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Sample records for ascidian halocynthia roretzi

  1. Complete DNA sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi (Chordata, Urochordata).

    PubMed

    Yokobori, S i; Ueda, T; Feldmaier-Fuchs, G; Pääbo, S; Ueshima, R; Kondow, A; Nishikawa, K; Watanabe, K

    1999-12-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the 14,771-bp-long mitochondrial (mt) DNA of a urochordate (Chordata)-the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi-was determined. All the Halocynthia mt-genes were found to be located on a single strand, which is rich in T and G rather than in A and C. Like nematode and Mytilus edulis mtDNAs, that of Halocynthia encodes no ATP synthetase subunit 8 gene. However, it does encode an additional tRNA gene for glycine (anticodon TCT) that enables Halocynthia mitochondria to use AGA and AGG codons for glycine. The mtDNA carries an unusual tRNA(Met) gene with a TAT anticodon instead of the usual tRNA(Met)(CAT) gene. As in other metazoan mtDNAs, there is not any long noncoding region. The gene order of Halocynthia mtDNA is completely different from that of vertebrate mtDNAs except for tRNA(His)-tRNA(Ser)(GCU), suggesting that evolutionary change in the mt-gene structure is much accelerated in the urochordate line compared with that in vertebrates. The amino acid sequences of Halocynthia mt-proteins deduced from their gene sequences are quite different from those in other metazoans, indicating that the substitution rate in Halocynthia mt-protein genes is also accelerated.

  2. Disinfection of fertilized eggs of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi for prevention of soft tunic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Akira; Tanabe, Toru; Nawata, Akatsuki; Suto, Atsushi

    2016-02-25

    Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the causative agent of soft tunic syndrome, was likely introduced to farming sites of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi via ascidian spat. The source of infection is thought to be cysts of A. hoyamushi that reside in the substrates on which the ascidian spat are attached, but not the spat themselves. Thus, there is a need to develop methods to prevent contamination of the substrates with A. hoyamushi during seed production of the ascidian. We evaluated the protozoacidal effects of sodium hypochlorite and povidone-iodine against the flagellate and temporary cyst forms of A. hoyamushi. Additionally, we evaluated the effects of these disinfectants on the development of fertilized ascidian eggs. The flagellate form of A. hoyamushi was completely inactivated by povidone-iodine (5 ppm, 1 min) and sodium hypochlorite (1 ppm, 1 min). The temporary cysts of A. hoyamushi were completely inactivated by both disinfectants (5 ppm, 1 min). Disinfection with 50 ppm povidone-iodine for 15 min or 5 ppm sodium hypochlorite for 15 min had no effect on ascidian embryogenesis. Thus, horizontal transmission of A. hoyamushi via the substrates can be efficiently prevented by disinfecting ascidian eggs or tools used for spawning with povidone-iodine baths ranging from 5 ppm for 1 min to 50 ppm for 15 min without any side effects. PMID:26912045

  3. Transcriptional activity and expression of liver X receptor in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Raslan, Ahmed Ahmed; Lee, Jung Hwan; Shin, Jihye; Shin, Yun Kyung; Sohn, Young Chang

    2013-09-01

    Liver X receptors, LXRs, are ligand-activated transcription factors that belong to the group H nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily. In this study, an LXR (HrLXR) cDNA was cloned from the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi hepatopancreas and characterized to examine the functional conservation of ancestral LXRs in chordates. A phylogenetic analysis of HrLXR showed that it belongs to the tunicate (urochordate) LXR subgroup, which is distinct from vertebrate LXRs. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that HrLXR mRNA was expressed predominantly in the gills, and highly expressed in unfertilized eggs followed by decrease at later embryonic and larval stages. Unexpectedly, HrLXR was not activated by GW3965, whereas a synthetic ligand for a farnesoid X receptor, GW4064, activated HrLXR. This activation was abolished by the deletion of 51 amino acids from the N-terminus. In a mammalian two-hybrid system, HrLXR interacted with HrRXR in the presence of GW4064 or 9-cis retinoic acid. The injection of GW3965 and GW4064 in vivo increased the ATPbinding cassette sub-family G member 4 and HrLXR mRNA levels in the hepatopancreas and gills. These results suggest that the mRNA expression and transcriptional properties of HrLXR are different from those of vertebrate LXRs, although HrLXR is likely responsive to the related NR ligand, GW4064.

  4. Cellulose is not degraded in the tunic of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi contracting soft tunic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Satoshi; Nakayama, Kei; Wada, Masahisa; Kim, Ung-Jin; Azumi, Kaoru; Ojima, Takao; Nozawa, Akino; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi; Hirose, Euichi

    2015-10-16

    Soft tunic syndrome is a fatal disease in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, causing serious damage to ascidian aquaculture in Korea and Japan. In diseased individuals, the tunic, an integumentary extracellular matrix of ascidians, softens and eventually tears. This is an infectious disease caused by the kinetoplastid flagellate Azumiobodo hoyamushi. However, the mechanism of tunic softening remains unknown. Because cellulose fibrils are the main component of the tunic, we compared the contents and structures of cellulose in healthy and diseased tunics by means of biochemical quantification and X-ray diffractometry. Unexpectedly, the cellulose contents and structures of cellulose microfibrils were almost the same regardless of the presence or absence of the disease. Therefore, it is unlikely that thinning of the microfibrils occurred in the softened tunic, because digestion should have resulted in decreases in crystallinity index and crystallite size. Moreover, cellulase was not detected in pure cultures of A. hoyamushi in biochemical and expressed sequence tag analyses. These results indicate that cellulose degradation does not occur in the softened tunic. PMID:26480917

  5. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of drugs against the protozoan parasite Azumiobodo hoyamushi that causes soft tunic syndrome in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche).

    PubMed

    Park, K H; Zeon, S-R; Lee, J-G; Choi, S-H; Shin, Y K; Park, K-I

    2014-04-01

    It was discovered recently that infection by a protozoan parasite, Azumiobodo hoyamushi, is the most probable cause for soft tunic syndrome in an edible ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi (Drasche). In an attempt to develop measures to eradicate the causative parasite, various drugs were tested for efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Of the 20 antiprotozoal drugs having different action mechanisms, five were found potent (24-h EC50  < 10 mg L(-1) ) in their parasite-killing effects: formalin, H2 O2 , bithionol, ClO2 and bronopol. Moderately potent drugs (10 < 24-h EC50  < 100 mg L(-1) ) were quinine, fumagillin, amphotericin B, ketoconazole, povidone-iodine, chloramine-T and benzalkonium chloride. Seven compounds, metronidazole, albendazole, paromomycin, nalidixic acid, sulfamonomethoxine, KMnO4 , potassium monopersulphate and citric acid, exhibited EC50  > 100 mg L(-1) . When ascidians were artificially infected with A. hoyamushi, treated using 40 mg L(-1) formalin, bronopol, ClO2 , or H2 O2 for 1 h and then monitored for 24 h, very low mortality was observed. However, the number of surviving parasite cells in the ascidian tunic tissues was significantly reduced by treating with 40 mg L(-1) formalin or ClO2 for 1 h. The data suggest that we might be able to develop a disinfection measure using a treatment regimen involving commonly available drugs.

  6. Ascidian bioresources: common and variant chemical compositions and exploitation strategy - examples of Halocynthia roretzi, Styela plicata, Ascidia sp. and Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yadong; Li, Jiebing

    2016-01-01

    To explore abundant marine ascidian bioresources, four species from two orders have been compared in their chemical compositions. After a universal separation of the animal body into two fractions, all tunics have been found rich in carbohydrate contents, while all inner body tissues are richer in proteins. Cellulose is present almost exclusively in the tunics and more in the order Stolidobranchia, while more sulfated polysaccharides are present in Phlebobranchia species. Almost all proteins are collagens with a high essential amino acid index and high delicious amino acid (DAA) content. All fractions also have high contents of good-quality fatty acids and trace minerals but low toxic element contents, with different sterols and glycosaminoglycans. There are species-specific characteristics observed for vanadium accumulation and sterol structures which are also meaningful for ascidian chemotaxonomy and resource exploitation. It is suggested that in addition to the present utilizations of tunics for cellulose production and of some species' inner body tissues as human food, one should explore all species' inner body tissues as human foods and all tunics as food or animal feed with the contained cellulose as dietary fiber. Collagens, sulfated polysaccharides, glycosaminoglycans, sterols and trace elements could be explored as byproducts for, e.g. pharmaceutical and chemical industries. PMID:27049617

  7. Octadecabacter ascidiaceicola sp. nov., isolated from a sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi).

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Ok; Park, In-Suk; Park, Sooyeon; Nam, Bo-Hye; Park, Ji-Min; Kim, Dong-Gyun; Yoon, Jung-Hoon

    2016-01-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, non-spore-forming, non-flagellated and coccoid, ovoid or rod-shaped bacterial strain, RA1-3T, was isolated from a sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi) collected from the South Sea, South Korea, and subjected to a taxonomic study using a polyphasic approach. Strain RA1-3T grew optimally at 25 °C, at pH 7.0-8.0 and in the presence of 2.0-3.0 % (w/v) NaCl. Neighbour-joining, maximum-likelihood and maximum-parsimony phylogenetic trees based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strain RA1-3T clustered with the type strains of three species of the genus Octadecabacter, showing 97.54-98.41 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity. Sequence similarities to other recognized species were less than 96.97 %. Strain RA1-3T contained Q-10 as the predominant ubiquinone and C18 : 1ω7c as the major fatty acid. The major polar lipids of strain RA1-3T were phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol, one unidentified aminolipid and one unidentified lipid. The DNA G+C content of strain RA1-3T was 56 mol% and DNA-DNA relatedness values with the type strains of Octadecabacter temperatus, Octadecabacter antarcticus and Octadecabacter arcticus were 13-24 %. The differential phenotypic properties, together with the phylogenetic and genetic distinctiveness, revealed that strain RA1-3T is separated from other recognized species of the genus Octadecabacter. On the basis of the data presented, strain RA1-3T is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Octadecabacter, for which the name Octadecabacter ascidiaceicola sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is RA1-3T ( = KCTC 42605T = CECT 8868T). PMID:26508418

  8. Influence of sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi) aquaculture on benthic-pelagic coupling in coastal waters: A study of the South Sea in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jae Seong; Kim, Sung-Han; Kim, Yong-Tae; Hong, Sok Jin; Han, Jeong Hee; Hyun, Jung-Ho; Shin, Kyung-Hoon

    2012-03-01

    The influence of sea squirt aquaculture on benthic-pelagic coupling was evaluated in semi-enclosed Korean coastal waters with an in situ benthic chamber and results show for the first time that suspended sea squirt cultures play an important role in benthic-pelagic coupling in the coastal zone. Measurements of primary production, vertical particulate fluxes, and benthic fluxes were made at two stations, a sea squirt (Halocynthia roretzi) farm (SSF) and an area of organic-matter-enriched sediment in Jinhae Bay. The vertical material fluxes of organic carbon, nitrogen, and biogenic silicate (BSi) were significantly higher at SSF than in Jinhae Bay, indicating massive biodeposits in the surface sediments at SSF. The organic carbon oxidation rates (Cox) were estimated after correction for CaCO3 dissolution. The average Cox at SSF (204 mmol C m-2 d-1) was significantly higher than that in the organic-enriched Jinhae Bay sediment (77 mmol C m-2 d-1). The organic carbon burial fluxes were determined using vertical profiles of organic carbon of up to 30 cm and the sedimentation rate calculated from the excess 210Pb distribution. At both stations, ˜95% of the settled organic carbon was oxidized and only ˜5% was buried in the deep sediment layer. The benthic fluxes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphate at SSF were 2-12 times higher than in Jinhae Bay, corresponding to 85%, and 270%, respectively, of the requirements for primary production.

  9. [APPLICATION OF FLOW CYTOMETRY FOR THE ANALYSIS OF CIRCULATING HEMOCYTE POPULATIONS IN THE ASCIDIAN HALOCYNTHIA AURANTIUM (PALLAS, 1787)].

    PubMed

    Sukhachev, A N; Dyachkov, I S; Kudryavtsev, I V; Kumeiko, V V; Tsybulskiy, A V; Polevshchikov, A V

    2015-01-01

    This study addresses the potentialities of flow cytometry in analyzing the composition of circulating hemocyte populations in the ascidian Halocynthia aurantium (Pallas, 1787) both using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against some human leukocyte conservative adhesion molecules and without mAbs. Flow cytometry, based on the assessment of forward and side scattering revealed five hemocyte populations. From the wide panel of antibodies against human leukocyte adhesion molecules (CD15, CD29, CD34, CD54, CD62L, CD62P, CD90, CD94, CD117, CD 166), only two mAbs (against CD54, CD90) displayed cross-reactivity with the H. aurantium hemocyte surface antigens. Distribution patterns of these antigens across the hemocyte populations have been analyzed. PMID:26281224

  10. RNA-Seq-Based Metatranscriptomic and Microscopic Investigation Reveals Novel Metalloproteases of Neobodo sp. as Potential Virulence Factors for Soft Tunic Syndrome in Halocynthia roretzi

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Ho Bin; Kim, Young Kyu; del Castillo, Carmelo S.; Nho, Seong Won; Cha, In Seok; Park, Seong Bin; Ha, Mi Ae; Hikima, Jun-ichi; Hong, Sung Jong; Aoki, Takashi; Jung, Tae Sung

    2012-01-01

    Bodonids and trypanosomatids are derived from a common ancestor with the bodonids being a more primitive lineage. The Neobodonida, one of the three clades of bodonids, can be free-living, commensal or parasitic. Despite the ecological and evolutionary significance of these organisms, however, many of their biological and pathological features are currently unknown. Here, we employed metatranscriptomics using RNA-seq technology combined with field-emission microscopy to reveal the virulence factors of a recently described genus of Neobodonida that is considered to be responsible for ascidian soft tunic syndrome (AsSTS), but whose pathogenesis is unclear. Our microscopic observation of infected tunic tissues suggested putative virulence factors, enabling us to extract novel candidate transcripts; these included cysteine proteases of the families C1 and C2, serine proteases of S51 and S9 families, and metalloproteases grouped into families M1, M3, M8, M14, M16, M17, M24, M41, and M49. Protease activity/inhibition assays and the estimation of expression levels within gene clusters allowed us to identify metalloprotease-like enzymes as potential virulence attributes for AsSTS. Furthermore, a multimarker-based phylogenetic analysis using 1,184 concatenated amino acid sequences clarified the order Neobodo sp. In sum, we herein used metatranscriptomics to elucidate the in situ expression profiles of uncharacterized putative transcripts of Neobodo sp., combined these results with microscopic observation to select candidate genes relevant to pathogenesis, and used empirical screening to define important virulence factors. PMID:23300657

  11. Azumiobodo hoyamushi, the kinetoplastid causing soft tunic syndrome in ascidians, may invade through the siphon wall.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Kumagai, Akira; Nawata, Akatsuki; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi

    2014-07-01

    The infectious kinetoplastid Azumiobodo hoyamushi causes 'soft tunic syndrome', a serious problem in aquaculture of the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. Infection tests using diseased tunics demonstrated that juvenile (0.8 yr old) individuals never developed soft tunic syndrome, but all individuals in the other age groups (1.8, 2.8, and 3.8 yr old) showed the disease symptoms. In the infection tests, tunic softening was first observed at the tunic around siphons. Based on ultrastructural observation of the inner wall of the branchial siphon, the tunic lining the inner wall in juveniles (0.5 yr old) was completely covered with cuticle, which had a dense structure to prevent bacterial and protist invasion. In contrast, the tunic was often partly damaged and not covered with cuticle in healthy adults (≥2.5 yr old). The damaged tunic in the siphon wall could be an entrance for A. hoyamushi into the tunic of adult hosts.

  12. Autonomy of ascidian fork head/HNF-3 gene expression.

    PubMed

    Shimauchi, Y; Yasuo, H; Satoh, N

    1997-12-01

    We have characterized the expression pattern of a class I fork head/HNF-3 gene (HrHNF3-1) of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. Zygotic HrHNF3-1 expression was detectable as early as the 16-cell stage, and the transcript was evident in blastomeres of the endoderm, notochord and mesenchyme lineages of the early embryos. After the late gastrula stage, HrHNF3-1 was also expressed in the presumptive spinal cord cells and some brain cells. The spinal cord of the ascidian tadpole consists of four layers of cells; the dorsal layer, two lateral layers and the ventral layer, the latter of which simply lies on the notochord. Cross-sections of in situ hybridized specimens showed that HrHNF3-1 was expressed in cells of the ventral layer, reminiscent of the floor plate of vertebrate embryos. In addition, we found autonomy in the initiation of early HrHNF3-1 expression, because the gene was expressed in blastomeres continuously dissociated from the first cleavage until the 16-cell stage.

  13. Encystment and excystment of kinetoplastid Azumiobodo hoyamushi, causal agent of soft tunic syndrome in ascidian aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Nawata, Akatsuki; Hirose, Euichi; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi; Kumagai, Akira

    2015-08-20

    Soft tunic syndrome in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi is caused by the kinetoplastid flagellate Azumiobodo hoyamushi, which was found to assume a fusiform cell form with 2 flagella in axenic, pure culture. When the flagellate form was incubated in sterilized artificial seawater (pH 8.4), some of the cells became cyst-like and adhered to the bottom of the culture plate. The cyst-like forms were spherical or cuboidal, and each had 2 flagella encapsulated in its cytoplasm. Encystment was also induced in culture medium alkalified to the pH of seawater (8.4) but not in unmodified (pH 7.2) or acidified media (pH 6.4). More than 95% of the cyst-like cells converted to the flagellate form within 1 d following transfer to seawater containing ascidian tunic extracts from host ascidians. The cyst-like cells were able to survive in seawater with no added nutrients for up to 2 wk at 20°C and for a few months at 5 to 15°C. The survival period in seawater depended on temperature: some cyst-like cells survived 3 mo at 10°C, and ca. 95% of these converted to flagellate forms in seawater containing tunic extracts. Thus, A. hoyamushi is able to persist under adverse conditions in a cyst-like form able to adhere to organic and inorganic substrata for protracted periods of time. PMID:26290510

  14. Encystment and excystment of kinetoplastid Azumiobodo hoyamushi, causal agent of soft tunic syndrome in ascidian aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Nawata, Akatsuki; Hirose, Euichi; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi; Kumagai, Akira

    2015-08-20

    Soft tunic syndrome in the edible ascidian Halocynthia roretzi is caused by the kinetoplastid flagellate Azumiobodo hoyamushi, which was found to assume a fusiform cell form with 2 flagella in axenic, pure culture. When the flagellate form was incubated in sterilized artificial seawater (pH 8.4), some of the cells became cyst-like and adhered to the bottom of the culture plate. The cyst-like forms were spherical or cuboidal, and each had 2 flagella encapsulated in its cytoplasm. Encystment was also induced in culture medium alkalified to the pH of seawater (8.4) but not in unmodified (pH 7.2) or acidified media (pH 6.4). More than 95% of the cyst-like cells converted to the flagellate form within 1 d following transfer to seawater containing ascidian tunic extracts from host ascidians. The cyst-like cells were able to survive in seawater with no added nutrients for up to 2 wk at 20°C and for a few months at 5 to 15°C. The survival period in seawater depended on temperature: some cyst-like cells survived 3 mo at 10°C, and ca. 95% of these converted to flagellate forms in seawater containing tunic extracts. Thus, A. hoyamushi is able to persist under adverse conditions in a cyst-like form able to adhere to organic and inorganic substrata for protracted periods of time.

  15. Ascidian depth zonation on sublittoral hard substrates off deer island, New Brunswick, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatfield, C.; Logan, A.; Thomas, M. L. H.

    1992-02-01

    The upper surfaces of sublittoral hard substrates in the Deer Island region of the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, support diverse, depth-zoned epibenthic communities of which ascidians form a minor part. Their population density was quantitatively studied from photo-transects taken between mean low water (MLW) and 30 m depth at four sites off the Deer Island coast and from 30-140 m depth along two photo-transects in Head Harbour Passage. All photo-analyses were aided by collections from transect survey sites, wharf pilings and salmon cage floats, to yield a total of 15 ascidian species encountered. Ascidians were found at all depths at the four shallow sites. Halocynthia pyriformis and Boltenia ovifera are most common at depths of less than 20 m, while Aplidium pallidum, Didemnum albidum and other species exhibit a marked increase in abundance below this depth. Cluster analysis of ascidians shows an association between B. echinata and B. ovifera, which may reflect resource partitioning, and between A. pallidum-D. albidum and Molgula sp.— A. stellatum, the ecological significance of which are as yet unknown. The community in Head Harbour Passage is animal-dominated and in its deeper sections often shows three-dimensional bottom relief from horse mussel shells. D. albidum, the commonest ascidian, shows a close association with Modiolus modiolus, to which it is normally attached, suggesting that mussel beds may minimize the possibility of dislodgement and even confer a feeding advantage on this ascidian.

  16. Ascidian notochord morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Di; Smith, William C.

    2010-01-01

    The development of the notochord involves a complex set of cellular behaviors. While these morphogenic behaviors are common to all chordates, the ascidian provides a particularly attractive experimental model because of its relative simplicity. In particular, all notochord morphogenesis in ascidians takes place with only 40 cells, as opposed to the hundreds of cells in vertebrate models systems. Initial steps in ascidian notochord development convert a monolayer of epithelial-like cells in the pre-gastrula embryo to a cylindrical rod of single-cell diameter. Convergent extension is responsible for the intercalation of notochord cells and some degree of notochord elongation, while a second phase of elongation is observed as the notochord narrows medially and increases in volume. The mechanism by which the volume of the notochord increases differs between ascidian species. Some ascidian species produce extracellular pockets that will eventually coalesce to form a lumen running the length of the notochord, while others appear to make intercellular vacuoles. By either mechanism, the resulting notochord serves as a hydrostatic skeleton allowing for the locomotion of the swimming larva. Several basic cell behaviors, such as cell shape changes, cell rearrangement, establishment of cell polarity, and alteration of extracellular environment, are displayed in the process of notochord morphogenesis. Modern analysis of ascidian notochord morphogenesis promises to contribute to our understanding of these fundamental biological processes. PMID:17497687

  17. Metamorphosis in solitary ascidians.

    PubMed

    Karaiskou, Anthi; Swalla, Billie J; Sasakura, Yasunori; Chambon, Jean-Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Embryonic and postembryonic development in ascidians have been studied for over a century, but it is only in the last 10 years that the complex molecular network involved in coordinating postlarval development and metamorphosis has started to emerge. In most ascidians, the transition from the larval to the sessile juvenile/adult stage, or metamorphosis, requires a combination of environmental and endogenous signals and is characterized by coordinated global morphogenetic changes that are initiated by the adhesion of the larvae. Cloney was the first to describe cellular events of ascidians' metamorphosis in 1978 and only recently elements of the molecular regulation of this crucial developmental step have been revealed. This review aims to present a thorough view of this crucial developmental step by combining recent molecular data to the already established cellular events.

  18. Divergent mechanisms regulate conserved cardiopharyngeal development and gene expression in distantly related ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Stolfi, Alberto; Lowe, Elijah K; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Brown, C Titus; Swalla, Billie J; Christiaen, Lionel

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians present a striking dichotomy between conserved phenotypes and divergent genomes: embryonic cell lineages and gene expression patterns are conserved between distantly related species. Much research has focused on Ciona or Halocynthia spp. but development in other ascidians remains poorly characterized. In this study, we surveyed the multipotent myogenic B7.5 lineage in Molgula spp. Comparisons to the homologous lineage in Ciona revealed identical cell division and fate specification events that result in segregation of larval, cardiac, and pharyngeal muscle progenitors. Moreover, the expression patterns of key regulators are conserved, but cross-species transgenic assays uncovered incompatibility, or ‘unintelligibility’, of orthologous cis-regulatory sequences between Molgula and Ciona. These sequences drive identical expression patterns that are not recapitulated in cross-species assays. We show that this unintelligibility is likely due to changes in both cis- and trans-acting elements, hinting at widespread and frequent turnover of regulatory mechanisms underlying otherwise conserved aspects of ascidian embryogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03728.001 PMID:25209999

  19. Transcriptional enhancers in ascidian development.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Christiaen, Lionel

    2012-01-01

    The study of cis-regulatory DNAs that control developmental gene expression is integral to the modeling of comprehensive genomic regulatory networks for embryogenesis. Ascidian embryos provide a unique opportunity for the analysis of cis-regulatory DNAs with cellular resolution in the context of a simple but typical chordate body plan. Here, we review landmark studies that have laid the foundations for the study of transcriptional enhancers, among other cis-regulatory DNAs, and their roles in ascidian development. The studies using ascidians of the Ciona genus have capitalized on a unique electroporation technique that permits the simultaneous transfection of hundreds of fertilized eggs, which develop rapidly and express transgenes with little mosaicism. Current studies using the ascidian embryo benefit from extensively annotated genomic resources to characterize transcript models in silico. The search for functional noncoding sequences can be guided by bioinformatic analyses combining evolutionary conservation, gene coexpression, and combinations of overrepresented short-sequence motifs. The power of the transient transfection assays has allowed thorough dissection of numerous cis-regulatory modules, which provided insights into the functional constraints that shape enhancer architecture and diversification. Future studies will benefit from pioneering stable transgenic lines and the analysis of chromatin states. Whole genome expression, functional and DNA binding data are being integrated into comprehensive genomic regulatory network models of early ascidian cell specification with a single-cell resolution that is unique among chordate model systems.

  20. Induced neural-type differentiation in the cleavage-arrested blastomere isolated from early ascidian embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Okado, H; Takahashi, K

    1990-01-01

    1. Isolated blastomeres and pairs of blastomeres from 8-cell embryos of Halocynthia roretzi and Halocynthia aurantium were cleavage-arrested with cytochalasin B and cultured. Their differentiation was examined in terms of membrane excitability, immunoreactivity to an epidermis-specific monoclonal antibody (2C5), and the presence of acetylcholinesterase. 2. The blastomeres that showed epidermal-type differentiation had Ca2(+)-dependent action potentials and membrane currents, and immunoreactivity to 2C5. The blastomeres that showed neural-type differentiation had Na(+)-, Ca2(+)- and TEA-sensitive delayed K+ channels, and lacked immunoreactivity to 2C5. 3. Cleavage-arrested anterior-animal blastomeres, a4-2, when cultured in isolation from an 8-cell embryo, differentiated exclusively into epidermal-type cells. However, when cultured in contact with anterior-vegetal blastomeres, A4-1, they mostly showed neural-type differentiation (seventeen out of twenty-four cells in H. roretzi). 4. Reduction of the cytochalasin B concentration enhanced neural-type development of a4-2 blastomeres in contact with A4-1 blastomeres in H. aurantium, possibly by tightening the physical contact between the blastomeres. 5. When a cleavage-arrested and isolated a4-2 blastomere was treated with 2% pronase at 10 degrees C for 15 min at the time when sister control embryos reached the 32-cell stage, the blastomere underwent neural-type differentiation in a manner identical to that of a4-2 blastomeres contacted by A4-1 cells. 6. The period during which neural-type differentiation of a4-2 blastomeres could be induced by treatment with pronase was from the 8-cell to the 110-cell stage. At the late gastrula stage neural-type differentiation of a4-2 blastomeres was not induced by pronase. The effective period for neural-type differentiation of a4-2 blastomeres in contact with A4-1 cells was between the 64-cell stage and late gastrula stage. Competence of the a4-2 blastomere to undergo neural

  1. Deep sequencing of mixed total DNA without barcodes allows efficient assembly of highly plastic ascidian mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Rubinstein, Nimrod D; Feldstein, Tamar; Shenkar, Noa; Botero-Castro, Fidel; Griggio, Francesca; Mastrototaro, Francesco; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel J P; Gissi, Carmela; Huchon, Dorothée

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians or sea squirts form a diverse group within chordates, which includes a few thousand members of marine sessile filter-feeding animals. Their mitochondrial genomes are characterized by particularly high evolutionary rates and rampant gene rearrangements. This extreme variability complicates standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based techniques for molecular characterization studies, and consequently only a few complete Ascidian mitochondrial genome sequences are available. Using the standard PCR and Sanger sequencing approach, we produced the mitochondrial genome of Ascidiella aspersa only after a great effort. In contrast, we produced five additional mitogenomes (Botrylloides aff. leachii, Halocynthia spinosa, Polycarpa mytiligera, Pyura gangelion, and Rhodosoma turcicum) with a novel strategy, consisting in sequencing the pooled total DNA samples of these five species using one Illumina HiSeq 2000 flow cell lane. Each mitogenome was efficiently assembled in a single contig using de novo transcriptome assembly, as de novo genome assembly generally performed poorly for this task. Each of the new six mitogenomes presents a different and novel gene order, showing that no syntenic block has been conserved at the ordinal level (in Stolidobranchia and in Phlebobranchia). Phylogenetic analyses support the paraphyly of both Ascidiacea and Phlebobranchia, with Thaliacea nested inside Phlebobranchia, although the deepest nodes of the Phlebobranchia-Thaliacea clade are not well resolved. The strategy described here thus provides a cost-effective approach to obtain complete mitogenomes characterized by a highly plastic gene order and a fast nucleotide/amino acid substitution rate.

  2. Genome Sequence of the Sponge-Associated Ruegeria halocynthiae Strain MOLA R1/13b, a Marine Roseobacter with Two Quorum-Sensing-Based Communication Systems

    PubMed Central

    Doberva, Margot; Sanchez-Ferandin, Sophie; Ferandin, Yoan; Intertaglia, Laurent; Croué, Julie; Suzuki, Marcelino; Lebaron, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Ruegeria halocynthiae MOLA R1/13b is an alphaproteobacterium isolated from the Mediterranean sea sponge Crambe crambe. We report here the genome sequence and its annotation, revealing the presence of quorum-sensing genes. This is the first report of the full genome of a Ruegeria halocynthiae strain. PMID:25301648

  3. Ascidian tail formation requires caudal function.

    PubMed

    Katsuyama, Y; Sato, Y; Wada, S; Saiga, H

    1999-09-15

    Although the tail is one of the major characteristics of animals of the phylum Chordata, evolutionary aspects of the molecular mechanisms involved in its formation are not clear. To obtain insights into these issues, we have isolated and investigated the caudal gene of an ascidian, one of the lower animal groups among chordates. Ascidian caudal is expressed from the midgastrula stage onward in the lateral walls of the posterior neural tube cell lineage and also in the posterior epidermal cells from the neurula stage. Thus, ascidian caudal expression is restricted to the ectoderm of a tail-forming region throughout embryogenesis. Suppression of caudal function by an antisense oligonucleotide or a dominant negative construct caused inhibition of the cell movement required for tail formation. Overexpression of wild-type caudal mRNA in an ascidian animal cap, an animal half explant prepared at the eight-cell stage, caused elongation of the cap. Furthermore, Xenopus embryos injected with dominant negative ascidian caudal exhibited defects in elongation, suggesting a conserved caudal function among chordates. These results indicate that caudal function is required for chordate tail formation and may play a key role in its evolution. PMID:10479446

  4. Asexual propagation and regeneration in colonial ascidians.

    PubMed

    Kürn, Ulrich; Rendulic, Snjezana; Tiozzo, Stefano; Lauzon, Robert J

    2011-08-01

    Regeneration is widely distributed among the metazoans. However, clear differences exist as to the degree of regenerative capacity: some phyla can only replace missing body parts, whereas others can generate entirely new individuals. Ascidians are animals that possess a remarkable regenerative plasticity and exhibit a great diversity of mechanisms for asexual propagation and survival. They are marine invertebrate members of the subphylum Tunicata and represent modern-day descendants of the chordate ancestor; in their tadpole stage they exhibit a chordate body plan that is resorbed during metamorphosis. Solitary species grow into an adult that can reach several centimeters in length, whereas colonial species grow by asexual propagation, creating a colony of genetically identical individuals. In this review, we present an overview of the biology of colonial ascidians as a paradigm for study in stem cell and regenerative biology. Focusing on botryllid ascidians, we introduce the potential roles played by multipotent epithelia and multipotent/pluripotent stem cells as source of asexual propagation and regenerative plasticity in the different budding mechanisms, and consider the putative mechanism of body repatterning in a non-embryonic scenario. We also discuss the involvement of intra-colony homeostatic processes in regulating budding potential, and the functional link between allorecognition, chimerism, and regenerative potential.

  5. Species specificity of symbiosis and secondary metabolism in ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Tianero, Ma Diarey B; Kwan, Jason C; Wyche, Thomas P; Presson, Angela P; Koch, Michael; Barrows, Louis R; Bugni, Tim S; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-01-01

    Ascidians contain abundant, diverse secondary metabolites, which are thought to serve a defensive role and which have been applied to drug discovery. It is known that bacteria in symbiosis with ascidians produce several of these metabolites, but very little is known about factors governing these ‘chemical symbioses'. To examine this phenomenon across a wide geographical and species scale, we performed bacterial and chemical analyses of 32 different ascidians, mostly from the didemnid family from Florida, Southern California and a broad expanse of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Bacterial diversity analysis showed that ascidian microbiomes are highly diverse, and this diversity does not correlate with geographical location or latitude. Within a subset of species, ascidian microbiomes are also stable over time (R=−0.037, P-value=0.499). Ascidian microbiomes and metabolomes contain species-specific and location-specific components. Location-specific bacteria are found in low abundance in the ascidians and mostly represent strains that are widespread. Location-specific metabolites consist largely of lipids, which may reflect differences in water temperature. By contrast, species-specific bacteria are mostly abundant sequenced components of the microbiomes and include secondary metabolite producers as major components. Species-specific chemicals are dominated by secondary metabolites. Together with previous analyses that focused on single ascidian species or symbiont type, these results reveal fundamental properties of secondary metabolic symbiosis. Different ascidian species have established associations with many different bacterial symbionts, including those known to produce toxic chemicals. This implies a strong selection for this property and the independent origin of secondary metabolite-based associations in different ascidian species. The analysis here streamlines the connection of secondary metabolite to producing bacterium, enabling further biological and

  6. Species specificity of symbiosis and secondary metabolism in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Tianero, Ma Diarey B; Kwan, Jason C; Wyche, Thomas P; Presson, Angela P; Koch, Michael; Barrows, Louis R; Bugni, Tim S; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-03-01

    Ascidians contain abundant, diverse secondary metabolites, which are thought to serve a defensive role and which have been applied to drug discovery. It is known that bacteria in symbiosis with ascidians produce several of these metabolites, but very little is known about factors governing these 'chemical symbioses'. To examine this phenomenon across a wide geographical and species scale, we performed bacterial and chemical analyses of 32 different ascidians, mostly from the didemnid family from Florida, Southern California and a broad expanse of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Bacterial diversity analysis showed that ascidian microbiomes are highly diverse, and this diversity does not correlate with geographical location or latitude. Within a subset of species, ascidian microbiomes are also stable over time (R=-0.037, P-value=0.499). Ascidian microbiomes and metabolomes contain species-specific and location-specific components. Location-specific bacteria are found in low abundance in the ascidians and mostly represent strains that are widespread. Location-specific metabolites consist largely of lipids, which may reflect differences in water temperature. By contrast, species-specific bacteria are mostly abundant sequenced components of the microbiomes and include secondary metabolite producers as major components. Species-specific chemicals are dominated by secondary metabolites. Together with previous analyses that focused on single ascidian species or symbiont type, these results reveal fundamental properties of secondary metabolic symbiosis. Different ascidian species have established associations with many different bacterial symbionts, including those known to produce toxic chemicals. This implies a strong selection for this property and the independent origin of secondary metabolite-based associations in different ascidian species. The analysis here streamlines the connection of secondary metabolite to producing bacterium, enabling further biological and

  7. Fluorescent in situ hybridization to ascidian chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Ikuta, Tetsuro; Yoshizaki, Fumiko; Satou, Yutaka; Satoh, Nori; Asano, Katsutoshi; Saiga, Hidetoshi; Nishikata, Takahito

    2004-02-01

    The draft genome of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis has been sequenced. Mapping of the genome sequence to the Ciona 14 haploid chromosomes is essential for future studies of the genome-wide control of gene expression in this basal chordate. Here we describe an efficient protocol for fluorescent in situ hybridization for mapping genes to the Ciona chromosomes. We demonstrate how the locations of two BAC clones can be mapped relative to each other. We also show that this method is efficient for coupling two so-far independent scaffolds into one longer scaffold when two BAC clones represent sequences located at either end of the two scaffolds.

  8. The central nervous system of ascidian larvae.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Clare

    2016-09-01

    Ascidians are marine invertebrate chordates. Their tadpole larvae contain a dorsal tubular nervous system, resulting from the rolling up of a neural plate. Along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis, the central nervous system (CNS) is organized into a sensory vesicle, neck, trunk ganglion, and tail nerve cord and consists of approximately only 330 cells, of which around 100 are thought to be neurons. The organization of distinct neuronal cell types and neurotransmitter gene expression within the CNS has been described. The unique developmental mode of ascidians, with a small number of cells and a fixed cell division pattern, allows individual cells to be traced throughout development. This feature has led to the complete documentation of the cell lineages of certain cell types in the CNS. Thus, a step-by-step understanding of nervous system development from the initial stages of neural induction to the neurogenesis of individual neurons is a feasible goal. The genetic control of neural fate induction and early neural plate patterning are now well understood. The molecular mechanisms specifying the cholinergic neurons of the trunk ganglion as well as the pigment cells of the sensory organs are also well elucidated. In addition, studies have begun on the morphogenetic processes of neurulation. Remaining challenges include building an embryonic atlas integrating gene expression patterns, cell lineage, and neuronal cell types as well as developing the gene regulatory networks of cell fate specification and integrating them with the genetic control of morphogenesis. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:538-561. doi: 10.1002/wdev.239 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27328318

  9. Centrosomes and spindles in ascidian embryos and eggs.

    PubMed

    McDougall, Alex; Chenevert, Janet; Pruliere, Gerard; Costache, Vlad; Hebras, Celine; Salez, Gregory; Dumollard, Remi

    2015-01-01

    During embryonic development and maternal meiotic maturation, positioning of the mitotic/meiotic spindle is subject to control mechanisms that meet the needs of the particular cell type. Here we review the methods, molecular tools, and the ascidian model we use to study three different ways in which centrosomes or spindles are positioned in three different cellular contexts. First, we review unequal cleavage in the ascidian germ lineage. In the germ cell precursors, a large macromolecular structure termed the centrosome-attracting body causes three successive rounds of unequal cleavage from the 8- to the 64-cell stage. Next, we discuss spindle positioning underlying the invariant cleavage pattern. Ascidian embryos display an invariant cleavage pattern whereby the mitotic spindle aligns in a predetermined orientation in every blastomere up to the gastrula stage (composed of 112 cells). Finally, we review methods and approaches to study meiotic spindle positioning in eggs. PMID:26175446

  10. Delineating metamorphic pathways in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Nakayama-Ishimura, Akie; Chambon, Jean-phillippe; Horie, Takeo; Satoh, Nori; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2009-02-15

    In most ascidians, metamorphosis of tadpole-like swimming larvae is accompanied by dynamic changes in their shape to form sessile adults. The mechanisms underlying ascidian metamorphosis have been debated for a long time. Although recent molecular studies have revealed the presence of various molecules involving in this process, the basic mechanism of the metamorphic events is still unclear. For example, it has not been solved whether all metamorphic events are organized by the same single pathway or by multiple, independent pathways. In the present study, we approached this question using the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. When the papillae and preoral lobes of the larvae were cut off, the papillae-cut larvae initiated certain trunk metamorphic events such as the formation of an ampulla, body axis rotation and adult organ growth without other metamorphic events. This observation indicates that metamorphic events can be divided into at least two groups, events initiated in the papillae-cut larva and events not initiated in this larva. In addition to this observation, we have isolated a novel mutant, tail regression failed (trf), which shows similar phenotypes to those of papillae-cut larvae. The phenotypes of trf mutants are basically different from those of swimming juvenile mutants (Sasakura, Y., Nakashima, K., Awazu, S., Matsuoka, T., Nakayama, A., Azuma, J., Satoh, N., 2005. Transposon-mediated insertional mutagenesis revealed the functions of animal cellulose synthase in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 102, 15134-15139.), which also show abnormal metamorphosis. These findings suggest a model by which ascidian metamorphic events can be classified into four groups initiated by different pathways.

  11. The secret to a successful relationship: lasting chemistry between ascidians and their symbiotic bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Eric W.

    2014-01-01

    Bioactive secondary metabolites are common components of marine animals. In many cases, symbiotic bacteria, and not the animals themselves, synthesize the compounds. Among marine animals, ascidians are good models for understanding these symbioses. Ascidians often contain potently bioactive secondary metabolites as their major extractable components. Strong evidence shows that ~8% of the known secondary metabolites from ascidians are made by symbiotic bacteria, and indirect evidence implicates bacteria in the synthesis of many more. Far from being “secondary” to the animals, secondary metabolites are essential components of the interaction between host animals and their symbiotic bacteria. These interactions have complex underlying biology, but the chemistry is clearly ascidian-species specific. The chemical interactions are ancient in at least some cases, and they are widespread among ascidians. Ascidians maintain secondary metabolic symbioses with bacteria that are phylogenetically diverse, indicating a convergent solution to obtaining secondary metabolites and reinforcing the importance of secondary metabolism in animal survival. PMID:25937788

  12. Telomerase deficiency in a colonial ascidian after prolonged asexual propagation.

    PubMed

    Sköld, Helen Nilsson; Asplund, Maria E; Wood, Christine A; Bishop, John D D

    2011-06-15

    In organisms that propagate by agametic cloning, the parental body is the reproductive unit and fitness increases with clonal size, so that colonial metazoans, despite lack of experimental data, have been considered potentially immortal. Using asexual propagation rate as a measure of somatic performance, and telomerase activity and relative telomere length as molecular markers of senescence, old (7-12 years) asexual strains of a colonial ascidian, Diplosoma listerianum, were compared with their recent sexually produced progeny. We report for the first time evidence for long-term molecular senescence in asexual lineages of a metazoan, and that only passage between sexual generations provides total rejuvenation permitting indefinite propagation and growth. Thus, this colonial ascidian has not fully escaped ageing. The possibility of somatic replicative senescence also potentially helps to explain why metazoans, with the capacity for asexual propagation through agametic cloning, commonly undergo cycles of sexual reproduction in the wild.

  13. The influence of substrate material on ascidian larval settlement.

    PubMed

    Chase, Anna L; Dijkstra, Jennifer A; Harris, Larry G

    2016-05-15

    Submerged man-made structures present novel habitat for marine organisms and often host communities that differ from those on natural substrates. Although many factors are known to contribute to these differences, few studies have directly examined the influence of substrate material on organism settlement. We quantified larval substrate preferences of two species of ascidians, Ciona intestinalis (cryptogenic, formerly C. intestinalis type B) and Botrylloides violaceus (non-native), on commonly occurring natural (granite) and man-made (concrete, high-density polyethylene, PVC) marine materials in laboratory trials. Larvae exhibited species-specific settlement preferences, but generally settled more often than expected by chance on concrete and HDPE. Variation in settlement between materials may reflect preferences for rougher substrates, or may result from the influence of leached chemicals on ascidian settlement. These findings indicate that an experimental plate material can influence larval behavior and may help us understand how substrate features may contribute to differences in settlement in the field. PMID:27039957

  14. The influence of substrate material on ascidian larval settlement.

    PubMed

    Chase, Anna L; Dijkstra, Jennifer A; Harris, Larry G

    2016-05-15

    Submerged man-made structures present novel habitat for marine organisms and often host communities that differ from those on natural substrates. Although many factors are known to contribute to these differences, few studies have directly examined the influence of substrate material on organism settlement. We quantified larval substrate preferences of two species of ascidians, Ciona intestinalis (cryptogenic, formerly C. intestinalis type B) and Botrylloides violaceus (non-native), on commonly occurring natural (granite) and man-made (concrete, high-density polyethylene, PVC) marine materials in laboratory trials. Larvae exhibited species-specific settlement preferences, but generally settled more often than expected by chance on concrete and HDPE. Variation in settlement between materials may reflect preferences for rougher substrates, or may result from the influence of leached chemicals on ascidian settlement. These findings indicate that an experimental plate material can influence larval behavior and may help us understand how substrate features may contribute to differences in settlement in the field.

  15. Chemical defense against fouling in the solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra.

    PubMed

    Mayzel, Boaz; Haber, Markus; Ilan, Micha

    2014-12-01

    The solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra is rarely fouled by epibionts. Here, we tested the antifouling activity of its crude extracts in laboratory and field assays. P. nigra extracts inhibited the growth of all eight tested environmental bacteria and two of four laboratory bacteria. Extracts of the sympatric, but fouled solitary ascidian Herdmania momus inhibited only one test bacterium. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the tunic surface of P. nigra is largely bacteria-free. Both ascidian extracts significantly inhibited the larval metamorphosis of the bryozoan Bugula neritina at the tested concentration range of 0.05-2 mg ml(-1). Both crude extracts were toxic to larvae of the brine shrimp Artemia salina at natural volumetric whole-tissue concentrations, but only P. nigra showed activity at 2 mg ml(-1) and below (LC50 = 1.11 mg ml(-1)). P. nigra crude extracts also significantly reduced the settlement of barnacles, polychaetes, and algae in Mediterranean field assays and barnacle settlement in Red Sea trials. Comparisons between control experiments and pH values monitored in all experiments indicate that the observed effects were not due to acidity of the organic extracts. Our results show that P. nigra secondary metabolites have antifouling activities, which may act in synergy with previously proposed physiological antifouling mechanisms. PMID:25572211

  16. Temporal stability of bacterial symbionts in a temperate ascidian

    PubMed Central

    López-Legentil, Susanna; Turon, Xavier; Espluga, Roger; Erwin, Patrick M.

    2015-01-01

    In temperate seas, both bacterioplankton communities and invertebrate lifecycles follow a seasonal pattern. To investigate whether the bacterial community associated with the Mediterranean ascidian Didemnum fulgens exhibited similar variations, we monitored its bacterial community structure monthly for over a year using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analyses based on a nearly full length fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. D. fulgens harbored a bacterial consortium typical of ascidians, including numerous members of the phylum Proteobacteria, and a few members of the phyla Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria. The overall bacterial community in D. fulgens had a distinct signature from the surrounding seawater and was stable over time and across seasonal fluctuations in temperature. Bacterial symbionts were also observed around animal cells in the tunic of adult individuals and in the inner tunic of D. fulgens larvae by transmission electron microscopy. Our results suggest that, as seen for sponges and corals, some species of ascidians host stable and unique bacterial communities that are at least partially inherited by their progeny by vertical transmission. PMID:26441944

  17. Commensal Leucothoidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda) of the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. Part I: ascidian-dwellers

    PubMed Central

    White, Kristine N.; Reimer, James Davis

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Commensal leucothoid amphipods have been collected from the branchial chambers of their ascidian hosts throughout the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. Seven new species are described in two genera with valuable location data and host records. An identification key to ascidian-dwelling Leucothoidae of the Ryukyu Archipelago is provided. PMID:22303128

  18. New distributional data on ascidian fauna (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) from Mandapam coast, Gulf of Mannar, India

    PubMed Central

    Akram, Soban A; Arshan, Kaleem ML

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Ascidians play a key role in the ecology and biodiversity of marine ecosystem. Ascidians can be transported in ship ballast water and while attached to ship and boat hulls. Heavy traffic by domestic and international ships as well as cargo vessels between the major and minor ports warrants continuous monitoring for new introductions of ascidians. The Mandapam coast is situated in the Gulf of Mannar, India, a marine hot spot area in the Indian Ocean which provides an environment suitable for the settlement of ascidians. New information A total of 30 species of ascidians were reported from Mandapam coastal waters, of which 26 species were new to the study area and five species: Ecteinascidia turbinata, Eudistoma carnosum, Trididemnum caelatum, T. vermiforme and Didemnum spadix, were new to India. PMID:27099557

  19. Prochloron-ascidian symbioses: Photosynthetic potential and productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewin, R. A.; Cheng, L.; Alberte, R. S.

    1983-01-01

    The chlorophyll content of didemnid asidians with symbiotic algae (Prochloron) from oligotropic tropical marine waters around Palau, Western Carolin Islands is discussed. Several species contain as much chlorophyll per unit dry weight as many herbaceous crop plants and more than do other symbiotic associations such as lichens, green Hydra, etc. Their chlorphyllA/B ratios (3-9) were generally much lighter than those of angiosperms (2-4). Where they abound, Prochloron - ascidian symbiosis could make a major contribution to the productivity, especially in localized areas of tropical marine waters characterized by low nutrient levels and high irradiance.

  20. Photosymbiotic ascidians from Pari Island (Thousand Islands, Indonesia).

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Iskandar, Budhi Hascaryo; Wardiatno, Yusli

    2014-01-01

    Photosymbiotic ascidian fauna were surveyed in the subtidal zone off Pari Island in the Thousand Islands (Java Sea, Indonesia). Nine species were recorded: Didemnum molle, Trididemnum miniatum, Lissoclinum patella, L. punctatum, L. timorense, Diplosoma gumavirens, D. simile, D. simileguwa, and D. virens. All of these species have been previously recorded in the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. Diplosoma gumavirens and D. simileguwa were originally described from the Ryukyu Archipelago in 2009 and 2005, respectively, and all of the observed species are potentially widely distributed in Indo-West Pacific coral reefs. PMID:25061385

  1. Ascidians as excellent models for studying cellular events in the chordate body plan.

    PubMed

    Ogura, Yosuke; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2013-08-01

    The larvae of non-vertebrate chordate ascidians consist of countable numbers of cells. With this feature, ascidians provide us with excellent models for studying cellular events in the construction of the chordate body. This review discusses the recent observations of morphogenetic movements and cell cycles and divisions along with tissue specifications during ascidian embryogenesis. Unequal cleavages take place at the posterior blastomeres during the early cleavage stages of ascidians, and the structure named the centrosome-attracting body restricts the position of the nuclei near the posterior pole to achieve the unequal cleavages. The most-posterior cells differentiate into the primordial germ cells. The gastrulation of ascidians starts as early as the 110-cell stage. During gastrulation, the endodermal cells show two-step changes in cell shape that are crucial for gastrulation. The ascidian notochord is composed of only 40 cells. The 40 cells align to form a single row by an event named the convergent extension, and then the notochord cells undergo vacuolation to transform the notochord into a single hollowed tube. The strictly restricted number of notochord cells is achieved by the regulated number of cell divisions coupled with the differentiation of the cells conducted by a key transcription factor, Brachyury. The dorsally located neural tube is a characteristic of chordates. During the closure of the ascidian neural tube, the epidermis surrounding the neural plate moves toward the midline to close the neural fold. This morphogenetic movement is allowed by an elongation of interphase in the epidermal cell cycles.

  2. Bioadhesion in ascidians: a developmental and functional genomics perspective

    PubMed Central

    Pennati, Roberta; Rothbächer, Ute

    2015-01-01

    The development of bioadhesives inspired from marine animals is a promising approach to generate new tissue-compatible medical components. A number of marine species, through their adhesive properties, also represent significant foulers that become increasingly problematic to aquaculture, shipping or local biodiversity. In order to develop more sophisticated man-made glues and/or efficient fouling resistant surfaces, it is important to understand the mechanical, structural and molecular properties of adhesive organs in selected species. Ascidians are marine invertebrates with larvae that opportunistically attach to almost any type of submerged surface to undergo metamorphosis into permanently sessile adults. Not only do they represent a globally important fouling organism, but they are becoming increasingly popular as model organisms for developmental biology. The latter is due to their phylogenetic position as the sister group to the vertebrates and their cellular and molecular accessibility for experimentation. In this paper, we review the mechanisms of larval adhesion in ascidians and draw conclusions from comparative analyses of selected species. We further discuss how knowledge from a developmental and functional genomics point of view can advance our understanding of cellular and molecular signatures and their hierarchical usage in animal adhesive organs. PMID:25657840

  3. The Comparative Organismal Approach in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Insights from Ascidians and Cavefish.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

    Important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology have been made using the comparative organismal approach. As examples, I describe insights obtained from studies of Molgula ascidians and Astyanax cavefish. PMID:26970636

  4. The challenges of trafficking hydrolysis prone metals and ascidians as an archetype.

    PubMed

    Gaffney, Jean P; Valentine, Ann M

    2011-06-14

    Some of the metal ions that are required, exploited, or simply managed in biological systems are susceptible to hydrolysis and to hydrolytic precipitation in the aqueous, aerobic environment of much of biology. Organisms have evolved exquisite mechanisms for handling these metal ions, offering striking examples of biological control over inorganic coordination chemistry. This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the discovery of remarkably high vanadium concentrations in the blood cells of the ascidian. In the ensuing years, these marine invertebrates were established as masters of the biological chemistry of very hydrolysis-prone metals, with various ascidian species accumulating high concentrations of iron, vanadium, and titanium, among others. These three metals have very different histories of biological relevance, and many questions remain about how, and ultimately why, these organisms sequester them. This Perspective addresses the aqueous coordination chemistry that organisms like ascidians must control if they are to manipulate hydrolysis-prone metal ions, and describes some of the ascidian biomolecules that have been implicated in this phenomenon. The recently available genome sequence for one ascidian species offers a glimpse into its metal-management arsenal. It offers the opportunity to map the relatively well-studied paradigm of iron management onto the genome of an organism that is intermediate in evolution between invertebrates and vertebrates. The ascidians have much to teach us about how to manage metals like iron, titanium, and vanadium and how that ability evolved.

  5. Development and evolution of the ascidian cardiogenic mesoderm.

    PubMed

    Tolkin, Theadora; Christiaen, Lionel

    2012-01-01

    The heart and other blood pumping organs are close to being universally essential in the animal kingdom. These organs present a large anatomical, morphological, and cellular diversity, which is thought to have arisen by building developmental modules on a conserved core of ancestral heart regulatory units. In this context, studies using the ascidian model system Ciona intestinalis offer a distinctive set of theoretical and experimental advantages, which we herein discuss in details. Development of the heart and related muscles in Ciona has been analyzed with a cellular to subcellular resolution unprecedented in Chordate model systems. Unique derived developmental characters of the cardiogenic mesoderm appear to be shared between Ciona and vertebrates. Notably, accumulating evidence point to an early Chordate origin of the cardiopharyngeal population of mesoderm cells that may have provided the foundation for the emergence of the second heart field in higher vertebrates.

  6. Toll-like Receptors of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, Naoko; Ogasawara, Michio; Sekiguchi, Toshio; Kusumoto, Shoichi; Satake, Honoo

    2009-01-01

    Key transmembrane proteins in the innate immune system, Toll-like receptors (TLRs), have been suggested to occur in the genome of non-mammalian organisms including invertebrates. However, authentic invertebrate TLRs have been neither structurally nor functionally investigated. In this paper, we originally present the structures, localization, ligand recognition, activities, and inflammatory cytokine production of all TLRs of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, designated as Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2. The amino acid sequence of Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2 were found to possess unique structural organization with moderate sequence similarity to functionally characterized vertebrate TLRs. ci-tlr1 and ci-tlr2 genes were expressed predominantly in the stomach and intestine as well as in hemocytes. Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2 expressed in HEK293 cells, unlike vertebrate TLRs, were localized to both the plasma membrane and endosomes. Intriguingly, both Ci-TLR1 and Ci-TLR2 stimulate NF-κB induction in response to multiple pathogenic ligands such as double-stranded RNA, and bacterial cell wall components that are differentially recognized by respective vertebrate TLRs, revealing that Ci-TLRs recognize broader pathogen-associated molecular patterns than vertebrate TLRs. The Ci-TLR-stimulating pathogenic ligands also induced the expression of Ci-TNFα in the intestine and stomach where Ci-TLRs are expressed. These results provide evidence that the TLR-triggered innate immune systems are essentially conserved in ascidians, and that Ci-TLRs possess “hybrid” biological and immunological functions, compared with vertebrate TLRs. Moreover, it is presumed that chordate TLR ancestors also acquired the Ci-TLR-like multiple cellular localization and pathogen-associated molecular pattern recognition. PMID:19651780

  7. The retinoid X receptor in a marine invertebrate chordate: evolutionary insights from urochordates.

    PubMed

    Maeng, Sejung; Lee, Jung Hwan; Choi, Sung-Chang; Kim, Mi Ae; Shin, Yun Kyung; Sohn, Young Chang

    2012-09-01

    Retinoid X receptors (RXRs) are highly conserved members of the nuclear hormone receptor family that mediate various physiological processes in vertebrates and invertebrates. We examined the expression patterns of RXR in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi across a wide range of tissues and stages of embryo development, as well as the regulation of gene transcription by the ascidian RXR. H. roretzi RXR cDNA (HrRXR) was cloned from 64-cell stage embryos. The overall amino acid sequence of HrRXR showed high sequence identity with a urochordate Ciona intestinalis RXR (58%), but the ligand-binding domain of HrRXR was more similar to vertebrate orthologs than to those of invertebrate RXRs. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, HrRXR belongs to a group of urochordates that are separate from vertebrate RXRs, showing a clear evolutionary history. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and whole-mount in situ hybridization analyses revealed that the HrRXR mRNA is of maternal origin during embryogenesis, and in the examined adult tissues it is expressed in the muscles, gills, gonads, and the hepatopancreas. Immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that HrRXR is localized to the nucleus and highly expressed in the gills and hepatopancreas. Unlike human RXRα, HrRXR did not show 9-cis retinoic acid- and bexarotene (LGD1069)-dependent transactivation. While a synthetic ligand for farnesoid X receptor (FXR), GW4064, did not increase the transcriptional activation in HrRXR- or HrRXR/HrFXR-transfected HEK-293 cells, the ligand showed weak but significant activity for a single amino acid mutant of HrRXR ((Phe)231(Cys)) and HrFXR cotransfected cells. The present study suggests that the marine invertebrate chordate RXR may possess endogenous ligands that are different than vertebrate RXR ligands and which function during early embryonic stages.

  8. Sunlight Damage To The Solitary Ascidian Chelyosoma productum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores, E.

    2004-12-01

    Chelyosoma productum (Stimpson) is a temperate solitary ascidian commonly found in Puget Sound and the San Juan Archipelago, Washington, USA. Adult populations are restricted to deeper subtidal regions or shaded shallow-water habitats, such as docks in shaded marinas. C. productum adults have a thin translucent outer tunic that may provide very little if any protection from solar damage. I hypothesized that sunlight may be setting limits on the distribution of this species. Since adult ascidians are sessile and rely on earlier life stages for their distribution, all life stages of Chelyosoma productum were tested. In this study, I examined the effects of sunlight exposure in embryos, larvae, juveniles and adults of Chelyosoma productum. I isolated the PAR, UVA and UVB portions of the spectrum and exposed all life stages using natural sunlight. I also sampled shallow-water dock habitats to see how adult distributions were related to light exposure. The embryonic development in C. productum was negatively affected by any solar exposure. Most embryos exposed to UV light failed to develop normally and those that did could not subsequently settle. This species produces embryos of different colors; two (purple and brown) were observed in my experiments. Damage from light exposure differed between the color morphs. Overall, the brown morph was more tolerant of light exposure than was the purple morph across all life stages. The only exception to this general pattern was that purple embryos were remarkably resistant to light damage. The distribution of C. productum is restricted to areas with no direct solar exposure. However, even within shaded environments where they were abundant, subpopulations related to the color dimorphism were observed. The significance of the brown and purple pigments in embryos and larvae remains largely unknown. However, adults with brown eggs were found to be more prevalent in edge environments where there was higher light exposure. Purple

  9. Microbial community associated with the colonial ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei.

    PubMed

    Martínez-García, Manuel; Díaz-Valdés, Marta; Wanner, Gerhard; Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso; Antón, Josefa

    2007-02-01

    The ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei (Della Valle, 1877) (phylum Chordata, class Ascidiacea, family Polycitoridae) is a colonial tunicate that inhabits benthic rock environments in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. Its life cycle has two phases, the adult sessile colony and the free-living larva. Both adult zooids and larvae are surrounded by a protective tunic that contains several eukaryotic cell lines, is composed mainly of acidic mucopolysacharides associated with collagen and elastin-like proteins, and is covered by a thin cuticle. The microbiota associated with the tunic tissues of adult colonies and larva of C. dellechiajei has been examined by optical, confocal and electron microscopy and by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis. Microscopy analyses indicated the presence inside the tunic, both for the adult and the larva, of a dense community of Bacteria while only the external surface of colony cuticle was colonized by diatoms, rodophyte algae and prokaryotic-like epiphytes. Transmission electron microscopy showed tunic eukaryotic cells that were engulfing and lysing bacteria. 16S rRNA gene analyses (DGGE and clone libraries) and FISH indicated that the community inside the tunic tissues of the adults and larvae was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria. Bacteria belonging to the phyla Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were also detected in the adults. Many of the 16S rRNA gene sequences in the tunic tissues were related to known aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs (AAP), like Roseobacter sp. and Erythrobacter sp. In order to check whether the gene pufM, coding for the M subunit of the reaction centre complex of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis, was being expressed inside the ascidian tissues, two libraries, one for an adult colony and one for larva, of cDNA from the expressed pufM gene were also constructed. The sequences most

  10. Sexual and asexual reproduction in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Gasparini, Fabio; Manni, Lucia; Cima, Francesca; Zaniolo, Giovanna; Burighel, Paolo; Caicci, Federico; Franchi, Nicola; Schiavon, Filippo; Rigon, Francesca; Campagna, Davide; Ballarin, Loriano

    2015-01-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a widespread filter-feeding ascidian that lives in shallow waters and is easily reared in aquaria. Its peculiar blastogenetic cycle, characterized by the presence of three blastogenetic generations (filtering adults, buds, and budlets) and by recurrent generation changes, has resulted in over 60 years of studies aimed at understanding how sexual and asexual reproduction are coordinated and regulated in the colony. The possibility of using different methodological approaches, from classical genetics to cell transplantation, contributed to the development of this species as a valuable model organism for the study of a variety of biological processes. Here, we review the main studies detailing rearing, staging methods, reproduction and colony growth of this species, emphasizing the asymmetry in sexual and asexual reproduction potential, sexual reproduction in the field and the laboratory, and self- and cross-fertilization. These data, opportunely matched with recent tanscriptomic and genomic outcomes, can give a valuable help to the elucidation of some important steps in chordate evolution.

  11. Down under the tunic: bacterial biodiversity hotspots and widespread ammonia-oxidizing archaea in coral reef ascidians.

    PubMed

    Erwin, Patrick M; Pineda, Mari Carmen; Webster, Nicole; Turon, Xavier; López-Legentil, Susanna

    2014-03-01

    Ascidians are ecologically important components of marine ecosystems yet the ascidian microbiota remains largely unexplored beyond a few model species. We used 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing to provide a comprehensive characterization of microbial symbionts in the tunic of 42 Great Barrier Reef ascidian samples representing 25 species. Results revealed high bacterial biodiversity (3 217 unique operational taxonomic units (OTU0.03) from 19 described and 14 candidate phyla) and the widespread occurrence of ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota in coral reef ascidians (24 of 25 host species). The ascidian microbiota was clearly differentiated from seawater microbial communities and included symbiont lineages shared with other invertebrate hosts as well as unique, ascidian-specific phylotypes. Several rare seawater microbes were markedly enriched (200-700 fold) in the ascidian tunic, suggesting that the rare biosphere of seawater may act as a conduit for horizontal symbiont transfer. However, most OTUs (71%) were rare and specific to single hosts and a significant correlation between host relatedness and symbiont community similarity was detected, indicating a high degree of host-specificity and potential role of vertical transmission in structuring these communities. We hypothesize that the complex ascidian microbiota revealed herein is maintained by the dynamic microenvironments within the ascidian tunic, offering optimal conditions for different metabolic pathways such as ample chemical substrate (ammonia-rich host waste) and physical habitat (high oxygen, low irradiance) for nitrification. Thus, ascidian hosts provide unique and fertile niches for diverse microorganisms and may represent an important and previously unrecognized habitat for nitrite/nitrate regeneration in coral reef ecosystems.

  12. Genetic pathways for differentiation of the peripheral nervous system in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Waki, Kana; Imai, Kaoru S; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    Ascidians belong to tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates. Peripheral nervous systems (PNSs) including epidermal sensory neurons (ESNs) in the trunk and dorsal tail regions of ascidian larvae are derived from cells adjacent to the neural plate, as in vertebrates. On the other hand, peripheral ESNs in the ventral tail region are derived from the ventral ectoderm under the control of BMP signalling, reminiscent of sensory neurons of amphioxus and protostomes. In this study, we show that two distinct mechanisms activate a common gene circuit consisting of Msx, Ascl.b, Tox, Delta.b and Pou4 in the dorsal and ventral regions to differentiate ESNs. Our results suggest that ventral ESNs of the ascidian larva are not directly homologous to vertebrate PNSs. The dorsal ESNs might have arisen via co-option of the original PNS gene circuit to the neural plate border in an ancestral chordate. PMID:26515371

  13. The Mediterranean non-indigenous ascidian Polyandrocarpa zorritensis: Microbiological accumulation capability and environmental implications.

    PubMed

    Stabili, Loredana; Licciano, Margherita; Longo, Caterina; Lezzi, Marco; Giangrande, Adriana

    2015-12-15

    We investigated the bacterial accumulation and digestion capability of Polyandrocarpa zorritensis, a non-indigenous colonial ascidian originally described in Peru and later found in the Mediterranean. Microbiological analyses were carried out on homogenates from "unstarved" and "starved" ascidians and seawater from the same sampling site (Adriatic Sea, Italy). Culturable heterotrophic bacteria (22 °C), total culturable bacteria (37 °C) and vibrios abundances were determined on Marine Agar 2216, Plate Count Agar and TCBS Agar, respectively. Microbial pollution indicators were measured by the most probable number method. All the examined microbiological groups were accumulated by ascidians but differently digested. An interesting outcome is the capability of P. zorritensis to digest allochthonous microorganisms such as coliforms as well as culturable bacteria at 37 °C, counteracting the effects of microbial pollution. Thus, the potential exploitation of these filter feeders to restore polluted seawater should be taken into consideration in the management of this alien species. PMID:26561443

  14. Time course for tail regression during metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Matsunobu, Shohei; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2015-09-01

    In most ascidians, the tadpole-like swimming larvae dramatically change their body-plans during metamorphosis and develop into sessile adults. The mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis have been researched and debated for many years. Until now information on the detailed time course of the initiation and completion of each metamorphic event has not been described. One dramatic and important event in ascidian metamorphosis is tail regression, in which ascidian larvae lose their tails to adjust themselves to sessile life. In the present study, we measured the time associated with tail regression in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Larvae are thought to acquire competency for each metamorphic event in certain developmental periods. We show that the timing with which the competence for tail regression is acquired is determined by the time since hatching, and this timing is not affected by the timing of post-hatching events such as adhesion. Because larvae need to adhere to substrates with their papillae to induce tail regression, we measured the duration for which larvae need to remain adhered in order to initiate tail regression and the time needed for the tail to regress. Larvae acquire the ability to adhere to substrates before they acquire tail regression competence. We found that when larvae adhered before they acquired tail regression competence, they were able to remember the experience of adhesion until they acquired the ability to undergo tail regression. The time course of the events associated with tail regression provides a valuable reference, upon which the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis can be elucidated.

  15. Ascidians as excellent chordate models for studying the development of the nervous system during embryogenesis and metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Mita, Kaoru; Ogura, Yosuke; Horie, Takeo

    2012-04-01

    The swimming larvae of the chordate ascidians possess a dorsal hollowed central nervous system (CNS), which is homologous to that of vertebrates. Despite the homology, the ascidian CNS consists of a countable number of cells. The simple nervous system of ascidians provides an excellent experimental system to study the developmental mechanisms of the chordate nervous system. The neural fate of the cells consisting of the ascidian CNS is determined in both autonomous and non-autonomous fashion during the cleavage stage. The ascidian neural plate performs the morphogenetic movement of neural tube closure that resembles that in vertebrate neural tube formation. Following neurulation, the CNS is separated into five distinct regions, whose homology with the regions of vertebrate CNS has been discussed. Following their larval stage, ascidians undergo a metamorphosis and become sessile adults. The metamorphosis is completed quickly, and therefore the metamorphosis of ascidians is a good experimental system to observe the reorganization of the CNS during metamorphosis. A recent study has shown that the major parts of the larval CNS remain after the metamorphosis to form the adult CNS. In contrast to such a conserved manner of CNS reorganization, most larval neurons disappear during metamorphosis. The larval glial cells in the CNS are the major source for the formation of the adult CNS, and some of the glial cells produce adult neurons.

