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Sample records for algal toxins origins

  1. Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

    PubMed Central

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-01-01

    Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:10698729

  2. Indicators: Algal Toxins (microcystin)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Algal toxins are toxic substances released by some types of algae (phytoplankton) when they are present in large quantities (blooms) and decay or degrade. High nutrient levels and warm temperatures often result in favorable conditions for algae blooms.

  3. EFFECTS OF MARINE ALGAL TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevet...

  4. EFFECTS OF MARINE ALGAL TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevet...

  5. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jiarong; Talapatra, Siddharth; Katz, Joseph; Tester, Patricia A; Waggett, Rebecca J; Place, Allen R

    2012-01-01

    Using digital holographic cinematography, we quantify and compare the feeding behavior of free-swimming copepods, Acartia tonsa, on nutritional prey (Storeatula major) to that occurring during exposure to toxic and non-toxic strains of Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum. These two harmful algal species produce polyketide toxins with different modes of action and potency. We distinguish between two different beating modes of the copepod's feeding appendages-a "sampling beating" that has short durations (<100 ms) and involves little fluid entrainment and a longer duration "grazing beating" that persists up to 1200 ms and generates feeding currents. The durations of both beating modes have log-normal distributions. Without prey, A. tonsa only samples the environment at low frequency. Upon introduction of non-toxic food, it increases its sampling time moderately and the grazing period substantially. On mono algal diets for either of the toxic dinoflagellates, sampling time fraction is high but the grazing is very limited. A. tonsa demonstrates aversion to both toxic algal species. In mixtures of S. major and the neurotoxin producing K. brevis, sampling and grazing diminish rapidly, presumably due to neurological effects of consuming brevetoxins while trying to feed on S. major. In contrast, on mixtures of cytotoxin producing K. veneficum, both behavioral modes persist, indicating that intake of karlotoxins does not immediately inhibit the copepod's grazing behavior. These findings add critical insight into how these algal toxins may influence the copepod's feeding behavior, and suggest how some harmful algal species may alter top-down control exerted by grazers like copepods.

  6. Algal Toxins Alter Copepod Feeding Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Jiarong; Talapatra, Siddharth; Katz, Joseph; Tester, Patricia A.; Waggett, Rebecca J.; Place, Allen R.

    2012-01-01

    Using digital holographic cinematography, we quantify and compare the feeding behavior of free-swimming copepods, Acartia tonsa, on nutritional prey (Storeatula major) to that occurring during exposure to toxic and non-toxic strains of Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum. These two harmful algal species produce polyketide toxins with different modes of action and potency. We distinguish between two different beating modes of the copepod’s feeding appendages–a “sampling beating” that has short durations (<100 ms) and involves little fluid entrainment and a longer duration “grazing beating” that persists up to 1200 ms and generates feeding currents. The durations of both beating modes have log-normal distributions. Without prey, A. tonsa only samples the environment at low frequency. Upon introduction of non-toxic food, it increases its sampling time moderately and the grazing period substantially. On mono algal diets for either of the toxic dinoflagellates, sampling time fraction is high but the grazing is very limited. A. tonsa demonstrates aversion to both toxic algal species. In mixtures of S. major and the neurotoxin producing K. brevis, sampling and grazing diminish rapidly, presumably due to neurological effects of consuming brevetoxins while trying to feed on S. major. In contrast, on mixtures of cytotoxin producing K. veneficum, both behavioral modes persist, indicating that intake of karlotoxins does not immediately inhibit the copepod’s grazing behavior. These findings add critical insight into how these algal toxins may influence the copepod’s feeding behavior, and suggest how some harmful algal species may alter top-down control exerted by grazers like copepods. PMID:22629336

  7. Biotransport of Algal Toxins to Riparian Food Webs.

    PubMed

    Moy, Nicholas J; Dodson, Jenna; Tassone, Spencer J; Bukaveckas, Paul A; Bulluck, Lesley P

    2016-09-20

    The occurrence of harmful algal blooms has resulted in growing worldwide concern about threats to aquatic life and human health. Microcystin (MC), a cyanotoxin, is the most widely reported algal toxin in freshwaters. Prior studies have documented its presence in aquatic food webs including commercially important fish and shellfish. In this paper we present the first evidence that algal toxins propagate into riparian food webs. We show that MC is present in emerging aquatic insects (Hexagenia mayflies) from the James River Estuary and their consumers (Tetragnathidae spiders and Prothonotary Warblers, Protonotaria citrea). MC levels in Prothonotary Warblers varied by age class, with nestlings having the highest levels. At the site where nestlings received a higher proportion of aquatic prey (i.e., mayflies) in their diet, we observed higher MC concentrations in liver tissue and fecal matter. Warbler body condition and growth rate were not related to liver MC levels, suggesting that aquatic prey may provide dietary benefits that offset potential deleterious effects of the toxin. This study provides evidence that threats posed by algal toxins extend beyond the aquatic environments in which blooms occur.

  8. Reporter gene assays for algal-derived toxins.

    PubMed

    Fairey, E R; Ramsdell, J S

    1999-01-01

    We have modified the cell-based directed cytotoxicity assay for sodium channel and calcium channel active phycotoxins using a c-fos-luciferase reporter gene construct. In this report we describe the conceptual basis to the development of reporter gene assays for algal-derived toxins and summarize both published and unpublished data using this method. N2A mouse neuroblastoma cells, which express voltage-dependent sodium channels, were stably transfected with the reporter gene c-fos-luc, which contains the firefly luciferase gene under the transcriptional regulation of the human c-fos response element. The characteristics of the N2A reporter gene assay were determined by dose response with brevetoxin and ciguatoxin. Brevetoxin-1 and ciguatoxin-1 induced c-fos-luc with an EC50 of 4.6 and 3.0 ng ml(-1), respectively. Saxitoxin caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of brevetoxin-1 induction of c-fos-luc with an EC50 of 3.5 ng ml(-1). GH4C1 rat pituitary cells, which lack voltage-dependent sodium channels but express voltage-dependent calcium channels, were also stably transfected with the c-fos-luc. GH4C1 cells expressing c-fos-luciferase were responsive to maitotoxin (1 ng ml(-1)) and a putative toxin produced by Pfiesteria piscicida. Although reporter gene assays are not designed to replace existing detection methods used to measure toxin activity in seafood, they do provide a valuable means to screen algal cultures for toxin activity, to conduct assay-guided fractionation and to characterize pharmacologic properties of algal toxins.

  9. EPA Issues Health Advisories to Protect Americans from Algal Toxins in Drinking Water

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued health advisory values that states and utilities can use to protect Americans from elevated levels of algal toxins in drinking water. Algal blooms in rivers, lakes, and bays so

  10. Possible importance of algal toxins in the Salton Sea, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reifel, K.M.; McCoy, M.P.; Rocke, T.E.; Tiffany, M.A.; Hurlbert, S.H.; Faulkner, D.J.

    2002-01-01

    In response to wildlife mortality including unexplained eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) die-off events in 1992 and 1994 and other mortality events including large fish kills, a survey was conducted for the presence of algal toxins in the Salton Sea. Goals of this survey were to determine if and when algal toxins are present in the Salton Sea and to describe the phytoplankton composition during those times. A total of 29 samples was collected for toxicity analysis from both nearshore and midlake sites visited biweekly from January to December 1999. Dinoflagellates and diatoms dominated most samples, but some were dominated by a prymnesiophyte (Pleurochrysis pseudoroscoffensis) or a raphidophyte (Chattonella marina). Several types of blooms were observed and sampled. The dinoflagellate Gyrodinium uncatenum formed an extensive, dense (up to 310 000 cells ml-1) and long-lasting bloom during the winter in 1999. A coccolithophorid, Pleurochrysis pseudoroscoffensis, occurred at high densities in surface films and nearshore areas during the spring and summer of 1999. These surface films also contained high densities of one or two other species (an unidentified scrippsielloid, Heterocapsa niei, Chattonella marina). Localized blooms were also observed in the Salton Sea. An unknown small dinoflagellate reached high densities (110 000 cells ml-1) inside Varner Harbor, and an unidentified species of Gymnodinium formed a dense (270 000 cells ml-1) band along part of the southern shoreline during the summer. Three species known to produce toxins in other systems were found. Protoceratium reticulatum (=Gonyaulax grindleyi) and Chattonella marina were found in several samples taken during summer months, and Prorocentrum minimum was found in low densities in several samples. Extracts of most samples, including those containing known toxic species, showed a low level (<10% mortality across all concentrations) of activity in the brine shrimp lethality assay and were not considered

  11. Freshwater harmful algal blooms: toxins and children's health.

    PubMed

    Weirich, Chelsea A; Miller, Todd R

    2014-01-01

    Massive accumulations of cyanobacteria (a.k.a. "blue-green algae"), known as freshwater harmful algal blooms (FHABs), are a common global occurrence in water bodies used for recreational purposes and drinking water purification. Bloom prevalence is increased due to anthropogenic changes in land use, agricultural activity, and climate change. These photosynthetic bacteria produce a range of toxic secondary metabolites that affect animals and humans at both chronic and acute dosages. Children are especially at risk because of their lower body weight, behavior, and toxic effects on development. Here we review common FHAB toxins, related clinical symptoms, acceptable concentrations in drinking water, case studies of children's and young adults' exposures to FHAB toxins through drinking water and food, methods of environmental and clinical detection in potential cases of intoxication, and best practices for FHAB prevention. © 2013 Published by Mosby, Inc.

  12. Ozonation of NOM and algal toxins in four treated waters.

    PubMed

    Rositano, J; Newcombe, G; Nicholson, B; Sztajnbok, P

    2001-01-01

    The occurrence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms and the possibility of production of cyanotoxins (algal toxins) have become major concerns for drinking water providers worldwide. Ozone has been shown to be effective for the destruction of some classes of toxins under specific conditions, although most researchers agree that the dose and contact time required will depend on water quality. The clarification of the relative effects of water quality parameters such as dissolved organic carbon concentration and character, and alkalinity, has not been previously attempted. In this study the cyanotoxins microcystin LR and LA and anatoxin-a were ozonated at a range of ozone doses in four treated waters with very different water quality. For both the toxins, 100% destruction was related to a residual ozone concentration present after 5 min. This was, in turn, related to the water quality and indicated that a direct reaction with molecular ozone could be responsible for the destruction. The results confirmed that both the toxins would be destroyed under conditions usually utilised for ozonation prior to granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. This will apply under a range of water quality conditions but not necessarily a range of temperatures. The saxitoxin class of compounds was very resistant to oxidation by ozone and would require further treatment such as GAC filtration.

  13. Monitoring and removal of cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water by algal-activated carbon.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Wael M; Salim, Emad H; Azab, Yahia A; Ismail, Abdel-Hamid M

    2016-10-01

    Microcystins (MCs) are the most potent toxins that can be produced by cyanobacteria in drinking water supplies. This study investigated the abundance of toxin-producing algae in 11 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). A total of 26 different algal taxa were identified in treated water, from which 12% were blue green, 29% were green, and 59% were diatoms. MC levels maintained strong positive correlations with number of cyanophycean cells in raw and treated water of different DWTPs. Furthermore, the efficiency of various algal-based adsorbent columns used for the removal of these toxins was evaluated. The MCs was adsorbed in the following order: mixed algal-activated carbon (AAC) ≥ individual AAC > mixed algal powder > individual algal powder. The results showed that the AAC had the highest efficient columns capable of removing 100% dissolved MCs from drinking water samples, thereby offering an economically feasible technology for efficient removal and recovery of MCs in DWTPs.

  14. A convenient and cost-effective method for monitoring marine algal toxins with passive samplers.

    PubMed

    Rundberget, Thomas; Gustad, Eli; Samdal, Ingunn A; Sandvik, Morten; Miles, Christopher O

    2009-04-01

    Passive sampling disks were developed based on the method of MacKenzie, L, Beuzenberg, V., Holland, P., McNabb, P., Selwood, A. [2004. Solid phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT): a new monitoring tool that simulates the biotoxin contamination of filter feeding bivalves. Toxicon 44, 901-918] and protocols were formulated for recovering toxins from the adsorbent resin via elution from small columns. The disks were used in field studies to monitor in situ toxin dynamics during mixed algal blooms at Flødevigen in Norway. Examples are given from time-integrated sampling using the disks followed by extraction and high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) analysis for azaspiracids, okadaic acid analogues, pectenotoxins, yessotoxins and spirolides. Profiles of accumulated toxins in the disks and toxin profiles in blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) were compared with the relative abundance of toxin-producing algal species. Results obtained showed that passive sampling disks correlate with the toxin profiles in shellfish. The passive sampling disks were cheap to produce and convenient to use and, when combined with HPLC-MS or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis, provide detailed time-averaged information on the profile of lipophilic toxin analogues in the water. Passive sampling is therefore a useful tool for monitoring the exposure of shellfish to the toxigenic algae of concern in northern Europe.

  15. Evidence of freshwater algal toxins in marine shellfish: Implications for human and aquatic health.

    PubMed

    Gibble, Corinne M; Peacock, Melissa B; Kudela, Raphael M

    2016-11-01

    The occurrence of freshwater harmful algal bloom toxins impacting the coastal ocean is an emerging threat, and the potential for invertebrate prey items to concentrate toxin and cause harm to human and wildlife consumers is not yet fully recognized. We examined toxin uptake and release in marine mussels for both particulate and dissolved phases of the hepatotoxin microcystin, produced by the freshwater cyanobacterial genus Microcystis. We also extended our experimental investigation of particulate toxin to include oysters (Crassostrea sp.) grown commercially for aquaculture. California mussels (Mytilus californianus) and oysters were exposed to Microcystis and microcystin toxin for 24h at varying concentrations, and then were placed in constantly flowing seawater and sampled through time simulating riverine flushing events to the coastal ocean. Mussels exposed to particulate microcystin purged the toxin slowly, with toxin detectable for at least 8 weeks post-exposure and maximum toxin of 39.11ng/g after exposure to 26.65μg/L microcystins. Dissolved toxin was also taken up by California mussels, with maximum concentrations of 20.74ng/g after exposure to 7.74μg/L microcystin, but was purged more rapidly. Oysters also took up particulate toxin but purged it more quickly than mussels. Additionally, naturally occurring marine mussels collected from San Francisco Bay tested positive for high levels of microcystin toxin. These results suggest that ephemeral discharge of Microcystis or microcystin to estuaries and the coastal ocean accumulate in higher trophic levels for weeks to months following exposure.

  16. Biotic interactions as drivers of algal origin and evolution.

    PubMed

    Brodie, Juliet; Ball, Steven G; Bouget, François-Yves; Chan, Cheong Xin; De Clerck, Olivier; Cock, J Mark; Gachon, Claire; Grossman, Arthur R; Mock, Thomas; Raven, John A; Saha, Mahasweta; Smith, Alison G; Vardi, Assaf; Yoon, Hwan Su; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2017-08-31

    Contents 1 I. 2 II. 2 III. 7 IV. 9 9 References 9 SUMMARY: Biotic interactions underlie life's diversity and are the lynchpin to understanding its complexity and resilience within an ecological niche. Algal biologists have embraced this paradigm, and studies building on the explosive growth in omics and cell biology methods have facilitated the in-depth analysis of nonmodel organisms and communities from a variety of ecosystems. In turn, these advances have enabled a major revision of our understanding of the origin and evolution of photosynthesis in eukaryotes, bacterial-algal interactions, control of massive algal blooms in the ocean, and the maintenance and degradation of coral reefs. Here, we review some of the most exciting developments in the field of algal biotic interactions and identify challenges for scientists in the coming years. We foresee the development of an algal knowledgebase that integrates ecosystem-wide omics data and the development of molecular tools/resources to perform functional analyses of individuals in isolation and in populations. These assets will allow us to move beyond mechanistic studies of a single species towards understanding the interactions amongst algae and other organisms in both the laboratory and the field. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Algal toxins and producers in the marine waters of Qatar, Arabian Gulf.

    PubMed

    Al Muftah, Abdulrahman; Selwood, Andrew I; Foss, Amanda J; Al-Jabri, Hareb Mohammed S J; Potts, Malcolm; Yilmaz, Mete

    2016-11-01

    Harmful Algal Bloom species are ubiquitous and their blooms occur in the Arabian Gulf. In this study, two cruises were performed in 2012 and 2013 to collect phytoplankton samples from 4 sites in the Arabian Gulf. Toxin analyses of phytoplankton samples for 32 algal toxins from 5 different toxin groups were conducted on the samples using both enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Results demonstrated, for the first time, the presence of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), diarrhetic shellfish toxin (DST), amnesic shellfish toxin (AST), cyclic imines (CIs) and polyether-lactone toxins in freeze-dried phytoplankton samples. Four Vulcanodinium rugosum cultures were established from field samples and these proved to contain between 603 and 981 ng pinnatoxin (PnTx) H per mg dry weight in addition to being positive for portimine. These strains from Qatar clustered with strains from Japan and Florida based on large subunit rRNA and rRNA internal transcribed spacer gene sequences. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The laboratory mouse in routine food safety testing for marine algal biotoxins and harmful algal bloom toxin research: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian; McLeod, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Mouse bioassays have been a mainstay for detecting harmful concentrations of marine algal toxins in shellfish for over 70 years. Routine monitoring involves intraperitoneal injection of shellfish extracts into mice; shellfish contaminated with algal toxins are thus identified by mortality in exposed mice. With the advent of alternative test methods to detect and quantify specific algal toxins has come increasing criticism of enduring use of mouse bioassays for shellfish safety testing. However, the complete replacement of shellfish safety mouse bioassays by chemical, antibody-based, and functional assays has been and will continue to be a gradual process for various reasons, including skills availability and instrument costs for chromatography-based toxin monitoring. Mouse bioassays for shellfish safety testing do not comply with modern standards for laboratory animal welfare, specifically the requirement in published official methods for death as a test outcome. Mouse bioassays for algal biotoxins in shellfish, as well as fundamental algal toxin research endeavors using in vivo models, are amenable to revision and refinement from a humane endpoints perspective. Regulated hypothermia may be a useful and easily acquired nonlethal toxicological endpoint; objective determination of neuromuscular blockade may allow algal neurotoxin testing and research to enter the domain of humane endpoints evaluation. Relinquishing reliance on subjective test endpoints, including death, will likely also deliver collateral improvements in assay variability and sensitivity.

  19. Cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) toxins in water supplies: Cylindrospermopsins.

    PubMed

    Falconer, Ian R; Humpage, Andrew R

    2006-08-01

    The toxic alkaloid cylindrospermopsin is produced by a range of cyanobacterial species worldwide. It was first identified in the species Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii from tropical waters, and has since been isolated from four other genera in locations ranging from Israel to Japan. High concentrations of the organisms and toxin have been identified in reservoirs, natural lakes, and rivers in summer in the USA and in Australia. The toxin is a particular problem in drinking water sources as concentrations in the free water are appreciable, so that removal of the filaments during water treatment does not remove the toxin. The toxicity resulting from oral ingestion is seen in the liver, kidneys, stomach, intestine, and white blood cells, with some vascular damage in mice. Gastrointestinal as well as liver injury has been observed in human poisoning. Studies of toxicity in vitro have shown inhibition of protein synthesis. Genotoxicity has also been demonstrated, and there is preliminary evidence for carcinogenicity. A Guideline Value for safe water supply of 1 microg/L has been proposed. Research into toxin measurement techniques and water treatment methods has indicated that effective control measures may be practicable for this toxin in drinking water. Considerably more research is needed to fully define the health risks from this toxin.

  20. Determination of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin in algal food supplements

    PubMed Central

    Liu, H.; Scott, P.M.

    2011-01-01

    For the analysis of blue–green algal food supplements for cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a C18 solid-phase extraction column and a polygraphitized carbon solid-phase extraction column in series was an effective procedure for the clean-up of extracts. Determination of CYN was by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet light detection. At extract spiking levels of CYN equivalent to 25–500 μg g−1, blue–green algal supplement recoveries were in the range 70–90%. CYN was not detected in ten samples of food supplements and one chocolate product, all containing blue–green algae. The limit of detection for the method was 16 μg g−1, and the limit of quantification was 52 μg g−1. PMID:21623503

  1. Determination of the cyanobacterial toxin cylindrospermopsin in algal food supplements.

    PubMed

    Liu, H; Scott, P M

    2011-06-01

    For the analysis of blue-green algal food supplements for cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a C18 solid-phase extraction column and a polygraphitized carbon solid-phase extraction column in series was an effective procedure for the clean-up of extracts. Determination of CYN was by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet light detection. At extract spiking levels of CYN equivalent to 25-500 µg g(-1), blue-green algal supplement recoveries were in the range 70-90%. CYN was not detected in ten samples of food supplements and one chocolate product, all containing blue-green algae. The limit of detection for the method was 16 µg g(-1), and the limit of quantification was 52 µg g(-1).

  2. Algal Toxin Removal Capabilities of Common Drinking Water ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This presentation delivers information on the control of cyanobacteria and toxins through potassium permanganate oxidation, powdered activated carbon application, coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation, filtration and chlorination. This presentation will help to disseminate Agency research results to the international drinking water community

  3. Algal Toxin Removal Capabilities of Common Drinking Water ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This presentation discusses the removal of cyanobacteria and cyanobacteria toxins through permanganate addition, powdered activated carbon addition, sedimentation, filtration and chlorination. The presentation is intended to help transfer the results of ORD research to state primacy agency personnel, practicing drinking water treatment personnel and consulting engineers.

  4. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Heussner, A.H.; Mazija, L.; Fastner, J.; Dietrich, D.R.

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC–MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g{sup −1} dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. -- Highlights: ► Marketed algae dietary supplements were analyzed for toxins. ► Methods: Phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), Adda-ELISA, LC-MS/MS. ► Aph. flos-aquae products all tested positive for microcystins. ► Products tested negative for nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin. ► Extracts from all products were cytotoxic.

  5. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements.

    PubMed

    Heussner, A H; Mazija, L; Fastner, J; Dietrich, D R

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC-MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g(-1) dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Occurrence of marine algal toxins in oyster and phytoplankton samples in Daya Bay, South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Tao; Liu, Lei; Li, Yang; Zhang, Jing; Tan, Zhijun; Wu, Haiyan; Jiang, Tianjiu; Lu, Songhui

    2017-09-01

    The occurrence and seasonal variations of marine algal toxins in phytoplankton and oyster samples in Daya Bay (DYB), South China Sea were investigated. Two Dinophysis species, namely, D. caudata and D. acuminata complex, were identified as Okadaic acid (OA)/pectenotoxin (PTX) related species. Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis demonstrated that 2.04-14.47 pg PTX2 per cell was the predominant toxin in single-cell isolates of D. caudata. D. acuminata was not subjected to toxin analysis. The occurrence of OAs in phytoplankton concentrates of net-haul sample coincided with the presence of D. accuminata complex, suggesting that this species is most likely an OA producer in this sea area. OA, dinophysistoxins-1 (DTX1), PTX2, PTX2sa, gymnodimine (GYM), homoyessotoxin (homoYTX), and domoic acid (DA) demonstrated positive results in net haul samples. To our best knowledge, this paper is the first to report the detection of GYM, DA, and homoYTX in phytoplankton samples in Chinese coastal waters. Among the algal toxins, GYM demonstrated the highest frequency of positive detections in phytoplankton concentrates (13/17). Five compounds of algal toxins, including OA, DTX1, PTX2, PTX2sa, and GYM, were detected in oyster samples. DA and homoYTX were not detected in oysters despite of positive detections for both in the phytoplankton concentrates. However, neither the presence nor absence of DA in oysters can be determined because extraction conditions with 100% methanol used to isolate toxins from oysters (recommended by the EU-Harmonised Standard Operating Procedure, 2015) would likely be unsuitable for this water-soluble toxin. In addition, transformation of DA during the digestion process of oysters may also be involved in the negative detections of this toxin. GYM exhibited the highest frequency of positive results in oysters (14/17). OAs were only detected in the hydrolyzed oyster samples. The detection rates of PTX and PTX2sa in

  7. Concurrent Exposure of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to Multiple Algal Toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA

    PubMed Central

    Twiner, Michael J.; Fire, Spencer; Schwacke, Lori; Davidson, Leigh; Wang, Zhihong; Morton, Steve; Roth, Stephen; Balmer, Brian; Rowles, Teresa K.; Wells, Randall S.

    2011-01-01

    Sentinel species such as bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can be impacted by large-scale mortality events due to exposure to marine algal toxins. In the Sarasota Bay region (Gulf of Mexico, Florida, USA), the bottlenose dolphin population is frequently exposed to harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Karenia brevis and the neurotoxic brevetoxins (PbTx; BTX) produced by this dinoflagellate. Live dolphins sampled during capture-release health assessments performed in this region tested positive for two HAB toxins; brevetoxin and domoic acid (DA). Over a ten-year study period (2000–2009) we have determined that bottlenose dolphins are exposed to brevetoxin and/or DA on a nearly annual basis (i.e., DA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; brevetoxin: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) with 36% of all animals testing positive for brevetoxin (n = 118) and 53% positive for DA (n = 83) with several individuals (14%) testing positive for both neurotoxins in at least one tissue/fluid. To date there have been no previously published reports of DA in southwestern Florida marine mammals, however the May 2008 health assessment coincided with a Pseudo-nitzschia pseudodelicatissima bloom that was the likely source of DA observed in seawater and live dolphin samples. Concurrently, both DA and brevetoxin were observed in common prey fish. Although no Pseudo-nitzschia bloom was identified the following year, DA was identified in seawater, fish, sediment, snails, and dolphins. DA concentrations in feces were positively correlated with hematologic parameters including an increase in total white blood cell (p = 0.001) and eosinophil (p<0.001) counts. Our findings demonstrate that dolphins within Sarasota Bay are commonly exposed to two algal toxins, and provide the impetus to further explore the potential long-term impacts on bottlenose dolphin health. PMID:21423740

  8. Cephalopods as Vectors of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Marine Food Webs

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Vanessa M.; Lopes, Ana Rita; Costa, Pedro; Rosa, Rui

    2013-01-01

    Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB)-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids). These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers), saxitoxin (and its derivatives) and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds) and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin) in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG)—the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6%) is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas) is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG >> kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue) reaching 971 μg kg−1 and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg−1 (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg−1 in shellfish). Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  9. Cephalopods as vectors of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food webs.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Lopes, Ana Rita; Costa, Pedro; Rosa, Rui

    2013-09-06

    Here we summarize the current knowledge on the transfer and accumulation of harmful algal bloom (HAB)-related toxins in cephalopods (octopods, cuttlefishes and squids). These mollusks have been reported to accumulate several HAB-toxins, namely domoic acid (DA, and its isomers), saxitoxin (and its derivatives) and palytoxin (and palytoxin-like compounds) and, therefore, act as HAB-toxin vectors in marine food webs. Coastal octopods and cuttlefishes store considerably high levels of DA (amnesic shellfish toxin) in several tissues, but mainly in the digestive gland (DG)--the primary site of digestive absorption and intracellular digestion. Studies on the sub-cellular partitioning of DA in the soluble and insoluble fractions showed that nearly all DA (92.6%) is found in the cytosol. This favors the trophic transfer of the toxins since cytosolic substances can be absorbed by predators with greater efficiency. The available information on the accumulation and tissue distribution of DA in squids (e.g., in stranded Humboldt squids, Dosidicus gigas) is scarcer than in other cephalopod groups. Regarding paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), these organisms accumulate them at the greatest extent in DG > kidneys > stomach > branchial hearts > posterior salivary glands > gills. Palytoxins are among the most toxic molecules identified and stranded octopods revealed high contamination levels, with ovatoxin (a palytoxin analogue) reaching 971 μg kg⁻¹ and palytoxin reaching 115 μg kg⁻¹ (the regulatory limit for PlTXs is 30 μg kg⁻¹ in shellfish). Although the impacts of HAB-toxins in cephalopod physiology are not as well understood as in fish species, similar effects are expected since they possess a complex nervous system and highly developed brain comparable to that of the vertebrates. Compared to bivalves, cephalopods represent a lower risk of shellfish poisoning in humans, since they are usually consumed eviscerated, with exception of traditional dishes from the

  10. Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins: c-Fos Protein Expression in the Brain of Killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-04-21

    expression significantly increased in the anterior optic ectum of DA-exposed fish compared to controls (p= 0.055, J.D. Salierno et al. / Aquatic Toxicology ... Aquatic Toxicology 78 (2006) 350–357 Harmful algal bloom toxins alter c-Fos protein expression in the brain of killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus J.D...Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 J.D. Salierno et al. / Aquatic Toxicology 78 (2006) 350–357 351 induction can be used as

  11. Prevalence of algal toxins in Alaskan marine mammals foraging in a changing arctic and subarctic environment.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Kathi A; Quakenbush, Lori; Frame, Elizabeth; Huntington, Kathy Burek; Sheffield, Gay; Stimmelmayr, Raphaela; Bryan, Anna; Kendrick, Preston; Ziel, Heather; Goldstein, Tracey; Snyder, Jonathan A; Gelatt, Tom; Gulland, Frances; Dickerson, Bobette; Gill, Verena

    2016-05-01

    Current climate trends resulting in rapid declines in sea ice and increasing water temperatures are likely to expand the northern geographic range and duration of favorable conditions for harmful algal blooms (HABs), making algal toxins a growing concern in Alaskan marine food webs. Two of the most common HAB toxins along the west coast of North America are the neurotoxins domoic acid (DA) and saxitoxin (STX). Over the last 20 years, DA toxicosis has caused significant illness and mortality in marine mammals along the west coast of the USA, but has not been reported to impact marine mammals foraging in Alaskan waters. Saxitoxin, the most potent of the paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins, has been well-documented in shellfish in the Aleutians and Gulf of Alaska for decades and associated with human illnesses and deaths due to consumption of toxic clams. There is little information regarding exposure of Alaskan marine mammals. Here, the spatial patterns and prevalence of DA and STX exposure in Alaskan marine mammals are documented in order to assess health risks to northern populations including those species that are important to the nutritional, cultural, and economic well-being of Alaskan coastal communities. In this study, 905 marine mammals from 13 species were sampled including; humpback whales, bowhead whales, beluga whales, harbor porpoises, northern fur seals, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, ringed seals, bearded seals, spotted seals, ribbon seals, Pacific walruses, and northern sea otters. Domoic acid was detected in all 13 species examined and had the greatest prevalence in bowhead whales (68%) and harbor seals (67%). Saxitoxin was detected in 10 of the 13 species, with the highest prevalence in humpback whales (50%) and bowhead whales (32%). Pacific walruses contained the highest concentrations of both STX and DA, with DA concentrations similar to those detected in California sea lions exhibiting clinical signs of DA toxicosis (seizures) off the coast

  12. Algal toxin profiles in Nigerian coastal waters (Gulf of Guinea) using passive sampling and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; Kadiri, Medina; Herrenknecht, Christine; Nézan, Elisabeth; Mazzeo, Antonia; Hess, Philipp

    2016-05-01

    Algal toxins may accumulate in fish and shellfish and thus cause poisoning in consumers of seafood. Such toxins and the algae producing them are regularly surveyed in many countries, including Europe, North America, Japan and others. However, very little is known regards the occurrence of such algae and their toxins in most African countries. This paper reports on a survey of phytoplankton and algal toxins in Nigerian coastal waters. Seawater samples were obtained from four sites for phytoplankton identification, on three occasions between the middle of October 2014 and the end of February 2015 (Bar Beach and Lekki in Lagos State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State). The phytoplankton community was generally dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria; however several species of dinoflagellates were also identified: Dinophysis caudata, Lingulodinium polyedrum and two benthic species of Prorocentrum. Passive samplers (containing Diaion(®) HP-20 resin) were deployed for several 1-week periods on the same four sites to obtain profiles of algal toxins present in the seawater. Quantifiable amounts of okadaic acid (OA) and pectenotoxin 2 (PTX2), as well as traces of dinophysistoxin 1 (DTX1) were detected at several sites. Highest concentrations (60 ng OA g(-1) HP-20 resin) were found at Lekki and Bar Beach stations, which also had the highest salinities. Non-targeted analysis using full-scan high resolution mass spectrometry showed that algal metabolites differed from site to site and for different sampling occasions. Screening against a marine natural products database indicated the potential presence of cyanobacterial compounds in the water column, which was also consistent with phytoplankton analysis. During this study, the occurrence of the marine dinoflagellate toxins OA and PTX2 has been demonstrated in coastal waters of Nigeria, despite unfavourable environmental conditions, with regards to the low salinities measured. Hence shellfish samples

  13. Addressing harmful algal blooms (HABs) impacts with ferrate(VI): Simultaneous removal of algal cells and toxins for drinking water treatment.

    PubMed

    Deng, Yang; Wu, Meiyin; Zhang, Huiqin; Zheng, Lei; Acosta, Yaritza; Hsu, Tsung-Ta D

    2017-11-01

    Although ferrate(VI) has long been recognized as a multi-purpose treatment agent, previous investigations regarding ferrate(VI) for addressing harmful algal blooms (HABs) impacts in drinking water treatment only focused on a single HAB pollutant (e.g. algal cells or algal toxins). Moreover, the performance of ferrate(VI)-driven coagulation was poorly investigated in comparison with ferrate(VI) oxidation, though it has been widely acknowledged as a major ferrate(VI) treatment mechanism. We herein reported ferrate(VI) as an emerging agent for simultaneous and effective removal of algal cells and toxins in a simulated HAB-impacted water. Ferrate(VI)-driven oxidation enabled algal cell inactivation and toxin decomposition. Subsequently, Fe(III) from ferrate(VI) reduction initiated an in-situ coagulation for cell aggregation. Cell viability (initial 4.26 × 10(4) cells/mL at pH 5.5 and 5.16 × 10(4) cells/mL at pH 7.5) decreased to 0.0% at ≥ 7 mg/L Fe(VI) at pH 5.5 and 7.5, respectively. Cell density and turbidity were dramatically decreased at pH 5.5 once ferrate(VI) doses were beyond their respective threshold levels, which are defined as minimum effective iron doses (MEIDs). However, the particulate removal at pH 7.5 was poor, likely because the coagulation was principally driven by charge neutralization and a higher pH could not sufficiently lower the particle surface charge. Meanwhile, algal toxins (i.e., microcystins) of 3.98 μg/L could be substantially decomposed at either pH. And the greater degradation achieved at pH 5.5 was due to the higher reactivity of ferrate(VI) at the lower pH. This study represents the first step toward the ferrate(VI) application as a promising approach for addressing multiple HABs impacts for water treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A Novel Antibody-Based Biomarker for Chronic Algal Toxin Exposure and Sub-Acute Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Frame, Elizabeth R.; Gulland, Frances; Hansen, John D.; Kendrick, Preston S.; Beyer, Richard P.; Bammler, Theo K.; Farin, Frederico M.; Hiolski, Emma M.; Smith, Donald R.; Marcinek, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins. PMID:22567140

  15. A novel antibody-based biomarker for chronic algal toxin exposure and sub-acute neurotoxicity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lefebvre, Kathi A.; Frame, Elizabeth R.; Gulland, Frances; Hansen, John D.; Kendrick, Preston S.; Beyer, Richard P.; Bammler, Theo K.; Farin, Frederico M.; Hiolski, Emma M.; Smith, Donald R.; Marcinek, David J.

    2012-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption of planktivorous fish also has a profound health impact on California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) affecting hundreds of animals yearly. Due to increasing algal toxin exposure threats globally, there is a critical need for reliable diagnostic tests for assessing chronic DA exposure in humans and wildlife. Here we report the discovery of a novel DA-specific antibody response that is a signature of chronic low-level exposure identified initially in a zebrafish exposure model and confirmed in naturally exposed wild sea lions. Additionally, we found that chronic exposure in zebrafish caused increased neurologic sensitivity to DA, revealing that repetitive exposure to DA well below the threshold for acute behavioral toxicity has underlying neurotoxic consequences. The discovery that chronic exposure to low levels of a small, water-soluble single amino acid triggers a detectable antibody response is surprising and has profound implications for the development of diagnostic tests for exposure to other pervasive environmental toxins.

  16. Rachael Carson Lecture - Algal Toxins in the Deep Blue Sea: an Environmental Concern?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silver, M. W.; Bargu, S.

    2008-05-01

    Many land plants are known to possess toxins, presumably for grazer deterrence, whereas toxins in marine phytoplankton are a much rarer phenomenon, particularly in open ocean (blue water) environments. Several dozen phytoplankton species, frequently dinoflagellates but also some diatoms, form "harmful algal blooms" nearshore: here their toxins can contaminate filter-feeding shellfish resulting in poisoning "syndromes" when humans consume the tainted shellfish. The present rise in such coastal events is a likely consequence of human activities. In blue water, open ocean environments, the filamentous cyanobacterium Trichodesmium (a blue green alga) is one of the few bloom-forming toxin producers and hosts a consortium of microorganisms that may be partially immune to its toxins. Pseudo-nitzschia, a ubiquitous genus of diatoms recently has been shown to include coastal species that produce domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin that passes through the food web, sometimes with resulting deaths of marine birds and mammals. Oceanic species of Pseudo-nitzschia also exist but are less well known, and DA has not yet been found in them. Here we review some general features of toxic marine phytoplankton, recent studies on DA in coastal ecosystems and describe some of our findings on blue water Pseudo-nitzschia. We will summarize laboratory experiments that show complex patterns of DA retention and release into the water when Fe is added to coastal Pseudo-nitzschia cultures. In oceanic species, equivalent experiments on cell physiology are limited and the natural species and abundance patterns poorly known. Here we present our recent discovery that DA occurs in oceanic Pseudo-nitzschia and review evidence from the literature that this genus may be preferentially enhanced when iron is added to HNLC (high nutrient, low chlorophyll) waters: areas where nitrogen and phosphorus are not yet depleted, but iron concentrations and phytoplankton biomass are low. The rapid growth of these DA

  17. Natural toxins of plant origin (phytotoxins)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Over 100,000 secondary compounds have been identified in plants including alkaloids, glycosides, proteins, polypeptides, amines and non-protein amino acids, organic acids, alcohols, polyacetylenes, resinous toxins and mineral toxins. For thousands of years man has used some of these compounds as fl...

  18. Bioaccumulation of algal toxins and changes in physiological parameters in Mediterranean mussels from the North Adriatic Sea (Italy).

    PubMed

    Buratti, Sara; Franzellitti, Silvia; Poletti, Roberto; Ceredi, Alfiero; Montanari, Giuseppe; Capuzzo, Antonio; Fabbri, Elena

    2013-08-01

    The Northwestern Adriatic Sea is a commercially important area in aquaculture, accounting for about 90% of the Italian mussel production, and it was subjected to recurring cases of mussel farm closures due to toxic algae poisoning. A spatial and temporal survey of four sites along the North Adriatic Sea coasts of Emilia Romagna (Italy) was undertaken to study the possible impairments of physiological parameters in Mytilus galloprovincialis naturally exposed to algal toxins. The sites were selected as part of the monitoring network for the assessment of algal toxins bioaccumulation by the competent Authority. Samples positive to paralytic shellfish toxins and to lipophilic toxins were detected through the mouse bioassay. Lipophilic toxins were assessed by HPLC. Decreasing yessotoxins (YTX) levels were observed in mussels from June to December, while homo-YTX contents increased concomitantly. Lysosome membrane stability (LMS), glutathione S-transferase and catalase activities, and multixenobiotic resistance (MXR)-related gene expressions were assessed as parameters related to the mussel health status and widely utilized in environmental biomonitoring. Levels of cAMP were also measured, as possibly involved in the algal toxin mechanisms of action. Low LMS values were observed in hemocytes from mussels positive to the mouse bioassay. MXR-related gene expressions were greatly inhibited in mussels positive to the mouse bioassay. Clear correlations were established between increasing homo-YTX contents (and decreasing YTX) and increasing cAMP levels in the tissues. Similarly, significant correlations were established between the increase of homo-YTX and cAMP levels, and the expressions of three MXR-related genes at submaximal toxin concentrations. In conclusion, YTXs may affect mussel physiological parameters, including hemocyte functionality, gene expression and cell signaling. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. A shift in the dominant toxin-producing algal species in central California alters phycotoxins in food webs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jester, R.; Lefebvre, K.; Langlois, G.; Vigilant, V.; Baugh, K.; Silver, M.W.

    2009-01-01

    In California, the toxic algal species of primary concern are the dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella and members of the pennate diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia, both producers of potent neurotoxins that are capable of sickening and killing marine life and humans. During the summer of 2004 in Monterey Bay, we observed a change in the taxonomic structure of the phytoplankton community-the typically diatom-dominated community shifted to a red tide, dinoflagellate-dominated community. Here we use a 6-year time series (2000-2006) to show how the abundance of the dominant harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in the Bay up to that point, Pseudo-nitzschia, significantly declined during the dinoflagellate-dominated interval, while two genera of toxic dinoflagellates, Alexandrium and Dinophysis, became the predominant toxin producers. This change represents a shift from a genus of toxin producers that typically dominates the community during a toxic bloom, to HAB taxa that are generally only minor components of the community in a toxic event. This change in the local HAB species was also reflected in the toxins present in higher trophic levels. Despite the small contribution of A. catenella to the overall phytoplankton community, the increase in the presence of this species in Monterey Bay was associated with an increase in the presence of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins in sentinel shellfish and clupeoid fish. This report provides the first evidence that PSP toxins are present in California's pelagic food web, as PSP toxins were detected in both northern anchovies (Engraulis mordax) and Pacific sardines (Sardinops sagax). Another interesting observation from our data is the co-occurrence of DA and PSP toxins in both planktivorous fish and sentinel shellfish. We also provide evidence, based on the statewide biotoxin monitoring program, that this increase in the frequency and abundance of PSP events related to A. catenella occurred not just in Monterey Bay, but also

  20. Harmful algal toxins of the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis): natural chemical stressors in South Florida coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pierce, R H; Henry, M S

    2008-10-01

    The Florida red tide is a descriptive name for high concentrations of the harmful marine alga, Karenia brevis. Although most prevalent along the south-west Florida coast, periodic blooms have occurred throughout the entire US and Mexico Gulf coasts and the Atlantic coast to North Carolina. This dinoflagellate produces a suite of polyether neurotoxins, called brevetoxins, that cause severe impacts to natural resources, as well as public health. These naturally produced biotoxins may represent one of the most common chemical stressors impacting South Florida coastal and marine ecosystems. Impacts include massive fish kills, marine mammal, sea turtle and sea bird mortalities, benthic community die-off and public health effects from shellfish contamination and inhalation of air-borne toxins. The primary mode of action is binding to voltage-gated sodium channels causing depolarization of nerve cells, thus interfering with nerve transmission. Other effects include immune depression, bronchial constriction and haemolysis. Parent algal toxins are synthesized within the unicellular organism, others are produced as metabolic products. Recent studies into the composition of brevetoxins in cells, water, air and organisms have shown PbTx-2 to be the primary intracellular brevetoxin that is converted over time to PbTx-3 when the cells are ruptured, releasing extracellular brevetoxins into the environment. Brevetoxins become aerosolized by bubble-mediated transport of extracellular toxins, the composition of which varies depending on the composition in the source water. Bivalved molluscs rapidly accumulate brevetoxins as they filter feed on K. brevis cells. However, the parent algal toxins are rapidly metabolized to other compounds, some of which are responsible for neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). These results provide new insight into the distribution, persistence and impacts of red tide toxins to south-west Florida ecosystems.

  1. Harmful algal toxins of the Florida red tide (Karenia brevis): natural chemical stressors in South Florida coastal ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Henry, M. S.

    2009-01-01

    The Florida red tide is a descriptive name for high concentrations of the harmful marine alga, Karenia brevis. Although most prevalent along the south-west Florida coast, periodic blooms have occurred throughout the entire US and Mexico Gulf coasts and the Atlantic coast to North Carolina. This dinoflagellate produces a suite of polyether neurotoxins, called brevetoxins, that cause severe impacts to natural resources, as well as public health. These naturally produced biotoxins may represent one of the most common chemical stressors impacting South Florida coastal and marine ecosystems. Impacts include massive fish kills, marine mammal, sea turtle and sea bird mortalities, benthic community die-off and public health effects from shellfish contamination and inhalation of air-borne toxins. The primary mode of action is binding to voltage-gated sodium channels causing depolarization of nerve cells, thus interfering with nerve transmission. Other effects include immune depression, bronchial constriction and haemolysis. Parent algal toxins are synthesized within the unicellular organism, others are produced as metabolic products. Recent studies into the composition of brevetoxins in cells, water, air and organisms have shown PbTx-2 to be the primary intracellular brevetoxin that is converted over time to PbTx-3 when the cells are ruptured, releasing extracellular brevetoxins into the environment. Brevetoxins become aerosolized by bubble-mediated transport of extracellular toxins, the composition of which varies depending on the composition in the source water. Bivalved molluscs rapidly accumulate brevetoxins as they filter feed on K. brevis cells. However, the parent algal toxins are rapidly metabolized to other compounds, some of which are responsible for neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP). These results provide new insight into the distribution, persistence and impacts of red tide toxins to south-west Florida ecosystems. PMID:18758951

  2. Foodborne toxins of marine origin: ciguatera.

    PubMed

    Juranovic, L R; Park, D L

    1991-01-01

    Ciguatera poisoning has long been recognized as a serious problem in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Due to international and interstate commerce and tourist travel the phenomenon is spreading to other parts of the globe. Various species of fish (surgeonfish, snapper, grouper, barracuda, jack, amberjack among others) have been implicated in this type of poisoning. These fish accumulate toxins in their flesh and viscera through the consumption of smaller fish that have been previously contaminated by feeding on toxic dinoflagellates. The most probable source of ciguatera is thought to be the benthic microorganism, Gambierdiscus toxicus, which produces both CTX and MTX, but other species of dinoflagellates such as Prorocentrum lima may also contribute with secondary toxins associated with the disease. Potentially ciguatoxic dinoflagellates have been isolated, cultured under laboratory conditions and dinoflagellate growth requirements as well as some factors affecting toxin production have been determined. Also, data from their ecological environment have been accumulated in an attempt to reveal a relationship with the epidemiology of ciguatera outbreaks. Several bioassays have been employed to determine the ciguatoxicity of fish. Cats have been used due to their sensitivity, but regurgitation has made dosage information difficult to obtain. Mongooses have also been used but they often carry parasitic and other type of diseases which complicate the bioassay. Mice have been used more commonly; they offer a more reliable model, can be easily housed, readily are dosed in several ways, and manifest diverse symptoms similar to human intoxications; but the amount of toxic extract needed, time consumed, complicated extraction techniques, and instrumentation involved limit the use of this assay commercially. Other bioassays have been explored including the brine shrimp, chicken, mosquito, crayfish nerve cord, guinea pig ileum, guinea pig atrium, and other

  3. Nutrients and toxin producing phytoplankton control algal blooms - a spatio-temporal study in a noisy environment.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Ram Rup; Malchow, Horst

    2005-12-01

    A phytoplankton-zooplankton prey-predator model has been investigated for temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal dissipative pattern formation in a deterministic and noisy environment, respectively. The overall carrying capacity for the phytoplankton population depends on the nutrient level. The role of nutrient concentrations and toxin producing phytoplankton for controlling the algal blooms has been discussed. The local analysis yields a number of stationary and/or oscillatory regimes and their combinations. Correspondingly interesting is the spatio-temporal behaviour, modelled by stochastic reaction-diffusion equations. The present study also reveals the fact that the rate of toxin production by toxin producing phytoplankton (TPP) plays an important role for controlling oscillations in the plankton system. We also observe that different mortality functions of zooplankton due to TPP have significant influence in controlling oscillations, coexistence, survival or extinction of the zoo-plankton population. External noise can enhance the survival and spread of zooplankton that would go extinct in the deterministic system due to a high rate of toxin production.

  4. Botryococcene - A tetramethylated acyclic triterpenoid of algal origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cox, R. E.; Burlingame, A. L.; Wilson, D. M.; Eglinton, G.; Maxwell, J. R.

    1973-01-01

    The green alga Botryococcus braunii, implicated in the formation of certain geological deposits, produces unusual isomeric C34H58 alkenes, botryococcene and isobotryococcene, during a particular physiological state. A structure for botryococcene is suggested, taking into account NMR techniques, oxidative degradation, and established biosynthetic principles. Botryococcene appears terpenoid in origin.

  5. Harmful Algal Bloom Webinar

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The problem is complex. Excessive nitrogen and phosphorous levels can cause harmful algal blooms. Different algal/cyanobacteria strains bloom under different conditions. Different strains produce different toxins at varying amounts.

  6. Uremic toxins originating from colonic microbial metabolism.

    PubMed

    Evenepoel, Pieter; Meijers, Bjorn K I; Bammens, Bert R M; Verbeke, Kristin

    2009-12-01

    Numerous molecules, which are either excreted or metabolized by the kidney, accumulate in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). These uremic retention molecules (URMs), contributing to the syndrome of uremia, may be classified according to their site of origin, that is, endogenous metabolism, microbial metabolism, or exogenous intake. It is increasingly recognized that bacterial metabolites, such as phenols, indoles, and amines, may contribute to uremic toxicity. In vitro studies have implicated bacterial URMs in CKD progression, cardiovascular disease, and bone and mineral disorders. Furthermore, several observational studies have demonstrated a link between serum levels of bacterial URMs and clinical outcomes. Bacterial metabolism may therefore be an important therapeutic target in CKD. There is evidence that besides reduced renal clearance, increased colonic generation and absorption explain the high levels of bacterial URMs in CKD. Factors promoting URM generation and absorption include an increased ratio of dietary protein to carbohydrate due to insufficient intake of fiber and/or reduced intestinal protein assimilation, as well as prolonged colonic transit time. Two main strategies exist to reduce bacterial URM levels: interventions that modulate intestinal bacterial growth (e.g., probiotics, prebiotics, dietary modification) and adsorbent therapies that bind bacterial URMs in the intestines to reduce their absorption (e.g., AST-120, sevelamer). The efficacy and clinical benefit of these strategies are currently an active area of interest.

  7. α-Amino Acid Rich Photophytonic Nanoparticles of Algal Origin Serendipitously Reveal Antimigratory Property against Cancer.

    PubMed

    Misra, Santosh K; Schwartz-Duval, Aaron S; Ostadhossein, Fatemeh; Daza, Enrique A; Saldivar, Zachary M; Sharma, Brajendra K; Pan, Dipanjan

    2017-06-28

    Spheroidal nanoparticles of algal ("phytonic") origin were synthesized and composed of carbonaceous architectures and surface-rich oxygenated functional groups. Nanoparticles were negatively charged and efficiently luminescent after ultraviolet-range excitation and called as "photophytonic" nanoparticles. A multitude of analytical techniques confirmed the rich profusion of hydroxyl, carboxylate, and amines at the nanoscale, while spectroscopic investigation indicated the presence of α-amines, a signature functionality present in amino acids. Confirmed via a series of biological assays, i.e., growth regression, antimigration, and protein-regression studies, photophytonic nanoparticles serendipitously revealed remarkable anticancer activity against various stages of breast cancer cells, barring the need for an encapsulated drug. We report that nanoparticles derived from algal biomass exhibit intrinsic antimigratory properties against cancer, likely due to the rich abundance of α-amino acids.

  8. Health risk assessment of cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) toxins in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Falconer, Ian R; Humpage, Andrew R

    2005-04-01

    Cyanobacterial toxins have caused human poisoning in the Americas, Europe and Australia. There is accumulating evidence that they are present in treated drinking water supplies when cyanobacterial blooms occur in source waters. With increased population pressure and depleted groundwater reserves, surface water is becoming more used as a raw water source, both from rivers and lakes/reservoirs. Additional nutrients in water which arise from sewage discharge, agricultural run-off or storm water result in overabundance of cyanobacteria, described as a 'water bloom'. The majority of cyanobacterial water-blooms are of toxic species, producing a diversity of toxins. The most important toxins presenting a risk to the human population are the neurotoxic alkaloids (anatoxins and paralytic shellfish poisons), the cyclic peptide hepatotoxins (microcystins) and the cytotoxic alkaloids (cylindrospermopsins). At the present time the only cyanobacteral toxin family that have been internationally assessed for health risk by the WHO are the microcystins, which cause acute liver injury and are active tumour promoters. Based on sub-chronic studies in rodents and pigs, a provisional Guideline Level for drinking water of 1 microg/L of microcystin-LR has been determined. This has been adopted in legislation in countries in Europe, South America and Australasia. This may be revised in the light of future teratogenicity, reproductive toxicity and carcinogenicity studies. The other cyanobacterial toxin which has been proposed for detailed health risk assessment is cylindrospermopsin, a cytotoxic compound which has marked genotoxicity, probable mutagenicity, and is a potential carcinogen. This toxin has caused human poisoning from drinking water, and occurs in water supplies in the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. An initial health risk assessment is presented with a proposed drinking water Guideline Level of 1 microg/L. There is a need for both increased monitoring data for

  9. Health Risk Assessment of Cyanobacterial (Blue-green Algal) Toxins in Drinking Water

    PubMed Central

    Falconer, Ian R.; Humpage, Andrew R.

    2005-01-01

    Cyanobacterial toxins have caused human poisoning in the Americas, Europe and Australia. There is accumulating evidence that they are present in treated drinking water supplies when cyanobacterial blooms occur in source waters. With increased population pressure and depleted groundwater reserves, surface water is becoming more used as a raw water source, both from rivers and lakes/reservoirs. Additional nutrients in water which arise from sewage discharge, agricultural run-off or storm water result in overabundance of cyanobacteria, described as a ‘water bloom’. The majority of cyanobacterial water-blooms are of toxic species, producing a diversity of toxins. The most important toxins presenting a risk to the human population are the neurotoxic alkaloids (anatoxins and paralytic shellfish poisons), the cyclic peptide hepatotoxins (microcystins) and the cytotoxic alkaloids (cylindrospermopsins). At the present time the only cyanobacteral toxin family that have been internationally assessed for health risk by the WHO are the microcystins, which cause acute liver injury and are active tumour promoters. Based on sub-chronic studies in rodents and pigs, a provisional Guideline Level for drinking water of 1μg/L of microcystin-LR has been determined. This has been adopted in legislation in countries in Europe, South America and Australasia. This may be revised in the light of future teratogenicity, reproductive toxicity and carcinogenicity studies. The other cyanobacterial toxin which has been proposed for detailed health risk assessment is cylindrospermopsin, a cytotoxic compound which has marked genotoxicity, probable mutagenicity, and is a potential carcinogen. This toxin has caused human poisoning from drinking water, and occurs in water supplies in the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. An initial health risk assessment is presented with a proposed drinking water Guideline Level of 1μg/L. There is a need for both increased monitoring data for

  10. Algal toxins and reverse osmosis desalination operations: laboratory bench testing and field monitoring of domoic acid, saxitoxin, brevetoxin and okadaic acid.

    PubMed

    Seubert, Erica L; Trussell, Shane; Eagleton, John; Schnetzer, Astrid; Cetinić, Ivona; Lauri, Phil; Jones, Burton H; Caron, David A

    2012-12-01

    The occurrence and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been increasing globally during the past few decades. The impact of these events on seawater desalination facilities has become an important topic in recent years due to enhanced societal interest and reliance on this technology for augmenting world water supplies. A variety of harmful bloom-forming species of microalgae occur in southern California, as well as many other locations throughout the world, and several of these species are known to produce potent neurotoxins. These algal toxins can cause a myriad of human health issues, including death, when ingested via contaminated seafood. This study was designed to investigate the impact that algal toxin presence may have on both the intake and reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process; most importantly, whether or not the naturally occurring algal toxins can pass through the RO membrane and into the desalination product. Bench-scale RO experiments were conducted to explore the potential of extracellular algal toxins contaminating the RO product. Concentrations exceeding maximal values previously reported during natural blooms were used in the laboratory experiments, with treatments comprised of 50 μg/L of domoic acid (DA), 2 μg/L of saxitoxin (STX) and 20 μg/L of brevetoxin (PbTx). None of the algal toxins used in the bench-scale experiments were detectable in the desalinated product water. Monitoring for intracellular and extracellular concentrations of DA, STX, PbTx and okadaic acid (OA) within the intake and desalinated water from a pilot RO desalination plant in El Segundo, CA, was conducted from 2005 to 2009. During the five-year monitoring period, DA and STX were detected sporadically in the intake waters but never in the desalinated water. PbTx and OA were not detected in either the intake or desalinated water. The results of this study demonstrate the potential for HAB toxins to be inducted into coastal RO intake facilities, and the

  11. Harmful algal bloom toxins alter c-Fos protein expression in the brain of killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus

    PubMed Central

    Salierno, J.D.; Snyder, N.S.; Murphy, A.Z.; Poli, M.; Hall, S.; Baden, D.; Kane, A.S.

    2009-01-01

    The immediate early gene c-fos, and its protein product c-Fos, are known to be induced in neurons of mammals and fish as a result of neuronal stimulation. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively examine CNS alterations in killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, in relation to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxin exposure. c-Fos expression was visualized using immunocytochemistry in the brains of killifish exposed to the excitatory neurotoxins domoic acid (DA) and brevetoxin (PbTx-2), and a paralytic neurotoxin, saxitoxin (STX), released from HABs. In addition, a simulated transport stress experiment was conducted to investigate effects of physical stress on c-Fos induction. Groups of fish were exposed to the different stress agents, brain sections were processed for c-Fos staining, and expression was quantified by brain region. Fish exposed to DA, STX, and transport stress displayed significant alterations in neuronal c-Fos expression when compared to control fish (p ≤ 0.05). DA, PbTx-2, and transport stress increased c-Fos expression in the optic tecta regions of the brain, whereas STX significantly decreased expression. This is the first study to quantify c-Fos protein expression in fish exposed to HAB toxins. General alterations in brain activity, as well as knowledge of specific regions within the brain activated in association with HABs or other stressors, provides valuable insights into the neural control of fish behavior as well as sublethal effects of specific stressors in the CNS. PMID:16750577

  12. Algal toxins and human health: A brief overview and notes on needed research directions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine and freshwater algae, both algae and cyanobacteria, are known to produce a wide variety of toxins that have caused severe adverse health effects in humans and other vertebrate species. There is general agreement that there is currently an increase in the incidence of hazar...

  13. Algal toxins and human health: A brief overview and notes on needed research directions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine and freshwater algae, both algae and cyanobacteria, are known to produce a wide variety of toxins that have caused severe adverse health effects in humans and other vertebrate species. There is general agreement that there is currently an increase in the incidence of hazar...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-18

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

  15. Further improvements in the application of high-performance liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis and capillary electrochromatography to the analysis of algal toxins in the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Gago-Martínez, Ana; Piñeiro, N; Aguete, E C; Vaquero, E; Nogueiras, M; Leão, J M; Rodríguez-Vázquez, J A; Dabek-Zlotorzynska, E

    2003-04-11

    The presence of algal toxins in the aquatic environment represents an important socioeconomic concern in many places worldwide, due to the toxicity that these compounds can induce in seafood or freshwater organisms at very low levels. Several analytical alternatives have been proposed over the last years for the control of these contaminants, which acute or chronic toxicity requires low detection levels and demands for the search of sensitive methods for their detection and determination. HPLC has been widely used for this purpose, although several alternatives such as CE or capillary electrochromatography (CEC) are being lately developed with this aim. In this work we report on the application of improved HPLC, as well as CE and CEC, for the analysis of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins, amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) toxins and microcystins (MCs) present in different matrices such as water, shellfish or algae. Improvements in sample preparation for increasing sensitivity and selectivity are also shown. While UV and fluorimetric detection are the detection methods generally used, mass spectrometric detection was also applied for ASP toxins and MCs, especially for confirmatory purposes. From the results obtained it can be concluded that both HPLC and CE offer a good potential for a sensitive and selective determination of these algal toxins in such complex matrices. The results obtained for CEC allow also to conclude that this technique can result in a promising technique for such application.

