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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. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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...

  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. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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 ...

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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)

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  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. *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...

  4. 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; ...

  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 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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- ...

  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. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. [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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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...

  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. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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. ...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  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. Luminescent Solar Concentrators in the Algal Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

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

  16. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

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

  17. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Uniform algal growth in photobioreactors using surface scatterers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Lant, Paul; Pratt, Steven

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. [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

  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. Why It Is Time to Look Beyond Algal Genes in Photosynthetic Slugs

    PubMed Central

    Rauch, Cessa; de Vries, Jan; Rommel, Sophie; Rose, Laura E.; Woehle, Christian; Christa, Gregor; Laetz, Elise M.; Wägele, Heike; Tielens, Aloysius G.M.; Nickelsen, Jörg; Schumann, Tobias; Jahns, Peter; Gould, Sven B.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic organelles depend on nuclear genes to perpetuate their biochemical integrity. This is true for mitochondria in all eukaryotes and plastids in plants and algae. Then how do kleptoplasts, plastids that are sequestered by some sacoglossan sea slugs, survive in the animals’ digestive gland cells in the absence of the algal nucleus encoding the vast majority of organellar proteins? For almost two decades, lateral gene transfer (LGT) from algae to slugs appeared to offer a solution, but RNA-seq analysis, later supported by genome sequencing of slug DNA, failed to find any evidence for such LGT events. Yet, isolated reports continue to be published and are readily discussed by the popular press and social media, making the data on LGT and its support for kleptoplast longevity appear controversial. However, when we take a sober look at the methods used, we realize that caution is warranted in how the results are interpreted. There is no evidence that the evolution of kleptoplasty in sea slugs involves LGT events. Based on what we know about photosystem maintenance in embryophyte plastids, we assume kleptoplasts depend on nuclear genes. However, studies have shown that some isolated algal plastids are, by nature, more robust than those of land plants. The evolution of kleptoplasty in green sea slugs involves many promising and unexplored phenomena, but there is no evidence that any of these require the expression of slug genes of algal origin. PMID:26319575

  10. 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

  11. Selection of a Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin producer via dot-blot test.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Luciana A; Lobato, Zélia I P; Silva, Rodrigo O S; Salvarani, Felipe M; Pires, Prhiscylla S; Assis, Ronnie A; Lobato, Francisco C F

    2009-11-01

    Clostridium perfringens type D produces enterotoxemia, an enteric disease in ruminants, also known as pulpy kidney disease. Caused by epsilon toxin, enterotoxemia is a major exotoxin produced by this microorganism. Epsilon toxin is also the main component of vaccines against this enteric disorder. In this study, a standardized dot-blot was used to choose strains of C. perfringens type D that are producers of epsilon toxin. Clones producing epsilon toxin were chosen by limiting dilution; after three passages, lethal minimum dose titers were determined by soroneutralization test in mice. These clones produced epsilon toxin 240 times more concentrated than the original strain. The presence of the epsilon toxin gene (etx) was verified by polymerase chain reaction. All clones were positive, including those determined to be negative by dot-blot tests, suggesting that mechanisms in addition to the presence of the etx gene can influence toxin production. The dot-blot test was efficient for the selection of toxigenic colonies of C. perfringens type D and demonstrated that homogeneous populations selected from toxigenic cultures produce higher titers of epsilon toxin. PMID:19779698

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  14. Extreme Algal Bloom Detection with MERIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  15. Stability of alginate-immobilized algal cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Effects of algal food quality on sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jong-Yun; Kim, Seong-Ki; La, Geung-Hwan; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Kim, Dong-Kyun; Jeong, Keon-Young; Park, Min S; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo; Jeong, Kwang-Seuk

    2016-05-01

    The objective of our study was to investigate sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna associated with mating behaviors and hatching rates, according to different algal food sources. Since a diatom is known to contain more abundant long-chain poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), we hypothesized that the diatom-consuming D. magna would exhibit more successful reproduction rates. Upon the hypothesis, we designed three experiments using two algal species, a green alga (Chlorella vulgaris) and a diatom (Stephanodiscus hantzschii). From the results, we found that the mating frequency and copulation duration increased in the treatment with S. hantzschii, resulting in a significant increase of hatching rates of resting eggs. In the other two repetitive mating strategies (e.g., one female vs. multiple males, and one male vs. multiple females), we found that the hatching rates of resting eggs were greater in the S. hantzschii treatment. In addition to the mating strategy, male body size significantly increased in the diatom treatment, hence average diameter of penis was also statistically different among the treatments (greater diameter in the S. hantzschii treatment). To examine the effect of algal food quality, we estimated quantity of fatty acids in the two algal species. Our result showed that S. hantzschii had a higher proportion of long-chain PUFAs than C. vulgaris. Furthermore, a stable isotope analysis revealed that carbon and nitrogen originated from S. hantzschii were more assimilated to D. magna. In summary, our study manifested that diatom consumption of D. magna leads to more successful sexual reproduction. We then discussed how the diatom consumption of zooplankton influences food web dynamics in a freshwater ecosystem. PMID:27217941

  18. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  19. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V.; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D.; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J.; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W.; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R.; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J.; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  20. Normal and Pathologic Concentrations of Uremic Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Duranton, Flore; Cohen, Gerald; De Smet, Rita; Rodriguez, Mariano; Jankowski, Joachim; Vanholder, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    An updated review of the existing knowledge regarding uremic toxins facilitates the design of experimental studies. We performed a literature search and found 621 articles about uremic toxicity published after a 2003 review of this topic. Eighty-seven records provided serum or blood measurements of one or more solutes in patients with CKD. These records described 32 previously known uremic toxins and 56 newly reported solutes. The articles most frequently reported concentrations of β2-microglobulin, indoxyl sulfate, homocysteine, uric acid, and parathyroid hormone. We found most solutes (59%) in only one report. Compared with previous results, more recent articles reported higher uremic concentrations of many solutes, including carboxymethyllysine, cystatin C, and parathyroid hormone. However, five solutes had uremic concentrations less than 10% of the originally reported values. Furthermore, the uremic concentrations of four solutes did not exceed their respective normal concentrations, although they had been previously described as uremic retention solutes. In summary, this review extends the classification of uremic retention solutes and their normal and uremic concentrations, and it should aid the design of experiments to study the biologic effects of these solutes in CKD. PMID:22626821

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-28

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

  2. Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata

    2010-05-01

    Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences Małgorzata Moczydłowska-Vidal Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology, Villavägen 16, SE 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden (malgo.vidal@pal.uu.se) Morphological and reproductive features and cell wall ultrastructure and biochemistry of Proterozoic acritarchs are used to determine their affinity to modern algae. The first appearance datum of these microbiota is traced to infer a minimum age of the divergence of the algal classes to which they may belong. The chronological appearance of microfossils that represent phycoma-like and zygotic cysts and vegetative cells and/or aplanospores, respectively interpreted as prasinophyceaen and chlorophyceaen microalgae, is related to the Viridiplantae phylogeny. These divergence times differ from molecular clock estimates, and the palaeontological evidence suggests that they are older. The best examples of unicellular, organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs) from the Mesoproterozoic to Early Ordovician are reviewed to demonstrate features, which are indicative of their affinity to photosynthetic microalgae. The first indication that a microfossil may be algal is a decay- and acid-resistant cell wall, which reflects its biochemistry and ultrastructure, and probably indicates the ability to protect a resting/reproductive cyst. The biopolymers synthesized in the cell walls of algae and in land plants ("plant cells"), such as sporopollenin/algaenan, are diagnostic for photosynthetic taxa and were inherited from early unicellular ancestors. These preservable cell walls are resistant to acetolysis, hydrolysis and acids, and show diagnostic ultrastructures such as the trilaminar sheath structure (TLS). "Plant cell" walls differ in terms of chemical compounds, which give high preservation potential, from fungal and animal cell walls. Fungal and animal cells are fossilized only by syngenetic permineralization, whereas "plant cells" are fossilized as body

  3. Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llewellyn, Lyndon E.

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Archana, M S

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Airborne Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms over Lake Erie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John

    2013-01-01

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

  8. ORGANOHALIDE FORMATION ON CHLORINATION OF ALGAL EXTRACELLULAR PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. A seasnake's colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling

    PubMed Central

    Shine, R.; Brischoux, F.; Pile, A. J.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary transitions from terrestrial to aquatic life modify selective forces on an animal's coloration. For example, light penetrates differently through water than air, and a new suite of predators and visual backgrounds changes the targets of selection. We suggest that an aquatic animal's coloration may also affect its susceptibility to algal fouling. In a colour-polymorphic field population of seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) in New Caledonia, black individuals supported higher algal cover than did banded conspecifics. In experimental tests, black snake models (plastic tubes) accumulated more algae than did banded models. Algal cover substantially reduced snake activity (in the field) and swimming speeds (in the laboratory). Effects of algal cover on a snake's hydrodynamic efficiency and/or its rate of cutaneous gas exchange thus may impose selection on the colours of aquatic organisms. PMID:20375055

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-09-01

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

  11. Oligotrophic Bacteria Enhance Algal Growth under Iron-Deficient Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Keshtacher-Liebso..., E.; Hadar, Y.; Chen, Y.

    1995-01-01

    A Halomonas sp., a marine halophilic and oligotrophic bacterium, was grown on exudates of Dunaliella bardawil. The bacteria increased the solubility of Fe, thereby enhancing its availability to the algae. As a result, the algal growth rate increased. Because of these syntrophic relations, growth of the marine alga D. bardawil was facilitated at Fe levels that would otherwise induce Fe deficiency and inhibit algal growth. PMID:16535058

  12. The algal lift: Buoyancy-mediated sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza-Lera, Clara; Federlein, Laura L.; Knie, Matthias; Mutz, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The role of benthic algae as biostabilizers of sediments is well-known, however, their potential to lift and transport sediments remains unclear. Under low-flow conditions, matured algal mats may detach from the bed and may lift up sediment, thereby causing disturbance to the uppermost streambed sediment. We tested the potential of algal mats to lift sediments in 12 indoor flumes filled with sand (0.2 - 0.8 mm), gravel (2 - 8 mm) or a sand-gravel mixture (25/75% mass). After four weeks, the algal mats covered about 50% of the flumes area. Due to the accumulation of oxygen gas bubbles in the mats, that developed from high primary production at 4.5 weeks, about half of the algal mats detached from the bed carrying entangled sediments. Both the area covered by algal mats and detached area were similar among sediment types, but the amount of sediment transported tended to be higher for sand and sand-gravel mixture compared to gravel. Our results reveal that biologically mediated sediment transport mainly depends on the development of a dense filamentous algal matrix, that traps gas bubbles, increasing the mats buoyancy. This novel mechanism of sediment transport will occur in shallow ecosystems during low-flow periods, with the highest impact for sandy sediments.

  13. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The photosynthetic spectrum of solar energy could be exploited for the production of chemical energy of methane through the combined algal-bacterial process. In this process, the algae are mass produced from light and from carbon in the first step. The algal biomass is then used as a nutrient for feeding the anaerobic digester, in the second step, for the production of methane by anaerobic bacteria. The carbon source for the production of algal biomass could be either organic carbon from wastewaters (for eucaryotic algae), or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the combustion exhaust gases (for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae). The technical feasibility data on the anaerobic digestion of algal biomass have been reported for many species of algae including macroscopic algae and microscopic algae. Research being conducted in the authors' laboratory consists of using the semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima as the sole substrate for this combined algal-bacterial process. This species of alga is very attractive for the process because of its capability of using the atmospheric carbon dioxide as carbon source and its simple harvesting methods. Furthermore, it appeared that the fermentability of S. maxima is significantly higher than other microscopic algae. This communication presents the results on the anaerobic inoculum development by the adaptation technique. This inoculum was then used for the semicontinuous anaerobic digestion of S. maxima algal biomass. The evolutions of biogas production and composition, biogas yield, total volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, ammonia nitrogen, pH, and electrode potential were followed.

  14. The ins and outs of algal metal transport

    PubMed Central

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.

    2012-01-01

    Metal transporters are a central component in the interaction of algae with their environment. They represent the first line of defense to cellular perturbations in metal concentration, and by analyzing algal metal transporter repertoires, we gain insight into a fundamental aspect of algal biology. The ability of individual algae to thrive in environments with unique geochemistry, compared to non-algal species commonly used as reference organisms for metal homeostasis, provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of biological metal requirements, preferences and trafficking. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the best developed reference organism for the study of algal biology, especially with respect to metal metabolism; however, the diversity of algal niches necessitates a comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced algal genomes. A comparison between known and putative proteins in animals, plants, fungi and algae using protein similarity networks has revealed the presence of novel metal metabolism components in Chlamydomonas including new iron and copper transporters. This analysis also supports the concept that, in terms of metal metabolism, algae from similar niches are more related to one another than to algae from the same phylogenetic clade. PMID:22569643

  15. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

  16. Risk assessment of shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-11-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  17. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-01-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  18. Accumulation, transformation and breakdown of DSP toxins from the toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuta in blue mussels, Mytilus edulis.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor; Hansen, Per Juel; Krock, Bernd; Vismann, Bent

    2016-07-01

    Okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxins (DTX) and pectenotoxins (PTX) produced by the dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp. can accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning upon human consumption. Shellfish toxicity is a result of algal abundance and toxicity as well as accumulation and depuration kinetics in mussels. We mass-cultured Dinophysis acuta containing OA, DTX-1b and PTX-2 and fed it to the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis under controlled laboratory conditions for a week to study toxin accumulation and transformation. Contents of OA and DTX-1b in mussels increased linearly with incubation time, and the net toxin accumulation was 66% and 71% for OA and DTX-1b, respectively. Large proportions (≈50%) of both these toxins were transformed to fatty acid esters. Most PTX-2 was transformed to PTX-2 seco-acid and net accumulation was initially high, but decreased progressively throughout the experiment, likely due to esterification and loss of detectability. We also quantified depuration during the subsequent four days and found half-life times of 5-6 days for OA and DTX-1b. Measurements of dissolved toxins revealed that depuration was achieved through excreting rather than metabolizing toxins. This is the first study to construct a full mass balance of DSP toxins during both accumulation and depuration, and we demonstrate rapid toxin accumulation in mussels at realistic in situ levels of Dinophysis. Applying the observed accumulation and depuration kinetics, we model mussel toxicity, and demonstrate that a concentration of only 75 Dinophysis cells l(-1) is enough to make 60 mm long mussels exceed the regulatory threshold for OA equivalents. PMID:27045361

  19. Paralytic shellfish toxins in the freshwater cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, isolated from Montargil reservoir, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Pereira, P; Onodera, H; Andrinolo, D; Franca, S; Araújo, F; Lagos, N; Oshima, Y

    2000-12-01

    Montargil reservoir, located in a dry flat area in the centre of Portugal, was filled in 1958 to fulfil agricultural, electric and industrial requirements. In May 1996, an intensive bloom of phytoplankton was detected. The algal community was strongly dominated by cyanobacteria with predominance of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae from May to June and Microcystis aeruginosa from July to August. Extracts of samples collected during the bloom period showed high toxicity by mouse bioassay. During the M. aeruginosa predominance period, the toxicity was ascribed to the presence of hepatotoxins, but clear symptoms of paralytic shellfish poison were observed when A. flos-aquae was the dominant species. In order to confirm the production of neurotoxins a strain of A. flos-aquae was isolated and established in culture. In this manuscript, we show the morphological characteristics and confirm paralytic shellfish toxins production by the strain isolated and maintained in culture. Identification of the saxitoxin analogs was achieved using high performance liquid chromatography with postcolumn fluorescence derivatization (HPLC-FLD) and liquid chromatographic mass spectrometry technique (LC-MS). The toxins found in the culture extract were GTX5 (64.5 mol%), neoSTX (23.0 mol%), dcSTX (6.1 mol%), STX (5.4 mol%) and GTX6 (1.1 mol%). This is, to our knowledge, the first report of unambiguous evidence of paralytic shellfish toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria in Portugal. The toxin profile is rather different from the previously reported PSP producing A. flos-aquae and demonstrates its diversity in terms of toxin production. PMID:10858510

  20. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease. PMID:26227025

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Nathan V; Kocot, Kevin M; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2014-12-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63-74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  3. Nemertean Toxin Genes Revealed through Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Whelan, Nathan V.; Kocot, Kevin M.; Santos, Scott R.; Halanych, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63–74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  4. A Cry1Ac toxin variant generated by directed evolution has enhanced toxicity against Lepidopteran insects.

    PubMed

    Shan, Shiping; Zhang, Youming; Ding, Xuezhi; Hu, Shengbiao; Sun, Yunjun; Yu, Ziquan; Liu, Shiquan; Zhu, Zhou; Xia, Liqiu

    2011-02-01

    Cry1Ac insecticidal crystal proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have become an important natural biological agent for the control of lepidopteran insects. In this study, a cry1Ac toxin gene from Bacillus thuringiensis 4.0718 was modified by using error-prone PCR, staggered extension process (StEP) shuffling combined with Red/ET homologous recombination to investigate the insecticidal activity of delta-endotoxin Cry1Ac. A Cry1Ac toxin variant (designated as T524N) screened by insect bioassay showed increased insecticidal activity against Spodoptera exigua larvae while its original insecticidal activity against Helicoverpa armigera larvae was still retained. The mutant toxin T524N had one amino acid substitution at position 524 relative to the original Cry1Ac toxin, and it can accumulate within the acrystalliferous strain Cry-B and form more but a little smaller bipyramidal crystals than the original Cry1Ac toxin. Analysis of theoretical molecular models of mutant and original Cry1Ac proteins indicated that the mutation T524N located in the loop linking β16-β17 of domain III in Cry1Ac toxin happens in the fourth conserved block which is an arginine-rich region to form a highly hydrophobic surface involving interaction with receptor molecules. This study showed for the first time that single mutation T524N played an essential role in the insecticidal activity. This finding provides the biological evidence of the structural function of domain III in insecticidal activity of the Cry1Ac toxin, which probably leads to a deep understanding between the interaction of toxic proteins and receptor macromolecules. PMID:20669019

  5. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo as a model system for identification and characterization of developmental toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae.

    PubMed

    Berry, John P; Gantar, Miroslav; Gibbs, Patrick D L; Schmale, Michael C

    2007-02-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo has emerged as an important model of vertebrate development. As such, this model system is finding utility in the investigation of toxic agents that inhibit, or otherwise interfere with, developmental processes (i.e. developmental toxins), including compounds that have potential relevance to both human and environmental health, as well as biomedicine. Recently, this system has been applied increasingly to the study of microbial toxins, and more specifically, as an aquatic animal model, has been employed to investigate toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, including those classified among the so-called "harmful algal blooms" (HABs). We have developed this system for identification and characterization of toxins from cyanobacteria (i.e. "blue-green algae") isolated from the Florida Everglades and other freshwater sources in South and Central Florida. Here we review the use of this system as it has been applied generally to the investigation of toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, and illustrate this utility as we have applied it to the detection, bioassay-guided fractionation and subsequent characterization of developmental toxins from freshwater cyanobacteria. PMID:17020820

  6. Accumulation, Biotransformation, Histopathology and Paralysis in the Pacific Calico Scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the Paralyzing Toxins of the Dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum

    PubMed Central

    Escobedo-Lozano, Amada Y.; Estrada, Norma; Ascencio, Felipe; Contreras, Gerardo; Alonso-Rodriguez, Rosalba

    2012-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum produces paralyzing shellfish poisons that are consumed and accumulated by bivalves. We performed short-term feeding experiments to examine ingestion, accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology, and paralysis in the juvenile Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus that consume this dinoflagellate. Depletion of algal cells was measured in closed systems. Histopathological preparations were microscopically analyzed. Paralysis was observed and the time of recovery recorded. Accumulation and possible biotransformation of toxins were measured by HPLC analysis. Feeding activity in treated scallops showed that scallops produced pseudofeces, ingestion rates decreased at 8 h; approximately 60% of the scallops were paralyzed and melanin production and hemocyte aggregation were observed in several tissues at 15 h. HPLC analysis showed that the only toxins present in the dinoflagellates and scallops were the N-sulfo-carbamoyl toxins (C1, C2); after hydrolysis, the carbamate toxins (epimers GTX2/3) were present. C1 and C2 toxins were most common in the mantle, followed by the digestive gland and stomach-complex, adductor muscle, kidney and rectum group, and finally, gills. Toxin profiles in scallop tissue were similar to the dinoflagellate; biotransformations were not present in the scallops in this short-term feeding experiment. PMID:22822356

  7. Unfolding the secrets of coral–algal symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Rosic, Nedeljka; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Lee, Hong Ching; Kaniewska, Paulina; Edwards, David; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2015-01-01

    Dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with reef-building corals. Here we applied massively parallel Illumina sequencing to assess genetic similarity and diversity among four phylogenetically diverse dinoflagellate clades (A, B, C and D) that are commonly associated with corals. We obtained more than 30 000 predicted genes for each Symbiodinium clade, with a majority of the aligned transcripts corresponding to sequence data sets of symbiotic dinoflagellates and <2% of sequences having bacterial or other foreign origin. We report 1053 genes, orthologous among four Symbiodinium clades, that share a high level of sequence identity to known proteins from the SwissProt (SP) database. Approximately 80% of the transcripts aligning to the 1053 SP genes were unique to Symbiodinium species and did not align to other dinoflagellates and unrelated eukaryotic transcriptomes/genomes. Six pathways were common to all four Symbiodinium clades including the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and inositol phosphate metabolism pathways. The list of Symbiodinium transcripts common to all four clades included conserved genes such as heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90), calmodulin, actin and tubulin, several ribosomal, photosynthetic and cytochrome genes and chloroplast-based heme-containing cytochrome P450, involved in the biosynthesis of xanthophylls. Antioxidant genes, which are important in stress responses, were also preserved, as were a number of calcium-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases that may play a role in the establishment of symbiosis. Our findings disclose new knowledge about the genetic uniqueness of symbiotic dinoflagellates and provide a list of homologous genes important for the foundation of coral–algal symbiosis. PMID:25343511

  8. Unfolding the secrets of coral-algal symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Rosic, Nedeljka; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Lee, Hong Ching; Kaniewska, Paulina; Edwards, David; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2015-04-01

    Dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with reef-building corals. Here we applied massively parallel Illumina sequencing to assess genetic similarity and diversity among four phylogenetically diverse dinoflagellate clades (A, B, C and D) that are commonly associated with corals. We obtained more than 30,000 predicted genes for each Symbiodinium clade, with a majority of the aligned transcripts corresponding to sequence data sets of symbiotic dinoflagellates and <2% of sequences having bacterial or other foreign origin. We report 1053 genes, orthologous among four Symbiodinium clades, that share a high level of sequence identity to known proteins from the SwissProt (SP) database. Approximately 80% of the transcripts aligning to the 1053 SP genes were unique to Symbiodinium species and did not align to other dinoflagellates and unrelated eukaryotic transcriptomes/genomes. Six pathways were common to all four Symbiodinium clades including the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and inositol phosphate metabolism pathways. The list of Symbiodinium transcripts common to all four clades included conserved genes such as heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90), calmodulin, actin and tubulin, several ribosomal, photosynthetic and cytochrome genes and chloroplast-based heme-containing cytochrome P450, involved in the biosynthesis of xanthophylls. Antioxidant genes, which are important in stress responses, were also preserved, as were a number of calcium-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases that may play a role in the establishment of symbiosis. Our findings disclose new knowledge about the genetic uniqueness of symbiotic dinoflagellates and provide a list of homologous genes important for the foundation of coral-algal symbiosis. PMID:25343511

  9. Bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) in chlorophyte algal mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Atteia, Ariane; van Lis, Robert; Mendoza-Hernández, Guillermo; Henze, Katrin; Martin, William; Riveros-Rosas, Hector; González-Halphen, Diego

    2003-09-01

    Protein profiles of mitochondria isolated from the heterotrophic chlorophyte Polytomella sp. grown on ethanol at pH 6.0 and pH 3.7 were analyzed by Blue Native and denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Steady-state levels of oxidative phosphorylation complexes were influenced by external pH. Levels of an abundant, soluble, mitochondrial protein of 85 kDa and its corresponding mRNA increased at pH 6.0 relative to pH 3.7. N-terminal and internal sequencing of the 85 kDa mitochondrial protein together with the corresponding cDNA identified it as a bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) with strong similarity to homologues from eubacteria and amitochondriate protists. A mitochondrial targeting sequence of 27 amino acids precedes the N-terminus of the mature mitochondrial protein. A gene encoding an ADHE homologue was also identified in the genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a photosynthetic relative of Polytomella. ADHE reveals a complex picture of sequence similarity among homologues. The lack of ADHE from archaebacteria indicates a eubacterial origin for the eukaryotic enzyme. Among eukaryotes, ADHE has hitherto been characteristic of anaerobes since it is essential to cytosolic energy metabolism of amitochondriate protists such as Giardia intestinalis and Entamoeba histolytica. Its abundance and expression pattern suggest an important role for ADHE in mitochondrial metabolism of Polytomella under the conditions studied. The current data are compatible with the view that Polytomella ADHE could be involved either in ethanol production or assimilation, or both, depending upon environmental conditions. Presence of ADHE in an oxygen-respiring algal mitochondrion and co-expression at ambient oxygen levels with respiratory chain components is unexpected with respect to the view that eukaryotes acquired ADHE genes specifically as an adaptation to an anaerobic lifestyle. PMID:14756315

  10. Natural toxins implicated in the development of Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Arias-Carrión, Oscar

    2011-01-01

    Experimental models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are of great importance for improving the design of future clinical trials. Various neurotoxic models are available, including 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), paraquat and rotenone. However, no model is considered perfect; each has its own limitations. Based on epidemiological data, a new trend of using environmental toxins in PD modeling seems attractive and has dominated public discussions of the disease etiology. A search for new environmental toxin-based models would improve our knowledge of the pathology of the condition. Here, we discuss some toxins of natural origin (e.g. cycad-derived toxins, epoxomicin, Nocardia asteroides bacteria, Streptomyces venezuelae bacteria, annonacin and DOPAL) that possibly represent a contributory environmental component to PD. PMID:22164190

