Science.gov

Sample records for octocoral plexaura flexuosa

  1. Natural Prey Preferences and Spatial Variability of Predation Pressure by Cyphoma gibbosum (Mollusca: Gastropoda) on Octocoral Communities off La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Matthew Q.; Rodríguez, Luis R.; Sanabria, Duane J.

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the natural prey preferences and spatial variability of predation pressure (PP = proportion of colonies with snails and/or clear predation signs) by the gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum on octocoral communities off the La Parguera Natural Reserve, Puerto Rico. All octocoral colonies were checked for presence of C. gibbosum and/or clear predation signs in four permanent band-transects (2 × 10 m), along three depth intervals (0–5, 7–12, >15 m deep) in each of six reefs along an inshore offshore gradient. Results indicate that C. gibbosum preys on at least 16 species, six of which (Briareum asbestinum, Gorgonia ventalina, Pseudoterogorgia americana, P. acerosa, Plexaura flexuosa, and Pseudoplexaura porosa) consistently showed significantly higher (K-W, P < 0.05) (17–37%) PP compared to all other species. Plexaura flexuosa, P. americana, and P. porosa had significantly higher PP (11–38%) among inner and mid-shelf reefs, and G. ventalina had higher PP in shelf-edge reefs (16–20%). A combination of differential spatial distributions and octocoral species abundances seems to explain the observed patterns of predation by C. gibbosum. Prey preference and higher abundances of 3-dimensional octocorals providing increased refuge or microhabitats utilized for mating or egg-deposition could be driving the spatial distribution of C. gibbosum and the observed differential predation pressure.

  2. Vectored dispersal of Symbiodinium by larvae of a Caribbean gorgonian octocoral.

    PubMed

    Wirshing, Herman H; Feldheim, Kevin A; Baker, Andrew C

    2013-09-01

    The ability of coral reefs to recover from natural and anthropogenic disturbance is difficult to predict, in part due to uncertainty regarding the dispersal capabilities and connectivity of their reef inhabitants. We developed microsatellite markers for the broadcast spawning gorgonian octocoral Eunicea (Plexaura) flexuosa (four markers) and its dinoflagellate symbiont, Symbiodinium B1 (five markers), and used them to assess genetic connectivity, specificity and directionality of gene flow among sites in Florida, Panama, Saba and the Dominican Republic. Bayesian analyses found that most E. flexuosa from the Florida reef tract, Saba and the Dominican Republic were strongly differentiated from many E. flexuosa in Panama, with the exception of five colonies from Key West that clustered with colonies from Panama. In contrast, Symbiodinium B1 was more highly structured. At least seven populations were detected that showed patterns of isolation by distance. The symbionts in the five unusual Key West colonies also clustered with symbionts from Panama, suggesting these colonies are the result of long-distance dispersal. Migration rate tests indicated a weak signal of northward immigration from the Panama population into the lower Florida Keys. As E. flexuosa clonemates only rarely associated with the same Symbiodinium B1 genotype (and vice versa), these data suggest a dynamic host-symbiont relationship in which E. flexuosa is relatively well dispersed but likely acquires Symbiodinium B1 from highly structured natal areas prior to dispersal. Once vectored by host larvae, these symbionts may then spread through the local population, and/or host colonies may acquire different local symbiont genotypes over time. PMID:23980762

  3. Symbiodinium Photosynthesis in Caribbean Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Ramsby, Blake D.; Shirur, Kartick P.

    2014-01-01

    Symbioses with the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium form the foundation of tropical coral reef communities. Symbiodinium photosynthesis fuels the growth of an array of marine invertebrates, including cnidarians such as scleractinian corals and octocorals (e.g., gorgonian and soft corals). Studies examining the symbioses between Caribbean gorgonian corals and Symbiodinium are sparse, even though gorgonian corals blanket the landscape of Caribbean coral reefs. The objective of this study was to compare photosynthetic characteristics of Symbiodinium in four common Caribbean gorgonian species: Pterogorgia anceps, Eunicea tourneforti, Pseudoplexaura porosa, and Pseudoplexaura wagenaari. Symbiodinium associated with these four species exhibited differences in Symbiodinium density, chlorophyll a per cell, light absorption by chlorophyll a, and rates of photosynthetic oxygen production. The two Pseudoplexaura species had higher Symbiodinium densities and chlorophyll a per Symbiodinium cell but lower chlorophyll a specific absorption compared to P. anceps and E. tourneforti. Consequently, P. porosa and P. wagenaari had the highest average photosynthetic rates per cm2 but the lowest average photosynthetic rates per Symbiodinium cell or chlorophyll a. With the exception of Symbiodinium from E. tourneforti, isolated Symbiodinium did not photosynthesize at the same rate as Symbiodinium in hospite. Differences in Symbiodinium photosynthetic performance could not be attributed to Symbiodinium type. All P. anceps (n = 9) and P. wagenaari (n = 6) colonies, in addition to one E. tourneforti and three P. porosa colonies, associated with Symbiodinium type B1. The B1 Symbiodinium from these four gorgonian species did not cluster with lineages of B1 Symbiodinium from scleractinian corals. The remaining eight E. tourneforti colonies harbored Symbiodinium type B1L, while six P. porosa colonies harbored type B1i. Understanding the symbioses between gorgonian corals and Symbiodinium will

  4. Terpenoids from the Octocoral Sinularia gaweli

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Wun-Jie; Wu, Tung-Ying; Su, Tzu-Rong; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Chen, Jih-Jung; Fang, Lee-Shing; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2015-01-01

    Two eudesmane sesquiterpenoids, verticillatol (1) and 5α-acetoxy-4(14)-eudesmene-1β-ol (2) and two cembrane diterpenoids, (–)-leptodiol acetate (3) and sinulacembranolide A (4) were isolated from the octocoral Sinularia gaweli and compounds 2–4 are new isolates. The structures of new terpenoids 2–4 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods and by comparison the spectral data with those of known analogues. Terpenoid 4 was found to inhibit the accumulation of the pro-inflammatory inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 marcophage cells. PMID:26295226

  5. First report of Erysiphe (Uncinuliella) flexuosa in western North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Erysiphe flexuosa, a powdery mildew parasite of Aesculus species, is believed to have originated in North America where distribution records were confined to regions east of the Rocky Mountains. The fungus recently was found in eastern Washington State and northern Idaho. The fungus can be disting...

  6. Does elevated pCO2 affect reef octocorals?

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yasmin; Benayahu, Yehuda; Fine, Maoz

    2013-01-01

    Increasing anthropogenic pCO2 alters seawater chemistry, with potentially severe consequences for coral reef growth and health. Octocorals are the second most important faunistic component in many reefs, often occupying 50% or more of the available substrate. Three species of octocorals from two families were studied in Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba), comprising the zooxanthellate Ovabunda macrospiculata and Heteroxenia fuscescens (family Xeniidae), and Sarcophyton sp. (family Alcyoniidae). They were maintained under normal (8.2) and reduced (7.6 and 7.3) pH conditions for up to 5 months. Their biolological features, including protein concentration, polyp weight, density of zooxanthellae, and their chlorophyll concentration per cell, as well as polyp pulsation rate, were examined under conditions more acidic than normal, in order to test the hypothesis that rising pCO2 would affect octocorals. The results indicate no statistically significant difference between the octocorals exposed to reduced pH values compared to the control. It is therefore suggested that the octocorals' tissue may act as a protective barrier against adverse pH conditions, thus maintaining them unharmed at high levels of pCO2. PMID:23533159

  7. Long-term variation of octocoral populations in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Elizabeth A.; Bramanti, Lorenzo; Lasker, Howard R.; Edmunds, Peter J.

    2015-12-01

    The decline in abundance of scleractinian corals over the past three decades in the Caribbean has raised the possibility that other important benthic taxa, such as octocorals, are also changing in abundance. We used photoquadrats taken over 20 yr from reefs (7-9 m depth) at six sites on the south coast of St. John, US Virgin Islands, to test the hypothesis that octocorals have changed in abundance since 1992. Octocorals were counted in 0.25 m2 photoquadrats at 2- to 3-yr intervals and identified to genus or family. Overall, there was variation over time in population density of octocorals (pooled among taxa, and also separately for Antillogorgia spp., Gorgonia spp., and plexaurids) at each site, and densities remained unchanged or increased over 20 yr; where increases in density occurred, the effects were accentuated after 2002. The local-scale analysis was expanded to the Caribbean (including the Florida Keys) by compiling data for octocoral densities from 31 studies for reefs at ≤25 m depth between 1968 and 2013. At this scale, analyses were limited by the paucity of historical data, and despite a weak trend of higher octocoral densities in recent decades, statistically, there was no change in octocoral abundance over time. Together with data from the whole Caribbean, the present analysis suggests that octocorals have not experienced a decadal-scale decline in population density, which has occurred for many scleractinian corals.

  8. Effects of copper on Enteromorpha flexuosa (Chlorophyta) in vitro.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Leonardo R; Farina, Marcos; Amado Filho, Gilberto M

    2004-05-01

    Enteromorpha species are widely used as biomonitors of copper (Cu) contamination in coastal waters, but the effects of Cu at the subcellular level and possible mechanisms of metal resistance are scarcely known. To contribute to the understanding of the Cu accumulation process in macroalgae species, we exposed adult individuals of Enteromorpha flexuosa to 50, 250, and 500 microg Cu/L in seawater for 5 days under controlled conditions. Thereafter, gross photosynthesis rate (GPR) and metal accumulation were measured. Conventional transmission electron microscopy (CTEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) were used to study the metal accumulation process at the cellular level. Treatments with 250 and 500 microg Cu/L were observed to cause an inhibition of the GPR in the algae. Cu accumulation in samples exposed to 500 microgCu/L was 5284+/-561 microg Cu/g (dry wt), whereas in control samples (no Cu addition), accumulation was 9+/-1 microg/g. In cells of plants undergoing the 50 microg Cu/L treatment, the cytoplasm was clearly vacuolated. Thickening of cell walls and increase of relative number of starch granules and of lipid bodies were the main cellular changes observed in plants exposed to 250 and 500 microg Cu/L. EDXA of algae cells after 250 and 500 microg Cu/L exposure detected Cu mainly in vacuole precipitates. Cu was also detected in chloroplasts and in some epiphytic bacteria. It was concluded that E. flexuosa did not avoid penetration of Cu into the cytoplasm and consequently its toxic effects in concentrations of 250 and 500 microg Cu/L. Precipitates containing Cu in vacuoles should be related to a metal immobilization mechanism, minimizing the Cu toxicity for cells. The epiphytic bacteria can act as a biofilter diminishing the availability of free Cu(+2) for algae accumulation. PMID:15087172

  9. Distribution and abundance of octocoral (Octocorallia, alcyonacea) communities at three Southern Islands of Singapore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seah, Jason Zhi Sheng; Yap, Nicholas Wei Liang; Tan, Lik Tong; Goh, Beverly Pi Lee

    2015-06-01

    Studies concerning subtidal octocoral species from Singapore reefs are few. This study documents the diversity and abundance of octocoral communities from fringing reefs at Singapore's Southern Islands, namely, Pulau Semakau, P. Hantu and Kusu Island. Belt transects of 20 m (× 5) were employed to survey the octocoral communities at these reef sites. Morphology and sclerites of a number of collected octocoral samples were compared with paratypes obtained from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, for species identification. A total of 16 morphotypes, belonging to five octocoral genera, including Cladiella, Lobophytum, Nephthea, Sarcophyton and Sinularia, were identified in this study. Statistical analysis revealed octocoral abundance and diversity at Kusu Island reefs were higher than those around P. Hantu and P. Semakau. Conversely, octocoral community structures encountered along P. Semakau and Kusu Island were more similar than those of P. Hantu. The preliminary data presented in this study could serve as the baseline data for long term biomonitoring programs in assessing the state of coral reefs in Singapore.

  10. Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral.

    PubMed

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Baums, Iliana B; Shank, Timothy M; Morrison, Cheryl L; Cordes, Erik E

    2015-05-22

    The depth-differentiation hypothesis proposes that the bathyal region is a source of genetic diversity and an area where there is a high rate of species formation. Genetic differentiation should thus occur over relatively small vertical distances, particularly along the upper continental slope (200-1000 m) where oceanography varies greatly over small differences in depth. To test whether genetic differentiation within deepwater octocorals is greater over vertical rather than geographical distances, Callogorgia delta was targeted. This species commonly occurs throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging from 400 to 900 m. We found significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.042) across seven sites spanning 400 km of distance and 400 m of depth. A pattern of isolation by depth emerged, but geographical distance between sites may further limit gene flow. Water mass boundaries may serve to isolate populations across depth; however, adaptive divergence with depth is also a possible scenario. Microsatellite markers also revealed significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.434) between C. delta and a closely related species, Callogorgia americana, demonstrating the utility of microsatellites in species delimitation of octocorals. Results provided support for the depth-differentiation hypothesis, strengthening the notion that factors covarying with depth serve as isolation mechanisms in deep-sea populations. PMID:25904664

  11. Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral

    PubMed Central

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Baums, Iliana B.; Shank, Timothy M.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Cordes, Erik E.

    2015-01-01

    The depth-differentiation hypothesis proposes that the bathyal region is a source of genetic diversity and an area where there is a high rate of species formation. Genetic differentiation should thus occur over relatively small vertical distances, particularly along the upper continental slope (200–1000 m) where oceanography varies greatly over small differences in depth. To test whether genetic differentiation within deepwater octocorals is greater over vertical rather than geographical distances, Callogorgia delta was targeted. This species commonly occurs throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths ranging from 400 to 900 m. We found significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.042) across seven sites spanning 400 km of distance and 400 m of depth. A pattern of isolation by depth emerged, but geographical distance between sites may further limit gene flow. Water mass boundaries may serve to isolate populations across depth; however, adaptive divergence with depth is also a possible scenario. Microsatellite markers also revealed significant genetic differentiation (FST = 0.434) between C. delta and a closely related species, Callogorgia americana, demonstrating the utility of microsatellites in species delimitation of octocorals. Results provided support for the depth-differentiation hypothesis, strengthening the notion that factors covarying with depth serve as isolation mechanisms in deep-sea populations. PMID:25904664

  12. Octocoral Species Assembly and Coexistence in Caribbean Coral Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Velásquez, Johanna; Sánchez, Juan A.

    2015-01-01

    Background What are the determinant factors of community assemblies in the most diverse ecosystem in the ocean? Coral reefs can be divided in continental (i.e., reefs that develop on the continental shelf, including siliciclastic reefs) and oceanic (i.e., far off the continental shelf, usually on volcanic substratum); whether or not these habitat differences impose community-wide ecological divergence or species exclusion/coexistence with evolutionary consequences, is unknown. Methods Studying Caribbean octocorals as model system, we determined the phylogenetic community structure in a coral reef community, making emphasis on species coexistence evidenced on trait evolution and environmental feedbacks. Forty-nine species represented in five families constituted the species pool from which a phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using mtDNA. We included data from 11 localities in the Western Caribbean (Colombia) including most reef types. To test diversity-environment and phenotype-environment relationships, phylogenetic community structure and trait evolution we carried out comparative analyses implementing ecological and evolutionary approaches. Results Phylogenetic inferences suggest clustering of oceanic reefs (e.g., atolls) contrasting with phylogenetic overdispersion of continental reefs (e.g., reefs banks). Additionally, atolls and barrier reefs had the highest species diversity (Shannon index) whereas phylogenetic diversity was higher in reef banks. The discriminant component analysis supported this differentiation between oceanic and continental reefs, where continental octocoral species tend to have greater calyx apertures, thicker branches, prominent calyces and azooxanthellate species. This analysis also indicated a clear separation between the slope and the remaining habitats, caused by the presence or absence of Symbiodinium. K statistic analysis showed that this trait is conserved as well as the branch shape. Discussion There was strong octocoral

  13. Dinoflagellate-Related Amphidinolides from the Brazilian Octocoral Stragulum bicolor.

    PubMed

    Nuzzo, Genoveffa; Gomes, Bruno A; Luongo, Elvira; Torres, Maria C M; Santos, Evelyne A; Cutignano, Adele; Pessoa, Otília D L; Costa-Lotufo, Leticia V; Fontana, Angelo

    2016-07-22

    Benthic cnidarians are colonial marine animals that host a rich population of associated and symbiotic microorganisms. In a recent paper we described for the first time the isolation of amphidinolide P (1) from the Brazilian octocoral Stragulum bicolor. Amphidinolides and similar compounds had been previously reported only from dinoflagellates of the genus Amphidinium; thus the presence of 1 in the invertebrate opens intriguing questions on the role and occurrence of these molecules in marine ecosystems. Here we report the identification of four further amphidinolides from the same soft coral, including the known amphidinolide T1 (2) and the new analogues here named amphidinolides C4 (3), B8 (4), and B9 (5). The chemical structures have been elucidated mainly by extensive study of spectroscopic data. Cytotoxic activities of 3 and 4 were evaluated against the colon adenocarcinoma cell line HCT-116. PMID:27400333

  14. Mauritia flexuosa Presents In Vitro and In Vivo Antiplatelet and Antithrombotic Activities.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Pérez, Wilson; Guzmán, Luis; Alarcón, Marcelo; Navarrete, Simón; Forero-Doria, Oscar; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa is one of the most important species in Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Guyana. The present study aimed to investigate the antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa. The fatty acid contents were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Oil extract of peel of Mauritia flexuosa was extracted by soxhlet extraction. The oil extract inhibited platelet secretion and aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, and TRAP-6 by a concentration-dependent way (0.1 to 1 mg/mL) without the participation of the adenylyl cyclase pathway and diminished platelet rolling and firm adhesion under flow conditions. Furthermore, the oil extract induced a marked increase in the rolling speed of leukocytes retained on the platelet surface, reflecting a reduction of rolling and less adhesion. At the concentrations used, the oil extract significantly decreased platelet release of sP-selectin, an atherosclerotic-related inflammatory mediator. Oil extract inhibited thrombus growth at the same concentration as that of aspirin, a classical reference drug. Finally, the data presented herein also demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge the protective effect of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa on platelet activation and thrombosis formation. PMID:24454503

  15. Development and characterization of DNA microsatellite primers for buriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.f.).

    PubMed

    Menezes, E V; Souto, W F S; Ciampi, A Y; Azevedo, V C R; Valério, H M; Pimenta, M A S

    2012-01-01

    Mauritia flexuosa L. (Arecaceae) is a palm tree species known as buriti that occurs in the Cerrado biome. It is characteristic of the vereda, a typical ecosystem of central Brazil. In this phytophysiognomy, M. flexuosa and other groups of arboreal-herbaceous species develop in open fields with very humid soils. M. flexuosa can be found in forest borders and is a palm tree with a wide distribution in South America (Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guyana Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia). The main objectives of this study were to develop simple sequence repeat marker-enriched libraries and to characterize these loci in buriti palm to facilitate future population studies. A total of 40 sequences derived from the microsatellite-enriched libraries were selected for primer design. The optimization results showed that 9 primer pairs could successfully amplify polymorphic target fragments of the expected sizes. The data also show that the described primers can be used in population genetic studies in M. flexuosa to obtain information that will inform conservation and management strategies. PMID:23079977

  16. Mauritia flexuosa Presents In Vitro and In Vivo Antiplatelet and Antithrombotic Activities

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Pérez, Wilson; Guzmán, Luis; Alarcón, Marcelo; Navarrete, Simón; Forero-Doria, Oscar; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa is one of the most important species in Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, and Guyana. The present study aimed to investigate the antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa. The fatty acid contents were determined by gas chromatography—mass spectrometry. Oil extract of peel of Mauritia flexuosa was extracted by soxhlet extraction. The oil extract inhibited platelet secretion and aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, and TRAP-6 by a concentration-dependent way (0.1 to 1 mg/mL) without the participation of the adenylyl cyclase pathway and diminished platelet rolling and firm adhesion under flow conditions. Furthermore, the oil extract induced a marked increase in the rolling speed of leukocytes retained on the platelet surface, reflecting a reduction of rolling and less adhesion. At the concentrations used, the oil extract significantly decreased platelet release of sP-selectin, an atherosclerotic-related inflammatory mediator. Oil extract inhibited thrombus growth at the same concentration as that of aspirin, a classical reference drug. Finally, the data presented herein also demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge the protective effect of oil extracted from Mauritia flexuosa on platelet activation and thrombosis formation. PMID:24454503

  17. Responses to high seawater temperatures in zooxanthellate octocorals.

    PubMed

    Sammarco, Paul W; Strychar, Kevin B

    2013-01-01

    Increases in Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) as a result of global warming have caused reef-building scleractinian corals to bleach worldwide, a result of the loss of obligate endosymbiotic zooxanthellae. Since the 1980's, bleaching severity and frequency has increased, in some cases causing mass mortality of corals. Earlier experiments have demonstrated that zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals from three families from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Faviidae, Poritidae, and Acroporidae) are more sensitive to heat stress than their hosts, exhibiting differential symptoms of programmed cell death - apoptosis and necrosis. Most zooxanthellar phylotypes are dying during expulsion upon release from the host. The host corals appear to be adapted or exapted to the heat increases. We attempt to determine whether this adaptation/exaptation occurs in octocorals by examining the heat-sensitivities of zooxanthellae and their host octocoral alcyonacean soft corals - Sarcophyton ehrenbergi (Alcyoniidae), Sinularia lochmodes (Alcyoniidae), and Xenia elongata (Xeniidae), species from two different families. The soft coral holobionts were subjected to experimental seawater temperatures of 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36°C for 48 hrs. Host and zooxanthellar cells were examined for viability, apoptosis, and necrosis (in hospite and expelled) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fluorescent microscopy (FM), and flow cytometry (FC). As experimental temperatures increased, zooxanthellae generally exhibited apoptotic and necrotic symptoms at lower temperatures than host cells and were expelled. Responses varied species-specifically. Soft coral hosts were adapted/exapted to higher seawater temperatures than their zooxanthellae. As with the scleractinians, the zooxanthellae appear to be the limiting factor for survival of the holobiont in the groups tested, in this region. These limits have now been shown to operate in six species within five families and two orders of the Cnidaria

  18. Responses to High Seawater Temperatures in Zooxanthellate Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Sammarco, Paul W.; Strychar, Kevin B.

    2013-01-01

    Increases in Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) as a result of global warming have caused reef-building scleractinian corals to bleach worldwide, a result of the loss of obligate endosymbiotic zooxanthellae. Since the 1980’s, bleaching severity and frequency has increased, in some cases causing mass mortality of corals. Earlier experiments have demonstrated that zooxanthellae in scleractinian corals from three families from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Faviidae, Poritidae, and Acroporidae) are more sensitive to heat stress than their hosts, exhibiting differential symptoms of programmed cell death – apoptosis and necrosis. Most zooxanthellar phylotypes are dying during expulsion upon release from the host. The host corals appear to be adapted or exapted to the heat increases. We attempt to determine whether this adaptation/exaptation occurs in octocorals by examining the heat-sensitivities of zooxanthellae and their host octocoral alcyonacean soft corals – Sarcophyton ehrenbergi (Alcyoniidae), Sinularia lochmodes (Alcyoniidae), and Xenia elongata (Xeniidae), species from two different families. The soft coral holobionts were subjected to experimental seawater temperatures of 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36°C for 48 hrs. Host and zooxanthellar cells were examined for viability, apoptosis, and necrosis (in hospite and expelled) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), fluorescent microscopy (FM), and flow cytometry (FC). As experimental temperatures increased, zooxanthellae generally exhibited apoptotic and necrotic symptoms at lower temperatures than host cells and were expelled. Responses varied species-specifically. Soft coral hosts were adapted/exapted to higher seawater temperatures than their zooxanthellae. As with the scleractinians, the zooxanthellae appear to be the limiting factor for survival of the holobiont in the groups tested, in this region. These limits have now been shown to operate in six species within five families and two orders of the

  19. Diversity of algal endosymbionts (zooxanthellae) in octocorals: the roles of geography and host relationships.

    PubMed

    Van Oppen, M J H; Mieog, J C; Sánchez, C A; Fabricius, K E

    2005-07-01

    The presence, genetic identity and diversity of algal endosymbionts (Symbiodinium) in 114 species from 69 genera (20 families) of octocorals from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the far eastern Pacific (EP) and the Caribbean was examined, and patterns of the octocoral-algal symbiosis were compared with patterns in the host phylogeny. Genetic analyses of the zooxanthellae were based on ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region. In the GBR samples, Symbiodinium clades A and G were encountered with A and G being rare. Clade B zooxanthellae have been previously reported from a GBR octocoral, but are also rare in octocorals from this region. Symbiodinium G has so far only been found in Foraminifera, but is rare in these organisms. In the Caribbean samples, only Symbiodinium clades B and C are present. Hence, Symbiodinium diversity at the level of phylogenetic clades is lower in octocorals from the Caribbean compared to those from the GBR. However, an unprecedented level of ITS1 diversity was observed within individual colonies of some Caribbean gorgonians, implying either that these simultaneously harbour multiple strains of clade B zooxanthellae, or that ITS1 heterogeneity exists within the genomes of some zooxanthellae. Intracladal diversity based on ITS should therefore be interpreted with caution, especially in cases where no independent evidence exists to support distinctiveness, such as ecological distribution or physiological characteristics. All samples from EP are azooxanthellate. Three unrelated GBR taxa that are described in the literature as azooxanthellate (Junceella fragilis, Euplexaura nuttingi and Stereonephthya sp. 1) contain clade G zooxanthellae, and their symbiotic association with zooxanthellae was confirmed by histology. These corals are pale in colour, whereas related azooxanthellate species are brightly coloured. The evolutionary loss or gain of zooxanthellae may have altered the light sensitivity of the host tissues, requiring the

  20. Crystal structure of a symbiosis-related lectin from octocoral.

    PubMed

    Kita, Akiko; Jimbo, Mitsuru; Sakai, Ryuichi; Morimoto, Yukio; Miki, Kunio

    2015-09-01

    D-Galactose-binding lectin from the octocoral, Sinularia lochmodes (SLL-2), distributes densely on the cell surface of microalgae, Symbiodinium sp., an endosymbiotic dinoflagellate of the coral, and is also shown to be a chemical cue that transforms dinoflagellate into a non-motile (coccoid) symbiotic state. SLL-2 binds with high affinity to the Forssman antigen (N-acetylgalactosamine(GalNAc)α1-3GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glc-ceramide), and the presence of Forssman antigen-like sugar on the surface of Symbiodinium CS-156 cells was previously confirmed. Here we report the crystal structures of SLL-2 and its GalNAc complex as the first crystal structures of a lectin involved in the symbiosis between coral and dinoflagellate. N-Linked sugar chains and a galactose derivative binding site common to H-type lectins were observed in each monomer of the hexameric SLL-2 crystal structure. In addition, unique sugar-binding site-like regions were identified at the top and bottom of the hexameric SLL-2 structure. These structural features suggest a possible binding mode between SLL-2 and Forssman antigen-like pentasaccharide. PMID:26022515

  1. Patterns of morphological integration in marine modular organisms: supra-module organization in branching octocoral colonies.

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Juan Armando; Lasker, Howard R

    2003-01-01

    Despite the relative simplicity of their modular growth, marine invertebrates such as arborescent gorgonian octocorals (Octocorallia: Cnidaria) generate complex colonial forms. Colony form in these taxa is a consequence of modular (polyp) replication, and if there is a tight integration among modular and supramodular traits (e.g. polyp aperture, inter-polyp spacing, branch thickness, internode and branch length), then changes at the module level may lead to changes in colony architecture. Alternatively, different groups of traits may evolve semi-independently (or conditionally independent). To examine the patterns of integration among morphological traits in Caribbean octocorals, we compared five morphological traits across 21 species, correcting for the effects of phylogenetic relationships among the taxa. Graphical modelling and phylogenetic independence contrasts among the five morphological characters indicate two groups of integrated traits based on whether they were polyp- or colony-level traits. Although all characters exhibited bivariate associations, multivariate analyses (partial correlation coefficients) showed the strongest integration among the colony-level characters (internode distance and branch length). It is a quantitative demonstration that branching characters within the octocorals studied are independent of characters of the polyps. Despite the universally recognized modularity of octocorals at the level of polyps, branching during colony development may represent an emergent level of integration and modularity. PMID:14561292

  2. Excavatoids E and F: Discovery of Two New Briaranes from the Cultured Octocoral Briareum excavatum

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Ping-Jyun; Chen, Bo-Yuan; Lin, Mei-Ru; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Wang, Wei-Hsien; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Wu, Yang-Chang

    2009-01-01

    Two new briarane-related diterpenoids, designated as excavatoids E (1) and F (2), were isolated from the cultured octocoral Briareum excavatum. The structures of compounds 1 and 2 were established on the basis of extensive spectral data analysis. Briaranes 1 and 2 were found to exhibit moderate inhibitory effects on elastase release by human neutrophils. PMID:19841727

  3. Homoplasious colony morphology and mito-nuclear phylogenetic discordance among Eastern Pacific octocorals.

    PubMed

    Ament-Velásquez, Sandra L; Breedy, Odalisca; Cortés, Jorge; Guzman, Hector M; Wörheide, Gert; Vargas, Sergio

    2016-05-01

    Octocorals are a diverse and ecologically important group of cnidarians. However, the phylogenetic relationships of many octocoral groups are not well understood and are based mostly on mitochondrial sequence data. In addition, the discovery and description of new gorgonian species displaying unusual or intermediate morphologies and uncertain phylogenetic affinities further complicates the study of octocoral systematics and raises questions about the role played by processes such as plasticity, crypsis, and convergence in the evolution of this group of organisms. Here, we use nuclear (i.e. 28S rDNA) and mitochondrial (mtMutS) markers and a sample of Eastern Pacific gorgonians thought to be remarkable from a morphological point of view to shed light on the morphological diversification among these organisms. Our study reveals the loss of the anastomosed colony morphology in two unrelated lineages of the seafan genus Pacifigorgia and offers strong evidence for the independent evolution of a whip-like morphology in two lineages of Eastern Pacific Leptogorgia. Additionally, our data revealed one instance of mito-nuclear discordance in the genera Leptogorgia and Eugorgia, which may be the results of incomplete lineage sorting or ancient hybridization-introgression events. Our study stresses the importance of comprehensive taxonomic sampling and the use of independent sources of evidence to address the phylogenetic relationships and clarifying the evolution of octocorals. PMID:26953740

  4. Recruitment and Resilience of a Harvested Caribbean Octocoral

    PubMed Central

    Lasker, Howard R.

    2013-01-01

    Disturbance events are an important component of the ecology of coral reefs and increasingly frequent disturbances coupled with a lack of population resilience may contribute to changes in the structure of coral reef communities. The harvest of the Caribbean octocoral Antillogorgia elisabethae provides an opportunity to explore the relationship between adult abundance and recruitment and the manner in which recruitment contributes to the resilience of local populations. Recruitment of A. elisabethae was monitored in 20, 1-m2 quadrats at 8 sites along the southern edge of the Little Bahama Bank from 2004 through 2007. A. elisabethae has been harvested in The Bahamas for over fifteen years and all of the sites had been harvested three times, including a harvest during the course of the study. Abundances of adult colonies at those sites as well as a location that had not been harvested were also determined. Recruitment was highly variable, differing between sites, transects within sites, and, depending on the site, between years. Recruitment was best correlated with adult abundance averaged across the surrounding site. Regression analyses suggest abundance on smaller scales had only small effects on recruitment. The effects of the harvesting were site specific ranging from a 38 to 67% reduction in the density of mature colonies. The sites with the most abundant A. elisabethae continued to have the highest abundances after harvesting and there was no significant difference in recruitment before and after harvesting. Population size-structure at 6 of 8 sites that have been harvested multiple times exhibited an overall depletion in small colonies suggesting long term suppression of recruitment and declining populations. Severe depression of adult abundances coupled with local recruitment can create a negative feedback and lead to the decline of local populations. Populations that are dependent on self-recruitment are not resilient to large disturbance events. PMID

  5. Energy budget for the cultured, zooxanthellate octocoral Sinularia flexibilis.

    PubMed

    Khalesi, Mohammad K; Beeftink, H H; Wijffels, R H

    2011-12-01

    The zooxanthellate octocoral Sinularia flexibilis is a producer of potential pharmaceutically important metabolites such as antimicrobial and cytotoxic substances. Controlled rearing of the coral, as an alternative for commercial exploitation of these compounds, requires the study of species-specific growth requirements. In this study, phototrophic vs. heterotrophic daily energy demands of S. flexibilis was investigated through light and Artemia feeding trials in the laboratory. Rate of photosynthetic oxygen by zooxanthellae in light (≈200 μmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹) was measured for the coral colonies with and without feeding on Artemia nauplii. Respiratory oxygen was measured in the dark, again with and without Artemia nauplii. Photosynthesis-irradiance curve at light intensities of 0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 μmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹ showed an increase in photosynthetic oxygen production up to a light intensity between 100 and 200 μmol quanta m⁻² s⁻¹. The photosynthesis to respiration ratio (P/R > 1) confirmed phototrophy of S. flexibilis. Both fed and non-fed colonies in the light showed high carbon contribution by zooxanthellae to animal (host) respiration values of 111-127%. Carbon energy equivalents allocated to the coral growth averaged 6-12% of total photosynthesis energy (mg C g⁻¹ buoyant weight day⁻¹ and about 0.02% of the total daily radiant energy. "Light utilization efficiency (ε)" estimated an average ε value of 75% 12 h⁻¹ for coral practical energetics. This study shows that besides a fundamental role of phototrophy vs. heterotrophy in daily energy budget of S. flexibilis, an efficient fraction of irradiance is converted to useable energy. PMID:21537947

  6. Floral polymorphism in Chamaecrista flexuosa (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae): a possible case of atypical enantiostyly?

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Natan Messias; Castro, Cibele Cardoso; Leite, Ana Virgínia; Novo, Reinaldo Rodrigo; Machado, Isabel Cristina

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Reciprocal herkogamy, including enantiostyly and heterostyly, involves reciprocity in the relative positions of the sexual elements within the flower. Such systems result in morphologically and, since pollen is deposited on and captured from different parts of the pollinator, functionally distinct floral forms. Deviations from the basic pattern may modify the functionality of these mechanisms. For heterostylous species, such deviations are generally related to environmental disturbances, pollination services and/or reduced numbers of one floral morph. Deviations for enantiostylous species have not yet been reported. This study aims to investigate enantiostyly in Chamaecrista flexuosa, in particular the presence of deviations from the standard form, in an area of coastal vegetation in north-east Brazil. Methods Observations and investigations of floral biology, the reproductive system, pollinator behaviour, floral morphology and morphometry were performed. Key Results In C. flexuosa flowers, anthers of different size but similar function are grouped. The flowers were self-compatible and set fruits after every treatment, except in the spontaneous self-pollination experiment, thereby indicating their dependence on pollen vectors. The flowers were pollinated by bees, especially Xylocopa cearensis and X. grisencens. Pollen is deposited and captured from the ventral portion of the pollinator's body. Variations in the spatial arrangement of floral elements allowed for the identification of floral morphs based on both morphological and functional criteria. Using morphological criteria, morphologically right (MR) and morphologically left (ML) floral morphs were identified. Three floral morphs were identified using functional criteria: functionally right (FR), functionally central (FC) and functionally left (FL). Combinations of morphologically and functionally defined morphs did not occur in equal proportions. There was a reduced frequency of the MR

  7. Cardamine occulta, the correct species name for invasive Asian plants previously classified as C. flexuosa, and its occurrence in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Marhold, Karol; Šlenker, Marek; Kudoh, Hiroshi; Zozomová-Lihová, Judita

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The nomenclature of Eastern Asian populations traditionally assigned to Cardamine flexuosa has remained unresolved since 2006, when they were found to be distinct from the European species Cardamine flexuosa. Apart from the informal designation “Asian Cardamine flexuosa”, this taxon has also been reported under the names Cardamine flexuosa subsp. debilis or Cardamine hamiltonii. Here we determine its correct species name to be Cardamine occulta and present a nomenclatural survey of all relevant species names. A lectotype and epitype for Cardamine occulta and a neotype for the illegitimate name Cardamine debilis (replaced by Cardamine flexuosa subsp. debilis and Cardamine hamiltonii) are designated here. Cardamine occulta is a polyploid weed that most likely originated in Eastern Asia, but it has also been introduced to other continents, including Europe. Here data is presented on the first records of this invasive species in European countries. The first known record for Europe was made in Spain in 1993, and since then its occurrence has been reported from a number of European countries and regions as growing in irrigated anthropogenic habitats, such as paddy fields or flower beds, and exceptionally also in natural communities such as lake shores. PMID:27212882

  8. Briarenolides K and L, new anti-inflammatory briarane diterpenoids from an octocoral Briareum sp. (Briareidae).

    PubMed

    Su, Yin-Di; Su, Tzu-Rong; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Fang, Lee-Shing; Chen, Jih-Jung; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2015-02-01

    Two new briarane-type diterpenoids, briarenolides K (1) and L (2), were isolated from an octocoral identified as Briareum sp. The structures of new briaranes 1 and 2 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods. In the in vitro anti-inflammatory effects test, briaranes 1 and 2 were found to significantly inhibit the accumulation of the pro-inflammatory iNOS protein of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. PMID:25689566

  9. Growth of the Antarctic octocoral Primnoella scotiae and predation by the anemone Dactylanthus antarcticus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, Lloyd S.; Brockington, Simon

    2013-08-01

    Growth rates in Antarctic marine ectotherms have been demonstrated to be slowed by two to five times compared to shallow-water temperate species, with no previous reports for octocorals. Here growth rates were estimated in the single axis, non-branching Antarctic octocoral Primnoella scotiae using repeated in situ length measures covering both summer and winter periods, for tagged colonies from three sites at Signy Island over a two year period. Mean rates of length increase at the different sites ranged from 0.96 mm yr-1 to 55.3 mm yr-1. The fastest individual colony growth rate at any site ranged from 2.55 mm yr-1 to 175.6 mm yr-1. The mean of the fastest growth rates across all sites was 33.0 mm yr-1±14.7 (s.e.). Growth was significantly different between sites, and also between seasons and years. The mean overall increase in diameter of the average sized colony in the study (222.5 mm in axis length) was 0.053 mm yr-1. This is the slowest reported growth rate of any octocoral to date, and is five times slower than growth in most cold water octocorals. During the study it was noted that colonies were being attacked and consumed by the anemone Dactylanthus antarcticus. At one of the sites studied, between 5% and 8% of colonies surveyed were attacked each month. Anemone dispersal was via whole body inflation and drifting to new prey colonies that were attached to using tentacle-like column protuberances.

  10. Terpenoids from the Octocorals Menella sp. (Plexauridae) and Lobophytum crassum (Alcyonacea)

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Cheng-Hung; Kao, Chia-Ying; Kao, Shih-Yao; Chang, Chih-Han; Su, Jui-Hsin; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Kuo, Yueh-Hsiung; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2012-01-01

    A new germacrane-type sesquiterpenoid, menelloide E (1), and a new cembrane-type diterpenoid, lobocrassin F (2), were isolated from the octocorals Menella sp. and Lobophytum crassum, respectively. The structures of terpenoids 1 and 2 were determined by spectroscopic and chemical methods and compound 2 was found to display a significant inhibitory effect on the release of elastase by human neutrophils. PMID:22412810

  11. Briacavatolides D–F, New Briaranes from the Taiwanese Octocoral Briareum excavatum

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shang-Kwei; Yeh, Tsun-Tai; Duh, Chang-Yih

    2012-01-01

    In the continued search for novel bioactive substances from the Taiwanese octocoral Briareum excavatum collected at Orchid Island, three new briarane-type diterpenoids, briacavatolides D–F (1–3) were isolated from the acetone extract. The structures of these compounds were elucidated by extensive NMR spectroscopic analysis and physical data. The anti-HCMV (human cytomegalovirus) activity of 1–3 and their cytotoxicity against selected cancer cell lines were evaluated. PMID:23118724

  12. A marine diterpene with a novel tetracyclic framework from the West Indian gorgonian octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, A D; Ramírez, C

    2000-02-24

    [structure: see text] Colombiasin A (1) was isolated from an extract of the West Indian gorgonian octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae that showed strong inhibitorial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Structure elucidation by interpretation of 2D-NMR spectroscopic data, IR, UV, and accurate mass measurements (HREI-MS) revealed that colombiasin A belongs to a previously undescribed class of C20 rearranged diterpenes possessing an intricate tetracyclic framework. PMID:10814363

  13. Briarenolides U–Y, New Anti-Inflammatory Briarane Diterpenoids from an Octocoral Briareum sp. (Briareidae)

    PubMed Central

    Su, Yin-Di; Wu, Tung-Ying; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Su, Ching-Chyuan; Chen, Yu-Hsin; Chang, Yu-Chia; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2015-01-01

    Five new 13,14-epoxybriarane diterpenoids, briarenolides U–Y (1–5), were isolated from the octocoral Briareum sp. The structures of briaranes 1–5 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods. Briarenolides U–Y (1–5) were found to significantly inhibit the expression of the pro-inflammatory inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. PMID:26633428

  14. The masquerade game: marine mimicry adaptation between egg-cowries and octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes-Pardo, Angela P.; Ní Almhain, Íde; Ardila-Espitia, Néstor E.; Cantera-Kintz, Jaime; Forero-Shelton, Manu

    2016-01-01

    Background. Background matching, as a camouflage strategy, is one of the most outstanding examples of adaptation, where little error or mismatch means high vulnerability to predation. It is assumed that the interplay of natural selection and adaptation are the main evolutionary forces shaping the great diversity of phenotypes observed in mimicry; however, there may be other significant processes that intervene in the development of mimicry such as phenotypic plasticity. Based on observations of background mismatching during reproduction events of egg-cowries, sea snails of the family Ovulidae that mimic the octocoral where they inhabit, we wondered if they match the host species diversity. Using observations in the field and molecular systematics, we set out to establish whether the different egg-cowrie color/shape polymorphisms correspond to distinct lineages restricted to specific octocoral species. Methods. Collection and observations of egg-cowries and their octocoral hosts were done using SCUBA diving between 2009 and 2012 at two localities in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP), Malpelo Island and Cabo Corrientes (Colombia). Detailed host preference observations were done bi-annually at Malpelo Island. We analyzed the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genes COIand 16S rDNA, extensively used in phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies, to assess the evolutionary relationship among different egg-cowrie colorations and morphologies. Results. No genetic divergence among egg-cowries associated to different species of the same octocoral genus was observed based on the two mitochondrial genes analyzed. For instance, all egg-cowrie individuals from the two sampled localities observed on 8 different Pacifigorgia-Eugorgia species showed negligible mitochondrial divergence yet large morphologic divergence, which suggests that morphologies belonging to at least two sea snail species, Simnia avena(=S. aequalis) and Simnialena rufa, can cross-fertilize. Discussion. Our study

  15. The masquerade game: marine mimicry adaptation between egg-cowries and octocorals.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Juan A; Fuentes-Pardo, Angela P; Ní Almhain, Íde; Ardila-Espitia, Néstor E; Cantera-Kintz, Jaime; Forero-Shelton, Manu

    2016-01-01

    Background. Background matching, as a camouflage strategy, is one of the most outstanding examples of adaptation, where little error or mismatch means high vulnerability to predation. It is assumed that the interplay of natural selection and adaptation are the main evolutionary forces shaping the great diversity of phenotypes observed in mimicry; however, there may be other significant processes that intervene in the development of mimicry such as phenotypic plasticity. Based on observations of background mismatching during reproduction events of egg-cowries, sea snails of the family Ovulidae that mimic the octocoral where they inhabit, we wondered if they match the host species diversity. Using observations in the field and molecular systematics, we set out to establish whether the different egg-cowrie color/shape polymorphisms correspond to distinct lineages restricted to specific octocoral species. Methods. Collection and observations of egg-cowries and their octocoral hosts were done using SCUBA diving between 2009 and 2012 at two localities in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP), Malpelo Island and Cabo Corrientes (Colombia). Detailed host preference observations were done bi-annually at Malpelo Island. We analyzed the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genes COIand 16S rDNA, extensively used in phylogenetic and DNA barcoding studies, to assess the evolutionary relationship among different egg-cowrie colorations and morphologies. Results. No genetic divergence among egg-cowries associated to different species of the same octocoral genus was observed based on the two mitochondrial genes analyzed. For instance, all egg-cowrie individuals from the two sampled localities observed on 8 different Pacifigorgia-Eugorgia species showed negligible mitochondrial divergence yet large morphologic divergence, which suggests that morphologies belonging to at least two sea snail species, Simnia avena(=S. aequalis) and Simnialena rufa, can cross-fertilize. Discussion. Our study

  16. Microbiomes of Muricea californica and M. fruticosa: Comparative Analyses of Two Co-occurring Eastern Pacific Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Holm, Johanna B.; Heidelberg, Karla B.

    2016-01-01

    Octocorals are sources of novel but understudied microbial diversity. Conversely, scleractinian or reef-building coral microbiomes have been heavily examined in light of the threats of climate change. Muricea californica and Muricea fruticosa are two co-occurring species of gorgonian octocoral abundantly found in the kelp forests of southern California, and thus provide an excellent basis to determine if octocoral microbiomes are host specific. Using Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing and replicate samples, we evaluated the microbiomes collected from multiple colonies of both species of Muricea to measure both inter- and intra-colony microbiome variabilities. In addition, microbiomes from overlying sea water and nearby zoanthids (another benthic invertebrate) were also included in the analysis to evaluate whether bacterial taxa specifically associate with octocorals. This is also the first report of microbiomes from these species of Muricea. We show that microbiomes isolated from each sample type are distinct, and specifically, that octocoral species type had the greatest effect on predicting the composition of the Muricea microbiome. Bacterial taxa contributing to compositional differences include distinct strains of Mycoplasma associated with either M. californica or M. fruticosa, an abundance of Spirochaetes observed on M. californica, and a greater diversity of γ-Proteobacteria associated with M. fruticosa. Many of the bacterial taxa contributing to these differences are known for their presence in photosymbiont-containing invertebrate microbiomes. PMID:27445997

  17. Microbiomes of Muricea californica and M. fruticosa: Comparative Analyses of Two Co-occurring Eastern Pacific Octocorals.

