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

    PubMed

    Van Dolah, F M

    2000-03-01

    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.

  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 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

  5. Algal toxins alter copepod feeding behavior.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Effects of marine algal toxins on thermoregulation in mice.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher J; Ramsdell, John S

    2005-01-01

    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 brevetoxin in the mouse. Radiotelemetry was used to measure core temperature in the unrestrained mouse while it was housed in a temperature gradient allowing the exhibition of thermoregulatory behavior. Both maitotoxin (338 ng/kg) and brevetoxin (180 microg/kg) were shown to elicit profound hypothermic responses accompanied by a preference for cooler ambient temperatures in the gradient. This behavioral response would suggest that the toxins alter the central neural control of body temperature, resulting in a regulated reduction in body temperature. Following recovery from the acute hypothermic effects of brevetoxin, mice developed an elevation in their daytime core temperature that persisted for several days after exposure. This fever-like response may represent a delayed toxicological effect of the marine algal toxins that is manifested through the thermoregulatory system. Overall, algal toxins have acute and delayed effects on temperature regulation in the mouse. A better understanding of the mechanisms of action of the toxins on thermoregulation should lead to improved methods for treating victims of ciguatera and other toxin exposures. PMID:16111859

  7. Biotransport of Algal Toxins to Riparian Food Webs.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-20

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

  8. Biotransport of Algal Toxins to Riparian Food Webs.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-20

    The occurrence of harmful algal blooms has resulted in growing worldwide concern about threats to aquatic life and human health. Microcystin (MC), a cyanotoxin, is the most widely reported algal toxin in freshwaters. Prior studies have documented its presence in aquatic food webs including commercially important fish and shellfish. In this paper we present the first evidence that algal toxins propagate into riparian food webs. We show that MC is present in emerging aquatic insects (Hexagenia mayflies) from the James River Estuary and their consumers (Tetragnathidae spiders and Prothonotary Warblers, Protonotaria citrea). MC levels in Prothonotary Warblers varied by age class, with nestlings having the highest levels. At the site where nestlings received a higher proportion of aquatic prey (i.e., mayflies) in their diet, we observed higher MC concentrations in liver tissue and fecal matter. Warbler body condition and growth rate were not related to liver MC levels, suggesting that aquatic prey may provide dietary benefits that offset potential deleterious effects of the toxin. This study provides evidence that threats posed by algal toxins extend beyond the aquatic environments in which blooms occur. PMID:27552323

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Weirich, Chelsea A; Miller, Todd R

    2014-01-01

    Massive accumulations of cyanobacteria (a.k.a. "blue-green algae"), known as freshwater harmful algal blooms (FHABs), are a common global occurrence in water bodies used for recreational purposes and drinking water purification. Bloom prevalence is increased due to anthropogenic changes in land use, agricultural activity, and climate change. These photosynthetic bacteria produce a range of toxic secondary metabolites that affect animals and humans at both chronic and acute dosages. Children are especially at risk because of their lower body weight, behavior, and toxic effects on development. Here we review common FHAB toxins, related clinical symptoms, acceptable concentrations in drinking water, case studies of children's and young adults' exposures to FHAB toxins through drinking water and food, methods of environmental and clinical detection in potential cases of intoxication, and best practices for FHAB prevention. PMID:24439026

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

    The occurrence of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms and the possibility of production of cyanotoxins (algal toxins) have become major concerns for drinking water providers worldwide. Ozone has been shown to be effective for the destruction of some classes of toxins under specific conditions, although most researchers agree that the dose and contact time required will depend on water quality. The clarification of the relative effects of water quality parameters such as dissolved organic carbon concentration and character, and alkalinity, has not been previously attempted. In this study the cyanotoxins microcystin LR and LA and anatoxin-a were ozonated at a range of ozone doses in four treated waters with very different water quality. For both the toxins, 100% destruction was related to a residual ozone concentration present after 5 min. This was, in turn, related to the water quality and indicated that a direct reaction with molecular ozone could be responsible for the destruction. The results confirmed that both the toxins would be destroyed under conditions usually utilised for ozonation prior to granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. This will apply under a range of water quality conditions but not necessarily a range of temperatures. The saxitoxin class of compounds was very resistant to oxidation by ozone and would require further treatment such as GAC filtration. PMID:11257877

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, H.; Scott, P.M.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  19. Concurrent exposure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to multiple algal toxins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. Algal Toxin Azaspiracid-1 Induces Early Neuronal Differentiation and Alters Peripherin Isoform Stoichiometry

    PubMed Central

    Hjørnevik, Linda V.; Frøyset, Ann K.; Grønset, Toril A.; Rungruangsak-Torrissen, Krisna; Fladmark, Kari E.

    2015-01-01

    Azaspiracid-1 is an algal toxin that accumulates in edible mussels, and ingestion may result in human illness as manifested by vomiting and diarrhoea. When injected into mice, it causes neurotoxicological symptoms and death. Although it is well known that azaspiracid-1 is toxic to most cells and cell lines, little is known about its biological target(s). A rat PC12 cell line, commonly used as a model for the peripheral nervous system, was used to study the neurotoxicological effects of azaspiracid-1. Azaspiracid-1 induced differentiation-related morphological changes followed by a latter cell death. The differentiated phenotype showed peripherin-labelled neurite-like processes simultaneously as a specific isoform of peripherin was down-regulated. The precise mechanism behind this down-regulation remains uncertain. However, this study provides new insights into the neurological effects of azaspiracid-1 and into the biological significance of specific isoforms of peripherin. PMID:26694421

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. High resolution mass spectrometry for quantitative analysis and untargeted screening of algal toxins in mussels and passive samplers.

    PubMed

    Zendong, Zita; McCarron, Pearse; Herrenknecht, Christine; Sibat, Manoella; Amzil, Zouher; Cole, Richard B; Hess, Philipp

    2015-10-16

    Measurement of marine algal toxins has traditionally focussed on shellfish monitoring while, over the last decade, passive sampling has been introduced as a complementary tool for exploratory studies. Since 2011, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has been adopted as the EU reference method (No. 15/2011) for detection and quantitation of lipophilic toxins. Traditional LC-MS approaches have been based on low-resolution mass spectrometry (LRMS), however, advances in instrument platforms have led to a heightened interest in the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for toxin detection. This work describes the use of HRMS in combination with passive sampling as a progressive approach to marine algal toxin surveys. Experiments focused on comparison of LRMS and HRMS for determination of a broad range of toxins in shellfish and passive samplers. Matrix effects are an important issue to address in LC-MS; therefore, this phenomenon was evaluated for mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and passive samplers using LRMS (triple quadrupole) and HRMS (quadrupole time-of-flight and Orbitrap) instruments. Matrix-matched calibration solutions containing okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins, pectenotoxin, azaspiracids, yessotoxins, domoic acid, pinnatoxins, gymnodimine A and 13-desmethyl spirolide C were prepared. Similar matrix effects were observed on all instruments types. Most notably, there was ion enhancement for pectenotoxins, okadaic acid/dinophysistoxins on one hand, and ion suppression for yessotoxins on the other. Interestingly, the ion selected for quantitation of PTX2 also influenced the magnitude of matrix effects, with the sodium adduct typically exhibiting less susceptibility to matrix effects than the ammonium adduct. As expected, mussel as a biological matrix, quantitatively produced significantly more matrix effects than passive sampler extracts, irrespective of toxin. Sample dilution was demonstrated as an effective measure to reduce

  12. Uremic toxins originating from colonic microbial metabolism.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

    Numerous molecules, which are either excreted or metabolized by the kidney, accumulate in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). These uremic retention molecules (URMs), contributing to the syndrome of uremia, may be classified according to their site of origin, that is, endogenous metabolism, microbial metabolism, or exogenous intake. It is increasingly recognized that bacterial metabolites, such as phenols, indoles, and amines, may contribute to uremic toxicity. In vitro studies have implicated bacterial URMs in CKD progression, cardiovascular disease, and bone and mineral disorders. Furthermore, several observational studies have demonstrated a link between serum levels of bacterial URMs and clinical outcomes. Bacterial metabolism may therefore be an important therapeutic target in CKD. There is evidence that besides reduced renal clearance, increased colonic generation and absorption explain the high levels of bacterial URMs in CKD. Factors promoting URM generation and absorption include an increased ratio of dietary protein to carbohydrate due to insufficient intake of fiber and/or reduced intestinal protein assimilation, as well as prolonged colonic transit time. Two main strategies exist to reduce bacterial URM levels: interventions that modulate intestinal bacterial growth (e.g., probiotics, prebiotics, dietary modification) and adsorbent therapies that bind bacterial URMs in the intestines to reduce their absorption (e.g., AST-120, sevelamer). The efficacy and clinical benefit of these strategies are currently an active area of interest. PMID:19946322

  13. Multiple genes of apparent algal origin suggest ciliates may once have been photosynthetic

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-Prieto, Adrian; Moustafa, Ahmed; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2008-01-01

    Summary Plantae (sensu Cavalier-Smith 1981) [1] plastids evolved via primary endosymbiosis whereby a heterotrophic protist enslaved a photosynthetic cyanobacterium. This 'primary' plastid spread into other eukaryotes via secondary endosymbiosis. An important but contentious theory in algal evolution is the chromalveolate hypothesis that posits chromists (cryptophytes, haptophytes, and stramenopiles) and alveolates (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates) share a common ancestor that contained a red algal derived 'secondary' plastid [2]. Under this view, the existence of several later-diverging plastid-lacking chromalveolates such as ciliates and oomycetes would be explained by plastid loss in these lineages. To test the idea of a photosynthetic ancestry for ciliates we used the 27,446 predicted proteins from the macronuclear genome of Tetrahymena thermophila to query prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. We identified 16 proteins of possible algal origin in the ciliates Tetrahymena and Paramecium tetraurelia. Fourteen of these are present in other chromalveolates. Here we compare and contrast the likely scenarios for algal gene origin in ciliates either via multiple rounds of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from algal prey or symbionts, or through endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) during a putative photosynthetic phase in their evolution. PMID:18595706

  14. Algal Toxin Removal Capabilities of Common Drinking Water Treatment Processes- presentation

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation delivers information on the control of cyanobacteria and toxins through potassium permanganate oxidation, powdered activated carbon application, coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation, filtration and chlorination.

  15. The origin and evolution of green algal and plant actins.

    PubMed

    An, S S; Möpps, B; Weber, K; Bhattacharya, D

    1999-02-01

    The Viridiplantae are subdivided into two groups: the Chlorophyta, which includes the Chlorophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Ulvophyceae, and Prasinophyceae; and the Streptophyta, which includes the Charophyceae and all land plants. Within the Streptophyta, the actin genes of the angiosperms diverge nearly simultaneously from each other before the separation of monocots and dicots. Previous evolutionary analyses have provided limited insights into the gene duplications that have produced these complex gene families. We address the origin and diversification of land plant actin genes by studying the phylogeny of actins within the green algae, ferns, and fern allies. Partial genomic sequences or cDNAs encoding actin were characterized from Cosmarium botrytis (Zygnematales), Selaginella apoda (Selaginellales), Anemia phyllitidis (Polypodiales), and Psilotum triquetrum (Psilotales). Selaginella contains at least two actin genes. One sequence (Ac2) diverges within a group of fern sequences that also includes the Psilotum Ac1 actin gene and one gymnosperm sequence (Cycas revoluta Cyc3). This clade is positioned outside of the angiosperm actin gene radiation. The second Selaginella sequence (Ac1) is the sister to all remaining land plant actin sequences, although the internal branches in this portion of the tree are very short. Use of complete actin-coding regions in phylogenetic analyses provides support for the separation of angiosperm actins into two classes. N-terminal "signature" sequence analyses support these groupings. One class (VEG) includes actin genes that are often expressed in vegetative structures. The second class (REP) includes actin genes that trace their ancestry within the vegetative actins and contains members that are largely expressed in reproductive structures. Analysis of intron positions within actin genes shows that sequences from both Selaginella and Cosmarium contain the conserved 20-3, 152-1, and 356-3 introns found in many members of the

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. A common red algal origin of the apicomplexan, dinoflagellate, and heterokont plastids.

    PubMed

    Janouskovec, Jan; Horák, Ales; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukes, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J

    2010-06-15

    The discovery of a nonphotosynthetic plastid in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites has sparked a contentious debate about its evolutionary origin. Molecular data have led to conflicting conclusions supporting either its green algal origin or red algal origin, perhaps in common with the plastid of related dinoflagellates. This distinction is critical to our understanding of apicomplexan evolution and the evolutionary history of endosymbiosis and photosynthesis; however, the two plastids are nearly impossible to compare due to their nonoverlapping information content. Here we describe the complete plastid genome sequences and plastid-associated data from two independent photosynthetic lineages represented by Chromera velia and an undescribed alga CCMP3155 that we show are closely related to apicomplexans. These plastids contain a suite of features retained in either apicomplexan (four plastid membranes, the ribosomal superoperon, conserved gene order) or dinoflagellate plastids (form II Rubisco acquired by horizontal transfer, transcript polyuridylylation, thylakoids stacked in triplets) and encode a full collective complement of their reduced gene sets. Together with whole plastid genome phylogenies, these characteristics provide multiple lines of evidence that the extant plastids of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates were inherited by linear descent from a common red algal endosymbiont. Our phylogenetic analyses also support their close relationship to plastids of heterokont algae, indicating they all derive from the same endosymbiosis. Altogether, these findings support a relatively simple path of linear descent for the evolution of photosynthesis in a large proportion of algae and emphasize plastid loss in several lineages (e.g., ciliates, Cryptosporidium, and Phytophthora).

  18. A common red algal origin of the apicomplexan, dinoflagellate, and heterokont plastids

    PubMed Central

    Janouškovec, Jan; Horák, Aleš; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of a nonphotosynthetic plastid in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites has sparked a contentious debate about its evolutionary origin. Molecular data have led to conflicting conclusions supporting either its green algal origin or red algal origin, perhaps in common with the plastid of related dinoflagellates. This distinction is critical to our understanding of apicomplexan evolution and the evolutionary history of endosymbiosis and photosynthesis; however, the two plastids are nearly impossible to compare due to their nonoverlapping information content. Here we describe the complete plastid genome sequences and plastid-associated data from two independent photosynthetic lineages represented by Chromera velia and an undescribed alga CCMP3155 that we show are closely related to apicomplexans. These plastids contain a suite of features retained in either apicomplexan (four plastid membranes, the ribosomal superoperon, conserved gene order) or dinoflagellate plastids (form II Rubisco acquired by horizontal transfer, transcript polyuridylylation, thylakoids stacked in triplets) and encode a full collective complement of their reduced gene sets. Together with whole plastid genome phylogenies, these characteristics provide multiple lines of evidence that the extant plastids of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates were inherited by linear descent from a common red algal endosymbiont. Our phylogenetic analyses also support their close relationship to plastids of heterokont algae, indicating they all derive from the same endosymbiosis. Altogether, these findings support a relatively simple path of linear descent for the evolution of photosynthesis in a large proportion of algae and emphasize plastid loss in several lineages (e.g., ciliates, Cryptosporidium, and Phytophthora). PMID:20534454

  19. 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...

  20. 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. PMID:26668068

  1. 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.

  2. Phylogenomic analysis identifies red algal genes of endosymbiotic origin in the chromalveolates.

    PubMed

    Li, Shenglan; Nosenko, Tetyana; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2006-03-01

    Endosymbiosis has spread photosynthesis to many branches of the eukaryotic tree; however, the history of photosynthetic organelle (plastid) gain and loss remains controversial. Fortuitously, endosymbiosis may leave a genomic footprint through the transfer of endosymbiont genes to the "host" nucleus (endosymbiotic gene transfer, EGT). EGT can be detected through comparison of host genomes to uncover the history of past plastid acquisitions. Here we focus on a lineage of chlorophyll c-containing algae and protists ("chromalveolates") that are postulated to share a common red algal secondary endosymbiont. This plastid is originally of cyanobacterial origin through primary endosymbiosis and is closely related among the Plantae (i.e., red, green, and glaucophyte algae). To test these ideas, an automated phylogenomics pipeline was used with a novel unigene data set of 5,081 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the haptophyte alga Emiliania huxleyi and genome or EST data from other chromalveolates, red algae, plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria. We focused on nuclear-encoded proteins that are targeted to the plastid to express their function because this group of genes is expected to have phylogenies that are relatively easy to interpret. A total of 708 genes were identified in E. huxleyi that had a significant Blast hit to at least one other taxon in our data set. Forty-six of the alignments that were derived from the 708 genes contained at least one other chromalveolate (i.e., besides E. huxleyi), red and/or green algae (or land plants), and one or more cyanobacteria, whereas 15 alignments contained E. huxleyi, one or more other chromalveolates, and only cyanobacteria. Detailed phylogenetic analyses of these data sets turned up 19 cases of EGT that did not contain significant paralogy and had strong bootstrap support at the internal nodes, allowing us to confidently identify the source of the plastid-targeted gene in E. huxleyi. A total of 17 genes originated from the

  3. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

  4. Red and green algal origin of diatom membrane transporters: insights into environmental adaptation and cell evolution.

    PubMed

    Chan, Cheong Xin; Reyes-Prieto, Adrian; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2011-01-01

    Membrane transporters (MTs) facilitate the movement of molecules between cellular compartments. The evolutionary history of these key components of eukaryote genomes remains unclear. Many photosynthetic microbial eukaryotes (e.g., diatoms, haptophytes, and dinoflagellates) appear to have undergone serial endosymbiosis and thereby recruited foreign genes through endosymbiotic/horizontal gene transfer (E/HGT). Here we used the diatoms Thalassiosira pseudonana and Phaeodactylum tricornutum as models to examine the evolutionary origin of MTs in this important group of marine primary producers. Using phylogenomics, we used 1,014 diatom MTs as query against a broadly sampled protein sequence database that includes novel genome data from the mesophilic red algae Porphyridium cruentum and Calliarthron tuberculosum, and the stramenopile Ectocarpus siliculosus. Our conservative approach resulted in 879 maximum likelihood trees of which 399 genes show a non-lineal history between diatoms and other eukaryotes and prokaryotes (at the bootstrap value ≥70%). Of the eukaryote-derived MTs, 172 (ca. 25% of 697 examined phylogenies) have members of both red/green algae as sister groups, with 103 putatively arising from green algae, 19 from red algae, and 50 have an unresolved affiliation to red and/or green algae. We used topology tests to analyze the most convincing cases of non-lineal gene history in which red and/or green algae were nested within stramenopiles. This analysis showed that ca. 6% of all trees (our most conservative estimate) support an algal origin of MTs in stramenopiles with the majority derived from green algae. Our findings demonstrate the complex evolutionary history of photosynthetic eukaryotes and indicate a reticulate origin of MT genes in diatoms. We postulate that the algal-derived MTs acquired via E/HGT provided diatoms and other related microbial eukaryotes the ability to persist under conditions of fluctuating ocean chemistry, likely contributing to

  5. 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...

  6. Re-evaluating the green versus red signal in eukaryotes with secondary plastid of red algal origin.

    PubMed

    Burki, Fabien; Flegontov, Pavel; Oborník, Miroslav; Cihlár, Jaromír; Pain, Arnab; Lukes, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J

    2012-01-01

    The transition from endosymbiont to organelle in eukaryotic cells involves the transfer of significant numbers of genes to the host genomes, a process known as endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT). In the case of plastid organelles, EGTs have been shown to leave a footprint in the nuclear genome that can be indicative of ancient photosynthetic activity in present-day plastid-lacking organisms, or even hint at the existence of cryptic plastids. Here, we evaluated the impact of EGT on eukaryote genomes by reanalyzing the recently published EST dataset for Chromera velia, an interesting test case of a photosynthetic alga closely related to apicomplexan parasites. Previously, 513 genes were reported to originate from red and green algae in a 1:1 ratio. In contrast, by manually inspecting newly generated trees indicating putative algal ancestry, we recovered only 51 genes congruent with EGT, of which 23 and 9 were of red and green algal origin, respectively, whereas 19 were ambiguous regarding the algal provenance. Our approach also uncovered 109 genes that branched within a monocot angiosperm clade, most likely representing a contamination. We emphasize the lack of congruence and the subjectivity resulting from independent phylogenomic screens for EGT, which appear to call for extreme caution when drawing conclusions for major evolutionary events.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-26

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. Distribution of the SELMA translocon in secondary plastids of red algal origin and predicted uncoupling of ubiquitin-dependent translocation from degradation.

    PubMed

    Stork, Simone; Moog, Daniel; Przyborski, Jude M; Wilhelmi, Ilka; Zauner, Stefan; Maier, Uwe G

    2012-12-01

    Protein import into complex plastids of red algal origin is a multistep process including translocons of different evolutionary origins. The symbiont-derived ERAD-like machinery (SELMA), shown to be of red algal origin, is proposed to be the transport system for preprotein import across the periplastidal membrane of heterokontophytes, haptophytes, cryptophytes, and apicomplexans. In contrast to the canonical endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) system, SELMA translocation is suggested to be uncoupled from proteasomal degradation. We investigated the distribution of known and newly identified SELMA components in organisms with complex plastids of red algal origin by intensive data mining, thereby defining a set of core components present in all examined organisms. These include putative pore-forming components, a ubiquitylation machinery, as well as a Cdc48 complex. Furthermore, the set of known 20S proteasomal components in the periplastidal compartment (PPC) of diatoms was expanded. These newly identified putative SELMA components, as well as proteasomal subunits, were in vivo localized as PPC proteins in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The presented data allow us to speculate about the specific features of SELMA translocation in contrast to the canonical ERAD system, especially the uncoupling of translocation from degradation.

  15. High Frequency Monitoring for Harmful Algal Blooms

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. 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. PMID:25313828

  17. Phylogeny of C4-Photosynthesis Enzymes Based on Algal Transcriptomic and Genomic Data Supports an Archaeal/Proteobacterial Origin and Multiple Duplication for Most C4-Related Genes

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25313828

  18. 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.

  19. Evolution of the deaminase fold and multiple origins of eukaryotic editing and mutagenic nucleic acid deaminases from bacterial toxin systems

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M.; Zhang, Dapeng; Rogozin, Igor B.; Aravind, L.

