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Sample records for algal toxins origins

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Foodborne toxins of marine origin: ciguatera.

    PubMed

    Juranovic, L R; Park, D L

    1991-01-01

    Ciguatera poisoning has long been recognized as a serious problem in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Due to international and interstate commerce and tourist travel the phenomenon is spreading to other parts of the globe. Various species of fish (surgeonfish, snapper, grouper, barracuda, jack, amberjack among others) have been implicated in this type of poisoning. These fish accumulate toxins in their flesh and viscera through the consumption of smaller fish that have been previously contaminated by feeding on toxic dinoflagellates. The most probable source of ciguatera is thought to be the benthic microorganism, Gambierdiscus toxicus, which produces both CTX and MTX, but other species of dinoflagellates such as Prorocentrum lima may also contribute with secondary toxins associated with the disease. Potentially ciguatoxic dinoflagellates have been isolated, cultured under laboratory conditions and dinoflagellate growth requirements as well as some factors affecting toxin production have been determined. Also, data from their ecological environment have been accumulated in an attempt to reveal a relationship with the epidemiology of ciguatera outbreaks. Several bioassays have been employed to determine the ciguatoxicity of fish. Cats have been used due to their sensitivity, but regurgitation has made dosage information difficult to obtain. Mongooses have also been used but they often carry parasitic and other type of diseases which complicate the bioassay. Mice have been used more commonly; they offer a more reliable model, can be easily housed, readily are dosed in several ways, and manifest diverse symptoms similar to human intoxications; but the amount of toxic extract needed, time consumed, complicated extraction techniques, and instrumentation involved limit the use of this assay commercially. Other bioassays have been explored including the brine shrimp, chicken, mosquito, crayfish nerve cord, guinea pig ileum, guinea pig atrium, and other

  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. 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

  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. Multiple genes of apparent algal origin suggest ciliates may once have been photosynthetic.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Prieto, Adrian; Moustafa, Ahmed; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2008-07-01

    Plantae (as defined by Cavalier-Smith, 1981) plastids evolved via primary endosymbiosis whereby a heterotrophic protist enslaved a photosynthetic cyanobacterium. This "primary" plastid spread into other eukaryotes via secondary endosymbiosis. An important but contentious theory in algal evolution is the chromalveolate hypothesis that posits chromists (cryptophytes, haptophytes, and stramenopiles) and alveolates (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates) share a common ancestor that contained a red-algal-derived "secondary" plastid. Under this view, the existence of several later-diverging plastid-lacking chromalveolates such as ciliates and oomycetes would be explained by plastid loss in these lineages. To test the idea of a photosynthetic ancestry for ciliates, we used the 27,446 predicted proteins from the macronuclear genome of Tetrahymena thermophila to query prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. We identified 16 proteins of possible algal origin in the ciliates Tetrahymena and Paramecium tetraurelia. Fourteen of these are present in other chromalveolates. Here we compare and contrast the likely scenarios for algal-gene origin in ciliates either via multiple rounds of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from algal prey or symbionts, or through endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) during a putative photosynthetic phase in their evolution. PMID:18595706

  7. Botryococcene - A tetramethylated acyclic triterpenoid of algal origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cox, R. E.; Burlingame, A. L.; Wilson, D. M.; Eglinton, G.; Maxwell, J. R.

    1973-01-01

    The green alga Botryococcus braunii, implicated in the formation of certain geological deposits, produces unusual isomeric C34H58 alkenes, botryococcene and isobotryococcene, during a particular physiological state. A structure for botryococcene is suggested, taking into account NMR techniques, oxidative degradation, and established biosynthetic principles. Botryococcene appears terpenoid in origin.

  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. 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

  11. A common origin for the bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems parD and ccd, suggested by analyses of toxin/target and toxin/antitoxin interactions.

    PubMed

    Smith, Andrew B; López-Villarejo, Juan; Diago-Navarro, Elizabeth; Mitchenall, Lesley A; Barendregt, Arjan; Heck, Albert J; Lemonnier, Marc; Maxwell, Anthony; Díaz-Orejas, Ramón

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems encode two proteins, a potent inhibitor of cell proliferation (toxin) and its specific antidote (antitoxin). Structural data has revealed striking similarities between the two model TA toxins CcdB, a DNA gyrase inhibitor encoded by the ccd system of plasmid F, and Kid, a site-specific endoribonuclease encoded by the parD system of plasmid R1. While a common structural fold seemed at odds with the two clearly different modes of action of these toxins, the possibility of functional crosstalk between the parD and ccd systems, which would further point to their common evolutionary origin, has not been documented. Here, we show that the cleavage of RNA and the inhibition of protein synthesis by the Kid toxin, two activities that are specifically counteracted by its cognate Kis antitoxin, are altered, but not inhibited, by the CcdA antitoxin. In addition, Kis was able to inhibit the stimulation of DNA gyrase-mediated cleavage of DNA by CcdB, albeit less efficiently than CcdA. We further show that physical interactions between the toxins and antitoxins of the different systems do occur and define the stoichiometry of the complexes formed. We found that CcdB did not degrade RNA nor did Kid have any reproducible effect on the tested DNA gyrase activities, suggesting that these toxins evolved to reach different, rather than common, cellular targets. PMID:23029540

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Slugs' last meals: molecular identification of sequestered chloroplasts from different algal origins in Sacoglossa (Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Händeler, Katharina; Wägele, Heike; Wahrmund, Ute; Rüdinger, Mareike; Knoop, Volker

    2010-11-01

    Some sacoglossan sea slugs have become famous for their unique capability to extract and incorporate functional chloroplasts from algal food organisms (mainly Ulvophyceae) into their gut cells. The functional incorporation of the so-called kleptoplasts allows the slugs to rely on photosynthetic products for weeks to months, enabling them to survive long periods of food shortage over most of their life-span. The algal food spectrum providing kleptoplasts as temporary, non-inherited endosymbionts appears to vary among sacoglossan slugs, but detailed knowledge is sketchy or unavailable. Accurate identification of algal donor species, which provide the chloroplasts for long-term retention is of primary importance to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms allowing long-term functionality of the captured chloroplast in the foreign animal cell environment. Whereas some sacoglossans forage on a variety of algal species, (e.g. Elysia crispata and E. viridis) others are more selective. Hence, characterizing the range of functional sacoglossan-chloroplast associations in nature is a prerequisite to understand the basis of this enigmatic endosymbiosis. Here, we present a suitable chloroplast gene (tufA) as a marker, which allows identification of the respective algal kleptoplast donor taxa by analysing DNA from whole animals. This novel approach allows identification of donor algae on genus or even species level, thus providing evidence for the taxonomic range of food organisms. We report molecular evidence that chloroplasts from different algal sources are simultaneously incorporated in some species of Elysia. NeigborNet analyses for species assignments are preferred over tree reconstruction methods because the former allow more reliable statements on species identification via barcoding, or rather visualize alternative allocations not to be seen in the latter. PMID:21565106