    PubMed

    Holm, Johanna B; Heidelberg, Karla B

    2016-01-01

    Octocorals are sources of novel but understudied microbial diversity. Conversely, scleractinian or reef-building coral microbiomes have been heavily examined in light of the threats of climate change. Muricea californica and Muricea fruticosa are two co-occurring species of gorgonian octocoral abundantly found in the kelp forests of southern California, and thus provide an excellent basis to determine if octocoral microbiomes are host specific. Using Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing and replicate samples, we evaluated the microbiomes collected from multiple colonies of both species of Muricea to measure both inter- and intra-colony microbiome variabilities. In addition, microbiomes from overlying sea water and nearby zoanthids (another benthic invertebrate) were also included in the analysis to evaluate whether bacterial taxa specifically associate with octocorals. This is also the first report of microbiomes from these species of Muricea. We show that microbiomes isolated from each sample type are distinct, and specifically, that octocoral species type had the greatest effect on predicting the composition of the Muricea microbiome. Bacterial taxa contributing to compositional differences include distinct strains of Mycoplasma associated with either M. californica or M. fruticosa, an abundance of Spirochaetes observed on M. californica, and a greater diversity of γ-Proteobacteria associated with M. fruticosa. Many of the bacterial taxa contributing to these differences are known for their presence in photosymbiont-containing invertebrate microbiomes. PMID:27445997

  18. Identification and Expression Profiles of Six Transcripts Encoding Carboxylesterase Protein in Vitis flexuosa Infected with Pathogens.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Zaherul; Yun, Hae Keun

    2016-08-01

    Plants protect themselves from pathogen attacks via several mechanisms, including hypersensitive cell death. Recognition of pathogen attack by the plant resistance gene triggers expression of carboxylesterase genes associated with hypersensitive response. We identified six transcripts of carboxylesterase genes, Vitis flexuosa carboxylesterase 5585 (VfCXE5585), VfCXE12827, VfCXE13132, VfCXE17159, VfCXE18231, and VfCXE47674, which showed different expression patterns upon transcriptome analysis of V. flexuosa inoculated with Elsinoe ampelina. The lengths of genes ranged from 1,098 to 1,629 bp, and their encoded proteins consisted of 309 to 335 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed hydrolase like domains in all six transcripts and contained two conserved motifs, GXSXG of serine hydrolase characteristics and HGGGF related to the carboxylesterase family. The deduced amino acid sequence also contained a potential catalytic triad consisted of serine, aspartic acid and histidine. Of the six transcripts, VfCXE12827 showed upregulated expression against E. ampelina at all time points. Three genes (VfCXE5585, VfCXE12827, and VfCXE13132) showed upregulation, while others (VfCXE17159, VfCXE18231, and VfCXE47674) were down regulated in grapevines infected with Botrytis cinerea. All transcripts showed upregulated expression against Rhizobium vitis at early and later time points except VfCXE12827, and were downregulated for up to 48 hours post inoculation (hpi) after upregulation at 1 hpi in response to R. vitis infection. All tested genes showed high and differential expression in response to pathogens, indicating that they all may play a role in defense pathways during pathogen infection in grapevines. PMID:27493610

  19. GLYCOCONJUGATE ORGANIZATION OF ENTEROMORPHA (=ULVA) FLEXUOSA AND ULVA FASCIATA (CHLOROPHYTA) ZOOSPORES(1).

    PubMed

    Michael, Teena Shen

    2009-06-01

    Ecologically successful algae that colonize natural and artificial substrates in the marine environment have distinct strategies for opportunistic dispersal and settlement. The objective of this research was to visualize molecular architecture of zoospores from Enteromorpha (=Ulva) flexuosa (Wulfen) J. Agardh and Ulva fasciata Delile that coexist but alternate in dominance on an intertidal bench. Multiple fluorescent lectins were used to stabilize and probe for diverse zoospore glycoconjugates (GC) that could be involved in cell and substrate interactions. Results from epifluorescence microscopy showed distinct cellular and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) domains of GC relative to settlement morphologies. Glycoconjugates were similar for both species with (1) α-d mannose and/or glucose moieties localized on flagella, the anterior domes and anterior regions, the plasma membranes, and EPS; (2) α-fucose localized on flagella and anterior regions; (3) N or α,ß-N acetylglucosamine localized on flagella, the anterior regions, and EPS; and (4) varied N-acetylgalactosamine and/or galactose moieties localized on each domain for both species excluding the plasma membranes. Some differences in lectin binding were observed for each species at the flagella, the anterior domes, and the plasma membranes. Glycoconjugate distributions shifted with morphological changes that followed initial adhesion. TEM of E. flexuosa zoospore stages following carbohydrate-stabilizing fixations and gold-conjugated lectin probes resolved GC with α-d mannose and/or glucose, and/or N-acetylglucosamine at the plasma membrane, ER and diverse vesicles of the anterior pole, EPS, and discontinuous regions or knobs associated with flagellar surfaces. The distinct distribution and diversity of zoospore GC may be central to recognition and attachment on diverse substrata by these algae. PMID:27034043

  20. Identification and Expression Profiles of Six Transcripts Encoding Carboxylesterase Protein in Vitis flexuosa Infected with Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Md. Zaherul; Yun, Hae Keun

    2016-01-01

    Plants protect themselves from pathogen attacks via several mechanisms, including hypersensitive cell death. Recognition of pathogen attack by the plant resistance gene triggers expression of carboxylesterase genes associated with hypersensitive response. We identified six transcripts of carboxylesterase genes, Vitis flexuosa carboxylesterase 5585 (VfCXE5585), VfCXE12827, VfCXE13132, VfCXE17159, VfCXE18231, and VfCXE47674, which showed different expression patterns upon transcriptome analysis of V. flexuosa inoculated with Elsinoe ampelina. The lengths of genes ranged from 1,098 to 1,629 bp, and their encoded proteins consisted of 309 to 335 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed hydrolase like domains in all six transcripts and contained two conserved motifs, GXSXG of serine hydrolase characteristics and HGGGF related to the carboxylesterase family. The deduced amino acid sequence also contained a potential catalytic triad consisted of serine, aspartic acid and histidine. Of the six transcripts, VfCXE12827 showed upregulated expression against E. ampelina at all time points. Three genes (VfCXE5585, VfCXE12827, and VfCXE13132) showed upregulation, while others (VfCXE17159, VfCXE18231, and VfCXE47674) were down regulated in grapevines infected with Botrytis cinerea. All transcripts showed upregulated expression against Rhizobium vitis at early and later time points except VfCXE12827, and were downregulated for up to 48 hours post inoculation (hpi) after upregulation at 1 hpi in response to R. vitis infection. All tested genes showed high and differential expression in response to pathogens, indicating that they all may play a role in defense pathways during pathogen infection in grapevines. PMID:27493610

  1. Rapid Assessment of Octocoral Diversity and Habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    PubMed Central

    Etnoyer, Peter J.; Wirshing, Herman H.; Sánchez, Juan A.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (∼2200 km2), average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15–50 m) around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1) a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2) a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (∼15 km) habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05), but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05). However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and emphasize the need for more

  2. Octocorals in a changing environment: Seasonal response of stress biomarkers in natural populations of Veretillum cynomorium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madeira, Carolina; Madeira, Diana; Vinagre, Catarina; Diniz, Mário

    2015-09-01

    Current concerns about climate change emphasize the need for an accurate monitoring of physiological conditions in wild populations. Therefore, the aims of this work were to a) assess the response of the octocoral Veretillum cynomorium to thermal variation in natural populations during low tide, by quantifying several biochemical indicators of thermal and oxidative stress and b) evaluate the effect of seasonality in the results and the adequacy of the use of biochemical indicators of stress in field monitoring studies in octocorals. Sampling took place during spring (April) and summer (June). Heat shock protein (Hsp70) and ubiquitin (Ub) content, enzyme activities - superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), and lipid peroxidation (LPO) were assessed in rachis and peduncle tissues separately. The results showed significant seasonal fluctuations in the set of biomarkers tested. Differences were detected between spring and summer, with significant decreases in biomarker levels from April to June being a major observed trend. These results suggest that V. cynomorium is thermo-tolerant during summer low tide conditions. Seasonal variation seems to reflect a metabolic suppression strategy and/or may also be related to seasonal changes in food availability and reproductive status. Differences in activity between tissue types were also found significant for GST, LPO and Ub. Biomarker levels were correlated with total protein concentration, but not with wet body weight of the specimens. This study suggests that season influences the expression of biomarkers and must be taken into consideration in the preliminary stages of sampling design for climate change biomonitoring studies. In addition, the results suggest that this octocoral species is likely to survive in future challenging thermal conditions.

  3. Rapid assessment of octocoral diversity and habitat on Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles.

    PubMed

    Etnoyer, Peter J; Wirshing, Herman H; Sánchez, Juan A

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank is a large submerged platform (approximately 2200 km(2)), average depth 30 m, located 4 km southwest of Saba Island in Netherlands Antilles, Caribbean Sea. Ships traveling to and from oil terminals on nearby St. Eustatius routinely anchor on the Bank, damaging benthic megafauna. Gorgonian octocorals are vulnerable to anchor damage, and they are common and conspicuous in shallow water (15-50 m) around the banks. This prompted a rapid assessment of octocoral habitat and diversity. The primary objectives were to estimate total species richness and to characterize habitats vis a vis gorgonians. Landsat imagery and multibeam bathymetry were employed to identify random sites for quantitative transects. A Seabotix LBV200L remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and SCUBA were used to collect and survey to 130 m. A total of 14 scuba dives and 3 ROV dives were completed in 10 days. During that time, 48 octocoral species were collected, including two likely undescribed species in the genera Pterogorgia and Lytreia. Gorgonian richness was exceptional, but not all species were collected, because the species accumulation curve remained steeply inclined after all surveys. Two shallow-water gorgonian habitat types were identified using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses: 1) a high diversity, high density fore-reef environment characterized by Eunicea spp., Gorgonia spp., and Pseudopterogorgia spp. and 2) a low diversity, low density plateau environment characterized by Pseudopterogorgia acerosa, Pterogorgia guadalupensis, and Gorgonia mariae. The analyses support hypotheses of broad (approximately 15 km) habitat homogeneity (ANOSIM, P>0.05), but a significant difference between fore-reef and plateau environments (ANOSIM, P<0.05). However, there was some indication of habitat heterogeneity along the 15 km study section of the 50 km platform edge along the southeast rim. Our results highlight the complexity and biodiversity of the Saba Bank, and emphasize

  4. Uprolides N, O and P from the Panamanian Octocoral Eunicea succinea.

    PubMed

    Torres-Mendoza, Daniel; González, Yisett; Gómez-Reyes, José Félix; Guzmán, Héctor M; López-Perez, José Luis; Gerwick, William H; Fernandez, Patricia L; Gutiérrez, Marcelino

    2016-01-01

    Three new diterpenes, uprolide N (1), uprolide O (2), uprolide P (3) and a known one, dolabellane (4), were isolated from the CH₂Cl₂-MeOH extract of the gorgonian octocoral Eunicea succinea, collected from Bocas del Toro, on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Their structures were determined using spectroscopic analyses, including 1D and 2D NMR and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) together with molecular modeling studies. Compounds 1-3 displayed anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting production of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and Interleukin (IL)-6 induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in murine macrophages. PMID:27338338

  5. Phylogenetic hypotheses of gorgoniid octocorals according to ITS2 and their predicted RNA secondary structures.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Catalina; Sánchez, Juan Armando

    2007-06-01

    Gorgoniid octocorals taxonomy (Cnidaria; Octocorallia; Gorgoniidae) includes diagnostic characters not well defined at the generic level, and based on the family diagnosis some species could be classified in either Gorgoniidae or Plexauridae. In this study, we used sequences from the Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) and their predicted RNA secondary structure to both correct the alignment and reconstruct phylogenies using molecular morphometrics for 24 octocorals mostly from the Atlantic. ITS2 exhibited the six-helicoidal ring-model structure found in eukaryotes, and provided 38 parsimony-informative characters. The proposed phylogenies, though differing between sequence- and structure-base results, provided consistent support for several clades. Genera considered part of the polyphyletic genus Leptogorgia, such as Filigorgia, were distantly related to the former in all phylogenetic hypotheses. Main differences among the hypotheses consisted in the placement of Muriceopsis (previously considered from the Plexauridae family) and Filigorgia. Excluding Muriceopsis and an undescribed octocoral from Tobago, Plexaurella and Pterogorgia grouped together as a sister branch of Pinnigorgia spp. but long-branch attraction was evident for the grouping of Plexaurella nutans (another plexaurid) and Pterogorgia citrina. Unexpected results were the divergence between Caribbean genera, Gorgonia and Pseudopterogorgia, which were placed basal respect to Pacifigorgia and Leptogorgia (=Lophogorgia). ITS2 provided support to corroborate observations based on sclerite morphology: species with "capstan sclerites" (e.g., Pacifigorgia and Leptogorgia) were characterized by a long helix IV with one internal loop and a helix V with four internal loops; "scaphoid sclerites" had a predominantly long helix V if compared to helix IV; "asymmetric spiny sclerites" (Muriceopsis, Pinnigorgia and the undescribed octocoral) exhibited one or two lateral bulges in the V helix. Remarkably, Muriceopsis

  6. Briacavatolides A–C, New Briaranes from the Taiwanese Octocoral Briareum excavatum

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, Tsun-Tai; Wang, Shang-Kwei; Dai, Chang-Feng; Duh, Chang-Yih

    2012-01-01

    In order to search for novel bioactive substances from marine organisms, we have investigated the organic extracts of the Taiwanese octocoral Briareum excavatum collected at Orchid Island. Three new briarane-type diterpenoids, briacavatolides A–C (1–3) as well as two known briaranes, briaexcavatolide U (4) and briaexcavatin L (5) were isolated from the acetone extract. The structures of these compounds were elucidated by extensive NMR spectroscopic analysis and physical data. The anti-HCMV (human cytomegalovirus) activity of 1–5 and their cytotoxicity against selected cancer cell lines were evaluated. PMID:22822353

  7. A phylogenetic approach to octocoral community structure in the deep Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Etnoyer, Peter J.; Doughty, Cheryl; English, Lisa; Falco, Rosalia; Remon, Natasha; Rittinghouse, Matthew; Cordes, Erik E.

    2014-01-01

    Deep-sea communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances, as fishing, hydrocarbon exploration and extraction, and mining activities extend into deeper water. Negative impacts from such activities were recently documented in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), where the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused substantial damage to a deep-water octocoral community. Although a faunal checklist and numerous museum records are currently available for the entire GoM, local-scale diversity and assemblage structure of octocoral communities remains unknown, particularly in deep water. On a series of recent cruises (2008-2011) using remotely operated vehicles, 435 octocorals were collected from 33 deep-water sites (250-2500 m) in the northern GoM. To elucidate species boundaries, the extended mitochondrial barcode (COI+igr1+msh) was successfully amplified and sequenced for 422 of these specimens, yielding a total of 64 haplotypes representing at least 52 species. Further, at least 29% of the species collected were either previously not known to occur in the GoM (12 species) or represent new species (at least three species). Overall, species richness at each site was fairly low (1-12 spp.). The greatest species richness occurred at the shallowest (<325 m: GC140, n=8 spp.) and the deepest (2100-2500 m: DC673, n=12 spp., DC583, n=10 spp.) sites, and minimum taxonomic and phylogenetic (Faith's Index) diversity was evident at 600-950 m. This pattern is the opposite of the typical pattern of deep-sea diversity in the GoM, which normally peaks at mid-slope depths. Sorensen's Index of taxonomic β-diversity indicated that six distinct (65-95% dissimilarity) species assemblages corresponded with five depth breaks at ~325, 425, 600, 1100, and 2100 m. Further assemblage structure was observed within certain depth zones. Of note, within the 425-600 m depth range, species assemblages at the West Florida Slope differed from the other sites, corresponding to an established

  8. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports a new family of octocorals and a new genus of Alcyoniidae (Octocorallia, Alcyonacea)

    PubMed Central

    McFadden, Catherine S.; van Ofwegen, Leen P.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Molecular phylogenetic evidence indicates that the octocoral family Alcyoniidae is highly polyphyletic, with genera distributed across Octocorallia in more than 10 separate clades. Most alcyoniid taxa belong to the large and poorly resolved Holaxonia–Alcyoniina clade of octocorals, but members of at least four genera of Alcyoniidae fall outside of that group. As a first step towards revision of the family, we describe a new genus, Parasphaerasclera gen. n., and family, Parasphaerascleridae fam. n., of Alcyonacea to accommodate species of Eleutherobia Pütter, 1900 and Alcyonium Linnaeus, 1758 that have digitiform to digitate or lobate growth forms, completely lack sclerites in the polyps, and have radiates or spheroidal sclerites in the colony surface and interior. Parasphaerascleridae fam. n. constitutes a well-supported clade that is phylogenetically distinct from all other octocoral taxa. We also describe a new genus of Alcyoniidae, Sphaerasclera gen. n., for a species of Eleutherobia with a unique capitate growth form. Sphaerasclera gen. n. is a member of the Anthomastus–Corallium clade of octocorals, but is morphologically and genetically distinct from Anthomastus Verrill, 1878 and Paraminabea Williams & Alderslade, 1999, two similar but dimorphic genera of Alcyoniidae that are its sister taxa. In addition, we have re-assigned two species of Eleutherobia that have clavate to capitate growth forms, polyp sclerites arranged to form a collaret and points, and spindles in the colony interior to Alcyonium, a move that is supported by both morphological and molecular phylogenetic evidence. PMID:24223488

  9. Methane Flux of Amazonian Peatland Ecosystems: Large Ecosystem Fluxes with Substantial Contribution from Palm (maritia Flexuosa) STEM Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Haren, J. L. M.; Cadillo-Quiroz, H.

    2015-12-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions through plants have long been known in wetlands. However, most measurements have focused on stem tops and leaves. Recently, measurements at the lower parts of stems have shown that stem emissions can exceed soil CH4 emissions in Asian peatlands (Pangala et al. 2013). The addition of stem fluxes to soil fluxes for total ecosystem fluxes has the potential to bridge the discrepancy between modeled to measured and bottom-up to top-down flux estimates. Our measurements in peatlands of Peru show that especially Mauritia flexuosa, a palm species, can emit very large quantities of CH4, although most trees emitted at least some CH4. We used flexible stem chambers to adapt to stems of any size above 5cm in diameter. The chambers were sampled in closed loop with a Gasmet DX4015 for flux measurements, which lasted ~5 minutes after flushing with ambient air. We found that M. flexuosa stem fluxes decrease with height along the stem and were positively correlated with soil fluxes. Most likely CH4 is transported up the stem with the xylem water. Measured M. flexuosa stem fluxes below 1.5m averaged 11.2±1.5 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±95% CI) with a maximum of 123±3.5 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±SE), whereas soil fluxes averaged 6.7±1.7 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±95% CI) with a maximum of 31.6±0.4 mg-C m-2 h-1 (±SE). Significant CH4 fluxes were measured up to 5 m height along the stems. Combined with the high density of ~150 M. flexuosa individuals per hectare in these peatlands and the consistent diameter of ~30cm, the high flux rates add ~20% to the soil flux. With anywhere between 1 and 5 billion M. flexuosa stems across Amazon basin wetlands, stem fluxes from this palm species could represent a major addition to the overall Amazon basin CH4 flux.

  10. Radiocarbon evidence for annual growth rings in a deep sea octocoral (Primnoa resedaeformis)

    SciTech Connect

    Sherwood, O A; Scott, D B; Risk, M J; Guilderson, T P

    2005-04-05

    The deep-sea gorgonian octocoral Primnoa resedaeformis is distributed throughout the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at depths of 65-3200 m. It has a two-part skeleton of calcite and gorgonin. Towards the inside of the axial skeleton gorgonin and calcite are deposited in concentric growth rings, similar to tree rings. Colonies were collected from the Northeast Channel (northwest Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Nova Scotia, Canada) from depths of 250-475 m. Radiocarbon was measured in individual rings isolated from sections of each colony, after dissolution of calcite. Each {Delta}{sup 14}C measurement was paired with a ring age determined by three amateur ring counters. The precision of ring counts averaged better than {+-} 2 years. Accurate reconstruction of 20th century bomb-radiocarbon shows that (1) the growth rings are formed annually, (2) the gorgonin is derived from surface particulate organic matter (POM) and (3) useful environmental data are recorded in the organic endoskeletons of deep-sea octocorals. These results support the use of Primnoa resedaeformis as a long-term, high resolution monitor of surface ocean conditions, particularly in temperate and boreal environments where proxy data are lacking.

  11. Highly contrasted responses of Mediterranean octocorals to climate change along a depth gradient

    PubMed Central

    Pivotto, I. D.; Nerini, D.; Masmoudi, M.; Kara, H.; Chaoui, L.; Aurelle, D.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has a strong impact on marine ecosystems, including temperate species. Analysing the diversity of thermotolerance levels within species along with their genetic structure enables a better understanding of their potential response to climate change. We performed this integrative study on the Mediterranean octocoral Eunicella cavolini, with samples from different depths and by means of a common garden experiment. This species does not host photosynthetic Symbiodinium, enabling us to focus on the cnidarian response. We compared the thermotolerance of individuals from 20 m and 40 m depths from the same site and with replicates from the same colony. On the basis of an innovative statistical analysis of necrosis kinetics and risk, we demonstrated the occurrence of a very different response between depths at this local scale, with lower thermotolerance of deep individuals. Strongly thermotolerant individuals were observed at 20 m with necrosis appearing at higher temperatures than observed in situ. On the basis of nine microsatellite loci, we showed that these marked thermotolerance differences occur within a single population. This suggests the importance of acclimatization processes in adaptation to these different depths. In addition, differences between replicates demonstrated the occurrence of a variability of response between fragments from the same colony with the possibility of an interaction with a tank effect. Our results provide a basis for studying adaptation and acclimatization in Mediterranean octocorals in a heterogeneous environment. PMID:26064654

  12. Spatial and temporal investigation of the microbiome of the Caribbean octocoral Erythropodium caribaeorum.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Erin P; Haltli, Brad; Correa, Hebelin; Kerr, Russell G

    2016-09-01

    The octocoral Erythropodium caribaeorum is an important species in the Caribbean coral reef community and a source of the cytotoxic natural product desmethyleleutherobin. We utilized 16S small subunit rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize the microbiome of E. caribaeorum collected from Florida, USA and San Salvador, The Bahamas at multiple time points. This coral was found to have a very high microbial richness with an average Chao1 estimated richness of 1464 ± 707 operational taxonomic units and average Shannon diversity index of 4.26 ± 1.65. The taxonomic class Gammaproteobacteria was a dominant member in all samples and the genus Endozoicomonas accounted for an average of 37.7% ± 30.0% of the total sequence reads. One Endozoicomonas sp. was found to be a stable member of all E. caribaeorum sequence libraries regardless of location or time of collection and accounted for 30.1% of all sequence reads. This is the first report characterizing the microbiome associated with the encrusting octocoral E. caribaeorum. PMID:27381833

  13. Culturable endophytic microbial communities in the circumpolar grass, Deschampsia flexuosa in a sub-Arctic inland primary succession are habitat and growth stage specific.

    PubMed

    Poosakkannu, Anbu; Nissinen, Riitta; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit

    2015-02-01

    Little is known about endophytic microbes in cold climate plants and how their communities are formed.We compared culturable putative endophytic bacteria and fungi in the ecologically important circumpolargrass, Deschampsia flexuosa growing in two successional stages of subarctic sand dune (68°29′N).Sequence analyses of partial 16S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences of culturable endophytes showed that diverse bacteria and fungi inhabit different tissues of D. flexuosa. A total of 178 bacterial isolates representing seven taxonomic divisions, Alpha, Beta and Gammaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Acidobacteria, and 30 fungal isolates representing the phylum Ascomycota were identified. Several endophytes were affiliated with specific plant tissues or successional stages. This first report of bacterial endophytes in D. flexuosa revealed that the genus Pseudomonas is tightly associated with D. flexuosa, and encompassed 39% of the bacterial isolates, and 58% of seed isolates. Based on 16S rRNA and ITS sequence data, most of the D. flexuosa endophytes were closely related to microbes from other cold environments. The majority of seed endophytic bacterial isolates were able to solubilize organic form of phosphate suggesting that these endophytes could play a role in resource mobilization in germinating seeds in nutrient-poor habitat. PMID:25721603

  14. Contrasting preferences of arbuscular mycorrhizal and dark septate fungi colonizing boreal and subarctic Avenella flexuosa.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, M; Raveala, K; Wäli, P R; Ruotsalainen, A L

    2014-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi are ubiquitous in grass roots, but their colonizations may vary according to latitudinal gradient and site conditions. We investigated how vegetation zone (boreal vs. subarctic), humus thickness, and site openness affect root fungal colonizations of the grass Avenella flexuosa. More precisely, we hypothesized that AM and DSE fungal colonizations would have different responses to environmental conditions such that AM fungi could be more common in boreal zone, whereas we expected DSE fungi to be more affected by the amount of humus. We found site openness to affect AM and DSE fungi in a contrasting manner, in interaction with the vegetation zone. AM colonization was high at open coastal dunes, whereas DSE fungi were more common at forested sites, in the boreal zone. Humus thickness affected AM fungi negatively and DSE fungi positively. To conclude, the observed AM and DSE fungal colonization patterns were largely contrasting. AM fungi were favored in seashore conditions characterized by thin humus layer, whereas DSE fungi were favored in conditions of higher humus availability. PMID:24061928

  15. Australia's deep-water octocoral fauna: historical account and checklist, distributions and regional affinities of recent collections.

    PubMed

    Alderslade, Philip; Althaus, Franziska; Mcennulty, Felicity; Gowlett-Holmes, Karen; Williams, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The number of deep-water (>80 m) octocoral species recorded from Australian waters has more than tripled from 135 to 457 following six surveys undertaken between 1997 and 2008 on the deep continental margin of south-eastern, western and north-western Australia and the Tasman Sea.  This rapid increase in knowledge follows a slow accumulation of records since the earliest collections were made by vessels such as the Géographe and the Naturaliste in the early years of the 19 century. Consistent identification and alpha-labelling of the octocoral fauna between surveys has permitted a multi-region description and comparison.  We detail the identities, distributions and regional affinities of 457 octocoral species in 131 genera and 28 families from the orders Alcyonacea and Pennatulacea, including 69 new species, 17 new genera and 43 first records for Australia. Five of the more common genera were widely distributed (present at 35 and 66 sampling stations spanning all of the 4 survey regions), but two were restricted to south-eastern Australia-Pleurogorgia Versluys, 1902 and Tokoprymno Bayer, 1996-and were only sampled from depths below 700 m.  The great majority of species (81%) and nearly half of all genera (47%) were only sampled once or twice.  The highest average number of species per sampling station (3.2) was reported from the outer shelf. The proportion of new species was highest (22%) on the upper and lower slope bathomes, intermediate (13-15%) on the mid-slope bathome and lowest (8%) on the outer shelf bathome.  Species overlap between bathomes was low, but all families were shared across bathomes. Most described species (55 of 69) have an Indo-West Pacific affinity, 20 have an Indian Ocean affinity, while three were previously recorded from the Atlantic Ocean only; 20 appear to be Australian endemics. Octocorals can now be added to an emerging set of taxon-specific data sets-including fishes, ophiuroids and galatheids-that permit regional-scale analysis

  16. Water flow and coral colony size: Interhabitat comparisons of the octocoral Alcyonium siderium

    PubMed Central

    Sebens, K. P.

    1984-01-01

    Colonies of the octocoral Alcyonium siderium Verrill form aggregations on subtidal vertical rock walls in the Gulf of Maine. Maximum and mean colony sizes increase dramatically from protected embayments to sites exposed to ocean swells and from the bottom to the top of each vertical wall studied. Water movement along the substratum, generated by surface waves and tides, also increases along both gradients. Although plankton concentrations were similar at all sites during a 2-yr period, increased encounter rates of zooplankton with coral tentacles will result in greater energy intake and, thus, faster growth rates at the more exposed sites with greater flow. Other hypotheses for the proximate cause of the size gradient, such as differential mortality of large colonies or generally higher mortality rates at the protected site, are not consistent with available data. PMID:16593509

  17. Two new species of gorgonian octocorals from the Tropical Eastern Pacific Biogeographic Region (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Gorgoniidae)

    PubMed Central

    Breedy, Odalisca; Williams, Gary C; Guzman, Hector M

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The gorgoniid Eugorgia is exclusively an eastern Pacific genus. It has a wide geographic and bathymetric range of distribution, found from California to Perú and extends down to 65 m deep. Two new species are herein described. The morphological characters were analyzed and illustrated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Eugorgia beebei sp. n. can be distinguished by its white, ascending, sparse colony growth. Eugorgia mutabilis sp. n. can be distinguished by its white colony that changes color after collection, and the conspicuous sharp-crested disc sclerites. From a morphological point of view the new species are related to the daniana-group, the rubens-group and the siedenburgae-group of Eugorgia; their affiliations, and the proposal of a new group are discussed. These new species increases the number of species in the genus to 15, and contribute to the knowledge of the eastern Pacific octocoral biodiversity. PMID:24294084

  18. Two new species of gorgonian octocorals from the Tropical Eastern Pacific Biogeographic Region (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Gorgoniidae).

    PubMed

    Breedy, Odalisca; Williams, Gary C; Guzman, Hector M

    2013-01-01

    The gorgoniid Eugorgia is exclusively an eastern Pacific genus. It has a wide geographic and bathymetric range of distribution, found from California to Perú and extends down to 65 m deep. Two new species are herein described. The morphological characters were analyzed and illustrated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Eugorgia beebei sp. n. can be distinguished by its white, ascending, sparse colony growth. Eugorgia mutabilis sp. n. can be distinguished by its white colony that changes color after collection, and the conspicuous sharp-crested disc sclerites. From a morphological point of view the new species are related to the daniana-group, the rubens-group and the siedenburgae-group of Eugorgia; their affiliations, and the proposal of a new group are discussed. These new species increases the number of species in the genus to 15, and contribute to the knowledge of the eastern Pacific octocoral biodiversity. PMID:24294084

  19. Molecular and Morphological Species Boundaries in the Gorgonian Octocoral Genus Pterogorgia (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae)

    PubMed Central

    Wirshing, Herman H.; Baker, Andrew C.

    2015-01-01

    Most gorgonian octocoral species are described using diagnostic characteristics of their sclerites (microscopic skeletal components). Species in the genus Pterogorgia, however, are separated primarily by differences in their calyx and branch morphology. Specimens of a morphologically unusual Pterogorgia collected from Saba Bank in the NE Caribbean Sea were found with calyx morphology similar to P. citrina and branch morphology similar to P. guadalupensis. In order to test morphological species boundaries, and the validity of calyx and branch morphology as systematic characters, a phylogenetic analysis was undertaken utilizing partial gene fragments of three mitochondrial (mtMutS, cytochrome b, and igr4; 726bp total) and two nuclear (ITS2, 166bp; and SRP54 intron, 143bp) loci. The datasets for nuclear and mitochondrial loci contained few phylogenetically informative sites, and tree topologies did not resolve any of the morphological species as monophyletic groups. Instead, the mitochondrial loci and SRP54 each recovered two clades but were slightly incongruent, with a few individuals of P. guadalupensis represented in both clades with SRP54. A concatenated dataset of these loci grouped all P. anceps and P. guadalupensis in a clade, and P. citrina and the Pterogorgia sp. from Saba Bank in a sister clade, but with minimal variation/resolution within each clade. However, in common with other octocoral taxa, the limited genetic variation may not have been able to resolve whether branch variation represents intraspecific variation or separate species. Therefore, these results suggest that there are at least two phylogenetic lineages of Pterogorgia at the species level, and the atypical Pterogorgia sp. may represent an unusual morphotype of P. citrina, possibly endemic to Saba Bank. Branch morphology does not appear to be a reliable morphological character to differentiate Pterogorgia species (e.g., branches “flat” or “3–4 edges” in P. guadalupensis and P

  20. Molecular and Morphological Species Boundaries in the Gorgonian Octocoral Genus Pterogorgia (Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae).

    PubMed

    Wirshing, Herman H; Baker, Andrew C

    2015-01-01

    Most gorgonian octocoral species are described using diagnostic characteristics of their sclerites (microscopic skeletal components). Species in the genus Pterogorgia, however, are separated primarily by differences in their calyx and branch morphology. Specimens of a morphologically unusual Pterogorgia collected from Saba Bank in the NE Caribbean Sea were found with calyx morphology similar to P. citrina and branch morphology similar to P. guadalupensis. In order to test morphological species boundaries, and the validity of calyx and branch morphology as systematic characters, a phylogenetic analysis was undertaken utilizing partial gene fragments of three mitochondrial (mtMutS, cytochrome b, and igr4; 726bp total) and two nuclear (ITS2, 166bp; and SRP54 intron, 143bp) loci. The datasets for nuclear and mitochondrial loci contained few phylogenetically informative sites, and tree topologies did not resolve any of the morphological species as monophyletic groups. Instead, the mitochondrial loci and SRP54 each recovered two clades but were slightly incongruent, with a few individuals of P. guadalupensis represented in both clades with SRP54. A concatenated dataset of these loci grouped all P. anceps and P. guadalupensis in a clade, and P. citrina and the Pterogorgia sp. from Saba Bank in a sister clade, but with minimal variation/resolution within each clade. However, in common with other octocoral taxa, the limited genetic variation may not have been able to resolve whether branch variation represents intraspecific variation or separate species. Therefore, these results suggest that there are at least two phylogenetic lineages of Pterogorgia at the species level, and the atypical Pterogorgia sp. may represent an unusual morphotype of P. citrina, possibly endemic to Saba Bank. Branch morphology does not appear to be a reliable morphological character to differentiate Pterogorgia species (e.g., branches "flat" or "3-4 edges" in P. guadalupensis and P. anceps

  1. A new genus and species of octocoral with aragonite calcium-carbonate skeleton (Octocorallia, Helioporacea) from Okinawa, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Yu; Reimer, James Davis

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of octocoral with a calcium-carbonate skeleton, Nanipora kamurai sp. n., is described from a shallow coral reef in Okinawa, Japan. Contrary to most octocorals, the skeleton is composed of crystalline aragonite as in blue coral Heliopora. The results of molecular phylogenetic analyses of sequences of mtMutS, COI, and ITS1-5.8s-ITS2-28S region suggest Nanipora gen. n. specimens should be included in order Helioporacea. Based on morphological results compared with other Helioporacea including the genus Epiphaxum (family Lithotelestidae), we establish the new genus Nanipora within Lithotelestidae. This is the first time that a close molecular phylogenetic relationship between Heliopora and a related genus within Helioporacea has been revealed. PMID:26257549

  2. Coordination modes of tyrosinate-ligated catalase-type heme enzymes: magnetic circular dichroism studies of Plexaura homomalla allene oxide synthase, Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis protein-2744c, and bovine liver catalase in their ferric and ferrous states.

    PubMed

    Bandara, D M Indika; Sono, Masanori; Bruce, Grant S; Brash, Alan R; Dawson, John H

    2011-12-01

    Bovine liver catalase (BLC), catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from Plexaura homomalla, and a recently isolated protein from the cattle pathogen Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP-2744c (MAP)) are all tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes whose crystal structures have been reported. cAOS and MAP have low (<20%) sequence similarity to, and significantly different catalytic functions from, BLC. cAOS transforms 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid to an allene epoxide, whereas the MAP protein is a putative organic peroxide-dependent peroxidase. To elucidate factors influencing the functions of these and related heme proteins, we have investigated the heme iron coordination properties of these tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes in their ferric and ferrous states using magnetic circular dichroism and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. The MAP protein shows remarkable spectral similarities to cAOS and BLC in its native Fe(III) state, but clear differences from ferric proximal heme ligand His93Tyr Mb (myoglobin) mutant, which may be attributed to the presence of an Arg(+)-N(ω)-H···¯O-Tyr (proximal heme axial ligand) hydrogen bond in the first three heme proteins. Furthermore, the spectra of Fe(III)-CN¯, Fe(III)-NO, Fe(II)-NO (except for five-coordinate MAP), Fe(II)-CO, and Fe(II)-O(2) states of cAOS and MAP, but not H93Y Mb, are also similar to the corresponding six-coordinate complexes of BLC, suggesting that a tyrosinate (Tyr-O¯) is the heme axial ligand trans to the bound ligands in these complexes. The Arg(+)-N(ω)-H to ¯O-Tyr hydrogen bond would be expected to modulate the donor properties of the proximal tyrosinate oxyanion and, combined with the subtle differences in the catalytic site structures, affect the activities of cAOS, MAP and BLC. PMID:22104301

  3. Non-cyclooxygenase prostaglandin synthesis in the sea whip coral, Plexaura homomalla: an 8(R)-lipoxygenase pathway leads to formation of an alpha-ketol and a Racemic prostanoid

    SciTech Connect

    Brash, A.R.; Baertschi, S.W.; Ingram, C.D.; Harris, T.M.

    1987-11-25

    Plexaura homomalla is a rich natural source of prostaglandins and recent evidence suggest the prostaglandin biosynthesis could occur through a lipoxygenase pathway. We have investigated the metabolism of arachidonic acid in homogenates and acetone powders of the fresh frozen coral. The biosynthesis of natural prostaglandins was not detected. However, we find a prominent 8(R)-lipoxygenase pathway leading to an alpha-ketol, characterized by high pressure liquid chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and NMR as 8-hydroxy, 9-keto-eicosa-5Z, 11Z, 14Z-trienoic acid, and a prostaglandin A-like cyclopentenone identified as 9-oxo-(8, 12-cis)-prosta-5Z, 10, 14Z-trienoic acid. These reactions appear analogous to the transformation of linolenic acid hydroperoxide by isomerase and cyclase of corn and flaxseed. From analysis of the absolute configurations of the coral products, and from additional stable isotope labeling experiments in H/sub 2//sup 18/O and D/sub 2/O, we deduce that both compounds arise via conversion of 8(R)-HPETE to an 8(R), 9-allene oxide, 8R,9-oxido-eicosa-5Z, 9, 11Z, 14Z-tetraenoic acid. This unstable intermediate undergoes hydrolysis to form the alpha-ketol or cyclization to give the cyclopentenone. Significantly, we find that the prostaglandin-like product is a racemic mixture of cis side chain enantiomers, pointing to its nonenzymatic origin from the allene oxide. The alpha-ketol is formed with partial racemization and inversion of configuration, also compatible with formation in a nonenzymatic reaction. We conclude that the isomerase and cyclase reactions may merely reflect nonenzymatic breakdown of the enzymatically formed allene oxide.

  4. Coordination modes of tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes: magnetic circular dichroism studies of Plexaura homomalla allene oxide synthase, Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis protein-2744c, and bovine liver catalase in their ferric and ferrous states

    PubMed Central

    Bandara, D. M. Indika; Sono, Masanori; Bruce, Grant S.; Brash, Alan R.; Dawson, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Bovine liver catalase (BLC), catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from Plexaura homomalla, and a recently isolated protein from the cattle pathogen Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP-2744c (MAP)) are all tyrosinate-ligated heme enzymes whose crystal structures have been reported. cAOS and MAP have low (< 20%) sequence similarity to, and significantly different catalytic functions from, BLC. cAOS transforms 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid to an allene epoxide, whereas the MAP protein is an organic peroxide-dependent peroxidase. To shed light on the functional differences among these three proteins, we have investigated the heme iron coordination properties of these tyrosinate-ligated heme proteins in their ferric and ferrous states using magnetic circular dichroism and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. The MAP protein shows remarkable spectral similarities to cAOS and BLC in its native Fe(III) state, but clear differences from ferric His93Tyr Mb, which may be attributed to the presence of an Arg+-Nω-H … O-Tyr (proximal heme axial ligand) hydrogen bond in the first three heme proteins. Furthermore, the spectra of Fe(III)-CN−, Fe(III)-NO, Fe(II)-NO (except for five-coordinate MAP), Fe(II)-CO, and Fe(II)-O2 states of cAOS and MAP, but not H93Y Mb, are also similar to the corresponding six-coordinate complexes of BLC, suggesting that a tyrosinate (Tyr-O−) is the heme axial ligand trans to the bound ligands in these complexes. The Arg+-Nω-H to −O-Tyr hydrogen bond would be expected to modulate the donor properties of the proximal tyrosinate oxyanion and, combined with the subtle differences in the catalytic site structures, affect the activities of cAOS, MAP and BLC. PMID:22104301

  5. The Mitochondrial Genome of Paraminabea aldersladei (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia) Supports Intramolecular Recombination as the Primary Mechanism of Gene Rearrangement in Octocoral Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Brockman, Stephanie A.; McFadden, Catherine S.

    2012-01-01

    Sequencing of the complete mitochondrial genome of the soft coral Paraminabea aldersladei (Alcyoniidae) revealed a unique gene order, the fifth mt gene arrangement now known within the cnidarian subclass Octocorallia. At 19,886 bp, the mt genome of P. aldersladei is the second largest known for octocorals; its gene content and nucleotide composition are, however, identical to most other octocorals, and the additional length is due to the presence of two large, noncoding intergenic regions. Relative to the presumed ancestral octocoral gene order, in P. aldersladei a block of three protein-coding genes (nad6–nad3–nad4l) has been translocated and inverted. Mapping the distribution of mt gene arrangements onto a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny of Octocorallia suggests that all of the known octocoral gene orders have evolved by successive inversions of one or more evolutionarily conserved blocks of protein-coding genes. This mode of genome evolution is unique among Metazoa, and contrasts strongly with that observed in Hexacorallia, in which extreme gene shuffling has occurred among taxonomic orders. Two of the four conserved gene blocks found in Octocorallia are, however, also conserved in the linear mt genomes of Medusozoa and in one group of Demospongiae. We speculate that the rate and mechanism of gene rearrangement in octocorals may be influenced by the presence in their mt genomes of mtMutS, a putatively active DNA mismatch repair protein that may also play a role in mediating intramolecular recombination. PMID:22975720

  6. Complete mitochondrial genomes elucidate phylogenetic relationships of the deep-sea octocoral families Coralliidae and Paragorgiidae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa, Diego F.; Baco, Amy R.

    2014-01-01

    In the past decade, molecular phylogenetic analyses of octocorals have shown that the current morphological taxonomic classification of these organisms needs to be revised. The latest phylogenetic analyses show that most octocorals can be divided into three main clades. One of these clades contains the families Coralliidae and Paragorgiidae. These families share several taxonomically important characters and it has been suggested that they may not be monophyletic; with the possibility of the Coralliidae being a derived branch of the Paragorgiidae. Uncertainty exists not only in the relationship of these two families, but also in the classification of the two genera that make up the Coralliidae, Corallium and Paracorallium. Molecular analyses suggest that the genus Corallium is paraphyletic, and it can be divided into two main clades, with the Paracorallium as members of one of these clades. In this study we sequenced the whole mitochondrial genome of five species of Paragorgia and of five species of Corallium to use in a phylogenetic analysis to achieve two main objectives; the first to elucidate the phylogenetic relationship between the Paragorgiidae and Coralliidae and the second to determine whether the genera Corallium and Paracorallium are monophyletic. Our results show that other members of the Coralliidae share the two novel mitochondrial gene arrangements found in a previous study in Corallium konojoi and Paracorallium japonicum; and that the Corallium konojoi arrangement is also found in the Paragorgiidae. Our phylogenetic reconstruction based on all the protein coding genes and ribosomal RNAs of the mitochondrial genome suggest that the Coralliidae are not a derived branch of the Paragorgiidae, but rather a monophyletic sister branch to the Paragorgiidae. While our manuscript was in review a study was published using morphological data and several fragments from mitochondrial genes to redefine the taxonomy of the Coralliidae. Paracorallium was subsumed

  7. A unique horizontal gene transfer event has provided the octocoral mitochondrial genome with an active mismatch repair gene that has potential for an unusual self-contained function

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The mitochondrial genome of the Octocorallia has several characteristics atypical for metazoans, including a novel gene suggested to function in DNA repair. This mtMutS gene is favored for octocoral molecular systematics, due to its high information content. Several hypotheses concerning the origins of mtMutS have been proposed, and remain equivocal, although current weight of support is for a horizontal gene transfer from either an epsilonproteobacterium or a large DNA virus. Here we present new and compelling evidence on the evolutionary origin of mtMutS, and provide the very first data on its activity, functional capacity and stability within the octocoral mitochondrial genome. Results The mtMutS gene has the expected conserved amino acids, protein domains and predicted tertiary protein structure. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that mtMutS is not a member of the MSH family and therefore not of eukaryotic origin. MtMutS clusters closely with representatives of the MutS7 lineage; further support for this relationship derives from the sharing of a C-terminal endonuclease domain that confers a self-contained mismatch repair function. Gene expression analyses confirm that mtMutS is actively transcribed in octocorals. Rates of mitochondrial gene evolution in mtMutS-containing octocorals are lower than in their hexacoral sister-group, which lacks the gene, although paradoxically the mtMutS gene itself has higher rates of mutation than other octocoral mitochondrial genes. Conclusions The octocoral mtMutS gene is active and codes for a protein with all the necessary components for DNA mismatch repair. A lower rate of mitochondrial evolution, and the presence of a nicking endonuclease domain, both indirectly support a theory of self-sufficient DNA mismatch repair within the octocoral mitochondrion. The ancestral affinity of mtMutS to non-eukaryotic MutS7 provides compelling support for an origin by horizontal gene transfer. The immediate vector of transmission

  8. Thermal stress response in a dinoflagellate-bearing nudibranch and the octocoral on which it feeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Maren; FitzPatrick, Shannon K.; Burghardt, Ingo; Liberatore, Katie L.; Joshua Leffler, A.; Takacs-Vesbach, Cristina; Shepherd, Ursula

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we examined two non-scleractinian taxa, the rare nudibranch Phyllodesmium lizardensis and Bayerxenia sp., the octocoral on which the nudibranch lives and feeds, to investigate the effect of experimental heat stress on their symbioses with Symbiodinium. Bleaching has not been studied in nudibranchs. Bayerxenia sp. belongs to the alcyonacea family Xeniidae, members of which are known to be heat sensitive, but the genus has never been subject to heat stress experiments or bleaching observations. While qPCR did not reveal any changes to the symbiont community composition, the two host species responded differently to increased temperature. There were changes in the relative proportion of tissue types in Bayerxenia sp., but these were not attributable to the temperature treatment. Bayerxenia sp. exhibited no changes in cellular structure (apoptosis or cell necrosis), or symbiont functioning, cell size, density, or cladal community structure. On the other hand, the host, P. lizardensis, experienced tissue loss and symbiont densities decreased significantly with the majority of the remaining symbiont cells significantly degenerated after the heat stress. This decrease did not influence symbiont community composition, symbiont cell size, or photosynthetic efficiency. While the bleaching process in nudibranchs was demonstrated for the first time, the physiological and molecular pathways leading to this response still require attention.

  9. Arthropods associated with the crown of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae) palm trees in three different environments from Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Palma, Alexandre R T; Motta, Paulo C; Bar, Maria E; Cuba, Cesar A C

    2006-01-01

    Canopy arthropods, mainly from palm trees, are little known in the Brazilian Cerrado. In order to describe the arthropod community structure associated with the crown of Mauritia flexuosa (Arecaceae), we sampled 150 palm trees in six "veredas" of the Federal District, Brazil, in wild, rural and periurban areas in the rainy season. The arthropods within abandoned bird nests, mammal refuges, leaves and organic matter were manually collected, preserved in ethanol 70% and separated by order, family, morphospecies and feeding guilds. Stem height and diameter of the palm crowns were measured and leaves and bird nests were counted. We collected 3,862 arthropods, from 15 orders, 45 families and 135 morphospecies. The most abundant orders were Coleoptera (28.6%), Blattodea (21.8%), Collembola (11.4%) and Hemiptera (10.2%). The families Blaberidae, Entomobryidae, Reduviidae, Oniscidae, Staphylinidae, Carabidae and Formicidae, represented 82.1% of all individuals collected. The majority of morphospecies was not abundant, 71 (52.6%) were represented by less than 1 individual/tree. Coleopterans accounted for the highest number of morphospecies (43.7%) followed by Araneae (20.0%). The analysis of the arthropod feeding guilds showed prevalence of predatory/hematophagous ones (36.0%). Arthropod richness and abundance presented smaller values for periurban environment. The number of bird nests presented positive correlation with abundance and richness; this was not found when considering the measurements of the palm trees. The importance of M. flexuosa for the maintenance of the arthropod fauna of the "veredas" in Cerrado biome is discussed. PMID:18575689

  10. An alternative to ITS, a hypervariable, single-copy nuclear intron in corals, and its use in detecting cryptic species within the octocoral genus Carijoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Concepcion, G. T.; Crepeau, M. W.; Wagner, D.; Kahng, S. E.; Toonen, R. J.

    2008-06-01

    Here we report a highly variable nuclear marker that can be used for both soft and stony corals. Primers that amplify a ˜177 bp fragment from the nuclear gene encoding the 54 kDa subunit of the signal recognition particle (SRP54) were developed for the octocoral genus Carijoa. Cloning results from 141 individuals suggest that this hypervariable nuclear locus is a single-copy gene. Sequencing revealed a potential cryptic species previously thought to be Carijoa riisei. Results from an Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) explained <10% of the variation between Atlantic and Pacific samples of C. riisei ( F st = 0.47), whereas the same comparison with SRP54 explained >33% of the variation ( F st = 0.54). Using previously reported degenerate primers for SRP54, high levels of sequence variation were found at this locus across both scleractinian and octocorals. For example, pairwise sequence divergence within octocorals was ˜8 13 times greater with SRP54 than with mtDNA, and, up to 2.8% pairwise sequence divergence was found in SRP54 among individuals of Pocillopora whereas no variation at all was found in mtDNA markers. This case study with the octocoral C. riisei shows that variation in SRP54 appears sufficient to address questions of phylogeography as well as systematics of closely related species.