  16. Ascidian (Chordata-Tunicata) glycosaminoglycans: extraction, purification, biochemical, and spectroscopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Pavão, Mauro S G

    2015-01-01

    Sulfated polysaccharides with unique structures of the chondroitin/dermatan and heparin/heparan families of sulfated glycosaminoglycans have been described in several species of ascidians (Chordata-Tunicata). These unique sulfated glycans have been isolated from-ascidians and characterized by biochemical and spectroscopic methods. The ascidian glycans can be extracted by different tissues or cells by proteolytic digestion followed by cetylpyridinium chloride/ethanol precipitation. The total glycans are then fractionated by ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose and/or Mono Q (HR 5/5) columns. Alternatively, precipitation with different ethanol concentrations can be employed. An initial analysis of the purified ascidian glycans is carried out by agarose gel electrophoresis on diaminopropane/acetate buffer, before or after digestion with specific glycosaminoglycan lyases or deaminative cleavage with nitrous acid. The disaccharides formed by exhaustive degradation of the glycans is purified by gel-filtration chromatography on a Superdex-peptide column and analyzed by HPLC on a strong ion exchange Sax-Spherisorb column. 1H or 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in one or two dimensions is used to confirm the structure of the intact glycans.

  17. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians

    PubMed Central

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K.; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C.; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J.; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr. PMID:26420834

  18. Natural Products from Antarctic Colonial Ascidians of the Genera Aplidium and Synoicum: Variability and Defensive Role

    PubMed Central

    Núñez-Pons, Laura; Carbone, Marianna; Vázquez, Jennifer; Rodríguez, Jaime; Nieto, Rosa María; Varela, María Mercedes; Gavagnin, Margherita; Avila, Conxita

    2012-01-01

    Ascidians have developed multiple defensive strategies mostly related to physical, nutritional or chemical properties of the tunic. One of such is chemical defense based on secondary metabolites. We analyzed a series of colonial Antarctic ascidians from deep-water collections belonging to the genera Aplidium and Synoicum to evaluate the incidence of organic deterrents and their variability. The ether fractions from 15 samples including specimens of the species A. falklandicum, A. fuegiense, A. meridianum, A. millari and S. adareanum were subjected to feeding assays towards two relevant sympatric predators: the starfish Odontaster validus, and the amphipod Cheirimedon femoratus. All samples revealed repellency. Nonetheless, some colonies concentrated defensive chemicals in internal body-regions rather than in the tunic. Four ascidian-derived meroterpenoids, rossinones B and the three derivatives 2,3-epoxy-rossinone B, 3-epi-rossinone B, 5,6-epoxy-rossinone B, and the indole alkaloids meridianins A–G, along with other minoritary meridianin compounds were isolated from several samples. Some purified metabolites were tested in feeding assays exhibiting potent unpalatabilities, thus revealing their role in predation avoidance. Ascidian extracts and purified compound-fractions were further assessed in antibacterial tests against a marine Antarctic bacterium. Only the meridianins showed inhibition activity, demonstrating a multifunctional defensive role. According to their occurrence in nature and within our colonial specimens, the possible origin of both types of metabolites is discussed. PMID:23015772

  19. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.

    PubMed

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr. PMID:26420834

  20. Microenvironment and phylogenetic diversity of Prochloron inhabiting the surface of crustose didemnid ascidians.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Daniel A; Pernice, Mathieu; Schliep, Martin; Sablok, Gaurav; Jeffries, Thomas C; Kühl, Michael; Wangpraseurt, Daniel; Ralph, Peter J; Larkum, Anthony W D

    2015-10-01

    The cyanobacterium Prochloron didemni is primarily found in symbiotic relationships with various marine hosts such as ascidians and sponges. Prochloron remains to be successfully cultivated outside of its host, which reflects a lack of knowledge of its unique ecophysiological requirements. We investigated the microenvironment and diversity of Prochloron inhabiting the upper, exposed surface of didemnid ascidians, providing the first insights into this microhabitat. The pH and O2 concentration in this Prochloron biofilm changes dynamically with irradiance, where photosynthetic activity measurements showed low light adaptation (Ek ∼ 80 ± 7 μmol photons m(-2) s(-1)) but high light tolerance. Surface Prochloron cells exhibited a different fine structure to Prochloron cells from cloacal cavities in other ascidians, the principle difference being a central area of many vacuoles dissected by single thylakoids in the surface Prochloron. Cyanobacterial 16S rDNA pyro-sequencing of the biofilm community on four ascidians resulted in 433 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) where on average -85% (65-99%) of all sequence reads, represented by 136 OTUs, were identified as Prochloron via blast search. All of the major Prochloron-OTUs clustered into independent, highly supported phylotypes separate from sequences reported for internal Prochloron, suggesting a hitherto unexplored genetic variability among Prochloron colonizing the outer surface of didemnids. PMID:26176189

  1. ANISEED 2015: a digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of ascidians.

    PubMed

    Brozovic, Matija; Martin, Cyril; Dantec, Christelle; Dauga, Delphine; Mendez, Mickaël; Simion, Paul; Percher, Madeline; Laporte, Baptiste; Scornavacca, Céline; Di Gregorio, Anna; Fujiwara, Shigeki; Gineste, Mathieu; Lowe, Elijah K; Piette, Jacques; Racioppi, Claudia; Ristoratore, Filomena; Sasakura, Yasunori; Takatori, Naohito; Brown, Titus C; Delsuc, Frédéric; Douzery, Emmanuel; Gissi, Carmela; McDougall, Alex; Nishida, Hiroki; Sawada, Hitoshi; Swalla, Billie J; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Lemaire, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians belong to the tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates and are recognized model organisms in the field of embryonic development, regeneration and stem cells. ANISEED is the main information system in the field of ascidian developmental biology. This article reports the development of the system since its initial publication in 2010. Over the past five years, we refactored the system from an initial custom schema to an extended version of the Chado schema and redesigned all user and back end interfaces. This new architecture was used to improve and enrich the description of Ciona intestinalis embryonic development, based on an improved genome assembly and gene model set, refined functional gene annotation, and anatomical ontologies, and a new collection of full ORF cDNAs. The genomes of nine ascidian species have been sequenced since the release of the C. intestinalis genome. In ANISEED 2015, all nine new ascidian species can be explored via dedicated genome browsers, and searched by Blast. In addition, ANISEED provides full functional gene annotation, anatomical ontologies and some gene expression data for the six species with highest quality genomes. ANISEED is publicly available at: http://www.aniseed.cnrs.fr.

  2. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983) in an Urban Estuary.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Tiffany Schenk; Wernberg, Thomas; McDonald, Justin I

    2016-01-01

    Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia) growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis) where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future. PMID:27144600

  3. Prunolides A, B, and C: Novel Tetraphenolic Bis-Spiroketals from the Australian Ascidian Synoicum prunum.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Anthony R.; Healy, Peter C.; Quinn, Ronald J.; Tranter, Carolyn J.

    1999-04-16

    Three novel tetraphenolic bis-spiroketals, prunolides A-C (1, 3, and 4) have been isolated from the Australian ascidian Synoicum prunum. The structures were determined from NMR spectroscopic data and from an X-ray analysis of prunolide A. The prunolides contain a unique 1,6,8-trioxadispiro[4.1.4.2]trideca-3,10,12-triene-2,9-dione carbon skeleton. The known compound rubrolide A (5) was also isolated.

  4. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983) in an Urban Estuary.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Tiffany Schenk; Wernberg, Thomas; McDonald, Justin I

    2016-01-01

    Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia) growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis) where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future.

  5. When shape matters: strategies of different Antarctic ascidians morphotypes to deal with sedimentation.

    PubMed

    Torre, Luciana; Abele, Doris; Lagger, Cristian; Momo, Fernando; Sahade, Ricardo

    2014-08-01

    Climate change leads to increased melting of tidewater glaciers in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region and sediment bearing glacial melt waters negatively affects filter feeding species as solitary ascidians. In previous work the erect-forms Molgula pedunculata and Cnemidocarpa verrucosa (Order Stolidobranchiata) appeared more sensitive than the flat form Ascidia challengeri (Order Phlebobranchiata). Sedimentation exposure is expected to induce up-regulation of anaerobic metabolism by obstructing the organs of gas exchange (environmental hypoxia) or causes enhanced squirting activity (functional hypoxia). In this study we evaluated the possible relationship between ascidian morphotype and their physiological response to sedimentation. Together with some behavioural observations, we analysed the response of anaerobic metabolic parameters (lactate formation and glycogen consumption) in different tissues of three Antarctic ascidians, exposed to high sediment concentrations (200 mgL(-1)). The results were compared to experimental hypoxia (10% pO2) and exercise (induced muscular contraction) effects, in order to discriminate the effect of sediment on each species and morpho-type (erect vs. flat forms). Our results suggest that the styled (erect) C. verrucosa increases muscular squirting activity in order to expulse excessive material, while the flat-form A. challengeri reacts more passively by down-regulating its aerobic metabolism under sediment exposure. Contrary, the erect ascidian M. pedunculata did not show any measurable response to the treatments, indicating that filtration and ingestion activities were not reduced or altered even under high sedimentation (low energetic material) which could be disadvantageous on the long-term and could explain why M. pedunculata densities decline in the study area.

  6. Distribution and Localised Effects of the Invasive Ascidian Didemnum perlucidum (Monniot 1983) in an Urban Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Wernberg, Thomas; McDonald, Justin I.

    2016-01-01

    Didemnid ascidians are notorious marine invaders, fouling infrastructure in many ecosystems globally. However, there have been few reports of direct interactions with native species in their natural environment. The invasive colonial ascidian Didemnum perlucidum was discovered in the Swan River estuary (Western Australia) growing on the native seagrass Halophila ovalis. Given the known effects of other related Didemnum species it was expected that D. perlucidum could adversely affect the seagrass, with possible flow on effects to the rest of the ecosystem. This study aimed to document the distribution and abundance of D. perlucidum in the estuary, and to determine whether this species had a negative impact on H. ovalis or associated flora and fauna. D. perlucidum was largely present near areas of infrastructure, particularly mooring buoys, suggesting these were the source of D. perlucidum recruits on the seagrasses. It showed a clear seasonal pattern in abundance, with highly variable cover and colony size. D. perlucidum had a measurable effect on H. ovalis, with colonies enveloping all plant tissue, likely restricting the photosynthetic ability of individual leaves and total plant biomass. There were also significantly less seagrass-associated mud snails (Batillaria australis) where D. perlucidum cover was high. These results demonstrate the ability of invasive ascidians to colonise and affect native seagrasses and associated biota. Seagrasses are pivotal to the ecological function of many urban estuaries world-wide. Biodiversity in these systems is already vulnerable to multiple stressors from human activities but the potential stress of fouling ascidians may pose an additional and increasing threat in the future. PMID:27144600

  7. Spermiotoxicity of nickel nanoparticles in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians).

    PubMed

    Gallo, Alessandra; Boni, Raffaele; Buttino, Isabella; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-10-01

    Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose.

  8. Spermiotoxicity of nickel nanoparticles in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians)

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Alessandra; Boni, Raffaele; Buttino, Isabella; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose. PMID:27080039

  9. Passive flow through an unstalked intertidal ascidian: orientation and morphology enhance suspension feeding in Pyura stolonifera.

    PubMed

    Knott, N A; Davis, A R; Buttemer, W A

    2004-12-01

    Passive flow is believed to increase the gains and reduce the costs of active suspension feeding. We used a mixture of field and laboratory experiments to evaluate whether the unstalked intertidal ascidian Pyura stolonifera exploits passive flow. We predicted that its orientation to prevailing currents and the arrangement of its siphons would induce passive flow due to dynamic pressure at the inhalant siphon, as well as by the Bernoulli effect or viscous entrainment associated with different fluid velocities at each siphon, or by both mechanisms. The orientation of P. stolonifera at several locations along the Sydney-Illawarra coast (Australia) covering a wide range of wave exposures was nonrandom and revealed that the ascidians were consistently oriented with their inhalant siphons directed into the waves or backwash. Flume experiments using wax models demonstrated that the arrangement of the siphons could induce passive flow and that passive flow was greatest when the inhalant siphon was oriented into the flow. Field experiments using transplanted animals confirmed that such an orientation resulted in ascidians gaining food at greater rates, as measured by fecal production, than when oriented perpendicular to the wave direction. We conclude that P. stolonifera enhances suspension feeding by inducing passive flow and is, therefore, a facultatively active suspension feeder. Furthermore, we argue that it is likely that many other active suspension feeders utilize passive flow and, therefore, measurements of their clearance rates should be made under appropriate conditions of flow to gain ecologically relevant results. PMID:15616352

  10. PSP toxins profile in ascidian Microcosmus vulgaris (Heller, 1877) after human poisoning in Croatia (Adriatic Sea).

    PubMed

    Roje-Busatto, Romana; Ujević, Ivana

    2014-03-01

    Toxins known to cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) syndrome in humans that can have serious economic consequences for aquaculture were determined in ascidians of the genus Microcosmus. Significant concentrations of toxins were confirmed in all tested samples collected from the western coast of Istria Peninsula (Adriatic Sea, Croatia) when six people were poisoned following the consumption of fresh ascidians. Several species of bivalves that were under continuous monitoring had not accumulated PSP toxins although they were exposed to the same environmental conditions over the survey period. In the present study, HPLC-FLD with pre-column oxidation of PSP toxins has been carried out to provide evidence for the first human intoxication due to consumption of PSP toxic ascidians (Microcosmus vulgaris, Heller, 1877) harvested from the Adriatic Sea. Qualitative analysis established the presence of six PSP toxins: saxitoxin (STX), decarbamoylsaxitoxin (dcSTX), gonyautoxins 2 and 3 (GTX2,3), decarbamoylgonyautoxins 2 and 3 (dcGTX2,3), gonyautoxin 5 (GTX5) and N-sulfocarbamoylgonyautoxins 1 and 2 (C1,2), while quantitative analysis suggested STX and GTX2,3 as dominant toxin types and the ones that contribute the most to the overall toxicity of these samples with concentrations near the regulatory limit.

  11. THALIACEANS, THE NEGLECTED PELAGIC RELATIVES OF ASCIDIANS: A DEVELOPMENTAL AND EVOLUTIONARY ENIGMA.

    PubMed

    Piette, Jacques; Lemaire, Patrick

    2015-06-01

    Most developmental biologists equate tunicates to the sessile ascidians, including Ciona intestinalis, and the pelagic appendicularians, in particular Oikopleura dioica. However, there exists a third group of tunicates with a pelagic lifestyle, the thaliaceans, which include salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids. Although thaliaceans have raised the curiosity offamous zoologists since the 18th century, the difficulty of observing and experimentally manipulating them has led to many controversies and speculations about their life cycles and developmental strategies, the phylogenetic relationship within the group and with other tunicates, and the drivers of speciation in these widely distributed animals living in a seemingly uniform environment. Here, we take a historical perspective to summarize 250 years of work on this intriguing group of animals, and explore how modern genomics and imaging approaches are starting to solve fascinating evolutionary and developmental riddles. Recent molecular analyses support previous morphological evidence that ascidians are not monophyletic and that thaliaceans evolved from a sessile ascidian-like ancestor. In parallel, preliminary live-imaging and gene-expression data offer exciting entry points to understand how the adoption of a pelagic lifestyle led to drastic modifications in the morphology, embryology, and life cycle of these tunicates, compared to their sessile ancestor. PMID:26285352

  12. Ascidians as a vertebrate-like model organism for physiological studies of Rho GTPase signaling.

    PubMed

    Philips, Alexandre; Blein, Marion; Robert, Agnès; Chambon, Jean-Philippe; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Weill, Mylène; Fort, Philippe

    2003-07-01

    GTPases of the Rho family are evolutionarily conserved proteins that control cell shape dynamics during physiological processes as diverse as cell migration and polarity, axon outgrowth and guidance, apoptosis and phagocytosis. In mammals, 18 Rho proteins are distributed in 7 subfamilies. Rho, Rac and Cdc42 are the best-characterized ones, benefiting from the use of worm and drosophila, which only express these 3 subfamilies. An additional model would therefore help understand the physiological role of other mammalian subfamilies. We identified in genome databases the complete Rho family of two ascidians, Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi, and showed that these families contain single ancestors of most mammalian Rho subfamilies. In Ciona intestinalis, all Rho genes are expressed and display specific developmental variations of mRNA expression during tadpole formation. Although C. intestinalis expresses five additional Rac compared to the closely related Ciona savignyi, only two appeared fully active in functional assays. Last, we identified in Ciona intestinalis database more than 50 Rho regulators (RhoGEFs and RhoGAPs) and 20 effector targets, whose analysis further supports the notion that Rho signaling components are of comparable complexity in mammals and ascidians. Since the tadpole of ascidians combines vertebrate-like developmental features with reduced cell number, particularly adapted to evolutionary and developmental biology studies, our data advocate this model for physiological studies of Rho signaling pathways.

  13. Spermiotoxicity of nickel nanoparticles in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians).

    PubMed

    Gallo, Alessandra; Boni, Raffaele; Buttino, Isabella; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-10-01

    Nickel nanoparticles (Ni NPs) are increasingly used in modern industries as catalysts, sensors, and in electronic applications. Due to this large use, their inputs into marine environment have significantly increased; however, the potential ecotoxicological effects in marine environment have so far received little attention. In particular, little is known on the impact of NPs on gamete quality of marine organisms and on the consequences on fertility potential. The present study examines, for the first time, the impact of Ni NPs exposure on sperm quality of the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidian). Several parameters related with sperm status such as plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), intracellular pH, DNA integrity, and fertilizing ability were assessed as toxicity end points after exposure to different Ni NPs concentrations. Ni NPs generate oxidative stress that in turn induces lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and alters MMP and sperm morphology. Furthermore, sperm exposure to Ni NPs affects their fertilizing ability and causes developmental anomalies in the offspring. All together, these results reveal a spermiotoxicity of Ni NPs in ascidians suggesting that the application of these NPs should be carefully assessed as to their potential toxic effects on the health of marine organisms that, in turn, may influence the ecological system. This study shows that ascidian sperm represent a suitable and sensitive tool for the investigation of the toxicity of NPs entered into marine environment, for defining the mechanisms of toxic action and for the environmental monitoring purpose. PMID:27080039

  14. Polarization of PI3K Activity Initiated by Ooplasmic Segregation Guides Nuclear Migration in the Mesendoderm.

    PubMed

    Takatori, Naohito; Oonuma, Kouhei; Nishida, Hiroki; Saiga, Hidetoshi

    2015-11-01

    Asymmetric localization of RNA is a widely observed mechanism of cell polarization. Using embryos of the ascidian, Halocynthia roretzi, we previously showed that mesoderm and endoderm fates are separated by localization of mRNA encoding a transcription factor, Not, to the future mesoderm-side cytoplasm of the mesendoderm cell through asymmetric positioning of the nucleus. Here, we investigated the mechanism that defines the direction of the nuclear migration. We show that localization of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 to the future mesoderm region determines the direction of nuclear migration. Localization of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 was dependent on the localization of PI3Kα to the future mesoderm region. PI3Kα was first localized at the 1-cell stage by the ooplasmic movement. Activity of localized PI3Kα at the 4-cell stage was required for the localization of PI3Kα up to the nuclear migration. Our results provide the scaffold for understanding the chain of causality leading to the separation of germ layer fates. PMID:26555053

  15. Nitric Oxide Acts as a Positive Regulator to Induce Metamorphosis of the Ascidian Herdmania momus

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Nobuo; Degnan, Sandie M.

    2013-01-01

    Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation in ascidian

  16. Ascidian Mitogenomics: Comparison of Evolutionary Rates in Closely Related Taxa Provides Evidence of Ongoing Speciation Events

    PubMed Central

    Griggio, Francesca; Voskoboynik, Ayelet; Iannelli, Fabio; Justy, Fabienne; Tilak, Marie-Ka; Xavier, Turon; Pesole, Graziano; Douzery, Emmanuel J.P.; Mastrototaro, Francesco; Gissi, Carmela

    2014-01-01

    Ascidians are a fascinating group of filter-feeding marine chordates characterized by rapid evolution of both sequences and structure of their nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Moreover, they include several model organisms used to investigate complex biological processes in chordates. To study the evolutionary dynamics of ascidians at short phylogenetic distances, we sequenced 13 new mitogenomes and analyzed them, together with 15 other available mitogenomes, using a novel approach involving detailed whole-mitogenome comparisons of conspecific and congeneric pairs. The evolutionary rate was quite homogeneous at both intraspecific and congeneric level, and the lowest congeneric rates were found in cryptic (morphologically undistinguishable) and in morphologically very similar species pairs. Moreover, congeneric nonsynonymous rates (dN) were up to two orders of magnitude higher than in intraspecies pairs. Overall, a clear-cut gap sets apart conspecific from congeneric pairs. These evolutionary peculiarities allowed easily identifying an extraordinary intraspecific variability in the model ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, where most pairs show a dN value between that observed at intraspecies and congeneric level, yet consistently lower than that of the Ciona intestinalis cryptic species pair. These data suggest ongoing speciation events producing genetically distinct B. schlosseri entities. Remarkably, these ongoing speciation events were undetectable by the cox1 barcode fragment, demonstrating that, at low phylogenetic distances, the whole mitogenome has a higher resolving power than cox1. Our study shows that whole-mitogenome comparative analyses, performed on a suitable sample of congeneric and intraspecies pairs, may allow detecting not only cryptic species but also ongoing speciation events. PMID:24572017

  17. Nitric oxide acts as a positive regulator to induce metamorphosis of the ascidian Herdmania momus.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Nobuo; Degnan, Sandie M

    2013-01-01

    Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation in ascidian

  18. Microbial diversity of biofilm communities in microniches associated with the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    PubMed Central

    Behrendt, Lars; Larkum, Anthony W D; Trampe, Erik; Norman, Anders; Sørensen, Søren J; Kühl, Michael

    2012-01-01

    We assessed the microbial diversity and microenvironmental niche characteristics in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, microsensor and imaging techniques. L. patella harbors three distinct microbial communities spatially separated by few millimeters of tunic tissue: (i) a biofilm on its upper surface exposed to high irradiance and O2 levels, (ii) a cloacal cavity dominated by the prochlorophyte Prochloron spp. characterized by strong depletion of visible light and a dynamic chemical microenvironment ranging from hyperoxia in light to anoxia in darkness and (iii) a biofilm covering the underside of the animal, where light is depleted of visible wavelengths and enriched in near-infrared radiation (NIR). Variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging demonstrated photosynthetic activity, and hyperspectral imaging revealed a diversity of photopigments in all microhabitats. Amplicon sequencing revealed the dominance of cyanobacteria in all three layers. Sequences representing the chlorophyll d containing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina and anoxygenic phototrophs were abundant on the underside of the ascidian in shallow waters but declined in deeper waters. This depth dependency was supported by a negative correlation between A. marina abundance and collection depth, explained by the increased attenuation of NIR as a function of water depth. The combination of microenvironmental analysis and fine-scale sampling techniques used in this investigation gives valuable first insights into the distribution, abundance and diversity of bacterial communities associated with tropical ascidians. In particular, we show that microenvironments and microbial diversity can vary significantly over scales of a few millimeters in such habitats; which is information easily lost by bulk sampling. PMID:22134643

  19. Huntingtin gene evolution in Chordata and its peculiar features in the ascidian Ciona genus

    PubMed Central

    Gissi, Carmela; Pesole, Graziano; Cattaneo, Elena; Tartari, Marzia

    2006-01-01

    Background To gain insight into the evolutionary features of the huntingtin (htt) gene in Chordata, we have sequenced and characterized the full-length htt mRNA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a basal chordate emerging as new invertebrate model organism. Moreover, taking advantage of the availability of genomic and EST sequences, the htt gene structure of a number of chordate species, including the cogeneric ascidian Ciona savignyi, and the vertebrates Xenopus and Gallus was reconstructed. Results The C. intestinalis htt transcript exhibits some peculiar features, such as spliced leader trans-splicing in the 98 nt-long 5' untranslated region (UTR), an alternative splicing in the coding region, eight alternative polyadenylation sites, and no similarities of both 5' and 3'UTRs compared to homologs of the cogeneric C. savignyi. The predicted protein is 2946 amino acids long, shorter than its vertebrate homologs, and lacks the polyQ and the polyP stretches found in the the N-terminal regions of mammalian homologs. The exon-intron organization of the htt gene is almost identical among vertebrates, and significantly conserved between Ciona and vertebrates, allowing us to hypothesize an ancestral chordate gene consisting of at least 40 coding exons. Conclusion During chordate diversification, events of gain/loss, sliding, phase changes, and expansion of introns occurred in both vertebrate and ascidian lineages predominantly in the 5'-half of the htt gene, where there is also evidence of lineage-specific evolutionary dynamics in vertebrates. On the contrary, the 3'-half of the gene is highly conserved in all chordates at the level of both gene structure and protein sequence. Between the two Ciona species, a fast evolutionary rate and/or an early divergence time is suggested by the absence of significant similarity between UTRs, protein divergence comparable to that observed between mammals and fishes, and different distribution of repetitive elements. PMID:17092333

  20. Anti-inflammatory and antimalarial meroterpenoids from the New Zealand ascidian Aplidium scabellum.

    PubMed

    Chan, Susanna T S; Pearce, A Norrie; Januario, Ana H; Page, Michael J; Kaiser, Marcel; McLaughlin, Rene J; Harper, Jacquie L; Webb, Victoria L; Barker, David; Copp, Brent R

    2011-11-01

    Bioassay-directed fractionation of an extract of the New Zealand ascidian Aplidium scabellum has afforded the anti-inflammatory secondary metabolite 2-geranyl-6-methoxy-1,4-hydroquinone-4-sulfate (1) and a family of pseudodimeric meroterpenoids scabellones A (2)-D (5). The benzo[c]chromene-7,10-dione scaffold contained within scabellones A-D is particularly rare among natural products. The structures were elucidated by interpretation of NMR data. Scabellone B was also identified as a moderately potent, nontoxic inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum.

  1. Rubrolide R: a new furanone metabolite from the ascidian Synoicum of the Indian Ocean.

    PubMed

    Smitha, Desaraju; Kumar, Muthyala Murali Krishna; Ramana, Hechhu; Rao, Desaraju Venkata

    2014-01-01

    A new furanone metabolite of the rubrolide family, rubrolide R as diacetate (1), was isolated from a new species of the ascidian Synoicum, besides the known compounds rubrolide A (as diacetate), cadiolide B and prunolide A. The structure of the new rubrolide was elucidated by a study of spectral data. The crude extract and isolated compounds (prunolide A and cadiolide B) showed antiviral activity against the Japanese encephalitis virus. Prunolide A showed cytotoxic activity against breast cancer cell lines at a concentration of < 1 μM.

  2. Sagitol D, a New Thiazole Containing Pyridoacridine Alkaloid from a Vietnamese Ascidian.

    PubMed

    Utkina, Natalia K

    2015-09-01

    A new thiazole containing pyridoacridine alkaloid, named sagitol D (1), and five known alkaloids kuanoniaminesA (2), C (3), D (4), E (5), and F (6), have been isolated from an unidentified Vietnamese ascidian. The structure of the new compound was established from NMR spectroscopic data. Kuanoniamines C, D, E, and F showed moderate antioxidant activity in the DPPH (IC50 36 µM) and ABTS assays (TE = 0.5), while sagitol D showed weak activity (IC50 92 M;TE = 0.10), and kuanoniamine A was inactive. PMID:26594755

  3. The alien ascidian Styela clava now invading the Sea of Marmara (Tunicata: Ascidiacea)

    PubMed Central

    Çinar, Melih Ertan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract During the implementation of a large project aimed to investigate the benthic community structures of the Sea of Marmara, specimens of the invasive ascidian species Styela clava were collected on natural substrata (rocks) at 10 m depth at one locality (Karamürsel) in İzmit Bay. The specimens were mature, containing gametes, indicating that the species had become established in the area. The Sea of Marmara seems to provide suitable conditions for this species to survive and form proliferating populations. PMID:27047235

  4. The recently-described ascidian species Molgula tectiformis is a direct developer.

    PubMed

    Tagawa, K; Jeffery, W R; Satoh, N

    1997-04-01

    Molgula tectiformis is a new ascidian species recently described by Nishikawa (1991). In Otsuchi Bay, Iwate, Japan, they are easily obtainable from cages for culturing scallops. We report here that M. tectiformis is another example of a direct developer: their embryonic development is lacking the tadpole larva. The fertilized egg is orange and about 150 microns in diameter. At 18 degrees C, the egg cleaves at about 20 min intervals and gastrulation occurs about 5 hr after fertilization. In contrast to conventionally-developing ascidians, M. tectiformis does not form a tadpole larva. Immediately before hatching, three stolons or ampullae begin to extend from the tailless embryo. After hatching the stolons mediate the attachment of the juvenile body to the substratum. Histochemistry for tissue-specific enzyme activity did not detect muscle-specific acetyl-cholinesterase, endoderm-specific alkaline phosphatase, and pigment cell-specific tyrosinase. In addition, in situ hybridization could not prove the presence of muscle actin gene transcripts in the embryo. These results suggest that these larval tissues do not differentiate in M. tectiformis embryos. Because M. tectiformis is common and gravid year-around in Otsuchi Bay, this direct developer provides the opportunity for further analysis of molecular changes during evolution that cause an alternative mode of development.

  5. Distinct modes of mitotic spindle orientation align cells in the dorsal midline of ascidian embryos.

    PubMed

    Negishi, Takefumi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2015-12-01

    The orientation of cell division can have important consequences on the choice of cell fates adopted by each daughter cell as well as on the architecture of the tissue within which the dividing cell resides. We have studied in detail the oriented cell divisions that take place in the dorsal midline of the ascidian embryo. The dorsal midline cells of the ascidian embryo emerge following an asymmetric cell division oriented along the animal-vegetal (A-V) axis. This division generates the NN (Notochord-Neural) cell at the margin and the E (Endoderm) cell more vegetally. Deviating from the default mode of cell division, these sister cells divide again along the A-V axis to generate a column of four cells. We describe these cell divisions in detail. We show that the NN cell mitotic spindle rotates 90° to align along the A-V axis while the E cell spindle forms directly along the axis following the asymmetric migration of its centrosomes. We combine live imaging, embryo manipulations and pharmacological modulation of cytoskeletal elements to address the mechanisms underlying these distinct subcellular behaviours. Our evidence suggests that, in E cells, aster asymmetry together with the E cell shape contribute to the asymmetric centrosome migration. In NN cells, an intrinsic cytoplasmic polarisation of the cell results in the accumulation of dynein to the animal pole side. Our data support a model in which a dynein-dependent directional cytoplasmic pulling force may be responsible for the NN cell spindle rotation. PMID:26452428

  6. Analysis of the Henze precipitate from the blood cells of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciancio, Aurelio; Scippa, Silvia; Nette, Geoffrey; De Vincentiis, Mario

    The Henze precipitate, a peculiar blue-green microparticulate obtained by lysis of the blood cells of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata (Protochordata), was investigated with atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray microanalysis. The precipitate was collected from the Henze solution, an unstable red-brown product obtained by treating blood with distilled water, whose degradation yields a characteristic blue-green product. The microparticulates measured 50-100 µm in diameter and appeared irregular in shape. SEM examination showed smooth, roughly round boundaries. The microparticulate surface examined with AFM appeared as an irregular matrix formed by 70-320-nm-wide mammillate composites, including and embedding small (500-800 nm wide) crystal-like multilayered formations. X- ray analysis showed that the elements present in these same precipitates were mainly C, Si, Al and O. The microparticulate composition appeared close to those of natural waxes or lacquers, embedding amorphous silicates and/or other Si-Al components. The unusual occurrence of Si in ascidian blood and its role are discussed.

  7. Distinct modes of mitotic spindle orientation align cells in the dorsal midline of ascidian embryos.

    PubMed

    Negishi, Takefumi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2015-12-01

    The orientation of cell division can have important consequences on the choice of cell fates adopted by each daughter cell as well as on the architecture of the tissue within which the dividing cell resides. We have studied in detail the oriented cell divisions that take place in the dorsal midline of the ascidian embryo. The dorsal midline cells of the ascidian embryo emerge following an asymmetric cell division oriented along the animal-vegetal (A-V) axis. This division generates the NN (Notochord-Neural) cell at the margin and the E (Endoderm) cell more vegetally. Deviating from the default mode of cell division, these sister cells divide again along the A-V axis to generate a column of four cells. We describe these cell divisions in detail. We show that the NN cell mitotic spindle rotates 90° to align along the A-V axis while the E cell spindle forms directly along the axis following the asymmetric migration of its centrosomes. We combine live imaging, embryo manipulations and pharmacological modulation of cytoskeletal elements to address the mechanisms underlying these distinct subcellular behaviours. Our evidence suggests that, in E cells, aster asymmetry together with the E cell shape contribute to the asymmetric centrosome migration. In NN cells, an intrinsic cytoplasmic polarisation of the cell results in the accumulation of dynein to the animal pole side. Our data support a model in which a dynein-dependent directional cytoplasmic pulling force may be responsible for the NN cell spindle rotation.

  8. Expression and function of myc during asexual reproduction of the budding ascidian Polyandrocarpa misakiensis.

    PubMed

    Fujiwara, Shigeki; Isozaki, Takaomi; Mori, Kyoko; Kawamura, Kazuo

    2011-12-01

    The budding ascidian Polyandrocarpa misakiensis proliferates asexually by budding. The atrial epithelium is a multipotent but differentiated tissue, which transdifferentiates into various tissues and organs after the bud separates from the parental body. We isolated cDNA clones homologous to the myc proto-oncogene from P. misakiensis. The cDNA, named Pm-myc, encoded a polypeptide of 639 amino acid residues, containing Myc-specific functional motifs, Myc box I and Myc box II, and the basic helix-loop-helix domain. Expression of Pm-myc was observed in the atrial epithelium in the organ-forming region of the developing bud, where the epithelial cells dedifferentiate and re-enter the cell cycle. The expression was also observed in fibroblast-like cells, which are known to participate in the organogenesis together with the epithelial cells. Unexpectedly, the atrial epithelium expressed Pm-myc more than one day before the dedifferentiation. The organogenesis was disturbed by Pm-myc-specific double-stranded RNA. In situ hybridization revealed that Pm-myc-positive fibroblast-like cells disappeared around the organ primordium of the dsRNA-treated bud. The results suggest that the mesenchymal-epithelial transition of fibroblast-like cells is important for the organogenesis in this budding ascidian species.

  9. Selective Detection and Phylogenetic Diversity of Acaryochloris spp. That Exist in Association with Didemnid Ascidians and Sponge

    PubMed Central

    Ohkubo, Satoshi; Miyashita, Hideaki

    2012-01-01

    Acaryochloris spp. are unique cyanobacteria which contain chlorophyll d as the predominant pigment. The phylogenetic diversity of Acaryochloris spp. associated with 7 Prochloron- or Synechocystis-containing didemnid ascidians and 1 Synechococcus-containing sponge obtained from the coast of the Republic of Palau was analyzed; we established a PCR primer set designed to selectively amplify the partial 16S rRNA gene of Acaryochloris spp. even in DNA samples containing a large amount of other cyanobacterial and algal DNAs. Polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis with this primer set enabled detection of the phyogenetic diversity of Acaryochloris spp. All the ascidian and sponge samples contained Acaryochloris spp. Fourteen phylotypes that were highly homologous (98–100%) with A. marina MBIC11017 were detected, while only 2 phylotypes were detected with our previously developed method for detecting cyanobacteria. The results also revealed that many uncultured phylotypes of Acaryochloris spp. were associated with those didemnid ascidians, since a clonal culture of only 1 phylotype has been established thus far. No specific relationship was found among the Acaryochloris phylotypes and the genera of the ascidians even when sample localities were identical; therefore, these invertebrates may provide a favorable habitat for Acaryochloris spp. rather than hosts showing any specific symbiotic relationships. PMID:22353766

  10. E/Z-rubrolide O, an anti-inflammatory halogenated furanone from the New Zealand ascidian Synoicum n. sp.

    PubMed

    Pearce, A Norrie; Chia, Elizabeth W; Berridge, Michael V; Maas, Elizabeth W; Page, Michael J; Webb, Victoria L; Harper, Jacquie L; Copp, Brent R

    2007-01-01

    Bioassay-directed fractionation of extracts of a Synoicum n. sp. ascidian from New Zealand led to the isolation of the principal anti-inflammatory component, which was identified by spectroscopic methods as a new member of the rubrolide family, rubrolide O (1), existing as a mixture of E/Z isomers.

  11. Structure and Configuration of Phosphoeleganin, a Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B Inhibitor from the Mediterranean Ascidian Sidnyum elegans.

    PubMed

    Imperatore, Concetta; Luciano, Paolo; Aiello, Anna; Vitalone, Rocco; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Li, Jia; Guo, Yue-W; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-04-22

    A new phosphorylated polyketide, phosphoeleganin (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Sidnyum elegans. Its structure and configuration have been determined by extensive use of 2D NMR and microscale chemical degradation and/or derivatization. Phosphoeleganin (1) inhibited the protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) activity. PMID:27064611

  12. 3-acetylpyridine-induced degeneration in the adult ascidian neural complex: Reactive and regenerative changes in glia and blood cells.

    PubMed

    Medina, Bianca N S P; Santos de Abreu, Isadora; Cavalcante, Leny A; Silva, Wagner A B; da Fonseca, Rodrigo N; Allodi, Silvana; de Barros, Cintia M

    2015-08-01

    Ascidians are interesting neurobiological models because of their evolutionary position as a sister-group of vertebrates and the high regenerative capacity of their central nervous system (CNS). We investigated the degeneration and regeneration of the cerebral ganglion complex of the ascidian Styela plicata following injection of the niacinamide antagonist 3-acetylpyridine (3AP), described as targeting the CNS of several vertebrates. For the analysis and establishment of a new model in ascidians, the ganglion complex was dissected and prepared for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), routine light microscopy (LM), immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, 1 or 10 days after injection of 3AP. The siphon stimulation test (SST) was used to quantify the functional response. One day after the injection of 3AP, CNS degeneration and recruitment of a non-neural cell type to the site of injury was observed by both TEM and LM. Furthermore, weaker immunohistochemical reactions for astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neuronal βIII-tubulin were observed. In contrast, the expression of caspase-3, a protein involved in the apoptotic pathway, and the glycoprotein CD34, a marker for hematopoietic stem cells, increased. Ten days after the injection of 3AP, the expression of markers tended toward the original condition. The SST revealed attenuation and subsequent recovery of the reflexes from 1 to 10 days after 3AP. Therefore, we have developed a new method to study ascidian neural degeneration and regeneration, and identified the decreased expression of GFAP and recruitment of blood stem cells to the damaged ganglion as reasons for the success of neuroregeneration in ascidians.

  13. Urochordate Ascidians Possess a Single Isoform of Aurora Kinase That Localizes to the Midbody via TPX2 in Eggs and Cleavage Stage Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Hebras, Celine; McDougall, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Aurora kinases are key proteins found throughout the eukaryotes that control mitotic progression. Vertebrate Aurora-A and B kinases are thought to have evolved from a single Aurora-kinase isoform closest to that found in present day urochordates. In urochordate ascidians Aurora binds both TPX2 (a vertebrate AURKA partner) and INCENP (a vertebrate AURKB partner) and localizes to centrosomes and spindle microtubules as well as chromosomes and midbody during both meiosis and mitosis. Ascidian Aurora also displays this localization pattern during mitosis in echinoderms, strengthening the idea that non-vertebrate deuterostomes such as the urochordates and echinoderms possess a single form of Aurora kinase that has properties of vertebrate Aurora-kinase A and B. In the ascidian, TPX2 localizes to the centrosome and the spindle poles also as in vertebrates. However, we were surprised to find that TPX2 also localized strongly to the midbody in ascidian eggs and embryos. We thus examined more closely Aurora localization to the midbody by creating two separate point mutations of ascidian Aurora predicted to perturb binding to TPX2. Both forms of mutated Aurora behaved as predicted: neither localized to spindle poles where TPX2 is enriched. Interestingly, neither form of mutated Aurora localized to the midbody where TPX2 is also enriched, suggesting that ascidian Aurora midbody localization required TPX2 binding in ascidians. Functional analysis revealed that inhibition of Aurora kinase with a pharmacological inhibitor or with a dominant negative kinase dead form of Aurora caused cytokinesis failure and perturbed midbody formation during polar body extrusion. Our data support the view that vertebrate Aurora-A and B kinases evolved from a single non-vertebrate deuterostome ancestor. Moreover, since TPX2 localizes to the midbody in ascidian eggs and cleavage stage embryos it may be worthwhile re-assessing whether Aurora A kinase or TPX2 localize to the midbody in eggs and

  14. Cytotoxicity of the Ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei Against Tumor Cells and Study of the Involvement of Associated Microbiota in the Production of Cytotoxic Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-García, Manuel; Diaz-Valdés, Marta; Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso; Salvador, Nélida; Lopez, Patricia; Larriba, Eduardo; Antón, Josefa

    2007-01-01

    Many cytotoxic compounds of therapeutic interest have been isolated from marine invertebrates, and some of them have been reported to be of microbial origin. Pyridoacridine alkaloids are the main compounds extracted from the ascidian Cystodytes dellechiajei. Here we describe the in vitro antiproliferative activity against different tumor cell lines of the ascidian extracts and provide some insights on the role of the microbial community associated with the tunicate in the production of these compounds. C. dellechiajei extracts showed remarkably high antiproliferative activity (IC50 ≤5 μg/mL) in human lung carcinoma A-549, colon adenocarcinoma H-116, pancreatic adenocarcinoma PSN-1 and breast carcinoma SKBR3 cell lines. Moreover, we found that the maximum activity was located in the tunic tissue of the colony, which harbours a microbial community. In order to ascertain the involvement of this community in the synthesis of the bioactive compounds different approachs that included culture and culture independent methods were carried out. We undertook a screening for antiproliferative activities of the bacterial isolates from the ascidian, as well as a comprative analysis of the cytotoxic activities and the microbial communities from two color morphs of the ascidian, green and blue. In addition, the changes of the antiproliferative activities and the composition of the microbial communities were studied from ascidians kept in aquaria and treated with antibiotics for one month. Our data obtained from the different experiments did not point out to bacteria as the source of the cytotoxic compounds, suggesting thus an ascidian origin. PMID:18463720

  15. Ultrastructures and classification of circulating hemocytes in 9 botryllid ascidians (chordata: ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Hirose, Euichi; Shirae, Maki; Saito, Yasunori

    2003-05-01

    Ultrastructures of circulating hemocytes were studied in 9 botryllid ascidians. The hemocytes are classified into five types: hemoblasts, phagocytes, granulocytes, morula cells, and pigment cells. These five types are always found in the 9 species. They should represent the major hemocyte types of the circulating cells in the blood. Hemoblasts are small hemocytes having a high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio. There are few granular or vacuolar inclusions in the cytoplasm. Phagocytes have phagocytic activity and their shape is variable depending on the amount of engulfed materials. In granulocytes, shape and size of granules are different among the species. Morula cells are characterized by several vacuoles filled with electron dense materials. In pigment cells, the bulk of the cytoplasm is occupied by one or a few vacuoles containing pigment granules. We also described some other hemocyte types found in particular species. Furthermore, we encountered free oocytes circulating in the blood in two species, Botryllus primigenus and Botrylloides lentus.

  16. Construction of a cDNA microarray derived from the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Azumi, Kaoru; Takahashi, Hiroki; Miki, Yasufumi; Fujie, Manabu; Usami, Takeshi; Ishikawa, Hisayoshi; Kitayama, Atsusi; Satou, Yutaka; Ueno, Naoto; Satoh, Nori

    2003-10-01

    A cDNA microarray was constructed from a basal chordate, the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The draft genome of Ciona has been read and inferred to contain approximately 16,000 protein-coding genes, and cDNAs for transcripts of 13,464 genes have been characterized and compiled as the "Ciona intestinalis Gene Collection Release I". In the present study, we constructed a cDNA microarray of these 13,464 Ciona genes. A preliminary experiment with Cy3- and Cy5-labeled probes showed extensive differential gene expression between fertilized eggs and larvae. In addition, there was a good correlation between results obtained by the present microarray analysis and those from previous EST analyses. This first microarray of a large collection of Ciona intestinalis cDNA clones should facilitate the analysis of global gene expression and gene networks during the embryogenesis of basal chordates.

  17. [Distribution and abundance of the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in Cuba].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Zanuy, Aida; Carballo, José Luis; García-Cagide, Alida; Naranjo, Santiago; Esquivel, Macario

    2007-03-01

    Permanently submerged mangrove roots (Rhizophora mangle) are the main habitat of the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata in Cuba. It was occasionally found on black coral (Antiphates caribeana) between 22 and 38 meters deep. This species exhibits a wide distribution in all the mangrove keys surrounding the Island of Cuba but does not occur in riparian or fringing mangroves. Populations of this species are abundant in Cuba: in 75% of the 58 localities sampled the species was present and in 57% more than 50% of the roots held at least one colony. The highest colony densities were found in the northern coast of Pinar del Rio province with values near one colony per lineal meter of mangrove root. We found the highest density (1.46 col/m) and greatest biomass at Jutías Key, with values between 25 and 660 g/m. The average of wet biomass in the studied mangroves was 73.63 g/m. PMID:18457133

  18. 3-bromohomofascaplysin A, a fascaplysin analogue from a Fijian Didemnum sp. ascidian.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhenyu; Ding, Yuanqing; Li, Xing-Cong; Djigbenou, Daignon R; Grimberg, Brian T; Ferreira, Daneel; Ireland, Chris M; Van Wagoner, Ryan M

    2011-11-15

    A new fascaplysin analogue, 3-bromohomofascaplysin A (1), along with two known analogues, homofascaplysin A (2) and fascaplysin (3), were isolated from a Fijian Didemnum sp. ascidian. The absolute configurations of 3-bromohomofascaplysin A (1) and homofascaplysin A (2) were determined via experimental and theoretically calculated ECD spectra. The differential activities of 1-3 against different blood-borne life stages of the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum were assessed. Homofascaplysin A (2) displayed an IC(50) of 0.55±0.11 nM against ring stage parasites and 105±38 nM against all live parasites. Given the stronger resistance of ring stage parasites against most current antimalarials relative to the other blood stages, homofascaplysin A (2) represents a promising agent for treatment of drug resistant malaria.

  19. 3-Bromohomofascaplysin A, a fascaplysin analogue from a Fijian Didemnum sp. ascidian

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhenyu; Ding, Yuanqing; Li, Xing-Cong; Djigbenou, Daignon R.; Grimberg, Brian T.; Ferreira, Daneel; Ireland, Chris M.; Van Wagoner, Ryan M.

    2011-01-01

    A new fascaplysin analogue, 3-bromohomofascaplysin A (1), along with two known analogues, homofascaplysin A (2) and fascaplysin (3), were isolated from a Fijian Didemnum sp. ascidian. The absolute configurations of 3-bromohomofascaplysin A (1) and homofascaplysin A (2) were determined via experimental and theoretically calculated ECD spectra. The differential activities of 1–3 against different blood-borne life stages of the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum were assessed. Homofascaplysin A (2) displayed an IC50 of 0.55 ± 0.11 nM against ring stage parasites and 105 ± 38 nM against all live parasites. Given the stronger resistance of ring stage parasites against most current antimalarials relative to the other blood stages, homofascaplysin A (2) represents a promising agent for treatment of drug resistant malaria. PMID:21696970

  20. New GlcNAc/GalNAc-specific lectin from the ascidian Didemnum ternatanum.

    PubMed

    Molchanova, Valentina; Chikalovets, Irina; Li, Wei; Kobelev, Stanislav; Kozyrevskaya, Svetlana; Bogdanovich, Raisa; Howard, Eric; Belogortseva, Natalia

    2005-05-25

    Previously we isolated GlcNAc-specific lectin (DTL) from the ascidian Didemnum ternatanum by affinity chromatography on cross-linked ovalbumin. Here we report the purification and characterization of new D-GlcNAc/D-GalNAc-specific lectin DTL-A from the same ascidian. This lectin was isolated from non-bound cross-linked ovalbumin fraction and further was purified by gel filtration on Sepharose CL-4B, affinity chromatography on GlcNAc-agarose and gel filtration on Superdex 200. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration of purified lectin on Sepharose CL-4B indicates that it exists as large aggregates in the native state. Investigations of the carbohydrate specificity of DTL-A by enzyme-linked lectin assay suggest the multi-specificity of this lectin. DTL-A binds BSM, asialo-BSM as well as heparin and dextran sulfate. The binding of DTL-A to BSM was inhibited by monosaccharides D-GlcNAc and D-GalNAc, their alpha- but not beta-anomers. Among polysaccharides and glycoconjugates, DTL-A binding to BSM was effectively inhibited by BSM, asialo-BSM, pronase-treated BSM and synthetic alpha-D-GalNAc-PAA. Fetuin and asialofetuin showed a much lower inhibitory potency, heparin and dextran sulfate were noninhibitory. On the other hand, DTL-A binding to heparin was effectively inhibited by dextran sulfate, fucoidan, whereas BSM showed insignificantly inhibitory effect. DTL-A binding to heparin was not inhibited by D-GlcNAc and D-GalNAc.

  1. Regeneration of oral siphon pigment organs in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Auger, Hélène; Sasakura, Yasunori; Joly, Jean-Stéphane; Jeffery, William R

    2010-03-15

    Ascidians have powerful capacities for regeneration but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here we examine oral siphon regeneration in the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Following amputation, the oral siphon rapidly reforms oral pigment organs (OPO) at its distal margin prior to slower regeneration of proximal siphon parts. The early stages of oral siphon reformation include cell proliferation and re-growth of the siphon nerves, although the neural complex (adult brain and associated organs) is not required for regeneration. Young animals reform OPO more rapidly after amputation than old animals indicating that regeneration is age dependent. UV irradiation, microcautery, and cultured siphon explant experiments indicate that OPOs are replaced as independent units based on local differentiation of progenitor cells within the siphon, rather than by cell migration from a distant source in the body. The typical pattern of eight OPOs and siphon lobes is restored with fidelity after distal amputation of the oral siphon, but as many as 16 OPOs and lobes can be reformed following proximal amputation near the siphon base. Thus, the pattern of OPO regeneration is determined by cues positioned along the proximal distal axis of the oral siphon. A model is presented in which columns of siphon tissue along the proximal-distal axis below pre-existing OPO are responsible for reproducing the normal OPO pattern during regeneration. This study reveals previously unknown principles of oral siphon and OPO regeneration that will be important for developing Ciona as a regeneration model in urochordates, which may be the closest living relatives of vertebrates.

  2. Microenvironmental Ecology of the Chlorophyll b-Containing Symbiotic Cyanobacterium Prochloron in the Didemnid Ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    PubMed Central

    Kühl, Michael; Behrendt, Lars; Trampe, Erik; Qvortrup, Klaus; Schreiber, Ulrich; Borisov, Sergey M.; Klimant, Ingo; Larkum, Anthony W. D.

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of the cyanobacterium Prochloron was the first finding of a bacterial oxyphototroph with chlorophyll (Chl) b, in addition to Chl a. It was first described as Prochloron didemni but a number of clades have since been described. Prochloron is a conspicuously large (7–25 μm) unicellular cyanobacterium living in a symbiotic relationship, primarily with (sub-) tropical didemnid ascidians; it has resisted numerous cultivation attempts and appears truly obligatory symbiotic. Recently, a Prochloron draft genome was published, revealing no lack of metabolic genes that could explain the apparent inability to reproduce and sustain photosynthesis in a free-living stage. Possibly, the unsuccessful cultivation is partly due to a lack of knowledge about the microenvironmental conditions and ecophysiology of Prochloron in its natural habitat. We used microsensors, variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging and imaging of O2 and pH to obtain a detailed insight to the microenvironmental ecology and photobiology of Prochloron in hospite in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella. The microenvironment within ascidians is characterized by steep gradients of light and chemical parameters that change rapidly with varying irradiances. The interior zone of the ascidians harboring Prochloron thus became anoxic and acidic within a few minutes of darkness, while the same zone exhibited O2 super-saturation and strongly alkaline pH after a few minutes of illumination. Photosynthesis showed lack of photoinhibition even at high irradiances equivalent to full sunlight, and photosynthesis recovered rapidly after periods of anoxia. We discuss these new insights on the ecological niche of Prochloron and possible interactions with its host and other microbes in light of its recently published genome and a recent study of the overall microbial diversity and metagenome of L. patella. PMID:23226144

  3. Screening for negative effects of candidate ascidian antifoulant compounds on a target aquaculture species, Perna canaliculus Gmelin.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick Louis; Heasman, Kevin; Hickey, Anthony; Mountfort, Douglas; Jeffs, Andrew; Kuhajek, Jeannie

    2013-01-01

    The natural chemical compounds radicicol, polygodial and ubiquinone-10 (Q10) have previously been identified as inhibitors of metamorphosis in ascidian larvae. Accordingly, they have potential as a specific remedy for the costly problem of fouling ascidians in bivalve aquaculture. In this study, these compounds were screened for their effects on the physiological health of an aquaculture species, the green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus Gmelin, at or above the 99% effective dose (IC(99)) in ascidians. Three physiological biomarkers of mussel health were screened: growth (increases in shell height and wet weight), condition (condition index) and mitochondrial respirational function (Complex I-mediated respiration, Complex II-mediated respiration, maximum uncoupled respiration, leak respiration, respiratory control ratios and phosphorylation system control ratios). While polygodial and Q10 had no effect on mussel growth or the condition index, radicicol retarded growth and decreased the condition index. Mitochondrial respirational function was unaffected by radicicol and polygodial. Conversely, Q10 enhanced Complex I-mediated respiration, highlighting the fundamental role of this compound in the electron transport system. The present study suggests that polygodial and Q10 do not negatively affect the physiological health of P. canaliculus at the IC(99) in ascidians, while radicicol is toxic. Moreover, Q10 is of benefit in biomedical settings as a cellular antioxidant and therefore may also benefit P. canaliculus. Accordingly, polygodial and Q10 should be progressed to the next stage of testing where possible negative effects on bivalves will be further explored, followed by development of application techniques and testing in a laboratory and aquaculture setting.

  4. Screening for negative effects of candidate ascidian antifoulant compounds on a target aquaculture species, Perna canaliculus Gmelin.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick Louis; Heasman, Kevin; Hickey, Anthony; Mountfort, Douglas; Jeffs, Andrew; Kuhajek, Jeannie

    2013-01-01

    The natural chemical compounds radicicol, polygodial and ubiquinone-10 (Q10) have previously been identified as inhibitors of metamorphosis in ascidian larvae. Accordingly, they have potential as a specific remedy for the costly problem of fouling ascidians in bivalve aquaculture. In this study, these compounds were screened for their effects on the physiological health of an aquaculture species, the green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus Gmelin, at or above the 99% effective dose (IC(99)) in ascidians. Three physiological biomarkers of mussel health were screened: growth (increases in shell height and wet weight), condition (condition index) and mitochondrial respirational function (Complex I-mediated respiration, Complex II-mediated respiration, maximum uncoupled respiration, leak respiration, respiratory control ratios and phosphorylation system control ratios). While polygodial and Q10 had no effect on mussel growth or the condition index, radicicol retarded growth and decreased the condition index. Mitochondrial respirational function was unaffected by radicicol and polygodial. Conversely, Q10 enhanced Complex I-mediated respiration, highlighting the fundamental role of this compound in the electron transport system. The present study suggests that polygodial and Q10 do not negatively affect the physiological health of P. canaliculus at the IC(99) in ascidians, while radicicol is toxic. Moreover, Q10 is of benefit in biomedical settings as a cellular antioxidant and therefore may also benefit P. canaliculus. Accordingly, polygodial and Q10 should be progressed to the next stage of testing where possible negative effects on bivalves will be further explored, followed by development of application techniques and testing in a laboratory and aquaculture setting. PMID:23194394

  5. Programmed cell death in vegetative development: apoptosis during the colonial life cycle of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Tiozzo, S; Ballarin, L; Burighel, P; Zaniolo, G

    2006-06-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD) by apoptosis is a physiological mechanism by which cells are eliminated during embryonic and post-embryonic stages of animal life cycle. During asexual reproduction, the zooids of colonial ascidians originate from an assorted cell population instead of a single zygote, so that we assume that regulation of the equilibrium among proliferation, differentiation and cell death may follow different pathways in comparison to the embryonic development. Here we investigate the presence of apoptotic events throughout the blastogenetic life cycle of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, by means of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling (TUNEL) coupled with histochemical and electron microscopy techniques. The occurrence of low levels of morphogenetic cell death suggests that, in contrast to what happens during sexual development (embryogenesis and metamorphosis), apoptosis does not play a pivotal role during asexual propagation in botryllid ascidian. Nevertheless, PCD emerges as a key force to regulate homeostasis in adult zooids and to shape and modulate the growth of the whole colony.

  6. Studies on the seasonal variations in the proximate composition of ascidians from the Palk Bay, Southeast coast of India

    PubMed Central

    Ananthan, G; Karthikeyan, MM; Selva, Prabhu A; Raghunathan, C

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate the seasonal fluctuations of the proximate composition of the ascidians muscle. Methods The moisture content was estimated by drying 1 g of fresh tissue at a constant temperature at 105 °C for 24 h.The loss of weight was taken as moisture content. The total protein was estimated using the Biuret method. The total carbohydrate in dried sample was estimated spectrophotometrically following the phenol- sulphuric acid method. The lipid in the dried sample tissue was gravimetrically estimated following the chloroform-methanol mixture method. Ash content was determined gravimetrically by incinerating 1 g dried sample in muffle furnace at about 550 °C for 6 h and results are expressed in percentage. Results It was found very difficult to compare the monthly variations, as all the ten species, exhibited wide fluctuations in their proximate compositions. For the sake of convenience, average seasonal values were calculated by summing the monthly values. Conclusions The proximate composition of the 10 commonly available ascidians showed high nutritive value and hence these groups especially solitary ascidians can be recommended for human consumption in terms of pickles, soup, curry and others after ensuring the safety of consumers. PMID:23569849

  7. Ecological observations on the colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. in a New England tide pool habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine, P.C.; Carman, M.R.; Blackwood, D.S.; Heffron, E.J.

    2007-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. has colonized northwestern Atlantic coastal habitats from southern Long Island, New York, to Eastport, Maine. It is also present in offshore habitats of the Georges Bank fishing grounds. It threatens to alter fisheries habitats and shellfish aquacultures. Observations in a tide pool at Sandwich, MA from December 2003 to February 2006 show that Didemnum sp. tolerates water temperatures ranging from ≤ 1 to > 24 °C, with daily changes of up to 11 °C. It attaches to pebbles, cobbles, and boulders, and it overgrows other tunicates, seaweeds, sponges, and bivalves. From May to mid July, colonies appear as small patches on the bottoms of rocks. Colonies grow rapidly from July to September, with some growth into December, and they range in color from pink to pale yellow to pale orange. Colony health declines from October through April, presumably in response to changes in water temperatures, and this degenerative process is manifested by color changes, by the appearance of small dark brown spots that represent clumps of fecal pellets in the colony, by scavenging by periwinkles, and by a peeling-away of colonies from the sides of cobbles and boulders. At Sandwich, colonies died that were exposed to air at low tide. The species does not exhibit this seasonal cycle of growth and decline in subtidal habitats (40–65 m) on the Georges Bank fishing grounds where the daily climate is relatively stable and annual water temperatures range from 4 to 15 °C. Experiments in the tide pool with small colony fragments (5 to 9 cm2) show they re-attach and grow rapidly by asexual budding, increasing in size 6- to 11-fold in the first 15 days. Didemnum sp. at Sandwich has no known predators except for common periwinkles (Littorina littorea) that graze on degenerating colonies in the October to April time period and whenever colonies are stressed by desiccation. The tendencies of the ascidian (1) to attach to firm substrates, (2) to rapidly overgrow

  8. Evidence of a Native Northwest Atlantic COI Haplotype Clade in the Cryptogenic Colonial Ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Yund, Philip O; Collins, Catherine; Johnson, Sheri L

    2015-06-01

    The colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri should be considered cryptogenic (i.e., not definitively classified as either native or introduced) in the Northwest Atlantic. Although all the evidence is quite circumstantial, over the last 15 years most research groups have accepted the scenario of human-mediated dispersal and classified B. schlosseri as introduced; others have continued to consider it native or cryptogenic. We address the invasion status of this species by adding 174 sequences to the growing worldwide database for the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and analyzing 1077 sequences to compare genetic diversity of one clade of haplotypes in the Northwest Atlantic with two hypothesized source regions (the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean). Our results lead us to reject the prevailing view of the directionality of transport across the Atlantic. We argue that the genetic diversity patterns at COI are far more consistent with the existence of at least one haplotype clade in the Northwest Atlantic (and possibly a second) that substantially pre-dates human colonization from Europe, with this native North American clade subsequently introduced to three sites in Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. However, we agree with past researchers that some sites in the Northwest Atlantic have more recently been invaded by alien haplotypes, so that some populations are currently composed of a mixture of native and invader haplotypes. PMID:26124447

  9. Recurrent phagocytosis-induced apoptosis in the cyclical generation change of the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Franchi, Nicola; Ballin, Francesca; Manni, Lucia; Schiavon, Filippo; Basso, Giuseppe; Ballarin, Loriano

    2016-09-01

    Colonies of the marine, filter-feeding ascidian Botryllus schlosseri undergo cyclical generation changes or takeovers. These events are characterised by the progressive resorption of adult zooids and their replacement by their buds that grow to adult size, open their siphons and start filtering. During the take-over, tissues of adult zooids undergo extensive apoptosis; circulating, spreading phagocytes enter the effete tissues, ingest dying cells acquiring a giant size and a round morphology. Then, phagocytes re-enter the circulation where they represent a considerable fraction (more than 20%) of circulating haemocytes. In this study, we evidence that most of these circulating phagocytes show morphological and biochemical signs of apoptosis. Accordingly, these phagocytes express transcripts of orthologues of the apoptosis-related genes Bax, AIF1 and PARP1. Electron microscopy shows that giant phagocytes contain apoptotic phagocytes inside their own phagocytic vacuole. The transcript of the orthologues of the anti-apoptotic gene IAP7 was detected only in spreading phagocytes, mostly abundant in phases far from the take-over. Therefore, the presented data suggest that, at take-over, phagocytes undergo phagocytosis-induced apoptosis (PIA). In mammals, PIA is assumed to be a process assuring the killing and the complete elimination of microbes, by promoting the disposal of terminally differentiated phagocytes and the resolution of infection. In B. schlosseri, PIA assumes a so far undescribed role, being required for the control of asexual development and colony homeostasis.

  10. Reprotoxicity of the Antifoulant Chlorothalonil in Ascidians: An Ecological Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Alessandra; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Chlorothalonil is a widely used biocide in antifouling paint formulation that replaces tin-based compounds after their definitive ban. Although chlorothalonil inputs into the marine environment have significantly increased in recent years, little is known about its effect on marine animals and in particular on their reproductive processes. In this line, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of chlorothalonil exposure on the gamete physiology, fertilization rate and transmissible damage to offspring in the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (ascidians). To identify a possible mechanism of action of chlorothalonil, electrophysiological techniques were used to study the impact on oocyte membrane excitability and on the electrical events occurring at fertilization. The pre-exposure of spermatozoa and oocytes to chlorothalonil did not affect the fertilization rate but caused damage to the offspring by inducing larval malformation. The highest toxicity was observed when fertilization was performed in chlorothalonil solutions with the lowest EC50 value. In particular, it was observed that low chlorothalonil concentrations interfered with embryo development and led to abnormal larvae, whereas high concentrations arrested embryo formation. In mature oocytes, a decrease in the amplitudes of the sodium and fertilization currents was observed, suggesting an involvement of plasma membrane ion currents in the teratogenic mechanism of chlorothalonil action. The risk estimation confirmed that the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) exceeded the predicted effect concentration (PEC), thus indicating that chlorothalonil may pose a risk to aquatic species. PMID:25875759

  11. Immunotoxicity in ascidians: antifouling compounds alternative to organotins-IV. The case of zinc pyrithione.

    PubMed

    Cima, Francesca; Ballarin, Loriano

    2015-03-01

    New biocides such as the organometallic compound zinc pyrithione (ZnP) have been massively introduced by many countries in formulations of antifouling paints following the ban on tributyltin (TBT). The effects of sublethal concentrations (LC50=82.5 μM, i.e., 26.2 mg/l) on cultured haemocytes of the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri have been investigated and compared with TBT. The percentage of haemocytes with amoeboid morphology and containing phagocytised yeast cells were significantly (p<0.05) reduced after exposure to 0.1 (31.7 μg/l) and 0.5 μM (158 μg/l), respectively. An antagonistic interaction in inducing cytoskeletal alterations was observed when ZnP and TBT were co-present in the exposure medium. ZnP affected only the actin component. As caused by TBT, ZnP induced apoptosis and inhibited both oxidative phosphorylation and lysosomal activities. In contrast to the case of TBT, a decrement in Ca(2+)-ATPase activity and a decrease in cytosolic Ca(2+) were detected after incubation at the highest concentration (1 μM, i.e., 317.7 μg/l) used. In comparison with other antifouling compounds, ZnP shows as much toxicity as TBT to cultured haemocytes at extremely low concentrations interfering with fundamental cell activities. PMID:25576186

  12. Siphon regeneration capacity is compromised during aging in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis has a short life span and powerful regeneration capacities. The regeneration of the oral siphon (OS) involves wound healing, blastema formation, cell proliferation, and replacement of 8 oral pigment organs (OPO), the latter via differentiation and migration of stem/precursor cells from localized niches in the siphon. The restoration of OPO pattern during OS regeneration occurs with a high degree of accuracy through three successive cycles of amputation. It is shown here that oral siphons of the largest and oldest members of a wild Ciona population do not completely regenerate their siphons after amputation. The loss of regeneration capacity was accompanied by reduced cell proliferation. In contrast to arrested OS outgrowth, the stem/precursor cells responsible for OPO replacement "over-differentiate" after OS amputation in the oldest animals, the typical number of OPO is increased from 8 to 12-16, and malformed OPO are produced. Also in contrast to younger animals, the oldest animals of the population show arrested OPO development after two consecutive cycles of amputation and regeneration. We conclude that there is a size and age threshold in Ciona after which the regenerative capacity of the OS is compromised due to effects of aging on cell proliferation.

  13. Multilocus genetic analyses differentiate between widespread and spatially restricted cryptic species in a model ascidian

    PubMed Central

    Bock, Dan G.; MacIsaac, Hugh J.; Cristescu, Melania E.

    2012-01-01

    Elucidating the factors that shape species distributions has long been a fundamental goal in ecology and evolutionary biology. In spite of significant theoretical advancements, empirical studies of range limits have lagged behind. Specifically, little is known about how the attributes that allow species to expand their ranges and become widespread vary across phylogenies. Here, we studied the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, a worldwide invasive species that is also characterized by marked genetic subdivision. Our study includes phylogenetic and population genetic data based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes, as well as polymorphic microsatellites for B. schlosseri colonies sampled from the southern and northern coasts of Europe and the eastern and western coasts of North America. We demonstrate that this well-known model organism comprises three highly divergent and probably reproductively isolated cryptic species (A, D and E), with two more (B and C) being suggested by data retrieved from GenBank. Among these, species A, recovered in all of the surveyed regions, is by far the most common and widespread. By contrast, species B–E, occurring mostly in sites from northern Europe, are considerably more geographically restricted. These findings, along with inferences made on transport opportunity, suggest that divergent evolutionary histories promoted differences in invasive potential between B. schlosseri sibling species, indicating that attributes that facilitate dramatic shifts in range limits can evolve more easily and frequently than previously thought. We propose environmental disturbance as a selective force that could have shaped the evolution of invasiveness in the B. schlosseri complex. PMID:22319123

  14. Global Phylogeography of the Widely Introduced North West Pacific Ascidian Styela clava

    PubMed Central

    Goldstien, Sharyn J.; Dupont, Lise; Viard, Frédérique; Hallas, Paul J.; Nishikawa, Teruaki; Schiel, David R.; Gemmell, Neil J.; Bishop, John D. D.