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Biotransformation and detoxification of T-2 toxin by soil and freshwater bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Beeton, S; Bull, A T

    1989-01-01

    Bacterial communities isolated from 17 of 20 samples of soils and waters with widely diverse geographical origins utilized T-2 toxin as a sole source of carbon and energy for growth. These isolates readily detoxified T-2 toxin as assessed by a Rhodotorula rubra bioassay. The major degradation pathway of T-2 toxin in the majority of isolates involved side chain cleavage of acetyl moieties to produce HT-2 toxin and T-2 triol. A minor degradation pathway of T-2 toxin that involved conversion to neosolaniol and thence to 4-deacetyl neosolaniol was also detected. Some bacterial communities had the capacity to further degrade the T-2 triol or 4-deacetyl neosolaniol to T-2 tetraol. Two communities, TS4 and KS10, degraded the trichothecene nucleus within 24 to 48 h. These bacterial communities comprised 9 distinct species each. Community KS10 contained 3 primary transformers which were able to cleave acetate from T-2 toxin but which could not assimilate the side chain products, whereas community TS4 contained 3 primary transformers which were able to grow on the cleavage products, acetate and isovalerate. A third community, AS1, was much simpler in structure and contained only two bacterial species, one of which transformed T-2 toxin to T-2 triol in monoculture. In all cases, the complete communities were more active against T-2 toxin in terms of rates of degradation than any single bacterial component. Cometabolic interactions between species is suggested as a significant factor in T-2 toxin degradation. PMID:2705769

  13. Development of a recombinant toxin fragment vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection.

    PubMed

    Karczewski, Jerzy; Zorman, Julie; Wang, Su; Miezeiewski, Matthew; Xie, Jinfu; Soring, Keri; Petrescu, Ioan; Rogers, Irene; Thiriot, David S; Cook, James C; Chamberlin, Mihaela; Xoconostle, Rachel F; Nahas, Debbie D; Joyce, Joseph G; Bodmer, Jean-Luc; Heinrichs, Jon H; Secore, Susan

    2014-05-19

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis, a disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The disease is mostly of nosocomial origin, with elderly patients undergoing anti-microbial therapy being particularly at risk. C. difficile produces two large toxins: Toxin A (TcdA) and Toxin B (TcdB). The two toxins act synergistically to damage and impair the colonic epithelium, and are primarily responsible for the pathogenesis associated with CDI. The feasibility of toxin-based vaccination against C. difficile is being vigorously investigated. A vaccine based on formaldehyde-inactivated Toxin A and Toxin B (toxoids) was reported to be safe and immunogenic in healthy volunteers and is now undergoing evaluation in clinical efficacy trials. In order to eliminate cytotoxic effects, a chemical inactivation step must be included in the manufacturing process of this toxin-based vaccine. In addition, the large-scale production of highly toxic antigens could be a challenging and costly process. Vaccines based on non-toxic fragments of genetically engineered versions of the toxins alleviate most of these limitations. We have evaluated a vaccine assembled from two recombinant fragments of TcdB and explored their potential as components of a novel experimental vaccine against CDI. Golden Syrian hamsters vaccinated with recombinant fragments of TcdB combined with full length TcdA (Toxoid A) developed high titer IgG responses and potent neutralizing antibody titers. We also show here that the recombinant vaccine protected animals against lethal challenge with C. difficile spores, with efficacy equivalent to the toxoid vaccine. The development of a two-segment recombinant vaccine could provide several advantages over toxoid TcdA/TcdB such as improvements in manufacturability. PMID:24662701

  14. Biodegradation of bisphenol A by an algal-bacterial system.

    PubMed

    Eio, Er Jin; Kawai, Minako; Niwa, Chiaki; Ito, Masato; Yamamoto, Shuichi; Toda, Tatsuki

    2015-10-01

    The degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) by Chlorella sorokiniana and BPA-degrading bacteria was investigated. The results show that BPA was partially removed by a monoculture of C. sorokiniana, but the remaining BPA accounted for 50.2, 56.1, and 60.5 % of the initial BPA concentrations of 10, 20, and 50 mg L(-1), respectively. The total algal BPA adsorption and accumulation were less than 1 %. C. sorokiniana-bacterial system effectively removed BPA with photosynthetic oxygen provided by the algae irrespective of the initial BPA concentration. The growth of C. sorokiniana in the algal system was inhibited by BPA concentrations of 20 and 50 mg L(-1), but not in the algal-bacterial system. This observation indicates that bacterial growth in the algal-bacterial system reduced the BPA-inhibiting effect on algae. A total of ten BPA biodegradation intermediates were identified by GC-MS. The concentrations of the biodegradation intermediates decreased to a low level at the end of the experiment. The hypothetical carbon mass balance analysis showed that the amounts of oxygen demanded by the bacteria are insufficient for effective BPA degradation. However, adding an external carbon source could compensate for the oxygen shortage. This study demonstrates that the algal-bacterial system has the potential to remove BPA and its biodegradation intermediates. PMID:26013738

  15. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children. PMID:27335961

  16. The toxin and antidote puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insects carry out essential ecological functions, such as pollination, but also cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and transmit human diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Advances in insect transgenesis are making it increasingly feasible to engineer genes conferring desirable phenotypes, and gene drive systems are required to spread these genes into wild populations. Medea provides one solution, being able to spread into a population from very low initial frequencies through the action of a maternally-expressed toxin linked to a zygotically-expressed antidote. Several other toxin-antidote combinations are imaginable that distort the offspring ratio in favor of a desired transgene, or drive the population towards an all-male crash. We explore two such systems—Semele, which is capable of spreading a desired transgene into an isolated population in a confined manner; and Merea, which is capable of inducing a local population crash when located on the Z chromosome of a Lepidopteron pest. PMID:21876382

  17. Future increase in harmful algal blooms in the North Sea due to climate change.

    PubMed

    Peperzak, L

    2005-01-01

    In temperate seas such as the North Sea harmful (toxic) algal blooms will probably increase as a result of climate change. This conclusion was reached after investigating the projected effect of climate change for the year 2100 in Dutch coastal waters (4 degrees C temperature rise and increased water column stratification) on the growth rates of six harmful and two non-harmful phytoplankton species. Micro algae form the basis of the marine food chain. However, toxin-producing species may seriously disrupt the food web and lead to fish kills and human intoxication. Two species with estimated doubled growth rates in 2100, F. japonica and C. antiqua, entered Europe via ship's ballast water or shellfish imports. This stresses the need to legally regulate such invasion routes in order to prevent the import of novel species. Future toxic phytoplankton blooms may further devaluate ecosystem deliverables such as fish production or recreational use. This devaluation can be estimated by monetary value assessments that are needed in cost-benefit analyses for policy guidance. The lack of understanding of future climate, ecosystem functioning and its response to climate change calls for a scientific effort to improve our knowledge on present day coastal ecosystem functioning and its resilience. PMID:15918356

  18. Towards spatial localisation of harmful algal blooms; statistics-based spatial anomaly detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shutler, J. D.; Grant, M. G.; Miller, P. I.

    2005-10-01

    Harmful algal blooms are believed to be increasing in occurrence and their toxins can be concentrated by filter-feeding shellfish and cause amnesia or paralysis when ingested. As a result fisheries and beaches in the vicinity of blooms may need to be closed and the local population informed. For this avoidance planning timely information on the existence of a bloom, its species and an accurate map of its extent would be prudent. Current research to detect these blooms from space has mainly concentrated on spectral approaches towards determining species. We present a novel statistics-based background-subtraction technique that produces improved descriptions of an anomaly's extent from remotely-sensed ocean colour data. This is achieved by extracting bulk information from a background model; this is complemented by a computer vision ramp filtering technique to specifically detect the perimeter of the anomaly. The complete extraction technique uses temporal-variance estimates which control the subtraction of the scene of interest from the time-weighted background estimate, producing confidence maps of anomaly extent. Through the variance estimates the method learns the associated noise present in the data sequence, providing robustness, and allowing generic application. Further, the use of the median for the background model reduces the effects of anomalies that appear within the time sequence used to generate it, allowing seasonal variations in the background levels to be closely followed. To illustrate the detection algorithm's application, it has been applied to two spectrally different oceanic regions.

  19. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks between private and public goods: evidence from toxic algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, William W; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Ferrière, Régis

    2016-01-01

    The importance of 'eco-evolutionary feedbacks' in natural systems is currently unclear. Here, we advance a general hypothesis for a particular class of eco-evolutionary feedbacks with potentially large, long-lasting impacts in complex ecosystems. These eco-evolutionary feedbacks involve traits that mediate important interactions with abiotic and biotic features of the environment and a self-driven reversal of selection as the ecological impact of the trait varies between private (small scale) and public (large scale). Toxic algal blooms may involve such eco-evolutionary feedbacks due to the emergence of public goods. We review evidence that toxin production by microalgae may yield 'privatised' benefits for individual cells or colonies under pre- and early-bloom conditions; however, the large-scale, ecosystem-level effects of toxicity associated with bloom states yield benefits that are necessarily 'public'. Theory predicts that the replacement of private with public goods may reverse selection for toxicity in the absence of higher level selection. Indeed, blooms often harbor significant genetic and functional diversity: bloom populations may undergo genetic differentiation over a scale of days, and even genetically similar lineages may vary widely in toxic potential. Intriguingly, these observations find parallels in terrestrial communities, suggesting that toxic blooms may serve as useful models for eco-evolutionary dynamics in nature. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks involving the emergence of a public good may shed new light on the potential for interactions between ecology and evolution to influence the structure and function of entire ecosystems. PMID:26612461

  20. Common European harmful algal blooms affect the viability and innate immune responses of Mytilus edulis larvae.

    PubMed

    De Rijcke, M; Vandegehuchte, M B; Vanden Bussche, J; Nevejan, N; Vanhaecke, L; De Schamphelaere, K A C; Janssen, C R

    2015-11-01

    Like marine diseases, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are globally increasing in frequency, severity and geographical scale. As a result, bivalves will have to face the combined threat of toxic algae and marine pathogens more frequently in the (near) future. These stressors combined may further affect the recruitment of ecologically and economically important bivalve species as HABs can affect the growth, viability and development of their larvae. To date, little is known on the specific effects of HABs on the innate immune system of bivalve larvae. This study therefore investigates whether two common harmful algae can influence the larval viability, development and immunological resilience of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Embryos of this model organism were exposed (48 h) to five densities of Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries or Prorocentrum lima cells. In addition, the effect of six concentrations of their respective toxins: domoic acid (DA) and okadaic acid (OA) were assessed. OA was found to significantly reduce larval protein phosphatase activity (p < 0.001) and larval viability (p < 0.01) at concentrations as low as 37.8 μg l(-1). P. multiseries (1400 cells ml(-1)), P. lima (150 cells ml(-1)) and DA (dosed five times higher than typical environmental conditions i.e. 623.2 μg l(-1)) increased the phenoloxidase (PO) innate immune activity of the mussel larvae. These results suggest that the innate immune response of even the earliest life stages of bivalves is susceptible to the presence of HABs. PMID:26348409

  1. Remote Sensing as a Tool to Track Algal Blooms in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradt, S. R.; Wurtsbaugh, W. A.; Naftz, D.; Moore, T.; Haney, J.

    2006-12-01

    The Great Salt Lake is a large hypersaline, terminal water body in northern Utah, USA. The lake has both a significant economic importance to the local community as a source of brine shrimp and mineral resources, as well as, an ecological importance to large numbers of migratory waterfowl. Due to nutrient input from sewage treatment plants, sections of the Great Salt Lake are subjected to highly eutrophic conditions. One of the main tributaries, Farmington Bay, experiences massive blooms of cyanobacteria which can reach concentrations in excess of 300 mg l-1 in the bay. Effects of these blooms can be observed stretching into the rest of the lake. The detrimental outcomes of the blooms include unsightly scums, foul odor and the danger of cyanobacterial toxins. While the blooms have an obvious effect on Farmington Bay, it is quite possible that the cyanobacteria impact a much wider area of the lake as currents move eutrophic water masses. Of particular interest is the reaction of brine shrimp to the plumes of cyanobacteria-rich water leaving Farmington Bay. We are employing remote sensing as a tool to map the distribution of algae throughout the lake and produce lake-wide maps of water quality on a regular basis. On-lake reflectance measurements have been coupled with MODIS satellite imagery to produce a time series of maps illustrating changes in algal distribution. The successes and shortcomings of our remote sensing technique will be a central topic of this presentation.

  2. Recycle as an alternative to algal TSS and BOD removal from an industrial waste stabilization pond system

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, E.M.; Downs, T.D.; Shi, Y.; Ajgaonkar, A.A.

    1996-11-01

    Reuse of wastewater is acquiring a more important role in the overall concept of water conservation management. Information on industrial waste stabilization pond (WSP) effluent recycling or reuse for cooling water purposes is virtually nonexistent. This paper presents data from investigations that were conducted to determine the feasibility of recycling a WSP series effluent back within the system for BOD and total suspended solids (TSS) reduction, which were algal in origin, and separately, to evaluate whether recycling the final WSP effluent to the industry`s cooling water ponds would show corrosion compatibility. The second part of this paper contains data developed form analyses of the settling characteristics of the algal standing crop in the industrial WSPs in question to determine the extent to which autosedimentation could occur.

  3. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  4. Approaches to monitoring, control and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs)

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald M.

    2009-01-01

    Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called “red tides”). These phenomena are caused by blooms of microscopic algae. Some of these algae are toxic, and can lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life, typically as a result of the transfer of toxins through the food web. Sometimes the direct release of toxic compounds can be lethal to marine animals. Non-toxic HABs cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term “HAB” also applies to non-toxic blooms of macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters. Globally, the nature of the HAB problem has changed considerably over the last several decades. The number of toxic blooms, the resulting economic losses, the types of resources affected, and the number of toxins and toxic species have all increased dramatically. Some of this expansion has been attributed to storms, currents and other natural phenomena, but human activities are also frequently implicated. Humans have contributed by transporting toxic species in ballast water, and by adding massive and increasing quantities of industrial, agricultural and sewage effluents to coastal waters. In many urbanized coastal regions, these inputs have altered the size and composition of the nutrient pool which has, in turn, created a more favorable nutrient environment for certain HAB species. The steady expansion in the use of fertilizers for agricultural production represents a large and worrisome source of nutrients in coastal waters that promote some HABs. The diversity in HAB species and their impacts presents a significant challenge to those responsible for the management of coastal resources. Furthermore, HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena

  5. Approaches to monitoring, control and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M

    2009-07-01

    Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called "red tides"). These phenomena are caused by blooms of microscopic algae. Some of these algae are toxic, and can lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life, typically as a result of the transfer of toxins through the food web. Sometimes the direct release of toxic compounds can be lethal to marine animals. Non-toxic HABs cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term "HAB" also applies to non-toxic blooms of macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters.Globally, the nature of the HAB problem has changed considerably over the last several decades. The number of toxic blooms, the resulting economic losses, the types of resources affected, and the number of toxins and toxic species have all increased dramatically. Some of this expansion has been attributed to storms, currents and other natural phenomena, but human activities are also frequently implicated. Humans have contributed by transporting toxic species in ballast water, and by adding massive and increasing quantities of industrial, agricultural and sewage effluents to coastal waters. In many urbanized coastal regions, these inputs have altered the size and composition of the nutrient pool which has, in turn, created a more favorable nutrient environment for certain HAB species. The steady expansion in the use of fertilizers for agricultural production represents a large and worrisome source of nutrients in coastal waters that promote some HABs.The diversity in HAB species and their impacts presents a significant challenge to those responsible for the management of coastal resources. Furthermore, HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena that

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Formation of a volunteer harmful algal bloom network in British Columbia, Canada, following an outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Lorraine; Cassis, David; Haigh, Nicola

    2013-11-01

    Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC) on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). As a result of this outbreak, Canada's first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas. PMID:24172211

  8. Formation of a Volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom Network in British Columbia, Canada, Following an Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning

    PubMed Central

    McIntyre, Lorraine; Cassis, David; Haigh, Nicola

    2013-01-01

    Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC) on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). As a result of this outbreak, Canada’s first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas. PMID:24172211

  9. Insights into the evolution of vitamin B12 auxotrophy from sequenced algal genomes.

    PubMed

    Helliwell, Katherine E; Wheeler, Glen L; Leptos, Kyriacos C; Goldstein, Raymond E; Smith, Alison G

    2011-10-01

    Vitamin B(12) (cobalamin) is a dietary requirement for humans because it is an essential cofactor for two enzymes, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase (METH). Land plants and fungi neither synthesize or require cobalamin because they do not contain methylmalonyl-CoA mutase, and have an alternative B(12)-independent methionine synthase (METE). Within the algal kingdom, approximately half of all microalgal species need the vitamin as a growth supplement, but there is no phylogenetic relationship between these species, suggesting that the auxotrophy arose multiple times through evolution. We set out to determine the underlying cellular mechanisms for this observation by investigating elements of B(12) metabolism in the sequenced genomes of 15 different algal species, with representatives of the red, green, and brown algae, diatoms, and coccolithophores, including both macro- and microalgae, and from marine and freshwater environments. From this analysis, together with growth assays, we found a strong correlation between the absence of a functional METE gene and B(12) auxotrophy. The presence of a METE unitary pseudogene in the B(12)-dependent green algae Volvox carteri and Gonium pectorale, relatives of the B(12)-independent Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, suggest that B(12) dependence evolved recently in these lineages. In both C. reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, growth in the presence of cobalamin leads to repression of METE transcription, providing a mechanism for gene loss. Thus varying environmental conditions are likely to have been the reason for the multiple independent origins of B(12) auxotrophy in these organisms. Because the ultimate source of cobalamin is from prokaryotes, the selective loss of METE in different algal lineages will have had important physiological and ecological consequences for these organisms in terms of their dependence on bacteria. PMID:21551270

  10. Phage display and Shiga toxin neutralizers.

    PubMed

    Bernedo-Navarro, Robert Alvin; Yano, Tomomasa

    2016-04-01

    The current work presents an overview of the use of phage display technology for the identification and characterization of potential neutralizing agents for Shiga toxins. The last major Shiga toxin-associated disease outbreak, which took place in Germany in 2011, showed the international community that Shiga toxins remain a serious threat to public health. This is also demonstrated by the lack of specific therapies against Shiga toxin-induced Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Since its inception, phage display technology has played a key role in the development of antigen-specific (poly)-peptides or antibody fragments with specific biological properties. Herein, we review the current literature regarding the application of phage display to identify novel neutralizing agents against Shiga toxins. We also briefly highlight reported discoveries of peptides and heavy chain antibodies (VHH fragments or nanobodies) that can neutralize the cellular damage caused by these potent toxins. PMID:26898657

  11. Bt Toxin Modification for Enhanced Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Deist, Benjamin R.; Rausch, Michael A.; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2014-01-01

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance. PMID:25340556

  12. Design of algal film photobioreactors: material surface energy effects on algal film productivity, colonization and lipid content.

    PubMed

    Genin, Scott N; Stewart Aitchison, J; Grant Allen, D

    2014-03-01

    A parallel plate air lift reactor was used to examine the growth kinetics of mixed culture algal biofilms grown on various materials (acrylic, glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene and cellulose acetate). The growth kinetics of the algal biofilms were non-linear overall and their overall productivities ranged from 1.10-2.08g/m(2)day, with those grown on cellulose acetate having the highest productivity. Overall algal biofilm productivity was largely explained by differences in the colonization time which in turn was strongly correlated to the polar surface energy of the material, but weakly correlated to water-material contact angle. When colonization time was taken into account, the productivity for all materials except acrylic was not significantly different at approximately 2g/m(2)/day. Lipid content of the algal biofilms ranged from 6% to 8% (w/w) and was not correlated to water-material contact angle or polar surface energy. The results have potential application for selecting appropriate materials for algal film photobioreactors. PMID:24441594

  13. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  14. Algal lectins as promising biomolecules for biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram Sarup; Thakur, Shivani Rani; Bansal, Parveen

    2015-02-01

    Lectins are natural bioactive ubiquitous proteins or glycoproteins of non-immune response that bind reversibly to glycans of glycoproteins, glycolipids and polysaccharides possessing at least one non-catalytic domain causing agglutination. Some of them consist of several carbohydrate-binding domains which endow them with the properties of cell agglutination or precipitation of glycoconjugates. Lectins are rampant in nature from plants, animals and microorganisms. Among microorganisms, algae are the potent source of lectins with unique properties specifically from red algae. The demand of peculiar and neoteric biologically active substances has intensified the developments on isolation and biomedical applications of new algal lectins. Comprehensively, algal lectins are used in biomedical research for antiviral, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor activities, etc. and in pharmaceutics for the fabrication of cost-effective protein expression systems and nutraceutics. In this review, an attempt has been made to collate the information on various biomedical applications of algal lectins. PMID:23855360

  15. Energy evaluation of algal cell disruption by high pressure homogenisation.

    PubMed

    Yap, Benjamin H J; Dumsday, Geoff J; Scales, Peter J; Martin, Gregory J O

    2015-05-01

    The energy consumption of high pressure homogenisation (HPH) was analysed to determine the feasibility of rupturing algal cells for biodiesel production. Experimentally, the processing capacity (i.e. flow rate), power draw and cell disruption efficiency of HPH were independent of feed concentration (for Nannochloropsis sp. up to 25%w/w solids). Depending on the homogenisation pressure (60-150 MPa), the solids concentration (0.25-25%w/w), and triacylglyceride (TAG) content of the harvested algal biomass (10-30%), the energy consumed by HPH represented between 6% and 110-times the energy density of the resulting biodiesel. Provided the right species (weak cell wall and high TAG content) is selected and the biomass is processed at a sufficiently high solids concentration, HPH can consume a small fraction of the energy content of the biodiesel produced. This study demonstrates the feasibility of process-scale algal cell disruption by HPH based on its energy requirement. PMID:25435068

  16. Small herbivores suppress algal accumulation on Agatti atoll, Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cernohorsky, Nicole H.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Babu, Idrees; Horsák, Michal

    2015-12-01

    Despite large herbivorous fish being generally accepted as the main group responsible for preventing algal accumulation on coral reefs, few studies have experimentally examined the relative importance of herbivore size on algal communities. This study used exclusion cages with two different mesh sizes (1 × 1 cm and 6 × 6 cm) to investigate the impact of different-sized herbivores on algal accumulation rates on the shallow (<2 m) back-reef of Agatti atoll, Lakshadweep. The fine-mesh cages excluded all visible herbivores, which had rapid and lasting effects on the benthic communities, and, after 127 d of deployment, there was a visible and significant increase in algae (mainly macroalgae) with algal volume being 13 times greater than in adjacent open areas. The coarse-mesh cages excluded larger fishes (>8 cm body depth) while allowing smaller fishes to access the plots. In contrast to the conclusions of most previous studies, the exclusion of large herbivores had no significant effect on the accumulation of benthic algae and the amount of algae present within the coarse-mesh cages was relatively consistent throughout the experimental period (around 50 % coverage and 1-2 mm height). The difference in algal accumulation between the fine-mesh and coarse-mesh cages appears to be related to the actions of small individuals from 12 herbivorous fish species (0.17 ind. m-2 and 7.7 g m-2) that were able to enter through the coarse mesh. Although restricted to a single habitat, these results suggest that when present in sufficient densities and diversity, small herbivorous fishes can prevent the accumulation of algal biomass on coral reefs.

  17. [Use of botulinum toxin in strabismus].

    PubMed

    Wabbels, B

    2016-07-01

    Botulinum toxin can be a useful tool for treating acute sixth nerve palsy and excessive eye deviations due to unstable Graves' disease, when surgery is not yet possible. The diagnostic injection for estimation of possible postoperative double vision also makes sense. In convergence spasms, periocular botulinum toxin injections can be a therapeutic option. Botulinum toxin is not a first line option in infantile esotropia without binocularity or in adult horizontal strabismus. Side effects include ptosis and vertical deviations. PMID:27369733

  18. Role of gas vesicles and intra-colony spaces during the process of algal bloom formation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yongsheng; Zheng, Binghui; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Hao

    2013-06-01

    Aggregation morphology, vertical distribution, and algal density were analyzed during the algal cell floating process in three environments. The role of gas vesicles and intra-colony spaces was distinguished by algal blooms treated with ultrasonic waves and high pressure. Results demonstrated that the two buoyancy providers jointly provide buoyancy for floating algal cells. The results were also confirmed by force analysis. In the simulation experiment, the buoyancy acting on algal cells was greater than its gravity at sample ports 2 and 3 of a columnar-cultivated cell vessel, and intra-colony spaces were not detected. In Taihu Lake, gas vesicle buoyancy was notably less than total algal cell gravity. Buoyancy provided by intra-colony spaces exceeded total algal cell gravity at the water surface, but not at other water depths. In the Daning River, total buoyancies provided by the two buoyancy providers were less than total algal cell gravity at different water depths. PMID:23833817

  19. Efficacy of algal metrics for assessing nutrient and organic enrichment in flowing waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, S.D.; Mueller, D.K.; Spahr, N.E.; Munn, M.D.; Dubrovsky, N.M.

    2008-01-01

    4. Although algal species tolerance to nutrient and organic enrichment is well documented, additional taxonomic and autecological research on sensitive, endemic algal species would further enhance water-quality assessments.

  20. A simple model for forecast of coastal algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ken T. M.; Lee, Joseph H. W.; Hodgkiss, I. J.

