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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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Stool C difficile toxin

    MedlinePlus

    Antibiotic associated colitis - toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... provider thinks that diarrhea is caused by the antibiotic medicines you have taken recently. Antibiotics change the ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Botulinum Toxin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    resulting from antibiotic treatment (Cherington, 1998). Foodbome and inhalational have noninfectious etiologies and are the result of ingesting or...infants Self- Antibiotic -treated All exposed All exposed individuals Patients treated with local toxin injections (2 to 4 months of age) prior to...typically take place except under circumstances where the normal flora has been altered by antibiotic treatment (Cherington, 1998). Botulism results

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. *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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Detection of Protein Toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Natural food toxins of bacterial origin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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- ...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Clostridial pore-forming toxins: powerful virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R

    2014-12-01

    Pore formation is a common mechanism of action for many bacterial toxins. More than one third of clostridial toxins are pore-forming toxins (PFTs) belonging to the β-PFT class. They are secreted as soluble monomers rich in β-strands, which recognize a specific receptor on target cells and assemble in oligomers. Then, they undergo a conformational change leading to the formation of a β-barrel, which inserts into the lipid bilayer forming functional pore. According to their structure, clostridial β-PFTs are divided into several families. Clostridial cholesterol-dependent cytolysins form large pores, which disrupt the plasma membrane integrity. They are potent virulence factors mainly involved in myonecrosis. Clostridial heptameric β-PFTs (aerolysin family and staphylococcal α-hemolysin family) induce small pores which trigger signaling cascades leading to different cell responses according to the cell types and toxins. They are mainly responsible for intestinal diseases, like necrotic enteritis, or systemic diseases/toxic shock from intestinal origin. Clostridial intracellularly active toxins exploit pore formation through the endosomal membrane to translocate the enzymatic component or domain into the cytosol. Single chain protein toxins, like botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, use hydrophobic α-helices to form pores, whereas clostridial binary toxins encompass binding components, which are structurally and functionally related to β-PFTs, but which have acquired the specific activity to internalize their corresponding enzymatic components. Structural analysis suggests that β-PFTs and binding components share a common evolutionary origin.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Integrated optical toxin sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, Dan; Song, Xuedong; Frayer, Daniel K.; Mendes, Sergio B.; Peyghambarian, Nasser; Swanson, Basil I.; Grace, Karen M.

    1999-12-01

    We have developed a method for simple and highly sensitive detection of multivalent proteins using an optical waveguide sensor. The optical biosensor is based on optically tagged glycolipid receptors imbedded within a fluid phospholipid bilayer membrane formed on the surface of a planar optical waveguide. The binding of multivalent toxin initiates a fluorescence resonance energy transfer resulting in a distinctive spectral signature that is monitored by measuring emitted luminescence above the waveguide surface. The sensor methodology is highly sensitive and specific, and requires no additional reagents or washing steps. Demonstration of the utility of protein-receptor recognition using planar optical waveguides is shown here by the detection of cholera toxin.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-04-21

    California coast linked to a toxic diatom bloom. Nature 403, 80–84. Schreiberagus, N., Horner, J., Torres, R., Chiu, F.C., Depinho, R.A., 1993. Zebra fish myc...protein product c-Fos, are known to be induced in neurons of mammals and fish as a result of neuronal timulation. The purpose of this study was to...physical stress on c-Fos induction. Groups of fish were exposed to the different tress agents, brain sections were processed for c-Fos staining, and

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Method and system of culturing an algal mat

    DOEpatents

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. 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.

  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. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Detecting and discriminating among Shiga toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. ...

  10. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxin, it caused symptoms similar to those in humans with typhoid fever, implicating typhoid toxin in the illness caused by S. typhi. Typhoid toxin can bind to a wide variety of cells. Experiments revealed that the toxin attaches to certain types ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Uremic toxins and peritoneal dialysis.

    PubMed

    Lameire, N; Vanholder, R; De Smet, R

    2001-02-01

    Uremic toxicity is related in part to the accumulation of toxic substances, the nature of which has only partly been characterized. Because of the use of a highly permeable membrane and better preservation of the residual renal function, it could be anticipated that some of these uremic toxins are more efficiently cleared across the peritoneal membrane, and that the plasma and tissue levels of these compounds are lower than in hemodialysis patients. This article analyzes the generation and removal of several uremic toxins in peritoneal dialysis patients. The following uremic toxins are discussed: beta2-microglobulin, advanced glycation end products, advanced oxidation protein products, granulocyte inhibitory proteins, p-Cresol, and hyperhomocysteinemia. Some recent studies are reviewed suggesting that uremic toxins are involved in the progression of renal failure and are at least partially removed by peritoneal dialysis. We conclude that, although the plasma levels of some of these compounds are lower in peritoneal dialysis versus hemodialysis patients, it does not mean that the peritoneal dialysis patient is "better" protected against the numerous disturbances caused by these toxins.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. SxtA and sxtG Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Mediterranean Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyceae)

    PubMed Central

    Perini, Federico; Galluzzi, Luca; Dell’Aversano, Carmela; Dello Iacovo, Emma; Tartaglione, Luciana; Ricci, Fabio; Forino, Martino; Ciminiello, Patrizia; Penna, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum is known for the production of potent neurotoxins affecting the health of human seafood consumers via paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the toxin content and the expression level of the genes involved in paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) production. The algal cultures were grown both in standard f/2 medium and in phosphorus/nitrogen limitation. In our study, LC-HRMS analyses of PST profile and content in different Mediterranean A. minutum strains confirmed that this species was able to synthesize mainly the saxitoxin analogues Gonyautoxin-1 (GTX1) and Gonyautoxin-4 (GTX4). The average cellular toxin content varied among different strains, and between growth phases, highlighting a decreasing trend from exponential to stationary phase in all culture conditions tested. The absolute quantities of intracellular sxtA1 and sxtG mRNA were not correlated with the amount of intracellular toxins in the analysed A. minutum suggesting that the production of toxins may be regulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms and/or by the concerted actions of alternative genes belonging to the PST biosynthesis gene cluster. Therefore, it is likely that the sxtA1 and sxtG gene expression could not reflect the PST accumulation in the Mediterranean A. minutum populations under the examined standard and nutrient limiting conditions. PMID:25341029

  9. Dynamic adsorption of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in passive sampling relates to pore size distribution of aromatic adsorbent.

    PubMed

    Li, Aifeng; Ma, Feifei; Song, Xiuli; Yu, Rencheng

    2011-03-18

    Solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT) technology was developed as an effective passive sampling method for dissolved diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins in seawater. HP20 and SP700 resins have been reported as preferred adsorption substrates for lipophilic algal toxins and are recommended for use in SPATT testing. However, information on the mechanism of passive adsorption by these polymeric resins is still limited. Described herein is a study on the adsorption of OA and DTX1 toxins extracted from Prorocentrum lima algae by HP20 and SP700 resins. The pore size distribution of the adsorbents was characterized by a nitrogen adsorption method to determine the relationship between adsorption and resin porosity. The Freundlich equation constant showed that the difference in adsorption capacity for OA and DTX1 toxins was not determined by specific surface area, but by the pore size distribution in particular, with micropores playing an especially important role. Additionally, it was found that differences in affinity between OA and DTX1 for aromatic resins were as a result of polarity discrepancies due to DTX1 having an additional methyl moiety.

  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. 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 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.

  12. Remote Sensing as a Tool to Track Algal Blooms in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradt, S. R.; Wurtsbaugh, W. A.; Naftz, D.; Moore, T.; Haney, J.

    2006-12-01

    The Great Salt Lake is a large hypersaline, terminal water body in northern Utah, USA. The lake has both a significant economic importance to the local community as a source of brine shrimp and mineral resources, as well as, an ecological importance to large numbers of migratory waterfowl. Due to nutrient input from sewage treatment plants, sections of the Great Salt Lake are subjected to highly eutrophic conditions. One of the main tributaries, Farmington Bay, experiences massive blooms of cyanobacteria which can reach concentrations in excess of 300 mg l-1 in the bay. Effects of these blooms can be observed stretching into the rest of the lake. The detrimental outcomes of the blooms include unsightly scums, foul odor and the danger of cyanobacterial toxins. While the blooms have an obvious effect on Farmington Bay, it is quite possible that the cyanobacteria impact a much wider area of the lake as currents move eutrophic water masses. Of particular interest is the reaction of brine shrimp to the plumes of cyanobacteria-rich water leaving Farmington Bay. We are employing remote sensing as a tool to map the distribution of algae throughout the lake and produce lake-wide maps of water quality on a regular basis. On-lake reflectance measurements have been coupled with MODIS satellite imagery to produce a time series of maps illustrating changes in algal distribution. The successes and shortcomings of our remote sensing technique will be a central topic of this presentation.

  13. 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

  14. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks between private and public goods: evidence from toxic algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, William W; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Ferrière, Régis

    2016-01-01

    The importance of 'eco-evolutionary feedbacks' in natural systems is currently unclear. Here, we advance a general hypothesis for a particular class of eco-evolutionary feedbacks with potentially large, long-lasting impacts in complex ecosystems. These eco-evolutionary feedbacks involve traits that mediate important interactions with abiotic and biotic features of the environment and a self-driven reversal of selection as the ecological impact of the trait varies between private (small scale) and public (large scale). Toxic algal blooms may involve such eco-evolutionary feedbacks due to the emergence of public goods. We review evidence that toxin production by microalgae may yield 'privatised' benefits for individual cells or colonies under pre- and early-bloom conditions; however, the large-scale, ecosystem-level effects of toxicity associated with bloom states yield benefits that are necessarily 'public'. Theory predicts that the replacement of private with public goods may reverse selection for toxicity in the absence of higher level selection. Indeed, blooms often harbor significant genetic and functional diversity: bloom populations may undergo genetic differentiation over a scale of days, and even genetically similar lineages may vary widely in toxic potential. Intriguingly, these observations find parallels in terrestrial communities, suggesting that toxic blooms may serve as useful models for eco-evolutionary dynamics in nature. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks involving the emergence of a public good may shed new light on the potential for interactions between ecology and evolution to influence the structure and function of entire ecosystems.

  15. Towards spatial localisation of harmful algal blooms; statistics-based spatial anomaly detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shutler, J. D.; Grant, M. G.; Miller, P. I.

    2005-10-01

    Harmful algal blooms are believed to be increasing in occurrence and their toxins can be concentrated by filter-feeding shellfish and cause amnesia or paralysis when ingested. As a result fisheries and beaches in the vicinity of blooms may need to be closed and the local population informed. For this avoidance planning timely information on the existence of a bloom, its species and an accurate map of its extent would be prudent. Current research to detect these blooms from space has mainly concentrated on spectral approaches towards determining species. We present a novel statistics-based background-subtraction technique that produces improved descriptions of an anomaly's extent from remotely-sensed ocean colour data. This is achieved by extracting bulk information from a background model; this is complemented by a computer vision ramp filtering technique to specifically detect the perimeter of the anomaly. The complete extraction technique uses temporal-variance estimates which control the subtraction of the scene of interest from the time-weighted background estimate, producing confidence maps of anomaly extent. Through the variance estimates the method learns the associated noise present in the data sequence, providing robustness, and allowing generic application. Further, the use of the median for the background model reduces the effects of anomalies that appear within the time sequence used to generate it, allowing seasonal variations in the background levels to be closely followed. To illustrate the detection algorithm's application, it has been applied to two spectrally different oceanic regions.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparative in vitro and in vivo assessment of toxin neutralization by anti-tetanus toxin monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Yousefi, Mehdi; Khosravi-Eghbal, Roya; Reza Mahmoudi, Ahmad; Jeddi-Tehrani, Mahmood; Rabbani, Hodjatallah; Shokri, Fazel

    2014-01-01

    Tetanus is caused by the tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT), a 150 kDa single polypeptide molecule which is cleaved into an active two-chain molecule composed of a 50 kDa N-terminal light (L) and a 100 kDa C-terminal heavy (H) chains. Recently, extensive effort has focused on characterization of TeNT binding receptors and toxin neutralization by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Toxin binding inhibition and neutralization is routinely assessed either in vitro by the ganglioside GT1b binding inhibition assay or in vivo using an animal model. These two assay systems have never been compared. In the present study, we report characterization of eleven mAbs against different parts of TeNT. The toxin inhibitory and neutralization activity of the mAbs was assessed in vitro and in vivo respectively. Our data demonstrated that seven mAbs bind to fragment C of the heavy chain, two mAbs react with the light chain, one mAb recognizes both chains and one mAb reacts with neither light chain nor fragment C. Six fragment C specific mAbs were able to inhibit TeNT binding to GT1b ganglioside in vitro but three failed to neutralize the toxin in vivo. One in vitro inhibitory mAb (1F3E3) was found to synergize with the in vivo neutralizing mAbs to reduce toxin lethal activity in vivo. Sequencing of the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain variable region genes revealed that the three in vivo neutralizing mAbs were derived from a common origin. Altogether, our data suggests that fragment C specific mAbs contribute to toxin neutralization in both systems, though some of the GT1b binding inhibitory mAbs may not be able to neutralize TeNT in vivo.

  18. Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llewellyn, Lyndon E.

    Saxitoxin (STX), tetrodotoxin (TTX) and their many chemical relatives are part of our daily lives. From killing people who eat seafood containing these toxins, to being valuable research tools unveiling the invisible structures of their pharmacological receptor, their global impact is beyond measure. The pharmacological receptor for these toxins is the voltage-gated sodium channel which transports Na ions between the exterior to the interior of cells. The two structurally divergent families of STX and TTX analogues bind at the same location on these Na channels to stop the flow of ions. This can affect nerves, muscles and biological senses of most animals. It is through these and other toxins that we have developed much of our fundamental understanding of the Na channel and its part in generating action potentials in excitable cells.

  19. Botulinum Toxin in Migraine Treatment

    PubMed Central

    ILGAZ AYDINLAR, Elif; YALINAY DİKMEN, Pınar; SAĞDUYU KOCAMAN, Ayşe

    2013-01-01

    Since botulinum toxin might have a therapeutic effect on pain, many studies investigating the efficiency of botulinum toxin in headache treatment have been done. The most satisfying results were achieved by botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A) in the treatment of chronic migraine. In this paper, we reviewed the clinical effectiveness of BoNT/A in migraine and included our clinical experience. In our ongoing pilot study, where we have repeated BoNT/A injections every 12 weeks, The difference in the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) scores between the first and the second injections was 61.1%; and between the first and the 3rd injections was found to be 65.72%.

  20. Mexico-U.S. Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring Efforts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chuanmin; Muller-Karger, Frank E.

    2008-06-01

    Workshop on Taxonomy of Harmful Algal Blooms; Veracruz, Mexico, 18-22 February 2008; A workshop on harmful algal bloom (HAB) taxonomy, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Health of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, was held at the Aquarium of Veracruz and focused on standardizing methods to detect HABs that affect coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This binational effort was established under the umbrella of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), initially formed in 2004 by the five U.S. Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) with participation from U.S. federal agencies and other stakeholders.

  1. Differential aerosolization of algal and cyanobacterial particles in the atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Naveen K; Singh, Surendra

    2010-10-01

    Aeroalgal sampling at short height (2.5 m) over natural aquatic and terrestrial algal sources revealed that despite of being similar in size (<1 mm), algal groups vary in their atmospheric abundance. Cyanobacteria were the most abundant, while chlorophytes and bacillariophytes though present, but rare. Statistical analysis (Akaike Information Criterion) showed that climatic factors (temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, wind velocity and sunshine hours) acted in concert, and mainly affected the release and subsequent vertical movement (aerosolization) of algae from natural sources. Variation in aerosolization may affect the atmospheric abundance of algae. These findings have important implication as dispersal limitation may influence the biogeography and biodiversity of microbial algae.

  2. A simple model for forecast of coastal algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Ken T. M.; Lee, Joseph H. W.; Hodgkiss, I. J.

    2007-08-01

    In eutrophic sub-tropical coastal waters around Hong Kong and South China, algal blooms (more often called red tides) due to the rapid growth of microscopic phytoplankton are often observed. Under favourable environmental conditions, these blooms can occur and subside over rather short time scales—in the order of days to a few weeks. Very often, these blooms are observed in weakly flushed coastal waters under calm wind conditions—with or without stratification. Based on high-frequency field observations of harmful algal blooms at two coastal mariculture zones in Hong Kong, a mathematical model has been developed to forecast algal blooms. The model accounts for algal growth, decay, settling and vertical turbulent mixing, and adopts the same assumptions as the classical Riley, Stommel and Bumpus model (Riley, G.A., Stommel, H., Bumpus, D.F., 1949. Quantitative ecology of the plankton of the western North Atlantic. Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection Yale University 12, 1-169). It is shown that for algal blooms to occur, a vertical stability criterion, E < 4 μl2/ π2, must be satisfied, where E, μ, l are the vertical turbulent diffusivity, algal growth rate, and euphotic layer depth respectively. In addition, a minimum nutrient threshold concentration must be reached. Moreover, with a nutrient competition consideration, the type of bloom (caused by motile or non-motile species) can be classified. The model requires as input simple and readily available field measurements of water column transparency and nutrient concentration, and representative maximum algal growth rate of the motile and non-motile species. In addition, with the use of three-dimensional hydrodynamic circulation models, simple relations are derived to estimate the vertical mixing coefficient as a function of tidal range, wind speed, and density stratification. The model gives a quick assessment of the likelihood of algal bloom occurrence, and has been validated against field

  3. Screening of a Marine Algal Extract for Antifungal Activities.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Graciliana; Andrade, Paula B; Valentão, Patrícia

    2015-01-01

    Over the past few years algal extracts have become increasingly interesting to the scientific community due to their promising biological properties. Phlorotannin extracts are particularly attractive partly due to their reported antifungal activity against several yeast and dermatophyte strains.The micromethod used for the evaluation of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum lethal concentration (MLC) represents an effective and solvent-saving procedure to evaluate the antifungal activity of algae extracts. Here we describe the micromethod for determining the MIC and the MLC of algal extracts by using the example of a purified phlorotannin extract of brown algae.

  4. Efficacy of algal metrics for assessing nutrient and organic enrichment in flowing waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, S.D.; Mueller, D.K.; Spahr, N.E.; Munn, M.D.; Dubrovsky, N.M.

    2008-01-01

    4. Although algal species tolerance to nutrient and organic enrichment is well documented, additional taxonomic and autecological research on sensitive, endemic algal species would further enhance water-quality assessments.

  5. Inhibition of cholera toxin and other AB toxins by polyphenolic compounds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    All AB-type protein toxins have intracellular targets despite an initial extracellular location. These toxins use different methods to reach the cytosol and have different effects on the target cell. Broad-spectrum inhibitors against AB toxins are therefore hard to develop because the toxins use dif...

  6. Approaches to monitoring, control and management of harmful algal blooms (HABs)

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald M.

    2009-01-01

    Virtually every coastal country in the world is affected by harmful algal blooms (HABs, commonly called “red tides”). These phenomena are caused by blooms of microscopic algae. Some of these algae are toxic, and can lead to illness and death in humans, fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and other oceanic life, typically as a result of the transfer of toxins through the food web. Sometimes the direct release of toxic compounds can be lethal to marine animals. Non-toxic HABs cause damage to ecosystems, fisheries resources, and recreational facilities, often due to the sheer biomass of the accumulated algae. The term “HAB” also applies to non-toxic blooms of macroalgae (seaweeds), which can cause major ecological impacts such as the displacement of indigenous species, habitat alteration and oxygen depletion in bottom waters. Globally, the nature of the HAB problem has changed considerably over the last several decades. The number of toxic blooms, the resulting economic losses, the types of resources affected, and the number of toxins and toxic species have all increased dramatically. Some of this expansion has been attributed to storms, currents and other natural phenomena, but human activities are also frequently implicated. Humans have contributed by transporting toxic species in ballast water, and by adding massive and increasing quantities of industrial, agricultural and sewage effluents to coastal waters. In many urbanized coastal regions, these inputs have altered the size and composition of the nutrient pool which has, in turn, created a more favorable nutrient environment for certain HAB species. The steady expansion in the use of fertilizers for agricultural production represents a large and worrisome source of nutrients in coastal waters that promote some HABs. The diversity in HAB species and their impacts presents a significant challenge to those responsible for the management of coastal resources. Furthermore, HABs are complex oceanographic phenomena

  7. Formation of a Volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom Network in British Columbia, Canada, Following an Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning

    PubMed Central

    McIntyre, Lorraine; Cassis, David; Haigh, Nicola

    2013-01-01

    Evidence for shellfish toxin illness in British Columbia (BC) on the west coast of Canada can be traced back to 1793. For over two hundred years, domestically acquired bivalve shellfish toxin illnesses in BC were solely ascribed to paralytic shellfish poisonings caused by algal blooms of Alexandrium. This changed in 2011, when BC experienced its first outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). As a result of this outbreak, Canada’s first DSP symposium was held in November, 2012, in North Vancouver, BC. Three of the objectives of the symposium were to provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue, to identify research and surveillance priorities and to create a DSP network. The purpose of this paper is to review what is known about shellfish poisoning in BC and to describe a novel volunteer network that arose following the symposium. The newly formed network was designed for industry shellfish growers to identify harmful algae bloom events, so that they may take actions to mitigate the effects of harmful blooms on shellfish morbidity. The network will also inform public health and regulatory stakeholders of potentially emerging issues in shellfish growing areas. PMID:24172211

  8. Toxin yet not toxic: Botulinum toxin in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Archana, M S

    2016-04-01

    Paracelsus contrasted poisons from nonpoisons, stating that "All things are poisons, and there is nothing that is harmless; the dose alone decides that something is a poison". Living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, constitute a huge source of pharmaceutically useful medicines and toxins. Depending on their source, toxins can be categorized as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, or zootoxins, which include venoms and bacterial toxins. Any toxin can be harmful or beneficial. Within the last 100 years, the perception of botulinum neurotoxin (BTX) has evolved from that of a poison to a versatile clinical agent with various uses. BTX plays a key role in the management of many orofacial and dental disorders. Its indications are rapidly expanding, with ongoing trials for further applications. However, despite its clinical use, what BTX specifically does in each condition is still not clear. The main aim of this review is to describe some of the unclear aspects of this potentially useful agent, with a focus on the current research in dentistry.