    2011-01-01

    The solitary ascidian Styela clava Herdman, 1882 is considered to be native to Japan, Korea, northern China and the Russian Federation in the NW Pacific, but it has spread globally over the last 80 years and is now established as an introduced species on the east and west coasts of North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In eastern Canada it reaches sufficient density to be a serious pest to aquaculture concerns. We sequenced a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I mitochondrial gene (COI) from a total of 554 individuals to examine the genetic relationships of 20 S. clava populations sampled throughout the introduced and native ranges, in order to investigate invasive population characteristics. The data presented here show a moderate level of genetic diversity throughout the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere (particularly New Zealand) displays a greater amount of haplotype and nucleotide diversity in comparison. This species, like many other invasive species, shows a range of genetic diversities among introduced populations independent of the age of incursion. The successful establishment of this species appears to be associated with multiple incursions in many locations, while other locations appear to have experienced rapid expansion from a potentially small population with reduced genetic diversity. These contrasting patterns create difficulties when attempting to manage and mitigate a species that continues to spread among ports and marinas around the world. PMID:21364988

  15. The Whereabouts of an Ancient Wanderer: Global Phylogeography of the Solitary Ascidian Styela plicata

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Mari Carmen; López-Legentil, Susanna; Turon, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Genetic tools have greatly aided in tracing the sources and colonization history of introduced species. However, recurrent introductions and repeated shuffling of populations may have blurred some of the genetic signals left by ancient introductions. Styela plicata is a solitary ascidian distributed worldwide. Although its origin remains unclear, this species is believed to have spread worldwide by travelling on ship's hulls. The goals of this study were to infer the genetic structure and global phylogeography of S. plicata and to look for present-day and historical genetic patterns. Two genetic markers were used: a fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) and a fragment of the nuclear gene Adenine Nucleotide Transporter/ADP-ATP Translocase (ANT). A total of 368 individuals for COI and 315 for ANT were sequenced from 17 locations worldwide. The levels of gene diversity were moderate for COI to high for ANT. The Mediterranean populations showed the least diversity and allelic richness for both markers, while the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans had the highest gene and nucleotide diversities. Network and phylogenetic analyses with COI and ANT revealed two groups of alleles separated by 15 and 4 mutational steps, respectively. The existence of different lineages suggested an ancient population split. However, the geographic distributions of these groups did not show any consistent pattern, indicating different phylogeographic histories for each gene. Genetic divergence was significant for many population-pairs irrespective of the geographic distance among them. Stochastic introduction events are reflected in the uneven distribution of COI and ANT allele frequencies and groups among many populations. Our results confirmed that S. plicata has been present in all studied oceans for a long time, and that recurrent colonization events and occasional shuffling among populations have determined the actual genetic structure of this species

  16. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick L; Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I; Kuhajek, Jeanne M

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL(-1) in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL(-1) to high µg mL(-1) range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure.

  17. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure

    PubMed Central

    Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I.; Kuhajek, Jeanne M.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL−1 in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL−1 to high µg mL−1 range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure. PMID:26966668

  18. The activation wave of calcium in the ascidian egg and its role in ooplasmic segregation

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    We have studied egg activation and ooplasmic segregation in the ascidian Phallusia mammillata using an imaging system that let us simultaneously monitor egg morphology and calcium-dependent aequorin luminescence. After insemination, a wave of highly elevated free calcium crosses the egg with a peak velocity of 8-9 microns/s. A similar wave is seen in egg fertilized in the absence of external calcium. Artificial activation via incubation with WGA also results in a calcium wave, albeit with different temporal and spatial characteristics than in sperm-activated eggs. In eggs in which movement of the sperm nucleus after entry is blocked with cytochalasin D, the sperm aster is formed at the site where the calcium wave had previously started. This indicates that the calcium wave starts where the sperm enters. In 70% of the eggs, the calcium wave starts in the animal hemisphere, which confirms previous observations that there is a preference for sperm to enter this part of the egg (Speksnijder, J. E., L. F. Jaffe, and C. Sardet. 1989. Dev. Biol. 133:180-184). About 30-40 s after the calcium wave starts, a slower (1.4 microns/s) wave of cortical contraction starts near the animal pole. It carries the subcortical cytoplasm to a contraction pole, which forms away from the side of sperm entry and up to 50 degrees away from the vegetal pole. We propose that the point of sperm entry may affect the direction of ooplasmic segregation by causing it to tilt away from the vegetal pole, presumably via some action of the calcium wave. PMID:2335565

  19. The activation wave of calcium in the ascidian egg and its role in ooplasmic segregation.

    PubMed

    Speksnijder, J E; Sardet, C; Jaffe, L F

    1990-05-01

    We have studied egg activation and ooplasmic segregation in the ascidian Phallusia mammillata using an imaging system that let us simultaneously monitor egg morphology and calcium-dependent aequorin luminescence. After insemination, a wave of highly elevated free calcium crosses the egg with a peak velocity of 8-9 microns/s. A similar wave is seen in egg fertilized in the absence of external calcium. Artificial activation via incubation with WGA also results in a calcium wave, albeit with different temporal and spatial characteristics than in sperm-activated eggs. In eggs in which movement of the sperm nucleus after entry is blocked with cytochalasin D, the sperm aster is formed at the site where the calcium wave had previously started. This indicates that the calcium wave starts where the sperm enters. In 70% of the eggs, the calcium wave starts in the animal hemisphere, which confirms previous observations that there is a preference for sperm to enter this part of the egg (Speksnijder, J. E., L. F. Jaffe, and C. Sardet. 1989. Dev. Biol. 133:180-184). About 30-40 s after the calcium wave starts, a slower (1.4 microns/s) wave of cortical contraction starts near the animal pole. It carries the subcortical cytoplasm to a contraction pole, which forms away from the side of sperm entry and up to 50 degrees away from the vegetal pole. We propose that the point of sperm entry may affect the direction of ooplasmic segregation by causing it to tilt away from the vegetal pole, presumably via some action of the calcium wave.

  20. Biology of the invasive ascidian Ascidiella aspersa in its native habitat: Reproductive patterns and parasite load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, Sharon A.; Darmody, Grainne; O'Dwyer, Katie; Gallagher, Mary Catherine; Nolan, Sinead; McAllen, Rob; Culloty, Sarah C.

    2016-11-01

    The European sea squirt Ascidiella aspersa is a solitary tunicate native to the northeastern Atlantic, commonly found in shallow and sheltered marine ecosystems where it is capable of forming large clumps and outcompeting other invertebrate fauna at settlement. To date, there have been relatively few studies looking at the reproductive biology and health status of this invasive species. Between 2006 and 2010 sampling of a native population took place to investigate gametogenesis and reproductive cycle and to determine the impact of settlement depth on reproduction. In addition, parasite diversity and impact was assessed. A staging system to assess reproductive development was determined. The study highlighted that from year to year the tunicate could change its reproductive strategy from single sex to hermaphrodite, with spawning possible throughout the year. Depth did not impact on sex determination, however, gonad maturation and spawning occurred earlier in individuals in deeper waters compared to shallow depth and it also occurred later in A. aspersa at sites further away from the open sea. Four significant parasite groups including eugregarines, ciliates, trematodes and turbellarians were detected and prevalence of parasite infections increased in A. aspersa at sites with a reduced water flow rate. This study demonstrates the high biotic potential of this ascidian bioinvader to have a negative impact on native fauna in an introduced ecosystem, due to its highly efficient reproductive and resource allocation strategies. Artificial structures such as mooring lines can harbour large aggregations of A. aspersa, however, these manmade habitats may facilitate the colonisation and establishment of this invasive species in the benthos. Additionally, the parasite communities that A. aspersa harbour may also exacerbate its negative impact, both ecologically and economically, in an introduced area by possibly leading to the emergence of new disease in native species i

  1. Transmission of cyanobacterial symbionts during embryogenesis in the coral reef ascidians Trididemnum nubilum and T. clinides (Didemnidae, Ascidiacea, Chordata).

    PubMed

    Kojima, Aoi; Hirose, Euichi

    2012-02-01

    Vertical transmission of cyanobacterial symbionts occurs in didemnid ascidians harboring Prochloron as an obligate symbiont; the photosymbionts are transferred from the parental ascidian colony to the offspring in various ways depending on host species. Although several didemnids harbor non-Prochloron cyanobacteria in their tunics, few studies have reported the processes of vertical transmission in these didemnids. Here we describe the histological processes of the transmission of cyanobacteria in two didemnids, Trididemnum nubilum harboring Synechocystis and T. clinides harboring three cyanobacterial species. In both species, the photosymbionts in the tunic of the parent colony were apparently captured by the tunic cells of the host and transferred to the embryos brooded in the tunic. The symbiont cells were then incorporated into the inner tunic of the embryo. This mode of transmission is essentially the same as that of T. miniatum harboring Prochloron in the tunic, although there are some differences among species in the timing of the release of the symbionts from the tunic cells. We suggest that the similar modes of vertical transmission are an example of convergent evolution caused by constraints in the distribution patterns of symbiont cells in the host colony.

  2. Toxic effects of two pesticides, Imazalil and Triadimefon, on the early development of the ascidian Phallusia mammillata (Chordata, Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Pennati, Roberta; Groppelli, Silvia; Zega, Giuliana; Biggiogero, Maira; De Bernardi, Fiorenza; Sotgia, Cristina

    2006-09-12

    Azole compounds are fungicides used in agriculture and in clinical area and are suspected to produce craniofacial malformations in vertebrates. Toxicity tests on sperm viability, fertilization and embryogenesis of the solitary ascidian Phallusia mammillata were performed to evaluate the effects of two azole derivatives, Imazalil and Triadimefon. Ascidian (Chordata, Ascidiacea) embryos and larvae could provide biological criteria for seawater quality standards because the larvae are lecitotrophic and have a short pelagic period, allowing to run the larval toxicity tests over a short period of time. Imazalil and Triadimefon proved to have strong consequences on P. mammillata. They could influence the reproductive rate of the animal exerting their effects at different levels: acting as spermiotoxic agents, inhibiting fertilization and impairing embryological development. Fertilization rate significantly decreased after 30min exposure of sperm to 25microM Imazalil (P<0.0001) and after exposure of both gametes to 50microM Imazalil (P<0.05) and 1mM Triadimefon (P<0.0001) as compared to controls. Malformations caused by exposure of embryos to both substances were dose dependent. Imazalil median teratogenic concentration (TC50 concentration, the concentration that resulted in 50% malformed larvae) value was 0.67microM and median lethal concentration (LC50, the concentration that resulted in 50% embryos dead before completing the development) value was 10.23microM while for Triadimefon TC50 value was 29.56 and LC50 value was 173.7microM. Larvae developed from embryos treated with Imazalil and Triadimefon showed alterations of the anterior structures of the trunk: papillary nerves and the anterior central nervous system failed to correctly differentiate, as showed by immunostaining with anti-beta-tubulin antibody. Comparing the anomalies caused by retinoic acid, reported in a previous study, it was possible to hypothesize that malformations induced by Imazalil and

  3. Verruculides A and B, two new protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibitors from an Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Nakayama, Wataru; Takahashi, Ohgi; Kirikoshi, Ryota; Izumikawa, Yuta; Iwasaki, Kohei; Toraiwa, Kengo; Ukai, Kazuyo; Rotinsulu, Henki; Wewengkang, Defny S; Sumilat, Deiske A; Mangindaan, Remy E P; Namikoshi, Michio

    2015-08-15

    Two new merosesquiterpenes, verruculides A (1) and B (2), were isolated from a culture broth of the Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum TPU1311, together with three known congeners, chrodrimanins A (3), B (4), and H (5). The structures of 1 and 2 were assigned on the basis of their spectroscopic data (1D and 2D NMR, HRMS, UV, CD, and IR). Compound 2 had a linear sesquiterpene moiety and was considered to be the derivative of the biosynthetic precursor for 1 and 3-5. Compounds 1, 3, and 5 inhibited the activity of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) with IC50 values of 8.4, 8.5, and 14.9 μM, respectively. Compound 2 showed 40% inhibition at 23.1 μM, while 4 was not active at 20.7 μM. PMID:26115570

  4. Verruculides A and B, two new protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B inhibitors from an Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Nakayama, Wataru; Takahashi, Ohgi; Kirikoshi, Ryota; Izumikawa, Yuta; Iwasaki, Kohei; Toraiwa, Kengo; Ukai, Kazuyo; Rotinsulu, Henki; Wewengkang, Defny S; Sumilat, Deiske A; Mangindaan, Remy E P; Namikoshi, Michio

    2015-08-15

    Two new merosesquiterpenes, verruculides A (1) and B (2), were isolated from a culture broth of the Indonesian ascidian-derived Penicillium verruculosum TPU1311, together with three known congeners, chrodrimanins A (3), B (4), and H (5). The structures of 1 and 2 were assigned on the basis of their spectroscopic data (1D and 2D NMR, HRMS, UV, CD, and IR). Compound 2 had a linear sesquiterpene moiety and was considered to be the derivative of the biosynthetic precursor for 1 and 3-5. Compounds 1, 3, and 5 inhibited the activity of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) with IC50 values of 8.4, 8.5, and 14.9 μM, respectively. Compound 2 showed 40% inhibition at 23.1 μM, while 4 was not active at 20.7 μM.

  5. A new genus of Asterocheridae (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida) ectoassociate of the ascidian Eudistoma vannamei Millar, 1977 (Polycitoridae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Johnsson, Rodrigo; Bahia, Cristiano; Neves, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Asterocheres Boeck, 1860 is the largest genus of the siphonostomatoid copepod family Asterocheridae, containing 63 valid species. The genus is known for its symbiotic relationships with many marine invertebrate taxa, especially sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, and echinoderms. Recent studies have restricted the diagnosis of this genus. Consequently, many species are now considered as species inquirendae. The present paper describes a new species living externally on the tunic of Eudistoma vannamei Millar, 1977, an endemic ascidian from Brazil. As the new species does not fit Asterocheres in the strict sense, a new genus is erected to accommodate it. Setacheres gen. nov. is characterized by its possession of two distal setae on the third endopodal segment of P3, thus differing from the distal seta and spine pattern that is deemed as diagnostic of Asterocheres. A revision and comparison of Asterocheres´ species inquirendae revealed eight species sharing the same generic characteristics and were thus reallocated as members of the new genus.

  6. A new genus of Asterocheridae (Copepoda: Siphonostomatoida) ectoassociate of the ascidian Eudistoma vannamei Millar, 1977 (Polycitoridae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Johnsson, Rodrigo; Bahia, Cristiano; Neves, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Asterocheres Boeck, 1860 is the largest genus of the siphonostomatoid copepod family Asterocheridae, containing 63 valid species. The genus is known for its symbiotic relationships with many marine invertebrate taxa, especially sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, and echinoderms. Recent studies have restricted the diagnosis of this genus. Consequently, many species are now considered as species inquirendae. The present paper describes a new species living externally on the tunic of Eudistoma vannamei Millar, 1977, an endemic ascidian from Brazil. As the new species does not fit Asterocheres in the strict sense, a new genus is erected to accommodate it. Setacheres gen. nov. is characterized by its possession of two distal setae on the third endopodal segment of P3, thus differing from the distal seta and spine pattern that is deemed as diagnostic of Asterocheres. A revision and comparison of Asterocheres´ species inquirendae revealed eight species sharing the same generic characteristics and were thus reallocated as members of the new genus. PMID:27395122

  7. Anticancer effects of brominated indole alkaloid Eudistomin H from marine ascidian Eudistoma viride against cervical cancer cells (HeLa).

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Rajaian Pushpabai; Annappan, Murugan

    2015-01-01

    Marine invertebrates called ascidians are prolific producers of bioactive substances. The ascidian Eudistoma viride, distributed along the Southeast coast of India, was investigated for its in vitro cytotoxic activity against human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells by the MTT assay. The crude methanolic extract of E. viride, with an IC50 of 53 μg/ml, was dose-dependently cytotoxic. It was more potent at 100 μg/ml than cyclohexamide (1 μg/ml), reducing cell viability to 9.2%. Among nine fractions separated by chromatography, ECF-8 exhibited prominent cytoxic activity at 10 μg/ml. The HPLC fraction EHF-21 of ECF-8 was remarkably dose- and time-dependently cytotoxic, with 39.8% viable cells at 1 μg/ml compared to 51% in cyclohexamide-treated cells at the same concentration; the IC50 was 0.49 μg/ml. Hoechst staining of HeLa cells treated with EHF-21 at 0.5 μg/ml revealed apoptotic events such an cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies. Cell size and granularity study showed changes in light scatter, indicating the characteristic feature of cells dying by apoptosis. The cell-cycle analysis of HeLa cells treated with fraction EHF-21 at 1 μg/ml showed the marked arrest of cells in G0/G1, S and G2/M phases and an increase in the sub G0/G1 population indicated an increase in the apoptotic cell population. The statistical analysis of the sub-G1 region showed a dose-dependent induction of apoptosis. DNA fragmentation was also observed in HeLa cells treated with EHF-21. The active EHF-21 fraction, a brominated indole alkaloid Eudistomin H, led to apoptotic death of HeLa cells.

  8. Ascidian eggs block polyspermy by two independent mechanisms: one at the egg plasma membrane, the other involving the follicle cells.

    PubMed

    Lambert, C; Goudeau, H; Franchet, C; Lambert, G; Goudeau, M

    1997-09-01

    Many ascidians live in clumps and usually release sperm before the eggs. Consequently, eggs are often spawned into dense clouds of sperm. Because fertilization by more than a single sperm is lethal, ascidians have evolved at least two successive blocks to polyspermy: the rapid release of a glycosidase that inhibits sperm binding to the vitelline coat (VC) and a subsequent change in membrane potential that prevents supernumerary sperm-egg fusion. This paper shows that (1) these two blocks can be uncoupled by the use of suramin, and (2) most of the glycosidase appears to be from the follicle cells, which are accessory cells on the outside of the egg VC. Phallusia mammillata eggs initially bind numerous sperm but, after the glycosidase is released, only a few additional sperm bind. Intact eggs in 20 microM suramin release glycosidase, but the electrical response is inhibited; sperm swim actively and bind to the VC but fail to penetrate. Suramin treatment is completely reversible; intact eggs exhibit the electrical response an average of 11 minutes after the drug is washed out. Sperm must contact the follicle cells before passing through the VC; eggs with the VC removed and fertilized in the presence of 20 microM suramin show the electrical response 35% of the time, thus VC removal enhances sperm entry. Like the intact eggs, 100% of the naked eggs respond electrically to fertilization after the drug is washed out. Follicle cells that are isolated by calcium magnesium free seawater and then returned to complete seawater release N-acetylglucosaminidase activity in response to sperm. Thus, these eggs have two blocks to polyspermy that operate in sequence: an early first block resulting from enzymatic modification of the VC by N-acetylglucosaminidase released primarily from follicle cells and a second electrical block operating at the egg plasma membrane level and requiring sperm-egg fusion. PMID:9266770

  9. Ascidian eggs block polyspermy by two independent mechanisms: one at the egg plasma membrane, the other involving the follicle cells.

    PubMed

    Lambert, C; Goudeau, H; Franchet, C; Lambert, G; Goudeau, M

    1997-09-01

    Many ascidians live in clumps and usually release sperm before the eggs. Consequently, eggs are often spawned into dense clouds of sperm. Because fertilization by more than a single sperm is lethal, ascidians have evolved at least two successive blocks to polyspermy: the rapid release of a glycosidase that inhibits sperm binding to the vitelline coat (VC) and a subsequent change in membrane potential that prevents supernumerary sperm-egg fusion. This paper shows that (1) these two blocks can be uncoupled by the use of suramin, and (2) most of the glycosidase appears to be from the follicle cells, which are accessory cells on the outside of the egg VC. Phallusia mammillata eggs initially bind numerous sperm but, after the glycosidase is released, only a few additional sperm bind. Intact eggs in 20 microM suramin release glycosidase, but the electrical response is inhibited; sperm swim actively and bind to the VC but fail to penetrate. Suramin treatment is completely reversible; intact eggs exhibit the electrical response an average of 11 minutes after the drug is washed out. Sperm must contact the follicle cells before passing through the VC; eggs with the VC removed and fertilized in the presence of 20 microM suramin show the electrical response 35% of the time, thus VC removal enhances sperm entry. Like the intact eggs, 100% of the naked eggs respond electrically to fertilization after the drug is washed out. Follicle cells that are isolated by calcium magnesium free seawater and then returned to complete seawater release N-acetylglucosaminidase activity in response to sperm. Thus, these eggs have two blocks to polyspermy that operate in sequence: an early first block resulting from enzymatic modification of the VC by N-acetylglucosaminidase released primarily from follicle cells and a second electrical block operating at the egg plasma membrane level and requiring sperm-egg fusion.

  10. Anticancer effects of brominated indole alkaloid Eudistomin H from marine ascidian Eudistoma viride against cervical cancer cells (HeLa).

    PubMed

    Rajesh, Rajaian Pushpabai; Annappan, Murugan

    2015-01-01

    Marine invertebrates called ascidians are prolific producers of bioactive substances. The ascidian Eudistoma viride, distributed along the Southeast coast of India, was investigated for its in vitro cytotoxic activity against human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells by the MTT assay. The crude methanolic extract of E. viride, with an IC50 of 53 μg/ml, was dose-dependently cytotoxic. It was more potent at 100 μg/ml than cyclohexamide (1 μg/ml), reducing cell viability to 9.2%. Among nine fractions separated by chromatography, ECF-8 exhibited prominent cytoxic activity at 10 μg/ml. The HPLC fraction EHF-21 of ECF-8 was remarkably dose- and time-dependently cytotoxic, with 39.8% viable cells at 1 μg/ml compared to 51% in cyclohexamide-treated cells at the same concentration; the IC50 was 0.49 μg/ml. Hoechst staining of HeLa cells treated with EHF-21 at 0.5 μg/ml revealed apoptotic events such an cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation and formation of apoptotic bodies. Cell size and granularity study showed changes in light scatter, indicating the characteristic feature of cells dying by apoptosis. The cell-cycle analysis of HeLa cells treated with fraction EHF-21 at 1 μg/ml showed the marked arrest of cells in G0/G1, S and G2/M phases and an increase in the sub G0/G1 population indicated an increase in the apoptotic cell population. The statistical analysis of the sub-G1 region showed a dose-dependent induction of apoptosis. DNA fragmentation was also observed in HeLa cells treated with EHF-21. The active EHF-21 fraction, a brominated indole alkaloid Eudistomin H, led to apoptotic death of HeLa cells. PMID:25550562

  11. Neural induction suppresses early expression of the inward-rectifier K+ channel in the ascidian blastomere.

    PubMed Central

    Okamura, Y; Takahashi, K

    1993-01-01

    1. Early expression of ion channels following neural induction was examined in isolated, cleavage-arrested blastomeres from the ascidian embryo using a two-electrode voltage clamp. Currents were recorded from the isolated, cleavage-arrested blastomere, a4-2, after treatment with serine protease, subtilisin, which induces neural differentiation as consistently as cell contact. 2. The inward-rectifier K+ current increased at the late gastrula stage shortly after the sensitive period for neural induction both in the induced (protease-treated) and uninduced cells. Ca2+ channels, characteristic of epidermal-type differentiation, and delayed-rectifier K+ channels and differentiated-type Na+ channels, characteristic of neural-type differentiation appeared much later than the inward-rectifier K+ channels, at a time corresponding to the tail bud stage of the intact embryo. 3. When cells were treated with subtilisin during the critical period for neural induction, the increase in the inward-rectifier K+ current from the late gastrula stage to the neurula stage was about three times smaller (3.67 +/- 1.74 nA, mean +/- S.D., n = 14) than in untreated cells (11.25 +/- 3.10 nA, n = 26). The same changes in the inward-rectifier K+ channel were also observed in a4 2 blastomeres which were induced by cell contact with an A4-1 blastomere. However, when cells were treated with subtilisin after the critical period for neural induction, the amplitude of the inward-rectifier K+ current was the same as in untreated cells. Thus the expressed level of the inward-rectifier K+ channel was linked to the determination of neural or epidermal cell types. 4. There was no significant difference in the input capacitance of induced and uninduced cells, indicating that the difference in the amplitude of the inward-rectifier K+ currents derived from a difference in the channel density rather than a difference in cell surface area. 5. The expression of the inward-rectifier K+ channel at the late

  12. Complete mtDNA of Ciona intestinalis reveals extensive gene rearrangement and the presence of an atp8 and an extra trnM gene in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Gissi, Carmela; Iannelli, Fabio; Pesole, Graziano

    2004-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of the model organism Ciona intestinalis (Urochordata, Ascidiacea) has been amplified by long-PCR using specific primers designed on putative mitochondrial transcripts identified from publicly available mitochondrial-like expressed sequence tags. The C. intestinalis mtDNA encodes 39 genes: 2 rRNAs, 13 subunits of the respiratory complexes, including ATPase subunit 8 ( atp8), and 24 tRNAs, including 2 tRNA-Met with anticodons 5'-UAU-3'and 5'-CAU-3', respectively. All genes are transcribed from the same strand. This gene content seems to be a common feature of ascidian mtDNAs, as we have verified the presence of a previously undetected atp8 and of two trnM genes in the two other sequenced ascidian mtDNAs. Extensive gene rearrangement has been found in C. intestinalis with respect not only to the common Vertebrata/Cephalochordata/Hemichordata gene organization but also to other ascidian mtDNAs, including the cogeneric Ciona savignyi. Other features such as the absence of long noncoding regions, the shortness of rRNA genes, the low GC content (21.4%), and the absence of asymmetric base distribution between the two strands suggest that this genome is more similar to those of some protostomes than to deuterostomes. PMID:15114417

  13. Complete mtDNA of Ciona intestinalis reveals extensive gene rearrangement and the presence of an atp8 and an extra trnM gene in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Gissi, Carmela; Iannelli, Fabio; Pesole, Graziano

    2004-04-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) of the model organism Ciona intestinalis (Urochordata, Ascidiacea) has been amplified by long-PCR using specific primers designed on putative mitochondrial transcripts identified from publicly available mitochondrial-like expressed sequence tags. The C. intestinalis mtDNA encodes 39 genes: 2 rRNAs, 13 subunits of the respiratory complexes, including ATPase subunit 8 ( atp8), and 24 tRNAs, including 2 tRNA-Met with anticodons 5'-UAU-3'and 5'-CAU-3', respectively. All genes are transcribed from the same strand. This gene content seems to be a common feature of ascidian mtDNAs, as we have verified the presence of a previously undetected atp8 and of two trnM genes in the two other sequenced ascidian mtDNAs. Extensive gene rearrangement has been found in C. intestinalis with respect not only to the common Vertebrata/Cephalochordata/Hemichordata gene organization but also to other ascidian mtDNAs, including the cogeneric Ciona savignyi. Other features such as the absence of long noncoding regions, the shortness of rRNA genes, the low GC content (21.4%), and the absence of asymmetric base distribution between the two strands suggest that this genome is more similar to those of some protostomes than to deuterostomes.

  14. Effects of the azole fungicide Imazalil on the development of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis (Chordata, Tunicata): morphological and molecular characterization of the induced phenotype.

    PubMed

    Zega, Giuliana; De Bernardi, Fiorenza; Groppelli, Silvia; Pennati, Roberta

    2009-02-19

    Imazalil (IMA) is a fungicide that is used extensively in fruit plantations and post-harvest treatments, but has teratogenic effects on vertebrate development, possibly due to the perturbation of retinoic acid (RA) levels in the embryo. Ascidians are sessile marine invertebrate chordates that develop through a tadpole larva, with a body plan that shares basic homologies with vertebrates. In this work, we tested the effects of IMA on the development of the solitary ascidian Ciona intestinalis by treating two-cell stage embryos with a range of concentrations (0.1, 0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 50microThe fungicide significantly altered ascidian development even at low concentrations and its effects were dose-dependent. Probit analysis revealed that the median lethal concentration, LC(50), was 4.87microM and the median teratogenic concentration, TC(50), was 0.73microM. Larvae developing from embryos exposed to IMA showed malformations of the anterior structures, which became more severe as IMA concentration increased. In particular, the anterior nervous system and the sensory vesicle were reduced, and the pigmented organs (the ocellus and the otolith) progressively lost their pigmentation. The larval phenotype induced by 5microM IMA exposure was further characterized by means of molecular analysis, through whole mount in situ hybridization with probes for genes related to the nervous system: Ci-Otp, Ci-GAD, Ci-POU IV, which are markers of the anterior neuro-ectoderm, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system respectively, and Ci-Hox-1, a gene specifically activated by RA, and Ci-Aldh2, a gene for aldehyde dehydrogenase, which is involved in RA synthesis. The altered expression of Ci-Otp, Ci-GAD, Ci-POU IV in 5microM IMA-exposed larvae compared to control larvae showed that this fungicide could affect the differentiation of the anterior nervous system, particularly of the sensory vesicle neurons. Recent studies suggest a similarity between IMA- and RA

  15. A forkhead gene related to HNF-3beta is required for gastrulation and axis formation in the ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Olsen, C L; Jeffery, W R

    1997-09-01

    We have isolated a member of the HNF-3/forkhead gene family in ascidians as a means to determine the role of winged-helix genes in chordate development. The MocuFH1 gene, isolated from a Molgula oculata cDNA library, exhibits a forkhead DNA-binding domain most similar to zebrafish axial and rodent HNF-3beta. MocuFH1 is a single copy gene but there is at least one other related forkhead gene in the M. oculata genome. The MocuFH1 gene is expressed in the presumptive endoderm, mesenchyme and notochord cells beginning during the late cleavage stages. During gastrulation, MocuFH1 expression occurs in the prospective endoderm cells, which invaginate at the vegetal pole, and in the presumptive notochord and mesenchyme cells, which involute over the anterior and lateral lips of the blastopore, respectively. However, this gene is not expressed in the presumptive muscle cells, which involute over the posterior lip of the blastopore. MocuFH1 expression continues in the same cell lineages during neurulation and axis formation, however, during the tailbud stage, MocuFH1 is also expressed in ventral cells of the brain and spinal cord. The functional role of the MocuFH1 gene was studied using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), which transiently reduce MocuFH1 transcript levels during gastrulation. Embryos treated with antisense ODNs cleave normally and initiate gastrulation. However, gastrulation is incomplete, some of the endoderm and notochord cells do not enter the embryo and undergo subsequent movements, and axis formation is abnormal. In contrast, the prospective muscle cells, which do not express MocuFH1, undergo involution and later express muscle actin and acetylcholinesterase, markers of muscle cell differentiation. The results suggest that MocuFH1 is required for morphogenetic movements of the endoderm and notochord precursor cells during gastrulation and axis formation. The effects of inhibiting MocuFH1 expression on embryonic axis formation in ascidians are

  16. A one-dimensional model of PCP signaling: polarized cell behavior in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona

    PubMed Central

    Kourakis, Matthew J.; Reeves, Wendy; Newman-Smith, Erin; Maury, Benoit; Abdul-Wajid, Sarah; Smith, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Despite its importance in development and physiology the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway remains one of the most enigmatic signaling mechanisms. The notochord of the ascidian Ciona provides a unique model for investigating the PCP pathway. Interestingly, the notochord appears to be the only embryonic structure in Ciona activating the PCP pathway. Moreover, the Ciona notochord as a single-file array of forty polarized cells is a uniquely tractable system for the study of polarization dynamics and the transmission of the PCP pathway. Here, we test models for propagation of a polarizing signal, interrogating temporal, spatial and signaling requirements. A simple cell-cell relay cascading through the entire length of the notochord is not supported; instead a more complex mechanism is revealed, with interactions influencing polarity between neighboring cells, but not distant ones. Mechanisms coordinating notochord-wide polarity remain elusive, but appear to entrain general (i.e., global) polarity even while local interactions remain important. However, this global polarizer does not appear to act as a localized, spatially-restricted determinant. Coordination of polarity along the long axis of the notochord requires the PCP pathway, a role we demonstrate is temporally distinct from this pathway’s earlier role in convergent extension and intercalation. We also reveal polarity in the notochord to be dynamic: a cell’s polarity state can be changed and then restored, underscoring the Ciona notochord’s amenability for in vivo studies of PCP. PMID:25173874

  17. A voltage-gated chloride channel in ascidian embryos modulated by both the cell cycle clock and cell volume.

    PubMed Central

    Villaz, M; Cinniger, J C; Moody, W J

    1995-01-01

    1. Eggs of the ascidian Boltenia villosa have an inwardly rectifying Cl- current whose amplitude varies by more than 10-fold during each cell cycle, the largest amplitude being at exit from M-phase. We examined whether this current was also sensitive to changes in cell volume. 2. Cell swelling, produced by direct inflation through a whole-cell recording pipette, greatly increased the amplitude of the Cl- current at all stages of the cell cycle in activated eggs. Swelling was much less effective in unfertilized eggs. 3. The increase in Cl- current amplitude continued for 10-20 min after an increase in diameter that was complete in 10 s, suggesting the involvement of a second messenger system in the response. 4. Treatment of unfertilized eggs with 6-dimethylaminopurine (DMAP), an inhibitor of cell cycle-dependent protein kinases, increased the amplitude of the Cl- current and its sensitivity to swelling to levels characteristic of fertilized eggs. 5. Osmotically produced swelling also increased Cl- current amplitude in unfertilized eggs. 6. We propose that dephosphorylation renders the Cl- channel functional, and that swelling or activation of the egg increases the sensitivity of the channel to dephosphorylation, perhaps by disrupting its links to the cytoskeleton. PMID:8576858

  18. Photoadaptation and protection against active forms of oxygen in the symbiotic procaryote Prochloron sp. and its ascidian host

    SciTech Connect

    Lesser, M.P.; Stochaj, W.R. )

    1990-06-01

    Superoxide dismutase, ascorbate, peroxidase, and catalase activities were studied in the symbiotic photosynthetic procaryote Prochloron sp. and its ascidian host Lissoclinum patella. The protein-specific activities of these antioxidant enzymes in the Prochloron sp. and L. patella collected at different depths from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, were directly proportional to irradiance, whereas the pigment concentrations in the Prochloron sp. were inversely proportional to irradiance. The presence of a cyanide-sensitive superoxide dismutase, presumably a Cu-An metalloprotein, in the Prochloron sp. extends the possible phylogenetic distribution of this protein. The concentration of UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids in inversely proportional to irradiance in both the host and symbiont, suggesting that these compounds may not provide sufficient protection against UV radiation in high-irradiance environments. The significant differences in the specific activities of these antioxidant enzymes, cellular photosynthetic pigment concentrations, and UV-absorbing compounds from high- and low-irradiance habitats constitute an adaptive response to different photic environments. These photoadaptive responses are essential to prevent inhibition of photosynthesis by high fluxes of visible and UV radiation.

  19. Closing the wounds: one hundred and twenty five years of regenerative biology in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2015-01-01

    This year marks the 125th anniversary of the beginning of regeneration research in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. A brief note was published in 1891, reporting the regeneration of the Ciona neural complex and siphons. This launched an active period of Ciona regeneration research culminating in the demonstration of partial body regeneration: the ability of proximal body parts to regenerate distal ones, but not vice versa. In a process resembling regeneration, wounds in the siphon tube were discovered to result in the formation of an ectopic siphon. Ciona regeneration research then lapsed into a period of relative inactivity after the purported demonstration of the inheritance of acquired characters using siphon regeneration as a model. Around the turn of the present century, Ciona regeneration research experienced a new blossoming. The current studies established the morphological and physiological integrity of the regeneration process and its resemblance to ontogeny. They also determined some of the cell types responsible for tissue and organ replacement and their sources in the body. Finally, they showed that regenerative capacity is reduced with age. Many other aspects of regeneration now can be studied at the mechanistic level because of the extensive molecular tools available in Ciona.

  20. Toxicity assessment of the antifouling compound zinc pyrithione using early developmental stages of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Bellas, Juan

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated the toxicity of zinc pyrithione (Zpt) on the early stages of development of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Larval morphological abnormalities were studied after the exposure of C. intestinalis embryos at different stages of development. The median effective concentrations (EC50) ranged from 226-590 nM. The larval settlement stage was the most sensitive to Zpt. Toxic effects of Zpt on larval settlement were detected at 9 nM (EC10). The inhibition of C. intestinalis embryonic development was also used to study the loss of toxicity in Zpt solutions exposed to direct sunlight and laboratory UV light. The results showed that the toxicity of Zpt solutions decreased but did not disappear after 4 h exposure to direct sunlight (EC50 = 484 nM) or UV light (EC50 = 453 nM), compared to control Zpt solutions prepared in dark conditions. On the basis of the present data, predicted no effect concentrations of Zpt to C. intestinalis larvae are lower than predicted environmental concentrations of Zpt in certain polluted areas and therefore, may pose a risk to C. intestinalis populations. PMID:16522542

  1. Distal regeneration involves the age dependent activity of branchial sac stem cells in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Tunicates have high capacities for regeneration but the underlying mechanisms and their relationship to life cycle progression are not well understood. Here we investigate the regeneration of distal structures in the ascidian tunicate Ciona intestinalis. Analysis of regenerative potential along the proximal−distal body axis indicated that distal organs, such as the siphons, their pigmented sensory organs, and the neural complex, could only be replaced from body fragments containing the branchial sac. Distal regeneration involves the formation of a blastema composed of cells that undergo cell proliferation prior to differentiation and cells that differentiate without cell proliferation. Both cell types originate in the branchial sac and appear in the blastema at different times after distal injury. Whereas the branchial sac stem cells are present in young animals, they are depleted in old animals that have lost their regeneration capacity. Thus Ciona adults contain a population of age‐related stem cells located in the branchial sac that are a source of precursors for distal body regeneration. PMID:25893097

  2. Msxb is a core component of the genetic circuitry specifying the dorsal and ventral neurogenic midlines in the ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Roure, Agnès; Darras, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    The tail ascidian larval peripheral nervous system is made up of epidermal sensory neurons distributed more or less regularly in ventral and dorsal midlines. Their formation occurs in two-steps: the ventral and dorsal midlines are induced as neurogenic territories by Fgf9/16/20 and Admp respectively. The Delta2/Notch interaction then controls the number of neurons that form. The genetic machinery acting between the inductive processes taking place before gastrulation and neuron specification at tailbud stages are largely unknown. The analysis of seven transcription factors expressed in the forming midlines revealed an unexpected complexity and dynamic of gene expression. Their systematic overexpression confirmed that these genes do not interact following a linear cascade of activation. However, the integration of our data revealed the distinct key roles of the two upstream factors Msxb and Nkx-C that are the earliest expressed genes and the only ones able to induce neurogenic midline and ESN formation. Our data suggest that Msxb would be the primary midline gene integrating inputs from the ventral and dorsal inducers and launching a pan-midline transcriptional program. Nkx-C would be involved in tail tip specification, in maintenance of the pan-midline network and in a posterior to anterior wave controlling differentiation. PMID:26592100

  3. The Hemolymph of the ascidian Styela plicata (Chordata-Tunicata) contains heparin inside basophil-like cells and a unique sulfated galactoglucan in the plasma.

    PubMed

    de Barros, Cintia M; Andrade, Leonardo R; Allodi, Silvana; Viskov, Christian; Mourier, Pierre A; Cavalcante, Moisés C M; Straus, Anita H; Takahashi, Helio K; Pomin, Vitor H; Carvalho, Vinicius F; Martins, Marco A; Pavão, Mauro S G

    2007-01-19

    The hemolymph of ascidians (Chordata-Tunicata) contains different types of hemocytes embedded in a liquid plasma. In the present study, heparin and a sulfated heteropolysaccharide were purified from the hemolymph of the ascidian Styela plicata. The heteropolysaccharide occurs free in the plasma, is composed of glucose ( approximately 60%) and galactose ( approximately 40%), and is highly sulfated. Heparin, on the other hand, occurs in the hemocytes, and high performance liquid chromatography of the products formed by degradation with specific lyases revealed that it is composed mainly by the disaccharides DeltaUA(2SO(4))-1-->4-beta-d-GlcN(SO(4)) (39.7%) and DeltaUA(2SO(4))-1-->4-beta-d-GlcN(SO(4))(6SO(4)) (38.2%). Small amounts of the 3-O-sulfated disaccharides DeltaUA(2SO(4))-1-->4-beta-d-GlcN(SO(4))(3SO(4)) (9.8%) and DeltaUA(2SO(4))-1-->4-beta-d-GlcN(SO(4))(3SO(4))(6SO(4)) (3.8%) were also detected. These 3-O-sulfated disaccharides were demonstrated to be essential for the binding of the hemocyte heparin to antithrombin III. Electron microscopy techniques were used to characterize the ultrastructure of the hemocytes and to localize heparin and histamine in these cells. At least five cell types were recognized and classified as univacuolated and multivacuolated cells, amebocytes, hemoblasts, and granulocytes. Immunocytochemistry showed that heparin and histamine co-localize in intracellular granules of only one type of hemocyte, the granulocyte. These results show for the first time that in ascidians, a sulfated galactoglucan circulates free in the plasma, and heparin occurs as an intracellular product of a circulating basophil-like cell.

  4. Biologically Active Acetylenic Amino Alcohol and N-Hydroxylated 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydro-β-carboline Constituents of the New Zealand Ascidian Pseudodistoma opacum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiayi; Pearce, A Norrie; Chan, Susanna T S; Taylor, Richard B; Page, Michael J; Valentin, Alexis; Bourguet-Kondracki, Marie-Lise; Dalton, James P; Wiles, Siouxsie; Copp, Brent R

    2016-03-25

    The first occurrence of an acetylenic 1-amino-2-alcohol, distaminolyne A (1), isolated from the New Zealand ascidian Pseudodistoma opacum, is reported. The isolation and structure elucidation of 1 and assignment of absolute configuration using the exciton coupled circular dichroism technique are described. In addition, a new N-9 hydroxy analogue (2) of the known P. opacum metabolite 7-bromohomotrypargine is also reported. Antimicrobial screening identified modest activity of 1 toward Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterim tuberculosis, while 2 exhibited a moderate antimalarial activity (IC50 3.82 μM) toward a chloroquine-resistant strain (FcB1) of Plasmodium falciparum. PMID:26670413

  5. Increased Inter-Colony Fusion Rates Are Associated with Reduced COI Haplotype Diversity in an Invasive Colonial Ascidian Didemnum vexillum

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kirsty F.; Stefaniak, Lauren; Saito, Yasunori; Gemmill, Chrissen E. C.; Cary, S. Craig; Fidler, Andrew E.

    2012-01-01

    Considerable progress in our understanding of the population genetic changes associated with biological invasions has been made over the past decade. Using selectively neutral loci, it has been established that reductions in genetic diversity, reflecting founder effects, have occurred during the establishment of some invasive populations. However, some colonial organisms may actually gain an ecological advantage from reduced genetic diversity because of the associated reduction in inter-colony conflict. Here we report population genetic analyses, along with colony fusion experiments, for a highly invasive colonial ascidian, Didemnum vexillum. Analyses based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) partial coding sequences revealed two distinct D. vexillum clades. One COI clade appears to be restricted to the probable native region (i.e., north-west Pacific Ocean), while the other clade is present in widely dispersed temperate coastal waters around the world. This clade structure was supported by 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence data, which revealed a one base-pair difference between the two clades. Recently established populations of D. vexillum in New Zealand displayed greatly reduced COI genetic diversity when compared with D. vexillum in Japan. In association with this reduction in genetic diversity was a significantly higher inter-colony fusion rate between randomly paired New Zealand D. vexillum colonies (80%, standard deviation ±18%) when compared with colonies found in Japan (27%, standard deviation ±15%). The results of this study add to growing evidence that for colonial organisms reductions in population level genetic diversity may alter colony interaction dynamics and enhance the invasive potential of newly colonizing species. PMID:22303442

  6. Cardiovascular effects of lepadiformine, an alkaloid isolated from the ascidians Clavelina lepadiformis (Müller) and C. moluccensis (Sluiter).

    PubMed

    Jugé, M; Grimaud, N; Biard, J F; Sauviat, M P; Nabil, M; Verbist, J F; Petit, J Y

    2001-08-01

    The effects of lepadiformine, a natural marine alkaloid isolated from the ascidians Clavelina lepadiformis (Müller) and C. moluccensis (Sluiter), were studied in vivo by arterial blood pressure (aBP) recordings and electrocardiograms (ECG) in anaesthetised rats and in situ by peripheral vascular pressure recordings on perfused rabbit ear. Transmembrane resting (RP) and action (AP) potentials were also recorded by intracellular microelectrodes on electrically stimulated left ventricular papillary muscle and spontaneously beating atrium isolated from rat and frog hearts, respectively. Intravenous injection of lepadiformine (6mg/kg) produced marked bradycardia and a lengthening of ECG intervals as well as a transient decrease of aBP, which rapidly returned to normal. The decrease of aBP may have been related to a vasoconstrictor effect observed in the perfused ear experiment. Lepadiformine did not alter RP, but significantly lengthened the repolarising phase of AP in rat papillary muscle and frog atrium. Lepadiformine also mimicked the effect of Ba(2+) (0.2mM) on the rat AP repolarising phase. Moreover, the lengthening of the AP in frog atrium induced by lepadiformine still developed after the delayed outward K(+) current (I(K)) was blocked by tetraethylammonium (10mM). These observations suggest that lepadiformine-induced lengthening of AP duration was not due to a decrease of I(K), but may reasonably be attributed to a reduction of the inward rectifying K(+) current (I(K1)). This blockade of I(K1) could account for the cardiovascular effects of lepadiformine in vivo and in vitro and suggests that lepadiformine has antiarrhythmic properties.

  7. Action potential waveform voltage clamp shows significance of different Ca2+ channel types in developing ascidian muscle

    PubMed Central

    Dallman, Julia E; Dorman, Jennie B; Moody, William J

    2000-01-01

    Early in development, ascidian muscle cells generate spontaneous, long-duration action potentials that are mediated by a high-threshold, inactivating Ca2+ current. This spontaneous activity is required for appropriate physiological development.Mature muscle cells generate brief action potentials only in response to motor neuron input. The mature action potential is mediated by a high-threshold sustained Ca2+ current.Action potentials recorded from these two stages were imposed as voltage-clamp commands on cells of the same and different stages from which they were recorded. This strategy allowed us to study how immature and mature Ca2+ currents are optimized to their particular functions.Total Ca2+ entry during an action potential did not change during development. The developmental increase in Ca2+ current density exactly compensated for decreased spike duration. This compensation was a function purely of Ca2+ current density, not of the transition from immature to mature Ca2+ current types.In immature cells, Ca2+ entry was spread out over the entire waveform of spontaneous activity, including the interspike voltage trajectory. This almost continuous Ca2+ entry may be important in triggering Ca2+-dependent developmental programmes, and is a function of the slightly more negative voltage dependence of the immature Ca2+ current.In contrast, Ca2+ entry in mature cells was confined to the action potential itself, because of the slightly more positive voltage dependence of the mature Ca2+ current. This may be important in permitting rapid contraction-relaxation cycles during larval swimming.The inactivation of the immature Ca2+ current serves to limit the frequency and burst duration of spontaneous activity. The sustained kinetics of the mature Ca2+ current permit high-frequency firing during larval swimming. PMID:10766919

  8. Stochasticity in space, persistence in time: genetic heterogeneity in harbour populations of the introduced ascidian Styela plicata

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Mari-Carmen; Lorente, Beatriz; López-Legentil, Susanna; Palacín, Creu

    2016-01-01

    Spatio-temporal changes in genetic structure among populations provide crucial information on the dynamics of secondary spread for introduced marine species. However, temporal components have rarely been taken into consideration when studying the population genetics of non-indigenous species. This study analysed the genetic structure of Styela plicata, a solitary ascidian introduced in harbours and marinas of tropical and temperate waters, across spatial and temporal scales. A fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) was sequenced from 395 individuals collected at 9 harbours along the NW Mediterranean coast and adjacent Atlantic waters (> 1,200 km range) at two time points 5 years apart (2009 and 2014). The levels of gene diversity were relatively low for all 9 locations in both years. Analyses of genetic differentiation and distribution of molecular variance revealed strong genetic structure, with significant differences among many populations, but no significant differences among years. A weak and marginally significant correlation between geographic distance and gene differentiation was found. Our results revealed spatial structure and temporal genetic homogeneity in S. plicata, suggesting a limited role of recurrent, vessel-mediated transport of organisms among small to medium-size harbours. Our study area is representative of many highly urbanized coasts with dense harbours. In these environments, the episodic chance arrival of colonisers appears to determine the genetic structure of harbour populations and the genetic composition of these early colonising individuals persists in the respective harbours, at least over moderate time frames (five years) that encompass ca. 20 generations of S. plicata. PMID:27366653

  9. Stochasticity in space, persistence in time: genetic heterogeneity in harbour populations of the introduced ascidian Styela plicata.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Mari-Carmen; Lorente, Beatriz; López-Legentil, Susanna; Palacín, Creu; Turon, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Spatio-temporal changes in genetic structure among populations provide crucial information on the dynamics of secondary spread for introduced marine species. However, temporal components have rarely been taken into consideration when studying the population genetics of non-indigenous species. This study analysed the genetic structure of Styela plicata, a solitary ascidian introduced in harbours and marinas of tropical and temperate waters, across spatial and temporal scales. A fragment of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase subunit I (COI) was sequenced from 395 individuals collected at 9 harbours along the NW Mediterranean coast and adjacent Atlantic waters (> 1,200 km range) at two time points 5 years apart (2009 and 2014). The levels of gene diversity were relatively low for all 9 locations in both years. Analyses of genetic differentiation and distribution of molecular variance revealed strong genetic structure, with significant differences among many populations, but no significant differences among years. A weak and marginally significant correlation between geographic distance and gene differentiation was found. Our results revealed spatial structure and temporal genetic homogeneity in S. plicata, suggesting a limited role of recurrent, vessel-mediated transport of organisms among small to medium-size harbours. Our study area is representative of many highly urbanized coasts with dense harbours. In these environments, the episodic chance arrival of colonisers appears to determine the genetic structure of harbour populations and the genetic composition of these early colonising individuals persists in the respective harbours, at least over moderate time frames (five years) that encompass ca. 20 generations of S. plicata. PMID:27366653

  10. Co-expression of Foxa.a, Foxd and Fgf9/16/20 defines a transient mesendoderm regulatory state in ascidian embryos

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Clare; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2016-01-01

    In many bilaterian embryos, nuclear β-catenin (nβ-catenin) promotes mesendoderm over ectoderm lineages. Although this is likely to represent an evolutionary ancient developmental process, the regulatory architecture of nβ-catenin-induced mesendoderm remains elusive in the majority of animals. Here, we show that, in ascidian embryos, three nβ-catenin transcriptional targets, Foxa.a, Foxd and Fgf9/16/20, are each required for the correct initiation of both the mesoderm and endoderm gene regulatory networks. Conversely, these three factors are sufficient, in combination, to produce a mesendoderm ground state that can be further programmed into mesoderm or endoderm lineages. Importantly, we show that the combinatorial activity of these three factors is sufficient to reprogramme developing ectoderm cells to mesendoderm. We conclude that in ascidian embryos, the transient mesendoderm regulatory state is defined by co-expression of Foxa.a, Foxd and Fgf9/16/20. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14692.001 PMID:27351101

  11. The Sexual and Mating System of the Shrimp Odontonia katoi (Palaemonidae, Pontoniinae), a Symbiotic Guest of the Ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle

    PubMed Central

    Baeza, J. Antonio; Hemphill, Carrie A.; Ritson-Williams, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Theory predicts that monogamy is adaptive in symbiotic crustaceans inhabiting relatively small and morphologically simple hosts in tropical environments where predation risk away from hosts is high. We tested this prediction in the shrimp Odontonia katoi, which inhabits the atrial chamber of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle. Preliminary observations in O. katoi indicated that males were smaller than females, which is suggestive of sex change (protandry) in some symbiotic organisms. Thus, we first investigated the sexual system of O. katoi to determine if this shrimp was sequentially hermaphroditic. Morphological identification and size frequency distributions indicated that the population comprised males that, on average, were smaller than females. Gonad dissections demonstrated the absence of transitional individuals. Thus, O. katoi is a gonochoric species with reverse sexual dimorphism. The population distribution of O. katoi in its ascidian host did not differ significantly from a random distribution and shrimps inhabiting the same host individual as pairs were found with a frequency similar to that expected by chance alone. This is in contrast to that reported for other socially monogamous crustaceans in which pairs of heterosexual conspecifics are found in host individuals more frequently than expected by chance alone. Thus, the available information argues against monogamy in O. katoi. Furthermore, that a high frequency of solitary females were found brooding embryos and that the sex ratio was skewed toward females suggests that males might be roaming among hosts in search of receptive females in O. katoi. Symbiotic crustaceans can be used as a model system to understand the adaptive value of sexual and mating systems in marine invertebrates. PMID:25799577

  12. An ultraviolet-sensitive maternal mRNA encoding a cytoskeletal protein may be involved in axis formation in the ascidian embryo

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffery, W.R. )

    1990-09-01

    Ultraviolet (uv) irradiation of the vegetal hemisphere of fertilized eggs during ooplasmic segregation inhibits subsequent gastrulation and axis formation in ascidian embryos. The molecular basis of this phenomenon was investigated in by comparing in vivo protein synthesis and in vitro mRNA translation in normal and uv-irradiated embryos of the ascidian Styela clava. Analysis of protein synthesis by (35S)methionine incorporation, two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis, and autoradiography showed that only 21 of 433 labeled polypeptides were missing or decreased in labeling intensity in uv-irradiated embryos. The most prominent of these was a 30,000 molecular weight (pI 6.0) polypeptide (p30). Extraction of gastrulae with the nonionic detergent Triton X-100 showed that p30 is retained in the detergent insoluble residue, suggesting that it is associated with the cytoskeleton. Several lines of evidence suggest that p30 may be involved in axis formation. First, p30 labeling peaks during gastrulation, when the embryonic axis is being established. Second, axis formation and p30 labeling are abolished by the same threshold uv dose, which is distinct from that required to inactivate muscle cell development. Third, the uv sensitivity period for abolishing p30 labeling and axis formation are both restricted to ooplasmic segregation. In vitro translation of egg RNA followed by 2D gel electrophoresis and autoradiography of the protein products showed that p30 is encoded by a maternal mRNA. The translation of p30 mRNA was abolished by uv irradiation of fertilized eggs during ooplasmic segregation suggesting that this message is a uv-sensitive target. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that uv irradiation blocks gastrulation and axis formation by inhibiting the translation of maternal mRNA localized in the vegetal hemisphere of the fertilized egg.

  13. The sexual and mating system of the shrimp Odontonia katoi (Palaemonidae, Pontoniinae), a symbiotic guest of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle.

    PubMed

    Baeza, J Antonio; Hemphill, Carrie A; Ritson-Williams, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Theory predicts that monogamy is adaptive in symbiotic crustaceans inhabiting relatively small and morphologically simple hosts in tropical environments where predation risk away from hosts is high. We tested this prediction in the shrimp Odontonia katoi, which inhabits the atrial chamber of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle. Preliminary observations in O. katoi indicated that males were smaller than females, which is suggestive of sex change (protandry) in some symbiotic organisms. Thus, we first investigated the sexual system of O. katoi to determine if this shrimp was sequentially hermaphroditic. Morphological identification and size frequency distributions indicated that the population comprised males that, on average, were smaller than females. Gonad dissections demonstrated the absence of transitional individuals. Thus, O. katoi is a gonochoric species with reverse sexual dimorphism. The population distribution of O. katoi in its ascidian host did not differ significantly from a random distribution and shrimps inhabiting the same host individual as pairs were found with a frequency similar to that expected by chance alone. This is in contrast to that reported for other socially monogamous crustaceans in which pairs of heterosexual conspecifics are found in host individuals more frequently than expected by chance alone. Thus, the available information argues against monogamy in O. katoi. Furthermore, that a high frequency of solitary females were found brooding embryos and that the sex ratio was skewed toward females suggests that males might be roaming among hosts in search of receptive females in O. katoi. Symbiotic crustaceans can be used as a model system to understand the adaptive value of sexual and mating systems in marine invertebrates. PMID:25799577

  14. A Boolean Function for Neural Induction Reveals a Critical Role of Direct Intercellular Interactions in Patterning the Ectoderm of the Ascidian Embryo.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Naoyuki; Waki, Kana; Mochizuki, Atsushi; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-12-01

    A complex system of multiple signaling molecules often produce differential gene expression patterns in animal embryos. In the ascidian embryo, four signaling ligands, Ephrin-A.d (Efna.d), Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r, coordinately induce Otx expression in the neural lineage at the 32-cell stage. However, it has not been determined whether differential inputs of all of these signaling pathways are really necessary. It is possible that differential activation of one of these signaling pathways is sufficient and the remaining signaling pathways are activated in all cells at similar levels. To address this question, we developed a parameter-free method for determining a Boolean function for Otx expression in the present study. We treated activities of signaling pathways as Boolean values, and we also took all possible patterns of signaling gradients into consideration. We successfully determined a Boolean function that explains Otx expression in the animal hemisphere of wild-type and morphant embryos at the 32-cell stage. This Boolean function was not inconsistent with three sensing patterns, which represented whether or not individual cells received sufficient amounts of the signaling molecules. These sensing patterns all indicated that differential expression of Otx in the neural lineage is primarily determined by Efna.d, but not by differential inputs of Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r signaling. To confirm this hypothesis experimentally, we simultaneously knocked-down Admp, Gdf1/3-r, and Fgf9/16/20, and treated this triple morphant with recombinant bFGF and BMP4 proteins, which mimic Fgf9/16/20 and Admp/Gdf1/3-r activity, respectively. Although no differential inputs of Admp, Gdf1/3-r and Fgf9/16/20 signaling were expected under this experimental condition, Otx was expressed specifically in the neural lineage. Thus, direct cell-cell interactions through Efna.d play a critical role in patterning the ectoderm of the early ascidian embryo. PMID:26714026

  15. A Boolean Function for Neural Induction Reveals a Critical Role of Direct Intercellular Interactions in Patterning the Ectoderm of the Ascidian Embryo.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Naoyuki; Waki, Kana; Mochizuki, Atsushi; Satou, Yutaka

    2015-12-01

    A complex system of multiple signaling molecules often produce differential gene expression patterns in animal embryos. In the ascidian embryo, four signaling ligands, Ephrin-A.d (Efna.d), Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r, coordinately induce Otx expression in the neural lineage at the 32-cell stage. However, it has not been determined whether differential inputs of all of these signaling pathways are really necessary. It is possible that differential activation of one of these signaling pathways is sufficient and the remaining signaling pathways are activated in all cells at similar levels. To address this question, we developed a parameter-free method for determining a Boolean function for Otx expression in the present study. We treated activities of signaling pathways as Boolean values, and we also took all possible patterns of signaling gradients into consideration. We successfully determined a Boolean function that explains Otx expression in the animal hemisphere of wild-type and morphant embryos at the 32-cell stage. This Boolean function was not inconsistent with three sensing patterns, which represented whether or not individual cells received sufficient amounts of the signaling molecules. These sensing patterns all indicated that differential expression of Otx in the neural lineage is primarily determined by Efna.d, but not by differential inputs of Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r signaling. To confirm this hypothesis experimentally, we simultaneously knocked-down Admp, Gdf1/3-r, and Fgf9/16/20, and treated this triple morphant with recombinant bFGF and BMP4 proteins, which mimic Fgf9/16/20 and Admp/Gdf1/3-r activity, respectively. Although no differential inputs of Admp, Gdf1/3-r and Fgf9/16/20 signaling were expected under this experimental condition, Otx was expressed specifically in the neural lineage. Thus, direct cell-cell interactions through Efna.d play a critical role in patterning the ectoderm of the early ascidian embryo.

  16. Nitric Oxide Affects ERK Signaling through Down-Regulation of MAP Kinase Phosphatase Levels during Larval Development of the Ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Palumbo, Anna

    2014-01-01

    In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis larval development and metamorphosis require a complex interplay of events, including nitric oxide (NO) production, MAP kinases (ERK, JNK) and caspase-3 activation. We have previously shown that NO levels affect the rate of metamorphosis, regulate caspase activity and promote an oxidative stress pathway, resulting in protein nitration. Here, we report that NO down-regulates MAP kinase phosphatases (mkps) expression affecting positively ERK signaling. By pharmacological approach, we observed that the reduction of endogenous NO levels caused a decrease of ERK phosphorylation, whereas increasing levels of NO induced ERK activation. We have also identified the ERK gene network affected by NO, including mpk1, mpk3 and some key developmental genes by quantitative gene expression analysis. We demonstrate that NO induces an ERK-independent down-regulation of mkp1 and mkp3, responsible for maintaining the ERK phosphorylation levels necessary for transcription of key metamorphic genes, such as the hormone receptor rev-erb and the van willebrand protein vwa1c. These results add new insights into the role played by NO during larval development and metamorphosis in Ciona, highlighting the cross-talk between different signaling pathways. PMID:25058405

  17. The diatom-derived aldehyde decadienal affects life cycle transition in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis through nitric oxide/ERK signalling

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Immacolata; Ercolesi, Elena; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Palumbo, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) are fatty-acid-derived metabolites produced by some microalgae, including different diatom species. PUAs are mainly produced as a wound-activated defence mechanism against microalgal predators or released from senescent cells at the end of a bloom. PUAs, including 2,4-trans-decadienal (DD), induce deleterious effects on embryonic and larval development of several planktonic and benthic organisms. Here, we report on the effects of DD on larval development and metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ciona larval development is regulated by the cross-talking of different molecular events, including nitric oxide (NO) production, ERK activation and caspase 3-dependent apoptosis. We report that treatment with DD at the competence larval stage results in a delay in metamorphosis. DD affects redox balance by reducing total glutathione and NO levels. By biochemical and quantitative gene expression analysis, we identify the NO-signalling network affected by DD, including the upregulation of ERK phosphatase mkp1 and consequent reduction of ERK phosphorylation, with final changes in the expression of downstream ERK target genes. Overall, these results give new insights into the molecular pathways induced in marine organisms after exposure to PUAs during larval development, demonstrating that this aldehyde affects key checkpoints of larval transition from the vegetative to the reproductive life stage. PMID:25788553

  18. Evaluation of Cancer Preventive Activity and Structure-Activity Relationships of 3-Demethylubiquinone Q2, Isolated from the Ascidian Aplidium glabrum, and its Synthetic Analogues

    PubMed Central

    Fedorov, Sergey N.; Radchenko, Oleg S.; Shubina, Larisa K.; Balaneva, Nadezhda N.; Bode, Ann M.; Stonik, Valentin A.; Dong, Zigang

    2006-01-01

    Purpose 3-Demethylubiquinone Q2 (1) was isolated from the ascidian Aplidium glabrum. The cancer preventive properties and the structure-activity relationship for 3-demethylubiquinone Q2 (1) and 12 of its synthetic analogues (3–14) are reported. Methods Compounds 3–14, having one or several di- or triprenyl substitutions and quinone moieties with methoxyls in different positions, were synthesized. The cancer preventive properties of compounds 1 and 3–14 were tested in JB6 Cl41 mouse skin cells, using a variety of assessments, including the MTS assay, flow cytometry, and soft agar assay. Statistical nonparametric methods were used to confirm statistical significance. Results All quinones tested were shown to inhibit JB6 Cl41 cell transformation, to induce apoptosis, AP-1 and NF-κB activity, and to inhibit p53 activity. The most promising effects were indicated for compounds containing two isoprene units in a side chain and a methoxyl group at the para-position to a polyprenyl substitution. Conclusions Quinones 1 and 3–14 demonstrated cancer preventive activity in JB6 Cl41 cells, which may be attributed to the induction of p53-independent apoptosis. These activities depended on the length of side chains and on the positions of the methoxyl groups in the quinone part of the molecule. PMID:16320003

  19. A pipeline for the systematic identification of non-redundant full-ORF cDNAs for polymorphic and evolutionary divergent genomes: Application to the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Gilchrist, Michael J.; Sobral, Daniel; Khoueiry, Pierre; Daian, Fabrice; Laporte, Batiste; Patrushev, Ilya; Matsumoto, Jun; Dewar, Ken; Hastings, Kenneth E.M.; Satou, Yutaka; Lemaire, Patrick; Rothbächer, Ute

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide resources, such as collections of cDNA clones encoding for complete proteins (full-ORF clones), are crucial tools for studying the evolution of gene function and genetic interactions. Non-model organisms, in particular marine organisms, provide a rich source of functional diversity. Marine organism genomes are, however, frequently highly polymorphic and encode proteins that diverge significantly from those of well-annotated model genomes. The construction of full-ORF clone collections from non-model organisms is hindered by the difficulty of predicting accurately the N-terminal ends of proteins, and distinguishing recent paralogs from highly polymorphic alleles. We report a computational strategy that overcomes these difficulties, and allows for accurate gene level clustering of transcript data followed by the automated identification of full-ORFs with correct 5′- and 3′-ends. It is robust to polymorphism, includes paralog calling and does not require evolutionary proximity to well annotated model organisms. We developed this pipeline for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a highly polymorphic member of the divergent sister group of the vertebrates, emerging as a powerful model organism to study chordate gene function, Gene Regulatory Networks and molecular mechanisms underlying human pathologies. Using this pipeline we have generated the first full-ORF collection for a highly polymorphic marine invertebrate. It contains 19,163 full-ORF cDNA clones covering 60% of Ciona coding genes, and full-ORF orthologs for approximately half of curated human disease-associated genes. PMID:26025923

  20. The occurrence of the colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. on Georges Bank gravel habitat: ecological observations and potential effects on groundfish and scallop fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine, P.C.; Collie, J.S.; Reid, R.N.; Asch, R.G.; Guida, V.G.; Blackwood, D.S.

    2007-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. is present on the Georges Bank fishing grounds in a gravel habitat where the benthic invertebrate fauna has been monitored annually since 1994. The species was not noted before 2002 when large colonies were first observed; and by 2003 and 2004 it covered large areas of the seabed at some locations. The latest survey in 2005 documented the tunicate's presence in two gravel areas that total more than 67 nm2 (230 km2). The affected area is located on the Northern Edge of the bank in United States waters near the U.S./Canada boundary ( Fig. 1). This is the first documented offshore occurrence of a species that has colonized eastern U.S. coastal waters from New York to Maine during the past 15–20 years ( U.S. Geological Survey, 2006). Video imagery shows colonies coalescing to form large mats that cover more than 50% of the seabed along some video/photo transects. The affected area is an immobile pebble and cobble pavement that lies at water depths of 40 to 65 m where strong semidiurnal tidal currents reach speeds of 1 to 2 kt (50–100 cm/s). The water column is mixed year round, ensuring a constant supply of nutrients to the seabed. Annual temperatures range from 4 to 15 °C ( Mountain and Holzwarth, 1989). The gravel areas are bounded by sand ridges whose mobile surfaces are moved daily by the strong tidal currents. Studies commenced here in 1994 to characterize the gravel habitat and to document the effects of fishing disturbance on it ( Collie et al., 2005).

  1. Evolution of the chordate regeneration blastema: Differential gene expression and conserved role of notch signaling during siphon regeneration in the ascidian Ciona.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Mayuko; Goricki, Spela; Byerly, Mardi S; Satoh, Noriyuki; Jeffery, William R

    2015-09-15

    The regeneration of the oral siphon (OS) and other distal structures in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis occurs by epimorphosis involving the formation of a blastema of proliferating cells. Despite the longstanding use of Ciona as a model in molecular developmental biology, regeneration in this system has not been previously explored by molecular analysis. Here we have employed microarray analysis and quantitative real time RT-PCR to identify genes with differential expression profiles during OS regeneration. The majority of differentially expressed genes were downregulated during OS regeneration, suggesting roles in normal growth and homeostasis. However, a subset of differentially expressed genes was upregulated in the regenerating OS, suggesting functional roles during regeneration. Among the upregulated genes were key members of the Notch signaling pathway, including those encoding the delta and jagged ligands, two fringe modulators, and to a lesser extent the notch receptor. In situ hybridization showed a complementary pattern of delta1 and notch gene expression in the blastema of the regenerating OS. Chemical inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway reduced the levels of cell proliferation in the branchial sac, a stem cell niche that contributes progenitor cells to the regenerating OS, and in the OS regeneration blastema, where siphon muscle fibers eventually re-differentiate. Chemical inhibition also prevented the replacement of oral siphon pigment organs, sensory receptors rimming the entrance of the OS, and siphon muscle fibers, but had no effects on the formation of the wound epidermis. Since Notch signaling is involved in the maintenance of proliferative activity in both the Ciona and vertebrate regeneration blastema, the results suggest a conserved evolutionary role of this signaling pathway in chordate regeneration. The genes identified in this investigation provide the foundation for future molecular analysis of OS regeneration.

