Science.gov

Sample records for mediterranean ascidian ciona

  1. Toll-like Receptors of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, Naoko; Ogasawara, Michio; Sekiguchi, Toshio; Kusumoto, Shoichi; Satake, Honoo

    2009-01-01

    Key transmembrane proteins in the innate immune system, Toll-like receptors (TLRs), have been suggested to occur in the genome of non-mammalian organisms including invertebrates. However, authentic invertebrate TLRs have been neither structurally nor functionally investigated. In this paper, we originally present the structures, localization, ligand recognition, activities, and inflammatory cytokine production of all TLRs of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, designated as Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2. The amino acid sequence of Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2 were found to possess unique structural organization with moderate sequence similarity to functionally characterized vertebrate TLRs. ci-tlr1 and ci-tlr2 genes were expressed predominantly in the stomach and intestine as well as in hemocytes. Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2 expressed in HEK293 cells, unlike vertebrate TLRs, were localized to both the plasma membrane and endosomes. Intriguingly, both Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2 stimulate NF-κB induction in response to multiple pathogenic ligands such as double-stranded RNA, and bacterial cell wall components that are differentially recognized by respective vertebrate TLRs, revealing that Ci-TLRs recognize broader pathogen-associated molecular patterns than vertebrate TLRs. The Ci-TLR-stimulating pathogenic ligands also induced the expression of Ci-TNFα in the intestine and stomach where Ci-TLRs are expressed. These results provide evidence that the TLR-triggered innate immune systems are essentially conserved in ascidians, and that Ci-TLRs possess “hybrid” biological and immunological functions, compared with vertebrate TLRs. Moreover, it is presumed that chordate TLR ancestors also acquired the Ci-TLR-like multiple cellular localization and pathogen-associated molecular pattern recognition. PMID:19651780

  2. Identification of testis-specific ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Naoto; Harada, Yoshito; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2010-07-01

    The ubiquitin-proteasome system is known to play a key role in fertilization in ascidians, sea urchins, and mammals. To obtain insights into the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (Ube2) involved in reproductive systems, we systematically explored Ube2 enzymes expressed in the testis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Here, we report cDNA cloning and characterization of a novel type of Ube2r (Ci0100152677) that is capable of making a thiolester bond with ubiquitin. Northern analysis, whole-mount in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry indicate that this enzyme is exclusively expressed in the testis, mainly in the germ cells during the late stage of spermatogenesis, and is localized in the sperm head and tail, suggesting possible participation in fertilization or spermatogenesis/spermiogenesis. PMID:20578064

  3. Time course for tail regression during metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Matsunobu, Shohei; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2015-09-01

    In most ascidians, the tadpole-like swimming larvae dramatically change their body-plans during metamorphosis and develop into sessile adults. The mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis have been researched and debated for many years. Until now information on the detailed time course of the initiation and completion of each metamorphic event has not been described. One dramatic and important event in ascidian metamorphosis is tail regression, in which ascidian larvae lose their tails to adjust themselves to sessile life. In the present study, we measured the time associated with tail regression in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Larvae are thought to acquire competency for each metamorphic event in certain developmental periods. We show that the timing with which the competence for tail regression is acquired is determined by the time since hatching, and this timing is not affected by the timing of post-hatching events such as adhesion. Because larvae need to adhere to substrates with their papillae to induce tail regression, we measured the duration for which larvae need to remain adhered in order to initiate tail regression and the time needed for the tail to regress. Larvae acquire the ability to adhere to substrates before they acquire tail regression competence. We found that when larvae adhered before they acquired tail regression competence, they were able to remember the experience of adhesion until they acquired the ability to undergo tail regression. The time course of the events associated with tail regression provides a valuable reference, upon which the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis can be elucidated. PMID:26102482

  4. Spermiotoxicity of nickel nanoparticles in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians).

    PubMed

    Gallo, Alessandra; Boni, Raffaele; Buttino, Isabella; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-10-01

    Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose. PMID:27080039

  5. Spermiotoxicity of nickel nanoparticles in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians)

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Alessandra; Boni, Raffaele; Buttino, Isabella; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose. PMID:27080039

  6. Regeneration of oral siphon pigment organs in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Auger, Hélène; Sasakura, Yasunori; Joly, Jean-Stéphane; Jeffery, William R.

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians have powerful capacities for regeneration but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we examine oral siphon regeneration in the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Following amputation, the oral siphon rapidly reforms oral pigment organs (OPO) at its distal margin prior to slower regeneration of proximal siphon parts. The early stages of oral siphon reformation include cell proliferation and re-growth of the siphon nerves, although the neural complex (adult brain and associated organs) is not required for regeneration. Young animals reform OPO more rapidly after amputation than old animals indicating that regeneration is age dependent. UV irradiation, microcautery, and cultured siphon explant experiments indicate that OPOs are replaced as independent units based on local differentiation of progenitor cells within the siphon, rather than by cell migration from a distant source in the body. The typical pattern of eight OPOs and siphon lobes is restored with fidelity after distal amputation of the oral siphon, but as many as 16 OPOs and lobes can be reformed following proximal amputation near the siphon base. Thus, the pattern of OPO regeneration is determined by cues positioned along the proximal distal axis of the oral siphon. A model is presented in which columns of siphon tissue along the proximal–distal axis below pre-existing OPO are responsible for reproducing the normal OPO pattern during regeneration. This study reveals previously unknown principles of oral siphon and OPO regeneration that will be important for developing Ciona as a regeneration model in urochordates, which may be the closest living relatives of vertebrates. PMID:20059994

  7. Proteomics of ionomycin-induced ascidian sperm reaction: Released and exposed sperm proteins in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Nakazawa, Shiori; Shirae-Kurabayashi, Maki; Otsuka, Kei; Sawada, Hitoshi

    2015-12-01

    Sperm proteins mediating sperm-egg interaction should be exhibited on the sperm surface, or exposed or released when sperm approach an egg. In ascidians (protochordates), sperm undergo a sperm reaction, characterized by enhanced sperm motility and mitochondrial swelling and shedding on contact with the vitelline coat (VC) or by treatment with Ca(2+) ionophore. Here, proteomic analysis was conducted on sperm exudates and sperm surface proteins using ionomycin-induced sperm reaction and cell-impermeable labeling in Ciona intestinalis type A (C. robusta). In the exudate from sperm treated with ionomycin, membrane proteins including a possible VC receptor CiUrabin were abundant, indicating the release of membranous compartments during sperm reaction. Among the surface proteins XP_009859314.1 (uncharacterized protein exhibiting homology to HrTTSP-1) was most abundant before the sperm reaction, but XP_004227079.1 (unknown Ig superfamily protein) appears to be most abundantly exposed by the sperm reaction. Moreover, proteins containing a notable set of domains, astacin-like metalloprotease domain and thrombospondin type 1 repeat(s), were found in this fraction. Possible roles in fertilization as well as localizations and behaviors of these proteins are discussed. PMID:26223815

  8. Study of Cis-regulatory Elements in the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Irvine, Steven Q

    2013-03-01

    The ascidian (sea squirt) C. intestinalis has become an important model organism for the study of cis-regulation. This is largely due to the technology that has been developed for assessing cis-regulatory activity through the use of transient reporter transgenes introduced into fertilized eggs. This technique allows the rapid and inexpensive testing of endogenous or altered DNA for regulatory activity in vivo. This review examines evidence that C. intestinalis cis-regulatory elements are located more closely to coding regions than in other model organisms. I go on to compare the organization of cis-regulatory elements and conserved non-coding sequences in Ciona, mammals, and other deuterostomes for three representative C.intestinalis genes, Pax6, FoxAa, and the DlxA-B cluster, along with homologs in the other species. These comparisons point out some of the similarities and differences between cis-regulatory elements and their study in the various model organisms. Finally, I provide illustrations of how C. intestinalis lends itself to detailed study of the structure of cis-regulatory elements, which have led, and promise to continue to lead, to important insights into the fundamentals of transcriptional regulation. PMID:23997651

  9. A one-dimensional model of PCP signaling: polarized cell behavior in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona

    PubMed Central

    Kourakis, Matthew J.; Reeves, Wendy; Newman-Smith, Erin; Maury, Benoit; Abdul-Wajid, Sarah; Smith, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Despite its importance in development and physiology the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway remains one of the most enigmatic signaling mechanisms. The notochord of the ascidian Ciona provides a unique model for investigating the PCP pathway. Interestingly, the notochord appears to be the only embryonic structure in Ciona activating the PCP pathway. Moreover, the Ciona notochord as a single-file array of forty polarized cells is a uniquely tractable system for the study of polarization dynamics and the transmission of the PCP pathway. Here, we test models for propagation of a polarizing signal, interrogating temporal, spatial and signaling requirements. A simple cell-cell relay cascading through the entire length of the notochord is not supported; instead a more complex mechanism is revealed, with interactions influencing polarity between neighboring cells, but not distant ones. Mechanisms coordinating notochord-wide polarity remain elusive, but appear to entrain general (i.e., global) polarity even while local interactions remain important. However, this global polarizer does not appear to act as a localized, spatially-restricted determinant. Coordination of polarity along the long axis of the notochord requires the PCP pathway, a role we demonstrate is temporally distinct from this pathway’s earlier role in convergent extension and intercalation. We also reveal polarity in the notochord to be dynamic: a cell’s polarity state can be changed and then restored, underscoring the Ciona notochord’s amenability for in vivo studies of PCP. PMID:25173874

  10. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick L; Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I; Kuhajek, Jeanne M

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL(-1) in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL(-1) to high µg mL(-1) range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure. PMID:26966668

  11. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure

    PubMed Central

    Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I.; Kuhajek, Jeanne M.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL−1 in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL−1 to high µg mL−1 range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure. PMID:26966668

  12. Insulin-like genes in ascidians: findings in Ciona and hypotheses on the evolutionary origins of the pancreas

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Jordan M.; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Insulin plays an extensively characterized role in the control of sugar metabolism, growth and homeostasis in a wide range of organisms. In vertebrate chordates, insulin is mainly produced by the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas, while in non-chordate animals insulin-producing cells are mainly found in the nervous system and/or scattered along the digestive tract. However, recent studies have indicated the notochord, the defining feature of the chordate phylum, as an additional site of expression of insulin-like peptides. Here we show that two of the three insulin-like genes identified in Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate chordate with a dual life cycle, are first expressed in the developing notochord during embryogenesis and transition to distinct areas of the adult digestive tract after metamorphosis. In addition, we present data suggesting that the transcription factor Ciona Brachyury is involved in the control of notochord expression of at least one of these genes, Ciona insulin-like 2. Lastly, we review the information currently available on insulin-producing cells in ascidians and on pancreas-related transcription factors that might control their expression. PMID:25378051

  13. Evaluation of drug toxicity profiles based on the phenotypes of ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Mizotani, Yuji; Itoh, Shun; Hotta, Kohji; Tashiro, Etsu; Oka, Kotaro; Imoto, Masaya

    2015-08-01

    In vivo toxicity evaluation using model organisms is an important step for the development of new drugs. Here, we report that Ciona intestinalis, a chordate invertebrate, is beneficial to drug toxicity evaluation for the following reasons: rapid embryonic and larval development, resemblance to vertebrates, ease of management, low cost, transparent body, and low risk of ethical issues. The dynamic phenotypic change of Ciona larvae during metamorphosis prompted us to examine the effect of cytotoxic drugs on its development by quantifying six toxicity endpoints: degenerated tail size, ampulla length, rotation of body axis, stomach size, heart rate, and body size. As a result, mitochondrial respiratory inhibitors, tubulin polymerization/depolymerization inhibitors, or DNA/RNA synthesis inhibitors showed distinct toxicity profiles against these six endpoints, but drugs with the same targets showed a similar toxicity profile in Ciona. Our results suggest Ciona is an effective animal model for profiling drug toxicity and exploring the mechanisms of drugs with unknown targets. PMID:26043689

  14. Distal regeneration involves the age dependent activity of branchial sac stem cells in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Tunicates have high capacities for regeneration but the underlying mechanisms and their relationship to life cycle progression are not well understood. Here we investigate the regeneration of distal structures in the ascidian tunicate Ciona intestinalis. Analysis of regenerative potential along the proximal−distal body axis indicated that distal organs, such as the siphons, their pigmented sensory organs, and the neural complex, could only be replaced from body fragments containing the branchial sac. Distal regeneration involves the formation of a blastema composed of cells that undergo cell proliferation prior to differentiation and cells that differentiate without cell proliferation. Both cell types originate in the branchial sac and appear in the blastema at different times after distal injury. Whereas the branchial sac stem cells are present in young animals, they are depleted in old animals that have lost their regeneration capacity. Thus Ciona adults contain a population of age‐related stem cells located in the branchial sac that are a source of precursors for distal body regeneration. PMID:25893097

  15. Toxicity assessment of the antifouling compound zinc pyrithione using early developmental stages of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Bellas, Juan

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated the toxicity of zinc pyrithione (Zpt) on the early stages of development of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Larval morphological abnormalities were studied after the exposure of C. intestinalis embryos at different stages of development. The median effective concentrations (EC50) ranged from 226-590 nM. The larval settlement stage was the most sensitive to Zpt. Toxic effects of Zpt on larval settlement were detected at 9 nM (EC10). The inhibition of C. intestinalis embryonic development was also used to study the loss of toxicity in Zpt solutions exposed to direct sunlight and laboratory UV light. The results showed that the toxicity of Zpt solutions decreased but did not disappear after 4 h exposure to direct sunlight (EC50 = 484 nM) or UV light (EC50 = 453 nM), compared to control Zpt solutions prepared in dark conditions. On the basis of the present data, predicted no effect concentrations of Zpt to C. intestinalis larvae are lower than predicted environmental concentrations of Zpt in certain polluted areas and therefore, may pose a risk to C. intestinalis populations. PMID:16522542

  16. Complete mtDNA of Ciona intestinalis reveals extensive gene rearrangement and the presence of an atp8 and an extra trnM gene in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Gissi, Carmela; Iannelli, Fabio; Pesole, Graziano

    2004-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of the model organism Ciona intestinalis (Urochordata, Ascidiacea) has been amplified by long-PCR using specific primers designed on putative mitochondrial transcripts identified from publicly available mitochondrial-like expressed sequence tags. The C. intestinalis mtDNA encodes 39 genes: 2 rRNAs, 13 subunits of the respiratory complexes, including ATPase subunit 8 ( atp8), and 24 tRNAs, including 2 tRNA-Met with anticodons 5'-UAU-3'and 5'-CAU-3', respectively. All genes are transcribed from the same strand. This gene content seems to be a common feature of ascidian mtDNAs, as we have verified the presence of a previously undetected atp8 and of two trnM genes in the two other sequenced ascidian mtDNAs. Extensive gene rearrangement has been found in C. intestinalis with respect not only to the common Vertebrata/Cephalochordata/Hemichordata gene organization but also to other ascidian mtDNAs, including the cogeneric Ciona savignyi. Other features such as the absence of long noncoding regions, the shortness of rRNA genes, the low GC content (21.4%), and the absence of asymmetric base distribution between the two strands suggest that this genome is more similar to those of some protostomes than to deuterostomes. PMID:15114417

  17. Genomewide gene-associated microsatellite markers for the model invasive ascidian, Ciona intestinalis species complex.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yaping; Chen, Yiyong; Xiong, Wei; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-05-01

    The vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis species complex, has become a good model for ecological and evolutionary studies, especially those focusing on microevolution associated with rapidly changing environments. However, genomewide genetic markers are still lacking. Here, we characterized a large set of genomewide gene-associated microsatellite markers for C. intestinalis spA (=C. robusta). Bioinformatic analysis identified 4654 microsatellites from expressed sequence tags (ESTs), 2126 of which successfully assigned to chromosomes were selected for further analysis. Based on the distribution evenness on chromosomes, function annotation and suitability for primer design, we chose 545 candidate microsatellites for further characterization. After amplification validation and variation assessment, 218 loci were polymorphic in at least one of the two populations collected from the coast of Arenys de Mar, Spain (N = 24-48), and Cape Town, South Africa (N = 24-33). The number of alleles, observed heterozygosity and expected heterozygosity ranged from 2 to 11, 0 to 0.833 and 0.021 to 0.818, and from 2 to 10, 0 to 0.879 and 0.031 to 0.845 for the Spanish and African populations, respectively. When all microsatellites were tested for cross-species utility, only 60 loci (25.8%) could be successfully amplified and all loci were polymorphic in C. intestinalis spB. A high level of genomewide polymorphism is likely responsible for the low transferability. The large set of microsatellite markers characterized here is expected to provide a useful genomewide resource for ecological and evolutionary studies using C. intestinalis as a model. PMID:26505988

  18. Nitric Oxide Affects ERK Signaling through Down-Regulation of MAP Kinase Phosphatase Levels during Larval Development of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Palumbo, Anna

    2014-01-01

    In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis larval development and metamorphosis require a complex interplay of events, including nitric oxide (NO) production, MAP kinases (ERK, JNK) and caspase-3 activation. We have previously shown that NO levels affect the rate of metamorphosis, regulate caspase activity and promote an oxidative stress pathway, resulting in protein nitration. Here, we report that NO down-regulates MAP kinase phosphatases (mkps) expression affecting positively ERK signaling. By pharmacological approach, we observed that the reduction of endogenous NO levels caused a decrease of ERK phosphorylation, whereas increasing levels of NO induced ERK activation. We have also identified the ERK gene network affected by NO, including mpk1, mpk3 and some key developmental genes by quantitative gene expression analysis. We demonstrate that NO induces an ERK-independent down-regulation of mkp1 and mkp3, responsible for maintaining the ERK phosphorylation levels necessary for transcription of key metamorphic genes, such as the hormone receptor rev-erb and the van willebrand protein vwa1c. These results add new insights into the role played by NO during larval development and metamorphosis in Ciona, highlighting the cross-talk between different signaling pathways. PMID:25058405

  19. The diatom-derived aldehyde decadienal affects life cycle transition in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis through nitric oxide/ERK signalling

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Immacolata; Ercolesi, Elena; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) are fatty-acid-derived metabolites produced by some microalgae, including different diatom species. PUAs are mainly produced as a wound-activated defence mechanism against microalgal predators or released from senescent cells at the end of a bloom. PUAs, including 2,4-trans-decadienal (DD), induce deleterious effects on embryonic and larval development of several planktonic and benthic organisms. Here, we report on the effects of DD on larval development and metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ciona larval development is regulated by the cross-talking of different molecular events, including nitric oxide (NO) production, ERK activation and caspase 3-dependent apoptosis. We report that treatment with DD at the competence larval stage results in a delay in metamorphosis. DD affects redox balance by reducing total glutathione and NO levels. By biochemical and quantitative gene expression analysis, we identify the NO-signalling network affected by DD, including the upregulation of ERK phosphatase mkp1 and consequent reduction of ERK phosphorylation, with final changes in the expression of downstream ERK target genes. Overall, these results give new insights into the molecular pathways induced in marine organisms after exposure to PUAs during larval development, demonstrating that this aldehyde affects key checkpoints of larval transition from the vegetative to the reproductive life stage. PMID:25788553

  20. A pipeline for the systematic identification of non-redundant full-ORF cDNAs for polymorphic and evolutionary divergent genomes: Application to the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Gilchrist, Michael J; Sobral, Daniel; Khoueiry, Pierre; Daian, Fabrice; Laporte, Batiste; Patrushev, Ilya; Matsumoto, Jun; Dewar, Ken; Hastings, Kenneth E M; Satou, Yutaka; Lemaire, Patrick; Rothbächer, Ute

    2015-08-15

    Genome-wide resources, such as collections of cDNA clones encoding for complete proteins (full-ORF clones), are crucial tools for studying the evolution of gene function and genetic interactions. Non-model organisms, in particular marine organisms, provide a rich source of functional diversity. Marine organism genomes are, however, frequently highly polymorphic and encode proteins that diverge significantly from those of well-annotated model genomes. The construction of full-ORF clone collections from non-model organisms is hindered by the difficulty of predicting accurately the N-terminal ends of proteins, and distinguishing recent paralogs from highly polymorphic alleles. We report a computational strategy that overcomes these difficulties, and allows for accurate gene level clustering of transcript data followed by the automated identification of full-ORFs with correct 5'- and 3'-ends. It is robust to polymorphism, includes paralog calling and does not require evolutionary proximity to well annotated model organisms. We developed this pipeline for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a highly polymorphic member of the divergent sister group of the vertebrates, emerging as a powerful model organism to study chordate gene function, Gene Regulatory Networks and molecular mechanisms underlying human pathologies. Using this pipeline we have generated the first full-ORF collection for a highly polymorphic marine invertebrate. It contains 19,163 full-ORF cDNA clones covering 60% of Ciona coding genes, and full-ORF orthologs for approximately half of curated human disease-associated genes. PMID:26025923

  1. A pipeline for the systematic identification of non-redundant full-ORF cDNAs for polymorphic and evolutionary divergent genomes: Application to the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Gilchrist, Michael J.; Sobral, Daniel; Khoueiry, Pierre; Daian, Fabrice; Laporte, Batiste; Patrushev, Ilya; Matsumoto, Jun; Dewar, Ken; Hastings, Kenneth E.M.; Satou, Yutaka; Lemaire, Patrick; Rothbächer, Ute

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide resources, such as collections of cDNA clones encoding for complete proteins (full-ORF clones), are crucial tools for studying the evolution of gene function and genetic interactions. Non-model organisms, in particular marine organisms, provide a rich source of functional diversity. Marine organism genomes are, however, frequently highly polymorphic and encode proteins that diverge significantly from those of well-annotated model genomes. The construction of full-ORF clone collections from non-model organisms is hindered by the difficulty of predicting accurately the N-terminal ends of proteins, and distinguishing recent paralogs from highly polymorphic alleles. We report a computational strategy that overcomes these difficulties, and allows for accurate gene level clustering of transcript data followed by the automated identification of full-ORFs with correct 5′- and 3′-ends. It is robust to polymorphism, includes paralog calling and does not require evolutionary proximity to well annotated model organisms. We developed this pipeline for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a highly polymorphic member of the divergent sister group of the vertebrates, emerging as a powerful model organism to study chordate gene function, Gene Regulatory Networks and molecular mechanisms underlying human pathologies. Using this pipeline we have generated the first full-ORF collection for a highly polymorphic marine invertebrate. It contains 19,163 full-ORF cDNA clones covering 60% of Ciona coding genes, and full-ORF orthologs for approximately half of curated human disease-associated genes. PMID:26025923

  2. Evolution of the chordate regeneration blastema: Differential gene expression and conserved role of notch signaling during siphon regeneration in the ascidian Ciona.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Mayuko; Goricki, Spela; Byerly, Mardi S; Satoh, Noriyuki; Jeffery, William R

    2015-09-15

    The regeneration of the oral siphon (OS) and other distal structures in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis occurs by epimorphosis involving the formation of a blastema of proliferating cells. Despite the longstanding use of Ciona as a model in molecular developmental biology, regeneration in this system has not been previously explored by molecular analysis. Here we have employed microarray analysis and quantitative real time RT-PCR to identify genes with differential expression profiles during OS regeneration. The majority of differentially expressed genes were downregulated during OS regeneration, suggesting roles in normal growth and homeostasis. However, a subset of differentially expressed genes was upregulated in the regenerating OS, suggesting functional roles during regeneration. Among the upregulated genes were key members of the Notch signaling pathway, including those encoding the delta and jagged ligands, two fringe modulators, and to a lesser extent the notch receptor. In situ hybridization showed a complementary pattern of delta1 and notch gene expression in the blastema of the regenerating OS. Chemical inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway reduced the levels of cell proliferation in the branchial sac, a stem cell niche that contributes progenitor cells to the regenerating OS, and in the OS regeneration blastema, where siphon muscle fibers eventually re-differentiate. Chemical inhibition also prevented the replacement of oral siphon pigment organs, sensory receptors rimming the entrance of the OS, and siphon muscle fibers, but had no effects on the formation of the wound epidermis. Since Notch signaling is involved in the maintenance of proliferative activity in both the Ciona and vertebrate regeneration blastema, the results suggest a conserved evolutionary role of this signaling pathway in chordate regeneration. The genes identified in this investigation provide the foundation for future molecular analysis of OS regeneration. PMID:26206613

  3. The Mediterranean non-indigenous ascidian Polyandrocarpa zorritensis: Microbiological accumulation capability and environmental implications.

    PubMed

    Stabili, Loredana; Licciano, Margherita; Longo, Caterina; Lezzi, Marco; Giangrande, Adriana

    2015-12-15

    We investigated the bacterial accumulation and digestion capability of Polyandrocarpa zorritensis, a non-indigenous colonial ascidian originally described in Peru and later found in the Mediterranean. Microbiological analyses were carried out on homogenates from "unstarved" and "starved" ascidians and seawater from the same sampling site (Adriatic Sea, Italy). Culturable heterotrophic bacteria (22 °C), total culturable bacteria (37 °C) and vibrios abundances were determined on Marine Agar 2216, Plate Count Agar and TCBS Agar, respectively. Microbial pollution indicators were measured by the most probable number method. All the examined microbiological groups were accumulated by ascidians but differently digested. An interesting outcome is the capability of P. zorritensis to digest allochthonous microorganisms such as coliforms as well as culturable bacteria at 37 °C, counteracting the effects of microbial pollution. Thus, the potential exploitation of these filter feeders to restore polluted seawater should be taken into consideration in the management of this alien species. PMID:26561443

  4. Myelin tetraspan family proteins but no non-tetraspan family proteins are present in the ascidian (Ciona intestinalis) genome.

    PubMed

    Gould, Robert M; Morrison, Hilary G; Gilland, Edwin; Campbell, Robert K

    2005-08-01

    Several of the proteins used to form and maintain myelin sheaths in the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are shared among different vertebrate classes. These proteins include one-to-several alternatively spliced myelin basic protein (MBP) isoforms in all sheaths, proteolipid protein (PLP) and DM20 (except in amphibians) in tetrapod CNS sheaths, and one or two protein zero (P0) isoforms in fish CNS and in all vertebrate PNS sheaths. Several other proteins, including 2', 3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP), myelin and lymphocyte protein (MAL), plasmolipin, and peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22; prominent in PNS myelin), are localized to myelin and myelin-associated membranes, though class distributions are less well studied. Databases with known and identified sequences of these proteins from cartilaginous and teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals were prepared and used to search for potential homologs in the basal vertebrate, Ciona intestinalis. Homologs of lipophilin proteins, MAL/plasmolipin, and PMP22 were identified in the Ciona genome. In contrast, no MBP, P0, or CNP homologs were found. These studies provide a framework for understanding how myelin proteins were recruited during evolution and how structural adaptations enabled them to play key roles in myelination. PMID:16110093

  5. Reference gene selection for quantitative gene expression studies during biological invasions: A test on multiple genes and tissues in a model ascidian Ciona savignyi.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xuena; Gao, Yangchun; Jiang, Bei; Zhou, Zunchun; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-01-15

    As invasive species have successfully colonized a wide range of dramatically different local environments, they offer a good opportunity to study interactions between species and rapidly changing environments. Gene expression represents one of the primary and crucial mechanisms for rapid adaptation to local environments. Here, we aim to select reference genes for quantitative gene expression analysis based on quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) for a model invasive ascidian, Ciona savignyi. We analyzed the stability of ten candidate reference genes in three tissues (siphon, pharynx and intestine) under two key environmental stresses (temperature and salinity) in the marine realm based on three programs (geNorm, NormFinder and delta Ct method). Our results demonstrated only minor difference for stability rankings among the three methods. The use of different single reference gene might influence the data interpretation, while multiple reference genes could minimize possible errors. Therefore, reference gene combinations were recommended for different tissues - the optimal reference gene combination for siphon was RPS15 and RPL17 under temperature stress, and RPL17, UBQ and TubA under salinity treatment; for pharynx, TubB, TubA and RPL17 were the most stable genes under temperature stress, while TubB, TubA and UBQ were the best under salinity stress; for intestine, UBQ, RPS15 and RPL17 were the most reliable reference genes under both treatments. Our results suggest that the necessity of selection and test of reference genes for different tissues under varying environmental stresses. The results obtained here are expected to reveal mechanisms of gene expression-mediated invasion success using C. savignyi as a model species. PMID:26428313

  6. Structure and Configuration of Phosphoeleganin, a Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B Inhibitor from the Mediterranean Ascidian Sidnyum elegans.

    PubMed

    Imperatore, Concetta; Luciano, Paolo; Aiello, Anna; Vitalone, Rocco; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Li, Jia; Guo, Yue-W; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-04-22

    A new phosphorylated polyketide, phosphoeleganin (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Sidnyum elegans. Its structure and configuration have been determined by extensive use of 2D NMR and microscale chemical degradation and/or derivatization. Phosphoeleganin (1) inhibited the protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) activity. PMID:27064611

  7. Ascidian bioresources: common and variant chemical compositions and exploitation strategy - examples of Halocynthia roretzi, Styela plicata, Ascidia sp. and Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yadong; Li, Jiebing

    2016-01-01

    To explore abundant marine ascidian bioresources, four species from two orders have been compared in their chemical compositions. After a universal separation of the animal body into two fractions, all tunics have been found rich in carbohydrate contents, while all inner body tissues are richer in proteins. Cellulose is present almost exclusively in the tunics and more in the order Stolidobranchia, while more sulfated polysaccharides are present in Phlebobranchia species. Almost all proteins are collagens with a high essential amino acid index and high delicious amino acid (DAA) content. All fractions also have high contents of good-quality fatty acids and trace minerals but low toxic element contents, with different sterols and glycosaminoglycans. There are species-specific characteristics observed for vanadium accumulation and sterol structures which are also meaningful for ascidian chemotaxonomy and resource exploitation. It is suggested that in addition to the present utilizations of tunics for cellulose production and of some species' inner body tissues as human food, one should explore all species' inner body tissues as human foods and all tunics as food or animal feed with the contained cellulose as dietary fiber. Collagens, sulfated polysaccharides, glycosaminoglycans, sterols and trace elements could be explored as byproducts for, e.g. pharmaceutical and chemical industries. PMID:27049617

  8. First in situ observations of the deep-sea carnivorous ascidian Dicopia antirrhinum Monniot C., 1972 in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mecho, A.; Aguzzi, J.; Company, J. B.; Canals, M.; Lastras, G.; Turon, X.

    2014-01-01

    Dicopia antirrhinum C. Monniot, 1972 is a rare species of deep-sea ascidian belonging to the Family Octacnemidae, reported at depths of 1000-2500 m in European Atlantic waters. Adult individuals have never been reported before in the Mediterranean Sea, where only seven juvenile specimens were found in 1975 at 500 m water depth in the Central basin (Malta). The affinities of these specimens with D. antirrhinum were noted, but lack of some typical characters of the species in juveniles prevented a definite taxonomical identification. No other member of the Octacnemidae has ever been found in the Mediterranean. In this study we describe the sampling of an adult specimen of D. antirrhinum at around 1100 m water depth on the flank of the La Fonera (Palamós) canyon, Northwestern Mediterranean, confirming their presence in the Mediterranean Sea. We also observed 5 individuals of this species on their natural habitat with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Our results highlight the potential occurrence of Octacnemidae, the presence of which has been largely overlooked, in several deep-sea canyon areas within the Western Mediterranean basin. These observations are important because they indicate the need for increased sampling effort with new technologies, such as ROVs, in ecologically relevant habitats such as canyons, in order to obtain a more accurate picture of deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

  9. A functional cellulose synthase from ascidian epidermis

    PubMed Central

    Matthysse, Ann G.; Deschet, Karine; Williams, Melanie; Marry, Mazz; White, Alan R.; Smith, William C.

    2004-01-01

    Among animals, urochordates (e.g., ascidians) are unique in their ability to biosynthesize cellulose. In ascidians cellulose is synthesized in the epidermis and incorporated into a protective coat know as the tunic. A putative cellulose synthase-like gene was first identified in the genome sequences of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. We describe here a cellulose synthase gene from the ascidian Ciona savignyi that is expressed in the epidermis. The predicted C. savignyi cellulose synthase amino acid sequence showed conserved features found in all cellulose synthases, including plants, but was most similar to cellulose synthases from bacteria, fungi, and Dictyostelium discoidium. However, unlike other known cellulose synthases, the predicted C. savignyi polypeptide has a degenerate cellulase-like region near the carboxyl-terminal end. An expression construct carrying the C. savignyi cDNA was found to restore cellulose biosynthesis to a cellulose synthase (CelA) minus mutant of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, showing that the predicted protein has cellulose synthase activity. The lack of cellulose biosynthesis in all other groups of metazoans and the similarity of the C. savignyi cellulose synthase to enzymes from cellulose-producing organisms support the hypothesis that the urochordates acquired the cellulose biosynthetic pathway by horizontal transfer. PMID:14722352

  10. Genomics and developmental approaches to an ascidian adenohypophysis primordium.

    PubMed

    Kano, Shungo

    2010-07-01

    Ascidians, which are the closest phylogenetic relatives to vertebrates, lack a distinct pituitary gland, which is the major endocrine gland in vertebrates. Nevertheless, for the past 130 years, it has been debated that the ascidian neural complex (NC) is homologous to the pituitary. Of the three major components of the NC, the neural gland (NG) has mainly been thought to be the ascidian counterpart of the pituitary. Recently, however, the ciliated funnel, and not the NG, was postulated to be the adenohypophysis (AH) primordium because it is likely derived from oral ectoderm, and because the expression of several placodal genes is comparable to their expression in vertebrates. An extensive in silico survey of the Ciona intestinalis genome sequence revealed that genes encoding pituitary hormones are absent in ascidians. Under the circumstances, this thesis attempts to find a path that shows that the AH primordium is recognizable in the ascidian by revisiting molecular and developmental data from recent public resources on C. intestinalis, and through the use of advanced bio-imaging techniques. A putative Ciona genetic pathway, which was constructed by referring to data from mammals, shows that only a patchwork of the genetic network exists to achieve terminal differentiation of the AH endocrine cells in the Ciona genome. Re-annotation on glycoprotein hormone related proteins, a GPA2/ARP and two GPB5/BRP ones previously reported, reveals that the GPA2 locus contains two splicing variants, and one variant likely formed a three-dimensional conformation similar to that of human GPA2. No clone of the GPB5/BRP1 locus has been isolated, and another candidate, BRP2, is unlikely to be a GPB5. Next, I argued a possibility that endocrine activities of Ciona species could be specialized in association with its short generation time, and I suggest that not only Ciona species but also other ascidians should be studied in order to understand ascidian endocrinology. Confocal images

  11. Ciona as a Simple Chordate Model for Heart Development and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Heather Evans; Christiaen, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal Chordate, the Ciona model system presents a simple scaffold that recapitulates the basic blueprint of cardiac development in Chordates. Here we will focus on the development and cellular structure of the heart of the ascidian Ciona as compared to other Chordates, principally vertebrates. Comparison of the Ciona model system to heart development in other Chordates presents great potential for dissecting the genetic mechanisms that underlie congenital heart defects and disease at the cellular level and might provide additional insight into potential pathways for therapeutic cardiac regeneration.

  12. The influence of substrate material on ascidian larval settlement.

    PubMed

    Chase, Anna L; Dijkstra, Jennifer A; Harris, Larry G

    2016-05-15

    Submerged man-made structures present novel habitat for marine organisms and often host communities that differ from those on natural substrates. Although many factors are known to contribute to these differences, few studies have directly examined the influence of substrate material on organism settlement. We quantified larval substrate preferences of two species of ascidians, Ciona intestinalis (cryptogenic, formerly C. intestinalis type B) and Botrylloides violaceus (non-native), on commonly occurring natural (granite) and man-made (concrete, high-density polyethylene, PVC) marine materials in laboratory trials. Larvae exhibited species-specific settlement preferences, but generally settled more often than expected by chance on concrete and HDPE. Variation in settlement between materials may reflect preferences for rougher substrates, or may result from the influence of leached chemicals on ascidian settlement. These findings indicate that an experimental plate material can influence larval behavior and may help us understand how substrate features may contribute to differences in settlement in the field. PMID:27039957

  13. Divergent mechanisms regulate conserved cardiopharyngeal development and gene expression in distantly related ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Stolfi, Alberto; Lowe, Elijah K; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Brown, C Titus; Swalla, Billie J; Christiaen, Lionel

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians present a striking dichotomy between conserved phenotypes and divergent genomes: embryonic cell lineages and gene expression patterns are conserved between distantly related species. Much research has focused on Ciona or Halocynthia spp. but development in other ascidians remains poorly characterized. In this study, we surveyed the multipotent myogenic B7.5 lineage in Molgula spp. Comparisons to the homologous lineage in Ciona revealed identical cell division and fate specification events that result in segregation of larval, cardiac, and pharyngeal muscle progenitors. Moreover, the expression patterns of key regulators are conserved, but cross-species transgenic assays uncovered incompatibility, or ‘unintelligibility’, of orthologous cis-regulatory sequences between Molgula and Ciona. These sequences drive identical expression patterns that are not recapitulated in cross-species assays. We show that this unintelligibility is likely due to changes in both cis- and trans-acting elements, hinting at widespread and frequent turnover of regulatory mechanisms underlying otherwise conserved aspects of ascidian embryogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03728.001 PMID:25209999

  14. Natural Variation of Model Mutant Phenotypes in Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Euan R.; Leccia, Nicola I.; Squarzoni, Paola; Tarallo, Raffaella; Alfano, Christian; Caputi, Luigi; D'Ambrosio, Palmira; Daniele, Paola; D'Aniello, Enrico; D'Aniello, Salvatore; Maiella, Sylvie; Miraglia, Valentina; Russo, Monia Teresa; Sorrenti, Gerarda; Branno, Margherita; Cariello, Lucio; Cirino, Paola; Locascio, Annamaria; Spagnuolo, Antonietta; Zanetti, Laura; Ristoratore, Filomena

    2008-01-01

    Background The study of ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of the origin and evolution of basal chordates. To provide further information to support forward genetics in Ciona intestinalis, we used a combination of natural variation and neutral population genetics as an approach for the systematic identification of new mutations. In addition to the significance of developmental variation for phenotype-driven studies, this approach can encompass important implications in evolutionary and population biology. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we report a preliminary survey for naturally occurring mutations in three geographically interconnected populations of C. intestinalis. The influence of historical, geographical and environmental factors on the distribution of abnormal phenotypes was assessed by means of 12 microsatellites. We identified 37 possible mutant loci with stereotyped defects in embryonic development that segregate in a way typical of recessive alleles. Local populations were found to differ in genetic organization and frequency distribution of phenotypic classes. Conclusions/Significance Natural genetic polymorphism of C. intestinalis constitutes a valuable source of phenotypes for studying embryonic development in ascidians. Correlating genetic structure and the occurrence of abnormal phenotypes is a crucial focus for understanding the selective forces that shape natural finite populations, and may provide insights of great importance into the evolutionary mechanisms that generate animal diversity. PMID:18523552

  15. Role of cyclic AMP in the maturation of Ciona intestinalis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Silvestre, Francesco; Gallo, Alessandra; Cuomo, Annunziata; Covino, Tiziana; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2011-11-01

    Immature oocytes are arrested at prophase I of the meiotic process and maturation onset is indicated by oocyte nuclear disassembly (germinal vesicle breakdown or GVBD). Signaling pathways that elevate intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) may either prevent or induce oocyte maturation depending on the species. In some marine invertebrates and, in particular, in ascidian oocytes, cAMP triggers GVBD rather than blocking it. In this paper, we tested different cAMP elevators in fully grown oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage (GV) of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. We demonstrated that through the activation of adenylate cyclase or the inhibition and phosphodiesterases the oocyte remained at the GV stage. This effect was reversible as the GV-arrested oocytes, rinsed and incubated in sea water, are able to undergo spontaneous maturation and extrusion of follicle cells. In addition, oocytes acquire the ability to be fertilized and start early development. However, morphology of follicle cells, embryos and larvae from in vitro matured oocytes showed different morphology from those derived from in vivo mature oocytes. The role and the transduction mechanism of cAMP in the regulation of oocyte maturation were discussed. Finally, we indicated a variation of biological mechanisms present in the ascidian species; moreover, we sustain evidence proving that tunicates share some biological mechanisms with vertebrates. This information provided new hints on the importance of ascidians in the evolution of chordates. PMID:20810008

  16. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.

    PubMed

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr. PMID:26420834

  17. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K.; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C.; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J.; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr. PMID:26420834

  18. Evolutionary origins of the vertebrate heart: Specification of the cardiac lineage in Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Brad; Levine, Michael

    2003-01-01

    Here we exploit the extensive cell lineage information and streamlined genome of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, to investigate heart development in a basal chordate. Several cardiac genes were analyzed, including the sole Ciona ortholog of the Drosophila tinman gene, and tissue-specific enhancers were isolated for some of the genes. Conserved sequence motifs within these enhancers facilitated the isolation of a heart enhancer for the Ciona Hand-like gene. Altogether, these studies provide a regulatory framework for the differentiation of the cardiac mesoderm, beginning at the 110-cell stage, and extending through the fusion of cardiac progenitors during tail elongation. The cardiac lineage shares a common origin with the germ line, and zygotic transcription is first detected in the heart progenitors only after its separation from the germ line at the 64-cell stage. We propose that germ-line determinants influence the specification of the cardiac mesoderm, both by inhibiting inductive signals required for the development of noncardiac mesoderm lineages, and by providing a localized source of Wnt-5 and other signals required for heart development. We discuss the possibility that the germ line also influences the specification of the vertebrate heart. PMID:14500781

  19. Quantitative and in toto imaging in ascidians: working towards an image-centric systems biology of chordate morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Veeman, Michael; Reeves, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    Developmental biology relies heavily on microscopy to image the finely-controlled cell behaviors that drive embryonic development. Most embryos are large enough that a field of view with the resolution and magnification needed to resolve single cells will not span more than a small region of the embryo. Ascidian embryos, however, are sufficiently small that they can be imaged in toto with fine subcellular detail using conventional microscopes and objectives. Unlike other model organisms with particularly small embryos, ascidians have a chordate embryonic body plan that includes a notochord, hollow dorsal neural tube, heart primordium and numerous other anatomical details conserved with the vertebrates. Here we compare the size and anatomy of ascidian embryos with those of more traditional model organisms, and relate these features to the capabilities of both conventional and exotic imaging methods. We review the emergence of Ciona and related ascidian species as model organisms for a new era of image-based developmental systems biology. We conclude by discussing some important challenges in ascidian imaging and image analysis that remain to be solved. PMID:25262824

  20. Screening of ovarian steroidogenic pathway in Ciona intestinalis and its modulation after tributyltin exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Cangialosi, Maria Vittoria; Puccia, Egidio; Mazzola, Antonio; Mansueto, Valentina; Arukwe, Augustine

    2010-05-15

    In this study, we have identified several ovarian steroids in Ciona with high similarity to vertebrate steroids and showed that cholesterol, corticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, estrone, estradiol-17beta, testosterone, pregnenolone, progesterone, have identical molecular spectra with vertebrate steroids. In addition, we have studied the effects of an endocrine disruptor (tributyltin: TBT) on these sex hormones and their precursors, ovarian morphology, and gene expression of some key enzymes in steroidogenic pathway in the ovary of Ciona. Ovarian specimens were cultured in vitro using different concentrations of TBT (10{sup -5}, 10{sup -4} and 10{sup -3} M). Ethanol was used as solvent control. Gene expression analysis was performed for adrenodoxin (ADREN) and adrenodoxin reductase (ADOX) (mediators of acute steroidogenesis) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17beta-HSD). These transcripts were detected and measured by quantitative (real-time) polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Sex steroids and their precursors were identified and quantified by a gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) method. Exposure of Ciona ovaries to TBT produced modulations (either increased or decreased) of sterols and sex steroid levels, whereas no significant differences in ADREN, ADOX or 17beta-HSD mRNA expression patterns were observed. Histological analysis shows that TBT produced several modifications on Ciona ovarian morphology that includes irregular outline of nuclear membrane, less compacted cytoplasm, in addition to test and granulosa cells that were detached from the oocyte membrane. Given that the ascidians represent very simple experimental models for the study of endocrine disruption by environmental contaminants, our findings provide excellent models for multiple identification and quantification of sex steroid and their precursors in biological samples exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and for direct extrapolation of such effects across taxonomic groups

  1. Ordered expression pattern of Hox and ParaHox genes along the alimentary canal in the ascidian juvenile.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Satoshi; Satou, Kunihiro; Orito, Wataru; Ogasawara, Michio

    2016-07-01

    The Hox and ParaHox genes of bilateria share a similar expression pattern along the body axis and are known to be associated with anterior-posterior patterning. In vertebrates, the Hox genes are also expressed in presomitic mesoderm and gut endoderm and the ParaHox genes show a restricted expression pattern in the gut-related derivatives. Regional expression patterns in the embryonic central nervous system of the basal chordates amphioxus and ascidian have been reported; however, little is known about their endodermal expression in the alimentary canal. We focus on the Hox and ParaHox genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and investigate the gene expression patterns in the juvenile, which shows morphological regionality in the alimentary canal. Gene expression analyses by using whole-mount in situ hybridization reveal that all Hox genes have a regional expression pattern along the alimentary canal. Expression of Hox1 to Hox4 is restricted to the posterior region of pharyngeal derivatives. Hox5 to Hox13 show an ordered expression pattern correlated with each Hox gene number along the postpharyngeal digestive tract. This expression pattern along the anterior-posterior axis has also been observed in Ciona ParaHox genes. Our observations suggest that ascidian Hox and ParaHox clusters are dispersed; however, the ordered expression patterns along the alimentary canal appear to be conserved among chordates. PMID:26837224

  2. The Ciona intestinalis genome: when the constraints are off

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holland, Linda Z.; Gibson-Brown, Jeremy J.

    2003-01-01

    The recent genome sequencing of a non-vertebrate deuterostome, the ascidian tunicate Ciona intestinalis, makes a substantial contribution to the fields of evolutionary and developmental biology.1 Tunicates have some of the smallest bilaterian genomes, embryos with relatively few cells, fixed lineages and early determination of cell fates. Initial analyses of the C. intestinalis genome indicate that it has been evolving rapidly. Comparisons with other bilaterians show that C. intestinalis has lost a number of genes, and that many genes linked together in most other bilaterians have become uncoupled. In addition, a number of independent, lineage-specific gene duplications have been detected. These new results, although interesting in themselves, will take on a deeper significance once the genomes of additional invertebrate deuterostomes (e.g. echinoderms, hemichordates and amphioxus) have been sequenced. With such a broadened database, comparative genomics can begin to ask pointed questions about the relationship between the evolution of genomes and the evolution of body plans. Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Comprehensive analysis of the ascidian genome reveals novel insights into the molecular evolution of ion channel genes.

    PubMed

    Okamura, Yasushi; Nishino, Atsuo; Murata, Yoshimichi; Nakajo, Koichi; Iwasaki, Hirohide; Ohtsuka, Yukio; Tanaka-Kunishima, Motoko; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Hara, Yuji; Yoshida, Takashi; Nishida, Motohiro; Okado, Haruo; Watari, Hirofumi; Meinertzhagen, Ian A; Satoh, Nori; Takahashi, Kunitaro; Satou, Yutaka; Okada, Yasunobu; Mori, Yasuo

    2005-08-11

    Ion fluxes through membrane ion channels play crucial roles both in neuronal signaling and the homeostatic control of body electrolytes. Despite our knowledge about the respective ion channels, just how diversification of ion channel genes underlies adaptation of animals to the physical environment remains unknown. Here we systematically survey up to 160 putative ion channel genes in the genome of Ciona intestinalis and compare them with corresponding gene sets from the genomes of the nematode Chaenorhabditis elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and the more closely related genomes of vertebrates. Ciona has a set of so-called "prototype" genes for ion channels regulating neuronal excitability, or for neurotransmitter receptors, suggesting that genes responsible for neuronal signaling in mammals appear to have diversified mainly via gene duplications of the more restricted members of ancestral genomes before the ascidian/vertebrate divergence. Most genes responsible for modulation of neuronal excitability and pain sensation are absent from the ascidian genome, suggesting that these genes arose after the divergence of urochordates. In contrast, the divergent genes encoding connexins, transient receptor potential-related channels and chloride channels, channels involved rather in homeostatic control, indicate gene duplication events unique to the ascidian lineage. Because several invertebrate-unique channel genes exist in Ciona genome, the crown group of extant vertebrates not only acquired novel channel genes via gene/genome duplications but also discarded some ancient genes that have persisted in invertebrates. Such genome-wide information of ion channel genes in basal chordates enables us to begin correlating the innovation and remodeling of genes with the adaptation of more recent chordates to their physical environment. PMID:15914577

  4. THALIACEANS, THE NEGLECTED PELAGIC RELATIVES OF ASCIDIANS: A DEVELOPMENTAL AND EVOLUTIONARY ENIGMA.

    PubMed

    Piette, Jacques; Lemaire, Patrick

    2015-06-01

    Most developmental biologists equate tunicates to the sessile ascidians, including Ciona intestinalis, and the pelagic appendicularians, in particular Oikopleura dioica. However, there exists a third group of tunicates with a pelagic lifestyle, the thaliaceans, which include salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids. Although thaliaceans have raised the curiosity offamous zoologists since the 18th century, the difficulty of observing and experimentally manipulating them has led to many controversies and speculations about their life cycles and developmental strategies, the phylogenetic relationship within the group and with other tunicates, and the drivers of speciation in these widely distributed animals living in a seemingly uniform environment. Here, we take a historical perspective to summarize 250 years of work on this intriguing group of animals, and explore how modern genomics and imaging approaches are starting to solve fascinating evolutionary and developmental riddles. Recent molecular analyses support previous morphological evidence that ascidians are not monophyletic and that thaliaceans evolved from a sessile ascidian-like ancestor. In parallel, preliminary live-imaging and gene-expression data offer exciting entry points to understand how the adoption of a pelagic lifestyle led to drastic modifications in the morphology, embryology, and life cycle of these tunicates, compared to their sessile ancestor. PMID:26285352

  5. Chemical defense against fouling in the solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra.

    PubMed

    Mayzel, Boaz; Haber, Markus; Ilan, Micha

    2014-12-01

    The solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra is rarely fouled by epibionts. Here, we tested the antifouling activity of its crude extracts in laboratory and field assays. P. nigra extracts inhibited the growth of all eight tested environmental bacteria and two of four laboratory bacteria. Extracts of the sympatric, but fouled solitary ascidian Herdmania momus inhibited only one test bacterium. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the tunic surface of P. nigra is largely bacteria-free. Both ascidian extracts significantly inhibited the larval metamorphosis of the bryozoan Bugula neritina at the tested concentration range of 0.05-2 mg ml(-1). Both crude extracts were toxic to larvae of the brine shrimp Artemia salina at natural volumetric whole-tissue concentrations, but only P. nigra showed activity at 2 mg ml(-1) and below (LC50 = 1.11 mg ml(-1)). P. nigra crude extracts also significantly reduced the settlement of barnacles, polychaetes, and algae in Mediterranean field assays and barnacle settlement in Red Sea trials. Comparisons between control experiments and pH values monitored in all experiments indicate that the observed effects were not due to acidity of the organic extracts. Our results show that P. nigra secondary metabolites have antifouling activities, which may act in synergy with previously proposed physiological antifouling mechanisms. PMID:25572211

  6. Temporal stability of bacterial symbionts in a temperate ascidian

    PubMed Central

    López-Legentil, Susanna; Turon, Xavier; Espluga, Roger; Erwin, Patrick M.

    2015-01-01

    In temperate seas, both bacterioplankton communities and invertebrate lifecycles follow a seasonal pattern. To investigate whether the bacterial community associated with the Mediterranean ascidian Didemnum fulgens exhibited similar variations, we monitored its bacterial community structure monthly for over a year using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analyses based on a nearly full length fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. D. fulgens harbored a bacterial consortium typical of ascidians, including numerous members of the phylum Proteobacteria, and a few members of the phyla Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria. The overall bacterial community in D. fulgens had a distinct signature from the surrounding seawater and was stable over time and across seasonal fluctuations in temperature. Bacterial symbionts were also observed around animal cells in the tunic of adult individuals and in the inner tunic of D. fulgens larvae by transmission electron microscopy. Our results suggest that, as seen for sponges and corals, some species of ascidians host stable and unique bacterial communities that are at least partially inherited by their progeny by vertical transmission. PMID:26441944

  7. 3D-Printed Microwell Arrays for Ciona Microinjection and Timelapse Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Clint; Veeman, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians such as Ciona are close chordate relatives of the vertebrates with small, simple embryonic body plans and small, simple genomes. The tractable size of the embryo offers considerable advantages for in toto imaging and quantitative analysis of morphogenesis. For functional studies, Ciona eggs are considerably more challenging to microinject than the much larger eggs of other model organisms such as zebrafish and Xenopus. One of the key difficulties is in restraining the eggs so that the microinjection needle can be easily introduced and withdrawn. Here we develop and test a device to cast wells in agarose that are each sized to hold a single egg. This injection mold is fabricated by micro-resolution stereolithography with a grid of egg-sized posts that cast corresponding wells in agarose. This 3D printing technology allows the rapid and inexpensive testing of iteratively refined prototypes. In addition to their utility in microinjection, these grids of embryo-sized wells are also valuable for timelapse imaging of multiple embryos. PMID:24324769

  8. Phenoloxidases in ascidian hemocytes: characterization of the pro-phenoloxidase activating system.

    PubMed

    Parrinello, Nicolò; Arizza, Vincenzo; Chinnici, Cinzia; Parrinello, Daniela; Cammarata, Matteo

    2003-08-01

    The phenoloxidase (PO) activity of the hemocytes lysate supernatant from three ascidians species, assayed by means of 3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinone hydrazone hydrochloride, have been compared. PO-containing hemocytes were identified by a cytochemical reaction and the enzymatic activity measured by a spectrophotometric assay of lysate supernatant from hemocyte populations separated on a discontinuous Percoll density gradient. In Styela plicata, the enzyme appeared to be contained in morula cells only. In Ciona intestinalis, PO activity was shown in univacuolar refractile granulocyte and granular hemocyte. In Phallusia mammillata both compartment cell and granular hemocytes were positive. Enzymatic assay following electrophoretic analysis on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) or SDS-PAGE indicated that hemocyte lysate presented orthodiphenoloxidase (catecholase) activity. The enzymes from the three species differed in molecular size, activating substances and trypsin sensitivity. PMID:12892750

  9. Ascidian Mitogenomics: Comparison of Evolutionary Rates in Closely Related Taxa Provides Evidence of Ongoing Speciation Events

    PubMed Central

    Griggio, Francesca; Voskoboynik, Ayelet; Iannelli, Fabio; Justy, Fabienne; Tilak, Marie-Ka; Xavier, Turon; Pesole, Graziano; Douzery, Emmanuel J.P.; Mastrototaro, Francesco; Gissi, Carmela

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians are a fascinating group of filter-feeding marine chordates characterized by rapid evolution of both sequences and structure of their nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Moreover, they include several model organisms used to investigate complex biological processes in chordates. To study the evolutionary dynamics of ascidians at short phylogenetic distances, we sequenced 13 new mitogenomes and analyzed them, together with 15 other available mitogenomes, using a novel approach involving detailed whole-mitogenome comparisons of conspecific and congeneric pairs. The evolutionary rate was quite homogeneous at both intraspecific and congeneric level, and the lowest congeneric rates were found in cryptic (morphologically undistinguishable) and in morphologically very similar species pairs. Moreover, congeneric nonsynonymous rates (dN) were up to two orders of magnitude higher than in intraspecies pairs. Overall, a clear-cut gap sets apart conspecific from congeneric pairs. These evolutionary peculiarities allowed easily identifying an extraordinary intraspecific variability in the model ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, where most pairs show a dN value between that observed at intraspecies and congeneric level, yet consistently lower than that of the Ciona intestinalis cryptic species pair. These data suggest ongoing speciation events producing genetically distinct B. schlosseri entities. Remarkably, these ongoing speciation events were undetectable by the cox1 barcode fragment, demonstrating that, at low phylogenetic distances, the whole mitogenome has a higher resolving power than cox1. Our study shows that whole-mitogenome comparative analyses, performed on a suitable sample of congeneric and intraspecies pairs, may allow detecting not only cryptic species but also ongoing speciation events. PMID:24572017

  10. Enhancer of zeste acts as a major developmental regulator of Ciona intestinalis embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Le Goff, Emilie; Martinand-Mari, Camille; Martin, Marianne; Feuillard, Jérôme; Boublik, Yvan; Godefroy, Nelly; Mangeat, Paul; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Cavalli, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The paradigm of developmental regulation by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins posits that they maintain silencing outside the spatial expression domains of their target genes, particularly of Hox genes, starting from mid embryogenesis. The Enhancer of zeste [E(z)] PcG protein is the catalytic subunit of the PRC2 complex, which silences its targets via deposition of the H3K27me3 mark. Here, we studied the ascidian Ciona intestinalis counterpart of E(z). Ci-E(z) is detected by immunohistochemistry as soon as the 2- and 4-cell stages as a cytoplasmic form and becomes exclusively nuclear thereafter, whereas the H3K27me3 mark is detected starting from the gastrula stage and later. Morpholino invalidation of Ci-E(z) leads to the total disappearance of both Ci-E(z) protein and its H3K27me3 mark. Ci-E(z) morphants display a severe phenotype. Strikingly, the earliest defects occur at the 4-cell stage with the dysregulation of cell positioning and mitotic impairment. At later stages, Ci-E(z)-deficient embryos are affected by terminal differentiation defects of neural, epidermal and muscle tissues, by the failure to form a notochord and by the absence of caudal nerve. These major phenotypic defects are specifically rescued by injection of a morpholino-resistant Ci-E(z) mRNA, which restores expression of Ci-E(z) protein and re-deposition of the H3K27me3 mark. As observed by qPCR analyses, Ci-E(z) invalidation leads to the early derepression of tissue-specific developmental genes, whereas late-acting developmental genes are generally down-regulated. Altogether, our results suggest that Ci-E(z) plays a major role during embryonic development in Ciona intestinalis by silencing early-acting developmental genes in a Hox-independent manner. PMID:26276097

  11. Functional Brachyury Binding Sites Establish a Temporal Read-out of Gene Expression in the Ciona Notochord

    PubMed Central

    Passamaneck, Yale J.; Gazdoiu, Stefan; José-Edwards, Diana S.; Kugler, Jamie E.; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Imai, Janice H.; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    The appearance of the notochord represented a milestone in Deuterostome evolution. The notochord is necessary for the development of the chordate body plan and for the formation of the vertebral column and numerous organs. It is known that the transcription factor Brachyury is required for notochord formation in all chordates, and that it controls transcription of a large number of target genes. However, studies of the structure of the cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) through which this control is exerted are complicated in vertebrates by the genomic complexity and the pan-mesodermal expression territory of Brachyury. We used the ascidian Ciona, in which the single-copy Brachyury is notochord-specific and CRMs are easily identifiable, to carry out a systematic characterization of Brachyury-downstream notochord CRMs. We found that Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) controls most of its targets directly, through non-palindromic binding sites that function either synergistically or individually to activate early- and middle-onset genes, respectively, while late-onset target CRMs are controlled indirectly, via transcriptional intermediaries. These results illustrate how a transcriptional regulator can efficiently shape a shallow gene regulatory network into a multi-tiered transcriptional output, and provide insights into the mechanisms that establish temporal read-outs of gene expression in a fast-developing chordate embryo. PMID:24204212

  12. Circadian clock in Ciona intestinalis revealed by microarray analysis and oxygen consumption.

    PubMed

    Minamoto, Toshifumi; Hanai, Shuji; Kadota, Koji; Oishi, Katsutaka; Matsumae, Hiromi; Fujie, Manabu; Azumi, Kaoru; Satoh, Noriyuki; Satake, Masanobu; Ishida, Norio

    2010-02-01

    The molecular mechanisms of the endogenous circadian clocks that allow most animals to adapt to environmental cycles have recently been uncovered. The draft genome of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, a model animal that is close to vertebrates, has been described. However, the C. intestinalis genome lacks the canonical clock genes such as Per, Bmal and Clock that are shared by vertebrates and insects. Here, we found the circadian rhythms at the physiological and molecular levels. The oxygen consumption rate was lower during the light phase and higher during the dark phase during a day, and the rhythm highly damped and continued under constant darkness. From the microarray analysis, the 396 spots (1.8% of the total; corresponding to 388 clones) were extracted as candidates for circadian expression. We confirmed the circadian expression of several candidate genes by northern blotting. Furthermore, three of four rhythmic expressed genes showed phase-shifts to prolonged light period. However, most of known clock genes did not oscillate. These data suggest that C. intestinalis have a unique molecular circadian clock and the daily environmental change is not such a strong effect for sea squirt in its evolution when compared to vertebrates and insects. PMID:19855119

  13. Stochasticity and Stereotypy in the Ciona Notochord

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Maia; Reeves, Wendy; Veeman, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Fate mapping with single cell resolution has typically been confined to embryos with completely stereotyped development. The lineages giving rise to the 40 cells of the Ciona notochord are invariant, but the intercalation of those cells into a single-file column is not. Here we use genetic labeling methods to fate map the Ciona notochord with both high resolution and large sample sizes. We find that the ordering of notochord cells into a single column is not random, but instead shows a distinctive signature characteristic of mediolaterally-biased intercalation. We find that patterns of cell intercalation in the notochord are somewhat stochastic but far more stereotyped than previously believed. Cell behaviors vary by lineage, with the secondary notochord lineage being much more constrained than the primary lineage. Within the primary lineage, patterns of intercalation reflect the geometry of the intercalating tissue. We identify the latest point at which notochord morphogenesis is largely stereotyped, which is shortly before the onset of mediolateral intercalation and immediately after the final cell divisions in the primary lineage. These divisions are consistently oriented along the AP axis. Our results indicate that the interplay between stereotyped and stochastic cell behaviors in morphogenesis can only be assessed by fate mapping experiments that have both cellular resolution and large sample sizes. PMID:25459659

  14. Dynamic change in the expression of developmental genes in the ascidian central nervous system: revisit to the tripartite model and the origin of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary region.

    PubMed

    Ikuta, Tetsuro; Saiga, Hidetoshi

    2007-12-15

    Comparative studies on expression patterns of developmental genes along the anterior-posterior axis of the embryonic central nervous system (CNS) between vertebrates and ascidians led to the notion of "tripartite organization," a common ground plan of the CNS, consisting of the anterior, central and posterior regions expressing Otx, Pax2/5/8 and Hox genes, respectively. In ascidians, however, descriptions and interpretations about expression of the developmental genes regarded as region specific have become not necessarily consistent. To address this issue, we examined detailed expression of key developmental genes for the ascidian CNS, including Otx, Pax2/5/8a, En, Fgf8/17/18, Dmbx, Lhx3 and Hox genes, in the CNS around the junction of the trunk and tail of three different tailbud-stage embryos of Ciona intestinalis, employing double-fluorescence in situ hybridization, followed by staining with DAPI to precisely locate expressing cells for each gene. Based on these observations, we have constructed detailed gene expression maps of the region at the tailbud stages. Our analysis shows that expression of several genes regarded as markers for specific domains in the ascidian CNS changes dynamically within a relatively short period. This motivates us to revisit to the tripartite ground plan and the origin of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) region. PMID:17996862

  15. Reprotoxicity of the antifoulant chlorothalonil in ascidians: an ecological risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Chlorothalonil is a widely used biocide in antifouling paint formulation that replaces tin-based compounds after their definitive ban. Although chlorothalonil inputs into the marine environment have significantly increased in recent years, little is known about its effect on marine animals and in particular on their reproductive processes. In this line, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of chlorothalonil exposure on the gamete physiology, fertilization rate and transmissible damage to offspring in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians). To identify a possible mechanism of action of chlorothalonil, electrophysiological techniques were used to study the impact on oocyte membrane excitability and on the electrical events occurring at fertilization. The pre-exposure of spermatozoa and oocytes to chlorothalonil did not affect the fertilization rate but caused damage to the offspring by inducing larval malformation. The highest toxicity was observed when fertilization was performed in chlorothalonil solutions with the lowest EC50 value. In particular, it was observed that low chlorothalonil concentrations interfered with embryo development and led to abnormal larvae, whereas high concentrations arrested embryo formation. In mature oocytes, a decrease in the amplitudes of the sodium and fertilization currents was observed, suggesting an involvement of plasma membrane ion currents in the teratogenic mechanism of chlorothalonil action. The risk estimation confirmed that the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) exceeded the predicted effect concentration (PEC), thus indicating that chlorothalonil may pose a risk to aquatic species. PMID:25875759

  16. Reprotoxicity of the Antifoulant Chlorothalonil in Ascidians: An Ecological Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Chlorothalonil is a widely used biocide in antifouling paint formulation that replaces tin-based compounds after their definitive ban. Although chlorothalonil inputs into the marine environment have significantly increased in recent years, little is known about its effect on marine animals and in particular on their reproductive processes. In this line, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of chlorothalonil exposure on the gamete physiology, fertilization rate and transmissible damage to offspring in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians). To identify a possible mechanism of action of chlorothalonil, electrophysiological techniques were used to study the impact on oocyte membrane excitability and on the electrical events occurring at fertilization. The pre-exposure of spermatozoa and oocytes to chlorothalonil did not affect the fertilization rate but caused damage to the offspring by inducing larval malformation. The highest toxicity was observed when fertilization was performed in chlorothalonil solutions with the lowest EC50 value. In particular, it was observed that low chlorothalonil concentrations interfered with embryo development and led to abnormal larvae, whereas high concentrations arrested embryo formation. In mature oocytes, a decrease in the amplitudes of the sodium and fertilization currents was observed, suggesting an involvement of plasma membrane ion currents in the teratogenic mechanism of chlorothalonil action. The risk estimation confirmed that the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) exceeded the predicted effect concentration (PEC), thus indicating that chlorothalonil may pose a risk to aquatic species. PMID:25875759

  17. Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy of the Accessory Cells and Chorion During Development of Ciona intestinalis Type B Embryos and the Impact of Their Removal on Cell Morphology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2015-06-01

    Spawned ascidian oocytes are surrounded by a membrane called the chorion (or vitelline coat) and associated with two populations of maternally-supplied cells. Outside the chorion are follicle cells, which may affect the buoyancy of eggs. Inside the chorion are test cells, which during oogenesis provision the egg and which after fertilisation contribute to the larval tunic. The structure of maternal cells may vary between species. The model ascidian Ciona intestinalis has been recently split into two species, currently named type A and type B. The ultrastructure of extraembryonic cells and structures from type A embryos has been reported. Here we describe the ultrastructure of follicle and test cells from C. intestinalis type B embryos. Test cells are about 5 µm in diameter and line the inside of the chorion of developing embryos in a dense sheet. Follicle cells are large (> 100 µm long) and spike-shaped, with many large vesicles. Terminal electron dense granules are found towards the tips of spikes, adjacent to cytoplasm containing numerous small electron dense bodies connected by filaments. These are probably vesicles containing material for the terminal granules. Removal of maternal structures and cells just after fertilisation, as commonly used in many experiments manipulating C. intestinalis development, has been reported to affect embryonic patterning. We examined the impact of this on embryonic ectoderm cells by scanning electron microscopy. Cells of embryos that developed without maternal structures still developed cilia, but had indistinct cell boundaries and a more flattened appearance than those that developed within the chorion. PMID:26003975

  18. Genetic and genomic toolbox of the chordate Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Stolfi, Alberto; Christiaen, Lionel

    2012-09-01

    The experimental malleability and unique phylogenetic position of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis as part of the sister group to the vertebrates have helped establish these marine chordates as model organisms for the study of developmental genetics and evolution. Here we summarize the tools, techniques, and resources available to the Ciona geneticist, citing examples of studies that employed such strategies in the elucidation of gene function in Ciona. Genetic screens, germline transgenesis, electroporation of plasmid DNA, and microinjection of morpholinos are all routinely employed, and in the near future we expect these to be complemented by targeted mutagenesis, homologous recombination, and RNAi. The genomic resources available will continue to support the design and interpretation of genetic experiments and allow for increasingly sophisticated approaches on a high-throughput, whole-genome scale. PMID:22964837

  19. Species specificity of symbiosis and secondary metabolism in ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Tianero, Ma Diarey B; Kwan, Jason C; Wyche, Thomas P; Presson, Angela P; Koch, Michael; Barrows, Louis R; Bugni, Tim S; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-01-01

    Ascidians contain abundant, diverse secondary metabolites, which are thought to serve a defensive role and which have been applied to drug discovery. It is known that bacteria in symbiosis with ascidians produce several of these metabolites, but very little is known about factors governing these ‘chemical symbioses'. To examine this phenomenon across a wide geographical and species scale, we performed bacterial and chemical analyses of 32 different ascidians, mostly from the didemnid family from Florida, Southern California and a broad expanse of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Bacterial diversity analysis showed that ascidian microbiomes are highly diverse, and this diversity does not correlate with geographical location or latitude. Within a subset of species, ascidian microbiomes are also stable over time (R=−0.037, P-value=0.499). Ascidian microbiomes and metabolomes contain species-specific and location-specific components. Location-specific bacteria are found in low abundance in the ascidians and mostly represent strains that are widespread. Location-specific metabolites consist largely of lipids, which may reflect differences in water temperature. By contrast, species-specific bacteria are mostly abundant sequenced components of the microbiomes and include secondary metabolite producers as major components. Species-specific chemicals are dominated by secondary metabolites. Together with previous analyses that focused on single ascidian species or symbiont type, these results reveal fundamental properties of secondary metabolic symbiosis. Different ascidian species have established associations with many different bacterial symbionts, including those known to produce toxic chemicals. This implies a strong selection for this property and the independent origin of secondary metabolite-based associations in different ascidian species. The analysis here streamlines the connection of secondary metabolite to producing bacterium, enabling further biological and

  20. CiMT-1, an unusual chordate metallothionein gene in Ciona intestinalis genome: structure and expression studies.

    PubMed

    Franchi, Nicola; Boldrin, Francesco; Ballarin, Loriano; Piccinni, Ester

    2011-02-01

    The present article reports on the characterization of the urochordate metallothionein (MT) gene, CiMT-1, from the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The predicted protein is shorter than other known deuterostome MTs, having only 39 amino acids. The gene has the same tripartite structure as vertebrate MTs, with some features resembling those of echinoderm MTs. The promoter region shows the canonical cis-acting elements recognized by transcription factors that respond to metal, ROS, and cytokines. Unusual sequences, described in fish and echinoderms, are also present. In situ hybridization suggests that only a population of hemocytes involved in immune responses, i.e. granular amebocytes, express CiMT-1 mRNA. These observations support the idea that urochordates perform detoxification through hemocytes, and that MTs may play important roles in inflammatory humoral responses in tunicates. The reported data offer new clues for better understanding the evolution of these multivalent proteins from non-vertebrate to vertebrate chordates and reinforce their functions in detoxification and immunity. PMID:21328559

  1. The molecular basis of allorecognition in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shlomo, Rachel

    2008-11-01

    The process of allorecognition consists of an ability to discriminate self from non-self. This discrimination is used either to identify non-self cells and reject them ("non-self histocompatibility") or to identify self cells and reject them (as in the avoidance of self-fertilization by hermaphrodites ("self incompatibility"). The molecular basis governing these two distinct systems has been studied recently in hermaphroditic ascidian urochordates. Harada et al. postulated two highly polymorphic self-incompatibility loci, Themis (A and B), that are transcribed from both strands, forward to yield sperm (s-) trans-membrane antigen, and reverse to yield the egg vitelline coat (v-) receptor. De Tomaso et al. characterized a candidate histocompatibility locus, encoding a highly variable immunoglobulin. Nyholm et al. isolated its candidate allorecognition receptor, fester. Only a minute similarity was found in the structure of the genes involved. It appears that ascidian harbor two very separate types of labeling and recognition genetic systems: one for self and the other for non-self. PMID:18937348

  2. Changes in gelsolin expression during ascidian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Ohtsuka, Y; Okamura, Y; Obinata, T

    2001-05-01

    Gelsolin is an actin regulatory protein that is expressed in a wide variety of tissues and is especially abundant in muscle and blood cells. The role of gelsolin during structural reorganization of the body, such as during metamorphosis or regeneration, is poorly understood. We analyzed changes in gelsolin expression during ascidian embryogenesis and metamorphosis using nucleic acid probes and a monoclonal antibody (AS23) specific for ascidian gelsolin; our results indicated that gelsolin is maternally provided and that its de novo gene transcription is initiated during the neurula stage. In the larva, gelsolin was detectable in specific types of nerve cells, i.e. the adhesive papillae, motor neurons and epidermal sensory neurons. During metamorphosis, the expression of gelsolin changes markedly: the expression is suppressed in nerve tissues after tail resorption but is induced in mesodermal tissues. Gelsolin accumulated in mesenchyme cells until the onset of tail resorption, and following tail resorption, these cells migrated to the tunic and differentiated into tunic cells with many fine processes. Migration of the mesenchyme cells into the tunic was completely inhibited by treatment with cytochalasin B. Gelsolin was colocalized with actin in tunic cells, suggesting that it is involved in the rearrangement of actin filaments during cell locomotion or morphogenesis. PMID:11455440

  3. The central nervous system of ascidian larvae.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Clare

    2016-09-01

    Ascidians are marine invertebrate chordates. Their tadpole larvae contain a dorsal tubular nervous system, resulting from the rolling up of a neural plate. Along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis, the central nervous system (CNS) is organized into a sensory vesicle, neck, trunk ganglion, and tail nerve cord and consists of approximately only 330 cells, of which around 100 are thought to be neurons. The organization of distinct neuronal cell types and neurotransmitter gene expression within the CNS has been described. The unique developmental mode of ascidians, with a small number of cells and a fixed cell division pattern, allows individual cells to be traced throughout development. This feature has led to the complete documentation of the cell lineages of certain cell types in the CNS. Thus, a step-by-step understanding of nervous system development from the initial stages of neural induction to the neurogenesis of individual neurons is a feasible goal. The genetic control of neural fate induction and early neural plate patterning are now well understood. The molecular mechanisms specifying the cholinergic neurons of the trunk ganglion as well as the pigment cells of the sensory organs are also well elucidated. In addition, studies have begun on the morphogenetic processes of neurulation. Remaining challenges include building an embryonic atlas integrating gene expression patterns, cell lineage, and neuronal cell types as well as developing the gene regulatory networks of cell fate specification and integrating them with the genetic control of morphogenesis. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:538-561. doi: 10.1002/wdev.239 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27328318

  4. Diversity of Actinobacteria Associated with the Marine Ascidian Eudistoma toealensis.

    PubMed

    Steinert, Georg; Taylor, Michael W; Schupp, Peter J

    2015-08-01

    Ascidians have yielded a wide variety of bioactive natural products. The colonial ascidian Eudistoma toealensis from Micronesia has been identified as the source of a series of staurosporine derivatives, though the exact origin of these derivatives is still unknown. To identify known staurosporine-producing microbes associated with E. toealensis, we analyzed with 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing the overall bacterial community and focused on potential symbiotic bacteria already known from other ascidians or other marine hosts, such as sponges. The described microbiota was one of very high diversity, comprising 43 phyla: two from archaea, 34 described bacterial phyla, and seven candidate bacterial phyla. Many bacteria, which are renowned community members of other ascidians and marine holobionts, such as sponges and corals, were also part of the E. toealensis microbial community. Furthermore, two known producers of indolocarbazoles, Salinispora and Verrucosispora, were found with high abundance exclusively in the ascidian tissue, suggesting that microbial symbionts and not the organism itself may be the true producers of the staurosporines in E. toealensis. PMID:25678260

  5. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species

    PubMed Central

    Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Brunetti, Riccardo; Caicci, Federico; Gasparini, Fabio; Griggio, Francesca; Sato, Atsuko; Stach, Thomas; Kaul-Strehlow, Sabrina; Gissi, Carmela; Manni, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphometric, immunohistochemical, and histological analyses, as well as 3-D reconstructions, of late larvae obtained by cross-fertilization experiments of molecularly determined type A and type B adults, sampled in different seasons and in four different localities. Our data point to quantitative and qualitative differences in the trunk shape of larvae belonging to the two types. In particular, type B larvae exhibit a longer pre-oral lobe, longer and relatively narrower total body length, and a shorter ocellus-tail distance than type A larvae. All these differences were found to be statistically significant in a Discriminant Analysis. Depending on the number of analyzed parameters, the obtained discriminant function was able to correctly classify > 93% of the larvae, with the remaining misclassified larvae attributable to the existence of intra-type seasonal variability. No larval differences were observed at the level of histology and immunohistochemical localization of peripheral sensory neurons. We conclude that type A and type B are two distinct species that can be distinguished on the basis of larval morphology and molecular data. Since the identified larval differences appear to be valid diagnostic characters, we suggest to raise both types to the rank of species and to assign them distinct names. PMID:25955391

  6. Centrosomes and spindles in ascidian embryos and eggs.

    PubMed

    McDougall, Alex; Chenevert, Janet; Pruliere, Gerard; Costache, Vlad; Hebras, Celine; Salez, Gregory; Dumollard, Remi

    2015-01-01

    During embryonic development and maternal meiotic maturation, positioning of the mitotic/meiotic spindle is subject to control mechanisms that meet the needs of the particular cell type. Here we review the methods, molecular tools, and the ascidian model we use to study three different ways in which centrosomes or spindles are positioned in three different cellular contexts. First, we review unequal cleavage in the ascidian germ lineage. In the germ cell precursors, a large macromolecular structure termed the centrosome-attracting body causes three successive rounds of unequal cleavage from the 8- to the 64-cell stage. Next, we discuss spindle positioning underlying the invariant cleavage pattern. Ascidian embryos display an invariant cleavage pattern whereby the mitotic spindle aligns in a predetermined orientation in every blastomere up to the gastrula stage (composed of 112 cells). Finally, we review methods and approaches to study meiotic spindle positioning in eggs. PMID:26175446

  7. LPS injection reprograms the expression and the 3' UTR of a CAP gene by alternative polyadenylation and the formation of a GAIT element in Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Bonura, Angela; Longo, Valeria; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Parrinello, Daniela; Cammarata, Matteo; Colombo, Paolo

    2016-09-01

    The diversification of cellular functions is one of the major characteristics of multicellular organisms which allow cells to modulate their gene expression, leading to the formation of transcripts and proteins with different functions and concentrations in response to different stimuli. CAP genes represent a widespread family of proteins belonging to the cysteine-rich secretory protein, antigen 5 and pathogenesis-related 1 superfamily which, it has been proposed, play key roles in the infection process and the modulation of immune responses in host animals. The ascidian Ciona intestinalis represents a group of proto-chordates with an exclusively innate immune system that has been widely studied in the field of comparative and developmental immunology. Using this biological system, we describe the identification of a novel APA mechanism by which an intronic polyadenylation signal is activated by LPS injection, leading to the formation of a shorter CAP mRNA capable of expressing the first CAP exon plus 19 amino acid residues whose sequence is contained within the first intron of the annotated gene. Furthermore, such an APA event causes the expression of a translational controlling cis-acting GAIT element which is not present in the previously isolated CAP isoform and identified in the 3'-UTR of other immune-related genes, suggesting an intriguing scenario in which both transcriptional and post-transcriptional control mechanisms are involved in the activation of the CAP gene during inflammatory response in C. intestinalis. PMID:27514009

  8. Evidence of a Native Northwest Atlantic COI Haplotype Clade in the Cryptogenic Colonial Ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Yund, Philip O; Collins, Catherine; Johnson, Sheri L

    2015-06-01

    The colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri should be considered cryptogenic (i.e., not definitively classified as either native or introduced) in the Northwest Atlantic. Although all the evidence is quite circumstantial, over the last 15 years most research groups have accepted the scenario of human-mediated dispersal and classified B. schlosseri as introduced; others have continued to consider it native or cryptogenic. We address the invasion status of this species by adding 174 sequences to the growing worldwide database for the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and analyzing 1077 sequences to compare genetic diversity of one clade of haplotypes in the Northwest Atlantic with two hypothesized source regions (the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean). Our results lead us to reject the prevailing view of the directionality of transport across the Atlantic. We argue that the genetic diversity patterns at COI are far more consistent with the existence of at least one haplotype clade in the Northwest Atlantic (and possibly a second) that substantially pre-dates human colonization from Europe, with this native North American clade subsequently introduced to three sites in Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. However, we agree with past researchers that some sites in the Northwest Atlantic have more recently been invaded by alien haplotypes, so that some populations are currently composed of a mixture of native and invader haplotypes. PMID:26124447

  9. The secret to a successful relationship: lasting chemistry between ascidians and their symbiotic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Eric W.

