Science.gov

Sample records for marine algal neurotoxin

  1. 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

  2. Neurotoxins from Marine Dinoflagellates: A Brief Review

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Da-Zhi

    2008-01-01

    Dinoflagellates are not only important marine primary producers and grazers, but also the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. It has been reported that many dinoflagellate species can produce various natural toxins. These toxins can be extremely toxic and many of them are effective at far lower dosages than conventional chemical agents. Consumption of seafood contaminated by algal toxins results in various seafood poisoning syndromes: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (ASP). Most of these poisonings are caused by neurotoxins which present themselves with highly specific effects on the nervous system of animals, including humans, by interfering with nerve impulse transmission. Neurotoxins are a varied group of compounds, both chemically and pharmacologically. They vary in both chemical structure and mechanism of action, and produce very distinct biological effects, which provides a potential application of these toxins in pharmacology and toxicology. This review summarizes the origin, structure and clinical symptoms of PSP, NSP, CFP, AZP, yessotoxin and palytoxin produced by marine dinoflagellates, as well as their molecular mechanisms of action on voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:18728731

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Algal chloroplast produced camelid VHH antitoxins are capable of neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin

    PubMed Central

    Barrera, Daniel J.; Rosenberg, Julian N.; Chiu, Joanna G.; Chang, Yung-Nien; Debatis, Michelle; Ngoi, Soo-Mun; Chang, John T.; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Oyler, George A.; Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    We have produced three antitoxins consisting of the variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies (VHH) by expressing the genes in the chloroplast of green algae. These antitoxins accumulate as soluble proteins capable of binding and neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin. Furthermore, they accumulate at up to 5% total soluble protein, sufficient expression to easily produce these antitoxins at scale from algae. The genes for the three different antitoxins were transformed into Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts and their products purified from algae lysates and assayed for in vitro biological activity using toxin protection assays. The produced antibody domains bind to botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) with similar affinities as camelid antibodies produced in Escherichia coli, and they are similarly able to protect primary rat neurons from intoxication by BoNT/A. Furthermore, the camelid antibodies were produced in algae without the use of solubilization tags commonly employed in E. coli. These camelid antibody domains are potent antigen binding proteins and the heterodimer fusion protein containing two VHH domains was capable of neutralizing BoNT/A at near equimolar concentrations with the toxin. Intact antibody domains were detected in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of mice treated orally with antitoxin producing microalgae. These findings support the use of orally delivered antitoxins produced in green algae as a novel treatment for botulism. PMID:25229405

  10. Algal chloroplast produced camelid VH H antitoxins are capable of neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Barrera, Daniel J; Rosenberg, Julian N; Chiu, Joanna G; Chang, Yung-Nien; Debatis, Michelle; Ngoi, Soo-Mun; Chang, John T; Shoemaker, Charles B; Oyler, George A; Mayfield, Stephen P

    2015-01-01

    We have produced three antitoxins consisting of the variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies (VH H) by expressing the genes in the chloroplast of green algae. These antitoxins accumulate as soluble proteins capable of binding and neutralizing botulinum neurotoxin. Furthermore, they accumulate at up to 5% total soluble protein, sufficient expression to easily produce these antitoxins at scale from algae. The genes for the three different antitoxins were transformed into Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts and their products purified from algae lysates and assayed for in vitro biological activity using toxin protection assays. The produced antibody domains bind to botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) with similar affinities as camelid antibodies produced in Escherichia coli, and they are similarly able to protect primary rat neurons from intoxication by BoNT/A. Furthermore, the camelid antibodies were produced in algae without the use of solubilization tags commonly employed in E. coli. These camelid antibody domains are potent antigen-binding proteins and the heterodimer fusion protein containing two VH H domains was capable of neutralizing BoNT/A at near equimolar concentrations with the toxin. Intact antibody domains were detected in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of mice treated orally with antitoxin-producing microalgae. These findings support the use of orally delivered antitoxins produced in green algae as a novel treatment for botulism. PMID:25229405

  11. An Overview on the Marine Neurotoxin, Saxitoxin: Genetics, Molecular Targets, Methods of Detection and Ecological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cusick, Kathleen D.; Sayler, Gary S.

    2013-01-01

    Marine neurotoxins are natural products produced by phytoplankton and select species of invertebrates and fish. These compounds interact with voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels and modulate the flux of these ions into various cell types. This review provides a summary of marine neurotoxins, including their structures, molecular targets and pharmacologies. Saxitoxin and its derivatives, collectively referred to as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), are unique among neurotoxins in that they are found in both marine and freshwater environments by organisms inhabiting two kingdoms of life. Prokaryotic cyanobacteria are responsible for PST production in freshwater systems, while eukaryotic dinoflagellates are the main producers in marine waters. Bioaccumulation by filter-feeding bivalves and fish and subsequent transfer through the food web results in the potentially fatal human illnesses, paralytic shellfish poisoning and saxitoxin pufferfish poisoning. These illnesses are a result of saxitoxin’s ability to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channel, blocking the passage of nerve impulses and leading to death via respiratory paralysis. Recent advances in saxitoxin research are discussed, including the molecular biology of toxin synthesis, new protein targets, association with metal-binding motifs and methods of detection. The eco-evolutionary role(s) PSTs may serve for phytoplankton species that produce them are also discussed. PMID:23535394

  12. sxtA-Based Quantitative Molecular Assay To Identify Saxitoxin-Producing Harmful Algal Blooms in Marine Waters ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Shauna A.; Wiese, Maria; Stüken, Anke; Brett, Steve; Kellmann, Ralf; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Neilan, Brett A.

    2011-01-01

    The recent identification of genes involved in the production of the potent neurotoxin and keystone metabolite saxitoxin (STX) in marine eukaryotic phytoplankton has allowed us for the first time to develop molecular genetic methods to investigate the chemical ecology of harmful algal blooms in situ. We present a novel method for detecting and quantifying the potential for STX production in marine environmental samples. Our assay detects a domain of the gene sxtA that encodes a unique enzyme putatively involved in the sxt pathway in marine dinoflagellates, sxtA4. A product of the correct size was recovered from nine strains of four species of STX-producing Alexandrium and Gymnodinium catenatum and was not detected in the non-STX-producing Alexandrium species, other dinoflagellate cultures, or an environmental sample that did not contain known STX-producing species. However, sxtA4 was also detected in the non-STX-producing strain of Alexandrium tamarense, Tasmanian ribotype. We investigated the copy number of sxtA4 in three strains of Alexandrium catenella and found it to be relatively constant among strains. Using our novel method, we detected and quantified sxtA4 in three environmental blooms of Alexandrium catenella that led to STX uptake in oysters. We conclude that this method shows promise as an accurate, fast, and cost-effective means of quantifying the potential for STX production in marine samples and will be useful for biological oceanographic research and harmful algal bloom monitoring. PMID:21841034

  13. 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

  14. Comparative cytotoxicity of gambierol versus other marine neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Cagide, E; Louzao, M C; Espiña, B; Ares, I R; Vieytes, M R; Sasaki, M; Fuwa, H; Tsukano, C; Konno, Y; Yotsu-Yamashita, M; Paquette, L A; Yasumoto, T; Botana, L M

    2011-06-20

    Many microalgae produce compounds that exhibit potent biological activities. Ingestion of marine organisms contaminated with those toxins results in seafood poisonings. In many cases, the lack of toxic material turns out to be an obstacle to make the toxicological investigations needed. In this study, we evaluate the cytotoxicity of several marine toxins on neuroblastoma cells, focusing on gambierol and its effect on cytosolic calcium levels. In addition, we compared the effects of this toxin with ciguatoxin, brevetoxin, and gymnocin-A, with which gambierol shares a similar ladder-like backbone, as well as with polycavernoside A analogue 5, a glycosidic macrolide toxin. For this purpose, different fluorescent dyes were used: Fura-2 to monitor variations in cytosolic calcium levels, Alamar Blue to detect cytotoxicity, and Oregon Green 514 Phalloidin to quantify and visualize modifications in the actin cytoskeleton. Data showed that, while gambierol and ciguatoxin were successful in producing a calcium influx in neuroblastoma cells, gymnocin-A was unable to modify this parameter. Nevertheless, none of the toxins induced morphological changes or alterations in the actin assembly. Although polycavernoside A analogue 5 evoked a sharp reduction of the cellular metabolism of neuroblastoma cells, gambierol scarcely reduced it, and ciguatoxin, brevetoxin, and gymnocin-A failed to produce any signs of cytotoxicity. According to this, sharing a similar polycyclic ether backbone is not enough to produce the same effects on neuroblastoma cells; therefore, more studies should be carried out with these toxins, whose effects may be being underestimated. PMID:21517028

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. REVIEW OF THE CURRENT STATUS OF MARINE ALGAL TOXICITY TESTING IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algal toxicity testing is not new, but only within the past few years have data from such testing been used to help set standards for allowable contamination. arly toxicity testing with marine algae used a few planktonic species with inhibition of growth as the primary endpoint. ...

  17. A MARINE ALGAL BIOASSAY METHOD: RESULTS WITH PESTICIDES AND INDUSTRIAL WASTES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A simple marine algal bioassay method is described for short- and long-term studies on pesticides and industrial wastes. It can be used for rapid screening of a variety of substances with single-species and multiple-species tests and gives relative toxicities of the pollutants te...

  18. 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

  19. Flotation of marine microalgae: effect of algal hydrophobicity.

    PubMed

    Garg, Sourabh; Li, Yan; Wang, Liguang; Schenk, Peer M

    2012-10-01

    This study aims to understand the underlying reasons for the poor flotation response of marine microalgae. The flotation performance and hydrophobicity of a freshwater microalga (Chlorella sp. BR2) were compared to those of a marine microalga (Tetraselmis sp. M8) at different salinities in the presence of a cationic collector, tetradecyl trimethylammonium bromide. It was found that microalgal hydrophobicity played a more important role than salinity in determining the flotation performance. PMID:22858117

  20. MARINE SULFUR CYCLE. Identification of the algal dimethyl sulfide-releasing enzyme: A missing link in the marine sulfur cycle.

    PubMed

    Alcolombri, Uria; Ben-Dor, Shifra; Feldmesser, Ester; Levin, Yishai; Tawfik, Dan S; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-06-26

    Algal blooms produce large amounts of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a volatile with a diverse signaling role in marine food webs that is emitted to the atmosphere, where it can affect cloud formation. The algal enzymes responsible for forming DMS from dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) remain unidentified despite their critical role in the global sulfur cycle. We identified and characterized Alma1, a DMSP lyase from the bloom-forming algae Emiliania huxleyi. Alma1 is a tetrameric, redox-sensitive enzyme of the aspartate racemase superfamily. Recombinant Alma1 exhibits biochemical features identical to the DMSP lyase in E. huxleyi, and DMS released by various E. huxleyi isolates correlates with their Alma1 levels. Sequence homology searches suggest that Alma1 represents a gene family present in major, globally distributed phytoplankton taxa and in other marine organisms. PMID:26113722

  1. Development and application of a marine sediment porewater toxicity test using algal spores

    SciTech Connect

    Hooten, R.; Carr, R.S.

    1995-12-31

    An acute pore water toxicity test protocol using germination and growth of marine macroalgae as endpoints was developed to indicate the presence of toxic compounds in marine/estuarine and sediment porewater samples. Zoospores collected from Ulva fasciata and U. lactuca were used as test organisms. Preliminary results with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, a reference toxicant) indicate that zoospores germination and growth of embryonic gametophytes are as sensitive as the sea urchin fertilization and embryological development toxicity tests. Algal germination and growth data for copper, mercury and other metals will be presented. The results of tests utilizing this algal assay with sediment pore water from contaminated sediments will be compared with more traditional sediment toxicity test methods.

  2. Antimicrobial effects of marine algal extracts and cyanobacterial pure compounds against five foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed

    Dussault, Dominic; Vu, Khanh Dang; Vansach, Tifanie; Horgen, F David; Lacroix, Monique

    2016-05-15

    The marine environment is a proven source of structurally complex and biologically active compounds. In this study, the antimicrobial effects of a small collection of marine-derived extracts and isolates, were evaluated against 5 foodborne pathogens using a broth dilution assay. Results demonstrated that algal extracts from Padina and Ulva species and cyanobacterial compounds antillatoxin B, laxaphycins A, B and B3, isomalyngamide A, and malyngamides C, I and J showed antimicrobial activity against Gram positive foodborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus) at low concentrations (⩽ 500 μg/ml). None of the algal extracts or cyanobacterial isolates had antibacterial activity against Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium). PMID:26775951

  3. Antioxidant Activity of Marine Algal Polyphenolic Compounds: A Mechanistic Approach.

    PubMed

    Fernando, I P Shanura; Kim, Misook; Son, Kwang-Tae; Jeong, Yoonhwa; Jeon, You-Jin

    2016-07-01

    Polyphenolic compounds isolated from marine algae exhibit a broad spectrum of beneficial biological properties, including antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activities, along with several other bioactivities centered on their antioxidant properties. Consequently, polyphenolic compounds are increasingly being investigated for their potential use in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical applications. The antioxidant activities of these compounds have been explored widely through experimental studies. Nonetheless, a theoretical understanding of the structural and electronic properties could broaden research perspectives, leading to the identification and synthesis of efficient structural analogs with prophylactic uses. This review briefly summarizes the current state of knowledge regarding antioxidant polyphenolic compounds in marine algae with an attempt to describe the structure-activity relationship. PMID:27332715

  4. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses.

    PubMed

    Lago, Jorge; Rodríguez, Laura P; Blanco, Lucía; Vieites, Juan Manuel; Cabado, Ana G

    2015-10-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of "fugu" is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains. PMID:26492253

  5. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses

    PubMed Central

    Lago, Jorge; Rodríguez, Laura P.; Blanco, Lucía; Vieites, Juan Manuel; Cabado, Ana G.

    2015-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of “fugu” is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains. PMID:26492253

  6. A minireview of marine algal virus — Coccolithoviruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jingwen; Xu, Miaomiao; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-04-01

    Coccolithophorid is unicellular marine microalgae with a global distribution in temperate and sub-temperate oceanic regions and has the ability to produce `the coccoliths'. It is considered to be the second most productive calcifying organism on earth and becoming an important factor in the global carbonate cycle. Emiliania huxleyi is one of the only two bloom-forming coccolithophores and becomes a species crucial to the study of global biogeochemical cycles and climate modeling. Coccolithoviruse is a recently discovered group of viruses infecting the marine coccolithophorid E. huxleyi. They are a major cause of coccolithophore bloom termination, and DMSP concentration is increasing in the process of viral lysis. Phylogenetic evidences support that some genes are functional both in E. huxleyi and its virus (EhV). Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of multiple functionally coupled enzymes occurs in E. huxleyi and its DNA virus EhV has been confirmed, which contributes to the diversification and adaptation of plankton in the oceans and also critically regulates virus-host infection by allowing viruses to control host metabolic pathways for their replication. Therefore, it is of particular interest to understand this host-virus interaction. On this issue, we have made a minireview of coccolithoviruses focusing on the basic characteristics, phylogenesis, horizontal gene transfer and the interaction between the host and its viruses, as well as its important role in global biogeochemical cycling.

  7. Evidence for a Novel Marine Harmful Algal Bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) Transfer from Land to Sea Otters

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Melissa A.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Mekebri, Abdu; Crane, Dave; Oates, Stori C.; Tinker, M. Timothy; Staedler, Michelle; Miller, Woutrina A.; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Dominik, Clare; Hardin, Dane; Langlois, Gregg; Murray, Michael; Ward, Kim; Jessup, David A.

    2010-01-01

    “Super-blooms” of cyanobacteria that produce potent and environmentally persistent biotoxins (microcystins) are an emerging global health issue in freshwater habitats. Monitoring of the marine environment for secondary impacts has been minimal, although microcystin-contaminated freshwater is known to be entering marine ecosystems. Here we confirm deaths of marine mammals from microcystin intoxication and provide evidence implicating land-sea flow with trophic transfer through marine invertebrates as the most likely route of exposure. This hypothesis was evaluated through environmental detection of potential freshwater and marine microcystin sources, sea otter necropsy with biochemical analysis of tissues and evaluation of bioaccumulation of freshwater microcystins by marine invertebrates. Ocean discharge of freshwater microcystins was confirmed for three nutrient-impaired rivers flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and microcystin concentrations up to 2,900 ppm (2.9 million ppb) were detected in a freshwater lake and downstream tributaries to within 1 km of the ocean. Deaths of 21 southern sea otters, a federally listed threatened species, were linked to microcystin intoxication. Finally, farmed and free-living marine clams, mussels and oysters of species that are often consumed by sea otters and humans exhibited significant biomagnification (to 107 times ambient water levels) and slow depuration of freshwater cyanotoxins, suggesting a potentially serious environmental and public health threat that extends from the lowest trophic levels of nutrient-impaired freshwater habitat to apex marine predators. Microcystin-poisoned sea otters were commonly recovered near river mouths and harbors and contaminated marine bivalves were implicated as the most likely source of this potent hepatotoxin for wild otters. This is the first report of deaths of marine mammals due to cyanotoxins and confirms the existence of a novel class of marine

  8. Evidence for a novel marine harmful algal bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) transfer from land to sea otters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Melissa A.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Mekebri, Abdu; Crane, Dave; Oates, Stori C.; Tinker, M. Timothy; Staedler, Michelle; Miller, Woutrina A.; Toy-Choutka, Sharon; Dominik, Clare; Hardin, Dane; Langlois, Gregg; Murray, Michael; Ward, Kim; Jessup, David A.

    2010-01-01

    "Super-blooms" of cyanobacteria that produce potent and environmentally persistent biotoxins (microcystins) are an emerging global health issue in freshwater habitats. Monitoring of the marine environment for secondary impacts has been minimal, although microcystin-contaminated freshwater is known to be entering marine ecosystems. Here we confirm deaths of marine mammals from microcystin intoxication and provide evidence implicating land-sea flow with trophic transfer through marine invertebrates as the most likely route of exposure. This hypothesis was evaluated through environmental detection of potential freshwater and marine microcystin sources, sea otter necropsy with biochemical analysis of tissues and evaluation of bioaccumulation of freshwater microcystins by marine invertebrates. Ocean discharge of freshwater microcystins was confirmed for three nutrient-impaired rivers flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and microcystin concentrations up to 2,900 ppm (2.9 million ppb) were detected in a freshwater lake and downstream tributaries to within 1 km of the ocean. Deaths of 21 southern sea otters, a federally listed threatened species, were linked to microcystin intoxication. Finally, farmed and free-living marine clams, mussels and oysters of species that are often consumed by sea otters and humans exhibited significant biomagnification (to 107 times ambient water levels) and slow depuration of freshwater cyanotoxins, suggesting a potentially serious environmental and public health threat that extends from the lowest trophic levels of nutrient-impaired freshwater habitat to apex marine predators. Microcystin-poisoned sea otters were commonly recovered near river mouths and harbors and contaminated marine bivalves were implicated as the most likely source of this potent hepatotoxin for wild otters. This is the first report of deaths of marine mammals due to cyanotoxins and confirms the existence of a novel class of marine "harmful algal

  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. Disk Diffusion Assay to Assess the Antimicrobial Activity of Marine Algal Extracts.

    PubMed

    Desbois, Andrew P; Smith, Valerie J

    2015-01-01

    Marine algae are a relatively untapped source of bioactive natural products, including those with antimicrobial activities. The ability to assess the antimicrobial activity of cell extracts derived from algal cultures is vital to identifying species that may produce useful novel antibiotics. One assay that is used widely for this purpose is the disk diffusion assay due to its simplicity, rapidity, and low cost. Moreover, this assay gives output data that are easy to interpret and can be used to screen many samples at once irrespective of the solvent used during preparation. In this chapter, a step-by-step protocol for performing a disk diffusion assay is described. The assay is particularly well suited to testing algal cell extracts and fractions resulting from separation through bioassay-guided approaches. PMID:26108520

  11. Marine algal natural products with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    For their various bioactivities, biomaterials derived from marine algae are important ingredients in many products, such as cosmetics and drugs for treating cancer and other diseases. This mini-review comprehensively compares the bioactivities and biological functions of biomaterials from red, green, brown, and blue-green algae. The anti-oxidative effects and bioactivities of several different crude extracts of algae have been evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Natural products derived from marine algae protect cells by modulating the effects of oxidative stress. Because oxidative stress plays important roles in inflammatory reactions and in carcinogenesis, marine algal natural products have potential for use in anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs. PMID:23724847

  12. Remote Sensing Marine Ecology: Wind-driven algal blooms in the open oceans and their ecological impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, DanLing

    2016-07-01

    Algal bloom not only can increase the primary production but also could result in negative ecological consequence, e.g., Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). According to the classic theory for the formation of algal blooms "critical depth" and "eutrophication", oligotrophic sea area is usually difficult to form a large area of algal blooms, and actually the traditional observation is only sporadic capture to the existence of algal blooms. Taking full advantage of multiple data of satellite remote sensing, this study: 1), introduces "Wind-driven algal blooms in open oceans: observation and mechanisms" It explained except classic coastal Ekman transport, the wind through a variety of mechanisms affecting the formation of algal blooms. Proposed a conceptual model of "Strong wind -upwelling-nutrient-phytoplankton blooms" in Western South China Sea (SCS) to assess role of wind-induced advection transport in phytoplankton bloom formation. It illustrates the nutrient resources that support long-term offshore phytoplankton blooms in the western SCS; 2), Proposal of the theory that "typhoons cause vertical mixing, induce phytoplankton blooms", and quantify their important contribution to marine primary production; Proposal a new ecological index for typhoon. Proposed remote sensing inversion models. 3), Finding of the spatial and temporaldistributions pattern of harmful algal bloom (HAB)and species variations of HAB in the South Yellow Sea and East China Sea, and in the Pearl River estuary, and their oceanic dynamic mechanisms related with monsoon; The project developed new techniques and generated new knowledge, which significantly improved understanding of the formation mechanisms of algal blooms. 1), It proposed "wind-pump" mechanism integrates theoretical system combing "ocean dynamics, development of algal blooms, and impact on primary production", which will benefit fisheries management. 2), A new interdisciplinary subject "Remote Sensing Marine Ecology"(RSME) has been

  13. Compositional changes in neurotoxins and their oxidative derivatives from the dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, in seawater and marine aerosol

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Richard H.; Henry, Michael S.; Blum, Patricia C.; Osborn, Shannon E.; Cheng, Yung-Sung; Zhou, Yue; Irvin, Clinton M.; Bourdelais, Andrea J.; Naar, Jerome; Baden, Daniel G.

    2011-01-01

    The harmful alga, Karenia brevis, produces a suite of polyether neurotoxins, brevetoxins or PbTx, that cause marine animal mortality and neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). A characteristic of K. brevis blooms is associated airborne toxins that result in severe respiratory problems. This study was undertaken to determine the composition of aerosolized brevetoxins and oxidative derivatives to which beachgoers are exposed during a K. brevis bloom. The suite of brevetoxins and derivatives in seawater is comprised of intra-cellular (IC) and extra-cellular (EC) compounds. We hypothesized that aerosolized compounds are generated primarily from EC, hydrophobic compounds in seawater by bubble-mediated transport. Thus the composition of aerosolized brevetoxins and derivatives, to which beachgoers are exposed, would reflect the EC composition of the source matrix (the local surf zone). Brevetoxins were extracted from water collected along the shore and from marine aerosols along Siesta Beach and Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL, USA, during K. brevis blooms. Water samples were further processed into IC and EC components. The primary brevetoxins observed in water and air included PbTx-1, -2, -3, -PbTx-2-carboxylic acid, and brevenal. Oxidation and/or hydrolysis products of PbTx-1, -2, -3 and -7 were also found in EC water and in aerosol, but not IC. PMID:21191552

  14. Investigation of severe UF membrane fouling induced by three marine algal species.

    PubMed

    Merle, Tony; Dramas, Laure; Gutierrez, Leonardo; Garcia-Molina, Veronica; Croué, Jean-Philippe

    2016-04-15

    Reducing membrane fouling caused by seawater algal bloom is a challenge for regions of the world where most of their freshwater is produced by seawater desalination. This study aims to compare ultrafiltration (UF) fouling potential of three ubiquitous marine algal species cultures (i.e., Skeletonema costatum-SKC, Tetraselmis sp.-TET, and Hymenomonas sp.-HYM) sampled at different phases of growth. Results showed that flux reduction and irreversible fouling were more severe during the decline phase as compared to the exponential phase, for all species. SKC and TET were responsible for substantial irreversible fouling but their impact was significantly lower than HYM. The development of a transparent gel layer surrounding the cell during the HYM growth and accumulating in water is certainly responsible for the more severe observed fouling. Chemical backwash with a standard chlorine solution did not recover any membrane permeability. For TET and HYM, the Hydraulically Irreversible Fouling Index (HIFI) was correlated to their biopolymer content but this correlation is specific for each species. Solution pre-filtration through a 1.2 μm membrane proved that cells and particulate algal organic matter (p-AOM) considerably contribute to fouling, especially for HYM for which the HIFI was reduced by a factor of 82.3. PMID:26874470

  15. Effects of COX inhibitors on neurodegeneration and survival in mice exposed to the marine neurotoxin domoic acid.

    PubMed

    Ryan, James C; Cross, Cheryl A; Van Dolah, Frances M

    2011-01-01

    The marine neurotoxin domoic acid (DA) is a rigid analogue of the neurotransmitter glutamate and a potent agonist of kainate subtype glutamate receptors. Persistent activation of these receptor subtypes results in rapid excitotoxicity, calcium-dependent cell death, and neuronal degeneration in regions of the brain where glutamatergic pathways are concentrated. Previous work has shown that DA promotes the expression of inflammatory genes in the brain, such as cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2). To investigate the impact of inflammation on the development of neurodegeneration, and ultimately survival following DA administration, we used selective (L745337, Merck) and non-selective (acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)) COX inhibitors in DA exposed mice. Adult male ICR mice were given a regime of either ASA or L23547 both before and after a single LD50 dose of DA. Mice were observed immediately after toxin introduction and then sacrificed at 2 days post exposure. Our lower dose of L23547 increased survival and was most effective at decreasing neuronal degeneration in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus, areas especially sensitive to DA excitotoxicity. This study shows that COX2 plays a role in DA induced neurodegeneration and death, and that inhibitors may be of value for treatment in human and wildlife DA exposure. PMID:20934488

  16. Optimization and kinetic studies on algal oil extraction from marine macroalgae Ulva lactuca.

    PubMed

    Suganya, Tamilarasan; Renganathan, Sahadevan

    2012-03-01

    In this present investigation, kinetic studies on oil extraction were performed in marine macroalgae Ulva lactuca. The algal biomass was characterized by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier Transform-Infra Red Spectroscopy. Six different pre-treatment methods were carried out to evaluate the best method for maximum oil extraction. Optimization of extraction parameters were performed and high oil yield was obtained at 5% moisture content, 0.12 mm particle size, 500 rpm stirrer speed, 55°C temperature, 140 min time and solvent-to-solid ratio as 6:1 with 1% diethyl-ether and 10% methylene chloride in n-hexane solvent mixture. After optimization, 10.88% (g/g) of oil extraction yield was achieved from 30 g of algal biomass. The rate constant was obtained for the first order kinetic study by differential method. The activation energy (Ea) was calculated as 63.031 kJ/mol. From the results obtained in the investigation, U. lactuca biomass was proved to be a suitable source for the biodiesel production. PMID:22209436

  17. Genetic diversity in marine algal virus communities as revealed by sequence analysis of DNA polymerase genes.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, F; Suttle, C A; Short, S M

    1996-01-01

    Algal-virus-specific PCR primers were used to amplify DNA polymerase gene (pol) fragments (683 to 689 bp) from the virus-sized fraction (0.02 to 0.2 microns) concentrated from inshore and offshore water samples collected from the Gulf of Mexico. Algal-virus-like DNA pol genes were detected in five samples collected from the surface and deep chlorophyll maximum. PCR products from an offshore station were cloned, and the genetic diversity of 33 fragments was examined by restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analysis. The five different genotypes or operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were identified on the basis of restriction fragment length polymorphism banding patterns were present in different relative abundances (9 to 34%). One clone from each OTU was sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis showed that all of the OTUs fell within the family Phycodnaviridae. Four of the OTUs fell within a group of viruses (MpV) which infect the photosynthetic picoplankter Micromonas pusilla. The genetic diversity among these genotypes was as large as that previously found for MpV isolates from different oceans. The remaining genotype formed its own clade between viruses which infect M. pusilla and Chrysochromulina brevifilum. These results imply that marine virus communities contain a diverse assemblage of MpV-like viruses, as well as other unknown members of the Phycodnaviridae. PMID:8702280

  18. Identification of a new marine algal species Pyropia nitida sp. nov. (Bangiales: Rhodophyta) from Monterey, California.

    PubMed

    Harden, Leeanne K; Morales, Karina M; Hughey, Jeffery R

    2016-07-01

    An unidentified marine red algal species classified in Pyropia J. Agardh was discovered from Monterey, CA. Morphological, barcode, and complete mitochondrial genome analysis of the alga support its recognition as a new species, Pyropia nitida sp. nov. The species is a high-intertidal, winter annual that is lanceolate in shape, monostromatic, and dioecious. Based on CO1 sequences, P. nitida is closely allied with the P. nereocystis clade. The mitogenome of P. nitida is 35 313 bp in length and contains 53 genes, including two ribosomal RNAs, 24 transfer RNAs, four ribosomal proteins, two ymfs, four ORFs, and 17 genes involved in electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation. The results support the recognition of P. nitida as distinct from the morphologically similar P. lanceolata. PMID:26153737

  19. Detection of marine neurotoxins and characterization of the presynaptic activity of iotrochotin from the sponge Iotrochota birotulata

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, J.V.

    1987-01-01

    In order to detect novel presynaptic neurotoxins, a total of 766 extracts from marine organisms collected during expeditions of the research vessel Alpha Helix around the peninsula of Baja Mexico in 1974 and through the Caribbean in 1978 were tested for activity in a synaptosomal assay for the release of acetylcholine (ACh). To eliminate from consideration sample extracts which lysed the synaptosomal membrane, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was measured as a cytoplasmic marker. On the basis of the screening studies the extract of the sponge lotrochota birotulata was chosen for more detailed characterization. The active factor, iotrochotin (IOT), was sensitive to thermal inactivation, was partially activated by trypsin treatment and had a molecular weight of 12,000-13,000. The activity of IOT was found to be complete by one minute. The maximal release of radioactivity from synaptosomes preloaded with (/sup 3/H)choline was found to be dependent on the concentration of IOT irrespective of the time of further incubation. The concentration-response curve of IOT activity showed a sigmoid shape which did not fit the Hill equation. IOT caused release of both ACh and choline. Of the radioactivity released by IOT from synaptosomes preloaded with (/sup 3/H)choline, 50-60% was (/sup 3/H)ACh. IOT also released (/sup 3/H)GABA and (/sup 3/H)norepinephrine from synaptosomes preincubated with these labeled neurotransmitters. The activity of IOT was only minimally sensitive to reduction in Na/sup +/ or Ca/sup 2 +/ levels, and was not sensitive to tetrodotoxin. IOT did not dramatically change the fluorescence of synaptosomes incubated with a depolarization-indicating dye. However, depolarization of synaptosomes with high concentrations of K/sup +/ was still detectable by this method in the presence of IOT.

  20. Marine harmful algal blooms, human health and wellbeing: challenges and opportunities in the 21st century

    PubMed Central

    BERDALET, ELISA; FLEMING, LORA E.; GOWEN, RICHARD; DAVIDSON, KEITH; HESS, PHILIPP; BACKER, LORRAINE C.; MOORE, STEPHANIE K.; HOAGLAND, PORTER; ENEVOLDSEN, HENRIK

    2015-01-01

    Microalgal blooms are a natural part of the seasonal cycle of photosynthetic organisms in marine ecosystems. They are key components of the structure and dynamics of the oceans and thus sustain the benefits that humans obtain from these aquatic environments. However, some microalgal blooms can cause harm to humans and other organisms. These harmful algal blooms (HABs) have direct impacts on human health and negative influences on human wellbeing, mainly through their consequences to coastal ecosystem services (fisheries, tourism and recreation) and other marine organisms and environments. HABs are natural phenomena, but these events can be favoured by anthropogenic pressures in coastal areas. Global warming and associated changes in the oceans could affect HAB occurrences and toxicity as well, although forecasting the possible trends is still speculative and requires intensive multidisciplinary research. At the beginning of the 21st century, with expanding human populations, particularly in coastal and developing countries, mitigating HABs impacts on human health and wellbeing is becoming a more pressing public health need. The available tools to address this global challenge include maintaining intensive, multidisciplinary and collaborative scientific research, and strengthening the coordination with stakeholders, policymakers and the general public. Here we provide an overview of different aspects of the HABs phenomena, an important element of the intrinsic links between oceans and human health and wellbeing. PMID:26692586

  1. 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

  2. QSAR based docking studies of marine algal anticancer compounds as inhibitors of protein kinase B (PKBβ).

    PubMed

    Davis, G Dicky John; Vasanthi, A Hannah Rachel

    2015-08-30

    Marine algae are prolific source of bioactive secondary metabolites and are found to be active against different cancer cell lines. QSAR studies will explicate the significance of a particular class of descriptor in eliciting anticancer activity against a cancer type. Marine algal compounds showing anticancer activity against six different cancer cell lines namely MCF-7, A431, HeLa, HT-29, P388 and A549 taken from Seaweed metabolite database were subjected to comprehensive QSAR modeling studies. A hybrid-GA (genetic algorithm) optimization technique for descriptor space reduction and multiple linear regression analysis (MLR) approach was used as fitness functions. Cell lines HeLa and MCF-7 showed good statistical quality (R(2)∼0.75, Q(2)∼0.65) followed by A431, HT29 and P388 cell lines with reasonable statistical values (R(2)∼0.70, Q(2)∼0.60). The models developed were interpretable, with good statistical and predictive significance. Molecular descriptor analyses revealed that Baumann's alignment-independent topological descriptors had a major role in variation of activity along with other descriptors. Incidentally, earlier QSAR analysis on a variety of chemically diverse PKBα inhibitors revealed Baumann's alignment-independent topological descriptors that differentiated the molecules binding to Protein kinase B (PKBα) kinase or PH domain, hence a docking study of two crystal structures of PKBβ was performed for identification of novel ATP-competitive inhibitors of PKBβ. Five compounds had a good docking score and Callophycin A showed better ligand efficiency than other PKBβ inhibitors. Furthermore in silico pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies also showed that Callophycin A had a high drug score (0.85) compared to the other inhibitors. These results encourages discovering novel inhibitors for cancer therapeutic targets by screening metabolites from marine algae. PMID:25936945

  3. Identification of the algal dimethyl sulfide-releasing enzyme: A missing link in the marine sulfur cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcolombri, Uria; Ben-Dor, Shifra; Feldmesser, Ester; Levin, Yishai; Tawfik, Dan S.; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-06-01

    Algal blooms produce large amounts of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a volatile with a diverse signaling role in marine food webs that is emitted to the atmosphere, where it can affect cloud formation. The algal enzymes responsible for forming DMS from dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) remain unidentified despite their critical role in the global sulfur cycle. We identified and characterized Alma1, a DMSP lyase from the bloom-forming algae Emiliania huxleyi. Alma1 is a tetrameric, redox-sensitive enzyme of the aspartate racemase superfamily. Recombinant Alma1 exhibits biochemical features identical to the DMSP lyase in E. huxleyi, and DMS released by various E. huxleyi isolates correlates with their Alma1 levels. Sequence homology searches suggest that Alma1 represents a gene family present in major, globally distributed phytoplankton taxa and in other marine organisms.

  4. 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

  5. Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) using the novel marine algal toxicity data of phenols.

    PubMed

    Ertürk, M Doğa; Saçan, Melek Türker; Novic, Marjana; Minovski, Nikola

    2012-09-01

    The present study reports for the first time in its entirety the toxicity of 30 phenolic compounds to marine alga Dunaliella tertiolecta. Toxicity of polar narcotics and respiratory uncouplers was strongly correlated to hydrophobicity as described by the logarithm of the octanol/water partition coefficient (Log P). Compounds expected to act by more reactive mechanisms, particularly hydroquinones, were shown to have toxicity in excess of that predicted by Log P. A quality quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) was obtained with Log P and a 2D autocorrelation descriptor weighted by atomic polarizability (MATS3p) only after the removal of hydroquinones from the data set. In an attempt to model the whole data set including hydroquinones, 3D descriptors were included in the modeling process and three quality QSARs were developed using multiple linear regression (MLR). One of the most significant results of the present study was the superior performance of the consensus MLR model, obtained by averaging the predictions from each individual linear model, which provided excellent prediction accuracy for the test set (Q(test)²=0.94). The four-parameter Counter Propagation Artificial Neural Network (CP ANN) model, which was constructed using four out of six descriptors that appeared in the linear models, also provided an excellent external predictivity (Q(test)²=0.93). The proposed algal QSARs were further tested in their predictivity using an external set comprising toxicity data of 44 chemicals on freshwater alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. The two-parameter global model employing a 3D descriptor (Mor24m) and a charge-related descriptor (C(ortho)) not only had high external predictivity (Q(ext)²=0.74), but it also had excellent external data set coverage (%97). PMID:23085159

  6. 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

  7. Ligand-binding assays for cyanobacterial neurotoxins targeting cholinergic receptors.

    PubMed

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Molgó, Jordi

    2010-07-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a threat to public health because of the capacity of some cyanobacterial species to produce potent hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. Cyanobacterial neurotoxins are involved in the rapid death of wild and domestic animals by targeting voltage gated sodium channels and cholinergic synapses, including the neuromuscular junction. Anatoxin-a and its methylene homologue homoanatoxin-a are potent agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Since the structural determination of anatoxin-a, several mass spectrometry-based methods have been developed for detection of anatoxin-a and, later, homoanatoxin-a. Mass spectrometry-based techniques provide accuracy, precision, selectivity, sensitivity, reproducibility, adequate limit of detection, and structural and quantitative information for analyses of cyanobacterial anatoxins from cultured and environmental cyanobacterial samples. However, these physicochemical techniques will only detect known toxins for which toxin standards are commercially available, and they require highly specialized laboratory personnel and expensive equipment. Receptor-based assays are functional methods that are based on the mechanism of action of a class of toxins and are thus, suitable tools for survey of freshwater reservoirs for cyanobacterial anatoxins. The competition between cyanobacterial anatoxins and a labelled ligand for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is measured radioactively or non-radioactively providing high-throughput screening formats for routine detection of this class of neurotoxins. The mouse bioassay is the method of choice for marine toxin monitoring, but has to be replaced by fully validated functional methods. In this paper we review the ligand-binding assays developed for detection of cyanobacterial and algal neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and for high-throughput screening of novel nicotinic agents. PMID:20238109

  8. 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

  9. Exploration of the antioxidant system and photosynthetic system of a marine algicidal Bacillus and its effect on four harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Hou, Shaoling; Shu, Wanjiao; Tan, Shuo; Zhao, Ling; Yin, Pinghe

    2016-01-01

    A novel marine bacterium, strain B1, initially showed 96.4% algicidal activity against Phaeocystis globosa. Under this situation, 3 other harmful algal species (Skeletonema costatum, Heterosigma akashiwo, and Prorocentrum donghaiense) were chosen to study the algicidal effects of strain B1, and the algicidal activities were 91.4%, 90.7%, and 90.6%, respectively. To explore the algicidal mechanism of strain B1 on these 4 harmful algal species, the characteristics of the antioxidant system and photosynthetic system were studied. Sensitivity to strain B1 supernatant, enzyme activity, and gene expression varied with algal species, while the algicidal patterns were similar. Strain B1 supernatant increased malondialdehyde contents; decreased chlorophyll a contents; changed total antioxidant and superoxide dismutase activity; and restrained psbA, psbD, and rbcL genes expression, which eventually resulted in the algal cells death. The algicidal procedure was observed using field emission scanning electron microscopy, which indicated that algal cells were lysed and cellular substances were released. These findings suggested that the antioxidant and photosynthetic system of these 4 algal species was destroyed under strain B1 supernatant stress. This is the first report to explore and compare the mechanism of a marine Bacillus against harmful algal bloom species of covered 4 phyla. PMID:26634608

  10. Characterisation of algal organic matter produced by bloom-forming marine and freshwater algae.

    PubMed

    Villacorte, L O; Ekowati, Y; Neu, T R; Kleijn, J M; Winters, H; Amy, G; Schippers, J C; Kennedy, M D

    2015-04-15

    Algal blooms can seriously affect the operation of water treatment processes including low pressure (micro- and ultra-filtration) and high pressure (nanofiltration and reverse osmosis) membranes mainly due to accumulation of algal-derived organic matter (AOM). In this study, the different components of AOM extracted from three common species of bloom-forming algae (Alexandrium tamarense, Chaetoceros affinis and Microcystis sp.) were characterised employing various analytical techniques, such as liquid chromatography - organic carbon detection, fluorescence spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, alcian blue staining and lectin staining coupled with laser scanning microscopy to indentify its composition and force measurement using atomic force microscopy to measure its stickiness. Batch culture monitoring of the three algal species illustrated varying characteristics in terms of growth pattern, cell concentration and AOM release. The AOM produced by the three algal species comprised mainly biopolymers (e.g., polysaccharides and proteins) but some refractory compounds (e.g., humic-like substances) and other low molecular weight acid and neutral compounds were also found. Biopolymers containing fucose and sulphated functional groups were found in all AOM samples while the presence of other functional groups varied between different species. A large majority (>80%) of the acidic polysaccharide components (in terms of transparent exopolymer particles) were found in the colloidal size range (<0.4 μm). The relative stickiness of AOM substantially varied between algal species and that the cohesion between AOM-coated surfaces was much stronger than the adhesion of AOM on AOM-free surfaces. Overall, the composition as well as the physico-chemical characteristics (e.g., stickiness) of AOM will likely dictate the severity of fouling in membrane systems during algal blooms. PMID:25682049

  11. Algal polyethers and polyphenols as well as sulphurized polysaccharides as major building blocks of marine kerogens

    SciTech Connect

    Leeuw, J.W. de; Sinninghe Damste, J.; Gelin, F.

    1996-12-31

    Based on chemical and electronmicroscopical analyses of axenic cultures of marine microalgae it is demonstrated that aliphatic or aromatic polyethers are present in their cell walls. The chemical procedure to isolate these resistant cell wall components was also applied to other cultured marine algae and showed the presence of non-hydrolysable polyphenols, similar to those encountered in POM and DOM. In separate studies of marine sediments, stable carbon isotope analyses of thiophenes released upon pyrolysis indicated that a significant part of the preserved organic matter results from the sulphurization of polysaccharides during early diagenesis. The data show that resistant biomacromolecules from marine algae and sulphurized polysaccharides are ultimately preserved in the marine environment, and make up a major part of marine kerogens.

  12. Marine neurotoxins: state of the art, bottlenecks, and perspectives for mode of action based methods of detection in seafood.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Hendriksen, Peter J M; Gerssen, Arjen; Bovee, Toine F H; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M

    2014-01-01

    Marine biotoxins can accumulate in fish and shellfish, representing a possible threat for consumers. Many marine biotoxins affect neuronal function essentially through their interaction with ion channels or receptors, leading to different symptoms including paralysis and even death. The detection of marine biotoxins in seafood products is therefore a priority. Official methods for control are often still using in vivo assays, such as the mouse bioassay. This test is considered unethical and the development of alternative assays is urgently required. Chemical analyses as well as in vitro assays have been developed to detect marine biotoxins in seafood. However, most of the current in vitro alternatives to animal testing present disadvantages: low throughput and lack of sensitivity resulting in a high number of false-negative results. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of new in vitro tests that would allow the detection of marine biotoxins in seafood products at a low cost, with high throughput combined with high sensitivity, reproducibility, and predictivity. Mode of action based in vitro bioassays may provide tools that fulfil these requirements. This review covers the current state of the art of such mode of action based alternative assays to detect neurotoxic marine biotoxins in seafood. PMID:24311541

  13. A marine algicidal actinomycete and its active substance against the harmful algal bloom species Phaeocystis globosa.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiaowei; Zhang, Bangzhou; Zhang, Jinlong; Huang, Liping; Lin, Jing; Li, Xinyi; Zhou, Yanyan; Wang, Hui; Yang, Xiaoru; Su, Jianqiang; Tian, Yun; Zheng, Tianling

    2013-10-01

    A strain O4-6, which had pronounced algicidal effects to the harmful algal bloom causing alga Phaeocystis globosa, was isolated from mangrove sediments in the Yunxiao Mangrove National Nature Reserve, Fujian, China. Based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence and morphological characteristics, the isolate was found to be phylogenetically related to the genus Streptomyces and identified as Streptomyces malaysiensis O4-6. Heat stability, pH tolerance, molecular weight range and aqueous solubility were tested to characterize the algicidal compound secreted from O4-6. Results showed that the algicidal activity of this compound was not heat stable and not affected by pH changes. Residue extracted from the supernatant of O4-6 fermentation broth by ethyl acetate, was purified by Sephadex LH-20 column and silica gel column chromatography before further structure determination. Chemical structure of the responsible compound, named NIG355, was illustrated based on quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra. And this compound showed a stronger algicidal activity compared with other reported algicides. Furthermore, this article represents the first report of an algicide against P. globosa, and the compound may be potentially used as a bio-agent for controlling harmful algal blooms. PMID:23224407

  14. Seasonal inhibitory effects of marine plants on sea urchins: structuring communities the algal way.

    PubMed

    Konar, B

    2000-10-01

    Natural and manipulative experiments were used to evaluate the effect of algal cover on sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus polyacanthus) distribution on submarine pinnacles at Shemya Island in the western Aleutian Archipelago. In July, pinnacle tops had dense kelp stands with low densities of sea urchins. In subsequent months, urchin densities increased as annual algal cover declined. In the summer, removal of specific combinations of macroalgae from the pinnacle tops resulted in an increase in urchin density. Artificial structures that imitated certain common seaweeds were placed on pinnacle tops and inhibited urchin movement. Clod cards that were used to measure relative abrasion rates on vegetated and cleared pinnacles demonstrated that algae cause a significant amount of abrasion. This study showed that the physical structure of the dominant annual alga, Desmarestia viridis, is capable of limiting sea urchin distribution, movement, and grazing. In this study, a potential food source actively controlled herbivore distribution and was the primary cause for the persistence of isolated kelp communities surrounded by barrens dominated by sea urchin grazing. PMID:24595832

  15. Hydrothermal liquefaction of freshwater and marine algal biomass: A novel approach to produce distillate fuel fractions through blending and co-processing of biocrude with petrocrude.

    PubMed

    Lavanya, Melcureraj; Meenakshisundaram, Arunachalam; Renganathan, Sahadevan; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Lewis, David Milton; Nallasivam, Jaganathan; Bhaskar, Sailendra

    2016-03-01

    Biocrude was produced from Tetraselmis sp. - a marine alga and Arthrospira platensis - a fresh water alga using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) process. Considering the constraints in cultivating algae for replacing 100% petrocrude, this study evaluated the option of blending and co-processing algal biocrude with petrocrude. Biocrudes obtained from algal strains cultivated in fresh water and sea water were blended with petrocrude at 10% concentration and the characteristics were studied using FT-IR and CNS SIMDIST. True Boiling Point (TBP) distillation was carried out to assess yields and properties of distillates of blended biocrudes. Biocrudes obtained from both algae were light crudes and the blended crudes recorded distillate yields of 76-77 wt%. The yield of light naphtha fraction of biocrude blends was 29-30%; whereas the yield of diesel fraction was about 18%. This study proposes blending and co-processing of algal biocrude with petrocrude to produce drop-in biofuels. PMID:26735877

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

  17. Molecular and Ecological Evidence for Species Specificity and Coevolution in a Group of Marine Algal-Bacterial Symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Ashen, Jon B.; Goff, Lynda J.

    2000-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of bacterial symbionts from three gall-bearing species in the marine red algal genus Prionitis (Rhodophyta) were inferred from 16S rDNA sequence analysis and compared to host phylogeny also inferred from sequence comparisons (nuclear ribosomal internal-transcribed-spacer region). Gall formation has been described previously on two species of Prionitis, P. lanceolata (from central California) and P. decipiens (from Peru). This investigation reports gall formation on a third related host, Prionitis filiformis. Phylogenetic analyses based on sequence comparisons place the bacteria as a single lineage within the Roseobacter grouping of the α subclass of the division Proteobacteria (99.4 to 98.25% sequence identity among phylotypes). Comparison of symbiont and host molecular phylogenies confirms the presence of three gall-bearing algal lineages and is consistent with the hypothesis that these red seaweeds and their bacterial symbionts are coevolving. The species specificity of these associations was investigated in nature by whole-cell hybridization of gall bacteria and in the laboratory by using cross-inoculation trials. Whole-cell in situ hybridization confirmed that a single bacterial symbiont phylotype is present in galls on each host. In laboratory trials, bacterial symbionts were incapable of inducing galls on alternate hosts (including two non-gall-bearing species). Symbiont-host specificity in Prionitis gall formation indicates an effective ecological separation between these closely related symbiont phylotypes and provides an example of a biological context in which to consider the organismic significance of 16S rDNA sequence variation. PMID:10877801

  18. VOLATILE HALOCARBON PRODUCTION FROM THE CHLORINATION OF MARINE ALGAL BYPRODUCTS, INCLUDING D-MANNITOL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ability of various exudates of marine algae to produce chloroform during solution chlorination was investigated. D-Mannitol generated amounts that increased markedly with increase in pH, whereas glycerol under similar conditions yielded little product. L-Proline exerted an in...