  2. Ci-Rga, a gene encoding an MtN3/saliva family transmembrane protein, is essential for tissue differentiation during embryogenesis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Mayuko; Wada, Shuichi; Kobayashi, Kenji; Satoh, Nori

    2005-09-01

    A novel gene (Ci-Rga) essential for tissue differentiation during embryogenesis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis is reported here. This gene was identified through functional screening of Ciona genes required for development by translational inhibition experiments with morpholino antisense oligonucleotides. The deduced protein of Ci-Rga contains two copies of a domain with unknown function called the MtN3/saliva domain. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Ci-Rga belongs to the MtN3/saliva family of genes conserved among metazoans and plants, and is an ortholog of mouse Rga (Recombination-activating gene 1 gene activation). During Ciona embryogenesis, both maternal and zygotic transcripts of Ci-Rga were expressed. Translational inhibition of Ci-Rga with specific morpholino resulted in abnormal embryos in which the cleavage pattern became atypical and expression of marker genes for each of the six major tissues, namely the endoderm, muscle, mesenchyme, notochord, neural tissue, and epidermis, was lost or suppressed at the tailbud stage. Although differentiation of all the six major tissues was affected by Ci-Rga knock-down, the degree of abnormalities and the timing of appearance of abnormalities were different among tissues. Expression analysis of developmentally important genes involved in the fate specification, such as Ci-Bra, Ci-Twist-like1a, Ci-Otx, Ci-Fgf9/16/20, Ci-Lhx3, Ci-FoxD, and Ci-Tbx6b, showed that an initial step of the fate specification of notochord, mesenchyme, and neural tissue, but not of endoderm or muscle, is impaired in the knock-down embryo. These results showed that Ci-Rga is a multifunctional gene essential for tissue differentiation during embryogenesis, and is primarily required for the fate specification of notochord, mesenchyme, and neural tissue, and provide some insights into the function of this little-known group of genes.

  3. Evolution of the chordate regeneration blastema: Differential gene expression and conserved role of notch signaling during siphon regeneration in the ascidian Ciona.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Mayuko; Goricki, Spela; Byerly, Mardi S; Satoh, Noriyuki; Jeffery, William R

    2015-09-15

    The regeneration of the oral siphon (OS) and other distal structures in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis occurs by epimorphosis involving the formation of a blastema of proliferating cells. Despite the longstanding use of Ciona as a model in molecular developmental biology, regeneration in this system has not been previously explored by molecular analysis. Here we have employed microarray analysis and quantitative real time RT-PCR to identify genes with differential expression profiles during OS regeneration. The majority of differentially expressed genes were downregulated during OS regeneration, suggesting roles in normal growth and homeostasis. However, a subset of differentially expressed genes was upregulated in the regenerating OS, suggesting functional roles during regeneration. Among the upregulated genes were key members of the Notch signaling pathway, including those encoding the delta and jagged ligands, two fringe modulators, and to a lesser extent the notch receptor. In situ hybridization showed a complementary pattern of delta1 and notch gene expression in the blastema of the regenerating OS. Chemical inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway reduced the levels of cell proliferation in the branchial sac, a stem cell niche that contributes progenitor cells to the regenerating OS, and in the OS regeneration blastema, where siphon muscle fibers eventually re-differentiate. Chemical inhibition also prevented the replacement of oral siphon pigment organs, sensory receptors rimming the entrance of the OS, and siphon muscle fibers, but had no effects on the formation of the wound epidermis. Since Notch signaling is involved in the maintenance of proliferative activity in both the Ciona and vertebrate regeneration blastema, the results suggest a conserved evolutionary role of this signaling pathway in chordate regeneration. The genes identified in this investigation provide the foundation for future molecular analysis of OS regeneration. PMID:26206613

  4. Reference gene selection for quantitative gene expression studies during biological invasions: A test on multiple genes and tissues in a model ascidian Ciona savignyi.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xuena; Gao, Yangchun; Jiang, Bei; Zhou, Zunchun; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-01-15

    As invasive species have successfully colonized a wide range of dramatically different local environments, they offer a good opportunity to study interactions between species and rapidly changing environments. Gene expression represents one of the primary and crucial mechanisms for rapid adaptation to local environments. Here, we aim to select reference genes for quantitative gene expression analysis based on quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) for a model invasive ascidian, Ciona savignyi. We analyzed the stability of ten candidate reference genes in three tissues (siphon, pharynx and intestine) under two key environmental stresses (temperature and salinity) in the marine realm based on three programs (geNorm, NormFinder and delta Ct method). Our results demonstrated only minor difference for stability rankings among the three methods. The use of different single reference gene might influence the data interpretation, while multiple reference genes could minimize possible errors. Therefore, reference gene combinations were recommended for different tissues - the optimal reference gene combination for siphon was RPS15 and RPL17 under temperature stress, and RPL17, UBQ and TubA under salinity treatment; for pharynx, TubB, TubA and RPL17 were the most stable genes under temperature stress, while TubB, TubA and UBQ were the best under salinity stress; for intestine, UBQ, RPS15 and RPL17 were the most reliable reference genes under both treatments. Our results suggest that the necessity of selection and test of reference genes for different tissues under varying environmental stresses. The results obtained here are expected to reveal mechanisms of gene expression-mediated invasion success using C. savignyi as a model species. PMID:26428313

  5. The colonial ascidian Didemnum sp. A: current distribution, basic biology and potential threat to marine communities of the northeast and west coasts of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bullard, S.G.; Lambert, G.; Carman, M.R.; Byrnes, J.; Whitlatch, R.B.; Ruiz, G.; Miller, R.J.; Harris, L.; Valentine, P.C.; Collie, J.S.; Pederson, J.; McNaught, D.C.; Cohen, A.N.; Asch, R.G.; Dijkstra, J.; Heinonen, K.

    2007-01-01

    Didemnum sp. A is a colonial ascidian with rapidly expanding populations on the east and west coasts of North America. The origin of Didemum sp. A is unknown. Populations were first observed on the northeast coast of the U.S. in the late 1980s and on the west coast during the 1990s. It is currently undergoing a massive population explosion and is now a dominant member of many subtidal communities on both coasts. To determine Didemnum sp. A's current distribution, we conducted surveys from Maine to Virginia on the east coast and from British Columbia to southern California on the west coast of the U.S. between 1998 and 2005. In nearshore locations Didemnum sp. A currently ranges from Eastport, Maine to Shinnecock Bay, New York on the east coast. On the west coast it has been recorded from Humboldt Bay to Port San Luis in California, several sites in Puget Sound, Washington, including a heavily fouled mussel culture facility, and several sites in southwestern British Columbia on and adjacent to oyster and mussel farms. The species also occurs at deeper subtidal sites (up to 81 m) off New England, including Georges, Stellwagen and Tillies Banks. On Georges Bank numerous sites within a 230 km2 area are 50–90% covered by Didemnum sp. A; large colonies cement the pebble gravel into nearly solid mats that may smother infaunal organisms. These observations suggest that Didemnum sp. A has the potential to alter marine communities and affect economically important activities such as fishing and aquaculture.

  6. Reference gene selection for quantitative gene expression studies during biological invasions: A test on multiple genes and tissues in a model ascidian Ciona savignyi.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xuena; Gao, Yangchun; Jiang, Bei; Zhou, Zunchun; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-01-15

    As invasive species have successfully colonized a wide range of dramatically different local environments, they offer a good opportunity to study interactions between species and rapidly changing environments. Gene expression represents one of the primary and crucial mechanisms for rapid adaptation to local environments. Here, we aim to select reference genes for quantitative gene expression analysis based on quantitative Real-Time PCR (qRT-PCR) for a model invasive ascidian, Ciona savignyi. We analyzed the stability of ten candidate reference genes in three tissues (siphon, pharynx and intestine) under two key environmental stresses (temperature and salinity) in the marine realm based on three programs (geNorm, NormFinder and delta Ct method). Our results demonstrated only minor difference for stability rankings among the three methods. The use of different single reference gene might influence the data interpretation, while multiple reference genes could minimize possible errors. Therefore, reference gene combinations were recommended for different tissues - the optimal reference gene combination for siphon was RPS15 and RPL17 under temperature stress, and RPL17, UBQ and TubA under salinity treatment; for pharynx, TubB, TubA and RPL17 were the most stable genes under temperature stress, while TubB, TubA and UBQ were the best under salinity stress; for intestine, UBQ, RPS15 and RPL17 were the most reliable reference genes under both treatments. Our results suggest that the necessity of selection and test of reference genes for different tissues under varying environmental stresses. The results obtained here are expected to reveal mechanisms of gene expression-mediated invasion success using C. savignyi as a model species.

  7. Variation in the composition of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, foraminifera and macroalgae across a pronounced in-to-offshore environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands coral reef complex.

    PubMed

    Cleary, D F R; Polónia, A R M; Renema, W; Hoeksema, B W; Rachello-Dolmen, P G; Moolenbeek, R G; Budiyanto, A; Yahmantoro; Tuti, Y; Giyanto; Draisma, S G A; Prud'homme van Reine, W F; Hariyanto, R; Gittenberger, A; Rikoh, M S; de Voogd, N J

    2016-09-30

    Substrate cover, water quality parameters and assemblages of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, benthic foraminifera and macroalgae were sampled across a pronounced environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands reef complex. Inshore sites mainly consisted of sand, rubble and turf algae with elevated temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyll concentrations and depauperate assemblages of all taxa. Live coral cover was very low inshore and mainly consisted of sparse massive coral heads and a few encrusting species. Faunal assemblages were more speciose and compositionally distinct mid- and offshore compared to inshore. There were, however, small-scale differences among taxa. Certain midshore sites, for example, housed assemblages resembling those typical of the inshore environment but this differed depending on the taxon. Substrate, water quality and spatial variables together explained from 31% (molluscs) to 72% (foraminifera) of the variation in composition. In general, satellite-derived parameters outperformed locally measured parameters.

  8. Phylogenetic study of the oxytocin-like immunoreactive system in invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, J; Takeda, N

    1988-01-01

    1. A phylogenetic study of oxytocin (OXT)-like immunoreactive cells was performed by the PAP method in the central nervous system of invertebrates. 2. The immunoreactivity was detected in the nerve cells of Hydra magnipapillata of the Coelenterata; Neanthes japonica and Pheretima communissima of the Annelida; Oncidium verrucosum, Limax marginatus and Meretrix lamarckii of the Mollusca; and Baratha brassica of the Arthropoda. 3. No immunoreactive cells were found in Bipalium sp. of the Platyhelminthes; Pomacea canaliculata, Aplysia kurodai, Bradybaena similaris and Achatina fulica of the Mollusca; and Gnorimosphaeroma rayi, Procambarus clarkii, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Helice tridens and Gryllus bimaculatus of the Arthropoda; Asterina pectinifera of the Echinodermata; and Halocynthia roretzi of the Protochordata. 4. These results demonstrate that an OXT-immunoreactive substance is widely present not only in vertebrates but also in invertebrates. 5. OXT seems to have been introduced into these invertebrates at an early stage of their phylogenetic history.

  9. Phylogenetic study of the arginine-vasotocin/arginine-vasopressin-like immunoreactive system in invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, J; Takeda, N

    1988-01-01

    1. A phylogenetic study of arg-vasotocin (AVT)/arg-vasopressin (AVP)-like immunoreactive cells was performed by the PAP method in the central nervous system of invertebrates. 2. The immunoreactivity was detected in the nerve cells of Hydra magnipapillata of the Coelenterata; Neanthes japonica and Pheretima communissima of the Annelida; Pomacea canaliculata, Aplysia kurodai, Oncidium verrucosum, Bradybaena similaris, Achatina fulica, Limax marginatus and Meretrix lamarckii of the Mollusca; Gnorimosphaeroma rayi, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Gryllus bimaculatus and Baratha brassicae of the Arthropoda; Asterina pectinifera of the Echinodermata; and Halocynthia roretzi of the Protochordata. 3. No immunoreactivity was detected in Bipalium sp. of the Platyhelminthes, or in Procambarus clarkii and Helice tridens of the Arthropoda. 4. From these results, it appears that AVT/AVP is a phylogenetically ancient peptide which is present in a wide variety of invertebrates. 5. The actions of AVT/AVP and its presence in invertebrates are discussed.

  10. Determination of toxic heavy metals in Echinodermata and Chordata species from South Korea.

    PubMed

    Choi, Ji Yeon; Habte, Girum; Khan, Naeem; Nho, Eun Yeong; Hong, Joon Ho; Choi, Hoon; Park, Kyung Su; Kim, Kyong Su

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed at analysing concentrations of heavy metals including arsenic, lead, cadmium, aluminium and mercury in commonly consumed seafood species belonging to Echinodermata (Anthocidaris crassispina and Stichopus japonicus) and Chordata (Halocynthia roretzi and Styela plicata). The samples were digested by a microwave system and analysed for As, Cd and Pb by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, for Al by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer and Hg by Direct Mercury Analyser. The analytical method was validated by determining sensitivity, linearity, precision, spiking recoveries and analysis of the Standard Reference Material (SRM) NIST 1566-b, an Oyster Tissue. Results showed considerably higher accumulation of Al and As in analysed samples, compared to Pb and Cd, while Hg had the lowest contamination. On comparison, the obtained results with the recommended standards by the Food and Agriculture Organization, European Commission and Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea, it was concluded that the analysed seafoods were safe and thus would not pose a threat to consumers.

  11. Determination of toxic heavy metals in Echinodermata and Chordata species from South Korea.

    PubMed

    Choi, Ji Yeon; Habte, Girum; Khan, Naeem; Nho, Eun Yeong; Hong, Joon Ho; Choi, Hoon; Park, Kyung Su; Kim, Kyong Su

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed at analysing concentrations of heavy metals including arsenic, lead, cadmium, aluminium and mercury in commonly consumed seafood species belonging to Echinodermata (Anthocidaris crassispina and Stichopus japonicus) and Chordata (Halocynthia roretzi and Styela plicata). The samples were digested by a microwave system and analysed for As, Cd and Pb by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, for Al by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer and Hg by Direct Mercury Analyser. The analytical method was validated by determining sensitivity, linearity, precision, spiking recoveries and analysis of the Standard Reference Material (SRM) NIST 1566-b, an Oyster Tissue. Results showed considerably higher accumulation of Al and As in analysed samples, compared to Pb and Cd, while Hg had the lowest contamination. On comparison, the obtained results with the recommended standards by the Food and Agriculture Organization, European Commission and Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea, it was concluded that the analysed seafoods were safe and thus would not pose a threat to consumers. PMID:24916139

  12. Chimeras and histocompatibility in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Sabbadin, A; Astorri, C

    1988-01-01

    Chimeras of B. schlosseri were prepared by pairwise combination of colonies sharing one allele at the fusibility gene locus (AD = AC chimeras). A frequent resorption of one of the partners was observed and the resorption time was shown to be significantly correlated with the relative size, the resorbing partner being usually the larger. Both in the whole chimeras, AD = AC, and in the separated partners, (AD)AC, the fusibility of AC was frequently altered. In AD = AC the fusion did not prevent entirely AC fusion with BC. The fusion frequency with BC was significantly higher than with BD and significantly higher in (AD)AC than in AD = AC. Repeated rejections with BC or both BC and BD, repeated fusions with BD, simultaneous or successive fusions and rejections especially with BD, over a period of several months, indicated a long lasting competitive interaction of AD and AC in (AD)AC chimeras. The persistence in these chimeras of the AD cell population was also confirmed by the chimeric electrophoretic pattern of PGI in most of them.

  13. Step-economical synthesis of the marine ascidian antibiotics cadiolide A, B, and D.

    PubMed

    Boukouvalas, John; Thibault, Charles

    2015-01-01

    A concise, modular and efficient synthesis of the title natural products is reported. Prominent steps include (i) one-pot assembly of a key β-aryl-α-benzoylbutenolide building block by regiocontrolled "click-unclick" oxazole-ynone Diels-Alder cycloaddition/cycloreversion and ensuing 2-alkoxyfuran hydrolysis and (ii) a protecting group-free vinylogous Knoevenagel condensation enabling rapid access to cadiolides A, B, and D from a common precursor.

  14. Molecular basis of canalization in an ascidian species complex adapted to different thermal conditions

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Atsuko; Kawashima, Takeshi; Fujie, Manabu; Hughes, Samantha; Satoh, Noriyuki; Shimeld, Sebastian M.

    2015-01-01

    Canalization is a result of intrinsic developmental buffering that ensures phenotypic robustness under genetic variation and environmental perturbation. As a consequence, animal phenotypes are remarkably consistent within a species under a wide range of conditions, a property that seems contradictory to evolutionary change. Study of laboratory model species has uncovered several possible canalization mechanisms, however, we still do not understand how the level of buffering is controlled in natural populations. We exploit wild populations of the marine chordate Ciona intestinalis to show that levels of buffering are maternally inherited. Comparative transcriptomics show expression levels of genes encoding canonical chaperones such as Hsp70 and Hsp90 do not correlate with buffering. However the expression of genes encoding endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones does correlate. We also show that ER chaperone genes are widely conserved amongst animals. Contrary to previous beliefs that expression level of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) can be used as a measurement of buffering levels, we propose that ER associated chaperones comprise a cellular basis for canalization. ER chaperones have been neglected by the fields of development, evolution and ecology, but their study will enhance understanding of both our evolutionary past and the impact of global environmental change. PMID:26577490

  15. A Maternal System Initiating the Zygotic Developmental Program through Combinatorial Repression in the Ascidian Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Kubo, Atsushi; Kari, Willi; Suzuki, Nobuhiro; Rothbächer, Ute

    2016-01-01

    Maternal factors initiate the zygotic developmental program in animal embryos. In embryos of the chordate, Ciona intestinalis, three maternal factors—Gata.a, β-catenin, and Zic-r.a—are required to establish three domains of gene expression at the 16-cell stage; the animal hemisphere, vegetal hemisphere, and posterior vegetal domains. Here, we show how the maternal factors establish these domains. First, only β-catenin and its effector transcription factor, Tcf7, are required to establish the vegetal hemisphere domain. Second, genes specifically expressed in the posterior vegetal domain have additional repressive cis-elements that antagonize the activity of β-catenin/Tcf7. This antagonizing activity is suppressed by Zic-r.a, which is specifically localized in the posterior vegetal domain and binds to DNA indirectly through the interaction with Tcf7. Third, Gata.a directs specific gene expression in the animal hemisphere domain, because β-catenin/Tcf7 weakens the Gata.a-binding activity for target sites through a physical interaction in the vegetal cells. Thus, repressive regulation through protein-protein interactions among the maternal transcription factors is essential to establish the first distinct domains of gene expression in the chordate embryo. PMID:27152625

  16. Molecular basis of canalization in an ascidian species complex adapted to different thermal conditions.

    PubMed

    Sato, Atsuko; Kawashima, Takeshi; Fujie, Manabu; Hughes, Samantha; Satoh, Noriyuki; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2015-01-01

    Canalization is a result of intrinsic developmental buffering that ensures phenotypic robustness under genetic variation and environmental perturbation. As a consequence, animal phenotypes are remarkably consistent within a species under a wide range of conditions, a property that seems contradictory to evolutionary change. Study of laboratory model species has uncovered several possible canalization mechanisms, however, we still do not understand how the level of buffering is controlled in natural populations. We exploit wild populations of the marine chordate Ciona intestinalis to show that levels of buffering are maternally inherited. Comparative transcriptomics show expression levels of genes encoding canonical chaperones such as Hsp70 and Hsp90 do not correlate with buffering. However the expression of genes encoding endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones does correlate. We also show that ER chaperone genes are widely conserved amongst animals. Contrary to previous beliefs that expression level of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) can be used as a measurement of buffering levels, we propose that ER associated chaperones comprise a cellular basis for canalization. ER chaperones have been neglected by the fields of development, evolution and ecology, but their study will enhance understanding of both our evolutionary past and the impact of global environmental change. PMID:26577490

  17. Genomewide gene-associated microsatellite markers for the model invasive ascidian, Ciona intestinalis species complex.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yaping; Chen, Yiyong; Xiong, Wei; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-05-01

    The vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis species complex, has become a good model for ecological and evolutionary studies, especially those focusing on microevolution associated with rapidly changing environments. However, genomewide genetic markers are still lacking. Here, we characterized a large set of genomewide gene-associated microsatellite markers for C. intestinalis spA (=C. robusta). Bioinformatic analysis identified 4654 microsatellites from expressed sequence tags (ESTs), 2126 of which successfully assigned to chromosomes were selected for further analysis. Based on the distribution evenness on chromosomes, function annotation and suitability for primer design, we chose 545 candidate microsatellites for further characterization. After amplification validation and variation assessment, 218 loci were polymorphic in at least one of the two populations collected from the coast of Arenys de Mar, Spain (N = 24-48), and Cape Town, South Africa (N = 24-33). The number of alleles, observed heterozygosity and expected heterozygosity ranged from 2 to 11, 0 to 0.833 and 0.021 to 0.818, and from 2 to 10, 0 to 0.879 and 0.031 to 0.845 for the Spanish and African populations, respectively. When all microsatellites were tested for cross-species utility, only 60 loci (25.8%) could be successfully amplified and all loci were polymorphic in C. intestinalis spB. A high level of genomewide polymorphism is likely responsible for the low transferability. The large set of microsatellite markers characterized here is expected to provide a useful genomewide resource for ecological and evolutionary studies using C. intestinalis as a model. PMID:26505988

  18. Ascidian and amphioxus Adh genes correlate functional and molecular features of the ADH family expansion during vertebrate evolution.

    PubMed

    Cañestro, Cristian; Albalat, Ricard; Hjelmqvist, Lars; Godoy, Laura; Jörnvall, Hans; Gonzàlez-Duarte, Roser

    2002-01-01

    The alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) family has evolved into at least eight ADH classes during vertebrate evolution. We have characterized three prevertebrate forms of the parent enzyme of this family, including one from an urochordate (Ciona intestinalis) and two from cephalochordates (Branchiostoma floridae and Branchiostoma lanceolatum). An evolutionary analysis of the family was performed gathering data from protein and gene structures, exon-intron distribution, and functional features through chordate lines. Our data strongly support that the ADH family expansion occurred 500 million years ago, after the cephalochordate/vertebrate split, probably in the gnathostome subphylum line of the vertebrates. Evolutionary rates differ between the ancestral, ADH3 (glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase), and the emerging forms, including the classical alcohol dehydrogenase, ADH1, which has an evolutionary rate 3.6-fold that of the ADH3 form. Phylogenetic analysis and chromosomal mapping of the vertebrate Adh gene cluster suggest that family expansion took place by tandem duplications, probably concurrent with the extensive isoform burst observed before the fish/tetrapode split, rather than through the large-scale genome duplications also postulated in early vertebrate evolution. The absence of multifunctionality in lower chordate ADHs and the structures compared argue in favor of the acquisition of new functions in vertebrate ADH classes. Finally, comparison between B. floridae and B. lanceolatum Adhs provides the first estimate for a cephalochordate speciation, 190 million years ago, probably concomitant with the beginning of the drifting of major land masses from the Pangea.

  19. The Non-Proliferative Nature of Ascidian Folliculogenesis as a Model of Highly Ordered Cellular Topology Distinct from Proliferative Epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Azzag, Karim; Chelin, Yoann; Rousset, François; Le Goff, Emilie; Martinand-Mari, Camille; Martinez, Anne-Marie; Maurin, Bernard; Daujat-Chavanieu, Martine; Godefroy, Nelly; Averseng, Julien; Mangeat, Paul; Baghdiguian, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have addressed why and how mono‐stratified epithelia adopt a polygonal topology. One major additional, and yet unanswered question is how the frequency of different cell shapes is achieved and whether the same distribution applies between non-proliferative and proliferative epithelia. We compared different proliferative and non-proliferative epithelia from a range of organisms as well as Drosophila melanogaster mutants, deficient for apoptosis or hyperproliferative. We show that the distribution of cell shapes in non‐proliferative epithelia (follicular cells of five species of tunicates) is distinctly, and more stringently organized than proliferative ones (cultured epithelial cells and Drosophila melanogaster imaginal discs). The discrepancy is not supported by geometrical constraints (spherical versus flat monolayers), number of cells, or apoptosis events. We have developed a theoretical model of epithelial morphogenesis, based on the physics of divided media, that takes into account biological parameters such as cell‐cell contact adhesions and tensions, cell and tissue growth, and which reproduces the effects of proliferation by increasing the topological heterogeneity observed experimentally. We therefore present a model for the morphogenesis of epithelia where, in a proliferative context, an extended distribution of cell shapes (range of 4 to 10 neighbors per cell) contrasts with the narrower range of 5-7 neighbors per cell that characterizes non proliferative epithelia. PMID:26000769

  20. The ascidian natural product eusynstyelamide B is a novel topoisomerase II poison that induces DNA damage and growth arrest in prostate and breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Liberio, Michelle S; Sadowski, Martin C; Davis, Rohan A; Rockstroh, Anja; Vasireddy, Raj; Lehman, Melanie L; Nelson, Colleen C

    2015-12-22

    As part of an anti-cancer natural product drug discovery program, we recently identified eusynstyelamide B (EB), which displayed cytotoxicity against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (IC50 = 5 μM) and induced apoptosis. Here, we investigated the mechanism of action of EB in cancer cell lines of the prostate (LNCaP) and breast (MDA-MB-231). EB inhibited cell growth (IC50 = 5 μM) and induced a G2 cell cycle arrest, as shown by a significant increase in the G2/M cell population in the absence of elevated levels of the mitotic marker phospho-histone H3. In contrast to MDA-MB-231 cells, EB did not induce cell death in LNCaP cells when treated for up to 10 days. Transcript profiling and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis suggested that EB activated DNA damage pathways in LNCaP cells. Consistent with this, CHK2 phosphorylation was increased, p21CIP1/WAF1 was up-regulated and CDC2 expression strongly reduced by EB. Importantly, EB caused DNA double-strand breaks, yet did not directly interact with DNA. Analysis of topoisomerase II-mediated decatenation discovered that EB is a novel topoisomerase II poison.

  1. Application of the cis-regulatory region of a heat-shock protein 70 gene to heat-inducible gene expression in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Kawaguchi, Akane; Utsumi, Nanami; Morita, Maki; Ohya, Aya; Wada, Shuichi

    2015-01-01

    Temporally controlled induction of gene expression is a useful technique for analyzing gene function. To make such a technique possible in Ciona intestinalis embryos, we employed the cis-regulatory region of the heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) gene Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like for heat-inducible gene expression in C. intestinalis embryos. We showed that Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like becomes heat shock-inducible by the 32-cell stage during embryogenesis. The 5'-upstream region of Ci-HSPA1/6/7-like, which contains heat-shock elements indispensable for heat-inducible gene expression, induces the heat shock-dependent expression of a reporter gene in the whole embryo from the 32-cell to the middle gastrula stages and in progressively restricted areas of embryos in subsequent stages. We assessed the effects of heat-shock treatments in different conditions on the normality of embryos and induction of transgene expression. We evaluated the usefulness of this technique through overexpression experiments on the well-characterized, developmentally relevant gene, Ci-Bra, and showed that this technique is applicable for inferring the gene function in C. intestinalis.

  2. Endozoicomonas Are Specific, Facultative Symbionts of Sea Squirts.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper U; Funch, Peter; Jensen, Jeppe; Obst, Matthias; López-Legentil, Susanna; Schramm, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are marine filter feeders and harbor diverse microbiota that can exhibit a high degree of host-specificity. Pharyngeal samples of Scandinavian and Mediterranean ascidians were screened for consistently associated bacteria by culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Representatives of the Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Hahellaceae) clade were detected in the ascidian species Ascidiella aspersa, Ascidiella scabra, Botryllus schlosseri, Ciona intestinalis, Styela clava, and multiple Ascidia/Ascidiella spp. In total, Endozoicomonas was detected in more than half of all specimens screened, and in 25-100% of the specimens for each species. The retrieved Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA gene sequences formed an ascidian-specific subclade, whose members were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as extracellular microcolonies in the pharynx. Two strains of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were isolated in pure culture and characterized. Both strains are chemoorganoheterotrophs and grow on mucin (a mucus glycoprotein). The strains tested negative for cytotoxic or antibacterial activity. Based on these observations, we propose ascidian-associated Endozoicomonas to be commensals, living off the mucus continuously secreted into the pharynx. Members of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were also detected in seawater from the Scandinavian sampling site, which suggests acquisition of the symbionts by horizontal transmission. The combined results indicate a host-specific, yet facultative symbiosis between ascidians and Endozoicomonas. PMID:27462299

  3. Endozoicomonas Are Specific, Facultative Symbionts of Sea Squirts

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Lars; Kjeldsen, Kasper U.; Funch, Peter; Jensen, Jeppe; Obst, Matthias; López-Legentil, Susanna; Schramm, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are marine filter feeders and harbor diverse microbiota that can exhibit a high degree of host-specificity. Pharyngeal samples of Scandinavian and Mediterranean ascidians were screened for consistently associated bacteria by culture-dependent and -independent approaches. Representatives of the Endozoicomonas (Gammaproteobacteria, Hahellaceae) clade were detected in the ascidian species Ascidiella aspersa, Ascidiella scabra, Botryllus schlosseri, Ciona intestinalis, Styela clava, and multiple Ascidia/Ascidiella spp. In total, Endozoicomonas was detected in more than half of all specimens screened, and in 25–100% of the specimens for each species. The retrieved Endozoicomonas 16S rRNA gene sequences formed an ascidian-specific subclade, whose members were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as extracellular microcolonies in the pharynx. Two strains of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were isolated in pure culture and characterized. Both strains are chemoorganoheterotrophs and grow on mucin (a mucus glycoprotein). The strains tested negative for cytotoxic or antibacterial activity. Based on these observations, we propose ascidian-associated Endozoicomonas to be commensals, living off the mucus continuously secreted into the pharynx. Members of the ascidian-specific Endozoicomonas subclade were also detected in seawater from the Scandinavian sampling site, which suggests acquisition of the symbionts by horizontal transmission. The combined results indicate a host-specific, yet facultative symbiosis between ascidians and Endozoicomonas. PMID:27462299

  4. Relationships between deep-sea tunicate populations west and east of the Straits of Gibraltar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monniot, Claude; Monniot, Françoise

    Twenty-four species of tunicates were collected from deep bottoms on each side of the Gibraltar sill, in the adjacent Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. In the Atlantic, stations bathed by Atlantic and Mediterranean waters were both sampled. No transport of ascidian taxa by the outflow of Mediterranean water into the Atlantic is apparent. The alternative hypothesis of an Atlantic origin of bathyal ascidian species in the Mediterranean Sea is proposed.

  5. Development of the neuromuscular system during asexual propagation in an invertebrate chordate.

    PubMed

    Tiozzo, Stefano; Murray, Maureen; Degnan, Bernard M; De Tomaso, Anthony W; Croll, Roger P

    2009-08-01

    Botryllus schlosseri is a colonial ascidian, and the closest relative to vertebrates that can completely regenerate its entire body, including all somatic and germline tissues, using an asexual developmental pathway called blastogenesis. This regenerative potential exhibited by Botryllus and other colonial ascidians does not exist in any other chordate and makes B. schlosseri a promising model to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration. In this report, we describe postembryonic myogenesis and characterized the development of the neural system during blastogenic development. alpha-Tubulin immunoreactivity revealed a high correlation with previous studies on the motor nervous system. The pattern of the serotoninergic system in the adult reflects that observed in solitary ascidians, but in early blastogenesis suggests a morphogenic role of this monoamine. In summary, this study provides the morphological framework to dissect the mechanisms underlying the ability to regenerate entire organ systems as an adult in a chordate model.

  6. Origin and Variation of Tunicate Secondary Metabolites⊥

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Eric W.; Donia, Mohamed S.; McIntosh, John A.; Fricke, W. Florian; Ravel, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Ascidians (tunicates) are rich sources of structurally elegant, pharmaceutically potent secondary metabolites and more recently, potential biofuels. It has been demonstrated that some of these compounds are made by symbiotic bacteria and not by the animals themselves, and for a few other compounds evidence exists supporting a symbiotic origin. In didemnid ascidians, compounds are highly variable even in apparently identical animals. Recently, we have explained this variation at the genomic and metagenomic levels and have applied the basic scientific findings to drug discovery and development. This review discusses what is currently known about the origin and variation of symbiotically derived metabolites in ascidians, focusing on Family Didemnidae, where most research has occurred. Applications of our basic studies are also described. PMID:22233390

  7. Recent N-Atom Containing Compounds from Indo-Pacific Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Kashman, Yoel; Bishara, Ashgan; Aknin, Maurice

    2010-01-01

    A large variety of unique N-atom containing compounds (alkaloids) without terrestrial counterparts, have been isolated from marine invertebrates, mainly sponges and ascidians. Many of these compounds display interesting biological activities. In this report we present studies on nitrogenous compounds, isolated by our group during the last few years, from Indo-Pacific sponges, one ascidian and one gorgonian. The major part of the review deals with metabolites from the Madagascar sponge Fascaplysinopsis sp., namely, four groups of secondary metabolites, the salarins, tulearins, taumycins and tausalarins. PMID:21139846

  8. Screening for antioxidant and detoxification responses in Perna canaliculus Gmelin exposed to an antifouling bioactive intended for use in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick Louis; Burritt, David; Heasman, Kevin; Jeffs, Andrew; Kuhajek, Jeanne

    2013-10-01

    Polygodial is a drimane sesquiterpene dialdehyde derived from certain terrestrial plant species that potently inhibits ascidian metamorphosis, and thus has potential for controlling fouling ascidians in bivalve aquaculture. The current study examined the effects of polygodial on a range of biochemical biomarkers of oxidative stress and detoxification effort in the gills of adult Perna canaliculus Gmelin. Despite high statistical power and the success of positive controls, the antioxidant enzymes glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPOX), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD); thiol status, as measured by total glutathione (GSH-t), glutathione disulphide (GSSG), and GSH-t/GSSG ratio; end products of oxidative damage, lipid hydroperoxides (LHPO) and protein carbonyls; and detoxification pathways, represented by GSH-t and glutathione S-transferase (GST), were unaffected in the gills of adult P. canaliculus exposed to polygodial at 0.1 or 1 × the 99% effective dose in fouling ascidians (IC₉₉). Similarly, GR levels, thiol status, and detoxification activities were unaffected in mussels exposed to polygodial at 10 × the IC₉₉, although GPOX, CAT, and SOD activities increased. However, the increases were small relative to positive controls, no corresponding oxidative damage was detected, and this concentration greatly exceeds effective doses required to inhibit fouling ascidians in aquaculture. These findings compliment a previous study that established the insensitivity to polygodial of P. canaliculus growth, condition, and mitochondrial functioning, providing additional support for the suitability of polygodial for use as an antifouling agent in bivalve aquaculture.

  9. Preliminary study on the occurrence of brominated organic compounds in Dutch marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Kotterman, Michiel; van der Veen, Ike; van Hesselingen, Judith; Leonards, Pim; Osinga, Ronald; de Boer, Jacob

    2003-07-01

    The extracts of three marine organisms; the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, the brown seaweed Sargassum muticum and the sponge Halichondria panicea, all elicited a number of brominated compounds, some of which were tentatively identified. Tribromophenol was observed in all species. This compound, also industrially produced as flame retardant and fungicide, was likely due to endogenous production. PMID:12919829

  10. ACAM, a novel member of the neural IgCAM family, mediates anterior neural tube closure in a primitive chordate.

    PubMed

    Morales Diaz, Heidi; Mejares, Emil; Newman-Smith, Erin; Smith, William C

    2016-01-01

    The neural IgCAM family of cell adhesion molecules, which includes NCAM and related molecules, has evolved via gene duplication and alternative splicing to allow for a wide range of isoforms with distinct functions and homophilic binding properties. A search for neural IgCAMs in ascidians (Ciona intestinalis, Ciona savignyi, and Phallusia mammillata) has identified a novel set of truncated family members that, unlike the known members, lack fibronectin III domains and consist of only repeated Ig domains. Within the tunicates this form appears to be unique to the ascidians, and it was designated ACAM, for Ascidian Cell Adhesion Molecule. In C. intestinalis ACAM is expressed in the developing neural plate and neural tube, with strongest expression in the anterior sensory vesicle precursor. Unlike the two other conventional neural IgCAMs in C. intestinalis, which are expressed maternally and throughout the morula and blastula stages, ACAM expression initiates at the gastrula stage. Moreover, C. intestinalis ACAM is a target of the homeodomain transcription factor OTX, which plays an essential role in the development of the anterior central nervous system. Morpholino (MO) knockdown shows that ACAM is required for neural tube closure. In MO-injected embryos neural tube closure was normal caudally, but the anterior neuropore remained open. A similar phenotype was seen with overexpression of a secreted version of ACAM. The presence of ACAM in ascidians highlights the diversity of this gene family in morphogenesis and neurodevelopment. PMID:26542009

  11. How the sea squirt nucleus tells mesoderm Not to be endoderm

    PubMed Central

    Parton, Richard M.; Davis, Ilan

    2011-01-01

    Sea squirts are simple invertebrate chordates. In this issue, Takatori et al show nuclear migration within ascidian mesendodermal cells enables polarized localization of Not mRNA, which encodes a homeobox protein that distinguishes mesoderm from endoderm fates. The link between nuclear migration and mRNA localization suggests exciting parallels with protostomes. PMID:20951340

  12. Further EST analysis of endocrine genes that are preferentially expressed in the neural complex of Ciona intestinalis: receptor and enzyme genes associated with endocrine system in the neural complex.

    PubMed

    Sekiguchi, Toshio; Kawashima, Takeshi; Satou, Yutaka; Satoh, Nori

    2007-01-15

    Identification of orthologs of vertebrate neuropeptides and hypothalamic hormones in the neural complex of ascidians suggests integral roles of the ascidian neural complex in the endocrine system. In the present study, we investigated endocrine-related genes expressed in the neural complex of Ciona intestinalis. Comprehensive analyses of 3'-end sequences of the neural complex cDNAs placed 10,029 clones into 4051 independent clusters or genes, 1524 of them being expressed preferentially in this organ. Comparison of the 1524 genes with the human proteome databank demonstrated that 476 matched previously identified human proteins with distinct functions. Further analyses of sequence similarity of the 476 genes demonstrated that 21 genes are candidates for those involved in the endocrine system. Although we cannot detect hormone or peptide candidates, we found 21 genes such as receptors for peptide ligands, receptor-modulating proteins, and processing enzymes. We then characterized the Ciona prohormone convertase 2 (Ci-PC2) and carboxypeptidase E (Ci-CPE), which are associated with endoproteolytic processing of peptide hormone precursors. Furthermore, genes encoding these transcripts are expressed specifically in the neural complex of young adult ascidians. These data provide the molecular basis for further functional studies of the endocrine role of the neural complex of ascidians.

  13. The habitat engineering tunicate Microcosmus sabatieri Roule, 1885 and its associated peracarid epifauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voultsiadou, Eleni; Pyrounaki, Maria-Myrto; Chintiroglou, Chariton

    2007-08-01

    The solitary ascidian Microcosmus sabatieri is a common ecosystem engineering species on hard bottom sublittoral communities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Peracarida are common inhabitants of biological substrata, such as algae, sponges and ascidians and have been proven to be very sensitive to changes in environmental conditions. The aim of this study was to present and analyse, for the first time, the structure of the peracarid epifaunal assemblage inhabiting this Mediterranean endemic, edible and commercially exploited species. During sampling in the North Aegean Sea, 41 specimens were collected and examined for their peracarid epifauna. Overall, 38 peracarid species were identified, a high number in comparison to those recorded in the few other relevant studies on ascidian epifauna. The great majority of the species were amphipods. By contrast, in terms of abundance, tanaidaceans was the dominant taxon, with Leptochelia savigni being by far the most dominant species. Tube-dwelling suspension-feeders dominated the peracarid epifauna of this tunicate. The suspension feeding mode of epifaunal peracarids is possibly favoured by the high filtration rate of M. sabatieri which is large sized and has an extensive branchial surface. It is suggested that the tube-dwelling habit of tanaidaceans and some amphipods offering extra protection, may further explain their dominance as elements of the epifauna, in contrast to other inquiline peracarids which prefer to search for shelter inside the canals of sponges or, in a few cases inside the mantle cavity of ascidians. Differences in peracarid abundance among the ascidian specimens were attributed to the reproductive and dispersal habits of the former. Species richness, abundance and diversity of the motile peracarid epifauna was dependent on the biomass of the ascidian, but most strongly on the biomass of the sessile epibiontic organisms, such as algae and sponges which, in some cases, had a higher biomass than the ascidian

  14. On some historical and theoretical foundations of the concept of chordates.

    PubMed

    Raineri, Margherita

    2009-03-01

    The concept of chordates arose from the alliance between embryology and evolution in the second half of the nineteenth century, as a result of a theoretical elaboration on Kowalevsky's discoveries about some fundamental similarities between the ontogeny of the lancelet, a putative primitive fish, and that of ascidians, then classified as molluscs. Carrying out his embryological studies in the light of Darwin's theory and von Baer's account of the germ layers, Kowalevsky was influenced by the German tradition of idealistic morphology that was concerned with transformations driven by laws of form, rather than with a gradual evolution occurring by means of variation, selection and adaptation. In agreement with this tradition, Kowalevsky interpreted the vertebrate-like structures of the ascidian larva according to von Kölliker's model of heterogeneous generation. Then, he asserted the homology of the germ layers and their derivatives in different types of animals and suggested a common descent of annelids and vertebrates, in agreement with Saint-Hilaire's hypothesis of the unity of composition of body plans, but in contrast with Haeckel's idea of the Chordonia (chordates). In The Descent of Man Darwin quoted Kowalevsky's discoveries, but accepted Haeckel's interpretation of the ascidian embryology within the frame of a monophyletic tree of life that was produced by the fundamental biogenetic law. Joining embryology to evolution in the light of idealistic morphology, the biogenetic law turned out to be instrumental in bringing forth different evolutionary hypotheses: it was used by Haeckel and Darwin to link vertebrates to invertebrates by means of the concept of chordates, and by Kowalevsky to corroborate the annelid theory of the origin of vertebrates. Yet, there was still another interpretation of Kowalevsky's discoveries. As an adherent to empiricism and to Cuvier's theory of types, von Baer asserted that these discoveries did not prove convincingly a dorsal

  15. Sialic acids as link to Japanese scientistsDedicated to Prof. Dr. Tamio Yamakawa.

    PubMed Central

    SCHAUER, Roland

    2016-01-01

    This manuscript is dedicated to Prof. Tamio Yamakawa and describes my cooperations on sialic acid-related topics with Japanese scientists during the last 40 years. We studied sialic acids and their O-acetylated derivatives in the sea urchin Pseudocentrotus depressus, in Halocynthia species, and in human and bovine milk. In seafood we mainly searched for N-glycolylneuraminic acid. With synthetic substrates it was shown that sialic acid O-acetylation at C-4 hinders the activity of sialidases, with the exception of viral enzymes. The biosynthesis of Neu5Gc was discussed and the distribution of this sialic acid in dogs followed in modern literature and reviewed regarding their migration. An excellent source of sialic acids is edible bird nest substance (Collocalia mucin) which was used for the synthesis of sialylation inhibitors. PMID:27063181

  16. Sialic acids as link to Japanese scientists.

    PubMed

    Schauer, Roland

    2016-01-01

    This manuscript is dedicated to Prof. Tamio Yamakawa and describes my cooperations on sialic acid-related topics with Japanese scientists during the last 40 years. We studied sialic acids and their O-acetylated derivatives in the sea urchin Pseudocentrotus depressus, in Halocynthia species, and in human and bovine milk. In seafood we mainly searched for N-glycolylneuraminic acid. With synthetic substrates it was shown that sialic acid O-acetylation at C-4 hinders the activity of sialidases, with the exception of viral enzymes. The biosynthesis of Neu5Gc was discussed and the distribution of this sialic acid in dogs followed in modern literature and reviewed regarding their migration. An excellent source of sialic acids is edible bird nest substance (Collocalia mucin) which was used for the synthesis of sialylation inhibitors. PMID:27063181

  17. Effects of simulated eutrophication and overfishing on algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Gulf of Thailand.

    PubMed

    Stuhldreier, Ines; Bastian, Pepe; Schönig, Eike; Wild, Christian

    2015-03-15

    Coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand are highly under-investigated regarding responses to anthropogenic stressors. Thus, this study simulated overfishing and eutrophication using herbivore exclosure cages and slow-release fertilizer to study the in-situ effects on benthic algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Thailand. Settlement of organisms and the development of organic matter on light-exposed and shaded tiles were quantified weekly/biweekly over a study period of 12 weeks. Simulated eutrophication did not significantly influence response parameters, while simulated overfishing positively affected dry mass, turf algae height and fleshy macroalgae occurrence on light-exposed tiles. On shaded tiles, settlement of crustose coralline algae decreased, while abundances of ascidians increased compared to controls. An interactive effect of both stressors was not observed. These results hint to herbivory as actual key controlling factor on the benthic community, and fleshy macroalgae together with ascidians as potential bioindicators for local overfishing. PMID:25649838

  18. Coexistence of amorphous and crystalline calcium carbonate in skeletal tissues.

    PubMed

    Aizenberg, J; Weiner, S; Addadi, L

    2003-01-01

    We describe a new type of composite skeletal tissues in which calcite and stabilized amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) coexist in well-defined domains. The organisms that form such structures are widely separated in the animal kingdom phylogenetic tree: calcareous sponges and ascidians. This paper compares the microstructures of their composite skeletal elements: The triradiate spicules from the sponge Clathrina are composed of a core of calcite embedded in a thick layer of ACC and covered by a thin calcitic envelope; the tunic spicules from the ascidian Pyura pachydermatina are composed of a core of ACC enveloped by an insoluble organic sheath and covered by a thick calcitic layer. We compare and contrast the macromolecules associated with different amorphous and crystalline phases and their ability to induce the formation of stabilized ACC in vitro.

  19. Glycosaminoglycans analogs from marine invertebrates: structure, biological effects, and potential as new therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Pavão, Mauro S G

    2014-01-01

    In this review, several glycosaminoglycan analogs obtained from different marine invertebrate are reported. The structure, biological activity and mechanism of action of these unique molecules are detailed reviewed and exemplified by experiments in vitro and in vivo. Among the glycans studied are low-sulfated heparin-like polymers from ascidians, containing significant anticoagulant activity and no bleeding effect; dermatan sulfates with significant neurite outgrowth promoting activity and anti-P-selectin from ascidians, and a unique fucosylated chondroitin sulfate from sea cucumbers, possessing anticoagulant activity after oral administration and high anti P- and L-selectin activities. The therapeutic value and safety of these invertebrate glycans have been extensively proved by several experimental animal models of diseases, including thrombosis, inflammation and metastasis. These invertebrate glycans can be obtained in high concentrations from marine organisms that have been used as a food source for decades, and usually obtained from marine farms in sufficient quantities to be used as starting material for new therapeutics.

  20. Contaminant cocktails: Interactive effects of fertiliser and copper paint on marine invertebrate recruitment and mortality.

    PubMed

    Lawes, Jasmin C; Clark, Graeme F; Johnston, Emma L

    2016-01-15

    Understanding interactive effects of contaminants is critical to predict how human activities change ecosystem structure and function. We examined independent and interactive effects of two contaminants (fertiliser and copper paint) on the recruitment, mortality, and total abundance of developing invertebrate communities in the field, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after substrate submersion. Contaminants affected community structure differently, and produced an intermediate community in combination. Fertiliser increased recruitment and decreased mortality of active filter feeders (ascidians and barnacles), while copper paint decreased recruitment and increased mortality of some taxa. Contaminants applied together affected some taxa (e.g. Didemnid ascidians) antagonistically, as fertiliser mitigated adverse effects of copper paint. Recruitment of active filter feeders appears to be indicative of nutrient enrichment, and their increased abundance may reduce elevated nutrients in modified waterways. This study demonstrates the need to consider both independent and interactive effects of contaminants on marine communities in the field. PMID:26632524

  1. Effects of simulated eutrophication and overfishing on algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Gulf of Thailand.

    PubMed

    Stuhldreier, Ines; Bastian, Pepe; Schönig, Eike; Wild, Christian

    2015-03-15

    Coral reefs in the Gulf of Thailand are highly under-investigated regarding responses to anthropogenic stressors. Thus, this study simulated overfishing and eutrophication using herbivore exclosure cages and slow-release fertilizer to study the in-situ effects on benthic algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Thailand. Settlement of organisms and the development of organic matter on light-exposed and shaded tiles were quantified weekly/biweekly over a study period of 12 weeks. Simulated eutrophication did not significantly influence response parameters, while simulated overfishing positively affected dry mass, turf algae height and fleshy macroalgae occurrence on light-exposed tiles. On shaded tiles, settlement of crustose coralline algae decreased, while abundances of ascidians increased compared to controls. An interactive effect of both stressors was not observed. These results hint to herbivory as actual key controlling factor on the benthic community, and fleshy macroalgae together with ascidians as potential bioindicators for local overfishing.

  2. Contaminant cocktails: Interactive effects of fertiliser and copper paint on marine invertebrate recruitment and mortality.

    PubMed

    Lawes, Jasmin C; Clark, Graeme F; Johnston, Emma L

    2016-01-15

    Understanding interactive effects of contaminants is critical to predict how human activities change ecosystem structure and function. We examined independent and interactive effects of two contaminants (fertiliser and copper paint) on the recruitment, mortality, and total abundance of developing invertebrate communities in the field, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after substrate submersion. Contaminants affected community structure differently, and produced an intermediate community in combination. Fertiliser increased recruitment and decreased mortality of active filter feeders (ascidians and barnacles), while copper paint decreased recruitment and increased mortality of some taxa. Contaminants applied together affected some taxa (e.g. Didemnid ascidians) antagonistically, as fertiliser mitigated adverse effects of copper paint. Recruitment of active filter feeders appears to be indicative of nutrient enrichment, and their increased abundance may reduce elevated nutrients in modified waterways. This study demonstrates the need to consider both independent and interactive effects of contaminants on marine communities in the field.

  3. Two new species of Distaplia (Tunicata: Ascidiacea) from the SW Atlantic, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Lagger, Cristian; Tatián, Marcos

    2013-01-01

    The ascidian fauna from the Southwestern Atlantic (Argentine Sea) have scarcely been studied and have rarely been sampled. The existing scanty ascidian records are from specimens collected by dredging many decades ago. During samplings in the San Matias Gulf (Río Negro, Patagonia), two new Distaplia species were found. Distaplia naufragii sp. nov. was collected in the subtidal zone attached to a shipwreck, while the other species, Distaplia fortuita sp. nov. was found released by the tides in the sandy intertidal zone. These two new species differ deeply from each other in the size and morphology of their zooids. They represent one third of the known species belonging to the family Holozoidae in the SW Atlantic. These results reinforce the importance of new studies in this extensive but little explored area that is, in addition, susceptible to invasion by non-native species. PMID:26120704

  4. Distinctive expression patterns of Hedgehog pathway genes in the Ciona intestinalis larva: implications for a role of Hedgehog signaling in postembryonic development and chordate evolution.

    PubMed

    Islam, A F M Tariqul; Moly, Pricila Khan; Miyamoto, Yuki; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2010-02-01

    Members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family are soluble ligands that orchestrate a wide spectrum of developmental processes ranging from left-right axis determination of the embryo to tissue patterning and organogenesis. Tunicates, including ascidians, are the closest relatives of vertebrates, and elucidation of Hh signaling in ascidians should provide an important clue towards better understanding the role of this pathway in development. In previous studies, expression patterns of genes encoding Hh and its downstream factor Gli have been examined up to the tailbud stage in the ascidian embryo, but their expression in the larva has not been reported. Here we show the spatial expression patterns of hedgehog (Ci-hh1, Ci-hh2), patched (Ci-ptc), smoothened (Ci-smo), and Gli (Ci-Gli) orthologs in larvae of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The expression patterns of Ci-hh2 and Ci-Gli dramatically change during the period between the late tailbud embryo and the swimming larva. At the larval stage, expression of Ci-Gli was found in a central part of the endoderm and in the visceral ganglion, while Ci-hh2 was expressed in two discrete endodermal regions, anteriorly and posteriorly adjacent to the cells expressing Gli. The expression patterns of these genes suggest that the Hh ligand controls postembryonic development of the endoderm and the central nervous system. Expression of a gene encoding Hh in the anterior and/or pharyngeal endoderm is probably an ancient chordate character; diversification of regulation and targets of the Hh signaling in this region may have played a major role in the evolution of chordate body structures.

  5. Marine Natural Meroterpenes: Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity

    PubMed Central

    Simon-Levert, Annabel; Menniti, Christophe; Soulère, Laurent; Genevière, Anne-Marie; Barthomeuf, Chantal; Banaigs, Bernard; Witczak, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Meroterpenes are compounds of mixed biogenesis, isolated from plants, microorganisms and marine invertebrates. We have previously isolated and determined the structure for a series of meroterpenes extracted from the ascidian Aplidium aff. densum. Here, we demonstrate the chemical synthesis of three of them and their derivatives, and evaluate their biological activity on two bacterial strains, on sea urchin eggs, and on cancerous and healthy human cells. PMID:20390109

  6. Acidification effects on biofouling communities: winners and losers.

    PubMed

    Peck, Lloyd S; Clark, Melody S; Power, Deborah; Reis, João; Batista, Frederico M; Harper, Elizabeth M

    2015-05-01

    How ocean acidification affects marine life is a major concern for science and society. However, its impacts on encrusting biofouling communities, that are both the initial colonizers of hard substrata and of great economic importance, are almost unknown. We showed that community composition changed significantly, from 92% spirorbids, 3% ascidians and 4% sponges initially to 47% spirorbids, 23% ascidians and 29% sponges after 100 days in acidified conditions (pH 7.7). In low pH, numbers of the spirorbid Neodexiospira pseudocorrugata were reduced ×5 compared to controls. The two ascidians present behaved differently with Aplidium sp. decreasing ×10 in pH 7.7, whereas Molgula sp. numbers were ×4 higher in low pH than controls. Calcareous sponge (Leucosolenia sp.) numbers increased ×2.5 in pH 7.7 over controls. The diatom and filamentous algal community was also more poorly developed in the low pH treatments compared to controls. Colonization of new surfaces likewise showed large decreases in spirorbid numbers, but numbers of sponges and Molgula sp. increased. Spirorbid losses appeared due to both recruitment failure and loss of existing tubes. Spirorbid tubes are comprised of a loose prismatic fabric of calcite crystals. Loss of tube materials appeared due to changes in the binding matrix and not crystal dissolution, as SEM analyses showed crystal surfaces were not pitted or dissolved in low pH conditions. Biofouling communities face dramatic future changes with reductions in groups with hard exposed exoskeletons and domination by soft-bodied ascidians and sponges.

  7. Ciona Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Veeman, Michael T.; Chiba, Shota; Smith, William C.

    2010-01-01

    Ascidians, such as Ciona, are invertebrate chordates with simple embryonic body plans and small, relatively non-redundant genomes. Ciona genetics is in its infancy compared to many other model systems, but it provides a powerful method for studying this important vertebrate outgroup. Here we give basic methods for genetic analysis of Ciona, including protocols for controlled crosses both by natural spawning and by the surgical isolation of gametes; the identification and propagation of mutant lines; and strategies for positional cloning. PMID:21805273

  8. Biogeography of Phallusia nigra: is it really black and white?

    PubMed

    Vandepas, Lauren E; Oliveira, Livia M; Lee, Serina S C; Hirose, Euichi; Rocha, Rosana M; Swalla, Billie J

    2015-02-01

    Ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) are an important group for the study of invasive species biology due to rapid generation times, potential for biofouling, and role as filter feeders in an ecosystem. Phallusia nigra is a putative cosmopolitan ascidian that has been described as introduced or invasive in a number of regions in the Indo-Pacific Ocean (India, Japan, and Hawaii) and in the Mediterranean. The taxonomic description of P. nigra includes a striking smooth, black tunic and large size. However, there are at least two similar Phallusia species-P. philippinensis and P. fumigata-which also have dark black tunics and can be difficult to discern from P. nigra. The distribution of P. nigra broadly overlaps with P. philippinensis in the Indo-Pacific and P. fumigata in the Mediterranean. A morphological comparison of P. nigra from Japan, the Caribbean coast of Panama, and Brazil found that Atlantic and Pacific samples were different species and led us to investigate the range of P. nigra using morphological and molecular analyses. We sequenced 18S rDNA and cytochrome oxidase B of individual ascidians from the Red Sea, Greece, Singapore, Japan, Caribbean Panama, Florida, and Brazil. Our results show that identification of the disparate darkly pigmented species has been difficult, and that several reports of P. nigra are likely either P. fumigata or P. philippinensis. Here we include detailed taxonomic descriptions of the distinguishing features of these three species and sequences for molecular barcoding in an effort to have ranges and potential invasions corrected in the ascidian literature. PMID:25745100

  9. Phallusiasterol C, A New Disulfated Steroid from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata.

    PubMed

    Imperatore, Concetta; Senese, Maria; Aiello, Anna; Luciano, Paolo; Fiorucci, Stefano; D'Amore, Claudio; Carino, Adriana; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-01-01

    A new sulfated sterol, phallusiasterol C (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Phallusia fumigata and its structure has been determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic (mainly 2D NMR) analysis. The possible role in regulating the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activity of phallusiasterol C has been investigated; although the new sterol resulted inactive, this study adds more items to the knowledge of the structure-PXR regulating activity relationships in the case of sulfated steroids. PMID:27322293

  10. Phallusiasterol C, A New Disulfated Steroid from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata

    PubMed Central

    Imperatore, Concetta; Senese, Maria; Aiello, Anna; Luciano, Paolo; Fiorucci, Stefano; D’Amore, Claudio; Carino, Adriana; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-01-01

    A new sulfated sterol, phallusiasterol C (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Phallusia fumigata and its structure has been determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic (mainly 2D NMR) analysis. The possible role in regulating the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activity of phallusiasterol C has been investigated; although the new sterol resulted inactive, this study adds more items to the knowledge of the structure-PXR regulating activity relationships in the case of sulfated steroids. PMID:27322293

  11. A global assembly line to cyanobactins

    PubMed Central

    Donia, Mohamed S.; Ravel, Jacques; Schmidt, Eric W.

    2009-01-01

    More than 100 cyclic peptides harboring heterocyclized residues are known from marine ascidians, sponges and different genera of cyanobacteria. Here, we report an assembly line responsible for the biosynthesis of these diverse peptides, now called cyanobactins, both in symbiotic and free-living cyanobacteria. By comparing five new cyanobactin biosynthetic clusters, we could produce the prenylated antitumor preclinical candidate, trunkamide, in E. coli culture using genetic engineering. PMID:18425112

  12. Phallusiasterol C, A New Disulfated Steroid from the Mediterranean Tunicate Phallusia fumigata.

    PubMed

    Imperatore, Concetta; Senese, Maria; Aiello, Anna; Luciano, Paolo; Fiorucci, Stefano; D'Amore, Claudio; Carino, Adriana; Menna, Marialuisa

    2016-01-01

    A new sulfated sterol, phallusiasterol C (1), has been isolated from the Mediterranean ascidian Phallusia fumigata and its structure has been determined on the basis of extensive spectroscopic (mainly 2D NMR) analysis. The possible role in regulating the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activity of phallusiasterol C has been investigated; although the new sterol resulted inactive, this study adds more items to the knowledge of the structure-PXR regulating activity relationships in the case of sulfated steroids.

  13. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Luter, Heidi M; Duckworth, Alan R; Wolff, Carsten W; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth; Whalan, Steve

    2016-01-01

    One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered <5% of each tile. In contrast, mean abundances of sponges, ascidians, algae, and bryozoans combined was generally less than 20% of total recruitment, with percentage cover ranging between 15-30% per tile. Coral recruitment was very low, with <1 recruit per tile identified. A hierarchal analysis of variation over a range of spatial and temporal scales showed significant spatio-temporal variation in recruitment patterns, but the highest variability occurred at the lowest spatial scale examined (1 m-among tiles). Temporal variability in recruitment of both numbers of taxa and percentage cover was also evident across both summer and winter. Recruitment across depth varied for some taxonomic groups like algae, sponges and ascidians, with greatest differences in summer. This study presents some of the first data on benthic recruitment within the northern GBR and provides a greater understanding of population ecology for coral reefs.

  14. Gene expression profiles of FABP genes in protochordates, Ciona intestinalis and Branchiostoma belcheri.

    PubMed

    Orito, Wataru; Ohhira, Fuyuko; Ogasawara, Michio

    2015-11-01

    Fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are small intracellular proteins associated with the transportation of fatty acids. Members of the FABPs share similar amino acid sequences and tertiary structures and form, together with a member of the cellular retinol-binding proteins (CRBPs), the intracellular-lipid-binding protein (iLBP) family. In vertebrates, several types of FABP have been isolated and classified into three subfamilies: 2-4. In invertebrates, several FABP-related proteins have been reported in protostomes and amphioxus; however, little is known about the relationship between their phylogenetic positions and expression patterns. We have performed a genome-wide survey of FABP-related genes in protochordates: amphioxus Branchiostoma belcheri and the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Comprehensive BLAST searches in NCBI and the Ciona Ghost Database by using amino acid sequences of all FABPs have revealed that the ascidian C. intestinalis and amphioxus B. belcheri contain six and seven FABP-related genes in their haploid genomes, respectively. Expression pattern analyses by whole-mount in situ hybridization in Ciona transparent juveniles and serial-section in situ hybridizations in adult amphioxus have revealed that all genes are mainly expressed in the postpharyngeal digestive tract. In particular, the expression of FABP-related genes of subfamily-2 (liver/ileum type) and subfamily-3 (intestinal type) in the ascidian pyloric gland and amphioxus hepatic cecum provides insight into the evolution of hepatic-related structures of chordates and FABP-related genes.

  15. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef

    PubMed Central

    Luter, Heidi M.; Duckworth, Alan R.; Wolff, Carsten W.; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth; Whalan, Steve

    2016-01-01

    One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered <5% of each tile. In contrast, mean abundances of sponges, ascidians, algae, and bryozoans combined was generally less than 20% of total recruitment, with percentage cover ranging between 15–30% per tile. Coral recruitment was very low, with <1 recruit per tile identified. A hierarchal analysis of variation over a range of spatial and temporal scales showed significant spatio-temporal variation in recruitment patterns, but the highest variability occurred at the lowest spatial scale examined (1 m—among tiles). Temporal variability in recruitment of both numbers of taxa and percentage cover was also evident across both summer and winter. Recruitment across depth varied for some taxonomic groups like algae, sponges and ascidians, with greatest differences in summer. This study presents some of the first data on benthic recruitment within the northern GBR and provides a greater understanding of population ecology for coral reefs. PMID:27049650

  16. Recruitment Variability of Coral Reef Sessile Communities of the Far North Great Barrier Reef.

    PubMed

    Luter, Heidi M; Duckworth, Alan R; Wolff, Carsten W; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth; Whalan, Steve

    2016-01-01

    One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered <5% of each tile. In contrast, mean abundances of sponges, ascidians, algae, and bryozoans combined was generally less than 20% of total recruitment, with percentage cover ranging between 15-30% per tile. Coral recruitment was very low, with <1 recruit per tile identified. A hierarchal analysis of variation over a range of spatial and temporal scales showed significant spatio-temporal variation in recruitment patterns, but the highest variability occurred at the lowest spatial scale examined (1 m-among tiles). Temporal variability in recruitment of both numbers of taxa and percentage cover was also evident across both summer and winter. Recruitment across depth varied for some taxonomic groups like algae, sponges and ascidians, with greatest differences in summer. This study presents some of the first data on benthic recruitment within the northern GBR and provides a greater understanding of population ecology for coral reefs. PMID:27049650

  17. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Louis J; Baeza, J Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance) may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms.

  18. Linking climate change and biological invasions: Ocean warming facilitates nonindigenous species invasions.

    PubMed

    Stachowicz, John J; Terwin, Jeffrey R; Whitlatch, Robert B; Osman, Richard W

    2002-11-26

    The spread of exotic species and climate change are among the most serious global environmental threats. Each independently causes considerable ecological damage, yet few data are available to assess whether changing climate might facilitate invasions by favoring introduced over native species. Here, we compare our long-term record of weekly sessile marine invertebrate recruitment with interannual variation in water temperature to assess the likely effect of climate change on the success and spread of introduced species. For the three most abundant introduced species of ascidian (sea squirt), the timing of the initiation of recruitment was strongly negatively correlated with winter water temperature, indicating that invaders arrived earlier in the season in years with warmer winters. Total recruitment of introduced species during the following summer also was positively correlated with winter water temperature. In contrast, the magnitude of native ascidian recruitment was negatively correlated with winter temperature (more recruitment in colder years) and the timing of native recruitment was unaffected. In manipulative laboratory experiments, two introduced compound ascidians grew faster than a native species, but only at temperatures near the maximum observed in summer. These data suggest that the greatest effects of climate change on biotic communities may be due to changing maximum and minimum temperatures rather than annual means. By giving introduced species an earlier start, and increasing the magnitude of their growth and recruitment relative to natives, global warming may facilitate a shift to dominance by nonnative species, accelerating the homogenization of the global biota. PMID:12422019

  19. Seasonal variability in the recruitment of macrofouling community in Kudankulam waters, east coast of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satheesh, S.; Godwin Wesley, S.

    2008-09-01

    The seasonal variability in fouling community recruitment on submerged artificial substratum was studied in Kudankulam coastal water, Gulf of Mannar, East coast of India for a period of two years, from May 2003 to April 2005. The results indicated that the fouling community recruitment occurred throughout the year with varying intensities. Barnacles, ascidians, polychaetes, bivalves and seaweeds were the major fouling groups observed from the test panels. Maximum fouling biomass of 9.17 g dm -2 was observed during August 2004 and a minimum value of 0.233 g dm -2 in February 2004. The biomass build-up on test panels was relatively high during the premonsoon season and low during the postmonsoon months. The number of barnacles settled on the panels varied from 1 to 4460 no. dm -2. The maximum percentage of the ascidian coverage (72%) on test panels was observed during March 2005. In general, July-December was the period of intense recruitment for barnacles and March-May was the period for ascidians.

  20. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Louis J; Baeza, J Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance) may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms. PMID:26910474

  1. Linking climate change and biological invasions: Ocean warming facilitates nonindigenous species invasions.

    PubMed

    Stachowicz, John J; Terwin, Jeffrey R; Whitlatch, Robert B; Osman, Richard W

    2002-11-26

    The spread of exotic species and climate change are among the most serious global environmental threats. Each independently causes considerable ecological damage, yet few data are available to assess whether changing climate might facilitate invasions by favoring introduced over native species. Here, we compare our long-term record of weekly sessile marine invertebrate recruitment with interannual variation in water temperature to assess the likely effect of climate change on the success and spread of introduced species. For the three most abundant introduced species of ascidian (sea squirt), the timing of the initiation of recruitment was strongly negatively correlated with winter water temperature, indicating that invaders arrived earlier in the season in years with warmer winters. Total recruitment of introduced species during the following summer also was positively correlated with winter water temperature. In contrast, the magnitude of native ascidian recruitment was negatively correlated with winter temperature (more recruitment in colder years) and the timing of native recruitment was unaffected. In manipulative laboratory experiments, two introduced compound ascidians grew faster than a native species, but only at temperatures near the maximum observed in summer. These data suggest that the greatest effects of climate change on biotic communities may be due to changing maximum and minimum temperatures rather than annual means. By giving introduced species an earlier start, and increasing the magnitude of their growth and recruitment relative to natives, global warming may facilitate a shift to dominance by nonnative species, accelerating the homogenization of the global biota.