  16. [Food poisoning with marine animal toxins of invertebrate origin].

    PubMed

    Orlando, E; Legnani, P; Boari, C; Forni, M C; Gennari, P

    1983-06-30

    The consumption of seafood is increasing and hence the risk of poisoning. For this reason, the study of food poisoning caused by zootoxins from marine invertebrates has become of signal importance. These toxins come from bivalve molluscs and other species. Depending on the type of toxin concerned, poisoning attributable to molluscs may give rise to paralysis, caused by saxitossin, neurotoxic effects (gimbretoxin), or haemolysis (venerupin). Poisoning caused by coelenterates, echinoderms, cephalopods, Neptunea, abalone, crabs and lobsters is less common, and its clinical pictures and pathogenesis have not been fully established. In some instances, toxins presented in the phytoplankton ingested by these animals appear to be responsible, whereas in others its would seem that they themselves elaborate the active principles directly.

  17. The diversity and origins of toxins in ciguatera fish poisoning.

    PubMed

    Tosteson, T R

    1995-06-01

    The source of the diversity of phytotoxins found in the marine food web is not well understood. It is not clear what roles these secondary metabolites might have in the phytoplankton that produce them. The phytotoxins do not appear to be deterrents of predation, although the production of antibiotics by marine macroalgae might be considered in this light (86). It is equally doubtful that the production and/or presence of these toxins confers a selective advantage on the phytoplankton producers, when in fact the diversity of naturally occurring phytoplankton species may well be maintained by lytic viral infections (22,64). On the other hand, these multiple, diverse toxins may be the products of the different adaptations and interactions that take place between microalgal vectors and the highly variable spectrum of their microbial symbionts. We do not know what selective signals these toxic products may be providing in the maintenance of the symbiont-host consortia in which they are produced, however, their diversity most likely reflects the diversity of symbiotic interactions that exist in these consortia. Woven into the very fabric of the traditional marine food web is an invisible empire of marine micro-organisms, that by its very existence may determine the intense diversity of toxins found in marine biota. Marine bacteria are very likely the most abundant organisms in the sea and to a large degree maintain a food web of their own, often referred to as the microbial loop (64). This microbial web sustains the biogeochemical cycles in the sea. Much of the food produced by phytoplankton and cyanobacteria is consumed by bacteria in the microbial loop and may never enter the food web of larger invertebrates and fishes. Traditionally, the marine food web has been viewed, so to speak, from the top, however, it is now clear that there is an enormous marine microbial food web from which the food web of larger invertebrates and fishes emanates (Figure 13). In many respects

  18. Slugs' last meals: molecular identification of sequestered chloroplasts from different algal origins in Sacoglossa (Opisthobranchia, Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Händeler, Katharina; Wägele, Heike; Wahrmund, Ute; Rüdinger, Mareike; Knoop, Volker

    2010-11-01

    Some sacoglossan sea slugs have become famous for their unique capability to extract and incorporate functional chloroplasts from algal food organisms (mainly Ulvophyceae) into their gut cells. The functional incorporation of the so-called kleptoplasts allows the slugs to rely on photosynthetic products for weeks to months, enabling them to survive long periods of food shortage over most of their life-span. The algal food spectrum providing kleptoplasts as temporary, non-inherited endosymbionts appears to vary among sacoglossan slugs, but detailed knowledge is sketchy or unavailable. Accurate identification of algal donor species, which provide the chloroplasts for long-term retention is of primary importance to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms allowing long-term functionality of the captured chloroplast in the foreign animal cell environment. Whereas some sacoglossans forage on a variety of algal species, (e.g. Elysia crispata and E. viridis) others are more selective. Hence, characterizing the range of functional sacoglossan-chloroplast associations in nature is a prerequisite to understand the basis of this enigmatic endosymbiosis. Here, we present a suitable chloroplast gene (tufA) as a marker, which allows identification of the respective algal kleptoplast donor taxa by analysing DNA from whole animals. This novel approach allows identification of donor algae on genus or even species level, thus providing evidence for the taxonomic range of food organisms. We report molecular evidence that chloroplasts from different algal sources are simultaneously incorporated in some species of Elysia. NeigborNet analyses for species assignments are preferred over tree reconstruction methods because the former allow more reliable statements on species identification via barcoding, or rather visualize alternative allocations not to be seen in the latter. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Seven Lake Erie Treatment Plants during the 2013 Algal Bloom Season - abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the past five years, Lake Erie has been experiencing harmful algal blooms (HABs) of progressively increasing severity. Cognizant of the potential health and economic impacts, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Water Supply and Water Resources Divis...

  20. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Seven Lake Erie Treatment Plants during the 2013 Algal Bloom Season - abstract

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the past five years, Lake Erie has been experiencing harmful algal blooms (HABs) of progressively increasing severity. Cognizant of the potential health and economic impacts, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Water Supply and Water Resources Divis...

  1. Investigation on Toxins and Venoms by Novel MS Techniques. Mass Spectral Investigations on Blue-Green Algal Toxic Peptides and Other Toxins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-08-15

    HPLC column and detection by Thermospray-MS techniques. INTRODUCTION Most of the naturally occurring peptides and proteins are made up of 1-amino...in various hydrolysates of the blue-green algal peptides . The observed sensitivity for most amino acids was in the picomole range. The unknown...with Marfey’s Reagent: Amino acid standards or hydrolysates of peptides (200 pmole - 50 nmole) in aqueous solution (50-100 gl) was treated with 1

  2. Detection and effects of harmful algal toxins in Scottish harbour seals and potential links to population decline.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Silje-Kristin; Lacaze, Jean-Pierre; Hermann, Guillaume; Kershaw, Joanna; Brownlow, Andrew; Turner, Andrew; Hall, Ailsa

    2015-04-01

    Over the past 15 years or so, several Scottish harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have declined in abundance and several factors have been considered as possible causes, including toxins from harmful algae. Here we explore whether a link could be established between two groups of toxins, domoic acid (DA) and saxitoxins (STXs), and the decline in the harbour seal populations in Scotland. We document the first evidence that harbour seals are exposed to both DA and STXs from consuming contaminated fish. Both groups of toxins were found in urine and faeces sampled from live captured (n = 162) and stranded animals (n = 23) and in faecal samples collected from seal haul-out sites (n = 214) between 2008 and 2013. The proportion of positive samples and the toxins levels measured in the excreta were significantly higher in areas where harbour seal abundance is in decline. There is also evidence that DA has immunomodulatory effects in harbour seals, including lymphocytopenia and monocytosis. Scottish harbour seals are exposed to DA and STXs through contaminated prey at potentially lethal levels and with this evidence we suggest that exposure to these toxins are likely to be important factors driving the harbour seal decline in some regions of Scotland.

  3. Algal endosymbionts in European Hydra strains reflect multiple origins of the zoochlorella symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Rajević, Nives; Kovačević, Goran; Kalafatić, Mirjana; Gould, Sven B; Martin, William F; Franjević, Damjan

    2015-12-01

    Symbiotic associations are of broad significance in evolution and biodiversity. Green Hydra is a classic example of endosymbiosis. In its gastrodermal myoepithelial cells it harbors endosymbiotic unicellular green algae, most commonly from the genus Chlorella. We reconstructed the phylogeny of cultured algal endosymbionts isolated and maintained in laboratory conditions for years from green Hydra strains collected from four different geographical sites within Croatia, one from Germany and one from Israel. Nuclear (18S rDNA, ITS region) and chloroplast markers (16S, rbcL) for maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses were used. We focused on investigating the positions of these algal endosymbiotic strains within the chlorophyte lineage. Molecular analyses established that different genera and species of unicellular green algae are present as endosymbionts in green Hydra, showing that endosymbiotic algae growing within green Hydra sampled from four Croatian localities are not monophyletic. Our results indicate that the intracellular algal endosymbionts of green Hydra have become established several times independently in evolution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Undifferentiated murine embryonic stem cells used to model the effects of the blue-green algal toxin cylindrospermopsin on preimplantation embryonic cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Reid, Katherine J; Lang, Kenneth; Froscio, Suzanne; Humpage, Andrew J; Young, Fiona M

    2015-11-01

    Undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cell (mES) proliferation in vitro resembles aspects of in vivo pre-implantation embryonic development. mES were used to assess the embryo-toxicity of cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a water contaminant with an Australian Drinking Water Guideline (ADWG) of 1 μg/L. mES exposed to 0-1 μg/mL CYN for 24-168 h were subjected to an optimised crystal violet viability assay. mES exposed to retinoic acid ± 1 μg/L CYN differentiated into neural-like cells confirmed by morphological examination and RT-PCR for Oct4, Brachyury and Nestin. The CYN No Observed Effect Concentration (OEC) was 0.5 μg/mL, the Lowest OEC was 1 μg/mL (p < 0.001, n = 3), and the IC50 was 0.86 μg/mL after 24 h. The ADWG 1 μg/L CYN did not affect differentiation or proliferation after 72 h, but decreased proliferation after 168 h (p < 0.05). We conclude that higher algal bloom-associated CYN concentrations have the potential to impair in vivo pre-implantation development, and the mES crystal violet assay has broad application to screening environmental toxins.

  5. Mesoproterozoic graphite deposits, New Jersey Highlands: Geologic and stable isotopic evidence for possible algal origins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Volkert, R.A.

    2000-01-01

    Graphite deposits of Mesoproterozoic age are locally abundant in the eastern New Jersey Highlands, where they are hosted by sulphidic biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss, metaquartzite, and anatectic pegmatite. Gneiss and metaquartzite represent a shallow marine shelf sequence of locally organic-rich sand and mud. Graphite from massive deposits within metaquartzite yielded ??13C values of -26 ?? 2??? (1??), and graphite from massive deposits within biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss yielded ??13C values of -23 ??4???. Disseminated graphite from biotite-quartz-feldspar gneiss country rock was -22 ??3???, indistinguishable from the massive deposits hosted by the same lithology. Anatectic pegmatite is graphitic only where generated from graphite-bearing host rocks; one sample gave a ??13C value of -15???. The ??34S values of trace pyrrhotite are uniform within individual deposits, but vary from 0 to 9??? from one deposit to another. Apart from pegmatitic occurrences, evidence is lacking for long-range mobilization of carbon during Grenvillian orogenesis or post-Grenvillian tectonism. The field, petrographic, and isotope data suggest that massive graphite was formed by granulite-facies metamorphism of Proterozoic accumulations of sedimentary organic matter, possibly algal mats. Preservation of these accumulations in the sedimentary environment requires anoxic basin waters or rapid burial. Anoxia would also favour the accumulation of dissolved ferrous iron in basin waters, which may explain some of the metasediment-hosted massive magnetite deposits in the New Jersey Highlands. ?? 2000 NRC.

  6. Survey of Fusarium toxins in foodstuffs of plant origin marketed in Germany.

    PubMed

    Schollenberger, Margit; Müller, H-M; Rüfle, Melanie; Suchy, Sybille; Planck, Susanne; Drochner, W

    2005-01-01

    A total of 219 samples of foodstuffs of plant origin, consisting of grain-based food, pseudocereals and gluten-free food as well as vegetables, fruits, oilseeds and nuts, were randomly collected during 2000 and 2001 in food and health food stores. A spectra of 13 trichothecene toxins including diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), 15-monoacetoxyscirpenol (MAS), scirpentriol (SCIRP), T-2 and HT-2 toxins (T-2, HT-2), T-2 triol, T-2 tetraol, neosolaniol (NEO) of the A-type as well as deoxynivalenol (DON), 3- and 15-acetyl-DON (3-, 15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV), and fusarenon-X (FUS-X) of the B-type were determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Analysis of zearalenone (ZEA), alpha- and beta-zearalenol (alpha- and beta-ZOL) was made by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence and UV-detection. Detection limits ranged between 1 and 19 microg/kg. Out of 84 samples of cereal-based including gluten-free foods, 60 samples were positive for at least one of the toxins DON, 15-ADON, 3-ADON, NIV, T-2, HT-2, T-2 tetraol and ZEA, with incidences at 57%, 13%, 1%, 10%, 12%, 37%, 4% and 38%, respectively, whereas SCIRP and its derivatives MAS and DAS, T-2 triol, Fus-X as well as alpha- and beta-ZOL were not detected in any sample of this subgroup. Contents of DON ranged between 8 and 389 microg/kg, for all other toxins determined concentrations were below 100 microg/kg. The pseudocereals amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat were free of the toxins investigated. Ten of 85 samples of vegetables and fruits were toxin positive. ZEA and the type A trichothecenes MAS, SCIRP, DAS, HT-2 were detected in 7, 3, 2, 1 and 1 samples, respectively. Out of 35 samples of oilseeds and nuts, 7 samples were toxin positive. HT-2, T-2 and ZEA were detected in 4, 3 and 4 samples, respectively. In vegetables and fruits as well as in oilseeds and nuts, toxin levels were below 50 microg/kg. None of the B-type trichothecenes analysed was found for both subgroups.

  7. Harmful Algal Blooms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jennifer L.

    2007-01-01

    What are Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)? Freshwater and marine harmful algal blooms (HABs) can occur anytime water use is impaired due to excessive accumulations of algae. HAB occurrence is affected by a complex set of physical, chemical, biological, hydrological, and meteorological conditions making it difficult to isolate specific causative environmental factors. Potential impairments include reduction in water quality, accumulation of malodorous scums in beach areas, algal production of toxins potent enough to poison both aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and algal production of taste-and-odor compounds that cause unpalatable drinking water and fish. HABs are a global problem, and toxic freshwater and (or) marine algae have been implicated in human and animal illness and death in over 45 countries worldwide and in at least 27 U.S. States (Yoo and others, 1995; Chorus and Bartram, 1999; Huisman and others, 2005).

  8. A novel type of light-harvesting antenna protein of red algal origin in algae with secondary plastids.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Sabine; Engelken, Johannes; Gruber, Ansgar; Vugrinec, Sascha; Kroth, Peter G; Adamska, Iwona; Lavaud, Johann

    2013-07-30

    Light, the driving force of photosynthesis, can be harmful when present in excess; therefore, any light harvesting system requires photoprotection. Members of the extended light-harvesting complex (LHC) protein superfamily are involved in light harvesting as well as in photoprotection and are found in the red and green plant lineages, with a complex distribution pattern of subfamilies in the different algal lineages. Here, we demonstrate that the recently discovered "red lineage chlorophyll a/b-binding-like proteins" (RedCAPs) form a monophyletic family within this protein superfamily. The occurrence of RedCAPs was found to be restricted to the red algal lineage, including red algae (with primary plastids) as well as cryptophytes, haptophytes and heterokontophytes (with secondary plastids of red algal origin). Expression of a full-length RedCAP:GFP fusion construct in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum confirmed the predicted plastid localisation of RedCAPs. Furthermore, we observed that similarly to the fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c-binding light-harvesting antenna proteins also RedCAP transcripts in diatoms were regulated in a diurnal way at standard light conditions and strongly repressed at high light intensities. The absence of RedCAPs from the green lineage implies that RedCAPs evolved in the red lineage after separation from the the green lineage. During the evolution of secondary plastids, RedCAP genes therefore must have been transferred from the nucleus of the endocytobiotic alga to the nucleus of the host cell, a process that involved complementation with pre-sequences allowing import of the gene product into the secondary plastid bound by four membranes. Based on light-dependent transcription and on localisation data, we propose that RedCAPs might participate in the light (intensity and quality)-dependent structural or functional reorganisation of the light-harvesting antennae of the photosystems upon dark to light shifts as regularly experienced by

  9. A novel type of light-harvesting antenna protein of red algal origin in algae with secondary plastids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Light, the driving force of photosynthesis, can be harmful when present in excess; therefore, any light harvesting system requires photoprotection. Members of the extended light-harvesting complex (LHC) protein superfamily are involved in light harvesting as well as in photoprotection and are found in the red and green plant lineages, with a complex distribution pattern of subfamilies in the different algal lineages. Results Here, we demonstrate that the recently discovered “red lineage chlorophyll a/b-binding-like proteins” (RedCAPs) form a monophyletic family within this protein superfamily. The occurrence of RedCAPs was found to be restricted to the red algal lineage, including red algae (with primary plastids) as well as cryptophytes, haptophytes and heterokontophytes (with secondary plastids of red algal origin). Expression of a full-length RedCAP:GFP fusion construct in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum confirmed the predicted plastid localisation of RedCAPs. Furthermore, we observed that similarly to the fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c-binding light-harvesting antenna proteins also RedCAP transcripts in diatoms were regulated in a diurnal way at standard light conditions and strongly repressed at high light intensities. Conclusions The absence of RedCAPs from the green lineage implies that RedCAPs evolved in the red lineage after separation from the the green lineage. During the evolution of secondary plastids, RedCAP genes therefore must have been transferred from the nucleus of the endocytobiotic alga to the nucleus of the host cell, a process that involved complementation with pre-sequences allowing import of the gene product into the secondary plastid bound by four membranes. Based on light-dependent transcription and on localisation data, we propose that RedCAPs might participate in the light (intensity and quality)-dependent structural or functional reorganisation of the light-harvesting antennae of the photosystems upon dark to light

  10. The Deep Origin and Recent Loss of Venom Toxin Genes in Rattlesnakes

    PubMed Central

    Dowell, Noah L.; Giorgianni, Matt W.; Kassner, Victoria A.; Selegue, Jane E.; Sanchez, Elda E.; Carroll, Sean B.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The genetic origin of novel traits is a central but challenging puzzle in evolutionary biology. Among snakes, phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-related toxins have evolved in different lineages to function as potent neurotoxins, myotoxins, or hemotoxins. Here, we traced the genomic origin and evolution of PLA2 toxins by examining PLA2 gene number, organization, and expression in both neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic rattlesnakes. We found that even though most North American rattlesnakes do not produce neurotoxins, the genes of a specialized heterodimeric neurotoxin predate the origin of rattlesnakes and were present in their last common ancestor (~22 mya). The neurotoxin genes were then deleted independently in the lineages leading to the Western Diamondback (Crotalus atrox) and Eastern Diamondback (C. adamanteus) rattlesnakes (~6 mya), while a PLA2 myotoxin gene retained in C. atrox was deleted from the neurotoxic Mojave rattlesnake (C. scutulatus; ~4 mya). The rapid evolution of PLA2 gene number appears to be due to transposon invasion that provided a template for non-allelic homologous recombination. PMID:27641771

  11. Evolution stings: the origin and diversification of scorpion toxin peptide scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Chan, Angelo H C; Koludarov, Ivan; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-12-13

    The episodic nature of natural selection and the accumulation of extreme sequence divergence in venom-encoding genes over long periods of evolutionary time can obscure the signature of positive Darwinian selection. Recognition of the true biocomplexity is further hampered by the limited taxon selection, with easy to obtain or medically important species typically being the subject of intense venom research, relative to the actual taxonomical diversity in nature. This holds true for scorpions, which are one of the most ancient terrestrial venomous animal lineages. The family Buthidae that includes all the medically significant species has been intensely investigated around the globe, while almost completely ignoring the remaining non-buthid families. Australian scorpion lineages, for instance, have been completely neglected, with only a single scorpion species (Urodacus yaschenkoi) having its venom transcriptome sequenced. Hence, the lack of venom composition and toxin sequence information from an entire continent's worth of scorpions has impeded our understanding of the molecular evolution of scorpion venom. The molecular origin, phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary histories of most scorpion toxin scaffolds remain enigmatic. In this study, we have sequenced venom gland transcriptomes of a wide taxonomical diversity of scorpions from Australia, including buthid and non-buthid representatives. Using state-of-art molecular evolutionary analyses, we show that a majority of CSα/β toxin scaffolds have experienced episodic influence of positive selection, while most non-CSα/β linear toxins evolve under the extreme influence of negative selection. For the first time, we have unraveled the molecular origin of the major scorpion toxin scaffolds, such as scorpion venom single von Willebrand factor C-domain peptides (SV-SVC), inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), disulphide-directed beta-hairpin (DDH), bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPP), linear non-disulphide bridged

  12. Evolution Stings: The Origin and Diversification of Scorpion Toxin Peptide Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Chan, Angelo H. C.; Koludarov, Ivan; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A.; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    The episodic nature of natural selection and the accumulation of extreme sequence divergence in venom-encoding genes over long periods of evolutionary time can obscure the signature of positive Darwinian selection. Recognition of the true biocomplexity is further hampered by the limited taxon selection, with easy to obtain or medically important species typically being the subject of intense venom research, relative to the actual taxonomical diversity in nature. This holds true for scorpions, which are one of the most ancient terrestrial venomous animal lineages. The family Buthidae that includes all the medically significant species has been intensely investigated around the globe, while almost completely ignoring the remaining non-buthid families. Australian scorpion lineages, for instance, have been completely neglected, with only a single scorpion species (Urodacus yaschenkoi) having its venom transcriptome sequenced. Hence, the lack of venom composition and toxin sequence information from an entire continent’s worth of scorpions has impeded our understanding of the molecular evolution of scorpion venom. The molecular origin, phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary histories of most scorpion toxin scaffolds remain enigmatic. In this study, we have sequenced venom gland transcriptomes of a wide taxonomical diversity of scorpions from Australia, including buthid and non-buthid representatives. Using state-of-art molecular evolutionary analyses, we show that a majority of CSα/β toxin scaffolds have experienced episodic influence of positive selection, while most non-CSα/β linear toxins evolve under the extreme influence of negative selection. For the first time, we have unraveled the molecular origin of the major scorpion toxin scaffolds, such as scorpion venom single von Willebrand factor C-domain peptides (SV-SVC), inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), disulphide-directed beta-hairpin (DDH), bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPP), linear non-disulphide bridged

  13. Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T; Hegarty, Matthew J; Logan, Darren W; Mulley, John F

    2014-08-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive "just-so story" in evolutionary biology.

  14. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  15. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming a significant ecologic, economic, and social driver in the use of water resources. Cyanobacteria and their toxins play an important role in management decisions for drinking water utilities and public health officials. Online ...

  16. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasingly becoming a significant ecologic, economic, and social driver in the use of water resources. Cyanobacteria and their toxins play an important role in management decisions for drinking water utilities and public health officials. Online ...

  17. Phylogeny of C4-photosynthesis enzymes based on algal transcriptomic and genomic data supports an archaeal/proteobacterial origin and multiple duplication for most C4-related genes.

    PubMed

    Chi, Shan; Wu, Shuangxiu; Yu, Jun; Wang, Xumin; Tang, Xuexi; Liu, Tao

    2014-01-01

    Both Calvin-Benson-Bassham (C3) and Hatch-Slack (C4) cycles are most important autotrophic CO2 fixation pathways on today's Earth. C3 cycle is believed to be originated from cyanobacterial endosymbiosis. However, studies on evolution of different biochemical variants of C4 photosynthesis are limited to tracheophytes and origins of C4-cycle genes are not clear till now. Our comprehensive analyses on bioinformatics and phylogenetics of novel transcriptomic sequencing data of 21 rhodophytes and 19 Phaeophyceae marine species and public genomic data of more algae, tracheophytes, cyanobacteria, proteobacteria and archaea revealed the origin and evolution of C4 cycle-related genes. Almost all of C4-related genes were annotated in extensive algal lineages with proteobacterial or archaeal origins, except for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) with both cyanobacterial and archaeal/proteobacterial origin. Notably, cyanobacteria may not possess complete C4 pathway because of the flawed annotation of pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) genes in public data. Most C4 cycle-related genes endured duplication and gave rise to functional differentiation and adaptation in different algal lineages. C4-related genes of NAD-ME (NAD-malic enzyme) and PCK subtypes exist in most algae and may be primitive ones, while NADP-ME (NADP-malic enzyme) subtype genes might evolve from NAD-ME subtype by gene duplication in chlorophytes and tracheophytes.

  18. Babesia bovis: a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of plastid-encoded genes supports green algal origin of apicoplasts

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Apicomplexan parasites commonly contain a unique, non-photosynthetic plastid-like organelle termed the apicoplast. Previous analyses of other plastid-containing organisms suggest that apicoplasts were derived from a red algal ancestor. In this report, we present an extensive phylogenetic study of ap...

  19. Engineering of three-finger fold toxins creates ligands with original pharmacological profiles for muscarinic and adrenergic receptors.

    PubMed

    Fruchart-Gaillard, Carole; Mourier, Gilles; Blanchet, Guillaume; Vera, Laura; Gilles, Nicolas; Ménez, Renée; Marcon, Elodie; Stura, Enrico A; Servent, Denis

    2012-01-01

    Protein engineering approaches are often a combination of rational design and directed evolution using display technologies. Here, we test "loop grafting," a rational design method, on three-finger fold proteins. These small reticulated proteins have exceptional affinity and specificity for their diverse molecular targets, display protease-resistance, and are highly stable and poorly immunogenic. The wealth of structural knowledge makes them good candidates for protein engineering of new functionality. Our goal is to enhance the efficacy of these mini-proteins by modifying their pharmacological properties in order to extend their use in imaging, diagnostics and therapeutic applications. Using the interaction of three-finger fold toxins with muscarinic and adrenergic receptors as a model, chimeric toxins have been engineered by substituting loops on toxin MT7 by those from toxin MT1. The pharmacological impact of these grafts was examined using binding experiments on muscarinic receptors M1 and M4 and on the α(1A)-adrenoceptor. Some of the designed chimeric proteins have impressive gain of function on certain receptor subtypes achieving an original selectivity profile with high affinity for muscarinic receptor M1 and α(1A)-adrenoceptor. Structure-function analysis supported by crystallographic data for MT1 and two chimeras permits a molecular based interpretation of these gains and details the merits of this protein engineering technique. The results obtained shed light on how loop permutation can be used to design new three-finger proteins with original pharmacological profiles.

  20. Tracking the algal origin of the Ulva bloom in the Yellow Sea by a combination of molecular, morphological and physiological analyses.

    PubMed

    Pang, Shao Jun; Liu, Feng; Shan, Ti Feng; Xu, Na; Zhang, Zhi Huai; Gao, Su Qin; Chopin, Thierry; Sun, Song

    2010-05-01

    In 2008, Qingdao (36 degrees 06'N, 120 degrees 25'E, PR China) experienced the world largest drifting macroalgal bloom composed of the filamentous macroalga Ulva prolifera. No convincing biologic evidence regarding the algal source is available so far. A series of field collections of both Ulva sp. and waters in various sites along Jiangsu coasts were conducted in March to May of 2009. Density of microscopic Ulva germlings in the waters sampled from different sites ranged from 7 to 3140 individuals L(-1), indicating the wide-spreading and long-term existence of the algae in the investigated region. Morphological and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer ITS nrDNA and the chloroplast-encoded rbcL gene comparisons of 26 algal samples revealed that the algae collected from land-based animal aquaculture ponds mostly resembled the dominating blooming alga in 2008. Mismatch of Porphyra farming period with the occurrence of the green tide bloom, as well as the negative identification results of the sampled green algae from the Porphyra rafts eliminated Porphyra rafts as the principal and original source of the dominating blooming alga.

  1. Convergent Substitutions in a Sodium Channel Suggest Multiple Origins of Toxin Resistance in Poison Frogs.

    PubMed

    Tarvin, Rebecca D; Santos, Juan C; O'Connell, Lauren A; Zakon, Harold H; Cannatella, David C

    2016-04-01

    Complex phenotypes typically have a correspondingly multifaceted genetic component. However, the genotype-phenotype association between chemical defense and resistance is often simple: genetic changes in the binding site of a toxin alter how it affects its target. Some toxic organisms, such as poison frogs (Anura: Dendrobatidae), have defensive alkaloids that disrupt the function of ion channels, proteins that are crucial for nerve and muscle activity. Using protein-docking models, we predict that three major classes of poison frog alkaloids (histrionicotoxins, pumiliotoxins, and batrachotoxins) bind to similar sites in the highly conserved inner pore of the muscle voltage-gated sodium channel, Nav1.4. We predict that poison frogs are somewhat resistant to these compounds because they have six types of amino acid replacements in the Nav1.4 inner pore that are absent in all other frogs except for a distantly related alkaloid-defended frog from Madagascar, Mantella aurantiaca. Protein-docking models and comparative phylogenetics support the role of these replacements in alkaloid resistance. Taking into account the four independent origins of chemical defense in Dendrobatidae, phylogenetic patterns of the amino acid replacements suggest that 1) alkaloid resistance in Nav1.4 evolved independently at least seven times in these frogs, 2) variation in resistance-conferring replacements is likely a result of differences in alkaloid exposure across species, and 3) functional constraint shapes the evolution of the Nav1.4 inner pore. Our study is the first to demonstrate the genetic basis of autoresistance in frogs with alkaloid defenses.

  2. The Algal Revolution.

    PubMed

    Brodie, Juliet; Chan, Cheong Xin; De Clerck, Olivier; Cock, J Mark; Coelho, Susana M; Gachon, Claire; Grossman, Arthur R; Mock, Thomas; Raven, John A; Smith, Alison G; Yoon, Hwan Su; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2017-08-01

    Algae are (mostly) photosynthetic eukaryotes that occupy multiple branches of the tree of life, and are vital for planet function and health. In this review, we highlight a transformative period in studies of the evolution and functioning of this extraordinary group of organisms and their potential for novel applications, wrought by high-throughput 'omic' and reverse genetic methods. We cover the origin and diversification of algal groups, explore advances in understanding the link between phenotype and genotype, consider algal sex determination, and review progress in understanding the roots of algal multicellularity. Experimental evolution studies to determine how algae evolve in changing environments are highlighted, as is their potential as production platforms for compounds of commercial interest, such as biofuel precursors, nutraceuticals, or therapeutics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Cellular Vacuoles Induced by Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS Toxin Originate from Rab9-Associated Compartments

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Coreen; Kannan, T. R.; Baseman, Joel B.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, we identified an ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating cytotoxin in Mycoplasma pneumoniae designated Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome (CARDS) toxin. In this study we show that vacuoles induced by recombinant CARDS (rCARDS) toxin are acidic and derive from the endocytic pathway as determined by the uptake of neutral red and the fluid-phase marker, Lucifer yellow, respectively. Also, we demonstrate that the formation of rCARDS toxin-associated cytoplasmic vacuoles is inhibited by the vacuolar ATPase inhibitor, bafilomycin A1, and the ionophore, monensin. To examine the ontogeny of these vacuoles, we analyzed the distribution of endosomal and lysosomal membrane markers during vacuole formation and observed the enrichment of the late endosomal GTPase, Rab9, around rCARDS toxin-induced vacuoles. Immunogold-labeled Rab9 and overexpression of green fluorescent-tagged Rab9 further confirmed vacuolar association. The late endosomal- and lysosomal-associated membrane proteins, LAMP1 and LAMP2, also localized to the vacuolar membranes, while the late endosomal protein, Rab7, and early endosomal markers, Rab5 and EEA1, were excluded. HeLa cells expressing dominant-negative (DN) Rab9 exhibited markedly reduced vacuole formation in the presence of rCARDS toxin, in contrast to cells expressing DN-Rab7, highlighting the importance of Rab9 function in rCARDS toxin-induced vacuolation. Our findings reveal the unique Rab9-association with rCARDS toxin-induced vacuoles and its possible relationship to the characteristic histopathology that accompanies M. pneumoniae infection. PMID:21829543

  4. Modular antenna of photosystem I in secondary plastids of red algal origin: a Nannochloropsis oceanica case study.

    PubMed

    Bína, David; Gardian, Zdenko; Herbstová, Miroslava; Litvín, Radek

    2017-03-01

    Photosystem I (PSI) is a multi-subunit integral pigment-protein complex that performs light-driven electron transfer from plastocyanin to ferredoxin in the thylakoid membrane of oxygenic photoautotrophs. In order to achieve the optimal photosynthetic performance under ambient irradiance, the absorption cross section of PSI is extended by means of peripheral antenna complexes. In eukaryotes, this role is played mostly by the pigment-protein complexes of the LHC family. The structure of the PSI-antenna supercomplexes has been relatively well understood in organisms harboring the primary plastid: red algae, green algae and plants. The secondary endosymbiotic algae, despite their major ecological importance, have so far received less attention. Here we report a detailed structural analysis of the antenna-PSI association in the stramenopile alga Nannochloropsis oceanica (Eustigmatophyceae). Several types of PSI-antenna assemblies are identified allowing for identification of antenna docking sites on the PSI core. Instances of departure of the stramenopile system from the red algal model of PSI-Lhcr structure are recorded, and evolutionary implications of these observations are discussed.

  5. Total synthesis of an exceptional brominated 4-pyrone derivative of algal origin: an exercise in gold catalysis and alkyne metathesis.

    PubMed

    Hoffmeister, Laura; Fukuda, Tsutomu; Pototschnig, Gerit; Fürstner, Alois

    2015-03-16

    A concise approach to the algal metabolite 1 is described, which also determines the previously unknown stereostructure of this natural product. Compound 1 is distinguished by a rare brominated 4-pyrone nucleus linked as a ketene-acetal to a polyunsaturated macrocyclic scaffold comprising an extra homoallylic bromide entity. The synthesis of 1 is based on the elaboration and selective functionalization of the linear precursor 23 endowed with no less than six different sites of unsaturation including the highly enolized oxo-alkanoate function. Key to success was the formation of the 2-alkoxy-4-pyrone ring by a novel gold-catalyzed transformation which engages only the acetylenic β-ketoester substructure of 23 but leaves all other π-bonds untouched. The synthesis was completed by a ring-closing alkyne metathesis to forge the signature cycloalkyne motif of 1 followed by selective bromination of the ketene-acetal site in the resulting product 27 without touching the skipped diene-yne substructure resident within the macrocyclic tether. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Impact of harmful algal blooms on several Lake Erie drinking water treatment facilities; methodology considerations

    EPA Science Inventory

    The propagation of cyanbacterial cells and their toxins were investigated at seven drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) on Lake Erie were investigated with regards to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxin concentrations, water quality variations in treatment plant influents, and pr...

  7. Impact of harmful algal blooms on several Lake Erie drinking water treatment facilities; methodology considerations

    EPA Science Inventory

    The propagation of cyanbacterial cells and their toxins were investigated at seven drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) on Lake Erie were investigated with regards to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxin concentrations, water quality variations in treatment plant influents, and pr...

  8. Natural occurrence of 16 fusarium toxins in grains and feedstuffs of plant origin from Germany.

    PubMed

    Schollenberger, Margit; Müller, Hans-Martin; Rüfle, Melanie; Suchy, Sybille; Plank, Susanne; Drochner, Winfried

    2006-01-01

    A total of 220 samples comprising cereals, cereal byproducts, corn plants and corn silage as well as non-grain based feedstuffs was randomly collected during 2000 and 2001 from sources located in Germany and analysed for 16 Fusarium toxins. The trichothecenes scirpentriol (SCIRP), 15-monoacetoxyscirpenol (MAS), diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), T-2 tetraol, T-2 triol, HT-2 and T-2 toxin (HT-2, T-2), neosolaniol (NEO), deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivealenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV) and fusarenon-X (FUS-X) were determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Zearalenone (ZEA) and alpha- and beta-zearalenol (alpha- and beta-ZOL) were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence and UV-detection. Detection limits ranged between 1 and 19 microg/kg. Out of 125 samples of a group consisting of wheat, oats, corn, corn byproducts, corn plants and corn silage only two wheat samples did not contain any of the toxins analysed. Based on 125 samples the incidences were at 2-11% for DAS, NEO, T-2 Triol, FUS-X, alpha- and beta-ZOL, at 20-22% for SCIRP, MAS, T-2 tetraol and 3-ADON, at 44-74% for HT-2, T-2, 15-ADON, NIV and ZEA, and at 94% for DON. Mean levels of positive samples were between 6 and 758 microg/kg. Out of 95 samples of a group consisting of hay, lupines, peas, soya meal, rapeseed meal and other oil-seed meals, 64 samples were toxin negative. DAS, T-2 triol, NEO and FUS-X were not detected in any sample. The incidences of DON and ZEA were at 14 and 23% respectively, those of the other toxins between 1-4%, mean levels of positive samples were between 5 and 95 microg/kg.

  9. Zooplankton interactions with toxic phytoplankton: Some implications for food web studies and algal defence strategies of feeding selectivity behaviour, toxin dilution and phytoplankton population diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreiro, A.; Guisande, C.; Maneiro, I.; Vergara, A. R.; Riveiro, I.; Iglesias, P.

    2007-11-01

    This study focuses on the interactions between toxic phytoplankton and zooplankton grazers. The experimental conditions used are an attempt to simulate situations that have, so far, received little attention. We presume the phytoplankton community to be a set of species where a population of a toxic species is intrinsically diverse by the presence of coexisting strains with different toxic properties. The other species in the community may not always be high-quality food for herbivorous zooplankton. Zooplankton populations may have developed adaptive responses to sympatric toxic phytoplankton species. Zooplankton grazers may perform a specific feeding behaviour and its consequences on fitness will depend on the species ingested, the effect of toxins, and the presence of mechanisms of toxin dilution and compensatory feeding. Our target species are a strain of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum and a sympatric population of the copepod Acartia clausi. Mixed diets were used with two kinds of A. minutum cells: non-toxic and toxic. The flagellate Rhodomonas baltica and the non-toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense were added as accompanying species. The effect of each alga was studied in separate diets. The toxic A. minutum cells were shown to have negative effects on egg production, hatching success and total reproductive output, while, in terms of its effect on fitness, the non-toxic A. minutum was the best quality food offered. R. baltica and A. tamarense were in intermediate positions. In the mixed diets, copepods showed a strong preference for toxic A. minutum cells and a weaker one for A. tamarense cells, while non-toxic A. minutum was slightly negatively selected and R. baltica strongly negatively selected. Although the level of toxins accumulated by copepods was very similar, in both the diet with only toxic A. minutum cells and in the mixed diet, the negative effects on fitness in the mixed diet could be offset by toxin dilution mechanisms. The

  10. DNA barcoding unmasks overlooked diversity improving knowledge on the composition and origins of the Churchill algal flora

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sampling expeditions to Churchill in the Canadian subarctic were completed with the aim of compiling a molecular-assisted survey of the macroalgal flora (seaweeds) for comparison to published accounts for this area, which are based on morphological identifications. Further, because the Churchill region was covered by ice until recently (~10,000 before present), the current algal flora has had to migrate from adjacent waters into that region. We used our DNA barcode data to predict the relative contribution of the North Atlantic and North Pacific floras (Likely Source Region) in repopulating the Churchill region following the most recent glacial retreat. Results We processed 422 collections representing ~50 morpho-species, which is the approximate number reported for this region, and generated DNA barcode data for 346 of these. In contrast to the morpho-species count, we recovered 57 genetic groups indicating overlooked species (this despite failing to generate barcode data for six of the ~50 morpho-species). However, we additionally uncovered numerous inconsistencies between the species that are currently listed in the Churchill flora (again as a result of overlooked species diversity, but combined with taxonomic confusion) and those identified following our molecular analyses including eight new records and another 17 genetic complexes in need of further study. Based on a comparison of DNA barcode data from the Churchill flora to collections from the contiguous Atlantic and Pacific floras we estimate that minimally 21% (possibly as much as 44%) of the Churchill flora was established by migration from the Pacific region with the balance of species arriving from the Atlantic (predominantly North American populations) following the last glacial retreat. Conclusions Owing to difficulties associated with the morphological identification of macroalgae, our results indicate that current comprehension of the Canadian Arctic flora is weak. We consider that

  11. DNA barcoding unmasks overlooked diversity improving knowledge on the composition and origins of the Churchill algal flora.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Gary W; McDevit, Daniel C

    2013-03-16

    Sampling expeditions to Churchill in the Canadian subarctic were completed with the aim of compiling a molecular-assisted survey of the macroalgal flora (seaweeds) for comparison to published accounts for this area, which are based on morphological identifications. Further, because the Churchill region was covered by ice until recently (~10,000 before present), the current algal flora has had to migrate from adjacent waters into that region. We used our DNA barcode data to predict the relative contribution of the North Atlantic and North Pacific floras (Likely Source Region) in repopulating the Churchill region following the most recent glacial retreat. We processed 422 collections representing ~50 morpho-species, which is the approximate number reported for this region, and generated DNA barcode data for 346 of these. In contrast to the morpho-species count, we recovered 57 genetic groups indicating overlooked species (this despite failing to generate barcode data for six of the ~50 morpho-species). However, we additionally uncovered numerous inconsistencies between the species that are currently listed in the Churchill flora (again as a result of overlooked species diversity, but combined with taxonomic confusion) and those identified following our molecular analyses including eight new records and another 17 genetic complexes in need of further study. Based on a comparison of DNA barcode data from the Churchill flora to collections from the contiguous Atlantic and Pacific floras we estimate that minimally 21% (possibly as much as 44%) of the Churchill flora was established by migration from the Pacific region with the balance of species arriving from the Atlantic (predominantly North American populations) following the last glacial retreat. Owing to difficulties associated with the morphological identification of macroalgae, our results indicate that current comprehension of the Canadian Arctic flora is weak. We consider that morphology-based field

  12. Differences in the toxin profiles of Alexandrium ostenfeldii (Dinophyceae) strains isolated from different geographic origins: Evidence of paralytic toxin, spirolide, and gymnodimine.

    PubMed

    Salgado, Pablo; Riobó, Pilar; Rodríguez, Francisco; Franco, José M; Bravo, Isabel

    2015-09-01

    Among toxin-producing dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium, Alexandrium ostenfeldii is the only species able to produce paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, spirolides (SPXs) and gymnodimines (GYMs). In this study we characterized and compared three A. ostenfeldii strains isolated from the Baltic, Mediterranean, and southern Chile Seas with respect to their toxin profiles, morphology, and phylogeny. Toxin analyses by HPLC-FD and LC-HRMS revealed differences in the toxin profiles of the three strains. The PSP toxin profiles of the southern Chile and Baltic strains were largely the same and included gonyautoxin (GTX)-3, GTX-2, and saxitoxin (STX), although the total PSP toxin content of the Chilean strain (105.83 ± 72.15 pg cell(-1)) was much higher than that of the Baltic strain (4.04 ± 1.93 pg cell(-1)). However, the Baltic strain was the only strain that expressed detectable amounts of analogues of GYM-A and GYM-B/-C (48.27 ± 26.12 pg GYM-A equivalents cell(-1)). The only toxin expressed by the Mediterranean strain was 13-desmethyl SPX-C (13dMeC; 2.85 ± 4.76 pg cell(-1)). Phylogenetic analysis based on the LSU rRNA showed that the studied strains belonged to distinct molecular clades. The toxin profiles determined in this study provide further evidence of the taxonomic complexity of this species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The Impact of Harmful Algal Blooms on USACE Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    algae multiply rapidly and accumulate in large numbers, creating an event referred to as an algal bloom. Algal blooms have occurred throughout... algae for their color (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute 2008; Vézie et al. 1998, 2002). Algal blooms can prove harmful through reductions in...when algae species produce toxins such as microcystin, saxitoxin, brevetoxin, ciguatoxin, or domoic acid (Van Dolah 2000). There is still much to be

  14. What is causing the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Harmful and nuisance algal blooms have been increasing in size and extent since about 2000. In recent years, the release of the algal toxin microcystin has become a growing concern and has resulted in the inability to use water from Lake Erie as a drinking water source to the 400,000 residents of T...

  15. The Origin and Evolution of the Plant Cell Surface: Algal Integrin-Associated Proteins and a New Family of Integrin-Like Cytoskeleton-ECM Linker Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Burkhard; Doan, Jean Michel; Wustman, Brandon; Carpenter, Eric J.; Chen, Li; Zhang, Yong; Wong, Gane K.-S.; Melkonian, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The extracellular matrix of scaly green flagellates consists of small organic scales consisting of polysaccharides and scale-associated proteins (SAPs). Molecular phylogenies have shown that these organisms represent the ancestral stock of flagellates from which all green plants (Viridiplantae) evolved. The molecular characterization of four different SAPs is presented. Three SAPs are type-2 membrane proteins with an arginine/alanine-rich short cytoplasmic tail and an extracellular domain that is most likely of bacterial origin. The fourth protein is a filamin-like protein. In addition, we report the presence of proteins similar to the integrin-associated proteins α-actinin (in transcriptomes of glaucophytes and some viridiplants), LIM-domain proteins, and integrin-associated kinase in transcriptomes of viridiplants, glaucophytes, and rhodophytes. We propose that the membrane proteins identified are the predicted linkers between scales and the cytoskeleton. These proteins are present in many green algae but are apparently absent from embryophytes. These proteins represent a new protein family we have termed gralins for green algal integrins. Gralins are absent from embryophytes. A model for the evolution of the cell surface proteins in Plantae is discussed. PMID:25977459

  16. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  17. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  18. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  19. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  20. Detection of cylindrospermopsin toxin markers in cyanobacterial algal blooms using analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and thermally-assisted hydrolysis and methylation (TCh-GC/MS).

    PubMed

    Ríos, V; Prieto, Ana I; Cameán, Ana M; González-Vila, F J; de la Rosa, J M; Vasconcelos, Vitor; González-Pérez, J A

    2014-08-01

    The hepatotoxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is produced by freshwater cyanobacteria becoming an emerging threat for human health. Methods for the rapid determination of CYN in environmental samples are needed. Conventional analytical pyrolysis (Py-GC/MS) and thermally-assisted hydrolysis and methylation (TCh-GC/MS) were used to study a CYN standard, two Aphanizomenon ovalisporum cultures (CYN+) and one culture of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (CYN-). A micro-furnace pyrolyzer was used directly attached to a GC/MS system fitted with a 30 m × 250 μm × 0.25 μm film thickness column (14% cyanopropyl phenyl, 86% dimethyl polysiloxane pahase composition). Oven temperature was held at 50 °C for 1 min and increased to 100 °C at 30 °C min(-1), from 100 °C to 300 °C at 10 °C min(-1), and stabilized at 300 °C for 10 min using helium (1 mL min(-1)) as carrier gas. Pyrolysis at 500 °C yield over 70 compounds with 20 specific for CYN+ samples. Two peaks containing a diagnostic fragment (m/z 194) were found at 25.0 and 28.9 min only in CYN+ samples. Fewer peaks with limited diagnostic value were released after TCh-GC/MS, including breakdown products and TMAH adducts. A compound was detected that may correspond to the CYN molecule (MW 415 Da) thermoevaporation product after the loss of SO3 (MW 80 Da). This TCh-GC/MS peak (m/z 336) together with the fragments obtained by conventional Py-GC/MS (m/z 194) are diagnostic ions with potential use for the direct detection of CYN toxin in environmental samples at last with an estimated 5 ppm detection threshold. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evolution of an ancient venom: recognition of a novel family of cnidarian toxins and the common evolutionary origin of sodium and potassium neurotoxins in sea anemone.

    PubMed

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Sunagar, Kartik; Federman Gross, Aya; Scheib, Holger; Alewood, Paul F; Moran, Yehu; Fry, Bryan G

    2015-06-01

    Despite Cnidaria (sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, and hydroids) being the oldest venomous animal lineage, structure-function relationships, phyletic distributions, and the molecular evolutionary regimes of toxins encoded by these intriguing animals are poorly understood. Hence, we have comprehensively elucidated the phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary histories of pharmacologically characterized cnidarian toxin families, including peptide neurotoxins (voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) channel-targeting toxins: NaTxs and KTxs, respectively), pore-forming toxins (actinoporins, aerolysin-related toxins, and jellyfish toxins), and the newly discovered small cysteine-rich peptides (SCRiPs). We show that despite long evolutionary histories, most cnidarian toxins remain conserved under the strong influence of negative selection-a finding that is in striking contrast to the rapid evolution of toxin families in evolutionarily younger lineages, such as cone snails and advanced snakes. In contrast to the previous suggestions that implicated SCRiPs in the biomineralization process in corals, we demonstrate that they are potent neurotoxins that are likely involved in the envenoming function, and thus represent the first family of neurotoxins from corals. We also demonstrate the common evolutionary origin of type III KTxs and NaTxs in sea anemones. We show that type III KTxs have evolved from NaTxs under the regime of positive selection, and likely represent a unique evolutionary innovation of the Actinioidea lineage. We report a correlation between the accumulation of episodically adaptive sites and the emergence of novel pharmacological activities in this rapidly evolving neurotoxic clade. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Evolution of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157: eight major lineages of human and cattle origin strain signature genotypes

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cattle are a major reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (STEC O157) and harbor genetic subtypes that do not all associate with human disease. STEC O157 evolved from an E. coli O55:H7 progenitor, however, depauperate nucleotide polymorphism discovery from cattle and human origin...

  3. Virulence markers of Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains originating from healthy domestic animals of different species.

    PubMed Central

    Beutin, L; Geier, D; Zimmermann, S; Karch, H

    1995-01-01

    Shiga-like toxin (verotoxin)-producing strains of Escherichia coli (SLTEC) originating from healthy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, cats, and dogs were investigated for properties which are related to virulence of E. coli for humans. The slt-II (Shiga-like toxin II) and slt-IIc genes were frequent in SLTEC from healthy cattle and dogs but were rarely found in SLTEC from other animals. The slt-IIe gene was detected only in porcine SLTEC. SLTEC from goats and SLTEC from sheep were found to carry different SLT-II determinants which were not further characterized genetically. Sixty (28.8%) of 208 SLTEC from healthy animals showed diffuse adherence to HEp-2 cells. However, none of the strains was positive for genes specific for the local adherence (eaf), diffuse adherence (daa), or enteroaggregative (EAggEC) E. coli type. Only 3 (1.4%) of the 208 SLTEC were positive for attaching and effacing E. coli (eae) sequences. The enterohemolytic phenotype was present in 128 of the 208 SLTEC. Almost all enterohemolytic animal SLTEC were found to carry DNA sequences specific for the plasmid-encoded enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin of E. coli O157. Bacteriophage-associated enterohemolysin (Ehly1 and Ehly2)-specific sequences were detected only in 14.4% of the 208 SLTEC and were linked with certain serotypes. The SLTEC from healthy animals constitute a very heterogeneous group of E. coli, and many of these strains appeared to be specific for their hosts. The absence of eae sequences in most animal SLTEC could indicate that these strains are less virulent for humans than the classical eae-positive enterohemorrhagic E. coli types. PMID:7538509

  4. Algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Razeghifard, Reza

    2013-11-01

    The world is facing energy crisis and environmental issues due to the depletion of fossil fuels and increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Growing microalgae can contribute to practical solutions for these global problems because they can harvest solar energy and capture CO2 by converting it into biofuel using photosynthesis. Microalgae are robust organisms capable of rapid growth under a variety of conditions including in open ponds or closed photobioreactors. Their reduced biomass compounds can be used as the feedstock for mass production of a variety of biofuels. As another advantage, their ability to accumulate or secrete biofuels can be controlled by changing their growth conditions or metabolic engineering. This review is aimed to highlight different forms of biofuels produced by microalgae and the approaches taken to improve their biofuel productivity. The costs for industrial-scale production of algal biofuels in open ponds or closed photobioreactors are analyzed. Different strategies for photoproduction of hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzyme of green algae are discussed. Algae are also good sources of biodiesel since some species can make large quantities of lipids as their biomass. The lipid contents for some of the best oil-producing strains of algae in optimized growth conditions are reviewed. The potential of microalgae for producing petroleum related chemicals or ready-make fuels such as bioethanol, triterpenic hydrocarbons, isobutyraldehyde, isobutanol, and isoprene from their biomass are also presented.

  5. Formation and Control of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation will cover the formation of harmful algal blooms and the control of their toxins. Data will be presented from current ORD projects on the treatment of cyanobacterial toxins through drinking water treatment facilities. The results will demonstrate that current c...

  6. MCEARD - CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Waterborne cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and the ecosystem....

  7. MCEARD - CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Waterborne cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and the ecosystem....

  8. Genotypes and virulence characteristics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104 strains from different origins and sources.

    PubMed

    Miko, Angelika; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Strockbine, Nancy A; Lindstedt, Björn Arne; Mariani-Kurkdjian, Patricia; Reetz, Jochen; Beutin, Lothar

    2013-12-01

    Sixty-two Escherichia coli strains carrying the wzxO104-gene from different sources, origins and time periods were analyzed for their serotypes, virulence genes and compared for genomic similarity by pulsed-field gel-electrophoresis (PFGE). The O104 antigen was present in 55 strains and the structurally and genetically related capsular antigen K9 in five strains. The presence of 49 genes associated with enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) was investigated. Fifty-four strains of serotypes O104:H2 (n=1), O104:H4 (n=37), O104:H7 (n=5) and O104:H21 (n=11) produced Shiga-toxins (Stx). Among STEC O104, a close association between serotype, virulence gene profile and genomic similarity was found. EAEC virulence genes were only present in STEC O104:H4 strains. EHEC-O157 plasmid-encoded genes were only found in STEC O104:H2, O104:H7 and O104:H21 strains. None of the 62 O104 or K9 strains carried an eae-gene involved in the attaching and effacing phenotype. The 38 O104:H4 strains formed a single PFGE-cluster (>83.7% similarity). Thirty-one of these strains were from the European O104:H4 outbreak in 2011. The outbreak strains and older O104:H4 strains from Germany (2001), Georgia and France (2009) clustered together at>86.2% similarity. O104:H4 strains isolated between 2001 and 2009 differed for some plasmid-encoded virulence genes compared to the outbreak strains from 2011. STEC O104:H21 and STEC O104:H7 strains isolated in the U.S. and in Europe showed characteristic differences in their Stx-types, virulence gene and PFGE profiles indicating that these have evolved separately. E. coli K9 strains were not associated with virulence and were heterogeneous for their serotypes and PFGE profiles.

  9. Optimizing production of asperolide A, a potential anti-tumor tetranorditerpenoid originally produced by the algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Rui; Li, Xiaoming; Xu, Gangming; Wang, Bingui

    2017-05-01

    The marine algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48 produces the potential anti-tumor agent asperolide A, a tetranorlabdane diterpenoid active against lung cancer. However, the fermentation yield of asperolide A was very low and only produced in static cultures. Static fermentation conditions of A. wentii EN-48 were optimized employing response surface methodology to enhance the production of asperolide A. The optimized conditions resulted in a 13.9-fold yield enhancement, which matched the predicted value, and the optimized conditions were successfully used in scale-up fermentation for the production of asperolide A. Exogenous addition of plant hormones (especially 10 μmol/L methyl jasmonate) stimulated asperolide A production. To our knowledge, this is first optimized production of an asperolide by a marine-derived fungus. The optimization is Effective and valuable to supply material for further anti-tumor mechanism studies and preclinical evaluation of asperolide A and other norditerpenoids.

  10. Optimizing production of asperolide A, a potential anti-tumor tetranorditerpenoid originally produced by the algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Rui; Li, Xiaoming; Xu, Gangming; Wang, Bingui

    2016-07-01

    The marine algal-derived endophytic fungus Aspergillus wentii EN-48 produces the potential anti-tumor agent asperolide A, a tetranorlabdane diterpenoid active against lung cancer. However, the fermentation yield of asperolide A was very low and only produced in static cultures. Static fermentation conditions of A. wentii EN-48 were optimized employing response surface methodology to enhance the production of asperolide A. The optimized conditions resulted in a 13.9-fold yield enhancement, which matched the predicted value, and the optimized conditions were successfully used in scale-up fermentation for the production of asperolide A. Exogenous addition of plant hormones (especially 10 μmol/L methyl jasmonate) stimulated asperolide A production. To our knowledge, this is first optimized production of an asperolide by a marine-derived fungus. The optimization is Effective and valuable to supply material for further anti-tumor mechanism studies and preclinical evaluation of asperolide A and other norditerpenoids.

  11. Long-Term Effects of Botulinum Toxin Complex Type A Injection on Mechano- and Metabo-Sensitive Afferent Fibers Originating from Gastrocnemius Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Caron, Guillaume; Marqueste, Tanguy; Decherchi, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate long term effects of motor denervation by botulinum toxin complex type A (BoNT/A) from Clostridium Botulinum, on the afferent fibers originating from the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Animals were divided in 2 experimental groups: 1) untreated animals acting as control and 2) treated animals in which the toxin was injected in the left muscle, the latter being itself divided into 3 subgroups according to their locomotor recovery with the help of a test based on footprint measurements of walking rats: i) no recovery (B0), ii) 50% recovery (B50) and iii) full recovery (B100). Then, muscle properties, metabosensitive afferent fiber responses to potassium chloride (KCl) and lactic acid injections and Electrically-Induced Fatigue (EIF), and mechanosensitive responses to tendon vibrations were measured. At the end of the experiment, rats were killed and the toxin injected muscles were weighted. After toxin injection, we observed a complete paralysis associated to a loss of force to muscle stimulation and a significant muscle atrophy, and a return to baseline when the animals recover. The response to fatigue was only decreased in the B0 group. The responses to KCl injections were only altered in the B100 groups while responses to lactic acid were altered in the 3 injected groups. Finally, our results indicated that neurotoxin altered the biphasic pattern of response of the mechanosensitive fiber to tendon vibrations in the B0 and B50 groups. These results indicated that neurotoxin injection induces muscle afferent activity alterations that persist and even worsen when the muscle has recovered his motor activity. PMID:26485650

  12. Long-Term Effects of Botulinum Toxin Complex Type A Injection on Mechano- and Metabo-Sensitive Afferent Fibers Originating from Gastrocnemius Muscle.

    PubMed

    Caron, Guillaume; Marqueste, Tanguy; Decherchi, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate long term effects of motor denervation by botulinum toxin complex type A (BoNT/A) from Clostridium Botulinum, on the afferent fibers originating from the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Animals were divided in 2 experimental groups: 1) untreated animals acting as control and 2) treated animals in which the toxin was injected in the left muscle, the latter being itself divided into 3 subgroups according to their locomotor recovery with the help of a test based on footprint measurements of walking rats: i) no recovery (B0), ii) 50% recovery (B50) and iii) full recovery (B100). Then, muscle properties, metabosensitive afferent fiber responses to potassium chloride (KCl) and lactic acid injections and Electrically-Induced Fatigue (EIF), and mechanosensitive responses to tendon vibrations were measured. At the end of the experiment, rats were killed and the toxin injected muscles were weighted. After toxin injection, we observed a complete paralysis associated to a loss of force to muscle stimulation and a significant muscle atrophy, and a return to baseline when the animals recover. The response to fatigue was only decreased in the B0 group. The responses to KCl injections were only altered in the B100 groups while responses to lactic acid were altered in the 3 injected groups. Finally, our results indicated that neurotoxin altered the biphasic pattern of response of the mechanosensitive fiber to tendon vibrations in the B0 and B50 groups. These results indicated that neurotoxin injection induces muscle afferent activity alterations that persist and even worsen when the muscle has recovered his motor activity.