  11. Productivity links morphology, symbiont specificity and bleaching in the evolution of Caribbean octocoral symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Baker, David M; Freeman, Christopher J; Knowlton, Nancy; Thacker, Robert W; Kim, Kiho; Fogel, Marilyn L

    2015-01-01

    Many cnidarians host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. It is generally assumed that the symbiosis is mutualistic, where the host benefits from symbiont photosynthesis while providing protection and photosynthetic substrates. Diverse assemblages of symbiotic gorgonian octocorals can be found in hard bottom communities throughout the Caribbean. While current research has focused on the phylo- and population genetics of gorgonian symbiont types and their photo-physiology, relatively less work has focused on biogeochemical benefits conferred to the host and how these benefits vary across host species. Here we examine this symbiosis among 11 gorgonian species collected in Bocas del Toro, Panama. By coupling light and dark bottle incubations (P/R) with 13C-bicarbonate tracers, we quantified the link between holobiont oxygen metabolism with carbon assimilation and translocation from symbiont to host. Our data show that P/R varied among species, and was correlated with colony morphology and polyp size. Sea fans and sea plumes were net autotrophs (P/R>1.5), while nine species of sea rods were net heterotrophs with most below compensation (P/R<1.0). 13C assimilation corroborated the P/R results, and maximum δ13Chost values were strongly correlated with polyp size, indicating higher productivity by colonies with high polyp SA:V. A survey of gorgonian-Symbiodinium associations revealed that productive species maintain specialized, obligate symbioses and are more resistant to coral bleaching, whereas generalist and facultative associations are common among sea rods that have higher bleaching sensitivities. Overall, productivity and polyp size had strong phylogenetic signals with carbon fixation and polyp size showing evidence of trait covariance. PMID:25989369

  12. Light-mediated 15N fractionation in Caribbean gorgonian octocorals: implications for pollution monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, D. M.; Kim, K.; Andras, J. P.; Sparks, J. P.

    2011-09-01

    The stable nitrogen isotope ratio ( δ 15N) of coral tissue is a useful recorder of anthropogenic pollution in tropical marine ecosystems. However, little is known of the natural environmentally induced fractionations that affect our interpretation of coral δ 15N values. In symbiotic scleractinians, light affects metabolic fractionation of N during photosynthesis, which may confound the identification of N pollution between sites of varied depth or turbidity. Given the superiority of octocorals for δ 15N studies, our goal was to quantify the effect of light on gorgonian δ 15N in the context of monitoring N pollution sources. Using field collections, we show that δ 15N declined by 1.4‰ over 20 m depth in two species of gorgonians, the common sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, and the slimy sea plume, Pseudopterogorgia americana. An 8-week laboratory experiment with P. americana showed that light, not temperature causes this variation, whereby the lowest fractionation of the N source was observed in the highest light treatment. Finally, we used a yearlong reciprocal depth transplant experiment to quantify the time frame over which δ 15N changes in G. ventalina as a function of light regime . Over the year, δ 15N was unchanged and increased slightly in the deep control colonies and shallow colonies transplanted to the deep site, respectively. Within 6 months, colonies transplanted from deep to shallow became enriched by 0.8‰, mirroring the enrichment observed in the shallow controls, which was likely due to the combined effect of an increase in the source δ 15N and reduced fractionation. We conclude that light affects gorgonian δ 15N fractionation and should be considered in sampling designs for N pollution monitoring. However, these fractionations are small relative to differences observed between natural and anthropogenic N sources.

  13. Productivity links morphology, symbiont specificity and bleaching in the evolution of Caribbean octocoral symbioses.

    PubMed

    Baker, David M; Freeman, Christopher J; Knowlton, Nancy; Thacker, Robert W; Kim, Kiho; Fogel, Marilyn L

    2015-12-01

    Many cnidarians host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. It is generally assumed that the symbiosis is mutualistic, where the host benefits from symbiont photosynthesis while providing protection and photosynthetic substrates. Diverse assemblages of symbiotic gorgonian octocorals can be found in hard bottom communities throughout the Caribbean. While current research has focused on the phylo- and population genetics of gorgonian symbiont types and their photo-physiology, relatively less work has focused on biogeochemical benefits conferred to the host and how these benefits vary across host species. Here we examine this symbiosis among 11 gorgonian species collected in Bocas del Toro, Panama. By coupling light and dark bottle incubations (P/R) with (13)C-bicarbonate tracers, we quantified the link between holobiont oxygen metabolism with carbon assimilation and translocation from symbiont to host. Our data show that P/R varied among species, and was correlated with colony morphology and polyp size. Sea fans and sea plumes were net autotrophs (P/R>1.5), while nine species of sea rods were net heterotrophs with most below compensation (P/R<1.0). (13)C assimilation corroborated the P/R results, and maximum δ(13)Chost values were strongly correlated with polyp size, indicating higher productivity by colonies with high polyp SA:V. A survey of gorgonian-Symbiodinium associations revealed that productive species maintain specialized, obligate symbioses and are more resistant to coral bleaching, whereas generalist and facultative associations are common among sea rods that have higher bleaching sensitivities. Overall, productivity and polyp size had strong phylogenetic signals with carbon fixation and polyp size showing evidence of trait covariance. PMID:25989369

  14. Histology and ultrastructure of the coenenchyme of the octocoral Swiftia exserta, a model organism for innate immunity/graft rejection

    PubMed Central

    Menzel, L.P.; Tondo, C.; Stein, B.; Bigger, C.H.

    2015-01-01

    The octocoral Swiftia exserta has been utilized extensively in our laboratory to study innate immune reactions in Cnidaria such as wound healing, auto- and allo-graft reactions, and for some classical “foreign body” phagocytosis experiments. All of these reactions occur in the coenenchyme of the animal, the colonial tissue surrounding the axial skeleton in which the polyps are embedded, and do not rely on nematocysts or directly involve the polyps. In order to better understand some of the cellular reactions occurring in the coenenchyme, the present study employed several cytochemical methods (periodic acid–Schiff reaction, Mallory’s aniline blue collagen stain, and Gomori’s trichrome stain) and correlated the observed structures with electron microscopy (both scanning and transmission). Eight types of cells were apparent in the coenenchyme of S. exserta, exclusive of gastrodermal tissue: (i) epithelial ectoderm cells, (ii) oblong granular cells, (iii) granular amoebocytes, (iv) morula-like cells, (v) mesogleal cells, (vi) sclerocytes, (vii) axial epithelial cells, and (viii) cnidocytes with mostly atrichous isorhiza nematocysts. Several novel organizational features are now apparent from transmission electron micrographs: the ectoderm consists of a single layer of flat epithelial cells, the cell types of the mesoglea extend from beneath the thin ectoderm throughout the mesogleal cell cords, the organization of the solenia gastroderm consists of a single layer of cells, and two nematocyst types have been found. A new interpretation of the cellular architecture of S. exserta, and more broadly, octocoral biology is now possible. PMID:25596959

  15. Application of DNA barcoding in biodiversity studies of shallow-water octocorals: molecular proxies agree with morphological estimates of species richness in Palau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFadden, C. S.; Brown, A. S.; Brayton, C.; Hunt, C. B.; van Ofwegen, L. P.

    2014-06-01

    The application of DNA barcoding to anthozoan cnidarians has been hindered by their slow rates of mitochondrial gene evolution and the failure to identify alternative molecular markers that distinguish species reliably. Among octocorals, however, multilocus barcodes can distinguish up to 70 % of morphospecies, thereby facilitating the identification of species that are ecologically important but still very poorly known taxonomically. We tested the ability of these imperfect DNA barcodes to estimate species richness in a biodiversity survey of the shallow-water octocoral fauna of Palau using multilocus ( COI, mtMutS, 28S rDNA) sequences obtained from 305 specimens representing 38 genera of octocorals. Numbers and identities of species were estimated independently (1) by a taxonomic expert using morphological criteria and (2) by assigning sequences to molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) using predefined genetic distance thresholds. Estimated numbers of MOTUs ranged from 73 to 128 depending on the barcode and distance threshold applied, bracketing the estimated number of 118 morphospecies. Concordance between morphospecies identifications and MOTUs ranged from 71 to 75 % and differed little among barcodes. For the speciose and ecologically dominant genus Sinularia, however, we were able to identify 95 % of specimens correctly simply by comparing mtMutS sequences and in situ photographs of colonies to an existing vouchered database. Because we lack a clear understanding of species boundaries in most of these taxa, numbers of morphospecies and MOTUs are both estimates of the true species diversity, and we cannot currently determine which is more accurate. Our results suggest, however, that the two methods provide comparable estimates of species richness for shallow-water Indo-Pacific octocorals. Use of molecular barcodes in biodiversity surveys will facilitate comparisons of species richness and composition among localities and over time, data that do not

  16. Antiplasmodial activity of bacilosarcin A isolated from the octocoral-associated bacterium Bacillus sp. collected in Panama

    PubMed Central

    Boya, Cristopher A.; Herrera, Liuris; Guzman, Hector M.; Gutierrez, Marcelino

    2012-01-01

    Aim: This study was designed for isolating and characterizing antiplasmodial compounds from marine octocoral-associated bacteria. Materials and Methods: The organic extract of the Bacillus sp. was subjected to purification using several chromatography techniques guided by bioassays to yield three isocoumarin derivatives (1–3). Chemical structures of the compounds were elucidated on the basis of HRMS spectra and NMR spectroscopy. The antiplasmodial activity of the isolated compounds was evaluated in vitro against the chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strain W2. Results: Isolated compounds were identified as bacilosarcin A (1), AI77-F (2), and AI77-H (3). Bacilosarcin A (1) displayed a low micromolar activity (IC50 = 2.2 μM) against P. falciparum while compounds 2 and 3 showed no activity. Conclusions: Bacilosarcin A was found to be responsible for the antiplasmodial activity observed in the crude extract obtained from the Bacillus sp. PMID:22368402

  17. Octocoral Mitochondrial Genomes Provide Insights into the Phylogenetic History of Gene Order Rearrangements, Order Reversals, and Cnidarian Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Figueroa, Diego F.; Baco, Amy R.

    2015-01-01

    We use full mitochondrial genomes to test the robustness of the phylogeny of the Octocorallia, to determine the evolutionary pathway for the five known mitochondrial gene rearrangements in octocorals, and to test the suitability of using mitochondrial genomes for higher taxonomic-level phylogenetic reconstructions. Our phylogeny supports three major divisions within the Octocorallia and show that Paragorgiidae is paraphyletic, with Sibogagorgia forming a sister branch to the Coralliidae. Furthermore, Sibogagorgia cauliflora has what is presumed to be the ancestral gene order in octocorals, but the presence of a pair of inverted repeat sequences suggest that this gene order was not conserved but rather evolved back to this apparent ancestral state. Based on this we recommend the resurrection of the family Sibogagorgiidae to fix the paraphyly of the Paragorgiidae. This is the first study to show that in the Octocorallia, mitochondrial gene orders have evolved back to an ancestral state after going through a gene rearrangement, with at least one of the gene orders evolving independently in different lineages. A number of studies have used gene boundaries to determine the type of mitochondrial gene arrangement present. However, our findings suggest that this method known as gene junction screening may miss evolutionary reversals. Additionally, substitution saturation analysis demonstrates that while whole mitochondrial genomes can be used effectively for phylogenetic analyses within Octocorallia, their utility at higher taxonomic levels within Cnidaria is inadequate. Therefore for phylogenetic reconstruction at taxonomic levels higher than subclass within the Cnidaria, nuclear genes will be required, even when whole mitochondrial genomes are available. PMID:25539723

  18. Contrasting reproductive strategies in three deep-sea octocorals from eastern Canada: Primnoa resedaeformis, Keratoisis ornata, and Anthomastus grandiflorus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier, A.; Hamel, J.-F.

    2011-06-01

    Various aspects of reproduction were studied in three deep-sea octocorals belonging to the order Alcyonacea that co-occur at bathyal depths on the continental edge and the slope of eastern Canada. The main goals were to expand knowledge of deep-water heterotrophic corals and ascertain whether reproductive strategies could explain the known patterns of occurrence. Anthomastus grandiflorus is a gonochoric species with a female-biased sex ratio that exhibits internal fertilization and brooding of planula larvae. Conversely, Primnoa resedaeformis and Keratoisis ornata rely on broadcast spawning and external fertilization; their sexuality remains undetermined as spermatocysts were not found. In P. resedaeformis, the presence of mixed size classes of oocytes in samples from all months, depths, and locations studied suggests continuous oogenesis or overlapping development of oocyte cohorts, indicative of a gametogenic cycle spanning more than a year. No evidence of periodicity was found in this species, although it could have been masked by the striking bathymetric variation in potential relative fecundity (oocytes polyp-1). The two other octocorals displayed a clear annual breeding pattern. Spawning in K. ornata and larval release in A. grandiflorus occurred in late summer and fall, respectively, possibly in response to environmental factors, as supported by shifts in the reproductive peak of A. grandiflorus across latitudes. The three species are presumed to share a nonfeeding larval mode, and data on their reproductive potential do not present any striking disparities. Published data on bycatches and video surveys in Atlantic Canada indicate that the gonochoric brooder A. grandiflorus is more widely distributed than the two free spawners, P. resedaeformis and K. ornata, which is contrary to common dispersal potential paradigms.

  19. The socio-cultural importance of Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) and implications for multi-use management in two Maijuna communities of the Peruvian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Fruit from the palm Mauritia flexuosa (aguaje) is harvested throughout the Peruvian Amazon for subsistence and commercial purposes. Recent estimates suggest that residents of Iquitos, the largest city in the region, consume approximately 148.8 metric tons of aguaje fruit per month, the vast majority of which is harvested by felling and killing adult female trees. In this study, we sought to better understand and document the importance of M. flexuosa palm swamps (aguajales) in two Maijuna indigenous communities to inform the sustainable management of this habitat and species. Methods Semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and household surveys were carried out to assess the significance of aguajales and their associated plant and animal resources as well as to determine how the relationship that the Maijuna have with aguajales has changed over time. Results Aguajales and their associated resources are culturally significant and useful to the Maijuna in a wide variety of ways. In addition to M. flexuosa, the Maijuna use over 60 different species of plants from aguajales. When M. flexuosa is in fruit, aguajales are important hunting areas with a total of 20 different animal species hunted. The Maijuna also have traditional beliefs about aguajales, believing that malevolent supernatural beings reside in them. Notably, the relationship that the Maijuna have with aguajales has changed considerably over the years as aguaje fruit went from a subsistence item collected opportunistically from the ground to a market good destructively harvested beginning in the early 1990s. The Maijuna are concerned not only about how this has affected the future commercial harvest of aguaje but also about its effects on game animals given the importance of hunting to Maijuna cultural identity, subsistence, and income generation. Conclusions In order to meet the multiple socio-cultural and economic needs of the Maijuna, sustainable management efforts must be expanded to not

  20. Effects of predator exclusion on recruit survivorship in an octocoral ( Briareum asbestinum) and a scleractinian coral ( Porites astreoides)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, M. J.; Coffroth, M. A.; Lasker, H. R.

    2013-06-01

    Recruits of the Caribbean scleractinian coral Porites astreoides and the octocoral Briareum asbestinum were established on artificial substrata and reared on a reef in cages designed to exclude various classes of organisms known to feed on corals. Post-settlement survivorship of recruits was measured for periods of 2 weeks ( B. asbestinum) and 1 month ( P. astreoides) on East Turtle Reef in the Florida Keys during May and June 2010. Predator exclusion did not affect survivorship among P. astreoides recruits during the study. Recruits of B. asbestinum experienced lower survivorship in treatments that allowed access by fish compared with fish exclusion treatments. The results indicate that predation may be an important determinant of post-settlement mortality among B. asbestinum recruits, and fishes are the primary contributors to predation-induced mortality. B. asbestinum recruit survivorship differed by an order of magnitude between recruits in the control condition and those in the predator exclusion (0.087 and 0.372, respectively). The findings illustrate the need to consider the effects of interactions early in life on the survival, propagation, and recovery of coral populations.

  1. Growth patterns in mesophotic octocorals: Timing the branching process in the highly-valuable Mediterranean Corallium rubrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetti, Maria Carla; Priori, Cristina; Erra, Fabrizio; Santangelo, Giovanni

    2016-03-01

    This study examined colony growth in the long-lived red coral Corallium rubrum, a slow growing octocoral endemic to the Mediterranean Sea and neighboring Atlantic areas and one of the most valuable of all marine species. Age and growth rate were determined on 165 sections of colony bases and branches by means of a validated age dating method in populations living between 50 and 130 m in the NW Mediterranean. The ratio between minimum and maximum diameter remained constant, indicating proportional growth of colony bases. No significant difference was found between the growth rate of bases and branches. A significantly different branching pattern (colony height/number of branches) and average growth rate were found between the colonies of the different geographic areas. As growth rate decreases with age, this was due to the different age structure of the two samples. The maximum lifespan was found to be 106 years, a value not determined previously for C. rubrum colonies, and the average age of colonies at first branching was about 10 years. Linear growth varied widely between colonies as well as between branches in the same colony, confirming the lack of any strict relation between height and age. The study illustrates the growth of a mesophotic, heavily exploited Corallidae.

  2. The D-galactose-binding lectin of the octocoral Sinularia lochmodes: characterization and possible relationship to the symbiotic dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Jimbo, M; Yanohara, T; Koike, K; Koike, K; Sakai, R; Muramoto, K; Kamiya, H

    2000-02-01

    A D-galactose binding lectin (SLL-2) was isolated from Sinularia lochmodes, an octocoral, by a combination of affinity chromatography on acid-treated agarose and FPLC on Superdex 200. SLL-2 agglutinated rabbit and horse erythrocytes while SLL-1, a minor component, reacted only with rabbit erythrocytes. SLL-2 is a glycoprotein with a molecular mass of 122 kDa and is composed of eight identical subunits (15 kDa). The sequence of the amino terminal region of SLL-2 did not show any apparent homology to the sequences of other animal and plant lectins. D-Galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, lactose, and melibiose were moderate inhibitors to the agglutination of rabbit erythrocytes. In contrast, horse erythrocytes were much more susceptible to agglutination by SLL-2, which was inhibited by sugars and glycoproteins such as D-galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, lactose, melibiose, and porcine stomach mucin. SLL-2 showed considerable tolerance to heating and kept its activity after heating at 80 degrees C for 60 min. In immuno-histochemical studies using an anti-SLL-2 antiserum and protein A gold conjugate, SLL-2 was found to be present in high amounts in the nematocysts. SLL-2 was also detected on the surface of symbiotic dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium sp. cells irrespective whether they were surrounded with or without host cells. These observations suggest the presence of lectin-mediated interaction between symbiotic dinoflagellates and S. lochmodes. PMID:10817910

  3. Mauritia flexuosa palm swamp communities: natural or human-made? A palynological study of the Gran Sabana region (northern South America) within a neotropical context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rull, Valentí; Montoya, Encarni

    2014-09-01

    Mauritia flexuosa L.f. is one of the more widely distributed neotropical palms and is intensively used by humans. This palm can grow in tropical rainforests or can develop a particular type of virtually monospecific communities restricted to warm and wet lowlands of the Orinoco and Amazon basins. It has been proposed that, during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Mauritia swamp communities were restricted to the core of the Amazon basin from where they expanded favoured by the Holocene warmer and wetter climates. It has also been suggested that some of these palm communities might have been the result of human dispersal during the last millennia. Here, we evaluate both hypotheses using the case study of the Venezuelan Gran Sabana (GS) region, where the M. flexuosa swamp communities (locally called morichales) are common and well developed. The morichales did not reach the GS until the last 2000 years, as manifested by sudden increases of Mauritia pollen parallelled by similar trends in charcoal particles as proxies for fire. During the last two millennia, the situation was very similar to the present, characterised by extensive burning practices affecting savannas and savanna-forest ecotones but rarely morichales (selective burning). This strongly suggests that human activities could have been responsible for the penetration of the morichales to the GS. A meta-analysis of the available records of Mauritia pollen across northern South America shows that this palm has been present in the region since at least the last four glacial cycles. During the LGM, Mauritia was likely restricted to few but widespread sites of favourable microclimatic conditions (microrefugia) from where the palm expanded during the Holocene. During the last 2000 years, Mauritia underwent a remarkable expansion in northern South America, which includes the GS. It is proposed that humans could have played a role in this regional expansion of Mauritia communities.

  4. A semi-automatic method to extract canal pathways in 3D micro-CT images of Octocorals.

    PubMed

    Morales Pinzón, Alfredo; Orkisz, Maciej; Rodríguez Useche, Catalina María; Torres González, Juan Sebastián; Teillaud, Stanislas; Sánchez, Juan Armando; Hernández Hoyos, Marcela

    2014-01-01

    The long-term goal of our study is to understand the internal organization of the octocoral stem canals, as well as their physiological and functional role in the growth of the colonies, and finally to assess the influence of climatic changes on this species. Here we focus on imaging tools, namely acquisition and processing of three-dimensional high-resolution images, with emphasis on automated extraction of canal pathways. Our aim was to evaluate the feasibility of the whole process, to point out and solve - if possible - technical problems related to the specimen conditioning, to determine the best acquisition parameters and to develop necessary image-processing algorithms. The pathways extracted are expected to facilitate the structural analysis of the colonies, namely to help observing the distribution, formation and number of canals along the colony. Five volumetric images of Muricea muricata specimens were successfully acquired by X-ray computed tomography with spatial resolution ranging from 4.5 to 25 micrometers. The success mainly depended on specimen immobilization. More than [Formula: see text] of the canals were successfully detected and tracked by the image-processing method developed. Thus obtained three-dimensional representation of the canal network was generated for the first time without the need of histological or other destructive methods. Several canal patterns were observed. Although most of them were simple, i.e. only followed the main branch or "turned" into a secondary branch, many others bifurcated or fused. A majority of bifurcations were observed at branching points. However, some canals appeared and/or ended anywhere along a branch. At the tip of a branch, all canals fused into a unique chamber. Three-dimensional high-resolution tomographic imaging gives a non-destructive insight to the coral ultrastructure and helps understanding the organization of the canal network. Advanced image-processing techniques greatly reduce human observer

  5. A Semi-Automatic Method to Extract Canal Pathways in 3D Micro-CT Images of Octocorals

    PubMed Central

    Morales Pinzón, Alfredo; Orkisz, Maciej; Rodríguez Useche, Catalina María; Torres González, Juan Sebastián; Teillaud, Stanislas; Sánchez, Juan Armando; Hernández Hoyos, Marcela

    2014-01-01

    The long-term goal of our study is to understand the internal organization of the octocoral stem canals, as well as their physiological and functional role in the growth of the colonies, and finally to assess the influence of climatic changes on this species. Here we focus on imaging tools, namely acquisition and processing of three-dimensional high-resolution images, with emphasis on automated extraction of canal pathways. Our aim was to evaluate the feasibility of the whole process, to point out and solve – if possible – technical problems related to the specimen conditioning, to determine the best acquisition parameters and to develop necessary image-processing algorithms. The pathways extracted are expected to facilitate the structural analysis of the colonies, namely to help observing the distribution, formation and number of canals along the colony. Five volumetric images of Muricea muricata specimens were successfully acquired by X-ray computed tomography with spatial resolution ranging from 4.5 to 25 micrometers. The success mainly depended on specimen immobilization. More than of the canals were successfully detected and tracked by the image-processing method developed. Thus obtained three-dimensional representation of the canal network was generated for the first time without the need of histological or other destructive methods. Several canal patterns were observed. Although most of them were simple, i.e. only followed the main branch or “turned” into a secondary branch, many others bifurcated or fused. A majority of bifurcations were observed at branching points. However, some canals appeared and/or ended anywhere along a branch. At the tip of a branch, all canals fused into a unique chamber. Three-dimensional high-resolution tomographic imaging gives a non-destructive insight to the coral ultrastructure and helps understanding the organization of the canal network. Advanced image-processing techniques greatly reduce human observer's effort and

  6. Environmental influences on the Indo–Pacific octocoral Isis hippuris Linnaeus 1758 (Alcyonacea: Isididae): genetic fixation or phenotypic plasticity?

    PubMed Central

    Pochon, Xavier; Watling, Les

    2015-01-01

    As conspicuous modular components of benthic marine habitats, gorgonian (sea fan) octocorals have perplexed taxonomists for centuries through their shear diversity, particularly throughout the Indo–Pacific. Phenotypic incongruence within and between seemingly unitary lineages across contrasting environments can provide the raw material to investigate processes of disruptive selection. Two distinct phenotypes of the Isidid Isis hippuris Linnaeus, 1758 partition between differing reef environments: long-branched bushy colonies on degraded reefs, and short-branched multi/planar colonies on healthy reefs within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia. Multivariate analyses reveal phenotypic traits between morphotypes were likely integrated primarily at the colony level with increased polyp density and consistently smaller sclerite dimensions at the degraded site. Sediment load and turbidity, hence light availability, primarily influenced phenotypic differences between the two sites. This distinct morphological dissimilarity between the two sites is a reliable indicator of reef health; selection primarily acting on colony morphology, porosity through branching structure, as well as sclerite diversity and size. ITS2 sequence and predicted RNA secondary structure further revealed intraspecific variation between I. hippuris morphotypes relative to such environments (ΦST = 0.7683, P < 0.001). This evidence suggests—but does not confirm—that I. hippuris morphotypes within the WMNP are two separate species; however, to what extent and taxonomic assignment requires further investigation across its full geographic distribution. Incongruence between colonies present in the WMNP with tenuously described Isis alternatives (Isis reticulata Nutting, 1910, Isis minorbrachyblasta Zou, Huang & Wang, 1991), questions the validity of such assignments. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses confirm early taxonomic suggestion that the characteristic jointed axis of the

  7. Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Palm Leaf Extracts from Babaçu (Attalea speciosa), Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), and Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata)

    PubMed Central

    Mahmoud, Talal Suleiman; do Nascimento, Guilherme Nobre L.; da Silva, Juliana Fonseca Moreira

    2016-01-01

    Babaçu (A. speciosa), Buriti (M. flexuosa), and Macaúba (A. aculeata) are palm trees typical of the ecotone area between Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of the extracts prepared from the leaves of those palms as well as determine their chemical compositions. The ethanol extracts were prepared in a Soxhlet apparatus and tested by disk diffusion and agar dilution technique against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. However, there was no significant activity at concentrations of 25, 50, and 100 mg·Ml−1. Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, catechins, steroids, triterpenes, and saponins. Gas chromatography (GC/MS) analysis also identified organic acids, such as capric (decanoic) acid, lauric (dodecanoic) acid, myristic (tetradecanoic) acid, phthalic (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic) acid, palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid, stearic (octadecanoic) acid, linoleic (9,12-octadecadienoic) acid (omega-6), linolenic (octadecatrienoic) acid (omega-3), and the terpenes citronellol and phytol. Based on the chemical composition in the palm leaf extracts, the palms have the potential to be useful in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. PMID:27529077

  8. Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Potential of Palm Leaf Extracts from Babaçu (Attalea speciosa), Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), and Macaúba (Acrocomia aculeata).

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Adriana Idalina Torcato; Mahmoud, Talal Suleiman; do Nascimento, Guilherme Nobre L; da Silva, Juliana Fonseca Moreira; Pimenta, Raphael Sanzio; de Morais, Paula Benevides

    2016-01-01

    Babaçu (A. speciosa), Buriti (M. flexuosa), and Macaúba (A. aculeata) are palm trees typical of the ecotone area between Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of the extracts prepared from the leaves of those palms as well as determine their chemical compositions. The ethanol extracts were prepared in a Soxhlet apparatus and tested by disk diffusion and agar dilution technique against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Candida parapsilosis. However, there was no significant activity at concentrations of 25, 50, and 100 mg·Ml(-1). Moreover, the phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, catechins, steroids, triterpenes, and saponins. Gas chromatography (GC/MS) analysis also identified organic acids, such as capric (decanoic) acid, lauric (dodecanoic) acid, myristic (tetradecanoic) acid, phthalic (1,2-benzenedicarboxylic) acid, palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid, stearic (octadecanoic) acid, linoleic (9,12-octadecadienoic) acid (omega-6), linolenic (octadecatrienoic) acid (omega-3), and the terpenes citronellol and phytol. Based on the chemical composition in the palm leaf extracts, the palms have the potential to be useful in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. PMID:27529077

  9. 3-Methyl-4,5-dihydro-oxepine, polyoxygenated seco-cyclohexenes and cyclohexenes from Uvaria flexuosa and their anti-inflammatory activity.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Ming; Wu, Tung-Ying; Du, Ying-Chi; El-Shazly, Mohamed; Beerhues, Ludger; Thang, Tran Dinh; Van Luu, Hoang; Hwang, Tsong-Long; Chang, Fang-Rong; Wu, Yang-Chang

    2016-02-01

    The phytochemical investigation of the methanolic extract of Uvaria flexuosa (Annonaceae) leaves led to the isolation of seven compounds including, 3-methyl-4,5-dihydro-oxepine (flexuvaroxepine A), four polyoxygenated seco-cyclohexene (flexuvarin A-D) and two polyoxygenated cyclohexene (flexuvarol A-B) derivatives, together with four known flavones. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated using different spectroscopic techniques. A plausible biogenetic route of the new compounds was discussed. The anti-inflammatory activity of the isolated compounds was evaluated by superoxide anion generation and elastase release assays. Among the tested compounds, flexuvarol B and chrysin showed the most potent anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting superoxide anion generation and elastase release from human neutrophils in response to fMLP with IC50 2.25-5.55μM. Moreover, 5-hydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy-flavone showed selective inhibitory activity on superoxide anion generation (IC50=1.19±0.34μM). PMID:26732672

  10. A pseudopterane diterpene isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa inhibits the inflammatory response mediated by TLR-ligands and TNF-alpha in macrophages.

    PubMed

    González, Yisett; Doens, Deborah; Santamaría, Ricardo; Ramos, Marla; Restrepo, Carlos M; Barros de Arruda, Luciana; Lleonart, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Fernández, Patricia L

    2013-01-01

    Several diterpenoids isolated from terrestrial and marine environments have been identified as important anti-inflammatory agents. Although considerable progress has been made in the area of anti-inflammatory treatment, the search for more effective and safer compounds is a very active field of research. In this study we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a known pseudopterane diterpene (referred here as compound 1) isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia acerosa on the tumor necrosis factor- alpha (TNF-α) and TLRs- induced response in macrophages. Compound 1 inhibited the expression and secretion of the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, nitric oxide (NO), interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), ciclooxygenase (COX)-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) induced by LPS in primary murine macrophages. This effect was associated with the inhibition of IκBα degradation and subsequent activation of NFκB. Compound 1 also inhibited the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86, which is a hallmark of macrophage activation and consequent initiation of an adaptive immune response. The anti-inflammatory effect was not exclusive to LPS because compound 1 also inhibited the response of macrophages to TNF-α and TLR2 and TLR3 ligands. Taken together, these results indicate that compound 1 is an anti-inflammatory molecule, which modulates a variety of processes occurring in macrophage activation. PMID:24358331

  11. Natural heterotrophic feeding by a temperate octocoral with symbiotic zooxanthellae: a contribution to understanding the mechanisms of die-off events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coma, Rafel; Llorente-Llurba, Eduard; Serrano, Eduard; Gili, Josep-Maria; Ribes, Marta

    2015-06-01

    Octocorals are among the most emblematic and representative organisms of sublittoral communities in both tropical and temperate seas. Eunicella singularis is the most abundant gorgonian in shallow waters and the only gorgonian with symbiotic zooxanthellae in the Mediterranean Sea. We studied the natural diet and prey capture rate of this species over an annual cycle and characterized prey digestion time over the natural temperature regime. The species captured zooplankton prey between 40 and 920 µm. A mean content of 0.14 ± 0.02 prey polyp-1 was observed throughout the year. The strong pattern of decrease in digestion time with temperature increase (from 25 h at 13 °C to 8 h at 21 °C) allowed us to estimate that the prey capture rate was 0.017 ± 0.002 prey polyp-1 h-1 (mean ± SE); the ingestion rate exhibited a seasonal pattern with higher values in spring (0.007 µg C polyp-1 h-1). Feeding on zooplankton had a low contribution to the respiratory expenses of E. singularis except in early spring. Then, heterotrophic nutrition in the natural environment seems unable to meet basal metabolic requirements, especially in summer and fall. This result, in conjunction with the documented collapse of photosynthetic capacity above a warm temperature threshold, indicates the occurrence of a resource acquisition limitation that may play a role in the repeated summer die-off events of the species.

  12. Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Activity of Pseudopterosins and seco-Pseudopterosins Isolated from the Octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae of San Andrés and Providencia Islands (Southwest Caribbean Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Correa, Hebelin; Aristizabal, Fabio; Duque, Carmenza; Kerr, Russell

    2011-01-01

    To expand the potential of pseudopterosins and seco-pseudopterosins isolated from the octocoral Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae of San Andrés and Providencia islands (southwest Caribbean Sea), we report the anti-microbial profile against four pathogenic microorganisms (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans) and report a more complete cytotoxic profile against five human cells lines (HeLa, PC-3, HCT116, MCF-7 and BJ) for the compounds PsG, PsP, PsQ, PsS, PsT, PsU, 3-O-acetyl-PsU, seco-PsJ, seco-PsK and IMNGD. For the cytotoxic profiles, all compounds evaluated showed moderate and non-selective activity against both tumor and normal cell lines, where PsQ and PsG were the most active compounds (GI50 values between 5.8 μM to 12.0 μM). With respect to their anti-microbial activity the compounds showed good and selective activity against the Gram-positive bacteria, while they did not show activity against the Gram-negative bacterium or yeast. PsU, PsQ, PsS, seco-PsK and PsG were the most active compounds (IC50 2.9–4.5 μM) against S. aureus and PsG, PsU and seco-PsK showed good activity (IC50 3.1–3.8 μM) against E. faecalis, comparable to the reference drug vancomycin (4.2 μM). PMID:21556163

  13. Decline in condition of gorgonian octocorals on mesophotic reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico: before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etnoyer, Peter J.; Wickes, Leslie N.; Silva, Mauricio; Dubick, J. D.; Balthis, Len; Salgado, Enrique; MacDonald, Ian R.

    2016-03-01

    Hard-bottom `mesophotic' reefs along the `40-fathom' (73 m) shelf edge in the northern Gulf of Mexico were investigated for potential effects of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill from the Macondo well in April 2010. Alabama Alps Reef, Roughtongue Reef, and Yellowtail Reef were near the well, situated 60-88 m below floating oil discharged during the DWH spill for several weeks and subject to dispersant applications. In contrast, Coral Trees Reef and Madison Swanson South Reef were far from the DWH spill site and below the slick for less than a week or not at all, respectively. The reefs were surveyed by ROV in 2010, 2011, and 2014 and compared to similar surveys conducted one and two decades earlier. Large gorgonian octocorals were present at all sites in moderate abundance including Swiftia exserta, Hypnogorgia pendula, Thesea spp., and Placogorgia spp. The gorgonians were assessed for health and condition in a before-after-control-impact (BACI) research design using still images captured from ROV video transects. Injury was modeled as a categorical response to proximity and time using logistic regression. Condition of gorgonians at sites near Macondo well declined significantly post-spill. Before the spill, injury was observed for 4-9 % of large gorgonians. After the spill, injury was observed in 38-50 % of large gorgonians. Odds of injury for sites near Macondo were 10.8 times higher post-spill, but unchanged at far sites. The majority of marked injured colonies in 2011 declined further in condition by 2014. Marked healthy colonies generally remained healthy. Background stresses to corals, including fishing activity, fishing debris, and coral predation, were noted during surveys, but do not appear to account for the decline in condition at study sites near Macondo well.

  14. A new alcyonacean octocoral (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Octocorallia) from Chilean fjords.

    PubMed

    Breedy, Odalisca; Cairns, Stephen D; Häussermann, Verena

    2015-01-01

    A new species, Swiftia comauensis, is described from Chile. It occurs in shallow waters from 18 to 59 m in the Patagonian fjord region and seems to be endemic to the northern part of the region. The species is characterized by having straggly colonies with sparse branching and long drooping branches, prominent polyp mounds, and long, thin spindles; the colonies are bright orange with pale yellow polyp mounds. A sharp decline in colony abundance was observed between 2003 and 2013, and in January 2014 a proposal was submitted to the IUCN for the addition of this taxon to the Red List of Threatened Species. PMID:25781130

  15. Nine microsatellite loci developed from the octocoral, Paragorgia arborea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coykendall, Dolly K.; Morrison, Cheryl L.

    2015-01-01

    Paragorgia arborea, or bubblegum coral, occurs in continental slope habitats worldwide, which are increasingly threatened by human activities such as energy development and fisheries practices. From 101 putative loci screened, nine microsatellite markers were developed from samples taken from Baltimore canyon in the western North Atlantic Ocean. The number of alleles ranged from two to thirteen per locus and each displayed equilibrium. These nuclear resources will help further research on population connectivity in threatened coral species where mitochondrial markers are known to lack fine-scale genetic diversity.

  16. Demographic responses to warming: reproductive maturity and sex influence vulnerability in an octocoral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arizmendi-Mejía, Rosana; Ledoux, Jean-Baptiste; Civit, Sergi; Antunes, Agostinho; Thanopoulou, Zoi; Garrabou, Joaquim; Linares, Cristina

    2015-12-01

    Ocean warming, caused by climate change, is critically impacting marine coastal ecosystems. Benthic organisms, such as anthozoans, are increasingly submitted to high temperatures that cause massive mortalities in tropical and temperate seas. To broaden our understanding of their response to thermal stress, we tested the putative role of reproductive maturity and sex in the susceptibility of the Mediterranean red gorgonian, Paramuricea clavata, to high temperatures. We experimentally compared the response to thermal stress of sexually immature (i.e., juveniles) versus mature individuals (i.e., adults), and of males versus females. Colonies' response was firstly assessed by measuring the percentage of tissue area exhibiting necrosis. Then, the reproductive output (i.e., fertility, size, and number of gonads) of both sexes was characterized. When compared to juveniles, adults showed a significantly higher percentage of necrosis, suggesting that during the reproductive period they are more vulnerable to high temperatures. Males and females showed a similar percentage of tissue damage and a significant decrease in their reproductive output. However, females' reproduction was more impacted, suggesting that females are more susceptible to thermal stress than males. A differential energy investment in reproduction may be the underlying cause of the observed responses. Adults invest a large proportion of their energy budget in reproduction; hence, they have fewer resources available to cope with stress, compared to juveniles. A similar situation seems to apply to females, with respect to males. Considering the current ocean-warming trend, our results imply that the long-term viability of shallow populations of long-lived anthozoans may be jeopardized in the future. This study reveals potential demographic consequences of warming that go beyond its associated increment of mortality rates. Given the important ecological role of many anthozoan species, these results can help better predict the future effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems.

  17. A revision of the octocoral genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 (Anthozoa, Octocorallia, Xeniidae)

    PubMed Central

    Halász, Anna; McFadden, Catherine S.; Aharonovich, Dafna; Toonen, Robert; Benayahu, Yehuda

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The family Xeniidae (Octocorallia) constitutes an abundant benthic component on many Indo-West Pacific coral reefs and is ecologically important in the Red Sea. The genus Ovabunda Alderslade, 2001 was recently established to accommodate previous Xenia species with sclerites comprised of a mass of minute corpuscle-shaped microscleres. The aim of the present study was to examine type material of Xenia species in order to verify their generic affiliation. We present here a comprehensive account of the genus Ovabunda, using scanning electron microscopy to depict sclerite microstructure. We assign three Xenia species to the genus: O. ainex comb. n., O. gohari comb. n., and O. crenata comb. n.; and synonymize several other species of Ovabunda. We provide a key to Ovabunda species and conclude that they are mainly confined to the Red Sea, with some occurrence in the West Indian Ocean. PMID:24493958

  18. Polyoxygenated Steroids from the Octocoral Leptogorgia punicea and in Vitro Evaluation of Their Cytotoxic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Moritz, Maria Izabel G.; Marostica, Lucas Lourenço; Bianco, Éverson M.; Almeida, Maria Tereza R.; Carraro, João L.; Cabrera, Gabriela M.; Palermo, Jorge A.; Simões, Cláudia M. O.; Schenkel, Eloir P.

    2014-01-01

    Five new polyoxygenated marine steroids—punicinols A–E (1–5)—were isolated from the gorgonian Leptogorgia punicea and characterized by spectroscopic methods (IR, MS, 1H, 13C and 2-D NMR). The five compounds induced in vitro cytotoxic effects against lung cancer A549 cells, while punicinols A and B were the most active, with IC50 values of 9.7 μM and 9.6 μM, respectively. The synergistic effects of these compounds with paclitaxel, as well as their effects on cell cycle distribution and their performance in the clonogenic assay, were also evaluated. Both compounds demonstrated significant synergistic effects with paclitaxel. PMID:25486111

  19. Fuscoside E: a strong anti-inflammatory diterpene from Caribbean octocoral Eunicea fusca.

    PubMed

    Reina, Eduardo; Puentes, Carlos; Rojas, Juan; García, Josué; Ramos, Freddy A; Castellanos, Leonardo; Aragón, Marcela; Ospina, Luis F

    2011-10-01

    The screen of 10 soft coral extracts collected from the Colombian Caribbean Sea in the TPA-induced ear edema model allowed us to identify Eunicea fusca extract among others as an interesting source of active compounds. The new diterpene, fuscoside E (1), along with the known fuscoside B (2), fuscol (3), (+)-germacrene D (4) and a mixture of six sterols (5-10), were isolated from this soft coral. Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy techniques. Fuscoside E (1) absolute stereochemistry was determined by chiroptical methods. Fuscoside E (1) and B (2) showed strong anti-inflammatory in the above mentioned bioassay. Additionally, fuscoside E (1) and the sterol mixture (5-10) presented antifouling activity against bacterial strains involved in surface colonization. PMID:21865038

  20. Lipoxygenase-allene oxide synthase pathway in octocoral thermal stress response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lõhelaid, H.; Teder, T.; Samel, N.

    2015-03-01

    Marine ecosystems are sensitive to elevated seawater temperature, with stony corals serving as model organisms for temperature-imposed declines in population viability and diversity. Several stress markers, including heat shock proteins, have been used for the detection and prediction of stress responses in stony corals. However, the stress indicators in soft corals remain elusive. In higher animals and plants, oxylipins synthesized by fatty acid di- and monooxygenases contribute to stress-induced signaling; however, the role of eicosanoid pathways in corals remains unclear. The eicosanoid gene specific to corals encodes for a natural fusion protein of allene oxide synthase and lipoxygenase ( AOS- LOX). In this work, using the easily cultivated soft coral Capnella imbricata as the stress response model, we monitored the expression of the AOS-LOX and the formation of arachidonic acid metabolites in response to an acute rise in water temperature. Gene expression profiles of two 70 kDa heat shock proteins ( Hsps: Hsp70 and Grp78) were used as a positive control for the stress response. In comparison with normal seawater temperature (23 °C), AOS- LOXa and Hsps were all up-regulated after modest (28 °C) and severe (31 °C) temperature elevation. While the up-regulation of AOS- LOXa and Grp78 was more sensitive to moderate temperature changes, Hsp70s were more responsive to severe heat shock. Concurrently, endogenous and exogenous AOS-LOXa-derived eicosanoids were up-regulated. Thus, together with the up-regulation of AOS- LOX by other abiotic and biotic stress stimuli, these data implicate AOS-LOX as part of the general stress response pathway in corals.

  1. A new genus and species of pennatulacean octocoral from equatorial West Africa (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Virgulariidae)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Gary C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of sea pen or virgulariid pennatulacean from the Gulf of Guinea in the tropical eastern Atlantic is described, and a key to the genera of the Virgulariidae is included. The new genus and species described here adds to the previously described five other genera of the family. It is distinguished by unique sclerite and polyp leaf characters from the superficially-similar genus Virgularia, which lacks conspicuous sclerites in the polyp leaves and coenenchyme (other than minute oval bodies that are generally <0.01 mm in length). PMID:26798304

  2. Effects of gastropod predation on the reproductive output of an overexploited deep octocoral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, C.; Erra, F.; Angiolillo, M.; Santangelo, G.

    2015-03-01

    The study presented herein is aimed at quantifying the effects of the partial predation exerted by the gastropod Pseudosimnia carnea on the reproductive features of the highly valuable, slow-growing, and long-lived red coral, Corallium rubrum. Seventy-five colonies were collected just before annual spawning from a red coral population living between 85 and 90 m deep in the NW Mediterranean; of these, 35 % were affected by P. carnea. Female colonies were more frequently preyed upon than males (3:1 ratio). Overall, 1,100 polyps were dissected and examined for their reproductive content. The mean number of polyps per colony and the mean fecundity of female polyps and colonies were significantly reduced by gastropod predation, which affected colonies independently of their size; in particular, colony fecundity was reduced by 81 %. The consequent reduction in population reproductive output is likely to have long-term effects on preyed-upon populations and thereby limit their resilience to intense commercial harvesting.

  3. Photoprotective potential of emulsions formulated with Buriti oil (Mauritia flexuosa) against UV irradiation on keratinocytes and fibroblasts cell lines.

    PubMed

    Zanatta, C F; Mitjans, M; Urgatondo, V; Rocha-Filho, P A; Vinardell, M P

    2010-01-01

    Considering the belief that natural lipids are safer for topical applications and that carotenoids are able to protect cells against photooxidative damage, we have investigated whether topical creams and lotions, produced with Buriti oil and commercial surfactants, can exert photoprotective effect against UVA and UVB irradiation on keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Cell treatment was divided into two steps, prior and after exposition to 30 min of UVA plus UVB radiation or to 60 min of UVA radiation. Emulsions prepared with ethoxylated fatty alcohols as surfactants and containing alpha-tocopherol caused phototoxic damage to the cells, especially when applied prior to UV exposure. Damage reported was due to prooxidant activity and phototoxic effect of the surfactant. Emulsions prepared with Sorbitan Monooleate and PEG-40 castor oil and containing panthenol as active ingredient, were able to reduce the damages caused by radiation when compared to non-treated cells. When the two cell lines used in the study were compared, keratinocytes showed an increase in cell viability higher than fibroblasts. The Buriti oil emulsions could be considered potential vehicles to transport antioxidants precursors and also be used as adjuvant in sun protection, especially in after sun formulations. PMID:19766688

  4. Biosorption of metal ions using a low cost modified adsorbent (Mauritia flexuosa): experimental design and mathematical modeling.

    PubMed

    Melo, Diego de Quadros; Vidal, Carla Bastos; Medeiros, Thiago Coutinho; Raulino, Giselle Santiago Cabral; Dervanoski, Adriana; Pinheiro, Márcio do Carmo; Nascimento, Ronaldo Ferreira do

    2016-09-01

    Buriti fibers were subjected to an alkaline pre-treatment and tested as an adsorbent to investigate the adsorption of copper, cadmium, lead and nickel in mono- and multi-element aqueous solutions, the results showed an increase in the adsorption capacity compared to the unmodified Buriti fiber. The effects of pH, adsorbent mass, agitation rate and initial metal ions concentration on the efficiency of the adsorption process were studied using a fractional 2(4-1) factorial design, and the results showed that all four parameters influenced metal adsorption differently. Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence analysis were used to identify the groups that participated in the adsorption process and suggest its mechanisms and they indicated the probable mechanisms involved in the adsorption process are mainly ion exchange. Kinetic and thermodynamic equilibrium parameters were determined. The adsorption kinetics were adjusted to the homogeneous diffusion model. The adsorption equilibrium was reached in 30 min for Cu(2+) and Pb(2+), 20 min for Ni(2+) and instantaneously for Cd(2+). The results showed a significant difference was found in the competitiveness for the adsorption sites. A mathematical model was used to simulate the breakthrough curves in multi-element column adsorption considering the influences of external mass transfer and intraparticle diffusion resistance. PMID:26950526

  5. Phenotypic plasticity or speciation? A case from a clonal marine organism

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Clonal marine organisms exhibit high levels of morphological variation. Morphological differences may be a response to environmental factors but also they can be attributed to accumulated genetic differences due to disruption of gene flow among populations. In this study, we examined the extensive morphological variation (of 14 characters) in natural populations observed in the gorgonian Eunicea flexuosa, a widely distributed Caribbean octocoral. Eco-phenotypic and genetic effects were evaluated by reciprocal transplants of colonies inhabiting opposite ends of the depth gradient and analysis of population genetics of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, respectively. Results Significant differences (P < 0.001) in 14 morphological traits were found among colonies inhabiting 12 locations distributed in seven reefs in southwest Puerto Rico. Results from principal component analysis indicated the presence of two groups based on depth distribution, suggesting the presence of two discrete morphotypes (i.e. shallow type < 5 m and deep type > 17 m). A discriminant function analysis based on a priori univariate and multivariate analyses (which separated the colonies in morphotypes) correctly classified 93% of the colonies for each environment. Light, water motion and sediment transport might influence the distribution of the two morphotypes. Reaction norms of morphological characters of colonies reciprocally transplanted showed gradual significant changes through the 15 months of transplantation. Sclerites of shallow water colonies became larger when transplanted to deeper environments and vice versa, but neither of the two transplanted groups overlapped with the residents' morphology. Genetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear genes suggested that such discrete morphology and non-overlapping phenotypic plasticity is correlated with the presence of two independent evolutionary lineages. The distribution of the lineages is non-random and may be related to

  6. Strong natural selection on juveniles maintains a narrow adult hybrid zone in a broadcast spawner.

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; Hellberg, Michael E

    2014-12-01

    Natural selection can maintain and help form species across different habitats, even when dispersal is high. Selection against inferior migrants (immigrant inviability) acts when locally adapted populations suffer high mortality on dispersal to unsuitable habitats. Habitat-specific populations undergoing divergent selection via immigrant inviability should thus show (1) a change in the ratio of adapted to nonadapted individuals among age/size classes and (2) a cline (defined by the environmental gradient) as selection counterbalances migration. Here we examine the frequencies of two depth-segregated lineages in juveniles and adults of a Caribbean octocoral, Eunicea flexuosa. Distributions of the two lineages in both shallow and deep environments were more distinct when inferred from adults than juveniles. Despite broad larval dispersal, we also found an extremely narrow hybrid zone (<100 m), with coincident clines for molecular and morphological characters of the host coral and its algal symbiont. Effective dispersal estimates derived from the hybrid zone are remarkably small (<20 m) for a broadcast spawner. The large selection coefficient against mismatched genotypes derived from cohort data is consistent with that from field transplant experiments. Narrow hybrid zones and limited effective dispersal may be a common outcome of long periods of postsettlement, prereproductive selection across steep ecological gradients. Strong diversifying selection provides a mechanism to explain the prevalence of depth-segregated sibling species in the sea. PMID:25438171

  7. Population structure among octocoral adults and recruits identifies scale dependent patterns of population isolation in The Bahamas.

