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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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  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. *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...

  11. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  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

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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 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

  11. 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

  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.

    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

  15. 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.

  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 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).

  1. 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.

  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 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

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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.