    2014-01-01

    Bioactive secondary metabolites are common components of marine animals. In many cases, symbiotic bacteria, and not the animals themselves, synthesize the compounds. Among marine animals, ascidians are good models for understanding these symbioses. Ascidians often contain potently bioactive secondary metabolites as their major extractable components. Strong evidence shows that ~8% of the known secondary metabolites from ascidians are made by symbiotic bacteria, and indirect evidence implicates bacteria in the synthesis of many more. Far from being “secondary” to the animals, secondary metabolites are essential components of the interaction between host animals and their symbiotic bacteria. These interactions have complex underlying biology, but the chemistry is clearly ascidian-species specific. The chemical interactions are ancient in at least some cases, and they are widespread among ascidians. Ascidians maintain secondary metabolic symbioses with bacteria that are phylogenetically diverse, indicating a convergent solution to obtaining secondary metabolites and reinforcing the importance of secondary metabolism in animal survival. PMID:25937788

  10. The Gut of Geographically Disparate Ciona intestinalis Harbors a Core Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Gemayel, Kristina; Leigh, Brittany; Melillo, Daniela; Mueller, M. Gail; Natale, Lenina; Zucchetti, Ivana; De Santis, Rosaria; Pinto, Maria Rosaria; Litman, Gary W.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2014-01-01

    It is now widely understood that all animals engage in complex interactions with bacteria (or microbes) throughout their various life stages. This ancient exchange can involve cooperation and has resulted in a wide range of evolved host-microbial interdependencies, including those observed in the gut. Ciona intestinalis, a filter-feeding basal chordate and classic developmental model that can be experimentally manipulated, is being employed to help define these relationships. Ciona larvae are first exposed internally to microbes upon the initiation of feeding in metamorphosed individuals; however, whether or not these microbes subsequently colonize the gut and whether or not Ciona forms relationships with specific bacteria in the gut remains unknown. In this report, we show that the Ciona gut not only is colonized by a complex community of bacteria, but also that samples from three geographically isolated populations reveal striking similarity in abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) consistent with the selection of a core community by the gut ecosystem. PMID:24695540

  11. *Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase and the methylation of arsenicals in the invertebrate chordate ciona intestinalis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biotransformation of inorganic arsenic (iAs) involves methylation catalyzed by arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (As3mt) , yielding mono-, di-, and trimethylated arsenicals. A comparative genomic approach focused on Ciona intestinaJis, an invertebrate chordate, was u...

  12. Vanadium isotopic composition of the sea squirt (Ciona savignyi).

    PubMed

    Nomura, Masao; Nakamura, Mana; Soeda, Ryosuke; Kikawada, Yoshikazu; Fukushima, Michiko; Oi, Takao

    2012-09-01

    Vanadium (V) in the sea squirt (Ciona savignyi) from Onagawa Bay, Miyagi, Japan, was isolated and purified through adsorption on a diamine resin and anion and cation exchanges after the dissolution of sea squirt samples with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. The (50)V/(51)V isotope ratio of V thus obtained was mass-spectrometrically determined to be from 2.51×10(-3) to 2.55×10(-3) with the average of 2.53×10(-3) by the thermal ionisation technique. This value agreed with those of vanadyl chloride and vanadyl nitrate both prepared from vanadyl sulphate (Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd., Japan) and of V in coastal seawater (Shimokita Peninsula, Aomori, Japan) within experimental uncertainties (standard deviation of±0.04), which suggested that no appreciable V isotope fractionation occurs accompanying V uptake by the sea squirt from sea water. PMID:22462478

  13. New distributional data on ascidian fauna (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) from Mandapam coast, Gulf of Mannar, India

    PubMed Central

    Akram, Soban A; Arshan, Kaleem ML

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Ascidians play a key role in the ecology and biodiversity of marine ecosystem. Ascidians can be transported in ship ballast water and while attached to ship and boat hulls. Heavy traffic by domestic and international ships as well as cargo vessels between the major and minor ports warrants continuous monitoring for new introductions of ascidians. The Mandapam coast is situated in the Gulf of Mannar, India, a marine hot spot area in the Indian Ocean which provides an environment suitable for the settlement of ascidians. New information A total of 30 species of ascidians were reported from Mandapam coastal waters, of which 26 species were new to the study area and five species: Ecteinascidia turbinata, Eudistoma carnosum, Trididemnum caelatum, T. vermiforme and Didemnum spadix, were new to India. PMID:27099557

  14. Tissue-specific genome editing in Ciona embryos by CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Stolfi, Alberto; Gandhi, Shashank; Salek, Farhana; Christiaen, Lionel

    2014-11-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system has ushered in a new era of targeted genetic manipulations. Here, we report the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to induce double-stranded breaks in the genome of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis. We use electroporation to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 components for tissue-specific disruption of the Ebf (Collier/Olf/EBF) gene in hundreds of synchronized Ciona embryos. Phenotyping of transfected embryos in the 'F0' generation revealed that endogenous Ebf function is required for specification of Islet-expressing motor ganglion neurons and atrial siphon muscles. We demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9 is sufficiently effective and specific to generate large numbers of embryos carrying mutations in a targeted gene of interest, which should allow for rapid screening of gene function in Ciona. PMID:25336740

  15. Prochloron-ascidian symbioses: Photosynthetic potential and productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewin, R. A.; Cheng, L.; Alberte, R. S.

    1983-01-01

    The chlorophyll content of didemnid asidians with symbiotic algae (Prochloron) from oligotropic tropical marine waters around Palau, Western Carolin Islands is discussed. Several species contain as much chlorophyll per unit dry weight as many herbaceous crop plants and more than do other symbiotic associations such as lichens, green Hydra, etc. Their chlorphyllA/B ratios (3-9) were generally much lighter than those of angiosperms (2-4). Where they abound, Prochloron - ascidian symbiosis could make a major contribution to the productivity, especially in localized areas of tropical marine waters characterized by low nutrient levels and high irradiance.

  16. Photosymbiotic ascidians from Pari Island (Thousand Islands, Indonesia).

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Iskandar, Budhi Hascaryo; Wardiatno, Yusli

    2014-01-01

    Photosymbiotic ascidian fauna were surveyed in the subtidal zone off Pari Island in the Thousand Islands (Java Sea, Indonesia). Nine species were recorded: Didemnum molle, Trididemnum miniatum, Lissoclinum patella, L. punctatum, L. timorense, Diplosoma gumavirens, D. simile, D. simileguwa, and D. virens. All of these species have been previously recorded in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. Diplosoma gumavirens and D. simileguwa were originally described from the Ryukyu Archipelago in 2009 and 2005, respectively, and all of the observed species are potentially widely distributed in Indo-West Pacific coral reefs. PMID:25061385

  17. Amino Acid-Derived Metabolites from the Ascidian Aplidium sp.

    PubMed

    Won, Tae Hyung; Kim, Chang-Kwon; Lee, So-Hyoung; Rho, Boon Jo; Lee, Sang Kook; Oh, Dong-Chan; Oh, Ki-Bong; Shin, Jongheon

    2015-06-01

    Four new iodobenzene-containing dipeptides (1-4), a related bromotryptophan-containing dipeptide (5), and an iodophenethylamine (6) were isolated from the ascidian Aplidium sp. collected off the coast of Chuja-do, Korea. The structures of these novel compounds, designated as apliamides A-E (1-5) and apliamine A (6) were determined via combined spectroscopic analyses. The absolute configuration of the amino acid residue in 1 was determined by advanced Marfey's analysis. Several of these compounds exhibited moderate cytotoxicity and significant inhibition against Na+/K+-ATPase (4). PMID:26087023

  18. Disinfection of fertilized eggs of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi for prevention of soft tunic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Akira; Tanabe, Toru; Nawata, Akatsuki; Suto, Atsushi

    2016-02-25

    Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the causative agent of soft tunic syndrome, was likely introduced to farming sites of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi via ascidian spat. The source of infection is thought to be cysts of A. hoyamushi that reside in the substrates on which the ascidian spat are attached, but not the spat themselves. Thus, there is a need to develop methods to prevent contamination of the substrates with A. hoyamushi during seed production of the ascidian. We evaluated the protozoacidal effects of sodium hypochlorite and povidone-iodine against the flagellate and temporary cyst forms of A. hoyamushi. Additionally, we evaluated the effects of these disinfectants on the development of fertilized ascidian eggs. The flagellate form of A. hoyamushi was completely inactivated by povidone-iodine (5 ppm, 1 min) and sodium hypochlorite (1 ppm, 1 min). The temporary cysts of A. hoyamushi were completely inactivated by both disinfectants (5 ppm, 1 min). Disinfection with 50 ppm povidone-iodine for 15 min or 5 ppm sodium hypochlorite for 15 min had no effect on ascidian embryogenesis. Thus, horizontal transmission of A. hoyamushi via the substrates can be efficiently prevented by disinfecting ascidian eggs or tools used for spawning with povidone-iodine baths ranging from 5 ppm for 1 min to 50 ppm for 15 min without any side effects. PMID:26912045

  19. Bioadhesion in ascidians: a developmental and functional genomics perspective

    PubMed Central

    Pennati, Roberta; Rothbächer, Ute

    2015-01-01

    The development of bioadhesives inspired from marine animals is a promising approach to generate new tissue-compatible medical components. A number of marine species, through their adhesive properties, also represent significant foulers that become increasingly problematic to aquaculture, shipping or local biodiversity. In order to develop more sophisticated man-made glues and/or efficient fouling resistant surfaces, it is important to understand the mechanical, structural and molecular properties of adhesive organs in selected species. Ascidians are marine invertebrates with larvae that opportunistically attach to almost any type of submerged surface to undergo metamorphosis into permanently sessile adults. Not only do they represent a globally important fouling organism, but they are becoming increasingly popular as model organisms for developmental biology. The latter is due to their phylogenetic position as the sister group to the vertebrates and their cellular and molecular accessibility for experimentation. In this paper, we review the mechanisms of larval adhesion in ascidians and draw conclusions from comparative analyses of selected species. We further discuss how knowledge from a developmental and functional genomics point of view can advance our understanding of cellular and molecular signatures and their hierarchical usage in animal adhesive organs. PMID:25657840

  20. Photosymbiotic ascidians in Singapore: turbid waters may reduce living space

    PubMed Central

    Su, Shih-Wei; Hirose, Euichi; Chen, Serina Lee Siew; Mok, Michael Hin-Kiu

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The photosymbiotic ascidian fauna at Changi Beach, Pulau Semakau, Sentosa and St. John’s Island, Singapore were surveyed. A total of five species, Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum, Lissoclinum punctatum, Lissoclinum timorense and Trididemnum cyclops, were recorded, with Lissoclinum timorense and Trididemnum cyclops being newly recorded in Singapore. However, no photosymbiotic species were found at Changi Beach probably due to the polluted waters in the region. Coastal development has caused Singapore waters to become turbid, leading to decrease in suitable habitats for photosymbiotic ascidians. Clean waters in Pulau Semakau probably provide a better environment for the growth of photosymbiotic ascidians and this area has a greater variety of these ascidians than the other areas in Singapore. Each of the five species has also been recorded in the Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan) and three species (Diplosoma simile, Lissoclinum bistratum and Trididemnum cyclops) have also been recorded in Taiwan. PMID:23794913

  1. The Comparative Organismal Approach in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Insights from Ascidians and Cavefish.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

    Important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology have been made using the comparative organismal approach. As examples, I describe insights obtained from studies of Molgula ascidians and Astyanax cavefish. PMID:26970636

  2. The Whereabouts of an Ancient Wanderer: Global Phylogeography of the Solitary Ascidian Styela plicata

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Mari Carmen; López-Legentil, Susanna; Turon, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Genetic tools have greatly aided in tracing the sources and colonization history of introduced species. However, recurrent introductions and repeated shuffling of populations may have blurred some of the genetic signals left by ancient introductions. Styela plicata is a solitary ascidian distributed worldwide. Although its origin remains unclear, this species is believed to have spread worldwide by travelling on ship's hulls. The goals of this study were to infer the genetic structure and global phylogeography of S. plicata and to look for present-day and historical genetic patterns. Two genetic markers were used: a fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) and a fragment of the nuclear gene Adenine Nucleotide Transporter/ADP-ATP Translocase (ANT). A total of 368 individuals for COI and 315 for ANT were sequenced from 17 locations worldwide. The levels of gene diversity were moderate for COI to high for ANT. The Mediterranean populations showed the least diversity and allelic richness for both markers, while the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans had the highest gene and nucleotide diversities. Network and phylogenetic analyses with COI and ANT revealed two groups of alleles separated by 15 and 4 mutational steps, respectively. The existence of different lineages suggested an ancient population split. However, the geographic distributions of these groups did not show any consistent pattern, indicating different phylogeographic histories for each gene. Genetic divergence was significant for many population-pairs irrespective of the geographic distance among them. Stochastic introduction events are reflected in the uneven distribution of COI and ANT allele frequencies and groups among many populations. Our results confirmed that S. plicata has been present in all studied oceans for a long time, and that recurrent colonization events and occasional shuffling among populations have determined the actual genetic structure of this species

  3. Phallusiasterol C, A New Disulfated Steroid from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata.

    PubMed

    Imperatore, Concetta; Senese, Maria; Aiello, Anna; Luciano, Paolo; Fiorucci, Stefano; D'Amore, Claudio; Carino, Adriana; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-01-01

    A new sulfated sterol, phallusiasterol C (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Phallusia fumigata and its structure has been determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic (mainly 2D NMR) analysis. The possible role in regulating the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activity of phallusiasterol C has been investigated; although the new sterol resulted inactive, this study adds more items to the knowledge of the structure-PXR regulating activity relationships in the case of sulfated steroids. PMID:27322293

  4. Phallusiasterol C, A New Disulfated Steroid from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata

    PubMed Central

    Imperatore, Concetta; Senese, Maria; Aiello, Anna; Luciano, Paolo; Fiorucci, Stefano; D’Amore, Claudio; Carino, Adriana; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-01-01

    A new sulfated sterol, phallusiasterol C (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Phallusia fumigata and its structure has been determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic (mainly 2D NMR) analysis. The possible role in regulating the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activity of phallusiasterol C has been investigated; although the new sterol resulted inactive, this study adds more items to the knowledge of the structure-PXR regulating activity relationships in the case of sulfated steroids. PMID:27322293

  5. Localization of symbiotic cyanobacteria in the colonial ascidian Trididemnum miniatum (Didemnidae, Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Hirose, Mamiko; Neilan, Brett A

    2006-05-01

    Trididemnum miniatum is a colonial ascidian harboring the photosymbiotic prokaryote Prochloron sp. These bacterial cells are located in the tunic of the host animal. The present study revealed, by ultrastructural analysis, that the Prochloron cells were exclusively distributed and proliferated in the tunic. They were shown to be embedded in the tunic matrix and to have no direct contact with ascidian cells. Some tunic cells of the ascidians, however, did phagocytize and digest the symbiont. Round cell masses were sometimes found in the tunic and appeared to consist of disintegrating cyanobacterial cells. The thoracic epidermis of ascidian zooids was often digitated, and the epidermal cells extended microvilli into the tunic. Since there were no Prochloron cells in the alimentary tract of the ascidian zooids, the photosymbionts would not be considered part of the typical diet of the host ascidians. Thin layer chromatography showed that the symbionts possessed both chlorophyll a and b, while a 16S rRNA gene phylogeny supported the identification of the photosymbiont of T. miniatum as Prochloron sp. PMID:16766862

  6. Ascidian depth zonation on sublittoral hard substrates off deer island, New Brunswick, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatfield, C.; Logan, A.; Thomas, M. L. H.

    1992-02-01

    The upper surfaces of sublittoral hard substrates in the Deer Island region of the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, support diverse, depth-zoned epibenthic communities of which ascidians form a minor part. Their population density was quantitatively studied from photo-transects taken between mean low water (MLW) and 30 m depth at four sites off the Deer Island coast and from 30-140 m depth along two photo-transects in Head Harbour Passage. All photo-analyses were aided by collections from transect survey sites, wharf pilings and salmon cage floats, to yield a total of 15 ascidian species encountered. Ascidians were found at all depths at the four shallow sites. Halocynthia pyriformis and Boltenia ovifera are most common at depths of less than 20 m, while Aplidium pallidum, Didemnum albidum and other species exhibit a marked increase in abundance below this depth. Cluster analysis of ascidians shows an association between B. echinata and B. ovifera, which may reflect resource partitioning, and between A. pallidum-D. albidum and Molgula sp.— A. stellatum, the ecological significance of which are as yet unknown. The community in Head Harbour Passage is animal-dominated and in its deeper sections often shows three-dimensional bottom relief from horse mussel shells. D. albidum, the commonest ascidian, shows a close association with Modiolus modiolus, to which it is normally attached, suggesting that mussel beds may minimize the possibility of dislodgement and even confer a feeding advantage on this ascidian.

  7. Proteome map of the neural complex of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, the closest living relative to vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Saxena, Sandeep; Dupont, Sam; Meghah, Vuppalapaty; Lakshmi, Mula G Meena; Singh, Sachin K; Swamy, Cherukuvada V Brahmendra; Idris, Mohammed M

    2013-03-01

    Ciona intestinalis (the common sea squirt) is the closest living chordate relative to vertebrates with cosmopolitan presence worldwide. It has a relatively simple nervous system and development, making it a widely studied alternative model system in neuroscience and developmental biology. The use of Ciona as a model organism has increased significantly after the draft genome was published. In this study, we describe the first proteome map of the neural complex of C. intestinalis. A total of 544 proteins were identified based on 1DE and 2DE FTMS/ITMSMS analyses. Proteins were annotated against the Ciona database and analyzed to predict their molecular functions, roles in biological processes, and position in constructed network pathways. The identified Ciona neural complex proteome was found to map onto vertebrate nervous system pathways, including cytoskeleton remodeling neurofilaments, cell adhesion through the histamine receptor signaling pathway, γ-aminobutyric acid-A receptor life cycle neurophysiological process, glycolysis, and amino acid metabolism. The proteome map of the Ciona neural complex is the first step toward a better understanding of several important processes, including the evolution and regeneration capacity of the Ciona nervous system. PMID:23300126

  8. Molecular evidence from Ciona intestinalis for the evolutionary origin of vertebrate sensory placodes.

    PubMed

    Mazet, Françoise; Hutt, James A; Milloz, Josselin; Millard, John; Graham, Anthony; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2005-06-15

    Cranial sensory placodes are focused areas of the head ectoderm of vertebrates that contribute to the development of the cranial sense organs and their associated ganglia. Placodes have long been considered a key character of vertebrates, and their evolution is proposed to have been essential for the evolution of an active predatory lifestyle by early vertebrates. Despite their importance for understanding vertebrate origins, the evolutionary origin of placodes has remained obscure. Here, we use a panel of molecular markers from the Six, Eya, Pax, Dach, FoxI, COE and POUIV gene families to examine the tunicate Ciona intestinalis for evidence of structures homologous to vertebrate placodes. Our results identify two domains of Ciona ectoderm that are marked by the genetic cascade that regulates vertebrate placode formation. The first is just anterior to the brain, and we suggest this territory is equivalent to the olfactory/adenohypophyseal placodes of vertebrates. The second is a bilateral domain adjacent to the posterior brain and includes cells fated to form the atrium and atrial siphon of adult Ciona. We show this bares most similarity to placodes fated to form the vertebrate acoustico-lateralis system. We interpret these data as support for the hypothesis that sensory placodes did not arise de novo in vertebrates, but evolved from pre-existing specialised areas of ectoderm that contributed to sensory organs in the common ancestor of vertebrates and tunicates. PMID:15950613

  9. Contrasting global genetic patterns in two biologically similar, widespread and invasive Ciona species (Tunicata, Ascidiacea)

    PubMed Central

    Bouchemousse, Sarah; Bishop, John D. D.; Viard, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

    Human-mediated dispersal interplays with natural processes and complicates understanding of the biogeographical history of species. This is exemplified by two invasive tunicates, Ciona robusta (formerly Ciona intestinalis type A) and C. intestinalis (formerly Ciona intestinalis type B), globally distributed and sympatric in Europe. By gathering new mitochondrial sequences that were merged with published datasets, we analysed genetic patterns in different regions, with a focus on 1) their sympatric range and 2) allopatric populations in N and S America and southern Europe. In the sympatric range, the two species display contrasting genetic diversity patterns, with low polymorphism in C. robusta supporting the prevalent view of its recent introduction. In the E Pacific, several genetic traits support the non-native status of C. robusta. However, in the NE Pacific, this appraisal requires a complex scenario of introduction and should be further examined supported by extensive sampling efforts in the NW Pacific (putative native range). For C. intestinalis, Bayesian analysis suggested a natural amphi-North Atlantic distribution, casting doubt on its non-native status in the NW Atlantic. This study shows that both natural and human-mediated dispersal have influenced genetic patterns at broad scales; this interaction lessens our ability to confidently ascertain native vs. non-native status of populations, particularly of those species that are globally distributed. PMID:27137892

  10. Sunlight Damage To The Solitary Ascidian Chelyosoma productum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores, E.

    2004-12-01

    Chelyosoma productum (Stimpson) is a temperate solitary ascidian commonly found in Puget Sound and the San Juan Archipelago, Washington, USA. Adult populations are restricted to deeper subtidal regions or shaded shallow-water habitats, such as docks in shaded marinas. C. productum adults have a thin translucent outer tunic that may provide very little if any protection from solar damage. I hypothesized that sunlight may be setting limits on the distribution of this species. Since adult ascidians are sessile and rely on earlier life stages for their distribution, all life stages of Chelyosoma productum were tested. In this study, I examined the effects of sunlight exposure in embryos, larvae, juveniles and adults of Chelyosoma productum. I isolated the PAR, UVA and UVB portions of the spectrum and exposed all life stages using natural sunlight. I also sampled shallow-water dock habitats to see how adult distributions were related to light exposure. The embryonic development in C. productum was negatively affected by any solar exposure. Most embryos exposed to UV light failed to develop normally and those that did could not subsequently settle. This species produces embryos of different colors; two (purple and brown) were observed in my experiments. Damage from light exposure differed between the color morphs. Overall, the brown morph was more tolerant of light exposure than was the purple morph across all life stages. The only exception to this general pattern was that purple embryos were remarkably resistant to light damage. The distribution of C. productum is restricted to areas with no direct solar exposure. However, even within shaded environments where they were abundant, subpopulations related to the color dimorphism were observed. The significance of the brown and purple pigments in embryos and larvae remains largely unknown. However, adults with brown eggs were found to be more prevalent in edge environments where there was higher light exposure. Purple

  11. Genetic pathways for differentiation of the peripheral nervous system in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Waki, Kana; Imai, Kaoru S; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    Ascidians belong to tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates. Peripheral nervous systems (PNSs) including epidermal sensory neurons (ESNs) in the trunk and dorsal tail regions of ascidian larvae are derived from cells adjacent to the neural plate, as in vertebrates. On the other hand, peripheral ESNs in the ventral tail region are derived from the ventral ectoderm under the control of BMP signalling, reminiscent of sensory neurons of amphioxus and protostomes. In this study, we show that two distinct mechanisms activate a common gene circuit consisting of Msx, Ascl.b, Tox, Delta.b and Pou4 in the dorsal and ventral regions to differentiate ESNs. Our results suggest that ventral ESNs of the ascidian larva are not directly homologous to vertebrate PNSs. The dorsal ESNs might have arisen via co-option of the original PNS gene circuit to the neural plate border in an ancestral chordate. PMID:26515371

  12. CiMutT, an asidian MutT homologue, has a 7, 8-dihydro-8-oxo-dGTP pyrophosphohydrolase activity responsible for sanitization of oxidized nucleotides in Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Yonekura, Shin-Ichiro; Sanada, U; Zhang-Akiyama, Qiu-Mei

    2010-01-01

    The oxidized nucleotide precursors 7, 8-dihydro-8-oxo-dGTP (8-oxo-dGTP) and 1, 2-dihydro-2-oxo-dATP (2-oxo-dATP) are readily incorporated into nascent DNA strands during replication, which would cause base substitution mutations. E. coli MutT and human homologue hMTH1 hydrolyze 8-oxo-dGTP, thereby preventing mutations. In this study, we searched for hMTH1 homologues in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis using the NCBI-BLAST database. Among several candidates, we focused on one open reading frame, designated as CiMutT, because of its high degree of identity (41.7%) and similarity (58.3%) to the overall amino acid sequence of hMTH1, including the Nudix box. CiMutT significantly suppressed the mutator activity of E. coli mutT mutant. Purified CiMutT had a pyrophosphohydrolase activity that hydrolyzed 8-oxo-dGTP to 8-oxo-dGMP and inorganic pyrophosphate. It had a pH optimum of 9.5 and Mg(++) requirement with optimal activity at 5 mM. The activity of CiMutT for 8-oxo-dGTP was comparable to that of hMTH1, while it was 100-fold lower for 2-oxo-dATP than that of hMTH1. These facts indicate that CiMutT is a functional homologue of E. coli MutT. In addition, the enzyme hydrolyzed all four of the unoxidized nucleoside triphosphates, with a preference for dATP. The specific activity for 8-oxo-dGTP was greater than that for unoxidized dATP and dGTP. These results suggest that CiMutT has the potential to prevent mutations by 8-oxo-dGTP in C. intestinalis. PMID:21178309

  13. The evolution of the vertebrate metzincins; insights from Ciona intestinalis and Danio rerio

    PubMed Central

    Huxley-Jones, Julie; Clarke, Toni-Kim; Beck, Christine; Toubaris, George; Robertson, David L; Boot-Handford, Raymond P

    2007-01-01

    Background The metzincins are a large gene superfamily of proteases characterized by the presence of a zinc protease domain, and include the ADAM, ADAMTS, BMP1/TLL, meprin and MMP genes. Metzincins are involved in the proteolysis of a wide variety of proteins, including those of the extracellular matrix. The metzincin gene superfamily comprises eighty proteins in the human genome and ninety-three in the mouse. When and how the level of complexity apparent in the vertebrate metzincin gene superfamily arose has not been determined in detail. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of vertebrate metzincins using genes from both Ciona intestinalis and Danio rerio to provide new insights into the complex evolution of this gene superfamily. Results We have identified 19 metzincin genes in the ciona genome and 83 in the zebrafish genome. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that the expansion of the metzincin gene superfamily in vertebrates has occurred predominantly by the simple duplication of pre-existing genes rather than by the appearance and subsequent expansion of new metzincin subtypes (the only example of which is the meprin gene family). Despite the number of zebrafish metzincin genes being relatively similar to that of tetrapods (e.g. man and mouse), the pattern of gene retention and loss within these lineages is markedly different. In addition, we have studied the evolution of the related TIMP gene family and identify a single ciona and four zebrafish TIMP genes. Conclusion The complexity seen in the vertebrate metzincin gene families was mainly acquired during vertebrate evolution. The metzincin gene repertoire in protostomes and invertebrate deuterostomes has remained relatively stable. The expanded metzincin gene repertoire of extant tetrapods, such as man, has resulted largely from duplication events associated with early vertebrate evolution, prior to the sarcopterygian-actinopterygian split. The teleost repertoire of metzincin genes in part parallels that of

  14. Microenvironment and phylogenetic diversity of Prochloron inhabiting the surface of crustose didemnid ascidians.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Daniel A; Pernice, Mathieu; Schliep, Martin; Sablok, Gaurav; Jeffries, Thomas C; Kühl, Michael; Wangpraseurt, Daniel; Ralph, Peter J; Larkum, Anthony W D

    2015-10-01

    The cyanobacterium Prochloron didemni is primarily found in symbiotic relationships with various marine hosts such as ascidians and sponges. Prochloron remains to be successfully cultivated outside of its host, which reflects a lack of knowledge of its unique ecophysiological requirements. We investigated the microenvironment and diversity of Prochloron inhabiting the upper, exposed surface of didemnid ascidians, providing the first insights into this microhabitat. The pH and O2 concentration in this Prochloron biofilm changes dynamically with irradiance, where photosynthetic activity measurements showed low light adaptation (Ek ∼ 80 ± 7 μmol photons m(-2) s(-1)) but high light tolerance. Surface Prochloron cells exhibited a different fine structure to Prochloron cells from cloacal cavities in other ascidians, the principle difference being a central area of many vacuoles dissected by single thylakoids in the surface Prochloron. Cyanobacterial 16S rDNA pyro-sequencing of the biofilm community on four ascidians resulted in 433 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) where on average -85% (65-99%) of all sequence reads, represented by 136 OTUs, were identified as Prochloron via blast search. All of the major Prochloron-OTUs clustered into independent, highly supported phylotypes separate from sequences reported for internal Prochloron, suggesting a hitherto unexplored genetic variability among Prochloron colonizing the outer surface of didemnids. PMID:26176189

  15. Natural Products from Antarctic Colonial Ascidians of the Genera Aplidium and Synoicum: Variability and Defensive Role

    PubMed Central

    Núñez-Pons, Laura; Carbone, Marianna; Vázquez, Jennifer; Rodríguez, Jaime; Nieto, Rosa María; Varela, María Mercedes; Gavagnin, Margherita; Avila, Conxita

    2012-01-01

    Ascidians have developed multiple defensive strategies mostly related to physical, nutritional or chemical properties of the tunic. One of such is chemical defense based on secondary metabolites. We analyzed a series of colonial Antarctic ascidians from deep-water collections belonging to the genera Aplidium and Synoicum to evaluate the incidence of organic deterrents and their variability. The ether fractions from 15 samples including specimens of the species A. falklandicum, A. fuegiense, A. meridianum, A. millari and S. adareanum were subjected to feeding assays towards two relevant sympatric predators: the starfish Odontaster validus, and the amphipod Cheirimedon femoratus. All samples revealed repellency. Nonetheless, some colonies concentrated defensive chemicals in internal body-regions rather than in the tunic. Four ascidian-derived meroterpenoids, rossinones B and the three derivatives 2,3-epoxy-rossinone B, 3-epi-rossinone B, 5,6-epoxy-rossinone B, and the indole alkaloids meridianins A–G, along with other minoritary meridianin compounds were isolated from several samples. Some purified metabolites were tested in feeding assays exhibiting potent unpalatabilities, thus revealing their role in predation avoidance. Ascidian extracts and purified compound-fractions were further assessed in antibacterial tests against a marine Antarctic bacterium. Only the meridianins showed inhibition activity, demonstrating a multifunctional defensive role. According to their occurrence in nature and within our colonial specimens, the possible origin of both types of metabolites is discussed. PMID:23015772

  16. An ascidian RING finger gene is specifically expressed in a single cell of larval ocellus.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xutong; Okuyama, Makiko; Miyazaki, Katsumi; Zhang, Shicui; Wada, Hiroshi

    2003-07-17

    The ascidian nervous system is extremely simple, although the structure of it is comparable with the complex vertebrate nervous system. This simplicity makes the ascidian nervous system a good model to understand how the neuronal circuit is built up in the chordate nervous system. In order to study the formation of the neuronal circuit at the single cell level, molecular markers to characterize specific single cells are desired. In the present paper, we describe the gene expression pattern of CIGL: an ascidian homologue of Goliath, a Drosophila RING-finger gene. In the early embryonic stage, CiGl is expressed in the lateral part of the neural tube and in several peripheral nerve cells. Later in the larval stage, CiGl specifically marks ocellus: one of the pigment cells in the ascidian brain, which is involved in the photoreceptive system. CiGl will be useful to understand the differentiation mechanism of ocellus, and especially to test the model proposed by. In addition, the finding of this single cells specific gene expression pattern at a certain developmental stage encourages us to look for more genes which mark single cells, especially those that have not been well characterized. PMID:12909346

  17. THE EFFECT OF EXPOSURE PERIOD AND TEMPERATURE ON THE PHOTOSENSORY PROCESS IN CIONA.

    PubMed

    Hecht, S

    1926-01-01

    1. Experiments are presented which show that the latent period in the photosensory response of Ciona is inversely proportional to the duration of the exposure period to light. From this it is found that the velocity of the chemical reaction which determines the latent period is directly proportional to the concentration of photochemical products formed during the exposure period. This is interpreted as showing that the two processes form a coupled photochemical reaction, of which the secondary reaction proceeds only in the presence of products from the primary reaction. This coupling may be a catalysis or a direct chemical relation. 2. Further experiments show that the relation between temperature and the latent period is accurately described by the Arrhenius equation in which micro = 16,200. The precise numerical value of micro tentatively identifies the latent period process as an oxidation reaction which is catalyzed by iron. 3. The photocatalytic properties of certain iron compounds are used as a model for the coupled photochemical reaction suggested for the photosensory mechanism of Ciona and Mya. PMID:19872201

  18. Stochasticity in space, persistence in time: genetic heterogeneity in harbour populations of the introduced ascidian Styela plicata

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Mari-Carmen; Lorente, Beatriz; López-Legentil, Susanna; Palacín, Creu

    2016-01-01

    Spatio-temporal changes in genetic structure among populations provide crucial information on the dynamics of secondary spread for introduced marine species. However, temporal components have rarely been taken into consideration when studying the population genetics of non-indigenous species. This study analysed the genetic structure of Styela plicata, a solitary ascidian introduced in harbours and marinas of tropical and temperate waters, across spatial and temporal scales. A fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) was sequenced from 395 individuals collected at 9 harbours along the NW Mediterranean coast and adjacent Atlantic waters (> 1,200 km range) at two time points 5 years apart (2009 and 2014). The levels of gene diversity were relatively low for all 9 locations in both years. Analyses of genetic differentiation and distribution of molecular variance revealed strong genetic structure, with significant differences among many populations, but no significant differences among years. A weak and marginally significant correlation between geographic distance and gene differentiation was found. Our results revealed spatial structure and temporal genetic homogeneity in S. plicata, suggesting a limited role of recurrent, vessel-mediated transport of organisms among small to medium-size harbours. Our study area is representative of many highly urbanized coasts with dense harbours. In these environments, the episodic chance arrival of colonisers appears to determine the genetic structure of harbour populations and the genetic composition of these early colonising individuals persists in the respective harbours, at least over moderate time frames (five years) that encompass ca. 20 generations of S. plicata. PMID:27366653

  19. Stochasticity in space, persistence in time: genetic heterogeneity in harbour populations of the introduced ascidian Styela plicata.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Mari-Carmen; Lorente, Beatriz; López-Legentil, Susanna; Palacín, Creu; Turon, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Spatio-temporal changes in genetic structure among populations provide crucial information on the dynamics of secondary spread for introduced marine species. However, temporal components have rarely been taken into consideration when studying the population genetics of non-indigenous species. This study analysed the genetic structure of Styela plicata, a solitary ascidian introduced in harbours and marinas of tropical and temperate waters, across spatial and temporal scales. A fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) was sequenced from 395 individuals collected at 9 harbours along the NW Mediterranean coast and adjacent Atlantic waters (> 1,200 km range) at two time points 5 years apart (2009 and 2014). The levels of gene diversity were relatively low for all 9 locations in both years. Analyses of genetic differentiation and distribution of molecular variance revealed strong genetic structure, with significant differences among many populations, but no significant differences among years. A weak and marginally significant correlation between geographic distance and gene differentiation was found. Our results revealed spatial structure and temporal genetic homogeneity in S. plicata, suggesting a limited role of recurrent, vessel-mediated transport of organisms among small to medium-size harbours. Our study area is representative of many highly urbanized coasts with dense harbours. In these environments, the episodic chance arrival of colonisers appears to determine the genetic structure of harbour populations and the genetic composition of these early colonising individuals persists in the respective harbours, at least over moderate time frames (five years) that encompass ca. 20 generations of S. plicata. PMID:27366653

  20. Endozoicomonas Are Specific, Facultative Symbionts of Sea Squirts

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper U.; Funch, Peter; Jensen, Jeppe; Obst, Matthias; López-Legentil, Susanna; Schramm, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are marine filter feeders and harbor diverse microbiota that can exhibit a high degree of host-specificity. Pharyngeal samples of Scandinavian and Mediterranean ascidians were screened for consistently associated bacteria by culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Representatives of the Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Hahellaceae) clade were detected in the ascidian species Ascidiella aspersa, Ascidiella scabra, Botryllus schlosseri, Ciona intestinalis, Styela clava, and multiple Ascidia/Ascidiella spp. In total, Endozoicomonas was detected in more than half of all specimens screened, and in 25–100% of the specimens for each species. The retrieved Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA gene sequences formed an ascidian-specific subclade, whose members were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as extracellular microcolonies in the pharynx. Two strains of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were isolated in pure culture and characterized. Both strains are chemoorganoheterotrophs and grow on mucin (a mucus glycoprotein). The strains tested negative for cytotoxic or antibacterial activity. Based on these observations, we propose ascidian-associated Endozoicomonas to be commensals, living off the mucus continuously secreted into the pharynx. Members of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were also detected in seawater from the Scandinavian sampling site, which suggests acquisition of the symbionts by horizontal transmission. The combined results indicate a host-specific, yet facultative symbiosis between ascidians and Endozoicomonas. PMID:27462299

  1. Endozoicomonas Are Specific, Facultative Symbionts of Sea Squirts.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper U; Funch, Peter; Jensen, Jeppe; Obst, Matthias; López-Legentil, Susanna; Schramm, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are marine filter feeders and harbor diverse microbiota that can exhibit a high degree of host-specificity. Pharyngeal samples of Scandinavian and Mediterranean ascidians were screened for consistently associated bacteria by culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Representatives of the Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Hahellaceae) clade were detected in the ascidian species Ascidiella aspersa, Ascidiella scabra, Botryllus schlosseri, Ciona intestinalis, Styela clava, and multiple Ascidia/Ascidiella spp. In total, Endozoicomonas was detected in more than half of all specimens screened, and in 25-100% of the specimens for each species. The retrieved Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA gene sequences formed an ascidian-specific subclade, whose members were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as extracellular microcolonies in the pharynx. Two strains of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were isolated in pure culture and characterized. Both strains are chemoorganoheterotrophs and grow on mucin (a mucus glycoprotein). The strains tested negative for cytotoxic or antibacterial activity. Based on these observations, we propose ascidian-associated Endozoicomonas to be commensals, living off the mucus continuously secreted into the pharynx. Members of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were also detected in seawater from the Scandinavian sampling site, which suggests acquisition of the symbionts by horizontal transmission. The combined results indicate a host-specific, yet facultative symbiosis between ascidians and Endozoicomonas. PMID:27462299

  2. When shape matters: strategies of different Antarctic ascidians morphotypes to deal with sedimentation.

    PubMed

    Torre, Luciana; Abele, Doris; Lagger, Cristian; Momo, Fernando; Sahade, Ricardo

    2014-08-01

    Climate change leads to increased melting of tidewater glaciers in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region and sediment bearing glacial melt waters negatively affects filter feeding species as solitary ascidians. In previous work the erect-forms Molgula pedunculata and Cnemidocarpa verrucosa (Order Stolidobranchiata) appeared more sensitive than the flat form Ascidia challengeri (Order Phlebobranchiata). Sedimentation exposure is expected to induce up-regulation of anaerobic metabolism by obstructing the organs of gas exchange (environmental hypoxia) or causes enhanced squirting activity (functional hypoxia). In this study we evaluated the possible relationship between ascidian morphotype and their physiological response to sedimentation. Together with some behavioural observations, we analysed the response of anaerobic metabolic parameters (lactate formation and glycogen consumption) in different tissues of three Antarctic ascidians, exposed to high sediment concentrations (200 mgL(-1)). The results were compared to experimental hypoxia (10% pO2) and exercise (induced muscular contraction) effects, in order to discriminate the effect of sediment on each species and morpho-type (erect vs. flat forms). Our results suggest that the styled (erect) C. verrucosa increases muscular squirting activity in order to expulse excessive material, while the flat-form A. challengeri reacts more passively by down-regulating its aerobic metabolism under sediment exposure. Contrary, the erect ascidian M. pedunculata did not show any measurable response to the treatments, indicating that filtration and ingestion activities were not reduced or altered even under high sedimentation (low energetic material) which could be disadvantageous on the long-term and could explain why M. pedunculata densities decline in the study area. PMID:24986145

  3. Quinone and Hydroquinone Metabolites from the Ascidians of the Genus Aplidium

    PubMed Central

    Bertanha, Camila Spereta; Januário, Ana Helena; Alvarenga, Tavane Aparecida; Pimenta, Letícia Pereira; e Silva, Márcio Luis Andrade; Cunha, Wilson Roberto; Pauletti, Patrícia Mendonça

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians of the genus Aplidium are recognized as an important source of chemical diversity and bioactive natural products. Among the compounds produced by this genus are non-nitrogenous metabolites, mainly prenylated quinones and hydroquinones. This review discusses the isolation, structural elucidation, and biological activities of quinones, hydroquinones, rossinones, longithorones, longithorols, floresolides, scabellones, conicaquinones, aplidinones, thiaplidiaquinones, and conithiaquinones. A compilation of the 13C-NMR spectral data of these compounds is also presented. PMID:24927227

  4. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983) in an Urban Estuary.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Tiffany Schenk; Wernberg, Thomas; McDonald, Justin I

    2016-01-01

    Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia) growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis) where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future. PMID:27144600

  5. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983) in an Urban Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Wernberg, Thomas; McDonald, Justin I.

    2016-01-01

    Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia) growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis) where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future. PMID:27144600

  6. Mediterranean diet

    MedlinePlus

    ... doctor if you should take a calcium supplement. Wine is a common part of a Mediterranean eating ... but some people should not drink alcohol. Avoid wine if you are prone to alcohol abuse, pregnant, ...

  7. A saturation screen for cis-acting regulatory DNA in the Hox genes of Ciona intestinalis

    SciTech Connect

    Keys, David N.; Lee, Byung-in; Di Gregorio, Anna; Harafuji, Naoe; Detter, Chris; Wang, Mei; Kahsai, Orsalem; Ahn, Sylvia; Arellano, Andre; Zhang, Quin; Trong, Stephan; Doyle, Sharon A.; Satoh, Noriyuki; Satou, Yutaka; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Christian, Allen; Rokhsar, Dan; Hawkins, Trevor L.; Levine, Mike; Richardson, Paul

    2005-01-05

    A screen for the systematic identification of cis-regulatory elements within large (>100 kb) genomic domains containing Hox genes was performed by using the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis. Randomly generated DNA fragments from bacterial artificial chromosomes containing two clusters of Hox genes were inserted into a vector upstream of a minimal promoter and lacZ reporter gene. A total of 222 resultant fusion genes were separately electroporated into fertilized eggs, and their regulatory activities were monitored in larvae. In sum, 21 separable cis-regulatory elements were found. These include eight Hox linked domains that drive expression in nested anterior-posterior domains of ectodermally derived tissues. In addition to vertebrate-like CNS regulation, the discovery of cis-regulatory domains that drive epidermal transcription suggests that C. intestinalis has arthropod-like Hox patterning in the epidermis.

  8. Dynamics of cell polarity in tissue morphogenesis: a comparative view from Drosophila and Ciona

    PubMed Central

    Veeman, Michael T.; McDonald, Jocelyn A.

    2016-01-01

    Tissues in developing embryos exhibit complex and dynamic rearrangements that shape forming organs, limbs, and body axes. Directed migration, mediolateral intercalation, lumen formation, and other rearrangements influence the topology and topography of developing tissues. These collective cell behaviors are distinct phenomena but all involve the fine-grained control of cell polarity. Here we review recent findings in the dynamics of polarized cell behavior in both the Drosophila ovarian border cells and the Ciona notochord. These studies reveal the remarkable reorganization of cell polarity during organ formation and underscore conserved mechanisms of developmental cell polarity including the Par/atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) and planar cell polarity pathways. These two very different model systems demonstrate important commonalities but also key differences in how cell polarity is controlled in tissue morphogenesis. Together, these systems raise important, broader questions on how the developmental control of cell polarity contributes to morphogenesis of diverse tissues across the metazoa. PMID:27303647

  9. Encystment and excystment of kinetoplastid Azumiobodo hoyamushi, causal agent of soft tunic syndrome in ascidian aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Nawata, Akatsuki; Hirose, Euichi; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi; Kumagai, Akira

    2015-08-20

    Soft tunic syndrome in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi is caused by the kinetoplastid flagellate Azumiobodo hoyamushi, which was found to assume a fusiform cell form with 2 flagella in axenic, pure culture. When the flagellate form was incubated in sterilized artificial seawater (pH 8.4), some of the cells became cyst-like and adhered to the bottom of the culture plate. The cyst-like forms were spherical or cuboidal, and each had 2 flagella encapsulated in its cytoplasm. Encystment was also induced in culture medium alkalified to the pH of seawater (8.4) but not in unmodified (pH 7.2) or acidified media (pH 6.4). More than 95% of the cyst-like cells converted to the flagellate form within 1 d following transfer to seawater containing ascidian tunic extracts from host ascidians. The cyst-like cells were able to survive in seawater with no added nutrients for up to 2 wk at 20°C and for a few months at 5 to 15°C. The survival period in seawater depended on temperature: some cyst-like cells survived 3 mo at 10°C, and ca. 95% of these converted to flagellate forms in seawater containing tunic extracts. Thus, A. hoyamushi is able to persist under adverse conditions in a cyst-like form able to adhere to organic and inorganic substrata for protracted periods of time. PMID:26290510

  10. Genome-wide identification and characterization of transcription start sites and promoters in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Yokomori, Rui; Shimai, Kotaro; Nishitsuji, Koki; Suzuki, Yutaka; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Nakai, Kenta

    2016-01-01

    The tunicate Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate chordate, has recently emerged as a powerful model organism for gene regulation analysis. However, few studies have been conducted to identify and characterize its transcription start sites (TSSs) and promoters at the genome-wide level. Here, using TSS-seq, we identified TSSs at the genome-wide scale and characterized promoters in C. intestinalis. Specifically, we identified TSS clusters (TSCs), high-density regions of TSS-seq tags, each of which appears to originate from an identical promoter. TSCs were found not only at known TSSs but also in other regions, suggesting the existence of many unknown transcription units in the genome. We also identified candidate promoters of 79 ribosomal protein (RP) genes, each of which had the major TSS in a polypyrimidine tract and showed a sharp TSS distribution like human RP gene promoters. Ciona RP gene promoters, however, did not appear to have typical TATA boxes, unlike human RP gene promoters. In Ciona non-RP promoters, two pyrimidine-purine dinucleotides, CA and TA, were frequently used as TSSs. Despite the absence of CpG islands, Ciona TATA-less promoters showed low expression specificity like CpG-associated human TATA-less promoters. By using TSS-seq, we also predicted trans-spliced gene TSSs and found that their downstream regions had higher G+T content than those of non-trans-spliced gene TSSs. Furthermore, we identified many putative alternative promoters, some of which were regulated in a tissue-specific manner. Our results provide valuable information about TSSs and promoter characteristics in C. intestinalis and will be helpful in future analysis of transcriptional regulation in chordates. PMID:26668163

  11. Genome-wide identification and characterization of transcription start sites and promoters in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Yokomori, Rui; Shimai, Kotaro; Nishitsuji, Koki; Suzuki, Yutaka; Kusakabe, Takehiro G.; Nakai, Kenta

    2016-01-01

    The tunicate Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate chordate, has recently emerged as a powerful model organism for gene regulation analysis. However, few studies have been conducted to identify and characterize its transcription start sites (TSSs) and promoters at the genome-wide level. Here, using TSS-seq, we identified TSSs at the genome-wide scale and characterized promoters in C. intestinalis. Specifically, we identified TSS clusters (TSCs), high-density regions of TSS-seq tags, each of which appears to originate from an identical promoter. TSCs were found not only at known TSSs but also in other regions, suggesting the existence of many unknown transcription units in the genome. We also identified candidate promoters of 79 ribosomal protein (RP) genes, each of which had the major TSS in a polypyrimidine tract and showed a sharp TSS distribution like human RP gene promoters. Ciona RP gene promoters, however, did not appear to have typical TATA boxes, unlike human RP gene promoters. In Ciona non-RP promoters, two pyrimidine-purine dinucleotides, CA and TA, were frequently used as TSSs. Despite the absence of CpG islands, Ciona TATA-less promoters showed low expression specificity like CpG-associated human TATA-less promoters. By using TSS-seq, we also predicted trans-spliced gene TSSs and found that their downstream regions had higher G+T content than those of non-trans-spliced gene TSSs. Furthermore, we identified many putative alternative promoters, some of which were regulated in a tissue-specific manner. Our results provide valuable information about TSSs and promoter characteristics in C. intestinalis and will be helpful in future analysis of transcriptional regulation in chordates. PMID:26668163

  12. Nitric Oxide Acts as a Positive Regulator to Induce Metamorphosis of the Ascidian Herdmania momus

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Nobuo; Degnan, Sandie M.

    2013-01-01

    Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation in ascidian

  13. Microbial diversity of biofilm communities in microniches associated with the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    PubMed Central

    Behrendt, Lars; Larkum, Anthony W D; Trampe, Erik; Norman, Anders; Sørensen, Søren J; Kühl, Michael

    2012-01-01

    We assessed the microbial diversity and microenvironmental niche characteristics in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, microsensor and imaging techniques. L. patella harbors three distinct microbial communities spatially separated by few millimeters of tunic tissue: (i) a biofilm on its upper surface exposed to high irradiance and O2 levels, (ii) a cloacal cavity dominated by the prochlorophyte Prochloron spp. characterized by strong depletion of visible light and a dynamic chemical microenvironment ranging from hyperoxia in light to anoxia in darkness and (iii) a biofilm covering the underside of the animal, where light is depleted of visible wavelengths and enriched in near-infrared radiation (NIR). Variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging demonstrated photosynthetic activity, and hyperspectral imaging revealed a diversity of photopigments in all microhabitats. Amplicon sequencing revealed the dominance of cyanobacteria in all three layers. Sequences representing the chlorophyll d containing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina and anoxygenic phototrophs were abundant on the underside of the ascidian in shallow waters but declined in deeper waters. This depth dependency was supported by a negative correlation between A. marina abundance and collection depth, explained by the increased attenuation of NIR as a function of water depth. The combination of microenvironmental analysis and fine-scale sampling techniques used in this investigation gives valuable first insights into the distribution, abundance and diversity of bacterial communities associated with tropical ascidians. In particular, we show that microenvironments and microbial diversity can vary significantly over scales of a few millimeters in such habitats; which is information easily lost by bulk sampling. PMID:22134643

  14. Sagitol D, a New Thiazole Containing Pyridoacridine Alkaloid from a Vietnamese Ascidian.

    PubMed

    Utkina, Natalia K

    2015-09-01

    A new thiazole containing pyridoacridine alkaloid, named sagitol D (1), and five known alkaloids kuanoniaminesA (2), C (3), D (4), E (5), and F (6), have been isolated from an unidentified Vietnamese ascidian. The structure of the new compound was established from NMR spectroscopic data. Kuanoniamines C, D, E, and F showed moderate antioxidant activity in the DPPH (IC50 36 µM) and ABTS assays (TE = 0.5), while sagitol D showed weak activity (IC50 92 M;TE = 0.10), and kuanoniamine A was inactive. PMID:26594755

  15. The alien ascidian Styela clava now invading the Sea of Marmara (Tunicata: Ascidiacea)

    PubMed Central

    Çinar, Melih Ertan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract During the implementation of a large project aimed to investigate the benthic community structures of the Sea of Marmara, specimens of the invasive ascidian species Styela clava were collected on natural substrata (rocks) at 10 m depth at one locality (Karamürsel) in İzmit Bay. The specimens were mature, containing gametes, indicating that the species had become established in the area. The Sea of Marmara seems to provide suitable conditions for this species to survive and form proliferating populations. PMID:27047235

  16. The alien ascidian Styela clava now invading the Sea of Marmara (Tunicata: Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Çinar, Melih Ertan

    2016-01-01

    During the implementation of a large project aimed to investigate the benthic community structures of the Sea of Marmara, specimens of the invasive ascidian species Styela clava were collected on natural substrata (rocks) at 10 m depth at one locality (Karamürsel) in İzmit Bay. The specimens were mature, containing gametes, indicating that the species had become established in the area. The Sea of Marmara seems to provide suitable conditions for this species to survive and form proliferating populations. PMID:27047235

  17. Peptidolipins B-F, Antibacterial Lipopeptides from an Ascidian-derived Nocardia sp

    PubMed Central

    Wyche, Thomas P.; Hou, Yanpeng; Vazquez-Rivera, Emmanuel; Braun, Doug; Bugni, Tim S.

    2012-01-01

    A marine Nocardia sp. isolated from the ascidian Trididemnum orbiculatum was found to produce five new lipopeptides, peptidolipins B-F (1–5), which show distinct similarities to the previously reported L-Val(6) analog of peptidolipin NA. Synthetic modification of peptidolipin E (4) was used to determine the location of an olefin within the lipid chain. Advanced Marfey’s method was used to determine the absolute configurations of the amino acids. Peptidolipins B (1) and E (4) demonstrated moderate antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). PMID:22482367

  18. Regeneration, Stem Cells, and Aging in the Tunicate Ciona: Insights from the Oral Siphon.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration studies in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis have recently been focused on the potential of adult stem cells to replace injured tissues and organs during the adult life cycle using the oral siphon (OS) as a model. The OS has oral siphon pigment organs (OPOs) along its rim and an underlying network of muscle fibers in its tube. Different regeneration processes are triggered by OS amputation at the tip, along the tube, or at the base. One process involves the replacement of OPOs without new cell division by direct differentiation of locally deployed stem cells or stem cells that migrate from the branchial sac. Another process involves blastema formation by the migration of progenitor cells produced from branchial sac stem cells. The capacity for complete and accurate OS regeneration declines continuously during the adult life cycle. Finally, after an age threshold is reached, OS regeneration ceases in old animals. The loss of regeneration capacity in old animals involves the depletion of stem cells in the branchial sac, the inability of branchial sac progenitor cells to migrate to the sites of regeneration, and defective oral pigment organ replacement. The significance of the OS model for studying regeneration, stem cells, and aging will be enhanced by the application of molecular methods. PMID:26404471

  19. Isolation of a novel LPS-induced component of the ML superfamily in Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Bonura, Angela; Longo, Valeria; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Parrinello, Daniela; Cammarata, Matteo; Colombo, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    ML superfamily represents a group of proteins playing important roles in lipid metabolism and innate immune response. In this study, we report the identification of the first component of the ML superfamily in the invertebrate Ciona intestinalis by means of a subtractive hybridization strategy. Sequence homology and phylogenetic analysis showed that this protein forms a specific clade with vertebrate components of the Niemann-Pick type C2 protein and, for this reason, it has been named Ci-NPC2. The putative Ci-NPC2 is a 150 amino acids long protein with a short signal peptide, seven cysteine residues, three putative lipid binding site and a three-dimensional model showing a characteristic β-strand structure. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that the Ci-NPC2 protein is positively upregulated after LPS inoculum with a peak of expression 1 h after challenge. Finally, in-situ hybridization demonstrated that the Ci-NPC2 protein is preferentially expressed in hemocytes inside the vessel lumen. PMID:26159403

  20. Preparation and Antitumor Activity of CS5931, A Novel Polypeptide from Sea Squirt Ciona Savignyi

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaoshuang; Xu, Huanli; Li, Bo; Wang, Feng; Chen, Xiaoliang; Kong, Dexin; Lin, Xiukun

    2016-01-01

    CS5931 is a novel anticancer agent isolated from the sea squirt Ciona savignyi. However, its content in the species is very low, and developing a novel approach for production of the polypeptide is promising. In the present study, we expressed and purified the polypeptide from E. coli, and the fermentation conditions were studied using response surface methodology. The yield of CS5931 was increased from 2.0 to 7.5 mg/L. The denaturing and renaturation conditions were also studied. Using the optimized renaturation condition, the anticancer activity of refolding CS5931 was increased significantly; the value of IC50 was decreased from 23.2 to 11.6 μM. In vivo study using xenograft nude mice bearing HCT116 cancer cells revealed that CS5931 was able to inhibit the growth of tumor significantly. The study provides a useful approach for obtaining enough amount of CS5931 for further study. This study is also important for developing the polypeptide as a novel anticancer agent. PMID:27007382

  1. Raman Spectroscopic Imaging of the Whole Ciona intestinalis Embryo during Development

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Mitsuru J.; Hotta, Kohji; Oka, Kotaro

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular composition and the distribution of bio-molecules play central roles in the specification of cell fates and morphogenesis during embryogenesis. Consequently, investigation of changes in the expression and distribution of bio-molecules, especially mRNAs and proteins, is an important challenge in developmental biology. Raman spectroscopic imaging, a non-invasive and label-free technique, allows simultaneous imaging of the intracellular composition and distribution of multiple bio-molecules. In this study, we explored the application of Raman spectroscopic imaging in the whole Ciona intestinalis embryo during development. Analysis of Raman spectra scattered from C. intestinalis embryos revealed a number of localized patterns of high Raman intensity within the embryo. Based on the observed distribution of bio-molecules, we succeeded in identifying the location and structure of differentiated muscle and endoderm within the whole embryo, up to the tailbud stage, in a label-free manner. Furthermore, during cell differentiation, we detected significant differences in cell state between muscle/endoderm daughter cells and daughter cells with other fates that had divided from the same mother cells; this was achieved by focusing on the Raman intensity of single Raman bands at 1002 or 1526 cm−1, respectively. This study reports the first application of Raman spectroscopic imaging to the study of identifying and characterizing differentiating tissues in a whole chordate embryo. Our results suggest that Raman spectroscopic imaging is a feasible label-free technique for investigating the developmental process of the whole embryo of C. intestinalis. PMID:23977129

  2. Expression of the Ciona intestinalis alternative oxidase (AOX) in Drosophila complements defects in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Ayala, Daniel J M; Sanz, Alberto; Vartiainen, Suvi; Kemppainen, Kia K; Babusiak, Marek; Mustalahti, Eero; Costa, Rodolfo; Tuomela, Tea; Zeviani, Massimo; Chung, Jongkyeong; O'Dell, Kevin M C; Rustin, Pierre; Jacobs, Howard T

    2009-05-01

    Defects in mitochondrial OXPHOS are associated with diverse and mostly intractable human disorders. The single-subunit alternative oxidase (AOX) found in many eukaryotes, but not in arthropods or vertebrates, offers a potential bypass of the OXPHOS cytochrome chain under conditions of pathological OXPHOS inhibition. We have engineered Ciona intestinalis AOX for conditional expression in Drosophila melanogaster. Ubiquitous AOX expression produced no detrimental phenotype in wild-type flies. However, mitochondrial suspensions from AOX-expressing flies exhibited a significant cyanide-resistant substrate oxidation, and the flies were partially resistant to both cyanide and antimycin. AOX expression was able to complement the semilethality of partial knockdown of both cyclope (COXVIc) and the complex IV assembly factor Surf1. It also rescued the locomotor defect and excess mitochondrial ROS production of flies mutated in dj-1beta, a Drosophila homolog of the human Parkinson's disease gene DJ1. AOX appears to offer promise as a wide-spectrum therapeutic tool in OXPHOS disorders. PMID:19416715

  3. Bacterial diversity associated with the tunic of the model chordate Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Blasiak, Leah C; Zinder, Stephen H; Buckley, Daniel H; Hill, Russell T

    2014-01-01

    The sea squirt Ciona intestinalis is a well-studied model organism in developmental biology, yet little is known about its associated bacterial community. In this study, a combination of 454 pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA genes, catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization and bacterial culture were used to characterize the bacteria living inside and on the exterior coating, or tunic, of C. intestinalis adults. The 454 sequencing data set demonstrated that the tunic bacterial community structure is different from that of the surrounding seawater. The observed tunic bacterial consortium contained a shared community of <10 abundant bacterial phylotypes across three individuals. Culture experiments yielded four bacterial strains that were also dominant groups in the 454 sequencing data set, including novel representatives of the classes Alphaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria. The relatively simple bacterial community and availability of dominant community members in culture make C. intestinalis a promising system in which to investigate functional interactions between host-associated microbiota and the development of host innate immunity. PMID:24048225

  4. Bacterial diversity associated with the tunic of the model chordate Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Blasiak, Leah C; Zinder, Stephen H; Buckley, Daniel H; Hill, Russell T

    2014-02-01

    The sea squirt Ciona intestinalis is a well-studied model organism in developmental biology, yet little is known about its associated bacterial community. In this study, a combination of 454 pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA genes, catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization and bacterial culture were used to characterize the bacteria living inside and on the exterior coating, or tunic, of C. intestinalis adults. The 454 sequencing data set demonstrated that the tunic bacterial community structure is different from that of the surrounding seawater. The observed tunic bacterial consortium contained a shared community of <10 abundant bacterial phylotypes across three individuals. Culture experiments yielded four bacterial strains that were also dominant groups in the 454 sequencing data set, including novel representatives of the classes Alphaproteobacteria and Flavobacteria. The relatively simple bacterial community and availability of dominant community members in culture make C. intestinalis a promising system in which to investigate functional interactions between host-associated microbiota and the development of host innate immunity. PMID:24048225

  5. Preparation and Antitumor Activity of CS5931, A Novel Polypeptide from Sea Squirt Ciona Savignyi.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoshuang; Xu, Huanli; Li, Bo; Wang, Feng; Chen, Xiaoliang; Kong, Dexin; Lin, Xiukun

    2016-03-01

    CS5931 is a novel anticancer agent isolated from the sea squirt Ciona savignyi. However, its content in the species is very low, and developing a novel approach for production of the polypeptide is promising. In the present study, we expressed and purified the polypeptide from E. coli, and the fermentation conditions were studied using response surface methodology. The yield of CS5931 was increased from 2.0 to 7.5 mg/L. The denaturing and renaturation conditions were also studied. Using the optimized renaturation condition, the anticancer activity of refolding CS5931 was increased significantly; the value of IC50 was decreased from 23.2 to 11.6 μM. In vivo study using xenograft nude mice bearing HCT116 cancer cells revealed that CS5931 was able to inhibit the growth of tumor significantly. The study provides a useful approach for obtaining enough amount of CS5931 for further study. This study is also important for developing the polypeptide as a novel anticancer agent. PMID:27007382

  6. Genomic analyses reveal a conserved glutathione homeostasis pathway in the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Nava, Gerardo M.; Lee, David Y.; Ospina, Javier H.; Cai, Shi-Ying

    2009-01-01

    The major thiol redox buffer glutathione (l-γ-glutamyl-l-cysteinylglycine, GSH) is central to cell fate determination, and thus, associated metabolic and regulatory pathways are exquisitely sensitive to a wide range of environmental cues. An imbalance of cellular redox homeostasis has emerged as a pathologic hallmark of a diverse range of human gene-environment disorders. Despite the central importance of GSH in cellular homeostasis, underlying genetic regulatory pathways remain poorly defined. This report describes the annotation and expression analysis of genes contributing to GSH homeostasis in the invertebrate chordate Ciona intestinalis. A core pathway comprising 19 genes contributing to the biosynthesis of GSH and its use as both a redox buffer and a conjugate in phase II detoxification as well as known transcriptional regulators were analyzed. These genes exhibit a high level of sequence conservation with corresponding human, rat, and mouse homologs and were expressed constitutively in tissues of adult animals. The GSH biosynthetic genes Gclc and Gclm were also responsive to the prototypical antioxidant tert-butylhydroquinone. The present evidence of a conserved GSH homeostasis pathway in C. intestinalis together with its phylogenetic position as a basal chordate and lifestyle as a filter feeder constantly exposed to natural marine toxins introduces this species as an important animal model for defining molecular mechanisms that potentially underlie genetic susceptibility to environmentally associated stress. PMID:19470804

  7. Significant reduction in allergenicity of ovalbumin from chicken egg white following treatment with ascidian viscera N-acetylglucosaminidase.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Hye Seong; Park, Heajin; Kim, Jihye; Choi, Jai Yeon; Lee, Young Kwang; Park, Ho-Young; Choi, Hee-Don; Kim, Ha Hyung

    2016-06-17

    Ovalbumin (OA) is the most abundant ingredient of chicken egg-white allergenic proteins. In the present study we investigated the possibility of reducing OA allergenicity by treatment with a natural protein exhibiting N-acetylglucosaminidase (NA) activity. Ascidian is cultivated as a food resource in northeast Asia. The ascidian viscera NA (AVNA) with almost no other exoglycosidases or proteolytic enzymes was isolated by applying size-exclusion chromatography to a protein precipitate of ascidian viscera. Intact OA was mixed with AVNA containing 0.2, 1.0, and 5.0 Units of NA. Anion-exchange chromatography was then used to isolate OA from AVNA-treated OA. The electrophoretic patterns and N-glycans of each isolated OA from AVNA-treated OA (iOA) were analyzed, and the terminal N-acetylglucosamines of iOA were selectively cleaved with no other degradation occurring. A competitive indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using rabbit anti-OA sera was performed to investigate the allergenicity of iOA, which was found to be significantly reduced depending on the increased NA activity compared to that of intact OA. These results indicate that OA allergenicity was reduced using a simple and mild treatment process with AVNA, and suggest that ascidian NA is an efficient natural protein for reducing the allergenicity of OA without requiring the use of harsh physical treatments or chemical conjugation. PMID:27178210

  8. DNA barcoding of two solitary ascidians, Herdmania momus Savigny, 1816 and Microcosmus squamiger Michaelsen, 1927 from Thoothukudi coast, India.