  9. Toxin variability in natural populations of Alexandrium fundyense in Casco Bay, Maine—evidence of nitrogen limitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulton, N. J.; Keafer, B. A.; Anderson, D. M.

    2005-09-01

    The dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense is a common, recurring harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in the Gulf of Maine. To date, most physiological measurements of phytoplankton in the field provide data on the entire community, yet efforts to obtain species-specific data are particularly important for understanding the ecological and physiological dynamics of HAB species, such as, Alexandrium. Alexandrium spp., do not usually dominate the planktonic community in the Gulf of Maine, but are of great interest due to the potent toxins produced. In order to determine the nutritional status of Alexandrium spp. in natural populations, indicators of nutrient deprivation need to be identified that are specific to that one species. To date, the saxitoxin content of A. fundyense is known to vary under different environmental conditions such as nitrogen and phosphorous limitation. However, in batch culture the composition of the toxin (the relative amounts of each saxitoxin derivative per cell) appears to be a stable quantity and thus is sometimes viewed as a biochemical marker of individual strains. In more recent studies, toxin composition has been shown to vary during progressive N- and P- limitation, once the cells are given time to achieve steady state in semi-continuous, nutrient-limited cultures. Using both the absolute toxin concentrations and relative proportion (mole % total toxin) of each toxin derivative, N- and P-limitation can be distinguished based on the observed trends in the different saxitoxin derivatives. In this study, we examine the toxin content and composition in natural A. fundyense populations during a spring bloom in Casco Bay, ME from April-June of 1998. This allows us to examine whether A. fundyense populations in the western Gulf of Maine are sufficiently homogenous to permit the detection of toxin composition and toxin content differences through time and space, and if so, to determine whether those changes are indicative of a particular

  10. Wind-driven interannual variability of sea ice algal production in the western Arctic Chukchi Borderland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, E.; Onodera, J.; Harada, N.; Aita, M. N.; Ishida, A.; Kishi, M. J.

    2015-10-01

    Seasonal and interannual variability in the biogenic particle sinking flux was recorded using multi-year bottom-tethered sediment trap mooring systems in the Northwind Abyssal Plain (Station NAP: 75° N, 162° W, 1975 m water depth) of the western Arctic Chukchi Borderland. Trapped particle flux at a median depth of 184 m had an obvious peak and dominance of sea ice-related diatom assemblages in August 2011. The observed particle flux was considerably suppressed throughout summer 2012. In the present study, the response of ice algal production and biomass to wind-driven changes in the physical environment was addressed using a pan-Arctic sea ice-ocean modeling approach. A sea ice ecosystem with ice algae was newly incorporated into the lower-trophic marine ecosystem model, which was previously coupled with a high-resolution (i.e., 5 km horizontal grid size) sea ice-ocean general circulation model. Seasonal model experiments covering 2-year mooring periods indicated that primary productivity of ice algae around the Chukchi Borderland depended on basin-scale wind patterns via various processes. Easterly winds in the southern part of a distinct Beaufort High supplied nutrient-rich water for euphotic zones of the NAP region via both surface Ekman transport of Chukchi shelf water and vertical turbulent mixing with underlying nutricline water in 2011. In contrast, northwesterly winds flowing in the northern part of an extended Siberian High transported oligotrophic water within the Beaufort Gyre circulation toward the NAP region in 2012. The modeled ice algal biomass during summer reflected the differences in nutrient distribution. The modeled sinking flux of particulate organic nitrogen (PON) was comparable with the time series obtained from sediment trap data in summer 2011. In contrast, lateral advection of ice algal patches of shelf origin during a great cyclone event may have caused a modeled PON flux bias in 2012. Sensitivity experiments revealed several

  11. Algal bloom-associated disease outbreaks among users of freshwater lakes-United States, 2009 - 2010

    EPA Science Inventory

    Algal blooms’ are local abundances of phytoplankton – microscopic photosynthesizing aquatic organisms found in surface waters worldwide; blooms are variable temporally and spatially and frequently produce a visible algal scum on the water. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are abundan...

  12. Summative Mass Analysis of Algal Biomass - Integration of Analytical Procedures: Laboratory Analytical Procedure (LAP)

    SciTech Connect

    Laurens, L. M. L.

    2013-12-01

    This procedure guides the integration of laboratory analytical procedures to measure algal biomass constituents in an unambiguous manner and ultimately achieve mass balance closure for algal biomass samples. Many of these methods build on years of research in algal biomass analysis.

  13. Turbulence and nutrient interactions that control benthic algal production in an engineered cultivation raceway

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flow turbulence can be a controlling factor to the growth of benthic algae, but few studies have quantified this relationship in engineered cultivation systems. Experiments were performed to understand the limiting role of turbulence to algal productivity in an algal turf scrubber for benthic algal...

  14. Adaptive signals in algal Rubisco reveal a history of ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide

    PubMed Central

    Young, J. N.; Rickaby, R. E. M.; Kapralov, M. V.; Filatov, D. A.

    2012-01-01

    Rubisco, the most abundant enzyme on the Earth and responsible for all photosynthetic carbon fixation, is often thought of as a highly conserved and sluggish enzyme. Yet, different algal Rubiscos demonstrate a range of kinetic properties hinting at a history of evolution and adaptation. Here, we show that algal Rubisco has indeed evolved adaptively during ancient and distinct geological periods. Using DNA sequences of extant marine algae of the red and Chromista lineage, we define positive selection within the large subunit of Rubisco, encoded by rbcL, to occur basal to the radiation of modern marine groups. This signal of positive selection appears to be responding to changing intracellular concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) triggered by physiological adaptations to declining atmospheric CO2. Within the ecologically important Haptophyta (including coccolithophores) and Bacillariophyta (diatoms), positive selection occurred consistently during periods of falling Phanerozoic CO2 and suggests emergence of carbon-concentrating mechanisms. During the Proterozoic, a strong signal of positive selection after secondary endosymbiosis occurs at the origin of the Chromista lineage (approx. 1.1 Ga), with further positive selection events until 0.41 Ga, implying a significant and continuous decrease in atmospheric CO2 encompassing the Cryogenian Snowball Earth events. We surmise that positive selection in Rubisco has been caused by declines in atmospheric CO2 and hence acts as a proxy for ancient atmospheric CO2. PMID:22232761

  15. Accumulation, transformation and breakdown of DSP toxins from the toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis acuta in blue mussels, Mytilus edulis.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor; Hansen, Per Juel; Krock, Bernd; Vismann, Bent

    2016-07-01

    Okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxins (DTX) and pectenotoxins (PTX) produced by the dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp. can accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning upon human consumption. Shellfish toxicity is a result of algal abundance and toxicity as well as accumulation and depuration kinetics in mussels. We mass-cultured Dinophysis acuta containing OA, DTX-1b and PTX-2 and fed it to the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis under controlled laboratory conditions for a week to study toxin accumulation and transformation. Contents of OA and DTX-1b in mussels increased linearly with incubation time, and the net toxin accumulation was 66% and 71% for OA and DTX-1b, respectively. Large proportions (≈50%) of both these toxins were transformed to fatty acid esters. Most PTX-2 was transformed to PTX-2 seco-acid and net accumulation was initially high, but decreased progressively throughout the experiment, likely due to esterification and loss of detectability. We also quantified depuration during the subsequent four days and found half-life times of 5-6 days for OA and DTX-1b. Measurements of dissolved toxins revealed that depuration was achieved through excreting rather than metabolizing toxins. This is the first study to construct a full mass balance of DSP toxins during both accumulation and depuration, and we demonstrate rapid toxin accumulation in mussels at realistic in situ levels of Dinophysis. Applying the observed accumulation and depuration kinetics, we model mussel toxicity, and demonstrate that a concentration of only 75 Dinophysis cells l(-1) is enough to make 60 mm long mussels exceed the regulatory threshold for OA equivalents.

  16. Recent progress and future challenges in algal biofuel production

    PubMed Central

    Shurin, Jonathan B.; Burkart, Michael D.; Mayfield, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Modern society is fueled by fossil energy produced millions of years ago by photosynthetic organisms. Cultivating contemporary photosynthetic producers to generate energy and capture carbon from the atmosphere is one potential approach to sustaining society without disrupting the climate. Algae, photosynthetic aquatic microorganisms, are the fastest growing primary producers in the world and can therefore produce more energy with less land, water, and nutrients than terrestrial plant crops. We review recent progress and challenges in developing bioenergy technology based on algae. A variety of high-value products in addition to biofuels can be harvested from algal biomass, and these may be key to developing algal biotechnology and realizing the commercial potential of these organisms. Aspects of algal biology that differentiate them from plants demand an integrative approach based on genetics, cell biology, ecology, and evolution. We call for a systems approach to research on algal biotechnology rooted in understanding their biology, from the level of genes to ecosystems, and integrating perspectives from physical, chemical, and social sciences to solve one of the most critical outstanding technological problems. PMID:27781084

  17. Invasive algal mats degrade coral reef physical habitat quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Jonathan A.; Smith, Celia M.; Richmond, Robert H.

    2012-03-01

    Invasive species alter the ecology of marine ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms or combination of mechanisms. This study documented critical physical parameters altered by the invasive red macroalga Gracilaria salicornia in situ, including: reduced irradiance, increased sedimentation, and marked variation in diurnal dissolved oxygen and pH cycles in Kāne'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Paired studies showed that algal mats reduced irradiance by 99% and doubled sediment accumulation. Several mats developed hypoxia and hyperoxia in the extreme minima and maxima, though there was no statistical difference detected in the mean or the variability of dissolved oxygen between different 30 min time points of 24 h cycles between algal mat-open reef pairs. The algal mat significantly acidified the water under the algal mat by decreasing pH by 0.10-0.13 pH units below open reef pH. A minimum of pH 7.47 occurred between 14 and 19 h after sunrise. Our combined results suggest that mats of G. salicornia can alter various physical parameters on a fine scale and time course not commonly detected. These changes in parameters give insight into the underlying basis for negative impact, and suggest new ways in which the presence of invasive species leads to decline of coral reef ecosystems.

  18. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on tropical algal communities

    SciTech Connect

    Santas, R.

    1989-01-01

    This study assessed some of the effects of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation ion coral reef algal assemblages. The first part of the investigation was carried out under controlled laboratory conditions in the coral reef microcosm at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., while a field counterpart was completed at the Smithsonian Institution's marine station on Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, in the eastern Caribbean. The study attempted to separate the effects of UV-A from those of UV-B. In the laboratory, algal turf assemblages exposed to simulated solar UV radiation produced 55.1% less biomass than assemblages that were not exposed to UV. Assemblages not exposed to UV were dominated by Ectocarpus rhodochondroides, whereas in the assemblage developing under high UV radiation, Enteromorpha prolifera and eventually Schizothrix calcicola dominated. Lower UV-B irradiances caused a proportional reduction in biomass production and had less pronounced effects on species composition. UV-A did not have any significant effects on either algal turf productivity or community structure. In the field, assemblages exposed to naturally occurring solar UV supported a biomass 40% lower than that of assemblages protected from UV-B exposure. Once again, UV-A did not inhibit algal turf productivity.

  19. Studies of the effect of gibberellic acid on algal growth.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Evans, W. K.; Sorokin, C.

    1971-01-01

    The effect of gibberellic acid on exponential growth rate of four strains of Chlorella was investigated under variety of experimental conditions. In concentrations from 10 ppm to 100 ppm, gibberellic acid was shown to have no effect on Chlorella growth. In concentration of 200 ppm, gibberellic acid exerted some unfavorable effect on algal growth.

  20. Numerical simulation of an algal bloom in Dianshan Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yizhong; Lin, Weiqing; Zhu, Jianrong; Lu, Shiqiang

    2016-01-01

    A hydrodynamic model and an aquatic ecology model of Dianshan Lake, Shanghai, were built using a hydrodynamic simulation module and the water quality simulation module of Delft3D, which is an integrated modelling suite offered by Deltares. The simulated water elevation, current velocity, and direction were validated with observed data to ensure the reliability of hydrodynamic model. The seasonal growth of different algae was analyzed with consideration of observed and historical data, as well as simulated results. In 2008, the dominant algae in Dianshan Lake was Bacillariophyta from February to March, while it was Chlorophyta from April to May, and Cyanophyta from July to August. In summer, the biomass of Cyanophyta grew quickly, reaching levels much higher than the peaks of Bacillariophyta and Chlorophyta. Algae blooms primarily occurred in the stagnation regions. This phenomenon indicates that water residence time can influence algal growth significantly. A longer water residence time was associated with higher algal growth. Two conclusions were drawn from several simulations: reducing the nutrients inflow had little effect on algal blooms in Dianshan Lake; however, increasing the discharge into Dianshan Lake could change the flow field characteristic and narrow the range of stagnation regions, resulting in inhibition of algal aggregation and propagation and a subsequent reduction in areas of high concentration algae.

  1. Mechanism of Algal Aggregation by Bacillus sp. Strain RP1137

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Ryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting. PMID:24771029

  2. Development and optimization of biofilm based algal cultivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Martin Anthony

    This dissertation describes research done on biofilm based algal cultivation systems. The system that was developed in this work is the revolving algal biofilm cultivation system (RAB). A raceway-retrofit, and a trough-based pilot-scale RAB system were developed and investigated. Each of the systems significantly outperformed a control raceway pond in side-by-side tests. Furthermore the RAB system was found to require significantly less water than the raceway pond based cultivation system. Lastly a TEA/LCA analysis was conducted to evaluate the economic and life cycle of the RAB cultivation system in comparison to raceway pond. It was found that the RAB system was able to grow algae at a lower cost and was shown to be profitable at a smaller scale than the raceway pond style of algal cultivation. Additionally the RAB system was projected to have lower GHG emissions, and better energy and water use efficiencies in comparison to a raceway pond system. Furthermore, fundamental research was conducted to identify the optimal material for algae to attach on. A total of 28 materials with a smooth surface were tested for initial cell colonization and it was found that the tetradecane contact angle of the materials had a good correlation with cell attachment. The effects of surface texture were evaluated using mesh materials (nylon, polypropylene, high density polyethylene, polyester, aluminum, and stainless steel) with openings ranging from 0.05--6.40 mm. It was found that both surface texture and material composition influence algal attachment.

  3. Mechanism of algal aggregation by Bacillus sp. strain RP1137.

    PubMed

    Powell, Ryan J; Hill, Russell T

    2014-07-01

    Alga-derived biofuels are one of the best alternatives for economically replacing liquid fossil fuels with a fungible renewable energy source. Production of fuel from algae is technically feasible but not yet economically viable. Harvest of dilute algal biomass from the surrounding water remains one of the largest barriers to economic production of algal biofuel. We identified Bacillus sp. strain RP1137 in a previous study and showed that this strain can rapidly aggregate several biofuel-producing algae in a pH- and divalent-cation-dependent manner. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of algal aggregation by RP1137. We show that aggregation of both algae and bacteria is optimal in the exponential phase of growth and that the density of ionizable residues on the RP1137 cell surface changes with growth stage. Aggregation likely occurs via charge neutralization with calcium ions at the cell surface of both algae and bacteria. We show that charge neutralization occurs at least in part through binding of calcium to negatively charged teichoic acid residues. The addition of calcium also renders both algae and bacteria more able to bind to hydrophobic beads, suggesting that aggregation may occur through hydrophobic interactions. Knowledge of the aggregation mechanism may enable engineering of RP1137 to obtain more efficient algal harvesting.

  4. Autonomous benthic algal cultivator under feedback control of ecosystem metabolism

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An autonomous and internally-controlled techno-ecological hybrid was developed that controls primary production of algae in a laboratory-scale cultivator. The technoecosystem is based on an algal turf scrubber (ATS) system that combines engineered feedback control programming with internal feedback...

  5. Polymer antidotes for toxin sequestration.

    PubMed

    Weisman, Adam; Chou, Beverly; O'Brien, Jeffrey; Shea, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Toxins delivered by envenomation, secreted by microorganisms, or unintentionally ingested can pose an immediate threat to life. Rapid intervention coupled with the appropriate antidote is required to mitigate the threat. Many antidotes are biological products and their cost, methods of production, potential for eliciting immunogenic responses, the time needed to generate them, and stability issues contribute to their limited availability and effectiveness. These factors exacerbate a world-wide challenge for providing treatment. In this review we evaluate a number of polymer constructs that may serve as alternative antidotes. The range of toxins investigated includes those from sources such as plants, animals and bacteria. The development of polymeric heavy metal sequestrants for use as antidotes to heavy metal poisoning faces similar challenges, thus recent findings in this area have also been included. Two general strategies have emerged for the development of polymeric antidotes. In one, the polymer acts as a scaffold for the presentation of ligands with a known affinity for the toxin. A second strategy is to generate polymers with an intrinsic affinity, and in some cases selectivity, to a range of toxins. Importantly, in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated for each of these strategies, which suggests that these approaches hold promise as an alternative to biological or small molecule based treatments.

  6. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-01-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  7. The extended Kalman filter for forecast of algal bloom dynamics.

    PubMed

    Mao, J Q; Lee, Joseph H W; Choi, K W

    2009-09-01

    A deterministic ecosystem model is combined with an extended Kalman filter (EKF) to produce short term forecasts of algal bloom and dissolved oxygen dynamics in a marine fish culture zone (FCZ). The weakly flushed FCZ is modelled as a well-mixed system; the tidal exchange with the outer bay is lumped into a flushing rate that is numerically determined from a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The ecosystem model incorporates phytoplankton growth kinetics, nutrient uptake, photosynthetic production, nutrient sources from organic fish farm loads, and nutrient exchange with a sediment bed layer. High frequency field observations of chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen (DO) and hydro-meteorological parameters (sampling interval Deltat=1 day, 2h, 1h, respectively) and bi-weekly nutrient data are assimilated into the model to produce the combined state estimate accounting for the uncertainties. In addition to the water quality state variables, the EKF incorporates dynamic estimation of algal growth rate and settling velocity. The effectiveness of the EKF data assimilation is studied for a wide range of sampling intervals and prediction lead-times. The chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen estimated by the EKF are compared with field data of seven algal bloom events observed at Lamma Island, Hong Kong. The results show that the EKF estimate well captures the nonlinear error evolution in time; the chlorophyll level can be satisfactorily predicted by the filtered model estimate with a mean absolute error of around 1-2 microg/L. Predictions with 1-2 day lead-time are highly correlated with the observations (r=0.7-0.9); the correlation stays at a high level for a lead-time of 3 days (r=0.6-0.7). Estimated algal growth and settling rates are in accord with field observations; the more frequent DO data can compensate for less frequent algal biomass measurements. The present study is the first time the EKF is successfully applied to forecast an entire algal bloom cycle, suggesting the

  8. Inactivation of allergens and toxins.

    PubMed

    Morandini, Piero

    2010-11-30

    Plants are replete with thousands of proteins and small molecules, many of which are species-specific, poisonous or dangerous. Over time humans have learned to avoid dangerous plants or inactivate many toxic components in food plants, but there is still room for ameliorating food crops (and plants in general) in terms of their allergens and toxins content, especially in their edible parts. Inactivation at the genetic rather than physical or chemical level has many advantages and classical genetic approaches have resulted in significant reduction of toxin content. The capacity, offered by genetic engineering, of turning off (inactivating) specific genes has opened up the possibility of altering the plant content in a far more precise manner than previously available. Different levels of intervention (genes coding for toxins/allergens or for enzymes, transporters or regulators involved in their metabolism) are possible and there are several tools for inactivating genes, both direct (using chemical and physical mutagens, insertion of transposons and other genetic elements) and indirect (antisense RNA, RNA interference, microRNA, eventually leading to gene silencing). Each level/strategy has specific advantages and disadvantages (speed, costs, selectivity, stability, reversibility, frequency of desired genotype and regulatory regime). Paradigmatic examples from classical and transgenic approaches are discussed to emphasize the need to revise the present regulatory process. Reducing the content of natural toxins is a trade-off process: the lesser the content of natural toxins, the higher the susceptibility of a plant to pests and therefore the stronger the need to protect plants. As a consequence, more specific pesticides like Bt are needed to substitute for general pesticides.