    2011-01-01

    The deaminase-like fold includes, in addition to nucleic acid/nucleotide deaminases, several catalytic domains such as the JAB domain, and others involved in nucleotide and ADP-ribose metabolism. Using sensitive sequence and structural comparison methods, we develop a comprehensive natural classification of the deaminase-like fold and show that its ancestral version was likely to operate on nucleotides or nucleic acids. Consequently, we present evidence that a specific group of JAB domains are likely to possess a DNA repair function, distinct from the previously known deubiquitinating peptidase activity. We also identified numerous previously unknown clades of nucleic acid deaminases. Using inference based on contextual information, we suggest that most of these clades are toxin domains of two distinct classes of bacterial toxin systems, namely polymorphic toxins implicated in bacterial interstrain competition and those that target distantly related cells. Genome context information suggests that these toxins might be delivered via diverse secretory systems, such as Type V, Type VI, PVC and a novel PrsW-like intramembrane peptidase-dependent mechanism. We propose that certain deaminase toxins might be deployed by diverse extracellular and intracellular pathogens as also endosymbionts as effectors targeting nucleic acids of host cells. Our analysis suggests that these toxin deaminases have been acquired by eukaryotes on several independent occasions and recruited as organellar or nucleo-cytoplasmic RNA modifiers, operating on tRNAs, mRNAs and short non-coding RNAs, and also as mutators of hyper-variable genes, viruses and selfish elements. This scenario potentially explains the origin of mutagenic AID/APOBEC-like deaminases, including novel versions from Caenorhabditis, Nematostella and diverse algae and a large class of fast-evolving fungal deaminases. These observations greatly expand the distribution of possible unidentified mutagenic processes catalyzed by

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Among toxin-producing dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium, Alexandrium ostenfeldii is the only species able to produce paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, spirolides (SPXs) and gymnodimines (GYMs). In this study we characterized and compared three A. ostenfeldii strains isolated from the Baltic, Mediterranean, and southern Chile Seas with respect to their toxin profiles, morphology, and phylogeny. Toxin analyses by HPLC-FD and LC-HRMS revealed differences in the toxin profiles of the three strains. The PSP toxin profiles of the southern Chile and Baltic strains were largely the same and included gonyautoxin (GTX)-3, GTX-2, and saxitoxin (STX), although the total PSP toxin content of the Chilean strain (105.83 ± 72.15 pg cell(-1)) was much higher than that of the Baltic strain (4.04 ± 1.93 pg cell(-1)). However, the Baltic strain was the only strain that expressed detectable amounts of analogues of GYM-A and GYM-B/-C (48.27 ± 26.12 pg GYM-A equivalents cell(-1)). The only toxin expressed by the Mediterranean strain was 13-desmethyl SPX-C (13dMeC; 2.85 ± 4.76 pg cell(-1)). Phylogenetic analysis based on the LSU rRNA showed that the studied strains belonged to distinct molecular clades. The toxin profiles determined in this study provide further evidence of the taxonomic complexity of this species. PMID:26093028

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Streptophyte algae and the origin of land plants revisited using heterogeneous models with three new algal chloroplast genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Bojian; Xi, Zhenxiang; Goremykin, Vadim V; Fong, Richard; McLenachan, Patricia A; Novis, Philip M; Davis, Charles C; Penny, David

    2014-01-01

    The phylogenetic branching order of the green algal groups that gave rise to land plants remains uncertain despite its fundamental importance to understanding plant evolution. Previous studies have demonstrated that land plants evolved from streptophyte algae, but different lineages of streptophytes have been suggested to be the sister group of land plants. To better understand the evolutionary history of land plants and to determine the potential effects of "long-branch attraction" in phylogenetic reconstruction, we analyzed a chloroplast genome data set including three new chloroplast genomes from streptophyte algae: Coleochaetae orbicularis (Coleochaetales), Nitella hookeri (Charales), and Spirogyra communis (Zygnematales). We further applied a site pattern sorting method together with site- and time-heterogeneous models to investigate the branching order among streptophytes and land plants. Our chloroplast phylogenomic analyses support previous hypotheses based on nuclear data in placing Zygnematales alone, or a clade consisting of Coleochaetales plus Zygnematales, as the closest living relatives of land plants.

  5. 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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-16

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

  8. Seasonal and annual dynamics of harmful algae and algal toxins revealed through weekly monitoring at two coastal ocean sites off southern California, USA.

    PubMed

    Seubert, Erica L; Gellene, Alyssa G; Howard, Meredith D A; Connell, Paige; Ragan, Matthew; Jones, Burton H; Runyan, Jennifer; Caron, David A

    2013-10-01

    Reports of toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) attributed to the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp. have been increasing in California during the last several decades. Whether this increase can be attributed to enhanced awareness and monitoring or to a dramatic upswing in the development of HAB events remains unresolved. Given these uncertainties, the ability to accurately and rapidly identify an emerging HAB event is of high importance. Monitoring of HAB species and other pertinent chemical/physical parameters at two piers in southern California, Newport and Redondo Beach, was used to investigate the development of a site-specific bloom definition for identifying emerging domoic acid (DA) events. Emphasis was given to abundances of the Pseudo-nitzschia seriata size category of Pseudo-nitzschia due to the prevalence of this size class in the region. P. seriata bloom thresholds were established for each location based on deviations from their respective long-term mean abundances, allowing the identification of major and minor blooms. Sixty-five percent of blooms identified at Newport Beach coincided with measurable DA concentrations, while 36 % of blooms at Redondo Beach coincided with measurable DA. Bloom definitions allowed for increased specificity in multiple regression analysis of environmental forcing factors significant to the presence of DA and P. seriata. The strongest relationship identified was between P. seriata abundances 2 weeks following upwelling events at Newport Beach.

  9. Seasonal and annual dynamics of harmful algae and algal toxins revealed through weekly monitoring at two coastal ocean sites off southern California, USA.

    PubMed

    Seubert, Erica L; Gellene, Alyssa G; Howard, Meredith D A; Connell, Paige; Ragan, Matthew; Jones, Burton H; Runyan, Jennifer; Caron, David A

    2013-10-01

    Reports of toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs) attributed to the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp. have been increasing in California during the last several decades. Whether this increase can be attributed to enhanced awareness and monitoring or to a dramatic upswing in the development of HAB events remains unresolved. Given these uncertainties, the ability to accurately and rapidly identify an emerging HAB event is of high importance. Monitoring of HAB species and other pertinent chemical/physical parameters at two piers in southern California, Newport and Redondo Beach, was used to investigate the development of a site-specific bloom definition for identifying emerging domoic acid (DA) events. Emphasis was given to abundances of the Pseudo-nitzschia seriata size category of Pseudo-nitzschia due to the prevalence of this size class in the region. P. seriata bloom thresholds were established for each location based on deviations from their respective long-term mean abundances, allowing the identification of major and minor blooms. Sixty-five percent of blooms identified at Newport Beach coincided with measurable DA concentrations, while 36 % of blooms at Redondo Beach coincided with measurable DA. Bloom definitions allowed for increased specificity in multiple regression analysis of environmental forcing factors significant to the presence of DA and P. seriata. The strongest relationship identified was between P. seriata abundances 2 weeks following upwelling events at Newport Beach. PMID:23288675

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Prevalence of genes for enterotoxins, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and exfoliative toxin among clinical isolates of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius from canine origin.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jang W; Lee, Gi-Jong; Lee, So-Young; Park, Chul; Yoo, Jong-Hyun; Park, Hee-Myung

    2010-10-01

    A total of 74 Staphylococcus pseudintermedius strains were isolated from the 99 clinical cases of canine pyoderma or chronic otitis in our veterinary teaching hospital during May 2006-February 2008. In this study, we examined the genetic distribution of staphylococcal pyogenic toxins such as staphylococcal enterotoxins A (sea), B (seb), C (sec), D (sed), E (see), and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tst) as well as the previously characterized S. intermedius exfoliative toxin (siet) among those isolates. The polymerase chain reaction analyses with the toxin gene-specific primers revealed that 18 (24.3%) of 74 S. pseudintermedius isolates carried the sec genes, but none of the sea, seb, sed, see and tst genes. Further DNA sequencing analysis of the amplified sec genes revealed that they all belonged to the canine type C staphylococcal enterotoxin (SEC(canine) ) whose superantigenic activity has been demonstrated. In addition to the sec(canine) genes, our polymerase chain reaction results showed that all the 74 isolates carried the siet gene. Since both SEC(canine) and SIET toxins are known to be biologically active, it would be interesting to investigate how those toxins are involved in the pathogenesis of the canine diseases by S. pseudintermedius such as pyoderma or chronic otitis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  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. Adaptive eukaryote-to-eukaryote lateral gene transfer: stress-related genes of algal origin in the closest unicellular relatives of animals.

    PubMed

    Nedelcu, A M; Miles, I H; Fagir, A M; Karol, K

    2008-11-01

    In addition to mutation, gene duplication and recombination, the transfer of genetic material between unrelated species is now regarded as a potentially significant player in the shaping of extant genomes and the evolution and diversification of life. Although this is probably true for prokaryotes, the extent of such genetic exchanges in eukaryotes (especially eukaryote-to-eukaryote transfers) is more controversial and the selective advantage and evolutionary impact of such events are less documented. A laterally transferred gene could either be added to the gene complement of the recipient or replace the recipient's homologue; whereas gene replacements can be either adaptive or stochastic, gene additions are most likely adaptive. Here, we report the finding of four stress-related genes (two ascorbate peroxidase and two metacaspase genes) of algal origin in the closest unicellular relatives of animals, the choanoflagellates. At least three of these sequences represent additions to the choanoflagellate gene complement, which is consistent with these transfers being adaptive. We suggest that these laterally acquired sequences could have provided the primitive choanoflagellates with additional or more efficient means to cope with stress, especially in relation to adapting to freshwater environments and/or sessile or colonial lifestyles.

  17. Adaptive eukaryote-to-eukaryote lateral gene transfer: stress-related genes of algal origin in the closest unicellular relatives of animals.

    PubMed

    Nedelcu, A M; Miles, I H; Fagir, A M; Karol, K

    2008-11-01

    In addition to mutation, gene duplication and recombination, the transfer of genetic material between unrelated species is now regarded as a potentially significant player in the shaping of extant genomes and the evolution and diversification of life. Although this is probably true for prokaryotes, the extent of such genetic exchanges in eukaryotes (especially eukaryote-to-eukaryote transfers) is more controversial and the selective advantage and evolutionary impact of such events are less documented. A laterally transferred gene could either be added to the gene complement of the recipient or replace the recipient's homologue; whereas gene replacements can be either adaptive or stochastic, gene additions are most likely adaptive. Here, we report the finding of four stress-related genes (two ascorbate peroxidase and two metacaspase genes) of algal origin in the closest unicellular relatives of animals, the choanoflagellates. At least three of these sequences represent additions to the choanoflagellate gene complement, which is consistent with these transfers being adaptive. We suggest that these laterally acquired sequences could have provided the primitive choanoflagellates with additional or more efficient means to cope with stress, especially in relation to adapting to freshwater environments and/or sessile or colonial lifestyles. PMID:18717747

  18. [Harmful algal blooms in Italy and their health effects in the population].

    PubMed

    Ferrante, Margherita; Ledda, Caterina; Cunsolo, Maria A; Fiore, Maria; Fallico, Roberto; Sciacca, Salvatore; Oliveri Conti, Gea M

    2010-01-01

    The authors discuss harmful algal bloom, a seasonal phenomenon that in recent years has become increasingly frequent along Italian coasts. A classification of algal bloom is given and algal toxins and their effects on human health are discussed. The authors then describe the algal bloom phenomenon observed in Italy from the 1960s to the present time. Finally they briefly describe Italian legislation on the subject matter and highlight its shortcomings.

  19. 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...

  20. Prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in food products of animal origin as determined by molecular methods.

    PubMed

    Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Alessandria, Valentina; Cocolin, Luca

    2012-03-01

    In this study we report on the prevalence and distribution of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in food products of animal origin, collected in the Piedmont region of Italy, as determined by a combination of quantitative PCR (qPCR) protocols, applied directly to the samples, and of culture-dependent isolation and subsequent molecular identification and characterization of isolates. The qPCR protocols were developed and optimized in this study and targeted the rpoB gene (as a marker for total E. coli) and the stx₁, stx₂ and eaeA genes (as markers for potentially virulent E.coli). They were then used to test for STEC in 101 food samples, before and after enrichment. A STEC prevalence of 42% (21/50) for dairy products and 70% (36/51) for meat products was obtained. A total of 54 STEC isolates were recovered from dairy and meat samples, resulting in a prevalence of 36% and 27% in dairy and meat products, respectively, by the culture method. A large number of strains carried the stx₂ gene (39 out of the 54 STEC strains) compared to strains that carried stx₁ (30 out of 54); only 11 out of 54 strains contained the eaeA gene, while 14 strains contained both stx₁ and stx₂. Eight of the 54 isolates belonged to the O157 serogroup, and none belonged to serogroups O26, O145, O111 or O103. Strains isolated from meat products were diverse, as determined by Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR (ERIC), while those isolated from dairy products were more similar and grouped together by cluster analysis. The results of the qPCR approach showed a high prevalence of STEC in dairy and meat based products, mainly fermented, indicating a possible safety risk for these types of food commodities.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. Toxin plasmids of Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Topics Eighth Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing & Media August 19-21, 2014 Atlanta, GA Harmful Algal Blooms Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir On this Page What's the ...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Algal functional annotation tool

    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 tomore » 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

  20. 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...

  1. Algal sensory photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hegemann, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Only five major types of sensory photoreceptors (BLUF-proteins, cryptochromes, phototropins, phytochromes, and rhodopsins) are used in nature to regulate developmental processes, photosynthesis, photoorientation, and control of the circadian clock. Sensory photoreceptors of algae and protists are exceptionally rich in structure and function; light-gated ion channels and photoactivated adenylate cyclases are unique examples. During the past ten years major progress has been made with respect to understanding the function, photochemistry, and structure of key sensory players of the algal kingdom.

  2. BOTULINUM TOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Nigam, P K; Nigam, Anjana

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G). All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice. PMID:20418969

  3. 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.

  4. Origins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Online-Offline, 1999

    1999-01-01

    Provides an annotated list of resources dealing with the theme of origins of life, the universe, and traditions. Includes Web sites, videos, books, audio materials, and magazines with appropriate grade levels and/or subject disciplines indicated; professional resources; and learning activities. (LRW)

  5. 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 ...

  6. Trophic accumulation of PSP toxins in zooplankton during Alexandrium fundyense blooms in Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine, April June 1998. I. Toxin levels in A. fundyense and zooplankton size fractions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doucette, Gregory J.; Turner, Jefferson T.; Powell, Christine L.; Keafer, Bruce A.; Anderson, Donald M.

    2005-09-01

    The transfer of marine algal toxins involving a range of phytoplanktivorous vectors is well documented as a means of exposing organisms at higher trophic levels (including humans) to these naturally occurring yet harmful compounds. While previous studies have examined the potential for, and dynamics of, algal toxin accumulation by individual zooplankton species, few have attempted to distinguish the contribution of various grazer size classes to toxin trophic transfer in natural communities and characterize some of the factors that can influence this process. The current investigation was aimed at describing the size-fractioned (64-100, 100-200, 200-500, >500 μm) accumulation of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins by zooplankton in Casco Bay and the adjacent coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine during a series of cruises from April to June 1998. Several variables, including the abundance of PSP toxin-producing Alexandrium fundyense, in-water toxin concentrations associated with this dinoflagellate, and algal toxin cell quotas, were measured and their relationship to zooplankton toxin accumulation assessed. A principal finding of this work was the ability of any grazer size class examined (including grazers present in the 20-64 μm A. fundyense-containing fraction) to serve as an initial vector for introducing PSP toxins into the Casco Bay food web at various times during the sampling period, thereby providing multiple potential routes of toxin trophic transfer. In addition, trends observed in the coincident mapping of A. fundyense cells and their associated toxin were generally in agreement, yet did not remain closely coupled at all times. Therefore, although A. fundyense abundance can be a reasonable indicator of PSP toxin presence in the phytoplankton, this relationship can vary considerably and lead to situations where elevated toxin levels occur at low cell concentrations and vice versa. The uncoupling of A. fundyense cell and in-water toxin

  7. Origins.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, S

    1985-10-01

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

  8. INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES FOR HARMFUL ALGAL TOXIN ANALYSIS. (R827085)

    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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Algal functional annotation tool

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun

    2015-07-18

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Li, Hong; Pan, Gang

    2015-05-19

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

  17. Modelling the Stoichiometric Regulation of C-Rich Toxins in Marine Dinoflagellates

    PubMed Central

    Pistocchi, Rossella; Vanucci, Silvana; Ciavatta, Stefano; Polimene, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Toxin production in marine microalgae was previously shown to be tightly coupled with cellular stoichiometry. The highest values of cellular toxin are in fact mainly associated with a high carbon to nutrient cellular ratio. In particular, the cellular accumulation of C-rich toxins (i.e., with C:N > 6.6) can be stimulated by both N and P deficiency. Dinoflagellates are the main producers of C-rich toxins and may represent a serious threat for human health and the marine ecosystem. As such, the development of a numerical model able to predict how toxin production is stimulated by nutrient supply/deficiency is of primary utility for both scientific and management purposes. In this work we have developed a mechanistic model describing the stoichiometric regulation of C-rich toxins in marine dinoflagellates. To this purpose, a new formulation describing toxin production and fate was embedded in the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), here simplified to describe a monospecific batch culture. Toxin production was assumed to be composed by two distinct additive terms; the first is a constant fraction of algal production and is assumed to take place at any physiological conditions. The second term is assumed to be dependent on algal biomass and to be stimulated by internal nutrient deficiency. By using these assumptions, the model reproduced the concentrations and temporal evolution of toxins observed in cultures of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, a benthic/epiphytic dinoflagellate producing C-rich toxins named ovatoxins. The analysis of simulations and their comparison with experimental data provided a conceptual model linking toxin production and nutritional status in this species. The model was also qualitatively validated by using independent literature data, and the results indicate that our formulation can be also used to simulate toxin dynamics in other dinoflagellates. Our model represents an important step towards the simulation and prediction of marine algal

  18. Modelling the Stoichiometric Regulation of C-Rich Toxins in Marine Dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Pinna, Adriano; Pezzolesi, Laura; Pistocchi, Rossella; Vanucci, Silvana; Ciavatta, Stefano; Polimene, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Toxin production in marine microalgae was previously shown to be tightly coupled with cellular stoichiometry. The highest values of cellular toxin are in fact mainly associated with a high carbon to nutrient cellular ratio. In particular, the cellular accumulation of C-rich toxins (i.e., with C:N > 6.6) can be stimulated by both N and P deficiency. Dinoflagellates are the main producers of C-rich toxins and may represent a serious threat for human health and the marine ecosystem. As such, the development of a numerical model able to predict how toxin production is stimulated by nutrient supply/deficiency is of primary utility for both scientific and management purposes. In this work we have developed a mechanistic model describing the stoichiometric regulation of C-rich toxins in marine dinoflagellates. To this purpose, a new formulation describing toxin production and fate was embedded in the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), here simplified to describe a monospecific batch culture. Toxin production was assumed to be composed by two distinct additive terms; the first is a constant fraction of algal production and is assumed to take place at any physiological conditions. The second term is assumed to be dependent on algal biomass and to be stimulated by internal nutrient deficiency. By using these assumptions, the model reproduced the concentrations and temporal evolution of toxins observed in cultures of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, a benthic/epiphytic dinoflagellate producing C-rich toxins named ovatoxins. The analysis of simulations and their comparison with experimental data provided a conceptual model linking toxin production and nutritional status in this species. The model was also qualitatively validated by using independent literature data, and the results indicate that our formulation can be also used to simulate toxin dynamics in other dinoflagellates. Our model represents an important step towards the simulation and prediction of marine algal

  19. 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.

  20. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    PubMed

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  1. 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.

  2. Harmful algal blooms: causes, impacts and detection.

    PubMed

    Sellner, Kevin G; Doucette, Gregory J; Kirkpatrick, Gary J

    2003-07-01

    Blooms of autotrophic algae and some heterotrophic protists are increasingly frequent in coastal waters around the world and are collectively grouped as harmful algal blooms (HABs). Blooms of these organisms are attributed to two primary factors: natural processes such as circulation, upwelling relaxation, and river flow; and, anthropogenic loadings leading to eutrophication. Unfortunately, the latter is commonly assumed to be the primary cause of all blooms, which is not the case in many instances. Moreover, although it is generally acknowledged that occurrences of these phenomena are increasing throughout the world's oceans, the reasons for this apparent increase remain debated and include not only eutrophication but increased observation efforts in coastal zones of the world. There is a rapidly advancing monitoring effort resulting from the perception of increased impacts from these HABs, manifested as expanding routine coastal monitoring programs, rapid development and deployment of new detection methods for individual species, toxins, and toxicities, and expansion of coastal modeling activities towards observational forecasts of bloom landfall and eventually bloom prediction. Together, these many efforts will provide resource managers with the tools needed to develop effective strategies for the management and mitigation of HABs and their frequently devastating impacts on the coastal environment.

  3. Cyanobacterial toxin removal in drinking water treatment processes and recreational waters.

    PubMed

    Westrick, Judy A

    2008-01-01

    Although federal drinking water regulations determine the quality of potable water, many specifics influence how each utility chooses to treatment water. Some of the specifics include source water quality, storage capacity, existing unit process, and space. An overview of the US recreational and drinking water regulations were discussed in context of cyanobacterial toxin removal and inactivation by ancillary as well as auxiliary treatment practices. Ancillary practice refers to the removal or inactivation of algal toxins by standard daily operational procedures where auxiliary treatment practice refers to intentional treatment. An example of auxiliary treatment would be the addition of powder activated carbon to remove taste and odor compounds. The implementation of new technologies as such ultraviolet disinfection and membrane filtration, to meet current and purposed regulations, can greatly affect the algal toxin removal and inactivation efficiencies. A discussion on meeting the current regulations by altering chemical disinfection, ozone, chlorine, chloramines and chlorine dioxide included their ancillary effects on the protection against algal toxins. Although much of the research has been on the efficiency of the removal and inactivation of microcystin LR and several microcystin variants, the discussion included other algal toxins: anatoxin-a, saxitoxins, and cyclindrospermopsin.

  4. Identification of euglenophycin--a toxin found in certain euglenoids.

    PubMed

    Zimba, Paul V; Moeller, Peter D; Beauchesne, Kevin; Lane, Hannah E; Triemer, Richard E

    2010-01-01

    Currently cyanoprokaryotic algae, diatoms, haptophytes, dinoflagellates, euglenoids, and rhaphidophytes are known to produce algal toxins. A previous study by the authors reported euglenoid algae producing toxin(s) in aquaculture ponds, with confirmation based on positive fish bioassays following exposure to the isolated clonal algal cultures. Toxicity was observed in euglenoid culture isolates obtained from the pond as well as a clonal, culture collection taxon. Here we provide conclusive evidence for euglenoid toxin production, including HPLC/MS, MS/MS, and NMR analyses of a clonal (non-axenic) isolate of Euglena sanguinea grown in batch culture. Following wet chemical serial fractionation, toxic activity was identified in both the methanol and hexane extracts. These extracts were then purified using HPLC. Bioassay-guided HPLC fractionation of these two extracts demonstrated that a single class of toxic compounds, identical in mass and similar in molecular structure, was produced by this organism. The toxic compounds exhibited a maximal UV absorbance at 238nm and gave diagnostic mass peaks at 306 (MH(+)) and 288 (MH(+)-H(2)O). Unambiguous molecular structural determination was carried out by high field NMR analysis operating in 1- and 2-dimensions. Though a predominant isomer represented the bulk of the toxin, several stereo- and structural isomers were evidenced by NMR, and HPLC/MS. This compound is an alkaloid similar in structure to fire ant venom. The compound exhibits ichthyotoxic, herbicidal and anticancer activity at low ppm to ppb dosages. PMID:19615398

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

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R; Bouvet, Philippe

    2013-12-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Pseudoalteromonas bacteria are capable of degrading paralytic shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Carrie J; Garduño, Rafael A; Kalmokoff, Martin; Ku, John C; Quilliam, Michael A; Gill, Tom A

    2009-11-01

    Marine bacterial isolates cultured from the digestive tracts of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were screened for the ability to reduce the toxicity of a PST mixture. Seven isolates reduced the overall toxicity of the algal extract by > or = 90% within 3 days. These isolates shared at least 99% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with five Pseudoalteromonas spp. Phenotypic tests suggested that all are novel strains of Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis. PMID:19717625

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. *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...

  12. Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

    MedlinePlus

    ... people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent ... form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now ...

  13. 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. PMID:27008510

  14. 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.