    PubMed

    Lasker, Howard R; Porto-Hannes, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of dispersal and connectivity of the Caribbean gorgonian Antillogorgia elisabethae in The Bahamas were assessed in both adults and recently settled recruits from 13 sites using microsatellite loci. Adult populations along the Little Bahama Bank (LBB) exhibited a clear pattern of isolation by distance (IBD) which described 86% of the variance in pairwise genetic distances. Estimates of dispersal based on the IBD model suggested dispersal distances along the LBB on the order of 100 m. Increasing the spatial scale to include sites separated by open ocean generated an apparent IBD signal but the relationship had a greater slope and explained less of the variance. This relationship with distance reflected both stepping stone based IBD and regional differentiation probably created by ocean currents and barriers to dispersal that are correlated with geographic distance. Analysis of recruits from 4 sites on the LBB from up to 6 years did not detect differences between years nor differences with adult populations. The result suggests that neither selection on recruits nor inter-annual variation in dispersal affected adult population structure. Assignment tests of recruits indicated the most likely sources of the recruits were the local or adjacent populations. Most of the patterning in population structure in the northern Bahamas can be explained by geographic distance and oceanographic connectivity. Recognition of these complex patterns is important in developing management plans for A. elisabethae and in understanding the effects of disturbance to adult populations of A. elisabethae and similar species with limited dispersal. PMID:26157606

  8. Population structure among octocoral adults and recruits identifies scale dependent patterns of population isolation in The Bahamas

    PubMed Central

    Porto-Hannes, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of dispersal and connectivity of the Caribbean gorgonian Antillogorgia elisabethae in The Bahamas were assessed in both adults and recently settled recruits from 13 sites using microsatellite loci. Adult populations along the Little Bahama Bank (LBB) exhibited a clear pattern of isolation by distance (IBD) which described 86% of the variance in pairwise genetic distances. Estimates of dispersal based on the IBD model suggested dispersal distances along the LBB on the order of 100 m. Increasing the spatial scale to include sites separated by open ocean generated an apparent IBD signal but the relationship had a greater slope and explained less of the variance. This relationship with distance reflected both stepping stone based IBD and regional differentiation probably created by ocean currents and barriers to dispersal that are correlated with geographic distance. Analysis of recruits from 4 sites on the LBB from up to 6 years did not detect differences between years nor differences with adult populations. The result suggests that neither selection on recruits nor inter-annual variation in dispersal affected adult population structure. Assignment tests of recruits indicated the most likely sources of the recruits were the local or adjacent populations. Most of the patterning in population structure in the northern Bahamas can be explained by geographic distance and oceanographic connectivity. Recognition of these complex patterns is important in developing management plans for A. elisabethae and in understanding the effects of disturbance to adult populations of A. elisabethae and similar species with limited dispersal. PMID:26157606

  9. Patterns in abundance and size of two deep-water gorgonian octocorals, in relation to depth and substrate features off Nova Scotia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Shana; Metaxas, Anna; Sameoto, Jessica; Lawton, Peter

    2009-12-01

    Deep-water corals form unique ecosystems, yet very little is known about factors that regulate their distribution and growth. The abundance and size of two deep-water gorgonian coral species, Paragorgia arborea and Primnoa resedaeformis, and their relationship with depth and substratum cover, were investigated at Northeast Channel, off Nova Scotia, in July 2006. This is the first study to measure abundance and size of these two coral species at depths >500 m in the Canadian Atlantic region. A total of 5 transects between 500 and 1000 m depth were examined using video collected by the remotely operated vehicle ROPOS. Abundance of both species was patchy, but higher at these deeper depths than at <500 m. Abundance generally declined with depth, and was moderately correlated with cover of hard substratum (cobble, boulder, bedrock). These relationships were stronger and less variable for P. resedaeformis than for P. arborea, suggesting that factors such as topographic relief may play an additional role in regulating distributions of P. arborea. Maximum colony height was 125 and 240 cm for P. resedaeformis and P. arborea, respectively, and much greater than recorded for depths <500 m. Overall, colony height and depth relationships were strong for both species, but variable among transects. P. resedaeformis showed a negative relationship with depth, while the opposite was observed for P. arborea, suggesting that the two species are affected differently by factors that vary with depth (e.g. temperature, fishing disturbance). Relationships between colony size and size of attachment stone were stronger for P. arborea, especially for overturned colonies, than for P. resedaeformis, suggesting that availability of suitably coarse substrate may be more important for the long-term persistence of P. arborea colonies.

  10. 50 CFR 622.222 - Prohibited gear and methods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... ATLANTIC Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region § 622.222... tool may not be used in the South Atlantic EEZ to take allowable octocoral, prohibited coral, or...

  11. 50 CFR 622.222 - Prohibited gear and methods.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... ATLANTIC Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South Atlantic Region § 622.222... tool may not be used in the South Atlantic EEZ to take allowable octocoral, prohibited coral, or...

  12. 76 FR 59373 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Generic Annual Catch Limits...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-26

    ...) for Reef Fish Resources, Red Drum, Shrimp, and Coral and Coral Reefs for the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) for... Coral and Coral Reefs FMP. The majority of harvest of octocorals occurs in waters under the...

  13. Antifouling activities against colonizer marine bacteria of extracts from marine invertebrates collected in the Colombian Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast (Santa Catarina).

    PubMed

    Mora-Cristancho, Jennyfer A; Arévalo-Ferro, Catalina; Ramos, Freddy A; Tello, Edisson; Duque, Carmenza; Lhullier, Cintia; Falkenberg, Miriam; Schenkel, Eloir Paulo

    2011-01-01

    The growth inhibition of 12 native marine bacteria isolated from Aplysina sponge surfaces, the shell of a bivalve, and Phytagel immersed for 48 h in sea water were used as indicator of the antifouling activity of the extracts of 39 marine organisms (octocorals, sponges, algae, and zoanthid) collected in the Colombian Caribbean Sea and on the Brazilian coast (Santa Catarina). Gram-negative bacteria represented 75% of the isolates; identified strains belonged to Oceanobacillus iheyensis, Ochrobactrum pseudogrignonense, Vibrio campbellii, Vibrio harveyi, and Bacillus megaterium species and seven strains were classified at genus level by the 16S rRNA sequencing method. The extracts of the octocorals Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, four Eunicea octocorals, and the sponges Topsentia ophiraphidites, Agelas citrina, Neopetrosia carbonaria, Monanchora arbuscula, Cliona tenuis, Iotrochota imminuta, and Ptilocaulis walpersii were the most active, thus suggesting those species as antifoulant producers. This is the first study of natural antifoulants from marine organisms collected on the Colombian and Brazilian coasts. PMID:22191218

  14. The Impacts of Climate Change on Mauritia Felxuosa and Biodiversity in Neotropical Cerrãdo Savanna Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maezumi, S. Y.; Power, M. J.; Mayle, F.; Iriarte, J. L.

    2014-12-01

    Mauritia flexuosa is one of the most widely distributed palms in the Neotropics. They are found in in warm, wet lowland environments ranging from dense tropical rainforests to monospecific communities restricted to flooded drainage basins. The monospecific stands of M. flexuosa communities provide structural complexity and habitat diversity for unique terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna. These communities contribute to enhanced Neotropical diversity from both a taxonomic (α- diversity) and landscape (β-diversity) perspective. Conservation plans have begun to target M. flexuosa palm wetlands as potential refugia and their role in protection of watersheds. However, the long-term development and evolution of these systems is poorly understood. Numerous paleoecological studies from Amazonia suggest that the present day species distribution of M. flexuosa underwent a dramatic increase during the Late Holocene (after ca. 3000 cal yr. BP) that is often coupled with an increased in charcoal accumulation. Some researchers have interpreted these data as evidence for extensive human landscape modification. However, archaeological evidence supporting human landscape modification of M. flexuosa habitats is lacking. To investigate the long-term development of M. flexuosa, a 15,000-year high-resolution sedimentary record was analyzed for charcoal, phytolith and isotope data from Huanchaca Mesetta, Bolivia. To date, there is no evidence for human modification on the plateau, thus this records provides a control study to investigate the role of natural climate variability in the evolution of M. flexuosa communities. Increased insolation driven by Milankovitch precessional forcing resulted in an expansion of the South American Summer Monsoon, increased precipitation and a lengthening of the wet season, supporting the establishment of the modern palm swamp vegetation after 5,000 cal yr BP. Increased charcoal accumulation is likely associated with increased lightning ignitions

  15. The condition of scleractinian corals and associated reef fauna in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scleractinian corals, octocorals, sponges, fishes, and foraminifera were assessed at 24 sites near La Parguera, Puerto Rico in fall 2008. Sites were selected to coincide with locations sampled by NOAA in 2005 for sediment contaminants. Our goals were to evaluate the sensitivity o...

  16. Species of Elasmogorgia and Euplexaura (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) from Japan with a discussion about the genus Filigella

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Asako K.; van Ofwegen, Leen P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Octocorals with thread-like colony shape have been re-examined, mainly from Japanese waters. The holotypes of Elasmogorgia filiformis and Filigella boninensis and a syntype of Filigella mitsukurii have been studied. Euplexaura arbuscula is identified and Euplexaura yayoii sp. n. described. PMID:27408532

  17. ROLE OF CORAL DISEASES AND ANTHROPOGENIC STRESSORS ON TROPIC MARINE CORAL REEFS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stony (scleractinian) and soft (octocorals) corals throughout the Western Atlantic have been affected by several fatal diseases in the last two decades. In many locations the communities have not recovered from these diseases and the ecosystem has permanently changed. Several hyp...

  18. 76 FR 17839 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Northeast Region Permit Family of Forms

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-31

    ... an increasingly more efficient and accurate database for management and monitoring of the fisheries...--Permit Transfer, Notification Harvest Activity-- Aquaculture Live Rock, Request for Octocoral or Allowable Chemical Vessel Permit, and the Transit Notification--Golden Crab Vessel, 5 minutes; Rock...

  19. [Secondary metabolites, lethality and antimicrobial activity of extracts from three corals and three marine mollusks from Sucre, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    Ordaz, Gabriel; D'Armas, Haydelba; Yáñez, Dayanis; Hernández, Juan; Camacho, Angel

    2010-06-01

    The study of biochemical activity of extracts obtained from marine organisms is gaining interest as some have proved to have efficient health or industrial applications. To evaluate lethality and antimicrobial activities, some chemical tests were performed on crude extracts of the octocorals Eunicea sp., Muricea sp. and Pseudopterogorgia acerosa and the mollusks Pteria colymbus, Phyllonotus pomum and Chicoreus brevifrons, collected in Venezuelan waters. The presence of secondary metabolites like alkaloids, unsaturated sterols and pentacyclic triterpenes in all invertebrates, was evidenced. Additionally, sesquiterpenlactones, saponins, tannins, cyanogenic and cardiotonic glycosides were also detected in some octocoral extracts, suggesting that biosynthesis of these metabolites is typical in this group. From the lethality bioassays, all extracts resulted lethal to Artemia salina (LC50<1000 microg/ml) with an increased of lethal activity with exposition time. P. pomum extract showed the highest lethality rate (LC50=46.8 microg/ml). Compared to the octocorals, mollusks extracts displayed more activity and a greater action spectrum against different bacterial strains, whereas octocorals also inhibited some fungi strains growth. Staphylococcus aureus was the most susceptible to the antimicrobial power of the extracts (66.7%), whereas Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger were not affected. The antibiosis shown by marine organisms extracts indicates that some of their biosynthesized metabolites are physiologically active, and may have possible cytotoxic potential or as a source of antibiotic components. PMID:20527468

  20. Coral reef condition and benthic sedimentation threat in four regions of south Puerto Rico

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scleractinian corals, gorgonian octocorals, sponges and fishes were assessed near the cities of LaParguera, Guánica, Guayanilla, and Jobos along the southern coast of Puerto Rico in November – December 2010. Survey sites were targeted near areas with varying benthic...

  1. 77 FR 29555 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-18

    ... December 30, 2011, NMFS published a final rule to implement CE- BA 2 (76 FR 82183). On January 30, 2012... implemented in CE-BA 2 (77 FR 4493). That final rule (76 FR 82183) and the correction (77 FR 4493) in part... FR 82044). That final rule in part modified the FMU for octocorals under the Coral and Coral...

  2. 76 FR 66021 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Generic Annual Catch Limits...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-25

    ...) to the Reef Fish Resources, Red Drum, Shrimp, and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery Management Plans for..., shrimp, and coral and coral reefs of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) are managed under their respective FMPs... regulations necessary for the species. Similarly, the rule would remove octocorals from the Coral and...

  3. Influences of Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains, plant genotypes, and tissue types on the induction of transgenic hairy roots in Vitis species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated induction of transgenic hairy roots was previously demonstrated in Vitis vinifera L. and a few other Vitis species. In this study, 13 Vitis species, including V. aestivalis, V. afghanistan, V. champinii, V. doaniana, V. flexuosa, V. labrusca, V. nesbittiana, V. pal...

  4. Polyhydroxylated Steroids from the Bamboo Coral Isis hippuris

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei-Hua; Wang, Shang-Kwei; Duh, Chang-Yih

    2011-01-01

    In previous studies on the secondary metabolites of the Taiwanese octocoral Isis hippuris, specimens have always been collected at Green Island. In the course of our studies on bioactive compounds from marine organisms, the acetone-solubles of the Taiwanese octocoral I. hippuris collected at Orchid Island have led to the isolation of five new polyoxygenated steroids: hipposterone M–O (1–3), hipposterol G (4) and hippuristeroketal A (5). The structures of these compounds were determined on the basis of their spectroscopic and physical data. The anti-HCMV (human cytomegalovirus) activity of 1–5 and their cytotoxicity against selected cell lines were evaluated. Compound 2 exhibited inhibitory activity against HCMV, with an EC50 value of 6.0 μg/mL. PMID:22072998

  5. Sinuladiterpenes A-F, new cembrane diterpenes from Sinularia flexibilis.

    PubMed

    Lo, Kuang-Liang; Khalil, Ashraf Taha; Kuo, Yao-Haur; Shen, Ya-Ching

    2009-12-01

    Chromatographic investigation of the octocoral Sinularia flexibilis afforded six new cembrane diterpenes, sinuladiterpenes A-F (1-6, resp.), in addition to four known cembranolides, 11-episinulariolide acetate, 11-dehydrosinulariolide, 11-episinulariolide, and sinulariolide. Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic analysis, especially 2D-NMR and HR-ESI-MS. Compound 2 exhibited significant in vitro cytotoxic activity against human colon adenocarcinoma (WiDr) cell line. PMID:20020460

  6. Diversity of Zoanthids (Anthozoa: Hexacorallia) on Hawaiian Seamounts: Description of the Hawaiian Gold Coral and Additional Zoanthids

    PubMed Central

    Sinniger, Frederic; Ocaña, Oscar V.; Baco, Amy R.

    2013-01-01

    The Hawaiian gold coral has a history of exploitation from the deep slopes and seamounts of the Hawaiian Islands as one of the precious corals commercialised in the jewellery industry. Due to its peculiar characteristic of building a scleroproteic skeleton, this zoanthid has been referred as Gerardia sp. (a junior synonym of Savalia Nardo, 1844) but never formally described or examined by taxonomists despite its commercial interest. While collection of Hawaiian gold coral is now regulated, globally seamounts habitats are increasingly threatened by a variety of anthropogenic impacts. However, impact assessment studies and conservation measures cannot be taken without consistent knowledge of the biodiversity of such environments. Recently, multiple samples of octocoral-associated zoanthids were collected from the deep slopes of the islands and seamounts of the Hawaiian Archipelago. The molecular and morphological examination of these zoanthids revealed the presence of at least five different species including the gold coral. Among these only the gold coral appeared to create its own skeleton, two other species are simply using the octocoral as substrate, and the situation is not clear for the final two species. Phylogenetically, all these species appear related to zoanthids of the genus Savalia as well as to the octocoral-associated zoanthid Corallizoanthus tsukaharai, suggesting a common ancestor to all octocoral-associated zoanthids. The diversity of zoanthids described or observed during this study is comparable to levels of diversity found in shallow water tropical coral reefs. Such unexpected species diversity is symptomatic of the lack of biological exploration and taxonomic studies of the diversity of seamount hexacorals. PMID:23326345

  7. Diversity of zoanthids (anthozoa: hexacorallia) on Hawaiian seamounts: description of the Hawaiian gold coral and additional zoanthids.

    PubMed

    Sinniger, Frederic; Ocaña, Oscar V; Baco, Amy R

    2013-01-01

    The Hawaiian gold coral has a history of exploitation from the deep slopes and seamounts of the Hawaiian Islands as one of the precious corals commercialised in the jewellery industry. Due to its peculiar characteristic of building a scleroproteic skeleton, this zoanthid has been referred as Gerardia sp. (a junior synonym of Savalia Nardo, 1844) but never formally described or examined by taxonomists despite its commercial interest. While collection of Hawaiian gold coral is now regulated, globally seamounts habitats are increasingly threatened by a variety of anthropogenic impacts. However, impact assessment studies and conservation measures cannot be taken without consistent knowledge of the biodiversity of such environments. Recently, multiple samples of octocoral-associated zoanthids were collected from the deep slopes of the islands and seamounts of the Hawaiian Archipelago. The molecular and morphological examination of these zoanthids revealed the presence of at least five different species including the gold coral. Among these only the gold coral appeared to create its own skeleton, two other species are simply using the octocoral as substrate, and the situation is not clear for the final two species. Phylogenetically, all these species appear related to zoanthids of the genus Savalia as well as to the octocoral-associated zoanthid Corallizoanthus tsukaharai, suggesting a common ancestor to all octocoral-associated zoanthids. The diversity of zoanthids described or observed during this study is comparable to levels of diversity found in shallow water tropical coral reefs. Such unexpected species diversity is symptomatic of the lack of biological exploration and taxonomic studies of the diversity of seamount hexacorals. PMID:23326345

  8. Planulae brooding and acquisition of zooxanthellae in Xenia macrospiculata (Cnidaria: Octocorallia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Achituv, Y.; Benayahu, Y.; Hanania, J.

    1992-09-01

    Brooding in the octocoral Xenia macrospiculata is described. Young planulae of X. macrospiculata were found in brooding pouches located below the anthocodia among the polyps’ cavities. These cavities are connected by and lined with ectoderm. Detached zooxanthellae were present within the brooding pouches, and are most probably acquired later by the planulae. The zooxanthellae enter into ectodermal ameboid cells by phagocytosis, and are then transferred to the endoderm.

  9. Corallolides A and B: Bioactive Diterpenes Featuring a Novel Carbon Skeleton

    PubMed Central

    Ospina, Claudia A.; Rodríguez, Abimael D.

    2009-01-01

    Corallolides A (1) and B (2) are naturally occurring diterpenes isolated from the Caribbean gorgonian octocoral Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata collected near Providencia Island, Colombia. Their tricyclic structures are based on a uniquely substituted bicyclo[9.2.1]tetradecane ring system that was established through detailed spectroscopic analysis. Compounds 1 and 2 were shown to exhibit anti-parasitic and anti-tuberculosis activity, respectively. PMID:19637917

  10. Gonadal Morphology and Gametogenesis in Japanese Red Coral Corallium japonicum (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) Collected off Cape Ashizuri, Japan.

    PubMed

    Sekida, Satoko; Iwasaki, Nozomu; Okuda, Kazuo

    2016-06-01

    Colonies of the Japanese red coral Corallium japonicum Kishinouye, 1903 collected off Cape Ashizuri, Japan were gonochoric and produced gonads in siphonozooids annually, mainly during the spring season. Polyp anatomy, gonadal morphology and gametogenesis in this species were revealed by light and electron microscopy. A siphonozooid had a pharynx with a prominent siphonoglyph and eight mesenteries: two sulcal, two asulcal, and four lateral. A rudimentary retractor was found on one side of each mesoglea of these mesenteries. The retractor arrangement in the siphonozooid was reverse of what was described in the autozooids of octocorals. Gonads initiated as small protrusions on the mesenteries, except in the asulcal ones, and even at an incipient stage they were covered with a sac-shaped thin layer of mesoglea, which was continuous with the mesoglea of mesenteries. Gastrodermis enveloped the complete outer surface of the thin layer of mesoglea throughout gametogenesis in both oocytes and sperm cysts. Oocytes produced many microvilli on their cortical surfaces beneath the thin layer of mesoglea concomitantly with the accumulation of lipid globules in the cells, whereas in sperm cysts spermatocytes and spermatids increased in number without microvilli production, followed by synchronous spermiogenesis involving remarkable changes in the shape and position of organelles. Based on the comparison of patterns in gonadal development between octocorals including C. japonicum, hexacorals and scyphozoans, octocoral and stauromedusa species may be characterized by the fact that gametogenesis never occurs in the matrix of mesoglea, but rather exclusively within the thin sac of mesoglea surrounded by gastrodermis. PMID:27268987

  11. Morphological and genetic diversity of Briareum (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) from the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Yu; Reimer, James Davis

    2014-10-01

    The primary problem hindering the study of octocorals is the disordered situation regarding their taxonomy, chiefly caused by insufficient knowledge of valid morphological taxonomic characters. Briareum is an octocoral genus found in the Atlantic and Pacific in shallow tropical and subtropical waters, and occurs in both encrusting and branching colony forms. Their simple morphology and morphological plasticity have hindered taxonomic understanding of this genus. In this study three morphologically distinct types (= type-1, -2, and -3) of Briareum from the Ryukyu Archipelago and their genetic diversity were examined. Colony, anthostele morphology, and sclerite length were examined for each type. Four molecular markers (mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1, mitochondrial mismatch repair gene, nuclear 18S ribosomal DNA, internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2)) were used to evaluate molecular phylogenetic status of these variations. Although one morphological type ("deep" small colonies, = type-3) showed small differences in nuclear ITS2 sequences compared to the other two types, the remaining types had identical sequences for all molecular markers examined. The results suggest extremely low genetic diversity despite highly variable morphology of Briareum species in Okinawa. Nevertheless, considering the distribution patterns and discontinuous morphology of type-3 compared to the other two morphotypes, genetic isolation of type-3 is plausible. In Briareum, small variances in nuclear ITS2 sequences of type-3 may have much more importance than in molecular phylogenies of other octocorals. Further phylogenetic investigations and comparison with Briareum specimens from other regions are necessary to conclusively taxonomically identify the three types. PMID:25284389

  12. A Covalent Linker Allows for Membrane Targeting of An Oxylipin Biosynthetic Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, N.C.; Niebuhr, M.; Tsuruta, H.; Bordelon, T.; Ridderbusch, O.; Dassey, A.; Brash, A.R.; Bartlett, S.G.; Newcomer, M.E.

    2009-05-18

    A naturally occurring bifunctional protein from Plexaura homomalla links sequential catalytic activities in an oxylipin biosynthetic pathway. The C-terminal lipoxygenase (LOX) portion of the molecule catalyzes the transformation of arachidonic acid (AA) to the corresponding 8R-hydroperoxide, and the N-terminal allene oxide synthase (AOS) domain promotes the conversion of the hydroperoxide intermediate to the product allene oxide (AO). Small-angle X-ray scattering data indicate that in the absence of a covalent linkage the two catalytic domains that transform AA to AO associate to form a complex that recapitulates the structure of the bifunctional protein. The SAXS data also support a model for LOX and AOS domain orientation in the fusion protein inferred from a low-resolution crystal structure. However, results of membrane binding experiments indicate that covalent linkage of the domains is required for Ca2+-dependent membrane targeting of the sequential activities, despite the noncovalent domain association. Furthermore, membrane targeting is accompanied by a conformational change as monitored by specific proteolysis of the linker that joins the AOS and LOX domains. Our data are consistent with a model in which Ca2+-dependent membrane binding relieves the noncovalent interactions between the AOS and LOX domains and suggests that the C2-like domain of LOX mediates both protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions.

  13. Improving protein crystal quality by selective removal of a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-insertion loop

    SciTech Connect

    Neau, David B.; Gilbert, Nathaniel C.; Bartlett, Sue G.; Dassey, Adam; Newcomer, Marcia E.

    2007-11-01

    Protein engineering dramatically enhances the quality of crystals of a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-binding protein. Lipoxygenases (LOXs) catalyze the regiospecific and stereospecific dioxygenation of polyunsaturated membrane-embedded fatty acids. A Ca{sup 2+}-dependent membrane-binding function was localized to the amino-terminal C2-like domain of 8R-lipoxygenase (8R-LOX) from the soft coral Plexaura homomalla. The 3.2 Å crystal structure of 8R-LOX and spectroscopic data suggested that Ca{sup 2+} stabilizes two membrane-insertion loops. Analysis of the protein packing contacts in the crystal lattice indicated that the conformation of one of the two loops complicated efforts to improve the resolution of the X-ray data. A deletion mutant of 8R-LOX in which the corresponding membrane-insertion loop is absent (Δ41–45:GSLOX) was engineered. Removal of the membrane-insertion loop dramatically increases the protein yield from bacterial cultures and the quality of the crystals obtained, resulting in a better than 1 Å improvement in the resolution of the diffraction data.

  14. Responses of the tropical gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to ocean acidification conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, C. E.; Paul, V. J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Muehllehner, N.; Langdon, C.; Sánchez, J. A.

    2015-06-01

    Ocean acidification can have negative repercussions from the organism to ecosystem levels. Octocorals deposit high-magnesium calcite in their skeletons, and according to different models, they could be more susceptible to the depletion of carbonate ions than either calcite or aragonite-depositing organisms. This study investigated the response of the gorgonian coral Eunicea fusca to a range of CO2 concentrations from 285 to 4,568 ppm (pH range 8.1-7.1) over a 4-week period. Gorgonian growth and calcification were measured at each level of CO2 as linear extension rate and percent change in buoyant weight and calcein incorporation in individual sclerites, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship for calcification and CO2 concentration that was well explained by a linear model regression analysis for both buoyant weight and calcein staining. In general, growth and calcification did not stop in any of the concentrations of pCO2; however, some of the octocoral fragments experienced negative calcification at undersaturated levels of calcium carbonate (>4,500 ppm) suggesting possible dissolution effects. These results highlight the susceptibility of the gorgonian coral E. fusca to elevated levels of carbon dioxide but suggest that E. fusca could still survive well in mid-term ocean acidification conditions expected by the end of this century, which provides important information on the effects of ocean acidification on the dynamics of coral reef communities. Gorgonian corals can be expected to diversify and thrive in the Atlantic-Eastern Pacific; as scleractinian corals decline, it is likely to expect a shift in these reef communities from scleractinian coral dominated to octocoral/soft coral dominated under a "business as usual" scenario of CO2 emissions.

  15. Comparing molecular variation to morphological species designations in the deep-sea coral Narella reveals new insights into seamount coral ranges.

    PubMed

    Baco, Amy R; Cairns, Stephen D

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have countered the paradigm of seamount isolation, confounding conservation efforts at a critical time. Efforts to study deep-sea corals, one of the dominant taxa on seamounts, to understand seamount connectivity, are hampered by a lack of taxonomic keys. A prerequisite for connectivity is species overlap. Attempts to better understand species overlap using DNA barcoding methods suggest coral species are widely distributed on seamounts and nearby features. However, no baseline has been established for variation in these genetic markers relative to morphological species designations for deep-sea octocoral families. Here we assess levels of genetic variation in potential octocoral mitochondrial barcode markers relative to thoroughly examined morphological species in the genus Narella. The combination of six markers used here, approximately 3350 bp of the mitochondrial genome, resolved 83% of the morphological species. Our results show that two of the markers, ND2 and NCR1, are not sufficient to resolve genera within Primnoidae, let alone species. Re-evaluation of previous studies of seamount octocorals based on these results suggest that those studies were looking at distributions at a level higher than species, possibly even genus or subfamily. Results for Narella show that using more markers provides haplotypes with relatively narrow depth ranges on the seamounts studied. Given the lack of 100% resolution of species with such a large portion of the mitochondrial genome, we argue that previous genetic studies have not resolved the degree of species overlap on seamounts and that we may not have the power to even test the hypothesis of seamount isolation using mitochondrial markers, let alone refute it. Thus a precautionary approach is advocated in seamount conservation and management, and the potential for depth structuring should be considered. PMID:23029093

  16. Comparing Molecular Variation to Morphological Species Designations in the Deep-Sea Coral Narella Reveals New Insights into Seamount Coral Ranges

    PubMed Central

    Baco, Amy R.; Cairns, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have countered the paradigm of seamount isolation, confounding conservation efforts at a critical time. Efforts to study deep-sea corals, one of the dominant taxa on seamounts, to understand seamount connectivity, are hampered by a lack of taxonomic keys. A prerequisite for connectivity is species overlap. Attempts to better understand species overlap using DNA barcoding methods suggest coral species are widely distributed on seamounts and nearby features. However, no baseline has been established for variation in these genetic markers relative to morphological species designations for deep-sea octocoral families. Here we assess levels of genetic variation in potential octocoral mitochondrial barcode markers relative to thoroughly examined morphological species in the genus Narella. The combination of six markers used here, approximately 3350 bp of the mitochondrial genome, resolved 83% of the morphological species. Our results show that two of the markers, ND2 and NCR1, are not sufficient to resolve genera within Primnoidae, let alone species. Re-evaluation of previous studies of seamount octocorals based on these results suggest that those studies were looking at distributions at a level higher than species, possibly even genus or subfamily. Results for Narella show that using more markers provides haplotypes with relatively narrow depth ranges on the seamounts studied. Given the lack of 100% resolution of species with such a large portion of the mitochondrial genome, we argue that previous genetic studies have not resolved the degree of species overlap on seamounts and that we may not have the power to even test the hypothesis of seamount isolation using mitochondrial markers, let alone refute it. Thus a precautionary approach is advocated in seamount conservation and management, and the potential for depth structuring should be considered. PMID:23029093

  17. Three New Cembranoids from the Taiwanese Soft Coral Sarcophyton ehrenbergi

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shang-Kwei; Hsieh, Mu-Keng; Duh, Chang-Yih

    2012-01-01

    In order to search for new bioactive substances from marine organisms, we have investigated the acetone extracts of the soft coral Sarcophyton ehrenbergi collected at San-Hsian-Tai, Taitong County, Taiwan. Chromatographic fractionation of the extracts of the octocoral S. ehrenbergi led to the isolation of three new cembranoids, (+)-12-ethoxycarbonyl-11Z-sarcophine (1), ehrenbergol A and B (2 and 3). The structures of these isolated metabolites were elucidated through extensive spectroscopic analyses. Moreover, metabolites 1–3 were evaluated in vitro for their cytotoxicity towards selected cancer cell lines and antiviral activity against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). PMID:22851917

  18. A new species of Ovabunda (Octocorallia, Xeniidae) from the Andaman Sea, Thailand with notes on the biogeography of this genus

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Michael P.; McFadden, Catherine S.; Chanmethakul, Thanongsak

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A survey of xeniid octocorals was carried out in the waters off Southwestern Thailand in September, 2007. Microscopic investigation of the colonies revealed that three specimens belonged to the genus Ovabunda. Gross morphological examination is presented here accompanied by scanning electron micrographs of the sclerites. Molecular phylogenetic analysis showed identical genotypes at mtMutS, COI, and 28S rDNA for all three specimens and supports their generic assignment. Colony size and shape, sclerite size, and pinnule arrangement differ from nominal species of Ovabunda and thus a new species, O. andamanensis is introduced here. This work also presents a new eastern geographical record for the genus Ovabunda. PMID:25152664

  19. A new genus of soft coral (Cnidaria, Octocorallia) from the Republic of Congo (Pointe-Noire Region)

    PubMed Central

    Van Ofwegen, Leen P.; Aurelle, Didier; Sartoretto, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new genus of soft coral from the Republic of Congo is described, Complexum gen. n. Nine West African octocoral species previously described in the genus Alcyonium by Tixier-Durivault (1955) are referred to this new genus, and a new species is described and figured, Complexum pusillum sp. n. The new species is characterized by having encrusting growth form and abundant spiny clubs in the surface of the polyparium. It colonizes shallow calcareous rocky banks (5 to 20 m depth) existing in coastal water of the region of Pointe-Noire. Based on molecular phylogeny this new genus is well separated from Alcyonium species. PMID:25589850

  20. Investigating the context-dependency of plant-soil-AMF-microbe interactions along a pollution gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glassman, S. I.; Casper, B. B.

    2010-12-01

    Background/Question/Methods Investigating how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-plant interactions vary with edaphic conditions provides an opportunity to test the context-dependency of interspecific interactions, which is currently recognized as a major avenue of future research. We study plant-mycorrhiza symbiotic relationships along a gradient of heavy metal contamination at a recently revegetated “Superfund” site on Blue Mountain, in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. We investigated the interactions involving the native mycorrhizal fungi, non-mycorrhizal soil microbes, soil, and two plant species (a C3 and C4 grass) along the contamination gradient. The native C3 study species Deschampsia flexuosa, is dominant along the gradient and established naturally; the C4 Sorghastrum nutans, is native to Pennsylvania but not to the site and was introduced during restoration. Because C4 grasses are obligate mycotrophs, we expected S. nutans to have a different effect on and response to the soil symbiont community than the C3 grass. We carried out a full factorial greenhouse experiment using field-collected seeds of D. flexuosa and S. nutans, soil, AMF spores, and non-mycorrhizal microbes from both high and low contaminated ends of the gradient. After 11 weeks of growth in the greenhouses, we harvested above and belowground plant biomass, and quantified AMF root colonization and AMF sporulation. Results/Conclusions Our results indicate that context-dependent function is an important factor driving specific ecological interactions between plants and soil microbes. We found that soil origin significantly affected plant growth. Plants from both species grew much larger in soil from low contaminated (LC) origin than high contaminated (HC) origin. Furthermore, we found that the efficacy of AMF in promoting plant growth depended on AMF origin. Specifically, AMF from LC improved growth of D. flexuosa best in either soil background and improved survivorship of S. nutans in HC soil

  1. [Occurrence of tissue Filarioidea in ruminants in Poland].

    PubMed

    Demiaszkiewicz, A W

    1989-01-01

    In the years 1985-1988 in the Białowieza Forest and in the woods in the vicinity of Olsztyn, 130 deer, 136 roe-deer, 52 bisons and 40 cattle were subject to parasitological section. Seven species of tissue nematoda of the superfamily Filarioidea were detected. Onchocerca jakutensis, O. garmsi and Cutifilaria wenki in deer, Dipetalonema rugosicauda in roe-deer, and Onchocerca lienalis and O. gutturosa in bison and cattle are first records of these species in Poland. The bison is a new host for O. lienalis and O. gutturosa, the roe-deer--for O. flexuosa. PMID:2815759

  2. Semi-synthesis of oxygenated dolabellane diterpenes with highly in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity.

    PubMed

    Pardo-Vargas, Alonso; Ramos, Freddy A; Cirne-Santos, Claudio Cesar; Stephens, Paulo Roberto; Paixão, Izabel Christina Palmer; Teixeira, Valeria Laneuville; Castellanos, Leonardo

    2014-09-15

    Research on dolabellane diterpenes of brown algae Dictyota spp. has shown that these diterpenoids have strong anti-HIV-1 activity, but there are not data about antiviral activity of dolabellane diterpenes isolated from octocorals, which are antipodes of those isolated from the brown algae. Dolabellanes 13-keto-1(R),11(S)-dolabella-3(E),7(E),12(18)-triene (1) and β-Araneosene (2) were isolated from the Caribbean octocoral Eunicea laciniata, and both showed low anti-HIV-1 activity and low toxicity. Since it was shown that oxygenated dolabellanes from algae have better anti-HIV-1 activity, in this work some derivatives of the main dolabellane of E. laciniata1 were obtained by epoxidation (3), epoxide opening (4), and allylic oxidation (5). The derivatives showed significant improvement in the anti-HIV-1potency (100-fold), being compounds 3 and 5 the most active ones. Their high antiviral activities, along with their low cytotoxicity, make them promissory antiviral compounds; and it is worth noting that the absolute configuration at the ring junction in the dolabellane skeleton does not seem to be determinant in the antiviral potency of these diterpeneoids. PMID:25176328

  3. Microbiota of Healthy Corals Are Active against Fungi in a Light-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are intricate ecosystems that harbor diverse organisms, including 25% of all marine fish. Healthy corals exhibit a complex symbiosis between coral polyps, endosymbiotic alga, and an array of microorganisms, called the coral holobiont. Secretion of specialized metabolites by coral microbiota is thought to contribute to the defense of this sessile organism against harmful biotic and abiotic factors. While few causative agents of coral diseases have been unequivocally identified, fungi have been implicated in the massive destruction of some soft corals worldwide. Because corals are nocturnal feeders, they may be more vulnerable to fungal infection at night, and we hypothesized that the coral microbiota would have the capability to enhance their defenses against fungi in the dark. A Pseudoalteromonas sp. isolated from a healthy octocoral displayed light-dependent antifungal properties when grown adjacent to Penicilliumcitrinum (P. citrinum) isolated from a diseased Gorgonian octocoral. Microbial MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) coupled with molecular network analyses revealed that Pseudoalteromonas produced higher levels of antifungal polyketide alteramides in the dark than in the light. The alteramides were inactivated by light through a photoinduced intramolecular cyclization. Further NMR studies led to a revision of the stereochemical structure of the alteramides. Alteramide A exhibited antifungal properties and elicited changes in fungal metabolite distributions of mycotoxin citrinin and citrinadins. These data support the hypothesis that coral microbiota use abiotic factors such as light to regulate the production of metabolites with specialized functions to combat opportunistic pathogens at night. PMID:25058318

  4. Inhibition of coral recruitment by macroalgae and cyanobacteria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuffner, I.B.; Walters, L.J.; Becerro, M.A.; Paul, V.J.; Ritson-Williams, R.; Beach, K.S.

    2006-01-01

    Coral recruitment is a key process in the maintenance and recovery of coral reef ecosystems. While intense competition between coral and algae is often assumed on reefs that have undergone phase shifts from coral to algal dominance, data examining the competitive interactions involved, particularly during the larval and immediate post-settlement stage, are scarce. Using a series of field and outdoor seawater table experiments, we tested the hypothesis that common species of macroalgae and cyanobacteria inhibit coral recruitment. We examined the effects of Lyngbya spp., Dictyota spp., Lobophora variegata (J. V. Lamouroux) Womersley, and Chondrophycus poiteaui (J. V. Lamouroux) Nam (formerly Laurencia poiteaui) on the recruitment success of Porites astreoides larvae. All species but C. poiteaui caused either recruitment inhibition or avoidance behavior in P. astreoides larvae, while L. confervoides and D. menstrualis significantly increased mortality rates of P. astreoides recruits. We also tested the effect of some of these macrophytes on larvae of the gorgonian octocoral Briareum asbestinum. Exposure to Lyngbya majuscula reduced survival and recruitment in the octocoral larvae. Our results provide evidence that algae and cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. On reefs experiencing phase shifts or temporary algal blooms, the restocking of adult coral populations may be slowed due to recruitment inhibition, thereby perpetuating reduced coral cover and limiting coral community recovery. ?? Inter-Research 2006.

  5. Trace metals in different species of mollusca, water and sediments from Taiwan coastal area.

    PubMed

    Hung, T C; Meng, P J; Han, B C; Chuang, A; Huang, C C

    2001-08-01

    Since October 1994, a long-term program of Asia/Pacific Mussel Watch: Taiwan Regional Studies has been carried out. The results indicate that trace metal contents in mollusca varied among 30 different species and the environments (water and sediments) along the Taiwan coast. The orders of bioaccumulation of trace metals in mollusca were: Cu (over 200 microg/g), Thais clavigera > Isognomon legumen > Clibanarius rivescens > Crassostrea gigas; Zn (over 700 microg/g), Moruta granulata > C. gigas > Asiatica cypraea arabica > T. clavigera; Cd (over 5 microg/g), Trochus hanleyanus > Acanthopleura japonica > Nerita albicilla > Patella flexuosa; Pb (over 2 microg/g), P. flexuosa > C. gigas > T. hanleyanus > T. clavigera > C. gigas > Capiyulum mitella; Ni (over 10 microg/g), Meretrix lusoria > Philine sp. > Littoraria scabra > Tridacna squamosa > T. hanleyanus; Cr (over 30 microg/g), Littoraria undulata > T. hanleyanus > N. albicilla > Nerita chamaelor > M. granulata; As (over 20 microg/g), Perna viridis > L. scabra; and Sn (over 5 microg/g), P. viridis > L. undulata> C. mitella> C. gigas. Their seasonal and regional variations as well as their correlation are evaluated and discussed. PMID:11482676

  6. The Maghreb – one more important biodiversity hot spot for tiger beetle fauna (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Cicindelinae) in the Mediterranean region

    PubMed Central

    Jaskuła, Radomir

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The tiger beetle fauna of the Maghreb region is one of the richest in the Palaearctic, including 22 species and 5 subspecies and 19% of all Palaearctic species of Cicindelinae. Assembled to their chorotypes, the Maghreb tiger beetles fall into eight different groups that include Maghreb endemics (26% of fauna), Mediterranean (7%), West Mediterranean (40%), North African (4%), Mediterranean-Westturanian (4%), West Palaearctic (4%), Afrotropico-Indo-Mediterranean (4%), and Saharian (11%) species. The Mediterranean Sclerophyl and Atlas Steppe are the Maghreb biogeographical provinces with the highest species richness, while the Sahara Desert has the lowest Cicindelinae diversity. Twenty-five cicindelid species and subspecies (93% of Maghreb fauna) are restricted to only one or two habitat types in lowland areas. Only Calomera littoralis littoralis and Lophyra flexuosa flexuosa are recognized as eurytopic species and occur in three types of habitat. The highest tiger beetle diversity characterizes salt marshes and river banks (in both cases 11 species and subspecies or 41% of Maghreb fauna). Approximately 85% of all Maghreb tiger beetle species and subspecies are found in habitats potentially endangered by human activity. PMID:25709529

  7. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community divergence within a common host plant in two different soils in a subarctic Aeolian sand area.

    PubMed

    Francini, Gaia; Männistö, Minna; Alaoja, Vilhelmiina; Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit

    2014-10-01

    There is rising awareness that different arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi have different autoecology and occupy different soil niches and that the benefits they provide to the host plant are dependent on plant-AM fungus combination. However, the role and community composition of AM fungi in succession are not well known and the northern latitudes remain poorly investigated ecosystems. We studied AM fungal communities in the roots of the grass Deschampsia flexuosa in two different, closely located, successional stages in a northern Aeolian sand area. The AM fungal taxa richness in planta was estimated by cloning and sequencing small subunit ribosomal RNA genes. AM colonization, shoot δ (13)C signature, and %N and %C were measured. Soil microbial community structure and AM fungal mycelium abundance were estimated using phospholipid (PLFA) and neutral lipid (NLFA) analyses. The two successional stages were characterized by distinct plant, microbial, and fungal communities. AM fungal species richness was very low in both the early and late successional stages. AM frequency in D. flexuosa roots was higher in the early successional stage than in the late one. The AM fungal taxa retrieved belonged to the genera generally adapted to Arctic or extreme environments. AM fungi seemed to be important in the early stage of the succession, suggesting that AM fungi may help plants to better cope with the harsh environmental conditions, especially in an early successional stage with more extreme environmental fluctuations. PMID:24687606

  8. Salt lakes of La Mancha (Central Spain): A hot spot for tiger beetle (Carabidae, Cicindelinae) species diversity.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Flores, Paula C; Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Jorge; Aguirre-Ruiz, Ernesto F; García-París, Mario

    2016-01-01

    The tiger beetle assemblage of the wetlands of La Mancha (central Spain) comprises nine species: Calomera littoralis littoralis, Cephalota maura maura, Cephalota circumdata imperialis, Cephalota dulcinea, Cicindela campestris campestris, Cicindela maroccana, Cylindera paludosa, Lophyra flexuosa flexuosa, and Myriochila melancholica melancholica. This assemblage represents the largest concentration of tiger beetles in a single 1º latitude / longitude square in Europe. General patterns of spatial and temporal segregation among species are discussed based on observations of 1462 specimens registered during an observation period of one year, from April to August. The different species of Cicindelini appear to be distributed over space and time, with little overlapping among them. Three sets of species replace each other phenologically as the season goes on. Most of the species occupy drying or dried salt lakes and salt marshes, with sparse vegetation cover. Spatial segregation is marked in terms of substrate and vegetation use. Calomera littoralis and Myriochila melancholica have been observed mainly on wet soils; Cephalota circumdata on dry open saline flats; Cephalota dulcinea and Cylindera paludosa in granulated substrates with typical halophytic vegetation; Cephalota maura is often present in man-modified areas. Cephalota circumdata and Cephalota dulcinea are included as species of special interest in the list of protected species in Castilla-La Mancha. Conservation problems for the Cicindelini assemblage arise from agricultural activities and inadequate use of sport vehicles. Attempts at restoring the original habitat, supressing old semi-industrial structures, may affect the spatial heterogeneity of the lakes, and have an effect on Cicindelinae diversity. PMID:27006617

  9. Cytochrome P450-type hydroxylation and epoxidation in a tyrosine-liganded hemoprotein, catalase-related allene oxide synthase.

    PubMed

    Boeglin, William E; Brash, Alan R

    2012-07-13

    The ability of hemoproteins to catalyze epoxidation or hydroxylation reactions is usually associated with a cysteine as the proximal ligand to the heme, as in cytochrome P450 or nitric oxide synthase. Catalase-related allene oxide synthase (cAOS) from the coral Plexaura homomalla, like catalase itself, has tyrosine as the proximal heme ligand. Its natural reaction is to convert 8R-hydroperoxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HPETE) to an allene epoxide, a reaction activated by the ferric heme, forming product via the Fe(IV)-OH intermediate, Compound II. Here we oxidized cAOS to Compound I (Fe(V)=O) using the oxygen donor iodosylbenzene and investigated the catalytic competence of the enzyme. 8R-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (8R-HETE), the hydroxy analog of the natural substrate, normally unreactive with cAOS, was thereby epoxidized stereospecifically on the 9,10 double bond to form 8R-hydroxy-9R,10R-trans-epoxy-eicosa-5Z,11Z,14Z-trienoic acid as the predominant product; the turnover was 1/s using 100 μm iodosylbenzene. The enantiomer, 8S-HETE, was epoxidized stereospecifically, although with less regiospecificity, and was hydroxylated on the 13- and 16-carbons. Arachidonic acid was converted to two major products, 8R-HETE and 8R,9S-eicosatrienoic acid (8R,9S-EET), plus other chiral monoepoxides and bis-allylic 10S-HETE. Linoleic acid was epoxidized, whereas stearic acid was not metabolized. We conclude that when cAOS is charged with an oxygen donor, it can act as a stereospecific monooxygenase. Our results indicate that in the tyrosine-liganded cAOS, a catalase-related hemoprotein in which a polyunsaturated fatty acid can enter the active site, the enzyme has the potential to mimic the activities of typical P450 epoxygenases and some capabilities of P450 hydroxylases. PMID:22628547

  10. Biochemical Warfare on the Reef: The Role of Glutathione Transferases in Consumer Tolerance of Dietary Prostaglandins

    PubMed Central

    Whalen, Kristen E.; Lane, Amy L.; Kubanek, Julia; Hahn, Mark E.