  9. Broadening the neutralizing capacity of a family of antibody fragments against different toxins from Mexican scorpions.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Everardo Remi; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Arredondo-López, Jonathan Noé; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse; Fernández-Taboada, Guillermo; Possani, Lourival D; Anguiano-Vega, Gerardo Alfonso; Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Becerril, Baltazar

    2016-09-01

    New approaches aimed at neutralizing the primary toxic components present in scorpion venoms, represent a promising alternative to the use of antivenoms of equine origin in humans. New potential therapeutics developed by these approaches correspond to neutralizing antibody fragments obtained by selection and maturation processes from libraries of human origin. The high sequence identity shared among scorpion toxins is associated with an important level of cross reactivity exhibited by these antibody fragments. We have exploited the cross reactivity showed by single chain variable antibody fragments (scFvs) of human origin to re-direct the neutralizing capacity toward various other scorpion toxins. As expected, during these evolving processes several variants derived from a parental scFv exhibited the capacity to simultaneously recognize and neutralize different toxins from Centruroides scorpion venoms. A sequence analyses of the cross reacting scFvs revealed that specific mutations are responsible for broadening their neutralizing capacity. In this work, we generated a set of new scFvs that resulted from the combinatorial insertion of these point mutations. These scFvs are potential candidates to be part of a novel recombinant antivenom of human origin that could confer protection against scorpion stings. A remarkable property of one of these new scFvs (ER-5) is its capacity to neutralize at least three different toxins and its complementary capacity to neutralize the whole venom from Centruroides suffusus in combination with a second scFv (LR), which binds to a different epitope shared by Centruroides scorpion toxins.

  10. Accumulation, Biotransformation, Histopathology and Paralysis in the Pacific Calico Scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the Paralyzing Toxins of the Dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum

    PubMed Central

    Escobedo-Lozano, Amada Y.; Estrada, Norma; Ascencio, Felipe; Contreras, Gerardo; Alonso-Rodriguez, Rosalba

    2012-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum produces paralyzing shellfish poisons that are consumed and accumulated by bivalves. We performed short-term feeding experiments to examine ingestion, accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology, and paralysis in the juvenile Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus that consume this dinoflagellate. Depletion of algal cells was measured in closed systems. Histopathological preparations were microscopically analyzed. Paralysis was observed and the time of recovery recorded. Accumulation and possible biotransformation of toxins were measured by HPLC analysis. Feeding activity in treated scallops showed that scallops produced pseudofeces, ingestion rates decreased at 8 h; approximately 60% of the scallops were paralyzed and melanin production and hemocyte aggregation were observed in several tissues at 15 h. HPLC analysis showed that the only toxins present in the dinoflagellates and scallops were the N-sulfo-carbamoyl toxins (C1, C2); after hydrolysis, the carbamate toxins (epimers GTX2/3) were present. C1 and C2 toxins were most common in the mantle, followed by the digestive gland and stomach-complex, adductor muscle, kidney and rectum group, and finally, gills. Toxin profiles in scallop tissue were similar to the dinoflagellate; biotransformations were not present in the scallops in this short-term feeding experiment. PMID:22822356

  11. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo as a model system for identification and characterization of developmental toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae☆

    PubMed Central

    Berry, John P.; Gantar, Miroslav; Gibbs, Patrick D.L.; Schmale, Michael C.

    2008-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo has emerged as an important model of vertebrate development. As such, this model system is finding utility in the investigation of toxic agents that inhibit, or otherwise interfere with, developmental processes (i.e. developmental toxins), including compounds that have potential relevance to both human and environmental health, as well as biomedicine. Recently, this system has been applied increasingly to the study of microbial toxins, and more specifically, as an aquatic animal model, has been employed to investigate toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, including those classified among the so-called “harmful algal blooms” (HABs). We have developed this system for identification and characterization of toxins from cyanobacteria (i.e. “blue-green algae”) isolated from the Florida Everglades and other freshwater sources in South and Central Florida. Here we review the use of this system as it has been applied generally to the investigation of toxins from marine and freshwater microalgae, and illustrate this utility as we have applied it to the detection, bioassay-guided fractionation and subsequent characterization of developmental toxins from freshwater cyanobacteria. PMID:17020820

  12. Beach-goer behavior during a retrospectively detected algal ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Algal blooms occur among nutrient rich, warm surface waters and may adversely impact recreational beaches. During July – September 2003, a prospective study of beachgoers was conducted on weekends at a public beach on a Great Lake in the United States. We measured each beachgoer’s activity at the start and end of their beach visit and the environmental factors: water and air temperature, wind speed and wave height at the study site each day. At the time, there was no notification of algal blooms; we retrospectively evaluated the presence of algal blooms using MERIS data from the Envisat-1 satellite. A total of 2840 people participated in the study over 16 study days. The majority (55%) were female, and 751 (26%) were < 18 years of age. An algal bloom was detected retrospectively by remotely sensed satellite imagery during August 16 – 24. This peak bloom period (PB) included 4 study days. During PB study days, more study participants 226/742 (31%) reported body contact with the water compared to contact 531/2098 (25%) on non-peak days. During the 4 PB days, of the environmental factors, only mean water temperature was significantly different, 250 C vs. 230 C (p<0.05) from other days.These results suggest that beachgoer body contact with water was not deterred by the presence of an algal bloom, and that interventions to actively discourage water contact during a bloom are needed to reduce exposure to blooms. This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and

  13. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an algal parasite new to the cryptomycota isolated from an outdoor algal pond used for the production of biofuel.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Peter M; Lopez, Salvador; Schmieder, Robert; Lee, Philip A; Behnke, Craig; Powell, Martha J; McBride, Robert C

    2013-01-01

    Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the phylum is more

  14. Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum, an Algal Parasite New to the Cryptomycota Isolated from an Outdoor Algal Pond Used for the Production of Biofuel

    PubMed Central

    Letcher, Peter M.; Lopez, Salvador; Schmieder, Robert; Lee, Philip A.; Behnke, Craig; Powell, Martha J.; McBride, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Mass culture of algae for the production of biofuels is a developing technology designed to offset the depletion of fossil fuel reserves. However, large scale culture of algae in open ponds can be challenging because of incidences of infestation with algal parasites. Without knowledge of the identity of the specific parasite and how to control these pests, algal-based biofuel production will be limited. We have characterized a eukaryotic parasite of Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in outdoor ponds used for biofuel production. We demonstrated that as the genomic DNA of parasite FD01 increases, the concentration of S. dimorphus cells decreases; consequently, this is a highly destructive pathogen. Techniques for culture of the parasite and host were developed, and the endoparasite was identified as the Aphelidea, Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum. Phylogenetic analysis of ribosomal sequences revealed that parasite FD01 placed within the recently described Cryptomycota, a poorly known phylum based on two species of Rozella and environmental samples. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that aplanospores of the parasite produced filose pseudopodia, which contained fine fibers the diameter of actin microfilaments. Multiple lipid globules clustered and were associated with microbodies, mitochondria and a membrane cisternae, an arrangement characteristic of the microbody-lipid globule complex of chytrid zoospores. After encystment and attachment to the host cells, the parasite injected its protoplast into the host between the host cell wall and plasma membrane. At maturity the unwalled parasite occupied the entire host cell. After cleavage of the protoplast into aplanospores, a vacuole and lipids remained in the host cell. Amoeboaphelidium protococcarum isolate FD01 is characteristic of the original description of this species and is different from strain X-5 recently characterized. Our results help put a face on the Cryptomycota, revealing that the phylum is more

  15. Antibody microarrays for native toxin detection.

    PubMed

    Rucker, Victor C; Havenstrite, Karen L; Herr, Amy E

    2005-04-15

    We have developed antibody-based microarray techniques for the multiplexed detection of cholera toxin beta-subunit, diphtheria toxin, anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B, and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked samples. Two detection schemes were investigated: (i) a direct assay in which fluorescently labeled toxins were captured directly by the antibody array and (ii) a competition assay that employed unlabeled toxins as reporters for the quantification of native toxin in solution. In the direct assay, fluorescence measured at each array element is correlated with labeled toxin concentration to yield baseline binding information (Langmuir isotherms and affinity constants). Extending from the direct assay, the competition assay yields information on the presence, identity, and concentration of toxins. A significant advantage of the competition assay over reported profiling assays is the minimal sample preparation required prior to analysis because the competition assay obviates the need to fluorescently label native proteins in the sample of interest. Sigmoidal calibration curves and detection limits were established for both assay formats. Although the sensitivity of the direct assay is superior to that of the competition assay, detection limits for unmodified toxins in the competition assay are comparable to values reported previously for sandwich-format immunoassays of antibodies arrayed on planar substrates. As a demonstration of the potential of the competition assay for unlabeled toxin detection, we conclude with a straightforward multiplexed assay for the differentiation and identification of both native S. aureus enterotoxin B and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked dilute serum samples.

  16. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease.

  17. Antibody-based bacterial toxin detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menking, Darrell E.; Heitz, Jonathon M.; Anis, Nabil A.; Thompson, Roy G.

    1994-03-01

    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 one step assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin or Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein-isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled toxins. In the two-step assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified antitoxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or antitoxin IgG in a dose-dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  18. Nemertean Toxin Genes Revealed through Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Whelan, Nathan V.; Kocot, Kevin M.; Santos, Scott R.; Halanych, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63–74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  19. Quantitative determination of paralytic shellfish toxins in cultured toxic algae by LC-MS/MS.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Ryuichi; Matsushima, Ryoji; Harada, Tomoko; Oikawa, Hiroshi; Murata, Masakazu; Suzuki, Toshiyuki

    2013-01-01

    We developed a sample preparation and LC-MS/MS method for the determination of saxitoxins in toxic algae. Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were successfully separated by gradient elution on an amide column with the hydrophilic interaction mode and quantified with multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) detection in the positive ion mode. This method showed good performance in the summed LODs and LOQs for all 12 toxins, 25 and 84 nM, respectively. Next, extracts of cultured strains of a toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense and a freshwater cyanobacteria Anabaena circinalis were treated in a short column of basic alumina and the toxic fractions were analysed by our LC-MS/MS method and by HPLC with fluorescence detection. Comparison of the results obtained by the two methods demonstrated that approximately equivalent results were obtained for both the dinoflagellate and the cyanobacteria. In addition, the retention time of the toxins showed acceptable shifts. Therefore, the clean-up of the toxic algal extracts by using the basic alumina column controlled unwanted chromatographic behaviour and variable ionisation efficiency during MS detection. LC-MS/MS for saxitoxins has great potential as a rapid analytical method for determining all primary saxitoxins in cultured algae.

  20. Horizontal gene transfer of chromosomal Type II toxin-antitoxin systems of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Ramisetty, Bhaskar Chandra Mohan; Santhosh, Ramachandran Sarojini

    2016-02-01

    Type II toxin-antitoxin systems (TAs) are small autoregulated bicistronic operons that encode a toxin protein with the potential to inhibit metabolic processes and an antitoxin protein to neutralize the toxin. Most of the bacterial genomes encode multiple TAs. However, the diversity and accumulation of TAs on bacterial genomes and its physiological implications are highly debated. Here we provide evidence that Escherichia coli chromosomal TAs (encoding RNase toxins) are 'acquired' DNA likely originated from heterologous DNA and are the smallest known autoregulated operons with the potential for horizontal propagation. Sequence analyses revealed that integration of TAs into the bacterial genome is unique and contributes to variations in the coding and/or regulatory regions of flanking host genome sequences. Plasmids and genomes encoding identical TAs of natural isolates are mutually exclusive. Chromosomal TAs might play significant roles in the evolution and ecology of bacteria by contributing to host genome variation and by moderation of plasmid maintenance.

  1. Distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs track algal resources.

    PubMed

    Tootell, Jesse S; Steele, Mark A

    2016-05-01

    Herbivore distribution can impact community structure and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, herbivores are thought to play an important role in promoting coral dominance, but how they are distributed relative to algae is not well known. Here, we evaluated whether the distribution, behavior, and condition of herbivorous fishes correlated with algal resource availability at six sites in the back reef environment of Moorea, French Polynesia. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that increased algal turf availability would coincide with (1) increased biomass, (2) altered foraging behavior, and (3) increased energy reserves of herbivorous fishes. Fish biomass and algal cover were visually estimated along underwater transects; behavior of herbivorous fishes was quantified by observations of focal individuals; fish were collected to assess their condition; and algal turf production rates were measured on standardized tiles. The best predictor of herbivorous fish biomass was algal turf production, with fish biomass increasing with algal production. Biomass of herbivorous fishes was also negatively related to sea urchin density, suggesting competition for limited resources. Regression models including both algal turf production and urchin density explained 94 % of the variation in herbivorous fish biomass among sites spread over ~20 km. Behavioral observations of the parrotfish Chlorurus sordidus revealed that foraging area increased as algal turf cover decreased. Additionally, energy reserves increased with algal turf production, but declined with herbivorous fish density, implying that algal turf is a limited resource for this species. Our findings support the hypothesis that herbivorous fishes can spatially track algal resources on coral reefs.

  2. Recycling algae to improve species control and harvest efficiency from a high rate algal pond.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-15

    This paper investigates the influence of recycling gravity harvested algae on species dominance and harvest efficiency in wastewater treatment High Rate Algal Ponds (HRAP). Two identical pilot-scale HRAPs were operated over one year either with (HRAP(r)) or without (HRAP(c)) harvested algal biomass recycling. Algae were harvested from the HRAP effluent in algal settling cones (ASCs) and harvest efficiency was compared to settlability in Imhoff cones five times a week. A microscopic image analysis technique was developed to determine relative algal dominance based on biovolume and was conducted once a month. Recycling of harvested algal biomass back to the HRAP(r) maintained the dominance of a single readily settleable algal species (Pediastrum sp.) at >90% over one year (compared to the control with only 53%). Increased dominance of Pediastrum sp. greatly improved the efficiency of algal harvest (annual average of >85% harvest for the HRAP(r) compared with ∼60% for the control). Imhoff cone experiments demonstrated that algal settleability was influenced by both the dominance of Pediastrum sp. and the species composition of remaining algae. Algal biomass recycling increased the average size of Pediastrum sp. colonies by 13-30% by increasing mean cell residence time. These results indicate that recycling gravity harvested algae could be a simple and effective operational strategy to maintain the dominance of readily settleable algal species, and enhance algal harvest by gravity sedimentation.

  3. Fermentation of de-oiled algal biomass by Lactobacillus casei for production of lactic acid.

    PubMed

    Overbeck, Tom; Steele, James L; Broadbent, Jeff R

    2016-12-01

    De-oiled algal biomass (algal cake) generated as waste byproduct during algal biodiesel production is a promising fermentable substrate for co-production of value-added chemicals in biorefinery systems. We explored the ability of Lactobacillus casei 12A to ferment algal cake for co-production of lactic acid. Carbohydrate and amino acid availability were determined to be limiting nutritional requirements for growth and lactic acid production by L. casei. These nutritional requirements were effectively addressed through enzymatic hydrolysis of the algal cake material using α-amylase, cellulase (endo-1,4-β-D-glucanase), and pepsin. Results confirm fermentation of algal cake for production of value-added chemicals is a promising avenue for increasing the overall cost competiveness of the algal biodiesel production process.

  4. Comparison of Anorectic Potencies of the Trichothecenes T-2 Toxin, HT-2 Toxin and Satratoxin G to the Ipecac Alkaloid Emetine.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wenda; Zhou, Hui-Ren; Pan, Xiao; Pestka, James J

    Trichothecene mycotoxins, potent translational inhibitors that are associated with human food poisonings and damp-building illnesses, are of considerable concern to animal and human health. Food refusal is a hallmark of exposure of experimental animals to deoxynivalenol (DON) and other Type B trichothecenes but less is known about the anorectic effects of foodborne Type A trichothecenes (e.g., T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin), airborne Type D trichothecenes (e.g. satratoxin G [SG]) or functionally analogous metabolites that impair protein synthesis. Here, we utilized a well-described mouse model of food intake to compare the anorectic potencies of T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, and SG to that of emetine, a medicinal alkaloid derived from ipecac that inhibits translation. Intraperitoneal (IP) administration with T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, emetine and SG evoked anorectic responses that occurred within 0.5 h that lasted up to 96, 96, 3 and 96 h, respectively, with lowest observed adverse effect levels (LOAELs) being 0.1, 0.1, 2.5 and 0.25 mg/kg BW, respectively. When delivered via natural routes of exposure, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, emetine (oral) and SG (intranasal) induced anorectic responses that lasted up to 48, 48, 3 and 6 h, respectively with LOAELs being 0.1, 0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mg/kg BW, respectively. All four compounds were generally much more potent than DON which was previously observed to have LOAELs of 1 and 2.5 mg/kg BW after IP and oral dosing, respectively. Taken together, these anorectic potency data will be valuable in discerning the relative risks from trichothecenes and other translational inhibitors of natural origin.

  5. Giant viruses in the oceans: the 4th Algal Virus Workshop.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2005-06-20

    Giant double-stranded DNA viruses (such as record breaking Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus), with particle sizes of 0.2 to 0.6 microm, genomes of 300 kbp to 1.200 kbp, and commensurate complex gene contents, constitute an evolutionary mystery. They challenge the common vision of viruses, traditionally seen as highly streamlined genomes optimally fitted to the smallest possible--filterable--package. Such giant viruses are now discovered in increasing numbers through the systematic sampling of ocean waters as well as freshwater aquatic environments, where they play a significant role in controlling phyto- and bacterio- plankton populations. The 4th Algal Virus Workshop showed that the study of these ecologically important viruses is now massively entering the genomic era, promising a better understanding of their diversity and, hopefully, some insights on their origin and the evolutionary forces that shaped their genomes.

  6. A novel human recombinant antibody fragment capable of neutralizing Mexican scorpion toxins.

    PubMed

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Morelos-Juárez, Citlalli; Gurrola, Georgina B; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar

    2013-12-15

    Using phage display and directed evolution, our group has progressed in the construction of a second family of human single chain variable fragments (scFv) which bind to scorpion toxins dangerous to mammals. It was observed that scFv C1 only bound initially to toxin Cn2, which constitutes 6.8% of whole venom from the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffman. Only a few amino acid changes were necessary to extend its recognition to other similar toxins and without affecting the recognition for its primary antigen (Cn2 toxin). One variant of scFv C1 (scFv 202F) was selected after two cycles of directed evolution against Cll1 toxin, the second major toxic component from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus Karsh (0.5% of the whole venom). scFv 202F is also capable of recognizing Cn2 toxin. Despite not having the highest affinity for toxins Cll1 (KD = 25.1 × 10(-9) M) or Cn2 (KD = 8.1 × 10(-9) M), this antibody fragment neutralized one LD50 of each one of these toxins. Additionally, scFv 202F moderately recognized Cll2 toxin which constitutes 1.5% of the venom from C. limpidus. Based on our previous experience, we consider that these results are promising; consequently, we continue working on generating new optimized variants from scFv C1 that could be part of a recombinant scorpion anti-venom from human origin, that might reach the market in the near future.

  7. Development of a recombinant toxin fragment vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection.

    PubMed

    Karczewski, Jerzy; Zorman, Julie; Wang, Su; Miezeiewski, Matthew; Xie, Jinfu; Soring, Keri; Petrescu, Ioan; Rogers, Irene; Thiriot, David S; Cook, James C; Chamberlin, Mihaela; Xoconostle, Rachel F; Nahas, Debbie D; Joyce, Joseph G; Bodmer, Jean-Luc; Heinrichs, Jon H; Secore, Susan

    2014-05-19

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis, a disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The disease is mostly of nosocomial origin, with elderly patients undergoing anti-microbial therapy being particularly at risk. C. difficile produces two large toxins: Toxin A (TcdA) and Toxin B (TcdB). The two toxins act synergistically to damage and impair the colonic epithelium, and are primarily responsible for the pathogenesis associated with CDI. The feasibility of toxin-based vaccination against C. difficile is being vigorously investigated. A vaccine based on formaldehyde-inactivated Toxin A and Toxin B (toxoids) was reported to be safe and immunogenic in healthy volunteers and is now undergoing evaluation in clinical efficacy trials. In order to eliminate cytotoxic effects, a chemical inactivation step must be included in the manufacturing process of this toxin-based vaccine. In addition, the large-scale production of highly toxic antigens could be a challenging and costly process. Vaccines based on non-toxic fragments of genetically engineered versions of the toxins alleviate most of these limitations. We have evaluated a vaccine assembled from two recombinant fragments of TcdB and explored their potential as components of a novel experimental vaccine against CDI. Golden Syrian hamsters vaccinated with recombinant fragments of TcdB combined with full length TcdA (Toxoid A) developed high titer IgG responses and potent neutralizing antibody titers. We also show here that the recombinant vaccine protected animals against lethal challenge with C. difficile spores, with efficacy equivalent to the toxoid vaccine. The development of a two-segment recombinant vaccine could provide several advantages over toxoid TcdA/TcdB such as improvements in manufacturability.