  15. Algal endosymbionts in European Hydra strains reflect multiple origins of the zoochlorella symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Rajević, Nives; Kovačević, Goran; Kalafatić, Mirjana; Gould, Sven B; Martin, William F; Franjević, Damjan

    2015-12-01

    Symbiotic associations are of broad significance in evolution and biodiversity. Green Hydra is a classic example of endosymbiosis. In its gastrodermal myoepithelial cells it harbors endosymbiotic unicellular green algae, most commonly from the genus Chlorella. We reconstructed the phylogeny of cultured algal endosymbionts isolated and maintained in laboratory conditions for years from green Hydra strains collected from four different geographical sites within Croatia, one from Germany and one from Israel. Nuclear (18S rDNA, ITS region) and chloroplast markers (16S, rbcL) for maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses were used. We focused on investigating the positions of these algal endosymbiotic strains within the chlorophyte lineage. Molecular analyses established that different genera and species of unicellular green algae are present as endosymbionts in green Hydra, showing that endosymbiotic algae growing within green Hydra sampled from four Croatian localities are not monophyletic. Our results indicate that the intracellular algal endosymbionts of green Hydra have become established several times independently in evolution. PMID:26220839

  16. Evolution Stings: The Origin and Diversification of Scorpion Toxin Peptide Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Chan, Angelo H. C.; Koludarov, Ivan; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A.; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    The episodic nature of natural selection and the accumulation of extreme sequence divergence in venom-encoding genes over long periods of evolutionary time can obscure the signature of positive Darwinian selection. Recognition of the true biocomplexity is further hampered by the limited taxon selection, with easy to obtain or medically important species typically being the subject of intense venom research, relative to the actual taxonomical diversity in nature. This holds true for scorpions, which are one of the most ancient terrestrial venomous animal lineages. The family Buthidae that includes all the medically significant species has been intensely investigated around the globe, while almost completely ignoring the remaining non-buthid families. Australian scorpion lineages, for instance, have been completely neglected, with only a single scorpion species (Urodacus yaschenkoi) having its venom transcriptome sequenced. Hence, the lack of venom composition and toxin sequence information from an entire continent’s worth of scorpions has impeded our understanding of the molecular evolution of scorpion venom. The molecular origin, phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary histories of most scorpion toxin scaffolds remain enigmatic. In this study, we have sequenced venom gland transcriptomes of a wide taxonomical diversity of scorpions from Australia, including buthid and non-buthid representatives. Using state-of-art molecular evolutionary analyses, we show that a majority of CSα/β toxin scaffolds have experienced episodic influence of positive selection, while most non-CSα/β linear toxins evolve under the extreme influence of negative selection. For the first time, we have unraveled the molecular origin of the major scorpion toxin scaffolds, such as scorpion venom single von Willebrand factor C-domain peptides (SV-SVC), inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), disulphide-directed beta-hairpin (DDH), bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPP), linear non-disulphide bridged

  17. Mesoproterozoic graphite deposits, New Jersey Highlands: Geologic and stable isotopic evidence for possible algal origins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Volkert, R.A.

    2000-01-01

    Graphite deposits of Mesoproterozoic age are locally abundant in the eastern New Jersey Highlands, where they are hosted by sulphidic biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss, metaquartzite, and anatectic pegmatite. Gneiss and metaquartzite represent a shallow marine shelf sequence of locally organic-rich sand and mud. Graphite from massive deposits within metaquartzite yielded ??13C values of -26 ?? 2??? (1??), and graphite from massive deposits within biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss yielded ??13C values of -23 ??4???. Disseminated graphite from biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss country rock was -22 ??3???, indistinguishable from the massive deposits hosted by the same lithology. Anatectic pegmatite is graphitic only where generated from graphite-bearing host rocks; one sample gave a ??13C value of -15???. The ??34S values of trace pyrrhotite are uniform within individual deposits, but vary from 0 to 9??? from one deposit to another. Apart from pegmatitic occurrences, evidence is lacking for long-range mobilization of carbon during Grenvillian orogenesis or post-Grenvillian tectonism. The field, petrographic, and isotope data suggest that massive graphite was formed by granulite-facies metamorphism of Proterozoic accumulations of sedimentary organic matter, possibly algal mats. Preservation of these accumulations in the sedimentary environment requires anoxic basin waters or rapid burial. Anoxia would also favour the accumulation of dissolved ferrous iron in basin waters, which may explain some of the metasediment-hosted massive magnetite deposits in the New Jersey Highlands. ?? 2000 NRC.

  18. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  19. A novel type of light-harvesting antenna protein of red algal origin in algae with secondary plastids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Light, the driving force of photosynthesis, can be harmful when present in excess; therefore, any light harvesting system requires photoprotection. Members of the extended light-harvesting complex (LHC) protein superfamily are involved in light harvesting as well as in photoprotection and are found in the red and green plant lineages, with a complex distribution pattern of subfamilies in the different algal lineages. Results Here, we demonstrate that the recently discovered “red lineage chlorophyll a/b-binding-like proteins” (RedCAPs) form a monophyletic family within this protein superfamily. The occurrence of RedCAPs was found to be restricted to the red algal lineage, including red algae (with primary plastids) as well as cryptophytes, haptophytes and heterokontophytes (with secondary plastids of red algal origin). Expression of a full-length RedCAP:GFP fusion construct in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum confirmed the predicted plastid localisation of RedCAPs. Furthermore, we observed that similarly to the fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c-binding light-harvesting antenna proteins also RedCAP transcripts in diatoms were regulated in a diurnal way at standard light conditions and strongly repressed at high light intensities. Conclusions The absence of RedCAPs from the green lineage implies that RedCAPs evolved in the red lineage after separation from the the green lineage. During the evolution of secondary plastids, RedCAP genes therefore must have been transferred from the nucleus of the endocytobiotic alga to the nucleus of the host cell, a process that involved complementation with pre-sequences allowing import of the gene product into the secondary plastid bound by four membranes. Based on light-dependent transcription and on localisation data, we propose that RedCAPs might participate in the light (intensity and quality)-dependent structural or functional reorganisation of the light-harvesting antennae of the photosystems upon dark to light

  20. Distribution of the SELMA translocon in secondary plastids of red algal origin and predicted uncoupling of ubiquitin-dependent translocation from degradation.