  13. Harmful Algal Blooms and Drinking Water Treatment Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has been conducting algal bloom research at multiple facilities around Lake Erie over the past few years to help communities confront the challenge of keeping cyanobacterial toxins from reaching consumers’ taps, while minimizing the financial burden. The first goal of this re...

  14. Harmful Algal Blooms and Drinking Water Treatment Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA has been conducting algal bloom research at multiple facilities around Lake Erie over the past few years to help communities confront the challenge of keeping cyanobacterial toxins from reaching consumers’ taps, while minimizing the financial burden. The first goal of this re...

  15. Effects of algal-derived carbon on sediment methane ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nutrient loading is known to have adverse consequences for aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the form of algal blooms that may result. These blooms pose problems for humans and wildlife, including harmful toxin release, aquatic hypoxia and increased costs for water treatment. Another potential disservice resulting from algal blooms is the enhanced production of methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, in aquatic sediments. Laboratory experiments have shown that algal biomass additions to sediment cores increase rates of CH4 production, but it is unclear whether or not this effect occurs at the ecosystem scale. The goal of this research was to explore the link between algal-derived carbon and methane production in the sediment of a eutrophic reservoir located in southwest Ohio, using a sampling design that capitalized on spatial and temporal gradients in autochthonous carbon input to sediments. Specifically, we aimed to determine if the within-reservoir gradient of sediment algal-derived organic matter and sediment CH4 production rates correlate. This was done by retrieving sediment cores from 15 sites within the reservoir along a known gradient of methane emission rates, at two separate time points in 2016: late spring before the sediments had received large amounts of algal input and mid-summer after algal blooms had been prevalent in the reservoir. Potential CH4 production rates, sediment organic matter source, and microbial community composition were charac

  16. [Cyclic imine toxin gymnodimine: a review].

    PubMed

    Liu, Ren-yan; Liang, Yu-bo

    2009-09-01

    Gymnodimine (GYM), an algal toxin first detected from New Zealand oysters in 1994, is identified as a cyclic imine toxin and produced by Karenia selliformis, with imino nitrogen attached on loop-coil. Imine is the poisonous functional group of the toxin. GYM has a low oral toxicity, but its acute lethal toxicity of intra-peritoneal injection for mice is very high. Up to now, few reports have been published on the detailed information about the toxicity mechanism of GYM. Based on limited literatures, this paper reviewed the GYM's structure, producer, toxicity mechanism, carrying animals, geological distribution, degradation metabolism, dose-effect relation, and risk evaluation, and proposed the further research directions on algal toxin.

  17. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Grattan, Lynn M.; Holobaugh, Sailor; Morris, J. Glenn

    2015-01-01

    The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries. Thus, illness prevention is of paramount importance to minimize human and public health risks. To accomplish this, close communication and collaboration is needed among HAB scientists, public health researchers and local, state and tribal health departments at academic, community outreach, and policy levels. PMID:27616971

  18. Harmful Algal Blooms and Public Health.

    PubMed

    Grattan, Lynn M; Holobaugh, Sailor; Morris, J Glenn

    2016-07-01

    The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries. Thus, illness prevention is of paramount importance to minimize human and public health risks. To accomplish this, close communication and collaboration is needed among HAB scientists, public health researchers and local, state and tribal health departments at academic, community outreach, and policy levels.

  19. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine algal toxins are extremely toxic and can represent a major health problem to humans and animals. Temperature regulation is one of many processes to be affected by exposure to these toxins. Mice and rats become markedly hypothermic when subjected to acute exposure to the ma...

  20. EFFECT OF MARINE TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine algal toxins are extremely toxic and can represent a major health problem to humans and animals. Temperature regulation is one of many processes to be affected by exposure to these toxins. Mice and rats become markedly hypothermic when subjected to acute exposure to the ma...

  1. Clonal relatedness of Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli O101 strains of human and porcine origin.

    PubMed Central

    Franke, S; Harmsen, D; Caprioli, A; Pierard, D; Wieler, L H; Karch, H

    1995-01-01

    Shiga-like toxin (SLT)-producing Escherichia coli (SLTEC) O101 has recently been associated with hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in humans. In this study, SLTEC O101 strains from humans and pigs were characterized for clonal relatedness by nucleotide sequence analysis of their slt genes, DNA finger-printing of genomic DNA, and determination of virulence factors. The slt genes of five E. coli O101 strains were cloned and sequenced. For all strains, the deduced amino acid sequences of the B subunits were identical to those of the SLT-IIe present in the classical SLTEC O139 strains that cause edema disease in pigs. The A subunit revealed more than 99% homology to that of SLT-IIe. DNA fingerprinting revealed a high degree of genetic relatedness between the human and porcine O101 isolates. None of the O101 strains investigated had virulence factors frequently found in porcine (F107 fimbriae or heat-stable or heat-labile enterotoxins) or human SLTEC strains (eaeA or enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin). The absence of virulence factors typical of SLT-I- and SLT-II-producing E. Coli together with the presence of SLT-IIe, a toxin previously seen only in porcine E. coli, suggests a new pathogenic mechanism for E. coli O101 infection of humans. For diagnostic purposes, we recommend the use of PCR primers and DNA probes complementary to slt-IIe to correctly identify such strains and to further evaluate their role in human diseases. PMID:8586696

  2. Clonal relatedness of Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli O101 strains of human and porcine origin.

    PubMed

    Franke, S; Harmsen, D; Caprioli, A; Pierard, D; Wieler, L H; Karch, H

    1995-12-01

    Shiga-like toxin (SLT)-producing Escherichia coli (SLTEC) O101 has recently been associated with hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in humans. In this study, SLTEC O101 strains from humans and pigs were characterized for clonal relatedness by nucleotide sequence analysis of their slt genes, DNA finger-printing of genomic DNA, and determination of virulence factors. The slt genes of five E. coli O101 strains were cloned and sequenced. For all strains, the deduced amino acid sequences of the B subunits were identical to those of the SLT-IIe present in the classical SLTEC O139 strains that cause edema disease in pigs. The A subunit revealed more than 99% homology to that of SLT-IIe. DNA fingerprinting revealed a high degree of genetic relatedness between the human and porcine O101 isolates. None of the O101 strains investigated had virulence factors frequently found in porcine (F107 fimbriae or heat-stable or heat-labile enterotoxins) or human SLTEC strains (eaeA or enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin). The absence of virulence factors typical of SLT-I- and SLT-II-producing E. Coli together with the presence of SLT-IIe, a toxin previously seen only in porcine E. coli, suggests a new pathogenic mechanism for E. coli O101 infection of humans. For diagnostic purposes, we recommend the use of PCR primers and DNA probes complementary to slt-IIe to correctly identify such strains and to further evaluate their role in human diseases.

  3. Algal Supply System Design - Harmonized Version

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Stevens, Daniel; Ray, Allison; Newby, Deborah; Schaller, Kastli

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this design report is to provide an assessment of current technologies used for production, dewatering, and converting microalgae cultivated in open-pond systems to biofuel. The original draft design was created in 2011 and has subsequently been brought into agreement with the DOE harmonized model. The design report extends beyond this harmonized model to discuss some of the challenges with assessing algal production systems, including the ability to (1) quickly assess alternative algal production system designs, (2) assess spatial and temporal variability, and (3) perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. The Algae Logistics Model (ALM) was developed to address each of these limitations of current modeling efforts to enable assessment of the economic feasibility of algal production systems across the United States. The (ALM) enables (1) dynamic assessments using spatiotemporal conditions, (2) exploration of algal production system design configurations, (3) investigation of algal production system operating assumptions, and (4) trade-off assessments with technology decisions and operating assumptions. The report discusses results from the ALM, which is used to assess the baseline design determined by harmonization efforts between U.S. DOE national laboratories. Productivity and resource assessment data is provided by coupling the ALM with the Biomass Assessment Tool developed at PNNL. This high-fidelity data is dynamically passed to the ALM and used to help better understand the impacts of spatial and temporal constraints on algal production systems by providing a cost for producing extracted algal lipids annually for each potential site.

  4. Draft Whole-Genome Sequences of Three Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O91:H21 Isolates, Two from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Patients and One of Porcine Origin

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Peng; Morales, Christina Q.

    2014-01-01

    This study presents three genomes of O91:H21 isolates, two from hemolytic uremic syndrome patients and one of porcine origin. Genome analyses reveal that one of the human isolates contains both Shiga toxin-encoding genes (stx1 and stx2), and all three isolates contain putative adhesin (iha and eaeH) and antibiotic resistance (ampC) genes. PMID:25301649

  5. Algal Biofuels Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2009-10-27

    This fact sheet provides information on algal biofuels, which are generating considerable interest around the world. They may represent a sustainable pathway for helping to meet the U.S. biofuel production targets set by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

  6. Harmful Algal Blooms Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project represents the Agency’s first effort to unify harmful algal blooms (HABs) research that had been previously carried out in isolation within various laboratories. A unified program is the most efficient way generate useful results for the Agency’s decision...

  7. Harmful Algal Blooms Research

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project represents the Agency’s first effort to unify harmful algal blooms (HABs) research that had been previously carried out in isolation within various laboratories. A unified program is the most efficient way generate useful results for the Agency’s decision...

  8. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

    2012-07-12

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

  9. DETOXIFICATION OF CYANOBACTERIAL TOXIN - CONTAMINATED WATER USING TIO2 PHOTOCATALYTIC FILMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacterial harmfal algal blooms (CyanoHABs) often produce undesirable color, odor and taste and more importantly, potent toxins that can cause chronic, acute and acute letha poisonings to wild and domestic animals and humans

  10. Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins:Evaluating Source Water Trends and Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  11. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities - proceedings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  12. Cyanobacterial Cells and Toxins:Evaluating Source Water Trends and Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  13. Cyanobacteria Toxin and Cell Propagation through Lake Erie Treatment Facilities - proceedings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs), and their associated toxins, in fresh water lakes and reservoirs are drawing the attention of utilities and state regulators nation-wide. Recognizing the potential health and economic consequences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnersh...

  14. Toxin Plasmids of Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L.; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  15. Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent Waters and Through Treatment on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom Seasons 

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent and Through Drinking Water Treatment Facilities Located on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom SeasonsToby Sanan, Nicholas Dugan, Darren Lytle, Heath MashHarmful algal blooms (HABs) and their associated toxins are emerging as signif...

  16. Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent Waters and Through Treatment on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom Seasons 

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms in Influent and Through Drinking Water Treatment Facilities Located on Lake Erie in the 2013 and 2014 Bloom SeasonsToby Sanan, Nicholas Dugan, Darren Lytle, Heath MashHarmful algal blooms (HABs) and their associated toxins are emerging as signif...

  17. Method for detecting biological toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  18. National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell, John; Sarisky-Reed, Valerie

    2010-05-01

    The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels. While addressing the potential economic and environmental benefits of using algal biomass for the production of liquid transportation fuels, the Roadmap describes the current status of algae RD&D. In doing so, it lays the groundwork for identifying challenges that likely need to be overcome for algal biomass to be used in the production of economically viable biofuels.

  19. Advanced Algal Systems Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    Research and development (R&D) on advanced algal biofuels and bioproducts presents an opportunity to sustainably expand biomass resource potential in the United States. The Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) Advanced Algal Systems Program is carrying out a long-term, applied R&D strategy to lower the costs of algal biofuel production by working with partners to develop revolutionary technologies and conduct crosscutting analyses to better understand the potential

  20. Pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  1. Algal biofuels from wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds.

    PubMed

    Craggs, R J; Heubeck, S; Lundquist, T J; Benemann, J R

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines the potential of algae biofuel production in conjunction with wastewater treatment. Current technology for algal wastewater treatment uses facultative ponds, however, these ponds have low productivity (∼10 tonnes/ha.y), are not amenable to cultivating single algal species, require chemical flocculation or other expensive processes for algal harvest, and do not provide consistent nutrient removal. Shallow, paddlewheel-mixed high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) have much higher productivities (∼30 tonnes/ha.y) and promote bioflocculation settling which may provide low-cost algal harvest. Moreover, HRAP algae are carbon-limited and daytime addition of CO(2) has, under suitable climatic conditions, the potential to double production (to ∼60 tonnes/ha.y), improve bioflocculation algal harvest, and enhance wastewater nutrient removal. Algae biofuels (e.g. biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and crude bio-oil), could be produced from the algae harvested from wastewater HRAPs, The wastewater treatment function would cover the capital and operation costs of algal production, with biofuel and recovered nutrient fertilizer being by-products. Greenhouse gas abatement results from both the production of the biofuels and the savings in energy consumption compared to electromechanical treatment processes. However, to achieve these benefits, further research is required, particularly the large-scale demonstration of wastewater treatment HRAP algal production and harvest.

  2. Effects of algal-derived carbon on sediment methane production in a eutrophic Ohio reservoir

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nutrient loading is known to have adverse consequences for aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the form of algal blooms that may result. These blooms pose problems for humans and wildlife, including harmful toxin release, aquatic hypoxia and increased costs for water treatment. A...

  3. THE TRPV1 RECEPTOR: THE INTERAGENCY, INTERNATION SYMPOSIUM ON CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background and Significance

    Evidence indicates that the frequency of occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial and temporal extent in the US and worldwide. Cyanotoxins are among the most potent toxins known, causing death through ...

  4. THE TRPV1 RECEPTOR: THE INTERAGENCY, INTERNATION SYMPOSIUM ON CYANOBACTERIAL HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background and Significance

    Evidence indicates that the frequency of occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial and temporal extent in the US and worldwide. Cyanotoxins are among the most potent toxins known, causing death through ...

  5. Effects of algal-derived carbon on sediment methane production in a eutrophic Ohio reservoir

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nutrient loading is known to have adverse consequences for aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the form of algal blooms that may result. These blooms pose problems for humans and wildlife, including harmful toxin release, aquatic hypoxia and increased costs for water treatment. A...

  6. Origins.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, S

    1985-10-04

    The farthest of the galaxies that can be seen through the large ground-based telescopes of modern astronomy, such as those on La Palma in the Canary Islands, are so far away that they appear as they did close to the time of the origin of the universe, perhaps some 10 billion years ago. Much has been learned, and much has still to be learned, about the young universe from optical and radio telescopes, but these instruments cannot be used to look directly at the universe in its first few hundred thousand years. Instead, they are used to search the relatively recent past for relics of much earlier times. Together with experiments planned for the next generation of elementary particle accelerators, astronomical observations should continue to extend what is known about the universe backward in time to the Big Bang and may eventually help to reveal the origins of the physical laws that govern the universe.

  7. Climate Change and Algal Blooms =

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shengpan

    Algal blooms are new emerging hazards that have had important social impacts in recent years. However, it was not very clear whether future climate change causing warming waters and stronger storm events would exacerbate the algal bloom problem. The goal of this dissertation was to evaluate the sensitivity of algal biomass to climate change in the continental United States. Long-term large-scale observations of algal biomass in inland lakes are challenging, but are necessary to relate climate change to algal blooms. To get observations at this scale, this dissertation applied machine-learning algorithms including boosted regression trees (BRT) in remote sensing of chlorophyll-a with Landsat TM/ETM+. The results show that the BRT algorithm improved model accuracy by 15%, compared to traditional linear regression. The remote sensing model explained 46% of the total variance of the ground-measured chlorophyll- a in the first National Lake Assessment conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency. That accuracy was ecologically meaningful to study climate change impacts on algal blooms. Moreover, the BRT algorithm for chlorophyll- a would not have systematic bias that is introduced by sediments and colored dissolved organic matter, both of which might change concurrently with climate change and algal blooms. This dissertation shows that the existing atmospheric corrections for Landsat TM/ETM+ imagery might not be good enough to improve the remote sensing of chlorophyll-a in inland lakes. After deriving long-term algal biomass estimates from Landsat TM/ETM+, time series analysis was used to study the relations of climate change and algal biomass in four Missouri reservoirs. The results show that neither temperature nor precipitation was the only factor that controlled temporal variation of algal biomass. Different reservoirs, even different zones within the same reservoir, responded differently to temperature and precipitation changes. These findings were further

  8. Occurrence of Harmful Algal Species and Shellfish Toxicity in Sardinia (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Bazzoni, Anna Maria; Mudadu, Alessandro Graziano; Lorenzoni, Giuseppa; Arras, Igor; Lugliè, Antonella; Vivaldi, Barbara; Cicotelli, Valentina; Sanna, Giovanna; Tedde, Giuseppe; Ledda, Salvatore; Alesso, Enrico; Marongiu, Edoardo; Virgilio, Sebastiano

    2016-01-01

    Sardinia (Italy, north-western Mediterranean) is a commercially important producer of edible bivalve molluscs. Since the early 2000s, it was subjected to recurring cases of mussel farm closures due to toxic algal poison. Here, we present the studies on toxin concentrations and the associated potentially toxic phytoplankton distribution and abundances carried out by a regular monitoring programme in Sardinian shellfish areas, from January to May 2015. Diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins were detected in several bivalve molluscs samples, while paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins were present just once, without exceeding the legal limits. Potentially toxic algal species have been constantly present. Pseudo-nitzschia species were present during the entire study often with high abundances, while Dinophysis species reached high densities sporadically. Among PSP phytoplankton, only Alexandrium minutum Halim was found. The data obtained in this study showed an increase in the DSP toxicity in mussels in Sardinia. No clear relation between the occurrence of toxins in shellfish and the presence of potentially toxic algal species was found, although a slight correlation between DSP toxins and Dinophysis species could be supported. PMID:28058244

  9. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  10. Characteristics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli from meat and milk products of different origins and association with food producing animals as main contamination sources.

    PubMed

    Martin, Annett; Beutin, Lothar

    2011-03-15

    Shiga toxin-producing strains of Escherichia coli (STEC) cause diarrhoea and haemorrhagic colitis in humans. Most human infections are attributed to consumption of STEC contaminated foodstuff. Food producing animals constitute important reservoirs of STEC and serve as source of food contamination. In this study, we have analyzed 593 foodborne STEC strains for their serotypes and for nine virulence genes (stx1, stx1c, stx1d, stx2, stx2b, stx2e, stx2g, E-hly and eae). The 593 STEC strains grouped into 215 serotypes, and 123 serotypes (57.2%) were represented each by only one STEC isolate. Fifteen serotypes (7.0%) were attributed to 198 (33.3%) of the 593 STEC strains. The foodborne STEC were grouped into different categories in relation to the species of the food producing animal (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, red deer, wild-boar and hare). Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses revealed significant similarities between the animal origin of the food and the virulence markers of foodborne STEC. Significant associations (p<0.001) were found for stx1 and for stx2 with bovine meat and milk products. The stx2e gene was significantly (p<0.001) associated with STEC from pork and wild boar meat. Stx1c and stx2b genes were significantly (p<0.001) more frequent in STEC from deer meat, as well as from meat and milk products derived from sheep and goats. Using logistic regression models we detected significant (p<0.01) combinations between stx1, stx2 and E-hly genes and STEC from bovine meat. The combination of stx1c and stx2b genes was significant (p<0.001) for STEC derived from red deer, sheep and goat products. The properties of foodborne STEC were compared with published data on faecal STEC from food producing animals. Virulence profiles and serotypes of STEC from food showed remarkable similarities to those of faecal STEC that were from the same animal species. The findings from our study clearly indicate that the food producing animals represent the most important

  11. Energetic potential of algal biomass from high-rate algal ponds for the production of solid biofuels.

    PubMed

    Costa, Taynan de Oliveira; Calijuri, Maria Lúcia; Avelar, Nayara Vilela; Carneiro, Angélica de Cássia de Oliveira; de Assis, Letícia Rodrigues

    2016-10-17

    In this investigation, chemical characteristics, higher, lower and net heating value, bulk and energy density, and thermogravimetric analysis were applied to study the thermal characteristics of three algal biomasses. These biomasses, grown as by-products of wastewater treatment in high-rate algal ponds (HRAPs), were: (i) biomass produced in domestic effluent and collected directly from an HRAP (PO); (ii) biomass produced in domestic effluent in a mixed pond-panel system and collected from the panels (PA); and (iii) biomass originating from the treatment effluent from the meat processing industry and collected directly from an HRAP (IN). The biomass IN was the best alternative for thermal power generation. Subsequently, a mixture of the algal biomasses and Jatropha epicarp was used to produce briquettes containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of algal biomass, and their properties were evaluated. In general, the addition of algal biomass to briquettes decreased both the hygroscopicity and fixed carbon content and increased the bulk density, ash content, and energy density. A 50% proportion of biomass IN was found to be the best raw material for producing briquettes. Therefore, the production of briquettes consisting of algal biomass and Jatropha epicarp at a laboratory scale was shown to be technically feasible.

  12. Field and laboratory guide to freshwater cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms for Native American and Alaska Native communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosen, Barry H.; Ann St. Amand,

    2015-09-14

    Cyanobacteria can produce toxins and form harmful algal blooms. The Native American and Alaska Native communities that are dependent on subsistence fishing have an increased risk of exposure to these cyanotoxins. It is important to recognize the presence of an algal bloom in a waterbody and to distinguish a potentially toxic harmful algal bloom from a non-toxic bloom. This guide provides field images that show cyanobacteria blooms, some of which can be toxin producers, as well as other non-toxic algae blooms and floating plants that might be confused with algae. After recognition of a potential toxin-producing cyanobacterial bloom in the field, the type(s) of cyanobacteria present needs to be identified. Species identification, which requires microscopic examination, may help distinguish a toxin-producer from a non-toxin producer. This guide also provides microscopic images of the common cyanobacteria that are known to produce toxins, as well as images of algae that form blooms but do not produce toxins.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-09-01

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

  14. Structure determination of a tetrahydro-beta-carboline of arthropod origin: a novel alkaloid-toxin subclass from the web of spider Nephila clavipes.

    PubMed

    Marques, Maurício Ribeiro; Mendes, Maria Anita; Tormena, Cláudio Francisco; Souza, Bibiana M; Cesar, Lílian Mari Marcondes; Rittner, Roberto; Palma, Mario S

    2005-04-01

    The orb-web spiders are polyphagous animals in which the web plays a very important role in the capture of preys; oily droplets usually cover the capture-web of the spider Nephila clavipes and seem to be of great importance for prey capture. The knowledge of the chemical composition of these droplets is necessary to understand the function of this adhesive material in web mechanics and prey capture. A novel subclass of spider toxins, tetrahydro-beta-carboline, was identified among the weaponry of compounds present inside of oily droplets. This type of alkaloid is not common among the natural compounds of spider toxins. Apparently, when the prey arthropods get caught by the spider web, their bodies are covered with many adhesive oily droplets, which disrupt delivering the tetrahydro-beta-carboline to the direct contact with the prey integument. Toxicity assays demonstrated a potent lethal effect of the alkaloid toxin to the spider preys; topical applications of the tetrahydro-beta-carboline at first caused clear signs of neurotoxicity, followed by the death of preys. The structure of the major component, a tetrahydro-beta-carboline, among the alkaloid toxins was elucidated by means of UV spectrophotometry, ESI mass spectrometry, 1H-NMR spectroscopy, and high-resolution mass spectrometry. The structure of the natural toxin was determined as 1-(2-guanidinoethyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-hydroxymethyl)-beta-carboline; the investigation of the pharmacological properties and neurotoxic actions of this compound may be used in the future as reference for the development of new drugs to be applied at level of pest control in agriculture.

  15. Fueling Future with Algal Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-07-05

    Algae constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity, play profound roles in the carbon cycle, and are prominent candidates for biofuel production. The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is leading the world in algal genome sequencing (http://jgi.doe.gov/Algae) and contributes of the algal genome projects worldwide (GOLD database, 2012). The sequenced algal genomes offer catalogs of genes, networks, and pathways. The sequenced first of its kind genomes of a haptophyte E.huxleyii, chlorarachniophyte B.natans, and cryptophyte G.theta fill the gaps in the eukaryotic tree of life and carry unique genes and pathways as well as molecular fossils of secondary endosymbiosis. Natural adaptation to conditions critical for industrial production is encoded in algal genomes, for example, growth of A.anophagefferens at very high cell densities during the harmful algae blooms or a global distribution across diverse environments of E.huxleyii, able to live on sparse nutrients due to its expanded pan-genome. Communications and signaling pathways can be derived from simple symbiotic systems like lichens or complex marine algae metagenomes. Collectively these datasets derived from algal genomics contribute to building a comprehensive parts list essential for algal biofuel development.

  16. Simultaneous removal of harmful algal blooms and microcystins using microorganism- and chitosan-modified local soil.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong; Pan, Gang

    2015-05-19

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyano-HAB) and microcystins (MCs) can cause a potential threat to public health. Here, a method for simultaneous removal of cyano-HAB and MCs was developed using chitosan-modified local soil (MLS) flocculation plus microorganism-modified soil capping. The experiment was conducted in simulated columns containing algal water collected from Lake Taihu (China). More than 90% of algal cells and intracellular MCs were flocculated and removed from water using chitosan-MLS and the sunken flocs were treated by different capping materials including Pseudomonas sp. An18 modified local soil. During 40 days of incubation, dissolved MC-LR and MC-RR showed 10-fold increase in the flocculation-only system. The increase of MC-LR and MC-RR in water was reduced by 30 and 70% in soil capping treatments; however, the total content of MCs in the sediment-water column remained similar to that in the control and flocculation only systems. In contrast, both dissolved MCs and total MCs were reduced by 90% in Pseudomonas sp. An18 modified soil capping treatment. The high performance of toxin decomposition was due to the combined effects of flocculation and MC-degrading bacteria that embedded in the capping material, which prevents dilution of bacteria biomass, concentrates algal cells, confines released toxins, and enhances toxin biodegradation.

  17. Differential dynamics of dinophysistoxins and pectenotoxins between blue mussel and common cockle: a phenomenon originating from the complex toxin profile of Dinophysis acuta.

    PubMed

    Vale, Paulo

    2004-08-01

    Different toxin profiles of dinophysistoxins and pectenotoxins have been reported before between blue mussel and other bivalve species, such as common cockle, razor clam, clams, etc. Comparison of toxins present in plankton in mussel growing areas and in cockle growing areas, respectively, showed there was no particular incidence of dinophysistoxin-2 (DTX2) in plankton from mussel growing areas that could account for the higher percentage of DTX2 in relation to okadaic acid (OA) found in mussels; or of pectenotoxin-2 in cockle growing areas that could explain the higher levels of pectenotoxin-2 seco acid (PTX2sa) found in cockles. A detoxification experiment between mussels and cockles showed the higher percentage of DTX2 in mussels was due to slower elimination of this toxin in relation to OA; while the lower levels of PTX2sa were due to quicker elimination by mussels than by cockles. The slower elimination of DTX2 explains why in late summer and autumn this toxin gradually accumulate in mussels throughout the entire coast, while other bivalves species have a lower percentage of DTX2, very close to the 3:2 OA:DTX2 ratio found in natural plankton assemblages when Dinophysis acuta predominates. In the clam Donax spp., DTX2 concentration also tends to build up in relation to OA, this being made up predominantly by free DTX2 while esterified DTX2 is found only in trace levels (similarly to what is found in mussel for DTX2). We hypothesise that the esterified forms of OA and DTX2 are more easily eliminated than the free forms, by all shellfish species. The free forms are more difficult to eliminate. This is particularly notable in these two species that present a very low conversion of DTX2 into acyl esters. The high pool of free toxins is partially responsible for these two species (mussel and Donax clams) being the sentinel species for DSP contamination throughout the Portuguese coast. Esters of OA and DTX2 were found in a plankton sample where D. acuta was the

  18. Copepods induce paralytic shellfish toxin production in marine dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Selander, Erik; Thor, Peter; Toth, Gunilla; Pavia, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    Among the thousands of unicellular phytoplankton species described in the sea, some frequently occurring and bloom-forming marine dinoflagellates are known to produce the potent neurotoxins causing paralytic shellfish poisoning. The natural function of these toxins is not clear, although they have been hypothesized to act as a chemical defence towards grazers. Here, we show that waterborne cues from the copepod Acartia tonsa induce paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) production in the harmful algal bloom-forming dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum. Induced A. minutum contained up to 2.5 times more toxins than controls and was more resistant to further copepod grazing. Ingestion of non-toxic alternative prey was not affected by the presence of induced A. minutum. The ability of A. minutum to sense and respond to the presence of grazers by increased PST production and increased resistance to grazing may facilitate the formation of harmful algal blooms in the sea. PMID:16769640

  19. Medical Defense Against Protein Toxin Weapons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-10-01

    greatly expanded the accessible delivery vehicles for protein toxins to include, for example, natural or genetically modified bacteria and engineered...01 OCT 2004 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Medical defense against protein toxin weapons: review and perspective...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT The term " toxin weapon" has been used to describe poisons, classically of natural origin but increasingly

  20. Algal culture studies for CELSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radmer, R.; Behrens, P.; Arnett, K.; Gladue, R.; Cox, J.; Lieberman, D.

    1987-01-01

    Microalgae are well-suited as a component of a Closed Environmental Life Support System (CELSS), since they can couple the closely related functions of food production and atmospheric regeneration. The objective was to provide a basis for predicting the response of CELSS algal cultures, and thus the food supply and air regeneration system, to changes in the culture parameters. Scenedesmus growth was measured as a function of light intensity, and the spectral dependence of light absorption by the algae as well as algal respiration in the light were determined as a function of cell concentration. These results were used to test and confirm a mathematical model that describes the productivity of an algal culture in terms of the competing processes of photosynthesis and respiration. The relationship of algal productivity to cell concentration was determined at different carbon dioxide concentrations, temperatures, and light intensities. The maximum productivity achieved by an air-grown culture was found to be within 10% of the computed maximum productivity, indicating that CO2 was very efficiently removed from the gas stream by the algal culture. Measurements of biomass productivity as a function of cell concentration at different light intensities indicated that both the productivity and efficiency of light utilization were greater at higher light intensities.

  1. Identifying Historical Occurrences of HABs Using Sedimentary Algal Pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smoak, J. M.; Waters, M. N.

    2008-12-01

    Algal blooms are a common feature of many coastal areas. Under some environmental conditions, these develop into Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and present an environmental hazard and a health risk for humans and wildlife due to toxin production. While monitoring programs track the development of contemporary HABs, data are lacking for historical blooms. We use sedimentary algal pigments to identify the occurrence of Karenia Brevis (Florida Red Tide) in sediment cores collected from mangrove environments along the west coast of Florida. Karenia Brevis has a unique pigment, gyroxanthin-diester, that is routinely used to identify red tide in the water column. Gyroxanthin-diester and other carotenoid pigments associated with red tide taxa are analyzed using HPLC techniques. Identification of gyroxanthan-diester is based on comparison with HPLC analysis of gyroxanthin standard, a monoculture sample of K. Brevis and with published spectra of Gyroxanthin-diester in water samples. We track the timing of the K. Brevis using Pb-210 dating models which allows an examination over the last 100 years.

  2. Satellite monitoring of cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) cause extensive problems in lakes worldwide, including human and ecological health risks, anoxia and fish kills, and taste and odor problems. CyanoHABs are a particular concern because of their dense biomass and the risk of exposure to toxins in both recreational waters and drinking source waters. Successful cyanoHAB assessment by satellites may provide a first-line of defense indicator for human and ecological health protection. In this study, assessment methods were developed to determine the utility of satellite technology for detecting cyanoHAB occurrence frequency at locations of potential management interest. The European Space Agency's MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) was evaluated to prepare for the equivalent Sentinel-3 Ocean and Land Colour Imager (OLCI) launched in 2016. Based on the 2012 National Lakes Assessment site evaluation guidelines and National Hydrography Dataset, there were 275,897 lakes and reservoirs greater than 1 hectare in the 48 U.S. states. Results from this evaluation show that 5.6 % of waterbodies were resolvable by satellites with 300 m single pixel resolution and 0.7 % of waterbodies were resolvable when a 3x3 pixel array was applied based on minimum Euclidian distance from shore. Satellite data was also spatially joined to US public water surface intake (PWSI) locations, where single pixel resolution resolved 57% of PWSI and a 3x3 pixel array resolved 33% of

  3. Evaluation of Harmful Algal Bloom Outreach Activities

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Lora E.; Jerez, Eva; Stephan, Wendy Blair; Cassedy, Amy; Bean, Judy A; Reich, Andrew; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Backer, Lorraine; Nierenberg, Kate; Watkins, Sharon; Hollenbeck, Julie; Weisman, Richard

    2007-01-01

    With an apparent increase of harmful algal blooms (HABs) worldwide, healthcare providers, public health personnel and coastal managers are struggling to provide scientifically-based appropriately-targeted HAB outreach and education. Since 1998, the Florida Poison Information Center-Miami, with its 24 hour/365 day/year free Aquatic Toxins Hotline (1–888–232–8635) available in several languages, has received over 25,000 HAB-related calls. As part of HAB surveillance, all possible cases of HAB-related illness among callers are reported to the Florida Health Department. This pilot study evaluated an automated call processing menu system that allows callers to access bilingual HAB information, and to speak directly with a trained Poison Information Specialist. The majority (68%) of callers reported satisfaction with the information, and many provided specific suggestions for improvement. This pilot study, the first known evaluation of use and satisfaction with HAB educational outreach materials, demonstrated that the automated system provided useful HAB-related information for the majority of callers, and decreased the routine informational call workload for the Poison Information Specialists, allowing them to focus on callers needing immediate assistance and their healthcare providers. These results will lead to improvement of this valuable HAB outreach, education and surveillance tool. Formal evaluation is recommended for future HAB outreach and educational materials. PMID:18463727

  4. Evaluation of harmful algal bloom outreach activities.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Lora E; Jerez, Eva; Stephan, Wendy Blair; Cassedy, Amy; Bean, Judy A; Reich, Andrew; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Backer, Lorraine; Nierenberg, Kate; Watkins, Sharon; Hollenbeck, Julie; Weisman, Richard

    2007-12-14

    With an apparent increase of harmful algal blooms (HABs) worldwide, healthcare providers, public health personnel and coastal managers are struggling to provide scientifically-based appropriately-targeted HAB outreach and education. Since 1998, the Florida Poison Information Center-Miami, with its 24 hour/365 day/year free Aquatic Toxins Hotline (1-888-232-8635) available in several languages, has received over 25,000 HAB-related calls. As part of HAB surveillance, all possible cases of HAB-related illness among callers are reported to the Florida Health Department. This pilot study evaluated an automated call processing menu system that allows callers to access bilingual HAB information, and to speak directly with a trained Poison Information Specialist. The majority (68%) of callers reported satisfaction with the information, and many provided specific suggestions for improvement. This pilot study, the first known evaluation of use and satisfaction with HAB educational outreach materials, demonstrated that the automated system provided useful HAB-related information for the majority of callers, and decreased the routine informational call workload for the Poison Information Specialists, allowing them to focus on callers needing immediate assistance and their healthcare providers. These results will lead to improvement of this valuable HAB outreach, education and surveillance tool. Formal evaluation is recommended for future HAB outreach and educational materials.

  5. Sapphire Energy - Integrated Algal Biorefinery

    SciTech Connect

    White, Rebecca L.; Tyler, Mike

    2015-07-22

    Sapphire Energy, Inc. (SEI) is a leader in large-scale photosynthetic algal biomass production, with a strongly cohesive research, development, and operations program. SEI takes a multidiscipline approach to integrate lab-based strain selection, cultivation and harvest and production scale, and extraction for the production of Green Crude oil, a drop in replacement for traditional crude oil.. SEI’s technical accomplishments since 2007 have produced a multifunctional platform that can address needs for fuel, feed, and other higher value products. Figure 1 outlines SEI’s commercialization process, including Green Crude production and refinement to drop in fuel replacements. The large scale algal biomass production facility, the SEI Integrated Algal Biorefinery (IABR), was built in Luna County near Columbus, New Mexico (see fig 2). The extraction unit was located at the existing SEI facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, approximately 95 miles from the IABR. The IABR facility was constructed on time and on budget, and the extraction unit expansion to accommodate the biomass output from the IABR was completed in October 2012. The IABR facility uses open pond cultivation with a proprietary harvesting method to produce algal biomass; this biomass is then shipped to the extraction facility for conversion to Green Crude. The operation of the IABR and the extraction facilities has demonstrated the critical integration of traditional agricultural techniques with algae cultivation knowledge for algal biomass production, and the successful conversion of the biomass to Green Crude. All primary unit operations are de-risked, and at a scale suitable for process demonstration. The results are stable, reliable, and long-term cultivation of strains for year round algal biomass production. From June 2012 to November 2014, the IABR and extraction facilities produced 524 metric tons (MT) of biomass (on a dry weight basis), and 2,587 gallons of Green Crude. Additionally, the IABR

  6. Botulinum Toxin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    1980) and the other in gibbons (Hylobates lar) (Smith et aI., 1985). In addition to nonhuman primates , most other animal species that show some...nonhuman primate species are known to be susceptible to type Cl and D toxins both in nature and as experimental models. A large natural outbreak of... primates were previously reported, one in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus and Cebus olivaceus) (Smart et al

  7. Legionella Toxin.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-04-29

    of a cytotoxin produced by Legionella pneumophila. Infect. Immun. 29:271-274. Fumarola, D. (1978) Legionnaires ’ disease agent and Limulus endotoxin... Legionnaires ’ disease bacterium in the AKR/J mouse. Ann. intern. Med. 90:676-679. Hedlund, K. W. and Larson, R. (1981) Legionella pneumophila toxin, isolation... Legionella Species New Name Old Name Lpneumophila Legionnaires ’ disease organism, OLDA L. bozemanil WIGA, MI 15 L. dumoffii NY 23, TEX-KL *L. micdadei

  8. A Geospatial Analysis of Harmful Algal Blooms along the California Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, C.; Rothwell, R.; Johnson, E.; Condamoor, M.; Patil, M.; Largier, J. L.; Schmidt, C.

    2012-12-01

    Algal blooms are natural phenomena consisting of the rapid growth of phytoplankton populations. Some blooms have negative ecological or public health effects due to toxin production and removal of oxygen from the water column. In recent years, such "harmful algal blooms" (HABs) have been linked to human illness, economic loss from decreased fishing, and ecological damage related to marine life mortality as well as eutrophication. A notable HAB event occurred along the coast of northern California in August 2011, resulting in economic and ecological impacts of approximately $82 million. This was one of several algal blooms that occurred in fall 2011, with similar northward propagating algal blooms occurring in autumn of other years. Although the scale of the bloom impact is well-known, the spatial and temporal extent of the bloom boundary is still unclear. This study tracked the space-time pattern of numerous blooms during August-October 2011 using multiple NASA Earth observing systems in an effort to quantify and understand the structure of these recurrent bloom events. Aqua MODIS images were used to quantify surface chlorophyll-α levels, and thus to map the extent and development of all autumn algal blooms. The relation between sea surface temperature, ocean surface topography, and algal blooms was further explored with AVHRR and Jason-2 satellite data. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was used to identify the environmental factors most statistically influential in algal blooms and specifically in HAB events. Results from this study will assist California's Departments of Public Health and Fish & Game in mitigating and managing the impact of future harmful algal blooms.

  9. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun

    2015-07-18

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins.

  10. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  11. Effect of the endoparasite Amoebophrya sp. on toxin content and composition in the paralytic shellfish poisoning dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense (Dinophyceae).

    PubMed

    Kim, Sunju; Park, Myung Gil

    2016-01-01

    Members of the Amoebophrya ceratii complex are endoparasitic dinoflagellates that parasitize a number of their dinoflagellate relatives, including toxic and/or harmful algal bloom-forming species. Despite many studies on the occurrence, prevalence, biology and molecular phylogeny of Amoebophrya spp., little attention has been given to toxin dynamics of host population following parasitism. Using Amoebophrya sp. infecting the paralytic shellfish toxin (PSP)-producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense, we addressed the following questions: (1) does parasitism by Amoebophrya sp. alter toxin content and toxin profiles of the dinoflagellate A. fundyense over the infection cycle? and (2) do parasite dinospores produced at the end of the infection cycle retain host toxins and thus potentially act as a vector to convey PSP toxin through the marine microbial food-web? Toxin time-course experiments showed that the PSP toxin contents did not vary significantly over the infection cycle, but mean toxin content for infected cultures was significantly higher than that for uninfected cultures. Host toxins were not detected in the free-living, dinospore stage of the parasite. Therefore, our results indicate that Amoebophrya sp. does not function as a vector for transferring PSP toxins to higher trophic levels. Rather, Amoebophrya infections appear to play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by transforming potent toxins-producing dinoflagellates into non-toxic dinospores, representing "edible food" for consumers of the marine microbial food-web during toxic algal bloom event. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Algal Systems for Hydrogen Photoproduction

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, Maria L

    2015-10-08

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), under the guidance of Drs. Michael Seibert (retired, Fellow Emeritus) and Maria Ghirardi (Fellow), led 15 years of research addressing the issue of algal H2 photoproduction. This project resulted in greatly increased rates and yields of algal hydrogen production; increased understanding of the H2 metabolism in the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; expanded our knowledge of other physiological aspects relevant to sustained algal photosynthetic H2 production; led to the genetic identification, cloning and manipulation of algal hydrogenase genes; and contributed to a broader, fundamental understanding of the technical and scientific challenges to improving the conversion efficiencies in order to reach the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office’s targets. Some of the tangible results are: (i) 64 publications and 6 patents, (ii) international visibility to NREL, (iii) reinvigoration of national and international biohydrogen research, and (iv) research progress that helped stimulate new funding from other DOE and non-DOE programs, including the AFOSR and the DOE Office of Science.

  13. Stool C. difficile toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... test detects harmful substances produced by the bacterium Clostridium difficile ( C difficile) . This infection is a common ... toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin Images Clostridium difficile organism References Beavis KG, Charnot-Katsikas A. ...

  14. Shiga Toxin 2-Converting Bacteriophages Associated with Clonal Variability in Escherichia coli O157:H7 Strains of Human Origin Isolated from a Single Outbreak

    PubMed Central

    Muniesa, Maite; de Simon, Mercè; Prats, Guillem; Ferrer, Dolors; Pañella, Helena; Jofre, Juan

    2003-01-01

    Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2)-converting bacteriophages induced from 49 strains of Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated during a recent outbreak of enterocolitis in Spain were examined in an attempt to identify the variability due to the stx2-converting phages. The bacterial isolates were divided into low-, medium-, and high-phage-production groups on the basis of the number of phages released after mitomycin C induction. Low- and medium-phage-production isolates harbored two kinds of phages but released only one of them, whereas high-phage-production isolates harbored only one of the two phages. One of the phages, φSC370, which was detected only in the isolates with two phages, showed similarities with phage 933W. The second phage, φLC159, differed from φSC370 in morphology and DNA structure. When both phages were present in the same bacterial chromosome, as occurred in most of the isolates, only φSC370 was detected in the supernatants of the induced cultures. If φLC159 was released, its presence was masked by φSC370. When φSC370 was absent, large amounts of φLC159 were released, suggesting that there was some regulation of phage expression between the two phages. To our knowledge, this is the first description of clonal variability due to phage loss. The higher level of phage production was reflected in the larger amounts of Stx2 toxin produced by the cultures. Some relationship between phage production and the severity of symptoms was observed, and consequently these observations suggest that the virulence of the isolates studied could be related to the variability of the induced stx2-converting phages. PMID:12874335

  15. Mechanism of Action of the Presynaptic Neurotoxin, Tetanus Toxin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-07-01

    botulinum toxin , a group of neurotoxic substances also produced by Clostridial bacteria . These toxins have a common bacterial origin, similar molecular...TETANUS TOXIN PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Terry B. Rogers, Ph.D. CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland 21201...contract identify the metabolic pathway for cGMP as a potential site of action of tetanus toxin . Preliminary st, jies have revealed that gjanylate cyclase

  16. Differential Requirement for the Translocation of Clostridial Binary Toxins: Iota Toxin Requires a Membrane Potential Gradient

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-28

    proteins produced by several Clostridium species and divided into two families. The Iota-family encompasses Iota toxin from Clostridium perfringens type E...NOTES The original document contains color images. 14. ABSTRACT Clostridial binary toxins, such as Clostridium perfringens Iota and Clostridium ...j.febslet.2007.02.041. References [1] Gibert, M., Petit, L., Raffestin, S., Okabe, A. and Popoff, M.R. (2000) Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin

  17. Algal taxonomy forum: Algal Taxonomist, Let Serendipity Reign!

    PubMed

    Druehl, Louis

    2013-04-01

    The publication of a mini-review by Olivier De Clerck et al. in this issue of the Journal of Phycology presented an opportunity to open a dialogue on challenges faced by contemporary algal taxonomists. The Editorial Office solicited the following two additional contributions in response to De Clerck et al.'s paper; the responses were edited solely for clarity, space and format. © 2013 Phycological Society of America.

  18. Miocene lacustrine algal reefs—southwestern Snake River Plain, Idaho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straccia, Frances G.; Wilkinson, Bruce H.; Smith, Gerald R.

    1990-04-01

    The Hot Spring limestone is a shallow-water algal carbonate within a late Tertiary transgressive lacustrine sequence exposed in the southwestern Snake River Plain. This 5 m thick lensoid sequence crops out over an 80 km 2 area that closely approximates original areal extent of nearshore carbonate accumulation. Reefal bodies consist of closely packed algal cylinders, several decimeters in height, each of which includes a dense laminated carbonate wall surrounding porous digitate carbonate that radiates outward and upward from one or more hollow tubes. These coalesce upsection into separate vertical columns several meters in diameter. Moderately well-sorted terrigenous and molluscan debris deposited between columns during growth indicates these structures were resistant to wave erosion and, therefore, were true reefs. Thick rings of littoral carbonate surrounding the upper walls of each column record the final stages of reef development. Structural attributes exhibited by these Miocene carbonate bodies are also common to a number of Tertiary and Quaternary algal buildups reported from other lacustrine settings. Although features within the Hot Spring limestone are complex in gross morphology and structural detail, both columnar reefs and algal cylinders display little variation in size, shape, or internal structure between areas of varying water depth and wave energy, thus reflecting the importance of biological processes as well as physical processes during reef development.

  19. Harmful Algal Bloom Hotspots Really Are Hot: A Case Study from Monterey Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudela, R. M.; Anderson, C.; Birch, J. M.; Bowers, H.; Caron, D. A.; Chao, Y.; Doucette, G.; Farrara, J. D.; Gellene, A. G.; Negrey, K.; Howard, M. D.; Ryan, J. P.; Scholin, C. A.; Smith, J.; Sukhatme, G.

    2015-12-01

    Monterey Bay, California is one of several recognized hotspots for harmful algal blooms along the US west coast, particularly for the toxigenic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia, which produces domoic acid and is responsible for Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning. Historical observations have linked bloom activity to anomalously warm conditions with weak and sporadic upwelling. In particular, blooms appear to be associated with El Niño conditions. Monterey, as with much of the US west coast, experienced unusual warm conditions in spring and summer 2014, leading to multiple ecosystem effects including massive algal blooms, concentration of apex predators nearshore, and unusually high levels of domoic acid. As the warm anomalies continued and strengthened into 2015, Monterey (and much of the west coast) has been experiencing the largest and most toxic algal bloom recorded in the last 15 years, as well as unprecedented coccolithophore blooms associated with warm, nutrient-depleted waters. With the strengthening El Niño conditions developing in summer 2015, it is possible that 2016 will result in a third consecutive year of unusually toxic algal blooms. Using a combination of historical observations, intensive field studies, and predictive models we explore the hypothesis that these warm anomalies lead to shifts in the typical upwelling-dominated food web leading to a collapse of the ecosystem towards the coast, unusual algal blooms, and enhanced trophic transfer of toxins, resulting in magnified negative impacts to wildlife and, potentially, humans.

  20. Algal blooms and public health

    SciTech Connect

    Epstein, P.R. . Harvard Medical School)

    1993-06-01

    Alterations in coastal ecology are expanding the geographic extent, frequency, magnitude, and species complexity'' of algal blooms throughout the world, increasing the threat of fish and shellfish poisonings, anoxia in marine nurseries, and of cholera. The World Health Organization and members of the medical profession have described the potential health effects of global climate change. They warn of the consequences of increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays and of warming: the possible damage to agriculture and nutrition, and the impact on habitats which may alter the distribution of vector-borne and water-based infectious diseases. Algal growth due to increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) and warming are already affecting marine microflora and aquatic plants; and there is now clear evidence that marine organisms are a reservoir for enteric pathogens. The pattern of cholera in the Western Hemisphere suggests that environmental changes have already begun to influence the epidemiology of this infectious disease. 106 refs.

  1. Algal biofuels: challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Leite, Gustavo B; Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-10-01

    Biodiesel production using microalgae is attractive in a number of respects. Here a number of pros and cons to using microalgae for biofuels production are reviewed. Algal cultivation can be carried out using non-arable land and non-potable water with simple nutrient supply. In addition, algal biomass productivities are much higher than those of vascular plants and the extractable content of lipids that can be usefully converted to biodiesel, triacylglycerols (TAGs) can be much higher than that of the oil seeds now used for first generation biodiesel. On the other hand, practical, cost-effective production of biofuels from microalgae requires that a number of obstacles be overcome. These include the development of low-cost, effective growth systems, efficient and energy saving harvesting techniques, and methods for oil extraction and conversion that are environmentally benign and cost-effective. Promising recent advances in these areas are highlighted.

  2. Targeting bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Ivarsson, Mattias E; Leroux, Jean-Christophe; Castagner, Bastien

    2012-04-23

    Protein toxins constitute the main virulence factors of several species of bacteria and have proven to be attractive targets for drug development. Lead candidates that target bacterial toxins range from small molecules to polymeric binders, and act at each of the multiple steps in the process of toxin-mediated pathogenicity. Despite recent and significant advances in the field, a rationally designed drug that targets toxins has yet to reach the market. This Review presents the state of the art in bacterial toxin targeted drug development with a critical consideration of achieved breakthroughs and withstanding challenges. The discussion focuses on A-B-type protein toxins secreted by four species of bacteria, namely Clostridium difficile (toxins A and B), Vibrio cholerae (cholera toxin), enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (Shiga toxin), and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax toxin), which are the causative agents of diseases for which treatments need to be improved. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Amino-acid sequence of toxin I from Anemonia sulcata.

    PubMed

    Wunderer, G; Eulitz, M

    1978-08-15

    Toxin I from Anemonia sulcata, a major component of the sea anemone venom, consists of 46 amino acid residues which are linked by three disulfide bridges. The [14C]carboxymethylated polypeptide was sequenced to position 29 by automated Edman degradation. The remaining sequence was determined from cyanogen bromide peptides and from tryptic peptides of the citraconylated [14C]carboxymethylated toxin. Toxin I is homologous to toxin II from Anemonia sulcata and to anthopleurin A, a toxin from the sea anemone Anthopleura xanthogrammica. These toxins constitute a new class of polypeptide toxins. No significant homologies exist with toxin III from Anemonia sulcata nor with known sequences of neurotoxins or cardiotoxins of various origin.

  4. Recreational exposure to microcystins during algal blooms in two California lakes.

    PubMed

    Backer, Lorraine C; McNeel, Sandra V; Barber, Terry; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Williams, Christopher; Irvin, Mitch; Zhou, Yue; Johnson, Trisha B; Nierenberg, Kate; Aubel, Mark; LePrell, Rebecca; Chapman, Andrew; Foss, Amanda; Corum, Susan; Hill, Vincent R; Kieszak, Stephanie M; Cheng, Yung-Sung

    2010-05-01

    We conducted a study of recreational exposure to microcystins among 81 children and adults planning recreational activities on either of three California reservoirs, two with significant, ongoing blooms of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, including Microcystis aeruginosa (Bloom Lakes), and one without a toxin-producing algal bloom (Control Lake). We analyzed water samples for algal taxonomy, microcystin concentrations, and potential respiratory viruses (adenoviruses and enteroviruses). We measured microcystins in personal air samples, nasal swabs, and blood samples. We interviewed study participants for demographic and health symptoms information. We found highly variable microcystin concentrations in Bloom Lakes (<10 microg/L to >500 microg/L); microcystin was not detected in the Control Lake. We did not detect adenoviruses or enteroviruses in any of the lakes. Low microcystin concentrations were found in personal air samples (<0.1 ng/m(3) [limit of detection]-2.89 ng/m(3)) and nasal swabs (<0.1 ng [limit of detection]-5 ng). Microcystin concentrations in the water-soluble fraction of all plasma samples were below the limit of detection (1.0 microg/L). Our findings indicate that recreational activities in water bodies that experience toxin-producing cyanobacterial blooms can generate aerosolized cyanotoxins, making inhalation a potential route of exposure. Future studies should include collecting nasal swabs to assess upper respiratory tract deposition of toxin-containing aerosols droplets.

  5. Multiplex biotoxin surface plasmon resonance method for marine biotoxins in algal and seawater samples.

    PubMed

    McNamee, Sara E; Elliott, Christopher T; Delahaut, Philippe; Campbell, Katrina

    2013-10-01

    A multiplex surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor method for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, okadaic acid (and analogues) and domoic acid was developed. This method was compared to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods. Seawater samples (n=256) from around Europe were collected by the consortia of an EU project MIcroarrays for the Detection of Toxic Algae (MIDTAL) and evaluated using each method. A simple sample preparation procedure was developed which involved lysing and releasing the toxins from the algal cells with glass beads followed by centrifugation and filtering the extract before testing for marine biotoxins by both multi-SPR and ELISA. Method detection limits based on IC20 values for PSP, okadaic acid and domoic acid toxins were 0.82, 0.36 and 1.66 ng/ml, respectively, for the prototype multiplex SPR biosensor. Evaluation by SPR for seawater samples has shown that 47, 59 and 61 % of total seawater samples tested positive (result greater than the IC20) for PSP, okadaic acid (and analogues) and domoic acid toxins, respectively. Toxic samples were received mainly from Spain and Ireland. This work has demonstrated the potential of multiplex analysis for marine biotoxins in algal and seawater samples with results available for 24 samples within a 7 h period for three groups of key marine biotoxins. Multiplex immunological methods could therefore be used as early warning monitoring tools for a variety of marine biotoxins in seawater samples.

  6. Biofilm-based algal cultivation systems.

    PubMed

    Gross, Martin; Jarboe, Darren; Wen, Zhiyou

    2015-07-01

    Biofilm-based algal cultivation has received increased attention as a potential platform for algal production and other applications such as wastewater treatment. Algal biofilm cultivation systems represent an alternative to the suspension-based systems that have yet to become economically viable. One major advantage of algal biofilm systems is that algae can be simply harvested through scraping and thus avoid the expensive harvesting procedures used in suspension-based harvesting such as flocculation and centrifugation. In recent years, an assortment of algal biofilm systems have been developed with various design configurations and biomass production capacities. This review summarizes the state of the art of different algal biofilm systems in terms of their design and operation. Perspectives for future research needs are also discussed to provide guidance for further development of these unique cultivation systems.

  7. Air pollutant production by algal cell cultures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fong, F.; Funkhouser, E. A.

    1982-01-01

    The production of phytotoxic air pollutants by cultures of Chlorella vulgaris and Euglena gracilis is considered. Algal and plant culture systems, a fumigation system, and ethylene, ethane, cyanide, and nitrogen oxides assays are discussed. Bean, tobacco, mustard green, cantaloupe and wheat plants all showed injury when fumigated with algal gases for 4 hours. Only coleus plants showed any resistance to the gases. It is found that a closed or recycled air effluent system does not produce plant injury from algal air pollutants.

  8. Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil

    SciTech Connect

    Lupton, Francis Stephen

    2016-09-27

    Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil are provided. In an embodiment, a method comprises the steps of combining a sulfuric acid-aqueous solution that has a pH of about 1 or less with a contaminant-containing algal oil at treatment conditions effective to form an effluent. The effluent comprises a treated algal oil phase and contaminants in an acidic aqueous phase. The contaminants comprise metals, phosphorus, or combinations thereof. The acidic aqueous phase is removed from the effluent to form a contaminant-depleted algal oil.

  9. Toxicity of Alexandrium lusitanicum to gastropod larvae is not caused by paralytic-shellfish-poisoning toxins

    PubMed Central

    Juhl, A. R.; Martins, C. A.; Anderson, D. M.

    2017-01-01

    Laboratory grazing experiments compared ingestion of two subclones of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium lusitanicum by gastropod veliger larvae (Nassarius sp.). While the two prey subclones originated from the same monoclonal isolate of A. lusitanicum, one possessed the ability to produce paralytic-shellfish-poisoning toxins (PSTs), while the other did not. Ingestion rates on the two Alexandrium subclones were not significantly different over a range of prey concentrations (approximately 100 – 660 cells ml-1), indicating that PSTs did not serve as a grazing deterrent for these larvae. However, ingestion rates on both subclones were low at the higher prey concentrations tested. Mortality of the predators also increased linearly with concentration of either subclone. These observations indicated that both A. lusitanicum subclones produced an unknown substance that inhibited and killed the grazers. Veliger mortality was not induced by culture filtrates or lysates, suggesting either that the substance was either highly labile or that contact with intact cells was required. Because toxic algae can produce multiple bioactive substances, experimental demonstrations of alleopathic effects of toxic species should not be assigned to known toxins without supporting evidence. In addition, the results show that the effectiveness of algal grazing deterrents can increase with cell concentration, which may have implications for bloom dynamics. PMID:28729816

  10. Genetic characteristics of toxigenic Clostridia and toxin gene evolution.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R; Bouvet, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    Clostridia comprise a heterogenous group of environmental bacteria containing 15 pathogenic species, which produce the most potent toxins. The origin of toxins is still enigmatic. It is hypothesized that toxins exhibiting an enzymatic activity have derived from hydrolytic enzymes, which are abundantly secreted by these bacteria, and that pore-forming toxins have evolved from an ancestor transmembrane protein. The presence of related toxin genes in distinct Clostridium species and the variability of some toxin genes support horizontal toxin gene transfer and subsequent independent evolution from strain to strain. Clostridium perfringens toxin genes involved in myonecrosis, mainly alpha toxin and perfringolysin genes, are chromosomally located, whereas toxin genes responsible for intestinal and food borne diseases are localized on plasmids except the enterotoxin gene which can be located either on the chromosome or plasmids. The distribution of these plasmids containing one or several toxin genes accounts for the diverse C. perfringens toxinotypes. Clostridium difficile strains show a high genetic variability. But in contrast to C. perfringens, toxin genes are clustered in pathogenicity locus located on chromosome. The presence of related toxin genes in distinct clostridial species like Clostridium sordellii, Clostridium novyi, and C. perfringens supports interspecies mobilization of this locus. The multiple C. difficile toxinotypes based on toxin gene variants possibly reflect strain adaptation to the intestinal environment. Botulinum toxin genes also show a high level of genetic variation. They have a diverse genetic localization including chromosome, plasmid or phage, and are spread in various Clostridium species (Clostridium botulinum groups, Clostridium argentinense, Clostridium butyricum, Clostridium baratii). Exchange of toxin genes not only include transfers between Clostridium species but also between Clostridium and other bacterial species as well as

  11. Botulinum Toxin and Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Weiser, Kirsten; Kennedy, Abigail

    2008-01-01

    The history of botulinum toxin is fascinating. First recognized as the cause of botulism nearly 200 years ago, it was originally feared as a deadly poison. Over the last 30 years, however, botulinum toxin has been transformed into a readily available medication used to treat a variety of medical disorders. Interest in the use of botulinum toxin has been particularly strong for patients with spastic smooth muscle disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, gastroparesis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, and anal fissures have all been treated with botulinum toxin injections, often with impressive results. However, not all patients respond to botulinum toxin therapy, and large randomized controlled trials are lacking for many conditions commonly treated with botulinum toxin. This paper reviews the history, microbiology, and pharmacology of botulinum toxin, discusses its mechanism of action, and then presents recent evidence from the literature regarding the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal tract disorders. PMID:21960915

  12. [Treatment of strabismus with botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Cordonnier, M; van Nechel, C; van den Ende, P; Zumaran, C; Benammar, L

    1994-01-01

    Having used botulinum toxin for four years, we describe our experience in one hundred squinting patients and compare our results with the literature. We have good results in unilateral sixth nerve palsy and small deviations with binocular potential. Botulinum toxin can also be helpful in third and fourth nerve palsy, in Graves' ophthalmopathy, as an adjunct to transposition surgery and in cases of under- or overcorrections after surgery. In cases of muscle fibrosis and wide angle strabismus, the results are more disappointing. We describe an original method of conditioning the toxin in individual doses which eases the botulinum consultation processing.