  19. Ethanol production from marine algal hydrolysates using Escherichia coli KO11.

    PubMed

    Kim, Nag-Jong; Li, Hui; Jung, Kwonsu; Chang, Ho Nam; Lee, Pyung Cheon

    2011-08-01

    Algae biomass is a potential raw material for the production of biofuels and other chemicals. In this study, biomass of the marine algae, Ulva lactuca, Gelidium amansii,Laminaria japonica, and Sargassum fulvellum, was treated with acid and commercially available hydrolytic enzymes. The hydrolysates contained glucose, mannose, galactose, and mannitol, among other sugars, at different ratios. The Laminaria japonica hydrolysate contained up to 30.5% mannitol and 6.98% glucose in the hydrolysate solids. Ethanogenic recombinant Escherichia coli KO11 was able to utilize both mannitol and glucose and produced 0.4g ethanol per g of carbohydrate when cultured in L. japonica hydrolysate supplemented with Luria-Bertani medium and hydrolytic enzymes. The strategy of acid hydrolysis followed by simultaneous enzyme treatment and inoculation with E. coli KO11 could be a viable strategy to produce ethanol from marine alga biomass. PMID:21640583

  20. Colorimetric microtiter plate receptor-binding assay for the detection of freshwater and marine neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubio, Fernando; Kamp, Lisa; Carpino, Justin; Faltin, Erin; Loftin, Keith A.; Molgó, Jordi; Aráoz, Rómulo

    2014-01-01

    Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, produced by cyanobacteria, are agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Pinnatoxins, spirolides, and gymnodimines, produced by dinoflagellates, are antagonists of nAChRs. In this study we describe the development and validation of a competitive colorimetric, high throughput functional assay based on the mechanism of action of freshwater and marine toxins against nAChRs. Torpedo electrocyte membranes (rich in muscle-type nAChR) were immobilized and stabilized on the surface of 96-well microtiter plates. Biotinylated α-bungarotoxin (the tracer) and streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase (the detector) enabled the detection and quantitation of anatoxin-a in surface waters and cyclic imine toxins in shellfish extracts that were obtained from different locations across the US. The method compares favorably to LC/MS/MS and provides accurate results for anatoxin-a and cyclic imine toxins monitoring. Study of common constituents at the concentrations normally found in drinking and environmental waters, as well as the tolerance to pH, salt, solvents, organic and inorganic compounds did not significantly affect toxin detection. The assay allowed the simultaneous analysis of up to 25 samples within 3.5 h and it is well suited for on-site or laboratory monitoring of low levels of toxins in drinking, surface, and ground water as well as in shellfish extracts.

  1. Colorimetric microtiter plate receptor-binding assay for the detection of freshwater and marine neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Rubio, Fernando; Kamp, Lisa; Carpino, Justin; Faltin, Erin; Loftin, Keith; Molgó, Jordi; Aráoz, Rómulo

    2014-12-01

    Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, produced by cyanobacteria, are agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Pinnatoxins, spirolides, and gymnodimines, produced by dinoflagellates, are antagonists of nAChRs. In this study we describe the development and validation of a competitive colorimetric, high throughput functional assay based on the mechanism of action of freshwater and marine toxins against nAChRs. Torpedo electrocyte membranes (rich in muscle-type nAChR) were immobilized and stabilized on the surface of 96-well microtiter plates. Biotinylated α-bungarotoxin (the tracer) and streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase (the detector) enabled the detection and quantitation of anatoxin-a in surface waters and cyclic imine toxins in shellfish extracts that were obtained from different locations across the US. The method compares favorably to LC/MS/MS and provides accurate results for anatoxin-a and cyclic imine toxins monitoring. Study of common constituents at the concentrations normally found in drinking and environmental waters, as well as the tolerance to pH, salt, solvents, organic and inorganic compounds did not significantly affect toxin detection. The assay allowed the simultaneous analysis of up to 25 samples within 3.5 h and it is well suited for on-site or laboratory monitoring of low levels of toxins in drinking, surface, and ground water as well as in shellfish extracts. PMID:25260255

  2. Growth inhibition of cultured marine phytoplankton by toxic algal-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes.

    PubMed

    Ribalet, François; Berges, John A; Ianora, Adrianna; Casotti, Raffaella

    2007-12-15

    Several marine diatoms produce polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) that have been shown to be toxic to a wide variety of model organisms, from bacteria to invertebrates. However, very little information is available on their effect on phytoplankton. Here, we expand previous studies to six species of marine phytoplankton, belonging to different taxonomic groups that are well represented in marine plankton. The effect of three PUAs, 2E,4E-decadienal, 2E,4E-octadienal and 2E,4E-heptadienal, was assessed on growth, cell membrane permeability, flow cytometric properties and morphology. A concentration-dependent reduction in the growth rate was observed for all cultures exposed to PUAs with longer-chained aldehydes having stronger effects on growth than shorter-chained aldehydes. Clear differences were observed among the different species. The prymnesiophyte Isochrysis galbana was the most sensitive species to PUA exposure with a lower threshold for an observed effect triggered by mean concentrations of 0.10 micromol L(-1) for 2E,4E-decadienal, 1.86 micromol L(-1) for 2E,4E-octadienal and 3.06 micromol L(-1) for 2E,4E-heptadienal, and a 50% growth inhibition (EC(50)) with respect to the control at 0.99, 2.25 and 5.90 micromol L(-1) for the three PUAs, respectively. Alternatively, the chlorophyte Tetraselmis suecica and the diatom Skeletonema marinoi (formerly S. costatum) were the most resistant species with 50% growth inhibition occurring at concentrations at least two to three times higher than I. galbana. In all species, the three PUAs caused changes in flow cytometric measures of cell size and cell granulosity and increased membrane permeability, assessed using the viability stain SYTOX Green. For example, after 48 h 51.6+/-2.6% of I. galbana cells and 15.0+/-1.8% of S. marinoi cells were not viable. Chromatin fragmentation was observed in the dinoflagellate Amphidinium carterae while clear DNA degradation was observed in the chlorophyte Dunaliella tertiolecta

  3. Gene expression profiling in brain of mice exposed to the marine neurotoxin ciguatoxin reveals an acute anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective response

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Ciguatoxins (CTXs) are polyether marine neurotoxins and potent activators of voltage-gated sodium channels. This toxin is carried by multiple reef-fish species and human consumption of ciguatoxins can result in an explosive gastrointestinal/neurologic illness. This study characterizes the global transcriptional response in mouse brain to a symptomatic dose of the highly toxic Pacific ciguatoxin P-CTX-1 and additionally compares this data to transcriptional profiles from liver and whole blood examined previously. Adult male C57/BL6 mice were injected with 0.26 ng/g P-CTX-1 while controls received only vehicle. Animals were sacrificed at 1, 4 and 24 hrs and transcriptional profiling was performed on brain RNA with Agilent whole genome microarrays. RT-PCR was used to independently validate gene expression and the web tool DAVID was used to analyze gene ontology (GO) and molecular pathway enrichment of the gene expression data. Results A pronounced 4°C hypothermic response was recorded in these mice, reaching a minimum at 1 hr and lasting for 8 hrs post toxin exposure. Ratio expression data were filtered by intensity, fold change and p-value, with the resulting data used for time course analysis, K-means clustering, ontology classification and KEGG pathway enrichment. Top GO hits for this gene set included acute phase response and mono-oxygenase activity. Molecular pathway analysis showed enrichment for complement/coagulation cascades and metabolism of xenobiotics. Many immediate early genes such as Fos, Jun and Early Growth Response isoforms were down-regulated although others associated with stress such as glucocorticoid responsive genes were up-regulated. Real time PCR confirmation was performed on 22 differentially expressed genes with a correlation of 0.9 (Spearman's Rho, p < 0.0001) with microarray results. Conclusions Many of the genes differentially expressed in this study, in parallel with the hypothermia, figure prominently in protection against

  4. Recovery of algal oil from marine green macro-algae Enteromorpha intestinalis by acidic-hydrothermal process.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Gwi-Taek; Hong, Yong-Ki; Lee, Hyung-Ho; Kong, In-Soo; Kim, Joong Kyun; Park, Nam Gyu; Kim, Sung-Koo; Park, Don-Hee

    2014-09-01

    In this study, the recovery of algal oil from Enteromorpha intestinalis based on an acidic-hydrothermal reaction was investigated. Overall, the algal oil yield after the acidic-hydrothermal reaction was increased under the conditions of high reaction temperature, high catalyst concentration, and long reaction time within the tested ranges. Significantly, catalyst concentration, compared with reaction temperature and time, less affected algal oil recovery. The optimal acidic-hydrothermal reaction conditions for production of algal oil from E. intestinalis were as follows-200 °C reaction temperature, 2.92 % catalyst concentration, 54 min reaction time. Under these conditions, an 18.6 % algal oil yield was obtained. By increasing the combined severity factor, the algae oil recovery yield linearly increased. PMID:25055795

  5. Effect of substratum surface chemistry and surface energy on attachment of marine bacteria and algal spores.

    PubMed

    Ista, Linnea K; Callow, Maureen E; Finlay, John A; Coleman, Sarah E; Nolasco, Aleece C; Simons, Robin H; Callow, James A; Lopez, Gabriel P

    2004-07-01

    Two series of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of omega-substituted alkanethiolates on gold were used to systematically examine the effects of varying substratum surface chemistry and energy on the attachment of two model organisms of interest to the study of marine biofouling, the bacterium Cobetia marina (formerly Halomonas marina) and zoospores of the alga Ulva linza (formerly Enteromorpha linza). SAMs were formed on gold-coated glass slides from solutions containing mixtures of methyl- and carboxylic acid-terminated alkanethiols and mixtures of methyl- and hydroxyl-terminated alkanethiols. C. marina attached in increasing numbers to SAMs with decreasing advancing water contact angles (theta(AW)), in accordance with equation-of-state models of colloidal attachment. Previous studies of Ulva zoospore attachment to a series of mixed methyl- and hydroxyl-terminated SAMs showed a similar correlation between substratum theta(AW) and zoospore attachment. When the hydrophilic component of the SAMs was changed to carboxylate, however, the profile of attachment of Ulva was significantly different, suggesting that a more complex model of interfacial energetics is required. PMID:15240295

  6. Effect of Substratum Surface Chemistry and Surface Energy on Attachment of Marine Bacteria and Algal Spores

    PubMed Central

    Ista, Linnea K.; Callow, Maureen E.; Finlay, John A.; Coleman, Sarah E.; Nolasco, Aleece C.; Simons, Robin H.; Callow, James A.; Lopez, Gabriel P.

    2004-01-01

    Two series of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of ω-substituted alkanethiolates on gold were used to systematically examine the effects of varying substratum surface chemistry and energy on the attachment of two model organisms of interest to the study of marine biofouling, the bacterium Cobetia marina (formerly Halomonas marina) and zoospores of the alga Ulva linza (formerly Enteromorpha linza). SAMs were formed on gold-coated glass slides from solutions containing mixtures of methyl- and carboxylic acid-terminated alkanethiols and mixtures of methyl- and hydroxyl-terminated alkanethiols. C. marina attached in increasing numbers to SAMs with decreasing advancing water contact angles (θAW), in accordance with equation-of-state models of colloidal attachment. Previous studies of Ulva zoospore attachment to a series of mixed methyl- and hydroxyl-terminated SAMs showed a similar correlation between substratum θAW and zoospore attachment. When the hydrophilic component of the SAMs was changed to carboxylate, however, the profile of attachment of Ulva was significantly different, suggesting that a more complex model of interfacial energetics is required. PMID:15240295

  7. A marine algicidal Thalassospira and its active substance against the harmful algal bloom species Karenia mikimotoi.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiuhua; Zhou, Bin; Xu, Lili; Liu, Lin; Wang, Gangyuan; Liu, Xiaodong; Tang, Xuexi

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to obtain a marine bacterium active against Karenia mikimotoi from the East China Sea and to characterize its extracellular algicidal substances. Using preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (prep-HPLC) and electrospray ionization/quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometer coupled with a high-performance liquid chromatography (LC/MS-Q-TOF) system, we purified the alga-lysing substance produced by strain ZR-2 and determined its molecular structure. Based on morphology and l6S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence analysis, the ZR-2 strain was highly homologous to Thalassospira species. Algicidal activity against K. mikimotoi was detected in the cell-free filtrate but not in bacterial cells. The alga-lysing substance produced by ZR-2 was ethanol-soluble and thermostable, with a retention time of 6.3 min and a measured elemental composition of C7H5O2 ([M-H](-) ion at m/z 121.0295). The alga-lysing substance produced by ZR-2 was determined to be benzoic acid. Compared with the negative control, both purified ZR-2 bacteria-free filtrate and standard benzoic acid promoted K. mikimotoi cell disruption and induced K. mikimotoi cell content leakage. Our study is the first to report benzoic acid activity against K. mikimotoi as well as production of benzoic acid by a Thalassospira species. PMID:26846742

  8. Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) and the dispersion of algal bloom and marine debris in the Yellow and East China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y. H.; Choi, B.; Son, Y. B.; Shim, W. J.; Hwang, J. H.; Park, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Series of satellite images show that the development and migration of green macroalgal bloom (known as Ulva prolifera) in the Yellow Sea (YS) and Eastern China Sea (ECS). This presentation will utilize the Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) analysis to demonstrate the dispersion pattern of algal bloom patches. Analyzing LCS such as stable and unstable manifolds is one of emerging technologies for characterizing Lagrangian pathways in aquatic environments. This approach is based on the assumption that unstable manifolds such as ridges (i.e., high values) in the finite-time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE) fields coincide with material transport barriers. In this study, the FTLE fields were computed from gridded trajectories using flow fields provided by Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) in the YS/ECS during summer 2011. The results show that there exist two strong transport barriers that lie along the east-west direction, at least, for the simulation period; one is located from the north of Changjiang River mouth to the middle of the Yellow Sea and the other one is stretched from the south of Shandong Peninsular toward east/southeast. This LCS analysis suggests that patches of green algae developed in the coastal region of Jiangsu Province during summer may migrate toward east into the middle of the YS or even toward Korean coast rather than extending along the Jiangsu coast, which is consistent with the observation results derived from the satellite ocean color data. In the very same manner, the utilization of LCS results to evaluate the distribution/transport pattern of marine debris in the YS/ECS will also be discussed during the presentation.

  9. 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

  10. The Genome of the Alga-Associated Marine Flavobacterium Formosa agariphila KMM 3901T Reveals a Broad Potential for Degradation of Algal Polysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Alexander J.; Hahnke, Richard L.; Huang, Sixing; Werner, Johannes; Xing, Peng; Barbeyron, Tristan; Huettel, Bruno; Stüber, Kurt; Reinhardt, Richard; Harder, Jens; Glöckner, Frank Oliver; Amann, Rudolf I.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, representatives of the Bacteroidetes have been increasingly recognized as specialists for the degradation of macromolecules. Formosa constitutes a Bacteroidetes genus within the class Flavobacteria, and the members of this genus have been found in marine habitats with high levels of organic matter, such as in association with algae, invertebrates, and fecal pellets. Here we report on the generation and analysis of the genome of the type strain of Formosa agariphila (KMM 3901T), an isolate from the green alga Acrosiphonia sonderi. F. agariphila is a facultative anaerobe with the capacity for mixed acid fermentation and denitrification. Its genome harbors 129 proteases and 88 glycoside hydrolases, indicating a pronounced specialization for the degradation of proteins, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins. Sixty-five of the glycoside hydrolases are organized in at least 13 distinct polysaccharide utilization loci, where they are clustered with TonB-dependent receptors, SusD-like proteins, sensors/transcription factors, transporters, and often sulfatases. These loci play a pivotal role in bacteroidetal polysaccharide biodegradation and in the case of F. agariphila revealed the capacity to degrade a wide range of algal polysaccharides from green, red, and brown algae and thus a strong specialization of toward an alga-associated lifestyle. This was corroborated by growth experiments, which confirmed usage particularly of those monosaccharides that constitute the building blocks of abundant algal polysaccharides, as well as distinct algal polysaccharides, such as laminarins, xylans, and κ-carrageenans. PMID:23995932

  11. Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections

    MedlinePlus

    ... years without side effects from long-term use. Immunity Because botulinum neurotoxin is a biological product, it ... for the body to create antibodies and develop immunity to the effects of the toxin. Measures are ...

  12. Aspertetranones A-D, Putative Meroterpenoids from the Marine Algal-Associated Fungus Aspergillus sp. ZL0-1b14.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuezhou; Qi, Shuang; Zhan, Ying; Zhang, Nanwen; Wu, An-An; Gui, Fu; Guo, Kai; Yang, Yanru; Cao, Shugeng; Hu, Zhiyu; Zheng, Zhonghui; Song, Siyang; Xu, Qingyan; Shen, Yuemao; Deng, Xianming

    2015-10-23

    Aspertetranones A-D (1-4), four new highly oxygenated putative rearranged triketide-sesquiterpenoid meroterpenes, were isolated from the marine algal-associated fungus Aspergillus sp. ZL0-1b14. On the basis of a comprehensive spectroscopic analysis, the planar structures of aspertetranones were determined to possess an unusual skeleton in the terpenoid part. The relative and absolute configurations of the aspertetranones were assigned on the basis of NOESY analysis, X-ray crystallography, and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Compounds 1-4 were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Aspertetranone D exhibited an inhibitory effect against IL-6 production with 69% inhibition at 40 μM. PMID:26378981

  13. The extended phenotypes of marine symbioses: ecological and evolutionary consequences of intraspecific genetic diversity in coral–algal associations

    PubMed Central

    Parkinson, John E.; Baums, Iliana B.

    2014-01-01

    Reef-building corals owe much of their success to a symbiosis with dinoflagellate microalgae in the genus Symbiodinium. In this association, the performance of each organism is tied to that of its partner, and together the partners form a holobiont that can be subject to selection. Climate change affects coral reefs, which are declining globally as a result. Yet the extent to which coral holobionts will be able to acclimate or evolve to handle climate change and other stressors remains unclear. Selection acts on individuals and evidence from terrestrial systems demonstrates that intraspecific genetic diversity plays a significant role in symbiosis ecology and evolution. However, we have a limited understanding of the effects of such diversity in corals. As molecular methods have advanced, so too has our recognition of the taxonomic and functional diversity of holobiont partners. Resolving the major components of the holobiont to the level of the individual will help us assess the importance of intraspecific diversity and partner interactions in coral–algal symbioses. Here, we hypothesize that unique combinations of coral and algal individuals yield functional diversity that affects not only the ecology and evolution of the coral holobiont, but associated communities as well. Our synthesis is derived from reviewing existing evidence and presenting novel data. By incorporating the effects of holobiont extended phenotypes into predictive models, we may refine our understanding of the evolutionary trajectory of corals and reef communities responding to climate change. PMID:25202306

  14. Grazing preferences of marine isopods and amphipods on three prominent algal species of the Baltic Sea [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goecker, Margene E.; Kåll, Sara E.

    2003-12-01

    Preference tests were performed over a two-week period in September 2001 in which isopods ( Idotea baltica) and amphipods ( Gammarus oceanicus) were offered choices of three common species of algae from the Baltic Sea: Enteromorpha intestinalis, Cladophora spp., and Fucus vesiculosus. After a 48-hour starvation period, 20 individuals of each grazer species were placed in aquaria containing approximately 1.0 g of each algal species. Fifteen trials for each grazer species were run for 20 hours. We found that G. oceanicus ate significantly more Cladophora spp. and E. intestinalis than F. vesiculosus (p<0.001), with a preference order of: Cladophora spp.> E. intestinalis> F. vesiculosus. Similarly, I. baltica ate significantly more of both the filamentous green algae than F. vesiculosus (p<0.001), with a preference order of: E. intestinalis> Cladophora spp.> F. vesiculosus. Given the preference of isopods and amphipods for filamentous green algae, we might expect these algae to be maintained at low biomass levels. However, this is clearly not the case in the Baltic Sea. Nutrient enrichment (bottom-up effects) is the accepted dominant reason for the non-controlling impact of algal grazers, but other reasons may include cascading trophic effects resulting from the removal of large piscivorous fish (top-down effects).

  15. Assessing the potential of amino acid 13C patterns as a carbon source tracer in marine sediments: effects of algal growth conditions and sedimentary diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, T.; Bach, L. T.; Salvatteci, R.; Wang, Y. V.; Andersen, N.; Ventura, M.; McCarthy, M. D.

    2015-08-01

    Burial of organic carbon in marine sediments has a profound influence in marine biogeochemical cycles and provides a sink for greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4. However, tracing organic carbon from primary production sources as well as its transformations in the sediment record remains challenging. Here we examine a novel but growing tool for tracing the biosynthetic origin of amino acid carbon skeletons, based on naturally occurring stable carbon isotope patterns in individual amino acids (δ13CAA). We focus on two important aspects for δ13CAA utility in sedimentary paleoarchives: first, the fidelity of source diagnostic of algal δ13CAA patterns across different oceanographic growth conditions, and second, the ability of δ13CAA patterns to record the degree of subsequent microbial amino acid synthesis after sedimentary burial. Using the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, we tested under controlled conditions how δ13CAA patterns respond to changing environmental conditions, including light, salinity, temperature, and pH. Our findings show that while differing oceanic growth conditions can change macromolecular cellular composition, δ13CAA isotopic patterns remain largely invariant. These results emphasize that δ13CAA patterns should accurately record biosynthetic sources across widely disparate oceanographic conditions. We also explored how δ13CAA patterns change as a function of age, total nitrogen and organic carbon content after burial, in a marine sediment core from a coastal upwelling area off Peru. Based on the four most informative amino acids for distinguishing between diatom and bacterial sources (i.e., isoleucine, lysine, leucine and tyrosine), bacterially derived amino acids ranged from 10 to 15 % in the sediment layers from the last 5000 years, and up to 35 % during the last glacial period. The greater bacterial contributions in older sediments indicate that bacterial activity and amino acid resynthesis progressed, approximately as a

  16. Assessing the potential of amino acid δ13C patterns as a carbon source tracer in marine sediments: effects of algal growth conditions and sedimentary diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, T.; Bach, L. T.; Salvatteci, R.; Wang, Y. V.; Andersen, N.; Ventura, M.; McCarthy, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    Burial of organic carbon in marine sediments has a profound influence in marine biogeochemical cycles, and provides a sink for greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4. However, tracing organic carbon from primary production sources as well as its transformations in the sediment record remains challenging. Here we examine a novel but growing tool for tracing biosynthetic origin of amino acid carbon skeletons, based on natural occurring stable carbon isotope patterns in individual amino acids (δ13CAA). We focus on two important aspects for δ13CAA utility in sedimentary paleoarchives: first, the fidelity of source diagnostic of algal δ13CAA patterns across different oceanographic growth conditions; and second, the ability of δ13CAA patterns to record the degree of subsequent microbial amino acid synthesis after sedimentary burial. Using the marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, we tested under controlled conditions how δ13CAA patterns respond to changing environmental conditions, including light, salinity, temperature, and pH. Our findings show that while differing oceanic growth conditions can change macromolecular cellular composition, δ13CAA isotopic patterns remain largely invariant. These results underscore that δ13CAA patterns should accurately record biosynthetic sources across widely disparate oceanographic conditions. We also explored how δ13CAA patterns change as a function of age, total nitrogen and organic carbon content after burial, in a marine sediment core from a coastal upwelling area off Peru. Based on the four most informative amino acids for distinguishing between diatom and bacterial sources (i.e. isoleucine, lysine, leucine and tyrosine), bacterial derived amino acids ranged from 10-15% in the sediment layers from the last 5000 years to 35% during the last glacial period. The larger bacterial fractions in older sediments indicate that bacterial activity and amino acid resynthesis progressed, approximately as a function of sediment age, to

  17. Coupling the Torpedo Microplate-Receptor Binding Assay with Mass Spectrometry to Detect Cyclic Imine Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Ramos, Suzanne; Pelissier, Franck; Guérineau, Vincent; Benoit, Evelyne; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M.; Zakarian, Armen; Molgó, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    Cyclic imine neurotoxins constitute an emergent family of neurotoxins of dinoflagellate origin that are potent antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We developed a target-directed functional method based on the mechanism of action of competitive agonists/antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for the detection of marine cyclic imine neurotoxins. The key step for method development was the immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes rich in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of microplate wells and the use of biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin as tracer. Cyclic imine neurotoxins competitively inhibit biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The microplate-receptor binding assay allowed rapid detection of nanomolar concentrations of cyclic imine neurotoxins directly in shellfish samples. Although highly sensitive and specific for the detection of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a class, the receptor binding assay cannot identify a given analyte. To address the low selectivity of the microplate-receptor binding assay, the cyclic imine neurotoxins tightly bound to the coated Torpedo nicotinic receptor were eluted with methanol, and the chemical nature of the eluted ligands was identified by mass spectrometry. The immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes on the surface of microplate wells proved to be a high-throughput format for the survey of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors directly in shellfish matrixes with high sensitivity and reproducibility. PMID:23131021

  18. Coupling the Torpedo microplate-receptor binding assay with mass spectrometry to detect cyclic imine neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Aráoz, Rómulo; Ramos, Suzanne; Pelissier, Franck; Guérineau, Vincent; Benoit, Evelyne; Vilariño, Natalia; Botana, Luis M; Zakarian, Armen; Molgó, Jordi

    2012-12-01

    Cyclic imine neurotoxins constitute an emergent family of neurotoxins of dinoflagellate origin that are potent antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We developed a target-directed functional method based on the mechanism of action of competitive agonists/antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for the detection of marine cyclic imine neurotoxins. The key step for method development was the immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes rich in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of microplate wells and the use of biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin as tracer. Cyclic imine neurotoxins competitively inhibit biotinylated-α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The microplate-receptor binding assay allowed rapid detection of nanomolar concentrations of cyclic imine neurotoxins directly in shellfish samples. Although highly sensitive and specific for the detection of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a class, the receptor binding assay cannot identify a given analyte. To address the low selectivity of the microplate-receptor binding assay, the cyclic imine neurotoxins tightly bound to the coated Torpedo nicotinic receptor were eluted with methanol, and the chemical nature of the eluted ligands was identified by mass spectrometry. The immobilization of Torpedo electrocyte membranes on the surface of microplate wells proved to be a high-throughput format for the survey of neurotoxins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors directly in shellfish matrixes with high sensitivity and reproducibility. PMID:23131021

  19. Algal blooms and "Marine snow": Mechanisms that enhance preservation of organic carbon in ancient fine-grained sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Macquaker, J.H.S.; Keller, M.A.; Davies, S.J.

    2010-01-01

    Combined petographic and geochemical methods are used to investigate the microfabrics present in thin sections prepared from representative organic carbon-rich mudstones collected from three successions (the Kimmeridge Clay Formation, the Jet Rock Member of the Whitby Mudstone Formation, and the pebble shale and Hue Shale). This study was initiated to determine how organic carbon-rich materials were being delivered to the sediment-water interface, and what happened to them after deposition, prior to deep burial. Analyses of the fabrics present shows that they exhibit many common attributes. In particular they are all: (1) highly heterogeneous on the scale of a thin section, (2) organized into thin beds (< 10 mm thick) composed mainly of mineral mixtures of fine-grained siliciclastic detritus and carbonate materials, and (3) contain significant concentrations of organic carbon, much of which is organized into laminasets that contain abundant organomineralic aggregates and pellets. In addition, framboidal pyrite (range of sizes from < 20 urn to < 1 ??m) and abundant agglutinated foraminifers are present in some units. The individual beds are commonly sharp-based and overlain by thin, silt lags. The tops of many of the beds have been homogenized and some regions of the pelleted laminasets contain small horizontal burrows. The organomineralic aggregates present in these mudstones are interpreted to be ancient examples of marine snow. This marine snow likely formed in the water column, particularly during phytoplankton blooms, and was then transported rapidly to the seafloor. The existence of the thin beds with homogenized tops and an in-situ infauna indicates that between blooms there was sufficient oxygen and time for a mixed layer to develop as a result of sediment colonization by diminutive organisms using either aerobic or dysaerobic metabolic pathways. These textures suggest that the constituents of these mudstones were delivered neither as a continuous rain of

  20. Carbon conversion efficiency and population dynamics of a marine algae-bacteria consortium growing on simplified synthetic digestate: first step in a bioprocess coupling algal production and anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Vasseur, Christophe; Bougaran, Gaël; Garnier, Matthieu; Hamelin, Jérôme; Leboulanger, Christophe; Le Chevanton, Myriam; Mostajir, Behzad; Sialve, Bruno; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Fouilland, Eric

    2012-09-01

    Association of microalgae culture and anaerobic digestion seems a promising technology for sustainable algal biomass and biogas production. The use of digestates for sustaining the growth of microalgae reduces the costs and the environmental impacts associated with the substantial algal nutrient requirements. A natural marine algae-bacteria consortium was selected by growing on a medium containing macro nutrients (ammonia, phosphate and acetate) specific of a digestate, and was submitted to a factorial experimental design with different levels of temperature, light and pH. The microalgal consortium reached a maximum C conversion efficiency (i.e. ratio between carbon content produced and carbon supplied through light photosynthetic C conversion and acetate) of 3.6%. The presence of bacteria increased this maximum C conversion efficiency up to 6.3%. The associated bacterial community was considered beneficial to the total biomass production by recycling the carbon lost during photosynthesis and assimilating organic by-products from anaerobic digestion. PMID:22728186

  1. 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.

  2. Loss and Recovery Potential of Marine Habitats: An Experimental Study of Factors Maintaining Resilience in Subtidal Algal Forests at the Adriatic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Perkol-Finkel, Shimrit; Airoldi, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Background Predicting and abating the loss of natural habitats present a huge challenge in science, conservation and management. Algal forests are globally threatened by loss and severe recruitment failure, but our understanding of resilience in these systems and its potential disruption by anthropogenic factors lags well behind other habitats. We tested hypotheses regarding triggers for decline and recovery potential in subtidal forests of canopy-forming algae of the genus Cystoseira. Methodology/Principal Findings By using a combination of historical data, and quantitative in situ observations of natural recruitment patterns we suggest that recent declines of forests along the coasts of the north Adriatic Sea were triggered by increasing cumulative impacts of natural- and human-induced habitat instability along with several extreme storm events. Clearing and transplantation experiments subsequently demonstrated that at such advanced stages of ecosystem degradation, increased substratum stability would be essential but not sufficient to reverse the loss, and that for recovery to occur removal of the new dominant space occupiers (i.e., opportunistic species including turf algae and mussels) would be required. Lack of surrounding adult canopies did not seem to impair the potential for assisted recovery, suggesting that in these systems recovery could be actively enhanced even following severe depletions. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate that sudden habitat loss can be facilitated by long term changes in the biotic and abiotic conditions in the system, that erode the ability of natural ecosystems to absorb and recover from multiple stressors of natural and human origin. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mere restoration of environmental conditions preceding a loss, if possible, may be insufficient for ecosystem restoration, and is scarcely cost-effective. We conclude that the loss of complex marine habitats in human-dominated landscapes could be mitigated with

  3. Algicidal activity against Skeletonema costatum by marine bacteria isolated from a high frequency harmful algal blooms area in southern Chinese coast.

    PubMed

    Shi, Rongjun; Huang, Honghui; Qi, Zhanhui; Hu, Weian; Tian, Ziyang; Dai, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Four marine bacterial strains P1, P5, N5 and N21 were isolated from the surface water and sediment of Mirs Bay in southern Chinese coast using the liquid infection method with 48-well plates. These bacteria were all shown to have algicidal activities against Skeletonema costatum. Based on morphological observations, biochemical tests and homology comparisons by 16S rDNA sequences, the isolated strains P1, P5, N5 and N21 were identified as Halobacillus sp., Muricauda sp., Kangiella sp. and Roseivirga sp., respectively. Our results showed that bacterial strain P1 killed S. costatum by release of heat labile algicide, while strains P5, N5 and N21 killed them directly. The algicidal processes of four bacterial strains were different. Strains P1, N5 and N21 disrupted the chain structure and S. costatum appeared as single cells, in which the cellular components were aggregated and the individual cells were inflated and finally lysed, while strain P5 decomposed the algal chains directly. We also showed that the algicidal activities of the bacterial strains were concentration-dependent. More specifically, 10 % (v/v) of bacteria in algae showed the strongest algicidal activities, as all S. costatum cells were killed by strains N5 and N21 within 72 h and by strains P1 and P5 within 96 h. 5 % of bacteria in algae also showed significant algicidal activities, as all S. costatum were killed by strains N5, P5 and N21 within 72, 96 and 120 h, respectively, whereas at this concentration, only 73.4 % of S. costatum cells exposed to strain P1 were killed within 120 h. At the concentration of 1 % bacteria in algae, the number of S. costatum cells continued to increase and the growth rate of algae upon exposure to strain N5 was significantly inhibited. PMID:23054696

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Algal and archaeal polyisoprenoids in a recent marine sediment: Molecular isotopic evidence for anaerobic oxidation of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bian, Liangqiao; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Xie, Tianmin; Brassell, Simon C.; Iversen, Neils; Fossing, Henrik; JøRgensen, Bo Barker; Hayes, John M.

    2001-01-01

    Analyses of 13C contents of individual organic molecules in a marine sediment show that crocetane, 2,6,11,15-tetramethylhexadecane, an isomer of phytane, is produced by microorganisms that use methane as their main source of carbon. The sediments lie at a water depth of 68 m in the Kattegat, the strait between Denmark and Sweden. Crocetane appears first 185 cm below the sediment-water interface, in the zone marking the transition from sulfate reduction to methanogenesis. Its δ13C value is -90 ± 10‰ versus Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite (VPDB). Its structure, which includes four isoprene units arranged symmetrically around a tail-to-tail linkage, suggests that it is produced by a member of the archaea. Growing at the intersection of the diffusion gradients for sulfate and methane in sedimentary pore waters, the source organism apparently functions as a methane-consuming member of the microbial consortium responsible for the anaerobic oxidation of methane [Hoehler et al., 1994], in which, as first demonstrated quantitatively in these sediments [Iversen and Jørgensen, 1985], electrons are transferred from methane to sulfate. The presence of archaeal biomass throughout the sediment section is indicated by significant concentrations of 2,6,10,15,19-pentamethylicosane (PMI) and of ether-bound phytane and biphytane. The PMI reaches a minimum δ value of -47‰ well below the transition zone. Its isotopic depletion could reflect either methanogenic or methanotrophic sources. The ether-bound lipids are isotopically uniform throughout the section and are presumed to derive from archaea that utilize a carbon source unaffected by the oxidation of methane.

  7. 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.

  8. Botulinum neurotoxin: the ugly duckling.

    PubMed

    Koussoulakos, Stauros

    2009-01-01

    This review presents a brief account of the most significant biological effects and clinical applications of botulinum neurotoxins, in a way comprehensive even for casual readers who are not familiar with the subject. The most toxic known substances in botulinum neurotoxins are polypeptides naturally synthesized by bacteria of the genus Clostridium. These polypeptides inhibit acetylcholine release at neuromuscular junctions, thus causing muscle paralysis involving both somatic and autonomic innervation. There is substantial evidence that this muscle-paralyzing feature of botulinum neurotoxins is useful for their beneficial influence on more than 50 pathological conditions such as spastic paralysis, cerebral palsy, focal dystonia, essential tremor, headache, incontinence and a variety of cosmetic interventions. Injection of adequate quantities of botulinum toxins in spastic muscles is considered as a highly hopeful procedure for the treatment of people who suffer from dystonia, cerebral palsy or have experienced a stroke. So far, numerous and reliable studies have established the safety and efficacy of botulinum neurotoxins and advocate wider clinical therapeutic and cosmetic applications. PMID:19365125

  9. 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

  10. Algicidal Effects of a Novel Marine Pseudoalteromonas Isolate (Class Proteobacteria, Gamma Subdivision) on Harmful Algal Bloom Species of the Genera Chattonella, Gymnodinium, and Heterosigma

    PubMed Central

    Lovejoy, Connie; Bowman, John P.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    1998-01-01

    During a bacterial survey of the Huon Estuary in southern Tasmania, Australia, we isolated a yellow-pigmented Pseudoalteromonas strain (class Proteobacteria, gamma subdivision), designated strain Y, that had potent algicidal effects on harmful algal bloom species. This organism was identified by 16S rRNA sequencing as a strain with close affinities to Pseudoalteromonas peptidysin. This bacterium caused rapid cell lysis and death (within 3 h) of gymnodinoids (including Gymnodinium catenatum) and raphidophytes (Chattonella marina and Heterosigma akashiwo). It caused ecdysis of armored dinoflagellates (e.g., Alexandrium catenella, Alexandrium minutum, and Prorocentrum mexicanum), but the algal cultures then recovered over the subsequent 24 h. Strain Y had no effect on a cryptomonad (Chroomonas sp.), a diatom (Skeletonema sp.), a cyanobacterium (Oscillatoria sp.), and two aplastidic protozoans. The algicidal principle of strain Y was excreted into the seawater medium and lost its efficacy after heating. Another common bacterial species, Pseudoalteromonas carrageenovora, was isolated at the same time and did not have these algicidal effects. The minimum concentrations of strain Y required to kill G. catenatum were higher than the mean concentrations found in nature under nonbloom conditions. However, the new bacterium showed a chemotactic, swarming behavior that resulted in localized high concentrations around target organisms. These observations imply that certain bacteria could play an important role in regulating the onset and development of harmful algal blooms. PMID:9687434

  11. Marine biogeochemistry: Methylmercury manufacture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cossa, Daniel

    2013-10-01

    The neurotoxin methylmercury can accumulate in marine food webs, contaminating seafood. An analysis of the isotopic composition of fish in the North Pacific suggests that much of the mercury that enters the marine food web originates from low-oxygen subsurface waters.

  12. 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

  13. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Chatla, Kamalakar; Gaunt, Patricia S; Petrie-Hanson, Lora; Ford, Lorelei; Hanson, Larry A

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight) at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg)/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins. PMID:27153088

  14. Zebrafish Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Chatla, Kamalakar; Gaunt, Patricia S.; Petrie-Hanson, Lora; Ford, Lorelei; Hanson, Larry A.

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most potent known toxins. The mouse LD50 assay is the gold standard for testing BoNT potency, but is not sensitive enough to detect the extremely low levels of neurotoxin that may be present in the serum of sensitive animal species that are showing the effects of BoNT toxicity, such as channel catfish affected by visceral toxicosis of catfish. Since zebrafish are an important animal model for diverse biomedical and basic research, they are readily available and have defined genetic lines that facilitate reproducibility. This makes them attractive for use as an alternative bioassay organism. The utility of zebrafish as a bioassay model organism for BoNT was investigated. The 96 h median immobilizing doses of BoNT/A, BoNT/C, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F for adult male Tübingen strain zebrafish (0.32 g mean weight) at 25 °C were 16.31, 124.6, 4.7, and 0.61 picograms (pg)/fish, respectively. These findings support the use of the zebrafish-based bioassays for evaluating the presence of BoNT/A, BoNT/E, and BoNT/F. Evaluating the basis of the relatively high resistance of zebrafish to BoNT/C and the extreme sensitivity to BoNT/F may reveal unique functional patterns to the action of these neurotoxins. PMID:27153088

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Association of an unusual marine mammal mortality event with Pseudo-nitzschia spp. Blooms along the southern California coastline.

    PubMed

    de la Riva, Gretel Torres; Johnson, Christine Kreuder; Gulland, Frances M D; Langlois, Gregg W; Heyning, John E; Rowles, Teri K; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2009-01-01

    During 2002, 2,239 marine mammals stranded in southern California. This unusual marine mammal stranding event was clustered from April to June and consisted primarily of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis) with severe neurologic signs. Intoxication with domoic acid (DA), a marine neurotoxin produced during seasonal blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia spp., was suspected. Definitively linking harmful algal blooms to large-scale marine mammal mortalities presents a substantial challenge, as does determining the geographic extent, species composition, and potential population impacts of marine mammal die-offs. For this reason, time series cross-correlation analysis was performed to test the temporal correlations of Pseudo-nitzschia blooms with strandings occurring along the southern California coastline. Temporal correlations were identified between strandings and blooms for California sea lions, long-beaked common dolphins, and short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Similar correlations were identified for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), but small sample sizes for these species made associations more speculative. The timing of the blooms and strandings of marine mammals suggested that both inshore and offshore foraging species were affected and that marine biotoxin programs should include offshore monitoring sites. In addition, California sea lion-strandings appear to be a very sensitive indicator of DA in the marine environment, and their monitoring should be included in public health surveillance plans. PMID:19204340

  19. 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

  20. Isolation of an algicide from a marine bacterium and its effects against the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella and other harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yun Sook; Son, Hong-Joo; Jeong, Seong-Yun

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to isolate and identify bacteria demonstrating an algicidal effect against Alexandrium catenella and to determine the activity and range of any algicide discovered. The morphological and biochemical attributes of an algicidal bacterium, isolate YS-3, and analysis of its 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed it to be a member of the genus Brachybacterium. This organism, designated Brachybacterium sp. YS-3, showed the greatest effect against A. catenella cells of all bacteria isolated, and is assumed to produce secondary metabolites. When 10% solutions of culture filtrates from this strain were applied to A. catenella cultures, over 90% of cells were killed within 9 h. Bioassay-guided isolation of the algicide involved led to the purification and identification of an active compound. Based on physicochemical and spectroscopic data, including nuclear magnetic resonance and mass analyses, this compound was identified as 1-acetyl-β-carboline. This algicide showed significant activity against A. catenella and a wide range of harmful algal bloom (HAB)-forming species. Taken together, our results suggest that Brachybacterium sp. YS-3 and its algicide represent promising candidates for use in HAB control. PMID:26224453

  1. 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

  2. Chermesins A-D: Meroterpenoids with a Drimane-Type Spirosesquiterpene Skeleton from the Marine Algal-Derived Endophytic Fungus Penicillium chermesinum EN-480.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Li, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Yang; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Jia-Ning; Wang, Bin-Gui

    2016-04-22

    Chermesins A-D (1-4), four new spiromeroterpenoids containing a drimane-type sesquiterpene skeleton, were isolated and identified from the culture extract of Penicillium chermesinum EN-480, an endophytic fungus obtained from the inner tissue of the marine red alga Pterocladiella tenuis. The structures of these new spiromeroterpenoids were elucidated based on detailed spectroscopic analyses, and their absolute configurations were confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments and by ECD data. This is the first report of the crystal structures of spiromeroterpenoids that contain a drimane-type sesquiterpene skeleton with a rare cyclohexa-2,5-dienone unit, which resulted in the unambiguous assignment of their relative and absolute configurations. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited antibacterial activity against the opportunistic pathogen Micrococcus luteus, with an MIC value of 8 μg/mL. PMID:26990653

  3. Driving south: a multi-gene phylogeny of the brown algal family Fucaceae reveals relationships and recent drivers of a marine radiation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding the processes driving speciation in marine ecosystems remained a challenge until recently, due to the unclear nature of dispersal boundaries. However, recent evidence for marine adaptive radiations and ecological speciation, as well as previously undetected patterns of cryptic speciation is overturning this view. Here, we use multi-gene phylogenetics to infer the family-level evolutionary history of Fucaceae (intertidal brown algae of the northern Pacific and Atlantic) in order to investigate recent and unique patterns of radiative speciation in the genus Fucus in the Atlantic, in contrast with the mainly monospecific extant genera. Results We developed a set of markers from 13 protein coding genes based on polymorphic cDNA from EST libraries, which provided novel resolution allowing estimation of ancestral character states and a detailed reconstruction of the recent radiative history. Phylogenetic reconstructions yielded similar topologies and revealed four independent trans-Arctic colonization events by Fucaceae lineages, two of which also involved transitions from hermaphroditism to dioecy associated with Atlantic invasions. More recently, reversion of dioecious ancestral lineages towards hermaphroditism has occurred in the genus Fucus, particularly coinciding with colonization of more extreme habitats. Novel lineages in the genus Fucus were also revealed in association with southern habitats. These most recent speciation events occurred during the Pleistocene glaciations and coincided with a shift towards selfing mating systems, generally southward shifts in distribution, and invasion of novel habitats. Conclusions Diversification of the family occurred in the Late-Mid Miocene, with at least four independent trans-Artic lineage crossings coincident with two reproductive mode transitions. The genus Fucus arose in the Pliocene but radiated within a relatively short time frame about 2.5 million years ago. Current species distributions of

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. Three Classes of Plasmid (47–63 kb) Carry the Type B Neurotoxin Gene Cluster of Group II Clostridium botulinum

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Andrew T.; Austin, John W.; Weedmark, Kelly A.; Corbett, Cindi; Peck, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and DNA sequence analysis of 26 strains of Group II (nonproteolytic) Clostridium botulinum type B4 showed that 23 strains carried their neurotoxin gene cluster on a 47–63 kb plasmid (three strains lacked any hybridization signal for the neurotoxin gene, presumably having lost their plasmid). Unexpectedly, no neurotoxin genes were found on the chromosome. This apparent constraint on neurotoxin gene transfer to the chromosome stands in marked contrast to Group I C. botulinum, in which neurotoxin gene clusters are routinely found in both locations. The three main classes of type B4 plasmid identified in this study shared different regions of homology, but were unrelated to any Group I or Group III plasmid. An important evolutionary aspect firmly links plasmid class to geographical origin, with one class apparently dominant in marine environments, whereas a second class is dominant in European terrestrial environments. A third class of plasmid is a hybrid between the other two other classes, providing evidence for contact between these seemingly geographically separated populations. Mobility via conjugation has been previously demonstrated for the type B4 plasmid of strain Eklund 17B, and similar genes associated with conjugation are present in all type B4 plasmids now described. A plasmid toxin–antitoxin system pemI gene located close to the neurotoxin gene cluster and conserved in each type B4 plasmid class may be important in understanding the mechanism which regulates this unique and unexpected bias toward plasmid-borne neurotoxin genes in Group II C. botulinum type B4. PMID:25079343

  7. Novel symptomatology and changing epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): an increasing risk to marine mammal health

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, T; Mazet, J.A.K; Zabka, T.S; Langlois, G; Colegrove, K.M; Silver, M; Bargu, S; Van Dolah, F; Leighfield, T; Conrad, P.A; Barakos, J; Williams, D.C; Dennison, S; Haulena, M; Gulland, F.M.D

    2007-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms are increasing worldwide, including those of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. producing domoic acid off the California coast. This neurotoxin was first shown to cause mortality of marine mammals in 1998. A decade of monitoring California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) health since then has indicated that changes in the symptomatology and epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in this species are associated with the increase in toxigenic blooms. Two separate clinical syndromes now exist: acute domoic acid toxicosis as has been previously documented, and a second novel neurological syndrome characterized by epilepsy described here associated with chronic consequences of previous sub-lethal exposure to the toxin. This study indicates that domoic acid causes chronic damage to California sea lions and that these health effects are increasing. PMID:18006409

  8. Binding assays for the quantitative detection of P. brevis polyether neurotoxins in biological samples and antibodies as therapeutic aids for polyether marine intoxication. Annual report, 1 December 1987-30 November 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Baden, D.G.

    1988-12-15

    The polyether lipid-soluble toxins isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) can be detected using two separate types of specific binding reaction. Using tritiated PbTx-3 as a specific probe for binding to voltage-dependent sodium channels in rat brain synaptosomes or to specific polyclonal antibodies, binding equilibria and displacement by unlabeled brevetoxins were compared. Labeled toxin can be displaced in a competitive manner by any of the other 5 naturally-occurring toxins; the quantitative displacement ability of each appears to reflect individual potency in fish bioassay. A comparison of ED50 in Radioimmunoassay and ED50 in synaptosome binding assay indicates that the former assay is useful for detection of toxins which possess the structural backbone of PbTx-3, the immunizing hapten. Thus, the two assays have quantitative applicability; the sodium channel with respect to potency and the antibodies with respect to structure. Microtiter plate assays utilizing each specific brevetoxin binding component and enzyme-linked toxin hapten have been successful and indicate a general applicability of colorimetric prototypes. There, is however, considerable manipulation required to decrease non-specific binding of the hydrophobic toxin-enzyme complex to the plates. Preliminary studies aimed at producing monoclonal antibodies have been explored using brevetoxins linked to keyhole limpet hemocyanin.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Exchanging the minimal cell binding fragments of tetanus neurotoxin in botulinum neurotoxin A and B impacts their toxicity at the neuromuscular junction and central neurons.

    PubMed

    Höltje, Markus; Schulze, Sebastian; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Mahrhold, Stefan; Richter, Karin; Binz, Thomas; Bigalke, Hans; Ahnert-Hilger, Gudrun; Rummel, Andreas

    2013-12-01

    The modular four domain structure of clostridial neurotoxins supports the idea to reassemble individual domains from tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins to generate novel molecules with altered pharmacological properties. To treat disorders of the central nervous system drug transporter molecules based on catalytically inactive clostridial neurotoxins circumventing the passage of the blood-brain-barrier are desired. Such molecules can be produced based on the highly effective botulinum neurotoxin serotype A incorporating the retrograde axonal sorting property of tetanus neurotoxin which is supposed to be encoded within its C-terminal cell binding domain HC. The corresponding exchange of the tetanus neurotoxin HC-fragment in botulinum neurotoxin A yielded the novel hybrid molecule AATT which displayed decreased potency at the neuromuscular junction like tetanus neurotoxin but exerted equal activity in cortical neurons compared to botulinum neurotoxin A wild-type. Minimizing the tetanus neurotoxin cell binding domain to its N- or C-terminal half drastically reduced the potencies of AATA and AAAT in cortical neurons indicating that the structural motif mediating sorting of tetanus neurotoxin is predominantly encoded within the entire HC-fragment. However, the reciprocal exchange resulted in TTAA which showed a similar potency as tetanus neurotoxin at the neuromuscular junction indicating that the tetanus neurotoxin portion prevents a high potency as observed for botulinum neurotoxins. In conclusion, clostridial neurotoxin based inactivated drug transporter for targeting central neurons should contain the cell binding domain of tetanus neurotoxin to exert its tropism for the central nervous system. PMID:23817019

  15. An overview of the marine food poisoning in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sierra-Beltrán, A P; Cruz, A; Núñez, E; Del Villar, L M; Cerecero, J; Ochoa, J L

    1998-11-01

    In the course of the last decade, huge events related to harmful algal blooms (HAB) have severely affected the environment in Mexico, even causing several human casualties. The tally of the toxins known up to date in Mexican waters includes: neurotoxin shellfish poisoning (NSP), paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), tetrodotoxin (TTX) or puffer fish poisoning, ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). Actual epidemiological figures profoundly modified the trends manifested on previous decades. Notwithstanding that the red tides are a long time known phenomena in Mexican coasts, no regular observation of the marine environment has been set up. Although there are monitoring activities for PSP toxins on the shellfish culturing facilities that are exploited for export to the U.S.A., these are only effectively applied on specific spots of the Mexican coasts, implying that the biggest part of the country coastal zones are not formerly surveyed. The misleads caused by the medical conception that food poisoning events are mainly due to microbial contamination, is among the factors why the marine food poisoning events are a neglected disease. In spite of the fact that no official statistics consider HAB related events as a subject of research or further monitoring by the health authorities, sporadic scientific documents related to poisoning events were produced in Mexico. An interesting picture is presented for most of the marine toxins mentioned. Trend and prognosis estimates made with such scarce information, provide a minimum measurement of the reality and urge the need for a permanent monitoring program on the Mexican coasts, a place with one of the greatest marine toxin diversity worldwide. PMID:9792163

  16. Unique Ganglioside Recognition Strategies for Clostridial Neurotoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, Marc A.; Fu, Zhuji; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Baldwin, Michael R.