    PubMed

    Stork, Simone; Moog, Daniel; Przyborski, Jude M; Wilhelmi, Ilka; Zauner, Stefan; Maier, Uwe G

    2012-12-01

    Protein import into complex plastids of red algal origin is a multistep process including translocons of different evolutionary origins. The symbiont-derived ERAD-like machinery (SELMA), shown to be of red algal origin, is proposed to be the transport system for preprotein import across the periplastidal membrane of heterokontophytes, haptophytes, cryptophytes, and apicomplexans. In contrast to the canonical endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) system, SELMA translocation is suggested to be uncoupled from proteasomal degradation. We investigated the distribution of known and newly identified SELMA components in organisms with complex plastids of red algal origin by intensive data mining, thereby defining a set of core components present in all examined organisms. These include putative pore-forming components, a ubiquitylation machinery, as well as a Cdc48 complex. Furthermore, the set of known 20S proteasomal components in the periplastidal compartment (PPC) of diatoms was expanded. These newly identified putative SELMA components, as well as proteasomal subunits, were in vivo localized as PPC proteins in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The presented data allow us to speculate about the specific features of SELMA translocation in contrast to the canonical ERAD system, especially the uncoupling of translocation from degradation. PMID:23042132

  1. Distribution of the SELMA Translocon in Secondary Plastids of Red Algal Origin and Predicted Uncoupling of Ubiquitin-Dependent Translocation from Degradation

    PubMed Central

    Stork, Simone; Moog, Daniel; Przyborski, Jude M.; Wilhelmi, Ilka; Zauner, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Protein import into complex plastids of red algal origin is a multistep process including translocons of different evolutionary origins. The symbiont-derived ERAD-like machinery (SELMA), shown to be of red algal origin, is proposed to be the transport system for preprotein import across the periplastidal membrane of heterokontophytes, haptophytes, cryptophytes, and apicomplexans. In contrast to the canonical endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) system, SELMA translocation is suggested to be uncoupled from proteasomal degradation. We investigated the distribution of known and newly identified SELMA components in organisms with complex plastids of red algal origin by intensive data mining, thereby defining a set of core components present in all examined organisms. These include putative pore-forming components, a ubiquitylation machinery, as well as a Cdc48 complex. Furthermore, the set of known 20S proteasomal components in the periplastidal compartment (PPC) of diatoms was expanded. These newly identified putative SELMA components, as well as proteasomal subunits, were in vivo localized as PPC proteins in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The presented data allow us to speculate about the specific features of SELMA translocation in contrast to the canonical ERAD system, especially the uncoupling of translocation from degradation. PMID:23042132

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. Phylogeny of C4-photosynthesis enzymes based on algal transcriptomic and genomic data supports an archaeal/proteobacterial origin and multiple duplication for most C4-related genes.

    PubMed

    Chi, Shan; Wu, Shuangxiu; Yu, Jun; Wang, Xumin; Tang, Xuexi; Liu, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Both Calvin-Benson-Bassham (C3) and Hatch-Slack (C4) cycles are most important autotrophic CO2 fixation pathways on today's Earth. C3 cycle is believed to be originated from cyanobacterial endosymbiosis. However, studies on evolution of different biochemical variants of C4 photosynthesis are limited to tracheophytes and origins of C4-cycle genes are not clear till now. Our comprehensive analyses on bioinformatics and phylogenetics of novel transcriptomic sequencing data of 21 rhodophytes and 19 Phaeophyceae marine species and public genomic data of more algae, tracheophytes, cyanobacteria, proteobacteria and archaea revealed the origin and evolution of C4 cycle-related genes. Almost all of C4-related genes were annotated in extensive algal lineages with proteobacterial or archaeal origins, except for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) with both cyanobacterial and archaeal/proteobacterial origin. Notably, cyanobacteria may not possess complete C4 pathway because of the flawed annotation of pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) genes in public data. Most C4 cycle-related genes endured duplication and gave rise to functional differentiation and adaptation in different algal lineages. C4-related genes of NAD-ME (NAD-malic enzyme) and PCK subtypes exist in most algae and may be primitive ones, while NADP-ME (NADP-malic enzyme) subtype genes might evolve from NAD-ME subtype by gene duplication in chlorophytes and tracheophytes. PMID:25313828

  5. Phylogeny of C4-Photosynthesis Enzymes Based on Algal Transcriptomic and Genomic Data Supports an Archaeal/Proteobacterial Origin and Multiple Duplication for Most C4-Related Genes

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jun; Wang, Xumin; Tang, Xuexi; Liu, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Both Calvin-Benson-Bassham (C3) and Hatch-Slack (C4) cycles are most important autotrophic CO2 fixation pathways on today’s Earth. C3 cycle is believed to be originated from cyanobacterial endosymbiosis. However, studies on evolution of different biochemical variants of C4 photosynthesis are limited to tracheophytes and origins of C4-cycle genes are not clear till now. Our comprehensive analyses on bioinformatics and phylogenetics of novel transcriptomic sequencing data of 21 rhodophytes and 19 Phaeophyceae marine species and public genomic data of more algae, tracheophytes, cyanobacteria, proteobacteria and archaea revealed the origin and evolution of C4 cycle-related genes. Almost all of C4-related genes were annotated in extensive algal lineages with proteobacterial or archaeal origins, except for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) with both cyanobacterial and archaeal/proteobacterial origin. Notably, cyanobacteria may not possess complete C4 pathway because of the flawed annotation of pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) genes in public data. Most C4 cycle-related genes endured duplication and gave rise to functional differentiation and adaptation in different algal lineages. C4-related genes of NAD-ME (NAD-malic enzyme) and PCK subtypes exist in most algae and may be primitive ones, while NADP-ME (NADP-malic enzyme) subtype genes might evolve from NAD-ME subtype by gene duplication in chlorophytes and tracheophytes. PMID:25313828

  6. Babesia bovis: a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of plastid-encoded genes supports green algal origin of apicoplasts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apicomplexan parasites commonly contain a unique, non-photosynthetic plastid-like organelle termed the apicoplast. Previous analyses of other plastid-containing organisms suggest that apicoplasts were derived from a red algal ancestor. In this report, we present an extensive phylogenetic study of ap...

  7. Evolution of an ancient venom: recognition of a novel family of cnidarian toxins and the common evolutionary origin of sodium and potassium neurotoxins in sea anemone.