  13. Effect of toxin A and B of Clostridium difficile on rabbit ileum and colon.

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, T J; Ketley, J M; Haslam, S C; Stephen, J; Burdon, D W; Candy, D C; Daniel, R

    1986-01-01

    The effect of purified toxin A and partially purified toxin B on rabbit ileum and colon was investigated. Toxin A caused tissue damage which was followed by permeability changes and fluid accumulation in both tissues. Toxin A did not increase the permeability of the colon to the extent observed for ileum; secreted fluid contained less protein of plasma origin. Toxin B had no effect on either tissue. Secretory and tissue damaging properties of crude C difficile toxins were found to be due to toxin A. Images Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:3949240

  14. Algal Bloom Detection from HICO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amin, Ruhul; Gould, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Ocean color satellites provide daily, global views of marine bio-optical properties in the upper ocean at various spatial scales. The most productive area of the global ocean is the coastal zone which is heavily impacted by urban and agricultural runoff, transportation, recreation, and oil and gas production. In recent years, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become one of the serious environmental problems in the coastal areas on a global scale. The global nature of the problem has expanded in its frequency, severity, and extent over the last several decades. Human activities and population increases have contributed to an increase in various toxic and noxious algal species in the coastal regions worldwide. Eutrophication in estuaries and coastal waters is believed to be the major factor causing HABs. In this study, we assess the applicability of the Red Band Difference (RBD) HAB detection algorithm on data from the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO). Our preliminary results show that due to various uncertainties such as atmospheric correction, calibration and possibly also the relatively low signal-to-noise ratio of HICO for fluorescence detection, it is difficult to extract the fluorescence portion of the reflectance spectrum that RBD uses for bloom detection. We propose an improved bloom detection technique for HICO using red and NIR bands. Our results are validated using other space-borne and ground based measurements.

  15. NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    2016-10-01

    This fact sheet highlights several algal biofuels research and development projects focused on improving the economics of the algal biofuels production process. These projects should serve as a foundation for the research efforts toward algae as a source of fuels and other chemicals.

  16. The state of U.S. freshwater harmful algal blooms assessments, policy and legislation.

    PubMed

    Hudnell, H Kenneth

    2010-05-01

    The incidence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) is increasing in the United States and worldwide. HAB toxins cause a substantial but unquantified amount of human and animal morbidity and mortality from exposures in recreational, commercial, drinking-source and potable waters. HAB biomass and toxins threaten the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. U.S. Congressional legislation mandated the establishment of a National Research Plan for Coastal Harmful Algal Blooms, but no similar plan exists for freshwater HABs (FHABs). Eutrophication and FHABs are conservatively estimated to cost the U.S. economy 2.2-4.6 billion dollars annually. A National Research Plan for Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms is needed to develop U.S. policy and regulations or guidelines to confront FHAB risks. This report reviews the state of FHAB occurrence, risk and risk management assessments in the U.S. Research is identified that must be accomplished to characterize occurrence and risks, and develop cost effective strategies for preventing, suppressing and mitigating FHABs. U.S. Congressional legislation is needed to mandate a National Research Plan for FHABs, establish a timeline for developing policy and fund competitive research-grant programs. The research results will provide a sound scientific basis for making policy determinations and implementing risk management strategies. Successfully confronting FHAB risks will strengthen the U.S. economy, protect human and animal health and help ensure the sustainability of our Nation's freshwater bodies.

  17. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, not α-toxin, mediated Bundaberg fatalities.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Elizabeth A; Merriman, Joseph A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2015-12-01

    The 1928 Bundaberg disaster is one of the greatest vaccine tragedies in history. Of 21 children immunized with a diphtheria toxin-antitoxin preparation contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, 18 developed life-threatening disease and 12 died within 48  h. Historically, the deaths have been attributed to α-toxin, a secreted cytotoxin produced by most S. aureus strains, yet the ability of the Bundaberg contaminant microbe to produce the toxin has never been verified. For the first time, the ability of the original strain to produce α-toxin and other virulence factors is investigated. The study investigates the genetic and regulatory loci mediating α-toxin expression by PCR and assesses production of the cytotoxin in vitro using an erythrocyte haemolysis assay. This analysis is extended to other secreted virulence factors produced by the strain, and their sufficiency to cause lethality in New Zealand white rabbits is determined. Although the strain possesses a wild-type allele for α-toxin, it must have a defective regulatory system, which is responsible for the strain's minimal α-toxin production. The strain encodes and produces staphylococcal superantigens, including toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), which is sufficient to cause lethality in patients. The findings cast doubt on the belief that α-toxin is the major virulence factor responsible for the Bundaberg fatalities and point to the superantigen TSST-1 as the cause of the disaster.

  18. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  19. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  20. The role of selective predation in harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Jordi; Garcia-Ladona, Emilio; Estrada, Marta

    2006-08-01

    A feature of marine plankton communities is the occurrence of rapid population explosions. When the blooming species are directly or indirectly noxious for humans, these proliferations are denoted as harmful algal blooms (HAB). The importance of biological interactions for the appearance of HABs, in particular when the proliferating microalgae produce toxins that affect other organisms in the food web, remains still poorly understood. Here we analyse the role of toxins produced by a microalgal species and affecting its predators, in determining the success of that species as a bloom former. A three-species predator-prey model is used to define a criterion that determines whether a toxic microalga will be able to initiate a bloom in competition against a non-toxic one with higher growth rate. Dominance of the toxic species depends on a critical parameter that defines the degree of feeding selectivity by grazers. The criterion is applied to a particular simplified model and to numerical simulations of a full marine ecosystem model. The results suggest that the release of toxic compounds affecting predators may be a plausible biological factor in allowing the development of HABs.

  1. Constraints to commercialization of algal fuels.

    PubMed

    Chisti, Yusuf

    2013-09-10

    Production of algal crude oil has been achieved in various pilot scale facilities, but whether algal fuels can be produced in sufficient quantity to meaningfully displace petroleum fuels, has been largely overlooked. Limitations to commercialization of algal fuels need to be understood and addressed for any future commercialization. This review identifies the major constraints to commercialization of transport fuels from microalgae. Algae derived fuels are expensive compared to petroleum derived fuels, but this could change. Unfortunately, improved economics of production are not sufficient for an environmentally sustainable production, or its large scale feasibility. A low-cost point supply of concentrated carbon dioxide colocated with the other essential resources is necessary for producing algal fuels. An insufficiency of concentrated carbon dioxide is actually a major impediment to any substantial production of algal fuels. Sustainability of production requires the development of an ability to almost fully recycle the phosphorous and nitrogen nutrients that are necessary for algae culture. Development of a nitrogen biofixation ability to support production of algal fuels ought to be an important long term objective. At sufficiently large scale, a limited supply of freshwater will pose a significant limitation to production even if marine algae are used. Processes for recovering energy from the algal biomass left after the extraction of oil, are required for achieving a net positive energy balance in the algal fuel oil. The near term outlook for widespread use of algal fuels appears bleak, but fuels for niche applications such as in aviation may be likely in the medium term. Genetic and metabolic engineering of microalgae to boost production of fuel oil and ease its recovery, are essential for commercialization of algal fuels. Algae will need to be genetically modified for improved photosynthetic efficiency in the long term. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All

  2. Virulence profiles of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli and other potentially diarrheagenic E.coli of bovine origin, in Mendoza, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Pizarro, M.A.; Orozco, J.H.; Degarbo, S.M.; Calderón, A.E.; Nardello, A.L.; Laciar, A.; Rüttler, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    This study described a group of strains obtained from a slaughter house in Mendoza, in terms of their pathogenic factors, serotype, antibiotype and molecular profile. Ninety one rectal swabs and one hundred eight plating samples taken from carcasses of healthy cattle intended for meat consumption were analyzed. Both the swab and the plate samples were processed to analyze the samples for the presence of virulence genes by PCR: stx1, stx2, eae and astA. The Stx positive strains were confirmed by citotoxicity assay in Vero cells. The isolates were subsequently investigated for their O:H serotype, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular profile by Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Twelve E.coli strains were identified by their pathogenicity. Nine were from fecal origin and three from carcasses. Three strains carried the stx1 gene, three the stx2 gene, two carried eae and four the astA gene. The detected serotypes were: O172:H-; O150:H8; O91:H21; O178:H19 and O2:H5. The strains showed a similarity around 70% by RAPD. Some of the E.coli strains belonged to serogroups known for certain life-threatening diseases in humans. Their presence in carcasses indicates the high probability of bacterial spread during slaughter and processing. PMID:24688508

  3. Virulence profiles of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli and other potentially diarrheagenic E.coli of bovine origin, in Mendoza, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Pizarro, M A; Orozco, J H; Degarbo, S M; Calderón, A E; Nardello, A L; Laciar, A; Rüttler, M E

    2013-12-01

    This study described a group of strains obtained from a slaughter house in Mendoza, in terms of their pathogenic factors, serotype, antibiotype and molecular profile. Ninety one rectal swabs and one hundred eight plating samples taken from carcasses of healthy cattle intended for meat consumption were analyzed. Both the swab and the plate samples were processed to analyze the samples for the presence of virulence genes by PCR: stx1, stx2, eae and astA. The Stx positive strains were confirmed by citotoxicity assay in Vero cells. The isolates were subsequently investigated for their O:H serotype, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular profile by Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Twelve E.coli strains were identified by their pathogenicity. Nine were from fecal origin and three from carcasses. Three strains carried the stx1 gene, three the stx2 gene, two carried eae and four the astA gene. The detected serotypes were: O172:H-; O150:H8; O91:H21; O178:H19 and O2:H5. The strains showed a similarity around 70% by RAPD. Some of the E.coli strains belonged to serogroups known for certain life-threatening diseases in humans. Their presence in carcasses indicates the high probability of bacterial spread during slaughter and processing.

  4. Responding to Harmful Algal Blooms: Treatment Optimization

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation discusses: (1) analytical methods for toxins and cyanobacteria within the context of monitoring a treatment process, (2) toxin and cell removal capacities for common drinking water treatment processes, (3) issues to consider when evaluating a treatment facility...

  5. Responding to Harmful Algal Blooms: Treatment Optimization

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation discusses: (1) analytical methods for toxins and cyanobacteria within the context of monitoring a treatment process, (2) toxin and cell removal capacities for common drinking water treatment processes, (3) issues to consider when evaluating a treatment facility...

  6. Detection of Protein Toxins

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We have focused on ricin, shiga-like toxin, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), developing sensitive test methods for toxins and marker compounds in food matrices. Although animal models provide the best means for risk assessment, especially for crude toxins in compl...

  7. Environmental risk factors for temporal lobe epilepsy--is prenatal exposure to the marine algal neurotoxin domoic acid a potentially preventable cause?

    PubMed

    Stewart, Ian

    2010-03-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS) is one of the more common forms of chronic epilepsy. Its aetiology is unknown, though an early developmental insult is thought by some to be an important trigger. There is not a strong genetic predisposition; gene-environment interactions are more significant considerations. Environmental risk factors for TLE-HS are under-researched. Domoic acid (DA) is an environmental neurotoxin of algal origin that can contaminate marine food webs. DA can cross the placenta, is significantly more toxic to the developing brain compared to the adult brain, and has affected humans and marine wildlife through mass poisonings. DA coincidentally has a decades-long history of use as a chemical model of temporal lobe epilepsy, along with its close structural analogue kainic acid (also of algal origin). The principal hypothesis presented here is that dietary exposure to doses of DA that are sub-clinical in pregnant women may be sufficient to damage the foetal hippocampus and initiate epileptogenesis. The hypothesis could be tested both experimentally by in vivo proof-of-concept animal studies that expand on current knowledge of prenatal susceptibility to DA neurotoxicity, and by epidemiological investigations directed towards dietary exposure to marine food products. If only a small proportion of the attributable risk for TLE-HS is found to be due to gestational exposure to DA, the public health implications would still be of great significance, as this would represent a potentially preventable exposure. Other potent neurotoxins are produced by marine microalgae and freshwater cyanobacteria. These structurally and mechanistically diverse toxins can also contaminate water supplies, seafood and shellfish. Several operate by modulating ion channels, so may also be of interest to epilepsy researchers. DA is also the subject of preliminary scrutiny in strandings involving odontocete cetaceans. The implications of such work are

  8. Metabolic systems analysis to advance algal biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Brian J; Lin-Schmidt, Xiefan; Chamberlin, Austin; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh; Papin, Jason A

    2010-07-01

    Algal fuel sources promise unsurpassed yields in a carbon neutral manner that minimizes resource competition between agriculture and fuel crops. Many challenges must be addressed before algal biofuels can be accepted as a component of the fossil fuel replacement strategy. One significant challenge is that the cost of algal fuel production must become competitive with existing fuel alternatives. Algal biofuel production presents the opportunity to fine-tune microbial metabolic machinery for an optimal blend of biomass constituents and desired fuel molecules. Genome-scale model-driven algal metabolic design promises to facilitate both goals by directing the utilization of metabolites in the complex, interconnected metabolic networks to optimize production of the compounds of interest. Network analysis can direct microbial development efforts towards successful strategies and enable quantitative fine-tuning of the network for optimal product yields while maintaining the robustness of the production microbe. Metabolic modeling yields insights into microbial function, guides experiments by generating testable hypotheses, and enables the refinement of knowledge on the specific organism. While the application of such analytical approaches to algal systems is limited to date, metabolic network analysis can improve understanding of algal metabolic systems and play an important role in expediting the adoption of new biofuel technologies.

  9. Harmful algal blooms and eutrophication: "strategies" for nutrient uptake and growth outside the Redfield comfort zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glibert, Patricia M.; Burkholder, Joann M.

    2011-07-01

    While many harmful algal blooms have been associated with increasing eutrophication, not all species respond similarly and the increasing challenge, especially for resource managers, is to determine which blooms are related to eutrophication and to understand why particular species proliferate under specific nutrient conditions. The overall goal of this brief review is to describe why nutrient loads are not changing in stoichiometric proportion to the "Redfield ratio", and why this has important consequences for algal growth. Many types of harmful algae appear to be able to thrive, and/or increase their production of toxins, when nutrient loads are not in proportion classically identified as Redfield ratios. Here we also describe some of the physiological mechanisms of different species to take up nutrients and to thrive under conditions of nutrient imbalance.

  10. Application of Multispectral and Hyperspectral Remote Sensing For Detection of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudela, R. M.; Accorsi, E.; Austerberry, D.; Palacios, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Freshwater Cyanobacterial Harmful algal blooms (CHABs) represent a pressing and apparently increasing threat to both human and environmental health. In California, toxin producing blooms of several species, including Aphanizomenon, Microcystis, Lyngbya, and Anabaena are common; toxins from these blooms have been linked to impaired drinking water, domestic and wild animal deaths, and increasing evidence for toxin transfer to coastal marine environments, including the death of several California sea otters, a threatened marine species. California scientists and managers are under increasing pressure to identify and mitigate these potentially toxic blooms, but point-source measurements and grab samples have been less than effective. There is increasing awareness that these toxic events are both spatially widespread and ephememeral, leading to the need for better monitoring methods applicable to large spatial and temporal scales. Based on monitoring in several California water bodies, it appears that Aphanizomenon blooms frequently precede dangerous levels of toxins from Microcystis. We are exploring new detection methods for identifying CHABs and potentially distinguishing between blooms of the harmful cyanobacteria Aphanizomenon and Microcystis using remote sensing reflectance from a variety of airborne and satellite sensors. We suggest that Aphanizomenon blooms could potentially be used as an early warning of more highly toxic subsequent blooms, and that these methods, combined with better toxin monitoring, can lead to improved understanding and prediction of CHABs by pinpointing problematic watersheds.

  11. Guidance values for microcystins in water and cyanobacterial supplement products (blue-green algal supplements): a reasonable or misguided approach?

    SciTech Connect

    Dietrich, Daniel; Hoeger, Stefan . E-mail: stefan.hoeger@uni-konstanz.de

    2005-03-15

    This article reviews current scientific knowledge on the toxicity and carcinogenicity of microcystins and compares this to the guidance values proposed for microcystins in water by the World Health Organization, and for blue-green algal food supplements by the Oregon State Department of Health. The basis of the risk assessment underlying these guidance values is viewed as being critical due to overt deficiencies in the data used for its generation: (i) use of one microcystin congener only (microcystin-LR), while the other presently known nearly 80 congeners are largely disregarded, (ii) new knowledge regarding potential neuro and renal toxicity of microcystins in humans and (iii) the inadequacies of assessing realistic microcystin exposures in humans and especially in children via blue-green algal food supplements. In reiterating the state-of-the-art toxicology database on microcystins and in the light of new data on the high degree of toxin contamination of algal food supplements, this review clearly demonstrates the need for improved kinetic data of microcystins in humans and for discussion concerning uncertainty factors, which may result in a lowering of the present guidance values and an increased routine control of water bodies and food supplements for toxin contamination. Similar to the approach taken previously by authorities for dioxin or PCB risk assessment, the use of a toxin equivalent approach to the risk assessment of microcystins is proposed.

  12. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  13. Bacterial toxins as immunomodulators.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, David S; Williams, Neil A

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are the causative agent at pathology in a variety of diseases. Although not always the primary target of these toxins, many have been shown to have potent immunomodulatory effects, for example, inducing immune responses to co-administered antigens and suppressing activation of immune cells. These abilities of bacterial toxins can be harnessed and used in a therapeutic manner, such as in vaccination or the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the ability of toxins to gain entry to cells can be used in novel bacterial toxin based immuno-therapies in order to deliver antigens into MHC Class I processing pathways. Whether the immunomodulatory properties of these toxins arose in order to enhance bacterial survival within hosts, to aid spread within the population or is pure serendipity, it is interesting to think that these same toxins potentially hold the key to preventing or treating human disease.

  14. Sustainable Algal Energy Production and Environmental Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, William E.

    2012-07-14

    Overall, our results confirm that wild algal species sequester a wide range of organic and metal contaminants and excess nutrients (PAHs, trace metals, and nutrients) from natural waters, and suggest parameters that could be useful in predicting uptake rates for algae growing on an algal floway or other algal growth systems in the environment or in industrial processes. The implication for various fuel production processes differ with the detailed unit operations involved, and these results will be of use in the developing of scaling experiments for various types of engineering process designs.

  15. Exploring the Utilization of Complex Algal Communities to Address Algal Pond Crash and Increase Annual Biomass Production for Algal Biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Cyd E.

    2014-03-25

    This white paper briefly reviews the research literature exploring complex algal communities as a means of increasing algal biomass production via increased tolerance, resilience, and resistance to a variety of abiotic and biotic perturbations occurring within harvesting timescales. This paper identifies what data are available and whether more research utilizing complex communities is needed to explore the potential of complex algal community stability (CACS) approach as a plausible means to increase biomass yields regardless of ecological context and resulting in decreased algal-based fuel prices by reducing operations costs. By reviewing the literature for what we do and do not know, in terms of CACS methodologies, this report will provide guidance for future research addressing pond crash phenomena.

  16. Variable toxicity of silver nanoparticles to Daphnia magna: effects of algal particles and animal nutrition.

    PubMed

    Conine, Andrea L; Frost, Paul C

    2017-01-01

    Aquatic environments vary widely in aspects other than their physicochemical properties that could alter the toxicity of novel contaminants. One factor that could affect chemical toxicity to aquatic consumers is their nutritional environment as it can strongly affect their physiology and life history. Nutrition has the potential to alter an organism's response to the toxin or how the toxin interacts with the consumer through its food. Here we determined how growth and survival responses of Daphnia to an emerging contaminant, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), are affected by the presence of food and its stoichiometric food quality. We used a series of survival tests, each slightly modified, to determine whether variable toxicity in different nutritional environments resulted from algal sequestration of AgNPs in a nontoxic form or from changes to the nutritional status of the test animals. We found that the presence of algae, of good or poor quality, reduced the toxicity of AgNPs on animal growth and survival. However, the decrease in AgNP toxicity was greater for animals consuming P-rich compared to P-poor food. We found evidence that this effect of food quality was due to greater algal uptake of AgNPs by P-rich than by P-stressed algae. However, we also found animal nutrition, in the absence of algal AgNP binding, could affect toxicity with P-nourished animals surviving slightly better when exposed to AgNPs compared to their P-stressed counterparts. Our results show an important role for algal particles and their P content in determining the toxicity of AgNPs in natural waters primarily due to their binding and uptake abilities and, less so, to their effects on animal nutrition.

  17. Factsheet: Climate Change and Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Climate change is predicted to change many environmental conditions that could affect the properties of fresh and marine waters. These changes could favor the growth of harmful algal blooms and habitat changes.

  18. Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Rockwell, Nathan C.; Duanmu, Deqiang; Martin, Shelley S.; Bachy, Charles; Price, Dana C.; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Worden, Alexandra Z.; Lagarias, J. Clark

    2014-01-01

    Plant phytochromes are photoswitchable red/far-red photoreceptors that allow competition with neighboring plants for photosynthetically active red light. In aquatic environments, red and far-red light are rapidly attenuated with depth; therefore, photosynthetic species must use shorter wavelengths of light. Nevertheless, phytochrome-related proteins are found in recently sequenced genomes of many eukaryotic algae from aquatic environments. We examined the photosensory properties of seven phytochromes from diverse algae: four prasinophyte (green algal) species, the heterokont (brown algal) Ectocarpus siliculosus, and two glaucophyte species. We demonstrate that algal phytochromes are not limited to red and far-red responses. Instead, different algal phytochromes can sense orange, green, and even blue light. Characterization of these previously undescribed photosensors using CD spectroscopy supports a structurally heterogeneous chromophore in the far-red–absorbing photostate. Our study thus demonstrates that extensive spectral tuning of phytochromes has evolved in phylogenetically distinct lineages of aquatic photosynthetic eukaryotes. PMID:24567382

  19. Environmental performance of algal biofuel technology options.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Venkatesh; Stratton, Russell W; Pearlson, Matthew N; Jersey, Gilbert R; Beyene, Abraham G; Weissman, Joseph C; Rubino, Michele; Hileman, James I

    2012-02-21

    Considerable research and development is underway to produce fuels from microalgae, one of several options being explored for increasing transportation fuel supplies and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This work models life-cycle GHG and on-site freshwater consumption for algal biofuels over a wide technology space, spanning both near- and long-term options. The environmental performance of algal biofuel production can vary considerably and is influenced by engineering, biological, siting, and land-use considerations. We have examined these considerations for open pond systems, to identify variables that have a strong influence on GHG and freshwater consumption. We conclude that algal biofuels can yield GHG reductions relative to fossil and other biobased fuels with the use of appropriate technology options. Further, freshwater consumption for algal biofuels produced using saline pond systems can be comparable to that of petroleum-derived fuels.

  20. Climate Adaptation and Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA supports local, state and tribal efforts to maintain water quality. A key element of its efforts is to reduce excess nutrient pollution and the resulting adverse impacts, including harmful algal blooms.

  1. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    SciTech Connect

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

    The goal of achieving cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts derived from algal biomass will require improvements along the entire value chain, including identification of robust, high-productivity strains and development of advanced genetic tools. Though there have been modest advances in development of genetic systems for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, progress in development of algal genetic tools, especially as applied to non-model algae, has generally lagged behind that of more commonly utilized laboratory and industrial microbes. This is in part due to the complex organellar structure of algae, including robust cell walls and intricate compartmentalization of target loci, as well as prevalent gene silencing mechanisms, which hinder facile utilization of conventional genetic engineering tools and methodologies. However, recent progress in global tool development has opened the door for implementation of strain-engineering strategies in industrially-relevant algal strains. Here, we review recent advances in algal genetic tool development and applications in eukaryotic microalgae.

  2. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    SciTech Connect

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

    The goal of achieving cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts derived from algal biomass will require improvements along the entire value chain, including identification of robust, high-productivity strains and development of advanced genetic tools. Though there have been modest advances in development of genetic systems for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, progress in development of algal genetic tools, especially as applied to non-model algae, has generally lagged behind that of more commonly utilized laboratory and industrial microbes. This is in part due to the complex organellar structure of algae, including robust cell walls and intricate compartmentalization of target loci, as well as prevalent gene silencing mechanisms, which hinder facile utilization of conventional genetic engineering tools and methodologies. However, recent progress in global tool development has opened the door for implementation of strain-engineering strategies in industrially-relevant algal strains. Here, we review recent advances in algal genetic tool development and applications in eukaryotic microalgae.

  3. Direct conversion of algal biomass to biofuel

    DOEpatents

    Deng, Shuguang; Patil, Prafulla D; Gude, Veera Gnaneswar

    2014-10-14

    A method and system for providing direct conversion of algal biomass. Optionally, the method and system can be used to directly convert dry algal biomass to biodiesels under microwave irradiation by combining the reaction and combining steps. Alternatively, wet algae can be directly processed and converted to fatty acid methyl esters, which have the major components of biodiesels, by reacting with methanol at predetermined pressure and temperature ranges.

  4. Foodborne pathogens and their toxins.

    PubMed

    Martinović, Tamara; Andjelković, Uroš; Gajdošik, Martina Šrajer; Rešetar, Dina; Josić, Djuro

    2016-09-16

    Foodborne pathogens, mostly bacteria and fungi, but also some viruses, prions and protozoa, contaminate food during production and processing, but also during storage and transport before consuming. During their growth these microorganisms can secrete different components, including toxins, into the extracellular environment. Other harmful substances can be also liberated and can contaminate food after disintegration of food pathogens. Some bacterial and fungal toxins can be resistant to inactivation, and can survive harsh treatment during food processing. Many of these molecules are involved in cellular processes and can indicate different mechanisms of pathogenesis of foodborne organisms. More knowledge about food contaminants can also help understand their inactivation. In the present review the use of proteomics, peptidomics and metabolomics, in addition to other foodomic methods for the detection of foodborne pathogenic fungi and bacteria, is overviewed. Furthermore, it is discussed how these techniques can be used for discovering biomarkers for pathogenicity of foodborne pathogens, determining the mechanisms by which they act, and studying their resistance upon inactivation in food of animal and plant origin. Comprehensive and comparative view into the genome and proteome of foodborne pathogens of bacterial or fungal origin and foodomic, mostly proteomic, peptidomic and metabolomic investigation of their toxin production and their mechanism of action is necessary in order to get further information about their virulence, pathogenicity and survival under stress conditions. Furthermore, these data pave the way for identification of biomarkers to trace sources of contamination with food-borne microorganisms and their endo- and exotoxins in order to ensure food safety and prevent the outbreak of food-borne diseases. Therefore, detection of pathogens and their toxins during production, transport and before consume of food produce, as well as protection against

  5. Algal and fungal diversity in Antarctic lichens.

    PubMed

    Park, Chae Haeng; Kim, Kyung Mo; Elvebakk, Arve; Kim, Ok-Sun; Jeong, Gajin; Hong, Soon Gyu

    2015-01-01

    The composition of lichen ecosystems except mycobiont and photobiont has not been evaluated intensively. In addition, recent studies to identify algal genotypes have raised questions about the specific relationship between mycobiont and photobiont. In the current study, we analyzed algal and fungal community structures in lichen species from King George Island, Antarctica, by pyrosequencing of eukaryotic large subunit (LSU) and algal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) domains of the nuclear rRNA gene. The sequencing results of LSU and ITS regions indicated that each lichen thallus contained diverse algal species. The major algal operational taxonomic unit (OTU) defined at a 99% similarity cutoff of LSU sequences accounted for 78.7-100% of the total algal community in each sample. In several cases, the major OTUs defined by LSU sequences were represented by two closely related OTUs defined by 98% sequence similarity of ITS domain. The results of LSU sequences indicated that lichen-associated fungi belonged to the Arthoniomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Leotiomycetes, and Sordariomycetes of the Ascomycota, and Tremellomycetes and Cystobasidiomycetes of the Basidiomycota. The composition of major photobiont species and lichen-associated fungal community were mostly related to the mycobiont species. The contribution of growth forms or substrates on composition of photobiont and lichen-associated fungi was not evident.

  6. Natural food toxins of bacterial origin

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    One in six people in the US acquire a foodborne illness each year. Food poisoning is a general term used to describe the physiological effects caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. The effects of ingesting contaminated food range from short-lived symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea...

  7. Marine Toxins Origin, Structure, and Molecular Pharmacology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-01-01

    thin-layer chromatography (TLC) were instrumental in the initial isolation and purification processes. Mass spectrometry (MS), infrared spectroscopy ...Frederick, MD 21701-5011 Methods of detection, metabolism, and pathophysiology of the brevetoxins, PbTx-2 and PbTx-3, are summarized. Infrared spectros...1R), circular dichroism (CD), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), and X-ray crystal- lography all played important roles in structure

  8. Vertical profile of algal distribution during aeration prior to intake tower for safe drinking water.

    PubMed

    Kim, H K; Kim, J M; Lee, Y J; Kim, B I; Lee, B C; Chang, N I

    2007-01-01

    Blue-green algae or cyanobacteria comprise a diverse group of organisms, all of which generate potent natural toxins, as well as characteristic odours. In particular, blue-green algae, such as Microcystis and Anabaena, are often detected abundantly in surface water used as a drinking water resource. In order to confirm our ability to provide safe drinking water even during a water bloom, we have conducted an investigation into the vertical distribution of algae during aeration prior to entry into the intake tower at a dam site. Our analysis of the vertical algal distribution during aeration indicated that aeration occurring at the intake tower exerts a significant influence on the safety of the drinking water. It was determined that the discontinuation of aeration and an increase in the depth at which water intake is conducted, constitutes a viable strategy for the maintenance of toxin- and odour-free drinking water, particularly during water bloom events.

  9. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon.

  10. Centers for Oceans and Human Health: a unified approach to the challenge of harmful algal blooms

    PubMed Central

    Erdner, Deana L; Dyble, Julianne; Parsons, Michael L; Stevens, Richard C; Hubbard, Katherine A; Wrabel, Michele L; Moore, Stephanie K; Lefebvre, Kathi A; Anderson, Donald M; Bienfang, Paul; Bidigare, Robert R; Parker, Micaela S; Moeller, Peter; Brand, Larry E; Trainer, Vera L

    2008-01-01

    Background Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are one focus of the national research initiatives on Oceans and Human Health (OHH) at NIEHS, NOAA and NSF. All of the OHH Centers, from the east coast to Hawaii, include one or more research projects devoted to studying HAB problems and their relationship to human health. The research shares common goals for understanding, monitoring and predicting HAB events to protect and improve human health: understanding the basic biology of the organisms; identifying how chemistry, hydrography and genetic diversity influence blooms; developing analytical methods and sensors for cells and toxins; understanding health effects of toxin exposure; and developing conceptual, empirical and numerical models of bloom dynamics. Results In the past several years, there has been significant progress toward all of the common goals. Several studies have elucidated the effects of environmental conditions and genetic heterogeneity on bloom dynamics. New methods have been developed or implemented for the detection of HAB cells and toxins, including genetic assays for Pseudo-nitzschia and Microcystis, and a biosensor for domoic acid. There have been advances in predictive models of blooms, most notably for the toxic dinoflagellates Alexandrium and Karenia. Other work is focused on the future, studying the ways in which climate change may affect HAB incidence, and assessing the threat from emerging HABs and toxins, such as the cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine. Conclusion Along the way, many challenges have been encountered that are common to the OHH Centers and also echo those of the wider HAB community. Long-term field data and basic biological information are needed to develop accurate models. Sensor development is hindered by the lack of simple and rapid assays for algal cells and especially toxins. It is also critical to adequately understand the human health effects of HAB toxins. Currently, we understand best the effects of acute

  11. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox - larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography - guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy - ...

  12. Chorea caused by toxins.

    PubMed

    Miyasaki, Janis M

    2011-01-01

    Chorea is uncommonly caused by toxins. Anecdotal evidence from cases of toxin-induced chorea assists in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases associated with chorea. Beginning in medieval Europe with ergotism and the "fire that twisted people," spanning to crack dancing in contemporary times and the coexistence of alcohol abuse with chorea, toxins may exert direct effects to enhance mesolimbic dopamine transmission or indirect effects through gamma-aminobutyric acid modulation. The following chapter will discuss toxins associated with chorea and the presumed pathophysiology underlying the movement disorders in these case series. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Wastewater treatment and algal production in high rate algal ponds with carbon dioxide addition.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2010-01-01

    High rate algal ponds (HRAPs) provide improved wastewater treatment over conventional wastewater stabilisation ponds; however, algal production and recovery of wastewater nutrients as algal biomass is limited by the low carbon:nitrogen ratio of wastewater. This paper investigates the influence of CO(2) addition (to augment daytime carbon availability) on wastewater treatment performance and algal production of two pilot-scale HRAPs operated with different hydraulic retention times (4 and 8 days) over a New Zealand Summer (November-March, 07/08). Weekly measurements were made of influent and effluent flow rate and water qualities, algal and bacterial biomass production, and the percentage of algae biomass harvested in gravity settling units. This research shows that the wastewater treatment HRAPs with CO(2) addition achieved a mean algal productivity of 16.7 g/m(2)/d for the HRAP(4d) (4 d HRT, maximum algae productivity of 24.7 g/m(2)/d measured in January 08) and 9.0 g/m(2)/d for the HRAP(8d) (8 d HRT)). Algae biomass produced in the HRAPs was efficiently harvested by simple gravity settling units (mean harvested algal productivity: 11.5 g/m(2)/d for the HRAP(4d) and 7.5 g/m(2)/d for the HRAP(8d) respectively). Higher bacterial composition and the larger size of algal/bacterial flocs of the HRAP(8d) biomass increased harvestability (83%) compared to that of HRAP(4d) biomass (69%).

  14. Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxins and Other Lipophilic Toxins of Human Health Concern in Washington State

    PubMed Central

    Trainer, Vera L.; Moore, Leslie; Bill, Brian D.; Adams, Nicolaus G.; Harrington, Neil; Borchert, Jerry; da Silva, Denis A. M.; Eberhart, Bich-Thuy L.

    2013-01-01

    The illness of three people in 2011 after their ingestion of mussels collected from Sequim Bay State Park, Washington State, USA, demonstrated the need to monitor diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) in Washington State for the protection of human health. Following these cases of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, monitoring for DSTs in Washington State became formalized in 2012, guided by routine monitoring of Dinophysis species by the SoundToxins program in Puget Sound and the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) partnership on the outer Washington State coast. Here we show that the DSTs at concentrations above the guidance level of 16 μg okadaic acid (OA) + dinophysistoxins (DTXs)/100 g shellfish tissue were widespread in sentinel mussels throughout Puget Sound in summer 2012 and included harvest closures of California mussel, varnish clam, manila clam and Pacific oyster. Concentrations of toxins in Pacific oyster and manila clam were often at least half those measured in blue mussels at the same site. The primary toxin isomer in shellfish and plankton samples was dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1) with D. acuminata as the primary Dinophysis species. Other lipophilic toxins in shellfish were pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and yessotoxin (YTX) with azaspiracid-2 (AZA-2) also measured in phytoplankton samples. Okadaic acid, azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1) and azaspiracid-3 (AZA-3) were all below the levels of detection by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A shellfish closure at Ruby Beach, Washington, was the first ever noted on the Washington State Pacific coast due to DSTs. The greater than average Fraser River flow during the summers of 2011 and 2012 may have provided an environment conducive to dinoflagellates and played a role in the prevalence of toxigenic Dinophysis in Puget Sound. PMID:23760013

  15. Diarrhetic shellfish toxins and other lipophilic toxins of human health concern in Washington State.

    PubMed

    Trainer, Vera L; Moore, Leslie; Bill, Brian D; Adams, Nicolaus G; Harrington, Neil; Borchert, Jerry; da Silva, Denis A M; Eberhart, Bich-Thuy L

    2013-05-28

    The illness of three people in 2011 after their ingestion of mussels collected from Sequim Bay State Park, Washington State, USA, demonstrated the need to monitor diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) in Washington State for the protection of human health. Following these cases of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, monitoring for DSTs in Washington State became formalized in 2012, guided by routine monitoring of Dinophysis species by the SoundToxins program in Puget Sound and the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) partnership on the outer Washington State coast. Here we show that the DSTs at concentrations above the guidance level of 16 μg okadaic acid (OA) + dinophysistoxins (DTXs)/100 g shellfish tissue were widespread in sentinel mussels throughout Puget Sound in summer 2012 and included harvest closures of California mussel, varnish clam, manila clam and Pacific oyster. Concentrations of toxins in Pacific oyster and manila clam were often at least half those measured in blue mussels at the same site. The primary toxin isomer in shellfish and plankton samples was dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1) with D. acuminata as the primary Dinophysis species. Other lipophilic toxins in shellfish were pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and yessotoxin (YTX) with azaspiracid-2 (AZA-2) also measured in phytoplankton samples. Okadaic acid, azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1) and azaspiracid-3 (AZA-3) were all below the levels of detection by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A shellfish closure at Ruby Beach, Washington, was the first ever noted on the Washington State Pacific coast due to DSTs. The greater than average Fraser River flow during the summers of 2011 and 2012 may have provided an environment conducive to dinoflagellates and played a role in the prevalence of toxigenic Dinophysis in Puget Sound.

  16. Decrease of marine toxin content in bivalves by industrial processes.

    PubMed

    Reboreda, Antonio; Lago, Jorge; Chapela, María-José; Vieites, Juan M; Botana, Luis M; Alfonso, Amparo; Cabado, Ana G

    2010-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms cause important economical losses due to the accumulation of toxins in shellfish. Natural detoxification occurs but this mechanism is very slow in most cases. The achievement of a method for the rapid detoxification of commercial bivalves would be very interesting for the shellfish harvesting sector in order to diminish economical losses due to harvesting areas closure. In this work, four different methods easily applicable in the food industry (freezing, evisceration, ozonization and thermal processing) were studied to gain the detoxification of four species of bivalves (mussels, scallops, clams and cockles) contaminated with the three main types of toxins (ASP, DSP, PSP). Results show that for ASP a significant decrease of the toxin levels below the legal limit (20 microg/g) is achieved by using hepatopancreas ablation or combination of simple steps (evisceration and/or thermal processing/and or freezing). In our hands, PSP toxin levels are sharply decreased under the limit of detection (35 microg STX eq/100g) after a thermal processing, inducing percentages of detoxification higher than 50%. The effect of freezing on the levels of PSP is very dependent on the matrix studied. DSP toxins are not significantly reduced with none of these methods. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of Algal-Derived Carbon on Sediment Methane Production in a Eutrophic Ohio Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berberich, M.; Buffam, I. D.; Beaulieu, J. J.; Hamilton, T. L.; Waldo, S.; Li, X.

    2016-12-01

    Nutrient loading is known to have adverse consequences for aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the form of algal blooms that may result. These blooms pose problems for humans and wildlife, including harmful toxin release, aquatic hypoxia and increased costs for water treatment. Another potential disservice resulting from algal blooms is the enhanced production of methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, in aquatic sediments. Laboratory experiments have shown that algal biomass additions to sediment cores increase rates of CH4 production, but it is unclear whether or not this effect occurs at the ecosystem scale. The goal of this research was to explore the link between algal-derived carbon and methane production in the sediment of a eutrophic reservoir located in southwest Ohio, using a sampling design that capitalized on spatial and temporal gradients in autochthonous carbon input to sediments. Specifically, we aimed to determine if the within-reservoir gradient of sediment algal-derived organic matter and sediment CH4 production rates correlate. This was done by retrieving sediment cores from 15 sites within the reservoir along a known gradient of methane emission rates, at two separate time points in 2016: late spring before the sediments had received large amounts of algal input and mid-summer after algal blooms had been prevalent in the reservoir. Potential CH4 production rates, sediment organic matter source, and microbial community composition were characterized from each of the sites during both sampling periods. Sediment organic matter was characterized by source using a combination of C/N ratios, C and N stable isotopes, and excitation emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMs). Potential CH4 production rates were highest from sediments near the main reservoir tributary, with the four highest potential CH4 production rates corresponding to four sampling sites located near this main inlet. These high CH4 potential production rates also correspond to the highest

  18. Algal Energy Conversion and Capture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazendonk, P.

    2015-12-01

    We address the potential for energy conversions and capture for: energy generation; reduction in energy use; reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; remediation of water and air pollution; protection and enhancement of soil fertility. These processes have the potential to sequester carbon at scales that may have global impact. Energy conversion and capture strategies evaluate energy use and production from agriculture, urban areas and industries, and apply existing and emerging technologies to reduce and recapture energy embedded in waste products. The basis of biocrude production from Micro-algal feedstocks: 1) The nutrients from the liquid fraction of waste streams are concentrated and fed into photo bioreactors (essentially large vessels in which microalgae are grown) along with CO2 from flue gasses from down stream processes. 2) The algae are processed to remove high value products such as proteins and beta-carotenes. The advantage of algae feedstocks is the high biomass productivity is 30-50 times that of land based crops and the remaining biomass contains minimal components that are difficult to convert to biocrude. 3) The remaining biomass undergoes hydrothermal liquefaction to produces biocrude and biochar. The flue gasses of this process can be used to produce electricity (fuel cell) and subsequently fed back into the photobioreactor. The thermal energy required for this process is small, hence readily obtained from solar-thermal sources, and furthermore no drying or preprocessing is required keeping the energy overhead extremely small. 4) The biocrude can be upgraded and refined as conventional crude oil, creating a range of liquid fuels. In principle this process can be applied on the farm scale to the municipal scale. Overall, our primary food production is too dependent on fossil fuels. Energy conversion and capture can make food production sustainable.

  19. Genetic Relatedness of Clostridium difficile Isolates from Various Origins Determined by Triple-Locus Sequence Analysis Based on Toxin Regulatory Genes tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR▿

    PubMed Central

    Bouvet, Philippe J. M.; Popoff, Michel R.

    2008-01-01

    A triple-locus nucleotide sequence analysis based on toxin regulatory genes tcdC, tcdR and cdtR was initiated to assess the sequence variability of these genes among Clostridium difficile isolates and to study the genetic relatedness between isolates. A preliminary investigation of the variability of the tcdC gene was done with 57 clinical and veterinary isolates. Twenty-three isolates representing nine main clusters were selected for tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR analysis. The numbers of alleles found for tcdC, tcdR and cdtR were nine, six, and five, respectively. All strains possessed the cdtR gene except toxin A-negative toxin B-positive variants. All but one binary toxin CDT-positive isolate harbored a deletion (>1 bp) in the tcdC gene. The combined analyses of the three genes allowed us to distinguish five lineages correlated with the different types of deletion in tcdC, i.e., 18 bp (associated or not with a deletion at position 117), 36 bp, 39 bp, and 54 bp, and with the wild-type tcdC (no deletion). The tcdR and tcdC genes, though located within the same pathogenicity locus, were found to have evolved separately. Coevolution of the three genes was noted only with strains harboring a 39-bp or a 54-bp deletion in tcdC that formed two homogeneous, separate divergent clusters. Our study supported the existence of the known clones (PCR ribotype 027 isolates and toxin A-negative toxin B-positive C. difficile variants) and evidence for clonality of isolates with a 39-bp deletion (toxinotype V, PCR ribotype 078) that are frequently isolated worldwide from human infections and from food animals. PMID:18832125

  20. The New Red Algal Subphylum Proteorhodophytina Comprises the Largest and Most Divergent Plastid Genomes Known.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A; Mejía-Franco, Fabián G; Durnin, Keira; Colp, Morgan; Grisdale, Cameron J; Archibald, John M; Slamovits, Claudio H

    2017-06-05

    Red algal plastid genomes are often considered ancestral and evolutionarily stable, and thus more closely resembling the last common ancestral plastid genome of all photosynthetic eukaryotes [1, 2]. However, sampling of red algal diversity is still quite limited (e.g., [2-5]). We aimed to remedy this problem. To this end, we sequenced six new plastid genomes from four undersampled and phylogenetically disparate red algal classes (Porphyridiophyceae, Stylonematophyceae, Compsopogonophyceae, and Rhodellophyceae) and discovered an unprecedented degree of genomic diversity among them. These genomes are rich in introns, enlarged intergenic regions, and transposable elements (in the rhodellophycean Bulboplastis apyrenoidosa), and include the largest and most intron-rich plastid genomes ever sequenced (that of the rhodellophycean Corynoplastis japonica; 1.13 Mbp). Sophisticated phylogenetic analyses accounting for compositional heterogeneity show that these four "basal" red algal classes form a larger monophyletic group, Proteorhodophytina subphylum nov., and confidently resolve the large-scale relationships in the Rhodophyta. Our analyses also suggest that secondary red plastids originated before the diversification of all mesophilic red algae. Our genomic survey has challenged the current paradigmatic view of red algal plastid genomes as "living fossils" [1, 2, 6] by revealing an astonishing degree of divergence in size, organization, and non-coding DNA content. A closer look at red algae shows that they comprise the most ancestral (e.g., [2, 7, 8]) as well as some of the most divergent plastid genomes known. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Platy algal banks: Modern and ancient

    SciTech Connect

    Brinton, L. )

    1990-05-01

    Plaly algal banks and associated cycles in the lower Ismay zone of the Paradox Formation are exposed along the walls of the San Juan River canyon, southeastern Utah. These complexes closely resemble algal bank reservoirs in the lower Ismay zone of Ismay and Cache, and possibly other Paradox basin fields. Similarities include facies relationships, lateral and vertical textural variations, and early diagenesis. Extensive algal banks exposed along the San Juan canyon generally have flat bases and mound and swale topographic surfaces, and are separated by interbank channels. The surficial mounds have a regular amplitude and wavelength suggesting a hydrologic rather than biologic influence on topography. The banks themselves, however, are believed to be thick, predominantly in-situ accumulations of platy algae. Distribution of algal banks can be mapped on a field scale; mound and swale topographic features may be identified in core on the basis of depositional and early diagenetic characteristics. Halimeda bioherms (Holocene) cover large areas behind the Great Barrier Reef, developing adjacent to the deep passes that separate the individual reefs. These large in-situ accumulations (20-50 m deep) display similar bank geometries, interbank features, topographic features, vertical textural sequence (including porosity type and distribution), and facies relationships to algal banks observed in the outcropping and subsurface Paradox Formation. Although the hydrodynamic and paleobathymetric settings differ markedly between these two examples, analogies between the mounds themselves are very close. The resemblance lends relevance to exploration and development drilling.

  2. Algal swimming velocities signal fatty acid accumulation.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Travis J; Hondzo, Miki; Mashek, Mara T; Mashek, Douglas G; Lefebvre, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    The use of microalgae for biofuel production will be beneficial to society if we can produce biofuels at large scales with minimal mechanical energy input in the production process. Understanding micro-algal physiological responses under variable environmental conditions in bioreactors is essential for the optimization of biofuel production. We demonstrate that measuring micro-algal swimming speed provides information on culture health and total fatty acid accumulation. Three strains of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were grown heterotrophically on acetate and subjected to various levels of nitrogen starvation. Other nutrient levels were explored to determine their effect on micro-algal kinetics. Swimming velocities were measured with two-dimensional micro-particle tracking velocimetry. The results show an inverse linear relationship between normalized total fatty acid mass versus swimming speed of micro-algal cells. Analysis of RNA sequencing data confirms these results by demonstrating that the biological processes of cell motion and the generation of energy precursors are significantly down-regulated. Experiments demonstrate that changes in nutrient concentration in the surrounding media also affect swimming speed. The findings have the potential for the in situ and indirect assessment of lipid content by measuring micro-algal swimming kinetics.

  3. Defense against toxin weapons

    SciTech Connect

    Franz, D.R.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this manual is to provide basic information on biological toxins to military leaders and health-care providers at all levels to help them make informed decisions on protecting their troops from toxins. Much of the information contained herein will also be of interest to individuals charged with countering domestic and international terrorism. We typically fear what we do not understand.

  4. Protection against Shiga Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Kavaliauskiene, Simona; Dyve Lingelem, Anne Berit; Skotland, Tore; Sandvig, Kirsten

    2017-01-01

    Shiga toxins consist of an A-moiety and five B-moieties able to bind the neutral glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) on the cell surface. To intoxicate cells efficiently, the toxin A-moiety has to be cleaved by furin and transported retrogradely to the Golgi apparatus and to the endoplasmic reticulum. The enzymatically active part of the A-moiety is then translocated to the cytosol, where it inhibits protein synthesis and in some cell types induces apoptosis. Protection of cells can be provided either by inhibiting binding of the toxin to cells or by interfering with any of the subsequent steps required for its toxic effect. In this article we provide a brief overview of the interaction of Shiga toxins with cells, describe some compounds and conditions found to protect cells against Shiga toxins, and discuss whether they might also provide protection in animals and humans. PMID:28165371

  5. A synopsis of research needs identified at the Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB).

    PubMed

    Hudnell, H Kenneth; Dortch, Quay

    2008-01-01

    Evidence indicates that the incidence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) is increasing in spatial extent and temporal frequency worldwide. Cyanobacterial blooms produce highly potent toxins and huge, noxious biomasses in surface Waters used for recreation, commerce, and as drinking water sources. The Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB) characterized the state of the science and identified research needed to address the risks posed by CHABs to human health and ecosystem sustainability. This chapter provides a synopsis of CHAB research needs that were identified by workgroups that addressed charges in major topic areas. The research and infrastructure needed are listed under nine categories: 1) Analytical Methods; 2) CHAB Occurrence; 3) CHAB Causes; 4) Human Health; 5) Ecosystem Sustainability; 6) CHAB Prevention; 7) CHAB Control and Mitigation; 8) Risk Assessment and; 9) Infrastructure. A number of important issues must be addressed to successfully confront the health, ecologic, and economic challenges presented by CHABs. Near-term research goals include the development of field-ready tests to identify and quantify cells and toxins, the production of certified reference standards and bulk toxins, formal assessments of CHAB incidence, improved understanding of toxin effects, therapeutic interventions, ecologically benign means to prevent and control CHABs, supplemental drinking water treatment techniques, and the development of risk assessment and management strategies. Long-term goals include the assimilation of CHAB databases into emerging U.S. and international observing systems, the development of quantitative models to predict CHAB occurrence, effects, and management outcomes, and economic analyses of CAHB costs and management benefits. Accomplishing further infrastructure development and freshwater HAB research is discussed in relationship to the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control

  6. Oxygen sensitivity of algal H{sub 2}-production

    SciTech Connect

    Ghirardi, M.L.; Seibert, M.; Togasaki, R.K.

    1997-12-31

    Photoproduction of H{sub 2} by green algae utilizes electrons originating from the photosynthetic oxidation of water and does not require metabolic intermediates. However, algal hydrogenases are extremely sensitive to O{sub 2}, which limits their usefulness in future commercial H{sub 2}-production systems. We designed an experimental technique for the selection of O{sub 2}tolerant, H{sub 2}-producing variants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii based on the ability of wild-type cells to survive a short (20 min) exposure to metronidazole in the presence of controlled concentrations of O{sub 2}. The number of survivors depends on the metronidazole concentration, light intensity, preinduction of the hydrogenase, and the presence or absence of O{sub 2}. Finally, we demonstrate that some of the selected survivors in fact exhibit H{sub 2}-production capacity that is less sensitive to O{sub 2} than the original wild-type population. 17 refs., 1 tab.

  7. Metatranscriptome profiling of a harmful algal bloom.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Endymion D; Bentlage, Bastian; Gibbons, Theodore R; Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R; Delwiche, Charles F

    2014-07-01

    Metagenomic methods provide a powerful means to investigate complex ecological phenomena. Developed originally for study of Bacteria and Archaea, the application of these methods to eukaryotic microorganisms is yet to be fully realized. Most prior environmental molecular studies of eukaryotes have relied heavily on PCR amplification with eukaryote-specific primers. Here we apply high throughput short-read sequencing of poly-A selected RNA to capture the metatranscriptome of an estuarine dinoflagellate bloom. To validate the metatranscriptome assembly process we simulated metatranscriptomic datasets using short-read sequencing data from clonal cultures of four algae of varying phylogenetic distance. We find that the proportion of chimeric transcripts reconstructed from community transcriptome sequencing is low, suggesting that metatranscriptomic sequencing can be used to accurately reconstruct the transcripts expressed by bloom-forming communities of eukaryotes. To further validate the bloom metatransciptome assembly we compared it to a transcriptomic assembly from a cultured, clonal isolate of the dominant bloom-causing alga and found that the two assemblies are highly similar. Eukaryote-wide phylogenetic analyses reveal the taxonomic composition of the bloom community, which is comprised of several dinoflagellates, ciliates, animals, and fungi. The assembled metatranscriptome reveals the functional genomic composition of a metabolically active community. Highlighting the potential power of these methods, we found that relative transcript abundance patterns suggest that the dominant dinoflagellate might be expressing toxin biosynthesis related genes at a higher level in the presence of competitors, predators and prey compared to it growing in monoculture.

  8. Monitoring Algal Blooms in a Southwestern U.S. Reservoir System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarrant, Philip; Neuer, Susanne

    2009-02-01

    In recent years, several studies have explored the potential of higher-resolution sensor data for monitoring phytoplankton primary production in coastal areas and lakes. Landsat data have been used to monitor algal blooms [Chang et al., 2004; Vincent et al., 2004], and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250-meter and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) full-resolution (300-meter) bands have been utilized to detect cyanobacterial blooms [Reinart and Kutser, 2006] as well as to monitor water quality [Koponen et al., 2004]. Field sampling efforts and MODIS 250-meter data are now being combined to develop a cost-effective method for monitoring water quality in a southwestern U.S. reservoir system. In the Phoenix, Ariz., metropolitan area, the Salt River reservoirs supply more than 3.5 million people, a population expected to rise to more than 6 million by 2030. Given that reservoir capacities have physical limitations, maintaining water quality will become critical as the population expands. Potentially noxious algal blooms that can release toxins and may affect water quality by modifying taste and odor have become a major concern in recent years. While frequent field sampling regimes are expensive, satellite imagery can be applied cost-effectively to monitor algal biomass trends remotely, and this information could provide early warning of blooms in these reservoirs.

  9. Recreational Exposure to Low Concentrations of Microcystins During an Algal Bloom in a Small Lake

    PubMed Central

    Backer, Lorraine C.; Carmichael, Wayne; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Williams, Christopher; Irvin, Mitch; Zhou, Yue; Johnson, Trisha B.; Nierenberg, Kate; Hill, Vincent R.; Kieszak, Stephanie M.; Cheng, Yung-Sung

    2008-01-01

    We measured microcystins in blood from people at risk for swallowing water or inhaling spray while swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, or boating during an algal bloom. We monitored water samples from a small lake as a Microcystis aeruginosa bloom developed. We recruited 97 people planning recreational activities in that lake and seven others who volunteered to recreate in a nearby bloom-free lake. We conducted our field study within a week of finding a 10-μg/L microcystin concentration. We analyzed water, air, and human blood samples for water quality, potential human pathogens, algal taxonomy, and microcystin concentrations. We interviewed study participants for demographic and current health symptom information. Water samples were assayed for potential respiratory viruses (adenoviruses and enteroviruses), but none were detected. We did find low concentrations of Escherichia coli, indicating fecal contamination. We found low levels of microcystins (2 μg/L to 5 μg/L) in the water and (<0.1 ng/m3) in the aerosol samples. Blood levels of microcystins for all participants were below the limit of detection (0.147μg/L). Given this low exposure level, study participants reported no symptom increases following recreational exposure to microcystins. This is the first study to report that water-based recreational activities can expose people to very low concentrations of aerosol-borne microcystins; we recently conducted another field study to assess exposures to higher concentrations of these algal toxins. PMID:18728733

  10. Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop Summary Report

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2016-08-01

    DOE-EERE's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) works to accelerate the development of a sustainable, cost-competitive, advanced biofuel industry that can strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality, through research, development, and demonstration projects in partnership with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners. BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems Program (also called the Algae Program) has a long-term applied research and development (R&D) strategy to increase the yields and lower the costs of algal biofuels. The team works with partners to develop new technologies, to integrate technologies at commercially relevant scales, and to conduct crosscutting analyses to better understand the potential and challenges of the algal biofuels industry. Research has indicated that this industry is capable of producing billions of gallons of renewable diesel, gasoline, and jet fuels annually. R&D activities are integrated with BETO’s longstanding effort to accelerate the commercialization of lignocellulosic biofuels.

  11. Critical evaluation and modeling of algal harvesting using dissolved air flotation. DAF Algal Harvesting Modeling

    DOE PAGES

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hewson, John C.; Amendola, Pasquale; ...

    2014-07-14

    In our study, Chlorella zofingiensis harvesting by dissolved air flotation (DAF) was critically evaluated with regard to algal concentration, culture conditions, type and dosage of coagulants, and recycle ratio. Harvesting efficiency increased with coagulant dosage and leveled off at 81%, 86%, 91%, and 87% when chitosan, Al3+, Fe3+, and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used at dosages of 70, 180, 250, and 500 mg g-1, respectively. The DAF efficiency-coagulant dosage relationship changed with algal culture conditions. In evaluating the influence of the initial algal concentration and recycle ratio revealed that, under conditions typical for algal harvesting, we found that itmore » is possible that the number of bubbles is insufficient. A DAF algal harvesting model was developed to explain this observation by introducing mass-based floc size distributions and a bubble limitation into the white water blanket model. Moreover, the model revealed the importance of coagulation to increase floc-bubble collision and attachment, and the preferential interaction of bubbles with larger flocs, which limited the availability of bubbles to the smaller sized flocs. The harvesting efficiencies predicted by the model agree reasonably with experimental data obtained at different Al3+ dosages, algal concentrations, and recycle ratios. Based on this modeling, critical parameters for efficient algal harvesting were identified.« less

  12. Critical evaluation and modeling of algal harvesting using dissolved air flotation. DAF Algal Harvesting Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hewson, John C.; Amendola, Pasquale; Reynoso, Monica; Sommerfeld, Milton; Chen, Yongsheng; Hu, Qiang

    2014-07-14

    In our study, Chlorella zofingiensis harvesting by dissolved air flotation (DAF) was critically evaluated with regard to algal concentration, culture conditions, type and dosage of coagulants, and recycle ratio. Harvesting efficiency increased with coagulant dosage and leveled off at 81%, 86%, 91%, and 87% when chitosan, Al3+, Fe3+, and cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used at dosages of 70, 180, 250, and 500 mg g-1, respectively. The DAF efficiency-coagulant dosage relationship changed with algal culture conditions. In evaluating the influence of the initial algal concentration and recycle ratio revealed that, under conditions typical for algal harvesting, we found that it is possible that the number of bubbles is insufficient. A DAF algal harvesting model was developed to explain this observation by introducing mass-based floc size distributions and a bubble limitation into the white water blanket model. Moreover, the model revealed the importance of coagulation to increase floc-bubble collision and attachment, and the preferential interaction of bubbles with larger flocs, which limited the availability of bubbles to the smaller sized flocs. The harvesting efficiencies predicted by the model agree reasonably with experimental data obtained at different Al3+ dosages, algal concentrations, and recycle ratios. Based on this modeling, critical parameters for efficient algal harvesting were identified.