    2012-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin are the causative agents of the paralytic diseases botulism and tetanus, respectively. The potency of the clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) relies primarily on their highly specific binding to nerve terminals and cleavage of SNARE proteins. Although individual CNTs utilize distinct proteins for entry, they share common ganglioside co-receptors. Here, we report the crystal structure of the BoNT/F receptor-binding domain in complex with the sugar moiety of ganglioside GD1a. GD1a binds in a shallow groove formed by the conserved peptide motif E ... H ... SXWY ... G, with additional stabilizing interactions provided by two arginine residues. Comparative analysis of BoNT/F with other CNTs revealed several differences in the interactions of each toxin with ganglioside. Notably, exchange of BoNT/F His-1241 with the corresponding lysine residue of BoNT/E resulted in increased affinity for GD1a and conferred the ability to bind ganglioside GM1a. Conversely, BoNT/E was not able to bind GM1a, demonstrating a discrete mechanism of ganglioside recognition. These findings provide a structural basis for ganglioside binding among the CNTs and show that individual toxins utilize unique ganglioside recognition strategies.

  17. The Zinc-Dependent Protease Activity of the Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Lebeda, Frank J.; Cer, Regina Z.; Mudunuri, Uma; Stephens, Robert; Singh, Bal Ram; Adler, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT, serotypes A-G) are some of the most toxic proteins known and are the causative agents of botulism. Following exposure, the neurotoxin binds and enters peripheral cholinergic nerve endings and specifically and selectively cleaves one or more SNARE proteins to produce flaccid paralysis. This review centers on the kinetics of the Zn-dependent proteolytic activities of these neurotoxins, and briefly describes inhibitors, activators and factors underlying persistence of toxin action. Some of the structural, enzymatic and inhibitor data that are discussed here are available at the botulinum neurotoxin resource, BotDB (http://botdb.abcc.ncifcrf.gov). PMID:22069621

  18. Marine Toxins Potently Affecting Neurotransmitter Release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meunier, Frédéric A.; Mattei, César; Molgó, Jordi

    Synapses are specialised structures where interneuronal communication takes place. Not only brain function is absolutely dependent on synaptic activity, but also most of our organs are intimately controlled by synaptic activity. Synapses re therefore an ideal target to act upon and poisonous species have evolved fascinating neurotoxins capable of shutting down neuronal communication by blocking or activating essential components of the synapse. By hijacking key proteins of the communication machinery, neurotoxins are therefore extremely valuable tools that have, in turn, greatly helped our understanding of synaptic biology. Moreover, analysis and understanding of the molecular strategy used by certain neurotoxins has allowed the design of entirely new classes of drugs acting on specific targets with high selectivity and efficacy. This chapter will discuss the different classes of marine neurotoxins, their effects on neurotransmitter release and how they act to incapacitate key steps in the process leading to synaptic vesicle fusion.

  19. 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.

  20. Bioactive Marine Drugs and Marine Biomaterials for Brain Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Grosso, Clara; Valentão, Patrícia; Ferreres, Federico; Andrade, Paula B.

    2014-01-01

    Marine invertebrates produce a plethora of bioactive compounds, which serve as inspiration for marine biotechnology, particularly in drug discovery programs and biomaterials development. This review aims to summarize the potential of drugs derived from marine invertebrates in the field of neuroscience. Therefore, some examples of neuroprotective drugs and neurotoxins will be discussed. Their role in neuroscience research and development of new therapies targeting the central nervous system will be addressed, with particular focus on neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. In addition, the neuronal growth promoted by marine drugs, as well as the recent advances in neural tissue engineering, will be highlighted. PMID:24798925

  1. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in Shark Fins

    PubMed Central

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2012-01-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  2. Cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in shark fins.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Hammerschlag, Neil; Basile, Margaret; Pablo, John; Banack, Sandra A; Mash, Deborah C

    2012-02-01

    Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA. PMID:22412816

  3. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Hendriksen, Peter J M; de Haan, Laura H J; Koning, Rosella; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Bovee, Toine F H

    2015-03-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on either the Na(+), K(+), or Ca(2+) channels or the Na(+)/K(+) ATP-ase pump, on the beating was assessed. Diphenhydramine, veratridine, isradipine, verapamil and ouabain induced specific beating arrests that were reversible and none of the concentrations tested induced cytotoxicity. Three K(+) channel blockers, amiodarone, clofilium and sematilide, and the Na(+)/K(+) ATPase pump inhibitor digoxin had no specific effect on the beating. In addition, two marine neurotoxins i.e. saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin elicited specific beating arrests in cardiomyocytes. Comparison of the results obtained with cardiomyocytes to those obtained with the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay revealed that the cardiomyocytes were generally somewhat more sensitive for the model compounds affecting Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels, but less sensitive for the compounds affecting K(+) channels. The stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were not as sensitive as the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay for saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin. It is concluded that the murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes provide a sensitive model for detection of specific neurotoxins and that the neuroblastoma neuro-2a assay may be a more promising cell-based assay for the screening of marine biotoxins. PMID:25479353

  4. 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

  5. Heavy metals in marine algae of the Kuwait coast

    SciTech Connect

    Buo-Olayan, A.H.; Subrahmanyam, M.N.V.

    1996-12-31

    Marine algae are considered as important primary producers in the coastal region. Several marine algal species are being considered as raw material for various economically important products and this has resulted in their increasing demand. Marine algal species also have been suggested to be the indicators of pollution. Keeping in view the importance of marine algal species for direct or indirect human and cattle consumption, it is necessary to monitor the bioaccumulation of certain elements in these species. This study was aimed at establishing the concentration levels of trace metals in marine algae of the Kuwait coast. 26 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  6. Comparison of oral toxicological properties of botulinum neurotoxin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the foodborne intoxications in humans. BoNTs in nature are associated with non-toxic accessory proteins known as neurotoxin-associated ...

  7. Therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxins in head and neck disorders

    PubMed Central

    Alshadwi, Ahmad; Nadershah, Mohammed; Osborn, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    Objective The aim of this article is to review the mechanism of action, physiological effects, and therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxins in the head and neck area. Study design An extensive literature search was performed using keywords. The resulting articles were analyzed for relevance in four areas: overview on botulinum neurotoxins, the role of botulinum neurotoxins in the management of salivary secretory disorders, the role of botulinum neurotoxins in the management of facial pain, and the role of botulinum neurotoxins in head and neck movement disorders. Institutional review board approval was not needed due the nature of the study. Results Botulinum neurotoxin therapy was demonstrated to be a valuable alternative to conventional medical therapy for many conditions affecting the head and neck area in terms of morbidly, mortality, and patient satisfaction with treatment outcomes. Conclusion Botulinum neurotoxin therapy provides viable alternatives to traditional treatment modalities for some conditions affecting the head and neck region that have neurological components. This therapy can overcome some of the morbidities associated with conventional therapy. More research is needed to determine the ideal doses of botulinum neurotoxin to treat different diseases affecting the head and neck regions. PMID:25544809

  8. Substrate recognition of VAMP-2 by botulinum neurotoxin B and tetanus neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng; Hall, Cherisse; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2008-07-25

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT; serotypes A-G) and tetanus neurotoxin elicit flaccid and spastic paralysis, respectively. These neurotoxins are zinc proteases that cleave SNARE proteins to inhibit synaptic vesicle fusion to the plasma membrane. Although BoNT/B and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) cleave VAMP-2 at the same scissile bond, their mechanism(s) of VAMP-2 recognition is not clear. Mapping experiments showed that residues 60-87 of VAMP-2 were sufficient for efficient cleavage by BoNT/B and that residues 40-87 of VAMP-2 were sufficient for efficient TeNT cleavage. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis and kinetic analysis identified three regions within VAMP-2 that were recognized by BoNT/B and TeNT: residues adjacent to the site of scissile bond cleavage (cleavage region) and residues located within N-terminal and C-terminal regions relative to the cleavage region. Analysis of residues within the cleavage region showed that mutations at the P7, P4, P2, and P1' residues of VAMP-2 had the greatest inhibition of LC/B cleavage (> or =32-fold), whereas mutations at P7, P4, P1', and P2' residues of VAMP-2 had the greatest inhibition of LC/TeNT cleavage (> or =64-fold). Residues within the cleavage region influenced catalysis, whereas residues N-terminal and C-terminal to the cleavage region influenced binding affinity. Thus, BoNT/B and TeNT possess similar organization but have unique residues to recognize and cleave VAMP-2. These studies provide new insights into how the clostridial neurotoxins recognize their substrates. PMID:18511417

  9. 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

  10. Development of recombinant vaccines for botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Smith, L A

    1998-11-01

    Synthetic genes encoding non-toxic, carboxyl-terminal regions (approximately 50 kDa) of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotypes A and B (referred to as fragment C or HC) were constructed and cloned into the methylotropic yeast, Pichia pastoris. Genes specifying BoNTA(HC) and BoNTB(HC) were expressed as both intracellular and secreted products. Recombinants, expressed intracellularly, yielded products with the expected molecular weight as judged by SDS PAGE and Western blot (immunoblot) analysis, while secreted products were larger due to glycosylation. Gene products were used to vaccinate mice and evaluated for their ability to elicit protective antibody titers in vivo. Mice given three intramuscular vaccinations with yeast supernatant containing glycosylated BoNTA(HC) were protected against an intraperitoneal challenge of 10(6) 50% mouse lethal doses (MLD50) of serotype A neurotoxin, a result not duplicated by its BoNTB(HC) counterpart. Vaccinating mice with cytoplasmically produced BoNTA(HC) and BoNTB(HC) protected animals from a challenge of 10(6) MLD50 of serotype A and B toxins, respectively. Because of the glycosylation encountered with secreted BoNT(HC), our efforts focused on the production and purification of products from intracellular expression. PMID:9792170

  11. Neurodegenerative Diseases: Neurotoxins as Sufficient Etiologic Agents?

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Christopher A.; Höglinger, Günter U.

    2008-01-01

    A dominant paradigm in neurological disease research is that the primary etiological factors for diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are genetic. Opposed to this perspective are the clear observations from epidemiology that purely genetic casual factors account for a relatively small fraction of all cases. Many who support a genetic etiology for neurological disease take the view that while the percentages may be relatively small, these numbers will rise in the future with the inevitable discoveries of additional genetic mutations. The follow up argument is that even if the last is not true, the events triggered by the aberrant genes identified so far will be shown to impact the same neuronal cell death pathways as those activated by environmental factors that trigger most sporadic disease cases. In this article we present a countervailing view that environmental neurotoxins may be the sole sufficient factor in at least three neurological disease clusters. For each, neurotoxins have been isolated and characterized that, at least in animal models, faithfully reproduce each disorder without the need for genetic co-factors. Based on these data, we will propose a set of principles that would enable any potential toxin to be evaluated as an etiological factor in a given neurodegenerative disease. Finally, we will attempt to put environmental toxins into the context of possible genetically-determined susceptibility. PMID:17985252

  12. Temporal characteristics of botulinum neurotoxin therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lebeda, Frank J; Cer, Regina Z; Stephens, Robert M; Mudunuri, Uma

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin is a pharmaceutical treatment used for an increasing number of neurological and non-neurological indications, symptoms and diseases. Despite the wealth of clinical reports that involve the timing of the therapeutic effects of this toxin, few studies have attempted to integrate these data into unified models. Secondary reactions have also been examined including the development of adverse events, resistance to repeated applications, and nerve terminal sprouting. Our primary intent for conducting this review was to gather relevant pharmacodynamic data from suitable biomedical literature regarding botulinum neurotoxins via the use of automated data-mining techniques. We envision that mathematical models will ultimately be of value to those who are healthcare decision makers and providers, as well as clinical and basic researchers. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the combination of this computer-intensive approach with mathematical modeling will predict the percentage of patients who will favorably or adversely respond to this treatment and thus will eventually assist in developing the increasingly important area of personalized medicine. PMID:20021324

  13. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  14. 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. 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

  16. Genetic diversity within the botulinum neurotoxin-producing bacteria and their neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Hill, K K; Xie, G; Foley, B T; Smith, T J

    2015-12-01

    The recent availability of multiple Clostridium botulinum genomic sequences has initiated a new genomics era that strengthens our understanding of the bacterial species that produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). Analysis of the genomes has reinforced the historical Group I-VI designations and provided evidence that the bont genes can be located within the chromosome, phage or plasmids. The sequences provide the opportunity to examine closely the variation among the toxin genes, the composition and organization of the toxin complex, the regions flanking the toxin complex and the location of the toxin within different bacterial strains. These comparisons provide evidence of horizontal gene transfer and site-specific insertion and recombination events that have contributed to the variation observed among the neurotoxins. Here, examples that have contributed to the variation observed in serotypes A-H strains are presented to illustrate the mechanisms that have contributed to their variation. PMID:26368006

  17. 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

  18. Antibiotic activity of lectins from marine algae against marine vibrios.

    PubMed

    Liao, W-R; Lin, J-Y; Shieh, W-Y; Jeng, W-L; Huang, R

    2003-07-01

    Saline and aqueous ethanol extracts of marine algae and the lectins from two red algal species were assayed for their antibiotic activity against marine vibrios. Experimental studies were also carried out on the influence of environmental factors on such activity, using batch cultures. The results indicated that many of the saline extracts of the algal species were active and that the activity was selective against those vibrios assayed. The algal extracts were active against Vibrio pelagius and the fish pathogen V. vulnificus, but inactive against V. neresis. Algal lectins from Eucheuma serra (ESA) and Galaxaura marginata (GMA) strongly inhibited V. vulnificus but were inactive against the other two vibrios. The antibacterial activity of algal extracts was inhibited by pretreatment with various sugars and glycoprotein. Extracts of the two red algae, E. serra and Pterocladia capillacea, in saline and aqueous ethanol, inhibited markedly the growth rate of V. vulnificus at very low concentrations. Culture results indicated that metabolites active against V. vulnificus were invariably produced in P. capillacea over a wide range of temperature, light intensity, and nutritional conditions. Enhanced antibacterial activity occurred when P. capillacea was grown under higher irradiance, severe nutrient stress and moderate temperature (20 degrees C), reflecting the specific antibiotic characteristics of this alga. The strong antibiotic activity of lectins towards fish pathogenic bacteria reveals one of the important roles played by algal lectins, as well as the potential high economic value of those marine algae assayed for aquaculture and for biomedical purposes. PMID:12884128

  19. Molecular assembly of botulinum neurotoxin progenitor complexes.

    PubMed

    Benefield, Desirée A; Dessain, Scott K; Shine, Nancy; Ohi, Melanie D; Lacy, D Borden

    2013-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced by Clostridium botulinum and associates with nontoxic neurotoxin-associated proteins to form high-molecular weight progenitor complexes (PCs). The PCs are required for the oral toxicity of BoNT in the context of food-borne botulism and are thought to protect BoNT from destruction in the gastrointestinal tract and aid in absorption from the gut lumen. The PC can differ in size and protein content depending on the C. botulinum strain. The oral toxicity of the BoNT PC increases as the size of the PC increases, but the molecular architecture of these large complexes and how they contribute to BoNT toxicity have not been elucidated. We have generated 2D images of PCs from strains producing BoNT serotypes A1, B, and E using negative stain electron microscopy and single-particle averaging. The BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B PCs were observed as ovoid-shaped bodies with three appendages, whereas the BoNT/E PC was observed as an ovoid body. Both the BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B PCs showed significant flexibility, and the BoNT/B PC was documented as a heterogeneous population of assembly/disassembly intermediates. We have also determined 3D structures for each serotype using the random conical tilt approach. Crystal structures of the individual proteins were placed into the BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B PC electron density maps to generate unique detailed models of the BoNT PCs. The structures highlight an effective platform that can be engineered for the development of mucosal vaccines and the intestinal absorption of oral biologics. PMID:23509303

  20. DOMOIC ACID AS A DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROTOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Lucio G.; Giordano, Gennaro; Faustman, Elaine M.

    2010-01-01

    Domoic acid (DomA) is an excitatory aminoacid which can accumulate in shellfish and finfish under certain environmental conditions. DomA is a potent neurotoxin. In humans and in non-human primates, oral exposure to a few mg/kg DomA elicits gastrointestinal effects, while slightly higher doses cause neurological symptoms, seizures, memory impairment, and limbic system degeneration. In rodents, which appear to be less sensitive than humans or non-human primates, oral doses cause behavioral abnormalities (e.g. hindlimb scratching), followed by seizures and hippocampal degeneration. Similar effects are also seen in other species (from sea-lions to zebrafish), indicating that DomA exerts similar neurotoxic effects across species. The neurotoxicity of DomA is ascribed to its ability to interact and activate the AMPA/KA receptors, a subfamily of receptors for the neuroexcitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Studies exploring the neurotoxic effects of DomA on the developing nervous system indicate that DomA elicits similar behavioral, biochemical and morphological effects as in adult animals. However, most importantly, developmental neurotoxicity is seen at doses of DomA that are one to two orders of magnitude lower than those exerting neurotoxicity in adults. This difference may be due to toxicokinetic and/or toxicodynamic differences. Estimated safe doses may be exceeded in adults by high consumption of shellfish contaminated with DomA at the current limit of 20 ug/g. Given the potential higher susceptibility of the young to DomA neurotoxicity, additional studies investigating exposure to, and effects of this neurotoxin during brain development are warranted. PMID:20471419

  1. 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.

  2. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B.

    SciTech Connect

    SWAMINATHAN,S.; ESWARAMOORTHY,S.

    2001-11-19

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases [1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD{sub 50} for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg{sup -1} [2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization [3].

  3. Micro-algal biosensors.

    PubMed

    Brayner, Roberta; Couté, Alain; Livage, Jacques; Perrette, Catherine; Sicard, Clémence

    2011-08-01

    Fighting against water pollution requires the ability to detect pollutants for example herbicides or heavy metals. Micro-algae that live in marine and fresh water offer a versatile solution for the construction of novel biosensors. These photosynthetic microorganisms are very sensitive to changes in their environment, enabling the detection of traces of pollutants. Three groups of micro-algae are described in this paper: chlorophyta, cyanobacteria, and diatoms. PMID:21626188

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Kelp canopy facilitates understory algal assemblage via competitive release during early stages of secondary succession.

    PubMed

    Benes, Kylla M; Carpenter, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Kelps are conspicuous foundation species in marine ecosystems that alter the composition of understory algal assemblages. While this may be due to changes in the competitive interactions between algal species, how kelp canopies mediate propagule supply and establishment success of understory algae is not well known. In Southern California, USA, Eisenia arborea forms dense kelp canopies in shallow subtidal environments and is associated with an understory dominated by red algal species. In canopy-free areas, however, the algal assemblage is comprised of mostly brown algal species. We used a combination of mensurative and manipulative experiments to test whether Eisenia facilitates the understory assemblage by reducing competition between these different types of algae by changes in biotic interactions and/or recruitment. Our results show Eisenia facilitates a red algal assemblage via inhibition of brown algal settlement into the canopy zone, allowing recruitment to occur by vegetative means rather than establishment of new individuals. In the canopy-free zone, however, high settlement and recruitment rates suggest competitive interactions shape the community there. These results demonstrate that foundation species alter the distribution and abundance of associated organisms by affecting not only interspecific interactions but also propagule supply and recruitment limitation. PMID:26236909

  7. Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A in Neurology: Update

    PubMed Central

    Orsini, Marco; Leite, Marco Antonio Araujo; Chung, Tae Mo; Bocca, Wladimir; de Souza, Jano Alves; de Souza, Olivia Gameiro; Moreira, Rayele Priscila; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Teixeira, Silmar; Oliveira, Acary Bulle; Moraes, Bruno da Silva; Matta, André Palma; Jacinto, Luis Jorge

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews the current and most neurological (central nervous system, CNS) uses of the botulinum neurotoxin type A. The effect of these toxins at neuromuscular junction lends themselves to neurological diseases of muscle overactivity, particularly abnormalities of muscle control. There are seven serotypes of the toxin, each with a specific activity at the molecular level. Currently, serotypes A (in two preparations) and B are available for clinical purpose, and they have proved to be safe and effective for the treatment of dystonia, spasticity, headache, and other CNS disorders in which muscle hyperactivity gives rise to symptoms. Although initially thought to inhibit acetylcholine release only at the neuromuscular junction, botulinum toxins are now recognized to inhibit acetylcholine release at autonomic cholinergic nerve terminals, as well as peripheral release of neuro-transmitters involved in pain regulation. Its effects are transient and nondestructive, and largely limited to the area in which it is administered. These effects are also graded according to the dose, allowing individualized treatment of patients and disorders. It may also prove to be useful in the control of autonomic dysfunction and sialorrhea. In over 20 years of use in humans, botulinum toxin has accumulated a considerable safety record, and in many cases represents relief for thousands of patients unaided by other therapy. PMID:26487928

  8. Comparison and Overview of Currently Available Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Thomas J.; Dayan, Steven H.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Botulinum toxin has been in use since the 1970s. Over the last few years, the indications for botulinum toxin use have extended for cosmetic and noncosmetic applications. Three preparations of botulinum toxin type A and one preparation of botulinum toxin type B are commercially available and approved for use in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Objective: To review the most recent literature on all commercially available botulinum toxins in the United States, their indications, Food and Drug Administration approvals, and handling (reconstitution, storage, and dilution). Methods: A literature review (not Cochrane type analysis) using several databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, textbooks, Food and Drug Administration homepage, and manufacturer information) was performed. Conclusion: Several different preparations of botulinum toxins exist worldwide, none of which are identical or interchangeable. Manufacturer recommendations on all available botulinum neurotoxins advise the use of unpreserved saline for reconstitution. Side effects are mostly mild and always self-limited. More serious complications are associated with higher doses, improper injection techniques, and occur in patients with underlying comorbidities. PMID:24587850

  9. Neurotoxins: Free Radical Mechanisms and Melatonin Protection

    PubMed Central

    Reiter, Russel J.; Manchester, Lucien C.; Tan, Dun-Xian

    2010-01-01

    Toxins that pass through the blood-brain barrier put neurons and glia in peril. The damage inflicted is usually a consequence of the ability of these toxic agents to induce free radical generation within cells but especially at the level of the mitochondria. The elevated production of oxygen and nitrogen-based radicals and related non-radical products leads to the oxidation of essential macromolecules including lipids, proteins and DNA. The resultant damage is referred to as oxidative and nitrosative stress and, when the molecular destruction is sufficiently severe, it causes apoptosis or necrosis of neurons and glia. Loss of brain cells compromises the functions of the central nervous system expressed as motor, sensory and cognitive deficits and psychological alterations. In this survey we summarize the publications related to the following neurotoxins and the protective actions of melatonin: aminolevulinic acid, cyanide, domoic acid, kainic acid, metals, methamphetamine, polychlorinated biphenyls, rotenone, toluene and 6-hydroxydopamine. Given the potent direct free radical scavenging activities of melatonin and its metabolites, their ability to indirectly stimulate antioxidative enzymes and their efficacy in reducing electron leakage from mitochondria, it would be expected that these molecules would protect the brain from oxidative and nitrosative molecular mutilation. The studies summarized in this review indicate that this is indeed the case, an action that is obviously assisted by the fact that melatonin readily crosses the blood brain barrier. PMID:21358970

  10. Brevetoxin derivatives act as partial agonists at neurotoxin site 5 on the voltage-gated Na+ channel.

    PubMed

    LePage, K T; Baden, D G; Murray, T F

    2003-01-01

    Brevetoxins (PbTx-1 to PbTx-10) are potent lipid-soluble polyether neurotoxins produced by the marine dinoflagellate Karina brevis, an organism associated with 'red tide' blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. Ingestion of shellfish contaminated with K. brevis produces neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP) in humans. NSP symptoms emanate from brevetoxin activation of neurotoxin site 5 on voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC) [Toxicon 20 (1982) 457]. In primary cultures of rat cerebellar granule neurons (CGN), brevetoxins produce acute neuronal injury and death. The ability of a series of naturally occurring and synthetic brevetoxins to trigger Ca(2+) influx in CGN was explored in the present study. Intracellular Ca(2+) concentration was monitored in fluo-3-loaded CGN using a fluorescent laser imaging plate reader. The naturally occurring derivatives PbTx-1, PbTx-2 and PbTx-3 all produced a rapid and concentration-dependent increase in cytosolic [Ca(2+)]. The maximum response to PbTx-1 was approximately two-fold greater than that of either PbTx-2 or PbTx-3. Two synthetic derivatives of PbTx-3, alpha-naphthoyl-PbTx-3 and beta-naphthoyl-PbTx-3, were also tested. Both alpha- and beta-naphthoyl-PbTx-3 stimulated a rapid and concentration-dependent Ca(2+) influx that was, however, less efficacious than that of PbTx-3. These data indicate that, analogous to neurotoxin site 2 ligands, activators of neurotoxin site 5 display a range of efficacies, with PbTx-1 being a full agonist and other derivatives acting as partial agonists. PMID:12480165

  11. Positive Regulation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Gene Expression by CodY in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhen; Dahlsten, Elias; Korkeala, Hannu

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin, produced mainly by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is the most poisonous biological substance known. Here, we show that CodY, a global regulator conserved in low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria, positively regulates the botulinum neurotoxin gene expression. Inactivation of codY resulted in decreased expression of botA, encoding the neurotoxin, as well as in reduced neurotoxin synthesis. Complementation of the codY mutation in trans rescued neurotoxin synthesis, and overexpression of codY in trans caused elevated neurotoxin production. Recombinant CodY was found to bind to a 30-bp region containing the botA transcription start site, suggesting regulation of the neurotoxin gene transcription through direct interaction. GTP enhanced the binding affinity of CodY to the botA promoter, suggesting that CodY-dependent neurotoxin regulation is associated with nutritional status. PMID:25281376

  12. A Novel Neurotoxin from Venom of the Spider, Brachypelma albopilosum

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  13. Mechanism of action of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Montecucco, C; Schiavo, G

    1994-07-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism are metallo-proteases that enter nerve cells and block neurotransmitter release via zinc-dependent cleavage of protein components of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) binds to the presynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction and is internalized and transported retroaxonally to the spinal cord. Whilst TeNT causes spastic paralysis by acting on the spinal inhibitory interneurons, the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) induce a flaccid paralysis because they intoxicate the neuromuscular junction. TeNT and BoNT serotypes B, D, F and G specifically cleave VAMP/synaptobrevin, a membrane protein of small synaptic vesicles, at different single peptide bonds. Proteins of the presynaptic membrane are specifically attacked by the other BoNTs: serotypes A and E cleave SNAP-25 at two different sites located within the carboxyl terminus, whereas the specific target of serotype C is syntaxin. PMID:7527117

  14. MITIGATION OF HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS IN THE UNITED STATES USING CLAY: RESEARCH PROGRESS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Throughout the United States, red tides and harmful algal blooms (HABs) pose a serious and recurrent threat to marine ecosystems, fisheries, human health, and coastal aesthetics. Here we report results from a research program investigating the use of clay dispersal for bloom cont...

  15. SV2 mediates entry of tetanus neurotoxin into central neurons.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Felix L; Dong, Min; Yao, Jun; Tepp, William H; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A; Chapman, Edwin R

    2010-01-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin causes the disease tetanus, which is characterized by rigid paralysis. The toxin acts by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters from inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord that innervate motor neurons and is unique among the clostridial neurotoxins due to its ability to shuttle from the periphery to the central nervous system. Tetanus neurotoxin is thought to interact with a high affinity receptor complex that is composed of lipid and protein components; however, the identity of the protein receptor remains elusive. In the current study, we demonstrate that toxin binding, to dissociated hippocampal and spinal cord neurons, is greatly enhanced by driving synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Moreover, tetanus neurotoxin entry and subsequent cleavage of synaptobrevin II, the substrate for this toxin, was also dependent on synaptic vesicle recycling. Next, we identified the potential synaptic vesicle binding protein for the toxin and found that it corresponded to SV2; tetanus neurotoxin was unable to cleave synaptobrevin II in SV2 knockout neurons. Toxin entry into knockout neurons was rescued by infecting with viruses that express SV2A or SV2B. Tetanus toxin elicited the hyper excitability in dissociated spinal cord neurons - due to preferential loss of inhibitory transmission - that is characteristic of the disease. Surprisingly, in dissociated cortical cultures, low concentrations of the toxin preferentially acted on excitatory neurons. Further examination of the distribution of SV2A and SV2B in both spinal cord and cortical neurons revealed that SV2B is to a large extent localized to excitatory terminals, while SV2A is localized to inhibitory terminals. Therefore, the distinct effects of tetanus toxin on cortical and spinal cord neurons are not due to differential expression of SV2 isoforms. In summary, the findings reported here indicate that SV2A and SV2B mediate binding and entry of tetanus neurotoxin into central neurons. PMID:21124874

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I and Group II

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Andrew T.; Peck, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in whole genome sequencing have made a substantial contribution to understanding the genomes, neurotoxins and biology of Clostridium botulinum Group I (proteolytic C. botulinum) and C. botulinum Group II (non-proteolytic C. botulinum). Two different approaches are used to study genomics in these bacteria; comparative whole genome microarrays and direct comparison of complete genome DNA sequences. The properties of the different types of neurotoxin formed, and different neurotoxin gene clusters found in C. botulinum Groups I and II are explored. Specific examples of botulinum neurotoxin genes are chosen for an in-depth discussion of neurotoxin gene evolution. The most recent cases of foodborne botulism are summarised. PMID:25445012

  19. 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

  20. Advancing Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Increased Biomass Productivity and Technology Integration

    SciTech Connect

    Bai, Xuemei; Sabarsky, Martin

    2013-09-30

    Cellana is a leading developer of algae-based bioproducts, and its pre-commercial production of marine microalgae takes place at Cellana?s Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF) in Hawaii. KDF is housing more than 70 high-performing algal strains for different bioproducts, of which over 30 have been grown outside at scale. So far, Cellana has produced more than 10 metric tons of algal biomass for the development of biofuels, animal feed, and high-value nutraceuticals. Cellana?s ALDUO algal cultivation technology allows Cellana to grow non-extremophile algal strains at large scale with no contamination disruptions. Cellana?s research and production at KDF have addressed three major areas that are crucial for the commercialization of algal biofuels: yield improvement, cost reduction, and the overall economics. Commercially acceptable solutions have been developed and tested for major factors limiting areal productivity of algal biomass and lipids based on years of R&D work conducted at KDF. Improved biomass and lipid productivity were achieved through strain improvement, culture management strategies (e.g., alleviation of self-shading, de-oxygenation, and efficient CO2 delivery), and technical advancement in downstream harvesting technology. Cost reduction was achieved through optimized CO2 delivery system, flue gas utilization technology, and energy-efficient harvesting technology. Improved overall economics was achieved through a holistic approach by integration of high-value co-products in the process, in addition to yield improvements and cost reductions.

  1. Textural variation within Great Salt Lake algal mounds: Chapter 8.5 in Stromatolites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1976-01-01

    This chapter discusses textural variation within the Great Salt Lake algal mounds. Great Salt Lake algal mounds contain: (1) a framework of non-skeletal, algally induced aragonite precipitates; (2) internal sediment; and (3) inorganic cement. These three elements create a variety of laminated, poorly laminated, and unlaminated internal textures. Interior framework precipitates bear little resemblance to the present living film of the mound surface. Internal texture of the mounds is believed to be largely relict and to have resulted from precipitation by algae different than those presently living at the surface. The most probable cause of local extinction of the algal flora is change in brine salinity. Precipitated blue-green algal structures in ancient rocks may indicate other than normal marine salinity and near shore sedimentation. Extreme variation of internal texture reflects extreme environmental variability typical of closed basin lakes. Recognition of mounds similar to those in the Great Salt Lake can be a first step toward recognition of ancient hyper-saline lake deposits, if such an interpretation is substantiated by consideration of the entire depositional milieu of precipitated algal mounds.

  2. 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.

  3. Antibody Protection Against Botulinum Neurotoxin Intoxication In Mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adulteration of food or feed with any of the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a potential bioterrorism concern. Currently, there is strong interest in the development of detection reagents, vaccines, therapeutics and other countermeasures. A sensitive immunoassay for detecting BoNT/...

  4. Botulinum Neurotoxin Research at the Western Regional Research Center

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent toxins to humans. The most common route of intoxication is through ingestion of contaminated food or drink. In addition, these toxins are likely targets for use in intentional adulteration of food or animal feeds and are thus classified as Se...

  5. Botulinum neurotoxin: a deadly protease with applications to human medicine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent biological toxins to humans. They are synthesized by the gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum. BoNT is secreted from the bacterium as a ~150 kDa polypeptide which is cleaved by bacterial or host proteases into a ~50 kD...

  6. Botulinum neurotoxin: Where are we with detection technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The poisonous nature of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) poses a great risk to humans and also can be exploited as a possible bioterrorism and biological warfare agent. BoNT serotypes A and B have emerged as effective treatments for a variety of neurological disorders, in addition to their applicability ...

  7. The neurotoxins of the sea snake Laticauda schistorhynchus.

    PubMed Central

    Guinea, M L; Tamiya, N; Cogger, H G

    1983-01-01

    Erabutoxins a and b, the major neurotoxins in the venom of the sea snake Laticauda semifasciata, were detected in the venom of Laticauda schistorhynchus. The identity of the toxins was confirmed on the basis of elution position on CM-cellulose column chromatography, disc electrophoretic mobility, amino acid analysis and toxicity measurement. PMID:6615432

  8. Botulinum neurotoxin serotypes detected by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Savage, Alison C; Buckley, Nicholas; Halliwell, Jennifer; Gwenin, Christopher

    2015-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin is one of the deadliest biological toxins known to mankind and is able to cause the debilitating disease botulism. The rapid detection of the different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin is essential for both diagnosis of botulism and identifying the presence of toxin in potential cases of terrorism and food contamination. The modes of action of botulinum neurotoxins are well-established in literature and differ for each serotype. The toxins are known to specifically cleave portions of the SNARE proteins SNAP-25 or VAMP; an interaction that can be monitored by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. This study presents a SNAP-25 and a VAMP biosensors for detecting the activity of five botulinum neurotoxin serotypes (A-E) using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The biosensors are able to detect concentrations of toxins as low as 25 fg/mL, in a short time-frame compared with the current standard methods of detection. Both biosensors show greater specificity for their compatible serotypes compared with incompatible serotypes and denatured toxins. PMID:25954998

  9. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes Detected by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Alison C.; Buckley, Nicholas; Halliwell, Jennifer; Gwenin, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin is one of the deadliest biological toxins known to mankind and is able to cause the debilitating disease botulism. The rapid detection of the different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin is essential for both diagnosis of botulism and identifying the presence of toxin in potential cases of terrorism and food contamination. The modes of action of botulinum neurotoxins are well-established in literature and differ for each serotype. The toxins are known to specifically cleave portions of the SNARE proteins SNAP-25 or VAMP; an interaction that can be monitored by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. This study presents a SNAP-25 and a VAMP biosensors for detecting the activity of five botulinum neurotoxin serotypes (A–E) using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The biosensors are able to detect concentrations of toxins as low as 25 fg/mL, in a short time-frame compared with the current standard methods of detection. Both biosensors show greater specificity for their compatible serotypes compared with incompatible serotypes and denatured toxins. PMID:25954998

  10. The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database (HfwADB): a laboratory LIMS and online biodiversity resource

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Biodiversity databases serve the important role of highlighting species-level diversity from defined geographical regions. Databases that are specially designed to accommodate the types of data gathered during regional surveys are valuable in allowing full data access and display to researchers not directly involved with the project, while serving as a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database, or HfwADB, was modified from the Hawaiian Algal Database to showcase non-marine algal specimens collected from the Hawaiian Archipelago by accommodating the additional level of organization required for samples including multiple species. Description The Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database is a comprehensive and searchable database containing photographs and micrographs of samples and collection sites, geo-referenced collecting information, taxonomic data and standardized DNA sequence data. All data for individual samples are linked through unique 10-digit accession numbers (“Isolate Accession”), the first five of which correspond to the collection site (“Environmental Accession”). Users can search online for sample information by accession number, various levels of taxonomy, habitat or collection site. HfwADB is hosted at the University of Hawaii, and was made publicly accessible in October 2011. At the present time the database houses data for over 2,825 samples of non-marine algae from 1,786 collection sites from the Hawaiian Archipelago. These samples include cyanobacteria, red and green algae and diatoms, as well as lesser representation from some other algal lineages. Conclusions HfwADB is a digital repository that acts as a Laboratory Information Management System for Hawaiian non-marine algal data. Users can interact with the repository through the web to view relevant habitat data (including geo-referenced collection locations) and download images of collection sites, specimen photographs and

  11. 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.

  12. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies against Naja naja oxiana neurotoxin I.

    PubMed

    Stiles, B G; Sexton, F W; Guest, S B; Olson, M A; Hack, D C

    1994-10-01

    Seven monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed against neurotoxin I (NT-1), a protein from central Asian cobra (Naja naja oxiana) venom which binds specifically to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR). All of the mAbs cross-reacted with another long-chain post-synaptic neurotoxin, Bungarus multicinctus alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BT), but not Naja naja kaouthia alpha-cobratoxin, in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (e.l.i.s.a.). Short-chain post-synaptic neurotoxins like Naja naja atra cobrotoxin, Laticauda semifasciata erabutoxin b, or N. n. oxiana neurotoxin II did not cross-react with the NT-1 mAbs, but an antigen(s) found in Dendroaspis polylepis, Acanthophis antarcticus and Pseudechis australis venoms was immunoreactive. The e.l.i.s.a. readings for dithiothreitol-reduced NT-1 and NT-1 mAbs ranged from 13 to 27% of those for native toxin but reduced alpha-BT was not immunoreactive. Synthetic NT-1 peptides were used in epitope-mapping studies and two, non-contiguous regions (Cys15-Tyr23 and Lys25-Gly33 or Pro17-Lys25 and Asp29-Lys37) were recognized by the NT-1 mAbs. The NT-1 mAbs individually inhibited 31-71% of alpha-BT binding to AchR in vitro and afforded a slight protective effect in vivo with a toxin: antibody mole ratio of 1:1.5. This report is the first to describe mAbs which recognize and protect against a heterologous, long-chain, post-synaptic neurotoxin from snake venom. PMID:7945236

  13. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies against Naja naja oxiana neurotoxin I.

    PubMed Central

    Stiles, B G; Sexton, F W; Guest, S B; Olson, M A; Hack, D C

    1994-01-01

    Seven monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed against neurotoxin I (NT-1), a protein from central Asian cobra (Naja naja oxiana) venom which binds specifically to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR). All of the mAbs cross-reacted with another long-chain post-synaptic neurotoxin, Bungarus multicinctus alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BT), but not Naja naja kaouthia alpha-cobratoxin, in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (e.l.i.s.a.). Short-chain post-synaptic neurotoxins like Naja naja atra cobrotoxin, Laticauda semifasciata erabutoxin b, or N. n. oxiana neurotoxin II did not cross-react with the NT-1 mAbs, but an antigen(s) found in Dendroaspis polylepis, Acanthophis antarcticus and Pseudechis australis venoms was immunoreactive. The e.l.i.s.a. readings for dithiothreitol-reduced NT-1 and NT-1 mAbs ranged from 13 to 27% of those for native toxin but reduced alpha-BT was not immunoreactive. Synthetic NT-1 peptides were used in epitope-mapping studies and two, non-contiguous regions (Cys15-Tyr23 and Lys25-Gly33 or Pro17-Lys25 and Asp29-Lys37) were recognized by the NT-1 mAbs. The NT-1 mAbs individually inhibited 31-71% of alpha-BT binding to AchR in vitro and afforded a slight protective effect in vivo with a toxin: antibody mole ratio of 1:1.5. This report is the first to describe mAbs which recognize and protect against a heterologous, long-chain, post-synaptic neurotoxin from snake venom. PMID:7945236

  14. Approaches for the detection of harmful algal blooms using oligonucleotide interactions.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Karen L; Leterme, Sophie C; Ellis, Amanda V; Lenehan, Claire E

    2015-01-01

    Blooms of microscopic algae in our waterways are becoming an increasingly important environmental concern. Many are sources of harmful biotoxins that can lead to death in humans, marine life and birds. Additionally, their biomass can cause damage to ecosystems such as oxygen depletion, displacement of species and habitat alteration. Globally, the number and frequency of harmful algal blooms has increased over the last few decades, and monitoring and detection strategies have become essential for managing these events. This review discusses developments in the use of oligonucleotide-based 'molecular probes' for the selective monitoring of algal cell numbers. Specifically, hybridisation techniques will be a focus. PMID:25381608

  15. 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.

  16. Energy-efficient photobioreactor configuration for algal biomass production.

    PubMed

    Pegallapati, Ambica Koushik; Arudchelvam, Yalini; Nirmalakhandan, Nagamany

    2012-12-01

    An internally illuminated photobioreactor (IIPBR) design is proposed for energy-efficient biomass production. Theoretical rationale of the IIPBR design and its advantages over the traditional bubble column photobioreactors (PBRs) are presented, followed by experimental results from prototype scale cultivation of freshwater and marine algal strains in an 18L IIPBR. Based on theoretical considerations, the proposed IIPBR design has the potential to support 160% higher biomass density and higher biomass productivity per unit energy input, B/E, than a bubble column PBR of equal incident area per unit culture volume. Experimental B/E values recorded in this study with fresh water algae and marine algae (1.42 and 0.37 gW(-1)d(-1), respectively) are at least twice as those reported in the literature for comparable species cultivated in bubble column and airlift PBRs. PMID:23079413

  17. Environmental neurotoxins β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and mercury in shark cartilage dietary supplements.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Kiyo; Broc Glover, W; Murch, Susan J; Liu, Guangliang; Cai, Yong; Davis, David A; Mash, Deborah C

    2014-08-01

    Shark cartilage products are marketed as dietary supplements with claimed health benefits for animal and human use. Shark fin and cartilage products sold as extracts, dry powders and in capsules are marketed based on traditional Chinese medicine claims that it nourishes the blood, enhances appetite, and energizes multiple internal organs. Shark cartilage contains a mixture of chondroitin and glucosamine, a popular nutritional supplement ingested to improve cartilage function. Sharks are long-lived apex predators, that bioaccumulate environmental marine toxins and methylmercury from dietary exposures. We recently reported detection of the cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in the fins of seven different species of sharks from South Florida coastal waters. Since BMAA has been linked to degenerative brain diseases, the consumption of shark products may pose a human risk for BMAA exposures. In this report, we tested sixteen commercial shark cartilage supplements for BMAA by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-FD) with fluorescence detection and ultra performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Total mercury (Hg) levels were measured in the same shark cartilage products by cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS). We report here that BMAA was detected in fifteen out of sixteen products with concentrations ranging from 86 to 265μg/g (dry weight). All of the shark fin products contained low concentrations of Hg. While Hg contamination is a known risk, the results of the present study demonstrate that shark cartilage products also may contain the neurotoxin BMAA. Although the neurotoxic potential of dietary exposure to BMAA is currently unknown, the results demonstrate that shark cartilage products may contain two environmental neurotoxins that have synergistic toxicities. PMID:24755394

  18. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks.

    PubMed

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S; Murch, Susan J; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C; Mash, Deborah C

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  19. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    PubMed Central

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A.; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S.; Murch, Susan J.; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C.; Mash, Deborah C.

    2016-01-01

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds. PMID:27537913

  20. Remote sensing of ALGAL pigments to determine coastal phytoplankton dynamics in Florida Bay

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, L.L.; Ambrosia, V.G.

    1997-06-01

    An important component of remote sensing of marine and coastal environments is the detection of phytoplankton to estimate biological activity. Traditionally the focus has been on detection of chlorophyll a, a photosynthetic pigment common to all algal groups. Recent advances in remote sensing instrumentation, in particular the development of hyperspectral imaging sensors, allow detection of additional algal pigments that include taxonomically significant photosynthetic and photoprotective accessory pigments. We are working with the hyperspectral imaging sensor AVIRIS (the Airborne Visible-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) to characterize phytoplankton blooms in Florida Bay. Our data analysis focuses on intersection of image data (and image-derived spectral data) with our in-house library of algal pigment signatures.

  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. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Botulinum neurotoxins: new questions arising from structural biology.

    PubMed

    Kammerer, Richard A; Benoit, Roger M

    2014-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic substances known and cause botulism in vertebrates. They have also emerged as effective and powerful reagents for cosmetic and medical applications. One important prerequisite for understanding BoNT function in disease, and the further development of the toxins for cosmetic and medical applications, is a detailed knowledge of BoNT interactions with non-toxic neurotoxin-associated proteins and cell surface receptors. Based on the substantial recent progress in obtaining high-resolution crystal structures of key BoNT complexes, we summarize the major advances in understanding BoNT interactions and discuss the resulting potential implications, in particular those relating to BoNT serotype A. PMID:25282537

  5. Mass spectrometry-based methods for detection and differentiation of botulinum neurotoxins

    DOEpatents

    Schmidt, Jurgen G.; Boyer, Anne E.; Kalb, Suzanne R.; Moura, Hercules; Barr, John R.; Woolfitt, Adrian R.

    2009-11-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for detecting the presence of clostridial neurotoxins in a sample by mixing a sample with a peptide that can serve as a substrate for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin; and measuring for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin by a mass spectroscopy technique. In one embodiment, the peptide can have an affinity tag attached at two or more sites.

  6. Aphicidal efficacy of scorpion- and spider-derived neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Pal, Narinder; Yamamoto, Takashi; King, Glenn F; Waine, Clement; Bonning, Bryony

    2013-08-01

    Insect-specific neurotoxins that act within the insect hemocoel (body cavity) represent an untapped resource for insect pest management. On the basis of recent advances made in development of appropriate delivery systems for transport of these toxins from the insect gut, across the gut epithelium to their target site, we screened neurotoxins derived from scorpion or spider venom for efficacy against the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. Toxins were selected to represent different modes of electrophysiological action, including activity on voltage-gated calcium channels (ω-TRTX-Gr1a, ω-agatoxin Aa4a, ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a), calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels (charybdotoxin, maurotoxin), chloride channels (chlorotoxin) and voltage-gated sodium channels (LqhαIT). The Bacillus thuringiensis-derived toxin Cyt1Aa was also tested as a positive control for toxicity. In per os bioassays with both aphid species, toxicity was only seen for ω-TRTX-Gr1a and Cyt1Aa. On injection into the hemocoel of A. pisum, LD₅₀ values ranged from 1 to 8 ng/mg body weight, with ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a being the most toxic (1.02 ng/mg body weight). All neurotoxins caused rapid paralysis, with charybdotoxin, maurotoxin and chlorotoxin also causing melanization of injected aphids. These data represent the first comprehensive screen of neurotoxins against aphids, and highlight the potential for practical use of the insect-specific toxin ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a in aphid management. PMID:23651761

  7. Substrate recognition mechanism of VAMP/synaptobrevin-cleaving clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Sikorra, Stefan; Henke, Tina; Galli, Thierry; Binz, Thomas

    2008-07-25

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) inhibit neurotransmitter release by proteolyzing a single peptide bond in one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors SNAP-25, syntaxin, and vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)/synaptobrevin. TeNT and BoNT/B, D, F, and G of the seven known BoNTs cleave the synaptic vesicle protein VAMP/synaptobrevin. Except for BoNT/B and TeNT, they cleave unique peptide bonds, and prior work suggested that different substrate segments are required for the interaction of each toxin. Although the mode of SNAP-25 cleavage by BoNT/A and E has recently been studied in detail, the mechanism of VAMP/synaptobrevin proteolysis is fragmentary. Here, we report the determination of all substrate residues that are involved in the interaction with BoNT/B, D, and F and TeNT by means of systematic mutagenesis of VAMP/synaptobrevin. For each of the toxins, three or more residues clustered at an N-terminal site remote from the respective scissile bond are identified that affect solely substrate binding. These exosites exhibit different sizes and distances to the scissile peptide bonds for each neurotoxin. Substrate segments C-terminal of the cleavage site (P4-P4') do not play a role in the catalytic process. Mutation of residues in the proximity of the scissile bond exclusively affects the turnover number; however, the importance of individual positions at the cleavage sites varied for each toxin. The data show that, similar to the SNAP-25 proteolyzing BoNT/A and E, VAMP/synaptobrevin-specific clostridial neurotoxins also initiate substrate interaction, employing an exosite located N-terminal of the scissile peptide bond. PMID:18511418

  8. A Novel Inhibitor Prevents the Peripheral Neuroparalysis of Botulinum Neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Zanetti, Giulia; Leka, Oneda; Lista, Florigio; Fillo, Silvia; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare; Paradisi, Cristina; Mattarei, Andrea; Pirazzini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a large class of potent and deadly neurotoxins. Given their growing number, it is of paramount importance to discover novel inhibitors targeting common steps of their intoxication process. Recently, EGA was shown to inhibit the action of bacterial toxins and viruses exhibiting a pH-dependent translocation step in mammalian cells, by interfering with their entry route. As BoNTs act in the cytosol of nerve terminals, the entry into an appropriate compartment wherefrom they translocate the catalytic moiety is essential for toxicity. Herein we propose an optimized procedure to synthesize EGA and we show that, in vitro, it prevents the neurotoxicity of different BoNT serotypes by interfering with their trafficking. Furthermore, in mice, EGA mitigates botulism symptoms induced by BoNT/A and significantly decreases the lethality of BoNT/B and BoNT/D. This opens the possibility of using EGA as a lead compound to develop novel inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:26670952

  9. A Novel Inhibitor Prevents the Peripheral Neuroparalysis of Botulinum Neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Zanetti, Giulia; Leka, Oneda; Lista, Florigio; Fillo, Silvia; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C.; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare; Paradisi, Cristina; Mattarei, Andrea; Pirazzini, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a large class of potent and deadly neurotoxins. Given their growing number, it is of paramount importance to discover novel inhibitors targeting common steps of their intoxication process. Recently, EGA was shown to inhibit the action of bacterial toxins and viruses exhibiting a pH-dependent translocation step in mammalian cells, by interfering with their entry route. As BoNTs act in the cytosol of nerve terminals, the entry into an appropriate compartment wherefrom they translocate the catalytic moiety is essential for toxicity. Herein we propose an optimized procedure to synthesize EGA and we show that, in vitro, it prevents the neurotoxicity of different BoNT serotypes by interfering with their trafficking. Furthermore, in mice, EGA mitigates botulism symptoms induced by BoNT/A and significantly decreases the lethality of BoNT/B and BoNT/D. This opens the possibility of using EGA as a lead compound to develop novel inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:26670952

  10. Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins: mechanism of action and therapeutic uses.