    PubMed

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Sunagar, Kartik; Federman Gross, Aya; Scheib, Holger; Alewood, Paul F; Moran, Yehu; Fry, Bryan G

    2015-06-01

    Despite Cnidaria (sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, and hydroids) being the oldest venomous animal lineage, structure-function relationships, phyletic distributions, and the molecular evolutionary regimes of toxins encoded by these intriguing animals are poorly understood. Hence, we have comprehensively elucidated the phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary histories of pharmacologically characterized cnidarian toxin families, including peptide neurotoxins (voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) channel-targeting toxins: NaTxs and KTxs, respectively), pore-forming toxins (actinoporins, aerolysin-related toxins, and jellyfish toxins), and the newly discovered small cysteine-rich peptides (SCRiPs). We show that despite long evolutionary histories, most cnidarian toxins remain conserved under the strong influence of negative selection-a finding that is in striking contrast to the rapid evolution of toxin families in evolutionarily younger lineages, such as cone snails and advanced snakes. In contrast to the previous suggestions that implicated SCRiPs in the biomineralization process in corals, we demonstrate that they are potent neurotoxins that are likely involved in the envenoming function, and thus represent the first family of neurotoxins from corals. We also demonstrate the common evolutionary origin of type III KTxs and NaTxs in sea anemones. We show that type III KTxs have evolved from NaTxs under the regime of positive selection, and likely represent a unique evolutionary innovation of the Actinioidea lineage. We report a correlation between the accumulation of episodically adaptive sites and the emergence of novel pharmacological activities in this rapidly evolving neurotoxic clade. PMID:25757852

  8. Differences in the toxin profiles of Alexandrium ostenfeldii (Dinophyceae) strains isolated from different geographic origins: Evidence of paralytic toxin, spirolide, and gymnodimine.

    PubMed

    Salgado, Pablo; Riobó, Pilar; Rodríguez, Francisco; Franco, José M; Bravo, Isabel

    2015-09-01

    Among toxin-producing dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium, Alexandrium ostenfeldii is the only species able to produce paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, spirolides (SPXs) and gymnodimines (GYMs). In this study we characterized and compared three A. ostenfeldii strains isolated from the Baltic, Mediterranean, and southern Chile Seas with respect to their toxin profiles, morphology, and phylogeny. Toxin analyses by HPLC-FD and LC-HRMS revealed differences in the toxin profiles of the three strains. The PSP toxin profiles of the southern Chile and Baltic strains were largely the same and included gonyautoxin (GTX)-3, GTX-2, and saxitoxin (STX), although the total PSP toxin content of the Chilean strain (105.83 ± 72.15 pg cell(-1)) was much higher than that of the Baltic strain (4.04 ± 1.93 pg cell(-1)). However, the Baltic strain was the only strain that expressed detectable amounts of analogues of GYM-A and GYM-B/-C (48.27 ± 26.12 pg GYM-A equivalents cell(-1)). The only toxin expressed by the Mediterranean strain was 13-desmethyl SPX-C (13dMeC; 2.85 ± 4.76 pg cell(-1)). Phylogenetic analysis based on the LSU rRNA showed that the studied strains belonged to distinct molecular clades. The toxin profiles determined in this study provide further evidence of the taxonomic complexity of this species. PMID:26093028

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. Quinones and halogenated monoterpenes of algal origin show anti-proliferative effects against breast cancer cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    de la Mare, Jo-Anne; Lawson, Jessica C; Chiwakata, Maynard T; Beukes, Denzil R; Edkins, Adrienne L; Blatch, Gregory L

    2012-12-01

    Red and brown algae have been shown to produce a variety of compounds with chemotherapeutic potential. A recent report described the isolation of a range of novel polyhalogenated monoterpene compounds from the red algae Plocamium corallorhiza and Plocamium cornutum collected off the coast of South Africa, together with the previously described tetraprenylquinone, sargaquinoic acid (SQA), from the brown algae Sargassum heterophyllum. In our study, the algal compounds were screened for anti-proliferative activity against metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells revealing that a number of compounds displayed anti-cancer activity with IC(50) values in the micromolar range. A subset of the compounds was tested for differential toxicity in the MCF-7/MCF12A system and five of these, including sargaquinoic acid, were found to be at least three times more toxic to the breast cancer than the non-malignant cell line. SQA was further analysed in terms of its mechanism of cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 cells. The ability to initiate apoptosis was distinguished from the induction of an inflammatory necrotic response via flow cytometry with propidium iodide and Hoescht staining, confocal microscopy with Annexin V and propidium iodide staining as well as the PARP cleavage assay. We report that SQA induced apoptosis while a polyhalogenated monoterpene RU015 induced necrosis in metastatic breast cancer cells in vitro. Furthermore, we demonstrated that apoptosis induction by SQA occurs via caspase-3, -6, -8, -9 and -13 and was associated with down-regulation of Bcl-2. In addition, cell cycle analyses revealed that the compound causes G(1) arrest in MDA-MB-231 cells. PMID:22249429

  15. 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...

  16. DNA barcoding unmasks overlooked diversity improving knowledge on the composition and origins of the Churchill algal flora

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sampling expeditions to Churchill in the Canadian subarctic were completed with the aim of compiling a molecular-assisted survey of the macroalgal flora (seaweeds) for comparison to published accounts for this area, which are based on morphological identifications. Further, because the Churchill region was covered by ice until recently (~10,000 before present), the current algal flora has had to migrate from adjacent waters into that region. We used our DNA barcode data to predict the relative contribution of the North Atlantic and North Pacific floras (Likely Source Region) in repopulating the Churchill region following the most recent glacial retreat. Results We processed 422 collections representing ~50 morpho-species, which is the approximate number reported for this region, and generated DNA barcode data for 346 of these. In contrast to the morpho-species count, we recovered 57 genetic groups indicating overlooked species (this despite failing to generate barcode data for six of the ~50 morpho-species). However, we additionally uncovered numerous inconsistencies between the species that are currently listed in the Churchill flora (again as a result of overlooked species diversity, but combined with taxonomic confusion) and those identified following our molecular analyses including eight new records and another 17 genetic complexes in need of further study. Based on a comparison of DNA barcode data from the Churchill flora to collections from the contiguous Atlantic and Pacific floras we estimate that minimally 21% (possibly as much as 44%) of the Churchill flora was established by migration from the Pacific region with the balance of species arriving from the Atlantic (predominantly North American populations) following the last glacial retreat. Conclusions Owing to difficulties associated with the morphological identification of macroalgae, our results indicate that current comprehension of the Canadian Arctic flora is weak. We consider that