  13. Algal recycling enhances algal productivity and settleability in Pediastrum boryanum pure cultures.

    PubMed

    Park, Jason B K; Craggs, Rupert J; Shilton, Andy N

    2015-12-15

    Recycling a portion of gravity harvested algae (i.e. algae and associated bacteria biomass) has been shown to improve both algal biomass productivity and harvest efficiency by maintaining the dominance of a rapidly-settleable colonial alga, Pediastrum boryanum in both pilot-scale wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAP) and outdoor mesocosms. While algal recycling did not change the relative proportions of algae and bacteria in the HRAP culture, the contribution of the wastewater bacteria to the improved algal biomass productivity and settleability with the recycling was not certain and still required investigation. P. boryanum was therefore isolated from the HRAP and grown in pure culture on synthetic wastewater growth media under laboratory conditions. The influence of recycling on the productivity and settleability of the pure P. boryanum culture was then determined without wastewater bacteria present. Six 1 L P. boryanum cultures were grown over 30 days in a laboratory growth chamber simulating New Zealand summer conditions either with (Pr) or without (Pc) recycling of 10% of gravity harvested algae. The cultures with recycling (Pr) had higher algal productivity than the controls (Pc) when the cultures were operated at both 4 and 3 d hydraulic retention times by 11% and 38% respectively. Furthermore, algal recycling also improved 1 h settleability from ∼60% to ∼85% by increasing the average P. boryanum colony size due to the extended mean cell residence time and promoted formation of large algal bio-flocs (>500 μm diameter). These results demonstrate that the presence of wastewater bacteria was not necessary to improve algal productivity and settleability with algal recycling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Copepod Trajectory Characteristics in Thin Layers of Toxic Algal Exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, D. R.; True, A. C.; Weissburg, M. J.; Yen, J.

    2013-11-01

    Recently documented thin layers of toxic phytoplankton (``cryptic blooms'') are modeled in a custom flume system for copepod behavioral assays. Planar laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) measurements quantify the spatiotemporal structure of the chemical layers ensuring a close match to in situ bloom conditions and allowing for quantification of threshold dissolved toxin levels that induce behavioral responses. Assays with the copepods Acartia tonsa (hop-sinker) and Temora longicornis (cruiser) in thin layers of toxic exudates from the common dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (cell equivalent ~ 1 - 10,000 cells/mL) examine the effects of dissolved toxic compounds and copepod species on swimming trajectory characteristics. Computation of parameters such as swimming speed and the fractal dimension of the two-dimensional trajectory (F2D) allows for statistical evaluation of copepod behavioral responses to dissolved toxic compounds associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs). Changes in copepod swimming behavior caused by toxic compounds can significantly influence predator, prey, and mate encounter rates by altering the fracticality (``diffuseness'' or ``volume-fillingness'') of a copepod's trajectory. As trophic mediators linking primary producers and higher trophic levels, copepods can significantly influence HAB dynamics and modulate large scale ecological effects through their behavioral interactions with toxic blooms.

  15. Eutrophication and Harmful Algal Blooms: A Scientific Consensus

    PubMed Central

    Heisler, J.; Glibert, P.; Burkholder, J.; Anderson, D.; Cochlan, W.; Dennison, W.; Gobler, C.; Dortch, Q.; Heil, C.; Humphries, E.; Lewitus, A.; Magnien, R.; Marshall, H.; Sellner, K.; Stockwell, D.; Stoecker, D.; Suddleson, M.

    2017-01-01

    In January 2003, the US Environmental Protection Agency sponsored a “roundtable discussion” to develop a consensus on the relationship between eutrophication and harmful algal blooms (HABs), specifically targeting those relationships for which management actions may be appropriate. Academic, federal, and state agency representatives were in attendance. The following seven statements were unanimously adopted by attendees based on review and analysis of current as well as pertinent previous data: 1) Degraded water quality from increased nutrient pollution promotes the development and persistence of many HABs and is one of the reasons for their expansion in the U.S. and the world; 2) The composition – not just the total quantity – of the nutrient pool impacts HABs; 3) High biomass blooms must have exogenous nutrients to be sustained; 4) Both chronic and episodic nutrient delivery promote HAB development; 5) Recently developed tools and techniques are already improving the detection of some HABs, and emerging technologies are rapidly advancing toward operational status for the prediction of HABs and their toxins; 6) Experimental studies are critical to further the understanding of the role of nutrients in HAB expression, and will strengthen prediction and mitigation of HABs; and 7) Management of nutrient inputs to the watershed can lead to significant reduction in HABs. Supporting evidence and pertinent examples for each consensus statement is provided herein. PMID:28781587

  16. Harmful Algal Blooms – Special Sampling and Response Actions

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Harmful Algal Blooms – Special Sampling and Response Actions webpage contains information about Background on Harmful Algae in Surface Waters and What to Do if Your System Has Indicators of an Algal Bloom.

  17. Quantifying Phycocyanin Concentration in Cyanobacterial Algal Blooms from Remote Sensing Reflectance-A Quasi Analytical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, S.; Mishra, D. R.; Tucker, C.

    2011-12-01

    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHAB) are notorious for depleting dissolved oxygen level, producing various toxins, causing threats to aquatic life, altering the food-web dynamics and the overall ecosystem functioning in inland lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters. Most of these algal blooms produce various toxins that can damage cells, tissues and even cause mortality of living organisms. Frequent monitoring of water quality in a synoptic scale has been possible by the virtue of remote sensing techniques. In this research, we present a novel technique to monitor CHAB using remote sensing reflectance products. We have modified a multi-band quasi analytical algorithm that determines phytoplankton absorption coefficients from above surface remote sensing reflectance measurements using an inversion method. In situ hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance data were collected from several highly turbid and productive aquaculture ponds. A novel technique was developed to further decompose the phytoplankton absorption coefficients at 620 nm and obtain phycocyanin absorption coefficient at the same wavelength. An empirical relationship was established between phycocyanin absorption coefficients at 620 nm and measured phycocyanin concentrations. Model calibration showed strong relationship between phycocyanin absorption coefficients and phycocyanin pigment concentration (r2=0.94). Validation of the model in a separate dataset produced a root mean squared error of 167 mg m-3 (phycocyanin range: 26-1012 mg m-3). Results demonstrate that the new approach will be suitable for quantifying phycocyanin concentration in cyanobacteria dominated turbid productive waters. Band architecture of the model matches with the band configuration of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and assures that MERIS reflectance products can be used to quantify phycocyanin in cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in optically complex waters.

  18. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Uptake, transfer and elimination kinetics of paralytic shellfish toxins in common octopus (Octopus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Vanessa M; Baptista, Miguel; Repolho, Tiago; Rosa, Rui; Costa, Pedro Reis

    2014-01-01

    Marine phycotoxins derived from harmful algal blooms are known to be associated with mass mortalities in the higher trophic levels of marine food webs. Bivalve mollusks and planktivorous fish are the most studied vectors of marine phycotoxins. However, field surveys recently showed that cephalopod mollusks also constitute potential vectors of toxins. Thus, here we determine, for the first time, the time course of accumulation and depuration of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Concomitantly, the underlying kinetics of toxin transfer between tissue compartments was also calculated. Naturally contaminated clams were used to orally expose the octopus to PSTs during 6 days. Afterwards, octopus specimens were fed with non-contaminated shellfish during 10 days of depuration period. Toxins reached the highest concentrations in the digestive gland surpassing the levels in the kidney by three orders of magnitude. PSTs were not detected in any other tissue analyzed. Net accumulation efficiencies of 42% for GTX5, 36% for dcSTX and 23% for C1+2 were calculated for the digestive gland. These compounds were the most abundant toxins in both digestive gland and the contaminated shellfish diet. The small differences in relative abundance of each toxin observed between the prey and the cephalopod predator indicates low conversion rates of these toxins. The depuration period was better described using an exponential decay model comprising a single compartment - the entire viscera. It is worth noting that since octopuses' excretion and depuration rates are low, the digestive gland is able to accumulate very high toxin concentrations for long periods of time. Therefore, the present study clearly shows that O. vulgaris is a high-potential vector of PSTs during and even after the occurrence of these toxic algal blooms.

  20. About lipids and toxins.

    PubMed

    Reig, Núria; van der Goot, F Gisou

    2006-10-09

    Many mono or multicellular organisms secrete soluble proteins, referred to as protein toxins, which alter the behavior of foreign, or target cells, possibly leading to their death. These toxins affect either the cell membrane by forming pores or modifying lipids, or some intracellular target. To reach this target, they must cross one of the cellular membranes, generally that of an intracellular organelle. As described in this minireview, lipids play crucial roles in the intoxication process of most if not all toxins, by allowing/promoting binding, endocytosis, trafficking and/or translocation into the cytoplasm.

  1. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal cells...

  2. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal cells...

  3. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal cells...

  4. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal cells...

  5. 40 CFR 797.1050 - Algal acute toxicity test.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ...) Algistatic means having the property of inhibiting algal growth. (3) ECx means the experimentally derived chemical concentration that is calculated to effect X percent of the test criterion. (4) Growth means a relative measure of the viability of an algal population based on the number and/or weight of algal cells...

  6. Immunoassays and biosensors for the detection of cyanobacterial toxins in water.

    PubMed

    Weller, Michael G

    2013-11-05

    Algal blooms are a frequent phenomenon in nearly all kinds of fresh water. Global warming and eutrophication by waste water, air pollution and fertilizers seem to lead to an increased frequency of occurrence. Many cyanobacteria produce hazardous and quite persistent toxins, which can contaminate the respective water bodies. This may limit the use of the raw water for many purposes. The purification of the contaminated water might be quite costly, which makes a continuous and large scale treatment economically unfeasible in many cases. Due to the obvious risks of algal toxins, an online or mobile detection method would be highly desirable. Several biosensor systems have been presented in the literature for this purpose. In this review, their mode of operation, performance and general suitability for the intended purpose will be described and critically discussed. Finally, an outlook on current developments and future prospects will be given.

  7. Immunoassays and Biosensors for the Detection of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Water

    PubMed Central

    Weller, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    Algal blooms are a frequent phenomenon in nearly all kinds of fresh water. Global warming and eutrophication by waste water, air pollution and fertilizers seem to lead to an increased frequency of occurrence. Many cyanobacteria produce hazardous and quite persistent toxins, which can contaminate the respective water bodies. This may limit the use of the raw water for many purposes. The purification of the contaminated water might be quite costly, which makes a continuous and large scale treatment economically unfeasible in many cases. Due to the obvious risks of algal toxins, an online or mobile detection method would be highly desirable. Several biosensor systems have been presented in the literature for this purpose. In this review, their mode of operation, performance and general suitability for the intended purpose will be described and critically discussed. Finally, an outlook on current developments and future prospects will be given. PMID:24196435

  8. Alien Marine Fishes Deplete Algal Biomass in the Eastern Mediterranean

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Enric; Kizilkaya, Zafer; Yildirim, Derya; Ballesteros, Enric

    2011-01-01

    One of the most degraded states of the Mediterranean rocky infralittoral ecosystem is a barren composed solely of bare rock and patches of crustose coralline algae. Barrens are typically created by the grazing action of large sea urchin populations. In 2008 we observed extensive areas almost devoid of erect algae, where sea urchins were rare, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. To determine the origin of those urchin-less ‘barrens’, we conducted a fish exclusion experiment. We found that, in the absence of fish grazing, a well-developed algal assemblage grew within three months. Underwater fish censuses and observations suggest that two alien herbivorous fish from the Red Sea (Siganus luridus and S. rivulatus) are responsible for the creation and maintenance of these benthic communities with extremely low biomass. The shift from well-developed native algal assemblages to ‘barrens’ implies a dramatic decline in biogenic habitat complexity, biodiversity and biomass. A targeted Siganus fishery could help restore the macroalgal beds of the rocky infralittoral on the Turkish coast. PMID:21364943

  9. Alga-PrAS (Algal Protein Annotation Suite): A Database of Comprehensive Annotation in Algal Proteomes

    PubMed Central

    Kurotani, Atsushi; Yamada, Yutaka

    2017-01-01

    Algae are smaller organisms than land plants and offer clear advantages in research over terrestrial species in terms of rapid production, short generation time and varied commercial applications. Thus, studies investigating the practical development of effective algal production are important and will improve our understanding of both aquatic and terrestrial plants. In this study we estimated multiple physicochemical and secondary structural properties of protein sequences, the predicted presence of post-translational modification (PTM) sites, and subcellular localization using a total of 510,123 protein sequences from the proteomes of 31 algal and three plant species. Algal species were broadly selected from green and red algae, glaucophytes, oomycetes, diatoms and other microalgal groups. The results were deposited in the Algal Protein Annotation Suite database (Alga-PrAS; http://alga-pras.riken.jp/), which can be freely accessed online. PMID:28069893

  10. Alga-PrAS (Algal Protein Annotation Suite): A Database of Comprehensive Annotation in Algal Proteomes.

    PubMed

    Kurotani, Atsushi; Yamada, Yutaka; Sakurai, Tetsuya

    2017-01-01

    Algae are smaller organisms than land plants and offer clear advantages in research over terrestrial species in terms of rapid production, short generation time and varied commercial applications. Thus, studies investigating the practical development of effective algal production are important and will improve our understanding of both aquatic and terrestrial plants. In this study we estimated multiple physicochemical and secondary structural properties of protein sequences, the predicted presence of post-translational modification (PTM) sites, and subcellular localization using a total of 510,123 protein sequences from the proteomes of 31 algal and three plant species. Algal species were broadly selected from green and red algae, glaucophytes, oomycetes, diatoms and other microalgal groups. The results were deposited in the Algal Protein Annotation Suite database (Alga-PrAS; http://alga-pras.riken.jp/), which can be freely accessed online. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  11. Low densities of sea urchins influence the structure of algal assemblages in the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palacín, Cruz; Giribet, Gonzalo; Carner, Susanna; Dantart, Luis; Turon, Xavier

    1998-06-01

    Numerous studies of interactions between urchins and algae in temperate areas have shown an important structuring effect of sea urchin populations. These studies focused almost wholly on the effect of high urchin densities on laminarian forests. In contrast, algal communities below 5-6 m depth in the northwestern Mediterranean are characterised by low sea urchin densities (<5 ind m -2) and the absence of laminarian forests. No previous research has addressed sea urchin/algal interactions in this type of community. To determine the effect of the most abundant echinoid species, Paracentrotus lividus, on well-established algal communities in this area, we performed a removal-reintroduction experiment in rocky patches located between 13 and 16 m depth in the northwestern Mediterranean, where sea urchin densities ranged between 0.9 and 3.4 ind m -2. After 6 months, the cover of non-crustose algae was significantly higher in the plots from which sea urchins had been removed than in control plots (84 vs 67% cover). These removal plots reverted to their original state upon reintroduction of sea urchins. The non-crustose algae consisted of turfing and frondose forms, with the former representing some 70% of the non-crustose algal cover. Change in the cover of turfing algae was responsible for the significant increase in algal development in the sea urchin removal plots. The response of frondose algae to the treatment varied between algal species. It is concluded that grazing by P. lividus exerts a significant effect on habitat structure, even in communities with low sea urchin densities, such as those found in vast areas of the Mediterranean sublittoral.

  12. Recent Advances in Algal Genetic Tool Development

    DOE PAGES

    R. Dahlin, Lukas; T. Guarnieri, Michael

    2016-06-24

    The goal of achieving cost-effective biofuels and bioproducts derived from algal biomass will require improvements along the entire value chain, including identification of robust, high-productivity strains and development of advanced genetic tools. Though there have been modest advances in development of genetic systems for the model alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, progress in development of algal genetic tools, especially as applied to non-model algae, has generally lagged behind that of more commonly utilized laboratory and industrial microbes. This is in part due to the complex organellar structure of algae, including robust cell walls and intricate compartmentalization of target loci, as well asmore » prevalent gene silencing mechanisms, which hinder facile utilization of conventional genetic engineering tools and methodologies. However, recent progress in global tool development has opened the door for implementation of strain-engineering strategies in industrially-relevant algal strains. Here, we review recent advances in algal genetic tool development and applications in eukaryotic microalgae.« less

  13. Algal production in wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for potential biofuel use.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2011-01-01

    Wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition could provide cost-effective and efficient tertiary-level wastewater treatment with the co-benefit of algal biomass production for biofuel use. Wastewater grown algal biomass can have a lipid content of 10-30% of dry weight, which could be used to make biodiesel. This research investigated algal biomass and total lipid production by two pilot-scale wastewater treatment HRAP(S) (4-day HRT) with and without CO2 addition under New Zealand mid summer (Nov-Jan) conditions. The influence of CO2 addition on wastewater treatment performance was also determined. CO2 was added to one of the HRAPs (the HRAP(E)) by maintaining the maximum pH of the pond below 8. Measurements of HRAP influent and effluent water qualities, total lipid content and algal biomass production were made twice a week over the experimental period. Both HRAP(S) achieved high levels of organic compound and nutrient removal, with >85% SBOD5, >92 NH4(+)-N and >70% DRP removal. Algal/bacterial biomass production in the HRAP(E) (15.2 g/m2/d) was improved by CO2 addition by approximately 30% compared with that of the control HRAP(W) (10.6 g/m2/d). Total lipid content of the biomass grown on both HRAP(S) was slightly reduced (from 25% to 20%) with CO2 addition and the maximum total lipid content of approximately 40% was observed in the HRAP(W) when low NH4(+)-N concentration (<0.5 mg/L) and high maximum pH (>10.0) occurred. Total lipid content of the biomass increased by approximately 15% under nitrogen limiting conditions, however, overall algal/bacterial biomass production was reduced by half during the period of nitrogen limitation. More research is required to maintain algal production under near nitrogen-limiting conditions.

  14. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    PubMed

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon against bacterial elimination by innate host defense. Furthermore, S. aureus secretes many factors that inhibit the complement cascade or prevent recognition by host defenses. Several further toxins add to this multi-faceted program of S. aureus to evade elimination in the host. This review will give an overview over S. aureus toxins focusing on recent advances in our understanding of how leukotoxins work in receptor-mediated or receptor-independent fashions. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Wallpaper May Breed Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxins are likely to be located on fungal spores, but we also demonstrated that part of the ... News Related MedlinePlus Health Topics Indoor Air Pollution Molds About MedlinePlus Site Map FAQs Customer Support Get ...

  16. [Natural toxin poisoning].

    PubMed

    Tsunematsu, Satoshi

    2012-08-01

    Natural toxin poisoning often occurs when amateur who has no expert knowledge of food collects and cooks the wrong material. In many cases, the symptoms of natural toxin poisoning are mild and the patients recover from illness within a day. However, if the patients have respiratory or neurological symptoms after several hours of intake, the patients must go to hospital immediately. Mushroom poisoning is often reported and puffer fish poisoning is sometimes reported in Japan.

  17. Bacterial protein toxins: current and potential clinical use.

    PubMed

    Fabbri, A; Travaglione, S; Falzano, L; Fiorentini, C

    2008-01-01

    Natural toxins are the product of a long-term evolution, and act on essential mechanisms in the most crucial and vital processes of living organisms. They can attack components of the protein synthesis machinery, actin polymerization, signal transduction pathways, intracellular trafficking of vesicles as well as immune and inflammatory responses. For this reason, toxins have increasingly being used as valuable tools for analysis of cellular physiology, and in the recent years, some of them are used medicinally for the treatment of human diseases. This review is devoted to protein toxins of bacterial origin, specifically those toxins that are currently used in therapy or those under study for their potential clinical applications. Bacterial protein toxins are all characterized by a specific mechanism of action that involves the central molecular pathways in the eukaryotic cell. Knowledge of their properties could be used for medical purposes.

  18. Algal bloom response and risk management: On-site response tools.

    PubMed

    Watson, Susan B; Zastepa, Arthur; Boyer, Gregory L; Matthews, Eric

    2017-04-01

    Harmful algal blooms caused by cyanobacteria can present a risk to the safety of drinking- and recreational waters and beachfronts through the production of toxins, particularly microcystin, which are highly resilient to degradation. These blooms are difficult to predict, vary in appearance and toxicity, and can show significant spatial heterogeneity: wind- and current-borne scums can produce an order of magnitude range in toxin levels along shorelines. The growing demand for reliable, cost-effective and rapid methods to detect toxins in bloom material and reduce the risk of public exposure cannot be met by most analytical lab turnaround times. Commercial microcystin test kits are now available, but few have been rigorously field-tested or incorporated into monitoring programmes. Working with a local health agency, we evaluated two kits with different operative ranges of detection, applied to samples covering a wide range of water quality, sample matrices, and bloom composition. We compared their performance against lab analyses using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent and Protein Phosphatase Inhibition assays. Both kits could resolve samples with high (<10 μg/L microcystin equivalents (MCequiv)) and low/no toxins, but failed to reliably detect toxin levels between 1 and 5 μg/L, at which threshold there were few false negatives (8%) but ∼ one third of the samples (32%) yielded false positives. We conclude that these kits are potentially useful for screening and informed risk management decisions e.g. on beach closures, but should be followed up with more rigorous tests where needed. We describe how, based on these results, the kits have been successfully incorporated into the routine municipal beach monitoring and advisory programme by the Hamilton Public Health Services (Ontario).

  19. Competition for one nutrient with internal storage and toxin mortality.

    PubMed

    Grover, James P; Wang, Feng-Bin

    2013-08-01

    This study presents a mathematical model of two species competing in a chemostat for one resource that is stored internally, and who also compete through allelopathy. Each species produces a toxin to that increases mortality rate of its competitor. The two species system and its single species subsystem follow mass conservation constraints characteristic of chemostat models. Persistence of a single species occurs if the nutrient supply of an empty habitat allows it to acquire a threshold of stored nutrient quota, sufficient to overcome loss to outflow after accounting for the cost of toxin production. For the two-species system, a semitrivial equilibrium with one species resident is unstable to invasion by the missing species according to a similar threshold condition. The invader increases if acquires a stored nutrient quota sufficient to overcome loss to outflow and toxin-induced mortality, after accounting for the cost of the invader's own toxin production. If both semitrivial equilibria for the two-species system are invasible then there is at least one coexistence equilibrium. Numerical analyses indicate another possibility: bistability in which both semitrivial equilibria are stable against invasion. In such a case there is competitive exclusion of one species, whose identity depends on initial conditions. When there is a tradeoff between abilities to compete for the nutrient and to compete through toxicity, the more toxic species can dominate only under nutrient-rich conditions. Bistability under such conditions could contribute to the unpredictability of toxic algal blooms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. LC-MS/MS analysis of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins, okadaic acid and dinophysistoxin analogues, and other lipophilic toxins.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Toshiyuki; Quilliam, Michael A

    2011-01-01

    Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) is a severe gastrointestinal illness caused by consumption of shellfish contaminated with DSP toxins that are originally produced by toxic dinoflagellates. Based on their structures, DSP toxins were initially classified into three groups, okadaic acid (OA)/dinophysistoxin (DTX) analogues, pectenotoxins (PTXs), and yessotoxins (YTXs). Because PTXs and YTXs have been subsequently shown to have no diarrhetic activities, PTXs and YTXs have recently been eliminated from the definition of DSP toxins. Mouse bioassay (MBA), which is the official testing method of DSP in Japan and many countries, also detects PTXs and YTXs, and thus alternative testing methods detecting only OA/DTX analogues are required in DSP monitoring. Electrospray ionization (ESI) liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is a very powerful tool for the detection, identification and quantification of DSP and other lipophilic toxins. In the present review, application of ESI LC-MS techniques to the analysis of each toxin group is described.

  1. An analytical perspective on detection, screening, and confirmation in phycology, with particular reference to toxins and toxin-producing species.

    PubMed

    de la Iglesia, Pablo; Fernández-Tejedor, Margarita; Trobajo, Rosa; Diogène, Jorge

    2013-12-01

    Knowledge concerning the ability of microalgae to produce metabolites of interest such as toxins or high-value secondary metabolites requires exhaustive details to be supplied on how the research was conducted. These should include the microalgal species and strain characterization, the culture conditions, the cell density, and physiological state at the time of harvesting, the harvesting method, the sample pre-treatment protocol, and the subsequent instrumental analytical separation/detection system. In this comment, we discuss issues that affect algal research from an analytical chemistry perspective, particularly (i) the need to specify detection capabilities of the entire method (i.e., limits of detection or threshold detection levels), which we illustrate in relation to classification of a species or strain as being "toxin producing" or "non-toxin producing"; and (ii) the requirements that have to be satisfied to confirm a microalgal species (new or not) as a producer of a particular chemical of interest for phycologists, which again we illustrate in relation to toxins. A successful collaboration among phycologists and analytical chemists will only be achieved as a result of a synergistic collaboration between the two disciplines, with a reciprocal understanding at least at a background level. © 2013 Phycological Society of America.

  2. Mycosporine-like amino acids and marine toxins--the common and the different.

    PubMed

    Klisch, Manfred; Häder, Donat-P

    2008-05-22

    Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally < 400) compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying amino acid or amino alcohol substituents. So far there has been no report of toxicity in MAAs but nevertheless there are some features they have in common with marine toxins. Among the organisms producing MAAs are cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and diatoms that also synthesize toxins. As in cyclic peptide toxins found in cyanobacteria, amino acids are the main building blocks of MAAs. Both, MAAs and some marine toxins are transferred to other organisms e.g. via the food chains, and chemical modifications can take place in secondary consumers. In contrast to algal toxins, the physiological role of MAAs is clearly the protection from harmful UV radiation by physical screening. However, other roles, e.g. as osmolytes and antioxidants, are also considered. In this paper the common characteristics of MAAs and marine toxins are discussed as well as the differences.

  3. Apparent bioaccumulation of cylindrospermopsin and paralytic shellfish toxins by finfish in Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico).

    PubMed

    Berry, J P; Jaja-Chimedza, A; Dávalos-Lind, L; Lind, O

    2012-01-01

    Compared to the well-characterized health threats associated with contamination of fish and shellfish by algal toxins in marine fisheries, the toxicological relevance of the bioaccumulation of toxins from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), as the primary toxigenic algae in freshwater systems, remains relatively unknown. Lake Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico) is a small, tropical lake system specifically characterized by a year-round dominance of the known toxigenic cyanobacterial genus, Cylindrospermopsis, and by low, but detectable, levels of both a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin, cylindrospermopsin (CYN), and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs). In the present study, we evaluated, using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), levels of both toxins in several species of finfish caught and consumed locally in the region to investigate the bioaccumulation of, and possible health threats associated with, these toxins as potential foodborne contaminants. ELISA detected levels of both CYN and PSTs in fish tissues from the lake. Levels were generally low (≤ 1 ng g(-1) tissue); however, calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) indicate that toxin levels exceed the rather low levels in the water column and, consequently, indicated bioaccumulation (BAF >1). A reasonable correlation was observed between measured bioaccumulation of CYN and PSTs, possibly indicating a mutual source of both toxins, and most likely cells of Cylindrospermopsis, the dominant cyanobacteria in the lake, and a known producer of both metabolites. The potential roles of trophic transport in the system, as well as possible implications for human health with regards to bioaccumulation, are discussed.

  4. Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids and Marine Toxins - The Common and the Different

    PubMed Central

    Klisch, Manfred; Häder, Donat-P.

    2008-01-01

    Marine microorganisms harbor a multitude of secondary metabolites. Among these are toxins of different chemical classes as well as the UV-protective mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). The latter form a group of water-soluble, low molecular-weight (generally < 400) compounds composed of either an aminocyclohexenone or an aminocyclohexenimine ring, carrying amino acid or amino alcohol substituents. So far there has been no report of toxicity in MAAs but nevertheless there are some features they have in common with marine toxins. Among the organisms producing MAAs are cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and diatoms that also synthesize toxins. As in cyclic peptide toxins found in cyanobacteria, amino acids are the main building blocks of MAAs. Both, MAAs and some marine toxins are transferred to other organisms e.g. via the food chains, and chemical modifications can take place in secondary consumers. In contrast to algal toxins, the physiological role of MAAs is clearly the protection from harmful UV radiation by physical screening. However, other roles, e.g. as osmolytes and antioxidants, are also considered. In this paper the common characteristics of MAAs and marine toxins are discussed as well as the differences. PMID:18728764

  5. Investigation of diarrhetic shellfish toxins in Lingshan Bay, Yellow Sea, China, using solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT).

    PubMed

    Li, Feng-Ling; Li, Zhao-Xin; Guo, Meng-Meng; Wu, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Ting-Ting; Song, Cai-Hu

    2016-08-01

    Early detection of toxin contamination in shellfish (i.e., prior to harvest) would be of considerable advantage to fish farmers, researchers and food safety administrators. In 2004, a solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) technique was developed to study algal toxins in New Zealand shellfish harvesting areas. In subsequent years, the basic idea have been further developed. Using a SPATT method, an investigation into diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DSTs) was conducted over a 10.5-month period in 2012 in shellfish farming areas in Lingshan Bay (Yellow Sea, China). This paper discusses the relationship among DSTs in toxic algae, seawater and contaminated shellfish. OA, DTX1 and PTX2 toxins were found in this shellfish farming area from summer to autumn. In shellfish the maximum concentrations of OA and DTX1 were 81 and 41 ng g(-1) respectively. PTX2 was very low. The maximum levels of OA and DTX1 in seawater were 165 and 56 ng g(-1) respectively, and were detected on June, separated by a 14-day period. Shellfish had accumulated the highest levels of OA and DTX1 recorded in this study. Comparison of the variations in DST levels in seawater showed there to be about 2 weeks for administrators to warn of the potential for toxin contamination in shellfish. Further research to explore the relationship between the variables of seawater temperature, sunlight and salinity, and DSTs in shellfish may help to establish a more suitable model for forecasting DST contamination in shellfish.

  6. Cluster analysis of toxins profile pattern as a tool for tracing shellfish contaminated with PSP-toxins.

    PubMed

    Wong, Chun-Kwan; Hung, Patricia; Ng, Henry C C; Lee, Siu-Yuen; Kam, Kai-Man

    2011-11-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is one of the most lethal biotoxin-induced diseases worldwide, which may pose serious public health threat and potential devastating economic damage on fisheries industry in the affected region(s). To prevent the importation of PSP contaminated shellfish to a community, detailed documentation on the supply chain and routine surveillance systems are, in principle, crucial measures to protect people from this intoxication. However, difficulties have always been encountered on the traceability of the source/origin of contaminated shellfish. In the present study, we reported the potential application of PSP-toxins profiles with similarity analysis that can be used to identify epidemiological linkage between shellfish samples collected from markets and patients during a PSP outbreak. PSP-toxins were identified and quantified by ion-pair chromatographic separation followed by post-column oxidation to fluorescent imino purine derivatives. Samples from a PSP incident and other surveillance samples collected in our past 7-year record were also compared for their similarity in PSP-toxins profiles patterns. Molar distributions (nmol%) of 10 PSP-toxins were analyzed by Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetric averages (UPGMA). Three prominent clusters emerged with similarity levels reaching over 80% for each, suggesting that each group of samples probably originated from a same source/batch. The PSP-toxins profiles and toxicities determined from surveillance samples could provide premonitory clues on the occurrences of PSP incident and outbreak with corresponding toxin profiles in the later time. Due to species-specific characteristics of PSP-toxins composition and profile in shellfish under varieties of environmental and physiological conditions, PSP-toxins profile can be a specific and useful biochemical indicator for tracing PSP contaminated shellfish provided that spatio-temporal occurrence patterns of toxins profiles are available

  7. Targeted Silencing of Anthrax Toxin Receptors Protects against Anthrax Toxins*

    PubMed Central

    Arévalo, Maria T.; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D.; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax. PMID:24742682

  8. Targeted silencing of anthrax toxin receptors protects against anthrax toxins.

    PubMed

    Arévalo, Maria T; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-05-30

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax.

  9. Are harmful algal blooms becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Brooks, Bryan W; Lazorchak, James M; Howard, Meredith D A; Johnson, Mari-Vaughn V; Morton, Steve L; Perkins, Dawn A K; Reavie, Euan D; Scott, Geoffrey I; Smith, Stephanie A; Steevens, Jeffery A

    2016-01-01

    In this Focus article, the authors ask a seemingly simple question: Are harmful algal blooms (HABs) becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems? When HAB events require restrictions on fisheries, recreation, and drinking water uses of inland water bodies significant economic consequences result. Unfortunately, the magnitude, frequency, and duration of HABs in inland waters are poorly understood across spatiotemporal scales and differentially engaged among states, tribes, and territories. Harmful algal bloom impacts are not as predictable as those from conventional chemical contaminants, for which water quality assessment and management programs were primarily developed, because interactions among multiple natural and anthropogenic factors determine the likelihood and severity to which a HAB will occur in a specific water body. These forcing factors can also affect toxin production. Beyond site-specific water quality degradation caused directly by HABs, the presence of HAB toxins can negatively influence routine surface water quality monitoring, assessment, and management practices. Harmful algal blooms present significant challenges for achieving water quality protection and restoration goals when these toxins confound interpretation of monitoring results and environmental quality standards implementation efforts for other chemicals and stressors. Whether HABs presently represent the greatest threat to inland water quality is debatable, though in inland waters of developed countries they typically cause more severe acute impacts to environmental quality than conventional chemical contamination events. The authors identify several timely research needs. Environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry, and risk-assessment expertise must interface with ecologists, engineers, and public health practitioners to engage the complexities of HAB assessment and management, to address the forcing factors for HAB formation, and

  10. Multiplex detection of protein toxins using MALDI-TOF-TOF tandem mass spectrometry: application in unambiguous toxin detection from bioaerosol.

    PubMed

    Alam, Syed Imteyaz; Kumar, Bhoj; Kamboj, Dev Vrat

    2012-12-04

    Protein toxins, such as botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin (ETX), staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), shiga toxin (STX), and plant toxin ricin, are involved in a number of diseases and are considered as potential agents for bioterrorism and warfare. From a bioterrorism and warfare perspective, these agents are likely to cause maximum damage to a civilian or military population through an inhalational route of exposure and aerosol is considered the envisaged mode of delivery. Unambiguous detection of toxin from aerosol is of paramount importance, both for bringing mitigation protocols into operation and for implementation of effective medical countermeasures, in case a "biological cloud" is seen over a population. A multiplex, unambiguous, and qualitative detection of protein toxins is reported here using tandem mass spectrometry with MALDI-TOF-TOF. The methodology involving simple sample processing steps was demonstrated to identify toxins (ETX, Clostridium perfringes phospholipase C, and SEB) from blind spiked samples. The novel directed search approach using a list of unique peptides was used to identify toxins from a complex protein mixture. The bioinformatic analysis of seven protein toxins for elucidation of unique peptides with conservation status across all known sequences provides a high confidence for detecting toxins originating from any geographical location and source organism. Use of tandem MS data with peptide sequence information increases the specificity of the method. A prototype for generation of aerosol using a nebulizer and collection using a cyclone collector was used to provide a proof of concept for unambiguous detection of toxin from aerosol using precursor directed tandem mass spectrometry combined with protein database searching. ETX prototoxin could be detected from aerosol at 0.2 ppb concentration in aerosol.

  11. Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies against Biological Toxins. Phase 1

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-08-14

    the original copy. AD-B’i76 29`8 CONTRACT NO: DAMD17-93-C-3083 TITLE: NEUTRALIZING MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES AGAINST BIOLOGIC4JL TOXINS PRINCIPAL...Biological ’ Toxins DAMDl7-93-C-308.3 6. AUTHOR($) 65502A 30665502MB02. S4 .274 Mark C. Glassy, Ph.D. WUDA336206 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAMI(S...NUMBER OF PAGES RA I, SBIR, Antibody, Toxins , BL2, BD 16. PRICE COUE 17. SEC.URIly (LASSIFICATION 18. SECURITY CLASSIMICATION 19. SECURITY

  12. Studies on the Chick-lethal Toxin of Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Truscott, R. B.

    1973-01-01

    A toxin which is lethal for two week old chicks has been recovered from strains of Escherichia coli O78:K80 of bovine and avian origin and from avian isolates of serogroups O2, O45 and O109. The toxin is heat-labile, antigenic, high in protein, inactivated by pronase, trypsin, amylase, and pancreatic lipase. The toxin may be precipitated by ammonium sulfate or TCA treatment from the supernatant obtained by repeated centrifugation of sonicated cells. Considerable purification has been obtained by column chromatography using Sepharose 6B. PMID:4270809

  13. Naturally Occurring Food Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Laurie C.; Matulka, Ray A.; Burdock, George A.

    2010-01-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States. PMID:22069686

  14. Naturally occurring food toxins.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Laurie C; Matulka, Ray A; Burdock, George A

    2010-09-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States.

  15. Coupling of algal biofuel production with wastewater.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Neha Chamoli; Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area.

  16. Phototaxis and chemotaxis of brown algal swarmers.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Nana; Nagasato, Chikako; Motomura, Taizo

    2017-05-01

    Brown algae exhibit three patterns of sexual reproduction: isogamy, anisogamy, and oogamy. Unicellular swarmers including gametes and zoospores bear two heterogenous flagella, an anterior flagellum with mastigonemes (fine tripartite hairs) and a posterior one. In seawater, these flagellates usually receive physico-chemical signals for finding partners and good habitats. It is well known that brown algal swarmers change their swimming direction depending on blue light (phototaxis), and male gametes do so, based on the sex pheromones from female gametes (chemotaxis). In recent years, the comparative analysis of chemotaxis in isogamy, anisogamy, and oogamy has been conducted. In this paper, we focused on the phototaxis and chemotaxis of brown algal gametes comparing the current knowledge with our recent studies.

  17. Coupling of Algal Biofuel Production with Wastewater

    PubMed Central

    Panwar, Amit; Bisht, Tara Singh; Tamta, Sushma

    2014-01-01

    Microalgae have gained enormous consideration from scientific community worldwide emerging as a viable feedstock for a renewable energy source virtually being carbon neutral, high lipid content, and comparatively more advantageous to other sources of biofuels. Although microalgae are seen as a valuable source in majority part of the world for production of biofuels and bioproducts, still they are unable to accomplish sustainable large-scale algal biofuel production. Wastewater has organic and inorganic supplements required for algal growth. The coupling of microalgae with wastewater is an effective way of waste remediation and a cost-effective microalgal biofuel production. In this review article, we will primarily discuss the possibilities and current scenario regarding coupling of microalgal cultivation with biofuel production emphasizing recent progress in this area. PMID:24982930

  18. Algal diseases: spotlight on a black box.

    PubMed

    Gachon, Claire M M; Sime-Ngando, Télesphore; Strittmatter, Martina; Chambouvet, Aurélie; Kim, Gwang Hoon

    2010-11-01

    Like any other living organisms, algae are plagued by diseases caused by fungi, protists, bacteria or viruses. As aquaculture continues to rise worldwide, pathogens of nori or biofuel sources are becoming a significant economic burden. Parasites are also increasingly being considered of equal importance with predators for ecosystem functioning. Altered disease patterns in disturbed environments are blamed for sudden extinctions, regime shifts, and spreading of alien species. Here we review the biodiversity and impact of pathogens and parasites of aquatic primary producers in freshwater and marine systems. We also cover recent advances on algal defence reactions, and discuss how emerging technologies can be used to reassess the profound, multi-faceted, and so far broadly-overlooked influence of algal diseases on ecosystem properties.

  19. Climate change impacts on natural toxins in food production systems, exemplified by deoxynivalenol in wheat and diarrhetic shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    van der Fels-Klerx, H J; Olesen, J E; Naustvoll, L-J; Friocourt, Y; Mengelers, M J B; Christensen, J H

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is expected to affect food and feed safety, including the occurrence of natural toxins in primary crop and seafood production; however, to date, quantitative estimates are scarce. This study aimed to estimate the impact of climate change effects on mycotoxin contamination of cereal grains cultivated in the terrestrial area of north west Europe, and on the frequency of harmful algal blooms and contamination of shellfish with marine biotoxins in the North Sea coastal zone. The study focused on contamination of wheat with deoxynivalenol, and on abundance of Dinophysis spp. and the possible relationship with diarrhetic shellfish toxins. The study used currently available data and models. Global and regional climate models were combined with models of crop phenology, mycotoxin prediction models, hydrodynamic models and ecological models, with the output of one model being used as input for the other. In addition, statistical data analyses using existing national datasets from the study area were performed to obtain information on the relationships between Dinophysis spp. cell counts and contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish toxins as well as on frequency of cereal cropping. In this paper, a summary of the study is presented, and overall conclusions and recommendations are given. Climate change projections for the years 2031-2050 were used as the starting point of the analyses relative to a preceding 20-year baseline period from which the climate change signal was calculated. Results showed that, in general, climate change effects lead to advanced flowering and harvest of wheat, and increased risk of contamination of wheat with deoxynivalenol. Blooms of dinoflagellates were estimated to occur more often. If the group of Dinophysis spp. behaves similarly to other flagellates in the future then frequency of harmful algal blooms of Dinophysis spp. may also increase, but consequences for contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish

  20. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions

    PubMed Central

    Abieri, Maria L.; George, Emma E.; Knowles, Ben; Naliboff, Douglas S.; Smurthwaite, Cameron A.; Kelly, Linda Wegley; Haas, Andreas F.

    2017-01-01

    Human impacts are causing ecosystem phase shifts from coral- to algal-dominated reef systems on a global scale. As these ecosystems undergo transition, there is an increased incidence of coral-macroalgal interactions. Mounting evidence indicates that the outcome of these interaction events is, in part, governed by microbially mediated dynamics. The allocation of available energy through different trophic levels, including the microbial food web, determines the outcome of these interactions and ultimately shapes the benthic community structure. However, little is known about the underlying thermodynamic mechanisms involved in these trophic energy transfers. This study utilizes a novel combination of methods including calorimetry, flow cytometry, and optical oxygen measurements, to provide a bioenergetic analysis of coral-macroalgal interactions in a controlled aquarium setting. We demonstrate that the energetic demands of microbial communities at the coral-algal interaction interface are higher than in the communities associated with either of the macroorganisms alone. This was evident through higher microbial power output (energy use per unit time) and lower oxygen concentrations at interaction zones compared to areas distal from the interface. Increases in microbial power output and lower oxygen concentrations were significantly correlated with the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic microbes but not the total microbial abundance. These results suggest that coral-algal interfaces harbor higher proportions of heterotrophic microbes that are optimizing maximal power output, as opposed to yield. This yield to power shift offers a possible thermodynamic mechanism underlying the transition from coral- to algal-dominated reef ecosystems currently being observed worldwide. As changes in the power output of an ecosystem are a significant indicator of the current state of the system, this analysis provides a novel and insightful means to quantify microbial impacts on

  1. Collection and conversion of algal lipid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ching-Chieh

    Sustainable economic activities mandate a significant replacement of fossil energy by renewable forms. Algae-derived biofuels are increasingly seen as an alternative source of energy with potential to supplement the world's ever increasing demand. Our primary objective is, once the algae were cultivated, to eliminate or make more efficient energy-intensive processing steps of collection, drying, grinding, and solvent extraction prior to conversion. To overcome the processing barrier, we propose to streamline from cultivated algae to biodiesel via algal biomass collection by sand filtration, cell rupturing with ozone, and immediate transesterification. To collect the algal biomass, the specific Chlorococcum aquaticum suspension was acidified to pH 3.3 to promote agglomeration prior to sand filtration. The algae-loaded filter bed was drained of free water and added with methanol and ozonated for 2 min to rupture cell membrane to accelerate release of the cellular contents. The methanol solution now containing the dissolved lipid product was collected by draining, while the filter bed was regenerated by further ozonation when needed. The results showed 95% collection of the algal biomass from the suspension and a 16% yield of lipid from the algae, as well as restoration of filtration velocity of the sand bed via ozonation. The results further showed increased lipid yield upon cell rupturing and transesterified products composed entirely of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) compounds, demonstrating that the rupture and transesterification processes could proceed consecutively in the same medium, requiring no separate steps of drying, extraction, and conversion. The FAME products from algae without exposure to ozone were mainly of 16 to 18 carbons containing up to 3 double bonds, while those from algae having been ozonated were smaller, highly saturated hydrocarbons. The new technique streamlines individual steps from cultivated algal lipid to transesterified products and

  2. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions.

    PubMed

    Roach, Ty N F; Abieri, Maria L; George, Emma E; Knowles, Ben; Naliboff, Douglas S; Smurthwaite, Cameron A; Kelly, Linda Wegley; Haas, Andreas F; Rohwer, Forest L

    2017-01-01

    Human impacts are causing ecosystem phase shifts from coral- to algal-dominated reef systems on a global scale. As these ecosystems undergo transition, there is an increased incidence of coral-macroalgal interactions. Mounting evidence indicates that the outcome of these interaction events is, in part, governed by microbially mediated dynamics. The allocation of available energy through different trophic levels, including the microbial food web, determines the outcome of these interactions and ultimately shapes the benthic community structure. However, little is known about the underlying thermodynamic mechanisms involved in these trophic energy transfers. This study utilizes a novel combination of methods including calorimetry, flow cytometry, and optical oxygen measurements, to provide a bioenergetic analysis of coral-macroalgal interactions in a controlled aquarium setting. We demonstrate that the energetic demands of microbial communities at the coral-algal interaction interface are higher than in the communities associated with either of the macroorganisms alone. This was evident through higher microbial power output (energy use per unit time) and lower oxygen concentrations at interaction zones compared to areas distal from the interface. Increases in microbial power output and lower oxygen concentrations were significantly correlated with the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic microbes but not the total microbial abundance. These results suggest that coral-algal interfaces harbor higher proportions of heterotrophic microbes that are optimizing maximal power output, as opposed to yield. This yield to power shift offers a possible thermodynamic mechanism underlying the transition from coral- to algal-dominated reef ecosystems currently being observed worldwide. As changes in the power output of an ecosystem are a significant indicator of the current state of the system, this analysis provides a novel and insightful means to quantify microbial impacts on

  3. Copper desorption from Gelidium algal biomass.

    PubMed

    Vilar, Vítor J P; Botelho, Cidália M S; Boaventura, Rui A R

    2007-04-01

    Desorption of divalent copper from marine algae Gelidium sesquipedale, an algal waste (from agar extraction industry) and a composite material (the algal waste immobilized in polyacrylonitrile) was studied in a batch system. Copper ions were first adsorbed until saturation and then desorbed by HNO(3) and Na(2)EDTA solutions. Elution efficiency using HNO(3) increases as pH decreases. At pH=1, for a solid to liquid ratio S/L=4gl(-1), elution efficiency was 97%, 95% and 88%, the stoichiometric coefficient for the ionic exchange, 0.70+/-0.02, 0.73+/-0.05 and 0.76+/-0.06 and the selectivity coefficient, 0.93+/-0.07, 1.0+/-0.3 and 1.1+/-0.3, respectively, for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. Complexation of copper ions by EDTA occurs in a molar proportion of 1:1 and the elution efficiency increases with EDTA concentration. For concentrations of 1.4, 0.88 and 0.57 mmoll(-1), the elution efficiency for S/L=4gl(-1), was 91%, 86% and 78%, respectively, for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. The S/L ratio, in the range 1-20gl(-1), has little influence on copper recovery by using 0.1M HNO(3). Desorption kinetics was very fast for all biosorbents. Kinetic data using HNO(3) as eluant were well described by the mass transfer model, considering the average metal concentration in the solid phase and the equilibrium relationship given by the mass action law. The homogeneous diffusion coefficient varied between 1.0 x 10(-7)cm(2)s(-1) for algae Gelidium and 3.0 x 10(-7)cm(2)s(-1) for the composite material.

  4. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production

    PubMed Central

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production. PMID:28186124

  5. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-02-01

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production.

  6. Algal Cell Response to Pulsed Waved Stimulation and Its Application to Increase Algal Lipid Production.

    PubMed

    Savchenko, Oleksandra; Xing, Jida; Yang, Xiaoyan; Gu, Quanrong; Shaheen, Mohamed; Huang, Min; Yu, Xiaojian; Burrell, Robert; Patra, Prabir; Chen, Jie

    2017-02-10

    Generating renewable energy while sequestering CO2 using algae has recently attracted significant research attention, mostly directing towards biological methods such as systems biology, genetic engineering and bio-refining for optimizing algae strains. Other approaches focus on chemical screening to adjust culture conditions or culture media. We report for the first time the physiological changes of algal cells in response to a novel form of mechanical stimulation, or a pulsed wave at the frequency of 1.5 MHz and the duty cycle of 20%. We studied how the pulsed wave can further increase algal lipid production on top of existing biological and chemical methods. Two commonly used algal strains, fresh-water Chlorella vulgaris and seawater Tetraselmis chuii, were selected. We have performed the tests in shake flasks and 1 L spinner-flask bioreactors. Conventional Gravimetric measurements show that up to 20% increase for algal lipid could be achieved after 8 days of stimulation. The total electricity cost needed for the stimulations in a one-liter bioreactor is only one-tenth of a US penny. Gas liquid chromatography shows that the fatty acid composition remains unchanged after pulsed-wave stimulation. Scanning electron microscope results also suggest that pulsed wave stimulation induces shear stress and thus increases algal lipid production.

  7. Anti-Idiotype Probes for Toxin Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-09-13

    enterotoxins A and B, the exfoliative toxins A and B and toxic shock syndrome syndrome toxin-1 to activate macrophages. All the toxins tested had the...Staphylococcal enterotoxin A, toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 and both exfoliative toxins triggered C3HeB/FeJ macrophages to secrete tumor necrosis...toxins A and B and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 to activate macrophages. All the toxins tested had the potential to stimulate tumoricidal activity in

  8. Liquid transportation fuels from algal oils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Daichuan

    Liquid transportation fuels from renewable sources are becoming more prominent and important in modem society. Processing of hydrocarbon oils from algae has not been studied in detail in the past, so components which have been proposed for incorporation in algal oils via genetic engineering, such as cuparene, farnesene, phytol and squalene, have been subjected to processing via catalytic cracking in a pulse reactor at different temperatures. The cracking results showed that liquid products contained numerous high octane molecules which make it feasible for use in automobiles. Additionally, canola oil, chosen as an algal oil model compound, was studied as a feed for catalytic cracking in a fixed-bed reactor at atmospheric pressure over different types of zeolites. The results showed that MFI catalysts gave the highest yield of gasoline range products and lowest coke formation. Gallium loaded MFI zeolites increased the total aromatics yield for the canola oil cracking relative to the acid form of the zeolite. Finally, algal oils were cracked on several selected zeolites, and the results showed the same trend as canola oil cracking. MFI gave the highest gasoline yield (43.8 wt%) and lowest coke (4.7 wt%). The total aromatics yield from algae oil cracking is improved 7.8 wt% when MFI is loaded with gallium.

  9. Marine Toxins: An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fusetani, Nobuhiro

    Oceans provide enormous and diverse space for marine life. Invertebrates are conspicuous inhabitants in certain zones such as the intertidal; many are soft-bodied, relatively immobile and lack obvious physical defenses. These animals frequently have evolved chemical defenses against predators and overgrowth by fouling organisms. Marine animals may accumulate and use a variety of toxins from prey organisms and from symbiotic microorganisms for their own purposes. Thus, toxic animals are particularly abundant in the oceans. The toxins vary from small molecules to high molecular weight proteins and display unique chemical and biological features of scientific interest. Many of these substances can serve as useful research tools or molecular models for the design of new drugs and pesticides. This chapter provides an initial survey of these toxins and their salient properties.

  10. Simultaneous screening for lipophilic and hydrophilic toxins in marine harmful algae using a serially coupled reversed-phase and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography separation system with high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Junhui; Gao, Liyuan; Li, Zhaoyong; Wang, Shuai; Li, Jingxi; Cao, Wei; Sun, Chengjun; Zheng, Li; Wang, Xiaoru

    2016-03-31

    The presence of toxins in harmful algal blooms (HABs) poses considerable concerns because of their potential adverse effects on ecological environments and human health. When marine HABs occur, efficient screening and identification of toxins in different kinds of HAB algae remains a challenge. In this study, the applicability of serial coupling of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) and hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) combined with high resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS) for the simultaneous screening and identification of various kinds of known lipophilic and hydrophilic toxins in HAB algae was investigated for the first time. Ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) was explored to extract both lipophilic and hydrophilic toxins in algae simultaneously. As in most cases, toxin standards were not available; therefore, an identification procedure based on accurate mass data and chromatographic behavior was proposed. According to this procedure, eight known lipophilic toxins and 11 hydrophilic toxins were successfully detected in a single injection, and the proposed method was validated. Satisfactory sensitivity, repeatability (RSD <14.87%) and recovery (89.4-105.8%) of the method were achieved. A major advantage of the proposed method is that it can almost detect members of all eight groups of marine algal toxins in a single run. Using this method, several known toxins in different marine toxigenic algae including Alexandrium tamarense, Alexandrium minutum and Prorocentrum lima were successfully observed and identified. This work demonstrates that RPLC/HILIC-HR-MS combined with an accurate mass list of known marine algal toxins may be used as a powerful tool for screening of different classes of known toxins in marine harmful algae.

  11. Polymyositis after ciguatera toxin exposure.

    PubMed

    Stommel, E W; Parsonnet, J; Jenkyn, L R

    1991-08-01

    Biopsy-proved polymyositis subsequently developed in two patients who were severely poisoned by ciguatera fish toxin. Ciguatera toxin may have several mechanisms of action and may represent more than one toxin. The patients' clinical courses and the unlikelihood of coincidence of contracting both diseases suggested to us a causal relationship. Although we cannot prove this relationship, we suggest a mechanism by which the toxin predisposed the muscle to inflammation.

  12. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  13. Toxins of filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Bhatnagar, Deepak; Yu, Jiujiang; Ehrlich, Kenneth C

    2002-01-01

    Mycotoxins are low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites of fungi. The most significant mycotoxins are contaminants of agricultural commodities, foods and feeds. Fungi that produce these toxins do so both prior to harvest and during storage. Although contamination of commodities by toxigenic fungi occurs frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate (i.e. conditions favorable for fungal growth), they can also be found in temperate conditions. Production of mycotoxins is dependent upon the type of producing fungus and environmental conditions such as the substrate, water activity (moisture and relative humidity), duration of exposure to stress conditions and microbial, insect or other animal interactions. Although outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in humans have been documented, several of these have not been well characterized, neither has a direct correlation between the mycotoxin and resulting toxic effect been well established in vivo. Even though the specific modes of action of most of the toxins are not well established, acute and chronic effects in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, including humans have been reported. The toxicity of the mycotoxins varies considerably with the toxin, the animal species exposed to it, and the extent of exposure, age and nutritional status. Most of the toxic effects of mycotoxins are limited to specific organs, but several mycotoxins affect many organs. Induction of cancer by some mycotoxins is a major concern as a chronic effect of these toxins. It is nearly impossible to eliminate mycotoxins from the foods and feed in spite of the regulatory efforts at the national and international levels to remove the contaminated commodities. This is because mycotoxins are highly stable compounds, the producing fungi are ubiquitous, and food contamination can occur both before and after harvest. Nevertheless, good farm management practices and adequate storage facilities minimize the toxin contamination problems. Current research is

  14. Identification and apoptotic potential of T-2 toxin metabolites in human cells.

    PubMed

    Weidner, Maria; Welsch, Tanja; Hübner, Florian; Schwerdt, Gerald; Gekle, Michael; Humpf, Hans-Ulrich

    2012-06-06

    The mycotoxin T-2 toxin, produced by various Fusarium species, is a widespread contaminant of grain and grain products. Knowledge about its toxicity and metabolism in the human body is crucial for any risk assessment as T-2 toxin can be detected in processed and unprocessed food samples. Cell culture studies using cells of human origin represent a potent model system to study the metabolic fate of T-2 toxin as well as the cytotoxicity in vitro. In this study the metabolism of T-2 toxin was analyzed in a cell line derived from human colon carcinoma cells (HT-29) and primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTEC) using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with Fourier transformation mass spectrometry (HPLC-FTMS). Both cell types metabolized T-2 toxin to a variety of compounds. Furthermore, cell cycle analysis in RPTEC proved the apoptotic effect of T-2 toxin and its metabolites HT-2 toxin and neosolaniol in micromolar concentrations.

  15. Study of polyacrylamide grafted starch based algal flocculation towards applications in algal biomass harvesting.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Chiranjib; Gupta, Pratibha; Mishra, Sumit; Sen, Gautam; Shukla, Pratyoosh; Bandopadhyay, Rajib

    2012-11-01

    Microalgae may be the source of high amount of lipid and protein. It has the property for carbon dioxide sequestration, recycling and also can remove pollutants from wastewater. Using traditional methods, collection of algal biomass is either cost effective, time consuming or may be toxic due to use of chemical salts. The aim of this study is to harvest freshwater microalgae (Chlorella sp. CB4) biomass by using polymer. Polyacrylamide grafted starch (St-g-PAM) has been synthesized by microwave assisted method involving a synergism of microwave radiation and ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) to initiate the grafting reaction. The synthesis was optimized in terms of CAN and monomer (acrylamide) concentration. The algal flocculation efficacy of all the grades of this graft copolymer was studied through standard 'Jar test' procedure. Effects of percentage grafting, pH and zeta potential on percentage recovery of algal biomass were thoroughly investigated.