    PubMed Central

    Pellizzari, R; Rossetto, O; Schiavo, G; Montecucco, C

    1999-01-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism are proteins consisting of three domains endowed with different functions: neurospecific binding, membrane translocation and proteolysis for specific components of the neuroexocytosis apparatus. Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) binds to the presynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction, is internalized and transported retroaxonally to the spinal cord. The spastic paralysis induced by the toxin is due to the blockade of neurotransmitter release from spinal inhibitory interneurons. In contrast, the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) act at the periphery by inducing a flaccid paralysis due to the inhibition of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. TeNT and BoNT serotypes B, D, F and G cleave specifically at single but different peptide bonds, of the vesicle associated membrane protein (VAMP) synaptobrevin, a membrane protein of small synaptic vesicles (SSVs). BoNT types A, C and E cleave SNAP-25 at different sites located within the carboxyl-terminus, while BoNT type C additionally cleaves syntaxin. The remarkable specificity of BoNTs is exploited in the treatment of human diseases characterized by a hyperfunction of cholinergic terminals. PMID:10212474

  11. Arctic spring awakening - Steering principles behind the phenology of vernal ice algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leu, E.; Mundy, C. J.; Assmy, P.; Campbell, K.; Gabrielsen, T. M.; Gosselin, M.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Gradinger, R.

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystems at high latitudes are characterized by extreme seasonal changes in light conditions, as well as a limited period of high primary production during spring and early summer. As light returns at the end of winter to Arctic ice-covered seas, a first algal bloom takes place in the bottom layer of the sea ice. This bottom ice algae community develops through three distinct phases in the transition from winter to spring, starting with phase I, a predominantly net heterotroph community that has limited interaction with the pelagic or benthic realms. Phase II begins in the spring once light for photosynthesis becomes available at the ice bottom, although interaction with the water column and benthos remains limited. The transition to the final phase III is then mainly driven by a balance of atmospheric and oceanographic forcing that induce structural changes in the sea ice and ultimately the removal of algal biomass from the ice. Due to limited data availability an incomplete understanding exists of all the processes determining ice algal bloom phenology and the considerable geographic differences in sympagic algal standing stocks and primary production. We present here the first pan-Arctic compilation of available time-series data on vernal sea ice algal bloom development and identify the most important factors controlling its development and termination. Using data from the area surrounding Resolute Bay (Nunavut, Canada) as an example, we support previous investigations that snow cover on top of the ice influences sea ice algal phenology, with highest biomass development, but also earliest termination of blooms, under low snow cover. We also provide a pan-Arctic overview of sea ice algae standing stocks and primary production, and discuss the pertinent processes behind the geographic differences we observed. Finally, we assess potential future changes in vernal algal bloom phenology as a consequence of climate change, including their importance to

  12. Sedimentation of an upper Pennsylvanian phylloid algal mound complex, Hueco Mountains, El Paso County, TX

    SciTech Connect

    Pol, J.C.

    1984-04-01

    A Late Pennsylvanian mixed carbonate-clastic sequence is exposed in the Hueco Mountains of west Texas. The sequence begins with deposition of a progradational fan-delta system and marine and tidal-flat carbonates. This unit is dominated by calclithite and shale with minor interbeds of shallow-water calcareous mudstone and wackestone. Shallow-water spiculites are commonly associated with these limestones. A thick carbonate unit composed predominantly of limestone overlies the clastics; it was deposited during or just after a major local transgression. The carbonate sediments were deposited on the submerged delta platform in the following sequence: (1) colonization of the shallow platform by rugose corals and early (or syndepositional) cementation of the zone; (2) establishment of shallow-water dasycladacean algal flats; (3) increasing domination of the environment by phylloid algae in response to increasing water depth; (4) accretion of phylloid algal sediments and formation of mounds (directly overlying the dasycladacean algal flats are a number of small mounds formed by accelerated sedimentation within phylloids algal meadows. The high productivity of the phylloid algae and their sediment-trapping ability allowed sedimentation to keep up with sea level rise. Large bioherms resulted, but because of the difference in accretion rates of various mounds, some grew while others were buried by more successful neighbors); and (5) reestablishment of shallow-water dasycladacean algal flats as a result of shoaling of mounds crests and subsequent increase sedimentation in deeper, quieter water on the lee side of the mound complex.

  13. Recovery of a strain of Clostridium botulinum producing both neurotoxin A and neurotoxin B from canned macrobiotic food.

    PubMed

    Franciosa, G; Fenicia, L; Pourshaban, M; Aureli, P

    1997-03-01

    A rare strain of Clostridium botulinum subtype Ab was isolated from a canned macrobiotic food suspected of being linked to a fatal case of food-borne botulism. The strain was recovered and identified by conventional methods modified by the inclusion of a PCR assay (G. Franciosa, J.L. Ferreira, and C.L. Hatheway, J. Clin. Microbiol. 32:1911-1917, 1994). The titers of neurotoxins produced by the strain were evaluated by a mouse bioassay. PMID:9055430

  14. Recovery of a strain of Clostridium botulinum producing both neurotoxin A and neurotoxin B from canned macrobiotic food.

    PubMed Central

    Franciosa, G; Fenicia, L; Pourshaban, M; Aureli, P

    1997-01-01

    A rare strain of Clostridium botulinum subtype Ab was isolated from a canned macrobiotic food suspected of being linked to a fatal case of food-borne botulism. The strain was recovered and identified by conventional methods modified by the inclusion of a PCR assay (G. Franciosa, J.L. Ferreira, and C.L. Hatheway, J. Clin. Microbiol. 32:1911-1917, 1994). The titers of neurotoxins produced by the strain were evaluated by a mouse bioassay. PMID:9055430

  15. Complete genome of brown algal polysaccharides-degrading Pseudoalteromonas issachenkonii KCTC 12958(T) (=KMM 3549(T)).

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Heon; Choe, Hanna; Kim, Song-Gun; Park, Doo-Sang; Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Byung Kwon; Kim, Kyung Mo

    2016-02-10

    Pseudoalteromonas issachenkonii is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, flagellated, aerobic, chemoorganotrophic marine bacterium that was isolated from the thallus of Fucus evanescens (marine brown macroalgae) sampled from the Kraternaya Bight of the Kurile Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Here, we report the complete genome of P. issachenkonii KCTC 12958(T) (=KMM 3549(T)=LMG 19697(T)=CIP 106858(T)), which consists of 4,131,541 bp (G+C content of 40.3%) with two chromosomes, 3538 protein-coding genes, 102 tRNAs and 8 rRNA operons. Several genes related to glycoside hydrolases, proteases, and bacteriolytic- and hemolytic activities were detected in the genome that help explain how the strain mediates degradation of algal cell wall and decomposes algal polysaccharides into industrially applicable products. PMID:26732413

  16. Mollusc-Algal Chloroplast Endosymbiosis. Photosynthesis, Thylakoid Protein Maintenance, and Chloroplast Gene Expression Continue for Many Months in the Absence of the Algal Nucleus1

    PubMed Central

    Green, Brian J.; Li, Wei-Ye; Manhart, James R.; Fox, Theodore C.; Summer, Elizabeth J.; Kennedy, Robert A.; Pierce, Sidney K.; Rumpho, Mary E.

    2000-01-01

    Early in its life cycle, the marine mollusc Elysia chlorotica Gould forms an intracellular endosymbiotic association with chloroplasts of the chromophytic alga Vaucheria litorea C. Agardh. As a result, the dark green sea slug can be sustained in culture solely by photoautotrophic CO2 fixation for at least 9 months if provided with only light and a source of CO2. Here we demonstrate that the sea slug symbiont chloroplasts maintain photosynthetic oxygen evolution and electron transport activity through photosystems I and II for several months in the absence of any external algal food supply. This activity is correlated to the maintenance of functional levels of chloroplast-encoded photosystem proteins, due in part at least to de novo protein synthesis of chloroplast proteins in the sea slug. Levels of at least one putative algal nuclear encoded protein, a light-harvesting complex protein homolog, were also maintained throughout the 9-month culture period. The chloroplast genome of V. litorea was found to be 119.1 kb, similar to that of other chromophytic algae. Southern analysis and polymerase chain reaction did not detect an algal nuclear genome in the slug, in agreement with earlier microscopic observations. Therefore, the maintenance of photosynthetic activity in the captured chloroplasts is regulated solely by the algal chloroplast and animal nuclear genomes. PMID:10982447

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type B is heat-stable in milk and not inactivated by pasteurization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne botulism is caused by the ingestion of foods containing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). Currently, the only accepted assay to detect active C. botulinum neurotoxin is an in vivo mouse bioassay, which raises ethical concerns with regard to the use of experimental animals. Therefore, there is...

  1. Current methods for detecting the presence of botulinum neurotoxins in food and other biological samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current methods for detecting the presence of botulinum neurotoxins in food and other biological samples Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the causative agents of botulism, are among the most lethal human bacterial toxins and the causative agent of botulism. BoNTs are also classified as Select Agents ...

  2. Cloning and purification of alpha-neurotoxins from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    PubMed

    He, Ying-Ying; Lee, Wei-Hui; Zhang, Yun

    2004-09-01

    Thirteen complete and three partial cDNA sequences were cloned from the constructed king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom gland cDNA library. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of king cobra with those from other snake venoms revealed that obtained cDNAs are highly homologous to snake venom alpha-neurotoxins. Alignment of deduced mature peptide sequences of the obtained clones with those of other reported alpha-neurotoxins from the king cobra venom indicates that our obtained 16 clones belong to long-chain neurotoxins (seven), short-chain neurotoxins (seven), weak toxin (one) and variant (one), respectively. Up to now, two out of 16 newly cloned king cobra alpha-neurotoxins have identical amino acid sequences with CM-11 and Oh-6A/6B, which have been characterized from the same venom. Furthermore, five long-chain alpha-neurotoxins and two short-chain alpha-neurotoxins were purified from crude venom and their N-terminal amino acid sequences were determined. The cDNAs encoding the putative precursors of the purified native peptide were also determined based on the N-terminal amino acid sequencing. The purified alpha-neurotoxins showed different lethal activities on mice. PMID:15302536

  3. Translocation of botulinum neurotoxin serotype a and associated proteins across the intestinal epithelia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins and considered to be a major venue of bioterrorist threat. BoNTs associate with neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs), forming large complexes. NAPs have been shown to shield the BoNT holotoxin from the harsh environment of ...

  4. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs). The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presenc...

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Sequence homology and structural analysis of the clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Lacy, D B; Stevens, R C

    1999-09-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs), comprised of tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) and the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT A-G), specifically bind to neuronal cells and disrupt neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins involved in synaptic vesicle membrane fusion. In this study, multiple CNT sequences were analyzed within the context of the 1277 residue BoNT/A crystal structure to gain insight into the events of binding, pore formation, translocation, and catalysis that are required for toxicity. A comparison of the TeNT-binding domain structure to that of BoNT/A reveals striking differences in their surface properties. Further, the solvent accessibility of a key tryptophan in the C terminus of the BoNT/A-binding domain refines the location of the ganglioside-binding site. Data collected from a single frozen crystal of BoNT/A are included in this study, revealing slight differences in the binding domain orientation as well as density for a previously unobserved translocation domain loop. This loop and the conservation of charged residues with structural proximity to putative pore-forming sequences lend insight into the CNT mechanism of pore formation and translocation. The sequence analysis of the catalytic domain revealed an area near the active-site likely to account for specificity differences between the CNTs. It revealed also a tertiary structure, highly conserved in primary sequence, which seems critical to catalysis but is 30 A from the active-site zinc ion. This observation, along with an analysis of the 54 residue "belt" from the translocation domain are discussed with respect to the mechanism of catalysis. PMID:10518945

  10. Molecular Structures and Functional Relationships in Clostridial Neurotoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Swaminathan S.

    2011-12-01

    The seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) are the deadliest poison known to humans. They share significant sequence homology and hence possess similar structure-function relationships. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) act via a four-step mechanism, viz., binding and internalization to neuronal cells, translocation of the catalytic domain into the cytosol and finally cleavage of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) causing blockage of neurotransmitter release leading to flaccid paralysis. Crystal structures of three holotoxins, BoNT/A, B and E, are available to date. Although the individual domains are remarkably similar, their domain organization is different. These structures have helped in correlating the structural and functional domains. This has led to the determination of structures of individual domains and combinations of them. Crystal structures of catalytic domains of all serotypes and several binding domains are now available. The catalytic domains are zinc endopeptidases and share significant sequence and structural homology. The active site architecture and the catalytic mechanism are similar although the binding mode of individual substrates may be different, dictating substrate specificity and peptide cleavage selectivity. Crystal structures of catalytic domains with substrate peptides provide clues to specificity and selectivity unique to BoNTs. Crystal structures of the receptor domain in complex with ganglioside or the protein receptor have provided information about the binding of botulinum neurotoxin to the neuronal cell. An overview of the structure-function relationship correlating the 3D structures with biochemical and biophysical data and how they can be used for structure-based drug discovery is presented here.

  11. Brevetoxins, like ciguatoxins, are potent ichthyotoxic neurotoxins that accumulate in fish✩

    PubMed Central

    Naar, Jerome P.; Flewelling, Leanne J.; Lenzi, Allison; Abbott, Jay P.; Granholm, April; Jacocks, Henry M.; Gannon, Damon; Henry, Michael; Pierce, Richard; Baden, Daniel G.; Wolny, Jennifer; Landsberg, Jan H.

    2009-01-01

    Brevetoxins and ciguatoxins are closely related potent marine neurotoxins. Although ciguatoxins accumulate in fish to levels that are dangerous for human consumption, live fish have not been considered as potential sources of brevetoxin exposure in humans. Here we show that, analogous to ciguatoxins, brevetoxins can accumulate in live fish by dietary transfer. We experimentally identify two pathways leading to brevetoxin-contaminated omnivorous and planktivorous fish. Fish fed with toxic shellfish and Karenia brevis cultures remained healthy and accumulated high brevetoxin levels in their tissues (up to 2675 ng g−1 in viscera and 1540 ng g−1 in muscle). Repeated collections of fish from St. Joseph Bay in the Florida panhandle reveal that accumulation of brevetoxins in healthy fish occurs in the wild. We observed that levels of brevetoxins in the muscle of fish at all trophic levels rise significantly, but not to dangerous levels, during a K. brevis bloom. Concentrations were highest in fish liver and stomach contents, and increased during and immediately following the bloom. The persistence of brevetoxins in the fish food web was followed for 1 year after the K. brevis bloom. PMID:17675204

  12. 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

  13. Serological identification of botulinum neurotoxins: A critical overview.

    PubMed

    Giménez, Domingo F

    2016-08-01

    The reasons that gave rise to the controversy over the serological method (SerM) and genetics regarding the identification of an alleged novel botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), type H, have been concisely examined. This discussion will remain opened inasmuch as the SerM is not performed according to the recommended procedures outlined in this overview and thoroughly discussed on previous publications. If correctly performed and interpreted, the SerM will keep its preeminence in the identification, typing and taxonomy of BoNTs. PMID:27130373

  14. Sensing the Deadliest Toxin: Technologies for Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection

    PubMed Central

    Čapek, Petr; Dickerson, Tobin J.

    2010-01-01

    Sensitive and rapid detection of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most poisonous substances known to date, is essential for studies of medical applications of BoNTs and detection of poisoned food, as well as for response to potential bioterrorist threats. Currently, the most common method of BoNT detection is the mouse bioassay. While this assay is sensitive, it is slow, quite expensive, has limited throughput and requires sacrificing animals. Herein, we discuss and compare recently developed alternative in vitro detection methods and assess their ability to supplement or replace the mouse bioassay in the analysis of complex matrix samples. PMID:22069545

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Wind-driven marine phytoplank blooms: Satellite observation and analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, DanLing

    2016-07-01

    Algal bloom is defined as a rapid increase or accumulation in biomass in an aquatic system. It not only can increase the primary production but also could result in negative ecological consequence, e.g.,Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). According to the classic theory for the formation of algal blooms "critical depth" and "eutrophication", oligotrophic sea area is usually difficult to form a large area of algal blooms, and actuallythe traditional observation is only sporadic capture to the existence of algal blooms.Taking full advantage of multiple data of satellite remote sensing , this study introduces "Wind-driven algal blooms in open oceans: observation and mechanisms" It explained except classic coastal Ekman transport, the wind through a variety of mechanisms affecting the formation of algal blooms. Proposed a conceptual model of "Strong wind -upwelling-nutrient-phytoplankton blooms" in Western South China Sea (SCS) to assess role of wind-induced advection transport in phytoplankton bloom formation. It illustrates the nutrient resources that support long-term offshore phytoplankton blooms in the western SCS; (2)Proposal of the theory that "typhoons cause vertical mixing, induce phytoplankton blooms", and quantify their important contribution to marine primary production; Proposal a new ecological index for typhoon. Proposed remote sensing inversion models. (3)Finding of the spatial and temporaldistributions pattern of harmful algal bloom (HAB)and species variations of HAB in the South Yellow Sea and East China Sea, and in the Pearl River estuary, and their oceanic dynamic mechanisms related with monsoon; The project developed new techniques and generated new knowledge, which significantly improved understanding of the formation mechanisms of algal blooms. The proposed "wind-pump" mechanism integrates theoretical system combined "ocean dynamics, development of algal blooms, and impact on primary production", which will benefit fisheries management. These

  19. High-Throughput Screening Uncovers Novel Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitor Chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Bompiani, Kristin M; Caglič, Dejan; Krutein, Michelle C; Benoni, Galit; Hrones, Morgan; Lairson, Luke L; Bian, Haiyan; Smith, Garry R; Dickerson, Tobin J

    2016-08-01

    Botulism is caused by potent and specific bacterial neurotoxins that infect host neurons and block neurotransmitter release. Treatment for botulism is limited to administration of an antitoxin within a short time window, before the toxin enters neurons. Alternatively, current botulism drug development targets the toxin light chain, which is a zinc-dependent metalloprotease that is delivered into neurons and mediates long-term pathology. Several groups have identified inhibitory small molecules, peptides, or aptamers, although no molecule has advanced to the clinic due to a lack of efficacy in advanced models. Here we used a homogeneous high-throughput enzyme assay to screen three libraries of drug-like small molecules for new chemotypes that modulate recombinant botulinum neurotoxin light chain activity. High-throughput screening of 97088 compounds identified numerous small molecules that activate or inhibit metalloprotease activity. We describe four major classes of inhibitory compounds identified, detail their structure-activity relationships, and assess their relative inhibitory potency. A previously unreported chemotype in any context of enzyme inhibition is described with potent submicromolar inhibition (Ki = 200-300 nM). Additional detailed kinetic analyses and cellular cytotoxicity assays indicate the best compound from this series is a competitive inhibitor with cytotoxicity values around 4-5 μM. Given the potency and drug-like character of these lead compounds, further studies, including cellular activity assays and DMPK analysis, are justified. PMID:27314875

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. Exploration of new functional endpoints in neuro-2a cells for the detection of the marine biotoxins saxitoxin, palytoxin and tetrodotoxin.

    PubMed

    Nicolas, Jonathan; Bovee, Toine F H; Kamelia, Lenny; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Hendriksen, Peter J M

    2015-12-25

    Marine neurotoxins accumulate in seafood and therewith represent a threat for consumers. At the European level, the use of in vivo bioassays is banned from 2015 onwards, except for the control of production areas. Cytotoxicity in the neuro-2a assay has been shown a promising in vitro alternative. However, given that cytotoxicity may be sensitive to confounding factors the current study investigates the suitability of functional endpoints as alternatives to cytotoxicity for the detection of marine neurotoxins. Microarray analyses were performed following exposure of neuro-2a cells to three marine neurotoxins (palytoxin (PlTx), saxitoxin (STX) and tetrodotoxin (TTX)) to identify genes up- or down-regulated that can be used as biomarkers for screening purposes. In addition to microarrays, the voltage dependent fluorescent probe bisoxonol was used to assess changes in cellular membrane potential. Biomarkers based on mRNA expression were detected for PlTx but not for STX and TTX. STX and TTX decreased the fluorescence of bisoxonol while PlTx showed no effect. When using cytotoxicity as the read out the neuro-2a assay detects these three neurotoxins at similar concentrations. Therefore it is concluded that the newly investigated endpoints in the neuro-2a assay are not preferred over cytotoxicity in a suitable broad and sensitive bioassay for the detection of marine neurotoxins in real practice. PMID:26436198

  4. Neurotoxin quantum dot conjugates detect endogenous targets expressed in live cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Orndorff, Rebecca L; Rosenthal, Sandra J

    2009-07-01

    High affinity peptide neurotoxins are effective agents for integrating technological advances with biological inquiries. Both chlorotoxin (CTX) and dendrotoxin-1 (DTX-1) are peptide neurotoxins demonstrated to bind targets expressed by glioma cancer cells and are suitable ligands for quantum dot (QD) live cell investigations. Here, we present dual labeling of endogenously expressed cellular proteins within living cells utilizing high affinity peptide neurotoxins conjugated to QDs. Multiplexing experiments reveal quantifiable evidence that CTX and DTX-1 conjugated QDs may potentially be used as a live assessment of markers toward identification of cancer cell presence. PMID:19507837

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Intraspecific Diversity and Ecological Zonation in Coral-Algal Symbiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Rob; Knowlton, Nancy

    1995-03-01

    All reef-building corals are obligately associated with photosynthetic microalgal endosymbionts called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthella taxonomy has emphasized differences between species of hosts, but the possibility of ecologically significant zooxanthella diversity within hosts has been the subject of speculation for decades. Analysis of two dominant Caribbean corals showed that each associates with three taxa of zooxanthellae that exhibit zonation with depth-the primary environmental gradient for light-dependent marine organisms. Some colonies apparently host two taxa of symbionts in proportions that can vary across the colony. This common occurrence of polymorphic, habitat-specific symbioses challenges conventional understanding of the units of biodiversity but also illuminates many distinctive aspects of marine animal-algal associations. Habitat specificity provides ecological explanations for the previously documented poor concordance between host and symbiont phylogenies and the otherwise surprising lack of direct, maternal transmission of symbionts in many species of hosts. Polymorphic symbioses may underlie the conspicuous and enigmatic variability characteristic of responses to environmental stress (e.g., coral "bleaching") and contribute importantly to the phenomenon of photoadaptation.

  8. 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.

  9. SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL COMPARISON OF ALGAL BIODIVERSITY AND BENTHIC COVER AT GARDNER PINNACLES, NORTHWESTERN HAWAI`IAN ISLANDS(1).

    PubMed

    Vroom, Peter S; Timmers, Molly A V

    2009-04-01

    Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawai`ian Islands is the second largest marine protected area in the world, providing an opportunity for scientists to understand natural ecosystem fluctuations in subtropical marine communities with little anthropogenic impact. Gardner Pinnacles is composed of two emergent basaltic rocks and has the smallest land area of any island in the Northwestern Hawai`ian Island chain but has among the largest submerged reef area. Gardner Pinnacles is also among the least anthropogenically impacted island in the Hawai`ian Archipelago, although a thriving lobster and bottomfish industry existed in the area for many years. This study assesses nearshore algal biodiversity and percent cover at Gardner Pinnacles to examine interannual differences in community dynamics and places them in an ecosystem context by also examining associated invertebrate and fish communities. Biodiversity surveys increased the number of known eukaryotic algal species occurring in marine environments immediately adjacent to the emergent portion of Gardner Pinnacles from 31 to 77. Algal percent cover, specifically populations of the green alga Microdictyon setchellianum M. Howe, varied dramatically between sampling years, possibly in response to seasonal differences. Towed-diver surveys revealed that macroalgae covered >90% of the substrate during the 2003 sampling period but returned to 2000 levels (1%-35% cover) by 2004 without any detectable damage to other reef organisms. Fish communities remained statistically similar between sampling years, and percent cover of live coral around the island did not exceed 7%. PMID:27033812

  10. Botulinum Neurotoxin Is Shielded by NTNHA in an Interlocked Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Gu, Shenyan; Rumpel, Sophie; Zhou, Jie; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Bigalke, Hans; Perry, Kay; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2012-03-28

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly poisonous substances that are also effective medicines. Accidental BoNT poisoning often occurs through ingestion of Clostridium botulinum-contaminated food. Here, we present the crystal structure of a BoNT in complex with a clostridial nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein at 2.7 angstroms. Biochemical and functional studies show that NTNHA provides large and multivalent binding interfaces to protect BoNT from gastrointestinal degradation. Moreover, the structure highlights key residues in BoNT that regulate complex assembly in a pH-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings define the molecular mechanisms by which NTNHA shields BoNT in the hostile gastrointestinal environment and releases it upon entry into the circulation. These results will assist in the design of small molecules for inhibiting oral BoNT intoxication and of delivery vehicles for oral administration of biologics.

  11. Botulinum neurotoxin: where are we with detection technologies?

    PubMed

    Singh, Ajay K; Stanker, Larry H; Sharma, Shashi K

    2013-02-01

    Because of its high toxicity, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) poses a significant risk to humans and it represents a possible biological warfare agent. Nevertheless, BoNT serotypes A and B are considered an effective treatment for a variety of neurological disorders. The growing applicability of BoNT as a drug, and its potential use as a biological threat agent, highlight the urgent need to develop sensitive detection assays and therapeutic counter measures. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in BoNT detection technologies but none have fully replaced the mouse lethality assay, the current "gold standard". Recently, new advances in robotics and the availability of new reagents have allowed development of methods for rapid toxin analysis. These technologies while promising need further refinement. PMID:22676403

  12. Structural Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type G Receptor Binding

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, John; Karalewitz, Andrew; Benefield, Desire A.; Mushrush, Darren J.; Pruitt, Rory N.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Barbieri, Joseph T.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2010-10-19

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) binds peripheral neurons at the neuromuscular junction through a dual-receptor mechanism that includes interactions with ganglioside and protein receptors. The receptor identities vary depending on BoNT serotype (A-G). BoNT/B and BoNT/G bind the luminal domains of synaptotagmin I and II, homologous synaptic vesicle proteins. We observe conditions under which BoNT/B binds both Syt isoforms, but BoNT/G binds only SytI. Both serotypes bind ganglioside G{sub T1b}. The BoNT/G receptor-binding domain crystal structure provides a context for examining these binding interactions and a platform for understanding the physiological relevance of different Syt receptor isoforms in vivo.

  13. Analysis of a unique Clostridium botulinum strain from the Southern hemisphere producing a novel type E botulinum neurotoxin subtype

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Clostridium botulinum strains that produce botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E) are most commonly isolated from botulism cases, marine environments, and animals in regions of high latitude in the Northern hemisphere. A strain of C. botulinum type E (CDC66177) was isolated from soil in Chubut, Argentina. Previous studies showed that the amino acid sequences of BoNT/E produced by various strains differ by < 6% and that the type E neurotoxin gene cluster inserts into the rarA operon. Results Genetic and mass spectral analysis demonstrated that the BoNT/E produced by CDC66177 is a novel toxin subtype (E9). Toxin gene sequencing indicated that BoNT/E9 differed by nearly 11% at the amino acid level compared to BoNT/E1. Mass spectrometric analysis of BoNT/E9 revealed that its endopeptidase substrate cleavage site was identical to other BoNT/E subtypes. Further analysis of this strain demonstrated that its 16S rRNA sequence clustered with other Group II C. botulinum (producing BoNT types B, E, and F) strains. Genomic DNA isolated from strain CDC66177 hybridized with fewer probes using a Group II C. botulinum subtyping microarray compared to other type E strains examined. Whole genome shotgun sequencing of strain CDC66177 revealed that while the toxin gene cluster inserted into the rarA operon similar to other type E strains, its overall genome content shared greater similarity with a Group II C. botulinum type B strain (17B). Conclusions These results expand our understanding of the global distribution of C. botulinum type E strains and suggest that the type E toxin gene cluster may be able to insert into C. botulinum strains with a more diverse genetic background than previously recognized. PMID:23113872

  14. Characterization of the binding of the Ptychodiscus brevis neurotoxin T17 to sodium channels in rat brain synaptosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Poli, M.A.

    1985-01-01

    The lipid-soluble polyether neurotoxins isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) have been determined to bind to a unique receptor site associated with the voltage-sensitive sodium channel in rat brain synaptosomes. Reduction of the C/sub 42/ aldehyde function of T34 to the alcohol function of T17 using NaB/sup 3/H/sub 4/ yielded /sup 3/H-T17 with a specific activity of 15 Ci;/mmol. Using this specific probe, binding to sodium channels was measured at 4/sup 0/CC, 22/sup 0/C, and 37/sup 0/C. Rosenthal analysis of the binding data yielded a K/sub d/ of 2.9 nM and B/sub max/ of 6.8 pmoles /sup 3/H-T17 per mg of synaptosomal protein at 4/sup 0/C. Both K/sub d/ and B/sub max/ were found to be temperature dependent. Depolarization of the synaptosomes by osmotic lysis resulted in the loss of 34% of the available receptor sites, with no decrease in binding affinity. Unlabeled T17, T34, and synthetic T17 (reduced T34) were equipotent in their ability to displace /sup 3/H-T17 from its specific receptor site. Competition experiments using natural toxin probes specific for sites I-IV on the voltage-sensitive sodium channel demonstrate that /sup 3/H-T17 does not bind to any of the previously-described neurotoxin receptor sites. A fifth site is proposed.

  15. The long journey of botulinum neurotoxins into the synapse.

    PubMed

    Rummel, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) cause the disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. They are also very effective, widely used medicines applied locally in sub-nanogram quantities. BoNTs are released together with several non-toxic, associated proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PCT) by Clostridium botulinum to become highly potent oral poisons ingested via contaminated food. They block the neurotransmission in susceptible animals and humans already in nanogram quantities due to their specific ability to enter motoneurons and to cleave only selected neuronal proteins involved in neuroexocytosis. BoNTs have developed a sophisticated strategy to passage the gastrointestinal tract and to be absorbed in the intestine of the host to finally attack neurons. A non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) forms a binary complex with BoNT to protect it from gastrointestinal degradation. This binary M-PTC is one component of the bi-modular 14-subunit ∼760 kDa large progenitor toxin complex. The other component is the structurally and functionally independent dodecameric hemagglutinin (HA) complex which facilitates the absorption on the intestinal epithelium by glycan binding. Subsequent to its transcytosis the HA complex disrupts the tight junction of the intestinal barrier from the basolateral side by binding to E-cadherin. Now, the L-PTC can also enter the circulation by paracellular routes in much larger quantities. From here, the dissociated BoNTs reach the neuromuscular junction and accumulate via interaction with polysialo gangliosides, complex glycolipids, on motoneurons at the neuromuscular junction. Subsequently, additional specific binding to luminal segments of synaptic vesicles proteins like SV2 and synaptotagmin leads to their uptake. Finally, the neurotoxins shut down the synaptic vesicle cycle, which they had exploited before to enter their target cells, via specific cleavage of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE

  16. Genetic Diversity Among Botulinum Neurotoxin Producing Clostridial Strains

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, K K; Smith, T J; Helma, C H; Ticknor, L O; Foley, B T; Svennson, R T; Brown, J L; Johnson, E A; Smith, L A; Okinaka, R T; Jackson, P J; Marks, J D

    2006-07-06

    Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation for many diverse anaerobic spore forming rod-shaped bacteria which have the common property of producing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). The BoNTs are exoneurotoxins that can cause severe paralysis and even death in humans and various other animal species. A collection of 174 C. botulinum strains were examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and by sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and BoNT genes to examine genetic diversity within this species. This collection contained representatives of each of the seven different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT A-G). Analysis of the16S rRNA sequences confirmed earlier reports of at least four distinct genomic backgrounds (Groups I-IV) each of which has independently acquired one or more BoNT serotypes through horizontal gene transfer. AFLP analysis provided higher resolution, and can be used to further subdivide the four groups into sub-groups. Sequencing of the BoNT genes from serotypes A, B and E in multiple strains confirmed significant sequence variation within each serotype. Four distinct lineages within each of the BoNT A and B serotypes, and five distinct lineages of serotype E strains were identified. The nucleotide sequences of the seven serotypes of BoNT were compared and show varying degrees of interrelatedness and recombination as has been previously noted for the NTNH gene which is linked to BoNT. These analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution and phylogeny within this species and assist in the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics for treatment of botulism.

  17. Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type E by a Humanized Antibody.

    PubMed

    Derman, Yağmur; Selby, Katja; Miethe, Sebastian; Frenzel, André; Liu, Yvonne; Rasetti-Escargueil, Christine; Avril, Arnaud; Pelat, Thibaut; Urbain, Remi; Fontayne, Alexandre; Thullier, Philippe; Sesardic, Dorothea; Lindström, Miia; Hust, Michael; Korkeala, Hannu

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause botulism and are the deadliest naturally-occurring substances known to humans. BoNTs have been classified as one of the category A agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating their potential use as bioweapons. To counter bio-threat and naturally-occurring botulism cases, well-tolerated antibodies by humans that neutralize BoNTs are relevant. In our previous work, we showed the neutralizing potential of macaque (Macaca fascicularis)-derived scFv-Fc (scFv-Fc ELC18) by in vitro endopeptidase immunoassay and ex vivo mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm assay by targeting the light chain of the botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E). In the present study, we germline-humanized scFv-Fc ELC18 into a full IgG hu8ELC18 to increase its immunotolerance by humans. We demonstrated the protection and prophylaxis capacity of hu8ELC18 against BoNT/E in a mouse model. A concentration of 2.5 ng/mouse of hu8ELC18 protected against 5 mouse lethal dose (MLD) in a mouse protection assay and complete neutralization of 1 LD50 of pure BoNT/E toxin was achieved with 8 ng of hu8ELC18 in mouse paralysis assay. Furthermore, hu8ELC18 protected mice from 5 MLD if injected up to 14 days prior to intraperitoneal BoNT/E administration. This newly-developed humanized IgG is expected to have high tolerance in humans. PMID:27626446

  18. Spectral modeling for the identification and quantification of algal blooms: A test of approach

    SciTech Connect

    Malthus, T.J.; Grieve, L.; Harwar, M.D.

    1997-06-01

    The aim of this paper is to develop and test a Monte Carlo modelling approach for the characterization of reflectance for different bloom-forming marine phytoplankton species. The model was tested on optical data for four species (Dunaliella salina, Pavlova pinguis, Emiliania huxleyi and Synechocystes spp.) and simulations performed over a range of chlorophyll concentrations. Discriminant analysis identified 10 key wavelengths which could be used to maximize the separation between the four species. The resulting wavelengths were combined in a neural network to show 100% accuracy in classifying species type. Further simulations were undertaken to investigate the effect of aquatic humus on reflectance characteristics and the change in wavelengths for algal discrimination. The implications for the development of algorithms for the identification of algal bloom species type by remote sensing are briefly discussed.

  19. Saline wastewater treatment by Chlorella vulgaris with simultaneous algal lipid accumulation triggered by nitrate deficiency.

    PubMed

    Shen, Qiao-Hui; Gong, Yu-Peng; Fang, Wen-Zhe; Bi, Zi-Cheng; Cheng, Li-Hua; Xu, Xin-Hua; Chen, Huan-Lin

    2015-10-01

    Chlorella vulgaris, a marine microalgae strain adaptable to 0-50 g L(-1) of salinity, was selected for studying the coupling system of saline wastewater treatment and lipid accumulation. The effect of total nitrogen (T N) concentration was investigated on algal growth, nutrients removal as well as lipid accumulation. The removal efficiencies of TN and total phosphorus (TP) were found to be 92.2-96.6% and over 99%, respectively, after a batch cultivation of 20 days. To illustrate the response of lipid accumulation to nutrients removal, C. vulgaris was further cultivated in the recycling experiment of tidal saline water within the photobioreactor. The lipid accumulation was triggered upon the almost depletion of nitrate (<5 mg L(-1)), till the final highest lipid content of 40%. The nitrogen conversion in the sequence of nitrate, nitrite, and then to ammonium in the effluents was finally integrated with previous discussions on metabolic pathways of algal cell under nitrogen deficiency. PMID:26117237

  20. Ultraviolet radiation dose calculation for algal suspensions using UVA and UVB extinction coefficients.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Enrique; Muñiz, Selene; Korkaric, Muris; Wagner, Bettina; de Cáceres, Miquel; Behra, Renata

    2014-03-01

    Although the biological importance of ultraviolet light (UVR) attenuation has been recognised in marine and freshwater environments, it is not generally considered in in vitro ecotoxicological studies using algal cell suspensions. In this study, UVA and UVB extinction were determined for cultures of algae with varying cell densities, and the data were used to calculate the corresponding extinction coefficients for both UVA and UVB wavelength ranges. Integrating the Beer-Lambert equation to account for changes in the radiation intensity reaching each depth, from the surface until the bottom of the experimental vessel, we obtained the average UVA and UVB intensity to which the cultured algal cells were exposed. We found that UVR intensity measured at the surface of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cultures lead to a overestimation of the UVR dose received by the algae by 2-40 times. The approach used in this study allowed for a more accurate estimation of UVA and UVB doses. PMID:24607609

  1. [Neurotoxins with anticholinesterase activity and their possible use as warfare agents].

    PubMed

    Pita, René; Anadón, Arturo; Martínez-Larrañaga, María Rosa

    2003-10-18

    Anatoxin-a(s), onchidal and fasciculins are neurotoxins with anticholinesterase activity. An intoxication by these neurotoxins is characterized by cholinergic syndromes similar to organophosphate insecticide and nerve agent intoxications. Anticholinesterase neurotoxins, as well as other toxins, have some disadvantages if used as weapons of mass destruction. Drawbacks include difficulties to produce them in big quantities and their dissemination in form of aerosols. However, other properties such as high toxicity, improbable identification with common commercial portable detectors for chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, as well as the lack of effectiveness of antidotal treatments with oximes may make them attractive in order to be used in military operations or terrorist attacks. For these reasons, it should be necessary to control these neurotoxins through international treaties which have real verification measures such as the Chemical Weapons Convention. PMID:14588195

  2. Purification and characterization of a neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    PubMed

    Chang, Long-Sen; Liou, Jau-Cheng; Lin, Shinne-Ren; Huang, Hsien-Bin

    2002-06-14

    A neurotoxin, Oh9-1, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah was isolated by a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that Oh9-1 consists of 57 amino acids and eight cysteine residues. This protein was mainly constituted with beta-sheet as evidenced by CD spectrum. Oh9-1 inhibited carbachol-induced muscle contraction in an irreversible manner and the dose for achieving 50% inhibition was approximately fourfold that of alpha-bungarotoxin. Since the residues in alpha-neurotoxins closely involve in the binding with acetylcholine receptors are not highly conserved in this toxin molecule, Oh9-1 represents a novel type of neurotoxin structurally distinct from alpha-neurotoxins. PMID:12056805

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Norwegian remote sensing spectrometry for mapping and monitoring of algal blooms and pollution - NORSMAP-89

    SciTech Connect

    Pettersson, L.H.; Johannessen, O.M.; Frette, O. )

    1990-01-09

    During the late spring of 1988 an extensive bloom of the toxic algae Chrysocromulina polylepis occurred in the Skagerrak region influencing most life in the upper 30 meter of the ocean. The algal front was advected northward with the Norwegian Coastal Current along the coast of southern Norway, where it became a severe threat to the Norwegian seafarming industry. An ad-hoc expert team was established to monitor and forecast the movement of the algae front. Remote sensing of sea surface temperature from the operational US NOAA satellites monitored the movement of the algal front, consistent with a warm ocean front. The lack of any optical remote sensing instrumentation was recognized as a major de-efficiency during this algal bloom. To prepare for similar events in the future Nansen Remote Sensing Center initiated a three week pilot study in the Oslofjord and Skagerrak region, during May 1989. The Canadian Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) was installed in the surveillance aircraft. Extensive in situ campaigns was also carried out by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and Institute of Marine Research. A ship-borne non-imaging spectrometer was operated from the vessels participating in the field campaign. As a contribution from a joint campaign (EISAC '89) between the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Community and the European Space Agency (ESA) both the Canadian Fluorescence Line Imager (FLI) and the US 64-channel GER scanner was operated simultaneously at the NORSMAP 89 test site. Regions of different biological and physical conditions were covered during the pilot study and preliminary analysis are obtained from oil slicks, suspended matter from river, as well as minor algal bloom. The joint analysis of the data collected during the NORSMAP 89 campaign and conclussions will be presented, as well as suggestions for future utilization of airborne spectroscopy systems for operational monitoring of algal bloom and water pollution.

  7. Do coralline red algal growth increment widths archive paleoenvironmental information?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halfar, J.; Winsborough, C.; Omar, A.; Hetzinger, S.; Steneck, R. S.; Lebednik, P. A.

    2009-04-01

    Over the past decade coralline red algae have received increased attention as archives of paleoclimate information. Encrusting coralline red algae, which deposit annual growth increments in a High-Mg calcite skeleton, are amongst the longest-lived marine organisms. In fact, a live-collected plant has recently been shown to have lived for at least 850 years based on radiometric dating. While a number of investigations have successfully utilized geochemical information obtained from coralline red algal skeletons to reconstruct climate, no study has yet examined the potential of using growth increment widths as a proxy for past water temperatures. Here we explore the relationship between growth and environmental parameters in Clathromorphum nereostratum from the Bering Sea. A 120-year long annual growth record shows a significant but weak correlation to regional sea surface temperature data (r=0.24), which requires much of the observed annual growth increment width variability to be explained by other factors. We therefore examined coralline red algal growth for a 20-year period in multiple specimens collected along a depth transect from 10 to 35 m water depth. Results demonstrate a significant decrease in average annual growth increment widths with increasing water depth. Due to intense wind-induced mixing in the region the upper water column exhibits near uniform temperatures and salinities, leaving the decreasing amount of light with depth as the dominant variable influencing vertical extension. This was further tested by examining specimens collected at 10 m water depth at different locations receiving distinct amounts of shading provided by 100%, 50%, and 0% kelp canopy coverage. Results indicate a negative relationship between percent kelp canopy coverage and annual growth increment width. It can therefore be concluded that the dominant factor controlling vertical growth in C. nereostratum is light, with temperature only accounting for a small portion of growth

  8. Hyperspectral and Physiological Analyses of Coral-Algal Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Barott, Katie; Smith, Jennifer; Dinsdale, Elizabeth; Hatay, Mark; Sandin, Stuart; Rohwer, Forest

    2009-01-01

    Space limitation leads to competition between benthic, sessile organisms on coral reefs. As a primary example, reef-building corals are in direct contact with each other and many different species and functional groups of algae. Here we characterize interactions between three coral genera and three algal functional groups using a combination of hyperspectral imaging and oxygen microprofiling. We also performed in situ interaction transects to quantify the relative occurrence of these interaction on coral reefs. These studies were conducted in the Southern Line Islands, home to some of the most remote and near-pristine reefs in the world. Our goal was to determine if different types of coral-coral and coral-algal interactions were characterized by unique fine-scale physiological signatures. This is the first report using hyperspectral imaging for characterization of marine benthic organisms at the micron scale and proved to be a valuable tool for discriminating among different photosynthetic organisms. Consistent patterns emerged in physiology across different types of competitive interactions. In cases where corals were in direct contact with turf or macroalgae, there was a zone of hypoxia and altered pigmentation on the coral. In contrast, interaction zones between corals and crustose coralline algae (CCA) were not hypoxic and the coral tissue was consistent across the colony. Our results suggest that at least two main characteristic coral interaction phenotypes exist: 1) hypoxia and coral tissue disruption, seen with interactions between corals and fleshy turf and/or some species of macroalgae, and 2) no hypoxia or tissue disruption, seen with interactions between corals and some species of CCA. Hyperspectral imaging in combination with oxygen profiling provided useful information on competitive interactions between benthic reef organisms, and demonstrated that some turf and fleshy macroalgae can be a constant source of stress for corals, while CCA are not. PMID

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Detection of the genes encoding botulinum neurotoxin types A to E by the polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Szabo, E A; Pemberton, J M; Desmarchelier, P M

    1993-01-01

    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used as the basis for the development of highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tests for organisms harboring botulinum neurotoxin type A through E genes. Synthetic DNA primers were selected from nucleic acid sequence data for Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. Individual components of the PCR for each serotype (serotypes A through E) were adjusted for optimal amplification of the target fragment. Each PCR assay was tested with organisms expressing each of the botulinum neurotoxin types (types A through G), Clostridium tetani, genetically related nontoxigenic organisms, and unrelated strains. Each assay was specific for the intended target. The PCR reliably identified multiple strains having the same neurotoxin type. The sensitivity of the test was determined with different concentrations of genomic DNA from strains producing each toxin type. As little as 10 fg of DNA (approximately three clostridial cells) was detected. C. botulinum neurotoxin types A, B, and E, which are most commonly associated with human botulism, could be amplified from crude DNA extracts, from vegetative cells, and from spore preparations. This suggests that there is great potential for the PCR in the identification and detection of botulinum neurotoxin-producing strains. Images PMID:8215372

  14. Discovery of Nuclear-Encoded Genes for the Neurotoxin Saxitoxin in Dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Stüken, Anke; Orr, Russell J. S.; Kellmann, Ralf; Murray, Shauna A.; Neilan, Brett A.; Jakobsen, Kjetill S.

    2011-01-01

    Saxitoxin is a potent neurotoxin that occurs in aquatic environments worldwide. Ingestion of vector species can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning, a severe human illness that may lead to paralysis and death. In freshwaters, the toxin is produced by prokaryotic cyanobacteria; in marine waters, it is associated with eukaryotic dinoflagellates. However, several studies suggest that saxitoxin is not produced by dinoflagellates themselves, but by co-cultured bacteria. Here, we show that genes required for saxitoxin synthesis are encoded in the nuclear genomes of dinoflagellates. We sequenced >1.2×106 mRNA transcripts from the two saxitoxin-producing dinoflagellate strains Alexandrium fundyense CCMP1719 and A. minutum CCMP113 using high-throughput sequencing technology. In addition, we used in silico transcriptome analyses, RACE, qPCR and conventional PCR coupled with Sanger sequencing. These approaches successfully identified genes required for saxitoxin-synthesis in the two transcriptomes. We focused on sxtA, the unique starting gene of saxitoxin synthesis, and show that the dinoflagellate transcripts of sxtA have the same domain structure as the cyanobacterial sxtA genes. But, in contrast to the bacterial homologs, the dinoflagellate transcripts are monocistronic, have a higher GC content, occur in multiple copies, contain typical dinoflagellate spliced-leader sequences and eukaryotic polyA-tails. Further, we investigated 28 saxitoxin-producing and non-producing dinoflagellate strains from six different genera for the presence of genomic sxtA homologs. Our results show very good agreement between the presence of sxtA and saxitoxin-synthesis, except in three strains of A. tamarense, for which we amplified sxtA, but did not detect the toxin. Our work opens for possibilities to develop molecular tools to detect saxitoxin-producing dinoflagellates in the environment. PMID:21625593

  15. Individual Specialization to Non-Optimal Hosts in a Polyphagous Marine Invertebrate Herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Baumgartner, Finn A.; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla B.

    2014-01-01

    Factors determining the degree of dietary generalism versus specialism are central in ecology. Species that are generalists at the population level may in fact be composed of specialized individuals. The optimal diet theory assumes that individuals choose diets that maximize fitness, and individual specialization may occur if individuals' ability to locate, recognize, and handle different food types differ. We investigate if individuals of the marine herbivorous slug Elysia viridis, which co-occur at different densities on several green macroalgal species in the field, are specialized to different algal hosts. Individual slugs were collected from three original algal host species (Cladophora sericea, Cladophora rupestris and Codium fragile) in the field, and short-term habitat choice and consumption, as well as long-term growth (proxy for fitness), on four algal diet species (the original algal host species and Chaetomorpha melagonium) were studied in laboratory experiments. Nutritional (protein, nitrogen, and carbon content) and morphological (dry weight, and cell/utricle volume) algal traits were also measured to investigate if they correlated with the growth value of the different algal diets. E. viridis individuals tended to choose and consume algal species that were similar to their original algal host. Long-term growth of E. viridis, however, was mostly independent of original algal host, as all individuals reached a larger size on the non-host C. melagonium. E. viridis growth was positively correlated to algal cell/utricle volume but not to any of the other measured algal traits. Because E. viridis feeds by piercing individual algal cells, the results indicate that slugs may receive more cytoplasm, and thus more energy per unit time, on algal species with large cells/utricles. We conclude that E. viridis individuals are specialized on different hosts, but host choice in natural E. viridis populations is not determined by the energetic value of seaweed diets

  16. Detection of cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine within shellfish in the diet of an ALS patient in Florida.