  17. 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

  18. Evolution of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157: eight major lineages of human and cattle origin strain signature genotypes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cattle are a major reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157) and harbor genetic subtypes that do not all associate with human disease. STEC O157 evolved from an E. coli O55:H7 progenitor, however, depauperate nucleotide polymorphism discovery from cattle and human origin...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  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. Long-Term Effects of Botulinum Toxin Complex Type A Injection on Mechano- and Metabo-Sensitive Afferent Fibers Originating from Gastrocnemius Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Caron, Guillaume; Marqueste, Tanguy; Decherchi, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate long term effects of motor denervation by botulinum toxin complex type A (BoNT/A) from Clostridium Botulinum, on the afferent fibers originating from the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Animals were divided in 2 experimental groups: 1) untreated animals acting as control and 2) treated animals in which the toxin was injected in the left muscle, the latter being itself divided into 3 subgroups according to their locomotor recovery with the help of a test based on footprint measurements of walking rats: i) no recovery (B0), ii) 50% recovery (B50) and iii) full recovery (B100). Then, muscle properties, metabosensitive afferent fiber responses to potassium chloride (KCl) and lactic acid injections and Electrically-Induced Fatigue (EIF), and mechanosensitive responses to tendon vibrations were measured. At the end of the experiment, rats were killed and the toxin injected muscles were weighted. After toxin injection, we observed a complete paralysis associated to a loss of force to muscle stimulation and a significant muscle atrophy, and a return to baseline when the animals recover. The response to fatigue was only decreased in the B0 group. The responses to KCl injections were only altered in the B100 groups while responses to lactic acid were altered in the 3 injected groups. Finally, our results indicated that neurotoxin altered the biphasic pattern of response of the mechanosensitive fiber to tendon vibrations in the B0 and B50 groups. These results indicated that neurotoxin injection induces muscle afferent activity alterations that persist and even worsen when the muscle has recovered his motor activity. PMID:26485650

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Optimizing production of asperolide A, a potential anti-tumor tetranorditerpenoid originally produced by the algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Rui; Li, Xiaoming; Xu, Gangming; Wang, Bingui

    2016-07-01

    The marine algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48 produces the potential anti-tumor agent asperolide A, a tetranorlabdane diterpenoid active against lung cancer. However, the fermentation yield of asperolide A was very low and only produced in static cultures. Static fermentation conditions of A. wentii EN-48 were optimized employing response surface methodology to enhance the production of asperolide A. The optimized conditions resulted in a 13.9-fold yield enhancement, which matched the predicted value, and the optimized conditions were successfully used in scale-up fermentation for the production of asperolide A. Exogenous addition of plant hormones (especially 10 μmol/L methyl jasmonate) stimulated asperolide A production. To our knowledge, this is first optimized production of an asperolide by a marine-derived fungus. The optimization is Effective and valuable to supply material for further anti-tumor mechanism studies and preclinical evaluation of asperolide A and other norditerpenoids.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. [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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Origins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Online-Offline, 1999

    1999-01-01

    Provides an annotated list of resources dealing with the theme of origins of life, the universe, and traditions. Includes Web sites, videos, books, audio materials, and magazines with appropriate grade levels and/or subject disciplines indicated; professional resources; and learning activities. (LRW)

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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; ...

  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. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Virulence profiles of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli and other potentially diarrheagenic E.coli of bovine origin, in Mendoza, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Pizarro, M.A.; Orozco, J.H.; Degarbo, S.M.; Calderón, A.E.; Nardello, A.L.; Laciar, A.; Rüttler, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    This study described a group of strains obtained from a slaughter house in Mendoza, in terms of their pathogenic factors, serotype, antibiotype and molecular profile. Ninety one rectal swabs and one hundred eight plating samples taken from carcasses of healthy cattle intended for meat consumption were analyzed. Both the swab and the plate samples were processed to analyze the samples for the presence of virulence genes by PCR: stx1, stx2, eae and astA. The Stx positive strains were confirmed by citotoxicity assay in Vero cells. The isolates were subsequently investigated for their O:H serotype, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular profile by Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Twelve E.coli strains were identified by their pathogenicity. Nine were from fecal origin and three from carcasses. Three strains carried the stx1 gene, three the stx2 gene, two carried eae and four the astA gene. The detected serotypes were: O172:H-; O150:H8; O91:H21; O178:H19 and O2:H5. The strains showed a similarity around 70% by RAPD. Some of the E.coli strains belonged to serogroups known for certain life-threatening diseases in humans. Their presence in carcasses indicates the high probability of bacterial spread during slaughter and processing. PMID:24688508

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. [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

  16. 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- ...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Natural food toxins of bacterial origin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One in six people in the US acquire a foodborne illness each year. Food poisoning is a general term used to describe the physiological effects caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. The effects of ingesting contaminated food range from short-lived symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Genetic relatedness of Clostridium difficile isolates from various origins determined by triple-locus sequence analysis based on toxin regulatory genes tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR.

    PubMed

    Bouvet, Philippe J M; Popoff, Michel R

    2008-11-01

    A triple-locus nucleotide sequence analysis based on toxin regulatory genes tcdC, tcdR and cdtR was initiated to assess the sequence variability of these genes among Clostridium difficile isolates and to study the genetic relatedness between isolates. A preliminary investigation of the variability of the tcdC gene was done with 57 clinical and veterinary isolates. Twenty-three isolates representing nine main clusters were selected for tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR analysis. The numbers of alleles found for tcdC, tcdR and cdtR were nine, six, and five, respectively. All strains possessed the cdtR gene except toxin A-negative toxin B-positive variants. All but one binary toxin CDT-positive isolate harbored a deletion (>1 bp) in the tcdC gene. The combined analyses of the three genes allowed us to distinguish five lineages correlated with the different types of deletion in tcdC, i.e., 18 bp (associated or not with a deletion at position 117), 36 bp, 39 bp, and 54 bp, and with the wild-type tcdC (no deletion). The tcdR and tcdC genes, though located within the same pathogenicity locus, were found to have evolved separately. Coevolution of the three genes was noted only with strains harboring a 39-bp or a 54-bp deletion in tcdC that formed two homogeneous, separate divergent clusters. Our study supported the existence of the known clones (PCR ribotype 027 isolates and toxin A-negative toxin B-positive C. difficile variants) and evidence for clonality of isolates with a 39-bp deletion (toxinotype V, PCR ribotype 078) that are frequently isolated worldwide from human infections and from food animals. PMID:18832125

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Expression of functional diphtheria toxin receptors on highly toxin-sensitive mouse cells that specifically bind radioiodinated toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Naglich, J G; Rolf, J M; Eidels, L

