate; Reich, Andrew; Backer, Lorraine C.; Stumpf, Richard; Fleming, Lora; Kirkpatrick, Gary

    2008-01-01

    With over 50% of the US population living in coastal counties, the ocean and coastal environments have substantial impacts on coastal communities. While may of the impacts are positive, such as tourism and recreation opportunities, there are also negative impacts, such as exposure to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and water borne pathogens. Recent advances in environmental monitoring and weather prediction may allow us to forecast these potential adverse effects and thus mitigate the negative impact from coastal environmental threats. One example of the need to mitigate adverse environmental impacts occurs on Florida’s west coast, which experiences annual blooms, or periods of exuberant growth, of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis produces a suite of potent neurotoxins called brevetoxins. Wind and wave action can break up the cells, releasing toxin that can then become part of the marine aerosol or sea spray. Brevetoxins in the aerosol cause respiratory irritation in people who inhale it. In addition, asthmatics who inhale the toxins report increase upper and lower airway lower symptoms and experience measurable changes in pulmonary function. Real-time reporting of the presence or absence of these toxic aerosols will allow asthmatics and local coastal residents to make informed decisions about their personal exposures, thus adding to their quality of life. A system to protect public health that combines information collected by an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) has been designed and implemented in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Florida. This system is based on real-time reports from lifeguards at the eight public beaches. The lifeguards provide periodic subjective reports of the amount of dead fish on the beach, apparent level of respiratory irritation among beach-goers, water color, wind direction, surf condition, and the beach warning flag they are flying. A key component in the design of the observing system was an easy reporting

  8. Florida red tide and human health: a pilot beach conditions reporting system to minimize human exposure.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Currier, Robert; Nierenberg, Kate; Reich, Andrew; Backer, Lorraine C; Stumpf, Richard; Fleming, Lora; Kirkpatrick, Gary

    2008-08-25

    With over 50% of the US population living in coastal counties, the ocean and coastal environments have substantial impacts on coastal communities. While many of the impacts are positive, such as tourism and recreation opportunities, there are also negative impacts, such as exposure to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and water borne pathogens. Recent advances in environmental monitoring and weather prediction may allow us to forecast these potential adverse effects and thus mitigate the negative impact from coastal environmental threats. One example of the need to mitigate adverse environmental impacts occurs on Florida's west coast, which experiences annual blooms, or periods of exuberant growth, of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. K. brevis produces a suite of potent neurotoxins called brevetoxins. Wind and wave action can break up the cells, releasing toxin that can then become part of the marine aerosol or sea spray. Brevetoxins in the aerosol cause respiratory irritation in people who inhale it. In addition, asthmatics who inhale the toxins report increase upper and lower airway symptoms and experience measurable changes in pulmonary function. Real-time reporting of the presence or absence of these toxic aerosols will allow asthmatics and local coastal residents to make informed decisions about their personal exposures, thus adding to their quality of life. A system to protect public health that combines information collected by an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) has been designed and implemented in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Florida. This system is based on real-time reports from lifeguards at the eight public beaches. The lifeguards provide periodic subjective reports of the amount of dead fish on the beach, apparent level of respiratory irritation among beach-goers, water color, wind direction, surf condition, and the beach warning flag they are flying. A key component in the design of the observing system was an easy reporting pathway for

  9. Biofertilizers from Algal Treatment of Dairy and Swine Manure Effluents: Characterization of Algal Biomass as a Slow Release Fertilizer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An alternative practice to land spreading of manure effluents is to grow crops of algae on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) present in these liquid slurries. The overall environmental and economic values of this approach depend, in part, on the use and value of the resulting algal byproduct. Am...

  10. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ... Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ...

  11. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    PubMed

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs. PMID:26271287

  12. Adenosine diphosphate-ribosylation of G-actin by botulinum C2 toxin increases endothelial permeability in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Suttorp, N; Polley, M; Seybold, J; Schnittler, H; Seeger, W; Grimminger, F; Aktories, K

    1991-01-01

    The endothelial cytoskeleton is believed to play an important role in the regulation of endothelial permeability. We used botulinum C2 toxin to perturb cellular actin and determined its effect on the permeability of endothelial cell monolayers derived from porcine pulmonary arteries. The substrate for botulinum C2 toxin is nonmuscle monomeric actin which becomes ADP-ribosylated. This modified actin cannot participate in actin polymerization and, in addition, acts as a capping protein. Exposure of endothelial cell monolayers to botulinum C2 toxin resulted in a dose- (3-100 ng/ml) and time-dependent (30-120 min) increase in the hydraulic conductivity and decrease in the selectivity of the cell monolayers. The effects of C2 toxin were accompanied by a time- and dose-dependent increase in ADP-ribosylatin of G-actin. G-Actin content increased and F-actin content decreased time- and dose-dependently in C2 toxin-treated endothelial cells. Phalloidin which stabilizes filamentous actin prevented the effects of botulinum C2 toxin on endothelial permeability. Botulinum C2 toxin induced interendothelial gaps. The effects occurred in the absence of overt cell damage and were not reversible within 2 h. The data suggest that the endothelial microfilament system is important for the regulation of endothelial permeability. Images PMID:2022729

  13. Initial Evaluation of the Effects of Aerosolized Florida Red Tide Toxins (Brevetoxins) in Persons with Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Lora E.; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Backer, Lorraine C.; Bean, Judy A.; Wanner, Adam; Dalpra, Dana; Tamer, Robert; Zaias, Julia; Cheng, Yung Sung; Pierce, Richard; Naar, Jerome; Abraham, William; Clark, Richard; Zhou, Yue; Henry, Michael S.; Johnson, David; Van De Bogart, Gayl; Bossart, Gregory D.; Harrington, Mark; Baden, Daniel G.