    PubMed

    Banack, Sandra Anne; Metcalf, James S; Bradley, Walter G; Cox, Paul Alan

    2014-11-01

    Cyanobacteria produce the neurotoxic amino acid β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), which in contaminated marine waters has been found to accumulate in shellfish. Exposure to BMAA has been associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative disease. Analysis of blinded samples found BMAA to be present in neuroproteins of individuals who died from ALS and ALS/PDC, but generally not in the brains of patients who died of causes unrelated to neurodegeneration or Huntington's disease, an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease. We here report support for a link between a patient with ALS and chronic exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA via shellfish consumption. The patient had frequently eaten lobsters collected in Florida Bay for approximately 30 years. LC-MS/MS analysis of two lobsters which this ALS patient had placed in his freezer revealed BMAA at concentrations of 27 and 4 μg/g, respectively, as well as the presence of 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB), a BMAA isomer. Two additional lobsters recently collected from Florida Bay also contained the neurotoxins BMAA and DAB. These data suggest that invertebrates collected in water where cyanobacterial blooms are present, if consumed, may result in direct human exposure to these neurotoxic amino acids. The data support the assertion that prolonged exposure to BMAA may have played a role in the etiology of ALS in this patient. PMID:25123936

  17. Effects of acid stress on aerobic decomposition of algal and aquatic macrophyte detritus: Direct comparison in a radiocarbon assay

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenberg, S.A.; Benner, R.; Armstrong, A.; Sobecky, P.; Hodson, R.E. )

    1990-01-01

    Radiolabeled phytoplankton and macrophyte lignocelluloses were incubated at pHs 4 and 7 in water from a naturally acidic freshwater wetland (Okefenokee Swamp; ambient pH, 3.8 to 4.2), a freshwater reservoir (L-Lake; pH 6.7 to 7.2), and a marine marsh (Sapelo Island; pH {approximately}7.8). The data suggest that acidity is an important factor in explaining the lower decomposition rates of algae in Okefenokee Swamp water relative to L-Lake or Sapelo Island water. The decomposition of algal substrate was less sensitive to low pH ({approximately}5 to 35% inhibition) than was the decomposition of lignocellulose ({approximately}30 to 70% inhibition). These substrate-dependent differences were greater and more consistent in salt marsh than in L-lake incubations. In both freshwater sites, the extent to which decomposition was suppressed by acidity was greater for green algal substrate than for mixed diatom or blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) substrates. The use of different bases to adjust pH or incubation in a defined saltwater medium had no significant effect on substrate-dependent differences. Although pH differences with lignocellulose were larger in marine incubations, amendment of lake water with marine bacteria or with calcium, known to stabilize exoenzymes in soils, did not magnify the sensitivity of decomposition to acid stress.

  18. Use of pharmacologic antagonists to deduce commonalities of biologic activity among clostridial neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Simpson, L L

    1988-06-01

    The pharmacologic activity of several clostridial neurotoxins was assayed on the mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparation. The substances that were assayed included botulinum neurotoxin types A, B, C and E and tetanus toxin. Experiments were done in the presence or absence of antagonists that inhibit either the internalization of toxins or intracellular expression of toxicity. Ammonium chloride and methylamine hydrochloride, agents that inhibit toxins that enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis, antagonized botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins. The magnitude of antagonism was substantial for all toxins. Calcium, 3,4-diaminopyridine and guanidine, agents that alter the intracellular expression of toxicity, produced a variable result. They were effective antagonists of botulinum neurotoxin type A, but they were less effective or inactive against the other neurotoxins. The ability of 3,4-diaminopyridine and guanidine to antagonize botulinum neurotoxin type A was highly calcium dependent. When ambient levels of the cation were reduced from 1.8 to 1.0 mM, the activity of the drugs was substantially reduced. The ability of these drugs to produce antagonism was also time dependent. When added simultaneously with toxin, they were maximally active; when added at later times, activity was diminished. A host of agents that alter intracellular levels of cyclic AMP, including theophylline, forskolin, isobutylmethylxanthine and cholera toxin, were evaluated as potential neurotoxin antagonists. Theophylline and isobutylmethylxanthine produced a transient increase in nerve-evoked muscle twitch. None of the drugs that alter tissue levels of cyclic AMP had a universal effect in antagonizing clostridial toxins. The data here have been compared with published data on drugs that antagonize binding of botulinum toxin and tetanus toxin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2455038

  19. 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

  20. Botulinum neurotoxin type A: Actions beyond SNAP-25?

    PubMed

    Matak, Ivica; Lacković, Zdravko

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), the most potent toxin known in nature which causes botulism, is a commonly used therapeutic protein. It prevents synaptic vesicle neuroexocytosis by proteolytic cleavage of synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). It is widely believed that BoNT/A therapeutic or toxic actions are exclusively mediated by SNAP-25 cleavage. On the other hand, in vitro and in vivo findings suggest that several BoNT/A actions related to neuroexocytosis, cell cycle and apoptosis, neuritogenesis and gene expression are not necessarily mediated by this widely accepted mechanism of action. In present review we summarize the literature evidence which point to the existence of unknown BoNT/A molecular target(s) and modulation of unknown signaling pathways. The effects of BoNT/A apparently independent of SNAP-25 occur at similar doses/concentrations known to induce SNAP-25 cleavage and prevention of neurotransmitter release. Accordingly, these effects might be pharmacologically significant. Potentially the most interesting are observations of antimitotic and antitumor activity of BoNT/A. However, the exact mechanisms require further studies. PMID:26169827

  1. Botulinum neurotoxins in the treatment of refractory pain.

    PubMed

    Jabbari, Bahman

    2008-12-01

    The proper management of pain is a critical issue in the practice of medicine. Despite the availability of a large number of analgesic medications, management of pain that is refractory to conventional treatments remains a challenge for both clinicians and surgeons. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) has recently emerged as a potential novel approach to control pain. Animal studies have revealed a number of mechanisms by which BoNTs can influence and alleviate chronic pain, including inhibition of pain peptide release from nerve terminals and sensory ganglia, anti-inflammatory and antiglutaminergic effects, reduction of sympathetic neural discharge, and inhibition of muscle spindle discharge. In humans, prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have also provided evidence for effectiveness of BoNT therapy in a number of painful disorders. These include cervical dystonia, pelvic pain, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, postsurgical painful spasms, myofascial pain syndromes, migraine, and chronic daily headaches. Long-term studies on cervical dystonia and low back pain have demonstrated safety and sustained efficacy after repeated injections. This Review focuses on the analgesic effects of BoNT and the mechanisms of its pain control as revealed by animal models, and provides evidence-based data on the efficacy of BoNT therapy in various pain syndromes in humans. PMID:19043424

  2. Sweet Poisons: Honeys Contaminated with Glycosides of the Neurotoxin Tutin.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Lesley; Joyce, Nigel I; Sansom, Catherine E; Cooney, Janine M; Jensen, Dwayne J; Perry, Nigel B

    2015-06-26

    Poisonings due to consumption of honeys containing plant toxins have been reported widely. One cause is the neurotoxin tutin, an oxygenated sesquiterpene picrotoxane, traced back to honeybees (Apis mellifera) collecting honeydew produced by passionvine hoppers (Scolypopa australis) feeding on sap of the poisonous shrub tutu (Coriaria spp.). However, a pharmacokinetic study suggested that unidentified conjugates of tutin were also present in such honeys. We now report the discovery, using ion trap LC-MS, of two tutin glycosides and their purification and structure determination as 2-(β-d-glucopyranosyl)tutin (4) and 2-[6'-(α-d-glucopyranosyl)-β-d-glucopyranosyl]tutin (5). These compounds were used to develop a quantitative triple quadrupole LC-MS method for honey analysis, which showed the presence of tutin (3.6 ± 0.1 μg/g honey), hyenanchin (19.3 ± 0.5), tutin glycoside (4) (4.9 ± 0.4), and tutin diglycoside (5) (4.9 ± 0.1) in one toxic honey. The ratios of 4 and 5 to tutin varied widely in other tutin-containing honeys. The glycosidation of tutin may represent detoxification by one or both of the insects involved in the food chain from plant to honey. PMID:25993882

  3. Dopaminergic neurotoxins require excitotoxic stimulation in organotypic cultures.

    PubMed

    Kress, Geraldine J; Reynolds, Ian J

    2005-12-01

    We have investigated the properties of the dopaminergic neurotoxins 6-hydroxydopamine, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium and rotenone using an organotypic culture that included slices of substantia nigra, striatum and cortex maintained for about 20 days in vitro. At this age, the organotypic culture contains dopaminergic neurons, visualized using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry, that project into the striatal slice and extend up to 1 mm into the cortical slice. Using TH immunohistochemistry to assess survival of dopaminergic neurons, we found that the three dopaminergic toxins alone were not selectively neurotoxic. However, the addition of a low concentration of N-methyl-d-aspartate together with each individual toxin resulted in profound injury to the dopaminergic neurons, reflected by the loss of cell bodies and the fragmentation of processes. The combined toxicity was completely blocked by MK801. To assess the specificity of the injury, we measured the diameter of cell nuclei in the organotypic culture stained with Hoechst 33342 because the nucleus shrinks when neurons are injured. These measurements showed that the combined toxin treatment selectively injured only the TH immunoreactive cells. Thus, in a model culture system where dopaminergic neurons innervate appropriate targets, excitotoxicity appears to be essential for the manifestation of the toxic actions of 6-hydroxydopamine, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium and rotenone. PMID:15996475

  4. Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Protease Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bing; Pai, Ramdas; Cardinale, Steven C.; Butler, Michelle M.; Peet, Norton P.; Moir, Donald T.; Bavari, Sina; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2010-01-01

    NSC 240898 was previously identified as a botulinum neurotoxin A light chain (BoNT/A LC) endopeptidase inhibitor by screening the National Cancer Institute Open Repository diversity set. Two types of analogs have been synthesized and shown to inhibit BoNT/A LC in a FRET-based enzyme assay, with confirmation in an HPLC-based assay. These two series of compounds have also been evaluated for inhibition of anthrax lethal factor (LF), an unrelated metalloprotease, to examine enzyme specificity of the BoNT/A LC inhibition. The most potent inhibitor against BoNT/A LC in these two series is compound 12 (IC50 = 2.5 µM, FRET assay), which is 4.4-fold more potent than the lead structure, and 11.2-fold more selective for BoNT/A LC versus the anthrax LF metalloproteinase. Structure-activity relationship studies have revealed structural features important to potency and enzyme specificity. PMID:20155918

  5. Clostridial neurotoxins: mode of substrate recognition and novel therapy development.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins (CNTs) are among the most potent protein toxins known to humans. CNTs include seven serotypes (A~G) of botulinum toxins (BoNTs), which cause botulism, a flaccid paralysis, and tetanus toxin (TeNT), which causes spastic paralysis. BoNTs are classified as category A agent and may be used as potential bioterrorism weapons. On the other hand, the ability of an extremely low dosage of BoNTs (less than 1 ng) to cause reversible partial paralysis upon injection into muscle has turned BoNTs, in particular serotypes A and B, from deadly agents to novel therapeutic agents for treatment of a wide range of clinical conditions associated with involuntary muscle spasm and contractions. In addition to clinical use, they may also be used in cosmetics. Further indications for BoNTs will continue to be developed, although current BoNT therapies have encountered some limitations due to the pharmacological properties of BoNTs, such as their ability to elicit immunoresistance in patients upon periodical injections. This review summarizes the present knowledge of the mechanisms of action of CNTs, with particular focus on the mode of substrate recognition by CNT catalytic domains and knowledge regarding substrate recognition can be utilized to develop novel BoNT products to extend its usefulness in therapeutic interventions and overcome the immunoresistance problems. PMID:24106961

  6. Tetanus neurotoxin utilizes two sequential membrane interactions for channel formation.

    PubMed

    Burns, Joshua R; Baldwin, Michael R

    2014-08-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) causes neuroparalytic disease by entering the neuronal soma to block the release of neurotransmitters. However, the mechanism by which TeNT translocates its enzymatic domain (light chain) across endosomal membranes remains unclear. We found that TeNT and a truncated protein devoid of the receptor binding domain (TeNT-LHN) associated with membranes enriched in acidic phospholipids in a pH-dependent manner. Thus, in contrast to diphtheria toxin, the formation of a membrane-competent state of TeNT requires the membrane interface and is modulated by the bilayer composition. Channel formation is further enhanced by tethering of TeNT to the membrane through ganglioside co-receptors prior to acidification. Thus, TeNT channel formation can be resolved into two sequential steps: 1) interaction of the receptor binding domain (heavy chain receptor binding domain) with ganglioside co-receptors orients the translocation domain (heavy chain translocation domain) as the lumen of the endosome is acidified and 2) low pH, in conjunction with acidic lipids within the membrane drives the conformational changes in TeNT necessary for channel formation. PMID:24973217

  7. Time-dependent botulinum neurotoxin serotype A metalloprotease inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Cardinale, Steven C.; Butler, Michelle M.; Pai, Ramdas; Nuss, Jonathan E.; Peet, Norton P.; Bavari, Sina; Bowlin, Terry L.

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most lethal of biological substances, and are categorized as class A biothreat agents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are currently no drugs to treat the deadly flaccid paralysis resulting from BoNT intoxication. Among the seven BoNT serotypes, the development of therapeutics to counter BoNT/A is a priority (due to its long half-life in the neuronal cytosol and its ease of production). In this regard, the BoNT/A enzyme light chain (LC) component, a zinc metalloprotease responsible for the intracellular cleavage of synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa, is a desirable target for developing post-BoNT/A intoxication rescue therapeutics. In an earlier study, we reported the high throughput screening of a library containing 70,000 compounds, and uncovered a novel class of benzimidazole acrylonitrile-based BoNT/A LC inhibitors. Herein, we present both structure-activity relationships and a proposed mechanism of action for this novel inhibitor chemotype. PMID:22082667

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Tracking the Effect of Algal Mats on Coral Bleaching Using Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Askary, H. M.; Johnson, S. H.; Idris, N.; Qurban, M. A. B.

    2014-12-01

    Benthic habitats rely on relatively stable environmental conditions for survival. The introduction of algal mats into an ecosystem can have a notable effect on the livelihood of organisms such as coral reefs by causing changes in the biogeochemistry of the surrounding water. Increasing levels of acidity and new competition for sunlight caused by congregations of cyanobacteria essentially starve coral reefs of natural resources. These changes are particularly prevalent in waters near quickly developing population centers, such as the ecologically diverse Arabian Gulf. While ground-truthing studies to determine the extensiveness of coral death proves useful on a microcosmic level, new ventures in remote sensing research allow scientists to utilize satellite data to track these changes on a broader scale. Satellite images acquired from Landsat 5, 1987, Landsat 7, 2000, and Landsat 8, 2013 along with higher resolution IKONOS data are digitally analyzed in order to create spectral libraries for relevant benthic types, which in turn can be used to perform supervised classifications and change detection analyses over a larger area. The supervised classifications performed over the three scenes show five significant marine-related classes, namely coral, mangroves, macro-algae, and seagrass, in different degrees of abundance, yet here we focus only on the algal mats impact on corals bleaching. The change detection analysis is introduced to study see the degree of algal mats impact on coral bleaching over the course of time with possible connection to the local meteorology and current climate scenarios.

  11. 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.

  12. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible solutions to pollutants in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mostofa, Khan M G; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Vione, Davide; Gao, Kunshan; Ogawa, Hiroshi

    2013-11-01

    Algal toxins or red-tide toxins produced during algal blooms are naturally-derived toxic emerging contaminants (ECs) that may kill organisms, including humans, through contaminated fish or seafood. Other ECs produced either naturally or anthropogenically ultimately flow into marine waters. Pharmaceuticals are also an important pollution source, mostly due to overproduction and incorrect disposal. Ship breaking and recycle industries (SBRIs) can also release various pollutants and substantially deteriorate habitats and marine biodiversity. Overfishing is significantly increasing due to the global food crisis, caused by an increasing world population. Organic matter (OM) pollution and global warming (GW) are key factors that exacerbate these challenges (e.g. algal blooms), to which acidification in marine waters should be added as well. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible remedial measures of these challenges to marine ecosystems are discussed, including their eventual impact on all forms of life including humans. PMID:23992682

  13. Evaluation of Algal Biofilms on Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) for Use in Biophotovoltaic Platforms Based on Photosynthetic Performance

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Fong-Lee; Phang, Siew-Moi; Periasamy, Vengadesh; Yunus, Kamran; Fisher, Adrian C.

    2014-01-01

    In photosynthesis, a very small amount of the solar energy absorbed is transformed into chemical energy, while the rest is wasted as heat and fluorescence. This excess energy can be harvested through biophotovoltaic platforms to generate electrical energy. In this study, algal biofilms formed on ITO anodes were investigated for use in the algal biophotovoltaic platforms. Sixteen algal strains, comprising local isolates and two diatoms obtained from the Culture Collection of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP), USA, were screened and eight were selected based on the growth rate, biochemical composition and photosynthesis performance using suspension cultures. Differences in biofilm formation between the eight algal strains as well as their rapid light curve (RLC) generated using a pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometer, were examined. The RLC provides detailed information on the saturation characteristics of electron transport and overall photosynthetic performance of the algae. Four algal strains, belonging to the Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria) Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105), Spirulina platensis. (UMACC 159) and the Chlorophyta Chlorella vulgaris (UMACC 051), and Chlorella sp. (UMACC 313) were finally selected for investigation using biophotovoltaic platforms. Based on power output per Chl-a content, the algae can be ranked as follows: Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105) (6.38×10−5 Wm−2/µgChl-a)>Chlorella vulgaris UMACC 051 (2.24×10−5 Wm−2/µgChl-a)>Chlorella sp.(UMACC 313) (1.43×10−5 Wm−2/µgChl-a)>Spirulina platensis (UMACC 159) (4.90×10−6 Wm−2/µgChl-a). Our study showed that local algal strains have potential for use in biophotovoltaic platforms due to their high photosynthetic performance, ability to produce biofilm and generation of electrical power. PMID:24874081

  14. Evaluation of algal biofilms on indium tin oxide (ITO) for use in biophotovoltaic platforms based on photosynthetic performance.

    PubMed

    Ng, Fong-Lee; Phang, Siew-Moi; Periasamy, Vengadesh; Yunus, Kamran; Fisher, Adrian C

    2014-01-01

    In photosynthesis, a very small amount of the solar energy absorbed is transformed into chemical energy, while the rest is wasted as heat and fluorescence. This excess energy can be harvested through biophotovoltaic platforms to generate electrical energy. In this study, algal biofilms formed on ITO anodes were investigated for use in the algal biophotovoltaic platforms. Sixteen algal strains, comprising local isolates and two diatoms obtained from the Culture Collection of Marine Phytoplankton (CCMP), USA, were screened and eight were selected based on the growth rate, biochemical composition and photosynthesis performance using suspension cultures. Differences in biofilm formation between the eight algal strains as well as their rapid light curve (RLC) generated using a pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometer, were examined. The RLC provides detailed information on the saturation characteristics of electron transport and overall photosynthetic performance of the algae. Four algal strains, belonging to the Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria) Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105), Spirulina platensis. (UMACC 159) and the Chlorophyta Chlorella vulgaris (UMACC 051), and Chlorella sp. (UMACC 313) were finally selected for investigation using biophotovoltaic platforms. Based on power output per Chl-a content, the algae can be ranked as follows: Synechococcus elongatus (UMACC 105) (6.38×10(-5) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a)>Chlorella vulgaris UMACC 051 (2.24×10(-5) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a)>Chlorella sp.(UMACC 313) (1.43×10(-5) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a)>Spirulina platensis (UMACC 159) (4.90×10(-6) Wm(-2)/µgChl-a). Our study showed that local algal strains have potential for use in biophotovoltaic platforms due to their high photosynthetic performance, ability to produce biofilm and generation of electrical power. PMID:24874081

  15. Snake and Spider Toxins Induce a Rapid Recovery of Function of Botulinum Neurotoxin Paralysed Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Duregotti, Elisa; Zanetti, Giulia; Scorzeto, Michele; Megighian, Aram; Montecucco, Cesare; Pirazzini, Marco; Rigoni, Michela

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and some animal neurotoxins (β-Bungarotoxin, β-Btx, from elapid snakes and α-Latrotoxin, α-Ltx, from black widow spiders) are pre-synaptic neurotoxins that paralyse motor axon terminals with similar clinical outcomes in patients. However, their mechanism of action is different, leading to a largely-different duration of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) blockade. BoNTs induce a long-lasting paralysis without nerve terminal degeneration acting via proteolytic cleavage of SNARE proteins, whereas animal neurotoxins cause an acute and complete degeneration of motor axon terminals, followed by a rapid recovery. In this study, the injection of animal neurotoxins in mice muscles previously paralyzed by BoNT/A or /B accelerates the recovery of neurotransmission, as assessed by electrophysiology and morphological analysis. This result provides a proof of principle that, by causing the complete degeneration, reabsorption, and regeneration of a paralysed nerve terminal, one could favour the recovery of function of a biochemically- or genetically-altered motor axon terminal. These observations might be relevant to dying-back neuropathies, where pathological changes first occur at the neuromuscular junction and then progress proximally toward the cell body. PMID:26670253

  16. Multigene phylogeny of the red algal subclass Nemaliophycidae.

    PubMed

    Lam, Daryl W; Verbruggen, Heroen; Saunders, Gary W; Vis, Morgan L

    2016-01-01

    The red algae (Rhodophyta) are a lineage of primary endosymbionts whose ancestors represent some of the first photosynthetic eukaryotes on the planet. They primarily inhabit marine ecosystems, with only ∼5% of species found in freshwater systems. The subclass Nemaliophycidae is very diverse in ecological and life history features and therefore a useful model to study these traits, but the phylogenetic relationships among the orders are, for the most part, poorly resolved. To elucidate the phylogeny of the Nemaliophycidae, we constructed a nine-gene dataset comprised of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial markers for 67 red algal specimens. The resulting maximum likelihood (ML) phylogeny confirmed the monophyly of all orders. The sister relationship of the Acrochaetiales and Palmariales received high support and the relationship of the Balliales with Balbianiales and Entwisleiales with Colaconematales was moderately supported. The Nemaliales, Entwisleiales, Colaconematales, Palmariales and Acrochaetiales formed a highly supported clade. Unfortunately, all other relationships among the orders had low bootstrap support. Although the ML analysis did not resolve many of the relationships, further analyses suggested that a resolution is possible. A Phycas analysis supported a dichotomously branching tree and Bayesian analysis showed a similar topology with all relationships highly supported. Simulations extrapolating the number of nucleotide characters beyond the current size of the dataset suggested that most nodes in the phylogeny would be resolved if more data become available. Phylogenomic approaches will be necessary to provide a well-supported phylogeny of this subclass with all relationships resolved such that the evolution of freshwater species from marine ancestors as well as reproductive traits can be explored. PMID:26518739

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Taylor, David I; Schiel, David R

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Algal resistance to herbivory on a Caribbean barrier reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littler, Mark M.; Taylor, Phillip R.; Littler, Diane S.

    1983-06-01

    Field and laboratory research at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize showed that macroalgae, grouped in functional-form units resisted fish and urchin herbivory in the following order (from high to low resistance): Crustose-Group, Jointed Calcareous-Group, Thick Leathery-Group, Coarsely Branched-Group, Filamentous-Group and Sheet-Group; thereby supporting the hypothesis that crustose, calcareous and thick algae have evolved antipredator defenses and should show the greatest resistance to herbivory with a gradation of increasing palatability towards filaments and sheets. Of the 21 species examined, several (e.g., Dictyota cervicornis on grids, Laurencia obtusa and Stypopodium zonale) had exceptionally low losses to fish grazing, probably due to chemical defences. The sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, was more inclined to feed on algae with known toxic secondary metabolites than were herbivorous fishes; hypothetically related to the differences in mobility and concomitant modes of feeding. Tough leathery forms such as Sargassum polyceratium and Turbinaria turbinata resisted grazing by bottom feeding parrotfishes (Scaridae) and surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) but were susceptible when suspended midway in the water column, possibly due to the presence of rudderfishes (Kyphosidae) which readily consume drift Sargassaceae. The overall tendencies support our predicted relationship between grazer-resistance and algal morphology. In conjunction with our previously reported findings concerning primary productivity, toughness and calorimetry for many of the same species, these results lend credence to generalizations relating form with function in marine macroalgae.

  1. 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...

  2. Experimental Protocol for Biodiesel Production with Isolation of Alkenones as Coproducts from Commercial Isochrysis Algal Biomass.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Gregory W; Williams, John R; Wilson-Peltier, Julia; Knothe, Gerhard; Reddy, Christopher M

    2016-01-01

    The need to replace petroleum fuels with alternatives from renewable and more environmentally sustainable sources is of growing importance. Biomass-derived biofuels have gained considerable attention in this regard, however first generation biofuels from edible crops like corn ethanol or soybean biodiesel have generally fallen out of favor. There is thus great interest in the development of methods for the production of liquid fuels from domestic and superior non-edible sources. Here we describe a detailed procedure for the production of a purified biodiesel from the marine microalgae Isochrysis. Additionally, a unique suite of lipids known as polyunsaturated long-chain alkenones are isolated in parallel as potentially valuable coproducts to offset the cost of biodiesel production. Multi-kilogram quantities of Isochrysis are purchased from two commercial sources, one as a wet paste (80% water) that is first dried prior to processing, and the other a dry milled powder (95% dry). Lipids are extracted with hexanes in a Soxhlet apparatus to produce an algal oil ("hexane algal oil") containing both traditional fats (i.e., triglycerides, 46-60% w/w) and alkenones (16-25% w/w). Saponification of the triglycerides in the algal oil allows for separation of the resulting free fatty acids (FFAs) from alkenone-containing neutral lipids. FFAs are then converted to biodiesel (i.e., fatty acid methyl esters, FAMEs) by acid-catalyzed esterification while alkenones are isolated and purified from the neutral lipids by crystallization. We demonstrate that biodiesel from both commercial Isochrysis biomasses have similar but not identical FAME profiles, characterized by elevated polyunsaturated fatty acid contents (approximately 40% w/w). Yields of biodiesel were consistently higher when starting from the Isochrysis wet paste (12% w/w vs. 7% w/w), which can be traced to lower amounts of hexane algal oil obtained from the powdered Isochrysis product. PMID:27404113

  3. Structural and functional characterization of a novel homodimeric three-finger neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    PubMed

    Roy, Amrita; Zhou, Xingding; Chong, Ming Zhi; D'hoedt, Dieter; Foo, Chun Shin; Rajagopalan, Nandhakishore; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Bertrand, Daniel; Sivaraman, J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2010-03-12

    Snake venoms are a mixture of pharmacologically active proteins and polypeptides that have led to the development of molecular probes and therapeutic agents. Here, we describe the structural and functional characterization of a novel neurotoxin, haditoxin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King cobra). Haditoxin exhibited novel pharmacology with antagonism toward muscle (alphabetagammadelta) and neuronal (alpha(7), alpha(3)beta(2), and alpha(4)beta(2)) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with highest affinity for alpha(7)-nAChRs. The high resolution (1.5 A) crystal structure revealed haditoxin to be a homodimer, like kappa-neurotoxins, which target neuronal alpha(3)beta(2)- and alpha(4)beta(2)-nAChRs. Interestingly however, the monomeric subunits of haditoxin were composed of a three-finger protein fold typical of curaremimetic short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Biochemical studies confirmed that it existed as a non-covalent dimer species in solution. Its structural similarity to short-chain alpha-neurotoxins and kappa-neurotoxins notwithstanding, haditoxin exhibited unique blockade of alpha(7)-nAChRs (IC(50) 180 nm), which is recognized by neither short-chain alpha-neurotoxins nor kappa-neurotoxins. This is the first report of a dimeric short-chain alpha-neurotoxin interacting with neuronal alpha(7)-nAChRs as well as the first homodimeric three-finger toxin to interact with muscle nAChRs. PMID:20071329

  4. Production and purification of Clostridium botulinum type C and D neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Gessler, F; Böhnel, H

    1999-07-01

    Neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum are needed in basic neurologic research, but as therapeutic agent for certain neuromuscular disorders like strabism as well. A method for the production and purification of botulinum neurotoxins C and D is reported using a two-step hollow-fiber cross flow filtration and a newly developed chromatographic purification procedure. Hollow-fiber filtration proved to be a rapid and safe concentration and pre-purification step, which can easily be scaled up. The chromatographic purification included hydrophobic interaction, anion exchange and size exclusion chromatography runs. Botulinum neurotoxins C and D could be recovered with an overall yield of 12.6% and 10.6%, respectively. A specific toxicity of 1.86 x 10(7) minimal lethal dose mg(-1) (type C) and 5.26 x 10(7) minimal lethal dose mg(-1) (type D) was determined in the mouse bioassay. PMID:10397323

  5. Molecular structure and conformations of caramboxin, a natural neurotoxin from the star fruit: A computational study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pichierri, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Using density functional theory calculations we investigate the molecular structure and conformations of caramboxin, a neurotoxin recently isolated from the star fruit Averroha carambola. Among the seven conformers that exist within an energy window of ∼16.0 kcal/mol, two of them are the most favored ones with an energy difference of less than 2.0 kcal/mol. The computed chemical shifts of these two low-energy conformers are in good agreement with the experimental values determined in deuterated dimethylsulfoxide thus confirming the 2D chemical structure assigned to the neurotoxin. A topological analysis of the theoretical electronic charge density of four caramboxin conformers reveals the existence of intramolecular CH⋯O/N interactions which, in addition to the classical OH⋯O/N H-bonding interactions, contribute to decrease the conformational freedom of the neurotoxin.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Neurotoxin-induced neuropeptide perturbations in striatum of neonatal rats.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Kultima, Kim; Wadensten, Henrik; Nilsson, Anna; Roman, Erika; Andrén, Per E; Brittebo, Eva B

    2013-04-01

    The cyanobacterial toxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is suggested to play a role in neurodegenerative disease. We have previously shown that although the selective uptake of BMAA in the rodent neonatal striatum does not cause neuronal cell death, exposure during the neonatal development leads to cognitive impairments in adult rats. The aim of the present study was to characterize the changes in the striatal neuropeptide systems of male and female rat pups treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with BMAA (40-460 mg/kg). The label-free quantification of the relative levels of endogenous neuropeptides using mass spectrometry revealed that 25 peptides from 13 neuropeptide precursors were significantly changed in the rat neonatal striatum. The exposure to noncytotoxic doses of BMAA induced a dose-dependent increase of neurosecretory protein VGF-derived peptides, and changes in the relative levels of cholecystokinin, chromogranin, secretogranin, MCH, somatostatin and cortistatin-derived peptides were observed at the highest dose. In addition, the results revealed a sex-dependent increase in the relative level of peptides derived from the proenkephalin-A and protachykinin-1 precursors, including substance P and neurokinin A, in female pups. Because several of these peptides play a critical role in the development and survival of neurons, the observed neuropeptide changes might be possible mediators of BMAA-induced behavioral changes. Moreover, some neuropeptide changes suggest potential sex-related differences in susceptibility toward this neurotoxin. The present study also suggests that neuropeptide profiling might provide a sensitive characterization of the BMAA-induced noncytotoxic effects on the developing brain. PMID:23410195

  9. Progress in Cell Based Assays for Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent human toxins known and the causative agent of botulism, and are widely used as valuable pharmaceuticals. The BoNTs are modular proteins consisting of a heavy chain and a light chain linked by a disulfide bond. Intoxication of neuronal cells by BoNTs is a multi-step process including specific cell binding, endocytosis, conformational change in the endosome, translocation of the enzymatic light chain into the cells cytosol, and SNARE target cleavage. The quantitative and reliable potency determination of fully functional BoNTs produced as active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) requires an assay that considers all steps in the intoxication pathway. The in vivo mouse bioassay has for years been the ‘gold standard’ assay used for this purpose, but it requires the use of large numbers of mice and thus causes associated costs and ethical concerns. Cell-based assays are currently the only in vitro alternative that detect fully functional BoNTs in a single assay and have been utilized for years for research purposes. Within the last 5 years, several cell-based BoNT detection assays have been developed that are able to quantitatively determine BoNT potency with similar or greater sensitivity than the mouse bioassay. These assays now offer an alternative method for BoNT potency determination. Such quantitative and reliable BoNT potency determination is a crucial step in basic research, in the development of pharmaceutical BoNTs, and in the quantitative detection of neutralizing antibodies. PMID:23239357

  10. Benzoquinones as Inhibitors of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    PubMed Central

    Bremer, Paul T.; Hixon, Mark S.; Janda, Kim D.

    2014-01-01

    Although botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is known for its use in cosmetics, it causes a potentially fatal illness, botulism, and can be used as a bioterror weapon. Many compounds have been developed that inhibit the BoNTA zinc-metalloprotease light chain (LC), however, none of these inhibitors have advanced to clinical trials. In this study, a fragment-based approach was implemented to develop novel covalent inhibitors of BoNT/A LC. First, electrophilic fragments were screened against BoNT/A LC, and benzoquinone (BQ) derivatives were found to be active. In kinetic studies, BQ compounds acted as irreversible inhibitors that presumably covalently modify cysteine 165 of BoNT/A LC. Although most BQ derivatives were highly reactive toward glutathione in vitro, a few compounds such as natural product naphthazarin displayed low thiol reactivity and good BoNT/A inhibition. In order to increase the potency of the BQ fragment, computational docking studies were employed to elucidate a scaffold that could bind to sites adjacent to Cys165 while positioning a BQ fragment at Cys165 for covalent modification; 2-amino-N-arylacetamides met these criteria and when linked to BQ displayed at least a 20-fold increase in activity to low μM IC50 values. Unlike BQ alone, the linked-BQ compounds demonstrated only weak irreversible inhibition and therefore acted mainly as non-covalent inhibitors. Further kinetic studies revealed a mutual exclusivity of BQ covalent inactivation and competitive inhibitor binding to sites adjacent to Cys165, refuting the viability of the current strategy for developing more potent irreversible BoNT/A inhibitors. The highlights of this study include the discovery of BQ compounds as irreversible BoNT/A inhibitors and the rational design of low μM IC50 competitive inhibitors that depend on the BQ moiety for activity. PMID:24984937

  11. Gangliosides as high affinity receptors for tetanus neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chen; Fu, Zhuji; Kim, Jung-Ja P; Barbieri, Joseph T; Baldwin, Michael R

    2009-09-25

    Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) is an exotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani that causes paralytic death to hundreds of thousands of humans annually. TeNT cleaves vesicle-associated membrane protein-2, which inhibits neurotransmitter release in the central nervous system to elicit spastic paralysis, but the molecular basis for TeNT entry into neurons remains unclear. TeNT is a approximately 150-kDa protein that has AB structure-function properties; the A domain is a zinc metalloprotease, and the B domain encodes a translocation domain and C-terminal receptor-binding domain (HCR/T). Earlier studies showed that HCR/T bound gangliosides via two carbohydrate-binding sites, termed the lactose-binding site (the "W" pocket) and the sialic acid-binding site (the "R" pocket). Here we report that TeNT high affinity binding to neurons is mediated solely by gangliosides. Glycan array and solid phase binding analyses identified gangliosides that bound exclusively to either the W pocket or the R pocket of TeNT; GM1a bound to the W pocket, and GD3 bound to the R pocket. Using these gangliosides and mutated forms of HCR/T that lacked one or both carbohydrate-binding pocket, gangliosides binding to both of the W and R pockets were shown to be necessary for high affinity binding to neuronal and non-neuronal cells. The crystal structure of a ternary complex of HCR/T with sugar components of two gangliosides bound to the W and R supported the binding of gangliosides to both carbohydrate pockets. These data show that gangliosides are functional dual receptors for TeNT. PMID:19602728

  12. Benzoquinones as inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Paul T; Hixon, Mark S; Janda, Kim D

    2014-08-01

    Although botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is known for its use in cosmetics, it causes a potentially fatal illness, botulism, and can be used as a bioterror weapon. Many compounds have been developed that inhibit the BoNTA zinc-metalloprotease light chain (LC), however, none of these inhibitors have advanced to clinical trials. In this study, a fragment-based approach was implemented to develop novel covalent inhibitors of BoNT/A LC. First, electrophilic fragments were screened against BoNT/A LC, and benzoquinone (BQ) derivatives were found to be active. In kinetic studies, BQ compounds acted as irreversible inhibitors that presumably covalently modify cysteine 165 of BoNT/A LC. Although most BQ derivatives were highly reactive toward glutathione in vitro, a few compounds such as natural product naphthazarin displayed low thiol reactivity and good BoNT/A inhibition. In order to increase the potency of the BQ fragment, computational docking studies were employed to elucidate a scaffold that could bind to sites adjacent to Cys165 while positioning a BQ fragment at Cys165 for covalent modification; 2-amino-N-arylacetamides met these criteria and when linked to BQ displayed at least a 20-fold increase in activity to low μM IC₅₀ values. Unlike BQ alone, the linked-BQ compounds demonstrated only weak irreversible inhibition and therefore acted mainly as non-covalent inhibitors. Further kinetic studies revealed a mutual exclusivity of BQ covalent inactivation and competitive inhibitor binding to sites adjacent to Cys165, refuting the viability of the current strategy for developing more potent irreversible BoNT/A inhibitors. The highlights of this study include the discovery of BQ compounds as irreversible BoNT/A inhibitors and the rational design of low μM IC50 competitive inhibitors that depend on the BQ moiety for activity. PMID:24984937

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Environmental biology of the marine Roseobacter lineage.

    PubMed

    Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Biebl, Hanno

    2006-01-01

    The Roseobacter lineage is a phylogenetically coherent, physiologically heterogeneous group of alpha-Proteobacteria comprising up to 25% of marine microbial communities, especially in coastal and polar oceans, and it is the only lineage in which cultivated bacteria are closely related to environmental clones. Currently 41 subclusters are described, covering all major marine ecological niches (seawater, algal blooms, microbial mats, sediments, sea ice, marine invertebrates). Members of the Roseobacter lineage play an important role for the global carbon and sulfur cycle and the climate, since they have the trait of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxidize the greenhouse gas carbon monoxide, and produce the climate-relevant gas dimethylsulfide through the degradation of algal osmolytes. Production of bioactive metabolites and quorum-sensing-regulated control of gene expression mediate their success in complex communities. Studies of representative isolates in culture, whole-genome sequencing, e.g., of Silicibacter pomeroyi, and the analysis of marine metagenome libraries have started to reveal the environmental biology of this important marine group. PMID:16719716

  18. Carbon Sequestration through Sustainably Sourced Algal Fertilizer: Deep Ocean Water.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, M. T.

    2014-12-01

    Drawing down carbon from the atmosphere happens in the oceans when marine plants are growing due to the use of carbon dioxide for biological processes and by raising the pH of the water. Macro- and microscopic marine photosynthesizers are limited in their growth by the availability of light and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, iron, etc.) Deep ocean water (DOW), oceanic water from bellow about 1000m, is a natural medium for marine algae, which contains all (except in rare circumstances) necessary components for algal growth and represents over 90% of the volume of the ocean. The introduction of DOW to a tropical or summer sea can increase chlorophyll from near zero to 60 mg per M3 or more. The form of the utilization infrastructure for DOW can roughly be divided into two effective types; the unconstrained release and the open pond system. Unconstrained release has the advantage of having relatively low infrastructure investment and is available to any area of the ocean. The open pond system has high infrastructure costs but enables intensive use of DOW for harvesting macro- and microalgae and sustainable mariculture. It also enables greater concomitant production of DOW's other potential products such as electricity or potable water. However, unlike an unconstrained release the open pond system can capture much of the biomaterial from the water and limits the impact to the surrounding ecosystem. The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System (TIESystem), is an open pond that is to be constructed on a continental shelf. It harnesses the tidal flux to pump DOW into the pond on the rising tide and then uses the falling tide to pump biologically rich material out of the pond. This biomaterial represents fixed CO2 and can be used for biofuel or fertilizers. The TIESystem benefits from an economy of scale that increases at a rate that is roughly equal to the relationship of the circumference of a circle (the barrier that creates the open pond) to the area of the pond

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Clinical differences between botulinum neurotoxin type A and B.

    PubMed

    Bentivoglio, Anna Rita; Del Grande, Alessandra; Petracca, Martina; Ialongo, Tamara; Ricciardi, Lucia

    2015-12-01

    In humans, the therapeutic use of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) is well recognized and continuously expanding. Four BoNTs are widely available for clinical practice: three are serotype A and one is serotype B: onabotulinumtoxinA (A/Ona), abobotulinumtoxinA (A/Abo) and incobotulinumtoxinA (A/Inco), rimabotulinumtoxinB (B/Rima). A/Abo, A/Inco, A/Ona and B/Rima are all licensed worldwide for cervical dystonia. In addition, the three BoNT/A products are approved for blepharospasm and focal dystonias, spasticity, hemifacial spasm, hyperhidrosis and facial lines, with remarkable regional differences. These toxin brands differ for specific activity, packaging, constituents, excipient, and storage. Comparative literature assessing the relative safety and efficacy of different BoNT products is limited, most data come from reports on small samples, and only a few studies meet criteria of evidence-based medicine. One study compared the effects of BoNT/A and BoNT/B on muscle activity of healthy volunteers, showing similar neurophysiological effects with a dose ratio of 1:100. In cervical dystonia, when comparing the effects of BoNT/A and BoNT/B, results are more variable, some studies reporting roughly similar peak effect and overall duration (at a ratio of 1:66, others reporting substantially shorter duration of BoNT/B than BoNT/A (at a ratio 1/24). Although the results of clinical studies are difficult to compare for methodological differences (dose ratio, study design, outcome measures), it is widely accepted that: BoNT/B is clinically effective using appropriate doses as BoNT/A (1:40-50), injections are generally more painful, in most of the studies on muscular conditions, efficacy is shorter, and immunogenicity higher. Since the earliest clinical trials, it has been reported that autonomic side effects are more frequent after BoNT/B injections, and this observation encouraged the use of BoNT/B for sialorrhea, hyperhidrosis and other non-motor symptoms. In these

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Harmful algal blooms and climate change: Learning from the past and present to forecast the future

    PubMed Central

    Wells, Mark L.; Trainer, Vera L.; Smayda, Theodore J.; Karlson, Bengt S.O.; Trick, Charles G.; Kudela, Raphael M.; Ishikawa, Akira; Bernard, Stewart; Wulff, Angela; Anderson, Donald M.; Cochlan, William P.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change pressures will influence marine planktonic systems globally, and it is conceivable that harmful algal blooms may increase in frequency and severity. These pressures will be manifest as alterations in temperature, stratification, light, ocean acidification, precipitation-induced nutrient inputs, and grazing, but absence of fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms driving harmful algal blooms frustrates most hope of forecasting their future prevalence. Summarized here is the consensus of a recent workshop held to address what currently is known and not known about the environmental conditions that favor initiation and maintenance of harmful algal blooms. There is expectation that harmful algal bloom (HAB) geographical domains should expand in some cases, as will seasonal windows of opportunity for harmful algal blooms at higher latitudes. Nonetheless there is only basic information to speculate upon which regions or habitats HAB species may be the most resilient or susceptible. Moreover, current research strategies are not well suited to inform these fundamental linkages. There is a critical absence of tenable hypotheses for how climate pressures mechanistically affect HAB species, and the lack of uniform experimental protocols limits the quantitative cross-investigation comparisons essential to advancement. A HAB “best practices” manual would help foster more uniform research strategies and protocols, and selection of a small target list of model HAB species or isolates for study would greatly promote the accumulation of knowledge. Despite the need to focus on keystone species, more studies need to address strain variability within species, their responses under multifactorial conditions, and the retrospective analyses of long-term plankton and cyst core data; research topics that are departures from the norm. Examples of some fundamental unknowns include how larger and more frequent extreme weather events may break down natural biogeographic

  9. 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

  10. Biological importance of marine algae

    PubMed Central

    El Gamal, Ali A.

    2009-01-01

    Marine organisms are potentially prolific sources of highly bioactive secondary metabolites that might represent useful leads in the development of new pharmaceutical agents. Algae can be classified into two main groups; first one is the microalgae, which includes blue green algae, dinoflagellates, bacillariophyta (diatoms)… etc., and second one is macroalgae (seaweeds) which includes green, brown and red algae. The microalgae phyla have been recognized to provide chemical and pharmacological novelty and diversity. Moreover, microalgae are considered as the actual producers of some highly bioactive compounds found in marine resources. Red algae are considered as the most important source of many biologically active metabolites in comparison to other algal classes. Seaweeds are used for great number of application by man. The principal use of seaweeds as a source of human food and as a source of gums (phycocollides). Phycocolloides like agar agar, alginic acid and carrageenan are primarily constituents of brown and red algal cell walls and are widely used in industry. PMID:23960716

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Cell internalization and traffic pathway of Clostridium botulinum type C neurotoxin in HT-29 cells.

    PubMed

    Uotsu, Nobuo; Nishikawa, Atsushi; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Ohyama, Tohru; Tonozuka, Takashi; Sakano, Yoshiyuki; Oguma, Keiji

    2006-01-01

    The bacterium Clostridium botulinum type C produces a progenitor toxin (C16S toxin) that binds to O-linked sugar chains terminating with sialic acid on the surface of HT-29 cells prior to internalization [A. Nishikawa, N. Uotsu, H. Arimitsu, J.C. Lee, Y. Miura, Y. Fujinaga, H. Nakada, T. Watanabe, T. Ohyama, Y. Sakano, K. Oguma, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 319 (2004) 327-333] [21]. Based on this, it was hypothesized that the C16S toxin is internalized via clathrin-coated pits. To examine this possibility, the internalized toxin was observed with a fluorescent antibody using confocal laser-scanning microscopy. The confocal images clearly indicated that the C16S toxin was internalized mainly via clathrin-coated pits and localized in early endosomes. The toxin was colocalized with caveolin-1 which is one of the components of caveolae, however, implying the toxin was also internalized via caveolae. The confocal images also showed that the neurotoxin transported to the endosome was transferred to the Golgi apparatus. However, the non-toxic components were not merged with the Golgi marker protein, TGN38, implying the neurotoxin was dissociated from progenitor toxin in endosomes. These results suggested that the C16S toxin was separated to the neurotoxin and other proteins in endosome and the neurotoxin was further transferred to the Golgi apparatus which is the center for protein sorting. PMID:16413070

  16. Development of a quail embryo model for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Clostridium botulinum is a ubiquitous microorganism that under anaerobic conditions produces botulinum neurotoxins. In regards to both food-borne illness and the potential use of botulinum toxin as a biological weapon, the capability to assess the amount of toxin in a food or environmental sample e...

  17. Multiplex PCR for Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridia in Clinical, Food, and Environmental Samples▿

    PubMed Central

    De Medici, Dario; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Wyatt, Gary M.; Lindström, Miia; Messelhäußer, Ute; Aldus, Clare F.; Delibato, Elisabetta; Korkeala, Hannu; Peck, Michael W.; Fenicia, Lucia

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most toxic substance known, is produced by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum and, in rare cases, also by some strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii. The standard procedure for definitive detection of BoNT-producing clostridia is a culture method combined with neurotoxin detection using a standard mouse bioassay (SMB). The SMB is highly sensitive and specific, but it is expensive and time-consuming and there are ethical concerns due to use of laboratory animals. PCR provides a rapid alternative for initial screening for BoNT-producing clostridia. In this study, a previously described multiplex PCR assay was modified to detect all type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes in isolated strains and in clinical, food, environmental samples. This assay includes an internal amplification control. The effectiveness of the multiplex PCR method for detecting clostridia possessing type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes was evaluated by direct comparison with the SMB. This method showed 100% inclusivity and 100% exclusivity when 182 BoNT-producing clostridia and 21 other bacterial strains were used. The relative accuracy of the multiplex PCR and SMB was evaluated using 532 clinical, food, and environmental samples and was estimated to be 99.2%. The multiplex PCR was also used to investigate 110 freshly collected food and environmental samples, and 4 of the 110 samples (3.6%) were positive for BoNT-encoding genes. PMID:19684163

  18. Multiplex PCR for detection of botulinum neurotoxin-producing clostridia in clinical, food, and environmental samples.

    PubMed

    De Medici, Dario; Anniballi, Fabrizio; Wyatt, Gary M; Lindström, Miia; Messelhäusser, Ute; Aldus, Clare F; Delibato, Elisabetta; Korkeala, Hannu; Peck, Michael W; Fenicia, Lucia

    2009-10-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most toxic substance known, is produced by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum and, in rare cases, also by some strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii. The standard procedure for definitive detection of BoNT-producing clostridia is a culture method combined with neurotoxin detection using a standard mouse bioassay (SMB). The SMB is highly sensitive and specific, but it is expensive and time-consuming and there are ethical concerns due to use of laboratory animals. PCR provides a rapid alternative for initial screening for BoNT-producing clostridia. In this study, a previously described multiplex PCR assay was modified to detect all type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes in isolated strains and in clinical, food, environmental samples. This assay includes an internal amplification control. The effectiveness of the multiplex PCR method for detecting clostridia possessing type A, B, E, and F neurotoxin genes was evaluated by direct comparison with the SMB. This method showed 100% inclusivity and 100% exclusivity when 182 BoNT-producing clostridia and 21 other bacterial strains were used. The relative accuracy of the multiplex PCR and SMB was evaluated using 532 clinical, food, and environmental samples and was estimated to be 99.2%. The multiplex PCR was also used to investigate 110 freshly collected food and environmental samples, and 4 of the 110 samples (3.6%) were positive for BoNT-encoding genes. PMID:19684163

  19. Fungal bis-naphthopyrones as inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An in silico screen of the Molecular Library Small Molecule Repository (MLSMR) of ˜350,000 compounds and confirmatory bioassays led to identification of the fungal natural product chaetochromin A (1) as an inhibitor of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT A). Subsequent acquisition and testing of a...

  20. Neuronal targeting, internalization, and biological activity of a recombinant atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non-toxic derivatives of Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) have potential use as neuron-targeting delivery vehicles, and as reagents to study intracellular trafficking. We have designed and expressed an atoxic derivative of BoNT/A (BoNT/A ad) as a full-length 150kDa molecule consisting of a 50 kDa lig...