    1992-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin (DT), a bacterial protein exotoxin, inactivates mammalian cell elongation factor 2 after toxin internalization by receptor-mediated endocytosis. To isolate the DT receptor, we cotransfected DT-resistant wild-type mouse L-M cells with a cDNA library constructed from RNA of highly toxin-sensitive monkey Vero cells and with a neomycin-resistance gene. Stably transfected G418-resistant L-M colonies were screened for DT sensitivity in a replica plate assay. After screening of 8000 colonies, one DT-sensitive (DTS) colony was isolated. The purified DTS mouse cells are highly toxin-sensitive; they are at least 1000-fold more sensitive than wild-type L-M cells and only approximately 10-fold less sensitive than Vero cells. Incubation of the DTS mouse cells with CRM 197, a nontoxic form of DT that competitively inhibits the binding of native DT to the toxin receptor, protected them from DT-mediated toxicity. More important, these DTS mouse cells express receptors on their cell surface that bind radioiodinated DT in a specific fashion, a property hitherto readily demonstrable only with highly toxin-sensitive cells of monkey origin. Furthermore, HA6DT, a DT fragment comprising the Mr 6000 carboxyl-terminal receptor-binding domain, inhibited the binding of radioiodinated toxin to these DTS mouse cells to the same extent as unlabeled DT. With these DTS mouse cells as a source of monkey cDNA, it should be possible to clone the gene encoding the DT receptor. PMID:1549577

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Regulation of toxin gene expression in Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru

    2015-05-01

    The Gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in nature, especially in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. C. perfringens causes clostridial myonecrosis (or gas gangrene), enteritis and enterotoxemia in humans and livestock by producing numerous extracellular toxins and enzymes. The toxin gene expression is regulated by a two-component regulatory system and regulatory RNA VirR/VirS-VR-RNA cascade. The VirR/VirS system was originally found in a type A strain, but a recent report showed that it is also important for the toxin gene regulation in other types of strains. Two types of cell-cell signaling, i.e., agr-system and AI-2 signaling, are also important for the regulation of toxin genes. Several regulatory systems independent from the VirR/VirS system, including virX, the orphan histidine kinase ReeS and orphan response regulator RevR, are also involved in the regulation of toxin genes. In addition, the expression of toxin genes is upregulated after contact with Caco-2 cells. C. perfringens has a complex regulatory network for toxin gene expression and thus the coordination of toxin gene expression is important for the process of infection. PMID:25303832

  10. Cluster analysis of toxins profile pattern as a tool for tracing shellfish contaminated with PSP-toxins.

    PubMed

    Wong, Chun-Kwan; Hung, Patricia; Ng, Henry C C; Lee, Siu-Yuen; Kam, Kai-Man

    2011-11-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is one of the most lethal biotoxin-induced diseases worldwide, which may pose serious public health threat and potential devastating economic damage on fisheries industry in the affected region(s). To prevent the importation of PSP contaminated shellfish to a community, detailed documentation on the supply chain and routine surveillance systems are, in principle, crucial measures to protect people from this intoxication. However, difficulties have always been encountered on the traceability of the source/origin of contaminated shellfish. In the present study, we reported the potential application of PSP-toxins profiles with similarity analysis that can be used to identify epidemiological linkage between shellfish samples collected from markets and patients during a PSP outbreak. PSP-toxins were identified and quantified by ion-pair chromatographic separation followed by post-column oxidation to fluorescent imino purine derivatives. Samples from a PSP incident and other surveillance samples collected in our past 7-year record were also compared for their similarity in PSP-toxins profiles patterns. Molar distributions (nmol%) of 10 PSP-toxins were analyzed by Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetric averages (UPGMA). Three prominent clusters emerged with similarity levels reaching over 80% for each, suggesting that each group of samples probably originated from a same source/batch. The PSP-toxins profiles and toxicities determined from surveillance samples could provide premonitory clues on the occurrences of PSP incident and outbreak with corresponding toxin profiles in the later time. Due to species-specific characteristics of PSP-toxins composition and profile in shellfish under varieties of environmental and physiological conditions, PSP-toxins profile can be a specific and useful biochemical indicator for tracing PSP contaminated shellfish provided that spatio-temporal occurrence patterns of toxins profiles are available

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Flocculation of algal cells by amphoteric chitosan-based flocculant.

    PubMed

    Dong, Changlong; Chen, Wei; Liu, Cheng

    2014-10-01

    A kind of amphoteric chitosan-based flocculant (quaternized carboxymethyl chitosan, denoted as QCMC) has been prepared. QCMC presented significant improvement of water solubility in the whole pH range. The effects of pH, dosage, temperature and original turbidity of algal water on the flocculation performance were investigated. The optimal dosages of QCMC at pH 5, 9 and 12 with original turbidity of 20NTU at 20°C were 0.1, 0.6 and 2.0mg/L, respectively, which were much less than that of chitosan, PAM, Al2(SO4)3 and FeCl3. The floc properties during grow, breakage and regrow period were also evaluated at different pH values in terms of floc size, strength and density. It was demonstrated that QCMC produced larger, stronger and denser flocs than Al2(SO4)3. There is every indication that QCMC is more suitable for algal harvesting than other traditional coagulants or flocculants. PMID:25146316

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Identification and apoptotic potential of T-2 toxin metabolites in human cells.

    PubMed

    Weidner, Maria; Welsch, Tanja; Hübner, Florian; Schwerdt, Gerald; Gekle, Michael; Humpf, Hans-Ulrich

    2012-06-01

    The mycotoxin T-2 toxin, produced by various Fusarium species, is a widespread contaminant of grain and grain products. Knowledge about its toxicity and metabolism in the human body is crucial for any risk assessment as T-2 toxin can be detected in processed and unprocessed food samples. Cell culture studies using cells of human origin represent a potent model system to study the metabolic fate of T-2 toxin as well as the cytotoxicity in vitro. In this study the metabolism of T-2 toxin was analyzed in a cell line derived from human colon carcinoma cells (HT-29) and primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTEC) using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with Fourier transformation mass spectrometry (HPLC-FTMS). Both cell types metabolized T-2 toxin to a variety of compounds. Furthermore, cell cycle analysis in RPTEC proved the apoptotic effect of T-2 toxin and its metabolites HT-2 toxin and neosolaniol in micromolar concentrations. PMID:22551244

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Alien Marine Fishes Deplete Algal Biomass in the Eastern Mediterranean

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Enric; Kizilkaya, Zafer; Yildirim, Derya; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    One of the most degraded states of the Mediterranean rocky infralittoral ecosystem is a barren composed solely of bare rock and patches of crustose coralline algae. Barrens are typically created by the grazing action of large sea urchin populations. In 2008 we observed extensive areas almost devoid of erect algae, where sea urchins were rare, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. To determine the origin of those urchin-less ‘barrens’, we conducted a fish exclusion experiment. We found that, in the absence of fish grazing, a well-developed algal assemblage grew within three months. Underwater fish censuses and observations suggest that two alien herbivorous fish from the Red Sea (Siganus luridus and S. rivulatus) are responsible for the creation and maintenance of these benthic communities with extremely low biomass. The shift from well-developed native algal assemblages to ‘barrens’ implies a dramatic decline in biogenic habitat complexity, biodiversity and biomass. A targeted Siganus fishery could help restore the macroalgal beds of the rocky infralittoral on the Turkish coast. PMID:21364943