    2010-01-01

    Background Despite the profound variation among marine consumers in tolerance for allelochemically-rich foods, few studies have examined the biochemical adaptations underlying diet choice. Here we examine the role of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in the detoxification of dietary allelochemicals in the digestive gland of the predatory gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, a generalist consumer of gorgonian corals. Controlled laboratory feeding experiments were used to investigate the influence of gorgonian diet on Cyphoma GST activity and isoform expression. Gorgonian extracts and semi-purified fractions were also screened to identify inhibitors and possible substrates of Cyphoma GSTs. In addition, we investigated the inhibitory properties of prostaglandins (PGs) structurally similar to antipredatory PGs found in high concentrations in the Caribbean gorgonian Plexaura homomalla. Principal Findings Cyphoma GST subunit composition was invariant and activity was constitutively high regardless of gorgonian diet. Bioassay-guided fractionation of gorgonian extracts revealed that moderately hydrophobic fractions from all eight gorgonian species examined contained putative GST substrates/inhibitors. LC-MS and NMR spectral analysis of the most inhibitory fraction from P. homomalla subsequently identified prostaglandin A2 (PGA2) as the dominant component. A similar screening of commercially available prostaglandins in series A, E, and F revealed that those prostaglandins most abundant in gorgonian tissues (e.g., PGA2) were also the most potent inhibitors. In vivo estimates of PGA2 concentration in digestive gland tissues calculated from snail grazing rates revealed that Cyphoma GSTs would be saturated with respect to PGA2 and operating at or near physiological capacity. Significance The high, constitutive activity of Cyphoma GSTs is likely necessitated by the ubiquitous presence of GST substrates and/or inhibitors in this consumer's gorgonian diet. This generalist's GSTs may

  11. New records of Primnoidae (Cnidaria: Octocorallia) in Brazilian deep waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arantes, Renata C. M.; Loiola, Livia L.

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge of octocorals occurring in Brazilian deep waters is still lacking, with only a few studies conducted so far, most of which focused on large-scale marine habitats characterization. Primnoidae are common and characteristic of seamounts and deepwater coral banks, often providing habitat for other marine species. Although primnoids occur in all ocean basins, only Primnoella and Plumarella species were recorded along the Brazilian coast before this study. Primnoid specimens were obtained through dredging and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) sampling, collected by research projects conducted off the Brazilian coast, between 15 and 34°S. Taxonomic assessment resulted in 5 new records of Primnoidae genera in Brazil: Calyptrophora, Candidella, Dasystenella, Narella and Thouarella. The occurrences of Narella-off Salvador and Vitória, and in Campos Basin (935-1700 m), and Calyptrophora-in Campos Basin (1059-1152 m), are herein reported for the first time in the South Atlantic. Calyptrophora microdentata was previously known in Lesser Antilles, New England and Corner Rise Seamounts, between 686 and 2310 m. Candidella imbricata geographical distribution includes Western and Eastern Atlantic (514-2063 m and 815-2139 m, respectively), being registered herein in Campos Basin, between 1059 and 1605 m. Dasystenella acanthina collected off Rio Grande do Sul state (810 m) and occurs also off Argentina and Southern Ocean, between 150 and 5087 m. Plumarella diadema, which type locality is off São Sebastião, Brazil, has its geographical range extended northwards, occurring in Campos Basin (650 m). Thouarella koellikeri previously known for Patagonia and Antartic Peninsula, is registered for the off Brazil for the first time, in Campos Basin and off São Sebastião (609-659 m). There is a lot of work yet to be done in terms of taxonomic knowledge of Brazilian deep-sea octocorals. Research projects focusing on the investigations, including ROV sampling, of other

  12. Cladieunicellins M-Q, new eunicellins from Cladiella sp.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tsung-Hung; Chen, Wu-Fu; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Lu, Mei-Chin; Wang, Wei-Hsien; Li, Jan-Jung; Wu, Yang-Chang; Sung, Ping-Jyun

    2014-04-01

    Five new 7α-hydroxyeunicellin-based diterpenoids, designated as cladieunicellins M-Q (1-5), were isolated from a Formosan octocoral Cladiella sp. The structures of 1-5 were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods and by comparison of the data with those of the related metabolites. Cytotoxicity of metabolites 1-5 against the human leukemia Molt 4 and HL 60 is also described. Among them, compounds 1, 3 and 5 exhibited moderate cytotoxicity toward Molt 4 cells with IC₅₀ values 16.43, 14.17 and 15.55 μM, respectively. Preliminary SAR (structure activity relationship) information was obtained from these compounds and their analogues. PMID:24717524

  13. A vanished history of skeletonization in Cambrian comb jellies

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Qiang; Xiao, Shuhai; Han, Jian; Sun, Ge; Zhang, Fang; Zhang, Zhifei; Shu, Degan

    2015-01-01

    Ctenophores are traditionally regarded as “lower” metazoans, sharing with cnidarians a diploblastic grade of organization. Unlike cnidarians, where skeletonization (biomineralization and sclerotization) evolved repeatedly among ecologically important taxa (for example, scleractinians and octocorals), living ctenophores are characteristically soft-bodied animals. We report six sclerotized and armored ctenophores from the early Cambrian period. They have diagnostic ctenophore features (for example, an octamerous symmetry, oral-aboral axis, aboral sense organ, and octaradially arranged ctene rows). Unlike most modern counterparts, however, they lack tentacles, have a sclerotized framework, and have eight pairs of ctene rows. They are resolved as a monophyletic group (Scleroctenophora new class) within the ctenophores. This clade reveals a cryptic history and sheds new light on the early evolution of this basal animal phylum. Skeletonization also occurs in some other Cambrian animal groups whose extant members are exclusively soft-bodied, suggesting the ecological importance of skeletonization in the Cambrian explosion. PMID:26601209

  14. A vanished history of skeletonization in Cambrian comb jellies.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiang; Xiao, Shuhai; Han, Jian; Sun, Ge; Zhang, Fang; Zhang, Zhifei; Shu, Degan

    2015-07-01

    Ctenophores are traditionally regarded as "lower" metazoans, sharing with cnidarians a diploblastic grade of organization. Unlike cnidarians, where skeletonization (biomineralization and sclerotization) evolved repeatedly among ecologically important taxa (for example, scleractinians and octocorals), living ctenophores are characteristically soft-bodied animals. We report six sclerotized and armored ctenophores from the early Cambrian period. They have diagnostic ctenophore features (for example, an octamerous symmetry, oral-aboral axis, aboral sense organ, and octaradially arranged ctene rows). Unlike most modern counterparts, however, they lack tentacles, have a sclerotized framework, and have eight pairs of ctene rows. They are resolved as a monophyletic group (Scleroctenophora new class) within the ctenophores. This clade reveals a cryptic history and sheds new light on the early evolution of this basal animal phylum. Skeletonization also occurs in some other Cambrian animal groups whose extant members are exclusively soft-bodied, suggesting the ecological importance of skeletonization in the Cambrian explosion. PMID:26601209

  15. Defensive Diterpene from the Aeolidoidean Phyllodesmium longicirrum.

    PubMed

    Bogdanov, Alexander; Hertzer, Cora; Kehraus, Stefan; Nietzer, Samuel; Rohde, Sven; Schupp, Peter J; Wägele, Heike; König, Gabriele M

    2016-03-25

    Phyllodesmium is a tropical marine slug genus with about 30 described species. None of them have a protective shell, and all of them feed on octocorals that are generally known to provide defensive compounds and thus help to defend the naked slugs against sympatric predators, such as fish, crabs, cephalopods, and echinoderms. Phyllodesmium longicirrum is the species that grows the biggest and that is least protected by camouflage on its respective food, usually a soft coral of the genus Sarcophyton. Investigation of the lipophilic extract of a single specimen of P. longicirrum from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) led to the isolation of four new polycyclic diterpenes. Compound 1 showed significant deterrent activity in a fish feeding assay. PMID:26649919

  16. Description of viral assemblages associated with the Gorgonia ventalina holobiont

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewson, I.; Brown, J. M.; Burge, C. A.; Couch, C. S.; LaBarre, B. A.; Mouchka, M. E.; Naito, M.; Harvell, C. D.

    2012-06-01

    The diversity and function of viruses in coral holobionts has only recently received attention. The non-reef building gorgonian octocoral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a major constituent of Caribbean reefs. We investigated viral communities associated with G. ventalina tissues to understand their role in gorgonian ecology. Pyrosequencing was used to prepare a total of 514,632 sequence reads of DNA- and RNA-based mixed-community viral genomes (metaviromes). RNA viral assemblages were comprised of primarily unidentifiable reads, with most matching host transcripts and other RNA metaviromes. DNA metaviromes were similar between healthy and diseased tissues and comprised of contiguous sequences (contigs) that matched primarily metazoan and bacterial proteins. Only ~5% of contigs matched viral proteins that were primarily cyanophage and viruses of Chlorella and Ostreococcus. Our results confirm that DNA and RNA viruses comprise a component of the gorgonian holobiont, suggesting that they may play a role in the ecology of G. ventalina.

  17. Probability sampling of stony coral populations in the Florida Keys.

    PubMed

    Smith, Steven G; Swanson, Dione W; Chiappone, Mark; Miller, Steven L; Ault, Jerald S

    2011-12-01

    Principles of probability survey design were applied to guide large-scale sampling of populations of stony corals and associated benthic taxa in the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem. The survey employed a two-stage stratified random sampling design that partitioned the 251-km(2) domain by reef habitat types, geographic regions, and management zones. Estimates of the coefficient of variation (ratio of standard error to the mean) for stony coral population density and abundance ranged from 7% to 12% for four of six principal species. These levels of survey precision are among the highest reported for comparable surveys of marine species. Relatively precise estimates were also obtained for octocoral density, sponge frequency of occurrence, and benthic cover of algae and invertebrates. Probabilistic survey design techniques provided a robust framework for estimating population-level metrics and optimizing sampling efficiency. PMID:21547375

  18. Phylogenetic analysis of Bambusa (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) based on internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ye; Xia, Nianhe; Lin, Rushun

    2005-12-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of Bambusa species were performed using internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA. The 21 species sampled included members of Bambusa (sensu stricto), Dendrocalamopsis, Dendrocalamus, Guadua, Leleba, and Lingnania. Arundinaria gigantea was used as an outgroup. Using the maximum parsimony method with PAUP*, gaps were treated as missing states or new states. Parsimonious analysis revealed that Dendrocalamus latiflorus was closely related to the members of Dendrocalamopsis. Dendrocalamus membranaceus was a sister species to Dendrocalamus strictus. Three Dendrocalamus species were closely related to and nested in a polyphyletic Bambusa. Bambusa subaequalis was a sister species to B. multiplex, B. emeiensis to B. chungii, B. contracta to B. hainanensis, and B. flexuosa was a sister species to B. sinospinosa, B. tuldoides, B. surrecta, B. intermedia, and B. valida group, which raised doubts about the monophyly of the subgenera Bambusa (sensu stricto), Dendrocalamopsis, Leleba, and Lingnania under the genus Bambusa. PMID:16382365

  19. The neuro-muscular system in continuously swimming cercariae from Belarus. I Xiphidiocercariae.

    PubMed

    Tolstenkov, Oleg O; Akimova, Ludmila N; Terenina, Nadezhda B; Gustafsson, Margaretha K S

    2012-11-01

    The neuromuscular system (NMS) in cercariae of Neoastiotrema trituri, Plagiorchis elegans, Omphalometra flexuosa, Skrjabinoeces similis and Prosthogonimus ovatus was studied with immunocytochemical methods and confocal scanning laser microscopy. The patterns of F-actin in the musculature, 5-HT immunoreactive (IR), FMRFamide-IR neuronal elements and α-tubulin-IR sensory receptors were investigated, and they were found to be rather similar in all the cercariae studied. Four species have seven paired 5-HT-IR neurons in the body, and P. elegans has eight. N. trituri has three 5-HT-IR neurons in each brain ganglion, while the other species have four. A high degree of conformity in the structure of the NMS was observed, probably reflecting the close phylogenetic relationship and the similar strategy of host finding. PMID:22868890

  20. Molecular diversity of Enteromorpha from the coast of Yantai: a dual-marker assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haiyan; Liu, Zhengyi; Wang, Yinchu; Zhao, Yushan; Qin, Song

    2013-11-01

    We collected nine Enteromorpha specimens from the coast of Yantai and evaluated their diversity based on analyses of their ITS (internal transcribed spacer) and 5S rDNA NTS (non-transcribed spacer) sequences. The ITS sequences showed slight nucleotide divergences between Enteromorpha linza and Enteromorpha prolifera. In contrast, multiple highly variable regions were found in the ITS region of Enteromorpha flexuosa. In general, there were more variable sites in the NTS region than in the ITS region in the three species. The variations in 5S rDNA NTS sequences indicated that the molecular diversity of Enteromorpha from the coast of Yantai is very high. However, a phylogenetic tree constructed using 5S rDNA NTS sequence data indicated that genetic differences were not directly related to geographical distribution.

  1. Bioactive Compounds Found in Brazilian Cerrado Fruits.

    PubMed

    Bailão, Elisa Flávia Luiz Cardoso; Devilla, Ivano Alessandro; da Conceição, Edemilson Cardoso; Borges, Leonardo Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Functional foods include any natural product that presents health-promoting effects, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cerrado fruits are considered a source of bioactive substances, mainly phenolic compounds, making them important functional foods. Despite this, the losses of natural vegetation in the Cerrado are progressive. Hence, the knowledge propagation about the importance of the species found in Cerrado could contribute to the preservation of this biome. This review provides information about Cerrado fruits and highlights the structures and pharmacologic potential of functional compounds found in these fruits. Compounds detected in Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (pequi), Dipteryx alata Vog. (baru), Eugenia dysenterica DC. (cagaita), Eugenia uniflora L. (pitanga), Genipa americana L. (jenipapo), Hancornia speciosa Gomes (mangaba), Mauritia flexuosa L.f. (buriti), Myrciaria cauliflora (DC) Berg (jabuticaba), Psidium guajava L. (goiaba), Psidium spp. (araçá), Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill (lobeira), Spondias mombin L. (cajá), Annona crassiflora Mart. (araticum), among others are reported here. PMID:26473827

  2. Bioactive Compounds Found in Brazilian Cerrado Fruits

    PubMed Central

    Bailão, Elisa Flávia Luiz Cardoso; Devilla, Ivano Alessandro; da Conceição, Edemilson Cardoso; Borges, Leonardo Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Functional foods include any natural product that presents health-promoting effects, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cerrado fruits are considered a source of bioactive substances, mainly phenolic compounds, making them important functional foods. Despite this, the losses of natural vegetation in the Cerrado are progressive. Hence, the knowledge propagation about the importance of the species found in Cerrado could contribute to the preservation of this biome. This review provides information about Cerrado fruits and highlights the structures and pharmacologic potential of functional compounds found in these fruits. Compounds detected in Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (pequi), Dipteryx alata Vog. (baru), Eugenia dysenterica DC. (cagaita), Eugenia uniflora L. (pitanga), Genipa americana L. (jenipapo), Hancornia speciosa Gomes (mangaba), Mauritia flexuosa L.f. (buriti), Myrciaria cauliflora (DC) Berg (jabuticaba), Psidium guajava L. (goiaba), Psidium spp. (araçá), Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill (lobeira), Spondias mombin L. (cajá), Annona crassiflora Mart. (araticum), among others are reported here. PMID:26473827

  3. Revision of the genus Prionotropis Fieber, 1853 (Orthoptera: Pamphagidae: Thrinchinae).

    PubMed

    Massa, Bruno; Ünal, Mustafa; Lo Verde, Gabriella

    2015-01-01

    The genus Prionotropis Fieber, 1853 is revised. It is distributed in scattered areas of the Mediterranean region from Turkey in the East to Spain in the West. Overall, seven species are listed, namely P. maculinervis (Stål, 1878) (Turkey; P. urfensis Ramme, 1933 is here considered its synonym), P. willemsorum n. sp. (Greece, Epirus; previously considered P. appula), P. appula (O.G. Costa, 1836) (South Italy), P. hystrix (Germar, 1817) (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, North-East Italy; P. hystrix sontiaca is here synonymized), P. rhodanica Uvarov, 1923 resurrected status (France, Crau, Rhone delta; here considered a valid species), P. azami Uvarov, 1923 n. status (France, Var region; here considered a valid species), and P. flexuosa (Serville, 1838) (Spain; the ssp. pereezi Bolívar, 1921 and sulphurans Bolívar, 1921 are here considered its synonyms). A key to species is presented. PMID:26701575

  4. Raman spectroscopy as a tool in differentiating conjugated polyenes from synthetic and natural sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Rafaella F.; Maia, Lenize F.; Couri, Mara R. C.; Costa, Luiz Antonio S.; de Oliveira, Luiz Fernando C.

    2015-01-01

    This work presents the Raman spectroscopic characterization of synthetic analogs of natural conjugated polyenals found in octocorals, focusing the unequivocal identification of the chemical species present in these systems. The synthetic material was produced by the autocondensation reaction of crotonaldehyde, generating a demethylated conjugated polyene containing 11 carbon-carbon double bonds, with just a methyl group on the end of the carbon chain. The resonance Raman spectra of such pigment has shown the existence of enhanced modes assigned to ν1(Cdbnd C) and ν2(Csbnd C) modes of the main chain. For the resonance Raman spectra of natural pigments from octocorals collected in the Brazilian coast, besides the previously cited bands, it could be also observed the presence of the ν4(Csbnd CH3), related to the vibrational mode who describes the vibration of the methyl group of the central carbon chain of carotenoids. Other interesting point is the observation of overtones and combination bands, which for carotenoids involves the presence of the ν4 mode, whereas for the synthetic polyene this band, besides be seen at a slightly different wavenumber position, does not appear as an enhanced mode and also as a combination, such as for the natural carotenoids. Theoretical molecular orbital analysis of polyenal-11 and lycopene has shown the structural differences which are also responsible for the resonance Raman data, based on the appearance of the (sbnd CH3) vibrational mode in the resonant transition only for lycopene. At last, the Raman band at ca. 1010 cm-1, assigned to the (sbnd CH3) vibrational mode, can be used for attributing the presence of each one of the conjugated polyenes: the resonance Raman spectrum containing the band at ca. 1010 cm-1 refers to the carotenoid (in this case lycopene), and the absence of such band in resonance conditions refers to the polyenal (in this case the polyenal-11).

  5. The Yellow Gorgonian Eunicella cavolini: Demography and Disturbance Levels across the Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Linares, Cristina; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cavolini over three representative geographic regions: the NW Mediterranean, CE Adriatic, and N Aegean. Focusing on the upper bathymetric range of the species (<40 m), data were collected on the populations’ upper depth limit, density, colony height, and extent of injury. A three-level hierarchical sampling design was applied to assess the existence of spatial patterns, using: a) regions (located thousands of km apart), b) localities within regions (tens to hundreds of km apart), and c) sites within localities (hundreds of m to a few km apart). In the NW Mediterranean and CE Adriatic, the upper distribution limit was at depths ≤15 m, whereas in the N Aegean most populations were found deeper than 30 m. Population density ranged between 4.46-62 colonies per m2, while mean colony height was 15.6±8.9 SD cm with a maximum of 62 cm. The NW Mediterranean sites were characterized by dense populations dominated by small colonies (<20 cm), periodic recruitment, and low proportion of large gorgonians (>30 cm). The CE Adriatic displayed intermediate densities, with well-structured populations, and continuous recruitment. In the N Aegean, most populations presented low densities, high proportion of large colonies, but low number of small colonies, signifying limited recruitment. Disturbance levels, as a function of extent and type of injury, are discussed in relation to past or present human-induced threats. This work represents geographically the most wide ranging demographic study of a Mediterranean octocoral to date. The quantitative information obtained provides a basis for future monitoring at a Mediterranean scale. PMID

  6. The mitochondrial genome of the brachiopod Laqueus rubellus.

    PubMed Central

    Noguchi, Y; Endo, K; Tajima, F; Ueshima, R

    2000-01-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the 14,017-bp mitochondrial (mt) genome of the articulate brachiopod Laqueus rubellus is presented. Being one of the smallest of known mt genomes, it has an extremely compact gene organization. While the same 13 polypeptides, two rRNAs, and 22 tRNAs are encoded as in most other animal mtDNAs, lengthy noncoding regions are absent, with the longest apparent intergenic sequence being 54 bp in length. Gene-end sequence overlaps are prevalent, and several stop codons are abbreviated. The genes are generally shorter, and three of the protein-coding genes are the shortest among known homologues. All of the tRNA genes indicate size reduction in either or both of the putative TPsiC and DHU arms compared with standard tRNAs. Possession of a TV (TPsiC arm-variable loop) replacement loop is inferred for tRNA(R) and tRNA(L-tag). The DHU arm appears to be unpaired not only in tRNA(S-tct) and tRNA(S-tga), but also in tRNA(C), tRNA(I), and tRNA(T), a novel condition. All the genes are encoded in the same DNA strand, which has a base composition rich in thymine and guanine. The genome has an overall gene arrangement drastically different from that of any other organisms so far reported, but contains several short segments, composed of 2-3 genes, which are found in other mt genomes. Combined cooccurrence of such gene assortments indicates that the Laqueus mt genome is similar to the annelid Lumbricus, the mollusc Katharina, and the octocoral Sarcophyton mt genomes, each with statistical significance. Widely accepted schemes of metazoan phylogeny suggest that the similarity with the octocoral could have arisen through a process of convergent evolution, while it appears likely that the similarities with the annelid and the mollusc reflect phylogenetic relationships. PMID:10790399

  7. The Yellow Gorgonian Eunicella cavolini: Demography and Disturbance Levels across the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Sini, Maria; Kipson, Silvija; Linares, Cristina; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Garrabou, Joaquim

    2015-01-01

    The yellow octocoral Eunicella cavolini is one of the most common gorgonians thriving in Mediterranean hard-bottom communities. However, information regarding its distribution and ecology in several parts of the Mediterranean is lacking, while population trends and conservation status remain largely unknown. We investigated 19 populations of E. cavolini over three representative geographic regions: the NW Mediterranean, CE Adriatic, and N Aegean. Focusing on the upper bathymetric range of the species (<40 m), data were collected on the populations' upper depth limit, density, colony height, and extent of injury. A three-level hierarchical sampling design was applied to assess the existence of spatial patterns, using: a) regions (located thousands of km apart), b) localities within regions (tens to hundreds of km apart), and c) sites within localities (hundreds of m to a few km apart). In the NW Mediterranean and CE Adriatic, the upper distribution limit was at depths ≤15 m, whereas in the N Aegean most populations were found deeper than 30 m. Population density ranged between 4.46-62 colonies per m2, while mean colony height was 15.6±8.9 SD cm with a maximum of 62 cm. The NW Mediterranean sites were characterized by dense populations dominated by small colonies (<20 cm), periodic recruitment, and low proportion of large gorgonians (>30 cm). The CE Adriatic displayed intermediate densities, with well-structured populations, and continuous recruitment. In the N Aegean, most populations presented low densities, high proportion of large colonies, but low number of small colonies, signifying limited recruitment. Disturbance levels, as a function of extent and type of injury, are discussed in relation to past or present human-induced threats. This work represents geographically the most wide ranging demographic study of a Mediterranean octocoral to date. The quantitative information obtained provides a basis for future monitoring at a Mediterranean scale. PMID

  8. Plant growth promotion by inoculation with selected bacterial strains versus mineral soil supplements.

    PubMed

    Wernitznig, S; Adlassnig, W; Sprocati, A R; Turnau, K; Neagoe, A; Alisi, C; Sassmann, S; Nicoara, A; Pinto, V; Cremisini, C; Lichtscheidl, I

    2014-01-01

    In the process of remediation of mine sites, the establishment of a vegetation cover is one of the most important tasks. This study tests two different approaches to manipulate soil properties in order to facilitate plant growth. Mine waste from Ingurtosu, Sardinia, Italy rich in silt, clay, and heavy metals like Cd, Cu, and Zn was used in a series of greenhouse experiments. Bacteria with putative beneficial properties for plant growth were isolated from this substrate, propagated and consortia of ten strains were used to inoculate the substrate. Alternatively, sand and volcanic clay were added. On these treated and untreated soils, seeds of Helianthus annuus, of the native Euphorbia pithyusa, and of the grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia flexuosa and Festuca rubra were germinated, and the growth of the seedlings was monitored. The added bacteria established well under all experimental conditions and reduced the extractability of most metals. In association with H. annuus, E. pithyusa and D. flexuosa bacteria improved microbial activity and functional diversity of the original soil. Their effect on plant growth, however, was ambiguous and usually negative. The addition of sand and volcanic clay, on the other hand, had a positive effect on all plant species except E. pithyusa. Especially the grasses experienced a significant benefit. The effects of a double treatment with both bacteria and sand and volcanic clay were rather negative. It is concluded that the addition of mechanical support has great potential to boost revegetation of mining sites though it is comparatively expensive. The possibilities offered by the inoculation of bacteria, on the other hand, appear rather limited. PMID:23990253

  9. Photosynthesis of boreal ground vegetation after a forest clear-cut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulmala, L.; Pumpanen, J.; Vesala, T.; Hari, P.

    2009-11-01

    Heather (Calluna vulgaris), rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and raspberry (Rubus idaeus) are typical species at boreal clear-cut sites. In this study, we measured their photosynthesis separately in the growing season of 2005 using a manual chamber. All measured species showed clear and species-specific seasonal cycles of photosynthetic activity (Pmax). The maxima of C. vulgaris and E. angustifolium occurred around June and July, while that of R. idaeus occurred as late as August. A simple model of photosynthetic activity is presented, addressing the photosynthesis of C. vulgaris was mainly explained by temperature history when the soil moisture is high. The activity of deciduous D. flexuosa also followed the temperature history, unlike the activities of E. angustifolium and R. idaeus. During a short drought, some shoots decreased their Pmax levels but none of the species showed similar reactions between individuals. We also observed that the comparison of the whole-plant Pmax or respiration of different-sized individuals were less scattered than the results based on full-grown leaf mass, implying that species-specific rates of photosynthesis at ground level are rather similar regardless of the plant size. Using species composition and continuous temperature and light measurements, we upscaled the species-specific process rates and integrated fixed and respired CO2 of ground vegetation for the entire 2005 growing season. The photosynthetic production per surface area of soil was 760 g C m-2 y-1 at the fertile site and 300 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. During the snow-free period (18 April-21 November), the above ground parts of measured species released 75 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. At the fertile site, E. angustifolium and R. idaeus respired 22 and 12 g C m-2 y-1, respectively.

  10. Photosynthetic production of boreal ground vegetation after a forest clear-cut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulmala, L.; Pumpanen, J.; Vesala, T.; Hari, P.

    2009-05-01

    Heather (Calluna vulgaris), rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and raspberry (Rubus idaeus) are typical species on boreal clear-cut sites. According to our study, they all had clear and species-specific annual cycles of photosynthetic activity (Pmax). The maxima of C. vulgaris and E. angustifolium occurred around June and July, while that of R. idaeus occurred as late as in August. The photosynthetic activity of C. vulgaris followed the temperature history closely when the soil moisture was high. Deciduous D. flexuosa also followed the temperature history, unlike E. angustifolium and R. idaeus. During a short drought, some shoots decreased their Pmax levels but none of the species showed congruent reactions within individuals. In general, we noticed that the comparison of Pmax or respiration of different shoots caused less discrepancy when based on ground area than on leaf mass. Using species composition and continuous temperature and light measurements, we upscaled the species-specific process rates and integrated fixed and respired CO2 of ground vegetation during an entire growing season 2005. The photosynthetic production of ground vegetation was 760 g C m-2 y-1 at the fertile site and 300 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. During the snow-free period (18 April-21 November), C. vulgaris respired 68 g C m-2 y-1 and E. angustifolium 7 g C m-2 y-1 at the infertile site. At the fertile site, E. angustifolium and R. idaeus respired 22 and 12 g C m-2 y-1, respectively.

  11. Responses of a nitrogen-saturated forest to a sharp decrease in nitrogen input

    SciTech Connect

    Quist, M.E.; Naesholm, T.; Lindeberg, J.; Johannisson, C.; Hoegbom, L.; Hoegberg, P.

    1999-12-01

    The reversibility of induced N saturation was investigated in a 46-yr-old pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest in northern Sweden. Ammonium nitrate has been applied annually since 1971 to plots at average dosages of 36 (N1), 72 (N2), and 108 (N3) kg N ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1}, with or without P and K addition (background N deposition is < 4 kg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1}). In 1990, after two decades of treatment, the largest N application (N3) was suspended, while N1 and N2 still received ammonium nitrate applications. Seven years after the last application in N3, the N availability measured as N concentration in plants [pine roots and needles and in leaves of the grass Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin] and activity of the enzyme nitrate reductase in leaves of D. flexuosa, and {sup 15}N uptake by excised pine roots, was at the same levels as in N1, although more than twice the amount of N has been applied in total to N3. The arginine concentrations in pine needles, concentrations of exchangeable mineral N in the organic layer, and the uppermost 20 cm of the mineral soil were at the same levels as in the control plots. Thus, an experimentally induced N excess was, according to these measurements, to a high degree reversed 7 yr after the last N application. However, the composition of the understory vegetation still differed markedly from the untreated control 8 yr after the last N3 application.

  12. Characterizing peat palm forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon from space and on the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hergoualc'h, Kristell; Gutierrez-Velez, Victor Hugo; van Lent, Jeffrey; Verchot, Louis Vincent

    2016-04-01

    Peru has the second largest area of peatlands in the Tropics however little is known on how the biogeochemical cycle of its peat forests can be affected through anthropogenic intervention. The most representative land cover on peat is a Mauritia flexuosa-dominated palm swamp forest which has been under human pressure over decades due the high demand for the M. flexuosa fruit often collected by cutting down the entire palm. Degradation of these carbon-dense forests can severely affect emissions of greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. The objectives of this research were to assess the impacts on soil trace gas fluxes and biomass carbon stocks of peat palm swamp forest degradation and to explore the potential of remote sensing methods combined with field measurements to map the distribution of peat palm swamp forest according degradation levels. Results suggest a shift in forest composition from palm- to woody-tree dominated forest following degradation. We also found that human intervention in peat palm swamp forest can translate into substantial reductions in tree carbon stocks with a decrease in initial biomass (above and below-ground) stocks (118.3 ± 1.1 Mg C ha-1) by 26 and 44% following medium and high degradation. Preliminary results suggest high and low soil CH4 and CO2 emission rates on average, as compared to Southeast Asian peat swamp forests whereas N2O emissions are of the same magnitude. Degradation seems to disrupt soil respiration mainly through micro-climatic changes induced by reduced canopy cover. The analysis indicates a good potential to discriminate areas of peat palm swamp forest with different levels of degradation from other land covers, suggesting the feasibility of monitoring peat palm swamp forest degradation using remote sensing analyses.

  13. Cytotoxicity of fucosterol containing fraction of marine algae against breast and colon carcinoma cell line

    PubMed Central

    Khanavi, Mahnaz; Gheidarloo, Razieh; Sadati, Nargess; Ardekani, Mohammad Reza Shams; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad Bagher; Tavajohi, Shohreh; Ostad, Seyed Nasser

    2012-01-01

    Context: Marine algae produce different secondary metabolites with a wide range of biological activities. Many studies have been achieved on the screening of biological effects of marine organisms and a lot of active compounds were isolated and characterized. Aims: In an attempt to find cytotoxic compound of hexane fraction, isolation, identification, and cytotoxicity of active compound of this fraction were performed. Materials and Methods: In this study, total methanolic (70%) extract and partition fractions of hexane, chloroform (CHCl3), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and MeOH–H2O of Sargassum angustifolium, Chondria dasyphylla, and Ulva flexuosa, collected from coastlines of the Persian Gulf in south of Iran, were studied against colon carcinoma (HT-29), colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2), breast ductal carcinoma (T47D), and Swiss mouse embryo fibroblast (NIH 3T3) cell lines by MTT assay. Statistical Analysis Used: IC50 (median growth inhibitory concentration) values were calculated by Sigmaplot (10) software. Results: Hexane fraction of Chondria dasyphylla (IC50 82.26 ± 4.09 μg/ml) and MeOH-H2O fraction of Ulva flexuosa (IC50 116.92 ± 8.58 μg/ml) showed cytotoxic activity against proliferation of T47D cells. Hexane fraction of Sargassum angustifolium was also observed for cytotoxicity against T47D and HT-29 cell lines (IC50 166.42 ± 26.7 and 190.24 ± 52.8 μg/ml), respectively. An investigation of a component from the hexane fraction of Sargassum angustifolium yielded a steroidal metabolite, fucosterol, with cytotoxicity in T47D and HT29 (IC50 27.94 ± 9.3 and 70.41 ± 7.5 μg/ml). Conclusions: These results indicated that fucosterol, the most abundant phytosterol in brown algae, is responsible for cytotoxic effect of this extract against breast and colon carcinoma cell lines. PMID:22438665

  14. The Role of Individual Traits and Environmental Factors for Diet Composition of Sheep

    PubMed Central

    Mysterud, Atle; Austrheim, Gunnar

    2016-01-01

    Large herbivore consumption of forage is known to affect vegetation composition and thereby ecosystem functions. It is thus important to understand how diet composition arises as a mixture of individual variation in preferences and environmental drivers of availability, but few studies have quantified both. Based on 10 years of data on diet composition by aid of microhistological analysis for sheep kept at high and low population density, we analysed how both individual traits (sex, age, body mass, litter size) linked to preference and environmental variation (density, climate proxies) linked to forage availability affected proportional intake of herbs (high quality/low availability) and Avenella flexuosa (lower quality/high availability). Environmental factors affecting current forage availability such as population density and seasonal and annual variation in diet had the most marked impact on diet composition. Previous environment of sheep (switch between high and low population density) had no impact on diet, suggesting a comparably minor role of learning for density dependent diet selection. For individual traits, only the difference between lambs and ewes affected proportion of A. flexuosa, while body mass better predicted proportion of herbs in diet. Neither sex, body mass, litter size, ewe age nor mass of ewe affected diet composition of lambs, and there was no effect of age, body mass or litter size on diet composition of ewes. Our study highlights that diet composition arises from a combination of preferences being predicted by lamb and ewes’ age and/or body mass differences, and the immediate environment in terms of population density and proxies for vegetation development. PMID:26731411

  15. The Role of Individual Traits and Environmental Factors for Diet Composition of Sheep.

    PubMed

    Mysterud, Atle; Austrheim, Gunnar

    2016-01-01

    Large herbivore consumption of forage is known to affect vegetation composition and thereby ecosystem functions. It is thus important to understand how diet composition arises as a mixture of individual variation in preferences and environmental drivers of availability, but few studies have quantified both. Based on 10 years of data on diet composition by aid of microhistological analysis for sheep kept at high and low population density, we analysed how both individual traits (sex, age, body mass, litter size) linked to preference and environmental variation (density, climate proxies) linked to forage availability affected proportional intake of herbs (high quality/low availability) and Avenella flexuosa (lower quality/high availability). Environmental factors affecting current forage availability such as population density and seasonal and annual variation in diet had the most marked impact on diet composition. Previous environment of sheep (switch between high and low population density) had no impact on diet, suggesting a comparably minor role of learning for density dependent diet selection. For individual traits, only the difference between lambs and ewes affected proportion of A. flexuosa, while body mass better predicted proportion of herbs in diet. Neither sex, body mass, litter size, ewe age nor mass of ewe affected diet composition of lambs, and there was no effect of age, body mass or litter size on diet composition of ewes. Our study highlights that diet composition arises from a combination of preferences being predicted by lamb and ewes' age and/or body mass differences, and the immediate environment in terms of population density and proxies for vegetation development. PMID:26731411

  16. Salt lakes of La Mancha (Central Spain): A hot spot for tiger beetle (Carabidae, Cicindelinae) species diversity

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Flores, Paula C.; Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Jorge; Aguirre-Ruiz, Ernesto F.; García-París, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The tiger beetle assemblage of the wetlands of La Mancha (central Spain) comprises nine species: Calomera littoralis littoralis, Cephalota maura maura, Cephalota circumdata imperialis, Cephalota dulcinea, Cicindela campestris campestris, Cicindela maroccana, Cylindera paludosa, Lophyra flexuosa flexuosa, and Myriochila melancholica melancholica. This assemblage represents the largest concentration of tiger beetles in a single 1º latitude / longitude square in Europe. General patterns of spatial and temporal segregation among species are discussed based on observations of 1462 specimens registered during an observation period of one year, from April to August. The different species of Cicindelini appear to be distributed over space and time, with little overlapping among them. Three sets of species replace each other phenologically as the season goes on. Most of the species occupy drying or dried salt lakes and salt marshes, with sparse vegetation cover. Spatial segregation is marked in terms of substrate and vegetation use. Calomera littoralis and Myriochila melancholica have been observed mainly on wet soils; Cephalota circumdata on dry open saline flats; Cephalota dulcinea and Cylindera paludosa in granulated substrates with typical halophytic vegetation; Cephalota maura is often present in man-modified areas. Cephalota circumdata and Cephalota dulcinea are included as species of special interest in the list of protected species in Castilla–La Mancha. Conservation problems for the Cicindelini assemblage arise from agricultural activities and inadequate use of sport vehicles. Attempts at restoring the original habitat, supressing old semi-industrial structures, may affect the spatial heterogeneity of the lakes, and have an effect on Cicindelinae diversity. PMID:27006617

  17. Temporal variability in methane fluxes from tropical peatlands within the Peruvian Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Wayne; Berrio, Juan Carlos; Boom, Arnoud; Page, Sue; Arn Teh, Yit

    2016-04-01

    Tropical peatlands are one of the largest soil carbon (C) reservoirs globally and play a significant role in modulating fluxes of C between the tropical biosphere and atmosphere. These C fluxes are of global importance because tropical wetlands are the single largest natural source of atmospheric methane (CH4); while land-use change and biomass burning also contribute to the growing global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) burden. Amazonian peatlands play a potentially important role in regional and global atmospheric budgets of C because of their large extent. These ecosystems cover an estimated 150,000km2, which is roughly three-quarters the size of Indonesian peatlands; the world's most extensive and well-studied tropical peatlands. Here we report CH4 fluxes from a lowland tropical peatland in the Pastaza-Maranon foreland basin in Peru, one of the largest peatland complexes in the lowland Amazon Basin. Strong prolonged seasonal rainfall events and the annual Amazon River flood-pulse may lead to pronounced temporal variability in biogeochemical cycling and trace gas fluxes, and this study explored how CH4 fluxes varied among wet and dry season periods in a number of key vegetation types in this region. Sampling was concentrated in 3 of the most numerically-dominant vegetation types: Forested Swamp, Mixed Palm Swamp and Mauritia flexuosa-dominated Palm Swamp, with data collection occurring in both wet and dry seasons over a 2 year period from 2012-2014 (4 field campaigns in total). Overall mean CH4 fluxes from the Forested Swamp, Mixed Palm Swamp and Mauritia flexuosa-dominated Palm Swamp for the entire sampling period were 31.06 ± 3.42 mg CH4 - C m-2 d-1, 52.03 ± 16.05 mg CH4 - C m-2 d-1 and 36.68 ± 4.32 mg CH4 - C m-2 d-1. CH4 emissions, when averaged across the entire dataset, did not differ significantly among habitats. However, when CH4 emissions were aggregated by season, the Mixed Palm Swamp showed a significantly different emissions from all other

  18. Macrobiotic Communities of Vailulu'u Seamount, Samoan Archipelago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, C. M.; Lee, R. W.; Pile, A. J.; Hudson, I. R.; Brooke, S. D.; Ted, P.; Staudigel, H.; Hart, S.; Bailey, B. E.; Haucke, L.; Koppers, A.; Konter, J.; Templeton, A.; Tebo, B.

    2005-12-01

    Vailulu'u, the active seamount on the hotspot at the Eastern end of the Samoan volcanic chain, was the focus of two research cruises in April and June 2005 using the Pisces V submersible. Warm-water vents on the summit of a newly formed volcanic cone in the crater supported a low-diversity community dominated by thick microbial mats and the synaphobranchid eel Dysommina rugosa. Isotope and gut analyses indicated that the eels feed not on the mats but on planktonic crustaceans imported to the system from the overlying water column. The microbial mat exhibited isotopic signatures consistent with local chemosynthesis, but not methane-based chemosynthesis; A<octocorals and hexactinellid sponges, with occasional asteroids, ophiuroids and crinoids. Most megafaunal organisms collected from the outer flanks were isotopically heavy, with isotope values similar to those of non-vent deep-sea animals. However, the octocoral Anthomastis collected from low

  19. Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Newman, Steven P; Meesters, Erik H; Dryden, Charlie S; Williams, Stacey M; Sanchez, Cristina; Mumby, Peter J; Polunin, Nicholas V C

    2015-11-01

    There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. This study reveals the importance of reef habitat complexity and structural components to different taxa of macrofauna, total species richness, and individual coral and fish species in the Caribbean. Species presence and richness of different taxa were visually quantified in one hundred 25-m(2) plots in three marine reserves in the Caribbean. Sampling was evenly distributed across five levels of visually estimated reef complexity, with five structural components also recorded: the number of corals, number of large corals, slope angle, maximum sponge and maximum octocoral height. Taking advantage of natural heterogeneity in structural complexity within a particular coral reef habitat (Orbicella reefs) and discrete environmental envelope, thus minimizing other sources of variability, the relative importance of reef complexity and structural components was quantified for different taxa and individual fish and coral species on Caribbean coral reefs using boosted regression trees (BRTs). Boosted regression tree models performed very well when explaining variability in total (82·3%), coral (80·6%) and fish species richness (77·3%), for which the greatest declines in richness occurred below intermediate reef complexity levels. Complexity accounted for very little of the variability in octocorals, sponges, arthropods, annelids or anemones. BRTs revealed species-specific variability and importance for reef complexity and structural components. Coral and fish species occupancy generally declined at low complexity levels, with the exception of two coral species (Pseudodiploria strigosa and Porites divaricata) and four fish species (Halichoeres bivittatus, H

  20. Late Holocene vegetation and fire dynamics from a savanna-forest ecotone in Roraima state, northern Brazilian Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva Meneses, Maria Ecilene Nunes; da Costa, Marcondes Lima; Behling, Hermann

    2013-03-01

    Two sediment cores from Mauritia flexuosa palm swamps have been studied by pollen and charcoal analysis. The cores Fazenda Cigana (FC) and Terra Indígena Aningal (TIA) were taken from a savanna-forest ecotone area in the Roraima State, northern Brazilian Amazon. Based on 5 radiocarbon dates, these records allow the reconstruction of the vegetation fire and climate dynamics during the past 1550 years. At the FC site was recorded a higher proportion of forest cover, suggesting local wetter climatic conditions favorable for forest expansion, especially by gallery forests, between 1550 and 1400 cal yr BP. Stands of M. flexuosa started to establish on the site indicating sufficient soil moisture. From 1400 to 1050 cal yr BP, forest cover retreated while savanna, and the Mauritia palm swamp expanded considerably. The FC site was marked by savanna and Mauritia cover with a slight increase of forest between ca. 1050 and 900 cal yr BP. From 900 to 300 cal yr BP the savanna and palm swamp taxa became dominant and the forest area decreased. At the TIA site the savanna cover was dominant between 1200 and 1000 cal yr BP. From 1000 to 700 forest expanded while savanna and Mauritia palm swamp reduced. Between 700 and 300 cal yr BP savanna and Mauritia palm swamp increased and forest area decreased. The high amount of charred particles found in the sediments, indicate fires with a marked increase between 1400 to 1000 cal yr BP (FC site) and 700 to 300 cal yr BP (TIA site), and probably caused the retreat of forest cover during these two time intervals. The relatively lower fire activity after 300 cal yr BP until present-day favored the increase of forested area at both TIA and FC sites. The arrival of the European settler and the subsequent introduction of cattle, is suggested as the main reason for the decrease of fire in the study region. The results point the fire caused by indigenous people as the principal controlling factor for forest and savanna dynamics during the past

  1. The Use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for Deep-Reef Discovery and Benthic Characterization To Aid Conservation and Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rissolo, D.; Reed, J. K.; Auster, P. J.; Sherrell, A.; Dessner, M.; Purcell, M.; Packard, G.

    2012-12-01

    Recent exploratory research along the Atlantic coast of the US has demonstrated the utility of dual autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) systems for side-scan surveys, multibeam mapping, and photo-imaging of deep-water habitat and octocoral gardens. The potential of the REMUS 6000 AUVs was demonstrated by mapping high-relief coral mounds in the Straits of Florida in the strong currents of the Gulf Stream, and the submarine canyons and seamounts off the Northeastern US coast. The key to protecting these slow-growing deep coral reefs and critical hard-bottom habitat is the ability to efficiently discover and map their locations, characterize their structure, and assess their condition. Data from these deepwater AUV surveys were used to inform the regional fishery management councils and NOAA NMFS for the management and potential protection of these vulnerable habitats. These projects were realized though the collaborative efforts of the Waitt Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the University of Connecticut.

  2. Imaging mass spectrometry of a coral microbe interaction with fungi.

    PubMed

    Moree, Wilna J; Yang, Jane Y; Zhao, Xiling; Liu, Wei-Ting; Aparicio, Marystella; Atencio, Librada; Ballesteros, Javier; Sánchez, Joel; Gavilán, Ronnie G; Gutiérrez, Marcelino; Dorrestein, Pieter C

    2013-07-01

    Fungal infections are increasing worldwide, including in the aquatic environment. Microbiota that coexist with marine life can provide protection against fungal infections by secretion of metabolites with antifungal properties. Our laboratory has developed mass spectrometric methodologies with the goal of improving our functional understanding of microbial metabolites and guiding the discovery process of anti-infective agents from natural sources. GA40, a Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain isolated from an octocoral in Panama, displayed antifungal activity against various terrestrial and marine fungal strains. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS), the molecular species produced by this microbe were visualized in a side-by-side interaction with two representative fungal strains, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger. The visualization was performed directly on the agar without the need for extraction. By evaluating the spatial distributions, relative intensities and m/z values of GA40 secreted metabolites in the fungal interactions and singly grown control colonies, we obtained insight into the antifungal activity of secreted metabolites. Annotation of GA40 metabolites observed in MALDI-IMS was facilitated by MS/MS networking analysis, a mass spectrometric technique that clusters metabolites with similar MS/MS fragmentation patterns. This analysis established that the predominant GA40 metabolites belong to the iturin family. In a fungal inhibition assay of A. fumigatus, the GA40 iturin metabolites were found to be responsible for the antifungal properties of this Bacillus strain. PMID:23881443

  3. Seafloor characterization and benthic megafaunal distribution of an active submarine canyon and surrounding sectors: The case of Gioia Canyon (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierdomenico, Martina; Martorelli, Eleonora; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Gili, Josep Maria; Chiocci, Francesco Latino

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we used multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, high-resolution seismic profiles, ROV video images and sediment samples to identify the principal morpho-sedimentary features and related megabenthic communities along the upper reach of the Gioia Canyon (depth < 600 m) and the surrounding shelf and slope areas. Interpretation of the multidisciplinary dataset was undertaken to evaluate the relationships between seafloor characteristics and faunal distribution along a submarine canyon in an active tectonic setting. The results from this study indicate that physical disturbance on the seafloor at the canyon head and surrounding shelf, related to high sedimentation rates and occasional turbidite flows, may limit the variability of megabenthic communities. Evidence of diffuse trawl marks over soft sedimentary bottoms indicates anthropogenic impact due to fishing activities, which could explain low abundances of megabenthic species observed locally. The canyon margins and flanks along the continental slope host octocorals Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata, species that are indicative of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and relevant in terms of sustainable management priorities. At the Palmi Ridge, the occurrence of outcropping rocks and bottom currents related to the presence of Levantine Intermediate Waters, provide conditions for the development of hard-bottom assemblages, including the black coral Antipathella subpinnata and deep-sea sponges fields.