  1. Comparison of Toxicological Properties of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes A and B in Mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most toxic biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the human foodborne intoxications. In this study, we compared the toxicological properties of BoNT serotype A and B holotoxins and compl...

  2. Structure of a bimodular botulinum neurotoxin complex provides insights into its oral toxicity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly potent oral poisons produced by Clostridium botulinum. BoNTs are secreted along with several auxiliary proteins forming progenitor toxin complexes (PTC). Here, we report the structure of a ~760 kDa 14-subunit PTC using a combination of X-ray crystallography a...

  3. Neuronal targeting, internalization, and biological activity of a recombinant atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) have the unique capacity to cross epithelial barriers, target neuromuscular junctions, and translocate active metalloprotease component to the cytosol of motor neurons. We have taken advantage of the molecular carriers responsible for this trafficking to create a family ...

  4. Rapid microfluidic assay for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin in animal sera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potent botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) represent a threat to public health and safety. Botulism is a disease caused by BoNT intoxication that results in muscle paralysis that can be fatal. Sensitive assays capable of detecting BoNTs from different substrates and settings are essential to limit f...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficiency in sea water is further demonstrated by the rapid paralysis of fish or crustacean larvae upon application of recombinant Nv1 into their medium. Analysis of other anemone species reveals that in Anthopleura elegantissima, Type I neurotoxins also appear in gland cells, whereas in the common species Anemonia viridis, Type I toxins are localized to both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells. The nematocyte-based and gland cell-based envenomation mechanisms may reflect substantial differences in the ecology and feeding habits of sea anemone species. Overall, the immunolocalization of neurotoxins to gland cells changes the common view in the literature that sea anemone neurotoxins are produced and delivered only by stinging nematocytes, and raises the possibility that this toxin-secretion mechanism is an ancestral evolutionary state of the venom delivery machinery in sea anemones. PMID:22048953

  6. Inhibiting oral intoxication of botulinum neurotoxin A by carbohydrate receptor mimics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the disease botulism manifested by flaccid paralysis that could be fatal to humans and animals. Oral ingestion of the toxin with contaminated food is one of the most common routes of BoNT intoxication, where BoNT assembles with several auxiliary proteins to surviv...

  7. A monoclonal antibody based capture ELISA for botulinum neurotoxin serotype B: toxin detection in food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalyic disease caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A-H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We repo...

  8. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) bioassay for visceral toxicosis of catfish and botulinum neurotoxin serotype E

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Visceral toxicosis of catfish (VTC), a sporadic disease of cultured channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) often with high mortality, is caused by botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E). Presumptive diagnosis of VTC is based on characteristic clinical signs and lesions, and the production of these ...

  9. Atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A as a prototype vehicle for targeted delivery to neuronal cytoplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have previously described genetic constructs and expression systems that enable facile production of recombinant derivatives of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) that retain the structural and trafficking properties of wt BoNTs. In this report we describe the properties of one such derivative, BoNT/A...

  10. Maculotoxin: a neurotoxin from the venom glands of the octopus Hapalochlaena maculosa identified as tetrodotoxin.

    PubMed

    Sheumack, D D; Howden, M E; Spence, I; Quinn, R J

    1978-01-13

    Maculotoxin, a potent neurotoxin isolated from the posterior salivary glands of the blue-ringed octopus. Hapalochlaena maculosa, has now been identified as tetrodotoxin. This is the first reported case in which tetrodotoxin has been found to occur in a venom. PMID:619451

  11. Translocation of botulinum neurotoxins and associated proteins across intestinal epithelial cells(Abstract)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins(BoNTs)secreted by Clostridium botulinum are some of the most poisonous toxins in nature and considered to be major bioterrorism threats. To date, seven BoNT subtypes (A to G) have been identified. When secreted from bacteria, some BoNTs associate with a non-toxic, non hemagglu...

  12. Use of monoclonal antibodies in the sensitive detection and neutralization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype B

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are some of nature’s most potent toxins. Due to potential food contamination and bioterrorism concerns, the development of detection reagents, therapeutics and countermeasures are of urgent interest. Recently, we have developed sensitive electrochemiluminescent (ECL) i...

  13. In vitro peptide cleavage assay for detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin-A activity in food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The gold standard assay for measuring the activity and typing of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins is the mouse bioassay. The mouse bioassay is sensitive, robust and does not require specialized equipment. However, the mouse bioassay is slow, not practical for many settings and results in the death ...

  14. Substrates and controls for the quantitative detection of active botulinum neurotoxin in protease-containing samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) enjoy a wide variety of medical applications. However, limited pharmacokinetic data on active BoNT is available. Monitoring BoNT activity in the circulation is a challenging task, due to BoNT’s enormous toxicity, rapid neuronal uptake, and removal from the bloodstream. ...

  15. Effects of purification on the bioavailability of botulinum neurotoxin type A

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent biological toxins for humans. They are primarily produced by the gram-positive, anaerobic spore-forming bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. In bacterial cultures, secreted BoNTs are associated with non-toxic accessory proteins such as hemagglut...

  16. Rapid multiplex immunoassay to distinguish botulinum neurotoxin serotypes on a single lateral flow device(Abstract)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven antigenically distinct serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT/A–G). The potency of these toxins result in a high mortality rate with BoNT/A and /B accounting for most of the naturally occurring outbreaks. The ease of BoNT production and their potential use as bi...

  17. Structure and activity of a functional derivative of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin B.

    PubMed

    Masuyer, Geoffrey; Beard, Matthew; Cadd, Verity A; Chaddock, John A; Acharya, K Ravi

    2011-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause flaccid paralysis by inhibiting neurotransmission at cholinergic nerve terminals. BoNTs consist of three essential domains for toxicity: the cell binding domain (Hc), the translocation domain (Hn) and the catalytic domain (LC). A functional derivative (LHn) of the parent neurotoxin B composed of Hn and LC domains was recombinantly produced and characterised. LHn/B crystallographic structure at 2.8Å resolution is reported. The catalytic activity of LHn/B towards recombinant human VAMP was analysed by substrate cleavage assay and showed a higher specificity for VAMP-1, -2 compared to VAMP-3. LHn/B also showed measurable activity in living spinal cord neurons. Despite lacking the Hc (cell-targeting) domain, LHn/B retained the capacity to internalize and cleave intracellular VAMP-1 and -2 when added to the cells at high concentration. These activities of the LHn/B fragment demonstrate the utility of engineered botulinum neurotoxin fragments as analytical tools to study the mechanisms of action of BoNT neurotoxins and of SNARE proteins. PMID:21078393

  18. 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...

  19. Three enzymatically active neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum strain Af84: BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5.

    PubMed

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Baudys, Jakub; Smith, Theresa J; Smith, Leonard A; Barr, John R

    2014-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by various species of clostridia and are potent neurotoxins which cause the disease botulism, by cleaving proteins needed for successful nerve transmission. There are currently seven confirmed serotypes of BoNTs, labeled A-G, and toxin-producing clostridia typically only produce one serotype of BoNT. There are a few strains (bivalent strains) which are known to produce more than one serotype of BoNT, producing either both BoNT/A and /B, BoNT/A and /F, or BoNT/B and /F, designated as Ab, Ba, Af, or Bf. Recently, it was reported that Clostridium botulinum strain Af84 has three neurotoxin gene clusters: bont/A2, bont/F4, and bont/F5. This was the first report of a clostridial organism containing more than two neurotoxin gene clusters. Using a mass spectrometry based proteomics approach, we report here that all three neurotoxins, BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5, are produced by C. botulinum Af84. Label free MS(E) quantification of the three toxins indicated that toxin composition is 88% BoNT/A2, 1% BoNT/F4, and 11% BoNT/F5. The enzymatic activity of all three neurotoxins was assessed by examining the enzymatic activity of the neurotoxins upon peptide substrates, which mimic the toxins' natural targets, and monitoring cleavage of the substrates by mass spectrometry. We determined that all three neurotoxins are enzymatically active. This is the first report of three enzymatically active neurotoxins produced in a single strain of Clostridium botulinum. PMID:24605815

  20. Toxicity testing with the marine algae, Symbiodinium kawagutii (Dinophyceae)

    SciTech Connect

    Gorrie, J.R.; Bidwell, J.R.; Rippingale, R.J.

    1994-12-31

    The dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium kawagutii, is among the algal taxa which exist in symbiosis with a range of marine invertebrates. S. kawagutii is commonly found in association with the Hawaiian stony coral, Montipora verrucosa. The algae has been successfully cultured in the laboratory using a common marine algal growth media (Guillard f/2), and sufficient cell densities were achieved in a 96-hr bioassay to allow statistical evaluation of toxicity data. A 96-hr EC{sub 50} of 6.47 mg/L (95% C.I.: 3.54--9.88 mg/L) was calculated after exposure to potassium dichromate. Wide distribution of the coral host and ecological importance of the symbiosis make S. kawagutii an excellent candidate species for hazard evaluation in tropical marine ecosystems. Continuing research will seek to further refine the bioassay, including the use of a microplate technique for more rapid testing.

  1. Abundance and Size Distribution of the Sacoglossan Elysia viridis on Co-Occurring Algal Hosts on the Swedish West Coast

    PubMed Central

    Baumgartner, Finn A.; Toth, Gunilla B.

    2014-01-01

    Sacoglossans are specialized marine herbivores that tend to have a close evolutionary relationship with their macroalgal hosts, but the widely distributed species Elysia viridis can associate with several algal species. However, most previous investigations on the field abundance and size distribution of E. viridis have focussed on Codium spp. in the British Isles, and algae from this genus are considered superior hosts for E. viridis. In the present study, we investigated the abundance and size distribution of E. viridis on 6 potential host algae with differing morphologies (the septate species Cladophora sericea, Cladophora rupestris, Chaetomorpha melagonium, and Ceramium virgatum, as well as the siphonaceous species Codium fragile and Bryopsis sp.) at 2 sites on the Swedish west coast over the course of a year. In spring, slugs were almost absent from all algal hosts. In summer and autumn, E. viridis consistently occurred on several of the algal species at both sites. The highest number of small E. viridis were found on C. sericea, intermediate numbers of significantly larger E. viridis were found on C. rupestris, while fewer, intermediate sized animals were found on C. fragile. Throughout the study period, only a few E. viridis individuals were found on C. melagonium, Bryopsis sp., and C. virgatum. Our results indicate that E. viridis is an annual species in Sweden, capable of exploiting co-occurring congeneric and intergeneric algal hosts with differing morphologies. These results corroborate previous findings that E. viridis can exploit several different algal species, but does not indicate that C. fragile is a superior host. PMID:24647524

  2. Microwave-Assisted Extraction of Fucoidan from Marine Algae.

    PubMed

    Mussatto, Solange I

    2015-01-01

    Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) is a technique that can be applied to extract compounds from different natural resources. In this chapter, the use of this technique to extract fucoidan from marine algae is described. The method involves a closed MAE system, ultrapure water as extraction solvent, and suitable conditions of time, pressure, and algal biomass/water ratio. By using this procedure under the specified conditions, the penetration of the electromagnetic waves into the material structure occurs in an efficient manner, generating a distributed heat source that promotes the fucoidan extraction from the algal biomass. PMID:26108504

  3. Effects of thermal effluents on communities of benthic marine macroalgae

    SciTech Connect

    Devinny; J.S.

    1980-11-01

    Surveys of marine benthic macro-algae were made at two study areas receiving thermal effluents from power plants. A third, at an area where a natural thermal gradient exists, was investigated for comparison. Ordination analysis of the algal communities indicated changes in species composition of about 10% for each degree of temperature change up to 3/sup 0/C. Temperatures 7/sup 0/C above ambient altered the algal community by eliminating the large phaeophytes. Temperatures 10/sup 0/C above ambient left only a species-poor community of ephemeral populations.

  4. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Recognizes Its Protein Receptor SV2 by a Different Mechanism than Botulinum Neurotoxin B Synaptotagmin.

    PubMed

    Weisemann, Jasmin; Stern, Daniel; Mahrhold, Stefan; Dorner, Brigitte G; Rummel, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exhibit extraordinary potency due to their exquisite neurospecificity, which is achieved by dual binding to complex polysialo-gangliosides and synaptic vesicle proteins. The luminal domain 4 (LD4) of the three synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 isoforms, SV2A-C, identified as protein receptors for the most relevant serotype BoNT/A, binds within the 50 kDa cell binding domain HC of BoNT/A. Here, we deciphered the BoNT/A-SV2 interactions in more detail. In pull down assays, the binding of HCA to SV2-LD4 isoforms decreases from SV2C > SV2A > SV2B. A binding constant of 200 nM was determined for BoNT/A to rat SV2C-LD4 in GST pull down assay. A similar binding constant was determined by surface plasmon resonance for HCA to rat SV2C and to human SV2C, the latter being slightly lower due to the substitution L563F in LD4. At pH 5, as measured in acidic synaptic vesicles, the binding constant of HCA to hSV2C is increased more than 10-fold. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals that the quadrilateral helix of SV2C-LD4 already exists in solution prior to BoNT/A binding. Hence, the BoNT/A-SV2C interaction is of different nature compared to BoNT/B-Syt-II. In particular, the preexistence of the quadrilateral β-sheet helix of SV2 and its pH-dependent binding to BoNT/A via backbone-backbone interactions constitute major differences. Knowledge of the molecular details of BoNT/A-SV2 interactions drives the development of high affinity peptides to counteract BoNT/A intoxications or to capture functional BoNT/A variants in innovative detection systems for botulism diagnostic. PMID:27196927

  5. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Recognizes Its Protein Receptor SV2 by a Different Mechanism than Botulinum Neurotoxin B Synaptotagmin

    PubMed Central

    Weisemann, Jasmin; Stern, Daniel; Mahrhold, Stefan; Dorner, Brigitte G.; Rummel, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exhibit extraordinary potency due to their exquisite neurospecificity, which is achieved by dual binding to complex polysialo-gangliosides and synaptic vesicle proteins. The luminal domain 4 (LD4) of the three synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 isoforms, SV2A‐C, identified as protein receptors for the most relevant serotype BoNT/A, binds within the 50 kDa cell binding domain HC of BoNT/A. Here, we deciphered the BoNT/A‐SV2 interactions in more detail. In pull down assays, the binding of HCA to SV2-LD4 isoforms decreases from SV2C >> SV2A > SV2B. A binding constant of 200 nM was determined for BoNT/A to rat SV2C-LD4 in GST pull down assay. A similar binding constant was determined by surface plasmon resonance for HCA to rat SV2C and to human SV2C, the latter being slightly lower due to the substitution L563F in LD4. At pH 5, as measured in acidic synaptic vesicles, the binding constant of HCA to hSV2C is increased more than 10-fold. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals that the quadrilateral helix of SV2C-LD4 already exists in solution prior to BoNT/A binding. Hence, the BoNT/A‐SV2C interaction is of different nature compared to BoNT/B‐Syt-II. In particular, the preexistence of the quadrilateral β-sheet helix of SV2 and its pH-dependent binding to BoNT/A via backbone–backbone interactions constitute major differences. Knowledge of the molecular details of BoNT/A‐SV2 interactions drives the development of high affinity peptides to counteract BoNT/A intoxications or to capture functional BoNT/A variants in innovative detection systems for botulism diagnostic. PMID:27196927

  6. 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

  7. Peptide Neurotoxins that Affect Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels: A Close-Up on ω-Agatoxins

    PubMed Central

    Pringos, Emilie; Vignes, Michel; Martinez, Jean; Rolland, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    Peptide neurotoxins found in animal venoms have gained great interest in the field of neurotransmission. As they are high affinity ligands for calcium, potassium and sodium channels, they have become useful tools for studying channel structure and activity. Peptide neurotoxins represent the clinical potential of ion-channel modulators across several therapeutic fields, especially in developing new strategies for treatment of ion channel-related diseases. The aim of this review is to overview the latest updates in the domain of peptide neurotoxins that affect voltage-gated calcium channels, with a special focus on ω-agatoxins. PMID:22069688

  8. Structure- and Substrate- Based Inhibitor Design for Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A*

    SciTech Connect

    Kumaran,D.; Rawat, R.; Ludivico, M.; Ahmed, S.; Swaminathan, S.

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins cleave specific soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complex proteins and block the release of neurotransmitters that cause flaccid paralysis and are considered potential bioweapons. Botulinum neurotoxin type A is the most potent among the clostridial neurotoxins, and to date there is no post-exposure therapeutic intervention available. To develop inhibitors leading to drug design, it is imperative that critical interactions between the enzyme and the substrate near the active site are known. Although enzyme-substrate interactions at exosites away from the active site are mapped in detail for botulinum neurotoxin type A, information about the active site interactions is lacking. Here, we present the crystal structures of botulinum neurotoxin type A catalytic domain in complex with four inhibitory substrate analog tetrapeptides, viz. RRGC, RRGL, RRGI, and RRGM at resolutions of 1.6-1.8 Angstroms . These structures show for the first time the interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site and delineate residues important for substrate stabilization and catalytic activity. We show that OH of Tyr366 and NH2 of Arg363 are hydrogen-bonded to carbonyl oxygens of P1 and P1' of the substrate analog and position it for catalytic activity. Most importantly, the nucleophilic water is replaced by the amino group of the N-terminal residue of the tetrapeptide. Furthermore, the S1' site is formed by Phe194, Thr215, Thr220, Asp370, and Arg363. The Ki of the best inhibitory tetrapeptide is 157 nm.

  9. Independent evolution of neurotoxin and flagellar genetic loci in proteolytic Clostridium botulinum

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Andrew T; Paul, Catherine J; Mason, David R; Twine, Susan M; Alston, Mark J; Logan, Susan M; Austin, John W; Peck, Michael W

    2009-01-01

    Background Proteolytic Clostridium botulinum is the causative agent of botulism, a severe neuroparalytic illness. Given the severity of botulism, surprisingly little is known of the population structure, biology, phylogeny or evolution of C. botulinum. The recent determination of the genome sequence of C. botulinum has allowed comparative genomic indexing using a DNA microarray. Results Whole genome microarray analysis revealed that 63% of the coding sequences (CDSs) present in reference strain ATCC 3502 were common to all 61 widely-representative strains of proteolytic C. botulinum and the closely related C. sporogenes tested. This indicates a relatively stable genome. There was, however, evidence for recombination and genetic exchange, in particular within the neurotoxin gene and cluster (including transfer of neurotoxin genes to C. sporogenes), and the flagellar glycosylation island (FGI). These two loci appear to have evolved independently from each other, and from the remainder of the genetic complement. A number of strains were atypical; for example, while 10 out of 14 strains that formed type A1 toxin gave almost identical profiles in whole genome, neurotoxin cluster and FGI analyses, the other four strains showed divergent properties. Furthermore, a new neurotoxin sub-type (A5) has been discovered in strains from heroin-associated wound botulism cases. For the first time, differences in glycosylation profiles of the flagella could be linked to differences in the gene content of the FGI. Conclusion Proteolytic C. botulinum has a stable genome backbone containing specific regions of genetic heterogeneity. These include the neurotoxin gene cluster and the FGI, each having evolved independently of each other and the remainder of the genetic complement. Analysis of these genetic components provides a high degree of discrimination of strains of proteolytic C. botulinum, and is suitable for clinical and forensic investigations of botulism outbreaks. PMID:19298644

  10. Translocation of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A and associated proteins across the intestinal epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Tina I; Stanker, Larry H; Lee, Kwangkook; Jin, Rongsheng; Cheng, Luisa W

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins. Botulinum neurotoxins associate with neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs) forming large complexes that are protected from the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. However, it is still unclear how BoNT complexes as large as 900 kDa traverse the epithelial barrier and what role NAPs play in toxin translocation. In this study, we examined the transit of BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) holotoxin, complex and recombinantly purified NAP complex through cultured and polarized Caco-2 cells and, for the first time, in the small mouse intestine. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A and NAPs in the toxin complex were detectable inside intestinal cells beginning at 2 h post intoxication. Appearance of the BoNT/A holotoxin signal was slower, with detection starting at 4–6 h. This indicated that the holotoxin alone was sufficient for entry but the presence of NAPs enhanced the rate of entry. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A detection peaked at approximately 6 and 8 h for complex and holotoxin, respectively, and thereafter began to disperse with some toxin remaining in the epithelia after 24 h. Purified HA complexes alone were also internalized and followed a similar time course to that of BoNT/A complex internalization. However, recombinant HA complexes did not enhance BoNT/A holotoxin entry in the absence of a physical link with BoNT/A. We propose a model for BoNT/A toxin complex translocation whereby toxin complex entry is facilitated by NAPs in a receptor-mediated mechanism. Understanding the intestinal uptake of BoNT complexes will aid the development of new measures to prevent or treat oral intoxications. PMID:25640773

  11. Translocation of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A and associated proteins across the intestinal epithelia.

    PubMed

    Lam, Tina I; Stanker, Larry H; Lee, Kwangkook; Jin, Rongsheng; Cheng, Luisa W

    2015-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins. Botulinum neurotoxins associate with neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs) forming large complexes that are protected from the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. However, it is still unclear how BoNT complexes as large as 900 kDa traverse the epithelial barrier and what role NAPs play in toxin translocation. In this study, we examined the transit of BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) holotoxin, complex and recombinantly purified NAP complex through cultured and polarized Caco-2 cells and, for the first time, in the small mouse intestine. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A and NAPs in the toxin complex were detectable inside intestinal cells beginning at 2 h post intoxication. Appearance of the BoNT/A holotoxin signal was slower, with detection starting at 4-6 h. This indicated that the holotoxin alone was sufficient for entry but the presence of NAPs enhanced the rate of entry. Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A detection peaked at approximately 6 and 8 h for complex and holotoxin, respectively, and thereafter began to disperse with some toxin remaining in the epithelia after 24 h. Purified HA complexes alone were also internalized and followed a similar time course to that of BoNT/A complex internalization. However, recombinant HA complexes did not enhance BoNT/A holotoxin entry in the absence of a physical link with BoNT/A. We propose a model for BoNT/A toxin complex translocation whereby toxin complex entry is facilitated by NAPs in a receptor-mediated mechanism. Understanding the intestinal uptake of BoNT complexes will aid the development of new measures to prevent or treat oral intoxications. PMID:25640773

  12. c-AMP dependent protein kinase A inhibitory activity of six algal extracts from southeastern Australia and their fatty acid composition.

    PubMed

    Zivanovic, Ana; Skropeta, Danielle

    2012-07-01

    c-AMP dependent protein kinase (protein kinase A, PKA) is an important enzyme involved in the regulation of an increasing number of physiological processes including immune function, cardiovascular disease, memory disorders and cancer. The objective of this study was to evaluate the PKA inhibitory activity of a range of algal extracts, along with their fatty acid composition. Six algal species were investigated including two Chlorophyta (Codium dimorphum and Ulva lactuca), two Phaeophyta (Phyllospora comosa and Sargassum sp.) and two Rhodophyta (Prionitis linearis and Corallina vancouveriensis), with the order of PKA inhibitory activity of their extracts identified as follows: brown seaweeds > red seaweeds > green seaweeds with the brown alga Sargassum sp. exhibiting the highest PKA inhibitory activity (84% at 100 microg/mL). GC/MS analysis identified a total of 18 fatty acids in the six algal extracts accounting for 72-87% of each extract, with hexadecanoic acid and 9,12-octadecadienoic acid as the dominant components. The most active extract (Sargassum sp.) also contained the highest percentage of the saturated C14:0 fatty acid (12.8% of the total extract), which is a known to inhibit PKA. These results provide the first description of the PKA inhibitory activity of marine algae along with the first description of the fatty acid composition of these six algal species from South Eastern Australian waters. Importantly, this study reveals that abundant and readily available marine algae are a new and relatively unexplored source of PKA inhibitory compounds. PMID:22908583

  13. Marine pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Albaiges, J. )

    1989-01-01

    This book covers the following topics: Transport of marine pollutants; Transformation of pollutants in the marine environment; Biological effects of marine pollutants; Sources and transport of oil pollutants in the Persian Gulf; Trace metals and hydrocarbons in Syrian coastal waters; and Techniques for analysis of trace pollutants.

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. Large-scale marine ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Odell, D.K.

    2008-01-01

    Papers in this Special Feature stem from a symposium on large-scale ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals convened at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in June 2006. Major changes are occurring in multiple aspects of the marine environment at unprecedented rates, within the life spans of some individual marine mammals. Drivers of change include shifts in climate, acoustic pollution, disturbances to trophic structure, fisheries interactions, harmful algal blooms, and environmental contaminants. This Special Feature provides an in-depth examination of 3 issues that are particularly troublesome. The 1st article notes the huge spatial and temporal scales of change to which marine mammals are showing ecological responses, and how these species can function as sentinels of such change. The 2nd paper describes the serious problems arising from conflicts with fisheries, and the 3rd contribution reviews the growing issues associated with underwater noise. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.

  18. Bacterial Community Structure Associated with a Dimethylsulfoniopropionate-Producing North Atlantic Algal Bloom

    PubMed Central

    González, José M.; Simó, Rafel; Massana, Ramon; Covert, Joseph S.; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Moran, Mary Ann

    2000-01-01

    The bacteria associated with oceanic algal blooms are acknowledged to play important roles in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycling, yet little information is available on their identities or phylogenetic affiliations. Three culture-independent methods were used to characterize bacteria from a dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP)-producing algal bloom in the North Atlantic. Group-specific 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotides, 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clone libraries, and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis all indicated that the marine Roseobacter lineage was numerically important in the heterotrophic bacterial community, averaging >20% of the 16S rDNA sampled. Two other groups of heterotrophic bacteria, the SAR86 and SAR11 clades, were also shown by the three 16S rRNA-based methods to be abundant in the bloom community. In surface waters, the Roseobacter, SAR86, and SAR11 lineages together accounted for over 50% of the bacterial rDNA and showed little spatial variability in abundance despite variations in the dominant algal species. Depth profiles indicated that Roseobacter phylotype abundance decreased with depth and was positively correlated with chlorophyll a, DMSP, and total organic sulfur (dimethyl sulfide plus DMSP plus dimethyl sulfoxide) concentrations. Based on these data and previous physiological studies of cultured Roseobacter strains, we hypothesize that this lineage plays a role in cycling organic sulfur compounds produced within the bloom. Three other abundant bacterial phylotypes (representing a cyanobacterium and two members of the α Proteobacteria) were primarily associated with chlorophyll-rich surface waters of the bloom (0 to 50 m), while two others (representing Cytophagales and δ Proteobacteria) were primarily found in deeper waters (200 to 500 m). PMID:11010865

  19. A unicellular algal virus, Emiliania huxleyi virus 86, exploits an animal-like infection strategy.

    PubMed

    Mackinder, Luke C M; Worthy, Charlotte A; Biggi, Gaia; Hall, Matthew; Ryan, Keith P; Varsani, Arvind; Harper, Glenn M; Wilson, William H; Brownlee, Colin; Schroeder, Declan C

    2009-09-01

    Emiliania huxleyi virus 86 (EhV-86) belongs to the family Phycodnaviridae, a group of viruses that infect a wide range of freshwater and marine eukaryotic algae. Phycodnaviridae is one of the five families that belong to a large and phylogenetically diverse group of viruses known as nucleocytoplasmic large dsDNA viruses (NCLDVs). To date, our understanding of algal NCLDV entry is based on the entry mechanisms of members of the genera Chlorovirus and Phaeovirus, both of which consist of non-enveloped viruses that 'inject' their genome into their host via a viral inner-membrane host plasma membrane fusion mechanism, leaving an extracellular viral capsid. Using a combination of confocal and electron microscopy, this study demonstrated for the first time that EhV-86 differs from its algal virus counterparts in two fundamental areas. Firstly, its capsid is enveloped by a lipid membrane, and secondly, EhV-86 enters its host via either an endocytotic or an envelope fusion mechanism in which an intact nucleoprotein core still encapsulated by its capsid is seen in the host cytoplasm. Real-time fluorescence microscopy showed that viral internalization and virion breakdown took place within the host on a timescale of seconds. At around 4.5 h post-infection, virus progeny were released via a budding mechanism during which EhV-86 virions became enveloped with host plasma membrane. EhV-86 therefore appears to have an infection mechanism different from that employed by other algal NCLDVs, with entry and exit strategies showing a greater analogy to animal-like NCLDVs. PMID:19474246

  20. 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

  1. Lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity within Pennsylvanian phylloid algal mounds, western Orogrande basin, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Giles, K.A.; Soreghan, G.S.

    1996-12-31

    Pennsylvanian strata within the San Andres Mountains (western Orogrande basin) contain very well-developed phylloid algal bioherms, but these bioherms remain understudied owing to their location within the bounds of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range. The exposed Upper Pennsylvanian section within Hembrillo Canyon affords a three-dimensional view of mound structure, and thus an excellent opportunity for characterizing lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity that may prove useful for exploration/exploitation efforts in analogous petroliferous systems. The mounds are developed within a mixed carbonate-clastic shallow marine section punctuated by shoaling-upward cycles. Each mound site consists of a slack of individual biohermal growth events characterized by a subtidal wackestone initiation phase, core boundstone phase, and peritidal to subaerially exposed packstone/grainstone terminal phase. Individual biohermal growth events range up to 30 m in thickness; vertical stacking of these bioherms has produced aggregate mounds reaching up to 100 m in stratigraphic thickness and 300 m in diameter. Individual blohermal thicknesses decrease abruptly and markedly away from mound sites, and calcareous mudstones dominate in intermound regions. The controlling influences of paleogeography and glacioeustasy, respectively, produced the pronounced lateral and vertical heterogeneity characterizing these and analogous phylloid algal mound systems. Reservoirs within these systems are highly compartmentalized: wackestone initiation phases and peritidal to subaerial termination phases that envelope core facies may serve as porosity and permeability barriers that effectively partition the reservoir. Recognition of the scale, character, and probable controls on these lateral and vertical changes is important for effective exploration and exploitation in phylloid algal mound systems.

  2. Lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity within Pennsylvanian phylloid algal mounds, western Orogrande basin, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Giles, K.A. ); Soreghan, G.S. )

    1996-01-01

    Pennsylvanian strata within the San Andres Mountains (western Orogrande basin) contain very well-developed phylloid algal bioherms, but these bioherms remain understudied owing to their location within the bounds of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range. The exposed Upper Pennsylvanian section within Hembrillo Canyon affords a three-dimensional view of mound structure, and thus an excellent opportunity for characterizing lithofacies distribution and reservoir heterogeneity that may prove useful for exploration/exploitation efforts in analogous petroliferous systems. The mounds are developed within a mixed carbonate-clastic shallow marine section punctuated by shoaling-upward cycles. Each mound site consists of a slack of individual biohermal growth events characterized by a subtidal wackestone initiation phase, core boundstone phase, and peritidal to subaerially exposed packstone/grainstone terminal phase. Individual biohermal growth events range up to 30 m in thickness; vertical stacking of these bioherms has produced aggregate mounds reaching up to 100 m in stratigraphic thickness and 300 m in diameter. Individual blohermal thicknesses decrease abruptly and markedly away from mound sites, and calcareous mudstones dominate in intermound regions. The controlling influences of paleogeography and glacioeustasy, respectively, produced the pronounced lateral and vertical heterogeneity characterizing these and analogous phylloid algal mound systems. Reservoirs within these systems are highly compartmentalized: wackestone initiation phases and peritidal to subaerial termination phases that envelope core facies may serve as porosity and permeability barriers that effectively partition the reservoir. Recognition of the scale, character, and probable controls on these lateral and vertical changes is important for effective exploration and exploitation in phylloid algal mound systems.

  3. Fish-seastar facilitation leads to algal forest restoration on protected rocky reefs

    PubMed Central

    Galasso, Nicola M.; Bonaviri, Chiara; Trapani, Francesco Di; Picciotto, Mariagrazia; Gianguzza, Paola; Agnetta, Davide; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Although protected areas can lead to recovery of overharvested species, it is much less clear whether the return of certain predator species or a diversity of predator species can lead to re-establishment of important top-down forces that regulate whole ecosystems. Here we report that the algal recovery in a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area did not derive from the increase in the traditional strong predators, but rather from the establishment of a previously unknown interaction between the thermophilic fish Thalassoma pavo and the seastar Marthasterias glacialis. The interaction resulted in elevated predation rates on sea urchins responsible for algal overgrazing. Manipulative experiments and field observations revealed that the proximity of the seastars triggered an escape response in sea urchins, extending their tube feet. Fishes exploited this behavior by feeding on the exposed tube feet, thus impairing urchin movement, and making them vulnerable to predation by the seastars. These findings suggest that predator diversity generated by MPA establishment can activate positive interactions among predators, with subsequent restoration of the ecosystem structure and function through cascading consumer impacts. PMID:26198539

  4. Fish-seastar facilitation leads to algal forest restoration on protected rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Galasso, Nicola M; Bonaviri, Chiara; Di Trapani, Francesco; Picciotto, Mariagrazia; Gianguzza, Paola; Agnetta, Davide; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Although protected areas can lead to recovery of overharvested species, it is much less clear whether the return of certain predator species or a diversity of predator species can lead to re-establishment of important top-down forces that regulate whole ecosystems. Here we report that the algal recovery in a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area did not derive from the increase in the traditional strong predators, but rather from the establishment of a previously unknown interaction between the thermophilic fish Thalassoma pavo and the seastar Marthasterias glacialis. The interaction resulted in elevated predation rates on sea urchins responsible for algal overgrazing. Manipulative experiments and field observations revealed that the proximity of the seastars triggered an escape response in sea urchins, extending their tube feet. Fishes exploited this behavior by feeding on the exposed tube feet, thus impairing urchin movement, and making them vulnerable to predation by the seastars. These findings suggest that predator diversity generated by MPA establishment can activate positive interactions among predators, with subsequent restoration of the ecosystem structure and function through cascading consumer impacts. PMID:26198539

  5. Research, development, and demonstration of algal production raceway (APR) systems for the production of hydrocarbon resources

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, E.A.

    1984-02-01

    A fractional factorial experimental design was used to determine the maximum production and photosynthetic efficiency that could be achieved in shallow algal mass culture systems (SAMCS) of the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Dilution rate and CO/sub 2/ supply were found to be the most important system parameters. Maximum production was found to be about 25 g dry wt m/sup -2/d/sup -1/. This production corresponded to a photosynthetic efficiency of 5.6%. These figures are 50 to 100% better than the production rates achieved in earlier P. tricornutum cultures using conventional culture techniques. The results are consistent with a theoretical model of the impact of the flashing light effect on algal mass culture production. This model predicts that at the typical irradiances in Hawaii, full utilization of the flashing light effect should enhance production by 70% to over 200%. It was concluded that the use of foil arrays in the experimental flume creates systematic vertical mixing on a time scale suitable for utilizing the flashing light effect. Production of P. tricornutum culture is probably limited by temperature. P. tricornutum cannot survive at temperatures in excess of 25/sup 0/C in outdoor mass cultures. Growth of mesophilic species in the temperature range 30 to 35/sup 0/C may well result in even higher production than that achieved with P. tricornutum.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Chytrids dominate arctic marine fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Hassett, B T; Gradinger, R

    2016-06-01

    Climate change is altering Arctic ecosystem structure by changing weather patterns and reducing sea ice coverage. These changes are increasing light penetration into the Arctic Ocean that are forecasted to increase primary production; however, increased light can also induce photoinhibition and cause physiological stress in algae and phytoplankton that can favour disease development. Fungi are voracious parasites in many ecosystems that can modulate the flow of carbon through food webs, yet are poorly characterized in the marine environment. We provide the first data from any marine ecosystem in which fungi in the Chytridiomycota dominate fungal communities and are linked in their occurrence to light intensities and algal stress. Increased light penetration stresses ice algae and elevates disease incidence under reduced snow cover. Our results show that chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities and have the potential to rapidly change primary production patterns with increased light penetration. PMID:26754171

  11. Architecture of the botulinum neurotoxin complex: a molecular machine for protection and delivery

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Kwok-Ho; Jin, Rongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely poisonous protein toxins that cause the fatal paralytic disease botulism. They are naturally produced in bacteria with several nontoxic neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs) and together they form a progenitor toxin complex (PTC), the largest bacterial toxin complex known. In foodborne botulism, the PTC functions as a molecular machine that helps BoNT breach the host defense in the gut. Here, we discuss the substantial recent advance in elucidating the atomic structures and assembly of the 14-subunit PTC, including structures of BoNT and four NAPs. These structural studies shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which BoNT is protected against the acidic environment and proteolytic destruction in the gastrointestinal tract, and how it is delivered across the intestinal epithelial barrier. PMID:25889616

  12. Current gaps in basic science knowledge of botulinum neurotoxin biological actions.

    PubMed

    Rossetto, Ornella; Pirazzini, Marco; Montecucco, Cesare

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria of the genus Clostridium in several dozens of variants that inactivate neurotransmitter release owing to their metalloprotease activity. This results in a persistent paralysis of peripheral nerve terminals known as botulism. They are the most potent toxins known and are classified as one of the six highest-risk threat agents of bioterrorism. Despite their high toxicity, two of them are used as valuable pharmaceutical for the therapy of many neurological and non-neurological disorders. Notwithstanding the many advances in our understanding of the genetics and structure of botulinum neurotoxins, there are still many gaps in knowledge of toxin mechanism of action that will be discussed here. PMID:26163315

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication: Examining linkages from selected coastal regions of the United States

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald M.; Burkholder, JoAnn M.; Cochlan, William P.; Glibert, Patricia M.; Gobler, Christopher J.; Heil, Cynthia A.; Kudela, Raphael; Parsons, Michael L.; Rensel, J. E. Jack; Townsend, David W.; Trainer, Vera L.; Vargo, Gabriel A.

    2008-01-01

    Coastal waters of the United States (U.S.) are subject to many of the major harmful algal bloom (HAB) poisoning syndromes and impacts. These include paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) and various other HAB phenomena such as fish kills, loss of submerged vegetation, shellfish mortalities, and widespread marine mammal mortalities. Here, the occurrences of selected HABs in a selected set of regions are described in terms of their relationship to eutrophication, illustrating a range of responses. Evidence suggestive of changes in the frequency, extent or magnitude of HABs in these areas is explored in the context of the nutrient sources underlying those blooms, both natural and anthropogenic. In some regions of the U.S., the linkages between HABs and eutrophication are clear and well documented, whereas in others, information is limited, thereby highlighting important areas for further research. PMID:19956363

  17. Transporting Fish Eggs, Larvae, Harmful Algal Blooms and Pollution Towards the Shore via Stokes' Drift.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksimova, E.; Clarke, A. J.

    2008-12-01

    Cross-shelf transport of particles is vital to the life cycles of many marine populations as well as the magnitude and distribution of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and pollution seen at the coast. To carry particles long distances currents must be in the same direction for a long time, i.e., for effective transport, the flows must be of low frequency. Low-frequency flows usually do not cross isobaths. An exception is the wind driven low-frequency flow in surface and bottom Ekman Layers. Another mechanism is the low-frequency transport of particles towards the shore via the Stokes' Drift due to surface gravity waves. This mechanism should be effective on most coastlines. Using wave measurements on the West Florida Shelf, we show that this mechanism is capable of transporting HABs, fish eggs, larvae and pollutants across the shelf there.

  18. H2 production from algal biomass by a mixed culture of Rhodobium marinum A-501 and Lactobacillus amylovorus.

    PubMed

    Kawaguchi, H; Hashimoto, K; Hirata, K; Miyamoto, K

    2001-01-01

    To produce hydrogen from starch accumulated in an algal biomass, we used a mixed culture of the lactic acid bacterium, Lactobacillus amylovorus, and the photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodobium marinum A-501. In this system L. amylovorus, which possesses amylase activity, utilized algal starch for lactic acid production, and R. marinum A-501 produced hydrogen in the presence of light using lactic acid as an electron donor. Algal starch accumulated in the marine green alga Dunaliella tertiolecta, and the freshwater green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, was more suitable for lactic acid fermentation by L. amylovorus than an authentic starch sample. Consequently, the yields of hydrogen obtained from starch contained in D. tertiolecta and C. reinhardtii were 61% and 52%, respectively, in the mixed culture of L. amylovorus and R. marinum A-501. These values were markedly superior to those obtained using a mixed culture of Vibrio fluvialis T-522 and R. marinum A-501 described previously. The yield and production rate of hydrogen by R. marinum A-501 from the lactic acid fermentates were higher than from authentic lactic acid, suggesting that the fermentates contain a factor(s) which promotes H2 production by this bacterium. PMID:16232989

  19. The death mechanism of the harmful algal bloom species Alexandrium tamarense induced by algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi; Zhu, Hong; Lei, Xueqian; Zhang, Huajun; Cai, Guanjing; Chen, Zhangran; Fu, Lijun; Xu, Hong; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause a variety of deleterious effects on aquatic ecosystems, especially the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense, which poses a serious threat to marine economic and human health based on releasing paralytic shellfish poison into the environment. The algicidal bacterium Deinococcus sp. Y35 which can induce growth inhibition on A. tamarense was used to investigate the functional mechanism. The growth status, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, photosynthetic system and the nuclear system of algal cells were determined under algicidal activity. A culture of strain Y35 not only induced overproduction of ROS in algal cells within only 0.5 h of treatment, also decrease the total protein content as well as the response of the antioxidant enzyme. Meanwhile, lipid peroxidation was induced and cell membrane integrity was lost. Photosynthetic pigments including chlorophyll a and carotenoid decreased along with the photosynthetic efficiency being significantly inhibited. At the same time, photosynthesis-related gene expression showed down-regulation. More than, the destruction of cell nuclear structure and inhibition of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) related gene expression were confirmed. The potential functional mechanism of the algicidal bacterium on A. tamarense was investigated and provided a novel viewpoint which could be used in HABs control. PMID:26441921

  20. Substrate Binding Mode and its Implication on Drug Design for Botulinum Neurotoxin A

    SciTech Connect

    Kumaran, D.; Rawat, R; Ahmed, A; Swaminathan, S

    2008-01-01

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, the causative agents of botulism, block the neurotransmitter release by specifically cleaving one of the three SNARE proteins and induce flaccid paralysis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared them as Category A biowarfare agents. The most potent among them, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A), cleaves its substrate synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). An efficient drug for botulism can be developed only with the knowledge of interactions between the substrate and enzyme at the active site. Here, we report the crystal structures of the catalytic domain of BoNT/A with its uncleavable SNAP-25 peptide 197QRATKM202 and its variant 197RRATKM202 to 1.5 A and 1.6 A, respectively. This is the first time the structure of an uncleavable substrate bound to an active botulinum neurotoxin is reported and it has helped in unequivocally defining S1 to S5? sites. These substrate peptides make interactions with the enzyme predominantly by the residues from 160, 200, 250 and 370 loops. Most notably, the amino nitrogen and carbonyl oxygen of P1 residue (Gln197) chelate the zinc ion and replace the nucleophilic water. The P1?-Arg198, occupies the S1? site formed by Arg363, Thr220, Asp370, Thr215, Ile161, Phe163 and Phe194. The S2? subsite is formed by Arg363, Asn368 and Asp370, while S3? subsite is formed by Tyr251, Leu256, Val258, Tyr366, Phe369 and Asn388. P4?-Lys201 makes hydrogen bond with Gln162. P5?-Met202 binds in the hydrophobic pocket formed by the residues from the 250 and 200 loop. Knowledge of interactions between the enzyme and substrate peptide from these complex structures should form the basis for design of potent inhibitors for this neurotoxin.

  1. Double receptor anchorage of botulinum neurotoxins accounts for their exquisite neurospecificity.

    PubMed

    Rummel, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    The high potency of the botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) is mainly due to their neurospecific binding which is mediated by the interaction with two receptor components. TeNT and all BoNT bind first to complex polysialo-gangliosides abundantly present on the outer leaflet of neuronal membranes. The ganglioside binding occurs in BoNT/A, B, E, F and G via a conserved ganglioside binding pocket within the most carboxyl-terminal 25 kDa domain H(CC) whereas TeNT, BoNT/C and D display two different ganglioside binding sites within their H(CC)-domain. Subsequently, upon exocytosis the intraluminal domains of synaptic vesicle proteins are exposed and can be accessed by the surface accumulated neurotoxins. BoNT/B and G bind with their H(CC)-domain to a 20-mer membrane juxtaposed segment of the intraluminal domain of synaptotagmin-I and -II, respectively. BoNT/A and E employ the intraluminal domain 4 of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) as protein receptor. Whereas the 50 kDa cell binding domain H(C) of BoNT/A interacts with all three SV2 isoforms, BoNT/E H(C) only binds SV2A and SV2B. Also, BoNT/D, F, and TeNT employ SV2 for binding and uptake. Thereafter, the synaptic vesicle is recycled and the anchored neurotoxin is endocytosed. Acidification of the vesicle lumen triggers membrane insertion of the translocation domain followed by pore formation and finally translocation of the enzymatically active light chain to its site of action leading to block of neurotransmitter release. PMID:23239349

  2. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins. PMID:26817841

  3. Neurotoxins and their binding areas on voltage-gated sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Marijke; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are large transmembrane proteins that conduct sodium ions across the membrane and by doing so they generate signals of communication between many kinds of tissues. They are responsible for the generation and propagation of action potentials in excitable cells, in close collaboration with other channels like potassium channels. Therefore, genetic defects in sodium channel genes can cause a wide variety of diseases, generally called "channelopathies." The first insights into the mechanism of action potentials and the involvement of sodium channels originated from Hodgkin and Huxley for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963. These concepts still form the basis for understanding the function of VGSCs. When VGSCs sense a sufficient change in membrane potential, they are activated and consequently generate a massive influx of sodium ions. Immediately after, channels will start to inactivate and currents decrease. In the inactivated state, channels stay refractory for new stimuli and they must return to the closed state before being susceptible to a new depolarization. On the other hand, studies with neurotoxins like tetrodotoxin (TTX) and saxitoxin (STX) also contributed largely to our today's understanding of the structure and function of ion channels and of VGSCs specifically. Moreover, neurotoxins acting on ion channels turned out to be valuable lead compounds in the development of new drugs for the enormous range of diseases in which ion channels are involved. A recent example of a synthetic neurotoxin that made it to the market is ziconotide (Prialt(®), Elan). The original peptide, ω-MVIIA, is derived from the cone snail Conus magus and now FDA/EMA-approved for the management of severe chronic pain by blocking the N-type voltage-gated calcium channels in pain fibers. This review focuses on the current status of research on neurotoxins acting on VGSC, their contribution to further unravel the structure and function of

  4. Neurotoxins and Their Binding Areas on Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Marijke; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are large transmembrane proteins that conduct sodium ions across the membrane and by doing so they generate signals of communication between many kinds of tissues. They are responsible for the generation and propagation of action potentials in excitable cells, in close collaboration with other channels like potassium channels. Therefore, genetic defects in sodium channel genes can cause a wide variety of diseases, generally called “channelopathies.” The first insights into the mechanism of action potentials and the involvement of sodium channels originated from Hodgkin and Huxley for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963. These concepts still form the basis for understanding the function of VGSCs. When VGSCs sense a sufficient change in membrane potential, they are activated and consequently generate a massive influx of sodium ions. Immediately after, channels will start to inactivate and currents decrease. In the inactivated state, channels stay refractory for new stimuli and they must return to the closed state before being susceptible to a new depolarization. On the other hand, studies with neurotoxins like tetrodotoxin (TTX) and saxitoxin (STX) also contributed largely to our today’s understanding of the structure and function of ion channels and of VGSCs specifically. Moreover, neurotoxins acting on ion channels turned out to be valuable lead compounds in the development of new drugs for the enormous range of diseases in which ion channels are involved. A recent example of a synthetic neurotoxin that made it to the market is ziconotide (Prialt®, Elan). The original peptide, ω-MVIIA, is derived from the cone snail Conus magus and now FDA/EMA-approved for the management of severe chronic pain by blocking the N-type voltage-gated calcium channels in pain fibers. This review focuses on the current status of research on neurotoxins acting on VGSC, their contribution to further unravel the structure and

  5. 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...