    2005-01-01

    Florida red tides annually occur in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting from blooms of the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. K. brevis produces highly potent natural polyether toxins, known as brevetoxins, that activate voltage-sensitive sodium channels. In experimental animals, brevetoxins cause significant bronchoconstriction. A study of persons who visited the beach recreationally found a significant increase in self-reported respiratory symptoms after exposure to aerosolized Florida red tides. Anecdotal reports indicate that persons with underlying respiratory diseases may be particularly susceptible to adverse health effects from these aerosolized toxins. Fifty-nine persons with physician-diagnosed asthma were evaluated for 1 hr before and after going to the beach on days with and without Florida red tide. Study participants were evaluated with a brief symptom questionnaire, nose and throat swabs, and spirometry approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Environmental monitoring, water and air sampling (i.e., K. brevis, brevetoxins, and particulate size distribution), and personal monitoring (for toxins) were performed. Brevetoxin concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography, and a newly developed brevetoxin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Participants were significantly more likely to report respiratory symptoms after Florida red tide exposure. Participants demonstrated small but statistically significant decreases in forced expiratory volume in 1 sec, forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75%, and peak expiratory flow after exposure, particularly those regularly using asthma medications. Similar evaluation during nonexposure periods did not significantly differ. This is the first study to show objectively measurable adverse health effects from exposure to aerosolized Florida red tide toxins in persons with asthma. Future studies will examine the possible chronic

  14. Inhalation of two putative Gulf War toxins by mice.

    PubMed

    Repine, John E; Wilson, Paul; Elkins, Nancy; Klawitter, Jelena; Christians, Uwe; Peters, Ben; Smith, Dwight M

    2016-06-01

    We employed our inhalation methodology to examine whether biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress would be produced in mice following inhalation of aerosols containing carbonaceous particles or the vapor of pesticides prevalent during the first Gulf War. Exposure to two putative Gulf War Illness toxins, fine airborne particles and the pesticide malathion, increased biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in Friend virus B (FVB) female mice. Mice inhaling particles 24 h before had increased lung lavage and plasma Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) (a biomarker of inflammation) and PGF2α (a biomarker of oxidative stress) levels, lung lavage protein and lung lavage lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) levels. These changes were a function of particle density and exposure time. Compared to particle inhalation, mice inhaling malathion 24 h before had small increase in plasma LTB4 and PGF2α levels but no increase in lung lavage LTB4, lung lavage protein, lung lavage LDH, and lung lavage alveolar macrophage (AM) levels compared to unexposed control mice. AM from particle-exposed mice contained phagocytosed particles, while AM from malathion-exposed mice showed no abnormalities. Our results indicate that inhaling particles or malathion can alter inflammatory and oxidative biomarkers in mice and raise the possibility that these toxins may have altered inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers in Gulf War-exposed individuals. PMID:26950528

  15. Clostridium perfringens Delta Toxin Is Sequence Related to Beta Toxin, NetB, and Staphylococcus Pore-Forming Toxins, but Shows Functional Differences

    PubMed Central

    Manich, Maria; Knapp, Oliver; Gibert, Maryse; Maier, Elke; Jolivet-Reynaud, Colette; Geny, Blandine; Benz, Roland; Popoff, Michel R.

    2008-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens produces numerous toxins, which are responsible for severe diseases in man and animals. Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysins released by a number of C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. Delta toxin was characterized to be cytotoxic for cells expressing the ganglioside GM2 in their membrane. Here we report the genetic characterization of Delta toxin and its pore forming activity in lipid bilayers. Delta toxin consists of 318 amino acids, its 28 N-terminal amino acids corresponding to a signal peptide. The secreted Delta toxin (290 amino acids; 32619 Da) is a basic protein (pI 9.1) which shows a significant homology with C. perfringens Beta toxin (43% identity), with C. perfringens NetB (40% identity) and, to a lesser extent, with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin and leukotoxins. Recombinant Delta toxin showed a preference for binding to GM2, in contrast to Beta toxin, which did not bind to gangliosides. It is hemolytic for sheep red blood cells and cytotoxic for HeLa cells. In artificial diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine membranes, Delta and Beta toxin formed channels. Conductance of the channels formed by Delta toxin, with a value of about 100 pS to more than 1 nS in 1 M KCl and a membrane potential of 20 mV, was higher than those formed by Beta toxin and their distribution was broader. The results of zero-current membrane potential measurements and single channel experiments suggest that Delta toxin forms slightly anion-selective channels, whereas the Beta toxin channels showed a preference for cations under the same conditions. C. perfringens Delta toxin shows a significant sequence homolgy with C. perfringens Beta and NetB toxins, as well as with S. aureus alpha hemolysin and leukotoxins, but exhibits different channel properties in lipid bilayers. In contrast to Beta toxin, Delta toxin recognizes GM2 as receptor and forms anion-selective channels. PMID:19018299

  16. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  17. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-02-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  18. Spatial variability, structure and composition of crustose algal communities in Diadema africanum barrens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangil, Carlos; Sansón, Marta; Díaz-Villa, Tania; Hernández, José Carlos; Clemente, Sabrina; Afonso-Carrillo, Julio

    2014-12-01

    Crustose algal communities were studied in Diadema africanum urchin barrens around Tenerife (Canary Islands, NE Atlantic). A hierarchical nested sampling design was used to study patterns of community variability at different spatial scales (sectors, three sides of the island; sites within each sector, 5-10 km apart; stations within each site, 50-100 m apart). Although noncrustose species contributed the most to community richness, cover was dominated by crustose forms, like the coralline algae Hydrolithon farinosum, H. samoënse, H. onkodes, Neogoniolithon orotavicum and N. hirtum, and the phaeophycean Pseudolithoderma adriaticum. The structure of these communities showed high spatial variability, and we found differences in the structure of urchin barrens when compared across different spatial scales. Multivariate analysis showed that variability in community structure was related to the five environmental variables studied (wave exposure, urchin density, substrate roughness, productivity and depth). Wave exposure was the variable that contributed most to community variability, followed by urchin density and substrate roughness. Productivity and depth had limited influence. The effects of these variables differed depending on the spatial scale; wave exposure and productivity were the main variables influencing community changes at the largest scale (between different sectors of the island), while D. africanum density, roughness and depth were the most influential at medium and small scales.