    2007-08-01

    In eutrophic sub-tropical coastal waters around Hong Kong and South China, algal blooms (more often called red tides) due to the rapid growth of microscopic phytoplankton are often observed. Under favourable environmental conditions, these blooms can occur and subside over rather short time scales—in the order of days to a few weeks. Very often, these blooms are observed in weakly flushed coastal waters under calm wind conditions—with or without stratification. Based on high-frequency field observations of harmful algal blooms at two coastal mariculture zones in Hong Kong, a mathematical model has been developed to forecast algal blooms. The model accounts for algal growth, decay, settling and vertical turbulent mixing, and adopts the same assumptions as the classical Riley, Stommel and Bumpus model (Riley, G.A., Stommel, H., Bumpus, D.F., 1949. Quantitative ecology of the plankton of the western North Atlantic. Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection Yale University 12, 1-169). It is shown that for algal blooms to occur, a vertical stability criterion, E < 4 μl2/ π2, must be satisfied, where E, μ, l are the vertical turbulent diffusivity, algal growth rate, and euphotic layer depth respectively. In addition, a minimum nutrient threshold concentration must be reached. Moreover, with a nutrient competition consideration, the type of bloom (caused by motile or non-motile species) can be classified. The model requires as input simple and readily available field measurements of water column transparency and nutrient concentration, and representative maximum algal growth rate of the motile and non-motile species. In addition, with the use of three-dimensional hydrodynamic circulation models, simple relations are derived to estimate the vertical mixing coefficient as a function of tidal range, wind speed, and density stratification. The model gives a quick assessment of the likelihood of algal bloom occurrence, and has been validated against field

  1. Mexico-U.S. Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring Efforts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chuanmin; Muller-Karger, Frank E.

    2008-06-01

    Workshop on Taxonomy of Harmful Algal Blooms; Veracruz, Mexico, 18-22 February 2008; A workshop on harmful algal bloom (HAB) taxonomy, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Health of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, was held at the Aquarium of Veracruz and focused on standardizing methods to detect HABs that affect coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This binational effort was established under the umbrella of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), initially formed in 2004 by the five U.S. Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) with participation from U.S. federal agencies and other stakeholders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. Turbulence and nutrient interactions that control benthic algal production in an engineered cultivation raceway

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flow turbulence can be a controlling factor to the growth of benthic algae, but few studies have quantified this relationship in engineered cultivation systems. Experiments were performed to understand the limiting role of turbulence to algal productivity in an algal turf scrubber for benthic algal...

  4. Summative Mass Analysis of Algal Biomass - Integration of Analytical Procedures: Laboratory Analytical Procedure (LAP)

    SciTech Connect

    Laurens, L. M. L.

    2013-12-01

    This procedure guides the integration of laboratory analytical procedures to measure algal biomass constituents in an unambiguous manner and ultimately achieve mass balance closure for algal biomass samples. Many of these methods build on years of research in algal biomass analysis.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algal blooms’ are local abundances of phytoplankton – microscopic photosynthesizing aquatic organisms found in surface waters worldwide; blooms are variable temporally and spatially and frequently produce a visible algal scum on the water. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are abundan...

  6. Effects of algal hydrolysate as reaction medium on enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocelluloses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algal biomass has been proposed as a source of lipids and sugars for biofuel productions. However, a substantial portion of potentially valuable algal material remains as a liquid hydrolysate after sugar and lipid extractions. This study examined the effects of an algal hydrolysate on the enzymatic...

  7. Algal turf scrubber (ATS) floways on the Great Wicomico River, Chesapeake Bay: productivity, algal community structure, substrate and chemistry(1).

    PubMed

    Adey, Walter H; Laughinghouse, H Dail; Miller, John B; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Thompson, Jesse G; Bertman, Steven; Hampel, Kristin; Puvanendran, Shanmugam

    2013-06-01

    Two Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) units were deployed on the Great Wicomico River (GWR) for 22 months to examine the role of substrate in increasing algal productivity and nutrient removal. The yearly mean productivity of flat ATS screens was 15.4 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) . This was elevated to 39.6 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) with a three-dimensional (3-D) screen, and to 47.7 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) by avoiding high summer harvest temperatures. These methods enhanced nutrient removal (N, P) in algal biomass by 3.5 times. Eighty-six algal taxa (Ochrophyta [diatoms], Chlorophyta [green algae], and Cyan-obacteria [blue-green algae]) self-seeded from the GWR and demonstrated yearly cycling. Silica (SiO2 ) content of the algal biomass ranged from 30% to 50% of total biomass; phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon content of the total algal biomass ranged from 0.15% to 0.21%, 2.13% to 2.89%, and 20.0% to 25.7%, respectively. Carbohydrate content (at 10%-25% of AFDM) was dominated by glucose. Lipids (fatty acid methyl ester; FAMEs) ranged widely from 0.5% to 9% AFDM, with Omega-3 fatty acids a consistent component. Mathematical modeling of algal produ-ctivity as a function of temperature, light, and substrate showed a proportionality of 4:3:3, resp-ectively. Under landscape ATS operation, substrate manipulation provides a considerable opportunity to increase ATS productivity, water quality amelioration, and biomass coproduction for fertilizers, fermentation energy, and omega-3 products. Based on the 3-D prod-uctivity and algal chemical composition demonstrated, ATS systems used for nonpoint source water treat-ment can produce ethanol (butanol) at 5.8× per unit area of corn, and biodiesel at 12.0× per unit area of soy beans (agricultural production US). PMID:27007038

  8. Regulation of Mycolactone, the Mycobacterium ulcerans Toxin, Depends on Nutrient Source

    PubMed Central

    Deshayes, Caroline; Angala, Shiva Kumar; Marion, Estelle; Brandli, Irène; Babonneau, Jérémie; Preisser, Laurent; Eyangoh, Sara; Delneste, Yves; Legras, Pierre; De Chastellier, Chantal; Stinear, Timothy P.; Jackson, Mary; Marsollier, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Background Mycobacterium ulcerans, a slow-growing environmental bacterium, is the etiologic agent of Buruli ulcer, a necrotic skin disease. Skin lesions are caused by mycolactone, the main virulence factor of M. ulcerans, with dermonecrotic (destruction of the skin and soft tissues) and immunosuppressive activities. This toxin is secreted in vesicles that enhance its biological activities. Nowadays, it is well established that the main reservoir of the bacilli is localized in the aquatic environment where the bacillus may be able to colonize different niches. Here we report that plant polysaccharides stimulate M. ulcerans growth and are implicated in toxin synthesis regulation. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, by selecting various algal components, we have identified plant-specific carbohydrates, particularly glucose polymers, capable of stimulating M. ulcerans growth in vitro. Furthermore, we underscored for the first time culture conditions under which the polyketide toxin mycolactone, the sole virulence factor of M. ulcerans identified to date, is down-regulated. Using a quantitative proteomic approach and analyzing transcript levels by RT-qPCR, we demonstrated that its regulation is not at the transcriptional or translational levels but must involve another type of regulation. M. ulcerans produces membrane vesicles, as other mycobacterial species, in which are the mycolactone is concentrated. By transmission electron microscopy, we observed that the production of vesicles is independent from the toxin production. Concomitant with this observed decrease in mycolactone production, the production of mycobacterial siderophores known as mycobactins was enhanced. Conclusions/Significance This work is the first step in the identification of the mechanisms involved in mycolactone regulation and paves the way for the discovery of putative new drug targets in the future. PMID:24244764

  9. Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Rusyniak, Daniel E; Sprague, Jon E

    2005-11-01

    Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes are important to consider in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with fever and muscle rigidity. If untreated, toxin-induced hyperthermia may result in fatal hyperthermia with multisystem organ failure. All of these syndromes have at their center the disruption of normal thermogenic mechanisms, resulting in the activation of the hypothalamus and sympathetic nervous systems.The result of this thermogenic dysregulation is excess heat generation combined with impaired heat dissipation. Although many similarities exist among the clinical presentations and pathophysiologies of toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes, important differences exist among their triggers and treatments. Serotonin syndrome typically occurs within hours of the addition ofa new serotonergic agent or the abuse of stimulants such as MDMA or methamphetamine. Treatment involves discontinuing the offending agent and administering either a central serotonergic antagonist, such as cyproheptadine or chlorpromazine, a benzodiazepine, or a combination of the two. NMS typically occurs over hours to days in a patient taking a neuroleptic agent; its recommended treatment is generally the combination of a central dopamine agonist, bromocriptine or L-dopa, and dantrolene. In those patients in whom it is difficult to differentiate between serotonin and neuroleptic malignant syndromes, the physical examination may be helpful:clonus and hyperreflexia are more suggestive of serotonin syndrome,whereas lead-pipe rigidity is suggestive of NMS. In patients in whom serotonin syndrome and NMS cannot be differentiated, benzodiazepines represent the safest therapeutic option. MH presents rapidly with jaw rigidity, hyperthermia, and hypercarbia. Although it almost always occurs in the setting of surgical anesthesia, cases have occurred in susceptible individuals during exertion. The treatment of MH involves the use of dantrolene. Future improvements in understanding the

  10. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch

    PubMed Central

    Shilpa, P. S.; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  11. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch.

    PubMed

    Shilpa, P S; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  12. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  13. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    PubMed Central

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  14. Development and optimization of biofilm based algal cultivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Martin Anthony

    This dissertation describes research done on biofilm based algal cultivation systems. The system that was developed in this work is the revolving algal biofilm cultivation system (RAB). A raceway-retrofit, and a trough-based pilot-scale RAB system were developed and investigated. Each of the systems significantly outperformed a control raceway pond in side-by-side tests. Furthermore the RAB system was found to require significantly less water than the raceway pond based cultivation system. Lastly a TEA/LCA analysis was conducted to evaluate the economic and life cycle of the RAB cultivation system in comparison to raceway pond. It was found that the RAB system was able to grow algae at a lower cost and was shown to be profitable at a smaller scale than the raceway pond style of algal cultivation. Additionally the RAB system was projected to have lower GHG emissions, and better energy and water use efficiencies in comparison to a raceway pond system. Furthermore, fundamental research was conducted to identify the optimal material for algae to attach on. A total of 28 materials with a smooth surface were tested for initial cell colonization and it was found that the tetradecane contact angle of the materials had a good correlation with cell attachment. The effects of surface texture were evaluated using mesh materials (nylon, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, polyester, aluminum, and stainless steel) with openings ranging from 0.05--6.40 mm. It was found that both surface texture and material composition influence algal attachment.

  15. Autonomous benthic algal cultivator under feedback control of ecosystem metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An autonomous and internally-controlled techno-ecological hybrid was developed that controls primary production of algae in a laboratory-scale cultivator. The technoecosystem is based on an algal turf scrubber (ATS) system that combines engineered feedback control programming with internal feedback...

  16. Automatic identification of algal community from microscopic images.

    PubMed

    Santhi, Natchimuthu; Pradeepa, Chinnaraj; Subashini, Parthasarathy; Kalaiselvi, Senthil

    2013-01-01

    A good understanding of the population dynamics of algal communities is crucial in several ecological and pollution studies of freshwater and oceanic systems. This paper reviews the subsequent introduction to the automatic identification of the algal communities using image processing techniques from microscope images. The diverse techniques of image preprocessing, segmentation, feature extraction and recognition are considered one by one and their parameters are summarized. Automatic identification and classification of algal community are very difficult due to various factors such as change in size and shape with climatic changes, various growth periods, and the presence of other microbes. Therefore, the significance, uniqueness, and various approaches are discussed and the analyses in image processing methods are evaluated. Algal identification and associated problems in water organisms have been projected as challenges in image processing application. Various image processing approaches based on textures, shapes, and an object boundary, as well as some segmentation methods like, edge detection and color segmentations, are highlighted. Finally, artificial neural networks and some machine learning algorithms were used to classify and identifying the algae. Further, some of the benefits and drawbacks of schemes are examined. PMID:24151424

  17. Studies of the effect of gibberellic acid on algal growth.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, W. K.; Sorokin, C.

    1971-01-01

    The effect of gibberellic acid on exponential growth rate of four strains of Chlorella was investigated under variety of experimental conditions. In concentrations from 10 ppm to 100 ppm, gibberellic acid was shown to have no effect on Chlorella growth. In concentration of 200 ppm, gibberellic acid exerted some unfavorable effect on algal growth.

  18. Numerical simulation of an algal bloom in Dianshan Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yizhong; Lin, Weiqing; Zhu, Jianrong; Lu, Shiqiang

    2016-01-01

    A hydrodynamic model and an aquatic ecology model of Dianshan Lake, Shanghai, were built using a hydrodynamic simulation module and the water quality simulation module of Delft3D, which is an integrated modelling suite offered by Deltares. The simulated water elevation, current velocity, and direction were validated with observed data to ensure the reliability of hydrodynamic model. The seasonal growth of different algae was analyzed with consideration of observed and historical data, as well as simulated results. In 2008, the dominant algae in Dianshan Lake was Bacillariophyta from February to March, while it was Chlorophyta from April to May, and Cyanophyta from July to August. In summer, the biomass of Cyanophyta grew quickly, reaching levels much higher than the peaks of Bacillariophyta and Chlorophyta. Algae blooms primarily occurred in the stagnation regions. This phenomenon indicates that water residence time can influence algal growth significantly. A longer water residence time was associated with higher algal growth. Two conclusions were drawn from several simulations: reducing the nutrients inflow had little effect on algal blooms in Dianshan Lake; however, increasing the discharge into Dianshan Lake could change the flow field characteristic and narrow the range of stagnation regions, resulting in inhibition of algal aggregation and propagation and a subsequent reduction in areas of high concentration algae.

  19. Toward on-line measurement of algal properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algai is a potential soruce of large amounts of lipids for conversion to hydrocarbon fuels. Industria-scale algai production requires process control, which further requires sensors to measure critical algal properties. One of the principal properties that needs to be measured in algae production is...

  20. Mechanism of algal aggregation by Bacillus sp. strain RP1137.

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2014-07-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  1. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on tropical algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Santas, R.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. Mechanism of Algal Aggregation by Bacillus sp. Strain RP1137

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Ryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  3. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Satchell, Karla J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  4. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology. PMID:22606374

  5. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species. PMID:26444071

  6. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A Text Size ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  7. [T-2 toxin: occurrence and detection].

    PubMed

    Dohnal, V; Jezková, A; Kuca, K; Jun, D

    2007-07-01

    The paper is focused on the occurrence and methods for the detection of T-2 toxin, one of the most toxic trichothecene Fusarium mycotoxin. Due to its physical-chemical properties and high toxicity, T-2 toxin is classified as a potential biological warfare agent. PMID:17969315

  8. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  9. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin.

    PubMed

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-03-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  10. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  11. The toxin component of targeted anti-tumor toxins determines their efficacy increase by saponins.

    PubMed

    Weng, Alexander; Thakur, Mayank; Beceren-Braun, Figen; Bachran, Diana; Bachran, Christopher; Riese, Sebastian B; Jenett-Siems, Kristina; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger; Melzig, Matthias F; Fuchs, Hendrik

    2012-06-01

    Tumor-targeting protein toxins are composed of a toxic enzyme coupled to a specific cell binding domain that targets cancer-associated antigens. The anti-tumor treatment by targeted toxins is accompanied by dose-limiting side effects. The future prospects of targeted toxins for therapeutic use in humans will be determined by reduce side effects. Certain plant secondary metabolites (saponins) were shown to increase the efficacy of a particular epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted toxin, paralleled by a tremendous decrease of side effects. This study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of substituting different toxin moieties fused to an EGF ligand binding domain on the augmentative ability of saponins for each against therapeutic potential of the saponin-mediated efficacy increase for different anti-tumor toxins targeting the EGFR. We designed several EGFR-targeted toxins varying in the toxic moiety. Each targeted toxin was used in combination with a purified saponin (SA1641), isolated from the ornamental plant Gypsophila paniculata L. SA1641 was characterized and the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase was investigated on EGFR-transfected NIH-3T3 cells. We observed a high dependency of the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase on the nature of toxin used for the construction of the targeted toxin, indicating high specificity. Structural alignments revealed a high homology between saporin and dianthin-30, the two toxic moieties that benefit most from the combination with SA1641. We further demonstrate that SA1641 did not influence the plasma membrane permeability, indicating an intracellular interaction of SA1641 and the toxin components of targeted toxins. Surface plasmon resonance measurements point to a transient binding of SA1641 to the toxin components of targeted toxins. PMID:22309811

  12. Bacteria, molds, and toxins in water-damaged building materials.

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, M A; Nikulin, M; Köljalg, U; Andersson, M C; Rainey, F; Reijula, K; Hintikka, E L; Salkinoja-Salonen, M

    1997-01-01

    Microbial toxins and eukaryotic cell toxicity from indoor building materials heavily colonized by fungi and bacteria were analyzed. The dominant colonizers at water-damaged sites of the building were Stachybotrys chartarum (10(3) to 10(5) visible conidia cm-2), Penicillium and Aspergillus species (10(4) CFU mg-1), gram-negative bacteria (10(4) CFU mg-1), and mycobacteria (10(3) CFU mg-1). The mycobacterial isolates were most similar to M. komossense, with 98% similarity of the complete 16S rDNA sequence. Limulus assay of water extracts prepared from a water-damaged gypsum liner revealed high contents of gram-negative endotoxin (17 ng mg-1 of E. coli lipopolysaccharide equivalents) and beta-D-glucan (210 ng mg-1 of curdlan equivalents). High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the methanol extracts showed that the water-damaged gypsum liner also contained satratoxin (17 ng mg-1). This methanol-extracted substance was 200 times more toxic to rabbit skin and fetus feline lung cells than extract of gypsum liner sampled from a non-water-damaged site. The same extract contained toxin(s) that paralyzed the motility of boar spermatozoa at extremely low concentrations; the 50% effective concentration was 0.3 microgram of dry solids per ml. This toxicity was not explainable by the amount of bacterial endotoxin, beta-D-glucan, or satratoxin present in the same extract. The novel in vitro toxicity test that utilized boar spermatozoa as described in this article is convenient to perform and reproducible and was a useful tool for detecting toxins of microbial origin toward eukaryotic cells not detectable in building materials by the other methods. PMID:9023919

  13. Biofertilizers from Algal Treatment of Dairy and Swine Manure Effluents: Characterization of Algal Biomass as a Slow Release Fertilizer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An alternative practice to land spreading of manure effluents is to grow crops of algae on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) present in these liquid slurries. The overall environmental and economic values of this approach depend, in part, on the use and value of the resulting algal byproduct. Am...

  14. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ... Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ...

  15. T-2 toxin regulates steroid hormone secretion of rat ovarian granulosa cells through cAMP-PKA pathway.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing; Tu, Di; Yuan, Li-Yun; Yi, Jin-e; Tian, Yanan

    2015-02-01

    T-2 toxin is a secondary metabolite produced by Fusarium genus and is a common contaminant in food and feedstuffs of cereal origin. In porcine granulosa cells(GC), T-2 toxin has been shown to inhibit the steroidogenesis; however, the mechanism has not been well understood. Gonadotropin-stimulated steroidogenesis is regulated by the cAMP-PKA pathway. In this study, we investigated potential mechanisms for T-2 toxin-induced reproductive toxicity focusing on the critical steps of the cAMP-PKA pathway affected by T-2 toxin. We first analyzed the effects of T-2 toxin on progesterone and estrogen production in rat granulosa cells. For this purpose the granulosa cells were cultured for 48 h in 10% fetal bovine serum-containing medium followed by 24h in serum-free medium containing FSH (10 ng/ml) and androstenedione (3 ng/ml), both are required for normal steroidogenesis. Treatment of these cells with T-2 toxin dose-dependently inhibited the growth of cells and the steroid hormone production. Cellular cyclic AMP levels were dose-dependently inhibited by T-2 toxin (0, 1, 10 and 100 nM, 24 h). Furthermore, we found that although the induction of progesterone by 8-Br-cAMP (a FSH mimetic) and 22R-HC (substrate for progesterone) could both be inhibited by T-2 toxin treatment, the T-2-imposed inhibitory effects could be reversed by increasing doses of 22R-HC, while increasing 8-Br-cAMP had no effects, suggesting that T2 toxin targeted at distinct mechanisms. cAMP-stimulated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is a rate limiting protein in progesterone synthesis. Exposure to T2 toxin caused significant suppression of StAR expression as determined by Western blotting and semi-quantitative RT-PCR suggesting StAR is a sensitive target for T-2 toxin. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that T2 toxin inhibits steroidogenesis by suppressing cAMP-PKA pathway and StAR is a target for T-2-toxin. The antisteroidogenesis effects were observable at low T-2 dose (1 ng

  16. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    PubMed

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs. PMID:26271287

  17. Clostridium perfringens Delta Toxin Is Sequence Related to Beta Toxin, NetB, and Staphylococcus Pore-Forming Toxins, but Shows Functional Differences

    PubMed Central

    Manich, Maria; Knapp, Oliver; Gibert, Maryse; Maier, Elke; Jolivet-Reynaud, Colette; Geny, Blandine; Benz, Roland; Popoff, Michel R.

    2008-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens produces numerous toxins, which are responsible for severe diseases in man and animals. Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysins released by a number of C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. Delta toxin was characterized to be cytotoxic for cells expressing the ganglioside GM2 in their membrane. Here we report the genetic characterization of Delta toxin and its pore forming activity in lipid bilayers. Delta toxin consists of 318 amino acids, its 28 N-terminal amino acids corresponding to a signal peptide. The secreted Delta toxin (290 amino acids; 32619 Da) is a basic protein (pI 9.1) which shows a significant homology with C. perfringens Beta toxin (43% identity), with C. perfringens NetB (40% identity) and, to a lesser extent, with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin and leukotoxins. Recombinant Delta toxin showed a preference for binding to GM2, in contrast to Beta toxin, which did not bind to gangliosides. It is hemolytic for sheep red blood cells and cytotoxic for HeLa cells. In artificial diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine membranes, Delta and Beta toxin formed channels. Conductance of the channels formed by Delta toxin, with a value of about 100 pS to more than 1 nS in 1 M KCl and a membrane potential of 20 mV, was higher than those formed by Beta toxin and their distribution was broader. The results of zero-current membrane potential measurements and single channel experiments suggest that Delta toxin forms slightly anion-selective channels, whereas the Beta toxin channels showed a preference for cations under the same conditions. C. perfringens Delta toxin shows a significant sequence homolgy with C. perfringens Beta and NetB toxins, as well as with S. aureus alpha hemolysin and leukotoxins, but exhibits different channel properties in lipid bilayers. In contrast to Beta toxin, Delta toxin recognizes GM2 as receptor and forms anion-selective channels. PMID:19018299

  18. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  19. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-02-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  20. Stress-Survival Gene Identification From an Acid Mine Drainage Algal Mat Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbina-Navarrete, J.; Fujishima, K.; Paulino-Lima, I. G.; Rothschild-Mancinelli, B.; Rothschild, L. J.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial communities from acid mine drainage environments are exposed to multiple stressors to include low pH, high dissolved metal loads, seasonal freezing, and desiccation. The microbial and algal communities that inhabit these niche environments have evolved strategies that allow for their ecological success. Metagenomic analyses are useful in identifying species diversity, however they do not elucidate the mechanisms that allow for the resilience of a community under these extreme conditions. Many known or predicted genes encode for protein products that are unknown, or similarly, many proteins cannot be traced to their gene of origin. This investigation seeks to identify genes that are active in an algal consortium during stress from living in an acid mine drainage environment. Our approach involves using the entire community transcriptome for a functional screen in an Escherichia coli host. This approach directly targets the genes involved in survival, without need for characterizing the members of the consortium.The consortium was harvested and stressed with conditions similar to the native environment it was collected from. Exposure to low pH (< 3.2), high metal load, desiccation, and deep freeze resulted in the expression of stress-induced genes that were transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). These mRNA transcripts were harvested to build complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries in E. coli. The transformed E. coli were exposed to the same stressors as the original algal consortium to select for surviving cells. Successful cells incorporated the transcripts that encode survival mechanisms, thus allowing for selection and identification of the gene(s) involved. Initial selection screens for freeze and desiccation tolerance have yielded E. coli that are 1 order of magnitude more resistant to freezing (0.01% survival of control with no transcript, 0.2% survival of E. coli with transcript) and 3 orders of magnitude more resistant to desiccation (0.005% survival of

  1. A cryptic algal group unveiled: a plastid biosynthesis pathway in the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, Motomichi; Kuroiwa, Haruko; Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Nozaki, Hisayoshi

    2008-06-01

    Plastids are widespread in plant and algal lineages. They are also exploited by some nonphotosynthetic protists, including malarial parasites, to support their diverse modes of life. However, cryptic plastids may exist in other nonphotosynthetic protists, which could be important in studies on the diversity and evolution of plastids. The parasite Perkinsus marinus, which causes mass mortality in oyster farms, is a nonphotosynthetic protist that is phylogenetically related to plastid-bearing dinoflagellates and apicomplexans. In this study, we searched for P. marinus methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway genes, responsible for de novo isoprenoid synthesis in plastids, and determined the full-length gene sequences for 6 of 7 of these genes. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that each P. marinus gene clusters with orthologs from plastid-bearing eukaryotes, which have MEP pathway genes with essentially the same mosaic pattern of evolutionary origin. A new analytical method called sliding-window iteration of TargetP was developed to examine the distribution of targeting preferences. This analysis revealed that the sequenced genes encode bipartite targeting peptides that are characteristic of proteins targeted to secondary plastids originating from endosymbiosis of eukaryotic algae. These results support our idea that Perkinsus is a cryptic algal group containing nonphotosynthetic secondary plastids. In fact, immunofluorescent microscopy indicated that 1 of the MEP pathway enzymes, 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase, was localized to small compartments near mitochondrion, which are possibly plastids. This tiny organelle seems to contain very low quantities of DNA or may even lack DNA entirely. The MEP pathway genes are a useful tool for investigating plastid evolution in both of the photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes and led us to propose the hypothesis that ancestral "chromalveolates" harbored plastids before a secondary endosymbiotic event

  2. Connecting Florida Bay algal blooms to freshwater nutrient sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blakey, T.; Melesse, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, monthly water quality data collected in the Everglades by the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) from 1991 to 2008 at 28 sampling stations distributed across Florida Bay was analyzed within the context of local geomorphology and seasonal wind and current regimes in order to evaluate the feasibility of the various purported nutrient sources for reoccurring algal blooms. The in situ chlorophyll-a (chl-a) measurements from the SERC dataset were evaluated as the indicator of algal biomass. Significant differences in average monthly chl-a concentrations at stations indicated a seasonality of algal blooms in the north central and west areas that is not evidenced in stations exhibiting low levels of chl-a throughout the typical year. Tukey's pairwise comparisons of monthly chl-a indicated, at the 95% confidence level, peak algal biomass occurs in October and November at the end of the wet season with minimums occurring between February and August depending on the location of the station. By month comparison of chl-a levels across stations suggest seasonal trends in the geographic focus and extent of blooms. Significant differences from Tukey's pairwise comparisons at the 95% confidence level showed stations to the west as having higher levels of chl-a in March through May with north central stations dominating from June to January. The month of February shows no significant difference in chl-a levels across this area. The results support hypotheses centering on a western source of nutrients that are delivered to the bay over the course of the rainy season. Mapping water quality sampling station locations on top of the bathymetry of Florida Bay illustrates the importance of considering coastal morphology in explaining trends in estuarine algal blooms. Coastal geomorphology along with seasonal changes in the direction of winds and magnitude of rains are demonstrated to be the predominant

  3. Fungi and fungal toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Paterson, R Russell M

    2006-09-01

    Recent aggressive attacks on innocent citizens have resulted in governments increasing security. However, there is a good case for prevention rather than reaction. Bioweapons, mycotoxins, fungal biocontrol agents (FBCA), and even pharmaceuticals contain, or are, toxins and need to be considered in the context of the new paradigm. Is it desirable to discuss such issues? None of the fungi are (a) as toxic as botulinum toxin from Clostridium botulinum, and (b) as dangerous as nuclear weapons. One toxin may be defined as a pharmaceutical and vice versa simply by a small change in concentration or a moiety. Mycotoxins are defined as naturally occurring toxic compounds obtained from fungi. They are the biggest chronic health risk when incorporated into the diet. The current list of fungal toxins as biochemical weapons is small, although awareness is growing of the threats they may pose. T-2 toxin is perhaps the biggest concern. A clear distinction is required between the biological (fungus) and chemical (toxin) aspects of the issue. There is an obvious requirement to be able to trace these fungi and compounds in the environment and to know when concentrations are abnormal. Many FBCA, produce toxins. This paper indicates how to treat mycotoxicosis and decontaminate mycotoxins. There is considerable confusion and inconsistency surrounding this topic which requires assessment in an impartial and scientific manner. PMID:16908123

  4. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection.