  4. Temporal variability in epifaunal assemblages associated with temperate gorgonian gardens.

    PubMed

    Dias, I M; Cúrdia, J; Cunha, M R; Santos, M N; Carvalho, S

    2015-12-01

    The present study is one of the few that investigate the temporal variability of epifaunal assemblages associated with coral species, particularly the octocorals Eunicella gazella and Leptogorgia lusitanica in south Portugal. The results suggest time rather than colony size as a primary driver of the ecological patterns of these assemblages, which were dominated by amphipods, molluscs and polychaetes. Temporal variability was linked to changes in environmental parameters, namely temperature, chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon. Hence, temporal variability must be taken into account for the design of future biodiversity assessment studies, as different patterns may be observed depending on the sampling time. Associated epifaunal assemblages were consistently dominated by resident species (i.e. species present in all sampling periods) and a peak of rare species was observed in the transition from spring to summer following the increase in seawater temperature. Turnover was particularly high in the transition between the spring and summer periods. In both hosts, turnover was higher in the small sized colonies, which harboured less diverse and less abundant assemblages that also differed from those inhabiting larger size colonies. The high levels of diversity associated with gorgonian colonies highlight the need for the conservation of this priority habitat. PMID:26525873

  5. Genotyping the clonal structure of a gorgonian coral, Junceella juncea (Anthozoa: Octocorallia), using microsatellite loci

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shang-Yin Vanson; Yu, Hon-Tsen; Fan, Tung-Yung; Dai, Chang-Feng

    2005-11-01

    The identification of different clones is fundamental to the study of population structure among organisms with mixed reproductive modes such as cnidarians. However, due to the low genetic variation of coral mtDNA and contamination by zooxanthellate DNA, very few molecular markers are available for studying the clonal structure of cnidarians. Herein we used four polymorphic loci of microsatellite DNA isolated from a zooxanthellae-free octocoral, Junceella juncea, to study its clonal structure in seven populations collected from three localities in Taiwan. In total, 40 multilocus genotypes were found among 152 colonies, and the number of genotypes (clones) identified in the seven populations ranged from 2 to 16. Each of the 40 multilocus genotypes was restricted to a single population, even where adjacent populations were only 100 m distant. The ratio of observed to expected genotypic diversity (Go:Ge) ranged from 0.217 to 0.650, and Go showed a significant departure from Ge ( p<0.05) at each site indicating that asexual fragmentation may play a major role in the maintenance of established populations. Mean relatedness ( R) values showed that genotypes within reefs were more closely related than those between regions. The results indicate that microsatellites are useful for discerning the clonal structures among and within populations at different spatial scales.

  6. Jellyfish-associated bacterial communities and bacterioplankton in Indonesian Marine lakes.

    PubMed

    Cleary, Daniel F R; Becking, Leontine E; Polónia, Ana R M; Freitas, Rossana M; Gomes, Newton C M

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, we compared communities of bacteria in two jellyfish species (the 'golden' jellyfishMastigiascf.papuaand the box jellyfishTripedaliacf.cystophora) and water in three marine lakes located in the Berau region of northeastern Borneo, Indonesia. Jellyfish-associated bacterial communities were compositionally distinct and less diverse than bacterioplankton communities. Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Synechococcophycidae and Flavobacteriia were the most abundant classes in water. Jellyfish-associated bacterial communities were dominated by OTUs assigned to the Gammaproteobacteria (family Endozoicimonaceae), Mollicutes, Spirochaetes and Alphaproteobacteria (orders Kiloniellales and Rhodobacterales). Mollicutes were mainly restricted toMastigiaswhereas Spirochaetes and the order Kiloniellales were most abundant inTripedaliahosts. The most abundant OTU overall in jellyfish hosts was assigned to the family Endozoicimonaceae and was highly similar to organisms in Genbank obtained from various hosts including an octocoral, bivalve and fish species. Other abundant OTUs included an OTU assigned to the order Entomoplasmatales and mainly found inMastigiashosts and OTUs assigned to the Spirochaetes and order Kiloniellales and mainly found inTripedaliahosts. The low sequence similarity of the Entomoplasmatales OTU to sequences in Genbank suggests that it may be a novel lineage inhabitingMastigiasand possibly restricted to marine lakes. PMID:27004797

  7. Ancient DNA from Coral-Hosted Symbiodinium Reveal a Static Mutualism over the Last 172 Years

    PubMed Central

    Baker, David M.; Weigt, Lee; Fogel, Marilyn; Knowlton, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    Ancient DNA (aDNA) provides powerful evidence for detecting the genetic basis for adaptation to environmental change in many taxa. Among the greatest of changes in our biosphere within the last century is rapid anthropogenic ocean warming. This phenomenon threatens corals with extinction, evidenced by the increasing observation of widespread mortality following mass bleaching events. There is some evidence and conjecture that coral-dinoflagellate symbioses change partnerships in response to changing external conditions over ecological and evolutionary timescales. Until now, we have been unable to ascertain the genetic identity of Symbiodinium hosted by corals prior to the rapid global change of the last century. Here, we show that Symbiodinium cells recovered from dry, century old specimens of 6 host species of octocorals contain sufficient DNA for amplification of the ITS2 subregion of the nuclear ribosomal DNA, commonly used for genotyping within this genus. Through comparisons with modern specimens sampled from similar locales we show that symbiotic associations among several species have been static over the last century, thereby suggesting that adaptive shifts to novel symbiont types is not common among these gorgonians, and perhaps, symbiotic corals in general. PMID:23405111

  8. Cell cultures from the symbiotic soft coral Sinularia flexibilis.

    PubMed

    Khalesi, Mohammad K; Vera-Jiménez, N I; Aanen, D K; Beeftink, H H; Wijffels, R H

    2008-01-01

    The symbiotic octocoral Sinularia flexibilis is a producer of potential pharmaceuticals. Sustainable mass production of these corals as a source of such compounds demands innovative approaches, including coral cell culture. We studied various cell dissociation methodologies and the feasibility of cultivation of S. flexibilis cells on different media and cell dissociation methodologies. Mechanical dissociation of coral tissue always yielded the highest number of cells and allowed subsequent cellular growth in all treatments. The best results from chemical dissociation reagents were found with trypsin-ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid. Coral cells obtained from spontaneous dissociation did not grow. Light intensity was found to be important for coral cell culture showing an enduring symbiosis between the cultured cells and their intracellular algae. The Grace's insect medium and Grace's modified insect medium were found to be superior substrates. To confirm the similarity of the cultured cells and those in the coral tissue, a molecular test with Internal Transcribed Spacer primers was performed. Thereby, the presence of similar cells of both the coral cells and zooxanthella in different culture media was confirmed. PMID:18661193

  9. Characteristics of the Mesophotic Megabenthic Assemblages of the Vercelli Seamount (North Tyrrhenian Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Bo, Marzia; Bertolino, Marco; Borghini, Mireno; Castellano, Michela; Covazzi Harriague, Anabella; Di Camillo, Cristina Gioia; Gasparini, GianPietro; Misic, Cristina; Povero, Paolo; Pusceddu, Antonio; Schroeder, Katrin; Bavestrello, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The biodiversity of the megabenthic assemblages of the mesophotic zone of a Tyrrhenian seamount (Vercelli Seamount) is described using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging from 100 m depth to the top of the mount around 61 m depth. This pinnacle hosts a rich coralligenous community characterized by three different assemblages: (i) the top shows a dense covering of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii; (ii) the southern side biocoenosis is mainly dominated by the octocorals Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolinii; while (iii) the northern side of the seamount assemblage is colonized by active filter-feeding organisms such as sponges (sometimes covering 100% of the surface) with numerous colonies of the ascidian Diazona violacea, and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. This study highlights, also for a Mediterranean seamount, the potential role of an isolated rocky peak penetrating the euphotic zone, to work as an aggregating structure, hosting abundant benthic communities dominated by suspension feeders, whose distribution may vary in accordance to the geomorphology of the area and the different local hydrodynamic conditions. PMID:21304906

  10. In-situ observation of deep water corals in the northern Red Sea waters of Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qurban, Mohammad A.; Krishnakumar, P. K.; Joydas, T. V.; Manikandan, K. P.; Ashraf, T. T. M.; Quadri, S. I.; Wafar, M.; Qasem, Ali; Cairns, S. D.

    2014-07-01

    Three sites offshore of the Saudi Arabia coast in the northern Red Sea were surveyed in November 2012 to search for deep-water coral (DWC) grounds using a Remotely Operated Vehicle. A total of 156 colonies were positively identified between 400 and 760 m, and were represented by seven species belonging to Scleractinia (3), Alcyonacea (3) and Antipatharia (1). The scleractinians Dasmosmilia valida Marenzeller, 1907, Eguchipsammia fistula (Alcock, 1902) and Rhizotrochus typus Milne-Edwards and Haime, 1848 were identified to species level, while the octocorals Acanthogorgia sp., Chironephthya sp., Pseudopterogorgia sp., and the antipatharian Stichopathes sp., were identified to genus level. Overall, the highest abundance of DWC was observed at Site A1, the closest to the coast. The most abundant species in the study area was D. valida, which lives attached to rocky substrates and represented 42% of the total coral population at site A1. Water column attributes at this depth were quite homogenous with temperature ca. 21.6 °C, salinity ca. 40.56, dissolved oxygen ca. 1.75 ml L-1 and current velocity from 0.6 to 34.5 cm s-1 with a mean value of 9.5 cm s-1. Interestingly, these DWC can cope with high temperature and salinity, compared to those in other regions.

  11. The synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by cultured, symbiotic dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    T Banaszak1 A; LaJeunesse; Trench

    2000-06-28

    We tested the hypothesis that there is a relation between phylotypes (phylogenetic types, as determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and partial sequence analysis of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSUrDNA)) and the synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) by symbiotic dinoflagellates under the influence of ultraviolet radiation (UV-B/A) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). We exposed 27 isolates of symbiotic dinoflagellates simultaneously to UV-B/A and PAR, and subsequently determined the MAAs present in cell extracts and in the media. The algae used included 24 isolates of Symbiodinium spp. originating from jellyfishes, sea anemones, zoanthids, scleractinians, octocorals, and bivalves, and three others in the genera Gymnodinium, Gloeodinium and Amphidinium from a jellyfish, an hydrocoral and a flatworm, respectively. In this study, all of the phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. synthesized up to three identified MAAs. None of the 11 cultured phylotypes B and C Symbiodinium spp. synthesized MAAs. The three non-Symbiodinium symbionts also synthesized up to three MAAs. The results support a conclusion that phylotype A Symbiodinium spp. have a high predilection for the synthesis of MAAs, while phylotypes B and C do not. Synthesis of MAAs by symbiotic dinoflagellates in culture does not appear to relate directly to depths or to the UV exposure regimes from which the consortia were collected. PMID:10841936

  12. The global diversity of sea pens (Cnidaria: Octocorallia: Pennatulacea).

    PubMed

    Williams, Gary C

    2011-01-01

    Recent advances in deep-sea exploration technology coupled with an increase in worldwide biotic surveys, biological research, and underwater photography in shallow water marine regions such as coral reefs, has allowed for a relatively rapid expansion of our knowledge in the global diversity of many groups of marine organisms. This paper is part of the PLoS ONE review collection of WoRMS (the Worldwide Register of Marine Species), on the global diversity of marine species, and treats the pennatulacean octocorals, a group of cnidarians commonly referred to as sea pens or sea feathers. This also includes sea pansies, some sea whips, and various vermiform taxa. Pennatulaceans are a morphologically diverse group with an estimated 200 or more valid species, displaying worldwide geographic and bathymetric distributions from polar seas to the equatorial tropics and from intertidal flats to over 6100 m in depth. The paper treats new discoveries and taxa new to science, and provides greater resolution in geographic and bathymetric distributions data than was previously known, as well as descriptions of life appearances in life and in situ observations at diverse depth. PMID:21829500

  13. Naked Stony Corals: Skeleton Loss in Scleractinia

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica; Collins, Allen G.; Takaoka, Tori L.; Kuehl,Jennifer; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    Hexacorallia includes the Scleractinia, or stony corals, characterized by having an external calcareous skeleton made of aragonite, and the Corallimorpharia, or mushroom corals, that lack such a skeleton. Although each group has traditionally been considered monophyletic, some molecular phylogenetic analyses have challenged this, suggesting that skeletal features are evolutionarily plastic, and reviving notions that the scleractinian skeleton may be ephemeral and that the group itself may be polyphyletic. Nevertheless, the most comprehensive phylogenetic study of Hexacorallia supported scleractinian monophyly (REF), and so this remains controversial. In order to resolve this contentious issue, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome sequences of nine scleractinians and four corallimorpharians and performed phylogenetic analysis that also included three outgroups (an octocoral and two sea anemones). Our data provide the first strong evidence that Scleractinia is paraphyletic and that the Corallimorpharia is derived from within the group, from which we conclude that skeletal loss has occurred in the latter group secondarily. It is possible that a driving force in such skeletal loss could be the high levels of CO{sub 2} in the ocean during the mid-Cretaceous, which would have impacted aragonite solubility. We estimate from molecular divergence measures that the Corallimorpharia arose in the mid-Cretaceous, approximately 87 million years ago (Ma), supporting this view. These data also permit us to date the origin of Scleractinia to 265 Ma, narrowing the gap between the group's phylogenetic origin and its earliest fossil record.

  14. IMAGING MASS SPECTROMETRY OF A CORAL MICROBE INTERACTION WITH FUNGI

    PubMed Central

    ZHAO, XILING; LIU, WEI-TING; APARICIO, MARYSTELLA; ATENCIO, LIBRADA; BALLESTEROS, JAVIER; SÁNCHEZ, JOEL; GAVILÁN, RONNIE G.; GUTIÉRREZ, MARCELINO; DORRESTEIN, PIETER C.

    2013-01-01

    Fungal infections are increasing worldwide, including in the aquatic environment. Microbiota that coexist with marine life can provide protection against fungal infections by secretion of metabolites with antifungal properties. Our laboratory has developed mass spectrometric methodologies with the goal of improving our functional understanding of microbial metabolites and guiding the discovery process of anti-infective agents from natural sources. GA40, a Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain isolated from an octocoral in Panama, displayed antifungal activity against various terrestrial and marine fungal strains. Using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS), the molecular species produced by this microbe were visualized in a side-by-side interaction with two representative fungal strains, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger. The visualization was performed directly on the agar without the need for extraction. By comparison of spatial distributions, relative intensities and m/z values of GA40 secreted metabolites in the fungal interactions versus singly grown control colonies, we obtained insight into the antifungal activity of secreted metabolites. Annotation of GA40 metabolites observed in MALDI-IMS was facilitated by MS/MS networking analysis, a mass spectrometric technique that clusters metabolites with similar MS/MS fragmentation patterns. This analysis established that the predominant GA40 metabolites belong to the iturin family. In a fungal inhibition assay of A. fumigatus, the GA40 iturin metabolites were found to be responsible for the antifungal properties of this Bacillus strain. PMID:23881443

  15. Topography, substratum and benthic macrofaunal relationships on a tropical mesophotic shelf margin, central Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridge, T. C. L.; Done, T. J.; Beaman, R. J.; Friedman, A.; Williams, S. B.; Pizarro, O.; Webster, J. M.

    2011-03-01

    Habitats and ecological communities occurring in the mesophotic region of the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, were investigated using autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) from 51 to 145 m. High-resolution multibeam bathymetry of the outer-shelf at Hydrographers Passage in the central GBR revealed submerged linear reefs with tops at 50, 55, 80, 90, 100 and 130 m separated by flat, sandy inter-reefal areas punctuated by limestone pinnacles. Cluster analysis of AUV images yielded five distinct site groups based on their benthic macrofauna, with rugosity and the presence of limestone reef identified as the most significant abiotic factors explaining the distribution of macrofaunal communities. Reef-associated macrofaunal communities occurred in three distinct depth zones: (1) a shallow (<60 m) community dominated by photosynthetic taxa, notably scleractinian corals, zooxanthellate octocorals and photosynthetic sponges; (2) a transitional community (60-75 m) comprising both zooxanthellate taxa and azooxanthellate taxa (notably gorgonians and antipatharians); and (3) an entirely azooxanthellate community (>75 m). The effects of depth and microhabitat topography on irradiance most likely play a critical role in controlling vertical zonation on reef substrates. The lower depth limits of zooxanthellate corals are significantly shallower than that observed in many other mesophotic coral ecosystems. This may be a result of resuspension of sediments from the sand sheets by strong currents and/or a consequence of cold water upwelling.

  16. Characteristics of the mesophotic megabenthic assemblages of the vercelli seamount (north tyrrhenian sea).

    PubMed

    Bo, Marzia; Bertolino, Marco; Borghini, Mireno; Castellano, Michela; Covazzi Harriague, Anabella; Di Camillo, Cristina Gioia; Gasparini, Gianpietro; Misic, Cristina; Povero, Paolo; Pusceddu, Antonio; Schroeder, Katrin; Bavestrello, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    The biodiversity of the megabenthic assemblages of the mesophotic zone of a Tyrrhenian seamount (Vercelli Seamount) is described using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging from 100 m depth to the top of the mount around 61 m depth. This pinnacle hosts a rich coralligenous community characterized by three different assemblages: (i) the top shows a dense covering of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii; (ii) the southern side biocoenosis is mainly dominated by the octocorals Paramuricea clavata and Eunicella cavolinii; while (iii) the northern side of the seamount assemblage is colonized by active filter-feeding organisms such as sponges (sometimes covering 100% of the surface) with numerous colonies of the ascidian Diazona violacea, and the polychaete Sabella pavonina. This study highlights, also for a Mediterranean seamount, the potential role of an isolated rocky peak penetrating the euphotic zone, to work as an aggregating structure, hosting abundant benthic communities dominated by suspension feeders, whose distribution may vary in accordance to the geomorphology of the area and the different local hydrodynamic conditions. PMID:21304906

  17. Contourite drift evolution and related coral growth in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and its gateways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hübscher, Christian; Dullo, Christian; Flögel, Sascha; Titschack, Jürgen; Schönfeld, Joachim

    2010-10-01

    Sediment subbottom profiler and multi-beam data reveal that sediment drifts evolved in various depth intervals between 420 and 650 m water depth in the eastern Golf of Mexico and its gateways. Drift evolution on the western flank of the Yucatan Strait is controlled by the northbound Loop Current down to 800 m and by a counter-current beneath. On the northern Campeche Bank and the West Florida Slope, drifts evolved in depth of 520-600 m and 420-550 m, respectively. In both instances, the causative contour current represents a counter flow to the Loop Current. The varying depth ranges correlate with an eastward rise of the upper boundary of the Antarctic Intermediate Water. The geometry and reflection pattern of upper slope deposits strongly suggest that the causative bottom current velocities in the eastern Gulf of Mexico varied significantly in space and time. The subbottom profiler data further show peculiar stacked diffraction hyperbolae in depths between 480 and 600 m. Camera and video observations from the seafloor off western Florida imply that the diffraction hyperbolas are formed by boulders and cliffs of sedimentary rock, which are locally colonized by cold-water corals, such as Lophelia pertusa, octocorals and stylasterids.

  18. Range-wide population genetic structure of Symbiodinium associated with the Caribbean Sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina.

    PubMed

    Andras, Jason P; Kirk, Nathan L; Drew Harvell, C

    2011-06-01

    Numerous marine invertebrates form endosymbiotic relationships with dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium, yet few studies have examined the population structure of these symbionts. Here, we elucidate the population genetic structure of Symbiodinium harboured by the Caribbean octocoral Gorgonia ventalina throughout the entire range of the host. We used ten microsatellite loci to survey 35 localities spanning 3124 km across the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Diversity of Symbiodinium haplotypes was low within colonies of G. ventalina but high among colonies. Despite high haplotypic diversity, significant evidence of clonal reproduction in Symbiodinium was detected, and most clones occurred within localities, not among them. Pairwise measures of F(ST) illustrated significant differentiation in 98% of comparisons between localities, suggesting low levels of gene flow. Clustering analyses identified six genetic groups whose distribution delimited four broad biogeographic regions. There was evidence of some connectivity among regions, corresponding with known geographic and oceanographic features. Fine-scale spatial surveys of G. ventalina colonies failed to detect differentiation among Symbiodinium at the metre scale. However, significant differentiation was observed among Symbiodinium hosted by sympatric G. ventalina colonies of different size/age classes. This cohort effect suggests that Symbiodinium may have an epidemic population structure, whereby G. ventalina recruits are infected by the locally predominant symbiont strain(s), which change over time. PMID:21545573

  19. Strong Endemism of Bloom-Forming Tubular Ulva in Indian West Coast, with Description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta)

    PubMed Central

    Bast, Felix; John, Aijaz Ahmad; Bhushan, Satej

    2014-01-01

    Ulva intestinalis and Ulva compressa are two bloom-forming morphologically-cryptic species of green seaweeds widely accepted as cosmopolitan in distribution. Previous studies have shown that these are two distinct species that exhibit great morphological plasticity with changing seawater salinity. Here we present a phylogeographic assessment of tubular Ulva that we considered belonging to this complex collected from various marine and estuarine green-tide occurrences in a ca. 600 km stretch of the Indian west coast. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference phylogenetic reconstructions using ITS nrDNA revealed strong endemism of Indian tubular Ulva, with none of the Indian isolates forming part of the already described phylogenetic clades of either U. compressa or U. intestinalis. Due to the straightforward conclusion that Indian isolates form a robust and distinct phylogenetic clade, a description of a new bloom-forming species, Ulva paschima Bast, is formally proposed. Our phylogenetic reconstructions using Neighbor-Joining method revealed evolutionary affinity of this new species with Ulva flexuosa. This is the first molecular assessment of Ulva from the Indian Subcontinent. PMID:25329833

  20. Strong Endemism of bloom-forming tubular Ulva in Indian West Coast, with description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta).

    PubMed

    Bast, Felix; John, Aijaz Ahmad; Bhushan, Satej

    2014-01-01

    Ulva intestinalis and Ulva compressa are two bloom-forming morphologically-cryptic species of green seaweeds widely accepted as cosmopolitan in distribution. Previous studies have shown that these are two distinct species that exhibit great morphological plasticity with changing seawater salinity. Here we present a phylogeographic assessment of tubular Ulva that we considered belonging to this complex collected from various marine and estuarine green-tide occurrences in a ca. 600 km stretch of the Indian west coast. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference phylogenetic reconstructions using ITS nrDNA revealed strong endemism of Indian tubular Ulva, with none of the Indian isolates forming part of the already described phylogenetic clades of either U. compressa or U. intestinalis. Due to the straightforward conclusion that Indian isolates form a robust and distinct phylogenetic clade, a description of a new bloom-forming species, Ulva paschima Bast, is formally proposed. Our phylogenetic reconstructions using Neighbor-Joining method revealed evolutionary affinity of this new species with Ulva flexuosa. This is the first molecular assessment of Ulva from the Indian Subcontinent. PMID:25329833

  1. Ecological aspects of Rhodnius nasutus Stål, 1859 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) in palms of the Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dias, Fernando Braga Stehling; Bezerra, Cláudia Mendonça; Machado, Evandro Marques de Menezes; Casanova, Cláudio; Diotaiuti, Liléia

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this work is to present aspects related to the ecology of Rhodnius nasutus Stål, 1859 in palms from Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, Brazil. The following five species of palms were investigated: babaçu (Attalea speciosa), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), carnaúba (Copernicia prunifera), catolé (Syagrus oleracea) and macaúba-barriguda (Acrocomia intumescens). Fifth palms were dissected (10 specimens for each species). The overall infestation index was 86%, with a total of 521 triatomines collected. The Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas, 1909 Index was 16.8% and two insects presented mixed infection with Trypanosoma rangeli Tejera, 1920. A precipitin test showed that R. nasutus from palms of Chapada do Araripe are associated with opossum and bird although other possible bloodmeals were observed. Our results showing a high index of infestation of the palms as well as T. cruzi infection, the association of R. nasutus with the most diverse species of palms and proximity of these palms to houses demonstrate the importance of this area for sylvatic T. cruzi transmission and suggest the need for epidemiological surveillance in the region of the Chapada do Araripe. PMID:19148424

  2. First description of Onchocerca jakutensis (Nematoda: Filarioidea) in red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Felix; Manzanell, Ralph; Mathis, Alexander

    2016-08-01

    Twenty-seven species of the genus Onchocerca (Nematoda; Filarioidea) can cause a vector-borne parasitic disease called onchocercosis. Most Onchocerca species infect wild and domestic ungulates or the dog, and one species causes river blindness in humans mainly in tropical Africa. The European red deer (Cervus e. elaphus) is host to four species, which are transmitted by blackflies (simuliids) or biting midges (ceratopogonids). Two species, Onchocerca flexuosa and Onchocerca jakutensis, produce subcutaneous nodules, whereas Onchocerca skrjabini and Onchocerca garmsi live free in the hypodermal serous membranes. During the hunting season, September 2013, red deer (n = 25), roe deer (Capreolus c. capreolus, n = 6) and chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra, n = 7), all shot in the Grisons Region (Switzerland) were investigated for the presence of subcutaneous nodules which were enzymatically digested, and the contained Onchocerca worms were identified to species by light and scanning electron microscopy as well as by PCR/sequencing. In addition, microfilariae from skin samples were collected and genetically characterized. Neither nodules nor microfilariae were discovered in the roe deer and chamois. Adult worms were found in 24% of red deer, and all of them were identified as O. jakutensis. Two morphologically different microfilariae were obtained from five red deer, and genetic analysis of a skin sample of one red deer indicated the presence of another Onchocerca species. This is the first report of O. jakutensis in Switzerland with a prevalence in red deer similar to that in neighbouring Germany. PMID:27617204

  3. Avoidance of nonhost plants by a bark beetle, Pityogenes bidentatus, in a forest of odors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, John A.; Zhang, Qing-He; Birgersson, Göran

    The bark beetle, Pityogenes bidentatus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), searches in mixed conifer and deciduous forests of northern Europe for suitable branches of its host, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). We tested whether odors from several diverse nonhost trees and plants common in the habitat (e.g., mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia; oak, Quercus robur; alder buckthorn, Frangula alnus; blueberry, Vaccinium myrtillus; raspberry, Rubus idaeus; and grass, Deschampsia flexuosa) would reduce the attraction of the bark beetle to traps releasing its aggregation pheromone components in the field. Volatiles from the leaves or bark of each of these plants significantly reduced the attraction of the beetles to their pheromone. Odors collected from these nonhosts and analyzed by GC/MS contained monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and ``green-leaf'' alcohols, several of which (e.g., 1-octene-3-ol and β-caryophyllene) reduced the attraction to pheromone in the field and elicited electroantennographic responses. In the laboratory, reproduction by the beetle was marginal in nonhost Norway spruce, Picea abies, and was absent in the other nonhost trees. Olfactory avoidance of unsuitable nonhosts may have evolved due to advantages in avoiding mistakes during host selection.

  4. Computational design of an endo-1,4-β-xylanase ligand binding site

    PubMed Central

    Morin, Andrew; Kaufmann, Kristian W.; Fortenberry, Carie; Harp, Joel M.; Mizoue, Laura S.; Meiler, Jens

    2011-01-01

    The field of computational protein design has experienced important recent success. However, the de novo computational design of high-affinity protein–ligand interfaces is still largely an open challenge. Using the Rosetta program, we attempted the in silico design of a high-affinity protein interface to a small peptide ligand. We chose the thermophilic endo-1,4-β-xylanase from Nonomuraea flexuosa as the protein scaffold on which to perform our designs. Over the course of the study, 12 proteins derived from this scaffold were produced and assayed for binding to the target ligand. Unfortunately, none of the designed proteins displayed evidence of high-affinity binding. Structural characterization of four designed proteins revealed that although the predicted structure of the protein model was highly accurate, this structural accuracy did not translate into accurate prediction of binding affinity. Crystallographic analyses indicate that the lack of binding affinity is possibly due to unaccounted for protein dynamics in the ‘thumb’ region of our design scaffold intrinsic to the family 11 β-xylanase fold. Further computational analysis revealed two specific, single amino acid substitutions responsible for an observed change in backbone conformation, and decreased dynamic stability of the catalytic cleft. These findings offer new insight into the dynamic and structural determinants of the β-xylanase proteins. PMID:21349882

  5. Associational resistance of fouled blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) against starfish (Asterias rubens) predation: relative importance of structural and chemical properties of the epibionts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laudien, Jürgen; Wahl, Martin

    2004-10-01

    Several epibiotic species reduce starfish (Asterias rubens) preference for the blue mussel Mytilus edulis in the Baltic. The aim of this study was to reveal whether this associational resistance was caused by structural or chemical aspects of the different epibionts. To assess structural epibiont effects, an in situ experiment was conducted with unfouled mussels and mussels equipped with artificial epibionts (`dummies') exposed to natural predation by A. rubens. The chemically inert dummies closely matched the structural properties of the locally common epibionts Balanus improvisus (barnacle), Ceramium strictum (red alga), Halichondria panicea (sponge), and Laomedea flexuosa (hydrozoan). Starfish fed indiscriminately in all treatments. Chemical effects of epibionts on the attractiveness of mussels for A. rubens were investigated by incorporating freeze-dried epibionts or mussel tissue into Phytagel pellets at natural concentrations. Starfish were allowed to choose among these structurally similar but chemically different prey items in an in vitro experiment. The predators exhibited significant preferences among the food pellets, which closely matched their preferences for corresponding natural mussel-epibiont associations. Thus, chemical aspects of epibionts appear to play a larger role in this associational resistance than do structural aspects. Implications of these indirect interactions for benthic communities are discussed.

  6. Trophic ecology and food consumption of fishes in a hypersaline tropical lagoon.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Silva, P H; Tubino, R A; Zambrano, L C; Hunder, D A; Garritano, S R; Monteiro-Neto, C

    2015-06-01

    This study evaluated the trophic ecology (diet composition, trophic strategy, similarities and overlap between species, feeding period and food consumption) of six benthivorous fish species in Araruama Lagoon, the largest hypersaline tropical lagoon on the east coast of South America, with an area of 210 km(2) and an average salinity of 52. The burrfish Chilomycterus spinosus fed on Anomalocardia flexuosa shell deposits, ingesting associated fauna. The caitipa mojarra Diapterus rhombeus differed from all other species, having not only the highest proportions of algae and Nematoda, but also feeding on polychaete tentacles. The two mojarras Eucinostomus spp. showed similar trophic strategies, feeding mostly on Polychaeta. The corocoro grunt Orthopristis ruber also fed mainly on Polychaeta, but differed from Eucinostomus spp. in secondary items. The whitemouth croacker Micropogonias furnieri fed mainly on small Crustacea at night, showing a high number of secondary prey items with low frequencies and high prey-specific abundance. The daily food consumption (g food g(-1) fish mass) for Eucinostomus argenteus was 0·012 and was 0·031 and 0·027 for M. furnieri in two different sampling events. The diet similarities between Araruama Lagoon and other brackish and marine environments indicate that hypersalinity is not a predominant factor shaping the trophic ecology of fishes in this lagoon. The stability of hypersaline conditions, without a pronounced gradient, may explain the presence of several euryhaline fishes and invertebrates well adapted to this condition, resulting in a complex food web. PMID:26033293

  7. Multiple isoforms of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in the Orchidaceae (subtribe Oncidiinae): implications for the evolution of crassulacean acid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Silvera, Katia; Winter, Klaus; Rodriguez, B. Leticia; Albion, Rebecca L.; Cushman, John C.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) catalyses the initial fixation of atmospheric CO2 into oxaloacetate and subsequently malate. Nocturnal accumulation of malic acid within the vacuole of photosynthetic cells is a typical feature of plants that perform crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). PEPC is a ubiquitous plant enzyme encoded by a small gene family, and each member encodes an isoform with specialized function. CAM-specific PEPC isoforms probably evolved from ancestral non-photosynthetic isoforms by gene duplication events and subsequent acquisition of transcriptional control elements that mediate increased leaf-specific or photosynthetic-tissue-specific mRNA expression. To understand the patterns of functional diversification related to the expression of CAM, ppc gene families and photosynthetic patterns were characterized in 11 closely related orchid species from the subtribe Oncidiinae with a range of photosynthetic pathways from C3 photosynthesis (Oncidium cheirophorum, Oncidium maduroi, Rossioglossum krameri, and Oncidium sotoanum) to weak CAM (Oncidium panamense, Oncidium sphacelatum, Gomesa flexuosa and Rossioglossum insleayi) and strong CAM (Rossioglossum ampliatum, Trichocentrum nanum, and Trichocentrum carthagenense). Phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of two main ppc lineages in flowering plants, two main ppc lineages within the eudicots, and three ppc lineages within the Orchidaceae. Our results indicate that ppc gene family expansion within the Orchidaceae is likely to be the result of gene duplication events followed by adaptive sequence divergence. CAM-associated PEPC isoforms in the Orchidaceae probably evolved from several independent origins. PMID:24913627

  8. Inhibitory Potential of Five Traditionally Used Native Antidiabetic Medicinal Plants on α-Amylase, α-Glucosidase, Glucose Entrapment, and Amylolysis Kinetics In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Picot, Carene M. N.; Subratty, A. Hussein; Mahomoodally, M. Fawzi

    2014-01-01

    Five traditionally used antidiabetic native medicinal plants of Mauritius, namely, Stillingia lineata (SL), Faujasiopsis flexuosa (FF), Erythroxylum laurifolium (EL), Elaeodendron orientale (EO), and Antidesma madagascariensis (AM), were studied for possible α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory property, glucose entrapment, and amylolysis kinetics in vitro. Only methanolic extracts of EL, EO, and AM (7472.92 ± 5.99, 1745.58 ± 31.66, and 2222.96 ± 13.69 μg/mL, resp.) were found to significantly (P < 0.05) inhibit α-amylase and were comparable to acarbose. EL, EO, AM, and SL extracts (5000 μg/mL) were found to significantly (P < 0.05) inhibit α-glucosidase (between 87.41 ± 3.31 and 96.87 ± 1.37% inhibition). Enzyme kinetic studies showed an uncompetitive and mixed type of inhibition. Extracts showed significant (P < 0.05) glucose entrapment capacities (8 to 29% glucose diffusion retardation index (GDRI)), with SL being more active (29% GDRI) and showing concentration-dependent activity (29, 26, 21, 14, and 5%, resp.). Amylolysis kinetic studies showed that methanolic extracts were more potent inhibitors of α-amylase compared to aqueous extracts and possessed glucose entrapment properties. Our findings tend to provide justification for the hypoglycaemic action of these medicinal plants which has opened novel avenues for the development of new phytopharmaceuticals geared towards diabetes management. PMID:24723945

  9. Antioxidant Activity, Total Phenolics and Flavonoid Contents of some Edible Green Seaweeds from Northern Coasts of the Persian Gulf

    PubMed Central

    Farasat, Massoumeh; Khavari-Nejad, Ramazan-Ali; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad Bagher; Namjooyan, Foroogh

    2014-01-01

    The antioxidant activity, contents of total phenolics and flavonoids were quantified in the methanolic extracts of four Ulva species (Ulva clathrata (Roth) C.Agardh, Ulva linza Linnaeus, Ulva flexuosa Wulfen and Ulva intestinalis Linnaeus) grown at different parts of northern coasts of the Persian Gulf in south of Iran. The seaweeds were collected from Dayyer, Taheri and Northern Ouli coasts in April 2011. Methanolic extracts of the seaweeds were assessed for their antioxidant activity using DPPH radical scavenging assay and was performed in a microplate reader. All species exhibited a DPPH radical scavenging activity, and among the species, Ulva clathrata demonstrated greater antioxidant potential with a low IC50 (0.881 mg mL-1) in comparison with those of the other species. Also the highest phenolic content (5.080 mg GAE g-1) and flavonoid content (33.094 mg RE g-1) were observed in U.clathrata. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents showed positive correlations with the DPPH radical scavenging activity (p < 0.01) and negative correlations with IC50 (p < 0.01).The results suggest that these edible green seaweeds possess antioxidant potential which could be considered for future applications in medicine, dietary supplements ,cosmetics or food industries. PMID:24734068

  10. Die Makrofauna und ihre Verteilung im Nordost-Felswatt von Helgoland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janke, Klaus

    1986-03-01

    The macrofauna and its distribution in the sheltered, rocky intertidal zone of Helgoland (North Sea) was studied at 9 vertically and/or morphologically different stations from March to September in 1984. Seasonal variations in the communities were described based on each species' “conspicuousness”. A total of 172 species was found. The macrofauna shows a zoned pattern, but also the different substrata, for example, affect its distribution. The number of species increases from the upper intertidal to the upper sublittoral zone from 23 to 133 species. The upper intertidal is characterized by Littorina saxatilis, Chaetogrammarus marinus and Hyale nilssonii. Typical and abundant species of the middle and lower intertidal are Flustrellidra hispida, Littorina mariae/obtusata, Littorina littorea, Mytilus edulis and Spirorbis spirorbis. The upper sublittoral zone is characterized by Gibbula cineraria and increasing species numbers of Bryozoa, Nemertini and Opisthobranchia. Only few species (e.g. Dynamena pumila, Laomedea flexuosa, Polydora ciliata, Fabricia sabella, Jaera albifrons, Carcinus maenas) occur in the entire intertidal zone. In comparison to other very sheltered shores in Great Britain, which are also dominated by Fucaceae, the macrofauna in the Helgoland intertidal zone lacks several littoral species, such as Patella spp., Monodonta lineata, Gibbula umbilicalis, Littorina neritoides, Chthamalus spp., whereas Littorina littorea and Gibbula cineraria are highly abundant.

  11. Computational design of an endo-1,4-[beta]-xylanase ligand binding site

    SciTech Connect

    Morin, Andrew; Kaufmann, Kristian W.; Fortenberry, Carie; Harp, Joel M.; Mizoue, Laura S.; Meiler, Jens

    2012-09-05

    The field of computational protein design has experienced important recent success. However, the de novo computational design of high-affinity protein-ligand interfaces is still largely an open challenge. Using the Rosetta program, we attempted the in silico design of a high-affinity protein interface to a small peptide ligand. We chose the thermophilic endo-1,4-{beta}-xylanase from Nonomuraea flexuosa as the protein scaffold on which to perform our designs. Over the course of the study, 12 proteins derived from this scaffold were produced and assayed for binding to the target ligand. Unfortunately, none of the designed proteins displayed evidence of high-affinity binding. Structural characterization of four designed proteins revealed that although the predicted structure of the protein model was highly accurate, this structural accuracy did not translate into accurate prediction of binding affinity. Crystallographic analyses indicate that the lack of binding affinity is possibly due to unaccounted for protein dynamics in the 'thumb' region of our design scaffold intrinsic to the family 11 {beta}-xylanase fold. Further computational analysis revealed two specific, single amino acid substitutions responsible for an observed change in backbone conformation, and decreased dynamic stability of the catalytic cleft. These findings offer new insight into the dynamic and structural determinants of the {beta}-xylanase proteins.

  12. Increasing litter species richness reduces variability in a terrestrial decomposer system.

    PubMed

    Keith, Aidan M; Van der Wal, René; Brooker, Rob W; Osler, Graham H R; Chapman, Stephen J; Burslem, David F R P; Elston, David A

    2008-09-01

    Debate on the relationship between diversity and stability has been driven by the recognition that species loss may influence ecosystem properties and processes. We conducted a litterbag experiment in the Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom, to examine the effects of altering plant litter diversity on decomposition, microbial biomass, and microfaunal abundance. The design of treatments was fully factorial and included five species from an upland plant community (silver birch, Betula pendula; Scots' pine, Pinus sylvestris; heather, Calluna vulgaris; bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus; wavy-hair grass, Deschampsia flexuosa); species richness ranged from one to five species. We tested the effects of litter species richness and composition on variable means, whether increasing litter species richness reduced variability in the decomposer system, and whether any richness-variability relationships were maintained over time (196 vs. 564 days). While litter species composition effects controlled variable means, we revealed reductions in variability with increasing litter species richness, even after accounting for differences between litter types. These findings suggest that higher plant species richness per se may result in more stable ecosystem processes (e.g., decomposition) and decomposer communities. Negative richness-variation relationships generally relaxed over time, presumably because properties of litter mixtures became more homogeneous. However, given that plant litter inputs continue to enter the belowground system over time, we conclude that variation in ecosystem properties may be buffered by greater litter species richness. PMID:18831186

  13. Feeding Preferences and the Nutritional Value of Tropical Algae for the Abalone Haliotis asinina

    PubMed Central

    Angell, Alex R.; Pirozzi, Igor; de Nys, Rocky; Paul, Nicholas A.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the feeding preferences of abalone (high-value marine herbivores) is integral to new species development in aquaculture because of the expected link between preference and performance. Performance relates directly to the nutritional value of algae – or any feedstock – which in turn is driven by the amino acid content and profile, and specifically the content of the limiting essential amino acids. However, the relationship between feeding preferences, consumption and amino acid content of algae have rarely been simultaneously investigated for abalone, and never for the emerging target species Haliotis asinina. Here we found that the tropical H. asinina had strong and consistent preferences for the red alga Hypnea pannosa and the green alga Ulva flexuosa, but no overarching relationship between protein content (sum of amino acids) and preference existed. For example, preferred Hypnea and Ulva had distinctly different protein contents (12.64 vs. 2.99 g 100 g−1) and the protein-rich Asparagopsis taxiformis (>15 g 100 g−1 of dry weight) was one of the least preferred algae. The limiting amino acid in all algae was methionine, followed by histidine or lysine. Furthermore we demonstrated that preferences can largely be removed using carrageenan as a binder for dried alga, most likely acting as a feeding attractant or stimulant. The apparent decoupling between feeding preference and algal nutritive values may be due to a trade off between nutritive values and grazing deterrence associated with physical and chemical properties. PMID:22719967

  14. [Peculiarities of the phospholipid and fatty acid composition of erythrocyte plasma membranes of the Black Sea fish].

    PubMed

    Silkin, Iu A; Silkina, E N; Zabelinskiĭ, S A

    2012-01-01

    The phospholipid and the fatty acid composition of the main phospholipids families of erythrocyte plasma membranes was studied in two species of cartilaginous fish: the common thrasher (Raja clavata L.) and the common stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) and three bony fish species: the scorpion fish (Scorpaena porcus L.), the smarida (Spicara flexuosa Raf.), and the horse mackerel (Trachurus mediterraneus ponticus Aleev). It was shown that in the studied fish, 70.0-80.0 % of all membrane phospholipids were composed of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Phosphatidylserine, monophosphoinositide, and sphingomyelin were minor components whose content in the erythrocyte membrane fluctuated from 3.0 % to 13.0 %. The fatty acid phospholipids composition was represented by a large specter of acids. From saturated acids, basic for plasma membranes are palmitic (C16: 0) and stearic (C18: 0) acids. From unsaturated acids, the larger part belong to mono-, tetra-, penta-, and hexaenoic acids in fish phospholipids. The calculation of the double bond index and of the unsaturation coefficient showed difference in the deformation ability of erythrocyte membranes of the studied fish. PMID:22567974

  15. Macroalgal Introductions by Hull Fouling on Recreational Vessels: Seaweeds and Sailors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mineur, Frédéric; Johnson, Mark P.; Maggs, Christine A.

    2008-10-01

    Macroalgal invasions in coastal areas have been a growing concern during the past decade. The present study aimed to assess the role of hull fouling on recreational yachts as a vector for macroalgal introductions. Questionnaire and hull surveys were carried out in marinas in France and Spain. The questionnaires revealed that the majority of yacht owners are aware of seaweed introductions, usually undertake short range journeys, dry dock their boat at least once a year, and use antifouling paints. The hull survey showed that many in-service yachts were completely free of macroalgae. When present, fouling assemblages consisted mainly of one to two macroalgal species. The most commonly found species was the tolerant green seaweed Ulva flexuosa. Most of the other species found are also cosmopolitan and opportunistic. A few nonnative and potentially invasive Ceramiales (Rhodophyta) were found occasionally on in-service yachts. On the basis of the information gathered during interviews of yacht owners in the surveyed area, these occurrences are likely to be uncommon. However they can pose a significant risk of primary or secondary introductions of alien macroalgal species, especially in the light of the increase in yachting activities. With large numbers of recreational yachts and relatively rare occurrences of nonnative species on hulls, comprehensive screening programs do not seem justified or practical. The risks of transferring nonnative species may, however, be minimized by encouraging the behaviors that prevent fouling on hulls and by taking action against neglected boats before they can act as vectors.

  16. Macroalgal introductions by hull fouling on recreational vessels: seaweeds and sailors.

    PubMed

    Mineur, Frédéric; Johnson, Mark P; Maggs, Christine A

    2008-10-01

    Macroalgal invasions in coastal areas have been a growing concern during the past decade. The present study aimed to assess the role of hull fouling on recreational yachts as a vector for macroalgal introductions. Questionnaire and hull surveys were carried out in marinas in France and Spain. The questionnaires revealed that the majority of yacht owners are aware of seaweed introductions, usually undertake short range journeys, dry dock their boat at least once a year, and use antifouling paints. The hull survey showed that many in-service yachts were completely free of macroalgae. When present, fouling assemblages consisted mainly of one to two macroalgal species. The most commonly found species was the tolerant green seaweed Ulva flexuosa. Most of the other species found are also cosmopolitan and opportunistic. A few nonnative and potentially invasive Ceramiales (Rhodophyta) were found occasionally on in-service yachts. On the basis of the information gathered during interviews of yacht owners in the surveyed area, these occurrences are likely to be uncommon. However they can pose a significant risk of primary or secondary introductions of alien macroalgal species, especially in the light of the increase in yachting activities. With large numbers of recreational yachts and relatively rare occurrences of nonnative species on hulls, comprehensive screening programs do not seem justified or practical. The risks of transferring nonnative species may, however, be minimized by encouraging the behaviors that prevent fouling on hulls and by taking action against neglected boats before they can act as vectors. PMID:18704562

  17. Analysis of arsenic and antimony distribution within plants growing at an old mine site in Ouche (Cantal, France) and identification of species suitable for site revegetation.

    PubMed

    Jana, Ulrike; Chassany, Vincent; Bertrand, Georges; Castrec-Rouelle, Maryse; Aubry, Emmanuel; Boudsocq, Simon; Laffray, Daniel; Repellin, Anne

    2012-11-15

    One of the objectives of this study was to assess the contamination levels in the tailings of an old antimony mine site located in Ouche (Cantal, France). Throughout the 1.3 ha site, homogenous concentrations of antimony and arsenic, a by-product of the operation, were found along 0-0.5 m-deep profiles. Maximum concentrations for antimony and arsenic were 5780 mg kg(-1) dry tailings and 852 mg kg(-1) dry tailings, respectively. Despite the presence of the contaminants and the low pH and organic matter contents of the tailings, several patches of vegetation were found. Botanical identification determined 12 different genera/species. The largest and most abundant plants were adult pines (Pinus sylvestris), birches (Betula pendula) and the bulrush (Juncus effusus). The distribution of the metalloids within specimens of each genera/species was analysed in order to deduce their concentration and translocation capacities. This was the second goal of this work. All plant specimens were highly contaminated with both metalloids. Most were root accumulators with root to shoot translocation factors <1. Whereas contamination levels were high overall, species with both a low translocation factor and a low root accumulation coefficient were identified as suitable candidates for the complete revegetation of the site. Species combining those characteristics were the perennials P. sylvestris, B. pendula, Cytisus scoparius and the herbaceous Plantago major, and Deschampsia flexuosa. PMID:22789654

  18. Microbially assisted phytoremediation approaches for two multi-element contaminated sites.

    PubMed

    Langella, Francesca; Grawunder, Anja; Stark, Romy; Weist, Aileen; Merten, Dirk; Haferburg, Götz; Büchel, Georg; Kothe, Erika

    2014-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an environmental friendly, cost-effective technology for a soft restoration of abandoned mine sites. The grasses Agrostis capillaris, Deschampsia flexuosa and Festuca rubra, and the annual herb Helianthus annuus were combined with microbial consortia in pot experiments on multi-metal polluted substrates collected at a former uranium mine near Ronneburg, Germany, and a historic copper mine in Kopparberg, Sweden, to test for phytoextraction versus phytostabilization abilities. Metal uptake into plant biomass was evaluated to identify optimal plant-microbe combinations for each substrate. Metal bioavailability was found to be plant species and element specific, and influenced by the applied bacterial consortia of 10 strains, each isolated from the same soil to which it was applied. H. annuus showed high extraction capacity for several metals on the German soil independent of inoculation. Our study could also show a significant enhancement of extraction for F. rubra and A. capillaris when combined with the bacterial consortium, although usually grasses are considered metal excluder species. On the Swedish mixed substrate, due to its toxicity, with 30 % bark compost, A. capillaris inoculated with the respective consortium was able to extract multi-metal contaminants. PMID:24081921

  19. Phytophthora boodjera sp. nov., a damping-off pathogen in production nurseries and from urban and natural landscapes, with an update on the status of P. alticola.