    PubMed

    Jaffar Ali, H Abdul; Ahmed, N Shabeer

    2016-07-01

    Morphology-based taxonomical studies of ascidians in India are meagre due to lack of ascidian taxonomist and limitations inherent in conventional system-based identification. The use of short fragment of mitochondrial DNA sequence is proving highly useful in identifying species in a situation where, the traditional morphology-based identification is difficult. In the present study, two adult solitary ascidians collected from the Thoothukudi coast were morphologically identified as Herdmania momus Savigny, 1816 and Microcosmus squamiger Michaelsen, 1927. The genomic DNA of these ascidians was isolated, COI gene was amplified, sequenced and submitted to the GenBank under the accession numbers KM058116, KM411616 and KJ944390. Homology search result using BLAST showed that H. momus showed 100% matched with other H. momus, while M. squamiger showed similarity with Pyura herdmani, a member of the same family Pyuridae. The phylogenetic and genetic distance was maximum in interspecies than in intraspecies. These COI sequences will allow the identification of the species through DNA barcoding technique. Here, we report for the first time the COI gene of H. momus, Savigny 1816 from the Indian coast. PMID:26122341

  9. Distinct modes of mitotic spindle orientation align cells in the dorsal midline of ascidian embryos.

    PubMed

    Negishi, Takefumi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2015-12-01

    The orientation of cell division can have important consequences on the choice of cell fates adopted by each daughter cell as well as on the architecture of the tissue within which the dividing cell resides. We have studied in detail the oriented cell divisions that take place in the dorsal midline of the ascidian embryo. The dorsal midline cells of the ascidian embryo emerge following an asymmetric cell division oriented along the animal-vegetal (A-V) axis. This division generates the NN (Notochord-Neural) cell at the margin and the E (Endoderm) cell more vegetally. Deviating from the default mode of cell division, these sister cells divide again along the A-V axis to generate a column of four cells. We describe these cell divisions in detail. We show that the NN cell mitotic spindle rotates 90° to align along the A-V axis while the E cell spindle forms directly along the axis following the asymmetric migration of its centrosomes. We combine live imaging, embryo manipulations and pharmacological modulation of cytoskeletal elements to address the mechanisms underlying these distinct subcellular behaviours. Our evidence suggests that, in E cells, aster asymmetry together with the E cell shape contribute to the asymmetric centrosome migration. In NN cells, an intrinsic cytoplasmic polarisation of the cell results in the accumulation of dynein to the animal pole side. Our data support a model in which a dynein-dependent directional cytoplasmic pulling force may be responsible for the NN cell spindle rotation. PMID:26452428

  10. Analysis of the Henze precipitate from the blood cells of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciancio, Aurelio; Scippa, Silvia; Nette, Geoffrey; De Vincentiis, Mario

    The Henze precipitate, a peculiar blue-green microparticulate obtained by lysis of the blood cells of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata (Protochordata), was investigated with atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray microanalysis. The precipitate was collected from the Henze solution, an unstable red-brown product obtained by treating blood with distilled water, whose degradation yields a characteristic blue-green product. The microparticulates measured 50-100 µm in diameter and appeared irregular in shape. SEM examination showed smooth, roughly round boundaries. The microparticulate surface examined with AFM appeared as an irregular matrix formed by 70-320-nm-wide mammillate composites, including and embedding small (500-800 nm wide) crystal-like multilayered formations. X- ray analysis showed that the elements present in these same precipitates were mainly C, Si, Al and O. The microparticulate composition appeared close to those of natural waxes or lacquers, embedding amorphous silicates and/or other Si-Al components. The unusual occurrence of Si in ascidian blood and its role are discussed.

  11. Disulfide bridge structure of ascidian trypsin inhibitor I: similarity to Kazal-type inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kumazaki, T; Ishii, S

    1990-03-01

    The primary structures of ascidian trypsin inhibitors (iso-inhibitors I and II) were reported in the preceding paper (Kumazaki, T. et al. (1990) J. Biochem. 107, 409-413). Both of them have eight half-cystines in a molecule composed of 55 amino acid residues with a sequence showing no extensive homology to other known protease inhibitors. To locate the four disulfide bridges in the molecule, native inhibitor I was digested with thermolysin to yield cystine-containing peptides. The peptides were separated from each other by reversed-phase HPLC. A core peptide still containing six closely located half-cystines (e.g. -Cys-Arg-Cys and -Cys-Cys-) was further digested with Streptomyces griseus trypsin for cleavage of the Arg-Cys bond. On the other hand, the Cys-Cys bond was split by applying manual Edman degradation to the core peptide. Amino acid composition analyses of the resulting cystine peptides allowed us to define the whole disulfide bridge structure in the parent molecule. The topological relation between the disulfide loops and the reactive site suggested that the ascidian trypsin inhibitor may be classified as a member of the Kazal-type inhibitor family. PMID:2111316

  12. Snail mediates medial-lateral patterning of the ascidian neural plate.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Clare; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2015-07-15

    The ascidian neural plate exhibits a regular, grid-like arrangement of cells. Patterning of the neural plate across the medial-lateral axis is initiated by bilateral sources of Nodal signalling, such that Nodal signalling induces expression of lateral neural plate genes and represses expression of medial neural plate genes. One of the earliest lateral neural plate genes induced by Nodal signals encodes the transcription factor Snail. Here, we show that Snail is a critical downstream factor mediating this Nodal-dependent patterning. Using gain and loss of function approaches, we show that Snail is required to repress medial neural plate gene expression at neural plate stages and to maintain the lateral neural tube genetic programme at later stages. A comparison of these results to those obtained following Nodal gain and loss of function indicates that Snail mediates a subset of Nodal functions. Consistently, overexpression of Snail can partially rescue a Nodal inhibition phenotype. We conclude that Snail is an early component of the gene regulatory network, initiated by Nodal signals, that patterns the ascidian neural plate. PMID:25962578

  13. Antagonizing Retinoic Acid and FGF/MAPK Pathways Control Posterior Body Patterning in the Invertebrate Chordate Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Pasini, Andrea; Manenti, Raoul; Rothbächer, Ute; Lemaire, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate embryos exploit the mutual inhibition between the RA and FGF signalling pathways to coordinate the proliferative elongation of the main body axis with the progressive patterning and differentiation of its neuroectodermal and paraxial mesodermal structures. The evolutionary history of this patterning system is still poorly understood. Here, we investigate the role played by the RA and FGF/MAPK signals during the development of the tail structures in the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, an invertebrate chordate belonging to the sister clade of vertebrates, in which the prototypical chordate body plan is established through very derived morphogenetic processes. Ciona embryos are constituted of few cells and develop according to a fixed lineage; elongation of the tail occurs largely by rearrangement of postmitotic cells; mesoderm segmentation and somitogenesis are absent. We show that in the Ciona embryo, the antagonism of the RA and FGF/MAPK signals is required to control the anteroposterior patterning of the tail epidermis. We also demonstrate that the RA, FGF/MAPK and canonical Wnt pathways control the anteroposterior patterning of the tail peripheral nervous system, and reveal the existence of distinct subpopulations of caudal epidermal neurons with different responsiveness to the RA, FGF/MAPK and canonical Wnt signals. Our data provide the first demonstration that the use of the antagonism between the RA and FGF signals to pattern the main body axis predates the emergence of vertebrates and highlight the evolutionary plasticity of this patterning strategy, showing that in different chordates it can be used to pattern different tissues within the same homologous body region. PMID:23049976

  14. 3-acetylpyridine-induced degeneration in the adult ascidian neural complex: Reactive and regenerative changes in glia and blood cells.

    PubMed

    Medina, Bianca N S P; Santos de Abreu, Isadora; Cavalcante, Leny A; Silva, Wagner A B; da Fonseca, Rodrigo N; Allodi, Silvana; de Barros, Cintia M

    2015-08-01

    Ascidians are interesting neurobiological models because of their evolutionary position as a sister-group of vertebrates and the high regenerative capacity of their central nervous system (CNS). We investigated the degeneration and regeneration of the cerebral ganglion complex of the ascidian Styela plicata following injection of the niacinamide antagonist 3-acetylpyridine (3AP), described as targeting the CNS of several vertebrates. For the analysis and establishment of a new model in ascidians, the ganglion complex was dissected and prepared for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), routine light microscopy (LM), immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, 1 or 10 days after injection of 3AP. The siphon stimulation test (SST) was used to quantify the functional response. One day after the injection of 3AP, CNS degeneration and recruitment of a non-neural cell type to the site of injury was observed by both TEM and LM. Furthermore, weaker immunohistochemical reactions for astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neuronal βIII-tubulin were observed. In contrast, the expression of caspase-3, a protein involved in the apoptotic pathway, and the glycoprotein CD34, a marker for hematopoietic stem cells, increased. Ten days after the injection of 3AP, the expression of markers tended toward the original condition. The SST revealed attenuation and subsequent recovery of the reflexes from 1 to 10 days after 3AP. Therefore, we have developed a new method to study ascidian neural degeneration and regeneration, and identified the decreased expression of GFAP and recruitment of blood stem cells to the damaged ganglion as reasons for the success of neuroregeneration in ascidians. PMID:25484282

  15. Diiron centre mutations in Ciona intestinalis alternative oxidase abolish enzymatic activity and prevent rescue of cytochrome oxidase deficiency in flies

    PubMed Central

    Andjelković, Ana; Oliveira, Marcos T.; Cannino, Giuseppe; Yalgin, Cagri; Dhandapani, Praveen K.; Dufour, Eric; Rustin, Pierre; Szibor, Marten; Jacobs, Howard T.

    2015-01-01

    The mitochondrial alternative oxidase, AOX, carries out the non proton-motive re-oxidation of ubiquinol by oxygen in lower eukaryotes, plants and some animals. Here we created a modified version of AOX from Ciona instestinalis, carrying mutations at conserved residues predicted to be required for chelation of the diiron prosthetic group. The modified protein was stably expressed in mammalian cells or flies, but lacked enzymatic activity and was unable to rescue the phenotypes of flies knocked down for a subunit of cytochrome oxidase. The mutated AOX transgene is thus a potentially useful tool in studies of the physiological effects of AOX expression. PMID:26672986

  16. The Simple Chordate Ciona intestinalis Has a Reduced Complement of Genes Associated with Fanconi Anemia.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Edward C; Azzinaro, Paul A; Vierra, David A; Howlett, Niall G; Irvine, Steven Q

    2016-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a human genetic disease characterized by congenital defects, bone marrow failure, and increased cancer risk. FA is associated with mutation in one of 24 genes. The protein products of these genes function cooperatively in the FA pathway to orchestrate the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links. Few model organisms exist for the study of FA. Seeking a model organism with a simpler version of the FA pathway, we searched the genome of the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis for homologs of the human FA-associated proteins. BLAST searches, sequence alignments, hydropathy comparisons, maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis, and structural modeling were used to infer the likelihood of homology between C. intestinalis and human FA proteins. Our analysis indicates that C. intestinalis indeed has a simpler and potentially functional FA pathway. The C. intestinalis genome was searched for candidates for homology to 24 human FA and FA-associated proteins. Support was found for the existence of homologs for 13 of these 24 human genes in C. intestinalis. Members of each of the three commonly recognized FA gene functional groups were found. In group I, we identified homologs of FANCE, FANCL, FANCM, and UBE2T/FANCT. Both members of group II, FANCD2 and FANCI, have homologs in C. intestinalis. In group III, we found evidence for homologs of FANCJ, FANCO, FANCQ/ERCC4, FANCR/RAD51, and FANCS/BRCA1, as well as the FA-associated proteins ERCC1 and FAN1. Evidence was very weak for the existence of homologs in C. intestinalis for any other recognized FA genes. This work supports the notion that C. intestinalis, as a close relative of vertebrates, but having a much reduced complement of FA genes, offers a means of studying the function of certain FA proteins in a simpler pathway than that of vertebrate cells. PMID:27279728

  17. The Simple Chordate Ciona intestinalis Has a Reduced Complement of Genes Associated with Fanconi Anemia

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Edward C.; Azzinaro, Paul A.; Vierra, David A.; Howlett, Niall G.; Irvine, Steven Q.

    2016-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is a human genetic disease characterized by congenital defects, bone marrow failure, and increased cancer risk. FA is associated with mutation in one of 24 genes. The protein products of these genes function cooperatively in the FA pathway to orchestrate the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links. Few model organisms exist for the study of FA. Seeking a model organism with a simpler version of the FA pathway, we searched the genome of the simple chordate Ciona intestinalis for homologs of the human FA-associated proteins. BLAST searches, sequence alignments, hydropathy comparisons, maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis, and structural modeling were used to infer the likelihood of homology between C. intestinalis and human FA proteins. Our analysis indicates that C. intestinalis indeed has a simpler and potentially functional FA pathway. The C. intestinalis genome was searched for candidates for homology to 24 human FA and FA-associated proteins. Support was found for the existence of homologs for 13 of these 24 human genes in C. intestinalis. Members of each of the three commonly recognized FA gene functional groups were found. In group I, we identified homologs of FANCE, FANCL, FANCM, and UBE2T/FANCT. Both members of group II, FANCD2 and FANCI, have homologs in C. intestinalis. In group III, we found evidence for homologs of FANCJ, FANCO, FANCQ/ERCC4, FANCR/RAD51, and FANCS/BRCA1, as well as the FA-associated proteins ERCC1 and FAN1. Evidence was very weak for the existence of homologs in C. intestinalis for any other recognized FA genes. This work supports the notion that C. intestinalis, as a close relative of vertebrates, but having a much reduced complement of FA genes, offers a means of studying the function of certain FA proteins in a simpler pathway than that of vertebrate cells. PMID:27279728

  18. Urochordate Ascidians Possess a Single Isoform of Aurora Kinase That Localizes to the Midbody via TPX2 in Eggs and Cleavage Stage Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Hebras, Celine; McDougall, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Aurora kinases are key proteins found throughout the eukaryotes that control mitotic progression. Vertebrate Aurora-A and B kinases are thought to have evolved from a single Aurora-kinase isoform closest to that found in present day urochordates. In urochordate ascidians Aurora binds both TPX2 (a vertebrate AURKA partner) and INCENP (a vertebrate AURKB partner) and localizes to centrosomes and spindle microtubules as well as chromosomes and midbody during both meiosis and mitosis. Ascidian Aurora also displays this localization pattern during mitosis in echinoderms, strengthening the idea that non-vertebrate deuterostomes such as the urochordates and echinoderms possess a single form of Aurora kinase that has properties of vertebrate Aurora-kinase A and B. In the ascidian, TPX2 localizes to the centrosome and the spindle poles also as in vertebrates. However, we were surprised to find that TPX2 also localized strongly to the midbody in ascidian eggs and embryos. We thus examined more closely Aurora localization to the midbody by creating two separate point mutations of ascidian Aurora predicted to perturb binding to TPX2. Both forms of mutated Aurora behaved as predicted: neither localized to spindle poles where TPX2 is enriched. Interestingly, neither form of mutated Aurora localized to the midbody where TPX2 is also enriched, suggesting that ascidian Aurora midbody localization required TPX2 binding in ascidians. Functional analysis revealed that inhibition of Aurora kinase with a pharmacological inhibitor or with a dominant negative kinase dead form of Aurora caused cytokinesis failure and perturbed midbody formation during polar body extrusion. Our data support the view that vertebrate Aurora-A and B kinases evolved from a single non-vertebrate deuterostome ancestor. Moreover, since TPX2 localizes to the midbody in ascidian eggs and cleavage stage embryos it may be worthwhile re-assessing whether Aurora A kinase or TPX2 localize to the midbody in eggs and

  19. Molecular evidence from ascidians for the evolutionary origin of vertebrate cranial sensory placodes.

    PubMed

    Mazet, Francoise; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2005-07-15

    Cranial sensory placodes are specialised areas of the head ectoderm of vertebrate embryos that contribute to the formation of the cranial sense organs and associated ganglia. Placodes are often considered a vertebrate innovation, and their evolution has been hypothesised as one key adaptation underlying the evolution of active predation by primitive vertebrates. Here, we review recent molecular evidence pertinent to understanding the evolutionary origin of placodes. The development of vertebrate placodes is regulated by numerous genes, including members of the Pax, Six, Eya, Fox, Phox, Neurogenin and Pou gene families. In the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis (a basal chordate and close relative of the vertebrates), orthologues of these genes are deployed in the development of the oral and atrial siphons, structures used for filter feeding by the sessile adult. Our interpretation of these findings is that vertebrate placodes and sea squirt siphon primordia have evolved from the same patches of specialised ectoderm present in the common ancestor of the chordates. PMID:15981200

  20. Wnt5 is required for notochord cell intercalation in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi

    PubMed Central

    Niwano, Tomoko; Takatori, Naohito; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki

    2009-01-01

    Background information. In the embryos of various animals, the body elongates after gastrulation by morphogenetic movements involving convergent extension. The Wnt/PCP (planar cell polarity) pathway plays roles in this process, particularly mediolateral polarization and intercalation of the embryonic cells. In ascidians, several factors in this pathway, including Wnt5, have been identified and found to be involved in the intercalation process of notochord cells. Results. In the present study, the role of the Wnt5 genes, Hr-Wnt5α (Halocynthia roretzi Wnt5α) and Hr-Wnt5β, in convergent extension was investigated in the ascidian H. roretzi by injecting antisense oligonucleotides and mRNAs into single precursor blastomeres of various tissues, including notochord, at the 64-cell stage. Hr-Wnt5α is expressed in developing notochord and was essential for notochord morphogenesis. Precise quantitative control of its expression level was crucial for proper cell intercalation. Overexpression of Wnt5 proteins in notochord and other tissues that surround the notochord indicated that Wnt5α plays a role within the notochord, and is unlikely to be the source of polarizing cues arising outside the notochord. Detailed mosaic analysis of the behaviour of individual notochord cells overexpressing Wnt5α indicated that a Wnt5α-manipulated cell does not affect the behaviour of neighbouring notochord cells, suggesting that Wnt5α works in a cell-autonomous manner. This is further supported by comparison of the results of Wnt5α and Dsh (Dishevelled) knockdown experiments. In addition, our results suggest that the Wnt/PCP pathway is also involved in mediolateral intercalation of cells of the ventral row of the nerve cord (floor plate) and the endodermal strand. Conclusion. The present study highlights the role of the Wnt5α signal in notochord convergent extension movements in ascidian embryos. Our results raise the novel possibility that Wnt5α functions in a cell-autonomous manner

  1. Unfractionated Heparin and New Heparin Analogues from Ascidians (Chordate-Tunicate) Ameliorate Colitis in Rats*

    PubMed Central

    Belmiro, Celso L. R.; Castelo-Branco, Morgana T. L.; Melim, Leandra M. C.; Schanaider, Alberto; Elia, Celeste; Madi, Kalil; Pavão, Mauro S. G.; de Souza, Heitor S. P.

    2009-01-01

    The anti-inflammatory effect of mammalian heparin analogues, named dermatan sulfate and heparin, isolated from the ascidian Styela plicata was accessed in a TNBS-induced colitis model in rats. Subcutaneous administration of the invertebrate compounds during a 7-day period drastically reduced inflammation as observed by the normalization of the macroscopic and histological characteristics of the colon. At the molecular level, a decrease in the production of TNF-α, TGF-β, and VEGF was observed, as well as a reduction of NF-κB and MAPK kinase activation. At the cellular level, the heparin analogues attenuated lymphocyte and macrophage recruitment and epithelial cell apoptosis. A drastic reduction in collagen-mediated fibrosis was also observed. No hemorrhagic events were observed after glycan treatment. These results strongly indicate the potential therapeutic use of these compounds for the treatment of colonic inflammation with a lower risk of hemorrhage when compared with mammalian heparin. PMID:19258310

  2. Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the kinetoplastid causing soft tunic syndrome in ascidians, may invade through the siphon wall.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Kumagai, Akira; Nawata, Akatsuki; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi

    2014-07-01

    The infectious kinetoplastid Azumiobodo hoyamushi causes 'soft tunic syndrome', a serious problem in aquaculture of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. Infection tests using diseased tunics demonstrated that juvenile (0.8 yr old) individuals never developed soft tunic syndrome, but all individuals in the other age groups (1.8, 2.8, and 3.8 yr old) showed the disease symptoms. In the infection tests, tunic softening was first observed at the tunic around siphons. Based on ultrastructural observation of the inner wall of the branchial siphon, the tunic lining the inner wall in juveniles (0.5 yr old) was completely covered with cuticle, which had a dense structure to prevent bacterial and protist invasion. In contrast, the tunic was often partly damaged and not covered with cuticle in healthy adults (≥2.5 yr old). The damaged tunic in the siphon wall could be an entrance for A. hoyamushi into the tunic of adult hosts. PMID:24991851

  3. Two New Tryptamine Derivatives, Leptoclinidamide and (-)-Leptoclinidamine B, from an Indonesian Ascidian Leptoclinides dubius

    PubMed Central

    Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Wewengkang, Defny S.; Nishikawa, Teruaki; Rotinsulu, Henki; Mangindaan, Remy E. P.; Namikoshi, Michio

    2012-01-01

    Two new tryptamine-derived alkaloids, named as leptoclinidamide (1) and (-)-leptoclinidamine B (2), were isolated from an Indonesian ascidian Leptoclinides dubius together with C2-α-D-mannosylpyranosyl-L-tryptophan (3). The structure of 1 was assigned on the basis of spectroscopic data for 1 and its N-acetyl derivative (4). Compound 1 was an amide of tryptamine with two β-alanine units. Although the planar structure of 2 is identical to that of the known compound (+)-leptoclinidamine B (5), compound 2 was determined to be the enantiomer of 5 based on amino acid analysis using HPLC methods. Compounds 1 to 4 were evaluated for cytotoxicity against two human cancer cell lines, HCT-15 (colon) and Jurkat (T-cell lymphoma) cells, but none of the compounds showed activity. PMID:22412806

  4. Ciona intestinalis as a Marine Model System to Study Some Key Developmental Genes Targeted by the Diatom-Derived Aldehyde Decadienal

    PubMed Central

    Lettieri, Anna; Esposito, Rosaria; Ianora, Adrianna; Spagnuolo, Antonietta

    2015-01-01

    The anti-proliferative effects of diatoms, described for the first time in copepods, have also been demonstrated in benthic invertebrates such as polychaetes, sea urchins and tunicates. In these organisms PUAs (polyunsaturated aldehydes) induce the disruption of gametogenesis, gamete functionality, fertilization, embryonic mitosis, and larval fitness and competence. These inhibitory effects are due to the PUAs, produced by diatoms in response to physical damage as occurs during copepod grazing. The cell targets of these compounds remain largely unknown. Here we identify some of the genes targeted by the diatom PUA 2-trans-4-trans-decadienal (DD) using the tunicate Ciona intestinalis. The tools, techniques and genomic resources available for Ciona, as well as the suitability of Ciona embryos for medium-to high-throughput strategies, are key to their employment as model organisms in different fields, including the investigation of toxic agents that could interfere with developmental processes. We demonstrate that DD can induce developmental aberrations in Ciona larvae in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, through a preliminary analysis, DD is shown to affect the expression level of genes involved in stress response and developmental processes. PMID:25789602

  5. New GlcNAc/GalNAc-specific lectin from the ascidian Didemnum ternatanum.

    PubMed

    Molchanova, Valentina; Chikalovets, Irina; Li, Wei; Kobelev, Stanislav; Kozyrevskaya, Svetlana; Bogdanovich, Raisa; Howard, Eric; Belogortseva, Natalia

    2005-05-25

    Previously we isolated GlcNAc-specific lectin (DTL) from the ascidian Didemnum ternatanum by affinity chromatography on cross-linked ovalbumin. Here we report the purification and characterization of new D-GlcNAc/D-GalNAc-specific lectin DTL-A from the same ascidian. This lectin was isolated from non-bound cross-linked ovalbumin fraction and further was purified by gel filtration on Sepharose CL-4B, affinity chromatography on GlcNAc-agarose and gel filtration on Superdex 200. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration of purified lectin on Sepharose CL-4B indicates that it exists as large aggregates in the native state. Investigations of the carbohydrate specificity of DTL-A by enzyme-linked lectin assay suggest the multi-specificity of this lectin. DTL-A binds BSM, asialo-BSM as well as heparin and dextran sulfate. The binding of DTL-A to BSM was inhibited by monosaccharides D-GlcNAc and D-GalNAc, their alpha- but not beta-anomers. Among polysaccharides and glycoconjugates, DTL-A binding to BSM was effectively inhibited by BSM, asialo-BSM, pronase-treated BSM and synthetic alpha-D-GalNAc-PAA. Fetuin and asialofetuin showed a much lower inhibitory potency, heparin and dextran sulfate were noninhibitory. On the other hand, DTL-A binding to heparin was effectively inhibited by dextran sulfate, fucoidan, whereas BSM showed insignificantly inhibitory effect. DTL-A binding to heparin was not inhibited by D-GlcNAc and D-GalNAc. PMID:15784180

  6. Screening for negative effects of candidate ascidian antifoulant compounds on a target aquaculture species, Perna canaliculus Gmelin.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick Louis; Heasman, Kevin; Hickey, Anthony; Mountfort, Douglas; Jeffs, Andrew; Kuhajek, Jeannie

    2013-01-01

    The natural chemical compounds radicicol, polygodial and ubiquinone-10 (Q10) have previously been identified as inhibitors of metamorphosis in ascidian larvae. Accordingly, they have potential as a specific remedy for the costly problem of fouling ascidians in bivalve aquaculture. In this study, these compounds were screened for their effects on the physiological health of an aquaculture species, the green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus Gmelin, at or above the 99% effective dose (IC(99)) in ascidians. Three physiological biomarkers of mussel health were screened: growth (increases in shell height and wet weight), condition (condition index) and mitochondrial respirational function (Complex I-mediated respiration, Complex II-mediated respiration, maximum uncoupled respiration, leak respiration, respiratory control ratios and phosphorylation system control ratios). While polygodial and Q10 had no effect on mussel growth or the condition index, radicicol retarded growth and decreased the condition index. Mitochondrial respirational function was unaffected by radicicol and polygodial. Conversely, Q10 enhanced Complex I-mediated respiration, highlighting the fundamental role of this compound in the electron transport system. The present study suggests that polygodial and Q10 do not negatively affect the physiological health of P. canaliculus at the IC(99) in ascidians, while radicicol is toxic. Moreover, Q10 is of benefit in biomedical settings as a cellular antioxidant and therefore may also benefit P. canaliculus. Accordingly, polygodial and Q10 should be progressed to the next stage of testing where possible negative effects on bivalves will be further explored, followed by development of application techniques and testing in a laboratory and aquaculture setting. PMID:23194394

  7. Pibocin B, the first N-O-methylindole marine alkaloid, a metabolite from the Far-Eastern ascidian Eudistoma species.

    PubMed

    Makarieva, T N; Dmitrenok, A S; Dmitrenok, P S; Grebnev, B B; Stonik, V A

    2001-12-01

    Pibocin B (2), the first representative of marine alkaloids with a unique structural feature, an N-O-methylindole group, was isolated from the Far-Eastern ascidian Eudistoma sp. Its structure has been established as (8 beta)-2-bromo-N-O-methyl-6,8-dimethylergoline on the basis of NMR data, FAB and MALDI-TOF MS, and chemical correlations. Pibocin B showed moderate cytotoxic activity against mouse Ehrlich carcinoma cells. PMID:11754612

  8. Microenvironmental Ecology of the Chlorophyll b-Containing Symbiotic Cyanobacterium Prochloron in the Didemnid Ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    PubMed Central

    Kühl, Michael; Behrendt, Lars; Trampe, Erik; Qvortrup, Klaus; Schreiber, Ulrich; Borisov, Sergey M.; Klimant, Ingo; Larkum, Anthony W. D.

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of the cyanobacterium Prochloron was the first finding of a bacterial oxyphototroph with chlorophyll (Chl) b, in addition to Chl a. It was first described as Prochloron didemni but a number of clades have since been described. Prochloron is a conspicuously large (7–25 μm) unicellular cyanobacterium living in a symbiotic relationship, primarily with (sub-) tropical didemnid ascidians; it has resisted numerous cultivation attempts and appears truly obligatory symbiotic. Recently, a Prochloron draft genome was published, revealing no lack of metabolic genes that could explain the apparent inability to reproduce and sustain photosynthesis in a free-living stage. Possibly, the unsuccessful cultivation is partly due to a lack of knowledge about the microenvironmental conditions and ecophysiology of Prochloron in its natural habitat. We used microsensors, variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging and imaging of O2 and pH to obtain a detailed insight to the microenvironmental ecology and photobiology of Prochloron in hospite in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella. The microenvironment within ascidians is characterized by steep gradients of light and chemical parameters that change rapidly with varying irradiances. The interior zone of the ascidians harboring Prochloron thus became anoxic and acidic within a few minutes of darkness, while the same zone exhibited O2 super-saturation and strongly alkaline pH after a few minutes of illumination. Photosynthesis showed lack of photoinhibition even at high irradiances equivalent to full sunlight, and photosynthesis recovered rapidly after periods of anoxia. We discuss these new insights on the ecological niche of Prochloron and possible interactions with its host and other microbes in light of its recently published genome and a recent study of the overall microbial diversity and metagenome of L. patella. PMID:23226144

  9. Comparative study on bioremediation of heavy metals by solitary ascidian, Phallusia nigra, between Thoothukudi and Vizhinjam ports of India.

    PubMed

    Abdul Jaffar Ali, H; Tamilselvi, M; Akram, A Soban; Kaleem Arshan, M L; Sivakumar, V

    2015-11-01

    Ascidians belonging to the sub-phylum Uro-chordata are used as potential model organisms in various parts of the world for biosorption of metals. The sedentary nature, filter feeding habits, presence of vanadocytes and the absence of kidneys cause them to accumulate metals. The present study was aimed to compare biosorption of metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and vanadium in test and mantle body of solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra between two ecologically significant stations such as Thoothukudi (Station 1) and Vizhinjam (Station 2) ports of India. Monthly samplings of water and P. nigra were done for a period of one year from September 2010 to August 2011 and subjected to analysis of metal accumulation. The average metal concentrations except mercury in the Thoothukudi water were found to be higher of comparable magnitudes than the Vizhinjam water. One-way ANOVA showed significant differences between the stations. A comparison of average metal concentrations in the test and mantle body of P. nigra between two stations showed that the enrichment of V, Cd, Pb, Cu and Hg in the Thoothukudi samples may be due to high bioaccumulation factors of these elements as compared to other species of ascidians. The bioaccumulation factors were in the order of V>Pb>Cd>Cu> Hg for the test and mantle body in stations 1 and 2. Application of one-way ANOVA for the concentration of these metals between test and mantle body showed significant differences in both stations. Similarly, ANOVA for biosorption of these trace metals by P. nigra showed significant difference between stations. Metal concentrations recorded in this ascidian could effectively be used as good reference material for monitoring metal contamination in Indian sea waters. PMID:26026676

  10. Cellulose is not degraded in the tunic of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi contracting soft tunic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Satoshi; Nakayama, Kei; Wada, Masahisa; Kim, Ung-Jin; Azumi, Kaoru; Ojima, Takao; Nozawa, Akino; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi; Hirose, Euichi

    2015-10-16

    Soft tunic syndrome is a fatal disease in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, causing serious damage to ascidian aquaculture in Korea and Japan. In diseased individuals, the tunic, an integumentary extracellular matrix of ascidians, softens and eventually tears. This is an infectious disease caused by the kinetoplastid flagellate Azumiobodo hoyamushi. However, the mechanism of tunic softening remains unknown. Because cellulose fibrils are the main component of the tunic, we compared the contents and structures of cellulose in healthy and diseased tunics by means of biochemical quantification and X-ray diffractometry. Unexpectedly, the cellulose contents and structures of cellulose microfibrils were almost the same regardless of the presence or absence of the disease. Therefore, it is unlikely that thinning of the microfibrils occurred in the softened tunic, because digestion should have resulted in decreases in crystallinity index and crystallite size. Moreover, cellulase was not detected in pure cultures of A. hoyamushi in biochemical and expressed sequence tag analyses. These results indicate that cellulose degradation does not occur in the softened tunic. PMID:26480917

  11. Ecological observations on the colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. in a New England tide pool habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine, P.C.; Carman, M.R.; Blackwood, D.S.; Heffron, E.J.

    2007-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. has colonized northwestern Atlantic coastal habitats from southern Long Island, New York, to Eastport, Maine. It is also present in offshore habitats of the Georges Bank fishing grounds. It threatens to alter fisheries habitats and shellfish aquacultures. Observations in a tide pool at Sandwich, MA from December 2003 to February 2006 show that Didemnum sp. tolerates water temperatures ranging from ≤ 1 to > 24 °C, with daily changes of up to 11 °C. It attaches to pebbles, cobbles, and boulders, and it overgrows other tunicates, seaweeds, sponges, and bivalves. From May to mid July, colonies appear as small patches on the bottoms of rocks. Colonies grow rapidly from July to September, with some growth into December, and they range in color from pink to pale yellow to pale orange. Colony health declines from October through April, presumably in response to changes in water temperatures, and this degenerative process is manifested by color changes, by the appearance of small dark brown spots that represent clumps of fecal pellets in the colony, by scavenging by periwinkles, and by a peeling-away of colonies from the sides of cobbles and boulders. At Sandwich, colonies died that were exposed to air at low tide. The species does not exhibit this seasonal cycle of growth and decline in subtidal habitats (40–65 m) on the Georges Bank fishing grounds where the daily climate is relatively stable and annual water temperatures range from 4 to 15 °C. Experiments in the tide pool with small colony fragments (5 to 9 cm2) show they re-attach and grow rapidly by asexual budding, increasing in size 6- to 11-fold in the first 15 days. Didemnum sp. at Sandwich has no known predators except for common periwinkles (Littorina littorea) that graze on degenerating colonies in the October to April time period and whenever colonies are stressed by desiccation. The tendencies of the ascidian (1) to attach to firm substrates, (2) to rapidly overgrow

  12. Molecular basis of canalization in an ascidian species complex adapted to different thermal conditions

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Atsuko; Kawashima, Takeshi; Fujie, Manabu; Hughes, Samantha; Satoh, Noriyuki; Shimeld, Sebastian M.

    2015-01-01

    Canalization is a result of intrinsic developmental buffering that ensures phenotypic robustness under genetic variation and environmental perturbation. As a consequence, animal phenotypes are remarkably consistent within a species under a wide range of conditions, a property that seems contradictory to evolutionary change. Study of laboratory model species has uncovered several possible canalization mechanisms, however, we still do not understand how the level of buffering is controlled in natural populations. We exploit wild populations of the marine chordate Ciona intestinalis to show that levels of buffering are maternally inherited. Comparative transcriptomics show expression levels of genes encoding canonical chaperones such as Hsp70 and Hsp90 do not correlate with buffering. However the expression of genes encoding endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones does correlate. We also show that ER chaperone genes are widely conserved amongst animals. Contrary to previous beliefs that expression level of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) can be used as a measurement of buffering levels, we propose that ER associated chaperones comprise a cellular basis for canalization. ER chaperones have been neglected by the fields of development, evolution and ecology, but their study will enhance understanding of both our evolutionary past and the impact of global environmental change. PMID:26577490

  13. A Maternal System Initiating the Zygotic Developmental Program through Combinatorial Repression in the Ascidian Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Kubo, Atsushi; Kari, Willi; Suzuki, Nobuhiro; Rothbächer, Ute

    2016-01-01

    Maternal factors initiate the zygotic developmental program in animal embryos. In embryos of the chordate, Ciona intestinalis, three maternal factors—Gata.a, β-catenin, and Zic-r.a—are required to establish three domains of gene expression at the 16-cell stage; the animal hemisphere, vegetal hemisphere, and posterior vegetal domains. Here, we show how the maternal factors establish these domains. First, only β-catenin and its effector transcription factor, Tcf7, are required to establish the vegetal hemisphere domain. Second, genes specifically expressed in the posterior vegetal domain have additional repressive cis-elements that antagonize the activity of β-catenin/Tcf7. This antagonizing activity is suppressed by Zic-r.a, which is specifically localized in the posterior vegetal domain and binds to DNA indirectly through the interaction with Tcf7. Third, Gata.a directs specific gene expression in the animal hemisphere domain, because β-catenin/Tcf7 weakens the Gata.a-binding activity for target sites through a physical interaction in the vegetal cells. Thus, repressive regulation through protein-protein interactions among the maternal transcription factors is essential to establish the first distinct domains of gene expression in the chordate embryo. PMID:27152625

  14. Hox10-regulated endodermal cell migration is essential for development of the ascidian intestine.

    PubMed

    Kawai, Narudo; Ogura, Yosuke; Ikuta, Tetsuro; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Hamada, Mayuko; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Satoh, Nori; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2015-07-01

    Hox cluster genes play crucial roles in development of the metazoan antero-posterior axis. Functions of Hox genes in patterning the central nervous system and limb buds are well known. They are also expressed in chordate endodermal tissues, where their roles in endodermal development are still poorly understood. In the invertebrate chordate, Ciona intestinalis, endodermal tissues are in a premature state during the larval stage, and they differentiate into the digestive tract during metamorphosis. In this study, we showed that disruption of a Hox gene, Ci-Hox10, prevented intestinal formation. Ci-Hox10-knock-down larvae displayed defective migration of endodermal strand cells. Formation of a protrusion, which is important for cell migration, was disrupted in these cells. The collagen type IX gene is a downstream target of Ci-Hox10, and is negatively regulated by Ci-Hox10 and a matrix metalloproteinase ortholog, prior to endodermal cell migration. Inhibition of this regulation prevented cellular migration. These results suggest that Ci-Hox10 regulates endodermal strand cell migration by forming a protrusion and by reconstructing the extracellular matrix. PMID:25888074

  15. Recurrent phagocytosis-induced apoptosis in the cyclical generation change of the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Franchi, Nicola; Ballin, Francesca; Manni, Lucia; Schiavon, Filippo; Basso, Giuseppe; Ballarin, Loriano

    2016-09-01

    Colonies of the marine, filter-feeding ascidian Botryllus schlosseri undergo cyclical generation changes or takeovers. These events are characterised by the progressive resorption of adult zooids and their replacement by their buds that grow to adult size, open their siphons and start filtering. During the take-over, tissues of adult zooids undergo extensive apoptosis; circulating, spreading phagocytes enter the effete tissues, ingest dying cells acquiring a giant size and a round morphology. Then, phagocytes re-enter the circulation where they represent a considerable fraction (more than 20%) of circulating haemocytes. In this study, we evidence that most of these circulating phagocytes show morphological and biochemical signs of apoptosis. Accordingly, these phagocytes express transcripts of orthologues of the apoptosis-related genes Bax, AIF1 and PARP1. Electron microscopy shows that giant phagocytes contain apoptotic phagocytes inside their own phagocytic vacuole. The transcript of the orthologues of the anti-apoptotic gene IAP7 was detected only in spreading phagocytes, mostly abundant in phases far from the take-over. Therefore, the presented data suggest that, at take-over, phagocytes undergo phagocytosis-induced apoptosis (PIA). In mammals, PIA is assumed to be a process assuring the killing and the complete elimination of microbes, by promoting the disposal of terminally differentiated phagocytes and the resolution of infection. In B. schlosseri, PIA assumes a so far undescribed role, being required for the control of asexual development and colony homeostasis. PMID:27106705

  16. Global Phylogeography of the Widely Introduced North West Pacific Ascidian Styela clava

    PubMed Central

    Goldstien, Sharyn J.; Dupont, Lise; Viard, Frédérique; Hallas, Paul J.; Nishikawa, Teruaki; Schiel, David R.; Gemmell, Neil J.; Bishop, John D. D.

    2011-01-01

    The solitary ascidian Styela clava Herdman, 1882 is considered to be native to Japan, Korea, northern China and the Russian Federation in the NW Pacific, but it has spread globally over the last 80 years and is now established as an introduced species on the east and west coasts of North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In eastern Canada it reaches sufficient density to be a serious pest to aquaculture concerns. We sequenced a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I mitochondrial gene (COI) from a total of 554 individuals to examine the genetic relationships of 20 S. clava populations sampled throughout the introduced and native ranges, in order to investigate invasive population characteristics. The data presented here show a moderate level of genetic diversity throughout the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere (particularly New Zealand) displays a greater amount of haplotype and nucleotide diversity in comparison. This species, like many other invasive species, shows a range of genetic diversities among introduced populations independent of the age of incursion. The successful establishment of this species appears to be associated with multiple incursions in many locations, while other locations appear to have experienced rapid expansion from a potentially small population with reduced genetic diversity. These contrasting patterns create difficulties when attempting to manage and mitigate a species that continues to spread among ports and marinas around the world. PMID:21364988

  17. Immunotoxicity in ascidians: antifouling compounds alternative to organotins-IV. The case of zinc pyrithione.

    PubMed

    Cima, Francesca; Ballarin, Loriano

    2015-03-01

    New biocides such as the organometallic compound zinc pyrithione (ZnP) have been massively introduced by many countries in formulations of antifouling paints following the ban on tributyltin (TBT). The effects of sublethal concentrations (LC50=82.5 μM, i.e., 26.2 mg/l) on cultured haemocytes of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri have been investigated and compared with TBT. The percentage of haemocytes with amoeboid morphology and containing phagocytised yeast cells were significantly (p<0.05) reduced after exposure to 0.1 (31.7 μg/l) and 0.5 μM (158 μg/l), respectively. An antagonistic interaction in inducing cytoskeletal alterations was observed when ZnP and TBT were co-present in the exposure medium. ZnP affected only the actin component. As caused by TBT, ZnP induced apoptosis and inhibited both oxidative phosphorylation and lysosomal activities. In contrast to the case of TBT, a decrement in Ca(2+)-ATPase activity and a decrease in cytosolic Ca(2+) were detected after incubation at the highest concentration (1 μM, i.e., 317.7 μg/l) used. In comparison with other antifouling compounds, ZnP shows as much toxicity as TBT to cultured haemocytes at extremely low concentrations interfering with fundamental cell activities. PMID:25576186

  18. Five new species of lichomolgid copepods associated with ascidians from Korea, with proposal of two new genera (Crustacea, Copepoda, Lichomolgidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moon, Seong Yong; Kim, Il-Hoi

    2011-09-01

    Five new species of the family Lichomolgidae associated with solitary ascidians are described from the east coast of Korea. Two new genera are proposed: Protomolgus n. gen. to incorpotate Protomolgus duplex n. sp. and P. singularis n. sp., and Dontimolgus n. gen. to incorporate Dontimolgus brevicaudatus n. sp. Protomolgus n. gen. characteristically has a four-segmented female maxilliped and a bipartite mandible. Dontimolgus n. gen. possesses a large, tooth-like process on the first maxillary segment and three spines on the third exopodal segment of leg 3. Other two new species described are Lichomolgus infirmus n. sp. and L. pectinatus n. sp.

  19. Comparison of whole mitochondrial genome sequences from two clades of the invasive ascidian, Didemnum vexillum.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kirsty F; Abbott, Cathryn L; Saito, Yasunori; Fidler, Andrew E

    2015-02-01

    The mitochondria are the main source of cellular energy production and have an important role in development, fertility, and thermal limitations. Adaptive mitochondrial DNA mutations have the potential to be of great importance in determining aspects of the life history of an organism. Phylogenetic analyses of the globally invasive marine ascidian Didemnum vexillum using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COX1) coding region, revealed two distinct clades. Representatives of one clade (denoted by 'B') are geographically restricted to D. vexillum's native region (north-west Pacific Ocean, including Japan), whereas members of the other clade (denoted by 'A') have been introduced and become invasive in temperate coastal areas around the world. Persistence of clade B's restricted distribution may reflect it being inherently less invasive than clade A. To investigate this we sought to determine if the two clades differ significantly in other mitochondrial genes of functional significance, specifically, alterations in amino acids encoded in mitochondrial enzyme subunits. Differences in functional mitochondrial genes could indicate an increased ability for clade A colonies to tolerate a wider range of environmental temperature. Full mitochondrial genomic sequences from D. vexillum clades A and B were obtained and they predict significant sequence differences in genes encoding for enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. Diversity levels were relatively high and showed divergence across almost all genes, with p-distance values between the two clades indicating recent divergence. Both clades showed an excess of rare variants, which is consistent with balancing selection or a recent population expansion. Results presented here will inform future research focusing on examining the functional properties of the corresponding mitochondrial respiration enzymes, of A and B clade enzymes. By comparing closely related taxa that have differing distributions it is possible

  20. Deep Sequencing of Mixed Total DNA without Barcodes Allows Efficient Assembly of Highly Plastic Ascidian Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Rubinstein, Nimrod D.; Feldstein, Tamar; Shenkar, Noa; Botero-Castro, Fidel; Griggio, Francesca; Mastrototaro, Francesco; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel J.P.; Gissi, Carmela; Huchon, Dorothée

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians or sea squirts form a diverse group within chordates, which includes a few thousand members of marine sessile filter-feeding animals. Their mitochondrial genomes are characterized by particularly high evolutionary rates and rampant gene rearrangements. This extreme variability complicates standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based techniques for molecular characterization studies, and consequently only a few complete Ascidian mitochondrial genome sequences are available. Using the standard PCR and Sanger sequencing approach, we produced the mitochondrial genome of Ascidiella aspersa only after a great effort. In contrast, we produced five additional mitogenomes (Botrylloides aff. leachii, Halocynthia spinosa, Polycarpa mytiligera, Pyura gangelion, and Rhodosoma turcicum) with a novel strategy, consisting in sequencing the pooled total DNA samples of these five species using one Illumina HiSeq 2000 flow cell lane. Each mitogenome was efficiently assembled in a single contig using de novo transcriptome assembly, as de novo genome assembly generally performed poorly for this task. Each of the new six mitogenomes presents a different and novel gene order, showing that no syntenic block has been conserved at the ordinal level (in Stolidobranchia and in Phlebobranchia). Phylogenetic analyses support the paraphyly of both Ascidiacea and Phlebobranchia, with Thaliacea nested inside Phlebobranchia, although the deepest nodes of the Phlebobranchia–Thaliacea clade are not well resolved. The strategy described here thus provides a cost-effective approach to obtain complete mitogenomes characterized by a highly plastic gene order and a fast nucleotide/amino acid substitution rate. PMID:23709623

  1. Mediterranean diet and longevity.

    PubMed

    Trichopoulou, A; Vasilopoulou, E

    2000-12-01

    Mortality statistics from the WHO database covering the period 1960 to 1990 have provided intriguing evidence that something unusual has been affecting in a beneficial way the health of the Mediterranean population. In recent papers, which evaluated the evidence accumulated over the last three decades, it was concluded that the traditional Mediterranean diet meets several important criteria for a healthy diet. Direct evidence in support of the beneficial properties of the Mediterranean diet has also become available. These data were derived from three studies, which have used a diet score, devised a priori on the basis of eight desirable key features of the traditional common diet in the Mediterranean region. The conclusion of these studies is that a diet that adheres to the principles of the traditional Mediterranean one is associated with longer survival. The Greek version of the Mediterranean diet is dominated by the consumption of olive oil and by high consumption of vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants represent a common element in these foods and an antioxidant action provides a plausible explanation for the apparent benefits. Wild edible greens frequently eaten in rural Greece in the form of salads and pies contain very high quantities of flavonoids-- considerably higher than those found in red wine or black tea. While there is no direct evidence that these antioxidants are central to the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, indirect evidence from epidemiological data and the increasing understanding of their mechanisms of action suggest that antioxidants may play a major role. PMID:11242471

  2. Fatty Acid and Lipid Profiles with Emphasis on n-3 Fatty Acids and Phospholipids from Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yadong; Wang, Miao; Lindström, Mikael E; Li, Jiebing

    2015-10-01

    In order to establish Ciona intestinalis as a new bioresource for n-3 fatty acids-rich marine lipids, the animal was fractionated into tunic and inner body tissues prior to lipid extraction. The lipids obtained were further classified into neutral lipids (NL), glycolipids (GL) and phospholipids (PL) followed by qualitative and quantitative analysis using GC-FID, GC-MS, (1)H NMR, 2D NMR, MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-ESI-MS methods. It was found that the tunic and inner body tissues contained 3.42-4.08% and 15.9-23.4% of lipids respectively. PL was the dominant lipid class (42-60%) irrespective of the anatomic fractions. From all lipid fractions and classes, the major fatty acids were 16:0, 18:1n-9, C20:1n-9, C20:5n-3 (EPA) and C22:6n-3 (DHA). The highest amounts of long chain n-3 fatty acids, mainly EPA and DHA, were located in PL from both body fractions. Cholestanol and cholesterol were the dominant sterols together with noticeable amounts of stellasterol, 22 (Z)-dehydrocholesterol and lathosterol. Several other identified and two yet unidentified sterols were observed for the first time from C. intestinalis. Different molecular species of phosphatidylcholine (34 species), sphingomyelin (2 species), phosphatidylethanolamine (2 species), phosphatidylserine (10 species), phosphatidylglycerol (9 species), ceramide (38 species) and lysophospholipid (5 species) were identified, representing the most systematic PL profiling knowledge so far for the animal. It could be concluded that C. intestinalis lipids should be a good alternative for fish oil with high contents of n-3 fatty acids. The lipids would be more bioavailable due to the presence of the fatty acids being mainly in the form of PL. PMID:26233815

  3. [APPLICATION OF FLOW CYTOMETRY FOR THE ANALYSIS OF CIRCULATING HEMOCYTE POPULATIONS IN THE ASCIDIAN HALOCYNTHIA AURANTIUM (PALLAS, 1787)].

    PubMed

    Sukhachev, A N; Dyachkov, I S; Kudryavtsev, I V; Kumeiko, V V; Tsybulskiy, A V; Polevshchikov, A V

    2015-01-01

    This study addresses the potentialities of flow cytometry in analyzing the composition of circulating hemocyte populations in the ascidian Halocynthia aurantium (Pallas, 1787) both using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against some human leukocyte conservative adhesion molecules and without mAbs. Flow cytometry, based on the assessment of forward and side scattering revealed five hemocyte populations. From the wide panel of antibodies against human leukocyte adhesion molecules (CD15, CD29, CD34, CD54, CD62L, CD62P, CD90, CD94, CD117, CD 166), only two mAbs (against CD54, CD90) displayed cross-reactivity with the H. aurantium hemocyte surface antigens. Distribution patterns of these antigens across the hemocyte populations have been analyzed. PMID:26281224

  4. Verruculides A and B, two new protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibitors from an Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Nakayama, Wataru; Takahashi, Ohgi; Kirikoshi, Ryota; Izumikawa, Yuta; Iwasaki, Kohei; Toraiwa, Kengo; Ukai, Kazuyo; Rotinsulu, Henki; Wewengkang, Defny S; Sumilat, Deiske A; Mangindaan, Remy E P; Namikoshi, Michio

    2015-08-15

    Two new merosesquiterpenes, verruculides A (1) and B (2), were isolated from a culture broth of the Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum TPU1311, together with three known congeners, chrodrimanins A (3), B (4), and H (5). The structures of 1 and 2 were assigned on the basis of their spectroscopic data (1D and 2D NMR, HRMS, UV, CD, and IR). Compound 2 had a linear sesquiterpene moiety and was considered to be the derivative of the biosynthetic precursor for 1 and 3-5. Compounds 1, 3, and 5 inhibited the activity of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) with IC50 values of 8.4, 8.5, and 14.9 μM, respectively. Compound 2 showed 40% inhibition at 23.1 μM, while 4 was not active at 20.7 μM. PMID:26115570

  5. A new genus of Asterocheridae (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida) ectoassociate of the ascidian Eudistoma vannamei Millar, 1977 (Polycitoridae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Johnsson, Rodrigo; Bahia, Cristiano; Neves, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Asterocheres Boeck, 1860 is the largest genus of the siphonostomatoid copepod family Asterocheridae, containing 63 valid species. The genus is known for its symbiotic relationships with many marine invertebrate taxa, especially sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, and echinoderms. Recent studies have restricted the diagnosis of this genus. Consequently, many species are now considered as species inquirendae. The present paper describes a new species living externally on the tunic of Eudistoma vannamei Millar, 1977, an endemic ascidian from Brazil. As the new species does not fit Asterocheres in the strict sense, a new genus is erected to accommodate it. Setacheres gen. nov. is characterized by its possession of two distal setae on the third endopodal segment of P3, thus differing from the distal seta and spine pattern that is deemed as diagnostic of Asterocheres. A revision and comparison of Asterocheres´ species inquirendae revealed eight species sharing the same generic characteristics and were thus reallocated as members of the new genus. PMID:27395122

  6. Ascidian eggs block polyspermy by two independent mechanisms: one at the egg plasma membrane, the other involving the follicle cells.

    PubMed

    Lambert, C; Goudeau, H; Franchet, C; Lambert, G; Goudeau, M

    1997-09-01

    Many ascidians live in clumps and usually release sperm before the eggs. Consequently, eggs are often spawned into dense clouds of sperm. Because fertilization by more than a single sperm is lethal, ascidians have evolved at least two successive blocks to polyspermy: the rapid release of a glycosidase that inhibits sperm binding to the vitelline coat (VC) and a subsequent change in membrane potential that prevents supernumerary sperm-egg fusion. This paper shows that (1) these two blocks can be uncoupled by the use of suramin, and (2) most of the glycosidase appears to be from the follicle cells, which are accessory cells on the outside of the egg VC. Phallusia mammillata eggs initially bind numerous sperm but, after the glycosidase is released, only a few additional sperm bind. Intact eggs in 20 microM suramin release glycosidase, but the electrical response is inhibited; sperm swim actively and bind to the VC but fail to penetrate. Suramin treatment is completely reversible; intact eggs exhibit the electrical response an average of 11 minutes after the drug is washed out. Sperm must contact the follicle cells before passing through the VC; eggs with the VC removed and fertilized in the presence of 20 microM suramin show the electrical response 35% of the time, thus VC removal enhances sperm entry. Like the intact eggs, 100% of the naked eggs respond electrically to fertilization after the drug is washed out. Follicle cells that are isolated by calcium magnesium free seawater and then returned to complete seawater release N-acetylglucosaminidase activity in response to sperm. Thus, these eggs have two blocks to polyspermy that operate in sequence: an early first block resulting from enzymatic modification of the VC by N-acetylglucosaminidase released primarily from follicle cells and a second electrical block operating at the egg plasma membrane level and requiring sperm-egg fusion. PMID:9266770

  7. Anticancer effects of brominated indole alkaloid Eudistomin H from marine ascidian Eudistoma viride against cervical cancer cells (HeLa).

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Rajaian Pushpabai; Annappan, Murugan

    2015-01-01

    Marine invertebrates called ascidians are prolific producers of bioactive substances. The ascidian Eudistoma viride, distributed along the Southeast coast of India, was investigated for its in vitro cytotoxic activity against human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells by the MTT assay. The crude methanolic extract of E. viride, with an IC50 of 53 μg/ml, was dose-dependently cytotoxic. It was more potent at 100 μg/ml than cyclohexamide (1 μg/ml), reducing cell viability to 9.2%. Among nine fractions separated by chromatography, ECF-8 exhibited prominent cytoxic activity at 10 μg/ml. The HPLC fraction EHF-21 of ECF-8 was remarkably dose- and time-dependently cytotoxic, with 39.8% viable cells at 1 μg/ml compared to 51% in cyclohexamide-treated cells at the same concentration; the IC50 was 0.49 μg/ml. Hoechst staining of HeLa cells treated with EHF-21 at 0.5 μg/ml revealed apoptotic events such an cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies. Cell size and granularity study showed changes in light scatter, indicating the characteristic feature of cells dying by apoptosis. The cell-cycle analysis of HeLa cells treated with fraction EHF-21 at 1 μg/ml showed the marked arrest of cells in G0/G1, S and G2/M phases and an increase in the sub G0/G1 population indicated an increase in the apoptotic cell population. The statistical analysis of the sub-G1 region showed a dose-dependent induction of apoptosis. DNA fragmentation was also observed in HeLa cells treated with EHF-21. The active EHF-21 fraction, a brominated indole alkaloid Eudistomin H, led to apoptotic death of HeLa cells. PMID:25550562

  8. Expression of Ciona intestinalis variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins during development of the gastrointestinal tract and their role in host-microbe interactions.

    PubMed

    Liberti, Assunta; Melillo, Daniela; Zucchetti, Ivana; Natale, Lenina; Dishaw, Larry J; Litman, Gary W; De Santis, Rosaria; Pinto, Maria Rosaria

    2014-01-01

    Variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins (VCBPs) are secreted, immune-type molecules that have been described in both amphioxus, a cephalochordate, and sea squirt, Ciona intestinalis, a urochordate. In adult Ciona, VCBP-A, -B and -C are expressed in hemocytes and the cells of the gastrointestinal tract. VCBP-C binds bacteria in the stomach lumen and functions as an opsonin in vitro. In the present paper the expression of VCBPs has been characterized during development using in situ hybridization, immunohistochemical staining and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technologies. The expression of VCBP-A and -C is detected first in discrete areas of larva endoderm and becomes progressively localized during differentiation in the stomach and intestine, marking the development of gut tracts. In "small adults" (1-2 cm juveniles) expression of VCBP-C persists and VCBP-A gradually diminishes, ultimately replaced by expression of VCBP-B. The expression of VCBP-A and -C in stage 7-8 juveniles, at which point animals have already started feeding, is influenced significantly by challenge with either Gram-positive or -negative bacteria. A potential role for VCBPs in gut-microbiota interactions and homeostasis is indicated. PMID:24788831

  9. Neural induction suppresses early expression of the inward-rectifier K+ channel in the ascidian blastomere.

    PubMed Central

    Okamura, Y; Takahashi, K

    1993-01-01

    1. Early expression of ion channels following neural induction was examined in isolated, cleavage-arrested blastomeres from the ascidian embryo using a two-electrode voltage clamp. Currents were recorded from the isolated, cleavage-arrested blastomere, a4-2, after treatment with serine protease, subtilisin, which induces neural differentiation as consistently as cell contact. 2. The inward-rectifier K+ current increased at the late gastrula stage shortly after the sensitive period for neural induction both in the induced (protease-treated) and uninduced cells. Ca2+ channels, characteristic of epidermal-type differentiation, and delayed-rectifier K+ channels and differentiated-type Na+ channels, characteristic of neural-type differentiation appeared much later than the inward-rectifier K+ channels, at a time corresponding to the tail bud stage of the intact embryo. 3. When cells were treated with subtilisin during the critical period for neural induction, the increase in the inward-rectifier K+ current from the late gastrula stage to the neurula stage was about three times smaller (3.67 +/- 1.74 nA, mean +/- S.D., n = 14) than in untreated cells (11.25 +/- 3.10 nA, n = 26). The same changes in the inward-rectifier K+ channel were also observed in a4 2 blastomeres which were induced by cell contact with an A4-1 blastomere. However, when cells were treated with subtilisin after the critical period for neural induction, the amplitude of the inward-rectifier K+ current was the same as in untreated cells. Thus the expressed level of the inward-rectifier K+ channel was linked to the determination of neural or epidermal cell types. 4. There was no significant difference in the input capacitance of induced and uninduced cells, indicating that the difference in the amplitude of the inward-rectifier K+ currents derived from a difference in the channel density rather than a difference in cell surface area. 5. The expression of the inward-rectifier K+ channel at the late

  10. Excitation energy relaxation in a symbiotic cyanobacterium, Prochloron didemni, occurring in coral-reef ascidians, and in a free-living cyanobacterium, Prochlorothrix hollandica.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Fumiya; Yokono, Makio; Hirose, Euichi; Murakami, Akio; Akimoto, Seiji

    2012-11-01

    The marine cyanobacterium Prochloron is a unique photosynthetic organism that lives in obligate symbiosis with colonial ascidians. We compared Prochloron harbored in four different host species and cultured Prochlorothrix by means of spectroscopic measurements, including time-resolved fluorescence, to investigate host-induced differences in light-harvesting strategies between the cyanobacteria. The light-harvesting efficiency of photosystems including antenna Pcb, PS II-PS I connection, and pigment status, especially that of PS I Red Chls, were different among the four samples. We also discuss relationships between these observed characteristics and the light conditions, to which Prochloron cells are exposed, influenced by distribution pattern in the host colonies, presence or absence of tunic spicules, and microenvironments within the ascidians' habitat. PMID:22728755

  11. Identification of eusynstyelamide B as a potent cell cycle inhibitor following the generation and screening of an ascidian-derived extract library using a real time cell analyzer.

    PubMed

    Liberio, Michelle S; Sadowski, Martin C; Nelson, Colleen C; Davis, Rohan A

    2014-10-01

    Ascidians are marine invertebrates that have been a source of numerous cytotoxic compounds. Of the first six marine-derived drugs that made anticancer clinical trials, three originated from ascidian specimens. In order to identify new anti-neoplastic compounds, an ascidian extract library (143 samples) was generated and screened in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells using a real-time cell analyzer (RTCA). This resulted in 143 time-dependent cell response profiles (TCRP), which are read-outs of changes to the growth rate, morphology, and adhesive characteristics of the cell culture. Twenty-one extracts affected the TCRP of MDA-MB-231 cells and were further investigated regarding toxicity and specificity, as well as their effects on cell morphology and cell cycle. The results of these studies were used to prioritize extracts for bioassay-guided fractionation, which led to the isolation of the previously identified marine natural product, eusynstyelamide B (1). This bis-indole alkaloid was shown to display an IC50 of 5 µM in MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, 1 caused a strong cell cycle arrest in G2/M and induced apoptosis after 72 h treatment, making this molecule an attractive candidate for further mechanism of action studies. PMID:25329705

  12. Familial Mediterranean Fever

    PubMed Central

    Schwabe, Arthur D.; Terasaki, Paul I.; Barnett, Eugene V.; Territo, Mary C.; Klinenberg, James R.; Peters, Robert S.

    1977-01-01

    The success of colchicine therapy in the management of familial Mediterranean fever has provided new direction to investigations into the pathogenesis of this disease. Examination of HLA antigen frequencies in 53 patients with familial Mediterranean fever and appropriate controls, as well as various immunologic studies have yielded no significant differences. However, B lymphocyte typing and assays for immune complexes, lymphokines and prostaglandins may be of potential interest. Preliminary studies indicate that leukocytes of patients with familial Mediterranean fever release increased amounts of lysozyme (P<0.01), when subjected to high temperatures, and of both lysozyme and myeloperoxidase at low osmotic concentrations. The known and potential effects of colchicine on leukocyte and cellular metabolism, and the current status of colchicine prophylaxis are reviewed. In patients receiving an optimum colchicine dose of 1.5 to 1.8 mg per day, side effects have been minimal and the frequency of attacks has been decreased significantly. PMID:878470

  13. Mediterranean sea level variations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigo, I.; Sánchez Reales, J. M.; García, D.; Chao, B. F.

    2009-04-01

    In this work we report an updated study of the sea level variations for the Mediterranean sea for the period from October 1992 to January 2008. The study addresses two mayor issues: (i)The analysis of the spatial and temporal variability of sea surface height (SSH) from radar altimetry measurements (from TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) + Jason-1, etc.). We use EOF analysis to explain most of its interannual variation, and how the different basins interact. (ii) The analysis of dynamics and balance of water mass transport for the whole period. We estimate the steric SSH by combining the steric SSH estimated from temperature and salt profiles simulated by the ECCO model with time-variable gravity (TVG) data (from GRACE) for the Mediterranean Sea. The estimated steric SSH together with the SSH obtained from altimetry allow for a more realistic estimation of the water mass variations in the Mediterranean for the whole period.

  14. Symmetrical reproductive compatibility of two species in the Ciona intestinalis (Ascidiacea) species complex, a model for marine genomics and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Sato, Atsuko; Shimeld, Sebastian M; Bishop, John D D

    2014-06-01

    The sea squirt Ciona intestinalis species complex is a widely used model system for genomics and developmental biology, as well as ecology. Contrary to previous reports, here we show no difference in the success of development and hatching between hybrid and conspecific crosses between the two species within this complex known as types A and B, from a region in the English Channel where they are sympatric. We grew laboratory hybrids in the field for three months, and successfully obtained reproductive adults. In back-crosses of F1 laboratory hybrids to parental types, normal larvae were obtained. We conclude that hybrid crosses generate viable offspring and the resulting hybrids are interfertile with types A and B. However we also show that introgression in the natural sympatric population remains low. We discuss possible pre-zygotic and post-zygotic mechanisms which reproductively isolate these species. PMID:24882097

  15. Photoadaptation and protection against active forms of oxygen in the symbiotic procaryote Prochloron sp. and its ascidian host

    SciTech Connect

    Lesser, M.P.; Stochaj, W.R. )

    1990-06-01

    Superoxide dismutase, ascorbate, peroxidase, and catalase activities were studied in the symbiotic photosynthetic procaryote Prochloron sp. and its ascidian host Lissoclinum patella. The protein-specific activities of these antioxidant enzymes in the Prochloron sp. and L. patella collected at different depths from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, were directly proportional to irradiance, whereas the pigment concentrations in the Prochloron sp. were inversely proportional to irradiance. The presence of a cyanide-sensitive superoxide dismutase, presumably a Cu-An metalloprotein, in the Prochloron sp. extends the possible phylogenetic distribution of this protein. The concentration of UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids in inversely proportional to irradiance in both the host and symbiont, suggesting that these compounds may not provide sufficient protection against UV radiation in high-irradiance environments. The significant differences in the specific activities of these antioxidant enzymes, cellular photosynthetic pigment concentrations, and UV-absorbing compounds from high- and low-irradiance habitats constitute an adaptive response to different photic environments. These photoadaptive responses are essential to prevent inhibition of photosynthesis by high fluxes of visible and UV radiation.

  16. Msxb is a core component of the genetic circuitry specifying the dorsal and ventral neurogenic midlines in the ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Roure, Agnès; Darras, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    The tail ascidian larval peripheral nervous system is made up of epidermal sensory neurons distributed more or less regularly in ventral and dorsal midlines. Their formation occurs in two-steps: the ventral and dorsal midlines are induced as neurogenic territories by Fgf9/16/20 and Admp respectively. The Delta2/Notch interaction then controls the number of neurons that form. The genetic machinery acting between the inductive processes taking place before gastrulation and neuron specification at tailbud stages are largely unknown. The analysis of seven transcription factors expressed in the forming midlines revealed an unexpected complexity and dynamic of gene expression. Their systematic overexpression confirmed that these genes do not interact following a linear cascade of activation. However, the integration of our data revealed the distinct key roles of the two upstream factors Msxb and Nkx-C that are the earliest expressed genes and the only ones able to induce neurogenic midline and ESN formation. Our data suggest that Msxb would be the primary midline gene integrating inputs from the ventral and dorsal inducers and launching a pan-midline transcriptional program. Nkx-C would be involved in tail tip specification, in maintenance of the pan-midline network and in a posterior to anterior wave controlling differentiation. PMID:26592100

  17. A voltage-gated chloride channel in ascidian embryos modulated by both the cell cycle clock and cell volume.

    PubMed Central

    Villaz, M; Cinniger, J C; Moody, W J

    1995-01-01

    1. Eggs of the ascidian Boltenia villosa have an inwardly rectifying Cl- current whose amplitude varies by more than 10-fold during each cell cycle, the largest amplitude being at exit from M-phase. We examined whether this current was also sensitive to changes in cell volume. 2. Cell swelling, produced by direct inflation through a whole-cell recording pipette, greatly increased the amplitude of the Cl- current at all stages of the cell cycle in activated eggs. Swelling was much less effective in unfertilized eggs. 3. The increase in Cl- current amplitude continued for 10-20 min after an increase in diameter that was complete in 10 s, suggesting the involvement of a second messenger system in the response. 4. Treatment of unfertilized eggs with 6-dimethylaminopurine (DMAP), an inhibitor of cell cycle-dependent protein kinases, increased the amplitude of the Cl- current and its sensitivity to swelling to levels characteristic of fertilized eggs. 5. Osmotically produced swelling also increased Cl- current amplitude in unfertilized eggs. 6. We propose that dephosphorylation renders the Cl- channel functional, and that swelling or activation of the egg increases the sensitivity of the channel to dephosphorylation, perhaps by disrupting its links to the cytoskeleton. PMID:8576858

  18. Photoadaptation and Protection against Active Forms of Oxygen in the Symbiotic Procaryote Prochloron sp. and Its Ascidian Host

    PubMed Central

    Lesser, Michael P.; Stochaj, Wayne R.

    1990-01-01

    Superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, and catalase activities were studied in the symbiotic photosynthetic procaryote Prochloron sp. and its ascidian host Lissoclinum patella. The protein-specific activities of these antioxidant enzymes in the Prochloron sp. and L. patella collected at different depths from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, were directly proportional to irradiance, whereas the pigment concentrations in the Prochloron sp. were inversely proportional to irradiance. The presence of a cyanide-sensitive superoxide dismutase, presumably a Cu-Zn metalloprotein, in the Prochloron sp. extends the possible phylogenetic distribution of this protein. The concentration of UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids is inversely proportional to irradiance in both the host and symbiont, suggesting that these compounds may not provide sufficient protection against UV radiation in high-irradiance environments. The significant differences in the specific activities of these antioxidant enzymes, cellular photosynthetic pigment concentrations, and UV-absorbing compounds from high- and low-irradiance habitats constitute an adaptive response to different photic environments. These photoadaptive responses are essential to prevent inhibition of photosynthesis by high fluxes of visible and UV radiation. PMID:16348202

  19. Is there a Mediterranean bioethics?

    PubMed

    Mallia, Pierre

    2012-11-01

    Is there a special Mediterranean approach to Bioethics and if so what are the roots of this approach? And why not a Bosphorus, or a 'lake Michigan' bioethics? The answer to such a question depends on the focus one takes on defining 'Mediterranean'? On the one hand one can refer to the Mediterranean region which includes the surrounding coasts, having Europe on its northern coast line, northern Africa on its southern coast line (and these will include the north and South West coasts), and in the Eastern region countries which border with Middle-Eastern countries. This approach is the approach currently being taken by European Parliamentarians when they speak about the Mediterranean, namely including countries like France, Italy and Libya. On the other hand there is the look upon the Mediterranean as 'Southern Europe'; this is a more 'traditional' way on how westerners view the Mediterranean. This common approach is often recognized when, for example, we speak of 'Mediterranean diet', or, 'Mediterranean Temperament'. It would include Eastern countries like Greece and Cyprus. This article focuses on these two approaches to Mediterranean ethics after discussing issues pertaining to the region which are important to define in this context. It then analyses the need for having a Mediterranean approach to bioethical issues. PMID:23070886

  20. There are many Mediterranean diets.

    PubMed

    Noah, A; Truswell, A S

    2001-01-01

    Interest in Mediterranean diet began 30 years ago, when Ancel Keys published the results of the famous Seven Countries Study, Since 1945, almost 1.3 million people have come to Australia from Mediterranean countries as new settlers. There are 18 countries with coasts on the Mediterranean sea: Spain, southern France, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Malta, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. This study from which this report derives aims to investigate the influence of the food habits of immigrants from Mediterranean countries on Australian food intake. Here we look at the 'traditional' food habits of the above Mediterranean countries as told by 102 people we interviewed in Sydney, who came from 18 Mediterranean countries to Sydney. Most of the informants were women, their age ranged from 35 to 55 years. The interview was open-ended and held in the informant's home. It usually lasted around 1 1/2 hours. The interview had three parts. Personal information was obtained, questions relating to the food habits of these people back in their original Mediterranean countries and how their food intake and habits have changed in Australia were also asked. From the interviews, we have obtained a broad picture of 'traditional' food habits in different Mediterranean countries. The interview data was checked with books of recipes for the different countries. While there were similarities between the countries, there are also important differences in the food habits of the Mediterranean countries. Neighbouring countries' food habits are closer than those on opposite sides of the Mediterranean Sea. We suggest that these food habits can be put into four groups. The data here refer to food habits in Mediterranean countries 20 or 30 years ago, as they were recovering from the Second World War. There is no single ideal Mediterranean diet. Nutritionists who use the concept should qualify the individual country and the time in

  1. An extra tRNAGly(U*CU) found in ascidian mitochondria responsible for decoding non-universal codons AGA/AGG as glycine.

    PubMed

    Kondow, A; Suzuki, T; Yokobori, S; Ueda, T; Watanabe, K

    1999-06-15

    Amino acid assignments of metazoan mitochondrial codons AGA/AGG are known to vary among animal species; arginine in Cnidaria, serine in invertebrates and stop in vertebrates. We recently found that in the mitochondria of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi these codons are exceptionally used for glycine, and postulated that they are probably decoded by a tRNA(UCU). In order to verify this notion unambig-uously, we determined the complete RNA sequence of the mitochondrial tRNA(UCU) presumed to decode codons AGA/AGG in the ascidian mitochondria, and found it to have an unidentified U derivative at the anticodon first position. We then identified the amino acids attached to the tRNA(U*CU), as well as to the conventional tRNAGly(UCC) with an unmodified U34, in vivo. The results clearly demonstrated that glycine was attached to both tRNAs. Since no other tRNA capable of decoding codons AGA/AGG has been found in the mitochondrial genome, it is most probable that this tRNA(U*CU) does actually translate codons AGA/AGG as glycine in vivo. Sequencing of tRNASer(GCU), which is thought to recognize only codons AGU/AGC, revealed that it has an unmodified guanosine at position 34, as is the case with vertebrate mitochondrial tRNASer(GCU) for codons AGA/AGG. It was thus concluded that in the ascidian, codons AGU/AGC are read as serine by tRNASer(GCU), whereas AGA/AGG are read as glycine by an extra tRNAGly(U*CU). The possible origin of this unorthodox genetic code is discussed. PMID:10352185

  2. Development of transient outward currents coupled with Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release mediates oscillatory membrane potential in ascidian muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Nakajo, Koichi; Okamura, Yasushi

    2004-08-01

    Isolated ascidian Halocynthia roretzi blastomeres of the muscle lineage exhibit muscle cell-like excitability on differentiation despite the arrest of cell cleavage early in development. This characteristic provides a unique opportunity to track changes in ion channel expression during muscle cell differentiation. Here, we show that the intrinsic membrane property of ascidian cleavage-arrested muscle-type cells becomes oscillatory by expressing transient outward currents (I(to)) activated by Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) in a maturation-dependent manner. In current-clamp mode, most day 4 (72 h after fertilization) cleavage-arrested muscle cells exhibited an oscillatory membrane potential of -20 mV at 15 Hz, whereas most day 3 (48 h after fertilization) cells exhibited a spiking pattern. In voltage-clamp mode, the day 4 cells exhibited prominent transient outward currents that were not present in day 3 cells. I(to) was abolished by the application of 10 mM caffeine, implying that CICR was involved in I(to) activation. I(to) was based on K(+) efflux and sensitive to tetraethylammonium and some Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel inhibitors. We found a 60-pS single channel conductance that was activated by local Ca(2+) release in ascidian muscle cell. Voltage-clamp recording with an oscillatory waveform as a command pulse showed that CICR-activated K(+) currents were activated during the falling phase of the membrane potential oscillation. These results suggest that developmental expression of CICR-activated K(+) current plays a role in the maturation of larval locomotion by modifying the intrinsic membrane excitability of muscle cells. PMID:15056691

  3. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of drugs against the protozoan parasite Azumiobodo hoyamushi that causes soft tunic syndrome in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche).