  2. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (Solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri

    PubMed Central

    Ambrosio, Louis J.; Baeza, J. Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Host monopolization theory predicts symbiotic organisms inhabiting morphologically simple, relatively small and scarce hosts to live solitarily as a result of territorial behaviors. We tested this prediction with Tunicotheres moseri, an endosymbiotic crab dwelling in the atrial chamber of the morphologically simple, small, and relatively scarce ascidian Styela plicata. As predicted, natural populations of T. moseri inhabit ascidian hosts solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. Furthermore, laboratory experiments demonstrated that intruder crabs take significantly longer to colonize previously infected compared to uninfected hosts, indicating as expected, that resident crabs exhibit monopolization behaviors. While territoriality does occur, agonistic behaviors employed by T. moseri do not mirror the overt behaviors commonly reported for other territorial crustaceans. Documented double and triple cohabitations in the field coupled with laboratory observations demonstrating the almost invariable success of intruder crabs colonizing occupied hosts, suggest that territoriality is ineffective in completely explaining the solitary social habit of this species. Additional experiments showed that T. moseri juveniles and adults, when searching for ascidians use chemical cues to avoid hosts occupied by conspecifics. This conspecific avoidance behavior reported herein is a novel strategy most likely employed to preemptively resolve costly territorial conflicts. In general, this study supports predictions central to host monopolization theory, but also implies that alternative behavioral strategies (i.e., conflict avoidance) may be more important than originally thought in explaining the host use pattern of symbiotic organisms. PMID:26910474

  3. Gene expression profiles of FABP genes in protochordates, Ciona intestinalis and Branchiostoma belcheri.

    PubMed

    Orito, Wataru; Ohhira, Fuyuko; Ogasawara, Michio

    2015-11-01

    Fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are small intracellular proteins associated with the transportation of fatty acids. Members of the FABPs share similar amino acid sequences and tertiary structures and form, together with a member of the cellular retinol-binding proteins (CRBPs), the intracellular-lipid-binding protein (iLBP) family. In vertebrates, several types of FABP have been isolated and classified into three subfamilies: 2-4. In invertebrates, several FABP-related proteins have been reported in protostomes and amphioxus; however, little is known about the relationship between their phylogenetic positions and expression patterns. We have performed a genome-wide survey of FABP-related genes in protochordates: amphioxus Branchiostoma belcheri and the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Comprehensive BLAST searches in NCBI and the Ciona Ghost Database by using amino acid sequences of all FABPs have revealed that the ascidian C. intestinalis and amphioxus B. belcheri contain six and seven FABP-related genes in their haploid genomes, respectively. Expression pattern analyses by whole-mount in situ hybridization in Ciona transparent juveniles and serial-section in situ hybridizations in adult amphioxus have revealed that all genes are mainly expressed in the postpharyngeal digestive tract. In particular, the expression of FABP-related genes of subfamily-2 (liver/ileum type) and subfamily-3 (intestinal type) in the ascidian pyloric gland and amphioxus hepatic cecum provides insight into the evolution of hepatic-related structures of chordates and FABP-related genes. PMID:25957647

  4. Self/non-self recognition mechanisms in sexual reproduction: new insight into the self-incompatibility system shared by flowering plants and hermaphroditic animals.

    PubMed

    Sawada, Hitoshi; Morita, Masaya; Iwano, Megumi

    2014-08-01

    Sexual reproduction is an essential process for generating a genetic variety in the next generation. However, most flowering plants and hermaphroditic animals potentially allow self-fertilization. Approximately 60% of angiosperms possess a self-incompatibility (SI) system to avoid inbreeding. The SI system functions at a process of interaction between pollen (or pollen tube) and the pistil. These SI-responsible factors (S-determinants) in pollen and the pistil are encoded by highly polymorphic multiallelic genes in the S-locus, which are tightly linked making a single haplotype. Different taxonomic families utilize different types of S-determinant proteins. In contrast to the plant system, the mechanisms of SI in simultaneously hermaphroditic animals are largely unknown. Among them, promising candidates for SI in ascidians (primitive chordates) were recently identified. The SI system in the ascidian Cionaintestinalis was found to be very similar to those in flowering plants: The products of sperm- and egg-side multiallelic SI genes, which are tight linked and highly polymorphic, appear to be responsible for the SI system as revealed by genetic analysis. These findings led us to speculate that the SI systems in plants and animals evolved in a manner of convergent evolution. Here, we review the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the SI system in flowering plants, particularly Brassicacea, and in ascidians from the viewpoint of common mechanisms shared by plants and animals.

  5. Cellulose hydrolysis ability of a Clostridium thermocellum cellulosome containing small-size scaffolding protein CipA.

    PubMed

    Deng, Lan; Mori, Yutaka; Sermsathanaswadi, Junjarus; Apiwatanapiwat, Waraporn; Kosugi, Akihiko

    2015-10-20

    Mutant Clostridium thermocellum YM72 that produces small-size scaffolding protein CipA (ssCipA) was isolated from wild-type YM4. Sequencing of ssCipA revealed that two domains, cohesin 6 and cohesin 7, were not present. Cellulosome prepared from YM72 exhibited a significant reduction of hydrolysis ability on crystalline celluloses such as Sigmacell type-20 and cellulose from Halocynthia. To investigate this influence in vitro, artificial cellulosomes were assembled as recombinant CipA (rCipA) and ssCipA (rssCipA) using native free-cellulosomal subunits. The cellulosome assembled using rssCipA showed a 1.8-fold decrease in the hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose compared with that of rCipA. However, no significant differences in the hydrolysis of carboxymethylcellulose and acid-swollen cellulose were observed. One protein band was missing from the complex that was assembled using rssCipA (confirmed by native-PAGE). The missing protein was identified as CelJ, which is a major cellulosomal subunit. This suggests that insufficient cooperation of CelJ into the cellulosome results in the significant reduction of hydrolysis toward crystalline cellulose. These results indicate that cohesin 6 and 7 may be responsible for the cooperation of CelJ through cohesin and dockerin interactions, and adequate cooperation of CelJ into the cellulosome is important for significant hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose.

  6. High quality draft genome sequence of the slightly halophilic bacterium Halomonas zhanjiangensis type strain JSM 078169T (DSM 21076T) from a sea urchin in southern China

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yu; Li, Rui; Gao, Xiao-Yang; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Haynes, Matthew; Lobos, Elizabeth; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Rohde, Manfred; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Tindall, Brian J.; Markowitz, Victor; Woyke, Tanja; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Li, Wen-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Halomonas zhanjiangensis Chen et al. 2009 is a member of the genus Halomonas, family Halomonadaceae, class Gammaproteobacteria. Representatives of the genus Halomonas are a group of halophilic bacteria often isolated from salty environments. The type strain H. zhanjiangensis JSM 078169T was isolated from a sea urchin (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus) collected from the South China Sea. The genome of strain JSM 078169T is the fourteenth sequenced genome in the genus Halomonas and the fifteenth in the family Halomonadaceae. The other thirteen genomes from the genus Halomonas are H. halocynthiae, H. venusta, H. alkaliphila, H. lutea, H. anticariensis, H. jeotgali, H. titanicae, H. desiderata, H. smyrnensis, H. salifodinae, H. boliviensis, H. elongata and H stevensii. Here, we describe the features of strain JSM 078169T, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation from a culture of DSM 21076T. The 4,060,520 bp long draft genome consists of 17 scaffolds with the 3,659 protein-coding and 80 RNA genes and is a part of Genomic Encyclopedia of Type Strains, Phase I: the one thousand microbial genomes (KMG) project. PMID:25197480

  7. High quality draft genome sequence of the slightly halophilic bacterium Halomonas zhanjiangensis type strain JSM 078169(T) (DSM 21076(T)) from a sea urchin in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yu; Li, Rui; Gao, Xiao-Yang; Lapidus, Alla; Han, James; Haynes, Matthew; Lobos, Elizabeth; Huntemann, Marcel; Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N; Rohde, Manfred; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Tindall, Brian J; Markowitz, Victor; Woyke, Tanja; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Li, Wen-Jun

    2014-06-15

    Halomonas zhanjiangensis Chen et al. 2009 is a member of the genus Halomonas, family Halomonadaceae, class Gammaproteobacteria. Representatives of the genus Halomonas are a group of halophilic bacteria often isolated from salty environments. The type strain H. zhanjiangensis JSM 078169(T) was isolated from a sea urchin (Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus) collected from the South China Sea. The genome of strain JSM 078169(T) is the fourteenth sequenced genome in the genus Halomonas and the fifteenth in the family Halomonadaceae. The other thirteen genomes from the genus Halomonas are H. halocynthiae, H. venusta, H. alkaliphila, H. lutea, H. anticariensis, H. jeotgali, H. titanicae, H. desiderata, H. smyrnensis, H. salifodinae, H. boliviensis, H. elongata and H stevensii. Here, we describe the features of strain JSM 078169(T), together with the complete genome sequence and annotation from a culture of DSM 21076(T). The 4,060,520 bp long draft genome consists of 17 scaffolds with the 3,659 protein-coding and 80 RNA genes and is a part of Genomic Encyclopedia of Type Strains, Phase I: the one thousand microbial genomes (KMG) project.

  8. A standardisation of Ciona intestinalis (Chordata, Ascidiacea) embryo-larval bioassay for ecotoxicological studies.

    PubMed

    Bellas, Juan; Beiras, Ricardo; Vázquez, Elsa

    2003-11-01

    A standardisation of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis embryo-larval bioassay for marine pollution assessment has been developed. The minimum percentage of embryogenesis success was established to assess the quality of the biological material used; minimum sample size and number of replicates per treatment were also estimated. The suitability of artificial and natural seawater for the incubation of ascidian embryos and larvae was compared, and the optimum conditions of temperature, salinity, pH, density of embryos in the vials and the sperm/egg ratio were investigated. On the basis of the 10th percentile of the distribution of larval abnormalities, we proposed a threshold of 50% normal larvae in the control in order to consider the test of acceptable biological quality. According to our results n=5 is a sufficiently high replication to detect 5% differences among treatment means with a power of P=90% and alpha=0.05, and a sampling size >/=222 allows a 95% confidence in the estimate with an error of 0.05. Egg density did not affect larval development within the range 1-20 eggs/ml, and the optimum sperm/egg ratio which fertilise 100% of the eggs was 3000-30,000 sperm/egg (i.e. 10(8)-10(7) sperm/ml). There were not significant differences between the two water types tested, and the optimum tolerance ranges were 18-23 degrees C temperature, 34-42 ppt salinity (42 ppt was the highest salinity tested), and 7.4-8.8 pH. The median effective concentration (EC(50)) of copper (Cu) causing a 50% reduction of normal hatched larvae was 54.2 microg/l (0.85 microM), which shows a sensitivity of this species similar to the commonly used bivalve and sea-urchin tests. The ascidian embryo-larval bioassay is an accurate, reliable, simple and rapid method that can be used in ecotoxicological studies.

  9. A standardisation of Ciona intestinalis (Chordata, Ascidiacea) embryo-larval bioassay for ecotoxicological studies.

    PubMed

    Bellas, Juan; Beiras, Ricardo; Vázquez, Elsa

    2003-11-01

    A standardisation of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis embryo-larval bioassay for marine pollution assessment has been developed. The minimum percentage of embryogenesis success was established to assess the quality of the biological material used; minimum sample size and number of replicates per treatment were also estimated. The suitability of artificial and natural seawater for the incubation of ascidian embryos and larvae was compared, and the optimum conditions of temperature, salinity, pH, density of embryos in the vials and the sperm/egg ratio were investigated. On the basis of the 10th percentile of the distribution of larval abnormalities, we proposed a threshold of 50% normal larvae in the control in order to consider the test of acceptable biological quality. According to our results n=5 is a sufficiently high replication to detect 5% differences among treatment means with a power of P=90% and alpha=0.05, and a sampling size >/=222 allows a 95% confidence in the estimate with an error of 0.05. Egg density did not affect larval development within the range 1-20 eggs/ml, and the optimum sperm/egg ratio which fertilise 100% of the eggs was 3000-30,000 sperm/egg (i.e. 10(8)-10(7) sperm/ml). There were not significant differences between the two water types tested, and the optimum tolerance ranges were 18-23 degrees C temperature, 34-42 ppt salinity (42 ppt was the highest salinity tested), and 7.4-8.8 pH. The median effective concentration (EC(50)) of copper (Cu) causing a 50% reduction of normal hatched larvae was 54.2 microg/l (0.85 microM), which shows a sensitivity of this species similar to the commonly used bivalve and sea-urchin tests. The ascidian embryo-larval bioassay is an accurate, reliable, simple and rapid method that can be used in ecotoxicological studies. PMID:14568047

  10. Laboratory assessment of the antifouling potential of a soluble-matrix paint laced with the natural compound polygodial.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick Louis; Heasman, Kevin; Jeffs, Andrew; Kuhajek, Jeanne

    2013-09-01

    Polygodial is a potent and selective inhibitor of ascidian metamorphosis that shows promise for controlling fouling by ascidians in bivalve aquaculture. The current study examined the potency of, and associated effects of seawater exposure on, a rosin-based soluble-matrix paint laced with 0.08-160 ng polygodial g(-1) wet paint matrix. Paint-coated surfaces were soaked in seawater for 0, 2, 4 or 12 weeks prior to screening for antifouling activity using a bioassay based on the nuisance ascidian Ciona savignyi Herdman. Mortality was greater (mean 50% lethal concentration: 5 ± 2 ng g(-1); mean 75% lethal concentration: 17 ± 4 ng g(-1)) and metamorphosis was inhibited (mean 50% anti-metamorphic concentration: 2 ± 0.4 ng g(-1); mean 75% anti-metamorphic concentration: 15 ± 10 ng g(-1)) in C. savignyi larvae exposed to polygodial-laced soluble-matrix paints, relative to control paints without polygodial. Soaking in seawater prior to testing reduced the efficacy of the formulation up to nearly 12-fold, but even after soaking for 12 weeks paints laced with polygodial at 160 ng g(-1) wet paint matrix prevented ⩾90% of the larvae of C. savignyi from completing metamorphosis. The outcome of this experiment provides a positive first step in evaluating the suitability of polygodial-laced soluble-matrix paints for use in aquaculture.

  11. Intracellular coagulation inhibits the extraction of proteins from Prochloron

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fall, R.; Lewin, R. A.; Fall, L. R.

    1983-01-01

    Protein extraction from the prokaryotic alga Prochloron LP (isolated from the ascidian host Lissoclinum patella) was complicated by an irreversible loss of cell fragility in the isolated algae. Accompanying this phenomenon, which is termed intracellular coagulation, was a redistribution of thylakoids around the cell periphery, a loss of photosynthetic O2 production, and a drastic decrease in the extractability of cell proteins. Procedures are described for the successful preparation and transport of cell extracts yielding the enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase as well as other soluble proteins.

  12. Periclimenaeus denticulodigitus sp. nov. (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae: Pontoniinae), from Heron Island, Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Bruce, A J

    2014-01-01

    An unusual species of the genus Periclimenaeus Borradaile, 1915 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae Pontoniinae) from Heron Island, Queensland, Australia, collected by Dr Niel Bruce in 1979, is described and illustrated. Periclimenaeus denticulodigitus sp. nov., an ascidian associate was collected from coral reef at 7.0 m and presents some interesting new features. It increases to 17 the number of Periclimenaeus known from Heron Island, Queensland, and to 28 the number of species known from Australia. The new species has the second pereiopod fingers minutely denticulate and unique to the genus. PMID:24872280

  13. Genetic Regulatory Networks in Embryogenesis and Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The article introduces a series of papers that were originally presented at a workshop titled Genetic Regulatory Network in Embryogenesis and Evaluation. Contents include the following: evolution of cleavage programs in relationship to axial specification and body plan evolution, changes in cell lineage specification elucidate evolutionary relations in spiralia, axial patterning in the leech: developmental mechanisms and evolutionary implications, hox genes in arthropod development and evolution, heterochronic genes in development and evolution, a common theme for LIM homeobox gene function across phylogeny, and mechanisms of specification in ascidian embryos.

  14. Recent Advances on the Total Syntheses of Communesin Alkaloids and Perophoramidine.

    PubMed

    Trost, Barry M; Osipov, Maksim

    2015-11-01

    The communesin alkaloids are a diverse family of Penicillium-derived alkaloids. Their caged-polycyclic structure and intriguing biological profiles have made these natural products attractive targets for total synthesis. Similarly, the ascidian-derived alkaloid, perophoramidine, is structurally related to the communesins and has also become a popular target for total synthesis. This review serves to summarize the many elegant approaches that have been developed to access the communesin alkaloids and perophoramidine. Likewise, strategies to access the communesin ring system are reviewed.

  15. Recent Advances in Drug Discovery from South African Marine Invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Davies-Coleman, Michael T; Veale, Clinton G L

    2015-10-01

    Recent developments in marine drug discovery from three South African marine invertebrates, the tube worm Cephalodiscus gilchristi, the ascidian Lissoclinum sp. and the sponge Topsentia pachastrelloides, are presented. Recent reports of the bioactivity and synthesis of the anti-cancer secondary metabolites cephalostatin and mandelalides (from C. gilchristi and Lissoclinum sp., respectively) and various analogues are presented. The threat of drug-resistant pathogens, e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is assuming greater global significance, and medicinal chemistry strategies to exploit the potent MRSA PK inhibition, first revealed by two marine secondary metabolites, cis-3,4-dihydrohamacanthin B and bromodeoxytopsentin from T. pachastrelloides, are compared. PMID:26473891

  16. Recent Advances on the Total Syntheses of Communesin Alkaloids and Perophoramidine.

    PubMed

    Trost, Barry M; Osipov, Maksim

    2015-11-01

    The communesin alkaloids are a diverse family of Penicillium-derived alkaloids. Their caged-polycyclic structure and intriguing biological profiles have made these natural products attractive targets for total synthesis. Similarly, the ascidian-derived alkaloid, perophoramidine, is structurally related to the communesins and has also become a popular target for total synthesis. This review serves to summarize the many elegant approaches that have been developed to access the communesin alkaloids and perophoramidine. Likewise, strategies to access the communesin ring system are reviewed. PMID:26353936

  17. Zorrimidazolone, a Bioactive Alkaloid from the Non-Indigenous Mediterranean Stolidobranch Polyandrocarpa zorritensis

    PubMed Central

    Aiello, Anna; Fattorusso, Ernesto; Imperatore, Concetta; Irace, Carlo; Luciano, Paolo; Menna, Marialuisa; Santamaria, Rita; Vitalone, Rocco

    2011-01-01

    Chemical analysis of the Mediterranean ascidian Polyandrocarpa zorritensis (Van Name 1931) resulted in the isolation of a series of molecules including two monoindole alkaloids, 3-indolylglyoxylic acid (3) and its methyl ester (4), 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylglyoxylic acid methyl ester (1) and a new alkaloid we named zorrimidazolone (2). The structure of the novel compound 2 has been elucidated by spectroscopic analysis and bioactivity of all compounds has been investigated. Zorrimidazolone (2) showed a modest cytotoxic activity against C6 rat glioma cell line. PMID:21747753

  18. Solwaric acids A and B, antibacterial aromatic acids from a marine Solwaraspora sp.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Gregory A; Wyche, Thomas P; Fry, Charles G; Braun, Doug R; Bugni, Tim S

    2014-02-14

    Two novel trialkyl-substituted aromatic acids, solwaric acids A and B, were isolated from a marine Solwaraspora sp. cultivated from the ascidian Trididemnum orbiculatum. Solwaric acids A and B were isotopically labeled with U-¹³C glucose, and analysis of a ¹³C-¹³C COSY allowed for unambiguous determination of the location of the phenyl methyl group. The two novel compounds demonstrated antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).

  19. Recent Advances in Drug Discovery from South African Marine Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Davies-Coleman, Michael T.; Veale, Clinton G. L.

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in marine drug discovery from three South African marine invertebrates, the tube worm Cephalodiscus gilchristi, the ascidian Lissoclinum sp. and the sponge Topsentia pachastrelloides, are presented. Recent reports of the bioactivity and synthesis of the anti-cancer secondary metabolites cephalostatin and mandelalides (from C. gilchristi and Lissoclinum sp., respectively) and various analogues are presented. The threat of drug-resistant pathogens, e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is assuming greater global significance, and medicinal chemistry strategies to exploit the potent MRSA PK inhibition, first revealed by two marine secondary metabolites, cis-3,4-dihydrohamacanthin B and bromodeoxytopsentin from T. pachastrelloides, are compared. PMID:26473891

  20. Diketopiperazines from marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Huang, Riming; Zhou, Xuefeng; Xu, Tunhai; Yang, Xianwen; Liu, Yonghong

    2010-12-01

    Diketopiperazines (DKPs), which are cyclic dipeptides, have been detected in a variety of natural resources. Recently, the interest in these compounds increased significantly because of their remarkable bioactivity. This review deals with the chemical structures, biosynthetic pathways, and biological activities of DKPs from marine microorganisms, sponges, sea stars, tunicates (ascidians), and red algae. The literature has been covered up to December 2008, and a total 124 DKPs from 104 publications have been discussed and reviewed. Some of these compounds have been found to possess various bioactivities including cytotoxicity, and antibacterial, antifungal, antifouling, plant-growth regulatory, and other activities.

  1. Colocalization of heparin and histamine in the intracellular granules of test cells from the invertebrate Styela plicata (Chordata-Tunicata).

    PubMed

    Cavalcante, Moisés C M; de Andrade, Leonardo R; Du Bocage Santos-Pinto, Claudia; Straus, Anita H; Takahashi, Hélio K; Allodi, Silvana; Pavão, Mauro S G

    2002-03-01

    In most ascidian species the oocytes are surrounded by two types of accessory cells called follicle cells and test cells. Test cells are located on the periphery of oocytes and remain in the perivitelline space during egg development until hatching. Heparin and histamine were previously described in the test cells of the ascidian Styela plicata. In the present study, electron microscopy techniques were used to characterize the ultrastructure of the S. plicata test cells and to localize heparin and histamine in these cells. Test cells contain several intracellular granules with unique ultrastructural features. They are formed by elongated filaments composed of serial globules with an electron-lucent circle, containing a central electron-dense spot. Immunocytochemistry showed that heparin and histamine colocalize at the border of granule filaments in the test cell. Compound 48/80, a potent secretagogue of heparin-containing mast cells, also induced degranulation of test cells. According to these results, we suggest that test cells represent ancient effector cells of the innate immunity in primitive chordates.

  2. Hair cells in non-vertebrate models: lower chordates and molluscs.

    PubMed

    Burighel, P; Caicci, F; Manni, L

    2011-03-01

    The study of hair cells in invertebrates is important, because it can shed light on the debated question about the evolutionary origin of vertebrate hair cells. Here, we review the morphology and significance of hair cells in two groups of invertebrates, the lower chordates (tunicates and cephalochordates) and the molluscs. These taxa possess complex mechanoreceptor organs based on both primary (sensory neurons) and/or secondary, axonless, sensory cells, bearing various apical specializations. Compared with vertebrates, these taxa show interesting examples of convergent evolution and possible homologies of sensory systems. For example, the "lateral line organ" of Octopoda and Decapoda, composed of primary sensory cells aligned on the arms and the head, is considered a classic example of convergent evolution to mechanoreception. Similarly, in ascidians, the cupular organ, formed of primary sensory cells embedded in a gelatinous cupula, is seen as an analog of neuromasts in vertebrates. However, the coronal organ of the oral siphon of ascidians, represented by a line of secondary sensory cells with a hair bundle also comprising graded stereovilli, is currently the best candidate for tracing the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate octavo-lateralis system. Several features, such as embryological origin, position, gene expression and morphology, support this hypothesis.

  3. Origin and evolution of the parasitic cyclopoid copepods.

    PubMed

    Ho, J S

    1994-12-01

    Six of the 10 recognised families of the order Cyclopoida are parasitic, with 4 of them occurring on marine invertebrates and the remaining 2 on freshwater gastropods and fishes, respectively. A cladistic analysis of the 10 families indicates that evolution of parasitism occurred twice in the history of the cyclopoids. The first attempt was made by the marine epibenthic ancestors seeking food and shelter in sessile tunicates--the ascidians. This event led to the evolution of 2 ascidicolous families: Archinotodelphyidae and Notodelphyidae. The descendant of this lineage had also invaded the mantle cavity of marine bivalve molluscs, eventually leading to the evolution of the Mantridae. The second attempt for the parasitic mode of life was launched by the ancestor which was the sister group of the ancestral cyclopoids--the most successful family of freshwater copepods. This ancestral stock, while living in the coastal zone, split into 2 groups: one group stayed behind in the ocean and colonised again the ascidians; the other groups invaded freshwater and evolved into the fish-parasitising Lernaeidae and the gastropod-parasitising Ozmanidae.

  4. The enigmatic life history of the symbiotic crab Tunicotheres moseri (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae): implications for its mating system and population structure.

    PubMed

    Hernández, J E; Bolaños, J A; Palazón, J L; Hernández, G; Lira, C; Baeza, J Antonio

    2012-12-01

    Resource-monopolization theory predicts the adoption of a solitary habit in species using scarce, discrete, and small refuges. Life-history theory suggests that temporarily stable parental dwellings favor extended parental care in species that brood embryos. We tested these two predictions with the symbiotic crab Tunicotheres moseri. This species exhibits abbreviated development and inhabits the atrial chamber of the scarce, structurally simple, long-lived, and relatively small ascidian Phalusia nigra in the Caribbean. These host characteristics should favor a solitary habit and extended parental care (EPC) in T. moseri. As predicted, males and females of T. moseri inhabited ascidians solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. The male-female association pattern and reverse sexual dimorphism (males < females) additionally suggests a promiscuous "pure-search" mating system in T. moseri. Also in agreement with theoretical considerations, T. moseri displays EPC; in addition to embryos, females naturally retain larval stages, megalopae, and juveniles within their brooding pouches. This is the first record of EPC in a symbiotic crab and the second confirmed record of EPC in a marine brachyuran crab. This study supports predictions central to resource-monopolization and life-history theories. PMID:23264474

  5. Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy of the Accessory Cells and Chorion During Development of Ciona intestinalis Type B Embryos and the Impact of Their Removal on Cell Morphology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2015-06-01

    Spawned ascidian oocytes are surrounded by a membrane called the chorion (or vitelline coat) and associated with two populations of maternally-supplied cells. Outside the chorion are follicle cells, which may affect the buoyancy of eggs. Inside the chorion are test cells, which during oogenesis provision the egg and which after fertilisation contribute to the larval tunic. The structure of maternal cells may vary between species. The model ascidian Ciona intestinalis has been recently split into two species, currently named type A and type B. The ultrastructure of extraembryonic cells and structures from type A embryos has been reported. Here we describe the ultrastructure of follicle and test cells from C. intestinalis type B embryos. Test cells are about 5 µm in diameter and line the inside of the chorion of developing embryos in a dense sheet. Follicle cells are large (> 100 µm long) and spike-shaped, with many large vesicles. Terminal electron dense granules are found towards the tips of spikes, adjacent to cytoplasm containing numerous small electron dense bodies connected by filaments. These are probably vesicles containing material for the terminal granules. Removal of maternal structures and cells just after fertilisation, as commonly used in many experiments manipulating C. intestinalis development, has been reported to affect embryonic patterning. We examined the impact of this on embryonic ectoderm cells by scanning electron microscopy. Cells of embryos that developed without maternal structures still developed cilia, but had indistinct cell boundaries and a more flattened appearance than those that developed within the chorion.

  6. Influence of submersion season on the development of test panel biofouling communities in a tropical coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satheesh, S.; Wesley, S. G.

    2011-08-01

    The effect of test panel submersion season on the colonization of biofouling communities in a tropical coast revealed that the effects of panel submersion time should be taken into consideration for modelling fouling community recruitment dynamics in coastal systems or during the field trials of antifouling coatings. Wooden test panels fitted onto a raft were submerged during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons for the development of the biofouling community. Results showed considerable variation in the colonization of fouling communities on test panels submerged during different seasons. Barnacles, tubeworms, ascidians and seaweeds were the major fouling communities that colonized the test panels. The total biomass of the fouling communities that settled on the post-monsoon season panels varied from the initial value of 2.72 g dm -2 to a maximum of 44.5 g dm -2. On the panels submerged during monsoon season, the total biomass of fouling communities varied between 0.78 g dm -2 and 69.9 g dm -2. The total fouling biomass on the pre-monsoon season panels varied between 2.95 and 33.5 g dm -2. Barnacles were the initial colonizers on the panels submerged during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Soft-bodied organisms such as ascidians dominated the monsoon season-initiated panel series during the initial period.

  7. The enigmatic life history of the symbiotic crab Tunicotheres moseri (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae): implications for its mating system and population structure.

    PubMed

    Hernández, J E; Bolaños, J A; Palazón, J L; Hernández, G; Lira, C; Baeza, J Antonio

    2012-12-01

    Resource-monopolization theory predicts the adoption of a solitary habit in species using scarce, discrete, and small refuges. Life-history theory suggests that temporarily stable parental dwellings favor extended parental care in species that brood embryos. We tested these two predictions with the symbiotic crab Tunicotheres moseri. This species exhibits abbreviated development and inhabits the atrial chamber of the scarce, structurally simple, long-lived, and relatively small ascidian Phalusia nigra in the Caribbean. These host characteristics should favor a solitary habit and extended parental care (EPC) in T. moseri. As predicted, males and females of T. moseri inhabited ascidians solitarily with greater frequency than expected by chance alone. The male-female association pattern and reverse sexual dimorphism (males < females) additionally suggests a promiscuous "pure-search" mating system in T. moseri. Also in agreement with theoretical considerations, T. moseri displays EPC; in addition to embryos, females naturally retain larval stages, megalopae, and juveniles within their brooding pouches. This is the first record of EPC in a symbiotic crab and the second confirmed record of EPC in a marine brachyuran crab. This study supports predictions central to resource-monopolization and life-history theories.

  8. Migration of germline progenitor cells is directed by sphingosine-1-phosphate signalling in a basal chordate.

    PubMed

    Kassmer, Susannah H; Rodriguez, Delany; Langenbacher, Adam D; Bui, Connor; De Tomaso, Anthony W

    2015-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri continuously regenerates entire bodies in an asexual budding process. The germ line of the newly developing bodies is derived from migrating germ cell precursors, but the signals governing this homing process are unknown. Here we show that germ cell precursors can be prospectively isolated based on expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase and integrin alpha-6, and that these cells express germ cell markers such as vasa, pumilio and piwi, as well as sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor. In vitro, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) stimulates migration of germ cells, which depends on integrin alpha-6 activity. In vivo, S1P signalling is essential for homing of germ cells to newly developing bodies. S1P is generated by sphingosine kinase in the developing germ cell niche and degraded by lipid phosphate phosphatase in somatic tissues. These results demonstrate a previously unknown role of the S1P signalling pathway in germ cell migration in the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. PMID:26456232

  9. Cyanobacterial diversity and a new acaryochloris-like symbiont from Bahamian sea-squirts.

    PubMed

    López-Legentil, Susanna; Song, Bongkeun; Bosch, Manel; Pawlik, Joseph R; Turon, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Symbiotic interactions between ascidians (sea-squirts) and microbes are poorly understood. Here we characterized the cyanobacteria in the tissues of 8 distinct didemnid taxa from shallow-water marine habitats in the Bahamas Islands by sequencing a fragment of the cyanobacterial 16S rRNA gene and the entire 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and by examining symbiont morphology with transmission electron (TEM) and confocal microscopy (CM). As described previously for other species, Trididemnum spp. mostly contained symbionts associated with the Prochloron-Synechocystis group. However, sequence analysis of the symbionts in Lissoclinum revealed two unique clades. The first contained a novel cyanobacterial clade, while the second clade was closely associated with Acaryochloris marina. CM revealed the presence of chlorophyll d (chl d) and phycobiliproteins (PBPs) within these symbiont cells, as is characteristic of Acaryochloris species. The presence of symbionts was also observed by TEM inside the tunic of both the adult and larvae of L. fragile, indicating vertical transmission to progeny. Based on molecular phylogenetic and microscopic analyses, Candidatus Acaryochloris bahamiensis nov. sp. is proposed for this symbiotic cyanobacterium. Our results support the hypothesis that photosymbiont communities in ascidians are structured by host phylogeny, but in some cases, also by sampling location.

  10. Expression of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the cerebral ganglion and ovary of a protochordate.

    PubMed

    Masini, M A; Sturla, M; Gallinelli, A; Candiani, S; Facchinetti, F; Pestarino, M

    1998-01-01

    The distribution of neurones expressing POMC mRNA in the cerebral ganglion of the protochordate ascidian, Styela plicata, was investigated using a non-radioactive in situ hybridization technique. Nerve cell bodies of mono and bipolar types expressing POMC mRNA, were observed mainly in the outer layer of the ganglion. Discrete groups of neurones containing POMC mRNA were also localized in the inner portion of the ganglion, and few small monopolar perykaria expressing POMC mRNA were visible at the emergence of the main nerve trunks. POMC mRNA labeling was also found at level of the cytoplasm of previtellogenic and vitellogenic oocytes, and of follicular cells. Our results demonstrate the expression of one or more genes in the cerebral ganglion and ovary, that may be similar to one or more regions of the mammalian POMC gene. Therefore POMC-related molecules seem to be involved in neuromodulatory pathways and regulatory mechanisms of the oogenesis of ascidians.

  11. Origin and evolution of the parasitic cyclopoid copepods.

    PubMed

    Ho, J S

    1994-12-01

    Six of the 10 recognised families of the order Cyclopoida are parasitic, with 4 of them occurring on marine invertebrates and the remaining 2 on freshwater gastropods and fishes, respectively. A cladistic analysis of the 10 families indicates that evolution of parasitism occurred twice in the history of the cyclopoids. The first attempt was made by the marine epibenthic ancestors seeking food and shelter in sessile tunicates--the ascidians. This event led to the evolution of 2 ascidicolous families: Archinotodelphyidae and Notodelphyidae. The descendant of this lineage had also invaded the mantle cavity of marine bivalve molluscs, eventually leading to the evolution of the Mantridae. The second attempt for the parasitic mode of life was launched by the ancestor which was the sister group of the ancestral cyclopoids--the most successful family of freshwater copepods. This ancestral stock, while living in the coastal zone, split into 2 groups: one group stayed behind in the ocean and colonised again the ascidians; the other groups invaded freshwater and evolved into the fish-parasitising Lernaeidae and the gastropod-parasitising Ozmanidae. PMID:7729982

  12. Glycosaminoglycans analogs from marine invertebrates: structure, biological effects, and potential as new therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Pavão, Mauro S. G.

    2014-01-01

    In this review, several glycosaminoglycan analogs obtained from different marine invertebrate are reported. The structure, biological activity and mechanism of action of these unique molecules are detailed reviewed and exemplified by experiments in vitro and in vivo. Among the glycans studied are low-sulfated heparin-like polymers from ascidians, containing significant anticoagulant activity and no bleeding effect; dermatan sulfates with significant neurite outgrowth promoting activity and anti-P-selectin from ascidians, and a unique fucosylated chondroitin sulfate from sea cucumbers, possessing anticoagulant activity after oral administration and high anti P- and L-selectin activities. The therapeutic value and safety of these invertebrate glycans have been extensively proved by several experimental animal models of diseases, including thrombosis, inflammation and metastasis. These invertebrate glycans can be obtained in high concentrations from marine organisms that have been used as a food source for decades, and usually obtained from marine farms in sufficient quantities to be used as starting material for new therapeutics. PMID:25309878

  13. Natural Variation of Model Mutant Phenotypes in Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Euan R.; Leccia, Nicola I.; Squarzoni, Paola; Tarallo, Raffaella; Alfano, Christian; Caputi, Luigi; D'Ambrosio, Palmira; Daniele, Paola; D'Aniello, Enrico; D'Aniello, Salvatore; Maiella, Sylvie; Miraglia, Valentina; Russo, Monia Teresa; Sorrenti, Gerarda; Branno, Margherita; Cariello, Lucio; Cirino, Paola; Locascio, Annamaria; Spagnuolo, Antonietta; Zanetti, Laura; Ristoratore, Filomena

    2008-01-01

    Background The study of ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of the origin and evolution of basal chordates. To provide further information to support forward genetics in Ciona intestinalis, we used a combination of natural variation and neutral population genetics as an approach for the systematic identification of new mutations. In addition to the significance of developmental variation for phenotype-driven studies, this approach can encompass important implications in evolutionary and population biology. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we report a preliminary survey for naturally occurring mutations in three geographically interconnected populations of C. intestinalis. The influence of historical, geographical and environmental factors on the distribution of abnormal phenotypes was assessed by means of 12 microsatellites. We identified 37 possible mutant loci with stereotyped defects in embryonic development that segregate in a way typical of recessive alleles. Local populations were found to differ in genetic organization and frequency distribution of phenotypic classes. Conclusions/Significance Natural genetic polymorphism of C. intestinalis constitutes a valuable source of phenotypes for studying embryonic development in ascidians. Correlating genetic structure and the occurrence of abnormal phenotypes is a crucial focus for understanding the selective forces that shape natural finite populations, and may provide insights of great importance into the evolutionary mechanisms that generate animal diversity. PMID:18523552

  14. Migration of germline progenitor cells is directed by sphingosine-1-phosphate signalling in a basal chordate

    PubMed Central

    Kassmer, Susannah H.; Rodriguez, Delany; Langenbacher, Adam D.; Bui, Connor; De Tomaso, Anthony W.

    2015-01-01

    The colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri continuously regenerates entire bodies in an asexual budding process. The germ line of the newly developing bodies is derived from migrating germ cell precursors, but the signals governing this homing process are unknown. Here we show that germ cell precursors can be prospectively isolated based on expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase and integrin alpha-6, and that these cells express germ cell markers such as vasa, pumilio and piwi, as well as sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor. In vitro, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) stimulates migration of germ cells, which depends on integrin alpha-6 activity. In vivo, S1P signalling is essential for homing of germ cells to newly developing bodies. S1P is generated by sphingosine kinase in the developing germ cell niche and degraded by lipid phosphate phosphatase in somatic tissues. These results demonstrate a previously unknown role of the S1P signalling pathway in germ cell migration in the ascidian Botryllus schlosseri. PMID:26456232

  15. Cyanobactins from Cyanobacteria: Current Genetic and Chemical State of Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Joana; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are considered to be one of the most promising sources of new, natural products. Apart from non-ribosomal peptides and polyketides, ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are one of the leading groups of bioactive compounds produced by cyanobacteria. Among these, cyanobactins have sparked attention due to their interesting bioactivities and for their potential to be prospective candidates in the development of drugs. It is assumed that the primary source of cyanobactins is cyanobacteria, although these compounds have also been isolated from marine animals such as ascidians, sponges and mollusks. The aim of this review is to update the current knowledge of cyanobactins, recognized as being produced by cyanobacteria, and to emphasize their genetic clusters and chemical structures as well as their bioactivities, ecological roles and biotechnological potential. PMID:26580631

  16. Ciona as a Simple Chordate Model for Heart Development and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Heather Evans; Christiaen, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal Chordate, the Ciona model system presents a simple scaffold that recapitulates the basic blueprint of cardiac development in Chordates. Here we will focus on the development and cellular structure of the heart of the ascidian Ciona as compared to other Chordates, principally vertebrates. Comparison of the Ciona model system to heart development in other Chordates presents great potential for dissecting the genetic mechanisms that underlie congenital heart defects and disease at the cellular level and might provide additional insight into potential pathways for therapeutic cardiac regeneration.

  17. Cyanobactins from Cyanobacteria: Current Genetic and Chemical State of Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Martins, Joana; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-11-13

    Cyanobacteria are considered to be one of the most promising sources of new, natural products. Apart from non-ribosomal peptides and polyketides, ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are one of the leading groups of bioactive compounds produced by cyanobacteria. Among these, cyanobactins have sparked attention due to their interesting bioactivities and for their potential to be prospective candidates in the development of drugs. It is assumed that the primary source of cyanobactins is cyanobacteria, although these compounds have also been isolated from marine animals such as ascidians, sponges and mollusks. The aim of this review is to update the current knowledge of cyanobactins, recognized as being produced by cyanobacteria, and to emphasize their genetic clusters and chemical structures as well as their bioactivities, ecological roles and biotechnological potential.

  18. Turning on the heat: ecological response to simulated warming in the sea.

    PubMed

    Smale, Dan A; Wernberg, Thomas; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K A

    2011-01-14

    Significant warming has been observed in every ocean, yet our ability to predict the consequences of oceanic warming on marine biodiversity remains poor. Experiments have been severely limited because, until now, it has not been possible to manipulate seawater temperature in a consistent manner across a range of marine habitats. We constructed a "hot-plate" system to directly examine ecological responses to elevated seawater temperature in a subtidal marine system. The substratum available for colonisation and overlying seawater boundary layer were warmed for 36 days, which resulted in greater biomass of marine organisms and a doubling of space coverage by a dominant colonial ascidian. The "hot-plate" system will facilitate complex manipulations of temperature and multiple stressors in the field to provide valuable information on the response of individuals, populations and communities to environmental change in any aquatic habitat.

  19. Cryptic speciation or global spread? The case of a cosmopolitan marine invertebrate with limited dispersal capabilities.

    PubMed

    R, Pérez-Portela; V, Arranz; M, Rius; X, Turon

    2013-01-01

    The existence of globally-distributed species with low dispersal capabilities is a paradox that has been explained as a result of human-mediated transport and by hidden diversity in the form of unrecognized cryptic species. Both factors are not mutually exclusive, but relatively few studies have demonstrated the presence of both. Here we analyse the genetic patterns of the colonial ascidian Diplosoma listerianum, a species nowadays distributed globally. The study of a fragment of a mitochondrial gene in localities worldwide revealed the existence of multiple cryptic species. In addition, we found a complex geographic structure and multiple clades occurred in sympatry. One of the species showed strong population structure irrespective of geographical distances, which is coherent with stochastic dispersal linked to human transport. The present study shows the complexity of discerning the role of cryptic diversity from human-driven range shifts worldwide, as well as disentangling the effects of natural and artificial dispersal.

  20. Data on four apoptosis-related genes in the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Franchi, Nicola; Ballin, Francesca; Manni, Lucia; Schiavon, Filippo; Ballarin, Loriano

    2016-09-01

    The data described are related to the article entitled "Recurrent phagocytosis-induced apoptosis in the cyclical generation change of the compound ascidian Botryllus schlosseri" (Franchi et al., 2016) [1]. Four apoptosis-related genes, showing high similarity with mammalian Bax (a member of the Bcl-2 protein family), AIF1 (apoptosis-inducing factor-1), PARP1 (poly ADP ribose polymerase-1) and IAP7 (inhibitor of apoptosis-7) were identified from the analysis of the trascriptome of B. schlosseri. They were named BsBax, BsAIF1, BsPARP1 and BsIAP7. Here, their deduced amino acid sequence were compared with known sequences of orthologous genes from other deuterostome species together with a study of their identity/similarity. PMID:27294183

  1. Diversity of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Genes in the Microbial Metagenomes of Marine Sponges

    PubMed Central

    Pimentel-Elardo, Sheila Marie; Grozdanov, Lubomir; Proksch, Sebastian; Hentschel, Ute

    2012-01-01

    Genomic mining revealed one major nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) phylogenetic cluster in 12 marine sponge species, one ascidian, an actinobacterial isolate and seawater. Phylogenetic analysis predicts its taxonomic affiliation to the actinomycetes and hydroxy-phenyl-glycine as a likely substrate. Additionally, a phylogenetically distinct NRPS gene cluster was discovered in the microbial metagenome of the sponge Aplysina aerophoba, which shows highest similarities to NRPS genes that were previously assigned, by ways of single cell genomics, to a Chloroflexi sponge symbiont. Genomic mining studies such as the one presented here for NRPS genes, contribute to on-going efforts to characterize the genomic potential of sponge-associated microbiota for secondary metabolite biosynthesis. PMID:22822366

  2. Pigment composition and adaptation in free-living and symbiotic strains of Acaryochloris marina.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yi-Wah; Nenninger, Anja; Clokie, Samuel J H; Mann, Nicholas H; Scanlan, David J; Whitworth, Anna L; Clokie, Martha R J

    2007-07-01

    Acaryochloris marina strains have been isolated from several varied locations and habitats worldwide demonstrating a diverse and dynamic ecology. In this study, the whole cell photophysiologies of strain MBIC11017, originally isolated from a colonial ascidian, and the free-living epilithic strain CCMEE5410 are analyzed by absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subsequent protein analysis. We demonstrate pigment adaptation in MBIC11017 and CCMEE5410 under different light regimes. We show that the higher the incident growth light intensity for both strains, the greater the decrease in their chlorophyll d content. However, the strain MBIC11017 loses its phycobiliproteins relative to its chlorophyll d content when grown at light intensities of 40 microE m(-2) s(-1) without shaking and 100 microE m(-2) s(-1) with shaking. We also conclude that phycobiliproteins are absent in the free-living strain CCMEE5410.

  3. β-catenin-driven binary cell fate decisions in animal development.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The Wnt/β-catenin pathway plays key roles during animal development. In several species, β-catenin is used in a reiterative manner to regulate cell fate diversification between daughter cells following division. This binary cell fate specification mechanism has been observed in animals that belong to very diverse phyla: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the annelid Platynereis, and the ascidian Ciona. It may also play a role in the regulation of several stem cell lineages in vertebrates. While the molecular mechanism behind this binary cell fate switch is not fully understood, it appears that both secreted Wnt ligands and asymmetric cortical factors contribute to the generation of the difference in nuclear β-catenin levels between daughter cells. β-Catenin then cooperates with lineage specific transcription factors to induce the expression of novel sets of transcription factors at each round of divisions, thereby diversifying cell fate. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26952169

  4. Ciona as a Simple Chordate Model for Heart Development and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Heather Evans; Christiaen, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal Chordate, the Ciona model system presents a simple scaffold that recapitulates the basic blueprint of cardiac development in Chordates. Here we will focus on the development and cellular structure of the heart of the ascidian Ciona as compared to other Chordates, principally vertebrates. Comparison of the Ciona model system to heart development in other Chordates presents great potential for dissecting the genetic mechanisms that underlie congenital heart defects and disease at the cellular level and might provide additional insight into potential pathways for therapeutic cardiac regeneration. PMID:27642586

  5. Clinical Marine Toxicology: A European Perspective for Clinical Toxicologists and Poison Centers

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Corinne; de Haro, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Clinical marine toxicology is a rapidly changing area. Many of the new discoveries reported every year in Europe involve ecological disturbances—including global warming—that have induced modifications in the chorology, behavior, and toxicity of many species of venomous or poisonous aquatic life including algae, ascidians, fish and shellfish. These changes have raised a number of public issues associated, e.g., poisoning after ingestion of contaminated seafood, envenomation by fish stings, and exposure to harmful microorganism blooms. The purpose of this review of medical and scientific literature in marine toxicology is to highlight the growing challenges induced by ecological disturbances that confront clinical toxicologists during the everyday job in the European Poison Centers. PMID:23917333

  6. An organismal perspective on C. intestinalis development, origins and diversification

    PubMed Central

    Kourakis, Matthew J; Smith, William C

    2015-01-01

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis, commonly known as a ‘sea squirt’, has become an important model for embryological studies, offering a simple blueprint for chordate development. As a model organism, it offers the following: a small, compact genome; a free swimming larva with only about 2600 cells; and an embryogenesis that unfolds according to a predictable program of cell division. Moreover, recent phylogenies reveal that C. intestinalis occupies a privileged branch in the tree of life: it is our nearest invertebrate relative. Here, we provide an organismal perspective of C. intestinalis, highlighting aspects of its life history and habitat—from its brief journey as a larva to its radical metamorphosis into adult form—and relate these features to its utility as a laboratory model. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06024.001 PMID:25807088

  7. Developmental Control of Cell-Cycle Compensation Provides a Switch for Patterned Mitosis at the Onset of Chordate Neurulation.

    PubMed

    Ogura, Yosuke; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2016-04-18

    During neurulation of chordate ascidians, the 11th mitotic division within the epidermal layer shows a posterior-to-anterior wave that is precisely coordinated with the unidirectional progression of the morphogenetic movement. Here we show that the first sign of this patterned mitosis is an asynchronous anterior-to-posterior S-phase length and that mitotic synchrony is reestablished by a compensatory asynchronous G2-phase length. Live imaging combined with genetic experiments demonstrated that compensatory G2-phase regulation requires transcriptional activation of the G2/M regulator cdc25 by the patterning genes GATA and AP-2. The downregulation of GATA and AP-2 at the onset of neurulation leads to loss of compensatory G2-phase regulation and promotes the transition to patterned mitosis. We propose that such developmentally regulated cell-cycle compensation provides an abrupt switch to spatially patterned mitosis in order to achieve the coordination between mitotic timing and morphogenesis.

  8. Vessel generator noise as a settlement cue for marine biofouling species.

    PubMed

    McDonald, J I; Wilkens, S L; Stanley, J A; Jeffs, A G

    2014-01-01

    Underwater noise is increasing globally, largely due to increased vessel numbers and international ocean trade. Vessels are also a major vector for translocation of non-indigenous marine species which can have serious implications for biosecurity. The possibility that underwater noise from fishing vessels may promote settlement of biofouling on hulls was investigated for the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Spatial differences in biofouling appear to be correlated with spatial differences in the intensity and frequency of the noise emitted by the vessel's generator. This correlation was confirmed in laboratory experiments where C. intestinalis larvae showed significantly faster settlement and metamorphosis when exposed to the underwater noise produced by the vessel generator. Larval survival rates were also significantly higher in treatments exposed to vessel generator noise. Enhanced settlement attributable to vessel generator noise may indicate that vessels not only provide a suitable fouling substratum, but vessels running generators may be attracting larvae and enhancing their survival and growth.

  9. Evaluation of the sea anemone Anthothoe albocincta as an augmentative biocontrol agent for biofouling on artificial structures.

    PubMed

    Atalah, Javier; Bennett, Holly; Hopkins, Grant A; Forrest, Barrie M

    2013-01-01

    Augmentative biocontrol, defined as the use of indigenous natural enemies to control pest populations, has not been explored extensively in marine systems. This study tested the potential of the anemone Anthothoe albocincta as a biocontrol agent for biofouling on submerged artificial structures. Biofouling biomass was negatively related to anemone cover. Treatments with high anemone cover (>35%) led to significant changes in biofouling assemblages compared to controls. Taxa that contributed to these changes differed among sites, but included reductions in cover of problematic fouling organisms, such as solitary ascidians and bryozoans. In laboratory trials, A. albocincta substantially prevented the settlement of larvae of the bryozoan Bugula neritina when exposed to three levels of larval dose, suggesting predation as an important biocontrol mechanism, in addition to space pre-emption. This study demonstrated that augmentative biocontrol using anemones has the potential to reduce biofouling on marine artificial structures, although considerable further work is required to refine this tool before its application.

  10. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division.

    PubMed

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-01-01

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis. PMID:27502556

  11. Diversity of bacterial communities associated with the Indian Ocean sponge Tsitsikamma favus that contains the bioactive pyrroloiminoquinones, tsitsikammamine A and B.

    PubMed

    Walmsley, Tara A; Matcher, Gwynneth F; Zhang, Fan; Hill, Russell T; Davies-Coleman, Michael T; Dorrington, Rosemary A

    2012-12-01

    Tsitsikamma favus is a latrunculid sponge endemic to the coast of South Africa that produces unique pyrroloiminoquinones known as tsitsikammamines. Wakayin and makaluvamine A are structurally similar to the tsitsikammamines and are the only pyrroloiminoquinones isolated from a source other than Porifera (namely a Fijian ascidian Clavelina sp. and a laboratory culture of the myxomycete Didymium bahiense, respectively). The source of the tsitsikammamines is hypothesised to be microbial, which could provide a means of overcoming the current supply problem. This study focuses on characterising the microbial diversity associated with T. favus. We have used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis together with clonal and deep sequencing of microbial 16S rRNA gene amplicons to show that specimens of this sponge species contain a distinct and conserved microbial population, which is stable over time and is dominated by a unique Betaproteobacterium species.

  12. Novel aspects of glypican glycobiology.

    PubMed

    Fransson, L-A; Belting, M; Cheng, F; Jönsson, M; Mani, K; Sandgren, S

    2004-05-01

    Mutations in glypican genes cause dysmorphic and overgrowth syndromes in men and mice, abnormal development in flies and worms, and defective gastrulation in zebrafish and ascidians. All glypican core proteins share a characteristic pattern of 14 conserved cysteine residues. Upstream from the C-terminal membrane anchorage are 3-4 heparan sulfate attachment sites. Cysteines in glypican-1 can become nitrosylated by nitric oxide in a copper-dependent reaction. When glypican-1 is exposed to ascorbate, nitric oxide is released and participates in deaminative cleavage of heparan sulfate at sites where the glucosamines have a free amino group. This process takes place while glypican-1 recycles via a nonclassical, caveolin-1-associated route. Glypicans are involved in growth factor signalling and transport, e.g. of polyamines. Cargo can be unloaded from heparan sulfate by nitric oxide-dependent degradation. How glypican and its degradation products and the cargo exit from the recycling route is an enigma. PMID:15112050

  13. [Distribution of Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in mangroves of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Carballo, J L

    2000-01-01

    The ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata synthesizes some of the most promising substances against solid-type tumors, but the only available source are the natural populations of this tunicate, which is reared or collected in different parts of the world. A total of 33 locations were sampled in the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. The tunicate was not found in Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche, but it was well established on mangrove roots in the Yucatan Peninsula where we estimated densities more or less equal to one colony and an average production of 115 g of biomass per lineal meter of mangrove coastline in one location (Río Lagartos). Sustainable management appears to be possible.

  14. [Morphofunctional organization of reserve stem cells providing for asexual and sexual reproduction of invertebrates].

    PubMed

    Isaeva, V V; Akhmadieva, A V; Aleksandriova, Ia N; Shukaliuk, A I

    2009-01-01

    Published and original data indicating evolutionary conservation of the morphofunctional organization of reserve stem cells providing for asexual and sexual reproduction of invertebrates are reviewed. Stem cells were studied in representatives of five animal types: archeocytes in sponge Oscarella malakhovi (Porifera), large interstitial cells in colonial hydroid Obelia longissima (Cnidaria), neoblasts in an asexual race of planarian Girardia tigrina (Platyhelmintes), stem cells in colonial rhizocephalans Peltogasterella gracilis, Polyascus polygenea, and Thylacoplethus isaevae (Arthropoda), and colonial ascidian Botryllus tuberatus (Chordata). Stem cells in animals of such diverse taxa feature the presence of germinal granules, are positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, demonstrate alkaline phosphatase activity (at marker of embryonic stem cells and primary germ cells in vertebrates), and rhizocephalan stem cells express the vasa-like gene (such genes are expressed in germline cells of different metazoans). The self-renewing pool of stem cells is the cellular basis of the reproductive strategy including sexual and asexual reproduction.

  15. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division.

    PubMed

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-08-09

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis.

  16. Redeployment of germ layers related TFs shows regionalized expression during two non-embryonic developments.

    PubMed

    Ricci, Lorenzo; Cabrera, Fabien; Lotito, Sonia; Tiozzo, Stefano

    2016-08-01

    In all non-vertebrate metazoan phyla, species that evolved non-embryonic developmental pathways as means of propagation or regeneration can be found. In this context, new bodies arise through asexual reproduction processes (such as budding) or whole body regeneration, that lack the familiar temporal and spatial cues classically associated with embryogenesis, like maternal determinants, or gastrulation. The molecular mechanisms underlying those non-embryonic developments (i.e., regeneration and asexual reproduction), and their relationship to those deployed during embryogenesis are poorly understood. We have addressed this question in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, which undergoes an asexual reproductive process via palleal budding (PB), as well as a whole body regeneration by vascular budding (VB). We identified early regenerative structures during VB and then followed the fate of differentiating tissues during both non-embryonic developments (PB and VB) by monitoring the expression of genes known to play key functions in germ layer specification with well conserved expression patterns in solitary ascidian embryogenesis. The expression patterns of FoxA1, GATAa, GATAb, Otx, Bra, Gsc and Tbx2/3 were analysed during both PB and VB. We found that the majority of these transcription factors were expressed during both non-embryonic developmental processes, revealing a regionalization of the palleal and vascular buds. Knockdown of GATAa by siRNA in palleal buds confirmed that preventing the correct development of one of these regions blocks further tissue specification. Our results indicate that during both normal and injury-induced budding, a similar alternative developmental program operates via early commitment of epithelial regions.

  17. Functional specialization of cellulose synthase genes of prokaryotic origin in chordate larvaceans.

    PubMed

    Sagane, Yoshimasa; Zech, Karin; Bouquet, Jean-Marie; Schmid, Martina; Bal, Ugur; Thompson, Eric M

    2010-05-01

    Extracellular matrices play important, but poorly investigated, roles in morphogenesis. Extracellular cellulose is central to regulation of pattern formation in plants, but among metazoans only tunicates are capable of cellulose biosynthesis. Cellulose synthase (CesA) gene products are present in filter-feeding structures of all tunicates and also regulate metamorphosis in the ascidian Ciona. Ciona CesA is proposed to have been acquired by lateral gene transfer from a prokaryote. We identified two CesA genes in the sister-class larvacean Oikopleura dioica. Each has a mosaic structure of a glycoslyltransferase 2 domain upstream of a glycosyl hydrolase family 6 cellulase-like domain, a signature thus far unique to tunicates. Spatial-temporal expression analysis revealed that Od-CesA1 produces long cellulose fibrils along the larval tail, whereas Od-CesA2 is responsible for the cellulose scaffold of the post-metamorphic filter-feeding house. Knockdown of Od-CesA1 inhibited cellulose production in the extracellular matrix of the larval tail. Notochord cells either failed to align or were misaligned, the tail did not elongate properly and tailbud embryos also exhibited a failure to hatch. Knockdown of Od-CesA2 did not elicit any of these phenotypes and instead caused a mild delay in pre-house formation. Phylogenetic analyses including Od-CesAs indicate that a single lateral gene transfer event from a prokaryote at the base of the lineage conferred biosynthetic capacity in all tunicates. Ascidians possess one CesA gene, whereas duplicated larvacean genes have evolved distinct temporal and functional specializations. Extracellular cellulose microfibrils produced by the pre-metamorphic Od-CesA1 duplicate have a role in notochord and tail morphogenesis.

  18. Redeployment of germ layers related TFs shows regionalized expression during two non-embryonic developments.

    PubMed

    Ricci, Lorenzo; Cabrera, Fabien; Lotito, Sonia; Tiozzo, Stefano

    2016-08-01

    In all non-vertebrate metazoan phyla, species that evolved non-embryonic developmental pathways as means of propagation or regeneration can be found. In this context, new bodies arise through asexual reproduction processes (such as budding) or whole body regeneration, that lack the familiar temporal and spatial cues classically associated with embryogenesis, like maternal determinants, or gastrulation. The molecular mechanisms underlying those non-embryonic developments (i.e., regeneration and asexual reproduction), and their relationship to those deployed during embryogenesis are poorly understood. We have addressed this question in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, which undergoes an asexual reproductive process via palleal budding (PB), as well as a whole body regeneration by vascular budding (VB). We identified early regenerative structures during VB and then followed the fate of differentiating tissues during both non-embryonic developments (PB and VB) by monitoring the expression of genes known to play key functions in germ layer specification with well conserved expression patterns in solitary ascidian embryogenesis. The expression patterns of FoxA1, GATAa, GATAb, Otx, Bra, Gsc and Tbx2/3 were analysed during both PB and VB. We found that the majority of these transcription factors were expressed during both non-embryonic developmental processes, revealing a regionalization of the palleal and vascular buds. Knockdown of GATAa by siRNA in palleal buds confirmed that preventing the correct development of one of these regions blocks further tissue specification. Our results indicate that during both normal and injury-induced budding, a similar alternative developmental program operates via early commitment of epithelial regions. PMID:27208394

  19. Tunicate mitogenomics and phylogenetics: peculiarities of the Herdmania momus mitochondrial genome and support for the new chordate phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Tunicates represent a key metazoan group as the sister-group of vertebrates within chordates. The six complete mitochondrial genomes available so far for tunicates have revealed distinctive features. Extensive gene rearrangements and particularly high evolutionary rates have been evidenced with regard to other chordates. This peculiar evolutionary dynamics has hampered the reconstruction of tunicate phylogenetic relationships within chordates based on mitogenomic data. Results In order to further understand the atypical evolutionary dynamics of the mitochondrial genome of tunicates, we determined the complete sequence of the solitary ascidian Herdmania momus. This genome from a stolidobranch ascidian presents the typical tunicate gene content with 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs and 24 tRNAs which are all encoded on the same strand. However, it also presents a novel gene arrangement, highlighting the extreme plasticity of gene order observed in tunicate mitochondrial genomes. Probabilistic phylogenetic inferences were conducted on the concatenation of the 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes from representatives of major metazoan phyla. We show that whereas standard homogeneous amino acid models support an artefactual sister position of tunicates relative to all other bilaterians, the CAT and CAT+BP site- and time-heterogeneous mixture models place tunicates as the sister-group of vertebrates within monophyletic chordates. Moreover, the reference phylogeny indicates that tunicate mitochondrial genomes have experienced a drastic acceleration in their evolutionary rate that equally affects protein-coding and ribosomal-RNA genes. Conclusion This is the first mitogenomic study supporting the new chordate phylogeny revealed by recent phylogenomic analyses. It illustrates the beneficial effects of an increased taxon sampling coupled with the use of more realistic amino acid substitution models for the reconstruction of animal phylogeny. PMID:19922605

  20. Sperm motility parameters and spermatozoa morphometric characterization in marine species: a study of swimmer and sessile species.

    PubMed

    Gallego, V; Pérez, L; Asturiano, J F; Yoshida, M

    2014-09-15

    The biodiversity of marine ecosystems is diverse and a high number of species coexist side by side. However, despite the fact that most of these species share a common fertilization strategy, a high variability in terms of the size, shape, and motion of spermatozoa can be found. In this study, we have analyzed both the sperm motion parameters and the spermatozoa morphometric features of two swimmer (pufferfish and European eel) and two sessile (sea urchin and ascidian) marine species. The most important differences in the sperm motion parameters were registered in the swimming period. Sessile species sperm displayed notably higher values than swimmer species sperm. In addition, the sperm motilities and velocities of the swimmer species decreased sharply once the sperm was activated, whereas the sessile species were able to maintain their initial values for a long time. These results are linked directly to the species-specific lifestyles. Although sessile organisms, which show limited or no movement, need sperm with a capacity to swim for long distances to find the oocytes, swimmer organisms can move toward the female and release gametes near it, and therefore the spermatozoa does not need to swim for such a long time. At the same time, sperm morphology is related to sperm motion parameters, and in this study an in-depth morphometric analysis of ascidian, sea urchin, and pufferfish spermatozoa, using computer-assisted sperm analysis software, has been carried out for the first time. A huge variability in shapes, sizes, and structures of the studied species was found using electron microscopy.

  1. Calcium at fertilization and in early development

    PubMed Central

    Whitaker, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fertilization calcium waves are introduced and the evidence from which we can infer general mechanisms of these waves is presented. The two main classes of hypothesis put forward to explain the generation of the fertilization calcium wave are set out and it is concluded that initiation of the fertilization calcium wave can be most generally explained in inverterbrates by a mechanism in which an activating substance enters the egg from the sperm on sperm-egg fusion, activating the egg by stimulating phospholipase C activation through a src family kinase pathway and in mammals by the diffusion of a sperm-specific phospholipase C from sperm to egg on sperm-egg fusion. The fertilization calcium wave is then set into the context of cell cycle control and the mechanism of repetitive calcium spiking in mammalian eggs is investigated. Evidence that calcium signals control cell division in early embryos is reviewed, and it is concluded that calcium signals are essential at all three stages of cell division in early embryos. Evidence that phosphoinositide signalling pathways control the resumption of meiosis during oocyte maturation is considered. It is concluded on balance that the evidence points to a need for phosphoinositide/calcium signalling during resumption of meiosis. Changes to the calcium signalling machinery occur during meiosis to enable the production of a calcium wave in the mature oocyte when it is fertilized; evidence that the shape and structure of the endoplasmic reticulum alters dynamically during maturation and after fertilization is reviewed and the link between ER dynamics and the cytoskeleton is discussed. There is evidence that calcium signalling plays a key part in the development of patterning in early embryos. Morphogenesis in ascidian, frog and zebrafish embryos is briefly described to provide the developmental context in which calcium signals act. Intracellular calcium waves that may play a role in axis formation in ascidian are discussed

  2. Internal brooding favours pre-metamorphic chimerism in a non-colonial cnidarian, the sea anemone Urticina felina.

    PubMed

    Mercier, Annie; Sun, Zhao; Hamel, Jean-François

    2011-12-01

    The concept of intraorganismal genetic heterogeneity resulting from allogeneic fusion (i.e. chimerism) has almost exclusively been explored in modular organisms that have the capacity to reproduce asexually, such as colonial ascidians and corals. Apart from medical conditions in mammals, the natural development of chimeras across ontogenetic stages has not been investigated in any unitary organism incapable of asexual propagation. Furthermore, chimerism was mainly studied among gregarious settlers to show that clustering of genetically similar individuals upon settlement promotes the occurrence of multi-chimeras exhibiting greater fitness. The possible occurrence of chimeric embryos and larvae prior to settlement has not received any attention. Here we document for the first time the presence of natural chimeras in brooded embryos and larvae of a unitary cnidarian, the sea anemone Urticina felina. Rates of visible bi- and multi-chimerism of up to 3.13 per cent were measured in the broods of 16 females. Apart from these sectorial chimeras, monitored fusion events also yielded homogeneous chimeric entities (mega-larvae) suggesting that the actual rates of natural chimerism in U. felina are greater than predicted by visual assessment. In support of this assumption, the broods of certain individuals comprised a dominant proportion (to 90%) of inexplicably large embryos and larvae (relative to oocyte size). Findings of fusion and chimerism in a unitary organism add a novel dimension to the framework within which the mechanisms and evolutionary significance of genetic heterogeneity in animal taxa can be explored.

  3. Biosynthetic origin of natural products isolated from marine microorganism-invertebrate assemblages.

    PubMed

    Simmons, T Luke; Coates, R Cameron; Clark, Benjamin R; Engene, Niclas; Gonzalez, David; Esquenazi, Eduardo; Dorrestein, Pieter C; Gerwick, William H

    2008-03-25

    In all probability, natural selection began as ancient marine microorganisms were required to compete for limited resources. These pressures resulted in the evolution of diverse genetically encoded small molecules with a variety of ecological and metabolic roles. Remarkably, many of these same biologically active molecules have potential utility in modern medicine and biomedical research. The most promising of these natural products often derive from organisms richly populated by associated microorganisms (e.g., marine sponges and ascidians), and often there is great uncertainty about which organism in these assemblages is making these intriguing metabolites. To use the molecular machinery responsible for the biosynthesis of potential drug-lead natural products, new tools must be applied to delineate their genetic and enzymatic origins. The aim of this perspective is to highlight both traditional and emerging techniques for the localization of metabolic pathways within complex marine environments. Examples are given from the literature as well as recent proof-of-concept experiments from the authors' laboratories.

  4. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division

    PubMed Central

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-01-01

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16550.001 PMID:27502556

  5. Forming a tough shell via an intracellular matrix and cellular junctions in the tail epidermis of Oikopleura dioica (Chordata: Tunicata: Appendicularia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakashima, Keisuke; Nishino, Atsuo; Hirose, Euichi

    2011-08-01

    A postanal tail is a major synapomorphy of the phylum Chordata, which is composed of three subphyla: Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, and Tunicata (Urochordata). Among tunicates, appendicularians are the only group that retains the tail in the adult, and the adult tail functions in locomotion and feeding in combination with a cellulose-based house structure. Given the phylogenetic position of tunicates, the appendicularian adult tail may possess ancestral features of the chordate tail. We assess the ultrastructural development of the tail epidermis of the appendicularian Oikopleura dioica. The epidermis of the larval tail is enclosed by the larval envelope, which is a thin sheet similar to the outer tunic layer of ascidian larvae. The epidermis of the adult tail seems to bear no tunic-like cellulosic integuments, and the tail fin is a simple folding of the epidermis. Every epidermal cell, except for the triangular cells at the edge of the tail fin, has a conspicuous matrix layer of fibrous content in the apical cytoplasm without enclosing membranes. The epidermis of the larval tail does not have a fibrous matrix layer, suggesting the production of the layer during larval development and metamorphosis. Zonulae adhaerentes firmly bind the epidermal cells of the adult tail to one another, and the dense microfilaments lining the cell borders constitute a mechanical support for the cell membranes. The intracellular matrix, cell junctions, and cytoskeletons probably make the tail epidermis a tough, flexible shell supporting the active beating of the oikopleuran adult tail.

  6. Ancient deuterostome origins of vertebrate brain signalling centres.

    PubMed

    Pani, Ariel M; Mullarkey, Erin E; Aronowicz, Jochanan; Assimacopoulos, Stavroula; Grove, Elizabeth A; Lowe, Christopher J

    2012-03-14

    Neuroectodermal signalling centres induce and pattern many novel vertebrate brain structures but are absent, or divergent, in invertebrate chordates. This has led to the idea that signalling-centre genetic programs were first assembled in stem vertebrates and potentially drove morphological innovations of the brain. However, this scenario presumes that extant cephalochordates accurately represent ancestral chordate characters, which has not been tested using close chordate outgroups. Here we report that genetic programs homologous to three vertebrate signalling centres-the anterior neural ridge, zona limitans intrathalamica and isthmic organizer-are present in the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii. Fgf8/17/18 (a single gene homologous to vertebrate Fgf8, Fgf17 and Fgf18), sfrp1/5, hh and wnt1 are expressed in vertebrate-like arrangements in hemichordate ectoderm, and homologous genetic mechanisms regulate ectodermal patterning in both animals. We propose that these genetic programs were components of an unexpectedly complex, ancient genetic regulatory scaffold for deuterostome body patterning that degenerated in amphioxus and ascidians, but was retained to pattern divergent structures in hemichordates and vertebrates.