    PubMed

    Simamora, Agnes V; Stukely, Mike J C; Hardy, Giles E StJ; Burgess, Treena I

    2015-12-01

    A new homothallic Phytophthora species, isolated in Western Australia (WA), is described as Phytophthora boodjera sp. nov. It produces persistent, papillate sporangia, oogonia with thick-walled oospores, and paragynous antheridia. Although morphologically similar to P. arenaria, phylogenetic analyses of the ITS, cox1, HSP90, β-tubulin and enolase gene regions revealed P. boodjera as a new species. In addition, P. boodjera has a higher optimal temperature for growth and a faster growth rate. Phytophthora boodjera has only recently been found in Western Australia and has mostly been isolated from dead and dying Eucalyptus seedlings in nurseries and from urban tree plantings, and occasionally from disturbed natural ecosystems. It is found in association with declining and dying Agonis flexuosa, Banksia media, B. grandis, Corymbia calophylla, Eucalyptus spp,. and Xanthorrhoea preissii. The status of P. alticola was also reviewed. The loss of all isolates associated with the original description except one; discrepancies in both sequence data and morphology of the remaining isolate with that presented the original description, and inconclusive holotype material places the status of this species in doubt. PMID:26734543

  20. Ichnology of Upper Cretaceous deep-sea thick-bedded flysch sandstones: Lower Istebna Beds, Silesian Unit (Outer Carpathians, southern Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajchel, Jacek; Uchman, Alfred

    2012-04-01

    The Ophiomorpha rudis ichnosubfacies of the Nereites ichnofacies was recognized in thick- and very thick-bedded sandstones of the Lower Istebna Beds (Campanian-Maastrichtian), which were deposited mainly in deep-sea clastic ramps and aprons. It contains mainly Ophiomorpha rudis (produced by deeply burrowing decapod crustaceans) and rarely Zoophycos isp. and Chondrites isp. The impoverished Paleodictyon ichnosubfacies of the Nereites ichnofacies is present in the medium- and thin-bedded packages of flysch sandwiched between the thick- and very thick-bedded sandstones. They contain Chondrites isp., Phycosiphon incertum, Planolites isp., Arthrophycus strictus, Thalassinoides isp., Ophiomorpha annulata, O. rudis, Scolicia strozzii and Helminthorhaphe flexuosa. The relatively low diversity of this assemblage is influenced by limited areas covered by muddy substrate, which favours deep-sea tracemakers, and partly by a lowered oxygenation in the sediment.

  1. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Laura R.; Smith, Stephanie M.; Downum, Kelsey R.; Mydlarz, Laura D.

    2012-01-01

    Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists. PMID:22822369

  2. [Effect of the vegetative cover on the biological activity of the soil of Chaco Arido].

    PubMed

    Abril, A; Acosta, M; Bachmeier, O; Rollan, A

    1993-01-01

    Vegetation plays a primal role in arid ecosystems, since it creates microclimate conditions that moderate the characteristics of the region whereby the rational use of vegetal resources is fundamental. Felling, clearing and overgrazing lead to decrease in organic contribution and stimulate soil compaction, causing an alteration of microbial activity, with losses in nutrient turnover. The global biological activity is a soil parameter easy to obtain and indicates the presence and diversity of soil life as well as substrate availability and is useful in order to characterize soil potential fertility. This work was carried out in Natural Forest Reserve Chancaní, Province of Córdoba (Argentina), which is representative of Argentine Dry Chaco. Dominant tree species are: Prosopis flexuosa and Aspidosperma quebracho blanco. The global biological activity (GBA) was measured along one year, under trees, under shrubs and in interspaces. Soil samples were taken monthly from plots with four management systems: 1) forest, ii) selective clearing (only dominant species remain), iii) bush (clearing invaded by Larrea sp) and iv) grazing (cleared area, neither trees nor shrubs). GBA was evaluated using the CO2 release method, after ten days of incubation. It is concluded that in the plots with grasses and under the trees GBA was higher than with other treatments. The lesser GBA was detected in bushes and interspaces. All differences were more prominent during extreme temperature months. No significant difference between both species of dominant trees was observed. PMID:8210407

  3. The performance of moss, grass, and 1- and 2-year old spruce needles as bioindicators of contamination: a comparative study at the scale of the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Suchara, Ivan; Sucharova, Julie; Hola, Marie; Reimann, Clemens; Boyd, Rognvald; Filzmoser, Peter; Englmaier, Peter

    2011-05-01

    Moss (Pleurozium schreberi), grass (Avenella flexuosa), and 1- and 2-year old spruce (Picea abies) needles were collected over the territory of the Czech Republic at an average sample density of 1 site per 290km(2). The samples were analysed for 39 elements (Ag, Al, As, Ba, Be, Bi, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Ga, Hg, K, La, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Nd, Ni, Pb, Pr, Rb, S, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, Th, Tl, U, V, Y and Zn) using ICP-MS and ICP-AES techniques (the major nutrients Ca, K, Mg and Na were not analysed in moss). Moss showed by far the highest element concentrations for most elements. Exceptions were Ba (spruce), Mn (spruce), Mo (grass), Ni (spruce), Rb (grass) and S (grass). Regional distribution maps and spatial trend analysis were used to study the suitability of the four materials as bioindicators of anthropogenic contamination. The highly industrialised areas in the north-west and the far east of the country and several more local contamination sources were indicated in the distribution maps of one or several sample materials. At the scale of the whole country moss was the best indicator of known contamination sources. However, on a more local scale, it appeared that spruce needles were especially well suited for detection of urban contamination. PMID:21421258

  4. Adaptability of free-floating green tide algae in the Yellow Sea to variable temperature and light intensity.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jianjun; Zhang, Jianheng; Huo, Yuanzi; Zhou, Lingjie; Wu, Qing; Chen, Liping; Yu, Kefeng; He, Peimin

    2015-12-30

    In this study, the influence of temperature and light intensity on the growth of seedlings and adults of four species of green tide algae (Ulvaprolifera, Ulvacompressa, Ulva flexuosa and Ulvalinza) from the Yellow Sea was evaluated. The results indicated that the specific growth rate (SGR) of seedlings was much higher than that of adults for the four species. The adaptability of U. prolifera is much wider: Adult daily SGRs were the highest among the four species at 15-20 °C with 10-600 μmol · m(-2) · s(-1) and 25-30 °C with 200-600 μmol · m(-2) · s(-1). SGRs were 1.5-3.5 times greater than the other three species at 15-25 °C with 200-600 μmol · m(-2) · s(-1). These results indicate that U. prolifera has better tolerance to high temperature and light intensity than the other three species, which may in part explain why only U. prolifera undergoes large-scale outbreaks and floats to the Qingdao coast while the other three species decline and disappear at the early stage of blooming. PMID:26573134

  5. Biting rates and developmental substrates for biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in Iquitos, Peru.

    PubMed

    Mercer, David R; Spinelli, Gustavo R; Watts, Douglas M; Tesh, Robert B

    2003-11-01

    Biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were collected at 16 periurban and rural sites around Iquitos, Peru, between 17 October 1996 and 26 May 1997. Culicoides paraensis (Goeldi), the principal vector of Oropouche virus, was the most commonly collected species (9,086 flies) with Culicoides insinuatus Wirth & Blanton second (7,229 flies). Although both species were collected at all sampling sites (linear (distance surveyed approximately 25 km), C. paraensis dominated at northern collection sites (> 90%), whereas C. insinuatus prevailed at southern collection sites (> 60%). C. paraensis were collected from human sentinels at a constant rate throughout daylight hours, at similar rates during wet and dry months, and regardless of rainfall. Larval developmental substrates for C. paraensis included decaying platano (Musa x paradisiaca L. [Musaceae]) stems, stumps, flowers, fruits, and debris beneath platano trees as well as from soil beneath a fruiting mamay (Syzygium malaccense Merr. & Perry [Myrtaceae] ) tree and organic-rich mud along a lake shoreline. C. insinuatus adults likewise emerged from decaying platano and organic-rich mud along a lake shoreline, but also from debris accumulated in the axils of aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa L. [Palmae]) fronds and decaying citrus fruit. Despite high numbers of biting adults near putative substrates, adults of neither species emerged from other decomposing plant material, soil, phytotelmata, or artificial containers. Because both species of biting midges emerged in high numbers from all parts of platano (ubiquitous in Iquitos), it will be challenging to control them through sanitation. PMID:14765657

  6. Hydrocarbon concentrations in sediments and clams (Rangia cuneata) in Laguna de Pom, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez-Legorreta, T.; Gold-Bouchot, G.; Zapata-Perez, O.

    1994-01-01

    Laguna de Pom is a coastal lagoon within the Laguna de Terminos system in southern Gulf of Mexico. It belongs to the Grijalva-Usumacinta basin, and is located between 18{degrees} 33{prime} and 18{degrees} 38{prime} north latitude and 92{degrees} 01{prime} and 92{degrees} 14{prime} west longitude, in the Coastal Plain physiographic Province of the Gulf. It is ellipsoidal and approximately 10 km long, with a surface area of 5,200 ha and a mean depth of 1.5 m. Water salinity and temperature ranges are 0 to 13 {per_thousand} and 25{degrees} to 31{degrees}C, respectively. Benthic macrofauna is dominated by bivalves such as the clams Rangia cuneata, R. flexuosa, and Polymesoda carolineana. These clams provide the basis of an artisanal fishery, which is the main economic activity in the region. The presence of several oil-processing facilities around the lagoon is very conspicuous, which together with decreasing yields has created social conflicts, with the fishermen blaming the mexican state oil company (PEMEX) for the decrease in the clam population. This work aims to determine if the concentration of hydrocarbons in the clams (R. cuneata) and sediments of Laguna de Pom are responsible for the declining clam fishery. 11 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Pollen grain morphology of Fabaceae in the Special Protection Area (SPA) Pau-de-Fruta, Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Luz, Cynthia F P da; Maki, Erica S; Horák-Terra, Ingrid; Vidal-Torrado, Pablo; Mendonça Filho, Carlos Victor

    2013-01-01

    The presented paper considered the pollen morphology of thirteen species belonging to seven genera of the Fabaceae family occurring in the Pau-de-Fruta Special Protection Area (SPA), Diamantina, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The pollen grains of six species of Chamaecrista [C. cathartica (Mart.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby, C. debilis Vogel, C. flexuosa (L.) Greene, C. hedysaroides (Vogel) H.S. Irwin & Barneby, C. glandulosa (L.) Greene, and C. papillata H.S. Irwin & Barneby] have a similar morphology, characterized by three long colporated apertures with a central constriction. The species share specific morphological features regarding pollen size, endoaperture type (circular, lalongate or lolongate) and SEM ornamentation patterns of the exine (rugulate with perforations or perforate). Andira fraxinifolia Benth., Dalbergia miscolobium Benth, Galactia martii DC, Periandra mediterranea (Vell.) Taub., Senna rugosa (G.Don) H.S. Irwin & Barneby and Zornia diphylla (L.) Pers showed different pollen types in small to large size; oblate spheroidal to prolate form; colpus or colporus apertures; circular, lalongate or lolongate endoapertures and distinctive SEM ornamentation patterns of the exine (perforate, microreticulate, reticulate or rugulate with perforations). Only Stryphnodendron adstringens (Mart.) Coville presents polyads. The pollen morphology variation of these species allowed the Fabaceae family to be characterized as eurypalynous in the SPA Pau-de-Fruta. PMID:24346795

  8. Off-season biogenic volatile organic compound emissions from heath mesocosms: responses to vegetation cutting

    PubMed Central

    Rinnan, Riikka; Gierth, Diana; Bilde, Merete; Rosenørn, Thomas; Michelsen, Anders

    2013-01-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) affect both atmospheric processes and ecological interactions. Our primary aim was to differentiate between BVOC emissions from above- and belowground plant parts and heath soil outside the growing season. The second aim was to assess emissions from herbivory, mimicked by cutting the plants. Mesocosms from a temperate Deschampsia flexuosa-dominated heath ecosystem and a subarctic mixed heath ecosystem were either left intact, the aboveground vegetation was cut, or all plant parts (including roots) were removed. For 3–5 weeks, BVOC emissions were measured in growth chambers by an enclosure method using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. CO2 exchange, soil microbial biomass, and soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations were also analyzed. Vegetation cutting increased BVOC emissions by more than 20-fold, and the induced compounds were mainly eight-carbon compounds and sesquiterpenes. In the Deschampsia heath, the overall low BVOC emissions originated mainly from soil. In the mixed heath, root, and soil emissions were negligible. Net BVOC emissions from roots and soil of these well-drained heaths do not significantly contribute to ecosystem emissions, at least outside the growing season. If insect outbreaks become more frequent with climate change, ecosystem BVOC emissions will periodically increase due to herbivory. PMID:23966983

  9. What's the meaning of local? Using molecular markers to define seed transfer zones for ecological restoration in Norway.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, Marte Holten; Elameen, Abdelhameed; Hofman, Nadine; Klemsdal, Sonja; Malaval, Sandra; Fjellheim, Siri

    2016-06-01

    According to the Norwegian Diversity Act, practitioners of restoration in Norway are instructed to use seed mixtures of local provenance. However, there are no guidelines for how local seed should be selected. In this study, we use genetic variation in a set of alpine species (Agrostis mertensii, Avenella flexuosa, Carex bigelowii, Festuca ovina, Poa alpina and Scorzoneroides autumnalis) to define seed transfer zones to reduce confusion about the definition of 'local seeds'. The species selected for the study are common in all parts of Norway and suitable for commercial seed production. The sampling covered the entire alpine region (7-20 populations per species, 3-15 individuals per population). We characterised genetic diversity using amplified fragment length polymorphisms. We identified different spatial genetic diversity structures in the species, most likely related to differences in reproductive strategies, phylogeographic factors and geographic distribution. Based on results from all species, we suggest four general seed transfer zones for alpine Norway. This is likely more conservative than needed for all species, given that no species show more than two genetic groups. Even so, the approach is practical as four seed mixtures will serve the need for restoration of vegetation in alpine regions in Norway. PMID:27247618

  10. Southern Ocean intermediate water pH information provided by modern and fossil scleraxonian deep-sea corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutjahr, M.; Vance, D.; Foster, G. L.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.

    2010-12-01

    There is a great deal of current interest in the chemistry of the deep glacial Southern Ocean, and the degree to which it communicated with the surface ocean and atmosphere. Recent findings that include high surface water radiocarbon ages [1] and renewed upwelling during the deglacial [2], suggest a re-organisation in Southern Ocean circulation that led to the demise of a deep water mass rich in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), leading to its renewed equilibration with the atmosphere and the deglacial rise in atmospheric CO2. However, conclusive evidence for higher Southern Ocean deep water DIC during the glacial is scarce, largely due to the lack of suitable substrates for recording it. Boron isotopic compositions measured in deep marine organisms may help to provide records of intermediate water pH, and hence DIC changes [3]. We will present boron isotope compositions of a selection of radiocarbon-dated, calcitic, deep-sea octocorals from the Amundsen Sea sector of the Southern Ocean (˜123°W, ˜69°S, 2500 m to 1430 m water depth), with the aim of resolving deglacial intermediate water pH changes. Since boron isotopic studies have not been carried out on these types of octocorals before, we will first present the δ11B distribution within a modern sample in order to examine biological fractionation that may potentially compromise the coral δ11B (cf. [4, 5]). Contrary to previously employed scleractinia [6], the corals analysed here appear to be internally homogenous and have only slightly elevated δ11B compared to that of ambient intermediate water borate ion. Moreover, modern and early Holocene coral δ11B display fairly constant compositions, whereas deglacial coral δ11B are higher. These boron isotopic changes are accompanied by corresponding deglacial changes in the coral Nd isotopic composition (expressed in ɛNd), which has been determined on the same specimens. Together, the striking co-variation between the deep-water coral δ11B and ɛNd suggest

  11. Trophic ecology of deep-sea Asteroidea (Echinodermata) from eastern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gale, Katie S. P.; Hamel, Jean-François; Mercier, Annie

    2013-10-01

    Asteroids (sea stars) can be important predators in benthic communities and are often present in ecologically important and vulnerable deep-sea coral and sponge habitats. However, explicit studies on the trophic ecology of deep-sea asteroids are rare. We investigated the diets of seven species of deep-sea asteroid from the bathyal zone of Newfoundland and Labrador, eastern Canada. A multifaceted approach including live animal observations, stomach content analysis, and stable isotope analysis revealed the asteroids to be either top predators of megafauna or secondary consumers (mud ingesters, infaunal predators, and suspension feeders). The stable isotope signatures of Ceramaster granularis, Hippasteria phrygiana, and Mediaster bairdi are characteristic of high-level predators, having δ15N values 4.4‰ (more than one trophic level) above Ctenodiscus crispatus, Leptychaster arcticus, Novodinia americana, and Zoroaster fulgens. We present strong evidence that corals and sponges are common food items for two of the predatory species, C. granularis and H. phrygiana. During laboratory feeding trials, live H. phrygiana fed on several species of soft coral and C. granularis fed on sponges. Stomach content analysis of wild-caught individuals revealed sclerites from sea pens (e.g. Pennatula sp.) in the stomachs of both asteroid species; H. phrygiana also contained sclerites from at least two other species of octocoral and siliceous sponge spicules were present in the stomachs of C. granularis. The stomach contents of the secondary consumers contained a range of invertebrate material. Leptychaster arcticus and Ctenodiscus crispatus feed infaunally on bulk sediment and molluscs, Zoroaster fulgens is a generalist infaunal predator, and the brisingid Novodinia americana is a specialist suspension feeder on benthopelagic crustaceans. This study provides a foundation for understanding the ecological roles of bathyal asteroids, and suggests that some species may have the

  12. Life history and feeding biology of the deep-sea pycnogonid Nymphon hirtipes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier, Annie; Baillon, Sandrine; Hamel, Jean-François

    2015-12-01

    Pycnogonids (sea spiders) are commonly collected at bathyal and abyssal depths all around the world; however, little is known about species from deep-water habitats. The present study explores the life history of Nymphon hirtipes collected in northeastern Newfoundland between 700 and 1450 m depth and monitored in mesocosms for over 2 years. The pycnogonids were found in association with octocorals, hydrozoans and sea anemones. Adult females developed mature oocytes between June and August. Paired mating followed by oviposition occurred between early July and mid-October. Up to three egg masses were brooded by each male. It took a maximum of 4 months for the propagules to hatch from the egg mass. Offspring developed from walking leg-bearing larvae to early juveniles over the next ~5 months before leaving the male's protection. Mating and oviposition coincided with the highest water temperatures of the annual cycle and dispersal of juveniles occurred in spring, when phytodetritus deposition was high and as ocean temperature rose markedly. All the females died after oviposition and the males ~9 months later, after juvenile dispersal. The sex ratio of mature individuals (~55-60 mm leg span) was 2 males for 3 females. Fecundity was estimated to be 184-288 eggs per adult female. Adults of N. hirtipes were seen feeding on hydrozoan polyps, small sea anemones (Stephanauge nexilis) and nudibranchs. Larvae and early juveniles did not feed while brooded by the male. Upon dispersal, their feeding apparatus became functional and they began feeding on hydrozoan polyps. After 13 months of growth post hatching, the juveniles reached ~21 mm leg span. Curve fitting estimated that ~7 years are required to reach the adult size of 55 mm leg span.

  13. Carbonic Anhydrases in Cnidarians: Novel Perspectives from the Octocorallian Corallium rubrum

    PubMed Central

    Le Goff, Carine; Ganot, Philippe; Zoccola, Didier; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Allemand, Denis; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Although the ability to elaborate calcium carbonate biominerals was apparently gained independently during animal evolution, members of the alpha carbonic anhydrases (α-CAs) family, which catalyze the interconversion of CO2 into HCO3-, are involved in the biomineralization process across metazoans. In the Mediterranean red coral Corallium rubrum, inhibition studies suggest an essential role of CAs in the synthesis of two biominerals produced in this octocoral, the axial skeleton and the sclerites. Hitherto no molecular characterization of these enzymes was available. In the present study we determined the complete set of α-CAs in C. rubrum by data mining the genome and transcriptome, and measured their differential gene expression between calcifying and non-calcifying tissues. We identified six isozymes (CruCA1-6), one cytosolic and five secreted/membrane-bound among which one lacked two of the three zinc-binding histidines and was so referred to as a carbonic anhydrase related protein (CARP). One secreted isozyme (CruCA4) showed specific expression both by qPCR and western-blot in the calcifying tissues, suggesting its involvement in biomineralization. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of α-CAs, identified in six representative cnidarians with complete genome, support an independent recruitment of α-CAs for biomineralization within anthozoans. Finally, characterization of cnidarian CARPs highlighted two families: the monophyletic cytosolic CARPs, and the polyphyletic secreted CARPs harboring a cnidarian specific cysteine disulfide bridge. Alignment of the cytosolic CARPs revealed an evolutionary conserved R-H-Q motif in place of the characteristic zinc-binding H-H-H necessary for the catalytic function of α-CAs. PMID:27513959

  14. Coral-Associated Bacterial Diversity Is Conserved across Two Deep-Sea Anthothela Species

    PubMed Central

    Lawler, Stephanie N.; Kellogg, Christina A.; France, Scott C.; Clostio, Rachel W.; Brooke, Sandra D.; Ross, Steve W.

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4–V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont. PMID:27092120

  15. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    PubMed

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Nizinski, Martha S; Chaytor, Jason D; Demopoulos, Amanda W J; Roark, E Brendan; France, Scott C; Moore, Jon A; Heyl, Taylor; Auster, Peter J; Kinlan, Brian; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P; Kennedy, Brian R C; Lobecker, Elizabeth; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial exploration

  16. Is dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) produced by the symbionts or the host in an anemone-zooxanthella symbiosis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Alstyne, K. L.; Dominique, V. J.; Muller-Parker, G.

    2009-03-01

    Many groups of tropical cnidarians including scleractinian corals, octocorals, corallimorphs, and anemones contain the tertiary sulfonium compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP). It is not known if the compound is synthesized by the animals, their microalgal symbionts, or derived through their diet. We determined the source of the DMSP in several species of tropical and temperate anemones using three approaches: (1) conducting comparative measurements of DMSP in aposymbiotic and zooxanthellate anemones of three species that harbor zooxanthellae, and similar measurements in one species that can harbor both zooxanthellae and zoochlorellae, (2) manipulating the presence or absence of zooxanthellae by inoculating juvenile aposymbiotic anemones ( Aiptasia pallida) with their symbiont, Symbiodinium bermudense, and (3) manipulating the numbers of S. bermudense by growing aposymbiotic and zooxanthellate A. pallida in the light and the dark. DMSP was present in zooxanthellate anemones in concentrations of 3.4-15 μmol g-1 fresh mass (FM). In aposymbiotic Aiptasia spp. and Anthopleura elegantissima that lacked large numbers of zooxanthellae, concentrations ranged from being undetectable to 0.43 μmol g-1 FM. When aposymbiotic A. pallida were inoculated with zooxanthellae, concentrations of DMSP were an average of 4.24 μmol g-1 FM after 5 weeks; DMSP was undetectable in uninoculated control animals. Aposymbiotic anemones maintained in the light or the dark for 6 weeks contained no DMSP or zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellate anemones in the light contained five times as many zooxanthellae and approximately 7.5 times as much DMSP as zooxanthellate anemones maintained in the dark. Taken together, these data show that the zooxanthellae are the sole source of DMSP in A. pallida. The trends in DMSP concentrations in other species of zooxanthellate anemones suggest that this phenomenon is not limited to A. pallida but may be more generally true for other anemones or even other

  17. Coral-associated bacterial diversity is conserved across two deep-sea Anthothela species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lawler, Stephanie N.; Kellogg, Christina A.; France, Scott C; Clostio, Rachel W; Brooke, Sandra D.; Ross, Steve W.

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4-V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont.

  18. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities

    PubMed Central

    Quattrini, Andrea M.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Chaytor, Jason D.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Roark, E. Brendan; France, Scott C.; Moore, Jon A.; Heyl, Taylor; Auster, Peter J.; Kinlan, Brian; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P.; Kennedy, Brian R.C.; Lobecker, Elizabeth; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M.

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial exploration

  19. Stable Isotope Signatures of Middle Palaeozoic Ahermatypic Rugose Corals – Deciphering Secondary Alteration, Vital Fractionation Effects, and Palaeoecological Implications

    PubMed Central

    Jakubowicz, Michal; Berkowski, Blazej; López Correa, Matthias; Jarochowska, Emilia; Joachimski, Michael; Belka, Zdzislaw

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates stable isotope signatures of five species of Silurian and Devonian deep-water, ahermatypic rugose corals, providing new insights into isotopic fractionation effects exhibited by Palaeozoic rugosans, and possible role of diagenetic processes in modifying their original isotopic signals. To minimize the influence of intraskeletal cements on the observed signatures, the analysed specimens included unusual species either devoid of large intraskeletal open spaces ('button corals': Microcyclus, Palaeocyclus), or typified by particularly thick corallite walls (Calceola). The corals were collected at four localities in the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland), Mader Basin (Morocco) and on Gotland (Sweden), representing distinct diagenetic histories and different styles of diagenetic alteration. To evaluate the resistance of the corallites to diagenesis, we applied various microscopic and trace element preservation tests. Distinct differences between isotopic compositions of the least-altered and most-altered skeleton portions emphasise a critical role of material selection for geochemical studies of Palaeozoic corals. The least-altered parts of the specimens show marine or near-marine stable isotope signals and lack positive correlation between δ13C and δ18O. In terms of isotopic fractionation mechanisms, Palaeozoic rugosans must have differed considerably from modern deep-water scleractinians, typified by significant depletion in both 18O and 13C, and pronounced δ13C-δ18O co-variance. The fractionation effects exhibited by rugosans seem similar rather to the minor isotopic effects typical of modern non-scleractinian corals (octocorals and hydrocorals). The results of the present study add to growing evidence for significant differences between Scleractinia and Rugosa, and agree with recent studies indicating that calcification mechanisms developed independently in these two groups of cnidarians. Consequently, particular caution is needed in using

  20. Carbonic Anhydrases in Cnidarians: Novel Perspectives from the Octocorallian Corallium rubrum.

    PubMed

    Le Goff, Carine; Ganot, Philippe; Zoccola, Didier; Caminiti-Segonds, Natacha; Allemand, Denis; Tambutté, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    Although the ability to elaborate calcium carbonate biominerals was apparently gained independently during animal evolution, members of the alpha carbonic anhydrases (α-CAs) family, which catalyze the interconversion of CO2 into HCO3-, are involved in the biomineralization process across metazoans. In the Mediterranean red coral Corallium rubrum, inhibition studies suggest an essential role of CAs in the synthesis of two biominerals produced in this octocoral, the axial skeleton and the sclerites. Hitherto no molecular characterization of these enzymes was available. In the present study we determined the complete set of α-CAs in C. rubrum by data mining the genome and transcriptome, and measured their differential gene expression between calcifying and non-calcifying tissues. We identified six isozymes (CruCA1-6), one cytosolic and five secreted/membrane-bound among which one lacked two of the three zinc-binding histidines and was so referred to as a carbonic anhydrase related protein (CARP). One secreted isozyme (CruCA4) showed specific expression both by qPCR and western-blot in the calcifying tissues, suggesting its involvement in biomineralization. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of α-CAs, identified in six representative cnidarians with complete genome, support an independent recruitment of α-CAs for biomineralization within anthozoans. Finally, characterization of cnidarian CARPs highlighted two families: the monophyletic cytosolic CARPs, and the polyphyletic secreted CARPs harboring a cnidarian specific cysteine disulfide bridge. Alignment of the cytosolic CARPs revealed an evolutionary conserved R-H-Q motif in place of the characteristic zinc-binding H-H-H necessary for the catalytic function of α-CAs. PMID:27513959

  1. Development and application of a video-mosaic survey technology to document the status of coral reef communities.

    PubMed

    Lirman, Diego; Gracias, Nuno Ricardo; Gintert, Brooke Erin; Gleason, Arthur Charles Rogde; Reid, Ruth Pamela; Negahdaripour, Shahriar; Kramer, Philip

    2007-02-01

    The recent decline in the condition of coral reef communities worldwide has fueled the need to develop innovative assessment tools to document coral abundance and distribution rapidly and effectively. While most monitoring programs rely primarily on data collected in situ by trained divers, digital photographs and video are used increasingly to extract ecological indicators, provide a permanent visual record of reef condition, and reduce the time that divers spend underwater. In this study, we describe the development and application of a video-based reef survey methodology based on an algorithm for image registration and the estimation of image motion and camera trajectory. This technology was used to construct two-dimensional, spatially accurate, high-resolution mosaics of the reef benthos at a scale of up to 400 m(2). The mosaics were analyzed to estimate the size and percent cover of reef organisms and these ecological indicators of reef condition were compared to similar measurements collected by divers to evaluate the potential of the mosaics as monitoring tools. The ecological indicators collected by trained divers compared favorably with those measured directly from the video mosaics. Five out of the eight categories chosen (hard corals, octocorals, Palythoa, algal turf, and sand) showed no significant differences in percent cover based on survey method. Moreover, no significant differences based on survey method were found in the size of coral colonies. Lastly, the capability to extract the same reef location from mosaics collected at different times proved to be an important tool for documenting change in coral abundance as the removal of even small colonies (<10 cm in diameter) was easily documented. The two-dimensional video mosaics constructed in this study can provide repeatable, accurate measurements on the reef-plot scale that can complement measurements on the colony-scale made by divers and surveys conducted at regional scales using remote sensing

  2. Climate change impacts on coral reefs: synergies with local effects, possibilities for acclimation, and management implications.

    PubMed

    Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Feary, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Chen, Allen; Schleyer, Michael H; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2013-09-30

    Most reviews concerning the impact of climate change on coral reefs discuss independent effects of warming or ocean acidification. However, the interactions between these, and between these and direct local stressors are less well addressed. This review underlines that coral bleaching, acidification, and diseases are expected to interact synergistically, and will negatively influence survival, growth, reproduction, larval development, settlement, and post-settlement development of corals. Interactions with local stress factors such as pollution, sedimentation, and overfishing are further expected to compound effects of climate change. Reduced coral cover and species composition following coral bleaching events affect coral reef fish community structure, with variable outcomes depending on their habitat dependence and trophic specialisation. Ocean acidification itself impacts fish mainly indirectly through disruption of predation- and habitat-associated behavior changes. Zooxanthellate octocorals on reefs are often overlooked but are substantial occupiers of space; these also are highly susceptible to bleaching but because they tend to be more heterotrophic, climate change impacts mainly manifest in terms of changes in species composition and population structure. Non-calcifying macroalgae are expected to respond positively to ocean acidification and promote microbe-induced coral mortality via the release of dissolved compounds, thus intensifying phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal domination. Adaptation of corals to these consequences of CO2 rise through increased tolerance of corals and successful mutualistic associations between corals and zooxanthellae is likely to be insufficient to match the rate and frequency of the projected changes. Impacts are interactive and magnified, and because there is a limited capacity for corals to adapt to climate change, global targets of carbon emission reductions are insufficient for coral reefs, so lower targets should be

  3. Reconnaissance 14C Dating and the Evaluation of Mg/Li as a Temperature Proxy in Bamboo Corals from the California Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freiberger, M. M.; LaVigne, M.; Miller, H.; Hill, T. M.; McNichol, A. P.; Lardie Gaylord, M.

    2015-12-01

    In the face of anthropogenically induced climate changes, it is becoming increasingly important to develop high-resolution paleoceanographic records that may elucidate how ocean conditions may shift in coming decades. Recently, bamboo corals (gorgonian octocorals) have been proposed as archives of intermediate ocean conditions. This study used 'reconnaissance' radiocarbon analysis to identify the nuclear bomb 14C spike in the proteinaceous nodes of bamboo corals and to quantify radial growth rates and ages of corals spanning the eastern Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) (790-2055 m). Preliminary data suggest that these corals exhibit a wide range of growth rates (9.4-350 μm/yr) that are non-linear over time and decrease with coral age and depth. Records of Mg/Li were investigated in these corals, given that previous studies have demonstrated positive correlations between Mg/Li and temperature in benthic foraminifera and surface and deep-sea aragonitic corals, with a reduced influence of vital effects over Mg/Ca. Intracoral reproducibility observed for replicate Mg/Li timeseries within each sample (p=0.6±0.2, n=6) and strong correlations between Mg/Ca and Li/Ca (0.9±0.1, n=6) indicate similar environmental or biological drivers of Mg and Li incorporation in bamboo corals. Given the strong positive correlations between Mg/Li and water temperature across a depth transect (r2=0.87, n=6), increasing Mg/Li observed over the growth history of each of the corals more likely reflects declining growth rates resulting in decreased Li incorporation over time rather than cooling of California Margin intermediate waters. Reductions in growth rate over the lifespan of each coral (~100+ years) may be a function of natural coral growth patterns or changes in carbonate chemistry, oxygen, or food supply in a sensitive OMZ coral ecosystem.

  4. Sexual Reproduction and Seasonality of the Alaskan Red Tree Coral, Primnoa pacifica

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Rhian G.; Stone, Robert P.; Johnstone, Julia; Mondragon, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    The red tree coral Primnoa pacifica is an important habitat forming octocoral in North Pacific waters. Given the prominence of this species in shelf and upper slope areas of the Gulf of Alaska where fishing disturbance can be high, it may be able to sustain healthy populations through adaptive reproductive processes. This study was designed to test this hypothesis, examining reproductive mode, seasonality and fecundity in both undamaged and simulated damaged colonies over the course of 16 months using a deepwater-emerged population in Tracy Arm Fjord. Females within the population developed asynchronously, though males showed trends of synchronicity, with production of immature spermatocysts heightened in December/January and maturation of gametes in the fall months. Periodicity of individuals varied from a single year reproductive event to some individuals taking more than the 16 months sampled to produce viable gametes. Multiple stages of gametes occurred in polyps of the same colony during most sampling periods. Mean oocyte size ranged from 50 to 200 µm in any season, and maximum oocyte size (802 µm) suggests a lecithotrophic larva. No brooding larvae were found during this study, though unfertilized oocytes were found adhered to the outside of polyps, where they are presumably fertilized. This species demonstrated size-dependent reproduction, with gametes first forming in colonies over 42-cm length, and steady oocyte sizes being achieved after reaching 80-cm in length. The average fecundity was 86 (±12) total oocytes per polyp, and 17 (±12) potential per polyp fecundity. Sub-lethal injury by removing 21–40% of colony tissue had no significant reproductive response in males or females over the course of this study, except for a corresponding loss in overall colony fecundity. The reproductive patterns and long gamete generation times observed in this study indicate that recruitment events are likely to be highly sporadic in this species increasing its

  5. Sexual reproduction and seasonality of the Alaskan red tree coral, Primnoa pacifica.

    PubMed

    Waller, Rhian G; Stone, Robert P; Johnstone, Julia; Mondragon, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    The red tree coral Primnoa pacifica is an important habitat forming octocoral in North Pacific waters. Given the prominence of this species in shelf and upper slope areas of the Gulf of Alaska where fishing disturbance can be high, it may be able to sustain healthy populations through adaptive reproductive processes. This study was designed to test this hypothesis, examining reproductive mode, seasonality and fecundity in both undamaged and simulated damaged colonies over the course of 16 months using a deepwater-emerged population in Tracy Arm Fjord. Females within the population developed asynchronously, though males showed trends of synchronicity, with production of immature spermatocysts heightened in December/January and maturation of gametes in the fall months. Periodicity of individuals varied from a single year reproductive event to some individuals taking more than the 16 months sampled to produce viable gametes. Multiple stages of gametes occurred in polyps of the same colony during most sampling periods. Mean oocyte size ranged from 50 to 200 µm in any season, and maximum oocyte size (802 µm) suggests a lecithotrophic larva. No brooding larvae were found during this study, though unfertilized oocytes were found adhered to the outside of polyps, where they are presumably fertilized. This species demonstrated size-dependent reproduction, with gametes first forming in colonies over 42-cm length, and steady oocyte sizes being achieved after reaching 80-cm in length. The average fecundity was 86 (± 12) total oocytes per polyp, and 17 (± 12) potential per polyp fecundity. Sub-lethal injury by removing 21-40% of colony tissue had no significant reproductive response in males or females over the course of this study, except for a corresponding loss in overall colony fecundity. The reproductive patterns and long gamete generation times observed in this study indicate that recruitment events are likely to be highly sporadic in this species increasing its

  6. A novel reef coral symbiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantos, O.; Bythell, J. C.

    2010-09-01

    Reef building corals form close associations with unicellular microalgae, fungi, bacteria and archaea, some of which are symbiotic and which together form the coral holobiont. Associations with multicellular eukaryotes such as polychaete worms, bivalves and sponges are not generally considered to be symbiotic as the host responds to their presence by forming physical barriers with an active growth edge in the exoskeleton isolating the invader and, at a subcellular level, activating innate immune responses such as melanin deposition. This study describes a novel symbiosis between a newly described hydrozoan ( Zanclea margaritae sp. nov.) and the reef building coral Acropora muricata (= A. formosa), with the hydrozoan hydrorhiza ramifying throughout the coral tissues with no evidence of isolation or activation of the immune systems of the host. The hydrorhiza lacks a perisarc, which is typical of symbiotic species of this and related genera, including species that associate with other cnidarians such as octocorals. The symbiosis was observed at all sites investigated from two distant locations on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and appears to be host species specific, being found only in A. muricata and in none of 30 other species investigated at these sites. Not all colonies of A. muricata host the hydrozoans and both the prevalence within the coral population (mean = 66%) and density of emergent hydrozoan hydranths on the surface of the coral (mean = 4.3 cm-2, but up to 52 cm-2) vary between sites. The form of the symbiosis in terms of the mutualism-parasitism continuum is not known, although the hydrozoan possesses large stenotele nematocysts, which may be important for defence from predators and protozoan pathogens. This finding expands the known A. muricata holobiont and the association must be taken into account in future when determining the corals’ abilities to defend against predators and withstand stress.

  7. Calcite formation in soft coral sclerites is determined by a single reactive extracellular protein.

    PubMed

    Rahman, M Azizur; Oomori, Tamotsu; Wörheide, Gert

    2011-09-01

    Calcium carbonate exists in two main forms, calcite and aragonite, in the skeletons of marine organisms. The primary mineralogy of marine carbonates has changed over the history of the earth depending on the magnesium/calcium ratio in seawater during the periods of the so-called "calcite and aragonite seas." Organisms that prefer certain mineralogy appear to flourish when their preferred mineralogy is favored by seawater chemistry. However, this rule is not without exceptions. For example, some octocorals produce calcite despite living in an aragonite sea. Here, we address the unresolved question of how organisms such as soft corals are able to form calcitic skeletal elements in an aragonite sea. We show that an extracellular protein called ECMP-67 isolated from soft coral sclerites induces calcite formation in vitro even when the composition of the calcifying solution favors aragonite precipitation. Structural details of both the surface and the interior of single crystals generated upon interaction with ECMP-67 were analyzed with an apertureless-type near-field IR microscope with high spatial resolution. The results show that this protein is the main determining factor for driving the production of calcite instead of aragonite in the biocalcification process and that -OH, secondary structures (e.g. α-helices and amides), and other necessary chemical groups are distributed over the center of the calcite crystals. Using an atomic force microscope, we also explored how this extracellular protein significantly affects the molecular-scale kinetics of crystal formation. We anticipate that a more thorough investigation of the proteinaceous skeleton content of different calcite-producing marine organisms will reveal similar components that determine the mineralogy of the organisms. These findings have significant implications for future models of the crystal structure of calcite in nature. PMID:21768106

  8. Immune response of the Caribbean sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, exposed to an Aplanochytrium parasite as revealed by transcriptome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Burge, Colleen A.; Mouchka, Morgan E.; Harvell, C. Drew; Roberts, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Coral reef communities are undergoing marked declines due to a variety of stressors including disease. The sea fan coral, Gorgonia ventalina, is a tractable study system to investigate mechanisms of immunity to a naturally occurring pathogen. Functional studies in Gorgonia ventalina immunity indicate that several key pathways and cellular components are involved in response to natural microbial invaders, although to date the functional and regulatory pathways remain largely un-described. This study used short-read sequencing (Illumina GAIIx) to identify genes involved in the response of G. ventalina to a naturally occurring Aplanochytrium spp. parasite. De novo assembly of the G. ventalina transcriptome yielded 90,230 contigs of which 40,142 were annotated. RNA-Seq analysis revealed 210 differentially expressed genes in sea fans exposed to the Aplanochytrium parasite. Differentially expressed genes involved in immunity include pattern recognition molecules, anti-microbial peptides, and genes involved in wound repair and reactive oxygen species formation. Gene enrichment analysis indicated eight biological processes were enriched representing 36 genes, largely involved with protein translation and energy production. This is the first report using high-throughput sequencing to characterize the host response of a coral to a natural pathogen. Furthermore, we have generated the first transcriptome for a soft (octocoral or non-scleractinian) coral species. Expression analysis revealed genes important in invertebrate innate immune pathways, as well as those whose role is previously un-described in cnidarians. This resource will be valuable in characterizing G. ventalina immune response to infection and co-infection of pathogens in the context of environmental change. PMID:23898300

  9. Comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of relationships in Octocorallia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the Atlantic ocean using mtMutS and nad2 genes tree reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, K. J.; Herrera, S.; Gubili, C.; Tyler, P. A.; Rogers, A.; Hauton, C.

    2012-12-01

    Despite being an abundant group of significant ecological importance the phylogenetic relationships of the Octocorallia remain poorly understood and very much understudied. We used 1132 bp of two mitochondrial protein-coding genes, nad2 and mtMutS (previously referred to as msh1), to construct a phylogeny for 161 octocoral specimens from the Atlantic, including both Isididae and non-Isididae species. We found that four clades were supported using a concatenated alignment. Two of these (A and B) were in general agreement with the of Holaxonia-Alcyoniina and Anthomastus-Corallium clades identified by previous work. The third and fourth clades represent a split of the Calcaxonia-Pennatulacea clade resulting in a clade containing the Pennatulacea and a small number of Isididae specimens and a second clade containing the remaining Calcaxonia. When individual genes were considered nad2 largely agreed with previous work with MtMutS also producing a fourth clade corresponding to a split of Isididae species from the Calcaxonia-Pennatulacea clade. It is expected these difference are a consequence of the inclusion of Isisdae species that have undergone a gene inversion in the mtMutS gene causing their separation in the MtMutS only tree. The fourth clade in the concatenated tree is also suspected to be a result of this gene inversion, as there were very few Isidiae species included in previous work tree and thus this separation would not be clearly resolved. A~larger phylogeny including both Isididae and non Isididae species is required to further resolve these clades.

  10. Coral-Associated Bacterial Diversity Is Conserved across Two Deep-Sea Anthothela Species.

    PubMed

    Lawler, Stephanie N; Kellogg, Christina A; France, Scott C; Clostio, Rachel W; Brooke, Sandra D; Ross, Steve W

    2016-01-01

    Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4-V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont. PMID:27092120

  11. Evidence for host specificity among dominant bacterial symbionts in temperate gorgonian corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Rivière, Marie; Garrabou, Joaquim; Bally, Marc

    2015-12-01

    Gorgonian corals serve as key engineering species within Mediterranean rocky-shore communities that have recently suffered from repeated mortality events during warm temperature anomalies. Among the factors that may link thermal conditions with disease outbreaks, a number of bacterial pathogens have been implicated; they may take advantage of decreases in the defenses and/or overall health of the gorgonian hosts. Considering the beneficial role of the resident bacteria in tropical coral holobionts, a detailed characterization of the gorgonian-associated microbial populations is required to better understand the relationships among native microbiota, host fitness, and pathogen susceptibility. In this study, the bacterial communities associated with three sympatric gorgonian species, Eunicella singularis, Eunicella cavolini, and Corallium rubrum, were investigated to provide insight into the stability and the specificity of host-microbe interactions. Natural variations in bacterial communities were detected using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the 16S ribosomal DNA. No major differences were identified between individual colonies sampled in winter or in summer within each gorgonian species. Although hierarchical cluster analysis of the T-RFLP profiles revealed that the three species harbor distinct communities, comparison of the T-RFLP peaks indicated the presence of common bacterial ribotypes. From phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA clone libraries, we identified a bacterial lineage related to the Hahellaceae family within the Oceanospirillales that is shared among E. singularis, E. cavolini, and C. rubrum and that dominates the communities of both species of Eunicella. However, distinct clades of Hahellaceae are harbored by various gorgonian species from Mediterranean and tropical waters, suggesting that these bacteria have formed host-specific symbiotic relationships with gorgonian octocorals. In addition, the relatedness of symbionts

  12. Exploration of the canyon-incised continental margin of the northeastern United States reveals dynamic habitats and diverse communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quattrini, Andrea; Nizinski, Martha S.; Chaytor, Jason; Demopoulos, Amanda; Roark, E. Brendan; France, Scott; Moore, Jon A.; Heyl, Taylor P.; Auster, Peter J.; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P.; Kennedy, Brian R.C.; Lobecker, Elizabeth A.; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M.

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichosand the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial

  13. Calcite Formation in Soft Coral Sclerites Is Determined by a Single Reactive Extracellular Protein*

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, M. Azizur; Oomori, Tamotsu; Wörheide, Gert

    2011-01-01

    Calcium carbonate exists in two main forms, calcite and aragonite, in the skeletons of marine organisms. The primary mineralogy of marine carbonates has changed over the history of the earth depending on the magnesium/calcium ratio in seawater during the periods of the so-called “calcite and aragonite seas.” Organisms that prefer certain mineralogy appear to flourish when their preferred mineralogy is favored by seawater chemistry. However, this rule is not without exceptions. For example, some octocorals produce calcite despite living in an aragonite sea. Here, we address the unresolved question of how organisms such as soft corals are able to form calcitic skeletal elements in an aragonite sea. We show that an extracellular protein called ECMP-67 isolated from soft coral sclerites induces calcite formation in vitro even when the composition of the calcifying solution favors aragonite precipitation. Structural details of both the surface and the interior of single crystals generated upon interaction with ECMP-67 were analyzed with an apertureless-type near-field IR microscope with high spatial resolution. The results show that this protein is the main determining factor for driving the production of calcite instead of aragonite in the biocalcification process and that –OH, secondary structures (e.g. α-helices and amides), and other necessary chemical groups are distributed over the center of the calcite crystals. Using an atomic force microscope, we also explored how this extracellular protein significantly affects the molecular-scale kinetics of crystal formation. We anticipate that a more thorough investigation of the proteinaceous skeleton content of different calcite-producing marine organisms will reveal similar components that determine the mineralogy of the organisms. These findings have significant implications for future models of the crystal structure of calcite in nature. PMID:21768106

  14. A functional approach to the seasonal variation of benthic mollusc assemblages in an estuarine-like system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aneiros, Fernando; Moreira, Juan; Troncoso, Jesús S.