    PubMed

    Park, K H; Zeon, S-R; Lee, J-G; Choi, S-H; Shin, Y K; Park, K-I

    2014-04-01

    It was discovered recently that infection by a protozoan parasite, Azumiobodo hoyamushi, is the most probable cause for soft tunic syndrome in an edible ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche). In an attempt to develop measures to eradicate the causative parasite, various drugs were tested for efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Of the 20 antiprotozoal drugs having different action mechanisms, five were found potent (24-h EC50  < 10 mg L(-1) ) in their parasite-killing effects: formalin, H2 O2 , bithionol, ClO2 and bronopol. Moderately potent drugs (10 < 24-h EC50  < 100 mg L(-1) ) were quinine, fumagillin, amphotericin B, ketoconazole, povidone-iodine, chloramine-T and benzalkonium chloride. Seven compounds, metronidazole, albendazole, paromomycin, nalidixic acid, sulfamonomethoxine, KMnO4 , potassium monopersulphate and citric acid, exhibited EC50  > 100 mg L(-1) . When ascidians were artificially infected with A. hoyamushi, treated using 40 mg L(-1) formalin, bronopol, ClO2 , or H2 O2 for 1 h and then monitored for 24 h, very low mortality was observed. However, the number of surviving parasite cells in the ascidian tunic tissues was significantly reduced by treating with 40 mg L(-1) formalin or ClO2 for 1 h. The data suggest that we might be able to develop a disinfection measure using a treatment regimen involving commonly available drugs. PMID:23952334

  4. Biologically Active Acetylenic Amino Alcohol and N-Hydroxylated 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydro-β-carboline Constituents of the New Zealand Ascidian Pseudodistoma opacum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiayi; Pearce, A Norrie; Chan, Susanna T S; Taylor, Richard B; Page, Michael J; Valentin, Alexis; Bourguet-Kondracki, Marie-Lise; Dalton, James P; Wiles, Siouxsie; Copp, Brent R

    2016-03-25

    The first occurrence of an acetylenic 1-amino-2-alcohol, distaminolyne A (1), isolated from the New Zealand ascidian Pseudodistoma opacum, is reported. The isolation and structure elucidation of 1 and assignment of absolute configuration using the exciton coupled circular dichroism technique are described. In addition, a new N-9 hydroxy analogue (2) of the known P. opacum metabolite 7-bromohomotrypargine is also reported. Antimicrobial screening identified modest activity of 1 toward Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterim tuberculosis, while 2 exhibited a moderate antimalarial activity (IC50 3.82 μM) toward a chloroquine-resistant strain (FcB1) of Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:26670413

  5. SMED - Sulphur MEditerranean Dispersion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salerno, Giuseppe G.; Sellitto, Pasquale; Corradini, Stefano; Di Sarra, Alcide Giorgio; Merucci, Luca; Caltabiano, Tommaso; La Spina, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Emissions of volcanic gases and particles can have profound impacts on terrestrial environment, atmospheric composition, climate forcing, and then on human health at various temporal and spatial scales. Volcanic emissions have been identified as one of the largest sources of uncertainty in our understanding of recent climate change trends. In particular, a primary role is acted by sulphur dioxide emission due to its conversion to volcanic sulphate aerosol via atmospheric oxidation. Aerosols may play a key role in the radiative budget and then in photochemistry and tropospheric composition. Mt. Etna is one of the most prodigious and persistent emitters of gasses and particles on Earth, accounting for about 10% of global average volcanic emission of CO2 and SO2. Its sulphur emissions stand for 0.7 × 106 t S/yr9 and then about 10 times bigger than anthropogenic sulphur emissions in the Mediterranean area. Centrepiece of the SMED project is to advance the understanding of volcanogenic sulphur dioxide and sulphate aerosol particles dispersion and radiative impact on the downwind Mediterranean region by an integrated approach between ground- and space-based observations and modelling. Research is addressed by exploring the potential relationship between proximal SO2 flux and aerosol measured remotely in the volcanic plume of Mt. Etna between 2000 and 2014 and distal aerosol ground-based measurements in Lampedusa, Greece, and Malta from AERONET network. Ground data are combined with satellite multispectral polar and geostationary imagers able to detect and retrieve volcanic ash and SO2. The high repetition time of SEVIRI (15 minutes) will ensure the potential opportunity to follow the entire evolution of the volcanic cloud, while, the higher spatial resolution of MODIS (1x1 km2), are exploited for investigating the probability to retrieve volcanic SO2 abundances from passive degassing. Ground and space observations are complemented with atmospheric Lagrangian model

  6. Increased Inter-Colony Fusion Rates Are Associated with Reduced COI Haplotype Diversity in an Invasive Colonial Ascidian Didemnum vexillum

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kirsty F.; Stefaniak, Lauren; Saito, Yasunori; Gemmill, Chrissen E. C.; Cary, S. Craig; Fidler, Andrew E.

    2012-01-01

    Considerable progress in our understanding of the population genetic changes associated with biological invasions has been made over the past decade. Using selectively neutral loci, it has been established that reductions in genetic diversity, reflecting founder effects, have occurred during the establishment of some invasive populations. However, some colonial organisms may actually gain an ecological advantage from reduced genetic diversity because of the associated reduction in inter-colony conflict. Here we report population genetic analyses, along with colony fusion experiments, for a highly invasive colonial ascidian, Didemnum vexillum. Analyses based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) partial coding sequences revealed two distinct D. vexillum clades. One COI clade appears to be restricted to the probable native region (i.e., north-west Pacific Ocean), while the other clade is present in widely dispersed temperate coastal waters around the world. This clade structure was supported by 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence data, which revealed a one base-pair difference between the two clades. Recently established populations of D. vexillum in New Zealand displayed greatly reduced COI genetic diversity when compared with D. vexillum in Japan. In association with this reduction in genetic diversity was a significantly higher inter-colony fusion rate between randomly paired New Zealand D. vexillum colonies (80%, standard deviation ±18%) when compared with colonies found in Japan (27%, standard deviation ±15%). The results of this study add to growing evidence that for colonial organisms reductions in population level genetic diversity may alter colony interaction dynamics and enhance the invasive potential of newly colonizing species. PMID:22303442

  7. Immunotoxicity in ascidians: antifouling compounds alternative to organotins: III--the case of copper(I) and Irgarol 1051.

    PubMed

    Cima, Francesca; Ballarin, Loriano

    2012-09-01

    After the widespread ban of TBT, due to its severe impact on coastal biocoenoses, mainly related to its immunosuppressive effects on both invertebrates and vertebrates, alternative biocides such as Cu(I) salts and the triazine Irgarol 1051, the latter previously used in agriculture as a herbicide, have been massively introduced in combined formulations for antifouling paints against a wide spectrum of fouling organisms. Using short-term (60 min) haemocyte cultures of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri exposed to various sublethal concentrations of copper(I) chloride (LC(50)=281 μM, i.e., 17.8 mg Cu L(-1)) and Irgarol 1051 (LC(50)>500 μM, i.e., >127 mg L(-1)), we evaluated their immunotoxic effects through a series of cytochemical assays previously used for organotin compounds. Both compounds can induce dose-dependent immunosuppression, acting on different cellular targets and altering many activities of immunocytes but, unlike TBT, did not have significant effects on cell morphology. Generally, Cu(I) appeared to be more toxic than Irgarol 1051: it significantly (p<0.05) inhibited yeast phagocytosis at 0.1 μM (∼10 μg L(-1)), and affected calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase activity at 0.01 μM (∼1 μg L(-1)). Both substances were able to change membrane permeability, induce apoptosis from concentrations of 0.1 μM (∼10 μg L(-1)) and 200 μM (∼50 mg L(-1)) for Cu(I) and Irgarol 1051, respectively, and alter the activity of hydrolases. Both Cu(I) and Irgarol 1051 inhibited the activity of phenoloxidase, but did not show any interactive effect when co-present in the exposure medium, suggesting different mechanisms of action. PMID:22542202

  8. Bigger is not always better: offspring size does not predict growth or survival for seven ascidian species.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Molly W; Sherrard, Kristin M

    2010-12-01

    The presumed trade-off between offspring size and quality predicted by life history theory is often invoked to explain the wide range of propagule sizes observed in animals and plants. This trade-off is broadly supported by intraspecific studies but has been difficult to test in an interspecific context, particularly in animals. We tested the fitness consequences of offspring size both intra- and interspecifically for seven species of ascidians (sessile, suspension-feeding, marine invertebrates) whose offspring volumes varied over three orders of magnitude. We measured two major components of fitness, juvenile growth rates and survival, in laboratory and field experiments encompassing several food conditions. Contrary to the predictions of life history theory, larger offspring size did not result in higher rates of growth or survival, and large offspring did not perform better under nutritional stress, either intraspecifically or interspecifically. In fact, two of the four species with small offspring grew rapidly enough to catch up in size to the species with large offspring in as little as eight weeks, under wild-type food conditions. Trade-offs between growth potential and defense may overwhelm and obscure any trade-offs between offspring size and survival or growth rate. While large initial size may still confer a competitive advantage, we failed to detect any consequences of interspecific variation in initial size. This implies that larger offspring in these species, far from being inherently superior in growth or survival, require compensation in other aspects of life history if reproductive effort is to be efficient. Our results suggest that the importance of initial offspring size is context dependent and often overestimated relative to other life history traits. PMID:21302831

  9. Reviving the Mediterranean Olive Community

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaferatos, Nicholas C.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the findings of a collaborative investigation by six nongovernment organisations (NGOs) from five European-Mediterranean countries to identify a framework for reversing rural marginalisation in Mediterranean communities through sustainable forms of community-based agricultural development. The project brought together…

  10. Dust in the Mediterranean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    On July 24, the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS), acquired this true-color image of a large cloud of dust blowing from northern Africa across the Mediterranean Sea. The dust storm has persisted in the region for at least a week. In this image, the brownish dust plume appears to originate about 260 miles (400 km) east of Algiers, Algeria, and is blowing toward the northwest coast of Sardinia, Italy. SeaWiFS flies aboard the OrbView-2 Satellite. Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and ORBIMAGE

  11. Co-expression of Foxa.a, Foxd and Fgf9/16/20 defines a transient mesendoderm regulatory state in ascidian embryos

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Clare; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2016-01-01

    In many bilaterian embryos, nuclear β-catenin (nβ-catenin) promotes mesendoderm over ectoderm lineages. Although this is likely to represent an evolutionary ancient developmental process, the regulatory architecture of nβ-catenin-induced mesendoderm remains elusive in the majority of animals. Here, we show that, in ascidian embryos, three nβ-catenin transcriptional targets, Foxa.a, Foxd and Fgf9/16/20, are each required for the correct initiation of both the mesoderm and endoderm gene regulatory networks. Conversely, these three factors are sufficient, in combination, to produce a mesendoderm ground state that can be further programmed into mesoderm or endoderm lineages. Importantly, we show that the combinatorial activity of these three factors is sufficient to reprogramme developing ectoderm cells to mesendoderm. We conclude that in ascidian embryos, the transient mesendoderm regulatory state is defined by co-expression of Foxa.a, Foxd and Fgf9/16/20. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14692.001 PMID:27351101

  12. Structural investigations of the p53/p73 homologs from the tunicate species Ciona intestinalis reveal the sequence requirements for the formation of a tetramerization domain.

    PubMed

    Heering, Jan; Jonker, Hendrik R A; Löhr, Frank; Schwalbe, Harald; Dötsch, Volker

    2016-02-01

    Most members of the p53 family of transcription factors form tetramers. Responsible for determining the oligomeric state is a short oligomerization domain consisting of one β-strand and one α-helix. With the exception of human p53 all other family members investigated so far contain a second α-helix as part of their tetramerization domain. Here we have used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to characterize the oligomerization domains of the two p53-like proteins from the tunicate Ciona intestinalis, representing the closest living relative of vertebrates. Structure determination reveals for one of the two proteins a new type of packing of this second α-helix on the core domain that was not predicted based on the sequence, while the other protein does not form a second helix despite the presence of crucial residues that are conserved in all other family members that form a second helix. By mutational analysis, we identify a proline as well as large hydrophobic residues in the hinge region between both helices as the crucial determinant for the formation of a second helix. PMID:26473758

  13. Ciona intestinalis galectin (CiLgals-a and CiLgals-b) genes are differentially expressed in endostyle zones and challenged by LPS.

    PubMed

    Parrinello, Daniela; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Vizzini, Aiti; Parrinello, Nicolò; Cammarata, Matteo

    2015-01-01

    Immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization assays were performed to answer the question whether the endostyle, that is the initial gastro-intestinal trait of Ciona intestinalis pharynx, is involved in galectin (CiLgals-a and CiLgals-b) production during the pharynx inflammatory response to LPS inoculation. Specific anti-CiLgal-a and anti-CiLgals-b antibodies, and oligonucleotide probes, that mark inflammatory hemocytes inside the pharynx vessels and vessel epithelium as shown by a previous paper, were assayed on endostyle histological sections. For the first time, we show that galectins are produced by endostyle zones, and both CiLgals-a and -b genes are upregulated by LPS. CiLgals-a and CiLgals-b are constitutively expressed in the endostyle zone 2 and 3, respectively, both genes are upregulated by LPS in the zone 2, and CiLgals-b in the zone 3 and 4. The antibody-reacting material contained in intracellular and extracellular large vesicles suggest an unexpected vesicle-dependent transporting mechanism of galectins not provided with signal peptide. Differential expression and gene upregulation in not-treated and LPS-treated specimens, support the role of endostyle galectins both in filter feeding and defense responses. PMID:25449708

  14. Fgfrl1, a fibroblast growth factor receptor-like gene, is found in the cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae but not in the urochordate Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Beyeler, Michael; Trueb, Beat

    2006-09-01

    FGFRL1 is a novel member of the fibroblast growth factor receptor family that controls the formation of musculoskeletal tissues. Some vertebrates, including man, cow, dog, mouse, rat and chicken, possess a single copy the FGFRL1 gene. Teleostean fish have two copies, fgfrl1a and fgfrl1b, because they have undergone a whole genome duplication. Vertebrates belong to the chordates, a phylum that also includes the subphyla of the cephalochordates (e.g. Branchiostoma floridae) and urochordates (tunicates, e.g. Ciona intestinalis). We therefore investigated whether other chordates might also possess an FGFRL1 related gene. In fact, a homologous gene was found in B. floridae (amphioxus). The corresponding protein showed 60% sequence identity with the human protein and all sequence motifs identified in the vertebrate proteins were also conserved in amphioxus Fgfrl1. In contrast, the genome of the urochordate C. intestinalis and those from more distantly related invertebrates including the insect Drosophila melanogaster and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans did not appear to contain any related sequences. Thus, the FGFRL1 gene might have evolved just before branching of the vertebrate lineage from the other chordates. PMID:16887372

  15. Characterization of the teneurin C-terminal associated peptide (TCAP) in the vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis: A novel peptide system associated with energy metabolism and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Colacci, Michael; De Almeida, Reuben; Chand, Dhan; Lovejoy, Sabine R; Sephton, Dawn; Vercaemer, Benedikte; Lovejoy, David A

    2015-05-15

    The vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis, is a protochordate and is considered a sister lineage to the chordates. The recent sequencing of its genome has made this species a particularly important model to understand the genetic basis of vertebrate evolution. However, C. intestinalis is also a highly invasive species along the Atlantic coast of North America and other regions of the world which have caused considerable economic stress due to its biofouling actions and, in particular, negative impacts on the mussel- and oyster-based aquaculture industry. Despite this background, little is known about C. intestinalis physiology. The teneurin C-terminal associated peptides (TCAP) are a family of highly conserved peptide hormones found in most metazoans. Moreover, these peptides have been implicated in the inhibition of stress and stimulation of feeding-based metabolism. We have, therefore, identified this peptide using an in silico approach and characterized its immunological expression in tissues using a mouse polyclonal antiserum. These data indicate that its primary structure is more similar to invertebrate TCAPs relative to vertebrate TCAPs. Immunological expression indicates that it is highly expressed in the digestive tract and gonads consistent with findings in vertebrates. Synthetic mouse TCAP-1 administered into the brachial basket significantly increases the incidence of non-stress contractile behaviors. These findings support the hypothesis that TCAP is a bioactive peptide in C. intestinalis. Thus, C. intestinalis and tunicates in general may offer a simple model to investigate peptide interaction while providing information on how to control this invasive species. PMID:25687741

  16. Qibla in the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rius-Piniés, Mònica

    Orientation toward Mecca has been compulsory for Muslims in all time periods and in all places. In fact, mosques were built in such a way as to help believers to pray toward the right direction. Nevertheless, the alignment of the sacred buildings was not always exact, and many did not actually face the Kaaba. There are many reasons for this "mistake", the main one being that at the time of the construction of the most important mosques, the astronomical and geographical knowledge needed to make accurate calculations was lacking. In the Mediterranean area, the scholars who were most involved in this task were the fuqahā' (experts in Islamic jurisprudence) who were sometimes well versed in astronomical knowledge or, at least, were skilled in the practice of popular astronomy. The combination of astronomy and religion, mixed with the political and topographical conditions, produces a unique area of study which remains controversial today.

  17. Alcohol in the Mediterranean diet.

    PubMed

    Rimm, E B; Ellison, R C

    1995-06-01

    Alcohol consumption clearly reduces risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in populations throughout the world and may contribute to lower rates of CVD among residents of Mediterranean countries. In addition, overall mortality rates are generally slightly lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers. However, several studies have linked alcohol consumption (even amounts equivalent to two drinks daily) to increased rates for certain cancers, especially breast cancer in women. A Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruit, vegetables, and grains, also typically includes one to two drinks per day. Whether one to two drinks adversely affect cancer incidence in the presence of a Mediterranean diet has not been fully explored. With the evidence currently available, we conclude that alcohol, when consumed responsibly in most populations, is an important component of the Mediterranean diet and a component of a healthy lifestyle. PMID:7754991

  18. The ascidian-associated mysid Corellamysis eltanina gen.nov., sp.nov. (Mysida, Mysidae, Heteromysinae): a new symbiotic relationship from the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Vicente, Carlos San; Monniot, Françoise

    2014-01-01

    A new mysid species representing a new genus is described based on specimens collected in the 1968 cruise of the U.S. Navy Ship Eltanin from the Macquarie Island region (Southern Ocean). The new mysid, Corellamysis eltanina, is characterized by the globular eyes lacking definite eyestalks, the seven and eighth thoracic endopods specialized as gnathopods forming a strong subchela, and by the armature and shape of the uropod endopod and telson. Corellamysis eltanina lives only in the branchial sacs of the ascidian Corella brewinae suggesting an obligate endocommensal symbiotic association. Therefore, this is the first known report of a mysid living symbiotically with a benthic tunicate, as well as the first report of a mysid symbiosis from the Southern Ocean. The distribution and habitats of known symbiont mysids are reviewed. An update of identification key to world genera and subgenera of Heteromysinae is suggested.  PMID:24871839

  19. The sexual and mating system of the shrimp Odontonia katoi (Palaemonidae, Pontoniinae), a symbiotic guest of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle.

    PubMed

    Baeza, J Antonio; Hemphill, Carrie A; Ritson-Williams, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Theory predicts that monogamy is adaptive in symbiotic crustaceans inhabiting relatively small and morphologically simple hosts in tropical environments where predation risk away from hosts is high. We tested this prediction in the shrimp Odontonia katoi, which inhabits the atrial chamber of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle. Preliminary observations in O. katoi indicated that males were smaller than females, which is suggestive of sex change (protandry) in some symbiotic organisms. Thus, we first investigated the sexual system of O. katoi to determine if this shrimp was sequentially hermaphroditic. Morphological identification and size frequency distributions indicated that the population comprised males that, on average, were smaller than females. Gonad dissections demonstrated the absence of transitional individuals. Thus, O. katoi is a gonochoric species with reverse sexual dimorphism. The population distribution of O. katoi in its ascidian host did not differ significantly from a random distribution and shrimps inhabiting the same host individual as pairs were found with a frequency similar to that expected by chance alone. This is in contrast to that reported for other socially monogamous crustaceans in which pairs of heterosexual conspecifics are found in host individuals more frequently than expected by chance alone. Thus, the available information argues against monogamy in O. katoi. Furthermore, that a high frequency of solitary females were found brooding embryos and that the sex ratio was skewed toward females suggests that males might be roaming among hosts in search of receptive females in O. katoi. Symbiotic crustaceans can be used as a model system to understand the adaptive value of sexual and mating systems in marine invertebrates. PMID:25799577

  20. Fine- and regional-scale genetic structure of the exotic ascidian Styela clava (Tunicata) in southwest England, 50 years after its introduction.

    PubMed

    Dupont, L; Viard, F; Dowell, M J; Wood, C; Bishop, J D D

    2009-02-01

    Styela clava, an ascidian native to the northwest Pacific, was first recorded in the Atlantic at Plymouth, southwest England, in 1953. It now ranges in the northeast Atlantic from Portugal to northern Denmark, and has colonized the east coast of North America. Within the region of first introduction, we aimed to characterize current genetic diversity in the species, elucidate the respective roles of human-aided vs. natural dispersal, and assess the extent of larval dispersal by looking for genetic differentiation at very small scales. Eight sites, mostly marinas, were studied along c. 200 km of coast in southwest England encompassing Plymouth. Five microsatellite loci were genotyped in 303 individuals to analyse gene flow at regional (among sites) and fine (within sites) scales. F-statistics and assignment tests were used to investigate regional genetic structure. At the fine scale, deviation from mutation-drift equilibrium was tested, and isolation by distance and genetic clustering analyses were undertaken. Significant genetic differentiation existed between sites, unrelated to geographical separation; migration between geographically distant marinas was inferred, highlighting the likely importance of human-mediated dispersal in range expansion and occupancy by S. clava. Fine-scale population structure was present within at least four sites, which may be explained by the limited dispersal ability of this ascidian and recruitment from differentiated pools of larvae. Populations in enclosed marinas had higher self-recruitment rates than those in open sites. Some marinas might therefore function as reservoirs of propagules for subsequent spread, whereas others might be sinks for migrants. PMID:19161467

  1. The Sexual and Mating System of the Shrimp Odontonia katoi (Palaemonidae, Pontoniinae), a Symbiotic Guest of the Ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle

    PubMed Central

    Baeza, J. Antonio; Hemphill, Carrie A.; Ritson-Williams, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Theory predicts that monogamy is adaptive in symbiotic crustaceans inhabiting relatively small and morphologically simple hosts in tropical environments where predation risk away from hosts is high. We tested this prediction in the shrimp Odontonia katoi, which inhabits the atrial chamber of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle. Preliminary observations in O. katoi indicated that males were smaller than females, which is suggestive of sex change (protandry) in some symbiotic organisms. Thus, we first investigated the sexual system of O. katoi to determine if this shrimp was sequentially hermaphroditic. Morphological identification and size frequency distributions indicated that the population comprised males that, on average, were smaller than females. Gonad dissections demonstrated the absence of transitional individuals. Thus, O. katoi is a gonochoric species with reverse sexual dimorphism. The population distribution of O. katoi in its ascidian host did not differ significantly from a random distribution and shrimps inhabiting the same host individual as pairs were found with a frequency similar to that expected by chance alone. This is in contrast to that reported for other socially monogamous crustaceans in which pairs of heterosexual conspecifics are found in host individuals more frequently than expected by chance alone. Thus, the available information argues against monogamy in O. katoi. Furthermore, that a high frequency of solitary females were found brooding embryos and that the sex ratio was skewed toward females suggests that males might be roaming among hosts in search of receptive females in O. katoi. Symbiotic crustaceans can be used as a model system to understand the adaptive value of sexual and mating systems in marine invertebrates. PMID:25799577

  2. Impact and recovery from a mass mortality event of the gorgonian Paramuricea clavata populations on the french Mediterranean coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonhomme, D.; Garrabou, J.; Perez, T.; Sartoretto, S.; Harmelin, J. G.

    2003-04-01

    An unprecedented mass mortality occurred in the NW Mediterranean in summer 1999. This event affected 30 species of invertebrates from 5 different Phyla (sponges, cnidarians, molluscs, ascidians, bryozoans) on several hundred kilometres of shoreline from the Bay of Genoa in Italy to the Bay of Marseilles in France. The most affected taxa were sponges and cnidarians. This mass mortality took place under an unusual environmental context characterized by high and stable water column temperatures. The impact of the mass mortality and recovery (1999-2002) of populations of the gorgonian Paramuricea clavata from Provence's coasts (France) have been studied. Most surveyed populations displayed 50 % of affected colonies at different degree (dead, severe and low damage), although a great variability in rates of mortality and tissue loss was also evident depending among sites. The mortality impact decreased with depth, a pattern which supports the hypothesis that temperature played a key role in this event. Surveys on populations for which pre-mortality data (density and size structure) was attested that recovery was far from completion three years after the mortality. Considering the growth rate of P. clavata, full recovery of the most affected local populations will take several decades will be necessary to return to pre-mortality values. In the context of the global change and taking into account the correlation with the temperature, one may expect that the frequency of of these kind of events will increase in the next decades. Dramatic consequences can be expected for the conservation of the affected species in shallow habitats, in particular, and for the Mediterranean biodiversity, in general.

  3. Zoonoses in the Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Seimenis, Aristarco; Morelli, Daniela; Mantovani, Adriano

    2006-01-01

    The Mediterranean and Middle East Region (MME) is considered the most important area for the historical development and concentration of zoonoses. Besides the classical Mediterranean pattern, an urbanised pattern has emerged which is strongly influenced by globalisation. Both patterns co-exist and have many peculiarities affecting the life cycles of zoonoses and their social impact. The features of those zoonoses which are now most relevant in the MME (brucellosis, rabies, cystic echinococcosis, leishmaniasis, food-borne zoonoses) are discussed. Besides other relevant activities, the World Health Organization has established, since 1979, a specialised programme with a unit coordinating and managing activities: i.e. the Mediterranean Zoonoses Control Centre, operating from Athens, Greece. PMID:17361068

  4. Postfire chaparral regeneration under mediterranean and non-mediterranean climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, Connie J.; Rundel, Philip W.

    2012-01-01

    This study compares postfire regeneration and diversity patterns in fire-prone chaparral shrublands from mediterranean (California) and non-mediterranean-type climates (Arizona). Vegetation sampling was conducted in tenth hectare plots with nested subplots for the first two years after fire. Floras in the two regions were compared with Jaccard's Index and importance of families and genera compared with dominance-diversity curves. Although there were 44 families in common between the two regions, the dominant families differed; Poaceae and Fabaceae in Arizona and Hydrophyllaceae and Rosaceae in California. Dominance diversity curves indicated in the first year a more equable distribution of families in Arizona than in California. Woody plants were much more dominant in the mediterranean climate and herbaceous plants more dominant in the bimodal rainfall climate. Species diversity was comparable in both regions at the lowest spatial scales but not at the tenth hectare scale. Due to the double growing season in the non-mediterranean region, the diversity for the first year comprised two different herbaceous floras in the fall and spring growing seasons. The Mediterranean climate in California, in contrast, had only a spring growing season and thus the total diversity for the first year was significantly greater in Arizona than in California for both annuals and herbaceous perennials. Chaparral in these two climate regimes share many dominant shrub species but the postfire communities are very different. Arizona chaparral has both a spring and fall growing season and these produce two very different postfire floras. When combined, the total annual diversity was substantially greater in Arizona chaparral.

  5. Combining environmental suitability and population abundances to evaluate the invasive potential of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis along the temperate South American coast.

    PubMed

    Januario, Stella M; Estay, Sergio A; Labra, Fabio A; Lima, Mauricio

    2015-01-01

    The tunicate Ciona intestinalis is an opportunistic invader with high potential for causing economic losses in aquaculture centers. Recent phylogenetic and population genetic analysis support the existence of a genetic complex described as C. intestinalis with two main dominant species (sp A and B) occurring worldwide. In Chile, the species has been observed around 30°S of latitude, but no official reports exist for the presence of C. intestinalis in southern regions (above 40°S), where most of the mollusk aquaculture centers are located. Here, we used occurrences from multiple invaded regions and extensive field sampling to model and validate the environmental conditions that allow the species to persist and to find the geographic areas with the most suitable environmental conditions for the spread of C. intestinalis in the Chilean coast. By studying the potential expansion of C. intestinalis southward in the Chilean Coast, we aimed to provide valuable information that might help the development of control plans before the species becomes a significant problem, especially above 40°S. Our results highlight that, by using portions of the habitat that are apparently distinguishable, the species seem to be not only genetically distinct, but ecologically distinct as well. The two regional models fitted for sp A and for sp B showed disagreement on which sections of Chilean coastline are considered more suitable for these species. While the model for sp A identifies moderately to highly suitable areas between 30° and 40°S, the model for sp B classifies the areas around 45°S as the most appropriate. Data from field sampling show a positive linear relationship between density of C. intestinalis and the index of suitability for sp A in aquaculture centers. Understanding the relation of the distinct species with the surrounding environment provided valuable insights about probable routes of dispersion in Chile, especially into those areas considered suitable for

  6. Combining environmental suitability and population abundances to evaluate the invasive potential of the tunicate Ciona intestinalis along the temperate South American coast

    PubMed Central

    Estay, Sergio A.; Labra, Fabio A.; Lima, Mauricio

    2015-01-01

    The tunicate Ciona intestinalis is an opportunistic invader with high potential for causing economic losses in aquaculture centers. Recent phylogenetic and population genetic analysis support the existence of a genetic complex described as C. intestinalis with two main dominant species (sp A and B) occurring worldwide. In Chile, the species has been observed around 30°S of latitude, but no official reports exist for the presence of C. intestinalis in southern regions (above 40°S), where most of the mollusk aquaculture centers are located. Here, we used occurrences from multiple invaded regions and extensive field sampling to model and validate the environmental conditions that allow the species to persist and to find the geographic areas with the most suitable environmental conditions for the spread of C. intestinalis in the Chilean coast. By studying the potential expansion of C. intestinalis southward in the Chilean Coast, we aimed to provide valuable information that might help the development of control plans before the species becomes a significant problem, especially above 40°S. Our results highlight that, by using portions of the habitat that are apparently distinguishable, the species seem to be not only genetically distinct, but ecologically distinct as well. The two regional models fitted for sp A and for sp B showed disagreement on which sections of Chilean coastline are considered more suitable for these species. While the model for sp A identifies moderately to highly suitable areas between 30° and 40°S, the model for sp B classifies the areas around 45°S as the most appropriate. Data from field sampling show a positive linear relationship between density of C. intestinalis and the index of suitability for sp A in aquaculture centers. Understanding the relation of the distinct species with the surrounding environment provided valuable insights about probable routes of dispersion in Chile, especially into those areas considered suitable for

  7. PON1 and Mediterranean Diet.

    PubMed

    Lou-Bonafonte, José M; Gabás-Rivera, Clara; Navarro, María A; Osada, Jesús

    2015-06-01

    The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be highly effective in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has been implicated in the development of those conditions, especially atherosclerosis. The present work describes a systematic review of current evidence supporting the influence of Mediterranean diet and its constituents on this enzyme. Despite the differential response of some genetic polymorphisms, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to exert a protective action on this enzyme. Extra virgin olive oil, the main source of fat, has been particularly effective in increasing PON1 activity, an action that could be due to low saturated fatty acid intake, oleic acid enrichment of phospholipids present in high-density lipoproteins that favor the activity, and increasing hepatic PON1 mRNA and protein expressions induced by minor components present in this oil. Other Mediterranean diet constituents, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables, have been effective in modulating the activity of the enzyme, pomegranate and its compounds being the best characterized items. Ongoing research on compounds isolated from all these natural products, mainly phenolic compounds and carotenoids, indicates that some of them are particularly effective, and this may enhance the use of nutraceuticals and functional foods capable of potentiating PON1 activity. PMID:26024295

  8. PON1 and Mediterranean Diet

    PubMed Central

    Lou-Bonafonte, José M.; Gabás-Rivera, Clara; Navarro, María A.; Osada, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    The Mediterranean diet has been proven to be highly effective in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has been implicated in the development of those conditions, especially atherosclerosis. The present work describes a systematic review of current evidence supporting the influence of Mediterranean diet and its constituents on this enzyme. Despite the differential response of some genetic polymorphisms, the Mediterranean diet has been shown to exert a protective action on this enzyme. Extra virgin olive oil, the main source of fat, has been particularly effective in increasing PON1 activity, an action that could be due to low saturated fatty acid intake, oleic acid enrichment of phospholipids present in high-density lipoproteins that favor the activity, and increasing hepatic PON1 mRNA and protein expressions induced by minor components present in this oil. Other Mediterranean diet constituents, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables, have been effective in modulating the activity of the enzyme, pomegranate and its compounds being the best characterized items. Ongoing research on compounds isolated from all these natural products, mainly phenolic compounds and carotenoids, indicates that some of them are particularly effective, and this may enhance the use of nutraceuticals and functional foods capable of potentiating PON1 activity. PMID:26024295

  9. [Mediterranean lymphoma mimicking Crohn's disease].

    PubMed

    Jouini, S; Ayadi, K; Mokrani, A; Wachuku, E; Hmouda, H; Gourdie, R

    2001-07-01

    We report an uncommon localization of mediterranean lymphoma of the terminal ileum in a 28 year-old male patient. Ultrasound and Computed Tomography showed moderate regular and symmetrical intestinal wall thickening simulating Crohn's disease. We highlight the role of computed tomography in the diagnosis, staging and detection of complications. PMID:11507451

  10. A Boolean Function for Neural Induction Reveals a Critical Role of Direct Intercellular Interactions in Patterning the Ectoderm of the Ascidian Embryo.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Naoyuki; Waki, Kana; Mochizuki, Atsushi; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-12-01

    A complex system of multiple signaling molecules often produce differential gene expression patterns in animal embryos. In the ascidian embryo, four signaling ligands, Ephrin-A.d (Efna.d), Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r, coordinately induce Otx expression in the neural lineage at the 32-cell stage. However, it has not been determined whether differential inputs of all of these signaling pathways are really necessary. It is possible that differential activation of one of these signaling pathways is sufficient and the remaining signaling pathways are activated in all cells at similar levels. To address this question, we developed a parameter-free method for determining a Boolean function for Otx expression in the present study. We treated activities of signaling pathways as Boolean values, and we also took all possible patterns of signaling gradients into consideration. We successfully determined a Boolean function that explains Otx expression in the animal hemisphere of wild-type and morphant embryos at the 32-cell stage. This Boolean function was not inconsistent with three sensing patterns, which represented whether or not individual cells received sufficient amounts of the signaling molecules. These sensing patterns all indicated that differential expression of Otx in the neural lineage is primarily determined by Efna.d, but not by differential inputs of Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r signaling. To confirm this hypothesis experimentally, we simultaneously knocked-down Admp, Gdf1/3-r, and Fgf9/16/20, and treated this triple morphant with recombinant bFGF and BMP4 proteins, which mimic Fgf9/16/20 and Admp/Gdf1/3-r activity, respectively. Although no differential inputs of Admp, Gdf1/3-r and Fgf9/16/20 signaling were expected under this experimental condition, Otx was expressed specifically in the neural lineage. Thus, direct cell-cell interactions through Efna.d play a critical role in patterning the ectoderm of the early ascidian embryo. PMID:26714026

  11. A Boolean Function for Neural Induction Reveals a Critical Role of Direct Intercellular Interactions in Patterning the Ectoderm of the Ascidian Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Mochizuki, Atsushi; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    A complex system of multiple signaling molecules often produce differential gene expression patterns in animal embryos. In the ascidian embryo, four signaling ligands, Ephrin-A.d (Efna.d), Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r, coordinately induce Otx expression in the neural lineage at the 32-cell stage. However, it has not been determined whether differential inputs of all of these signaling pathways are really necessary. It is possible that differential activation of one of these signaling pathways is sufficient and the remaining signaling pathways are activated in all cells at similar levels. To address this question, we developed a parameter-free method for determining a Boolean function for Otx expression in the present study. We treated activities of signaling pathways as Boolean values, and we also took all possible patterns of signaling gradients into consideration. We successfully determined a Boolean function that explains Otx expression in the animal hemisphere of wild-type and morphant embryos at the 32-cell stage. This Boolean function was not inconsistent with three sensing patterns, which represented whether or not individual cells received sufficient amounts of the signaling molecules. These sensing patterns all indicated that differential expression of Otx in the neural lineage is primarily determined by Efna.d, but not by differential inputs of Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r signaling. To confirm this hypothesis experimentally, we simultaneously knocked-down Admp, Gdf1/3-r, and Fgf9/16/20, and treated this triple morphant with recombinant bFGF and BMP4 proteins, which mimic Fgf9/16/20 and Admp/Gdf1/3-r activity, respectively. Although no differential inputs of Admp, Gdf1/3-r and Fgf9/16/20 signaling were expected under this experimental condition, Otx was expressed specifically in the neural lineage. Thus, direct cell–cell interactions through Efna.d play a critical role in patterning the ectoderm of the early ascidian embryo. PMID:26714026

  12. Evaluation of Cancer Preventive Activity and Structure-Activity Relationships of 3-Demethylubiquinone Q2, Isolated from the Ascidian Aplidium glabrum, and its Synthetic Analogues

    PubMed Central

    Fedorov, Sergey N.; Radchenko, Oleg S.; Shubina, Larisa K.; Balaneva, Nadezhda N.; Bode, Ann M.; Stonik, Valentin A.; Dong, Zigang

    2006-01-01

    Purpose 3-Demethylubiquinone Q2 (1) was isolated from the ascidian Aplidium glabrum. The cancer preventive properties and the structure-activity relationship for 3-demethylubiquinone Q2 (1) and 12 of its synthetic analogues (3–14) are reported. Methods Compounds 3–14, having one or several di- or triprenyl substitutions and quinone moieties with methoxyls in different positions, were synthesized. The cancer preventive properties of compounds 1 and 3–14 were tested in JB6 Cl41 mouse skin cells, using a variety of assessments, including the MTS assay, flow cytometry, and soft agar assay. Statistical nonparametric methods were used to confirm statistical significance. Results All quinones tested were shown to inhibit JB6 Cl41 cell transformation, to induce apoptosis, AP-1 and NF-κB activity, and to inhibit p53 activity. The most promising effects were indicated for compounds containing two isoprene units in a side chain and a methoxyl group at the para-position to a polyprenyl substitution. Conclusions Quinones 1 and 3–14 demonstrated cancer preventive activity in JB6 Cl41 cells, which may be attributed to the induction of p53-independent apoptosis. These activities depended on the length of side chains and on the positions of the methoxyl groups in the quinone part of the molecule. PMID:16320003

  13. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor Family in Ascidians, Halocynthia roretzi (Sea Squirt). Its High Expression in Circulatory System-Containing Tissues.

    PubMed

    Samarghandian, Saeed; Shibuya, Masabumi

    2013-01-01

    The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-VEGF Receptor (VEGFR) system is an important pathway for regulation of angiogenesis. However, its evolutionary development, particularly the step from invertebrates to vertebrates, is still largely unknown. Here, we molecularly cloned the VEGFR-like gene from Halocynthia roretzi, a species belonging to the Tunicata, the chordate subphylum recently considered the sister group of vertebrates. The cDNA encoded a homolog of human VEGFR, including the transmembrane domain, and the tyrosine kinase domain with a kinase-insert region, which was designated S. sq VEGFR (GenBank AB374180). Similar to Tunicates including ascidians in the phylogenetic tree, the Amphioxus, another chordate, is located close to vertebrates. However, S. sq VEGFR has a higher homology than the Amphioxus VEGFR-like molecule (GenBank AB025557) to human VEGFR in the kinase domain-2 region. The S. sq VEGFR mRNA was expressed at highest levels in circulatory system-containing tissues, suggesting that S. sq VEGFR plays an important role in the formation or maintenance of circulatory system in Tunicates, Halocynthia roretzi. PMID:23455462

  14. Mediterranean Outflow Mixing and Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, James F.; O'Neil Baringer, Molly; Lueck, Rolf G.; Johnson, Gregory C.; Ambar, Isabel; Parrilla, Gregorio; Cantos, Alain; Kennelly, Maureen A.; Sanford, Thomas B.

    1993-02-01

    The Mediterranean Sea produces a salty, dense outflow that is strongly modified by entrainment as it first begins to descend the continental slope in the eastern Gulf of Cadiz. The current accelerates to 1.3 meters per second, which raises the internal Froude number above 1, and is intensely turbulent through its full thickness. The outflow loses about half of its density anomaly and roughly doubles its volume transport as it entrains less saline North Atlantic Central water. Within 100 kilometers downstream, the current is turned by the Coriolis force until it flows nearly parallel to topography in a damped geostrophic balance. The mixed Mediterranean outflow continues westward, slowly descending the continental slope until it becomes neutrally buoyant in the thermocline where it becomes an important water mass.

  15. Mediterranean outflow mixing and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Price, J F; Baringer, M O; Lueck, R G; Johnson, G C; Ambar, I; Parrilla, G; Cantos, A; Kennelly, M A; Sanford, T B

    1993-02-26

    The Mediterranean Sea produces a salty, dense outflow that is strongly modified by entrainment as it first begins to descend the continental slope in the eastern Gulf of Cadiz. The current accelerates to 1.3 meters per second, which raises the internal Froude number above 1, and is intensely turbulent through its full thickness. The outflow loses about half of its density anomaly and roughly doubles its volume transport as it entrains less saline North Atlantic Central water. Within 100 kilometers downstream, the current is turned by the Coriolis force until it flows nearly parallel to topography in a damped geostrophic balance. The mixed Mediterranean outflow continues westward, slowly descending the continental slope until it becomes neutrally buoyant in the thermocline where it becomes an important water mass. PMID:17732247

  16. Treatment of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis.

    PubMed Central

    Gradoni, L.; Bryceson, A.; Desjeux, P.

    1995-01-01

    Up-to-date information is given on the epidemiological situation of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) in nine Mediterranean countries, and on drug regimens adopted in the management of ZVL patients in each country. Results of experimental and clinical trials on the efficacy and tolerability of liposomal amphotericin B in laboratory animals and in patients with ZVL are presented, as well as conclusions and recommendations on drug regimens to be used in the treatment of ZVL. PMID:7743590

  17. [Amyloidosis and familial Mediterranean fever].

    PubMed

    Pras, M

    1986-01-01

    Familial Mediterranean Fever (F. M. F.) is an autosomal recessive disorder occurring most commonly in Sepharadi Jews and Armenians. Two phenotypic features characterize the disease: brief episodic febrile attacks of peritonitis, pleuritis or synovitis recurring from childhood or adolescence and the development of systemic amyloidosis. Attacks are accompanied by striking elevations of acute phase proteins, including serum amyloid A protein. The amyloidosis of Familial Mediterranean Fever is of the AA type, and manifest clinically as a nephropathy that passes through proteinuria, nephrotic and uremic stages to renal death. Although there is ethnic variation in the incidence of amyloidosis of F. M. F. in our patient population--predominantly Sepharadi Jews of North African extraction--an amyloidotic death at an early age is their genetic destiny. Since the introduction in 1972 of colchicine to prevent the febrile attacks, the drug has been proven and become the main stay of therapy. Today, colchicine has been shown to be effective in preventing amyloidosis as well as the febrile attacks in Familial Mediterranean Fever. End stage renal disease is not the end of the road for patients with F.M.F. because of improving outlook for dialysis and renal transplantation in these patients. PMID:2943362

  18. Mediterranean diet: the past and the present.

    PubMed

    Trichopoulou, A

    2001-08-01

    Mortality statistics from the World Health Organization have provided early evidence that diet in the Mediterranean countries has been affecting the health of the respective populations and, in particular, their coronary health. Keys (1) has taken the lead arguing that the traditional Mediterranean diet has beneficial effects on health. Recent studies, capturing the evidence accumulated over the last three decades, have documented that the traditional Mediterranean diet meets several important criteria for a healthy diet. An attempt to conceptualize the proper diet and to make it able to function has been reported and a score has been developed and evaluated. Studies among the elderly in Greece, Denmark, Australia, Spain and China have shown that the overall Mediterranean dietary pattern was more important for longevity than single nutrients. These findings suggest, therefore, that a Mediterranean diet is associated with longer survival. Two additional questions should be addressed at this time: Is the Mediterranean diet an integral entity, or the sum of identifiable components that can and should be separately considered in the development of guidelines? Is the Mediterranean diet or its major components transferable to populations living far from the Mediterranean area? Answers to these questions would be important for scientific and policy reasons. The dietary patterns that prevail in the Mediterranean area have many common characteristics, most of which stem from the fact that olive oil plays an important role in all of them. Thus, although different regions in the Mediterranean basin have their own diets, it is legitimate to consider them as variants of a single entity, the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet can be described as the dietary pattern found in the olive growing areas of the Mediterranean region, in the late '50s and early '60s, when the consequences of World War II were overcome, but the fast-food culture had not reached the area yet (2

  19. Mediterranean diets: are they environmentally responsible?

    PubMed

    Gussow, J D

    1995-06-01

    Dietary recommendations made to promote health seldom, if ever, take account of environmental implications of producing recommended foods. This paper considers several aspects of the traditional Mediterranean diet in relation to global sustainability. Plant-centered diets, such as those consumed around the Mediterranean Sea during the 1950s and 1960s, would be environmentally beneficial because they imply need for a much smaller population of domestic animals and, consequently, lowered demand on soil, water, and energy resources. Although fish consumption is high in some Mediterranean diets, fish should not be used to replace animal flesh because all of the world's major fisheries are currently overexploited. As for the appropriateness of Mediterranean fresh fruit and vegetables (which would need to be imported into non-Mediterranean regions), locally producible substitutes should be used wherever possible to reduce the environmental costs of transporting food great distances. Research is needed to examine the environmental consequences of certain exports such as olive oil. PMID:7754992

  20. The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. A: current distribution, basic biology and potential threat to marine communities of the northeast and west coasts of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bullard, S.G.; Lambert, G.; Carman, M.R.; Byrnes, J.; Whitlatch, R.B.; Ruiz, G.; Miller, R.J.; Harris, L.; Valentine, P.C.; Collie, J.S.; Pederson, J.; McNaught, D.C.; Cohen, A.N.; Asch, R.G.; Dijkstra, J.; Heinonen, K.

    2007-01-01

    Didemnum sp. A is a colonial ascidian with rapidly expanding populations on the east and west coasts of North America. The origin of Didemum sp. A is unknown. Populations were first observed on the northeast coast of the U.S. in the late 1980s and on the west coast during the 1990s. It is currently undergoing a massive population explosion and is now a dominant member of many subtidal communities on both coasts. To determine Didemnum sp. A's current distribution, we conducted surveys from Maine to Virginia on the east coast and from British Columbia to southern California on the west coast of the U.S. between 1998 and 2005. In nearshore locations Didemnum sp. A currently ranges from Eastport, Maine to Shinnecock Bay, New York on the east coast. On the west coast it has been recorded from Humboldt Bay to Port San Luis in California, several sites in Puget Sound, Washington, including a heavily fouled mussel culture facility, and several sites in southwestern British Columbia on and adjacent to oyster and mussel farms. The species also occurs at deeper subtidal sites (up to 81 m) off New England, including Georges, Stellwagen and Tillies Banks. On Georges Bank numerous sites within a 230 km2 area are 50–90% covered by Didemnum sp. A; large colonies cement the pebble gravel into nearly solid mats that may smother infaunal organisms. These observations suggest that Didemnum sp. A has the potential to alter marine communities and affect economically important activities such as fishing and aquaculture.

  1. The occurrence of the colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. on Georges Bank gravel habitat: ecological observations and potential effects on groundfish and scallop fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine, P.C.; Collie, J.S.; Reid, R.N.; Asch, R.G.; Guida, V.G.; Blackwood, D.S.

    2007-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. is present on the Georges Bank fishing grounds in a gravel habitat where the benthic invertebrate fauna has been monitored annually since 1994. The species was not noted before 2002 when large colonies were first observed; and by 2003 and 2004 it covered large areas of the seabed at some locations. The latest survey in 2005 documented the tunicate's presence in two gravel areas that total more than 67 nm2 (230 km2). The affected area is located on the Northern Edge of the bank in United States waters near the U.S./Canada boundary ( Fig. 1). This is the first documented offshore occurrence of a species that has colonized eastern U.S. coastal waters from New York to Maine during the past 15–20 years ( U.S. Geological Survey, 2006). Video imagery shows colonies coalescing to form large mats that cover more than 50% of the seabed along some video/photo transects. The affected area is an immobile pebble and cobble pavement that lies at water depths of 40 to 65 m where strong semidiurnal tidal currents reach speeds of 1 to 2 kt (50–100 cm/s). The water column is mixed year round, ensuring a constant supply of nutrients to the seabed. Annual temperatures range from 4 to 15 °C ( Mountain and Holzwarth, 1989). The gravel areas are bounded by sand ridges whose mobile surfaces are moved daily by the strong tidal currents. Studies commenced here in 1994 to characterize the gravel habitat and to document the effects of fishing disturbance on it ( Collie et al., 2005).

  2. Drought Variability in Mediterranean Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meko, D. M.; Touchan, R.

    2010-12-01

    Projections from general circulation models are consistent in identifying the Mediterranean Basin as a region of expected drying in response to increased greenhouse gases. The Mediterranean and its bordering countries, while giving rise to the classic “Mediterranean” climate-type, are characterized by a complex precipitation climatology, with strong influences from land-sea contrasts, topography, intrusions of polar air from various lowland pathways, and occasional tropical influence from systems originating south of the Atlas Mountains. Identification of an anthropogenic signature of drying with instrumental climate data can benefit from information on the natural spatio-temporal variability of drought on time scales of decades to centuries in this complex precipitation regime. An expanding tree-ring network will eventually yield multi-century drought records for the region (117 chronologies now developed or in progress). Aspects of spatio-temporal variability on shorter time scales in the southern part of the Mediterranan Basin (south of about 40°N) are examined in this presentation with the aid of gridded precipitation, temperature and Z-index - a dimensionless intermediate variable in Palmer Drought Index computation. Cross-spectral analysis is applied to summarize covariance of drought-related variables across the region. Ocean-atmosphere circulation indices are explored for direct causative factors in episodes of exceptional widespread seasonal and multi-season drought in the region.

  3. The Mediterranean: Strategic hub of oil activity

    SciTech Connect

    Vielvoye, R.

    1988-06-20

    The author says, the Mediterranean has always been a hub of oil industry activity. Pipeline and canal links into the Middle East, sizable oil and gas production along the North African shore, and access to the huge European markets through terminals on the southern European coast combine to give the region great strategic importance. The outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war emphasized the Mediterranean's key role in transporting Middle Eastern crude. This special Journal report provides an exclusive look at operations of Middle East, European, and North African countries on the rim of the Mediterranean Sea.

  4. Effects of Extreme Climate on Mediterranean Societies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xoplaki, Elena

    2009-04-01

    Climate Extremes During Recent Millennia and Their Impact on Mediterranean Societies; Athens, Greece, 13-16 September 2008; Climatic extremes in the past few thousand years have severely affected societies throughout the Mediterranean region and have changed the outcome of historical events in some instances. Climatic extremes—droughts, floods, prolonged cold and heat—affect society in a variety of ways, operating through famine, disease, and social upheaval. These topics were discussed at an interdisciplinary symposium at the National and Kapodistrian University, in Greece, that brought together climatologists, paleoclimatologists, anthropologists, geologists, archaeologists, and historians working in the greater Mediterranean region.

  5. Early embryonic expression of a LIM-homeobox gene Cs-lhx3 is downstream of beta-catenin and responsible for the endoderm differentiation in Ciona savignyi embryos.

    PubMed

    Satou, Y; Imai, K S; Satoh, N

    2001-09-01

    In early Ciona embryos, nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin is most probably the first step of endodermal cell specification. If beta-catenin is mis- and/or overexpressed, presumptive notochord cells and epidermal cells change their fates into endodermal cells, whereas if beta-catenin nuclear localization is downregulated by the overexpression of cadherin, the endoderm differentiation is suppressed, accompanied with the differentiation of extra epidermal cells ( Imai, K., Takada, N., Satoh, N. and Satou, Y. (2000) Development 127, 3009-3020). Subtractive hybridization screens of mRNAs between beta-catenin overexpressed embryos and cadherin overexpressed embryos were conducted to identify potential beta-catenin target genes that are responsible for endoderm differentiation in Ciona savignyi embryos. We found that a LIM-homeobox gene (Cs-lhx3), an otx homolog (Cs-otx) and an NK-2 class gene (Cs-ttf1) were among beta-catenin downstream genes. In situ hybridization signals for early zygotic expression of Cs-lhx3 were evident only in the presumptive endodermal cells as early as the 32-cell stage, those of Cs-otx in the mesoendodermal cells at the 32-cell stage and those of Cs-ttf1 in the endodermal cells at the 64-cell stage. Later, Cs-lhx3 was expressed again in a set of neuronal cells in the tailbud embryo, while Cs-otx was expressed in the anterior nervous system of the embryo. Expression of all three genes was upregulated in beta-catenin overexpressed embryos and downregulated in cadherin overexpressed embryos. Injection of morpholino oligonucleotides against Cs-otx did not affect the embryonic endoderm differentiation, although the formation of the central nervous system was suppressed. Injection of Cs-ttf1 morpholino oligonucleotides also failed to suppress the endoderm differentiation, although injection of its synthetic mRNAs resulted in ectopic development of endoderm differentiation marker alkaline phosphatase. By contrast, injection of Cs-lhx3 morpholino

  6. Metagenomes of Mediterranean Coastal Lagoons

    PubMed Central

    Ghai, Rohit; Hernandez, Claudia Mella; Picazo, Antonio; Mizuno, Carolina Megumi; Ininbergs, Karolina; Díez, Beatriz; Valas, Ruben; DuPont, Christopher L.; McMahon, Katherine D.; Camacho, Antonio; Rodriguez-Valera, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    Coastal lagoons, both hypersaline and freshwater, are common, but still understudied ecosystems. We describe, for the first time, using high throughput sequencing, the extant microbiota of two large and representative Mediterranean coastal lagoons, the hypersaline Mar Menor, and the freshwater Albufera de Valencia, both located on the south eastern coast of Spain. We show there are considerable differences in the microbiota of both lagoons, in comparison to other marine and freshwater habitats. Importantly, a novel uncultured sulfur oxidizing Alphaproteobacteria was found to dominate bacterioplankton in the hypersaline Mar Menor. Also, in the latter prokaryotic cyanobacteria were almost exclusively comprised by Synechococcus and no Prochlorococcus was found. Remarkably, the microbial community in the freshwaters of the hypertrophic Albufera was completely in contrast to known freshwater systems, in that there was a near absence of well known and cosmopolitan groups of ultramicrobacteria namely Low GC Actinobacteria and the LD12 lineage of Alphaproteobacteria. PMID:22778901

  7. Familial Mediterranean fever: current perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Sönmez, Hafize Emine; Batu, Ezgi Deniz; Özen, Seza

    2016-01-01

    Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is the most frequent monogenic autoinflammatory disease, and it is characterized by recurrent attacks of fever and polyserositis. The disease is associated with mutations in the MEFV gene encoding pyrin, which causes exaggerated inflammatory response through uncontrolled production of interleukin 1. The major long-term complication of FMF is amyloidosis. Colchicine remains the principle therapy, and the aim of treatment is to prevent acute attacks and the consequences of chronic inflammation. With the evolution in the concepts about the etiopathogenesis and genetics of the disease, we have understood that FMF is more complicated than an ordinary autosomal recessive monogenic disorder. Recently, recommendation sets have been generated for interpretation of genetic testing and genetic diagnosis of FMF. Here, we have reviewed the current perspectives in FMF in light of recent recommendations. PMID:27051312

  8. Mediterranean Ocean Colour Chlorophyll Trends.

    PubMed

    Colella, Simone; Falcini, Federico; Rinaldi, Eleonora; Sammartino, Michela; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2016-01-01

    In being at the base of the marine food web, phytoplankton is particularly important for marine ecosystem functioning (e.g., biodiversity). Strong anthropization, over-exploitation of natural resources, and climate change affect the natural amount of phytoplankton and, therefore, represent a continuous threat to the biodiversity in marine waters. In particular, a concerning risks for coastal waters is the increase in nutrient inputs of terrestrial/anthropogenic origin that can lead to undesirable modifications of phytoplankton concentration (i.e., eutrophication). Monitoring chlorophyll (Chl) concentration, which is a proxy of phytoplankton biomass, is an efficient tool for recording and understanding the response of the marine ecosystem to human pressures and thus for detecting eutrophication. Here, we compute Chl trends over the Mediterranean Sea by using satellite data, also highlighting the fact that remote sensing may represent an efficient and reliable solution to synoptically control the "good environmental status" (i.e., the Marine Directive to achieve Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters by 2020) and to assess the application of international regulations and environmental directives. Our methodology includes the use of an ad hoc regional (i.e., Mediterranean) algorithm for Chl concentration retrieval, also accounting for the difference between offshore (i.e., Case I) and coastal (i.e., Case II) waters. We apply the Mann-Kendall test and the Sens's method for trend estimation to the Chl concentration de-seasonalized monthly time series, as obtained from the X-11 technique. We also provide a preliminary analysis of some particular trends by evaluating their associated inter-annual variability. The high spatial resolution of our approach allows a clear identification of intense trends in those coastal waters that are affected by river outflows. We do not attempt to attribute the observed trends to specific anthropogenic events. However, the trends

  9. Mediterranean Ocean Colour Chlorophyll Trends

    PubMed Central

    Colella, Simone; Falcini, Federico; Rinaldi, Eleonora; Sammartino, Michela; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2016-01-01

    In being at the base of the marine food web, phytoplankton is particularly important for marine ecosystem functioning (e.g., biodiversity). Strong anthropization, over-exploitation of natural resources, and climate change affect the natural amount of phytoplankton and, therefore, represent a continuous threat to the biodiversity in marine waters. In particular, a concerning risks for coastal waters is the increase in nutrient inputs of terrestrial/anthropogenic origin that can lead to undesirable modifications of phytoplankton concentration (i.e., eutrophication). Monitoring chlorophyll (Chl) concentration, which is a proxy of phytoplankton biomass, is an efficient tool for recording and understanding the response of the marine ecosystem to human pressures and thus for detecting eutrophication. Here, we compute Chl trends over the Mediterranean Sea by using satellite data, also highlighting the fact that remote sensing may represent an efficient and reliable solution to synoptically control the “good environmental status” (i.e., the Marine Directive to achieve Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters by 2020) and to assess the application of international regulations and environmental directives. Our methodology includes the use of an ad hoc regional (i.e., Mediterranean) algorithm for Chl concentration retrieval, also accounting for the difference between offshore (i.e., Case I) and coastal (i.e., Case II) waters. We apply the Mann-Kendall test and the Sens’s method for trend estimation to the Chl concentration de-seasonalized monthly time series, as obtained from the X-11 technique. We also provide a preliminary analysis of some particular trends by evaluating their associated inter-annual variability. The high spatial resolution of our approach allows a clear identification of intense trends in those coastal waters that are affected by river outflows. We do not attempt to attribute the observed trends to specific anthropogenic events. However, the

  10. Genetics Home Reference: familial Mediterranean fever

    MedlinePlus

    ... Epub 2013 Sep 9. Review. Citation on PubMed Lidar M, Kedem R, Berkun Y, Langevitz P, Livneh ... 090401. Epub 2009 Dec 15. Citation on PubMed Lidar M, Livneh A. Familial Mediterranean fever: clinical, molecular ...

  11. Night Views Over the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video over the Mediterranean Sea was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 aboard the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken on Oct. 6, 2011, from 22:58:09 to 23:13:15 GMT,...

  12. [Mediterranean diet. Characteristics and health benefits].

    PubMed

    Serra Majem, Lluís; García Alvarez, Alicia; Ngo de la Cruz, Joy

    2004-06-01

    The purpose of this article is to define the concept of Mediterranean Diet or Diets and to describe the associated health benefits recognised by the scientific community. The characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet are described as well as the effects the foods comprising it have on the most common pathologies such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. The Spanish Society of Community Nutrition's consensus based Healthy Diet Pyramid, along with Greece's pyramid for food guidelines for the adult population (from the Greek Ministry of Health), are presented and compared. They are the graphic representation of the food and physical activity guides of two typically Mediterranean countries. Nutritional and sociological trends are also discussed and their impact on the evolution of the Mediterranean Diet. PMID:15584472

  13. Probing continental collision in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, A. H. F.

    Knowledge about the processes of continental collisional would unlock a wealth of data for the field of tectonics, but such processes have been poorly documented by academic ocean drilling. On the basis of 1993 data confirming that the easternmost Mediterranean is in the initial stages of continental collision, the Ocean Drilling Program has scheduled two legs of drilling for summer 1995 in the eastern and western parts of the Mediterranean Sea.Effects of continental collision in the easternmost Mediterranean include the Quaternary uplift of Cyprus [Poole and Robertson, 1991] and the break up and subsidence of the Eratosthenes Seamount, which is located in the easternmost Mediterranean between Cyprus and the Levantine Basin (Figure 1).

  14. Seven ambiguities in the Mediterranean palaeoenvironmental narrative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzedakis, P. C.

    2007-09-01

    A review of seven outstanding issues on Mediterranean palaeoenvironments is presented. These are related to the dominant orbital pacing of climate variability, the length of the interglacial vegetation succession, the influence of the African summer monsoon, the seasonality of precipitation during boreal insolation maxima, the moisture balance during glacial maxima and the appearance of the mediterranean-type climate rhythm and evolution of mediterranean sclerophyllous plants. What emerges is that (1) marine δ 18O planktonic and SST records show that precession has been a fundamental tempo of Mediterranean climate change, representing both a low-latitude signal (runoff from North Africa) and the direct influence of insolation at Mediterranean latitudes, but high-latitude glacial effects (41-kyr and 100-kyr cycles) became superimposed after 2.8 Ma. Sapropel and dust deposition patterns in marine cores reveal that obliquity also has an effect on Mediterranean climate through dry-wet oscillations, which are independent of glacial-interglacial variability. (2) The temperate part of interglacial vegetation succession has a duration of approximately half a precession cycle. This persisted during the interval of obliquity-dominated glacial cycles (˜2.8-1 Ma), with distinct forest successions following the precessional cycles. However, these are not always separated by an open vegetation phase because of minimal ice growth, producing an impression of a prolonged interglacial forest interval. (3) The effect of an enhanced African monsoon during summer insolation maxima has been mainly indirect, in terms of Nile discharge and runoff along the North African coast, leading to increased freshwater input into the Mediterranean Sea, reduced deep-water ventilation and sapropel deposition. (4) The notion of an accentuated summer rain regime in the northern Mediterranean borderlands also contributing to a freshening of the Mediterranean Sea during boreal insolation maxima is not

  15. The Eratosthenes Seamount - Eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrhardt, A.; Schnabel, M.; Damm, V.

    2012-04-01

    The Eratosthenes Seamount forms a prominent landmark in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is located south of Cyprus with the Levantine Basin on its eastern side, the Herodotus Basin on its western side and the Nile Cone south of the seamount. The Eratosthenes Seamount rises up to 750 m below sea surface and is about 1200 m higher than the surrounding seafloor of the Levantine Basin and the Nile Cone sediments. The Eratosthenes Seamount is considered as a continental fragment of the former African-Nubian Plate that was rifted to its present position relative to Africa during the formation of the Tethyan Ocean. In 2010 a detailed geophysical survey was carried out in the area of the Eratosthenes Seamount by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources of Germany including multichannel seismic (MCS), refraction seismics, magnetic, gravity and magnetotelluric data acquisition. First results show a highly deformed seamount, with a plateau-like top that is impacted by west-east trending graben formation. The slopes of the seamount are eroded showing deep incised ripple patterns and recent submarine landslides. The Eratosthenes Seamount produces also a prominent magnetic and gravity anomaly, both supporting its uniqueness in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean. Velocity information by refraction seismic modeling, as well as the models of the magnetic and gravity data show evidence for a volcanic core of the seamount with carbonate layers on top of the volcanic core. The slopes of the seamount terminate against a conspicuous rim-like escarpment that forms in addition the northern and western termination of the Messinian Evaporites in the study area. The MCS and refraction seismic data show a very deep Levantine Basin with maximum acoustic basement depths of 12 to 14 km very close to the slope of the Eratosthenes Seamount. The deepest sediments resolved by the MCS data are of Lower Cretaceous to Jurassic age. The refraction seismic model shows a 14 km thick

  16. Summer fire predictability in a Mediterranean environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcos, Raül; Turco, Marco; Bedía, Joaquín; Llasat, Maria Carmen; Provenzale, Antonello

    2015-04-01

    Each year approximately 500000 hectares burn in Europe. Most of them are consequence of Mediterranean summer fires that lead to damages to the natural environment causing important economic and life losses. In order to allow the preparedness of adequate prevention measures in European Mediterranean regions, a better understanding of the summer fire predictability is crucial. Climate is a primary driver of the interannual variability of fires in Mediterranean-type ecosystems, controlling fuel flammability and fuel structure [1, 2]. That is, summer fires are linked to current-year climate values (proxies for the climatic factors that affect fuel flammability) and to antecedent climate variables (proxies for the climatic factors influencing fine fuel availability and connectivity). In our contribution we explore the long-term predictability of wildfires in a Mediterranean region (NE Spain), driving a multiple linear regression model with observed antecedent climate variables and with predicted variables from the ECMWF System-4 seasonal forecast. The approaches are evaluated through a leave-one-out cross-validation over the period 1983-2010. While the ECMWF System-4 proved of limited usefulness due to its limited skill, the model driven with antecedent climate variables alone allowed for satisfactory long-term prediction of above-normal fire activity, suggesting the feasibility of successful seasonal prediction of summer fires in Mediterranean-type regions. *References [1] M. Turco, M. C. Llasat, J. von Hardenberg, and A. Provenzale. Impact of climate variability on summer fires in a mediterranean environment (northeastern iberian peninsula). Climatic Change, 116:665-678, 2013. [2] M. Turco, M. C. Llasat, J. von Hardenberg, and A. Provenzale. Climate change impacts on wildfires in a Mediterranean environment. Climatic Change, 125: 369-380, 2014.

  17. Atlantic forcing of the Mediterranean oligotrophy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huertas, I. E.; RíOs, A. F.; GarcíA-Lafuente, J.; Navarro, G.; Makaoui, A.; SáNchez-RomáN, A.; Rodriguez-Galvez, S.; Orbi, A.; RuíZ, J.; PéRez, F. F.

    2012-06-01

    The Mediterranean Sea shows a peculiar anomaly in its nutrient pattern compared to the global ocean, as there is decrease in nutrient concentration from west to east. This feature has been attributed to the antiestuarine circulation at the Strait of Gibraltar, where an eastward flow of Atlantic nutrient-poor surface waters is compensated by a westward countercurrent of Mediterranean nutrient-rich deep waters. This water exchange has been suggested as the ultimate cause for the oligotrophy of the Mediterranean basin, even though only a few studies have accurately examined the magnitude of the nutrient flux through the Strait of Gibraltar. In this work, data from the Gibraltar Fixed Time series (GIFT) between 2005 and 2008 were used to assess nutrient distributions. Applying a two-layer model of water mass exchange and using the Mediterranean outflow recorded in situ, the net export of nutrients from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic was calculated as 139 and 4.8 Gmol yr-1 of nitrate and phosphate, respectively. The results also demonstrated that the Atlantic inflow is not nutrient depleted and in particular contains significant levels of phosphate, which is the limiting factor for biological productivity in the eastern Mediterranean. The distribution of the quasi-conservative parameter N* in the western and eastern basins indicated that nitrate-deficient surface waters are transformed into phosphate-deficient bottom waters by internal cycling processes. Therefore, phosphate depletion in the Mediterranean does not have its origin in the entry of a phosphorus-impoverished Atlantic inflow through the Strait of Gibraltar.

  18. Metabolic acceleration in Mediterranean Perciformes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lika, Konstadia; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A. L. M.; Papandroulakis, Nikos

    2014-11-01

    Larval stages are considered the most critical of fish development. During a very short period of time (2 to 3 months), larvae undergo major morphoanatomical and functional changes in order to transform into juveniles while remaining functioning (developing, eating, surviving). Depending on species and environmental conditions, patterns in larval development may vary. We study the patterns of larval development for nine fish species of Perciformes reared under aquaculture conditions and compare them in terms of species-specific parameters derived from DEB theory. We extended the standard DEB model to include metabolic acceleration during the larval period, where maximum specific assimilation and energy conductance increase with length between birth and metabolic metamorphosis. Metabolic acceleration has as a consequence that larvae initially grow slower than juveniles and adults. Our results indicate that the species with higher acceleration have lower growth rates at birth and they also suggest that metabolic acceleration is related to spawning season. High metabolic acceleration of demersal species is associated with summer-autumn spawning in the Mediterranean, where temperature is high and food availability is low.

  19. Myxozoan infections in Mediterranean mariculture.

    PubMed

    Palenzuela, O

    2006-06-01

    Fish mariculture has dramatically expanded in recent years in Mediterranean countries. In this scenario, several pathological problems have logically arisen and parasitological etiologies are increasingly being reported, either as primary or secondary pathogens. Myxozoa is the most diverse and economically important group of fish parasites, and several species are known to cause or contribute to losses in mariculture. Species of the genus Enteromyxum currently constitute the most serious parasitological threat. Some unusual biological characters, such as wide host spectrum and direct fish-to-fish transmission, together with high virulence for some host species, combine a dangerous cocktail which is emerging in recent years. Closed-system (recirculation) and heated-water locations are especially sensitive to chronic infections by these parasites, which can cause serious mortality and even discourage culture of some fish species at certain locations (i.e, Diplodus puntazzo). The presentation presents an overview of recent advances in research of marine myxozoans, focusing mainly in the most pathogenic, Enteromyxum spp. The incidence of these and other emerging infections, and the design of potential strategies for control will be introduced. PMID:16881390

  20. Seasonality of Arctic Mediterranean Exchanges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rieper, Christoph; Quadfasel, Detlef

    2015-04-01

    The Arctic Mediterranean communicates through a number of passages with the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Most of the volume exchange happens at the Greenland-Scotland-Ridge: warm and saline Atlantic Water flows in at the surface, cold, dense Overflow Water flows back at the bottom and fresh and cold Polar Water flows out along the East Greenland coast. All surface inflows show a seasonal signal whereas only the outflow through the Faroe Bank Channel exhibits significant seasonality. Here we present a quantification of the seasonal cycle of the exchanges across the Greenland-Scotland ridge based on volume estimates of the in- and outflows within the last 20 years (ADCP and altimetry). Our approach is comparatistic: we compare different properties of the seasonal cycle like the strength or the phase between the different in- and outflows. On the seasonal time scale the in- and outflows across the Greenland-Scotland-Ridge are not balanced. The net flux thus has to be balanced by the other passages on the Canadian Archipelago, Bering Strait as well as runoff from land.