  6. RNA aptasensor for rapid detection of natively folded type A botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Janardhanan, Pavithra; Mello, Charlene M; Singh, Bal Ram; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D; Cai, Shuowei

    2013-12-15

    A surface plasmon resonance based RNA aptasensor for rapid detection of natively folded type A botulinum neurotoxin is reported. Using detoxified recombinant type A botulinum neurotoxin as the surrogate, the aptasensor detects active toxin within 90 min. The detection limit of the aptasensor in phosphate buffered saline, carrot juice, and fat free milk is 5.8 ng/ml, 20.3 ng/ml and 23.4 ng/ml, respectively, while that in 5-fold diluted human serum is 22.5 ng/ml. Recovery of toxin from disparate sample matrices are within 91-116%. Most significant is the ability of this aptasensor to effectively differentiate the natively folded toxin from denatured, inactive toxin, which is important for homeland security surveillance and threat assessment. The aptasensor is stable for more than 30 days and over 400 injections/regeneration cycles. Such an aptasensor holds great promise for rapid detection of active botulinum neurotoxin for field surveillance due to its robustness, stability and reusability. PMID:24209341

  7. Biofunctionalized gold nanoparticles for colorimetric sensing of botulinum neurotoxin A light chain.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaohu; Wang, Yi; Chen, Peng; Wang, Yusong; Zhang, Jinling; Aili, Daniel; Liedberg, Bo

    2014-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin is considered as one of the most toxic food-borne substances and is a potential bioweapon accessible to terrorists. The development of an accurate, convenient, and rapid assay for botulinum neurotoxins is therefore highly desirable for addressing biosafety concerns. Herein, novel biotinylated peptide substrates designed to mimic synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) are utilized in gold nanoparticle-based assays for colorimetric detection of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A light chain (BoLcA). In these proteolytic assays, biotinylated peptides serve as triggers for the aggregation of gold nanoparticles, while the cleavage of these peptides by BoLcA prevents nanoparticle aggregation. Two different assay strategies are described, demonstrating limits of detection ranging from 5 to 0.1 nM of BoLcA with an overall assay time of 4 h. These hybrid enzyme-responsive nanomaterials provide rapid and sensitive detection for one of the most toxic substances known to man. PMID:24484451

  8. Molecular mechanisms of substrate recognition and specificity of botulinum neurotoxin serotype F.

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng; Wan, Hoi Ying

    2011-01-15

    BoNTs (botulinum neurotoxins) are both deadly neurotoxins and natural toxins that are widely used in protein therapies to treat numerous neurological disorders of dystonia and spinal spasticity. Understanding the mechanism of action and substrate specificity of BoNTs is a prerequisite to develop antitoxin and novel BoNT-derived protein therapy. To date, there is a lack of detailed information with regard to how BoNTs recognize and hydrolyse the substrate VAMP-2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 2), even though it is known to be cleaved by four of the seven BoNT serotypes, B, D, F, G and TeNT (tetanus neurotoxin). In the present study we dissected the molecular mechanisms of VAMP-2 recognition by BoNT serotype F for the first time. The initial substrate recognition was mediated through sequential binding of VAMP-2 to the B1, B2 and B3 pockets in LC/F (light chain of BoNT serotype F), which directed VAMP-2 to the active site of LC/F and stabilized the active site substrate recognition, where the P2, P1' and P2' sites of VAMP-2 were specifically recognized by the S2, S1' and S2' pockets of LC/F to promote substrate hydrolysis. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of LC/F substrate recognition provides insights into the development of antitoxins and engineering novel BoNTs to optimize current therapy and extend therapeutic interventions. PMID:21029044

  9. Neurotoxin-conjugated upconversion nanoprobes for direct visualization of tumors under near-infrared irradiation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xue-Feng; Sun, Zhengbo; Li, Min; Xiang, Yang; Wang, Qu-Quan; Tang, Fenfen; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin

    2010-11-01

    We report the development of neurotoxin-mediated upconversion nanoprobes for tumor targeting and visualization in living animals. The nanoprobes were synthesized by preparing polyethylenimine-coated hexagonal-phase NaYF(4):Yb,Er/Ce nanoparticles and conjugating them with recombinant chlorotoxin, a typical peptide neurotoxin that could bind with high specificity to many types of cancer cells. Nanoprobes that specifically targeted glioma cells were visualized by laser scanning upconversion fluorescence microscopy. Good probe biocompatibility was displayed with cellular and animal toxicity determinations. Animal studies were performed using Balb-c nude mice injected intravenously with the nanoprobes. The obtained high-contrast images demonstrated highly specific tumor binding and direct tumor visualization with bright red fluorescence under 980-nm near-infrared irradiation. The high sensitivity and high specificity of the neurotoxin-mediated upconversion nanoprobes and the simplification of the required optical device for tumor visualization suggest an approach that may help improve the effectiveness of the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities available for tumor patients. PMID:20728213

  10. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fillipelli, Gabriel M.; Risch, Martin R.; Laidlaw, Mark A. S.; Nichols, Deborah E.; Crewe, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Acute exposure to lead (Pb), a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But the legacy of these sources remains in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg). The greatest human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for toxic Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Overall, there is a paradigmatic shift from reaction to and remediation of acute exposures towards a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic cycling of persistent environmental contaminants with resultant widespread and chronic exposure of inner-city dwellers, leading to chronic toxic illness and disability at substantial human and social cost.

  11. On the translocation of botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins across the membrane of acidic intracellular compartments.

    PubMed

    Pirazzini, Marco; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Leka, Oneda; Zanetti, Giulia; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2016-03-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and are the most poisonous toxins known, with 50% mouse lethal dose comprised within the range of 0.1-few nanograms per Kg, depending on the individual toxin. Botulinum neurotoxins are similarly toxic to humans and can therefore be considered for potential use in bioterrorism. At the same time, their neurospecificity and reversibility of action make them excellent therapeutics for a growing and heterogeneous number of human diseases that are characterized by a hyperactivity of peripheral nerve terminals. The complete crystallographic structure is available for some botulinum toxins, and reveals that they consist of four domains functionally related to the four steps of their mechanism of neuron intoxication: 1) binding to specific receptors of the presynaptic membrane; 2) internalization via endocytic vesicles; 3) translocation across the membrane of endocytic vesicles into the neuronal cytosol; 4) catalytic activity of the enzymatic moiety directed towards the SNARE proteins. Despite the many advances in understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, the molecular events involved in the translocation step have been only partially elucidated. Here we will review recent advances that have provided relevant insights on the process and discuss possible models that can be experimentally tested. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. PMID:26307528

  12. RNA aptasensor for rapid detection of natively folded type A botulinum neurotoxin

    PubMed Central

    Janardhanan, Pavithra; Mello, Charlene M.; Singh, Bal Ram; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D.; Cai, Shuowei

    2013-01-01

    A surface plasmon resonance based RNA aptasensor for rapid detection of natively folded type A botulinum neurotoxin is reported. Using detoxified recombinant type A botulinum neurotoxin as the surrogate, the aptasensor detects active toxin within 90 minutes. The detection limit of the aptasensor in phosphate buffered saline, carrot juice, and fat free milk is 5.8 ng/ml, 20.3 ng/ml and 23.4 ng/ml, respectively, while that in 5-fold diluted human serum is 22.5 ng/ml. Recovery of toxin from disparate sample matrices are within 91% to 116%. Most significant is the ability of this aptasensor to effectively differentiate the natively folded toxin from denatured, inactive toxin, which is important for homeland security surveillance and threat assessment. The aptasensor is stable for more than 30 days and over 400 injections/regeneration cycles. Such an aptasensor holds great promise for rapid detection of active botulinum neurotoxin for field surveillance due to its robustness, stability and reusability. PMID:24209341

  13. Settlement of marine periphytic algae in a tropical estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nayar, S.; Goh, B. P. L.; Chou, L. M.

    2005-08-01

    This note describes settlement studies of marine periphytic algae on glass substrata in a tropical estuary in Singapore. The rates of production in terms of 14C radiotracer uptake, biomass in terms of chlorophyll a, community structure and cell abundance were measured from the settled periphytic algae at various depths in the water column and compared with the prevailing hydrographical conditions. Relatively higher periphytic algal settlement was observed at 1 m depth, even though it was not statistically different from other depths. Diatoms such as Skeletonema costatum and Thalassiosira rotula dominated the assemblage, together with the marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. The three settlement parameters viz., periphytic algal production, chlorophyll a and cell counts showed significant differences between the days of settlement, with no significant differences observed for different depths. The periphytic algal community in this study comprised 30 microalgal species, dominated by diatoms (78%), followed by cyanobacteria (19% - primarily Synechococcus sp.), green flagellates (1%), dinoflagellates (1%) and other forms accounting for the remaining 1% of the total cell counts. Correlation studies and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed significant influence of silicate concentrations in the water column with the settlement of periphytic algae in this estuary. Though photoinhibited at the surface, photosynthetically available radiation did not seem to influence the overall settlement of periphytic algae. Diatoms and Synechococcus in the periphytic algal community were influenced by water temperature, PAR, pH and dissolved oxygen as seen in the PCA plots.

  14. Grain trapping by filamentous cyanobacterial and algal mats: implications for stromatolite microfabrics through time.

    PubMed

    Frantz, C M; Petryshyn, V A; Corsetti, F A

    2015-09-01

    Archean and Proterozoic stromatolites are sparry or fine-grained and finely laminated; coarse-grained stromatolites, such as many found in modern marine systems, do not appear until quite late in the fossil record. The cause of this textural change and its relevance to understanding the evolutionary history of stromatolites is unclear. Cyanobacteria are typically considered the dominant stromatolite builders through time, but studies demonstrating the trapping and binding abilities of cyanobacterial mats are limited. With this in mind, we conducted experiments to test the grain trapping and binding capabilities of filamentous cyanobacterial mats and trapping in larger filamentous algal mats in order to better understand grain size trends in stromatolites. Mats were cut into squares, inclined in saltwater tanks at angles from 0 to 75° (approximating the angle of lamina in typical stromatolites), and grains of various sizes (fine sand, coarse sand, and fine pebbles) were delivered to their surface. Trapping of grains by the cyanobacterial mats depended strongly on (i) how far filaments protruded from the sediment surface, (ii) grain size, and (iii) the mat's incline angle. The cyanobacterial mats were much more effective at trapping fine grains beyond the abiotic slide angle than larger grains. In addition, the cyanobacterial mats actively bound grains of all sizes over time. In contrast, the much larger algal mats trapped medium and coarse grains at all angles. Our experiments suggest that (i) the presence of detrital grains beyond the abiotic slide angle can be considered a biosignature in ancient stromatolites where biogenicity is in question, and, (ii) where coarse grains are present within stromatolite laminae at angles beyond the abiotic angle of slide (e.g., most modern marine stromatolites), typical cyanobacterial-type mats are probably not solely responsible for the construction, giving insight into the evolution of stromatolite microfabrics through time

  15. Marine biology

    SciTech Connect

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index.

  16. Insights into Nitrogen Isotopic Fractionation During Algal Assimilation of Nitrate and Ammonium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, S. L.; Swart, P. K.; Capo, T. R.

    2008-12-01

    Nitrogen availability is an important factor controlling algal growth in marine environments, representing a limiting nutrient throughout much of the global ocean. Anthropogenic inputs to the coastal zone may shift the nutrient regime, leading to questions regarding the extent of anthropogenic nutrient impacts in near-shore environments. A large body of work has been completed relating the δ15N of algae, seagrasses, and other benthic organisms to anthropogenic nutrient sources. However, previous work by our research group characterizing the δ15N of organic material associated with waste water discharge points, and in reef and embayment environments of the south Florida coastal zone, has suggested that δ15N values alone do not provide unequivocal evidence of anthropogenic nitrogen loading. Greater understanding of nitrogen processing and isotopic fractionation in coastal benthic organisms is necessary before blanket assumptions regarding nutrient uptake and source association can be universally accepted. Closed system mesocosm incubations examining fractionation associated with assimilation of nitrate and ammonium in cultured red algae, Gracilaria sp. and Agardhiella sp., were completed under varied nitrate and ammonium concentrations from 10 to 500 μM with initial nitrogen isotopic compositions of 2.7-3 ‰. Following 8-day incubations, the isotopic composition of new algal growth ranged between +2.43 and -5.77 ‰, with more depleted values coincident with higher N-availability. Rayleigh fractionation calculations yield fractionation factors of 4-9 ‰ (α values of 1.0045 to 1.008), which represent significantly larger values than those previously reported in the literature for macroalgae. 15N-tracer experiments (initial δ15N = 1000 ‰) were also conducted to assess nutrient preferences in the cultured algae. Isotopic composition of new algal growth varied from -1.3 to +495.0 ‰ with only Agardhiella exhibiting an obvious preference for ammonium

  17. Genomic sequences of six botulinum neurotoxin-producing strains representing three clostridial species illustrate the mobility and diversity of botulinum neurotoxin genes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Theresa J; Hill, Karen K; Xie, Gary; Foley, Brian T; Williamson, Charles H D; Foster, Jeffrey T; Johnson, Shannon L; Chertkov, Olga; Teshima, Hazuki; Gibbons, Henry S; Johnsky, Lauren A; Karavis, Mark A; Smith, Leonard A

    2015-03-01

    The whole genomes for six botulinum neurotoxin-producing clostridial strains were sequenced to provide references for under-represented toxin types, bivalent strains or unusual toxin complexes associated with a bont gene. The strains include three Clostridium botulinum Group I strains (CDC 297, CDC 1436, and Prevot 594), a Group II C. botulinum strain (Eklund 202F), a Group IV Clostridium argentinense strain (CDC 2741), and a Group V Clostridium baratii strain (Sullivan). Comparisons of the Group I genomic sequences revealed close relationships and conservation of toxin gene locations with previously published Group I C. botulinum genomes. The bont/F6 gene of strain Eklund 202F was determined to be a chimeric toxin gene composed of bont/F1 and bont/F2. The serotype G strain CDC 2741 remained unfinished in 20 contigs with the bont/G located within a 1.15Mb contig, indicating a possible chromosomal location for this toxin gene. Within the genome of C. baratii Sullivan strain, direct repeats of IS1182 insertion sequence (IS) elements were identified flanking the bont/F7 toxin complex that may be the mechanism of bont insertion into C. baratii. Highlights of the six strains are described and release of their genomic sequences will allow further study of unusual neurotoxin-producing clostridial strains. PMID:25489752

  18. PCB cycling in marine plankton

    SciTech Connect

    Ashizawa, D.; Brownawell, B.; Fisher, N.

    1995-12-31

    Ecosystem-scale models of contaminant bioaccumulation and toxicity are often sensitive to quantification of uptake and trophic transfer at the base of aquatic food chains. Significant uncertainty remains in assessing the rates and routes of transfer of hydrophobic contaminants by phytoplankton and zooplankton. Using radio-labeled 2,2{prime},4,4{prime}-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB), the authors have conducted experiments to measure the transfer of PCB from seawater to phytoplankton to copepods. Uptake, equilibration, and release of PCB onto/from algal cells were found to be rapid and not appreciably affected by the algal growth phase. Initial experiments indicate that when PCB-contaminated diatoms were fed to calanoid copepods, the assimilation efficiencies in the grazers ranged from 30--50%. Ongoing experiments are investigating this process further and quantitatively comparing copepod uptake of PCB from food and from the dissolved phase. These parameters of uptake and release are essential in the development and application of contaminant bioaccumulation models for marine and aquatic food chains.

  19. Contribution of arsenic species in unicellular algae to the cycling of arsenic in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elliott G; Maher, William A; Foster, Simon D

    2015-01-01

    This review investigates the arsenic species produced by and found in marine unicellular algae to determine if unicellular algae contribute to the formation of arsenobetaine (AB) in higher marine organisms. A wide variety of arsenic species have been found in marine unicellular algae including inorganic species (mainly arsenate--As(V)), methylated species (mainly dimethylarsenate (DMA)), arsenoribosides (glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate) and metabolites (dimethylarsenoethanol (DMAE)). Subtle differences in arsenic species distributions exist between chlorophyte and heterokontophyte species with As(V) commonly found in water-soluble cell fractions of chlorophyte species, while DMA is more common in heterokontophyte species. Additionally, different arsenoriboside species are found in each phyla with glycerol and phosphate arsenoribosides produced by chlorophytes, whereas glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate arsenoribosides are produced by heterokontophytes, which is similar to existing data for marine macro-algae. Although arsenoribosides are the major arsenic species in many marine unicellular algal species, AB has not been detected in unicellular algae which supports the hypothesis that AB is formed in marine animals via the ingestion and further metabolism of arsenoribosides. The observation of significant DMAE concentrations in some unicellular algal cultures suggests that unicellular algae-based detritus contains arsenic species that can be further metabolized to form AB in higher marine organisms. Future research establishing how environmental variability influences the production of arsenic species by marine unicellular algae and what effect this has on arsenic cycling within marine food webs is essential to clarify the role of these organisms in marine arsenic cycling. PMID:25443092

  20. Algal-mediated ecosystem exchanges in the Eel River drainage network: towards photogrammetric mapping of color to function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Power, M. E.; Welter, J.; Furey, P.; Lowe, R.; Finlay, J. C.; Hondzo, M.; Limm, M.; Bode, C.; Dietrich, W. E.

    2009-12-01

    Seasonal algal proliferations in river networks are typically short-lived (weeks-months) but spatially extensive. They mediate important ecological and biogeochemical exchanges within and between ecosystems. We are investigating correspondence of assemblage color with ecosystem function in the nitrogen-limited Eel River of northern California. During summer base flow following winter floods, Eel algal assemblages are dominated by the green macroalga Cladophora glomerata. New growths are green, but blooms turn yellow as Cladophora filaments are colonized by epiphytic diatoms (Cocconeis spp.). Later, proliferations turn rust colored as epiphytic assemblages became dominated by Epithemia spp., diatoms that contain nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterial endosymbionts. Epithemia-encrusted Cladophora occurs at and downstream of reaches draining > 100 km2 (where summer inundated average channel widths > 25 m), coinciding with a threshold increase in concentration of total dissolved nitrogen. Areal nitrogen fixation rates are 14x higher in rusty algal proliferations than in green, and 3-4x higher than in yellow Cladophora mats. Corresponding increases in insect emergence suggest that nitrogen fixed by cyanobacterial endosymbionts is highly edible. Rates of biomass emergence from rusty Cladophora mats are 12-17 times greater than from green mats, and 8-10 times greater from rusty than from yellow Cladophora mats, because larger taxa emerge from rusty mats (Chironominae versus Ceratopogonidae in yellow mats). Photogrammetric detection of spatial coverage and color changes in algal proliferations may help us track nitrogen fluxes they mediate (riverine loading from the atmosphere via fixation, river to the watershed return via insect emergence) that link riverine to aerial, watershed, and potentially nearshore marine ecosystems at reach to basin scales.

  1. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    PubMed

    Kull, Skadi; Schulz, K Melanie; Weisemann, Jasmin; Kirchner, Sebastian; Schreiber, Tanja; Bollenbach, Alexander; Dabrowski, P Wojtek; Nitsche, Andreas; Kalb, Suzanne R; Dorner, Martin B; Barr, John R; Rummel, Andreas; Dorner, Brigitte G

    2015-01-01

    Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT). Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed toxin function might

  2. Molecular structure of tetanus neurotoxin as revealed by Fourier transform infrared and circular dichroic spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Singh, B R; Fuller, M P; Schiavo, G

    1990-07-01

    Secondary structure contents of tetanus neurotoxin have been estimated at neutral and acidic pH using circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. An analysis of the far-ultraviolet CD spectra of the neurotoxin dissolved in 50 mM citrate-phosphate buffer (pH 7.0) revealed 20.0 +/- 2.1% alpha-helix, 50.5 +/- 2.1% beta-pleated sheets, no beta-turns, and 29.5% random coils, which is at considerable variance with results from an earlier detailed study of tetanus neurotoxin's secondary structures (J.P. Robinson, L.A. Holladay, J.H. Hash and D. Puett, J. Biol. Chem. 257 (1982) 407). However, the alpha-helix content estimated in this study is consistent with the earlier studies of Robinson et al. (J.P. Robinson, L.A. Holladay, J.B. Picklesimer and D. Puett, Mol. Cell. Biochem. 5 (1974) 147; J.P. Robinson, J.B. Picklesimer and D. Puett, J. Biol. Chem. 250 (1975) 7435) and with the study by Lazarovici et al. (P. Lazarovici, P. Yanai and E. Yavin, J. Biol. Chem. 262 (1986) 2645), although other secondary structural features do not agree with those of the previous studies. Secondary structure estimation from Fourier transform infrared spectra in both amide I and amide III frequency regions revealed 22-23% alpha-helix, 49-51% beta-pleated sheets and 27-28% random coils, indicating a good correlation with the secondary structure content estimated from CD analysis. Lowering of the pH of the neurotoxin to 5.5 or 4.0 did not result in any noticeable change in the overall secondary structures. However, there were significant pH-induced variations observed in the individual curve-fitted FT-IR bands in the amide III frequency region. For example, the 1302 cm-1 band (relative area, 4.2%) observed at pH 7.0 was shifted to 1297 cm-1 (relative area, 2.2%) at pH 5.5, and the relative area of the band at 1316-1317 cm-1 (alpha-helix) increased by approx. 40%. This study suggests that contrary to earlier reports, tetanus neurotoxin is a beta-pleated sheet

  3. Nuclear magnetic resonance solution structure of the alpha-neurotoxin from the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis).

    PubMed

    Brown, L R; Wüthrich, K

    1992-10-20

    The three-dimensional structure in solution of the alpha-neurotoxin from the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis) has been determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A high quality structure for this 60-residue protein was obtained from 656 NOE distance constraints and 143 dihedral angle constraints, using the distance geometry program DIANA for the structure calculation and AMBER for restrained energy minimization. For a group of 20 conformers used to represent the solution structure, the average root-mean-square deviation value calculated for the polypeptide backbone heavy atoms relative to the mean structure was 0.45 A. The protein consists of a core region from which three finger-like loops extend outwards. It includes a short, two-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet of residues 1-5 and 13-17, a three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet involving residues 23-31, 34-42 and 51-55, and four disulfide bridges in the core region. There is also extensive non-regular hydrogen bonding between the carboxy-terminal tail of the polypeptide chain and the rest of the core region. Comparison with the crystal structure of erabutoxin-b indicates that the structure of alpha-neurotoxin is quite similar to other neurotoxin structures, but that local structural differences are seen in regions thought to be important for binding of neurotoxins to the acetylcholine receptor. For two regions of the alpha-neurotoxin structure there is evidence for an equilibrium between multiple conformations, which might be related to conformational rearrangements upon binding to the receptor. Overall, the alpha-neurotoxin presents itself as a protein with a stable core and flexible surface areas that interact with the acetylcholine receptor in such a way that high affinity binding is achieved by conformational rearrangements of the deformable regions of the neurotoxin structure. PMID:1433289

  4. Marine Biomedicine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bang, Frederik B.

    1977-01-01

    Describes early scientific research involving marine invertebrate pathologic processes that may have led to new insights into human disease. Discussed are inquiries of Metchnikoff, Loeb, and Cantacuzene (immunolgic responses in sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and marine worms, respectively). Describes current research stemming from these early…

  5. Marine Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  6. Methylation of inorganic mercury in polar marine waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnherr, Igor; St. Louis, Vincent L.; Hintelmann, Holger; Kirk, Jane L.

    2011-05-01

    Monomethylmercury is a neurotoxin that accumulates in marine organisms, with serious implications for human health. The toxin is of particular concern to northern Inuit peoples, for example, whose traditional diets are composed primarily of marine mammals and fish. The ultimate source of monomethylmercury to marine organisms has remained uncertain, although various potential sources have been proposed, including export from coastal and deep-sea sediments and major river systems, atmospheric deposition and water-column production. Here, we report results from incubation experiments in which we added isotopically labelled inorganic mercury and monomethylmercury to seawater samples collected from a range of sites in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Monomethylmercury formed from the methylation of inorganic mercury in all samples. Demethylation of monomethylmercury was also observed in water from all sites. We determined steady-state concentrations of monomethylmercury in marine waters by incorporating the rate constants for monomethylmercury formation and degradation derived from these experiments into a numerical model. We estimate that the conversion of inorganic mercury to monomethylmercury in the water column accounts for around 47% (+/-62%, standard deviation) of the monomethylmercury present in polar marine waters, with site-to-site differences in inorganic mercury and monomethylmercury levels accounting for most of the variability. We suggest that water-column methylation of inorganic mercury is a significant source of monomethylmercury in pelagic marine food webs in the Arctic, and possibly in the world's oceans in general.

  7. Towards an Autonomous Space In-Situ Marine Sensorweb

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chien, S.; Doubleday, J.; Tran, D.; Thompson, D.; Mahoney, G.; Chao, Y.; Castano, R.; Ryan, J.; Kudela, R.; Palacios, S.; Foley, D.; Balasuriya, A.; Schmidt, H.; Schofield, O.; Arrott, M.; Meisinger, M.; Mandl, D.; Frye, S.; Ong, L.; Cappelaere, P.

    2009-01-01

    We describe ongoing efforts to integrate and coordinate space and marine assets to enable autonomous response to dynamic ocean phenomena such as algal blooms, eddies, and currents. Thus far we have focused on the use of remote sensing assets (e.g. satellites) but future plans include expansions to use a range of in-situ sensors such as gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles, and buoys/moorings.

  8. Molecular Detection of Epiphytic Acaryochloris spp. on Marine Macroalgae▿

    PubMed Central

    Ohkubo, Satoshi; Miyashita, Hideaki; Murakami, Akio; Takeyama, Haruko; Tsuchiya, Tohru; Mimuro, Mamoru

    2006-01-01

    A molecular method for detecting the epiphyte community on marine macroalgae was developed by using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Selective amplification of 16S rRNA gene fragments from either cyanobacteria or algal plastids improved the detection of minor epiphytes. Two phylotypes of Acaryochloris, a chlorophyll d-containing cyanobacterium, were found not only on red macroalgae but also on green and brown macroalgae. PMID:17028237

  9. Associations between marine phytoplankton and symptoms of illness among recreational beachgoers in Puerto Rico, 2009

    EPA Science Inventory

    While phytoplankton generally have crucial roles in marine ecosystems, a small subset can release toxins and produce harmful algal blooms (HABs). HABs can be a threat to human health as symptoms from exposure range from neurological impairment to gastrointestinal (GI), dermal, a...

  10. Arctic sea-ice decline archived by multicentury annual-resolution record from crustose coralline algal proxy

    PubMed Central

    Halfar, Jochen

    2013-01-01

    Northern Hemisphere sea ice has been declining sharply over the past decades and 2012 exhibited the lowest Arctic summer sea-ice cover in historic times. Whereas ongoing changes are closely monitored through satellite observations, we have only limited data of past Arctic sea-ice cover derived from short historical records, indirect terrestrial proxies, and low-resolution marine sediment cores. A multicentury time series from extremely long-lived annual increment-forming crustose coralline algal buildups now provides the first high-resolution in situ marine proxy for sea-ice cover. Growth and Mg/Ca ratios of these Arctic-wide occurring calcified algae are sensitive to changes in both temperature and solar radiation. Growth sharply declines with increasing sea-ice blockage of light from the benthic algal habitat. The 646-y multisite record from the Canadian Arctic indicates that during the Little Ice Age, sea ice was extensive but highly variable on subdecadal time scales and coincided with an expansion of ice-dependent Thule/Labrador Inuit sea mammal hunters in the region. The past 150 y instead have been characterized by sea ice exhibiting multidecadal variability with a long-term decline distinctly steeper than at any time since the 14th century. PMID:24248344

  11. 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

  12. Botulinum neurotoxin type A: structure and interaction with the micellar concentration of SDS determined by FT-IR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Singh, B R; Fuller, M P; DasGupta, B R

    1991-12-01

    Secondary structures of botulinum neurotoxin type A have been determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in the amide I and amide III frequency regions. Using Fourier self-deconvolution, second derivatization, and curve-fit analysis, the amide I frequency contour was resolved into Gaussian bands at 1678, 1654, 1644, and 1634 cm-1. In the amide III frequency region, several small bands were resolved between 1320 and 1225 cm-1. Assignments of the bands in both amide I and amide III frequency regions to various types of secondary structures and the estimation of spectral band strengths by integrating areas under each band suggested that the neurotoxin contains 29% alpha-helix, 45-49% beta-sheets and 22-26% random coils. These values agreed very well with those determined earlier from CD spectra. The neurotoxin was treated with a micellar concentration of sodium dodecyl sulfate to simulate interaction between the protein and the amphipathic molecules. Sodium dodecyl sulfate micelles induced significant alterations both in the spectral band positions, and their strengths suggest refolding of the neurotoxin polypeptides. However, these changes were not entirely reversible, which could implicate the role of the altered structures in the function of the neurotoxin. PMID:1815589

  13. Chemical Structures and Bioactivities of Sulfated Polysaccharides from Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Guangling; Yu, Guangli; Zhang, Junzeng; Ewart, H. Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Sulfated polysaccharides and their lower molecular weight oligosaccharide derivatives from marine macroalgae have been shown to possess a variety of biological activities. The present paper will review the recent progress in research on the structural chemistry and the bioactivities of these marine algal biomaterials. In particular, it will provide an update on the structural chemistry of the major sulfated polysaccharides synthesized by seaweeds including the galactans (e.g., agarans and carrageenans), ulvans, and fucans. It will then review the recent findings on the anticoagulant/antithrombotic, antiviral, immuno-inflammatory, antilipidemic and antioxidant activities of sulfated polysaccharides and their potential for therapeutic application. PMID:21566795

  14. Ether Lipids of Planktonic Archaea in the Marine Water Column

    PubMed Central

    Hoefs, M.; Schouten, S.; De Leeuw, J. W.; King, L. L.; Wakeham, S. G.; Damste, J.

    1997-01-01

    Acyclic and cyclic biphytanes derived from the membrane ether lipids of archaea were found in water column particulate and sedimentary organic matter from several oxic and anoxic marine environments. Compound-specific isotope analyses of the carbon skeletons suggest that planktonic archaea utilize an isotopically heavy carbon source such as algal carbohydrates and proteins or dissolved bicarbonate. Due to their high preservation potential, these lipids provide a fossil record of planktonic archaea and suggest that they have thrived in marine environments for more than 50 million years. PMID:16535669

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Structural and Functional Characterization of a Novel Homodimeric Three-finger Neurotoxin from the Venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King Cobra)*♦

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Amrita; Zhou, Xingding; Chong, Ming Zhi; D'hoedt, Dieter; Foo, Chun Shin; Rajagopalan, Nandhakishore; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Bertrand, Daniel; Sivaraman, J.; Kini, R. Manjunatha

    2010-01-01

    Snake venoms are a mixture of pharmacologically active proteins and polypeptides that have led to the development of molecular probes and therapeutic agents. Here, we describe the structural and functional characterization of a novel neurotoxin, haditoxin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King cobra). Haditoxin exhibited novel pharmacology with antagonism toward muscle (αβγδ) and neuronal (α7, α3β2, and α4β2) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with highest affinity for α7-nAChRs. The high resolution (1.5 Å) crystal structure revealed haditoxin to be a homodimer, like κ-neurotoxins, which target neuronal α3β2- and α4β2-nAChRs. Interestingly however, the monomeric subunits of haditoxin were composed of a three-finger protein fold typical of curaremimetic short-chain α-neurotoxins. Biochemical studies confirmed that it existed as a non-covalent dimer species in solution. Its structural similarity to short-chain α-neurotoxins and κ-neurotoxins notwithstanding, haditoxin exhibited unique blockade of α7-nAChRs (IC50 180 nm), which is recognized by neither short-chain α-neurotoxins nor κ-neurotoxins. This is the first report of a dimeric short-chain α-neurotoxin interacting with neuronal α7-nAChRs as well as the first homodimeric three-finger toxin to interact with muscle nAChRs. PMID:20071329

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Genomewide investigation of adaptation to harmful algal blooms in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), which can be lethal in marine species and cause illness in humans, are increasing worldwide. In the Gulf of Mexico, HABs of Karenia brevis produce neurotoxic brevetoxins that cause large-scale marine mortality events. The long history of such blooms, combined with the potentially severe effects of exposure, may have produced a strong selective pressure for evolved resistance. Advances in next-generation sequencing, in particular genotyping-by-sequencing, greatly enable the genomic study of such adaptation in natural populations. We used restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing to investigate brevetoxicosis resistance in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). To improve our understanding of the epidemiology and aetiology of brevetoxicosis and the potential for evolved resistance in an upper trophic level predator, we sequenced pools of genomic DNA from dolphins sampled from both coastal and estuarine populations in Florida and during multiple HAB-associated mortality events. We sequenced 129 594 RAD loci and analysed 7431 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The allele frequencies of many of these polymorphic loci differed significantly between live and dead dolphins. Some loci associated with survival showed patterns suggesting a common genetic-based mechanism of resistance to brevetoxins in bottlenose dolphins along the Gulf coast of Florida, but others suggested regionally specific mechanisms of resistance or reflected differences among HABs. We identified candidate genes that may be the evolutionary target for brevetoxin resistance by searching the dolphin genome for genes adjacent to survival-associated SNPs. PMID:26290192

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Wave action modifies the effects of consumer diversity and warming on algal assemblages.

    PubMed

    Mrowicki, Robert J; O'Connor, Nessa E

    2015-04-01

    To understand the consequences of biodiversity loss, it is necessary to test how biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships may vary with predicted environmental change. In particular, our understanding will be advanced by studies addressing the interactive effects of multiple stressors on the role of biodiversity across trophic levels. Predicted increases in wave disturbance and ocean warming, together with climate-driven range shifts of key consumer species, are likely to have profound impacts on the dynamics of coastal marine communities. We tested whether wave action and temperature modified the effects of gastropod grazer diversity (Patella vulgata, Littorina littorea, and Gibbula umbilicalis) on algal assemblages in experimental rock pools. The presence or absence of L. littorea appeared to drive changes in microalgal and macroalgal biomass and macroalgal assemblage structure. Macroalgal biomass also decreased with increasing grazer species richness, but only when wave action was enhanced. Further, independently of grazer diversity, wave action and temperature had interactive effects on macroalgal assemblage structure. Warming also led to a reversal of grazer-macroalgal interaction strengths from negative to positive, but only when there was no wave action. Our results show that hydrodynamic disturbance can exacerbate the effects of changing consumer diversity, and may also disrupt the influence of other environmental stressors on key consumer-resource interactions. These findings suggest that the combined effects of anticipated abiotic and biotic change on the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems, although difficult to predict, may be substantial. PMID:26230022

  8. 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.

  9. Plasticity of Total and Intracellular Phosphorus Quotas in Microcystis aeruginosa Cultures and Lake Erie Algal Assemblages.

    PubMed

    Saxton, Matthew A; Arnold, Robert J; Bourbonniere, Richard A; McKay, Robert Michael L; Wilhelm, Steven W

    2012-01-01

    Blooms of the potentially toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis are common events globally, and as a result significant resources continue to be dedicated to monitoring and controlling these events. Recent studies have shown that a significant proportion of total cell-associated phosphorus (P) in marine phytoplankton can be surface adsorbed; as a result studies completed to date do not accurately report the P demands of these organisms. In this study we measure the total cell-associated and intracellular P as well as growth rates of two toxic strains of Microcystis aeruginosa Kütz grown under a range of P concentrations. The results show that the intracellular P pool in Microcystis represents a percentage of total cell-associated P (50-90%) similar to what has been reported for actively growing algae in marine systems. Intracellular P concentrations (39-147 fg cell(-1)) generally increased with increasing P concentrations in the growth medium, but growth rate and the ratio of total cell-associated to intracellular P remained generally stable. Intracellular P quotas and growth rates in cells grown under the different P treatments illustrate the ability of this organism to successfully respond to changes in ambient P loads, and thus have implications for ecosystem scale productivity models employing P concentrations to predict algal bloom events. PMID:22279445

  10. Structural and Functional Interactions between Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Subfamily 1 and Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Botulinum neurotoxins are produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. There are eight serologically distinct botulinum neurotoxin isoforms (serotypes A–H). Currently, botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT⁄A) is commonly used for the treatment of many disorders, such as hyperactive musculoskeletal disorders, dystonia, and pain. However, the effectiveness of BoNT⁄A for pain alleviation and the mechanisms that mediate the analgesic effects of BoNT⁄A remain unclear. To define the antinociceptive mechanisms by which BoNT/A functions, the interactions between BoNT⁄A and the transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1 (TRPV1) were investigated using immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation, and western blot analysis in primary mouse embryonic dorsal root ganglion neuronal cultures. Results 1) Three-week-old cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons highly expressed transient TRPV1, synaptic vesicle 2A (SV2A) and synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25). SV2A and SNAP-25 are the binding receptor and target protein, respectively, of BoNT⁄A. 2) TRPV1 colocalized with both BoNT⁄A and cleaved SNAP-25 when BoNT⁄A was added to dorsal root ganglia neuronal cultures. 3) After 24 hours of BoNT⁄A treatment (1 nmol⁄l), both TRPV1 and BoNT⁄A positive bands were detected in western blots of immunoprecipitated pellets. 4) Blocking TRPV1 with a specific antibody decreased the cleavage of SNAP-25 by BoNT⁄A. Conclusion BoNT/A interacts with TRPV1 both structurally and functionally in cultured mouse embryonic dorsal root ganglion neurons. These results suggest that an alternative mechanism is used by BoNT⁄A to mediate pain relief. PMID:26745805

  11. Re-engineering clostridial neurotoxins for the treatment of chronic pain: current status and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Andy

    2010-06-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins from the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) family are protein complexes, derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which potently inhibit acetylcholine release and result in a reversible blockade of the neuromuscular junction. This feature led to the clinical development of BoNT-A for a number of neuromuscular disorders. BoNT-A toxins are commercially available as three different preparations: Dysport/Azzalure, Botox/Vistabel, and Xeomin/Bocouture. Although BoNT-A preparations have not yet been approved for the treatment of pain, a substantial body of preclinical and clinical evidence shows that BoNT-A is effective in treating a number of different types of pain. It is thought to exert an analgesic effect both via muscle-relaxant properties and also directly, via inhibition of nociceptive neuropeptides. This review explores the mechanistic basis of this analgesic effect, summarizing current knowledge of the structure-function relationship of BoNT and discussing effects on both motor and pain neurons. For a complete picture of the analgesic properties of BoNT-A, clinical evidence of efficacy in myofascial pain and neuropathic pain is considered in tandem with a mechanistic rationale for activity. Patients experiencing chronic pain are clear candidates for treatment with a modified clostridial endopeptidase that would provide enduring inhibition of neurotransmitter release. A strong preclinical evidence base underpins the concept that re-engineering of BoNT could be used to enhance the analgesic potential of this neurotoxin, and it is hoped that the first clinical studies examining re-engineered BoNT-A will confirm this potential. PMID:20462283

  12. Geochemical Legacies and the Future Health of Cities: An Analysis of two Neurotoxins in Urban Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippelli, G. M.; Risch, M.

    2015-12-01

    The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between geochemical processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are very poorly studied, yet have materialized as perhaps the greatest threat to large-scale population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb), a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But these legacy Pb sources are still around in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a pernicious and widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg), although very little work has been done to understand human exposures to low levels of this element in soils. The most documented human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for above average dietary Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Many aspects of the dose-response curves for individual elements and mixtures are poorly understood, especially at lower levels, leaving unanswered several interesting and provocative questions about environmental impacts on neurological and

  13. Differential role of molten globule and protein folding in distinguishing unique features of botulinum neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Raj; Kukreja, Roshan V; Cai, Shuowei; Singh, Bal R

    2014-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are proteins of great interest not only because of their extreme toxicity but also paradoxically for their therapeutic applications. All the known serotypes (A-G) have varying degrees of longevity and potency inside the neuronal cell. Differential chemical modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitination have been suggested as possible mechanisms for their longevity, but the molecular basis of the longevity remains unclear. Since the endopeptidase domain (light chain; LC) of toxin apparently survives inside the neuronal cells for months, it is important to examine the structural features of this domain to understand its resistance to intracellular degradation. Published crystal structures (both botulinum neurotoxins and endopeptidase domain) have not provided adequate explanation for the intracellular longevity of the domain. Structural features obtained from spectroscopic analysis of LCA and LCB were similar, and a PRIME (PReImminent Molten Globule Enzyme) conformation appears to be responsible for their optimal enzymatic activity at 37°C. LCE, on the other hand, was although optimally active at 37°C, but its active conformation differed from the PRIME conformation of LCA and LCB. This study establishes and confirms our earlier finding that an optimally active conformation of these proteins in the form of PRIME exists for the most poisonous poison, botulinum neurotoxin. There are substantial variations in the structural and functional characteristics of these active molten globule related structures among the three BoNT endopeptidases examined. These differential conformations of LCs are important in understanding the fundamental structural features of proteins, and their possible connection to intracellular longevity could provide significant clues for devising new countermeasures and effective therapeutics. PMID:24568862

  14. Properties and use of botulinum toxin and other microbial neurotoxins in medicine.

    PubMed Central

    Schantz, E J; Johnson, E A

    1992-01-01

    Crystalline botulinum toxin type A was licensed in December 1989 by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of certain spasmodic muscle disorders following 10 or more years of experimental treatment on human volunteers. Botulinum toxin exerts its action on a muscle indirectly by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the nerve ending, resulting in reduced muscle activity or paralysis. The injection of only nanogram quantities (1 ng = 30 mouse 50% lethal doses [U]) of the toxin into a spastic muscle is required to bring about the desired muscle control. The type A toxin produced in anaerobic culture and purified in crystalline form has a specific toxicity in mice of 3 x 10(7) U/mg. The crystalline toxin is a high-molecular-weight protein of 900,000 Mr and is composed of two molecules of neurotoxin (ca. 150,000 Mr) noncovalently bound to nontoxic proteins that play an important role in the stability of the toxic unit and its effective toxicity. Because the toxin is administered by injection directly into neuromuscular tissue, the methods of culturing and purification are vital. Its chemical, physical, and biological properties as applied to its use in medicine are described. Dilution and drying of the toxin for dispensing causes some detoxification, and the mouse assay is the only means of evaluation for human treatment. Other microbial neurotoxins may have uses in medicine; these include serotypes of botulinum toxins and tetanus toxin. Certain neurotoxins produced by dinoflagellates, including saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin, cause muscle paralysis through their effect on the action potential at the voltage-gated sodium channel. Saxitoxin used with anaesthetics lengthens the effect of the anaesthetic and may enhance the effectiveness of other medical drugs. Combining toxins with drugs could increase their effectiveness in treatment of human disease. PMID:1579114

  15. Interactions of the Neurotoxin Vipoxin in Solution Studied by Dynamic Light Scattering

    PubMed Central

    Georgieva, Dessislava Nikolova; Genov, Nicolay; Hristov, Krassimir; Dierks, Karsten; Betzel, Christian

    2004-01-01

    The neurotoxin vipoxin is the lethal component of the venom of Vipera ammodytes meridionalis. It is a heterodimer of a basic toxic His-48 phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and an acidic nontoxic Gln-48 PLA2. The shape of the neurotoxin and its separated components in solution as well as their interactions with calcium, the brain phospholipid phosphatidylcholine, and two inhibitors, elaidoylamide and vitamin E, were investigated by dynamic light scattering. Calcium binding is connected with a conformational change in vipoxin observed as a change of the hydrodynamic shape from oblate ellipsoid to a shape closer to a sphere. The Ca2+-bound form of vipoxin, which is catalytically active, is more compact and symmetric than the calcium-free heterodimer. Similar changes were observed as a result of the Ca2+-binding to the two separated subunits. In the presence of aggregated phosphatidylcholine, the neurotoxic complex dissociates to subunits. It is supposed that only the toxic component binds to the substrate, and the other subunit, which plays a chaperone function, remains in solution. The inhibition of vipoxin with the synthetic inhibitor elaidoylamide and the natural compound vitamin E changes the shape of the toxin from oblate to prolate ellipsoid. The inhibited toxin is more asymmetric in comparison to the native one. Similar, but not so pronounced, effects were observed after the inhibition of the monomeric and homodimeric forms of the toxic His-48 PLA2. Circular dichroism measurements in the presence of urea, methylurea, and ethylurea indicate a strong hydrophobic stabilization of the neurotoxin. Hydrophobic interactions stabilize not only the folded regions but also the regions of intersubunit contacts. PMID:14695289

  16. Computer modeling of the neurotoxin binding site of acetylcholine receptor spanning residues 185 through 196

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garduno-Juarez, R.; Shibata, M.; Zielinski, T. J.; Rein, R.

    1987-01-01

    A model of the complex between the acetylcholine receptor and the snake neurotoxin, cobratoxin, was built by molecular model building and energy optimization techniques. The experimentally identified functionally important residues of cobratoxin and the dodecapeptide corresponding to the residues 185-196 of acetylcholine receptor alpha subunit were used to build the model. Both cis and trans conformers of cyclic L-cystine portion of the dodecapeptide were examined. Binding residues independently identified on cobratoxin are shown to interact with the dodecapeptide AChR model.

  17. Molecular decoys: ligand-binding recombinant proteins protect mice from curarimimetic neurotoxins.

    PubMed Central

    Gershoni, J M; Aronheim, A

    1988-01-01

    Mimic ligand-binding sites of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor bind d-tubocurarine and alpha-bungarotoxin in vitro. Injection of such binding sites into mice could act as molecular decoys in vivo, providing protection against toxic ligands. This hypothesis of molecular "decoyance" has been tested in greater than 250 mice. Bacterially produced cholinergic binding sites provided a 2-fold increase in the survival rate of animals challenged with curarimimetic neurotoxins. Possible considerations for decoy designs and their applications are discussed. Images PMID:3375254

  18. Intracellular Localization of the Neurotoxin 2,4-Diaminobutyric Acid in Lathyrus sylvestris L. Leaf Tissue.

    PubMed

    Foster, J G; Cress, W D; Wright, S F; Hess, J L

    1987-04-01

    The intracellular distribution of the neurotoxin 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DABA) in mature leaves of the perennial legume Lathyrus sylvestris L. var ;Lathco' (flatpea) was determined using subcellular fractions from mesophyll protoplasts. Chloroplasts contained about 15% of the cellular DABA. At least 75% of the DABA was vacuolar, based on the assumptions that each protoplast contained a single vacuole and that acid phosphatase occurred exclusively in the vacuole. DABA was not detectable in peroxisomal and mitochondrial fractions. Because the vacuole is not a major site of amino acid synthesis, this distribution implicates synthesis of DABA within chloroplasts with subsequent transport to and storage within the vacuoles of the mesophyll cells. PMID:16665360

  19. Early onset of neurological symptoms in fragile X premutation carriers exposed to neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Paul, Ripon; Pessah, Isaac N; Gane, Louise; Ono, Michele; Hagerman, Paul J; Brunberg, James A; Tassone, Flora; Bourgeois, James A; Adams, Patrick E; Nguyen, Danh V; Hagerman, Randi

    2010-08-01

    We present four cases of fragile X premutation carriers with early neurological symptoms, including symptoms consistent with multiple sclerosis (MS) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Each patient had significant exposure to one or more environmental neurotoxicants that have documented neurotoxicity (i.e. hexachlorocyclopentadiene or C56, Agent Orange, and 2,4- or 2,6-toluene diisocyanate and dichlormate). We hypothesize that premutation carriers are a vulnerable group to neurotoxins because elevated mRNA in the premutation can lead to early cell death and brain disease, leading to neuropsychiatric and neurological symptoms consistent with FXTAS. PMID:20466021

  20. 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

  1. Presence of antibotulinum neurotoxin antibodies in selected wild canids in Israel.

    PubMed

    Steinman, Amir; Millet, Neta; Frenkel, Chana; King, Roni; Shpigel, Nahum Y

    2007-07-01

    Serum samples from 35 golden jackals (Canis aureus syriacus), eight wolves (Canis lupus), and four red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from various regions of Israel were collected during the years 2001-04 and tested for antibodies to Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) types C and D. Antibodies against BoNT types C and D were detected in 10 (29%) and in 3 (9%) of 35 golden jackals, respectively, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This report describes detection of anti BoNT antibodies in wild canids other than coyotes (Canis latrans) for the first time and demonstrates that C. botulinum type C is prevalent in Israel. PMID:17699099

  2. Biomagnification of cycad neurotoxins in flying foxes: implications for ALS-PDC in Guam.

    PubMed

    Banack, Sandra Anne; Cox, Paul Alan

    2003-08-12

    Beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) occurs in higher levels in museum specimens of the Guamanian flying fox than in the cycad seeds the flying foxes feed on, confirming the hypothesis that cycad neurotoxins are biomagnified within the Guam ecosystem. Consumption of a single flying fox may have resulted in an equivalent BMAA dose obtained from eating 174 to 1,014 kg of processed cycad flour. Traditional feasting on flying foxes may be related to the prevalence of neuropathologic disease in Guam. PMID:12913204

  3. Early onset of neurological symptoms in fragile X premutation carriers exposed to neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Ripon; Pessah, Isaac N.; Gane, Louise; Ono, Michele; Hagerman, Paul J.; Brunberg, James A.; Tassone, Flora; Bourgeois, James A.; Adams, Patrick E.; Nguyen, Danh V.; Hagerman, Randi

    2014-01-01

    We present four cases of fragile X premutation carriers with early neurological symptoms, including symptoms consistent with multiple sclerosis (MS) and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Each patient had significant exposure to one or more environmental neurotoxicants that have documented neurotoxicity (i.e. hexachlorocyclopentadiene or C56, Agent Orange, and 2,4- or 2,6-toluene diisocyanate and dichlormate). We hypothesize that premutation carriers are a vulnerable group to neurotoxins because elevated mRNA in the premutation can lead to early cell death and brain disease, leading to neuropsychiatric and neurological symptoms consistent with FXTAS. PMID:20466021

  4. Identification of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 receptor binding site in botulinum neurotoxin A.