  15. Correlations between watershed and reservoir characteristics, and algal blooms in subtropical reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Burford, Michele A; Johnson, Suzanne A; Cook, Andrew J; Packer, Timothy V; Taylor, Bradley M; Townsley, E Robert

    2007-10-01

    This study examined the correlations between watershed and reservoir characteristics, and water quality parameters related to algal blooms in seven subtropical reservoirs. Analysis of the dissimilarity of physico-chemical parameters resulted in separation of the reservoirs into three main groups: four reservoirs with the highest proportion of agriculture and/or urban land use in their watersheds; two reservoirs with a high proportion of forest cover; and one small reservoir with a relatively pristine watershed intermediate between the other two groups. All reservoirs were dominated by cyanobacteria, and at times, had species capable of producing toxins. However, the three reservoirs with the lowest percentage forest cover ( approximately 50%) had the highest frequency and magnitude of toxic species, principally Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. Analysis of dissimilarity of algal species composition resulted in three reservoir groups similar to that for the physico-chemical parameters, with the exception of the reservoir with the highest percentage urban land use being an outlier. Across all reservoirs, percentage forest cover in the watershed, watershed area and reservoir volume were all significantly correlated with algal cell concentrations and total nitrogen (TN), but not with chlorophyll a concentrations. Total phosphorus (TP) was only correlated with the proportion forest cover in the watershed, suggesting that reservoir volume and depth were of less importance for TP than for algal cell concentrations or TN. These results suggest that watershed pattern and reservoir characteristics, such as water volume and depth, have a measurable effect on the type of algal blooms in reservoirs. PMID:17632205

  16. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Methods for removing contaminants from algal oil

    DOEpatents

    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.

  2. [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.

  3. [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. PMID:26449577

  4. 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- ...

  5. Overview of key phytoplankton toxins and their recent occurrence in the North and Baltic Seas.

    PubMed

    Luckas, B; Dahlmann, J; Erler, K; Gerdts, G; Wasmund, N; Hummert, C; Hansen, P D

    2005-02-01

    The frequency and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) appear to be on the rise globally. There is also evidence of the geographic spreading of toxic strains of these algae. Consequently, methods had to be established and new ones are still needed for the evaluation of possible hazards caused by increased algal toxin production in the marine food chain. Different clinical effects of algae-related poisoning have attracted scientific attention; paralytic shellfish poisoning, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, and amnesic shellfish poisoning are among the most common. Additionally, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in brackish waters often produce neurotoxic and hepatotoxic substances. Bioassays with mice or rats are common methods to determine algal and cyanobacterial toxins. However, biological tests are not really satisfactory because of their low sensitivity. In addition, there is growing public opposition to animal testing. Therefore, there has been increasing effort to determine algal toxins by chemical methods. Plankton samples from different European marine and brackish waters were taken during research cruises and analyzed on board directly. The ship routes covered marine areas in the northwest Atlantic, Orkney Islands, east coast of Scotland, and the North and Baltic seas. The first results on the occurrence and frequency of harmful algal species were obtained in 1997 and 1998. During the 2000 cruise an HPLC/MS coupling was established on board, and algal toxins were measured directly after extraction of the plankton samples. In contrast to earlier cruises, the sampling areas were changed in 2000 to focusing on coastal zones. The occurrence of toxic algae in these areas was compared to toxin formation during HABs in the open sea. It was found that the toxicity of the algal blooms depended on the prevailing local conditions. This observation was also confirmed by monitoring cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea. Optimal weather conditions, for example

  6. Formation of harmful algal blooms cannot be explained by allelopathic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Jonsson, Per R.; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla

    2009-01-01

    Many planktonic microalgae produce a range of toxins and may form harmful algal blooms. One hypothesis is that some toxins are allelopathic, suppressing the growth of competitors, and it has been suggested that allelopathy may be one important mechanism causing algal blooms. In a metaanalysis of recent experimental work, we looked for evidence that allelopathy may explain the initiation of algal blooms. With few exceptions, allelopathic effects were only significant at very high cell densities typical of blooms. We conclude that there is no experimental support for allelopathy at prebloom densities, throwing doubts on allelopathy as a mechanism in bloom formation. Most studies tested allelopathy using cell-free manipulations. With simple models we show that cell-free manipulations may underestimate allelopathy at low cell densities if effects are transmitted during cell–cell interactions. However, we suggest that the evolution of allelopathy under field conditions may be unlikely even if based on cell–cell interactions. The spatial dispersion of cells in turbulent flow will make it difficult for an allelopathic cell to receive an exclusive benefit, and a dispersion model shows that dividing cells are rapidly separated constraining clone selection. Instead, we propose that reported allelopathic effects may be nonadaptive side effects of predator–prey or casual parasitic cell–cell interactions. PMID:19549831

  7. Formation of harmful algal blooms cannot be explained by allelopathic interactions.

    PubMed

    Jonsson, Per R; Pavia, Henrik; Toth, Gunilla

    2009-07-01

    Many planktonic microalgae produce a range of toxins and may form harmful algal blooms. One hypothesis is that some toxins are allelopathic, suppressing the growth of competitors, and it has been suggested that allelopathy may be one important mechanism causing algal blooms. In a metaanalysis of recent experimental work, we looked for evidence that allelopathy may explain the initiation of algal blooms. With few exceptions, allelopathic effects were only significant at very high cell densities typical of blooms. We conclude that there is no experimental support for allelopathy at prebloom densities, throwing doubts on allelopathy as a mechanism in bloom formation. Most studies tested allelopathy using cell-free manipulations. With simple models we show that cell-free manipulations may underestimate allelopathy at low cell densities if effects are transmitted during cell-cell interactions. However, we suggest that the evolution of allelopathy under field conditions may be unlikely even if based on cell-cell interactions. The spatial dispersion of cells in turbulent flow will make it difficult for an allelopathic cell to receive an exclusive benefit, and a dispersion model shows that dividing cells are rapidly separated constraining clone selection. Instead, we propose that reported allelopathic effects may be nonadaptive side effects of predator-prey or casual parasitic cell-cell interactions.

  8. 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.

  9. Advances in algal drug research with emphasis on enzyme inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Rengasamy, Kannan R R; Kulkarni, Manoj G; Stirk, Wendy A; Van Staden, Johannes

    2014-12-01

    Enzyme inhibitors are now included in all kinds of drugs essential to treat most of the human diseases including communicable, metabolic, cardiovascular, neurological diseases and cancer. Numerous marine algae have been reported to be a potential source of novel enzyme inhibitors with various pharmaceutical values. Thus, the purpose of this review is to brief the enzyme inhibitors from marine algae of therapeutic potential to treat common diseases. As per our knowledge this is the first review for the potential enzyme inhibitors from marine origin. This review contains 86 algal enzyme inhibitors reported during 1989-2013 and commercial enzyme inhibitors available in the market. Compounds in the review are grouped according to the disease conditions in which they are involved; diabetes, obesity, dementia, inflammation, melanogenesis, AIDS, hypertension and other viral diseases. The structure-activity relationship of most of the compounds are also discussed. In addition, the drug likeness properties of algal inhibitors were evaluated using Lipinski's 'Rule of Five'. PMID:25195189

  10. 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...

  11. First evidence of "paralytic shellfish toxins" and cylindrospermopsin in a Mexican freshwater system, Lago Catemaco, and apparent bioaccumulation of the toxins in "tegogolo" snails (Pomacea patula catemacensis).

    PubMed

    Berry, John P; Lind, Owen

    2010-05-01

    Exposure to cyanobacterial toxins in freshwater systems, including both direct (e.g., drinking water) and indirect (e.g., bioaccumulation in food webs) routes, is emerging as a potentially significant threat to human health. We investigated cyanobacterial toxins, specifically cylindrospermopsin (CYN), the microcystins (MCYST) and the "paralytic shellfish toxins" (PST), in Lago Catemaco (Veracruz, Mexico). Lago Catemaco is a tropical lake dominated by Cylindrospermopsis, specifically identified as Cylindrospermopsis catemaco and Cylindrospermopsis philippinensis, and characterized by an abundant, endemic species of snail (Pomacea patula catemacensis), known as "tegogolos," that is both consumed locally and commercially important. Samples of water, including dissolved and particulate fractions, as well as extracts of tegogolos, were screened using highly specific and sensitive ELISA. ELISA identified CYN and PST at low concentrations in only one sample of seston; however, both toxins were detected at appreciable quantities in tegogolos. Calculated bioaccumulation factors (BAF) support bioaccumulation of both toxins in tegogolos. The presence of CYN in the phytoplankton was further confirmed by HPLC-UV and LC-MS, following concentration and extraction of algal cells, but the toxin could not be confirmed by these methods in tegogolos. These data represent the first published evidence for CYN and the PST in Lago Catemaco and, indeed, for any freshwater system in Mexico. Identification of the apparent bioaccumulation of these toxins in tegogolos may suggest the need to further our understanding of the transfer of cyanobacterial toxins in freshwater food webs as it relates to human health.

  12. Effects of nitrate and phosphate on growth and C2 toxin productivity of Alexandrium tamarense CI01 in culture.

    PubMed

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Hsieh, Dennis

    2002-01-01

    Growth and C2 toxin productivity of a marine dinoflagellate, Alexandrium tamarense CI01 (ATCI01) which predominantly produces C2 toxin, were studied in unialgal batch cultures to optimize the concentrations of nitrate and phosphate for a maximal toxin yield. A range of start concentrations of the two major nutrients was determined in which algal growth was proportional to the nutrient concentrations used. The highest concentrations of nitrate and phosphate in this growth-enhancing range were 264 and 20 microM, respectively. In this concentration range, the C2 toxin yield (microg/l) and cellular toxin content (Qt, fmole per cell) reached a maximum at the lowest end of phosphate (5 microM) and the highest end of nitrate (264 microM). Further increase in the supply of nitrate continued to enhance the toxin yield. Our results indicated that the growth and toxin productivity of this algal strain in batch cultures had distinctly different optimal ranges of nitrate and phosphate concentrations. For a maximum toxin yield, a judicious use of phosphate under a nitrate-replete condition is called for. PMID:12398397

  13. 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.

  14. Toxins from Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, James S.; Baldwin, Michael R.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial toxins damage the host at the site of bacterial infection or distanced from the site of infections. Bacterial toxins can be single proteins or organized as oligomeric protein complexes and are organized with distinct AB structure-function properties. The A domain encodes a catalytic activity; ADP-ribosylation of host proteins is the earliest post-translational modification determine to be performed by bacterial toxin, and now include glucosylation and proteolysis among other s. Bacterial toxins also catalyze the non-covalent modification of host protein function or can modify host cell properties through direct protein-protein interactions. The B domain includes two functional domains: a receptor-binding domain, which defines the tropism of a toxin for a cell and a translocation domain that delivers A domain across a lipid bilayer, either on the plasma membrane or the endosome. Bacterial toxins are often characterized based upon the section mechanism that delivers the toxin out of the bacterium, termed type I–VII. This review will overview the major families of bacterial toxins and will also describe the specific structure-function properties of the botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:20358680

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:23886651

  19. A dinoflagellate exploits toxins to immobilize prey prior to ingestion.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Jian; Malkiel, Edwin; Katz, Joseph; Adolf, Jason E; Place, Allen R

    2010-02-01

    Toxins produced by the harmful algal bloom (HAB) forming, mixotrophic dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum have long been associated with fish kills. To date, the perceived ecological role for toxins has been relief from grazing pressures. Here, we demonstrate that karlotoxins also serve as a predation instrument. Using high-speed holographic microscopy, we measure the swimming behavior of several toxic and nontoxic strains of K. veneficum and their prey, Storeatula major, within dense suspensions. The selected strains produce toxins with varying potency and dosages, including a nontoxic one. Results clearly show that mixing the prey with the predatory, toxic strains causes prey immobilization at rates that are consistent with the karlotoxins' potency and dosage. Even prey cells that continue swimming slow down after exposure to toxic predators. The swimming characteristics of predators vary substantially in pure suspensions, as quantified by their velocity, radii of helical trajectories, and direction of helical rotation. When mixed with prey, all toxic strains that are involved in predation slow down. Furthermore, they substantially reduced their predominantly vertical migration, presumably to remain in the vicinity of their prey. Conversely, the nontoxic control strain does not alter its swimming and does not affect prey behavior. In separate experiments, we show that exposing prey to exogenous toxins also causes prey immobilization at rates consistent with potency. Clearly, the toxic predatory strains use karlotoxins as a means of stunning their prey, before ingesting it. These findings add a substantiated critical understanding for why some HAB species produce such complex toxin molecules.

  20. Detection of marine toxins, brevetoxin-3 and saxitoxin, in seawater using neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Kulagina, Nadezhda V; Mikulski, Christina M; Gray, Samuel; Ma, Wu; Doucette, Gregory J; Ramsdell, John S; Pancrazio, Joseph J

    2006-01-15

    There is a need for assay systems that can detect known and unanticipated neurotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms. The present work describes our attempt to monitor the presence of brevetoxin-3 (PbTx-3) and saxitoxin (STX) in a seawater matrix using the neuronal network biosensor (NNB). The NNB relies on cultured mammalian neurons grown over microelectrode arrays, where the inherent bioelectrical activity of the network manifested as extracellular action potentials can be monitored noninvasively. Spinal cord neuronal networks were prepared from embryonic mice and the mean spike rate across the network was analyzed before and during exposure to the toxins. Extracellular action potentials from the network are highly sensitive not only to purified STX and PbTx-3, but also when in combination with matrixes such as natural seawater and algal growth medium. Detection limits for STX and PbTx-3, respectively, are 0.031 and 0.33 nM in recording buffer and 0.076 and 0.48 nM in the presence of 25-fold-diluted seawater. Our results demonstrated that neuronal networks could be used for analysis of Alexandrium fundyense (STX-producer) and Karenia brevis (PbTx-producer) algal samples lysed directly in the seawater-based growth medium and appropriately diluted with HEPES-buffered recording medium. The cultured network responded by changes in mean spike rate to the presence of STX-or PbTx-producing algae but not to the samples of two non-STX and non-PbTx isolates of the same algal genera. This work provides evidence that the NNB has the capacity to rapidly detect toxins associated with cells of toxic algal species or as dissolved forms present in seawater and hasthe potential for monitoring toxin levels during harmful algal blooms. PMID:16468405

  1. 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.

  2. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed. PMID:27353131

  4. The distribution and impacts of harmful algal bloom species in eastern boundary upwelling systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trainer, V. L.; Pitcher, G. C.; Reguera, B.; Smayda, T. J.

    2010-04-01

    Comparison of harmful algal bloom (HAB) species in eastern boundary upwelling systems, specifically species composition, bloom densities, toxin concentrations and impacts are likely to contribute to understanding these phenomena. We identify and describe HABs in the California, Canary, Benguela and Humboldt Current systems, including those that can cause the poisoning syndromes in humans called paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), and amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), as well as yessotoxins, ichthyotoxins, and high-biomass blooms resulting in hypoxia and anoxia. Such comparisons will allow identification of parameters, some unique to upwelling systems and others not, that contribute to the development of these harmful blooms.

  5. 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.

  6. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    PubMed

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

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

  7. [Natural toxin poisoning].

    PubMed

    Tsunematsu, Satoshi

    2012-08-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-11

    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.

  10. 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. PMID:22324757

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:24316438

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:25105247

  15. 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.

  16. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Nes, W.D.; Norton, R.A.; Crumley, F.G. ); Madigan, S.J.; Katz, E.R. )

    1990-10-01

    The stereochemistry of several sterol precursors and end products synthesized by two fungal-like microorganisms Prototheca wickerhamii (I) and Dictyostelium discoideum (II) have been determined by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral (UV, MS, and {sup 1}H NMR) methods. From I and II the following sterols were isolated from the cells: cycloartenol, cyclolaudenol, 24(28)-methylenecy-cloartanol, ergosterol, protothecasterol, 4{alpha}-methylergostanol, 4{alpha}-methylclionastanol, clionastanol, 24{beta}-ethylcholesta-8,22-enol, and dictyosterol. In addition, the mechanism of C-24 methylation was investigated in both organisms by feeding to I (2-{sup 3}H)lanosterol, (2-{sup 3}H)cycloartenol, (24{sup 3}H)lanosterol, and (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine and by feeding to II (methyl-{sup 2}H{sub 3})methionine. The results demonstrate that the 24{beta} configuration is formed by different alkylation routes in I and II. The authors conclude that Prototheca is an apoplastic Chlorella (i.e., an alga) and that Dictyostelium as well as the other soil amoebae that synthesize cycloartenol evolved from algal rather than fungal ancestors.

  17. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

    The genetic, physiological and metabolic diversity of microalgae has driven fundamental research into photosynthesis, flagella structure and function, and eukaryotic evolution. Within the last 10 years these organisms have also been investigated as potential biotechnology platforms, for example to produce high value compounds such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants, and for biodiesel precursors, in particular triacylglycerols (TAGs). Transformation protocols, molecular tools and genome sequences are available for a number of model species including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, although for both species there are bottlenecks to be overcome to allow rapid and predictable genetic manipulation. One approach to do this would be to apply the principles of synthetic biology to microalgae, namely the cycle of Design-Build-Test, which requires more robust, predictable and high throughput methods. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in the areas of improving transgene expression, genome editing, identification and design of standard genetic elements (parts), and the use of microfluidics to increase throughput. We suggest that combining these approaches will provide the means to establish algal synthetic biology, and that application of standard parts and workflows will avoid parallel development and capitalize on lessons learned from other systems. PMID:27284033

  18. Microflotation performance for algal separation.

    PubMed

    Hanotu, James; Bandulasena, H C Hemaka; Zimmerman, William B

    2012-07-01

    The performance of microflotation, dispersed air flotation with microbubble clouds with bubble size about 50 µm, for algae separation using fluidic oscillation for microbubble generation is investigated. This fluidic oscillator converts continuous air supply into oscillatory flow with a regular frequency to generate bubbles of the scale of the exit pore. Bubble characterization results showed that average bubble size generated under oscillatory air flow state was 86 µm, approximately twice the size of the diffuser pore size of 38 µm. In contrast, continuous air flow at the same rate through the same diffusers yielded an average bubble size of 1,059 µm, 28 times larger than the pore size. Following microbubble generation, the separation of algal cells under fluidic oscillator generated microbubbles was investigated by varying metallic coagulant types, concentration and pH. Best performances were recorded at the highest coagulant dose (150 mg/L) applied under acidic conditions (pH 5). Amongst the three metallic coagulants studied, ferric chloride yielded the overall best result of 99.2% under the optimum conditions followed closely by ferric sulfate (98.1%) and aluminum sulfate with 95.2%. This compares well with conventional dissolved air flotation (DAF) benchmarks, but has a highly turbulent flow, whereas microflotation is laminar with several orders of magnitude lower energy density.

  19. Towards developing algal synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Scaife, Mark Aden; Smith, Alison Gail

    2016-06-15

    The genetic, physiological and metabolic diversity of microalgae has driven fundamental research into photosynthesis, flagella structure and function, and eukaryotic evolution. Within the last 10 years these organisms have also been investigated as potential biotechnology platforms, for example to produce high value compounds such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants, and for biodiesel precursors, in particular triacylglycerols (TAGs). Transformation protocols, molecular tools and genome sequences are available for a number of model species including the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, although for both species there are bottlenecks to be overcome to allow rapid and predictable genetic manipulation. One approach to do this would be to apply the principles of synthetic biology to microalgae, namely the cycle of Design-Build-Test, which requires more robust, predictable and high throughput methods. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in the areas of improving transgene expression, genome editing, identification and design of standard genetic elements (parts), and the use of microfluidics to increase throughput. We suggest that combining these approaches will provide the means to establish algal synthetic biology, and that application of standard parts and workflows will avoid parallel development and capitalize on lessons learned from other systems.

  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. 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

  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

    2012-12-01

    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. 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

  4. Engineering cyclic peptide toxins.

    PubMed

    Clark, Richard J; Craik, David J

    2012-01-01

    Peptide-based toxins have attracted much attention in recent years for their exciting potential applications in drug design and development. This interest has arisen because toxins are highly potent and selectively target a range of physiologically important receptors. However, peptides suffer from a number of disadvantages, including poor in vivo stability and poor bioavailability. A number of naturally occurring cyclic peptides have been discovered in plants, animals, and bacteria that have exceptional stability and potentially ameliorate these disadvantages. The lessons learned from studies of the structures, stabilities, and biological activities of these cyclic peptides can be applied to the reengineering of toxins that are not naturally cyclic but are amenable to cyclization. In this chapter, we describe solid-phase chemical synthetic methods for the reengineering of peptide toxins to improve their suitability as therapeutic, diagnostic, or imaging agents. The focus is on small disulfide-rich peptides from the venoms of cone snails and scorpions, but the technology is potentially widely applicable to a number of other peptide-based toxins. PMID:22230565

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

    PubMed

    Hudnell, H Kenneth; Dortch, Quay

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Flocculation of algal cells by amphoteric chitosan-based flocculant.

    PubMed

    Dong, Changlong; Chen, Wei; Liu, Cheng

    2014-10-01

    A kind of amphoteric chitosan-based flocculant (quaternized carboxymethyl chitosan, denoted as QCMC) has been prepared. QCMC presented significant improvement of water solubility in the whole pH range. The effects of pH, dosage, temperature and original turbidity of algal water on the flocculation performance were investigated. The optimal dosages of QCMC at pH 5, 9 and 12 with original turbidity of 20NTU at 20°C were 0.1, 0.6 and 2.0mg/L, respectively, which were much less than that of chitosan, PAM, Al2(SO4)3 and FeCl3. The floc properties during grow, breakage and regrow period were also evaluated at different pH values in terms of floc size, strength and density. It was demonstrated that QCMC produced larger, stronger and denser flocs than Al2(SO4)3. There is every indication that QCMC is more suitable for algal harvesting than other traditional coagulants or flocculants.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Sterol phylogenesis and algal evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Nes, W D; Norton, R A; Crumley, F G; Madigan, S J; Katz, E R

    1990-01-01

    The stereochemistry of several sterol precursors and end products synthesized by two fungal-like micro-organisms Prototheca wickerhamii (I) and Dictyostelium discoideum (II) have been determined by chromatographic (TLC, GLC, and HPLC) and spectral (UV, MS, and 1H NMR) methods. From I and II the following sterols were isolated from the cells: cycloartenol, cyclolaudenol, 24(28)-methylenecycloartanol, ergosterol, protothecasterol, 4alpha-methylergostanol, 4alpha-methylclionastanol, clionastanol, 24beta-ethylcholesta-8,22-enol, and dictyosterol. In addition, the mechanism of C-24 methylation was investigated in both organisms by feeding to I [2-3H]lanosterol, [2-3H]cycloartenol, [24-3H]lanosterol, and [methyl-2H3]methionine and by feeding to II [methyl-2H3]methionine. The results demonstrate that the 24beta configuration is formed by different alkylation routes in I and II. The Delta25(27) route operates in I while the Delta24(28) route operates in II. Based on what is known in the literature regarding sterol distribution and phylogenesis together with our findings that the stereochemical outcome of squalene oxide cyclization leads to the production of cycloartenol rather than lanosterol (characteristic of the fungal genealogy) and the chirality of the C-24 alkyl group is similar in the two nonphotosynthetic microbes (beta oriented), we conclude that Prototheca is an apoplastic Chlorella (i.e., an alga) and that Dictyostelium as well as the other soil amoebae that synthesize cycloartenol evolved from algal rather than fungal ancestors. PMID:11607106

  10. 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. PMID:27295385

  11. Metatranscriptome profiling of a harmful algal bloom

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25484636

  12. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    PubMed

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    In a very busy and exciting year, 2005 included First Action approval of a much needed official method for paralytic shellfish toxins and multiple international toxin symposia highlighted by groundbreaking research. These are the first-year milestones and activities of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force and Analytical Community. Inaugurated in 2004 and described in detail in last year's General Referee Report (1) this international toxins group has grown to 150 members from many regions and countries. Perhaps most important they are now making important and global contributions to food safety and to providing alternatives to animal-based assays. Official Method 2005.06 was first approved in late 2004 by the Task Force and subsequently Official First Action in 2005 (2) by the Methods Committee on Natural Toxins and Food Allergens and the Official Methods Board. This nonproprietary method (3) is a precolumn oxidation, liquid chromatographic method that makes good use of fluorescence detection to provide high sensitivity detection of the saxitoxins. It has also proven to be rugged enough for regulatory use and the highest level of validation. As pointed out in the report of method principle investigator and Study Director James Lawrence, approval of 2005.06 now provides the first official alternative to the mouse bioassay after many decades of shellfish monitoring. This past year in April 2005 the group also held their first international conference, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins Analysis: Ist Joint Symposium and AOAC Task Force Meeting," in Baiona, Spain. The 4-day conference consisted of research and stakeholder presentations and symposium-integrated subgroup sessions on ciguatoxins, saxitoxin assays and liquid chromatography (LC) methods for saxitoxins and domoic acids, okadaiates and azaspiracids, and yessotoxins. Many of these subgroups were recently formed in 2005 and are working towards their goals of producing officially validated analytical methods

  13. Marine Neurotoxins: Ingestible Toxins.

    PubMed

    Stommel, Elijah W.; Watters, Michael R.