  1. Woodlands Grazing Issues in Mediterranean Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campos, P.

    2009-04-01

    In Mediterranean basin, woodlands grazing still continue to be important commercial owners' benefits. These owners manage woodlands vegetations as if they were not at risk of degradation and declining. Frequently, no temporally grazing set-aside is taken into account to avoid overgrazing of annual and perennial vegetations. Although less common, in the northern shore of Mediterranean basin undergrazing might increase the frequency and the number of catastrophic forest fires. This under/over grazing regime occurs in the Mediterranean basin woodlands with contrasted differences on land property rights, local economies and government livestock policy incentives. Spain and Tunisia are examples of these Mediterranean livestock contrasts. Most of Spanish Mediterranean woodlands and livestock herds are large private ownerships and owners could maintain their lands and livestock herds properties on the basis of moderate cash-income compensation against land revaluation and exclusive amenity self-consumption. The later is less tangible benefit and it could include family land legacy, nature enjoyment, country stile of life development, social status and so on. In public woodlands, social and environmental goals -as they are cultural heritage, biodiversity loss mitigation, soil conservation and employment- could maintain market unprofitable woodlands operations. Last three decades Spanish Mediterranean woodlands owners have increased the livestock herds incentivized by government subsidies. As result, grazing rent is pending on the level of European Union and Spanish government livestock subsidies. In this context, Spanish Mediterranean woodlands maintain a high extensive livestock stoking population, which economy could be called fragile and environmentally unsustainable because forest degradation and over/under grazing practices. Tunisian Mediterranean woodlands are state properties and livestock grazing is practice as a free private regimen. Livestock herds are small herd

  2. The Uptake and Fate of Vanadyl Ion in Ascidian Blood Cells and A Detailed Hypothesis for the Mechanism and Location of Biological Vanadium Reduction: A Visible and X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopic Study

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Patrick; Carlson, Elaine J.; Carlson, Robert M. K.; Hedman, Britt; Hodgson, Keith O.

    2010-01-01

    Vanadium K-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) has been used to track the uptake and fate of VO2+ ion in blood cells from Ascidia ceratodes, following exposure to dithiothreitol (DTT) or to DTT plus VO2+. The full range of endogenous vanadium was queried by fitting the XAS of blood cells with the XAS spectra of model vanadium complexes. In cells exposed only to DTT, ~0.4% of a new V(III) species was found in a site similar to Na[V(edta)(H2O)]. With exposure to DTT and VO2+, average intracellular [VO(aq)]2+ increased from 3% to 5%, and 6% of a new complexed form of vanadyl ion appeared evidencing a ligand array similar to [VO(edta)]2−. At the same time, the relative ratio of blood cell [V(H2O)6]3+ increased at the expense of [V(H2O)5(SO4)]+ in a manner consistent with a significant increase in endogenous acidity. In new UV/visible experiments, VO2+ could be reduced to 7-coordinate [V(nta)(H2O)3] or [V(nta)(ida)]2−with cysteine methyl ester in pH 6.5 solution. Ascorbate reduced [VO(edta)]2− to 7-coordinate [V(edta)(H2O)]−, while [VO(trdta)]2− was unreactive. These results corroborate the finding that the reductive EMF of VO2+ is increased by the availability of a 7-coordinate V(III) product. Finally a new and complete hypothesis is proposed for an ascidian vanadate reductase. The structure of the enzyme active site, the vanadate-vanadyl-vanadic reduction mechanism, the cellular locale, and elements of the regulatory machinery governing the biological reduction of vanadate and vanadyl ion by ascidians are all predicted. Together these constitute the new field of vanadium redox enzymology. PMID:18234345

  3. The features of a "Mediterranean" Bioethics.

    PubMed

    Leone, Salvino

    2012-11-01

    Even if somebody considers inappropriate any geographic adjective for Bioethics, nevertheless we think that there are some specific features of "Mediterranean" Bioethics that could distinguish it from a "Northern-European and Northern-American" one. First of all we must consider that medical ethics was born and grew in Mediterranean area. First by the thought of great Greek philosophers as Aristotle (that analyse what ethics is), then by Hippocrates, the "father" of medical ethics. The ethical pattern of Aristotle was based on "virtues" and their practice. In this perspective we can already note a strong difference with actual North-European or American principialist ethics. But a second consideration concerns the role that great Mediterranean religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) had in the construction of the ethical thought especially on the matter of life and its respect. So, in our pluralistic and multicultural society is absolutely necessary to rescue an approach that considers both "lungs" of ethical thought (Mediterranean and Northern one) and highlights the role that Mediterranean Ethics still has in this way. PMID:22441971

  4. The dynamical structure of intense Mediterranean cyclones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flaounas, Emmanouil; Raveh-Rubin, Shira; Wernli, Heini; Drobinski, Philippe; Bastin, Sophie

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents and analyzes the three-dimensional dynamical structure of intense Mediterranean cyclones. The analysis is based on a composite approach of the 200 most intense cyclones during the period 1989-2008 that have been identified and tracked using the output of a coupled ocean-atmosphere regional simulation with 20 km horizontal grid spacing and 3-hourly output. It is shown that the most intense Mediterranean cyclones have a common baroclinic life cycle with a potential vorticity (PV) streamer associated with an upper-level cyclonic Rossby wave breaking, which precedes cyclogenesis in the region and triggers baroclinic instability. It is argued that this common baroclinic life cycle is due to the strongly horizontally sheared environment in the Mediterranean basin, on the poleward flank of the quasi-persistent subtropical jet. The composite life cycle of the cyclones is further analyzed considering the evolution of key atmospheric elements as potential temperature and PV, as well as the cyclones' thermodynamic profiles and rainfall. It is shown that most intense Mediterranean cyclones are associated with warm conveyor belts and dry air intrusions, similar to those of other strong extratropical cyclones, but of rather small scale. Before cyclones reach their mature stage, the streamer's role is crucial to advect moist and warm air towards the cyclones center. These dynamical characteristics, typical for very intense extratropical cyclones in the main storm track regions, are also valid for these Mediterranean cases that have features that are visually similar to tropical cyclones.

  5. The dynamical structure of intense Mediterranean cyclones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flaounas, Emmanouil; Raveh-Rubin, Shira; Wernli, Heini; Drobinski, Philippe; Bastin, Sophie

    2014-09-01

    This paper presents and analyzes the three-dimensional dynamical structure of intense Mediterranean cyclones. The analysis is based on a composite approach of the 200 most intense cyclones during the period 1989-2008 that have been identified and tracked using the output of a coupled ocean-atmosphere regional simulation with 20 km horizontal grid spacing and 3-hourly output. It is shown that the most intense Mediterranean cyclones have a common baroclinic life cycle with a potential vorticity (PV) streamer associated with an upper-level cyclonic Rossby wave breaking, which precedes cyclogenesis in the region and triggers baroclinic instability. It is argued that this common baroclinic life cycle is due to the strongly horizontally sheared environment in the Mediterranean basin, on the poleward flank of the quasi-persistent subtropical jet. The composite life cycle of the cyclones is further analyzed considering the evolution of key atmospheric elements as potential temperature and PV, as well as the cyclones' thermodynamic profiles and rainfall. It is shown that most intense Mediterranean cyclones are associated with warm conveyor belts and dry air intrusions, similar to those of other strong extratropical cyclones, but of rather small scale. Before cyclones reach their mature stage, the streamer's role is crucial to advect moist and warm air towards the cyclones center. These dynamical characteristics, typical for very intense extratropical cyclones in the main storm track regions, are also valid for these Mediterranean cases that have features that are visually similar to tropical cyclones.

  6. Mediterranean Diet and Workplace Health Promotion.

    PubMed

    Korre, Maria; Tsoukas, Michael A; Frantzeskou, Elpida; Yang, Justin; Kales, Stefanos N

    2014-01-01

    Analytical and experimental studies confirm relationships between the consumption of certain foods and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Mediterranean diet patterns have long been associated with a reduced risk of major diseases and many favorable health outcomes. Data from observational, longitudinal, and randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that Mediterranean-style diets can improve body mass index and body weight, reduce the incidence of diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome risk factors, decrease cardiovascular morbidity and coronary heart disease mortality, as well as decrease all-cause mortality. Recently, efforts have attempted to improve dietary habits in the workplace, by modifying food selection, eating patterns, meal frequency, and the sourcing of meals taken during work. Evidence supporting the Mediterranean diet and the potential cardioprotective role of healthier diets in the workplace are reviewed here, and promising strategies to improve metabolic and cardiovascular health outcomes are also provided. PMID:25328563

  7. Dsp in Moroccan Mediterranean Sea.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rachid, Fadel

    At sea temperate, there is usually a sole major floraison of the phytoplancton (in the spring) that exhausts the available stock of nutritious salt. This phenomenon is natural. It's more known under the name of "red tide or colored waters", it brings about a danger, with hazardous consequences on the wildlife water wildlife. The toxins emitted by certain seaweeds, of this phytoplancton, are transmitted through the trophic chain to man. Sometimes the contamination of these sea fruits provokes empoisoning to the consumers. Sometimes phytoplanctonics efflorescences do not present any significant coloring but can generate an increased liberation of toxins in sea water. The relative concentration of the one here then is detected in the shellfishes. These organisms concentrate the phocotoxines in their hepatopancreas. These are therefore bio potential indicators of the sea environment. We studied, in parallel, the variation of the characteristic abiotics of the Mediterranean sites previously choosen (physico-chimicals parameters and oceanographics parameters) and the variation of the relative toxicity of the bio indicators in every site. It in springs that the zones navies, subjected to important water provisions coming from a river, undergo several excessive floraisons during the spring and the summer, thanks to their continuous supplying in nutriments. We noted that the arrival new water masses. We draw from this that the coastal areas, due to the precipitations of the winter, translates itself at the level of the embouchure of the estuary Oued Laou by the maximum concentration of contained toxins in the shellfishes and that these waters were loaded with drifts of the olive waste, liquid loss abandoned to himself after extraction of the oil of the renowned olives of this region.

  8. Decreasing Fires in Mediterranean Europe

    PubMed Central

    Turco, Marco; Bedia, Joaquín; Di Liberto, Fabrizio; Fiorucci, Paolo; von Hardenberg, Jost; Koutsias, Nikos; Llasat, Maria-Carmen; Xystrakis, Fotios; Provenzale, Antonello

    2016-01-01

    Forest fires are a serious environmental hazard in southern Europe. Quantitative assessment of recent trends in fire statistics is important for assessing the possible shifts induced by climate and other environmental/socioeconomic changes in this area. Here we analyse recent fire trends in Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy and Greece, building on a homogenized fire database integrating official fire statistics provided by several national/EU agencies. During the period 1985-2011, the total annual burned area (BA) displayed a general decreasing trend, with the exception of Portugal, where a heterogeneous signal was found. Considering all countries globally, we found that BA decreased by about 3020 km2 over the 27-year-long study period (i.e. about -66% of the mean historical value). These results are consistent with those obtained on longer time scales when data were available, also yielding predominantly negative trends in Spain and France (1974-2011) and a mixed trend in Portugal (1980-2011). Similar overall results were found for the annual number of fires (NF), which globally decreased by about 12600 in the study period (about -59%), except for Spain where, excluding the provinces along the Mediterranean coast, an upward trend was found for the longer period. We argue that the negative trends can be explained, at least in part, by an increased effort in fire management and prevention after the big fires of the 1980’s, while positive trends may be related to recent socioeconomic transformations leading to more hazardous landscape configurations, as well as to the observed warming of recent decades. We stress the importance of fire data homogenization prior to analysis, in order to alleviate spurious effects associated with non-stationarities in the data due to temporal variations in fire detection efforts. PMID:26982584

  9. Decreasing Fires in Mediterranean Europe.

    PubMed

    Turco, Marco; Bedia, Joaquín; Di Liberto, Fabrizio; Fiorucci, Paolo; von Hardenberg, Jost; Koutsias, Nikos; Llasat, Maria-Carmen; Xystrakis, Fotios; Provenzale, Antonello

    2016-01-01

    Forest fires are a serious environmental hazard in southern Europe. Quantitative assessment of recent trends in fire statistics is important for assessing the possible shifts induced by climate and other environmental/socioeconomic changes in this area. Here we analyse recent fire trends in Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy and Greece, building on a homogenized fire database integrating official fire statistics provided by several national/EU agencies. During the period 1985-2011, the total annual burned area (BA) displayed a general decreasing trend, with the exception of Portugal, where a heterogeneous signal was found. Considering all countries globally, we found that BA decreased by about 3020 km2 over the 27-year-long study period (i.e. about -66% of the mean historical value). These results are consistent with those obtained on longer time scales when data were available, also yielding predominantly negative trends in Spain and France (1974-2011) and a mixed trend in Portugal (1980-2011). Similar overall results were found for the annual number of fires (NF), which globally decreased by about 12600 in the study period (about -59%), except for Spain where, excluding the provinces along the Mediterranean coast, an upward trend was found for the longer period. We argue that the negative trends can be explained, at least in part, by an increased effort in fire management and prevention after the big fires of the 1980's, while positive trends may be related to recent socioeconomic transformations leading to more hazardous landscape configurations, as well as to the observed warming of recent decades. We stress the importance of fire data homogenization prior to analysis, in order to alleviate spurious effects associated with non-stationarities in the data due to temporal variations in fire detection efforts. PMID:26982584

  10. Solar dimming/brightening in the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kambezidis, Harry; Demetriou, Dora; Kaskaoutis, Dimitris; Nastos, Panagiotis

    2010-05-01

    Early analyses of solar radiation records have pointed to a widespread decline of surface solar radiation from the 1950s up to the 1980s in various parts of the world. This phenomenon was attributed to increasing air pollution and has been named "global dimming". More recent analyses with data records updated to near present suggested that surface solar radiation shows no sign of decrease anymore since the 1980s or even started to recover at many locations. This recovery has been named "solar brightening". Air pollution control and the economic breakdown of the former communist countries are the major influential factors for this transition. Further the influence of the recovery from the dimming caused by Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption in 1991 and internal climate variability with associated cloud variations were suggested to contribute to the brightening in the 1990s. Despite the interest in the solar dimming/brightening phenomenon the Mediterranean area has not attracted the attention of the scientists in this respect so far. Therefore, the present work tries to fill this gap by providing spatio-temporal analysis of the incoming short-wave solar radiation in the whole area of the Mediterranean Sea in the period 1979-2004 taken from satellites. To give better spatial information about the phenomenon the Mediterranean region has been divided into three sub-regions: the West Mediterranean, from Gibraltar to Corsica, the Central Mediterranean, from Corsica to the Ionian Sea, and the East Mediterranean, from the Ionian Sea to the shores of Syria. The analysis shows that the three sub-regions have not undergone the same spatio-temporal pattern of the phenomenon probably due to the different distribution of aerosols in the region.

  11. Drilling probes Mediterranean climate and oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ODP Legs 160; 161 Shipboard Scientific Party

    Marine sediments are an important repository of information on climatic change, and retrieving sediment sequences from climate-sensitive areas is an important aspect of paleoclimate research. In the spring of 1995, over 7000 m of sediments that reach back more than 5 million years to the Miocene/Pliocene boundary were recovered in the Mediterranean by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Legs 160 and 161. Because the Mediterranean is a semi-enclosed, land-locked basin with restricted, open-ocean water exchange, the composition of these sediments is especially sensitive to climate change, and environmental signals are preserved in great detail.

  12. Deep-water stands of Cystoseira zosteroides C. Agardh (Fucales, Ochrophyta) in the Northwestern Mediterranean: Insights into assemblage structure and population dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballesteros, Enric; Garrabou, Joaquim; Hereu, Bernat; Zabala, Mikel; Cebrian, Emma; Sala, Enric

    2009-04-01

    Populations dominated by Cystoseira zosteroides, an endemic and threatened Mediterranean seaweed, colonize deep-water rocky habitats down to more than 50 m depth. Assemblages dominated by this species display high algal and invertebrate species richness. Algal biomass averages 1134 g dw m -2. Erect and turf algae account for only 25% of total algal dry weight, while encrusting corallines are responsible for the remaining 75%. Sponges, bryozoans and ascidians constitute the dominant sessile macrofauna. Cystoseira zosteroides is the dominant erect algae, with a mean biomass of 60.6 g dw m -2, and densities ranging from 4 to 7 plants m -2. The alien turf alga Womersleyella setacea has a biomass of 104.2 g dw m -2 and covers most of the understory substrate. The size-frequency distribution of C. zosteroides populations shows differences over time. Mean annual growth of the main axis is around 0.5 cm and mean annual mortality rate is lower than 2%. Recruitment was almost nil during the studied period of time (10 years). Processes structuring these deep-water Cystoseira stands must be driven by episodic disturbances, after-disturbance recruitment pulses, and long periods of steady growth that last at least 10 years. However, it is also possible that recruitment is irreversibly inhibited by the alien alga W. setacea in which case these old-growth stands are faced with extinction. The highly diversified assemblages and the low growth and low mortality rates of C. zosteroides indicate high vulnerability to natural and anthropogenic disturbances, and call for effective measures to ensure their conservation.

  13. Morbillivirus and Pilot Whale Deaths, Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Esperón, Fernando; Herraéz, Pedro; de los Monteros, Antonio Espinosa; Clavel, Cristina; Bernabé, Antonio; Sánchez-Vizcaino, J. Manuel; Verborgh, Philippe; DeStephanis, Renaud; Toledano, Francisco; Bayón, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    An outbreak of a lethal morbillivirus infection of long-finned pilot whales occurred in the Mediterranean Sea from the end of October 2006 through April 2007. Sequence analysis of a 426-bp conserved fragment of the morbillivirus phosphoprotein gene indicates that the virus is more closely related to dolphin morbillivirus than to pilot whale morbillivirus. PMID:18439363

  14. Climatic Feedbacks and Desertification: The Mediterranean Model.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millán, M. M.; Estrela, M. J.; Sanz, M. J.; Mantilla, E.; Martín, M.; Pastor, F.; Salvador, R.; Vallejo, R.; Alonso, L.; Gangoiti, G.; Ilardia, J. L.; Navazo, M.; Albizuri, A.; Artíñano, B.; Ciccioli, P.; Kallos, G.; Carvalho, R. A.; Andrés, D.; Hoff, A.; Werhahn, J.; Seufert, G.; Versino, B.

    2005-03-01

    Mesometeorological information obtained in several research projects in southern Europe has been used to analyze perceived changes in the western Mediterranean summer storm regime. A procedure was developed to disaggregate daily precipitation data into three main components: frontal precipitation, summer storms, and Mediterranean cyclogenesis. Working hypotheses were derived on the likely processes involved. The results indicate that the precipitation regime in this Mediterranean region is very sensitive to variations in surface airmass temperature and moisture. Land-use perturbations that accumulated over historical time and greatly accelerated in the last 30 yr may have induced changes from an open, monsoon-type regime with frequent summer storms over the mountains inland to one dominated by closed vertical recirculations where feedback mechanisms favor the loss of storms over the coastal mountains and additional heating of the sea surface temperature during summer. This, in turn, favors Mediterranean cyclogenesis and torrential rains in autumn-winter. Because these intense rains and floods can occur anywhere in the basin, perturbations to the hydrological cycle in any part of the basin can propagate to the whole basin and adjacent regions. Furthermore, present levels of air pollutants can produce greenhouse heating, amplifying the perturbations and pushing the system over critical threshold levels. The questions raised are relevant for the new European Union (EU) water policies in southern Europe and for other regions dominated by monsoon-type weather systems.

  15. Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Cózar, Andrés; Sanz-Martín, Marina; Martí, Elisa; González-Gordillo, J. Ignacio; Ubeda, Bárbara; Gálvez, José Á.; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2015-01-01

    Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2), as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled), are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons) is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region. PMID:25831129

  16. MEDITERRANEAN FRUITS: ANCIENT HISTORY AND MODERN PROMISE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Davis, California is home of the national collections of most Mediterranean-adapted fruits and nuts (including fig, olive and pomegranate), while the NCGR at Riverside, CA maintains the dates and citrus. Our missions are to acquire, preserve, charac...

  17. The Mediterranean diet: a view from history.

    PubMed

    Haber, B

    1997-10-01

    Although the virtues of the Mediterranean diet have been advocated since the Renaissance, adoption of the diet outside the Mediterranean region has proved difficult but not impossible. Efforts at promoting dietary change have been explored in the writings of Europeans and Americans since 1614 when Giacomo Castelvetro, an exile from Modena, Italy, published a book in England on Italian fruit, herbs, and vegetables. The historical causes of resistance by groups and individuals-culture, class, sex, and human psychology-are revealed by asking the question, What does food mean to people? Particularly instructive are failed efforts by well-meaning late-19th-century American reformers to hasten the assimilation of newly arrived immigrants by interfering with their eating habits. The establishment of the New England Kitchen, which provided inexpensive Yankee cooking intended to Americanize poor immigrants, served only to expedite food distribution networks between California farms and urban centers, allowing mainly Mediterranean groups to eat their customary foods. Successful efforts at change are also explored, leading to the conclusion that the satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean diet provide the best chance of influencing people to abandon unhealthy foods in favor of fresh vegetables, fruit, grains, and olive oil. The diet must be promoted, however, not only by medical and nutritional authorities, but also by people who have the power to persuade: authorities on cooking and experts in advertising and marketing. PMID:9322586

  18. Dolphin Morbillivirus Epizootic Resurgence, Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Raga, Juan-Antonio; Domingo, Mariano; Corteyn, Mandy; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Fernández, Mercedes; Aznar, Francisco-Javier; Barrett, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    In July 2007, >100 striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, were found dead along the coast of the Spanish Mediterranean. Of 10 dolphins tested, 7 were positive for a virus strain closely related to the dolphin morbillivirus that was isolated during a previous epizootic in 1990. PMID:18325265

  19. Plastic accumulation in the Mediterranean sea.

    PubMed

    Cózar, Andrés; Sanz-Martín, Marina; Martí, Elisa; González-Gordillo, J Ignacio; Ubeda, Bárbara; Gálvez, José Á; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M

    2015-01-01

    Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2), as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled), are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons) is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region. PMID:25831129

  20. Box modeling of the Eastern Mediterranean sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashkenazy, Yosef; Stone, Peter H.; Malanotte-Rizzoli, Paola

    2012-02-01

    In ˜1990 a new source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was found in the southern part of the Aegean sea. Till then, the only source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was in the Adriatic sea; the rate of the deep water formation of the new Aegean source is 1 Sv, three times larger than the Adriatic source. We develop a simple three-box model to study the stability of the thermohaline circulation of the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The three boxes represent the Adriatic sea, Aegean sea, and the Ionian seas. The boxes exchange heat and salinity and may be described by a set of nonlinear differential equations. We analyze these equations and find that the system may have one, two, or four stable flux states. We conjecture that the change in the deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean sea is attributed to a switch between the different states on the thermohaline circulation; this switch may result from decreased temperature and/or increased salinity over the Aegean sea.

  1. Meteotsunami occurrence frequency along the Mediterranean coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masina, Marinella; Archetti, Renata; Lamberti, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    A number of research studies describe exceptional destructive meteotsunami events since long time whereas no systematic database is available of moderate events because sea level data were recorded with insufficient resolution. Sea level measurements recently collected with high sampling rate, one per minute or less, by tide gauges positioned along the Mediterranean coasts are examined, aiming to analyze the occurrence of oscillation events in the tsunami frequency range. Sea level data from operating tide stations inside the Mediterranean basin are made publicly available through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Sea Level Monitoring Facility web site (http://www.ioc-sealevelmonitoring.org/). After the implementation of a rigorous quality check procedure to the raw water level time series, Hilbert transform is applied to two hour high-pass filtered observations to identify tsunami-like oscillation events. Events of seismic origin are identified by consistency between earthquake occurrence and tsunami wave travel time from the earthquake epicenter to the specific tide gauge. Similar analyses are performed to exclude sea waves induced harbor seiches events. A list of probable meteotsunami episodes occurred in the Mediterranean region is so compiled and their occurrence frequency and intensity statistics are evaluated at the different tide gauge sites over the time period of high frequency water level data availability ranging from five to seven years. The effects of atmospheric conditions and seabed topography are discussed. Detection and characterization of meteotsunamis, both of exceptional character and of weak intensity, represent an essential step toward improved assessments of coastal flooding risk along the Mediterranean coasts.

  2. Mineral dust deposition in Western Mediterranean basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Julie; Laurent, Benoit; Bergmatti, Gilles; Losno, Rémi; Bon Nguyen, Elisabeth; Chevaillier, Servanne; Roulet, Pierre; Sauvage, Stéphane; Coddeville, Patrice; Ouboulmane, Noura; Siour, Guillaume; Tovar Sanchez, Antonio; Massanet, Ana; Morales Baquero, Rafael; Di Sarra, Giogio; Sferlazzo, Damiano; Dulac, François; Fornier, Michel; Coursier, Cyril

    2014-05-01

    North African deserts are the world's largest sources of atmospheric mineral dust produced by aeolian erosion. Saharan dust is frequently transported toward Europe over the Mediterranean basin. When deposited in oceanic areas, mineral dust can constitute a key input of nutrients bioavailable for the oceanic biosphere. For instance, Saharan dust deposited in the in the Mediterranean Sea can be a significant source of nutrient like Fe, P and N during summer and autumn. Our objective is to study the deposition Saharan mineral dust in the western Mediterranean basin and to improve how deposition processes are parameterized in 3D regional models. To quantify the deposition flux of Saharan dust in the western Mediterranean region a specific collector (CARAGA) to sample automatically the insoluble atmospheric particle deposition was developed (LISA-ICARE) and a network of CARAGA collectors have been set up. Since 2011, eight CARAGA are then deployed in Frioul, Casset, Montandon and Ersa in France, Mallorca and Granada in Spain, Lampedusa in Italia, and Medenine in Tunisia, along a South-North gradient of almost 2000km from the North African coast to the South of Europe. We observe 10 well identified dust Saharan deposition events at Lampedusa and 6 at Mallorca for a 1-yr sampling period. These dust events are sporadic and the South-North gradient of deposition intensity and frequency is observed (the highest dust mass sampled at the stations are : 2,66 g.m-2 at Lampedusa ; 0,54 g.m-2 at Majorque ; 0,33 g.m-2 at Frioul ; 0,16 g.m-2 at Casset). The ability of the CHIMERE model to reproduce the deposition measurements is tested. The mineral dust plumes simulated over the western Mediterranean basin are also compared to satellite observations (OMI, MODIS) and in-situ measurements performed during the ChArMEx campaign and in the AERONET stations.

  3. Mediterranean dietary pattern and chronic diseases.

    PubMed

    Panico, Salvatore; Mattiello, Amalia; Panico, Camilla; Chiodini, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    The study of the relationship between the Mediterranean way of eating and the occurrence of diseases typical of the economically developed countries has been considered the starting point of nutritional epidemiology. From the Seven Countries Study in the 1950s to the recent European EPIC collaboration, the evaluation of the components of diet-affecting chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer has been crucially based on the analysis of foods and nutrients characterizing the Mediterranean dietary habits. This long research history has been marked by a consistency of data over time when either single nutrients/food groups or more complex dietary patterns have been analyzed: The Mediterranean way of eating is a protective tool from cardiovascular diseases and many cancers. Italy has been a natural point of observation, starting from cardiovascular disease in the mid-1950s and continuing with major cancers. In spite of unfavorable lifestyle changes in the Italian population mostly due to globalization of unhealthy habits (richer diet and lower levels of physical activity), those individuals still close to the Mediterranean style are significantly protected. The very recent Italian data derived from the observation of about 50,000 individuals, participating in the Italian cohorts of the EPIC study, confirm these findings and are consistent with results from other European populations and in some cases also from North American populations. Moreover, several dietary trials suggest that such a way of eating improves both the metabolic risk condition for chronic disease and the occurrence of those diseases. In conclusion, a way of eating inspired by a Mediterranean dietary pattern is not only based on evidence but is also a palatable style that has contributed to protection from the epidemic of chronic diseases. PMID:24114475

  4. Erosion and Land Degradation in Mediterranean areas as a adaptive response to Mediterranean agriiculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imeson, Anton

    2014-05-01

    The motivation for this session is the statement or claim that Mediterranean areas are sensitive to erosion and desertification. One result of the LEDDRA Approach, which is applying the Complex Adaptive (CAS)paradigm at study sites in Mediterranean Spain, Greece and Italy is that there is just a single socio-environmental system in which land degradation is being caused by the actions of people and the Mediterranean soils have co-eveolved with people under the influence of fire and grazing. They are therefore resilient, and this was demonstrated by Naveh and Thornes. Also the Medalus field sites showed very low rates of erosion. With examples from different Mediterranean landscapes, it is considered that Mediterranean landscapes went through an initial phase of being sensitive to erosion which ended up with the original soils before ploughing or deforestation, being eroded from most of the areas, In some places these are found. LEDDRA The Leddra approach is to consider different states which are separated by transitions. The first state is that of the deforestaion and destruction of the forest that took place 6000 10000 years ago, in the Eastern and Northern Mediterranean, and 2000 to 4,000 years ago in large areas of the Western Mediterranean, and 100 to 400 years ago in California. Australia, New Zealand and Chile. The second state involves appropriating and settling the land from indigenous people and introducing cattle and sheep and Mediterranean crops. The current state of desertification is one in which erosion occurs because of the use of specific cultivation methods and subsidies for irrigating and producing crops outside of their range. In the Mediterranean landscape State, such as found near Santiago in Chile and in Crete, society gains many cultural benefits from grazing. However, the consequences of this are that the whole ecosystem is maintained in an arid state, so that areas in Crete receiving 800-1100 mm rainfall have a semi arid vegetation, instead

  5. Food Processing and the Mediterranean Diet

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Richard; Gerber, Mariette

    2015-01-01

    The benefits of the Mediterranean diet (MD) for protecting against chronic disorders such as cardiovascular disease are usually attributed to high consumption of certain food groups such as vegetables, and low consumption of other food groups such as meat. The influence of food processing techniques such as food preparation and cooking on the nutrient composition and nutritional value of these foods is not generally taken into consideration. In this narrative review, we consider the mechanistic and epidemiological evidence that food processing influences phytochemicals in selected food groups in the MD (olives, olive oil, vegetables and nuts), and that this influences the protective effects of these foods against chronic diseases associated with inflammation. We also examine how the pro-inflammatory properties of meat consumption can be modified by Mediterranean cuisine. We conclude by discussing whether food processing should be given greater consideration, both when recommending a MD to the consumer and when evaluating its health properties. PMID:26393643

  6. Climate field reconstructions of eastern Mediterranean hydroclimate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anchukaitis, K. J.; Touchan, R.; Meko, D. M.; Cook, B.; Shishov, V.; Sivrikaya, F.; Attieh, J.; Stephan, J.; Ketmen, M.; Mitsopoulos, I.; Christou, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Mediterranean Basin has suffered from severe droughts in the past several decades and has been identified by general circulation models as a region likely to experience increasingly dry conditions as a consequence of anthropogenic climate change. Models disagree however on the magnitude of changes in precipitation, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration associated with projected drying in the region. Here we use a 'Point-to-Point' local principal components regression approach to develop climate field reconstructions of drought and precipitation variability in the eastern Mediterranean from a network of over 70 tree-ring width chronologies back to 1238 CE. Reconstructions reveal droughts substantially more severe than observed throughout the record, particularly in the 15th century when tree rings indicate an epoch of sustained drought conditions. Comparing this new reconstruction with our previous work in northwestern Africa shows a tendency for both regions to be simultaneously in drought, in agreement with climate models and limited observations.

  7. Prognosis of Central-Eastern Mediterranean waterspouts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keul, Alexander G.; Sioutas, Michalis V.; Szilagyi, Wade

    The North American waterspout forecasting methodology by Szilagyi is applied on a sample of 110 waterspout events for the years 2002-2006 over the Central-Eastern Mediterranean (the Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean Sea). First, the geographical distribution and frequency of the phenomena are shown. Four synoptic types of waterspout-prone circulation patterns are considered. For the Adriatic cases, five thermodynamic indices (KI, TT, SWEAT, CAPE, BRN) are used as possible predictors. The testing of the Szilagyi Waterspout Nomogram and Index (SWI), developed for the Great Lakes region, was favorable for the Mediterranean case data, validating its use as a prognostic tool. Results were presented and discussed at the 4th European Conference on Severe Storms ECSS at Trieste. Meteorologists should standardize and evaluate waterspout prognostic tools and implement a visual interface to improve the service for relevant user groups.

  8. Relationships between deep-sea tunicate populations west and east of the Straits of Gibraltar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monniot, Claude; Monniot, Françoise

    Twenty-four species of tunicates were collected from deep bottoms on each side of the Gibraltar sill, in the adjacent Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. In the Atlantic, stations bathed by Atlantic and Mediterranean waters were both sampled. No transport of ascidian taxa by the outflow of Mediterranean water into the Atlantic is apparent. The alternative hypothesis of an Atlantic origin of bathyal ascidian species in the Mediterranean Sea is proposed.

  9. Sediment transport in two mediterranean regulated rivers.

    PubMed

    Lobera, G; Batalla, R J; Vericat, D; López-Tarazón, J A; Tena, A

    2016-01-01

    Mediterranean climate is characterized by highly irregular rainfall patterns with marked differences between wet and dry seasons which lead to highly variable hydrological fluvial regimes. As a result, and in order to ensure water availability and reduce its temporal variability, a high number of large dams were built during the 20th century (more than 3500 located in Mediterranean rivers). Dams modify the flow regime but also interrupt the continuity of sediment transfer along the river network, thereby changing its functioning as an ecosystem. Within this context, the present paper aims to assess the suspended sediment loads and dynamics of two climatically contrasting Mediterranean regulated rivers (i.e. the Ésera and Siurana) during a 2-yr period. Key findings indicate that floods were responsible for 92% of the total suspended sediment load in the River Siurana, while this percentage falls to 70% for the Ésera, indicating the importance of baseflows on sediment transport in this river. This fact is related to the high sediment availability, with the Ésera acting as a non-supply-limited catchment due to the high productivity of the sources (i.e. badlands). In contrast, the Siurana can be considered a supply-limited system due to its low geomorphic activity and reduced sediment availability, with suspended sediment concentration remaining low even for high magnitude flood events. Reservoirs in both rivers reduce sediment load up to 90%, although total runoff is only reduced in the case of the River Ésera. A remarkable fact is the change of the hydrological character of the River Ésera downstream for the dam, shifting from a humid mountainous river regime to a quasi-invariable pattern, whereas the Siurana experiences the opposite effect, changing from a flashy Mediterranean river to a more constant flow regime below the dam. PMID:26372613

  10. Detecting slab structure beneath the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Meghan S.; Sun, Daoyuan; Piana Agostinetti, Nicola

    2013-04-01

    The presence of subducted slabs in the Mediterranean has been well documented with seismic tomography, however, these images, which are produced by smoothed, damped inversions, underestimate the sharpness of the structures. The position and extent of the slabs and the presence possible tears or gaps in the subducted lithosphere are still debated, yet the shape and location these structures are important for kinematic reconstructions and evolution of the entire subduction zone system. Extensive distribution of broadband seismic instrumentation in the Mediterranean (Italian National Seismic Network in Italy and the NSF-PICASSO project in Spain and Morocco) has allowed us to use alternative methodologies to detect the position of the slabs and slab tears beneath the Central and Western Mediterranean. Using S receiver functions we are able to identify S-to-p conversions from the bottom of the subducted slab and a lack of these signals where there are gaps or tears in the slab. We also analyze broadband waveforms for changes in P wave coda from deep (> 300 km depth) local earthquakes. The waveform records for stations in southern Italy and around the Betic-Rif show large amplitude, high frequency (f > 5 Hz) late arrivals with long coda after relatively low-frequency onset. High frequency arrivals are the strongest from events whose raypaths travel within the slab to the stations where they are recorded allowing for mapping of where the subducted material is located within the upper mantle. These two methods, along with inferring the slab position from fast P-wave velocity perturbations in tomography and intermediate depth seismicity, provide additional geophysical evidence to aid in interpretation of the complex, segmented slab structure beneath the Mediterranean.

  11. The alarming decline of Mediterranean fish stocks.

    PubMed

    Vasilakopoulos, Paraskevas; Maravelias, Christos D; Tserpes, George

    2014-07-21

    In recent years, fisheries management has succeeded in stabilizing and even improving the state of many global fisheries resources [1-5]. This is particularly evident in areas where stocks are exploited in compliance with scientific advice and strong institutional structures are in place [1, 5]. In Europe, the well-managed northeast (NE) Atlantic fish stocks have been recovering in response to decreasing fishing pressure over the past decade [3-6], albeit with a long way to go for a universal stock rebuild [3, 7]. Meanwhile, little is known about the temporal development of the European Mediterranean stocks, whose management relies on input controls that are often poorly enforced. Here, we perform a meta-analysis of 42 European Mediterranean stocks of nine species in 1990-2010, showing that exploitation rate has been steadily increasing, selectivity (proportional exploitation of juveniles) has been deteriorating, and stocks have been shrinking. We implement species-specific simulation models to quantify changes in exploitation rate and selectivity that would maximize long-term yields and halt stock depletion. We show that stocks would be more resilient to fishing and produce higher long-term yields if harvested a few years after maturation because current selectivity is far from optimal, especially for demersal stocks. The European Common Fisheries Policy that has assisted in improving the state of NE Atlantic fish stocks in the past 10 years has failed to deliver similar results for Mediterranean stocks managed under the same policy. Limiting juvenile exploitation, advancing management plans, and strengthening compliance, control, and enforcement could promote fisheries sustainability in the Mediterranean. PMID:25017210

  12. box modeling of the eastern mediterranean sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashkenazy, Y.; Stone, P. H.

    2003-04-01

    Recently (~1990) a new source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was found in the southern part of the Aegean sea. Till then, the only source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was in the Adriatic sea; the rate of the deep water formation of the new Aegean source is 1Sv=10^6m^3/s, three times larger then the Adriatic source. We develop a simple 3 box-model to study the stability of the thermohaline circulation of the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The 3 boxes represent the Adriatic sea, Aegean sea, and the Ionian sea. The boxes exchange heat and salinity and may be described by a set of nonlinear differential equations. We analytically analyze these equations and find that the system may have one, two, or four stable flux states. We consider two cases for which the temperatures of the boxes are (i) fixed or (ii) variable. After setting the parameters to correspond to the Eastern Mediterranean we find that the system has two stable states, one with (i) two thermally dominant sources of deep water formation in the Adriatic and Aegean and the other with (ii) a salinity dominant source of deep water formation in the Adriatic and a thermally dominant source in the Aegean. While the Adriatic thermally dominant source is comparable to the observed flux of 0.3Sv the Aegean source has much smaller flux than the observed value. This situation is analogous to the state of the thermohaline circulation pre 1990 where the only source of deep water formation was in the Adriatic. If we decrease the atmospheric temperature of the Aegean box by 2C in accordance with recent observations, we find that the deep water formation of the Aegean increases significantly to a value comparable to the recently observed flux.

  13. Mediterranean Miocene carbonates: facies models and diagenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Esteban, M.E.

    1987-11-01

    Miocene carbonates can bridge the gap between Holocene and older carbonate sequences, thus enhancing understanding of depositional and diagenetic patterns. Miocene carbonates can bridge this gap because of their similarity to Holocene counterparts and the ease of using these carbonates to reconstruct tectonic, paleogeographic, and paleoclimatic settings. In the Mediterranean, the Miocene provides a superb set of exposures and a wide variety of facies models in different geologic settings.

  14. Bioethics in Mediterranean culture: the Spanish experience.

    PubMed

    Busquets, Ester; Roman, Begoña; Terribas, Núria

    2012-11-01

    This article presents a view of bioethics in the Spanish context. We may identify several features common to Mediterranean countries because of their relatively similar social organisation. Each country has its own distinguishing features but we would point two aspects which are of particular interest: the Mediterranean view of autonomy and the importance of Catholicism in Mediterranean culture. The Spanish experience on bioethics field has been marked by these elements, trying to build a civic ethics alternative, with the law as an important support. So, Spanish bioethics has been developed in two parallel levels: in the academic and policy maker field (University and Parliament) and in clinical practice (hospitals and healthcare ethics committees), with different paces and methods. One of the most important changes in the paternalistic mentality has been promoted through the recognition by law of the patient's rights and also through the new generation of citizens, clearly aware on the exercise of autonomy. Now, the healthcare professionals have a new challenge: adapt their practice to this new paradigm. PMID:22033813

  15. Contrasted patterns of hyperdiversification in Mediterranean hotspots.

    PubMed

    Sauquet, Hervé; Weston, Peter H; Anderson, Cajsa Lisa; Barker, Nigel P; Cantrill, David J; Mast, Austin R; Savolainen, Vincent

    2009-01-01

    Dating the Tree of Life has now become central to relating patterns of biodiversity to key processes in Earth history such as plate tectonics and climate change. Regions with a Mediterranean climate have long been noted for their exceptional species richness and high endemism. How and when these biota assembled can only be answered with a good understanding of the sequence of divergence times for each of their components. A critical aspect of dating by using molecular sequence divergence is the incorporation of multiple suitable age constraints. Here, we show that only rigorous phylogenetic analysis of fossil taxa can lead to solid calibration and, in turn, stable age estimates, regardless of which of 3 relaxed clock-dating methods is used. We find that Proteaceae, a model plant group for the Mediterranean hotspots of the Southern Hemisphere with a very rich pollen fossil record, diversified under higher rates in the Cape Floristic Region and Southwest Australia than in any other area of their total distribution. Our results highlight key differences between Mediterranean hotspots and indicate that Southwest Australian biota are the most phylogenetically diverse but include numerous lineages with low diversification rates. PMID:19116275

  16. The Mediterranean Diet: A History of Health

    PubMed Central

    ALTOMARE, Roberta; CACCIABAUDO, Francesco; DAMIANO, Giuseppe; PALUMBO, Vincenzo Davide; GIOVIALE, Maria Concetta; BELLAVIA, Maurizio; TOMASELLO, Giovanni; LO MONTE, Attilio Ignazio

    2013-01-01

    The Mediterranean tradition offers a cousine rich in colors, aromas and memories, which support the taste and the spirit of those who live in harmony with nature. Everyone is talking about the Mediterranean diet, but few are those who do it properly, thus generating a lot of confusion in the reader. And so for some it coincides with the pizza, others identified it with the noodles with meat sauce, in a mixture of pseudo historical traditions and folklore that do not help to solve the question that is at the basis of any diet: combine and balance the food so as to satisfy the qualitative and quantitative needs of an individual and in a sense, preserves his health through the use of substances that help the body to perform normal vital functions. The purpose of our work is to demonstrate that the combination of taste and health is a goal that can be absolutely carried out by everybody, despite those who believe that only a generous caloric intake can guarantee the goodness of a dish and the satisfaction of the consumers. That should not be an absolute novelty, since the sound traditions of the Mediterranean cuisine we have used for some time in a wide variety of tasty gastronomic choices, from inviting colors and strong scents and absolutely in line with health. PMID:23802101

  17. "Towards an even healthier Mediterranean diet".

    PubMed

    Estruch, R; Salas-Salvadó, J

    2013-12-01

    Dietary guidelines to promote good health are usually based on foods, nutrients, and dietary patterns predictive of chronic disease risk in epidemiologic studies. However, sound nutritional recommendations for cardiovascular prevention should be based on the results of large randomized clinical trials with "hard" end-points as the main outcome. Such evidence has been obtained for the Mediterranean diet from the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) trial and the Lyon Heart Study. The traditional Mediterranean diet was that found in olive growing areas of Crete, Greece, and Southern Italy in the late 1950s. Their major characteristics include: a) a high consumption of cereals, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and fruits; b) a relatively high-fat consumption, mostly provided by olive oil; c) moderate to high fish consumption; d) poultry and dairy products consumed in moderate to small amounts; e) low consumption of red meats, and meat products; and f) moderate alcohol intake, usually in the form of red wine. However, these protective effects of the traditional Mediterranean diet may be even greater if we upgrade the health effects of this dietary pattern changing the common olive oil used for extra-virgin olive oil, increasing the consumption of nuts, fatty fish and whole grain cereals, reducing sodium intake, and maintaining a moderate consumption of wine with meals. PMID:24263037

  18. Miocene to Pliocene osmium isotopic records of Mediterranean sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Junichiro; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Gennari, Rocco; Lugli, Stefano; Manzi, Vinicio; Roveri, Marco; Flecker, Rachel; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Yoshimura, Toshihiro; Sierro, Francisco; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2015-04-01

    In the late Miocene the Mediterranean Sea experienced a salinity crisis and thick sequences of evaporites precipitated across the basin. In this study we report Os isotopic records from drilled cores in the Mediterranean; the Balearic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Basin and the Florence Rise. Pliocene sediments at all sites show 187Os/188Os values close to that of the coeval ocean water, indicating that the Mediterranean was connected to the North Atlantic. Evaporitic sediments deposited during the late Miocene however, have 187Os/188Os values lower than coeval ocean water values and samples from the eastern Mediterranean and Ionian basins are particularly low. Os isotopic ratios of the pre-evaporite sediments in the western Mediterranean are almost identical to that of the coeval ocean water. In contrast, equivalent sediments from the Florence Rise have significantly lower 187Os/188Os values. The offset of Mediterranean evaporite 187Os/188Os is attributed to limited exchange with the North Atlantic during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The source of unradiogenic Os is likely to be weathering of ultramafic rocks (ophiolites) cropping out in the Mediterranean's drainage basins. The offset in the Os ratio on the Florence Rise is attributed either to limited water exchange between eastern and western Mediterranean, or to local effects associated with exhumation of ophiolites around the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  19. Adaptive Radiation in Mediterranean Cistus (Cistaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Guzmán, Beatriz; Lledó, María Dolores; Vargas, Pablo

    2009-01-01

    Background Adaptive radiation in Mediterranean plants is poorly understood. The white-flowered Cistus lineage consists of 12 species primarily distributed in Mediterranean habitats and is herein subject to analysis. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a “total evidence” analysis combining nuclear (ncpGS, ITS) and plastid (trnL-trnF, trnK-matK, trnS-trnG, rbcL) DNA sequences and using MP and BI to test the hypothesis of radiation as suggested by previous phylogenetic results. One of the five well-supported lineages of the Cistus-Halimium complex, the white-flowered Cistus lineage, comprises the higher number of species (12) and is monophyletic. Molecular dating estimates a Mid Pleistocene (1.04±0.25 Ma) diversification of the white-flowered lineage into two groups (C. clusii and C. salviifolius lineages), which display asymmetric characteristics: number of species (2 vs. 10), leaf morphologies (linear vs. linear to ovate), floral characteristics (small, three-sepalled vs. small to large, three- or five-sepalled flowers) and ecological attributes (low-land vs. low-land to mountain environments). A positive phenotype-environment correlation has been detected by historical reconstructions of morphological traits (leaf shape, leaf labdanum content and leaf pubescence). Ecological evidence indicates that modifications of leaf shape and size, coupled with differences in labdanum secretion and pubescence density, appear to be related to success of new species in different Mediterranean habitats. Conclusions/Significance The observation that radiation in the Cistus salviifolius lineage has been accompanied by the emergence of divergent leaf traits (such as shape, pubescence and labdanum secretion) in different environments suggets that radiation in the group has been adaptive. Here we argued that the diverse ecological conditions of Mediterranean habitats played a key role in directing the evolution of alternative leaf strategies in this plant group. Key

  20. Droughts and forest fires in Mediterranean Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turco, Marco; Llasat, Maria-Carmen; von Hardenberg, Jost; Provenzale, Antonello

    2015-04-01

    Most of the total burned area in Europe occurs in Mediterranean regions, with severe economic and environmental damage, life loss and an average of about 4500 km2 burned every year. A better understanding of the impacts on wildfires of environmental and socioeconomic changes is crucial to develop adequate measures of prevention, adaptation and mitigation in this area. Here we focus on the impact of droughts on fires in European Mediterranean regions (Portugal, Spain, the south of France, Italy, Greece). This goal will be achieved through three specific supporting objectives: (1) Understanding past changes in fires in this region (extending the study of [1]); (2) Comparing and analyzing different drought indices (e.g. SPI, SPEI and SSI; see [2, 3] for more details on those indices); (3) Modeling the interaction between drought and fires (following and extending the study of [4]). We develop relatively simple regression models that link the fire activity to the key climate drivers. These models could be used to estimate fire responses to different climate change projections and environmental and socioeconomic scenarios ([5]). *References [1] Turco M., Llasat M. C., Tudela A., Castro X., and Provenzale A. Brief communication Decreasing fires in a Mediterranean region (1970-2010, NE Spain). Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13(3):649-652, 2013. [2] Zengchao H., AghaKouchak A., Nakhjiri N., and Farahmand A. Global Integrated Drought Monitoring and Prediction System. Scientific Data, 1:1-10, 2014. [3] Vicente-Serrano, S. M., Beguería, S. and López-Moreno, J. I. A multiscalar drought index sensitive to global warming: The standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index. Journal of Climate, 23:1696-1718, 2010. [4] Turco M., Llasat M. C., von Hardenberg J., and Provenzale A. Impact of climate variability on summer fires in a Mediterranean environment (northeastern Iberian Peninsula). Climatic Change, 116:665-678, 2013. [5] Turco M., Llasat M. C., von

  1. Estimation of Atlantic-Mediterranean netflow variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerreiro, Catarina; Peliz, Alvaro; Miranda, Pedro

    2016-04-01

    The exchanges at the Strait of Gibraltar are extremely difficult to measure due to the strong temporal and across-strait variabilities; yet the Atlantic inflow into the Mediterranean is extremely important both for climate and to ecosystems. Most of the published numerical modeling studies do not resolve the Strait of Gibraltar realistically. Models that represent the strait at high resolution focus primarily in high frequency dynamics, whereas long-term dynamics are studied in low resolution model studies, and for that reason the Strait dynamics are poorly resolved. Estimating the variability of the exchanges requires long term and high-resolutions studies, thus an improved simulation with explicit and realistic representation of the Strait is necessary. On seasonal to inter-annual timescales the flow is essentially driven by the net evaporation contribution and consequently realistic fields of precipitation and evaporation are necessary for model setup. A comparison between observations, reanalysis and combined products shows ERA-Interim Reanalysis has the most suitable product for Mediterranean Sea. Its time and space variability are in close agreement with NOC 1.1 for the common period (1980 - 1993) and also with evaporation from OAFLUX (1989 - 2014). Subinertial fluctuations, periods from days to a few months, are the second most energetic, after tides, and are the response to atmospheric pressure fluctuations and local winds. Atmospheric pressure fluctuations in the Mediterranean cause sea level oscillations that induce a barotropic flow through the Strait. Candela's analytical model has been used to quantify this response in later studies, though comparison with observations points to an underestimation of the flow at strait. An improved representation of this term contribution to the Atlantic - Mediterranean exchange must be achieved on longer time-scales. We propose a new simulation for the last 36 years (1979 - 2014) for the Mediterranean - Atlantic

  2. Eutrophication and environmental policy in the Mediterranean Sea: a review.

    PubMed

    Karydis, Michael; Kitsiou, Dimitra

    2012-08-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a semienclosed basin connected with the open sea mainly through the Strait of Gibraltar. Due to the circulation pattern and the long residence time ranging between 80 and 100 years, the Mediterranean Sea is a sensitive environment to eutrophication pressures. The main body of water of the Mediterranean is characterized by very low nutrient concentrations, and therefore, the Mediterranean is classified among the most oligotrophic (very poor waters in nutrients) seas of the world's oceans. However, some coastal areas, mainly in the northern part of the basin, receive excessive loads of nutrients from sewage effluents, river fluxes, aquaculture farms, fertilizers, and industrial facilities, showing intense eutrophic phenomena with many adverse effects for the marine ecosystem and humans. Various national and international authorities, in addition to monitoring, have taken legal and administrative measures to mitigate eutrophication trends in the area. The Mediterranean environment is a good paradigm of integration of extensive legal framework, scientific knowledge, and administrative practices. The Barcelona Convention, the Mediterranean Action Plan, and European Union Directives on water quality and coastal management, together with scientific information derived from international research programs in the Mediterranean, provide a sound background for practical actions in eutrophication problems. In the present work, the problem of coastal eutrophication in the Mediterranean is reviewed in connection with public policies of the Mediterranean States based on national and international legislation and scientific knowledge on Mediterranean oceanography-ecology and actions coordinated by international bodies. These common actions and practices on coastal management are also discussed in relation to the need for sustainable development and protection of the coastal zone in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:21956336

  3. INTRODUCTION: DESERTIFICATION AND SECURITY - PERSPECTIVES FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    This book focuses on two basic concepts: security and desertification in the Mediterranean Region and their linkages. It emerged from a single meeting of the "Workshop on Desertification in the Mediterranean Region. A Security Issue" held in Valencia, Spain on 2-5 December 2003...

  4. Mediterranean Diet and cancer risk: an open issue.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Annunziata; De Pergola, Giovanni; Silvestris, Franco

    2016-09-01

    The traditional Mediterranean Diet of the early 1960s meets the characteristics of an anticancer diet defined by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AIRC). A diet rich of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits, limited in high-calorie foods (foods high in sugar or fat), red meat and foods high in salt, without sugary drinks and processed meat is recommended by the WCRF/AIRC experts to reduce the risk of cancer. The aim of this review was to examine whether Mediterranean Diet is protective or not against cancer risk. Three meta-analyses of cohort studies reported that a high adherence to the Mediterranean Diet significantly reduces the risk of cancer incidence and/or mortality. Nevertheless, the Mediterranean dietary pattern defined in the studies' part of the meta-analyses has qualitative and/or quantitative differences compared to the Mediterranean Diet of the early 1960s. Therefore, the protective role of the Mediterranean Diet against cancer has not definitely been established. In epidemiological studies, a universal definition of the Mediterranean Diet, possibly the traditional Mediterranean Diet of the early 1960s, could be useful to understand the role of this dietary pattern in cancer prevention. PMID:27251477

  5. Proposal of a Mediterranean Diet Serving Score

    PubMed Central

    Monteagudo, Celia; Mariscal-Arcas, Miguel; Rivas, Ana; Lorenzo-Tovar, María Luisa; Tur, Josep A.; Olea-Serrano, Fátima

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Numerous studies have demonstrated a relationship between Mediterranean Diet (MD) adherence and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, etc. The study aim was to validate a novel instrument to measure MD adherence based on the consumption of food servings and food groups, and apply it in a female population from southern Spain and determining influential factors. Methods and Results The study included 1,155 women aged 12-83 yrs, classified as adolescents, adults, and over-60-yr-olds. All completed a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The Mediterranean Dietary Serving Score (MDSS) is based on the latest update of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, using the recommended consumption frequency of foods and food groups; the MDSS ranges from 0 to 24. The discriminative power or correct subject classification capacity of the MDSS was analyzed with the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve, using the MDS as reference method. Predictive factors for higher MDSS adherence were determined with a logistic regression model, adjusting for age. According to ROC curve analysis, MDSS evidenced a significant discriminative capacity between adherents and non-adherents to the MD pattern (optimal cutoff point=13.50; sensitivity=74%; specificity=48%). The mean MDSS was 12.45 (2.69) and was significantly higher with older age (p<0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed highest MD adherence by over 60-year-olds with low BMI and no habit of eating between meals. Conclusions The MDSS is an updated, easy, valid, and accurate instrument to assess MD adherence based on the consumption of foods and food groups per meal, day, and week. It may be useful in future nutritional education programs to prevent the early onset of chronic non-transmittable diseases in younger populations. PMID:26035442

  6. Medieval iconography of watermelons in Mediterranean Europe

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Harry S.; Daunay, Marie-Christine; Janick, Jules

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims The watermelon, Citrullus lanatus (Cucurbitaceae), is an important fruit vegetable in the warmer regions of the world. Watermelons were illustrated in Mediterranean Antiquity, but not as frequently as some other cucurbits. Little is known concerning the watermelons of Mediterranean Europe during medieval times. With the objective of obtaining an improved understanding of watermelon history and diversity in this region, medieval drawings purportedly of watermelons were collected, examined and compared for originality, detail and accuracy. Findings The oldest manuscript found that contains an accurate, informative image of watermelon is the Tractatus de herbis, British Library ms. Egerton 747, which was produced in southern Italy, around the year 1300. A dozen more original illustrations were found, most of them from Italy, produced during the ensuing two centuries that can be positively identified as watermelon. In most herbal-type manuscripts, the foliage is depicted realistically, the plants shown as having long internodes, alternate leaves with pinnatifid leaf laminae, and the fruits are small, round and striped. The manuscript that contains the most detailed and accurate image of watermelon is the Carrara Herbal, British Library ms. Egerton 2020. In the agriculture-based manuscripts, the foliage, if depicted, is not accurate, but variation in the size, shape and coloration of the fruits is evident. Both red-flesh and white-flesh watermelons are illustrated, corresponding to the typical sweet dessert watermelons so common today and the insipid citron watermelons, respectively. The variation in watermelon fruit size, shape and coloration depicted in the illustrations indicates that at least six cultivars of watermelon are represented, three of which probably had red, sweet flesh and three of which appear to have been citrons. Evidently, citron watermelons were more common in Mediterranean Europe in the past than they are today. PMID:23904443

  7. Phycobiliprotein distribution across the western Mediterranean divergence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Algarra, Patricia; Estrada, Marta; Niell, F. Xavier

    1988-08-01

    A modified method is presented to determine phycobiliprotein distribution across the western Mediterranean divergence. A deep C-phycoerythrin maximum is detected between 60 and 80 m, but when irradiance in the water column decreases this maximum is shallower and occurs at around the 1% light level. Even though other factors cannot be discarded, the relationships between C-phycoerythrin (associated to Synechococcus cyanobacteria), chlorophyll a and light intensity distributions suggest that this last factor plays an important role in the maintenance of the deep pigment maxima detected.

  8. Mediterranean Holocene climate, environment and human societies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmgren, Karin; Gogou, Alexandra.; Izdebski, Adam.; Luterbacher, Juerg.; Sicre, Marie-Alexandrine; Xoplaki, Elena

    2016-03-01

    This paper introduces the reader to a special issue of articles that explores links and processes behind societal change, climate change and environmental change in a Holocene perspective in the Mediterranean region. All papers are, by purpose, co-authored by scientists representing different disciplines. The cross-cutting theme has been to reach beyond simple explanations of potential climate-society relationships and advance our understanding on how to improve research methods and theories in the field. The thirteen papers in this issue address these questions in three different ways, by i) conceptual/methodological approaches; ii) review papers; and iii) case studies.

  9. Phytotoxic activities of Mediterranean essential oils.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Luiz Fernando Rolim; Frei, Fernando; Mancini, Emilia; De Martino, Laura; De Feo, Vincenzo

    2010-06-01

    Twelve essential oils from Mediterranean aromatic plants were tested for their phytotoxic activity, at different doses, against the germination and the initial radicle growth of seeds of Raphanus sativus, Lactuca sativa and Lepidium sativum. The essential oils were obtained from Hyssopus officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Majorana hortensis, Melissa officinalis, Ocimum basilicum, Origanum vulgare, Salvia officinalis and Thymus vulgaris (Lamiaceae), Verbena officinalis (Verbenaceae), Pimpinella anisum, Foeniculum vulgare and Carum carvi (Apiaceae). The germination and radicle growth of tested seeds were affected in different ways by the oils. Thyme, balm, vervain and caraway essential oils were more active against both germination and radicle elongation. PMID:20657443

  10. Study of Anticyclogenesis Affecting the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzaki, M.; Flocas, H. A.; Simmonds, I.; Kouroutzoglou, J.; Garde, L.; Keay, K.; Bitsa, E.

    2014-12-01

    A comprehensive climatology of migratory anticyclones affecting the Mediterranean was generated by the University of Melbourne finding and tracking algorithm (MS algorithm), applied to 34 years (1979-2012) of ERA-Interim MSLP on a 1.5°x1.5° resolution. The algorithm was employed for the first time for anticyclones in this region, thus, its robustness and reliability in efficiently capturing the individual characteristics of the anticyclonic tracks in such a closed basin with complex topography were checked and verified. Then, the tracks and the statistical properties of the migratory systems were calculated and analyzed. Considering that cold-core anticyclones are shallow and weaken with height contrary to the warm-core that exhibit a vertically well-organized structure, the vertical thermal extend of the systems was studied with an algorithm developed as an extension module of the MS algorithm using ERA-Interim temperatures on several isobaric levels from 1000hPa to 100hPa on an 1.5°x1.5° resolution. The results verified that during both cold and warm period, cold-core anticyclones mainly affect the northern parts of the Mediterranean basin, with their behavior to be strongly regulated by cyclonic activity from the main storm track areas of the North Atlantic and Europe. On the other hand, warm-core anticyclones were found mainly in the southern Mediterranean and North African areas. Here, in order to get a perspective on the dynamic and thermodynamic processes in anticyclonic formation, a dynamical analysis at several vertical levels is performed. The study of mean fields of potential vorticity, temperature advection, vorticity advection at various levels can elucidate the role of upper and low levels during anticyclogenesis and system evolvement and help to further understand the dynamic mechanisms which are responsible for the anticyclogenesis over the Mediterranean region. Acknowledgement: This research project is implemented within the framework of the

  11. Tubular Heart Pumping Mechanisms in Ciona Intestinalis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battista, Nicholas; Miller, Laura

    2015-11-01

    In vertebrate embryogenesis, the first organ to form is the heart, beginning as a primitive heart tube. However, many invertebrates have tubular hearts from infancy through adulthood. Heart tubes have been described as peristaltic and impedance pumps. Impedance pumping assumes a single actuation point of contraction, while traditional peristalsis assumes a traveling wave of actuation. In addition to differences in flow, this inherently implies differences in the conduction system. It is possible to transition from pumping mechanism to the other with a change in the diffusivity of the action potential. In this work we consider the coupling between the fluid dynamics and electrophysiology of both mechanisms, within a basal chordate, the tunicate. Using CFD with a neuro-mechanical model of tubular pumping, we discuss implications of the both mechanisms. Furthermore, we discuss the implications of the pumping mechanism on evolution and development.

  12. Mediterranean Way of Drinking and Longevity.

    PubMed

    Giacosa, Attilio; Barale, Roberto; Bavaresco, Luigi; Faliva, Milena Anna; Gerbi, Vincenzo; La Vecchia, Carlo; Negri, Eva; Opizzi, Annalisa; Perna, Simone; Pezzotti, Mario; Rondanelli, Mariangela

    2016-01-01

    The relation between alcohol consumption and mortality is a J-shaped curve in most of the many studies published on this topic. The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies demonstrated in the year 2000 that wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. Wine contains various poliphenolic substances which may be beneficial for health and in particular flavonols (such as myricetin and quercetin), catechin and epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, various phenolic acids and the stilbene resveratrol. In particular, resveratrol seems to play a positive effect on longevity because it increases the expression level of Sirt1, besides its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Moderate wine drinking is part of the Mediterranean diet, together with abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat and a low intake of (red) meat. This healthy diet pattern involves a "Mediterranean way of drinking," that is a regular, moderate wine consumption mainly with food (up to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women). Moderate wine drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer. PMID:25207479

  13. Floating debris in the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Suaria, Giuseppe; Aliani, Stefano

    2014-09-15

    Results from the first large-scale survey of floating natural (NMD) and anthropogenic (AMD) debris (>2 cm) in the central and western part of the Mediterranean Sea are reported. Floating debris was found throughout the entire study area with densities ranging from 0 to 194.6 items/km(2) and mean abundances of 24.9 AMD items/km(2) and 6.9 NMD items/km(2) across all surveyed locations. On the whole, 78% of all sighted objects were of anthropogenic origin, 95.6% of which were petrochemical derivatives (i.e. plastic and styrofoam). Maximum AMD densities (>52 items/km(2)) were found in the Adriatic Sea and in the Algerian basin, while the lowest densities (<6.3 items/km(2)) were observed in the Central Tyrrhenian and in the Sicilian Sea. All the other areas had mean densities ranging from 10.9 to 30.7 items/km(2). According to our calculations, more than 62 million macro-litter items are currently floating on the surface of the whole Mediterranean basin. PMID:25127501

  14. Sprite climatology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, Yoav; Price, Colin; Katzenelson, Dor; Rosenthal, Neta; Rubanenko, Lior; Ben-Ami, Yuval; Arnone, Enrico

    2015-04-01

    We present statistical analysis of 436 sprites observed in 7 winter campaigns from 2006/7-2012/13. Results show a clear peak in the frequency of sprite detections, with maximum values (< 40% of events) between 00:30 and 02:15 LST (22:30-00:15 UT; LST = UT + 2). The detection times of sprites are well-correlated with a relative increase in the fraction of + CG strokes, which exhibit maxima between 00:00 and 02:00 LST. The morphological distribution of 339 sprites, that we were able to clearly identify, is dominated by column sprites (49.3%), with angels (33.0%) and carrots (25.7%) being less frequent. This is similar to reports of winter sprites over the Sea of Japan and summer ones in Central Europe. Other shapes such as trees, wishbones, etc. appear quite rarely. Single element events constitute 16.5% of observations, with 83.5% containing 2 elements or more. Clusters of homogenous types are slightly more frequent than mixed ones (55%). Our observations suggest winter Mediterranean thunderstorms to have a vertical structure in between high tropical convective systems and the lower cloud-top cells in Japan. The climatology shows the Eastern Mediterranean to be a major sprite producer in Northern Hemisphere winter, and offers ground-based coverage for future space missions.

  15. Sprite Climatology in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, Yoav; Price, Colin; Katzenelson, Dor; Rosenthal, Neta; Rubanenko, Lior; Ben-Ami, Yuval; Arnone, Enrico

    2015-04-01

    We present statistical analysis of 436 sprites observed in 7 winter campaigns from 2006/7-2012/13. Results show a clear peak in the frequency of sprite detections, with maximum values (< 40% of events) between 00:30-02:15 LST (22:30-00:15 UT; LST=UT+2). The detection times of sprites are well-correlated with a relative increase in the fraction of +CG strokes, which exhibit maxima between 00:00-02:00 LST. The morphological distribution of 339 sprites, that we were able to clearly identify, is dominated by column sprites (49.3%), with angels (33.0%) and carrots (25.7%) being less frequent. This is similar to reports of winter sprites over the Sea of Japan and summer ones in central Europe. Other shapes such as trees, wishbones, etc. appear quite rarely. Single element events constitute 16.5% of observations, with 83.5% containing 2 elements or more. Clusters of homogeneous types are slightly more frequent than mixed ones (55%). Our observations suggest winter East Mediterranean thunderstorms to have a vertical structure that is an intermediate type between high tropical convective systems and the lower cloud-top cells in winter thunderstorms over the Sea of Japan. The climatology shows that the Eastern Mediterranean is a major sprite producer during Northern Hemisphere winter, and thus the existing and future optical observation infrastructure in Israel offers ground-based coverage for upcoming space missions that aim to map global sprite activity.

  16. Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae

    PubMed Central

    Mariottini, Gian Luigi; Pane, Luigi

    2010-01-01

    The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained in specialized structures–the nematocysts–which, after mechanical or chemical stimulation, inject the venom in the prey or in the attacker. Cnidarian stinging is a serious health problem for humans in the zones where extremely venomous jellyfish or anemones are common, such as in temperate and tropical oceanic waters and particularly along several Pacific coasts, and severe cases of envenomation, including also lethal cases mainly induced by cubomedusae, were reported. On the contrary, in the Mediterranean region the problem of jellyfish stings is quite modest, even though they can have anyhow an impact on public health and be of importance from the ecological and economic point of view owing to the implications on ecosystems and on some human activities such as tourism, bathing and fishing. This paper reviews the knowledge about the various aspects related to the occurrence and the stinging of the Mediterranean scyphozoan jellyfish as well as the activity of their venoms. PMID:20479971

  17. Tsunami Catalogues for the Eastern Mediterranean - Revisited.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambraseys, N.; Synolakis, C. E.

    2008-12-01

    We critically examine examine tsunami catalogues of tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean published in the last decade, by reference to the original sources, see Ambraseys (2008). Such catalogues have been widely used in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami for probabilistic hazard analysis, even to make projections for a ten year time frame. On occasion, such predictions have caused panic and have reduced the credibility of the scientific community in making hazard assessments. We correct classification and other spurious errors in earlier catalogues and posit a new list. We conclude that for some historic events, any assignment of magnitude, even on a six point intensity scale is inappropriate due to lack of information. Further we assert that any tsunami catalogue, including ours, can only be used in conjunction with sedimentologic evidence to quantitatively infer the return period of larger events. Statistical analyses correlating numbers of tsunami events derived solely from catalogues with their inferred or imagined intensities are meaningless, at least when focusing on specific locales where only a handful of tsunamis are known to have been historically reported. Quantitative hazard assessments based on scenario events of historic tsunamis for which -at best- only the size and approximate location of the parent earthquake is known should be undertaken with extreme caution and only with benefit of geologic studies to enhance the understanding of the local tectonics. Ambraseys N. (2008) Earthquakes in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East: multidisciplinary study of 2000 years of seimicity, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge (ISBN 9780521872928).

  18. Tracking rainfall in the northern Mediterranean borderlands during sapropel deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toucanne, Samuel; Angue Minto'o, Charlie Morelle; Fontanier, Christophe; Bassetti, Maria-Angela; Jorry, Stephan J.; Jouet, Gwenaël

    2015-12-01

    The role of mid-latitude precipitation in the hydrological forcing leading to the deposition of sapropels in the Mediterranean Sea remains unclear. The new GDEC-4-2 borehole, East Corsica margin (northern Tyrrhenian Sea), provides the first precisely dated evidence for enhanced rainfall in the Western Mediterranean during warm intervals of interglacial periods over the last 547 kyr. Comparison of GDEC-4-2 proxy records with pollen sequences and speleothems from the central and eastern Mediterranean reveals that these pluvial events were regional in character and occurred probably in response to the intensification of the Mediterranean storm track along the northern Mediterranean borderlands in autumn/winter. Our dataset suggests that the timing of maxima of the Mediterranean autumn/winter storm track precipitation coincide with that of the North African summer monsoon and sapropel deposition. Besides highlighting a close coupling between mid- and low-latitude hydrological changes, our findings suggest that during warm intervals of interglacial periods the reduced sea-surface water salinities, together with the high flux of nutrient and organic matter, produced by the monsoonal Nile (and wadi-systems) floods, were maintained throughout the winter by the Mediterranean rainfall. This provides an important additional constraint on the hydrological perturbation causing sapropel formation.

  19. Effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet in the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Roman, Blanca; Carta, Laura; Ángel, Miguel; Martínez-González; Serra-Majem, Lluís

    2008-01-01

    The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest dietary patterns in the world due to its relation with a low morbidity and mortality for some chronic diseases. The purpose of this study was to review literature regarding the relationship between Mediterranean diet and healthy aging. A MEDLINE search was conducted looking for literature regarding the relationship between Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease (or risk factors for cardiovascular disease), cancer, mental health and longevity and quality of life in the elderly population (65 years or older). A selection of 36 articles met the criteria of selection. Twenty of the studies were about Mediterranean diets and cardiovascular disease, 2 about Mediterranean diets and cancer, 3 about Mediterranean diets and mental health and 11 about longevity (overall survival) or mental health. The results showed that Mediterranean diets had benefits on risks factors for cardiovascular disease such as lipoprotein levels, endothelium vasodilatation, insulin resistance, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, antioxidant capacity, the incidence of acute myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular mortality. Some positive associations with quality of life and inverse associations with the risk of certain cancers and with overall mortality were also reported. PMID:18494169

  20. Late Tertiary paleogeographic and tectonic evolution of the Mediterranean area

    SciTech Connect

    Arnott, R.J.; Haan, E.A.

    1988-08-01

    The present geography of the Mediterranean Sea is the result of late Tertiary tectonic processes and hardly reflects its Mesozoic and early Tertiary evolution. This paper outlines a plate tectonics model for the Mediterranean area from the Oligocene to the Pliocene. Seismic and well data have been integrated into the regional structural framework to produce a set of paleogeographic maps, which includes the Oligocene, early and middle Miocene, late Miocene, and Pliocene. These maps highlight the changes in sedimentation patterns in response to the tectonic development of the Mediterranean area. Special attention will be given to the Messinian desiccation event.

  1. Diversity, distribution and population size structure of deep Mediterranean gorgonian assemblages (Menorca Channel, Western Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinyó, Jordi; Gori, Andrea; Ambroso, Stefano; Purroy, Ariadna; Calatayud, Clara; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Coppari, Martina; Lo Iacono, Claudio; López-González, Pablo J.; Gili, Josep-Maria

    2016-06-01

    Gorgonians are a key group of organisms in benthic marine communities with a wide bathymetric and geographical distribution. Although their presence on continental shelves and slopes has been known for more than 100 years, knowledge concerning the ecology of deep gorgonian species is still in a very preliminary stage. To overcome this situation, gorgonian assemblages located at 40-360 m depth were studied over a large geographical area on the continental shelf and upper slope of the Menorca Channel (Western Mediterranean Sea). A quantitative analysis of video transects recorded by a manned submersible and a remotely operated vehicle, were used to examine the diversity, distribution and demography of gorgonian species. Results showed high gorgonian diversity within this depth range (a total of nine species were observed) compared to Mediterranean coastal areas. Gorgonian assemblages on the continental shelf and upper slope were mostly monospecific (respectively 73% and 76% of occupied sampling units contained one single species), whereas shelf edge assemblages were highly multispecific (92% of occupied sampling units contained several species). This contrasts with the monospecificity of Mediterranean coastal gorgonian assemblages. Gorgonian populations on the continental shelf were mostly dominated by small colonies (88% of measured colonies) with few intermediate and large colonies (12% of measured colonies). In deeper areas small colonies were still dominant (60% of measured colonies), but intermediate and large colonies were much more abundant (40% of measured colonies). This suggests high recruitment rates on the continental shelf, but perturbations (trammel nets, long lines and strong storms) may limit the presence of intermediate and large colonies. Conversely, on the shelf edge and upper slope a more stable environment may allow colonies to reach larger dimensions. The identification and ecological characterization of these deep assemblages further extends

  2. Longitudinal variability of the biogeochemical role of Mediterranean aerosols in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ternon, E.; Guieu, C.; Ridame, C.; L'Helguen, S.; Catala, P.