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-15

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

  5. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-03-15

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

  6. REMOVAL OF HARMFUL ALGAL CELLS (KARENIA BREVIS) AND TOXINS FROM SEAWATER CULTURE BY CLAY FLOCCULATION. (R827090)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  7. Clostridium perfringens type A–E toxin plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, John C.; Theoret, James R.; Wisniewski, Jessica A.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell. PMID:25283728

  8. Cholera toxin-like toxin released by Salmonella species in the presence of mitomycin C.

    PubMed

    Molina, N C; Peterson, J W

    1980-10-01

    Several serotypes of Salmonella were shown to release increased amounts of a cholera toxin-like toxin during culture in vitro with mitomycin C (MTC). Filter-sterilized culture supernatants containing the toxin caused elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells, which could be blocked by heating the supernatants at 100 degrees C for 15 min or by adding mixed gangliosides or monospecific cholera antitoxin. When MTC was not added to the Salmonella cultures, little or no toxin was detected in crude, unconcentrated culture supernatants. Optimal production of toxin was observed in the presence of 0.5 micrograms of MTC per ml in shake flask cultures of Casamino Acids-yeast extract medium, Syncase, or peptone saline at 37 degrees C. Meat infusion media (heart infusion and brain heart infusion) plus MTC resulted in poor toxin yield. Culture filtrates frequently could be diluted 1:8 and still result in elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells. PMID:7002788

  9. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Malik, Arunima; Lenzen, Manfred; Ralph, Peter J; Tamburic, Bojan

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this work is to establish whether algal bio-crude production is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To this end, an economic multi-regional input-output model of Australia was complemented with engineering process data on algal bio-crude production. This model was used to undertake hybrid life-cycle assessment for measuring the direct, as well as indirect impacts of producing bio-crude. Overall, the supply chain of bio-crude is more sustainable than that of conventional crude oil. The results indicate that producing 1 million tonnes of bio-crude will generate almost 13,000 new jobs and 4 billion dollars' worth of economic stimulus. Furthermore, bio-crude production will offer carbon sequestration opportunities as the production process is net carbon-negative. PMID:25465782

  10. Unraveling algal lipid metabolism: Recent advances in gene identification.

    PubMed

    Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Cohen, Zvi

    2011-01-01

    Microalgae are now the focus of intensive research due to their potential as a renewable feedstock for biodiesel. This research requires a thorough understanding of the biochemistry and genetics of these organisms' lipid-biosynthesis pathways. Genes encoding lipid-biosynthesis enzymes can now be identified in the genomes of various eukaryotic microalgae. However, an examination of the predicted proteins at the biochemical and molecular levels is mandatory to verify their function. The essential molecular and genetic tools are now available for a comprehensive characterization of genes coding for enzymes of the lipid-biosynthesis pathways in some algal species. This review mainly summarizes the novel information emerging from recently obtained algal gene identification. PMID:20709142

  11. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S. A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-05-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large “blooms” in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers.

  12. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan; Biddy, Mary J.; Jones, Susanne B.

    2013-03-31

    In support of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs. Process designs and preliminary economic estimates for each of these pathway cases were developed using rigorous modeling tools (Aspen Plus and Chemcad). These analyses incorporated the best information available at the time of development, including data from recent pilot and bench-scale demonstrations, collaborative industrial and academic partners, and published literature and patents. This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline, diesel and jet range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  13. Phenolic content and antioxidant capacity in algal food products.

    PubMed

    Machu, Ludmila; Misurcova, Ladislava; Ambrozova, Jarmila Vavra; Orsavova, Jana; Mlcek, Jiri; Sochor, Jiri; Jurikova, Tunde

    2015-01-01

    The study objective was to investigate total phenolic content using Folin-Ciocalteu's method, to assess nine phenols by HPLC, to determine antioxidant capacity of the water soluble compounds (ACW) by a photochemiluminescence method, and to calculate the correlation coefficients in commercial algal food products from brown (Laminaria japonica, Eisenia bicyclis, Hizikia fusiformis, Undaria pinnatifida) and red (Porphyra tenera, Palmaria palmata) seaweed, green freshwater algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa), and cyanobacteria (Spirulina platensis). HPLC analysis showed that the most abundant phenolic compound was epicatechin. From spectrophotometry and ACW determination it was evident that brown seaweed Eisenia bicyclis was the sample with the highest phenolic and ACW values (193 mg·g-1 GAE; 7.53 µmol AA·g-1, respectively). A linear relationship existed between ACW and phenolic contents (r = 0.99). Some algal products seem to be promising functional foods rich in polyphenols. PMID:25587787

  14. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Boetius, Antje; Albrecht, Sebastian; Bakker, Karel; Bienhold, Christina; Felden, Janine; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hendricks, Stefan; Katlein, Christian; Lalande, Catherine; Krumpen, Thomas; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Rabe, Benjamin; Rogacheva, Antonina; Rybakova, Elena; Somavilla, Raquel; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2013-03-22

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 grams of carbon per square meter to the deep-sea floor of the central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the effect of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function. PMID:23413190

  15. A Taste of Algal Genomes from the Joint Genome Institute

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-06-17

    Algae play profound roles in aquatic food chains and the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, provide models for the study of symbiosis, photosynthesis, and eukaryotic evolution, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI). To date JGI has sequenced, assembled, annotated, and released to the public the genomes of 18 species and strains of algae, sampling almost all of the major clades of photosynthetic eukaryotes. With more algal genomes currently undergoing analysis, JGI continues its commitment to driving forward basic and applied algal science. Among these ongoing projects are the pan-genome of the dominant coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, the interrelationships between the 4 genomes in the nucleomorph-containing Bigelowiella natans and Guillardia theta, and the search for symbiosis genes of lichens.

  16. ALGAL NUTRIENT AVAILABILITY AND LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL. APPENDICES TO PART III. ALGAL NUTRIENT LIMITATION IN LAKE ONTARIO DURING IFYGL

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Harmful algal blooms: How strong is the evidence that nutrient ratios and forms influence their occurrence?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Keith; Gowen, Richard J.; Tett, Paul; Bresnan, Eileen; Harrison, Paul J.; McKinney, April; Milligan, Stephen; Mills, David K.; Silke, Joe; Crooks, Anne-Marie

    2012-12-01

    There is a perception that anthropogenically-driven changes in nutrient supply to coastal waters influences the abundance, frequency and toxicity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) through a change in the form or ratio of nutrient that limits phytoplankton growth. If nutrient concentrations are not limiting for growth, then ratios do not influence floristic composition. At non-limiting concentrations, evidence that alteration of nitrogen: phosphorus (N:P) ratios has stimulated HABs is limited, and primarily based on hypothesised relationships in relatively few locations (in particular: Tolo Harbour Hong Kong and Dutch Coastal Waters). In all cases, an unequivocal causal link between an increase in HABs (frequency, magnitude or duration) and change in N or P as the limiting nutrient is difficult to establish. The silicon (Si) limitation hypothesis is generally supported by experimental evidence and field data on the nuisance flagellate Phaeocystis. We found little evidence that high N:Si ratios preferentially promote harmful dinoflagellates over benign species. Laboratory studies demonstrate that nutrient ratios can influence toxin production, but genus and species specific differences and environmental control make extrapolation of these data to the field difficult. Studies of the role of dissolved and particulate organic nutrients in the growth of HAB species, while limited, demonstrate the potential for organic nutrients (especially organic N) to support the growth of a range of HAB species. There is a clear need for better understanding of the role of mixotrophy in the formation of HABs and for studies of HAB and non-HAB species in competition for environmentally realistic concentrations of organic nutrients.

  18. Investigating the role of solanapyrone toxins in Ascochyta blight using toxin-deficient mutants of Asochyta rabiei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascochyta rabiei, the causal agent of Ascochyta blight of chickpea, produces solanapyrone toxins (solanapyrone A, B and C). However, very little is known about the genetics of toxin production and the role of the toxins in pathogenesis. Generating mutants deficient in the toxin biosynthesis would p...

  19. Selective algicidal action of peptides against harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Cheol; Lee, Jong-Kook; Kim, Si Wouk; Park, Yoonkyung

    2011-01-01

    Recently, harmful algal bloom (HAB), also termed "red tide", has been recognized as a serious problem in marine environments according to climate changes worldwide. Many novel materials or methods to prevent HAB have not yet been employed except for clay dispersion, in which can the resulting sedimentation on the seafloor can also cause alteration in marine ecology or secondary environmental pollution. In the current study, we investigated that antimicrobial peptide have a potential in controlling HAB without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Here, antimicrobial peptides are proposed as new algicidal compounds in combating HAB cells. HPA3 and HPA3NT3 peptides which exert potent antimicrobial activity via pore forming action in plasma membrane showed that HPA3NT3 reduced the motility of algal cells, disrupted their plasma membrane, and induced the efflux of intracellular components. Against raphidoflagellate such as Heterosigma akashiwo, Chattonella sp., and C. marina, it displayed a rapid lysing action in cell membranes at 1~4 µM within 2 min. Comparatively, its lysing effects occurred at 8 µM within 1 h in dinoflagellate such as Cochlodium polykrikoides, Prorocentrum micans, and P. minimum. Moreover, its lysing action induced the lysis of chloroplasts and loss of chlorophyll a. In the contrary, this peptide was not effective against Skeletonema costatum, harmless algal cell, even at 256 µM, moreover, it killed only H. akashiwo or C. marina in co-cultivation with S. costatum, indicating to its selective algicidal activity between harmful and harmless algal cells. The peptide was non-hemolytic against red blood cells of Sebastes schlegeli, the black rockfish, at 120 µM. HAB cells were quickly and selectively lysed following treatment of antimicrobial peptides without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Thus, the antibiotic peptides examined in our study appear to have much potential in effectively controlling HAB with minimal impact on marine

  20. The Use of Convection-Enhanced Delivery with Liposomal Toxins in Neurooncology

    PubMed Central

    Fiandaca, Massimo S.; Berger, Mitchel S.; Bankiewicz, Krystof S.

    2011-01-01

    Liposomes have long been effective delivery vehicles for transport of toxins to peripheral cancers. The combination of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) with liposomal toxins was originally proposed to circumvent the limited delivery of intravascular liposomes to the central nervous system (CNS) due to the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). CED offers markedly improved distribution of infused therapeutics within the CNS compared to direct injection or via drug eluting polymers, both of which depend on diffusion for parenchymal distribution. This review examines the basis for improved delivery of liposomal toxins via CED within the CNS, and discusses preclinical and clinical experience with these therapeutic techniques. How CED and liposomal technologies may influence future neurooncologic treatments are also considered. PMID:22069714

  1. Combined cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of a marine toxin and seafood contaminant metal ions (chromium and cadmium).

    PubMed

    Souid-Mensi, Ghada; Moukha, Serge; Maaroufi, Khira; Creppy, Edmond E

    2008-02-01

    Algal bloom with consequent production of marine toxins contaminating bivalves is increasing in costal regions worldwide because of sea water quality worsening. Contamination of seafood by diarrheic shellfish poisoning toxins (DSP) together with metals is frequently reported, a phenomenon not fully explained yet. In this context, metal ions were assayed in clams collected from the banned area of Boughrara, Tunisia, contaminated by Gymnodinium and other algae such as Dinophysis sp, accumulated by these bivalves. The presence of toxic metals ions such as Chromium (Cr) and Cadmium (Cd) in meat, shells, and water released by the clams prompted us to experiment in Caco-2 intestinal cell line toxic effects of these heavy metals ions in combination with okadaic acid, one DSP present in clams to assess the potential global toxicity. Cr and Cd produce additive effects in (i) reactive oxygen species production, (ii) cytotoxicity as assessed by the mitochondrial activity testing method (MTT test), and (iii) DNA lesions evaluated by agarose gel electrophoresis and acridine orange staining. Exaggerated DNA fragmentation is observed, suggesting an overloading of repair capacity of Caco-2 cells. The apoptosis suggested by a DNA fragment sizing (180-200 bp) in agarose gel and mechanisms underlying these additive effects in Caco-2 cells still need to be more comprehensively explained. PMID:18214935

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Biological control of harmful algal blooms: A modelling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-07-01

    A multispecies dynamic simulation model (ERSEM) was used to examine the influence of allelopathic and trophic interactions causing feeding avoidance by predators, on the formation of harmful algal blooms, under environmental scenarios typical of a Mediterranean harbour (Barcelona). The biological state variables of the model included four functional groups of phytoplankton (diatoms, toxic and non-toxic flagellates and picophytoplankton), heterotrophic flagellates, micro- and mesozooplankton and bacteria. The physical-chemical forcing (irradiance, temperature and major nutrient concentrations) was based on an actual series of measurements taken along a year cycle in the Barcelona harbour. In order to evaluate potential effects of advection, some runs were repeated after introducing a biomass loss term. Numerical simulations showed that allelopathic effects of a toxic alga on a non-toxic but otherwise similar competitor did not have appreciable influence on the dynamics of the system. However, induction of avoidance of the toxic alga by predators, which resulted on increased predation pressure on other algal groups had a significant effect on the development of algal and predator populations. The presence of advection overrided the effect of these interactions and only allowed organisms with sufficiently high potential growth rates to thrive.

  4. Micro-structured surfaces for algal biofilm growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathananthan, Suthamathy; Genin, Scott N.; Aitchison, J. Stewart; Allen, D. Grant

    2013-12-01

    It is well known that cells respond to structured surface cues that are on the micro/nanometer scale. Tissue engineering and bio-fouling fields have utilized the semiconductor device fabrication processes to make micro- and nanometer patterned surfaces to study animal cell tissue formation and to prevent algae attachment on marine surfaces respectively. In this paper we describe the use of micro-structured surfaces to study the attachment and growth of algal films. This paper gives an overview of how micro-structured surfaces are made for this purpose, how they are incorporated into a photo bioreactor and how this patterning influences the growth of an algal biofilm. Our results suggest that surface patterning with deeper V-groove patterns that are of the same size scale as the algal species has resulted in higher biomass productivity giving them a chance to embed and attach on the slope and flat surfaces whereas shallower size grooves and completely flat surfaces did not show this trend.

  5. Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A; Hudson, Stephen R; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H H; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year. PMID:24204642

  6. Floating Ice-Algal Aggregates below Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    PubMed Central

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K.; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A.; Hudson, Stephen R.; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H. H.; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year. PMID:24204642

  7. An algal solution to large scale wastewater amelioration

    SciTech Connect

    Adey, W.H.

    1995-06-01

    Wastewater nutrients can be lowered to oligotrophic levels through uptake by algal biomass, while photosynthetic oxygen removes bacterial BOD, and oxygen-based ions, with UV application, can break down xenobiotic organic compounds. Algae also uptake heavy metals in cell walls, and the high pH from CO{sub 25} removal precipitates metals, earth metals and phosphorus. Algal biomass produced from many wastewaters has valuable commercial applications. Algal Turf Scrubbing (ATS) was developed as a tool to control water quality in ecosystem models, often at oligotrophic levels. ATS has routinely achieved biomass production (and water amelioration capability) of over 50 g (dry mass) m{sup -2} day{sup -1} in secondary sewage. Engineering innovations, with mechanized harvest, have brought ATS to large scale with a pilot sewage plant in central California. This is a low cost, modular unit, at 1000 cubic meters per day, and plans are underway to expand to city capacity for Tertiary-Quinary water recovery. A wide variety of wastewater applications, from agricultural, to aquacultural to industrial will be discussed.

  8. Stable and sporadic symbiotic communities of coral and algal holobionts.

    PubMed

    Hester, Eric R; Barott, Katie L; Nulton, Jim; Vermeij, Mark Ja; Rohwer, Forest L

    2016-05-01

    Coral and algal holobionts are assemblages of macroorganisms and microorganisms, including viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, protists and fungi. Despite a decade of research, it remains unclear whether these associations are spatial-temporally stable or species-specific. We hypothesized that conflicting interpretations of the data arise from high noise associated with sporadic microbial symbionts overwhelming signatures of stable holobiont members. To test this hypothesis, the bacterial communities associated with three coral species (Acropora rosaria, Acropora hyacinthus and Porites lutea) and two algal guilds (crustose coralline algae and turf algae) from 131 samples were analyzed using a novel statistical approach termed the Abundance-Ubiquity (AU) test. The AU test determines whether a given bacterial species would be present given additional sampling effort (that is, stable) versus those species that are sporadically associated with a sample. Using the AU test, we show that coral and algal holobionts have a high-diversity group of stable symbionts. Stable symbionts are not exclusive to one species of coral or algae. No single bacterial species was ubiquitously associated with one host, showing that there is not strict heredity of the microbiome. In addition to the stable symbionts, there was a low-diversity community of sporadic symbionts whose abundance varied widely across individual holobionts of the same species. Identification of these two symbiont communities supports the holobiont model and calls into question the hologenome theory of evolution. PMID:26555246

  9. Variations of algal communities cause darkening of a Greenland glacier.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Jorge Villar, Susana E; Benning, Liane G

    2014-08-01

    We have assessed the microbial ecology on the surface of Mittivakkat glacier in SE-Greenland during the exceptional high melting season in July 2012 when the so far most extreme melting rate for the Greenland Ice Sheet has been recorded. By employing a complementary and multi-disciplinary field sampling and analytical approach, we quantified the dramatic changes in the different microbial surface habitats (green snow, red snow, biofilms, grey ice, cryoconite holes). The observed clear change in dominant algal community and their rapidly changing cryo-organic adaptation inventory was linked to the high melting rate. The changes in carbon and nutrient fluxes between different microbial pools (from snow to ice, cryoconite holes and glacial forefronts) revealed that snow and ice algae dominate the net primary production at the onset of melting, and that they have the potential to support the cryoconite hole communities as carbon and nutrient sources. A large proportion of algal cells is retained on the glacial surface and temporal and spatial changes in pigmentation contribute to the darkening of the snow and ice surfaces. This implies that the fast, melt-induced algal growth has a high albedo reduction potential, and this may lead to a positive feedback speeding up melting processes. PMID:24920320

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

    PubMed

    Meyer, Eli; Weis, Virginia M

    2012-08-01

    The symbiotic associations between cnidarians and dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) support productive and diverse ecosystems in coral reefs. Many aspects of this association, including the mechanistic basis of host-symbiont recognition and metabolic interaction, remain poorly understood. The first completed genome sequence for a symbiotic anthozoan is now available (the coral Acropora digitifera), and extensive expressed sequence tag resources are available for a variety of other symbiotic corals and anemones. These resources make it possible to profile gene expression, protein abundance, and protein localization associated with the symbiotic state. Here we review the history of "omics" studies of cnidarian-algal symbiosis and the current availability of sequence resources for corals and anemones, identifying genes putatively involved in symbiosis across 10 anthozoan species. The public availability of candidate symbiosis-associated genes leaves the field of cnidarian-algal symbiosis poised for in-depth comparative studies of sequence diversity and gene expression and for targeted functional studies of genes associated with symbiosis. Reviewing the progress to date suggests directions for future investigations of cnidarian-algal symbiosis that include (i) sequencing of Symbiodinium, (ii) proteomic analysis of the symbiosome membrane complex, (iii) glycomic analysis of Symbiodinium cell surfaces, and (iv) expression profiling of the gastrodermal cells hosting Symbiodinium. PMID:22983032

  11. Promotion of harmful algal blooms by zooplankton predatory activity

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, Kevin J

    2006-01-01

    The relationship between algae and their zooplanktonic predators typically involves consumption of nutrients by algae, grazing of the algae by zooplankton which in turn enhances predator biomass, controls algal growth and regenerates nutrients. Eutrophication raises nutrient levels, but does not simply increase normal predator–prey activity; rather, harmful algal bloom (HAB) events develop often with serious ecological and aesthetic implications. Generally, HAB species are outwardly poor competitors for nutrients, while their development of grazing deterrents during nutrient stress ostensibly occurs too late, after the nutrients have largely been consumed already by fast-growing non-HAB species. A new mechanism is presented to explain HAB dynamics under these circumstances. Using a multi-nutrient predator–prey model, it is demonstrated that these blooms can develop through the self-propagating failure of normal predator–prey activity, resulting in the transfer of nutrients into HAB growth at the expense of competing algal species. Rate limitation of this transfer provides a continual level of nutrient stress that results in HAB species exhibiting grazing deterrents protecting them from top-down control. This process is self-stabilizing as long as nutrient demand exceeds supply, maintaining the unpalatable status of HABs; such events are most likely under eutrophic conditions with skewed nutrient ratios. PMID:17148360

  12. Raman microspectroscopy based sensor of algal lipid unsaturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samek, Ota; Pilát, Zdeněk; Jonáš, Alexandr; Zemánek, Pavel; Šerý, Mojmír; Ježek, Jan; Bernatová, Silvie; Nedbal, Ladislav; Trtílek, Martin

    2011-05-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for chemical analysis. This technique can elucidate fundamental questions about the metabolic processes and intercellular variability on a single cell level. Therefore, Raman spectroscopy can significantly contribute to the study and use of microalgae in systems biology and biofuel technology. Raman spectroscopy can be combined with optical tweezers. We have employed microfluidic system to deliver the sampled microalgae to the Raman-tweezers. This instrument is able to measure chemical composition of cells and to track metabolic processes in vivo, in real-time and label-free making it possible to detect population variability in a wide array of traits. Moreover, employing an active sorting switch, cells can be separated depending on input parameters obtained from Raman spectra. We focus on algal lipids which are promising potential products for biofuel as well as for nutrition. Important parameter characterizing the algal lipids is the degree of unsaturation of the constituent fatty acids. We demonstrate the capacity of our Raman tweezers based sensor to sort cells according to the degree of unsaturation in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells.

  13. Broadening the neutralizing capacity of a family of antibody fragments against different toxins from Mexican scorpions.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Everardo Remi; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Arredondo-López, Jonathan Noé; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse; Fernández-Taboada, Guillermo; Possani, Lourival D; Anguiano-Vega, Gerardo Alfonso; Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Becerril, Baltazar

    2016-09-01

    New approaches aimed at neutralizing the primary toxic components present in scorpion venoms, represent a promising alternative to the use of antivenoms of equine origin in humans. New potential therapeutics developed by these approaches correspond to neutralizing antibody fragments obtained by selection and maturation processes from libraries of human origin. The high sequence identity shared among scorpion toxins is associated with an important level of cross reactivity exhibited by these antibody fragments. We have exploited the cross reactivity showed by single chain variable antibody fragments (scFvs) of human origin to re-direct the neutralizing capacity toward various other scorpion toxins. As expected, during these evolving processes several variants derived from a parental scFv exhibited the capacity to simultaneously recognize and neutralize different toxins from Centruroides scorpion venoms. A sequence analyses of the cross reacting scFvs revealed that specific mutations are responsible for broadening their neutralizing capacity. In this work, we generated a set of new scFvs that resulted from the combinatorial insertion of these point mutations. These scFvs are potential candidates to be part of a novel recombinant antivenom of human origin that could confer protection against scorpion stings. A remarkable property of one of these new scFvs (ER-5) is its capacity to neutralize at least three different toxins and its complementary capacity to neutralize the whole venom from Centruroides suffusus in combination with a second scFv (LR), which binds to a different epitope shared by Centruroides scorpion toxins. PMID:27212628

  14. Clostridium difficile and C. difficile Toxin Testing

    MedlinePlus

    ... C diff antigen; GDH Formal name: Clostridium difficile Culture; C. difficile Toxin, A and B; C. difficile Cytotoxin Assay; Glutamate Dehydrogenase Test Related tests: Stool Culture ; O&P At a Glance Test Sample The ...