    2004-03-01

    Fish and shellfish account for a significant portion of food-borne illnesses throughout the world. In general, three classes of diseases result from seafood consumption--intoxication, allergies, and infections. In this review, the authors discuss several seafood-borne toxins, including domoic acid, which acts on the central nervous system. In addition, the authors discuss ciguatoxin-, brevetoxin-, saxitoxin-, tetrodotoxin-, and scombroid-related histamine toxicity, all of which act primarily on the peripheral nervous system. Fish has become a very popular food in the US mostly related to its potential health benefits. Fish is consumed to such a degree that fishing stocks are reportedly at an all time low from what seemed like an endless supply even 30 years ago. One of the most significant threats to human intoxication is the recreational harvest of shellfish, often times located in remote locations where the harvesters are subsistent on fishery resources and have no monitoring in place. The hazard to intoxication is not as common in purchased seafood, which is more stringently regulated, yet still is a serious problem. Most ingestible toxins are thermo-stable and therefore unaffected by cooking, freezing, or salting. Air transport of consumable products throughout the world makes it easy to obtain exotic edibles from far away countries. A seemingly unusual toxin can be more commonly encountered than previously thought and it is important to consider this when evaluating patients. Recognition and treatment of various neurologic symptoms related to seafood ingestion is paramount in today's mobile, gastronomic world. Specific treatments vary with each individual toxin and with the individual's specific reaction to the toxin. Generally, some degree of medical care is required with all ingestible toxin exposure, ranging from simple administration of medication and hydration to ventilatory and cardiovascular support.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarrant, Philip; Neuer, Susanne

    2009-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

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

  17. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. PMID:26449572

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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; 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 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. 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.

  5. [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.

  6. 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

  7. Effects of pH on Dissolved Organic Matter From Freshwater Algal Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kehret, Y.; Gueguen, C.

    2009-05-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous in all natural waters. The nature and composition of aquatic DOM depends on its origin (autochthonous vs. allochthonous) and the physical chemical conditions (pH) of the system. It is clear that autochthonous DOM of algal origin is an important contributor to the DOM pool in most aquatic systems. Little is known on its nature and composition. In this study, algal monocultures of S. acutus and F. crotonensis were grown at two different pHs (pH 7 and 5). The production of exudates was monitored over time and characterized by dissolved organic carbon content, absorbance and synchronous fluorescence. Results indicate a significant difference in the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) formed per species. The ratio of DOC to chlorophyll a is ten times greater in S. acutus than F. crotonensis. In terms of composition, the production of humic-like compounds varies between species with F. crotonensis producing up to four fold more at natural pH. At lower pH, the production of algal DOM is less but there were more proteins and humic materials generated by both species under decreasing pH, with a significant increase in the S. acutus species. Therefore, the concentration and composition of DOM depends not only on algal species but also on the physical chemical condition (pH level) indicating that water acidification would have a major impact on DOM composition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:26965334

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-31

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

  11. Using hyperspectral imagery to monitor algal persence

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.M.; Monk, J.; Yan, Gu; Brignal, W.

    1997-08-01

    This paper illustrates how an inexpensive and easily deployable imaging spectrometer can be used to monitor and identify algal blooms at short notice, thus making practical the addition of airborne data to the usual in-situ measurements. Two examples are described, one in the Irish Sea and the other in a reservoir system in the London area.

  12. 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. PMID:21977667

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2015-03-01

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Neurotoxic potential and cellular uptake of T-2 toxin in human astrocytes in primary culture.

    PubMed

    Weidner, Maria; Lenczyk, Marlies; Schwerdt, Gerald; Gekle, Michael; Humpf, Hans-Ulrich

    2013-03-18

    The trichothecene mycotoxin T-2 toxin, which is produced by fungi of the Fusarium species, is a worldwide occurring contaminant of cereal based food and feed. The cytotoxic properties of T-2 toxin are already well described with apoptosis being a major mechanism of action in various cell lines as well as in primary cells of different origin. However, only few data on neurotoxic properties of T-2 toxin are reported so far, but in vivo studies showed different effects of T-2 toxin on behavior as well as on levels of brain amines in animals. To further investigate the cytotoxic properties of T-2 toxin on cells derived from brain tissue, normal human astrocytes in primary culture (NHA) were used in this study. Besides studies of cytotoxicity, apoptosis (caspase-3-activation, Annexin V) and necrosis (LDH-release), the cellular uptake and metabolism of T-2 toxin in NHA was analyzed and compared to the uptake in an established human cell line (HT-29). The results show that human astrocytes were highly sensitive to the cytotoxic properties of T-2 toxin, and apoptosis, induced at low concentrations, was identified for the first time as the mechanism of toxic action in NHA. Furthermore, a strong accumulation of T-2 toxin in NHA and HT-29 cells was detected, and T-2 toxin was subjected to metabolism leading to HT-2 toxin, a commonly found metabolite after T-2 toxin incubation in both cell types. This formation seems to occur within the cells since incubations of T-2 toxin with cell depleted culture medium did not lead to any degradation of the parent toxin. The results of this study emphasize the neurotoxic potential of T-2 toxin in human astrocytes at low concentrations after short incubation times. PMID:23363530

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Improved algal harvesting using suspended air flotation.

    PubMed

    Wiley, Patrick E; Brenneman, Kristine J; Jacobson, Arne E

    2009-07-01

    Current methods to remove algae from a liquid medium are energy intensive and expensive. This study characterized algae contained within a wastewater oxidation pond and sought to identify a more efficient harvesting technique. Analysis of oxidation pond wastewater revealed that algae, consisting primarily of Chlorella and Scenedesmus, composed approximately 80% of the solids inventory during the study period. Results demonstrated that suspended air flotation (SAF) could harvest algae with a lower air:solids (A/S) ratio, lower energy requirements, and higher loading rates compared to dissolved air flotation (DAF) (P < 0.001). Identification of a more efficient algal harvesting system may benefit wastewater treatment plants by enabling cost effective means to reduce solids content of the final effluent. Furthermore, use of SAF to harvest commercially grown Chlorella and Scenedesmus may reduce manufacturing costs of algal-based products such as fuel, fertilizer, and fish food.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Control of algal production in a high rate algal pond: investigation through batch and continuous experiments.

    PubMed

    Derabe Maobe, H; Onodera, M; Takahashi, M; Satoh, H; Fukazawa, T

    2014-01-01

    For decades, arid and semi-arid regions in Africa have faced issues related to water availability for drinking, irrigation and livestock purposes. To tackle these issues, a laboratory scale greywater treatment system based on high rate algal pond (HRAP) technology was investigated in order to guide the operation of the pilot plant implemented in the 2iE campus in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Because of the high suspended solids concentration generally found in effluents of this system, the aim of this study is to improve the performance of HRAPs in term of algal productivity and removal. To determine the selection mechanism of self-flocculated algae, three sets of sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) and three sets of continuous flow reactors (CFRs) were operated. Despite operation with the same solids retention time and the similarity of the algal growth rate found in these reactors, the algal productivity was higher in the SBRs owing to the short hydraulic retention time of 10 days in these reactors. By using a volume of CFR with twice the volume of our experimental CFRs, the algal concentration can be controlled during operation under similar physical conditions in both reactors. PMID:24960016

  9. 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.

  10. The toxins of Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Patocka, J

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacteria, formerly called "blue-green algae", are simple, primitive photosynthetic microorganism wide occurrence in fresh, brackish and salt waters. Forty different genera of Cyanobacteria are known and many of them are producers of potent toxins responsible for a wide array of human illnesses, aquatic mammal and bird morbidity and mortality, and extensive fish kills. These cyanotoxins act as neurotoxins or hepatotoxins and are structurally and functionally diverse, and many are derived from unique biosynthetic pathways. All known cyanotoxins and their chemical and toxicological characteristics are presented in this article.

  11. Studies in the use of magnetic microspheres for immunoaffinity extraction of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins from shellfish.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  14. Properties of dermonecrotic toxin prepared from sonic extracts Bordetella bronchiseptica.

    PubMed Central

    Kume, K; Nakai, T; Samejima, Y; Sugimoto, C

    1986-01-01

    A toxin with dermonecrotic activity (DNT) was purified from sonic extracts of Bordetella bronchiseptica L3 of pig origin at phase I by chromatographic and electrophoretic methods. The purification procedure was one developed for obtaining the Pasteurella multocida DNT from sonic extracts with some modifications. Dermonecrotizing activity of B. bronchiseptica-purified DNT was increased by 600-fold compared with that of the crude extract, and the average yield was about 3%. The toxin was homogeneous, as determined by Ouchterlony double immunodiffusion, crossed immunoelectrophoresis, and disk isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gels. The toxin gave a single band on polyacrylamide disk gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and sodium dodecyl sulfate-SDS PAGE. The molecular weight of the toxin was ca. 190,000 +/- 5,000, as determined by SDS-PAGE. The isoelectric point of the toxin was ca. 6.5 to 6.6. The minimal necrotizing dose of the toxin for guinea pigs was about 2 ng of protein per 0.1 ml, the 50% lethal dose per mouse was about 0.3 micrograms, and the minimal cytotoxic dose for embryonic bovine lung cells was about 2 ng/ml. The toxin was heat labile and sensitive to inactivation by trypsin, Formalin, and glutaraldehyde. The mildly trypsinized B. bronchiseptica DNT preparation dissociated into two polypeptide chains, with molecular weights of ca. 75,000 +/- 4,000 (fragment 1) and ca. 118,000 +/- 5,000 (fragment 2), after treatment with dithiothreitol-SDS or urea. Upon removal of dithiothreitol and urea from the dissociated DNT preparation, the fragments reassociated, and the DNT that was formed was indistinguishable from the native toxin. Images PMID:3699886

  15. 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

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The assay of diphtheria toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gerwing, Julia; Long, D. A.; Mussett, Marjorie V.

    1957-01-01

    A precise assay of diphtheria toxin is described, based on the linear relationship between the diameter of the skin reaction to, and logarithm of the dose of, toxin. It eliminates the need for preliminary titrations, is economical, provides information about the slope of the log-dose response lines and, therefore, of the validity of the assay, and yields limits of error of potency from the internal evidence of the assay. A study has been made of the effects of avidity, combining power, toxicity and buffering on the assay of diphtheria toxins against the International Standards for both Diphtheria Antitoxin and Schick-Test Toxin. All the toxins assayed against the standard toxin, whatever their other properties might be, gave log-dose response lines of similar slope provided that they were diluted in buffered physiological saline. The assays were therefore valid. These experiments were repeated concurrently in non-immune and in actively immunized guinea-pigs, and comparable figures for potency obtained in both groups. The result was not significantly affected by the avidity or combining power of the toxin. However, non-avid toxins gave low values in Schick units when assayed, by the Römer & Sames technique, in terms of the International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin. The problem of the ultimate standard and the implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:13511133

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. PROSPECTS ON BEHAVIORAL STUDIES OF MARINE AND FRESHWATER TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript is based in large part on an invited presentation. The manuscript provides a brief overview of the growing issue of the human-health and environmental impact of a variety of toxins of marine and freshwater origin, the current (generally crude) state of behavioral...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26993955

  11. Botulinum toxin for pain.

    PubMed

    Casale, Roberto; Tugnoli, Valeria

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) injection is being increasingly used 'off label' in the management of chronic pain. Data support the hypothesis of a direct analgesic effect of BTX, different to that exerted on muscle. Although the pain-reducing effect of BTX is mainly due to its ability to block acetylcholine release at the synapse, other effects on the nervous system are also thought to be involved. BTX affects cholinergic transmission in both the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. Proposed mechanisms of action of BTX for pain relief of trigger points, muscular spasms, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain include direct action on muscle and indirect effects via action at the neuromuscular junction. Invitro and invivo data have shown that BTX has specific antinociceptive activity relating to its effects on inflammation, axonal transport, ganglion inhibition, and spinal and suprasegmental level inhibition. Our review of the mechanisms of action, efficacy, administration techniques and therapeutic dosage of BTX for the management of chronic pain in a variety of conditions shows that although muscular tone and movement disorders remain the most important therapeutic applications for BTX, research suggests that BTX can also provide benefits related to effects on cholinergic control of the vascular system, autonomic function, and cholinergic control of nociceptive and antinociceptive systems. Furthermore, it appears that BTX may influence the peripheral and central nervous systems. The therapeutic potential of BTX depends mainly on the ability to deliver the toxin to the target structures, cholinergic or otherwise. Evidence suggests that BTX can be administered at standard dosages in pain disorders, where the objective is alteration of muscle tone. For conditions requiring an analgesic effect, the optimal therapeutic dosage of BTX remains to be defined. PMID:18095750

  12. 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...

  13. 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. ...

  14. 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.

  15. [Shiga toxin and tetanus toxin as a potential biologic weapon].

    PubMed

    Toczyska, Izabela; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Toxins produced by the bacteria are of particular interest as potential cargo combat possible for use in a terrorist attack or war. Shiga toxin is usually produced by shiga toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli (STEC - shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli). To infection occurs mostly after eating contaminated beef. Clinical syndromes associated with Shiga toxin diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment is symptomatic. In HUS, in which mortality during an epidemic reaches 20%, extending the kidney injury dialysis may be necessary. Exposure to tetanus toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, resulting in the most generalized tetanus, characterized by increased muscle tension and painful contractions of individual muscle groups. In the treatment beyond symptomatic behavior (among others spasticity medications, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants) is used tetanus antitoxin and antibiotics (metronidazole choice). A common complication is acute respiratory failure - then it is necessary to implement mechanical ventilation. PMID:26449578

  16. Bioactive toxins from stinging jellyfish.

    PubMed

    Badré, Sophie

    2014-12-01

    Jellyfish blooms occur throughout the world. Human contact with a jellyfish induces a local reaction of the skin, which can be painful and leave scaring. Systemic symptoms are also observed and contact with some species is lethal. A number of studies have evaluated the in vitro biological activity of whole jellyfish venom or of purified fractions. Hemolytic, cytotoxic, neurotoxic or enzymatic activities are commonly observed. Some toxins have been purified and characterized. A family of pore forming toxins specific to Medusozoans has been identified. There remains a need for detailed characterization of jellyfish toxins to fully understand the symptoms observed in vivo.

  17. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli.

  18. THE PRODUCTION OF DIPHTHERIA TOXIN.

    PubMed

    Park, W H; Williams, A W

    1896-01-01

    Toxin of sufficient strength to kill a 400-gramme guinea-pig in three days and a half in a dose of 0.cubic centimetre developed in suitable bouillon, contained in ordinary Erlenmeyer flasks, within a period of twenty-four hours. In such boullon the toxin reached its greatest strength in from four to seven days (0.005 cubic centimetre killing a 500-gramme guinea-pig in three days). This period of time covered that of the greatest growth of the bacilli, as shown both by the appearance of the culture and by the number of colonies developing an agar plates. The bodies of the diphtheria bacili did not at any time contain toxin in cosiderable amounts. The type of growth of the bacili and the rapidity and extent of the production of toxin depended more on the reaction of the bouillon than upon any other single factor. The best results were obtained in bouillon which, after being neutralized to litmus, had about seven cubic centimetres of normal soda solution added to each litre. An excessive amount of either acid or alkali prevented the development of toxin. Strong toxin was produced in bouillon containing peptone ranging from one to ten per cent. The strength of toxin averaged greater in the two and four-per-cent peptone solutions than in the one-percent. When the stage of acid reaction was brief and the degree of acidity probably slight, strong toxin developed while the culture bouillon was still acid; but when the stage of acid reaction was prolonged, little if any toxin was produced until just before the fluid became alkaline. Glucose is deleterious to the growth of the diphtheria bacillus and to the production of toxin when it is present in sufficient amounts to cause by its disintegration too great a degree of acidity in the fluid culture. When the acid resulting from decomposition of glucose is neutralized by the addition of alkali the diphtheria bacilus again grows abundantly. Glucose is not present, at least as a rule, in sufficient amounts in the meat as

  19. 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

  20. Removal of cyanobacterial toxins by sediment passage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruetzmacher, G.; Boettcher, G.; Chorus, I.; Bartel, H.

    2003-04-01

    Cyanbacterial toxins ("Cyanotoxins") comprise a wide range of toxic substances produced by cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae"). Cyanobacteria occur in surface water word wide and can be found in high concentrations during so-called algal blooms when conditions are favourable (e.g. high nutrient levels, high temperatures). Some cyanobacteria produce hepato- or neurotoxins, of which the hepatotoxic microcystins are the most common in Germany. The WHO guideline value for drinking water was set at 1 μg/L. However, maximum concentrations in surface water can reach 25 mg/L, so that a secure method for toxin elimination has to be found when this water is used as source water for drinking water production. In order to assess if cyanotoxins can be removed by sediment passage the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) conducted laboratory- and field scale experiments as well as observations on bank filtration field sites. Laboratory experiments (batch- and column experiments for adsorption and degradation parameters) were conducted in order to vary a multitude of experimental conditions. These experiments were followed by field scale experiments on the UBA's experimental field in Berlin. This plant offers the unique possibility to conduct experiments on the behaviour of various agents - such as harmful substances - during infiltration and bank filtration under well-defined conditions on a field scale, and without releasing these substances to the environment. Finally the development of microcystin concentrations was observed between infiltrating surface water and a drinking water well along a transsecte of observation wells. The results obtained show that infiltration and bank filtration normally seem to be secure treatment methods for source water contaminated by microcystins. However, elimination was shown to be difficult under the following circumstances: - dying cyanobacterial population due to insufficient light and / or nutrients, low temperatures or application of

  1. Occurrence and potential risks of harmful algal blooms in the East China Sea.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinhui; Wu, Jianyong

    2009-06-15

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have drawn great attention in coastal areas worldwide in the past decades because of their multiple effects on marine ecosystems as well as public health. This study utilized geographic information system (GIS) techniques to analyze the primary data on HABs, as well as shellfish toxins data, in the East China Sea from 2000 to 2006. The frequency of HABs was mapped by kernel density estimation, and the relative risk posed by HABs was assessed based on their physical-chemical characteristics. In addition, the spatial patterns and the trend of HAB events were examined by nearest neighbor analysis and time series analysis, respectively. The results revealed that HAB events not only had an increasing trend and significant seasonality, but also were clustered in space and time. HAB events displayed a higher frequency and a higher risk in Zhejiang coastal waters, particularly in the Zhoushan Archipelago, the largest marine fishery in China. Shellfish toxins were detected in areas with high HAB risk, but were not correlated with the risk. This paper provides a novel method to assess the relative risk caused by HABs and some useful information for HAB monitoring and management and aquaculture development.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Use of biosensors for the detection of marine toxins.

    PubMed

    McPartlin, Daniel A; Lochhead, Michael J; Connell, Laurie B; Doucette, Gregory J; O'Kennedy, Richard J

    2016-06-30

    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. Use of biosensors for the detection of marine toxins.

    PubMed

    McPartlin, Daniel A; Lochhead, Michael J; Connell, Laurie B; Doucette, Gregory J; O'Kennedy, Richard J

    2016-06-30

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Solid phase adsorption toxin tracking (SPATT): a new monitoring tool that simulates the biotoxin contamination of filter feeding bivalves.

    PubMed

    MacKenzie, Lincoln; Beuzenberg, Veronica; Holland, Patrick; McNabb, Paul; Selwood, Andy

    2004-12-15

    A simple and sensitive in situ method for monitoring the occurrence of toxic algal blooms and shellfish contamination events has been developed. The technique involves the passive adsorption of biotoxins onto porous synthetic resin filled sachets (SPATT bags) and their subsequent extraction and analysis. The success of the method is founded on the observation that during algal blooms significant amounts of toxin, including the low polarity lipophilic compounds such as the pectenotoxins and the okadaic acid complex toxins, are dissolved in the seawater. The results of field trials during Dinophysis acuminata and Protoceratium reticulatum blooms are presented. These data prove the concept and demonstrate that the technique provides a means of forecasting shellfish contamination events and predicting the net accumulation of polyether toxins by mussels. As an early warning method it has many advantages over current monitoring techniques such as shellfish-flesh testing and phytoplankton monitoring. In contrast to the circumstantial evidence provided by genetic probe technologies and conventional phytoplankton monitoring methods, it directly targets the toxic compounds of interest. The extracts that are obtained for analysis lack many of the extraneous lipophilic materials in crude shellfish extracts so that many of the matrix problems associated with chemical and biological analysis of these extracts are eliminated. Analyses can confidently target parent compounds only, because analytical and toxicological uncertainties associated with the multiplicity of toxin analogues produced by in vivo biotransformation in shellfish tissues are reduced. Time integrated sampling provides a good simulation of biotoxin accumulation in filter feeders and the high sensitivity provides lengthy early warning and conservative estimates of contamination potential. The technique may reduce monitoring costs and provide improved spatial and temporal sampling opportunities. When coupled with

  14. [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. PMID:26449579

  15. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Park, J B K; Craggs, R J

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Botulinum Toxin Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... lecture Full lecture Part 1: Structure Part 2: Origin Part 3: Function Textbook Study notes Image library ... in-depth medical knowledge of how the body works. The AAD recommends the following to everyone interested ...

  19. 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.

  20. Induction of apoptosis by Shiga toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tesh, Vernon L

    2010-01-01

    Shiga toxins comprise a family of structurally and functionally related protein toxins expressed by Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 and multiple serotypes of Escherichia coli. While the capacity of Shiga toxins to inhibit protein synthesis by catalytic inactivation of eukaryotic ribosomes has been well described, it is also apparent that Shiga toxins trigger apoptosis in many cell types. This review presents evidence that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis of epithelial, endothelial, leukocytic, lymphoid and neuronal cells. Apoptotic signaling pathways activated by the toxins are reviewed with an emphasis on signaling mechanisms that are shared among different cell types. Data suggesting that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis through the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and clinical evidence demonstrating apoptosis in humans infected with Shiga toxin-producing bacteria are briefly discussed. The potential for use of Shiga toxins to induce apoptosis in cancer cells is briefly reviewed. PMID:20210553

  1. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-27

    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.

  2. Yessotoxins, a group of marine polyether toxins: an overview.

    PubMed

    Paz, Beatriz; Daranas, Antonio H; Norte, Manuel; Riobó, Pilar; Franco, José M; Fernández, José J

    2008-05-07

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Stability of alginate-immobilized algal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Dainty, A.L.; Goulding, K.H.; Robinson, P.K.; Simpkins, I; Trevan, M.D.

    1986-01-01

    Investigations were carried out using immobilized Chlorella cells to determine the diameter, compressibility, tolerance to phosphate chelation, and ability to retain algal cells during incubation of various alginate beads. These physical bead-characteristics were affected by a variety of interactive factors, including multivalent cation type (hardening agent) and cell, cation, and alginate concentration, the latter exhibiting a predominant influence. The susceptibility of alginate beads to phosphate chelation involved a complex interaction of cation type, concentration, and pH of phosphate solution. A scale of response ranging from gel swelling to gel shrinking was observed for a range of conditions. However, stable Ca alginate beads were maintained in incubation media with a pH of 5.5 and a phosphate concentration of 5 micro M. A preliminary investigation into cell leakage from the beads illustrated the importance of maintaining a stable gel structure and limiting cell growth to reduce leakage.