  8. Molecular Evolutionary Constraints that Determine the Avirulence State of Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    PubMed

    Prisilla, A; Prathiviraj, R; Chellapandi, P

    2017-04-05

    Clostridium botulinum (group-III) is an anaerobic bacterium producing C2 toxin along with botulinum neurotoxins. C2 toxin is belonged to binary toxin A family in bacterial ADP-ribosylation superfamily. A structural and functional diversity of binary toxin A family was inferred from different evolutionary constraints to determine the avirulence state of C2 toxin. Evolutionary genetic analyses revealed evidence of C2 toxin cluster evolution through horizontal gene transfer from the phage or plasmid origins, site-specific insertion by gene divergence, and homologous recombination event. It has also described that residue in conserved NAD-binding core, family-specific domain structure, and functional motifs found to predetermine its virulence state. Any mutational changes in these residues destabilized its structure-function relationship. Avirulent mutants of C2 toxin were screened and selected from a crucial site required for catalytic function of C2I and pore-forming function of C2II. We found coevolved amino acid pairs contributing an essential role in stabilization of its local structural environment. Avirulent toxins selected in this study were evaluated by detecting evolutionary constraints in stability of protein backbone structure, folding and conformational dynamic space, and antigenic peptides. We found 4 avirulent mutants of C2I and 5 mutants of C2II showing more stability in their local structural environment and backbone structure with rapid fold rate, and low conformational flexibility at mutated sites. Since, evolutionary constraints-free mutants with lack of catalytic and pore-forming function suggested as potential immunogenic candidates for treating C. botulinum infected poultry and veterinary animals. Single amino acid substitution in C2 toxin thus provides a major importance to understand its structure-function link, not only of a molecule but also of the pathogenesis.

  9. Effects of green algal mats on bivalves in a New England mud flat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiel, M.; Stearns, L. M.; Watling, L.

    1998-03-01

    Concurrent with the spread of green algal mats on tidal flats, reports of macrofauna dieoffs under dense algal mats have increased in numbers. Bivalves seem to be particularly affected by persistent dense algal mats. Bivalve species with a long extendible siphon seem to be less affected underneath algal mats, but no distinction has been made in the past between species with short and those with long siphons, Mya arenaria and Macoma balthica, on an intertidal mudflat in New England. Abundances of M. arenaria declined substantially during the study period when a thick green algal mat covered the mudflat for several months. Numbers of the small bivalve Gemma gemma also decreased substantially, whereas abundances of M. balthica showed minimal variation during the time of algal coverage. In algae removal/addition experiments numbers of M. arenaria decreased, but effects were only significant in an algal addition to previously algal-free mudflat areas. Abundance of M. balthica did not change significantly in the algal removal/additition experiments. Over the time period of the experiment (9 weeks), M. arenaria showed measurable size increase in uncovered mudflat areas, but not underneath algal mats. Similarly, M. balthica only increased in size in the uncovered mudflat area. From these results it is concluded that M. balthica can survive time periods of dense algal coverage because it is able to penetrate through the algal mat with its long extendible siphon, and thus can reach well-oxygenated water layers above the mat. M. arenaria with its thick, less extendible, siphon cannot push through dense algal mats and therefore is more likely to die underneath persistent algal mats.

  10. Stress-Survival Gene Identification From an Acid Mine Drainage Algal Mat Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbina-Navarrete, J.; Fujishima, K.; Paulino-Lima, I. G.; Rothschild-Mancinelli, B.; Rothschild, L. J.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial communities from acid mine drainage environments are exposed to multiple stressors to include low pH, high dissolved metal loads, seasonal freezing, and desiccation. The microbial and algal communities that inhabit these niche environments have evolved strategies that allow for their ecological success. Metagenomic analyses are useful in identifying species diversity, however they do not elucidate the mechanisms that allow for the resilience of a community under these extreme conditions. Many known or predicted genes encode for protein products that are unknown, or similarly, many proteins cannot be traced to their gene of origin. This investigation seeks to identify genes that are active in an algal consortium during stress from living in an acid mine drainage environment. Our approach involves using the entire community transcriptome for a functional screen in an Escherichia coli host. This approach directly targets the genes involved in survival, without need for characterizing the members of the consortium.The consortium was harvested and stressed with conditions similar to the native environment it was collected from. Exposure to low pH (< 3.2), high metal load, desiccation, and deep freeze resulted in the expression of stress-induced genes that were transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). These mRNA transcripts were harvested to build complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries in E. coli. The transformed E. coli were exposed to the same stressors as the original algal consortium to select for surviving cells. Successful cells incorporated the transcripts that encode survival mechanisms, thus allowing for selection and identification of the gene(s) involved. Initial selection screens for freeze and desiccation tolerance have yielded E. coli that are 1 order of magnitude more resistant to freezing (0.01% survival of control with no transcript, 0.2% survival of E. coli with transcript) and 3 orders of magnitude more resistant to desiccation (0.005% survival of

  11. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  12. Exfoliative toxins of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Bukowski, Michal; Wladyka, Benedykt; Dubin, Grzegorz

    2010-05-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen of humans and livestock. It causes a diverse array of diseases, ranging from relatively harmless localized skin infections to life-threatening systemic conditions. Among multiple virulence factors, staphylococci secrete several exotoxins directly associated with particular disease symptoms. These include toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins (ETs). The latter are particularly interesting as the sole agents responsible for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS), a disease predominantly affecting infants and characterized by the loss of superficial skin layers, dehydration, and secondary infections. The molecular basis of the clinical symptoms of SSSS is well understood. ETs are serine proteases with high substrate specificity, which selectively recognize and hydrolyze desmosomal proteins in the skin. The fascinating road leading to the discovery of ETs as the agents responsible for SSSS and the characterization of the molecular mechanism of their action, including recent advances in the field, are reviewed in this article.

  13. An update on uremic toxins.

    PubMed

    Neirynck, N; Vanholder, R; Schepers, E; Eloot, S; Pletinck, A; Glorieux, G

    2013-02-01

    In the last decade, uremic toxicity as a potential cause for the excess of cardiovascular disease and mortality observed in chronic kidney disease gained more and more interest. This review focuses on uremic toxins with known cardiovascular effects and their removal. For protein-bound solutes, for example, indoxylsulfate and the conjugates of p-cresol, and for small water-soluble solutes, for example, guanidines, such as ADMA and SDMA, there is a growing evidence for a role in cardiovascular toxicity in vitro (e.g., affecting leukocyte, endothelial, vascular smooth muscle cell function) and/or in vivo. Several middle molecules (e.g., beta-2-microglobulin, interleukin-6, TNF-alpha and FGF-23) were shown to be predictors for cardiovascular disease and/or mortality. Most of these solutes, however, are difficult to remove during dialysis, which is traditionally assessed by studying the removal of urea, which can be considered as a relatively inert uremic retention solute. However, even the effective removal of other small water-soluble toxins than urea can be hampered by their larger distribution volumes. Middle molecules (beta-2-microglobulin as prototype, but not necessarily representative for others) are cleared more efficiently when the pore size of the dialyzer membrane increases, convection is applied and dialysis time is prolonged. Only adding convection to diffusion improves the removal of protein-bound toxins. Therefore, alternative removal strategies, such as intestinal adsorption, drugs interfering with toxic biochemical pathways or decreasing toxin concentration, and extracorporeal plasma adsorption, as well as kinetic behavior during dialysis need further investigation. Even more importantly, randomized clinical studies are required to demonstrate a survival advantage through these strategies.

  14. Neutralising Antibodies against Ricin Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Prigent, Julie; Panigai, Laetitia; Lamourette, Patricia; Sauvaire, Didier; Devilliers, Karine; Plaisance, Marc; Volland, Hervé; Créminon, Christophe; Simon, Stéphanie

    2011-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have listed the potential bioweapon ricin as a Category B Agent. Ricin is a so-called A/B toxin produced by plants and is one of the deadliest molecules known. It is easy to prepare and no curative treatment is available. An immunotherapeutic approach could be of interest to attenuate or neutralise the effects of the toxin. We sought to characterise neutralising monoclonal antibodies against ricin and to develop an effective therapy. For this purpose, mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were produced against the two chains of ricin toxin (RTA and RTB). Seven mAbs were selected for their capacity to neutralise the cytotoxic effects of ricin in vitro. Three of these, two anti-RTB (RB34 and RB37) and one anti-RTA (RA36), when used in combination improved neutralising capacity in vitro with an IC50 of 31 ng/ml. Passive administration of association of these three mixed mAbs (4.7 µg) protected mice from intranasal challenges with ricin (5 LD50). Among those three antibodies, anti-RTB antibodies protected mice more efficiently than the anti-RTA antibody. The combination of the three antibodies protected mice up to 7.5 hours after ricin challenge. The strong in vivo neutralising capacity of this three mAbs combination makes it potentially useful for immunotherapeutic purposes in the case of ricin poisoning or possibly for prevention. PMID:21633505

  15. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  16. A Taste of Algal Genomes from the Joint Genome Institute

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-06-17

    Algae play profound roles in aquatic food chains and the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, provide models for the study of symbiosis, photosynthesis, and eukaryotic evolution, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI). To date JGI has sequenced, assembled, annotated, and released to the public the genomes of 18 species and strains of algae, sampling almost all of the major clades of photosynthetic eukaryotes. With more algal genomes currently undergoing analysis, JGI continues its commitment to driving forward basic and applied algal science. Among these ongoing projects are the pan-genome of the dominant coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, the interrelationships between the 4 genomes in the nucleomorph-containing Bigelowiella natans and Guillardia theta, and the search for symbiosis genes of lichens.

  17. Didymosphenia geminata: Algal blooms in oligotrophic streams and rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhayay, S.; Abessa, M.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S. A.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2011-05-01

    In recent decades, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has emerged as nuisance species in river systems around the world. This periphytic alga forms large “blooms” in temperate streams, presenting a counterintuitive result: the blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic streams and rivers, where phosphorus (P) availability typically limits primary production. The goal of this study is to examine how high algal biomass is formed under low P conditions. We reveal a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats concentrate P from flowing waters. First, the mucopolysaccaride stalks of D. geminata adsorb both iron (Fe) and P. Second, enzymatic and bacterial processes interact with Fe to increase the biological availability of P. We propose that a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and high growth rate is created, which results in abundant P for cell division. The affinity of stalks for Fe in association with iron-phosphorus biogeochemistry suggest a resolution to the paradox of algal blooms in oliogotrophic streams and rivers.

  18. Unraveling algal lipid metabolism: Recent advances in gene identification.

    PubMed

    Khozin-Goldberg, Inna; Cohen, Zvi

    2011-01-01

    Microalgae are now the focus of intensive research due to their potential as a renewable feedstock for biodiesel. This research requires a thorough understanding of the biochemistry and genetics of these organisms' lipid-biosynthesis pathways. Genes encoding lipid-biosynthesis enzymes can now be identified in the genomes of various eukaryotic microalgae. However, an examination of the predicted proteins at the biochemical and molecular levels is mandatory to verify their function. The essential molecular and genetic tools are now available for a comprehensive characterization of genes coding for enzymes of the lipid-biosynthesis pathways in some algal species. This review mainly summarizes the novel information emerging from recently obtained algal gene identification.

  19. Algal Lipid Extraction and Upgrading to Hydrocarbons Technology Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Ryan; Biddy, Mary J.; Jones, Susanne B.

    2013-03-31

    In support of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs. Process designs and preliminary economic estimates for each of these pathway cases were developed using rigorous modeling tools (Aspen Plus and Chemcad). These analyses incorporated the best information available at the time of development, including data from recent pilot and bench-scale demonstrations, collaborative industrial and academic partners, and published literature and patents. 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.

  20. Seismic Exploration for Pennsylvanian Algal Mounds, Paradox Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Moriarty, B.; Grundy, R.

    1985-05-01

    During the past 2 years, several new field discoveries were drilled in Pennsylvanian algal mounds of the Paradox basin. Most of these discoveries were based, at least partially, on state-of-the-art seismic data. New field production comes from either the Ismay or Desert Creek zones the Paradox Formation. The algal correlate laterally with either marine shelf or penesaline facies. Detection of the Ismay and Desert Creek buildups is difficult because of their limited thickness. Therefore, the acquisition of good signal-to-noise high-frequency data and stratigraphic processing for frequency enhancement are both critical for successful seismic exploration in the Paradox basin. Bug, Patterson, Ismay, Cache, and Rockwell Springs fields are characteristic of Desert Creek and Ismay stratigraphic trapping.

  1. Hybrid life-cycle assessment of algal biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Malik, Arunima; Lenzen, Manfred; Ralph, Peter J; Tamburic, Bojan

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this work is to establish whether algal bio-crude production is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To this end, an economic multi-regional input-output model of Australia was complemented with engineering process data on algal bio-crude production. This model was used to undertake hybrid life-cycle assessment for measuring the direct, as well as indirect impacts of producing bio-crude. Overall, the supply chain of bio-crude is more sustainable than that of conventional crude oil. The results indicate that producing 1 million tonnes of bio-crude will generate almost 13,000 new jobs and 4 billion dollars' worth of economic stimulus. Furthermore, bio-crude production will offer carbon sequestration opportunities as the production process is net carbon-negative.

  2. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Boetius, Antje; Albrecht, Sebastian; Bakker, Karel; Bienhold, Christina; Felden, Janine; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hendricks, Stefan; Katlein, Christian; Lalande, Catherine; Krumpen, Thomas; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Rabe, Benjamin; Rogacheva, Antonina; Rybakova, Elena; Somavilla, Raquel; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2013-03-22

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 grams of carbon per square meter to the deep-sea floor of the central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the effect of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function.

  3. Algal polycultures enhance coproduct recycling from hydrothermal liquefaction.

    PubMed

    Godwin, Casey M; Hietala, David C; Lashaway, Aubrey R; Narwani, Anita; Savage, Phillip E; Cardinale, Bradley J

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine if polycultures of algae could enhance tolerance to aqueous-phase coproduct (ACP) from hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of algal biomass to produce biocrude. The growth of algal monocultures and polycultures was characterized across a range ACP concentrations and sources. All of the monocultures were either killed or inhibited by 2% ACP, but polycultures of the same species were viable at up to 10%. The addition of ACP increased the growth rate (up to 25%) and biomass production (53%) of polycultures, several of which were more productive in ACP than any monoculture was in the presence or absence of ACP. These results suggest that a cultivation process that applies biodiversity to nutrient recycling could produce more algae with less fertilizer consumption.

  4. The paradox of algal blooms in oligotrophic waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundareshwar, P. V.; Upadhyay, S.; Abessa, M. B.; Honomichl, S.; Berdanier, B.; Spaulding, S.; Sandvik, C.; Trennepohl, A.

    2010-12-01

    Nutrient inputs to streams and lakes, primarily from anthropogenic sources, lead to eutrophic conditions that favor algal blooms with undesirable consequences. In contrast, low nutrient or oligotrophic waters rarely support algal blooms; such ecosystems are typically lower in productivity. Since the mid-1980’s however, the diatom Didymosphenia geminata has dramatically expanded its range colonizing oligotrophic rivers worldwide with blooms appearing as thick benthic mats. This recent global occurrence of Didymosphenia geminata blooms in temperate rivers has been perplexing in its pace of spread and the paradoxical nature of the nuisance growths. The blooms occur primarily in oligotrophic flowing waters, where phosphorus (P) availability often limits primary production. We present a biogeochemical process by which D. geminata mats adsorb both P and iron (Fe) from flowing waters and make P available for cellular uptake. The adsorbed P becomes bioavailable through biogeochemical processes that occur within the mat. The biogeochemical processes observed here while well accepted in benthic systems are novel for algal blooms in lotic habits. Enzymatic and bacterial processes such as Fe and sulfate reduction can release the adsorbed P and increase its bioavailability, creating a positive feedback between total stalk biomass and nutrient availability. Stalk affinity for Fe, Fe-P biogeochemistry, and interaction between watershed processes and climatic setting explain the paradoxical blooms, and the recent global spread of this invasive aquatic species. At a broader scale the study also implies that such algal blooms in oligotrophic environments can fundamentally alter the retention and longitudinal transfer of important nutrients such as P in streams and rivers.

  5. Profiles of paralytic shellfish toxins in bivalves of low and elevated toxicities following exposure to Gymnodinium catenatum blooms in Portuguese estuarine and coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Botelho, Maria João; Vale, Carlos; Ferreira, João Gomes

    2015-11-01

    Profiles of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were examined in 405 composite samples of Mytilus spp., Cerastoderma edule, Donax trunculus and Spisula solida collected between 2007 and 2012 from natural production areas in two estuaries (Aveiro and Mondego), two coastal lagoons (Óbidos and Formosa), and three open coastal areas (Aguda, Comporta and Culatra). Toxin concentrations were obtained from the biotoxin monitoring programme database. Episodes of PST toxicity in Portugal have been associated with Gymnodinium catenatum blooms. Toxin profiles for each species showed no trend over the surveyed years. In general, profiles differ only slightly among areas, except for Óbidos. However, toxin profiles in bivalves varied between low and elevated toxicities, corresponding to below and above the PST regulatory limit, respectively. The ratio R1=(C1+2):B1, which were the main toxins produced by G. catenatum cells, decreased considerably between elevated and low toxicity cockles, indicating the elimination of C1+2 or conversion of compounds into B1. R2=[(dcSTX)+(dcGTX2+3)]:[(C1+2)+(B1)], which represents the ratio of minor to major toxins in G. catenatum cells, increased substantially in wedge clams (D. trunculus) of low toxicity and less markedly in cockles (C. edule) and mussels (Mytilus spp.). These differences are interpreted as the predominance of a biotransformation phase after exposure to the algal bloom. The toxin profile of surf clams (S. solida) was dominated by decarbamoyl compounds, reflecting intense biotransformation during exposure to blooms. The higher ratio R2 in low toxicity samples suggests that elimination of the produced decarbamoyl toxins was slower than biotransformation.

  6. Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A; Hudson, Stephen R; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H H; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year.

  7. Monthly Ensembles in Algal Bloom Predictions on the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roiha, Petra; Westerlund, Antti; Stipa, Tapani

    2010-05-01

    In this work we explore the statistical features of monthly ensembles and their capability to predict biogeochemical conditions in the Baltic Sea. Operational marine environmental modelling has been considered hard, and consequently there are very few operational ecological models. Operational modelling of harmful algal blooms is harder still, since it is difficult to separate the algal species in models, and in general, very little is known of HAB properties. We present results of an ensemble approach to HAB forecasting in the Baltic, and discuss the applicability of the forecasting method to biochemical modelling. It turns out that HABs are indeed possible to forecast with useful accuracy. For modelling the algal blooms in Baltic Sea we used FMI operational 3-dimensional biogeochemical model to produce seasonal ensemble forecasts for different physical, chemical and biological variables. The modelled variables were temperature, salinity, velocity, silicate, phosphate, nitrate, diatoms, flagellates and two species of potentially toxic filamentous cyanobacteria nodularia spumigena and aphanizomenon flos-aquae. In this work we concentrate to the latter two. Ensembles were produced by running the biogeochemical model several times and forcing it on every run with different set of seasonal weather parameters from ECMWF's mathematically perturbed ensemble prediction forecasts. The ensembles were then analysed by statistical methods and the median, quartiles, minimum and maximum values were calculated for estimating the probable amounts of algae. Validation for the forecast method was made by comparing the final results against available and valid in-situ HAB data.

  8. Study of cnidarian-algal symbiosis in the "omics" age.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Eli; Weis, Virginia M

    2012-08-01

    The symbiotic associations between cnidarians and dinoflagellate algae (Symbiodinium) support productive and diverse ecosystems in coral reefs. Many aspects of this association, including the mechanistic basis of host-symbiont recognition and metabolic interaction, remain poorly understood. The first completed genome sequence for a symbiotic anthozoan is now available (the coral Acropora digitifera), and extensive expressed sequence tag resources are available for a variety of other symbiotic corals and anemones. These resources make it possible to profile gene expression, protein abundance, and protein localization associated with the symbiotic state. Here we review the history of "omics" studies of cnidarian-algal symbiosis and the current availability of sequence resources for corals and anemones, identifying genes putatively involved in symbiosis across 10 anthozoan species. The public availability of candidate symbiosis-associated genes leaves the field of cnidarian-algal symbiosis poised for in-depth comparative studies of sequence diversity and gene expression and for targeted functional studies of genes associated with symbiosis. Reviewing the progress to date suggests directions for future investigations of cnidarian-algal symbiosis that include (i) sequencing of Symbiodinium, (ii) proteomic analysis of the symbiosome membrane complex, (iii) glycomic analysis of Symbiodinium cell surfaces, and (iv) expression profiling of the gastrodermal cells hosting Symbiodinium.