  15. INVESTIGATOIN OF CYANOBACTERIA TOXINS IN WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction:

    Approximately 80 alkaloid and cyclic peptide toxins produced by various freshwater and marine cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have been identified and their structures determined. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified two neurotoxin alkalo...

  16. [Treatment of wrinkles with botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Lanzl, I; Merté, R-L

    2007-09-01

    The use of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of wrinkles is increasing. Botulinum toxin A inhibits exocytosis of acetylcholine from 3 to 12 months, depending on the target tissue. Low-dose botulinum toxin A is used to smooth hyperkinetic facial lines. This is especially successful in the upper facial parts, since the target muscles (procerus, corrugator supracilii, frontalis, orbicularis oculi) all directly overlie the osseous structures of the face. This is not the case for the lower facial parts, and more side effects are encountered when treating, for example, wrinkles around the mouth. Contraindications to the use of botulinum toxin A are diseases affecting neuromuscular signal transduction, allergic reactions to components of the solution, therapy with aminoglycosides or acetylsalicylic acid prior to treatment, infections in the planned treatment area, and pregnancy and lactation. Alternative and complementary treatments include erbium-YAG or CO2 laser, as well as augmentation and surgical plastic procedures. PMID:17823803

  17. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes

    PubMed Central

    do Vale, Ana; Cabanes, Didier; Sousa, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favor microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signaling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed. PMID:26870008

  18. Nanoanalysis of the arthropod neuro-toxins

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Terumi

    2006-01-01

    Many kinds of venomous principles modulate physiological responses of mammalian signal transduction systems, on which they act selectively as enhancers, inhibitors or some other kind of effectors. These toxins become useful tools for physiological research. We have employed and characterized paralyzing toxins from the venom of spiders, insects and scorpions with a limited supply. We have developed rapid and sensitive mass spectrometric technology and applied for the identification of these toxins. Venom profiles are screened by MALDI-TOF fingerprinting analysis prior to purification of venomous components, then marked target toxins of small molecular mass (1000–5000) are characterized directly by means of mass spectrometric techniques such as Frit-FAB MS/MS, CID/PSD-TOF MS, Capil.-HPLC/Q-TOF MS/MS etc. PMID:25792792

  19. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Dagda, Ruben K.; Das Banerjee, Tania; Janda, Elzbieta

    2013-01-01

    Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone) have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD. PMID:24217228

  20. [Botulinum toxin in disabling dermatological diseases].

    PubMed

    Messikh, R; Atallah, L; Aubin, F; Humbert, P

    2009-05-01

    Botulinum toxin could represent nowadays a new treatment modality especially for cutaneous conditions in course of which conventional treatments remain unsuccessful. Besides palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis, botulinum toxin has demonstrated efficacy in different conditions associated with hyperhidrosis, such as dyshidrosis, multiple eccrine hidrocystomas, hidradenitis suppurativa, Frey syndrome, but also in different conditions worsened by hyperhidrosis such as Hailey-Hailey disease, Darier disease, inversed psoriasis, aquagenic palmoplantar keratoderma, pachyonychia congenital. Moreover, different cutaneous conditions associated with sensitive disorders and/or neurological involvements could benefit from botulinum toxin, for example anal fissures, leg ulcers, lichen simplex, notalgia paresthetica, vestibulitis. Endly, a case of cutis laxa was described where the patient was improved by cutaneous injections of botulinum toxin. PMID:19576479

  1. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

    MedlinePlus

    Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins ... Possible substances that can cause hemolytic anemia include: Anti-malaria drugs (quinine compounds) Arsenic Dapsone Intravenous water infusion (not half-normal saline or normal saline) Metals (chromium/chromates, ...

  2. Augmenting the Efficacy of Immunotoxins and Other Targeted Protein Toxins by Endosomal Escape Enhancers

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Hendrik; Weng, Alexander; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger

    2016-01-01

    The toxic moiety of almost all protein-based targeted toxins must enter the cytosol of the target cell to mediate its fatal effect. Although more than 500 targeted toxins have been investigated in the past decades, no antibody-targeted protein toxin has been approved for tumor therapeutic applications by the authorities to date. Missing efficacy can be attributed in many cases to insufficient endosomal escape and therefore subsequent lysosomal degradation of the endocytosed toxins. To overcome this drawback, many strategies have been described to weaken the membrane integrity of endosomes. This comprises the use of lysosomotropic amines, carboxylic ionophores, calcium channel antagonists, various cell-penetrating peptides of viral, bacterial, plant, animal, human and synthetic origin, other organic molecules and light-induced techniques. Although the efficacy of the targeted toxins was typically augmented in cell culture hundred or thousand fold, in exceptional cases more than million fold, the combination of several substances harbors new problems including additional side effects, loss of target specificity, difficulties to determine the therapeutic window and cell type-dependent variations. This review critically scrutinizes the chances and challenges of endosomal escape enhancers and their potential role in future developments. PMID:27376327

  3. Augmenting the Efficacy of Immunotoxins and Other Targeted Protein Toxins by Endosomal Escape Enhancers.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Hendrik; Weng, Alexander; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger

    2016-01-01

    The toxic moiety of almost all protein-based targeted toxins must enter the cytosol of the target cell to mediate its fatal effect. Although more than 500 targeted toxins have been investigated in the past decades, no antibody-targeted protein toxin has been approved for tumor therapeutic applications by the authorities to date. Missing efficacy can be attributed in many cases to insufficient endosomal escape and therefore subsequent lysosomal degradation of the endocytosed toxins. To overcome this drawback, many strategies have been described to weaken the membrane integrity of endosomes. This comprises the use of lysosomotropic amines, carboxylic ionophores, calcium channel antagonists, various cell-penetrating peptides of viral, bacterial, plant, animal, human and synthetic origin, other organic molecules and light-induced techniques. Although the efficacy of the targeted toxins was typically augmented in cell culture hundred or thousand fold, in exceptional cases more than million fold, the combination of several substances harbors new problems including additional side effects, loss of target specificity, difficulties to determine the therapeutic window and cell type-dependent variations. This review critically scrutinizes the chances and challenges of endosomal escape enhancers and their potential role in future developments. PMID:27376327

  4. Atractaspis aterrima toxins: the first insight into the molecular evolution of venom in side-stabbers.

    PubMed

    Terrat, Yves; Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan G; Jackson, Timothy N W; Scheib, Holger; Fourmy, Rudy; Verdenaud, Marion; Blanchet, Guillaume; Antunes, Agostinho; Ducancel, Frederic

    2013-11-01

    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus Atractaspis, have been completely neglected. To date only limited number of toxins, such as sarafotoxins have been well characterized from this lineage. In order to investigate the molecular diversity of venom from Atractaspis aterrima-the slender burrowing asp, we utilized a high-throughput transcriptomic approach completed with an original bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Surprisingly, we found that Sarafotoxins do not constitute the major ingredient of the transcriptomic cocktail; rather a large number of previously well-characterized snake venom-components were identified. Notably, we recovered a large diversity of three-finger toxins (3FTxs), which were found to have evolved under the significant influence of positive selection. From the normalized and non-normalized transcriptome libraries, we were able to evaluate the relative abundance of the different toxin groups, uncover rare transcripts, and gain new insight into the transcriptomic machinery. In addition to previously characterized toxin families, we were able to detect numerous highly-transcribed compounds that possess all the key features of venom-components and may constitute new classes of toxins. PMID:24169588

  5. Atractaspis aterrima Toxins: The First Insight into the Molecular Evolution of Venom in Side-Stabbers

    PubMed Central

    Terrat, Yves; Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan G.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Scheib, Holger; Fourmy, Rudy; Verdenaud, Marion; Blanchet, Guillaume; Antunes, Agostinho; Ducancel, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus Atractaspis, have been completely neglected. To date only limited number of toxins, such as sarafotoxins have been well characterized from this lineage. In order to investigate the molecular diversity of venom from Atractaspis aterrima—the slender burrowing asp, we utilized a high-throughput transcriptomic approach completed with an original bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Surprisingly, we found that Sarafotoxins do not constitute the major ingredient of the transcriptomic cocktail; rather a large number of previously well-characterized snake venom-components were identified. Notably, we recovered a large diversity of three-finger toxins (3FTxs), which were found to have evolved under the significant influence of positive selection. From the normalized and non-normalized transcriptome libraries, we were able to evaluate the relative abundance of the different toxin groups, uncover rare transcripts, and gain new insight into the transcriptomic machinery. In addition to previously characterized toxin families, we were able to detect numerous highly-transcribed compounds that possess all the key features of venom-components and may constitute new classes of toxins. PMID:24169588

  6. [Conus venoms: a source of toxins which interact with membrane- potential-dependent sodium channels].

    PubMed

    Le Gall, F; Favreau, P; Benoit, E; Richard, G; Molgó, J

    1999-01-01

    Marine snails of the genus Conus, as they are carnivorous predators, have a venom apparatus used to capture their prey. The toxins contained in the venoms of Conidae, called conotoxins, are of a particular high degree of diversity and represent powerful tools in the neuroscience field. Indeed, these toxins specifically bind with a high affinity to receptors and ionic channels. Therefore, they provide original pharmacological tools which receive increasing investigation both to identify and study some functions of the nervous systems and to characterize new types and closely related subtypes of receptors or ionic channels. The voltage-gated sodium channel, because of its fundamental role in cell membrane excitability, is the specific target of a large number of animal and vegetal toxins. Actually, at least seven toxin receptor sites have been identified on this channel-protein. These toxins, and in particular conotoxins, are used to precise the role of different types and/or closely related subtypes of sodium channels in the peripheral and central nervous systems. The focus of the present review is to summarize our current knowledge of the consequences of physiological interactions between different conotoxin families and sodium channels. PMID:10783706

  7. Dynamics of cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial toxins and their correlation with environmental parameters in Tri An Reservoir, Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Dao, Thanh-Son; Nimptsch, Jorge; Wiegand, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    This study evaluates the water quality from Tri An Reservoir, a drinking water supply for several million people in southern Vietnam, in terms of cyanobacterial biomass and their potent toxins, microcystins (MCs). Cyanobacteria, their toxins and environmental parameters were monitored monthly for 1 year (April 2008-March 2009) at six stations covering a transect through the reservoir. Dynamics of cyanobacterial abundance in relation to cyanobacterial biomass, toxins and environmental factors were investigated. Environmental variables from Tri An Reservoir favored algal and cyanobacterial development. However, cyanobacterial biomass and proportion varied widely, influenced by physical conditions, available nutrients and nutrient competition among the phytoplankton groups. Cyanobacterial biomass correlated slightly positively to temperature, pH and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), but negatively to total inorganic nitrogen concentrations. During most of the sampling times, MC concentrations in the reservoir were quite low (≤0.07 μg L(-1) MC-LR equivalent), and presented a slight positive correlation to BOD5, total nitrogen:total phosphorus ratio and cyanobacterial biomass. However, in cyanobacterial scum samples, which now and then occurred in the reservoir, MC concentrations reached up to 640 μg g(-1) DW(-1). The occurrence of MC in the reservoir poses a risk to local residents who use the water daily for domestic purposes. PMID:27441865

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-17

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

  9. Botulinum toxin. From poison to medicine.

    PubMed Central

    Davis, L E

    1993-01-01

    Although thousands of people in the world each year continue to be poisoned with botulinum toxin-food-borne, infantile, or wound botulism-the neurotoxin is now sufficiently understood to allow it to be used as a medicinal agent to paralyze specific muscles, giving temporary symptomatic relief from a variety of dystonic neurologic disorders. I review some of the epidemiologic, clinical, and pathophysiologic aspects of botulinum toxin and how the neurotoxin may act as a poison or a medicine. Images PMID:8470380

  10. Purification and characterization of Clostridium difficile toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Rolfe, R D; Finegold, S M

    1979-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains are a major cause of antimicrobial-associated ileocecitis in laboratory animals and pseudomembranous colitis in humans. C. difficile ATCC 9689 was cultivated in a synthetic medium to which 3% ultrafiltrated proteose peptone was added. Purification of the toxin from broth filtrate was accomplished through ultrafiltration (100,000 nominal-molecular-weight-limit membrane), precipitation with 75% (NH4)2SO4, and chromatographic separation using Bio-Gel A 5m followed by ion-exchange chromatography on a diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex A-25 column. The purified toxin displayed only one band on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and approximately 170 pg was cytopathic for human amnion cells. The isolated toxin was neutralized by Clostridium sordelli antitoxin, heat labile (56 degrees C for 30 min), and inactivated at pH 4 and 9; it had an isoelectric point of 5.0, increased vascular permeability in rabbits, and caused ileocecitis in hamsters when injected intracecally. Treatment of the toxin with trypsin, chymotrypsin, pronase, amylase, or ethylmercurithiosalicylate caused inactivation, whereas lipase had no effect. By gel filtration, its molecular weight was estimated as 530,000. Upon reduction and denaturation, the toxin dissociated into 185,000- and 50,000-molecular-weight components, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Extensive dissociation yielded only the 50,000-molecular-weight component. The toxin appears to be protoplasmic and is released into the surrounding environment upon autolysis of the cells. Attempts to correlate specific enzymatic activity with the toxin have been unsuccessful. These studies will help delineate the role of C. difficile toxin in antimicrobial-associated colitis and diarrhea. Images PMID:478634

  11. Toxicological Perspective on Climate Change: Aquatic Toxins.

    PubMed

    Botana, Luis M

    2016-04-18

    In recent years, our group and several others have been describing the presence of new, not previously reported, toxins of high toxicity in vectors that may reach the human food chain. These include tetrodotoxin in gastropods in the South of Europe, ciguatoxin in fish in the South of Spain, palytoxin in mussels in the Mediterranean Sea, pinnatoxin all over Europe, and okadaic acid in the south of the U.S. There seem to be new marine toxins appearing in areas that are heavy producers of seafood, and this is a cause of concern as most of these new toxins are not included in current legislation and monitoring programs. Along with the new toxins, new chemical analogues are being reported. The same phenomenom is being recorded in freshwater toxins, such as the wide appearance of cylindrospermopsin and the large worldwide increase of microcystin. The problem that this phenomenon, which may be linked to climate warming, poses for toxicologists is very important not only because there is a lack of chronic studies and an incomplete comprehension of the mechanism driving the production of these toxins but also because the lack of a legal framework for them allows many of these toxins to reach the market. In some cases, it is very difficult to control these toxins because there are not enough standards available, they are not always certified, and there is an insufficient understanding of the toxic equivalency factors of the different analogues in each group. All of these factors have been revealed and grouped through the massive increase in the use of LC-MS as a monitoring tool, legally demanded, creating more toxicological problems. PMID:26958981

  12. Dermatitis from purified sea algae toxin (debromoaplysiatoxin).

    PubMed

    Solomon, A E; Stoughton, R B

    1978-09-01

    Cutaneous inflammation was induced by debromoaplysiatoxin, a purified toxin extracted from Lyngbya majuscula Gomont. This alga causes a seaweed dermatitis that occurs in persons who have swum off the coast of Oahu in Hawaii. By topical application, the toxin was found to produce an irritant pustular folliculitis in humans and to cause a severe cutaneous inflammatory reaction in the rabbit and in hairless mice. PMID:686747

  13. Evaluating algal growth performance and water use efficiency of pilot-scale revolving algal biofilm (RAB) culture systems.

    PubMed

    Gross, Martin; Mascarenhas, Vernon; Wen, Zhiyou

    2015-10-01

    A Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) growth system in which algal cells are attached to a flexible material rotating between liquid and gas phases has been developed. In this work, different configurations of RAB systems were developed at pilot-scale by retrofitting the attachment materials to a raceway pond (2000-L with 8.5 m(2) footprint area) and a trough reservoir (150 L with 3.5 m(2) footprint area). The algal growth performance and chemical composition, as well as the water evaporative loss and specific water consumption were evaluated over a period of nine months in a greenhouse environment near Boone, Iowa USA. Additionally a raceway pond was run in parallel, which served as a control. On average the raceway-based RAB and the trough-based RAB outperformed the control pond by 309% and 697%, respectively. A maximum productivity of 46.8 g m(-2) day(-1) was achieved on the trough-based RAB system. The evaporative water loss of the RAB system was modeled based on an energy balance analysis and was experimentally validated. While the RAB system, particularly the trough-based RAB, had higher water evaporative loss, the specific water consumption per unit of biomass produced was only 26% (raceway-based RAB) and 7% (trough-based RAB) of that of the control pond. Collectively, this research shows that the RAB system is an efficient algal culture system and has great potential to commercially produce microalgae with high productivity and efficient water use. PMID:25899246

  14. Algal remediation of CO₂ and nutrient discharges: A review.

    PubMed

    Judd, Simon; van den Broeke, Leo J P; Shurair, Mohamed; Kuti, Yussuf; Znad, Hussein

    2015-12-15

    The recent literature pertaining to the application of algal photobioreactors (PBRs) to both carbon dioxide mitigation and nutrient abatement is reviewed and the reported data analysed. The review appraises the influence of key system parameters on performance with reference to (a) the absorption and biological fixation of CO2 from gaseous effluent streams, and (b) the removal of nutrients from wastewaters. Key parameters appraised individually with reference to CO2 removal comprise algal speciation, light intensity, mass transfer, gas and hydraulic residence time, pollutant (CO2 and nutrient) loading, biochemical and chemical stoichiometry (including pH), and temperature. Nutrient removal has been assessed with reference to hydraulic residence time and reactor configuration, along with C:nutrient ratios and other factors affecting carbon fixation, and outcomes compared with those reported for classical biological nutrient removal (BNR). Outcomes of the review indicate there has been a disproportionate increase in algal PBR research outputs over the past 5-8 years, with a significant number of studies based on small, bench-scale systems. The quantitative impacts of light intensity and loading on CO2 uptake are highly dependent on the algal species, and also affected by solution chemical conditions such as temperature and pH. Calculations based on available data for biomass growth rates indicate that a reactor CO2 residence time of around 4 h is required for significant CO2 removal. Nutrient removal data indicate residence times of 2-5 days are required for significant nutrient removal, compared with <12 h for a BNR plant. Moreover, the shallow depth of the simplest PBR configuration (the high rate algal pond, HRAP) means that its footprint is at least two orders of magnitude greater than a classical BNR plant. It is concluded that the combined carbon capture/nutrient removal process relies on optimisation of a number of process parameters acting synergistically

  15. ALGAL RESPONSE TO NUTRIENT ENRICHMENT IN FORESTED OLIGOTROPHIC STREAM(1).

    PubMed

    Veraart, Annelies J; Romaní, Anna M; Tornés, Elisabet; Sabater, Sergi

    2008-06-01

    Nutrient input in streams alters the density and species composition of attached algal communities in open systems. However, in forested streams, the light reaching the streambed (rather than the local nutrient levels) may limit the growth of these communities. A nutrient-enrichment experiment in a forested oligotrophic stream was performed to test the hypothesis that nutrient addition has only minor effects on the community composition of attached algae and cyanobacteria under light limitation. Moderate nutrient addition consisted of increasing basal phosphorus (P) concentrations 3-fold and basal nitrogen (N) concentrations 2-fold. Two upstream control reaches were compared to a downstream reach before and after nutrient addition. Nutrients were added continuously to the downstream reach for 1 year. Algal biofilms growing on ceramic tiles were sampled and identified for more than a year before nutrient addition to 12 months after. Diatoms were the most abundant taxonomic group in the three stream reaches. Nutrient enrichment caused significant variations in the composition of the diatom community. While some taxa showed significant decreases (e.g., Achnanthes minutissima, Gomphonema angustum), increases for other taxa (such as Rhoicosphenia abbreviata and Amphora ovalis) were detected in the enriched reach (for taxonomic authors, see Table 2). Epiphytic and adnate taxa of large size were enhanced, particularly during periods of favorable growth conditions (spring). Nutrients also caused a change in the algal chl a, which increased from 0.5-5.8 to 2.1-10.7 μg chl · cm(-2) . Our results indicate that in oligotrophic forested streams, long-term nutrient addition has significant effects on the algal biomass and community composition, which are detectable despite the low light availability caused by the tree canopy. Low light availability moderates but does not detain the long-term tendency toward a nutrient-tolerant community. Furthermore, the effects

  16. Sea Anemone Toxins Affecting Potassium Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diochot, Sylvie; Lazdunski, Michel

    The great diversity of K+ channels and their wide distribution in many tissues are associated with important functions in cardiac and neuronal excitability that are now better understood thanks to the discovery of animal toxins. During the past few decades, sea anemones have provided a variety of toxins acting on voltage-sensitive sodium and, more recently, potassium channels. Currently there are three major structural groups of sea anemone K+ channel (SAK) toxins that have been characterized. Radioligand binding and electrophysiological experiments revealed that each group contains peptides displaying selective activities for different subfamilies of K+ channels. Short (35-37 amino acids) peptides in the group I display pore blocking effects on Kv1 channels. Molecular interactions of SAK-I toxins, important for activity and binding on Kv1 channels, implicate a spot of three conserved amino acid residues (Ser, Lys, Tyr) surrounded by other less conserved residues. Long (58-59 amino acids) SAK-II peptides display both enzymatic and K+ channel inhibitory activities. Medium size (42-43 amino acid) SAK-III peptides are gating modifiers which interact either with cardiac HERG or Kv3 channels by altering their voltage-dependent properties. SAK-III toxins bind to the S3C region in the outer vestibule of Kv channels. Sea anemones have proven to be a rich source of pharmacological tools, and some of the SAK toxins are now useful drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases.

  17. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  18. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Christopher F.; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  19. Evaluation of antidiphtheria toxin nanobodies

    PubMed Central

    Shaker, Ghada H

    2010-01-01

    Nanobodies are the smallest fragments of naturally occurring single-domain antibodies that have evolved to be fully functional in the absence of a light chain. Conventional antibodies are glycoproteins comprising two heavy and two light chains. Surprisingly, all members of the Camelidae family possess a fraction of antibodies devoid of both light chains and the first constant domain. These types of antibodies are known as heavy-chain antibody (HcAb) nanobodies. There are three subclasses of IgG in dromedaries, namely IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 of which IgG2 and IgG3 are of the HcAb type. These heavy chain antibodies constitute approximately 50% of the IgG in llama serum and as much as 75% of the IgG in camel serum. In the present work, the different IgG subclasses from an immunized camel (Camelus dromedarius) with divalent diphtheria-tetanus vaccine were purified using their different affinity for protein A and protein G and their absorbance measured at 280 nm. Purity control and characterization by 12% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of IgG subclasses was done under reducing conditions. Protein bands were visualized after staining with Coomassie Blue, showing two bands at 50 kDa and 30 kDa for IgG1, while IgG2 and IgG3 produced only one band at 46 kDa and 43 kDa, respectively. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test using diphtheria toxin and purified IgG subclasses from the immunized camel were performed to evaluate their efficiency. Compared with conventional IgG1, heavy chain antibodies (nanobodies) were shown to be more efficient in binding to diphtheria toxin antigen. This study revealed the possibility of using IgG2 and IgG3 nanobodies as an effective antitoxin for the treatment of diphtheria in humans. PMID:24198468

  20. Environmental influence on cyanobacteria abundance and microcystin toxin production in a shallow temperate lake.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tammy A; Rollwagen-Bollens, Gretchen; Bollens, Stephen M; Faber-Hammond, Joshua J

    2015-04-01

    The increasing frequency of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater systems is a commonly recognized problem due to detrimental effects on water quality. Vancouver Lake, a shallow, tidally influenced lake in the flood plain of the Columbia River within the city of Vancouver, WA, USA, has experienced numerous summertime cyanobacterial blooms, dominated by Aphanizomenon sp. and Anabaena sp. Cyanobacteria abundance and toxin (microcystin) levels have been monitored in this popular urban lake for several years; however, no previous studies have identified which cyanobacteria species produce toxins, nor analyzed how changes in environmental variables contribute to the fluctuations in toxic cyanobacteria populations. We used a suite of molecular techniques to analyze water samples from Vancouver Lake over two summer bloom cycles (2009 and 2010). Both intracellular and extracellular microcystin concentrations were measured using an ELISA kit. Intracellular microcystin concentrations exceeded WHO guidelines for recreational waters several times throughout the sampling period. PCR results demonstrated that Microcystis sp. was the sole microcystin-producing cyanobacteria species present in Vancouver Lake, although Microcystis sp. was rarely detected in microscopical counts. qPCR results indicated that the majority of the Microcystis sp. population contained the toxin-producing gene (mcyE), although Microcystis sp. abundance rarely exceeded 1 percent of overall cyanobacteria abundance. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed that PO4-P was the main environmental variable influencing the abundance of toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria, as well as intracellular microcystin concentrations. Our study underscores the importance of using molecular genetic techniques, in addition to traditional microscopy, to assess the importance of less conspicuous species in the dynamics of harmful algal blooms. PMID:25060409

  1. Inhibition of maize histone deacetylases by HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of Cochliobolus carbonum.