  5. Why It Is Time to Look Beyond Algal Genes in Photosynthetic Slugs.

    PubMed

    Rauch, Cessa; Vries, Jan de; 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

    2015-09-01

    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

  6. Why It Is Time to Look Beyond Algal Genes in Photosynthetic Slugs.

    PubMed

    Rauch, Cessa; Vries, Jan de; 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

    2015-08-29

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:25502920

  10. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla) correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:27524810

  13. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-01

    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.

  14. Life cycle environmental impacts of wastewater-based algal biofuels.

    PubMed

    Mu, Dongyan; Min, Min; Krohn, Brian; Mullins, Kimberley A; Ruan, Roger; Hill, Jason

    2014-10-01

    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. PMID:25220843

  15. 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. PMID:26438870

  16. 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

  17. Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Delaux, Pierre-Marc; Radhakrishnan, Guru V; Jayaraman, Dhileepkumar; Cheema, Jitender; Malbreil, Mathilde; Volkening, Jeremy D; Sekimoto, Hiroyuki; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Melkonian, Michael; Pokorny, Lisa; Rothfels, Carl J; Sederoff, Heike Winter; Stevenson, Dennis W; Surek, Barbara; Zhang, Yong; Sussman, Michael R; Dunand, Christophe; Morris, Richard J; Roux, Christophe; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Oldroyd, Giles E D; Ané, Jean-Michel

    2015-10-27

    Colonization of land by plants was a major transition on Earth, but the developmental and genetic innovations required for this transition remain unknown. Physiological studies and the fossil record strongly suggest that the ability of the first land plants to form symbiotic associations with beneficial fungi was one of these critical innovations. In angiosperms, genes required for the perception and transduction of diffusible fungal signals for root colonization and for nutrient exchange have been characterized. However, the origin of these genes and their potential correlation with land colonization remain elusive. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of 259 transcriptomes and 10 green algal and basal land plant genomes, coupled with the characterization of the evolutionary path leading to the appearance of a key regulator, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, showed that the symbiotic signaling pathway predated the first land plants. In contrast, downstream genes required for root colonization and their specific expression pattern probably appeared subsequent to the colonization of land. We conclude that the most recent common ancestor of extant land plants and green algae was preadapted for symbiotic associations. Subsequent improvement of this precursor stage in early land plants through rounds of gene duplication led to the acquisition of additional pathways and the ability to form a fully functional arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

  18. Chemical Diversity, Origin, and Analysis of Phycotoxins.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Silas Anselm; Andersen, Aaron John Christian; Andersen, Nikolaj Gedsted; Nielsen, Kristian Fog; Hansen, Per Juel; Larsen, Thomas Ostenfeld

    2016-03-25

    Microalgae, particularly those from the lineage Dinoflagellata, are very well-known for their ability to produce phycotoxins that may accumulate in the marine food chain and eventually cause poisoning in humans. This includes toxins accumulating in shellfish, such as saxitoxin, okadaic acid, yessotoxins, azaspiracids, brevetoxins, and pinnatoxins. Other toxins, such as ciguatoxins and maitotoxins, accumulate in fish, where, as is the case for the latter compounds, they can be metabolized to even more toxic metabolites. On the other hand, much less is known about the chemical nature of compounds that are toxic to fish, the so-called ichthyotoxins. Despite numerous reports of algal blooms causing massive fish kills worldwide, only a few types of compounds, such as the karlotoxins, have been proven to be true ichthyotoxins. This review will highlight marine microalgae as the source of some of the most complex natural compounds known to mankind, with chemical structures that show no resemblance to what has been characterized from plants, fungi, or bacteria. In addition, it will summarize algal species known to be related to fish-killing blooms, but from which ichthyotoxins are yet to be characterized. PMID:26901085

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:27217941

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Deletions in the repeating sequences of the toxin A gene of toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive Clostridium difficile strains.

    PubMed

    Kato, H; Kato, N; Katow, S; Maegawa, T; Nakamura, S; Lyerly, D M

    1999-06-15

    The repeating sequences of the toxin A gene from toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive (toxin A-, toxin B+) strains of Clostridium difficile which were isolated in geographically separated facilities in Japan and Indonesia were determined. All six strains tested had identical repeating sequences with two deletions (1548 and 273 nucleotides in size) in the toxin A gene. A PCR method was designed to detect the deletions and the deletions were confirmed in all 50 toxin A-, toxin B+ strains examined by this method. Western immunoblot analysis revealed that polyclonal antiserum against native toxin A did not react with the concentrated culture filtrates of the toxin A-, toxin B+ strains. These results may suggest that toxin A-, toxin B+ strains have deletions of the two thirds of the repeating regions of the toxin A gene, which encodes the epitopes fully responsible for the reaction with the polyclonal antiserum.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 76 FR 37057 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Virus-Serum-Toxin Act...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-24

    ... include viruses, serums, toxins, and analogous products of natural or synthetic origin, such as vaccines... quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of...

  10. 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. PMID:27486290

  11. Polishing of secondary effluent by an algal biofilm process.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, G; Sekoulov, I

    2002-01-01

    The potential in polishing secondary effluent by an algal biofilm composed of different green and bluegreen algae was investigated. During the photosynthesis process of algal biofilm oxygen was produced while dissolved carbon dioxide was consumed. This led to an increasing pH due to the change of the carbon dioxide equilibrium in water. The high pH caused precipitation of dissolved phosphates. The attached algae took up nitrogen and phosphorus during the growth of biomass. In addition to nutrient removal, an extensive removal of faecal bacteria was observed probably caused by adsorption of the algal biofilm and by photooxidation involving dissolved oxygen. The experimental results suggest that a low-cost, close to nature process especially for small wastewater treatment plants for nutrient removal and bacteria reduction can be developed with the aid of an algal biofilm. PMID:12420969

  12. 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.

  13. Efficient algal bioassay based on short-term photosynthetic response

    SciTech Connect

    Giddings, J.M.; Stewart, A.J.; O'Neill, R.V.; Gardner, R.H.

    1981-01-01

    A procedure is described for measuring effects of toxicants on algal photosynthesis (H/sup 14/CO/sub 3/ uptake) in 4-h experiments. Results for individual aromatic compounds and the waste-soluble fraction (WSF) of a synthetic oil are presented as examples of applications of the bioassay. The toxicity of the WSF varied among the seven algal species tested, and responses of some species were pH-dependent. Data presented here indicate that algal photosynthesis is inhibited at toxicant concentrations similar to those that cause acute effects in aquatic animals. A model of a pelagic ecosystem is used to demonstrate that even temporary (7-d) inhibition of algal photosynthesis can have a measurable impact on other trophic levels, particularly if the other trophic levels are also experiencing toxic effects.

  14. 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.

  15. Environmental effects of modified clay flocculation on Alexandrium tamarense and paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSTs).

    PubMed

    Lu, Guangyuan; Song, Xiuxian; Yu, Zhiming; Cao, Xihua; Yuan, Yongquan

    2015-05-01

    Among various mitigation strategies for harmful algal blooms (HABs), the flocculation of algal cells by using modified clay (MC) has been widely applied in the field, particularly in Japan, Korea and China. However, to examine the long-term effects and the environmental safety of this method, we investigated alterations in macronutrients and paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PSTs) induced by the application of MC treatment to a toxic bloom, Alexandrium tamarense. The control, algal cells grew in nature condition (A1), was compared to the only MC flocculation (A2) and the MC-sediment co-matrix systems of A. tamarense (A3). The low-dosage of 0.25 g L(-1) MC could efficiently remove >90% of the A. tamarense cells within 3.5h. The mechanisms underlying the effects elicited by MC flocculation on nutrient cycling, PSTs and Chl-a degradation were also discussed. This study demonstrated that MC treatment was able to significantly remove the macronutrients (43-60% TP removal and 17-30% TN removal) and scavenge most of the PSTs from seawater, thereby speeding up the nutrient settling and the transformation and degradation of PSTs (83% decreasing in A2). Simultaneously, the study firstly demonstrated the potential detoxification of PSTs by using MC treatment, from the high toxicity of gonyautoxin 1 and 4 (GTX1 and GTX4) to the lower toxicity decarbamoyl gonyautoxins (dcGTX3) and gonyautoxin 2 (GTX2), particularly within the water-sediment environment during the two month incubation.

  16. [Clinical aspects of streptococcal and staphylococcal toxinic diseases].

    PubMed

    Floret, D

    2001-09-01

    however, a cutaneous or soft tissue infection is at the origin. Necrotizing fasciitis complicating varicella is a classic cause in children. Bacteremia is often observed. The mortality rate is as high as 60%. The streptococcal strains involved in north america use to produce the toxin erythrogenic A, the european cases seem to be more related to strains secreting the B toxin with a dysregulation of the mechanisms which control the secretion of the toxin. Staphylococcus strains producing the Panton and Valentine leucocidin are responsible for chronic or relapsing furonculosis and above all for a very severe necrotizing pneumonia observed in children and young adults presenting as an acute respiratory distress syndrome with leucopenia, hemoptysis and shock carrying a heavy mortality rate. Besides these specific diseases, staphylococcal and streptococcal toxins may be involved in some syndromes of unknown origin, in which the intervention of superantigens seems very likely. Kawasaki syndrome is among them as strains producing staphylococcal and streptococcal toxins have been grown from patients with Kawasaki syndrome. In the same way, the intervention of toxins is suspected in the determination of sudden infant death syndrome and atopic eczema.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Short-term algal toxicity test based on phosphate uptake.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, H Hidehiro; Shimada, Akiko; Hirayama, Kimiaki

    2004-04-01

    In order to develop a short-term algal toxicity test, the growth of and the phosphate uptake by the green alga Selenastrum capricornutum during batch culture were observed. In the control medium, S. capricornutum took up phosphate earlier than it grew. It was also observed that the phosphate uptake was inhibited by the presence of a toxicant. From these results, phosphate uptake was considered as one of the useful effect parameters for a short-term algal toxicity test. As the removal rate of phosphate from the medium is a function of the amount of algal cell initially inoculated, the test period is variable. The relationship between the amount of inoculation and phosphate uptake was examined and the test conditions suitable for a 3-h toxicity test were established as one example. According to this test procedure, the inhibitory effect of some toxicants on the phosphate uptake was determined. For comparison, a conventional algal assay based on algal growth was also performed. The EC50s for both tests were close. This indicated that the algal toxicity test method proposed in this paper would be useful for the uses where rapidity is required. PMID:15087199

  20. The algal lift: Buoyancy-mediated sediment transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza-Lera, Clara; Federlein, Laura L.; Knie, Matthias; Mutz, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The role of benthic algae as biostabilizers of sediments is well-known, however, their potential to lift and transport sediments remains unclear. Under low-flow conditions, matured algal mats may detach from the bed and may lift up sediment, thereby causing disturbance to the uppermost streambed sediment. We tested the potential of algal mats to lift sediments in 12 indoor flumes filled with sand (0.2 - 0.8 mm), gravel (2 - 8 mm) or a sand-gravel mixture (25/75% mass). After four weeks, the algal mats covered about 50% of the flumes area. Due to the accumulation of oxygen gas bubbles in the mats, that developed from high primary production at 4.5 weeks, about half of the algal mats detached from the bed carrying entangled sediments. Both the area covered by algal mats and detached area were similar among sediment types, but the amount of sediment transported tended to be higher for sand and sand-gravel mixture compared to gravel. Our results reveal that biologically mediated sediment transport mainly depends on the development of a dense filamentous algal matrix, that traps gas bubbles, increasing the mats buoyancy. This novel mechanism of sediment transport will occur in shallow ecosystems during low-flow periods, with the highest impact for sandy sediments.

  1. The ins and outs of algal metal transport

    PubMed Central

    Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; Merchant, Sabeeha S.

    2012-01-01

    Metal transporters are a central component in the interaction of algae with their environment. They represent the first line of defense to cellular perturbations in metal concentration, and by analyzing algal metal transporter repertoires, we gain insight into a fundamental aspect of algal biology. The ability of individual algae to thrive in environments with unique geochemistry, compared to non-algal species commonly used as reference organisms for metal homeostasis, provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of biological metal requirements, preferences and trafficking. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the best developed reference organism for the study of algal biology, especially with respect to metal metabolism; however, the diversity of algal niches necessitates a comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced algal genomes. A comparison between known and putative proteins in animals, plants, fungi and algae using protein similarity networks has revealed the presence of novel metal metabolism components in Chlamydomonas including new iron and copper transporters. This analysis also supports the concept that, in terms of metal metabolism, algae from similar niches are more related to one another than to algae from the same phylogenetic clade. PMID:22569643

  2. 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.

  3. Risk assessment of shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-11-01

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. Novel receptors for bacterial protein toxins.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Gudula; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    While bacterial effectors are often directly introduced into eukaryotic target cells by various types of injection machines, toxins enter the cytosol of host cells from endosomal compartments or after retrograde transport via Golgi from the ER. A first crucial step of toxin-host interaction is receptor binding. Using optimized protocols and new methods novel toxin receptors have been identified, including metalloprotease ADAM 10 for Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin, laminin receptor Lu/BCAM for Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor CNF1, lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) for Clostridium difficile transferase CDT and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 1 for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin.

  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. 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. PMID:26227025

  10. Binding of cholera toxin by various tissues.

    PubMed

    Gascoyne, N; Van Heyningen, W E

    1975-09-01

    Under certain conditions, it is possible to confirm the observation by Peterson (1974) that the cholera toxin-binding capacities of tissues from brain and colon mucosa, and from liver and small intestine mucosa, are comparable. Binding of toxin by all tissues except brain is very variable, but is roughtly proportional to their content of the toxin-binding ganglioside galactosyl-N-acetylgalactosaminyl (sialosyl) lactosyl ceramide. It appears that some toxin-binding sites of the mucosa of the small intestin and colon may be masked. It has also been confirmed that there may be some solubilization of toxin-binding material from brain on standing a few days at 4 C, but this is comparatively slight. Some disadvantages of measuring toxin binding by adding small amounts of radioactive toxin to compartively large amounts of tissue are discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Potential developmental toxicity of anatoxin-a, a cyanobacterial toxin.

    PubMed

    Rogers, E H; Hunter, E S; Moser, V C; Phillips, P M; Herkovits, J; Muñoz, L; Hall, L L; Chernoff, N

    2005-01-01

    Some 2000 species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) occur globally in aquatic habitats. They are able to survive under a wide range of environmental conditions and some produce potent toxins. Toxin production is correlated with periods of rapid growth (blooms) and 25%-70% of blooms may be toxic. Anatoxin-a is an alkaloid neurotoxin that acts as a potent neuro-muscular blocking agent at the nicotinic receptor. Acute toxicity, following consumption of contaminated water, is characterized by rapid onset of paralysis, tremors, convulsions and death. Human exposures may occur from recreational water activities and dietary supplements, but are primarily through drinking water. The current studies were conducted to examine the effect of in utero exposure on postnatal viability, growth and neurodevelopment, to evaluate the potential of in vitro embryotoxicity, and to explore the synergistic relationship between anatoxin-a and the algal toxin microcystin-LR by the oral route. The results of preliminary studies on amphibian toxicity are also reported. Time-pregnant mice received 125 or 200 microg kg(-1) anatoxin-a by intraperitoneal injection on gestation days (GD) 8-12 or 13-17. Pup viability and weight were monitored over a 6-day period. Maternal toxicity (decreased motor activity) was observed at 200 microg kg(-1) in both treatment periods. There were no significant treatment-related effects on pup viability or weight on postnatal day (PND) 1 or 6. The GD 13-17 pups were evaluated on PND 6, 12 and 20 for standard markers of neurodevelopmental maturation (righting reflex, negative geotaxis and hanging grip time). No significant postnatal neurotoxicity was observed. In vitro developmental toxicity was evaluated in GD 8 mouse embryos exposed to 0.1-25 microm anatoxin-a for 26-28 h. Perturbations in mouse yolk sac vasculature were noted from the 1.0 microm concentration in the absence of significant embryonic dysmorphology. Potential algal toxin synergism was tested in mice

  16. A simple short range model for the prediction of harmful algal events in the bays of southwestern Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raine, Robin; McDermott, Georgina; Silke, Joe; Lyons, Kieran; Nolan, Glenn; Cusack, Caroline

    2010-11-01

    A simple model is described which predicts harmful algal events in the bays of southwestern Ireland. Fundamental to the model is the physical forcing of circulation in these bays in summer. The predominant hydrographic feature at this time is a wind-driven two-layer oscillatory flow acting in a thermally stratified water column. This mechanism exchanges substantial proportions of the bays' volumes, and harmful algal events arise with the associated transport of harmful populations into them. The model is therefore based on the criterion that wind-driven water exchanges result in exchanges of phytoplankton, which, if the time of year is correct, result in toxic events. Utilising Bantry Bay as an example, hindcasting showed that the model has a high degree of success using a wind index based on the sequence of winds that results in water exchange. The model was implemented by estimating indices from the five-day weather forecast, and trialled in 2005. Results were published on the web in real time, during which a predicted water exchange event in mid-June was accompanied by an influx of Dinophysis acuminata into Bantry Bay with an associated contamination of shellfish with Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning toxins.

  17. Carbon and light limitation in mass algal culture

    SciTech Connect

    Brune, D.E.

    1980-01-01

    The carbon limited kinetic responses of various fast growing algal species have been summarized. These results suggest that the growth responses of many algae used in mass culture may best be represented as a Monod fit of the specific growth rate (..mu..) to the free carbon dioxide concentration (CO/sub 2//sub f/). The environmental modifiers of primary importance appear to be light levels, temperature and the ionic strength of the growth media. The various mathematical models describing the algal biological response to limitng CO/sub 2//sub f/ concentration, the carbonate equilibrium chemistry and the physical configration of a flow-through microbial culture are combined to yield equations which predict the pH, total carbon concentration (C/sub T/) and algal cell concentration of a continuous alga culture, given a ..mu../sub max/ and K/sub SCO2/ for the alga of interest. This model is further used to illustrate the under-utilization of inorganic carbon in mass algal cultures in which the pH is uncontrolled. One method of pH control in such cultures involves the utilization of CO/sub 2/ supply from bacterial degradation of waste organics in the influent culture medium. In such a situation both the culture pH and algal cell production will often be governed by either carbon or light limitation depending primarily on the influent BOD loading, detention time and culture depth. In spite of the obvious over-simplification of considering only light and carbon limits in describing the behavior of mass algal culture, comparisons to actual field data suggest that these two parameters will be of paramount importance in controlling net algal cell production rates.

  18. 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

  19. Bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) in chlorophyte algal mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Atteia, Ariane; van Lis, Robert; Mendoza-Hernández, Guillermo; Henze, Katrin; Martin, William; Riveros-Rosas, Hector; González-Halphen, Diego

    2003-09-01

    Protein profiles of mitochondria isolated from the heterotrophic chlorophyte Polytomella sp. grown on ethanol at pH 6.0 and pH 3.7 were analyzed by Blue Native and denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Steady-state levels of oxidative phosphorylation complexes were influenced by external pH. Levels of an abundant, soluble, mitochondrial protein of 85 kDa and its corresponding mRNA increased at pH 6.0 relative to pH 3.7. N-terminal and internal sequencing of the 85 kDa mitochondrial protein together with the corresponding cDNA identified it as a bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) with strong similarity to homologues from eubacteria and amitochondriate protists. A mitochondrial targeting sequence of 27 amino acids precedes the N-terminus of the mature mitochondrial protein. A gene encoding an ADHE homologue was also identified in the genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a photosynthetic relative of Polytomella. ADHE reveals a complex picture of sequence similarity among homologues. The lack of ADHE from archaebacteria indicates a eubacterial origin for the eukaryotic enzyme. Among eukaryotes, ADHE has hitherto been characteristic of anaerobes since it is essential to cytosolic energy metabolism of amitochondriate protists such as Giardia intestinalis and Entamoeba histolytica. Its abundance and expression pattern suggest an important role for ADHE in mitochondrial metabolism of Polytomella under the conditions studied. The current data are compatible with the view that Polytomella ADHE could be involved either in ethanol production or assimilation, or both, depending upon environmental conditions. Presence of ADHE in an oxygen-respiring algal mitochondrion and co-expression at ambient oxygen levels with respiratory chain components is unexpected with respect to the view that eukaryotes acquired ADHE genes specifically as an adaptation to an anaerobic lifestyle.

  20. Unfolding the secrets of coral-algal symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Rosic, Nedeljka; Ling, Edmund Yew Siang; Chan, Chon-Kit Kenneth; Lee, Hong Ching; Kaniewska, Paulina; Edwards, David; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2015-04-01

    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.

  1. Bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) in chlorophyte algal mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Atteia, Ariane; van Lis, Robert; Mendoza-Hernández, Guillermo; Henze, Katrin; Martin, William; Riveros-Rosas, Hector; González-Halphen, Diego

    2003-09-01

    Protein profiles of mitochondria isolated from the heterotrophic chlorophyte Polytomella sp. grown on ethanol at pH 6.0 and pH 3.7 were analyzed by Blue Native and denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Steady-state levels of oxidative phosphorylation complexes were influenced by external pH. Levels of an abundant, soluble, mitochondrial protein of 85 kDa and its corresponding mRNA increased at pH 6.0 relative to pH 3.7. N-terminal and internal sequencing of the 85 kDa mitochondrial protein together with the corresponding cDNA identified it as a bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (ADHE) with strong similarity to homologues from eubacteria and amitochondriate protists. A mitochondrial targeting sequence of 27 amino acids precedes the N-terminus of the mature mitochondrial protein. A gene encoding an ADHE homologue was also identified in the genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a photosynthetic relative of Polytomella. ADHE reveals a complex picture of sequence similarity among homologues. The lack of ADHE from archaebacteria indicates a eubacterial origin for the eukaryotic enzyme. Among eukaryotes, ADHE has hitherto been characteristic of anaerobes since it is essential to cytosolic energy metabolism of amitochondriate protists such as Giardia intestinalis and Entamoeba histolytica. Its abundance and expression pattern suggest an important role for ADHE in mitochondrial metabolism of Polytomella under the conditions studied. The current data are compatible with the view that Polytomella ADHE could be involved either in ethanol production or assimilation, or both, depending upon environmental conditions. Presence of ADHE in an oxygen-respiring algal mitochondrion and co-expression at ambient oxygen levels with respiratory chain components is unexpected with respect to the view that eukaryotes acquired ADHE genes specifically as an adaptation to an anaerobic lifestyle. PMID:14756315

  2. Shiga Toxin, Cytolethal Distending Toxin, and Hemolysin Repertoires in Clinical Escherichia coli O91 Isolates▿

    PubMed Central

    Bielaszewska, Martina; Stoewe, Franziska; Fruth, Angelika; Zhang, Wenlan; Prager, Rita; Brockmeyer, Jens; Mellmann, Alexander; Karch, Helge; Friedrich, Alexander W.

    2009-01-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains of serogroup O91 are the most common human pathogenic eae-negative STEC strains. To facilitate diagnosis and subtyping of these pathogens, we genotypically and phenotypically characterized 100 clinical STEC O91 isolates. Motile strains expressed flagellar antigens H8 (1 strain), H10 (2 strains), H14 (52 strains), and H21 (20 strains) or were H nontypeable (Hnt) (10 strains); 15 strains were nonmotile. All nonmotile and Hnt strains possessed the fliC gene encoding the flagellin subunit of the H14 antigen (fliCH14). Most STEC O91 strains possessed enterohemorrhagic E. coli hlyA and expressed an enterohemolytic phenotype. Among seven stx alleles identified, stx2dact, encoding mucus- and elastase-activatable Stx2d, was present solely in STEC O91:H21, whereas most strains of the other serotypes possessed stx1. Moreover, only STEC O91:H21 possessed the cdt-V cluster, encoding cytolethal distending toxin V; the toxin was regularly expressed and was lethal to human microvascular endothelial cells. Infection with STEC O91:H21 was associated with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (P = 0.0015), whereas strains of the other serotypes originated mostly in patients with nonbloody diarrhea. We conclude that STEC O91 clinical isolates belong to at least four lineages that differ by H antigens/fliC types, stx genotypes, and non-stx putative virulence factors, with accumulation of virulence determinants in the O91:H21 lineage. Isolation of STEC O91 from patients' stools on enterohemolysin agar and the rapid initial subtyping of these isolates using fliC genotyping facilitate the identification of these emerging pathogens in clinical and epidemiological studies and enable prediction of the risk of a severe clinical outcome. PMID:19403777

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25932382

  4. 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

  5. Accumulation, biotransformation, histopathology and paralysis in the Pacific calico scallop Argopecten ventricosus by the paralyzing toxins of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

    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

  8. [Origination and evolution of plastids].