  19. Warm temperature acclimation impacts metabolism of paralytic shellfish toxins from Alexandrium minutum in commercial oysters.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Hazel; Seebacher, Frank; O'Connor, Wayne; Zammit, Anthony; Harwood, D Tim; Murray, Shauna

    2015-09-01

    Species of Alexandrium produce potent neurotoxins termed paralytic shellfish toxins and are expanding their ranges worldwide, concurrent with increases in sea surface temperature. The metabolism of molluscs is temperature dependent, and increases in ocean temperature may influence both the abundance and distribution of Alexandrium and the dynamics of toxin uptake and depuration in shellfish. Here, we conducted a large-scale study of the effect of temperature on the uptake and depuration of paralytic shellfish toxins in three commercial oysters (Saccostrea glomerata and diploid and triploid Crassostrea gigas, n = 252 per species/ploidy level). Oysters were acclimated to two constant temperatures, reflecting current and predicted climate scenarios (22 and 27 °C), and fed a diet including the paralytic shellfish toxin-producing species Alexandrium minutum. While the oysters fed on A. minutum in similar quantities, concentrations of the toxin analogue GTX1,4 were significantly lower in warm-acclimated S. glomerata and diploid C. gigas after 12 days. Following exposure to A. minutum, toxicity of triploid C. gigas was not affected by temperature. Generally, detoxification rates were reduced in warm-acclimated oysters. The routine metabolism of the oysters was not affected by the toxins, but a significant effect was found at a cellular level in diploid C. gigas. The increasing incidences of Alexandrium blooms worldwide are a challenge for shellfish food safety regulation. Our findings indicate that rising ocean temperatures may reduce paralytic shellfish toxin accumulation in two of the three oyster types; however, they may persist for longer periods in oyster tissue. PMID:26032975

  20. Connecting Florida Bay algal blooms to freshwater nutrient sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakey, T.; Melesse, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, monthly water quality data collected in the Everglades by the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) from 1991 to 2008 at 28 sampling stations distributed across Florida Bay was analyzed within the context of local geomorphology and seasonal wind and current regimes in order to evaluate the feasibility of the various purported nutrient sources for reoccurring algal blooms. The in situ chlorophyll-a (chl-a) measurements from the SERC dataset were evaluated as the indicator of algal biomass. Significant differences in average monthly chl-a concentrations at stations indicated a seasonality of algal blooms in the north central and west areas that is not evidenced in stations exhibiting low levels of chl-a throughout the typical year. Tukey's pairwise comparisons of monthly chl-a indicated, at the 95% confidence level, peak algal biomass occurs in October and November at the end of the wet season with minimums occurring between February and August depending on the location of the station. By month comparison of chl-a levels across stations suggest seasonal trends in the geographic focus and extent of blooms. Significant differences from Tukey's pairwise comparisons at the 95% confidence level showed stations to the west as having higher levels of chl-a in March through May with north central stations dominating from June to January. The month of February shows no significant difference in chl-a levels across this area. The results support hypotheses centering on a western source of nutrients that are delivered to the bay over the course of the rainy season. Mapping water quality sampling station locations on top of the bathymetry of Florida Bay illustrates the importance of considering coastal morphology in explaining trends in estuarine algal blooms. Coastal geomorphology along with seasonal changes in the direction of winds and magnitude of rains are demonstrated to be the predominant

  1. Potency of a human monoclonal antibody to diphtheria toxin relative to equine diphtheria anti-toxin in a guinea pig intoxication model

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Heidi L.; Cheslock, Peter; Leney, Mark; Barton, Bruce; Molrine, Deborah C.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Prompt administration of anti-toxin reduces mortality following Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection. Current treatment relies upon equine diphtheria anti-toxin (DAT), with a 10% risk of serum sickness and rarely anaphylaxis. The global DAT supply is extremely limited; most manufacturers have ceased production. S315 is a neutralizing human IgG1 monoclonal antibody to diphtheria toxin that may provide a safe and effective alternative to equine DAT and address critical supply issues. To guide dose selection for IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies, we dose-ranged S315 and DAT in a guinea pig model of diphtheria intoxication based on the NIH Minimum Requirements potency assay. Animals received a single injection of antibody premixed with toxin, were monitored for 30 days, and assigned a numeric score for clinical signs of disease. Animals receiving ≥ 27.5 µg of S315 or ≥ 1.75 IU of DAT survived whereas animals receiving ≤ 22.5 µg of S315 or ≤ 1.25 IU of DAT died, yielding a potency estimate of 17 µg S315/IU DAT (95% CI 16–21) for an endpoint of survival. Because some surviving animals exhibited transient limb weakness, likely a systemic sign of toxicity, DAT and S315 doses required to prevent hind limb paralysis were also determined, yielding a relative potency of 48 µg/IU (95% CI 38–59) for this alternate endpoint. To support advancement of S315 into clinical trials, potency estimates will be used to evaluate the efficacy of S315 versus DAT in an animal model with antibody administration after toxin exposure, more closely modeling anti-toxin therapy in humans. PMID:27070129

  2. Potency of a human monoclonal antibody to diphtheria toxin relative to equine diphtheria anti-toxin in a guinea pig intoxication model.

    PubMed

    Smith, Heidi L; Cheslock, Peter; Leney, Mark; Barton, Bruce; Molrine, Deborah C

    2016-08-17

    Prompt administration of anti-toxin reduces mortality following Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection. Current treatment relies upon equine diphtheria anti-toxin (DAT), with a 10% risk of serum sickness and rarely anaphylaxis. The global DAT supply is extremely limited; most manufacturers have ceased production. S315 is a neutralizing human IgG1 monoclonal antibody to diphtheria toxin that may provide a safe and effective alternative to equine DAT and address critical supply issues. To guide dose selection for IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies, we dose-ranged S315 and DAT in a guinea pig model of diphtheria intoxication based on the NIH Minimum Requirements potency assay. Animals received a single injection of antibody premixed with toxin, were monitored for 30 days, and assigned a numeric score for clinical signs of disease. Animals receiving ≥ 27.5 µg of S315 or ≥ 1.75 IU of DAT survived whereas animals receiving ≤ 22.5 µg of S315 or ≤ 1.25 IU of DAT died, yielding a potency estimate of 17 µg S315/IU DAT (95% CI 16-21) for an endpoint of survival. Because some surviving animals exhibited transient limb weakness, likely a systemic sign of toxicity, DAT and S315 doses required to prevent hind limb paralysis were also determined, yielding a relative potency of 48 µg/IU (95% CI 38-59) for this alternate endpoint. To support advancement of S315 into clinical trials, potency estimates will be used to evaluate the efficacy of S315 versus DAT in an animal model with antibody administration after toxin exposure, more closely modeling anti-toxin therapy in humans. PMID:27070129