    2010-11-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed basin characterized by a strong thermal stratification during summer during which the atmosphere is the main source of new nutrients to the nutrient-depleted surface layer. From aerosol sampling and microcosm experiments performed during the TransMed BOUM cruise (June-July 2008) we showed that: (i) the Mediterranean atmosphere composition (Al, Fe, P) was homogeneous over ~28° of longitude and was a mixture with a constant proportion of anthropogenic contribution and a variable but modest contribution of crustal aerosols. This quite stable composition over a one month period and a long transect (~2500 km) allowed to define the Mediterranean atmospheric "background" that characterizes the summer season in the absence of major Saharan event and forest fires, (ii) primary production significantly increased at all tested stations after aerosols addition collected on-board and after Saharan dust analog addition, indicating that both additions relieved on-going (co)-limitations. Although both additions significantly increased the N2 fixation rates at the western station, diazotrophic activity remained very low (~0.2 nmol N L-1 d-1), (iii) due to the presence of anthropogenic particles, the probable higher solubility of nutrients associated with mixed aerosols (crustal + anthropogenic contribution), conferred a higher fertilizing potential to on-board collected aerosol as compared to Saharan dust analog. Finally, those experiments showed that atmospheric inputs from a mixed atmospheric event ("summer rain" type) or from a high-intensity Saharan event would induce comparable response by the biota in the stratified Mediterranean SML, during summer.

  3. Longitudinal variability of the biogeochemical role of Mediterranean aerosols in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ternon, E.; Guieu, C.; Ridame, C.; L'Helguen, S.; Catala, P.

    2011-05-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed basin characterized by a strong thermal stratification during summer during which the atmosphere is the main source of new nutrients to the nutrient-depleted surface layer. From aerosol sampling and microcosm experiments performed during the TransMed BOUM cruise (June-July 2008) we showed that: (i) the Mediterranean atmosphere composition (Al, Fe, P) was homogeneous over ~28° of longitude and was a mixture with a constant proportion of anthropogenic contribution and a variable but modest contribution of crustal aerosols. This quite stable composition over a one month period and a long transect (~2500 km) allowed to define the Mediterranean atmospheric "background" that characterizes the summer season in the absence of major Saharan event and forest fires, (ii) primary production significantly increased at all tested stations after aerosols addition collected on-board and after Saharan dust analog addition, indicating that both additions relieved on-going (co)-limitations. Although both additions significantly increased the N2 fixation rates at the western station, diazotrophic activity remained very low (~0.2 nmol N L-1 d-1), (iii) due to the presence of anthropogenic particles, the probable higher solubility of nutrients associated with mixed aerosols (crustal + anthropogenic contribution), conferred a higher fertilizing potential to on-board collected aerosol as compared to Saharan dust analog. Finally, those experiments showed that atmospheric inputs from a mixed atmospheric event ("summer rain" type) or from a high-intensity Saharan event would induce comparable response by the biota in the stratified Mediterranean SML, during summer.

  4. The Mediterranean Forecasting System: recent developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonani, Marina; Oddo, Paolo; Korres, Gerasimos; Clementi, Emanuela; Dobricic, Srdjan; Drudi, Massimiliano; Pistoia, Jenny; Guarnieri, Antonio; Romaniello, Vito; Girardi, Giacomo; Grandi, Alessandro; Bonaduce, Antonio; Pinardi, Nadia

    2014-05-01

    Recent developments of the Mediterranean Monitoring and Forecasting Centre of the EU-Copernicus marine service, the Mediterranean Forecasting System (MFS), are presented. MFS provides forecast, analysis and reanalysis for the physical and biogeochemical parameters of the Mediterranean Sea. The different components of the system are continuously updated in order to provide to the users the best available product. This work is focus on the physical component of the system. The physical core of MFS is composed by an ocean general circulation model (NEMO) coupled with a spectral wave model (Wave Watch-III). The NEMO model provides to WW-III surface currents and SST fields, while WW-III returns back to NEMO the neutral component of the surface drag coefficient. Satellite Sea Level Anomaly observations and in-situ T & S vertical profiles are assimilated into this system using a variational assimilation scheme based on 3DVAR (Dobricic, 2008) . Sensitive experiments have been performed in order to assess the impact of the assimilation of the latest available SLA missions, Altika and Cryosat together with the long term available mission of Jason2. The results show a significant improvement of the MFS skill due to the multi-mission along track assimilation. The primitive equations module has been recently upgraded with the introduction of the atmospheric pressure term and a new, explicit, numerical scheme has been adopted to solve the barotropic component of the equations of motion. The SLA satellite observations for data assimilation have been consequently modified in order to account for the new atmospheric pressure term introduced in the equations. This new system has been evaluated using tide gauge coastal buoys and the satellite along track data. The quality of the SSH has improved significantly while a minor impact has been observed on the other state variables (temperature, salinity and currents). Experiments with a higher resolution NWP (numerical weather prediction

  5. Moisture sources in the Mediterranean basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mar Gómez Hernández, M.; Hernández Martín, Emiliano; Queralt, Sara; Casanova, Carlos

    2010-05-01

    Water is the main element for life development on Earth and it is essential on the climatic system due to its absorption spectrum on long and short longwaves. One of the statements obtained from the analysis of climate change is about the global atmosphere circulation and its changes on the future. This is consequence of climate change on the atmosphere dynamics. Nowadays, the knowledge of moisture sources in any region is a very important issue, owing to the fact that it is strongly influenced by the following contributions: a)Moisture sources in the own region b)Moisture sources attributed to evapotranspiration processes from the same surface c)Moisture advection from different regions The most important purpose of this study is to determinate and assess the moisture sources involved in the Mediterranean basin using lagrangian tools as Flexpart model.

  6. Ischemic heart disease and the Mediterranean diet.

    PubMed

    Whayne, Thomas F

    2014-01-01

    Lifestyle modification is primary in cardiovascular (CV) disease prevention. A major contribution is the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), defined by two of seven components. Italian investigators determined a significant decrease in peripheral arterial disease of 56 % for a high score. Multiple specific CV risk factors are also favorably modified by the MedDiet. This includes beneficial effect on inflammation, vascular endothelium, and insulin resistance. There is also evidence that coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome are decreased. Benefit appears to extend to new migrants in France. The economics of dietary adherence are favorable with decreased total lifetime health costs. Although mixed nuts appear to be a major factor in the MedDiet, special emphasis goes to extra virgin olive oil. Benefit also extends to other noncommunicable diseases with a decrease in cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Further quantitation of benefit and understanding of mechanisms involved in dietary benefit is essential. PMID:24743900

  7. Intercomparison of six Mediterranean zooplankton time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berline, Léo; Siokou-Frangou, Ioanna; Marasović, Ivona; Vidjak, Olja; Fernández de Puelles, M.a. Luz; Mazzocchi, Maria Grazia; Assimakopoulou, Georgia; Zervoudaki, Soultana; Fonda-Umani, Serena; Conversi, Alessandra; Garcia-Comas, Carmen; Ibanez, Frédéric; Gasparini, Stéphane; Stemmann, Lars; Gorsky, Gabriel

    2012-05-01

    We analyzed and compared Mediterranean mesozooplankton time series spanning 1957-2006 from six coastal stations in the Balearic, Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, North and Middle Adriatic and Aegean Sea. Our analysis focused on fluctuations of major zooplankton taxonomic groups and their relation with environmental and climatic variability. Average seasonal cycles and interannual trends were derived. Stations spanned a large range of trophic status from oligotrophic to moderately eutrophic. Intra-station analyses showed (1) coherent multi-taxa trends off Villefranche sur mer that diverge from the previous results found at species level, (2) in Baleares, covariation of zooplankton and water masses as a consequence of the boundary hydrographic regime in the middle Western Mediterranean, (3) decrease in trophic status and abundance of some taxonomic groups off Naples, and (4) off Athens, an increase of zooplankton abundance and decrease in chlorophyll possibly caused by reduction of anthropogenic nutrient input, increase of microbial components, and more efficient grazing control on phytoplankton. (5) At basin scale, the analysis of temperature revealed significant positive correlations between Villefranche, Trieste and Naples for annual and/or winter average, and synchronous abrupt cooling and warming events centered in 1987 at the same three sites. After correction for multiple comparisons, we found no significant correlations between climate indices and local temperature or zooplankton abundance, nor between stations for zooplankton abundance, therefore we suggest that for these coastal stations local drivers (climatic, anthropogenic) are dominant and that the link between local and larger scale of climate should be investigated further if we are to understand zooplankton fluctuations.

  8. Healthy Fats in Mediterranean Diet Won't Boost Weight

    MedlinePlus

    ... Fats in Mediterranean Diet Won't Boost Weight Vegetable oils, nuts can be a part of a healthful ... health benefits and includes healthy fats, such as vegetable oils, fish and nuts," Estruch explained in a journal ...

  9. Toward homogenization of Mediterranean lagoons and their loss of hydrodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrarin, Christian; Bajo, Marco; Bellafiore, Debora; Cucco, Andrea; De Pascalis, Francesca; Ghezzo, Michol; Umgiesser, Georg

    2014-08-01

    Lagoons are considered to be the most valuable systems of the Mediterranean coastal area, with crucial ecological, historical, economical, and social relevance. Climate change strongly affects coastal areas and can deeply change the status of transitional areas like lagoons. Herein we investigate the hydrological response of 10 Mediterranean lagoons to climate change by means of numerical models. Our results suggest that Mediterranean lagoons amplify the salinity and temperature changes expected for the open sea. Moreover, numerical simulations indicate that there will be a general loss of intralagoon and interlagoon variability of their physical properties. Therefore, as a result of climate change, we see on Mediterranean lagoons an example of a common process that in future may effect many coastal environments: that of homogenization of the physical characteristics with a tendency toward marinization.

  10. Sensitivity of Mediterranean groundwater resources to potential climate futures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, Andreas; Gleeson, Tom; Wagener, Thorsten

    2014-05-01

    A large fraction of the Mediterranean water supply originates from karst aquifers that evolved through the dissolution of carbonate rock. Climate simulations indicate that the Mediterranean will experience a strong increase in temperature and a significant decrease in precipitation within the next 100 years. To be prepared, policy-makers need quantitative and reliable estimates of potential changes to karst water resources. In this study we present the result of a very first attempt to quantify karst water resources over the whole Mediterranean region. Instead of considering groundwater volumes, we consider the flux of water into the aquifer, called groundwater recharge, as a useful indicator for groundwater sustainability. We developed a process-based karst recharge model that is driven by large-scale meteorological observations or downscaled climate scenarios. Using a new metric for quantifying the sensitivity of recharge to climatic changes (termed recharge elasticity) we can explore the sensitivity of Mediterranean karstic groundwater resources to future climatic boundary conditions.

  11. Cognitive health and Mediterranean diet: just diet or lifestyle pattern?

    PubMed

    Yannakoulia, Mary; Kontogianni, Meropi; Scarmeas, Nikolaos

    2015-03-01

    Mediterranean diet is a term used to describe the traditional eating habits of people in Crete, South Italy and other Mediterranean countries. It is a predominantly plant-based diet, with olive oil being the main type of added fat. There are many observational studies exploring the potential association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cognitive decline. The present review focuses on longitudinal studies with repeated cognitive assessments. It also evaluates evidence on behaviors related to the Mediterranean way of living, that have been shown to be associated with cognition, namely social interaction, participation in leisure activities, including physical activities, and sleep quality. The synergistic association-effect of these lifestyle behaviors, including diet, is unknown. Lifestyle patterns may constitute a new research and public health perspective. PMID:25461244

  12. The toxicology of Latrodectus tredecimguttatus: the Mediterranean Black Widow spider.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, M S

    2004-01-01

    The symptomatology of envenomation by the Mediterranean Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus tredecimguttatus, is reviewed. The results confirm the hypothesis that the homeopathic remedy, Tarentula hispanica, is derived from this spider, not from the Wolf spider, Lycosa tarentula. PMID:14960100

  13. Visceral Leishmaniasis and HIV Coinfection in the Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Monge-Maillo, Begoña; Norman, Francesca F.; Cruz, Israel; Alvar, Jorge; López-Vélez, Rogelio

    2014-01-01

    Visceral leishmaniasis is hypoendemic in Mediterranean countries, where it is caused by the flagellate protozoan Leishmania infantum. VL cases in this area account for 5%–6% of the global burden. Cases of Leishmania/HIV coinfection have been reported in the Mediterranean region, mainly in France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Since highly active antiretroviral therapy was introduced in 1997, a marked decrease in the number of coinfected cases in this region has been reported. The development of new diagnostic methods to accurately identify level of parasitemia and the risk of relapse is one of the main challenges in improving the treatment of coinfected patients. Clinical trials in the Mediterranean region are needed to determine the most adequate therapeutic options for Leishmania/HIV patients as well as the indications and regimes for secondary prophylaxis. This article reviews the epidemiological, diagnostic, clinical, and therapeutic aspects of Leishmania/HIV coinfection in the Mediterranean region. PMID:25144380

  14. The Mediterranean interannual variability in MEDRYS, a Mediterranean Sea reanalysis over 1992-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuvier, Jonathan; Hamon, Mathieu; Lellouche, Jean-Michel; Greiner, Eric; Alias, Antoinette; Arsouze, Thomas; Benkiran, Mounir; Béranger, Karine; Drillet, Yann; Sevault, Florence; Somot, Samuel

    2015-04-01

    The French research community on the Mediterranean Sea and the French operational ocean forecasting center Mercator Océan are gathering their skills and expertises in physical oceanography, ocean modelling, atmospheric forcings and data assimilation, to carry out a MEDiterranean Sea ReanalYsiS (MEDRYS) at high resolution for the period 1992-2013. The reanalysis is used to have a realistic description of the ocean state over the recent decades and it will help to understand the long-term water cycle over the Mediterranean basin in terms of variability and trends, contributing thus to the HyMeX international program. The ocean model used is NEMOMED12 [Lebeaupin Brossier et al., 2011, Oc. Mod., 2012, Oc. Mod.; Beuvier et al., 2012a, JGR, 2012b, Mercator Newsl.], a Mediterranean configuration of NEMO [Madec and the NEMO Team, 2008], with a 1/12° (about 7 km) horizontal resolution and 75 vertical z-levels with partial steps. It is forced by the 3-hourly atmospheric fluxes coming from an ALADIN-Climate simulation at 12 km of resolution [Herrmann et al., 2011, NHESS], driven by the ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis. The exchanges with the Atlantic Ocean are performed through a buffer zone, with a damping on 3D theta-S and on sea level towards the ORA-S4 oceanic reanalysis [Balmaseda et al., 2012, QJRMS]. This model configuration is used to carry a 34-year free simulation over the period 1979-2013. This free simulation is the initial state of the reanalysis in October 1992. It is also used to compute anomalies from which the data assimilation scheme derives required characteristic covariances of the ocean model. MEDRYS1 uses the current Mercator Océan operational data assimilation system [Lellouche et al., 2013, Oc.Sci.]. It uses a reduced order Kalman filter with a 3D multivariate modal decomposition of the forecast error. A 3D-Var scheme corrects biases in temperature and salinity for the slowly evolving large-scale. In addition, some modifications dedicated to the

  15. Miocene to Pleistocene osmium isotopic records of the Mediterranean sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, Junichiro; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Gennari, Rocco; Lugli, Stefano; Manzi, Vinicio; Roveri, Marco; Flecker, Rachel; Sierro, Francisco J.; Yoshimura, Toshihiro; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2016-01-01

    In the late Miocene the Mediterranean Sea experienced a salinity crisis and thick sequences of evaporites precipitated across the deep and marginal basins. In this study we report Os isotopic records from Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Project cores in the Mediterranean: the Balearic Sea (Site 372), the Tyrrhenian Sea (Site 654), the Ionian Basin (Site 374), and the Florence Rise (Sites 375-376), as well as Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Site U1387 in Gulf of Cadiz, North Atlantic. Pliocene-Pleistocene sediments at all sites show 187Os/188Os values close to that of the coeval ocean water, indicating that the Mediterranean was connected to the North Atlantic. Evaporitic sediments deposited during the latest Miocene, however, have 187Os/188Os values significantly lower than coeval ocean water values. The offset of the Mediterranean evaporite 187Os/188Os is attributed to limited exchange with the North Atlantic during the Messinian salinity crisis. The source of unradiogenic Os is likely to be weathering of ultramafic rocks (ophiolites) cropping out in the Mediterranean's drainage basins. Based on a box model we estimated the amount of unradiogenic Os and the Atlantic-Mediterranean exchange rate to explain this offset. Os isotopic ratios of the pre-evaporite sediments in the western Mediterranean are almost identical to that of the coeval ocean water. In contrast, equivalent sediments from the Florence Rise have significantly lower 187Os/188Os values. The offset in the Os isotopic ratio on the Florence Rise is attributed either to limited water exchange between eastern and western Mediterranean or to local effects associated with exhumation of the Troodos ophiolites (Cyprus).

  16. A phylogenetic perspective on the evolution of Mediterranean teleost fishes.

    PubMed

    Meynard, Christine N; Mouillot, David; Mouquet, Nicolas; Douzery, Emmanuel J P

    2012-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a highly diverse, highly studied, and highly impacted biogeographic region, yet no phylogenetic reconstruction of fish diversity in this area has been published to date. Here, we infer the timing and geographic origins of Mediterranean teleost species diversity using nucleotide sequences collected from GenBank. We assembled a DNA supermatrix composed of four mitochondrial genes (12S ribosomal DNA, 16S ribosomal DNA, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and cytochrome b) and two nuclear genes (rhodopsin and recombination activating gene I), including 62% of Mediterranean teleost species plus 9 outgroups. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic and dating analyses were calibrated using 20 fossil constraints. An additional 124 species were grafted onto the chronogram according to their taxonomic affinity, checking for the effects of taxonomic coverage in subsequent diversification analyses. We then interpreted the time-line of teleost diversification in light of Mediterranean historical biogeography, distinguishing non-endemic natives, endemics and exotic species. Results show that the major Mediterranean orders are of Cretaceous origin, specifically ~100-80 Mya, and most Perciformes families originated 80-50 Mya. Two important clade origin events were detected. The first at 100-80 Mya, affected native and exotic species, and reflects a global diversification period at a time when the Mediterranean Sea did not yet exist. The second occurred during the last 50 Mya, and is noticeable among endemic and native species, but not among exotic species. This period corresponds to isolation of the Mediterranean from Indo-Pacific waters before the Messinian salinity crisis. The Mediterranean fish fauna illustrates well the assembly of regional faunas through origination and immigration, where dispersal and isolation have shaped the emergence of a biodiversity hotspot. PMID:22590545

  17. Extra-Mediterranean refugia: The rule and not the exception?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Some decades ago, biogeographers distinguished three major faunal types of high importance for Europe: (i) Mediterranean elements with exclusive glacial survival in the Mediterranean refugia, (ii) Siberian elements with glacial refugia in the eastern Palearctic and only postglacial expansion to Europe and (iii) arctic and/or alpine elements with large zonal distributions in the periglacial areas and postglacial retreat to the North and/or into the high mountain systems. Genetic analyses have unravelled numerous additional refugia both of continental and Mediterranean species, thus strongly modifying the biogeographical view of Europe. This modified notion is particularly true for the so-called Siberian species, which in many cases have not immigrated into Europe during the postglacial period, but most likely have survived the last, or even several glacial phases, in extra-Mediterranean refugia in some climatically favourable but geographically limited areas of southern Central and Eastern Europe. Recently, genetic analyses revealed that typical Mediterranean species have also survived the Last Glacial Maximum in cryptic northern refugia (e.g. in the Carpathians or even north of the Alps) in addition to their Mediterranean refuge areas. PMID:22953783

  18. Cyclone contribution to the Mediterranean Sea water budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flaounas, E.; Di Luca, A.; Drobinski, P.; Mailler, S.; Arsouze, T.; Bastin, S.; Beranger, K.; Lebeaupin Brossier, C.

    2016-02-01

    This paper analyzes the impact of cyclones to the atmospheric components on the Mediterranean Sea Water Budget, namely the cyclones contribution to precipitation and evaporation over the Mediterranean Sea. Three regional simulations were performed with the WRF model for the period 1989-2008. The model was run (1) as a standalone model, (2) coupled with the oceanic model NEMO-MED12 and (3) forced by the smoothed Sea Surface Temperature (SST) fields from the second simulation. Cyclones were tracked in all simulations, and their contribution to the total rainfall and evaporation was quantified. Results show that cyclones are mainly associated with extreme precipitation, representing more than 50 % of the annual rainfall over the Mediterranean Sea. On the other hand, we found that cyclone-induced evaporation represents only a small fraction of the annual total, except in winter, when the most intense Mediterranean cyclones take place. Despite the significant contribution of cyclones to rainfall, our results show that there is a balance between cyclone-induced rainfall and evaporation, suggesting a weak net impact of cyclones on the Mediterranean Sea water budget. The sensitivity of our results with respect to rapid SST changes during the development of cyclones was also investigated. Both rainfall and evaporation are affected in correlation with the SST response to the atmosphere. In fact, air feedbacks to the Mediterranean Sea during the cyclones occurrence were shown to cool down the SST and consequently to reduce rainfall and evaporation at the proximity of cyclone centers.

  19. The Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries at risk from overexploitation.

    PubMed

    Tsikliras, Athanassios C; Dinouli, Anny; Tsiros, Vasileios-Zikos; Tsalkou, Eleni

    2015-01-01

    The status of the Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries was evaluated for the period 1970-2010 on a subarea basis, using various indicators including the temporal variability of total landings, the number of recorded stocks, the mean trophic level of the catch, the fishing-in-balance index and the catch-based method of stock classification. All indicators confirmed that the fisheries resources of the Mediterranean and Black Sea are at risk from overexploitation. The pattern of exploitation and the state of stocks differed among the western (W), central (C) and eastern (E) Mediterranean subareas and the Black Sea (BS), with the E Mediterranean and BS fisheries being in a worst shape. Indeed, in the E Mediterranean and the BS, total landings, mean trophic level of the catch and fishing-in-balance index were declining, the cumulative percentage of overexploited and collapsed stocks was higher, and the percentage of developing stocks was lower, compared to the W and C Mediterranean. Our results confirm the need for detailed and extensive stock assessments across species that will eventually lead to stocks recovering through conservation and management measures. PMID:25793975

  20. The Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries at Risk from Overexploitation

    PubMed Central

    Tsikliras, Athanassios C.; Dinouli, Anny; Tsiros, Vasileios-Zikos; Tsalkou, Eleni

    2015-01-01

    The status of the Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries was evaluated for the period 1970-2010 on a subarea basis, using various indicators including the temporal variability of total landings, the number of recorded stocks, the mean trophic level of the catch, the fishing-in-balance index and the catch-based method of stock classification. All indicators confirmed that the fisheries resources of the Mediterranean and Black Sea are at risk from overexploitation. The pattern of exploitation and the state of stocks differed among the western (W), central (C) and eastern (E) Mediterranean subareas and the Black Sea (BS), with the E Mediterranean and BS fisheries being in a worst shape. Indeed, in the E Mediterranean and the BS, total landings, mean trophic level of the catch and fishing-in-balance index were declining, the cumulative percentage of overexploited and collapsed stocks was higher, and the percentage of developing stocks was lower, compared to the W and C Mediterranean. Our results confirm the need for detailed and extensive stock assessments across species that will eventually lead to stocks recovering through conservation and management measures. PMID:25793975

  1. TERENO-MED: Terrestrial Environmental Observatories in the Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krueger, Elisabeth; Friesen, Jan; Kallioras, Andreas; Bogena, Heye; Devaraju, Anusuriya; Vereecken, Harry; Teutsch, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The Mediterranean region is one of the most imperilled regions in the world concerning present and future water scarcity. The region is delicately positioned at the crossroads between East and West, interlinking Europe, Asia and Africa. Societal and economic changes causing population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation lead to significant increases in food, water and energy demand. Hence, natural resources, such as water and soils, as well as ecosystems are put under pressure and water availability and quality will be severely affected in the future. At the same time, climate and extreme event projections from climate models for the Mediterranean are, unlike for most regions worldwide, consistent in their trends based on various scenarios. This consistency in the model predictions shows that the Mediterranean will face some of the most severe increases in dryness worldwide (based on consecutive dry days and soil moisture), and indicate a decrease of up to 50 % in available water resources within the next 50-100 years. These developments are accentuated by the fact that in many of the Mediterranean countries, natural renewable water resources are fully exploited or over-exploited already today, mainly due to agricultural irrigation, but also touristic activities. At the same time, the Mediterranean region is a global hot spot of freshwater biodiversity, with a high proportion of endemic and endangered species. While trend projections for water availability and climate change derived from global studies are consistent, regional patterns and heterogeneities, as well as local adaptation measures will largely determine the functioning of societies and the health of ecosystems. However, a lack of environmental data prohibits the development of sustainable adaptation measures to water scarcity on a scientific basis. Building on the experiences gained in the national TERENO network, a Mediterranean observatory network will be set-up, coordinated by two Helmholtz

  2. Multi-Model approach to reconstruct the Mediterranean Freshwater Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Dirk; Marzocchi, Alice; Flecker, Rachel; Lunt, Dan; Hilgen, Frits; Meijer, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Today the Mediterranean Sea is isolated from the global ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar. This restricted nature causes the Mediterranean basin to react more sensitively to climatic and tectonic related phenomena than the global ocean. Not just eustatic sea-level and regional river run-off, but also gateway tectonics and connectivity between sub-basins are leaving an enhanced fingerprint in its geological record. To understand its evolution, it is crucial to understand how these different effects are coupled. The Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary record of the Mediterranean shows alternations in composition and colour and has been astronomically tuned. Around the Miocene-Pliocene Boundary the most extreme changes occur in the Mediterranean Sea. About 6% of the salt in the global ocean deposited in the Mediterranean Region, forming an approximately 2 km thick salt layer, which is still present today. This extreme event is named the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.97-5.33 Ma). The gateway and climate evolution is not well constrained for this time, which makes it difficult to distinguish which of the above mentioned drivers might have triggered the MSC. We, therefore, decided to tackle this problem via a multi-model approach: (1) We calculate the Mediterranean freshwater evolution via 30 atmosphere-ocean-vegetation simulations (using HadCM3L), to which we fitted to a function, using a regression model. This allows us to directly relate the orbital curves to evaporation, precipitation and run off. The resulting freshwater evolution can be directly correlated to other sedimentary and proxy records in the late Miocene. (2) By feeding the new freshwater evolution curve into a box/budget model we can predict the salinity and strontium evolution of the Mediterranean for a certain Atlantic-Mediterranean gateway. (3) By comparing these results to the known salinity thresholds of gypsum and halite saturation of sea water, but also to the late Miocene Mediterranean strontium

  3. Hydrological response of the Mediterranean catchments- A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merheb, Mohammad; Moussa, Roger; Abdallah, Chadi; Colin, François; Perrin, Charles; Baghdadi, Nicolas

    2015-04-01

    The Mediterranean region is a water stressed environment with increasing climatic and anthropogenic pressures. This work presents a review of 120 hydrological studies carried out in the Mediterranean region. It contributes to the ongoing hydrological research initiative on "Hydrology in a changing world" launched by the IAHS in 2014. It aims to understand the characteristics of hydrological response under Mediterranean conditions, taking into account changes driven by anthropogenic and climatic factors; and to compare modeling and regionalization approaches in use. The study region is divided into three sub-regions: Northwestern Mediterranean (NWM), Eastern (EM) and Southern Mediterranean (SM). Information on catchments responses and modeling approaches at different time scales (annual, dry season and event) were extracted from published studies, and analyzed. Results indicate regional discrepancies (between NWM, EM and SM sub-regions) in the distribution of climatic and hydrological response characteristics at the annual and the event scale. The NWM catchments are the wettest, and the SM catchments are the driest, while the EM catchments are intermediate and exhibit the largest variability. The NWM sub-region shows the most extreme rainfall regime in the Mediterranean, particularly, in an arc that extends from Northeastern Spain to Northeastern Italy. Observations indicate decreasing tendency in water resources due to both anthropogenic and climatic impacts, and a more extreme rainfall regime. Moreover, Mediterranean catchments show very heterogeneous responses in time and space which make the modeling of their hydrological functioning very complicated and data demanding, with increasing model limitations and uncertainties. Nevertheless, the models in use are classical ones; very few were developed to address these regional specificities. Regionalization studies in the Mediterranean are scarce even in term of low flows and FDCs which is surprising in a water

  4. Medclic: the Mediterranean in one click

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troupin, Charles; Frontera, Biel; Sebastián, Kristian; Pau Beltran, Joan; Krietemeyer, Andreas; Gómara, Sonia; Gomila, Mikel; Escudier, Romain; Juza, Mélanie; Mourre, Baptiste; Garau, Angels; Cañellas, Tomeu; Tintoré, Joaquín

    2016-04-01

    "Medclic: the Mediterranean in one click" is a research and dissemination project focused on the scientific, technological and societal approaches of the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System ({SOCIB}{www.socib.es}) in a collaboration with "la Caixa" Foundation. SOCIB aims at research excellence and the development of technology which enables progress toward the sustainable management of coastal and marine environments, providing solutions to meet the needs of society. Medclic goes one step forward and has two main goals: at the scientific level, to advance in establishing and understanding the mesoscale variability at the regional scale and its interaction, and thus improving the characterisation of the "oceanic weather" in the Mediterranean; at the outreach level: to bring SOCIB and the new paradigm of multi-platform observation in real time closer to society, through scientific outreach. SOCIB Data Centre is the core of the new multi-platform and real time oceanography and is responsible for directing the different stages of data management, ranging from data acquisition to its distribution and visualization through web applications. The system implemented relies on open source solutions and provides data in line with international standards and conventions (INSPIRE, netCDF Climate and Forecast, ldots). In addition, the Data Centre has implemented a REST web service, called Data Discovery. This service allows data generated by SOCIB to be integrated into applications developed by the Data Centre itself or by third parties, as it is the case with Medclic. Relying on this data distribution, the new web Medclic, www.medclic.es, constitutes an interactive scientific and educational area of communication that contributes to the rapprochement of the general public with the new marine and coastal observing technologies. Thanks to the Medclic web, data coming from new observing technologies in oceanography are available in real time and in one clic

  5. Mediterranean diet and Alzheimer disease mortality

    PubMed Central

    Scarmeas, Nikolaos; Luchsinger, Jose A.; Mayeux, Richard; Stern, Yaakov

    2009-01-01

    Background We previously reported that the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) is related to lower risk for Alzheimer disease (AD). Whether MeDi is associated with subsequent AD course and outcomes has not been investigated. Objectives To examine the association between MeDi and mortality in patients with AD. Methods A total of 192 community-based individuals in New York who were diagnosed with AD were prospectively followed every 1.5 years. Adherence to the MeDi (0- to 9-point scale with higher scores indicating higher adherence) was the main predictor of mortality in Cox models that were adjusted for period of recruitment, age, gender, ethnicity, education, APOE genotype, caloric intake, smoking, and body mass index. Results Eighty-five patients with AD (44%) died during the course of 4.4 (±3.6, 0.2 to 13.6) years of follow-up. In unadjusted models, higher adherence to MeDi was associated with lower mortality risk (for each additional MeDi point hazard ratio 0.79; 95% CI 0.69 to 0.91; p = 0.001). This result remained significant after controlling for all covariates (0.76; 0.65 to 0.89; p = 0.001). In adjusted models, as compared with AD patients at the lowest MeDi adherence fertile, those at the middle fertile had lower mortality risk (0.65; 0.38 to 1.09; 1.33 years’ longer survival), whereas subjects at the highest fertile had an even lower risk (0.27; 0.10 to 0.69; 3.91 years’ longer survival; p for trend = 0.003). Conclusion Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) may affect not only risk for Alzheimer disease (AD) but also subsequent disease course: Higher adherence to the MeDi is associated with lower mortality in AD. The gradual reduction in mortality risk for higher MeDi adherence tertiles suggests a possible dose–response effect. PMID:17846408

  6. Observing Mean Annual Mediterranean Maquis Ecosystem Respiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marras, S.; Bellucco, V.; Mereu, S.; Sirca, C.; Spano, D.

    2014-12-01

    In semi arid ecosystems, extremely low Soil Water Content (SWC) values may limit ecosystem respiration (Reco) to the point of hiding the typical exponential response of respiration to temperature. This work is aimed to understand and model the Reco of an evergreen Mediterranean maquis ecosystem and to estimate the contribution of soil CO2 efflux to Reco. The selected site is located in the center of the Mediterranean sea in Sardinia (Italy). Mean annual precipitation is 588 mm and mean annual temperature is 15.9 °C. Vegetation cover is heterogeneous: 70% covered by shrubs and 30% of bare soil. Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) is monitored with an Eddy Covariance (EC) tower since April 2004. Soil collars were placed underneath the dominant species (Juniperus phoenicea and Pistacia lentiscus) and over the bare soil. Soil CO2 efflux was measured once a month since April 2012. Soil temperature and SWC were monitored continuously at 5 cm depth in 4 different positions close to the soil collars. Six years of EC measurements (2005-2010) and two years of soil CO2 efflux (2012-2013) measurements were analysed. Reco was estimated from the measured EC fluxes at night after filtering for adequate turbulence (u* > 1.5). Reco measurements were then binned into 1°C intervals and median values were first fitted using the Locally Estimated Scatterplot Smoothing (LOESS) method (to determine the dominant trend of the experimental curve) Reco shows an exponential increase with air and soil temperature, until SWC measured at 0.2 m depth remains above 19% vol. Secondly, the coefficients of the selected Lloyd and Taylor (1994) were estimated through the nonlinear least square (nls) method: Rref (ecosystem respiration rate at a reference temperature of 10 °C was equal to 1.65 μmol m-2 s-1 and E0 (activation energy parameter that determines the temperature sensitivity) was equal to 322.46. In addition, bare and drier soils show a reduced response of measured CO2 efflux to increasing

  7. MEDARGO: A drifting profiler program in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulain, P.-M.; Barbanti, R.; Font, J.; Cruzado, A.; Millot, C.; Gertman, I.; Griffa, A.; Molcard, A.; Rupolo, V.; Le Bras, S.; Petit de La Villeon, L.

    2006-11-01

    In the framework of the EU-funded MFSTEP project, autonomous drifting profilers were deployed throughout the Mediterranean Sea to collect temperature and salinity profile data and to measure subsurface currents. The realization of this profiler program in the Mediterranean, referred to as MEDARGO, is described and assessed using data collected between June 2004 and March 2006 (including more than 1500 profiles). Recommendations are provided for the permanent future implementation of MEDARGO in support of operational oceanography in the Mediterranean Sea. More than twenty drifting profilers were deployed from research vessels and ships-of-opportunity in most areas of the Mediterranean. They were all programmed to execute 5-day cycles with drift at a neutral parking depth of 350 m and CTD profiles from either 700 or 2000 m up to the surface. They stayed at the sea surface for about 6 h to be localised by, and transmit the data to, the Argos satellite system. The temperature and salinity data obtained with pumped Sea-Bird CTD instruments were processed and made available to the scientific community and to operational users in near-real time using standard ARGO protocols, and were assimilated into Mediterranean numerical forecasting models. In general, the cycling and sampling characteristics chosen for the MEDARGO profilers were found to be adequate for the Mediterranean. However, it is strongly advised to use GPS and global cellular phone telemetry or the future Argos bi-directional satellite system in order to avoid data compression and losses, for the continuation of the Mediterranean drifting profiler program.

  8. Environmental Changes in the pre-Messinian Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayser, J. P.; Marzocchi, A.; Lunt, D. J.; Pancost, R. D.; Sierro, F. J.; Flecker, R.

    2015-12-01

    The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) is an extreme event which occurred in the Mediterranean Basin at the end of the Miocene (5.97 to 5.33 Ma) resulting in thick evaporite deposits. There is evidence of restriction of the Atlantic-Mediterranean corridor several million years before the first evaporites. These pre-MSC successions are dominated by precession-controlled lithological variations which are putative responses to changing fluvial runoff. Recent climate simulations indicate that runoff into the Eastern Mediterranean is influenced by monsoonal precipitation from the North African continent. The Sorbas Basin in Spain and the Pissouri Section on Cyprus both contain pre-MSC successions from the margins of the Mediterranean Basin. We analysed biomarkers in conjunction with existing faunal records to understand whether simulated runoff changes were manifested in the sedimentological record and organic matter assemblages. This multi-proxy dataset allows us to compare the environmental evolution of the western vs. eastern basins prior to the MSC and allows us to test both climate models for Messinian climate variabitly and conceptual models for sedimentation. In the Sorbas Basin, pronounced orbital changes in faunal assemblages reflect Mediterrannean influences into the local Sorbas system; however, these are not manifested in biomarker assemblages, which are likely governed by more local hydrological processes, which in the Western Mediterranean lacked a strong precessional control. In the Pissouri Basin, however, terrigeous OM inputs sources exhibit strong orbital variations, suggesting a close link to precessionally driven changes in rainfall. Together, these results validate the sapropel formation hypothesis in the Mediterranean and confirm a strong precessional control on the African monsoon during the late Miocene; however, they also reveal the complex controls on the hydrology and sedimentology of marginal Mediterranean basins, such as the Sorbas Basin.

  9. Setting Priorities for Regional Conservation Planning in the Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Levin, Noam; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Abdulla, Ameer; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Kark, Salit; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Mackelworth, Peter; Maiorano, Luigi; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial prioritization in conservation is required to direct limited resources to where actions are most urgently needed and most likely to produce effective conservation outcomes. In an effort to advance the protection of a highly threatened hotspot of marine biodiversity, the Mediterranean Sea, multiple spatial conservation plans have been developed in recent years. Here, we review and integrate these different plans with the goal of identifying priority conservation areas that represent the current consensus among the different initiatives. A review of six existing and twelve proposed conservation initiatives highlights gaps in conservation and management planning, particularly within the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean and for offshore and deep sea habitats. The eighteen initiatives vary substantially in their extent (covering 0.1–58.5% of the Mediterranean Sea) and in the location of additional proposed conservation and management areas. Differences in the criteria, approaches and data used explain such variation. Despite the diversity among proposals, our analyses identified ten areas, encompassing 10% of the Mediterranean Sea, that are consistently identified among the existing proposals, with an additional 10% selected by at least five proposals. These areas represent top priorities for immediate conservation action. Despite the plethora of initiatives, major challenges face Mediterranean biodiversity and conservation. These include the need for spatial prioritization within a comprehensive framework for regional conservation planning, the acquisition of additional information from data-poor areas, species or habitats, and addressing the challenges of establishing transboundary governance and collaboration in socially, culturally and politically complex conditions. Collective prioritised action, not new conservation plans, is needed for the north, western, and high seas of the Mediterranean, while developing initial information

  10. Setting priorities for regional conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Levin, Noam; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Abdulla, Ameer; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Kark, Salit; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Mackelworth, Peter; Maiorano, Luigi; Possingham, Hugh P

    2013-01-01

    Spatial prioritization in conservation is required to direct limited resources to where actions are most urgently needed and most likely to produce effective conservation outcomes. In an effort to advance the protection of a highly threatened hotspot of marine biodiversity, the Mediterranean Sea, multiple spatial conservation plans have been developed in recent years. Here, we review and integrate these different plans with the goal of identifying priority conservation areas that represent the current consensus among the different initiatives. A review of six existing and twelve proposed conservation initiatives highlights gaps in conservation and management planning, particularly within the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean and for offshore and deep sea habitats. The eighteen initiatives vary substantially in their extent (covering 0.1-58.5% of the Mediterranean Sea) and in the location of additional proposed conservation and management areas. Differences in the criteria, approaches and data used explain such variation. Despite the diversity among proposals, our analyses identified ten areas, encompassing 10% of the Mediterranean Sea, that are consistently identified among the existing proposals, with an additional 10% selected by at least five proposals. These areas represent top priorities for immediate conservation action. Despite the plethora of initiatives, major challenges face Mediterranean biodiversity and conservation. These include the need for spatial prioritization within a comprehensive framework for regional conservation planning, the acquisition of additional information from data-poor areas, species or habitats, and addressing the challenges of establishing transboundary governance and collaboration in socially, culturally and politically complex conditions. Collective prioritised action, not new conservation plans, is needed for the north, western, and high seas of the Mediterranean, while developing initial information-based plans

  11. Hereditary disorders in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed Central

    Hamamy, H.; Alwan, A.

    1994-01-01

    Hereditary diseases and congenital malformations have been reported to affect 2-5% of all live births. Available evidence suggests that genetic disorders are equally important also in countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Considerable achievements have been made over the last two decades in controlling communicable diseases in the region. Concurrently, there has been a mounting awareness of the increasing importance of hereditary disorders. Certain genetically determined diseases such as the haemoglobinopathies and enzymopathies are extremely common in the region and the need to initiate public health measures for their control is increasingly being recognized. The following factors may contribute to the elevated prevalence of genetically determined disorders: the high consanguinity rates; the high frequency of haemoglobinopathies and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; the trend of continuing to bear children up to menopause; the general lack of public awareness about genetic diseases; and the dearth of genetic services in the region. These and some other related issues are discussed in detail in this review article. PMID:8131251

  12. Potential vorticity patterns in Mediterranean hurricanes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laviola, Sante; Marcello Miglietta, M.; Cerrai, Diego; Cattani, Elsa; Levizzani, Vincenzo

    2016-04-01

    Two new variables have been introduced to better identify the potential vorticity (PV) anomalies due to the intrusion of dry stratospheric air from those induced by the diabatic latent heating. This new approach has been applied to the analysis of three Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones characterized by heavy precipitation patterns. Model simulations show that the interaction between an upper level PV streamer, located on the left exit of a jet stream and a middle-low level PV anomaly, induced by the convection development around the low level vortex, plays a key role in the intensification of cyclones in all cases. These anomalies, despite their strong mutual interaction, do not form a fully developed PV tower. In the mature stage, the shape of the upper level PV anomaly around the cyclone is different for each case and appears somehow dependent on the lifetime of the vortex. A first comparison with satellite-derived products seems to confirm the initial results from model simulations.

  13. Phenomenology of the Eastern Mediterranean Transient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roether, W.

    2003-04-01

    The profound deep-water changes now commonly termed the Eastern Mediterranean transient (EMT) were well underway during the POEM-BC 1991 hydrographic survey. They were indicated in T/S obervations in the southern Aegean and in current meter data in the Cretan Arc straits even earlier, and had caused anomalous ocean bottom heat fluxes observed in 1993-94. When METEOR survey M31/1 provided the first coherent description of the EMT, it was fully developed. The classical Adriatic deep water source had stopped, while the Aegean had released about 7 Sverdup* years of highly saline waters, which affected much of the waters outside the Cretan Arc, mostly so below about 1600 m depth. The path and the hydrographic properties of the classical Levantine Intermediate Water had also been altered. The EMT evolution after 1995 has been detailed in various subsequent surveys. While promi- nence of the Aegean source decreased, the Adriatic dense water source recovered only gradually, inducing stagnancy over a good part of the deep waters. The sub- surface waters have continued to be in a highly transient stage, and the prospect is that this situation will remain for many years to come. The eventual outcome, inclu- ding the future role of the Aegean as a source of dense waters, remains open.

  14. Mediterranean Diet and Cardiodiabesity: A Review

    PubMed Central

    García-Fernández, Elena; Rico-Cabanas, Laura; Rosgaard, Nanna; Estruch, Ramón; Bach-Faig, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Cardiodiabesity has been used to define and describe the well-known relationship between type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), obesity, the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objective of this study was to perform a scientific literature review with a systematic search to examine all the cardiovascular risk factors combined and their relationship with adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) pattern as primary prevention against cardiodiabesity in a holistic approach. Research was conducted using the PubMed database including clinical trials, cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies. Thirty-seven studies were reviewed: fourteen related to obesity, ten to CVD, nine to MetS, and four to T2DM. Indeed 33 provided strong evidence on the association between adherence to a MedDiet and a reduced incidence of collective cardiodiabesity risk in epidemiological studies. This scientific evidence makes the MedDiet pattern very useful for preventive strategies directed at the general population and also highlights the need to consider all these diet-related risk factors and health outcomes together in daily primary care. PMID:25192027

  15. Recent nutrient dynamics in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kitack; Moon, Ji-Young

    2016-04-01

    The concentrations of nitrate (N) and phosphate (P), and the N:P ratio in the upper water column of the Mediterranean Sea (MED) were examined using observational data (~173,000 data points) collected since 1980s. The observed trends were found to distinctly evolve in the western and eastern MED. In the western MED the N and P concentrations have rapidly increased over time and was broadly consistent with the riverine input history from the populated areas surrounding the western MED. Contrarily, the N and P concentrations in the eastern MED markedly increased up until the mid-1995 and briefly remained high between 1995 and 2000. The N concentration rapidly decreased thereafter. In particular, the three-phase temporal transition of N and P in the eastern MED (increase-constant-decline) was more consistent with the emission history of pollutant nitrogen from the western European continent, in which regulation of emissions of pollutant nitrogen has been in place since 1970s. Our analysis implies that the recent N dynamics in the upper MED appeared to be sensitive to input dynamics of anthropogenic N, via atmospheric deposition and river. This conclusion is further strengthened by good agreement between the integrated rate of increase in the upper-water N inventory and the total anthropogenic N input during the past 30 years.

  16. Architectural plasticity in a Mediterranean winter annual

    PubMed Central

    Shemesh, Hagai; Zaitchik, Benjamin; Acuña, Tania; Novoplansky, Ariel

    2012-01-01

    Size variability in plants may be underlain by overlooked components of architectural plasticity. In annual plants, organ sizes are expected to depend on the availability and reliability of resources and developmental time. Given sufficient resources and developmental time, plants are expected to develop a greater number of large branches, which would maximize fitness in the long run. However, under restrictive growth conditions and environmental reliability, developing large branches might be risky and smaller branches are expected to foster higher final fitness. Growth and architecture of Trifolium purpureum (Papilionaceae) plants from both Mediterranean (MED) and semi-arid (SAR) origins were studied, when plants were subjected to variable water availability, photoperiod cues and germination timing. Although no clear architectural plasticity could be found in response to water availability, plants subjected to photoperiod cuing typical to late spring developed fewer basal branches. Furthermore, plants that germinated late were significantly smaller, with fewer basal branches, compared with plants which grew for the same time, starting at the beginning of the growing season. The results demonstrate an intricate interplay between size and architectural plasticities, whereby size modifications are readily induced by environmental factors related to prevalent resource availability but architectural plasticity is only elicited following the perception of reliable anticipatory cues. PMID:22499177

  17. Study of the impact of cyclogenesis at the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribo, M.; Llasat, C.

    2009-09-01

    The Mediterranean Basin is usually affected by high impact weather events, generating high impacts in all Mediterranean countries and causing important damages. This basin is surrounded by mountains and arid regions, and the interaction of the air flow with the orography barriers produces many effects, the most important is the formation of low pressure centers. This is one of the reasons why the Mediterranean Sea is considered to be the most cyclogenetic area in the world (Jansà, 1997). Floods are also one of the most important natural hazards in the Mediterranean Basin. Flood events occur when soil absorption, runoff or drainage cannot adequately disperse intense rainfall from quasi-stationary or stationary weather systems in short time periods. In some occasions these floods produce high social impact in the affected areas. Our work presents the study of the relationship between the flood episodes and the presence of cyclones in the Mediterranean Basin during those episodes, between 1990 and 2004. Information about social impact of each event has also been considered. To do these analyses the MEDEX database (MEDiterranean EXperiment on cyclones that produce high impact weather in the Mediterranean) has been improved in the frame work of the European FLASH project, and information about cyclones and rainfall has been extracted from the MEDEX cyclones database. A total of 217 flood events had been identified. Once the presence of one or more cyclones during each flood episode has been identified, temporal and regional analyses were made to determine the distribution of the cyclonic centers and to study the evolution of the events. Mediterranean cyclogenesis is leaded by influence of external systems (along the African coast, from the Atlantic Ocean, and from the west of Europe), although the majority of the cyclones (87% of the studied cases) are generated in the Mediterranean Basin, under influence of preexistent systems. There are different Mediterranean

  18. Historical colonization and demography of the Mediterranean damselfish, Chromis chromis.

    PubMed

    Domingues, Vera S; Bucciarelli, Giuseppe; Almada, Vitor C; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2005-11-01

    The desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea during the Messinian Salinity Crisis 6.0-5.3 million years ago (Ma), caused a major extinction of the marine ichthyofauna of the Mediterranean. This was followed by an abrupt replenishment of the Mediterranean from the Atlantic after the opening of the Strait of Gibraltar. In this study, we combined demographic and phylogeographic approaches using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers to test the alternative hypotheses of where (Atlantic or Mediterranean) and when (before or after the Messinian Salinity Crisis) speciation occurred in the Mediterranean damselfish, Chromis chromis. The closely related geminate transisthmian pair Chromis multilineata and Chromis atrilobata was used as a way of obtaining an internally calibrated molecular clock. We estimated C. chromis speciation timing both by determining the time of divergence between C. chromis and its Atlantic sister species Chromis limbata (0.93-3.26 Ma depending on the molecular marker used, e.g. 1.23-1.39 Ma for the control region), and by determining the time of coalescence for C. chromis based on mitochondrial control region sequences (0.14-0.21 Ma). The time of speciation of C. chromis was always posterior to the replenishment of the Mediterranean basin, after the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Within the Mediterranean, C. chromis population structure and demographic characteristics revealed a genetic break at the Peloponnese, Greece, with directional and eastbound gene flow between western and eastern groups. The eastern group was found to be more recent and with a faster growing population (coalescent time = 0.09-0.13 Ma, growth = 485.3) than the western group (coalescent time = 0.13-0.20 Ma, growth = 325.6). Our data thus suggested a western origin of C. chromis, most likely within the Mediterranean. Low sea water levels during the glacial periods, the hydrographic regime of the Mediterranean and dispersal restriction during the short pelagic larval phase of C. chromis

  19. Soil erosion in a man-made landscape: the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.; Ruiz Sinoga, J. D.; Cammeraat, L. H.

    2012-04-01

    Mediterranean-type ecosystems are characterised by a seasonally contrasted distribution of precipitation, by the coincidence of the driest and hottest season in summer, by an often-mountainous terrain, and by a long history of intense human occupation, especially around the Mediterranean Sea. The history of the Mediterranean lands is the history of human impacts on the soil system, and soil erosion is the most intense and widespread impact on this land where high intensity and uneven rainfall is found. A review of the soil erosion rates measured in the Mediterranean basin will be shown. The measurements done by means of erosion pins, topographical measurements, rainfall simulators, Gerlach collectors in open or close plots, watershed/basin measurements, reservoirs siltation and historical data will be shown. A review of the soil erosion models applied in the Mediterranean will be shown. The tentative approach done until October 2011 show that the soil erosion rates on Mediterranean type ecosystems are not as high as was supposed by the pioneers in the 70's. And this is probably due to the fact that the soils are very shallow and sediments are not available after millennia of high erosion rates. This is related to the large amount of rock fragments are covering the soil, and the rock outcrops that are found in the upper slope trams and the summits. Soil erosion in the Mediterranean is seasonal due to the rainfall concentration in winter, and highly variable within years as the high intensity rainfall events control the sediment production. Natural vegetation is adapted to the Mediterranean environmental conditions, and they are efficient to control the soil losses. An example are the forest fire that increase the soil losses but this is a temporal change as after 2-4 years the soil erosion rates are similar to the pre-fire period. Agriculture lands are the source of sediments although the highest erosion rates are found in badland areas that cover a small part of

  20. Evaluation of Rainfall-Runoff Models for Mediterranean Subcatchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cilek, A.; Berberoglu, S.; Donmez, C.

    2016-06-01

    The development and the application of rainfall-runoff models have been a corner-stone of hydrological research for many decades. The amount of rainfall and its intensity and variability control the generation of runoff and the erosional processes operating at different scales. These interactions can be greatly variable in Mediterranean catchments with marked hydrological fluctuations. The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of rainfall-runoff model, for rainfall-runoff simulation in a Mediterranean subcatchment. The Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment (PESERA), a simplified hydrological process-based approach, was used in this study to combine hydrological surface runoff factors. In total 128 input layers derived from data set includes; climate, topography, land use, crop type, planting date, and soil characteristics, are required to run the model. Initial ground cover was estimated from the Landsat ETM data provided by ESA. This hydrological model was evaluated in terms of their performance in Goksu River Watershed, Turkey. It is located at the Central Eastern Mediterranean Basin of Turkey. The area is approximately 2000 km2. The landscape is dominated by bare ground, agricultural and forests. The average annual rainfall is 636.4mm. This study has a significant importance to evaluate different model performances in a complex Mediterranean basin. The results provided comprehensive insight including advantages and limitations of modelling approaches in the Mediterranean environment.

  1. Clastic depositional styles and reservoir potential of Mediterranean basins

    SciTech Connect

    Bouma, A.H. )

    1990-05-01

    A variety of tectonic styles and activities throughout the late Mesozoic and younger epochs influenced sediment transport to the Mediterranean basins and, consequently, the approach needed to finding reservoir-type clastics. The style of the present-day basins varies from west to east, with large basinal depressions and continental rises in the western province, more elongate shapes in the central area, and numerous small basins and trenches in the eastern Mediterranean. In general terms, all these basins contain a similar fill: a deep-water sequence older than late Miocene, overlain by upper Miocene evaporites, and topped by Pliocene-Quaternary clastics. The exact type of fill depends on several factors, including proximity to the sediment source, climatic conditions, subsidence and tectonic activity, and tectono-eustatic or glacio-eustatic oscillations. Investigations on many of the clastic reservoirs in Mediterranean basins should emphasize submarine fans. The modern Mediterranean Sea contains several mid-sized fans (Rhone, Ebro, Valencia, and Nile fans) and many small ones (e.g., Crati Fan). There are several well-studied Tertiary subsurface and outcropping turbidite systems. The concept of deep-water marine sands, and many of the initial studies, began with some of the now classic outcrops in Italy, France, and Spain. A well-integrated study of both modern and ancient turbidite series is needed to construct basic exploration models for the Mediterranean region. 9 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Ozone and carbon monoxide budgets over the Eastern Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Myriokefalitakis, S; Daskalakis, N; Fanourgakis, G S; Voulgarakis, A; Krol, M C; Aan de Brugh, J M J; Kanakidou, M

    2016-09-01

    The importance of the long-range transport (LRT) on O3 and CO budgets over the Eastern Mediterranean has been investigated using the state-of-the-art 3-dimensional global chemistry-transport model TM4-ECPL. A 3-D budget analysis has been performed separating the Eastern from the Western basins and the boundary layer (BL) from the free troposphere (FT). The FT of the Eastern Mediterranean is shown to be a strong receptor of polluted air masses from the Western Mediterranean, and the most important source of polluted air masses for the Eastern Mediterranean BL, with about 40% of O3 and of CO in the BL to be transported from the FT aloft. Regional anthropogenic sources are found to have relatively small impact on regional air quality in the area, contributing by about 8% and 18% to surface levels of O3 and CO, respectively. Projections using anthropogenic emissions for the year 2050 but neglecting climate change calculate a surface O3 decrease of about 11% together with a surface CO increase of roughly 10% in the Eastern Mediterranean. PMID:27135565

  3. Little Ice Age glaciers in the Mediterranean mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Philip

    2014-05-01

    Only a few small glaciers survive today in the Mountains of the Mediterranean. Notable examples are found in the Pyrenees, Maritime Alps, Italian Apennines, the Dinaric and Albanian Alps and the mountains of Turkey. Many glaciers disappeared during the 20th Century. Glaciers were much larger and more numerous during the Little Ice Age (Hughes, 2014). Small glaciers even existed as far south as the High Atlas of Morocco and the Sierra Nevada of southern Spain. In more northerly areas, such as the western Balkans, glaciers and permanent snow patches occupied hundreds of cirques on relatively low-lying mountains. In the High Atlas and the Sierra Nevada no glaciers exist today, whilst in the Balkans only a few modern glaciers have been reported. A similar situation is apparent throughout the mountains of the Mediterranean region. New evidence for glacier change since the Little Ice Age will be published soon in Hughes (2014) and this paper reviews the extent, timing and climatic significance of Little Ice Age glaciation in the Mediterranean region. Reference: Hughes, P.D. (2014) Little Ice Age glaciers in the Mediterranean mountains. In: Carozza, J.-M., Devillers, B., Morhange, C. (eds) Little Ice Age in the Mediterranean, Méditerranée, volume 123.

  4. Intervention studies on Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular risk.

    PubMed

    Lairon, Denis

    2007-10-01

    The traditional Mediterranean diet, as studied in the 1950s to 1960s in the South of Europe, is characterized by moderate energy intake, low animal fat, high olive oil, high cereals, high legumes, nuts and vegetables, and regular and moderate wine. A Mediterranean-type diet is being developed to mimic the traditional one and fit with present life style. While numerous epidemiological studies have supported the concept that adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is beneficial for health and particularly protects against cardiovascular disease, the limited number of intervention studies in this field have not yet provided major support. Nevertheless, the dietary interventions performed until now have demonstrated that adoption of a Mediterranean-type diet reduces several cardiovascular risk factors in subjects at risk (primary prevention) and/or cardiovascular events or mortality in patients after a first cardiac event (secondary prevention). Among numerous foodstuffs characterizing the Mediterranean diet, virgin olive oil has been shown to display beneficial effects on a wide range of risk factors. PMID:17879996

  5. Discrimination of common Mediterranean plant species using field spectroradiometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manevski, Kiril; Manakos, Ioannis; Petropoulos, George P.; Kalaitzidis, Chariton

    2011-12-01

    Field spectroradiometry of land surface objects supports remote sensing analysis, facilitates the discrimination of vegetation species, and enhances the mapping efficiency. Especially in the Mediterranean, spectral discrimination of common vegetation types, such as phrygana and maquis species, remains a challenge. Both phrygana and maquis may be used as a direct indicator for grazing management, fire history and severity, and the state of the wider ecosystem equilibrium. This study aims to investigate the capability of field spectroradiometry supporting remote sensing analysis of the land cover of a characteristic Mediterranean area. Five common Mediterranean maquis and phrygana species were examined. Spectra acquisition was performed during an intensive field campaign deployed in spring 2010, supported by a novel platform MUFSPEM@MED (Mobile Unit for Field SPEctral Measurements at the MEDiterranean) for high canopy measurements. Parametric and non-parametric statistical tests have been applied to the continuum-removed reflectance of the species in the visible to shortwave infrared spectral range. Interpretation of the results indicated distinct discrimination between the studied species at specific spectral regions. Statistically significant wavelengths were principally found in both the visible and the near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Spectral bands in the shortwave infrared demonstrated significant discrimination features for the examined species adapted to Mediterranean drought. All in all, results confirmed the prospect for a more accurate mapping of the species spatial distribution using remote sensing imagery coupled with in situ spectral information.

  6. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events.

    PubMed

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales. PMID:27412622

  7. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P. Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O.; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-07-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales.

  8. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events

    PubMed Central

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P. Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O.; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales. PMID:27412622

  9. First Analysis Of A Coupled Mediterranean - Atmosphere Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somot, S.; Sevault, F.; Béranger, K.; Déqué, M.; Crépon, M.

    A regional coupled ocean-atmosphere model has been developed to study the climate of the Mediterranean Region in a joint research between Météo-France-CNRM and CNRS-IPSL. This model is based on a variable resolution version of the global spectral AGCM Arpège-Climat with an horizontal grid mesh of 50 km over the mediterranean area and a limited area version of the OGCM OPA with an horizontal grid mesh of 10 km. The two models are coupled with the OASIS coupler developed by CERFACS. Outside the Mediterranean Sea, the sea surface temperature is prescribed from interannual observed data. A ten year coupled simulation has been done without relaxation nor correction. Sea- sonal averages as well as interannual variability have been compared with available observations and with uncoupled simulations.

  10. Microbial community genomics in eastern Mediterranean Sea surface waters.

    PubMed

    Feingersch, Roi; Suzuki, Marcelino T; Shmoish, Michael; Sharon, Itai; Sabehi, Gazalah; Partensky, Frédéric; Béjà, Oded

    2010-01-01

    Offshore waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea are one of the most oligotrophic regions on Earth in which the primary productivity is phosphorus limited. To study the unexplored function and physiology of microbes inhabiting this system, we have analyzed a genomic library from the eastern Mediterranean Sea surface waters by sequencing both termini of nearly 5000 clones. Genome recruitment strategies showed that the majority of high-scoring pairs corresponded to genomes from the Alphaproteobacteria (SAR11-like and Rhodobacterales), Cyanobacteria (Synechococcus and high-light adapted Prochlorococcus) and diverse uncultured Gammaproteobacteria. The community structure observed, as evaluated by both protein similarity scores or metabolic potential, was similar to that found in the euphotic zone of the ALOHA station off Hawaii but very different from that of deep aphotic zones in both the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. In addition, a strong enrichment toward phosphate and phosphonate uptake and utilization metabolism was also observed. PMID:19693100

  11. The Messinian evaporites in the Mediterranean: A box model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Topper, R. P.; Meijer, P. T.; Flecker, R.; Wortel, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    In a landlocked basin like the Mediterranean, a change in the water budget, i.e. exchange at the gateway with the Atlantic, river discharge, precipitation and evaporation, severely impacts the basinal water chemistry. This happened in the Late Miocene, when evaporite-dominated sequences were deposited in marginal and deep basins of the Mediterranean Sea during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). In the marginal basins, the onset of gypsum deposition, characteristic for the first phase of the MSC, is synchronous and sequences throughout the Mediterranean contain correlatable precession-driven marl-gypsum cycles. In constrast, in the deeper parts of the western (WMed) and eastern Mediterranean (EMed) basins MSC sequences appear to comprise a different number of depositional units and differ greatly in thickness. There exist numerous scenarios to explain evaporite deposition for either the marginal or deep basins, correlations between the two settings are difficult to establish because the deep basinal evaporite sequences have never been completely drilled nor dated. With a range of box models we examine different aspects of the MSC in order to determine the Late Miocene water budget and connectivity between the basins. We explain the differences between the marginal and deep basins and come up with a quantitatively supported scenario for the MSC. Combining Sr-isotope ratios measured in Mediterranean Late Miocene successions with data on past salinity, one can derive quantitative information on the Mediterranean hydrological budget at times before and during the MSC. We extended a 1-box model of Mediterranean salinity with a time-dependent set of equations for the Sr ratio. This model is used to investigate the coeval evolution of salinity and Sr ratios under different water budgets and gateway restrictions. Model results are compared with the salinity and strontium ratio data from the Mediterranean. A model with the Late Miocene water budget from Gladstone et al. (P

  12. Diversity of magnetotactic bacteria from a French pristine Mediterranean area.

    PubMed

    Fuduche, Maxime; Postec, Anne; Davidson, Sylvain; Chauvin, Jean-Paul; Galès, Grégoire; Hirschler-Réa, Agnès; Ollivier, Bernard; Wu, Long-Fei; Pradel, Nathalie

    2015-04-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria synthesize intracellular magnetite and/or greigite magnetosome crystals. They play a significant role in both iron and sulfur cycles in sedimentary aquatic environments. To get insight into the bio-geochemical contribution of MTB, more studies concerning their ecology and their distribution in diverse habitats are necessary. The MTB community of an oil-industry polluted area of the French Mediterranean coast has been previously investigated. Here, we investigate the MTB community from coastal sediments of a Mediterranean pristine area using optical and transmission electron microscopy and phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences. A particularly high diversity of MTB was observed, with cocci phylogenetically distributed across the order Magnetococcales, including a novel cluster with sequences from the Mediterranean Sea designated as "Med group", and novel morphotypes. PMID:25487117

  13. Persistent toxic substances in Mediterranean aquatic species.

    PubMed

    Miniero, Roberto; Abate, Vittorio; Brambilla, Gianfranco; Davoli, Enrico; De Felip, Elena; De Filippis, Stefania P; Dellatte, Elena; De Luca, Silvia; Fanelli, Roberto; Fattore, Elena; Ferri, Fabiola; Fochi, Igor; Rita Fulgenzi, Anna; Iacovella, Nicola; Iamiceli, Anna Laura; Lucchetti, Dario; Melotti, Paolo; Moret, Ivo; Piazza, Rossano; Roncarati, Alessandra; Ubaldi, Alessandro; Zambon, Stefano; di Domenico, Alessandro

    2014-10-01

    Fish and fishery products may represent one of the main sources of dietary exposure to persistent toxic substances (PTSs) such as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, dibenzofurans, and biphenyls; polybromodiphenyl ethers; organochlorine pesticides; perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate; and inorganic mercury and methyl mercury. In this study, PTS contamination of Mediterranean fish and crustaceans caught in Italian coastal waters was investigated in order to increase the representativeness of the occurrence database for wild species. The objectives were to verify the suitability of regulatory limits for PTSs, identify background concentrations values, if any, and examine the possible sources of variability when assessing the chemical body burdens of aquatic species. Twelve wild species of commercial interest and two farmed fish species were chosen. Excluding methyl mercury, chemical concentrations found in wild species fell generally towards the low ends of the concentration ranges found in Europe according to EFSA database and were quite lower than the tolerable maximum levels established in the European Union; farmed fish always showed contamination levels quite lower than those detected in wild species. The data obtained for wild species seemed to confirm the absence of local sources of contamination in the chosen sampling areas; however, species contamination could exceed regulatory levels even in the absence of specific local sources of contamination as a result of the position in the food web and natural variability in species' lifestyle. A species-specific approach to the management of contamination in aquatic organisms is therefore suggested as an alternative to a general approach based only on contaminant body burden. A chemical-specific analysis performed according to organism position in the food chain strengthened the need to develop this approach. PMID:25020099

  14. Amposta oil field (Spanish Mediterranean offshore)

    SciTech Connect

    Seeman, U. )

    1988-08-01

    The Amposta oil field lies some 20 km off the Mediterranean coast of Spain directly south of the Ebro delta in 70 m of water. The field is operated by Shell in association with Repsol Exploracion (the Spanish national oil company) and Coparex. The field was discovered in 1970 and came on stream in 1972, reaching a maximum production of 40,000 bbl/day. The current cumulative production of 55.7 million bbl is just 300,000 bbl short of the field's expected ultimate primary recovery. Original production was established via a single-buoy mooring system (SBM) with a permanently moored tanker acting as a floating storage vessel. Oil is produced from a fractured, karstified Lower Cretaceous limestone reservoir in a tilted fault-block structure (areal closure is 900 ha), sealed by overlying Miocene clastics. The top of the reservoir is at 1,746 m; the original oil column was 194 m. Designing the optimal production/drainage scheme for a complex reservoir such as the Amposta field with its intricate pore geometry (channels, caves, and fractures) formed an interesting challenge. The field has produced from 7 wells so far. Until recently pressure could be maintained and dry oil produced. Enhanced recovery tests (gas injection) are presently being undertaken. The heavy, undersaturated, high-sulfur crude (17{degree} API, gas-oil ratio of 380 scf/bbl, and 5.5% sulfur) is an early expulsion product generated from a marly/chalky type II source rock sequence of latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous age, underlying the field.

  15. Environmental History on a Central Mediterranean Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gambin, Belinda; Medail, Frederic; Andrieu-Ponel, Valerie; Djamali, Morteza; Marriner, Nick; Morhange, Christophe; Gambin, Timmy

    2013-04-01

    Through the PaleoMed project a number of cores have been taken from key locations on the Maltese Islands with the aim of establishing various aspects related to the archipelago's historical environment. A multi-disciplinary team have been investigating a number of bodies of evidence including sediments, charcoal and shells. Through this poster I will present the results from pollen samples extracted from a section of one of the cores. The core, taken from Burmarrad, has a section that has been carbon dated to 7200-3200BP. Preliminary results from this site, one of the largest flood plains on Malta, will provide an indication of the local vegetation during this chronological window. Pollen was extracted from sediment deposits following the classical treatment method (eg Moore et al., 1990). Furthermore, identification was undertaken through the use of pollen atlases of Europe and North Africa (Reille, 1992, 1995, 1998) and Beug (2004) along with IMBE's international pollen reference collection. Pollen percentages were calculated in TILIA and the pollen percentage diagram constructed using TGView software (Grimm 2004, 2005). Current results indicate that prior to 7000BP there was a high percentage of aquatic plants, while tree and shrub counts were low. At 6900BP a large increase in Pistacia pollen is recorded, with moderate increase in Plantago (especially lanceolata), Asphodelus, Dinaflagelates and Mirco Foraminifera. At this time there is also a reduction in Cichorioideae & Charcoal in the section. A similar increase in Pistacia at around this time has also been recorded from another core in Burmarrad (Djamali et al., 2012) and in southern Sicily (Tinner et al., 2009). The date of this increase corresponds to the first recorded settlement on the Maltese Islands (circa 5500BC) as well as the climatic optimum of forest cover in the Mediterranean region (Noti et al., 2009).

  16. Fish Assemblages of Mediterranean Marine Caves

    PubMed Central

    Bussotti, Simona; Di Franco, Antonio; Francour, Patrice; Guidetti, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Fish assemblages associated with 14 marine caves and adjacent external rocky reefs were investigated at four Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the coasts of Italy. Within the caves sampling was carried out in different sub-habitats: walls, ceilings, bottoms and ends of caves. On the whole, 38 species were recorded inside the 14 caves investigated. Eighteen species were exclusively found inside the caves: they were mainly represented by speleophilic (i.e. species preferentially or exclusively inhabiting caves) gobids (e.g. Didogobius splechtnai) and nocturnal species (e.g. Conger conger). Forty-one species were censused outside, 20 of which were shared with cave habitats. Apogon imberbis was the most common fish found in all 14 caves investigated, followed by Thorogobius ephippiatus (recorded in 13 caves), and Diplodus vulgaris and Scorpaena notata (both censused in 12 caves). Distinct fish assemblages were found between external rocky reefs and the different cave sub-habitats. New data on the distribution of some speleophilic gobids were collected, showing the existence of a pool of species shared by marine caves on a large scale (i.e. hundreds of km). Considering the uniqueness of cave fishes (18 exclusive species and different assemblage structures), the inclusion of marine caves among the habitats routinely investigated for fish biodiversity monitoring could facilitate the achievement of more comprehensive inventories. Due to their contribution to local species diversity and the shelter they provide to species valuable for conservation, marine caves should be prioritized for their inclusion not only within future MPAs through the Mediterranean Sea, but also into larger management spatial planning. PMID:25875504

  17. Evaluation of TOPLATS on three Mediterranean catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loizu, Javier; Álvarez-Mozos, Jesús; Casalí, Javier; Goñi, Mikel

    2016-08-01

    Physically based hydrological models are complex tools that provide a complete description of the different processes occurring on a catchment. The TOPMODEL-based Land-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (TOPLATS) simulates water and energy balances at different time steps, in both lumped and distributed modes. In order to gain insight on the behavior of TOPLATS and its applicability in different conditions a detailed evaluation needs to be carried out. This study aimed to develop a complete evaluation of TOPLATS including: (1) a detailed review of previous research works using this model; (2) a sensitivity analysis (SA) of the model with two contrasted methods (Morris and Sobol) of different complexity; (3) a 4-step calibration strategy based on a multi-start Powell optimization algorithm; and (4) an analysis of the influence of simulation time step (hourly vs. daily). The model was applied on three catchments of varying size (La Tejeria, Cidacos and Arga), located in Navarre (Northern Spain), and characterized by different levels of Mediterranean climate influence. Both Morris and Sobol methods showed very similar results that identified Brooks-Corey Pore Size distribution Index (B), Bubbling pressure (ψc) and Hydraulic conductivity decay (f) as the three overall most influential parameters in TOPLATS. After calibration and validation, adequate streamflow simulations were obtained in the two wettest catchments, but the driest (Cidacos) gave poor results in validation, due to the large climatic variability between calibration and validation periods. To overcome this issue, an alternative random and discontinuous method of cal/val period selection was implemented, improving model results.