  7. On a possible evolutionary link of the stomochord of hemichordates to pharyngeal organs of chordates.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Noriyuki; Tagawa, Kunifumi; Lowe, Christopher J; Yu, Jr-Kai; Kawashima, Takeshi; Takahashi, Hiroki; Ogasawara, Michio; Kirschner, Marc; Hisata, Kanako; Su, Yi-Hsien; Gerhart, John

    2014-12-01

    As a group closely related to chordates, hemichordate acorn worms are in a key phylogenic position for addressing hypotheses of chordate origins. The stomochord of acorn worms is an anterior outgrowth of the pharynx endoderm into the proboscis. In 1886 Bateson proposed homology of this organ to the chordate notochord, crowning this animal group "hemichordates." Although this proposal has been debated for over a century, the question still remains unresolved. Here we review recent progress related to this question. First, the developmental mode of the stomochord completely differs from that of the notochord. Second, comparison of expression profiles of genes including Brachyury, a key regulator of notochord formation in chordates, does not support the stomochord/notochord homology. Third, FoxE that is expressed in the stomochord-forming region in acorn worm juveniles is expressed in the club-shaped gland and in the endostyle of amphioxus, in the endostyle of ascidians, and in the thyroid gland of vertebrates. Based on these findings, together with the anterior endodermal location of the stomochord, we propose that the stomochord has evolutionary relatedness to chordate organs deriving from the anterior pharynx rather than to the notochord.

  8. Developmental toxicity of benzotriazole in the protochordate Ciona intestinalis (Chordata, Ascidiae).

    PubMed

    Kadar, Eniko; Dashfield, Sarah; Hutchinson, Thomas H

    2010-01-01

    Benzotriazoles (BT) are applied as anticorrosive and de-icing agents and have been detected in a variety of aquatic ecosystems and municipal wastewater effluents. We have assessed the developmental effects of benzotriazole (CAS number 95-14-7) to the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis (Chordata, Ascidiae). At 15 +/- 1 degrees C, the 24 h No-Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) and Lowest Observed Effect Concentration (LOEC) values based on embryo morphological development were 100 and >100 mg L(-1), respectively (nominal concentration under static conditions). After 48 h, the NOEC and LOEC values were 10 and 32 mg L(-1), respectively. Light and electron microscopy studies on benzotriazole-exposed larva indicated that the primary target cells were the extra-embryonic test cells, which are known to play a significant apoptotic role during ascidian metamorphosis. The visible decline of test cells in benzotriazole-exposed larvae raises the possibility that the compound interferes with the regulation of embryo development in protochordates such as C. intestinalis. Further research is warranted to assess the potential longer term sublethal impacts of benzotriazole in aquatic organisms.

  9. FGF signaling induces mesoderm in the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephen A; Norris, Rachael P; Terasaki, Mark; Lowe, Christopher J

    2013-03-01

    FGFs act in vertebrate mesoderm induction and also play key roles in early mesoderm formation in ascidians and amphioxus. However, in sea urchins initial characterizations of FGF function do not support a role in early mesoderm induction, making the ancestral roles of FGF signaling and mechanisms of mesoderm specification in deuterostomes unclear. In order to better characterize the evolution of mesoderm formation, we have examined the role of FGF signaling during mesoderm development in Saccoglossus kowalevskii, an experimentally tractable representative of hemichordates. We report the expression of an FGF ligand, fgf8/17/18, in ectoderm overlying sites of mesoderm specification within the archenteron endomesoderm. Embryological experiments demonstrate that mesoderm induction in the archenteron requires contact with ectoderm, and loss-of-function experiments indicate that both FGF ligand and receptor are necessary for mesoderm specification. fgf8/17/18 gain-of-function experiments establish that FGF8/17/18 is sufficient to induce mesoderm in adjacent endomesoderm. These experiments suggest that FGF signaling is necessary from the earliest stages of mesoderm specification and is required for all mesoderm development. Furthermore, they suggest that the archenteron is competent to form mesoderm or endoderm, and that FGF signaling from the ectoderm defines the location and amount of mesoderm. When considered in a comparative context, these data support a phylogenetically broad requirement for FGF8/17/18 signaling in mesoderm specification and suggest that FGF signaling played an ancestral role in deuterostome mesoderm formation.

  10. Toxicity of Hg, Cu, Cd, and Cr on early developmental stages of Ciona intestinalis (Chordata, Ascidiacea) with potential application in marine water quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Bellas, J; Vázquez, E; Beiras, R

    2001-08-01

    The toxicity of mercury, copper, cadmium and chromium on sperm viability, fertilisation, embryogenesis and larval attachment of Ciona intestinalis was examined. Fertilisation rate (FR) showed a small decrease even at the highest metal concentration tested. The median effective concentrations (EC50) reducing rates of embryogenesis and larval attachment by 50% were 54 microg Hg/l (0.27 microM), 46 microg Cu/l (0.72 microM), 838 microg Cd/l (7.46 microM), 10,318 microg Cr/l (198 microM), and 35 microg Hg/l (0.18 microM), 34 microg Cu/l (0.54 microM) and 11,755 microg Cr/l (226 microM), respectively. Therefore, Hg is three times more toxic than Cu (on a molar basis), ca. 30 times more toxic than Cd and ca. 1000 times more toxic than Cr to early stages of C. intestinalis. Rates of larval attachment and embryogenesis were the most sensitive endpoints, although the latter is more advisable for routine assessment of seawater quality because of its greater simplicity. In addition to bivalves and sea-urchins, ascidian embryos can provide biological criteria for seawater quality standards taking into account the sensitivity of a chordate and contributing to the detection of harmful chemicals with no marked effect on the species currently in use in seawater quality bioassays.

  11. Forming a tough shell via an intracellular matrix and cellular junctions in the tail epidermis of Oikopleura dioica (Chordata: Tunicata: Appendicularia).

    PubMed

    Nakashima, Keisuke; Nishino, Atsuo; Hirose, Euichi

    2011-08-01

    A postanal tail is a major synapomorphy of the phylum Chordata, which is composed of three subphyla: Vertebrata, Cephalochordata, and Tunicata (Urochordata). Among tunicates, appendicularians are the only group that retains the tail in the adult, and the adult tail functions in locomotion and feeding in combination with a cellulose-based house structure. Given the phylogenetic position of tunicates, the appendicularian adult tail may possess ancestral features of the chordate tail. We assess the ultrastructural development of the tail epidermis of the appendicularian Oikopleura dioica. The epidermis of the larval tail is enclosed by the larval envelope, which is a thin sheet similar to the outer tunic layer of ascidian larvae. The epidermis of the adult tail seems to bear no tunic-like cellulosic integuments, and the tail fin is a simple folding of the epidermis. Every epidermal cell, except for the triangular cells at the edge of the tail fin, has a conspicuous matrix layer of fibrous content in the apical cytoplasm without enclosing membranes. The epidermis of the larval tail does not have a fibrous matrix layer, suggesting the production of the layer during larval development and metamorphosis. Zonulae adhaerentes firmly bind the epidermal cells of the adult tail to one another, and the dense microfilaments lining the cell borders constitute a mechanical support for the cell membranes. The intracellular matrix, cell junctions, and cytoskeletons probably make the tail epidermis a tough, flexible shell supporting the active beating of the oikopleuran adult tail.

  12. Fouling-resistant surfaces of tropical sea stars.

    PubMed

    Guenther, Jana; Walker-Smith, Genefor; Warén, Anders; De Nys, Rocky

    2007-01-01

    Qualitative evidence suggests sea stars are free of fouling organisms; however the presence of fouling-resistant surfaces of sea stars has not previously been documented. Field surveys were conducted in northern Queensland, Australia, during the wet and dry seasons and several tropical sea star species were examined for surface-associated micro- and macro-organisms. Mean bacterial abundances on seven sea star species were approximately 10(4) to 10(5) cells cm(-2) during both seasons. There were no consistent trends in bacterial abundances with season, species and aboral positions on sea star arms. No common generalist fouling organisms, such as algae, barnacles, serpulid polychaetes, bryozoans and ascidians, were found on any specimens of 12 sea star species. However, low numbers of parasitic and commensal macro-organisms were found on six sea star species. The gastropods Parvioris fulvescens, Asterolamia hians, Thyca (Granulithyca) nardoafrianti and Thyca crystallina were found exclusively on the sea stars Archaster typicus, Astropecten indicus, Nardoa pauciforis and Linckia laevigata, respectively. The shrimp Periclimenes soror was only found on Acanthaster planci, and the polychaete Ophiodromus sp. on A. typicus. The copepods Stellicola illgi and Paramolgus sp. were only found on L. laevigata and Echinaster luzonicus, respectively. As no common generalist fouling organisms were discovered, sea stars offer an excellent model to investigate the mechanisms driving fouling-resistant surfaces and the selective settlement of specialist invertebrates.

  13. Megalodicopia hians in the Monterey submarine canyon: Distribution, larval development, and culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havenhand, Jon. N.; Matsumoto, George I.; Seidel, Ed

    2006-02-01

    The exclusively deep-sea ascidian family Octacnemidae comprises several genera in which the oral siphon has hypertrophied to form two large lips which create an "oral hood" capable of capturing motile prey. Megalodicopia hians is typical of this carnivorous family and has been reported to prey upon small epibenthic crustaceans. Distribution of M. hians in the Monterey Canyon system (36°45'N, 122°00'W) (California) was determined with remotely operated vehicles. M. hians was found sparsely to depths of at least 3800 m throughout the canyon; however, abundance was greatest within the oxygen-minimum zone (400-800 m). Eggs, sperm, and recently fertilized embryos were obtained repeatedly from adults returned to the laboratory in vivo, indicating that this species free-spawns routinely. Overall egg diameter (ovum plus chorion, plus follicle cells) was 175-190 μm—considerably smaller than previously reported for this species. Embryonic development at temperature and oxygen concentrations equivalent to the oxygen-minimum zone was 2-4 d and, embryos gave rise to typical phlebobranch "simple" tadpole larvae. Larval period was extremely variable, and settlement/metamorphosis occurred up to 3 months post-hatching. These results are discussed within the context of settlement-site selection and fertilization ecology of the species.

  14. Unique crystallographic pattern in the macro to atomic structure of Herdmania momus vateritic spicules.

    PubMed

    Kabalah-Amitai, Lee; Mayzel, Boaz; Zaslansky, Paul; Kauffmann, Yaron; Clotens, Peter; Pokroy, Boaz

    2013-08-01

    Biogenic vaterite is extremely rare. The only known example of a completely vateritic mineralized structure is the spicule of the solitary ascidian, Herdmania momus. In characterizing the structure of these spicules, using state-of-the-art techniques such as synchrotron X-ray diffraction and synchrotron micro- and nanotomography, we observed a continuous structural pattern from the macro down to the micro, nano, and atomic scales. We show that the spicules demonstrate a unique architecture composed of micron-sized, hexagonally faceted thorns organized in partial spirals along the cylinder-like polycrystalline body of the spicule, and tilted from it at an angle of about 26°. This morphological orientation coincides with the crystallographic orientation relationship between each thorn and the polycrystals within the spicule. Hence the entire spicule grows along the [011] direction of vaterite while the individual thorns grow along the [001] direction. This, together with the presence of both inter- and intra-crystalline organic phases, beautifully displays the organism's ability to achieve perfect control of mineralization biologically while employing an unstable polymorph of calcium carbonate: vaterite.

  15. Characterization of a hemichordate fork head/HNF-3 gene expression.

    PubMed

    Taguchi, S; Tagawa, K; Humphreys, T; Nishino, A; Satoh, N; Harada, Y

    2000-01-01

    Based on anatomical and developmental similarities, hemichordates are thought to be most closely related to chordates. However, so far very few developmental genes have been characterized from hemichordates. To gain molecular insight into the developmental mechanisms involved in the origin and evolution of chordates, we investigated the expression of a fork head/HNF-3 (PfHNF3) gene in the acorn worm embryo. Chordate fork head genes are implicated in the formation of endoderm, notochord and floor plate. We found that a PfHNF3 transcript was first detected at the early blastula stage; the signal of in situ hybridization was found in the vegetal plate cells, invaginating endoderm and then in the archenteron. By the late gastrula and into the early tornaria larva stages, an intense signal remained in the anterior region of the archenteron, while the expression in the other regions of archenteron decreased. The intense signal was retained in the pharynx of the tornaria larva. A comparison of the pattern of PfHNF3 with that of HNF-3 genes of sea urchin, ascidian, amphioxus and vertebrate suggests a possible acquisition of new functions of the gene during deuterostome evolution.

  16. Structure of a photosystem II supercomplex isolated from Prochloron didemni retaining its chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting system

    PubMed Central

    Bibby, Thomas S.; Nield, Jon; Chen, Min; Larkum, Anthony W. D.; Barber, James

    2003-01-01

    Prochlorophytes are a class of cyanobacteria that do not use phycobiliproteins as light-harvesting systems, but contain chlorophyll (Chl) a/b-binding Pcb proteins. Recently it was shown that Pcb proteins form an 18-subunit light-harvesting antenna ring around the photosystem I (PSI) trimeric reaction center complex of the prochlorophyte Prochlorococcus marinus SS120. Here we have investigated whether the symbiotic prochlorophyte Prochloron didemni also contains the same supermolecular complex. Using cells isolated directly from its ascidian host, we found no evidence for the presence of the Pcb–PSI supercomplex. Instead we have identified and characterized a supercomplex composed of photosystem II (PSII) and Pcb proteins. We show that 10-Pcb subunits associate with the PSII dimeric reaction center core to form a giant complex having an estimated Mr of 1,500 kDa with dimensions of 210 × 290 Å. Five-Pcb subunits flank each long side of the dimer and assuming each binds 13 Chl molecules, increase the antenna size of PSII by ≈200%. Fluorescence emission studies indicate that energy transfer occurs efficiently from the Pcb antenna. Modeling using the x-ray structure of cyanobacterial PSII suggests that energy transfer to the PSII reaction center is via the Chls bound to the CP47 and CP43 proteins. PMID:12837938

  17. The genetic covariance between life cycle stages separated by metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre, J. David; Blows, Mark W.; Marshall, Dustin J.

    2014-01-01

    Metamorphosis is common in animals, yet the genetic associations between life cycle stages are poorly understood. Given the radical changes that occur at metamorphosis, selection may differ before and after metamorphosis, and the extent that genetic associations between pre- and post-metamorphic traits constrain evolutionary change is a subject of considerable interest. In some instances, metamorphosis may allow the genetic decoupling of life cycle stages, whereas in others, metamorphosis could allow complementary responses to selection across the life cycle. Using a diallel breeding design, we measured viability at four ontogenetic stages (embryo, larval, juvenile and adult viability), in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and examined the orientation of additive genetic variation with respect to the metamorphic boundary. We found support for one eigenvector of G (gobsmax), which contrasted larval viability against embryo viability and juvenile viability. Target matrix rotation confirmed that while gobsmax shows genetic associations can extend beyond metamorphosis, there is still considerable scope for decoupled phenotypic evolution. Therefore, although genetic associations across metamorphosis could limit that range of phenotypes that are attainable, traits on either side of the metamorphic boundary are capable of some independent evolutionary change in response to the divergent conditions encountered during each life cycle stage. PMID:24966319

  18. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution.

  19. 3D-Printed Microwell Arrays for Ciona Microinjection and Timelapse Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Clint; Veeman, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Ascidians such as Ciona are close chordate relatives of the vertebrates with small, simple embryonic body plans and small, simple genomes. The tractable size of the embryo offers considerable advantages for in toto imaging and quantitative analysis of morphogenesis. For functional studies, Ciona eggs are considerably more challenging to microinject than the much larger eggs of other model organisms such as zebrafish and Xenopus. One of the key difficulties is in restraining the eggs so that the microinjection needle can be easily introduced and withdrawn. Here we develop and test a device to cast wells in agarose that are each sized to hold a single egg. This injection mold is fabricated by micro-resolution stereolithography with a grid of egg-sized posts that cast corresponding wells in agarose. This 3D printing technology allows the rapid and inexpensive testing of iteratively refined prototypes. In addition to their utility in microinjection, these grids of embryo-sized wells are also valuable for timelapse imaging of multiple embryos. PMID:24324769

  20. Structural shifts of aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes were instrumental for the early evolution of retinoid-dependent axial patterning in metazoans.

    PubMed

    Sobreira, Tiago J P; Marlétaz, Ferdinand; Simões-Costa, Marcos; Schechtman, Deborah; Pereira, Alexandre C; Brunet, Frédéric; Sweeney, Sarah; Pani, Ariel; Aronowicz, Jochanan; Lowe, Christopher J; Davidson, Bradley; Laudet, Vincent; Bronner, Marianne; de Oliveira, Paulo S L; Schubert, Michael; Xavier-Neto, José

    2011-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) catabolize toxic aldehydes and process the vitamin A-derived retinaldehyde into retinoic acid (RA), a small diffusible molecule and a pivotal chordate morphogen. In this study, we combine phylogenetic, structural, genomic, and developmental gene expression analyses to examine the evolutionary origins of ALDH substrate preference. Structural modeling reveals that processing of small aldehydes, such as acetaldehyde, by ALDH2, versus large aldehydes, including retinaldehyde, by ALDH1A is associated with small versus large substrate entry channels (SECs), respectively. Moreover, we show that metazoan ALDH1s and ALDH2s are members of a single ALDH1/2 clade and that during evolution, eukaryote ALDH1/2s often switched between large and small SECs after gene duplication, transforming constricted channels into wide opened ones and vice versa. Ancestral sequence reconstructions suggest that during the evolutionary emergence of RA signaling, the ancestral, narrow-channeled metazoan ALDH1/2 gave rise to large ALDH1 channels capable of accommodating bulky aldehydes, such as retinaldehyde, supporting the view that retinoid-dependent signaling arose from ancestral cellular detoxification mechanisms. Our analyses also indicate that, on a more restricted evolutionary scale, ALDH1 duplicates from invertebrate chordates (amphioxus and ascidian tunicates) underwent switches to smaller and narrower SECs. When combined with alterations in gene expression, these switches led to neofunctionalization from ALDH1-like roles in embryonic patterning to systemic, ALDH2-like roles, suggesting functional shifts from signaling to detoxification.

  1. First record of massive blooming of benthic diatoms and their association with megabenthic filter feeders on the shallow seafloor of an Antarctic Fjord: Does glacier melting fuel the bloom?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, In-Young; Moon, Hye-Won; Jeon, Misa; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2016-03-01

    We report a conspicuous benthic diatom bloom on an Antarctic fjord shallow seafloor, which has not been reported elsewhere in Antarctica. A thick and massive growth of benthic diatoms was covering or being entangled with a variety of common benthic megafauna such as stalked ascidians, sponges, tubedwelling polychaetes, gastropods, bryozoans, and others. This finding is an outcome of recent investigations on benthic communities in Marian Cove, King George Island, where glacier retreat has been proceeding quickly for the past several decades. Dominance of benthic diatoms during the austral summer has been frequently reported in shallow Antarctic nearshore waters, which in turn indicates their potential as a primary food item for secondary producers living in this harsh environment. However, previous blooming records of the benthic diatoms were primarily based on data from water column samples. We are the first to report observational evidence of shallow seafloor substrates, including the massive blooming of benthic diatoms and their associations with common benthic megafauna in an Antarctic fjord.

  2. Unusual symbiotic cyanobacteria association in the genetically diverse intertidal marine sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis (Demospongiae, Halichondrida).

    PubMed

    Alex, Anoop; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Tamagnini, Paula; Santos, Arlete; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria represent one of the most common members of the sponge-associated bacterial community and are abundant symbionts of coral reef ecosystems. In this study we used Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and molecular techniques (16S rRNA gene marker) to characterize the spatial distribution of cyanobionts in the widely dispersed marine intertidal sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis along the coast of Portugal (Atlantic Ocean). We described new sponge associated cyanobacterial morphotypes (Xenococcus-like) and we further observed Acaryochloris sp. as a sponge symbiont, previously only reported in association with ascidians. Besides these two unique cyanobacteria, H. perlevis predominantly harbored Synechococcus sp. and uncultured marine cyanobacteria. Our study supports the hypothesis that the community of sponge cyanobionts varies irrespective of the geographical location and is likely influenced by seasonal fluctuations. The observed multiple cyanobacterial association among sponges of the same host species over a large distance may be attributed to horizontal transfer of symbionts. This may explain the absence of a co-evolutionary pattern between the sponge host and its symbionts. Finally, in spite of the short geographic sampling distance covered, we observed an unexpected high intra-specific genetic diversity in H. perlevis using the mitochondrial genes ATP6 (π = 0.00177), COI (π = 0.00241) and intergenic spacer SP1 (π = 0.00277) relative to the levels of genetic variation of marine sponges elsewhere. Our study suggests that genotypic variation among the sponge host H. perlevis and the associated symbiotic cyanobacteria diversity may be larger than previously recognized.

  3. β‐catenin‐driven binary cell fate decisions in animal development

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The Wnt/β‐catenin pathway plays key roles during animal development. In several species, β‐catenin is used in a reiterative manner to regulate cell fate diversification between daughter cells following division. This binary cell fate specification mechanism has been observed in animals that belong to very diverse phyla: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the annelid Platynereis, and the ascidian Ciona. It may also play a role in the regulation of several stem cell lineages in vertebrates. While the molecular mechanism behind this binary cell fate switch is not fully understood, it appears that both secreted Wnt ligands and asymmetric cortical factors contribute to the generation of the difference in nuclear β‐catenin levels between daughter cells. β‐Catenin then cooperates with lineage specific transcription factors to induce the expression of novel sets of transcription factors at each round of divisions, thereby diversifying cell fate. WIREs Dev Biol 2016, 5:377–388. doi: 10.1002/wdev.228 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26952169

  4. Tunicates: exploring the sea shores and roaming the open ocean. A tribute to Thomas Huxley

    PubMed Central

    Lemaire, Patrick; Piette, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    This review is a tribute to the remarkable contributions of Thomas Huxley to the biology of tunicates, the likely sister group of vertebrates. In 1851, the great biologist and philosopher published two landmark papers on pelagic tunicates in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. They were dedicated to the description of the adult anatomy and life cycle of thaliaceans and appendicularians, the pelagic relatives of ascidians. In the first part of this review, we discuss the novel anatomical observations and evolutionary hypotheses made by Huxley, which would have a lasting influence on tunicate biology. We also briefly comment on the more philosophical reflections of Huxley on individuality. In the second part, we stress the originality and relevance of past and future studies of tunicates in the resolution of major biological issues. In particular, we focus on the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype and the phenomenon of developmental system drift. We propose that more than 150 years after Huxley's papers, tunicate embryos are still worth studying in their own right, independently of their evolutionary proximity to vertebrates, as they provide original and crucial insights into the process of animal evolution. Tunicates are still at the forefront of biological research. PMID:26085517

  5. The Ciona intestinalis genome: when the constraints are off

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holland, Linda Z.; Gibson-Brown, Jeremy J.

    2003-01-01

    The recent genome sequencing of a non-vertebrate deuterostome, the ascidian tunicate Ciona intestinalis, makes a substantial contribution to the fields of evolutionary and developmental biology.1 Tunicates have some of the smallest bilaterian genomes, embryos with relatively few cells, fixed lineages and early determination of cell fates. Initial analyses of the C. intestinalis genome indicate that it has been evolving rapidly. Comparisons with other bilaterians show that C. intestinalis has lost a number of genes, and that many genes linked together in most other bilaterians have become uncoupled. In addition, a number of independent, lineage-specific gene duplications have been detected. These new results, although interesting in themselves, will take on a deeper significance once the genomes of additional invertebrate deuterostomes (e.g. echinoderms, hemichordates and amphioxus) have been sequenced. With such a broadened database, comparative genomics can begin to ask pointed questions about the relationship between the evolution of genomes and the evolution of body plans. Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Experimental Removal and Recovery of Subtidal Grazers Highlights the Importance of Functional Redundancy and Temporal Context

    PubMed Central

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P.

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context. PMID:24250819

  7. Immunohistochemical analysis of adhesive papillae of Clavelina lepadiformis (Müller, 1776) and Clavelina phlegraea (Salfi, 1929) (Tunicata, Ascidiacea).

    PubMed

    Pennati, Roberta; Groppelli, S; De Bernardi, F; Mastrototaro, F; Zega, G

    2009-01-01

    Almost all ascidian larvae bear three mucus secreting and sensory organs, the adhesive papillae, at the anterior end of the trunk, which play an important role during the settlement phase. The morphology and the cellular composition of these organs varies greatly in the different species. The larvae of the Clavelina genus bear simple bulbous papillae, which are considered to have only a secretory function. We analysed the adhesive papillae of two species belonging to this genus, C. lepadiformis and C. phlegraea, by histological sections and by immunolocalisation of b-tubulin and serotonin, in order to better clarify the cellular composition of these organs. We demonstrated that they contain at least two types of neurons: central neurons, bearing microvilli, and peripheral ciliated neurons. Peripheral neurons of C. lepadiformis contain serotonin. We suggest that these two neurons play different roles during settlement: the central ones may be chemo- or mechanoreceptors that sense the substratum, and the peripheral ones may be involved in the mechanism that triggers metamorphosis.

  8. Modelling distribution of marine benthos from hydroacoustics and underwater video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, K. W.; Van Niel, K. P.; Radford, B.; Kendrick, G. A.; Grove, S. L.

    2008-08-01

    Broad-scale mapping of marine benthos is required for marine resource management and conservation. This study combines textural derivatives based on bathymetry from multibeam hydroacoustics with underwater video observations to model and map sessile biota between 10- and 60-m water depth over 35 km 2 in Point Addis Marine National Park (MNP), Vic., Australia. Classification tree models and maps were developed for macroalgae (all types, mixed red algae, Ecklonia, and rhodoliths) and sessile invertebrates (all types, sponges, and ascidians). Model accuracy was tested on 25% of the video observation dataset reserved from modelling. Models fit well for most macroalgae categories (correct classification rates of 67-84%), but are not as good for sessile invertebrate classes (correct classification rates of 57-62%). The poor fit of the sessile invertebrate models may be the combined result of grouping organisms with different environmental requirements and the effect of false absences recorded during video interpretation due to poor image quality. Probability maps, binary single-class maps, and multi-class maps supply spatially explicit, detailed information on the distribution of sessile benthic biota within the MNP and provide information at a landscape-scale for ecological investigations and marine management.

  9. Investigating the widespread introduction of a tropical marine fouling species.

    PubMed

    Sheets, Elizabeth A; Cohen, C Sarah; Ruiz, Gregory M; da Rocha, Rosana M

    2016-04-01

    Little is known about the number and rate of introductions into terrestrial and marine tropical regions, and if introduction patterns and processes differ from temperate latitudes. Botryllid ascidians (marine invertebrate chordates) are an interesting group to study such introduction differences because several congeners have established populations across latitudes. While temperate botryllid invasions have been repeatedly highlighted, the global spread of tropical Botrylloides nigrum (Herdman, 1886) has been largely ignored. We sampled B. nigrum from 16 worldwide warm water locations, including around the Panama Canal, one of the largest shipping hubs in the world and a possible introduction corridor. Using mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ANT) markers, we discovered a single species with low genetic divergence and diversity that has established in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indo-Pacific, and Mediterranean Oceans. The Atlantic Ocean contained the highest diversity and multilocus theta estimates and may be a source for introductions to other regions. A high frequency of one mitochondrial haplotype was detected in Pacific populations that may represent a recent introduction in this region. In comparison to temperate relatives, B. nigrum displayed lower (but similar to temperate Botrylloides violaceus) genetic divergence and diversity at both loci that may represent a more recent global spread or differences in introduction pressures in tropical regions. Additionally, chimeras (genetically distinct individuals sharing a single body) were detected in three populations by the mitochondrial locus and validated using cloning, and these individuals contained new haplotype diversity not detected in any other colonies. PMID:27066231

  10. A Hypervariable Invertebrate Allodeterminant

    PubMed Central

    Nicotra, Matthew L.; Powell, Anahid E.; Rosengarten, Rafael D.; Moreno, Maria; Grimwood, Jane; Lakkis, Fadi G.; Dellaporta, Stephen L.; Buss, Leo W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Colonial marine invertebrates, such as sponges, corals, bryozoans, and ascidians, often live in densely-populated communities where they encounter other members of their species as they grow over their substratum. Such encounters typically lead to a natural histocompatibility response in which colonies either fuse to become a single, chimeric colony or reject and aggressively compete for space. These allorecognition phenomena mediate intraspecific competition [1–3], support allotypic diversity [4], control the level at which selection acts [5–8], and resemble allogeneic interactions in pregnancy and transplantation [9–12]. Despite the ubiquity of allorecognition in colonial phyla, however, its molecular basis has not been identified beyond what is currently known about histocompatibility in vertebrates and protochordates. We positionally cloned an allorecognition gene using inbred strains of the cnidarian, Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, which is a model system for the study of invertebrate allorecognition. The gene identified encodes a putative transmembrane receptor expressed in all tissues capable of allorecognition that is highly polymorphic and predicts allorecognition responses in laboratory and field-derived strains. This study reveals that a previously undescribed hypervariable molecule bearing three extracellular domains with greatest sequence similarity to the immunoglobulin superfamily is an allodeterminant in a lower metazoan. PMID:19303297

  11. The genetic covariance between life cycle stages separated by metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Aguirre, J David; Blows, Mark W; Marshall, Dustin J

    2014-08-01

    Metamorphosis is common in animals, yet the genetic associations between life cycle stages are poorly understood. Given the radical changes that occur at metamorphosis, selection may differ before and after metamorphosis, and the extent that genetic associations between pre- and post-metamorphic traits constrain evolutionary change is a subject of considerable interest. In some instances, metamorphosis may allow the genetic decoupling of life cycle stages, whereas in others, metamorphosis could allow complementary responses to selection across the life cycle. Using a diallel breeding design, we measured viability at four ontogenetic stages (embryo, larval, juvenile and adult viability), in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and examined the orientation of additive genetic variation with respect to the metamorphic boundary. We found support for one eigenvector of G: (gobsmax ), which contrasted larval viability against embryo viability and juvenile viability. Target matrix rotation confirmed that while gobsmax shows genetic associations can extend beyond metamorphosis, there is still considerable scope for decoupled phenotypic evolution. Therefore, although genetic associations across metamorphosis could limit that range of phenotypes that are attainable, traits on either side of the metamorphic boundary are capable of some independent evolutionary change in response to the divergent conditions encountered during each life cycle stage.

  12. Spherulization as a process for the exudation of chemical cues by the encrusting sponge C. crambe.

    PubMed

    Ternon, Eva; Zarate, Lina; Chenesseau, Sandrine; Croué, Julie; Dumollard, Rémi; Suzuki, Marcelino T; Thomas, Olivier P

    2016-07-06

    Ecological interactions in the marine environment are now recognized to be partly held by chemical cues produced by marine organisms. In particular, sponges are sessile animals thought to rely on the bioactive substances they synthesize to ensure their development and defense. However, the mechanisms leading the sponges to use their specialized metabolites as chemical cues remain unknown. Here we report the constant release of bioactive polycyclic guanidinic alkaloids by the Mediterranean sponge Crambe crambe into the dissolved and the particulate phases using a targeted metabolomics study. These compounds were proven to be stored into already described specialized (spherulous) sponge cells and dispersed into the water column after release through the sponge exhaling channels (oscula), leading to a chemical shield surrounding the sponge. Low concentrations of these compounds were demonstrated to have teratogenic effects on embryos of a common sea squirt (ascidian). This mechanism of action called spherulization may therefore contribute to the ecological success of encrusting sponges that need to extend their substrate cover to expand.

  13. Spherulization as a process for the exudation of chemical cues by the encrusting sponge C. crambe.

    PubMed

    Ternon, Eva; Zarate, Lina; Chenesseau, Sandrine; Croué, Julie; Dumollard, Rémi; Suzuki, Marcelino T; Thomas, Olivier P

    2016-01-01

    Ecological interactions in the marine environment are now recognized to be partly held by chemical cues produced by marine organisms. In particular, sponges are sessile animals thought to rely on the bioactive substances they synthesize to ensure their development and defense. However, the mechanisms leading the sponges to use their specialized metabolites as chemical cues remain unknown. Here we report the constant release of bioactive polycyclic guanidinic alkaloids by the Mediterranean sponge Crambe crambe into the dissolved and the particulate phases using a targeted metabolomics study. These compounds were proven to be stored into already described specialized (spherulous) sponge cells and dispersed into the water column after release through the sponge exhaling channels (oscula), leading to a chemical shield surrounding the sponge. Low concentrations of these compounds were demonstrated to have teratogenic effects on embryos of a common sea squirt (ascidian). This mechanism of action called spherulization may therefore contribute to the ecological success of encrusting sponges that need to extend their substrate cover to expand. PMID:27381941

  14. Pyridinoacridine alkaloids of marine origin: NMR and MS spectral data, synthesis, biosynthesis and biological activity

    PubMed Central

    Kuete, Victor; Biavatti, Maique W

    2015-01-01

    Summary This review focuses on pyridoacridine-related metabolites as one biologically interesting group of alkaloids identified from marine sources. They are produced by marine sponges, ascidians and tunicates, and they are structurally comprised of four to eight fused rings including heterocycles. Acridine, acridone, dihydroacridine, and quinolone cores are features regularly found in these alkaloid skeletons. The lack of hydrogen atoms next to quaternary carbon atoms for two or three rings makes the chemical shift assignment a difficult task. In this regard, one of the aims of this review is the compilation of previously reported, pyridoacridine 13C NMR data. Observations have been made on the delocalization of electrons and the presence of some functional groups that lead to changes in the chemical shift of some carbon resonances. The lack of mass spectra information for these alkaloids due to the compactness of their structures is further discussed. Moreover, the biosynthetic pathways of some of these metabolites have been shown since they could inspire biomimetic synthesis. The synthesis routes used to prepare members of these marine alkaloids (as well as their analogues), which are synthesized for biological purposes are also discussed. Pyridoacridines were found to have a large spectrum of bioactivity and this review highlights and compares the pharmacophores that are responsible for the observed bioactivity. PMID:26664587

  15. LPS injection reprograms the expression and the 3' UTR of a CAP gene by alternative polyadenylation and the formation of a GAIT element in Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Bonura, Angela; Longo, Valeria; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Parrinello, Daniela; Cammarata, Matteo; Colombo, Paolo

    2016-09-01

    The diversification of cellular functions is one of the major characteristics of multicellular organisms which allow cells to modulate their gene expression, leading to the formation of transcripts and proteins with different functions and concentrations in response to different stimuli. CAP genes represent a widespread family of proteins belonging to the cysteine-rich secretory protein, antigen 5 and pathogenesis-related 1 superfamily which, it has been proposed, play key roles in the infection process and the modulation of immune responses in host animals. The ascidian Ciona intestinalis represents a group of proto-chordates with an exclusively innate immune system that has been widely studied in the field of comparative and developmental immunology. Using this biological system, we describe the identification of a novel APA mechanism by which an intronic polyadenylation signal is activated by LPS injection, leading to the formation of a shorter CAP mRNA capable of expressing the first CAP exon plus 19 amino acid residues whose sequence is contained within the first intron of the annotated gene. Furthermore, such an APA event causes the expression of a translational controlling cis-acting GAIT element which is not present in the previously isolated CAP isoform and identified in the 3'-UTR of other immune-related genes, suggesting an intriguing scenario in which both transcriptional and post-transcriptional control mechanisms are involved in the activation of the CAP gene during inflammatory response in C. intestinalis. PMID:27514009

  16. Acquisition of the dorsal structures in chordate amphioxus

    PubMed Central

    Morov, Arseniy R.; Ukizintambara, Tharcisse; Sabirov, Rushan M.

    2016-01-01

    Acquisition of dorsal structures, such as notochord and hollow nerve cord, is likely to have had a profound influence upon vertebrate evolution. Dorsal formation in chordate development thus has been intensively studied in vertebrates and ascidians. However, the present understanding does not explain how chordates acquired dorsal structures. Here we show that amphioxus retains a key clue to answer this question. In amphioxus embryos, maternal nodal mRNA distributes asymmetrically in accordance with the remodelling of the cortical cytoskeleton in the fertilized egg, and subsequently lefty is first expressed in a patch of blastomeres across the equator where wnt8 is expressed circularly and which will become the margin of the blastopore. The lefty domain co-expresses zygotic nodal by the initial gastrula stage on the one side of the blastopore margin and induces the expression of goosecoid, not-like, chordin and brachyury1 genes in this region, as in the oral ectoderm of sea urchin embryos, which provides a basis for the formation of the dorsal structures. The striking similarity in the gene regulations and their respective expression domains when comparing dorsal formation in amphioxus and the determination of the oral ectoderm in sea urchin embryos suggests that chordates derived from an ambulacrarian-type blastula with dorsoventral inversion. PMID:27307516

  17. Bioaccumulation of Vanadium by Vanadium-Resistant Bacteria Isolated from the Intestine of Ascidia sydneiensis samea.

    PubMed

    Romaidi; Ueki, Tatsuya

    2016-06-01

    Isolation of naturally occurring bacterial strains from metal-rich environments has gained popularity due to the growing need for bioremediation technologies. In this study, we found that the vanadium concentration in the intestine of the vanadium-rich ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea could reach 0.67 mM, and thus, we isolated vanadium-resistant bacteria from the intestinal contents and determined the ability of each bacterial strain to accumulate vanadium and other heavy metals. Nine strains of vanadium-resistant bacteria were successfully isolated, of which two strains, V-RA-4 and S-RA-6, accumulated vanadium at a higher rate than did the other strains. The maximum vanadium absorption by these bacteria was achieved at pH 3, and intracellular accumulation was the predominant mechanism. Each strain strongly accumulated copper and cobalt ions, but accumulation of nickel and molybdate ions was relatively low. These bacterial strains can be applied to protocols for bioremediation of vanadium and heavy metal toxicity. PMID:27177911

  18. Effects of egg size on the development time of non-feeding larvae.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Dustin J; Bolton, Toby F

    2007-02-01

    The evolution of egg size in marine invertebrates remains a topic of central importance for life-history biologists, and the pioneering work of Vance has strongly influenced our current views. Vance's model and most models developed since have assumed that increases in egg size result in an increase in the prefeeding period of marine invertebrate larvae. For lecithotrophic species, this means that the entire development period should be correlated with egg size. Despite the importance of this assumption, it has not been tested at the appropriate scale-within species. We investigated the effects of egg size on development time for three lecithotrophic species from two phyla: the ascidians Phallusia obesa and Ciona intestinalis, and the echinoid Heliocidaris erythrogramma. We found that within individual broods of eggs, larger eggs took longer than smaller eggs to develop or become metamorphically competent larvae. It has long been recognized that producing larger eggs decreases fecundity, but our results show that increasing egg size also carries the extra cost of an extended planktonic period during which mortality can occur. The substantial variation in egg sizes observed within broods may represent a bet-hedging strategy by which offspring with variable dispersal potentials are produced. PMID:17301326

  19. Structure, biology, evolution, and medical importance of sulfated fucans and galactans.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H; Mourão, Paulo A S

    2008-12-01

    Sulfated fucans and galactans are strongly anionic polysaccharides found in marine organisms. Their structures vary among species, but their major features are conserved among phyla. Sulfated fucans are found in marine brown algae and echinoderms, whereas sulfated galactans occur in red and green algae, marine angiosperms, tunicates (ascidians), and sea urchins. Polysaccharides with 3-linked, beta-galactose units are highly conserved in some taxonomic groups of marine organisms and show a strong tendency toward 4-sulfation in algae and marine angiosperms, and 2-sulfation in invertebrates. Marine algae mainly express sulfated polysaccharides with complex, heterogeneous structures, whereas marine invertebrates synthesize sulfated fucans and sulfated galactans with regular repetitive structures. These polysaccharides are structural components of the extracellular matrix. Sulfated fucans and galactans are involved in sea urchin fertilization acting as species-specific inducers of the sperm acrosome reaction. Because of this function the structural evolution of sulfated fucans could be a component in the speciation process. The algal and invertebrate polysaccharides are also potent anticoagulant agents of mammalian blood and represent a potential source of compounds for antithrombotic therapies. PMID:18796647

  20. Structural and functional insights into sulfated galactans: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H

    2010-01-01

    Sulfated galactans (SGs) are highly anionic marine galactose-composed homopolysaccharides. Although their structures vary among species, their main features are conserved among phyla. Green algal SGs are quite heterogeneous, although preponderantly composed of 3-beta-D-Galp units. The red algal SGs (like agar and carrageen) are composed of repeating disaccharide units with different sulfation patterns which vary among species. The SGs from invertebrates such as sea urchins and ascidians (tunicates), and from the unique description of a sea-grass, are composed of well-defined repetitive units. Chains of 3-linked beta-galactoses are highly conserved in some marine taxonomic groups, with a strong tendency toward 4-sulfation in algae and marine angiosperm, and 2-sulfation in invertebrates. These carbohydrates are extracellular components of the cell wall in plants, of the body wall in tunicates, and of the jelly coat in sea urchin eggs. In sea urchins, the SGs are also responsible to induce the acrosome reaction. However, the wide range of potential pharmacological uses, especially as anticoagulants and antithrombotics, is the main reason for the increasing interest in these sugars. Both natural and clinical actions of SGs have a direct relation to their structural features, since the intermolecular complexes between SG and target proteins are much more stereospecific than only electric charge-dependent. This review will present an overview about the principle structural and functional information of SGs. Other important aspects concerning occurrence, biology, phylogeny, and future directions, will also be reported.

  1. Structure, biology, evolution, and medical importance of sulfated fucans and galactans.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H; Mourão, Paulo A S

    2008-12-01

    Sulfated fucans and galactans are strongly anionic polysaccharides found in marine organisms. Their structures vary among species, but their major features are conserved among phyla. Sulfated fucans are found in marine brown algae and echinoderms, whereas sulfated galactans occur in red and green algae, marine angiosperms, tunicates (ascidians), and sea urchins. Polysaccharides with 3-linked, beta-galactose units are highly conserved in some taxonomic groups of marine organisms and show a strong tendency toward 4-sulfation in algae and marine angiosperms, and 2-sulfation in invertebrates. Marine algae mainly express sulfated polysaccharides with complex, heterogeneous structures, whereas marine invertebrates synthesize sulfated fucans and sulfated galactans with regular repetitive structures. These polysaccharides are structural components of the extracellular matrix. Sulfated fucans and galactans are involved in sea urchin fertilization acting as species-specific inducers of the sperm acrosome reaction. Because of this function the structural evolution of sulfated fucans could be a component in the speciation process. The algal and invertebrate polysaccharides are also potent anticoagulant agents of mammalian blood and represent a potential source of compounds for antithrombotic therapies.

  2. Mos limits the number of meiotic divisions in urochordate eggs.

    PubMed

    Dumollard, Rémi; Levasseur, Mark; Hebras, Céline; Huitorel, Philippe; Carroll, Michael; Chambon, Jean-Philippe; McDougall, Alex

    2011-03-01

    Mos kinase is a universal mediator of oocyte meiotic maturation and is produced during oogenesis and destroyed after fertilization. The hallmark of maternal meiosis is that two successive M phases (meiosis I and II) drive two rounds of asymmetric cell division (ACD). However, how the egg limits the number of meioses to just two, thereby preventing gross aneuploidy, is poorly characterized. Here, in urochordate eggs, we show that loss of Mos/MAPK activity is necessary to prevent entry into meiosis III. Remarkably, maintaining the Mos/MAPK pathway active after fertilization at near physiological levels induces additional rounds of meiotic M phase (meiosis III, IV and V). During these additional rounds of meiosis, the spindle is positioned asymmetrically resulting in further rounds of ACD. In addition, inhibiting meiotic exit with Mos prevents pronuclear formation, cyclin A accumulation and maintains sperm-triggered Ca(2+) oscillations, all of which are hallmarks of the meiotic cell cycle in ascidians. It will be interesting to determine whether Mos availability in mammals can also control the number of meioses as it does in the urochordates. Our results demonstrate the power of urochordate eggs as a model to dissect the egg-to-embryo transition.

  3. Transforming growth factor β (CiTGF-β) gene expression is induced in the inflammatory reaction of Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Di Falco, Felicia; Parrinello, Daniela; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Cammarata, Matteo

    2016-02-01

    Transforming growth factor (TGF-β) is a well-known component of a regulatory cytokines superfamily that has pleiotropic functions in a broad range of cell types and is involved, in vertebrates, in numerous physiological and pathological processes. In the current study, we report on Ciona intestinalis molecular characterisation and expression of a transforming growth factor β homologue (CiTGF-β). The gene organisation, phylogenetic tree and modelling supported the close relationship with the mammalian TGF suggesting that the C. intestinalis TGF-β gene shares a common ancestor in the chordate lineages. Functionally, real-time PCR analysis showed that CiTGF-β was transcriptionally upregulated in the inflammatory process induced by LPS inoculation, suggesting that is involved in the first phase and significant in the secondary phase of the inflammatory response in which cell differentiation occurs. In situ hybridisation assays revealed that the genes transcription was upregulated in the pharynx, the main organ of the ascidian immune system, and expressed by cluster of hemocytes inside the pharynx vessels. These data supported the view that CiTGF-β is a potential molecule in immune defence systems against bacterial infection. PMID:26493014

  4. A workflow to process 3D+time microscopy images of developing organisms and reconstruct their cell lineage.

    PubMed

    Faure, Emmanuel; Savy, Thierry; Rizzi, Barbara; Melani, Camilo; Stašová, Olga; Fabrèges, Dimitri; Špir, Róbert; Hammons, Mark; Čúnderlík, Róbert; Recher, Gaëlle; Lombardot, Benoît; Duloquin, Louise; Colin, Ingrid; Kollár, Jozef; Desnoulez, Sophie; Affaticati, Pierre; Maury, Benoît; Boyreau, Adeline; Nief, Jean-Yves; Calvat, Pascal; Vernier, Philippe; Frain, Monique; Lutfalla, Georges; Kergosien, Yannick; Suret, Pierre; Remešíková, Mariana; Doursat, René; Sarti, Alessandro; Mikula, Karol; Peyriéras, Nadine; Bourgine, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The quantitative and systematic analysis of embryonic cell dynamics from in vivo 3D+time image data sets is a major challenge at the forefront of developmental biology. Despite recent breakthroughs in the microscopy imaging of living systems, producing an accurate cell lineage tree for any developing organism remains a difficult task. We present here the BioEmergences workflow integrating all reconstruction steps from image acquisition and processing to the interactive visualization of reconstructed data. Original mathematical methods and algorithms underlie image filtering, nucleus centre detection, nucleus and membrane segmentation, and cell tracking. They are demonstrated on zebrafish, ascidian and sea urchin embryos with stained nuclei and membranes. Subsequent validation and annotations are carried out using Mov-IT, a custom-made graphical interface. Compared with eight other software tools, our workflow achieved the best lineage score. Delivered in standalone or web service mode, BioEmergences and Mov-IT offer a unique set of tools for in silico experimental embryology. PMID:26912388

  5. Desiccation as a mitigation tool to manage biofouling risks: trials on temperate taxa to elucidate factors influencing mortality rates.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Grant A; Prince, Madeleine; Cahill, Patrick L; Fletcher, Lauren M; Atalah, Javier

    2016-01-01

    The desiccation tolerance of biofouling taxa (adults and early life-stages) was determined under both controlled and 'realistic' field conditions. Adults of the ascidian Ciona spp. died within 24 h. Mortality in the adult blue mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis occurred within 11 d under controlled conditions, compared with 7 d when held outside. The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas was the most desiccation-tolerant taxon tested (up to 34 d under controlled conditions). Biofouling orientated to direct sunlight showed faster mortality rates for all the taxa tested. Mortality in Mytilus juveniles took up to 24 h, compared with 8 h for Ciona, with greater survival at the higher temperature (18.5°C) and humidity (~95% RH) treatment combination. This study demonstrated that desiccation can be an effective mitigation method for a broad range of fouling taxa, especially their early life-stages. Further work is necessary to assess risks from other high-risk species such as algae and cyst forming species. PMID:26691450

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Plant-like mating in an animal: sexual compatibility and allocation trade-offs in a simultaneous hermaphrodite with remote transfer of sperm.

    PubMed

    Pemberton, A J; Sommerfeldt, A D; Wood, C A; Flint, H C; Noble, L R; Clarke, K R; Bishop, J D D

    2004-05-01

    The importance of sexual compatibility between mates has only recently been realized in zoological research into sexual selection, yet its study has been central to botanical research for many decades. The reproductive characteristics of remote mating, an absence of precopulatory mate screening, internal fertilization and embryonic brooding are shared between passively pollinated plants and a phylogenetically diverse group of sessile aquatic invertebrates. Here, we further characterize the sexual compatibility system of one such invertebrate, the colonial ascidian Diplosoma listerianum. All 66 reciprocal pairings of 12 genetic individuals were carried out. Fecundities of crosses varied widely and suggested a continuous scale of sexual compatibility. Of the 11 animals from the same population c. 40% of crosses were completely incompatible with a further c. 20% having obvious partial compatibility (reduced fecundity). We are unaware of other studies documenting such high levels of sexual incompatibility in unrelated individuals. RAPD fingerprinting was used to estimate relatedness among the 12 individuals after a known pedigree was successfully reconstructed to validate the technique. In contrast to previous results, no correlation between genetic similarity and sexual compatibility was detected. The blocking of many genotypes of sperm is expected to severely modify realized paternity away from 'fair raffle' expectations and probably reduce levels of intra-brood genetic diversity in this obligatorily promiscuous mating system. One adaptive benefit may be to reduce the bombardment of the female reproductive system by outcrossed sperm with conflicting evolutionary interests, so as to maintain female control of somatic : gametic investment.

  8. Experimental removal and recovery of subtidal grazers highlights the importance of functional redundancy and temporal context.

    PubMed

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context.

  9. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K A; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-11-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a "filter feeders-ascidian domination" to a "mixed assemblage" suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP. PMID:26702429

  10. Calcium sensors of ciliary outer arm dynein: functions and phylogenetic considerations for eukaryotic evolution.

    PubMed

    Inaba, Kazuo

    2015-01-01

    The motility of eukaryotic cilia and flagella is modulated in response to several extracellular stimuli. Ca(2+) is the most critical intracellular factor for these changes in motility, directly acting on the axonemes and altering flagellar asymmetry. Calaxin is an opisthokont-specific neuronal calcium sensor protein first described in the sperm of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. It binds to a heavy chain of two-headed outer arm dynein in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner and regulates 'asymmetric' wave propagation at high concentrations of Ca(2+). A Ca(2+)-binding subunit of outer arm dynein in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the light chain 4 (LC4), which is a Ca(2+)-sensor phylogenetically different from calaxin, shows Ca(2+)-dependent binding to a heavy chain of three-headed outer arm dynein. However, LC4 appears to participate in 'symmetric' wave propagation at high concentrations of Ca(2+). LC4-type dynein light chain is present in bikonts, except for some subclasses of the Excavata. Thus, flagellar asymmetry-symmetry conversion in response to Ca(2+) concentration represents a 'mirror image' relationship between Ciona and Chlamydomonas. Phylogenetic analyses indicate the duplication, divergence, and loss of heavy chain and Ca(2+)-sensors of outer arm dynein among excavate species. These features imply a divergence point with respect to Ca(2+)-dependent regulation of outer arm dynein in cilia and flagella during the evolution of eukaryotic supergroups.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Acquisition of the dorsal structures in chordate amphioxus.

    PubMed

    Morov, Arseniy R; Ukizintambara, Tharcisse; Sabirov, Rushan M; Yasui, Kinya

    2016-06-01

    Acquisition of dorsal structures, such as notochord and hollow nerve cord, is likely to have had a profound influence upon vertebrate evolution. Dorsal formation in chordate development thus has been intensively studied in vertebrates and ascidians. However, the present understanding does not explain how chordates acquired dorsal structures. Here we show that amphioxus retains a key clue to answer this question. In amphioxus embryos, maternal nodal mRNA distributes asymmetrically in accordance with the remodelling of the cortical cytoskeleton in the fertilized egg, and subsequently lefty is first expressed in a patch of blastomeres across the equator where wnt8 is expressed circularly and which will become the margin of the blastopore. The lefty domain co-expresses zygotic nodal by the initial gastrula stage on the one side of the blastopore margin and induces the expression of goosecoid, not-like, chordin and brachyury1 genes in this region, as in the oral ectoderm of sea urchin embryos, which provides a basis for the formation of the dorsal structures. The striking similarity in the gene regulations and their respective expression domains when comparing dorsal formation in amphioxus and the determination of the oral ectoderm in sea urchin embryos suggests that chordates derived from an ambulacrarian-type blastula with dorsoventral inversion. PMID:27307516

  13. Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities.

    PubMed

    Fabricius, K E; De'ath, G; Noonan, S; Uthicke, S

    2014-01-22

    The ecological effects of ocean acidification (OA) from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on benthic marine communities are largely unknown. We investigated in situ the consequences of long-term exposure to high CO2 on coral-reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities around three shallow volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. The densities of many groups and the number of taxa (classes and phyla) of macroinvertebrates were significantly reduced at elevated CO2 (425-1100 µatm) compared with control sites. However, sensitivities of some groups, including decapod crustaceans, ascidians and several echinoderms, contrasted with predictions of their physiological CO2 tolerances derived from laboratory experiments. High CO2 reduced the availability of structurally complex corals that are essential refugia for many reef-associated macroinvertebrates. This loss of habitat complexity was also associated with losses in many macroinvertebrate groups, especially predation-prone mobile taxa, including crustaceans and crinoids. The transition from living to dead coral as substratum and habitat further altered macroinvertebrate communities, with far more taxa losing than gaining in numbers. Our study shows that indirect ecological effects of OA (reduced habitat complexity) will complement its direct physiological effects and together with the loss of coral cover through climate change will severely affect macroinvertebrate communities in coral reefs.

  14. Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities

    PubMed Central

    Fabricius, K. E.; De'ath, G.; Noonan, S.; Uthicke, S.

    2014-01-01

    The ecological effects of ocean acidification (OA) from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on benthic marine communities are largely unknown. We investigated in situ the consequences of long-term exposure to high CO2 on coral-reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities around three shallow volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. The densities of many groups and the number of taxa (classes and phyla) of macroinvertebrates were significantly reduced at elevated CO2 (425–1100 µatm) compared with control sites. However, sensitivities of some groups, including decapod crustaceans, ascidians and several echinoderms, contrasted with predictions of their physiological CO2 tolerances derived from laboratory experiments. High CO2 reduced the availability of structurally complex corals that are essential refugia for many reef-associated macroinvertebrates. This loss of habitat complexity was also associated with losses in many macroinvertebrate groups, especially predation-prone mobile taxa, including crustaceans and crinoids. The transition from living to dead coral as substratum and habitat further altered macroinvertebrate communities, with far more taxa losing than gaining in numbers. Our study shows that indirect ecological effects of OA (reduced habitat complexity) will complement its direct physiological effects and together with the loss of coral cover through climate change will severely affect macroinvertebrate communities in coral reefs. PMID:24307670

  15. Bioactive Peptides and Depsipeptides with Anticancer Potential: Sources from Marine Animals

    PubMed Central

    Suarez-Jimenez, Guadalupe-Miroslava; Burgos-Hernandez, Armando; Ezquerra-Brauer, Josafat-Marina

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active compounds with different modes of action, such as, antiproliferative, antioxidant, antimicrotubule, have been isolated from marine sources, specifically algae and cyanobacteria. Recently research has been focused on peptides from marine animal sources, since they have been found as secondary metabolites from sponges, ascidians, tunicates, and mollusks. The structural characteristics of these peptides include various unusual amino acid residues which may be responsible for their bioactivity. Moreover, protein hydrolysates formed by the enzymatic digestion of aquatic and marine by-products are an important source of bioactive peptides. Purified peptides from these sources have been shown to have antioxidant activity and cytotoxic effect on several human cancer cell lines such as HeLa, AGS, and DLD-1. These characteristics imply that the use of peptides from marine sources has potential for the prevention and treatment of cancer, and that they might also be useful as molecular models in anticancer drug research. This review focuses on the latest studies and critical research in this field, and evidences the immense potential of marine animals as bioactive peptide sources. PMID:22822350

  16. Specific sulfation and glycosylation—a structural combination for the anticoagulation of marine carbohydrates

    PubMed Central

    Pomin, Vitor H.; Mourão, Paulo A. S.

    2014-01-01

    Based on considered achievements of the last 25 years, specific combinations of sulfation patterns and glycosylation types have been proved to be key structural players for the anticoagulant activity of certain marine glycans. These conclusions were obtained from comparative and systematic analyses on the structure-anticoagulation relationships of chemically well-defined sulfated polysaccharides of marine invertebrates and red algae. These sulfated polysaccharides are known as sulfated fucans (SFs), sulfated galactans (SGs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The structural combinations necessary for the anticoagulant activities are the 2-sulfation in α-L-SGs, the 2,4-di-sulfation in α-L-fucopyranosyl units found as composing units of certain sea-urchin and sea-cucumber linear SFs, or as branching units of the fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, a unique GAG from sea-cucumbers. Another unique GAG type from marine organisms is the dermatan sulfate isolated from ascidians. The high levels of 4-sulfation at the galactosamine units combined with certain levels of 2-sulfation at the iduronic acid units is the anticoagulant structural requirements of these GAGs. When the backbones of red algal SGs are homogeneous, the anticoagulation is proportionally dependent of their sulfation content. Finally, 4-sulfation was observed to be the structural motif required to enhance the inhibition of thrombin via heparin cofactor-II by invertebrate SFs. PMID:24639954

  17. The distribution of dimethylsulfoniopropionate in tropical Pacific coral reef invertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Alstyne, Kathryn L.; Schupp, Peter; Slattery, Marc

    2006-08-01

    Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is an important component of the global sulfur cycle and may be involved, via its cleavage product dimethylsulfide, in climate regulation. Although it is common in many algae, reports of DMSP in animals, particularly tropical invertebrates, are limited. This study examined the distribution of DMSP in a diverse group of coral reef invertebrates. DMSP was present in all 22 species of cnidarians and ranged from 9 to 723 μmol g-1 of dry mass (DM) with a mean (± 1SD) of 110 ± 180 μmol g-1 DM. It was not detected in a flatworm and an ascidian or in two of five sponges. Concentrations in sponges ranged from undetectable to 16 μmol g-1 DM with a mean of 4 ± 7 μmol g-1 DM. Within the cnidarians, DMSP concentrations did not differ among orders. Among cnidarian species, DMSP concentrations were correlated with symbiotic zooxanthellae densities. Within cnidarian species, DMSP concentrations of individuals were positively correlated with zooxanthellae densities in three of the four species examined. We speculate that DMSP is dietarily derived in sponges and derived from zooxanthellae in the cnidarians. The functions of DMSP in coral reef invertebrates are not known.

  18. Macrofauna associated to Mycale microsigmatosa (Porifera, Demospongiae) in Rio de Janeiro State, SE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, Suzi M.; Omena, Elianne P.; Muricy, Guilherme

    2003-08-01

    The macrofauna (endo- and epi-biotic) associated to the sponge Mycale ( Carmia) microsigmatosa Arndt, 1927 was studied at three sites in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (Arraial do Cabo, Niterói, and Rio de Janeiro). A total of 2235 individuals (over 1 mm long) of 75 invertebrate species were found associated to 19 specimens of the sponge. The most abundant and diverse taxa were the crustaceans (83%, 31 spp.), polychetes (10%, 18 spp.), and molluscs (3.7%, 15 spp.). Cnidarians, platyhelminthes, ascidians, echinoderms, pycnogonids, bryozoans, and sponges were also represented. Amphipod crustaceans were the dominant group, comprising 61% of all individuals collected. Species richness and abundance of associated fauna were highly correlated with sponge volume, but diversity and evenness were not. The site of collection influenced the species composition of the fauna associated to M. microsigmatosa but did not change significantly its diversity, abundance, richness, and dominance patterns of higher taxa. Pregnant females and juvenile stages of 29% of the species associated, including crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and pycnogonids were frequently found inside M. microsigmatosa. Although many of these organisms do occur and reproduce in other habitats outside the sponge as well, M. microsigmatosa is also important for their reproduction and survivorship, thus contributing for the maintenance of biodiversity in Southwestern Atlantic sublittoral rocky shores.

  19. Spherulization as a process for the exudation of chemical cues by the encrusting sponge C. crambe

    PubMed Central

    Ternon, Eva; Zarate, Lina; Chenesseau, Sandrine; Croué, Julie; Dumollard, Rémi; Suzuki, Marcelino T.; Thomas, Olivier P.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological interactions in the marine environment are now recognized to be partly held by chemical cues produced by marine organisms. In particular, sponges are sessile animals thought to rely on the bioactive substances they synthesize to ensure their development and defense. However, the mechanisms leading the sponges to use their specialized metabolites as chemical cues remain unknown. Here we report the constant release of bioactive polycyclic guanidinic alkaloids by the Mediterranean sponge Crambe crambe into the dissolved and the particulate phases using a targeted metabolomics study. These compounds were proven to be stored into already described specialized (spherulous) sponge cells and dispersed into the water column after release through the sponge exhaling channels (oscula), leading to a chemical shield surrounding the sponge. Low concentrations of these compounds were demonstrated to have teratogenic effects on embryos of a common sea squirt (ascidian). This mechanism of action called spherulization may therefore contribute to the ecological success of encrusting sponges that need to extend their substrate cover to expand. PMID:27381941

  20. Specific sulfation and glycosylation-a structural combination for the anticoagulation of marine carbohydrates.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H; Mourão, Paulo A S

    2014-01-01

    Based on considered achievements of the last 25 years, specific combinations of sulfation patterns and glycosylation types have been proved to be key structural players for the anticoagulant activity of certain marine glycans. These conclusions were obtained from comparative and systematic analyses on the structure-anticoagulation relationships of chemically well-defined sulfated polysaccharides of marine invertebrates and red algae. These sulfated polysaccharides are known as sulfated fucans (SFs), sulfated galactans (SGs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The structural combinations necessary for the anticoagulant activities are the 2-sulfation in α-L-SGs, the 2,4-di-sulfation in α-L-fucopyranosyl units found as composing units of certain sea-urchin and sea-cucumber linear SFs, or as branching units of the fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, a unique GAG from sea-cucumbers. Another unique GAG type from marine organisms is the dermatan sulfate isolated from ascidians. The high levels of 4-sulfation at the galactosamine units combined with certain levels of 2-sulfation at the iduronic acid units is the anticoagulant structural requirements of these GAGs. When the backbones of red algal SGs are homogeneous, the anticoagulation is proportionally dependent of their sulfation content. Finally, 4-sulfation was observed to be the structural motif required to enhance the inhibition of thrombin via heparin cofactor-II by invertebrate SFs.

  1. The identification of transcription factors expressed in the notochord of Ciona intestinalis adds new potential players to the Brachyury gene regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    José-Edwards, Diana S.; Kerner, Pierre; Kugler, Jamie E.; Deng, Wei; Jiang, Di; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    The notochord is the distinctive characteristic of chordates; however, the knowledge of the complement of transcription factors governing the development of this structure is still incomplete. Here we present the expression patterns of seven transcription factor genes detected in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis at various stages of embryonic development. Four of these transcription factors, Fos-a, NFAT5, AFF and Klf15, have not been directly associated with the notochord in previous studies, while the others, including Spalt-like-a, Lmx-like and STAT5/6-b, display evolutionarily conserved expression in this structure as well as in other domains. We examined the hierarchical relationships between these genes and the transcription factor Brachyury, which is necessary for notochord development in all chordates. We found that Ciona Brachyury regulates the expression of most, although not all, of these genes. These results shed light on the genetic regulatory program underlying notochord formation in Ciona and possibly other chordates. PMID:21594950

  2. A workflow to process 3D+time microscopy images of developing organisms and reconstruct their cell lineage

    PubMed Central

    Faure, Emmanuel; Savy, Thierry; Rizzi, Barbara; Melani, Camilo; Stašová, Olga; Fabrèges, Dimitri; Špir, Róbert; Hammons, Mark; Čúnderlík, Róbert; Recher, Gaëlle; Lombardot, Benoît; Duloquin, Louise; Colin, Ingrid; Kollár, Jozef; Desnoulez, Sophie; Affaticati, Pierre; Maury, Benoît; Boyreau, Adeline; Nief, Jean-Yves; Calvat, Pascal; Vernier, Philippe; Frain, Monique; Lutfalla, Georges; Kergosien, Yannick; Suret, Pierre; Remešíková, Mariana; Doursat, René; Sarti, Alessandro; Mikula, Karol; Peyriéras, Nadine; Bourgine, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The quantitative and systematic analysis of embryonic cell dynamics from in vivo 3D+time image data sets is a major challenge at the forefront of developmental biology. Despite recent breakthroughs in the microscopy imaging of living systems, producing an accurate cell lineage tree for any developing organism remains a difficult task. We present here the BioEmergences workflow integrating all reconstruction steps from image acquisition and processing to the interactive visualization of reconstructed data. Original mathematical methods and algorithms underlie image filtering, nucleus centre detection, nucleus and membrane segmentation, and cell tracking. They are demonstrated on zebrafish, ascidian and sea urchin embryos with stained nuclei and membranes. Subsequent validation and annotations are carried out using Mov-IT, a custom-made graphical interface. Compared with eight other software tools, our workflow achieved the best lineage score. Delivered in standalone or web service mode, BioEmergences and Mov-IT offer a unique set of tools for in silico experimental embryology. PMID:26912388

  3. An epizootic of Florida manatees associated with a dinoflagellate bloom

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Rathbun, G.B.; Bonde, R.K.; Buergelt, C.D.; Odell, D.K.

    1991-01-01

    Over a 10-wk period in early 1982, 39 Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) were found dead in the lower Caloosahatchee River and nearby waters of southwestern Florida. Two were killed by boats. The remainder showed no evidence of trauma. Lesions indicative of infectious agents were not identified, and bacteriological and contaminant residue findings were unremarkable. Nonspecific lesions of congestion and hemorrhage were identified in brain tissue. Numerous reports were also received of manatee morbidity. Some distressed manatees showed no biochemical lesions in clinical analyses of blood samples and recovered quickly. Timing of manatee illnesses coincided with fish and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) mortality and morbidity. A widespread bloom of the dinoflagellate red tide organism (Gymnodinium breve) also coincided with these incidents. G. breve produces potent neurotoxins (brevetoxins). Circumstantial evidence links these events, and possible routes of exposure may include ingestion of filter-feeding ascidians. Ecological conditions that magnified the extent of the epizootic included an early dispersal of manatees into the area from a nearby winter aggregation site and unusually high salinities that facilitated the inshore spread of the red tide bloom. Management responses to future episodes of red tide in manatee areas are suggested.

  4. Effects of metals and sediment particle size on the species composition of the epifauna of Pinna bicolor near a lead smelter, Spencer Gulf, South Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Trevor J.; Young, Peter C.

    1984-01-01

    Pinna bicolor (Mollusca: Pelecypoda) were transplanted between four sites near a lead smelter. The species composition of their epifauna (sessile and mobile) was examined in relation to characteristics of both sediments and seston at the sites. Seventy-two taxa were distinguished in the epifaunal community. Substantial differences were found in the short-term sensitivity of some of the species to concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in sediments and to sediment particle size. The short-term sensitivity of many species to metals or sediment particle size explained their long-term distribution pattern. Twenty-three taxa were identified as significantly characterizing the faunal differences. Of these, eleven (four molluscs, four bryozoans, two barnacles and one ascidian) were affected by both sediment metal concentration and particle size, and eight (four molluscs, one bryozoan, one polychaete, one hydroid and one barnacle) were affected by metal contamination but not particle size. Of all fauna examined, the Bryozoa were the most metal-sensitive. Four species, Smittina raigii (Bryozoa), Galeolaria sp. 1 (Polychaeta), Epopella simplex (Cirripedia) and Monia ione (Pelecypoda) were identified by their short- and long-term sensitivity to metal contamination, and absence of sensitivity to sediment particle size, as suitable species for monitoring the effects of metal contamination on the epifauna. The implications of the results for toxicity-testing are discussed.