  3. Fungi and fungal toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Paterson, R Russell M

    2006-09-01

    Recent aggressive attacks on innocent citizens have resulted in governments increasing security. However, there is a good case for prevention rather than reaction. Bioweapons, mycotoxins, fungal biocontrol agents (FBCA), and even pharmaceuticals contain, or are, toxins and need to be considered in the context of the new paradigm. Is it desirable to discuss such issues? None of the fungi are (a) as toxic as botulinum toxin from Clostridium botulinum, and (b) as dangerous as nuclear weapons. One toxin may be defined as a pharmaceutical and vice versa simply by a small change in concentration or a moiety. Mycotoxins are defined as naturally occurring toxic compounds obtained from fungi. They are the biggest chronic health risk when incorporated into the diet. The current list of fungal toxins as biochemical weapons is small, although awareness is growing of the threats they may pose. T-2 toxin is perhaps the biggest concern. A clear distinction is required between the biological (fungus) and chemical (toxin) aspects of the issue. There is an obvious requirement to be able to trace these fungi and compounds in the environment and to know when concentrations are abnormal. Many FBCA, produce toxins. This paper indicates how to treat mycotoxicosis and decontaminate mycotoxins. There is considerable confusion and inconsistency surrounding this topic which requires assessment in an impartial and scientific manner. PMID:16908123

  4. Effect of algal food concentration on toxicity of two agricultural pesticides to Daphnia carinata.

    PubMed

    Barry, M J; Logan, D C; Ahokas, J T; Holdway, D A

    1995-12-01

    The effects of algal concentration (Selanastrum capricornatum) on the toxicity of the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan and the synthetic pyrethroid esfenvalerate to Daphnia carinata was investigated. The study progressed through four stages: (1) A dose-response experiment on the effects of endosulfan and esfenvalerate on the survival, growth, and reproduction of D. carinata at a single nonlimiting food level. (2) An experiment to investigate the effects of five different food concentrations on survival, growth, and reproduction of D. carinata at sublethal concentrations of endosulfan and esfenvalerate compared with nonexposed controls. (3) An experiment to investigate the effects of route of exposure (water, food-borne, or water+food-borne exposure) on the toxicity of endosulfan to D. carinata. (4) An experiment to investigate the effects of algal concentration on persistence of endosulfan in the water column and on the relative toxicity of the alpha and beta isomers and of endosulfan sulfate to D. carinata. In the first experiment all daphnids exposed to 500 ng/liter esfenvalerate died within 3 days. There was a significant effect of esfenvalerate on reproduction at 50 ng/liter by the second brood. Endosulfan did not cause significant mortality to daphnids but brood size was reduced at 320 micrograms/liter. In the second experiment the toxicity of esfenvalerate increased significantly with decreasing food concentration. In contrast, the toxicity of endosulfan to D. carinata was greatest at the higher food concentrations. Direct water-borne exposure to endosulfan was the most toxic route of exposure and the presence of algae decreased toxicity of this pesticide. The total amount of endosulfan (alpha + beta + endosulfan sulfate) persisting in the water column after 24 hr was greater at high food levels, suggesting that this may be one mechanism for increased toxicity at high food concentrations. The 48-hr LC50s of technical endosulfan, endosulfan sulfate, alpha

  5. REMOVAL OF HARMFUL ALGAL CELLS (KARENIA BREVIS) AND TOXINS FROM SEAWATER CULTURE BY CLAY FLOCCULATION. (R827090)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  6. A mathematical model for intracellular effects of toxins on DNA adduction and repair

    SciTech Connect

    Gaver, D.P.; Jacobs, P.A.; Carpenter, R.L.; Burkhart, J.G.

    1997-01-01

    The processes by which certain classes of toxic compounds or their metabolites may react with DNA to alter the genetic information contained in subsequent generations of cells or organisms are a major component of hazard associated with exposure to chemicals in the environment. Many classes of chemicals may form DNA adducts and there may or may not be a defined mechanism to remove a particular adduct from DNA independent of replication. Many compounds and metabolites that bind DNA also readily bind existing proteins; some classes of toxins and DNA adducts have the capacity to inactive a repair enzyme and divert the repair process competitively. This paper formulates an intracellular dynamic model for one aspect of the action of toxins that form DNA adducts, recognizing a capacity for removal of those adducts by a repair enzyme combined with reaction of the toxin and/or the DNA adduct to inactive the repair enzyme. This particular model illustrates the possible saturation of repair enzyme capacity by the toxin dosage and shows that bistable behavior can occur, with the potential to induce abrupt shifts away from steady-state equilibria. The model suggests that bistable behavior, dose and variation between individuals or tissues may combine under certain conditions to amplify the biological effect of dose observed as DNA adduction and its consequences as mutation. A model recognizing stochastic phenomena also indicates that variation in within-cell toxin concentration may promote jumps between stable equilibria.