  18. Marine mimivirus relatives are probably large algal viruses

    PubMed Central

    Monier, Adam; Larsen, Jens Borggaard; Sandaa, Ruth-Anne; Bratbak, Gunnar; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Ogata, Hiroyuki

    2008-01-01

    Background Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is the largest known ds-DNA virus and its 1.2 Mb-genome sequence has revealed many unique features. Mimivirus occupies an independent lineage among eukaryotic viruses and its known hosts include only species from the Acanthamoeba genus. The existence of mimivirus relatives was first suggested by the analysis of the Sargasso Sea metagenomic data. Results We now further demonstrate the presence of numerous "mimivirus-like" sequences using a larger marine metagenomic data set. We also show that the DNA polymerase sequences from three algal viruses (CeV01, PpV01, PoV01) infecting different marine algal species (Chrysochromulina ericina, Phaeocystis pouchetii, Pyramimonas orientalis) are very closely related to their homolog in mimivirus. Conclusion Our results suggest that the numerous mimivirus-related sequences identified in marine environments are likely to originate from diverse large DNA viruses infecting phytoplankton. Micro-algae thus constitute a new category of potential hosts in which to look for new species of Mimiviridae. PMID:18215256

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Neurotoxic potential and cellular uptake of T-2 toxin in human astrocytes in primary culture.

    PubMed

    Weidner, Maria; Lenczyk, Marlies; Schwerdt, Gerald; Gekle, Michael; Humpf, Hans-Ulrich

    2013-03-18

    The trichothecene mycotoxin T-2 toxin, which is produced by fungi of the Fusarium species, is a worldwide occurring contaminant of cereal based food and feed. The cytotoxic properties of T-2 toxin are already well described with apoptosis being a major mechanism of action in various cell lines as well as in primary cells of different origin. However, only few data on neurotoxic properties of T-2 toxin are reported so far, but in vivo studies showed different effects of T-2 toxin on behavior as well as on levels of brain amines in animals. To further investigate the cytotoxic properties of T-2 toxin on cells derived from brain tissue, normal human astrocytes in primary culture (NHA) were used in this study. Besides studies of cytotoxicity, apoptosis (caspase-3-activation, Annexin V) and necrosis (LDH-release), the cellular uptake and metabolism of T-2 toxin in NHA was analyzed and compared to the uptake in an established human cell line (HT-29). The results show that human astrocytes were highly sensitive to the cytotoxic properties of T-2 toxin, and apoptosis, induced at low concentrations, was identified for the first time as the mechanism of toxic action in NHA. Furthermore, a strong accumulation of T-2 toxin in NHA and HT-29 cells was detected, and T-2 toxin was subjected to metabolism leading to HT-2 toxin, a commonly found metabolite after T-2 toxin incubation in both cell types. This formation seems to occur within the cells since incubations of T-2 toxin with cell depleted culture medium did not lead to any degradation of the parent toxin. The results of this study emphasize the neurotoxic potential of T-2 toxin in human astrocytes at low concentrations after short incubation times. PMID:23363530

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Development of a rational nomenclature for naming peptide and protein toxins from sea anemones.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Joacir Stolarz; Fuentes-Silva, Deyanira; King, Glenn F

    2012-09-15

    Sea anemone toxins are predominantly peptide and proteins that act mainly on sodium and potassium channels, as well as in a variety of target cells causing lysis. Over recent years, the number of sea anemone peptide toxins as well as cytolytic pore-forming proteins and phospholipase A(2) sequences submitted to databases has been rapidly increasing due to the developments in DNA sequencing technology and proteomic approaches. However, the lack of a systematic nomenclature has resulted in multiple names being assigned to the same toxins, toxins from unrelated species being designated by the same name, and ambiguous name designations. Therefore, in this work we propose a systematic nomenclature in which we adopted specific criteria, based on order of discovery and phylogenetic analysis, in order to avoid redundant sea anemone toxin names. Implementation of the nomenclature proposed here not only allowed us to rename the already published 191 anemone toxins without ambiguities, but it can be used to unambiguously name newly discovered toxins whether or not they are related to previously published sea anemone sequences. In the new nomenclature each toxin name contains information about the toxin's biological activity, origin and relationship to known isoforms. Ongoing increases in the speed of DNA sequencing will raise significantly the number of sea anemone toxin sequences in the literature. This will represent a constant challenge in their clear identification and logical classification, which could be solved using the proposed nomenclature. PMID:22683676

  12. 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

  13. Comparisons of native Shiga toxins (Stxs) type 1 and 2 with chimeric toxins indicate that the source of the binding subunit dictates degree of toxicity.

    PubMed

    Russo, Lisa M; Melton-Celsa, Angela R; Smith, Michael J; O'Brien, Alison D

    2014-01-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing E. coli (STEC) cause food-borne outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis. The main virulence factor expressed by STEC, Stx, is an AB5 toxin that has two antigenically distinct forms, Stx1a and Stx2a. Although Stx1a and Stx2a bind to the same receptor, globotriaosylceramide (Gb3), Stx2a is more potent than Stx1a in mice, whereas Stx1a is more cytotoxic than Stx2a in cell culture. In this study, we used chimeric toxins to ask what the relative contribution of individual Stx subunits is to the differential toxicity of Stx1a and Stx2a in vitro and in vivo. Chimeric stx1/stx2 operons were generated by PCR such that the coding regions for the A2 and B subunits of one toxin were combined with the coding region for the A1 subunit of the heterologous toxin. The toxicities of purified Stx1a, Stx2a, and the chimeric Stxs were determined on Vero and HCT-8 cell lines, while polarized HCT-8 cell monolayers grown on permeable supports were used to follow toxin translocation. In all in vitro assays, the activity of the chimeric toxin correlated with that of the parental toxin from which the B subunit originated. The origin of the native B subunit also dictated the 50% lethal dose of toxin after intraperitoneal intoxication of mice; however, the chimeric Stxs exhibited reduced oral toxicity and pH stability compared to Stx1a and Stx2a. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that the differential toxicity of the chimeric toxins for cells and mice is determined by the origin of the B subunit. PMID:24671194