  9. Variations of algal communities cause darkening of a Greenland glacier.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Jorge Villar, Susana E; Benning, Liane G

    2014-08-01

    We have assessed the microbial ecology on the surface of Mittivakkat glacier in SE-Greenland during the exceptional high melting season in July 2012 when the so far most extreme melting rate for the Greenland Ice Sheet has been recorded. By employing a complementary and multi-disciplinary field sampling and analytical approach, we quantified the dramatic changes in the different microbial surface habitats (green snow, red snow, biofilms, grey ice, cryoconite holes). The observed clear change in dominant algal community and their rapidly changing cryo-organic adaptation inventory was linked to the high melting rate. The changes in carbon and nutrient fluxes between different microbial pools (from snow to ice, cryoconite holes and glacial forefronts) revealed that snow and ice algae dominate the net primary production at the onset of melting, and that they have the potential to support the cryoconite hole communities as carbon and nutrient sources. A large proportion of algal cells is retained on the glacial surface and temporal and spatial changes in pigmentation contribute to the darkening of the snow and ice surfaces. This implies that the fast, melt-induced algal growth has a high albedo reduction potential, and this may lead to a positive feedback speeding up melting processes.

  10. Micro-structured surfaces for algal biofilm growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathananthan, Suthamathy; Genin, Scott N.; Aitchison, J. Stewart; Allen, D. Grant

    2013-12-01

    It is well known that cells respond to structured surface cues that are on the micro/nanometer scale. Tissue engineering and bio-fouling fields have utilized the semiconductor device fabrication processes to make micro- and nanometer patterned surfaces to study animal cell tissue formation and to prevent algae attachment on marine surfaces respectively. In this paper we describe the use of micro-structured surfaces to study the attachment and growth of algal films. This paper gives an overview of how micro-structured surfaces are made for this purpose, how they are incorporated into a photo bioreactor and how this patterning influences the growth of an algal biofilm. Our results suggest that surface patterning with deeper V-groove patterns that are of the same size scale as the algal species has resulted in higher biomass productivity giving them a chance to embed and attach on the slope and flat surfaces whereas shallower size grooves and completely flat surfaces did not show this trend.

  11. Raman microspectroscopy based sensor of algal lipid unsaturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samek, Ota; Pilát, Zdeněk; Jonáš, Alexandr; Zemánek, Pavel; Šerý, Mojmír; Ježek, Jan; Bernatová, Silvie; Nedbal, Ladislav; Trtílek, Martin

    2011-05-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for chemical analysis. This technique can elucidate fundamental questions about the metabolic processes and intercellular variability on a single cell level. Therefore, Raman spectroscopy can significantly contribute to the study and use of microalgae in systems biology and biofuel technology. Raman spectroscopy can be combined with optical tweezers. We have employed microfluidic system to deliver the sampled microalgae to the Raman-tweezers. This instrument is able to measure chemical composition of cells and to track metabolic processes in vivo, in real-time and label-free making it possible to detect population variability in a wide array of traits. Moreover, employing an active sorting switch, cells can be separated depending on input parameters obtained from Raman spectra. We focus on algal lipids which are promising potential products for biofuel as well as for nutrition. Important parameter characterizing the algal lipids is the degree of unsaturation of the constituent fatty acids. We demonstrate the capacity of our Raman tweezers based sensor to sort cells according to the degree of unsaturation in lipid storage bodies of individual living algal cells.

  12. Algal pigments in Southern Ocean abyssal foraminiferans indicate pelagobenthic coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cedhagen, Tomas; Cheah, Wee; Bracher, Astrid; Lejzerowicz, Franck

    2014-10-01

    The cytoplasm of four species of abyssal benthic foraminiferans from the Southern Ocean (around 51°S; 12°W and 50°S; 39°W) was analysed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and found to contain large concentrations of algal pigments and their degradation products. The composition of the algal pigments in the foraminiferan cytoplasm reflected the plankton community at the surface. Some foraminiferans contained high ratios of chlorophyll a/degraded pigments because they were feeding on fresher phytodetritus. Other foraminiferans contained only degraded pigments which shows that they utilized degraded phytodetritus. The concentration of algal pigment and corresponding degradation products in the foraminiferan cytoplasm is much higher than in the surrounding sediment. It shows that the foraminiferans collect a diluted and sparse food resource and concentrate it as they build up their cytoplasm. This ability contributes to the understanding of the great quantitative success of foraminiferans in the deep sea. Benthic foraminiferans are a food source for many abyssal metazoans. They form a link between the degraded food resources, phytodetritus, back to the active metazoan food chains.

  13. Stable and sporadic symbiotic communities of coral and algal holobionts

    PubMed Central

    Hester, Eric R; Barott, Katie L; Nulton, Jim; Vermeij, Mark JA; Rohwer, Forest L

    2016-01-01

    Coral and algal holobionts are assemblages of macroorganisms and microorganisms, including viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, protists and fungi. Despite a decade of research, it remains unclear whether these associations are spatial–temporally stable or species-specific. We hypothesized that conflicting interpretations of the data arise from high noise associated with sporadic microbial symbionts overwhelming signatures of stable holobiont members. To test this hypothesis, the bacterial communities associated with three coral species (Acropora rosaria, Acropora hyacinthus and Porites lutea) and two algal guilds (crustose coralline algae and turf algae) from 131 samples were analyzed using a novel statistical approach termed the Abundance-Ubiquity (AU) test. The AU test determines whether a given bacterial species would be present given additional sampling effort (that is, stable) versus those species that are sporadically associated with a sample. Using the AU test, we show that coral and algal holobionts have a high-diversity group of stable symbionts. Stable symbionts are not exclusive to one species of coral or algae. No single bacterial species was ubiquitously associated with one host, showing that there is not strict heredity of the microbiome. In addition to the stable symbionts, there was a low-diversity community of sporadic symbionts whose abundance varied widely across individual holobionts of the same species. Identification of these two symbiont communities supports the holobiont model and calls into question the hologenome theory of evolution. PMID:26555246

  14. Harvesting algal biomass for biofuels using ultrafiltration membranes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuezhi; Hu, Qiang; Sommerfeld, Milton; Puruhito, Emil; Chen, Yongsheng

    2010-07-01

    The objective of this paper is to develop efficient technologies for harvesting of algal biomass using membrane filtration. Foulants were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Anti-fouling strategies were established, such as using air-assisted backwash with air scouring, and optimizing operational conditions. A model was also developed to predict the flux decline and final concentration based on a resistance-in-series analysis and a cake development calculation. The results showed that the buildup of the algal cake layer and adsorption of algogenic organic matter (AOM) (mainly protein, polysaccharides or polysaccharide-like substances) on the membrane caused membrane fouling. The cake layer buildup was removed by conducting an air-assisted backwash every 15 min. The adsorbed AOM could be removed by soaking the membrane in 400mg/L NaClO for 1h. In our experiment the algal suspension was concentrated 150 times, to give a final cell concentration of 154.85g/L. The harvesting efficiency and average flux were 46.01 g/(m(2)h) and 45.50 L/(m(2)h), respectively. No algae were found in the permeate, which had an average turbidity of 0.018 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). The flux decline predicted by the model under different conditions was consistent with the experimental results.

  15. Ultrasound pretreatment of filamentous algal biomass for enhanced biogas production.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwanyong; Chantrasakdakul, Phrompol; Kim, Daegi; Kong, Mingeun; Park, Ki Young

    2014-06-01

    The filamentous alga Hydrodictyon reticulatum harvested from a bench-scale wastewater treatment pond was used to evaluate biogas production after ultrasound pretreatment. The effects of ultrasound pretreatment at a range of 10-5000 J/mL were tested with harvested H. reticulatum. Cell disruption by ultrasound was successful and showed a higher degree of disintegration at a higher applied energy. The range of 10-5000 J/mL ultrasound was able to disintegrated H. reticulatum and the soluble COD was increased from 250 mg/L to 1000 mg/L at 2500 J/mL. The disintegrated algal biomass was digested for biogas production in batch experiments. Both cumulative gas generation and volatile solids reduction data were obtained during the digestion. Cell disintegration due to ultrasound pretreatment increased the specific biogas production and degradation rates. Using the ultrasound approach, the specific methane production at a dose of 40 J/mL increased up to 384 mL/g-VS fed that was 2.3 times higher than the untreated sample. For disintegrated samples, the volatile solids reduction was greater with increased energy input, and the degradation increased slightly to 67% at a dose of 50 J/mL. The results also indicate that disintegration of the algal cells is the essential step for efficient anaerobic digestion of algal biomass.

  16. Botulinum toxin to minimize facial scarring.

    PubMed

    Sherris, David A; Gassner, Holger G

    2002-02-01

    Botulinum toxin injection has been used for a variety of indications in humans, including blepharospasm and hyperfunctional facial lines. This article describes a novel formulation of botulinum toxin, which supplies immediate feedback to the injecting physician. Additionally, recent findings are described that indicate the immediate injection of botulinum toxin into the muscles underlying a wound can improve the cosmetic outcome of the facial cutaneous scar. Future applications of these findings are discussed.

  17. Dinoflagellate Toxins Responsible for Ciguatera Food Poisoning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-10

    AD____ AD-A 194 466 DNOFLACU.ATh TOXINS RESIONSIBLE FOR CIGUATERA FOOD POISONING Annual Summary Report 0 Donald M. Miller 10 December 1987 Supported...21701-5012 62770A 162770A87] AA 7 7 A11. TITLE (Include Security Classification) DINOFLAGELLATE TOXINS RESPONSIBLE FOR CIGUATERA FOOD POISONING .12...occurring in humans who have become intoxicated from eating poison fish. Fish spontaneously accumulate the toxin through the food chain or directly from

  18. Anti-Idiotype Probes for Toxin Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-09-13

    used for polyclonal and mono- clonal antibody production . We have identified proteins on the cell surface of thymocytes that bind to exfoliative Toxin A...of toxins represents the novel aspect of this proposal. It will rely upon the production of anti-idiotypic antibodies to the receptor molecules. Such...specifically Ser-197 results in loss of biological activity suggests that the toxins may autodigest. This has yet to be proven. AnOibody Production At about the

  19. Cellular and Systemic Effects of Anthrax Lethal Toxin and Edema Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2009-01-01

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) are the major virulence factors of anthrax and can replicate the lethality and symptoms associated with the disease. This review provides an overview of our current understanding of anthrax toxin effects in animal models and the cytotoxicity (necrosis and apoptosis) induced by LT in different cells. A brief reexamination of early historic findings on toxin in vivo effects in the context of our current knowledge is also presented. PMID:19638283

  20. Construction of "Toxin Complex" in a Mutant Serotype C Strain of Clostridium botulinum Harboring a Defective Neurotoxin Gene.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Tomonori; Nagano, Thomas; Niwa, Koichi; Uchino, Masataka; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Watanabe, Toshihiro

    2017-01-01

    A non-toxigenic mutant of the toxigenic serotype C Clostridium botulinum strain Stockholm (C-St), C-N71, does not produce the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT). However, the original strain C-St produces botulinum toxin complex, in which BoNT is associated with non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) and three hemagglutinin proteins (HA-70, HA-33, and HA-17). Therefore, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the effects of bont gene knockout on the formation of the "toxin complex." Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that a premature stop codon was introduced in the bont gene, whereas other genes were not affected by this mutation. Moreover, we successfully purified the "toxin complex" produced by C-N71. The "toxin complex" was identified as a mixture of NTNHA/HA-70/HA-17/HA-33 complexes with intact NTNHA or C-terminally truncated NTNHA, without BoNT. These results indicated that knockout of the bont gene does not affect the formation of the "toxin complex." Since the botulinum toxin complex has been shown to play an important role in oral toxin transport in the human and animal body, a non-neurotoxic "toxin complex" of C-N71 may be valuable for the development of an oral drug delivery system.

  1. Harmful algal blooms: How strong is the evidence that nutrient ratios and forms influence their occurrence?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Keith; Gowen, Richard J.; Tett, Paul; Bresnan, Eileen; Harrison, Paul J.; McKinney, April; Milligan, Stephen; Mills, David K.; Silke, Joe; Crooks, Anne-Marie

    2012-12-01

    There is a perception that anthropogenically-driven changes in nutrient supply to coastal waters influences the abundance, frequency and toxicity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) through a change in the form or ratio of nutrient that limits phytoplankton growth. If nutrient concentrations are not limiting for growth, then ratios do not influence floristic composition. At non-limiting concentrations, evidence that alteration of nitrogen: phosphorus (N:P) ratios has stimulated HABs is limited, and primarily based on hypothesised relationships in relatively few locations (in particular: Tolo Harbour Hong Kong and Dutch Coastal Waters). In all cases, an unequivocal causal link between an increase in HABs (frequency, magnitude or duration) and change in N or P as the limiting nutrient is difficult to establish. The silicon (Si) limitation hypothesis is generally supported by experimental evidence and field data on the nuisance flagellate Phaeocystis. We found little evidence that high N:Si ratios preferentially promote harmful dinoflagellates over benign species. Laboratory studies demonstrate that nutrient ratios can influence toxin production, but genus and species specific differences and environmental control make extrapolation of these data to the field difficult. Studies of the role of dissolved and particulate organic nutrients in the growth of HAB species, while limited, demonstrate the potential for organic nutrients (especially organic N) to support the growth of a range of HAB species. There is a clear need for better understanding of the role of mixotrophy in the formation of HABs and for studies of HAB and non-HAB species in competition for environmentally realistic concentrations of organic nutrients.

  2. Life-cycle analysis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption in the 2016 MYPP algal biofuel scenarios

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, Edward; Pegallapati, Ambica K.; Davis, Ryan; Markham, Jennifer; Coleman, Andre; Jones, Sue; Wigmosta, Mark S.; Zhu, Yunhua

    2016-06-16

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Multi-year Program Plan (MYPP) describes the bioenergy objectives pursued by BETO, the strategies for achieving those objectives, the current state of technology (SOT), and a number of design cases that explore cost and operational performance required to advance the SOT towards middle and long term goals (MYPP, 2016). Two options for converting algae to biofuel intermediates were considered in the MYPP, namely algal biofuel production via lipid extraction and algal biofuel production by thermal processing. The first option, lipid extraction, is represented by the Combined Algae Processing (CAP) pathway in which algae are hydrolyzed in a weak acid pretreatment step. The treated slurry is fermented for ethanol production from sugars. The fermentation stillage contains most of the lipids from the original biomass, which are recovered through wet solvent extraction. The process residuals after lipid extraction, which contain much of the original mass of amino acids and proteins, are directed to anaerobic digestion (AD) for biogas production and recycle of N and P nutrients. The second option, thermal processing, comprises direct hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) of the wet biomass, separation of aqueous, gas, and oil phases, and treatment of the aqueous phase with catalytic hydrothermal gasification (CHG) to produce biogas and to recover N and P nutrients. The present report describes a life cycle analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the CAP and HTL options for the three scenarios just described. Water use is also reported. Water use during algal biofuel production comes from evaporation during cultivation, discharge to bleed streams to control pond salinity (“blowdown”), and from use during preprocessing and upgrading. For scenarios considered to date, most water use was from evaporation and, secondarily, from bleed streams. Other use was relatively small at the level of

  3. Evaluating algal growth performance and water use efficiency of pilot-scale revolving algal biofilm (RAB) culture systems.

    PubMed

    Gross, Martin; Mascarenhas, Vernon; Wen, Zhiyou

    2015-10-01

    A Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) growth system in which algal cells are attached to a flexible material rotating between liquid and gas phases has been developed. In this work, different configurations of RAB systems were developed at pilot-scale by retrofitting the attachment materials to a raceway pond (2000-L with 8.5 m(2) footprint area) and a trough reservoir (150 L with 3.5 m(2) footprint area). The algal growth performance and chemical composition, as well as the water evaporative loss and specific water consumption were evaluated over a period of nine months in a greenhouse environment near Boone, Iowa USA. Additionally a raceway pond was run in parallel, which served as a control. On average the raceway-based RAB and the trough-based RAB outperformed the control pond by 309% and 697%, respectively. A maximum productivity of 46.8 g m(-2) day(-1) was achieved on the trough-based RAB system. The evaporative water loss of the RAB system was modeled based on an energy balance analysis and was experimentally validated. While the RAB system, particularly the trough-based RAB, had higher water evaporative loss, the specific water consumption per unit of biomass produced was only 26% (raceway-based RAB) and 7% (trough-based RAB) of that of the control pond. Collectively, this research shows that the RAB system is an efficient algal culture system and has great potential to commercially produce microalgae with high productivity and efficient water use.

  4. Microbial communities mediating algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Jessica M.; Murphy, Chelsea L.; Baker, Kristina; Zamor, Richard M.; Nikolai, Steve J.; Wilder, Shawn; Elshahed, Mostafa S.

    2017-01-01

    Background Algae encompass a wide array of photosynthetic organisms that are ubiquitously distributed in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Algal species often bloom in aquatic ecosystems, providing a significant autochthonous carbon input to the deeper anoxic layers in stratified water bodies. In addition, various algal species have been touted as promising candidates for anaerobic biogas production from biomass. Surprisingly, in spite of its ecological and economic relevance, the microbial community involved in algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions remains largely unexplored. Results Here, we characterized the microbial communities mediating the degradation of Chlorella vulgaris (Chlorophyta), Chara sp. strain IWP1 (Charophyceae), and kelp Ascophyllum nodosum (phylum Phaeophyceae), using sediments from an anaerobic spring (Zodlteone spring, OK; ZDT), sludge from a secondary digester in a local wastewater treatment plant (Stillwater, OK; WWT), and deeper anoxic layers from a seasonally stratified lake (Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, OK; GL) as inoculum sources. Within all enrichments, the majority of algal biomass was metabolized within 13–16 weeks, and the process was accompanied by an increase in cell numbers and a decrease in community diversity. Community surveys based on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene identified different lineages belonging to the phyla Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria (alpha, delta, gamma, and epsilon classes), Spirochaetes, and Firmicutes that were selectively abundant under various substrate and inoculum conditions. Within all kelp enrichments, the microbial communities structures at the conclusion of the experiment were highly similar regardless of the enrichment source, and were dominated by the genus Clostridium, or family Veillonellaceae within the Firmicutes. In all other enrichments the final microbial community was dependent on the inoculum source, rather than the type of algae utilized as substrate. Lineages enriched

  5. ALGAL RESPONSE TO NUTRIENT ENRICHMENT IN FORESTED OLIGOTROPHIC STREAM(1).

    PubMed

    Veraart, Annelies J; Romaní, Anna M; Tornés, Elisabet; Sabater, Sergi

    2008-06-01

    Nutrient input in streams alters the density and species composition of attached algal communities in open systems. However, in forested streams, the light reaching the streambed (rather than the local nutrient levels) may limit the growth of these communities. A nutrient-enrichment experiment in a forested oligotrophic stream was performed to test the hypothesis that nutrient addition has only minor effects on the community composition of attached algae and cyanobacteria under light limitation. Moderate nutrient addition consisted of increasing basal phosphorus (P) concentrations 3-fold and basal nitrogen (N) concentrations 2-fold. Two upstream control reaches were compared to a downstream reach before and after nutrient addition. Nutrients were added continuously to the downstream reach for 1 year. Algal biofilms growing on ceramic tiles were sampled and identified for more than a year before nutrient addition to 12 months after. Diatoms were the most abundant taxonomic group in the three stream reaches. Nutrient enrichment caused significant variations in the composition of the diatom community. While some taxa showed significant decreases (e.g., Achnanthes minutissima, Gomphonema angustum), increases for other taxa (such as Rhoicosphenia abbreviata and Amphora ovalis) were detected in the enriched reach (for taxonomic authors, see Table 2). Epiphytic and adnate taxa of large size were enhanced, particularly during periods of favorable growth conditions (spring). Nutrients also caused a change in the algal chl a, which increased from 0.5-5.8 to 2.1-10.7 μg chl · cm(-2) . Our results indicate that in oligotrophic forested streams, long-term nutrient addition has significant effects on the algal biomass and community composition, which are detectable despite the low light availability caused by the tree canopy. Low light availability moderates but does not detain the long-term tendency toward a nutrient-tolerant community. Furthermore, the effects

  6. Algal remediation of CO₂ and nutrient discharges: A review.

    PubMed

    Judd, Simon; van den Broeke, Leo J P; Shurair, Mohamed; Kuti, Yussuf; Znad, Hussein