    PubMed

    Mukhina, V S

    2014-01-01

    Plastids are photosynthetic DNA-containing organelles of plants and algae. In the review, the history of their origination and evolution within different taxa is considered. All of the plastids appear to be descendants of cyanobacteria that colonized eukaryotic cells. The first plastids arose through symbiosis of cyanobacteria with algal ancestors from Archaeplastida kingdom. Later, there occurred repeated secondary symbioses of other eukariotes with photosynthetic protists: in this way plastids emerged in organisms of other taxa. Co-evolution of cyanobacteria and ancestral algae led to extensive transformation of both: reduction of endosymbiont, mass transfer of cyanobacteria genes into karyogenome, formation of complex system of proteins transportation to plastids and their functioning regulation.

  9. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children. PMID:27335961

  10. The toxin and antidote puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insects carry out essential ecological functions, such as pollination, but also cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and transmit human diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Advances in insect transgenesis are making it increasingly feasible to engineer genes conferring desirable phenotypes, and gene drive systems are required to spread these genes into wild populations. Medea provides one solution, being able to spread into a population from very low initial frequencies through the action of a maternally-expressed toxin linked to a zygotically-expressed antidote. Several other toxin-antidote combinations are imaginable that distort the offspring ratio in favor of a desired transgene, or drive the population towards an all-male crash. We explore two such systems—Semele, which is capable of spreading a desired transgene into an isolated population in a confined manner; and Merea, which is capable of inducing a local population crash when located on the Z chromosome of a Lepidopteron pest. PMID:21876382

  11. Full-scale validation of a model of algal productivity.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Shilton, Andy; Guieysse, Benoit

    2014-12-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biodegradation of bisphenol A by an algal-bacterial system.

    PubMed

    Eio, Er Jin; Kawai, Minako; Niwa, Chiaki; Ito, Masato; Yamamoto, Shuichi; Toda, Tatsuki

    2015-10-01

    The degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) by Chlorella sorokiniana and BPA-degrading bacteria was investigated. The results show that BPA was partially removed by a monoculture of C. sorokiniana, but the remaining BPA accounted for 50.2, 56.1, and 60.5 % of the initial BPA concentrations of 10, 20, and 50 mg L(-1), respectively. The total algal BPA adsorption and accumulation were less than 1 %. C. sorokiniana-bacterial system effectively removed BPA with photosynthetic oxygen provided by the algae irrespective of the initial BPA concentration. The growth of C. sorokiniana in the algal system was inhibited by BPA concentrations of 20 and 50 mg L(-1), but not in the algal-bacterial system. This observation indicates that bacterial growth in the algal-bacterial system reduced the BPA-inhibiting effect on algae. A total of ten BPA biodegradation intermediates were identified by GC-MS. The concentrations of the biodegradation intermediates decreased to a low level at the end of the experiment. The hypothetical carbon mass balance analysis showed that the amounts of oxygen demanded by the bacteria are insufficient for effective BPA degradation. However, adding an external carbon source could compensate for the oxygen shortage. This study demonstrates that the algal-bacterial system has the potential to remove BPA and its biodegradation intermediates. PMID:26013738

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2015-02-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Common European harmful algal blooms affect the viability and innate immune responses of Mytilus edulis larvae.

    PubMed

    De Rijcke, M; Vandegehuchte, M B; Vanden Bussche, J; Nevejan, N; Vanhaecke, L; De Schamphelaere, K A C; Janssen, C R

    2015-11-01

    Like marine diseases, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are globally increasing in frequency, severity and geographical scale. As a result, bivalves will have to face the combined threat of toxic algae and marine pathogens more frequently in the (near) future. These stressors combined may further affect the recruitment of ecologically and economically important bivalve species as HABs can affect the growth, viability and development of their larvae. To date, little is known on the specific effects of HABs on the innate immune system of bivalve larvae. This study therefore investigates whether two common harmful algae can influence the larval viability, development and immunological resilience of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Embryos of this model organism were exposed (48 h) to five densities of Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries or Prorocentrum lima cells. In addition, the effect of six concentrations of their respective toxins: domoic acid (DA) and okadaic acid (OA) were assessed. OA was found to significantly reduce larval protein phosphatase activity (p < 0.001) and larval viability (p < 0.01) at concentrations as low as 37.8 μg l(-1). P. multiseries (1400 cells ml(-1)), P. lima (150 cells ml(-1)) and DA (dosed five times higher than typical environmental conditions i.e. 623.2 μg l(-1)) increased the phenoloxidase (PO) innate immune activity of the mussel larvae. These results suggest that the innate immune response of even the earliest life stages of bivalves is susceptible to the presence of HABs.

  2. 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. PMID:26612461

  3. Common European harmful algal blooms affect the viability and innate immune responses of Mytilus edulis larvae.

    PubMed

    De Rijcke, M; Vandegehuchte, M B; Vanden Bussche, J; Nevejan, N; Vanhaecke, L; De Schamphelaere, K A C; Janssen, C R

    2015-11-01

    Like marine diseases, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are globally increasing in frequency, severity and geographical scale. As a result, bivalves will have to face the combined threat of toxic algae and marine pathogens more frequently in the (near) future. These stressors combined may further affect the recruitment of ecologically and economically important bivalve species as HABs can affect the growth, viability and development of their larvae. To date, little is known on the specific effects of HABs on the innate immune system of bivalve larvae. This study therefore investigates whether two common harmful algae can influence the larval viability, development and immunological resilience of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Embryos of this model organism were exposed (48 h) to five densities of Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries or Prorocentrum lima cells. In addition, the effect of six concentrations of their respective toxins: domoic acid (DA) and okadaic acid (OA) were assessed. OA was found to significantly reduce larval protein phosphatase activity (p < 0.001) and larval viability (p < 0.01) at concentrations as low as 37.8 μg l(-1). P. multiseries (1400 cells ml(-1)), P. lima (150 cells ml(-1)) and DA (dosed five times higher than typical environmental conditions i.e. 623.2 μg l(-1)) increased the phenoloxidase (PO) innate immune activity of the mussel larvae. These results suggest that the innate immune response of even the earliest life stages of bivalves is susceptible to the presence of HABs. PMID:26348409

  4. Future increase in harmful algal blooms in the North Sea due to climate change.

    PubMed

    Peperzak, L

    2005-01-01

    In temperate seas such as the North Sea harmful (toxic) algal blooms will probably increase as a result of climate change. This conclusion was reached after investigating the projected effect of climate change for the year 2100 in Dutch coastal waters (4 degrees C temperature rise and increased water column stratification) on the growth rates of six harmful and two non-harmful phytoplankton species. Micro algae form the basis of the marine food chain. However, toxin-producing species may seriously disrupt the food web and lead to fish kills and human intoxication. Two species with estimated doubled growth rates in 2100, F. japonica and C. antiqua, entered Europe via ship's ballast water or shellfish imports. This stresses the need to legally regulate such invasion routes in order to prevent the import of novel species. Future toxic phytoplankton blooms may further devaluate ecosystem deliverables such as fish production or recreational use. This devaluation can be estimated by monetary value assessments that are needed in cost-benefit analyses for policy guidance. The lack of understanding of future climate, ecosystem functioning and its response to climate change calls for a scientific effort to improve our knowledge on present day coastal ecosystem functioning and its resilience. PMID:15918356

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

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M

    2009-07-01

    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 that

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

    PubMed

    Anderson, Donald M

    2009-07-01

    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 that

  8. [Temporal-spatial distribution of algal cells during drought period in Daning River of Three Gorges].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Sheng; Zheng, Bing-Hui; Wang, Kun; Jiang, Xia; Zheng, Hao

    2013-06-01

    In order to provide basic data for algal bloom warning system, the study on temporal-spatial distribution of algal cells was carried out in Daning River of Three Gorges form April to September, 2011. The results of temporal distribution were as follows: the dominant algal species were blue algal, green algal and diatom. During the test, the density proportion of blue algae increased continuously, the density proportion of diatom decreased, while the density proportion of green algae did not change significantly. The results of spatial distribution were as follows: algal density was extremely significantly correlated with water temperature and chlorophyll a (Chl a), the correlation coefficient were 0.97 and 0.95, respectively; algal density was significantly correlated with light intensity (LI), dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and dissoluble total phosphorus (DTP), the correlation coefficient were 0.87, 0.83, 082 and 0.82, respectively; the algal density in 0 m of Caziba was higher than those in other water depths, and in Baishuihe the highest algal density occurred at 2.0 m water depth in June and July, in Shuanglong most algal cells were found in 0 m and 2.0 m in July, August and September, in Dachang algal density in different water depth did not change significantly during the test; the proportion of different algal species in vertical direction was different in the test, probably because different algal species fitted different environments.

  9. Formation of a volunteer harmful algal bloom network in British Columbia, Canada, following an outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Lorraine; Cassis, David; Haigh, Nicola

    2013-10-29

    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.

  10. Lack of variation in voltage-gated sodium channels of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to neurotoxic algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Cammen, Kristina M; Rosel, Patricia E; Wells, Randall S; Read, Andrew J

    2014-12-01

    In coastal marine ecosystems, neurotoxins produced by harmful algal blooms (HABs) often result in large-scale mortality events of many marine species. Historical and frequent exposure to HABs therefore may provide a strong selective pressure for adaptations that result in toxin resistance. Neurotoxin resistance has independently evolved in a variety of terrestrial and marine species via mutations in genes encoding the toxin binding sites within the voltage-gated sodium channel gene complex. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in the putative binding site of brevetoxins in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) explains differences among individuals or populations in resistance to harmful Karenia brevis blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. We found very little variation in the sodium channel exons encoding the putative brevetoxin binding site among bottlenose dolphins from central-west Florida and the Florida Panhandle. Our study included samples from several bottlenose dolphin mortality events associated with HABs, but we found no association between genetic variation and survival. We observed a significant effect of geographic region on genetic variation for some sodium channel isoforms, but this can be primarily explained by rare private alleles and is more likely a reflection of regional genetic differentiation than the cause of different levels of HAB resistance between regions. In contrast to many other previously studied neurotoxin-resistant species, we conclude that bottlenose dolphins have not evolved resistance to HABs via mutations in genes encoding the brevetoxin binding site on the voltage-gated sodium channels.

  11. 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

  12. Insights into the evolution of vitamin B12 auxotrophy from sequenced algal genomes.

    PubMed

    Helliwell, Katherine E; Wheeler, Glen L; Leptos, Kyriacos C; Goldstein, Raymond E; Smith, Alison G

    2011-10-01

    Vitamin B(12) (cobalamin) is a dietary requirement for humans because it is an essential cofactor for two enzymes, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase (METH). Land plants and fungi neither synthesize or require cobalamin because they do not contain methylmalonyl-CoA mutase, and have an alternative B(12)-independent methionine synthase (METE). Within the algal kingdom, approximately half of all microalgal species need the vitamin as a growth supplement, but there is no phylogenetic relationship between these species, suggesting that the auxotrophy arose multiple times through evolution. We set out to determine the underlying cellular mechanisms for this observation by investigating elements of B(12) metabolism in the sequenced genomes of 15 different algal species, with representatives of the red, green, and brown algae, diatoms, and coccolithophores, including both macro- and microalgae, and from marine and freshwater environments. From this analysis, together with growth assays, we found a strong correlation between the absence of a functional METE gene and B(12) auxotrophy. The presence of a METE unitary pseudogene in the B(12)-dependent green algae Volvox carteri and Gonium pectorale, relatives of the B(12)-independent Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, suggest that B(12) dependence evolved recently in these lineages. In both C. reinhardtii and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, growth in the presence of cobalamin leads to repression of METE transcription, providing a mechanism for gene loss. Thus varying environmental conditions are likely to have been the reason for the multiple independent origins of B(12) auxotrophy in these organisms. Because the ultimate source of cobalamin is from prokaryotes, the selective loss of METE in different algal lineages will have had important physiological and ecological consequences for these organisms in terms of their dependence on bacteria. PMID:21551270

  13. 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.

  14. Algal cell disruption using microbubbles to localize ultrasonic energy

    PubMed Central

    Krehbiel, Joel D.; Schideman, Lance C.; King, Daniel A.; Freund, Jonathan B.

    2015-01-01

    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 108 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. PMID:25311188

  15. Bacterial protein toxins in human cancers.

    PubMed

    Rosadi, Francesca; Fiorentini, Carla; Fabbri, Alessia

    2016-02-01

    Many bacteria causing persistent infections produce toxins whose mechanisms of action indicate that they could have a role in carcinogenesis. Some toxins, like CDT and colibactin, directly attack the genome by damaging DNA whereas others, as for example CNF1, CagA and BFT, impinge on key eukaryotic processes, such as cellular signalling and cell death. These bacterial toxins, together with other less known toxins, mimic carcinogens and tumour promoters. The aim of this review is to fulfil an up-to-date analysis of toxins with carcinogenic potential that have been already correlated to human cancers. Bacterial toxins-induced carcinogenesis represents an emerging aspect in bacteriology, and its significance is increasingly recognized.

  16. Bt Toxin Modification for Enhanced Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Deist, Benjamin R.; Rausch, Michael A.; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2014-01-01

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance. PMID:25340556

  17. Modeling of toxin-antibody interaction and toxin transport toward the endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

    Skakauskas, Vladas; Katauskis, Pranas

    2016-01-01

    A model for toxin-antibody interaction and toxin trafficking towards the endoplasmic-reticulum is presented. Antibody and toxin (ricin) initially are delivered outside the cell. The model involves: the pinocytotic (cellular drinking) and receptor-mediated toxin internalization modes from the extracellular into the intracellular domain, its exocytotic excretion from the cytosol back to the extracellular medium, the intact toxin retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum, the anterograde toxin movement outward from the cell across the plasma membrane, the lysosomal toxin degradation, and the toxin clearance (removal from the system) flux. The model consists of a set of coupled PDEs. Using an averaging procedure, the model is reduced to a system of coupled ODEs. Both PDEs and ODEs systems are solved numerically. Numerical results are illustrated by figures and discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. Rho-modifying bacterial protein toxins.

    PubMed

    Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Rho proteins are targets of numerous bacterial protein toxins, which manipulate the GTP-binding proteins by covalent modifications, including ADP ribosylation, glycosylation, adenylylation, proteolytic cleavage and deamidation. Bacterial toxins are important virulence factors but are also potent and efficient pharmacological tools to study the physiological functions of their eukaryotic targets. Recent studies indicate that amazing variations exist in the molecular mechanisms by which toxins attack Rho proteins, which are discussed here.

  20. A stoichiometrically derived algal growth model and its global analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiong; Wang, Hao

    2010-10-01

    Organisms are composed of multiple chemical elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The scarcity of any of these elements can severely restrict organismal and population growth. However, many trophic interaction models only consider carbon limitation via energy flow. In this paper, we construct an algal growth model with the explicit incorporation of light and nutrient availability to characterize both carbon and phosphorus limitations. We provide a global analysis of this model to illustrate how light and nutrient availability regulate algal dynamics. PMID:21077710

  1. 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.

  2. Application of botulinum toxin in pain management.

    PubMed

    Sim, Woo Seog

    2011-03-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for the treatment of many clinical disorders by producing temporary skeletal muscle relaxation. In pain management, botulinum toxin has demonstrated an analgesic effect by reducing muscular hyperactivity, but recent studies suggest this neurotoxin could have direct analgesic mechanisms different from its neuromuscular actions. At the moment, botulinum toxin is widely investigated and used in many painful diseases such as myofascial syndrome, headaches, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to understand the exact analgesic mechanisms, efficacy and complications of botulinum toxin in chronic pain disorders.

  3. Adaptive evolution of animal toxin multigene families.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    2000-12-30

    Animal toxins comprise a diverse array of proteins that have a variety of biochemical and pharmacological functions. A large number of animal toxins are encoded by multigene families. From studies of several toxin multigene families at the gene level the picture is emerging that most have been functionally diversified by gene duplication and adaptive evolution. The number of pharmacological activities in most toxin multigene families results from their adaptive evolution. The molecular evolution of animal toxins has been analysed in some multigene families, at both the intraspecies and interspecies levels. In most toxin multigene families, the rate of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) is higher than one. Thus natural selection has acted to diversify coding sequences and consequently the toxin functions. The selection pressure for the rapid adaptive evolution of animal toxins is the need for quick immobilization of the prey in classical predator and prey interactions. Currently available evidence for adaptive evolution in animal toxin multigene families will be considered in this review.

  4. [Cervical dystonia treatment with botulin toxin].

    PubMed

    Cervical Dystonia Treatment With Botulin Toxin, Kazimierz

    2016-08-01

    Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia in adult age. It is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and positioning of the head and neck. Symptoms of it are often associated with pain. This distinguishes this form from other dystonia. The drug of choice is botulinum toxin. It effectively reduces both pain and abnormal excessive muscle activity. In some cases, particularly where there is not obtained the full recovery after treatment botulinum toxin we used drugs for systemic effect. To increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of botulinum toxin more commonly we used administration of toxin under the EMG and ultrasound control. PMID:27591450

  5. [Cervical dystonia treatment with botulin toxin].

    PubMed

    Cervical Dystonia Treatment With Botulin Toxin, Kazimierz

    2016-07-01

    Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia in adult age. It is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and positioning of the head and neck. Symptoms of it are often associated with pain. This distinguishes this form from other dystonia. The drug of choice is botulinum toxin. It effectively reduces both pain and abnormal excessive muscle activity. In some cases, particularly where there is not obtained the full recovery after treatment botulinum toxin we used drugs for systemic effect. To increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of botulinum toxin more commonly we used administration of toxin under the EMG and ultrasound control. PMID:27590655

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Algal turf scrubber (ATS) floways on the Great Wicomico River, Chesapeake Bay: productivity, algal community structure, substrate and chemistry(1).

    PubMed

    Adey, Walter H; Laughinghouse, H Dail; Miller, John B; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Thompson, Jesse G; Bertman, Steven; Hampel, Kristin; Puvanendran, Shanmugam

    2013-06-01

    Two Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) units were deployed on the Great Wicomico River (GWR) for 22 months to examine the role of substrate in increasing algal productivity and nutrient removal. The yearly mean productivity of flat ATS screens was 15.4 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) . This was elevated to 39.6 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) with a three-dimensional (3-D) screen, and to 47.7 g · m(-2)  · d(-1) by avoiding high summer harvest temperatures. These methods enhanced nutrient removal (N, P) in algal biomass by 3.5 times. Eighty-six algal taxa (Ochrophyta [diatoms], Chlorophyta [green algae], and Cyan-obacteria [blue-green algae]) self-seeded from the GWR and demonstrated yearly cycling. Silica (SiO2 ) content of the algal biomass ranged from 30% to 50% of total biomass; phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon content of the total algal biomass ranged from 0.15% to 0.21%, 2.13% to 2.89%, and 20.0% to 25.7%, respectively. Carbohydrate content (at 10%-25% of AFDM) was dominated by glucose. Lipids (fatty acid methyl ester; FAMEs) ranged widely from 0.5% to 9% AFDM, with Omega-3 fatty acids a consistent component. Mathematical modeling of algal produ-ctivity as a function of temperature, light, and substrate showed a proportionality of 4:3:3, resp-ectively. Under landscape ATS operation, substrate manipulation provides a considerable opportunity to increase ATS productivity, water quality amelioration, and biomass coproduction for fertilizers, fermentation energy, and omega-3 products. Based on the 3-D prod-uctivity and algal chemical composition demonstrated, ATS systems used for nonpoint source water treat-ment can produce ethanol (butanol) at 5.8× per unit area of corn, and biodiesel at 12.0× per unit area of soy beans (agricultural production US). PMID:27007038

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-19

    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 (CO(2)) triggered by physiological adaptations to declining atmospheric CO(2). Within the ecologically important Haptophyta (including coccolithophores) and Bacillariophyta (diatoms), positive selection occurred consistently during periods of falling Phanerozoic CO(2) 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 CO(2) encompassing the Cryogenian Snowball Earth events. We surmise that positive selection in Rubisco has been caused by declines in atmospheric CO(2) and hence acts as a proxy for ancient atmospheric CO(2).

  11. Draft Genome Sequence of the Anti-Algal Marine Actinomycete Streptomyces sp. JS01

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huajun; Zhang, Su; Peng, Yun; Li, Yi; Chen, Zhangran; Zheng, Wei; Xu, Hong; Yu, Zhiming

    2014-01-01

    Streptomyces sp. JS01 is the producer of an anti-algal compound that shows inhibitory activity against a harmful algal species Phaeocystis globosa and can also produce a red pigment. Its genome sequence will allow for the characterization of the anti-algal compound and the molecular mechanisms underlying its beneficial properties. PMID:25477414

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Biologic response to environmental toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, S.

    1983-12-01

    Biological response to environmental toxins results from the sum of natural, environmental, avocational, inapparent, and occupational exposures. These external exposures result in acceptable or unacceptable levels of absorption or internal exposure based on anticipated biological effects. There is no level of exposure which is in and of itself synonymous with intoxication. Biological effects may be classified as physiologic or pathologic, adaptive or nonadaptive, respectively. In each instance, the response may be acceptable or unacceptable. Intoxication requires the demonstration of a significant impairment of health. One may have an unacceptable pathologic response and still not have intoxication. Professional judgment is required.

  16. 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

  17. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  18. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    PubMed Central

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Biogenesis and biological function of marine algal oxylipins.

    PubMed

    Gerwick, W H; Roberts, M A; Vulpanovici, A; Ballantine, D L

    1999-01-01

    The biogenetic source of most marine algal oxylipins, which are many and of diverse structure, can logically be unified through a common lipoxygenase-derived hydroperoxide to epoxy allylic carbocation transformation. The biological role of oxylipins in algae remains an enigma, although numerous ideas have been put forth. Herein, we hypothesize and provide some evidence for an osmoregulatory role for these metabolites.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-06-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-06-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26444071

  14. 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.

  15. MARTX toxins as effector delivery platforms.

    PubMed

    Gavin, Hannah E; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria frequently manipulate their host environment via delivery of microbial 'effector' proteins to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In the case of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin, this phenomenon is accomplished by a single, >3500 amino acid polypeptide that carries information for secretion, translocation, autoprocessing and effector activity. MARTX toxins are secreted from bacteria by dedicated Type I secretion systems. The released MARTX toxins form pores in target eukaryotic cell membranes for the delivery of up to five cytopathic effectors, each of which disrupts a key cellular process. Targeted cellular processes include modulation or modification of small GTPases, manipulation of host cell signaling and disruption of cytoskeletal integrity. More recently, MARTX toxins have been shown to be capable of heterologous protein translocation. Found across multiple bacterial species and genera--frequently in pathogens lacking Type 3 or Type 4 secretion systems--MARTX toxins in multiple cases function as virulence factors. Innovative research at the intersection of toxin biology and bacterial genetics continues to elucidate the intricacies of the toxin as well as the cytotoxic mechanisms of its diverse effector collection.

  16. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    PubMed

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    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.

  17. [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.

  18. 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

  19. [T-2 toxin: occurrence and detection].