  16. Algal taxonomy: a road to nowhere?

    PubMed

    De Clerck, Olivier; Guiry, Michael D; Leliaert, Frederik; Samyn, Yves; Verbruggen, Heroen

    2013-04-01

    The widespread view of taxonomy as an essentially retrogressive and outmoded science unable to cope with the current biodiversity crisis stimulated us to analyze the current status of cataloguing global algal diversity. Contrary to this largely pessimistic belief, species description rates of algae through time and trends in the number of active taxonomists, as revealed by the web resource AlgaeBase, show a much more positive picture. More species than ever before are being described by a large community of algal taxonomists. The lack of any decline in the rate at which new species and genera are described, however, is indicative of the large proportion of undiscovered diversity and bears heavily on any prediction of global algal species diversity and the time needed to catalogue it. The saturation of accumulation curves of higher taxa (family, order, and classes) on the other hand suggest that at these taxonomic levels most diversity has been discovered. This reasonably positive picture does not imply that algal taxonomy does not face serious challenges in the near future. The observed levels of cryptic diversity in algae, combined with the shift in methods used to characterize them, have resulted in a rampant uncertainty about the status of many older species. As a consequence, there is a tendency in phycology to move gradually away from traditional names to a more informal system whereby clade-, specimen- or strain-based identifiers are used to communicate biological information. Whether these informal names for species-level clades represent a temporary situation stimulated by the lag between species discovery and formal description, or an incipient alternative or parallel taxonomy, will be largely determined by how well we manage to integrate historical collections into modern taxonomic research. Additionally, there is a pressing need for a consensus about the organizational framework to manage the information about algal species names. An eventual strategy

  17. Cyanobacteria toxins in the Salton Sea

    PubMed Central

    Carmichael, Wayne W; Li, RenHui

    2006-01-01

    Background The Salton Sea (SS) is the largest inland body of water in California: surface area 980 km2, volume 7.3 million acre-feet, 58 km long, 14–22 km wide, maximum depth 15 m. Located in the southeastern Sonoran desert of California, it is 85 m below sea level at its lowest point. It was formed between 1905 and 1907 from heavy river flows of the Colorado River. Since its formation, it has attracted both people and wildlife, including flocks of migratory birds that have made the Salton Sea a critical stopover on the Pacific flyway. Over the past 15 years wintering populations of eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) at the Salton Sea, have experienced over 200,000 mortalities. The cause of these large die-offs remains unknown. The unique environmental conditions of the Salton Sea, including salinities from brackish freshwater at river inlets to hypersaline conditions, extreme daily summer temperatures (>38°C), and high nutrient loading from rivers and agricultural drainage favor eutrophic conditions that encourage algal blooms throughout the year. A significant component of these algal blooms are the prokaryotic group – the Cyanophyta or blue-green algae (also called Cyanobacteria). Since many Cyanobacteria produce toxins (the cyanotoxins) it became important to evaluate their presence and to determine if they are a contributing factor in eared-grebe mortalities at the Salton Sea. Results From November 1999 to April 2001, 247 water and sediment samples were received for phytoplankton identification and cyanotoxin analyses. Immunoassay (ELISA) screening of these samples found that eighty five percent of all water samples contained low but detectable levels of the potent cyclic peptide liver toxin called microcystins. Isolation and identification of cyanobacteria isolates showed that the picoplanktonic Synechococcus and the benthic filamentous Oscillatoria were dominant. Both organisms were found to produce microcystins dominated by microcystin-LR and YR. A

  18. Algal biomass production and wastewater treatment in high rate algal ponds receiving disinfected effluent.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Aníbal Fonseca; Calijuri, Maria Lucia; Assemany, Paula Peixoto; Calijuri, Maria do Carmo; dos Reis, Alberto José Delgado

    2013-01-01

    Algal biomass production associated with wastewater is usually carried out in high rate algal ponds (HRAPs), which are concomitantly used in the treatment of such effluent. However, most types of wastewater have high levels of bacteria that can inhibit the growth of algal biomass by competing for space and nutrients. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of ultraviolet (UV) pre-disinfection on the performance of HRAPs used for wastewater treatment and algal biomass production. Two HRAPs were tested: one received effluent from an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor- HRAP -and the second received UASB effluent pre-disinfected by UV radiation-(UV)HRAP. Physical, chemical and microbiological parameters were monitored, as well as algal biomass productivity and daily pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) variation. The (UV)HRAP presented highest DO and pH values, as well as greater percentage of chlorophyll a in the biomass, which indicates greater algal biomass productivity. The average percentages of chlorophyll a found in the biomass obtained from the HRAP and the (UV)HRAP were 0.95 +/- 0.65% and 1.58 +/- 0.65%, respectively. However, total biomass productivity was greater in the HRAP (11.4 gVSSm(-2) day(-1)) compared with the (UV)HRAP (9.3 gVSSm(-2) day(-1)). Mean pH values were 7.7 +/- 0.7 in the HRAP and 8.1 +/- 1.0 in the (UV)HRAP, and mean values of DO percent saturation were 87 +/- 26% and 112 +/- 31% for the HRAP and the (UV)HRAP, respectively. Despite these differences, removal efficiencies of organic carbon, chemical oxygen demand, ammoniacal nitrogen and soluble phosphorus were statistically equal at the 5% significance level.

  19. LYSOSOMAL DISRUPTION BY BACTERIAL TOXINS

    PubMed Central

    Bernheimer, Alan W.; Schwartz, Lois L.

    1964-01-01

    Bernheimer, Alan W. (New York University School of Medicine, New York), and Lois L. Schwartz. Lysosomal disruption by bacterial toxins. J. Bacteriol. 87:1100–1104. 1964.—Seventeen bacterial toxins were examined for capacity (i) to disrupt rabbit leukocyte lysosomes as indicated by decrease in turbidity of lysosomal suspensions, and (ii) to alter rabbit liver lysosomes as measured by release of β-glucuronidase and acid phosphatase. Staphylococcal α-toxin, Clostridium perfringens α-toxin, and streptolysins O and S affected lysosomes in both systems. Staphylococcal β-toxin, leucocidin and enterotoxin, Shiga neurotoxin, Serratia endotoxin, diphtheria toxin, tetanus neurotoxin, C. botulinum type A toxin, and C. perfringens ε-toxin were not active in either system. Staphylococcal δ-toxin, C. histolyticum collagenase, crude C. perfringens β-toxin, and crude anthrax toxin caused lysosomal damage in only one of the test systems. There is a substantial correlation between the hemolytic property of a toxin and its capacity to disrupt lysosomes, lending support to the concept that erythrocytes and lysosomes are bounded by similar membranes. PMID:5874534

  20. Wastewater treatment high rate algal ponds for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J; Shilton, A N

    2011-01-01

    While research and development of algal biofuels are currently receiving much interest and funding, they are still not commercially viable at today's fossil fuel prices. However, a niche opportunity may exist where algae are grown as a by-product of high rate algal ponds (HRAPs) operated for wastewater treatment. In addition to significantly better economics, algal biofuel production from wastewater treatment HRAPs has a much smaller environmental footprint compared to commercial algal production HRAPs which consume freshwater and fertilisers. In this paper the critical parameters that limit algal cultivation, production and harvest are reviewed and practical options that may enhance the net harvestable algal production from wastewater treatment HRAPs including CO(2) addition, species control, control of grazers and parasites and bioflocculation are discussed.

  1. Mechanism and challenges in commercialisation of algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anoop; Nigam, Poonam Singh; Murphy, Jerry D

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels made from algal biomass are being considered as the most suitable alternative energy in current global and economical scenario. Microalgae are known to produce and accumulate lipids within their cell mass which is similar to those found in many vegetable oils. The efficient lipid producer algae cell mass has been reported to contain more than 30% of their cell weight as lipids. According to US DOE microalgae have the potential to produce 100 times more oil per acre land than any terrestrial plants. This article reviews up to date literature on the composition of algae, mechanism of oil droplets, triacylglycerol (TAG) production in algal biomass, research and development made in the cultivation of algal biomass, harvesting strategies, and recovery of lipids from algal mass. The economical challenges in the production of biofuels from algal biomass have been discussed in view of the future prospects in the commercialisation of algal fuels.

  2. Effects of algal turfs and sediment on coral settlement.

    PubMed

    Birrell, Chico L; McCook, Laurence J; Willis, Bette L

    2005-01-01

    Successful settlement and recruitment of corals is critical to the resilience of coral reefs. Given that many degraded reefs are dominated by benthic algae, recovery of coral populations after bleaching and other disturbances requires successful settlement amidst benthic algae. Algal turfs often accumulate sediments, sediments are known to inhibit coral settlement, and reefs with high inputs of terrestrial sediments are often dominated by turfs. We investigated the impacts of two algal turf assemblages, and of sediment deposits, on settlement of the coral Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg). Adding sediment reduced coral settlement, but the effects of different algal turfs varied. In one case, algal turfs inhibited coral settlement, whereas the other turf only inhibited settlement when combined with sediments. These results provide the first direct, experimental evidence of effects of filamentous algal turfs on coral settlement, the variability in those effects, and the potential combined effects of algal turfs and trapped sediments.

  3. Isolation, purification and spectrometric analysis of PSP toxins from moraxella sp., a bacterium associated with a toxic dinoflagellate

    SciTech Connect

    Boyce, S.D.; Doucette, G.J.

    1994-12-31

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a seafood intoxication syndrome caused by the injestion of shellfish contaminated with toxins produced by algae known as dinoflagellates. The PSP toxins, saxitoxin and its derivatives, act to block voltage-dependent sodium channels and can cause paralysis and even death at higher doses. It is well documented that bacteria coexist with many harmful or toxic algal species, though the exact nature of the association in relation to toxin production is unknown. Recently, the bacterium Moraxella sp. was isolated from the PSP toxin producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense. Through HPLC analysis and saxitoxin receptor binding assays performed on crude bacterial extracts, it appears that Moraxella sp. is capable of producing saxitoxin and several of its derivatives. However, physical confirmation (e.g. mass spectrometry) of these results is still needed.

  4. Purification and pharmacological properties of eight sea anemone toxins from Anemonia sulcata, Anthopleura xanthogrammica, Stoichactis giganteus, and Actinodendron plumosum.

    PubMed

    Schweitz, H; Vincent, J P; Barhanin, J; Frelin, C; Linden, G; Hugues, M; Lazdunski, M

    1981-09-01

    Eight different polypeptide toxins from sea anemones of four different origins (Anemonia sulcata, Anthopleura xanthogrammica, Stoichactis giganteus, and Actinodendron plumosum) have been studied. Three of these toxins are new; the purification procedure for the five other ones has been improved. Sea anemone toxins were assayed (i) for their toxicity to crabs and mice, (ii) for their affinity for the specific sea anemone toxin receptor situated on the Na+ channels of rat brain synaptosomes, and (iii) for their capacity to increase, in synergy with veratridine, the rate of 22Na+ entry into neuroblastoma cells via the Na+ channel. Some of the toxins are more active on crustaceans, whereas others are more toxic to mammals. A very good correlation exists between the toxic activity to mice, the affinity of the toxin for the Na+ channel in rat brain synaptosomes, and the stimulating effect on 22 Na+ uptake by neuroblastoma cells. The observation has also been made that the most cationic toxins are also the most active on mammals and the least active on crustaceans. Toxicities (LD50) to mice of the most active sea anemone toxins and of the most active scorpion toxins are similar, and sea anemone toxins at high enough concentrations prevent binding of scorpion toxins to their receptor. However, scorpion toxins have affinities for the Na+ channel which are approximately 60 times higher than those found for the most active sea anemone toxins. Three sea anemone toxins appear to be more interesting than toxin II from A. sulcata (the "classical" sea anemone toxin) for studies of the Na+ channel structure and mechanism when the source of the channel is of a mammalian origin. Two of these three toxins can be radiolabeled with iodine while retaining their toxic activity; they appear to be useful tools for future biochemical studies of the Na+ channel.

  5. Sentinel Animals in a One Health Approach to Harmful Cyanobacterial and Algal Blooms

    PubMed Central

    Backer, Lorraine C.; Miller, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all exposed to numerous environmental threats, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). However, because animals exhibit wide variations in diet, land use and biology, they are often more frequently or heavily exposed to HAB toxins than are people occupying the same habitat, making them sentinels for human exposures. Historically, we have taken advantage of unique physiological characteristics of animals, such as the sensitivity of canaries to carbon monoxide, to more quickly recognize threats and help protect human health. As HAB events become more severe and widespread worldwide, exposure and health outcome data for animals can be extremely helpful to predict, prevent, and evaluate human exposures and health outcomes. Applying a One Health approach to investigation of HABs means that lessons learned from animal sentinels can be applied to protect people, animals and our shared environment. PMID:27152315

  6. Progress in understanding harmful algal blooms: paradigm shifts and new technologies for research, monitoring, and management.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M; Cembella, Allan D; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M

    2012-01-01

    The public health, tourism, fisheries, and ecosystem impacts from harmful algal blooms (HABs) have all increased over the past few decades. This has led to heightened scientific and regulatory attention, and the development of many new technologies and approaches for research and management. This, in turn, is leading to significant paradigm shifts with regard to, e.g., our interpretation of the phytoplankton species concept (strain variation), the dogma of their apparent cosmopolitanism, the role of bacteria and zooplankton grazing in HABs, and our approaches to investigating the ecological and genetic basis for the production of toxins and allelochemicals. Increasingly, eutrophication and climate change are viewed and managed as multifactorial environmental stressors that will further challenge managers of coastal resources and those responsible for protecting human health. Here we review HAB science with an eye toward new concepts and approaches, emphasizing, where possible, the unexpected yet promising new directions that research has taken in this diverse field.

  7. Progress in Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms: Paradigm Shifts and New Technologies for Research, Monitoring, and Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Donald M.; Cembella, Allan D.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    2012-01-01

    The public health, tourism, fisheries, and ecosystem impacts from harmful algal blooms (HABs) have all increased over the past few decades. This has led to heightened scientific and regulatory attention, and the development of many new technologies and approaches for research and management. This, in turn, is leading to significant paradigm shifts with regard to, e.g., our interpretation of the phytoplankton species concept (strain variation), the dogma of their apparent cosmopolitanism, the role of bacteria and zooplankton grazing in HABs, and our approaches to investigating the ecological and genetic basis for the production of toxins and allelochemicals. Increasingly, eutrophication and climate change are viewed and managed as multifactorial environmental stressors that will further challenge managers of coastal resources and those responsible for protecting human health. Here we review HAB science with an eye toward new concepts and approaches, emphasizing, where possible, the unexpected yet promising new directions that research has taken in this diverse field.

  8. Toxin-producing cyanobacteria in freshwater: a review of the problems, impact on drinking water safety, and efforts for protecting public health.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Melissa Y; Liang, Song; Lee, Jiyoung

    2013-02-01

    Cyanobacteria have adapted to survive in a variety of environments and have been found globally. Toxin-producing cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) have been increasing in frequency worldwide and pose a threat to drinking and recreational water. In this study, the prevalence, impact of CHABs and mitigation efforts were reviewed, focusing on the Lake Erie region and Ohio's inland lakes that have been impacted heavily as an example so that the findings can be transferrable to other parts of the world that face the similar problems due to the CHABs in their freshwater environments. This paper provides a basic introduction to CHABs and their toxins as well as an overview of public health implications including exposure routes, health effects, and drinking water issues, algal bloom advisory practices in Ohio, toxin measurements results in Ohio public water supplies, and mitigation efforts.

  9. Botulinum Toxin for Rhinitis.

    PubMed

    Ozcan, Cengiz; Ismi, Onur

    2016-08-01

    Rhinitis is a common clinical entity. Besides nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing, one of the most important symptoms of rhinitis is nasal hypersecretion produced by nasal glands and exudate from the nasal vascular bed. Allergic rhinitis is an IgE-mediated inflammatory reaction of nasal mucosa after exposure to environmental allergens. Idiopathic rhinitis describes rhinitis symptoms that occur after non-allergic, noninfectious irritants. Specific allergen avoidance, topical nasal decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, and sinonasal surgery are the main treatment options. Because the current treatment modalities are not enough for reducing rhinorrhea in some patients, novel treatment options are required to solve this problem. Botulinum toxin is an exotoxin generated by Clostridium botulinum. It disturbs the signal transmission at the neuromuscular and neuroglandular junction by inhibiting the acetylcholine release from the presynaptic nerve terminal. It has been widely used in neuromuscular, hypersecretory, and autonomic nerve system disorders. There have been a lot of published articles concerning the effect of this toxin on rhinitis symptoms. Based on the results of these reports, intranasal botulinum toxin A administration appears to be a safe and effective treatment method for decreasing rhinitis symptoms in rhinitis patients with a long-lasting effect. Botulinum toxin type A will be a good treatment option for the chronic rhinitis patients who are resistant to other treatment methods.

  10. Diffusion of Botulinum Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Brodsky, Matthew A.; Swope, David M.; Grimes, David

    2012-01-01

    Background It is generally agreed that diffusion of botulinum toxin occurs, but the extent of the spread and its clinical importance are disputed. Many factors have been suggested to play a role but which have the most clinical relevance is a subject of much discussion. Methods This review discusses the variables affecting diffusion, including protein composition and molecular size as well as injection factors (e.g., volume, dose, injection method). It also discusses data on diffusion from comparative studies in animal models and human clinical trials that illustrate differences between the available botulinum toxin products (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, incobotulinumtoxinA, and rimabotulinumtoxinB). Results Neither molecular weight nor the presence of complexing proteins appears to affect diffusion; however, injection volume, concentration, and dose all play roles and are modifiable. Both animal and human studies show that botulinum toxin products are not interchangeable, and that some products are associated with greater diffusion and higher rates of diffusion-related adverse events than others. Discussion Each of the botulinum toxins is a unique pharmacologic entity. A working knowledge of the different serotypes is essential to avoid unwanted diffusion-related adverse events. In addition, clinicians should be aware that the factors influencing diffusion may range from properties intrinsic to the drug to accurate muscle selection as well as dilution, volume, and dose injected. PMID:23440162

  11. Optimizing algal cultivation & productivity : an innovative, multidiscipline, and multiscale approach.

    SciTech Connect

    Murton, Jaclyn K.; Hanson, David T.; Turner, Tom; Powell, Amy Jo; James, Scott Carlton; Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Scholle, Steven; August, Andrew; Dwyer, Brian P.; Ruffing, Anne; Jones, Howland D. T.; Ricken, James Bryce; Reichardt, Thomas A.

    2010-04-01

    Progress in algal biofuels has been limited by significant knowledge gaps in algal biology, particularly as they relate to scale-up. To address this we are investigating how culture composition dynamics (light as well as biotic and abiotic stressors) describe key biochemical indicators of algal health: growth rate, photosynthetic electron transport, and lipid production. Our approach combines traditional algal physiology with genomics, bioanalytical spectroscopy, chemical imaging, remote sensing, and computational modeling to provide an improved fundamental understanding of algal cell biology across multiple cultures scales. This work spans investigations from the single-cell level to ensemble measurements of algal cell cultures at the laboratory benchtop to large greenhouse scale (175 gal). We will discuss the advantages of this novel, multidisciplinary strategy and emphasize the importance of developing an integrated toolkit to provide sensitive, selective methods for detecting early fluctuations in algal health, productivity, and population diversity. Progress in several areas will be summarized including identification of spectroscopic signatures for algal culture composition, stress level, and lipid production enabled by non-invasive spectroscopic monitoring of the photosynthetic and photoprotective pigments at the single-cell and bulk-culture scales. Early experiments compare and contrast the well-studied green algae chlamydomonas with two potential production strains of microalgae, nannochloropsis and dunnaliella, under optimal and stressed conditions. This integrated approach has the potential for broad impact on algal biofuels and bioenergy and several of these opportunities will be discussed.

  12. Conversion of Small Algal Oil Sample to JP-8

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    9 Table 4. Wei ht Percent of n-Paraffins for Biofuels and JP-8 Fuel 7051 n-Decane ·n- ndecane n-Dodecane n-Tridecane W911NF -10-C-0021 Algal ...REPORT Conversion of Small Algal Oil Sample to JP-8 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: A small sample of Algal oil was received by UOP for...P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 15. SUBJECT TERMS Algal Oil, JP-8, SPK, MIL-DTL-83133G F. S. Lupton UOP LLC 25 East

  13. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production

    DOE PAGES

    Newby, Deborah T.; Mathews, Teresa J.; Pate, Ron C.; ...

    2016-10-24

    To date, the algal biofuel industry has focused on the cultivation of monocultures of highly productive algal strains, but scaling up production remains challenging. However, algal monocultures are difficult to maintain because they are easily contaminated by wild algal strains, grazers, and pathogens. In contrast, theory suggests that polycultures (multispecies assemblages) can promote both ecosystem stability and productivity. A greater understanding of species interactions and how communities change with time will need to be developed before polycultures can be successfully applied to large-scale algal production efforts. Here in this paper we review the agricultural and ecological literature to explore opportunitiesmore » for increased annual biomass production through the use of algal polycultures. We discuss case studies where algal polycultures have been successfully maintained for industries other than the biofuel industry, as well as the few studies that have compared biomass production of algal polycultures to that of monocultures. Assemblages that include species with complementary traits are of particular promise. These assemblages have the potential not only to increase crop productivity and stability, but they may also be capable of utilizing natural resources (e.g. light, nutrients, water) more efficiently via tighter niche packing. Therefore, algal polycultures show promise for enhancing biomass productivity, enabling sustainable production and reducing overall production costs.« less

  14. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Newby, Deborah T.; Mathews, Teresa J.; Pate, Ron C.; Huesemann, Michael H.; Lane, Todd W.; Wahlen, Bradley D.; Mandal, Shovon; Engler, Robert K.; Feris, Kevin P.; Shurin, Jon B.

    2016-10-24

    To date, the algal biofuel industry has focused on the cultivation of monocultures of highly productive algal strains, but scaling up production remains challenging. However, algal monocultures are difficult to maintain because they are easily contaminated by wild algal strains, grazers, and pathogens. In contrast, theory suggests that polycultures (multispecies assemblages) can promote both ecosystem stability and productivity. A greater understanding of species interactions and how communities change with time will need to be developed before polycultures can be successfully applied to large-scale algal production efforts. Here in this paper we review the agricultural and ecological literature to explore opportunities for increased annual biomass production through the use of algal polycultures. We discuss case studies where algal polycultures have been successfully maintained for industries other than the biofuel industry, as well as the few studies that have compared biomass production of algal polycultures to that of monocultures. Assemblages that include species with complementary traits are of particular promise. These assemblages have the potential not only to increase crop productivity and stability, but they may also be capable of utilizing natural resources (e.g. light, nutrients, water) more efficiently via tighter niche packing. Therefore, algal polycultures show promise for enhancing biomass productivity, enabling sustainable production and reducing overall production costs.

  15. Algal biodiesel economy and competition among bio-fuels.

    PubMed

    Lee, D H

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examines the possible results of policy support in developed and developing economies for developing algal biodiesel through to 2040. This investigation adopts the Taiwan General Equilibrium Model-Energy for Bio-fuels (TAIGEM-EB) to predict competition among the development of algal biodiesel, bioethanol and conventional crop-based biodiesel. Analytical results show that algal biodiesel will not be the major energy source in 2040 without strong support in developed economies. In contrast, bioethanol enjoys a development advantage relative to both forms of biodiesel. Finally, algal biodiesel will almost completely replace conventional biodiesel. CO(2) reduction benefits the development of the bio-fuels industry.

  16. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Newby, Deborah T.; Mathews, Teresa J.; Pate, Ron C.; Huesemann, Michael H.; Lane, Todd W.; Wahlen, Bradley D.; Mandal, Shovon; Engler, Robert K.; Feris, Kevin P.; Shurin, Jon B.

    2016-10-24

    To date, the algal biofuel industry has focused on the cultivation of monocultures of highly productive algal strains, but scaling up production remains challenging. However, algal monocultures are difficult to maintain because they are easily contaminated by wild algal strains, grazers, and pathogens. In contrast, theory suggests that polycultures (multispecies assemblages) can promote both ecosystem stability and productivity. A greater understanding of species interactions and how communities change with time will need to be developed before polycultures can be successfully applied to large-scale algal production efforts. Here in this paper we review the agricultural and ecological literature to explore opportunities for increased annual biomass production through the use of algal polycultures. We discuss case studies where algal polycultures have been successfully maintained for industries other than the biofuel industry, as well as the few studies that have compared biomass production of algal polycultures to that of monocultures. Assemblages that include species with complementary traits are of particular promise. These assemblages have the potential not only to increase crop productivity and stability, but they may also be capable of utilizing natural resources (e.g. light, nutrients, water) more efficiently via tighter niche packing. Therefore, algal polycultures show promise for enhancing biomass productivity, enabling sustainable production and reducing overall production costs.

  17. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production

    DOE PAGES

    Newby, Deborah T.; Mathews, Teresa J.; Pate, Ron C.; ...

    2016-10-24

    To date, the algal biofuel industry has focused on the cultivation of monocultures of highly productive algal strains, but scaling up production remains challenging. However, algal monocultures are difficult to maintain because they are easily contaminated by wild algal strains, grazers, and pathogens. In contrast, theory suggests that polycultures (multispecies assemblages) can promote both ecosystem stability and productivity. A greater understanding of species interactions and how communities change with time will need to be developed before polycultures can be successfully applied to large-scale algal production efforts. Here in this paper we review the agricultural and ecological literature to explore opportunitiesmore » for increased annual biomass production through the use of algal polycultures. We discuss case studies where algal polycultures have been successfully maintained for industries other than the biofuel industry, as well as the few studies that have compared biomass production of algal polycultures to that of monocultures. Assemblages that include species with complementary traits are of particular promise. These assemblages have the potential not only to increase crop productivity and stability, but they may also be capable of utilizing natural resources (e.g. light, nutrients, water) more efficiently via tighter niche packing. Therefore, algal polycultures show promise for enhancing biomass productivity, enabling sustainable production and reducing overall production costs.« less

  18. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    PubMed

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented.

  19. Emergent toxins in North Atlantic temperate waters: a challenge for monitoring programs and legislation.

    PubMed

    Silva, Marisa; Pratheepa, Vijaya K; Botana, Luis M; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-03-16

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB.

  20. Emergent Toxins in North Atlantic Temperate Waters: A Challenge for Monitoring Programs and Legislation

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Marisa; Pratheepa, Vijaya K.; Botana, Luis M.; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-01-01

    Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are complex to manage due to their intermittent nature and their severe impact on the economy and human health. The conditions which promote HAB have not yet been fully explained, though climate change and anthropogenic intervention are pointed as significant factors. The rise of water temperature, the opening of new sea canals and the introduction of ship ballast waters all contribute to the dispersion and establishment of toxin-producing invasive species that promote the settling of emergent toxins in the food-chain. Tetrodotoxin, ciguatoxin, palytoxin and cyclic imines are commonly reported in warm waters but have also caused poisoning incidents in temperate zones. There is evidence that monitoring for these toxins exclusively in bivalves is simplistic and underestimates the risk to public health, since new vectors have been reported for these toxins and as well for regulated toxins such as PSTs and DSTs. In order to avoid public health impacts, there is a need for adequate monitoring programs, a need for establishing appropriate legislation, and a need for optimizing effective methods of analysis. In this review, we will compile evidence concerning emergent marine toxins and provide data that may indicate the need to restructure the current monitoring programs of HAB. PMID:25785464

  1. Removal of Algal Blooms in Freshwater by Meso-porous Composite Coagulant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dan; Li, Fengting; Hui, Franck; Lédion, Jean

    2010-11-01

    Based on the concept of "using waste to treat waste and changing waste into valuables", this paper put forward a new meso-porous composite coagulant with good performance and low cost, and the removal effects of meso-porous composite coagulant on algae cells and toxins, dissolved organics in water was studied, the object of this research was to provide a new and effective way for emergency needs to clear up harmful algal blooms in freshwater. The results showed that meso-porous composite coagulant at optimal loadings (1g/L) could remove over 99% algal cells; meanwhile, the removal efficiency of COD, microcystin, total nitrogen and phosphorus was found to be 87.5%, 97.7%, 41.5% and 77.8% respectively, moreover, the forming speed of floccules was fast, and the dense floccules had good settling performance. Furthermore, the mechanism of algae removal was explored preliminarily by meso-porous composite coagulant which played a dual role in adsorption and flocculation.

  2. Autoproteolytic activation of bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Shen, Aimee

    2010-05-01

    Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP(6)), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  3. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins. PMID:22069620

  4. Algal Lipids as Quantitative Paleosalinity Proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maloney, A.; Shinneman, A.; Hemeon, K.; Sachs, J. P.

    2012-12-01

    The tropics play an important role in driving climate. However it is difficult to uncover past changes in tropical precipitation due to a lack of tree ring records and low accumulation rates of marine sediments. Hydrogen isotope ratios of algal lipids preserved in lacustrine and marine sediments have been used to qualitatively reconstruct tropical paleohydrology. Changes in the hydrologic balance are reflected in salinity and in lake water D/H ratios, which are closely tracked by lipid D/H ratios of algal biomarkers. While useful for determining past periods of "wetter" or "drier" conditions, variability in isotope fractionation in algal lipids during lipid biosynthesis can be exploited to more quantitatively determine how much wetter or drier conditions were in the past. The estuarine diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonnana, was grown in continuous cultures under controlled light, temperature, nutrient, and growth rate conditions to assess the influence of salinity (9-40 PSU) on D/H fractionation between lipids and source water. Three fatty acids, 24-methylcholesta-5,24(28)-dien-3B-ol, and phytol show decreasing fractionation between lipid and source water as salinity increases with 0.8-1.3‰ change in fractionation per salinity unit. These results compliment field-based empirical observations of dinosterol in Chesapeake Bay suspended particles that change 0.99‰ per salinity unit and lipid biomarkers from hyper-saline ponds on Christmas Island that change 0.7-1.1‰ per salinity unit. Biological pathways responsible for the inverse relationship between fractionation and salinity will be discussed.

  5. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Stephen D.

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Centriole asymmetry determines algal cell geometry

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Wallace F.

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms that determine the shape and organization of cells remain largely unknown. Green algae such as Chlamydomonas provide excellent model systems for studying cell geometry due to their highly reproducible cell organization. Structural and genetic studies suggest that asymmetry of the centriole (basal body) plays a critical determining role in organizing the internal organization of algal cells, through the attachment of microtubule rootlets and other large fiber systems to specific sets of microtubule triplets on the centriole. Thus to understand cell organization, it will be critical to understand how the different triplets of the centriole come to have distinct molecular identities. PMID:23026116

  8. Isolation and Characterization of a Double Stranded DNA Megavirus Infecting the Toxin-Producing Haptophyte Prymnesium parvum

    PubMed Central

    Wagstaff, Ben A.; Vladu, Iulia C.; Barclay, J. Elaine; Schroeder, Declan C.; Malin, Gill; Field, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    Prymnesium parvum is a toxin-producing haptophyte that causes harmful algal blooms globally, leading to large-scale fish kills that have severe ecological and economic implications. For the model haptophyte, Emiliania huxleyi, it has been shown that large dsDNA viruses play an important role in regulating blooms and therefore biogeochemical cycling, but much less work has been done looking at viruses that infect P. parvum, or the role that these viruses may play in regulating harmful algal blooms. In this study, we report the isolation and characterization of a lytic nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) collected from the site of a harmful P. parvum bloom. In subsequent experiments, this virus was shown to infect cultures of Prymnesium sp. and showed phylogenetic similarity to the extended Megaviridae family of algal viruses. PMID:28282930

  9. Accelerating Commercialization of Algal Biofuels Through Partnerships (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-10-01

    This brochure describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) algal biofuels research capabilities and partnership opportunities. NREL is accelerating algal biofuels commercialization through: (1) Advances in applied biology; (2) Algal strain development; (3) Development of fuel conversion pathways; (4) Techno-economic analysis; and (5) Development of high-throughput lipid analysis methodologies. NREL scientists and engineers are addressing challenges across the algal biofuels value chain, including algal biology, cultivation, harvesting and extraction, and fuel conversion. Through partnerships, NREL can share knowledge and capabilities in the following areas: (1) Algal Biology - A fundamental understanding of algal biology is key to developing cost-effective algal biofuels processes. NREL scientists are experts in the isolation and characterization of microalgal species. They are identifying genes and pathways involved in biofuel production. In addition, they have developed a high-throughput, non-destructive technique for assessing lipid production in microalgae. (2) Cultivation - NREL researchers study algal growth capabilities and perform compositional analysis of algal biomass. Laboratory-scale photobioreactors and 1-m2 open raceway ponds in an on-site greenhouse allow for year-round cultivation of algae under a variety of conditions. A bioenergy-focused algal strain collection is being established at NREL, and our laboratory houses a cryopreservation system for long-term maintenance of algal cultures and preservation of intellectual property. (3) Harvesting and Extraction - NREL is investigating cost-effective harvesting and extraction methods suitable for a variety of species and conditions. Areas of expertise include cell wall analysis and deconstruction and identification and utilization of co-products. (4) Fuel Conversion - NREL's excellent capabilities and facilities for biochemical and thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels are being

  10. Algal toxins in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: Linking water quality to juvenile sucker health

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    VanderKooi, S.P.; Burdick, S.M.; Echols, K.R.; Ottinger, C.A.; Rosen, B.H.; Wood, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    As the lead science agency for the Department of Interior, the U.S. Geological Survey is actively involved in resource issues in the Klamath River basin. Activities include research projects on endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers, threatened coho salmon, groundwater resources, seasonal runoff forecasting, water quality in Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River, nutrient cycling in wetlands, and assessment of land idling programs to reduce water consumption. Many of these studies are collaborations with various partners including Department of Interior agencies, Indian Tribes, and State agencies.

  11. POSSIBLE IMPORTANCE OF ALGAL TOXINS IN THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA. (R826552)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  12. POSSIBLE IMPORTANCE OF ALGAL TOXINS IN THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA. (R826552)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  13. Ribosomally encoded cyclic peptide toxins from mushrooms.

    PubMed

    Walton, Jonathan D; Luo, Hong; Hallen-Adams, Heather

    2012-01-01

    The cyclic peptide toxins of poisonous Amanita mushrooms are chemically unique among known natural products. Furthermore, they differ from other fungal cyclic peptides in being synthesized on ribosomes instead of by nonribosomal peptide synthetases. Because of their novel structures and biogenic origins, elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway of the Amanita cyclic peptides presents both challenges and opportunities. In particular, a full understanding of the pathway should lead to the ability to direct synthesis of a large number of novel cyclic peptides based on the Amanita toxin scaffold by genetic engineering of the encoding genes. Here, we highlight some of the principal methods for working with the Amanita cyclic peptides and the known steps in their biosynthesis.

  14. Algal Lectins as Potential HIV Microbicide Candidates

    PubMed Central

    Huskens, Dana; Schols, Dominique

    2012-01-01

    The development and use of topical microbicides potentially offers an additional strategy to reduce the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Carbohydrate-binding agents (CBAs) that show specificity for high mannose carbohydrates on the surface of the heavily glycosylated envelope of HIV are endowed with potent anti-HIV activity. In fact, a number of algal lectins such as cyanovirin-N, microvirin, microcystis viridis lectin, scytovirin, Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin and griffithsin are considered as potential microbicide candidates to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV through topical applications. They not only inhibit infection of cells by cell-free virus but they can also efficiently prevent virus transmission from virus-infected cells to uninfected CD4+ target T-lymphocytes and DC-SIGN-directed capture of HIV-1 and transmission to CD4+ T lymphocytes. This review focuses on the structural properties and carbohydrate specificity of these algal lectins, their antiviral activity against HIV and several other enveloped viruses, their safety profile and viral resistance patterns. PMID:22851920

  15. Exploiting algal NADPH oxidase for biophotovoltaic energy

    DOE PAGES

    Anderson, Alexander; Laohavisit, Anuphon; Blaby, Ian K.; ...

    2015-01-29

    Photosynthetic microbes exhibit light-dependent electron export across the cell membrane, which can generate electricity in biological photovoltaic (BPV) devices. How electrons are exported remains to be determined; the identification of mechanisms would help selection or generation of photosynthetic microbes capable of enhanced electrical output. We show that plasma membrane NADPH oxidase activity is a significant component of light-dependent generation of electricity by the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. NADPH oxidases export electrons across the plasma membrane to form superoxide anion from oxygen. The C. reinhardtii mutant lacking the NADPH oxidase encoded by RBO1 is impaired in both extracellular superoxide anionmore » production and current generation in a BPV device. Complementation with the wild-type gene restores both capacities, demonstrating the role of the enzyme in electron export. Monitoring light-dependent extracellular superoxide production with a colorimetric assay is shown to be an effective way of screening for electrogenic potential of candidate algal strains. Furthermore, the results show that algal NADPH oxidases are important for superoxide anion production and open avenues for optimizing the biological component of these devices.« less

  16. Exploiting algal NADPH oxidase for biophotovoltaic energy.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Alexander; Laohavisit, Anuphon; Blaby, Ian K; Bombelli, Paolo; Howe, Christopher J; Merchant, Sabeeha S; Davies, Julia M; Smith, Alison G

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthetic microbes exhibit light-dependent electron export across the cell membrane, which can generate electricity in biological photovoltaic (BPV) devices. How electrons are exported remains to be determined; the identification of mechanisms would help selection or generation of photosynthetic microbes capable of enhanced electrical output. We show that plasma membrane NADPH oxidase activity is a significant component of light-dependent generation of electricity by the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. NADPH oxidases export electrons across the plasma membrane to form superoxide anion from oxygen. The C. reinhardtii mutant lacking the NADPH oxidase encoded by RBO1 is impaired in both extracellular superoxide anion production and current generation in a BPV device. Complementation with the wild-type gene restores both capacities, demonstrating the role of the enzyme in electron export. Monitoring light-dependent extracellular superoxide production with a colorimetric assay is shown to be an effective way of screening for electrogenic potential of candidate algal strains. The results show that algal NADPH oxidases are important for superoxide anion production and open avenues for optimizing the biological component of these devices.

  17. Mechanical algal disruption for efficient biodiesel extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krehbiel, Joel David

    Biodiesel from algae provides several benefits over current biodiesel feedstocks, but the energy requirements of processing algae into a useable fuel are currently so high as to be prohibitive. One route to improving this is via disruption of the cells prior to lipid extraction, which can significantly increase energy recovery. Unfortunately, several obvious disruption techniques require more energy than can be gained. This dissertation examines the use of microbubbles to improve mechanical disruption of algal cells using experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. New laboratory experiments show that effective ultrasonic disruption of algae is achieved by adding microbubbles to an algal solution. The configuration studied flows the solution through a tube and insonifies a small section with a high-pressure ultrasound wave. Previous biomedical research has shown effective cell membrane damage on animal cells with similar methods, but the present research is the first to extend such study to algal cells. Results indicate that disruption increases with peak negative pressure between 1.90 and 3.07 MPa and with microbubble concentration up to 12.5 x 107 bubbles/ml. Energy estimates of this process suggest that it requires only one-fourth the currently most-efficient laboratory-scale disruption process. Estimates of the radius near each bubble that causes disruption (i.e. the disruption radius) suggest that it increases with peak negative pressure and is near 9--20 microm for all cases tested. It is anticipated that these procedures can be designed for better efficiency and efficacy, which will be facilitated by identifying the root mechanisms of the bubble-induced disruption. We therefore examine whether bubble expansion alone creates sufficient cell deformation for cell rupture. The spherically-symmetric Marmottant model for bubble dynamics allows estimation of the flow regime under experimental conditions. Bubble expansion is modeled as a point source of

  18. Potential of carbon nanotubes in algal biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Lambreva, Maya Dimova; Lavecchia, Teresa; Tyystjärvi, Esa; Antal, Taras Kornelievich; Orlanducci, Silvia; Margonelli, Andrea; Rea, Giuseppina

    2015-09-01

    A critical mass of knowledge is emerging on the interactions between plant cells and engineered nanomaterials, revealing the potential of plant nanobiotechnology to promote and support novel solutions for the development of a competitive bioeconomy. This knowledge can foster the adoption of new methodological strategies to empower the large-scale production of biomass from commercially important microalgae. The present review focuses on the potential of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to enhance photosynthetic performance of microalgae by (i) widening the spectral region available for the energy conversion reactions and (ii) increasing the tolerance of microalgae towards unfavourable conditions occurring in mass production. To this end, current understanding on the mechanisms of uptake and localization of CNTs in plant cells is discussed. The available ecotoxicological data were used in an attempt to assess the feasibility of CNT-based applications in algal biotechnology, by critically correlating the experimental conditions with the observed adverse effects. Furthermore, main structural and physicochemical properties of single- and multi-walled CNTs and common approaches for the functionalization and characterization of CNTs in biological environment are presented. Here, we explore the potential that nanotechnology can offer to enhance functions of algae, paving the way for a more efficient use of photosynthetic algal systems in the sustainable production of energy, biomass and high-value compounds.

  19. Luminescent Solar Concentrators in the Algal Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellier, Katie; Corrado, Carley; Carter, Sue; Detweiler, Angela; Bebout, Leslie

    2013-03-01

    Today's industry for renewable energy sources and highly efficient energy management systems is rapidly increasing. Development of increased efficiency Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) has brought about new applications for commercial interests, including greenhouses for agricultural crops. This project is taking first steps to explore the potential of LSCs to enhance production and reduce costs for algae and cyanobacteria used in biofuels and nutraceuticals. This pilot phase uses LSC filtered light for algal growth trials in greenhouses and laboratory experiments, creating specific wavelength combinations to determine effects of discrete solar light regimes on algal growth and the reduction of heating and water loss in the system. Enhancing the optimal spectra for specific algae will not only increase production, but has the potential to lessen contamination of large scale production due to competition from other algae and bacteria. Providing LSC filtered light will reduce evaporation and heating in regions with limited water supply, while the increased energy output from photovoltaic cells will reduce costs of heating and mixing cultures, thus creating a more efficient and cost effective production system.

  20. Dynamic metabolic exchange governs a marine algal-bacterial interaction

    PubMed Central

    Segev, Einat; Wyche, Thomas P; Kim, Ki Hyun; Petersen, Jörn; Ellebrandt, Claire; Vlamakis, Hera; Barteneva, Natasha; Paulson, Joseph N; Chai, Liraz; Clardy, Jon; Kolter, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Emiliania huxleyi is a model coccolithophore micro-alga that generates vast blooms in the ocean. Bacteria are not considered among the major factors influencing coccolithophore physiology. Here we show through a laboratory model system that the bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens, a well-studied member of the Roseobacter group, intimately interacts with E. huxleyi. While attached to the algal cell, bacteria initially promote algal growth but ultimately kill their algal host. Both algal growth enhancement and algal death are driven by the bacterially-produced phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid. Bacterial production of indole-3-acetic acid and attachment to algae are significantly increased by tryptophan, which is exuded from the algal cell. Algal death triggered by bacteria involves activation of pathways unique to oxidative stress response and programmed cell death. Our observations suggest that bacteria greatly influence the physiology and metabolism of E. huxleyi. Coccolithophore-bacteria interactions should be further studied in the environment to determine whether they impact micro-algal population dynamics on a global scale. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17473.001 PMID:27855786

  1. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Biddy, M.; Jones, S.

    2013-03-01

    This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

  2. Dynamic metabolic exchange governs a marine algal-bacterial interaction.

    PubMed

    Segev, Einat; Wyche, Thomas P; Kim, Ki Hyun; Petersen, Jörn; Ellebrandt, Claire; Vlamakis, Hera; Barteneva, Natasha; Paulson, Joseph N; Chai, Liraz; Clardy, Jon; Kolter, Roberto

    2016-11-18

    Emiliania huxleyi is a model coccolithophore micro-alga that generates vast blooms in the ocean. Bacteria are not considered among the major factors influencing coccolithophore physiology. Here we show through a laboratory model system that the bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens, a well-studied member of the Roseobacter group, intimately interacts with E. huxleyi. While attached to the algal cell, bacteria initially promote algal growth but ultimately kill their algal host. Both algal growth enhancement and algal death are driven by the bacterially-produced phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid. Bacterial production of indole-3-acetic acid and attachment to algae are significantly increased by tryptophan, which is exuded from the algal cell. Algal death triggered by bacteria involves activation of pathways unique to oxidative stress response and programmed cell death. Our observations suggest that bacteria greatly influence the physiology and metabolism of E. huxleyi. Coccolithophore-bacteria interactions should be further studied in the environment to determine whether they impact micro-algal population dynamics on a global scale.

  3. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared the results of four methods used to assess the algal communities at 60 sites distributed among four rivers. Based on Principle Component Analysis of physical habitat data collected concomitantly with the algal data, sites were separated into those with a mean thalweg...

  4. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Keshav C; Cannon, Benjamin R; Bhatnagar, Ashish; Chinnasamy, Senthil

    2014-05-13

    A system and method for culturing algae are presented. The system and method utilize a fog of growth medium that is delivered to an algal mat generator along with a stream of CO.sub.2 to promote growth of algal cells contained in the generator.

  5. Safety evaluation of Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp.

    PubMed

    Fedorova-Dahms, I; Marone, P A; Bailey-Hall, E; Ryan, A S

    2011-01-01

    The safety of Algal Oil from Schizochytrium sp. was evaluated by testing for gene mutations, clastogenicity and aneugenicity, and in a subchronic 90-day Sprague-Dawley rat dietary study. The results of all genotoxicity tests were negative. The 90-day study involved dietary exposure to 0.5, 1.5, and 5 wt.% of Algal Oil and two control diets: a standard low-fat basal diet and a basal diet supplemented with 5 wt.% menhaden oil (the fish oil control). There were no treatment-related effects of Algal Oil on clinical observations, body weight, food consumption, behavior, hematology, clinical chemistry, coagulation, or urinalysis parameters. Increased mean liver weights and alveolar histiocytosis were observed in both the fish oil control and the high-dose Algal Oil-treated animals and were not considered to be adverse. Algal Oil was bioavailable as demonstrated by the dose-related increase of DHA and EPA levels in tissues and plasma. The no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) for Algal Oil under the conditions of this study was 5 wt.% in the diet, equivalent to an overall average Algal Oil intake of 3250 mg/kg bw/day for male and female rats. Based on the body surface area, the human equivalent dose is about 30 g Algal Oil/day for a 60 kg adult.

  6. Near- and mid-infrared spectroscopic determination of algal composition

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) and mid-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (MIRS) to determine the composition of algal samples. We assayed a set of algal biomass samples (n=117), collected from algae turf scrubber...

  7. COMPARISON OF LARGE RIVER SAMPLING METHODS ON ALGAL METRICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared the results of four methods used to assess the algal communities at 60 sites distributed among four rivers. Based on Principle Component Analysis of physical habitat data collected concomitantly with the algal data, sites were separated into those with a mean thalweg...

  8. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Lektine, Toxine und Immunotoxine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uhlenbruck, Gerhard

    1981-12-01

    A definition and classification of lectins (carbohydrate-binding (glyco)proteins) is given on the basis of new data and experimental results. Especially the biological role of bacterial, vertebrate and sponge lectins is discussed. The lectin-toxin combination offers an excellent model not only for studying adhesion to and penetration through the cell membrane, but also for hybridization with antibody fragments showing anti-tumor specificity.

  10. [Cytolethal distending toxins].

    PubMed

    Curová, K; Kmeťová, M; Siegfried, L

    2014-06-01

    Cytolethal distending toxins (CDT) are intracellularly acting proteins which interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria with affinity to mucocutaneous surfaces and could play a role in the pathogenesis of various mammalian diseases. The functional toxin is composed of three proteins: CdtB entering the nucleus and by its nuclease activity inducing nuclear fragmentation and chromatin disintegration, CdtA, and CdtC, the two latter being responsible for toxin attachment to the surface of the target cell. Cytotoxic effect of CDT leads to the cell cycle arrest before the cell enters mitosis and to further changes (cell distension and death, apoptosis) depending on the cell type. Thus, CDT may function as a virulence factor in pathogenic bacteria that produce it and thus may contribute to the initiation of certain diseases. Most important are inflammatory bowel diseases caused by intestinal bacteria, periodontitis with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as the aetiologic agent and ulcus molle where Haemophilus ducreyi is the causative agent.

  11. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Faggio, C; Pagano, M; Dottore, A; Genovese, G; Morabito, M

    2016-09-01

    Marine algae are important sources of phycocolloids like agar, carrageenans and alginates used in industrial applications. Algal polysaccharides have emerged as an important class of bioactive products showing interesting properties. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential uses as anticoagulant drugs of algal sulphate polysaccharides extracted from Ulva fasciata (Chlorophyta) and Agardhiella subulata (Rhodophyta) collected in Ganzirri Lake (Cape Peloro Lagoon, north-eastern Sicily, Italy). Toxicity of algal extracts through trypan blue test and anticoagulant action measured by activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT) test has been evaluated. Algal extracts showed to prolong the PT and APTT during the coagulation cascade and to avoid the blood coagulation of samples. Furthermore, the algal extracts lack toxic effects towards cellular metabolism and their productions are relatively at low cost. This permits to consider the algae as the biological source of the future.

  12. Uniform algal growth in photobioreactors using surface scatterers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahsan, Syed S.; Pereyra, Brandon; Erickson, David

    2014-03-01

    Cultures of algae, such as cyanobacteria, are a promising source of renewable energy. However, algal growth is highly dependent on light intensity and standard photobioreactors do a poor job of distributing light uniformly for algal utilization due to shading effects in dense algal cultures. Engineered scattering schemes are already employed in current slab-waveguide technologies, like edge-lit LEDs. Stacking such slab-waveguides that uniformly distribute light could potentially yield photobioreactors to overcome the shading effect and grow extremely high densities of algal cultures that would lower monetary and energetic costs. Here, we characterize and design a scattering scheme for specific application within photobioreactors which employs a gradient distribution of surface scatterers with uniform lateral scattering intensity. This uniform scattering scheme is shown to be superior for algal cultivation.

  13. The contribution of bacteria to algal growth by carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Lant, Paul; Pratt, Steven

    2015-04-01

    Algal mass production in open systems is often limited by the availability of inorganic carbon substrate. In this paper, we evaluate how bacterial driven carbon cycling mitigates carbon limitation in open algal culture systems. The contribution of bacteria to carbon cycling was determined by quantifying algae growth with and without supplementation of bacteria. It was found that adding heterotrophic bacteria to an open algal culture dramatically enhanced algae productivity. Increases in algal productivity due to supplementation of bacteria of 4.8 and 3.4 times were observed in two batch tests operating at two different pH values over 7 days. A kinetic model is proposed which describes carbon limited algal growth, and how the limitation could be overcome by bacterial activity to re-mineralize photosynthetic end products.

  14. Detection of surface algal blooms using the newly developed algorithm surface algal bloom index (SABI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alawadi, Fahad

    2010-10-01

    Quantifying ocean colour properties has evolved over the past two decades from being able to merely detect their biological activity to the ability to estimate chlorophyll concentration using optical satellite sensors like MODIS and MERIS. The production of chlorophyll spatial distribution maps is a good indicator of plankton biomass (primary production) and is useful for the tracing of oceanographic currents, jets and blooms, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). Depending on the type of HABs involved and the environmental conditions, if their concentration rises above a critical threshold, it can impact the flora and fauna of the aquatic habitat through the introduction of the so called "red tide" phenomenon. The estimation of chlorophyll concentration is derived from quantifying the spectral relationship between the blue and the green bands reflected from the water column. This spectral relationship is employed in the standard ocean colour chlorophyll-a (Chlor-a) product, but is incapable of detecting certain macro-algal species that float near to or at the water surface in the form of dense filaments or mats. The ability to accurately identify algal formations that sometimes appear as oil spill look-alikes in satellite imagery, contributes towards the reduction of false-positive incidents arising from oil spill monitoring operations. Such algal formations that occur in relatively high concentrations may experience, as in land vegetation, what is known as the "red-edge" effect. This phenomena occurs at the highest reflectance slope between the maximum absorption in the red due to the surrounding ocean water and the maximum reflectance in the infra-red due to the photosynthetic pigments present in the surface algae. A new algorithm termed the surface algal bloom index (SABI), has been proposed to delineate the spatial distributions of floating micro-algal species like for example cyanobacteria or exposed inter-tidal vegetation like seagrass. This algorithm was

  15. Intracellular trafficking of bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jeffrey M; Tsai, Billy

    2016-08-01

    Bacterial toxins often translocate across a cellular membrane to gain access into the host cytosol, modifying cellular components in order to exert their toxic effects. To accomplish this feat, these toxins traffic to a membrane penetration site where they undergo conformational changes essential to eject the toxin's catalytic subunit into the cytosol. In this brief review, we highlight recent findings that elucidate both the trafficking pathways and membrane translocation mechanisms of toxins that cross the plasma, endosomal, or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. These findings not only illuminate the specific nature of the host-toxin interactions during entry, but should also provide additional therapeutic strategies to prevent or alleviate the bacterial toxin-induced diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. [Today's threat of ricin toxin].

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Since the late 70s of the last century there were more than 700 incidents related to the use of the ricin toxin. For this reason, CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recognized toxin as a biological weapon category B. The lethal dose of ricin toxin after parenteral administration is 0.0001 mg/kg and after oral administration 0.2 mg. The first symptoms of poisoning occur within a few hours after application of toxin as a nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the final stage there are observed: cardiac arrhythmia, collapse and symptoms suggestive of involvement of the central nervous system. Stage immediately preceding death is a state of coma. The ricin toxin is still the substance against which action has no optimal antidote. Developed a vaccine called RiVax is waiting for its registration. It should be pointed out that the availability of a ricin toxin makes it possible to use it for real bioterrorists.

  17. Effect of algal recycling rate on the performance of Pediastrum boryanum dominated wastewater treatment high rate algal pond.

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2014-01-01

    Recycling a portion of gravity harvested algae promoted the dominance of a rapidly settling colonial alga, Pediastrum boryanum (P. boryanum) and improved both biomass productivity and settleability in High Rate Algal Pond (HRAP) treating domestic wastewater. The effect of algal recycling rate on HRAP performance was investigated using 12 replicate mesocosms (18 L) that were operated semi-continuously under ambient conditions. Three experiments were conducted during different seasons with each experiment lasting up to 36 days. Recycling 10%, 25%, and 50% of the 'mass' of daily algal production all increased total biomass concentration in the mesocosms. However, recycling >10% reduced the organic content (volatile suspended solids (VSS)) of the mesocosm biomass from 83% to 68% and did not further increase biomass productivity (based on VSS). This indicates that if a HRAP is operated with a low algal concentration and does not utilise all the available sunlight, algal recycling increases the algal concentration up to an optimum level, resulting in higher algal biomass productivity. Recycling 10% of the daily algal production not only increased biomass productivity by ∼40%, but increased biomass settleability by ∼25%, which was probably a consequence of the ∼30% increase in P. boryanum dominance in the mesocosms compared with controls without recycling.

  18. Effects of co-existing microalgae and grazers on the production of hemolytic toxins in Karenia mikimotoi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Weidong; Zhang, Naisheng; Cui, Weimin; Xu, Yanyan; Li, Hongye; Liu, Jiesheng

    2011-11-01

    Karenia mikimotoi (Miyake & Kominami ex Oda) Hansen & Moestrup is associated with harmful algal blooms in temperate and subtropical zones of the world. The hemolytic substances produced by K. mikimotoi are thought to cause mortality in fishes and invertebrates. We evaluated the composition of the hemolytic toxin produced by K. mikimotoi cultured in the laboratory using thin-layer chromatography. In addition, we evaluated the effect of co-occuring algae ( Prorocentrum donghaiense and Alexandrium tamarense) and the cladoceran grazer Moina mongolica on hemolytic toxin production in K. mikimotoi. The hemolytic toxins from K. mikimotoi were a mixture of 2 liposaccharides and 1 lipid. Waterborne clues from P. donghaiense and A. tamarense inhibited the growth of K. mikimotoi but increased the production of hemolytic toxins. Conversely, K. mikimotoi strongly inhibited the growth of caged P. donghaiense and A. tamarense. In addition, the ingestion of K. mikimotoi by M. mongolica induced the production of hemolytic toxins in K. mikimotoi. Taken together, our results suggest that the presence of other microalgae and grazers may be as important as environmental factors for controlling the production of hemolytic substances. K. mikimotoi secreted allelochemicals other than unstable fatty acids with hemolytic activity. The production of hemolytic toxins in dinoflagellates was not only dependent on resource availability, but also on the risk of predation. Hemolytic toxins likely play an important role as chemical deterrents secreted by K. mikimotoi.

  19. Studies in the Use of Magnetic Microspheres for Immunoaffinity Extraction of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins from Shellfish

    PubMed Central

    Devlin, Raymond; Campbell, Katrina; Kawatsu, Kentaro; Elliott, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a potentially fatal human health condition caused by the consumption of shellfish containing high levels of PSP toxins. Toxin extraction from shellfish and from algal cultures for use as standards and analysis by alternative analytical monitoring methods to the mouse bioassay is extensive and laborious. This study investigated whether a selected MAb antibody could be coupled to a novel form of magnetic microsphere (hollow glass magnetic microspheres, brand name Ferrospheres-N) and whether these coated microspheres could be utilized in the extraction of low concentrations of the PSP toxin, STX, from potential extraction buffers and spiked mussel extracts. The feasibility of utilizing a mass of 25 mg of Ferrospheres-N, as a simple extraction procedure for STX from spiked sodium acetate buffer, spiked PBS buffer and spiked mussel extracts was determined. The effects of a range of toxin concentrations (20-300 ng/mL), incubation times and temperature on the capability of the immuno-capture of the STX from the spiked mussel extracts were investigated. Finally, the coated microspheres were tested to determine their efficiency at extracting PSP toxins from naturally contaminated mussel samples. Toxin recovery after each experiment was determined by HPLC analysis. This study on using a highly novel immunoaffinity based extraction procedure, using STX as a model, has indicated that it could be a convenient alternative to conventional extraction procedures used in toxin purification prior to sample analysis. PMID:22069687

  20. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  1. Pore formation by Cry toxins.

    PubMed

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo, Liliana; Muñóz-Garay, Carlos; Sánchez, Jorge; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; Bravo, Alejandra

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal Cry and Cyt proteins used in the biological control of different insect pests. In this review, we will focus on the 3d-Cry toxins that represent the biggest group of Cry proteins and also on Cyt toxins. The 3d-Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that induce cell death by forming ionic pores into the membrane of the midgut epithelial cells in their target insect. The initial steps in the mode of action include ingestion of the protoxin, activation by midgut proteases to produce the toxin fragment and the interaction with the primary cadherin receptor. The interaction of the monomeric CrylA toxin with the cadherin receptor promotes an extra proteolytic cleavage, where helix alpha-1 of domain I is eliminated and the toxin oligomerization is induced, forming a structure of 250 kDa. The oligomeric structure binds to a secondary receptor, aminopeptidase N or alkaline phosphatase. The secondary receptor drives the toxin into detergent resistant membrane microdomains formingpores that cause osmotic shock, burst of the midgut cells and insect death. Regarding to Cyt toxins, these proteins have a synergistic effect on the toxicity of some Cry toxins. Cyt proteins are also proteolytic activated in the midgut lumen of their target, they bind to some phospholipids present in the mosquito midgut cells. The proposed mechanism of synergism between Cry and Cyt toxins is that Cyt1Aa function as a receptor for Cry toxins. The Cyt1A inserts into midgut epithelium membrane and exposes protein regions that are recognized by Cry11Aa. It was demonstrated that this interaction facilitates the oligomerization of Cry11Aa and also its pore formation activity.

  2. Ricin detection: tracking active toxin.

    PubMed

    Bozza, William P; Tolleson, William H; Rosado, Leslie A Rivera; Zhang, Baolin

    2015-01-01

    Ricin is a plant toxin with high bioterrorism potential due to its natural abundance and potency in inducing cell death. Early detection of the active toxin is essential for developing appropriate countermeasures. Here we review concepts for designing ricin detection methods, including mechanism of action of the toxin, advantages and disadvantages of current detection assays, and perspectives on the future development of rapid and reliable methods for detecting ricin in environmental samples.