    PubMed Central

    Brosch, G; Ransom, R; Lechner, T; Walton, J D; Loidl, P

    1995-01-01

    HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum, inhibited maize histone deacetylase (HD) at 2 microM. Chlamydocin, a related cyclic tetrapeptide, also inhibited HD activity. The toxins did not affect histone acetyltransferases. After partial purification of histone deacetylases HD1-A, HD1-B, and HD2 from germinating maize embryos, we demonstrated that the different enzymes were similarly inhibited by the toxins. Inhibitory activities were reversibly eliminated by treating toxins with 2-mercaptoethanol, presumably by modifying the carbonyl group of the epoxide-containing amino acid Aeo (2-amino-9,10-epoxy-8-oxodecanoic acid). Kinetic studies revealed that inhibition of HD was of the uncompetitive type and reversible. HC toxin, in which the epoxide group had been hydrolyzed, completely lost its inhibitory activity; when the carbonyl group of Aeo had been reduced to the corresponding alcohol, the modified toxin was less active than native toxin. In vivo treatment of embryos with HC toxin caused the accumulation of highly acetylated histone H4 subspecies and elevated acetate incorporation into H4 in susceptible-genotype embryos but not in the resistant genotype. HDs from chicken and the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum were also inhibited, indicating that the host selectivity of HC toxin is not determined by its inhibitory effect on HD. Consistent with these results, we propose a model in which HC toxin promotes the establishment of pathogenic compatibility between C. carbonum and maize by interfering with reversible histone acetylation, which is implicated in the control of fundamental cellular processes, such as chromatin structure, cell cycle progression, and gene expression. PMID:8535144

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-15

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

  3. Spores before sporophytes: hypothesizing the origin of sporogenesis at the algal-plant transition.

    PubMed

    Brown, Roy C; Lemmon, Betty E

    2011-06-01

    Fossil spores from mid-Ordovician deposits (475 million yr old) are the first indication of plants on land and predate megafossils of plants by 30-50 million yr. Sporopollenin-walled spores distinguish land plants from algae, which typically have heavy-walled zygotes that germinate via meiosis into motile or protonemal cells. All land plants are embryophytes with spores produced by the sporophyte generation. It is generally assumed that retention of the zygote and delay in meiosis led to matrotrophic embryo development and intercalation of the diploid sporophyte before spore production. However, new data on the cell biology of sporogenesis in extant bryophytes suggest that spores were produced directly from zygotes in protoembryophytes. The mechanism of wall transfer from zygote to meiospores was a three-phase heterochrony involving precocious initiation of cytokinesis, acceleration of meiosis, and concomitant delay in wall deposition. In bryophyte sporogenesis, cytokinesis is typically initiated in advance of meiosis, and quadrilobing of the cytoplasm is followed by development of a bizarre quadripolar spindle that assures coordination of nuclear distribution with predetermined spore domains. This concept of the innovation of sporogenesis at the onset of terrestrialization provides a new perspective for interpreting fossil evidence and understanding the evolution of land plants. PMID:21418225

  4. Development and Validation of a Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method for the Quantitation of Microcystins in Blue-Green Algal Dietary Supplements.

    PubMed

    Parker, Christine H; Stutts, Whitney L; DeGrasse, Stacey L

    2015-12-01

    A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed for the simultaneous detection and quantitation of seven microcystin congeners (1-7) and nodularin-R (8) in blue-green algal dietary supplements. Single-laboratory method validation data were collected in four supplement matrices (capsule, liquid, powder, and tablet) fortified at toxin concentrations from 0.25-2.00 μg/g (ppm). Average recoveries and relative standard deviations (RSD) using matrix-corrected solvent calibration curves were 101% (6% RSD) for all congeners and supplements investigated. Limits of detection (0.006-0.028 μg/g) and quantitation (0.018-0.084 μg/g) were sufficient to confirm the presence of microcystin contamination at the Oregon-mandated guidance concentration of 1.0 μg of microcystin-LReq/g. Quantitated concentrations of microcystin contamination in market-available Aphanizomenon flos-aquae blue-green algal supplements ranged from 0.18-1.87 μg of microcystin-LReq/g for detected congeners microcystin-LR, microcystin-LA, and microcystin-LY (3-5). Microcystin-RR, -YR, -LW, and -LF and nodularin-R (1, 2, and 6-8) were not detected in the supplements examined. PMID:26466789

  5. Biogenic gradients in algal density affect the emergent properties of spatially self-organized mussel beds

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Quan-Xing; Weerman, Ellen J.; Gupta, Rohit; Herman, Peter M. J.; Olff, Han; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Theoretical models highlight that spatially self-organized patterns can have important emergent effects on the functioning of ecosystems, for instance by increasing productivity and affecting the vulnerability to catastrophic shifts. However, most theoretical studies presume idealized homogeneous conditions, which are rarely met in real ecosystems. Using self-organized mussel beds as a case study, we reveal that spatial heterogeneity, resulting from the large-scale effects of mussel beds on their environment, significantly alters the emergent properties predicted by idealized self-organization models that assume homogeneous conditions. The proposed model explicitly considers that the suspended algae, the prime food for the mussels, are supplied by water flow from the seaward boundary of the bed, which causes in combination with consumption a gradual depletion of algae over the simulated domain. Predictions of the model are consistent with properties of natural mussel patterns observed in the field, featuring a decline in mussel biomass and a change in patterning. Model analyses reveal a fundamental change in ecosystem functioning when this self-induced algal depletion gradient is included in the model. First, no enhancement of secondary productivity of the mussels comparing with non-patterns states is predicted, irrespective of parameter setting; the equilibrium amount of mussels is entirely set by the input of algae. Second, alternate stable states, potentially present in the original (no algal gradient) model, are absent when gradual depletion of algae in the overflowing water layer is allowed. Our findings stress the importance of including sufficiently realistic environmental conditions when assessing the emergent properties of self-organized ecosystems. PMID:24759542

  6. Evolutionary Origins of Rhizarian Parasites.

    PubMed

    Sierra, Roberto; Cañas-Duarte, Silvia J; Burki, Fabien; Schwelm, Arne; Fogelqvist, Johan; Dixelius, Christina; González-García, Laura N; Gile, Gillian H; Slamovits, Claudio H; Klopp, Christophe; Restrepo, Silvia; Arzul, Isabelle; Pawlowski, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The SAR group (Stramenopila, Alveolata, Rhizaria) is one of the largest clades in the tree of eukaryotes and includes a great number of parasitic lineages. Rhizarian parasites are obligate and have devastating effects on commercially important plants and animals but despite this fact, our knowledge of their biology and evolution is limited. Here, we present rhizarian transcriptomes from all major parasitic lineages in order to elucidate their evolutionary relationships using a phylogenomic approach. Our results suggest that Ascetosporea, parasites of marine invertebrates, are sister to the novel clade Apofilosa. The phytomyxean plant parasites branch sister to the vampyrellid algal ectoparasites in the novel clade Phytorhiza. They also show that Ascetosporea + Apofilosa + Retaria + Filosa + Phytorhiza form a monophyletic clade, although the branching pattern within this clade is difficult to resolve and appears to be model-dependent. Our study does not support the monophyly of the rhizarian parasitic lineages (Endomyxa), suggesting independent origins for rhizarian animal and plant parasites. PMID:26681153

  7. A biomimetic nanosponge that absorbs pore-forming toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Che-Ming J.; Fang, Ronnie H.; Copp, Jonathan; Luk, Brian T.; Zhang, Liangfang

    2013-05-01

    Detoxification treatments such as toxin-targeted anti-virulence therapy offer ways to cleanse the body of virulence factors that are caused by bacterial infections, venomous injuries and biological weaponry. Because existing detoxification platforms such as antisera, monoclonal antibodies, small-molecule inhibitors and molecularly imprinted polymers act by targeting the molecular structures of toxins, customized treatments are required for different diseases. Here, we show a biomimetic toxin nanosponge that functions as a toxin decoy in vivo. The nanosponge, which consists of a polymeric nanoparticle core surrounded by red blood cell membranes, absorbs membrane-damaging toxins and diverts them away from their cellular targets. In a mouse model, the nanosponges markedly reduce the toxicity of staphylococcal alpha-haemolysin (α-toxin) and thus improve the survival rate of toxin-challenged mice. This biologically inspired toxin nanosponge presents a detoxification treatment that can potentially treat a variety of injuries and diseases caused by pore-forming toxins.

  8. Clostridium perfringens Delta-Toxin Induces Rapid Cell Necrosis

    PubMed Central

    Seike, Soshi; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Takehara, Masaya; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens delta-toxin is a β-pore-forming toxin and a putative pathogenic agent of C. perfringens types B and C. However, the mechanism of cytotoxicity of delta-toxin remains unclear. Here, we investigated the mechanisms of cell death induced by delta-toxin in five cell lines (A549, A431, MDCK, Vero, and Caco-2). All cell lines were susceptible to delta-toxin. The toxin caused rapid ATP depletion and swelling of the cells. Delta-toxin bound and formed oligomers predominantly in plasma membrane lipid rafts. Destruction of the lipid rafts with methyl β-cyclodextrin inhibited delta-toxin-induced cytotoxicity and ATP depletion. Delta-toxin caused the release of carboxyfluorescein from sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes and formed oligomers; toxin binding to the liposomes declined with decreasing cholesterol content in the liposomes. Flow cytometric assays with annexin V and propidium iodide revealed that delta-toxin treatment induced an elevation in the population of annexin V-negative and propidium iodide-positive cells. Delta-toxin did not cause the fragmentation of DNA or caspase-3 activation. Furthermore, delta-toxin caused damage to mitochondrial membrane permeability and cytochrome c release. In the present study, we demonstrate that delta-toxin produces cytotoxic activity through necrosis. PMID:26807591

  9. Effect of centrifugation on water recycling and algal growth to enable algae biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Igou, Thomas; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Penalver-Argueso, Patricia; Fu, Hao; Doi, Shusuke; Narode, Asmita; Cheruvu, Sarasija; Zhang, Qian; Hassan, Fariha; Woodruff, Frazier; Chen, Yongsheng

    2014-12-01

    The latest research shows that algal biofuels, at the production levels mandated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, will place significant demands on water and compete with agriculture meant for food production. Thus, there is a great need to recycle water while producing algal biofuels. This study shows that when using a synthetic medium, soluble algal products, bacteria, and other inhibitors can be removed by centrifugation and enable water recycling. Average water recovery reached 84% and water could be recycled at least 10 times without reducing algal growth. PMID:25654935

  10. Genetic and acute toxicological evaluation of an algal oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and palmitoleic acid.

    PubMed

    Collins, M L; Lynch, B; Barfield, W; Bull, A; Ryan, A S; Astwood, J D

    2014-10-01

    Algal strains of Nannochloropsis sp. were developed, optimized, cultivated and harvested to produce a unique composition of algal oil ethyl esters (Algal-EE) that are naturally high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 23-30%) and palmitoleic acid (20-25%), and contain no docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Algal-EE was evaluated for mutagenic activity (Ames bacterial reverse mutation, in vitro mammalian chromosome aberration, in vivo micronucleus test) and for acute oral toxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats. In the acute toxicity study, rats received a single oral gavaged dose of Algal-EE (2000 mg/kg body weight). Clinical observations were made for 14 days before sacrifice on Day 15. Macroscopic evaluation involved the examination of all organs in the cranial, thoracic, and abdominal cavities. Algal-EE showed no evidence of mutagenicity, did not produce an increase in the frequency of structural chromosome aberrations, and did not cause an increase in the induction of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes. There were no macroscopic abnormalities. Algal-EE up to 2000 mg/kg body weight did not affect body weight, organ appearance or produce any toxic-related signs of morbidity. The acute median lethal dose (LD50) of Algal-EE was >2000 mg/kg body weight. Based on these assays, Algal-EE does not appear to have any genetic or acute oral toxicity. PMID:25057807

  11. Toxin from skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus: differentiation from Dendrobatid toxins.

    PubMed

    Fuhrman, F A; Fuhrman, G J; Mosher, H S

    1969-09-26

    A potent, dialyzable toxin (atelopidtoxin) occurs in the skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus. A concentrate of atelopidtoxin from Atelopus zeteki has an LD(50) in mice of 16 micrograms per kilogram. It differs from batrachotoxin, tetrodotoxin, and saxitoxin, the only known nonprotein substances of greater toxicity, as well as from all toxins previously isolated from amphibia. PMID:5807965

  12. Venom gland transcriptomes of two elapid snakes (Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra) and evolution of toxin genes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Kraits (genus Bungarus) and cobras (genus Naja) are two representative toxic genera of elapids in the old world. Although they are closely related genera and both of their venoms are very toxic, the compositions of their venoms are very different. To unveil their detailed venoms and their evolutionary patterns, we constructed venom gland cDNA libraries and genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries for Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra, respectively. We sequenced about 1500 cDNA clones for each of the venom cDNA libraries and screened BAC libraries of the two snakes by blot analysis using four kinds of toxin probes; i.e., three-finger toxin (3FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), kunitz-type protease inhibitor (Kunitz), and natriuretic peptide (NP). Results In total, 1092 valid expressed sequences tags (ESTs) for B. multicinctus and 1166 ESTs for N. atra were generated. About 70% of these ESTs can be annotated as snake toxin transcripts. 3FTx (64.5%) and β bungarotoxin (25.1%) comprise the main toxin classes in B. multicinctus, while 3FTx (95.8%) is the dominant toxin in N. atra. We also observed several less abundant venom families in B. multicinctus and N. atra, such as PLA2, C-type lectins, and Kunitz. Peculiarly a cluster of NP precursors with tandem NPs was detected in B. multicinctus. A total of 71 positive toxin BAC clones in B. multicinctus and N. atra were identified using four kinds of toxin probes (3FTx, PLA2, Kunitz, and NP), among which 39 3FTx-postive BACs were sequenced to reveal gene structures of 3FTx toxin genes. Conclusions Based on the toxin ESTs and 3FTx gene sequences, the major components of B. multicinctus venom transcriptome are neurotoxins, including long chain alpha neurotoxins (α-ntx) and the recently originated β bungarotoxin, whereas the N. atra venom transcriptome mainly contains 3FTxs with cytotoxicity and neurotoxicity (short chain α-ntx). The data also revealed that tandem duplications contributed the most to

  13. Synthesis and Biology of Cyclic Imine Toxins, An Emerging Class of Potent, Globally Distributed Marine Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Stivala, Craig E.; Benoit, Evelyne; Araoz, Romulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei

    2014-01-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day. PMID:25338021

  14. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day. PMID:25338021

  15. Animal Toxins: How is Complexity Represented in Databases?

    PubMed Central

    Jungo, Florence; Estreicher, Anne; Bairoch, Amos; Bougueleret, Lydie; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2010-01-01

    Peptide toxins synthesized by venomous animals have been extensively studied in the last decades. To be useful to the scientific community, this knowledge has been stored, annotated and made easy to retrieve by several databases. The aim of this article is to present what type of information users can access from each database. ArachnoServer and ConoServer focus on spider toxins and cone snail toxins, respectively. UniProtKB, a generalist protein knowledgebase, has an animal toxin-dedicated annotation program that includes toxins from all venomous animals. Finally, the ATDB metadatabase compiles data and annotations from other databases and provides toxin ontology. PMID:22069583

  16. Animal Toxins: How is Complexity Represented in Databases?

    PubMed

    Jungo, Florence; Estreicher, Anne; Bairoch, Amos; Bougueleret, Lydie; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2010-02-01

    Peptide toxins synthesized by venomous animals have been extensively studied in the last decades. To be useful to the scientific community, this knowledge has been stored, annotated and made easy to retrieve by several databases. The aim of this article is to present what type of information users can access from each database. ArachnoServer and ConoServer focus on spider toxins and cone snail toxins, respectively. UniProtKB, a generalist protein knowledgebase, has an animal toxin-dedicated annotation program that includes toxins from all venomous animals. Finally, the ATDB metadatabase compiles data and annotations from other databases and provides toxin ontology. PMID:22069583

  17. Pyrolysis Strategies for Effective Utilization of Lignocellulosic and Algal Biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddi, Balakrishna

    Pyrolysis is a processing technique involving thermal degradation of biomass in the absence of oxygen. The bio-oils obtained following the condensation of the pyrolysis vapors form a convenient starting point for valorizing the major components of lignocellulosic as well as algal biomass feed stocks for the production of fuels and value-added chemicals. Pyrolysis can be implemented on whole biomass or on residues left behind following standard fractionation methods. Microalgae and oil seeds predominantly consist of protein, carbohydrate and triglycerides, whereas lignocellulose is composed of carbohydrates (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin. The differences in the major components of these two types of biomass will necessitate different pyrolysis strategies to derive the optimal benefits from the resulting bio-oils. In this thesis, novel pyrolysis strategies were developed that enable efficient utilization of the bio-oils (and/or their vapors) from lignocellulose, algae, as well as oil seed feed stocks. With lignocellulosic feed stocks, pyrolysis of whole biomass as well as the lignin residue left behind following well-established pretreatment and saccharification (i.e., depolymerization of cellulose and hemicellulose to their monomeric-sugars) of the biomass was studied with and without catalysts. Following this, pyrolysis of (lipid-deficient) algae and lignocellulosic feed stocks, under similar reactor conditions, was performed for comparison of product (bio-oil, gas and bio-char) yields and composition. In spite of major differences in component bio-polymers, feedstock properties relevant to thermo-chemical conversions, such as overall C, H and O-content, C/O and H/C molar ratio as well as calorific values, were found to be similar for algae and lignocellulosic material. Bio-oil yields from algae and some lignocellulosic materials were similar; however, algal bio-oils were compositionally different and contained several N-compounds (most likely from

  18. Estimates of nuclear DNA content in red algal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Kapraun, Donald F.; Freshwater, D. Wilson

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims The red algae are an evolutionarily ancient group of predominantly marine organisms with an estimated 6000 species. Consensus higher-level molecular phylogenies support a basal split between the unicellular Cyanidiophytina and morphologically diverse Rhodophytina, the later subphylum containing most red algal species. The Rhodophytina is divided into six classes, of which five represent early diverging lineages of generally uninucleate species, whose evolutionary relationships are poorly resolved. The remaining species compose the large (27 currently recognized orders), morphologically diverse and typically multinucleate Florideophyceae. Nuclear DNA content estimates have been published for <1 % of the described red algae. The present investigation summarizes the state of our knowledge and expands our coverage of DNA content information from 196 isolates of red algae. Methodology The DNA-localizing fluorochrome DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) and RBC (chicken erythrocytes) standards were used to estimate 2C values with static microspectrophotometry. Principal results Nuclear DNA contents are reported for 196 isolates of red algae, almost doubling the number of estimates available for these organisms. Present results also confirm the reported DNA content range of 0.1–2.8 pg, with species of Ceramiales, Nemaliales and Palmariales containing apparently polyploid genomes with 2C = 2.8, 2.3 and 2.8 pg, respectively. Conclusions Early diverging red algal lineages are characterized by relatively small 2C DNA contents while a wide range of 2C values is found within the derived Florideophyceae. An overall correlation between phylogenetic placement and 2C DNA content is not apparent; however, genome size data are available for only a small portion of red algae. Current data do support polyploidy and aneuploidy as pervasive features of red algal genome evolution. PMID:22479676

  19. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs Using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Coleman, Andre M.; Stevens, Daniel M.; Ray, Allison E.; Cafferty, Kara G.; Newby, Deborah T.

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an important mechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio, which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduction of foreign energy supplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth, and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associated with algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which helps to address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments of multiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tier were sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algae biomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary significantly depending on location and biomass

  20. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared M.; Stevens, Daniel M.; Ray, Allison E.; Newby, Deborah T.; Coleman, Andre M.; Cafferty, Kara G.

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an importantmechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio,which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduced reliance on foreign energysupplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth,and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associatedwith algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the development and application of the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which is tailored to help address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments ofmultiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tierwere sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algaebiomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary

  1. Algal refossilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Contains bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Neushul, M. )

    1991-07-01

    The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) is steadily increasing. With our increasing awareness of the economic and environmental impacts of the greenhouse effects'' of CO{sub 2}, methane and other gases, there is interest in finding new methods to reduce the amounts of these gases in the atmosphere. This study evaluates the possibility that large-scale oceanic cultures of macroalgae (macroscopic seaweeds'') could be used to capture atmospheric CO{sub 2}. It is a design for a marine farm system in which a crop'' of calcareous macroalgae grows attached to, and supported by, floating macroalgae that comprise the farm structure.'' The least complicated, yet feasible, macroalgal farm system appears to be one in which laboratory-propagated calcareous algal epiphytes'' and floating algal basiphytes'' are dispersed together in natural ocean upwelling regions. From there, the plants drift with surface currents to the open ocean and then sink to the sea floor, where the buried carbon is refossilized.'' An important caveat regarding the use of calcareous algae is that the process of calcification may release CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. There is some evidence that CO{sub 2} is not released by calcification in red calcareous algae, but in contrast many geochemists feel that all biologically -- as well as chemically --mediated calcification processes release CO{sub 2}. A substantial amount of research will be necessary to answer basic questions about algal carbon fixation and biomineralization on one hand, while on the other hand to devise strategies for farming the open ocean. 76 refs., 14 figs., 7 tabs.

  2. Harmful Algal Bloom Characterization at Ultra-High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

    PubMed Central

    Van der Merwe, Deon; Price, Kevin P.

    2015-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) degrade water quality and produce toxins. The spatial distribution of HAbs may change rapidly due to variations wind, water currents, and population dynamics. Risk assessments, based on traditional sampling methods, are hampered by the sparseness of water sample data points, and delays between sampling and the availability of results. There is a need for local risk assessment and risk management at the spatial and temporal resolution relevant to local human and animal interactions at specific sites and times. Small, unmanned aircraft systems can gather color-infrared reflectance data at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions, with full control over data collection timing, and short intervals between data gathering and result availability. Data can be interpreted qualitatively, or by generating a blue normalized difference vegetation index (BNDVI) that is correlated with cyanobacterial biomass densities at the water surface, as estimated using a buoyant packed cell volume (BPCV). Correlations between BNDVI and BPCV follow a logarithmic model, with r2-values under field conditions from 0.77 to 0.87. These methods provide valuable information that is complimentary to risk assessment data derived from traditional risk assessment methods, and could help to improve risk management at the local level. PMID:25826055

  3. Harmful algal bloom characterization at ultra-high spatial and temporal resolution using small unmanned aircraft systems.

    PubMed

    Van der Merwe, Deon; Price, Kevin P

    2015-04-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) degrade water quality and produce toxins. The spatial distribution of HAbs may change rapidly due to variations wind, water currents, and population dynamics. Risk assessments, based on traditional sampling methods, are hampered by the sparseness of water sample data points, and delays between sampling and the availability of results. There is a need for local risk assessment and risk management at the spatial and temporal resolution relevant to local human and animal interactions at specific sites and times. Small, unmanned aircraft systems can gather color-infrared reflectance data at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions, with full control over data collection timing, and short intervals between data gathering and result availability. Data can be interpreted qualitatively, or by generating a blue normalized difference vegetation index (BNDVI) that is correlated with cyanobacterial biomass densities at the water surface, as estimated using a buoyant packed cell volume (BPCV). Correlations between BNDVI and BPCV follow a logarithmic model, with r(2)-values under field conditions from 0.77 to 0.87. These methods provide valuable information that is complimentary to risk assessment data derived from traditional risk assessment methods, and could help to improve risk management at the local level. PMID:25826055

  4. Original Misunderstanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holtzman, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Humorist Josh Billings quipped, "About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment." Billings was harsh in his view of originality, but his critique reveals a tension faced by students every time they write a history paper. Research is the essence of any history paper. Especially in high school,…

  5. A trait-based framework for stream algal communities.

    PubMed

    Lange, Katharina; Townsend, Colin Richard; Matthaei, Christoph David

    2016-01-01

    The use of trait-based approaches to detect effects of land use and climate change on terrestrial plant and aquatic phytoplankton communities is increasing, but such a framework is still needed for benthic stream algae. Here we present a conceptual framework of morphological, physiological, behavioural and life-history traits relating to resource acquisition and resistance to disturbance. We tested this approach by assessing the relationships between multiple anthropogenic stressors and algal traits at 43 stream sites. Our "natural experiment" was conducted along gradients of agricultural land-use intensity (0-95% of the catchment in high-producing pasture) and hydrological alteration (0-92% streamflow reduction resulting from water abstraction for irrigation) as well as related physicochemical variables (total nitrogen concentration and deposited fine sediment). Strategic choice of study sites meant that agricultural intensity and hydrological alteration were uncorrelated. We studied the relationships of seven traits (with 23 trait categories) to our environmental predictor variables using general linear models and an information-theoretic model-selection approach. Life form, nitrogen fixation and spore formation were key traits that showed the strongest relationships with environmental stressors. Overall, FI (farming intensity) exerted stronger effects on algal communities than hydrological alteration. The large-bodied, non-attached, filamentous algae that dominated under high farming intensities have limited dispersal abilities but may cope with unfavourable conditions through the formation of spores. Antagonistic interactions between FI and flow reduction were observed for some trait variables, whereas no interactions occurred for nitrogen concentration and fine sediment. Our conceptual framework was well supported by tests of ten specific hypotheses predicting effects of resource supply and disturbance on algal traits. Our study also shows that investigating a

  6. A study of algal biomass potential in selected Canadian regions.

    SciTech Connect

    Passell, Howard David; Roach, Jesse Dillon; Klise, Geoffrey T.