  7. Indoor fungal exposure.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Christine A

    2003-08-01

    Fungi affect humans in complex ways and are capable of eliciting a number of disease responses, such as infectious, allergic, and irritant and toxic effects. Fungal exposure is unequivocally associated with exacerbations of asthma, although the role of fungi in causing the disease is yet to be determined. The association between home dampness and respiratory health effects is strong, and fungal exposure is suspected to be associated with this linkage. Fear of toxin exposures has generated debate over the possible toxic health effects of airborne fungi; however, several recent reviews discount the health impacts of mycotoxin through indoor exposures. Nevertheless, fungal contamination of indoor environments is undesirable. Knowledge of sources and characteristics of fungal spore release and dispersal are important for understanding the processes of exposure. Environmental monitoring for fungi and their disease agents are important aspects of exposure assessment, but few guidelines exist for interpreting their health impacts. Much work is needed in isolating, characterizing and standardizing fungal disease agents to properly assess the prevalence of fungal health effects. PMID:14524388

  8. Clostridium perfringens type A–E toxin plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, John C.; Theoret, James R.; Wisniewski, Jessica A.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell. PMID:25283728

  9. Clostridium perfringens Alpha-Toxin Induces Gm1a Clustering and Trka Phosphorylation in the Host Cell Membrane.

    PubMed

    Takagishi, Teruhisa; Oda, Masataka; Kabura, Michiko; Kurosawa, Mie; Tominaga, Kaori; Urano, Shiori; Ueda, Yoshibumi; Kobayashi, Keiko; Kobayashi, Toshihide; Sakurai, Jun; Terao, Yutaka; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin elicits various immune responses such as the release of cytokines, chemokines, and superoxide via the GM1a/TrkA complex. Alpha-toxin possesses phospholipase C (PLC) hydrolytic activity that contributes to signal transduction in the pathogenesis of gas gangrene. Little is known about the relationship between lipid metabolism and TrkA activation by alpha-toxin. Using live-cell fluorescence microscopy, we monitored transbilayer movement of diacylglycerol (DAG) with the yellow fluorescent protein-tagged C1AB domain of protein kinase C-γ (EYFP-C1AB). DAG accumulated at the marginal region of the plasma membrane in alpha toxin-treated A549 cells, which also exhibited GM1a clustering and TrkA phosphorylation. Annexin V binding assays showed that alpha-toxin induced the exposure of phosphatidylserine on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. However, H148G, a variant toxin which binds cell membrane and has no enzymatic activity, did not induce DAG translocation, GM1a clustering, or TrkA phosphorylation. Alpha-toxin also specifically activated endogenous phospholipase Cγ-1 (PLCγ-1), a TrkA adaptor protein, via phosphorylation. U73122, an endogenous PLC inhibitor, and siRNA for PLCγ-1 inhibited the formation of DAG and release of IL-8. GM1a accumulation and TrkA phosphorylation in A549 cells treated with alpha-toxin were also inhibited by U73122. These results suggest that the flip-flop motion of hydrophobic lipids such as DAG leads to the accumulation of GM1a and TrkA. We conclude that the formation of DAG by alpha-toxin itself (first step) and activation of endogenous PLCγ-1 (second step) leads to alterations in membrane dynamics, followed by strong phosphorylation of TrkA. PMID:25910247

  10. Toxins as weapons of mass destruction. A comparison and contrast with biological-warfare and chemical-warfare agents.

    PubMed

    Madsen, J M

    2001-09-01

    Toxins are toxic chemical compounds synthesized in nature by living organisms. Classifiable by molecular weight, source, preferred targets in the body, and mechanism of action, they include the most potent poisons on the planet, although considerations of production, weaponization, delivery, environmental stability, and host factors place practical limits on their use as WMD. The two most important toxin threats on the battlefield or in bioterrorism are probably botulinum toxin (a series of seven serotypes, of which botulinum toxin A is the most toxic for humans) and SEB, an incapacitating toxin. Ricin and the trichothecene mycotoxins, including T-2 mycotoxin, are of lesser concern but are still potential threats. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin, ricin and trichothecene mycotoxins are membrane-damaging proteins, and SEB is a superantigen capable of massive nonspecific activation of the immune system. The clinical intoxications resulting from exposure to and absorption (usually by inhalation) of these agents reflect their underlying pathophysiology. Because of the hybrid nature of toxins, they have sometimes been considered CW agents and sometimes BW agents. The current trend seems to be to emphasize their similarities to living organisms and their differences from CW agents, but examination of all three groups relative to a number of factors reveals both similarities and differences between toxins and each of the other two categories of non-nuclear unconventional WMD. The perspective that groups toxins with BW agents is logical and very useful for research and development and for administrative and treaty applications, but for medical education and casualty assessment, there are real advantages in clinician use of assessment techniques that emphasize the physicochemical behavior of these nonliving, nonreplicating, intransmissible chemical poisons. PMID:11577702

  11. Clostridium perfringens Alpha-Toxin Induces Gm1a Clustering and Trka Phosphorylation in the Host Cell Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Takagishi, Teruhisa; Oda, Masataka; Kabura, Michiko; Kurosawa, Mie; Tominaga, Kaori; Urano, Shiori; Ueda, Yoshibumi; Kobayashi, Keiko; Kobayashi, Toshihide; Sakurai, Jun; Terao, Yutaka; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin elicits various immune responses such as the release of cytokines, chemokines, and superoxide via the GM1a/TrkA complex. Alpha-toxin possesses phospholipase C (PLC) hydrolytic activity that contributes to signal transduction in the pathogenesis of gas gangrene. Little is known about the relationship between lipid metabolism and TrkA activation by alpha-toxin. Using live-cell fluorescence microscopy, we monitored transbilayer movement of diacylglycerol (DAG) with the yellow fluorescent protein-tagged C1AB domain of protein kinase C-γ (EYFP-C1AB). DAG accumulated at the marginal region of the plasma membrane in alpha toxin-treated A549 cells, which also exhibited GM1a clustering and TrkA phosphorylation. Annexin V binding assays showed that alpha-toxin induced the exposure of phosphatidylserine on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. However, H148G, a variant toxin which binds cell membrane and has no enzymatic activity, did not induce DAG translocation, GM1a clustering, or TrkA phosphorylation. Alpha-toxin also specifically activated endogenous phospholipase Cγ-1 (PLCγ-1), a TrkA adaptor protein, via phosphorylation. U73122, an endogenous PLC inhibitor, and siRNA for PLCγ-1 inhibited the formation of DAG and release of IL-8. GM1a accumulation and TrkA phosphorylation in A549 cells treated with alpha-toxin were also inhibited by U73122. These results suggest that the flip-flop motion of hydrophobic lipids such as DAG leads to the accumulation of GM1a and TrkA. We conclude that the formation of DAG by alpha-toxin itself (first step) and activation of endogenous PLCγ-1 (second step) leads to alterations in membrane dynamics, followed by strong phosphorylation of TrkA. PMID:25910247