    2015-12-15

    The recent literature pertaining to the application of algal photobioreactors (PBRs) to both carbon dioxide mitigation and nutrient abatement is reviewed and the reported data analysed. The review appraises the influence of key system parameters on performance with reference to (a) the absorption and biological fixation of CO2 from gaseous effluent streams, and (b) the removal of nutrients from wastewaters. Key parameters appraised individually with reference to CO2 removal comprise algal speciation, light intensity, mass transfer, gas and hydraulic residence time, pollutant (CO2 and nutrient) loading, biochemical and chemical stoichiometry (including pH), and temperature. Nutrient removal has been assessed with reference to hydraulic residence time and reactor configuration, along with C:nutrient ratios and other factors affecting carbon fixation, and outcomes compared with those reported for classical biological nutrient removal (BNR). Outcomes of the review indicate there has been a disproportionate increase in algal PBR research outputs over the past 5-8 years, with a significant number of studies based on small, bench-scale systems. The quantitative impacts of light intensity and loading on CO2 uptake are highly dependent on the algal species, and also affected by solution chemical conditions such as temperature and pH. Calculations based on available data for biomass growth rates indicate that a reactor CO2 residence time of around 4 h is required for significant CO2 removal. Nutrient removal data indicate residence times of 2-5 days are required for significant nutrient removal, compared with <12 h for a BNR plant. Moreover, the shallow depth of the simplest PBR configuration (the high rate algal pond, HRAP) means that its footprint is at least two orders of magnitude greater than a classical BNR plant. It is concluded that the combined carbon capture/nutrient removal process relies on optimisation of a number of process parameters acting synergistically

  7. Nanoparticle-conjugated animal venom-toxins and their possible therapeutic potential

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Archita; Gomes, Aparna; Sengupta, Jayeeta; Datta, Poulami; Singha, Santiswarup; Dasgupta, Anjan Kr; Gomes, Antony

    2012-01-01

    Nano-medical approaches to develop drugs have attracted much attention in different arenas to design nanoparticle conjugates for better efficacy of the potential bio-molecules. A group of promising candidates of this category would be venom-toxins of animal origin of potential medicinal value. Traditional systems of medicine as well as folklores mention the use of venom-toxins for the treatment of various diseases. Research has led to scientific validation of medicinal applications of venoms-toxins and many active constituents derived from venoms-toxins are already in clinical use or under clinical trial. Nanomedicine is an emerging field of medicine where nanotechnology is used to develop molecules of nano-scale dimension, so that these molecules can be taken up by the cells more easily and have better efficacy, as compared to large molecules that may tend to get eliminated. This review will focus on some of the potential venoms and toxins along with nanoparticle conjugated venom-toxins of snakes, amphibians, scorpions and bees, etc., for possible therapeutic clues against emerging diseases. PMID:23236583

  8. Spores before sporophytes: hypothesizing the origin of sporogenesis at the algal-plant transition.

    PubMed

    Brown, Roy C; Lemmon, Betty E

    2011-06-01

    Fossil spores from mid-Ordovician deposits (475 million yr old) are the first indication of plants on land and predate megafossils of plants by 30-50 million yr. Sporopollenin-walled spores distinguish land plants from algae, which typically have heavy-walled zygotes that germinate via meiosis into motile or protonemal cells. All land plants are embryophytes with spores produced by the sporophyte generation. It is generally assumed that retention of the zygote and delay in meiosis led to matrotrophic embryo development and intercalation of the diploid sporophyte before spore production. However, new data on the cell biology of sporogenesis in extant bryophytes suggest that spores were produced directly from zygotes in protoembryophytes. The mechanism of wall transfer from zygote to meiospores was a three-phase heterochrony involving precocious initiation of cytokinesis, acceleration of meiosis, and concomitant delay in wall deposition. In bryophyte sporogenesis, cytokinesis is typically initiated in advance of meiosis, and quadrilobing of the cytoplasm is followed by development of a bizarre quadripolar spindle that assures coordination of nuclear distribution with predetermined spore domains. This concept of the innovation of sporogenesis at the onset of terrestrialization provides a new perspective for interpreting fossil evidence and understanding the evolution of land plants.

  9. Lipophilic toxin profile in Galicia (Spain): 2005 toxic episode.

    PubMed

    Villar-González, A; Rodríguez-Velasco, M L; Ben-Gigirey, B; Botana, L M

    2007-06-15

    By the end of 2005, a toxic episode of phytoplankton origin in bivalve shellfish led to the closing down of several shellfish production areas in Galicia (northwestern region of Spain). During this time, different kinds of shellfish were collected and analysed by LC-MS/MS to search for the following lipophilic toxins: okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxins (DTXs), pectenotoxins (PTXs), azaspiracids (AZAs) and spirolides. Samples were analysed before alkaline hydrolysis in order to investigate the presence of free OA and DTXs, AZAs, PTXs and spirolides, and after alkaline hydrolysis to detect OA and DTXs esters. All of the samples were found to be contaminated with OA and/or DTX-2, as well as esterified forms of these diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) toxins, at levels around and above European regulatory limit (160 microg of okadaic acid equivalents/kg). The analyses of mussels and razor clam also revealed the presence of 13-desmethyl spirolide C (SPX-1) at levels below 31 microg/kg. Likewise, in many of the samples different levels of pectenotoxin-2 secoacid (PTX-2sa) were detected. DSP toxin esters represent practically the 100% of the total OA equivalents for scallops, clams, razor clams and cockles.

  10. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day.

  11. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch

    PubMed Central

    Shilpa, P. S.; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  12. Burn sepsis and burn toxin

    PubMed Central

    Allgöwer, Martin; Städtler, Karl; Schoenenberger, Guido A

    1974-01-01

    The salient steps of a 20-year programme of research into the nature of burn disease are described. By burn disease we mean the late mortality and morbidity following burns. We have isolated a burn toxin which is derived from a thermal polymerization of cell membrane lipoproteins within the dermis and have studied its influence on the effects of sepsis. We have also used it in the development of active and passive immunization therapy of severe burns. ImagesFig. 2Fig. 5Fig. 6Fig. 7Fig. 8Fig. 9 PMID:4429330

  13. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  14. Biogenic gradients in algal density affect the emergent properties of spatially self-organized mussel beds.

    PubMed

    Liu, Quan-Xing; Weerman, Ellen J; Gupta, Rohit; Herman, Peter M J; Olff, Han; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-07-06

    Theoretical models highlight that spatially self-organized patterns can have important emergent effects on the functioning of ecosystems, for instance by increasing productivity and affecting the vulnerability to catastrophic shifts. However, most theoretical studies presume idealized homogeneous conditions, which are rarely met in real ecosystems. Using self-organized mussel beds as a case study, we reveal that spatial heterogeneity, resulting from the large-scale effects of mussel beds on their environment, significantly alters the emergent properties predicted by idealized self-organization models that assume homogeneous conditions. The proposed model explicitly considers that the suspended algae, the prime food for the mussels, are supplied by water flow from the seaward boundary of the bed, which causes in combination with consumption a gradual depletion of algae over the simulated domain. Predictions of the model are consistent with properties of natural mussel patterns observed in the field, featuring a decline in mussel biomass and a change in patterning. Model analyses reveal a fundamental change in ecosystem functioning when this self-induced algal depletion gradient is included in the model. First, no enhancement of secondary productivity of the mussels comparing with non-patterns states is predicted, irrespective of parameter setting; the equilibrium amount of mussels is entirely set by the input of algae. Second, alternate stable states, potentially present in the original (no algal gradient) model, are absent when gradual depletion of algae in the overflowing water layer is allowed. Our findings stress the importance of including sufficiently realistic environmental conditions when assessing the emergent properties of self-organized ecosystems.

  15. A Multidisciplinary Study of Ciguatoxin and Related Low Molecular Weight Toxins from Marine Sources

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-08-01

    and elicits typical ciguatoxin symptoms in mice. From parrotfish (Scarus sordidus), which originated on a ciguateric reef on Ta- rawa atoll (Kiribati...epidemiological survey including detailed case studies in the Gambier islands, where ciguatera intoxication arises principally from eating parrotfishes ...examined parrotfish (Scarus sordidus) from a toxic reef on Tarawa atoll, Republic of Kiribati. We also isolated two toxins separable on DEAE cellulose

  16. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Satchell, Karla J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  17. Effect of centrifugation on water recycling and algal growth to enable algae biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Igou, Thomas; Van Ginkel, Steven W; Penalver-Argueso, Patricia; Fu, Hao; Doi, Shusuke; Narode, Asmita; Cheruvu, Sarasija; Zhang, Qian; Hassan, Fariha; Woodruff, Frazier; Chen, Yongsheng

    2014-12-01

    The latest research shows that algal biofuels, at the production levels mandated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, will place significant demands on water and compete with agriculture meant for food production. Thus, there is a great need to recycle water while producing algal biofuels. This study shows that when using a synthetic medium, soluble algal products, bacteria, and other inhibitors can be removed by centrifugation and enable water recycling. Average water recovery reached 84% and water could be recycled at least 10 times without reducing algal growth.

  18. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin A A A What's in this ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  19. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  20. [Axillary hyperhidrosis, botulinium A toxin treatment: Review].

    PubMed

    Clerico, C; Fernandez, J; Camuzard, O; Chignon-Sicard, B; Ihrai, T

    2016-02-01

    Injection of type A botulinum toxin in the armpits is a temporary treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. This technique described in 1996 by Bushara et al., is known to be efficient and safe. The purpose of this article was to review the data concerning the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin type A, and discuss the other treatment modalities for this socially disabling entity.

  1. Dermatitis from purified sea algae toxin (debromoaplysiatoxin).

    PubMed

    Solomon, A E; Stoughton, R B

    1978-09-01

    Cutaneous inflammation was induced by debromoaplysiatoxin, a purified toxin extracted from Lyngbya majuscula Gomont. This alga causes a seaweed dermatitis that occurs in persons who have swum off the coast of Oahu in Hawaii. By topical application, the toxin was found to produce an irritant pustular folliculitis in humans and to cause a severe cutaneous inflammatory reaction in the rabbit and in hairless mice.

  2. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-10-07

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species.

  3. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A What's in ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  4. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology. PMID:22606374

  5. Applied simulations and integrated modelling for the understanding of toxic and harmful algal blooms (ASIMUTH): Integrated HAB forecast systems for Europe's Atlantic Arc.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Julie; Cusack, Caroline; Ruiz-Villarreal, Manuel; Silke, Joe; McElligott, Deirdre; Davidson, Keith

    2016-03-01

    Reasons for the emergent interest in HABs are abundant, including concerns associated with human health, adverse effects on biological resources, economic losses attributed to recreation, tourism and seafood related industries, and the cost of maintaining public advisory services and monitoring programs for shellfish toxins and water quality. The impact of HABs can potentially be mitigated by early warning of their development. In this regard the project ASIMUTH (Applied Simulations and Integrated Modelling for the Understanding of Toxic and Harmful algal blooms) was borne in order to develop short term HAB alert systems for Atlantic Europe. This was achieved using information on the most current marine conditions (weather, water characteristics, toxicity, harmful algal presence etc.) combined with high resolution local numerical predictions. This integrated, multidisciplinary, trans-boundary approach to the study of HABs developed during ASIMUTH led to a better understanding of the physical, chemical and ecological factors controlling these blooms, as well as their impact on human activities. The outcome was an appropriate alert system for an effective management of areas that are usually associated with HAB events and where these episodes may have a more significant negative impact on human activities. Specifically for the aquaculture industry, the information provided enabled farmers to adapt their working practices in time to prevent mortalities in finfish farms and/or manage their shellfish harvest more effectively. This paper summarises the modelling and alert developments generated by the ASIMUTH project.

  6. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  7. Biological methods for marine toxin detection.

    PubMed

    Vilariño, Natalia; Louzao, M Carmen; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luis M

    2010-07-01

    The presence of marine toxins in seafood poses a health risk to human consumers which has prompted the regulation of the maximum content of marine toxins in seafood in the legislations of many countries. Most marine toxin groups are detected by animal bioassays worldwide. Although this method has well known ethical and technical drawbacks, it is the official detection method for all regulated phycotoxins except domoic acid. Much effort by the scientific and regulatory communities has been focused on the development of alternative techniques that enable the substitution or reduction of bioassays; some of these have recently been included in the official detection method list. During the last two decades several biological methods including use of biosensors have been adapted for detection of marine toxins. The main advances in marine toxin detection using this kind of technique are reviewed. Biological methods offer interesting possibilities for reduction of the number of biosassays and a very promising future of new developments.

  8. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M. )

    1989-02-07

    Past difficulty in growing good crystals of cholera toxin has prevented the study of the crystal structure of this important protein. The authors have determined that failure of cholera toxin to crystallize well has been due to its heterogeneity. They have now succeeded in overcoming the problem by isolating a single isoelectric variant of this oligomeric protein (one A subunit and five B subunits). Cholera toxin purified by their procedure readily forms large single crystals. The crystal form has been described previously. They have recorded data from native crystals of cholera toxin to 3.0-{angstrom} resolution with our electronic area detectors. With these data, they have found the orientation of a 5-fold symmetry axis within these crystals, perpendicular to the screw dyad of the crystal. They are now determining the crystal structure of cholera toxin by a combination of multiple heavy-atom isomorphous replacement and density modification techniques, making use of rotational 5-fold averaging of the B subunits.

  9. Comparison of Methods to Determine Algal Concentrations in Freshwater Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgian, S. E.; Halfman, J. D.

    2008-12-01

    Algal populations are extremely important to the ecological health of freshwater lake systems. As lakes become eutrophic (highly productive) through nutrient loading, sediment accumulation rates increase, bottom waters become anoxic in the mid-to late summer, the opacity of the water column decreases, and significantly decreases the lake's potential as a drinking water source and places respiratory stress on aquatic animals. One indicator of eutrophication is increasing algal concentrations over annual time frames. Algal concentrations can be measured by the concentration of chlorophyll a, or less directly by fluorescence, secchi disk depth, and turbidity by backscattering and total suspended solids. Here, we present a comparison of these methods using data collected on Honeoye, Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles, and Otisco, the largest Finger Lakes of western and central New York State during the 2008 field season. A total of 124 samples were collected from at least two mid-lake, deep-water sites in each lake monthly through the 2008 field season (May-Oct); Seneca Lake was sampled weekly at four sites and Cayuga Lake every two weeks at six sites. Secchi depths, CTD profiles and surface water samples were collected at each site. Chlorophyll a was measured by spectrophotometer in the lab after filtration at 0.45 um and digestion of the residue in acetone. Water samples were also filtered through pre-weighed glass-fiber filters for total suspended solids concentrations. A SBE-25 SeaLogger CTD collected profiles of turbidity and fluorescence with WetLabs ECO FL-NTU. Surface CTD values were used in the comparison. The strongest linear correlations were detected between chlorophyll-a and fluorescence (r2 = 0.65), and total suspended solids and turbidity (r2 = 0.63). Weaker correlations were detected between secchi depths and chlorophyll-a (r2 = 0.42), and secchi depths and turbidity (r2 = 0.46). The weakest correlations were detected between secchi

  10. T-2 toxin regulates steroid hormone secretion of rat ovarian granulosa cells through cAMP-PKA pathway.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing; Tu, Di; Yuan, Li-Yun; Yi, Jin-e; Tian, Yanan

    2015-02-03

    T-2 toxin is a secondary metabolite produced by Fusarium genus and is a common contaminant in food and feedstuffs of cereal origin. In porcine granulosa cells(GC), T-2 toxin has been shown to inhibit the steroidogenesis; however, the mechanism has not been well understood. Gonadotropin-stimulated steroidogenesis is regulated by the cAMP-PKA pathway. In this study, we investigated potential mechanisms for T-2 toxin-induced reproductive toxicity focusing on the critical steps of the cAMP-PKA pathway affected by T-2 toxin. We first analyzed the effects of T-2 toxin on progesterone and estrogen production in rat granulosa cells. For this purpose the granulosa cells were cultured for 48 h in 10% fetal bovine serum-containing medium followed by 24h in serum-free medium containing FSH (10 ng/ml) and androstenedione (3 ng/ml), both are required for normal steroidogenesis. Treatment of these cells with T-2 toxin dose-dependently inhibited the growth of cells and the steroid hormone production. Cellular cyclic AMP levels were dose-dependently inhibited by T-2 toxin (0, 1, 10 and 100 nM, 24 h). Furthermore, we found that although the induction of progesterone by 8-Br-cAMP (a FSH mimetic) and 22R-HC (substrate for progesterone) could both be inhibited by T-2 toxin treatment, the T-2-imposed inhibitory effects could be reversed by increasing doses of 22R-HC, while increasing 8-Br-cAMP had no effects, suggesting that T2 toxin targeted at distinct mechanisms. cAMP-stimulated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is a rate limiting protein in progesterone synthesis. Exposure to T2 toxin caused significant suppression of StAR expression as determined by Western blotting and semi-quantitative RT-PCR suggesting StAR is a sensitive target for T-2 toxin. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that T2 toxin inhibits steroidogenesis by suppressing cAMP-PKA pathway and StAR is a target for T-2-toxin. The antisteroidogenesis effects were observable at low T-2 dose (1 ng

  11. Copper removal by algal biomass: biosorbents characterization and equilibrium modelling.

    PubMed

    Vilar, Vítor J P; Botelho, Cidália M S; Pinheiro, José P S; Domingos, Rute F; Boaventura, Rui A R

    2009-04-30

    The general principles of Cu(II) binding to algal waste from agar extraction, composite material and algae Gelidium, and different modelling approaches, are discussed. FTIR analyses provided a detailed description of the possible binding groups present in the biosorbents, as carboxylic groups (D-glucuronic and pyruvic acids), hydroxyl groups (cellulose, agar and floridean starch) and sulfonate groups (sulphated galactans). Potentiometric acid-base titrations showed a heterogeneous distribution of two major binding groups, carboxyl and hydroxyl, following the quasi-Gaussian affinity constant distribution suggested by Sips, which permitted to estimate the maximum amount of acid functional groups (0.36, 0.25 and 0.1 mmol g(-1)) and proton binding parameters (pK(H)=5.0, 5.3 and 4.4; m(H)=0.43, 0.37, 0.33), respectively for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. A non-ideal, semi-empirical, thermodynamically consistent (NICCA) isotherm fitted better the experimental ion binding data for different pH values and copper concentrations, considering only the acid functional groups, than the discrete model. Values of pK(M) (3.2; 3.6 and 3.3), n(M) (0.98, 0.91, 1.0) and p (0.67, 0.53 and 0.43) were obtained, respectively for algae Gelidium, algal waste and composite material. NICCA model reflects the complex macromolecular systems that take part in biosorption considering the heterogeneity of the biosorbent, the competition between protons and metals ions to the binding sites and the stoichiometry for different ions.

  12. Algal 'greening' and the conservation of stone heritage structures.

    PubMed

    Cutler, Nick A; Viles, Heather A; Ahmad, Samin; McCabe, Stephen; Smith, Bernard J

    2013-01-01

    In humid, temperate climates, green algae can make a significant contribution to the deterioration of building stone, both through unsightly staining ('greening') and, possibly, physical and chemical transformations. However, very little is known about the factors that influence the deteriorative impact and spatial distribution of green algal biofilms, hindering attempts to model the influence of climate change on building conservation. To address this problem, we surveyed four sandstone heritage structures in Belfast, UK. Our research had two aims: 1) to investigate the relationships between greening and the deterioration of stone structures and 2) to assess the impacts of environmental factors on the distribution of green biofilms. We applied an array of analytical techniques to measure stone properties indicative of deterioration status (hardness, colour and permeability) and environmental conditions related to algal growth (surface and sub-surface moisture, temperature and surface texture). Our results indicated that stone hardness was highly variable but only weakly related to levels of greening. Stone that had been exposed for many years was, on average, darker and greener than new stone of the same type, but there was no correlation between greening and darkening. Stone permeability was higher on 'old', weathered stone but not consistently related to the incidence of greening. However, there was evidence to suggest that thick algal biofilms were capable of reducing the ingress of moisture. Greening was negatively correlated with point measurements of surface temperature, but not moisture or surface texture. Our findings suggested that greening had little impact on the physical integrity of stone; indeed the influence of algae on moisture regimes in stone may have a broadly bioprotective action. Furthermore, the relationship between moisture levels and greening is not straightforward and is likely to be heavily dependent upon temporal patterns in moisture

  13. Algal refossilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Contains bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Neushul, M. )

    1991-07-01

    The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) is steadily increasing. With our increasing awareness of the economic and environmental impacts of the greenhouse effects'' of CO{sub 2}, methane and other gases, there is interest in finding new methods to reduce the amounts of these gases in the atmosphere. This study evaluates the possibility that large-scale oceanic cultures of macroalgae (macroscopic seaweeds'') could be used to capture atmospheric CO{sub 2}. It is a design for a marine farm system in which a crop'' of calcareous macroalgae grows attached to, and supported by, floating macroalgae that comprise the farm structure.'' The least complicated, yet feasible, macroalgal farm system appears to be one in which laboratory-propagated calcareous algal epiphytes'' and floating algal basiphytes'' are dispersed together in natural ocean upwelling regions. From there, the plants drift with surface currents to the open ocean and then sink to the sea floor, where the buried carbon is refossilized.'' An important caveat regarding the use of calcareous algae is that the process of calcification may release CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. There is some evidence that CO{sub 2} is not released by calcification in red calcareous algae, but in contrast many geochemists feel that all biologically -- as well as chemically --mediated calcification processes release CO{sub 2}. A substantial amount of research will be necessary to answer basic questions about algal carbon fixation and biomineralization on one hand, while on the other hand to devise strategies for farming the open ocean. 76 refs., 14 figs., 7 tabs.