  5. LPS injection reprograms the expression and the 3' UTR of a CAP gene by alternative polyadenylation and the formation of a GAIT element in Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Aiti; Bonura, Angela; Longo, Valeria; Sanfratello, Maria Antonietta; Parrinello, Daniela; Cammarata, Matteo; Colombo, Paolo

    2016-09-01

    The diversification of cellular functions is one of the major characteristics of multicellular organisms which allow cells to modulate their gene expression, leading to the formation of transcripts and proteins with different functions and concentrations in response to different stimuli. CAP genes represent a widespread family of proteins belonging to the cysteine-rich secretory protein, antigen 5 and pathogenesis-related 1 superfamily which, it has been proposed, play key roles in the infection process and the modulation of immune responses in host animals. The ascidian Ciona intestinalis represents a group of proto-chordates with an exclusively innate immune system that has been widely studied in the field of comparative and developmental immunology. Using this biological system, we describe the identification of a novel APA mechanism by which an intronic polyadenylation signal is activated by LPS injection, leading to the formation of a shorter CAP mRNA capable of expressing the first CAP exon plus 19 amino acid residues whose sequence is contained within the first intron of the annotated gene. Furthermore, such an APA event causes the expression of a translational controlling cis-acting GAIT element which is not present in the previously isolated CAP isoform and identified in the 3'-UTR of other immune-related genes, suggesting an intriguing scenario in which both transcriptional and post-transcriptional control mechanisms are involved in the activation of the CAP gene during inflammatory response in C. intestinalis.

  6. Microcyclamide Biosynthesis in Two Strains of Microcystis aeruginosa: from Structure to Genes and Vice Versa▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Ziemert, Nadine; Ishida, Keishi; Quillardet, Philippe; Bouchier, Christiane; Hertweck, Christian; de Marsac, Nicole Tandeau; Dittmann, Elke

    2008-01-01

    Comparative analysis of related biosynthetic gene clusters can provide new insights into the versatility of these pathways and allow the discovery of new natural products. The freshwater cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa NIES298 produces the cytotoxic peptide microcyclamide. Here, we provide evidence that the cyclic hexapeptide is formed by a ribosomal pathway through the activity of a set of processing enzymes closely resembling those recently shown to be involved in patellamide biosynthesis in cyanobacterial symbionts of ascidians. Besides two subtilisin-type proteases and a heterocyclization enzyme, the gene cluster discovered in strain NIES298 encodes six further open reading frames, two of them without similarity to enzymes encoded by the patellamide gene cluster. Analyses of genomic data of a second cyanobacterial strain, M. aeruginosa PCC 7806, guided the discovery and structural elucidation of two novel peptides of the microcyclamide family. The identification of the microcyclamide biosynthetic genes provided an avenue by which to study the regulation of peptide synthesis at the transcriptional level. The precursor genes were strongly and constitutively expressed throughout the growth phase, excluding the autoinduction of these peptides, as has been observed for several peptide pheromone families in bacteria. PMID:18245249

  7. Patellamide A and C biosynthesis by a microcin-like pathway in Prochloron didemni, the cyanobacterial symbiont of Lissoclinum patella

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Eric W.; Nelson, James T.; Rasko, David A.; Sudek, Sebastian; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Haygood, Margo G.; Ravel, Jacques

    2005-01-01

    Prochloron spp. are obligate cyanobacterial symbionts of many didemnid family ascidians. It has been proposed that the cyclic peptides of the patellamide class found in didemnid extracts are synthesized by Prochloron spp., but studies in which host and symbiont cells are separated and chemically analyzed to identify the biosynthetic source have yielded inconclusive results. As part of the Prochloron didemni sequencing project, we identified patellamide biosynthetic genes and confirmed their function by heterologous expression of the whole pathway in Escherichia coli. The primary sequence of patellamides A and C is encoded on a single ORF that resembles a precursor peptide. We propose that this prepatellamide is heterocyclized to form thiazole and oxazoline rings, and the peptide is cleaved to yield the two cyclic patellamides, A and C. This work represents the full sequencing and functional expression of a marine natural-product pathway from an obligate symbiont. In addition, a related cluster was identified in Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS101, an important bloom-forming cyanobacterium. PMID:15883371

  8. Cross-validated methods for promoter/transcription start site mapping in SL trans-spliced genes, established using the Ciona intestinalis troponin I gene

    PubMed Central

    Khare, Parul; Mortimer, Sandra I.; Cleto, Cynthia L.; Okamura, Kohji; Suzuki, Yutaka; Kusakabe, Takehiro; Nakai, Kenta; Meedel, Thomas H.; Hastings, Kenneth E. M.

    2011-01-01

    In conventionally-expressed eukaryotic genes, transcription start sites (TSSs) can be identified by mapping the mature mRNA 5′-terminal sequence onto the genome. However, this approach is not applicable to genes that undergo pre-mRNA 5′-leader trans-splicing (SL trans-splicing) because the original 5′-segment of the primary transcript is replaced by the spliced leader sequence during the trans-splicing reaction and is discarded. Thus TSS mapping for trans-spliced genes requires different approaches. We describe two such approaches and show that they generate precisely agreeing results for an SL trans-spliced gene encoding the muscle protein troponin I in the ascidian tunicate chordate Ciona intestinalis. One method is based on experimental deletion of trans-splice acceptor sites and the other is based on high-throughput mRNA 5′-RACE sequence analysis of natural RNA populations in order to detect minor transcripts containing the pre-mRNA’s original 5′-end. Both methods identified a single major troponin I TSS located ∼460 nt upstream of the trans-splice acceptor site. Further experimental analysis identified a functionally important TATA element 31 nt upstream of the start site. The two methods employed have complementary strengths and are broadly applicable to mapping promoters/TSSs for trans-spliced genes in tunicates and in trans-splicing organisms from other phyla. PMID:21109525

  9. Diverse ETS transcription factors mediate FGF signaling in the Ciona anterior neural plate.

    PubMed

    Gainous, T Blair; Wagner, Eileen; Levine, Michael

    2015-03-15

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis is a marine invertebrate belonging to the sister group of the vertebrates, the tunicates. Its compact genome and simple, experimentally tractable embryos make Ciona well-suited for the study of cell-fate specification in chordates. Tunicate larvae possess a characteristic chordate body plan, and many developmental pathways are conserved between tunicates and vertebrates. Previous studies have shown that FGF signals are essential for neural induction and patterning at sequential steps of Ciona embryogenesis. Here we show that two different ETS family transcription factors, Ets1/2 and Elk1/3/4, have partially redundant activities in the anterior neural plate of gastrulating embryos. Whereas Ets1/2 promotes pigment cell formation in lateral lineages, both Ets1/2 and Elk1/3/4 are involved in the activation of Myt1L in medial lineages and the restriction of Six3/6 expression to the anterior-most regions of the neural tube. We also provide evidence that photoreceptor cells arise from posterior regions of the presumptive sensory vesicle, and do not depend on FGF signaling. Cells previously identified as photoreceptor progenitors instead form ependymal cells and neurons of the larval brain. Our results extend recent findings on FGF-dependent patterning of anterior-posterior compartments in the Ciona central nervous system.

  10. Desiccation as a mitigation tool to manage biofouling risks: trials on temperate taxa to elucidate factors influencing mortality rates.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Grant A; Prince, Madeleine; Cahill, Patrick L; Fletcher, Lauren M; Atalah, Javier

    2016-01-01

    The desiccation tolerance of biofouling taxa (adults and early life-stages) was determined under both controlled and 'realistic' field conditions. Adults of the ascidian Ciona spp. died within 24 h. Mortality in the adult blue mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis occurred within 11 d under controlled conditions, compared with 7 d when held outside. The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas was the most desiccation-tolerant taxon tested (up to 34 d under controlled conditions). Biofouling orientated to direct sunlight showed faster mortality rates for all the taxa tested. Mortality in Mytilus juveniles took up to 24 h, compared with 8 h for Ciona, with greater survival at the higher temperature (18.5°C) and humidity (~95% RH) treatment combination. This study demonstrated that desiccation can be an effective mitigation method for a broad range of fouling taxa, especially their early life-stages. Further work is necessary to assess risks from other high-risk species such as algae and cyst forming species.

  11. 'Cup cell disease' in the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Moiseeva, Elisabeth; Rabinowitz, Claudette; Yankelevich, Irena; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2004-07-01

    A new progressive, fatal disease called 'cup cell disease' was characterized in ex situ cultures of Botryllus schlosseri, a colonial tunicate. The disease originated as a few dark spots growing within zooids. The infected colonies then started to deteriorate, morphologically diagnosed by ampullar retraction, lethargic blood circulation and by a swollen and soft tunic matrix. In later stages of the disease, developed buds were also affected. Many large black dots were scattered within the tunic matrix, and zooids were transformed to opaque, dilated, sac-like structures, signaling impending death. Colonies were infected periodically, even without direct tissue contact. The time course from first appearance to colony death ranged between 30 and 45 d. Histological studies, in vitro culturing of blood cells and blood smears revealed the existence of numerous cup-like cells (up to 4.8 microm diameter on average) with a yellowish cell wall and transparent cytoplasm that was not stained by various dyes (except azocarmine-G). Cells were refractive under bright-field illumination and revealed a flattened wall with flanges, characteristic of species of the phylum Haplosporidia. Cup cells aggregated in blood vessels and in internal parts of zooids and buds and were phagocytosed by blood cells. In a single case, plasmodia-like structures were found only in the tunic matrix of an infected colony. This is the first record in botryllid ascidians of an infectious lethal disease associated with haplosporidian protists.

  12. The cult of amphioxus in German Darwinism; or, our gelatinous ancestors in Naples' blue and balmy bay.

    PubMed

    Hopwood, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Biologists having rediscovered amphioxus, also known as the lancelet or Branchiostoma, it is time to reassess its place in early Darwinist debates over vertebrate origins. While the advent of the ascidian-amphioxus theory and challenges from various competitors have been, documented, this article offers a richer account of the public appeal of amphioxus as a primitive ancestor. The focus is on how the 'German Darwin' Ernst Haeckel persuaded general magazine and newspaper readers to revere this "flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood", and especially on Das neue Laienbrevier des Haeckelismus (The new lay breviary of Haeckelism) by Moritz Reymond with cartoons by Fritz Steub. From the late 1870s these successful little books of verse introduced the Neapolitan discoveries that made the animal's name and satirized Haeckel's rise as high priest of its cult. One song is reproduced and translated here, with a contemporary "imitation" by the Canadian palaeontologist Edward John Chapman, and extracts from others. Predating the American "It's a long way from amphioxus" by decades, these rhymes dramatize neglected 'species politics' of Darwinism and highlight the roles of humour in negotiating evolution. PMID:26013195

  13. Water-borne sperm trigger vitellogenic egg growth in two sessile marine invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bishop, J D; Manríquez, P H; Hughes, R N

    2000-06-22

    A diverse array of sessile marine invertebrates mate by passive dispersal of sperm which fertilize the brooded eggs of neighbours. In two such species, a sea-mat (phylum Bryozoa) and an ascidian (phylum Chordata), vitellogenic egg growth is absent in reproductively isolated specimens, but is triggered by a water-borne factor released by conspecifics. In both of these colonial, hermaphroditic species, the active factor can be removed from water by filtration. The effect involves self-/non-self-recognition: water conditioned by a separate subcolony of the same genetic individual does not prompt oocyte growth. In each species, allosperm move from the surrounding water to the ovary and are then stored in close association with the growing oocytes. We concluded that sperm themselves are the water-borne factor that triggers the major phase of female reproductive investment. This mechanism is, to our knowledge, previously undescribed in animals, but has parallels with the initiation of maternal investment in flowering plants following the receipt of compatible pollen. The species studied may be representative of many other aquatic invertebrates which mate in a similar way. The stimulation of egg growth by allosperm could lead to intersexual conflict during oogenesis. PMID:10902681

  14. Experimental removal and recovery of subtidal grazers highlights the importance of functional redundancy and temporal context.

    PubMed

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context. PMID:24250819

  15. Ecological effects of ocean acidification and habitat complexity on reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities.

    PubMed

    Fabricius, K E; De'ath, G; Noonan, S; Uthicke, S

    2014-01-22

    The ecological effects of ocean acidification (OA) from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on benthic marine communities are largely unknown. We investigated in situ the consequences of long-term exposure to high CO2 on coral-reef-associated macroinvertebrate communities around three shallow volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. The densities of many groups and the number of taxa (classes and phyla) of macroinvertebrates were significantly reduced at elevated CO2 (425-1100 µatm) compared with control sites. However, sensitivities of some groups, including decapod crustaceans, ascidians and several echinoderms, contrasted with predictions of their physiological CO2 tolerances derived from laboratory experiments. High CO2 reduced the availability of structurally complex corals that are essential refugia for many reef-associated macroinvertebrates. This loss of habitat complexity was also associated with losses in many macroinvertebrate groups, especially predation-prone mobile taxa, including crustaceans and crinoids. The transition from living to dead coral as substratum and habitat further altered macroinvertebrate communities, with far more taxa losing than gaining in numbers. Our study shows that indirect ecological effects of OA (reduced habitat complexity) will complement its direct physiological effects and together with the loss of coral cover through climate change will severely affect macroinvertebrate communities in coral reefs. PMID:24307670

  16. Shells and heart: are human laterality and chirality of snails controlled by the same maternal genes?

    PubMed

    Oliverio, Marco; Digilio, Maria Cristina; Versacci, Paolo; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Marino, Bruno

    2010-10-01

    The body of most animals display left-right asymmetry of internal organs. Alteration of such asymmetry results in severe congenital defects particularly affecting the cardiovascular system. The earliest known genes involved in asymmetry, the Nodal signalling cascade, are expressed asymmetrically during embryonic development. Nodal was discovered in the mouse, but orthologs (also involved in left-right specification) were reported in ascidians, sea-urchins, and snails. Mutations in Nodal-pathway genes cause alteration of several aspects of chirality, but not entirely mirror phenotypes of the body. Other factors upstream of nodal must be involved in the generation of left-right asymmetry. In snails, breeding experiments have demonstrated that chirality is controlled by a nuclear gene with maternal effect. Given the available evidence, we propose that an evolutionarily conserved genetic basis of chirality (the same that controls left-right asymmetry in snails) is a major synapomorphy of the Bilateria. This hypothesis fits with the observation that: (a) the proportion of patients with heterotaxy and a detected mutation in a gene of the Nodal cascade is actually low, and (b) horizontal recurrence of laterality defects is remarkably more frequent than vertical recurrence, and includes a notable number of affected sibs and/or repeated abortions from unaffected mothers. Identification of the maternal gene(s) involved will allow for the identification of homozygous females at risk of having affected children and spontaneous abortions, and would provide a general medical framework for understanding the genetics of most alterations of chirality.

  17. Biochemical and toxicological evaluation of nano-heparins in cell functional properties, proteasome activation and expression of key matrix molecules.

    PubMed

    Piperigkou, Zoi; Karamanou, Konstantina; Afratis, Nikolaos A; Bouris, Panagiotis; Gialeli, Chrysostomi; Belmiro, Celso L R; Pavão, Mauro S G; Vynios, Dimitrios H; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M

    2016-01-01

    The glycosaminoglycan heparin and its derivatives act strongly on blood coagulation, controlling the activity of serine protease inhibitors in plasma. Nonetheless, there is accumulating evidence highlighting different anticancer activities of these molecules in numerous types of cancer. Nano-heparins may have great biological significance since they can inhibit cell proliferation and invasion as well as inhibiting proteasome activation. Moreover, they can cause alterations in the expression of major modulators of the tumor microenvironment, regulating cancer cell behavior. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of two nano-heparin formulations: one isolated from porcine intestine and the other from the sea squirt Styela plicata, on a breast cancer cell model. We determined whether these nano-heparins are able to affect cell proliferation, apoptosis and invasion, as well as proteasome activity and the expression of extracellular matrix molecules. Specifically, we observed that nano-Styela compared to nano-Mammalian analogue has higher inhibitory role on cell proliferation, invasion and proteasome activity. Moreover, nano-Styela regulates cell apoptosis, expression of inflammatory molecules, such as IL-6 and IL-8 and reduces the expression levels of extracellular matrix macromolecules, such as the proteolytic enzymes MT1-MMP, uPA and the cell surface proteoglycans syndecan-1 and -2, but not on syndecan-4. The observations reported in the present article indicate that nano-heparins and especially ascidian heparin are effective agents for heparin-induced effects in critical cancer cell functions, providing an important possibility in pharmacological targeting.

  18. Evolutionary origins of the vertebrate heart: Specification of the cardiac lineage in Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Brad; Levine, Michael

    2003-01-01

    Here we exploit the extensive cell lineage information and streamlined genome of the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis, to investigate heart development in a basal chordate. Several cardiac genes were analyzed, including the sole Ciona ortholog of the Drosophila tinman gene, and tissue-specific enhancers were isolated for some of the genes. Conserved sequence motifs within these enhancers facilitated the isolation of a heart enhancer for the Ciona Hand-like gene. Altogether, these studies provide a regulatory framework for the differentiation of the cardiac mesoderm, beginning at the 110-cell stage, and extending through the fusion of cardiac progenitors during tail elongation. The cardiac lineage shares a common origin with the germ line, and zygotic transcription is first detected in the heart progenitors only after its separation from the germ line at the 64-cell stage. We propose that germ-line determinants influence the specification of the cardiac mesoderm, both by inhibiting inductive signals required for the development of noncardiac mesoderm lineages, and by providing a localized source of Wnt-5 and other signals required for heart development. We discuss the possibility that the germ line also influences the specification of the vertebrate heart. PMID:14500781

  19. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K A; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-11-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a "filter feeders-ascidian domination" to a "mixed assemblage" suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP.

  20. Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sahade, Ricardo; Lagger, Cristian; Torre, Luciana; Momo, Fernando; Monien, Patrick; Schloss, Irene; Barnes, David K. A.; Servetto, Natalia; Tarantelli, Soledad; Tatián, Marcos; Zamboni, Nadia; Abele, Doris

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is one of the three places on Earth that registered the most intense warming in the last 50 years, almost five times the global mean. This warming has strongly affected the cryosphere, causing the largest ice-shelf collapses ever observed and the retreat of 87% of glaciers. Ecosystem responses, although increasingly predicted, have been mainly reported for pelagic systems. However, and despite most Antarctic species being benthic, responses in the Antarctic benthos have been detected in only a few species, and major effects at assemblage level are unknown. This is probably due to the scarcity of baselines against which to assess change. We performed repeat surveys of coastal benthos in 1994, 1998, and 2010, analyzing community structure and environmental variables at King George Island, Antarctica. We report a marked shift in an Antarctic benthic community that can be linked to ongoing climate change. However, rather than temperature as the primary factor, we highlight the resulting increased sediment runoff, triggered by glacier retreat, as the potential causal factor. The sudden shift from a “filter feeders–ascidian domination” to a “mixed assemblage” suggests that thresholds (for example, of tolerable sedimentation) and alternative equilibrium states, depending on the reversibility of the changes, could be possible traits of this ecosystem. Sedimentation processes will be increasing under the current scenario of glacier retreat, and attention needs to be paid to its effects along the AP. PMID:26702429

  1. Recent sediment remolding on a deep shelf, Ross Sea: implications for radiocarbon dating of Antarctic marine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domack, Eugene W.; Taviani, Marco; Rodriguez, Anthonio

    1999-11-01

    Coarse, bioclastic rich sands have been widely reported from the banks of the Antarctic continental shelf but their origin is still poorly known. We report on a suite of coarse sediments recovered from the top of the Mawson Bank in the northwestern Ross Sea. Radiocarbon ages of biogenic calcite, for modern and apparently late Pleistocene deposits, range from 1085±45 to 20,895±250 yr B.P.. Discovery of soft tissue (Ascidian) preserved as an incrustation on a pebble at 2 m depth indicates aggregation of the sediment within several months or a year of core recovery. Radiocarbon ages of acid insoluble organic matter (aiom) are less than those of the foraminifera calcite. The aiom ages are also reversed in sequence, indicating reworking of the sediment during deposition. These observations and a review of recently published literature suggest that much of the bank top sediment in Antarctica is presently undergoing remobilization, under the influence of strong currents and/or icebergs even under interglacical (high-stand) sea levels. These observations point out the need for careful, integrated studies on high latitude marine sediment cores before resultant "ages" alone are used as the foundation for paleoglacial reconstructions.

  2. NMR structural determination of unique invertebrate glycosaminoglycans endowed with medical properties.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H

    2015-09-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are sulfated polysaccharides of complex structure endowed with numerous biomedical functions. Although ubiquitously distributed in vertebrates, GAGs can also occur in certain terrestrial or marine invertebrates. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been the analytical technique mostly employed in structural characterization of GAGs from any source. This review aims at illustrating the application of NMR in structural determination of few representative invertebrate GAG examples of unique structures and endowed with therapeutic actions. They are the holothurian fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, the acharan sulfate isolated from the snail Achatina fulica, the dermatan sulfates with distinct sulfation patterns extracted from ascidian species, the sulfated glucuronic acid-containing heparan sulfate isolated from the gastropode Nodipecten nodosum, and the hybrid heparin/heparan sulfate molecule obtained from the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. These invertebrate GAGs exhibit distinct structures when compared to those extracted from mammalian GAGs. The distinct structures of the invertebrate GAGs lead also to different mechanisms of actions as compared to the mammalian GAG standards. Invertebrate GAGs comprise promising therapeutic candidates in fights against diseases. Solution NMR has been playing a pivotal role in this carbohydrate-based drug research, discovery and development.

  3. FGF signaling induces mesoderm in the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii

    PubMed Central

    Green, Stephen A.; Norris, Rachael P.; Terasaki, Mark; Lowe, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    FGFs act in vertebrate mesoderm induction and also play key roles in early mesoderm formation in ascidians and amphioxus. However, in sea urchins initial characterizations of FGF function do not support a role in early mesoderm induction, making the ancestral roles of FGF signaling and mechanisms of mesoderm specification in deuterostomes unclear. In order to better characterize the evolution of mesoderm formation, we have examined the role of FGF signaling during mesoderm development in Saccoglossus kowalevskii, an experimentally tractable representative of hemichordates. We report the expression of an FGF ligand, fgf8/17/18, in ectoderm overlying sites of mesoderm specification within the archenteron endomesoderm. Embryological experiments demonstrate that mesoderm induction in the archenteron requires contact with ectoderm, and loss-of-function experiments indicate that both FGF ligand and receptor are necessary for mesoderm specification. fgf8/17/18 gain-of-function experiments establish that FGF8/17/18 is sufficient to induce mesoderm in adjacent endomesoderm. These experiments suggest that FGF signaling is necessary from the earliest stages of mesoderm specification and is required for all mesoderm development. Furthermore, they suggest that the archenteron is competent to form mesoderm or endoderm, and that FGF signaling from the ectoderm defines the location and amount of mesoderm. When considered in a comparative context, these data support a phylogenetically broad requirement for FGF8/17/18 signaling in mesoderm specification and suggest that FGF signaling played an ancestral role in deuterostome mesoderm formation. PMID:23344709

  4. Ecological regulation of development: induction of marine invertebrate metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Daniel; Leys, Sally P; Hinman, Veronica F; Woods, Rick; Lavin, Martin F; Degnan, Bernard M

    2002-01-01

    In the marine environment a wide range of invertebrates have a pelagobenthic lifecycle that includes planktonic larval and benthic adult phases. Transition between these morphologically and ecologically distinct phases typically occurs when the developmentally competent larva comes into contact with a species-specific environmental cue. This cue acts as a morphogenetic signal that induces the completion of the postlarval/juvenile/adult developmental program at metamorphosis. The development of competence often occurs hours to days after the larva is morphologically mature. In the non-feeding--lecithotrophic--larvae of the ascidian Herdmania curvata and the gastropod mollusc Haliotis asinina, gene expression patterns in pre-competent and competent stages are markedly different, reflecting the different developmental states of these larval stages. For example, the expression of Hemps, an EGF-like signalling peptide required for the induction of Herdmania metamorphosis, increases in competent larvae. Induction of settlement and metamorphosis results in further changes in developmental gene expression, which apparently is necessary for the complete transformation of the larval body plan into the adult form.

  5. Defensive Metabolites from Antarctic Invertebrates: Does Energetic Content Interfere with Feeding Repellence?

    PubMed Central

    Núñez-Pons, Laura; Avila, Conxita

    2014-01-01

    Many bioactive products from benthic invertebrates mediating ecological interactions have proved to reduce predation, but their mechanisms of action, and their molecular identities, are usually unknown. It was suggested, yet scarcely investigated, that nutritional quality interferes with defensive metabolites. This means that antifeedants would be less effective when combined with energetically rich prey, and that higher amounts of defensive compounds would be needed for predator avoidance. We evaluated the effects of five types of repellents obtained from Antarctic invertebrates, in combination with diets of different energetic values. The compounds came from soft corals, ascidians and hexactinellid sponges; they included wax esters, alkaloids, a meroterpenoid, a steroid, and the recently described organic acid, glassponsine. Feeding repellency was tested through preference assays by preparing diets (alginate pearls) combining different energetic content and inorganic material. Experimental diets contained various concentrations of each repellent product, and were offered along with control compound-free pearls, to the Antarctic omnivore amphipod Cheirimedon femoratus. Meridianin alkaloids were the most active repellents, and wax esters were the least active when combined with foods of distinct energetic content. Our data show that levels of repellency vary for each compound, and that they perform differently when mixed with distinct assay foods. The natural products that interacted the most with energetic content were those occurring in nature at higher concentrations. The bioactivity of the remaining metabolites tested was found to depend on a threshold concentration, enough to elicit feeding repellence, independently from nutritional quality. PMID:24962273

  6. Anterior-posterior regionalized gene expression in the Ciona notochord

    PubMed Central

    Veeman, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background In the simple ascidian chordate Ciona the signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks giving rise to initial notochord induction are largely understood and the mechanisms of notochord morphogenesis are being systematically elucidated. The notochord has generally been thought of as a non-compartmentalized or regionalized organ that is not finely patterned at the level of gene expression. Quantitative imaging methods have recently shown, however, that notochord cell size, shape and behavior vary consistently along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. Results Here we screen candidate genes by whole mount in situ hybridization for potential AP asymmetry. We identify 4 genes that show non-uniform expression in the notochord. Ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) is expressed more strongly in the secondary notochord lineage than the primary. CTGF is expressed stochastically in a subset of notochord cells. A novel calmodulin-like gene (BCamL) is expressed more strongly at both the anterior and posterior tips of the notochord. A TGF-β ortholog is expressed in a gradient from posterior to anterior. The asymmetries in ERM, BCamL and TGF-β expression are evident even before the notochord cells have intercalated into a single-file column. Conclusions We conclude that the Ciona notochord is not a homogeneous tissue but instead shows distinct patterns of regionalized gene expression. PMID:24288133

  7. Genetic Compatibility Underlies Benefits of Mate Choice in an External Fertilizer.

    PubMed

    Aguirre, J David; Blows, Mark W; Marshall, Dustin J

    2016-05-01

    Mate choice is a common feature of sexually reproducing species. In sessile or sedentary external fertilizers, however, direct interactions between reproductive partners are minimal, and instead mate recognition and choice must occur at the level of gametes. It is common for some sperm and egg combinations to have higher fertilization success than others, but it remains unclear whether differences in fertilization reflect gamete-level mate choice (GMC) for paternal quality or parental compatibility. Here, we examine the mechanisms underlying GMC in an externally fertilizing ascidian. A manipulative mate-choice assay confirmed that offspring viability was greater in clutches where we allowed GMC than in clutches where we precluded GMC. A complementary quantitative genetic experiment then revealed that paternal quality effects were generally weaker than parental compatibility effects, particularly for the trait combination underlying the benefits of GMC. Overall, our data suggest that gametes that are more compatible at fertilization produce more viable offspring than gametes that are less compatible at fertilization. Therefore, although the regalia we typically associate with sexual selection are absent in external fertilizers, mechanisms that allow females to bias fertilization in favor of some males over others produce significant fitness benefits in organisms reproducing via the ancestral strategy. PMID:27104996

  8. The Use of Filter-feeders to Manage Disease in a Changing World.

    PubMed

    Burge, Colleen A; Closek, Collin J; Friedman, Carolyn S; Groner, Maya L; Jenkins, Cody M; Shore-Maggio, Amanda; Welsh, Jennifer E

    2016-10-01

    Rapid environmental change is linked to increases in aquatic disease heightening the need to develop strategies to manage disease. Filter-feeding species are effective biofilters and can naturally mitigate disease risk to humans and wildlife. We review the role of filter-feeders, with an emphasis on bivalves, in altering disease outcomes via augmentation and reduction. Filtration can reduce transmission by removing pathogens from the water column via degradation and release of pathogens in pseudofeces. In other cases, filtration can increase pathogen transmission and disease risk. The effect of filtration on pathogen transmission depends on the selectivity of the filter-feeder, the degree of infectivity by the pathogen, the mechanism(s) of pathogen transmission and the ability of the pathogen to resist degradation. For example, some bacteria and viruses can resist degradation and accumulate within a filter-feeder leading to disease transmission to humans and other wildlife upon ingestion. Since bivalves can concentrate microorganisms, they are also useful as sentinels for the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. While somewhat less studied, other invertebrates, including ascidians and sponges may also provide ecosystem services by altering pathogen transmission. In all scenarios, climate change may affect the potential for filter-feeders to mitigate disease risk. We conclude that an assessment including empirical data and modeling of system-wide impacts should be conducted before selection of filter-feeders to mitigate disease. Such studies should consider physiology of the host and microbe and risk factors for negative impacts including augmentation of other pathogens. PMID:27371383

  9. Ephrin-mediated restriction of ERK1/2 activity delimits the number of pigment cells in the Ciona CNS.

    PubMed

    Haupaix, Nicolas; Abitua, Philip B; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Levine, Michael; Hudson, Clare

    2014-10-01

    Recent evidence suggests that ascidian pigment cells are related to neural crest-derived melanocytes of vertebrates. Using live-imaging, we determine a revised cell lineage of the pigment cells in Ciona intestinalis embryos. The neural precursors undergo successive rounds of anterior-posterior (A-P) oriented cell divisions, starting at the blastula 64-cell stage. A previously unrecognized fourth A-P oriented cell division in the pigment cell lineage leads to the generation of the post-mitotic pigment cell precursors. We provide evidence that MEK/ERK signals are required for pigment cell specification until approximately 30min after the final cell division has taken place. Following each of the four A-P oriented cell divisions, ERK1/2 is differentially activated in the posterior sister cells, into which the pigment cell lineage segregates. Eph/ephrin signals are critical during the third A-P oriented cell division to spatially restrict ERK1/2 activation to the posterior daughter cell. Targeted inhibition of Eph/ephrin signals results in, at neurula stages, anterior expansion of both ERK1/2 activation and a pigment cell lineage marker and subsequently, at larval stages, supernumerary pigment cells. We discuss the implications of these findings with respect to the evolution of the vertebrate neural crest.

  10. Ciona intestinalis and Oxycomanthus japonicus, representatives of marine invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sasakura, Yasunori; Inaba, Kazuo; Satoh, Nori; Kondo, Mariko; Akasaka, Koji

    2009-10-01

    The study of marine invertebrates is useful in various biological research fields. However, genetic analyses of these animals are limited, mainly due to difficulties in culturing them, and the genetic resources of marine invertebrates have not been organized. Recently, advances have been made in the study of two deuterostomes, an ascidian Ciona intestinalis and a feather star Oxycomanthus japonicus. The draft genome sequence of Ciona intestinalis has been determined, and its compact genome, which has less redundancy of genes compared with vertebrates, provides us with a useful experimental system for analyzing the functions of genes during development. The life cycle of Ciona intestinalis is approximately 2-3 months, and the genetic techniques including a perfect inland culture system, germline transformation with a transposon Minos, enhancer detection and insertional mutagenesis, have been established. The feather star Oxycomanthus japonicus conserves the characteristics of the basic echinoderm body plan with a segmented mesoderm, which is a fascinating characteristic for understanding the evolution of echinoderms. Oxycomanthus japonicus shows strong regeneration ability and is a suitable subject for analysis of the mechanisms of regeneration. In consideration of these features, the National BioResource Project (NBRP) has started to support the supply of wild-types, transgenic lines and inbred lines of Ciona intestinalis and Oxycomanthus japonicus. PMID:19897929

  11. Succession in subtidal macrofouling assemblages of a Patagonian harbour (Argentina, SW Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rico, Alicia; Peralta, Roxana; López Gappa, Juan

    2012-12-01

    Subtidal fouling assemblages usually consist of short-lived organisms. Colonisation sequences on man-made structures may thus be greatly affected by the temporal and spatial variability of propagule supply. This study explores the influence of seasonality on succession in the macrofouling assemblage of a Patagonian harbour (Argentina, Southwest Atlantic). Replicated artificial substrata were suspended horizontally and sampled at quarterly intervals during 1 year. The influence of seasonality on 1-year-old assemblages was further analysed using additional sets of replicated panels submersed at different seasons and collected 1 year later. Upper surfaces were always dominated by ephemeral algae, while lower surfaces exhibited high coverage of filter-feeding invertebrates. Regardless of submersion length, species richness was significantly higher on lower than on upper surfaces. A significant interaction between orientation and submersion length was found for the Shannon diversity index, meaning that temporal changes in diversity depended on substratum orientation. On the lower surfaces, diversity reached a maximum after 9 months and then declined, mainly due to extensive dislodgment of two species of ascidians. On algal-dominated upper surfaces, differences in structure of annual assemblages were due to seasonal changes in the abundance of ephemeral algae. This study shows that constancy or variability of 1-year-old assemblages whose development began at different seasons depended greatly on the life history of the organisms that settled and managed to persist on both surfaces, which in turn depended on substratum orientation.

  12. Functional Brachyury Binding Sites Establish a Temporal Read-out of Gene Expression in the Ciona Notochord

    PubMed Central

    Passamaneck, Yale J.; Gazdoiu, Stefan; José-Edwards, Diana S.; Kugler, Jamie E.; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Imai, Janice H.; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    The appearance of the notochord represented a milestone in Deuterostome evolution. The notochord is necessary for the development of the chordate body plan and for the formation of the vertebral column and numerous organs. It is known that the transcription factor Brachyury is required for notochord formation in all chordates, and that it controls transcription of a large number of target genes. However, studies of the structure of the cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) through which this control is exerted are complicated in vertebrates by the genomic complexity and the pan-mesodermal expression territory of Brachyury. We used the ascidian Ciona, in which the single-copy Brachyury is notochord-specific and CRMs are easily identifiable, to carry out a systematic characterization of Brachyury-downstream notochord CRMs. We found that Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) controls most of its targets directly, through non-palindromic binding sites that function either synergistically or individually to activate early- and middle-onset genes, respectively, while late-onset target CRMs are controlled indirectly, via transcriptional intermediaries. These results illustrate how a transcriptional regulator can efficiently shape a shallow gene regulatory network into a multi-tiered transcriptional output, and provide insights into the mechanisms that establish temporal read-outs of gene expression in a fast-developing chordate embryo. PMID:24204212

  13. Total synthesis and biological activity of marine alkaloid Eudistomins Y1-Y7 and their analogues.

    PubMed

    Jin, Huijuan; Zhang, Puyong; Bijian, Krikor; Ren, Sumei; Wan, Shengbiao; Alaoui-Jamali, Moulay A; Jiang, Tao

    2013-05-01

    Eudistomin Y class compounds are a series of β-carbolines which was originally isolated from a marine turnicate or ascidian near the South Korea Sea. These compounds contain bromo-substituted groups, which is one of the typical characters of marine natural products. We report herein the chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of seven new β-carboline-based metabolites, Eudistomins Y1-Y7, and their hydroxyl-methylated phenyl derivatives. Using bromo-substituted tryptamines and bromo-substituted phenylglyoxals as the key intermediates, Eudistomins Y1-Y7 and their derivatives were synthesized via the acid-catalyzed Pictet-Spengler reaction and fully characterized by 1H- and 13C-NMR and mass spectroscopy. Biological studies revealed that all of the compounds showed moderate growth inhibitory activity against breast carcinoma cell line MDA-231 with IC50 of 15-63 μM and the inhibitory activities of hydroxyl-methylated phenyl products were higher than that of the corresponding natural products Eudistomins Y1-Y7.

  14. Population genetics features for persistent, but transient, Botryllus schlosseri (Urochordata) congregations in a central Californian marina.

    PubMed

    Karahan, Arzu; Douek, Jacob; Paz, Guy; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2016-08-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a globally distributed, invasive ascidian that has colonized the Californian coasts of the USA during the mid-late 1940s and has, since the late 1980s, spread north to Washington. This study analyzes the population genetic characteristics of transient populations residing at the Elkhorn Yacht-Club (EYC), in central California (seven sessions, 1996-2008), which suffered periodic catastrophes caused by episodic fresh-water floods and a single sampling session (in the year 2001) of five West-Coast populations using the mtDNA COI gene and five microsatellite markers. EYC microsatellite results were further compared with the closely situated but persistent population of the Santa Cruz Harbor (SCH) to understand the impact on EYC population regeneration processes after the 2005-flood catastrophe. All microsatellites were highly polymorphic, revealing a large number of unique alleles at different sampling dates. Whereas pairwise θ did not reveal significant differences between the EYC time-series samplings, the overall θ was significant, as it was between all the 2001 West Coast populations. The most likely cluster number was 3 for the EYC samples whereas two K values were obtained (2 and 5) for the 2001 samples. Tajima's D and Fu's/Fs tests did not reject the null hypothesis for COI neutral evolution, except for in the EYC-2000, 2007 and two 2001 samplings. The wide geographical range of the analyses has indicated that following the EYC 2005-flood catastrophe, newcomers could have originated from neighboring populations, from deep-water colonies that may have escaped the 2005 low salinity event, or less expectedly, from far away West-Coast populations, while revealing that the SCH population is the most probable source for the EYC population. PMID:27154209

  15. Enhancer of zeste acts as a major developmental regulator of Ciona intestinalis embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Le Goff, Emilie; Martinand-Mari, Camille; Martin, Marianne; Feuillard, Jérôme; Boublik, Yvan; Godefroy, Nelly; Mangeat, Paul; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Cavalli, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The paradigm of developmental regulation by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins posits that they maintain silencing outside the spatial expression domains of their target genes, particularly of Hox genes, starting from mid embryogenesis. The Enhancer of zeste [E(z)] PcG protein is the catalytic subunit of the PRC2 complex, which silences its targets via deposition of the H3K27me3 mark. Here, we studied the ascidian Ciona intestinalis counterpart of E(z). Ci-E(z) is detected by immunohistochemistry as soon as the 2- and 4-cell stages as a cytoplasmic form and becomes exclusively nuclear thereafter, whereas the H3K27me3 mark is detected starting from the gastrula stage and later. Morpholino invalidation of Ci-E(z) leads to the total disappearance of both Ci-E(z) protein and its H3K27me3 mark. Ci-E(z) morphants display a severe phenotype. Strikingly, the earliest defects occur at the 4-cell stage with the dysregulation of cell positioning and mitotic impairment. At later stages, Ci-E(z)-deficient embryos are affected by terminal differentiation defects of neural, epidermal and muscle tissues, by the failure to form a notochord and by the absence of caudal nerve. These major phenotypic defects are specifically rescued by injection of a morpholino-resistant Ci-E(z) mRNA, which restores expression of Ci-E(z) protein and re-deposition of the H3K27me3 mark. As observed by qPCR analyses, Ci-E(z) invalidation leads to the early derepression of tissue-specific developmental genes, whereas late-acting developmental genes are generally down-regulated. Altogether, our results suggest that Ci-E(z) plays a major role during embryonic development in Ciona intestinalis by silencing early-acting developmental genes in a Hox-independent manner. PMID:26276097

  16. Biofouling of inlet pipes affects water quality in running seawater aquaria and compromises sponge cell proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Benjamin; Vermeij, Mark J.A.; van der Geest, Harm H.G.

    2015-01-01

    Marine organism are often kept, cultured, and experimented on in running seawater aquaria. However, surprisingly little attention is given to the nutrient composition of the water flowing through these systems, which is generally assumed to equal in situ conditions, but may change due to the presence of biofouling organisms. Significantly lower bacterial abundances and higher inorganic nitrogen species (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium) were measured in aquarium water when biofouling organisms were present within a 7-year old inlet pipe feeding a tropical reef running seawater aquaria system, compared with aquarium water fed by a new, biofouling-free inlet pipe. These water quality changes are indicative of the feeding activity and waste production of the suspension- and filter-feeding communities found in the old pipe, which included sponges, bivalves, barnacles, and ascidians. To illustrate the physiological consequences of these water quality changes on a model organism kept in the aquaria system, we investigated the influence of the presence and absence of the biofouling community on the functioning of the filter-feeding sponge Halisarca caerulea, by determining its choanocyte (filter cell) proliferation rates. We found a 34% increase in choanocyte proliferation rates following the replacement of the inlet pipe (i.e., removal of the biofouling community). This indicates that the physiological functioning of the sponge was compromised due to suboptimal food conditions within the aquarium resulting from the presence of the biofouling organisms in the inlet pipe. This study has implications for the husbandry and performance of experiments with marine organisms in running seawater aquaria systems. Inlet pipes should be checked regularly, and replaced if necessary, in order to avoid excessive biofouling and to approach in situ water quality. PMID:26664799

  17. In vivo antithrombotic properties of a heparin from the oocyte test cells of the sea squirt Styela plicata(Chordata-Tunicata).

    PubMed

    Cardilo-Reis, L; Cavalcante, M C M; Silveira, C B M; Pavão, M S G

    2006-11-01

    In the ascidian Styela plicata, the oocytes are surrounded by two types of accessory cells named follicle cells and test cells. A heparin-like substance with an anticoagulant activity equivalent to 10% of mammalian heparin and about 5% as potent as the mammalian counterpart for the inhibition of thrombin by antithrombin was isolated from the oocyte test cells. In the present study, we compared the antithrombotic and hemorrhagic effects of sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin with those of porcine heparin in rat models of venous thrombosis and blood loss. Intravenous administration of the oocyte test cell heparin to Wistar rats (both sexes, weighing approximately 300 g, N = 4 in each group) at a dose of 5.0 mg/kg body weight, which produced a 1.8-fold increase in plasma activated partial thromboplastin time, inhibited thrombosis by 45 +/- 13.5% (mean +/- SD) without any bleeding effect. The same dose of porcine heparin inhibited thrombosis by 100 +/- 1.4%, but produced a blood loss three times greater than that of the saline-treated control. However, 10-fold reduction of the dose of porcine heparin to 0.5 mg/kg body weight, which produced a 5-fold increase in plasma-activated partial thromboplastin time, inhibited thrombosis by 70 +/- 13% without any bleeding effect. The antithrombotic properties of a new heparin isolated from test cells of the sea squirt S. plicata, reported here for the first time, indicate that, although sea squirt oocyte test cell heparin was a poor anticoagulant compared to porcine heparin, it had a significant antithrombotic effect without causing bleeding.

  18. Predation Limits Spread of Didemnum vexillum into Natural Habitats from Refuges on Anthropogenic Structures

    PubMed Central

    Forrest, Barrie M.; Fletcher, Lauren M.; Atalah, Javier; Piola, Richard F.; Hopkins, Grant A.

    2013-01-01

    Non-indigenous species can dominate fouling assemblages on artificial structures in marine environments; however, the extent to which infected structures act as reservoirs for subsequent spread to natural habitats is poorly understood. Didemnum vexillum is one of few colonial ascidian species that is widely reported to be highly invasive in natural ecosystems, but which in New Zealand proliferates only on suspended structures. Experimental work revealed that D. vexillum established equally well on suspended artificial and natural substrata, and was able to overgrow suspended settlement plates that were completely covered in other cosmopolitan fouling species. Fragmentation led to a level of D. vexillum cover that was significantly greater than was achieved as a result of ambient larval recruitment. The species failed to establish following fragment transplants onto seabed cobbles and into beds of macroalgae. The establishment success of D. vexillum was greatest in summer compared with autumn, and on the underside of experimental settlement plates that were suspended off the seabed to avoid benthic predators. Where benthic predation pressure was reduced by caging, D. vexillum establishment success was broadly comparable to suspended treatments; by contrast, the species did not establish on the face-up aspect of uncaged plates. This study provides compelling evidence that benthic predation was a key mechanism that prevented D. vexillum’s establishment in the cobble habitats of the study region. The widespread occurrence of D. vexillum on suspended anthropogenic structures is consistent with evidence for other sessile invertebrates that such habitats provide a refuge from benthic predation. For invasive species generally, anthropogenic structures are likely to be most important as propagule reservoirs for spread to natural habitats in situations where predation and other mechanisms do not limit their subsequent proliferation. PMID:24349228

  19. A single and rapid calcium wave at egg activation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    York-Andersen, Anna H.; Parton, Richard M.; Bi, Catherine J.; Bromley, Claire L.; Davis, Ilan; Weil, Timothy T.

    2015-01-01

    Activation is an essential process that accompanies fertilisation in all animals and heralds major cellular changes, most notably, resumption of the cell cycle. While activation involves wave-like oscillations in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in mammals, ascidians and polychaete worms and a single Ca2+ peak in fish and frogs, in insects, such as Drosophila, to date, it has not been shown what changes in intracellular Ca2+ levels occur. Here, we utilise ratiometric imaging of Ca2+ indicator dyes and genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator proteins to identify and characterise a single, rapid, transient wave of Ca2+ in the Drosophila egg at activation. Using genetic tools, physical manipulation and pharmacological treatments we demonstrate that the propagation of the Ca2+ wave requires an intact actin cytoskeleton and an increase in intracellular Ca2+ can be uncoupled from egg swelling, but not from progression of the cell cycle. We further show that mechanical pressure alone is not sufficient to initiate a Ca2+ wave. We also find that processing bodies, sites of mRNA decay and translational regulation, become dispersed following the Ca2+ transient. Based on this data we propose the following model for egg activation in Drosophila: exposure to lateral oviduct fluid initiates an increase in intracellular Ca2+ at the egg posterior via osmotic swelling, possibly through mechano-sensitive Ca2+ channels; a single Ca2+ wave then propagates in an actin dependent manner; this Ca2+ wave co-ordinates key developmental events including resumption of the cell cycle and initiation of translation of mRNAs such as bicoid. PMID:25750438

  20. Shading facilitates sessile invertebrate dominance in the rocky subtidal Gulf of Maine.

    PubMed

    Miller, Robert J; Etter, Ron J

    2008-02-01

    Dramatic shifts in community composition occur between vertical and horizontal rocky surfaces in subtidal environments worldwide, yet the forces mediating this transition are poorly understood. Vertical rock walls are often covered by lush, diverse communities of sessile suspension-feeding invertebrates, while adjacent horizontal substrates are dominated by algae, or corals in the tropics. Multiple factors, including light, sedimentation, water flow, and predation have been proposed to explain this pattern, but experimental tests of these hypotheses are lacking. We manipulated light level and predation to test whether variation in these mechanisms could be responsible for the shift in composition of sessile communities between vertical and horizontal surfaces in the rocky subtidal Gulf of Maine. Shaded horizontally oriented granite plots were dominated by invertebrates (e.g., ascidians, barnacles, bryozoans) after 25 months. Unshaded plots were dominated by macroalgae, which was virtually absent in shaded plots. Exclusion of grazers with cages had no effect on percent cover of invertebrates or algae. Preferential settlement of invertebrate larvae to shaded plots, due to larval behaviors such as negative phototaxis, did not seem to play a role. Shading likely affects post-settlement mortality of invertebrates by alleviating competition for space with algae, although greater abundance of micropredators in algal-dominated communities could also be important. Communities on shaded plots lacked many taxa present on natural wall communities, likely due to greater disturbance on horizontal substrates and/or lack of sufficient time for colonization of these taxa. These results suggest that light plays a key role in controlling the structure, composition, and function of shallow subtidal communities.

  1. Environmental Evolution of a Small Antarctic Fjord Through the Recent Past

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hass, H. C.; Wölfl, A. C.; Wittenberg, N.; Betzler, C.; Kuhn, G.

    2014-12-01

    Rapid regional warming at an increasing pace ever since the end of the Little Ice Age (c. AD 1900) causes significant change in the coastal marine environments of the West Antarctic Peninsula and beyond. A comprehensive set of hydroacoustic ground-discrimination data (RoxAnn GDX) was gathered to develop a high resolution characterization of the seafloor habitats in the Potter Cove, King George Island, a small fjord with a retreating former tidewater glacier at its head. Sediment samples and underwater video footage are used for ground truthing. Seven habitat zones are distinguished. These include the shallow high-energy wave zone exposing unvegetated rocks to the low-energy deeper basins characterized by muddy sediments and the typical biota including ophiuroids, ascidians, sponges, sea pens. The results allow to subdivide the Potter Cove into a "dynamic zone" (DZ) with rocks and mixed fine sediments covering the inner cove, a large transition zone that we call the "subrecent zone" (SZ) buried under fine meltwater sediments and the "quasi persistent zone" (QPZ) that reveals more mature conditions in many aspects further downfjord. These zones represent development stages resulting from the increasing distance to and decreasing influence of the glacier front. The DZ is trailing directly behind the retreating glacier front. As long as there is strong discharge of sediment-loaded meltwater the DZ transitions into the SZ after a period of time (under recent conditions: decades) which itself transitions into the QPZ after centuries. We assume that during the Medieval Warm Period (c. AD 800-1350) the glacier terminus was at or even behind its present position. Until the maximum of the Little Ice Age the glacier advanced to form a prominent moraine complex. Ever since the glacier retreated at increasing speed to its recent position. If the warming trend continues the glacier will retreat further away from the fjord head and the QPZ will likely cover the entire fjord after

  2. A tale of two drug targets: the evolutionary history of BACE1 and BACE2

    PubMed Central

    Southan, Christopher; Hancock, John M.

    2013-01-01

    The beta amyloid (APP) cleaving enzyme (BACE1) has been a drug target for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) since 1999 with lead inhibitors now entering clinical trials. In 2011, the paralog, BACE2, became a new target for type II diabetes (T2DM) having been identified as a TMEM27 secretase regulating pancreatic β cell function. However, the normal roles of both enzymes are unclear. This study outlines their evolutionary history and new opportunities for functional genomics. We identified 30 homologs (UrBACEs) in basal phyla including Placozoans, Cnidarians, Choanoflagellates, Porifera, Echinoderms, Annelids, Mollusks and Ascidians (but not Ecdysozoans). UrBACEs are predominantly single copy, show 35–45% protein sequence identity with mammalian BACE1, are ~100 residues longer than cathepsin paralogs with an aspartyl protease domain flanked by a signal peptide and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. While multiple paralogs in Trichoplax and Monosiga pre-date the nervous system, duplication of the UrBACE in fish gave rise to BACE1 and BACE2 in the vertebrate lineage. The latter evolved more rapidly as the former maintained the emergent neuronal role. In mammals, Ka/Ks for BACE2 is higher than BACE1 but low ratios for both suggest purifying selection. The 5' exons show higher Ka/Ks than the catalytic section. Model organism genomes show the absence of certain BACE human substrates when the UrBACE is present. Experiments could thus reveal undiscovered substrates and roles. The human protease double-target status means that evolutionary trajectories and functional shifts associated with different substrates will have implications for the development of clinical candidates for both AD and T2DM. A rational basis for inhibition specificity ratios and assessing target-related side effects will be facilitated by a more complete picture of BACE1 and BACE2 functions informed by their evolutionary context. PMID:24381583

  3. Tolerance of sponge assemblages to temperature anomalies: resilience and proliferation of sponges following the 1997-8 El-Niño southern oscillation.

    PubMed

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J; Attrill, Martin J

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs across the world are under threat from a range of stressors, and while there has been considerable focus on the impacts of these stressors on corals, far less is known about their effect on other reef organisms. The 1997-8 El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) had notable and severe impacts on coral reefs worldwide, but not all reef organisms were negatively impacted by this large-scale event. Here we describe how the sponge fauna at Bahia, Brazil was influenced by the 1997-8 ENSO event. Sponge assemblages from three contrasting reef habitats (reef tops, walls and shallow banks) at four sites were assessed annually from 1995 to 2011. The within-habitat sponge diversity did not vary significantly across the study period; however, there was a significant increase in density in all habitats. Multivariate analyses revealed no significant difference in sponge assemblage composition (ANOSIM) between pre- and post-ENSO years for any of the habitats, suggesting that neither the 1997-8 nor any subsequent smaller ENSO events have had any measurable impact on the reef sponge assemblage. Importantly, this is in marked contrast to the results previously reported for a suite of other taxa (including corals, echinoderms, bryozoans, and ascidians), which all suffered mass mortalities as a result of the ENSO event. Our results suggest that of all reef taxa, sponges have the potential to be resilient to large-scale thermal stress events and we hypothesize that sponges might be less affected by projected increases in sea surface temperature compared to other major groups of reef organisms.

  4. Screening of ovarian steroidogenic pathway in Ciona intestinalis and its modulation after tributyltin exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Cangialosi, Maria Vittoria; Puccia, Egidio; Mazzola, Antonio; Mansueto, Valentina; Arukwe, Augustine

    2010-05-15

    In this study, we have identified several ovarian steroids in Ciona with high similarity to vertebrate steroids and showed that cholesterol, corticosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, estrone, estradiol-17beta, testosterone, pregnenolone, progesterone, have identical molecular spectra with vertebrate steroids. In addition, we have studied the effects of an endocrine disruptor (tributyltin: TBT) on these sex hormones and their precursors, ovarian morphology, and gene expression of some key enzymes in steroidogenic pathway in the ovary of Ciona. Ovarian specimens were cultured in vitro using different concentrations of TBT (10{sup -5}, 10{sup -4} and 10{sup -3} M). Ethanol was used as solvent control. Gene expression analysis was performed for adrenodoxin (ADREN) and adrenodoxin reductase (ADOX) (mediators of acute steroidogenesis) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17beta-HSD). These transcripts were detected and measured by quantitative (real-time) polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Sex steroids and their precursors were identified and quantified by a gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) method. Exposure of Ciona ovaries to TBT produced modulations (either increased or decreased) of sterols and sex steroid levels, whereas no significant differences in ADREN, ADOX or 17beta-HSD mRNA expression patterns were observed. Histological analysis shows that TBT produced several modifications on Ciona ovarian morphology that includes irregular outline of nuclear membrane, less compacted cytoplasm, in addition to test and granulosa cells that were detached from the oocyte membrane. Given that the ascidians represent very simple experimental models for the study of endocrine disruption by environmental contaminants, our findings provide excellent models for multiple identification and quantification of sex steroid and their precursors in biological samples exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and for direct extrapolation of such effects across taxonomic groups

  5. Evolution of neural crest and placodes: amphioxus as a model for the ancestral vertebrate?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holland, L. Z.; Holland, N. D.

    2001-01-01

    Recent studies of protochordates (ascidian tunicates and amphioxus) have given insights into possible ancestors of 2 of the characteristic features of the vertebrate head: neural crest and placodes. The neural crest probably evolved from cells on either side of the neural plate-epidermis boundary in a protochordate ancestral to the vertebrates. In amphioxus, homologues of several vertebrate neural crest marker genes (BMP2/4, Pax3/7, Msx, Dll and Snail) are expressed at the edges of the neural plate and/or adjacent nonneural ectoderm. Some of these markers are also similarly expressed in tunicates. In protochordates, however, these cells, unlike vertebrate neural crest, neither migrate as individuals through embryonic tissues nor differentiate into a wide spectrum of cell types. Therefore, while the protochordate ancestor of the vertebrates probably had the beginnings of a genetic programme for neural crest formation, this programme was augmented in the earliest vertebrates to attain definitive neural crest. Clear homologues of vertebrate placodes are lacking in protochordates. However, both amphioxus and tunicates have ectodermal sensory cells. In tunicates these are all primary neurons, sending axons to the central nervous system, while in amphioxus, the ectodermal sensory cells include both primary neurons and secondary neurons lacking axons. Comparisons of developmental gene expression suggest that the anterior ectoderm in amphioxus may be homologous to the vertebrate olfactory placode, the only vertebrate placode with primary, not secondary, neurons. Similarly, biochemical, morphological and gene expression data suggest that amphioxus and tunicates also have homologues of the adenohypophysis, one of the few vertebrate structures derived from nonneurogenic placodes. In contrast, the origin of the other vertebrate placodes is very uncertain.

  6. Cell cultures from marine invertebrates: new insights for capturing endless stemness.

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Baruch

    2011-06-01

    Despite several decades of extensive research efforts, there is yet no single permanent cell line available from marine invertebrates as these cells stop dividing in vitro within 24-72 h after their isolation, starting cellular quiescence. This ubiquitous quiescent state should be modified in a way that at least some of the quiescent cells will become pluripotent, so they will have the ability to divide and become immortal. Following the above need, this essay introduces the rationale that the discipline of marine invertebrates' cell culture should gain from applying of two research routes, relevant to mammalian systems but less explored in the marine arena. The first is the use of adult stem cells (ASC) from marine organisms. Many marine invertebrate taxa maintain large pools of ASC in adulthood. Ample evidence attests that these cells from sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, and ascidians play important roles in maintenance, regeneration, and asexual cloning, actively proliferating in vivo, resembling the vertebrates' cancer stem cells features. The second route is to target resting somatic cell constituents, manipulating them in the same way as has recently been performed on mammalian induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. While "iPS cells" are the outcome of an experimental manipulation, ASC are natural and rather frequent in a number of marine invertebrates. Above two cell categories reveal that there are more than a few types of seeds (cells) waiting to be sowed in the right soil (in vitro environmental conditions) for acquiring stemness and immortality. This rationale carries the potential to revolutionize the discipline of marine invertebrate cell cultures. When cultured "correctly," ASC and "iPS cells" from marine invertebrates may stay in their primitive stage and proliferate without differentiating into cells lineages, harnessing the stem cell's inherent abilities of self-replication versus differentiated progenies, toward

  7. Tolerance of Sponge Assemblages to Temperature Anomalies: Resilience and Proliferation of Sponges following the 1997–8 El-Niño Southern Oscillation

    PubMed Central

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J.; Attrill, Martin J.

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs across the world are under threat from a range of stressors, and while there has been considerable focus on the impacts of these stressors on corals, far less is known about their effect on other reef organisms. The 1997–8 El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) had notable and severe impacts on coral reefs worldwide, but not all reef organisms were negatively impacted by this large-scale event. Here we describe how the sponge fauna at Bahia, Brazil was influenced by the 1997–8 ENSO event. Sponge assemblages from three contrasting reef habitats (reef tops, walls and shallow banks) at four sites were assessed annually from 1995 to 2011. The within-habitat sponge diversity did not vary significantly across the study period; however, there was a significant increase in density in all habitats. Multivariate analyses revealed no significant difference in sponge assemblage composition (ANOSIM) between pre- and post-ENSO years for any of the habitats, suggesting that neither the 1997–8 nor any subsequent smaller ENSO events have had any measurable impact on the reef sponge assemblage. Importantly, this is in marked contrast to the results previously reported for a suite of other taxa (including corals, echinoderms, bryozoans, and ascidians), which all suffered mass mortalities as a result of the ENSO event. Our results suggest that of all reef taxa, sponges have the potential to be resilient to large-scale thermal stress events and we hypothesize that sponges might be less affected by projected increases in sea surface temperature compared to other major groups of reef organisms. PMID:24116109

  8. Rubrolides as model for the development of new lactones and their aza analogs as potential photosynthesis inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Ulisses A; Barbosa, Luiz C A; Demuner, Antônio J; Silva, Antônio A; Bertazzini, Michele; Forlani, Giuseppe

    2015-07-01

    Natural phytotoxins and their synthetic analogs are a potential source of new bioactive compounds for agriculture. Analogs of rubrolides, a class of γ-alkylidene-γ-lactones isolated from different ascidians, have been shown to interfere with the photosynthetic electron-transport chain, yet their activity needs to be improved. With this aim, ten 5-aryl-6-benzyl-4-bromopyridazin-3(2H)-ones were prepared in yields ranging from 44 to 88% by reaction of their correspondent γ-alkylidene-γ-lactones with NH2 NH2 . The structures of these rubrolide analogs were determined by (1) H- and (13) C-NMR, 2D-NMR (COSY and HETCOR), NOE difference, and MS techniques. These compounds were evaluated for their abilities of interfering with the light-driven reduction of ferricyanide by isolated spinach chloroplasts. Lactones with electron-withdrawing substituents in the para-position of the benzylidene ring were the most effective inhibitors. Characterization of the activity of 11b/11b' suggested a mechanism based on the interaction with the plastoquinone binding site of photosystem II. Addition of several compounds to the culture medium of a cyanobacterial model strain was found to inhibit algal growth. However, the relative effectiveness was not consistent with their activity in vitro, suggesting the occurrence of multiple targets and/or detoxyfication mechanisms. Indeed, the compounds showed differential effects on the heterotrophic growth of some crop species, Cucumis sativus and Sorghum bicolor. Pyridazin-3(2H)-ones 12e, 12i, and 12j, which have been found poorly active against the photosynthetic electron transport, were the most effective in inhibiting the growth of some weeds, Ipomoea grandifolia and Brachiaria decumbens, under greenhouse conditions.

  9. Impact and recovery from a mass mortality event of the gorgonian Paramuricea clavata populations on the french Mediterranean coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonhomme, D.; Garrabou, J.; Perez, T.; Sartoretto, S.; Harmelin, J. G.

    2003-04-01

    An unprecedented mass mortality occurred in the NW Mediterranean in summer 1999. This event affected 30 species of invertebrates from 5 different Phyla (sponges, cnidarians, molluscs, ascidians, bryozoans) on several hundred kilometres of shoreline from the Bay of Genoa in Italy to the Bay of Marseilles in France. The most affected taxa were sponges and cnidarians. This mass mortality took place under an unusual environmental context characterized by high and stable water column temperatures. The impact of the mass mortality and recovery (1999-2002) of populations of the gorgonian Paramuricea clavata from Provence's coasts (France) have been studied. Most surveyed populations displayed 50 % of affected colonies at different degree (dead, severe and low damage), although a great variability in rates of mortality and tissue loss was also evident depending among sites. The mortality impact decreased with depth, a pattern which supports the hypothesis that temperature played a key role in this event. Surveys on populations for which pre-mortality data (density and size structure) was attested that recovery was far from completion three years after the mortality. Considering the growth rate of P. clavata, full recovery of the most affected local populations will take several decades will be necessary to return to pre-mortality values. In the context of the global change and taking into account the correlation with the temperature, one may expect that the frequency of of these kind of events will increase in the next decades. Dramatic consequences can be expected for the conservation of the affected species in shallow habitats, in particular, and for the Mediterranean biodiversity, in general.

  10. Habitat-Associations of Turban Snails on Intertidal and Subtidal Rocky Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Smoothey, Amy F.

    2013-01-01

    Patchiness of habitat has important influences on distributions and abundances of organisms. Given the increasing threat of loss and alteration of habitats due to pressures associated with humans, there is a need for ecologists to understand species' requirements for habitat and to predict changes to taxa under various future environmental conditions. This study tested hypotheses about the generality of patterns described for one species of marine intertidal turban snail for a different, yet closely-related species in subtidal habitats along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. These two closely-related species live in similar habitats, yet under quite different conditions, which provided an opportunity to investigate how similar types of habitats influence patterns of distribution, abundance and size-structure in intertidal versus subtidal environments. For each species, there were similar associations between biogenically structured habitat and densities. The intertidal species, Turbo undulates, were more abundant, with greater proportions of small individuals in habitats formed by the canopy-forming alga, Hormosira banksii, the solitary ascidian, Pyura stolonifera or the turfing red alga, Corallina officinalis compared to simple habitat (bare rock). Similarly, more Turbo torquatus were found in biogenically structured subtidal habitat, i.e. canopy-forming algae, Ecklonia radiata, mixed algal communities (‘fringe’), or turfing red algae (Corallina officinalis and Amphiroa aniceps) than where habitat is simple (barrens). Small T. torquatus were more abundant in areas of turf and ‘fringe’, while large snails were more abundant in areas of kelp and barrens. These patterns were found at each location sampled (i.e. eight intertidal and two subtidal rocky reefs) and at all times of sampling, across each environment. This study highlighted the consistent influence of biogenically structured habitats on the distribution, abundance and size-structure of

  11. Factors influencing the study of peroxidase-generated iodine species and implications for thyroglobulin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Jack; Obinger, Christian; Eales, Geoff

    2008-07-01

    A key issue in the mechanism of thyroglobulin (Tg) iodination by thyroperoxidase (TPO) is whether a TPO-bound iodine intermediate directly iodinates Tg-incorporated tyrosines (specific iodination) or whether reactive iodine species released from TPO effectuate Tg iodination (nonspecific iodination). We addressed these alternatives by (a) determining the aqueous equilibria of the iodine species potentially involved in the kinetic studies of TPO-mediated iodination, and (b) reviewing the structure of the substrate channel in mammalian peroxidases. Redox-potentiometric analysis of aqueous iodine combined with integrated mathematical modelling demonstrates that I2 reacts with water to form several iodine species including hypoiodious acid (HOI). The HOI/I2 ratio depends on time, iodide concentration, buffering agents, and pH varying dramatically from pH 4 to 7.4. These factors may confound the use of Michaelis-Menten kinetics to determine the mechanism of TPO-catalyzed iodination since both I2 and HOI iodinate tyrosine but with different specificities and reaction rates. Consequently there is as yet no conclusive kinetic evidence that iodination occurs via formation of a TPO-bound iodinated intermediate. Furthermore, knowledge of TPO structure, gained from X-ray crystallographic studies indicates that access of Tg-bound tyrosyl groups to the active site of TPO is not possible. Thus the emerging conclusion is that the mechanism of Tg iodination is nonspecific. This is consistent with the occurrence of thyroid hormone formation in prevertebrate ascidians which exhibit TPO-like activity but lack the Tg gene.