  3. Development of a rational nomenclature for naming peptide and protein toxins from sea anemones.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Joacir Stolarz; Fuentes-Silva, Deyanira; King, Glenn F

    2012-09-15

    Sea anemone toxins are predominantly peptide and proteins that act mainly on sodium and potassium channels, as well as in a variety of target cells causing lysis. Over recent years, the number of sea anemone peptide toxins as well as cytolytic pore-forming proteins and phospholipase A(2) sequences submitted to databases has been rapidly increasing due to the developments in DNA sequencing technology and proteomic approaches. However, the lack of a systematic nomenclature has resulted in multiple names being assigned to the same toxins, toxins from unrelated species being designated by the same name, and ambiguous name designations. Therefore, in this work we propose a systematic nomenclature in which we adopted specific criteria, based on order of discovery and phylogenetic analysis, in order to avoid redundant sea anemone toxin names. Implementation of the nomenclature proposed here not only allowed us to rename the already published 191 anemone toxins without ambiguities, but it can be used to unambiguously name newly discovered toxins whether or not they are related to previously published sea anemone sequences. In the new nomenclature each toxin name contains information about the toxin's biological activity, origin and relationship to known isoforms. Ongoing increases in the speed of DNA sequencing will raise significantly the number of sea anemone toxin sequences in the literature. This will represent a constant challenge in their clear identification and logical classification, which could be solved using the proposed nomenclature. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Quantification and profiling of lipophilic marine toxins in microalgae by UHPLC coupled to high-resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Gabriel; Van Meulebroek, Lieven; Van Vooren, Sarah; De Rijcke, Maarten; Vandegehuchte, Michiel; Janssen, Colin R; Vanhaecke, Lynn

    2015-08-01

    During the last decade, a significant increase in the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs), linked to repetitive cases of shellfish contamination has become a public health concern and therefore, accurate methods to detect marine toxins in different matrices are required. In this study, we developed a method for profiling lipophilic marine microalgal toxins based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HR-Orbitrap MS). Extraction of selected toxins (okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2), azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1), yessotoxin (YTX) and 13-desmethyl spirolide C (SPX-1)) was optimized using a Plackett-Burman design. Three key algal species, i.e., Prorocentrum lima, Protoceratium reticulatum and Alexandrium ostenfeldii were used to test the extraction efficiency of OA, YTXs and SPXs, respectively. Prorocentrum micans, fortified with certified reference solutions, was used for recovery studies. The quantitative and confirmatory performance of the method was evaluated according to CD 2002/657/EC. Limits of detection and quantification ranged between 0.006 and 0.050 ng mL(-1) and 0.018 to 0.227 ng mL(-1), respectively. The intra-laboratory reproducibility ranged from 6.8 to 11.7 %, repeatability from 6.41 to 11.5 % and mean corrected recoveries from 81.9 to 119.6 %. In addition, algae cultures were retrospectively screened for analogues and metabolites through a homemade database. Using the ToxID software programme, 18 toxin derivates were detected in the extract of three toxin producing microalgae species. In conclusion, the generic extraction and full-scan HRMS approach offers an excellent quantitative performance and simultaneously allows to profile analogues and metabolites of marine toxins in microalgae. Graphical Abstract Optimization of extraction, detection and quantification of lipophilic marine toxins in microalgae by UHPLC-HR Orbitrap MS.

  5. THE SYNERGY OF BACTERIAL TOXINS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    TOXINS AND ANTITOXINS, STRENGTH(PHYSIOLOGY), BACTERIA , CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS, CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI, CLOSTRIDIUM, STAPHYLOCOCCUS, ESCHERICHIA COLI, PROTEUS, ETIOLOGY, ANTIGENS, ANTIBODIES, AMINO ACIDS.

  6. Disorders of neuromuscular transmission due to natural environmental toxins.

    PubMed

    Senanayake, N; Román, G C

    1992-01-01

    A variety of natural toxins of animal, plant, and bacterial origin are capable of causing disorders of neuromuscular transmission. Animal toxins include venomous snakes and arthropods, venoms of certain marine creatures, skin secretions of dart-poison frogs, and poisonous fish, shellfish, and crabs. There are plant poisons such as curare, and bacterial poisons such as botulinum toxin. These act at single or multiple sites of the neuromuscular apparatus interfering with voltage-gated ion channels, acetylcholine release, depolarization of the postsynaptic membrane, or generation and spread of the muscle action potential. The specific actions of these toxins are being widely exploited in the study of neuromuscular physiology and pathology. Some toxins have proved to be valuable pharmaceutical agents. Poisoning by natural neurotoxins is an important public health hazard in many parts of the world, particularly in the tropics. Poisoning may occur by a bite or a sting of a venomous animal, or by the ingestion of poisonous fish, shellfish or other marine delicacies. Contaminated food is a vehicle for poisons such as botulinum toxin. Clinically, a cardinal feature in the symptomatology is muscle paralysis with a distribution characteristic of myasthenia gravis, affecting muscles innervated by cranial nerves, neck flexors, proximal limb muscles, and respiratory muscles. Respiratory paralysis may end fatally. This paper reviews from the clinical and pathophysiologic viewpoints, naturally occurring environmental neurotoxins acting at the neuromuscular junction.

  7. Red Algal Phylogenomics Provides a Robust Framework for Inferring Evolution of Key Metabolic Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Huan; Yoon, Hwan Su; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2016-01-01

    Red algae comprise an anciently diverged, species-rich phylum with morphologies that span unicells to large seaweeds. Here, leveraging a rich red algal genome and transcriptome dataset, we used 298 single-copy orthologous nuclear genes from 15 red algal species to erect a robust multi-gene phylogeny of Rhodophyta. This tree places red seaweeds (Bangiophyceae and Florideophyceae) at the base of the mesophilic red algae with the remaining non-seaweed mesophilic lineages forming a well-supported sister group. The early divergence of seaweeds contrasts with the evolution of multicellular land plants and brown algae that are nested among multiple, unicellular or filamentous sister lineages. Using this novel perspective on red algal evolution, we studied the evolution of the pathways for isoprenoid biosynthesis. This analysis revealed losses of the mevalonate pathway on at least three separate occasions in lineages that contain Cyanidioschyzon, Porphyridium, and Chondrus. Our results establish a framework for in-depth studies of the origin and evolution of genes and metabolic pathways in Rhodophyta. PMID:28018750

  8. Why It Is Time to Look Beyond Algal Genes in Photosynthetic Slugs

    PubMed Central

    Rauch, Cessa; de Vries, Jan; Rommel, Sophie; Rose, Laura E.; Woehle, Christian; Christa, Gregor; Laetz, Elise M.; Wägele, Heike; Tielens, Aloysius G.M.; Nickelsen, Jörg; Schumann, Tobias; Jahns, Peter; Gould, Sven B.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic organelles depend on nuclear genes to perpetuate their biochemical integrity. This is true for mitochondria in all eukaryotes and plastids in plants and algae. Then how do kleptoplasts, plastids that are sequestered by some sacoglossan sea slugs, survive in the animals’ digestive gland cells in the absence of the algal nucleus encoding the vast majority of organellar proteins? For almost two decades, lateral gene transfer (LGT) from algae to slugs appeared to offer a solution, but RNA-seq analysis, later supported by genome sequencing of slug DNA, failed to find any evidence for such LGT events. Yet, isolated reports continue to be published and are readily discussed by the popular press and social media, making the data on LGT and its support for kleptoplast longevity appear controversial. However, when we take a sober look at the methods used, we realize that caution is warranted in how the results are interpreted. There is no evidence that the evolution of kleptoplasty in sea slugs involves LGT events. Based on what we know about photosystem maintenance in embryophyte plastids, we assume kleptoplasts depend on nuclear genes. However, studies have shown that some isolated algal plastids are, by nature, more robust than those of land plants. The evolution of kleptoplasty in green sea slugs involves many promising and unexplored phenomena, but there is no evidence that any of these require the expression of slug genes of algal origin. PMID:26319575

  9. A Molecular Approach to the Study of Green Algal Evolution and Early Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodner, R. B.; Summons, R. E.; Knoll, A. H.

    2004-12-01

    The biological nature of pre-land plant terrestrial ecosystems remains an enigmatic chapter of the history of life on earth due to lack of fossil evidence. Molecular phylogenies have shown that Charophycean green algae are the closest relatives of the bryophytes, which have been hypothesized to be the earliest divergent land plants. However, there is no fossil evidence to support this relationship nor is there a reliable fossil record of the earliest land plants. Microfossils representing the earliest land plants appear to have a bryophytes affinity based on limited morphological comparisons but this remains controversial. We are applying a biomolecular approach to study both green algal evolution and its relation to bryophytes using the resistant biopolymer algaenan and phytosterols as biological markers. Algaenan has been shown to have high preservation potential and may be the primary component of enigmatic microfossils assumed to be of algal origin. Algaenan and the green algal sterols, stigmasterol and sitosterol, may also be the precursors of n-alkanes and the hydrocarbon stigmastane that are major components of many Neoproterozoic bitumens. The biological nature and phylogenetic distribution of algaenan is still not well understood. Here we explore the presence and structure of algaenans in terrestrial green algae and bryophytes in relation to their phylogenetic distributions.

  10. The ecology of algal biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Val H; Sturm, Belinda S M; Denoyelles, Frank J; Billings, Sharon A

    2010-05-01

    Sustainable energy production represents one of the most formidable problems of the 21st century, and plant-based biofuels offer significant promise. We summarize the potential advantages of using pond-grown microalgae as feedstocks relative to conventional terrestrial biofuel crop production. We show how pond-based algal biofuel production, which requires significantly less land area than agricultural crop-based biofuel systems, can offer additional ecological benefits by reducing anthropogenic pollutant releases to the environment and by requiring much lower water subsidies. We also demonstrate how key principles drawn from the science of ecology can be used to design efficient pond-based microalgal systems for the production of biodiesel fuels.

  11. The dynamics of heterotrophic algal cultures.

    PubMed

    De la Hoz Siegler, H; Ben-Zvi, A; Burrell, R E; McCaffrey, W C

    2011-05-01

    In this work, the time varying characteristics of microalgal cultures are investigated. Microalgae are a promising source of biofuels and other valuable chemicals; a better understanding of their dynamic behavior is, however, required to facilitate process scale-up, optimization and control. Growth and oil production rates are evaluated as a function of carbon and nitrogen sources concentration. It is found that nitrogen has a major role in controlling the productivity of microalgae. Moreover, it is shown that there exists a nitrogen source concentration at which biomass and oil production can be maximized. A mathematical model that describes the effect of nitrogen and carbon source on growth and oil production is proposed. The model considers the uncoupling between nutrient uptake and growth, a characteristic of algal cells. Validity of the proposed model is tested on fed-batch cultures.

  12. Combined algal processing: A novel integrated biorefinery process to produce algal biofuels and bioproducts

    DOE PAGES

    Dong, Tao; Knoshaug, Eric P.; Davis, Ryan; ...

    2016-01-18

    Here, the development of an integrated biorefinery process capable of producing multiple products is crucial for commercialization of microalgal biofuel production. Dilute acid pretreatment has been demonstrated as an efficient approach to utilize algal biomass more fully, by hydrolyzing microalgal carbohydrates into fermentable sugars, while making the lipids more extractable, and a protein fraction available for other products. Previously, we have shown that sugar-rich liquor could be separated from solid residue by solid-liquid separation (SLS) to produce ethanol via fermentation. However, process modeling has revealed that approximately 37% of the soluble sugars were lost in the solid cake after themore » SLS. Herein, a Combined Algal Processing (CAP) approach with a simplified configuration has been developed to improve the total energy yield. In CAP, whole algal slurry after acid pretreatment is directly used for ethanol fermentation. The ethanol and microalgal lipids can be sequentially recovered from the fermentation broth by thermal treatment and solvent extraction. Almost all the monomeric fermentable sugars can be utilized for ethanol production without compromising the lipid recovery. The techno-economic analysis (TEA) indicates that the CAP can reduce microalgal biofuel cost by $0.95 per gallon gasoline equivalent (GGE), which is a 9% reduction compared to the previous biorefinery scenario.« less

  13. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies.

  14. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-07

    Recent research has proposed integrating wastewater treatment with algae cultivation as a way of producing algal biofuels at a commercial scale more sustainably. This study evaluates the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels with a well-to-wheel life cycle assessment (LCA). Production pathways examined include different nutrient sources (municipal wastewater influent to the activated sludge process, centrate from the sludge drying process, swine manure, and freshwater with synthetic fertilizers) combined with emerging biomass conversion technologies (microwave pyrolysis, combustion, wet lipid extraction, and hydrothermal liquefaction). Results show that the environmental performance of wastewater-based algal biofuels is generally better than freshwater-based algal biofuels, but depends on the characteristics of the wastewater and the conversion technologies. Of 16 pathways compared, only the centrate cultivation with wet lipid extraction pathway and the centrate cultivation with combustion pathway have lower impacts than petroleum diesel in all environmental categories examined (fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, eutrophication potential, and consumptive water use). The potential for large-scale implementation of centrate-based algal biofuel, however, is limited by availability of centrate. Thus, it is unlikely that algal biofuels can provide a large-scale and environmentally preferable alternative to petroleum transportation fuels without considerable improvement in current production technologies. Additionally, the cobenefit of wastewater-based algal biofuel production as an alternate means of treating various wastewaters should be further explored.

  15. Demonstration of transgressive overyielding of algal mixed cultures in microdroplets.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, David N; Byun, Chang Kyu; Cardinale, Bradley J; Lin, Xiaoxia Nina

    2017-08-14

    Algae are ubiquitous in natural ecosystems and have been studied extensively for biofuel production due to their unique metabolic capabilities. Most studies to date have approached biofuel optimization through synthetic biology and process engineering with few industrial scale projects considering algal community interactions. Such interactions can potentially lead to increased productivity and reduced community invasability, both important characteristics for scalable algal biofuel production. It is estimated that over a million species of algae exist such that elucidating the interactions that might be beneficial for biofuel production remains extremely resource and time intensive. Here we describe a strategy for rapid, high-throughput screening of algal community combinations using a microfluidic platform to generate millions of parallel, nanoliter-scale algal mixed cultures for estimation of biomass accumulation. Model communities were first studied in a bench scale flask experiment and then examined using microfluidic droplets. These experiments showed consistent results for both positively interacting algal bicultures that increase biomass when together, and negatively interacting bicultures that decrease biomass. Specifically, these included enhanced performance of two bicultures, Ankistrodesmus falcatus and Chlorella sorokiniana, Chlorella sorokiniana and Selenastrum minutum, and reduced performance of a biculture consisting of Selenastrum capricornutum and Scenedesmus ecornis. While the ultimate techno-economic feasibility of algal bioproducts hinges on an amalgamation of scientific fields, rapid screening of algal communities will prove imperative for efficiently discovering community interactions.

  16. Effects of algal food quality on sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jong-Yun; Kim, Seong-Ki; La, Geung-Hwan; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Kim, Dong-Kyun; Jeong, Keon-Young; Park, Min S; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo; Jeong, Kwang-Seuk

    2016-05-01

    The objective of our study was to investigate sexual reproduction of Daphnia magna associated with mating behaviors and hatching rates, according to different algal food sources. Since a diatom is known to contain more abundant long-chain poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), we hypothesized that the diatom-consuming D. magna would exhibit more successful reproduction rates. Upon the hypothesis, we designed three experiments using two algal species, a green alga (Chlorella vulgaris) and a diatom (Stephanodiscus hantzschii). From the results, we found that the mating frequency and copulation duration increased in the treatment with S. hantzschii, resulting in a significant increase of hatching rates of resting eggs. In the other two repetitive mating strategies (e.g., one female vs. multiple males, and one male vs. multiple females), we found that the hatching rates of resting eggs were greater in the S. hantzschii treatment. In addition to the mating strategy, male body size significantly increased in the diatom treatment, hence average diameter of penis was also statistically different among the treatments (greater diameter in the S. hantzschii treatment). To examine the effect of algal food quality, we estimated quantity of fatty acids in the two algal species. Our result showed that S. hantzschii had a higher proportion of long-chain PUFAs than C. vulgaris. Furthermore, a stable isotope analysis revealed that carbon and nitrogen originated from S. hantzschii were more assimilated to D. magna. In summary, our study manifested that diatom consumption of D. magna leads to more successful sexual reproduction. We then discussed how the diatom consumption of zooplankton influences food web dynamics in a freshwater ecosystem.

  17. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

  18. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V.; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D.; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J.; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W.; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R.; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J.; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-01-01

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. PMID:26438870

  19. Cultivation of algal biofilm using different lignocellulosic materials as carriers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qi; Liu, Cuixia; Li, Yubiao; Yu, Zhigang; Chen, Zhihua; Ye, Ting; Wang, Xun; Hu, Zhiquan; Liu, Shiming; Xiao, Bo; Jin, Shiping

    2017-01-01

    Algal biofilm technology is recently supposed to be a promising method to produce algal biomass as the feedstock for the production of biofuels. However, the carrier materials currently used to form algal biofilm are either difficult to be obtained at a low price or undurable. Commercialization of the biofilm technology for algal biomass production extremely requires new and inexpensive materials as biofilm carriers with high biomass production performances. Four types of lignocellulosic materials were investigated to evaluate their performance of acting as carriers for algal cells attachment and the relevant effects on the algal biomass production in this study. The cultivation of algal biofilm was processed in a self-designed flat plate photo-bioreactor. The biofilm production and chemical composition of the harvested biomass were determined. The surface physics properties of the materials were examined through a confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Algal biomass production varied significantly with the variation of the carriers (P < 0.05). All the lignocellulosic materials showed better performances in biofilm production than poly methyl methacrylate, and the application of pine sawdust as the carrier could gain the maximum biofilm productivity of 10.92 g m(-2) day(-1) after 16-day cultivation. In addition, 20.10-23.20% total lipid, 30.35-36.73% crude proteins, and 20.29-25.93% carbohydrate were achieved from the harvested biomasses. Biomass productivity increased linearly as the increase of surface roughness, and Wenzel's roughness factor of the tested materials, and surface roughness might significantly affect the biomass production through the size of surface morphology and the area of surface (P < 0.05). The results showed that lignocellulosic materials can be efficient carriers for low-cost cultivation of algal biofilm and the enhancement of biomass productivity.

  20. Botulinum toxin, Quo Vadis?

    PubMed

    Lim, Erle C H; Seet, Raymond C S

    2007-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX), derived from the exotoxin of Clostridium botulinum, cleaves Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-Attachment protein REceptor (SNARE) proteins, causing chemodenervation of cholinergic neurons. BTX also inhibits exocytosis of vesicles containing norepinephrine, glutamate, substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and inhibits expression of the vanilloid receptor. Clinical applications of BTX, which include the treatment of overactive skeletal and smooth muscles, hypersecretory and painful disorders, have increased exponentially since it was first used clinically to treat strabismus more than two decades ago. In this editorial, we discuss reports of new therapeutic indications of BTX, and propose new areas for research.

  1. PROSPECTS ON BEHAVIORAL STUDIES OF MARINE AND FRESHWATER TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript is based in large part on an invited presentation. The manuscript provides a brief overview of the growing issue of the human-health and environmental impact of a variety of toxins of marine and freshwater origin, the current (generally crude) state of behavioral...

  2. PROSPECTS ON BEHAVIORAL STUDIES OF MARINE AND FRESHWATER TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript is based in large part on an invited presentation. The manuscript provides a brief overview of the growing issue of the human-health and environmental impact of a variety of toxins of marine and freshwater origin, the current (generally crude) state of behavioral...

  3. Fungal farmers or algal escorts: lichen adaptation from the algal perspective.

    PubMed

    Piercey-Normore, Michele D; Deduke, Christopher

    2011-09-01

    Domestication of algae by lichen-forming fungi describes the symbiotic relationship between the photosynthetic (green alga or cyanobacterium; photobiont) and fungal (mycobiont) partnership in lichen associations (Goward 1992). The algal domestication implies that the mycobiont cultivates the alga as a monoculture within its thallus, analogous to a farmer cultivating a food crop. However, the initial photobiont 'selection' by the mycobiont may be predetermined by the habitat rather than by the farmer. When the mycobiont selects a photobiont from the available photobionts within a habitat, the mycobiont may influence photobiont growth and reproduction (Ahmadjian & Jacobs 1981) only after the interaction has been initiated. The theory of ecological guilds (Rikkinen et al. 2002) proposes that habitat limits the variety of photobionts available to the fungal partner. While some studies provide evidence to support the theory of ecological guilds in cyanobacterial lichens (Rikkinen et al. 2002), other studies propose models to explain variation in symbiont combinations in green algal lichens (Ohmura et al. 2006; Piercey-Normore 2006; Yahr et al. 2006) hypothesizing the existence of such guilds. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Peksa & Škaloud (2011) test the theory of ecological guilds and suggest a relationship between algal habitat requirements and lichen adaptation in green algal lichens of the genus Lepraria. The environmental parameters examined in this study, exposure to rainfall, altitude and substratum type, are integral to lichen biology. Lichens have a poikilohydric nature, relying on the availability of atmospheric moisture for metabolic processes. Having no known active mechanism to preserve metabolic thallus moisture in times of drought, one would expect a strong influence of the environment on symbiont adaptation to specific habitats. Adaptation to changes in substrata and its properties would be expected with the intimate contact between crustose

  4. Isolation of a nanomolar scFv inhibiting the endopeptidase activity of botulinum toxin A, by single-round panning of an immune phage-displayed library of macaque origin

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A), mainly represented by subtype A1, is the most toxic substance known. It causes naturally-occurring food poisoning, and is among the biological agents at the highest risk of being weaponized. Several antibodies neutralizing BoNT/A by targeting its heavy chain (BoNT/A-H) have been isolated in the past. For the first time however, an IgG (4LCA) recently isolated by hybridoma technology and targeting the BoNT/A light chain (BoNT/A-L), was shown to inhibit BoNT/A endopeptidase activity and protect in vivo against BoNT/A. In the present study, a phage-displayed library was constructed from a macaque (Macaca fascicularis) hyper-immunized with BoNTA/L in order to isolate scFvs inhibiting BoNT/A endopeptidase activity for clinical use. Results Diversity of the scFvs constituting the library was limited due to the frequent presence, within the genes intended to be part of the library, of restriction sites utilized for its construction. After screening with several rounds of increasing stringency, as is usual with phage technology, the library got overwhelmed by phagemids encoding incomplete scFvs. The screening was successfully re-performed with a single round of high stringency. In particular, one of the isolated scFvs, 2H8, bound BoNT/A1 with a 3.3 nM affinity and effectively inhibited BoNT/A1 endopeptidase activity. The sequence encoding 2H8 was 88% identical to human germline genes and its average G-score was -0.72, quantifying the high human-like quality of 2H8. Conclusions The presence of restrictions sites within many of the sequences that were to be part of the library did not prevent the isolation of an scFv, 2H8, by an adapted panning strategy. ScFv 2H8 inhibited toxin endopeptidase activity in vitro and possessed human-like quality required for clinical development. More generally, the construction and screening of phage-displayed libraries built from hyper-immunized non-human primates is an efficient solution to isolate

  5. Production of biofuel using molluscan pseudofeces derived from algal cells

    DOEpatents

    Das, Keshav C.; Chinnasamy, Senthil; Shelton, James; Wilde, Susan B.; Haynie, Rebecca S.; Herrin, James A.

    2012-08-28

    Embodiments of the present disclosure provide for novel strategies to harvest algal lipids using mollusks which after feeding algae from the growth medium can convert algal lipids into their biomass or excrete lipids in their pseudofeces which makes algae harvesting energy efficient and cost effective. The bioconverter, filter-feeding mollusks and their pseudofeces can be harvested and converted to biocrude using an advanced thermochemical liquefaction technology. Methods, systems, and materials are disclosed for the harvest and isolation of algal lipids from the mollusks, molluscan feces and molluscan pseudofeces.

  6. Botulinum toxin: Bioweapon & magic drug

    PubMed Central

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility. It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin. PMID:21149997

  7. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    PubMed

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility . It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  8. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. )

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  9. Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata

    2010-05-01

    Proterozoic microfossils revealing the time of algal divergences Małgorzata Moczydłowska-Vidal Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology, Villavägen 16, SE 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden (malgo.vidal@pal.uu.se) Morphological and reproductive features and cell wall ultrastructure and biochemistry of Proterozoic acritarchs are used to determine their affinity to modern algae. The first appearance datum of these microbiota is traced to infer a minimum age of the divergence of the algal classes to which they may belong. The chronological appearance of microfossils that represent phycoma-like and zygotic cysts and vegetative cells and/or aplanospores, respectively interpreted as prasinophyceaen and chlorophyceaen microalgae, is related to the Viridiplantae phylogeny. These divergence times differ from molecular clock estimates, and the palaeontological evidence suggests that they are older. The best examples of unicellular, organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs) from the Mesoproterozoic to Early Ordovician are reviewed to demonstrate features, which are indicative of their affinity to photosynthetic microalgae. The first indication that a microfossil may be algal is a decay- and acid-resistant cell wall, which reflects its biochemistry and ultrastructure, and probably indicates the ability to protect a resting/reproductive cyst. The biopolymers synthesized in the cell walls of algae and in land plants ("plant cells"), such as sporopollenin/algaenan, are diagnostic for photosynthetic taxa and were inherited from early unicellular ancestors. These preservable cell walls are resistant to acetolysis, hydrolysis and acids, and show diagnostic ultrastructures such as the trilaminar sheath structure (TLS). "Plant cell" walls differ in terms of chemical compounds, which give high preservation potential, from fungal and animal cell walls. Fungal and animal cells are fossilized only by syngenetic permineralization, whereas "plant cells" are fossilized as body

  10. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  11. Toxin-induced hepatic injury.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Annette M; Hendrickson, Robert G

    2014-02-01

    Toxins such as pharmaceuticals, herbals, foods, and supplements may lead to hepatic damage. This damage may range from nonspecific symptoms in the setting of liver test abnormalities to acute hepatic failure. The majority of severe cases of toxin-induced hepatic injury are caused by acetaminophen and ethanol. The most important step in the patient evaluation is to gather an extensive history that includes toxin exposure and exclude common causes of liver dysfunction. Patients whose hepatic dysfunction progresses to acute liver failure may benefit from transfer to a transplant service for further management. Currently, the mainstay in management for most exposures is discontinuing the offending agent. This manuscript will review the incidence, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of the different forms of toxin-induced hepatic injury and exam in-depth the most common hepatic toxins.

  12. Toxin production by Campylobacter spp.

    PubMed Central

    Wassenaar, T M

    1997-01-01

    Of all the virulence factors that were proposed for Campylobacter jejuni and related species to cause disease in humans, the discovery of toxin production was the most promising but led to a rather confusing and even disappointing stream of data. The discussion of whether proteinaceous exotoxins are relevant in disease remains open. One important reason for this lack of consensus is the anecdotal nature of the literature reports. To provide a basis for an unbiased opinion, this review compiles all described exotoxins, compares their reported properties, and provides a summary of animal model studies and clinical data. The toxins are divided into enterotoxins and cytotoxins and are sorted according to their biochemical properties. Since many Campylobacter toxins have been compared with toxins of other species, some key examples of the latter are also discussed. Future directions of toxin research that appear promising are defined. PMID:9227862

  13. Uremic toxins and oral adsorbents.

    PubMed

    Goto, Shunsuke; Yoshiya, Kunihiko; Kita, Tomoyuki; Fujii, Hideki; Fukagawa, Masafumi

    2011-04-01

    Uremic toxins are associated with various disorders in patients with end-stage renal disease and it is difficult to remove some of these toxins by dialysis. Since some uremic toxins are generated by bacterial metabolites in the colon, oral adsorbents that interfere with the absorption of uremic toxins or their precursors are believed to prevent their accumulation in the body. AST-120 adsorbs various uremic retention solutes in the gastrointestinal system and has potential for providing clinical benefit. Sevelamer hydrochloride binds some harmful compounds in addition to phosphate and seems to have pleiotropic effects that include lowering serum LDL cholesterol levels and reduction of inflammation. The effect of sevelamer hydrochloride on indoxyl sulfate and p-cresol has been shown in an in vitro study; however, in vivo studies in mice or humans did not demonstrate this effect on protein-binding uremic toxins. Oral adsorbents are thus one of the important modalities in the treatment of uremic syndrome.

  14. Immunogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus delta-toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Nolte, F S; Kapral, F A

    1981-01-01

    Studies were conducted to determine the immunogenicity of purified Staphylococcus aureus delta-toxin. Rabbits and guinea pigs immunized with delta-toxin incorporated into a multiple antibody, whereas animals given toxin in saline or toxin in saline with Tween 80 did not produce antibody. The immunoglobulin G (IgG) fraction isolated by chromatography on protein A-Sepharose was examined for the presence of anti-delta-toxin antibody by immunoelectrophoresis, immunodiffusion, quantitative precipitation tests, affinity chromatography, and toxin neutralization tests. Although delta-toxin-specific IgG precipitated the toxin in agar gels, the antibody did not neutralize the toxin's hemolytic activity. Delta-toxin binding to human erythrocyte membranes was demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescent staining of toxin-treated erythrocytes. Images PMID:7014461

  15. Prevalent and persistent viral infection in cultures of the coral algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weynberg, Karen D.; Neave, Matthew; Clode, Peta L.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Brownlee, Christopher; Laffy, Patrick; Webster, Nicole S.; Levin, Rachel A.; Wood-Charlson, Elisha M.; van Oppen, Madeleine J. H.

    2017-09-01

    Reef corals are under threat from bleaching and disease outbreaks that target both the host animal and the algal symbionts within the coral holobiont. A viral origin for coral bleaching has been hypothesized, but direct evidence has remained elusive. Using a multifaceted approach incorporating flow cytometry, transmission electron microscopy, DNA and RNA virome sequencing, we show that type C1 Symbiodinium cultures host a nucleocytoplasmic large double-stranded DNA virus (NCLDV) related to Phycodnaviridae and Mimiviridae, a novel filamentous virus of unknown phylogenetic affiliation, and a single-stranded RNA virus related to retroviruses. We discuss implications of these findings for laboratory-based experiments using Symbiodinium cultures.

  16. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    SciTech Connect

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. )

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  17. Toxin bioportides: exploring toxin biological activity and multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Kerkis, Irina; de Brandão Prieto da Silva, Alvaro Rossan; Pompeia, Celine; Tytgat, Jan; de Sá Junior, Paulo L

    2017-02-01

    Toxins have been shown to have many biological functions and to constitute a rich source of drugs and biotechnological tools. We focus on toxins that not only have a specific activity, but also contain residues responsible for transmembrane penetration, which can be considered bioportides-a class of cell-penetrating peptides that are also intrinsically bioactive. Bioportides are potential tools in pharmacology and biotechnology as they help deliver substances and nanoparticles to intracellular targets. Bioportides characterized so far are peptides derived from human proteins, such as cytochrome c (CYCS), calcitonin receptor (camptide), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (nosangiotide). However, toxins are usually disregarded as potential bioportides. In this review, we discuss the inclusion of some toxins and molecules derived thereof as a new class of bioportides based on structure activity relationship, minimization, and biological activity studies. The comparative analysis of the amino acid residue composition of toxin-derived bioportides and their short molecular variants is an innovative analytical strategy which allows us to understand natural toxin multifunctionality in vivo and plan novel pharmacological and biotechnological products. Furthermore, we discuss how many bioportide toxins have a rigid structure with amphiphilic properties important for both cell penetration and bioactivity.

  18. The Structure of Algal Population in the Presence of Toxicants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatova, Valentina; Prokhotskaya, Valeria; Dmitrieva, Aida

    Algal bioassays are routinely employed as part of a battery of toxicity tests to assess the environmental impacts of contaminants on aquatic ecosystems. This estimation is an essential component of the ecological risk assessment.

  19. Algal Biofuels R&D at NREL (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-09-01

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

  20. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Actionable Research for Tribal Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) from algae, cyanobacteria and golden algae may occur naturally. However, human activities appear to be increasing the frequency of some HABs. HABs can have a variety of ecological, economic and human health impacts.

  1. Improving photosynthesis for algal biofuels: toward a green revolution.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Patrick G; Moore, C Mark; Terry, Matthew J; Zubkov, Mikhail V; Bibby, Thomas S

    2011-12-01

    Biofuels derived from marine algae are a potential source of sustainable energy that can contribute to future global demands. The realisation of this potential will require manipulation of the fundamental biology of algal physiology to increase the efficiency with which solar energy is ultimately converted into usable biomass. This 'photosynthetic solar energy conversion efficiency' sets an upper limit on the potential of algal-derived biofuels. In this review, we outline photosynthetic molecular targets that could be manipulated to increase the efficiency and yield of algal biofuel production. We also highlight modern 'omic' and high-throughput technologies that might enable identification, selection and improvement of algal cell lines on timescales relevant for achieving significant contributions to future energy solutions.

  2. A seasnake's colour affects its susceptibility to algal fouling.

    PubMed

    Shine, R; Brischoux, F; Pile, A J

    2010-08-22

    Evolutionary transitions from terrestrial to aquatic life modify selective forces on an animal's coloration. For example, light penetrates differently through water than air, and a new suite of predators and visual backgrounds changes the targets of selection. We suggest that an aquatic animal's coloration may also affect its susceptibility to algal fouling. In a colour-polymorphic field population of seasnakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) in New Caledonia, black individuals supported higher algal cover than did banded conspecifics. In experimental tests, black snake models (plastic tubes) accumulated more algae than did banded models. Algal cover substantially reduced snake activity (in the field) and swimming speeds (in the laboratory). Effects of algal cover on a snake's hydrodynamic efficiency and/or its rate of cutaneous gas exchange thus may impose selection on the colours of aquatic organisms.

  3. Enhancement of algal growth and productivity by grazing zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Porter, K G

    1976-06-25

    Colonies of the common planktonic green alga, Sphaerocystis schroeteri, are only partially disrupted and assimilated by Daphnia magna, a natural predator. The Daphnia break up the outer protective gelatinous sheath that surrounds Sphaerocystis colonies, but most of the algal cells emerge from Daphnia guts intact and in viable condition. During gut passage, these viable cells take up nutrients, such as phosphorus, both from algal remains and from Daphnia metabolites. This nutrient supply stimulates algal carbon fixation and cell division. Enhanced algal growth, observed after gut passage, can compensate for the minor losses to the population caused by grazing. Nutrients regenerated by grazers may produce the summer bloom of gelatinous green algae during the seasonal succession of lake phytoplankton.

  4. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Actionable Research for Tribal Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) from algae, cyanobacteria and golden algae may occur naturally. However, human activities appear to be increasing the frequency of some HABs. HABs can have a variety of ecological, economic and human health impacts.

  5. Airborne Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms over Lake Erie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John

    2013-01-01

    The Hyperspectral Imager mounted to an aircraft was used to develop a remote sensing capability to detect the pigment Phycocyanin, an indicator of Microcystis, in low concentration as an early indicator of harmful algal bloom prediction.

  6. Photos of Lakes Before and After Algal Blooms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Nutrient pollution can cause algal blooms that are sometimes toxic and always unsightly. The photos on this page show lakes and ponds around the country that have been impacted by this environmental problem.

  7. 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review Fact Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    2016-06-01

    Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts offer great promise in contributing to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) vision of a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies. The state of technology for producing algal biofuels continues to mature with ongoing investment by DOE and the private sector, but additional research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) is needed to achieve widespread deployment of affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal biofuels.

  8. The Regulation of Gene Expression in Cnidarian-Algal Associations.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-07-13

    symbiotic cnidarians , Aiptasia pallida, Anthopleura eligantissima, synbiosis-specific proteins, cDNA libraries, O. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OP REPORT...gene expression in cnidarian -algal associations Award Period: 1 July 1995-30 June 1998 Objectives: A. To identify and characterize heat shock...Exploring Symbiosis-Specific Gene Expression in Cnidarian /Algal Associations. In: Molecular Approaches to the Study of the Ocean.. Ed. K. Cooksey, Chapman

  9. Daphnia magna negatively affected by chronic exposure to purified Cry-toxins.

    PubMed

    Bøhn, Thomas; Rover, Carina Macagnan; Semenchuk, Philipp Robert

    2016-05-01

    Cry-toxin genes originating from Bacillus thuringiensis are inserted into genetically modified (GM) plants, often called Bt-plants, to provide insect resistance to pests. Significant amounts of Bt-plant residues, and thus Cry-toxins, will be shed to soil and aquatic environments. We exposed Daphnia magna to purified Cry1Ab and Cry2Aa toxins for the full life-span of the animals. We used single toxins in different doses and combinations of toxins and Roundup(®), another potential stressor on the rise in agricultural ecosystems. Animals exposed to 4.5 mg/L (ppm) of Cry1Ab, Cry2Aa and the combination of both showed markedly higher mortality, smaller body size and very low juvenile production compared to controls. Animals exposed to 0.75 mg/L also showed a tendency towards increased mortality but with increased early fecundity compared to the controls. Roundup(®) stimulated animals to strong early reproductive output at the cost of later rapid mortality. We conclude that i) purified Cry-toxins in high concentrations are toxic to D. magna, indicating alternative modes-of-action for these Cry-toxins; ii) Cry-toxins act in combination, indicating that 'stacked events' may have stronger effects on non-target organisms; iii) further studies need to be done on combinatorial effects of multiple Cry-toxins and herbicides that co-occur in the environment.

  10. Recent developments on algal biochar production and characterization.

    PubMed

    Yu, Kai Ling; Lau, Beng Fye; Show, Pau Loke; Ong, Hwai Chyuan; Ling, Tau Chuan; Chen, Wei-Hsin; Ng, Eng Poh; Chang, Jo-Shu

    2017-08-05

    Algal biomass is known as a promising sustainable feedstock for the production of biofuels and other valuable products. However, since last decade, massive amount of interests have turned to converting algal biomass into biochar. Due to their high nutrient content and ion-exchange capacity, algal biochars can be used as soil amendment for agriculture purposes or adsorbents in wastewater treatment for the removal of organic or inorganic pollutants. This review describes the conventional (e.g., slow and microwave-assisted pyrolysis) and newly developed (e.g., hydrothermal carbonization and torrefaction) methods used for the synthesis of algae-based biochars. The characterization of algal biochar and a comparison between algal biochar with biochar produced from other feedstocks are also presented. This review aims to provide updated information on the development of algal biochar in terms of the production methods and the characterization of its physical and chemical properties to justify and to expand their potential applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Samson, R.; LeDuy, A.

    1982-08-01

    The photosynthetic spectrum of solar energy could be exploited for the production of chemical energy of methane through the combined algal-bacterial process. In this process, the algae are mass produced from light and from carbon in the first step. The algal biomass is then used as a nutrient for feeding the anaerobic digester, in the second step, for the production of methane by anaerobic bacteria. The carbon source for the production of algal biomass could be either organic carbon from wastewaters (for eucaryotic algae), or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from the combustion exhaust gases (for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae). The technical feasibility data on the anaerobic digestion of algal biomass have been reported for many species of algae including macroscopic algae and microscopic algae. Research being conducted in the authors' laboratory consists of using the semimicroscopic blue-green alga Spirulina maxima as the sole substrate for this combined algal-bacterial process. This species of alga is very attractive for the process because of its capability of using the atmospheric carbon dioxide as carbon source and its simple harvesting methods. Furthermore, it appeared that the fermentability of S. maxima is significantly higher than other microscopic algae. This communication presents the results on the anaerobic inoculum development by the adaptation technique. This inoculum was then used for the semicontinuous anaerobic digestion of S. maxima algal biomass. The evolutions of biogas production and composition, biogas yield, total volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, ammonia nitrogen, pH, and electrode potential were followed.

  12. Algal bioflocculation and energy conservation in microalgal sewage ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, D.M.; Koopman, B.; Benemann, J.R.; Oswald, W.J.

    1981-01-01

    Controlled bioflocculation for harvesting of microalgae produced during municipal wastewater treatment in high-rate ponds was investigated. Nonflocculant algal cultures were produced in high-rate ponds operated at very high dilution rates or with poor mixing. Bioflocculation of such cultures was achieved by isolating them in secondary ponds, but isolation periods of up to 29 days were required. In-pond sedimentation of flocculant algal cultures produced by the isolation technique resulted in algal removals consistently exceeding 80%. When high-rate ponds were operated with improved mixing and at moderate-to-high dilution rates, flocculant algal cultures were developed. The settleability of flocculant algal cultures produced in this manner averaged 76 to 80% when measured in 24-h-detention Imhoff cones and 71% when measured in 48-h-detention settling ponds. It is estimated that, under suitable climate conditions, a high-rate pond system employing bioflocculation-sedimentation for algal removal would require less than one-half the direct energy input of an equivalently sized activated sludge or trickling filter plant. This requirement could be provided entirely through complete utilization of biogas produced from anaerobic digestion of primary (sewage) sludge.

  13. The ins and outs of algal metal transport

    PubMed Central

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.

    2012-01-01

    Metal transporters are a central component in the interaction of algae with their environment. They represent the first line of defense to cellular perturbations in metal concentration, and by analyzing algal metal transporter repertoires, we gain insight into a fundamental aspect of algal biology. The ability of individual algae to thrive in environments with unique geochemistry, compared to non-algal species commonly used as reference organisms for metal homeostasis, provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of biological metal requirements, preferences and trafficking. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the best developed reference organism for the study of algal biology, especially with respect to metal metabolism; however, the diversity of algal niches necessitates a comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced algal genomes. A comparison between known and putative proteins in animals, plants, fungi and algae using protein similarity networks has revealed the presence of novel metal metabolism components in Chlamydomonas including new iron and copper transporters. This analysis also supports the concept that, in terms of metal metabolism, algae from similar niches are more related to one another than to algae from the same phylogenetic clade. PMID:22569643

  14. The ins and outs of algal metal transport.

    PubMed

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E; Merchant, Sabeeha S

    2012-09-01

    Metal transporters are a central component in the interaction of algae with their environment. They represent the first line of defense to cellular perturbations in metal concentration, and by analyzing algal metal transporter repertoires, we gain insight into a fundamental aspect of algal biology. The ability of individual algae to thrive in environments with unique geochemistry, compared to non-algal species commonly used as reference organisms for metal homeostasis, provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of biological metal requirements, preferences and trafficking. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the best developed reference organism for the study of algal biology, especially with respect to metal metabolism; however, the diversity of algal niches necessitates a comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced algal genomes. A comparison between known and putative proteins in animals, plants, fungi and algae using protein similarity networks has revealed the presence of novel metal metabolism components in Chlamydomonas including new iron and copper transporters. This analysis also supports the concept that, in terms of metal metabolism, algae from similar niches are more related to one another than to algae from the same phylogenetic clade. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cell Biology of Metals. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparison of the Qwiklite algal bioluminescence test with marine algal growth rate inhibition bioassays.

    PubMed

    Stauber, Jenny L; Binet, Monique T; Bao, Vivien W W; Boge, Jenny; Zhang, Amy Q; Leung, Kenneth M Y; Adams, Merrin S

    2008-10-01

    Although marine algal bioassays based on growth rate inhibition over 72-96 h have been widely used to assess the toxicity of contaminants in waters and sediments, changes in pH over the test duration can lead to changes in contaminant speciation and consequently an under- or over-estimation of toxicity. In addition, high cell densities are used in order to obtain a detectable response, further reducing the tests' environmental relevance in marine waters. There is a need for rapid acute tests with ecologically relevant test endpoints that may be used as surrogates for longer-term chronic tests. This study compares the sensitivity and reproducibility of a rapid marine dinoflagellate (Pyrocystis lunula) bioluminescence test (QwikLite) with standard algal growth rate bioassays (Nitzschia closterium and Entomoneis c.f. punctulata) using ammonia and several antifouling agents (tributyltin [TBT], copper, and diuron) as reference toxicants. QwikLite was of similar sensitivity to ammonia as standard algal growth rate tests, but was less sensitive to copper, diuron and TBT, with 24-h EC50 values of 10 +/- 1.1 mg N/L, 0.128 +/- 0.021 mg Cu/L, 19 +/- 13 mg diuron/L, and 0.226 +/- 0.028 mg TBT/L. Inter-test precision using different batches of P. lunula was generally acceptable. On the basis of NOEC values, QwikLite was more sensitive to copper and ammonia at 25 degrees C than at 21 degrees C. QwikLite shows promise as a rapid, inexpensive screening test for acute toxicity of contaminants in marine environments.

  16. Use of biosensors for the detection of marine toxins

    PubMed Central

    McPartlin, Daniel A.; Lochhead, Michael J.; Connell, Laurie B.; Doucette, Gregory J.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing occurrences of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the ocean are a major concern for countries around the globe, and with strong links between HABs and climate change and eutrophication, the occurrences are only set to increase. Of particular concern with regard to HABs is the presence of toxin-producing algae. Six major marine biotoxin groups are associated with HABs. Ingestion of such toxins via contaminated shellfish, fish, or other potential vectors, can lead to intoxication syndromes with moderate to severe symptoms, including death in extreme cases. There are also major economic implications associated with the diverse effects of marine biotoxins and HABs. Thus, effective monitoring programmes are required to manage and mitigate their detrimental global effect. However, currently legislated detection methods are labour-intensive, expensive and relatively slow. The growing field of biosensor diagnostic devices is an exciting area that has the potential to produce robust, easy-to-use, cost-effective, rapid and accurate detection methods for marine biotoxins and HABs. This review discusses recently developed biosensor assays that target marine biotoxins and their microbial producers, both in harvested fish/shellfish samples and in the open ocean. The effective deployment of such biosensor platforms could address the pressing need for improved monitoring of HABs and marine biotoxins, and could help to reduce their global economic impact. PMID:27365035

  17. Clostridium difficile binary toxin CDT

    PubMed Central

    Gerding, Dale N; Johnson, Stuart; Rupnik, Maja; Aktories, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Binary toxin (CDT) is frequently observed in Clostridium difficile strains associated with increased severity of C. difficile infection (CDI). CDT belongs to the family of binary ADP-ribosylating toxins consisting of two separate toxin components: CDTa, the enzymatic ADP-ribosyltransferase which modifies actin, and CDTb which binds to host cells and translocates CDTa into the cytosol. CDTb is activated by serine proteases and binds to lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor. ADP-ribosylation induces depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton. Toxin-induced actin depolymerization also produces microtubule-based membrane protrusions which form a network on epithelial cells and increase bacterial adherence. Multiple clinical studies indicate an association between binary toxin genes in C. difficile and increased 30-d CDI mortality independent of PCR ribotype. Further studies including measures of binary toxin in stool, analyses of CDI mortality caused by CDT-producing strains, and examination of the relationship of CDT expression to TcdA and TcdB toxin variants and PCR ribotypes are needed. PMID:24253566

  18. Stoichiometric regulation of phytoplankton toxins.

    PubMed

    Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Smith, Val H; Declerck, Steven A J; Stam, Eva C M; Elser, James J

    2014-06-01

    Ecological Stoichiometry theory predicts that the production, elemental structure and cellular content of biomolecules should depend on the relative availability of resources and the elemental composition of their producer organism. We review the extent to which carbon- and nitrogen-rich phytoplankton toxins are regulated by nutrient limitation and cellular stoichiometry. Consistent with theory, we show that nitrogen limitation causes a reduction in the cellular quota of nitrogen-rich toxins, while phosphorus limitation causes an increase in the most nitrogen-rich paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin. In addition, we show that the cellular content of nitrogen-rich toxins increases with increasing cellular N : P ratios. Also consistent with theory, limitation by either nitrogen or phosphorus promotes the C-rich toxin cell quota or toxicity of phytoplankton cells. These observed relationships may assist in predicting and managing toxin-producing phytoplankton blooms. Such a stoichiometric regulation of toxins is likely not restricted to phytoplankton, and may well apply to carbon- and nitrogen-rich secondary metabolites produced by bacteria, fungi and plants.

  19. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

  20. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Stewardship Institute at Northern Kentucky University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating to optimize a harmful algal bloom detection algorithm that estimates the presence and count of cyanobacteria in freshwater systems by image analysis...

  1. Paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin profile of mussels Perna perna from southern Atlantic coasts of Morocco.

    PubMed

    Abouabdellah, Rachid; Taleb, Hamid; Bennouna, Asmae; Erler, Katrin; Chafik, Abdeghani; Moukrim, Abdelatif

    2008-04-01

    During the monitoring programme of harmful algal blooms established along the south Atlantic coast of Morocco, a bimonthly determination of harmful algae and phycotoxins analysis in Perna perna was carried out from May 2003 to December 2004. Results of mouse bioassay (in organs and whole flesh) showed a seasonal evolution of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin. The mussel's contamination was associated with the occurrence in water of Alexandrium minutum. The PSP toxin profile obtained with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC/FD) revealed the dominance of gonyautoxins GTX2 and GTX3 and a minority of GTX1, GTX4 and saxitoxin (STX). This profile explains that the toxicity was mainly associated with A. minutum.

  2. Detecting and discriminating among Shiga toxins

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The virulence associated with Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections is from the Shiga toxins produced by the E. coli strain. Although Shiga toxins are associated with E. coli, the expression of the toxins is actually controlled by a temperate lambdoid phage that infects the host. ...

  3. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  4. Algal Cell Factories: Approaches, Applications, and Potentials.

    PubMed

    Fu, Weiqi; Chaiboonchoe, Amphun; Khraiwesh, Basel; Nelson, David R; Al-Khairy, Dina; Mystikou, Alexandra; Alzahmi, Amnah; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh

    2016-12-13

    With the advent of modern biotechnology, microorganisms from diverse lineages have been used to produce bio-based feedstocks and bioactive compounds. Many of these compounds are currently commodities of interest, in a variety of markets and their utility warrants investigation into improving their production through strain development. In this review, we address the issue of strain improvement in a group of organisms with strong potential to be productive "cell factories": the photosynthetic microalgae. Microalgae are a diverse group of phytoplankton, involving polyphyletic lineage such as green algae and diatoms that are commonly used in the industry. The photosynthetic microalgae have been under intense investigation recently for their ability to produce commercial compounds using only light, CO₂, and basic nutrients. However, their strain improvement is still a relatively recent area of work that is under development. Importantly, it is only through appropriate engineering methods that we may see the full biotechnological potential of microalgae come to fruition. Thus, in this review, we address past and present endeavors towards the aim of creating productive algal cell factories and describe possible advantageous future directions for the field.

  5. Adsorption of Nanoplastics on Algal Photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, James; Bhattacharya, Priyanka; Lin, Sijie; Ke, Pu Chun

    2010-03-01

    The rapid accumulation of disposed plastics in the environment, especially in the Pacific Ocean, has become a global concern in recent years. Photo, chemical and physical degradations constantly fragment these plastics into a wide array of macroscopic to microscopic particles. As a result, marine organisms such as algae may be exposed to plastic particles through ingestion, adsorption and other forms of uptake. Such interactions, currently little understood, could potentially impact on the health state of the entire food chain. Here we report on polystyrene-algae interaction and its impact on algal photosynthesis. We first investigated the adsorption of polystyrene beads (20 nm) on a cellulose film coated on a 96-well plate. We derived a supralinear increase of the adsorption with the beads concentration for both positively and negatively charged polystyrene beads, with a saturation observed for the negatively charged polystyrene beads of concentration above 1.6 mg/mL. Using a bicarbonate indicator we discovered decreased carbon dioxide depletion due to polystyrene-algae binding. Since polystyrene beads also mediated algae aggregation, nanoplastics may alternatively be harnessed for waste water treatment.

  6. Tubular photobioreactor design for algal cultures.

    PubMed

    Molina, E; Fernández, J; Acién, F G; Chisti, Y

    2001-12-28

    Principles of fluid mechanics, gas-liquid mass transfer, and irradiance controlled algal growth are integrated into a method for designing tubular photobioreactors in which the culture is circulated by an airlift pump. A 0.2 m(3) photobioreactor designed using the proposed approach was proved in continuous outdoor culture of the microalga Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The culture performance was assessed under various conditions of irradiance, dilution rates and liquid velocities through the tubular solar collector. A biomass productivity of 1.90 g l(-1) d(-1) (or 32 g m(-2) d(-1)) could be obtained at a dilution rate of 0.04 h(-1). Photoinhibition was observed during hours of peak irradiance; the photosynthetic activity of the cells recovered a few hours later. Linear liquid velocities of 0.50 and 0.35 m s(-1) in the solar collector gave similar biomass productivities, but the culture collapsed at lower velocities. The effect of dissolved oxygen concentration on productivity was quantified in indoor conditions; dissolved oxygen levels higher or lower than air saturation values reduced productivity. Under outdoor conditions, for given levels of oxygen supersaturation, the productivity decline was greater outdoors than indoors, suggesting that under intense outdoor illumination photooxidation contributed to loss of productivity in comparison with productivity loss due to oxygen inhibition alone. Dissolved oxygen values at the outlet of solar collector tube were up to 400% of air saturation.

  7. Algal Cell Factories: Approaches, Applications, and Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Weiqi; Chaiboonchoe, Amphun; Khraiwesh, Basel; Nelson, David R.; Al-Khairy, Dina; Mystikou, Alexandra; Alzahmi, Amnah; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh

    2016-01-01

    With the advent of modern biotechnology, microorganisms from diverse lineages have been used to produce bio-based feedstocks and bioactive compounds. Many of these compounds are currently commodities of interest, in a variety of markets and their utility warrants investigation into improving their production through strain development. In this review, we address the issue of strain improvement in a group of organisms with strong potential to be productive “cell factories”: the photosynthetic microalgae. Microalgae are a diverse group of phytoplankton, involving polyphyletic lineage such as green algae and diatoms that are commonly used in the industry. The photosynthetic microalgae have been under intense investigation recently for their ability to produce commercial compounds using only light, CO2, and basic nutrients. However, their strain improvement is still a relatively recent area of work that is under development. Importantly, it is only through appropriate engineering methods that we may see the full biotechnological potential of microalgae come to fruition. Thus, in this review, we address past and present endeavors towards the aim of creating productive algal cell factories and describe possible advantageous future directions for the field. PMID:27983586

  8. Sixty years in algal physiology and photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Pirson, A

    1994-06-01

    This personal perspective records research experiences in chemistry and biology at four German universities, two before and two after World War II. The research themes came from cytophysiology of green unicellular algae, in particular their photosynthesis. The function of inorganic ions in photosynthesis and dark respiration was investigated at different degrees of specific mineral stress (deficiencies), and the kinetics of recovery followed after the addition of the missing element. Two types of recovery of photosynthesis were observed: indirect restitution via growth processes and immediate normalisation. From the latter case (K(+), phosphate, Mn(++)) the effect of manganese was emphasized as its role in photosynthetic O2 evolution became established during our research. Other themes of our group, with some bearing on photosynthesis were: synchronization of cell growth by light-dark change and effects of blue (vs. red) light on the composition of green cells. Some experiences in connection with algal mass cultures are included. Discussion of several editorial projects shows how photosynthesis, as an orginally separated field of plant biochemistry and biophysics, became included into general cell physiology and even ecophysiology of green plants. The paper contains an appreciation of the authors' main mentor Kurt Noack (1888-1963) and of Ernst Georg Pringsheim (1881-1970), founder of experimental phycology.

  9. Patch recognition of algal blooms and macroalgae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szekielda, K. H.; Bowles, J. H.; Gillis, D. B.; Snyder, W.; Miller, W. D.

    2010-04-01

    Fraunhofer lines and atmospheric absorption bands interfere with the spectral location of absorption bands of photosynthetic pigments in plankton. Hyperspectral data were used to address this interference on identifying absorption bands by applying derivative analysis of radiance spectra. Algal blooms show elevated radiance data even at longer wavelengths compared to oligotrophic water and may reach radiance values of around 800 W/m2/micrometer/sr at a wavelength of about 0.8 μm. Therefore, the use of a spectral range beyond 0.55 μm is useful to describe bloom characteristics. In particular, the slope between 0.55 μm to 0.80 μm shows an advantage to depict gradients in plankton blooms. Radiance spectra in the region from 0.4 to 0.8 μm for oligotrophic water and near coastal water show similar location of absorption bands when analyzed with derivative analysis but with different amplitudes. For this reason, radiance spectra were also analyzed without atmospheric correction, and various approaches to interpret radiance data over plankton blooms were investigated. Cluster analysis and ratio techniques at longer wavelengths were found to assist in the separation of ocean color gradients and distinguish bio-geochemical provinces in near-coastal waters. Furthermore, using the slope of spectra from plankton blooms, in connection with scatter diagrams at various wavelengths, shows that details can be revealed that would not be recognized in single channels at lower wavelength.

  10. An algal model for predicting attainment of tiered biological criteria of Maine's streams and rivers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danielson, Thomas J.; Loftin, Cyndy; Tsomides, Leonidas; DiFranco, Jeanne L.; Connors, Beth; Courtemanch, David L.; Drummond, Francis; Davies, Susan

    2012-01-01

    State water-quality professionals developing new biological assessment methods often have difficulty relating assessment results to narrative criteria in water-quality standards. An alternative to selecting index thresholds arbitrarily is to include the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) in the development of the assessment method. The BCG describes tiers of biological community condition to help identify and communicate the position of a water body along a gradient of water quality ranging from natural to degraded. Although originally developed for fish and macroinvertebrate communities of streams and rivers, the BCG is easily adapted to other habitats and taxonomic groups. We developed a discriminant analysis model with stream algal data to predict attainment of tiered aquatic-life uses in Maine's water-quality standards. We modified the BCG framework for Maine stream algae, related the BCG tiers to Maine's tiered aquatic-life uses, and identified appropriate algal metrics for describing BCG tiers. Using a modified Delphi method, 5 aquatic biologists independently evaluated algal community metrics for 230 samples from streams and rivers across the state and assigned a BCG tier (1–6) and Maine water quality class (AA/A, B, C, nonattainment of any class) to each sample. We used minimally disturbed reference sites to approximate natural conditions (Tier 1). Biologist class assignments were unanimous for 53% of samples, and 42% of samples differed by 1 class. The biologists debated and developed consensus class assignments. A linear discriminant model built to replicate a priori class assignments correctly classified 95% of 150 samples in the model training set and 91% of 80 samples in the model validation set. Locally derived metrics based on BCG taxon tolerance groupings (e.g., sensitive, intermediate, tolerant) were more effective than were metrics developed in other regions. Adding the algal discriminant model to Maine's existing macroinvertebrate discriminant

  11. [Shiga toxin and tetanus toxin as a potential biologic weapon].

    PubMed

    Toczyska, Izabela; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Toxins produced by the bacteria are of particular interest as potential cargo combat possible for use in a terrorist attack or war. Shiga toxin is usually produced by shiga toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli (STEC - shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli). To infection occurs mostly after eating contaminated beef. Clinical syndromes associated with Shiga toxin diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment is symptomatic. In HUS, in which mortality during an epidemic reaches 20%, extending the kidney injury dialysis may be necessary. Exposure to tetanus toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, resulting in the most generalized tetanus, characterized by increased muscle tension and painful contractions of individual muscle groups. In the treatment beyond symptomatic behavior (among others spasticity medications, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants) is used tetanus antitoxin and antibiotics (metronidazole choice). A common complication is acute respiratory failure - then it is necessary to implement mechanical ventilation. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  12. Structure–Activity Relationship Studies Using Natural and Synthetic Okadaic Acid/Dinophysistoxin Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Twiner, Michael J.; Doucette, Gregory J.; Pang, Yucheng; Fang, Chao; Forsyth, Craig J.; Miles, Christopher O.