  18. Bioremediation of Southern Mediterranean oil polluted sites comes of age.

    PubMed

    Daffonchio, Daniele; Ferrer, Manuel; Mapelli, Francesca; Cherif, Ameur; Lafraya, Alvaro; Malkawi, Hanan I; Yakimov, Michail M; Abdel-Fattah, Yasser R; Blaghen, Mohamed; Golyshin, Peter N; Kalogerakis, Nicolas; Boon, Nico; Magagnini, Mirko; Fava, Fabio

    2013-09-25

    Mediterranean Sea is facing a very high risk of oil pollution due to the high number of oil extractive and refining sites along the basin coasts, and the intense maritime traffic of oil tankers. All the Mediterranean countries have adopted severe regulations for minimizing pollution events and bioremediation feasibility studies for the most urgent polluted sites are undergoing. However, the analysis of the scientific studies applying modern 'meta-omics' technologies that have been performed on marine oil pollution worldwide showed that the Southern Mediterranean side has been neglected by the international research. Most of the studies in the Mediterranean Sea have been done in polluted sites of the Northern side of the basin. Those of the Southern side are poorly studied, despite many of the Southern countries being major oil producers and exporters. The recently EU-funded research project ULIXES has as a major objective to increase the knowledge of the bioremediation potential of sites from the Southern Mediterranean countries. ULIXES is targeting four major polluted sites on the coastlines of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, including seashore sands, lagoons, and oil refinery polluted sediments. The research is designed to unravel, categorize, catalogue, exploit and manage the diversity and ecology of microorganisms thriving in these polluted sites. Isolation of novel hydrocarbon degrading microbes and a series of state of the art 'meta-omics' technologies are the baseline tools for improving our knowledge on biodegradation capacities mediated by microbes under different environmental settings and for designing novel site-tailored bioremediation approaches. A network of twelve European and Southern Mediterranean partners is cooperating for plugging the existing gap of knowledge for the development of novel bioremediation processes targeting such poorly investigated polluted sites. PMID:23727339

  19. “The Mediterranean Diet, its Components, and Cardiovascular Disease”

    PubMed Central

    Widmer, R. Jay; Flammer, Andreas J.; Lerman, Lilach O.; Lerman, Amir

    2014-01-01

    One of the best studied diets for cardiovascular health is the Mediterranean diet. This consists of fish, monounsaturated fats from olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes/nuts, and moderate alcohol consumption. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the burden, or even prevent the development, of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, depression, colorectal cancer, diabetes, obesity, asthma, erectile dysfunction, and cognitive decline. This diet is also known to improve surrogates of cardiovascular disease, such as waist-to-hip ratio, lipids, and markers of inflammation, as well as primary cardiovascular disease outcomes such as death and events in both observational and randomized controlled trial data. These enhancements easily rival those seen with more established tools used to fight cardiovascular disease such as aspirin, beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors, and exercise. However, it is unclear if the Mediterranean diet offers cardiovascular disease benefit from its individual constituents or in aggregate. Furthermore, the potential benefit of the Mediterranean diet or its components is not yet validated by concrete cardiovascular disease endpoints in randomized trials or observational studies. This review will focus on the effects of the whole and parts of the Mediterranean diet with regard to both population-based as well as experimental data highlighting cardiovascular disease morbidity or mortality and cardiovascular disease surrogates when hard outcomes are not available. Our synthesis will highlight the potential for the Mediterranean diet to act as a key player in cardiovascular disease prevention, and attempt to identify certain aspects of the diet which are particularly beneficial for cardio-protection. PMID:25447615

  20. Bed disturbance patterns in two mediterranean impounded rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobera, Gemma; López-Tarazón, José A.; Vericat, Damià; Batalla, Ramon J.; Andrés-Doménech, Ignacio; Millán-Romero, Pedro; Vallés, Francisco

    2015-04-01

    Physical processes in rivers are the result of the interaction between flow regime and hydraulics, morphology, sedimentology and sediment transport. The frequency and magnitude of physical disturbance (i.e. bed stability) control habitat integrity and, consequently, ecological diversity of a particular fluvial system. Mediterranean basins are characterized by marked hydroclimatic fluctuations, from low discharges during long dry seasons to flashy events during wetter periods. Dams alter the river's flow regime (e.g. changes on annual runoff, seasonal patterns, flood magnitude and frequency) and the morphosedimentary dynamics in downstream reaches (e.g. channel incision, bed armouring, vegetation encroachment). Impacts caused by reservoirs in rivers of dryland regions (i.e. Mediterranean) are even more pronounced because their channel form and river ecology are adapted to such highly variable flow regimes. Within this context, this paper analyses intra and inter bed disturbance patterns in two Mediterranean impounded rivers with contrasted characteristics (i.e. high and low Mediterranean character). This research was developed in four river reaches, upstream and downstream of a dam in the Esera and Siurana rivers (Ebro catchment, NE Iberian Peninsula) during two hydrological years. The River Esera is considered a Mediterranean River with a continental character, while the River Siurana has a strong Mediterranean character. As bed disturbance can be assessed in different ways, we have designed a methodological approach that integrates four main components in order to examine the effects of regulation in bed disturbance at different spatial and temporal scales: 1) description of channel morphology (together with changes before and after floods) by means of detailed topographical data and close-range aerial photography; 2) flow discharge and hydraulics by determination of flow parameters from 2D hydraulic modelling that is based on detailed topographical data; 3

  1. Environmental footprints of Mediterranean versus Western dietary patterns: beyond the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dietary patterns can substantially vary the resource consumption and environmental impact of a given population. Dietary changes such as the increased consumption of vegetables and reduced consumption of animal products reduce the environmental footprint and thus the use of natural resources. The adherence of a given population to the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern (MDP) through the consumption of the food proportions and composition defined in the new Mediterranean Diet pyramid can thus not only influence human health but also the environment. The aim of the study was to analyze the sustainability of the MDP in the context of the Spanish population in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural land use, energy consumption and water consumption. Furthermore, we aimed to compare the current Spanish diet with the Mediterranean Diet and in comparison with the western dietary pattern, exemplified by the U.S.A. food pattern, in terms of their corresponding environmental footprints. Methods The environmental footprints of the dietary patterns studied were calculated from the dietary make-up of each dietary pattern, and specific environmental footprints of each food group. The dietary compositions were obtained from different sources, including food balance sheets and household consumption surveys. The specific environmental footprints of food groups were obtained from different available life-cycle assessments. Results The adherence of the Spanish population to the MDP has a marked impact on all the environmental footprints studied. Increasing adherence to the MDP pattern in Spain will reduce greenhouse gas emissions (72%), land use (58%) and energy consumption (52%), and to a lower extent water consumption (33%). On the other hand, the adherence to a western dietary pattern implies an increase in all these descriptors of between 12% and 72%. Conclusions The MDP is presented as not only a cultural model but also as a healthy and environmentally

  2. National health research system mapping in 10 Eastern Mediterranean countries.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, A; Khoja, T A M; Abou-Zeid, A H; Ghannem, H; IJsselmuiden, C

    2008-01-01

    Health research systems in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are not well developed to generate and use knowledge to improve health, reduce inequity and contribute to economic development. This study aimed to provide core data on National Health Research Systems (NHRS) in 10 Eastern Mediterranean countries in order to inform actions to strengthen health research system governance and management. Whilst there were examples of good practice, few countries had a formal NHRS and many basic building blocks needed for an effective system had not been put in place. Although limited in focus, the study provides useful information for countries to initiate action to strengthen their NHRS. PMID:18720615

  3. Mediterranean Cyclones in a changing climate. First statistical results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tous, M.; Genoves, A.; Campins, J.; Picornell, M. A.; Jansa, A.; Mizuta, R.

    2009-09-01

    The Mediterranean storms play an important role in weather and climate. Their influence in determining the local weather is known; heavy precipitation systems and strong wind cases are often related to the presence of a cyclone in the Mediterranean. From a large-scale point of view, the Mediterranean storm track has importance in the vertical and horizontal transfers of heat and water vapour towards the Eastern regions. For all of these reasons, any future change related to the intensity, frequency or tracks of these storms can be important for both the local weather and local climate, at least, in the countries around the basin. The Mediterranean cyclones constitute a study subject of increasing interest. Some climatologies from long series of re-analyses, like ERA15, NCEP/NCAR and ERA40, or from operational and high resolution analysis systems, like HIRLAM_INM and ECMWF, have allowed to define the main characteristics of these storms. Generally speaking, the Mediterranean storms have the characteristics of extratropical storms, showing smaller sizes and shorter life cycles than those ones developed in other maritime areas of the world. Moreover, the influence of the land areas and high mountains around the basin and the large-scale heat releases have been revealed as key factors for understanding their genesis and rates of development. In spite of the fact that probably the existing automatic procedures include some large scale assumptions, which may not the best for the correct detection and tracking the Mediterranean storms, these procedures can provide a first and almost necessary step, from a statistical/climatological point of view, specially taking into account both the current resolution of the existent global re-analysis series and global climatic models and the state-of-the art about Mediterranean cyclones. A cyclone detection and tracking procedure, originally designed for the description of Mediterranean storms, has been applied to the low resolution

  4. Changing coastal oceanography of the Black Sea II: Mediterranean effluent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolmazin, D.

    The behavior and physical mechanisms during the Mediterranean flow, entering the Black Sea from the Bosphorus, are described using existing field observations and hydrodynamic models for the vertical and along axis circulation in the strait. Soviet studies in the 1960-1970's showed that a well-defined sill north of the Bosphorus does not prevent the overflow of dense Mediterranean water onto the shelf even during unfavorable conditions (high surface elevation in the Black Sea and strong northerly winds). The stream makes a sharp westward turn after exiting from the strait and then starts its track downward to the shelf slope. Intensive dispersion of the Mediterranean water occurs at a distance of 25-50 km from the strait. Recent laboratory and mathematical models have been reviewed to describe the behavior of the density and current interfaces in the strait and the role of temporary blockage of the dense flow upon the Mediterranean effluent. Two hypothetic physical mechanisms for sill overflow are discussed. One is associated with bifurcation of the coastal flows, approaching the strait orifice, and formation of a diversion zone in the upper layer which facilitates the flow over the sill. Another hypothesis suggests that the sill exercises frictionless rotational hydraulic control in the short, 4 km continuation of the strait channel. Persistent northeasterly or southerly winds can substantially affect the intensity of the Mediterranean effluent by modifying the average flow fields and density structures in the strait. TS-analysis of far-field property distribution shows that the Mediterranean water contributes to the laminated structure of the Black Sea water column. Under average conditions, the Mediterranean waters follow the mainstream of the Black Sea current system along the Turkish coast, reaching the deepest strata in the southeastern corner of the sea. Ongoing Soviet diversions of fresh water from the northern slope of the Black Sea and projected damming

  5. On the occurrence of the fireworm Eurythoe complanata complex (Annelida, Amphinomidae) in the Mediterranean Sea with an updated revision of the alien Mediterranean amphinomids

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Andrés; Barroso, Rômulo; Anadón, Nuria; Paiva, Paulo C.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The presence of two species within the Eurythoe complanata complex in the Mediterranean Sea is reported, as well as their geographical distributions. One species, Eurythoe laevisetis, occurs in the eastern and central Mediterranean, likely constituting the first historical introduction to the Mediterranean Sea and the other, Eurythoe complanata, in both eastern and Levantine basins. Brief notes on their taxonomy are also provided and their potential pathways for introduction to the Mediterranean are discussed. A simplified key to the Mediterranean amphinomid genera and species of Eurythoe and Linopherus is presented plus an updated revision of the alien amphinomid species reported previously from the Mediterranean Sea. A total of five exotic species have been included; information on their location, habitat, date of introduction and other relevant features is also provided. PMID:24146576

  6. Lightning multiplicity characteristics in Eastern Mediterranean thunderstorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shalev, S.; Saaroni, H.; Ziv, B.; Yair, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Cloud-to-ground lightning flashes consist of one or several strokes coming in very short temporal succession and close spatial proximity. There are several methods for converting stroke data into flashes. In the NLDN (US), the thresholds for determining flash multiplicity are 0.5 seconds and 10 km radius between successive strokes (Cummins et al., 1998). We used location-based algorithm with several spatial and temporal ranges, and analyzed stroke data which were obtained by the Israel Lightning Location System (ILLS) during the period 1.8.2009-31.7.2010. We computed multiplicity, the percentage of single stroke flashes and the geographical distribution of single vs. multiple-stroke flashes for the Eastern Mediterranean region. Results show that for the NLDN thresholds, the percentage of single stroke flashes was 44% and the average multiplicity was 1.6. Since the average time interval between successive return strokes in a flash is usually only several tens of milliseconds (Saba et al., 2010), a value of 0.2 s may better represent the real multiplicity. Similarly, most video-based studies show a mean range of less than 2.5 km between two ground terminations of the same flash (Stall et al., 2009) and so a spatial range of 10 km may misclassify independent flashes as subsequent strokes of a single flash. This may lead to lower values of flash density than occur in reality (due to the broad clustering criteria). Therefore, we recommend a spatial range of twice the detection error, which for the ILLS is 0.5 km. For the narrower thresholds of 1 km and 0.2 s our data show a multiplicity (for both negative and positive flashes) of 1.1 and a percentage of 86% for single stroke flashes. We find that the land-sea multiplicity distributions are very sensitive to the thresholds used. Cummins, K. L., Murphy, M. J., Bardo, E. A., Hiscox, W. L., Pyle, R. B. and Pifer, A. E., (1998), A combined TOA/MDF technology upgrade of the U.S. National Lighting Detection Network, J. Geophys

  7. Seismogenic nodes in the Mediterranean orogenic belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorshkov, A.; Panza, G.; Soloviev, A.; Aoudia, A.

    2003-04-01

    The central segment of the Mediterranean orogenic belt (the Apennines, Alps, Carpathians, Balkanides, and Dinarides) has been studied to identify seismogenic nodes, specific structures formed at the intersections of fault zones. The nodes have been delineated with the morphostructural zoning (MSZ) based on the concept that the lithosphere is built-up by different-scale blocks, separated by mobile boundaries. With MSZ we compiled the morphostructural map (scale 1:1,000,000) for the study region using the GIS technology. The map shows the hierarchical block-structure of the region, the boundary zones bounding blocks, and the loci of the nodes. Three-level hierarchy has been established for the blocks and their boundaries. All the recorded M >= 6.0 earthquakes nucleate at the nodes delineated by MSZ, i.e. ignoring the seismic record. The nodes capable of M >= 6.5 earthquakes are identified with the criteria of high seismicity nodes, previously derived from pattern recognition in the Pamirs -Tien Shan region. In the study region, with the employed criteria 29 out of the 33 nodes, hosting the observed M >= 6.5 events, have been classified as prone to M >= 6.5 earthquakes. With the exception of the Carpatho-Balkanides system, where the recognition procedure is inapplicable due to the insufficient number of sample nodes for the learning stage, we recognized the seismogenic nodes (D), prone to M >= 6.0 earthquakes, with the pattern recognition algorithm CORA-3. The recognition is performed using geomorphic, morphostructural, and gravity parameters relevant to seismicity. The majority of D nodes is associated with the first and second rank boundaries, i.e. larger earthquakes originate at the boundaries of larger blocks. Characteristic traits of D nodes selected by CORA-3 suggest an increased fragmentation of the crust and high intensity of tectonic movements in the D nodes vicinities. We identify a number of D nodes, where strong earthquakes are not recorded till present

  8. Temperature humidity index scenarios in the Mediterranean basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segnalini, M.; Bernabucci, U.; Vitali, A.; Nardone, A.; Lacetera, N.

    2013-05-01

    The study was undertaken to describe the temperature humidity index (THI) dynamics over the Mediterranean basin for the period 1971-2050. The THI combines temperature and humidity into a single value, and has been widely used to predict the effects of environmental warmth in farm animals. The analysis was based on daily outputs of the temperature and relative humidity from the Max Planck Institute data using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report Emission Scenario A1B. Data revealed a gradual increase of both annual and seasonal THI during the period under investigation and a strong heterogeneity of the Mediterranean area. In particular, the analysis indicated that Spain, southern France and Italy should be expected to undergo the highest THI increase, which in the last decade under study (2041-2050) will range between 3 and 4 units. However, only during summer months the area presents characteristics indicating risk of thermal (heat) stress for farm animals. In this regard, scenario maps relative to the summer season suggested an enlargement of the areas in the basin where summer THI values will likely cause thermal discomfort in farm animals. In conclusion, the study indicated that the Mediterranean basin is likely to undergo THI changes, which may aggravate the consequences of hot weather on animal welfare, performances, health and survival and may help farmers, nutritionists, veterinarians, and policy-makers to develop appropriate adaptation strategies to limit consequences of climate change for the livestock sector in the Mediterranean countries.

  9. Management of scorpion stings in Africa and the Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J-P

    2016-05-01

    Common in the southern and eastern Mediterranean basin, scorpion stings can develop into a severe medical emergency, especially in young children. Here we review several principles of diagnosis and treatment. The indications for antivenom and symptomatic treatment are detailed according to the symptoms and clinical severity of envenomation. PMID:27412972

  10. Loss of large predatory sharks from the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Francesco; Myers, Ransom A; Serena, Fabrizio; Lotze, Heike K

    2008-08-01

    Evidence for severe declines in large predatory fishes is increasing around the world. Because of its long history of intense fishing, the Mediterranean Sea offers a unique perspective on fish population declines over historical timescales. We used a diverse set of records dating back to the early 19th and mid 20th century to reconstruct long-term population trends of large predatory sharks in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We compiled 9 time series of abundance indices from commercial and recreational fishery landings, scientific surveys, and sighting records. Generalized linear models were used to extract instantaneous rates of change from each data set, and a meta-analysis was conducted to compare population trends. Only 5 of the 20 species we considered had sufficient records for analysis. Hammerhead (Sphyrna spp.), blue (Prionace glauca), mackerel (Isurus oxyrinchus and Lamna nasus), and thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus) declined between 96 and 99.99% relative to their former abundance. According to World Conservation Union (IUCN) criteria, these species would be considered critically endangered. So far, the lack of quantitative population assessments has impeded shark conservation in the Mediterranean Sea. Our study fills this critical information gap, suggesting that current levels of exploitation put large sharks at risk of extinction in the Mediterranean Sea. Possible ecosystem effects of these losses involve a disruption of top-down control and a release of midlevel consumers. PMID:18544092

  11. Temperature humidity index scenarios in the Mediterranean basin.

    PubMed

    Segnalini, M; Bernabucci, U; Vitali, A; Nardone, A; Lacetera, N

    2013-05-01

    The study was undertaken to describe the temperature humidity index (THI) dynamics over the Mediterranean basin for the period 1971-2050. The THI combines temperature and humidity into a single value, and has been widely used to predict the effects of environmental warmth in farm animals. The analysis was based on daily outputs of the temperature and relative humidity from the Max Planck Institute data using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report Emission Scenario A1B. Data revealed a gradual increase of both annual and seasonal THI during the period under investigation and a strong heterogeneity of the Mediterranean area. In particular, the analysis indicated that Spain, southern France and Italy should be expected to undergo the highest THI increase, which in the last decade under study (2041-2050) will range between 3 and 4 units. However, only during summer months the area presents characteristics indicating risk of thermal (heat) stress for farm animals. In this regard, scenario maps relative to the summer season suggested an enlargement of the areas in the basin where summer THI values will likely cause thermal discomfort in farm animals. In conclusion, the study indicated that the Mediterranean basin is likely to undergo THI changes, which may aggravate the consequences of hot weather on animal welfare, performances, health and survival and may help farmers, nutritionists, veterinarians, and policy-makers to develop appropriate adaptation strategies to limit consequences of climate change for the livestock sector in the Mediterranean countries. PMID:22850789

  12. High Energy Neutrinos with a Mediterranean Neutrino Telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Borriello, E.; Cuoco, A.; Mangano, G.; Miele, G.; Pastor, Sergio; Pisanti, O.; Serpico, Pasquale Dario; /Fermilab

    2007-09-01

    The high energy neutrino detection by a km{sup 3} Neutrino Telescope placed in the Mediterranean sea provides a unique tool to both determine the diffuse astrophysical neutrino flux and the neutrino nucleon cross section in the extreme kinematical region, which could unveil the presence of new physics. Here is performed a brief analysis of possible NEMO site performances.

  13. Truth and consequences: the bioinvasion of the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Galil, Bella Sarah

    2012-09-01

    Over 660 alien marine multicellular species have been recorded in the Mediterranean Sea, with many establishing viable populations and subsequently dispersing from their points of entry. A brief overview is presented of the current state of knowledge of bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea, with particular attention paid to gelatinous invasive species. A database of alien species records was used to characterize their identity, pattern of expansion and native region, and to discuss the relative importance of different taxa and vectors in the various regions of the sea. The temporal and spatial spread of 4 alien scyphozoans and 2 alien ctenophores is outlined. Although thermophilic species constitute the majority of Mediterranean aliens, Erythrean aliens are predominant in the east, with shipping and mariculture being mainly responsible for introductions in the northwest. The propagule pressure driving the Erythrean invasion is powerful in the establishment and spread of alien species in the eastern Mediterranean. The implications of the enlargement of the Suez Canal, reflecting patterns in global trade and economy, are briefly discussed. Finally, as alien species inventories play a pivotal role in informing regional policy and management decisions and identifying resource priorities, the scientific community is called upon to pay particular attention to their accuracy and veracity. PMID:22938526

  14. Pan-African - Mediterranean Migrations: Implications for Education and Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Diane Brook

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine features of the contemporary migrant and refugee flows across Africa northward to the Mediterranean and then to European countries (sometimes called the "new mass migration" and also migrant flows southward to South Africa. In addition, the purpose was to examine dimensions of response and adaptation in…

  15. Climate Change Threatens Coexistence within Communities of Mediterranean Forested Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Di Paola, Arianna; Valentini, Riccardo; Paparella, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The Mediterranean region is one of the hot spots of climate change. This study aims at understanding what are the conditions sustaining tree diversity in Mediterranean wet forests under future scenarios of altered hydrological regimes. The core of the work is a quantitative, dynamic model describing the coexistence of different Mediterranean tree species, typical of arid or semi-arid wetlands. Two kind of species, i.e. Hygrophilous (drought sensitive, flood resistant) and Non-hygrophilous (drought resistant, flood sensitive), are broadly defined according to the distinct adaptive strategies of trees against water stress of summer drought and winter flooding. We argue that at intermediate levels of water supply the dual role of water (resource and stress) results in the coexistence of the two kind of species. A bifurcation analysis allows us to assess the effects of climate change on the coexistence of the two species in order to highlight the impacts of predicted climate scenarios on tree diversity. Specifically, the model has been applied to Mediterranean coastal swamp forests of Central Italy located at Castelporziano Estate and Circeo National Park. Our results show that there are distinct rainfall thresholds beyond which stable coexistence becomes impossible. Regional climatic projections show that the lower rainfall threshold may be approached or crossed during the XXI century, calling for an urgent adaptation and mitigation response to prevent biodiversity losses. PMID:23077484

  16. Thermal history and petroleum systems of the east Mediterranean realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daher, Samer Bou; Nader, Fadi H.; Littke, Ralf

    2016-04-01

    The eastern Mediterranean Levant basin is a frontier basin that has gained a lot of industrial and academic interest in the last decade due to the huge gas discoveries that have been reported in its southern part. The reported gas in Miocene reservoirs has been assumed to be derived from biogenic sources, although little data has been published so far. The thickness of the sedimentary column and the presence of direct hydrocarbon indicators (DHI) observed in the seismic data suggest the presence of promising prospective thermogenic petroleum systems in deeper intervals in the Levant Basin and along its margins. The east Mediterranean contains several structural elements dividing the area into different realms that reacted differently to the successive tectonic events that have shaped the area and thus resulted in different thermal and burial histories. We will present source rock data collected within the last few years from several organic matter rich intervals in the east Mediterranean and discuss their depositional environment and petroleum generation potential, as well as the potential petroleum systems in each compartment of the study area. This is based on numerical thermal and burial history models of several east Mediterranean realms including the Levant basin, its eastern and western margins, and the Eratosthenes Seamount. Additionally, we will present some results of sensitivity analysis in the poorly calibrated parts of the study area.

  17. Management of Solanum elaeagnifolium in the Mediterranean Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. (silverleaf nightshade, SOLEL) is a prominent invasive alien weed in many countries of the Mediterranean Basin since its introduction in the mid-20th century, originating from the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It reproduces vegetatively and by seeds that...

  18. The Mediterranean Diet and Nutritional Adequacy: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Castro-Quezada, Itandehui; Román-Viñas, Blanca; Serra-Majem, Lluís

    2014-01-01

    The Mediterranean dietary pattern, through a healthy profile of fat intake, low proportion of carbohydrate, low glycemic index, high content of dietary fiber, antioxidant compounds, and anti-inflammatory effects, reduces the risk of certain pathologies, such as cancer or Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Nutritional adequacy is the comparison between the nutrient requirement and the intake of a certain individual or population. In population groups, the prevalence of nutrient inadequacy can be assessed by the probability approach or using the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) cut-point method. However, dietary patterns can also be used as they have moderate to good validity to assess adequate intakes of some nutrients. The objective of this study was to review the available evidence on the Nutritional Adequacy of the Mediterranean Diet. The inclusion of foods typical of the Mediterranean diet and greater adherence to this healthy pattern was related to a better nutrient profile, both in children and adults, with a lower prevalence of individuals showing inadequate intakes of micronutrients. Therefore, the Mediterranean diet could be used in public health nutrition policies in order to prevent micronutrient deficiencies in the most vulnerable population groups. PMID:24394536

  19. Editorial Introduction: Multilingualism and Education around the Mediterranean.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bahous, Rima; Thonhauser, Ingo

    2001-01-01

    Introduces a special issue on the complex relationship between multilingualism and education in the Mediterranean region. Articles examine Maltese bilingual education; teaching English in Algeria; shifts in environmental literacy in Lebanon; multilingual education in Lebanon; cognitive-academic language proficiency and language acquisition in…

  20. Epidemiology of Carbapenem Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Infections in Mediterranean Countries

    PubMed Central

    Girmenia, Corrado; Serrao, Alessandra; Canichella, Martina

    2016-01-01

    Infections by Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), in particular, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKp), are a significant public health challenge worldwide. Resistance to carbapenems in enterobacteriaceae is linked to different mechanisms, including the production of the various types of enzymes like KPC, VIM, IMP, NDM, and OXA-48. Despite several attempts to control the spread of these infections at the local and national level, the epidemiological situation for CRKp had worsened in the last years in the Mediterranean area. The rate and types of CRKp isolates greatly differ in the various Mediterranean countries. KPC-producing K. pneumoniae is diffused particularly in the European countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and is endemic in Greece and Italy. On the contrary, OXA-48-producing K. pneumoniae is endemic in Turkey and Malta and diffused at inter-regional level particularly in some North African and Middle East countries. The spread of these multiresistant pathogens in the world and the Mediterranean countries has been related to various epidemiological factors including the international transfer of patients coming from endemic areas. PMID:27441063

  1. Sustainable management for the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

    PubMed

    Berberoglu, Süha

    2003-03-01

    The objective of this article is to propose a program for the integrated coastal zone management that is required to stimulate and guide sustainable development of the Mediterranean coastal zone of Turkey. Improved data collection, quality control, analysis, and data management will provide a firm basis for future scientific understanding of the East Mediterranean coast of Turkey and will support long-term management. Various innovative procedures were proposed for a promising ecosystem-based approach to manage coastal wetlands in the Mediterranean: remote data acquisition with new technologies; environmental quality monitoring program that will provide a baseline for monitoring; linking a Geographic Information System (GIS) with natural resource management decision routines in the context of operational wetlands, fisheries, tourism management system; environmental sensitivity analysis to ensure that permitted developments are environmentally sustainable; and use of natural species to restore the wetlands and coastal dunes and sustain the system processes. The proposed management scheme will benefit the scientific community in the Mediterranean and the management/planning community in Eastern Turkey. PMID:12592459

  2. Cretaceous rudist-reefs of the Mediterranean realm

    SciTech Connect

    Philip, J.M. )

    1988-08-01

    Cretaceous rudist-reefs are well represented in the Mediterranean region on outcrops, and several subsurface examples are major hydrocarbon reservoirs. Most rudist reefs are part of large carbonate platforms and show both ecologic and sedimentologic zonation; localized rudist banks are rare and are confined to perideltaic environments. Rudists are the major builders, but rich fauna and flora accompany them. Together, these components produced large amounts of bioclastic debris that accumulated on reef slopes as grain-flow and debris-flow deposits. Much of the primary porosity was occluded by micritic matrix and early cements, but dissolution of the aragonitic rudist skeleton and dolomitization can produce extensive secondary porosity. Reefs appears in the Aptian, reach their acme in the Cenomanian and Senonian, but are missing in the Turonian. The early Turonian disappearance is probably the result of changes in global ocean circulation, and the Maestrichtian demise correlates with a sea level fall. Three reef provinces are recognizable: (1) western Mediterranean corresponding to the passive margins of Sardinia and Aquitain-Pyrenees-Iberia; (2) African including Maghreb and the Middle East; and (3) central Mediterranean composed of the Italian, Dinaric, Hellenic, and Turkish platforms separated from the western Mediterranean by the Alpine geosyncline.

  3. Mycorrhizal Types in the Mediterranean Basin: Safety Teaching and Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Azul, Anabela Marisa; Ramos, Vitor; Pato, Anabela; Azenha, Matilde; Freitas, Helena

    2008-01-01

    More than 90% of vascular plants in terrestrial ecosystems form symbiotic root-fungal associations known as mycorrhiza; in Mediterranean biomes all known mycorrhizal types co-exist. However, the understanding of mycorrhizal diversity and structure and their ecophysiological impact in soil productivity and conservation has been shown to be very…

  4. Climate change threatens coexistence within communities of Mediterranean forested wetlands.

    PubMed

    Di Paola, Arianna; Valentini, Riccardo; Paparella, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The Mediterranean region is one of the hot spots of climate change. This study aims at understanding what are the conditions sustaining tree diversity in Mediterranean wet forests under future scenarios of altered hydrological regimes. The core of the work is a quantitative, dynamic model describing the coexistence of different Mediterranean tree species, typical of arid or semi-arid wetlands. Two kind of species, i.e. Hygrophilous (drought sensitive, flood resistant) and Non-hygrophilous (drought resistant, flood sensitive), are broadly defined according to the distinct adaptive strategies of trees against water stress of summer drought and winter flooding. We argue that at intermediate levels of water supply the dual role of water (resource and stress) results in the coexistence of the two kind of species. A bifurcation analysis allows us to assess the effects of climate change on the coexistence of the two species in order to highlight the impacts of predicted climate scenarios on tree diversity. Specifically, the model has been applied to Mediterranean coastal swamp forests of Central Italy located at Castelporziano Estate and Circeo National Park. Our results show that there are distinct rainfall thresholds beyond which stable coexistence becomes impossible. Regional climatic projections show that the lower rainfall threshold may be approached or crossed during the XXI century, calling for an urgent adaptation and mitigation response to prevent biodiversity losses. PMID:23077484

  5. The Mediterranean surface wave climate inferred from future scenario simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lionello, P.; Cogo, S.; Galati, M. B.; Sanna, A.

    2008-09-01

    This study is based on 30-year long simulations of the wind-wave field in the Mediterranean Sea carried out with the WAM model. Wave fields have been computed for the 2071-2100 period of the A2, B2 emission scenarios and for the 1961-1990 period of the present climate (REF). The wave model has been forced by the wind field computed by a regional climate model with 50 km resolution. The mean SWH (Significant Wave Height) field over large fraction of the Mediterranean sea is lower for the A2 scenario than for the present climate during winter, spring and autumn. During summer the A2 mean SWH field is also lower everywhere, except for two areas, those between Greece and Northern Africa and between Spain and Algeria, where it is significantly higher. All these changes are similar, though smaller and less significant, in the B2 scenario, except during winter in the north-western Mediterranean Sea, when the B2 mean SWH field is higher than in the REF simulation. Also extreme SWH values are smaller in future scenarios than in the present climate and such SWH change is larger for the A2 than for the B2 scenario. The only exception is the presence of higher SWH extremes in the central Mediterranean during summer for the A2 scenario. In general, changes of SWH, wind speed and atmospheric circulation are consistent, and results show milder marine storms in future scenarios than in the present climate.

  6. Climate change and forest fires in a Mediterranean environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turco, Marco; Llasat, Maria-Carmen; von Hardenberg, Jost; Provenzale, Antonello

    2014-05-01

    The Mediterranean region is a "hot-spot" of climate change and wildfires, where about 50000 fires burn 500000 hectares every year. However, in spite of the growing concerns of the climate change impacts on Mediterranean wildfires, there are aspects of this topic that remain largely to be investigated. The main scientific objective of this study is to investigate the climate-driven changes on fires in a typical Mediterranean environment (Catalonia, NE of Spain). To achieve this goal, the following specific aims have been identified: (1) Analysis of the recent evolution of fires; (2) Evaluation of the climate-fire relationship; (3) Estimation of the impacts of observed and future climate change. First, we examine a homogeneous series of forest fires in the period 1970-2010. Our analysis shows that both the burned area and number of fire series display a decreasing trend. After the large fires of 1986 and 1994, the increased effort in fire prevention and suppression could explain part of this decreasing trend. Although it is often stated that fires have increased in Mediterranean regions, the higher efficiency in fire detection could have led to spurious trends and misleading conclusions [1]. Secondly, we show that the interannual variability of summer fires is significantly related to antecedent and concurrent climate conditions, highlighting the importance of climate not only in regulating fuel flammability, but also fuel load. On the basis of these results, we develop a simple regression model that produces reliable out-of-sample predictions of the impact of climate variability on summer forest fires [2]. Finally we apply this model to estimate the impacts of observed climate trends on summer fires and the possible fire response to different regional climate change scenarios. We show that a transition toward warmer conditions has already started to occur and it is possible that they continue by mid-century (under the A1B scenario), and that these changes promote

  7. Climate change and drought risk management in Mediterranean watersheds (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulwarty, R. S.; Maia, R.; Garrido, A.; Hoerling, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    As a result of major droughts and floods over the past two decades, the European Union has expressed major concerns regarding climate change impacts on the resilience of ecosystems and water resources. The EU Water Framework Directive established a framework for action in the field of water olicy committing European Union member states to achieve develop integrated watershed management plans and improve the quality of water bodies by 2015. Key to meeting these goals are understanding and planning for changes in extreme events, groundwater and surface water changes, and the level of integrated water resources management infrastructure. In the northern European basins, water shortages are mostly offset by irrigation systems. This is not the case for southern basins in the Mediterranean (e.g. Guadiana, Ebro, Po), where water supply systems are already stressed, and where socioeconomic losses due to droughts are more significant. Precipitation variability in the Mediterranean basin is characterized by substantial interdecadal variations and long-term trends. This paper presents an assessment of climate and the socioeconomic impacts of drought in the Mediterranean basin including the factors that determine the vulnerability of different sectors to the risks posed by climate change. The studies are based on two projects in which the authors are involved: the European Commission funded PREEMPT project 'Policy-relevant assessment of the socio-economic effects of droughts and floods' and 'Development of methodologies for integration of climate change on water resources managements for the Guadiana Basin', that analyze drought events, economic losses, risk management efforts and the prospect for adaptation. Studies show that the land area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea has experienced 10 of the 12 driest winters since 1902 in just the last 20 years. A change in wintertime Mediterranean precipitation toward drier conditions has likely occurred over 1902-2010. Anthropogenic

  8. Acidification of the Mediterranean Sea from anthropogenic carbon penetration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassoun, Abed El Rahman; Gemayel, Elissar; Krasakopoulou, Evangelia; Goyet, Catherine; Abboud-Abi Saab, Marie; Guglielmi, Véronique; Touratier, Franck; Falco, Cédric

    2015-08-01

    This study presents an estimation of the anthropogenic CO2 (CANT) concentrations and acidification (ΔpH=pH2013-pHpre-industrial) in the Mediterranean Sea, based upon hydrographic and carbonate chemistry data collected during the May 2013 MedSeA cruise. The concentrations of CANT were calculated using the composite tracer TrOCA. The CANT distribution shows that the most invaded waters (>60 μmol kg-1) are those of the intermediate and deep layers in the Alboran, Liguro- and Algero-Provencal Sub-basins in the Western basin, and in the Adriatic Sub-basin in the Eastern basin. Whereas the areas containing the lowest CANT concentrations are the deep layers of the Eastern basin, especially those of the Ionian Sub-basin, and those of the northern Tyrrhenian Sub-basin in the Western basin. The acidification level in the Mediterranean Sea reflects the excessive increase of atmospheric CO2 and therefore the invasion of the sea by CANT. This acidification varies between -0.055 and -0.156 pH unit and it indicates that all Mediterranean Sea waters are already acidified, especially those of the Western basin where ΔpH is rarely less than -0.1 pH unit. Both CANT concentrations and acidification levels are closely linked to the presence and history of the different water masses in the intermediate and deep layers of the Mediterranean basins. Despite the high acidification levels, both Mediterranean basins are still highly supersaturated in calcium carbonate minerals.

  9. Comparative Patterns of Plant Invasions in the Mediterranean Biome

    PubMed Central

    Arianoutsou, Margarita; Delipetrou, Pinelopi; Vilà, Montserrat; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G.; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Wardell-Johnson, Grant; Henderson, Lesley; Fuentes, Nicol; Ugarte-Mendes, Eduardo; Rundel, Philip W.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this work was to compare and contrast the patterns of alien plant invasions in the world’s five mediterranean-climate regions (MCRs). We expected landscape age and disturbance history to have bearing on levels of invasion. We assembled a database on naturalized alien plant taxa occurring in natural and semi-natural terrestrial habitats of all five regions (specifically Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus from the Mediterranean Basin, California, central Chile, the Cape Region of South Africa and Southwestern - SW Australia). We used multivariate (hierarchical clustering and NMDS ordination) trait and habitat analysis to compare characteristics of regions, taxa and habitats across the mediterranean biome. Our database included 1627 naturalized species with an overall low taxonomic similarity among the five MCRs. Herbaceous perennials were the most frequent taxa, with SW Australia exhibiting both the highest numbers of naturalized species and the highest taxonomic similarity (homogenization) among habitats, and the Mediterranean Basin the lowest. Low stress and highly disturbed habitats had the highest frequency of invasion and homogenization in all regions, and high natural stress habitats the lowest, while taxonomic similarity was higher among different habitats in each region than among regions. Our analysis is the first to describe patterns of species characteristics and habitat vulnerability for a single biome. We have shown that a broad niche (i.e. more than one habitat) is typical of naturalized plant species, regardless of their geographical area of origin, leading to potential for high homogenization within each region. Habitats of the Mediterranean Basin are apparently the most resistant to plant invasion, possibly because their landscapes are generally of relatively recent origin, but with a more gradual exposure to human intervention over a longer period. PMID:24244443

  10. Mediterranean dietary pattern and depression: the PREDIMED randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A few observational studies have found an inverse association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and the risk of depression. Randomized trials with an intervention based on this dietary pattern could provide the most definitive answer to the findings reported by observational studies. The aim of this study was to compare in a randomized trial the effects of two Mediterranean diets versus a low-fat diet on depression risk after at least 3 years of intervention. Methods This was a multicenter, randomized, primary prevention field trial of cardiovascular disease (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED Study)) based on community-dwelling men aged 55 to 80 years and women aged 60 to 80 years at high risk of cardiovascular disease (51% of them had type 2 diabetes; DM2) attending primary care centers affiliated with 11 Spanish teaching hospitals. Primary analyses were performed on an intention-to-treat basis. Cox regression models were used to assess the relationship between the nutritional intervention groups and the incidence of depression. Results We identified 224 new cases of depression during follow-up. There was an inverse association with depression for participants assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts (multivariate hazard ratio (HR) 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55 to 1.10) compared with participants assigned to the control group, although this was not significant. However, when the analysis was restricted to participants with DM2, the magnitude of the effect of the intervention with the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts did reach statistical significance (multivariate HR = 0.59; 95% CI 0.36 to 0.98). Conclusions The result suggest that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts could exert a beneficial effect on the risk of depression in patients with DM2. Trial registration This trial has been registered in the Current Controlled Trials with the number ISRCTN 35739639 PMID:24229349

  11. Mediterranean Diet and Mobility Decline in Older Persons

    PubMed Central

    Milaneschi, Yuri; Bandinelli, Stefania; Corsi, Anna Maria; Lauretani, Fabrizio; Paolisso, Giuseppe; Dominguez, Ligia J.; Semba, Richard D; Tanaka, Toshiko; Abbatecola, Angela M; Talegawkar, Sameera A; Guralnik, Jack M.; Ferrucci, Luigi

    2010-01-01

    We examined whether adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet has positive effects on mobility assessed over a nine-year follow-up in a representative sample of older adults. This research is part of the InCHIANTI Study, a prospective population-based study of older persons in Tuscany, Italy. The sample for this analysis included 935 women and men aged 65 years and older. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was assessed at baseline by the standard 10-unit Mediterranean diet score (MDS). Lower extremity function was measured at baseline, and at the 3, 6 and 9-year follow-up visits using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). At baseline, higher adherence to Mediterranean diet was associated with better lower body performance. Participants with higher adherence experienced less decline in SPPB score, which was of 0.9 points higher (p<.0001) at the 3-year-follow, 1.1 points higher (p= 0.0004) at the 6-year follow-up and 0.9 points higher (p= 0.04) at the 9-year follow-up compared to those with lower adherence. Among participants free of mobility disability at baseline, those with higher adherence had a lower risk (HR=0.71,95%CI=0.51–0.98, p=0.04) of developing new mobility disability. High adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a slower decline of mobility over time in community dwelling older persons. If replicated, this observation is highly relevant in terms of public health. PMID:21111801

  12. Travelling in the eastern Mediterranean with landscape character assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abu Jaber, N.; Abunnasr, Y.; Abu Yahya, A.; Boulad, N.; Christou, O.; Dimitropoulos, G.; Dimopoulos, T.; Gkoltsiou, K.; Khreis, N.; Manolaki, P.; Michael, K.; Odeh, T.; Papatheodoulou, A.; Sorotou, A.; Sinno, S.; Suliman, O.; Symons, N.; Terkenli, T.; Trigkas, Vassilis; Trovato, M. G.; Victora, M.; Zomeni, M.; Vogiatzakis, I. N.

    2015-06-01

    Following its application in Northern Europe, Landscape Character Assessment has also been implemented in Euro-Mediterranean countries as a tool for classifying, describing and assessing landscapes. Many landscape classifications employed in the Euro-Mediterranean area are similar in philosophy and application to the ones developed in Northern Europe. However, many aspects of landform, climate, land-use and ecology, as well as socio-economic context are distinctive of Mediterranean landscapes. The paper discusses the conceptual and methodological issues faced during landscape mapping and characterisation in four East-Mediterranean countries (within the MEDSCAPES project): Cyprus, Greece, Jordan and Lebanon. The major hurdles to overcome during the first phase of methodology development include variation in availability, quality, scale and coverage of spatial datasets between countries and also terminology semantics around landscapes. For example, the concept of landscape - a well-defined term in Greek and English - did not exist in Arabic. Another issue is the use of relative terms like 'high mountains,' `uplands' `lowlands' or ' hills'. Such terms, which are regularly used in landscape description, were perceived slightly differently in the four participating countries. In addition differences exist in nomenclature and classification systems used by each country for the dominant landscape-forming factors i.e. geology, soils and land use- but also in the cultural processes shaping the landscapes - compared both to each other and to the Northern-European norms. This paper argues for the development of consistent, regionally adapted, relevant and standardised methodologies if the results and application of LCA in the eastern Mediterranean region are to be transferable and comparable between countries.

  13. Marine storminess in the Mediterranean in future climate scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lionello, P.

    2009-09-01

    This talk reviews the analysis that is presently available on marine storms, their climatology and change in future climate scenarios. The cyclones that are responsible for the storms are analyzed using a regional climate model simulations of present day (1961-1990) and future (2071-2100, A2 and B2 emission scenarios) and the differences between northern Europe and Mediterranean are discussed. In the A2 and B2 scenarios the annual average storm track intensity increases over the North-East Atlantic and decreases over the Eastern Mediterranean region with respect to present day conditions,. The number of cyclones decreases in future scenarios throughout Europe, except over the central Europe and Mediterranean in summer, where it increases. This overall change pattern is larger in the A2 than in the B2 simulations. Wind-wave field changes are discussed considering a similar analysis. The mean SWH (Significant Wave Height) field over large fraction of the Mediterranean Sea is lower for the A2 scenario than for the present climate during winter, spring and autumn. During summer the A2 mean SWH field is also lower everywhere, except for two areas, those between Greece and Northern Africa and between Spain and Algeria, where it is significantly higher. All these changes are similar, though smaller and less significant, in the B2 scenario, except during winter in the north-western Mediterranean Sea, when the B2 mean SWH field is higher than in the REF simulation. Also extreme SWH values are smaller in future scenarios than in the present climate and such SWH change is larger for the A2 than for the B2 scenario. In general, changes of SWH, wind speed and atmospheric circulation are consistent, and results show milder marine storms in future scenarios than in the present climate.

  14. "Once upon a time in the Mediterranean" long term trends of Mediterranean fisheries resources based on fishers' Traditional Ecological Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Damalas, Dimitrios; Maravelias, Christos D; Osio, Giacomo C; Maynou, Francesc; Sbrana, Mario; Sartor, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    We investigate long-term changes in the Mediterranean marine resources driving the trawl fisheries by analysing fishers' perceptions (Traditional Ecological Knowledge, TEK) throughout the Mediterranean Sea during the last 80 years. To this end, we conducted an extended set of interviews with experienced fishers that enabled us to classify species (or taxa) as 'decreasing' or 'increasing' both in terms of abundance, as well as average size in the catch. The aspect that most clearly emerged in all the investigated areas over time was the notable increase of fishing capacity indicators, such as engine power and fishing depth range. Atlantic mackerel, poor cod, scorpionfishes, striped seabream, and John Dory demonstrated a decreasing trend in the fishers' perceived abundance, while Mediterranean parrotfish, common pandora, cuttlefish, blue and red shrimp, and mullets gave indications of an increasing temporal trend. Although, as a rule, trawler captains did not report any cataclysmic changes (e.g. extinctions), when they were invited to estimate total catches, a clear decreasing pattern emerged; this being a notable finding taking into account the steep escalation of fishing efficiency during the past century. The overall deteriorating status of stocks in most Mediterranean regions calls for responsible management and design of rebuilding plans. This should include historical information accounting for past exploitation patterns that could help defining a baseline of fish abundance prior to heavy industrial fisheries exploitation. PMID:25781459

  15. ACAM, a novel member of the neural IgCAM family, mediates anterior neural tube closure in a primitive chordate.

    PubMed

    Morales Diaz, Heidi; Mejares, Emil; Newman-Smith, Erin; Smith, William C

    2016-01-01

    The neural IgCAM family of cell adhesion molecules, which includes NCAM and related molecules, has evolved via gene duplication and alternative splicing to allow for a wide range of isoforms with distinct functions and homophilic binding properties. A search for neural IgCAMs in ascidians (Ciona intestinalis, Ciona savignyi, and Phallusia mammillata) has identified a novel set of truncated family members that, unlike the known members, lack fibronectin III domains and consist of only repeated Ig domains. Within the tunicates this form appears to be unique to the ascidians, and it was designated ACAM, for Ascidian Cell Adhesion Molecule. In C. intestinalis ACAM is expressed in the developing neural plate and neural tube, with strongest expression in the anterior sensory vesicle precursor. Unlike the two other conventional neural IgCAMs in C. intestinalis, which are expressed maternally and throughout the morula and blastula stages, ACAM expression initiates at the gastrula stage. Moreover, C. intestinalis ACAM is a target of the homeodomain transcription factor OTX, which plays an essential role in the development of the anterior central nervous system. Morpholino (MO) knockdown shows that ACAM is required for neural tube closure. In MO-injected embryos neural tube closure was normal caudally, but the anterior neuropore remained open. A similar phenotype was seen with overexpression of a secreted version of ACAM. The presence of ACAM in ascidians highlights the diversity of this gene family in morphogenesis and neurodevelopment. PMID:26542009

  16. Degradation of terraced slopes in Mediterranean conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsermegas, I.; DłuŻewski, M.; Biejat, K.; Szynkiewicz, A.

    2012-04-01

    Agricultural terraces with dry-stone walls take the largest area of all man-made landforms in Mediterranean mountain regions. Despite on that their contemporary morphodynamics have not been the subject of many studies. It is a significant problem both from a scientific and a practical point of view. The aim of the study was to estimate the influence of relief, lithology, climatic conditions, methods of wall construction and actual agricultural practice on the degradation of agricultural terraces. A field study was conducted in Greece on 7 plots with the overall area of over 42 000 m2 - on the east Crete and on two Aegean islands - Ikaria and Thera. The analysis was conducted on terraced slopes with gradient of 8-23o, built of granitoids, gneisses, crystalline schists, limestones, crystalline dolomites and volcanic tuffs. There was identified the types of terrace walls. Metrical features of terrace systems were ascertained on the basis of GPS RTK measurement. Terrace material petrography and grain size distribution was identified for regolith an soil samples taken from the selected outcrops which were recognized as being representative for 239 georadar profiles of the joint length of over 2500 m. On that basis the volume of each terrace material was defined. The rills cutting the fields and the walls were measured. The infiltration rate was also taken in 130 points. Reasearch showed that regardless of metrical features of terraces, soil grain size distribution and thickness of the terrace material, the most important reason for the destruction of terrace walls is the abandonment of cultivated areas. Changes in cultivation methods and the introduction of pasturage visibly accelerate the degradation processes. On areas unused for 30 years terrace walls are destroyed on over 25% of their length. It concerns both the areas on which filtration coefficient (k) reaches about 10-5m•s-1 as well as the ones where it is a 100 times lower. The least varied values (10-6-10-5m

  17. Long term successful weight loss with a combination biphasic ketogenic Mediterranean diet and Mediterranean diet maintenance protocol.

    PubMed

    Paoli, Antonio; Bianco, Antonino; Grimaldi, Keith A; Lodi, Alessandra; Bosco, Gerardo

    2013-12-01

    Weight loss protocols can only be considered successful if they deliver consistent results over the long term-a goal which is often elusive, so much so that the term "yo-yo" is used to describe the perennial weight loss/weight regain battle common in obesity. We hypothesized that a ketogenic Mediterranean diet with phytoextracts (KEMEPHY) combined with the acknowledged health benefits of traditional Mediterranean nutrition may favor long term weight loss. We analysed 89 male and female obese subjects, aged between 25 and 65 years who were overall healthy apart from being overweight. The subjects followed a staged diet protocol over a period of 12 months: 20 day of KEMEPHY; 20 days low carb-non ketogenic; 4 months Mediterranean normocaloric nutrition; a second 20 day ketogenic phase followed by 6 months of Mediterranean normocaloric nutrition. For the majority of subjects (88.25%) there was significant loss of weight (from 100.7 ± 16.54 to 84.59 ± 9.71 kg; BMI from 35.42 ± 4.11 to 30.27 ± 3.58) and body fat (form 43.44% ± 6.34% to 33.63% ± 7.6%) during both ketogenic phases followed by successful maintenance, without weight regain, during the 6 month stabilization phase with only 8 subjects failing to comply. There were also significant and stable decreases in total cholesterol, LDLc, triglycerides and glucose levels over the 12 month study period. HDLc showed small increases after the ketogenic phases but over the full 12 months there was no significant change. No significant changes were observed in ALT, AST, Creatinine or BUN. The combination of a biphasic KEMEPHY diet separated by longer periods of maintenance nutrition, based on the traditional Mediterranean diet, led to successful long term weight loss and improvements in health risk factors in a majority of subjects; compliance was very high which was a key determinant of the results seen. PMID:24352095

  18. Kinematic restoration of the Mediterranean region since the Triassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Torsvik, Trond; Matenco, Liviu; Schmid, Stefan; Maffione, Marco; Spakman, Wim

    2014-05-01

    The Mediterranean region is one of the most complexly deformed areas in the world and its tectonic evolution has been instrumental in the development of numerous fundamental geological principles and geodynamic concepts. Reconstructions of the Mediterranean region invariably demonstrated that the area had a complex paleogeography with ribbon continents or micro-plates and narrow, elongated ocean basins systems in Mesozoic time. A western and northern ocean basin system was genetically related to the Atlantic Ocean, opened in Jurassic time and is known as the Alpine Tethys Ocean. A southern and eastern basin system was genetically related to the Neotethys domain located between Gondwana and Eurasia and - in the Mediterranean realm - opened in Triassic to Jurassic times. Continental domains of variable size within and between these ocean systems rifted away from Eurasia or Africa. This mosaic of pieces of continental and oceanic lithosphere became consumed by a complex configuration of subduction zones that accommodated convergence between the African and Eurasian plates since middle Jurassic times. Since Oligocene time, the overriding plate above subduction zones throughout the Mediterranean region became extended, locally leading to formation of new ocean floor, as a result of roll-back of subducted slab segments, culminating in todays complex and strongly curved configuration of subduction zones and slab segments. An area such as the tectonically complex Mediterranean invites attempt to kinematic restoration, and various reconstructions are already available. However, by now such reconstructions are no more merely a translation of - frequently qualitative - geological data into a quantitative description of surface evolution: with the advent of 3-dimensional numerical modeling tools that can be kinematically driven by plate reconstructions, they become critical input for attempts to integrate surface evolution into mantle dynamics. An increasingly widely used

  19. Understanding the Miocene-Pliocene - The Mediterranean Point of View

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, D.; Marzocchi, A.; Lunt, D. J.; Flecker, R.; Hilgen, F. J.; Meijer, P. T.

    2015-12-01

    During the Miocene-Pliocene the Mediterranean region experienced major changes in paleogeography. Today, its only connection to the global ocean is the Strait of Gibraltar. This restricted nature causes the Mediterranean basin to react more sensitive to climatic and tectonic related phenomena than the global ocean: Not just eustatic sea-level and regional river run-off, but also gateway tectonics and connectivity between sub-basins are leaving an enhanced fingerprint in its geological record. To understand its evolution, it is crucial to understand how these different effects are coupled. The Miocene-Pliocene sedimentary record of the Mediterranean alternates in composition and colour. Around the Miocene-Pliocene Boundary the most extreme changes occur in the Mediterranean Sea: About 6% of the salt in the global ocean got deposited in the Mediterranean Region, forming an approximately 2km thick salt layer, which is still present today. This extreme event is named the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC, 5.97-5.33Ma). Before (and also after) the MSC, the sedimentary record demonstrates "marl dominated" alternations with variations in organic content (e.g. higher organic content = sapropel). During the MSC these change to mainly "evaporite (e.g. gypsum or halite) dominated" alternations, but also to brackish Black Sea-type of deposits towards the end of the crisis. Due to its relative short geological time span, the period before, during and after the MSC is ideal to study these extreme changes in sedimentation. We are investigating these couplings and evolutions in a box/budget model. With such a model we can study the responses to basin water exchange dynamics under the effect of different regional and global climatic and tectonic forcings, to predict the evolution of basin properties (e.g. salinity). By doing so we can isolate certain climatic and tectonic effects, to better understand their individual contribution, their interaction, but also the consequences due to

  20. Seismic noise recored by seafloor observatories at Mediterranean sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Caro, Mariagrazia; Monna, Stephen; Frugoni, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Favali, Paolo

    2015-04-01

    The Mediterranean region is an area highly exposed to geo-hazards, such as seismic and volcanic activity. Real-time and continuous monitoring of its coastal areas is needed to ensure rapid warning and mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Seafloor observatories for near-real-time and real-time interactive long-term monitoring of ocean processes which are part of the EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory, www.emso-eu.org) Research Infrastructure, have been deployed in sites of the Mediterranean basin. We present long-term time series acquired by GEOSTAR-class seafloor observatories deployed in four sites of Mediterranean areas: Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas (deep seafloor Central-Mediterranean sites) and the Marmara Sea and Gulf of Corinth (shallow seafloor Eastern-Mediterranean sites). We generated a reference model of the background seismic noise based on data collected from seismometers installed on board seafloor observatories. We concentrate on interesting and peculiar features of the noise signal in the frequency band 0.003-50 Hz. The main contribution in the short period band >5Hz (<2s) comes from anthropic noise (e.g. shipping noise). In this band we also find a peak around 0.8Hz (1.25s) which appears to be a persistent characteristic of the Mediterranean basins. Seasonal variations (summer-winter) are visible in the microseismic band 0.05-0.5Hz (2-20s). In particular in the Ionian and Tyrrhenian deep seafloor sites we can distinguish the splitting of the DF (Double Frequency peak) in the long period (LPDF) and the short period (SPDF) peaks. Our study shows the presence of the LPDF, well visible at the deep seafloor sites, and seasonal variations of the LPDF and the SPDF amplitudes ratio, suggesting that the SPDF depends on the sea wave regime generated by local winds. For the deep seafloor sites we can also appreciate the contribution of infragravity waves (<0.05Hz). Our observations confirm the dependence of the

  1. A Classification of Mediterranean Cyclones Based on Global Analyses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reale, Oreste; Atlas, Robert

    2003-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea region is dominated by baroclinic and orographic cyclogenesis. However, previous work has demonstrated the existence of rare but intense subsynoptic-scale cyclones displaying remarkable similarities to tropical cyclones and polar lows, including, but not limited to, an eye-like feature in the satellite imagery. The terms polar low and tropical cyclone have been often used interchangeably when referring to small-scale, convective Mediterranean vortices and no definitive statement has been made so far on their nature, be it sub-tropical or polar. Moreover, most of the classifications of Mediterranean cyclones have neglected the small-scale convective vortices, focusing only on the larger-scale and far more common baroclinic cyclones. A classification of all Mediterranean cyclones based on operational global analyses is proposed The classification is based on normalized horizontal shear, vertical shear, scale, low versus mid-level vorticity, low-level temperature gradients, and sea surface temperatures. In the classification system there is a continuum of possible events, according to the increasing role of barotropic instability and decreasing role of baroclinic instability. One of the main results is that the Mediterranean tropical cyclone-like vortices and the Mediterranean polar lows appear to be different types of events, in spite of the apparent similarity of their satellite imagery. A consistent terminology is adopted, stating that tropical cyclone- like vortices are the less baroclinic of all, followed by polar lows, cold small-scale cyclones and finally baroclinic lee cyclones. This classification is based on all the cyclones which occurred in a four-year period (between 1996 and 1999). Four cyclones, selected among all the ones which developed during this time-frame, are analyzed. Particularly, the classification allows to discriminate between two cyclones (occurred in October 1996 and in March 1999) which both display a very well

  2. Temperature changes along the Spanish Mediterranean shelf waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas-Yanez, M.; Lopez-Jurado, J. L.; Salat, J.; Pascual, J.

    2003-04-01

    Temperature and salinity of intermediate and deep waters of the western Mediterranean have rised during the XX century. These changes are well documented in the specialised literature (Bethoux et al., 1998, Rholing and Bryden, 1992, Tsimplis and Baker, 2000). Nevertheless it is not yet clear whether these changes are due to global warming and a change in the deep water formation conditions in the western Mediterranean or if it is imported from the eastern basin. In the second case, an increase of salinity of the eastern basin due to damming of the main rivers would be the main cause. Trend detection in coastal waters where intermediate waters influence is negligible, would help to clarify this problem. Nevertheless, it is more difficult to detect significant trends in coastal waters due to the intense noise and seasonal cycles superimposed to these trends (if existing). The number of degrees of freedom needed for the significant detection is higher and regular sampling programs are needed. Unfortunately, standard stations periodically sampled are scarce. Here we present results from two of these periodic programs conducted by IEO and ICM along the Spanish Mediterranean shelf (RADIALES project and L'startit coastal station). This work is divided into two parts. The first one is devoted to the revision of the main hypothesis involved in the statistic treatment of time series, such as normal distribution, independence of residuals, seasonal cycles removing, etc...., while the second part will focus on the comparison of time series along the Spanish coast, the study of temperature trends and its possible relation with NAO index. The most striking result is the detection of a intense warming trend which is common to the north-western and south-western stations for the last part of the XX century. Bibliography. Bethoux, J.P., B. Gentili, D. Taillez, warming and freshwater budget change in the Mediterranean since the 1940s, their possible relation to the greenhouse effect

  3. Erosion in Mediterranean landscapes: Changes and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ruiz, José M.; Nadal-Romero, Estela; Lana-Renault, Noemí; Beguería, Santiago

    2013-09-01

    Intense erosion processes are widespread in the Mediterranean region, and include sheet wash erosion, rilling, gullying, shallow landsliding, and the development of large and active badlands in both subhumid and semi-arid areas. This review analyses the main environmental and human features related to soil erosion processes, and the main factors that explain the extreme variability of factors influencing soil erosion, particularly recent land use changes. The importance of erosion in the Mediterranean is related to the long history of human activity in a region characterized by low levels of annual precipitation, the occurrence of intense rainstorms and long-lasting droughts, high evapotranspiration, the presence of steep slopes and the occurrence of recent tectonic activity, together with the recurrent use of fire, overgrazing and farming. These factors have resulted in a complex landscape in which intensification and abandonment, wealth and poverty can co-exist. The changing conditions of national and international markets and the evolution of population pressure are now the main drivers explaining land use changes, including farmland abandonment in mountain areas, the expansion of some subsidized crops to marginal lands, and the development of new terraces affected by landslides and intense soil erosion during extreme rainstorm events. The occurrence of human-related forest fires affecting thousands of hectares each year is a significant problem in both the northern and southern areas of the Mediterranean basin. Here, we highlight the rise of new scientific challenges in controlling the negative consequences of soil erosion in the Mediterranean region: 1) to reduce the effects and extent of forest fires, and restructure the spatial organization of abandoned landscapes; 2) to provide guidance for making the EU agricultural policy more adapted to the complexity and fragility of Mediterranean environments; 3) to develop field methods and models to improve the

  4. The Mediterranean Oscillation and precipitation in the Jordan River region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Törnros, Tobias; Menzel, Lucas

    2014-05-01

    Most of the precipitation in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) is associated with mid-latitude cyclones (Black, 2011). Furthermore, a low pressure over this region is often accompanied by a high pressure in the Western Mediterranean (WM). This pattern has been referred to as the Mediterranean Oscillation and given rise to the Mediterranean Oscillation Index (MOI), which can be expressed as pressure differences between Algiers in the WM and Cairo in the EM (Palutikof et al., 1996). In this study, the relationship between the MOI and precipitation in the Jordan River region, located in the EM is addressed. First of all, 30 precipitation series were tested for homogeneity and serial correlation. Thereafter, Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analyses were applied to the homogenous series and the years 1960-1993. The results showed that the EOF-1 explained 60-71% of the precipitation variance and received a significant correlation with the MOI in December-February whereas no correlation was obtained for the EOF-2. In order to obtain the large scale pressure anomalies associated with winter precipitation in the study region, the EOF-1 coefficient time series was correlated with Sea Level Pressure (SLP) obtained for ca. 23° W to 70° E and 5° N to 67° N. This resulted in a correlation coefficient between -0.5 and 0.5; where negative values correspond to below normal SLP, and positive values to above normal SLP by the time of rainfall in the study region. The spatial pattern showed above normal SLP over central Europe and the WM and below normal SLP in the EM. Hence, it was reminiscent of the Mediterranean Oscillation and consistence with the results from the previous correlation analysis. The probability of precipitation during negative and positive MOI phases was thereafter derived by fitting gamma distributions to monthly precipitation. The result showed that negative MOI phases are associated with low- and below normal winter precipitation whereas positive MOI phases

  5. Seismicity of the Earth 1900‒2013 Mediterranean Sea and vicinity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, Matthew W.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Smoczyk, Gregory M.; Turner, Rebecca; Turner, Bethan; Jenkins, Jennifer; Davies, Sian; Parker, Amy; Sinclair, Allison; Benz, Harley M.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the convergence of the Africa Plate with the Eurasia plate. Present day Africa-Eurasia motion ranges from ~4 millimeters per year (mm/yr) in a northwest-southeast direction in the western Mediterranean to ~10 mm/yr (north-south) in the eastern Mediterranean. The Africa-Eurasia plate boundary is complex, and includes extensional and translational zones in addition to the dominant convergent regimes characterized by subduction and continental collision. This convergence began at approximately 50 million years ago and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea; the Mediterranean Sea is all that remains of the Tethys. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece and the North Anatolian Fault Zone of northwestern Turkey, but significant rates of current seismicity and large historical earthquakes have occurred throughout the region spanning the Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Extreme dry spell detection and climatology over the Mediterranean Basin during the wet season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Florian; Ullmann, Albin; Camberlin, Pierre; Drobinski, Philippe; Smith, Carmela Chateau

    2016-07-01

    The E-OBS precipitation gridded data set v.10.0 is used to detect very long dry spell (VLDS) events over the entire Mediterranean Basin for the 1957-2013 period, during the wet season (September to April). The main objective is to characterize these events as climatic objects, in terms of location, spatial extent, duration, and temporal variability. In this study, 76 VLDS events were detected in the Mediterranean Basin and grouped into four spatial patterns: scattered localized (with 25 events), northeast Mediterranean (11 events), West Mediterranean (15 events), and southeast Mediterranean (25 events). Each pattern shows seasonality in events. Most of the scattered localized, northeast, and southeast events begin in September, at the beginning of the wet season. In contrast, most of the West Mediterranean events begin in the middle of the wet season. Over time, there is a slight but not significant increase in the cumulative number of days per season affected by VLDS events.

  7. Was Mediterranean region that dry during the Messinian Salinity Crisis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasiliev, Iuliana; Mezger, Eveline; Lugli, Stefano; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Manzi, Vinicio; Roveri, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Between 5.97-5.33 Ma kilometres-thick evaporite units were deposited in the Mediterranean basin during an event known as the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC). It is generally accepted that the MSC was a dry period, with higher evaporation than precipitation and runoff. However, how dry climate was during the MSC is difficult to assess because a modern analogue is missing. Here we reconstruct hydrological changes in the Mediterranean basin during the MSC using excellently preserved biomarkers extracted from three reference sections for the Messinian evaporites: Monte Tondo, in the northern Apennines, Realmonte salt mine and Eraclea Minoa, in Sicily that cover the main stages of the MSC: the 'Primary Lower Gypsum' (stage 1 of the MSC), halite unit (stage 2) and 'Upper Gypsum' (stage 3) respectively. We used long chain n-alkanes with a strong odd over even predominance as terrestrial biomarkers, and their hydrogen isotopic values (δD) to reconstruct the large scale hydrological changes on the land adjacent to the Mediterranean covering ˜640 kyrs of the MSC interval. Additionally, the δD record of long-chain alkenones produced by haptophyte algae is used to observe changes in the source for the Mediterranean Sea water. The δDof thelong-chain n-alkanes recorded during the deposition of Lower Evaporites in Monte Tondo (MSC stage 1) indicate a δD of the precipitation largely similar to the present-day Mediterranean. This implies that the overall hydrologic regime was similar to today, with only some levels being more δD enriched (i.e. more arid/warmer). Enriched δD values of the alkenones from halite unit of the Realmonte mine (MSC stage 2) are associated with kainite (mineral forming under extreme evaporation) and giant polygons (evidence of an exposure surface), in line with the high evaporative conditions during halite deposition. The δDof thelong-chain n-alkanes recorded during the deposition of Upper Evaporites in Eraclea Minoa (MSC stage 3) indicate a δD of

  8. [Familial Mediterranean fever--from gene test to clinical aspects].

    PubMed

    Sudeck, H

    2000-10-26

    Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is a genetically defined disease affecting mostly families of jewish, turkish or armenian origin whose ancestors originate from the mediterranean basin. The first officially acknowledged description was given by SIEGAL in 1945 but previous cases were reported since 1908. The main clinical signs which are very varying in intensity and appearance are periodic attacks of fever with peritonitis, pleurisy and arthritis. The classical but not always found complication is amyloidosis with renal failure which is preventable by lifelong colchicine therapy. By using a novel genetest it is now possible to definitely diagnose FMF instead of relying on a diagnosis made merely by exclusion. This will emphasize the use of colchicine and should bring us nearer to the pathophysiology of this interesting disease. PMID:11103618

  9. Evolution and vitality of seagrasses in a Mediterranean lagoon.

    PubMed

    Ferrat, Lila; Fernandez, C; Pasqualini, V; Pergent, G; Pergent-Martini, C

    2003-08-01

    Despite their registration on the list of the Ramsar convention sites, the Mediterranean lagoons rarely beneficiate of an effective protection, and are particularly sensitive to environmental quality. A control of these wetlands needs the creation of an inventory of knowledge for the concerned environment. In this perspective, the seagrass beds were followed up in the coastal lagoon of Urbino (Corse, France) since 1990. A cartographic study was carried out by remote sensing of aerial photography. Temporal evolution of the seagrass beds (Cymodocea nodosa principally) allows to determine the vitality of these structures. A comparison of the surface areas occupied by Cymodocea nodosa, between 1990 and 1999, did not allow seeing any significant evolution. However, some variations appear like biotopes all more fragile and coveted as the Mediterranean coastal fringe is straight and is the privileged site of appear in the localization of the beds, due to the modification of environmental conditions in the lagoon. PMID:12929800

  10. Abyssal undular vortices in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.

    PubMed

    Rubino, A; Falcini, F; Zanchettin, D; Bouche, V; Salusti, E; Bensi, M; Riccobene, G; De Bonis, G; Masullo, R; Simeone, F; Piattelli, P; Sapienza, P; Russo, S; Platania, G; Sedita, M; Reina, P; Avolio, R; Randazzo, N; Hainbucher, D; Capone, A

    2012-01-01

    Abyssal temperature and velocity observations performed within the framework of the Neutrino Mediterranean Observatory, a project devoted to constructing a km(3)-scale underwater telescope for the detection of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, demonstrate cross-fertilization between subnuclear physics and experimental oceanography. Here we use data collected south of Sicily in the Ionian abyssal plain of the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) basin to show for the first time that abyssal vortices exist in the EM, at depths exceeding 2,500 m. The eddies consist of chains of near-inertially pulsating mesoscale cyclones/anticyclones. They are embedded in an abyssal current flowing towards North-Northwest. The paucity of existing data does not allow for an unambiguous determination of the vortex origin. A local generation mechanism seems probable, but a remote genesis cannot be excluded a priori. The presence of such eddies adds further complexity to the discussion of structure and evolution of water masses in the EM. PMID:22588296

  11. Malignant nephrosclerosis in a patient with familial Mediterranean fever.

    PubMed

    Yamanouchi, Masayuki; Ubara, Yoshifumi; Imafuku, Aya; Kawada, Masahiro; Koki, Mise; Sumida, Keiichi; Hiramatsu, Rikako; Hasegawa, Eiko; Hayami, Noriko; Suwabe, Tatsuya; Hoshino, Junichi; Sawa, Naoki; Ohashi, Kenichi; Fujii, Takeshi; Matsuda, Masayuki; Takaichi, Kenmei

    2015-01-01

    A 37-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for an evaluation of renal dysfunction and hypertension. The C-reactive protein level was 6.0 mg/dL, and the serum renin activity was extremely high. A renal biopsy showed malignant nephrosclerosis-like lesions with an onion skin pattern. He had a history of recurrent abdominal pain associated with periodic fevers above 38 degrees that resolved within three days. A MEditerranean FeVer (MEFV) gene analysis revealed that he was homozygous for the E148Q polymorphism (exon 2) and heterozygous for the L110P polymorphism (exon 2). The present case demonstrates that persistent subclinical inflammation can lead to malignant nephrosclerosis in familial Mediterranean fever patients with this genotype. PMID:26466703

  12. Abrupt climate shift in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, K.; Chiggiato, J.; Bryden, H. L.; Borghini, M.; Ben Ismail, S.

    2016-01-01

    One century of oceanographic measurements has evidenced gradual increases in temperature and salinity of western Mediterranean water masses, even though the vertical stratification has basically remained unchanged. Starting in 2005, the basic structure of the intermediate and deep layers abruptly changed. We report here evidence of reinforced thermohaline variability in the deep western basin with significant dense water formation events producing large amounts of warmer, saltier and denser water masses than ever before. We provide a detailed chronological order to these changes, giving an overview of the new water masses and following their route from the central basin interior to the east (toward the Tyrrhenian) and toward the Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence of this climate shift, new deep waters outflowing through Gibraltar will impact the North Atlantic in terms of salt and heat input. In addition, modifications in the Mediterranean abyssal ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles are to be expected. PMID:26965790

  13. Reducing maternal mortality in the eastern Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Mahaini, R; Mahmoud, H

    2005-07-01

    Current efforts in some countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region are still insufficient to achieve the fifth Millennium Development Goal on improving maternal health. Strong commitment, intensive efforts and effective national policies and strategies are now urgently required in order to translate vision into action. Such efforts and plans should target the strengthening of health systems, the expansion in the coverage of effective integrated interventions, and the recognition of the essential role of individuals, families and communities in making pregnancy safer. This article provides a background on the current situation of maternal health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, including underlying causes and contributing factors, and describes strategic directions aimed at accelerating the reduction of maternal mortality in the Region and moving closer to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. PMID:16700368

  14. Abrupt climate shift in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, K; Chiggiato, J; Bryden, H L; Borghini, M; Ben Ismail, S

    2016-01-01

    One century of oceanographic measurements has evidenced gradual increases in temperature and salinity of western Mediterranean water masses, even though the vertical stratification has basically remained unchanged. Starting in 2005, the basic structure of the intermediate and deep layers abruptly changed. We report here evidence of reinforced thermohaline variability in the deep western basin with significant dense water formation events producing large amounts of warmer, saltier and denser water masses than ever before. We provide a detailed chronological order to these changes, giving an overview of the new water masses and following their route from the central basin interior to the east (toward the Tyrrhenian) and toward the Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence of this climate shift, new deep waters outflowing through Gibraltar will impact the North Atlantic in terms of salt and heat input. In addition, modifications in the Mediterranean abyssal ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles are to be expected. PMID:26965790

  15. Abrupt climate shift in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, K.; Chiggiato, J.; Bryden, H. L.; Borghini, M.; Ben Ismail, S.