    2011-11-01

    A dynamic assessment model has been developed for evaluating the potential algal biomass and extracted biocrude productivity and costs, using nutrient and water resources available from waste streams in four regions of Canada (western British Columbia, Alberta oil fields, southern Ontario, and Nova Scotia). The purpose of this model is to help identify optimal locations in Canada for algae cultivation and biofuel production. The model uses spatially referenced data across the four regions for nitrogen and phosphorous loads in municipal wastewaters, and CO{sub 2} in exhaust streams from a variety of large industrial sources. Other data inputs include land cover, and solar insolation. Model users can develop estimates of resource potential by manipulating model assumptions in a graphic user interface, and updated results are viewed in real time. Resource potential by location can be viewed in terms of biomass production potential, potential CO{sub 2} fixed, biocrude production potential, and area required. The cost of producing algal biomass can be estimated using an approximation of the distance to move CO{sub 2} and water to the desired land parcel and an estimation of capital and operating costs for a theoretical open pond facility. Preliminary results suggest that in most cases, the CO{sub 2} resource is plentiful compared to other necessary nutrients (especially nitrogen), and that siting and prospects for successful large-scale algae cultivation efforts in Canada will be driven by availability of those other nutrients and the efficiency with which they can be used and re-used. Cost curves based on optimal possible siting of an open pond system are shown. The cost of energy for maintaining optimal growth temperatures is not considered in this effort, and additional research in this area, which has not been well studied at these latitudes, will be important in refining the costs of algal biomass production. The model will be used by NRC-IMB Canada to identify

  7. A Collection of Algal Genomes from the JGI

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-03-19

    Algae, defined as photosynthetic eukaryotes other than plants, constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity. Acquisition of the ability to conduct oxygenic photosynthesis through endosymbiotic events has been a principal driver of eukaryotic evolution, and today algae continue to underpin aquatic food chains as primary producers. Algae play profound roles in the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE?s Joint Genome Institute (JGI). A collection of algal projects ongoing at JGI contributes to each of these areas and illustrates analyses employed in their genome exploration.

  8. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Rejean Samson; Anh LeDuy

    1982-08-01

    Spirulina maxima algal biomass could be used as the sole nutrient for the production of biogas by anaerobic digestion process. It is relatively simple to adapt the municipal sewage sludge to this new substrate. The adapted sludge is very stable. Under nonoptimal conditions, the methane yield and productivity obtained were 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day) and 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day), respectively, with the semicontinuous, daily fed, anaerobic digestion having loading rate of 0.97 kg VS/(m/sup 3/ day), retention time of 33 days and temperature of 30/sup 0/C.

  9. Effects of simetryne on growth of various freshwater algal taxa.

    PubMed

    Kasai, F; Takamura, N; Hatakeyama, S

    1993-01-01

    The sensitivity of 56 algal strains, representing 7 taxonomic groups to the triazine herbicide, simetryne, was examined using EC50 values for growth. There was a wide range of values from 6.5 to 1500 microg litre(-1). The Volvocales (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta) and Cyanophyceae (Cyanophyta) as a whole were the most sensitive, whereas the Desmidiales (Charophyceae, Chlorophyta) and Bacillariophyceae (Chromophyta) were the most tolerant, although sensitivity differed among strains of a single species. Sensitive and tolerant species were both isolated from samples collected at the same site. The results suggest that changes in species composition and relative abundance will occur when herbicides are applied in natural habitats. PMID:15091916

  10. Algal photoreceptors: in vivo functions and potential applications.

    PubMed

    Kianianmomeni, Arash; Hallmann, Armin

    2014-01-01

    Many algae, particularly microalgae, possess a sophisticated light-sensing system including photoreceptors and light-modulated signaling pathways to sense environmental information and secure the survival in a rapidly changing environment. Over the last couple of years, the multifaceted world of algal photobiology has enriched our understanding of the light absorption mechanisms and in vivo function of photoreceptors. Moreover, specific light-sensitive modules have already paved the way for the development of optogenetic tools to generate light switches for precise and spatial control of signaling pathways in individual cells and even in complex biological systems. PMID:24081482

  11. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Noel Vinay; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-01-01

    The name “cosmeceuticals” is derived from “cosmetics and pharmaceuticals”, indicating that a specific product contains active ingredients. Marine algae have gained much importance in cosmeceutical product development due to their rich bioactive compounds. In the present review, marine algal compounds (phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides and tyrosinase inhibitors) have been discussed toward cosmeceutical application. In addition, atopic dermatitis and the possible role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in skin-related diseases have been explored extensively for cosmeceutical products. The proper development of marine algae compounds will be helpful in cosmeceutical product development and in the development of the cosmeceutical industry. PMID:23344156

  12. Metabolism of mutagenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by photosynthetic algal species.

    PubMed

    Schoeny, R; Cody, T; Warshawsky, D; Radike, M

    1988-02-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) known to produce carcinogenic and mutagenic effects have been shown to contaminate waters, sediments and soils. While it is accepted that metabolites of these compounds are responsible for most of their biological effects in mammals, their metabolism, and to a large extent their bioactivity, in aquatic plants have not been explored. Cultures of photosynthetic algal species were assayed for their ability to metabolize benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a carcinogenic PAH under conditions which either permitted (white light) or disallowed (gold light) photooxidation of the compound. Growth of Selenastrum capricornutum, a fresh-water green alga, was completely inhibited when incubated in white light with 160 micrograms BaP/l medium. By contrast concentrations at the upper limit of BaP solubility in aqueous medium had no effect on algal growth when gold light was used. BaP quinones and phenol derivatives were found to inhibit growth of Selenastrum under white light incubation. BaP phototoxicity and metabolism were observed to be species-specific. All 3 tested species of the order Chlorococcales were growth-inhibited by BaP in white light whereas neither the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii nor a blue-green, a yellow-green or an euglenoid alga responded in this fashion. Assays of radiolabeled BaP metabolism in Selenastrum showed that the majority of radioactivity associated with BaP was found in media as opposed to algal cell pellets, that the extent of metabolism was BaP concentration dependent, and that the proportion of various metabolites detected was a function of the light source. After gold light incubation, BaP diols predominated while after white light treatment at equal BaP concentrations, the 3,6-quinone was found in the highest concentration. Extracted material from algal cell pellets and from media was tested for mutagenicity in a forward mutation suspension assay in Salmonella typhimurium using resistance to 8-azaguanine for

  13. Flexibility in Algal Endosymbioses Shapes Growth in Reef Corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Angela F.; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.; Willis, Bette L.

    2004-06-01

    The relation between corals and their algal endosymbionts has been a key to the success of scleractinian (stony) corals as modern reef-builders, but little is known about early stages in the establishment of the symbiosis. Here, we show that initial uptake of zooxanthellae by juvenile corals during natural infection is nonspecific (a potentially adaptive trait); the association is flexible and characterized by a change in (dominant) zooxanthella strains over time; and growth rates of experimentally infected coral holobionts are partly contingent on the zooxanthella strain harbored, with clade C-infected juveniles growing two to three times as fast as those infected with clade D.

  14. Genetic and Genomic Dissection of the Cochliobolus heterostrophus Tox1 Locus Controlling Biosynthesis of the Polyketide Virulence Factor T-toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Turgeon, Barbara G.; Baker, Scott E.

    2007-04-27

    Fungal pathogenesis to plants is an intricate developmental process requiring biological components found in most fungi, as well as factors that are unique to fungal taxa that participate in particular fungus–plant interactions. The host-selective polyketide toxin known as T-toxin produced by Cochliobolus heterostrophus race T, a highly virulent pathogen of maize, is an intriguing example of the latter type of virulence determinant. The Tox1 locus, which controls biosynthesis of T-toxin, originally defined as a single genetic locus, it is, in fact, two exceedingly complex loci on two chromosomes that are reciprocally translocated with respect to their counterparts in weakly pathogenic race O. Race O lacks the Tox1 locus and does not produce T-toxin. Highly virulent race T was first recognized when it caused an epidemic of Southern Corn Leaf Blight, which devastated the US corn crop in 1970. The evolutionary origin of the Tox1 locus remains unknown.

  15. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Cyanobacterial Toxin Degrading Bacteria: Who Are They?

    PubMed Central

    Kormas, Konstantinos Ar.; Lymperopoulou, Despoina S.

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous in nature and are both beneficial and detrimental to humans. Benefits include being food supplements and producing bioactive compounds, like antimicrobial and anticancer substances, while their detrimental effects are evident by toxin production, causing major ecological problems at the ecosystem level. To date, there are several ways to degrade or transform these toxins by chemical methods, while the biodegradation of these compounds is understudied. In this paper, we present a meta-analysis of the currently available 16S rRNA and mlrA (microcystinase) genes diversity of isolates known to degrade cyanobacterial toxins. The available data revealed that these bacteria belong primarily to the Proteobacteria, with several strains from the sphingomonads, and one from each of the Methylobacillus and Paucibacter genera. Other strains belonged to the genera Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus. By combining the ecological knowledge on the distribution, abundance, and ecophysiology of the bacteria that cooccur with toxic cyanobacterial blooms and newly developed molecular approaches, it is possible not only to discover more strains with cyanobacterial toxin degradation abilities, but also to reveal the genes associated with the degradation of these toxins. PMID:23841072

  17. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Array biosensor for detection of toxins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ligler, Frances S.; Taitt, Chris Rowe; Shriver-Lake, Lisa C.; Sapsford, Kim E.; Shubin, Yura; Golden, Joel P.

    2003-01-01

    The array biosensor is capable of detecting multiple targets rapidly and simultaneously on the surface of a single waveguide. Sandwich and competitive fluoroimmunoassays have been developed to detect high and low molecular weight toxins, respectively, in complex samples. Recognition molecules (usually antibodies) were first immobilized in specific locations on the waveguide and the resultant patterned array was used to interrogate up to 12 different samples for the presence of multiple different analytes. Upon binding of a fluorescent analyte or fluorescent immunocomplex, the pattern of fluorescent spots was detected using a CCD camera. Automated image analysis was used to determine a mean fluorescence value for each assay spot and to subtract the local background signal. The location of the spot and its mean fluorescence value were used to determine the toxin identity and concentration. Toxins were measured in clinical fluids, environmental samples and foods, with minimal sample preparation. Results are shown for rapid analyses of staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, cholera toxin, botulinum toxoids, trinitrotoluene, and the mycotoxin fumonisin. Toxins were detected at levels as low as 0.5 ng mL(-1).

  19. Binding of NAD+ to pertussis toxin.

    PubMed

    Lobban, M D; Irons, L I; van Heyningen, S

    1991-06-24

    The equilibrium dissociation constant of NAD+ and pertussis toxin was determined by equilibrium dialysis and by the quenching of the protein's intrinsic fluorescence on titration with NAD+. A binding constant, Kd, of 24 +/- 2 microM at 30 degrees C was obtained from equilibrium dialysis, consistent with the previously determined value for the Michaelis constant, Km, of 30 +/- 5 microM for NAD+ (when the toxin is catalysing the ADP-ribosylation of water and of dithiothreitol). The intrinsic fluorescence of pertussis toxin was quenched by up to 60% on titration with NAD+, and after correction for dilution and inner filter effects, a Kd value of 27 microM at 30 degrees C was obtained, agreeing well with that found by equilibrium dialysis. The binding constants were measured at a number of temperatures using both techniques, and from this the enthalpy of binding of NAD+ to toxin was determined to be 30 kJ.mol-1, a typical value for a protein-ligand interaction. There is one binding site for NAD+ per toxin molecule. PMID:1648404

  20. A truncated diphtheria toxin based recombinant porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxin.

    PubMed

    Peraino, Jaclyn Stromp; Schenk, Marian; Zhang, Huiping; Li, Guoying; Hermanrud, Christina E; Neville, David M; Sachs, David H; Huang, Christene A; Duran-Struuck, Raimon; Wang, Zhirui

    2013-05-31

    Targeted cell therapies are possible through the generation of recombinant fusion proteins that combine a toxin, such as diphtheria toxin (DT), with an antibody or other molecule that confers specificity. Upon binding of the fusion protein to the cell of interest, the diphtheria toxin is internalized which results in protein synthesis inhibition and subsequent cell death. We have recently expressed and purified the recombinant soluble porcine CTLA-4 both with and without N-glycosylation in yeast Pichia pastoris for in vivo use in our preclinical swine model. The glycosylated and non-N-glycosylated versions of this recombinant protein each bind to a porcine CD80 expressing B-cell lymphoma line (LCL13271) with equal affinity (K(D)=13 nM). In this study we have linked each of the glycosylated and non-N-glycosylated soluble porcine CTLA-4 proteins to the truncated diphtheria toxin DT390 through genetic engineering yielding three versions of the porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxins: 1) monovalent glycosylated soluble porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxin; 2) monovalent non-N-glycosylated soluble porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxin and 3) bivalent non-N-glycosylated soluble porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxin. Protein synthesis inhibition analysis demonstrated that while all three fusion toxins are capable of inhibiting protein synthesis in vitro, the non-N-glycosylated porcine CTLA-4 isoforms function most efficiently. Binding analysis using flow cytometry of the porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxins to LCL13271 cells also demonstrated that the non-N-glycosylated porcine CTLA-4 isoforms bind to these cells with higher affinity compared to the glycosylated fusion toxin. The monovalent non-N-glycosylated porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxin was tested in vivo. NSG (NOD/SCID IL-2 receptor γ(-)/(-)) mice were injected with porcine CD80(+) LCL13271 tumor cells. All animals succumbed to tumors and those treated with the monovalent non-N-glycosylated porcine CTLA-4 fusion toxin survived longer based on a symptomatic scoring

  1. Potential therapeutic effect of intravesical botulinum toxin type A on bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis.

    PubMed

    Jhang, Jia-Fong; Jiang, Yuan-Hong; Kuo, Hann-Chorng

    2014-04-01

    Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis is characterized by bladder pain associated with urgency, frequency, nocturia, dysuria and sterile urine. Recent studies have shown that these bladder dysfunctions could originate from chronic inflammation or urothelial insult and proceed to a cascade of tissue reactions, which finally ascends to the central nervous system. Pilot studies of intravesical injection of botulinum toxin type A for bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis had been introduced since 2005 with a promising result. Recent evidence suggests that botulinum toxin type A could significantly improve symptoms such as daytime frequency, nocturia, pain, quality of life and bladder capacity in bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis patients. Single injection of botulinum toxin could not achieve long-term successful therapeutic result, and repeat injections could provide a better long-term success rate. However, patients with ulcer type bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis might not gain a benefit from botulinum toxin type A injection. Laboratory evidence showed that botulinum toxin type A for bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis injection could induce peripheral desensitization, reduces bladder chronic inflammation and decreases apoptotic signal molecules in the urothelium. The present article reviewed the recent advances of botulinum toxin type A on bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. PMID:24807497

  2. Analysis of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins and pectenotoxin-2 in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhihong; Broadwater, Margaret H; Ramsdell, John S

    2015-10-16

    Toxins produced by harmful algae are associated with detrimental health effects and mass mortalities of marine mammals. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is generally used to confirm the presence of algal toxins in marine mammals. Sample preparation and LC-MS/MS methods for the determination of three diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins (okadaic acid, OA; dinophysistoxin-1, DTX1; dinophysistoxin-2, DTX2) and pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2) in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) urine and tissue samples were evaluated using spike-and-recovery tests. Sample clean-up with either reversed-phase silica or polymeric solid-phase extraction (SPE) reduced interference of sample matrices and improved toxin recoveries, with polymeric SPE showing higher sample loading capacity. LC separation on Xbridge C18 columns using acetonitrile/water gradient elutions with ammonia as the additive was chosen for its high detectivity and sensitivity in the MS detection of DSP toxins in negative ion mode. The retention times of OA, DTX1, and DTX2, separated as negative ions, increased with LC column temperature while the retention time of PTX2, separated as the neutral molecule, was weakly affected. At the same column temperature, retention times of OA, DTX1, and DTX2 gradually increased as the mobile phases aged while the retention time of PTX2 remained unchanged; higher column temperatures resulted in a greater increase in the retention time of each DSP toxin with mobile phase aging. Average recoveries of the 4 toxins in bottlenose dolphin samples ranged from 80% to 130% with relative standard deviations of less than 15% using the LC mobile phases prepared within one week at a column temperature of 30°C or 40°C. The preferred column temperature was 30°C, as the retention times of DSP toxins were less affected by mobile phase aging at this temperature. The limit of detection of each toxin analyzed in bottlenose dolphin samples was 2.8 ng/g or less in tissue

  3. Toxin-induced resistance in Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin-treated macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Salles, Isabelle I.; Tucker, Amy E.; Voth, Daniel E.; Ballard, Jimmy D.

    2003-01-01

    In the current study, we show that macrophages adaptively resist anthrax lethal toxin (LT) through a toxin-activated process termed toxin-induced resistance (TIR). TIR was triggered by pretreatment of RAW 264.7 or J774A.1 macrophages with a low dose of LT for at least 6 h, which resulted in resistance to high doses of LT for 96 h. Activation of TIR required functional toxin, because LT subunits, mutants, and heat-inactivated toxin were unable to trigger resistance. TIR macrophages were not altered in toxin receptor levels or cell cycle profiles. Treatment of TIR macrophages with high doses of LT resulted in a sustained decline in full-length mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 2, a known target of lethal factor, and a marked reduction in diphosphorylated extracellular response kinases 1,2 for 24 h. However, despite the sustained loss of full-length mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 2, by 48 h, TIR macrophages regained diphosphorylated extracellular response kinases 1,2, suggesting an adaptation led to recovery of this signaling pathway. TIR macrophages were also able to maintain normal levels of ubiquitinylated proteins, whereas sensitive cells show a rapid reduction in ubiquitin-modified proteins before cell death, indicating a possible alteration in proteasome activity contributed to resistance. These results provide a paradigm for toxin-cell interactions and suggest macrophages are capable of adapting to and tolerating toxic doses of LT. PMID:14519843

  4. Construction, expression and characterization of chimaeric toxins containing the ribonucleolytic toxin restrictocin: intracellular mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Rathore, D; Batra, J K

    1997-06-15

    Restrictocin is a ribonucleolytic toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus restrictus. Two chimaeric toxins containing restrictocin directed at the human transferrin receptor have been constructed. Anti-TFR(scFv)-restrictocin is encoded by a gene produced by fusing the DNA encoding a single-chain antigen-combining region (scFv) of a monoclonal antibody, directed at the human transferrin receptor, at the 5' end of that encoding restrictocin. The other chimaeric toxin, restrictocin-anti-TFR(scFv), is encoded by a gene fusion containing the DNA encoding the single-chain antigen-combining region of antibody to human transferrin receptor at the 3' end of the DNA encoding restrictocin. These gene fusions were expressed in Escherichia coli, and fusion proteins purified from the inclusion bodies by simple chromatography techniques to near-homogeneity. The two chimaeric toxins were found to be equally active in inhibiting protein synthesis in a cell-free in vitro translation assay system. The chimaeric toxins were selectively toxic to the target cells in culture with potent cytotoxic activities. However, restrictocin-anti-TFR(scFv) was more active than anti-TFR(scFv)-restrictocin on all cell lines studied. By using protease and metabolic inhibitors, it can be shown that, to manifest their cytotoxic activity, the restrictocin-containing chimaeric toxins need to be proteolytically processed intracellularly and the free toxin or a fragment thereof thus generated is translocated to the target via a route involving the Golgi apparatus. PMID:9210405

  5. Antibodies against recombinant shiga toxin subunit B neutralize shiga toxin toxicity in HeLa cells.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    Shigella dysenteriae type 1 and Escherichia coli O157:H7 produce Shiga toxin 1 (Stx) and Shiga toxin1 (Stx1), respectively and these two toxins are almost identical. E. coli O157:H7 is the major cause of diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome. Stx and Stx1 are AB5 type of toxin with a molecular weight of 70 kDa, comprising an enzymaticaly-active A subunit (32 kDa) and five receptor-binding B subunits (7.7 kDa). In this study DNA fragment (289 bp, Gene Bank Accn No. EF685161) coding for B chain of Stx was amplified from S. dysenteriae type1 and cloned. Shiga toxin-binding subunit was expressed and purified in native conditions by affinity and gel permeation chromatography with the yield of 5.1 mg/L in shake flask culture. For the purpose of immunization, the polypeptide was polymerized with glutaraldehyde. Hyper immune serum produced in mice reacted with the purified polypeptide and intact Shiga toxin. The anti-StxB antiserum effectively neutralized the cytotoxicity of Shiga toxin towards HeLa cells. PMID:20044923

  6. Use of botulinum toxin in Meige's disease.

    PubMed

    Maurri, S; Brogelli, S; Alfieri, G; Barontini, F

    1988-01-01

    Four patients with severe Meige's disease (blepharospasm-oromandibular dystonia) have been treated, after having given an informed consent, by local injections of purified botulinum toxin type "A". Previous systemic therapy with anticholinergics, dopamine antagonists and other drugs had been unsuccessful in all these subjects. Each patient was treated by saline solution injected with the same method as botulinum toxin, just once. The self-evaluation of patients and the clinical evaluation that some of us- unaware of the kind of therapy which had been performed- gave to the symptoms on the basis of videotapes, for each session of injection, showed that the injections of botulinum toxin are effective in the treatment of such disorder. The duration of the beneficial effect was slightly shorter in these patients than in patients with blepharospasm treated by the same method. PMID:3247565

  7. Methods for the detection of marine toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Wekell, M.M.; Manger, R.M.; Hadley, S.W.; Hungerford, J.M.

    1995-12-01

    Toxic materials have been dumped into the seas from waste streams and other pollutant sources such as runoff, etc. For protection of public health, it is essential that rapid, reliable and simple methods exist to detect marine toxins in seafoods. In addition, it is necessary to develop methods requiring a minimum of test material. Pure standards for many of the marine toxins are scarce. Reduced sample requirements extend the utility of detection methods in research and forensic applications as well. In the past, there was much reliance on the animal bioassay; however, this dependence hopefully will be reduced as newer instrumental techniques (chromatographic, mass spectrometric, electrophoretic), biochemical (immunochemical, receptor site assay), and cell bioassay methods are developed with a higher degree of precision and specificity. It is beneficial that a multiplicity of methods be available to detect marine toxins in seafoods. Each method has unique advantages and disadvantages.

  8. Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid- and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E.; Laurens, L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.

    2014-09-01

    Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process design converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.

  9. Toxin-Deficient Mutants from a Toxin-Sensitive Transformant of Cochliobolus Heterostrophus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, G.; Turgeon, B. G.; Yoder, O. C.

    1994-01-01

    Tox1 is the only genetic element identified which controls production of T-toxin, a linear polyketide involved in the virulence of Cochliobolus heterostrophus to its host plant, corn. Previous attempts to induce toxin-deficient (Tox(-)) mutants, using conventional mutagenesis and screening procedures, have been unsuccessful. As a strategy to enrich for Tox(-) mutants, we constructed a Tox1(+) strain that carried the corn T-urf13 gene (which confers T-toxin sensitivity) fused to a fungal mitochondrial signal sequence; the fusion was under control of the inducible Aspergillus nidulans pelA promoter which, in both A. nidulans and C. heterostrophus, is repressed by glucose and induced by polygalacturonic acid (PGA). We expected that a transformant carrying this construction would be sensitive to its own toxin when the T-urf13 gene was expressed. Indeed, the strain grew normally on medium containing glucose but was inhibited on medium containing PGA. Conidia of this strain were treated with ethylmethanesulfonate and plated on PGA medium. Among 362 survivors, 9 were defective in T-toxin production. Authenticity of each mutant was established by the presence of the transformation vector, proper mating type, and a restiction fragment length polymorphism tightly linked to the Tox1(+) locus. Progeny of each mutant crossed to a Tox1(+) tester segregated 1:1 (for wild type toxin production vs. no or reduced toxin production), indicating a single gene mutation in each case. Progeny of each mutant crossed to a Tox1(-) tester segregated 1 : 1 (for no toxin production vs. no or reduced toxin production) indicating that each mutation mapped at the Tox1 locus. Availability of Tox(-) mutants will permit mapping in the Tox1 region without interference from a known Tox1 linked translocation breakpoint. PMID:8088521

  10. Algal culture studies related to a Closed Ecological Life Support System (CELSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R. O.; Ollinger, O.; Venables, A.; Fernandez, E.

    1982-01-01

    Studies with algal cultures which relate to closed ecological life support systems (CELSS) are discussed. A description of a constant cell density apparatus for continuous culture of algae is included. Excretion of algal by-products, and nitrogen utilization and excretion are discussed.

  11. Releasing Stored Solar Energy within Pond Scum: Biodiesel from Algal Lipids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blatti, Jillian L.; Burkart, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    Microalgae have emerged as an attractive feedstock for the mass production of renewable transportation fuels due to their fast growth rate, flexible habitat preferences, and substantial oil yields. As an educational tool, a laboratory was developed that mimics emerging algal biofuel technology, including the extraction of algal lipids and…

  12. Simplifying biodiesel production: the direct or 'in situ' transesterification of algal biomass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ‘in situ’ esterification/transesterification of algal biomass lipids to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), for potential use as biodiesel, was investigated. Commercial algal biomass was employed, containing 20.9 wt percent hexane extractable oil. This consisted of 35.1 wt percent free fa...

  13. Will biodiesel derived from algal oils live up to its promise? A fuel property assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Algae have been attracting considerable attention as a source of biodiesel recently. This attention is largely due to the claimed high production potential of algal oils while circumventing the food vs. fuel issue. However, the properties of biodiesel fuels derived from algal oils have been only spa...

  14. ARS Research on Harmful Algal Blooms in SE USA Aquaculture Impoundments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As part of an EPA sponsored state of knowledge symposium on toxic cyanobacteria, six workgroups were established to assess published literature. A review of ARS research on harmful algal blooms was made by the incumbent. Aquaculture systems have had four types of freshwater toxic algal blooms. De...