    PubMed

    Strotmeier, Jasmin; Mahrhold, Stefan; Krez, Nadja; Janzen, Constantin; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D; Binz, Thomas; Rummel, Andreas

    2014-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release by hydrolysing SNARE proteins. The most important serotype BoNT/A employs the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) isoforms A-C as neuronal receptors. Here, we identified their binding site by blocking SV2 interaction using monoclonal antibodies with characterised epitopes within the cell binding domain (HC). The site is located on the backside of the conserved ganglioside binding pocket at the interface of the HCC and HCN subdomains. The dimension of the binding pocket was characterised in detail by site directed mutagenesis allowing the development of potent inhibitors as well as modifying receptor binding properties. PMID:24583011

  5. Eutrophication, marine biotoxins, human health.

    PubMed

    Viviani, R

    1992-01-01

    Eutrophication phenomena in marine coastal waters can today be explained on the basis of natural or anthropogenic causes. Undesirable effects and also sanitary problems in both types of eutrophication are often produced, but they may differ greatly in frequency and significance. Some algal biotoxins can affect both marine animals and man, whilst others affect man alone. From data currently available it appears that the sanitary state of man can be affected through the digestive, respiratory and cutaneous apparatus. Four main dinoflagellate biointoxications are now recognized: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP), diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), and venerupin poisoning. Other biointoxications are due to a diatom bloom responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) and to blue algae blooms which have effects on the skin and the respiratory tract. All these marine toxins are considered and particular attention is paid to: producing organisms, chemistry of the components, compromised sea foods, methods of analysis, occurrence worldwide, human intoxications, toxicology and mechanism of action on a molecular level, therapeutical notes, tolerance levels and remarks on safety. Attention is also paid to the relationship between the anthropogenic eutrophication and PSP and DSP since these are the most widespread biointoxications from toxic marine dinoflagellates in the world today and for which the European Economic Community (EEC) is proposing health legislation such as tolerance limits and methods for official analysis. In view of the harmful potential of coastal anthropogenic eutrophication, the main current committment of various countries concerns control. Finally, it is important to develop a suitable monitor research system using all the specific standards of allowed toxic substances, and also research on effective antiodotes against all biotoxins. PMID:1475681

  6. Coralline algal structure is more sensitive to rate, rather than the magnitude, of ocean acidification

    PubMed Central

    Kamenos, Nicholas A; Burdett, Heidi L; Aloisio, Elena; Findlay, Helen S; Martin, Sophie; Longbone, Charlotte; Dunn, Jonathan; Widdicombe, Stephen; Calosi, Piero

    2013-01-01

    Marine pCO2 enrichment via ocean acidification (OA), upwelling and release from carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities is projected to have devastating impacts on marine biomineralisers and the services they provide. However, empirical studies using stable endpoint pCO2 concentrations find species exhibit variable biological and geochemical responses rather than the expected negative patterns. In addition, the carbonate chemistry of many marine systems is now being observed to be more variable than previously thought. To underpin more robust projections of future OA impacts on marine biomineralisers and their role in ecosystem service provision, we investigate coralline algal responses to realistically variable scenarios of marine pCO2 enrichment. Coralline algae are important in ecosystem function; providing habitats and nursery areas, hosting high biodiversity, stabilizing reef structures and contributing to the carbon cycle. Red coralline marine algae were exposed for 80 days to one of three pH treatments: (i) current pH (control); (ii) low pH (7.7) representing OA change; and (iii) an abrupt drop to low pH (7.7) representing the higher rates of pH change observed at natural vent systems, in areas of upwelling and during CCS releases. We demonstrate that red coralline algae respond differently to the rate and the magnitude of pH change induced by pCO2 enrichment. At low pH, coralline algae survived by increasing their calcification rates. However, when the change to low pH occurred at a fast rate we detected, using Raman spectroscopy, weaknesses in the calcite skeleton, with evidence of dissolution and molecular positional disorder. This suggests that, while coralline algae will continue to calcify, they may be structurally weakened, putting at risk the ecosystem services they provide. Notwithstanding evolutionary adaptation, the ability of coralline algae to cope with OA may thus be determined primarily by the rate, rather than magnitude, at which pCO2

  7. Studies on marine algae for haemagglutinic activity.

    PubMed

    Alam, M T; Usmanghani, K

    1994-07-01

    Lectins (agglutinins) are important in medical and immunological applications. Phytohaemagglutinins have been found useful in blood banking. Keeping in view of these facts, the marine algae found at Karachi coastal region have been screened for agglutinic activity by using human erythrocytes of A, B, AB and 0 group. Altogether 53 algal samples were collected and subjected to extraction, fractionation serial dilution and titre determinations. The total marine algae screened for haemagglutinic activity were 44 out of these 14, 13 and 17 belonged to Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta, and Rhodophyta respectively. Among these three groups the Rhodophyta showed the highest number of lytic activity. The green marine alga Valoniopsis pachynema showed a titre value between 2(2) and 2(3), which is statistically significant. In case of brown marine algae Colpomenia sinuosa was found to be active (titre 2(3)), while Dictyota dichotoma, D. indica and Iyengaria stellata, furnished week titre value as 2(2). The red marine algae screened were 17, out of these 4 spp. showed significant activity (titre 2(3)), and these are Gelidium usmanghani, Gracilaria foliifera Hypnea pannosa and Hynea valentiae. While Scinaia fascicularis, Scinaia indica and Champia parvula were found to be weak in their onset on human erythrocytes. The results obtained were quite in agreement with those reported in the literature. PMID:16414751

  8. Two-Component Signal Transduction System CBO0787/CBO0786 Represses Transcription from Botulinum Neurotoxin Promoters in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhen; Korkeala, Hannu; Dahlsten, Elias; Sahala, Elina; Heap, John T.; Minton, Nigel P.; Lindström, Miia

    2013-01-01

    Blocking neurotransmission, botulinum neurotoxin is the most poisonous biological substance known to mankind. Despite its infamy as the scourge of the food industry, the neurotoxin is increasingly used as a pharmaceutical to treat an expanding range of muscle disorders. Whilst neurotoxin expression by the spore-forming bacterium Clostridium botulinum appears tightly regulated, to date only positive regulatory elements, such as the alternative sigma factor BotR, have been implicated in this control. The identification of negative regulators has proven to be elusive. Here, we show that the two-component signal transduction system CBO0787/CBO0786 negatively regulates botulinum neurotoxin expression. Single insertional inactivation of cbo0787 encoding a sensor histidine kinase, or of cbo0786 encoding a response regulator, resulted in significantly elevated neurotoxin gene expression levels and increased neurotoxin production. Recombinant CBO0786 regulator was shown to bind to the conserved −10 site of the core promoters of the ha and ntnh-botA operons, which encode the toxin structural and accessory proteins. Increasing concentration of CBO0786 inhibited BotR-directed transcription from the ha and ntnh-botA promoters, demonstrating direct transcriptional repression of the ha and ntnh-botA operons by CBO0786. Thus, we propose that CBO0786 represses neurotoxin gene expression by blocking BotR-directed transcription from the neurotoxin promoters. This is the first evidence of a negative regulator controlling botulinum neurotoxin production. Understanding the neurotoxin regulatory mechanisms is a major target of the food and pharmaceutical industries alike. PMID:23555260

  9. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    PubMed

    Norris, R D; Turner, S Kirtland; Hull, P M; Ridgwell, A

    2013-08-01

    The future impacts of anthropogenic global change on marine ecosystems are highly uncertain, but insights can be gained from past intervals of high atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure. The long-term geological record reveals an early Cenozoic warm climate that supported smaller polar ecosystems, few coral-algal reefs, expanded shallow-water platforms, longer food chains with less energy for top predators, and a less oxygenated ocean than today. The closest analogs for our likely future are climate transients, 10,000 to 200,000 years in duration, that occurred during the long early Cenozoic interval of elevated warmth. Although the future ocean will begin to resemble the past greenhouse world, it will retain elements of the present "icehouse" world long into the future. Changing temperatures and ocean acidification, together with rising sea level and shifts in ocean productivity, will keep marine ecosystems in a state of continuous change for 100,000 years. PMID:23908226

  10. Synthesis/biological evaluation of hydroxamic acids and their prodrugs as inhibitors for Botulinum neurotoxin A light chain

    PubMed Central

    Seki, Hajime; Pellett, Sabine; Šilhár, Peter; Stowe, G. Neil; Blanco, Beatriz; Lardy, Matthew; Johnson, Eric A.; Janda, Kim D.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) is the most potent toxin known. Unfortunately, it is also a potential bioweapon in terrorism, which is without an approved therapeutic treatment once cellular intoxication takes place. Previously, we reported how hydroxamic acid prodrug carbamates increased cellular uptake, which translated to successful inhibition of this neurotoxin. Building upon this research, we detail BoNT/A protease molecular modeling studies accompanied by the construction of small library of hydroxamic acids based on 2,4-dichlorocinnamic hydroxamic acid scaffold and their carbamate prodrug derivatization along with the evaluation of these molecules in both enzymatic and cellular models. PMID:24360826

  11. Detection of Clostridium tetani in human clinical samples using tetX specific primers targeting the neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Ganesh, Madhu; Sheikh, Nasira K; Shah, Pooja; Mehetre, Gajanan; Dharne, Mahesh S; Nagoba, Basavraj S

    2016-01-01

    Tetanus resulting from ear injury remains an important health problem, particularly in the developing world. We report the successful detection of Clostridium tetani using tetX specific primers targeting the Cl. tetani neurotoxin. The sample was obtained from an ear discharge of a case of otogenic tetanus in a 2-year-old male child. Based on the culture results of the ear discharge, Gram staining and virulence testing by genotyping, a diagnosis of tetanus was confirmed. This is the first report from India on the successful detection of Cl. tetani in a human clinical sample using tetX specific primers targeting the Cl. tetani neurotoxin. PMID:26220795

  12. Tetanus neurotoxin-mediated cleavage of cellubrevin impairs epithelial cell migration and integrin-dependent cell adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Proux-Gillardeaux, Véronique; Gavard, Julie; Irinopoulou, Theano; Mège, René-Marc; Galli, Thierry

    2005-01-01

    A role for endocytosis and exocytosis in cell migration has been proposed but not yet demonstrated. Here, we show that cellubrevin (Cb), an early endosomal v-SNARE, mediates trafficking in the lamellipod of migrating epithelial cells and partially colocalizes with markers of focal contacts. Expression of tetanus neurotoxin, which selectively cleaves Cb, significantly reduced the speed of migrating epithelial cells. Furthermore, expression of tetanus neurotoxin enhanced the adhesion of epithelial cells to collagen, laminin, fibronectin, and E-cadherin; altered spreading on collagen; and impaired the recycling of β1 integrins. These results suggest that Cb-dependent membrane trafficking participates in cell motility through the regulation of cell adhesion. PMID:15851685

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. Antifungal and antiviral products of marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Wong, Jack Ho; Pan, Wen Liang; Chan, Yau Sang; Yin, Cui Ming; Dan, Xiu Li; Wang, He Xiang; Fang, Evandro Fei; Lam, Sze Kwan; Ngai, Patrick Hung Kui; Xia, Li Xin; Liu, Fang; Ye, Xiu Yun; Zhang, Guo Qing; Liu, Qing Hong; Sha, Ou; Lin, Peng; Ki, Chan; Bekhit, Adnan A; Bekhit, Alaa El-Din; Wan, David Chi Cheong; Ye, Xiu Juan; Xia, Jiang; Ng, Tzi Bun

    2014-04-01

    Marine organisms including bacteria, fungi, algae, sponges, echinoderms, mollusks, and cephalochordates produce a variety of products with antifungal activity including bacterial chitinases, lipopeptides, and lactones; fungal (-)-sclerotiorin and peptaibols, purpurides B and C, berkedrimane B and purpuride; algal gambieric acids A and B, phlorotannins; 3,5-dibromo-2-(3,5-dibromo-2-methoxyphenoxy)phenol, spongistatin 1, eurysterols A and B, nortetillapyrone, bromotyrosine alkaloids, bis-indole alkaloid, ageloxime B and (-)-ageloxime D, haliscosamine, hamigeran G, hippolachnin A from sponges; echinoderm triterpene glycosides and alkene sulfates; molluscan kahalalide F and a 1485-Da peptide with a sequence SRSELIVHQR; and cepalochordate chitotriosidase and a 5026.9-Da antifungal peptide. The antiviral compounds from marine organisms include bacterial polysaccharide and furan-2-yl acetate; fungal macrolide, purpurester A, purpurquinone B, isoindolone derivatives, alterporriol Q, tetrahydroaltersolanol C and asperterrestide A, algal diterpenes, xylogalactofucan, alginic acid, glycolipid sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol, sulfated polysaccharide p-KG03, meroditerpenoids, methyl ester derivative of vatomaric acid, lectins, polysaccharides, tannins, cnidarian zoanthoxanthin alkaloids, norditerpenoid and capilloquinol; crustacean antilipopolysaccharide factors, molluscan hemocyanin; echinoderm triterpenoid glycosides; tunicate didemnin B, tamandarins A and B and; tilapia hepcidin 1-5 (TH 1-5), seabream SauMx1, SauMx2, and SauMx3, and orange-spotted grouper β-defensin. Although the mechanisms of antifungal and antiviral activities of only some of the aforementioned compounds have been elucidated, the possibility to use those known to have distinctly different mechanisms, good bioavailability, and minimal toxicity in combination therapy remains to be investigated. It is also worthwhile to test the marine antimicrobials for possible synergism with existing drugs. The prospects of

  19. Predator-Induced Fleeing Behaviors in Phytoplankton: A New Mechanism for Harmful Algal Bloom Formation?

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Elizabeth L.; Menden-Deuer, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    In the plankton, heterotrophic microbes encounter and ingest phytoplankton prey, which effectively removes >50% of daily phytoplankton production in the ocean and influences global primary production and biochemical cycling rates. Factors such as size, shape, nutritional value, and presence of chemical deterrents are known to affect predation pressure. Effects of movement behaviors of either predator or prey on predation pressure, and particularly fleeing behaviors in phytoplankton are thus far unknown. Here, we quantified individual 3D movements, population distributions, and survival rates of the toxic phytoplankton species, Heterosigma akashiwo in response to a ciliate predator and predator-derived cues. We observed predator-induced defense behaviors previously unknown for phytoplankton. Modulation of individual phytoplankton movements during and after predator exposure resulted in an effective separation of predator and prey species. The strongest avoidance behaviors were observed when H. akashiwo co-occurred with an actively grazing predator. Predator-induced changes in phytoplankton movements resulted in a reduction in encounter rate and a 3-fold increase in net algal population growth rate. A spatially explicit population model predicted rapid phytoplankton bloom formation only when fleeing behaviors were incorporated. These model predictions reflected field observations of rapid H. akashiwo harmful algal bloom (HAB) formation in the coastal ocean. Our results document a novel behavior in phytoplankton that can significantly reduce predation pressure and suggests a new mechanism for HAB formation. Phytoplankton behaviors that minimize predatory losses, maximize resource acquisition, and alter community composition and distribution patterns could have major implications for our understanding and predictive capacity of marine primary production and biochemical cycling rates. PMID:23029518

  20. Zooplankton may serve as transmission vectors for viruses infecting algal blooms in the ocean.

    PubMed

    Frada, Miguel José; Schatz, Daniella; Farstey, Viviana; Ossolinski, Justin E; Sabanay, Helena; Ben-Dor, Shifra; Koren, Ilan; Vardi, Assaf

    2014-11-01

    Marine viruses are recognized as a major driving force regulating phytoplankton community composition and nutrient cycling in the oceans. Yet, little is known about mechanisms that influence viral dispersal in aquatic systems, other than physical processes, and that lead to the rapid demise of large-scale algal blooms in the oceans. Here, we show that copepods, abundant migrating crustaceans that graze on phytoplankton, as well as other zooplankton can accumulate and mediate the transmission of viruses infecting Emiliania huxleyi, a bloom-forming coccolithophore that plays an important role in the carbon cycle. We detected by PCR that >80% of copepods collected during a North Atlantic E. huxleyi bloom carried E. huxleyi virus (EhV) DNA. We demonstrated by isolating a new infectious EhV strain from a copepod microbiome that these viruses are infectious. We further showed that EhVs can accumulate in high titers within zooplankton guts during feeding or can be adsorbed to their surface. Subsequently, EhV can be dispersed by detachment or via viral-dense fecal pellets over a period of 1 day postfeeding on EhV-infected algal cells, readily infecting new host populations. Intriguingly, the passage through zooplankton guts prolonged EhV's half-life of infectivity by 35%, relative to free virions in seawater, potentially enhancing viral transmission. We propose that zooplankton, swimming through topographically adjacent phytoplankton micropatches and migrating daily over large areas across physically separated water masses, can serve as viral vectors, boosting host-virus contact rates and potentially accelerating the demise of large-scale phytoplankton blooms. PMID:25438947

  1. Direct and indirect effects of high pCO2 on algal grazing by coral reef herbivores from the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borell, E. M.; Steinke, M.; Fine, M.

    2013-12-01

    Grazing on marine macroalgae is a key structuring process for coral reef communities. However, ocean acidification from rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations is predicted to adversely affect many marine animals, while seaweed communities may benefit and prosper. We tested how exposure to different pCO2 (400, 1,800 and 4,000 μatm) may affect grazing on the green alga Ulva lactuca by herbivorous fish and sea urchins from the coral reefs in the northern Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea), either directly, by changing herbivore behaviour, or indirectly via changes in algal palatability. We also determined the effects of pCO2 on algal tissue concentrations of protein and the grazing-deterrent secondary metabolite dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). Grazing preferences and overall consumption were tested in a series of multiple-choice feeding experiments in the laboratory and in situ following exposure for 14 d (algae) and 28 d (herbivores). 4,000 μatm had a significant effect on the biochemical composition and palatability of U. lactuca. No effects were observed at 1,800 relative to 400 μatm (control). Exposure of U. lactuca to 4,000 μatm resulted in a significant decrease in protein and increase in DMSP concentration. This coincided with a reduced preference for these algae by the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla and different herbivorous fish species in situ (Acanthuridae, Siganidae and Pomacanthidae). No feeding preferences were observed for the rabbitfish Siganus rivulatus under laboratory conditions. Exposure to elevated pCO2 had no direct effect on the overall algal consumption by T. gratilla and S. rivulatus. Our results show that CO2 has the potential to alter algal palatability to different herbivores which could have important implications for algal abundance and coral community structure. The fact that pCO2 effects were observed only at a pCO2 of 4,000 μatm, however, indicates that algal-grazer interactions may be resistant to predicted pCO2 concentrations in the

  2. Microbial-algal community changes during the latest Permian ecological crisis: Evidence from lipid biomarkers at Cili, South China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Genming; Wang, Yongbiao; Grice, Kliti; Kershaw, Steve; Algeo, Thomas J.; Ruan, Xiaoyan; Yang, Hao; Jia, Chengling; Xie, Shucheng

    2013-06-01

    Microbialites flourished globally immediately following the latest Permian mass extinction. In this study, lipid biomarker records were analyzed in the Cili section (Hunan Province, South China) in order to determine the types of microbes involved in microbialite formation and their response to contemporaneous environmental changes. Various biomarkers were identified in the aliphatic and aromatic fractions using gas chromatography (GC) and GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Low abundance of steranes in the microbialite layer suggests that it did not contain large amounts of algae, in striking contrast to the abundant algal fossils and algal-derived steranes present in the underlying (pre-crisis) skeletal limestone. Although pristine/phytane (Pr/Ph) ratios increased in the microbialite layer, covariation of Pr/Ph with the ratio of low- to high-molecular-weight n-alkanes (C20 -/C20 +) suggests that the former proxy was controlled by microbial (particularly cyanobacterial) inputs rather than by redox conditions. The microbialite also yielded low ratios of hopanes to short-chain n-alkanes (HP/Lalk) and high abundances of C21n-alkylcyclohexane, indicating that, in addition to cyanobacteria, anaerobic bacteria, archaea, and possibly acritarchs flourished in the aftermath of the marine extinction event. The upper part of the thinly bedded micritic limestone overlying the microbialite exhibits a bimodal distribution of n-alkanes as well as increased abundances of extended tricyclic terpanes and steranes, suggesting a return of habitable shallow-marine conditions for eukaryotic algae several hundred thousand years after the latest Permian mass extinction. Increases in the dibenzofuran ratio (i.e., DBF/(DBF + DBT + F)) and in the coronene to phenanthrene ratio (Cor/P) in the skeletal limestone immediately below the microbialite are evidence of enhanced soil erosion rates and wildfire intensity, marking the collapse of terrestrial ecosystems. The terrestrial crisis thus slightly

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Century-scale variability of Coralline Algal Calcification Rates in the North Pacific and North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halfar, J.; Chan, P.; Adey, W.; Hetzinger, S.; Williams, B.; Steneck, R.; Lebednik, P.

    2012-04-01

    Ocean acidification may inhibit calcification pathways of marine plants and animals. Recently, it has been suggested that aragonitic tropical corals and other marine calcifiers already exhibit declining calcification rates. Greater oceanic CO2 uptake at mid-to-high latitudes may result in greater inhibition of calcium carbonate secretion in subarctic organisms than in those at lower latitudes. Such inhibition may be particularly evident in the metabolically expensive high Mg-calcite skeletons of the shallow-water, habitat-forming coralline algae. It has been shown that biogenic high Mg-calcites exceed the solubility of aragonite at approximately 12 mol% MgCO3. Here we present the first century-scale records of calcification rates in the coralline alga Clathromorphum sp. from the North Pacific/Bering Sea region and the subarctic NW Atlantic. Clathromorphum forms annual growth increments in its massive skeleton and is known to have a lifespan of up to several centuries. The seasonal MgCO3 range in Clathromorphum from our subarctic collection sites fluctuates between 10-15 mol%. Century-long time series of calcification rates - the product of skeletal density and linear extension - were generated at submonthly resolution using Micro Computer Tomography. Results indicate that coralline algal calcification rates display multidecadal cycles that covary with regional climate indices such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Unlike studies of other marine calcifiers, this study has not detected a significant decline in calcification rates during the past decades. This is likely attributable to Clathromorphum calcification being metabolically driven, with the organism maintaining significant physiological control over both placement and dissolution of carbonate. Most carbonate in Clathromorphum cells is deposited along an inner wall embedded in an organic matrix of very small, radially-placed high magnesium calcite crystals.

  13. Noradrenergic-Dopaminergic Interactions Due to DSP-4-MPTP Neurotoxin Treatments: Iron Connection.

    PubMed

    Archer, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    The investigations of noradrenergic lesions and dopaminergic lesions have established particular profiles of functional deficits and accompanying alterations of biomarkers in brain regions and circuits. In the present account, the focus of these lesions is directed toward the effects upon dopaminergic neurotransmission and expression that are associated with the movement disorders and psychosis-like behavior. In this context, it was established that noradrenergic denervation, through administration of the selective noradrenaline (NA) neurotoxin, DSP-4, should be performed prior to the depletion of dopamine (DA) with the selective neurotoxin, MPTP. Employing this regime, it was shown that (i) following DSP-4 (50 mg/kg) pretreatment of C57/Bl6 mice, both the functional and neurochemical (DA loss) effects of MPTP (2 × 20 and 2 × 40 mg/kg) were markedly exacerbated, and (ii) following postnatal iron (Fe(2+), 7.5 mg/kg, on postnatal days 19-12), pretreatment with DSP-4 followed by the lower 2 × 20 mg/kg MPTP dose induced even greater losses of motor behavior and striatal DA. As yet, the combination of NA-DA depletions, and even more so Fe(2+)-NA-DA depletion, has been considered to present a movement disorder aspect although studies exploring cognitive domains are lacking. With intrusion of iron overload into this formula, the likelihood of neuropsychiatric disorder, as well, unfolds. PMID:26718588

  14. Exploration of endogenous substrate cleavage by various forms of botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiubiao; Wang, Jinglin; Chan, Edward Waichi; Chen, Sheng

    2015-06-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins are the most potent protein neurotoxin known to human. The dual roles of BoNTs as both the causative agent of human botulism and a widely used protein-based therapeutic agent for treatment of numerous neuromuscular disorders/cosmetic uses make it an extremely hot topic of research. Biochemical characterization of these toxins was mainly confined to the recombinant light chains and substrate and little is known about their efficiency on the cleavage of endogenous substrates. In the present study, we showed that BoNTs exhibited variable activities on their endogenous substrates and that their efficiency to cleave recombinant and endogenous substrate was not consistent, presumably due to the differential recognition of their respective substrates in the natural SNARE complex format. Through testing the combinatorial effects of different BoNTs on cleavage of endogenous substrates, we showed that the combinations of LC/A and LC/B, as well as LC/A and LC/F, could enhance the activity of each individual BoNT. This finding may shed light on the future development of new BoNT serotypes for clinical application, and formulation of combinatorial uses of different BoNTs to minimize the development of immuno-resistance by using a lower amount of individual type. PMID:25912942

  15. New Elements To Consider When Modeling the Hazards Associated with Botulinum Neurotoxin in Food

    PubMed Central

    Mura, Ivan; Malakar, Pradeep K.; Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W.; Barker, G. C.

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most potent biological substances known to mankind. BoNTs are the agents responsible for botulism, a rare condition affecting the neuromuscular junction and causing a spectrum of diseases ranging from mild cranial nerve palsies to acute respiratory failure and death. BoNTs are a potential biowarfare threat and a public health hazard, since outbreaks of foodborne botulism are caused by the ingestion of preformed BoNTs in food. Currently, mathematical models relating to the hazards associated with C. botulinum, which are largely empirical, make major contributions to botulinum risk assessment. Evaluated using statistical techniques, these models simulate the response of the bacterium to environmental conditions. Though empirical models have been successfully incorporated into risk assessments to support food safety decision making, this process includes significant uncertainties so that relevant decision making is frequently conservative and inflexible. Progression involves encoding into the models cellular processes at a molecular level, especially the details of the genetic and molecular machinery. This addition drives the connection between biological mechanisms and botulism risk assessment and hazard management strategies. This review brings together elements currently described in the literature that will be useful in building quantitative models of C. botulinum neurotoxin production. Subsequently, it outlines how the established form of modeling could be extended to include these new elements. Ultimately, this can offer further contributions to risk assessments to support food safety decision making. PMID:26350137

  16. Domain Organization in Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Type E is Unique: Its Implication in Faster Translocation

    SciTech Connect

    Kumaran, D.; Eswaramoorthy, S; Furey, W; Navaza, J; Sax, M; Swaminathan, S

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven antigenically distinct neurotoxins [C. botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) A-G] sharing a significant sequence homology. Based on sequence and functional similarity, it was believed that their three-dimensional structures will also be similar. Indeed, the crystal structures of BoNTs A and B exhibit similar fold and domain association where the translocation domain is flanked on either side by binding and catalytic domains. Here, we report the crystal structure of BoNT E holotoxin and show that the domain association is different and unique, although the individual domains are similar to those of BoNTs A and B. In BoNT E, both the binding domain and the catalytic domain are on the same side of the translocation domain, and all three have mutual interfaces. This unique association may have an effect on the rate of translocation, with the molecule strategically positioned in the vesicle for quick entry into cytosol. Botulism, the disease caused by BoNT E, sets in faster than any other serotype because of its speedy internalization and translocation, and the present structure offers a credible explanation. We propose that the translocation domain in other BoNTs follows a two-step process to attain translocation-competent conformation as in BoNT E. We also suggest that this translocation-competent conformation in BoNT E is a probable reason for its faster toxic rate compared to BoNT A. However, this needs further experimental elucidation.

  17. Inhibition of botulinum neurotoxins interchain disulfide bond reduction prevents the peripheral neuroparalysis of botulism.

    PubMed

    Zanetti, Giulia; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Pirazzini, Marcon; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C; Fillo, Silvia; Lista, Florigio; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) form a growing family of metalloproteases with a unique specificity either for VAMP, SNAP25 or syntaxin. The BoNTs are grouped in seven different serotypes indicated by letters from A to G. These neurotoxins enter the cytosol of nerve terminals via a 100 kDa chain which binds to the presynaptic membrane and assists the translocation of a 50 kDa metalloprotease chain. These two chains are linked by a single disulfide bridge which plays an essential role during the entry of the metalloprotease chain in the cytosol, but thereafter it has to be reduced to free the proteolytic activity. Its reduction is mediated by thioredoxin which is continuously regenerated by its reductase. Here we show that inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase or of thioredoxin prevent the specific proteolysis of VAMP by the four VAMP-specific BoNTs: type B, D, F and G. These compounds are effective not only in primary cultures of neurons, but also in preventing the in vivo mouse limb neuroparalysis. In addition, one of these inhibitors, Ebselen, largely protects mice from the death caused by a systemic injection. Together with recent results obtained with BoNTs specific for SNAP25 and syntaxin, the present data demonstrate the essential role of the thioredoxin-thioredoxin reductase system in reducing the interchain disulfide during the nerve intoxication mechanism of all serotypes. Therefore its inhibitors should be considered for a possible use to prevent botulism and for treating infant botulism. PMID:26449594

  18. New Elements To Consider When Modeling the Hazards Associated with Botulinum Neurotoxin in Food.

    PubMed

    Ihekwaba, Adaoha E C; Mura, Ivan; Malakar, Pradeep K; Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W; Barker, G C

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most potent biological substances known to mankind. BoNTs are the agents responsible for botulism, a rare condition affecting the neuromuscular junction and causing a spectrum of diseases ranging from mild cranial nerve palsies to acute respiratory failure and death. BoNTs are a potential biowarfare threat and a public health hazard, since outbreaks of foodborne botulism are caused by the ingestion of preformed BoNTs in food. Currently, mathematical models relating to the hazards associated with C. botulinum, which are largely empirical, make major contributions to botulinum risk assessment. Evaluated using statistical techniques, these models simulate the response of the bacterium to environmental conditions. Though empirical models have been successfully incorporated into risk assessments to support food safety decision making, this process includes significant uncertainties so that relevant decision making is frequently conservative and inflexible. Progression involves encoding into the models cellular processes at a molecular level, especially the details of the genetic and molecular machinery. This addition drives the connection between biological mechanisms and botulism risk assessment and hazard management strategies. This review brings together elements currently described in the literature that will be useful in building quantitative models of C. botulinum neurotoxin production. Subsequently, it outlines how the established form of modeling could be extended to include these new elements. Ultimately, this can offer further contributions to risk assessments to support food safety decision making. PMID:26350137

  19. Mechanism of substrate recognition by the novel Botulinum Neurotoxin subtype F5.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiubiao; Chan, Edward Wai Chi; Chen, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the causative agents of botulism, which act by potently inhibiting the neurotransmitter release in motor neurons. Seven serotypes of BoNTs designated as BoNT/A-G have been identified. Recently, two novel types of Botulinum neurotoxins, which cleave a novel scissile bond, L(54)-E(55), of VAMP-2 have been reported including BoNT/F subtype F5 and serotype H. However, little has been known on how these BoNTs recognize their substrates. The present study addressed for the first time the unique substrate recognition mechanism of LC/F5. Our data indicated that the optimal peptide required for efficient LC/F5 substrate cleavage is VAMP-2 (20-65). Interestingly, the overall mode of substrate recognition adopted by LC/F5 was similar to LC/F1, except that its recognition sites were shifted one helix toward the N-terminus of VAMP-2 when compared to that of LC/F1. The composition of LC/F5 pockets were found to have changed accordingly to facilitate specific recognition of these new sites of VAMP-2, including the P2', P1', P2, P3, B3, B2 and B1 sites. The study provides direct evidence of the evolutionary adaption of BoNT to recognize its substrate which is useful for effective antitoxin and inhibitor development. PMID:26794648

  20. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Callista B.; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R.; Morgan, Garry P.; Nguyen, Tam H.; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  1. Acute Radiation Disease : Cutaneous Syndrome and Toxic properties of Radiomimetics -Radiation Neurotoxins and Hematotoxins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Cutaneous injury is an important complication of a general or local acute irradiation. A type of a skin and tissues lesions depends on a type, intensity, and period of irradiation. Also, the clinical picture, signs, and manifestations of the cutaneous syndrome depend on a type of the radiation toxins circulated in lymph and blood of irradiated mammals. Radiation Toxins were isolated from lymph of the mammals that were irradiated and developed different forms of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) -Cerebrovascular, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, and Hematopoietic. Radiation Toxins can be divided into the two important types of toxins (Neu-rotoxins and Hematotoxins) or four groups. The effects of Radiation Neurotoxins include severe damages and cell death of brain, heart, gastrointestinal tissues and endothelial cells of blood and lymphatic vessels. The hematotoxicity of Hematotoxic Radiation Toxins includes lym-phopenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia in the blood circulation and transitory lymphocytosis and leukocytosis in the Central Lymphatic System. In all cases, administration of the Radiomimetics (Radiation Toxins) intramuscularly or intravenously to healthy, radiation naive mammals had induced and developed the typical clinical manifestations of the ARS. In all cases, administration of Radiomimetics by subtoxic doses had demonstrated development of typical clinical signs of the cutaneous syndrome such as hair loss, erythema, swelling, desqua-mation, blistering and skin necrosis. In animal-toxic models, we have activated development of the local skin and tissue injury after injection of Radiation Toxins with cytoxic properties.

  2. Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype a Specific Cell-Based Potency Assay to Replace the Mouse Bioassay

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Salas, Ester; Wang, Joanne; Molina, Yanira; Nelson, Jeremy B.; Jacky, Birgitte P. S.; Aoki, K. Roger

    2012-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A), a potent therapeutic used to treat various disorders, inhibits vesicular neurotransmitter exocytosis by cleaving SNAP25. Development of cell-based potency assays (CBPAs) to assess the biological function of BoNT/A have been challenging because of its potency. CBPAs can evaluate the key steps of BoNT action: receptor binding, internalization-translocation, and catalytic activity; and therefore could replace the current mouse bioassay. Primary neurons possess appropriate sensitivity to develop potential replacement assays but those potency assays are difficult to perform and validate. This report describes a CBPA utilizing differentiated human neuroblastoma SiMa cells and a sandwich ELISA that measures BoNT/A-dependent intracellular increase of cleaved SNAP25. Assay sensitivity is similar to the mouse bioassay and measures neurotoxin biological activity in bulk drug substance and BOTOX® product (onabotulinumtoxinA). Validation of a version of this CBPA in a Quality Control laboratory has led to FDA, Health Canada, and European Union approval for potency testing of BOTOX®, BOTOX® Cosmetic, and Vistabel®. Moreover, we also developed and optimized a BoNT/A CBPA screening assay that can be used for the discovery of novel BoNT/A inhibitors to treat human disease. PMID:23185348

  3. Computer-aided identification, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel inhibitors for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    SciTech Connect

    Teng, Y. G.; Berger, W. T.; Nesbitt, N. M.; Kumar, K.; Balius, T. E.; Rizzo, R. C.; Tonge, P. J.; Ojima, I.; Swaminathan, S.

    2015-07-27

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxin known to humans, and are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). There are seven known BoNT serotypes (A-G) which have been thus far identified in literature. BoNTs have been shown to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Disruption of the SNARE complex precludes motor neuron failure which ultimately results in flaccid paralysis in humans and animals. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatments against the neurotoxin light chain (LC) after translocation into the cytosols of motor neurons. In this work, high-throughput virtual screening was employed to screen a library of commercially available compounds from ZINC database against BoNT/A-LC. Among the hit compounds from the in-silico screening, two lead compounds were identified and found to have potent inhibitory activity against BoNT/A-LC in vitro, as well as in Neuro-2a cells. A few analogues of the lead compounds were synthesized and their potency examined. One of these analogues showed an enhanced activity than the lead compounds

  4. Computer-aided identification, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel inhibitors for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Teng, Y. G.; Berger, W. T.; Nesbitt, N. M.; Kumar, K.; Balius, T. E.; Rizzo, R. C.; Tonge, P. J.; Ojima, I.; Swaminathan, S.

    2015-07-27

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxin known to humans, and are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). There are seven known BoNT serotypes (A-G) which have been thus far identified in literature. BoNTs have been shown to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Disruption of the SNARE complex precludes motor neuron failure which ultimately results in flaccid paralysis in humans and animals. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatments against the neurotoxin light chain (LC) after translocation intomore » the cytosols of motor neurons. In this work, high-throughput virtual screening was employed to screen a library of commercially available compounds from ZINC database against BoNT/A-LC. Among the hit compounds from the in-silico screening, two lead compounds were identified and found to have potent inhibitory activity against BoNT/A-LC in vitro, as well as in Neuro-2a cells. A few analogues of the lead compounds were synthesized and their potency examined. One of these analogues showed an enhanced activity than the lead compounds« less

  5. Identification of a Unique Ganglioside Binding Loop within Botulinum Neurotoxins C and D-SA

    SciTech Connect

    Karalewitz, Andrew P.-A.; Kroken, Abby R.; Fu, Zhuji; Baldwin, Michael R.; Kim, Jung-Ja P.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-09-22

    The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent protein toxins for humans. There are seven serotypes of BoNTs (A-G) based on a lack of cross antiserum neutralization. BoNTs utilize gangliosides as components of the host receptors for binding and entry into neurons. Members of BoNT/C and BoNT/D serotypes include mosaic toxins that are organized in D/C and C/D toxins. One D/C mosaic toxin, BoNT/D-South Africa (BoNT/D-SA), was not fully neutralized by immunization with BoNT serotype C or D, which stimulated this study. Here the crystal structures of the receptor binding domains of BoNT/C, BoNT/D, and BoNT/D-SA are presented. Biochemical and cell binding studies show that BoNT/C and BoNT/D-SA possess unique mechanisms for ganglioside binding. These studies provide new information about how the BoNTs can enter host cells as well as a basis for understanding the immunological diversity of these neurotoxins.

  6. Unconventional amino acid sequence of the sun anemone (Stoichactis helianthus) polypeptide neurotoxin

    SciTech Connect

    Kem, W.; Dunn, B.; Parten, B.; Pennington, M.; Price, D.

    1986-05-01

    A 5000 dalton polypeptide neurotoxin (Sh-NI) purified by G50 Sephadex, P-cellulose, and SP-Sephadex chromatography was homogeneous by isoelectric focusing. Sh-NI was highly toxic to crayfish (LD/sub 50/ 0.6 ..mu..g/kg) but without effect upon mice at 15,000 ..mu..g/kg (i.p. injection). The reduced, /sup 3/H-carboxymethylated toxin and its fragments were subjected to automatic Edman degradation and the resulting PTH-amino acids were identified by HPLC, back hydrolysis, and scintillation counting. Peptides resulting from proteolytic (clostripain, staphylococcal protease) and chemical (tryptophan) cleavage were sequenced. The sequence is: AACKCDDEGPDIRTAPLTGTVDLGSCNAGWEKCASYYTIIADCCRKKK. This sequence differs considerably from the homologous Anemonia and Anthopleura toxins; many of the identical residues (6 half-cystines, G9, P10, R13, G19, G29, W30) are probably critical for folding rather than receptor recognition. However, the Sh-NI sequence closely resembles Radioanthus macrodactylus neurotoxin III and r. paumotensis II. The authors propose that Sh-NI and related Radioanthus toxins act upon a different site on the sodium channel.

  7. Recent developments with metalloprotease inhibitor class of drug candidates for Botulinum neurotoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-03-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins are the most poisonous of all toxins with lethal dose in nanogram quantities. They are also potential biological warfare and bioterrorism agents due to their high toxicity and ease of preparation. On the other hand BoNTs are also being increasingly used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes, and with that the chances of accidental overdose are increasing. And despite the potential damage they could cause to human health, there are no post-intoxication drugs available so far. But progress is being made in this direction. The crystal structures in native form and bound with substrate peptides have been determined, and these are enabling structure-based drug discovery possible. High throughput assays have also been designed to speed up the screening progress. Substrate-based and small molecule inhibitors have been identified. But turning high affinity inhibitors into clinically viable drug candidates has remained a challenge. We discuss here the latest developments and the future challenges in drug discovery for Botulinum neurotoxins.

  8. Neurotoxin-induced selective ubiquitination and regulation of MEF2A isoform in neuronal stress response

    PubMed Central

    She, Hua; Yang, Qian; Mao, Zixu

    2014-01-01

    The myocyte enhancer factor 2A-D (MEF2) proteins are members of the MCM1-agamous-deficiens-serum (MADS) response factor family of transcription factors. Various MEF2 isoform proteins are enriched in neurons and exhibit distinct patterns of expression in different regions of the brain. In neurons, MEF2 functions as a converging factor to regulate many neuronal functions including survival. MEF2 activities are tightly controlled in neurons in response to stress. Whether stress signal may differentially regulate MEF2s remains largely unknown. In this work, we showed that MEF2A but not MEF2C or MEF2D was modified by ubiquitination in dopaminergic neuronal cell line SN4741 cells. MEF2A was ubiquitinated at its N’-terminus, and the ubiquitination of MEF2A was first detectable in the nuclear compartment and later in the cytoplasm. Ubiquitination of MEF2A correlated with reduced DNA-binding activity and transcriptional activity. More importantly, disturbing the degradation of ubiquitinated MEF2A through proteasome pathway by neurotoxins known to induce Parkinson’s disease (PD) features in model animals caused accumulation of ubiquitinated MEF2A, reduced MEF2 activity, and impaired cellular viability. Our work thus provides the first evidence to demonstrate an isoforms specific regulation of MEF2s by ubiquitination-proteasome pathway in dopaminergic neuronal cell by neurotoxins, suggesting that stress signal and cellular context dependent dysregulation of MEF2s may underlie the loss of neuronal viability. PMID:22764880

  9. The elusive compass of clostridial neurotoxins: deciding when and where to go?

    PubMed

    Bercsenyi, Kinga; Giribaldi, Francesco; Schiavo, Giampietro

    2013-01-01

    Axonal transport ensures long-range delivery of essential components and signals between proximal and distal areas of the neuron, and it is crucial for neuronal homeostasis and survival. Several pathogens and virulence factors use this route to gain access to the central nervous system, exploiting the complex and still poorly understood trafficking mechanisms that regulate the dynamics of their cellular receptors. Studying the intracellular transport of neurotropic pathogens is therefore instrumental to glean new insights into these important molecular events. Botulinum (BoNT) and tetanus (TeNT) neurotoxins bind with high affinity to a variety of neurons and are internalised by specialised endocytic pathways leading to specific intracellular fates. Whereas BoNT trafficking is largely confined to the neuromuscular junction, TeNT is internalised in signalling endosomes shared with neurotrophins and their receptors, which are recruited to the fast axonal retrograde transport pathway. Recently, important paradigms regarding the mechanisms by which BoNT and TeNT interact with their cellular targets and are transported in neurons have been challenged. In this review, we summarise new findings concerning the uptake and intracellular trafficking of these neurotoxins, and discuss their implications in terms of the physiological effects of BoNT and TeNT in the central nervous system. PMID:23239350

  10. Computer-aided identification, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel inhibitors for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A.

    PubMed

    Teng, Yu-Han Gary; Berger, William T; Nesbitt, Natasha M; Kumar, Kunal; Balius, Trent E; Rizzo, Robert C; Tonge, Peter J; Ojima, Iwao; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxin known to humans, and are classified as Category A bioterrorism agents by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). There are seven known BoNT serotypes (A-G) which have been thus far identified in literature. BoNTs have been shown to block neurotransmitter release by cleaving proteins of the soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Disruption of the SNARE complex precludes motor neuron failure which ultimately results in flaccid paralysis in humans and animals. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatments against the neurotoxin light chain (LC) after translocation into the cytosols of motor neurons. In this work, high-throughput in silico screening was employed to screen a library of commercially available compounds from ZINC database against BoNT/A-LC. Among the hit compounds from the in silico screening, two lead compounds were identified and found to have potent inhibitory activity against BoNT/A-LC in vitro, as well as in Neuro-2a cells. A few analogs of the lead compounds were synthesized and their potency examined. One of these analogs showed an enhanced activity than the lead compounds. PMID:26275678

  11. Current Status and Future Directions of Botulinum Neurotoxins for Targeting Pain Processing

    PubMed Central

    Pellett, Sabine; Yaksh, Tony L.; Ramachandran, Roshni

    2015-01-01

    Current evidence suggests that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) A1 and B1, given locally into peripheral tissues such as skin, muscles, and joints, alter nociceptive processing otherwise initiated by inflammation or nerve injury in animal models and humans. Recent data indicate that such locally delivered BoNTs exert not only local action on sensory afferent terminals but undergo transport to central afferent cell bodies (dorsal root ganglia) and spinal dorsal horn terminals, where they cleave SNAREs and block transmitter release. Increasing evidence supports the possibility of a trans-synaptic movement to alter postsynaptic function in neuronal and possibly non-neuronal (glial) cells. The vast majority of these studies have been conducted on BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B1, the only two pharmaceutically developed variants. However, now over 40 different subtypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have been identified. By combining our existing and rapidly growing understanding of BoNT/A1 and /B1 in altering nociceptive processing with explorations of the specific characteristics of the various toxins from this family, we may be able to discover or design novel, effective, and long-lasting pain therapeutics. This review will focus on our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms whereby BoNTs alter pain processing, and future directions in the development of these agents as pain therapeutics. PMID:26556371

  12. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Harper, Callista B; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R; Morgan, Garry P; Nguyen, Tam H; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  13. Recent developments with metalloprotease inhibitor class of drug candidates for Botulinum neurotoxins

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Kumar, Gyanendra; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-03-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins are the most poisonous of all toxins with lethal dose in nanogram quantities. They are also potential biological warfare and bioterrorism agents due to their high toxicity and ease of preparation. On the other hand BoNTs are also being increasingly used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes, and with that the chances of accidental overdose are increasing. And despite the potential damage they could cause to human health, there are no post-intoxication drugs available so far. But progress is being made in this direction. The crystal structures in native form and bound with substrate peptides have been determined, andmore » these are enabling structure-based drug discovery possible. High throughput assays have also been designed to speed up the screening progress. Substrate-based and small molecule inhibitors have been identified. But turning high affinity inhibitors into clinically viable drug candidates has remained a challenge. We discuss here the latest developments and the future challenges in drug discovery for Botulinum neurotoxins.« less

  14. Mechanism of substrate recognition by the novel Botulinum Neurotoxin subtype F5

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jiubiao; Chan, Edward Wai Chi; Chen, Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum Neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the causative agents of botulism, which act by potently inhibiting the neurotransmitter release in motor neurons. Seven serotypes of BoNTs designated as BoNT/A-G have been identified. Recently, two novel types of Botulinum neurotoxins, which cleave a novel scissile bond, L54-E55, of VAMP-2 have been reported including BoNT/F subtype F5 and serotype H. However, little has been known on how these BoNTs recognize their substrates. The present study addressed for the first time the unique substrate recognition mechanism of LC/F5. Our data indicated that the optimal peptide required for efficient LC/F5 substrate cleavage is VAMP-2 (20–65). Interestingly, the overall mode of substrate recognition adopted by LC/F5 was similar to LC/F1, except that its recognition sites were shifted one helix toward the N-terminus of VAMP-2 when compared to that of LC/F1. The composition of LC/F5 pockets were found to have changed accordingly to facilitate specific recognition of these new sites of VAMP-2, including the P2′, P1′, P2, P3, B3, B2 and B1 sites. The study provides direct evidence of the evolutionary adaption of BoNT to recognize its substrate which is useful for effective antitoxin and inhibitor development. PMID:26794648

  15. A simple, rapid and sensitive FRET assay for botulinum neurotoxin serotype B detection.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiubiao; Xu, Ci; Li, Xuechen; Chen, Sheng

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most potent naturally-occurring neurotoxins known to humans, comprise seven distinct serotypes (BoNT/A-G), each of which exhibits unique substrate specificity. Many methods have been developed for BoNT detection, in particular for BoNT/A, with various complexity and sensitivity, while substrate based FRET assay is considered as the most widely used approach due to its simplicity and sensitivity. In this study, we designed a vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP2) based FRET assay based on the understanding of the VAMP2 and light chain/B (LC/B) interactions in our previous studies. The current design constituted the shortest peptide, VAMP2 (63-85), with FRET dyes (EDAN and Dabcyl) labelled at position 76 and 85, respectively, which showed minimal effect on VAMP2 substrate catalysis by LC/B and therefore enhanced the sensitivity of the assay. The FRET peptide, designated as FVP-B, was specific to LC/B, with a detection sensitivity as low as ∼20 pM in 2 h. Importantly, FVP-B showed the potential to be scaled up and used in high throughput screening of LC/B inhibitor. The currently developed FRET assay is one of the most economic and rapid FRET assays for LC/B detection. PMID:25437190

  16. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

  17. Marine Algae: a Source of Biomass for Biotechnological Applications.

    PubMed

    Stengel, Dagmar B; Connan, Solène

    2015-01-01

    Biomass derived from marine microalgae and macroalgae is globally recognized as a source of valuable chemical constituents with applications in the agri-horticultural sector (including animal feeds and health and plant stimulants), as human food and food ingredients as well as in the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. Algal biomass supply of sufficient quality and quantity however remains a concern with increasing environmental pressures conflicting with the growing demand. Recent attempts in supplying consistent, safe and environmentally acceptable biomass through cultivation of (macro- and micro-) algal biomass have concentrated on characterizing natural variability in bioactives, and optimizing cultivated materials through strain selection and hybridization, as well as breeding and, more recently, genetic improvements of biomass. Biotechnological tools including metabolomics, transcriptomics, and genomics have recently been extended to algae but, in comparison to microbial or plant biomass, still remain underdeveloped. Current progress in algal biotechnology is driven by an increased demand for new sources of biomass due to several global challenges, new discoveries and technologies available as well as an increased global awareness of the many applications of algae. Algal diversity and complexity provides significant potential provided that shortages in suitable and safe biomass can be met, and consumer demands are matched by commercial investment in product development. PMID:26108496

  18. Marine Ecomechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denny, Mark W.; Gaylord, Brian

    2010-01-01

    The emerging field of marine ecomechanics provides an explicit physical framework for exploring interactions among marine organisms and between these organisms and their environments. It exhibits particular utility through its construction of predictive, mechanistic models, a number of which address responses to changing climatic conditions. Examples include predictions of (a) the change in relative abundance of corals as a function of colony morphology, ocean acidity, and storm intensity; (b) the rate of disturbance and patch formation in beds of mussels, a competitive dominant on many intertidal shores; (c) the dispersal and recruitment patterns of giant kelps, an important nearshore foundation species; (d) the effects of turbulence on external fertilization, a widespread method of reproduction in the sea; and (e) the long-term incidence of extreme ecological events. These diverse examples emphasize the breadth of marine ecomechanics. Indeed, its principles can be applied to any ecological system.

  19. Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome : Radiation Neurotoxins, Mechanisms of Toxicity, Neuroimmune Interactions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome (CvARS) is an extremely severe in-jury of Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). CvARS can be induced by the high doses of neutron, heavy ions, or gamma radiation. The Syndrome clinical picture depends on a type, timing, and the doses of radiation. Four grades of the CvARS were defined: mild, moderate, severe, and extremely severe. Also, four stages of CvARS were developed: prodromal, latent, manifest, outcome -death. Duration of stages depends on the types, doses, and time of radiation. The CvARS clinical symptoms are: respiratory distress, hypotension, cerebral edema, severe disorder of cerebral blood microcirculation, and acute motor weakness. The radiation toxins, Cerebro-Vascular Radiation Neurotoxins (SvARSn), determine development of the acute radiation syndrome. Mechanism of action of the toxins: Though pathogenesis of radiation injury of CNS remains unknown, our concept describes the Cv ARS as a result of Neurotoxicity and Excitotoxicity, cell death through apoptotic necrosis. Neurotoxicity occurs after the high doses radiation exposure, formation of radiation neuro-toxins, possible bioradicals, or group of specific enzymes. Intracerebral hemorrhage can be a consequence of the damage of endothelial cells caused by radiation and the radiation tox-ins. Disruption of blood-brain barrier (BBB)and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCFB)is possibly the most significant effect of microcirculation disorder and metabolic insufficiency. NMDA-receptors excitotoxic injury mediated by cerebral ischemia and cerebral hypoxia. Dam-age of the pyramidal cells in layers 3 and 5 and Purkinje cell layer the cerebral cortex , damage of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus occur as a result of cerebral ischemia and intracerebral bleeding. Methods: Radiation Toxins of CV ARS are defined as glycoproteins with the molec-ular weight of RT toxins ranges from 200-250 kDa and with high enzymatic activity

  20. 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...