  12. Cholera toxin-like toxin released by Salmonella species in the presence of mitomycin C.

    PubMed

    Molina, N C; Peterson, J W

    1980-10-01

    Several serotypes of Salmonella were shown to release increased amounts of a cholera toxin-like toxin during culture in vitro with mitomycin C (MTC). Filter-sterilized culture supernatants containing the toxin caused elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells, which could be blocked by heating the supernatants at 100 degrees C for 15 min or by adding mixed gangliosides or monospecific cholera antitoxin. When MTC was not added to the Salmonella cultures, little or no toxin was detected in crude, unconcentrated culture supernatants. Optimal production of toxin was observed in the presence of 0.5 micrograms of MTC per ml in shake flask cultures of Casamino Acids-yeast extract medium, Syncase, or peptone saline at 37 degrees C. Meat infusion media (heart infusion and brain heart infusion) plus MTC resulted in poor toxin yield. Culture filtrates frequently could be diluted 1:8 and still result in elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells. PMID:7002788

  13. Mobility of adsorbed Cry1Aa insecticidal toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on montmorillonite measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helassa, Nordine; Daudin, Gabrielle; Noinville, Sylvie; Janot, Jean-Marc; Déjardin, Philippe; Staunton, Siobhán; Quiquampoix, Hervé

    2010-06-01

    The insecticidal toxins produced by genetically modified Bt crops are introduced into soil through root exudates and tissue decomposition and adsorb readily on soil components, especially on clays. This immobilisation and the consequent concentration of the toxins in "hot spots" could increase the exposure of soil organisms. Whereas the effects on non-target organisms are well documented, few studies consider the migration of the toxin in soil. In this study, the residual mobility of Bt Cry1Aa insecticidal toxin adsorbed on montmorillonite was assessed using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). This technique, which is usually used to study dynamics of cytoplasmic and membrane molecules in live cells, was applied for the first time to a protein adsorbed on a finely divided swelling clay mineral, montmorillonite. No mobility of adsorbed toxin was observed at any pH and at different degrees of surface saturation.

  14. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Malik, Arunima; Lenzen, Manfred; Ralph, Peter J; Tamburic, Bojan

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this work is to establish whether algal bio-crude production is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To this end, an economic multi-regional input-output model of Australia was complemented with engineering process data on algal bio-crude production. This model was used to undertake hybrid life-cycle assessment for measuring the direct, as well as indirect impacts of producing bio-crude. Overall, the supply chain of bio-crude is more sustainable than that of conventional crude oil. The results indicate that producing 1 million tonnes of bio-crude will generate almost 13,000 new jobs and 4 billion dollars' worth of economic stimulus. Furthermore, bio-crude production will offer carbon sequestration opportunities as the production process is net carbon-negative. PMID:25465782

  15. Unraveling algal lipid metabolism: Recent advances in gene identification.

    PubMed

    Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Cohen, Zvi

    2011-01-01

    Microalgae are now the focus of intensive research due to their potential as a renewable feedstock for biodiesel. This research requires a thorough understanding of the biochemistry and genetics of these organisms' lipid-biosynthesis pathways. Genes encoding lipid-biosynthesis enzymes can now be identified in the genomes of various eukaryotic microalgae. However, an examination of the predicted proteins at the biochemical and molecular levels is mandatory to verify their function. The essential molecular and genetic tools are now available for a comprehensive characterization of genes coding for enzymes of the lipid-biosynthesis pathways in some algal species. This review mainly summarizes the novel information emerging from recently obtained algal gene identification. PMID:20709142

  16. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S. A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-05-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large “blooms” in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers.

  17. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan; Biddy, Mary J.; Jones, Susanne B.

    2013-03-31

    In support of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs. Process designs and preliminary economic estimates for each of these pathway cases were developed using rigorous modeling tools (Aspen Plus and Chemcad). These analyses incorporated the best information available at the time of development, including data from recent pilot and bench-scale demonstrations, collaborative industrial and academic partners, and published literature and patents. This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline, diesel and jet range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  18. Phenolic content and antioxidant capacity in algal food products.

    PubMed

    Machu, Ludmila; Misurcova, Ladislava; Ambrozova, Jarmila Vavra; Orsavova, Jana; Mlcek, Jiri; Sochor, Jiri; Jurikova, Tunde

    2015-01-01

    The study objective was to investigate total phenolic content using Folin-Ciocalteu's method, to assess nine phenols by HPLC, to determine antioxidant capacity of the water soluble compounds (ACW) by a photochemiluminescence method, and to calculate the correlation coefficients in commercial algal food products from brown (Laminaria japonica, Eisenia bicyclis, Hizikia fusiformis, Undaria pinnatifida) and red (Porphyra tenera, Palmaria palmata) seaweed, green freshwater algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa), and cyanobacteria (Spirulina platensis). HPLC analysis showed that the most abundant phenolic compound was epicatechin. From spectrophotometry and ACW determination it was evident that brown seaweed Eisenia bicyclis was the sample with the highest phenolic and ACW values (193 mg·g-1 GAE; 7.53 µmol AA·g-1, respectively). A linear relationship existed between ACW and phenolic contents (r = 0.99). Some algal products seem to be promising functional foods rich in polyphenols. PMID:25587787

  19. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Boetius, Antje; Albrecht, Sebastian; Bakker, Karel; Bienhold, Christina; Felden, Janine; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hendricks, Stefan; Katlein, Christian; Lalande, Catherine; Krumpen, Thomas; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Rabe, Benjamin; Rogacheva, Antonina; Rybakova, Elena; Somavilla, Raquel; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2013-03-22

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 grams of carbon per square meter to the deep-sea floor of the central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the effect of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function. PMID:23413190

  20. A Taste of Algal Genomes from the Joint Genome Institute

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-06-17

    Algae play profound roles in aquatic food chains and the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, provide models for the study of symbiosis, photosynthesis, and eukaryotic evolution, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI). To date JGI has sequenced, assembled, annotated, and released to the public the genomes of 18 species and strains of algae, sampling almost all of the major clades of photosynthetic eukaryotes. With more algal genomes currently undergoing analysis, JGI continues its commitment to driving forward basic and applied algal science. Among these ongoing projects are the pan-genome of the dominant coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, the interrelationships between the 4 genomes in the nucleomorph-containing Bigelowiella natans and Guillardia theta, and the search for symbiosis genes of lichens.