    2014-01-01

    The mollusc assemblages inhabiting two fine-sediment bottoms in the Ría de Aldán (NW Iberian Peninsula) were quantitatively sampled to test hypotheses about influence of sediment in faunal composition, seasonal variation and amensalist relationships. Both trophic guilds and life habits were considered for functional group classifications of the mollusc species found. The two assemblages were found to have differences in both numerically dominant species and general structure. Among numerically dominant species, Kurtiella bidentata was the only one present in numbers at both sites; it was second to Chamelea striatula at the site with the coarsest sediment and the top dominant at the one which had higher organic content, there followed by Thyasira flexuosa. There were significant changes in abundance, number of species and diversity indexes during the study period; maximum values of abundance occurred in autumn. Seasonal variations in univariate faunal parameters and functional groups were also correlated with those in sediment features and sediment heterogeneity was identified as a key factor to explain diversity of the assemblages. The extensive mussel raft culture in the area seemed not to affect negatively either abundance or diversity and might favour higher diversity by increasing the heterogeneity of the sediment through the supply of mussel shells. Hydrodynamic regime of the embayment is suggested to be a relevant factor in determining differences between the structures of assemblages. Seasonal changes in this regime would lead to major changes in the characteristics of the sediment and therefore in the mollusc assemblages. Higher intensity and frequency of these changes seem to promote a closer relationship between the assemblage and the sediment, as well as a tighter coupling between functional and taxonomic structure of the former. The existence of amensalist relationships was dismissed for both assemblages as no negative relationships between trophic

  15. Making a Bad Situation Worse: An Invasive Species Altering the Balance of Interactions between Local Species

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions pose a significant threat to biodiversity, especially on oceanic islands. One of the primary explanations for the success of plant invaders is direct suppression of competitors. However, indirect interactions can also be important, although they are often overlooked in studies on biological invasion. The shrub Leucaena leucocephala is a widespread island invader with putative allelopathic effects on the germination and growth of other species. We quantified the impact of Leucaena on plant communities richness on an oceanic Brazilian island and, through nursery experiments, investigated the potential for allelopathic effects on the germination of Erythrina velutina, a native species that is often absent from stands of Leucaena. Additionally, in a manipulative field experiment, we examined the direct and indirect effects (mediated by the native species Capparis flexuosa) of the invader on the development of Erythrina. The species richness in invaded sites was lower than in uninvaded sites, and Capparis was the only native species that was frequently present in invaded sites. In the nursery experiments, we found no evidence that Leucaena affects the germination of Erythrina. In the field experiments, the odds of Erythrina germination were lower in the presence of Leucaena litter, but higher in the presence of Leucaena trees. However, the survival and growth of Erythrina were considerably inhibited by the presence of Leucaena trees. The isolated effect of native Capparis on the germination and growth of Erythrina varied from positive to neutral. However, when Capparis and Leucaena were both present, their combined negative effects on Erythrina were worse than the effect of Leucaena alone, which may be attributed to indirect effects. This study provides the first empirical evidence that the balance of the interactions between native species can shift from neutral/positive to negative in the presence of an exotic species. PMID:27010846

  16. Glycine uptake in heath plants and soil microbes responds to elevated temperature, CO 2 and drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andresen, Louise C.; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven; Beier, Claus; Ambus, Per

    2009-11-01

    Temperate terrestrial ecosystems are currently exposed to climatic and air quality changes with increased atmospheric CO 2, increased temperature and prolonged droughts. The responses of natural ecosystems to these changes are focus for research, due to the potential feedbacks to the climate. We here present results from a field experiment in which the effects of these three climate change factors are investigated solely and in all combinations at a temperate heath dominated by heather ( Calluna vulgaris) and wavy hair-grass ( Deschampsia flexuosa). Climate induced increases in plant production may increase plant root exudation of dissolved organic compounds such as amino acids, and the release of amino acids during decomposition of organic matter. Such free amino acids in soil serve as substrates for soil microorganisms and are also acquired as nutrients directly by plants. We investigated the magnitude of the response to the potential climate change treatments on uptake of organic nitrogen in an in situ pulse labelling experiment with 15N 13C 2-labelled glycine (amino acid) injected into the soil. In situ root nitrogen acquisition by grasses responded significantly to the climate change treatments, with larger 15N uptake in response to warming and elevated CO 2 but not additively when the treatments were combined. Also, a larger grass leaf biomass in the combined T and CO 2 treatment than in individual treatments suggest that responses to combined climate change factors cannot be predicted from the responses to single factors treatments. The soil microbes were superior to plants in the short-term competition for the added glycine, as indicated by an 18 times larger 15N recovery in the microbial biomass compared to the plant biomass. The soil microbes acquired glycine largely as an intact compound (87%), with no effects of the multi factorial climate change treatment through one year.

  17. CoralWatch Data Analysis at Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Hong Kong

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, A.; Hodgson, P.

    2015-12-01

    CoralWatch is a conservation organization that is based at the University of Queensland in Australia. Their development of the "Coral Health Chart" standardized the colour of corals for the further investigation of coral health and bleaching. The location of this project is in the NE part of Hong Kong in New Territories. The location faces ShenZhen, a heavily industrialized city, which is known for its pollution of the Pearl River. This area is protected by the Hong Kong Government and the WWF since 1996.Human activities have caused large amounts of greenhouse gasses to be released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide has caused the global temperature to rise and made ocean waters more acidic due to ocean respiration. The ocean is a carbon sink for mankind and the effect of severe acidification is negatively affecting marine life. The increase of temperature diminishes the amount of diversity of marine life; the decreasing acidity of the water has eliminated many species of shellfish and sea anemone; the increase of marine exploitation has decreased the diversity of marine life. The release of toxic waste, mainly mercury, waste and plastic products has also polluted the oceans which negatively impact coral reefs and endanger marine life.The data has been collected by observing the colours and discolouration (bleaching) of the corals of approximately 40 colonies per month. The species of coral in Hoi Ha Wan include, Favites flexuosa, Goniopora columna,Leptastrea purpurea, Lithophyllon undulatum, Pavona decussata. and Platygyra acuta (AFCD,1). The evaluation of four years of coralwatch data has shown the bleaching of hard boulder corals in Hoi Ha Wan, Hong Kong, has halted and the reefs are being to show signs of regeneration. Local marine biologists credited the improved situation of the corals to protected status of the area.

  18. Life cycle of Raoiella indica (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) on ornamental plants, mostly Arecaceae.

    PubMed

    Vásquez, C; Colmenárez, Y; de Moraes, G J

    2015-02-01

    The red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst, has been primarily found associated with coconut and musaceous plants in the New World. However, it has also been recorded on several other palms, heliconiaceous and zingiberaceous species. This study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of different botanical families on which R. indica has been collected in the field and of arecaceous plants of the natural vegetation of the neotropics. In total, ten species of Arecaceae as well as Heliconia psittacorum [Heliconiaceae] and Alpinia purpurata [Zingiberacae] were evaluated, using coconut as a control. The study was carried out under controlled conditions (29 ± 0.5 °C, 60 ± 10% RH and photoperiod 12 h of light). Raoiella indica was able to complete immature development only on coconut, Adonidia merrillii, Ptychosperma macarthurii, H. psittacorum and A. purpurata. Duration of the immature phase (egg-adult) ranged between 21.5 days on coconut to 34.1 days on A. purpurata. Longevity was at least 50% greater and oviposition at least 38% higher on coconut than on other plants. Intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was higher on coconut (0.166) and A. merrillii (0.042), but negative on the other two plant species. Raoiella indica could not reach adulthood on any of the other ten arecaceous species considered in the study. The results suggested R. indica to be a threat to A. merrillii in addition to coconut, but not to other evaluated plants. However, complementary studies should be conducted to investigate whether the experimental procedures adopted in this study could not have prevented the mite from a better performance than it could have been under field conditions, especially in relation to Mauritia flexuosa, one of the dominant arecaceous plants in South America. PMID:25342244

  19. Defoliation reduces soil biota - and modifies stimulating effects of elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Dam, Marie; Christensen, Søren

    2015-11-01

    To understand the responses to external disturbance such as defoliation and possible feedback mechanisms at global change in terrestrial ecosystems, it is necessary to examine the extent and nature of effects on aboveground-belowground interactions. We studied a temperate heathland system subjected to experimental climate and atmospheric factors based on prognoses for year 2075 and further exposed to defoliation. By defoliating plants, we were able to study how global change modifies the interactions of the plant-soil system. Shoot production, root biomass, microbial biomass, and nematode abundance were assessed in the rhizosphere of manually defoliated patches of Deschampsia flexuosa in June in a full-factorial FACE experiment with the treatments: increased atmospheric CO 2, increased nighttime temperatures, summer droughts, and all of their combinations. We found a negative effect of defoliation on microbial biomass that was not apparently affected by global change. The negative effect of defoliation cascades through to soil nematodes as dependent on CO 2 and drought. At ambient CO 2, drought and defoliation each reduced nematodes. In contrast, at elevated CO 2, a combination of drought and defoliation was needed to reduce nematodes. We found positive effects of CO 2 on root density and microbial biomass. Defoliation affected soil biota negatively, whereas elevated CO 2 stimulated the plant-soil system. This effect seen in June is contrasted by the effects seen in September at the same site. Late season defoliation increased activity and biomass of soil biota and more so at elevated CO 2. Based on soil biota responses, plants defoliated in active growth therefore conserve resources, whereas defoliation after termination of growth results in release of resources. This result challenges the idea that plants via exudation of organic carbon stimulate their rhizosphere biota when in apparent need of nutrients for growth. PMID:26640664

  20. Shallow groundwater subsidies to terrestrial ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, R. B.; Jayawickreme, D.; Nosetto, M.; Jobbagy, E. G.

    2010-12-01

    Throughout the world, shallow groundwater systems subsidize much higher net primary productivity (NPP) than would be expected based solely on local rainfall. Such subsidies are far more prevalent and less recognized in upland systems than in more commonly studied riparian ones. We present a quantitative framework for examining and quantifying groundwater subsidies globally, illustrating subsidies to NPP across rainfall gradients in Argentina and the southern United States, including Texas and California. In the Argentine Pampas, we determined that the presence of relatively shallow ground water increased the transpiration of forest plantations by 300 to 400 mm. Farther west, the presence of well developed Prosopis flexuosa woodlands in the Monte desert region east of the Andes has puzzled scientists for decades. We explored the vulnerability and importance of phreatic ground water for the productivity of the region, comparing the contributions of local rainfall to that of remote mountain recharge that is increasingly being diverted for irrigated agriculture before it reaches the desert. The isotopic composition of phreatic ground waters (δ2H; -137±5 ‰) closely matched the signature of water brought to the region by the Mendoza River (-137±6 ‰), suggesting that mountain river infiltration rather than in-situ rainfall deep drainage (-39±19 ‰) was the dominant mechanism of recharge. Vegetation in woodland ecosystems there relied on regionally derived ground water from Andean snowmelt located from 6.5 to 9.5 m underground. Understanding the ecohydrological coupling of surface and ground waters is vital for estimating net primary productivity and for balancing the demands of managed ecosystems with the conservation of unique natural systems.

  1. Detection of a parasitic amoeba (Order Dactylopodida) in the female gonads of oysters in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Sühnel, Simone; Ivachuk, Celene da S; Schaefer, Ana L C; Pontinha, Vitor A; Martins, Maurício L; Figueras, Antonio; Meyer, Gary R; Jones, Simon R M; Stewart, Johnson C; Gurney-Smith, Helen J; Magalhães, Aimê R M; Bower, Susan M

    2014-07-01

    The impacts of oocyte parasites on the reproductive success of molluscs are largely unknown. In this study, we evaluated the presence of gonad parasites in 6 species of marine bivalve molluscs native to southern Brazil. Cultured bivalves included the mangrove oyster Crassostrea gasar (sometimes called C. brasiliana), the brown mussel Perna perna, the lion's paw scallop Nodipecten nodosus and the wing pearl oyster Pteria hirundo. Another species of mangrove oyster, C. rhizophorae, and the carib pointed venus clam Anomalocardia brasiliana (syn. A. flexuosa) were collected from the wild. Molluscs were collected in winter 2009 and summer 2010 for histopathological and molecular evaluation. An unknown ovarian parasite (UOP) was observed in histopathological sections of female gonads of C. gasar and C. rhizophorae. The UOP possessed features suggestive of amoebae, including an irregular outer membrane, frothy cytoplasm, a nucleus with a prominent central nucleolus and a closely associated basophilic parasome. PCR analysis was negative for Marteilioides chungmuensis, Perkinsus spp. and Paramoeba perurans. However, real-time PCR successfully amplified DNA from oyster gonads when using universal Paramoeba spp. primers. Also, conventional PCR amplified DNA using primers specific for Perkinsela amoebae-like organisms (syn. Perkinsiella), which are considered as endosymbionts of Parameoba spp., previously thought to be the parasome. Our results suggest that this UOP is a species of amoeba belonging to 1 of the 2 families of the order Dactylopodida, possibly related to Paramoeba spp. This study represents the first report of this type of organism in oysters. We found that C. gasar and C. rhizophorae were the most susceptible molluscs to these UOPs. PMID:24991850

  2. Outbreaks by canopy-feeding geometrid moth cause state-dependent shifts in understorey plant communities.

    PubMed

    Karlsen, Stein Rune; Jepsen, Jane Uhd; Odland, Arvid; Ims, Rolf Anker; Elvebakk, Arve

    2013-11-01

    The increased spread of insect outbreaks is among the most severe impacts of climate warming predicted for northern boreal forest ecosystems. Compound disturbances by insect herbivores can cause sharp transitions between vegetation states with implications for ecosystem productivity and climate feedbacks. By analysing vegetation plots prior to and immediately after a severe and widespread outbreak by geometrid moths in the birch forest-tundra ecotone, we document a shift in forest understorey community composition in response to the moth outbreak. Prior to the moth outbreak, the plots divided into two oligotrophic and one eutrophic plant community. The moth outbreak caused a vegetation state shift in the two oligotrophic communities, but only minor changes in the eutrophic community. In the spatially most widespread communities, oligotrophic dwarf shrub birch forest, dominance by the allelopathic dwarf shrub Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, was effectively broken and replaced by a community dominated by the graminoid Avenella flexuosa, in a manner qualitatively similar to the effect of wild fires in E. nigrum communities in coniferous boreal forest further south. As dominance by E. nigrum is associated with retrogressive succession the observed vegetation state shift has widespread implications for ecosystem productivity on a regional scale. Our findings reveal that the impact of moth outbreaks on the northern boreal birch forest system is highly initial-state dependent, and that the widespread oligotrophic communities have a low resistance to such disturbances. This provides a case for the notion that climate impacts on arctic and northern boreal vegetation may take place most abruptly when conveyed by changed dynamics of irruptive herbivores. PMID:23568711

  3. Making a Bad Situation Worse: An Invasive Species Altering the Balance of Interactions between Local Species.

    PubMed

    Mello, Thayná Jeremias; Oliveira, Alexandre Adalardo de

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions pose a significant threat to biodiversity, especially on oceanic islands. One of the primary explanations for the success of plant invaders is direct suppression of competitors. However, indirect interactions can also be important, although they are often overlooked in studies on biological invasion. The shrub Leucaena leucocephala is a widespread island invader with putative allelopathic effects on the germination and growth of other species. We quantified the impact of Leucaena on plant communities richness on an oceanic Brazilian island and, through nursery experiments, investigated the potential for allelopathic effects on the germination of Erythrina velutina, a native species that is often absent from stands of Leucaena. Additionally, in a manipulative field experiment, we examined the direct and indirect effects (mediated by the native species Capparis flexuosa) of the invader on the development of Erythrina. The species richness in invaded sites was lower than in uninvaded sites, and Capparis was the only native species that was frequently present in invaded sites. In the nursery experiments, we found no evidence that Leucaena affects the germination of Erythrina. In the field experiments, the odds of Erythrina germination were lower in the presence of Leucaena litter, but higher in the presence of Leucaena trees. However, the survival and growth of Erythrina were considerably inhibited by the presence of Leucaena trees. The isolated effect of native Capparis on the germination and growth of Erythrina varied from positive to neutral. However, when Capparis and Leucaena were both present, their combined negative effects on Erythrina were worse than the effect of Leucaena alone, which may be attributed to indirect effects. This study provides the first empirical evidence that the balance of the interactions between native species can shift from neutral/positive to negative in the presence of an exotic species. PMID:27010846

  4. Biodiversity of the Deep-Sea Benthic Fauna in the Sangihe-Talaud Region, Indonesia: Observations from the INDEX-SATAL 2010 Expedition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrera, S.; Munro, C.; Nganro, N.; Tunnicliffe, V.; Wirasantosa, S.; Sibert, E.; Hammond, S. R.; Bors, E.; Butterfield, D.; Holden, J. F.; Baker, E. T.; Sherrin, J.; Makarim, S.; Troa, R.; Shank, T. M.

    2010-12-01

    The benthic ecosystems found in the deep-sea promontories of Sangihe Talaud region were explored, between June and August 2010, using the ROV Little Hercules aboard the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer. The Sangihe-Talaud region is part of the Coral Triangle (CT) an area known for harboring the most biodiverse shallow-water coral reefs in the world. Notwithstanding the significant research efforts that have been undertaken to catalog and protect the biodiversity of the CT prior this expedition, virtually nothing was known about the life inhabiting the deep sea. The high-resolution imagery obtained from the 27 ROV dives revealed remarkably high abundances and diversity of animal species, many of which appear to be novel. On hard bottom substrates, cold-water corals were the dominant sessile macrofauna, in terms of biomass, followed by glass sponges (Hexactinellida) and sea lilies (Crinoidea). The coral taxa observed in this area represent six large orders of cnidarians: antipatharians (black corals), scleractinians (stony corals), zoanthideans (gold corals), alcyonaceans (octocorals), pennatulaceans (sea pens), and anthoathecates (hydrocorals). Most sessile species, independently of their size class or taxonomic affiliation, harbor a wide variety of associated fauna. Brittle stars (Ophiuroidea), squat lobsters (Galatheoidea), shrimp (Caridea), amphipods (Amphipoda), anemones (Actinaria), zanthideans, barnacles (Cirripedia), hydroids (Hydrozoa) and worms (Polychaeta) are the animal groups most commonly found forming these associations. In contrast, soft bottom habitats were dominated by stalked sponges, sea pens, sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea) and brittle stars. Other conspicuous fauna include fish, hermit crabs (Paguridae), urchins (Echinoidea) and octopuses (Cephalopoda). The abundance of habitats generated by the high number of geological and biological features and depth ranges present in the deep coral triangle (e.g., ridges, seamounts, island margins, plains, and rock

  5. Previously undocumented diversity and abundance of cryptic species: a phylogenetic analysis of Indo-Pacific Arminidae Rafinesque, 1814 (Mollusca: Nudibranchia) with descriptions of 20 new species of Dermatobranchus

    PubMed Central

    Gosliner, Terrence M; Fahey, Shireen J

    2011-01-01

    ., Dermatobranchus piperoides sp. nov., Dermatobranchus rodmani sp. nov., Dermatobranchus semilunus sp. nov., and Dermatobranchus tuberculatus sp. nov. Eighteen of these new taxa are found in the Indo-Pacific tropics and two are found in temperate South Africa, D. albineus and D. arminus. Unique combinations of morphological characters distinguish these as new species of Dermatobranchus. Several species that are externally similar have radically divergent internal morphology, are members of different clades of Dermatobranchus, and represent cryptic species. Especially important is the radular morphology, which shows remarkable diversity of form, probably related directly to the diversification of feeding of members of this clade on various octocorals. PMID:21527987

  6. Calibration of fossil scleraxonian Southern Ocean deep-sea corals for U-series dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutjahr, M.; Vance, D.; Hoffmann, D.; Hillenbrand, C.; Kuhn, G.

    2008-12-01

    The deep Southern Ocean has been pinpointed as candidate reservoir capable of storing the additional respired carbon that was drawn from the atmosphere during the Last Glacial Maximum compared with the present-day. In this context the determination of deep ocean ventilation ages is a commonly applied tool, potentially identifying radiocarbon depletion in glacial deep water and enhanced ocean stratification. In order to derive deep-sea ventilation ages most studies to date have used either radiocarbon age differences between paired planktic and benthic foraminifera samples or coupled U-Th and radiocarbon dates obtained from aragonitic deep-sea corals. Results from both these approaches are, however, as yet very scarce for the Southern Ocean. We present calendar ages for a set of deep-sea scleraxonian corals from the Marie Byrd Seamounts in the Amundsen Sea sector of the Southern Ocean (~123°W, ~69°S, 2500 m to 1430 m water depth) employing the 230Th/U-dating method. The aim of our study is to evaluate whether these calcitic octocorals can be used for ventilation age determinations. Our corals have significantly lower uranium concentrations than aragonitic deep-sea corals, ranging from 80 to 250 ng/g. Most corals of Holocene age reproduced the present-day seawater 234U/238U. Pre-Holocene corals, however, show a systematic enrichment of 234U, leading to slightly elevated deglacial initial 234U/238U and significantly higher 234U/238U for ~MIS5 sub-samples. These corals also appear to grow very slowly, on the order of only few μm/year, making it essential to sample as little coral material as possible for combined 230Th/U- and radiocarbon dating purposes. One coral, sampled at high-resolution in various sections returned ages that scatter around 10 ka BP and the early deglaciation, though several significantly older ages were obtained as well. The present-day (234U/238U) ACT in different sections of this coral is very homogenous (1.155 ± 0.003) and more or less

  7. Growth rates and ages of deep-sea corals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Fisher, Charles R.; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Druffel, Ellen R. M.

    2016-01-01

    The impact of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is still under investigation, as is the potential for these communities to recover. Impacts from the spill include observation of corals covered with flocculent material, with bare skeleton, excessive mucous production, sloughing tissue, and subsequent colonization of damaged areas by hydrozoans. Information on growth rates and life spans of deep-sea corals is important for understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic perturbations, as well as the likely duration of any observed adverse impacts. We report radiocarbon ages and radial and linear growth rates based on octocorals (Paramuricea spp. and Chrysogorgia sp.) collected in 2010 and 2011 from areas of the DWH impact. The oldest coral radiocarbon ages were measured on specimens collected 11 km to the SW of the oil spill from the Mississippi Canyon (MC) 344 site: 599 and 55 cal yr BP, suggesting continuous life spans of over 600 years for Paramuricea biscaya, the dominant coral species in the region. Calculated radial growth rates, between 0.34 μm yr−1 and 14.20 μm yr−1, are consistent with previously reported proteinaceous corals from the GoM. Anomalously low radiocarbon (Δ14C) values for soft tissue from some corals indicate that these corals were feeding on particulate organic carbon derived from an admixture of modern surface carbon and a low 14C carbon source. Results from this work indicate fossil carbon could contribute 5–10% to the coral soft tissue Δ14C signal within the area of the spill impact. The influence of a low 14C carbon source (e.g., petro-carbon) on the particulate organic carbon pool was observed at all sites within 30 km of the spill site, with the exception of MC118, which may have been outside of the dominant northeast-southwest zone of impact. The quantitatively assessed extreme longevity and slow growth rates documented

  8. Fatty acid, lipid class, and phospholipid molecular species composition of the soft coral Xenia sp. (Nha Trang Bay, the South China Sea, Vietnam).

    PubMed

    Imbs, Andrey B; Dang, Ly P T; Rybin, Viacheslav G; Svetashev, Vasily I

    2015-06-01

    The soft corals of the genus Xenia are common for Indo-Pacific reef ecosystems. Lipid class, fatty acid (FA), phospho- and phosphonolipid molecular species compositions were identified for the first time in the soft coral Xenia sp. from Vietnam. Total lipids consisted predominantly of waxes, monoalkyl diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols, sterols, and polar lipids (21.4, 7.7, 14.2, 10.5, and 36.7 %, respectively). Sesquiterpene alcohol, valerenenol, was found. Acids 16:0, 18:3n-6, 20:4n-6, and 20:5n-3 dominated in total FA. The markers of zooxanthellae (18:4n-3 and 18:5n-3) and octocorals (24:5n-6 and 24:6n-3) were detected. Acids 18:5n-3, 20:4n-6, 22:4n-6, and 24:5n-6 concentrated in FA of polar lipids, whereas 14:0, 16:0, 16:1n-7, 18:2n-6, and 18:3n-6 were the major FA of neutral lipids. ChoGpl, EtnGpl, SerGpl, CAEP, PtdIns, and lyso ChoGpl constituted 39.5, 20.8, 20.5, 9.7, 4.3, and 5.3 %, respectively, of the sum of phospho- and phosphonolipids. Thirty-two molecular species of phospholipids and ceramide aminoethylphosphonate (CAEP) were determined by high resolution tandem mass spectrometry. Lyso 18:0e PakCho (4.1 %), 18:0e/20:4 PakCho (20.5 %), 18:1e/20:4 PlsEtn (18.0 %), 18:0e/24:5 PakSer (14.0 %), and 16:0 CAEP (9.6 %) were the major molecular species. EtnGpl and PtdIns mainly consisted of alkenyl acyl and diacyl forms, respectively. Alkyl acyl forms predominated in ChoGpl and SerGpl. Acid 24:5n-6 was a principal FA in SerGpl, whereas 20:4n-6 was more abundant in ChoGpl and EtnGpl. PtdIns contained various C20-24 PUFA. In the context of chemotaxonomy of corals, Xenia sp. has the lipid composition typical for soft corals and the FA profile similar to that of alcyonarians with the high level of 18:3n-6. PMID:25916238

  9. Short-term carbon dynamics in a temperate heathland upon six years of exposure to elevated CO2 concentration, drought and warming: Evidence from an in-situ 13CO2 pulse-chase experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambus, P.; Reinsch, S.; Sárossy, Z.; Egsgaard, H.; Jakobsen, I.; Michelsen, A.; Schmidt, I.; Nielsen, P.

    2013-12-01

    An in-situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling experiment was carried out in a temperate heathland (8 oC MAT, 610 mm MAP) to study the impact on short-term carbon (C) allocation as affected by elevated CO2 concentration (+120 ppm), prolonged summer droughts (ca. -43 mm) and warming (+1 oC). The study was carried out six years after the climate treatments were initiated and took place in the early growing season in May in vegetation dominated by grasses, mainly Deschampsia flexuosa. Newly assimilated C (13C from the pulse-label) was traced into vegetation, soil and soil microorganisms and belowground respiration 1, 2 and 8 days after pulse-labeling. The importance of the microbial community in C utilization was investigated using 13C enrichment patterns in different microbial functional groups on the basis of phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles. Climate treatments did not affect microorganism abundance in soil or rhizosphere fractions in terms of total PLFA-C concentration. Elevated CO2 significantly reduced the abundance of gram-negative bacteria (17:0cy), but did not affect the abundance of decomposers (fungi and actinomycetes) in rhizosphere fractions. Drought favored the bacterial community in rhizosphere fractions whereas warming reduced the abundance of gram-negative bacteria (19:0cy) and changed the actinomycetes community (10Me16:0, 10Me18:0). Fastest and highest utilization of recently assimilated C was observed in rhizosphere associated gram-negative bacteria followed by gram-positive bacteria. The utilization of recently assimilated C by the microbial community was faster under elevated CO2 conditions compared to ambient. The 13C assimilation by green plant tissue and translocation to roots was significantly reduced by the extended summer drought. Under elevated CO2 conditions we observed an increased amount of 13C in the litter fraction. The assimilation of 13C by vegetation was not changed when the climate factors were applied in combination. The total amount of

  10. Water subsidies from mountains to deserts: their role in sustaining groundwater-fed oases in a sandy landscape.

    PubMed

    Jobbágy, E G; Nosetto, M D; Villagra, P E; Jackson, R B

    2011-04-01

    In arid regions throughout the world, shallow phreatic aquifers feed natural oases of much higher productivity than would be expected solely from local rainfall. In South America, the presence of well-developed Prosopis flexuosa woodlands in the Monte Desert region east of the Andes has puzzled scientists for decades. Today these woodlands provide crucial subsistence to local populations, including descendants of the indigenous Huarpes. We explore the vulnerability and importance of phreatic groundwater for the productivity of the region, comparing the contributions of local rainfall to that of remote mountain recharge that is increasingly being diverted for irrigated agriculture before it reaches the desert. We combined deep soil coring, plant measurements, direct water-table observations, and stable-isotopic analyses (2H and 18O) of meteoric, surface, and ground waters at three study sites across the region, comparing woodland stands, bare dunes, and surrounding shrublands. The isotopic composition of phreatic groundwaters (delta2H: -137 per thousand +/- 5 per thousand) closely matched the signature of water brought to the region by the Mendoza River (-137 per thousand +/- 6 per thousand), suggestin that mountain-river infiltration rather than in situ rainfall deep drainage (-39 per thousand +/- 19 per thousand) was the dominant mechanism of recharge. Similarly, chloride mass balances determined from deep soil profiles (> 6 m) suggested very low recharge rates. Vegetation in woodland ecosystems, where significant groundwater discharge losses, likely >100 mm/yr occurred, relied on regionally derived groundwater located from 6.5 to 9.5 m underground. At these locations, daily water-table fluctuations of 10 mm, and stable-isotopic measurements of plant water, indicated groundwater uptake rates of 200-300 mm/yr. Regional scaling suggests that groundwater evapotranspiration reaches 18-42 mm/yr across the landscape, accounting for 7 17% of the Mendoza River flow

  11. Tree Plantation Systems Influence Nitrogen Retention and the Abundance of Nitrogen Functional Genes in the Solomon Islands

    PubMed Central

    Reverchon, Frédérique; Bai, Shahla H.; Liu, Xian; Blumfield, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Tree mono-plantations are susceptible to soil nutrient impoverishment and mixed species plantations have been proposed as a way of maintaining soil fertility while enhancing biodiversity. In the Solomon Islands, mixed species plantations where teak (Tectona grandis) is inter-planted with a local tree species (Flueggea flexuosa) have been used as an alternative to teak mono-plantations and are expected to increase soil microbial diversity and modify microbial biogeochemical processes. In this study, we quantified the abundance of microbial functional genes involved in the nitrogen (N) cycle from soil samples collected in teak, flueggea, and mixed species plantations. Furthermore, we measured soil properties such as pH, total carbon (C) and total N, stable N isotope composition (δ15N), and inorganic N pools. Soil pH and δ15N were higher under teak than under flueggea, which indicates that intercropping teak with flueggea may decrease bacterial activities and potential N losses. Higher C:N ratios were found under mixed species plantations than those under teak, suggesting an enhancement of N immobilization that would help preventing fast N losses. However, inorganic N pools remained unaffected by plant cover. Inter-planting teak with flueggea in mixed species plantations generally increased the relative abundance of denitrification genes and promoted the enrichment of nosZ-harboring denitrifiers. However, it reduced the abundance of bacterial amoA (ammonia monooxygenase) genes compared to teak mono-plantations. The abundance of most denitrification genes correlated with soil total N and C:N ratio, while bacterial and archeal nitrification genes correlated positively with soil NH4+ concentrations. Altogether, these results show that the abundance of bacterial N-cycling functional guilds vary under teak and under mixed species plantations, and that inter-planting teak with flueggea may potentially alleviate N losses associated with nitrification and denitrification

  12. Tree Plantation Systems Influence Nitrogen Retention and the Abundance of Nitrogen Functional Genes in the Solomon Islands.

    PubMed

    Reverchon, Frédérique; Bai, Shahla H; Liu, Xian; Blumfield, Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Tree mono-plantations are susceptible to soil nutrient impoverishment and mixed species plantations have been proposed as a way of maintaining soil fertility while enhancing biodiversity. In the Solomon Islands, mixed species plantations where teak (Tectona grandis) is inter-planted with a local tree species (Flueggea flexuosa) have been used as an alternative to teak mono-plantations and are expected to increase soil microbial diversity and modify microbial biogeochemical processes. In this study, we quantified the abundance of microbial functional genes involved in the nitrogen (N) cycle from soil samples collected in teak, flueggea, and mixed species plantations. Furthermore, we measured soil properties such as pH, total carbon (C) and total N, stable N isotope composition (δ(15)N), and inorganic N pools. Soil pH and δ(15)N were higher under teak than under flueggea, which indicates that intercropping teak with flueggea may decrease bacterial activities and potential N losses. Higher C:N ratios were found under mixed species plantations than those under teak, suggesting an enhancement of N immobilization that would help preventing fast N losses. However, inorganic N pools remained unaffected by plant cover. Inter-planting teak with flueggea in mixed species plantations generally increased the relative abundance of denitrification genes and promoted the enrichment of nosZ-harboring denitrifiers. However, it reduced the abundance of bacterial amoA (ammonia monooxygenase) genes compared to teak mono-plantations. The abundance of most denitrification genes correlated with soil total N and C:N ratio, while bacterial and archeal nitrification genes correlated positively with soil NH4 (+) concentrations. Altogether, these results show that the abundance of bacterial N-cycling functional guilds vary under teak and under mixed species plantations, and that inter-planting teak with flueggea may potentially alleviate N losses associated with nitrification and

  13. CLIMAITE - a three factor climate change ecosystem manipulation experiment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikkelsen, T. N.; Beier, C.; Albert, K.; Ro-Poulsen, H.

    2007-12-01

    The Danish multi factorial climate change effects on vegetation experiment (Climaite) have now been conducted for two years on semi-natural grassland. The day time [CO2], night time temperature and precipitation (drought) have been altered, according to a regional climate change model for the year 2075, in a full factorial split plot design. The manipulated area for each treatment is 7 m2 and it is replicated 6 times. The CO2 and temperature treatments have been conducted continuously except for periods with snow cover. The CO2 is enhanced to 510 ppm via a FACE system based on concentrated CO2 released upwind under pressure. The control of the [CO2] varies with wind speed and irradiation, but during 50 percent of the fumigation period the target concentration was kept within +/-5 percent. The temperature treatment is conducted via infrared reflective curtains covering the plots during night time, and the warming of plants and soil depends of the day irradiation, night time wind speed and factors related to seasonality. In general, the air temperature is increased during night time with 1-2 C° and negligible during the day. The soil temperature in 5 cm depth is enhanced to 0.3 - 0.6 C° during night and day. The artificial summer droughts lasted about one month and differences in soil water content were developed over time. By the end of the treatment the èv content in the soil was as low as 0.06 m3 m-3 compared to 0.20 m3 m-3 in the control. Numerous physical and biological parameters in the grassland ecosystem have been measured and several are responding to the changed environment. After 9 months of exposure enhanced [CO2] stimulated the net photosynthesis (based on dry weight) in both of the domination plant species Calluna Vulgaris and Deschampsia flexuosa. When the plants were exposed to short term saturated [CO2] during gasexchange measurements the long term CO2 treated plants also had the highest photosynthesis rate, meaning that the plants were not

  14. Planktonic foraminiferal assemblages: a stratigraphical tool to correlate cores in the northern slope of the Little Bahama Bank, Bahamas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabaud, Ludivine; Ducassou, Emmanuelle; Giraudeau, Jacques; Mulder, Thierry

    2014-05-01

    The Bahama platforms are one of the major type areas of modern carbonate systems, with very limited terrigenous clastic input, except particles carried by wind and oceanic currents. High-resolution bathymetric and seismic data and thirty three cores have been collected during the oceanic cruise CARAMBAR (2010) along the slopes of the two largest Bahamian carbonate platforms: the Little and Great Bahama Banks (LBB and GBB, respectively). In this study, we focus on the export processes from the platform to the slope of the northern slope of the LBB, exposed to the prevalent winds (windward side), and sediment deposition related to Antilles current. One of our objectives is to generate a high resolution biostratigraphic framework on the windward side of the Bahamian platform as a reference sequence to correlate with the other cores. The stratigraphic model is based on core CARKS-21 because of its long record (12 m) and because it penetrates entirely one of the major sedimentary body of the northwestern part of the LBB slope. We studied a longitudinal transect of three other marine cores located along the northern slope of the LBB: CARKS-24 in the head of a canyon, CARKS-30 in a distributary furrow, and CARKS-31 in a scoured depositional area. The stratigraphical methods include faunal and floral analyses (planktonic foraminifera and coccoliths), radiometric dating, XRF analyses and isotopic stratigraphy. The sedimentary analyses include spectrophotocolorimetry and grain-size measurements, and identification of bioclasts. Stratigraphical correlations between cores are based on variations in the abundance of the planktonic foraminiferal assemblages. A ratio based on specific planktonic foraminiferal species was determined in order to define long-term climatic trends (glacial vs interglacial period). Other planktonic foraminifers were used as stratigraphic indicators, such as the complex Globorotalia menardii, Globorotalia tumida flexuosa, Globorotalia crassaformis left

  15. Antioxidant, antiglycation and cytotoxicity evaluation of selected medicinal plants of the Mascarene Islands

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Many indigenous plants of Mascarene Islands have been used in folkloric medicine to manage diabetes but few species have received scientific attention. Selected traditional medicinal plants (Antidesma madagascariense Lam. -Euphorbiaceae (AM), Erythroxylum macrocarpum O.E.Schulz -Erythroxylaceae (EM), Pittosporum senacia Putterl -Pittosporaceae (PS), Faujasiopsis flexuosa Lam. C.Jeffrey -Asteraceae (FF), Momordica charantia Linn -Cucurbitaceae (MC) and Ocimum tenuiflorum L -Lamiaceae (OT) were evaluated for their antioxidant, antiglycation and cytotoxic potential in vitro. Methods Graded concentrations (1.25-100 μg/mL) of the crude methanolic and water extracts and fractions (dichloromethane, ethyl-acetate, n-butanol and water) were evaluated for abilities to scavenge 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl hydrate (DPPH), nitric oxide (NO), superoxide (SO) radicals and to inhibit lipoxygenase and formation of advanced glycation endproduct (AGE) in vitro. The MTT (3-(4, 5-dimethylthazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazonium bromide) cytotoxicity test was performed on 3T3 cell line. Results Only IC50 for DPPH, SO, NO and lipoxygenase for AM, FF and OT crude extracts and fractions were comparable to ascorbic acid and quercetin activity. Crude aqueous extracts of AM and FF showed IC50 of 4.08 and 3.89 μg/mL respectively for lipoxygenase which was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than quercetin (10.86 ± 0.68 μg/mL). The three crude aqueous extracts of these plants and their n-butanol fractions also showed antiglycation activities (p < 0.05) comparable to aminoguanidine. Increasing concentrations (250-2000 μg/mL) of the six crude extracts (Methanol and water) and their fractions did not inhibit mitochondrial respiration as measured by MTT cytotoxicity assay. Conclusion AM, FF and OT crude extracts and fractions have potent antioxidant and antiglycation properties with no apparent cytotoxicity and might have prophylactic and therapeutic potentials in the management of

  16. Eriophyoid mites from Northeast China (Acari: Eriophyoidea).

    PubMed

    Xue, Xiao-Feng; Guo, Jing-Feng; Hong, Xiao-Yue

    2013-01-01

    We describe and illustrate herein one new genus and eighteen new eriophyoid mite species (Acari: Eriophyoidea) collected in northeast China. They are: Shevtchenkella huzhongiensis sp. nov. on Ulmus davidiana Planch. var. japonica (Sarg. ex Rehder) Nakai (Ulmaceae), Shevtchenkella jingboicus sp. nov. on Acer sp. (Aceraceae), Calepitrimerus flexuosus sp. nov. on Spiraea flexuosa Fisch. ex Cambess. (Rosaceae), Calepitrimerus maximowiczii sp. nov. on Crataegus maximowiczii Schneid. (Rosaceae), Calepitrimerus pilosus sp. nov. on Agrimonia pilosa Ledeb. (Rosaceae), Calepitrimerus yichunensis sp. nov. on Sorbaria sorbifolia (L.) A.Br. (Rosaceae), Cupacarus oxyphyllus sp. nov. on Euonymus oxyphyllus Miq. (Cel-astraceae), Epitrimerus sambucus sp. nov. on Sambucus williamsii Hance (Caprifoliaceae), Epitrimerus wuyingensis sp. nov. on Acer sp. (Aceraceae), Longisolenidionus amurensis gen. nov & sp. nov. on Tilia amurensis Rupr. (Tiliaceae), Phyllocoptes jiagedaqiensis sp. nov. on Cunninghamia sp. (Taxodiaceae), Aculops huzhongensis sp. nov. on Salix sp. (Sali-caceae), Aculus huzhongsalixus sp. nov. on Salix sp. (Salicaceae), Tetra angelica sp. nov. on Angelica sp. (Apiaceae), Tetra jiagedaqia sp. nov. on Lespedeza sp. (Fabaceae), Vittacus mandshurica sp. nov. on Corylus sieboldiana Blume var. mandshurica (Maxim.) C. K. Schneid. (Betulaceae), Vittacus cannabus sp. nov. on Cannabis sativa L. (Moraceae), and Peralox dentatis sp. nov. on Ulmus sp. (Ulmaceae). Two species formerly assigned to Rhyncaphytoptus, R. abiesis (Xue, Song & Hong, 2006) and R. fabris (Xue, Song & Hong, 2006) were reassigned to Nalepella, based on the presence of seta vi on the apical shield, and other characteristics of Nalepella. One species formerly assigned to Rhyncaphytoptus, R. fargesis (Xue, Song & Hong, 2006) was reassigned to Pentaporca, based on the presence of seta vi on the apical shield, opisthosoma with five ridges and other characteristics of Pentaporca. At the same time, four new eriophyoid

  17. Mapping Upper Amazon Palm Swamps with Spaceborne L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, N.; McDonald, K. C.; Podest, E.; Schroeder, R.; Zimmermann, R.; Horna, V.

    2010-12-01

    Palm swamp ecosystems are widespread in the Amazon basin, forming where seasonal flooding is moderate and surface inundation persists. Recent studies suggest that palm swamps have a disproportional role on tropical biogeochemistry: the combination of persistently saturated soils, warm temperatures, and low oxygen soils can support significant land-atmosphere methane flux. Potential impacts of climate change on these ecosystems include changes in temperature and precipitation regimes that influence primary productivity and flood extent significantly, potentially reversing net land-atmosphere carbon exchanges regionally. Data acquired from Earth-orbiting satellites provides the opportunity to characterize vegetation structure and monitor surface inundation independently of cloud cover. Building on efforts under our NASA MEaSUREs project for assembly of a global-scale Earth System Data Record (ESDR) of inundated wetlands, we develop and evaluate a systematic approach to map the distribution and composition of palm swamps in the upper Amazon using data sets from JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array L-Band SAR (PALSAR). Our input dataset consists of HH backscatter images acquired in 2007 and 2009. Ground measurements for training were obtained from a study site near Loreto, Peru (4.43S 75.34W) containing the palm species Mauritia flexuosa. The ALOS PALSAR images are first averaged temporally and spatially. We then develop ancillary data layers of flood extent, distance from open water, and SAR image texture. The PALSAR data and derived ancillary layers are combined with MODIS Vegetation Indices and SRTM elevation and input in a classification framework. Since palm swamps are found in persistently flooded areas, we evaluate the potential of identifying and mapping these ecosystems using multi-temporal SAR-based flood extent maps. We conclude by comparing the performance between a decision-tree supervised vs. unsupervised approach and by

  18. Habitat, Fauna, and Conservation of Florida's Deep-Water Coral Reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, J. K.; Pomponi, S. A.; Messing, C. G.; Brooke, S.

    2008-05-01

    Various types of deep-water coral habitats are common off the southeastern United States from the Blake Plateau through the Straits of Florida to the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Expeditions in the past decade with the Johnson-Sea- Link manned submersibles, ROVs, and AUVs have discovered, mapped and compiled data on the status, distribution, habitat, and biodiversity for many of these relatively unknown deep-sea coral ecosystems. We have discovered over three hundred, high relief (15-152-m tall) coral mounds (depth 700-800 m) along the length of eastern Florida (700 km). The north Florida sites are rocky lithoherms, whereas the southern sites are primarily classic coral bioherms, capped with dense 1-2 m tall thickets of Lophelia pertusa and Enallopsammia profunda. Off southeastern Florida, the Miami Terrace escarpment (depth 300-600 m) extends nearly 150 km as a steep, rocky slope of Miocene-age phosphoritic limestone, which provides habitat for a rich biodiversity of fish and benthic invertebrates. Off the Florida Keys, the Pourtalès Terrace (depth 200- 460 m) has extensive high-relief bioherms and numerous deep-water sinkholes to depths of 250-610 m and diameters up to 800 m. The dominant, deep-water, colonial scleractinian corals in this region include Oculina varicosa, L. pertusa, E. profunda, Madrepora oculata, and Solenosmilia variabilis. Other coral species include hydrozoans (Stylasteridae), bamboo octocorals (Isididae), numerous other gorgonians, and black corals (Antipatharia). These structure-forming taxa provide habitat and living space for a relatively unknown but biologically rich and diverse community of crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, polychaete and sipunculan worms, and associated fishes. We have identified 142 taxa of benthic macro-invertebrates, including 66 Porifera and 57 Cnidaria. Nearly 100 species of fish have been identified to date in association with these deep-water coral habitats. Paull et al. (2000) estimated that over 40

  19. Discoveries and Conservation Efforts of Extensive Deep-Sea Coral Habitat off the Southeastern U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, J. K.; Messing, C. G.; Walker, B. K.; Farrington, S.; Brooke, S.; Correa, T.; Brouwer, M.

    2012-12-01

    The deep-sea floor of the Western Atlantic off the southeastern U.S. supports a variety of deep-sea coral ecosystem (DSCE) habitats, including: coral mounds, rock terraces (Miami and Pourtalès Terraces), canyons (Agassiz and Tortugas Valleys), and island slopes (western Bahamas and northern Cuba). We used NOAA bathymetric contour maps and digital elevation models to identify and delineate the areal extent of potential DSCE habitat (50-1000 m) from northeastern Florida through the Straits of Florida. Recently, shipboard and AUV side-scan and multibeam sonar have further documented portions of the region. The resulting maps have been ground-truthed with over 250 submersible and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives, revealing that high-relief topographic features, including steep escarpments and rocky terraces, are good predictors of DSCE habitat in this region. The benthic biota is diverse but locally variable; for example, Lophelia and Enallopsammia stony corals dominate the deep-water mounds, whereas stylasterid corals dominate the rocky terraces where Lophelia is sporadic. Octocorals, black corals, and sponges are common at most sites but different species exhibit site-specific distributional variability. In 2011, the first of two NOAA-sponsored cruises using sonar mapping and an ROV discovered the southernmost Lophelia coral mound in the continental United States, south of the Florida Keys, offering the possibility that more Lophelia mounds may exist in this region where they were previously thought to be absent. The second cruise discovered that deep-water Oculina varicosa coral reefs extend over 70 nmi north of the current boundaries of the Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern (OHAPC), which was first designated as a marine protected area in 1984. These studies indicate that cold-water coral mounds are significantly more diverse and abundant in this region than previously thought. These research results were presented to NOAA and the South Atlantic

  20. Geomorphic and Geologic Influences in a Tropical Semi-Humid Climate Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Augustin, C. R.; Rodrigues, B. M.

    2012-12-01

    Direct influences of geology and landforms in ecosystems are not always easy to identify. This influence seems to occur in the development of the Veredas, an ecosystem belonging to the Cerrado, the second biggest biome in Brazil. The Veredas ecosystem which can also be considered as a river system is one of the most striking and still not very well understood landscape feature of this biome. It occurs along a swamp type of shallow depressions that function as hydrological channels with permanent water flow but no terraces that could indicate depositional processes. They are characterized by a linear specific vegetation cover of hydrophytes including different types of palm wetlands (Melastomataceae), the most representative of which is the Mauritia flexuosa. The objective is to study these hydrological systems with the help of GIS techniques and field data in order to understand the main factors affecting their spatial distribution. The studied eco-fluvial systems comprise nine drainage basins distributed in 33,448.13 km2 in the Minas Gerais State, Brazil (1508'/180 S and 4805'/5105' W), located in a tropical semi-humid climate. Images of TM/Landsat 5 and geologic maps were used as well as an Elevation Digital SRTM-NASA-2001 Model processed using ArcGIS 10 and SPRING-INPE 4.3. Various morphometric indicators and longitudinal river profiles were also obtained complemented by field data. Results show that the Veredas present mostly slow flows what seems to be an important factor for maintaining the ecosystem as such. As a specific ecosystem as well as drainage systems they change characteristics along the geologic and geomorphic domains. They present a more representative cover of wetland palm trees accompanying shallow incised channels while running over two platos sequences elaborated on Cretaceous sandstones. In the higher portions of the Urucuia Plato (+600m) the river systems are less dense and geological control influences the occurrence of parallel patterns of

  1. Soil formation on hard rock with and without cover of Pleistocene periglacial slope deposits in humid-temperate climate of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, Daniela; Schülli-Maurer, Isabelle

    2014-05-01

    mainly of beech, birch, fir, pine, and sorb, blueberry and hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa). 4) Cambisol developed from Monzonite This soil has an age of ca. 9,500 years. The thickness of the organic surface layer is 6 cm; the mineral soil comprises an Ah (9 cm), Bw (17 cm) and BC (9 cm) horizon. Vegetation consists mainly of fir, oak, beech, and sorb, blueberry, ferns, grasses and mosses. Geochemical data suggest that the soil has not entirely developed from Monzonite but that the Ah and Bw horizon are mainly composed of a thin layer of beach sediments. The comparison demonstrates the importance of physical weathering under periglacial conditions and formation of PPSD for Holocene soil development on hard rock in central Europe. References: Schilling, W., Wiefel, H. (1962): Jungpleistozäne Periglazialbildungen und ihre regionale Differenzierung in einigen Teilen Thüringens und des Harzes. Geologie, Jg. 11, Heft 4: 393 - 504. Semmel, A. (1964): Junge Schuttdecken in Hessischen Mittelgebirgen. Notitzbl. Hess. L.-Amt Bodenforsch. 92: 275 - 285. Semmel, A. (1968): Studien über den Verlauf jungpleistozäner Formung in Hessen. Frankfurter Geogr. Hefte 45.