  14. 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

  15. Properties of dermonecrotic toxin prepared from sonic extracts Bordetella bronchiseptica.

    PubMed Central

    Kume, K; Nakai, T; Samejima, Y; Sugimoto, C

    1986-01-01

    A toxin with dermonecrotic activity (DNT) was purified from sonic extracts of Bordetella bronchiseptica L3 of pig origin at phase I by chromatographic and electrophoretic methods. The purification procedure was one developed for obtaining the Pasteurella multocida DNT from sonic extracts with some modifications. Dermonecrotizing activity of B. bronchiseptica-purified DNT was increased by 600-fold compared with that of the crude extract, and the average yield was about 3%. The toxin was homogeneous, as determined by Ouchterlony double immunodiffusion, crossed immunoelectrophoresis, and disk isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gels. The toxin gave a single band on polyacrylamide disk gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and sodium dodecyl sulfate-SDS PAGE. The molecular weight of the toxin was ca. 190,000 +/- 5,000, as determined by SDS-PAGE. The isoelectric point of the toxin was ca. 6.5 to 6.6. The minimal necrotizing dose of the toxin for guinea pigs was about 2 ng of protein per 0.1 ml, the 50% lethal dose per mouse was about 0.3 micrograms, and the minimal cytotoxic dose for embryonic bovine lung cells was about 2 ng/ml. The toxin was heat labile and sensitive to inactivation by trypsin, Formalin, and glutaraldehyde. The mildly trypsinized B. bronchiseptica DNT preparation dissociated into two polypeptide chains, with molecular weights of ca. 75,000 +/- 4,000 (fragment 1) and ca. 118,000 +/- 5,000 (fragment 2), after treatment with dithiothreitol-SDS or urea. Upon removal of dithiothreitol and urea from the dissociated DNT preparation, the fragments reassociated, and the DNT that was formed was indistinguishable from the native toxin. Images PMID:3699886

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. PROSPECTS ON BEHAVIORAL STUDIES OF MARINE AND FRESHWATER TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript is based in large part on an invited presentation. The manuscript provides a brief overview of the growing issue of the human-health and environmental impact of a variety of toxins of marine and freshwater origin, the current (generally crude) state of behavioral...

  7. 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.

  8. Differentiating the degradation dynamics of algal and terrestrial carbon within complex natural dissolved organic carbon in temperate lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillemette, François; McCallister, S. Leigh; Giorgio, Paul A.

    2013-07-01

    It has often been hypothesized that the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) pool of algal origin in lakes is more bioavailable than its terrestrial counterpart, but this hypothesis has seldom been directly tested. Here we test this hypothesis by tracking the production and isotopic signature of bacterial respiratory CO2 in 2 week lake water incubations and use the resulting data to reconstruct and model the bacterial consumption dynamics of algal and terrestrial DOC. The proportion of algal DOC respired decreased systematically over time in all experiments, suggesting a rapid consumption and depletion of this substrate. Our results further show that the algal DOC pool was used in proportions and at rates twice and 10 times as high as the terrestrial DOC pool, respectively. On the other hand, the absolute amount of labile terrestrial DOC was on average four times higher than labile algal DOC, accounting for almost the entire long-term residual C metabolism, but also contributing to short-term bacterial C consumption. The absolute amount of labile algal DOC increased with chlorophyll a concentrations, whereas total phosphorus appeared to enhance the amount of terrestrial DOC that bacteria could consume, suggesting that the degradation of these pools is not solely governed by their respective chemical properties, but also by interactions with nutrients. Our study shows that there is a highly reactive pool of terrestrial DOC that is processed in parallel to algal DOC, and because of interactions with nutrients, terrestrial DOC likely supports high levels of bacterial metabolism and CO2 production even in more productive lakes.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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. ...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. [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

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. [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

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. International Typing Study of Toxin A-Negative, Toxin B-Positive Clostridium difficile Variants

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Stuart; Sambol, Susan P.; Brazier, Jon S.; Delmée, Michel; Avesani, V.; Merrigan, Michelle M.; Gerding, Dale N.

    2003-01-01

    Clinically important strains of Clostridium difficile that do not produce toxin A but produce toxin B and are cytotoxic (A−/B+) have been reported from multiple countries. In order to compare the relatedness of these strains, we typed 23 A−/B+ C. difficile isolates from the United Kingdom (6 isolates), Belgium (11 isolates), and the United States (6 isolates) by three well-described typing methods. Restriction endonuclease analysis (REA), PCR ribotyping, and serogrouping differentiated 11, 4, and 3 different strain types, respectively. Twenty-one of the 23 A−/B+ variants had a 1.8-kb truncation of the toxin A gene characteristic of toxinotype VIII strains; 20 of the 21 toxinotype VIII-like strains were PCR type 17. PCR type 17 isolates could be differentiated into two separate strain groups by serogrouping and by REA. REA further discriminated these isolates into eight subgroups (REA types). PCR type 17-serogroup F-REA group CF isolates were recovered from all three countries, and one specific REA type, CF4, was recovered from patients with C. difficile disease in the United Kingdom and the United States. C. difficile A−/B+ variants of apparent clonal origin are widely distributed in Europe and North America. PMID:12682143

  2. [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

  3. 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...

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Botulinum Toxin Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... lecture Full lecture Part 1: Structure Part 2: Origin Part 3: Function Textbook Study notes Image library ... in-depth medical knowledge of how the body works. The AAD recommends the following to everyone interested ...

  8. 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

  9. Chemical Diversity, Origin, and Analysis of Phycotoxins.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Silas Anselm; Andersen, Aaron John Christian; Andersen, Nikolaj Gedsted; Nielsen, Kristian Fog; Hansen, Per Juel; Larsen, Thomas Ostenfeld

    2016-03-25

    Microalgae, particularly those from the lineage Dinoflagellata, are very well-known for their ability to produce phycotoxins that may accumulate in the marine food chain and eventually cause poisoning in humans. This includes toxins accumulating in shellfish, such as saxitoxin, okadaic acid, yessotoxins, azaspiracids, brevetoxins, and pinnatoxins. Other toxins, such as ciguatoxins and maitotoxins, accumulate in fish, where, as is the case for the latter compounds, they can be metabolized to even more toxic metabolites. On the other hand, much less is known about the chemical nature of compounds that are toxic to fish, the so-called ichthyotoxins. Despite numerous reports of algal blooms causing massive fish kills worldwide, only a few types of compounds, such as the karlotoxins, have been proven to be true ichthyotoxins. This review will highlight marine microalgae as the source of some of the most complex natural compounds known to mankind, with chemical structures that show no resemblance to what has been characterized from plants, fungi, or bacteria. In addition, it will summarize algal species known to be related to fish-killing blooms, but from which ichthyotoxins are yet to be characterized. PMID:26901085

  10. Staphylococcus aureus In Vitro Secretion of Alpha Toxin (hla) Correlates with the Affiliation to Clonal Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Monecke, Stefan; Müller, Elke; Büchler, Joseph; Stieber, Bettina; Ehricht, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species. PMID:24940872