  1. ALGAL NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY AND LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL. APPENDICES TO PART III. ALGAL NUTRIENT LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted on the potential significance of nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients in limiting planktonic algal growth in Lake Ontario and its major tributaries. Standard algal assay procedures were used. Samples of the open waters of Lake Ontario and Niagara River...

  2. Harmful algal blooms: How strong is the evidence that nutrient ratios and forms influence their occurrence?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Keith; Gowen, Richard J.; Tett, Paul; Bresnan, Eileen; Harrison, Paul J.; McKinney, April; Milligan, Stephen; Mills, David K.; Silke, Joe; Crooks, Anne-Marie

    2012-12-01

    There is a perception that anthropogenically-driven changes in nutrient supply to coastal waters influences the abundance, frequency and toxicity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) through a change in the form or ratio of nutrient that limits phytoplankton growth. If nutrient concentrations are not limiting for growth, then ratios do not influence floristic composition. At non-limiting concentrations, evidence that alteration of nitrogen: phosphorus (N:P) ratios has stimulated HABs is limited, and primarily based on hypothesised relationships in relatively few locations (in particular: Tolo Harbour Hong Kong and Dutch Coastal Waters). In all cases, an unequivocal causal link between an increase in HABs (frequency, magnitude or duration) and change in N or P as the limiting nutrient is difficult to establish. The silicon (Si) limitation hypothesis is generally supported by experimental evidence and field data on the nuisance flagellate Phaeocystis. We found little evidence that high N:Si ratios preferentially promote harmful dinoflagellates over benign species. Laboratory studies demonstrate that nutrient ratios can influence toxin production, but genus and species specific differences and environmental control make extrapolation of these data to the field difficult. Studies of the role of dissolved and particulate organic nutrients in the growth of HAB species, while limited, demonstrate the potential for organic nutrients (especially organic N) to support the growth of a range of HAB species. There is a clear need for better understanding of the role of mixotrophy in the formation of HABs and for studies of HAB and non-HAB species in competition for environmentally realistic concentrations of organic nutrients.

  3. Investigating the role of solanapyrone toxins in Ascochyta blight using toxin-deficient mutants of Asochyta rabiei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascochyta rabiei, the causal agent of Ascochyta blight of chickpea, produces solanapyrone toxins (solanapyrone A, B and C). However, very little is known about the genetics of toxin production and the role of the toxins in pathogenesis. Generating mutants deficient in the toxin biosynthesis would p...

  4. Selective algicidal action of peptides against harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Cheol; Lee, Jong-Kook; Kim, Si Wouk; Park, Yoonkyung

    2011-01-01

    Recently, harmful algal bloom (HAB), also termed "red tide", has been recognized as a serious problem in marine environments according to climate changes worldwide. Many novel materials or methods to prevent HAB have not yet been employed except for clay dispersion, in which can the resulting sedimentation on the seafloor can also cause alteration in marine ecology or secondary environmental pollution. In the current study, we investigated that antimicrobial peptide have a potential in controlling HAB without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Here, antimicrobial peptides are proposed as new algicidal compounds in combating HAB cells. HPA3 and HPA3NT3 peptides which exert potent antimicrobial activity via pore forming action in plasma membrane showed that HPA3NT3 reduced the motility of algal cells, disrupted their plasma membrane, and induced the efflux of intracellular components. Against raphidoflagellate such as Heterosigma akashiwo, Chattonella sp., and C. marina, it displayed a rapid lysing action in cell membranes at 1~4 µM within 2 min. Comparatively, its lysing effects occurred at 8 µM within 1 h in dinoflagellate such as Cochlodium polykrikoides, Prorocentrum micans, and P. minimum. Moreover, its lysing action induced the lysis of chloroplasts and loss of chlorophyll a. In the contrary, this peptide was not effective against Skeletonema costatum, harmless algal cell, even at 256 µM, moreover, it killed only H. akashiwo or C. marina in co-cultivation with S. costatum, indicating to its selective algicidal activity between harmful and harmless algal cells. The peptide was non-hemolytic against red blood cells of Sebastes schlegeli, the black rockfish, at 120 µM. HAB cells were quickly and selectively lysed following treatment of antimicrobial peptides without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Thus, the antibiotic peptides examined in our study appear to have much potential in effectively controlling HAB with minimal impact on marine

  5. Combined cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of a marine toxin and seafood contaminant metal ions (chromium and cadmium).

    PubMed

    Souid-Mensi, Ghada; Moukha, Serge; Maaroufi, Khira; Creppy, Edmond E

    2008-02-01

    Algal bloom with consequent production of marine toxins contaminating bivalves is increasing in costal regions worldwide because of sea water quality worsening. Contamination of seafood by diarrheic shellfish poisoning toxins (DSP) together with metals is frequently reported, a phenomenon not fully explained yet. In this context, metal ions were assayed in clams collected from the banned area of Boughrara, Tunisia, contaminated by Gymnodinium and other algae such as Dinophysis sp, accumulated by these bivalves. The presence of toxic metals ions such as Chromium (Cr) and Cadmium (Cd) in meat, shells, and water released by the clams prompted us to experiment in Caco-2 intestinal cell line toxic effects of these heavy metals ions in combination with okadaic acid, one DSP present in clams to assess the potential global toxicity. Cr and Cd produce additive effects in (i) reactive oxygen species production, (ii) cytotoxicity as assessed by the mitochondrial activity testing method (MTT test), and (iii) DNA lesions evaluated by agarose gel electrophoresis and acridine orange staining. Exaggerated DNA fragmentation is observed, suggesting an overloading of repair capacity of Caco-2 cells. The apoptosis suggested by a DNA fragment sizing (180-200 bp) in agarose gel and mechanisms underlying these additive effects in Caco-2 cells still need to be more comprehensively explained. PMID:18214935