  14. Estimates of nuclear DNA content in red algal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Kapraun, Donald F.; Freshwater, D. Wilson

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims The red algae are an evolutionarily ancient group of predominantly marine organisms with an estimated 6000 species. Consensus higher-level molecular phylogenies support a basal split between the unicellular Cyanidiophytina and morphologically diverse Rhodophytina, the later subphylum containing most red algal species. The Rhodophytina is divided into six classes, of which five represent early diverging lineages of generally uninucleate species, whose evolutionary relationships are poorly resolved. The remaining species compose the large (27 currently recognized orders), morphologically diverse and typically multinucleate Florideophyceae. Nuclear DNA content estimates have been published for <1 % of the described red algae. The present investigation summarizes the state of our knowledge and expands our coverage of DNA content information from 196 isolates of red algae. Methodology The DNA-localizing fluorochrome DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) and RBC (chicken erythrocytes) standards were used to estimate 2C values with static microspectrophotometry. Principal results Nuclear DNA contents are reported for 196 isolates of red algae, almost doubling the number of estimates available for these organisms. Present results also confirm the reported DNA content range of 0.1–2.8 pg, with species of Ceramiales, Nemaliales and Palmariales containing apparently polyploid genomes with 2C = 2.8, 2.3 and 2.8 pg, respectively. Conclusions Early diverging red algal lineages are characterized by relatively small 2C DNA contents while a wide range of 2C values is found within the derived Florideophyceae. An overall correlation between phylogenetic placement and 2C DNA content is not apparent; however, genome size data are available for only a small portion of red algae. Current data do support polyploidy and aneuploidy as pervasive features of red algal genome evolution. PMID:22479676

  15. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs Using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared; Coleman, Andre M.; Stevens, Daniel M.; Ray, Allison E.; Cafferty, Kara G.; Newby, Deborah T.

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an important mechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio, which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduction of foreign energy supplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth, and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associated with algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which helps to address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments of multiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tier were sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algae biomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary significantly depending on location and biomass

  16. Assessment of Algal Farm Designs using a Dynamic Modular Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Abodeely, Jared M.; Stevens, Daniel M.; Ray, Allison E.; Newby, Deborah T.; Coleman, Andre M.; Cafferty, Kara G.

    2014-07-01

    The notion of renewable energy provides an importantmechanism for diversifying an energy portfolio,which ultimately would have numerous benefits including increased energy resilience, reduced reliance on foreign energysupplies, reduced GHG emissions, development of a green energy sector that contributes to economic growth,and providing a sustainable energy supply. The conversion of autotrophic algae to liquid transportation fuels is the basis of several decades of research to competitively bring energy-scale production into reality; however, many challenges still remain for making algal biofuels economically viable. Addressing current challenges associatedwith algal production systems, in part, requires the ability to assess spatial and temporal variability, rapidly evaluate alternative algal production system designs, and perform large-scale assessments considering multiple scenarios for thousands of potential sites. We introduce the development and application of the Algae Logistics Model (ALM) which is tailored to help address these challenges. The flexible nature of the ALM architecture allows the model to: 1) interface with external biomass production and resource assessment models, as well as other relevant datasets including those with spatiotemporal granularity; 2) interchange design processes to enable operational and economic assessments ofmultiple design configurations, including the integration of current and new innovative technologies; and 3) conduct trade-off analysis to help understand the site-specific techno-economic trade-offs and inform technology decisions. This study uses the ALM to investigate a baseline open-pond production system determined by model harmonization efforts conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Six sites in the U.S. southern-tierwere sub-selected and assessed using daily site-specific algaebiomass productivity data to determine the economic viability of large-scale open-pond systems. Results show that costs can vary

  17. Dynamics of ellipsoidal tracers in swimming algal suspensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ou; Peng, Yi; Liu, Zhengyang; Tang, Chao; Xu, Xinliang; Cheng, Xiang

    2016-10-01

    Enhanced diffusion of passive tracers immersed in active fluids is a universal feature of active fluids and has been extensively studied in recent years. Similar to microrheology for equilibrium complex fluids, the unusual enhanced particle dynamics reveal intrinsic properties of active fluids. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown that the translational dynamics of spherical tracers are qualitatively similar, independent of whether active particles are pushers or pullers—the two fundamental classes of active fluids. Is it possible to distinguish pushers from pullers by simply imaging the dynamics of passive tracers? Here, we investigated the diffusion of isolated ellipsoids in algal C. reinhardtii suspensions—a model for puller-type active fluids. In combination with our previous results on pusher-type E. coli suspensions [Peng et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 068303 (2016), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.068303], we showed that the dynamics of asymmetric tracers show a profound difference in pushers and pullers due to their rotational degree of freedom. Although the laboratory-frame translation and rotation of ellipsoids are enhanced in both pushers and pullers, similar to spherical tracers, the anisotropic diffusion in the body frame of ellipsoids shows opposite trends in the two classes of active fluids. An ellipsoid diffuses fastest along its major axis when immersed in pullers, whereas it diffuses slowest along the major axis in pushers. This striking difference can be qualitatively explained using a simple hydrodynamic model. In addition, our study on algal suspensions reveals that the influence of the near-field advection of algal swimming flows on the translation and rotation of ellipsoids shows different ranges and strengths. Our work provides not only new insights into universal organizing principles of active fluids, but also a convenient tool for detecting the class of active particles.

  18. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ... Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ...

  19. Beneficial Effects of Marine Algal Compounds in Cosmeceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Noel Vinay; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-01-01

    The name “cosmeceuticals” is derived from “cosmetics and pharmaceuticals”, indicating that a specific product contains active ingredients. Marine algae have gained much importance in cosmeceutical product development due to their rich bioactive compounds. In the present review, marine algal compounds (phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides and tyrosinase inhibitors) have been discussed toward cosmeceutical application. In addition, atopic dermatitis and the possible role of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in skin-related diseases have been explored extensively for cosmeceutical products. The proper development of marine algae compounds will be helpful in cosmeceutical product development and in the development of the cosmeceutical industry. PMID:23344156

  20. Integral toxicity test of sea waters by an algal biosensor.

    PubMed

    Tonnina, Daniele; Campanella, Luigi; Sammartino, Maria Pia; Visco, Giovanni

    2002-04-01

    An integral toxicity test, based on an algal biosensor and suitable to be used in sea water, is presented. The biosensor was designed and built by coupling a Clark oxygen electrode as transducer and the marine alga Spirulina subsalsa as biological mediator; it constitutes the "core" in a lab-scale prototype of a flow apparatus suitable to continuously monitor, in sea water, the photosynthetic activity of the alga and, from its variation, the marine pollution from the toxicological point of view. Inorganic pollutants (heavy metals) were tested in previous researches while organic ones (chlorophenols, pesticides and surfactants) are the object of the present paper.

  1. A Collection of Algal Genomes from the JGI

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor

    2012-03-19

    Algae, defined as photosynthetic eukaryotes other than plants, constitute a major component of fundamental eukaryotic diversity. Acquisition of the ability to conduct oxygenic photosynthesis through endosymbiotic events has been a principal driver of eukaryotic evolution, and today algae continue to underpin aquatic food chains as primary producers. Algae play profound roles in the carbon cycle, can impose health and economic costs through toxic blooms, and are candidate sources for bio-fuels; all of these research areas are part of the mission of DOE?s Joint Genome Institute (JGI). A collection of algal projects ongoing at JGI contributes to each of these areas and illustrates analyses employed in their genome exploration.

  2. A study of algal biomass potential in selected Canadian regions.

    SciTech Connect

    Passell, Howard David; Roach, Jesse Dillon; Klise, Geoffrey T.

    2011-11-01

    A dynamic assessment model has been developed for evaluating the potential algal biomass and extracted biocrude productivity and costs, using nutrient and water resources available from waste streams in four regions of Canada (western British Columbia, Alberta oil fields, southern Ontario, and Nova Scotia). The purpose of this model is to help identify optimal locations in Canada for algae cultivation and biofuel production. The model uses spatially referenced data across the four regions for nitrogen and phosphorous loads in municipal wastewaters, and CO{sub 2} in exhaust streams from a variety of large industrial sources. Other data inputs include land cover, and solar insolation. Model users can develop estimates of resource potential by manipulating model assumptions in a graphic user interface, and updated results are viewed in real time. Resource potential by location can be viewed in terms of biomass production potential, potential CO{sub 2} fixed, biocrude production potential, and area required. The cost of producing algal biomass can be estimated using an approximation of the distance to move CO{sub 2} and water to the desired land parcel and an estimation of capital and operating costs for a theoretical open pond facility. Preliminary results suggest that in most cases, the CO{sub 2} resource is plentiful compared to other necessary nutrients (especially nitrogen), and that siting and prospects for successful large-scale algae cultivation efforts in Canada will be driven by availability of those other nutrients and the efficiency with which they can be used and re-used. Cost curves based on optimal possible siting of an open pond system are shown. The cost of energy for maintaining optimal growth temperatures is not considered in this effort, and additional research in this area, which has not been well studied at these latitudes, will be important in refining the costs of algal biomass production. The model will be used by NRC-IMB Canada to identify

  3. Isolation of an algal morphogenesis inducer from a marine bacterium.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Yoshihide; Imagawa, Hiroshi; Nishizawa, Mugio; Shizuri, Yoshikazu

    2005-03-11

    Ulva and Enteromorpha are cosmopolitan and familiar marine algal genera. It is well known that these green macroalgae lose their natural morphology during short-term cultivation under aseptic conditions and during long-term cultivation in nutrient-added seawater and adopt an unusual form instead. These phenomena led to the belief that undefined morphogenetic factors that were indispensable to the foliaceous morphology of macroalgae exist throughout the oceans. We characterize a causative factor, named thallusin, isolated from an epiphytic marine bacterium. Thallusin induces normal germination and morphogenesis of green macroalgae.

  4. Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of Spirulina maxima algal biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Rejean Samson; Anh LeDuy

    1982-08-01

    Spirulina maxima algal biomass could be used as the sole nutrient for the production of biogas by anaerobic digestion process. It is relatively simple to adapt the municipal sewage sludge to this new substrate. The adapted sludge is very stable. Under nonoptimal conditions, the methane yield and productivity obtained were 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day) and 0.26 m/sup 3//(kg VS added day), respectively, with the semicontinuous, daily fed, anaerobic digestion having loading rate of 0.97 kg VS/(m/sup 3/ day), retention time of 33 days and temperature of 30/sup 0/C.

  5. The potential of sustainable algal biofuel production using wastewater resources.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Jon K; Dean, Andrew P; Osundeko, Olumayowa

    2011-01-01

    The potential of microalgae as a source of renewable energy has received considerable interest, but if microalgal biofuel production is to be economically viable and sustainable, further optimization of mass culture conditions are needed. Wastewaters derived from municipal, agricultural and industrial activities potentially provide cost-effective and sustainable means of algal growth for biofuels. In addition, there is also potential for combining wastewater treatment by algae, such as nutrient removal, with biofuel production. Here we will review the current research on this topic and discuss the potential benefits and limitations of using wastewaters as resources for cost-effective microalgal biofuel production.

  6. Algal fossils from a late precambrian, hypersaline lagoon.

    PubMed

    Oehler, D Z; Oehler, J H; Stewart, A J

    1979-07-27

    Organically preserved algal microfossils from the Ringwood evaporite deposit in the Gillen Member of the Bitter Springs Formation (late Precambrian of central Australia) are of small size, low diversity, and probable prokaryotic affinities. These rather primitive characteristics appear to reflect the stressful conditions that prevailed in a periodically stagnant, hypersaline lagoon. This assemblage (especially in comparison with the much more diverse assemblages preserved in the Loves Creek Member of the same formation) illustrates the potential utility of Proterozoic microbiotas for basin analysis and local stratigraphic correlation and demonstrates the need to base evolutionary considerations and Precambrian intercontinental biostratigraphy on biotas that inhabited less restricted environments.

  7. Plankton communities and summertime declines in algal abundance associated with low dissolved oxygen in the Tualatin River, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, Kurt D.; Rounds, Stewart A.

    2013-01-01

    . Meteorological, streamflow, turbidity, water temperature, and conductance conditions in the Tualatin River during the 2006–08 summer seasons were not atypical. Natural flow comprised the majority (70–80 percent) of flow each year during spring, but then reduced to 38–40 percent during midsummer when WWTF effluent—which contributed as much as 36 percent—and flow augmentation releases comprised a greater fraction of the flow. Summer 2008 was unusual, however, in the prolonged influence from the Wapato Lake agricultural area near Gaston in the upper part of the basin. The previous winter flooding and levee breach at Wapato Lake caused a much greater area of inundation. As a result, drainage from this area continued into July, much later than normal. A subsequent algal bloom in Wapato Lake then seeded the upper Tualatin River, and this drainage had a profound effect on the downstream plankton community. A large blue-green algae bloom developed—the largest in recent memory—prompting a public health advisory for recreational contact for about two weeks. Algal growths and surface blooms are a common feature of the Tualatin River. Most of the dominant algae have growth forms and morphologies that are well suited for planktonic life, employing spines and gas vacuoles to resist settling, forming colonies, and producing mucilage (or toxins) to resist zooplankton grazing. In 2006–08, 143 algal taxa were identified in 117 main-stem samples; diatoms and green algae were more diverse than blue-green, golden, and cryptophyte algae, although these later groups sometimes dominated the overall volumetric abundance (biovolume). The most frequently occurring taxa, occurring in 97–99 percent of samples, were flagellated cryptophytes Cryptomonas erosa and Rhodomonas minuta. Other important algal taxa included centric diatoms Stephanodiscus, Cyclotella, and Melosira species and colonial green algae Scenedesmus and Actinastrum. These taxa comprised the majority of the algal biovolume

  8. Effect of ozonation and γ-irradiation on post-harvest decontamination of mussels (Mytillus galloprovincialis) containing diarrhetic shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Louppis, A P; Katikou, P; Georgantelis, D; Badeka, A V; Kontominas, M G

    2011-12-01

    Contamination of shellfish with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins readily occurs during algal blooms. Such phenomena raise important public health concerns and thus comprise a constant challenge to shellfish farmers, the seafood industry and health services, considering the increasing occurrence of toxic episodes around the world. To avoid the detrimental effects of such episodes, research has focused on the use of various detoxification methodologies that should be rapid, efficient, easy to apply, and will not alter the quality and sensory properties of shellfish. In the present study, both ozonation (15 mg kg(-1) for 6 h) and γ-irradiation (6 kGy) were utilised in order to reduce the toxin content of contaminated shucked mussels, collected during the DSP episodes of 2007 and 2009 in Greece. DSP toxicity was monitored using the mouse bioassay (MBA) whilst the determination of toxin content of the okadaic acid (OA) group (both free and esterified forms) was carried out by LC/MS/MS analysis. Toxin reduction using γ-irradiation was in the range of 12-36%, 8-53% and 10-41% for free OA, OA esters and total OA, respectively. The appearance and texture of irradiated mussels deteriorated, pointing to a low potential for commercial use of this method. Ozonation of mussels resulted in toxin reduction in the range of 6-100%, 25-83% and 21-66% for free OA, OA esters and total OA, respectively. Reduction of OA content was substantially higher in homogenised mussel tissue compared with that of whole shucked mussels. In addition, differences detected with regard to quality parameters (TBA, sensory attributes) between ozonated and control mussels were not considerable. Even though varying percentage reductions in OA and its derivatives were achieved using ozonation under specific experimental conditions tested, it is postulated that upon optimisation ozonation may have the potential for post-harvest commercial DSP detoxification of shucked mussels.

  9. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-01-22

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge.

  10. Activation of syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding by Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin and beta-toxin.

    PubMed

    Park, Pyong Woo; Foster, Timothy J; Nishi, Eiichiro; Duncan, Sheila J; Klagsbrun, Michael; Chen, Ye

    2004-01-02

    Exploitation of host components by microbes to promote their survival in the hostile host environment has been a recurring theme in recent years. Available data indicate that bacterial pathogens activate ectodomain shedding of host cell surface molecules to enhance their virulence. We reported previously that several major bacterial pathogens activate ectodomain shedding of syndecan-1, the major heparan sulfate proteoglycan of epithelial cells. Here we define the molecular basis of how Staphylococcus aureus activates syndecan-1 shedding. We screened mutant S. aureus strains devoid of various toxin and protease genes and found that only strains lacking both alpha-toxin and beta-toxin genes do not stimulate shedding. Mutations in the agr global regulatory locus, which positively regulates expression of alpha- and beta-toxins and other exoproteins, also abrogated the capacity to stimulate syndecan-1 shedding. Furthermore, purified S. aureus alpha- and beta-toxins, but not enterotoxin A and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, rapidly potentiated shedding in a concentration-dependent manner. These results establish that S. aureus activates syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding via its two virulence factors, alpha- and beta-toxins. Toxin-activated shedding was also selectively inhibited by antagonists of the host cell shedding mechanism, indicating that alpha- and beta-toxins shed syndecan-1 ectodomains through stimulation of the host cell's shedding machinery. Interestingly, beta-toxin, but not alpha-toxin, also enhanced ectodomain shedding of syndecan-4 and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor. Because shedding of these ectodomains has been implicated in promoting bacterial pathogenesis, activation of ectodomain shedding by alpha-toxin and beta-toxin may be a previously unknown virulence mechanism of S. aureus.

  11. Lachesis muta (Viperidae) cDNAs Reveal Diverging Pit Viper Molecules and Scaffolds Typical of Cobra (Elapidae) Venoms: Implications for Snake Toxin Repertoire Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Carvalho, Eneas; Faria, Fernanda; Nishiyama, Milton Y.; Ho, Paulo L.; Diniz, Marcelo R. V.

    2006-01-01

    Efforts to describe toxins from the two major families of venomous snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae) usually reveal proteins belonging to few structural types, particular of each family. Here we carried on an effort to determine uncommon cDNAs that represent possible new toxins from Lachesis muta (Viperidae). In addition to nine classes of typical toxins, atypical molecules never observed in the hundreds of Viperidae snakes studied so far are highly expressed: a diverging C-type lectin that is related to Viperidae toxins but appears to be independently originated; an ohanin-like toxin, which would be the third member of the most recently described class of Elapidae toxins, related to human butyrophilin and B30.2 proteins; and a 3FTx-like toxin, a new member of the widely studied three-finger family of proteins, which includes major Elapidae neurotoxins and CD59 antigen. The presence of these common and uncommon molecules suggests that the repertoire of toxins could be more conserved between families than has been considered, and their features indicate a dynamic process of venom evolution through molecular mechanisms, such as multiple recruitments of important scaffolds and domain exchange between paralogs, always keeping a minimalist nature in most toxin structures in opposition to their nontoxin counterparts. PMID:16582429

  12. Lachesis muta (Viperidae) cDNAs reveal diverging pit viper molecules and scaffolds typical of cobra (Elapidae) venoms: implications for snake toxin repertoire evolution.

    PubMed

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Ching, Ana T C; Carvalho, Eneas; Faria, Fernanda; Nishiyama, Milton Y; Ho, Paulo L; Diniz, Marcelo R V

    2006-06-01

    Efforts to describe toxins from the two major families of venomous snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae) usually reveal proteins belonging to few structural types, particular of each family. Here we carried on an effort to determine uncommon cDNAs that represent possible new toxins from Lachesis muta (Viperidae). In addition to nine classes of typical toxins, atypical molecules never observed in the hundreds of Viperidae snakes studied so far are highly expressed: a diverging C-type lectin that is related to Viperidae toxins but appears to be independently originated; an ohanin-like toxin, which would be the third member of the most recently described class of Elapidae toxins, related to human butyrophilin and B30.2 proteins; and a 3FTx-like toxin, a new member of the widely studied three-finger family of proteins, which includes major Elapidae neurotoxins and CD59 antigen. The presence of these common and uncommon molecules suggests that the repertoire of toxins could be more conserved between families than has been considered, and their features indicate a dynamic process of venom evolution through molecular mechanisms, such as multiple recruitments of important scaffolds and domain exchange between paralogs, always keeping a minimalist nature in most toxin structures in opposition to their nontoxin counterparts.

  13. Harmful Algal Bloom Characterization at Ultra-High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

    PubMed Central

    Van der Merwe, Deon; Price, Kevin P.