  15. An algal removal using a combination of flocculation and flotation processes.

    PubMed

    Phoochinda, W; White, D A; Briscoe, B J

    2004-12-01

    The paper describes certain facets of the removal of the algae (Scenedesmus quadricauda) from water, using a froth flotation separation method, in conjunction with two types of surfactants, (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide) CTAB and (sodium dodecylsulfate) SDS. A 90% algal removal efficiency was achieved when 100 mg l(-1) of CTAB was used whereas for the SDS solutions, the same concentration gave, by comparison, a very poor algal removal efficiency. An addition of 1 mg l(-1) of a commercial cationic polyelectrolyte, which was the optimal concentration as was evident from the zeta potential and the particle size distribution measurements, prior to the SDS addition resulted in a formation of algal flocs and consequently a substantial improvement in the extent of the algal removal. A 50 mg l(-1) solution of SDS was found to be the optimal concentration to completely remove these algal flocs from water. The amount of water removed along with the algal flocs, produced using 1 mg l(-1) of the commercial polyelectrolyte and subsequently removed using SDS, was comparatively lower than that removed with the algal cells when CTAB was used as the 'collector'. It was generally found, in this study, that an addition of the polyelectrolyte improved the removal efficiencies and the rate of separation and also decreased the amount of the associated water removed along with the algal sludge. PMID:15691199

  16. Algicidal bacteria in the sea and their impact on algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Mayali, Xavier; Azam, Farooq

    2004-01-01

    Over the past two decades, many reports have revealed the existence of bacteria capable of killing phytoplankton. These algicidal bacteria sometimes increase in abundance concurrently with the decline of algal blooms, suggesting that they may affect algal bloom dynamics. Here, we synthesize the existing knowledge on algicidal bacteria interactions with marine eukaryotic microalgae. We discuss the effectiveness of the current methods to characterize the algicidal phenotype in an ecosystem context. We briefly consider the literature on the phylogenetic identification of algicidal bacteria, their interaction with their algal prey, the characterization of algicidal molecules, and the enumeration of algicidal bacteria during algal blooms. We conclude that, due to limitations of current methods, the evidence for algicidal bacteria causing algal bloom decline is circumstantial. New methods and an ecosystem approach are needed to test hypotheses on the impact of algicidal bacteria in algal bloom dynamics. This will require enlarging the scope of inquiry from its current focus on the potential utility of algicidal bacteria in the control of harmful algal blooms. We suggest conceptualizing bacterial algicidy within the general problem of bacterial regulation of algal community structure in the ocean. PMID:15134248

  17. Use of an algal hydrolysate to improve enzymatic hydrolysis of anaerobically digested fiber

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study investigated the use of acid hydrolyzed algae to enhance the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. We first characterized wastewater-grown algal samples and determined the optimal conditions (acid concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time) for algal hydrolysis using di...

  18. The effect of light direction and suspended cell concentrations on algal biofilm growth rates.

    PubMed

    Schnurr, Peter J; Espie, George S; Allen, D Grant

    2014-10-01

    Algae biofilms were grown in a semicontinuous flat plate biofilm photobioreactor to study the effects of light direction and suspended algal cell populations on algal biofilm growth. It was determined that, under the growth conditions and biofilm thicknesses studied, light direction had no effect on long-term algal biofilm growth (26 days); however, light direction did affect the concentration of suspended algal cells by influencing the photon flux density in the growth medium in the photobioreactors. This suspended algal cell population affected short-term (7 days) algae cell recruitment and algal biofilm growth, but additional studies showed that enhanced suspended algal cell populations did not affect biofilm growth rates over the long term (26 days). Studying profiles of light transmittance through biofilms as they grew showed that most of the light became attenuated by the biomass after just a few days of growth (88 % after 3 days). The estimated biofilm thicknesses after these few days of growth were approximately 150 μm. The light attenuation data suggests that, although the biofilms grew to 700-900 μm, under these light intensities, only the first few hundred micrometers of the biofilm is receiving enough light to be photosynthetically active. We postulate that this photosynthetically active layer of the biofilm grows adjacent to the light source, while the rest of the biofilm is in a stationary growth phase. The results of this study have implications for algal biofilm photobioreactor design and operation. PMID:25149444

  19. Measuring cellular-scale nutrient distribution in algal biofilms with synchrotron confocal infrared microspectroscopy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infrared microspectroscopy (IMS) and chemical imaging is ideal for measuring nutrient distribution in single algal cells on a cellular and subcellular level. The study of small algal cells, or cells within a colony requires enhanced spatial resolution IMS. Synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy wit...

  20. ANALYSES OF WOUND EXUDATES FOR CLOSTRIDIAL TOXINS.

    PubMed

    NOYES, H E; PRITCHARD, W L; BRINKLEY, F B; MENDELSON, J A

    1964-03-01

    Noyes, Howard E. (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C.), William L. Pritchard, Floyd B. Brinkley, and Janice A. Mendelson. Analyses of wound exudates for clostridial toxins. J. Bacteriol. 87:623-629. 1964.-Earlier studies indicated that death of goats with traumatic wounds of the hindquarter could be related to the number of clostridia in the wounds, and that toxicity of wound exudates for mice and guinea pigs could be partially neutralized by commercial trivalent gas gangrene antitoxin. This report describes in vitro and in vivo analyses of wound exudates for known clostridial toxins. Wounds were produced by detonation of high-explosive pellets. Wound exudates were obtained by cold saline extraction of both necrotic tissues and gauze sponges used to cover the wounds. Exudates were sterilized by Seitz filtration in the cold. In vitro tests were used to measure alpha-, theta-, and mu-toxins of Clostridium perfringens and the epsilon-toxin of C. novyi. Mouse protection tests, employing commercial typing antisera, were used to analyze exudates for other clostridial toxins. Lethality of wound exudates for mice could be related to (i) the numbers of clostridia present in the wound, (ii) survival time of the goats, and (iii) positive lecithovitellin (LV) tests of the exudates. However, the LV tests could not be neutralized by antitoxin specific for C. perfringens alpha-toxin. Mice were not protected by typing antisera specific for types A, C, or D C. perfringens or C. septicum but were protected by antisera specific for type B C. perfringens and types A and B C. novyi. PMID:14127581

  1. Tumebacillus algifaecis sp. nov., isolated from decomposing algal scum.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yu-Fan; Zhang, Bo; Xing, Peng; Wu, Qing-Long; Liu, Shuang-Jiang

    2015-07-01

    Bacterial strain THMBR28(T) was isolated from decomposing algal scum that was collected during an algal bloom in Taihu lake, China. Cells of strain THMBR28(T) were Gram-staining-positive, facultatively anaerobic and rod-shaped. Growth was observed at 20-45 °C (optimum, 30 °C), at pH 5.0-9.5 (optimum, pH 6.5-7.5), and in the presence of 0-1.0% (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 0.5%). Strain THMBR28(T) contained MK-7 as the major menaquinone and iso-C15 : 0 as the major cellular fatty acid. The polar lipid profile contained phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylmonomethylethanolamine, phosphatidylethanolamine and six unidentified polar lipids. The diamino acid found in the cell-wall peptidoglycan was meso-diaminopimelic acid. The DNA G+C content was 57.6 mol% (Tm). Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain THMBR28(T) belonged to the genus Tumebacillus, most closely related to Tumebacillus ginsengisoli DSM 18389(T) (95.0%) and Tumebacillus permanentifrigoris Eur1 9.5(T) (93.4%). Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic characterization, it is concluded that strain THMBR28(T) represents a novel species of the genus Tumebacillus, for which the name Tumebacillus algifaecis sp. nov. is proposed, with THMBR28(T) ( = CGMCC 1.10949(T) = NBRC 108765(T)) as the type strain. PMID:25858243

  2. Raman spectroscopy for the characterization of algal cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samek, Ota; Jonáš, Alexandr; Pilát, Zdeněk; Zemánek, Pavel; Nedbal, Ladislav; Tříska, Jan; Kotas, Petr; Trtílek, Martin

    2010-12-01

    Raman spectroscopy can elucidate fundamental questions about intercellular variability and what governs it. Moreover, knowing the metabolic response on single cell level this can significantly contribute to the study and use of microalgae in systems biology and biofuel technology. Raman spectroscopy is capable to measure nutrient dynamics and metabolism in vivo, in real-time, label free making it possible to monitor/evaluate population variability. Also, degree of unsaturation of the algae oil (iodine value) can be measured using Raman spectra obtained from single microalgae. The iodine value is the determination of the amount of unsaturation contained in fatty acids (in the form of double bonds). Here we demonstrate the capacity of the spatially resolved Raman microspectroscopy to determine the effective iodine value in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells. We employed the characteristic peaks in the Raman scattering spectra at 1,656 cm-1 (cis C=C stretching mode) and 1,445 cm-1 (CH2 scissoring mode) as the markers defining the ratio of unsaturated-to-saturated carbon-carbon bonds of the fatty acids in the algal lipids.

  3. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luengen, Allison C.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) significantly decreased accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) by the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in laboratory experiments. Live diatom cells accumulated two to four times more MeHg than dead cells, indicating that accumulation may be partially an energy-requiring process. Methylmercury enrichment in diatoms relative to ambient water was measured by a volume concentration factor (VCF). Without added DOM, the maximum VCF was 32 x 104, and the average VCF (from 10 to 72 h) over all experiments was 12.6 x 104. At very low (1.5 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped by approximately half. At very high (20 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped 10-fold. Presumably, MeHg was bound to a variety of reduced sulfur sites on the DOM, making it unavailable for uptake. Diatoms accumulated significantly more MeHg when exposed to transphilic DOM extracts than hydrophobic ones. However, algal lysate, a labile type of DOM created by resuspending a marine diatom in freshwater, behaved similarly to a refractory DOM isolate from San Francisco Bay. Addition of 67 μM L-cysteine resulted in the largest drop in VCFs, to 0.28 x 104. Although the DOM composition influenced the availability of MeHg to some extent, total DOM concentration was the most important factor in determining algal bioaccumulation of MeHg.

  4. Algal and microbial exopolysaccharides: new insights as biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers.

    PubMed

    Paniagua-Michel, José de Jesús; Olmos-Soto, Jorge; Morales-Guerrero, Eduardo Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Currently, efforts are being made to utilize more natural biological systems as alternatives as a way to replace fossil forms of carbon. There is a growing concern at global level to have nontoxic, nonhazardous surface-active agents; contrary to synthetic surfactants, their biological counterparts or biosurfactants play a primary function, facilitating microbial presence in environments dominated by hydrophilic-hydrophobic interfaces. Algal and microbial biosurfactants/bioemulsifiers from marine and deep-sea environments are attracting major interest due to their structural and functional diversity as molecules actives of surface and an alternative biomass to replace fossil forms of carbon. Algal and microbial surfactants are lipid in nature and classified as glycolipids, phospholipids, lipopeptides, natural lipids, fatty acids, and lipopolysaccharides. These metabolic bioactive products are applicable in a number of industries and processes, viz., food processing, pharmacology, and bioremediation of oil-polluted environments. This chapter presents an update of the progress and potentialities of the principal producers of exopolysaccharide (EPS)-type biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers, viz., macro- and microalgae (cyanobacteria and diatoms) and bacteria from marine and extreme environments. Particular interest is centered into new sources and applications, viz., marine and deep-sea environments and promissory uses of these EPSs as biosurfactants/emulsifiers and other polymeric roles. The enormous benefits of these molecules encourage their discovery, exploitation, and development of new microbial EPSs that could possess novel industrial importance and corresponding innovations. PMID:25300549

  5. Detection of toxic organometallic complexes in wastewaters using algal assays.

    PubMed

    Wong, S L; Nakamoto, L; Wainwright, J F

    1997-05-01

    Chlorella (a unicellular green alga) and Cladophora (a filamentous alga) were used in algal assays to identify the presence and toxicity of organometallic complexes in four industrial wastewaters. Toxicities of inorganic Pb and organometallic compounds (trimethyl, tetramethyl and tetraethyl leads, cacodylic acid and Cu-picolinate) were examined, using algal cells grown in 10% BBM solution. Inorganic Pb and organometallic compounds altered the fine structure of Chlorella cells in a distinguishable manner. X-ray microanalysis revealed that organometallic compounds accumulated in the neutral lipids of Cladophora cells. By applying the above techniques to the wastewater assays, two of the four wastewaters tested were found to contain organometallic complexes. Wastewater from a chemical company contained only traces of organo-Cu, but one mining effluent contained significant quantities of organo-Cu and organo-Pb, and traces of organo-Cr and organo-Tl (thallium). These studies suggest that X-ray microanalysis of algae may be a useful tool in identifying aquatic systems contaminated with metals and organometallic compounds. PMID:9175500

  6. Recycling produced water for algal cultivation for biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Neal, Justin N.; Sullivan, Enid J.; Dean, Cynthia A.; Steichen, Seth A.

    2012-08-09

    Algal growth demands a continuous source of water of appropriate salinity and nutritional content. Fresh water sources are scarce in the deserts of the Southwestern United States, hence, salt water algae species are being investigated as a renewable biofuel source. The use of produced water from oil wells (PW) could offset the demand for fresh water in cultivation. Produced water can contain various concentrations of dissolved solids, metals and organic contaminants and often requires treatment beyond oil/water separation to make it suitable for algae cultivation. The produced water used in this study was taken from an oil well in Jal, New Mexico. An F/2-Si (minus silica) growth media commonly used to cultivate Nannochloropsis salina 1776 (NS 1776) was prepared using the produced water (F/2-Si PW) taking into account the metals and salts already present in the water. NS 1776 was seeded into a bioreactor containing 5L of the (F/2-Si PW) media. After eleven days the optical density at 750 nm (an indicator of algal growth) increased from 0 to 2.52. These results indicate algae are able to grow, though inhibited when compared with non-PW media, in the complex chemical conditions found in produced water. Savings from using nutrients present in the PW, such as P, K, and HCO{sub 3}{sup -}, results in a 44.38% cost savings over fresh water to mix the F/2-Si media.

  7. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundareshwar, P.V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S.A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large "blooms" in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. Four novel algal virus genomes discovered from Yellowstone Lake metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weijia; Zhou, Jinglie; Liu, Taigang; Yu, Yongxin; Pan, Yingjie; Yan, Shuling; Wang, Yongjie

    2015-01-01

    Phycodnaviruses are algae-infecting large dsDNA viruses that are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Here, partial genomic sequences of four novel algal viruses were assembled from a Yellowstone Lake metagenomic data set. Genomic analyses revealed that three Yellowstone Lake phycodnaviruses (YSLPVs) had genome lengths of 178,262 bp, 171,045 bp, and 171,454 bp, respectively, and were phylogenetically closely related to prasinoviruses (Phycodnaviridae). The fourth (YSLGV), with a genome length of 73,689 bp, was related to group III in the extended family Mimiviridae comprising Organic Lake phycodnaviruses and Phaeocystis globosa virus 16 T (OLPG). A pair of inverted terminal repeats was detected in YSLPV1, suggesting that its genome is nearly complete. Interestingly, these four putative YSL giant viruses also bear some genetic similarities to Yellowstone Lake virophages (YSLVs). For example, they share nine non-redundant homologous genes, including ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (a gene conserved in nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses) and Organic Lake virophage OLV2 (conserved in the majority of YSLVs). Additionally, putative multidrug resistance genes (emrE) were found in YSLPV1 and YSLPV2 but not in other viruses. Phylogenetic trees of emrE grouped YSLPVs with algae, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer occurred between giant viruses and their potential algal hosts. PMID:26459929

  9. Evaluation of High Density Algal Cultivation for Secondary Wastewater Polishing.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Xu, Shengnan; Bernards, Matthew; Hu, Zhiqiang

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the performance of an algal membrane bioreactor (A-MBR) for secondary wastewater effluent polishing and determined the membrane fouling behavior and dominance of algae in the A-MBR. The continuous flow A-MBR (effective volume = 7.2 L) was operated with low biomass wastage for more than 180 days, resulting in an average algal mixed liquor suspended solid concentration of 4922 mg/L. At the influent concentrations of 43 mg/L COD, 1.6 mg/L total phosphorus (TP), and 11.8 mg/L total nitrogen (TN), the effluent COD, TP and TN concentrations were 26 ± 6 mg/L, 0.7 ± 0.3 mg/L, and 9.6 ± 1.2 mg/L, respectively. High-density algae cultivation facilitated P adsorption and chemical precipitation. However, the TN removal efficiency was only 14% because of low biomass wastage. Although bacteria represented less than 2% of the total biomass in the A-MBR, bacterial growth in the secondary wastewater effluent accelerated membrane fouling. PMID:26803026

  10. Riparian shading controls instream spring phytoplankton and benthic algal growth.

    PubMed

    Halliday, S J; Skeffington, R A; Wade, A J; Bowes, M J; Read, D S; Jarvie, H P; Loewenthal, M

    2016-06-15

    Dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations showed a striking pattern in a multi-year study of the River Enborne, a small river in SE England. In each of three years (2010-2012), maximum DO concentrations were attained in mid-April, preceded by a period of steadily increasing diurnal amplitudes, followed by a steady reduction in both amplitude and concentration. Flow events during the reduction period reduce DO to low concentrations until the following spring. Evidence is presented that this pattern is mainly due to benthic algal growth which is eventually suppressed by the growth of the riparian tree canopy. Nitrate and silicate concentrations are too high to inhibit the growth of either benthic algae or phytoplankton, but phosphate concentrations might have started to reduce growth if the tree canopy development had been delayed. This interpretation is supported by evidence from weekly flow cytometry measurements and analysis of the diurnal, seasonal and annual patterns of nutrient concentrations. As the tree canopy develops, the river switches from an autotrophic to a heterotrophic state. The results support the use of riparian shading to help control algal growth, and highlight the risks of reducing riparian shade. PMID:27192431

  11. Four novel algal virus genomes discovered from Yellowstone Lake metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weijia; Zhou, Jinglie; Liu, Taigang; Yu, Yongxin; Pan, Yingjie; Yan, Shuling; Wang, Yongjie

    2015-01-01

    Phycodnaviruses are algae-infecting large dsDNA viruses that are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Here, partial genomic sequences of four novel algal viruses were assembled from a Yellowstone Lake metagenomic data set. Genomic analyses revealed that three Yellowstone Lake phycodnaviruses (YSLPVs) had genome lengths of 178,262 bp, 171,045 bp, and 171,454 bp, respectively, and were phylogenetically closely related to prasinoviruses (Phycodnaviridae). The fourth (YSLGV), with a genome length of 73,689 bp, was related to group III in the extended family Mimiviridae comprising Organic Lake phycodnaviruses and Phaeocystis globosa virus 16 T (OLPG). A pair of inverted terminal repeats was detected in YSLPV1, suggesting that its genome is nearly complete. Interestingly, these four putative YSL giant viruses also bear some genetic similarities to Yellowstone Lake virophages (YSLVs). For example, they share nine non-redundant homologous genes, including ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (a gene conserved in nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses) and Organic Lake virophage OLV2 (conserved in the majority of YSLVs). Additionally, putative multidrug resistance genes (emrE) were found in YSLPV1 and YSLPV2 but not in other viruses. Phylogenetic trees of emrE grouped YSLPVs with algae, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer occurred between giant viruses and their potential algal hosts. PMID:26459929

  12. Marine Toxins Targeting Ion Channels

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Hugo R.

    2006-01-01

    This introductory minireview points out the importance of ion channels for cell communication. The basic concepts on the structure and function of ion channels triggered by membrane voltage changes, the so-called voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs), as well as those activated by neurotransmitters, the so-called ligand-gated ion channel (LGICs), are introduced. Among the most important VGIC superfamiles, we can name the voltage-gated Na+ (NaV), Ca2+ (CaV), and K+ (KV) channels. Among the most important LGIC super families, we can include the Cys-loop or nicotinicoid, the glutamate-activated (GluR), and the ATP-activated (P2XnR) receptor superfamilies. Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that allow the passage of different ions in a specific or unspecific manner. For instance, the activation of NaV, CaV, or KV channels opens a pore that is specific for Na+, Ca2+, or K+, respectively. On the other hand, the activation of certain LGICs such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GluRs, and P2XnRs allows the passage of cations (e.g., Na+, K+, and/or Ca2+), whereas the activation of other LGICs such as type A γ-butyric acid and glycine receptors allows the passage of anions (e.g., Cl− and/or HCO3−). In this regard, the activation of NaV and CaV as well as ligand-gated cation channels produce membrane depolarization, which finally leads to stimulatory effects in the cell, whereas the activation of KV as well as ligand-gated anion channels induce membrane hyperpolarization that finally leads to inhibitory effects in the cell. The importance of these ion channel superfamilies is emphasized by considering their physiological functions throughout the body as well as their pathophysiological implicance in several neuronal diseases. In this regard, natural molecules, and especially marine toxins, can be potentially used as modulators (e.g., inhibitors or prolongers) of ion channel functions to treat or to alleviate a specific ion channel-linked disease (e

  13. Bacterial Toxins and the Nervous System: Neurotoxins and Multipotential Toxins Interacting with Neuronal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Popoff, Michel R.; Poulain, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    Toxins are potent molecules used by various bacteria to interact with a host organism. Some of them specifically act on neuronal cells (clostridial neurotoxins) leading to characteristics neurological affections. But many other toxins are multifunctional and recognize a wider range of cell types including neuronal cells. Various enterotoxins interact with the enteric nervous system, for example by stimulating afferent neurons or inducing neurotransmitter release from enterochromaffin cells which result either in vomiting, in amplification of the diarrhea, or in intestinal inflammation process. Other toxins can pass the blood brain barrier and directly act on specific neurons. PMID:22069606

  14. Natural toxins for use in pest management.

    PubMed

    Duke, Stephen O; Cantrell, Charles L; Meepagala, Kumudini M; Wedge, David E; Tabanca, Nurhayat; Schrader, Kevin K

    2010-08-01

    Natural toxins are a source of new chemical classes of pesticides, as well as environmentally and toxicologically safer molecules than many of the currently used pesticides. Furthermore, they often have molecular target sites that are not exploited by currently marketed pesticides. There are highly successful products based on natural compounds in the major pesticide classes. These include the herbicide glufosinate (synthetic phosphinothricin), the spinosad insecticides, and the strobilurin fungicides. These and other examples of currently marketed natural product-based pesticides, as well as natural toxins that show promise as pesticides from our own research are discussed. PMID:22069667

  15. Impact of CDT Toxin on Human Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Faïs, Tiphanie; Delmas, Julien; Serres, Arnaud; Bonnet, Richard; Dalmasso, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) is found in Gram-negative bacteria, especially in certain Proteobacteria such as the Pasteurellaceae family, including Haemophilus ducreyi and Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans, in the Enterobacteriaceae family and the Campylobacterales order, including the Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. In vitro and in vivo studies have clearly shown that this toxin has a strong effect on cellular physiology (inflammation, immune response modulation, tissue damage). Some works even suggest a potential involvement of CDT in cancers. In this review, we will discuss these different aspects. PMID:27429000

  16. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yau Sang; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Xia, Lixin; Wong, Jack Ho; Ng, Tzi Bun; Chan, Wai Yee

    2016-07-01

    Snake venoms are complex mixtures of small molecules and peptides/proteins, and most of them display certain kinds of bioactivities. They include neurotoxic, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic, myotoxic, and many different enzymatic activities. Snake envenomation is a significant health issue as millions of snakebites are reported annually. A large number of people are injured and die due to snake venom poisoning. However, several fatal snake venom toxins have found potential uses as diagnostic tools, therapeutic agent, or drug leads. In this review, different non-enzymatically active snake venom toxins which have potential therapeutic properties such as antitumor, antimicrobial, anticoagulating, and analgesic activities will be discussed. PMID:27245678

  17. Impact of CDT Toxin on Human Diseases.

    PubMed

    Faïs, Tiphanie; Delmas, Julien; Serres, Arnaud; Bonnet, Richard; Dalmasso, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) is found in Gram-negative bacteria, especially in certain Proteobacteria such as the Pasteurellaceae family, including Haemophilus ducreyi and Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans, in the Enterobacteriaceae family and the Campylobacterales order, including the Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. In vitro and in vivo studies have clearly shown that this toxin has a strong effect on cellular physiology (inflammation, immune response modulation, tissue damage). Some works even suggest a potential involvement of CDT in cancers. In this review, we will discuss these different aspects. PMID:27429000

  18. Regulation of Toxin Production in Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in nature, especially in soil and the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. C. perfringens causes gas gangrene and food poisoning, and it produces extracellular enzymes and toxins that are thought to act synergistically and contribute to its pathogenesis. A complicated regulatory network of toxin genes has been reported that includes a two-component system for regulatory RNA and cell-cell communication. It is necessary to clarify the global regulatory system of these genes in order to understand and treat the virulence of C. perfringens. We summarize the existing knowledge about the regulatory mechanisms here. PMID:27399773

  19. Natural Toxins for Use in Pest Management

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Stephen O.; Cantrell, Charles L.; Meepagala, Kumudini M.; Wedge, David E.; Tabanca, Nurhayat; Schrader, Kevin K.

    2010-01-01

    Natural toxins are a source of new chemical classes of pesticides, as well as environmentally and toxicologically safer molecules than many of the currently used pesticides. Furthermore, they often have molecular target sites that are not exploited by currently marketed pesticides. There are highly successful products based on natural compounds in the major pesticide classes. These include the herbicide glufosinate (synthetic phosphinothricin), the spinosad insecticides, and the strobilurin fungicides. These and other examples of currently marketed natural product-based pesticides, as well as natural toxins that show promise as pesticides from our own research are discussed. PMID:22069667

  20. Streptococcal toxins: role in pathogenesis and disease.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Timothy C; Cole, Jason N; Rivera-Hernandez, Tania; Henningham, Anna; Paton, James C; Nizet, Victor; Walker, Mark J

    2015-12-01

    Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), group B Streptococcus (Streptococcus agalactiae) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) are host-adapted bacterial pathogens among the leading infectious causes of human morbidity and mortality. These microbes and related members of the genus Streptococcus produce an array of toxins that act against human cells or tissues, resulting in impaired immune responses and subversion of host physiological processes to benefit the invading microorganism. This toxin repertoire includes haemolysins, proteases, superantigens and other agents that ultimately enhance colonization and survival within the host and promote dissemination of the pathogen. PMID:26433203