  6. Stress-Survival Gene Identification From an Acid Mine Drainage Algal Mat Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbina-Navarrete, J.; Fujishima, K.; Paulino-Lima, I. G.; Rothschild-Mancinelli, B.; Rothschild, L. J.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial communities from acid mine drainage environments are exposed to multiple stressors to include low pH, high dissolved metal loads, seasonal freezing, and desiccation. The microbial and algal communities that inhabit these niche environments have evolved strategies that allow for their ecological success. Metagenomic analyses are useful in identifying species diversity, however they do not elucidate the mechanisms that allow for the resilience of a community under these extreme conditions. Many known or predicted genes encode for protein products that are unknown, or similarly, many proteins cannot be traced to their gene of origin. This investigation seeks to identify genes that are active in an algal consortium during stress from living in an acid mine drainage environment. Our approach involves using the entire community transcriptome for a functional screen in an Escherichia coli host. This approach directly targets the genes involved in survival, without need for characterizing the members of the consortium.The consortium was harvested and stressed with conditions similar to the native environment it was collected from. Exposure to low pH (< 3.2), high metal load, desiccation, and deep freeze resulted in the expression of stress-induced genes that were transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). These mRNA transcripts were harvested to build complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries in E. coli. The transformed E. coli were exposed to the same stressors as the original algal consortium to select for surviving cells. Successful cells incorporated the transcripts that encode survival mechanisms, thus allowing for selection and identification of the gene(s) involved. Initial selection screens for freeze and desiccation tolerance have yielded E. coli that are 1 order of magnitude more resistant to freezing (0.01% survival of control with no transcript, 0.2% survival of E. coli with transcript) and 3 orders of magnitude more resistant to desiccation (0.005% survival of

  7. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, not α-toxin, mediated Bundaberg fatalities.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Elizabeth A; Merriman, Joseph A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2015-12-01

    The 1928 Bundaberg disaster is one of the greatest vaccine tragedies in history. Of 21 children immunized with a diphtheria toxin-antitoxin preparation contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, 18 developed life-threatening disease and 12 died within 48  h. Historically, the deaths have been attributed to α-toxin, a secreted cytotoxin produced by most S. aureus strains, yet the ability of the Bundaberg contaminant microbe to produce the toxin has never been verified. For the first time, the ability of the original strain to produce α-toxin and other virulence factors is investigated. The study investigates the genetic and regulatory loci mediating α-toxin expression by PCR and assesses production of the cytotoxin in vitro using an erythrocyte haemolysis assay. This analysis is extended to other secreted virulence factors produced by the strain, and their sufficiency to cause lethality in New Zealand white rabbits is determined. Although the strain possesses a wild-type allele for α-toxin, it must have a defective regulatory system, which is responsible for the strain's minimal α-toxin production. The strain encodes and produces staphylococcal superantigens, including toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), which is sufficient to cause lethality in patients. The findings cast doubt on the belief that α-toxin is the major virulence factor responsible for the Bundaberg fatalities and point to the superantigen TSST-1 as the cause of the disaster. PMID:26432699

  8. EXPOSURE OF CHILDREN TO INDOOR MOLDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Children now spend more than 90% of their time indoors. Thus, any exposure to indoor pollutants may be critical to their health. Molds are one of the most important pollutants children are exposed to indoors. Molds produce hundreds of allergens and toxins. These products ha...

  9. Biological control of harmful algal blooms: A modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Jordi; Estrada, Marta; Garcia-Ladona, Emilio

    2006-07-01

    A multispecies dynamic simulation model (ERSEM) was used to examine the influence of allelopathic and trophic interactions causing feeding avoidance by predators, on the formation of harmful algal blooms, under environmental scenarios typical of a Mediterranean harbour (Barcelona). The biological state variables of the model included four functional groups of phytoplankton (diatoms, toxic and non-toxic flagellates and picophytoplankton), heterotrophic flagellates, micro- and mesozooplankton and bacteria. The physical-chemical forcing (irradiance, temperature and major nutrient concentrations) was based on an actual series of measurements taken along a year cycle in the Barcelona harbour. In order to evaluate potential effects of advection, some runs were repeated after introducing a biomass loss term. Numerical simulations showed that allelopathic effects of a toxic alga on a non-toxic but otherwise similar competitor did not have appreciable influence on the dynamics of the system. However, induction of avoidance of the toxic alga by predators, which resulted on increased predation pressure on other algal groups had a significant effect on the development of algal and predator populations. The presence of advection overrided the effect of these interactions and only allowed organisms with sufficiently high potential growth rates to thrive.

  10. Micro-structured surfaces for algal biofilm growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathananthan, Suthamathy; Genin, Scott N.; Aitchison, J. Stewart; Allen, D. Grant

    2013-12-01

    It is well known that cells respond to structured surface cues that are on the micro/nanometer scale. Tissue engineering and bio-fouling fields have utilized the semiconductor device fabrication processes to make micro- and nanometer patterned surfaces to study animal cell tissue formation and to prevent algae attachment on marine surfaces respectively. In this paper we describe the use of micro-structured surfaces to study the attachment and growth of algal films. This paper gives an overview of how micro-structured surfaces are made for this purpose, how they are incorporated into a photo bioreactor and how this patterning influences the growth of an algal biofilm. Our results suggest that surface patterning with deeper V-groove patterns that are of the same size scale as the algal species has resulted in higher biomass productivity giving them a chance to embed and attach on the slope and flat surfaces whereas shallower size grooves and completely flat surfaces did not show this trend.

  11. Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting arctic sea ice.