    2016-01-01

    Okadaic acid (OA) and the closely related dinophysistoxins (DTXs) are algal toxins that accumulate in shellfish and are known serine/threonine protein phosphatase (ser/thr PP) inhibitors. Phosphatases are important modulators of enzyme activity and cell signaling pathways. However, the interactions between the OA/DTX toxins and phosphatases are not fully understood. This study sought to identify phosphatase targets and characterize their structure–activity relationships (SAR) with these algal toxins using a combination of phosphatase activity and cytotoxicity assays. Preliminary screening of 21 human and yeast phosphatases indicated that only three ser/thr PPs (PP2a, PP1, PP5) were inhibited by physiologically saturating concentrations of DTX2 (200 nM). SAR studies employed naturally-isolated OA, DTX1, and DTX2, which vary in degree and/or position of methylation, in addition to synthetic 2-epi-DTX2. OA/DTX analogs induced cytotoxicity and inhibited PP activity with a relatively conserved order of potency: OA = DTX1 ≥ DTX2 >> 2-epi-DTX. The PPs were also differentially inhibited with sensitivities of PP2a > PP5 > PP1. These findings demonstrate that small variations in OA/DTX toxin structures, particularly at the head region (i.e., C1/C2), result in significant changes in toxicological potency, whereas changes in methylation at C31 and C35 (tail region) only mildly affect potency. In addition to this being the first study to extensively test OA/DTX analogs’ activities towards PP5, these data will be helpful for accurately determining toxic equivalence factors (TEFs), facilitating molecular modeling efforts, and developing highly selective phosphatase inhibitors. PMID:27827901

  13. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons.

  14. Aerosolized Red-Tide Toxins (Brevetoxins) and Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Lora E.; Kirkpatrick, Barbara; Backer, Lorraine C.; Bean, Judy A.; Wanner, Adam; Reich, Andrew; Zaias, Julia; Cheng, Yung Sung; Pierce, Richard; Naar, Jerome; Abraham, William M.; Baden, Daniel G.

    2009-01-01

    Background With the increasing incidence of asthma, there is increasing concern over environmental exposures that may trigger asthma exacerbations. Blooms of the marine microalgae, Karenia brevis, cause red tides (or harmful algal blooms) annually throughout the Gulf of Mexico. K brevis produces highly potent natural polyether toxins, called brevetoxins, which are sodium channel blockers, and possibly histamine activators. In experimental animals, brevetoxins cause significant bronchoconstriction. In humans, a significant increase in self-reported respiratory symptoms has been described after recreational and occupational exposures to Florida red-tide aerosols, particularly among individuals with asthma. Methods Before and after 1 h spent on beaches with and without an active K brevis red-tide exposure, 97 persons ≥ 12 years of age with physician-diagnosed asthma were evaluated by questionnaire and spirometry. Concomitant environmental monitoring, water and air sampling, and personal monitoring for brevetoxins were performed. Results Participants were significantly more likely to report respiratory symptoms after K brevis red-tide aerosol exposure than before exposure. Participants demonstrated small, but statistically significant, decreases in FEV1, midexpiratory phase of forced expiratory flow, and peak expiratory flow after exposure, particularly among those participants regularly using asthma medications. No significant differences were detected when there was no Florida red tide (ie, during nonexposure periods). Conclusions This study demonstrated objectively measurable adverse changes in lung function from exposure to aerosolized Florida red-tide toxins in asthmatic subjects, particularly among those requiring regular therapy with asthma medications. Future studies will assess these susceptible subpopulations in more depth, as well as the possible long-term effects of these toxins. PMID:17218574

  15. Degradation and inactivation of Shiga toxins by nitrogen gas plasma.

    PubMed

    Sakudo, Akikazu; Imanishi, Yuichiro

    2017-12-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) leads to food poisoning by causing hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Some STEC produce Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) and/or Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), a relatively stable protein toxin, necessitating the development of an efficient inactivation method. Here we applied a nitrogen gas plasma apparatus to the inactivation of Stx. Samples of Stx1 and Stx2 were treated with a nitrogen gas plasma generated by a plasma device using a short high-voltage pulse applied by a static induction thyristor power supply at 1.5 kpps (kilo pulse per second). The recovered Stx samples were then analyzed for immunological and biological activities. Immunochromatography demonstrated that Stx1 and Stx2 were degraded by the gas plasma. Quantification by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that both toxins were efficiently degraded to less than 1/10th of their original concentration within 5 min of treatment. Western blotting further showed the gas plasma treatment degraded the A subunit, which mediates the toxicity of Stx. Moreover, an assay using HEp-2 cells as an index of cytotoxicity showed that gas plasma treatment reduced the toxic activity of Stx. Therefore, nitrogen gas plasma might be an efficient method for the inactivation of Stx.

  16. Botulinum toxin in trigeminal neuralgia.

    PubMed

    Castillo-Álvarez, Federico; Hernando de la Bárcena, Ignacio; Marzo-Sola, María Eugenia

    2017-01-06

    Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most disabling facial pain syndromes, with a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Pharmacotherapy is the first choice for treatment but cases of drug resistance often require new strategies, among which various interventional treatments have been used. In recent years a new therapeutic strategy consisting of botulinum toxin has emerged, with promising results. We reviewed clinical cases and case series, open-label studies and randomized clinical trials examining the use of botulinum toxin for drug-refractory trigeminal neuralgia published in the literature. The administration of botulinum toxin has proven to be a safe and effective therapeutic strategy in patients with drug-refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia, but many questions remain unanswered as to the precise role of botulinum toxin in the treatment of this disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  17. Botulinum toxin in clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Jankovic, J

    2004-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has become a powerful therapeutic tool for a growing number of clinical applications. This review draws attention to new findings about the mechanism of action of botulinum toxin and briefly reviews some of its most frequent uses, focusing on evidence based data. Double blind, placebo controlled studies, as well as open label clinical trials, provide evidence that, when appropriate targets and doses are selected, botulinum toxin temporarily ameliorates disorders associated with excessive muscle contraction or autonomic dysfunction. When injected not more often than every three months, the risk of blocking antibodies is slight. Long term experience with this agent suggests that it is an effective and safe treatment not only for approved indications but also for an increasing number of off-label indications. PMID:15201348

  18. Autoclaving soil samples affects algal-available phosphorus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Brandon H; Magdoff, Frederick R

    2005-01-01

    Unwanted microbial interference in samples used for biological assays of P availability has routinely been eliminated by autoclaving samples before inoculation with algae. Twenty-three soils were selected to evaluate the relationship between algal growth in P-deficient solutions containing small quantities of soil and the level of P determined by a variety of tests used to evaluate P availability in soils and sediments. Soils were either autoclaved or not before addition to flasks containing P-starved algae in a nutrient solution without P. Compared to non-autoclaved samples, autoclaving soil resulted in approximately 60% more available P as estimated by increased algal growth. However, algal growth in the presence of autoclaved soil was highly correlated with growth in the presence of non-autoclaved samples. There was no consistent change in the correlations (r) between autoclaving or non-autoclaving samples in the relationships of algal numbers with P extracted by a number of soil tests. The effect of autoclaving soil on soluble P was also evaluated for a subset of six soils. Autoclaved soils had significantly greater concentrations of soluble P than non-autoclaved soils, with 78% more orthophosphate monoesters, 60% more orthophosphate diesters, and 54% more soluble inorganic P. Inhibition of algal growth may have occurred with two high-Zn soils that produced relatively low numbers of algae despite being very high in estimated available P by all extraction methods. Removing those samples from the calculations dramatically improved correlations between soil P measured by various methods and algal growth. With these two soils removed from calculations, algal growth with autoclaved soil was most highly correlated with Olsen P (r = 0.95), with other correlations as follows: Fe-oxide strip (r = 0.80), Mehlich 3 (r = 0.75,), modified Morgan (r = 0.61), and Bray-Kurtz 1 (r = 0.57).

  19. Progress in understanding harmful algal blooms (HABs): Paradigm shifts and new technologies for research, monitoring and management

    PubMed Central

    Cembella, Allan D.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.

    2017-01-01

    The public health, tourism, fisheries and ecosystem impacts from harmful algal blooms (HABs) have all increased over the last few decades. This has led to heightened scientific and regulatory attention, and the development of many new technologies and approaches for research and management. This in turn, is leading to significant paradigm shifts with regard to, e.g., our interpretation of the phytoplankton species concept (strain variation), the dogma of their apparent cosmopolitanism, the role of bacteria and zooplankton grazing in HABs, and our approaches to investigating the ecological and genetic basis for the production of toxins and allelochemicals. Increasingly, eutrophication and climate change are viewed and managed as multifactorial environmental stressors that will further challenge managers of coastal resources and those responsible for protecting human health. Here we review HAB science with an eye towards new concepts and approaches, emphasizing, where possible, the unexpected yet promising new directions that research has taken in this diverse field. PMID:22457972

  20. Spatial, Temporal, and Matrix Variability of Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxin Gene Distribution at Great Lakes Beaches.

    PubMed

    Wijesinghe, Rasanthi U; Oster, Ryan J; Haack, Sheridan K; Fogarty, Lisa R; Tucker, Taaja R; Riley, Stephen C

    2015-07-01

    Clostridium botulinum type E toxin is responsible for extensive mortality of birds and fish in the Great Lakes. The C. botulinum bontE gene that produces the type E toxin was amplified with quantitative PCR from 150 sloughed algal samples (primarily Cladophora species) collected during summer 2012 from 10 Great Lakes beaches in five states; concurrently, 74 sediment and 37 water samples from four sites were also analyzed. The bontE gene concentration in algae was significantly higher than in water and sediment (P < 0.05), suggesting that algal mats provide a better microenvironment for C. botulinum. The bontE gene was detected most frequently in algae at Jeorse Park and Portage Lake Front beaches (Lake Michigan) and Bay City State Recreation Area beach on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron), where 77, 100, and 83% of these algal samples contained the bontE gene, respectively. The highest concentration of bontE was detected at Bay City (1.98 × 10(5) gene copies/ml of algae or 5.21 × 10(6) g [dry weight]). This study revealed that the bontE gene is abundant in the Great Lakes but that it has spatial, temporal, and matrix variability. Further, embayed beaches, low wave height, low wind velocity, and greater average water temperature enhance the bontE occurrence. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Spatial, Temporal, and Matrix Variability of Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxin Gene Distribution at Great Lakes Beaches

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Ryan J.; Haack, Sheridan K.; Fogarty, Lisa R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Riley, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum type E toxin is responsible for extensive mortality of birds and fish in the Great Lakes. The C. botulinum bontE gene that produces the type E toxin was amplified with quantitative PCR from 150 sloughed algal samples (primarily Cladophora species) collected during summer 2012 from 10 Great Lakes beaches in five states; concurrently, 74 sediment and 37 water samples from four sites were also analyzed. The bontE gene concentration in algae was significantly higher than in water and sediment (P < 0.05), suggesting that algal mats provide a better microenvironment for C. botulinum. The bontE gene was detected most frequently in algae at Jeorse Park and Portage Lake Front beaches (Lake Michigan) and Bay City State Recreation Area beach on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron), where 77, 100, and 83% of these algal samples contained the bontE gene, respectively. The highest concentration of bontE was detected at Bay City (1.98 × 105 gene copies/ml of algae or 5.21 × 106 g [dry weight]). This study revealed that the bontE gene is abundant in the Great Lakes but that it has spatial, temporal, and matrix variability. Further, embayed beaches, low wave height, low wind velocity, and greater average water temperature enhance the bontE occurrence. PMID:25888178

  2. [Biological and toxin terrorism weapons].

    PubMed

    Bokan, Slavko

    2003-03-01

    The use of biological agents and toxins in warfare and terrorism has a long history. Human, animal and plant pathogens and toxins can cause disease and can be used as a threat to humans, animals and staple crops. The same is true for biological agents. Although the use of biological agents and toxins in military conflicts has been a concern of military communities for many years, several recent events have increased the awareness of terrorist use of these weapons against civilian population. A Mass Casualty Biological (Toxin) Weapon (MCBTW) is any biological and toxin weapon capable of causing death or disease on a large scale, such that the military or civilian infrastructure of the state or organization being attacked is overwhelmed. A militarily significant (or terrorist) weapon is any weapon capable of affecting, directly or indirectly, that is physically or psychologically, the outcome of a military operation. Although many biological agents such as toxins and bioregulators can be used to cause diseases, there are only a few that can truly threaten civilian populations on a large scale. Bioregulators or modulators are biochemical compounds, such as peptides, that occur naturally in organisms. They are new class of weapons that can damage nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and kill. The potential military or terrorist use of bioregulators is similar to that of toxins. Some of these compounds are several hundred times more potent than traditional chemical warfare agents. Important features and military advantages of new bioregulators are novel sites of toxic action; rapid and specific effects; penetration of protective filters and equipment, and militarily effective physical incapacitation. This overview of biological agents and toxins is largely intended to help healthcare providers on all levels to make decisions in protecting general population from these agents.

  3. Unfolding the secrets of coral-algal symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Rosic, Nedeljka; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Lee, Hong Ching; Kaniewska, Paulina; Edwards, David; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2015-03-17

    Dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with reef-building corals. Here we applied massively parallel Illumina sequencing to assess genetic similarity and diversity among four phylogenetically diverse dinoflagellate clades (A, B, C and D) that are commonly associated with corals. We obtained more than 30,000 predicted genes for each Symbiodinium clade, with a majority of the aligned transcripts corresponding to sequence data sets of symbiotic dinoflagellates and <2% of sequences having bacterial or other foreign origin. We report 1053 genes, orthologous among four Symbiodinium clades, that share a high level of sequence identity to known proteins from the SwissProt (SP) database. Approximately 80% of the transcripts aligning to the 1053 SP genes were unique to Symbiodinium species and did not align to other dinoflagellates and unrelated eukaryotic transcriptomes/genomes. Six pathways were common to all four Symbiodinium clades including the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and inositol phosphate metabolism pathways. The list of Symbiodinium transcripts common to all four clades included conserved genes such as heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90), calmodulin, actin and tubulin, several ribosomal, photosynthetic and cytochrome genes and chloroplast-based heme-containing cytochrome P450, involved in the biosynthesis of xanthophylls. Antioxidant genes, which are important in stress responses, were also preserved, as were a number of calcium-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases that may play a role in the establishment of symbiosis. Our findings disclose new knowledge about the genetic uniqueness of symbiotic dinoflagellates and provide a list of homologous genes important for the foundation of coral-algal symbiosis.

  4. Unfolding the secrets of coral–algal symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Rosic, Nedeljka; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Lee, Hong Ching; Kaniewska, Paulina; Edwards, David; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2015-01-01

    Dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with reef-building corals. Here we applied massively parallel Illumina sequencing to assess genetic similarity and diversity among four phylogenetically diverse dinoflagellate clades (A, B, C and D) that are commonly associated with corals. We obtained more than 30 000 predicted genes for each Symbiodinium clade, with a majority of the aligned transcripts corresponding to sequence data sets of symbiotic dinoflagellates and <2% of sequences having bacterial or other foreign origin. We report 1053 genes, orthologous among four Symbiodinium clades, that share a high level of sequence identity to known proteins from the SwissProt (SP) database. Approximately 80% of the transcripts aligning to the 1053 SP genes were unique to Symbiodinium species and did not align to other dinoflagellates and unrelated eukaryotic transcriptomes/genomes. Six pathways were common to all four Symbiodinium clades including the phosphatidylinositol signaling system and inositol phosphate metabolism pathways. The list of Symbiodinium transcripts common to all four clades included conserved genes such as heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90), calmodulin, actin and tubulin, several ribosomal, photosynthetic and cytochrome genes and chloroplast-based heme-containing cytochrome P450, involved in the biosynthesis of xanthophylls. Antioxidant genes, which are important in stress responses, were also preserved, as were a number of calcium-dependent and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases that may play a role in the establishment of symbiosis. Our findings disclose new knowledge about the genetic uniqueness of symbiotic dinoflagellates and provide a list of homologous genes important for the foundation of coral–algal symbiosis. PMID:25343511

  5. Development of Certified Reference Materials for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins, Part 1: Calibration Solutions.

    PubMed

    Beach, Daniel G; Crain, Sheila; Lewis, Nancy; LeBlanc, Patricia; Hardstaff, William R; Perez, Ruth A; Giddings, Sabrina D; Martinez-Farina, Camilo F; Stefanova, Roumiana; Burton, Ian W; Kilcoyne, Jane; Melanson, Jeremy E; Quilliam, Michael A; McCarron, Pearse

    2016-09-01

    Okadaic acid (OA) and its analogs dinophysistoxins-1 (DTX1) and -2 (DTX2) are lipophilic polyethers produced by marine dinoflagellates. These toxins accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in humans. Regulatory testing of shellfish is essential to safeguard public health and for international trade. Certified reference materials (CRMs) play a key role in analytical monitoring programs. This paper presents an overview of the interdisciplinary work that went into the planning, production, and certification of calibration-solution CRMs for OA, DTX1, and DTX2. OA and DTX1 were isolated from large-scale algal cultures and DTX2 from naturally contaminated mussels. Toxins were isolated by a combination of extraction and chromatographic steps with processes adapted to suit the source and concentration of each toxin. New 19-epi-DSP toxin analogs were identified as minor impurities. Once OA, DTX1, and DTX2 were established to be of suitable purity, solutions were prepared and dispensed into flame-sealed glass ampoules. Certification measurements were carried out using quantitative NMR spectroscopy and LC-tandem MS. Traceability of measurements was established through certified external standards of established purity. Uncertainties were assigned following standards and guidelines from the International Organization for Standardization, with components from the measurement, stability, and homogeneity studies being propagated into final combined uncertainties.

  6. From Research to Operations: Transitioning Noaa's Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kavanaugh, K. E.; Stumpf, R. P.

    2016-02-01

    A key priority of NOAA's Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS) is to leverage the Ecological Forecasting Roadmap to systematically transition to operations scientifically mature HAB forecasts in regions of the country where there is a strong user need identified and an operational framework can be supported. While in the demonstration phase, the Lake Erie HAB forecast has proven its utility. Over the next two years, NOAA will be transitioning the Lake Erie HAB forecast to operations with an initial operating capability established in the HAB OFS' operational infrastructure by the 2016 bloom season. Blooms of cyanobacteria are a recurring problem in Lake Erie, and the dominant bloom forming species, Microcystis aeruginosa, produces a toxin called microcystin that is poisonous to humans, livestock and pets. Once the toxins have contaminated the source water used for drinking water, it is costly for public water suppliers to remove them. As part of the Lake Erie HAB forecast demonstration, NOAA has provided information regarding the cyanobacterial blooms in a biweekly Experimental HAB Bulletin, which includes information about the current and forecasted distribution, toxicity, potential for vertical mixing or scum formation, mixing of the water column, and predictions of bloom decline. Coastal resource managers, public water suppliers and public health officials use the Experimental HAB Bulletins to respond to and mitigate the impacts of cyanobacterial blooms. The transition to operations will benefit stakeholders through ensuring that future Lake Erie HAB forecast products are sustained, systematic, reliable, and robust. Once operational, the forecasts will continue to be assessed and improvements will be made based on the results of emerging scientific research. In addition, the lessons learned from the Lake Erie transition will be used to streamline the process for future HAB forecasts presently in development.

  7. Yessotoxins, a Group of Marine Polyether Toxins: an Overview

    PubMed Central

    Paz, Beatriz; Daranas, Antonio H.; Norte, Manuel; Riobó, Pilar; Franco, José M.; Fernández, José J.

    2008-01-01

    Yessotoxin (YTX) is a marine polyether toxin that was first isolated in 1986 from the scallop Patinopecten yessoensis. Subsequently, it was reported that YTX is produced by the dinoflagellates Protoceratium reticulatum, Lingulodinium polyedrum and Gonyaulax spinifera. YTXs have been associated with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) because they are often simultaneously extracted with DSP toxins, and give positive results when tested in the conventional mouse bioassay for DSP toxins. However, recent evidence suggests that YTXs should be excluded from the DSP toxins group, because unlike okadaic acid (OA) and dinophyisistoxin-1 (DTX-1), YTXs do not cause either diarrhea or inhibition of protein phosphatases. In spite of the increasing number of molecular studies focused on the toxicity of YTX, the precise mechanism of action is currently unknown. Since the discovery of YTX, almost forty new analogues isolated from both mussels and dinoflagellates have been characterized by NMR or LC-MS/MS techniques. These studies indicate a wide variability in the profile and the relative abundance of YTXs in both, bivalves and dinoflagellates. This review covers current knowledge on the origin, producer organisms and vectors, chemical structures, metabolism, biosynthetic origin, toxicological properties, potential risks to human health and advances in detection methods of YTXs. PMID:18728761

  8. Full-scale validation of a model of algal productivity.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Shilton, Andy; Guieysse, Benoit

    2014-12-02

    While modeling algal productivity outdoors is crucial to assess the economic and environmental performance of full-scale cultivation, most of the models hitherto developed for this purpose have not been validated under fully relevant conditions, especially with regard to temperature variations. The objective of this study was to independently validate a model of algal biomass productivity accounting for both light and temperature and constructed using parameters experimentally derived using short-term indoor experiments. To do this, the accuracy of a model developed for Chlorella vulgaris was assessed against data collected from photobioreactors operated outdoor (New Zealand) over different seasons, years, and operating conditions (temperature-control/no temperature-control, batch, and fed-batch regimes). The model accurately predicted experimental productivities under all conditions tested, yielding an overall accuracy of ±8.4% over 148 days of cultivation. For the purpose of assessing the feasibility of full-scale algal cultivation, the use of the productivity model was therefore shown to markedly reduce uncertainty in cost of biofuel production while also eliminating uncertainties in water demand, a critical element of environmental impact assessments. Simulations at five climatic locations demonstrated that temperature-control in outdoor photobioreactors would require tremendous amounts of energy without considerable increase of algal biomass. Prior assessments neglecting the impact of temperature variations on algal productivity in photobioreactors may therefore be erroneous.

  9. Effects of acidification on algal assemblages in temporary ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Glackin, M.E.; Pratt, J.R.

    1994-12-31

    Atmospheric deposition monitoring in Pennsylvania has characterized a steep gradient of acidic ion depositions across the north-central portion of the state. This study evaluated acidification effects on the composition of algal assemblages in temporary ponds in two forested areas exposed to atmospheric deposition that varied in degree of acidity. Artificial substrates were used to sample and compare the algal assemblages in the two areas. Colonized communities were also transplanted to lower pH ponds to observe changes in species composition. A laboratory microcosm experiment manipulating pH was conducted to reduce the variables that differed between the two areas. Fewer algal taxa were present in lower pH ponds, on colonized substrates after transplant to lower pH ponds, and in lower pH laboratory treatments. Species composition was altered in the lower pH conditions. Most taxa that were excluded from the lower pH ponds naturally also did not survive when experimentally introduced to those conditions. These results suggest that acidification of temporary ponds can alter the structure of algal communities. There is interest in a possible link between acid deposition and reports of worldwide declines in amphibian populations. Algae are an important food source for larval amphibians, such as the wood frog, which require temporary ponds to breed. Changes in algal species composition could potentially impact the temporary pond and forest ecosystem.

  10. Biodegradation of bisphenol A by an algal-bacterial system.

    PubMed

    Eio, Er Jin; Kawai, Minako; Niwa, Chiaki; Ito, Masato; Yamamoto, Shuichi; Toda, Tatsuki

    2015-10-01

    The degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) by Chlorella sorokiniana and BPA-degrading bacteria was investigated. The results show that BPA was partially removed by a monoculture of C. sorokiniana, but the remaining BPA accounted for 50.2, 56.1, and 60.5 % of the initial BPA concentrations of 10, 20, and 50 mg L(-1), respectively. The total algal BPA adsorption and accumulation were less than 1 %. C. sorokiniana-bacterial system effectively removed BPA with photosynthetic oxygen provided by the algae irrespective of the initial BPA concentration. The growth of C. sorokiniana in the algal system was inhibited by BPA concentrations of 20 and 50 mg L(-1), but not in the algal-bacterial system. This observation indicates that bacterial growth in the algal-bacterial system reduced the BPA-inhibiting effect on algae. A total of ten BPA biodegradation intermediates were identified by GC-MS. The concentrations of the biodegradation intermediates decreased to a low level at the end of the experiment. The hypothetical carbon mass balance analysis showed that the amounts of oxygen demanded by the bacteria are insufficient for effective BPA degradation. However, adding an external carbon source could compensate for the oxygen shortage. This study demonstrates that the algal-bacterial system has the potential to remove BPA and its biodegradation intermediates.

  11. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    SciTech Connect

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T.

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  12. Targeted toxins in brain tumor therapy.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan Michael; Hall, Walter A

    2010-11-01

    Targeted toxins, also known as immunotoxins or cytotoxins, are recombinant molecules that specifically bind to cell surface receptors that are overexpressed in cancer and the toxin component kills the cell. These recombinant proteins consist of a specific antibody or ligand coupled to a protein toxin. The targeted toxins bind to a surface antigen or receptor overexpressed in tumors, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor or interleukin-13 receptor. The toxin part of the molecule in all clinically used toxins is modified from bacterial or plant toxins, fused to an antibody or carrier ligand. Targeted toxins are very effective against cancer cells resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. They are far more potent than any known chemotherapy drug. Targeted toxins have shown an acceptable profile of toxicity and safety in early clinical studies and have demonstrated evidence of a tumor response. Currently, clinical trials with some targeted toxins are complete and the final results are pending. This review summarizes the characteristics of targeted toxins and the key findings of the important clinical studies with targeted toxins in malignant brain tumor patients. Obstacles to successful treatment of malignant brain tumors include poor penetration into tumor masses, the immune response to the toxin component and cancer heterogeneity. Strategies to overcome these limitations are being pursued in the current generation of targeted toxins.

  13. Inositol hexakisphosphate-dependent processing of Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin and Clostridium novyi alpha-toxin.

    PubMed

    Guttenberg, Gregor; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Genisyuerek, Selda; Lü, Wei; Jank, Thomas; Einsle, Oliver; Aktories, Klaus

    2011-04-29

    Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin and Clostridium novyi α-toxin, which are virulence factors involved in the toxic shock and gas gangrene syndromes, are members of the family of clostridial glucosylating toxins. The toxins inactivate Rho/Ras proteins by glucosylation or attachment of GlcNAc (α-toxin). Here, we studied the activation of the autoproteolytic processing of the toxins by inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP(6)) and compared it with the processing of Clostridium difficile toxin B. In the presence of low concentrations of InsP(6) (<1 μM), toxin fragments consisting of the N-terminal glucosyltransferase (or GlcNAc-transferase) domains and the cysteine protease domains (CPDs) of C. sordellii lethal toxin, C. novyi α-toxin, and C. difficile toxin B were autocatalytically processed. The cleavage sites of lethal toxin (Leu-543) and α-toxin (Leu-548) and the catalytic cysteine residues (Cys-698 of lethal toxin and Cys-707 of α-toxin) were identified. Affinity of the CPDs for binding InsP(6) was determined by isothermal titration calorimetry. In contrast to full-length toxin B and α-toxin, autocatalytic cleavage and InsP(6) binding of full-length lethal toxin depended on low pH (pH 5) conditions. The data indicate that C. sordellii lethal toxin and C. novyi α-toxin are InsP(6)-dependently processed. However, full-length lethal toxin, but not its short toxin fragments consisting of the glucosyltransferase domain and the CPD, requires a pH-sensitive conformational change to allow binding of InsP(6) and subsequent processing of the toxin.

  14. Inositol Hexakisphosphate-dependent Processing of Clostridium sordellii Lethal Toxin and Clostridium novyi α-Toxin*

    PubMed Central

    Guttenberg, Gregor; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Genisyuerek, Selda; Lü, Wei; Jank, Thomas; Einsle, Oliver; Aktories, Klaus

    2011-01-01

    Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin and Clostridium novyi α-toxin, which are virulence factors involved in the toxic shock and gas gangrene syndromes, are members of the family of clostridial glucosylating toxins. The toxins inactivate Rho/Ras proteins by glucosylation or attachment of GlcNAc (α-toxin). Here, we studied the activation of the autoproteolytic processing of the toxins by inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6) and compared it with the processing of Clostridium difficile toxin B. In the presence of low concentrations of InsP6 (<1 μm), toxin fragments consisting of the N-terminal glucosyltransferase (or GlcNAc-transferase) domains and the cysteine protease domains (CPDs) of C. sordellii lethal toxin, C. novyi α-toxin, and C. difficile toxin B were autocatalytically processed. The cleavage sites of lethal toxin (Leu-543) and α-toxin (Leu-548) and the catalytic cysteine residues (Cys-698 of lethal toxin and Cys-707 of α-toxin) were identified. Affinity of the CPDs for binding InsP6 was determined by isothermal titration calorimetry. In contrast to full-length toxin B and α-toxin, autocatalytic cleavage and InsP6 binding of full-length lethal toxin depended on low pH (pH 5) conditions. The data indicate that C. sordellii lethal toxin and C. novyi α-toxin are InsP6-dependently processed. However, full-length lethal toxin, but not its short toxin fragments consisting of the glucosyltransferase domain and the CPD, requires a pH-sensitive conformational change to allow binding of InsP6 and subsequent processing of the toxin. PMID:21385871

  15. Potent antitumor activity of a urokinase-activated engineered anthrax toxin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shihui; Aaronson, Hannah; Mitola, David J.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bugge, Thomas H.

    2003-01-01

    The acquisition of cell-surface urokinase plasminogen activator activity is a hallmark of malignancy. We generated an engineered anthrax toxin that is activated by cell-surface urokinase in vivo and displays limited toxicity to normal tissue but broad and potent tumoricidal activity. Native anthrax toxin protective antigen, when administered with a chimeric anthrax toxin lethal factor, Pseudomonas exotoxin fusion protein, was extremely toxic to mice, causing rapid and fatal organ damage. Replacing the furin activation sequence in anthrax toxin protective antigen with an artificial peptide sequence efficiently activated by urokinase greatly attenuated toxicity to mice. In addition, the mutation conferred cell-surface urokinase-dependent toxin activation in vivo, as determined by using a panel of plasminogen, plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator receptor, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-deficient mice. Surprisingly, toxin activation critically depended on both urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and plasminogen in vivo, showing that both proteins are essential cofactors for the generation of cell-surface urokinase. The engineered toxin displayed potent tumor cell cytotoxicity to a spectrum of transplanted tumors of diverse origin and could eradicate established solid tumors. This tumoricidal activity depended strictly on tumor cell-surface plasminogen activation. The data show that a simple change of protease activation specificity converts anthrax toxin from a highly lethal to a potent tumoricidal agent.

  16. Staphylococcus aureus In Vitro Secretion of Alpha Toxin (hla) Correlates with the Affiliation to Clonal Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Monecke, Stefan; Müller, Elke; Büchler, Joseph; Stieber, Bettina; Ehricht, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species. PMID:24940872

  17. [Temporal-spatial distribution of algal cells during drought period in Daning River of Three Gorges].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Sheng; Zheng, Bing-Hui; Wang, Kun; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Hao

    2013-06-01

    In order to provide basic data for algal bloom warning system, the study on temporal-spatial distribution of algal cells was carried out in Daning River of Three Gorges form April to September, 2011. The results of temporal distribution were as follows: the dominant algal species were blue algal, green algal and diatom. During the test, the density proportion of blue algae increased continuously, the density proportion of diatom decreased, while the density proportion of green algae did not change significantly. The results of spatial distribution were as follows: algal density was extremely significantly correlated with water temperature and chlorophyll a (Chl a), the correlation coefficient were 0.97 and 0.95, respectively; algal density was significantly correlated with light intensity (LI), dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and dissoluble total phosphorus (DTP), the correlation coefficient were 0.87, 0.83, 082 and 0.82, respectively; the algal density in 0 m of Caziba was higher than those in other water depths, and in Baishuihe the highest algal density occurred at 2.0 m water depth in June and July, in Shuanglong most algal cells were found in 0 m and 2.0 m in July, August and September, in Dachang algal density in different water depth did not change significantly during the test; the proportion of different algal species in vertical direction was different in the test, probably because different algal species fitted different environments.

  18. Unique characteristics of algal dissolved organic matter and their association with membrane fouling behavior: a review.

    PubMed

    Ly, Quang Viet; Maqbool, Tahir; Hur, Jin

    2017-04-01

    Over the last several decades, the frequent occurrence of algal bloom in drinking water supplies, driven by increasing anthropogenic input and climate change, has posed serious problems for membrane filtration processes, resulting in reduced membrane permeability and increased energy consumption. It is essential to comprehensively understand the characteristics of algal dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the subsequent effects on the filtration processes for better insight into membrane fouling mitigation. Many studies have revealed that algal DOM has displayed unique characteristics distinguished from other sources of DOM with respect to the chemical composition, the structures, and the molecular weight distributions. Algal DOM is considered to be a major obstacle in understanding membrane fouling due to its complicated interactions among dissimilar algal DOM constituents as well as between algal DOM and membrane material matrices. The present review article summarizes (1) recent characterizing methods for algal DOM, (2) environmental factors affecting the characteristics of algal DOM, (3) the discrepancies between algal DOM and other sources of aquatic DOM, particularly terrestrial sources, and (4) potential fouling effects of algal DOM on membrane filtration processes and their associations with algal DOM characteristics. A broad understanding of algal DOM-driven membrane fouling can lead to breakthroughs in efficient membrane filtration processes to treat algal bloom water sources.

  19. Association of toxin-producing Clostridium botulinum with the macroalga Cladophora in the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chun, Chan Lan; Ochsner, Urs; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N.; Whitman, Richard L.; Tepp, William H.; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A.; Peller, Julie; Sadowsky, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Avian botulism, a paralytic disease of birds, often occurs on a yearly cycle and is increasingly becoming more common in the Great Lakes. Outbreaks are caused by bird ingestion of neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum, a spore-forming, gram-positive, anaerobe. The nuisance, macrophytic, green alga Cladophora (Chlorophyta; mostly Cladophora glomerata L.) is a potential habitat for the growth of C. botulinum. A high incidence of botulism in shoreline birds at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SLBE) in Lake Michigan coincides with increasingly massive accumulations of Cladophora in nearshore waters. In this study, free-floating algal mats were collected from SLBE and other shorelines of the Great Lakes between June and October 2011. The abundance of C. botulinum in algal mats was quantified and the type of botulism neurotoxin (bont) genes associated with this organism were determined by using most-probable-number PCR (MPN-PCR) and five distinct bont gene-specific primers (A, B, C, E, and F). The MPN-PCR results showed that 16 of 22 (73%) algal mats from the SLBE and 23 of 31(74%) algal mats from other shorelines of the Great Lakes contained the bont type E (bont/E) gene. C. botulinum was present up to 15 000 MPN per gram dried algae based on gene copies of bont/E. In addition, genes for bont/A and bont/B, which are commonly associated with human diseases, were detected in a few algal samples. Moreover, C. botulinum was present as vegetative cells rather than as dormant spores in Cladophora mats. Mouse toxin assays done using supernatants from enrichment of Cladophora containing high densities of C. botulinum (>1000 MPN/g dried algae) showed that Cladophora-borne C. botulinum were toxin-producing species (BoNT/E). Our results indicate that Cladophora provides a habitat for C. botulinum, warranting additional studies to better understand the relationship between this bacterium and the alga, and how this interaction potentially contributes to botulism

  20. Association of toxin-producing Clostridium botulinum with the macroalga Cladophora in the Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Chun, Chan Lan; Ochsner, Urs; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N; Whitman, Richard L; Tepp, William H; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A; Peller, Julie; Sadowsky, Michael J

    2013-03-19

    Avian botulism, a paralytic disease of birds, often occurs on a yearly cycle and is increasingly becoming more common in the Great Lakes. Outbreaks are caused by bird ingestion of neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum, a spore-forming, gram-positive, anaerobe. The nuisance, macrophytic, green alga Cladophora (Chlorophyta; mostly Cladophora glomerata L.) is a potential habitat for the growth of C. botulinum. A high incidence of botulism in shoreline birds at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SLBE) in Lake Michigan coincides with increasingly massive accumulations of Cladophora in nearshore waters. In this study, free-floating algal mats were collected from SLBE and other shorelines of the Great Lakes between June and October 2011. The abundance of C. botulinum in algal mats was quantified and the type of botulism neurotoxin (bont) genes associated with this organism were determined by using most-probable-number PCR (MPN-PCR) and five distinct bont gene-specific primers (A, B, C, E, and F). The MPN-PCR results showed that 16 of 22 (73%) algal mats from the SLBE and 23 of 31(74%) algal mats from other shorelines of the Great Lakes contained the bont type E (bont/E) gene. C. botulinum was present up to 15000 MPN per gram dried algae based on gene copies of bont/E. In addition, genes for bont/A and bont/B, which are commonly associated with human diseases, were detected in a few algal samples. Moreover, C. botulinum was present as vegetative cells rather than as dormant spores in Cladophora mats. Mouse toxin assays done using supernatants from enrichment of Cladophora containing high densities of C. botulinum (>1000 MPN/g dried algae) showed that Cladophora-borne C. botulinum were toxin-producing species (BoNT/E). Our results indicate that Cladophora provides a habitat for C. botulinum, warranting additional studies to better understand the relationship between this bacterium and the alga, and how this interaction potentially contributes to botulism

  1. Toxin Fused with SUMO Tag: A New Expression Vector Strategy to Obtain Recombinant Venom Toxins with Easy Tag Removal inside the Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Shimokawa-Falcão, Lhiri H A L; Caporrino, Maria C; Barbaro, Katia C; Della-Casa, Maisa S; Magalhães, Geraldo S

    2017-02-27

    Many animal toxins may target the same molecules that need to be controlled in certain pathologies; therefore, some toxins have led to the formulation of drugs that are presently used, and many other drugs are still under development. Nevertheless, collecting sufficient toxins from the original source might be a limiting factor in studying their biological activities. Thus, molecular biology techniques have been applied in order to obtain large amounts of recombinant toxins into Escherichia coli. However, most animal toxins are difficult to express in this system, which results in insoluble, misfolded, or unstable proteins. To solve these issues, toxins have been fused with tags that may improve protein expression, solubility, and stability. Among these tags, the SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) has been shown to be very efficient and can be removed by the Ulp1 protease. However, removing SUMO is a labor- and time-consuming process. To enhance this system, here we show the construction of a bicistronic vector that allows the expression of any protein fused to both the SUMO and Ulp1 protease. In this way, after expression, Ulp1 is able to cleave SUMO and leave the protein interest-free and ready for purification. This strategy was validated through the expression of a new phospholipase D from the spider Loxosceles gaucho and a disintegrin from the Bothrops insularis snake. Both recombinant toxins showed good yield and preserved biological activities, indicating that the bicistronic vector may be a viable method to produce proteins that are difficult to express.

  2. Toxin Fused with SUMO Tag: A New Expression Vector Strategy to Obtain Recombinant Venom Toxins with Easy Tag Removal inside the Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Shimokawa-Falcão, Lhiri H. A. L.; Caporrino, Maria C.; Barbaro, Katia C.; Della-Casa, Maisa S.; Magalhães, Geraldo S.

    2017-01-01

    Many animal toxins may target the same molecules that need to be controlled in certain pathologies; therefore, some toxins have led to the formulation of drugs that are presently used, and many other drugs are still under development. Nevertheless, collecting sufficient toxins from the original source might be a limiting factor in studying their biological activities. Thus, molecular biology techniques have been applied in order to obtain large amounts of recombinant toxins into Escherichia coli. However, most animal toxins are difficult to express in this system, which results in insoluble, misfolded, or unstable proteins. To solve these issues, toxins have been fused with tags that may improve protein expression, solubility, and stability. Among these tags, the SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) has been shown to be very efficient and can be removed by the Ulp1 protease. However, removing SUMO is a labor- and time-consuming process. To enhance this system, here we show the construction of a bicistronic vector that allows the expression of any protein fused to both the SUMO and Ulp1 protease. In this way, after expression, Ulp1 is able to cleave SUMO and leave the protein interest-free and ready for purification. This strategy was validated through the expression of a new phospholipase D from the spider Loxosceles gaucho and a disintegrin from the Bothrops insularis snake. Both recombinant toxins showed good yield and preserved biological activities, indicating that the bicistronic vector may be a viable method to produce proteins that are difficult to express. PMID:28264436

  3. Copper removal by algae Gelidium, agar extraction algal waste and granulated algal waste: kinetics and equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Vilar, Vítor J P; Botelho, Cidália M S; Boaventura, Rui A R

    2008-03-01

    Biosorption of copper ions by an industrial algal waste, from agar extraction industry has been studied in a batch system. This biosorbent was compared with the algae Gelidium itself, which is the raw material for agar extraction, and the industrial waste immobilized with polyacrylonitrile (composite material). The effects of contact time, pH, ionic strength (IS) and temperature on the biosorption process have been studied. Equilibrium data follow both Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich models. The parameters of Langmuir equilibrium model were: q(max)=33.0mgg(-1), K(L)=0.015mgl(-1); q(max)=16.7mgg(-1), K(L)=0.028mgl(-1) and q(max)=10.3mgg(-1), K(L)=0.160mgl(-1) respectively for Gelidium, algal waste and composite material at pH=5.3, T=20 degrees C and IS=0.001M. Increasing the pH, the number of deprotonated active sites increases and so the uptake capacity of copper ions. In the case of high ionic strengths, the contribution of the electrostatic component to the overall binding decreases, and so the uptake capacity. The temperature has little influence on the uptake capacity principally for low equilibrium copper concentrations. Changes in standard enthalpy, Gibbs energy and entropy during biosorption were determined. Kinetic data at different solution pH (3, 4 and 5.3) were fitted to pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models. The adsorptive behaviour of biosorbent particles was modelled using a batch reactor mass transfer kinetic model, which successfully predicts Cu(II) concentration profiles.

  4. Hydrogen from algal biomass: A review of production process.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Archita; Arya, Shailendra Kumar

    2017-09-01

    Multifariousness of biofuel sources has marked an edge to an imperative energy issue. Production of hydrogen from microalgae has been gathering much contemplation right away. But, mercantile production of microalgae biofuels considering bio-hydrogen is still not practicable because of low biomass concentration and costly down streaming processes. This review has taken up the hydrogen production by microalgae. Biofuels are the up and coming alternative to exhaustible, environmentally and unsafe fossil fuels. Algal biomass has been considered as an enticing raw material for biofuel production, these days photobioreactors and open-air systems are being used for hydrogen production from algal biomass. The formers allow the careful cultivation control whereas the latter ones are cheaper and simpler. A contemporary, encouraging optimization access has been included called algal cell immobilization on various matrixes which has resulted in marked increase in the productivity per volume of a reactor and addition of the hydrogen-production phase.

  5. Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-COMM) Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2015-12-04

    The Consortium for Algal Biofuel Commercialization (CAB-Comm) was established in 2010 to conduct research to enable commercial viability of alternative liquid fuels produced from algal biomass. The main objective of CAB-Comm was to dramatically improve the viability of algae as a source of liquid fuels to meet US energy needs, by addressing several significant barriers to economic viability. To achieve this goal, CAB-Comm took a diverse set of approaches on three key aspects of the algal biofuels value chain: crop protection; nutrient utilization and recycling; and the development of genetic tools. These projects have been undertaken as collaboration between six academic institutions and two industrial partners: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Rutgers University; University of California, Davis; Johns Hopkins University; Sapphire Energy; and Life Technologies.

  6. Energy evaluation of algal cell disruption by high pressure homogenisation.

    PubMed

    Yap, Benjamin H J; Dumsday, Geoff J; Scales, Peter J; Martin, Gregory J O

    2015-05-01

    The energy consumption of high pressure homogenisation (HPH) was analysed to determine the feasibility of rupturing algal cells for biodiesel production. Experimentally, the processing capacity (i.e. flow rate), power draw and cell disruption efficiency of HPH were independent of feed concentration (for Nannochloropsis sp. up to 25%w/w solids). Depending on the homogenisation pressure (60-150 MPa), the solids concentration (0.25-25%w/w), and triacylglyceride (TAG) content of the harvested algal biomass (10-30%), the energy consumed by HPH represented between 6% and 110-times the energy density of the resulting biodiesel. Provided the right species (weak cell wall and high TAG content) is selected and the biomass is processed at a sufficiently high solids concentration, HPH can consume a small fraction of the energy content of the biodiesel produced. This study demonstrates the feasibility of process-scale algal cell disruption by HPH based on its energy requirement.

  7. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy.

    PubMed

    Krehbiel, Joel D; Schideman, Lance C; King, Daniel A; Freund, Jonathan B

    2014-12-01

    Microbubbles were added to an algal solution with the goal of improving cell disruption efficiency and the net energy balance for algal biofuel production. Experimental results showed that disruption increases with increasing peak rarefaction ultrasound pressure over the range studied: 1.90 to 3.07 MPa. Additionally, ultrasound cell disruption increased by up to 58% by adding microbubbles, with peak disruption occurring in the range of 10(8)microbubbles/ml. The localization of energy in space and time provided by the bubbles improve efficiency: energy requirements for such a process were estimated to be one-fourth of the available heat of combustion of algal biomass and one-fifth of currently used cell disruption methods. This increase in energy efficiency could make microbubble enhanced ultrasound viable for bioenergy applications and is expected to integrate well with current cell harvesting methods based upon dissolved air flotation. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Yield of trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids upon chlorinating algal cells, and its prediction via algal cellular biochemical composition.

    PubMed

    Hong, Hua Chang; Mazumder, Asit; Wong, Ming Hung; Liang, Yan

    2008-12-01

    The major objective of the present study was to investigate the contribution of major biomolecules, including protein, carbohydrates and lipids, in predicting DBPs formation upon chlorination of algal cells. Three model compounds, including bovine serum albumin (BSA), starch and fish oil, as surrogates of algal-derived proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, and cells of three algae species, representing blue-green algae, green algae, and diatoms, were chlorinated in the laboratory. The results showed that BSA (27 microg mg(-1) C) and fish oil (50 microg mg(-1) C) produced more than nine times higher levels of chloroform than starch (3 microg mg(-1) C). For the formation of HAAs, BSA was shown to have higher reactivity (49 microg mg(-1) C) than fish oil and starch (5 microg mg(-1) C). For the algal cells, Nitzschia sp. (diatom) showed higher chloroform yields (48 microg mg(-1) C) but lower HAA yields (43 microg mg(-1) C) than Chlamydomonas sp. (green algae) (chloroform: 34 microg mg(-1) C; HAA: 62 microg mg(-1) C) and Oscillatoria sp. (blue-green algae) (chloroform: 26 microg mg(-1) C; HAA: 72 microg mg(-1) C). The calculated chloroform formation of cells from the three algal groups, based on their biochemical compositions, was generally consistent with the experimental data, while the predicted values for HAAs were significantly lower than the observed ones. As compared to humic substances, such as humic and fulvic acids, the algal cells appeared to be important precursors of dichloroacetic acid.

  9. Design of algal film photobioreactors: material surface energy effects on algal film productivity, colonization and lipid content.

    PubMed

    Genin, Scott N; Stewart Aitchison, J; Grant Allen, D

    2014-03-01

    A parallel plate air lift reactor was used to examine the growth kinetics of mixed culture algal biofilms grown on various materials (acrylic, glass, polycarbonate, polystyrene and cellulose acetate). The growth kinetics of the algal biofilms were non-linear overall and their overall productivities ranged from 1.10-2.08g/m(2)day, with those grown on cellulose acetate having the highest productivity. Overall algal biofilm productivity was largely explained by differences in the colonization time which in turn was strongly correlated to the polar surface energy of the material, but weakly correlated to water-material contact angle. When colonization time was taken into account, the productivity for all materials except acrylic was not significantly different at approximately 2g/m(2)/day. Lipid content of the algal biofilms ranged from 6% to 8% (w/w) and was not correlated to water-material contact angle or polar surface energy. The results have potential application for selecting appropriate materials for algal film photobioreactors.

  10. Early diagenesis of a phylloid algal-mound complex, Laborcita Formation, southeastern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, W.B.; Meyers, W.J.; Goldstein, R.

    1985-02-01

    Marine carbonate cementation was the initial stage in the paragenesis of phylloid algal mounds in the Laborcita Formation (Wolfcampian), Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico, and the cements are almost identical to those in Holocene coral reefs of Belize. These cements include relics of botryoids and crusts of needle crystals, in part defined by inclusion patterns and luminescent ghosts in mosaic calcite. Individual needle crystals are pseudohexagonal in cross section and range from less than 1 to 30 ..mu..m wide. These nonluminescent early cements line cavity walls, coat phylloid-algal blades and stromatolites, and are interlayered with marine sediment. Early cements also include bladed, fibrous, and rare radiaxial fibrous calcites, which are microdolomite-rich. They have a proximal nonluminescent zone, a central bright-luminescent zone, and a distal blotchy, moderate-luminescent zone. The bright zone may be time equivalent to bright-luminescent micritic coatings on botryoids and grains. Botryoids are encrusted by isopachous bladed cement, some of which has prismatic overgrowths containing an early inclusion-rich zone. This initial cementation was followed closely by: (1) dissolution of algal blades and mollusks, (2) in-situ brecciation, and (3) cementation by blocky calcite. Botryoidal and acicular cements are interpreted as originally marine aragonite precipitates, based on morphology, occurrence, susceptibility to diagenesis, and similarity to Holocene reef cements. The same criteria, plus the microdolomite inclusions, indicate that the bladed, fibrous, and radiaxial cements had a marine Mg-calcite precursor. This assemblage followed by prismatic overgrowths, dissolution, and blocky-calcite cementation indicates an evolution from marine to freshwater diagenesis.

  11. Pfiesteria toxin and learning performance.

    PubMed

    Levin, E D; Simon, B B; Schmechel, D E; Glasgow, H B; Deamer-Melia, N J; Burkholder, J M; Moser, V C; Jensen, K; Harry, G J

    1999-01-01

    Pfiesteria piscicida is an estuarine dinoflagellate involved with fish kills along the east coast of the United States. We previously documented a radial-arm maze learning deficit in rats exposed to Pfiesteria that may be related to cognitive deficits seen in humans after accidental Pfiesteria exposure. The current study elucidated important behavioral parameters of this deficit. There were six dose groups. Forty (10/group) adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected (s.c.) with a single dose of Pfiesteria taken from aquarium-cultured Pfiesteria (35,600, 106,800, or 320,400 Pfiesteria cells/kg of rat body weight or a cell-free filtrate of the 106,800 cells/kg dose). One control group (N = 10) was injected with saline and one (N = 10) with aquarium water not containing Pfiesteria. Half of the rats in each group were tested on an 8-arm radial maze in a standard test room, and the other half were tested on the radial maze in a sound-attenuating chamber. In the standard maze room, there was a significant effect of Pfiesteria (p < 0.05) impairing choice accuracy improvement over the first six sessions of training among rats administered 106,800, 320,400, and the 106,800 cells/kg filtered sample. In contrast, there was no indication of an effect of Pfiesteria when the rats were tested on the same configuration radial maze in the sound-attenuating chamber. After 18 sessions of training in one room, the rats were switched for six sessions of testing in the other room and finally were switched back to their original room for three sessions. There was a significant Pfiesteria-induced deficit when the rats were tested in the standard test room but not when they were tested in the sound-attenuating chamber. When the Pfiesteria-exposed rats were initially switched from the sound-attenuating chamber to the standard test room they performed significantly worse than controls, whereas Pfiesteria-treated rats switched from the standard test room to the sound-attenuating chamber

  12. A novel single-parameter approach for forecasting algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xi; He, Junyu; Huang, Haomin; Miller, Todd R; Christakos, George; Reichwaldt, Elke S; Ghadouani, Anas; Lin, Shengpan; Xu, Xinhua; Shi, Jiyan

    2017-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms frequently occur globally, and forecasting could constitute an essential proactive strategy for bloom control. To decrease the cost of aquatic environmental monitoring and increase the accuracy of bloom forecasting, a novel single-parameter approach combining wavelet analysis with artificial neural networks (WNN) was developed and verified based on daily online monitoring datasets of algal density in the Siling Reservoir, China and Lake Winnebago, U.S.A. Firstly, a detailed modeling process was illustrated using the forecasting of cyanobacterial cell density in the Chinese reservoir as an example. Three WNN models occupying various prediction time intervals were optimized through model training using an early stopped training approach. All models performed well in fitting historical data and predicting the dynamics of cyanobacterial cell density, with the best model predicting cyanobacteria density one-day ahead (r = 0.986 and mean absolute error = 0.103 × 10(4) cells mL(-1)). Secondly, the potential of this novel approach was further confirmed by the precise predictions of algal biomass dynamics measured as chl a in both study sites, demonstrating its high performance in forecasting algal blooms, including cyanobacteria as well as other blooming species. Thirdly, the WNN model was compared to current algal forecasting methods (i.e. artificial neural networks, autoregressive integrated moving average model), and was found to be more accurate. In addition, the application of this novel single-parameter approach is cost effective as it requires only a buoy-mounted fluorescent probe, which is merely a fraction (∼15%) of the cost of a typical auto-monitoring system. As such, the newly developed approach presents a promising and cost-effective tool for the future prediction and management of harmful algal blooms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Small herbivores suppress algal accumulation on Agatti atoll, Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cernohorsky, Nicole H.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Babu, Idrees; Horsák, Michal

    2015-12-01

    Despite large herbivorous fish being generally accepted as the main group responsible for preventing algal accumulation on coral reefs, few studies have experimentally examined the relative importance of herbivore size on algal communities. This study used exclusion cages with two different mesh sizes (1 × 1 cm and 6 × 6 cm) to investigate the impact of different-sized herbivores on algal accumulation rates on the shallow (<2 m) back-reef of Agatti atoll, Lakshadweep. The fine-mesh cages excluded all visible herbivores, which had rapid and lasting effects on the benthic communities, and, after 127 d of deployment, there was a visible and significant increase in algae (mainly macroalgae) with algal volume being 13 times greater than in adjacent open areas. The coarse-mesh cages excluded larger fishes (>8 cm body depth) while allowing smaller fishes to access the plots. In contrast to the conclusions of most previous studies, the exclusion of large herbivores had no significant effect on the accumulation of benthic algae and the amount of algae present within the coarse-mesh cages was relatively consistent throughout the experimental period (around 50 % coverage and 1-2 mm height). The difference in algal accumulation between the fine-mesh and coarse-mesh cages appears to be related to the actions of small individuals from 12 herbivorous fish species (0.17 ind. m-2 and 7.7 g m-2) that were able to enter through the coarse mesh. Although restricted to a single habitat, these results suggest that when present in sufficient densities and diversity, small herbivorous fishes can prevent the accumulation of algal biomass on coral reefs.

  14. Normal and Pathologic Concentrations of Uremic Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Duranton, Flore; Cohen, Gerald; De Smet, Rita; Rodriguez, Mariano; Jankowski, Joachim; Vanholder, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    An updated review of the existing knowledge regarding uremic toxins facilitates the design of experimental studies. We performed a literature search and found 621 articles about uremic toxicity published after a 2003 review of this topic. Eighty-seven records provided serum or blood measurements of one or more solutes in patients with CKD. These records described 32 previously known uremic toxins and 56 newly reported solutes. The articles most frequently reported concentrations of β2-microglobulin, indoxyl sulfate, homocysteine, uric acid, and parathyroid hormone. We found most solutes (59%) in only one report. Compared with previous results, more recent articles reported higher uremic concentrations of many solutes, including carboxymethyllysine, cystatin C, and parathyroid hormone. However, five solutes had uremic concentrations less than 10% of the originally reported values. Furthermore, the uremic concentrations of four solutes did not exceed their respective normal concentrations, although they had been previously described as uremic retention solutes. In summary, this review extends the classification of uremic retention solutes and their normal and uremic concentrations, and it should aid the design of experiments to study the biologic effects of these solutes in CKD. PMID:22626821

  15. Cyanobacteria of the 2016 Lake Okeechobee and Okeechobee Waterway harmful algal bloom

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosen, Barry H.; Davis, Timothy W.; Gobler, Christopher J.; Kramer, Benjamin J.; Loftin, Keith A.

    2017-05-31

    The Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway (Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and River, and the Caloosahatchee River) experienced an extensive harmful algal bloom within Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and River and the Caloosahatchee River in 2016. In addition to the very visible bloom of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, several other cyanobacteria were present. These other species were less conspicuous; however, they have the potential to produce a variety of cyanotoxins, including anatoxins, cylindrospermopsins, and saxitoxins, in addition to the microcystins commonly associated with Microcystis. Some of these species were found before, during, and 2 weeks after the large Microcystis bloom and could provide a better understanding of bloom dynamics and succession. This report provides photographic documentation and taxonomic assessment of the cyanobacteria present from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Canal, with samples collected June 1st from the Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee and in July from the St. Lucie Canal. The majority of the images were of live organisms, allowing their natural complement of pigmentation to be captured. The report provides a digital image-based taxonomic record of the Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway microscopic flora. It is anticipated that these images will facilitate current and future studies on this system, such as understanding the timing of cyanobacteria blooms and their potential toxin production.

  16. Human Illnesses and Animal Deaths Associated with Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms—Kansas

    PubMed Central

    Trevino-Garrison, Ingrid; DeMent, Jamie; Ahmed, Farah S.; Haines-Lieber, Patricia; Langer, Thomas; Ménager, Henri; Neff, Janet; van der Merwe, Deon; Carney, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater harmful algal bloom (FHAB) toxins can cause morbidity and mortality in both humans and animals, and the incidence of FHABs in the United States and Kansas has increased. In 2010, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) developed a FHAB policy and response plan. We describe the epidemiology of FHAB-associated morbidity and mortality in humans and animals in Kansas. Healthcare providers and veterinarians voluntarily reported FHAB-associated cases to KDHE. An investigation was initiated for each report to determine the source of exposure and to initiate public health mitigation actions. There were 38 water bodies with a confirmed FHAB in 2011. There were 34 reports of human and animal FHAB-associated health events in 2011, which included five dog deaths and hospitalization of two human case patients. Five confirmed human illnesses, two dog illnesses and five dog deaths were associated with one lake. Four human and seven dog cases were exposed to the lake after a public health alert was issued. Public health officials and FHAB partners must ensure continued awareness of the risks to the public, educate healthcare providers and veterinarians on FHAB-related health events and encourage timely reporting to public health authorities. PMID:25647780

  17. Human illnesses and animal deaths associated with freshwater harmful algal blooms-Kansas.

    PubMed

    Trevino-Garrison, Ingrid; DeMent, Jamie; Ahmed, Farah S; Haines-Lieber, Patricia; Langer, Thomas; Ménager, Henri; Neff, Janet; van der Merwe, Deon; Carney, Edward

    2015-01-30

    Freshwater harmful algal bloom (FHAB) toxins can cause morbidity and mortality in both humans and animals, and the incidence of FHABs in the United States and Kansas has increased. In 2010, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) developed a FHAB policy and response plan. We describe the epidemiology of FHAB-associated morbidity and mortality in humans and animals in Kansas. Healthcare providers and veterinarians voluntarily reported FHAB-associated cases to KDHE. An investigation was initiated for each report to determine the source of exposure and to initiate public health mitigation actions. There were 38 water bodies with a confirmed FHAB in 2011. There were 34 reports of human and animal FHAB-associated health events in 2011, which included five dog deaths and hospitalization of tw