    PubMed

    Dohnal, V; Jezková, A; Kuca, K; Jun, D

    2007-07-01

    The paper is focused on the occurrence and methods for the detection of T-2 toxin, one of the most toxic trichothecene Fusarium mycotoxin. Due to its physical-chemical properties and high toxicity, T-2 toxin is classified as a potential biological warfare agent. PMID:17969315

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

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A Text Size ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Renal response to environmental toxins.

    PubMed

    Finn, W F

    1977-10-01

    Several characteristics of normal renal function increase the risk to the kidney of damage by environmental toxins. Due to the magnitude of renal blood flow the total amount of noxious substance delivered may be disproportionately high. Furthermore, the capacity to concentrate substances within the kidney by processes of filtration, reabsorption and secretion has the potential to increase the toxicity of agents which would otherwise not lead to tissue injury. Unfortunately, there are few tests of renal function which are able to detect early functional abnormalities and which, at the same time, are suited for screening purposes by virtue of their simplicity, cost and safety. Furthermore, interpretation of the tests is complicated by adaptive changes in renal function which occur with aging and in response to other disease processes. Environmental agents produce a wide spectrum of renal dysfunction. Acute renal damage follows exposure to glycols, organic solvents, heavy metals, diagnostic and therapeutic agents and a variety of miscellaneous substances. Chronic renal disease may take the form of isolated tubular defects as seen with cadmium, interstitial nephritis due to the ingestion of lead, or vascular damage induced by external radiation. Some forms of glomerulonephritis may also be related to environmental toxins as are certain tumors of the urinary tract. In a somewhat different fashion, patients whose renal function is limited by the presence of pre-existing disease may manifest toxicity from substances ordinarily excreted in the urine. Particular problems exist with the patients on dialysis, as they are at considerable risk to alterations in the environment.

  5. Botulinum toxin in poststroke spasticity.

    PubMed

    Ozcakir, Suheda; Sivrioglu, Koncuy

    2007-06-01

    Poststroke hemiparesis, together with abnormal muscle tone, is a major cause of morbidity and disability. Although most hemiparetic patients are able to reach different ambulatory levels with rehabilitation efforts, upper and lower limb spasticity can impede activities of daily living, personal hygiene, ambulation and, in some cases, functional improvement. The goals of spasticity management include increasing mobility and range of motion, attaining better hygiene, improving splint wear and other functional activities. Conservative measures, such as positioning, stretching and exercise are essential in spasticity management, but alone often are inadequate to effectively control it. Oral antispastic medications often provide limited effects with short duration and frequent unwanted systemic side effects, such as weakness, sedation and dry mouth. Therefore, neuromuscular blockade by local injections have become the first choice for the treatment of focal spasticity, particularly in stroke patients. Botulinum toxin (BTX), being one of the most potent biological toxins, acts by blocking neuromuscular transmission via inhibiting acetylcholine release. Currently, focal spasticity is being treated successfully with BTX via injecting in the spastic muscles. Two antigenically distinct serotypes of BTX are available on the market as type A and B. Clinical studies of BTX used for spastic hemiplegic patients are reviewed in this article in two major categories, upper and lower limb applications. This review addresses efficacy in terms of outcome measures, such as muscle tone reduction and functional outcome, as well as safety issues. Application modifications of dose, dilutions, site of injections and combination therapies with BTX injections are also discussed. PMID:17607049

  6. 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.

  7. A reaction-diffusion-advection model of harmful algae growth with toxin degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Feng-Bin; Hsu, Sze-Bi; Zhao, Xiao-Qiang

    2015-10-01

    This paper is devoted to the study of a reaction-diffusion-advection system modeling the dynamics of a single nutrient, harmful algae and algal toxin in a flowing water habitat with a hydraulic storage zone. We introduce the basic reproduction ratio R0 for algae and show that R0 serves as a threshold value for persistence and extinction of the algae. More precisely, we prove that the washout steady state is globally attractive if R0 < 1, while there exists a positive steady state and the algae is uniformly persistent if R0 > 1. With an additional assumption, we obtain the uniqueness and global attractivity of the positive steady state in the case where R0 > 1.

  8. DNA Analysis of Algal Endosymbionts of Ciliates Reveals the State of Algal Integration and the Surprising Specificity of the Symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Hoshina, Ryo; Kusuoka, Yasushi

    2016-04-01

    Many freshwater protists harbor unicellular green algae within their cells, but little is known of their degree of integration and specificity. Using algae-targeted PCR of whole ciliate cells collected at irregular intervals over 15 months from Lake Biwa, Japan, we explored the SSU-ITS rDNA of the endosymbiotic algae and its changes over time, obtaining sequences of algal rDNA fragments from four ciliate species. A high proportion of clonal algae was evident within the ciliate cells. The differences observed in those sequences from the SSU through to the ITS region were less than 1%. The name 'Chlorb' is proposed for these algae, with the implication that they represent a single 'species.' The sequences of the algal DNA fragments were identical for any given host species throughout the collection period, thus we conclude that these four ciliates stably retain their algae over long term. In contrast, algal DNA fragments obtained from Didinium sp. were variable within each sample, which indicates that this ciliate only temporarily holds its algal cells. The ITS1 sequences of Chlorb populations are close (at intraspecific level) to those of algae isolated from ciliates in Austria, which raises the possibility that Chlorb algae are universally shared as symbionts among various ciliates.

  9. An overview of the interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB): advancing the scientific understanding of freshwater harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Hudnell, H Kenneth; Dortch, Quay; Zenick, Harold

    2008-01-01

    There is growing evidence that the spatial and temporal incidence of harmful algal blooms is increasing, posing potential risks to human health and ecosystem sustainability. Currently there are no US Federal guidelines, Water Quality Criteria and Standards, or regulations concerning the management of harmful algal blooms. Algal blooms in freshwater are predominantly cyanobacteria, some of which produce highly potent cyanotoxins. The US Congress mandated a Scientific Assessment of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms in the 2004 reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Act. To further the scientific understanding of freshwater harmful algal blooms, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established an interagency committee to organize the Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB). A theoretical framework to define scientific issues and a systems approach to implement the assessment and management of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms were developed as organizing themes for the symposium. Seven major topic areas and 23 subtopics were addressed in Workgroups and platform sessions during the symposium. The primary charge given to platform presenters was to describe the state of the science in the subtopic areas, whereas the Workgroups were charged with identifying research that could be accomplished in the short- and long-term to reduce scientific uncertainties. The proceedings of the symposium, published in this monograph, are intended to inform policy determinations and the mandated Scientific Assessment by describing the scientific knowledge and areas of uncertainty concerning freshwater harmful algal blooms.

  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

    2015-02-01

    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. 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.

  12. Selective control of the Prorocentrum minimum harmful algal blooms by a novel algal-lytic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis AFMB-008041.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jeong-Dong; Kim, Ji-Young; Park, Jae-Kweon; Lee, Choul-Gyun

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we examined the algal-lytic activities and biological control mechanisms of Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis AFMB-08041, which was isolated from surface seawater obtained at Masan Bay in Korea. In addition, we assessed whether AFMB-08041 could be used as a biocontrol agent to regulate harmful dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum. From these experiments, we found that the inoculation of AFMB-08041 at a final density of 2.5 x 10(4) cfu ml(-1) caused P. minimum cells to degrade (>90%) within 5 days. The algal cells were lysed through an indirect attack by the AFMB-08041 bacterial strain. Our results also suggest that the algal-lytic compounds produced by AFMB-08041 may have beta-glucosidase activity. However, P. haloplanktis AFMB-08041 was not able to suppress the growth of other alga such as Alexandrium tamarense, Akashiwo sanguinea, Cochlodinium polykrikoides, Gymnodinium catenatum, and Heterosigma akashiwo. Moreover, we observed that the growth of Prorocentrum dentatum, which has a very similar morphological structure to P. minimum, was also effectively suppressed by P. haloplanktis AFMB-08041. Therefore, the effect of AFMB-08041 on P. minimum degradation appears to be species specific. When testing in an indoor mesocosms, P. haloplanktis AFMB-08041 reduced the amount of viable P. minimum cells by 94.5% within 5 days after inoculation. The combined results of this study clearly demonstrate that this bacterium is capable of regulating the harmful algal blooms of P. minimum. In addition, these results will enable us to develop a new strategy for the anthropogenic control of harmful algal bloom-forming species in nature.

  13. Cytokine response by human monocytes to Clostridium difficile toxin A and toxin B.

    PubMed Central

    Flegel, W A; Müller, F; Däubener, W; Fischer, H G; Hadding, U; Northoff, H

    1991-01-01

    Clostridium difficile toxins A and B isolated from strain VPI 10463 were tested for induction of cytokine release by human monocytes. Toxin B at 10(-12) M activated human monocytes as measured by release of interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), or IL-6. These effects of toxin B were heat labile (51 degrees C, 30 min). Toxin B was as effective as bacterial lipopolysaccharides in inducing IL-1 beta but less effective in inducing TNF or IL-6. Toxin B and lipopolysaccharides were synergistic in induction of IL-1 beta, TNF, and IL-6. The toxin A preparation used was 1,000-fold less active than toxin B. Apart from the difference in activity, the two toxins showed identical patterns of reaction and there was no synergism between them. A short pulse with toxin B was sufficient to trigger IL-1 release. Toxin B was also extremely toxic for monocytes. The toxicity and the induced proinflammatory monokines (IL-1 and TNF) may contribute to the pathogenic mechanisms of C. difficile infection and pseudomembranous colitis. Images PMID:1910012

  14. 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

  15. A cryptic algal group unveiled: a plastid biosynthesis pathway in the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, Motomichi; Kuroiwa, Haruko; Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Nozaki, Hisayoshi

    2008-06-01

    Plastids are widespread in plant and algal lineages. They are also exploited by some nonphotosynthetic protists, including malarial parasites, to support their diverse modes of life. However, cryptic plastids may exist in other nonphotosynthetic protists, which could be important in studies on the diversity and evolution of plastids. The parasite Perkinsus marinus, which causes mass mortality in oyster farms, is a nonphotosynthetic protist that is phylogenetically related to plastid-bearing dinoflagellates and apicomplexans. In this study, we searched for P. marinus methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway genes, responsible for de novo isoprenoid synthesis in plastids, and determined the full-length gene sequences for 6 of 7 of these genes. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that each P. marinus gene clusters with orthologs from plastid-bearing eukaryotes, which have MEP pathway genes with essentially the same mosaic pattern of evolutionary origin. A new analytical method called sliding-window iteration of TargetP was developed to examine the distribution of targeting preferences. This analysis revealed that the sequenced genes encode bipartite targeting peptides that are characteristic of proteins targeted to secondary plastids originating from endosymbiosis of eukaryotic algae. These results support our idea that Perkinsus is a cryptic algal group containing nonphotosynthetic secondary plastids. In fact, immunofluorescent microscopy indicated that 1 of the MEP pathway enzymes, 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase, was localized to small compartments near mitochondrion, which are possibly plastids. This tiny organelle seems to contain very low quantities of DNA or may even lack DNA entirely. The MEP pathway genes are a useful tool for investigating plastid evolution in both of the photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes and led us to propose the hypothesis that ancestral "chromalveolates" harbored plastids before a secondary endosymbiotic event.

  16. REMOVAL OF HARMFUL ALGAL CELLS (KARENIA BREVIS) AND TOXINS FROM SEAWATER CULTURE BY CLAY FLOCCULATION. (R827090)

    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...

  17. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:15737680

  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. Cholera toxin-like toxin released by Salmonella species in the presence of mitomycin C.

    PubMed

    Molina, N C; Peterson, J W

    1980-10-01

    Several serotypes of Salmonella were shown to release increased amounts of a cholera toxin-like toxin during culture in vitro with mitomycin C (MTC). Filter-sterilized culture supernatants containing the toxin caused elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells, which could be blocked by heating the supernatants at 100 degrees C for 15 min or by adding mixed gangliosides or monospecific cholera antitoxin. When MTC was not added to the Salmonella cultures, little or no toxin was detected in crude, unconcentrated culture supernatants. Optimal production of toxin was observed in the presence of 0.5 micrograms of MTC per ml in shake flask cultures of Casamino Acids-yeast extract medium, Syncase, or peptone saline at 37 degrees C. Meat infusion media (heart infusion and brain heart infusion) plus MTC resulted in poor toxin yield. Culture filtrates frequently could be diluted 1:8 and still result in elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells. PMID:7002788

  20. Cholera toxin-like toxin released by Salmonella species in the presence of mitomycin C.

    PubMed

    Molina, N C; Peterson, J W

    1980-10-01

    Several serotypes of Salmonella were shown to release increased amounts of a cholera toxin-like toxin during culture in vitro with mitomycin C (MTC). Filter-sterilized culture supernatants containing the toxin caused elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells, which could be blocked by heating the supernatants at 100 degrees C for 15 min or by adding mixed gangliosides or monospecific cholera antitoxin. When MTC was not added to the Salmonella cultures, little or no toxin was detected in crude, unconcentrated culture supernatants. Optimal production of toxin was observed in the presence of 0.5 micrograms of MTC per ml in shake flask cultures of Casamino Acids-yeast extract medium, Syncase, or peptone saline at 37 degrees C. Meat infusion media (heart infusion and brain heart infusion) plus MTC resulted in poor toxin yield. Culture filtrates frequently could be diluted 1:8 and still result in elongation of Chinese hamster ovary cells.

  1. Clostridium perfringens type A-E toxin plasmids.

    PubMed

    Freedman, John C; Theoret, James R; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Rood, Julian I; McClane, Bruce A

    2015-05-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell.

  2. Algal communities attached to free-drifting, Antarctic icebergs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robison, Bruce H.; Vernet, Maria; Smith, Kenneth L., Jr.

    2011-06-01

    Disintegration of the Antarctic Peninsula's eastern ice shelves has increased the population of icebergs traversing the Weddell Sea, but until recently little was known about their ecological impact on the pelagic environment. Here we describe a class of algal communities that occur on the submerged flanks of large, free-drifting, glacially-derived tabular icebergs. We used remotely operated vehicles to examine these icebergs directly for the first time, to survey the algal communities and collect material for shipboard laboratory studies. The communities, principally diatoms, were associated with a characteristic cupped configuration of the ice surface, and they served as feeding sites for aggregations of Antarctic krill. Production rate measurements indicate that these communities are providing a substantial contribution to regional primary production in summer. As the number of icebergs grows, the number of algae communities may also be increasing, along with their cumulative contribution to organic carbon flux.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms

    PubMed Central

    Frada, Miguel J; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-01-01

    Viruses infecting marine phytoplankton are key biogeochemical ‘engines’ of the oceans, regulating the dynamics of algal populations and the fate of their extensive blooms. In addition they are important ecological and evolutionary drivers of microbial diversification. Yet, little is known about mechanisms influencing viral dispersal in aquatic systems, enabling the rapid infection and demise of vast phytoplankton blooms. In a recent study we showed that migrating zooplankton as copepods that graze on marine phytoplankton can act as transmission vectors for algal viruses. We demonstrated that these grazers can concentrate virions through topical adsorption and by ingesting infected cells and then releasing back to the medium, via detachment or defecation, high viral titers that readily infect host populations. We proposed that this zooplankton-driven process can potentially boost viral dispersal over wide oceanic scales and enhance bloom termination. Here, we highlight key results and further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of our findings. PMID:26479489

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Phenolic content and antioxidant capacity in algal food products.

    PubMed

    Machu, Ludmila; Misurcova, Ladislava; Ambrozova, Jarmila Vavra; Orsavova, Jana; Mlcek, Jiri; Sochor, Jiri; Jurikova, Tunde

    2015-01-01

    The study objective was to investigate total phenolic content using Folin-Ciocalteu's method, to assess nine phenols by HPLC, to determine antioxidant capacity of the water soluble compounds (ACW) by a photochemiluminescence method, and to calculate the correlation coefficients in commercial algal food products from brown (Laminaria japonica, Eisenia bicyclis, Hizikia fusiformis, Undaria pinnatifida) and red (Porphyra tenera, Palmaria palmata) seaweed, green freshwater algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa), and cyanobacteria (Spirulina platensis). HPLC analysis showed that the most abundant phenolic compound was epicatechin. From spectrophotometry and ACW determination it was evident that brown seaweed Eisenia bicyclis was the sample with the highest phenolic and ACW values (193 mg·g-1 GAE; 7.53 µmol AA·g-1, respectively). A linear relationship existed between ACW and phenolic contents (r = 0.99). Some algal products seem to be promising functional foods rich in polyphenols. PMID:25587787

  10. Algal viruses hitchhiking on zooplankton across phytoplankton blooms.

    PubMed

    Frada, Miguel J; Vardi, Assaf

    2015-01-01

    Viruses infecting marine phytoplankton are key biogeochemical 'engines' of the oceans, regulating the dynamics of algal populations and the fate of their extensive blooms. In addition they are important ecological and evolutionary drivers of microbial diversification. Yet, little is known about mechanisms influencing viral dispersal in aquatic systems, enabling the rapid infection and demise of vast phytoplankton blooms. In a recent study we showed that migrating zooplankton as copepods that graze on marine phytoplankton can act as transmission vectors for algal viruses. We demonstrated that these grazers can concentrate virions through topical adsorption and by ingesting infected cells and then releasing back to the medium, via detachment or defecation, high viral titers that readily infect host populations. We proposed that this zooplankton-driven process can potentially boost viral dispersal over wide oceanic scales and enhance bloom termination. Here, we highlight key results and further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of our findings.

  11. 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. PMID:25465782

  12. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Clostridium difficile toxin A.

    PubMed Central

    Lyerly, D M; Sullivan, N M; Wilkins, T D

    1983-01-01

    Antibodies against Clostridium difficile toxin A were purified by affinity chromatography from antiserum prepared against crude C. difficile toxin preparations. The affinity-purified antibody preparation was free of detectable amounts of antibodies to other C. difficile antigens, as demonstrated by crossed immunoelectrophoresis, and specifically neutralized the cytotoxicity of toxin A. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was subsequently developed using the antibody preparation for the specific detection of toxin A. The ELISA, which could detect 1 ng (5 ng/ml) of toxin A, was used to quantitate the toxin in the culture supernatant fluids of strains of C. difficile. The ELISA values for toxin A closely correlated with the toxin A and B cytotoxic titers of the supernatant fluids. In addition, toxin A was detected by ELISA in human fecal specimens from persons with antibiotic-associated colitis, demonstrating that this toxin is produced during C. difficile colitis. Images PMID:6338036

  13. Emetic toxin-producing strains of Bacillus cereus show distinct characteristics within the Bacillus cereus group.

    PubMed

    Carlin, Frédéric; Fricker, Martina; Pielaat, Annemarie; Heisterkamp, Simon; Shaheen, Ranad; Salonen, Mirja Salkinoja; Svensson, Birgitta; Nguyen-the, Christophe; Ehling-Schulz, Monika

    2006-05-25

    One hundred representative strains of Bacillus cereus were selected from a total collection of 372 B. cereus strains using two typing methods (RAPD and FT-IR) to investigate if emetic toxin-producing hazardous B. cereus strains possess characteristic growth and heat resistance profiles. The strains were classified into three groups: emetic toxin (cereulide)-producing strains (n=17), strains connected to diarrheal foodborne outbreaks (n=40) and food-environment strains (n=43), these latter not producing the emetic toxin. Our study revealed a shift in growth limits towards higher temperatures for the emetic strains, regardless of their origin. None of the emetic toxin-producing strains were able to grow below 10 degrees Celsius. In contrast, 11% (9 food-environment strains) out of the 83 non-emetic toxin-producing strains were able to grow at 4 degrees Celsius and 49% at 7 degrees Celsius (28 diarrheal and 13 food-environment strains). non-emetic toxin-producing strains. All emetic toxin-producing strains were able to grow at 48 degrees Celsius, but only 39% (16 diarrheal and 16 food-environment strains) of the non-emetic toxin-producing strains grew at this temperature. Spores from the emetic toxin-producing strains showed, on average, a higher heat resistance at 90 degrees Celsius and a lower germination, particularly at 7 degrees Celsius, than spores from the other strains. No difference between the three groups in their growth kinetics at 24 degrees Celsius, 37 degrees Celsius, and pH 5.0, 7.0, and 8.0 was observed. Our survey shows that emetic toxin-producing strains of B. cereus have distinct characteristics, which could have important implication for the risk assessment of the emetic type of B. cereus caused food poisoning. For instance, emetic strains still represent a special risk in heat-processed foods or preheated foods that are kept warm (in restaurants and cafeterias), but should not pose a risk in refrigerated foods. PMID:16503068

  14. 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.

  15. Selective algicidal action of peptides against harmful algal bloom species.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Cheol; Lee, Jong-Kook; Kim, Si Wouk; Park, Yoonkyung

    2011-01-01

    Recently, harmful algal bloom (HAB), also termed "red tide", has been recognized as a serious problem in marine environments according to climate changes worldwide. Many novel materials or methods to prevent HAB have not yet been employed except for clay dispersion, in which can the resulting sedimentation on the seafloor can also cause alteration in marine ecology or secondary environmental pollution. In the current study, we investigated that antimicrobial peptide have a potential in controlling HAB without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Here, antimicrobial peptides are proposed as new algicidal compounds in combating HAB cells. HPA3 and HPA3NT3 peptides which exert potent antimicrobial activity via pore forming action in plasma membrane showed that HPA3NT3 reduced the motility of algal cells, disrupted their plasma membrane, and induced the efflux of intracellular components. Against raphidoflagellate such as Heterosigma akashiwo, Chattonella sp., and C. marina, it displayed a rapid lysing action in cell membranes at 1~4 µM within 2 min. Comparatively, its lysing effects occurred at 8 µM within 1 h in dinoflagellate such as Cochlodium polykrikoides, Prorocentrum micans, and P. minimum. Moreover, its lysing action induced the lysis of chloroplasts and loss of chlorophyll a. In the contrary, this peptide was not effective against Skeletonema costatum, harmless algal cell, even at 256 µM, moreover, it killed only H. akashiwo or C. marina in co-cultivation with S. costatum, indicating to its selective algicidal activity between harmful and harmless algal cells. The peptide was non-hemolytic against red blood cells of Sebastes schlegeli, the black rockfish, at 120 µM. HAB cells were quickly and selectively lysed following treatment of antimicrobial peptides without cytotoxicity to harmless marine organisms. Thus, the antibiotic peptides examined in our study appear to have much potential in effectively controlling HAB with minimal impact on marine

  16. Algal omics: unlocking bioproduct diversity in algae cell factories.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Michael T; Pienkos, Philip T

    2015-03-01

    Rapid advances in "omic" technologies are helping to unlock the full potential of microalgae as multi-use feedstocks, with utility in an array of industrial biotechnology, biofuel, and biomedical applications. In turn, algae are emerging as highly attractive candidates for development as microbial cell factories. In this review, we examine the wide array of potential algal bioproducts, with a focus upon the role of omic technologies in driving bioproduct discovery and optimization in microalgal systems.

  17. Investigating the role of solanapyrone toxins in Ascochyta blight using toxin-deficient mutants of Asochyta rabiei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascochyta rabiei, the causal agent of Ascochyta blight of chickpea, produces solanapyrone toxins (solanapyrone A, B and C). However, very little is known about the genetics of toxin production and the role of the toxins in pathogenesis. Generating mutants deficient in the toxin biosynthesis would p...

  18. Identification of the Helicobacter pylori VacA Toxin Domain Active in the Cell Cytosol

    PubMed Central

    de Bernard, Marina; Burroni, Daniela; Papini, Emanuele; Rappuoli, Rino; Telford, John; Montecucco, Cesare

    1998-01-01

    Cells exposed to Helicobacter pylori toxin VacA develop large vacuoles which originate from massive swelling of membranous compartments at late stages of the endocytic pathway. When expressed in the cytosol, VacA induces vacuolization as it does when added from outside. This and other evidence indicate that VacA is a toxin capable of entering the cell cytosol, where it displays its activity. In this study, we have used cytosolic expression to identify the portion of the toxin molecule responsible for the vacuolating activity. VacA mutants with deletions at the C and N termini were generated, and their activity was analyzed upon expression in HeLa cells. We found that the vacuolating activity of VacA resides in the amino-terminal region, the whole of which is required for its intracellular activity. PMID:9826387

  19. The Use of Convection-Enhanced Delivery with Liposomal Toxins in Neurooncology

    PubMed Central

    Fiandaca, Massimo S.; Berger, Mitchel S.; Bankiewicz, Krystof S.