    2016-03-01

    One century of oceanographic measurements has evidenced gradual increases in temperature and salinity of western Mediterranean water masses, even though the vertical stratification has basically remained unchanged. Starting in 2005, the basic structure of the intermediate and deep layers abruptly changed. We report here evidence of reinforced thermohaline variability in the deep western basin with significant dense water formation events producing large amounts of warmer, saltier and denser water masses than ever before. We provide a detailed chronological order to these changes, giving an overview of the new water masses and following their route from the central basin interior to the east (toward the Tyrrhenian) and toward the Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence of this climate shift, new deep waters outflowing through Gibraltar will impact the North Atlantic in terms of salt and heat input. In addition, modifications in the Mediterranean abyssal ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles are to be expected.

  16. Mediterranean diet pyramid: a proposal for Italian people.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Annunziata; De Pergola, Giovanni

    2014-10-01

    Bread was a staple in the traditional Mediterranean diet of the early 1960s, as well as nowadays; however, it was a stone ground sourdough bread in Nicotera and probably in the Greek cohorts of the Seven Countries Study. In the present review, the nutritional characteristics of this food are analyzed in relation to its protective effects on coronary heart disease, metabolic diseases and cancer. According to our traditions, cultural heritage and scientific evidence, we propose that only cereal foods with low glycemic index (GI) and rich in fiber have to be placed at the base of the Mediterranean diet pyramid, whereas refined grains and high GI starchy foods have to be sited at the top. PMID:25325250

  17. Renal amyloidosis due to familial mediterranean fever misdiagnosed

    PubMed Central

    Hama, Iman; Ilham, Ratbi; Ouzeddoun, Naima; Alhamany, Zaitouna; Bayahia, Radia; Sefiani, Abdelaziz

    2012-01-01

    Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF, MIM 249100) is an autosomal recessive disease affecting mainly patients of the Mediterranean basin. It is an autoinflammatory periodic disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and abdominal pain, synovitis, and pleuritis. The major complication of FMF is the development of renal AA amyloidosis. Treatment with colchicine prevents the occurrence of recurrent seizures and renal amyloidosis. The disease is caused by mutations in the MEFV gene. We report here the cases of two unrelated patients, who have been late diagnosed with FMF complicated by renal amyloidosis. We focus on the importance of early diagnosis of FMF, both to start rapidly treatment with colchicine and avoid renal amyloidosis, and to provide genetic counseling to families. PMID:23716950

  18. Mucormycosis in the Eastern Mediterranean: a seasonal disease.

    PubMed

    Al-Ajam, M R; Bizri, A R; Mokhbat, J; Weedon, J; Lutwick, L

    2006-04-01

    Mucormycosis is a fairly rare fungal infection caused by ubiquitous fungi of the order Mucorales and primarily affects immunocompromised hosts. A series of 16 cases of invasive mucormycosis admitted to three referral centres in Beirut, Lebanon between 1981 and 1999 is described. It includes 12 patients with rhinocerebral, three with cutaneous, and one with pulmonary infection. Onset of symptoms occurred in the summer and autumn in 15 out of 16 patients, showing a statistically significant seasonal variation (P=0.007) A recent report of 19 patients from Tel Aviv describes a strikingly similar seasonal pattern. Studies on atmospheric concentration of Mucorales spores in the Eastern Mediterranean are lacking. Weather pattern analysis in Beirut revealed clustering of onset of invasive mucormycosis at the end of a dry, warm period, which begins around May and ends in October. Mucormycosis incidence appears to be seasonal in the Eastern Mediterranean. PMID:16490139

  19. Modelling ozone stomatal flux of wheat under mediterranean conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Fernández, I.; Bermejo, V.; Elvira, S.; de la Torre, D.; González, A.; Navarrete, L.; Sanz, J.; Calvete, H.; García-Gómez, H.; López, A.; Serra, J.; Lafarga, A.; Armesto, A. P.; Calvo, A.; Alonso, R.

    2013-03-01

    Correct estimation of leaf-level stomatal conductance (gsto) is central for current ozone (O3) risk assessment of wheat yield loss based on the absorbed O3 phytotoxic dose (POD). The gsto model parameterizations developed in Europe must be checked in the different climatic regions where they are going to be applied in order to reduce the uncertainties associated with the POD approach. This work proposes a new gsto model parameterization for estimating POD of Triticum aestivum and Triticum durum under Mediterranean conditions, based on phenological observations over 25 years and gsto field measurements during 5 growing seasons. Results show that POD in the Mediterranean area might be higher than previously estimated. However, caution must be paid when assessing the risk of yield loss for wheat in this area since field validation of O3 impacts is still limited.

  20. Mediterranean Diet Pyramid: A Proposal for Italian People

    PubMed Central

    D’Alessandro, Annunziata; De Pergola, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Bread was a staple in the traditional Mediterranean diet of the early 1960s, as well as nowadays; however, it was a stone ground sourdough bread in Nicotera and probably in the Greek cohorts of the Seven Countries Study. In the present review, the nutritional characteristics of this food are analyzed in relation to its protective effects on coronary heart disease, metabolic diseases and cancer. According to our traditions, cultural heritage and scientific evidence, we propose that only cereal foods with low glycemic index (GI) and rich in fiber have to be placed at the base of the Mediterranean diet pyramid, whereas refined grains and high GI starchy foods have to be sited at the top. PMID:25325250

  1. Excess of (236)U in the northwest Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Chamizo, E; López-Lora, M; Bressac, M; Levy, I; Pham, M K

    2016-09-15

    In this work, we present first (236)U results in the northwestern Mediterranean. (236)U is studied in a seawater column sampled at DYFAMED (Dynamics of Atmospheric Fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea) station (Ligurian Sea, 43°25'N, 07°52'E). The obtained (236)U/(238)U atom ratios in the dissolved phase, ranging from about 2×10(-9) at 100m depth to about 1.5×10(-9) at 2350m depth, indicate that anthropogenic (236)U dominates the whole seawater column. The corresponding deep-water column inventory (12.6ng/m(2) or 32.1×10(12) atoms/m(2)) exceeds by a factor of 2.5 the expected one for global fallout at similar latitudes (5ng/m(2) or 13×10(12) atoms/m(2)), evidencing the influence of local or regional (236)U sources in the western Mediterranean basin. On the other hand, the input of (236)U associated to Saharan dust outbreaks is evaluated. An additional (236)U annual deposition of about 0.2pg/m(2) based on the study of atmospheric particles collected in Monaco during different Saharan dust intrusions is estimated. The obtained results in the corresponding suspended solids collected at DYFAMED station indicate that about 64% of that (236)U stays in solution in seawater. Overall, this source accounts for about 0.1% of the (236)U inventory excess observed at DYFAMED station. The influence of the so-called Chernobyl fallout and the radioactive effluents produced by the different nuclear installations allocated to the Mediterranean basin, might explain the inventory gap, however, further studies are necessary to come to a conclusion about its origin. PMID:27262827

  2. Sediment reworking rates in deep sediments of the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Barsanti, M; Delbono, I; Schirone, A; Langone, L; Miserocchi, S; Salvi, S; Delfanti, R

    2011-07-01

    Different pelagic areas of the Mediterranean Sea have been investigated in order to quantify physical and biological mixing processes in deep sea sediments. Herein, results of eleven sediment cores sampled at different deep areas (> 2000 m) of the Western and Eastern Mediterranean Sea are presented. ²¹⁰Pb(xs) and ¹³⁷Cs vertical profiles, together with ¹⁴C dating, are used to identify the main processes characterising the different areas and, finally, controlling mixing depths (SML) and bioturbation coefficients (D(b)). Radionuclide vertical profiles and inventories indicate that bioturbation processes are the dominant processes responsible for sediment reworking in deep sea environments. Results show significant differences in sediment mixing depths and bioturbation coefficients among areas of the Mediterranean Sea characterised by different trophic regimes. In particular, in the Oran Rise area, where the Almeria-Oran Front induces frequent phytoplankton blooms, we calculate the highest values of sediment mixing layers (13 cm) and bioturbation coefficients (0.187 cm² yr⁻¹), and the highest values of ²¹⁰Pb(xs) and ¹³⁷Cs inventories. Intermediate values of SML and D(b) (~6 cm and ~0.040 cm² yr⁻¹, respectively) characterise the mesothrophic Algero-Balearic basin, while in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea mixing parameters (SML of 3 cm and D(b) of 0.011 cm² yr⁻¹ are similar to those calculated for the oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean (SML of 2 cm and D(b) of ~0.005 cm² yr⁻¹). PMID:21561644

  3. Vortices generation mechanisms in North western Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraunie, P.; Redondo, J. M.; Schaeffer, A.; Molcard, A.; Forget, P.; Garreau, P.

    2012-04-01

    Mesoscale eddies have been observed in Northwestern Mediterranean Sea from satellites, RV cruises and more recently using HF radars. Different non linear mechanisms have been identified and investigated using process oriented high resolution numerical modelling. In particular, wind induced inertial motion and baroclinic instability cases have been illustrated and documented. Statistics of vortices occurence allow a better accounting for coherent structures for pollutants and nutriments dispersion and retention. Acknowledgements : GIRAC project (FUI - CG83 -TPM), ESA, HYMEX programme

  4. Chemical defense of Mediterranean sponges Aplysina cavernicola and Aplysina aerophoba.

    PubMed

    Thoms, Carsten; Wolff, Matthias; Padmakumar, K; Ebel, Rainer; Proksch, Peter

    2004-01-01

    The Mediterranean sponges Aplysina aerophoba and A. cavernicola accumulate brominated isoxazoline alkaloids including aplysinamisin-1 (1), aerophobin-2 (2), isofistularin-3 (3) or aerothionin (4) at concentrations up to 10% of their respective dry weights. In laboratory feeding experiments employing the polyphagous Mediterranean fish Blennius sphinx crude extracts of both Aplysina sponges were incorporated into artificial fish food at their physiological concentrations (based on volume) and offered to B. sphinx in choice feeding experiments against untreated control food. In addition to the Aplysina sponges, extracts from nine other frequently occurring Mediterranean sponges were likewise included into the experiments. Both Aplysina species elicited strong feeding deterrence compared to the other sponges tested. Bioassay-guided fractionation of A. cavernicola yielded the isoxazoline alkaloids aerothionin (4) and aplysinamisin-1 (1) as well as the 3,4-dihydroxyquinoline-2-carboxylic acid (8) as major deterrent constituents when tested at their physiological concentrations as present in sponges. Aeroplysinin-1 (5) and dienone (6), however, which are formed in A. aerophoba and A. cavernicola from isoxazoline precursors through bioconversion reactions upon tissue injury showed no or only little deterrent activity. Fractionation of a crude extract of A. aerophoba yielded aerophobin-2 (2) and isofistularin-3 (3) as major deterrent constituents against B. sphinx. We propose that the isoxazoline alkaloids 1-4 of Mediterranean Aplysina sponges as well as the 3,4-dihydroxyquinoline-2-carboxylic acid (8) (in the case of A. cavernicola) act as defensive metabolites against B. sphinx and possibly also against other predators while the antibiotically active bioconversion products aeroplysinin-1 (5) and dienone (6) may protect sponges from invasion of bacterial pathogens. PMID:15018063

  5. Climate Local Information over the Mediterranean to Respond User Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruti, P.

    2012-12-01

    CLIM-RUN aims at developing a protocol for applying new methodologies and improved modeling and downscaling tools for the provision of adequate climate information at regional to local scale that is relevant to and usable by different sectors of society (policymakers, industry, cities, etc.). Differently from current approaches, CLIM-RUN will develop a bottom-up protocol directly involving stakeholders early in the process with the aim of identifying well defined needs at the regional to local scale. The improved modeling and downscaling tools will then be used to optimally respond to these specific needs. The protocol is assessed by application to relevant case studies involving interdependent sectors, primarily tourism and energy, and natural hazards (wild fires) for representative target areas (mountainous regions, coastal areas, islands). The region of interest for the project is the Greater Mediterranean area, which is particularly important for two reasons. First, the Mediterranean is a recognized climate change hot-spot, i.e. a region particularly sensitive and vulnerable to global warming. Second, while a number of countries in Central and Northern Europe have already in place well developed climate service networks (e.g. the United Kingdom and Germany), no such network is available in the Mediterranean. CLIM-RUN is thus also intended to provide the seed for the formation of a Mediterranean basin-side climate service network which would eventually converge into a pan-European network. The general time horizon of interest for the project is the future period 2010-2050, a time horizon that encompasses the contributions of both inter-decadal variability and greenhouse-forced climate change. In particular, this time horizon places CLIM-RUN within the context of a new emerging area of research, that of decadal prediction, which will provide a strong potential for novel research.

  6. High-resolution sea wind hindcasts over the Mediterranean area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menendez, M.; García-Díez, M.; Fita, L.; Fernández, J.; Méndez, F. J.; Gutiérrez, J. M.

    2014-04-01

    The goal of this study is to develop a high-resolution atmospheric hindcast over the Mediterranean area using the WRF-ARW model, focusing on offshore surface wind fields. In order to choose the most adequate model configuration, the study provides details on the calibration of the experimental saet-up through a sensitivity test considering the October-December 2001 period (the 2001 super-storm event in the West Mediterranean). A daily forecast outperforms the spectral technique of previous products and the boundary data from ERA-Interim reanalysis produces the most accurate estimates in terms of wind variability and hour-to-hour correspondence. According to the sensitivity test, two data sets of wind hindcast are produced: the SeaWind I (30-km horizontal resolution for a period of 60 years) and the SeaWind II (15-km horizontal resolution for 20 years). The validation of the resulting surface winds is undertaken considering two offshore observational datasets. On the one hand, hourly surface buoy stations are used to validate wind time series at specific locations; on the other hand, wind altimeter satellite observations are considered for spatial validation in the whole Mediterranean Sea. The results obtained from this validation process show a very good agreement with observations for the southern Europe region. Finally, SeaWind I and II are used to characterize offshore wind fields in the Mediterranean Sea. The statistical structure of sea surface wind is analyzed and the agreement with Weibull probability distribution is discussed. In addition, wind persistence and extreme wind speed (50 year return period) are characterized and relevant areas of wind power generation are described by estimating wind energy quantities.

  7. Rainfall, runoff and sediment transport in a Mediterranean mountainous catchment.

    PubMed

    Tuset, J; Vericat, D; Batalla, R J

    2016-01-01

    The relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport is highly variable in Mediterranean catchments. Their relation can be modified by land use changes and climate oscillations that, ultimately, will control water and sediment yields. This paper analyses rainfall, runoff and sediment transport relations in a meso-scale Mediterranean mountain catchment, the Ribera Salada (NE Iberian Peninsula). A total of 73 floods recorded between November 2005 and November 2008 at the Inglabaga Sediment Transport Station (114.5 km(2)) have been analysed. Suspended sediment transport and flow discharge were measured continuously. Rainfall data was obtained by means of direct rain gauges and daily rainfall reconstructions from radar information. Results indicate that the annual sediment yield (2.3 t km(-1) y(-1) on average) and the flood-based runoff coefficients (4.1% on average) are low. The Ribera Salada presents a low geomorphological and hydrological activity compared with other Mediterranean mountain catchments. Pearson correlations between rainfall, runoff and sediment transport variables were obtained. The hydrological response of the catchment is controlled by the base flows. The magnitude of suspended sediment concentrations is largely correlated with flood magnitude, while sediment load is correlated with the amount of direct runoff. Multivariate analysis shows that total suspended load can be predicted by integrating rainfall and runoff variables. The total direct runoff is the variable with more weight in the equation. Finally, three main hydro-sedimentary phases within the hydrological year are defined in this catchment: (a) Winter, where the catchment produces only water and very little sediment; (b) Spring, where the majority of water and sediment is produced; and (c) Summer-Autumn, when little runoff is produced but significant amount of sediments is exported out of the catchment. Results show as land use and climate change may have an important

  8. Adherence to Mediterranean diet in a Spanish university population.

    PubMed

    García-Meseguer, María José; Burriel, Faustino Cervera; García, Cruz Vico; Serrano-Urrea, Ramón

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this work was to characterize food habits of Spanish University students and to assess the quality of their diet and some possible determinant factors according to Mediterranean food pattern among other indices. Two hundred eighty-four enrolled students during the academic year 2012-2013 participated in this survey. For each individual a questionnaire involving anthropometric measurements, types of housing, smoking habits and levels of physical activity were self-reported. Food consumption was gathered by two nonconsecutive 24 hour recalls including one weekend day. BMI within the normal range was showed by 72.5% of students and 75% of the sample reflected a sedentary lifestyle or low physical activity. The percentage of total energy from each macronutrient was approximately 17% proteins, 40% carbohydrates and 40% lipids. The ratio of polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fat only reached 0.32. Cholesterol consumption in men exceeded the intake in women by 70 mg/day but nutritional objectives were exceeded in both genders. The main source of protein had an animal origin from meat (38.1%), followed by cereals (19.4%) and dairy products (15.6%). The assessment of diet quality conducted by Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) revealed a low-intermediate score in both (51.2 ± 12.8 and 4.0 ± 1.5, respectively). The main deviations from Mediterranean pattern were a low intake of vegetables and fruit and a high consumption of meat and dairy products. According to HEI classification, 96.1% of subjects scored "poor" or "needs improvement" about the quality of their diet and only 5.3% of students achieved a high adherence to Mediterranean diet. It is necessary to foster changes toward a healthier diet pattern according to cultural context in this population for preventing cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. PMID:24681406

  9. Trans-Mediterranean Infrasound Propagation in Summer: Theory and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garces, M. A.; Fee, D.; Waxler, R.; Hetzer, C. H.; Assink, J.; Drob, D. P.; Le Pichon, A.; Hofstetter, A.; Gitterman, Y.

    2009-12-01

    The ground surface detonation of ~82 tons of high explosives was successfully conducted on 26 August 2009 by the Geophysical Institute of Israel at the Sayarim Military Range in the Negev desert. The measured detonation time was 6:31:54 GMT, and the GPS coordinates of the surface explosion are 30.00057°N, 34.81351°E, 556 m altitude. The primary goal of the experiment was to transmit low-frequency sound across the Mediterranean to improve our understanding of infrasound propagation in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Multiple infrasound arrays were deployed by collaborating institutions, which will also cooperate in the analysis and modeling of the recorded signals. The following organizations participated in temporary infrasound microphone and array deployments in the Mediterranean and Middle East: The Geophysical Institute of Israel and the University of Mississippi (Israel and Cyprus), University of Alaska (Israel), Geological Survey of Cyprus (Cyprus), National Observatory of Athens and University of Hawaii (Rhodes, Crete, and Peloponnese, Greece), University of Florence (Calabria, Italy), CEA/DAM (Provence and Paris, France), and the United Nations (N. Italy, Austria, Germany, and Tunisia). All these station recorded acoustic signals, with ranges from ~100 m (Sayarim, Israel) to ~3500 km (Paris, France). The observations validate the predicted acoustic returns from refraction in the stratosphere and thermosphere during Summer, and are used to further refine sound propagation models and atmospheric specifications.

  10. Implementation of an aorcm in the mediterranean sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Zolt, S.; Lionello, P.; Malguzzi, P.

    2003-04-01

    This study describes a dynamical downscaling in the Mediterranean region, carried out using the coupled atmosphere-ocean-wave model MIAO. The MIAO (Model of Interacting Atmosphere and Ocean) model is composed of three modules, BOLAM (limited area atmospheric circulation model), POM (ocean circulation model) and WAM (ocean waves model), that can be coupled to each other. In the Mediterranean region, which is characterized by complex land-sea distribution, steep orography near the coasts, and intense air-sea interactions, the air-sea fluxes show interesting mesoscale features, important for dense water formation processes and Mediterranean cyclogenesis. In order to study the importance of the coupling between atmosphere and ocean, two two-year long simulations have been carried out in both coupled and uncoupled mode. The differences in the Sea Surface Temperature (SST), precipitation and air-sea interface fields (air-sea fluxes, air temperature, significant wave height, etc.) between the two simulations are discussed. It is stressed that the coupled simulation results in a much better reproduction of the SST annual cycle.

  11. The forgotten tragedy of unidentified dead in the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, C; Tidball Binz, M; Penados, L; Prieto, J; Finegan, O; Grandi, M

    2015-05-01

    The need to identify the dead - an issue of paramount importance for the forensic sciences - and its importance for humanitarian, administrative, judicial and other purposes are universal values enshrined by domestic and international law. However, for hundreds of men, women and children, migrants, who die every year in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe this fundamental right remains unfulfilled. In order to address and bring solutions to this tragedy the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) carried out an assessment in 2012 and 2013 across European Mediterranean countries affected by irregular immigration across the sea (Italy, Greece, Malta, Portugal, France, Spain). An international meeting in 2013 among Southern European countries led to recommendations which should serve as a road-map for action. They are already guiding activities of the ICRC and other participant institutions. The Council of Europe, which endorsed the recommendations, has since stepped up its efforts to prevent and resolve the humanitarian consequences of migration, including the unidentified dead. Among other things it has called on its Member States to "set up a proper system of data collection of the mortal remains of people who lose their lives in the Mediterranean and make it swiftly accessible to relatives". PMID:25770023

  12. Spatial diversity of recent trends in Mediterranean tree growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galván, J. Diego; Julio Camarero, J.; Ginzler, C.; Büntgen, U.

    2014-08-01

    Increasing temperatures and shifting precipitation regimes define the Mediterranean Basin (MB) as one of the world’s most sensitive climate change hot spots. Among various ecological effects, disruptions in the growth-climate response of Mediterranean forest species have been recently observed. Complex topographical and climatological factors, however, may result in contrasting patterns of recent tree growth, with their biotic and abiotic drivers often remaining debatable. Here, we compile dendrochronological evidence from 878 cases at 645 sites reported in 66 peer-reviewed publications to assess modern (post-1970) growth trends across the MB (30°-46° N and 10° W-40° E). This collection mainly reveals positive trends in temperate environments across the northwestern part of the Basin, whereas negative trends were often found at xeric sites in the southwestern and eastern regions. Although these response patterns are indicative for both beneficial as well as detrimental effects of climate change on pan-Mediterranean forest ecosystem function and productivity, our review is slightly biased by selective sampling efforts that focused on higher elevations and older trees within a few countries in the northwest. This imbalance emphasizes the need for more evenly distributed study sites and age classes that better reflect ecological rather than political and methodological criteria.

  13. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Western Mediterranean Sea waters.

    PubMed

    Brumovský, Miroslav; Karásková, Pavlína; Borghini, Mireno; Nizzetto, Luca

    2016-09-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the open Western Mediterranean Sea waters was investigated in this study for the first time. In addition to surface water samples, a deep water sample (1390 m depth) collected in the center of the western basin was analyzed. Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) were detected in all samples and were the dominant PFASs found. The sum of PFAS concentrations (ΣPFASs) ranged 246-515 pg/L for surface water samples. PFASs in surface water had a relatively homogeneous distribution with levels similar to those previously measured in the Atlantic near the Strait of Gibraltar, in water masses feeding the inflow to the Mediterranean Sea. Higher concentrations of PFHxA, PFHpA and PFHxS were, however, found in the present study. Inflowing Atlantic water and river/coastal discharges are likely the major sources of PFASs to the Western Mediterranean basin. Slightly lower (factor of 2) ΣPFASs was found in the deep water sample (141 pg/L). Such a relatively high contamination of deep water is likely to be linked to recurring deep water renewal fed by downwelling events in the Gulf of Lion and/or Ligurian Sea. PMID:27314632

  14. South Hemispheric Teleconnection to Eastern Mediterranean synoptic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osetinsky, I.; Alpert, P.

    2009-04-01

    The teleconnections between the Eastern Mediterranean regional climate and large-scaled tropical and midlatitudinal global indices are becoming widely recognized due to the recent publications. We will present the unexpectedly high correlations between the Eastern Mediterranean synoptic system of the Red Sea Trough and global and hemispheric temperature indices. The Red Sea Trough is the pressure pattern originated from the Sudanese Low and stretched over the warm surface of the Red Sea northward, sometimes reaching up to the Western Turkey. We calculated the correlations between the annual number of the Red Sea Trough days over the Eastern Mediterranean region (RST thereafter), and anomalies of the global and northern and southern hemispheric annual temperatures (TG, TNH, TSH, respectively), for 1948-2000. The annual data, both for the RST and for temperatures, were taken unsmoothed. We got the following remarkable correlations: 0.61 between the RST and TG, 0.51 - between RST and TNH, and 0.65 - between RST and TSH. The lower correlation for the Northern Hemisphere (NH), as compared to the Southern Hemisphere (SH), may be explained considering a distribution of continents and oceans. This carries, on the one hand side, a higher NH than SH mankind activity influencing the natural connections, and on the other - an enhanced SH than NH atmospheric circulation.

  15. The big crossing: illegal boat migrants in the Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Kassar, Hassène; Dourgnon, Paul

    2014-08-01

    This article explores illegal migration routes and groups across North Africa to Europe. We describe sub-Saharan and cross-Mediterranean routes, and how they changed during the years. We propose an analytical framework for the main factors for these migrations, from local to international and regulatory context. We then describe sea-migrants' nationalities and socio-economic and demographic characteristics, from studies undertook in Tunisia and Morocco. While boat migration represents only a fraction of illegal migration to Europe, it raises humanitarian as well as ethical issues for European and North African (NA) countries, as a non-negligible amount of them end up in death tolls of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, existing statistics show that illegal trans-Mediterranean migration is growing exponentially. Ongoing crises in Africa and the Middle East are likely to prompt even larger outflows of refugees in the near future. This should induce NA countries to share closer public policy concerns with European countries. PMID:25107993

  16. Selected aspects of Mediterranean diet and cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Pelucchi, Claudio; Bosetti, Cristina; Rossi, Marta; Negri, Eva; La Vecchia, Carlo

    2009-01-01

    European Mediterranean populations have a high life expectancy. Several aspects of their diet are considered favorable on health. We considered the role of various aspects of the Mediterranean diet on cancer risk in a series of Italian case-control studies including about 10,000 cases of cancer at 13 different sites and over 17,000 controls. For most epithelial cancers, the risk decreased with increasing vegetable consumption. Allium vegetables were also favorably related to cancer risk. Fruit intake was inversely associated with digestive tract and laryngeal cancers. For digestive tract cancers, the population attributable risks for low intake of vegetables and fruit ranged between 15% and 40%. Olive oil and unsaturated fats, which are typical aspects of the Mediterranean diet, were inversely related to the risk of several cancers, particularly of the upper aerodigestive tract. Whole grain food (and hence possibly fiber) intake was also related to reduced risk of various cancers. In contrast, refined grains and, consequently, glycemic load and index were associated to increased risks. Several micronutrients and food components (including folate, flavonoids, and carotenoids) showed inverse relations with cancer risk, but the main component(s) responsible for the favorable effect of a diet rich in vegetables and fruit remain undefined. PMID:20155613

  17. The mediterranean diet in cancer prevention: a review.

    PubMed

    Kontou, Niki; Psaltopoulou, Theodora; Panagiotakos, Demosthenes; Dimopoulos, Meletios A; Linos, Athena

    2011-10-01

    The Mediterranean dietary pattern has a well-established beneficial role in health promotion. Epidemiologic studies reveal the protective role of adherence to this pattern on overall cancer incidence and mortality. This review examines results from prospective cohort, cross-sectional, and case-control studies assessing the role of the Mediterranean diet in cancer prevention. Original research studies that were published in English between 1985 and April 6, 2010, were selected through a computer-assisted literature search (i.e., PubMed and Scopus). From the initial search, 273 papers were selected. After the titles and the abstracts of these papers were read for relevance to this review, 17 studies were selected and are discussed here; 8 had a prospective design, 7 were case-control, 1 was a randomized screening study, and 1 was an interventional study. Although there is a lack of definitive evidence for the association of Mediterranean diet with various types of cancer, a dietary pattern emphasizing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy products could be highly recommended for all people, and especially those at risk for cancer. PMID:21663480

  18. Development of an indicator to monitor mediterranean wetlands.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Antonio; Abdul Malak, Dania; Guelmami, Anis; Perennou, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands are sensitive ecosystems that are increasingly subjected to threats from anthropogenic factors. In the last decades, coastal Mediterranean wetlands have been suffering considerable pressures from land use change, intensification of urban growth, increasing tourism infrastructure and intensification of agricultural practices. Remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques are efficient tools that can support monitoring Mediterranean coastal wetlands on large scales and over long periods of time. The study aims at developing a wetland indicator to support monitoring Mediterranean coastal wetlands using these techniques. The indicator makes use of multi-temporal Landsat images, land use reference layers, a 50m numerical model of the territory (NMT) and Corine Land Cover (CLC) for the identification and mapping of wetlands. The approach combines supervised image classification techniques making use of vegetation indices and decision tree analysis to identify the surface covered by wetlands at a given date. A validation process is put in place to compare outcomes with existing local wetland inventories to check the results reliability. The indicator´s results demonstrate an improvement in the level of precision of change detection methods achieved by traditional tools providing reliability up to 95% in main wetland areas. The results confirm that the use of RS techniques improves the precision of wetland detection compared to the use of CLC for wetland monitoring and stress the strong relation between the level of wetland detection and the nature of the wetland areas and the monitoring scale considered. PMID:25826210

  19. Development of an Indicator to Monitor Mediterranean Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Antonio; Abdul Malak, Dania; Guelmami, Anis; Perennou, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands are sensitive ecosystems that are increasingly subjected to threats from anthropogenic factors. In the last decades, coastal Mediterranean wetlands have been suffering considerable pressures from land use change, intensification of urban growth, increasing tourism infrastructure and intensification of agricultural practices. Remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques are efficient tools that can support monitoring Mediterranean coastal wetlands on large scales and over long periods of time. The study aims at developing a wetland indicator to support monitoring Mediterranean coastal wetlands using these techniques. The indicator makes use of multi-temporal Landsat images, land use reference layers, a 50m numerical model of the territory (NMT) and Corine Land Cover (CLC) for the identification and mapping of wetlands. The approach combines supervised image classification techniques making use of vegetation indices and decision tree analysis to identify the surface covered by wetlands at a given date. A validation process is put in place to compare outcomes with existing local wetland inventories to check the results reliability. The indicator´s results demonstrate an improvement in the level of precision of change detection methods achieved by traditional tools providing reliability up to 95% in main wetland areas. The results confirm that the use of RS techniques improves the precision of wetland detection compared to the use of CLC for wetland monitoring and stress the strong relation between the level of wetland detection and the nature of the wetland areas and the monitoring scale considered. PMID:25826210

  20. Conceptual hydrogeological model of a coastal hydrosystem in the mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitropapas, Anastasios; Pouliaris, Christos; Apostolopoulos, Georgios; Vasileiou, Eleni; Schüth, Christoph; Vienken, Thomas; Dietrich, Peter; Kallioras, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Groundwater resources management in the Mediterranean basin is an issue of paramount importance that becomes a necessity in the case of the coastal hydrosystems. Coastal aquifers are considered very sensitive ecosystems that are subject to several stresses being of natural or anthropogenic origin. The coastal hydrosystem of Lavrion can be used as a reference site that incorporates multi-disciplinary environmental problems, which are typical for Circum-Mediterranean. This study presents the synthesis of a wide range of field activities within the area of Lavrion including the monitoring of water resources within all hydrologic zones (surface, unsaturated and saturated) and geophysical (invasive and non-invasive) surveys. Different monitoring approaches -targeting to the collection of hydrochemical, geophysical, geological, hydrological data- were applied, that proved to provide a sound characterization of the groundwater flows within the coastal karstic system in connection to the surrounding water bodies of the study area. The above are used as input parameters process during the development of the conceptual model of the coastal hydrosystem of Lavrion. Key-words: Coastal hydrosystems, Mediterranean basin, seawater intrusion

  1. Networking environmental metadata: a pilot project for the Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonora, N.; Benito, M.; Abou El-Magd, I.; Mazzetti, P.; Ndong, C.

    2012-04-01

    To better exploit any environmental dataset it is necessary to provide detailed information (metadata) capable to furnish the best data description. Operating environmental data and information networking requires the long-term investment of financial and human resources. As these resources are scarce, ensuring sustainability can be a struggle. Then, to use more effectively human and economic resources and to avoid duplication, it is essential to test existing models and, where appropriate, replicate strategies and experiences. For the above reasons, it has been programmed to pilot a project to implement and test a metadata catalogue's networking, involving Countries afferent the Mediterranean Region, to demonstrate that the adoption of open source and free software and international interoperability standards can contribute to the alignment of I&TC resources to achieve environmental information sharing. This pilot, planned in the frame of the EGIDA FP7 European Project, aims to support the implementation of a replication methodology for the establishment of national/regional environmental information nodes on the bases of the System of Systems architecture concept, to support the exchange of environmental information in the frame of the Barcelona Convention and to incept a Mediterranean scale joint contribution to GEOSS focusing on partnership, infrastructures and products. To establish the partnership and to conduce interoperability tests, this pilot project build on the Info-RAC (Information and Communication Activity Centre of the United Nation Environmental Programme - Mediterranean Action Plan) and GEO (Group on Earth Observations) networks.

  2. Baroclinic wind adjustment processes in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinardi, Nadia; Navarra, Antonio

    The wind-driven general circulation of the Mediterranean Sea is studied using a primitive equation model. The model uses a 0.25° horizontal resolution and eight or 16 levels in the vertical. The model uses the Mediterranean basin geometry, and the Strait of Gibraltar is closed. The vertical density structure is initialized with annual average data, and the temperature and salinity values are fixed at the surface to simulate perpetual annual mean conditions. The wind forcing consists of monthly mean climatological stresses. The results show that the general circulation of the Mediterranean Sea has a multiple time-scale character (seasonal excursions and steady state amplitudes are comparable) and it is composed by sub-basin scale gyres corresponding to the scale of the wind stress curl centers. The steady state circulation (annual mean average) is determined by a Sverdrup balacne modified by viscous effects. The unsteady vertically integrated transport circulation consists of sub-basin scale gyres similar to the steady state transport components, which amplify seasonally and the partial or total reversal of the currents in many subportions of the basin. The gyres can be stationary in position or propagating. This seasonal ocean response is partly constituted by Rossby modes due to the wind stress curl annual harmonic. The baroclinic circulation shows the seasonal shift of the North African Current from a position along the African coasts during winter to the center of the Balearic and Ionian basin during summer.

  3. Maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy: the Mediterranean reality.

    PubMed

    Karras, S N; Anagnostis, P; Annweiler, C; Naughton, D P; Petroczi, A; Bili, E; Harizopoulou, V; Tarlatzis, B C; Persinaki, A; Papadopoulou, F; Goulis, D G

    2014-08-01

    Vitamin D status during pregnancy is linked to bone mineralization of developing fetus, which justifies targeting sufficient levels of vitamin D in pregnant women. Despite high level of sunshine in the Mediterranean regions, maternal hypovitaminosis D remain common in these countries. The aim of this narrative review was to provide potential explanations for this phenomenon in an effort to guide future public health policies and vitamin D intakes during pregnancy. We searched Medline for publications regarding hypovitaminosis D during pregnancy in the Mediterranean region. Available studies confirmed the high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D among pregnant women in the Mediterranean regions (50-65% in most studies), resulting in severe skeletal and nonskeletal health events among the offspring. Reasons for this may rely on maternal darker skin pigmentation, poor dietary vitamin D intake, veiled clothing and reduced sunshine exposure, health policies and increased prevalence of obesity. Public health organizations should be aware of this phenomenon and develop specific policies to prevent hypovitaminosis D and its adverse outcomes in maternal and neonatal health. PMID:24824015

  4. Familial Mediterranean Fever With Complete Symptomatic Remission During Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kwang Taek; Lee, Jae Eun; Kim, Mi Kang; Yoo, Jun Jae; Lee, Gye Yeon; Kae, Sea Hyub; Lee, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an inherited autosomal recessive disorder, ethnically restricted and commonly found among populations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. FMF is the most prevalent autoinflammatory disease; is characterized by recurrent, self-limited episodes of fever with serositis; and is caused by Mediterranean fever gene (MEFV) mutations on chromosome 16. We describe a case of adult-onset FMF with complete symptomatic remission during pregnancy, without the use of colchicine. A 25-year-old woman had presented with periodic fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting since she was 21. Her abdominal computed tomography scan showed intestinal nonrotation. She underwent exploratory laparotomy and appendectomy for her symptoms 1 year prior. She had a symptom-free pregnancy period, but abdominal pain and fever recurred after delivery. Mutation analysis of the MEFV gene revealed two point mutations (p.Leu110Pro and p.Glu148Gln). We report an adult female patient with FMF in Korea with complete symptomatic remission during pregnancy. PMID:26131005

  5. Herbivory in a Mediterranean forest: browsing impact and plant compensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Focardi, Stefano; Tinelli, Aleandro

    2005-11-01

    The compensatory response of plants to defoliation is likely to have important effects on plant-ungulate equilibria in forested ecosystems. We investigated the responses of six species of Mediterranean bushes to defoliation by wild ungulates, comparing an index of browsing impact with the productivity of plants in both open and exclusion plots. The data revealed a great diversity of plant responses to herbivory: Rubus ulmifolius was able to over-compensate and replace the lost tissues. Phillyrea latifolia exhibited a similar, albeit less evident, pattern, while Cistus salvifolius was severely damaged by browsing. Other species, such as Quercus ilex, Juncus acutus and Erica arborea, were not attacked to a large extent and suffered little or no harm. The results strongly suggest that Mediterranean ecosystems may tolerate large stocking rates of ungulates. However, the reduction of plant biomass due to browsing was very different in the six studied species, suggesting that when herbivory becomes severe the structure of the ecosystem will change with the more tolerant plants becoming more abundant. We can apply these results to improve management and conservation of relict coastal forests in the Mediterranean basin which are usually of small size and where decision-makers have to compromise between the conservation of plants and that of large mammals.

  6. Mediterranean diet and faecal microbiota: a transversal study.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Díaz, I; Fernández-Navarro, T; Sánchez, B; Margolles, A; González, S

    2016-05-18

    Despite the existing evidence on the impact of olive oil and red wine on the intestinal microbiota, the effect of the global Mediterranean Diet (MD) has not been sufficiently studied. We explored the association between the adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern, and its components, with faecal microbiota in a cohort of adults with non-declared pathology. This transversal study involved 31 adults without a previous diagnosis of cancer, autoimmune or digestive diseases. Based on the data obtained by means of an annual food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and the information existing in the literature, a Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) was calculated. Dietary fibre was obtained from Marlett et al. tables and Phenol-Explorer Database was used for phenolic compounds intake. Quantification of microbial groups was performed by Ion Torrent 16S rRNA gene-based analysis and quantification of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (MS). MDS was associated with a higher abundance of Bacteroidetes (p = 0.001), Prevotellacea (p = 0.002) and Prevotella (p = 0.003) and a lower concentration of Firmicutes (p = 0.003) and Lachnospiraceae (p = 0.045). Also, in subjects with MDS ≥ 4, higher concentrations of faecal propionate (p = 0.034) and butyrate (p = 0.018) were detected. These results confirm the complexity of the diet-microbiota interrelationship. PMID:27137178

  7. Clinical Review: Familial Mediterranean Fever-An Overview of Pathogenesis, Symptoms, Ocular Manifestations, and Treatment.

    PubMed

    Petrushkin, Harry; Stanford, Miles; Fortune, Farida; Jawad, Ali S

    2016-08-01

    Familial Mediterranean fever is an autoinflammatory multisystem disease, which most commonly affects patients from the Mediterranean basin. This review discusses the common polymorphisms in the MEFV gene as well as the role of pyrin in disease pathogenesis. Patients with familial Mediterranean fever typically develop peritonitis, pleuritis, arthritis, and fever. In addition, a number of authors have reported ophthalmic features. These case reports and series are further explored in this review. Colchicine has transformed the prognosis for patients with familial Mediterranean fever. The rationale for the use of colchicine, as well as the evidence for newer biologic agents is also covered. PMID:25760918

  8. Enhanced Mediterranean-Atlantic exchange during Atlantic freshening phases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogerson, M.; Colmenero-Hidalgo, E.; Levine, R. C.; Rohling, E. J.; Voelker, A. H. L.; Bigg, G. R.; SchöNfeld, J.; Cacho, I.; Sierro, F. J.; LöWemark, L.; Reguera, M. I.; de Abreu, L.; Garrick, K.

    2010-08-01

    The Atlantic-Mediterranean exchange of water at Gibraltar represents a significant heat and freshwater sink for the North Atlantic and is a major control on the heat, salt and freshwater budgets of the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, an understanding of the response of the exchange system to external changes is vital to a full comprehension of the hydrographic responses in both ocean basins. Here, we use a synthesis of empirical (oxygen isotope, planktonic foraminiferal assemblage) and modeling (analytical and general circulation) approaches to investigate the response of the Gibraltar Exchange system to Atlantic freshening during Heinrich Stadials (HSs). HSs display relatively flat W-E surface hydrographic gradients more comparable to the Late Holocene than the Last Glacial Maximum. This is significant, as it implies a similar state of surface circulation during these periods and a different state during the Last Glacial Maximum. During HS1, the gradient may have collapsed altogether, implying very strong water column stratification and a single thermal and δ18Owater condition in surface water extending from southern Portugal to the eastern Alboran Sea. Together, these observations imply that inflow of Atlantic water into the Mediterranean was significantly increased during HS periods compared to background glacial conditions. Modeling efforts confirm that this is a predictable consequence of freshening North Atlantic surface water with iceberg meltwater and indicate that the enhanced exchange condition would last until the cessation of anomalous freshwater supply into to the northern North Atlantic. The close coupling of dynamics at Gibraltar Exchange with the Atlantic freshwater system provides an explanation for observations of increased Mediterranean Outflow activity during HS periods and also during the last deglaciation. This coupling is also significant to global ocean dynamics, as it causes density enhancement of the Atlantic water column via the

  9. Suspended sediment transport in two mediterranean impounded rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobera, Gemma; Batalla, Ramon J.; Vericat, Damià; López, Jose A.; Tena, Alvaro

    2016-04-01

    Mediterranean basins are characterized by marked hydroclimatic fluctuations, from low discharges during long dry seasons to flashy events during wetter periods. Moreover, Mediterranean regions are often rugged, marked by a notable altitudinal gradient between the headwaters and the outlet; hence large climatic heterogeneity can be found along relatively short horizontal distances, with mean annual precipitation usually ranging from 275 to >900 mm. As a result, and in order to ensure water availability and reduce its spatial and temporal variability, a high number of large dams were built during the 20th century, with more than 3500 located in Mediterranean rivers. Dams alter the river's flow regime and interrupt the continuity of sediment transfer along the river network, thereby changing its functioning as an ecosystem. Within this context, this paper assesses the suspended sediment loads and dynamics of two climatically contrasting Mediterranean regulated rivers (i.e. the Ésera and Siurana) during a 2-yr period. Key findings indicate that floods were responsible for 92% of the total suspended sediment load in the River Siurana, while this percentage falls to 70% for the Ésera, indicating the importance of baseflows on sediment transport in the Ésera. This fact is related to the high sediment availability, with the Ésera acting as a non-supply-limited catchment due to the high productivity of the sources (i.e. badlands). In contrast, the Siurana can be considered a supply-limited system due to its low geomorphic activity and reduced sediment availability, with suspended sediment concentration remaining low even for high magnitude flood events. Reservoirs in both rivers reduce sediment load up to 90%, although total runoff is only reduced in the case of the River Ésera. A remarkable fact is the change of the hydrological character of both rivers downstream for the dams; the Ésera shifts from a humid mountainous river regime to a quasi-invariable pattern

  10. Growth management of vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) under Mediterranean conditions.

    PubMed

    Dudai, N; Putievsky, E; Chaimovitch, D; Ben-Hur, M

    2006-10-01

    In spite of the advantages of Vetiver grass in light of environmental aspects, this plant is not used in the Mediterranean region. The objectives of the present study were: (i) to elucidate growth parameters and establishment of Vetiver under Mediterranean conditions suitable for its various environmental applications; and (ii) to develop management practices for growing vetiver under Mediterranean conditions. In greenhouse experiments conducted under controlled conditions it was found that, in general, increasing the minimum/maximum temperatures to 21-29 degrees C significantly increased plant height. In the Mediterranean region, this range of air temperatures is obtained mainly during the summer, from June to September. For air temperatures up to 15-23 degrees C the effect of day length on plant height was insignificant, whereas in air temperature >15-23 degrees C, the plant heights under long day conditions were significantly higher than under short day. The number of sprouts per plant increased exponentially with increasing air temperature, and was not significantly affected by the day length at any air temperature range. In open fields, the heights of irrigated vetiver plants were significantly higher than those of rain-fed plants. It was concluded that, once they were established, vetiver plants could survive the dry summer of the Mediterranean region under rain-fed conditions, but they would be shorter than under irrigation. Cutting or burning of the plant foliage during the spring did not improve the survival of vetiver during the dry summer. In order to obtain fast growth of vetiver and to increase the possibility of its using the rainwater, the plants should be planted in the winter, during February and March. However, under this regime, the vetiver plant cannot be used as a soil stabilizer during the first winter, because the plant is still small. In contrast, under irrigation it is advantageous to plant vetiver at the beginning of the summer; the plant

  11. The Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: Estimates, Patterns, and Threats

    PubMed Central

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S.; Gasol, Josep M.; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M.; Lotze, Heike K.; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Saša; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet—undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  12. Mediterranean circulation response to enhanced resolution and tide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carillo, Adriana; Sannino, Gianmaria; Pisacane, Giovanna; Naranjo, Cristina

    2015-04-01

    The Mediterranean Thermohaline circulation (MTHC) is sustained by the atmospheric forcing and controlled by the exchange of water with the neighboring Atlantic ocean through the Gibraltar Strait (SoG). The counter-flowing fluxes of Atlantic and Mediterranean waters are subject to tide-induced vigorous mixing within the Strait, where tidal forcing also affects the hydraulic control of volume fluxes, both processes determining heat, salt, and mass fluxes into the Mediterranean. A correct prescription of the lateral boundary condition at the Gibraltar inlet can therefore only be achieved by explicitly including the Gibraltar Strait in the numerical domain at a spatial resolution sufficient to account for both the fast barotropic tidal signal propagating eastward from the Atlantic Ocean and the baroclinic mixing processes occurring within the strait. The aim of this work is to evaluate the separate and joint long-term effects of increased resolution in the strait, SoG dynamics, and tides on the simulated MTHC by comparing results from multi-year hindcast numerical simulations. The model used is a regional Mediterranean version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model. A non-uniform curvilinear orthogonal grid with a resolution of 1/16°x1/16° in its regular portion inside the Mediterranean Sea and a refinement in the SoG reaching a maximum horizontal resolution of about 1/200° x 1/200° has been used. 72 unevenly spaced z-levels have been prescribed in the vertical, with resolution ranging from 1 m to 200 m. The surface atmospheric forcing has been provided by the dynamical downscaling of the ECMWF-ERA40 air-sea fluxes reanalysis via a regional model. Results from two multi-year simulations differing only for the inclusion/omission of the four dominant constituents of the semi-diurnal and diurnal internal and lateral tidal forcing have been compared analyzing in details the differences in the MTHC with particular attention on the deep

  13. Burden of celiac disease in the Mediterranean area

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Luigi; Timpone, Laura; Abkari, Abdelhak; Abu-Zekry, Mona; Attard, Thomas; Bouguerrà, Faouzi; Cullufi, Paskal; Kansu, Aydan; Micetic-Turk, Dusanka; Mišak, Zrinjka; Roma, Eleftheria; Shamir, Raanan; Terzic, Selma

    2011-01-01

    AIM: To estimate the burden of undiagnosed celiac disease (CD) in the Mediterranean area in terms of morbidity, mortality and health cost. METHODS: For statistics regarding the population of each country in the Mediterranean area, we accessed authoritative international sources (World Bank, World Health Organization and United Nations). The prevalence of CD was obtained for most countries from published reports. An overall prevalence rate of 1% cases/total population was finally estimated to represent the frequency of the disease in the area, since none of the available confidence intervals of the reported rates significantly excluded this rate. The distribution of symptoms and complications was obtained from reliable reports in the same cohort. A standardized mortality rate of 1.8 was obtained from recent reports. Crude health cost was estimated for the years between symptoms and diagnosis for adults and children, and was standardized for purchasing power parity to account for the different economic profiles amongst Mediterranean countries. RESULTS: In the next 10 years, the Mediterranean area will have about half a billion inhabitants, of which 120 million will be children. The projected number of CD diagnoses in 2020 is 5 million cases (1 million celiac children), with a relative increase of 11% compared to 2010. Based on the 2010 rate, there will be about 550 000 symptomatic adults and about 240 000 sick children: 85% of the symptomatic patients will suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, 40% are likely to have anemia, 30% will likely have osteopenia, 20% of children will have short stature, and 10% will have abnormal liver enzymes. The estimated standardized medical costs for symptomatic celiac patients during the delay between symptom onset and diagnosis (mean 6 years for adults, 2 years for children) will be about €4 billion (€387 million for children) over the next 10 years. A delay in diagnosis is expected to increase mortality: about 600 000

  14. Post-fire vegetation succession in Mediterranean gorse shrublands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Luis, Martin; Raventós, José; González-Hidalgo, José Carlos

    2006-07-01

    In Western Mediterranean areas, forest fires are frequent in forests established on old croplands where post-fire regeneration is limited to obligate-seeder species. This has resulted in the spread of Mediterranean gorse ( Ulex parviflorus) increasing the risk and severity of fires. The aim of this paper is to test the autosuccessional hypothesis on a Mediterranean gorse shrubland dominated by seeders species. Particular objectives are: a) to analyze the effect of fire on seedling emergence, survival and growth on the main species involved on plant regeneration process. b) to identify changes in the relative abundance of species as consequence of fire by using a before-after experiment. Then, after experimental fires, seedling emergence, survival and growth rates were analyzed for the main species present in the vegetation regeneration process. Our results show that Mediterranean gorse communities are dominated by Fabaceae species (64% of individuals, mainly of Ulex parviflorus). However, our study demonstrates that vegetation regeneration after fire does not display an autosuccessional pattern and is produced a change on dominance from Fabaceae (mainly U. parviflorus) to Cistaceae (mainly C. albidus) species. Cistaceae seedlings (mainly Cistus albidus and Helianthemum marifolium) were the most abundant post-fire (63% of total germination) while species of Fabaceae (including U. parviflorus and Ononis fruticosa) represented 25%, and Lamiaceae (restricted to Rosmarinus officinalis) comprised only 3% of total emergences. Seedling survival did not differ significantly from one species to another (25-30% of initial individuals over 3 years) but seedling growth rates were also higher for Cistaceae than for Fabaceae individuals. Then, after fire, in terms of biomass, Fabaceae presence decreased from 78.7% to 13.1% while Cistaceae increase from 8% to 83.4%. Given that fire frequency, intensity or severity is partially controlled by the composition and structure of the

  15. Variability and trends of migratory anticyclones affecting the Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzaki, Maria; Flocas, Helena A.; Simmonds, Ian; Kouroutzoglou, John; keay, Kevin; Rudeva, Irina

    2014-05-01

    A comprehensive climatology of migratory anticyclones affecting the Mediterranean was generated with the aid of the University of Melbourne finding and tracking algorithm, applied to 34 years (1979-2012) of ERA-Interim mean sea level pressures. The algorithm is employed for the first time to study anticyclones in this region, thus, its robustness and reliability in efficiently capturing the individual characteristics of the anticyclonic tracks in the Mediterranean were checked and verified. The tracks and the statistical properties of the migratory systems revealed two major anticyclonic routes: over the northern (i.e. from the Iberian towards the Balkan Peninsula) and over the southern (i.e. the North Africa coast) Mediterranean barriers. A transition of the system density and anticyclogenesis maxima is evident throughout the year from solely continental environments in winter and autumn to also maritime in spring and summer. These variations can be attributed to the seasonal variability of the major anticyclonic systems that are involved in this region. The interannual variability of synoptic systems can be attributed to natural low frequency variability. The interannual variations of the system density and strength were linked to the Northern Hemisphere modes of atmospheric variability; e.g. more (less) antiyclonic tracks are observed around the Mediterranean basin during periods of positive (negative) NAO, with a consequent enhancement (decline) of the pressure field. Moreover, possible trends in the frequency and intensity of the anticyclonic systems were explored in an attempt to examine any impacts of recent global warming conditions. Positive trends of system density, genesis and intensity prevail during the cold period over the greater area around the Mediterranean basin. During summer, the general increase in system density is not followed by a corresponding tendency in the number of the generating systems and the intensity. Regarding the depth of the

  16. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

    PubMed

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S; Gasol, Josep M; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M; Lotze, Heike K; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Sasa; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  17. Discussion of the Ionian and Levantine Seas, NATO workshop on atmospheric and oceanic circulation in the Mediterranean Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Hopkins, T.S.

    1984-01-01

    The gross features and distinctiveness of its thermohaline circulation are described for the Ionian and Levantine Seas of the eastern Mediterranean. The paper also discusses the significance of the thermohaline coupling with neighboring Mediterranean basins. 22 refs. (ACR)

  18. Persistence across Pleistocene ice ages in Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean refugia: phylogeographic insights from the common wall lizard

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Pleistocene climatic oscillations have played a major role in structuring present-day biodiversity. The southern Mediterranean peninsulas have long been recognized as major glacial refugia, from where Northern Europe was post-glacially colonized. However, recent studies have unravelled numerous additional refugia also in northern regions. We investigated the phylogeographic pattern of the widespread Western Palaearctic lizard Podarcis muralis, using a range-wide multilocus approach, to evaluate whether it is concordant with a recent expansion from southern glacial refugia or alternatively from a combination of Mediterranean and northern refugia. Results We analyzed DNA sequences of two mitochondrial (cytb and nd4) and three nuclear (acm4, mc1r, and pdc) gene fragments in individuals from 52 localities across the species range, using phylogenetic and phylogeographic methods. The complex phylogeographic pattern observed, with 23 reciprocally monophyletic allo- parapatric lineages having a Pleistocene divergence, suggests a scenario of long-term isolation in multiple ice-age refugia across the species distribution range. Multiple lineages were identified within the three Mediterranean peninsulas – Iberia, Italy and the Balkans - where the highest genetic diversity was observed. Such an unprecedented phylogeographic pattern - here called “refugia within all refugia” – compasses the classical scenario of multiple southern refugia. However, unlike the southern refugia model, various distinct lineages were also found in northern regions, suggesting that additional refugia in France, Northern Italy, Eastern Alps and Central Balkans allowed the long-term persistence of this species throughout Pleistocene glaciations. Conclusions The phylogeography of Podarcis muralis provides a paradigm of temperate species survival in Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean glacial refugia. Such refugia acted as independent biogeographic compartments for the long

  19. Long Term Successful Weight Loss with a Combination Biphasic Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet and Mediterranean Diet Maintenance Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Paoli, Antonio; Bianco, Antonino; Grimaldi, Keith A; Lodi, Alessandra; Bosco, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Weight loss protocols can only be considered successful if they deliver consistent results over the long term—a goal which is often elusive, so much so that the term “yo-yo” is used to describe the perennial weight loss/weight regain battle common in obesity. We hypothesized that a ketogenic Mediterranean diet with phytoextracts (KEMEPHY) combined with the acknowledged health benefits of traditional Mediterranean nutrition may favor long term weight loss. We analysed 89 male and female obese subjects, aged between 25 and 65 years who were overall healthy apart from being overweight. The subjects followed a staged diet protocol over a period of 12 months: 20 day of KEMEPHY; 20 days low carb-non ketogenic; 4 months Mediterranean normocaloric nutrition; a second 20 day ketogenic phase followed by 6 months of Mediterranean normocaloric nutrition. For the majority of subjects (88.25%) there was significant loss of weight (from 100.7 ± 16.54 to 84.59 ± 9.71 kg; BMI from 35.42 ± 4.11 to 30.27 ± 3.58) and body fat (form 43.44% ± 6.34% to 33.63% ± 7.6%) during both ketogenic phases followed by successful maintenance, without weight regain, during the 6 month stabilization phase with only 8 subjects failing to comply. There were also significant and stable decreases in total cholesterol, LDLc, triglycerides and glucose levels over the 12 month study period. HDLc showed small increases after the ketogenic phases but over the full 12 months there was no significant change. No significant changes were observed in ALT, AST, Creatinine or BUN. The combination of a biphasic KEMEPHY diet separated by longer periods of maintenance nutrition, based on the traditional Mediterranean diet, led to successful long term weight loss and improvements in health risk factors in a majority of subjects; compliance was very high which was a key determinant of the results seen. PMID:24352095

  20. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in Mediterranean woodland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precipitation patters are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rain fall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbustus unedo L., in Central Italy, to study...

  1. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus.

    PubMed

    Mazzariol, Sandro; Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    During 2011-2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006-2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales. PMID:26812485

  2. Report from the Third Mediterranean Society of Comparative Education (MESCE) Conference in Malta

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayo, Peter; Borg, Carmel

    2008-01-01

    This is a report of the third meeting of the Mediterranean Comparative Education Society (MESCE) that took place in Malta in May 2008. The full programme can be accessed at: http://www.educ.um.edu.mt/mesce/cprogramme.html. The conference was attended by around 130 people from different countries in the Mediterranean and beyond but concentrated,…

  3. Mediterranean Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) Threatened by Dolphin MorbilliVirus

    PubMed Central

    Centelleghe, Cinzia; Beffagna, Giorgia; Povinelli, Michele; Terracciano, Giuliana; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Pintore, Antonio; Denurra, Daniele; Casalone, Cristina; Pautasso, Alessandra; Di Francesco, Cristina Esmeralda; Di Guardo, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    During 2011–2013, dolphin morbillivirus was molecularly identified in 4 stranded fin whales from the Mediterranean Sea. Nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, and hemagglutinin gene sequences of the identified strain were highly homologous with those of a morbillivirus that caused a 2006–2007 epidemic in the Mediterranean. Dolphin morbillivirus represents a serious threat for fin whales. PMID:26812485

  4. Seasonal differences in intraseasonal and interannual variability of Mediterranean Sea surface temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zveryaev, Igor I.

    2015-04-01

    Sea surface temperature (SST) data from the NOAA OI SST data set for 1982-2011 are used to investigate intraseasonal and interannual variability of Mediterranean SST during winter and summer seasons. It is shown that during winter the intraseasonal SST fluctuations are larger than the interannual SST variations in the western Mediterranean (e.g., the Tyrrhenian Sea), but smaller in the central and eastern Mediterranean Sea. In summer, the intraseasonal SST fluctuations are larger in almost the entire Mediterranean basin. Also summertime intraseasonal SST fluctuations are larger (up to three times near the Gulf of Lions) than their wintertime counterparts in the entire Mediterranean basin. The interannual SST variations are larger during summer in the western and central Mediterranean Sea and during winter in its eastern part. The leading empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of the Mediterranean SST and of the intensities of its intraseasonal fluctuations are characterized by the differing spatial-temporal structures both during winter and summer implying that their interannual variability is driven by different physical mechanisms. During winter, the EOF-1 of SST is associated with the East Atlantic teleconnection, whereas EOF-1 of the intensity of intraseasonal fluctuations is not linked significantly to regional atmospheric dynamics. The second EOFs of these variables are associated, respectively, with the East Atlantic/West Russia and the North Atlantic teleconnections. While during summer the atmospheric influence on Mediterranean SST is generally weaker, it is revealed that the EOF-1 of the intensity of intraseasonal SST fluctuations is linked to the Polar teleconnection.

  5. Precipitation Climatology over Mediterranean Basin from Ten Years of TRMM Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehta, Amita V.; Yang, Song

    2008-01-01

    Climatological features of mesoscale rain activities over the Mediterranean region between 5 W-40 E and 28 N-48 N are examined using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 and 2A25 rain products. The 3B42 rainrates at 3-hourly, 0.25 deg x 0.25 deg spatial resolution for the last 10 years (January 1998 to July 2007) are used to form and analyze the 5-day mean and monthly mean climatology of rainfall. Results show considerable regional and seasonal differences of rainfall over the Mediterranean Region. The maximum rainfall (3-5 mm/day) occurs over the mountain regions of Europe, while the minimum rainfall is observed over North Africa (approximately 0.5 mm/day). The main rainy season over the Mediterranean Sea extends from October to March, with maximum rainfall occurring during November-December. Over the Mediterranean Sea, an average rainrate of approximately 1-2 mm/day is observed, but during the rainy season there is 20% larger rainfall over the western Mediterranean Sea than that over the eastern Mediterranean Sea. During the rainy season, mesoscale rain systems generally propagate from west to east and from north to south over the Mediterranean region, likely to be associated with Mediterranean cyclonic disturbances resulting from interactions among large-scale circulation, orography, and land-sea temperature contrast.

  6. Management model application at nested spatial levels in Mediterranean Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Porto, Antonio; De Girolamo, Anna Maria; Froebrich, Jochen

    2014-05-01

    In the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) implementation processes, hydrological and water quality models can be powerful tools that allow to design and test alternative management strategies, as well as judging their general feasibility and acceptance. Although in recent decades several models have been developed, their use in Mediterranean basins, where rivers have a temporary character, is quite complex and there is limited information in literature which can facilitate model applications and result evaluations in this region. The high spatial variability which characterizes rainfall events, soil hydrological properties and land uses of Mediterranean basin makes more difficult to simulate hydrological and water quality in this region than in other Countries. This variability also has several implications in modeling simulations results especially when simulations at different spatial scale are needed for watershed management purpose. It is well known that environmental processes operating at different spatial scale determine diverse impacts on water quality status (hydrological, chemical, ecological). Hence, the development of management strategies have to include both large scale (watershed) and local spatial scales approaches (e.g. stream reach). This paper presents the results of a study which analyzes how the spatial scale affects the results of hydrologic process and water quality of model simulations in a Mediterranean watershed. Several aspects involved in modeling hydrological and water quality processes at different spatial scale for river basin management are investigated including model data requirements, data availability, model results and uncertainty. A hydrologic and water quality model (SWAT) was used to simulate hydrologic processes and water quality at different spatial scales in the Candelaro river basin (Puglia, S-E Italy) and to design management strategies to reach as possible WFD goals. When studying a basin to assess its current status

  7. Spatial and temporal variability of Mediterranean drought events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigo, R.; Sousa, P.; Nieto, R.; Gimeno, L.

    2009-04-01

    The original Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and a recent adaptation to European soil characteristics, the Self Calibrated PDSI (or scPDSI) proposed by Schrier et al (2005) were used. We have computed monthly, seasonal and annual trends between 1901 and 2000 but also for the first and second halves of the 20th century. Results were represented only when achieving a minimum level of statistical significance (either 5% or 10% using a Mann-Kendall test) and confirm that the majority of the western and central Mediterranean is getting drier in the last decades of the 20th century while Turkey is generally getting wetter (Trigo et al., 2006). The spatio-temporal variability of these indices was evaluated with an EOF analysis, in order to reduce the large dimensionality of the fields under analysis. Spatial representation of the first EOF patterns shows that EOF 1 covers the entire Mediterranean basin (16.4% of EV), while EOF2 is dominated by a W-E dipole (10% EV). The following EOF patterns present smaller scale features, and explain smaller amounts of variance. The EOF patterns have also facilitated the definition of four sub-regions with large socio-economic relevance: 1) Iberia, 2) Italian Peninsula, 3) Balkans and 4) Turkey. The inter-annual variability of the regional spatial droughts indices for each region was analyzed separately. We have also performed an evaluation of their eventual links with large-scale atmospheric circulation indices that affect the Mediterranean basin, namely the NAO, EA, and SCAND. Finally we have evaluated the main sources of moisture affecting two drought prone areas in the western (Iberia) and eastern (Balkans) Mediterranean. This analysis was performed by means of backward tracking the air masses that ultimately reach these two regions using the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART (Stohl et al., 1998) and meteorological analysis data from the ECMWF to track atmospheric moisture. This was done for a five-year period (2000

  8. Mediterranean Tropical-like Cyclones: Present and Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavicchia, Leone; von Storch, Hans; Gualdi, Silvio

    2014-05-01

    The Mediterranean basin is characterized by the genesis of a large number of cyclonic systems. Most of the cyclones generated in this area have a baroclinic nature. A few storms every year, however, develop a dynamical evolution similar to the one of tropical cyclones, showing an axis-symmetric vertical profile, a warm core, a cloud-free eye surrounded by a cloud cover with spiral shape, and winds up to the hurricane speed. The strongest between such storms exhibit a striking resemblance to the lower-latitudes hurricanes, except for the mesoscale spatial extent, and have thus been termed medicanes (Mediterranean hurricanes). Medicanes are considered rare phenomena, - the number of observed cases documented in the literature is around ten - but are associated to severe damage on coastal areas. Due to the scarcity of observations over sea, and to the coarse resolution of the long-term reanalysis datasets, it is difficult to construct a homogeneous statistics of the formation of medicanes. Using an approach (tested on a number of historical medicane cases) based on the high-resolution dynamical downscaling of the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, and exploiting an objective detection algorithm specifically designed to single out the features of medicanes, the statistical properties of such storms (annual cycle, decadal and inter-annual variability, geographical distribution, trends) over the last six decades have been studied in a systematic way, and the linkage between the frequency of medicanes formation and synoptic patterns has been investigated. It was found that medicanes occur indeed with a low frequency, and that they are formed mostly during the cold season in the western Mediterranean and in the region extending between the Ionian Sea and the northern coast of Africa. The analysis of the environmental factors related with the formation of medicanes shows that the genesis mechanism requires a sufficiently large difference between the sea surface temperature and the

  9. Mediterranean monitoring and forecasting operational system for Copernicus Marine Service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppini, Giovanni; Drudi, Massimiliano; Korres, Gerasimos; Fratianni, Claudia; Salon, Stefano; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Clementi, Emanuela; Zacharioudaki, Anna; Grandi, Alessandro; Delrosso, Damiano; Pistoia, Jenny; Solidoro, Cosimo; Pinardi, Nadia; Lecci, Rita; Agostini, Paola; Cretì, Sergio; Turrisi, Giuseppe; Palermo, Francesco; Konstantinidou, Anna; Storto, Andrea; Simoncelli, Simona; Di Pietro, Pier Luigi; Masina, Simona; Ciliberti, Stefania Angela; Ravdas, Michalis; Mancini, Marco; Aloisio, Giovanni; Fiore, Sandro; Buonocore, Mauro

    2016-04-01

    The MEDiterranean Monitoring and Forecasting Center (Med-MFC) is part of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS, http://marine.copernicus.eu/), provided on an operational mode by Mercator Ocean in agreement with the European Commission. Specifically, Med MFC system provides regular and systematic information about the physical state of the ocean and marine ecosystems for the Mediterranean Sea. The Med-MFC service started in May 2015 from the pre-operational system developed during the MyOcean projects, consolidating the understanding of regional Mediterranean Sea dynamics, from currents to biogeochemistry to waves, interfacing with local data collection networks and guaranteeing an efficient link with other Centers in Copernicus network. The Med-MFC products include analyses, 10 days forecasts and reanalysis, describing currents, temperature, salinity, sea level and pelagic biogeochemistry. Waves products will be available in MED-MFC version in 2017. The consortium, composed of INGV (Italy), HCMR (Greece) and OGS (Italy) and coordinated by the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC, Italy), performs advanced R&D activities and manages the service delivery. The Med-MFC infrastructure consists of 3 Production Units (PU), for Physics, Biogechemistry and Waves, a unique Dissemination Unit (DU) and Archiving Unit (AU) and Backup Units (BU) for all principal components, guaranteeing a resilient configuration of the service and providing and efficient and robust solution for the maintenance of the service and delivery. The Med-MFC includes also an evolution plan, both in terms of research and operational activities, oriented to increase the spatial resolution of products, to start wave products dissemination, to increase temporal extent of the reanalysis products and improving ocean physical modeling for delivering new products. The scientific activities carried out in 2015 concerned some improvements in the physical, biogeochemical and

  10. Marine protected area design patterns in the Mediterranean Sea: Implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, D; Rodríguez, J; Blanco, J M; Abdul Malak, D

    2016-09-15

    Mediterranean marine protected area (MPA) design patterns regarding geographic distribution, size, spacing and shape were analysed as a proxy of the region's MPA's ecological effectiveness and a first step towards an ecologically coherent MPA network. Results for legally designated MPAs and ecologically functional MPAs accounting for overlaps are presented. Geographically, Mediterranean MPA area is very unevenly distributed, with four-fifths concentrated in just three countries of the north-western part of the basin. Average distance between functional MPAs lies within recommended ecological thresholds, which suggests adequate potential connectivity of the Mediterranean MPA system. Mediterranean designated MPAs are larger than MPAs worldwide on average, although they are generally smaller than international guidance suggests at different levels: ecoregion, country and designation category. On average, Mediterranean designated and functional MPAs have relatively high compactness, which makes them prone to spillover and adequate viability, and less vulnerable to edge effects. PMID:27393212

  11. Biogenic emission from the Mediterranean pseudosteppe ecosystem present in Castelporziano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciccioli, Paolo; Fabozzi, Concetta; Brancaleoni, Enzo; Cecinato, Angelo; Frattoni, Massimiliano; Cieslik, Stanislaw; Kotzias, Dimitrios; Seufert, Guenther; Foster, Panayotis; Steinbrecher, Rainer

    Emission rates and fluxes of biogenic components emitted by a Mediterranean Pseudosteppe were measured in the BEMA test site of Castelporziano during the 1993 and 1994 field campaigns. Enclosure and micrometeorological techniques were used. Although the emission was comprised of isoprene, semi-volatile aldehydes, acetic acid and monoterpenes at trace levels, the most relevant compound in air was isoprene. Basal emission rates for isoprene (normalized at 30°C and 1000 μE PAR) as defined by Guenther et al. (1991, J. geophys. Res.96, 10,799-10,808) were obtained for this ecosystem by combining experimental observations and predictions based on the Guenther algorithm. It is shown that the Mediterranean Pseudosteppe is a strong isoprene emitter with a basal emission rate of 0.45 μg m -2 s -1 during the flowering season. At the end of the maximum physiologically active season basal emission rate ranged only in 0.1-0.15 μg m -2 s -1. A close dependence from light and temperature for the isoprene emission is observed. The decline in emission rates seems to be associated with a reduction in photosynthetic activity linked to senescence of the vegetation present in this ecosystem. The results obtained indicate that the Mediterranean Pseudosteppe is an ecosystem characterized by a rapid and strong variability in isoprene emission. It represents a source of isoprene comparable to deciduous forest areas only during the flowering season (from the middle of March to the middle of May) whereas it becomes a minor source during the end of the maximum physiologically active season.

  12. Catastrophic flood of the Mediterranean after the Messinian salinity crisis.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Castellanos, D; Estrada, F; Jiménez-Munt, I; Gorini, C; Fernàndez, M; Vergés, J; De Vicente, R

    2009-12-10

    The Mediterranean Sea became disconnected from the world's oceans and mostly desiccated by evaporation about 5.6 million years ago during the Messinian salinity crisis. The Atlantic waters found a way through the present Gibraltar Strait and rapidly refilled the Mediterranean 5.33 million years ago in an event known as the Zanclean flood. The nature, abruptness and evolution of this flood remain poorly constrained. Borehole and seismic data show incisions over 250 m deep on both sides of the Gibraltar Strait that have previously been attributed to fluvial erosion during the desiccation. Here we show the continuity of this 200-km-long channel across the strait and explain its morphology as the result of erosion by the flooding waters, adopting an incision model validated in mountain rivers. This model in turn allows us to estimate the duration of the flood. Although the available data are limited, our findings suggest that the feedback between water flow and incision in the early stages of flooding imply discharges of about 10(8) m(3) s(-1) (three orders of magnitude larger than the present Amazon River) and incision rates above 0.4 m per day. Although the flood started at low water discharges that may have lasted for up to several thousand years, our results suggest that 90 per cent of the water was transferred in a short period ranging from a few months to two years. This extremely abrupt flood may have involved peak rates of sea level rise in the Mediterranean of more than ten metres per day. PMID:20010684

  13. Anoxic basins of the eastern Mediterranean: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cita, M. B.

    1991-02-01

    It is well known that the Mediterranean Sea underwent several episodes of basin-wide stagnation in the Plio/Pleistocene, but extant anoxic basins were first discovered between 1983 and 1984 in the Strabo Trench and in the southwestern slopes of the Mediterranean Ridge, facing the Sirte Abyssal Plain. Since then, several expeditions were carried out to investigate the geology and physiography of the basins as well as the physical and chemical characters of the water column. Although the geodynamic settings of the Tyro and Bannock basins are quite different, they are very deep, closed and filled by dense, salty, cold brines, whose presence is attributed to submarine dissolution of Messinian evaporites. Bannock Basin is interpreted as a collapse basin, with a complex configuration, central domes and several satellite basins most of which are anoxic. Unlike the Tyro Basin, it is characterized by precipitation of gypsum, occurring as euhedral crystals within the sediments, and dredged along the steep wall bordering the main basin to the East. The interface separating normal seawater from the brines corresponds to a well-defined pycnocline with a density contrast of approximately 20%, where strong bacterial activity seems to occur and a sudden decrease in transmittance is recorded. Studies on the water column document drastic changes of all the various parameters measured (O2, H2S, Ca, PO4, Ba) across the interface. Sediments deposited beneath the brines are anoxic. This kind of geologically induced anoxia is persistent and diachronous, in contrast with the isochronous, episodic, r