    2015-01-01

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) degrade water quality and produce toxins. The spatial distribution of HAbs may change rapidly due to variations wind, water currents, and population dynamics. Risk assessments, based on traditional sampling methods, are hampered by the sparseness of water sample data points, and delays between sampling and the availability of results. There is a need for local risk assessment and risk management at the spatial and temporal resolution relevant to local human and animal interactions at specific sites and times. Small, unmanned aircraft systems can gather color-infrared reflectance data at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions, with full control over data collection timing, and short intervals between data gathering and result availability. Data can be interpreted qualitatively, or by generating a blue normalized difference vegetation index (BNDVI) that is correlated with cyanobacterial biomass densities at the water surface, as estimated using a buoyant packed cell volume (BPCV). Correlations between BNDVI and BPCV follow a logarithmic model, with r2-values under field conditions from 0.77 to 0.87. These methods provide valuable information that is complimentary to risk assessment data derived from traditional risk assessment methods, and could help to improve risk management at the local level. PMID:25826055

  14. Temperature dependence of an estuarine harmful algal bloom: Resolving interannual variability in bloom dynamics using a degree day approach.

    PubMed

    Ralston, David K; Keafer, Bruce A; Brosnahan, Michael L; Anderson, Donald M

    2014-01-01

    Observations of harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense in an estuary over multiple years were used to assess drivers of their spatial and temporal variability. Nauset Estuary on Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a recurrent, self-seeding A. fundyense population that produces paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins and leads to nearly annual closure to shellfishing. Weekly surveys of the entire estuary were made in 3 of 4 consecutive years, with surveys of a subembayment during the intervening year. Major A. fundyense blooms were observed all 4 years, with maximum concentrations >10(6) cells L(-1). Concentrations were greatest in three salt ponds at the distal edges of the estuary. The bloom timing varied among the salt ponds and among years, although the blooms had similar durations and maximum cell concentrations. Nutrient concentrations did not correlate with the growth of the bloom, but differences in water temperature among years and ponds were significant. Net growth rates inferred from the surveys were similar to those from laboratory experiments, and increased linearly with temperature. A growing degree day calculation was used to account for effects of interannual variability and spatial gradients in water temperature on population development. The approach collapsed variability in the timing of bloom onset, development, and termination across years and among ponds, suggesting that this relatively simple metric could be used as an early-warning indicator for HABs in Nauset and similar areas with localized, self-seeding blooms.

  15. Temperature dependence of an estuarine harmful algal bloom: Resolving interannual variability in bloom dynamics using a degree day approach

    PubMed Central

    Ralston, David K.; Keafer, Bruce A.; Brosnahan, Michael L.; Anderson, Donald M.

    2014-01-01

    Observations of harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense in an estuary over multiple years were used to assess drivers of their spatial and temporal variability. Nauset Estuary on Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a recurrent, self-seeding A. fundyense population that produces paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins and leads to nearly annual closure to shellfishing. Weekly surveys of the entire estuary were made in 3 of 4 consecutive years, with surveys of a subembayment during the intervening year. Major A. fundyense blooms were observed all 4 years, with maximum concentrations >106 cells L−1. Concentrations were greatest in three salt ponds at the distal edges of the estuary. The bloom timing varied among the salt ponds and among years, although the blooms had similar durations and maximum cell concentrations. Nutrient concentrations did not correlate with the growth of the bloom, but differences in water temperature among years and ponds were significant. Net growth rates inferred from the surveys were similar to those from laboratory experiments, and increased linearly with temperature. A growing degree day calculation was used to account for effects of interannual variability and spatial gradients in water temperature on population development. The approach collapsed variability in the timing of bloom onset, development, and termination across years and among ponds, suggesting that this relatively simple metric could be used as an early-warning indicator for HABs in Nauset and similar areas with localized, self-seeding blooms. PMID:25419003

  16. Toxin Mediates Sepsis Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Li; Da, Fei; Tan, Daniel C. S.; Nguyen, Thuan H.; Fu, Chih-Lung; Tan, Vee Y.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial sepsis is a major killer in hospitalized patients. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) with the leading species Staphylococcus epidermidis are the most frequent causes of nosocomial sepsis, with most infectious isolates being methicillin-resistant. However, which bacterial factors underlie the pathogenesis of CNS sepsis is unknown. While it has been commonly believed that invariant structures on the surface of CNS trigger sepsis by causing an over-reaction of the immune system, we show here that sepsis caused by methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis is to a large extent mediated by the methicillin resistance island-encoded peptide toxin, PSM-mec. PSM-mec contributed to bacterial survival in whole human blood and resistance to neutrophil-mediated killing, and caused significantly increased mortality and cytokine expression in a mouse sepsis model. Furthermore, we show that the PSM-mec peptide itself, rather than the regulatory RNA in which its gene is embedded, is responsible for the observed virulence phenotype. This finding is of particular importance given the contrasting roles of the psm-mec locus that have been reported in S. aureus strains, inasmuch as our findings suggest that the psm-mec locus may exert effects in the background of S. aureus strains that differ from its original role in the CNS environment due to originally “unintended” interferences. Notably, while toxins have never been clearly implied in CNS infections, our tissue culture and mouse infection model data indicate that an important type of infection caused by the predominant CNS species is mediated to a large extent by a toxin. These findings suggest that CNS infections may be amenable to virulence-targeted drug development approaches. PMID:28151994

  17. Fungi and fungal toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Paterson, R Russell M

    2006-09-01

    Recent aggressive attacks on innocent citizens have resulted in governments increasing security. However, there is a good case for prevention rather than reaction. Bioweapons, mycotoxins, fungal biocontrol agents (FBCA), and even pharmaceuticals contain, or are, toxins and need to be considered in the context of the new paradigm. Is it desirable to discuss such issues? None of the fungi are (a) as toxic as botulinum toxin from Clostridium botulinum, and (b) as dangerous as nuclear weapons. One toxin may be defined as a pharmaceutical and vice versa simply by a small change in concentration or a moiety. Mycotoxins are defined as naturally occurring toxic compounds obtained from fungi. They are the biggest chronic health risk when incorporated into the diet. The current list of fungal toxins as biochemical weapons is small, although awareness is growing of the threats they may pose. T-2 toxin is perhaps the biggest concern. A clear distinction is required between the biological (fungus) and chemical (toxin) aspects of the issue. There is an obvious requirement to be able to trace these fungi and compounds in the environment and to know when concentrations are abnormal. Many FBCA, produce toxins. This paper indicates how to treat mycotoxicosis and decontaminate mycotoxins. There is considerable confusion and inconsistency surrounding this topic which requires assessment in an impartial and scientific manner.

  18. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    SciTech Connect

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S

    2005-03-15

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

  19. Clostridium difficile: its disease and toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Lyerly, D M; Krivan, H C; Wilkins, T D

    1988-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is the etiologic agent of pseudomembranous colitis, a severe, sometimes fatal disease that occurs in adults undergoing antimicrobial therapy. The disease, ironically, has been most effectively treated with antibiotics, although some of the newer methods of treatment such as the replacement of the bowel flora may prove more beneficial for patients who continue to relapse with pseudomembranous colitis. The organism produces two potent exotoxins designated toxin A and toxin B. Toxin A is an enterotoxin believed to be responsible for the diarrhea and mucosal tissue damage which occur during the disease. Toxin B is an extremely potent cytotoxin, but its role in the disease has not been as well studied. There appears to be a cascade of events which result in the expression of the activity of these toxins, and these events, ranging from the recognition of a trisaccharide receptor by toxin A to the synergistic action of the toxins and their possible dissemination in the body, are discussed in this review. The advantages and disadvantages of the various assays, including tissue culture assay, enzyme immunoassay, and latex agglutination, currently used in the clinical diagnosis of the disease also are discussed. PMID:3144429

  20. Single toxin dose-response models revisited

    PubMed Central

    Glaholt, SP; Kyker-Snowman, E; Shaw, JR; Chen, CY

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to offer a rigorous analysis of the sigmoid shape single toxin dose-response relationship. The toxin efficacy function is introduced and four special points, including maximum toxin efficacy and inflection points, on the dose-response curve are defined. The special points define three phases of the toxin effect on mortality: (1) toxin concentrations smaller than the first inflection point or (2) larger then the second inflection point imply low mortality rate, and (3) concentrations between the first and the second inflection points imply high mortality rate. Probabilistic interpretation and mathematical analysis for each of four models, Hill, logit, probit, and Weibull is provided. Two general model extensions are introduced: (1) the multi-target hit model that accounts for the existence of several vital receptors affected by the toxin, and (2) model with a nonzero mortality at zero concentration to account for natural mortality. Special attention is given to statistical estimation in the framework of the generalized linear model with the binomial dependent variable as the mortality count in each experiment, contrary to the widespread nonlinear regression treating the mortality rate as continuous variable. The models are illustrated using standard EPA Daphnia acute (48 hours) toxicity tests with mortality as a function of NiCl or CuSO4 toxin. PMID:27847315

  1. Mechanism of Shiga Toxin Clustering on Membranes.

    PubMed

    Pezeshkian, Weria; Gao, Haifei; Arumugam, Senthil; Becken, Ulrike; Bassereau, Patricia; Florent, Jean-Claude; Ipsen, John Hjort; Johannes, Ludger; Shillcock, Julian C

    2017-01-24

    The bacterial Shiga toxin interacts with its cellular receptor, the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 or CD77), as a first step to entering target cells. Previous studies have shown that toxin molecules cluster on the plasma membrane, despite the apparent lack of direct interactions between them. The precise mechanism by which this clustering occurs remains poorly defined. Here, we used vesicle and cell systems and computer simulations to show that line tension due to curvature, height, or compositional mismatch, and lipid or solvent depletion cannot drive the clustering of Shiga toxin molecules. By contrast, in coarse-grained computer simulations, a correlation was found between clustering and toxin nanoparticle-driven suppression of membrane fluctuations, and experimentally we observed that clustering required the toxin molecules to be tightly bound to the membrane surface. The most likely interpretation of these findings is that a membrane fluctuation-induced force generates an effective attraction between toxin molecules. Such force would be of similar strength to the electrostatic force at separations around 1 nm, remain strong at distances up to the size of toxin molecules (several nanometers), and persist even beyond. This force is predicted to operate between manufactured nanoparticles providing they are sufficiently rigid and tightly bound to the plasma membrane, thereby suggesting a route for the targeting of nanoparticles to cells for biomedical applications.

  2. Mechanism of Shiga Toxin Clustering on Membranes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial Shiga toxin interacts with its cellular receptor, the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 or CD77), as a first step to entering target cells. Previous studies have shown that toxin molecules cluster on the plasma membrane, despite the apparent lack of direct interactions between them. The precise mechanism by which this clustering occurs remains poorly defined. Here, we used vesicle and cell systems and computer simulations to show that line tension due to curvature, height, or compositional mismatch, and lipid or solvent depletion cannot drive the clustering of Shiga toxin molecules. By contrast, in coarse-grained computer simulations, a correlation was found between clustering and toxin nanoparticle-driven suppression of membrane fluctuations, and experimentally we observed that clustering required the toxin molecules to be tightly bound to the membrane surface. The most likely interpretation of these findings is that a membrane fluctuation-induced force generates an effective attraction between toxin molecules. Such force would be of similar strength to the electrostatic force at separations around 1 nm, remain strong at distances up to the size of toxin molecules (several nanometers), and persist even beyond. This force is predicted to operate between manufactured nanoparticles providing they are sufficiently rigid and tightly bound to the plasma membrane, thereby suggesting a route for the targeting of nanoparticles to cells for biomedical applications. PMID:27943675

  3. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of bruxism.

    PubMed

    Tinastepe, Neslihan; Küçük, Burcu Bal; Oral, Koray

    2014-08-14

    Aims: Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has been shown to be effective for a variety of disorders in several medical conditions, when used both therapeutically and cosmetically. In recent years, there has been a rising trend in the use of this pharmacological agent to control bruxing activity, despite its reported adverse effects. The aim of this review was to provide a brief overview to clarify the underlying essential ideas for the use of botulinum toxin in bruxism based on available scientific papers. Methodology: An electronic literature search was performed to identify publications related to botulinum toxin and its use for bruxism in PubMed. Hand searching of relevant articles was also made to identify additional studies. Results: Of the eleven identified studies, only two were randomized controlled trials, compared with the effectiveness of botulinum toxins on the reduction in the frequency of bruxism events and myofascial pain after injection. The authors of these studies concluded that botulinum toxin could be used as an effective treatment for reducing nocturnal bruxism and myofascial pain in patients with bruxism. Conclusion: Evidence-based research was limited on this topic. More randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm that botulinum toxin is safe and reliable for routine clinical use in bruxism.

  4. Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid- and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E.; Laurens, L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.

    2014-09-01

    Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process design converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.

  5. Harmful algal bloom smart device application: using image analysis and machine learning techniques for early classification of harmful algal blooms (SETAC presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reports of toxic cyanobacterial blooms, also known as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS) have increased drastically in recent years. HABS impact human health from causing mild allergies to liver damage and death. The Ecological Stewardship Institute (ESI) at Northern Kentucky Universi...

  6. Marine Toxin Okadaic Acid Affects the Immune Function of Bay Scallop (Argopecten irradians).

    PubMed

    Chi, Cheng; Giri, Sib Sankar; Jun, Jin Woo; Kim, Hyoun Joong; Yun, Saekil; Kim, Sang Guen; Park, Se Chang

    2016-08-24

    Okadaic acid (OA) is produced by dinoflagellates during harmful algal blooms and is a diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxin. This toxin is particularly problematic for bivalves that are cultured for human consumption. This study aimed to reveal the effects of exposure to OA on the immune responses of bay scallop, Argopecten irradians. Various immunological parameters were assessed (total hemocyte counts (THC), reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and nitric oxide (NO) in the hemolymph of scallops at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h post-exposure (hpe) to different concentrations of OA (50, 100, and 500 nM). Moreover, the expression of immune-system-related genes (CLT-6, FREP, HSP90, MT, and Cu/ZnSOD) was also measured. Results showed that ROS, MDA, and NO levels and LDH activity were enhanced after exposure to different concentrations of OA; however, both THC and GSH decreased between 24-48 hpe. The expression of immune-system-related genes was also assessed at different time points during the exposure period. Overall, our results suggest that exposure to OA had negative effects on immune system function, increased oxygenic stress, and disrupted metabolism of bay scallops.

  7. Effect of chlorine dioxide on cyanobacterial cell integrity, toxin degradation and disinfection by-product formation.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shiqing; Shao, Yisheng; Gao, Naiyun; Li, Lei; Deng, Jing; Zhu, Mingqiu; Zhu, Shumin

    2014-06-01

    Bench scale tests were conducted to study the effect of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) oxidation on cell integrity, toxin degradation and disinfection by-product formation of Microcystis aeruginosa. The simulated cyanobacterial suspension was prepared at a concentration of 1.0×10(6)cells/mL and the cell integrity was measured with flow cytometry. Results indicated that ClO2 can inhibit the photosynthetic capacity of M. aeruginosa cells and almost no integral cells were left after oxidation at a ClO2 dose of 1.0mg/L. The total toxin was degraded more rapidly with the ClO2 dosage increasing from 0.1mg/L to 1.0mg/L. Moreover, the damage on cell structure after oxidation resulted in released intracellular organic matter, which contributed to the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) as disinfection by-products. Therefore, the use of ClO2 as an oxidant for treating algal-rich water should be carefully considered.

  8. Dissolved organic matter reduces algal accumulation of methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luengen, Allison C.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Bergamaschi, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) significantly decreased accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) by the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in laboratory experiments. Live diatom cells accumulated two to four times more MeHg than dead cells, indicating that accumulation may be partially an energy-requiring process. Methylmercury enrichment in diatoms relative to ambient water was measured by a volume concentration factor (VCF). Without added DOM, the maximum VCF was 32 x 104, and the average VCF (from 10 to 72 h) over all experiments was 12.6 x 104. At very low (1.5 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped by approximately half. At very high (20 mg/L) added DOM, VCFs dropped 10-fold. Presumably, MeHg was bound to a variety of reduced sulfur sites on the DOM, making it unavailable for uptake. Diatoms accumulated significantly more MeHg when exposed to transphilic DOM extracts than hydrophobic ones. However, algal lysate, a labile type of DOM created by resuspending a marine diatom in freshwater, behaved similarly to a refractory DOM isolate from San Francisco Bay. Addition of 67 μM L-cysteine resulted in the largest drop in VCFs, to 0.28 x 104. Although the DOM composition influenced the availability of MeHg to some extent, total DOM concentration was the most important factor in determining algal bioaccumulation of MeHg.

  9. Four novel algal virus genomes discovered from Yellowstone Lake metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weijia; Zhou, Jinglie; Liu, Taigang; Yu, Yongxin; Pan, Yingjie; Yan, Shuling; Wang, Yongjie

    2015-10-13

    Phycodnaviruses are algae-infecting large dsDNA viruses that are widely distributed in aquatic environments. Here, partial genomic sequences of four novel algal viruses were assembled from a Yellowstone Lake metagenomic data set. Genomic analyses revealed that three Yellowstone Lake phycodnaviruses (YSLPVs) had genome lengths of 178,262 bp, 171,045 bp, and 171,454 bp, respectively, and were phylogenetically closely related to prasinoviruses (Phycodnaviridae). The fourth (YSLGV), with a genome length of 73,689 bp, was related to group III in the extended family Mimiviridae comprising Organic Lake phycodnaviruses and Phaeocystis globosa virus 16 T (OLPG). A pair of inverted terminal repeats was detected in YSLPV1, suggesting that its genome is nearly complete. Interestingly, these four putative YSL giant viruses also bear some genetic similarities to Yellowstone Lake virophages (YSLVs). For example, they share nine non-redundant homologous genes, including ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (a gene conserved in nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses) and Organic Lake virophage OLV2 (conserved in the majority of YSLVs). Additionally, putative multidrug resistance genes (emrE) were found in YSLPV1 and YSLPV2 but not in other viruses. Phylogenetic trees of emrE grouped YSLPVs with algae, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer occurred between giant viruses and their potential algal hosts.

  10. Health benefits of algal polysaccharides in human nutrition.

    PubMed

    Mišurcová, Ladislava; Škrovánková, Soňa; Samek, Dušan; Ambrožová, Jarmila; Machů, Ludmila

    2012-01-01

    The interest in functional food, both freshwater and marine algal products with their possible promotional health effects, increases also in regions where algae are considered as rather exotic food. Increased attention about algae as an abundant source of many nutrients and dietary fiber from the nutrition point of view, as well as from the scientific approaches to explore new nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, is based on the presence of many bioactive compounds including polysaccharides extracted from algal matter. Diverse chemical composition of dietary fiber polysaccharides is responsible for their different physicochemical properties, such as their ability to be fermented by the human colonic microbiota resulted in health benefit effects. Fundamental seaweed polysaccharides are presented by alginates, agars, carrageenans, ulvanes, and fucoidans, which are widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industry and also in other branches of industry. Moreover, freshwater algae and seaweed polysaccharides have emerged as an important source of bioactive natural compounds which are responsible for their possible physiological effects. Especially, sulfate polysaccharides exhibit immunomodulatory, antitumor, antithrombotic, anticoagulant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities including anti-HIV infection, herpes, and hepatitis viruses. Generally, biological activity of sulfate polysaccharides is related to their different composition and mainly to the extent of the sulfation of their molecules. Significant attention has been recently focused on the use of both freshwater algae and seaweed for developing functional food by reason of a great variety of nutrients that are essential for human health.

  11. Tumebacillus algifaecis sp. nov., isolated from decomposing algal scum.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yu-Fan; Zhang, Bo; Xing, Peng; Wu, Qing-Long; Liu, Shuang-Jiang

    2015-07-01

    Bacterial strain THMBR28(T) was isolated from decomposing algal scum that was collected during an algal bloom in Taihu lake, China. Cells of strain THMBR28(T) were Gram-staining-positive, facultatively anaerobic and rod-shaped. Growth was observed at 20-45 °C (optimum, 30 °C), at pH 5.0-9.5 (optimum, pH 6.5-7.5), and in the presence of 0-1.0% (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 0.5%). Strain THMBR28(T) contained MK-7 as the major menaquinone and iso-C15 : 0 as the major cellular fatty acid. The polar lipid profile contained phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylmonomethylethanolamine, phosphatidylethanolamine and six unidentified polar lipids. The diamino acid found in the cell-wall peptidoglycan was meso-diaminopimelic acid. The DNA G+C content was 57.6 mol% (Tm). Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain THMBR28(T) belonged to the genus Tumebacillus, most closely related to Tumebacillus ginsengisoli DSM 18389(T) (95.0%) and Tumebacillus permanentifrigoris Eur1 9.5(T) (93.4%). Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic characterization, it is concluded that strain THMBR28(T) represents a novel species of the genus Tumebacillus, for which the name Tumebacillus algifaecis sp. nov. is proposed, with THMBR28(T) ( = CGMCC 1.10949(T) = NBRC 108765(T)) as the type strain.