    2011-01-01

    Liposomes have long been effective delivery vehicles for transport of toxins to peripheral cancers. The combination of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) with liposomal toxins was originally proposed to circumvent the limited delivery of intravascular liposomes to the central nervous system (CNS) due to the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). CED offers markedly improved distribution of infused therapeutics within the CNS compared to direct injection or via drug eluting polymers, both of which depend on diffusion for parenchymal distribution. This review examines the basis for improved delivery of liposomal toxins via CED within the CNS, and discusses preclinical and clinical experience with these therapeutic techniques. How CED and liposomal technologies may influence future neurooncologic treatments are also considered. PMID:22069714

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Floating Ice-Algal Aggregates below Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24204642

  6. Promotion of harmful algal blooms by zooplankton predatory activity.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Aditee; Flynn, Kevin J

    2006-06-22

    The relationship between algae and their zooplanktonic predators typically involves consumption of nutrients by algae, grazing of the algae by zooplankton which in turn enhances predator biomass, controls algal growth and regenerates nutrients. Eutrophication raises nutrient levels, but does not simply increase normal predator-prey activity; rather, harmful algal bloom (HAB) events develop often with serious ecological and aesthetic implications. Generally, HAB species are outwardly poor competitors for nutrients, while their development of grazing deterrents during nutrient stress ostensibly occurs too late, after the nutrients have largely been consumed already by fast-growing non-HAB species. A new mechanism is presented to explain HAB dynamics under these circumstances. Using a multi-nutrient predator-prey model, it is demonstrated that these blooms can develop through the self-propagating failure of normal predator-prey activity, resulting in the transfer of nutrients into HAB growth at the expense of competing algal species. Rate limitation of this transfer provides a continual level of nutrient stress that results in HAB species exhibiting grazing deterrents protecting them from top-down control. This process is self-stabilizing as long as nutrient demand exceeds supply, maintaining the unpalatable status of HABs; such events are most likely under eutrophic conditions with skewed nutrient ratios.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. An algal solution to large scale wastewater amelioration

    SciTech Connect

    Adey, W.H.

    1995-06-01

    Wastewater nutrients can be lowered to oligotrophic levels through uptake by algal biomass, while photosynthetic oxygen removes bacterial BOD, and oxygen-based ions, with UV application, can break down xenobiotic organic compounds. Algae also uptake heavy metals in cell walls, and the high pH from CO{sub 25} removal precipitates metals, earth metals and phosphorus. Algal biomass produced from many wastewaters has valuable commercial applications. Algal Turf Scrubbing (ATS) was developed as a tool to control water quality in ecosystem models, often at oligotrophic levels. ATS has routinely achieved biomass production (and water amelioration capability) of over 50 g (dry mass) m{sup -2} day{sup -1} in secondary sewage. Engineering innovations, with mechanized harvest, have brought ATS to large scale with a pilot sewage plant in central California. This is a low cost, modular unit, at 1000 cubic meters per day, and plans are underway to expand to city capacity for Tertiary-Quinary water recovery. A wide variety of wastewater applications, from agricultural, to aquacultural to industrial will be discussed.

  10. 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. PMID:22983032

  11. 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.

  12. Mega assemblages of oligomeric aerolysin-like toxins stabilized by toxin-associating membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Hiroyasu; Kitada, Sakae

    2011-01-01

    Most β pore-forming toxins need to be oligomerized via receptors in order to form membrane pores. Though oligomerizing toxins frequently form SDS-resistant oligomers, it was questionable whether SDS-resistant oligomers reflected native functional toxin complexes. In order to elucidate the essence of the cytocidal assemblages, oligomers of aerolysin-like toxins, aerolysin, parasporin-2 and epsilon toxin, were examined with or without SDS. On Blue Native PAGE, each toxin, which had been solubilized from target cells with mild detergent, was a much larger complex (nearly 1 MDa) than the typical SDS-resistant oligomers (∼200 kDa). Size exclusion chromatography confirmed the huge toxin complexes. While a portion of the huge complexes were sensitive to proteases, SDS-resistant oligomers resist the proteolysis. Presumably the core toxin complexes remained intact while the cellular proteins were degraded. Moreover, intermediate complexes, which included no SDS-resistant oligomers, could be detected at lower temperatures. This study provides evidence for huge functional complexes of β pore-forming toxins and emphasizes their potential variance in composition.

  13. The Interactions of Human Neutrophils with Shiga Toxins and Related Plant Toxins: Danger or Safety?

    PubMed Central

    Brigotti, Maurizio

    2012-01-01

    Shiga toxins and ricin are well characterized similar toxins belonging to quite different biological kingdoms. Plant and bacteria have evolved the ability to produce these powerful toxins in parallel, while humans have evolved a defense system that recognizes molecular patterns common to foreign molecules through specific receptors expressed on the surface of the main actors of innate immunity, namely monocytes and neutrophils. The interactions between these toxins and neutrophils have been widely described and have stimulated intense debate. This paper is aimed at reviewing the topic, focusing particularly on implications for the pathogenesis and diagnosis of hemolytic uremic syndrome. PMID:22741061

  14. 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. PMID:27212628

  15. Role of Gut-Derived Protein-Bound Uremic Toxins in Cardiorenal Syndrome and Potential Treatment Modalities.

    PubMed

    Lekawanvijit, Suree

    2015-01-01

    Uremic toxins have been increasingly recognized as a crucial missing link in the cardiorenal syndrome. Advances in dialysis technologies have contributed to an enormous improvement in uremic toxin removal, but removal of protein-bound uremic toxins (PBUTs) by current conventional dialysis remains problematic because of their protein-binding capacity. Most PBUTs that have been implicated in cardiorenal toxicity have been demonstrated to be derived from a colonic microbiota metabolism pathway using dietary amino acids as a substrate. Currently, indoxyl sulfate and p-cresyl sulfate are the most extensively investigated gut-derived PBUTs. Strong evidence of adverse clinical outcomes, as well as biological toxicity on the kidney and cardiovascular system attributable to these toxins, has been increasingly reported. Regarding their site of origin, the colon has become a potential target for treatment of cardiorenal syndrome induced by gut-derived PBUTs.

  16. Analysis of the Bacillus cereus SpoIIS antitoxin-toxin system reveals its three-component nature.

    PubMed

    Melničáková, Jana; Bečárová, Zuzana; Makroczyová, Jana; Barák, Imrich

    2015-01-01

    Programmed cell death in bacteria is generally associated with two-component toxin-antitoxin systems. The SpoIIS toxin-antitoxin system, consisting of a membrane-bound SpoIISA toxin and a small, cytosolic antitoxin SpoIISB, was originally identified in Bacillus subtilis. In this work we describe the Bacillus cereus SpoIIS system which is a three-component system, harboring an additional gene spoIISC. Its protein product serves as an antitoxin, and similarly as SpoIISB, is able to bind SpoIISA and abolish its toxic effect. Our results indicate that SpoIISC seems to be present not only in B. cereus but also in other Bacilli containing a SpoIIS toxin-antitoxin system. In addition, we show that B. cereus SpoIISA can form higher oligomers and we discuss the possible role of this multimerization for the protein's toxic function.

  17. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Dagda, Ruben K.; Das Banerjee, Tania; Janda, Elzbieta

    2013-01-01

    Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone) have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD. PMID:24217228

  18. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes

    PubMed Central

    do Vale, Ana; Cabanes, Didier; Sousa, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favor microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signaling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed. PMID:26870008

  19. [Treatment of wrinkles with botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Lanzl, I; Merté, R-L

    2007-09-01

    The use of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of wrinkles is increasing. Botulinum toxin A inhibits exocytosis of acetylcholine from 3 to 12 months, depending on the target tissue. Low-dose botulinum toxin A is used to smooth hyperkinetic facial lines. This is especially successful in the upper facial parts, since the target muscles (procerus, corrugator supracilii, frontalis, orbicularis oculi) all directly overlie the osseous structures of the face. This is not the case for the lower facial parts, and more side effects are encountered when treating, for example, wrinkles around the mouth. Contraindications to the use of botulinum toxin A are diseases affecting neuromuscular signal transduction, allergic reactions to components of the solution, therapy with aminoglycosides or acetylsalicylic acid prior to treatment, infections in the planned treatment area, and pregnancy and lactation. Alternative and complementary treatments include erbium-YAG or CO2 laser, as well as augmentation and surgical plastic procedures. PMID:17823803

  20. INVESTIGATOIN OF CYANOBACTERIA TOXINS IN WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction:

    Approximately 80 alkaloid and cyclic peptide toxins produced by various freshwater and marine cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) have been identified and their structures determined. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified two neurotoxin alkalo...

  1. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes.

    PubMed

    do Vale, Ana; Cabanes, Didier; Sousa, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favor microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signaling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed.

  2. Clostridium difficile and C. difficile Toxin Testing

    MedlinePlus

    ... C diff antigen; GDH Formal name: Clostridium difficile Culture; C. difficile Toxin, A and B; C. difficile Cytotoxin Assay; Glutamate Dehydrogenase Test Related tests: Stool Culture ; O&P At a Glance Test Sample The ...

  3. Nanoanalysis of the arthropod neuro-toxins

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Terumi

    2006-01-01

    Many kinds of venomous principles modulate physiological responses of mammalian signal transduction systems, on which they act selectively as enhancers, inhibitors or some other kind of effectors. These toxins become useful tools for physiological research. We have employed and characterized paralyzing toxins from the venom of spiders, insects and scorpions with a limited supply. We have developed rapid and sensitive mass spectrometric technology and applied for the identification of these toxins. Venom profiles are screened by MALDI-TOF fingerprinting analysis prior to purification of venomous components, then marked target toxins of small molecular mass (1000–5000) are characterized directly by means of mass spectrometric techniques such as Frit-FAB MS/MS, CID/PSD-TOF MS, Capil.-HPLC/Q-TOF MS/MS etc. PMID:25792792

  4. Bacterial Toxins as Pathogen Weapons Against Phagocytes.

    PubMed

    do Vale, Ana; Cabanes, Didier; Sousa, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favor microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signaling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed. PMID:26870008

  5. [Botulinum toxin in disabling dermatological diseases].

    PubMed

    Messikh, R; Atallah, L; Aubin, F; Humbert, P

    2009-05-01

    Botulinum toxin could represent nowadays a new treatment modality especially for cutaneous conditions in course of which conventional treatments remain unsuccessful. Besides palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis, botulinum toxin has demonstrated efficacy in different conditions associated with hyperhidrosis, such as dyshidrosis, multiple eccrine hidrocystomas, hidradenitis suppurativa, Frey syndrome, but also in different conditions worsened by hyperhidrosis such as Hailey-Hailey disease, Darier disease, inversed psoriasis, aquagenic palmoplantar keratoderma, pachyonychia congenital. Moreover, different cutaneous conditions associated with sensitive disorders and/or neurological involvements could benefit from botulinum toxin, for example anal fissures, leg ulcers, lichen simplex, notalgia paresthetica, vestibulitis. Endly, a case of cutis laxa was described where the patient was improved by cutaneous injections of botulinum toxin. PMID:19576479

  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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27563864

  7. Combined cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of a marine toxin and seafood contaminant metal ions (chromium and cadmium).

    PubMed

    Souid-Mensi, Ghada; Moukha, Serge; Maaroufi, Khira; Creppy, Edmond E

    2008-02-01

    Algal bloom with consequent production of marine toxins contaminating bivalves is increasing in costal regions worldwide because of sea water quality worsening. Contamination of seafood by diarrheic shellfish poisoning toxins (DSP) together with metals is frequently reported, a phenomenon not fully explained yet. In this context, metal ions were assayed in clams collected from the banned area of Boughrara, Tunisia, contaminated by Gymnodinium and other algae such as Dinophysis sp, accumulated by these bivalves. The presence of toxic metals ions such as Chromium (Cr) and Cadmium (Cd) in meat, shells, and water released by the clams prompted us to experiment in Caco-2 intestinal cell line toxic effects of these heavy metals ions in combination with okadaic acid, one DSP present in clams to assess the potential global toxicity. Cr and Cd produce additive effects in (i) reactive oxygen species production, (ii) cytotoxicity as assessed by the mitochondrial activity testing method (MTT test), and (iii) DNA lesions evaluated by agarose gel electrophoresis and acridine orange staining. Exaggerated DNA fragmentation is observed, suggesting an overloading of repair capacity of Caco-2 cells. The apoptosis suggested by a DNA fragment sizing (180-200 bp) in agarose gel and mechanisms underlying these additive effects in Caco-2 cells still need to be more comprehensively explained.

  8. Augmenting the Efficacy of Immunotoxins and Other Targeted Protein Toxins by Endosomal Escape Enhancers.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Hendrik; Weng, Alexander; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger

    2016-01-01

    The toxic moiety of almost all protein-based targeted toxins must enter the cytosol of the target cell to mediate its fatal effect. Although more than 500 targeted toxins have been investigated in the past decades, no antibody-targeted protein toxin has been approved for tumor therapeutic applications by the authorities to date. Missing efficacy can be attributed in many cases to insufficient endosomal escape and therefore subsequent lysosomal degradation of the endocytosed toxins. To overcome this drawback, many strategies have been described to weaken the membrane integrity of endosomes. This comprises the use of lysosomotropic amines, carboxylic ionophores, calcium channel antagonists, various cell-penetrating peptides of viral, bacterial, plant, animal, human and synthetic origin, other organic molecules and light-induced techniques. Although the efficacy of the targeted toxins was typically augmented in cell culture hundred or thousand fold, in exceptional cases more than million fold, the combination of several substances harbors new problems including additional side effects, loss of target specificity, difficulties to determine the therapeutic window and cell type-dependent variations. This review critically scrutinizes the chances and challenges of endosomal escape enhancers and their potential role in future developments. PMID:27376327

  9. Structure, Evolution, and Functions of Bacterial Type III Toxin-Antitoxin Systems

    PubMed Central

    Goeders, Nathalie; Chai, Ray; Chen, Bihe; Day, Andrew; Salmond, George P. C.

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic modules that encode a toxin (that targets an essential cellular process) and an antitoxin that neutralises or suppresses the deleterious effect of the toxin. Based on the molecular nature of the toxin and antitoxin components, TA systems are categorised into different types. Type III TA systems, the focus of this review, are composed of a toxic endoribonuclease neutralised by a non-coding RNA antitoxin in a pseudoknotted configuration. Bioinformatic analysis shows that the Type III systems can be classified into subtypes. These TA systems were originally discovered through a phage resistance phenotype arising due to a process akin to an altruistic suicide; the phenomenon of abortive infection. Some Type III TA systems are bifunctional and can stabilise plasmids during vegetative growth and sporulation. Features particular to Type III systems are explored here, emphasising some of the characteristics of the RNA antitoxin and how these may affect the co-evolutionary relationship between toxins and cognate antitoxins in their quaternary structures. Finally, an updated analysis of the distribution and diversity of these systems are presented and discussed. PMID:27690100

  10. Atractaspis aterrima Toxins: The First Insight into the Molecular Evolution of Venom in Side-Stabbers

    PubMed Central

    Terrat, Yves; Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan G.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Scheib, Holger; Fourmy, Rudy; Verdenaud, Marion; Blanchet, Guillaume; Antunes, Agostinho; Ducancel, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus Atractaspis, have been completely neglected. To date only limited number of toxins, such as sarafotoxins have been well characterized from this lineage. In order to investigate the molecular diversity of venom from Atractaspis aterrima—the slender burrowing asp, we utilized a high-throughput transcriptomic approach completed with an original bioinformatics analysis pipeline. Surprisingly, we found that Sarafotoxins do not constitute the major ingredient of the transcriptomic cocktail; rather a large number of previously well-characterized snake venom-components were identified. Notably, we recovered a large diversity of three-finger toxins (3FTxs), which were found to have evolved under the significant influence of positive selection. From the normalized and non-normalized transcriptome libraries, we were able to evaluate the relative abundance of the different toxin groups, uncover rare transcripts, and gain new insight into the transcriptomic machinery. In addition to previously characterized toxin families, we were able to detect numerous highly-transcribed compounds that possess all the key features of venom-components and may constitute new classes of toxins. PMID:24169588

  11. Augmenting the Efficacy of Immunotoxins and Other Targeted Protein Toxins by Endosomal Escape Enhancers

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Hendrik; Weng, Alexander; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger

    2016-01-01

    The toxic moiety of almost all protein-based targeted toxins must enter the cytosol of the target cell to mediate its fatal effect. Although more than 500 targeted toxins have been investigated in the past decades, no antibody-targeted protein toxin has been approved for tumor therapeutic applications by the authorities to date. Missing efficacy can be attributed in many cases to insufficient endosomal escape and therefore subsequent lysosomal degradation of the endocytosed toxins. To overcome this drawback, many strategies have been described to weaken the membrane integrity of endosomes. This comprises the use of lysosomotropic amines, carboxylic ionophores, calcium channel antagonists, various cell-penetrating peptides of viral, bacterial, plant, animal, human and synthetic origin, other organic molecules and light-induced techniques. Although the efficacy of the targeted toxins was typically augmented in cell culture hundred or thousand fold, in exceptional cases more than million fold, the combination of several substances harbors new problems including additional side effects, loss of target specificity, difficulties to determine the therapeutic window and cell type-dependent variations. This review critically scrutinizes the chances and challenges of endosomal escape enhancers and their potential role in future developments. PMID:27376327

  12. Detection of antibodies against botulinum toxins.

    PubMed

    Sesardic, Dorothea; Jones, Russell G A; Leung, Tong; Alsop, Toni; Tierney, Robert

    2004-03-01

    After immunisation with botulinum vaccine, antibodies to multiple epitopes are produced. Only some of these will have the capacity to neutralise the toxin activity. In fact, the ability of toxoid vaccine to induce toxin neutralising antibodies has provided the basis for the use of therapeutic antitoxins and immunoglobulins for the prophylaxis and treatment of diseases caused by bacterial toxins. Increasing indications for the chronic use of botulinum toxin for therapy have inevitably resulted in concern for patients becoming unresponsive because of the presence of circulating toxin-specific antibodies. Highly sensitive and relevant assays to detect only clinically relevant toxin neutralising antibodies are essential. Although immunoassays often provide the sensitivity, their relevance and specificity is often questioned. The mouse protection LD(50) bioassay is considered most relevant but can often only detect 10 mIU/ml of antitoxin. This sensitivity, although sufficient for confirming protective immunity, is inadequate for patients undergoing toxin therapy. An intramuscular paralysis assay improves the sensitivity to ca. 1 mIU/ml, and a mouse ex vivo diaphragm assay, with sensitivity of < 0.5 mIU/ml, is the most sensitive functional assay to date for this purpose. Alternative approaches for the detection of antibodies to botulinum toxin have included in vitro endopeptidase activity neutralisation. Unlike any other functional assay, this approach is not reliant on serotype-specific antibodies for specificity. Most recent promising developments are focused on cellular assays utilising primary rat embryonic cord cells or more conveniently in vitro differentiated established cell lines such as human neuroblastoma cells.

  13. Purification and characterization of Clostridium difficile toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Rolfe, R D; Finegold, S M

    1979-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains are a major cause of antimicrobial-associated ileocecitis in laboratory animals and pseudomembranous colitis in humans. C. difficile ATCC 9689 was cultivated in a synthetic medium to which 3% ultrafiltrated proteose peptone was added. Purification of the toxin from broth filtrate was accomplished through ultrafiltration (100,000 nominal-molecular-weight-limit membrane), precipitation with 75% (NH4)2SO4, and chromatographic separation using Bio-Gel A 5m followed by ion-exchange chromatography on a diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex A-25 column. The purified toxin displayed only one band on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and approximately 170 pg was cytopathic for human amnion cells. The isolated toxin was neutralized by Clostridium sordelli antitoxin, heat labile (56 degrees C for 30 min), and inactivated at pH 4 and 9; it had an isoelectric point of 5.0, increased vascular permeability in rabbits, and caused ileocecitis in hamsters when injected intracecally. Treatment of the toxin with trypsin, chymotrypsin, pronase, amylase, or ethylmercurithiosalicylate caused inactivation, whereas lipase had no effect. By gel filtration, its molecular weight was estimated as 530,000. Upon reduction and denaturation, the toxin dissociated into 185,000- and 50,000-molecular-weight components, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Extensive dissociation yielded only the 50,000-molecular-weight component. The toxin appears to be protoplasmic and is released into the surrounding environment upon autolysis of the cells. Attempts to correlate specific enzymatic activity with the toxin have been unsuccessful. These studies will help delineate the role of C. difficile toxin in antimicrobial-associated colitis and diarrhea. Images PMID:478634

  14. Toxicological Perspective on Climate Change: Aquatic Toxins.

    PubMed

    Botana, Luis M

    2016-04-18

    In recent years, our group and several others have been describing the presence of new, not previously reported, toxins of high toxicity in vectors that may reach the human food chain. These include tetrodotoxin in gastropods in the South of Europe, ciguatoxin in fish in the South of Spain, palytoxin in mussels in the Mediterranean Sea, pinnatoxin all over Europe, and okadaic acid in the south of the U.S. There seem to be new marine toxins appearing in areas that are heavy producers of seafood, and this is a cause of concern as most of these new toxins are not included in current legislation and monitoring programs. Along with the new toxins, new chemical analogues are being reported. The same phenomenom is being recorded in freshwater toxins, such as the wide appearance of cylindrospermopsin and the large worldwide increase of microcystin. The problem that this phenomenon, which may be linked to climate warming, poses for toxicologists is very important not only because there is a lack of chronic studies and an incomplete comprehension of the mechanism driving the production of these toxins but also because the lack of a legal framework for them allows many of these toxins to reach the market. In some cases, it is very difficult to control these toxins because there are not enough standards available, they are not always certified, and there is an insufficient understanding of the toxic equivalency factors of the different analogues in each group. All of these factors have been revealed and grouped through the massive increase in the use of LC-MS as a monitoring tool, legally demanded, creating more toxicological problems. PMID:26958981

  15. 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

  16. Sea Anemone Toxins Affecting Potassium Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diochot, Sylvie; Lazdunski, Michel

    The great diversity of K+ channels and their wide distribution in many tissues are associated with important functions in cardiac and neuronal excitability that are now better understood thanks to the discovery of animal toxins. During the past few decades, sea anemones have provided a variety of toxins acting on voltage-sensitive sodium and, more recently, potassium channels. Currently there are three major structural groups of sea anemone K+ channel (SAK) toxins that have been characterized. Radioligand binding and electrophysiological experiments revealed that each group contains peptides displaying selective activities for different subfamilies of K+ channels. Short (35-37 amino acids) peptides in the group I display pore blocking effects on Kv1 channels. Molecular interactions of SAK-I toxins, important for activity and binding on Kv1 channels, implicate a spot of three conserved amino acid residues (Ser, Lys, Tyr) surrounded by other less conserved residues. Long (58-59 amino acids) SAK-II peptides display both enzymatic and K+ channel inhibitory activities. Medium size (42-43 amino acid) SAK-III peptides are gating modifiers which interact either with cardiac HERG or Kv3 channels by altering their voltage-dependent properties. SAK-III toxins bind to the S3C region in the outer vestibule of Kv channels. Sea anemones have proven to be a rich source of pharmacological tools, and some of the SAK toxins are now useful drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases.

  17. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-05-05

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery.

  18. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Christopher F.; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142