  12. A glycine receptor is involved in the organization of swimming movements in an invertebrate chordate

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Rhythmic motor patterns for locomotion in vertebrates are generated in spinal cord neural networks known as spinal Central Pattern Generators (CPGs). A key element in pattern generation is the role of glycinergic synaptic transmission by interneurons that cross the cord midline and inhibit contralaterally-located excitatory neurons. The glycinergic inhibitory drive permits alternating and precisely timed motor output during locomotion such as walking or swimming. To understand better the evolution of this system we examined the physiology of the neural network controlling swimming in an invertebrate chordate relative of vertebrates, the ascidian larva Ciona intestinalis. Results A reduced preparation of the larva consisting of nerve cord and motor ganglion generates alternating swimming movements. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of glycine receptors shows that they are implicated in the control of these locomotory movements. Morphological molecular techniques and heterologous expression experiments revealed that glycine receptors are inhibitory and are present on both motoneurones and locomotory muscle while putative glycinergic interneurons were identified in the nerve cord by labeling with an anti-glycine antibody. Conclusions In Ciona intestinalis, glycine receptors, glycinergic transmission and putative glycinergic interneurons, have a key role in coordinating swimming movements through a simple CPG that is present in the motor ganglion and nerve cord. Thus, the strong association between glycine receptors and vertebrate locomotory networks may now be extended to include the phylum chordata. The results suggest that the basic network for 'spinal-like' locomotion is likely to have existed in the common ancestor of extant chordates some 650 M years ago. PMID:20085645

  13. Allorecognition proteins in an invertebrate exhibit homophilic interactions.

    PubMed

    Karadge, Uma B; Gosto, Minja; Nicotra, Matthew L

    2015-11-01

    Sessile colonial invertebrates-animals such as sponges, corals, bryozoans, and ascidians-can distinguish between their own tissues and those of conspecifics upon contact [1]. This ability, called allorecognition, mediates spatial competition and can prevent stem cell parasitism by ensuring that colonies only fuse with self or close kin. In every taxon studied to date, allorecognition is controlled by one or more highly polymorphic genes [2-8]. However, in no case is it understood how the proteins encoded by these genes discriminate self from non-self. In the cnidarian Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, allorecognition is controlled by at least two highly polymorphic allorecognition genes, Alr1 and Alr2 [3, 5, 9-12]. Sequence variation at each gene predicts allorecognition in laboratory strains such that colonies reject if they do not share a common allele at either locus, fuse temporarily if they share an allele at only one locus, or fuse permanently if they share an allele at both genes [5, 9]. Here, we show that the gene products of Alr1 and Alr2 (Alr1 and Alr2) are self-ligands with extraordinary specificity. Using an in vitro cell aggregation assay, we found that Alr1 and Alr2 bind to themselves homophilically across opposing cell membranes. For both proteins, each isoform bound only to itself or to an isoform of nearly identical sequence. These results provide a mechanistic explanation for the exquisite specificity of Hydractinia allorecognition. Our results also indicate that hydroids have evolved a molecular strategy of self-recognition that is unique among characterized allorecognition systems within and outside invertebrates. PMID:26455308

  14. Molecular evolution and in vitro characterization of Botryllus histocompatibility factor.

    PubMed

    Taketa, Daryl A; Nydam, Marie L; Langenbacher, Adam D; Rodriguez, Delany; Sanders, Erin; De Tomaso, Anthony W

    2015-10-01

    Botryllus schlosseri is a colonial ascidian with a natural ability to anastomose with another colony to form a vascular and hematopoietic chimera. In order to fuse, two individuals must share at least one allele at the highly polymorphic fuhc locus. Otherwise, a blood-based inflammatory response will occur resulting in a melanin scar at the sites of interaction. The single-locus genetic control of allorecognition makes B. schlosseri an attractive model to study the underlying molecular mechanisms. Over the past decade, several candidate genes involved in allorecognition have been identified, but how they ultimately contribute to allorecognition outcome remains poorly understood. Here, we report our initial molecular characterization of a recently identified candidate allodeterminant called Botryllus histocompatibility factor (bhf). bhf, both on a DNA and protein level, is the least polymorphic protein in the fuhc locus studied so far and, unlike other known allorecognition determinants, does not appear to be under any form of balancing or directional selection. Additionally, we identified a second isoform through mRNA-Seq and an EST assembly library which is missing exon 3, resulting in a C-terminally truncated form. We report via whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization that a subset of cells co-express bhf and cfuhc(sec). Finally, we observed BHF's localization in HEK293T at the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane in addition to the nucleus via a nuclear localization signal. Given the localization data thus far, we hypothesize that BHF may function as a scaffolding protein in a complex with other Botryllus proteins, rather than functioning as an allorecognition determinant. PMID:26359175

  15. Role of Recruitment Processes in Structuring Coralligenous Benthic Assemblages in the Northern Adriatic Continental Shelf

    PubMed Central

    Abbiati, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Coralligenous biogenic reefs are among the most diverse marine habitats in the Mediterranean Sea. The northern Adriatic mesophotic coralligenous outcrops host very rich and diverse epibenthic assemblages. Several studies quantified the low temporal variability and high spatial heterogeneity of these habitats, while processes driving structuring and differentiation are still poorly understood. To shed light on these processes, temporal and spatial patterns of colonisation were investigated using travertine tiles deployed on three coralligenous outcrops, corresponding to the main typologies of benthic assemblages described in previous studies. Three years after deployment, assemblages colonising travertine tiles resembled the differentiation among sites revealed by the natural assemblages in terms of major ecological groups. Processes structuring and maintaining species diversity have been explored. Pioneer species with high reproduction rate, long distance larval dispersal and fast growth (e.g. the serpulid polychaete Spirobranchus triqueter and the bivalve Anomia ephippium), were the most abundant in the early stages of recruitment on the two outcrops further away from the coast and with lower sedimentation. Their success may vary according to larval availability and environmental conditions (e.g., sedimentation rates). At these sites early-stage lasted 10–12 months, during which even species from natural substrates began colonising tiles by settlement of planktonic propagules (e.g., encrusting calcareous Rhodophyta) and lateral encroachment (e.g., sponges and ascidians). On coastal outcrop, exposed to a higher sedimentation rates, tiles were colonised by fast-growing algal turfs. Resilience of northern Adriatic coralligenous assemblages, and maintenance of their diversity, appeared largely entrusted to asexual reproduction. Exploring the mechanisms that underlie the formation and maintenance of the species diversity is crucial to improve our understanding of

  16. Unusual Symbiotic Cyanobacteria Association in the Genetically Diverse Intertidal Marine Sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis (Demospongiae, Halichondrida)

    PubMed Central

    Alex, Anoop; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Tamagnini, Paula; Santos, Arlete; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria represent one of the most common members of the sponge-associated bacterial community and are abundant symbionts of coral reef ecosystems. In this study we used Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and molecular techniques (16S rRNA gene marker) to characterize the spatial distribution of cyanobionts in the widely dispersed marine intertidal sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis along the coast of Portugal (Atlantic Ocean). We described new sponge associated cyanobacterial morphotypes (Xenococcus-like) and we further observed Acaryochloris sp. as a sponge symbiont, previously only reported in association with ascidians. Besides these two unique cyanobacteria, H. perlevis predominantly harbored Synechococcus sp. and uncultured marine cyanobacteria. Our study supports the hypothesis that the community of sponge cyanobionts varies irrespective of the geographical location and is likely influenced by seasonal fluctuations. The observed multiple cyanobacterial association among sponges of the same host species over a large distance may be attributed to horizontal transfer of symbionts. This may explain the absence of a co-evolutionary pattern between the sponge host and its symbionts. Finally, in spite of the short geographic sampling distance covered, we observed an unexpected high intra-specific genetic diversity in H. perlevis using the mitochondrial genes ATP6 (π = 0.00177), COI (π = 0.00241) and intergenic spacer SP1 (π = 0.00277) relative to the levels of genetic variation of marine sponges elsewhere. Our study suggests that genotypic variation among the sponge host H. perlevis and the associated symbiotic cyanobacteria diversity may be larger than previously recognized. PMID:23251637

  17. Biofouling of inlet pipes affects water quality in running seawater aquaria and compromises sponge cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Brittany E; Mueller, Benjamin; Vermeij, Mark J A; van der Geest, Harm H G; de Goeij, Jasper M

    2015-01-01

    Marine organism are often kept, cultured, and experimented on in running seawater aquaria. However, surprisingly little attention is given to the nutrient composition of the water flowing through these systems, which is generally assumed to equal in situ conditions, but may change due to the presence of biofouling organisms. Significantly lower bacterial abundances and higher inorganic nitrogen species (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium) were measured in aquarium water when biofouling organisms were present within a 7-year old inlet pipe feeding a tropical reef running seawater aquaria system, compared with aquarium water fed by a new, biofouling-free inlet pipe. These water quality changes are indicative of the feeding activity and waste production of the suspension- and filter-feeding communities found in the old pipe, which included sponges, bivalves, barnacles, and ascidians. To illustrate the physiological consequences of these water quality changes on a model organism kept in the aquaria system, we investigated the influence of the presence and absence of the biofouling community on the functioning of the filter-feeding sponge Halisarca caerulea, by determining its choanocyte (filter cell) proliferation rates. We found a 34% increase in choanocyte proliferation rates following the replacement of the inlet pipe (i.e., removal of the biofouling community). This indicates that the physiological functioning of the sponge was compromised due to suboptimal food conditions within the aquarium resulting from the presence of the biofouling organisms in the inlet pipe. This study has implications for the husbandry and performance of experiments with marine organisms in running seawater aquaria systems. Inlet pipes should be checked regularly, and replaced if necessary, in order to avoid excessive biofouling and to approach in situ water quality. PMID:26664799

  18. Habitat-associations of turban snails on intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Smoothey, Amy F

    2013-01-01

    Patchiness of habitat has important influences on distributions and abundances of organisms. Given the increasing threat of loss and alteration of habitats due to pressures associated with humans, there is a need for ecologists to understand species' requirements for habitat and to predict changes to taxa under various future environmental conditions. This study tested hypotheses about the generality of patterns described for one species of marine intertidal turban snail for a different, yet closely-related species in subtidal habitats along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. These two closely-related species live in similar habitats, yet under quite different conditions, which provided an opportunity to investigate how similar types of habitats influence patterns of distribution, abundance and size-structure in intertidal versus subtidal environments. For each species, there were similar associations between biogenically structured habitat and densities. The intertidal species, Turbo undulates, were more abundant, with greater proportions of small individuals in habitats formed by the canopy-forming alga, Hormosira banksii, the solitary ascidian, Pyura stolonifera or the turfing red alga, Corallina officinalis compared to simple habitat (bare rock). Similarly, more Turbo torquatus were found in biogenically structured subtidal habitat, i.e. canopy-forming algae, Ecklonia radiata, mixed algal communities ('fringe'), or turfing red algae (Corallina officinalis and Amphiroa aniceps) than where habitat is simple (barrens). Small T. torquatus were more abundant in areas of turf and 'fringe', while large snails were more abundant in areas of kelp and barrens. These patterns were found at each location sampled (i.e. eight intertidal and two subtidal rocky reefs) and at all times of sampling, across each environment. This study highlighted the consistent influence of biogenically structured habitats on the distribution, abundance and size-structure of intertidal and

  19. Identification and characterization of the lamprey IRF gene.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yue; Liu, Shuang; Zheng, Zhen; Liu, Xin; Li, Qingwei

    2015-04-01

    Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are named for their ability to bind to and regulate interferon genes when an organism becomes infected with a virus. Numerous studies have revealed the versatile and critical functions of IRFs. In this study, an IRF gene from Lampetra japonica was identified and analyzed using bioinformatic methods. The L. japonica IRF (Lj-IRF) shares high sequence homology with other vertebrate IRFs but low sequence homology with an ascidian IRF-like protein. We also used recombinant Lj-IRF protein (rLj-IRF) to immunize New Zealand rabbits to prepare specific anti-rLj-IRF polyclonal antibodies. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and Western blotting assays were performed to detect the valence and specificity of the antibody. FACS analysis revealed that the Lj-IRF protein was expressed in approximately 21.14% of leukocytes and 9.60% of supraneural body cells in L. japonica, with immunofluorescence staining indicating a cytoplasmic location. The immunohistochemistry results demonstrated that IRF is distributed in the epithelial cells of the heart, supraneural body, kidneys and gills but is not detectable in intestinals or oral gland tissues. However, the expression of IRF was upregulated in lamprey intestinal tissues upon stimulation with the rLj-HMGB1 protein. Lj-IRF gene expression levels were higher in the rLj-HMGB1-stimulated group than the control group, and the expression level of Lj-IRF was significantly increased in the intestines as determined by quantitative real-time PCR. These results provide a foundation for studying the origin and evolution of the innate immune system in lampreys. PMID:25712467

  20. Widespread occurrence of an intranuclear bacterial parasite in vent and seep bathymodiolin mussels.

    PubMed

    Zielinski, Frank U; Pernthaler, Annelie; Duperron, Sébastien; Raggi, Luciana; Giere, Olav; Borowski, Christian; Dubilier, Nicole

    2009-05-01

    Many parasitic bacteria live in the cytoplasm of multicellular animals, but only a few are known to regularly invade their nuclei. In this study, we describe the novel bacterial parasite "Candidatus Endonucleobacter bathymodioli" that invades the nuclei of deep-sea bathymodiolin mussels from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Bathymodiolin mussels are well known for their symbiotic associations with sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria. In contrast, the parasitic bacteria of vent and seep animals have received little attention despite their potential importance for deep-sea ecosystems. We first discovered the intranuclear parasite "Ca. E. bathymodioli" in Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis from the Logatchev hydrothermal vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using primers and probes specific to "Ca. E. bathymodioli" we found this intranuclear parasite in at least six other bathymodiolin species from vents and seeps around the world. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy analyses of the developmental cycle of "Ca. E. bathymodioli" showed that the infection of a nucleus begins with a single rod-shaped bacterium which grows to an unseptated filament of up to 20 microm length and then divides repeatedly until the nucleus is filled with up to 80,000 bacteria. The greatly swollen nucleus destroys its host cell and the bacteria are released after the nuclear membrane bursts. Intriguingly, the only nuclei that were never infected by "Ca. E. bathymodioli" were those of the gill bacteriocytes. These cells contain the symbiotic sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting that the mussel symbionts can protect their host nuclei against the parasite. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the "Ca. E. bathymodioli" belongs to a monophyletic clade of Gammaproteobacteria associated with marine metazoans as diverse as sponges, corals, bivalves, gastropods, echinoderms, ascidians and fish. We hypothesize that many of the sequences from this clade

  1. The Substantial First Impact of Bottom Fishing on Rare Biodiversity Hotspots: A Dilemma for Evidence-Based Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Robert; Fariñas-Franco, Jose M.; Gell, Fiona R.; Holt, Rohan H. F.; Holt, Terry; Lindenbaum, Charles; Porter, Joanne S.; Seed, Ray; Skates, Lucie R.; Stringell, Thomas B.; Sanderson, William G.

    2013-01-01

    This study describes the impact of the first passage of two types of bottom-towed fishing gear on rare protected shellfish-reefs formed by the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.). One of the study sites was trawled and the other was scallop-dredged. Divers collected HD video imagery of epifauna from quadrats at the two study sites and directed infaunal samples from one site. The total number of epifaunal organisms was significantly reduced following a single pass of a trawl (90%) or scallop dredge (59%), as was the diversity of the associated community and the total number of M. modiolus at the trawled site. At both sites declines in anthozoans, hydrozoans, bivalves, echinoderms and ascidians accounted for most of the change. A year later, no recovery was evident at the trawled site and significantly fewer infaunal taxa (polychaetes, malacostracans, bivalves and ophuroids) were recorded in the trawl track. The severity of the two types of impact reflected the undisturbed status of the habitats compared to previous studies. As a ‘priority habitat’ the nature of the impacts described on M. modiolus communities are important to the development of conservation management policy and indicators of condition in Marine Protected Areas (EU Habitats Directive) as well as indicators of ‘Good Environmental Status’ under the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Conservation managers are under pressure to support decisions with good quality evidence. Elsewhere, indirect studies have shown declines of M. modiolus biogenic communities in fishing grounds. However, given the protected status of the rare habitat, premeditated demonstration of direct impact is unethical or illegal in Marine Protected Areas. This study therefore provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact from fishing gear whilst at the same time reflecting on the dilemma of evidence-based conservation management. PMID:23967063

  2. The substantial first impact of bottom fishing on rare biodiversity hotspots: a dilemma for evidence-based conservation.

    PubMed

    Cook, Robert; Fariñas-Franco, Jose M; Gell, Fiona R; Holt, Rohan H F; Holt, Terry; Lindenbaum, Charles; Porter, Joanne S; Seed, Ray; Skates, Lucie R; Stringell, Thomas B; Sanderson, William G

    2013-01-01

    This study describes the impact of the first passage of two types of bottom-towed fishing gear on rare protected shellfish-reefs formed by the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus (L.). One of the study sites was trawled and the other was scallop-dredged. Divers collected HD video imagery of epifauna from quadrats at the two study sites and directed infaunal samples from one site. The total number of epifaunal organisms was significantly reduced following a single pass of a trawl (90%) or scallop dredge (59%), as was the diversity of the associated community and the total number of M. modiolus at the trawled site. At both sites declines in anthozoans, hydrozoans, bivalves, echinoderms and ascidians accounted for most of the change. A year later, no recovery was evident at the trawled site and significantly fewer infaunal taxa (polychaetes, malacostracans, bivalves and ophuroids) were recorded in the trawl track. The severity of the two types of impact reflected the undisturbed status of the habitats compared to previous studies. As a 'priority habitat' the nature of the impacts described on M. modiolus communities are important to the development of conservation management policy and indicators of condition in Marine Protected Areas (EU Habitats Directive) as well as indicators of 'Good Environmental Status' under the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Conservation managers are under pressure to support decisions with good quality evidence. Elsewhere, indirect studies have shown declines of M. modiolus biogenic communities in fishing grounds. However, given the protected status of the rare habitat, premeditated demonstration of direct impact is unethical or illegal in Marine Protected Areas. This study therefore provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impact from fishing gear whilst at the same time reflecting on the dilemma of evidence-based conservation management.

  3. Nimbus (BgI): An active non-LTR retrotransposon of the Schistosoma mansoni snail host Biomphalaria glabrata✰

    PubMed Central

    Raghavan, Nithya; Tettelin, Hervé; Miller, André; Hostetler, Jessica; Tallon, Luke; Knight, Matty

    2009-01-01

    The freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata is closely associated with the transmission of human schistosomiasis. An ecologically sound method has been proposed to control schistosomiasis using genetically modified snails to displace endemic, susceptible ones. To assess the viability of this form of biological control, studies towards understanding the molecular makeup of the snail relative to the presence of endogenous mobile genetic elements are being undertaken since they can be exploited for genetic transformation studies. We previously cloned a 1.95 Kb BamHI fragment in B. glabrata (BGR2) with sequence similarity to the human long interspersed nuclear element (LINE or L1). A contiguous, full-length sequence corresponding to BGR2, hereafter-named nimbus (BgI), has been identified from a B. glabrata bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. Sequence analysis of the 65,764 bp BAC insert contained one full-length, complete nimbus (BgI) element (element I), two full-length elements (elements II and III) containing deletions and flanked by target site duplications and 10 truncated copies. The intact nimbus (BgI) contained two open reading frames (ORFs 1 and 2) encoding the characteristic hallmark domains found in non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons belonging to the I clade; a nucleic acid binding protein in ORF1 and an apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, reverse transcriptase and RNase H in ORF2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that nimbus (BgI) is closely related to Drosophila (I factor), mosquito Aedes aegypti (MosquI) and chordate ascidian Ciona intestinalis (CiI) retrotransposons. Nimbus (BgI) represents the first complete mobile element characterized from a mollusk that appears to be transcriptionally active and is widely distributed in snails of the neotropics and the Old World. PMID:17521654

  4. VacuSIP, an Improved InEx Method for In Situ Measurement of Particulate and Dissolved Compounds Processed by Active Suspension Feeders.

    PubMed

    Morganti, Teresa; Yahel, Gitai; Ribes, Marta; Coma, Rafel

    2016-08-03

    Benthic suspension feeders play essential roles in the functioning of marine ecosystems. By filtering large volumes of water, removing plankton and detritus, and excreting particulate and dissolved compounds, they serve as important agents for benthic-pelagic coupling. Accurately measuring the compounds removed and excreted by suspension feeders (such as sponges, ascidians, polychaetes, bivalves) is crucial for the study of their physiology, metabolism, and feeding ecology, and is fundamental to determine the ecological relevance of the nutrient fluxes mediated by these organisms. However, the assessment of the rate by which suspension feeders process particulate and dissolved compounds in nature is restricted by the limitations of the currently available methodologies. Our goal was to develop a simple, reliable, and non-intrusive method that would allow clean and controlled water sampling from a specific point, such as the excurrent aperture of benthic suspension feeders, in situ. Our method allows simultaneous sampling of inhaled and exhaled water of the studied organism by using minute tubes installed on a custom-built manipulator device and carefully positioned inside the exhalant orifice of the sampled organism. Piercing a septum on the collecting vessel with a syringe needle attached to the distal end of each tube allows the external pressure to slowly force the sampled water into the vessel through the sampling tube. The slow and controlled sampling rate allows integrating the inherent patchiness in the water while ensuring contamination free sampling. We provide recommendations for the most suitable filtering devices, collection vessel, and storing procedures for the analyses of different particulate and dissolved compounds. The VacuSIP system offers a reliable method for the quantification of undisturbed suspension feeder metabolism in natural conditions that is cheap and easy to learn and apply to assess the physiology and functional role of filter

  5. Morphological Differences between Larvae of the Ciona intestinalis Species Complex: Hints for a Valid Taxonomic Definition of Distinct Species.

    PubMed

    Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Brunetti, Riccardo; Caicci, Federico; Gasparini, Fabio; Griggio, Francesca; Sato, Atsuko; Stach, Thomas; Kaul-Strehlow, Sabrina; Gissi, Carmela; Manni, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    The cosmopolitan ascidian Ciona intestinalis is the most common model species of Tunicata, the sister-group of Vertebrata, and widely used in developmental biology, genomics and evolutionary studies. Recently, molecular studies suggested the presence of cryptic species hidden within the C. intestinalis species, namely C. intestinalis type A and type B. So far, no substantial morphological differences have been identified between individuals belonging to the two types. Here we present morphometric, immunohistochemical, and histological analyses, as well as 3-D reconstructions, of late larvae obtained by cross-fertilization experiments of molecularly determined type A and type B adults, sampled in different seasons and in four different localities. Our data point to quantitative and qualitative differences in the trunk shape of larvae belonging to the two types. In particular, type B larvae exhibit a longer pre-oral lobe, longer and relatively narrower total body length, and a shorter ocellus-tail distance than type A larvae. All these differences were found to be statistically significant in a Discriminant Analysis. Depending on the number of analyzed parameters, the obtained discriminant function was able to correctly classify > 93% of the larvae, with the remaining misclassified larvae attributable to the existence of intra-type seasonal variability. No larval differences were observed at the level of histology and immunohistochemical localization of peripheral sensory neurons. We conclude that type A and type B are two distinct species that can be distinguished on the basis of larval morphology and molecular data. Since the identified larval differences appear to be valid diagnostic characters, we suggest to raise both types to the rank of species and to assign them distinct names.

  6. Developmental expression and evolution of muscle-specific microRNAs conserved in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tani, Saori; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Inoue, Kunio; Kusakabe, Rie

    2013-01-01

    microRNAs (miRs) are small non-coding RNA molecules expressed in a tissue-specific manner in numerous organisms. Among them, miR-1, miR-206, and miR-133, which are encoded as bicistronic gene clusters in the genome, play major roles in the control of vertebrate myogenesis. To address how the gene organization and function of these miRs evolved, we identified their homologues in the cyclostomes, the chondrichthyans and the teleosts, and examined their patterns of expression during development. It was suggested that the chondrichthyans and the cyclostome lampreys possess fewer miR-1/miR-133 genes than the medaka. The medaka additionally possessed the miR-206 gene which was not found in the genomes of chondrichthyans and lampreys. In contrast, the number and genomic organization of medaka miR-1(206)/miR-133 were similar to those found in mammals. In the lamprey, shark and medaka, miR-1 and miR-133 were expressed in both skeletal and cardiac muscle cells in adults, a developmental feature traced back to chordate invertebrates such as ascidians. We further examined the expression of these miRs in different muscle tissues in medaka embryos. miR-206 was expressed in both the tail and pectoral fin muscles, whereas miR-1, which shares the similar nucleotide sequence with miR-206, was not detectable in the embryonic pectoral fins. Comparison of the relative positions with the neighboring protein-coding genes showed high conservation of synteny between the miR-1(206)/miR-133 clusters in a single species, as well as across the vertebrate taxa. Our results suggest that, after the gene duplications, these muscle-specific miRs acquired differential regulatory functions and have contributed to the establishment of diverse and complex musculature of vertebrates. PMID:23809703

  7. Larval and metamorphic development of the foregut and proboscis in the caenogastropod Marsenina (Lamellaria) stearnsii.

    PubMed

    Page, L R

    2002-05-01

    The specialized, postmetamorphic feeding structures of predatory caenogastropods evolved by changes to an ancestral caenogastropod developmental program that generated a planktotrophic larval stage followed by a herbivorous postmetamorphic stage. As part of a program of comparative studies aimed at reconstructing these developmental changes, I studied the development of the postmetamorphic feeding system of Marsenina stearnsii using histological sections for light microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The feeding system of this species has two very different designs during ontogeny. The larval system uses ciliary effectors to capture and ingest microalgae, whereas the juvenile/adult system includes a proboscis, jaws, and radular apparatus for predation on ascidian zooids. The postmetamorphic foregut begins to develop during the early larval phase, but the anlagen does not interfere with larval feeding because it develops as an increasingly elaborate outpocketing from the ventral wall of the larval esophagus. At metamorphosis, an opening is created in the anterior tip of the prospective, postmetamorphic buccal cavity and the margins of this opening anneal with the metamorphically remodeled lips of the larval mouth. This process exposes the jaws, which differentiate within the buccal cavity prior to metamorphosis. As a working hypothesis, I suggest that rupture of the buccal cavity to the outside at metamorphosis was selected as a mechanism to allow precocious development of jaws in species where jaws enhanced feeding performance by young juveniles. The larval esophagus of M. stearnsii appears to be completely destroyed at metamorphosis. Larval esophageal cells have distinctive apical characteristics (cilia, blebbed microvilli, stacks of lamellae within the glycocalyx) and no cells having this signature persist through metamorphosis. Development of the proboscis and proboscis sac, which begins prior to metamorphosis, conforms to previous

  8. Identification and characterization of the lamprey IRF gene.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yue; Liu, Shuang; Zheng, Zhen; Liu, Xin; Li, Qingwei

    2015-04-01

    Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are named for their ability to bind to and regulate interferon genes when an organism becomes infected with a virus. Numerous studies have revealed the versatile and critical functions of IRFs. In this study, an IRF gene from Lampetra japonica was identified and analyzed using bioinformatic methods. The L. japonica IRF (Lj-IRF) shares high sequence homology with other vertebrate IRFs but low sequence homology with an ascidian IRF-like protein. We also used recombinant Lj-IRF protein (rLj-IRF) to immunize New Zealand rabbits to prepare specific anti-rLj-IRF polyclonal antibodies. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and Western blotting assays were performed to detect the valence and specificity of the antibody. FACS analysis revealed that the Lj-IRF protein was expressed in approximately 21.14% of leukocytes and 9.60% of supraneural body cells in L. japonica, with immunofluorescence staining indicating a cytoplasmic location. The immunohistochemistry results demonstrated that IRF is distributed in the epithelial cells of the heart, supraneural body, kidneys and gills but is not detectable in intestinals or oral gland tissues. However, the expression of IRF was upregulated in lamprey intestinal tissues upon stimulation with the rLj-HMGB1 protein. Lj-IRF gene expression levels were higher in the rLj-HMGB1-stimulated group than the control group, and the expression level of Lj-IRF was significantly increased in the intestines as determined by quantitative real-time PCR. These results provide a foundation for studying the origin and evolution of the innate immune system in lampreys.

  9. VacuSIP, an Improved InEx Method for In Situ Measurement of Particulate and Dissolved Compounds Processed by Active Suspension Feeders.

    PubMed

    Morganti, Teresa; Yahel, Gitai; Ribes, Marta; Coma, Rafel

    2016-01-01

    Benthic suspension feeders play essential roles in the functioning of marine ecosystems. By filtering large volumes of water, removing plankton and detritus, and excreting particulate and dissolved compounds, they serve as important agents for benthic-pelagic coupling. Accurately measuring the compounds removed and excreted by suspension feeders (such as sponges, ascidians, polychaetes, bivalves) is crucial for the study of their physiology, metabolism, and feeding ecology, and is fundamental to determine the ecological relevance of the nutrient fluxes mediated by these organisms. However, the assessment of the rate by which suspension feeders process particulate and dissolved compounds in nature is restricted by the limitations of the currently available methodologies. Our goal was to develop a simple, reliable, and non-intrusive method that would allow clean and controlled water sampling from a specific point, such as the excurrent aperture of benthic suspension feeders, in situ. Our method allows simultaneous sampling of inhaled and exhaled water of the studied organism by using minute tubes installed on a custom-built manipulator device and carefully positioned inside the exhalant orifice of the sampled organism. Piercing a septum on the collecting vessel with a syringe needle attached to the distal end of each tube allows the external pressure to slowly force the sampled water into the vessel through the sampling tube. The slow and controlled sampling rate allows integrating the inherent patchiness in the water while ensuring contamination free sampling. We provide recommendations for the most suitable filtering devices, collection vessel, and storing procedures for the analyses of different particulate and dissolved compounds. The VacuSIP system offers a reliable method for the quantification of undisturbed suspension feeder metabolism in natural conditions that is cheap and easy to learn and apply to assess the physiology and functional role of filter

  10. Histamine Stimulates Ciliary Beat Frequency via the H2 Receptor in the Protochordate Botryllus schlosseri.

    PubMed

    Cima, Francesca; Franchi, Nicola

    2016-05-01

    Histamine is a biogenic molecule that plays a role in many physiological pathways via binding to a specific receptor. Histaminergic receptors belong to the large family of seven-transmembrane α-helix domain receptors classified in mammals into four distinct classes: H1, H2, H3, and H4. Despite being widely studied in vertebrates, few data are available on the invertebrate receptors, with only predicted H1 and H2 sequences for nonchordate deuterostomes. Here, we report the first characterized transcript sequence for an H2 receptor from the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, describing the localization of both transcript and protein during blastogenic development through in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Its phylogenetic relationships with deuterostome orthologous proteins are reported, its role in ciliary beat frequency (CBF) in cultured stigma cells of the branchial basket is outlined, and the effects of histamine and its receptor agonists and antagonists are analyzed. In the presence of increasing concentrations of histamine in the medium, CBF increases similarly to the selective H2 receptor agonist dimaprit. In contrast, ranitidine, which is an inhibitor of the H2 receptor, causes a significant inhibition of CBF, similar to that observed after preincubation with the specific anti-BsHRH2 or the anti-human HRH2 antibody. In cells bordering the branchial basket stigmata, both antibodies colocalize in the proximal region of the ciliary plasmalemma, and histamine is present inside vesicles of the apical region, thus supporting the hypothesis of a histamine-binding H2 receptor control of the pharyngeal mucociliary transport similar to that of the upper respiratory tract and middle ear in mammals. PMID:27139577

  11. An Expanded Notch-Delta Model Exhibiting Long-Range Patterning and Incorporating MicroRNA Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jerry S.; Gumbayan, Abygail M.; Zeller, Robert W.; Mahaffy, Joseph M.

    2014-01-01

    Notch-Delta signaling is a fundamental cell-cell communication mechanism that governs the differentiation of many cell types. Most existing mathematical models of Notch-Delta signaling are based on a feedback loop between Notch and Delta leading to lateral inhibition of neighboring cells. These models result in a checkerboard spatial pattern whereby adjacent cells express opposing levels of Notch and Delta, leading to alternate cell fates. However, a growing body of biological evidence suggests that Notch-Delta signaling produces other patterns that are not checkerboard, and therefore a new model is needed. Here, we present an expanded Notch-Delta model that builds upon previous models, adding a local Notch activity gradient, which affects long-range patterning, and the activity of a regulatory microRNA. This model is motivated by our experiments in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis showing that the peripheral sensory neurons, whose specification is in part regulated by the coordinate activity of Notch-Delta signaling and the microRNA miR-124, exhibit a sparse spatial pattern whereby consecutive neurons may be spaced over a dozen cells apart. We perform rigorous stability and bifurcation analyses, and demonstrate that our model is able to accurately explain and reproduce the neuronal pattern in Ciona. Using Monte Carlo simulations of our model along with miR-124 transgene over-expression assays, we demonstrate that the activity of miR-124 can be incorporated into the Notch decay rate parameter of our model. Finally, we motivate the general applicability of our model to Notch-Delta signaling in other animals by providing evidence that microRNAs regulate Notch-Delta signaling in analogous cell types in other organisms, and by discussing evidence in other organisms of sparse spatial patterns in tissues where Notch-Delta signaling is active. PMID:24945987

  12. A tale of two drug targets: the evolutionary history of BACE1 and BACE2.

    PubMed

    Southan, Christopher; Hancock, John M

    2013-01-01

    The beta amyloid (APP) cleaving enzyme (BACE1) has been a drug target for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) since 1999 with lead inhibitors now entering clinical trials. In 2011, the paralog, BACE2, became a new target for type II diabetes (T2DM) having been identified as a TMEM27 secretase regulating pancreatic β cell function. However, the normal roles of both enzymes are unclear. This study outlines their evolutionary history and new opportunities for functional genomics. We identified 30 homologs (UrBACEs) in basal phyla including Placozoans, Cnidarians, Choanoflagellates, Porifera, Echinoderms, Annelids, Mollusks and Ascidians (but not Ecdysozoans). UrBACEs are predominantly single copy, show 35-45% protein sequence identity with mammalian BACE1, are ~100 residues longer than cathepsin paralogs with an aspartyl protease domain flanked by a signal peptide and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. While multiple paralogs in Trichoplax and Monosiga pre-date the nervous system, duplication of the UrBACE in fish gave rise to BACE1 and BACE2 in the vertebrate lineage. The latter evolved more rapidly as the former maintained the emergent neuronal role. In mammals, Ka/Ks for BACE2 is higher than BACE1 but low ratios for both suggest purifying selection. The 5' exons show higher Ka/Ks than the catalytic section. Model organism genomes show the absence of certain BACE human substrates when the UrBACE is present. Experiments could thus reveal undiscovered substrates and roles. The human protease double-target status means that evolutionary trajectories and functional shifts associated with different substrates will have implications for the development of clinical candidates for both AD and T2DM. A rational basis for inhibition specificity ratios and assessing target-related side effects will be facilitated by a more complete picture of BACE1 and BACE2 functions informed by their evolutionary context.

  13. Population genetics features for persistent, but transient, Botryllus schlosseri (Urochordata) congregations in a central Californian marina.

    PubMed

    Karahan, Arzu; Douek, Jacob; Paz, Guy; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2016-08-01

    The colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri is a globally distributed, invasive ascidian that has colonized the Californian coasts of the USA during the mid-late 1940s and has, since the late 1980s, spread north to Washington. This study analyzes the population genetic characteristics of transient populations residing at the Elkhorn Yacht-Club (EYC), in central California (seven sessions, 1996-2008), which suffered periodic catastrophes caused by episodic fresh-water floods and a single sampling session (in the year 2001) of five West-Coast populations using the mtDNA COI gene and five microsatellite markers. EYC microsatellite results were further compared with the closely situated but persistent population of the Santa Cruz Harbor (SCH) to understand the impact on EYC population regeneration processes after the 2005-flood catastrophe. All microsatellites were highly polymorphic, revealing a large number of unique alleles at different sampling dates. Whereas pairwise θ did not reveal significant differences between the EYC time-series samplings, the overall θ was significant, as it was between all the 2001 West Coast populations. The most likely cluster number was 3 for the EYC samples whereas two K values were obtained (2 and 5) for the 2001 samples. Tajima's D and Fu's/Fs tests did not reject the null hypothesis for COI neutral evolution, except for in the EYC-2000, 2007 and two 2001 samplings. The wide geographical range of the analyses has indicated that following the EYC 2005-flood catastrophe, newcomers could have originated from neighboring populations, from deep-water colonies that may have escaped the 2005 low salinity event, or less expectedly, from far away West-Coast populations, while revealing that the SCH population is the most probable source for the EYC population.

  14. Divergent roles of the DEAD-box protein BS-PL10, the urochordate homologue of human DDX3 and DDX3Y proteins, in colony astogeny and ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Rosner, Amalia; Paz, Guy; Rinkevich, Baruch

    2006-06-01

    Proteins of the highly conserved PL-10 (Ded1P) subfamily of DEAD-box family, participate in a wide variety of biological functions. However, the entire spectrum of their functions in both vertebrates and invertebrates is still unknown. Here, we isolated the Botryllus schlosseri (Urochordata) homologue, BS-PL10, revealing its distributions and functions in ontogeny and colony astogeny. In botryllid ascidians, the colony grows by increasing the number of modular units (each called a zooid) through a whole colony synchronized and weekly cyclical astogenic budding process (blastogenesis). At the level of the colony, both BS-PL10 mRNA and its protein (78 kDa) fluctuate in a weekly pattern that corresponds with the animal's blastogenic cycle, increasing from blastogenic stage A to blastogenic stage D. At the organ/module level, a sharp decline is revealed. Primary and secondary developing buds express high levels of BS-PL10 mRNA and protein at all blastogeneic stages. These levels are reduced four to nine times in the new set of functional zooids. This portrait of colony astogeny differed from its ontogeny. Oocytes and sperm cells express high levels of BS-PL10 protein only at early stages of development. Young embryos reveal background levels with increased expressions in some organs at more developed stages. Results reveal that higher levels of BS-PL10 mRNA and protein are characteristic to multipotent soma and germ cells, but patterns deviate between two populations of differentiating stem cells, the stem cells involved in weekly blastogenesis and stem cells involved in embryogenesis. Two types of experimental manipulations, zooidectomy and siRNA assays, have confirmed the importance of BS-PL10 for cell differentiation and organogenesis. BS-PL10 (phylogenetically matching the animal's position in the evolutionary tree), is the only member of this subfamily in B. schlosseri, featuring a wide range of biological activities, some of which represent pivotal roles. The

  15. The role of containerships as transfer mechanisms of marine biofouling species.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Ian C; Brown, Christopher W; Sytsma, Mark D; Ruiz, Gregory M

    2009-10-01

    Fouling of ships is an important historical and enduring transfer mechanism of marine nonindigenous species (NIS). Although containerships have risen to the forefront of global maritime shipping since the 1950s, few studies have directly sampled fouling communities on their submerged surfaces, and little is known about differences in the fouling characteristics among commercial ship types. Twenty-two in-service containerships at the Port of Oakland (San Francisco Bay, California) were sampled to test the hypothesis that the extent and taxonomic richness of fouling would be low on this type of ship, resulting from relatively fast speeds and short port durations. The data showed that the extent of macroorganisms (invertebrates and algae) was indeed low, especially across the large surface areas of the hull. Less than 1% of the exposed hull was colonized for all apart from one vessel. These ships had submerged surface areas of >7000 m(2), and fouling coverage on this area was estimated to be <17 m(2) per vessel, with zero biota detected on the hulls of many vessels. The outlying smaller vessel (4465 m(2)) had an estimated coverage of 90% on the hull and also differed substantially from the other ships in terms of its recent voyage history, shorter voyage range and slower speeds. Despite the low extent of fouling, taxonomic richness was high among vessels. Consistent with recent studies, a wide range of organisms were concentrated at more protected and heterogeneous (non-hull) niche areas, including rudders, stern tubes and intake gratings. Green algae and barnacles were most frequently sampled among vessels, but hydroids, bryozoans, bivalves and ascidians were also recorded. One vessel had 20 different species in its fouling assemblage, including non-native species (already established in San Francisco Bay) and mobile species that were not detected in visual surveys. In contrast to other studies, dry dock block areas did not support many organisms, despite little

  16. Disentangling the impacts of heat wave magnitude, duration and timing on the structure and diversity of sessile marine assemblages.

    PubMed

    Smale, Dan A; Yunnie, Anna L E; Vance, Thomas; Widdicombe, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Extreme climatic events, including heat waves (HWs) and severe storms, influence the structure of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Despite growing consensus that anthropogenic climate change will increase the frequency, duration and magnitude of extreme events, current understanding of their impact on communities and ecosystems is limited. Here, we used sessile invertebrates on settlement panels as model assemblages to examine the influence of HW magnitude, duration and timing on marine biodiversity patterns. Settlement panels were deployed in a marina in southwest UK for ≥5 weeks, to allow sufficient time for colonisation and development of sessile fauna, before being subjected to simulated HWs in a mesocosm facility. Replicate panel assemblages were held at ambient sea temperature (∼17 °C), or +3 °C or +5 °C for a period of 1 or 2 weeks, before being returned to the marina for a recovery phase of 2-3 weeks. The 10-week experiment was repeated 3 times, staggered throughout summer, to examine the influence of HW timing on community impacts. Contrary to our expectations, the warming events had no clear, consistent impacts on the abundance of species or the structure of sessile assemblages. With the exception of 1 high-magnitude long-duration HW event, warming did not alter not assemblage structure, favour non-native species, nor lead to changes in richness, abundance or biomass of sessile faunal assemblages. The observed lack of effect may have been caused by a combination of (1) the use of relatively low magnitude, realistic heat wave treatments compared to previous studies (2), the greater resilience of mature adult sessile fauna compared to recruits and juveniles, and (3) the high thermal tolerance of the model organisms (i.e., temperate fouling species, principally bryozoans and ascidians). Our study demonstrates the importance of using realistic treatments when manipulating climate change variables, and also suggests that biogeographical context may

  17. Carbonate production and deposition in a warm-temperate macroalgal environment, Investigator Strait, South Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Noel P.; Bone, Yvonne

    2011-08-01

    The prolific macroalgal forests in shallow (< 20 m), warm-temperate, marine environments off southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia have two carbonate-producing habitats, 1) upward-facing, exposed rock surfaces beneath large phaeophytes, and 2) concealed rock surfaces under overhangs, on rock walls, in crevasses, and indentations that all lie behind a curtain of brown macroalgae. Exposed surfaces have three growth tiers; 1) a basal, cm-high veneer or turf of crustose corallines, geniculate corallines, and short fleshy red algae that are grazed by herbivorous gastropods, 2) an intermediate, 5-20 cm-high community of fleshy red algae, and 3) a 20-100 cm+-high canopy of large phaeophytes (especially Ecklonia, Cystophora and Xiophora) whose blades are locally encrusted with bryozoans, such as Membranipora membranacea, and spirorbids. Concealed surfaces of subvertical rock walls and cryptic habitats behind the macroalgal curtain have two tiers; 1) a cornucopia of encrusting plants and animals, especially crustose and geniculate corallines in shallow water, that give way in water depths > 4 m to numerous bryozoans (especially fenestrates), serpulid worms, numerous and diverse demosponges, ascidians, small solitary corals, epifaunal echinoids, and gastropods, and 2) a veil of macroalgae (mainly Cystophora and Ecklonia) that drapes down and shades the rock walls. Most carbonate sediment production does not come from calcareous epiphytes on the macroalgae but comes from the coralline algae and calcareous invertebrates living on the rock walls and in concealed depressions. Mollusks (gastropods and bivalves) and geniculate coralline algae with numerous lithoclasts, crustose coralline fragments, barnacle plates, serpulid worms, bryozoans, and large benthic foraminifers (especially Amphistegina) dominate the resultant gravels and sands; but there is little or no mud. This is because carbonate sediment is the result of production not only in the macrophyte factory but also in

  18. Increasing the hydrolysis constant of the reactive site upon introduction of an engineered Cys¹⁴-Cys³⁹ bond into the ovomucoid third domain from silver pheasant.

    PubMed

    Hemmi, Hikaru; Kumazaki, Takashi; Kojima, Shuichi; Yoshida, Takuya; Ohkubo, Tadayasu; Yokosawa, Hideyoshi; Miura, Kin-Ichiro; Kobayashi, Yuji

    2011-08-01

    P14C/N39C is the disulfide variant of the ovomucoid third domain from silver pheasant (OMSVP3) introducing an engineered Cys¹⁴-Cys³⁹ bond near the reactive site on the basis of the sequence homology between OMSVP3 and ascidian trypsin inhibitor. This variant exhibits a narrower inhibitory specificity. We have examined the effects of introducing a Cys¹⁴-Cys³⁹ bond into the flexible N-terminal loop of OMSVP3 on the thermodynamics of the reactive site peptide bond hydrolysis, as well as the thermal stability of reactive site intact inhibitors. P14C/N39C can be selectively cleaved by Streptomyces griseus protease B at the reactive site of OMSVP3 to form a reactive site modified inhibitor. The conversion rate of intact to modified P14C/N39C is much faster than that for wild type under any pH condition. The pH-independent hydrolysis constant (K(hyd) °) is estimated to be approximately 5.5 for P14C/N39C, which is higher than the value of 1.6 for natural OMSVP3. The reactive site modified form of P14C/N39C is thermodynamically more stable than the intact one. Thermal denaturation experiments using intact inhibitors show that the temperature at the midpoint of unfolding at pH 2.0 is 59 °C for P14C/N39C and 58 °C for wild type. There have been no examples, except P14C/N39C, where introducing an engineered disulfide causes a significant increase in K(hyd) °, but has no effect on the thermal stability. The site-specific disulfide introduction into the flexible N-terminal loop of natural Kazal-type inhibitors would be useful to further characterize the thermodynamics of the reactive site peptide bond hydrolysis.

  19. Marine anoxia: quantifying short- and longer-term responses in situ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pados, Theodora; Pretterebner, Katrin; Schiemer, Lucie; Riedel, Bettina; Stachowitsch, Michael; Zuschin, Martin

    2010-05-01

    , the moribund/dead organisms attracted predators/scavengers, which removed most of the dead material within days. Fish (Gobius niger; Diplodus vulgaris, Serranus hepatus) were the first post-anoxia visitors (after 9 min); their numbers gradually decreased during the deployment, suggesting that most of the suitable dead material was consumed early. The second and third groups arriving were hermit crabs and gastropods, respectively. They fed mainly on remains not utilized by fishes (e.g. sponges, ascidians). The results provide an opportunity to better interpret benthic responses to anoxic events in Earth's history.

  20. Hemichordates and the Origin of Chordates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerhart, John; Kirschner, Marc; Lowe, Chris

    2002-01-01

    At the start of the period of the NASA grant three years ago, we had no information on the organization and development of the body axis of the hemichordate, Saccoglossus kowalevskii. Now we have substantial findings about the anteroposterior axis and dorsoventral axis, and based on this information, we have new insights about the origin of chordates from ancestral deuterostomes. We found ways to obtain and preserve large numbers of embryos and hatched juveniles. We can now collect about 40,000 embryos in the month of September, the time of S. kowalevskii spawning at Woods Hole. Excellent cDNA libraries were prepared from three developmental stages. From these libraries, we directly isolated about 30 gene ortholog sequences by screening and pcr techniques, all of these sequences of interest in the inquiry about the animal's organization and development. We also performed a mid-sized EST project (60,000 randomly picked clones, many of these arrayed). About half of these have been analyzed so far by blastx and are suitable for direct use of clones. We have obtained about 50 interesting sequences from this set. The rest still await analysis. Thus, at this time we have isolated orthologs of 80 genes that are known to be expressed in chordates in conserved domains and known to have interesting roles in chordate organization and development. The orthology of the S. kowalevskii sequences has been verified by neighbor joining and parsimony methods, with bootstrap estimates of validity. The S. kowalevskii sequences cluster with other deuterostome sequences, namely, other hemichordates, echinoderms, ascidians, amphioxus, or vertebrates, depending on what sequences are available in the database for comparison. We have used these sequences to do high quality in situ hybridization on S. kowalevskii embryos, and the results can be divided into three sections-those concerning the anteroposterior axis of S. kowalevskii in comparison to the same axis of chordates, those concerning

  1. Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of two parasitic/commensal nemerteans, Gononemertes parasita and Nemertopsis tetraclitophila (Nemertea: Hoplonemertea)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Most nemerteans (phylum Nemertea) are free-living, but about 50 species are known to be firmly associated with other marine invertebrates. For example, Gononemertes parasita is associated with ascidians, and Nemertopsis tetraclitophila with barnacles. There are 12 complete or near-complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequences of nemerteans available in GenBank, but no mitogenomes of none free-living nemerteans have been determined so far. In the present paper complete mitogenomes of the above two parasitic/commensal nemerteans are reported. Methods The complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenome) of G. parasita and N. tetraclitophila were amplified by conventional and long PCR. Phylogenetic analyses of maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) were performed with both concatenated nucleotide and amino acid sequences. Results Complete mitogenomes of G. parasita and N. tetraclitophila are 14742 bp and 14597 bp in size, respectively, which are within the range of published Hoplonemertea mitogenomes. Their gene orders are identical to that of published Hoplonemertea mitogenomes, but different from those of Palaeo- and Heteronemertea species. All the coding genes, as well as major non-coding regions (mNCRs), are AT rich, which is especially pronounced at the third codon position. The AT/GC skew pattern of the coding strand is the same among nemertean mitogenomes, but is variable in the mNCRs. Some slight differences are found between mitogenomes of the present species and other hoplonemerteans: in G. parasita the mNCR is biased toward T and C (contrary to other hoplonemerteans) and the rrnS gene has a unique 58-bp insertion at the 5′ end; in N. tetraclitophila the nad3 gene starts with the ATT codon (ATG in other hoplonemerteans). Phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide and amino acid datasets show early divergent positions of G. parasita and N. tetraclitophila within the analyzed Distromatonemertea species, and provide strong support for

  2. Disentangling the impacts of heat wave magnitude, duration and timing on the structure and diversity of sessile marine assemblages.

    PubMed

    Smale, Dan A; Yunnie, Anna L E; Vance, Thomas; Widdicombe, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Extreme climatic events, including heat waves (HWs) and severe storms, influence the structure of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Despite growing consensus that anthropogenic climate change will increase the frequency, duration and magnitude of extreme events, current understanding of their impact on communities and ecosystems is limited. Here, we used sessile invertebrates on settlement panels as model assemblages to examine the influence of HW magnitude, duration and timing on marine biodiversity patterns. Settlement panels were deployed in a marina in southwest UK for ≥5 weeks, to allow sufficient time for colonisation and development of sessile fauna, before being subjected to simulated HWs in a mesocosm facility. Replicate panel assemblages were held at ambient sea temperature (∼17 °C), or +3 °C or +5 °C for a period of 1 or 2 weeks, before being returned to the marina for a recovery phase of 2-3 weeks. The 10-week experiment was repeated 3 times, staggered throughout summer, to examine the influence of HW timing on community impacts. Contrary to our expectations, the warming events had no clear, consistent impacts on the abundance of species or the structure of sessile assemblages. With the exception of 1 high-magnitude long-duration HW event, warming did not alter not assemblage structure, favour non-native species, nor lead to changes in richness, abundance or biomass of sessile faunal assemblages. The observed lack of effect may have been caused by a combination of (1) the use of relatively low magnitude, realistic heat wave treatments compared to previous studies (2), the greater resilience of mature adult sessile fauna compared to recruits and juveniles, and (3) the high thermal tolerance of the model organisms (i.e., temperate fouling species, principally bryozoans and ascidians). Our study demonstrates the importance of using realistic treatments when manipulating climate change variables, and also suggests that biogeographical context may

  3. Differential responses of emergent intertidal coral reef fauna to a large-scale El-Niño southern oscillation event: sponge and coral resilience.

    PubMed

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J; Moraes, Simone Souza; Gomes, Rilza da Costa Tourinho; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Attrill, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    There is a paucity of information on the impacts of the 1997-8 El Niño event and subsequent climatic episodes on emergent intertidal coral reef assemblages. Given the environmental variability intertidal reefs experience, such reefs may potentially be more resilient to climatic events and provide important insights into the adaptation of reef fauna to future ocean warming. Here we report the results of a 17-year (1995-2011) biodiversity survey of four emergent coral reef ecosystems in Bahia, Brazil, to assess the impact of a major El Niño event on the reef fauna, and determine any subsequent recovery. The densities of two species of coral, Favia gravida and Siderastrea stellata, did not vary significantly across the survey period, indicating a high degree of tolerance to the El Niño associated stress. However, there were marked decreases in the diversity of other taxa. Molluscs, bryozoans and ascidians suffered severe declines in diversity and abundance and had not recovered to pre-El Niño levels by the end of the study. Echinoderms were reduced to a single species in 1999, Echinometra lucunter, although diversity levels had recovered by 2002. Sponge assemblages were not impacted by the 1997-8 event and their densities had increased by the study end. Multivariate analysis indicated that a stable invertebrate community had re-established on the reefs after the El Niño event, but it has a different overall composition to the pre-El Niño community. It is unclear if community recovery will continue given more time, but our study highlights that any increase in the frequency of large-scale climatic events to more than one a decade is likely to result in a persistent lower-diversity state. Our results also suggest some coral and sponge species are particularly resilient to the El Niño-associated stress and therefore represent suitable models to investigate temperature adaptation in reef organisms.

  4. Reproductive protein evolution in two cryptic species of marine chordate

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Reproductive character displacement (RCD) is a common and taxonomically widespread pattern. In marine broadcast spawning organisms, behavioral and mechanical isolation are absent and prezygotic barriers between species often operate only during the fertilization process. Such barriers are usually a consequence of differences in the way in which sperm and egg proteins interact, so RCD can be manifest as faster evolution of these proteins between species in sympatry than allopatry. Rapid evolution of these proteins often appears to be a consequence of positive (directional) selection. Here, we identify a set of candidate gamete recognition proteins (GRPs) in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and showed that these GRPs evolve more rapidly than control proteins (those not involved in gamete recognition). Choosing a subset of these gamete recognition proteins that show evidence of positive selection (CIPRO37.40.1, CIPRO60.5.1, CIPRO100.7.1), we then directly test the RCD hypothesis by comparing divergence (omega) and polymorphism (McDonald-Kreitman, Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D and F, Fay and Wu's H) statistics in sympatric and allopatric populations of two distinct forms of C. intestinalis (Types A and B) between which there are strong post-zygotic barriers. Results Candidate gamete recognition proteins from two lineages of C. intestinalis (Type A and B) are evolving more rapidly than control proteins, consistent with patterns seen in insects and mammals. However, ω (dN/dS) is not significantly different between the sympatric and allopatric populations, and none of the polymorphism statistics show significant differences between sympatric and allopatric populations. Conclusions Enhanced prezygotic isolation in sympatry has become a well-known feature of gamete recognition proteins in marine broadcast spawners. But in most cases the evolutionary process or processes responsible for this pattern have not been identified. Although gamete recognition proteins in C

  5. The role of containerships as transfer mechanisms of marine biofouling species.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Ian C; Brown, Christopher W; Sytsma, Mark D; Ruiz, Gregory M

    2009-10-01

    Fouling of ships is an important historical and enduring transfer mechanism of marine nonindigenous species (NIS). Although containerships have risen to the forefront of global maritime shipping since the 1950s, few studies have directly sampled fouling communities on their submerged surfaces, and little is known about differences in the fouling characteristics among commercial ship types. Twenty-two in-service containerships at the Port of Oakland (San Francisco Bay, California) were sampled to test the hypothesis that the extent and taxonomic richness of fouling would be low on this type of ship, resulting from relatively fast speeds and short port durations. The data showed that the extent of macroorganisms (invertebrates and algae) was indeed low, especially across the large surface areas of the hull. Less than 1% of the exposed hull was colonized for all apart from one vessel. These ships had submerged surface areas of >7000 m(2), and fouling coverage on this area was estimated to be <17 m(2) per vessel, with zero biota detected on the hulls of many vessels. The outlying smaller vessel (4465 m(2)) had an estimated coverage of 90% on the hull and also differed substantially from the other ships in terms of its recent voyage history, shorter voyage range and slower speeds. Despite the low extent of fouling, taxonomic richness was high among vessels. Consistent with recent studies, a wide range of organisms were concentrated at more protected and heterogeneous (non-hull) niche areas, including rudders, stern tubes and intake gratings. Green algae and barnacles were most frequently sampled among vessels, but hydroids, bryozoans, bivalves and ascidians were also recorded. One vessel had 20 different species in its fouling assemblage, including non-native species (already established in San Francisco Bay) and mobile species that were not detected in visual surveys. In contrast to other studies, dry dock block areas did not support many organisms, despite little

  6. The fester locus in Botryllus schlosseri experiences selection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Allorecognition, the ability of an organism to distinguish self from non-self, occurs throughout the entire tree of life. Despite the prevalence and importance of allorecognition systems, the genetic basis of allorecognition has rarely been characterized outside the well-known MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) in vertebrates and SI (Self-Incompatibility) in plants. Where loci have been identified, their evolutionary history is an open question. We have previously identified the genes involved in self/non-self recognition in the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, and we can now begin to investigate their evolution. In B. schlosseri, colonies sharing 1 or more alleles of a gene called FuHC (Fusion Histocompatibility) will fuse. Protein products of a locus called fester, located ~300 kb from FuHC, have been shown to play multiple roles in the histocompatibility reaction, as activating and/or inhibitory receptors. We test whether the proteins encoded by this locus are evolving neutrally or are experiencing balancing, directional, or purifying selection. Results Nearly all of the variation in the fester locus resides within populations. The 13 housekeeping genes (12 nuclear genes and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I) have substantially more structure among populations within groups and among groups than fester. All polymorphism statistics (Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D* and F*) are significantly negative for the East Coast A-type alleles, and Fu and Li's F* statistic is significantly negative for the West Coast A-type alleles. These results are likely due to selection rather than demography, given that 10 of the housekeeping loci have no populations with significant values for any of the polymorphism statistics. The majority of codons in the fester proteins have ω values < 1, but 15–27 codons have > 95% posterior probability of ω values > 1. Conclusion Fester proteins are evolving non-neutrally. The polymorphism statistics are consistent with

  7. Differential Responses of Emergent Intertidal Coral Reef Fauna to a Large-Scale El-Niño Southern Oscillation Event: Sponge and Coral Resilience

    PubMed Central

    Kelmo, Francisco; Bell, James J.; Moraes, Simone Souza; Gomes, Rilza da Costa Tourinho; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Attrill, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    There is a paucity of information on the impacts of the 1997–8 El Niño event and subsequent climatic episodes on emergent intertidal coral reef assemblages. Given the environmental variability intertidal reefs experience, such reefs may potentially be more resilient to climatic events and provide important insights into the adaptation of reef fauna to future ocean warming. Here we report the results of a 17-year (1995–2011) biodiversity survey of four emergent coral reef ecosystems in Bahia, Brazil, to assess the impact of a major El Niño event on the reef fauna, and determine any subsequent recovery. The densities of two species of coral, Favia gravida and Siderastrea stellata, did not vary significantly across the survey period, indicating a high degree of tolerance to the El Niño associated stress. However, there were marked decreases in the diversity of other taxa. Molluscs, bryozoans and ascidians suffered severe declines in diversity and abundance and had not recovered to pre-El Niño levels by the end of the study. Echinoderms were reduced to a single species in 1999, Echinometra lucunter, although diversity levels had recovered by 2002. Sponge assemblages were not impacted by the 1997–8 event and their densities had increased by the study end. Multivariate analysis indicated that a stable invertebrate community had re-established on the reefs after the El Niño event, but it has a different overall composition to the pre-El Niño community. It is unclear if community recovery will continue given more time, but our study highlights that any increase in the frequency of large-scale climatic events to more than one a decade is likely to result in a persistent lower-diversity state. Our results also suggest some coral and sponge species are particularly resilient to the El Niño-associated stress and therefore represent suitable models to investigate temperature adaptation in reef organisms. PMID:24675785

  8. Impacts of trawling on benthic macro-fauna and -flora of the Spencer Gulf prawn fishing grounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svane, Ib; Hammett, Zoe; Lauer, Peter

    2009-05-01

    The overall effects of trawling on benthic habitats and their assemblages are dependent on the distribution and intensity of trawl effort. The benthic habitats of the Spencer Gulf prawn trawling grounds are subjected to known variable levels of trawling disturbance recorded from fisher's logbooks. These habitats have not been quantitatively investigated. The aim of the study was firstly to characterise the macro-faunal and -floral assemblages and secondly, to comparatively assess trawl impact by testing the null hypothesis of no differences between five sites exposed to different intensity of trawl effort. The distribution and abundance of benthic macro-fauna and -flora were studied at two sampling resolutions by using beam trawl sampling (˜10,000 m 2) and underwater stereophotography (˜4.5 m 2) at five sites with different levels of trawl disturbance (effort). The results showed that the Spencer Gulf prawn trawling grounds are characterised by sandy sediments with a low content of silt and clay, with the exception of one site with very fine gravel. Biomass, abundance and cover of macro-fauna and -flora were generally low throughout, but with large differences among sites. Biomass, abundance and cover were found to be negatively correlated to both trawl hours from 1994-1998 and during the period of study. ANOSIM and SIMPER analyses using biomass, abundance and percentage cover as variables showed significant differences between sites with eight species or taxonomic groups contributing more than 10% to the observed similarity within sites. The two northern sites were dominated by sponges and the bearded mussel, Trichomya hirsutus, and the southern hammer oyster, Malleus meridianus. Other species that contributed to the similarity within sites were the ascidian, Polycarpa viridis, mobile epifauna (the blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus, and the western king prawn, Penaeus (Melicertus) latisulcatus) and demersal fish species (Degens leatherjacket, Thamnaconus

  9. Disentangling the impacts of heat wave magnitude, duration and timing on the structure and diversity of sessile marine assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Yunnie, Anna L.E.; Vance, Thomas; Widdicombe, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Extreme climatic events, including heat waves (HWs) and severe storms, influence the structure of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Despite growing consensus that anthropogenic climate change will increase the frequency, duration and magnitude of extreme events, current understanding of their impact on communities and ecosystems is limited. Here, we used sessile invertebrates on settlement panels as model assemblages to examine the influence of HW magnitude, duration and timing on marine biodiversity patterns. Settlement panels were deployed in a marina in southwest UK for ≥5 weeks, to allow sufficient time for colonisation and development of sessile fauna, before being subjected to simulated HWs in a mesocosm facility. Replicate panel assemblages were held at ambient sea temperature (∼17 °C), or +3 °C or +5 °C for a period of 1 or 2 weeks, before being returned to the marina for a recovery phase of 2–3 weeks. The 10-week experiment was repeated 3 times, staggered throughout summer, to examine the influence of HW timing on community impacts. Contrary to our expectations, the warming events had no clear, consistent impacts on the abundance of species or the structure of sessile assemblages. With the exception of 1 high-magnitude long-duration HW event, warming did not alter not assemblage structure, favour non-native species, nor lead to changes in richness, abundance or biomass of sessile faunal assemblages. The observed lack of effect may have been caused by a combination of (1) the use of relatively low magnitude, realistic heat wave treatments compared to previous studies (2), the greater resilience of mature adult sessile fauna compared to recruits and juveniles, and (3) the high thermal tolerance of the model organisms (i.e., temperate fouling species, principally bryozoans and ascidians). Our study demonstrates the importance of using realistic treatments when manipulating climate change variables, and also suggests that biogeographical context may

  10. Total Synthesis, Stereochemical Revision, and Biological Reassessment of Mandelalide A: Chemical Mimicry of Intrafamily Relationships.

    PubMed

    Willwacher, Jens; Heggen, Berit; Wirtz, Conny; Thiel, Walter; Fürstner, Alois

    2015-07-13

    Mandelalide A and three congeners had recently been isolated as the supposedly highly cytotoxic principles of an ascidian collected off the South African coastline. Since these compounds are hardly available from the natural source, a concise synthesis route was developed, targeting structure 1 as the purported representation of mandelalide A. The sequence involves an iridium-catalyzed two-directional Krische allylation and a cobalt-catalyzed carbonylative epoxide opening as entry points for the preparation of the major building blocks. The final stages feature the first implementation of terminal acetylene metathesis into natural product total synthesis, which is remarkable in that this class of substrates had been beyond the reach of alkyne metathesis for decades. Synthetic 1, however, proved not to be identical with the natural product. In an attempt to clarify this issue, NMR spectra were simulated for 20 conceivable diastereomers by using DFT followed by DP4 analysis; however, this did not provide a reliable assignment either. The puzzle was ultimately solved by the preparation of three diastereomers, of which compound 6 proved identical with mandelalide A in all analytical and spectroscopic regards. As the entire "northern sector" about the tetrahydrofuran ring in 6 shows the opposite configuration of what had originally been assigned, it is highly likely that the stereostructures of the sister compounds mandelalides B-D must be corrected analogously; we propose that these natural products are accurately represented by structures 68-70. In an attempt to prove this reassignment, an entry into mandelalides C and D was sought by subjecting an advanced intermediate of the synthesis of 6 to a largely unprecedented intramolecular Morita-Baylis-Hillman reaction, which furnished the γ-lactone derivative 74 as a mixture of diastereomers. Whereas (24R)-74 was amenable to a hydroxyl-directed dihydroxylation by using OsO4 /TMEDA as the reagent, the sister

  11. Evolution of the interaction between Runx2 and VDR, two transcription factors involved in osteoblastogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    between recombinant proteins, we show that the VDR homologue from teleosts, but not from ascidians, is able to directly interact with the mammalian Runx2 homologue. Conclusions We propose an evolutionary scenario for the assembly of the molecular machinery involving Runx2 and VDR in vertebrates. In the last common ancestor of actinopterygians and sacropterygians, the three Runx paralogues possessed the potential to physically and functionally interact with the VDR protein. Therefore, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 might have been able to modulate the transcriptional activity of Runx1, Runx2 or Runx3 in the tissues expressing VDR. After the split from amphibians, in the lineage leading to amniotes, Runx2 and VDR became robustly co-expressed in developing skeletal elements, and their regulatory interaction was incorporated in the genetic program involved in the specification and differentiation of osteoblasts. PMID:20236534

  12. Influence of solar activity on the development of calcareous nannofossils from a Middle Holocene costal paleo-ria (SW Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández, Armand; Cachão, Mário; Trigo, Ricardo M.; Conceição Freitas, M.

    2015-04-01

    A 27 m long core was recovered from a present day flat-floored small fluvial valley, tributary of the Mira River (SW Portugal) allowing to span almost the complete Holocene sedimentary sequence directly overlaying Paleozoic schists and greywackes. A high resolution study of its micropaleontological content (Alday et al. 2006) was performed and 5 sedimentary stages were established: i) a coccolith-barren lower fluvial stage; ii) a coccolith intermittent lower estuarine stage; iii) a coccolith rich marine (ria) stage; iv) a coccolith intermittent upper estuarine/lagoonal stage and v) a coccolith-barren upper fluvial stage. The usefulness of calcareous nannofossils as natural tracers of the marine sedimentation contributing with valuable information for environmental reconstructions has been thoroughly demonstrated. Here, we present a high-resolution paleoenvironmental reconstruction from the interpreted marine (ria) section of the core, between 8.8k and 4.8k cal yr BP using most abundant calcareous nannofossils. Factor Analysis retrieved two major factors from the coccolith assemblages. Factor 1 (24% var.) is related to oceanic affinity community (e.g. Gephyrocapsa muellerae, Syracosphaera pulchra and Umbilicosphaera sibogae) whereas Factor 2 (23% var.) is linked to coastal neritic taxa (e.g. Ascidian spicules, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, Coccolithus pelagicus braarudii, Heliscosphaera carteri and Braarudosphaera bigelowii). These scores showed the existence of two episodes (8.8k to 7.4k and 5.8k to 5.2k cal yr BP) of marine colonization inside the paleoecological succession of the Holocene paleo-ria (8.8k and 4.8k cal yr BP). In order to establish the relationship between the solar activity and calcareous nannofossils sedimentation, cyclicity on the studied time series was investigated by performing spectral analysis on Factor 1 (F1) and Factor 2 (F2) scores. F1 score periodogram discloses three significant periodicities (460, 350 and 236-yrs) whereas F2 score

  13. Causes and consequences of hypoxia on the Western Black Sea Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedrich, Jana; Gomoiu, Marian-Trajan; Naeher, Sebastian; Secrieru, Dan; Teaca, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    opportunistic species such as worms. Following the economic collapse of eastern European countries during the 1990s, riverine nutrient loads decreased and the ecosystem is showing signs of slow recovery, such as a decrease in the frequency and duration of hypoxic events. However, nutrient fluxes from the sediments did not decrease significantly (Friedrich et al. 2010). We observe slight recovery of the macrobenthic community structure in terms of species numbers in the Romanian pre-Danubian sector. Opportunistic species, e.g., ascidians, worms and fast growing filamentous algae are currently filling ecologic niches left by the past ecosystem collapse. References Friedrich, J., Cociasu, A., & Mee, L. D. (2010). Historical legacy of Danube River nutrient discharge and eutrophication in the North-Western Black Sea - Nutrient recycling in the shelf sediments. Danube News, 12(22), 7-9. Friedrich J., Dinkel C., Friedl G., Pimenov N., Wijsman J., Gomoiu M.T., Cociasu A., Popa L. & Wehrli B. (2002). Benthic Nutrient Cycling and Diagenetic Pathways in the North-western Black Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 54, 369-383. Jones G.A. & Gagnon A.R. (1994). Radiocarbon chronology of Black Sea sediments. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 41, 531-557. Mee L.D., Friedrich J. & Gomoiu M.-T. (2005). Restoring the Black Sea in times of uncertainty. Oceanography, 18, 32-43. Oguz, T. and Gilbert, D. (2007). Abrupt transitions of the top-down controlled Black Sea pelagic ecosystem during 1960-2000: Evidence for regime-shifts under strong fishery exploitation and nutrient enrichment modulated by climate-induced variations. Deep-Sea Research I: doi:10.1016/j.dsr.200609.200010.

  14. OBSERVATIONS ON THE TRANSPORT OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE BLOOD OF SOME MARINE INVERTEBRATES.

    PubMed

    Parsons, T R; Parsons, W

    1923-11-20

    Although the results we have recorded merely serve to indicate the possibilities of this interesting field of investigation, we have sufficient data to enable us to draw certain general conclusions. In the first place it is evident that the bloods of the more highly developed marine invertebrates, such as the active Crustacia and the Cephalopods, are specially adapted for the carriage of carbon dioxide. The quantity of carbon dioxide taken up by the blood of Maia, Palinurus, or Octopus at any given tension of the gas is, in general, about twice or three times as great as that which is taken up by sea water under the same conditions. On the other hand, the blood of a slow, creeping form, such as Aplysia, or of a sessile animal such as the ascidian Phallusia shows no more adaptation for the carriage of carbon dioxide than does sea water. But our estimations of the CO(2) content of the blood as it circulates in the bodies of these more active invertebrates show that the conditions of transport of this gas differ considerably in some respects from those which obtain in mammals. For the invertebrate blood in the body contains only a relatively small quantity of carbon dioxide, averaging in the forms we examined from 3 to 10 cc. per 100 cc. of blood. This forms a marked contrast with the condition found in mammals where even the arterial blood contains about 50 cc. of CO(2) per 100 cc. of blood. The invertebrate, therefore, works at a very low CO(2) tension. There is a twofold significance in this circumstance. In the first place, it means that only the first portion of the carbon dioxide dissociation curve is in use in the respiratory mechanism. Now an inspection of our curves will show that at these low carbon dioxide tensions the dissociation curves tend to be steeper than at higher tensions. As we intend to show in a later paper it can be proved mathematically that, other things being equal, a blood with a carbon dissociation curve of moderate steepness, i.e. one in