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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  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 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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).

  14. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  12. Algal functional annotation tool

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2012-07-12

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

  13. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    2012-07-12

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

  14. 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. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

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

  16. 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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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...

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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

  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 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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